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What ticks boxes for you?


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I'm less about what a watch must have or be, and more about what it cannot have or be. I've got and had so dang many watches in my collecting days that it now takes something really stand out and/or unique to get my attention. My "boxes" vary, dependent upon price.

Above $2500: must be a grail

$1000-2500: design is everything, must have dimension to the case and/or dial, absolutely nothing monochromatic or plain.

Under $1000: must be iconic, vintage or something very different, usually prefer a microbrand here.

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22 hours ago, yokel said:

I tend to find that watches dress down better than they dress up: Calatrava and jeans is fine (if a bit snobbish), G-Shock and black tie looks very clumsy. So I can understand your disinclination on "divers".

This isn't a balanced comparison. I agree that a G-Shock will look wrong with black tie, because it's a plastic sports watch paired with the upper ends of formal wear. You can flip this though, to the other end of casual wear; I think anything extremely formal watch (I'm thinking Roman numerals, moon phase, etc) will look out of place and pretentious with athletic wear. 

I think most stainless steel watches can be dressed up or down. The biggest factors are  size and strap; a smaller case diver can look fine with a blazer and pocket square of it's on a leather strap or a jubilee bracelet. A large case diver on a rubber strap won't be anywhere near as versatile.

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1 hour ago, alxbly said:

You can flip this though, to the other end of casual wear; I think anything extremely formal watch (I'm thinking Roman numerals, moon phase, etc) will look out of place and pretentious with athletic wear. 

I tend to think it’s a case of what you are comfortable with. And there are no really hard and fast rules. I wouldn’t wear a G-Shock with black tie, because I don’t HAVE G-Shock. There is probably a reason for that. Equally, I wouldn’t wear a Calatrava with T-shirt and jeans because I don’t HAVE a Calatrava. There’s a reason for that as well, unfortunately: not the same reason though.:(

Now you can’t get much more “Roman Numerals” than a Cartier Tank. Personally I think this one (in line with your comments about steel watches generally) can go with pretty much anything. I’m going shopping in town this morning and I will be wearing very casual clothes. Late this afternoon I have to go to something which will require a jacket and tie. I will have those in the car and change at the gym later. I especially picked out the Tank for today because it will be perfectly happy doing both jobs. And I don’t think it looks remotely pretentious with casual clothes because so few people really notice anyway.

I used to have far too many rules about this sort of thing. It really doesn’t bother me very much these days. I do have a couple of relatively discreet divers with blue dials, which I would happily wear with most types of clothing. Though on the whole, I’m not a fan of the dive watch look. Generic divers are far too ubiquitous these days. I prefer something a little more unusual.

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33 minutes ago, AVO said:

I tend to think it’s a case of what you are comfortable with. And there are no really hard and fast rules.

I completely agree. :)

33 minutes ago, AVO said:

Now you can’t get much more “Roman Numerals” than a Cartier Tank. Personally I think this one (in line with your comments about steel watches generally) can go with pretty much anything. I’m going shopping in town this morning and I will be wearing very casual clothes. Late this afternoon I have to go to something which will require a jacket and tie. I will have those in the car and change at the gym later. I especially picked out the Tank for today because it will be perfectly happy doing both jobs. And I don’t think it looks remotely pretentious with casual clothes because so few people really notice anyway.

I don't disagree with any of that. Don't get me wrong, not all watches with Roman numerals are especially formal (another example could be California dials on divers - not formal). I also think the Tank goes with just about anything (but maybe not extreme sports wear). :laugh:

At the extremes of formal wear and casual wear there are some watches that, in my opinion, wouldn't look right. G-Shock with a suit as an example of how a casual sports watch doesn't really work with very formal wear. Equally though, I think wearing a watch like the one below with athletic wear would look equally out of place:

3322211-504.webp

There's examples at both ends of the casual and formal wear spectrum. :)

Edited by alxbly
Typo!
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18 minutes ago, alxbly said:

I also think the Tank goes with just about anything (but maybe not extreme sports wear). :laugh:

I’m not sure quite what do you mean by extreme sports wear. When I go to the gym I lock my watch away, and if I go hiking or camping I tend to wear a beater like my Blue Mako. Though I guess a G-Shock would be quite appropriate and sensible for that kind of activity. When I spent five weeks walking the Camino de Santiago I wore a fairly cheap Casio Illuminator on a sports Velcro strap. It did a great job, and went perfectly well with summer walking gear every day! All I needed to know was the time, including occasionally in the middle of the night, and the alarm was quite useful as well. But that was definitely not a fashion parade, and I would not have risked an expensive and relatively delicate watch!

EDIT: I would definitely prefer a G-Shock to that Freddie Con!:swoon:

Edited by AVO
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2 hours ago, AVO said:

EDIT: I would definitely prefer a G-Shock to that Freddie Con!:swoon:

Even as an FC fan, and a fairly staunch opposition to G-Shocks, I'd have to agree. 

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