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Best mens watch brand in the under $1000 range? Tag, Hamilton. Omega, Other

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Initial post: Jun 14, 2008 6:24:50 PM PDT
D. Regina says:
What is the best watch I could get in the $1000 price range? I am going to a watch show where I heard I could get 50% off retail. Intersted in getting something good I could pass onto my son. Have heard good things about Tag, Omega, and Hamilton. Not a watch expert and know this is conrtoversial to some

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2008 8:14:11 AM PDT
Night Raptor says:
I have owned a TAG Heuer Men's Silver Aquaracer Watch #WAF1112.BA0801 for over three years, and I'm as happy with it today, as I was on the day I bought it.
Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2008 12:10:04 AM PDT
i have a Tag aquaracerBAO8001 for 18 months and it runs slow by 3to 4 minutes per month
due to my living in South Africa we have to send them away for week or 2 so i have now bought a Seiko when i want to swank i wear the Tag and when i want to know the correct time i check the Seiko!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2008 5:42:52 PM PDT
Corey Hayes says:
I collect watches and have been doing alot of research for the dollar the hamilton x wind with a 27 jewel movement is the best deal I've seen for under a thousand.If you can go another 6 to 700 the omega seamaster is a standard and they hold there value and have the most accurate movement.Look on ebay and you'll see for your self what a second hand omega goes for.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 3:09:53 AM PDT
D, it's like this with consumer technology in general: today's audio systems that you can buy $200.00 sound much better than systems that cost $1,000.00 20 years ago. Same for cameras, TVs. cars, microwave ovens. Watches are no exception. Accuracy is no longer even an issue in 99% of watches today. Even those you get a drug store will run fine -- if they're quartz.
So, AUTOMATIC is where it's at. THAT's what connoisseurs look at.
But even with automatics, once you are above $300, any difference among makers comes down to one of STYLE mostly. You DON'T HAVE TO spend anywhere close to 1,000.00 UNLESS you want a CHRONOGRAPH. If so, you want to look for VALJOUX 7750 or 7751 MOVEMENT. Very commonly used -- sometimes with a little tweaking -- even in watches costing +2,000.00

What you pay through the nose for is the NAME. And the NAME gives you nothing other than the illusion of EXCLUSION -- by way of cost. Strictly vanity.
And, since we're speaking ONLY of watches under $1,000.00, my recommendation would be for the brands that are less well-known to the general public but in terms of style and performance, as good as any. And since you're looking to pass good info to your son, a watch in the military style may be OK?

Here's couple of names, and a site where you can find even nicer ones:

Ollech & Wajs (best value for a watch w/ Valjoux 7750)
Zeno / Zeno Army (even their quartz watches are nice)


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 5:51:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 12, 2008 5:52:30 AM PDT
I got a Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Automatic and I absolutely love it. I never read a negative review regarding a Hamilton watch and the general consensus is that Hamilton is considering to be one of the best brands in regards to bang for your buck. I spend 1,365 on my watch but I bought it at an Authorized Dealer who gave me a year extra on the warranty. You can try your luck online and get it for 800-900 dollars!! All in all, Hamilton is a great brand that you should definitely take into consideration.

For me, it was between a Tag and a Hamilton and I choose the Hamilton based on their selection. Good luck!!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 8:00:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 13, 2008 3:17:38 AM PDT
X says:
I'm only interested in automatics, so, in Europe, I would veer towards: Revue Thommen, I have 4 and they are so pleasant to own and use; Grovana, (= same company as Revue Thommen) I have 1 and sometimes I wonder if that isn't half the range; Zeno, I'll have one some day; Muhle Glashutte, I have one and love it. If there is no Muhle retailer in the US, you may struggle to buy a Muhle and import it economically. I will have to get some more of them; my first one is a great "taster".

For those already mentioned, the movement will be an ETA, sometimes a Sellita with Grovana's Diver's watch. Sellita is Swiss, like ETA, and gets its fair share of bad-mouthing from the devoted doom and gloom merchants that you'll find on some watch forums, so it must be doing something right! Muhle make a small but important improvement to their ETA movements, claiming better accuracy. I'm not an anal watch collector and I don't check out all my watches to within 0.0001 seconds, but when I take my Muhle to wear it, it rarely needs to be adjusted, less than my other watches, anyway.

