14 February 2012

The Auto-Chrono

A Tag Heuer Carrera is a beautiful watch. Likewise is an Omega Speedmaster (I pledged to fill this site with things that I love. It just so happens that I love, and have loved for as long as I can remember, wristwatches).  But with automatic movements, these watches with a chronograph feature are $2,000 (used) on the cheap side.

A couple of years ago I passed up the chance to buy a used but in like-new condition Hamilton Jazzmaster chronograph for $450. I didn't think about the fact that the Swiss Valjoux chronograph movement that gave life to that watch would cost $400 by itself, with no watch built around it! Skipping out on that purchase is something that I regret to this day.

I have since been on the hunt for an automatic chronograph, and I finally found one that captured my fancy. My last post mentioned my new appreciation for vintage Seiko watches, and this beautiful Seiko Chronograph manufactured in January of 1977 is the newest member of my collection. It is in near-mint condition, which is impressive for a watch that is 35 years old, and it very closely resembles the aforementioned Swiss-Made watches.

Now don't think that I am dogging Swiss brands... I will at some point be writing about at least one, but this Japanese automatic chronograph is built like a tank, and its 21 jewel movement is very accurate. It bears timeless and classic style, and with a midnight blue dial and leather band, I'll never have to worry about which color shoes or belt I pair it with.

Let's face it... a watch is really more about form than function. Our cell phones will tell us what time is is, and if the accuracy of a time piece was what we were concerned with we'd all be wearing $10 quartz watches anyway! The important thing about a watch is that it makes the person who wears it happy and serves his (or her) purpose, and my Seiko fits the bill to a "T".

P.W.

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