Throwback Sundays is one of the new initiatives that Deployant is launching, in which we will attempt to bring back some of the forgotten timepieces in our archives to the readers. Unlike the usual reviews, this column will be lighter and much easier to digest, and we hope that this will be something apt for a lazy Sunday read.
In this week’s column, we will be featuring 6 pieces in our archives for new collectors. These pieces will cover the usual questions that novice collectors will ask, such as: “What should my first watch be?” or “What are the watches that will provide me the best value for money?”
Seiko Blue Monster SRP455K1
One of the brands that we will suggest to new collectors is Seiko. Seiko is one of the most well-known watchmakers in the world of horology, and they have produced many interesting and reasonably-priced pieces over the years. They have a wide array of collections that cover various price points, ranging from the affordable Seiko 5 to the exquisite Credor and Galante.
The Seiko Monster is one of our favorites. It is priced attractively, and it actually feels rather robust. This particular Monster, the SRP455K1, is one of the most sought after pieces in the collection as it is limited and it features a rather nice blue dial and blue bezel. Our writer, Nick Gould, actually owns one and he shared his ownership experience with us here.
Tudor is one of the up-and-coming brands in the industry, thanks to the changes that were made in the recent years. From the Black Bay to the North Flag, the brand has shown that it has grown tremendously over the years.
The Ranger is one of our favorite pieces from the Geneve-based firm. While we like the North Flag for its technical prowess and achievements (it features Tudor’s first in-house made movement), we thought that the Ranger looks much better. Many new collectors feels that aesthetics play a part as well, and we thought that the Ranger (especially when it is fitted with the bund strap) looks really fashionable and hip. Read our review on the Tudor Ranger here, in which we shared our experiences of wearing the watch over an extended period of time.
Nomos Tangente Automatik
When it comes to in-house manufacturers, one of the brand that attracts a great deal of attention in Nomos. Nomos is famous not only for its Bauhaus-inspired designs, but also for its reasonable pricing and quality of its products.
The Tangente Automatik is one of the latest novelties from this year’s Baselworld, and we thought that it is one of the pieces that a new collector should consider. It features a minimalist design, and it is sized rather elegantly at 35mm. What’s more, it has an automatic in-house movement, which means that it is much easier to use as compared to its manual-winding counterpart. Do take a look at our feature here to find out more about this German-made timepiece!
Interesting, this is the second German watchmaker that we have featured in this article. The Sinn U1 epitomizes German products perfectly: they are sturdy, no-nonsense, and reliable.
The U1 is perhaps one of the best pieces from Sinn. It is constructed with tegimented and German submarine steel (which is very strong), and it has got a water resistance of up to 1000m. it is the perfect daily beater watch, since it is very solid and hardy. In terms of aesthetics, it looks really good as well. It is, in our opinions, very good for both desk-diving and casual wear.
P.S. The picture above is the Sinn U1-D, a special variant of the Sinn U1 made for The Hour Glass. The usual Sinn U1 is fitted with either steel bracelet, or rubber strap. The color scheme of the dial is also different as well. For a review of the U1-D, you can actually check it out here!
When it comes to getting a decent timepiece, one question that is often asked by customers would be this: “Should I go for an Omega or a Rolex?” It is a tough choice, especially since both of them offers very good timepieces on sale. However, in terms of value-for-money, the choice is actually kinda clear.
The Moonwatch offers perhaps the best value at its price point. It features a complicated function called the chronograph, and it has got a really rich provenance behind the name. It looks really good as well, and we honestly feel that it looks really timeless. There is really no way that one will go wrong with the Moonwatch. It is simply that good.
P.S. We did a feature on some classic Omega Speedmasters sometime back here, and we thought that it will be great for you readers to find out about some interesting Speedmasters that Omega had produced over the years.
The Swatch Sistem51 is definitely one of the pieces to get when one wants to be introduced into the world of mechanical watches. The Sistem51 was launched a couple of years back and frankly, the hype for the watch is still very strong. This shows that Swatch is hitting on the right notes with the Sistem51.
The Sistem51 features an automatic movement that is made entirely by machine, and it has got a power reserve of approximately 90 hours. At this price point, the only other formidable competitor would be the Seiko 5. But in terms of the fun factor, as Joe Koh has shared it with us here, the Sistem51 is second to none. The Sistem51 is definitely a game changer, and an icon in the horological world for the 21st century.
Of course, there are definitely other outstanding watches that deserves a place on this list. But for beginners, we thought that these are some of the more orthodox and popular watches that they should focus on. The list covers a wide spectrum of price points, ranging from the very affordable Sistem51 to the modestly priced Omega Speedmaster. Personally, we feel that there is something for everyone here for their new watch collection.
For the beginners, we would definitely advise you all to go down to any boutiques or authorized dealers to try out the pieces that you are eyeing. The watches may look good in pictures, but it may not be the right watch when one puts it onto his or her wrists. The process of trying out watches is part of the ownership experience, and trust us, it is extremely fun and addictive!
Nicely written Robin and Deployant. I agree with the choices except maybe the Sistem51. The Seiko IMHO is probably the best value for money piece and a good introduction to mechanical watch ownership. Instead of featuring watches, maybe you can feature brands to start of with. My biggest support goes to JLC as they are one of the few brands with their own in-house movement that cost sub 7k. You may want to consider that.
Thanks Eddie! The Sistem51 is probably for someone who is interested in watches but yet wants to have some fun at the same time. However, I do agree that a Seiko is probably a much better decision if one decides to venture deeper into the abyss of watch collecting.
With regards to your second point, we will definitely look into that for future articles. Once again, we appreciate your support and your inputs!
I completely agree re: the Speedmaster. Unlike every other timepiece in Omega’s line, it’s the only one that has more or less remained the same for 50 years now (from a new collector’s view, that is – experienced Speedy collectors, of course, know that pre-moon Speedys with the cal. 321 movement are much more collectable). Better still, you can easily find a late-model version with the same dial as the original for under $1,500, or even closer to $1,000 if you happen to luck out on an eBay find. Also, modern Speedys have one significant advantage over the pre-moon ones: you can acquire one with an automatic movement, thus eliminating the need to wind it.
That said, I’m afraid I have to disagree as to the gist of the column, that new collectors should start out buying brand-new timepieces. Given the plethora of superb vintage models out there, I’d recommend the exact opposite: even some Rolexes can be had for under $1,000 that way. (Also, the aforementioned Speedy *starts* at over $3,000 new, and escalates considerably from there if you want something along the lines of a Dark Side of the Moon model.)
Thanks JK for the comments. Well reasoned, and we agree. But the context was for someone starting out to build a collection from new watches.
Vintage watches are wonderful, but they come with a warning…often vintages are difficult to find, and vintage communities are not easy to enter. One needs to spend time to study the watches, talk to the old timers and learn the “trade” so to speak.
We are thinking about doing a series of articles on how to start a vintage collection…coming soon, so please do watch out for it. And thanks for your support and comments.