closing tag is in template navbar
Time Factors Watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 44 of 44

Thread: Satisfactory dressy watch, a struggle

  1. #1
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407

    Satisfactory dressy watch, a struggle

    This is a summary of my search so far, including Jaeger, Grand Seiko, Habring and Kurono, although it hasnít ended on a positive note. Itís a bit long, reflecting where I am.

    Iím a straightforward sports watch guy, think Rolex, Breitling, Sinn and Damsko. I donít have a dress watch as such, but for a dressier watch, I have a B&R 123 Geneva, that Iíve owned for more than 2 years, as enthused about here:

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...oss-123-Geneva

    It's a very nice watch indeed, but Iím open to letting it go for something better. Iíve tried, and so far failed to find something in the £4-6000 range. This is the brief story of that failure.


    I had previously posted about the options being JLC, Grand Seiko or an independent such as Habring or Hentschel. Part of me has the nagging doubt I should have bought new Nomos rather than what was at the time an 8 year old B&R.

    JLC
    More eloquently than me, you could watch the views of Jenni Elle on the JLC Master Thin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OrL26t_m0w

    I have evaluated the Reverso twice, I know itís a classic, I know itís emblematic of JLC, and I even like square or rectangular watches, it just doesnít do it for me in the metal. Not to be put off by Jenni I went to WoS in Manchester to see a Master Thin. They didnít have one in stock , actually they denied its existence (until shown), but I did evaluate the small second, moonphase version. At 39mm, it wears too big as all dial, but more importantly, there is just no frisson of excitement. The quality is undoubtedly great, but without desire, there just is no point getting it. Evaluated Reverso again, this time the large size, again not for me.

    Grand Seiko
    Slightly sporty watches on a bracelet in what we might call the DateJust / Aqua Terra style donít interest me, but the SBGW231 has the right kind of look. I think I could summarise GS as fabulous finishing and details, but integrating those into a compelling design is where they fall short IMHO. I do like sub-seconds rather than centre seconds on this kind of watch, but the killer is its thickness. Excess thickness seems a feature of many GS.

    Cartier? I love the Tank, but the only one worth it to me is the Tank Louis Cartier, and that has a retail of £11, edging towards ALS territory.


    Hentschel
    Not seen in the flesh obviously. H1 is lovely, but at £6900 +vat it's out of my price range.

    Habring
    I went to buy a Habring Felix yesterday, I was psychologically prepared, then when I had the opportunity, I didnít. Iíve followed the team for a while, and love the independent watchmaking that Habring represents. I expected that if I didnít come away with it, it was only because I would have an alternate dial on order. The size is perfect, the thinness is perfect, the movement although lacking embellishment is honest and represents horological craft. So what gave me pause? 3 things really.

    Iíve seen a lot of Felix dials with concentric circles on the sundial, and I really like this detail. This wasnít present on the watch I saw, maybe the dial supplier has changed. Maybe a custom order would deal with this. The instant rejection was actually the lack of finishing between the lugs, and the more I saw it, the more I couldnít unsee it. Itís brushed, not polished between the lugs, but it just didnít seem to have been done with finesse. I looked at my B&R when I got home, itís perfect in this area. The strap and buckle was basic, but I have been spoiled by the £300 B&R Camille Fournet strap on deployante.

    Nomos
    Remember my nagging doubt that I should have got one 2 years back? They are a very nice watch, the dial work is very good, I think it's at least the equal of Habring, and I like the concentric circle details. Orion has crazy long lugs, and both it and the Tangente feel delicate. Straps are basic, remember I am spoiled.

    I also had a Kurono Toki arrive as I ordered it thinking it was less austere than Habring and I love Japan, Mrs H and I got engaged there. I say I had a Kurono, as I sold it within a week. It was nice enough, but stripping away the hype and FOMO, my B&R is a better watch.

    So where does this leave me?

    The ďshould have bought a NomosĒ nag is quieter. I could approach Habring directly, although it seems a bit cheeky, please can I have concentric circles on the subdial and careful finishing between the lugs?

