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  2. A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    The IWC Portofino is a diverse collection of exceptional timepieces. With hand-wound, automatic, chronograph, moon phase, and even tourbillon models, the Portofino is as eclectic as it gets. Despite having a great variety of models, the IWC Portofino collection adheres to tradition as its cornerstone concept. IWC is a Swiss watchmaking brand renowned for its excellent quality and timeless designs. In this guide, we will help you discover all you need to know about the IWC Portofino. Furthermore, we will also take a look at some of the different pieces in the series and find out which Portofino truly belongs to your wrist. History of the IWC Portofino Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The story of the IWC Portofino began in the 1980s, when watchmakers around the world were still recovering from the quartz crisis. While other brands were looking for modern ways to remain relevant in changing times, IWC decided to look further into the past. Instead of looking for contemporary methods to create new timepieces, the brand stuck to more conventional roots by seeking inspiration from an ageless design that has proven itself time and time again. For this, they looked to one of the most prolific watchmakers in history, Jean-Antione Lepine. Lepine is well-known for his signature 18th-century pocket watch. His iconic timepiece stands as one of the most recognised watches ever made and features a design that remains a classic from generation to generation. Preparing for their future by looking into the past, IWC knew that they were onto something potentially game-changing. Through extensive deliberation and expert craftsmanship, the Swiss brand was able to develop the IWC Portofino. IWC Portofino Models Throughout the Years 1980s IWC introduced the Portofino collection in 1984. Their first model, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251, was a sleek and elegant timepiece showcasing a vintage look with horological elements attributed to Jean-Antione. Taking influence from his famous pocket watch, the Ref. 5251 sported an oversized case and a plain white dial with Breguet hands, Roman numerals, a seconds display, and a moon phase indicator. With all these things put together, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251 had the appearance of a classic pocket watch for the wrist. What made this timepiece particularly unforgettable was its moon phase function. Bearing a golden moon by the 3 o’clock position that strikingly contrasted the white surface, the dial of the Ref. 5251 resembled that of a freshly cooked sunny-side-up egg. As a result, collectors started nicknaming this premiere piece “The Fried Egg.” In 1988, IWC added two more models to the Portofino, namely, the Ref. 3730 and the Ref. 3731. These two watches housed an innovative movement known as the Caliber 631 or the “Mechaquartz.” The Caliber 631 was a hybrid movement conceived by the creative minds of Jaeger-LeCoultre. While it was technically a quartz movement, the Caliber 631 came equipped with mechanical chronograph functions. The Ref. 3730 and the Ref. 3731 featured a handy rotating date display located at the outer rims of their respective dials.  1990s Five years later, IWC created a classic dress watch that was more minimalistic than its previous offerings, the Ref. 2010. This 1993 model was one of the smallest Portofino models IWC ever made. It displayed a modest aesthetic with gold stick hands and hour indices. Underneath the Ref. 2010 was IWC’s Caliber H/849 – a flat hand-wound movement that was only 1.85mm thick. This watch underwent production from 1993 to 2005. In 1995, IWC engineered the Ref. 3050 Romana Perpetual Calendar, the collection’s first perpetual chronograph. This was one of the slimmest perpetual chronographs ever produced and was in the foreground of IWC’s shelves until 2001. It highlighted a hand-wound movement and a timeless design beloved by all. 2000s The IWC Ref. 3533 Portofino Automatic is a model developed with IWC’s community. By garnering feedback from their audience during the 1990s, IWC created a traditional Portofino with a more sizable case. The Ref. 3533 bore a design similar to the collection’s Ref. 2010, but with very different specifications. The Portofino Automatic Ref.3533 highlighted an automatic caliber with new complications such as central seconds and a date function at 3 o’clock. 2008 marked the brand’s 140th anniversary. To commemorate the momentous occasion, IWC released an exclusive collection featuring re-editions of their most coveted watches. Among those timepieces was a tribute to the very first Portofino, the Portofino Vintage. While bearing the Ref. 5251’s iconic elegant design, the Portofino Vintage showcased IWC’s in-house Caliber 98800, which relocated the moon phase indicator to the 12 o’clock position and the seconds display to 6 o’clock. Watch enthusiasts were delighted to see the return of the moon phase indicator. Additionally, IWC offered the new Portofino Vintage with an exhibition-style case back for wearers to view the movement at work. 2010s In 2011, IWC established the Ref. 5101 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days. Bearing the brand’s newest hand-wound caliber, the Ref. 5101 stands at the forefront of IWC as the flagship model of the Portofino line. The dial of the new IWC Portofino displays several chronograph complications such as a date function, a seconds display, and a power indicator. Although it has numerous robust features, the dial bears a clean and uncluttered look, promoting easy readability. Underneath the dial is the IWC-manufactured Caliber 59210. Possessing the brand’s latest technology, the Caliber 59210 features a power reserve that can last up to 192 hours or eight days. With such a brilliant innovation, wearers of the Ref. 5101 would only have to wind this luxurious timepiece once every week. Exceptional and sophisticated all around, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is one of IWC’s most capable and popular Portofino models ever. Three years later, IWC crafted the latest edition to the Portofino collection, the Portofino Automatic 37. The Portofino Automatic 37 brings a slew of wonderfully crafted, mid-sized three-hand models to the IWC Portofino collection. Its case measures 37mm in diameter, which is perfect for those with more slender wrists. Through this timepiece, the Portofino collection once again expands its variety. With two-button chronographs, moon phase watches, quartz movements, automatic movements, two-hand models, and now three-hand models, the Portofino was nothing short of diversified. In 2017, IWC created their latest in-house chronograph caliber, which was the Caliber 59800. The new movement featured a moon phase indicator along with IWC’s ground-breaking eight-day power reserve. Holding IWC’s latest horological innovations, the brand then integrated the Caliber 59800 into their Ref. 5101s models in the same year. On their 150th anniversary in 2018, IWC brought the spotlight back to the Portofino Automatic by unveiling a limited edition variant known as the IWC Portofino Automatic 150 Years. This upgraded automatic wristwatch showcases an eye-catching blue lacquer-finished dial with a sleek rhodium-plated handset. IWC limited this exclusive version of the Portofino Automatic to 2000 models. Sheltered by a 40mm stainless steel case, the Portofino Automatic 150 Years suits the wrists of both ladies and gentlemen. The showcase, however, didn’t stop there. A year later, IWC introduced a luxurious edition of the IWC Portofino Automatic, which featured a petite 34mm 18K gold case with 104 diamond studs encrusted around its surface. Accompanied by an embossed silver-plated dial, this new 34mm automatic timepiece is now the most prestigious ladies’ model in the IWC Portofino line. Exploring the IWC Portofino Family The IWC Portofino line is home to all kinds of timepieces. Ranging from automatic watches, moon phase watches, chronograph watches, and more, you definitely won’t be running out of choices with the IWC Portofino. But with so many variations, it can be quite the challenge to pin down the ideal watch for you. Rather than going through every single model in the collection, we have hand-picked a few timepieces that truly embody the heritage and core aspects of the IWC Portofino. Prices for the IWC Portofino start at $4,900 USD and increase from there. Depending on the model, the materials used, and features offered, a brand-new Portofino can cost you up to $58,000 USD. While prices for the IWC Portofino aren’t strictly top-of-the-line, you would still get more value for your money if you purchased a model from the pre-owned market.  