NWA: A Descent into Madness

The what is pretty simple.  I bought a beautiful two tone Breitling for my wife, the first Breitling either of us has ever owned.  

But as with most things, the what isn't particularly interesting.  The why and the how, that's where things heat up.

It probably should go without saying, but I've bought a lot of watches in my life.  Not as many as some here, but a number that is in the high dozens or (God forbid) the low hundreds. 

I've bought pricey watches and cheap watches.  I've bought Japanese, German, Swiss, American, Chinese.  I do not discriminate.  I've bought from boutiques, ADs, and grey marketeers alike (with positive and negative experiences across all of them).  

I even think I'm pretty good at buying them for gifts.  A couple years ago, I bought my wife a Tank Solo in Small, with a black strap for autumn and winter and an orange strap for spring and summer.  It has not left her wrist in three years, so I think I did pretty good.

Anyway, a couple months ago, I asked for your collective help in figuring out watch I could purchase for my wife .  My criteria.
 

Requirements:

  1.  Quartz
  2. Strap monster
  3.  35mm or smaller
  4. No diamonds.

Bonuses:

  1. Two tone - Yellow gold preferred but cool with rose gold too.
  2.  Dial colors okay

Preferably under $6000.

And, man did you guys deliver!.  All of your advice was wise and extraordinarily helpful (special shout out to @TonyXXX, @flo_of_time, @Velomax, and @MegaBob  for answering the prompt very well and very specifically).

But because I am an idiot, I promptly decided to ignore your excellent advice and start just buying watches that I thought might work.  This has been, shall we say, a journey.

I feel like it's important to describe who I am trying to buy for.  Among her many extraordinary qualities (beauty, brains, and attitude in abundance) is a single flaw; my wife cares exceptionally little for watches.  She wears one, she wants it to look good and has little time (pun intended) for the vagaries of complication, water resistance, etc.

In many respects, I admire the hell out of this.  It is the attitude of someone who literally has a million better things to do than think about these tiny mechanical objects on our wrists.

Still, I nurse this beautiful little hope that I might find a watch that would fit exactly what she wants and needs, thereby causing her to fall in love with watch collecting as much as I do.

Because, you know, that's totally how that works.

Anyway, the prompt was simple.  She has two dress watches already and I wanted to get her a classy sportswatch.  Easy right?

Like any responsible human being, I went to a couple of ADs to look at things and promptly found a number of them backordered and thought "You know what?  I'm a smart and good-looking watch buying individual.  Surely I can find something on the vast store shelf that is the internet that my wife will like."

Let's start simple!  A Tissot PRX.  Already a watch geek classic and, particularly in the beautiful light blue.  Stylish, clean and well proportioned.   I even managed to negotiate a nice discount from a grey market seller.  How could you go wrong?

This might be the Tissot PRX 35 you've been waiting for...

I gave it to her two weeks ago.....and she immediately hated it.  While she enjoyed the look, she felt the integrated bracelet made the watch feel chunky on her wrist, despite the 35mm diameter.  Also, she felt the light blue was entirely too look specific....she wanted something in a far more neutral tone. 

Lesson learned: integrated bracelets wear big.  She prefers neutral colors.  Return label printed and shipped back.

Not one to be deterred, I decided to go with a microbrand this time around, Abingdon Watch and specifically, their Elise GMT.  

Cards completely on the table, I absolutely love this watch.  It feels exceptionally solid for a quartz, with a very pleasant weightiness.  The finish is great in person.  Also, hello, GMT complication in a sub 12mm case! 

Elise Watch

Turns out, she doesn't care about GMTs either.  More specifically, the compressor style case simply didn't appeal to her (and she felt it hit her wrist a little oddly) and more pressingly was out of proportion given the 33mm diameter and 12mm height.

Another lesson learned: just because it looks slim to me, doesn't mean it's slim for her.  Also, sometimes folks don't care about complications (.....heathens).   Return label printed and shipped back.

And then just a couple of weeks ago, the circumstances got thrown for a loop.

You see, because she is the wonderful, accomplished person that she is, she was just promoted to the C-suite of her company (long overdue I might add). An awesome boss lady deserves an awesome boss lady watch.

So now the pressure is really on. Not from her, mind you, she's pretty much convinced that my scrounging around the internet for a watch is lunacy and would be more than satisfied with a card or a nice dinner or a couple hours away from the children. All the pressure is from me, because now the watch is a MILESTONE WATCH, with all of the great weight that that means to a watch nerd.

And you know what?  What better to celebrate milestones than Grand Seiko?  Zaratsu polishing, High Accuracy Quartz, classic Grand Seiko case design.  How could I possibly go wrong?

Armed with this confidence, I picked up an in stock STGF359 from my friendly AD and rushed it home to get her inevitable approval.

New arrival for my wife: Grand Seiko STGF359 Snowflake - Rolex Forums -  Rolex Watch Forum

And she said, "It looks too much like your watch (SBGA429 Soko Shadow)." Crushed again.

Snowflake - SBGA211 and STGF359 - GS9 Club | Grand Seiko : GS9 Club | Grand  Seiko

By this time, I had become a bit gun shy.  The clerk at the local FedEx had become a sympathetic and familiar face, openly wondering why all these companies couldn't get my order right. I didn't have to heart to tell him the truth.

Dear reader, you have to understand.  I am very rarely hesitant about buying watches.  I buy first, think later.  I spend far more time backwards rationalizing my watch purchases than actually considering them in the first place.  That I would even consider stopping or slowing suggests just how lost I felt. We are talking about a serious case of the watch buying yips.

Anyway, in this moment of despair I revisited the old thread and, to hedge my bets, showed her a picture of it just to be certain.