    A Dornblueth 99.1M is an option as 40mm across 10mm thick is probably OK for a Marine Chronometer type of watch. That would need a trip to Kalbe when the world settles down, I certainly wouldnít have the faith to order it unseen.

    Right now, all things considered, this is a pretty good watch.


    Dave


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by helidoc; 27th July 2021 at 20:29.

  2. #2
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ashford, Kent
    Posts
    23,970
    Have you considered Rolex? (Cellini)
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  3. #3
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    England and Spain
    Posts
    5,291
    It is going to be difficult to make a suggestion on a dress watch because the watch you favour is not a dress watch.

    A dress watch should fall well under the radar. It is not to be noticed, hence it should be gold, preferably no bigger than 36mm with a black shiny leather strap. Ideally it should have an hour and minute hand and no more. In the truest sense it should not even have numerals or markers.

    So if when wearing formal dress, the rule is not to wear what you like but to wear what is expected and that applies to a watch.

    Times seem to be reverting backwards and I have recently purchased a gold Omega pocket watch because it was discreetly pointed out to me that my 34mm gold JLC was a tad infra dig and more men seem to have started wearing waistcoats and pocket watches rather than a wristwatch on really formal occasions.

    So the answer is are you the sort of chap who follows the strict dress code or are you the sort of chap who would roll up in shorts and tee shirt. Once we know that, the suggestions can roll.

  4. #4
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407

    Satisfactory dressy watch, a struggle

    Thanks Mick

    I donít want a dress watch, just something that might be described as, relatively simple, not a sportís watch, and on leather. Dressier than a sports watch, but not a dress watch. I have a perfectly lovely IWC Cal 89 from around 1953/4, but I like a more contemporary partner. The B&R is in that role, and seems to be resisting my attempts to upgrade it!

    Iím not really asking for suggestions, just documenting the process so far for me. Itís cathartic, putting thoughts on digital paper, but it also may be helpful to others in a similar position.

    Dave


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by helidoc; 27th July 2021 at 13:28.

  5. #5
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    England and Spain
    Posts
    5,291
    Ok that puts you in the lucky position of being ruled by what you like. The world is your oyster.

    I would go for a Rolex Explorer, the true wear it any where watch.

  6. #6
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407
    I chose a 16570 over an 14270 some years back and never regretted it. Still have it. Iím suppose Iím aiming at a modern contemporary non sports watch on leather. As I hinted, now giving thought to a Dornblueth (far from a dress watch!), but might just settle where I am.

    D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Master raysablade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    5,026
    I went through a similar of elimination process recently. Skirted round; JLC, Habring, Grand Seiko, Dornbluth, Rolex Cellini. My first conclusion was that an occasionally worn dress mechanical has to be a no date hand winder. That decision knocked out a lot of otherwise strong candidates.

    Ended up with a shortlist of


    • Omega Tresor handwind; ticked every box for me but just too big.
    • Tutima Patria, stunning front on but the same slab sided case problem that always does Dornbluth in for me. Ended up with the
    • Nomos Orion 35mm


    It is small in the context of every other watch I own but works perfectly as a dressed up white dial watch. The key advantages of this one for me, over other Nomos hand winders, is that the designer had the Peseux 7001/Nomos Alpha to hand when the dimensions of the watch were set out. So the sub-dial sits perfectly and the case wraps perfectly around it.

    And what a case it is; no straight lines, no excess weight, no embellishment at all other that the whole design being a jewel in itself.

    Best of all my the best choice was the cheapest option by a margin. Often that is a big hurdle to jump, but it does add an extra dimension of happiness.

    PS: I have a Rolex Explorer. It would work work very as a one watch collection but it isn't a dress watch. I was away this weekend and was happy to take nothing but the Nomos
    Last edited by raysablade; 27th July 2021 at 14:15.

