Top Watch Questions Answered Pt. 1 | Crown & Caliber

Video Transcription

NATHAN: Hey everyone its Nathan with Crown & Caliber and today I am answering questions. And I’m answering questions that you guys have asked. Whether it was in YouTube comments or from some of our other social channels. We basically went through and pulled together a lot of questions that have been reoccurring, or other ones that we felt interesting, or that we’ve heard often. So, what we’re going to do, is my good friend and colleague, Jonathan, is sitting behind the camera.

JONATHAN: Hello friends.

NATHAN: There you go. And he has this list of questions. I’ve seen some of the questions, but he’s going to go through and kind of just fire them off, and we’re going to have a conversation, and hopefully answer some of the questions that you guys have been asking. So, you ready man?

JONATHAN: Let’s Do it.

NATHAN: Awesome.

Watch Question #1 | How often should I service my watches?

Watchmaker inspecting a movement

JONATHAN: Alright. Here we go. From a safe distance of course. The first question is: How often should I service my watches?

NATHAN: Hmmmm. You should service a watch… It depends. So, there is a wide gamut of time that people would recommend. For example, up until a couple of years ago think people would say, hey every 5 years. And then Rolex came out and said hey, our watches need to be serviced every 10 years. So, I think somewhere in the middle is a good rule of thumb. You know, are you wearing your watch every day and going spelunking and going diving? Yeah, you probably need to have that looked at evert 5 years, but if you’re like me or, you know, most people that our wearing watches, I think that around the 5,6, 7 year mark go and have your watch tested by a local, trusted watchmaker and see how well it’s running. So go get your watch tested. If it’s running well, come back in a year and get it tested again, until it’s not running well. I think ultimately, having a watch serviced is going to be a preventative measure. If a watch is starting…

JONATHAN: It should be.

NATHAN: It should be. Yes. If a watch is starting is starting to run poorly, that’s because it’s running out of things like lubrication in the wheels. Maybe things like the mainspring needs to be replaced. But if it’s running poorly and you’re still wearing the watch, then all of that moving that’s occurring inside the timepiece is going to probably cause unnecessary damage, so having it serviced, I think starting around that 7-year mark. And if it doesn’t need servicing, then wait another year and get it checked again. But probably around that 7-year mark is when I start looking to have a watch serviced.

Watch Question #2 | What is your favorite $1k – $2k watch?

JONATHAN: Boom. Nice. Next question. Alright. Your favorite $1k – $2k watch. Or a good watch to start my collection that won’t break the bank. First piece of advice. I’m just going to interject. You should never break the bank. That’s just good life advice in general.

NATHAN: That is good life advice. Alright, $1k – $2k watch that’s not going to break the bank… So, when I think of that I think of, if you’re looking to spend $1k – $2k, I’m going to make some assumptions for my selection. This is going to be your first luxury watch so it kind of needs to play all roles. And so, what I immediately think of is something probably has a screw-down crown, and I’m going to say something that has a bracelet. Because you can easily remove a bracelet, but if you get the bracelet up front it plays that many more roles.

JONATHAN: It’s already priced in.

NATHAN: Already priced in. Exactly. So, I’m a dive watch. I think of a couple of things. So, first, if you’re looking to go new I would look at some of these micro-brands. Because you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. So, two that come to mind, MK II. A really small outfit out of Pennsylvania. Guys making some great homage watches. And they’re just really well done. His attention to detail is just bar none. If you’re looking for something that’s maybe a little bit more modern, then I think Monta is a great option. I’ll put links in the description for these things. I think Monta has really nailed that kind of price point. That is kind of, I think, a lull in the market. Where you can find really good, decent watches in the couple hundred dollars, and then you jump up to things like, you know, OMEGAs and TAGs.

JONATHAN: Yeah, that $1k – $2k window is, I feel like, overlooked because…


JONATHAN: $1k and below. There’s a lot of options. And once you break $2k and above you have a bunch of options…

NATHAN: Exactly.

