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  1. #1

    Default Watch brands recommended for novice

    I am looking for any recommendations on an entry level watch brand with a modest price point to get started in collecting and repairing watches. I am in Canada so that might be a factor thanks. Need to narrow down to where I need to research as there are so many manufacturers I don't know where to start.

  2. #2
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Seiko watches have many watches that are not expensive to purchase.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  3. #3

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Quote Originally Posted by PierceArrow View Post
    I am looking for any recommendations on an entry level watch brand with a modest price point to get started in collecting and repairing watches. I am in Canada so that might be a factor thanks. Need to narrow down to where I need to research as there are so many manufacturers I don't know where to start.
    Bulova Accutron's are nice watches.

    Robert

  4. #4

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: Kevin W.)

    Thank you so much for your response. I am wondering if there are any more brands you would recommend with a budget not exceeding $500 CAD. Also not to swamp you with questions are there any clubs up here and any watch repair or vintage stores you would recommend. Lastly When you had mentioned Seikosha besides the military grade watches were there high grade watches sold by this brand. As you can see just starting out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the response rob.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Quote Originally Posted by PierceArrow View Post
    <snip> collecting and repairing watches <snip>
    "Collecting" is one thing. "Repairing" is another thing. The last watch you want to start collecting and *repairing* with no watch-working experience is an Accutron. (Sorry, Robert!)

    You have a couple of things to consider. Do you want to collect pocket watches, wristwatches, or both? Do you want to be able to repair any fully-mechanical watch that comes your way, or do you want to specialize? What about quartz?

    I'll leave the collecting side up to you. It's far too personal a decision for me to weigh in on.

    For repair, I'll tell you how I started as an example. I wanted to be able to work on any watch. I figured that the best way for me to learn would be to start small. I bought a whole bunch of Bulova 5-series watches (primarily 5AD) off of eBay. They're little bitty things that nestle quite comfortably on a dime. (US or Canadian. ) I didn't care what shape they were in as long as the movement was complete. Take them apart, put them back together, try not to destroy anything. Repeat. Repeat. Repeated until I was somewhat confident that my micromechanical skills were no longer horrible. Set aside the ones with mangled hairsprings. Take apart the ones I hadn't dorked up, clean them, put them back together, oil, and see how well they run. I was eventually able to start giving the 5AD watches to my daughter to wear. She now has a stable of six. I've become adept enough that the ones with mangled hairsprings have all been fixed and run well, too.

    If you learn on tiny ones, the first time you dig into a pocket watch it'll feel like you could do it with mittens on.

    I'd recommend you steer clear of the Seikos for repair until you have significant experience with American (e.g., Bulova) or Swiss (e.g. AS) movements. The Japanese have a different philosophy on several aspects that drive me nuts, even with eight years of experience. Their cap jewel springs are horrible.

    Bulova, Illinois, Hamilton, Elgin, Benrus, Croton, and other American and Swiss manufacturers are widely available in a vast array of styles and are great learning platforms. Many (a majority?) of them are very reasonably priced, if not downright cheap. Once you get into it and learn more, you can focus your interest.

    Have fun, and good luck!

    Glen

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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: glenhead)

    Really great advise Glen!

  7. #7
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawk53 View Post
    Really great advise Glen!
    I agree!

    I don't repair watches myself(maybe someday) but what was said above is great advice.
    I would only add that if you are interested in collecting(and repairing watches)
    you must have already seen some vintage watches that have drawn you in(ones that you like).
    For me, my first PW as a kid was a 1915 Elgin PW that my dad gave me. I have
    continued to collect Elgins.

    If you haven't a clue, use Glens watch Co. list above and search ebay, and you will find
    many very nice examples under $500.00

    Just as a side note, since Croton watches were mentioned above....
    I recently bought a 1950's Croton pocket watch with a "Montgomery style face"
    in it's original box and cloth bag for $30.00. It's actually a very nice watch, and runs really well.
    Being from Croton-on-Hudson, NY was also an extra added bonus. They were named
    after a landmark in my home town.


    Rob

  8. #8

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: musicguy)

    Wow thanks so much glen. It was exactly the guidance I was hoping for. I am really interested in wrist watches. Particularly military and dress watches. It suits everyday lifestyle. I guess I want to be able to repair them as anything old (I assume) does not run as good as the first years of its life. I know I don't. Joking aside I always wondered if purchasing a watch from eBay is reliable or is a estate auction better. The take apart put back together is genius. Any suggestions on books that cover American and Swiss watch repair and tools I will need. Lastly that is great array of watches and will look into them asap. Thanks again I truly appreciate it

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Always better to buy when you can have it in hand and look it over, take a good look at it and look at the movement. If someone refuses to show the movement i walk away. Ebay you have to be careful, i bought a nice pocket watch recently, seller said it just needed a cleaning, balance staff was broke. You have to have a fair bit of knowledge to buy from Ebay.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  10. #10
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: Kevin W.)

    I do not disagree with what Kevin W. said.

    Ebay is a jungle, but I buy mostly from ebay, and I have done very well. If you don't like something
    you can return anything(you do pay for the return shipping). Sellers on ebay would rather refund your money rather than get negative
    feedback. So, you must check the sellers feedback!
    I like the convenience of sitting in my office, or my home, or anywhere and I can
    look through pictures of 100's of watches.
    BUT, as said above, and I would agree, there is nothing equal to holding a watch in
    your hand. I just don't have the opportunity to look at estates, antique stores, or pawn shops.
    And, ebay has such a large selection, that I can look at anytime.



    Rob

  11. #11

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: glenhead)

    Quote Originally Posted by glenhead View Post
    "Collecting" is one thing. "Repairing" is another thing. The last watch you want to start collecting and *repairing* with no watch-working experience is an Accutron. (Sorry, Robert!)


    Glen
    I meant Accutron's for collecting and forgot to emphasize that.


    Robert

  12. #12
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice

    Also look at the Can dollars it sucks, take that into account. Also i try to avoid Global shipping, its a real money grabber.
    New watch movements can be bought cheap. I paid 130 for a service on my Seiko and the same movement new was available for just over 50 dollars.
    Many sellers on Ebay have very little knowledge about watches and how they run or should run. You take your chances.
    Last edited by Kevin W.; 04-04-2017 at 11:52 AM.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  13. #13

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Quote Originally Posted by PierceArrow View Post
    Wow thanks so much glen. It was exactly the guidance I was hoping for. I am really interested in wrist watches. Particularly military and dress watches. It suits everyday lifestyle. I guess I want to be able to repair them as anything old (I assume) does not run as good as the first years of its life. I know I don't. Joking aside I always wondered if purchasing a watch from eBay is reliable or is a estate auction better. The take apart put back together is genius. Any suggestions on books that cover American and Swiss watch repair and tools I will need. Lastly that is great array of watches and will look into them asap. Thanks again I truly appreciate it
    I've had pretty good luck on ebay so far. But I rarely by anything from a seller that doesn't provide good photos.

    Robert

  14. #14

    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: Accutronica)

    I do see a lot of pocket watches up for grabs lately at estate auctions. If I want to make the switch to watches later would that be possible. What I am saying is are the movements the same. Some pocket watches are under $10 CAD

  15. #15
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Watch brands recommended for novice (By: PierceArrow)

    Watches pretty much function the same if that is what you are asking, generally a pocket watch movement is larger and easier to learn on. Some pocket watches for 10 dollars could be a real bargain.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

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