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What features are "must have" or "non-factors" for you? I know there's only one feature -- lume -- that I pretty consistently don't care about at all. Conversely, aesthetics always matter to me. All the rest fall somewhere between those two extremes.

When one buys dive and military type watches one pretty well expects high performing lume. Of course, there are many watches that have the look and label of "dive watch," for example, but that aren't really meant to serve in a professional capacity as such. And, of course there are plenty of watches that are dress watches that make no effort at all to be visible without light. Mostly, I don't care too much if my watches glow well or not. About the only time it matters -- because there is no light source -- to me is when I go backpacking. Even then, it' snot that big a concern for if I'm waking at night, I'll have a headlamp on anyway, but sleeping in the tent in the cold, I may not be too keen on sticking my arm/head outside my sleeping bag. So for me, lume is one of those features that's squarely in the "take it or leave it category.

In contrast, attention to detail in execution, ergonomics and aesthetics matter a lot to me. Regardless of the price point, I'm pretty picky that way.
As for the movement factor, sometimes I care and sometimes I don't, especially if I don't have any concern that whatever guts are there will work without too much "babying" from me as goes just wearing the watch in the course of typical, non-athletic activities. One the matter of those intangible qualities, pedigree and the like, I more often than not consider them a bonus rather than a "must have" attribute. Once in a while, I give a damn, and on those occasions, I will choose a storied pedigree piece over one that was "born yesterday."

All the best.
 

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All aesthetics for me, loving plain & basic time only pieces, preferably manual wind thank you. Don't even like a date function. I know I would have spent much more than I have so far if any complication(s) were of any interest so very, very glad for my simplistic desires. Even movements don't move me (no pun) as much as the frontside of a watch. Case in point is the debate/opinions on the new Nomos pieces. Lovely, lovely movement but I wouldn't have the piece because the dial side underwhelms my likes (and that wouldn't change even if the price was reduced substantially).
 
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Depends on the use of the watch. When I was looking at getting my first "luxury-priced" watch, I had a few features that were a must for a long-term daily wearer. Having fantasized about owning one for a couple years, I was already heavily biased towards the Ulysse Nardin MMD, which just so happened to be pretty much perfect for what I was wanting.

Things like-
Strap either tough leather or rubber or a metal bracelet. I would likely destroy a fancy dress watch leather strap. I didn't want to have to worry about taking the watch off in a rainstorm etc. Rubber straps are especially appealing to me because they're lighter, and bracelets can be a bit "fatiguing", if you will.

300m+ Water resistance is not such a huge deal for me, as most any watch made today will have at least a few meters resistance. The UN is resistant up to 300m which is cool, but not that interesting to me.

Date feature. I like to have a date on most of my watches, and especially on a daily wear.

This one has a power reserve, which was not a must-have for a daily wear automatic, so I can take or leave that. It would be a must for a less-worn or manually wound watch. I do think it looks nice on the dial fwiw, so no problems there.

Good lume. Again, for a general purpose daily wear, its nice to have good lume, which the UN has in spades. A couple of my other favorite watches have no/poor lume, and its not that big of a deal, but its heavily preferred.

Casual but "nice" aesthetic. I tend to be drawn most to more classic or dressy styles, but I knew if I bought one it wouldn't get worn much. I don't like super tooly watches either, so it had to occupy that middle space of a "dress diver" or "sport" watch. Other styles I liked were IWC ingenieur, Hublot classic fusion (I know, rabble rabble pitchforks), AP RO etc.

As for the movement, at my price range (I got the UN preowned) I wasn't looking for in-house for the sake of in-house, so a reliable and accurate top shelf ETA-based movement was not a turn-off for me.

I'm with you on attention to detail and finishing. I'd always heard UN does outstanding work in that department, and I think that should be expected at a certain price point. IMO when you pay good money for something, you're granted the right to be very picky about perfection. :)

And here is a pic of the watch 'cause I can't resist posting it everywhere :-d
 

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Aesthetics mainly for me, I avoid day complications completely and I try to avoid the date window or prefer it to be at the 6'clock position. I am fine with tri-compax and love the bi-compax layout on chronographs but will never consider a piece with the 7750 layout. I do consider pedigree somewhat important if I am purchasing above a certain price point.
 

