Watches - Help me decide

Looking for a dress watch, Im a younger guy so I dont want anything above my pay grade or overly plain looking - i want something a bit on the sporty side. Narrowed down to a few options, or similar styles of the models that I have below. I know there are a few timepiece connoisseurs on AF. Pros/cons of the brands would be helpful as well. I see a ton of pre-owned stuff out there - would you ever? As of now I am looking to go with something new. Also - what is your opinion on leather band?

I’ve only bought pre owned watches in this price range, and my experience has always been positive. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but when the seller has 99.999999% positive ratings, I usually take that as a good indicator. I’d like to point out one interesting website I came across: The prices seem really good, and people on watch forums seem to love this guy. So, if you find anything interesting here, I would like to know what is your experience.

As for pro/con of each brand - it’s mostly a matter of taste. These are jewelry pieces, after all. I would avoid models with documented quality issues (Tag Carrera 16, for instance, is said to have issues with the chronograph buttons coming out). Resale value might be a consideration (Rolex, Patek Phillipe are the best), and will affect the difference between full retail and grey market prices. Plus, you never know if you will end up selling your watch at some point.

Another thing people don’t consider much is maintenance cost. Typically, you are supposed to service these watches every 5-6 years. Budget about 10% of the price for each service. I have a feeling you are not a Rolex guy, but I should once again bring up this brand, since it is the cheapest to maintain among those in a similar price range. Servicing a Rolex might cost $450, but IWC will be $700. Watches with complications, like chronographs, will cost more to service.

I think the watches you chose are fine, except the Tag Heuer. If you want a Carrera, you should go for at least the Calibre 1887, which is an in house movement and a “big thing”. Otherwise, watch people will turn their nose up at you. Of IWC and B&M, IWC is the “better” brand, but if that particular Baume et Mercier appeals to you, don’t let brand reputation deter you. Other chronographs in your price range that I might suggest: Tudor Fastrider (Black Shield maybe, if you like the look), Bremont Alt something (which is a less austentatious British brand vs Breitling, or Omega Speedy obviously. If you are willing to look at grey market or used, your budget can get a Zenith El Primero, which is legendary as the “first” modern chronograph.

Regarding leather straps - my advice would be to get the metal strap first. Then buy an aftermarket leather strap if you want to swap the look at some point. It’s cheaper this way, compared to buying the metal strap later. Leather is more comfortable, and is lighter than metal straps. Weight is an odd thing to get used to in watches, but is apparent if you’ve never worn a heavy mechanical watch before. If your strap is very valuable (my watch has gold in the strap), you can curate it and instead, use a leather strap that you don’t mind scratching up (I do believe that these are made to be worn though). Otherwise, you can even get some Nato or other hipster crap that I don’t like, but people seem to be into.

Anyway, good luck and don’t get carried away.

you were doing so well until the nato bit

How many watch threads do we need to create to help you decide guy

High priced watches = jewelry for men

May I suggest Hamilton Viewmatic and Tissot Visodate, both are amazing watches for the price.


I like the blue one. And wow, it’s the cheapest too.

Although I admit that I’m not crazy about the red stuff on it. It might clash with the blood when I go into psycho axe murderer mode.

Thanks for the insight Ohai and klaudnine - good suggestions from both. Ohai you are right I am not a Rolex guy in the sense that most young guys go for a Submariner because it is recognizable and other people will know they are wearing a Rolex. If I went Roley I would consider a Milgauss or Cellini - I find (the majority of) dive watches to be clunky/cheap looking. Not trying to impress anyone with a watch but on the other hand I feel like most people who know nothing about watches would see a Submariner and think it was a Fossil.

Until now I have owned watches - not timepieces. For instance, a Gucci and some of the smaller more tasteful Invicta models like the Lefty Chrono, stayed away from the Movado fad a few years back. But it is time to get something Swiss made.

The TAG 1887’s are certainly affordable and might be the way I go for my first foray while picking up a Tissot at the same time to switch up once in a while.

I like the B&M.

If it has to be these three go with the IWC.

These are all very busy watch faces, the tag and b&m border on cheap looking so I’m not sure your comments about dive watches are justified.

I would also take a look at these: if you like dress watches.

Go pick up a Speedmaster or a Milgauss. You will be satisfied for a lot longer.

On the topic of chronographs with good value for money, here are a couple of Junghan Meister models that you can buy for $2000 or less, along with perhaps Longines Master or Hamilton Jazzmaster/Khaki chronograph series. If you’re thinking of paying $1k more for a Tag Heuer, I would definitely consider one of these as well (you might have derived by now that, along with a significant number of watch enthusiasts, I’m not particularly taken with one of the brands mentioned in this thread).

Many of these chronograph watches, by the way use the same movements from ETA (or Valjoux? Now part of ETA). If I am not mistaken, like these Junghans watches, the IWC Pilot and Baume et Mercier you posted are both based on Valjoux 7750, even if the movement is refinished and rebranded to suit the end product. The price difference between the final products reflects case finishing and brand premiums.

Anyway, the potential dealbreaker in these Junghans is the choice of plexiglass crystal, rather than the more scratch resistant sapphire glass preferred by most high end watch manufacturers. Plexiglass has some benefits and is even insisted upon by some people (most notably Speedmaster “purists”). However, most people still prefer sapphire crystal, for its better durability and maybe bragging value.

The more I look, the more brands I discover or are recommended. Going to be difficult to make a choice. I have always wanted a TAG but I guess they aren’t all that, just looked good to the untrained eye. Becoming partial to the Omegas, sporty look, respected brand, great quality and still reasonably priced in the pre owned market from trusted sellers. Feel like I am getting further from a decision rather than closer. Thank you guys for the recommendations and insight so far.

There’s a reason some models are so popular. They offer great value for the price and have features and movements that aren’t attainable at other price points. Thus you see a huge concentration in Rolex and Omegas at this pricepoint . You pay more to be more exclusive. There are a lot of enthusiasts who know what the nuances are and of course the market is driven by herds who do not. The market is mature and more or less efficient.

Honestly get a Speedie. sure, everyone has one (full disclosure, i am long on speedie), but you won’t get another watch in that bracket that fits any situation, can look good on leather, alligator, and nato, and is subtle yet tasteful. That’s why everyone has one, even rolex collectors.

As for the hesalite - you just need to apply polywatch (5$ tube), and your watch looks brand new. It also costs 50$ to replace, will never shatter and screw up your watch face, whereas sapphire which is at least 5 times the cost to replace and is done after a chip.

two forums you must use in your decision making:

watchuseek --> they have picture threads for different watch lines, theres a 50+ page thread on speedies on different straps and configs. there should be threads on other watches. you can see what look you like and how versatile a piece is.

watchrecon --> if you’re in the secondary market.

The Milgauss is one of my favorite Rolex models. It’s probably a toss up between that and the one that sits on my wrist. I wear a Sub, but unlike the black bezel/face that seem to be 99% of the ones out there, I have the model known as the “Hulk” which is the dark green bezel/face.

^The Hulk is my favourite “reasonably” priced Rollie. Congratulations on excellent taste.

Rolex submariner all the way!

I’ve narrowed down to 2 very affordable watches. I don’t want to go overboard on my first purchase. What I really want is a Speedmaster but they are a bit expensive for my first go-round. I’m going to start my watch collection with one of the below:

I know TAG Heuer has a bad rep with watch people but I like the look of it. Both arer ETA movement so its based mostly on aesthetics and price. Any input?

I really like the top one. Ohai has good taste

the TAG looks better