What is a good inexpensive everyday watch

3 inexpensive vintage watches for beginners

When it comes to watches, good advice is expensive. Especially when you ask watch experts which timepiece you should buy. It doesn't matter whether you inquire about a new or a vintage watch. As a rule, the recommendations of the experts and passionate watch collectors are in price categories of several thousand euros. The most common recommendations are likely to be luxury watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe & Co - not least because of their high value retention and appreciation. But not everyone can and wants to afford watches for such a high price. Especially not if he is just starting out as a collector.

While in watch circles, timepieces around 1,000 euros are still considered cheap and supposedly the lowest limit for a good wristwatch, with this article I would like to reduce the price limit for the beginning collector to a much more pleasant level. I would like to recommend some watch models that I started my collection with years ago. These wristwatches are all under a price of 500 euros. Yes, even under 300 euros. And with a little patience and luck, one or the other can be had for less than 100 euros. You don't even have to do without a well-known brand name, reputation or a beautiful clockwork: I'm talking about Vintage models with charm and real Retro look of omega, Tissot and the watch brand that I think is greatly underestimated Seiko.

And one more argument in favor of these affordable vintage models: They have not lost any of their value in recent years either. On the contrary - I saw an increase in value in all of them. In my estimation they are Vintage watches are the better savings accounts and stocks anyway.

But back to our entry-level watches. As far as the movements are concerned, everything is represented: from manual winding to quartz to automatic. One of the wristwatches even has a complication: a mechanical alarm clock. And some works, or some parts of the work, are red gold-plated and particularly beautiful to look at - but more on that later. The watches and model tips in this article are primarily intended to provide inspiration and encouragement to start a collection - without spending too much money and taking too much risk when buying. Everyone starts small. And collecting old watches always goes hand in hand with gaining experience. And between us: You shouldn't pay dearly for that either.

So let's start with the first recommendation:

Watches for beginners tip # 1: Omega Seamaster (quartz)

This Omega watch is available in many variations. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a Seamaster. There are also the Geneve, Constellation and De Ville series from Omega on. Depending on taste and wallet. Personally, I like the Seamaster models best. So a few years ago I bought these two watches with leather straps and classic design from Omega from the 70s and 80s:

Back then, I got the two watches for less than 100 euros. Today's price range is likely to be around 200 to 300 euros on average. These are still reasonable prices for a vintage Omega watch.

The mechanical models are usually more expensive - and no less recommendable. On the contrary.

Tip to buy: Always take a look at the condition of the movement or have a photo sent if you want to buy the watch online. A quartz watch can run out of battery and, in the worst case, ruin the movement. With a mechanical wristwatch, even a layman can immediately tell whether a movement is dirty or rusted due to the ingress of water.

Watches for Beginners Tip # 2: Tissot Seastar

This men's watch with a leather strap and stainless steel case is a beautiful and very affordable entry into the mechanical world of vintage watches. Under the search term "Tissot Seastar" you will find, as with the Omega Seamaster, numerous variants of the wristwatch in the really beautiful and classic design of the 60s and 70s. Often they still have the addition "Seven". Here is a hand-wound Seastar from my collection:

Seastar models are easily available for less than 150 euros. Some even under 100 euros. My conclusion: ideal for entering the world of vintage watches.

Tip to buy: Please pay attention to the information on the size and diameter of this - and all other recommended here - watches. Because: In the 1960s, small men's watches were very trendy and chic. In such cases, “small” means well below 35 millimeters. For example, the wristwatch shown is around 32 millimeters and, according to today's understanding, fits more on a woman's wrist. For comparison: men's models today start with a diameter of around 40 millimeters. Often they are also far higher. And a few millimeters can make a big difference on the wrist - so it is essential to inquire beforehand or put on the watch.

Watches for Beginners Tip # 3: Seiko Bell-Matic

In my opinion, Seiko is one of the most underrated watch brands. When it comes to the Japanese watch manufacturer, the majority probably think of cheap quartz and digital watches. In fact, the Japanese are using the "Grand Seiko" one of the most accurate mechanical watches (chronometers) in the world - and has been for decades. Only one wristwatch from this collection was not available in Europe for a long time and was therefore unknown. And as far as the prices are concerned, they are also on the level of luxury watches. But the next tip shouldn't be about these expensive copies. Rather, I want one mechanical wristwatch with automatic movement and complication recommend. More precisely: with an integrated mechanical alarm clock. And this is what the wrist alarm clock looks like with a stainless steel case and striped bracelet from my collection:

The best: This men's watch is (still) available for less than 200 euros. With a little luck, even less than 100 euros. For a wristwatch with a mechanical alarm clock and automatic movement, this is an unbeatable price-performance ratio.

Tip to buy: Even if a Seiko wristwatch is undoubtedly good, it should not be forgotten that such a model was often used on the wrist as an everyday watch and purely as a commodity for several decades. Its condition is also corresponding, the watch can be worn and used. That is why you should always look carefully here and above all pay attention to the condition of the dial, the movement and the functions. So much for the tips for beginners and a quick look at my watch collection.

Copyright photos: zeigr.com | Theodossios Theodoridis

Theodossios Theodoridis, born in 1972, runs the watch blog zeigr.com. He has been a passionate watch collector for over 25 years. He likes to collect vintage watches and chronographs. His main occupation is a freelance PR consultant in Hamburg. After completing his philosophy degree, he volunteered at a well-known agency for product and brand PR in the late 1990s. He then worked for eight years as a PR manager at a leading company in the entertainment / games industry. He has been working as a freelancer since 2008.

Tags: wristwatch, Grand Seiko, Omega Seamaster, Omega watches, quartz watch, retro watch, Seiko, Tissot, Tissot Seastar, vintage watches
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