How To Choose a Timepiece


Article written by Alexander – Founder and Owner of swissdiverswatches.com


Timepieces in general and divers watches in particular

Omega Seamaster

(Image By Rruegger)

I estimate that at least 30-40% of all luxury watches available on the commercial market today are defined as divers watches or as water resistant sports watches. It could potentially be as much as 40-50%

No matter if you are personally interested in divers watches or not, this article might prove valuable to you even if you opt for say dress watches or pilots watches.

Divers watches are probably the most versatile type of watches you can find. Divers watches are characterized by multi-task usability and versatility –  they can be used as divers watches, dress watches and sports watches.

In my humble opinion, the ultimate luxury watches simply don’t exist, since the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

We can on the other hand compare technical and mechanical differences and conclude which brand or watch model is relatively better in terms of steel grade, build quality, accuracy, durability, power reserve, shock resistance and anti-magnetic properties, and divers watch dial luminescence.

Common questions I see on the Internet are: “How do I choose a timepiece?”, “What’s the best watch out there?”, “What’s the most prestigious watch brand?”, “Which brand is preferable?” and so on. These are probably the most common questions I read on watch forums on the Internet.

Swiss Luxury Watch

Before you go looking online for Swiss Luxury Watches below retail price, I strongly recommend you to take a look at the recommendations and questions below because they might answer many of your questions.

  1. My personal approach to picking a watch
  2. What if you can’t afford the watch of your dreams?
  3. Why do you want to buy a watch to begin with?
  4. Do you love the watch?
  5. What sort of lifestyle do you have? What movements and functions do you need?
  6. Will you use the watch every day or almost every day?
  7. Quartz, automatic or mechanical?
  8. Is accuracy important to you?
  9. Are you interested in high end luxury timepieces?
  10. Are you a watch collector?
  11. Do you desire a more affordable Swiss Divers Watch? Examples of Swiss brands that tend to cost below $1000
  12. Examples of Swiss brands that tend to cost above $1000
  13. Do you wonder why some brands are more expensive than others? The reason high end Swiss Luxury Watches are more expensive than lower end Swiss Luxury Watches:
  14. Do you prefer a more elegant and exclusive looking divers watch or do you prefer a divers watch that is more sporty looking – a bit rougher – a kind of a tool watch?
  15. The size of your wrist might also determine whether or not a watch looks aesthetically appealing
  16. Which is the preferred case material?
  17. What Strap Do You Prefer?
  18. Are you reluctant to wear your Swiss Luxury Watch when you are playing sports, when you go to the outback or when you exert physical work?
  19. Are you uncertain whether or not you have purchased the “right watch” – the watch of your dreams?
  20. Should I opt for a more affordable watch while I’m collecting funds for the watch of my dreams?
  21. In-house movements vs non in-house movements?
  22. What about the resale value?
  23. Additional thoughts and advice
  24. Watch brand specific questions

My personal approach to picking a watch

My approach may or may not be representative of how other people pick a timepiece, but what you are about to read down below is absolutely my very own and personal approach. You might use my approach as a recommendation, guideline or as a source of ideas.

I use a very intuitive, instinctive, and visceral approach to watches. It’s a gut feeling really. The watch needs to appeal to my feelings and sing to my heart. I place enormous emphasis on the aesthetics, the beauty and the design of the watch. Everytime a raise my wrist to see what time it is, I absolutely need to enjoy looking at the watch. I have to love and appreciate what I see. Impressive mechanics and technology are important to me, but insufficient.

In fact, the watch needs to be so beautiful that I wouldn’t merely take a look at the watch in order to see what time it is, but to first and foremost appreciate its beauty, design and aesthetics.

I also take the movement into consideration: the accuracy, the amount of jewels, the power reserve and the movement’s durability and serviceability.

I take the steel grade and build quality of the watch into consideration as well. I like a good solid feeling. The watch doesn’t have to be heavy but I do want some weight, in order to feel the watch on my wrist.

The history and the heritage of the brand or manufacturer is also important to me.

So, essentially I put emphasis on:

  • The aesthetics, beauty and design. The watch needs to appeal to my feelings and my soul. The watch needs to be so beautiful that it makes my heart sing with joy!
  • The accuracy, durability and serviceability of the movement.
  • Steel grade.
  • Build quality.
  • History and heritage.

However I do ignore:

  • The price range.
  • The hierarchy of luxury watches.
  • Status and prestige.

What I truly want, is a good all-round quality product that I can enjoy for years and decades to come. If I can’t afford a particular timepiece, I collect sufficient funds for several months, before I actually purchase the timepiece of my dreams.

I’m not saying that the prestige and the hierachy of luxury watches aren’t important. I’m just saying that you need to pick and purchase a watch because you truly love it.  It can’t simply be a question of merely picking and purchasing a watch in order to enter a prestige, luxury and hierarchy contest.


What if you can’t afford the watch of your dreams?

This is my advice: You can create for yourself “a luxury watch fund”.

For example: each month, you can save a certain percentage of your monthly salary, for your luxury watch, and once you have collected sufficient funds – go for it! Set aside an x or y amount of money each and every month for the purpose of purchasing the watch of your dreams.

I’ve seen people taking loans to finance the purchase of their luxury watch. Today, many of them regret their decision. Please take my advice: avoid taking a loan at the bank. Avoid getting in debt over a luxury watch. Don’t risk your personal economy or personal economic well being over a luxury watch. It ain’t worth it. No luxury watch in the world is so important that you should risk your financial security.

Make sure that the amount you spend on a watch will not in any way, shape or fashion – hinder, stop, change or undermine your financial and material well being. Even after the purchase, you should be able to live a financially secure life and to be able to pay all the bills.

A luxury watch isn’t a necessity – it’s a luxury object. Your financial and material well being are way more important than any luxury watch in the world.

A person doesn’t “need” a luxury watch. A person desires a luxury watch. Luxury is the antithesis of necessity.


Why do you want to buy a watch to begin with?

Think about this question for a moment. You spend a lot of your hard earned money on a luxury item. Do you genuinely love the timepiece? Do you buy the watch because you believe it will make you happy? Do you buy the watch because you desire a status symbol?

Are you buying the watch for yourself or is it a gift? Do you have a practical need for the particular timepiece you’re interested in?

Does your job or profession require that you have a particular kind of watch equipped with a set of very specific features and functions necessary for performing your job on a daily basis?

Are you a watch collector? Are you a watch connoisseur? Do you appreciate the fine things in life – expensive equipment and costly piece of art? Do you want your luxury watch to be an heirloom?

You should ask yourself these questions, because when you buy an expensive timepiece, you want to buy it for the right reasons!


Do you love the watch?

Does it appeal to your feelings? Do you find the watch aesthetically appealing? Have you tried it on? Is it comfortable? Does the watch make practical sense to you? Does it appeal to your personality and your sense of fashion?


What sort of lifestyle do you have? What movements and functions do you need?

Are you physically active? Are you a professional diver? Do you have an office job? What do you usually use your watch for on a daily basis? That could determine whether or not you need a quartz, an automatic or a mechanical watch. Your lifestyle could also determine whether or not you need a chronograph – that is a stopwatch.

Most people who purchase chronographs, buy them for the aesthetic reason – not because they have a practical need for a chronograph. But, that’s a fair reason as well. Maybe you prefer chronographs? Or maybe you prefer watches without a chronograph function?

Some people prefer a “cleaner” look, with a less detailed dial, and they usually opt for watches without a chronograph or any additional functions. These watches have the basics: hour-, minute-, and second-hands, and a date window.

Some people need a GMT function – that is Greenwich Mean Time – a watch with an extra hand on the dial, which keeps track of another time zone. For personal or business related reasons, some people need to keep track of another time zone. Maybe you are frequently visiting family, relatives and friends abroad or maybe you have a profession where you are frequently flying from one country to another? GMT is excellent for people who are travelling a lot.

Timepieces and brands that offer the GMT function are for example: Rolex GMT Master II, Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT, Omega Planet Ocean GMT etc.

If you are a professional diver, maybe you need a Depth Gauge, or an Alarm function? If you are a professional diver, these functions might come handy.

Some people desire additional functions that only haute horlogerie (higher watchmaking) can offer them: tourbillons, astronomical, striking and timing complications.