  8. #8
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    4,772
    I know the feeling, finding a really good dress watch in this price range is strangely hard. Itís hardly a low budget, but they never seem to be quite special enough, and completely fail to be a Calatrava 5296G. GS are one of the few people who might get close in steel at a lower price, but Iíd be after the SBGW253 or 259, or maybe SBGY003 or perhaps even SBGK007 over the one you mentioned. The other option is to do vintage, eg old Omega, Girard Perregaux, even vintage Grand Seiko self-dater, and keep the change. After a long quest I settled (for the moment at least) on a 1967 Seiko Skyliner, somehow the only one that hit the spot.

  9. #9
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407
    Without being a repetitive pedant, dressy rather than dress. Smart casual if you like.

    Some very interesting GS choices, but again, a bit thick. I agree about vintage, I have a lovely IWC Cal 89 from 1953, and it didnít cost a fortune.

    D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nr London or Carvoeiro, Portugal
    Posts
    10,463
    Blog Entries
    20
    Iíd get something without a second hand. Simple dial. That should narrow the search. Good luck. M

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly soĒ. HHGTTG


  11. #11
    The Omega Globemaster falls somewhere in between dressy and sporty. On an alligator strap it can pull off dress duty, especially if your preference is for sport watches since it is a bit thicker than the usual dress watch.

    I would also suggest you reconsider Cartier, but take a look at the Drive. Especially the extra flat. Dressy, but large enough to satisfy the sport watch aficionado.

  12. #12
    Iíve recently filled the dress watch slot in my collection. Itís from a much lower budget range but the sub 6mm thick, painfully minimal dial and handset, hand wound delight of the Christopher Ward C5 595 nails it for me. I wouldnít describe the B&R as a dress watch either but itís a smart looking thing.

  13. #13
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    9,988
    JLC Master Control?

    Vulcain Cricket?

    A GS with the 9F movement?

    Omega Globemaster?

    All four not ‘dressy’, but certainly smart.

  14. #14
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    5,129
    Excellent challenge, and surprisingly difficult to get right. As mentioned, Iíd support the early GS Ďgrammarí designs. A style which has remained timeless. The markets donít welcome really classy, restrained, designs.
    Oddly, given the great success, I donít see Rolex as leaders of the greatest elegant designs. Itís not there thing. (Is it?). IWC get close.

  15. #15
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    London
    Posts
    6,371
    Whilst I am sure it will not conform to our resident sartorial experts standards but if I were after a smart casual watch that could be worn in a dressier environment I would not look much further than the railmaster that is currently on SC.
    Anywhere that requires smarter dress than that is somewhere I don’t want to go, nor am I likely to be invited
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 28th July 2021 at 10:39.

  16. #16
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    5,129
    Restrained, unobtrusive, slim, monotone, never drawing attention to itself.
    No,Iím not describing Boris Johnson.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    270
    There's an argument that if you have £4-6k to spend on a dress watch, you should spend £100 on an Orient Bambino and spend £5,900 on a nice holiday ;)

    In all seriousness though, there's loads of dress watches I like for <1000 and then nothing till >10,000. Except for the ones you've already ruled out.

  18. #18
    I do like wearing dressier watches as a change to the more ubiquitous sports pieces. This started with vintage and I’ve had a number of vintage omega over the years. The most special feeling is the pie pan Constellation although it always looks better “in the hand” rather than on my wrist.. I may grow into it more as I get older.

    I still rate nomos, but agree with you that the manual wind, original sizes are the sweet spot. There are enough limited edition dials to find something you like and something a bit different. The one I have is from the first 100 watches they produced with the “Lange” inspired grey detail dial. The 100 years of Bauhaus are similar with a splash of colour and a bit more available.

    With similar criteria to your dilemma, I really wanted to find a platinum case Nomos tangente to act as that special feeling collection topper for occasional wear. They are very rare, and during the search process I came across the platinum Cellini with glacier dial. I had wanted a platinum day-date with glacier but found it too heavy on a president bracelet. The Cellini hits the spot although I haven’t found the right strap to dress it down a bit.




