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New to "modern" watches, need a new one?


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Hi,

Recently joined and have been researching new watches.  I have been wearing the same ancient Seiko Kinetic Titanium since 1998.  A capacitor change is all that has been needed and it still funtions perfectly.  I have however become more and more annoyed at a couple of short comings with my watch which I now want to address by purchasing a replacement.

 

This will be to wear every day.  I roast and brew my own coffee and make it in different places and need to know the brew time to the second.  It is annoying as hell trying to remember where the second hand was at the point of brew start and where an absolute number of seconds will finish, relatively speaking.  I also am outdoors hunting a good deal and much of this is at night on the farm, so luminosity would be of great value to me.  So basically i am looking for a new watch with decent luminosity that would last 4-6hrs and a chronograph.

 

What I am struggling with is the size of watches.  This is not a specialist subject for me but they all seem very large to me these days.  My watch is titanium, so very light and seems tiny compared to the monsters that people seem to wear now.  So I have been looking at the smallest sort of watches which seem to be 38-40mm but the choices seem limited.  Although it will be a daily wear item, I am not precious about tools and would like something that is quality but also robust enough to stand up to the rigours of everyday life.  It will not be submerged or swam in but could well get wet in rain or inclement conditions.

 

I am ok with second hand if that affords me a better choice, as I imagine I will mark it in fairly short order by wearing it daily.  Budget is in the ballpark of £3-5k.  Lower end would be grand but the right watch I would go to the top end.  I keep going back to the smaller Speedmaster but I suppose I should visit some shops and actually handle some to see.  I also like the look of the Zenith El Primero 38mm but again even that size seems a bit chunky.  The IWC pilots look beautiful to my eye but again they seem on the large size.

 

Any suggestions would be grand, as I imagine there is tons of knowledge on here and was hoping you could unearth maybe some oldies or robust and reliable watches that could serve my purpose.

 

Thanks all.

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Size is the problem.  New, anything under 39mm for a chronograph is scarce.  I am sure Seiko will do something, and their lume is excellent, but for a left field choice look at Farer

https://farer.com/collections/quartz-collection#

I picked quartz as they are a little smaller, but they do mechanical watches too.  I have been very impressed with the ones I have had

 

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or if quality but older is ok, then JLC and IWC shared this meca-quartz chronograph movement in 36mm cases, and many of the IWC's are also Titanium

https://www.chrono24.co.uk/search/index.htm?caseDiameter=36&currencyId=GBP&dosearch=true&facets=caseDiameter&facets=lugWidth&facets=thickness&manufacturerIds=124&manufacturerIds=127&maxAgeInDays=0&pageSize=60&query=chronograph&redirectToSearchIndex=true&resultview=block&sortorder=0

A meca quartz has a quartz movement, and mechanical chronograph.  And you could have both an IWC and a JLC for your budget.  The IWC also came in a slightly smaller case again, around 34mm, but more of a dress watch style.  One thing you must expect with older watches is the lume will not be anywhere near as bright as a modern watch.  One brand with excellent lume is Franck Muller, and this might fill your brief as even the chrono hands are lumed

https://www.chrono24.co.uk/franckmuller/franck-muller-casablanca-chronograph-manual-wind-steel-bracelet-5850-c-cc--id18193020.htm

I have no connection with the seller and haven't seen the watch in the flesh, so as ever DYOR

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@Cottis In your price range and specifications and for the use you indicated I would consider a Sinn 356 pilot's chronograph which sells at a bout £1900 on a bracelet (always buy on a bracelet!)

Size is only 38.5 mm, it has good lume and an acrylic crystal (which are hard to break but do scratch but you can easily polish them out). you can also get a version with sapphire glass crystal if you prefer.

Great watch, good movement, good lume, simple uncluttered dial and tough build

Sinn-356-chronograph-review-9.jpg

 

 

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1 minute ago, JoT said:

@Cottis In your price range and specifications and for the use you indicated I would consider a Sinn 356 pilot's chronograph which sells at a bout £1900 on a bracelet (always buy on a bracelet!)

Size is only 38.5 mm, it has good lume and an acrylic crystal (which are hard to break but do scratch but you can easily polish them out). you can also get a version with sapphire glass crystal if you prefer.

Great watch, good movement, good lume, simple uncluttered dial and tough build

Sinn-356-chronograph-review-9.jpg

 

 

I was thinking the same as this :thumbs_up:

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Thank you for the suggestions so far.  The Junghans and especially the Sinn 356 are possibles so thank you @JoT and @WRENCH for those thoughts.  This is why forums are great because instantly there are enthusiastic people who know lots and lots about the things they are passionate about.

