A Good Watch is Hard to Find

Apr 24, 2011

In the last 5 years I’ve mostly used my heart-rate monitor as my everyday watch. It wasn’t such a good idea when I used a Polar RS800 as it scratches real easy, and when I changed to a Garmin 405 CX it was a little too big, so I bought a Camel Active quartz watch for when I was not out running. Unfortunately that watch stopped working just after the warranty ran out… of course. Besides, I can’t enjoy something associated with the disgusting tobacco industry. In the mean time I had changed to a Suunto T6c heart-rate monitor, which wears well as a watch, it’s just too bad I don’t like it as a heart-rate monitor and prefer analog watches. I used the Sunnto for the past year or two, but I’ve recently changed to a Garmin FR60 for everything. It works, but it is ugly.

I would really like a nice watch to wear. It must be able to show the time, date and day displays are just nice-to-have features, and absolutely no chronographs and other sub-dials to clutter the dial. It must be reliable over the long term too, decades, and of course look great. And I really like simple sturdy dive watches for all the diving I don’t do. Simplicity always wins.

So in the last year I’ve been researching heavily, perhaps even obsessively.

I really like UTS watches, especially the UTS 1000 GMT Dive Watch. It is clearly designed by an engineer, and it shows.

UTS 1000 GMT Dive Watch

It doesn’t try to look like anything, it just tries to be efficient and sturdy, and I love that aesthetic. A very manly tool-watch. Add to that, that all UTS watches are hand-made by the German engineer Nicolaus Spinner in his shop in München and they really speak to my nerdy heart in a way few watches do.

There are a number of finishing options, dials and straps available for each model, from the 500M “baby” diver to the monstrous 3000M Diver. It is essentially bespoke watches; you can get whatever you want at fairly reasonable prices, all things considered.

The 1300€ 500M Diver is probably the most realistic one for me.

The Glycine Lagunare 1000 LE is a completely different kind of watch.

Glycine Lagunare Chronometer LE

The “LE” means Limited Edition, only 200 was made, and they’re hard to find. I think I saw one for sale for 2000€ in Italy, but that was a page that was 2 years old. But I suppose that’s the price if I happen to find one.

I like the internal bezel and its smooth overall look. It looks very Italian to me. The dial is 46 mm which I’d normally find too big, but in this case I think it looks great, it looks like it wears smaller than it is.

The standard, non-LE, Lagunare 1000 looks almost the same, except for the dial background which have the Glycine logo pattern, and I absolutely can’t stand that. Maybe someone could make a custom dial and install it for me. It would look almost like the LE model, and probably end up costing more — so not a great idea.

Another excellent watch is the Omega Seamaster 2254.50.00. Production was stopped in 2009, so it is hard to find too, but I’ve seen it for sale used at around 1300€.

Omega Seamaster 300 m Chronometer

This very particular model is the most beautiful Omega watch ever, mostly because of the shape of the hands, on the current Seamaster 300 m Chronometer both the hands and the markings on the bezel look much worse.

The cool thing about Omega is that they guarantee the availability of spare parts for 20 years after the production of a model ceases. The UTS and Glycine watches above use the ETA 2824-2 movement, which is one of the most common high quality movements, so I don’t think anyone will run out of spare parts for that one either, not in my lifetime. But I find it really cool that Omega stands behind their products like that.

While I save up, a Citizen Eco Drive Diver with an upgraded strap, or something like that, would have to do.


Last edited: May 1, 2016


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