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EMF radiation danger in quartz watches - time to switch to automatic?

How much do automatic watches cost, and which should you get?

If you're cheap, you can get an automatic watch new for 20 bucks, but you probably won't like it. Still, at least it's nice that in this day and age you can get a really cheap automatic.

The watch I'm wearing that was pictured is known as the Orient Tristar, and costs about $75.

However, the go-to standard automatic that most people buy is a Seiko. As of this writing, they start at around $80 and go up from there.

The reason so many people buy Seiko automatics is they're built for purpose. What I mean by that is that they're not built like typical fashion watches that die and stay dead in less than 2 years. A Seiko with automatic movement will typically last much longer than that.

I'll put it another way. Consider Seiko to be the Toyota Camry of wristwatches. This isn't to say that Seiko doesn't make upper end stuff (like Grand Seiko, Seiko Presage and so on), but for most models below that, you're getting a Camry. Solid and reliable.

If you have a super sensitive wrist...

With an automatic wristwatch you avoid all the EMF that the quartz watch otherwise would have made. But if you're the type with a very sensitive wrist, there are other things to take into consideration.

Case back

If you want a metal material that won't irritate your wrist, you use gold. As in a solid gold watch. But that is always very expensive, so what you end up with will be stainless steel. This steel contains nickel. Some people are sensitive to nickel.

There are three simple ways to prevent the case back from touching the wrist.

The first is to use a NATO watch strap. This strap type goes directly under the watch and effectively prevents the case from touching the wrist.

Second would be to use what's known as a bund strap. With this type, the entire watch sits on top of a leather pad. On either side of this pad, two pieces of strap (one for top, one for bottom) are placed through slits and then join the watch.

Third is to use masking tape. Take a few pieces of tape, size with an X-ACTO knife, stick to watch case back, done. Replace the tape once a month or whenever it looks bad.

Strap material

The choices most available for strap material are metal, fabric, resin or leather.

With metal you have stainless steel, gold, white gold, titanium and so on.

With fabric you have nylon. Whether it's a NATO, Zulu or perlon (a.k.a. Nylon 6), it's all nylon.

Resin is what most people call "rubber" straps when in fact it's PUR (PolyUrethane Resin).

Leather is the most interesting of the bunch because it comes in many different flavors. Thin leather, thick leather, leather with suede backing, fake leather, calf skin, lizard skin, and so on. Many choices.

Generally speaking, the most skin-friendly watch strap is leather. The go-to brand most people use is Hadley Roma. Widely available, made right, wears in quickly, comfortable. And they even make "vegan friendly" leather straps if that's what floats your boat.

For sports purposes, you have an alternative. Wear a wrist sweatband and strap the watch around the band. Wearing a watch this way is best for sport because you can then use a resin strap and not worry about skin irritation since the wrist sweatband is what's actually touching the wrist.

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