IWC Portofino Automatic Watches The Portofino collection primarily consists of classic automatic watches. With a timeless look and a highly recognisable build, the IWC Portofino Automatic stands out as an excellent tribute to the vintage pocket watch of a bygone era. Each Portofino Automatic holds a black, white, or blue dial and uses stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold for its case. IW356504 Portofino Automatic The IWC Portofino Automatic IW356504 is one of the most alluring and talked-about timepieces in the entire collection. With an exquisite 18K 5N rose gold case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a minimalist silver dial, the IW356504 brings back an ageless aesthetic with a modern twist. Underneath the dial is an automatic IWC 35111 Caliber. Carrying some of the latest technologies of IWC, the 35111 Caliber consists of a self-winding mechanism and a substantial 42-hour power reserve. IWC also pairs the IW356504 with a comfortable dark brown alligator leather strap. What makes this model truly unique, apart from the high-quality materials used, is its one-of-a-kind case back. When you look at the back this watch, you can see a beautiful engraving of the Ligurian coast in all of its glory. Delicately carved, down to the smallest detail, the panoramic view perfectly captures a moment in Portofino frozen in time for all to admire. With a water resistance of 30m, the IW356504 Portofino Automatic retails at $12,800 USD. IW356502 Portofino Automatic For an automatic wristwatch with a more budget-friendly price, look no further than the Portofino Automatic IW356502. Unlike the IW356504, the case IW356502 is made from high-quality stainless steel. Furthermore, this version of the Portofino Automatic contains a stark black dial that satisfyingly contrasts against clean silver indices and hands, and a stainless steel case back. As a more affordable variant, the case back of the IW356502 does not feature the Portofino engravings that can be seen in the collection’s more luxurious timepieces. All in all, the IW356502 costs $4,900 USD. IW459401 Portofino Automatic Moon Phase The IWC Portofino collection also features some automatic models with moon phase indicators. One of the most popular variants is the IW459401 Automatic Moon Phase. What sets the IW459401 apart is its moon phase indicator, which is run by an automatic IWC 35800 Caliber. With this added complication, the IW459401 becomes a more robust timepiece while still sporting a nostalgic vintage design. This IWC Moon Phase watch utilizes a hardy stainless steel case and sapphire glass to protect the entirety of the model. The IW459401 sells for just $6,900 USD. IWC Portofino Automatic Chronographs The IWC Portofino also offers an attractive selection of automatic chronographs. While bearing multiple complications that allow you to keep track of the various aspects of time, the Portofino chronographs still retain the neatness and timelessness that this prestigious collection is known for. The Portofino Chronograph can come with a white, black, or blue dial, and is housed in a 42mm case made from stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold.  IW391027 Portofino Chronograph  The IW391027 Portofino Chronograph is an elegant timepiece with a sophisticated look. Crafted with the utmost care, it bears a clean and crisp design throughout its structure. The IW391027 comes in a sizeable 42mm stainless steel case paired with a classic dark brown alligator leather strap. Inside the round steel case is a clean, uncluttered silver-plated dial. Apart from the usual hours, minutes, and seconds functions, the dial also contains a few chronograph complications and a handy day and date window. Accompanied by sleek rhodium hands and indices, the dial is protected by a layer of sapphire glass. The IW391027 is operated by IWC’s 75320 Caliber. Held by 25 jewels, the 75320 Caliber is a self-winding, automatic movement with a power reserve that can last up to 44 hours. Covered by a stainless steel case back, the IW391027 sells for $6,100 USD. IW391035 Portofino Chronograph Image By: IWC Schaffhausen Compared to the IW391027, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is a more luxurious variant. The timepiece has similar functions and dimensions to the IW391027 but uses a sensual 18K 5N rose gold case. Additionally, the IW391035 sports a striking royal blue dial that perfectly compliments its golden hands and indices. Located at the back of the timepiece is a rose gold case back that showcases the artful engraving of the Portofino harbour. Since it is made from more exotic materials, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is slightly costlier, retailing at $16,800 USD. IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Watches This line of IWC Portofino timepieces is quite possibly the most popular among watch enthusiasts. Featuring IWC’s revolutionary eight-day power reserve, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound boasts an impeccable design and practical innovations. Portofino Hand-Wound timepieces come in three forms: Original, Moon Phase, and Tourbillon Retrograde. IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The IW510104 Hand-Wound Eight Days is arguably the most iconic modern-day watch of the Portofino collection. The IW510104 comes in a 45mm 18K rose gold case paired with a dark brown alligator leather strap. Its dial features a slate-colored surface that contains golden hands and Roman numerals, complete with a power reserve indicator, a seconds display, and a date window. The watch runs on IWC’s highly capable 59210 Caliber. This in-house automatic caliber is capable of winding itself through the natural movement of the wearer’s hand, and is capable of powering the IW510104 for eight whole days. Sealed by a see-through sapphire rear case, the IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is worth $19,800 USD. Another version of this Portofino comes with an additional moon phase indicator at the 12 o’clock position and costs $23,900 USD. IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days If the IW510104 is too extravagant for your tastes, IWC also offers a subtler, more affordable version with similar specifications. Priced at $9,900 USD, the IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days uses durable, scratch-resistant stainless steel to make its case. Its cool silver-plated dial showcases an analog layout, with a gold-toned set of hands and indices. This watch features the exact same complications that you can find in the slate dial of the IW510104. In general, the IW510103 bears capabilities and functions identical to more expensive variants of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days watches, including the whopping eight-day power reserve. Brand-new vs. Pre-owned Once you decide to buy an IWC Portofino watch, your choices will boil down to whether you want a timepiece that is either brand-new or pre-owned. Both sides have their respective sets of pros and cons. Pre-owned watches are almost always more affordable than brand-new models. That said, it is pivotal to take into account all the aspects of the timepiece when discussing its price. A few factors that apply in this discussion include the Portofino’s overall condition, the presence or absence of its original box and paperwork, and whether the whole piece still retains all its original parts. Generally, pre-owned Portofino timepieces can help buyers save up to 50% of their total budget. If you look hard enough for a second-hand Portofino, it is possible for you to find sellers who offer IWC Portofino watches with prices as low as $3,700 USD, although you have to be careful to double-check the authenticity of the watch and the condition it is in. Of course, buying a brand-new IWC Portofino from an authorized dealer eliminates all possible worries. However, each watch bears a value that runs the risk of depreciating over time. While Portofino watches resell quite well, it is crucial to consider all your options so that you invest in the right timepiece. If you know where to look, purchasing a pre-owned timepiece could be the better option compared to buying a Portofino that is brand-new. Having that choice allows you to own a fantastic IWC Portofino watch of nearly the same quality for a more budget-friendly price. Final Thoughts For thirty-seven years, the IWC Portofino has continued to be one of IWC Schaffhausen’s most outstanding collections. With its natural looks, gorgeous structure, robust features, and the public’s undying demand for classic watches, the Portofino holds an impressive reputation among men and women alike. By retaining the brand’s core values, the IWC Portofino collection establishes itself as a permanent member of the IWC family to look out for. Looking for a pilot watch? Here are the Best IWC Big Pilot watches for aviation enthusiasts. Featured Image By: IWC Schaffhausen

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  4. Seagull 1963: An In-Depth Guide on the Historical Chinese Chronograph

    Seagull 1963: An In-Depth Guide on the Historical Chinese Chronograph

