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      02-13-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
JoeFromPA
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Tag Heuer & Ball: A first time serious watch

Hi all,

I haven't been a "watch" guy in terms of quality or price or design or quantity of watches. However, I've begun to like to have a few options to put on in the morning.

I'm considering buying my first more expensive watch and I just wanted to get opinions on a few that really catch my eye for the type of look, design, and price point I like. These are USED watches - not new.

1. Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 like this: http://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=395254
or like this:
http://chronocentric.com/forums/chro...=read;id=37562

Stainless band, possibly a gray face with silver rose. I really love the look of this watch and the only thing I dislike is that the second hand is quite small so I can't enjoy seeing the regular movement as much. I understand this is a combination of a few seiko movement parts and the rest is in house at tag - it's all good.

2. Ball Fireman Stormchaser Pro like this:
http://forums.watchuseek.com/f30/bal...5-1545618.html

Again, would seek out a stainless band of some sort but this is a great look as-is



...

Just looking for some opinions or insights. I want a very reliable/low maintenance watch that looks great suited up or on a more casual day out. I really like the Tag 1887 and the Ball Fireman Stormchaser.

New to this, so really almost any knowledge is worthwhile to share with me.
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      02-13-2015, 11:00 AM   #2
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I have a couple Tags they are nice looking watches, my only caveat is that my first tag's automatic movement broke and had to be repaired at $200.00 within 3 years, then after repair one of the buttons popped off and it is waiting to be shipped right now. The other watches automatic movement still works but a screw is hanging down where it stops the winder from fully circling and is currently waiting to be sent back to Tag as well.

Conversely my Rolex submariner = zero issues. My story may be unique and I am sure there are others out there with the opposite problems. But I thought I would add my $0.02 since you were asking.

Both movements in my Tags are from the Carrera line. Also I still like the watches and think they look great, just a little irritated that they have had problems within 10 years of purchase. Also expect to send them for cleaning at Tag every 2 years after the warranty ends.
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      02-13-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
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Personally I would either continue to save for something higher end (e.g. Rolex) or, conversely, spend less money on something else that's similar (Seiko, quartz Tag, etc.).

But really if you like something, buy it and enjoy it. Just be sure to pick one up and check it out before you buy (or at least something similar).
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      02-13-2015, 12:02 PM   #4
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It is true you need to buy what you like and also what fits and looks good on your wrist. If you haven't tried in these watches then attempt to do so before buying.

I wouldn't pay those prices listed for those watches-just me.

You could get a new IWC Pilot watch for not much more. And for 25% more you may be able to get a new IWC Aquatimer.

I like TAG but only if gotten for a heavy discount. Ball are cool due to their tritium capsules, neat to play with at night and I would only consider as a toy in a larger collection.

Any mechanical watch will need service and care, some people like divers watches due to beefier case and capability in water.
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      02-13-2015, 01:35 PM   #5
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I like Omega as well, not a Rolex guy, want something easily re-saleable in the future should I choose....
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      02-13-2015, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
It is true you need to buy what you like and also what fits and looks good on your wrist. If you haven't tried in these watches then attempt to do so before buying.

I wouldn't pay those prices listed for those watches-just me.

You could get a new IWC Pilot watch for not much more. And for 25% more you may be able to get a new IWC Aquatimer.

I like TAG but only if gotten for a heavy discount. Ball are cool due to their tritium capsules, neat to play with at night and I would only consider as a toy in a larger collection.

Any mechanical watch will need service and care, some people like divers watches due to beefier case and capability in water.
I will try on both Ball and Tag before making any decisions. What are your thoughts on their prices? I welcome input as I'll be taking months finding the right used model once I finalize a model...

I'm not a huge fan of IWC styling though I find them more attractive.
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      02-13-2015, 02:10 PM   #7
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I have the Tag Grand Carrera Calibre 17, which is similar to the Calibre 1887 so I am a fan of the Tag. I have the white dial and it's one of my favorites. It gets more wrist time than my Ulysse Nardin MaxiMarine Chrono and Breitling Chronomat Evo.
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      02-13-2015, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I like Omega as well, not a Rolex guy, want something easily re-saleable in the future should I choose....
Most watches are easy to sell IMHO. I've bought and sold a bunch of watches. Do yourself a favor and buy used (it appears that you're trying to go that route). I've sold a Panerai, Rolexs, Omega and U-Boat.

I know you're not a "Rolex" guy, but that is the watch that I either lost the least on or actually sold for more than I paid for it. So if you're interested in a watch that will recoup or be the easiest to sell, then it's for sure a Rolex. I wore a Submariner Date for 10 years and sold it for $800 more than I paid for it. An older Submariner or GMT II will easily go with a suit or jeans. The pic is of my GMT II Pepsi.
Here's a nice Sub for sale:
http://forums.watchnet.com/index.php...o=708276&rid=0
You can get the GMT II in an all black bezel, black and red or blue and red bezel. The older models you can actually swithc the colored bezels pretty easily to have a different look of the watch.
http://www.watchrecon.com/?query=rolex+gmt

If you do go for a used Rolex, make sure it has the paperwork at the very least. You pay a little more, but in the end, you'll make out better down the road.