JONATHAN: But right in between Is kind of, like you’re saying, a little overlooked.

NATHAN: It is. And that’s where these brands like MKII and Monta are great. And Monta, I mean their design is, we’ll say Submariner inspired, but often…

JONATHAN: It’s hard not to be Submariner inspired. Let’s be honest.

NATHAN: Exactly. Most dive watches are Submariner inspired in their own right, but clearly, it’s its own design. The bracelet is spectacular. And I think it’s pretty impressive for a watch at that price point to have a great bracelet. If you want to look pre-owned. I think that’s worth mentioning because we’re Crown & Caliber, then I think the 90’s OMEGA Seamaster. The Bond watches. You get those in quartz, you can get them well below that $2k price point.

JONATHAN: Those are sleepers…

NATHAN: They’re sleepers. I mean it’s an OMEGA quartz movement.

JONATHAN: You get all the feel of a luxury watch, but the money saved is in the movement.


JONATHAN: And if this is your first luxury watch. Those nuances you may not appreciate yet. You may not see the value in yet, but you want to get the feel for it, and the look for it. That’s a great, great piece of value.

NATHAN: Reliable. Durable. And you have that kind of panache and cache of OMEGA and James Bond. Those would be my recommendations. Micro-brands like MKII, Monta. If you want to go pre-owned, take a look at an OMEGA Seamaster Quartz. Those are awesome watches. I think they’ve stood the test of time, and great bang for your buck.

JONATHAN: Nice. James Bond, I’m thinking now. Is kind of like pizza. Even the worst pizza or a bad James Bond is still good.

NATHAN: That depends on who you ask man.

JONATHAN: Still good. Different ways. Good in different ways.

NATHAN: Yeah. I’ll let it slide.

JONATHAN: A cheesy James Bond? Come on. You’d get a kick out of that. Alright, so that was a good warm up for this question.

NATHAN: Alright.

Watch Question #3 | What is the best Rolex to start?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116000

JONATHAN: The best Rolex to start. I’m imagining like maybe your first Rolex. So which Rolex do you personally recommend for first-time Rolex buyers?

NATHAN: Alright. So, this one’s easy for me. So, I have said this… If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a dozen times, probably on camera. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116000. It is, I think, the biggest sleeper in the modern Rolex lineup. Here’s why. I call this the “Modern” Explorer, even though there still is an Explorer. You get a 36mm case size.

JONATHAN: It’s what you want the modern Explorer to be.

NATHAN: It is. I’m a purist and I want it to remain a 36.

JONATHAN: I know you and I know that’s what you mean.

NATHAN: Yes. So, Rolex Oyster Perpetual 116000. It is a 36mm case size. You have an Arabic dial. Granted it’s a blue dial, but it’s a blue Arabic dial, and the 3,6 and 9 on that dial are lumed. You have the caliber 3130, which was in the Rolex Explorer until the late 2000’s when it was increased to 39mm. And you have a solid bracelet with a milled clasp. So you have all the creature comforts of a modern day Rolex, but still in that 36mm size with a robust movement. It is an exceptional watch; you can find them right under $5k. You get a Rolex blue dial. I mean it is just… It is such a sleeper, and it doesn’t carry that kind of…

JONATHAN: Well you don’t have the premium of the name.

NATHAN: Exactly.

JONATHAN: It is an Explorer; it just has a different dial.

NATHNA: Yes. And it has… it doesn’t have the Mercedes hands. So it doesn’t have the sport hands, but it is a thoroughbred Rolex without the premium of the Daytona’s, GMT Master II’s, the Submariner’s. It is such a good watch. So that is my take. Best starter Rolex. If you like that watch, it is everything Rolex in the most distilled package. Love that watch. Love that watch.

JONATHAN: Do you like it?

NATHAN: I love it.