    The world of horology holds a diverse cast of luxury watchmaking brands that champion accuracy and timeless designs over anything else. These companies mostly hail from Switzerland, Germany, the United States of America, and Japan. That said, there are quite a few watch companies, not from the aforementioned countries, that is criminally underrated by the general public. For instance, the Seagull 1963 chronograph easily comes to mind. This is a classic Chinese watch that holds significant value in terms of its history and intended usage. Indeed, if you are an avid watch collector, you may already be aware of the Seagull 1963. The horology industry and the military have often affiliated themselves with each other throughout the years. The same can be said with Rolex, Alpina, Casio, and many more renowned watchmaking brands. In many ways, being affiliated with the military boosts a watch’s historical significance, making it a more valuable investment. Others argue that being trusted by the military is a testament to the reliability and quality of a watch and its maker. This is why the Seagull 1963 deserves recognition from more than just long-time watch connoisseurs.  The general design of the Seagull 1963 watches follows one specific blueprint. The sizes may vary, the color scheme may have certain twists and there may be several options available for straps and bracelets, but the main structure of the Seagull 1963 remains the same. This allows the Seagull 1963 to preserve its value throughout the years, showing the world just what made it popular back during its initial release. History Prior to becoming the Seagull 1963, this watch went through several name changes. The Tianjin Watch Factory was founded in 1955 with a fairly limited budget and manpower. This factory would soon expand and attempt to create the first Chinese watch available for export. This company was initially named “WuXing”, which translates to “Five Stars.” This name, however, was short-lived and was ultimately changed to “Dong Feng” during Mao Zedong’s rise to power. The word “Dong Feng” means “East Wind”, signifying the headstrong principles and lofty goals of this watch factory. In 1961, the Tianjin Watch Factory was given a mission that would change the course of its production. With official permission to develop a watch for the Chinese Airforce, the Tianjin Watch Factory started manufacturing numerous prototypes with corresponding serial numbers for each pilot. This was done to ensure a structured system and promote confidentiality throughout the military. This development was called “Project 304.” This codename was used as part of the confidentiality agreement between the company and the military. From its launch to the completion of the project in 1963, over 30 prototypes were issued by the company. This prompted the coining of the name “The 1963” as the official name of the watch. Over the years, the Tianjin Watch Factory continued its horological innovation and proceeded to garner attention from all over China. In 1974, the company started exporting its watches, which led to another name change for the sake of appealing to other nations. The Seagull 1963 was selected as its official English name. It is rare for a watch company to produce just one watch with a single design that still manages to hold such historical significance. Considering the high regard the Seagull 1963 continues to be held in, it is truly a classic timepiece that is both affordable and a great addition to collections. First Impressions The Seagull 1963 has a very simplistic and minimalist design that gives us a retrospective look into a fraction of Chinese History. Some who are unaware of its origins may shrug it off and deem it a cheap mechanical watch. In reality, however, the Seagull 1963 is far from being a mediocre watch, despite its affordable price point. Furthermore, a large number of collectors and watch connoisseurs have an undeniable soft spot for vintage watches. Even if a watch has a very low price point, all that matters is its heritage and historical significance. With that in mind, the Seagull 1963 is a definitive vintage watch that has slowly but surely evolved over the years. Not much has changed in terms of its style, but there were several reissues of this watch as the years went by. These reissues provide more modern takes on the Seagull 1963 without taking away most of its original charm. One of the Seagull 1963’s most notable designs is its off-white dial. It adds more to the Seagull 1963’s vintage aspect, as it still maintains the classic 1960s demeanour.  All in all, the Seagull 1963 is a great watch that caters to both beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike. The affordability of this watch makes it accessible to those who are on a tight budget. Plus, the Seagull 1963 is a breath of fresh air since Chinese watches are quite rare in the watchmaking industry. Sampling a variety of watchmakers from across the globe gives us a chance to indulge in their cultures for a little bit—adding to the appeal of the Seagull 1963. Specifications Looking at the Seagull 1963, you may be led to believe that it is a simple quartz watch with limited features. In reality, it is actually an incredible tool watch with robust functionalities. This should be expected since the Seagull 1963 is trusted by the Chinese airforce to the point where extreme confidentiality was enacted during its production. Let us take a closer look at the detailed specifications of the Seagull 1963. Case, Crown, and Case Back The original Seagull 1963 (Prototype 304) has a 38mm stainless steel case with an 11mm or 14mm thickness, depending on the crystal used. The case was made smaller and lighter to provide more comfort to the pilots. It may be a little too thin for some, but the NATO or leather straps that come with the Seagull 1963 adds to its comfort. The 38mm diameter and 11mm thickness provide a proportionate design scheme that allows for god compatibility on any wrist size. The caseback is screwed down to protect the inner mechanisms of the watch from the water. On the newer variations, the caseback now has a see-through crystal, allowing wearers to look inside into and see how the watch’s movement operates. This is a now-common design found in a number of modern luxury watches. The Seagull 1963 also has a 30m water resistance. Keep in mind that this watch has a very thin case, so having 30m of water resistance is already an incredible feat. The scratch-resistant crystal also adds to the protection of the watch. There are many variations of the crystal throughout the production of the Seagull 1963. These crystals can alter the dimensions of the watch since some models come with a domed crystal and others with a flat one. The domed crystal adds 3mm of thickness to the watch, granting a total of 14mm in thickness. This variation is actually the original crystal that was used during the Seagull 1963’s initial production. The flat crystal, which maintains a more standard surface compared to the domed crystal, is only 1mm thick. The crown of the Seagull 1963 is also screwed down to prevent water from going in, although it is unusually placed on the left side of the watch. As usual, the hands can be adjusted with the un-screwed crown. The same procedure is used to wind the Seagull 1963 since it is a hand-wound mechanical watch. The two buttons beside the crown are used to control the chronograph sub-dials. These buttons are used to start and stop the timer as the wearer pleases.  Dial The dial of the Seagull 1963 is probably its most defining feature. The slim profile of the stainless steel case perfectly complements the clean off-white color of the dial, without any unnecessary styles or embellishments that encumber the legibility of the watch. The off-white dial itself provides a clear view of each numeric character on the dial. The Seagull 1963 has gold-plated applied indices. It has numeral markers for all of its even numerals, but its odd numerals take the shape of triangle markers. The gold-toned hour markers blend well with the off-white dial and are a very popular color combination in the watch industry. The minute and seconds markers can be found on the outer rim of the dial. These markers may be small, but they are still visible and easy to read.  The two chronograph sub-dials are positioned at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The size of these sub-dials is just right, not too small as to be unreadable and not too big, so the dial doesn’t look cluttered. As for the designs of the dial, there is a red star with a gold outline below the 12th-hour marker along with the words “21 Zuan”, which translates to “21 Jewels.” This pertains to the embedded jewels found on the calibre movement used in the watch. Chinese writing can also be found on the bottom part of the dial, which is only natural considering its country of origin. These characters spell out “China”, and under it reads “Tianjin Watch Factory.” Calibre Movement The calibre movement used in the original Seagull 1963 that was released in 1961 was the Venus 175 caliber. This movement was commonly found in watches that were manufactured during the 40s up to the 50s. Given that the Venus 175 caliber is quite outdated in the modern age, the Tianjin Watch Factory has changed the caliber movement used to the new ST19. The Seagull ST19 caliber is a hand-wound mechanical movement that is used in the reissued versions of the Seagull 1963 watch. Not much has changed in regards to the functions and features offered, but the reliability and accuracy of the ST19 caliber movement allow the Seagull 1963 to keep up with its modern contemporaries.  