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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I'm quite curious: how do you handle when you cannot afford your grail watch? I'm really into Rolex Sub, but form an Eastern European income and with two children buying it would be a crazy thing. I'm currently thinking about buying a Steinhart Ocean One to "substitute" it, but I'm not really sure whether I will be happy or not. Does anyone has experience with this kind of "substitution"?
 

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It's a good choice, probably the best bet for watches under $500.

What model are you actually looking at?
 

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Many watches that look like the Submariner and even perform to latest dive tech are affordable. I think it is worth trying on these kinds of watches to see how you feel. You will not get the brand recognition for yourself or others, but you will get the aesthetic you are looking for without risking your finances for something you may not be able to afford right now. Many will say you will not be happy unless you buy exactly what you want, but all of us react to things differently. The ultimate question becomes: Are you willing to have nothing for a length of time while you save up the money, or would you be happier having something nice in the meantime? I would choose the latter.

Watch prices are so high for luxury watches, I think most people are in the same situation you are.
 

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While I can't give you suggestions on how to save up for a sub. I can tell you from a personal perspective that, substitution does not work. I have a few grail watches that I am unable to afford. One such is the breitling navitimer Chrono, I also wanted it brand new.

Obviously I couldn't afford it. What did I buy? A cimier sport Chrono (for the slide rule bezel calculator) and breitling top Time (for the brand). Did it make me happy? Not even remotely. Did I buy other chronos hoping to make myself happy? Ofcourse I did. Did it make me happy? Nope.

Because watch collecting itself is a very instinctual thing that is supposed to satisfy the inner child in us. Much like a child that will not accept a substitute to the favorite toy that they wanted, our inner child doesn't accept substitutes either.

Atleast that's what I inferred from my experience.

I'd suggest make it a 10 or 20 year project and save up slowly. If your watch desires still hold then that sub will be that much more sweeter when you finally get it!

Good luck!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
While I can't give you suggestions on how to save up for a sub. I can tell you from a personal perspective that, substitution does not work. I have a few grail watches that I am unable to afford. One such is the breitling navitimer Chrono, I also wanted it brand new.

Obviously I couldn't afford it. What did I buy? A cimier sport Chrono (for the slide rule bezel calculator) and breitling top Time (for the brand). Did it make me happy? Not even remotely. Did I buy other chronos hoping to make myself happy? Ofcourse I did. Did it make me happy? Nope.

Because watch collecting itself is a very instinctual thing that is supposed to satisfy the inner child in us. Much like a child that will not accept a substitute to the favorite toy that they wanted, our inner child doesn't accept substitutes either.

Atleast that's what I inferred from my experience.

I'd suggest make it a 10 or 20 year project and save up slowly. If your watch desires still hold then that sub will be that much more sweeter when you finally get it!

Good luck!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
10 or 20 year project? Come on, in the last 10 years our currency decreased 30% compared to EUR and add the price increase of Sub and the almost zero interest rates. The amount of my "disposable" savings might never reach the price of the Sub if that continues...
 

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Increase your value to your current and prospective employers. Make yourself an indispensable asset. The rest will follow.
 

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Things change with time. Kid grow up and move out, your mortgage and car loans if you have them get paid off.
Twenty years ago I would never have thought I would have ever bought an expensive watch.
I bought my first Breitling back in 2009. I thought I was crazy spending that kind of money on a watch. Before that the most I had spent was $250.00 dollars.
As time moves forward things change. What you look at now as something you can't afford in the future it may become affordable.
If you can't afford it now does not mean you will never be able to afford it in the future.
I do not know your financial situation and don't need to. If you can save your extra income a little at a time and when you get there you buy it.
Some people I have met in the past my self included have take a part time job to be able to afford the extras in life. I loved to play golf at one time. It was expensive and I did not want to divert household money to it so I found a part time job.
As far as buying a substitute that is entirely up to you as to weather or not you will be happy with it. Are you buying it because it looks like the watch you want or do you like the look of the watch? Are you going to look at the substitute all the time thinking I wish I had the Rolex instead or are you going to enjoy the watch you have.
If it were me I would find another watch that I like, that I could afford that does not look like the Rolex you want and buy that one.
Good luck.
 

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I would have a good look around at completely different watches, and you will no doubt find an affordable one you really like that isn't just a cheap imitation of what you really want.
I'd totally agree with this except that some of the Sub homages out there seem to be very nice watches in their own right without necessarily being outright clones. I'm thinking maybe something in a similar style and case dimensions but without the mercedes hands. Squale and Steinhart have some good ones.
 

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While I can't give you suggestions on how to save up for a sub. I can tell you from a personal perspective that, substitution does not work. I have a few grail watches that I am unable to afford. One such is the breitling navitimer Chrono, I also wanted it brand new.

