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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been looking into purchasing my first mechanical watch and the number of watch makers can make it an overwhelming process to say the least. Since I haven't worn a watch since I was a child, I do not want to drop serious coin on a hobby that I am not well versed in. At the same time, I certainly do not want a watch that is an unoriginal design or from a brand that is not well regarded for whatever reason.

From what I have read and seen, there are brands that are at the forefront in each price bracket and many that are frowned upon for their unoriginal designs or lack of historical precedence. I just want to hear some thoughts and get some opinions before I pick something up. Might help anyone else looking to get into the hobby as well.

Ultra High End -
Patek Phillipe
Panerai

High End -
IWC
Hublot

Middle Ground -
Kobold
Rolex
Omega

Bang for the buck -
Hamilton
Lum-Tec

"Homage" Status -
Invicta
Alpha
 

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I would definately take Panerai and place them in the middle to high end. If you're looking for ultra high end pieces, Patek (as you mentioned), Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, Gruebel Forsey, FP Journe, etc.

I hate to beat a dead horse hear, but what's your price range?

Here is a brief breakdown of what I would choose based on the brands that you listed:

Homage: ANY and ALL Invictas. Sal swears by them!
Bang for the buck: Hamilton (Also consider Baume et Mercier and Longines)
Middle ground: Omega
High end: IWC then PAM's
Ultra High End: One of each please.
 

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Patek, Vacheron and AP are generally considered the top 3. Panerai's quality would depend on the piece, a base model is different than something in the 5 figure range like a 233. I would also not consider Hublot a high end watch.
 

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I have been looking into purchasing my first mechanical watch and the number of watch makers can make it an overwhelming process to say the least. Since I haven't worn a watch since I was a child, I do not want to drop serious coin on a hobby that I am not well versed in. At the same time, I certainly do not want a watch that is an unoriginal design or from a brand that is not well regarded for whatever reason.

From what I have read and seen, there are brands that are at the forefront in each price bracket and many that are frowned upon for their unoriginal designs or lack of historical precedence. I just want to hear some thoughts and get some opinions before I pick something up. Might help anyone else looking to get into the hobby as well.

Ultra High End -
Patek Phillipe
Panerai

High End -
IWC
Hublot

Middle Ground -
Kobold
Rolex
Omega

Bang for the buck -
Hamilton
Lum-Tec

"Homage" Status -
Invicta
Alpha
As mentioned don't forget about AP, they are at the top.
 

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Patek, Vacheron and AP are generally considered the top 3. Panerai's quality would depend on the piece, a base model is different than something in the 5 figure range like a 233. I would also not consider Hublot a high end watch.
Don't forget about A. Lange & Sohne.

To the OP, I think most of your list is inaccurate... but at the end of the day, such list does not really exist. It is all subjective.
 

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I would say don't worry about the ranking of each company. Buy something that you will want to wear, and it will put a smile on your face each time you look at it. Something that has a timeless design. Something that fits your lifestyle (sporty or dressy).

Good luck with what ever you decide...and welcome to the madness.
 

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I would say don't worry about the ranking of each company. Buy something that you will want to wear, and it will put a smile on your face each time you look at it. Something that has a timeless design. Something that fits your lifestyle (sporty or dressy).

Good luck with what ever you decide...and welcome to the madness.
+1
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks guys.

Even though resale doesn't make or break my purchase decisions, I like to know the market. I have a short attention span when it comes to possessions, so it helps to know the front runners in each price bracket. I will start small and see what happens from there... famous last words. One thing I would never do is buy anything that could have the words 'replica' or 'homage' attached to it, just don't agree with what they are doing.

A game of spot the fake?

 

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Also always buy from an AD whenever possible, unless you just really really know the seller and trust the authenticity. Set your budget and then work within that budget to see what the most watch for that money is that you can get.

As has been mentioned before you a lot of this is subjective, but personally I look at watch companies from a couple different ways
1. Mass market high production low quality-timex, casio
2. Semi-Mass production-mass produced lower end but lower sales numbers
3. Mid Range high production-tag, longines, etc. mass produced, but some higher range products with standard movements, this is usually where saphire crystals and well made cases and other nicer features come in.
4. High end high production-rolex, omega, breitling, etc. well made some in house movements some industry standard and most are certified within COSC requirements
5. Low production boutique makers-helson, debaufre, ocean-7, doxa, etc. use industry standard movements (eta, miyota, etc) with high end features but low production and lack of marque name and history give more bang for the buck.
6. Low production High End-AP, ALS, VC, Patek, Breguet, Blanc Pain, GP, etc. majority have in house movements and are mostly hand made

And of course from the #3 and up there a bunch of annomolies of specialty watches. Like the Daytona's and DeepSea's in the Rolex line, or some of the new Tag low production models, Breitling Super Avenger Black Steel etc.

I would place Panerai in between 4 and 6, but different than 5's because they do have some history, just not succesive. JMHO, not quite to the 6 category yet but some products would qualify.

Hope this helps clarify a little bit...though it is much deeper and my fingers are getting tired:lol:
 
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