Oddly enough, the Seagull 1963 chooses to highlight the number of jewels used on the dial instead of the caliber movement used. The reason behind this design is still a mystery. On top of that, the Seagull 1963 can last up to an impressive 45 hours when wound to its maximum capability. Winding a watch may not be a significantly time-consuming activity, but it can prove to be a hassle if you forget about it, so the relatively long 45-hour power reserve is very handy. Indeed, the ST19 calibre movement is definitely a huge improvement on the Venus 175 caliber in terms of reliability and utility. Notable Variations Did you know that there are several variations of the original Seagull 1963 watch model? Most of them vary in size, color scheme, and even manufacturer. The Tianjin Watch Factory may be the main manufacturer of the Seagull 1963, but they are more lenient than they seem when it comes to their products. They have allowed the distribution of the Seagull 1963 from several vendors. Aside from that, the Tianjin Watch Factory has even allowed third-party companies and watchmakers to create new Seagull 1963 watches, with the same name and design. This is an almost unheard-of move, especially for a watchmaking company. With that in mind, here are a few notable variations of the Seagull 1963. The Seagull 1963 38mm (Original) When it comes to reissues or tribute watches, most watchmakers would strictly follow the original blueprint of the watch being reintroduced. That way, the heritage of the reissued watch is clear, even through its design. Of course, some watchmakers love to add their own modern twists when creating a tribute watch. This practice can sometimes leave fans divided. Some may want a part-by-part remake of the original watch, while others welcome the idea of change. It is a tricky situation that can happen in any industry. That is why the Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is a great example of a remake done right. This reissue stayed true to the original that was released for the Chinese Airforce. It retained the 38mm stainless steel case along with the domed crystal that contributed to its 14mm thickness. The weight of the Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is not a concern either, as it remains the same as that of an 11mm Seagull 1963 watch. The reissued Seagull 1963 also maintained the same off-white dial with gold-toned applied indices, and black minutes and seconds markings. The chronograph sub-dials can also be found at the same 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, with both chronographs being operated through the two buttons located beside the screw-down crown. Despite being manufactured by different vendors in China, the Seagull 1963 remake did not undergo any change whatsoever across vendors. The ST19 calibre movement is found inside every piece of the Seagull 1963 remake, the same 30m water resistance is also present. The Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is an excellent utility watch, and the only real challenge is finding a reliable vendor that manufactures it. The Seagull 1963 Panda As the name suggests, the Seagull 1963 Panda is reminiscent of the famous Chinese national symbol, the grand panda. In this reissue, a number of features were changed while keeping the base design intact. Instead of going for the original 38mm case, a larger 42mm polished stainless steel case was used for this version. The polished stainless steel blends well in the modern era of horology, where polished stainless steel tends to be more popular than just stainless steel alone. The Seagull 1963 Panda also uses a black and red NATO-style strap to provide a more unique design that sets it apart from the original.  The dial of the Seagull 1963 is a pearlescent white, a sharp and glossy color that matches the silver-toned appliques and hands. The minute markings are still in contrasting black, located at the outer rim of the dial, which makes them easier to read. The chronograph sub-dials, on the other hand, are colored black to complete the panda motif of the watch, as it resembles the endearing black eyes of a giant panda. The Seagull 1963 Price Range As mentioned before, the production of the Seagull 1963 branched out to several third-party vendors across China. This made it difficult to acquire an authentic Seagull 1963 model due to the inevitable rise of counterfeits and cheap knockoffs. Such instances also led to negative reviews from patrons who received fake Seagull 1963 pieces of cheap quality. Some of these reviews have reported that the crystal falls off easily after a single impact, while others received an unsecured caseback. These problems are all the result of fake sellers hawking counterfeit Seagull 1963 models. That said, there are still reliable sources of an authentic Seagull 1963 watch to be found online. Renowned online stores should definitely be your top choice when looking for this sought-after watch. Lucky for you, the price range for the authentic Seagull 1963 is really still quite affordable. In fact, the highest price for this watch is $560 USD, which is manufactured by a certain watchmaker called “Sea-Gull.” The prices for these watches may vary, but as long as you can get your hands on a genuine model, the quality remains consistent. Some buyers have reported getting authentic Seagull 1963 models for as low as $334 USD. As for the Seagull 1963 Panda version, its retail price is $339 USD, which is quite budget-friendly for such a well-designed watch. Final Thoughts The Seagull 1963 is definitely a classic watch that definitely deserves greater recognition and respect. There are two main reasons why a lot of people might be conflicted about getting this watch. The first one is the presence of an overwhelming number of counterfeits and knockoffs that managed to infiltrate the market, largely due to the fact that there is no single manufacturer for the Seagull 1963. Second is the lack of official information on the Internet that highlights more of the Seagull 1963’s history.  That said, there is no doubt that the Seagull 1963 is a great watch with a very interesting heritage. From its honourable purpose as an official aviation watch intended for the Chinese military, the Seagull 1963 definitely soared the skies with glory. It is true that the original Seagull 1963, made by the Tianjin Watch Factory, is no longer available or is extremely rare to find. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a great watch to add to your collection, the Seagull 1963 remake might be an excellent one. It is affordable and has a particular nostalgic charm—the perfect vintage utility watch for the modern connoisseur. If you are looking for more classic watch designs, check out our Top 5 Japanese Dress Watches to find the best dress watch for you. All images courtesy of Seagull 1963

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  5. Rolex Kermit: A Complete Guide on Rolex’ 50th Anniversary Watch

    Rolex Kermit: A Complete Guide on Rolex’ 50th Anniversary Watch

    Introduction Out of all the watches Rolex has released, most would agree that the Rolex Submariner is at the top of the list in terms of popularity. It could even be considered Rolex’s best watch, beating GMT-Master by a thin margin. But then again, Rolex is known for manufacturing great timepieces that are loved worldwide. Throughout all the years that Rolex has been in operation, the consistently high quality of its watches is solid proof of Rolex’s passion and its long-running vision. To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner, Rolex launched the Rolex “Kermit” Submariner. The name might sound a little odd at first, but there have been a stranger and more abstract watch names, with Seiko watches being a prominent example. In Rolex’s case, the “Kermit” name isn’t just a gimmick to catch attention—a quick look at the watch itself quickly reveals to us that it’s also a reference to the watch’s stunning green color scheme. Photo courtesy of Rolex Considering Rolex’s long-standing history as a renowned watch manufacturer, it is no surprise that the company chose to create a tradition that would allow them to commemorate this history. According to this tradition, every time a Rolex watch model reaches its 50th anniversary, a new commemorative watch is introduced. In this case, the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner was marked by the release of the Rolex Kermit 16610LV in 2003. As such, the Rolex Kermit was made specially to pay homage to the Rolex Submariner’s legendary status. This review will shed light on Rolex’s commemorative traditions as well as how the Rolex Kermit watch came to be. What makes the Rolex Kermit special? Why is it named as such? Is it worth it to own a Rolex Kermit? Let’s find out. History The Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1954. Since its release, it has easily ranked among the best diver’s watches on the planet. You might be a little confused as to why the Rolex Kermit was introduced in 2003, since strictly speaking, the Rolex Submariner would’ve been in its 49th year in 2003. The real reason for this is because Rolex had already been working on the Submariner since 1953, with the Rolex Turn-O-Graph. The Turn-O-Graph was the prototype for the Submariner, which explains the similarities in their designs. The Turn-O-Graph may not be an official Submariner predecessor on paper, but it cannot be denied that Rolex used it as the main blueprint for both the Submariner and the GMT-Master. As such, 1953 is considered the official birth of the Submariner, and so the 50th anniversary of the watch being in 2003 actually checks out.  