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Watch fans, I need advice.

This is a discussion on Watch fans, I need advice. within the Watches forums, part of the Everything But Cigars category; I've long loved watches. When I was younger I collected them. Nothing special, just garden variety department store brands that ...

  1. #1

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


    Watch fans, I need advice.

    I've long loved watches. When I was younger I collected them. Nothing special, just garden variety department store brands that ranged from $50-100 (in the early to mid 90's). I worked retail most of that time, and was later doing entry level banking jobs, so I didn't have a lot of money. However, I liked watches and bought what I could afford. Most of my collection was Fossil, Peugeot and Kenneth Cole.

    I haven't added much to the collection in the past decade (and some of my old watches had to be tossed in the trash due to the issue I will discuss below), just a Kenneth Cole or two and a cheap (but effective) Casio. I would like to add a nicer watch or two soon (under $300 if I can and no more than $400, I am on a teacher's salary). I'm primarily looking at Seiko, Victorinox (wanted one for years), Skagen, Tissot and Citizen.

    Here is the issue, I sweat a lot and apparently have very corrosive sweat. All but one or two of my nicer stainless steel watches become noticeably pitted within about a year (some terribly pitted), even of my two that aren't bad, one was pitted within about 2 years. I used to eat through glasses quickly before switching to titanium frames. I don't want to spend $300-400 on a stainless steel watch and find it pitting terribly in a year or two.

    What, if anything, can I do to prevent this? I often wipe the watch I wore for the day down before putting it away. I say often because I often fall asleep while reading or watching TV when I didn't plan to and obviously don't prepare my watch when that happens. Would rinsing it occasionally to rinse off the salt from my sweat help? Of course, water usually isn't great for metal either, but it is better than salt. Is there a particular way I should clean my watch weekly or monthly that might help?

    I would like to invest in a nicer watch (I turned 41 this summer, I shouldn't be wearing the same watches I wore when I was 21), but if I do, I want it to continue to look good for years to come.

  2. #2

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Oh, just to clarify, I don't have issues with the band if it is stainless, and the metal backing doesn't corrode, only the case behind the backing does. I had hoped that a more expensive watch might not have the problem, but I noticed that some of the used watches I've seen (in lesser condition) have this issue as well. So, I see that I'm not the only one with this issue, and that the more expensive watches in and of themselves are not the full answer to the problem.

  3. #3

    Full grown Puffer Fish fanman1's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    This is an interesting problem, and it is also a problem adressed by many of the higher end watces out there. I wear an accutron which is bulovas more premium brand. It is stainless but has some kind of special coating, I know its not like a clear coat, I tho.k it is just an aplication of Chrome or somthing inside the band. Anyway its fairly old probably 15 years or so. If I were you I would go with somthing that has a leather band, that way it is cheaper to replace if you have any problems. As far as brands go Seiko is fine but it dosent take much to destroy one. I would go with either tissot or bulova. But then again it impossibe to destroy a Casio g shock. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.

    Edit: then just make sure you get somthing with a full stainless body, and that is waterproof. This is definatly a non issue in buyer end watches.
    Insert Verb of Choice: _______ Naked!

  4. #4

    Young Fish


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    I'm new to the cigar site and cigars....but I have a lot of knowledge with watches. What type of watch do you want to wear everyday with your profession, casual or formal? You did mention victornox, skagen, and tissot so I am assuming a comfortable, durable, and casual watch is what your after. To be honest, Vic's and Skagens are not even worth there discounted prices. I'm not sure if your looking for an Automatic watch but there are many watches available that are built much better.
    I have not had much experience with your skin condition pitting the stainless watchs. It could even be your skins reaction with certain alloys of stainless that could do it. Switching bands is very easy so don't worry about the band corrosion. When your watch shopping your want to look for a few certain things, 1. The crystal, it's should be crystal and sapphire is the most durable 2. The movement, unless is not an automatic then 99% are Japan and will be fine for a long time. 3. Brand, you want to buy a quality built watch.
    I'm just judging from your price range that you wanted to be under $400ish (not sure which models of each brand your viewing). You can get some good time pieces under that amount. Just do an ebay search on Doxa Aquaman (great watch), Luminox (any), most of the watches I wear are divers watches ( good balance of casual/formal). If you give me a specific style of watch I'd be able to help you out the best. In all honesty, you can get some great deals on used watches with ebay. Just make sure you watch the sellers rating/reviews.
    So, just give me a heads up with type you want and I'l show you brands, bands, etc that would be the best quality for the money.