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I like my watches to be water resistant so they can at least survive an unplanned rain storm. Other than that they need to be larger than 40mm, have a sapphire crystal, a decorated movement if the case back is clear, a standard strap attachment so I can swap straps or bracelets and lately, a GMT complication. How a watch looks is more important than the features. Also, very bored of the 7750 so I don't want any more watches with that movement if it can be helped.
 

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For me, generally, lume is critical. I will not travel with anything other than GTLS lume.

Of course, aesthetics are important, but the history of the company is interesting to me also.
 

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Aesthetics, backed by a decent movement are the main for me. The only essential features are hour & minute hands with at least hour indices. Decent water resistance & lume are appreciated. Anything else is gravy.

I dislike integrated bracelets or some attachment that prevents band replacement should the need arise. I don't care for power reserve indicators.
 

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I like my watches to be water resistant so they can at least survive an unplanned rain storm. Other than that they need to be larger than 40mm, have a sapphire crystal, a decorated movement if the case back is clear, a standard strap attachment so I can swap straps or bracelets and lately, a GMT complication. How a watch looks is more important than the features. Also, very bored of the 7750 so I don't want any more watches with that movement if it can be helped.
I like this words, "How a watch looks is more important than the features."
 

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I would echo the sentiments so far on this thread.
The aesthetics are critical but backed up by an in-house movement for me.
 

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In general I'm happy as long as the watch ain't all too scared of water. Once watch is in use it stays there until I feel like it's time to use another watch, which includes showers and the occasionally sauna. The only exception I'm willing to make this for is an older watch or a watch meant for special occasions.

Otherwise it's more about the looks and general quality of the watch.
 

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Hour/minute hands are generally a bonus.

In all seriousness though, I don't think there is any one thing. If I am after a certain type of watch, chances are I'm after it because it has a combination of features I want - and I'm happy for it to forego other features less necessary. For example I couldn't give two hoots if a dress watch doesn't have lume, but if I bought a diving watch that didn't, I'd be asking questions. I guess the only thing I universally want is a well finished case.
 
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Hour/minute hands are generally a bonus.
No meister singer for you then!

Me either - I dislike singlehanders.

Other than that there are plenty of features I can take or leave but I'd never say never - inevitably someone has/will case it up in a package I like. Otherwise it depends on the type - lume on a diver is essential but I can live without it on a dressy piece, same with WR etc. Obviously aesthetics are important.

... but the history of the company is interesting to me also.
That's the only thing I universally don't care about at all. I like to get what I consider a good deal, and this is often not in keeping with a brand steeped in (often sketchy) history. But good deal aside I still don't care about it.
 

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I like simple dial with good lume,I see GMT as a bonus since I do travel a lot

Personally I don't like PR indicator at the front,silvered hands with lume,and being nitpicky,I don't like seconds subdial that's too far from the edge of the dial (look at the 7750-based Pams with plain bezel)
 

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The two most important categories for me are:
1. Looks and styling. It has to catch my eye and be finished well.
2. Fit. It has to fit my wrist comfortably with the bracelet or strap sized a bit loose. Watches in the 35mm to 40mm range seem to work the best.

Leave it categories are very large watches and dial view of the escapement.
 

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No meister singer for you then!

Me either - I dislike singlehanders.

Other than that there are plenty of features I can take or leave but I'd never say never - inevitably someone has/will case it up in a package I like. Otherwise it depends on the type - lume on a diver is essential but I can live without it on a dressy piece, same with WR etc. Obviously aesthetics are important.



That's the only thing I universally don't care about at all. I like to get what I consider a good deal, and this is often not in keeping with a brand steeped in (often sketchy) history. But good deal aside I still don't care about it.

I feel the same way. I'm not generally taken with singlehanders either from an ascetic nor practical POV. I'm not convinced that they're an improvement in a watch's central function and that is to tell the time. While I like a watch to tell me the date, there are times when I'd forgo it if the watch looked better for the lack. I do like GMT as a complication because I'd had a use for it (and I plan to purchase one some day - Steinhart, Hamilton or Fortis being the likely choices). Tachymeters not so much.

