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Greetings all,

I've come to the conclusion that I would like to purchase a nicer watch than the Bulova Millenia II (96A06) that I currently wear.

Initially, I was attracted to the Bell & Ross Vintage 126, with black leather strap. After putting this watch on in the Tourneau store in NYC, I decided to look at some other watches as well. The IWC Mark XVI was particularly nice, but the shop didn't have any to try on. I also liked the Bremont Alt1-P in Black.

As I sought to justify these sorts of watch prices to my wife, I wondered, what makes these watches cost so much more than a typical watch. After reading extensively on this site and others, I learned about some of the answers: heritage, craftsmanship, materials, name etc etc.

However, I keep returning to one point, and that is, why are the mechanical movements losing or gaining so much time compared to their quartz counterparts? I don't need the scientific explanation, i.e. friction etc etc, but wondering if there are highly accurate mechanical movements that might get close?

My ideal watch would be 38-42mm range, not rectangular or square, no gold, and have some aviation theme. I'm not interested in Breitling or Rolex. My budget is approximately $5,000.

So, fire away. What should I consider, what are your recommendations, and perhaps most importantly, should one sacrifice time accuracy to gain the aesthetic that an "upper-scale" watch gives?

Thanks in advance for any and all responses, to this, my first post.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
 

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Welcome to the forum.
Some mechanical movements keep pretty good time. However quartz accuracy will be an order of magnitude better.
People don't really buy a mechanical watch because it's a better timekeeper. It's because they like it as a piece of jewelry or as a piece of machinery.
 

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Let me be the first to say,
How about a Speedy Pro? It matches your criteria.
 

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Welcome to WatchUSeek Herkdriver,

If you want to upgrade to an aviation themed watch with pedigree and craftsmanship and want to steer away from Breitling and Rolex I would like to suggest either the Omega Speedmaster Professional (hand-wound mechanical) or Speedmaster X-33 (quartz). The Speedy Pro is the first watch worn on the Moon and the X-33 has gone up in the shuttle many times and has spent time on the ISS.

BTW, Thanks for your service. I spent 16 of the best years of my life crewing C-130E/MC-130E/C-130H-3 aircraft. :-!
 

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And really, unless you're a total accuracy nut, a quality mechanical will be accurate enough. A few seconds a day don't really make that much difference. Sit in a room sometime where a lot of people have digital watches with hourly chimes. It's funny to hear how off some people's watches are. Some are chiming 2-3 minutes early, some 2-3 minutes late.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome to WatchUSeek Herkdriver,

BTW, Thanks for your service. I spent 16 of the best years of my life crewing C-130E/MC-130E/C-130H-3 aircraft. :-!
Chief,

Thank *you* for *your* service. The Herk has been good to me, and I definitely owe a debt of gratitude to the extremely professional enlisted corps that have kept her flying. It's amazing to see an E-model with miserable training MC rates magically go into the 90-100% range in Iraq/Afghanistan. I love the Herk and hope to keep flying her.

BTW, thanks for your watch recommendations.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
 

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I really enjoy my Sinns. They come in other variations, but very accurate and high level of fit and finish (German watches with Swiss movements).

103 ST SA


756 S
 

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I really enjoy my Sinns. They come in other variations, but very accurate and high level of fit and finish (German watches with Swiss movements).
I have to piggy-back on Mikes recommendation for Sinn watches. But of course, I'm biased. ;-)
 

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Welcome. You can still blow plenty of money on a quartz watch with a high-end name. That way you can have the convenience and the name.

And if you are interested in developments you could search for a thermo-compentated quartz. Breitling, Longines and Omega all do 'improved' quartz watches.

Check out the high-end quartz sub forum if you like.

I think you have to be interested in mechanical movements to warrant purchasing one. Otherwise, it's easier to get a quartz.
 

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Greetings all,

I've come to the conclusion that I would like to purchase a nicer watch than the Bulova Millenia II (96A06) that I currently wear.

Initially, I was attracted to the Bell & Ross Vintage 126, with black leather strap. After putting this watch on in the Tourneau store in NYC, I decided to look at some other watches as well. The IWC Mark XVI was particularly nice, but the shop didn't have any to try on. I also liked the Bremont Alt1-P in Black.