There are so many lesser companies selling ETA-based watches that have nothing inferior about them and are affordable in Europe: Wyler Vetta, I bought one for my wife who is very happy with it; Philip Watch, I have a dress watch from them and it's a fine little watch.

Now if you don't mind a Miyota movement, there's a huge number of watches on offer. I have a few and have not had the slightest problem with any of them. Might be different when my grandson inherits my collection, but that's not spoiling my fun, is it?

The area I want to explore is Orient watches. I only know the basics about them, but everything I hear or read about them is very positive. I'll certainly have one , or more, one day.

So, current favourite watches: Revue Thommen/Grovana, and current favourite individual watch: Revue Thommen chrono slide rule. Brand I most want to buy more of: Muhle. Brand I need to try: Orient.

That will only be valid until something else comes and tempts me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2008 9:37:24 AM PDT
Michael Horn says:
50% off MSRP is not an uncommon discount. Real value comes when a watch you like is 60-75% off MSRP. NEVER purchase a watch for price alone - you will - in most cases regret the purchase ...

Many sub $1,000 watches come to mind. With careful purchasing - or buying slightly used watches many great watch brands come to mind. Value is in the eye of the beholder - accuracy is one point, as is design, fit, finish or even reputation.

I've had great luck with some ORIS TT1 models, Invicta SAIII series, Steinhart/Debaufre, Grevil, etc - all of which I own...

Going to $1500 and looking pre-owned - many Omega Seamaster, Speedmaster models are very attractive - as is Doxa ... again I own all of which I speak...

Tags and other are well thought of - very popular ...

I'm an Admin/Mod on an internet watch forum (BDWF) and have 46 watches in my collection.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2008 4:32:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2008 9:56:12 AM PDT
X says:
I cannot for the life of me work out why some watch collectors feel obliged to try to impress people with the number of watches they own, or their position of high standing on another forum. I had hoped this very friendly and informal forum would not be tainted by that sort of behaviour. Let's hope that Mr Horn will contribute further, and that my fears will be proven wrong.

Leaving the most well-known brands aside, the presence of many other watchmaking companies in overseas, from their point of view, markets is very blotchy. It reminds me of other export activities which were in fact exclusively based on Mr X contacting a company and informing them that he was the perfect partner for them in such-n'such market. Passive/reactive export.

Hamilton, for example, is a brand that seems to be well known in the States, but I've never even seen one in the flesh. Then I don't see much trace of Revue Thommen/Grovana outside of German-speaking Europe and the internet. Hamilton, Revue Thommen/Grovana, Muhle, (or Muehle, to be anal), and so on would all gain, surely, by improving the availability of their watches on more markets through positive marketing, and not just in a sort of lucky-dip reactive manner.

Then many of our choices for favourite manufacturer or favourite watch could be very different to what they are today. Surely, people like Muhle would interest collectors everywhere. They strip and rebuild their ETA movements, including the ETA Valjoux line, with improved or own-design/ manufacture components. Then "We check and regulate our watches in six situations, (their English, not mine. I think they mean positions. The German word "Lage" can be translated as situation or position.) This means that we simulate normal wearing conditions." That applies across the range, from the entry-level, $1000-ish, model I have to their really exotic and expensive range toppers. My $1000 taster is a brilliant little watch in its own right, so I'll not wait too long before buying something from the reasonably priced middle-range offering.

Maybe Hamilton has the same appeal. I don't know, but I should and I will.

So, come on and sing the praises of watches you believe could get me to change my mind about my preferences. Being wrong is just the first step in a new learning process.

Since I wrote the preceding lines, I've been down-loading all I could about Hamilton. I had been so deep in European watches, I hadn't been paying attention to something that was almost right in front of my eyes. Error rectified, almost. Do they work on their ETA, ETA Valjoux movements? Does ETA supply them with bare necessities only?