Do you need or want these additional (luxury) functions in your wristwatch? Or do you prefer a watch with a cleaner dial and basic functions? I’d say that 99% of all people either don’t need or don’t use movement complications. The complications exist mainly for collectors and connoisseurs.

There is nothing right or wrong here – only your personal preference. Opting for these functions will naturally make the watch considerably more expensive. Most Swiss Luxury Watches though, are just equipped with the basics: hour-, minute-, and second-hands and a date window.

Please keep in mind that the more complicated the movement is, and the more functions that are added to the watch’s movement, the more things can go wrong. That’s why I personally prefer watches with clean dials (optimum readability and aesthetically appealing design) and basic functions, because I need simple but stellar movements, that are accurate, reliable, robust, serviceable and durable.

The conclusion is: Most Swiss Divers Watches are versatile timepieces – they can be used as, and be considered to be, dress watches, sports watches and divers watches all in one. That’s why Swiss Divers Watches are so popular!


Will you use the watch every day or almost every day?

That’s an important question since it more or less reveals how much you want the watch. You should buy a watch because a) you like it, and b) because you intend to use it. Since you will spend a lot of your hard earned money on an expensive Swiss watch, the most satisfying feeling you can get is to purchase a watch you truly love, and to wear it every day or at least almost every day!


Quartz, automatic or mechanical?

Ask yourself what sort of watch movement you prefer.

Quartz movement – is battery driven, the most modern, accurate, reliable and affordable of the three movements. As long as the battery works, you don’t need to do anything with the watch – the watch takes care of itself.

Automatic movement – is powered by your hand and arm movements. An automatic movement is mechanical – it doesn’t take batteries. Of course you need to wind up the watch the very first time you intend to use it and wear it, in order to power the movement, but your hand and arm movements will power the automatic movement on a daily basis. If you wear an automatic watch every day or at least almost every day, you don’t have to wind up the watch at all. If you put away your automatic watch for a few days, and the watch stops, you’ll have to rewind the watch and set the time, when and if you intend to use it again.

Mechanical movement – this is old school technology. No matter if you wear the watch or intend to wear the watch every day, you still need to manually wind up the watch. Some watches need to be wound up every day, whereas others have a power reserve that lasts a few days. Even if you wear a mechanical watch 24/7, 365 days a year, you still need to rewind the watch. So a mechanical watch is very different from an automatic watch, although both have mechanical movements.

In the pictures below you see examples of movements:

An automatic movement – powered by your hand and arm movements. As long as you use an automatic watch on a daily basis – you don’t need to wind up the watch, since your hand and arm movements automatically wind up the watch – hence the name – “automatic movement”. You can clearly see the semicircular metal rotor which winds the mainspring. This is the rotor that moves due to your hand and arm movements.

Automatic movement

And below you see an old fashioned mechanical movement – you need to wind up this kind of movement every day or almost every day. As you can see, there is no semicircular rotor inside the movement. That is the main difference between an automatic and mechanical movement.

Mechanical movement


Is accuracy important to you?

If accuracy is your nr 1 concern and priority, you should go with quartz. I also want to take the opportunity to tell you that quartz/battery driven watches are more affordable as well. Brands such as Tissot, TAG Heuer, Victorinox and Longines have several quartz models that might interest you. You’ll find automatic watches among these brands as well.

If accuracy is your priority, but you still know in your heart and mind, that you desire a higher end luxury watch, it means you need to compromise a little bit, since most Swiss luxury watches either use automatic or mechanical movements, and these movements aren’t as accurate as quartz movements. For certain, the difference in accuracy is negligible for daily use – 2-5 seconds a day, but there is still a slight difference.

If you want very accurate automatic movements, you should either go with:

  • Automatic chronometer certified movements. For example: Rolex, Omega and Breitling.
  • In-house movements of extreme luxury brands such as Jaeger LeCoultre or Patek Philippe.
  • An automatic movement that beats at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (vph). As far as I know, only Zenith fulfills this criteria.

Are you interested in high end luxury timepieces?

You should expect most of them – maybe 90-95% of their models, to be either automatic or mechanical. Very few of them take batteries. There are some Swiss watch manufacturers that deliberately want to cease producing quartz watches, to give customers the impression that the brand is becoming more exclusive and prestigious – that is the watch manufacturer is climbing the hierarchy of luxury brands.

The impression itself doesn’t necessarily have to be false. It’s simply that automatic and mechanical watches are almost synonymous with luxury watches. That’s exactly what Omega did several years ago. Omega used to manufacture some quartz models in the past, but if I’m not mistaken, the production of quartz watches has either been discontinued or will be discontinued.

As a general rule, the more expensive and the more prestigious the brand is, the higher percentage of the timepiece models are automatic or mechanical. You can find exceptions of course, but as a general rule of thumb, we can say the following:

  • Timepieces above $1000, are either automatic or mechanical. Brands such as Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling, Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC, Oris etc, are almost exclusively, with very few exceptions, either automatic or mechanical.
  • Timepieces below $1000, are quartz.

In the image below, you see an example of a high end Swiss luxury watch equipped with an automatic movement – Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea. And yes, this timepiece costs well above $1000.

Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea

(Image By John Torcasio)


Are you a watch collector?

In that case, automatic or mechanical watches are the timepieces that should interest you.

They are produced and sold in relatively few numbers. An automatic and mechanical movement implies that the timepiece is expensive.

Quartz movements or quartz watches, are usually produced and sold in large and massive quantities and their retail price is usually only a fraction of what an automatic or a mechanical timepiece usually costs. Roughly 80% of all timepieces produced and sold around the world are quartz, so if you’re looking for something that stands out and is unique, you should opt for automatic and mechanical watches.

Mechanical Watch Movement


Do you desire a more affordable Swiss Divers Watch? Examples of Swiss brands that tend to cost below $1000:

Tissot, Certina, Mido, Victorinox and in some cases – TAG Heuer, Alpina and Longines.


Examples of Swiss brands that tend to cost above $1000: 

Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling, Panerai, IWC, Hublot, Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, and Zenith are a few examples.


Do you wonder why some brands are more expensive than others? The reason high end Swiss Luxury Watches are more expensive than lower end Swiss Luxury Watches:

There are mainly 4 reasons for that:

1) High quality materials such as excellent steel grade, and/or expensive, fine, precious materials such as gold, platinum, diamonds, and jewels.

Quality materials add to the functionality, performance, and quality of the timepiece.

Quality materials could involve a high grade titanium and/or excellent steel grade. High quality steel for example, requires special machinery and equipment, for cutting, shaping, drilling and polishing the steel. Ordinary equipment can’t be used when dealing with high quality steel grade. It’s not only a question of purchasing, producing, manufacturing certain materials. You need the proper equipment and machinery for this purpose, and the equipment costs as well.

Quality materials will improve the inner functions of the watch and the external structure of the watch. The movement will become more accurate, more robust, more durable, more serviceable, more shock resistant and more anti-magnetic. A better steel grade, does in fact make the external structure of the watch (the case and the bracelet) more resistant to shocks, scratches, dents, wear and tear.

Precious materials add to the luxury and aesthetics of the watch (and has nothing to do with either function or performance), and since precious metals and materials are exactly that – precious, they will add to the cost of manufacturing the watch.

2) The time it takes to manufacture the luxury timepiece is factored into the price – this implies higher production costs and labor costs.

A considerable amount of planning, essential inventions and concepts, new movement technology (still in the prototype stage), new materials, and new designs, can be and frequently are, attributed to the higher expenses. Furthermore, master watchmakers, engineers, designers, artists and artisans are needed to develop, invent, conceive, design, produce, manufacture, assemble and quality test each timepiece into a technical and an aesthetical piece of art – for several months!

Higher end watch brands would normally involve more manual labor than say lower end brands, and in some few and exceptional cases, some ultra luxury watch brands (e.g. Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre, Breguet, Blancpain etc) might in fact be 100% handmade.

The more manual labor that is needed for making a watch, and the longer the watchmaker needs to work on the timepiece, the more the timepiece will cost. Much of the price or cost of an ultra luxury handmade watch can largely be attributed to the amount of work that is done by a watchmaker – meaning labor costs.