You might also have noticed that the color green is an extremely prevalent one on most of Rolex’s special watches. Prime examples of this include the Rolex Hulk, Rolex GMT-Master Yellow Gold Green Dial, and, of course, the Rolex Kermit itself—both old and new versions. Based on Rolex’s philosophy, the color green is often associated with luxury and riches. With this belief, it is only appropriate for Rolex to use this particular color on their special watches. With the color green evoking lavishness, wealth, and luck, Rolex using this color perfectly captures and represents these aspects of their commemorative watches. Some might think that the color green is a little out of place on a professional, sportier dive watch, but Rolex has managed to complement it well with both gold and stainless steel cases. This is a big reason why many celebrities and watch enthusiasts simply adore the way Rolex utilizes this specific color. In 2010, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was unfortunately discontinued to make way for the release of the Rolex Hulk. The Hulk is an improved version of the Rolex Kermit, with a green dial and bezel. This is unlike the Rolex Kermit which has a black dial and a green bezel. The Rolex Hulk proceeded to become a mainstay in the Rolex Submarine line due to its popularity. It should be noted that although the Rolex Hulk is based on the Rolex Kermit, it is not actually considered a commemorative watch by Rolex. A few years later, the Rolex Kermit made a triumphant return due to massive demand from fans all over the world. There is no doubt that the first Rolex Kermit was already a popular model during its release, but the Rolex Hulk was arguably even more popular, with several official Rolex stores having a shortage of said watch. The new Rolex Kermit 122610LV was introduced to satisfy the wants of the majority of their patrons. At a glance, there seem to be few obvious visible changes. Rest assured, however, that Rolex has added quite a few notable upgrades to the new Rolex Kermit, and we will be discussing each one below. Impressions At first glance, the green bezel of the Rolex Kermit might look a little odd to watch connoisseurs. Most would agree that it is an unusual color, especially for a Rolex Submariner model. A closer look, however, reveals that Rolex did a great job of picking out a unique color to fit the legendary Submariner line. Although people were initially a little skeptical about this watch, the eventual popularity of the Rolex Kermit is not to be taken lightly. It is no surprise that many Rolex enthusiasts and watch connoisseurs want to get their hands on this watch. This is not just because it is a commemorative watch, but also because of its comfortable profile and luxurious design. The visual similarities between the Rolex Kermit 16610LV and the Rolex Kermit 122610LV might make it hard for you to decide which one of the two to choose. But keep in mind that the 16610LV was discontinued almost two decades ago and has since been replaced by the newer 122610LV version—making the older one somewhat obsolete in terms of features and functions. Nevertheless, both Rolex Kermit watches are still highly-regarded members of the Submariner collection. Do not be deceived into thinking that the green bezel is the only thing that makes the Rolex Kermit a great watch. While it is an outstanding design, the Kermit still manages to create its own identity in other ways, truly setting itself apart from other Submariner watches and solidifying its purpose as a 50th-anniversary watch. Specifications The features and functions of the Rolex Kermit do not go astray from the usual Submariner blueprint. This means that the Kermit possesses all the functions that you would expect a luxury dive watch to have. The 1953 Turn-O-Graph’s primary functions were limited to a unidirectional rotating bezel and a straightforward dial that consisted mainly of time indicators. These features were later inherited by the Rolex Submariner and can be found in the Rolex Kermit as well. With that in mind, here are the specifications of the Rolex Kermit watch. Case, Crown, and Bezel Photo courtesy of Rolex Since Rolex Submariner watches feature a 41mm case, both the Rolex Kermit 122610LV and the 16610LV also follow suit with the same case size. The case of the Rolex Kermit is made from a 904L corrosion-resistant stainless steel case, so it can withstand most impacts and scratches. The bracelet is made from the same material and makes use of the Oysterlock technology, which keeps it secure on your wrist and minimizes any risk of it coming loose. The Rolex Kermit has a thin profile with very little heft, making for a very comfortable fit on the wearer’s wrist. The green bezel, which is the highlight of the watch, rotates unidirectionally, something that is true of the bezels of all Submariner watches. The green bezel also has 60-minute markings to provide a more accurate and clear reading of the time. The bezel also comes with silver gear-like edges, which provides wearers with a better grip even if they are wearing gloves or in a wetsuit, which is especially useful for a dive watch. One difference that the new 122610LV has from the original Rolex Kermit is that it uses a darker shade of green on the bezel. Not only does it look different from the first Rolex Kermit watch, but it also creates a more solid and tasteful design that surpasses the bright green hue of the 16610LV.  The case of the Rolex Kermit is both scratch-resistant and shock-resistant. In addition, the Rolex Kermit possesses 300m of water resistance, well above the ISO rating for standard diver’s watches. The solid, screwed-down caseback of the Rolex Kermit is also effective at keeping moisture from leaking into the watch, thus protecting the inner mechanisms safe from foreign elements. It cannot be denied that the Rolex Submariner collection is well-known for its durability, and this is true of the Rolex Kermit as well. The Rolex Kermit also features a screwed-down crown that is similar to those of other Submariner watches. The Rolex logo is etched on the surface of the crown, and its teeth edges make it easy to use when configuring the time or when hand-winding. In addition, many Rolex watches offer a particularly easy way of winding. All a wearer has to do is unscrew the crown counterclockwise and switch to clockwise to initiate the winding process. The watch will not indicate that it is fully winded. Instead, it allows you to keep rotating the crown while keeping the watch fully winded. This may be a little confusing at first, especially for beginners, but it is a fool-proof design that many Rolex watches adopt, including the Rolex Kermit. Dial Photo courtesy of Rolex Much like the first Rolex Kermit model, the new 122610LV stayed true to the stark black dial tone. Not only does it provide consistency to the design, but it also goes to show how well-loved the black dial and green bezel combination of the Kermit is. It is a minimalistic, professional design that still manages to stand out in a crowd. The Rolex Kermit is an analog watch that uses silver-toned hands and applied indices. White minute markers can be found on the outer rim of the dial. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position and has a date magnifier fitted over it as part of the sapphire crystal. The combination of the black dial and the white markers is a specially popular combination found on many Rolex dive watches. It serves to provide better visibility in the dark, especially underwater. This is further emphasized on the luminous material applied to the hands and indices of the watch. It is also worth noting that the Chromalight display technology is used on the dial. This means that, apart from the Super-Luminova coating on the hands and indices, the Rolex Kermit also emits a different form of light to ensure maximum legibility at all times. The sapphire crystal offers a scratch-resistant surface for greater protection both underwater and on land. Caliber Movement Initially fitted with the 3135 automatic caliber movement, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV provides the same accuracy and reliability that older Rolex Submariner watches are accustomed to. The 3135 caliber was the main movement used in older Submariner watches before Rolex decided to change it into the 3235 caliber movement. The 3135 caliber has 31 jewels to prevent excess wear and tear and has a consistent rate of 28,800 VpH. It also provides a 50-hour power reserve. Now, the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV uses a more updated version of the 3135, which is the 3235 automatic caliber movement. Not only does it have the same solid 28,800VpH, but it also provides a 70-hour power reserve that is significantly longer than the previous movement. This self-winding movement was introduced in 2017, with the intent of creating a more powerful caliber movement that is still reminiscent of the features found on the 3135 caliber movement. The 3235 automatic caliber movement uses a paramagnetic oscillator as its balance mechanism, which gives the caliber more reliability in terms of synchronization and the winding factor. The 3235 is a massive improvement on the 3135 in many ways, which allows for maximum utility for its wearers—particularly professionals. Comparison Rolex Kermit vs Rolex Hulk As mentioned before, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was discontinued and was partially replaced by the Rolex Hulk in 2010. A comparison of these two popular watches is more than justified considering their similar designs and their places in the Submariner collection. The Rolex Hulk provides a chunkier profile that distinguishes itself from the Rolex Kermit. It has a much thicker, bulky profile that is the opposite of Rolex Kermit’s thin case design. The lugs are also thick, which adds to the hefty weight of the watch. That being said, the Rolex Hulk has a 40mm stainless steel case, which is actually a millimeter smaller in diameter than the Rolex Kermit. The green dial and the green bezel of the Rolex Hulk also deviate slightly from the shade of the Rolex Kermit’s green bezel. While the 