  5. #5

    Young Fish


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Forgot to add this. Your issues with the bands corroding are that most watches use poor alloys and coatings on the bands. Your best bet is to get a satin finish stainless bracelet (depends on brand) or a rubber/leather/canvas strap.

  6. #6

    Got Weenis? Cigar Noob's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Almost every watch, high end or middle of the road, use the exact type of SS. I think it's 316L. Often called marine grade or surgical steel. For the most part it is extremely resistant to corrosion. I don't see how sweat can "etch" SS, maybe it is the polishing or brushing that starts to lose its luster. If you have brushed steel you can use super fine grit sand paper to bring that look back. Watch backs are typically polished, maybe your arm hair or sweat is degrading that polish. A watchmaker could easily polish it back up for you.

    There are many options for you if you want to avoid SS. Titanium, Tungsten, PVD coating, Ceramic, or high quality plastic. Rolex uses a different SS apparently, which is supposedly harder which may be less reactive. Titanium is extremely strong but scratches easily, however it is ver =y non-reactive and lightweight. Tungsten is only scratchable by diamonds, very hard and heavy. I believe it may officially be considered a ceramic too.

    Another option is to get a NATO strap (nylon) which I LOVE. It is 1 solid strap, weaving between the spring bars, and makes the watch impossible to lose (unless both spring bars fail at the same time). It will elevate the watch back from the wrist, and removes a about half the weight by replacing a metal band.

    What kind of watches are we talking about for reference? I think case backs may use a softer SS, or have a coating (one of my TAGs does). The softer material may be to prevent the case from stripping out when they are screwed together. You always want the screw softer which may be the case here.

    If you are talking about watches that don't have screw in backs (50m WR or less), you are likely not dealing with a high quality metal. Just throwing stuff out there at this point. I have gotten great info from watchuseek.com, it's a watch forum and they certainly will be able to help you out.

  7. #7

    Young Fish


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Some good points. I've not heard of salt corroding stainless either as I dive with mine very frequently and have not had any issues. On the contrary, I have heard of certain people with different PH levels beating up metals frequently. You took it more indepth then I did. I'd say 99% of hollow rolled bands are 316 stainless. NATO straps are great and I have them on some of my Luminox watches. They are very comfortable and come in many different colors. I'd shy away from anything PVD coated, for a daily wearer wouldn't hold up and cannot be refinished...i also feel this way about the Titaniums. Watchuseek is a great place for info/trading etc...I've purchased many bands from suppliers on there and they have had great longevity.
    From the watches he mentioned earlier, I do not think any of there models have screw in case backs. They are all pressed and often times do have a softer compound to prevent marring of the housing.
    We need to know what watches/models he's looking at to give more direct advice.

  8. #8

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Actually, I figure that the band would be a cheaper material, which makes it funny, but I rarely have trouble with corrosion of the band. When I do have band issues, it is usually with the clasp on a leather band. The issues are mainly on the part of the case that makes contact with the skin which corrodes after a short time on most of my watches (while the backing usually stays pristine). While there does seem to be some correlation between quality and corrosion, it isn't 100% and most of my watches have some corrosion. With one exception the Fossils and Guess watches are terribly corroded, with one exception the Kenneth Cole and Peugeot look comparatively pretty decent, and my sub-$20 Casio is starting to get pretty corroded after just under a year. That does suggest it might not be as bad on more expensive brands, but I have some corrosion on most of my watches and it is pretty bad on at least one watch from each brand, and looking at used watches I noticed that many of the lesser condition watches had similar corrosion issues so I seem to not be alone and it doesn't seem to be limited to cheaper brands.