Other brands rely both on ultra modern high technological machinery and manual labor – such as Rolex, Omega and Breitling. These brands are less handmade than say Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet, and Rolex, Omega and Breitling rely considerably more on machines. It takes a considerably shorter amount of time making watches that are largely made by machines and that’s why the watch manufacturer can charge you a lower price.

The time it takes to make luxury watches would also include quality tests. Extremely stringent and demanding quality controls are needed in order to turn the watch into a perfect machine and a perfect piece of handicraft, and it takes the skills of a highly trained master watchmaker to build, assemble and test a mechanical and automatic movement, before the actual timepiece is released to retailers and customers.

The quality tests would include:

  1. Accuracy.
  2. Anti-magnetic properties.
  3. Water resistance.
  4. Shock resistance.
  5. Computer simulated, machine simulated and even manually tested wear and tear tests.
  6. Perseverance/endurance tests, that might take several weeks!

As you can see, Swiss watchmaking isn’t just a question of mass production, even though most Swiss luxury watch brands rely on modern equipment and manufacturing processes. Only a few brands, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Breguet, Blancpain and a few others, are entirely handmade.

3) The cost of the warranty service is also factored into the premium price.

Most high end Swiss luxury watches are either automatic and mechanical, and automatic and mechanical watches are more likely than quartz to incur an in-warranty service. The watchmakers are counting on that their automatic/mechanical watches need to be serviced during the warranty period.

4) Smaller quantities are produced and sold.

For that reason, high end luxury watches yield a slower return on investments. High end luxury timepieces are therefore not an economy of scale, so a premium price needs to be charged per manufactured unit.


Do you prefer a more elegant and exclusive looking divers watch or do you prefer a divers watch that is more sporty looking – a bit rougher – a kind of a tool watch?

Well, as a general rule, the smaller the diameter is and the thinner the case is, the more dressy looking the watch is. The opposite is also true: the wider/bigger the diameter is and the thicker the case is, the more sporty looking the watch will be.

Usually, timepieces within the diameter range of 38mm-42/43mm are usually elegant and dressy looking, whereas timepieces larger than 42/43mm, are usually sporty looking tool watches.

So as a general rule, we can say the following regarding the diameter of the watch:

  • 36mm – 42mm = usually equals elegant and dressy looking divers watches. I say usually since there are exceptions.
  • 42mm or larger = usually equals sporty looking tool watches. I say usually here as well, since there are exceptions.

When it comes to aesthetics, there really isn’t any right and wrong here. What it really boils down to is: what sings to your heart? What do you personally prefer? Only you can know that.


The size of your wrist might also determine whether or not a watch looks aesthetically appealing.

Trust me on this: the size of the watch and the size of your wrist are important. You don’t want the watch to look ridiculously large or ridiculously small on your wrist. It’s important that there is an aesthetic harmony when the timepiece rests on your wrist.

If you have a small or medium sized wrist, my recommendation is that you should go with watches with a diameter between 36mm-42mm. If you have a large and wide wrist, go with larger timepieces – 42mm should be an absolute minimum – but I’d say a 44mm diameter (or larger) would be more likely your size.

As a general rule we can say the following:

  • Small sized wrists = you should go with a diameter of 36mm up to 40mm.
  • Medium sized wrists = you should go with a diameter of 38mm up to 42mm.
  • Large sized wrists = you should go with 40/42mm up to say 45 or 50mm. There are brands and models that offer even larger sizes – above 50mm. This is quite unusual however.

Which is the preferred case material?

For Everyday Use:

Either stainless steel or titanium are the preferred materials. Stainless steel is standard among most Swiss Luxury Watches – Swiss Divers Watches included.

Most Rolex, Omega and Breitling watches, just to mention three prominent examples of highly respected Swiss Luxury Watch Manufacturers, indeed use stainless steel as their standard material, although the quality of the steel might vary from brand to brand. Rolex is known to use the highest quality stainless steel on the market. Stainless steel is not immune to dents, buckles and scratches, but is in all honesty a rather strong and hard-wearing metal.

Titanium is a light weight metal and considerably more expensive. If you are opting for a large and hefty timepiece, my recommendation is to go with titanium since the material alleviates the weight of the watch. Some people like titanium and some people don’t. Titanium has a grayish color and is somewhat darker than stainless steel.

For Life’s Special Moments – Parties, Festivities And Ceremonies:

Under such circumstances, you could opt for gold, rose gold and/or platinum – needless to say – very expensive! However do avoid to use gold, rose gold or platinum for everyday use – these are rather soft metals and they aren’t as serviceable or as hard-wearing as stainless steel or titanium.

What About Ceramic Cases?

Ceramic cases are extremely scratch resistant but they are also very brittle. If they fall on a hard surface they might break or shatter. Ceramic cases should preferably not be used on a daily basis. This is my honest opinion.

If I’m not entirely mistaken, I do believe that the Swiss watchmaker Hublot does manufacture some ceramic cases or ceramic timepieces (most Hublot watches are either made of stainless steel or gold), and they supposedly can take and withstand impacts and shocks, but this is most likely the exception on the Swiss Luxury Watch market.


What Strap Do You Prefer?

Most straps or bands are made of:

  • Stainless steel (or titanium in less common cases).
  • Rubber.
  • Leather.

The most practical, serviceable, hard-wearing and durable watch band, and in my opinion the most elegant one, is a stainless steel (or titanium) bracelet. Rubber is obviously less heavy and more flexible but won’t last as long. Leather is elegant but very unpractical. Leather easily breaks, rots, and cracks. If you opt for a leather strap, you should avoid any contact with water. Your water resistant watch can absolutely be used in the water, but the leather strap will get ruined.

A good idea is to have, in the comfort of your home, several straps for the same watch – a leather strap which you use for life’s special moments, or in situations where you don’t need any contact with water, and a rubber strap, which you can preferably use when you are playing sports, when you go to the outback or when you go diving.


Are you reluctant to wear your Swiss Luxury Watch when you are playing sports, when you go to the outback or when you exert physical work?

Ok, this is my advice: buy yourself a beater watch.

Definition of a beater watch: A watch that doesn’t cost too much – I’d say that $200-$300 is what you should pay maximum for a beater watch. It’s a watch which is easily replacable and you won’t get too upset if it gets scratched, if it’s damaged by water, if it’s dropped overboard or if it’s severely damaged or succumbs to some minor “disaster”.

While you are wearing your beater watch for the most demanding situations, you can protect your luxury watch by keeping it at home to avoid any damage to it.

That is not to say that you can’t use a luxury watch for very demanding situations – indeed very often you can –  but if you are reluctant to expose your luxury watch to any demanding situation, you should get yourself a beater watch – that is an easily replacable watch, and a luxury watch  – which is your favorite timepiece.


Are you uncertain whether or not you have purchased the “right watch” – the watch of your dreams?

Well, if you have any doubts about that, please take my advice and learn from my mistakes: when you purchase the watch on the Internet, and you get it delivered to your home address,  please take into consideration that you can only return the watch and get a refund if you return the watch and the box exactly the way it was delivered to you; that is, don’t remove the price tag or the protective plastic that covers the timepiece.

Examine your purchased timepiece, look at it, feel it, try it on for a few hours or a few days until you are absolutely certain – but don’t remove the price tag or the protective plastic that covers the timepiece.

Remove the price tag and the protective plastic material only when you are 100% sure that this is indeed the watch you want. If it’s not, then return the timepiece and the box exactly the way it was delivered to you, and demand a refund. It’s better to be safe then sorry!


Should I opt for a more affordable watch while I’m collecting funds for the watch of my dreams?

If the more affordable watch is supposed to serve as a temporary consolation prize, the short answer is no, and I’ll tell you why: when you have finally fulfilled your dream of buying your ideal watch, you will most likely only use your favorite watch or ideal watch, and you will neglect the cheaper watch altogether. You’ll end up selling the cheaper watch and you won’t be able to sell the watch at the original price, and you’ll lose money on it.

Take my advice: don’t opt for the cheaper model if the price is the only factor. You will wear a timepiece on your wrist – not a price tag.

Your guiding principle should be: purchase a watch that you loveirrespective of the brand name and price level.

Whether you have found a “cheaper”, and “less prestigious” brand, or an “expensive”, and “more prestigious” brand that appeals to you, is completely irrelevant.