16610LV uses a bright shade of green, the Rolex Hulk uses a darker shade to match the green dial. This gives it a subtle and refreshing color that does not stand out too exaggeratedly. Following the introduction of the 3235 caliber movement in 2020 as the new main movement of the Submariner line, Rolex decided to discontinue the Rolex Hulk watch. As a result of this, the newer version of the Rolex Kermit was launched and came equipped with improved features, including the new 3235 caliber movement. The choice of a Rolex Hulk as opposed to a Rolex Kermit really is an issue of preference. Both models have a lot in common, but the size and stature of the cases greatly affect the way these watches are worn. If you have a larger wrist, or if you just prefer a heftier watch that you can really feel around your wrist, then the Rolex Hulk is the right watch for you. But if you prefer a slimmer, more lightweight watch, then the Rolex Kermit 16610LV 122610 LV will surely provide you with the comfort you desire. The retail price for the Rolex Hulk 116610LV is currently $9,050. It is cheaper than both the old and new Rolex Kermit watches. However, since Rolex announced the Hulk’s discontinuation, the market for pre-owned Rolex Hulk watches has risen significantly. Currently, the average price for a pre-owned Rolex Hulk 116610LV is at a whopping $24,000, almost the same price as the Rolex Kermit 16610LV. Pre-owned Rolex Hulks are certainly worth a pretty penny at the moment, so you should be vigilant when shopping for a pre-owned watch and check to ensure that the piece you are getting is authentic so as to avoid losing an unnecessary amount of money online. Rolex Kermit Price Range It is a well-known fact that Rolex watches fall on the expensive side of the spectrum when it comes to watch prices. The approximate price for a Rolex Submariner can reach up to $20,000 above, depending on the model. Some Rolex Submariners can be found at $8,000, but this is most likely the lowest price you could get for a Rolex luxury watch. The price for the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV is approximately $10,000 in retail. Take note that the prices for these watches may change over time, depending on the demand. For those who prefer the original version of the Rolex Kermit, keep in mind that it has long been discontinued by Rolex and is no longer available in official stores. As such, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV can only be found on the second-hand market. These prices tend to be more expensive due to their commemorative status as well as their rarity in the market. The prices for pre-owned Rolex Kermits usually cost $23,670, although the price can vary greatly depending on the condition of the watch and the seller. Compared to the average prices of the Rolex Submariner collection, the retail price of the Rolex Kermit is not as bad as it seems. In fact, it is far more affordable than its fellow Submariner watches, making it a great choice for people who are working with a strict budget. Why You Should Buy This Watch There are a few reasons why buying the Rolex Kermit watch is a great decision. First and foremost, the Rolex Kermit holds a special status in the world of Rolex. Not only does it have a different design that stands out from the whole Submariner collection, but it also symbolizes just how far the legendary Rolex Submariner has come. Consistently maintaining overwhelming popularity from all over the world for 50 solid years is not an easy feat. In fact, luxury watch companies are only capable of that by constantly introducing innovative watch designs and high-functioning caliber movements, which speaks to the quality the Rolex Submariner has consistently put out over the years. The Rolex Kermit represents the rich heritage and passion that Rolex poured into each of their watches. If you are a watch enthusiast, a collector, or someone who just wants a taste of the luxurious world of horology, the Rolex Kermit is definitely a great watch to go with.  Final Thoughts At first, there were several people who are a bit sceptical about the design choice of Rolex when introducing the Rolex Kermit. Can we really blame them? The green color is very unusual, especially when found on a Rolex Submariner. But then again, Rolex blew everyone’s minds when they made it work. With a tastefully dark shade of green plus a sleek black dial, the Rolex Kermit offers a smoother design scheme that masterfully synchronizes with its intended purpose as a dive watch.  The Rolex Kermit is definitely an amazing watch to commemorate the Submariner’s 50-year journey. In particular, the Rolex Kermit’s comeback in 2020 has defied all odds, and once again relived the top-notch watchmaking quality of Rolex. Still looking for the right dive watch for you? Check out our Rolex dive watch collection—you might find the perfect piece to accompany you on your next underwater adventure. Featured image courtesy of Rolex

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  6. Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Blue Rolex Submariners have been “the in-thing” for as long as watch collectors can remember. Ever since its first release, Rolex Submariners in blue have always been a big hit with the audience. No one can be exactly sure why that’s been the case. Perhaps it is simply the touch of Rolex magic? Regardless, blue-toned watches have become a staple for the Rolex crowd. They are extremely recognizable and a commodity to enthusiasts and collectors alike. One of the most iconic Rolex Submariner Blue timepieces is the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 116613LB, more commonly known as the Bluesy.  The Ref. 116613LB is a remarkable piece of luxury. It is one of Rolex’s latest and most beloved creations to date. Whether in conversations online or offline, this Rolex Submariner Blue is one of the most talked-about models in Rolex history. The Bluesy has so much to boast and has barely any faults. Many watch connoisseurs find that they simply can’t think of things to criticize this watch for. So, if there isn’t much to improve upon, how could Rolex possibly top the Ref. 116613LB? In 2020, Rolex released the successor to the Bluesy, the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB. The new Rolex Submariner Blue 126613LB features cutting-edge innovations and craftsmanship like no other. As we take a more detailed look at the new Bluesy, we will see if it truly is better than the original. Can Rolex refine a timepiece that already doesn’t disappoint? Let’s find out. Specifications Photo by Zeidman’s Watch Dimensions This addition to the Rolex Submariner line has a case diameter of 41mm, a millimeter more than standard Rolex Submariners. Although the specs show that the model is larger than average, the slimmed-down lugs and substantial bezel size make the watch appear smaller than it is. It is 12.7mm thick with a lug width of 21mm and has a lug to lug measurement of 48.1mm. Apart from the case diameter, the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB has proportions much like other Submariner models. That said, anyone who has owned a Submariner and worn it with no difficulty will have a similar experience sporting the spectacular Ref. 126613LB. Oystersteel and Yellow Gold Case and Caseback Image By: Rolex There isn’t anything that Rolex wouldn’t do to ensure a high-quality timepiece. Rolex uses a combination of beveled Oystersteel and yellow gold to produce the case of the Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB. Many Rolex enthusiasts are familiar with this iconic color scheme and refer to it as Yellow Rolesor. The term “Rolesor” is one that Rolex coined, meaning half gold and half steel. The Rolesor of the Submariner Ref. 126613LB is a blend of Rolex’s highly-regarded, durable Oystersteel and exquisite 18K gold. Rolex adopts the best properties of both materials and melds them into a perfect mixture of style and strength. The knob of the Submariner Blue Date is a screwed-down winding crown that features Rolex’s Triplock system. As its name suggests, the Triplock system makes use of a total of three gaskets to securely prevent water from leaking into the inner machinations of the watch. Simply put, this allows the crown to keep the timepiece safe underwater, whether the knob is screwed down or not. It ensures the watches are better protected and gives wearers some peace of mind knowing that their tremendously valuable timepiece is not in any danger.  Located at the rear of the timepiece is a screw-down caseback made from Oystersteel which keeps the inner mechanisms of the Rolex Submariner Blue safe. While it would have been nice to be able to view the movement at work through an exhibition caseback, a screw-down caseback is the optimal choice for greater protection. Compared to exhibition rear cases, screw-down casebacks are less vulnerable to leakages and can more effectively keep the watch safe from water damage.  