    Other slightly different alternatives below the budget (although I am sure you have considered)

    Ming? Any variant will fulfil the dial detail brief

    Longines Heritage with sector dial. I prefer this to the JLC release, but wore a bit big for my liking.


    Really left-field. An autodromo inter-europa?

  19. #19
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    12,146
    Grand Seiko SBGR095. Was a limited edition but if you look hard you will find one. I'd say it supercedes anything on your list or that people have posted on here with the exception that someone mentioned a Calatrava. Stunning watch.

  20. #20
    Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,656
    Moser?

  21. #21
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    214
    Going through a similar process and have honed it down to either a JLc reverso duoface (medium) or the same GS Sbgw231 youíre considering.

  22. #22
    My choice to fill the category...




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  23. #23
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407
    Having accepted watches in this category are NOT dress watches, the category really needs a name

    We understand divers, chronograph, aviation themed watches, field watches, marine chronometer and the dress watch.

    Maybe contemporary metropolitan watch? Feel free to do better!

    Whatever you call it, Nomos is in it and has a pretty compelling bang for buck balance. I agree that Ming designs certainly fit the brief, although Iím not sure I like their price trajectory; good job if you got in early! Kurono and Sartory Billard too.

    Having given this an unhealthy amount of thought I think most people would be well served by Nomos, or ditch the category altogether and get a vintage Omega, Zenith, IWC, or Seiko for comparatively little outlay.

    There are some very interesting watches in the £3-6000 range, but as good as they are, Iím not sure they will lead to enduring satisfaction. Things donít get interesting again for me until Lange / Vacheron money, and thatís serious money!

    Some examples of the category, whatever itís called






    Dave


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Craftsman Idontgram's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Leeds
    Posts
    592
    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Having accepted watches in this category are NOT dress watches, the category really needs a name
    Office watch?

  25. #25
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,955
    A friend of mine just got this for a wedding watch, understated without being boring, spring drive sweep seconds on that dial must be serene.


  26. #26
    Master Tetlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    2,551
    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Having accepted watches in this category are NOT dress watches, the category really needs a name
    The older folks would call them an "everyday watch". It is strange how every watch type seems to have a category but not this one so they get lumped into "dress watch" which is really quite different. I guess although it's an annoying description for dress type "smart casual" would probably sum up this watch type.

  27. #27
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    674
    If grand Seiko were 3-5mm thinner these threads wouldnít exist :) I give you a left field option - HermŤs Slim díHermŤs

  28. #28

  29. #29
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    5,129
    But hasnít it been generally accepted that no-one notices, or cares, what watches people wear. The public just donít care.
    Btw: shoes are a real give-away. The local AD had a decent blue suit, a white Daytona, but scruffy brown shoes. Worse than any Ďdress watchí.
    So, shoes matter more than a dress watch. Strictly no Ďtrainersí.

  30. #30
    Master Possu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    3,270
    Quote Originally Posted by Tetlee View Post
    The older folks would call them an "everyday watch". It is strange how every watch type seems to have a category but not this one so they get lumped into "dress watch" which is really quite different. I guess although it's an annoying description for dress type "smart casual" would probably sum up this watch type.
    I remember someone once asked recommendations for a Ērestaurant watchĒ and received a proper bollocking from the TZ membership. I think smart casual would go down better.

  31. #31
    Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    location, location
    Posts
    3,553
    Agree smart casual. The definition for me would be a watch that wouldn't look out of place with either a suit or jeans / tee. I bought my GS SBGK005 with exactly this in mind - primarily because I've owned dressier watches in the past which were bought purely on their own metits, but always come round to the realisation that I just don't dress formally often enough to warrant keeping them.

    To tick that box for me it needs to be a watch that looks good on a range of straps - in fact that's a large part of the enjoyment imo.

    I was also going to suggest the SBGY007 ac11111 posted - GS has slimmed the case down a touch on this model to around 10mm.