If the watch brand or the model sings to your heart – that’s the watch you should buy, irrespective of what commercials, workmates, friends, family, peers or online watch forums have to say about it.

If you on the other hand, have several watches in mind, that appeal to you, and you currently can’t afford your ultimate dream watch, then obviously you should start buying the less expensive timepieces first – but you should buy them not because they are “cheaper” – you should buy them because you love them!


In-house movements vs non in-house movements?

What’s the difference between movements that are in-house made, and movements that aren’t in-house made?

In-house movements are movements that are manufactured by the watch manufacturers/watch brands in their very own factories. Usually, the denomination “in-house made” not only implies that the watch manufacturers produce the movements themselves, but also that they indeed legally own the technology, and that the technology was conceived and invented by their engineers.

Non in-house movements are not manufactured by the watch manufacturer/watch brand, but by a third party – usually Swatch Group (ETA and Valjoux movements) or Sellita (Sellita movements). The watch brand purchases the movements from a third party, places their stamp, hallmark and name on it, and possibly improves or modifies the movement, but essentially the technology of the movement isn’t theirs.

As far as technology, mechanics, and functionality are concerned, it makes no practical difference whatsoever whether the movement is in-house made or not.

Even though the Internet is nowadays flooded with the slightly obsessive “in-house made” hype, it should serve you well to remember, that behind all the magic and mystery,  an in-house made movement simply means that the watch manufacturer – or brand, manufactures their movements in their own factories. It says absolutely nothing about the quality, accuracy and reliability of the movements, and what criteria and methods are used in order to manufacture the movements.

Most Swiss wristwatch brands don’t manufacture their own movements. Either they procure their ETA/Valjoux movements from Swatch Group or Sellita movements from Sellita.

Roughly 80% of all Swiss movements that are manufactured on a yearly basis, are made by ETA and Valjoux, and both are owned by Swatch Group.

Only a tiny and minuscule minority of Swiss watchmakers make their own movements – Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Breguet, Blancpain, and Zenith are a few of them.

Omega, Breitling, Panerai and IWC indeed manufacture their own movements as well, but to a lesser extent, since many of their collections and timepieces still rely on ETA and Valjoux movements that are manufactured by Swatch Group.

Even though many watch enthusiasts might sneer at “standard ETA movements”, these movements do work very well, and keep time very well, and that’s what’s truly important!

However, it’s certainly true that avid collectors and watch enthusiasts prefer in-house made movements. Brands and models with in-house made movements are usually more expensive since the manufacturer needs to stand for the manufacturing expenses themselves.

Higher end ETA/Valjoux movements compare favorably to say in-house made Rolex movements as far as accuracy, power reserve, wearability, serviceability, number of movement jewels, anti-magnetic properties, shock resistance and reliability are concerned.

The main difference is to be found between standard ETA/Valjoux movements on one hand, and higher end ETA movements and in-house movements on the other hand. Standardized ETA/Valjoux movements are usually less finished and less polished, and usually they apply materials of lesser quality, and usually they are less accurate and have a smaller power reserve.

Since most brands and models are equipped with the essentials –  that is hour -, minute -, and second-hands, and a date window, we aren’t really comparing apples with oranges. Despite different manufacturing methods, different materials and different commercial brand names, the movements will be fairly similar to each other.

If you are a collector and a connoisseur and if you have a slight streak of snobbery, you might want to go strictly with in-house made movements.

Examples of Swiss luxury watch brands that rely exclusively on in-house made movements are Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Breguet, Blancpain and Zenith.

If you simply desire a very well made timepiece with a very reliable and accurate movement, either standardized ETA movements or higher end ETA movements are more then sufficient.


What about the resale value?

Generally speaking watches just like cars, lose value over time. It’s not unusual that the resale value of most brands is somewhere between 20%-60% of the original price, and in all honesty, this is a rather general and sweeping statement since it really depends on which brand we are referring to.

For example: Lower end brands such as Tissot, Victorinox, Longines and TAG Heuer have a lower resale value and higher end brands such as Baume & Mercier, Breitling, Omega and IWC have a considerably higher resale value.

There are however two Swiss luxury watch brands that stand out from the crowd in terms of resale value: Rolex and Patek Philippe.

The resale value has really nothing to do with the build quality, steel grade, movement accuracy, reliability and durability – even though Rolex is probably second to none. The resale value has to do with customer perception and the simple truth of economics – supply and demand.

There is a huge demand for Rolex and Patek Philippe all across the world! People are ready to spend a considerable amount of money on either a Rolex or a Patek Philippe, despite the fact that there are many other highly respected Swiss luxury watch brands and manufacturers out there. In terms of desirability and popularity, Rolex and Patek Philippe are second to none.

It’s not unusual that you can resale a Rolex or a Patek Philippe very close to the original price – sometimes slightly under and sometimes equal to the original price. If the resale value is important to you, you should either go with Rolex or Patek Philippe. The downside of course is that these are extremely expensive brands.

One last comment on the resale value of Rolex and Patek Philippe: while almost exclusively, it is the connoisseurs and the collectors that have heard of Patek Philippe, by contrast, almost everyone knows of Rolex! If the resale value is important to you and you want to sell your timepiece as easily as possible, I’d recommend Rolex.

It’s easier to resale a Rolex than a Patek Philippe, due to two factors: 1) Rolex is usually not as expensive as Patek Philippe – although Rolex isn’t exactly famous for being affordable! 2) There is a huge demand for Rolex and almost everyone in the world has heard of Rolex. By contrast, a much smaller clientele has heard of Patek Philippe.


Additional thoughts and advice

I know that many people are caught up in the prestige and status game and that many people tend to pick their watches based on the need to boost their self-image in order to increase their status and social standing. I know that the price range, the status and the hierarchy of luxury watches, matter to quite many people, and that they apply these criteria for picking a watch. Rarely do such people pick a watch because they truly love it.

To be perfectly honest with you: the brand name, and the price, and the level of prestige aren’t really that important. These shouldn’t be your guiding principles for what watch you should purchase. Okay – let me put it a bit differently: Yes of course the brand name is important in a sense – since its reputation implies what quality you should expect from it. The brand name’s reputation precedes it.

There is a reason why Rolex, Omega and Breitling for example, are coveted and desired by millions of people around the world: people know very well that these are indeed quality brands.

However, since all the Swiss brands that I would personally recommend to you at this website, are highly prestigious and of excellent quality, you shouldn’t be too concerned about brand recognition and brand quality. What it really boils down to, is your personal preference.

Of course, watch enthusiasts (I’m one of them!) will have hearty discussions on watch brands, models, movements & technology, and unique methods of manufacturing the watches, and the history and reputation of the brand, and they will pit the brands against each other and compare them- arguing which is the “best”, but ultimately, if you don’t like a particular watch, it will matter very little to you.

Ignore the price range, ignore the luxury hierarchy and ignore the prestige. Instead, pick a watch that you love. If the watch of your dreams happens to be a higher end luxury watch – that’s perfectly fine.

The best and most desirable watch is the one that sings to your heart!

Yes – it’s really that simple. My best recommendation to you is very easy and straightforward: buy a timepiece that you love! If you buy a watch that you love, you will have no regrets buying it, and you will enjoy it for many years, and possibly many decades to come. That’s the very best advice I can give to you!


Watch brand specific questions

If you want to read specific brand reviews in conjunction with your possible purchase plans, you’ll find the watch directory and the brand reviews at Shop By Brand.

If you’ve got any specific questions concerning particular brands or models, and how they compare to each other, you’re more then welcome to contact me at alex@swissdiverswatches.com, and I’ll do my very best to answer them.

Every brand is unique – sometimes they partially overlap each other concerning quality, accuracy, brand name recognition and popularity, and sometimes they differ from each other completely. Some brands are even “related” to each other, as far as ownership and technology are concerned.

If you’re interested in reading reviews of particular watch models you are free to read my watch reviews here. There you’ll find detailed descriptions and my personal recommendations. But like I said many times before: go for the watch that sings to your heart! At the end of the day, that’s what will make you happy and satisfied.