Royal Blue Unidirectional Bezel Inserted on the top of the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB is a rich blue unidirectional bezel made of Cerachrom. “Cerachrom” is another word from the Rolex dictionary. It is an amalgamation of the English word “ceramic” and the Greek word “Chrom”, meaning color. At the top marker of the bezel is a luminescent bulb that provides brightness in dark environments. The ceramic bezel has its numbers and graduations overlaid with a tasteful gold coating to stand out from the blue surface of the dial. On the side of the bezel are notched edges that give an easier grip when rotating the bezel. The reason why Rolex uses ceramics instead of their renowned Oystersteel for the bezel is because of the scratch resistance. Unlike the metals used for bezels that can get scratched time and time again, ceramic bezels display a more resistant surface overall. It is scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and resistant to UV rays. The only problem with ceramic, however, is its fragility. It does not take much to break ceramic, so it is pivotal to keep the timepiece from receiving impacts. Compared to steel, ceramics are more fragile and can crack, even shatter after taking a hard bump.  Royal Blue Chromalight Dial It is impossible to deny the grandeur of the Rolex Submariner Blue’s sunburst royal blue dial. The dial is glorious, with a stellar design that shimmers and shines under all sorts of lighting conditions. On the dial are geometric hour markers and an alpha handset encased in luxurious 18K gold. The hour markers come in different shapes of circles, rectangles, and a triangle for 12 o’clock — a simple yet effective way to indicate time. Perched at the 3 o’clock position is a date window roofed by a convex cyclops lens. Rolex supplies the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with their signature Mercedes-style handset, similar to the ones found in other Submariners. The hands and hour markers are also generously coated with Chromalight to provide brightness and legibility in the dark.  Here is an intriguing detail about the Submariner Date Ref. 126612LB’s dial. Tilt the watch slightly to the side, and you can see “Rolex” engraved several times on the inner walls of the timepiece, a testament to how Rolex truly pays attention to the finest of details. The main difference this particular Rolex Submariner Blue has from the previous Bluesy is its crisp, white-colored text. Many enthusiasts and collectors welcomed the color change as it is a more satisfying contrast to the blue dial than the original gold text. Ultimately, however, it is up to the preference of the wearer which version is truly better. Another minor difference can be found at the bottom of the dial. Right below the 6 o’clock marker of the new Rolex Submariner Blue is a small “Swiss-Made” signature with a crown affixed in between. Sapphire Glass For a watch as extravagant as the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB, sapphire glass is the only option fit to shelter the striking royal blue dial. No other material does a good job of protecting the Submariner timepiece as sapphire glass. It is superbly scratch-resistant and can take a good beating compared to the other materials in its category. Positioned on the right side of the glass is a convex cyclops lens that magnifies the date aperture on the dial. Such placement allows owners of this two-tone Submariner to read the date with just a glance.   A lesser-known fact about sapphire glass is that it tends to be highly reflective. Because of that, it is typical for watchmakers to apply a layer or two of anti-reflective coating. This allows wearers to comfortably read the time without any obstructions. Although the scratch resistance of sapphire is certainly noteworthy, it is still susceptible to cracks and shattering. With that in mind, it is best to keep the Rolex Submariner Blue safe and not go knocking it around against a hard surface. Rolex Calibre 3235 Image By: Rolex Rolex equipped this blue Submariner Date with their latest mainline movement, the Caliber 3235. The Caliber 3235 is an automatic movement based on the previous in-house Caliber 3135. The 3235 features a precision of -2/2+ seconds per day, which is incredibly accurate even by Rolex’s standards. In making their latest caliber, Rolex didn’t just make some minor adjustments. Rather, they heavily modified every aspect of the 3135 to create an upgraded Caliber 3235 that is even more efficient and reliable. That said, just what changes and improvements were made to the 3235? First, we will address the oscillator. The Calibre 3235 uses a paramagnetic Parachrom Bleu Hairspring to oscillate the balance wheel. While the hairspring isn’t entirely new, it has undergone a series of upgrades and fine-tuning. As a result, it runs with more enhanced isochronism and is ten times more accurate. Rolex used a blend of zirconium and niobium to create the alloy of the revamped hairspring. These elements give the hairspring greater resistances to magnetism, corrosion, and varying temperatures. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers also work to dampen the rebound and compression of the hairspring. A traversing bridge secures the shock absorbers and reinforces the shock resistance even further. Rolex was also able to improve the power reserve of the 3235. The caliber can now last approximately three days. With the inclusion of the bidirectional self-winding feature, you could power the watch with a simple movement of your wrist. An incredible thing to note about this improvement is that Rolex achieved the enhanced power reserve by simply slimming down the walls of the mainspring barrel. The most significant improvement to the 3235 is its highly innovative Chronergy escapement. The escapement is what regulates the power delivered by the mainspring from the oscillator. When it comes to upgrading movements, one of the most delicate things to improve upon is the Swiss lever escapement. After much research and testing, Rolex came up with an escapement innovation that offers 15% more efficiency. Rolex also used nickel-phosphorus in developing the new escapement, allowing it to be more resistant to magnetism.  31 jewels hold the caliber 3235’s mechanisms to keep them from undergoing excess friction. The 3235 also has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, which is the ideal standard for modern luxury watches. Oystersteel Bracelet Another thing that makes Rolex timepieces remarkable is that every aspect has a certain standard of quality, even the bracelet. With the Rolex Submariner Blue’s bracelet, the first thing that draws our attention is the Yellow Rolesor pattern. Its design dates back to the 1930s and is present in the bracelets of many Oyster Perpetual models, such as the highly recognizable Rolex Datejust. Despite its age, it still proves to be a timeless look to this day. In addition, the Oystersteel material of the bracelet is exceedingly resistant to corrosion, which enhances its durability. The bracelet uses the Rolex Glidelock system, which allows users to freely and precisely expand the band up to 20mm. The system comes equipped with a flip-lock extension which allows wearers to further adjust the bracelet by an additional 26mm. Such measures are necessary to ensure divers and non-divers can wear the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with a comfortable and secure fit. Finally, a folding Oysterlock clasp fastens the bracelet cozily around the wearer’s wrist. The lock bears the iconic logo of the company and adds a sense of sophistication to the bracelet.  Water Resistance This blue Rolex Submariner Date also possesses a water resistance of 300m or nearly a thousand feet. The timepiece is COSC certified and has received Superlative Chronometer status after further testing in Rolex’s facilities. A luxury watch with 300m water resistance can effortlessly handle activities such as showering, swimming, snorkeling, and even recreational diving. This Rolex Submariner Blue can go to depths that reach the proximity of saturation diving but bear in mind that it has its limits. If you’re looking for a timepiece built for excellent underwater reliability even in the deepest waters, the Rolex Sea-Dweller might be a better choice.  An Alternative If you want a spectacular dive watch that isn’t a Rolex, here is an alternative that could more or less fit the bill. Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm Ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001 The Submariner and the Seamaster have gone at it for a long time. Whether it comes to cameos in James Bond movies or the actual horology industry, Rolex and Omega are nothing short of rivals. As expected, Omega has its own contender in competition with the latest blue Submariner of Rolex. In 2018, Omega unveiled their most recent 42mm Seamaster Diver Master Chronometer. The new Seamaster has a proficient set of qualities that match Rolex’s Ref. 126613LB.  Similarities to the Submariner First and foremost, the Seamaster is a self-winding watch that also uses kinetic energy to supply power to itself. It features a helium decompression system which allows the timepiece to release helium when worn during long dives. The installation of the helium escape valve makes the Seamaster a professional choice for underwater exploration. As an added benefit, the crown is self-locking and securely screwed in to offer better water resistance.  The Seamaster also makes use of a high-quality stainless steel case and a ceramic unidirectional bezel. Being unidirectional ensures accuracy to a diver, and the ceramic plating will reduce any chances of scratches staying on its surface. The Omega timepiece also received COSC certification for its performance, durability, and resistance to magnetism.  