The winner and recipient of my undying thanks is @Pete_NSOW for absolutely nailing the prompt and providing the ultimate watch suggestion.

Image

Pictured straight from the dealer (via a grey marketeer and eBay) is a brand new Breitling Chronomat 32 in Rose gold and Steel, priced at 36% below MSRP.  Giving up a two year Breitling warranty doesn't feel like too much of an impact for the level of discount.

She's too modest for a wrist shot, so you get my too large-in-comparison wrist instead. 

Image

This watch is honestly gorgeous.  The champagne sunburst dial is classy, the crenellated rose gold bezel is interesting without being loud,  and the rouleaux bracelet is straight out of the high 80s.  I think this is a watch design that will age well over time, largely because of the simplicity of the dial and, contrary to almost every other Breitling I've ever seen, it is quietly elegant.  It even matches her jewelry!

Also, thermo compensated super quartz (15 seconds of variation a year) and no crazy chronograph functions so I can't imagine there being too many mechanical glitches along the way.  

I still hate their marketing but I really really like this watch.  I think this one is a keeper (and thank God too, I don't think I could have dealt with another round of these shenanigans).

And that, folks, is how you go crazy trying to buy a watch.

And, no she doesn't love watches anymore than she did.  But she's pretty happy with me.

I'll take it.

That watch is fantastic! It should also have a rotating bezel (the 36mm does), if she wants to time stuff. The Chronomat might be the closest thing to a current production TurnOGraph, which naturally makes it a great choice 馃槈

MegaBob

That watch is fantastic! It should also have a rotating bezel (the 36mm does), if she wants to time stuff. The Chronomat might be the closest thing to a current production TurnOGraph, which naturally makes it a great choice 馃槈

Sadly, the 32mm version doesn't have a rotating bezel, truly my only complaint.

But it's such a beautiful watch and the bracelet is superbly comfortable. 聽I'm getting ideas.....

Awesome!

Hey man, the last 2 photos don't seem to be loading. 聽All I see is this:

Image

The pics of the winner don't show for me...it's like getting to the end of a Joe Kenda story and the power cuts out

BtownB9

The pics of the winner don't show for me...it's like getting to the end of a Joe Kenda story and the power cuts out

Oh dang! 聽They are 聽showing up for me. 聽Reposting here. 聽Let me know if they show.

Image
Image

Got it....thanks! 聽That definitely is a goes with everything watch. 聽Great gift!

No pictures 馃が for some reason I can鈥檛 view them.

I鈥檝e been in your shoes my friend and went back and forth pulling out what little hair I have left out trying to impress my significant other and in the end and much to my dismay I caved in and purchased her a rose gold Apple Watch 鈱氾笍, disgusting I know, but you do what you have to to appease the wife/ finance minister.

No truer word was ever said than 鈥淗appy wife, happy life鈥澛

I still think a nice Sinn or Tutima would have been the way to go, but each to their own and it sounds like you have a winner 馃so mission accomplished 馃憦

HotWatchChick69

Awesome!

Hey man, the last 2 photos don't seem to be loading. 聽All I see is this:

Image

Reposted in the post and in the comments and it's showing up in chrome, internet explorer and firefox.....

HotWatchChick69

Awesome!

Hey man, the last 2 photos don't seem to be loading. 聽All I see is this:

Image

Try reloading the page again, I had the same problem but now I can view them 馃憤

TonyXXX

No pictures 馃が for some reason I can鈥檛 view them.

I鈥檝e been in your shoes my friend and went back and forth pulling out what little hair I have left out trying to impress my significant other and in the end and much to my dismay I caved in and purchased her a rose gold Apple Watch 鈱氾笍, disgusting I know, but you do what you have to to appease the wife/ finance minister.

No truer word was ever said than 鈥淗appy wife, happy life鈥澛

I still think a nice Sinn or Tutima would have been the way to go, but each to their own and it sounds like you have a winner 馃so mission accomplished 馃憦

Can you see them now? 聽I have them showing up in three different browsers but I don't have an iphone so safari is a who knows? 聽:))))))

Edge168n

Can you see them now? 聽I have them showing up in three different browsers but I don't have an iphone so safari is a who knows? 聽:))))))

Yep all good, I just reloaded the page and bingo 馃槈

Edge168n

Reposted in the post and in the comments and it's showing up in chrome, internet explorer and firefox.....

Yeah, shows up now!

LOL my gawd what a roller coaster. If you hit the nail on the head with the Tank Solo, in your shoes I might've gone for a small or medium two-tone Santos de Cartier or even a two-two Santos Dumont but that's a nice looking Breitling.

Rolexahoma

LOL my gawd what a roller coaster. If you hit the nail on the head with the Tank Solo, in your shoes I might've gone for a small or medium two-tone Santos de Cartier or even a two-two Santos Dumont but that's a nice looking Breitling.

Dude, I'm so broken right now.

Some additional context. 聽She owns two tanks already. 聽The Tank solo I bought her and a Tank Francaise with a Mother of Pearl dial...so Cartier is very well represented.

I once came home with a Santos de Cartier on my wrist borrowed from my friend (sort of to grease a potential future purchase) and she made fun of how it looked for a full fifteen minutes. 聽So that was definitely not going to be the winners choice.

I thought about the two tone Santos Dumont (even for myself at times) but it overlaps with what she already owns.

And so began the adventure......

Edge168n

Sadly, the 32mm version doesn't have a rotating bezel, truly my only complaint.

But it's such a beautiful watch and the bracelet is superbly comfortable. 聽I'm getting ideas.....

shame, I thought all would have it. With the dot and all the bigger models having the feature...聽

I tried the GMTs and they seem quite nice, I too liked the bracelet but I'm a fan of simple butterfly mechanisms so that is no surprise.