Article written by Alexander – Founder and Owner of swissdiverswatches.com

Founder of Swiss Divers Watches5

 


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62 thoughts on “How To Choose a Timepiece

  1. Dennis

    Hi Alexander,

    Nice article and it does help me to sort out the watches i want from various options.

    I am choosing somehow between the Omega speedmasters and would love to get from you some advise.

    331.10.42.51.01.002 – Speedmaster 57 Chronograph with broad arrow (vintage looking that one)
    311.30.42.30.01.006 – Speedmaster Professional Moon Watch manual winding 42mm diameter case
    304.30.44.52.01.001 – the 2016 co-axial moon phase in steel bracelet

    stuggling between the 3 of this….
    my wrist is 7-inch and would see which one would be more of suitable to me….
    i do not wear suits most of the time (only required to be smart casual for working)…however i would want this watch could fits all purposes…in causal wear or in pair of jeans or even in suits….

    hope u can help me out on this…

    Thanks for your help!!!!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Dennis,

      All three are fine choices for your lifestyle. Regardless of which one you settle for, Omega is a quality brand and the Speedmaster is a legend. What it comes down to is aesthetics and personal preference.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  2. Nikola

    Dear Alex,

    Sharing opinion with others about the quality of your post – well done.

    I consider to buy a timepiece, however, not in rush and enjoying in this.
    You have mentioned that way of manufacturing, history, energy/passion ’emitted’ and great stories/moments are making brends more or less atractive as well, which I fully support.

    Could you share with us your thoughts about automatic brends from this prrspective,

    Regards, Nikola

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Dear Nikola,

      Thank you for your interest in this post.

      I assume you’re referring to watches equipped with automatic movements?
      Automatic movements are my favorite movements of all time.
      With an automatic movement, you’ll get the best of two worlds: the usability of the quartz movements and the old fashioned “feel” of a handmade handwind mechanical movement.

      Automatic movements keep on ticking as long as you are using them, but rely on their power reserve and eventually stop entirely when you haven’t been wearing your automatic timepiece for days.

      The quartz movement is reliable and accurate but is quite frankly dull, boring and lacks a “soul” and character of its own if it makes sense, while a handwind mechanical movement feels too old school for me.

      The automatic movement, in my humble opinion, has the perfect blend of usability, practicality and the feel of handmade old fashioned luxury artisanship.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  3. James Mcavoy

    Hi Alexander!

    Thanks for this informative post! I would like to ask, can you suggest me some brands and websites where I can get best dive watches for men in around > $1,990.00 with gorgeous looking.

    Apart from Doxa Watches because I have already checked out there. Link Mentioned.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello James, and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      Suggested brands would be Oris, TAG Heuer, Longines, Alpina, Tissot, Victorinox and Certina.
      The website I can recommend is the very website you are currently on – http://www.swissdiverswatches.com.
      Here you can choose from 24 brands, and each brand is reviewed as well!
      If you scroll up the page to the very top of the page, you’ll find a menu of 24 brands on the right hand side of the website.

      Contact me if you need any help.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  4. Baraga

    Hi Alexander,

    I really like reading your blog. Very informative.

    I have a few questions:
    1. Can you suggest the best priced watch with minute repeater?
    2. Also, any comments on Tag Heuer Connected and Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch…

    Thanks in advance…

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello Baraga, and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      And thank you for your kind words.

      I’ll answer your questions in the order you posted them.

      1. Price wise there really isn’t any big difference between the various brands offering this function. Brands such as Patek Philippe, Breguet, Blancpain, Jaeger LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Hublot all offer you dress watches equipped with minute repeaters, but the minimum price, regardless of brand, would be at least $150.000.

      If we are talking about the more affordable brands, JLC, Breguet, Blancpain and Hublot are roughly in the same price category. The more “affordable” minute repeaters’ price range is somewhere between $150.000 – $220.000.

      Ignore Audemars Piguet minute repeaters because they will cost you at least $400.000.

      I’ve studied the prices online Baraga, and it seems that Blancpain and Hublot will offer you the best priced minute repeaters – the Blancpain Villeret Minute Repeater and Hublot Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater.

      2) Tag Heuer Connected is a combination of high tech and Swiss luxury. Do you like the watch? Do you like the concept of such a watch? Does it appeal to your feelings?

      Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch too relies on a quartz movement which combines Swiss luxury with high tech. This isn’t high horology though, but that’s irrelevant if the watch appeals to your feelings.

      Personally I’m quite conservative and “old school” when it comes to Swiss luxury timepieces. To me, a genuine luxury timepiece is always mechanical or automatic – it never involves high tech or quartz.

      I hope my answers are of any help.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  5. James

    Hello,
    Thank you for the article. I enjoyed it.

    I noticed how you stated that wrist size do matter in picking a watch, as a bigger watch may not look aesthetically pleasing on a smaller wrist.
    I am planning to buy a Rolex Submariner; however, I heard that it appears bigger than it is. My wrist size is merely 6 inches, and I was worrying whether the Submariner would look too big on my wrist?

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello James and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      Yes, I think you could pull it off wearing a Rolex Submariner. Another alternative would be the “MKII Nassau” which is a homage to the Rolex Submariner built by an American company called MKII, and the diameter of this watch is 39.20 mm.
      Yet another alternative to the Rolex Submariner would be the mid size Omega Seamaster Professional which has a diameter of 36.25mm.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  6. Anshul

    Alexander
    First of all, great article and insights in the Answers in your blog.

    Which would you consider a better buy – Tag’s Tourbillon Heuer 2 or or Hublot’s Big Bang / Unico assuming similar pricing (though assume the Hublot would be priced a little higher)? I also note you see Hublot lower than Brand’s like Zenith. Would you recommend a Zenith or another brand around the pricing range of Tag Heuer 2 or Hublot Big Bang (~15-18k). To give a sense of what I am looking for, I thought Nicholas Rieussec is a great buy in the cheaper 10k area

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello Anshul and a warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.
      Thank you – I appreciate your kind words and I’m glad you like the blog.
      Personally I don’t think you should obsess too much over brand or brand name, because that is completely irrelevant. The brand is not important, but your feelings about the individual timepiece are.

      You need to ask yourself these questions – just like I clarified in the article above:
      1) What qualities are you looking for in a watch? What is the watch supposed to offer you?
      2) Do you love the watch?
      3) Will you wear it every single day or almost every single day? It reveals how much you love it and how badly you desire it.
      4) Can you afford the watch without putting your personal economy at risk?

      Brand, brand name, prestige and reputation – these concepts are completely irrelevant to the individual timepieces and their qualities, and the feelings the person has for them.

      Believe me Anshul when I say this: It doesn’t matter how I rank the brands. What matters is whether or not the timepiece appeals to your feelings and whether or not the timepiece offers you the qualities, functions and aesthetics that make your heart sing with joy. If a watch can make your heart sing, that’s the watch you need to buy!

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  7. Stone Nguyen

    Hi Alexander,
    This website is so great and informative to me.
    I am aiming for an automatic Swiss divers watch which has stainless steel bracelet, equal to or less than 40mm case (my wrist is small), simple dial, resemble the design of Rolex Submariner with good Swiss auto movement, below 1000 usd. However it’s hard for me to find one. Do you have any suggestion?
    I’m considering MKII Nassau and Longines Hydroconquest. I love almost everything of MKII Nassau but two things: not Swiss made and it is commonly reviewed as overprice. I mean, some said it’s not better than a Steinhart but the price is as twice (but there is no 40mm Steinhart for me). Some website said it’s one of the best watches at that price, but I feel those websites are not as objective as yours. Could you please let me know your thought on this watch?
    About Hydroconquest, it’s a really good watch at that price and meet almost my standards (I also like it), but I don’t really like its arabic number on dial, and the appearance and the building of MKII Nassau attract me more. Do you have any advices for me?
    Many thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Stone and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.
      Sorry for the late reply but I’ve been on a 7 day long vacation.

      I’d recommend you to get the Certina DS Action Diver which does resemble the Rolex Submariner and can be found in a price range well below $1000, but does in fact have a 42mm case diameter which makes it larger than the 40mm Rolex Submariner.