    Also, a few of the Slim d’HermŤs models jonasy mentioned definitely sit somewhere between sporty and smart.
    Last edited by gcleminson; 29th July 2021 at 10:04.

  32. #32
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    9,988
    Smart casual sounds like you'd wear it with Wileeeey's KFC-stained chinos, a pastel polo shirt and lime green v-neck jumper, casually draped across the shoulders. In other words, horrible.

    Just 'smart' would work. Or 'sports dress'?

  33. #33
    anOrdain could fit into this category.

  34. #34
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    Oh no, a date, and not well implemented

    D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  35. #35
    Master helidoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Liverpool
    Posts
    2,407
    Despite not really needing anything else I seem to have made a early hours / after work order for a Nomos Tangente 139 with 15% off from Jura.

    That GS SBGY007 is an immensely elegant watch, but £7700, and Iím not sure I would wear it enough to justify it.

    D


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  36. #36
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Everywhere, yet nowhere...
    Posts
    9,988
    How about the SBGV009 self-dater anniversary model:




    One of my few regrets was selling mine




  37. #37
    Journeyman Dean Learner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    189
    Quote Originally Posted by OldHooky View Post
    anOrdain could fit into this category.
    My thoughts exactly. Love my model 2 as my "office watch"
    Last edited by Dean Learner; 29th July 2021 at 12:03. Reason: Threads need photos

  38. #38
    Master Wooster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Hermannstadt
    Posts
    3,477
    For me it was Hentschel all the way and no regrets.

    Have a look here: https://hentschel-hamburg.de/modelle...ungsuhren.html

  39. #39
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by helidoc View Post
    Without being a repetitive pedant, dressy rather than dress. Smart casual if you like.

    Some very interesting GS choices, but again, a bit thick.[/IMG]
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    How about the SBGV009 self-dater anniversary model:
    Understood on the brief helidoc!

    Not all GS are thick, the recent hand wound models are much thinner, as is the original vintage self-dater. Good looking as the anniversary model is, the original proportions are thinner and better. I do wish they would re-release a 1:1 hand wound version. I used to have one with a refinished black dial in the style of the re-issue, sold on the forum.



    This Skyliner feels like a close cousin:



    This GP was another contender, still on the forum I believe:



    Agreed that IWC used to be great at this, if only some of their slightly undersized (by modern standards) 35mm models were re-released around 38mm, but being IWC they'd be unable to resist making them oversized.

  40. #40
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    South Wales
    Posts
    419
    How about something from the Chopard LUC range?
    The Tech Fleurier is more causal but then there is the 1937, XP & XPS series that provide a range of smarter options that might suit.

    Residuals on these are terrible so you can pick some expensive piece up well within your price range and the movements are right up there.

  41. #41
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Posts
    1,340
    if I had your budget and requirement I'd have a Ulysse Nardin Classico on my wrist very quickly.



    Although it's very similar to your B&R


    If my sensible head was on then I'd be looking at a Seiko Cocktail Time / Riki Watanabi / Enamel dial watch - Seiko do some absolutely wonderful dials

    A little more budget (or luck 2nd hand) an H. Moser & Cie


    If I'd just won the lottery then a full set of Ulysse Nardin rose gold Manara Classico and a display case for them would be purchased with the inevitable drawback of being labelled a boor by Mick P.

  42. #42
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    west midlands
    Posts
    1,692
    Quote Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
    For me it was Hentschel all the way and no regrets.

    Have a look here: https://hentschel-hamburg.de/modelle...ungsuhren.html
    Wow - just viewed their website - some very understated and elegant pieces on there
    Last edited by klunk; 29th July 2021 at 13:50.

  43. #43
    What about an iWC Portofino or Portuguese 40mm automatic?

    I have an IWC Portuguese (the chrono version) &my dressy/suit watch and they are so classy & elegant.

  44. #44
    Why don't you know at go for a junghans max bill and save yourself a good few grand.

    Sent from my IN2013 using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Do Not Sell My Personal Information