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Watch Gift Ideas?


Hi Everyone:

My apologies if this is an inappropriate question and I won’t be
offended if it doesn’t make it thru.

My 10-year anniversary is next month and I would like to buy a watch
for my husband. Is there a nice watch out there for 500-750 US? He is
a pilot and I have looked at all the fancy stuff, but it is out of my

I have visited jewelry stores, but the salesperson didn’t seem to be
informed. She called the hands sticks, didn’t know any of the
functions of the chronograph, and said something like, “the sticks
are green, so they glow, which is also a nice feature…” This was
followed by an openly blank stare on my part, then a bit of a

I won’t tell you guys where I went, as I’m afraid that would start
another huge debate on the big box jewelry stores.

Thanks very much for any help.

Kim Starbard
p.s. shhhh it’s a secret.


In Chicago we have a really great dealer in well, I hesitate to call
them used, watches. Pre-worn?

How about a Patek Philippe?

Usual disclaimer.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

My 10-year anniversary is next month and I would like to buy a
watch for my husband. Is there a nice watch out there for 500-750
US? He is a pilot and I have looked at all the fancy stuff, but it
is out of my budget. 

Absolutely, Kim. Check out your local Victorinox Swiss Army watch
dealer (we happen to be one). If he’s a pilot, he’d very much like
their Air Boss Chrono model. The Mach 3 edition has a quartz
movement, and is in your price range. The Ground Force models are
also great for pilots, and they have an automatic (self-winding)
mechanical movement.

Personally, I don’t care for the Wenger Swiss Army watches as they
look and feel cheap to me. Victorinox uses Swiss ETA movements. My
Infantry model uses an ETA 2836-2 auto-winding movement, the same
one utilized by Cartier, Orus and many other manufacturers. The
stainless steel cases are solid and the complications, such as
day/date, chrono, alarm, etc. are crisp and accurate. The day/date on
mine switches at exactly midnight, clicking over instead of slowly
rolling to the next day/date. All of the models in your price range
use synthetic sapphire crystals. My Infantry, and the Ground Force
also, use synthetic sapphire for their exposition backs so you can
see their movements working from the back of the watch. The
auto-winder loses about 10 seconds a week, whereas most Rolexes I see
lose at least 10 minutes a week.

I also have a Dive Master 300 with a bright orange dial that uses an
ETA quartz movement. Water resistant to 300 meters with a screw-down
crown, I’ve never had to reset the time after months that have 31
days. A good page to preview these models is:

A strong caution and short story: One customer came to the store and
purchased the Air Boss Mach 3. I offered to show him how to operate
the chrono (few people know how to reset them so the hands zero
properly on the 12:00 index) and set the time. The knob where the
crown for setting the time usually is isn’t that…it’s for rotating
the inner tachymeter dial and the crown is on the other side. He
arrogantly told me he could figure it out. He must have used pliers
to rip the knob off, because he showed up two days later with it in
pieces. I’m guessing that a lot of salespeople never read the
factory’s technical publication on operating these watches, but the
company provides each dealer with a very large manual that describes
much more than the generic little manual that comes in the box with
every watch. If you decide to purchase a complicated model for your
hubby and the store you purchase from doesn’t have the dealer’s
manual, just let me know and I’ll scan or copy the applicable pages
for you.

Now, the good news. We sent the customer’s Air Boss to the factory
with a note that the customer tore the dial’s knob off. They
returned it, repaired, 2 weeks later with only shipping charges.
Great watch, great company.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL

P.S. Happy Anniversary!!


Another post that will get as many replies as there are people with
watches… I can tell you two things: Patek, Patek, Patek. Every
man should have one, as a gift, that is… But in the under $15,000
budget, seriously. My wife gave me a Citizen’s Eco-Drive. It is great
looking, to my taste, and a readable dial - you’d be surprised how
many dials you need to study for a sec to tell time. Day/date. The
important thing though, and why it’s not just another watch: It is
solar powered. It looks just like any other watch - there’s no solar
cells or anything that you can see, but it charges itself just in
normal wear. I’ve had it 3 years, and never have to do anything with
batteries, it loses maybe 1 minute a year. I don’t have to do
anything - put it in the sun or stuff. Just wearing it around, even
under shirt cuffs, it will charge. Great watch, your budget or less,
check it out…


I have to second John Donivan’s recommendation of the Citizen
EcoDrive. My hubby gave me one several years ago and I wear it daily.
It only has one dial/face and keeps time beautifully. It is showing a
little wear on the bezel and I’ve managed to lose pins (easily
replaced) from the band once or twice, but overall, it’s a very nice
watch. It recharges in ambient light, so you don’t have to put it
into direct sunlight at all. As long as you aren’t working in
complete darkness for days at a time, the watch will keep running.

Deb Weller
AZ Bead Depot
Apache Junction, AZ