As an eclectic collector of watches the subject of favorites is always somewhat fluid, simply because my collection changes. Some models are sold on, others bought and so my “favorites” might change over the years, though I confess that over the last few years my two favorite Quartz models have remained unchanged. However with my latest addition of the Tissot Expert T-Touch Solar, I might have to make it three favorites, though it will still be on probation as it were. It takes time for any watch model to gain this exalted position and I’ll see how it fares in 6 months time. I know my two firm favorites will still be there, but will the Tissot?
Anyway here are my two established favorites and with the reasons (to me) of why they are my favorites.
The first, on the left, is my Breitling Aerospace model that I bought about 15 years ago and effectively my daily beater ever since. It’s well traveled, having been around the world a few times and often in places that you wouldn’t send your dog. A fitting testament to the longevity of a Titanium case and solid bracelet is that it still looks great! It has one bezel screw missing I note and I’m pretty sure that was when I had it in for a service some years ago, though I never noticed until about 6 months ago. The sapphire crystal is unmarked with not even the tiniest scratch on it and the casing and bracelet seem almost as new. I do note the bezel has a smoothness to it which has to be cuff wear (if you could call that wear) and that’s about the only thing that says it’s not showroom.
Why I bought it in the first place was that this was a multi-function model with only a single crown (I don’t like much the conventional chronograph pushers) and the dial clarity stood out even in the shop window. The fact that the deceptively exterior hides a really good digital function set and a high quality movement was of course the true bonus. In fact I’d set this against any of today’s quartz models.
It’s over a year since I last adjusted this which was during the Winter to Summer Time change and instead of just moving the Hour, I corrected the time as well and checking it today, it’s running just 32 seconds fast – and that’s impressive.
However back to the watch – First the standard dial view shows the Time in analog and I have it set to show the Day and Date on the highly visible Fluorescent digital display. Using the center crown you can show the Seconds plus Date, the Time in Hours, Minutes and Seconds, Alarm Time, Chronograph, Dual Time or T2 in Hrs/Mins/Secs, and Timer. When setting the Time, this is done via the crown which has both turn and push functions and the analog hands follow as required. Each function is accompanied by an icon/text on the upper digital display to confirm your selection and all functions are selected and controlled by that single Crown.
For night use the hands, indices and numerals are coated in excellent and effective luminous material, though there is no back light so there is no digital vision in the dark. However I only ever want to see the time at night so no worries for me.
The Breitling is also a very neat size at 40mm diameter and with only 9mm depth is sleek to say the least in comparison with more modern watches, even Breitling. The Sapphire crystal with anti-reflect coatings plus the dial layout with no inner reflections make this one of the clearest watches you will ever see and the minute hand with it’s pivot overhang gives a subtle clarity when reading the time.
Probably if honest this is my absolute favorite and it certainly gets the most wrist time of all my watches.
My second “favorite” is this quartz Citizen Eco-Drive World Calendar A-T CB0020-09E and in my opinion one of the best models ever produced (and still produced) by Citizen. It is 45mm diameter including the crown but only 11mm in depth and at 49mm lug to lug and whilst it appears larger is actually an easy fit even on small wrists. Stainless Steel case and 200m Water Resistance with screw down crown, Radio Controlled (5 receivers) and Solar Powered (Eco-Drive) it’s a true wear and forget watch. No battery worries, always accurate to the second and has a superb World Time analog function that’s simply unbeatable in operation.
Good luminous hands and indices, a Date aperture @3, which features a Perpetual Calendar plus a quick indicator of the Radio Control state. It will receive a signal starting at 2am and with this particular watch even worn continuously it manages to pick up the signal every time (no need for standing on a window ledge overnight), despite a considerable distance from the nearest transmitter in Germany ( I live in Scotland). This is a point I have noticed before when checking Casio and Citizen – the Citizens appear to have greater sensitivity. The signal can be verified using the pusher @4, one push and the Second hand acts as a pointer and indicates on the option window @9 (yes or no) and of course there is a manual option which is – push and hold. Summer and Winter Time adjustments are Automatic, but have an ON/Off option and if you pull the crown to position 2 it will indicate if this is selected on the small window between 4 and 5.
For travel it’s simplicity itself. Simply pull out the center crown to position 1. The Second hand will instantly point to your Home Time Zone (in the UK it’s London) which is noted around the fixed bezel. The Time Zones are also marked on the outer ring within the dial. To change the Time Zone, simply turn the crown and the seconds hand will point to the City Time Code you wish, then push in the Crown. The analog hands will immediately move to the correct time for that Zone – and that’s it – done! Possibly the easiest travel time setting you’ll ever meet – I love it.
My model has a very flexible Citizen rubber/silicon deployment band with a twin button release and is very comfortable and I almost forgot, IF you need to change the Date (though you should never have to as it’s Automatic and Perpetual anyway) it can be adjusted with a small pin push just above the crown.
I’ve had this watch now for 5 years and it’s never missed a beat and is as good as new – what can I say? In fact if honest I rarely use the many functions that are available on watches these days and the Citizen does what I want. And as I do travel a bit to various Countries even today, the Time Zone change function is perfect for me.
So for a good few years now those two have been my wearable “favorite” quartz models and I’m toying with the idea of adding the Tissot Solar T-Touch Expert – though that’s a still a “maybe” for at least the next 6 months. But one thing I do know – the two models featured above will still be there as my quartz favorites whatever the outcome of any new acquisition and that’s a fact . . . .