Question of the Day

Question of the Day: What watch do you wear?

From time to time we go off on a tangent and examine items other than knives that are a part of a common EDC kit. We have both discussed and reviewed flashlights on several occasions. Spinners seem to be all the rage lately, even with their complete lack of utility. However, we have never discussed watches, despite the fact that they are often quite literally on one’s person, even when you have to leave your knives behind.

I don’t remember much about my first watch, other than it was digital, with a rubber watchband, and it had a jogging “pacer” beep feature. An odd choice since I have never been much of a distance runner. Sometime in high school I got my first Victorinox Swiss Army Watch, a cavalry model, which was the first of 3 I would own over the next 22 years.

I loved the watch, and worked it like a government mule. I have no idea how many leather bands and batteries I went through in that time. The first two eventually outright died, not from any single incident, rather an accumulation of use. Bezels eventually scratched and cracked, though I never had one lose its water-proof integrity. Eventually, Victorinox discontinued the model, and it was time to move on. I was unable to find OEM bands, and I could not find a leather replacement that fit properly. One “pint-night” at a local outdoor outfitter, my wife suggested I try something new from their selection.

We settled on a Bertucci A-2s, which at the time was about $129, though I am finding it for about $100 from several online retailers. The heavy-duty nylon strap is much better than leather for a person who makes a living around mountain streams, and the styling and overall robustness of the watch seemed to make it a solid choice.

Bertucci watches are imported from Asia. They have a quartz movement from Japan, while the stainless case is made and assembly takes place in China. I have worn this watch daily for the past year, and I do not regret my choice. It has proven to be every bit as rugged as I had hoped. There are a few minor surface scratches to the case, but the bezel has remained unscathed. I have never needed to adjust the time other than for Daylight savings. I am pleased with both the fit and function of this watch. The luminescence is about as good as I have seen on any item with the feature.

Someday I hope to own an American watch, the Minuteman Jester is one that I find particularly appealing. I am just not to the point where I can justify the $500 price-tag, especially for something that I will beat the snot out of in the course of everyday use in the mountains. Ironically, $500 is actually inexpensive compared to many other American companies’ watches which start at close to $1000. I don’t think I will ever be in the position where I would purchase one.

But enough about me, what watch are you wearing and why?

A watch is good for more than just telling time, in case you were unaware…

Discussion

21 responses to ‘Question of the Day: What watch do you wear?

  1. This Bertucci watch looks good and similar to my Canadian made Momentum Steelix by St. Moritz. I even have the same color of NATO strap on it.

  2. I usually wear a Sinn 103 Titanium or a Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer. Why? I like them and apparently at some point I had a lot more money to spend then I do now. 🙂

  3. Back about 16 months or so, I actually had to downgrade from a very heavy and rather impractical Rolex Platinum “Masterpiece” model with black Tahitian diamond dial that I’d had about 5 years. I had bought it used back when I had some extra cash, and at $49,500 (about HALF what a new one costs) it was only worn on special occasions and stored in a bank box the rest of the time.

    When I needed to raise some cash to start my Titanium Yawara Stick business (Ti Rod Tactical), I decided to sell it off and checked around for the best price. I had to drive 100 miles each way, but received $9,000 MORE than I could get locally and didn’t lose much overall for the privilege of owning it for 5 years.

    When I did the trade, I picked up a much more PRACTICAL Rolex stainless steel “No Date” Submariner Diving Watch with the newer ceramic bezel that is much more scratch resistant! I’ve also never cared for the usual raised Date window magnifier that comes on most Rolex Date models. The Dial is super clean this way, and also a LOT less likely to garner “unwanted attention” while wearing. Not having the usual date magnifier makes most folks unaware it’s a Rolex. Wearing it on a custom black leather strap helps in that regard also…… as I like the black on black “look” 🙂
    Here’s the Rolex link for pics and info…..

    https://www.rolex.com/watches/submariner/m114060-0002.html

    The best part is this particular Rolex has been the absolute BEST in timekeeping for me, and I’ve owned Rolex watches for over 30 years. I wear it every day, and about every 3 months check the time here: http://www.time.gov/ ,…and the watch has never been off (fast) more than about 10 seconds over 3 months!

    This is fantastic timekeeping for an everyday mechanical watch. Waterproof down to 300 meters,….and the large luminescent hour markers and hands makes it easy to read even in total darkness. Now that I’m older (be 61 in July), I value THAT a lot more than I did in my younger days. 🙂

    cheers,
    Joe T

    • I actually almost understand the Rolex thing. When you are going for the finest instrument in its class, and can afford it, more power to you.

