Real watches. Not the designer watches you buy because they are trendy (Diesel, Michael Kors, Armani, Kenneth Cole, etc.). It’s important to understand basic watch knowledge.
Most people think … how the hell can anyone spend thousands of dollars on a watch? It's because a well constructed watch is a real piece of art.
Battery powered watches are quartz watches and aren’t in the same category as a mechanical or automatic watch.
Markus Ruby - Automatic Watch
Invicta - Quatz Dive Watch
Automatic watches power themselves through movement, as you can see from a skeleton face or an exhibition back. There are mass produced automatic movements that are budget friendly and still work great. It might not be the most artfully crafted timepiece, but at least it’s a real watch!
Mechanical watches are powered through a winding mechanism. Mechanical watches tend to last the longest since there are no swinging parts, they are ‘wound up’.
Both automatic and mechanical watches have a ‘reserve’ that allows the watch to run without being worn. Most of the time this will be between a couple hours and 48 hours, depending on the price of the watch.
Automatic watches and mechanical watches do not keep as accurate time as battery powered watches since there are real, moving parts powering them (the art of the timepiece).
The more accurately kept watches are significantly more expensive (Swiss Chronometers, 3% of watches produced every year). You might be able to afford a $2,000 vintage Rolex, but do you want to pay $500.00 every couple of years to have it serviced properly? It’s definitely something to keep in mind.
The cheaper mechanical and automatic watches probably aren’t worth getting fully serviced. If you are considering purchasing a vintage watch, then it’s a good idea to make sure it was serviced by the seller.
Brands and Price Points
Seiko 5 is the best quality, affordable automatic watch on the market right now. There are several color options and sold on Amazon for under $60. This watch looks great with a variety of NATO straps.
Seiko 5 - NATO Straps and Bracelet
Seiko 5 - Exhibition Back
Orient Watch have very high remarks in the affordable automatic watch world. They are neck and neck with the Seiko watches and have fantastic variety.
It’s hard to talk about watches without talking about the Swatch group, which owns a ton of the movements on the market. Their Hamilton and Tissot watches are fantastic automatic watches for their price points and they look great! You can definitely find these for under $1000.
Hamilton would be my recommendation for a watch around $600. Their styles are classic and it will draw the right amount of attention.
Fossil watch produces a lot of automatic watches that are under $200.
Bulova is another brand that makes automatic timepieces for under $1000.
Tag Heuer is definitely an option for their baseline automatic watch around $2500 if you’re looking to spend a bit more.
For an experienced ebay user, this is a great resource for vintage watches. A lot of fakes out there; be sure to do your research.
When I first learned about automatic watches 10 years ago, I found a random brand online that I really liked. It doesn’t even appear they are produced anymore. I spent under $100 and it still runs great!
Don’t let brands completely drive your decision and remember that real watches are automatics and mechanicals.
*Disclaimer* I own and like several quartz watches. They are good to have in the rotation. I just wouldn’t go spending thousands of dollars on a quartz watch though.
***All Photos and Content By Dapper Professional