That being said, it appears you're interested in the Tag Carrera chrono. VERY nice watch, but make sure you buy it at the right price. New you'll never come close to getting your money back. A few of my buddies have them and have never had an issue with them.

If you dig hard enough, I imagine you'll find people who have had problems with every watch brand. I have friends that have had horror stories with Breitling and Cartier. Others have had no issues at all. I have a Bell & Ross BR01-92 that needs service already since it's losing time at a rate of 2-3 minutes a week. My Submariner that I had I never seviced it in 10 years and was running very well.

Make sure you go to a watch store (like Tourneau) to try on the model watch you want. It may not be what you expect vs. just seeing it in pics. I LOVED the Panerai 177 because it was brushed titanium. Hated it when I tried it on (too light) and ended up getting a 111.

Get what you like and you'll enjoy it more.
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Last edited by TSM330i; 02-13-2015 at 03:21 PM..
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      02-13-2015, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I will try on both Ball and Tag before making any decisions. What are your thoughts on their prices? I welcome input as I'll be taking months finding the right used model once I finalize a model...

I'm not a huge fan of IWC styling though I find them more attractive.
Have no logic - simply couldn't pay $3K plus for those used watches.
If I were looking to buy used in your price range I'd go vintage maybe Zenith and have it go back to manufacturers for clean and adjustment.
There are some older TAG Link from close to twenty years ago I really like and I really like some older F1 models that are quartz.
Monaco are amazing but $$$$$$$.
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      02-13-2015, 03:39 PM   #10
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It's funny, I get hung up right around the $3k mark. Bear in mind I'm not used to wearing nice watches, and I drive a $60k 2015 m3 in salty roads everyday, but I can't see dropping $5k on a used rolex and wearing it everyday.

This mental barrier has led me to where I am, along with where my tastes run. I enjoy the look of that Ball (but maybe not in person). Same with the Tag.

Will also look at a few Omega speedmasters in person.
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      02-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post

Will also look at a few Omega speedmasters in person.
Omega Speedy I think one of the all time greatest watch's, Yeah love those
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      02-13-2015, 04:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Omega Speedy I think one of the all time greatest watch's, Yeah love those
Agree with this statement 100%!
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      02-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #13
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This!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM330i View Post
Most watches are easy to sell IMHO. I've bought and sold a bunch of watches. Do yourself a favor and buy used (it appears that you're trying to go that route). I've sold a Panerai, Rolexs, Omega and U-Boat.

I know you're not a "Rolex" guy, but that is the watch that I either lost the least on or actually sold for more than I paid for it. So if you're interested in a watch that will recoup or be the easiest to sell, then it's for sure a Rolex. I wore a Submariner Date for 10 years and sold it for $800 more than I paid for it. An older Submariner or GMT II will easily go with a suit or jeans. The pic is of my GMT II Pepsi.
Here's a nice Sub for sale:
http://forums.watchnet.com/index.php...o=708276&rid=0
You can get the GMT II in an all black bezel, black and red or blue and red bezel. The older models you can actually swithc the colored bezels pretty easily to have a different look of the watch.
http://www.watchrecon.com/?query=rolex+gmt

If you do go for a used Rolex, make sure it has the paperwork at the very least. You pay a little more, but in the end, you'll make out better down the road.

That being said, it appears you're interested in the Tag Carrera chrono. VERY nice watch, but make sure you buy it at the right price. New you'll never come close to getting your money back. A few of my buddies have them and have never had an issue with them.

If you dig hard enough, I imagine you'll find people who have had problems with every watch brand. I have friends that have had horror stories with Breitling and Cartier. Others have had no issues at all. I have a Bell & Ross BR01-92 that needs service already since it's losing time at a rate of 2-3 minutes a week. My Submariner that I had I never seviced it in 10 years and was running very well.

Make sure you go to a watch store (like Tourneau) to try on the model watch you want. It may not be what you expect vs. just seeing it in pics. I LOVED the Panerai 177 because it was brushed titanium. Hated it when I tried it on (too light) and ended up getting a 111.

