Getting started with mechanical watches

Hey there!

I’m looking to buy my first mechanical watch. Up until now for most of my life (40yo btw) I’ve mostly worn either swatches or lately some rendition of the apple watch. 

Now I would like to get into mechanical watches and am torn between the Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium and the Seiko Alpinist SPB121J1. Are there any major differences in quality, wearability, reliability etc between the two or are they pretty equally matched? 

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Hey there back at ya and congrats on finding your way to the hobby and your first mechanical watch!

I think both are fantastic options but if I had to pick of the two, I’d probable lean towards the Hamilton if only because it’s titanium. It’ll be lighter and as such might wear similarly to those Swatches. Just my two cents of course, good luck on the decision… you won’t go wrong with either of those options!

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Another vote for Hamilton here.

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Can’t go wrong with either but Hamilton gets my vote

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Hamilton is lovely ! 

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The Seiko will feel more dressy and substantial.  You should get both.  

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Hi 👋

Both great watches. Have you had chance to try either on? I find that a lot of times I watch will either speak to you or it won't when it's on the wrist 👍

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Swiss Army makes some great affordable entry-level mechanicals.  Maybe something to consider. I bought one of those as an entry-level mechanical over 15 years ago and it still runs great even though it has only been serviced once. 
 

I have never owned a Hamilton khaki field but have looked at them in the store and was underwhelmed.  I have owned two seikos and been more impressed with them after having hands on so I would lean toward the alpinist. 
 

You should definitely go check out watches in person if you have the chance. Something you like online, you may hate in person or vice versa. 

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Timex automatic with Miyota movement - a true workhorse movement 💯

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Out of the two, if it was me, I’d go with the Hamilton. Great watches and some models have a 70 hour power reserve which I’m sure you will appreciate if you don’t wear a watch every day 👍

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Park both of them in some Wishlist. 

Watch countless youtube videos on watches in general.

Look at your Wishlist after 3-6 months time.

Check if which one of them you like more. :)

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I don't know much of the two models you mentioned, but I do have a few Seikos. If you have a budget approachin  400 you can get some sensational automatics. Lots of choice in the Seiko range. Welcome aboard!

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Field watch, huh? How about one of these:

Model34971

It is understated. Sometimes you just have to dream big.

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Hamilton is an outstanding brand. You get a lot of watch for the money. 

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The great thing about this hobby is that it is all based on your own preferences. What looks great to someone might not appeal to someone else. With that being said, my opinion is biased because I am a big Seiko fan. 

The alpinist has a dial that you could just get lost in. You also have that internal rotating bezel. According to the specs (Hamilton) though Hamilton has a longer power reserve by about 10 hours (80 hours total) while the alpinist has double the hamiltons diving capability(Alpinist) (20 Bar/200 meters/ 662 feet). 

Go with the seiko.

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Welcome to the rabbit hole 👏

I'm sure you did your research and that's how you came down to those two and they are both great.

My question would be why don't you start with something cheaper if it's your first mechanical. May be mechanical won't be your cup of tea after all. I started with seiko 5 and then went up then down the price ladder. 

By wetting my feet with the cheapest option it made me know I love mechanical and I want more. If I did not love it, I would haven't felt too guilty spending too much money experimenting.

Have you looked at swatch sistem51 or many of the other cheaper options using miyota movements? If you did and the end result was the 2 watches you mentioned I would go with the Seiko. Seiko never let me down.

Just remember, if you get lured into this hobby this won't be your last watch. And no matter what you choose, you will enjoy it and you won't go wrong.

I apologize for the long rant 😁

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I would personally give the wearability edge to the hamilton. But I'd recommend trying stuff on in stores to see what you like. I've been wowed by watches in person that I'd never given the time of day before.