      Steinhart is actually a good brand which offers well made watches of German origins at reasonable prices, with designs that are meant to resemble or copy Rolex’s legendary design. Steinhart applies usually standard ETA movements, but in all fairness so does TAG Heuer, IWC and Breitling to a very large extent, so I wouldn’t blame Steinhart for using generic Swiss Made ETA movements by Swatch Group.

      Not sure if there is a brand that can fulfill all your criteria but if you could compromise on the diameter size you could get yourself either a Steinhart Ocean One or a Certina DS Action Diver.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
      1. Stone Nguyen

        Many thanks for your reply and recommendation Alex!

        I like both Steinhart Ocean One and Certina DS Action but their case is still large for my wrist. What do you think of MKII Nassau and Longines HydroConquest? The more I search and look at the Nassau, the more I feel interested in it. Should I go for it Alex?

        Reply
        1. Alexander Post author

          Hi Stone,
          Yes absolutely. If you like the MKII Nassau and its design inspired from the Rolex Submariner, and the MKII Nassau’s ETA 2836-2 movement, I say go for it. The main thing is that you like the watch and you’re comfortable with it. It sounds as if you’ve already made up your mind so don’t hesitate. Go for the MKII Nassau if it appeals to your feelings. If it feels right it means it is the right choice.

          Cheers
          Alexander

          Reply
          1. Stone Nguyen

            Thanks a lot Alex. Will wait and keep reading your new blogs.

          2. Alexander Post author

            You’re most welcome Stone.
            I believe this autumn or at least during the spring of 2017 at latest, I will start writing reviews on individual timepieces.

            Cheers
            Alexander

  8. Sonny

    Hi Alexander,

    Very interesting blog. I’m planning to buy “Breitling Chronomat 41 CB014012/G713-725P” and your opinion for this watch will help me decide.

    Thank.

    Sonny

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Sonny and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.
      I’m glad you like the blog.
      Can I recommend “Breitling Chronomat 41 CB014012/G713-725P”? In one word – yes.
      The Breitling Chronomat 41mm contains the famous in-house made Breitling chronograph movement B01 – one of the very best chronographs on the market. The watch is robust and sturdy, very reliable with a distinct sporty and instrumental and professional look which is so characteristic for Breitling. The Chronomat alongside the Navitimer, is the very best that Breitling can offer you today.

      The Breitling Chronomat 41 CB014012/G713-725P is equipped with a 316 L stainless steel case and an 18 carat rose gold bezel. The legendary and respectable in-house made Breitling B01 chronograph movement, has a 70 hour Power reserve – which is a lot more than either Rolex and Omega can offer you today. The B01 movement has 47 jewels, and beats at 28,800 vph (vibrations per hour). The Breitling Chronomat is also a respectable divers watch since it has a water resistance of 300 meters/1000 feet.

      The downside is that if you get this watch with the bracelet, you won’t get any diver’s extension with which you can adjust the size of the bracelet if say you go diving. Rolex and Omega and many other brands have a diver’s extension but the Breitling Chronomat doesn’t. On top of that, the Breitling Chronomat is quite heavy on the wrist, and it might be difficult to fit the wristwatch beneath a long-sleeved dress shirt. On the other hand, you can wear the watch closer to your wrist fully visible instead of wearing it under a long-sleeved shirt. That’s of course one practical solution of how to wear the watch. But keep in mind that Breitling Chronomat is a big, substantial, bulky and heavy watch.

      All in all – a very good and solid watch.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
      1. Sonny

        Dear Alexander,

        Thank you for the info.

        There are also a couple of watches that I’m quite interested in.
        – TAG Heuer Carrera WV5111.FC6350
        – Breitling Transocean Chronograph 38 A4131012/BC06-218X
        Any thoughts on these watches?

        Also, I noticed that online shops are somewhat offering less expensive watches compared to retail stores. Is this always the case? Two in particular are:
        http://www.authenticwatches.com
        http://www.jomashop.com
        Are they really offering authentic and authorize dealers?

        Thanks again.

        Reply
        1. Alexander Post author

          Dear Sonny,
          Both the TAG Heuer Carrera and the Breitling Transocean Chronograph are excellent quality watches. Trust your feelings. If you like a particular watch and you can afford it – go for it.

          It’s actually quite irrelevant what I or others might feel about these particular models and brands. It’s your money and you need to spend it the way you see it fit.

          Many watch retailers online are unauthorized in the sense that they don’t have a formal official agreement with particular wristwatch brands, to sell and repair their watches. The watches themselves are genuine, but many online retailers aren’t officially and formally authorized to sell them – that’s why they can sell them below retail price and usually only offer you the online retailer’s warranty – instead of the particular watch brand’s official warranty.

          The only practical difference it makes, when purchasing a luxury watch from an authorized dealer, is that the watch brand’s official warranty is valid world wide during a time period usually spanning 1-4 years – depending on the brand.

          Once the warranty period has expired, it really makes no difference that you’ve purchased the watch from an authorized dealer, because the expired warranty won’t cover future expenses.

          From this point of view it makes no difference that you’ve purchased the watch from an unauthorized dealer either, because after 1-4 years of time, it makes no practical difference, since you still would have to cover all the expenses yourself when or if your watch needs to be repaired and serviced.

          Many people keep their luxury watches for at least 5-10 years. Many people even keep their watches for an even longer period of time spanning 15-20 years. And some people keep their luxury watches for 20-30 years, and some even keep them for life and offer the watch as an inheritance to their children and grandchildren. Only the first 1-4 years are relevant when it comes to the official word wide warranty which can only be provided by authorized dealers.

          The beauty of http://swissdiverswatches.com/ is that you can both read and comment on the blog, and purchase watches at http://swissdiverswatches.com/buy-a-luxury-watch-online .

          The watches that you’ll find at this website are sold by Amazon.com and are sold below retail price. The watches that you’ll find at http://swissdiverswatches.com/buy-a-luxury-watch-online are more afforable compared to retail stores.

          Amazon isn’t an authorized dealer, but they indeed sell luxury watches on a massive scale, and most people post positive reviews on their watches, and on their prices that are being offered below retail price and on the ease and speed of the delivery of the watches. Buying watches from Amazon.com is perfectly safe. The only “risk” is that they can’t offer you the watch brands’ official word wide warranty.

          For example: if you purchase a Breitling Chronomat at Amazon.com, you’ll get a 100% authentic watch, but you won’t get Breitling’s warranty – you’ll get Amazon’s warranty, which only Amazon can honor during the first 2 years.

          Brands available at http://swissdiverswatches.com/buy-a-luxury-watch-online :

          Alpina
          Audemars Piguet
          Baume & Mercier
          Bell & Ross
          Blancpain
          Breguet
          Breitling
          Cartier
          Hublot
          IWC Schaffhausen
          Jaeger LeCoultre
          Longines
          Maurice Lacroix
          Omega
          Oris
          Panerai
          Patek Philippe
          Raymond Weil
          Rolex
          TAG Heuer
          Tissot
          Tudor
          Victorinox
          Zenith

          I hope this helps Sonny and contact me again if you need more help.
          Cheers
          Alexander

          Reply
  9. Malhado

    Hi Alexander,
    I really enjoyed your talk with Mr. Madhusudhan. I just wanted to include the Alpina on this comparison. In fact, I’m going for Longines, ORIS or Alpina and I’d like to know your thoughts about it. I’m a sport’s person for sure and I do ocean sports very seriously, but not professionally. Also, I do like the true good materials and reliable brands as well. So, I want to buy something up to 1k and I’m asking your help to figure out what the best and most reliable option! Thanks a lot…AM.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Malhado and a very warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      Okay, up to 1k, and you’re choosing between Longines, Oris or Alpina?
      Well, I’d say you should either go with Alpina Seastrong or Longines HydroConquest, since many (not all but many of them) can be found in the sub 1k price category. Oris is a lot more expensive than either of the previously mentioned brands. So if the price is the main issue I’d say either go with Alpina or Longines. Most of the Alpina Seastrongs and Longines HydroConquests offer you the same water resistance – meaning 300 meters/1000 feet.
      If you’re looking for a sportier brand, then you probably want to take a look at Alpina and if you’re looking for a more elegant, classic and versatile design, then Longines is your best choice.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
      1. Malhado

        Hi Alexander,

        Thanks a lot for your words. However, I still would love to hear your thoughts when we compare Certina and Mido? I also really like the Certina “DS Action Diver” and the MIDO “Ocean Star”…Thanks in advance! Cheers, Malhado.