Watch Question #4 | Hesalite or Sapphire Moonwatch?

Speedmaster with a Hesalite crystal

JONATHAN: Got it. Alright, next one. Moving to OMEGA. Hesalite or Sapphire Moonwatch?

NATHAN: Alright. So, what that means, for those that may not know. Hesalite is OMEGA’s acrylic crystal. It is what the Speedmaster is known for because if this watch goes to space, as it is NASA certified, it’s not going to explode.

JONATHAN: Yeah. OMEGA will remind you. If that watch were to go to space, which it may have.

NATHAN: It may have. Yes. So that is the traditional crystal on the OMEGA Speedmaster. Sapphire is the modern-day crystal that is on most luxury watches. It’s harder…

JONATHAN: Scratch-resistant

NATHAN: Scratch-resistant.

JONATHAN: I mean it’s effectively diamond.

Speedmaster with a Sapphire Crystal

NATHAN: Yeah. Effectively. So… Unpopular Opinion: I prefer sapphire. And here’s why. It is more durable. And they’re may be people… I think the biggest drawback that people say about a sapphire Moonwatch is it creates kind of this hazy halo around the minute-ring, the chapter-ring. To me, I’m like, it’s not going to the moon. You know, if I bump it up against a door or wall it’s not going to get scratched. And I know people can polish out the acrylic crystal, but I just prefer the sapphire. I think just from a day-to-day standpoint it’s the better option.

JONATHAN: Well, I mean, the thing about it being a Moonwatch is it… And I am like an Apollo era fanboy as much as anyone else. The thing about the Moonwatch is this tool was made for a purpose.

NATHAN: Right.

JONATHAN: That’s the whole, that’s the romance about it…


JONATHAN: it was made to go to the moon, and you can say the exact same thing about sapphire. Like. This watch is made for a purpose. It’s made for everyday wear.

NATHAN: Yeah. There you go.

JONATHAN: Hesalite is not great for every day because of scratches. It gets beat up and shows it.


JONATHAN: It’s good to go to space because it doesn’t explode when you… when it gets chipped or scratched like sapphire could. Sapphire is better, here on Earth.


JONATHAN: Where we all are because it is harder. So, it could shatter if you hit it hard enough, but you don’t have to worry about shrapnel, but it’s much more scratch resistant.

NATHAN: Yeah. I trend toward the practical. And maybe if I were an astronaut that’s… Hell if I was an astronaut, I’m not wearing an OMEGA Speedmaster in day job. So, I trend toward the practical, and day-to-day an OMEGA Speedmaster with a sapphire crystal is going to be more practical. Yes, you lose the vintage, heritage in some way shape or form, but to me the practicality is with the sapphire crystal.

JONATHAN: Yeah, and it is not often that you get to say, unsarcastically, “But here on Earth, that is more practical”.

NATHAN: Yeah. That’s true. There you go. Alright. What you got next man?

Watch Question #5 | A dive watch for a black-tie event?

JONATHAN: Next one. From space to the ocean. If you had to choose a dive watch for a black-tie event, which would you choose? There’s no black-tie events in the ocean. I messed that up. If you had to choose a dive watch for a black tie, which would you choose.

NATHAN: To me it’s a Submariner. And I used to get asked this question… Or people would phrase this often. They would be like, “Well I really like the Submariner, but, you know, I’m going to be dressing up, and you just can’t dress that up”.

JONATHAN: People said that?

NATHAN: Oh yeah. I unequivocally think that’s wrong. Here’s the thing. Until your suit or your tuxedo costs more than your watch I think you’re allowed to wear that. I mean, you know, like it’s a 7,8,9, $10k watch. Like, you can dress that up. I think one of the best examples of this is Sam Rockwell, a few years ago at the Oscars, won an Oscar. And he gets on stage and he’s in a tuxedo and he’s wearing a GMT Master II. An old 5-digit reference number with a black bezel. Now, granted that’s not a Submariner, but for all intents and purposes, from a distance, you’re looking at a 40mm Rolex…

JONATHAN: Steel sports watch.

