Chrono Questions

Hey team, I've been thinking of adding a chronograph to my affordable watch collection and am trying to decide on which road to go down... If at all. I like the look of the Dan Henry mecaquartz watches but am unsure about how to maintain the watch etc. Is it basically a fashion watch? I love the history behind the Seagull 1963 but I am not sure about how long it would really last and don't love the idea of buying something that isn't serviceable... Feels like a waste. I know that the Omega reduced is very costly to service... So I looked into the Maen skymaster, but I don't know much about it. Are chronos just not right for me????

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You could look into the Islander Amerigraph chronographs that were just released this week. It's assembled in the US and has what seems to be a high quality American made quartz movement. 

The Seagull 1963 really is an amazing watch for the price if you want to experience a mechanical chronograph for less than $200.

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I am a big fan of the Dan Henry.  Given that it's a mechaquartz, you're unlikely going to need to service it in any meaningful respect for a decade or more.   Those Seiko mechaquartzes are pretty tanky. The only real mechanical movement is when you use the pushers which reduces wear significantly.  A competent watchmaker would likely be able to change those relatively limited gears though I have not tested the theory.

The seagull is a lovely watch in many respects but servicing will be hard.  Most watchmakers I know won't touch it because it's almost better to buy a new one than try to resucitate a dead one.

The Maen is going to be on the pricier side to service because of the Dubois Depraz chrono module.  If something goes wrong with the Chronograph, it generally requires full module replacement.  I have the same movement in my Cartier Roadster and the one time I did replace the module it was a $1k+ service.  I wouldn't expect that to happen at a very significant cadence (once in ten years for me) but just be aware.

As for option D, I love chronographs.  Everyone should have a chronograph.  They are a great fit for everyone and I will not hear of your slander, sir!

😉

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I say just get the Speedy reduced.  All chronographs are more expensive to service but with the speedy you have something that does not go out of style and has a lasting value.

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I have a DH 1964 and a Hemel Air League, and I once owned a Segull. You really cannot go wrong with any. I love all of them. I can't speak for the Maen, but From what I hear, they are solid. I also cannot speak for the Speedy ( I am a plebeian affordable watch collector), but as others have stated, it would be a special piece to add, and you could have it forever.

As a wild card pick, I have my eye on the Islander Amerigraph. Food for thought.

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If you're open to mechaquartz are you open to something like the Bulova Lunar Pilot? Not mechaquartz but a  great story, interesting (and highly accurate) movement and now available in 43mm if size was a concern. 

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I answered before even finishing the question! 😁

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I absolutely love DH. The quality is fantastic and you usually get some nice extras. This is the only watch I do the whole “strap monster” thing with. 

With the twisted lugs I even put it on my Omega bracelet once just to see it:

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The one downside is that one of the subdials is just a 24hr indicator, an almost useless complication (although it helps you know whether you’re in AM or PM when setting the watch…if that’s EVER useful…)

I met Dan at Windup NYC a few years back and really respect him. 

The other chronos I’d recommend are the Seiko Speedtimer (Daytona-esque, more expensive than DH) or as someone said the Islander Amerigraph. 

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Mecha quartz movements can be a lot of fun, in the sense that you get a rather reliable movement for a decent price, without the service effort of a mechanical chrono. These are the only chronographs I own, either with Ronda or Seiko/Hattori movements, for that very reason. None of them have given me any trouble, so far. 

The VK series powers a whole bunch of chronos from AliExpress to more upstream brands. There shouldn't be any shortage of options.

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Normally I'm not for buying cheapo Chinese watches, but the seagull 1963 is totally worth it!!!

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All the options you listed are lovely chronographs.  I don't think you can miss regardless of which you choose.

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As another fellow DH owner, I can vouch for it being a nicely designed, low maintenance piece. I don't own any mechanical chronos, but I imagine the wearing experience might be significantly different tho, as the DH is quite light (and to some, conveys it's "affordable cost"). Just thought it might be worth pointing out that on the flip side, aside from really no "maintenance" is that it's quite thin due to the movement and comfortable on wrist!

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Check these out. There's a chrno for everyone. 

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If you're in ChiTown, there's a microbrand shop in Elmhurst called Chronotiempo. Have some cool options close to you to put some eyes on and hands through.😉

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Am I the only one here, who doesn't like chronographs? 

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There's a YouTube video by WatchFinder on the Maen Skymaster. Watch it. Might help you decide. 

https://youtu.be/SlWZpK5zlOA

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Dan Henry is legit. I own a Tag Heuer Autavia 1972 re-issue with the in-house Heuer 02 movement w/ 80 power reserve, and I get jealous of the accuracy, convenience, and small case size of my buddy’s Dan Henry 1964. It’s a gorgeous watch, has great build quality, and has a rock solid movement. Major props to Dan Henry for making a killer watch for such a good price (It’s a good watch at any price, I might add!). Not many people mention how chunky mechanical chronographs can get. Mechaquartz doesn’t suffer from this issue, and the Dan Henry 1964 is extremely comfortable on wrist because of it.

I probably shouldn’t tempt you like this, but why not get both a Dan Henry and a Sea-Gull? 😈

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Would take a look at Furlan Marri😉