I can see a Hamilton finding its place with me. Anyone feel they can accelerate the decision process?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 12:21:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2008 12:25:43 AM PDT
OK, I think D. Regina who started this thread has gone to his watch show, so I think we can slide over a bit on this topic.
Revue Thommen Airspeed, for example. Beautiful design. Desperately wanted one -- the 43mm Val7750 chrono -- ever since I laid my eyes on them. I myself, being from the US, had never heard of RT till I stumbled onto a German watch site. But then, there was a flood of them for a while on eBay like everyone was dumping them. Then I heard (er, 'read' on some UK watchseller's site) an admission that a lot of people WERE complaining about RT's quality -- namely, that it had nosedived, since... I don't know when.
Apparently, many of the new RTs were not even made in Switzerland / EU anymore. (I guess that leaves not a lot of other places where watches CAN be made these days.... and it ain't the US.) But that, according to the seller , RTs were STILL a good VALUE FOR the MONEY. That was NOT reassuring to me. At all.
I'm sure, if one went with this kind of logic, one could do the math (price in relation to lifespan/performance) and conclude that Chinese replicas are in fact 'superb' value for the money.

Speaking of replicas -- Chinese or otherwise -- it cannot be denied that they ARE getting better in their replication. They're now at the point where they really are as serviceable as a Seiko. And Top of the Line reps (above $400-500) don't give themselves away as reps so easily, that's for sure.
Of course, it is a well-known but disavowed secret that many of the original manufacturers 'cooperate' in some fashion, to varying degrees, in the making of their (own) replicas. Money. 'Nuf said.

Replicas -- their very existence -- seem to anger a lot of watch lovers. But I refuse to crap on them -- the replicas, I mean, not the watch lovers of high principle :D -- as a matter of principle 'cuz I happen to agree with the argument that the replica market does make a dent in the sales of the originals. Why? Those who opt/are forced to buy reps were/are NEVER in the market to buy the real thing in the fiirst place. Again, money... or the lack thereof. It's not as though most people who could afford the best simply prefer to buy replicas and save money. Those who DO buy the real thing, always buy the real thing anyway, and are stable in their rate of consumption.
Again, anything beyond $1,500.00 you're mostly paying mostly for exclusivity, and maybe for the company's R&D, and advertising. This last point -- advertising -- is what makes some watches SEEM better, just because one tends to equate familiarity of image/brand name with superior quality. Of course, those companies that spend $$ for advertising, like ORIS, ROLEX, TAG, are then only too happy to take advantage of this weird fact of consumer psychology to gouge the gullible consumer. My own experience with watches tells me that when you're going mano-a-mano, so to speak, with a competent watchmaker who does NOT advertise, you can pay less than $1,000.00 and get a machine of quality that is comparable to one that costs, after advertising, $2,000.00. But the watch itself, to make it would only have cost the maker about $600.00 tops.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 7:24:56 AM PDT
Check out some Rados. The upper line originals are automatic and have a Day Date function in 2 languages. The case is tungsten carbide and I have yet to put a scratch on mine in 5 years. The crystals are beveled sapphire which is unlike anything I've seen for any price. I bought one for my Nephew and he loved it. Timeless and classic. Check one out in person and you'll be sold.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 8:49:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2008 11:06:00 AM PDT
X says:
Revue Thommen moved in on Grovana's premises when Grovana bought them. There was already a problem with quality at RT. RT didn't sell out to Grovana because they were having a ball! RT were a bit archaic right through the company, and there were problems everywhere: quality control procedures, over-stocked materials and components, you name it, RT did it. Grovana have got a good handle on it now, I have 4 Revue Thommen and one Grovana, all Swiss Made, all perfect. I think there are a lot of scare stories circulating in certain less objective discussion groups, that are going round and round and getting more lurid at every rotation.

