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Thread: Sport Watch Conundrum

  1. #1

    Sport Watch Conundrum

    I'm getting closer to buying my third (THIRD!) watch. It'll be another sport watch. Right now my attention is captivated by a little known watch manufacturing company known as "Rolex". They concentrate on sport watches and, evidently, have a long history of involvement with such organizations and events as "National Geographic", "SeaLab", the "summitting of Mount Everest", and the "Descent to the bottom of the Marianas Trench".

    Pretty cool stuff. But I'm interested in the thoughts of this group on two big questions that are floating around in my head.

    1. How old is too old; or, the technical question.

    I prefer the look of the older generation of Submariners to the newer Sub-C. In particular, I find the early 2000s, with their drilled lugs, to be particularly good looking. Especially on a NATO strap. But - if I'm intending to use this watch as a true sports watch - in the water for instance. Or around sand and dirt. Is a nearly15 year old watch going to be up to the task? Even if it's been serviced and pressure tested?

    I know I'd never take a vintage watch into treacherous territory. And I know a new watch is up to the task. But where's the line drawn between the two? More to the point, if I buy a 15 year old watch, could I get another 15 years of serious use of it?

    Or should I just buy new - deal with the slightly less appealing looks - and know that if I take the Sub diving it won't flood (or if it does I have recourse)?

    2. How important is making that first scratch yourself; or, the emotional question

    One of the most appealing things about sport watches is their ability to go anywhere you go, from day one. To grow with you. To wear down with you. I love the idea of buying a new watch and getting it banged up and scratched. The idea of having stories to go with the watch - that scratch is from climbing Machu Picchu. This one is from my BCD when prepping for a dive. This third one is from accidentally banging it on the counter when I was refilling my coffee at work. And so on.

    This is personal, of course. But, is it completely insane to spend an extra thousand or two (and to have a watch that is a little less aesthetically pleasing) in order to have that 'blank slate' watch? I'm a little conflicted. Part of me thinks it is. Part of me thinks it isn't.

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  3. #2
    bighead
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    Buy a G Shock. Save a couple grand. Problem solved.

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  5. #3
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    Or something hardened.

    No matter what, it will get a few scratches but it comes with the territory.

    A resin G-Shock will probably fair better, but at a decent price it is easily replaced if too beat up.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  6. #4
    Oh man, I meant to post this in the Central forum. Whoops.

    In any case - I get the G-Shock suggestion. But if I'm going that route I'd probably just use my Suunto. I want this to be a mechanical. I want this to be an old school dive watch. And I'm smitten with the history of the Rolex. (ie: http://rolexblog.blogspot.ca/2008/08...-aquanaut.html ). WHich totally narrows my choices, eh?

  7. #5
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Moving to Central for you...

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  9. #6
    I can't answer your first question, but I understand the second one. My simple answer is that if this is a watch you plan on keeping a long time, then the difference in price to get a more pristine example that you decorate with battle scars will not matter much in the long run. Averaged out over 20 years, that's like paying an extra $50-100 a year if it's a thousand or two difference.

    I personally don't mind acquiring a watch with a few dings from the previous owner as I know I will add my own soon enough. But I can also see having a nice watch that you've owned for a long time and knowing that you put every scratch on it yourself. The nicer the watch, the more I'd lean towards better condition.

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  11. #7
    It's way easier to get over the first ding you put into it if it already has a couple.

  12. #8
    I just gave my sixties Seiko it's first ding in the bezel. Given how long it had made it through life without one I should have felt a whole lot more guilty than I did

  13. #9
    Member rfortson's Avatar
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    Three watches? What in the world will you do with three watches? That doesn't even last the entire week. You'll need to add at least 3-4 more before you reach the normal level of insanity around here.

    As for a new watch, I'd buy new as I like to put my own scars on it if it's going to be a keeper (and with only 3 watches, I'm assuming this will be a keeper). However, if you prefer the older model, get it and have it properly serviced ($$) with a warranty from the watchmaker. Then wear it without worry. If it gets wet, it's not the end of the world assuming you have it serviced promptly. But I can't think of any reason that a decent vintage piece can't serve hard duty once the seals are checked.

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  15. #10
    Moderator - Central tribe125's Avatar
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    A fifteen year-old Sub could be a realistic everyday proposition. A well cared for Sub, that is, and that's the tricky part. I would have confidence if buying from a reputable specialist, but wouldn't otherwise fancy taking my chances - unless I knew the full history of the watch. Naturally, these watches are going to be priced at the top of the market, but they'll look pretty much like new and you can treat them as new.

    Or buy that lovely Everose Yacht Master.

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