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What Should Cruel But Fair Buy?

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Wow. This is a tough one. CBF, one of our readers wants to invest sub-$200 in his first watch. I’d start out by saying the Orange Monster. What say ye all?

A higher-order watch will be in my possession this year. My first such purchase–I have never owned anything but crap watches. I could really use some recommendations.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Vote for the monster:) you get the good automatic movement and the watch can live with you well (OK, you can live with this beauty:)) {Tought and nice watch} Anyway if quartz movement is possibility there are Citizen EcoDrive calibres to think about {nice and durable} . I had a similar task a couple of years ago and it ended with the total addiction to those little pieces of perfection on a mens wrist. So BE WARE the first purchase starts it all;););) (I am wwr reader but this is my first post so Hi folks and sorry for my English, will try to make some reviews of my small collection this year and I am looking FW to read as much from you as possible)

  2. I was out in the Chinatown/Canal street area looking at watches today. Very fun and bizarre experience.

    Was listening to an acquaintance (who is an expert shopper for handbags) telling me the issues to be alert for, with regard to these knockoffs.

    We saw many, many luxurious Movados, Rolexes, Cartier.
    Very few Tags or Omegas, (which is what we specified we wanted to see examples of). No Seikos for some reason. And all the watches we did see, were gold and silver and diamond-encrusted. Too much!

    But the fun part was fiddling with the buttons on the chronographs. None of the mini-dials of the chrono ever worked. We told the vendors “shame on you!” because they were junk. They were selling broken watches! The chrono dials –none of them worked–it was all flash.

    Now, I wanted to view more military-style watches, divers and aviators. Didn’t see more than one or two. I reasoned that these were scarce because it is the high-end watches that are copied by the knock-off manufacturers and re-sold. If a watch is relatively inexpensive. . no reason to knock it off, right?

    The street *stalls* often have racks and racks of big, beefy watches. All very gaudy. Knock-offs of Brietling, Panerai (Luminors) Hublot, Patek, etc

    I tried some of these on. First time I have ever even had such creations on my wrist. Felt strange. Did not realize how huge they were; was not a good fit for me.

    Saw a (facsimile) of a Rolex Daytona up-close for the first time, as well as a Hublot Big Bang and a Panny. Impressive style. Snapped on a variety of bands to see what was most comfortable.

    The one that did feel great was the extremely thin copy of a Patek-Phillipe. Extremely thin! I liked it.

    All the prices were about $40-$55. I am going back again sometime. More fun than buying something from eBay.

  3. Also saw a lot of IWW (if I have the name correct?) ICW?
    at the stalls. they were really sharp looking.

    But the issue with large faced watches is (I think) not the dimension going from 12-to-6 down the face of the watch; but just that the width of the piece from 9-to-3 feels awkward! it basically was bumping my hand whenever I made a movement.

    Learned today about the huge push to make ever-more convincing fake Rolexes. They’re getting better and better, is the word on the street. But they simply will not last more than six months to a year–that is the issue, apparently. Workmanship. They can get the style down and some/most of the materials. But not the workmanship. (this is what I was told, I am sure you guys have more detail on this topic than I do)

    Anyway, is there a size guide for watches anywhere on-line?

  4. (even though I know very little about watches in general) there was one other clue that i felt was a tell-tale sign that these street-vendor facsimiles were sub-par . .and that was that some of the bezels were very *loose*

    are they supposed to be like that? didn’t seem reassuring to see a bezel jiggle and wobble when you rotated it

  5. I’ve owned several Chinatown watches over the year and have generally been impressed with build quality. I had a quartz Rolex Submariner copy that ran fine until the battery wore out. Some hack destroyed it while changing the battery.

    I also had an auto Omega Seamaster 300 M copy that worked fine for years (I gave it away eventually), but the finish got mauled.

    Finally, I bought a fake Rolex GMT-Master in Bangkok that looked great, was accurate and kept its finish for years. Eventually, the date mechanism broke (the GMT mechanism never worked). It still kept time. I left it on the street for someone to find.

    Don’t pay more than $25!

  6. For 300, go seiko, Junkers, or even swiss army.
    The only canal st items I think are decent, are the panerias. I was looking at one, and this guy wipped out a hidden box, and said they were 250, but had “swiss” automatic movements in them. What a load of crap!!
    The only thing I want is the bracelet for my rxw pam. It was NICE. I doubt its 316 or 908 steel, though.
    Good luck!

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