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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT: This should have been posted in the vintage forum. Posted there now: https://www.watchuseek.com/f11/workhorse-watch-recommendations-4843425.html
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Hi all,

I believe in using watches for their intended purpose- regular use and I need some advice on what to get next.

I'm looking for a workhorse movement, which I define as having stood the test of time and requiring minimal regular maintenance (as opposed to complete overhauls). A date complication would be nice but not essential. I'd prefer a larger (easier to maintain?) movement with no plastic parts, with a large sweeping second hand.

Aesthetically, I'm keen on clean, elegant dials in the 40s-60s dress watch style but do not like gold. Mineral glass is essential (or at least the ability to replace Acrylic with mineral). Neither small, nor oversized, 28-34mm. I prefer either simple markers or roman numerals and don't like any excessive ornamentation, apart from omegas with their raised signs. I prefer sleek hour/minute hands- not the rectangular sort. Lume is not required.

I have so far stuck to Japanese movements and whilst these have served me well, I've moved on and want to try something else.

Posting under 'affordable' so I'm obviously on a budget! I am not interested in brand/collectible/resale value, I just want a reliable vintage workhorse with no plastic bits. I will likely be scouring online auctions (in the UK) for a deal.

I've been looking at Ingersoll, Smith's, Sekonda and (overpriced) Omega, but are there any other makes to consider given my requirements? I've always been wary of generic "swiss made" movements for ease of maintainence when I'm out in the bush. I've been told vintage Timex movements are not service friendly.

Any advice?
 

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If I've understood correctly, you are looking for a vintage (that is, used) watch, not a newly-made watch. If so you are better off asking in the vintage forum, f11.

If I'm wrong and you're looking for a new watch, I have no suggestions. As I'm sure you know, there are very few watches being made today in the 28-34mm size range that do not have "feminine" aesthetics.
 
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I’m puzzled why you want a mineral crystal...
Apart from an increase in cost, surely sapphire crystal is the way to go for durability?



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"Neither small, nor oversized, 28-34mm."

Yeah, that's not anything other than small. The Timex Marlin handwinder is 34mm, but uses a Chinese Sea-Gull movement. That's as close as you're likely to get with a modern watch on a budget.

"out in the bush" and 40's to 60's vintage dress watches doesn't really make sense as a use case for me, though. I'm not clear on what you're trying to do and what your tolerance for failure actually is.
 
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Hi all,

... I just want a reliable vintage workhorse with no plastic bits. I will likely be scouring online auctions (in the UK) for a deal.

I've been looking at Ingersoll, Smith's, Sekonda and (overpriced) Omega, but are there any other makes to consider given my requirements? I've always been wary of generic "swiss made" movements for ease of maintainence when I'm out in the bush. I've been told vintage Timex movements are not service friendly.

Any advice?
I think the OP does want a vintage watch. Of course, even if the watch might be considered a "workhorse," you have all the risks inherent in buying such a watch -- whether the particular one you buy is in good condition, whether you can get parts, whether the watch will have any appreciable water resistance or shock resistance (two things that seem pretty important for work "in the bush"), etc. The addition of a mineral crystal for watches from the 40s-60s seems like a difficult ask, too.

But when I think "workhorse, I think Russian/Soviet. Check out Luch, Poljot, Raketa, Vostok, Chaika, Slava. They made watches in the 60s, 70s, and 80s which should match your aesthetic, which would be pretty easy to work on (our own Ratfacedgit has/had a bunch of videos on how to take apart and work on the common Russian movements), and which will cost you less than $100. Just be careful -- many of those watches are "frakens" -- with wrong parts taken from different watches--and some sellers are more honest than others about condition, whether the watch has been "serviced," etc. (Most, if not all, will have acrylic crystals, but I'd much rather have acrylic in a "workhorse" watch than mineral. Acrylic won't shatter and you can buff out scratches!)

s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg s-l1600.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the recommendations. Soviet era vintage has been on my radar- Poljot and Raketa in particular, but these are difficult to find where I am and I'm not sure I trust the online Russian dealers (franken as you point out). I've been looking at the likes of Sekonda which are available more readily in the UK. Would there be any former East German makes to look out for? The photos you've referenced are the general aesthetic that I'm looking for. I'd rather not enter into a debate on the virtues of acrylic, but I simply prefer mineral glass!
I think the OP does want a vintage watch. Of course, even if the watch might be considered a "workhorse," you have all the risks inherent in buying such a watch -- whether the particular one you buy is in good condition, whether you can get parts, whether the watch will have any appreciable water resistance or shock resistance (two things that seem pretty important for work "in the bush"), etc. The addition of a mineral crystal for watches from the 40s-60s seems like a difficult ask, too. But when I think "workhorse, I think Russian/Soviet. Check out Luch, Poljot, Raketa, Vostok, Chaika, Slava. They made watches in the 60s, 70s, and 80s which should match your aesthetic, which would be pretty easy to work on (our own Ratfacedgit has/had a bunch of videos on how to take apart and work on the common Russian movements), and which will cost you less than $100. Just be careful -- many of those watches are "frakens" -- with wrong parts taken from different watches--and some sellers are more honest than others about condition, whether the watch has been "serviced," etc. (Most, if not all, will have acrylic crystals, but I'd much rather have acrylic in a "workhorse" watch than mineral. Acrylic won't shatter and you can buff out scratches!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My apologies, yes I am looking for a vintage watch. Can this be moved to the vintage forum, or should I create a new post there?
If I've understood correctly, you are looking for a vintage (that is, used) watch, not a newly-made watch. If so you are better off asking in the vintage forum, f11. If I'm wrong and you're looking for a new watch, I have no suggestions. As I'm sure you know, there are very few watches being made today in the 28-34mm size range that do not have "feminine" aesthetics.
 

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Would there be any former East German makes to look out for?
The most common East German make would probably be Ruhla. You should check out the Russian forum, which is friendly and welcoming and has folks who collect watches from throughout the former Eastern Bloc.



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