        Reply
        1. Alexander Post author

          Hi Malhado – great to have you back!
          I’m terribly sorry for my late reply – I’ve been on a 7 day long vacation.

          Mido Ocean Star wins hands down – no contest. Many of Mido Ocean Star’s movements are chronometer certified unlike Certina’s movements.

          If you’ve got more questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be glad to help.

          Cheers
          Alexander

          Reply
  10. Chon

    Hi Alexander,

    Great blog. Can you tell something about Tudor Sport Chronograph 20300? I really like the style. I’m not sure though if it’s an old model or new one. The price here is abound US$2,500.00. Is it worth it?

    Thanks.

    Chon

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Chon and welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.
      If you like the watch and you can indeed afford it, then I think it’s worth it. Whether the movement is in-house made by Rolex/Tudor or whether the movement is ETA-based doesn’t really matter. All Tudor’s movements are accurate and reliable and the build quality is very close to Rolex, so yes, I think the watch is worth its price.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  11. Geraine

    Hi Alexander,

    Very interesting blog. I’m planning to buy either:
    – JLC Master Chronograph Steel 1538420
    or
    – Rolex Datejust 36 (Yellow Rolesor – combination of 904L steel and 18 ct yellow gold)116233

    I hope you can help me out because I’m really having a hard time choosing. I like both watches, but can only afford one. Both are nearly the same price here in the Philippines. Your opinion will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello Geraine and a warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      JLC Master Chronograph vs Rolex Datejust 36?
      These are very interesting watches that you’re looking at.You have very good taste.
      What made you interested in these two watch models in the first place?
      The brand? The aesthetics? The functions of the timepiece?

      You need to ask yourself what you need and expect in a watch. Ultimately, only you can know which watch you need, because you can’t really trick your feelings. Which of the two watches that you mentioned, appeals to your feelings the most? Pick the watch that you love, because that’s ultimately the watch you’d like to keep. That’s the most lucid advice I can give you.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  12. Baraga

    Hi Alexander,

    Very informative Blog. I have some watches which I hope you can make a comment of:
    1. Breitling Colt Ocean
    2. IWC Portofino
    3. Rolex Submariner Date

    Also, I’m planning to buy a new watch. I’m just not quite sure if I should pick a Breguet XX G3800ST929W6 or JLCMaster Ultra Thin Moon Q1368420 or Rolex Datejust 36mm All Steel?

    Thanks.

    Baraga

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hello Baraga and a warm welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.
      1) Breitling Colt Ocean is a good and solid divers watch and tool watch by Breitling, which is either equipped with a Swiss chronometer certified quartz/battery movement, or a Breitling automatic Caliber 17, which is essentially a base movement ETA 2824-2, with 25 jewels, 28,800 vph. This is a very down to earth watch designed to do its job. It’s a popular watch, but Breitling’s true flagships are the Chronomat and the Navitimer.

      2) IWC Portofino – a nice, classic and legendary dress watch by IWC. Some of their watches rely on generic ETA and Valjoux movements, while others I believe rely on IWC in-house movements. If you are a connoisseur or a collector, then my recommendation is that you get the IWC Portofino with an in-house made movement.

      3) Rolex Submariner Date: are we talking about the ceramic or pre-ceramic version? The ceramic Rolex Submariner Date is my favorite timepiece of all time. An icon amongst divers watches, Rolex’s flagship and quite possibly the most famous luxury watch ever made. Unmatched steel grade, unmatched build quality, very comfortable bracelet, the best clasp in the industry, accurate, sturdy, robust and serviceable in-house movement 3135 which has been around since the 1980s if I’m not mistaken – one of the say 5-10 best automatic movements available on the market today.

      Regarding your new purchase: it’s your money and your decision. Which watch appeals to your feelings? Go with the one that puts a smile on your face.

      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
  13. Robert Donat

    Choosing a watch can be as simple as one, two, three. But, it can also be nerve-wracking if you lack the basic knowledge to do it. Very useful & interesting tips. Thank you a lot!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Thank you Zora for your kind words. I appreciate it.

      Reply
  14. jesse castro

    Very interesting, straight to the point information on swiss watches. Its not easy to get straight forward information on these watches in addition to their rankings and grouping. This information has helped me decide on a watch. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Thank you Jesse! Glad you like the website! The shopping is available here at this website, and the prices offered, are below retail price. You have more than 20 Swiss brands to choose from.

      Regards
      Alexander

      Reply
  15. Madhusudhan

    Hi ,
    My name is Madhusudhan . I just wanted to know your view of divers watches which are within 1000 euro ranges .
    I want to know your view on Longines Hydoconquest with respect to Cerina DS , ORIS and Tag Heuer

    Please suggest

    Regards,
    Madhu

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Madhusudhan, and welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an independent watchmaker or brand – go with Oris. If you want extreme water resistance capability – go with Oris. If you want an ideal tool watch – go with Oris.

      If you want a good, accurate and reliable movement, Longines HydroConquest, Certina DS Action Diver, Oris and TAG Heuer can all provide you with that. Longines, Certina and TAG Heuer rely primarily on movements such as ETA 2824-2, ETA 2892-A2, and ETA/Valjoux 7750. In Oris’ case, the brand relies on Sellita movements, such as Swiss automatic SW 200 (Sellita), Swiss automatic SW220 (Sellita), SW 200-1 (Sellita), and Swiss automatic SW 500 (Sellita). Sellita calibers are basically ETA clones.

      If you want the most elegant and dressy alternative of the four brands – go with Longines HydroConquest. If you want a brand with the oldest and most venerable history – go with Longines. Certina, TAG Heuer and Oris would have great troubles beating the history and heritage of Longines.

      If you want the biggest bang for your buck, and the cheapest alternative of them all – go with Certina DS Action Diver. This watch also happens to have a bezel which is smooth like butter – better than Longines actually, and the Certina DS Action Diver kind of resembles the legendary and iconic Rolex Submariner. You could say that Certina DS Action Diver is the Rolex Submariner on a budget.

      As far as build quality is concerned: Longines, TAG Heuer and Oris have a good and decent build quality, and are preferable to Certina. The Certina DS Action Diver does have a slightly flimsy clasp and slightly flimsy diver’s extension.

      If you want a mid-range water resistance – that is 300 m/1000 feet, go with Longines or TAG Heuer.

      If you want to pit Longines against TAG Heuer: they are equal in terms of build quality and movements, TAG Heuer is more famous due to marketing. TAG Heuer is sportier, Longines is more elegant and mature. “The man on the street” would probably go with TAG Heuer, due to its fame, while connoisseurs value Longines a lot more than TAG Heuer, due to Longines’ history.

      My personal favorite brand of the four alternative Swiss brands that you mentioned: Longines.

      Which watch, model or brand sings to your heart the most? That’s the question you need to ask yourself. Opt for the watch that you love the most. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of the brands.

      If you’re interested in shopping, Longines, TAG Heuer and Oris are available on this website, while Certina most likely will be added in the future.

      Good luck!
      Cheers
      Alexander

      Reply
      1. Madhusudhan

        Dear Alexander ,
        Thanks a lot for your excellent reply / explanation. You clarified all my doubts . Especially i like your comparison study of Certain DS Vs Rolex , this really indicates your vast experience on Swiss watches not only on high end model but also low end and entry level . I probably choose Hydro or Tag
        Once again thanks a lot

        Regards,
        Madhu

        Reply
        1. Alexander Post author

          Dear Madhusudhan,

          You’re most welcome and I’m glad I could help. Longines HydroConquest and TAG Heuer Aquaracer are both available for purchase on this website. The prices here are below retail price, and either you’ll get amazon’s warranty, or you’ll get the manufacturer’s warranty. You’ll find the shopping menu at the top of the page or in the upper right corner.

          Good luck!
          Regards
          Alexander

          Reply
          1. Madhusudhan

            Dear Alexander ,
            What’s your opinion on watch dial colors for example suppose is there are any particular preferred ones for diving or sports or dress ? Brief explanation would be good since i could not find this info exclusively emphasized in your blogs . Finally i know its individual preference , but i would like here your view also . My preference is dive watch with Black dial .

