Display Case Back: how much does this factor into your love for a watch?

I love a beautifully decorated display case back. I love knowing that there’s a world of wonder underneath my watch that a casual observer wouldn’t get to see, but that only I get to enjoy. It feels like I’m getting a glimpse into this awesome behind the scenes of how things work and it’s magical! 

And I have to admit, it factors into my purchasing choices. I love this Stowa Chronograph, perhaps more than I should. Technically, it’s nothing to write home about. A commodity movement. Not a column wheel chronograph. But look at that display case back! 😍😍 Sure, you’re not going to find beveled edges or fine detailing. But at this price point, you shouldn’t expect that anyway. 

Which is probably why I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on a Speedy. The choice between the heritage of the Hesalite model, versus the display back of the Sapphire sandwich is too difficult a choice for me to make. :) 

How about you? Does a display case back factor into your watch choices? And what are some of the most notably display case backs you’ve seen or have in your collection?

EDIT: this Stowa was the first “nice” mechanical watch I ever purchased. And I was won over by the display case back. I didn’t know then, as I know now, the level of finishing possible in a movement. But even now as I look at this watch, I still feel a fondness for it because of this display case back that got me into the watch world. :) 

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It definitely helps but it’s not a deal maker/breaker for me   

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I really appreciate a display caseback when the movement is attractive enough to be displayed. I had opted for the 3861 sapphire sandwich based on the display caseback, since it's a fairly nice looking movement. 

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Negatively for me. Steel is more comfortable than glass, and tougher too. I basically never look at the back of any watch* and the only thing that really moves is the balance spring. That holds one's attention for all of ten seconds or so. Besides, with a bracelet you can't really see much without dismantling it anyway.

I've only got one, a Seiko 5, and I basically forget the back is glass.

*Well, wrist watch. The key wound pocket watch requires looking at the back to wind.

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It has zero impact on my purchase choices. In fact I have twice opted for steel over glass for reasons of durability.

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Indifferent bordering on negative when it cause the watch to be thicker.

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I have one watch with a clear case back. It’s kind of cool for a minute, but as others have said, you can’t see it while wearing and after the novel wears off it’s only downside. makes zero impact to my buying decision. If a watch I like had one, cool, if it doesn’t, cool . The dial, comfort while wearing and looks on the wrist is so much more important 

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It was a huge factor when I got into a hobby, to the point that I wouldn't consider buying a mechanical without an open case back.

Now, it's a pleasant surprise. I don't mind closed backs especially if they're undecorated.

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How about you? Does a display case back factor into your watch choices?

It has and it will, but it's not a deal breaker either way. 

My most recent open caseback...

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My favorite open case back...

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OscarKlosoff

Negatively for me. Steel is more comfortable than glass, and tougher too. I basically never look at the back of any watch* and the only thing that really moves is the balance spring. That holds one's attention for all of ten seconds or so. Besides, with a bracelet you can't really see much without dismantling it anyway.

I've only got one, a Seiko 5, and I basically forget the back is glass.

*Well, wrist watch. The key wound pocket watch requires looking at the back to wind.

I agree, also steel casebacks tend to make the watch thinner, which I also prefer.

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Honestly I would rather have a steel caseback as the watch would be thinner than with glass.  I could see though that if I had a really beautiful movement inside the appeal of glass and maybe I would want that if the movement was really stunning. 

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Haha my thoughts almost mirror @nytime . Initially the glass back was a main feature I considered. I thought it's super cool to see the movement.

Ironically it took me almost 10y after first considering a mechanical watch until I actually bought a watch with an open caseback... a Seiko 5 of all things.

I must have been fortunate that there weren't many watches I liked with a clear case because now I actually prefer nice steel casebacks. For newcomers I think "movement watchting" might be more exciting. I may feel differently if I had a Datograph or Triple Split but since that won't happen I guess I'm good with closed backs for the forseeable future.

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Not really but I have a couple of pieces with a display back,and occasionally I look at the movement doing its thing and imagine a little man lent over a bench putting all this together and making magic happen. Mind you one of mine is a seiko 5 so maybe I should think of a robot,but hey its nice to imagine and to see one in action...magic. But truth be told its never really factored in my choices.

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I generally try and avoid display backs.  They make the watch thicker than it needs to be and I dislike the feel of glass on my wrist.

A lot of them showcase a cheaper Seiko or Miyota movement which doesn't even look good in the first place. 

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I'm a fairly new enthusiast so it may change in the future but I definitely enjoy having a display caseback and prefer it over watches without, but they are not the majority factor in why I would get a specific watch.  I wear a garmin or casio for fitness/outdoor activities, so I see everything else as functional jewelry for the most part and having that display back adds a bit more of a hidden "sparkle" for me.

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For me, nice display casebacks are still a treat, even after many years of collecting.  My favorite is still my JLC Master Geographic with the rose gold rotor.

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I still geek out over this one.

But for the most part, I think they're somewhat superfluous.  A 4R35 movement is frankly not that good looking (even though the turning gears and balance wheel are still super cool).

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I love it