I need a man watch
May 8, 2010 1:53 AM   Subscribe

I need a manly watch for my 21st

Hi askme, my 21st is coming up, and I was thinking about plugging my dad for a nice watch for the occasion.

I was thinking, not super expensive (nothing over $400), not super huge (i don't want to walk around with something the size of an apple on my wrist). A watch that is serious, masculine, clean and stylish.

Any ideas?

Many thanks!
posted by schmichael to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You didn't specify radioactive, but I'm going to suggest Traser. Some of the models only count for stylish if you're a geek, but you've got masculine,clean and serious pretty much nailed.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:58 AM on May 8, 2010

I would suggest having a browse through Hamilton's collection, specifically their "Jazzmaster" range (stupid name, really).

The Slim might meet your criteria, but have a browse.
posted by djgh at 2:21 AM on May 8, 2010

Rado watches start at 400 and go up to a redonkoulus 25000 dollars - but I'm mainly showing you these for the brushed ceramic look which might be your thing. Many other watch brands are now doing ceramics, which is very nice to wear.
posted by dabitch at 3:35 AM on May 8, 2010

Dabitch, loved that watch you linked. Called a nearby store for pricing. $2800.

Watch and jewellery sites do not seem to be very transparent in their pricing.
posted by wolfr at 4:04 AM on May 8, 2010

Here's a thread to start with. I recommend Stowa. Their Antea line is clean, masculine, classic.
posted by reverend cuttle at 4:34 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

$2800? Ouch! And I agree, googling for watch prices is unpossible. I've recently learned all about Rado and that watch (and how it's made, the ceramics process is really neat and not just Rado does it anymore), and when talking to Rado people they explained that older models would go for cheaper but everything new is aiming at a more expensive market, so I would try my luck at a store that has stock from previous years. That watch is designed by Jasper Morrison.
posted by dabitch at 4:44 AM on May 8, 2010

Rosendahl Watch III or something similar, just under your price and pretty sweet looking.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:05 AM on May 8, 2010

I'm partial to the Citizen Eco-Drive "Military" style watches.
posted by saladin at 5:08 AM on May 8, 2010

Luminox, the watch of Navy SEALs. Most models are water resistant to 200 meters. They all have a luminescent dial powered by tritium that glows continuously and brightly for years without using electricity or needing exposure to sunlight. I recommend one of the steel band models.
posted by jedicus at 5:11 AM on May 8, 2010

I think that watches are beautiful and anachronistic (which adds to their elegance, IMHO). I inherited a collection from my grandfather, and have been adding to it ever since. Check out the Orris Classic. They're handsome, and Swiss made. Also, someone who likes watches will most likely compliment you on yout taste should they see you wearing it. A lot of guys seem to also like Technomarine, which is in your price range. They're ubiquitous, though, and perhaps not the sleekest thing that you'll ever see.
posted by kittenplease at 5:20 AM on May 8, 2010

Poor Man Watch Forum's Top 20 (mostly under $500).
posted by box at 5:22 AM on May 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

I like my Nixon watch. They have several that are manly.
posted by snowjoe at 5:59 AM on May 8, 2010

Nthing Hamilton.
posted by jgirl at 6:07 AM on May 8, 2010

Seconding Nixon in the not-very-expensive category (I paid under $100) and also Skagen. I have a now-discontinued Skagen Titanium that needs a crystal replacement after some shenanigans but is otherwise a fine watch. Also not very expensive.
posted by a halcyon day at 6:16 AM on May 8, 2010

I love my Suunto Observer. Stylish, useful and robust, and it's in your price range. If you like manly watches you should definitely visit some kind of trekking / outdoor store, they often offer everything from clothing to camping gear to watches...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 6:19 AM on May 8, 2010

Recent Diesels have a sleek, sci-fi look to them.
posted by The Whelk at 6:48 AM on May 8, 2010

Seiko Kinetic Quartz. Beautiful watches, and no batteries required.
posted by azpenguin at 7:24 AM on May 8, 2010

Go with a self-wind! They are the best! You can get a used Seiko 5 for about 100 bucks and they look like a dream.
posted by fantasticninety at 7:32 AM on May 8, 2010

Clean? Maybe. Manly? Yes. Cheap? Certainly!

I've got this one, and I really really like it.

Might be slightly too retro though...
posted by Sourisnoire at 8:31 AM on May 8, 2010

I have a Skagen, which I'm pretty sure is the Platonic ideal of a watch.

Sleek, modern without being industrial, masculine without being brutish.
posted by chicago2penn at 9:21 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I just bought this Hamilton watch: Hamilton ETO

I realize the orange may be a bit bright for you, but wanted to mentioned the quality of the watch (I LOVE the deployment style band that came with mine). I was pleasantly surprised at how robust it feels. Before I began watch-shopping, I had never heard of any of these brands.
posted by jdlugo at 9:44 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend looking at Tissot - they have several very elegant models for less than £250 (about $400 I think) - I think this one, for example, may check some boxes for you:


Another one with a metal bracelet this time:


posted by tkbarbarian at 10:06 AM on May 8, 2010

When my stepson turned 21 my then-husband and I bought him a watch, a Raymond Weil, as I recall, a classic design with a gold case, ivory face, black leather strap. It wasn't the one he'd have chosen for himself, as he was into rap in a big way at the time. But he said later that he was really glad we'd chosen that one because even a year later his tastes had changed so much that he knew he'd now hate the big, blinging one he'd have picked out himself.

So, my advice is go classic and pick a watch you can still wear in 20 years time, with a suit, with casual clothes and with good memories.
posted by essexjan at 11:50 AM on May 8, 2010

I'm a watch guy, so I'll tell you some watches that will look good and be good to you.

In no order:

1. Seiko Monster-excellent, cheap, watch fans love its durability, readability, and its luminescence. The bracelet is coveted even by "swiss-only" types.

2. Oris BC3- Look it up. Find it on ebay. Swiss, automatic, clean, beautiful.

3. Hamilton- Just look up some watches there. Lots of good stuff. Highly recommended. Khaki collection, by the way.

4. Casio G-Shock-Mudman, Gulfman, 5600. This if you consider yourself more digital than analog. Most guys can't or won't do this. Just giving you an option.

Some things to look out for. Choose a watch based on the watch, not a bracelet. They can always be exchanged, swapped out, taken out, etc. Its kinda like buying a car based on wheels...don't do it.

Good luck. If you have any questions about specific watches or prices, feel free to PM me...as I love watches and have probably owned a few you are thinking about.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've heard good things about Orient Watches. I can't vouch for quality, but the price is right and there are some handsome models.

Similarly, there are some nice looking Invictas too.
posted by mullacc at 5:39 PM on May 8, 2010

hah i didn't realise how insanely expensive watches are.

thanks for all the great suggestions, i've learnt a lot very quickly!
posted by schmichael at 7:28 PM on May 8, 2010

Seiko Diver

Great watches. Last forever.
posted by fieldtrip at 10:58 PM on May 8, 2010

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