Buy a Revue Thommen now from a real dealer, and you will be as likely to have a problem with your RT as with any other mid-range watchmaker's product. It's about time the folk in some discussion groups got over their little fit of tittle-tattle about RT quality and looked at today's reality. I went to a few discussion groups, of whatever format, and left almost immediately. Just a load of moaning Minnies exchanging tales of woe, tales of their great deeds with their watches, like changing the bracelet, ("Oh My God!" they want you to think, "I am so impressed with your tale of derring-do, I think I've had an erotic moment!") and comparing the glory of their watch collections like little boys comparing their genitals. There are very few examples of that sort of behaviour on this forum, nothing human is perfect, and I really enjoy just reading most of the postings with no need nor desire to put in my opinion.

This is a great watch forum.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2008 12:06:56 PM PDT
I'd be willing to take another look at RT after reading what you said. All this time, I was under the impresssion that the nosediving RT was "saved" by Grovana before doing itself any more damage.

It is true that those who frequent and leave their droppings on watch sites and blogs do tend to be the sort of people I'd rather not have over to my house for dinner. Or drinks even, for that matter. Just WAY~~ too nitpicky about all sorts of inconsequential minutiae concerning anything horological. Sort of like counting, and then arguing over, the exact number of germs on the eyelashes of a girl who is in every way attractive, smart and er... "functional". ;D

But I don't quite get what you mean that RT was "having a ball" -- and that that kept them from selling out to Grovana. I thought one of the main reasons for their dip in quality was precisely due to their NOT having a ball precisely because they practiced "archaic" (e.g., clumsy, not-streamlined) business methods.

Speaking of "having a ball", BALL watches are something of a mystery to me. Expensive, engineerish looking, as if made for the Terminator who decided to take up diving for a little R&R. On my list of Beauties...sigh... someday.
Speaking of diving (and assuming we're still talking under the $1,000 line), although I am not a diver, I was looking at some ENZO MECHANA watches on eBay. They're all gone now. Most went for around $630 - 650. About half the store price. I shall forever rue my hesitation in snatching one while there snatchings were to be had.

Anyway, what I would REALLY like to know -- maybe I should start a new thread? -- is, WHAT is it about watches that is so addictive? I thought about it, and there are no answers forthcoming. I mean, a watch is NOT anything like a car, for example, or a sound system. You look at it -- this little "mandala" the size of a silver dollar -- and it tells you... the time. That's all. So WTF? Why am I so addicted to watches? Every dial is like the face of a woman to me: some ravishing, some plain. But when it's "just right" -- and I don't know what makes it so -- I gotta have it. Maybe I should join a WCA -- Watch Collectors Anonymous. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 17, 2008 4:40:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 17, 2008 7:46:08 AM PDT
X says:
Sagan Lazar: You've got hold of the right end about my "not having a ball" phrase. Revue Thommen was still a family affair, and it seems they were forced to either hand over the keys to Grovana, or, apparently, let their company sink into oblivion. "Not having a ball?" Definitely not enjoying life as much as they had, before they ceased their interest in their Cricket alarm watches, possibly. I wonder if Grovana will merge the RT and Grovena watches into one range, with each sub-brand building its own identity within that range. Do both RT and Grovana need such similar diver's watches? That's one of the questions that spring to mind, as does: "Will Grovana movements be used in the top end of Grovana only, or of both RT and Grovana top ends, or be developed to suit the whole of one or both?"

If I could tell you what seduces me about watches, I would cease to be seduced.

There are rational reasons for enjoying wearing a good mechanical watch, hand- or auto-wind. It's the finest example of traditional mega-fine engineering ordinary people like me will ever own. But satisfying that would require from one to maybe ten watches at most, not however many an horologophile may have. And it doesn't even start to explain why certain watches are more pleasant, not just comfortable or more practical, to wear than others.

As I add to my collection I always ask questions. I'll move over to the ones that you seem to be asking yourself, and post them and the results here. Why here? Because Grovana/Revue Thommen produce several watches that can be bought at around or less than $1000, hence improving the information about watches that give food for thought within the aims of this thread.

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 7:15:51 PM PST
Anonymous says:
Good luck finding a new "$1,000 Omega".
It is under the other pillow the tooth fairy leaves your $5 bill.