Obviously I couldn't afford it. What did I buy? A cimier sport Chrono (for the slide rule bezel calculator) and breitling top Time (for the brand). Did it make me happy? Not even remotely. Did I buy other chronos hoping to make myself happy? Ofcourse I did. Did it make me happy? Nope.

Because watch collecting itself is a very instinctual thing that is supposed to satisfy the inner child in us. Much like a child that will not accept a substitute to the favorite toy that they wanted, our inner child doesn't accept substitutes either.

Atleast that's what I inferred from my experience.

I'd suggest make it a 10 or 20 year project and save up slowly. If your watch desires still hold then that sub will be that much more sweeter when you finally get it!

Good luck!

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
I do agree.

Find yourself something different for the moment that will keep the itch scratched, and then set your grail as an achievable goal (however long you wish).

I remember hearing years ago of a way to be 'Happy'.
Set yourself achievable targets / manage your own expectation (and don't let others or the marketing folk set them for you).
 

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Watches are a luxury. They should be something you enjoy as fruits of your success. I don't feel like they should be worth making a long term financial sacrifice. There are more worthwhile things to dwell on as a long term goal.

It's just a watch. There's more to life than that.
 

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10 or 20 year project? Come on, in the last 10 years our currency decreased 30% compared to EUR and add the price increase of Sub and the almost zero interest rates. The amount of my "disposable" savings might never reach the price of the Sub if that continues...
All I can say is, these things are cyclic. Just because there is a huge demand for a sub now doesn't mean that its going to be linearly increasing for the next 20 years. In 2011 you can get a sub for ~3K USD, Subs were sitting in shelves post 2000 crash. Do we still remember the quartz crisis of late 70's and early 80's? What was the waiting list on the subs back then?

Just because something is on demand at the moment doesn't mean that it has been that way in the past or will be in the future. Don't give up hope yet!

Also, the second hand market might ease up in the future, by which time you would've saved up and could get a piece that you really like.
 

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From personal experience I tried substitutes and it didnt work. Once I got my omega, my itch was satisfied. Now that I have it, it's the only watch I wear and just change straps.

For me though, it took a lot of time and a year of saving to be able to afford it. I simply set aside 100-200 a week if I could and just kept saving.

Best tip I can give is if you afford to, save 100 or 200 every week. And dont touch it. By the end of the year, you will have saved 5200 or 10400 if you put 200 away a week. You'll be halfway or all the way to a Rolex in years time. Keep in mind other finances such as house, kids, car etc.

Just wait, the end goal will be worth the fruits of your labor. Once I tried on a sub, I knew it wasn't for me. Great watch, just dont see myself owning one. Grail now is a Daytona.
 
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Steinharts are good, I’ve owned a couple and there’s loads of even more subby homages out there but none will really give you the submariner you crave. Have you looked at seiko, there’s a lot of dive watches that really stand on their own and I’m sure there’s something out there for you. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
From personal experience I tried substitutes and it didnt work. Once I got my omega, my itch was satisfied. Now that I have it, it's the only watch I wear and just change straps.

For me though, it took a lot of time and a year of saving to be able to afford it. I simply set aside 100-200 a week if I could and just kept saving.

Best tip I can give is if you afford to, save 100 or 200 every week. And dont touch it. By the end of the year, you will have saved 5200 or 10400 if you put 200 away a week. You'll be halfway or all the way to a Rolex in years time. Keep in mind other finances such as house, kids, car etc.

Just wait, the end goal will be worth the fruits of your labor. Once I tried on a sub, I knew it wasn't for me. Great watch, just dont see myself owning one. Grail now is a Daytona.
We are still talking about Eastern Europe, average yearly wage is $11000 here so it is just not possible to save that amount of money.

To be clear: I don't want to buy a Sub, it is just out of reach for me. I'm just thinking about whether I want the "substitute" or rather don't buy anything.
 

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I would start simply by closing the windows on the impractical--the sub is a nice watch, but not a practical choice for you, so, pass on by. Rather than finding a "substitute" for the sub, I would simply use your comfortable cost parameters as an outline of the ballpark you can play in, and then take a lot of time to explore all the watches that fall within those parameters, and see what stands out as the best watch for you--perhaps a wholly different design than the sub, but that isn't a bad thing. Besides Steinhart, there's Seiko, Citizen and a whole lot of other great watches that likely will fall within your range. No problem with recognizing your limits, and adhering to them--a very wise approach--best of luck!
 

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This is not a recommendation but just my opinion: Has it to be a Rolex? If yes then nothing else will satisfy you. If you're for the look and feel there are a few very well made homages and if you want the exact look some decent knockoffs. Just don't buy a replica.
A few years ago I was lusting after the Sub and tried some homages like Steinhart, Parnis (I know ...), Tisell and others. I wore them for a while just to find out that I like more another style of watches and sold them all and never lusted again after a Sub.
Sorry for my poor English ... I hope you got what I tried to say and I wish you to find a good solution for you.

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