    As for style, something not too casual or dressy is ideal. I don't want a flashy gold, black and diamond watch. I also don't want plastic cases or plastic or canvas bands (however, even though I usually wear my watches as generalist watches and don't buy for occasions, I will probably be buying a cheapish outdoors oriented Timex as a beater as well as the nicer watch). I am a teacher. I usually wear business casual on up to a tie and sportcoat (rarely, I will wear a suit). I'd like a watch that I can wear on the occasions I wear a suit without it looking out of place, that I can wear on the weekends without being too out of place, and that fits perfectly with my usual business casual to business casual plus daily wardrobe. Something that describes most of the metal or leather band Victorinox and similar watches perfectly (I would prefer a stainless band).

    I haven't decided for sure on features. At first I thought I'd like an automatic watch, but they add a lot to the cost, and at the lower to mid price ranges they seem to detract from accuracy. I'm fine with quartz. I'll be looking at both. I'm fine with Japanese movement, but I would also love to buy one with Swiss Movement if not outright Swiss Made. I would prefer a crystal that is real crystal, preferably sapphire.

    I was looking at Skagen for a while because they make a lot of affordable titanium watches, and I was thinking that titanium would solve my corrosion issue.

    I've wanted a Victorinox since I first started buying watches in my early 20's, but I couldn't afford one then. I've read a lot of good things about Tissot as a comparable brand in price and quality. The Citizens Eco Drive watches seem to be well received. Other brands I'll consider, but are lower on my radar for various reasons (price/value often being one of them), are: Bulova, Empirio Armani, Hamilton, Invicta, and Movado.

    Anyway, I'm looking more for cleaning/corrosion prevention advice for those of us with more corrosive sweat than advice on the watch for the most part. Though if we are getting off track (which is more than understandable), I'd be curious to know if jomashop.com is a reputable site or not (they often beat overstock.com on prices, though not always).

  9. #9

    No longer a community member.


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    i can speak for a few of the brands you're looking at (in the OP)

    My brother had a skagen and the gears stripped on the inside after a little over a year (and therefore wasnt covered by warranty)...

    citizen are a classic "trusted" brand

    and my seiko is still going strong after 4 years, i love mine

    if you've had an affinity for victorinox's i say go for them, as theyre like citizen in that theyre a "classic trusted" brand so to speak

  10. #10

    Young Fish


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Jomashop is a good site if your buying lower end watches (they aren't certified dealers of the good stuff) I've used them in the past and have had to problems. The clasp on the leather bands could be coated (gold, rose, etc) so it could be you wearing the thin plating off. From what I've seen, many Fossils and of the like have a coating on the band/watch that is used instead of actually polishing. They put a thin clear finish on the watches rather then go through the steps of a high polish, this is not durable.

    Do you have any pictures you could post up so I could see how bar the pitting is on your current watches?

    Dive watches are durable and fit the business casual/dress down/formal role very well. i'd stick with a round face watch that is not polished for the most versatility.

    Back on point.....You can pick up an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for under $40-50 bucks. Even just running your watch through that once a week should leave nothing on the finish that could harm anything. I use this machine on my watches after polishing to remove any extra compound that i cannot get by hand. Worth its weight in gold.

    Your list of watches, I'd go with a Hamilton. Bulova, ehh not a close second but they are ok. The rest I'd just leave out, I hate movado and most of them are polished. You could always wait a little and save some cash up...Tag Heuer quartz watches are pretty durable.

  11. #11

    Master Illusione-a-Tatist Sarge's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    idk how to solve your problem. I guess I'd suggest just washing your hands more throughout the day and including your wrist. Maybe even taking the watch off once a day and washing that while your hands/wrist. Also be sure to wash the watch itself w/ soap & water or jewelry cleaner a couple times a week. If you're wearing cheaper watches it could just be the cheaper stainless or whatever they might use for the band. With a $300-600 timepiece you might have not run into those issues w/ perhaps a higher quality stainless band but I can't say for certain....