NATHAN: With a black bezel.

JONATHAN: Was it steel?

NATHAN: Yeah. And I was like, “If it is good enough for Sam Rockwell and the Oscars, then a 40mm stainless steel sports watch with a black rotating bezel is good enough for anything you’re going to put at it”. So, I’ll hang my hat on it. A Rolex Submariner is the perfect watch for a black-tie event.

JONATHAN: Yeah. That was almost a softball.

NATHAN: Yeah. That one was easy…

JONATHAN: Almost a softball.

NATHAN: I can’t wait to see what people say in response to these questions. Haha.

Watch Question #6 | What should be the deciding factor when choosing between two watches?

JONATHAN: I know. Okay. A lot of these are Rolex, like leaning Rolex. Let’s see. What should be the deciding factor when choosing between two watches? Interesting.

NATHAN: That’s crazy. So, we were literally… We had a colleague that was asking us about a watch…

JONATHAN: This is timely.

NATHAN: Yeah. Whether or not he should buy a certain watch. This literally happened this… Today, earlier. And he was between what was potentially a cheaper option and a watch that cost a good bit more.

JONATHAN: 10X more even. Like…

NATHAN: I mean it could have been. Yes. It was the difference in a $100 watch and… or a $200 watch and a $2000 watch. For all of you math wizs out there. That’s 10X more.


NATHAN: I had to walk through that. But I told him the same thing I’ve told many clients, is: If you’re on the fence, don’t break it down to… So first off don’t do this. Don’t say well this has better luminesce or…

JONATHAN: Do not get lost in the spreadsheet. The spec sheet.

NATHAN: Yeah. Don’t get lost in that because when you’re wearing it that doesn’t matter. What I tell people is put that watch away. Put it out of your mind. Pick one of them. Say hey. I’m going with the $200 watch. If in 10 days, in if 2 weeks, if in 3 weeks you’re no longer thinking about the more expensive option, then you’ve made your decision. You know that that’s the one you need to go with. Inversely if you say hey, I’m going to go ahead and choose the $200 watch. I’m putting this to rest. I’ll buy it in three weeks, and then for the next 10 days you end up Googling that more expensive watch, the other option. Well then, you’ve kind of made that decision for yourself. You know it’s like. Hey, let’s flip a coin. Heads or tails to see which watch I’m going to choose. You flip the coin, it goes heads, and immediately. You say best two out of three, well you just made the decision for yourself; you know? So, it’s a way, I think, in which you can kind of be your own judge. So, make the proverbial decision and if in 2 weeks you’re thinking about the other one then that’s the one you need to go with.

JONATHAN: These are emotional decisions.


JONATHAN: So. You should take that into account. Don’t get lost in the spec sheet and if you can’t stop thinking about it that’s the one you want. Because you want to be, you know, you want to look down and smile at the watch every time.


JONATHAN: You know, you want to be happy with spending that kind of money on it.


JONATHAN: And I think you should consider that emotion. And if it does make you happy. If it does make you smile and it doesn’t break the bank, that’s the watch you want to get.

NATHAN: I’m going to laugh at saying this, but you should not try to rationalize what is ultimately an emotion decision.

JONATHAN: Absolutely.

NATHAN: Because there needs to be that emotion connection to the watch. Like Why else would we wear a multi-thousand-dollar watch.

JONATHAN: Especially, if you’re going to be wearing a multi-thousand-dollar watch.

NATHAN: Yeah. Exactly.

JONATHAN: I’d almost go as far to say like you should be looking at your watch more often to just look at it then to check the time. You should look at it twice because you forgot what time it is the first time you looked at it.

NATHAN: Yeah. That’s a good one. Yeah.

JONATHAN: Bringing the heat today. Bringing the heat.

Stay Tuned for Part 2…




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