      It is also an item that appreciates in value, so there is that as well.

      I was able to make my “finest in its class” knife purchase – my Murray Carter, though that only set me back $700.

      • Yeah,…funny thing is if bought used,….I’ve found that Rolex watches can be basically FREE to own and later pass along. My previous everyday Rolex before the No Date Submariner was a used but like new 2-tone Datejust with Oyster Strap. I had paid $5,000 for it on Ebay, wore it for over 8 years until it needed a cleaning (usually over $600 to clean the movement & refinish at a Rolex service center), but the seller cleaned and refinished it for me at no charge, and I wore it another 2 years. When I traded for the Submariner I requested an offer from the other seller to buy back the 2 Tone Datejust, and sold it back to him for $4,500.00
        So basically I got to wear a $9,000 or so watch for 10 years at just $50 per year average. Not too shabby! 🙂

        • I just had a look at your Submariner. That is a wonderful piece of art.

          I restate my appreciation for the Rolex brand and appreciation of the exquisite.

          Unfortunately, I live a life where it is likely to be barfed on or whacked against a rock at some point. I only get dressed up sufficiently 2-3 times a year. Black-tie kilt or a suit if someone dies.

          I no longer have a mortgage at 41, so I have that going for me.

    • I agree on the Rolexes- I never bought one because I didn’t like that bubble on the date. Also know what you mean on the value of nice watches. I stopped buying them because they were going up 15-20% a year and my income definitely wasn’t. Some of mine I could sell for 2x what I paid back then.

  4. My usual fancy watch is a Citizen… a roughly $300-$400 watch when new. I like it, although the metal band is getting tighter around my wrist (but that may be my fault for gaining weight!).

    Lately, my outdoor/everyday watch is one of a variety of Timex Expedition watches. So far all with the leather straps, which are aging and wearing in with real character. But I’ll likely put a NATO strap on one of them soon. Tough, affordable at $30-$50 each, accurate (enough), and good looks as well. Hard if not impossible to beat Indiglo for nighttime viewing of the watch face as well.

    It does the job, does it affordably, and looks good doing it.

  5. i have a few: a benrus with an alarm and a gold longines- wittnauer given to my father for the fifty years he spent with the red cross. a very thin gold jules jurgensen that i won playing pinball in high school. an omega meister deville pocket watch from a pawn store- always wanted one.
    i don’t wear any of them since i got my first cell phone a few years ago.

    • I have heard that this is a trend (not wearing a watch), especially among Millennials.

      I get to leave my phone behind on the river, but need to get clients lunch and home in time. Truthfully, unplugging, even if it for 8 hours, is enormously restorative.

      I feel naked without a watch. Something I whose absence I consciously feel, completely is ignored by my subconscious.

  6. FWI Rolex generally ranks around number ten on lists of fine watches , I do love my Black Face Explorer II .

    My other daily drivers are a Hamilton Kaiki Navy gmt on a Zulu strap, Seiko diver ( skx007) that was customized by a guy in Hong Kong , and is worn on a shark strap .

    A Maratac pilots watch on a orange rubber divers strap, infused with vanilla , ( rubber stinks of sweat after awhile ).

    A G shock . Great watches .

  7. Timex Expedition: quartz movement, accurate enough to use as a hack watch for celestial navigation (I have), and under $40 at Target.

  8. i dont wear a watch…..but have my dad’s watch which i got after he died back in 1982…..sadly my watch is also my phone…..sign of the times….sadly

  9. L.L. Bean Field Watch – – the large model with white face and black hands. I’m very particular about watches these days, I want high contrast between the face and the hands – – either black face with white hands or white face with black hands – – I don’t like metal-colored hands or face because it can make seeing the watch difficult for my ageing eyes. I use an old-fashioned expansion band of the type popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s – – easily on, easily off, but needs scrubbing occasionally between the expanded links to keep clean. Bean uses Swiss movements for their watches.

    The advantage of a classic face with hands is that the watch can be used as a compass during daylight in an emergency – – see the movie “Gallipoli” for an example of this.

  10. Timex Iron-man Triathlon, in green, $35. I sometimes use my Sunnto for the altimeter, and used to run a fancy Omega, but my stuff gets so banged up and dressing down has become more than just a habit these days!

  11. Casio G-Shock Rangeman, black body and band, with black face, Japanese model. Includes built in compass, altimeter, and thermometer. Synchronization off of atomic clock signal once a day, with solar charging.

  12. An older post, but i do wear a g-shock with a suunto compass clipped to the band daily. My other watch is a Hamilton Khaki, Pioneer model i think.

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