    As for what to buy. The first nicer watch I bought was a Tissot. I absolutely love that watch and wore it everyday until I bought my Tag. Well actually 2nd Tag. My Kirium broke and the dam jewler said he lost it. I'd now like to replace my Tag w/ a Tag Carrera but certainly don't have the funds to do so otherwise I'd offer to sell you my Tag for a decent price. Of course decent + Tag is probably going to be higher than you'd like to spend. It's more than I'd like to or should but I'm a sucker when it comes to some things & a nice watch I want just so happens to be one of them. I do still have my Tissot, two tone w/ Gold face, that I might sell if interested. Have to negotiate a price but comes in box w/ all papers, links... Regardless imho Tissot is a fantastic watch that I would STRONGLY suggest to anyone. You will absolutely be happy with a Tissot and it's a watch that should last you decades w/ only needing a battery replacement from time to time.

  12. #12

    Got Weenis? Cigar Noob's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    First off, I would give a watch with a quality SS screwed in SS back a try, before looking for different materials. I think you are coming to a conclusion about watches that may only be an issue with low grade materials.

    Most of the brands you listed as having would be considered "fashion watches" (Peugot, Fossil, Kenneth Cole). In the grand sheme of things with respect to quality, they are on the lower end of that spectrum, I know the KC I had was quite bad. Many of those brand offerings use use brass or aluminum. Skagen is a budget Chinese brand. If they sell Titanium, it is probably coated. A pressed on (most of the watches you listed will have that) back will be a very low grade and soft metal because it just wedges in the back of the base.

    Don't write off Japanese watches, they are very high quality, and their Autos are just as accurate (if not more so) than a non-COSC Swiss Auto. One of my Seiko's blows away all my TAG's in every way. You can easily get a Seiko auto for $100-200, like the Orange Monster.

    Jomashop is not as respected as some other retailers. They are overseas. I got mine from BlueDial.com (from Vegas) and they have been great. I think Long Island Watch is another site the WUS people recommend. Amazon often has great prices, as well as ebay.

  13. #13

    No longer a community member.


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    i mentioned that skagen broke on my brother, i actually asked him about what went wrong specifically and he said they ended up fixing it for him for free despite it being out of warranty, so i take that back lol!

  14. #14

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    I was going to post some pics of my current watches, but I have bought one now so I might not. It is definite pitted metal and not just dirt or something. I always joke that my sweat is very acidic, here I changed it to the salt content of my sweat since that seemed to make more realistic sense, but reading online it seems that high sweat pH levels are a fairly common problem. I sometimes rinse my watches, but I've never thought of using soap and water with a watch (Sarge), I'll try that. Anyway, looking over the one's I still have, other than the gold tone watches, most aren't as bad as I remembered, only one or two are really bad (again, other than the gold tone cases).

    As for where Skagen is made, all the research I've done suggests that all (even the cheapest) use Japanese movement and are made in Denmark. I haven't found anything about them being made in China.

    Today, I decided to go to the mall to look at some of the watches I'm considering in person. The Skagen watches really looked nice, when they weren't too trendy looking, and the prices were nice, but what Zogg said about his brother's watch kept coming back to me. I guess it can happen with any manufactured product, and it is good that they stood behind it without hassle. Maybe if I decide to start collecting watches again but in this new price range I'll buy one since most Skagen watches are more in a teacher's price range than the others.

    I really liked a couple Victorinox watches I looked at as well.

    What I ended up buying was a Citizen Eco Drive. In the end, being a guy I am attracted to gadgets, and battery-less solar Eco-Drive appealed to me, and it is a really nice watch. It is the E870, suggested price is $475 and of course that is what the jewelry store was asking, but I got it for just over $350, a few dollars less than the Amazon.com price.

  15. #15

    Got Weenis? Cigar Noob's Avatar


    Re: Watch fans, I need advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff10236 View Post
    As for where Skagen is made, all the research I've done suggests that all (even the cheapest) use Japanese movement and are made in Denmark. I haven't found anything about them being made in China.
    Skagen watches are made in Hong Kong, company is based in the US. Lots of info on the watch forums about it.

    Discussion about Skagen:
    Any good watches made in Denmark?
    Skagen Watches?


    At the price point you got the Citizen you had a lot of options in the auto department whether it be Swiss or Japanese. As long as you enjoy your purchase that's all that matters. Congrats on a new toy.

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