Graham D. of Maryland, USA asks:
While I am waiting to become wealthy, could you recommend a watch that could curb my obsession with owning an Omega Speedmaster, not an homage watch, but a watch with similar, quality, styling and design cues close to $500?
We know that $500 isn’t exactly petty cash to most people in this world, but in the watch universe you can forget about getting a Swiss-Made mechanical chronograph for this money; regardless of whether it is similar to an Omega Speedmaster or not. So if you want something with an on par movement and quality Speedmaster series watches by Omega, it is going to cost you a lot more than $500. The good news is that for under $500 there are two pretty good quartz watches that we happen to like. They come from Japanese Casio and Seiko, and we think they make for good Speedmaster alternatives in a less expensive price range.
First, is the higher-end model which at just under $500 is right about what you want to spend. It is the Seiko Power Design Chronograph SBPP001 (that we covered here). It is 41mm wide in a steel case and Seiko quartz chronograph movement (with alarm). It totally has those Speedmaster looks and is all in all a great looking Seiko timepiece. Even less expensive is the Casio Edifice EF-547D-1A1VDF that retails for $200, but we found for less. Neither of these two watches are strictly speaking Omega Speedmaster closes, but they offer a similar design, along with look and feel as well as functionality for that under $500 price you are looking for.
And here I thought you were going to recommend ABTW perennial favorite Christopher Ward C7 Chronograph Rapide.
I think the lowest I've seen a Swiss mechanical chronograph for was about $1200, but they usually start around $2K. So how about some alternatives in that or other price ranges?
How about Casio Edifice EF-503D-1AV?
Less of an homage, for a nice chrono in that range, I like the Citizen Calibre 2100 (AV0050-54A) Has more weight and more thicker than the Seiko, still built in Japan instead of China, and a sapphire crystal (this link says mineral, but the watch has it written on the 6 O'clock dial -- should have left that just on the caseback). The chrono has some mechanical parts to give it an instant reset instead of the usual slow reset you see in most quartz watches, always cool to watch.