Posted on Mar 7, 2009 4:56:32 PM PST
Derek Wenn says:
In my experience, I really believe in Omega. I have had an Omega Seamaster I was given 34 years ago and it still runs. It needs to be cleaned occassionally but hard to beat for top quality. I have owned a large variety is watches and normally I don't pay that much for a watch and have found ESQ to offer a great quality quartz watch for the money.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2009 1:40:27 AM PST
a c says:
i have a hamilton khaki king automatic for less dan 500 and its has the same quality precision time as some of the breitlings which are very well known and pretty expensive ($3000+).its a great watch with a exhibition sapphire crystal back,i think it would be great watch u can pass down to ur son in the later future.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 7:52:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 8, 2009 7:54:53 PM PDT
B. A. Dilger says:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned EDOX. My Swiss-Made slim quartz gets a semi-annual adjusting on the two ends of Daylght Savings time and is barely off. It has a Swiss ETA movement and monthly date. It is real deal in the $200-300 range. Now I did order an automatic version of the same watch (except thicker), but it came unusable. Had a Swiss ETA 2824-2 too! Sent it back and got the quartz.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2009 2:56:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2009 2:59:55 AM PDT
X says:
B A Dilger: Maybe if your mechanical Edox arrived unusable it's no surprise that no-one has already mentioned them! I don't know Edox, other than recognising the name, but aren't you being a little unfair? Any manufacturer of any high-end product can have a rogue unit go out to a client. I prefer trying to resolve the problem before publishing a negative comment. After all, it seems that Edox took responsibility and satified you with a quartz model

Faults, mistakes, admin errors all arise and don't have any real interest. They are just part of life. I get far better results now I no longer seek to blame someone for the problem. I ask people to take responsibility for putting things right, and explain, very briefly, why I am asking them to do that. That started about 12 years ago, and I've surprised myself by the efficiency. Searching through my memory, there is not one single case of a problem on a valuable item staying unsolved. Maybe one or two problems with items of very low value, $5 or so, have ended up being put down to experience, but I cannot actually remember anything at all. Important detail: I am a rigorously polite, tenacious caller/writer. I sure ain't invented the wheel, but it works!

So congratulations to you for getting a result, and congratulations to Edox for acting responsibly.

Posted on Mar 9, 2009 12:10:41 PM PDT
Joey Rahimi says:

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2009 5:40:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2009 5:41:37 PM PDT
B.A. Dilger's experience with Edox is similar experience to mine with Orient. They repaired it, and it's been keeping time comparable to an ETA. For the price, they're an excellent choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2009 9:08:44 AM PDT
I believe the important thing is to determine what your priority is.For me:
Buying to a dollar amount is less important to me than finding a watch that I actually like and want to wear
If you want to "pass it on" keep in mind that styles change.Today the style seems to be going to larger watches(45 mm and higher) and it may end up sitting in a drawer when you give it to your son.Normally an
inheritance watch would be a swiss automatic with a classic design -something on the idea of a tank watch which has never gone out of style or a diver watch for something more sporty -but my preference may not be yours. It's like picking out ties for your uncle.
Forgetting about any criteria the watch companies that I have purchased the most from or have a fondness for are Wenger/Swiss Army,Seiko and Hamilton(Khaki
At the end of the day make yourself happy and buy something you like.......

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 12:36:03 PM PDT
Wayne says:
Find a Japanese Seiko Diver.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 5:21:33 PM PDT
Omega is by far the best value at under a tonne $1000. I've got a Omega Seamaster ,Tag Heuer 2000, and Breitling Bentley 6.75.
Tag Heuer ARE RUBBISH !!! I've had a 2000 model (pre runner to the SEL) for over 10 years and it's been HELL everything has broken/fallen off (screws/pins) and now the mechanism is stuffed. Omega are great value and built to last...with great after sales care worldwide unlike Tag Heuer.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009 1:51:08 AM PDT
X says:
Which model of Omega do you buy for less than $1000?
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Discussion in:  Watches forum
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Initial post:  Jun 14, 2008
Latest post:  Jul 5, 2009

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