            Regards,
            Madhu

          2. Alexander Post author

            Dear Madhusudhan,

            There is no preferred watch dial color, although black and blue are the most common colors you’ll find. My view is this: if you want a more conservative look – go with black. If you want a watch dial with slightly more zing, go with blue. It depends on your personality and your preference. Black is the most common watch dial color.

            Regards
            Alexander

  16. George Joannou

    Hi Alexander
    Your article on how to choose a timepiece is very informative and full of good advice. I prefer swiss high end brand divers watches for their reliability , ruggedness , practicality and sporty looks . I own an Omega Seamaster 300m professional diver model 1190 , great and accurate timepiece and would like to buy a Rolex submariner and I am torn between the date and no date models. The price variation between these two models is not an issue for me what I can’t decide on is which movement i.e. the 3330 or the 3335 is the better one. Granted both Rolex movements have been around for many years and are reliable and robust movements , also the Submariner with the date and magnifier is perhaps the most iconic of the two but I would like to know your opinion on this matter. Date or no date??? Thanks in anticipation of your reply.
    Regards
    George Joannou.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi George and welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      Rolex Submariner Date or No Date – they are both excellent and iconic timepieces. The original Submariners launched in 1953, had no date function. The Rolex Submariners of the 1950s and early 1960s had no date function. The Rolex Submariner got the date function later on in the late 60s if I’m not mistaken.

      If you want the original, cleaner and minimalistic look – go with the Rolex Submariner No Date. This gives you an excellent dial symmetry.

      If you absolutely need a date function, go with the Rolex Submariner Date.

      The questions really hinges on whether or not you need a date function. Hard core collectors opt for the Rolex Submariner No Date, while most people who are interested in the Rolex Submariner, tend to opt for the Rolex Submariner Date. There is no right and wrong here George. If this is your first Rolex, I’d suggest the Rolex Submariner Date, but if you already have a Rolex in your collection and you are already a seasoned veteran Rolex owner, I’d suggest the Rolex Submariner No Date.

      Which watch sings to your heart the most? That’s the question you need to ask yourself. Opt for the watch that you love the most.

      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply
      1. George Joannou

        Thanks Alexander for your prompt and very helpful reply. I have decided to buy the Submariner with the date complication.

        Regards
        George.

        Reply
        1. Alexander Post author

          You’re most welcome George.

          Best regards
          Alexander

          Reply
  17. Martin

    Hi Alexander
    Love your website, I must say.
    What do you think about Seiko Astron?
    I know it is not Swiss watch, it is not a dive watch and it is not mechanical but I just want to see what you think of it.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Thanks Martin and welcome to swissdiverswatches.com.

      Despite that Seiko Astron doesn’t fall into the category of watches that I promote on my website, I can honestly say that this is a great watch. You can’t go wrong with this one. Granted it’s not Swiss and I do prefer Swiss watches in most cases, but the Seiko Astron is an impressive timepiece. Seiko is most likely the Nr 1 Japanese watch brand of all time.

      Seiko Astron is a true technological wonder. Seiko Astron is the very first Seiko quartz watch. A completely unique breed of watches that receive GPS signals from satellites, and thus the technology guarantees the accuracy of the watch anywhere in the world. Seiko didn’t start the GPS technology but very few watches use this technology. Seiko Astron is also unique because it uses solar light to power the battery.

      The price range of Seiko Astron is equivalent to brands such as TAG Heuer, Oris, Breitling and Omega. As far as price range is concerned, Seiko Astron truly stands out from the crowd among most Japanese watches. Seiko Astron is absolutely a more upscale family within the Seiko brand.

      The most commonly used materials for the cases and the bracelets, are stainless steel, ceramic and titanium. Stainless steel is standard for most watch brands while titanium and ceramic are considerably more unusual. This means that Seiko Astron tends to use quite unusual materials. Not even Breitling and Rolex use ceramic cases. Breitling uses titanium to a certain extent. Jaeger LeCoultre and Hublot use quite often ceramics for their cases, so Seiko Astron truly is a very unique breed of watches.
      The case diameter of these watches ranges from 41mm up to 50mm, 47mm being the most common diameter – so people will definitely notice the watch on your wrist – that’s for sure.

      The dial is very legible and if you’ve ever held a Seiko Astron in your hands, you’ll notice that the dial is very three dimensional.

      The downside of Seiko Astron – and this could be said of most Japanese watches – is that this is a very complicated watch and maybe not as user friendly as most people would desire. You do need to spend lots of time reading the manual to figure out all the functions and how to use them.

      The depth rating is 100 meters/330 feet so their watches are suitable for swimming and snorkeling, so you can absolutely use these watches for water sports.

      Considering what you pay for Seiko Astron you do get lots of value for the money – despite that Seiko isn’t Swiss.
      This is the honest and humble opinion of a fan of Swiss Made divers watches.

      Best regards
      Alex

      Reply
  18. Judith

    Great website with tons of useful information, excellent videos and advice even for the most avid fans of Swiss watches. I will highly recommend it to friends with an interest in Swiss watches.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Judith and welcome to Swiss Divers Watches! I’m very glad that you find the site useful. Your friends are always welcome to pay a visit – I’d be more than happy to help them out.
      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply
  19. Daniel

    Excellent and well-structured site with invaluable information and advice on Swiss divers watches.
    A true goldmine for any serious Swiss divers watch collector!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Daniel and welcome! Yes I’ve tried to make the site as user friendly as possible. I’m glad you like the site!
      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply
  20. Anand Tosawar

    Having 14 rolex consisting of daytona,yacht master,sub,gmt,15000,1601,1803,bubble back,airking etc together with some omegas bumper movement,561,565 in 18k pie pan dial etc all that started from a desire to posses a rolex and became a endless task to collect I think for my self that a I m a little bit of mental. it gives me tremendous joy to look at my watches wear it changing every 3-4 days I m not going to sell any of them rolex makes a very similar designs through many years and the designs are applicable to modern era this is the master trick of the company but very sad that rolex is not making complication watches now which they had earlier and I’m not having that crono stop with calendar as the old vintage pieces are extremely extremely costly
    VERY GLAD TO READ YOUR ARTICLE AND BY READING I CAME TO KNOW THAT ALL WATCH LOVERS HAVE THE SAME TONE ENJOYING THE JOY OF POSSESSiNG thanks Anand Tosawar kolkata india

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Anand and welcome to Swiss Divers Watches!
      I’ve got to say that’s an impressive collection you’ve got! Yeah, Rolex usually doesn’t make any complications – they keep their portfolio limited but excellent. Rolex focuses on stellar and yet simple meat and potatoes movements designed with the basics in mind – hour-, minute-, second hands and a date window. Jaeger LeCoultre, “The Holy Trinity”, Breguet, IWC, etc do offer complications.
      Pleasure having you here!
      Alexander

      Reply
  21. Cindy

    Very detailed information on questions to ask before buying a Swiss watch. The explanation you provide for each question really clarifies the information.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Cindy and welcome to Swiss Divers Watches.
      I’m glad that I’ve provided useful information for you. Once the site is ready, don’t hesitate to contact me for advice – I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply
  22. Andrea Roa

    I found your post very interesting even though I’m not someone that gives too much for watches. It is so interesting to see all the features a watch lover might consider before getting a watch. Now all the high prices make sense to me!

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Andrea and welcome to Swiss Divers Watches!
      I’m glad you find the post interesting and helpful.
      Telling the truth, there are many Swiss brands offering timepieces well below $1000, so a Swiss watch doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune. For example: You can easily find Tissot, Certina and Victorinox timepieces within the price range of $300-$500. You can also find Longines timepieces below $1000.

      Once the site is ready, don’t hesitate to contact me for advice – I’ll be more than happy to help you out.

      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply
  23. Tony

    Great presentation and good insight into watches. I love rolex and omega watches. The design, style and the prestige that goes with it is had to rival. Worth reading.

    Reply
    1. Alexander Post author

      Hi Tony!
      Glad you like it. Yes Rolex and Omega are definitely two brands worth looking into.
      Once the website is ready and you would like some advice on what timepiece you should opt for, don’t hesitate to contact me – I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
      Best regards
      Alexander

      Reply

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