So this has really been the year of the watch for me. With the Series 3 finally dying (because the screen finally cracked and then it died), I ended up buying a new set of smartwatches and it revitalized my interest at the other end of the Watch barbell, so here are my recommendations for "modest" watches, not the fancy but the best price/performance/uniqueness. These are great Christmas gifts for things that are less than $1K, so in fun order: 1. Apple Watch Ultra. Yes, it's$800, but you get an all-titanium watch with a long-life battery which is a great screen. And Apple Insider has the latest on prices ($50 off right now!). I particularly love the international orange alpine wristband. After all, if it is going too big might as well be bold. It's a classic aspirational product. Will I ever cross the Sahara by foot, no, but at least I could 🙂 2. Hamilton Khaki. This is the classic watch that was the key turning point for Interstellar. And they even have a specific model, the Murph, without the date which is the perfect analog to the watch in the movie, but for me, the classic Khaki Field Auto is just the perfect listing at$595. It was literally lost for a year in my tie drawer, but finally got working again. I have the 38mm version but I think the 45mm is probably better or maybe with the 49mm.
3. Citizen Eco-Drive. I actually had a version of this 10 years ago and the Titanium pins fell off the wrist band and I lost it 🙁 It's $495 but it now has an atomic clock and a lithium battery and needs just a little sun to last for six months! The Eco-drive started in 1996 and is based on the 7878 caliber movement with a solar cell underneath (today that is the U680 movement). here are literally 325 different models using the same movement so knock yourself out. But there are two variants to really look at. 4. Citizen Eco-Drive JY8078 Stainless Steel. Of the many, the most interesting to me are the ones that have different time zones. They have a sea of them. The Citizen JY8078-01L Promaster Skyhawk A-T is a stainless steel and leather band version at$480 but the seller has a caution and lists it for $695 and is$556 direct from Citizen with 10% off your first order so about $500. The Promaster Skyhawk A-T JY8078-52L which is$775 list price selling for $620 is Stainless steel case and band. 5. Citizen Eco-DrivePromaster Skyhawk A-T Super Titanium. The most expensive version is super Titanium with Atomic Timekeeping JY8101-52 which is$975 list and $780 direct and is$636 at Amazon. A variant is the JY8108-53E is very similar but is not a Blue Angels version so a different color scheme of Black and red. costing $950 or$760 direct but is just \$525 right now at Amazon. So that's quite a good deal as the Blue Angels version is really just marketing and a cool color scheme. This is a modest cost to get titanium and it looks great.

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