Get what you like and you'll enjoy it more.
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      02-13-2015, 06:35 PM   #14
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Overpriced new and more so used. Do your homework. If you want style and/or brand, you may be wiling to pay a price that makes you happy in the end. If you are buying the movement then there are nice and cheaper with the exact same movement and built like a tank. The best bang for movement/brand is Omega if you can get around their stupid james bond bologna. Rolex has the machine but will loose the battle although I wish I had one.
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      02-14-2015, 11:15 AM   #15
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I've had a Tag on my wrist since 1991. The only times it was off was when it is sent out for a new cell/seal every few years. Very reliable watch and has never given me trouble except for a jammed bezel which was replaced years ago. Mine is the lower end - it's a 1500 series which I think went for about $650 new back then. Still draws a lot of compliments though. It's this one, although this image isn't of mine
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      02-14-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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I suggest that you decide based on things other than the inherent quality of the two watches. One is neither better nor worse than the other as far as construction and/or time telling capability and functionality go. They are both very nice and well made watches.

About the only thing of substance I can offer is that if you need to see your watch markers and hands in the dark, you'll be far happier with the Ball. It uses tritium tubes and so the glow won't fade after 20-60 minutes. It'll fade to 1/2 it's current brightness over the course of ~12 years, for ~12 years is tritium's half-life.

I don't recall just this second whether the 1887 is Tags movement by dint of acquiring the movement from Zenith or Seiko, but it's one of the two. That said, it's not an important factor if you don't consider yourself a watch collector who has a collection building reason to prefer one capable movement over another.

All the best.
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      02-14-2015, 07:49 PM   #17
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My first nice watch was a tag that my wife bought me 15 years ago. I'll have ever had to do to it is replace the battery (twice). I added a Rolex to my wrist last year, but the tag still comes out now and again.
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      02-15-2015, 12:56 PM   #18
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Tried on Ball, Tag, IWC, Rolex, and Omega yesterday. Very impressed by how the Omega Speedy and Rolex Milgauss felt like an old pair of jeans - just so comfortable immediately.

The Tag Heuer 1887 I like so much in pictures just didn't look right in person for me.

Favorites were surprising:

1. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra with a subtle blue face
2. Rolex Milgauss

Question: The Tourneau advisor helping me said that Rolex's steel is a much higher quality than of every other watch. Does this translate into something meaningful on the wrist?
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      02-15-2015, 01:51 PM   #19
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I'm not sure the rolex 904 steel is higher quality then the omega 316 but the rolex is nice steel some say more hyperallergenic needs special equipment to cut it - go over to TIMEZONE forum and search 904 steel.
I like the Milgauss but research how well they are selling and if the explorer II or explorer is a better buy - I don't know. Milgauss has a really pretty crystal but the second hand is either love it or hate it.
Rolex are really nice.
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      02-20-2015, 03:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Tried on Ball, Tag, IWC, Rolex, and Omega yesterday. Very impressed by how the Omega Speedy and Rolex Milgauss felt like an old pair of jeans - just so comfortable immediately.

The Tag Heuer 1887 I like so much in pictures just didn't look right in person for me.

Favorites were surprising:

1. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra with a subtle blue face
2. Rolex Milgauss

Question: The Tourneau advisor helping me said that Rolex's steel is a much higher quality than of every other watch. Does this translate into something meaningful on the wrist?
Good start! It makes such a difference actually trying on the watch and feeling it on your wrist.

I don't think you could go wrong with either the Omega or the Rolex. Either one will fit the bill for a great all around watch. Make sure you check out the used market for both. You can save a pretty sizable amount of money. The Rolex will drop only so far and then it will hold its value.

http://www.watchrecon.com/?query=Ome...ra&last_days=0

http://www.watchrecon.com/?query=milgauss&last_days=0

Right now, this watch gets the most wrist time - Rolex GMT BLNR. Unfortunately, you're not going to find it in a case anywhere since they're a little hard to come by (I got mine from Benari Jewelers in Exton, PA. I'm a pretty good client and it was my third Rolex purchase). It's utterly perfect for everyday use with jeans or a suit.
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      02-21-2015, 08:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottSinger View Post
Monaco are amazing but $$$$$$$.
LOVE my Monaco. Do not like leather bands though, so I had one made with a stainless band from the LS.

It was not till after I had our car for a while that I noticed I bought a car with the same colour face as our car, Le Mans Blue.


Last edited by MightyMouseTech; 02-21-2015 at 09:05 AM..
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      02-21-2015, 01:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Tried on Ball, Tag, IWC, Rolex, and Omega yesterday. Very impressed by how the Omega Speedy and Rolex Milgauss felt like an old pair of jeans - just so comfortable immediately.

The Tag Heuer 1887 I like so much in pictures just didn't look right in person for me.

Favorites were surprising:

1. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra with a subtle blue face
2. Rolex Milgauss

Question: The Tourneau advisor helping me said that Rolex's steel is a much higher quality than of every other watch. Does this translate into something meaningful on the wrist?
From where I sit, no. The property that potentially makes 904L steel "better" that 316L steel is that it is more corrosion resistant to warm, salt water. The thing is that that resistance comes into play when the metal is submerged in such a solution for extended periods, as might be boat propellers and sea water processing equipment, not wrist watches.

You can decide for yourself what matters and what doesn't:
All the best.
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