Lume is as you say important on Divers and sports watches generally and unnecessary on dress-watches.
 

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I wouldn't say that anything is particularly critical except being an accurate timekeeper.
Perhaps having a central second hand as I love having a big sweeping hand on my watch.

But things that I don't need are a chronograph and a huge case.
I've struggled to find any use for a chronograph and it bugs me that it's on my wrist not being used.
Pretty silly but it just makes the dial busy.
 

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Nothing in particular. If I like it, I like it.
 

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I absolutely need some sort of hour markers, as well as an hour & minute hand. Could be anything... numbers, letters, symbols... just mark the hour. Some of my favorite Panerais are minimalist in that regard. (Love the "Cali" dials!)

7750 chrono layouts are a bit "busy" for me, but I've had a few and really liked the Sinns. However I've seen some horrid chrono watches and generally are not a fan of them.

GMT is a great feature, and I would rather have a GMT watch than one that isn't. However, it's not a deal-breaker. I've only had one watch without a rotating bezel, and it lives in the darkest place in my watch drawer, rarely worn.

Lume is a nice feature, but I'm getting used to vintage pieces that often have little or now glow left, so that's not a deal-breaker.

Water resistance is... it MUST be able to at least take an accidental dip for me to even consider it. I love dive watches, and have had some with both auto & manual HEV, but honestly that's something that I'll never use.
 

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One feature I grew to love is the power reserve indicator - I think it's even sharper on manual wind watches. Saw some very interesting flavors of the feature, including the ones that you can only see through the display case back.

614669d1327809059-power-reserve-display-back-side-vacheron-constantin-patrimony-traditionelle-ca.jpg 3.jpg 614681d1327809916-power-reserve-display-back-side-review-montblanc-nicolas-rieussec-chronograph-.jpg panerai-radiomir-8-day-power-reserve-indicator.jpg
0b100618da.jpg watchmaking-kari-voutilainen-vingt-8r-1.jpg 182323d1241196430-power-reserve-indicator-watches-lets-see-them-7854d1228150795-kompliziertes-ba.jpg
 

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What features are "must have" or "non-factors" for you? I know there's only one feature -- lume -- that I pretty consistently don't care about at all. Conversely, aesthetics always matter to me. All the rest fall somewhere between those two extremes.
.
I've always worn my watch only for its functionality. If I don't do any active activity, I think I'll probably join the ranks of "smartphone sans watch" people :) But this might change in the near future since I'm looking into buying a nice watch right now.

The must-have feature for me: (in no particular order)
+ Easy to read
+ WR (no need for divers)
+ Must look decent on me by my standards

The rest of the nice-to-have features for me (in order of importance):
1. GPS/Radio time sync

It is really nice to know that I've got accurate time.

2. lume/light

Good to have in movie theaters when watching a movie that just won't end.

3. 1/10th or better second resolution stop watch

Lots of things require timing like

4. If battery operated, then I'd like it to be solar

I don't replace watch batteries; if they die I get a new watch. Actually I don't replace anything on
my watch; if anything breaks I get a new watch. But I've never had an expensive watch.

5. Shock resistant

I knock my watch on door frames and rocks more often than I should.

6. Thin

So I can wear it under gauntlet-style gloves for motorcycling and skiing. So far, I've not found any
watch thin enough to wear comfortably so I never bring my watch.

7. Long-enough band to fit over 2mm neoprene sleeve

I know I can change bands, but I don't. It is nice to bring a watch when I surf because otherwise
I don't use up the maximum allocated fun time. So far, all watches I've had meets this except for
the newest watch that I just bought (but this is a test watch to see if I'll like the watch hobby).

8. Count down timer

If I can set it to seconds-resolution, then it is useful for many of my timed activities. But this isn't
that important because I bring a dedicated countdown timer (i.e. ....... timer) in my bag; reading
a watch's hard-to-read countdown just adds unnecessary stress.

9. Divers WR rating

Not that important since I use a dive computer. I personally think divers watches are a blast from
the past like a standalone calculator; but I'd take it over just WR if it is free of course.
 
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