As I sought to justify these sorts of watch prices to my wife, I wondered, what makes these watches cost so much more than a typical watch. After reading extensively on this site and others, I learned about some of the answers: heritage, craftsmanship, materials, name etc etc.

However, I keep returning to one point, and that is, why are the mechanical movements losing or gaining so much time compared to their quartz counterparts? I don't need the scientific explanation, i.e. friction etc etc, but wondering if there are highly accurate mechanical movements that might get close?
The simple answer is that mechanical movements depend for their accuracy on a balance wheel driven by two springs and gears to oscillate precisely 8 times a second. Temperature, motion and position of the movement all tend to move that oscillation rate away from the ideal. A quartz movement on the other hand depends on a quartz crystal to oscillate precisely 32k times a second. Motion and position have negligible impact and temperature has lesser impact on accuracy.

Not all mechanical watches cost close to $5k. Indeed most cost less than $1k. You might want to look at offerings from makers like Oris. Finishing, attention to detail, marketing, dealer markup and smaller watch production runs all contribute to some wqatches being a lot more expensive than others. It's difficult to come up with cold hard logical reasons to justify spending a lot of money on a watch. Think of watch collecting as a a hobby, a luxury and a lot of fun.:-!

My ideal watch would be 38-42mm range, not rectangular or square, no gold, and have some aviation theme. I'm not interested in Breitling or Rolex. My budget is approximately $5,000.

So, fire away. What should I consider, what are your recommendations, and perhaps most importantly, should one sacrifice time accuracy to gain the aesthetic that an "upper-scale" watch gives?

Thanks in advance for any and all responses, to this, my first post.

Regards,

Herkdrvr
 

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You might check out the Sinn 903 which is similar to the Breitling Navitimer. As to the accuracy issue, there are some accurate mechanicals out there. The good ones are off only a second or two a day, which on the face of it sems a lot, but like Caraptor said, many people don't even bother to accurately set their quartz watches.
 

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DAMASKO! I'd take a Damasko over a Sinn anyday! They're pretty close to the top of my list. You can come in way underbudget and get a KILLER watch.

Hardened case, German Engineering, Pilots style, their new super duper awesome case, hairspring, and movement upgrades

Images shamelessly stolen from watchmann.com and google images, with no credit given.







 

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My answer as it has always been (ever since I got this watch), a Zenith El Primero (cal. 400). You can get an NOS (discontinued models) El Primero for less than $5000 ... got mine for a bit over half that amount -








The dial size is 38 mm, just about perfect for my wrist. It also happens to be the most accurate mechanical watch I've ever owned.
 

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However, I keep returning to one point, and that is, why are the mechanical movements losing or gaining so much time compared to their quartz counterparts? I don't need the scientific explanation, i.e. friction etc etc, but wondering if there are highly accurate mechanical movements that might get close?
The short answer is that a tiny quartz crystal vibrating at 32768 Hz is much more stable in rate, and less sensitive to outside influences, than any mechanical balance wheel operating at 5-8 Hz.

You might want to take a look at the Seiko "Spring Drive" mechanism, which is a mechanical watch, powered by a spring, which nevertheless has its running controlled by a quartz crystal. It's a mechanical watch with quartz accuracy - but expensive and without many styles available.
 

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With 5k for a pilot I'd get a watch which is not only beautiful to look at, but has a unique movement as well. Personally I'd look for something from IWC or JLC. I do love the design of Sinn chronos, the dials are timeless.

Ernst Benz and Tutima are also two watchmakers with a variety of respected pilot style watches with MSRPs easily within in your range.

And yes, in my opinion, a finely finished mechanical movement with heritage and design is vastly preferable to the trite accuracy of soulless quartz. A mechanical watch literally lives because of your movements, its engine rotating as if it were a little cosmos itself flying through time, and can be cherished and passed on as a testimony of the rare combination of beauty and engineering; these qualities can be richly found in a watch of the sort you are looking for.





Enjoy, take your time!
 
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