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On The Hunt For A Watch – Part 1

Being a “GearJunkie” can be relentless for those that have ever attempted to satisfy a gear craving. My fellow junkies can relate all too well. That moment when you see something that catches your eye or someone brings to your attention of that “thing” that might need an upgrade. It’s these familiar moments your switched on and tuned in – your new hunt begins.

For me watches have always been a category of gear compendium where I’ve never truly felt satisfied. I’ve come to a point in my collecting (or gear progression) that I’ve started to upgrade existing items rather than acquiring new additions. Through this strategy I quickly realized that it was time I elevated my watch game.

iphone

Is there anyone that doesn’t own a smartphone these days?

Certainly in today’s world with smartphones and tech built into almost everything many go without a wristwatch and some quite possibly believe that they’re obsolete. Matter-a-factly, watches have been around for over 500 years and although the technology had evolved and a basic watch may seem outdated, the craftsmanship and quality that goes into watch making is timeless. In fact, it is that intricate and precise craftsmanship which intrigues people and keeps mechanical watches alive today.

History always repeats itself…I’ve heard this saying my whole life, and we all know there is truth to this statement. Watches represent different sentiments and symbolize different things to each and everyone one of us. To some they are very personal, maybe a form of status or style. To others a watch could be symbolic to an accomplishment, a special date or an occasion; such as a wedding present or graduation gift. Some watches are iconic pieces of memorabilia that were or can be handed down generation to generation. Watch brands and companies have marketed these statements of timelessness for years, and it may be wise to never underestimate the power of nostalgia that one wears on their wrists.

breitling watch

Breitling makes some incredible watches …

Now let me tell you, doing research on watches and already being a “gear guy” can put your bank account in a very tempting or daring situation. Knowing this I have set out goals or specific guidelines to focus on what I am looking for to keep myself grounded, or at the very least make a fair attempt. Obviously there are companies that instantly stood out; Rolex, Omega, IWC, Breitling, Panerai. I found it very easy to get sidetracked in this hunt, when watch marketing is done exquisitely well. Here is how my “points” guided me to what I wanted, and saved me money.

I wanted a watch that was first a solid mechanical movement, for those that haven’t delved into this hunt yet, in layman’s terms a non-battery operated watch. Not that there is anything wrong with a Quartz (battery) movement, in fact most quartz movements are more accurate than automatic movements, but for me I find something special about a mechanical movement.

The 42 mm wide Aquatimer Automatic from IWC.

The 42 mm wide Aquatimer Automatic from IWC.

I narrowed down the field pretty quickly again by choosing a larger face diameter size. I found that a 41mm to 44mm diameter case was the sweet spot for my wrist size and preference. I feel this point could be easily overlooked while shopping, specifically via the Internet, so I suggest wearing several sizes no matter the brand to help narrow down the best size for you. Now it’s time to decide which band is right for you. Deciding if you want a solid strap or bracelet on a watch is another serious aesthetic to overcome and may narrow down your search. I chose a 22mm width band. This decision I feel should be based on; comfort, style, and functionality, all conditions the wearer will personalize. When utilizing these points I was able to quickly wade through the vast market available, save time and energy while shopping.

My last point is the most important. I didn’t want a watch that would sit in a display cabinet or in my safe. I wanted a watch I could wear daily and appreciate in my daily activities without worrying if it had a scratch yet still have the aforementioned items. This preference is obviously subjective to the wearer and how they wish to utilize a watch in their daily lifestyle.

Sinn U1

Photo credit : SCM64 on The Dive Watch Connection

After months of searching and narrowing the field I found a German watch company called Sinn. Sinn has been around since 1961 and over the years has grown to be widely respected in the watch world. They pioneered the use of oil in watches for use in deeper water diving. I also discovered that Sinn is also owned and managed by the former production manager of IWC, Lothar Schmidt. One of the key things that attracted me to this company is how they pride themselves on not just the quality of their pieces but also their resiliency. They are known to function well while maintaining that attractiveness. I ended up acquiring a Sinn U1, and within the short time I’ve owned this watch I can already tell I’m extremely confident with my decision and still pleased with my choice. I will follow-up with a more in-depth review.

This watch hunt was not only fun but also an educational experience. I ended up learning a great deal of new information and developed a deeper appreciation for watches and their history.

So, what watch are you wearing or are you after?

Stay tuned for my in-depth follow-up review of the Sinn U1.

Written by

Michael is a true GearJunkie at heart. Growing up across the United States, he has experienced a wide birth of outdoor environments and climates. His passion for all things gear and the outdoors began at an early age in Boy Scouts, which continued with an enlistment in the U.S. Army after high school. Moving into the civilian world, Michael’s career as a Quality Control Specialist has helped him develop a keen sense of detail that has translated into a driving passion for the highest quality equipment and the yearning to push it to its limits. Utilizing social media and both web and mobile technologies to build digital communities, Michael is the founder of the Facebook groups TADjunkies and GearJunkies. You can also find his his reviews on firearms, knives, and various outdoor gear on his YouTube Channel (SouthCarolinaMike). When not involved on the interwebs or stress testing new kit, you can find him working on his FJ Cruiser build, savoring a fine cigar, or engaged in enthralling conversation with fellow enthusiasts.

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