The Sinn is available with sapphire glass at £500 extra.  Is that a normal uplift?  I mean it is still way under budget but I am guessing there are different levels of sapphire crystals.  My Seiko, which bizarrely does not look too different to the 356 pilot in both case and bracelet looks has a sapphire crystal and although the titanium case has taken over 20yrs of knocks etc, the crystal appears faultless with a beautifully clear shine to it.  No scratches or marks or anything.  So guessing a sapphire is the way forward for a watch that will be worn all the time.  I cannot recall how much it was in 1998 but it was definitely south of £500, so guessing there are different levels of crystal quality?

 

Keep them coming if you think of anymore.  

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23 minutes ago, Cottis said:

Thank you for the suggestions so far.  The Junghans and especially the Sinn 356 are possibles so thank you @JoT and @WRENCH for those thoughts.  This is why forums are great because instantly there are enthusiastic people who know lots and lots about the things they are passionate about.

The Sinn is available with sapphire glass at £500 extra.  Is that a normal uplift?  I mean it is still way under budget but I am guessing there are different levels of sapphire crystals.  My Seiko, which bizarrely does not look too different to the 356 pilot in both case and bracelet looks has a sapphire crystal and although the titanium case has taken over 20yrs of knocks etc, the crystal appears faultless with a beautifully clear shine to it.  No scratches or marks or anything.  So guessing a sapphire is the way forward for a watch that will be worn all the time.  I cannot recall how much it was in 1998 but it was definitely south of £500, so guessing there are different levels of crystal quality?

 

Keep them coming if you think of anymore.  

With the Sinn there is probably extra work involved on the case and bezel to accommodate the sapphire crystal hence the £500 uplift, personally I would be happy with the acrylic, they take knocks and you can polish scratches and scrapes out using Polywatch.

The 356 is the perfect mid range mechanical chronograph for work in my opinion

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10 hours ago, SolaVeritate said:

Just a side thought but if you are timing something under a minute, you could easily just use a twist bezel turned to where the second hand was.

Would be lovely if all brewing methods took a minute or under and if so, I would certainly make do with a standard second hand.  I might still do that as Ball make some lovely non chronos which have awesome lume and I really like the simple style of their watches, so am coming round to the idea of not having a chrono which increases the chances of small watch without sacrificing quality and luminosity (which I cannot compromise on)

2 hours ago, BondandBigM said:

A bit off the list but what about a G-Shock. From £50 resin ones up to serious money for a titanium Mr G

Most have stop watch are back lit and radio syncing so it will always be at the right time. 

https://g-shock.co.uk/mrg-g2000hb-1adr

 

Jeepers, that is serious money isn't it for a G Shock?  I had no idea they ran that high.  I suppose I could knock fence posts in with it but then I might damage the fence posts :laughing2dw:

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If the main use of the chrono is brewing coffee, I'd buy a Smiths Desk timer for the brewing area, or a lovely quality Heuer Stopwatch if it needs to be mobile, and then you have more freedom for your wristwatch

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52 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

If the main use of the chrono is brewing coffee, I'd buy a Smiths Desk timer for the brewing area, or a lovely quality Heuer Stopwatch if it needs to be mobile, and then you have more freedom for your wristwatch

Totally but alas I brew coffee in approx 5 different places each week.  There are multiple aeropresses and V60's dotted around my life ha ha ha.  It is a bit silly really.

I am coming round to the idea that a large uncluttered dial with an obvious second hand will be fine for timing as literally that is the chronograph would be used for in terms of daily use.  That then frees me up to consider something like the Ball Engineer III 40mm variants which are plain but stylish with awesome lume.  I can see them being a superb watch for night time use.

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45 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

If the main use of the chrono is brewing coffee, I'd buy a Smiths Desk timer for the brewing area, or a lovely quality Heuer Stopwatch if it needs to be mobile, and then you have more freedom for your wristwatch

We've got a small timer stuck to the fridge door for the poached eggs, looks like it came out of pound shop. It's never let me down yet. 

IMG-20210127-140501.jpg

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

 

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55 minutes ago, scottswatches said:

If the main use of the chrono is brewing coffee, I'd buy a Smiths Desk timer for the brewing area, or a lovely quality Heuer Stopwatch if it needs to be mobile, and then you have more freedom for your wristwatch

And not convinced about carrying extra stopwatches around.  I think I probably need to stop being so particular and just deal with a second hand and pay more attention :laughing2dw:

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On 30/03/2021 at 16:12, Cottis said:

I keep going back to the smaller Speedmaster but I suppose I should visit some shops and actually handle some to see. 

This was what I immediately thought of when reading your post .... you can get them unworn still for around £2.8K if you hunt about ...

omega-speedmaster-racing-co-axial-chrono

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