Differences Between the Submariner and the Seamaster Now that we are aware of the similarities between these two dive watches, what exactly does the Omega Seamaster do differently? Aside from having Omega’s signature wave dial, the Seamaster utilizes the Caliber 8800. Just like the Rolex 3235, this in-house Omega movement features more efficiency and preciseness in operation. The Caliber 8800 is METAS certified as a Master Chronometer — the highest standard for accuracy. For calibers to attain this status, watches must be COSC certified and undergo eight additional tests. What makes this certification more impressive is that timepieces must undergo these tests twice. Although Rolex’s 3235 is not METAS certified, it possesses a more efficient power reserve and beat frequency than the Caliber 8800. On the other hand, the Caliber 8800 contains 35 jewels to hold the movement and boasts a higher rating of 15,000 gausses of anti-magnetism. Another difference is the usage of sapphire. For the Seamaster, Omega furnished both the front and the rear with sapphire glass. The watch has a dome-shaped sapphire crystal to protect the dial and a transparent sapphire caseback to protect the back of the watch. Since the caseback is see-through, wearers can view the Caliber 8800 in all its glory. Putting everything together, the Omega Seamaster puts together lots of convenience with a considerable amount of elegance. Both the Submariner and Seamaster are excellent watches, but if you’re more of an Omega fan, then the latest Seamaster is also a splendid choice. A Fun Fact About the Seamaster Did you know that in the trailer of the latest instalment of 007 (No Time to Die), you can see Daniel Craig wear the 42mm Seamaster as his trusty timekeeper? His watch is the same model but of a different reference number. The exact reference Mr. Bond uses is 210.22.42.20.01.001. It is safe to say that we will see more of the Omega Seamaster in action once the movie finally releases. Let’s hope that Mr. Bond doesn’t break the watch. Then again, he probably has the money and the methods to get another one. Final Thoughts The 126613LB is most certainly a fine addition to the Rolex Submariner Blue series. With its astounding qualities and beguiling design, the blue Rolex Submariner Date is pretty much one of the best options out there. Like all Submariners, owners can sport this marvelous timekeeper on any occasion. Moreover, the Rolex Submariner Date 126613LB is always ready to deliver optimal performance with an added sense of sophistication. It is as beautiful as it is practical. The latest iteration of the Rolex Bluesy is, without a doubt, a stunning work of craftsmanship and innovation.  Need a more affordable diver watch? Have a look at the classy Orient Mako II? Featured Image By Rolex

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  7. Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    If you are familiar with the world of watches, then you know that there is more to the industry than Swiss timepieces. Countries like Germany, Denmark, the United States, and others are becoming more and more known for their expertise in watchmaking. However, if there is one country that’s almost as well-recognised as Switzerland when it comes to horology, it would probably be Japan. Longstanding Japanese brands, like Seiko and Casio, are proof of how well the Japanese have mastered the craft. While it may seem like a competition, the watchmaking industry is a place of innovative cooperation and coexistence, and Citizen is the perfect embodiment of this. Many view this brand as the perfect mix of Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship, but we’ll get more into that later. If this has piqued your interest, then read on because we’ll be talking about Citizen Watches and in particular, their Citizen NY0040 model in this article.  Citizen: A Brief History  Citizen’s origin dates back to a little over 100 years ago in 1918. A jeweler named Kamekichi Yakamazi established a watch manufacturing firm called the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. The interesting thing about this firm is that Yakamazi was able to acquire Swiss machines and instruments for his company from watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid. This is where the idea of Citizen as a product of both Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship began. A couple of years down the line, and the Shokosha Watch Research Institute changed their name to the one they’re still known for today: Citizen Watch Company. This change was brought about by an ambitious goal in which they hoped to equip every citizen in Japan with a watch produced by them. Just like any other origin story, Citizen also went through their fair share of triumphs and obstacles throughout the years.  The Japanese manufacturer had a relatively strong start but certain unfortunate events happened, specifically the 2nd World War, which negatively affected the whole economy. While this was a devastating time for many individuals and businesses, it also became an avenue for a fresh start. After the war, Citizen decided to introduce themselves to the rest of the world under the name the Citizen Trading Company. This new moniker highlighted how their goals had shifted from being a Japanese-centric company to one that is more focused on showcasing their craft globally.  One of the defining moments for Japanese watchmaking was the onset of the Quartz Revolution back in the 70s. Seiko is known to be the first brand to ever release a quartz watch and Citizen followed their footsteps just a couple of years later. This opened up countless opportunities for Citizen which eventually led to greater success and more milestones for the brand. From groundbreaking digital models to the first-ever solar-powered watch, the Japanese company has focused on developing their technology to become the renowned name they are today.  Come the 21st century and Citizen has proved that they are not messing around. They’ve engaged in a massive expansion of their assets, purchasing well-known brands and watch groups like Bulova, Frédérique Constant, Arnold & Son, and more. The Japanese brand is also famous for its partnerships and collaborations with sports institutes, sports teams, and even Disney. When it comes to reputation, they are highly regarded today for their sustainable, eco-friendly, and reliable timepieces.  All About the Citizen Promaster The specific model we’ll be talking about in this article belongs to Citizen’s Promaster line. Before we delve into the Citizen NY0040 itself, let’s take a closer look at the Promaster collection.  The Citizen Promaster is regarded as one of the best that the brand has to offer. It consists of a selection of sports (and diving) watches that showcase Citizen’s technological prowess. The Promaster was officially launched in 1989, although some argue that this line actually dates back to the late 1950s when the Citizen Parashock and Parawater models came out. Regardless, there were 3 different Promaster models released in 1989: the Promaster Aqualand, the Promaster Altrichron, and the Promaster Sky. These pieces were specifically designed for professionals who were constantly in harsh environments whether it be land, air, or sea. It was marketed as the result of Citizen’s unwavering research and innovations in the last few decades.  Since then, this series has been home to numerous revolutionary pieces such as the Promaster Navihawk, the Promaster Amphibian, the Promaster Cyber Aqualand, and lots more.  What is the Citizen NY0040?  The Citizen NY0040, also known as the Promaster NY0040, was first launched back in 1997. It is a widely known model, especially within the watch community because of its distinctive physical features. Despite being released over 20 years ago, the NY0040 is surprisingly still being offered today, albeit with slight variations from the original. To the unfamiliar eye, this watch might seem like any other sports watch in the market, especially since it has aesthetic attributes similar to that of a typical diving model. However, there is definitely more than meets the eye with this timepiece simply because Citizen always manages to add a splash of Japanese workmanship to its pieces. Everything about the Citizen NY0040 is an expert Japanese take on sports watches, so you know it’s built to last. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?   Citizen Promaster NY0040 Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Diameter: 42mm Case Thickness:12mm Strap Material: Rubber (Urethan) Movement: Automatic | Miyota Calibre 8203 Power Reserve: 45 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior: Case & Bracelet The Citizen NY0040 actually comes in two variations — the NY0040-09EE and the NY0040-17LE — with the first sporting a mostly traditional black look and the second mostly in blue. Just like most sports watches, this model sports quite a rugged exterior but with an aura of professional class at the same time. It is a versatile piece that would look great with an everyday outfit or even a smart-casual ensemble. The Citizen NY0040 comes in a stainless steel case that has a diameter of 42mm, a thickness of 12mm, and 20mm lugs. These numbers may seem intimidating but it is in fact an ideal size for a men’s diving watch. Furthermore, it also has a one-way rotating aluminium bezel in smooth matte black with a luminescent pip in lieu of the 60-minute marker. The material and the design of the gear-shaped edges of the bezel were chosen for optimal visibility and ease of use when underwater.  Moving on, the dial is protected by mineral crystal glass which has scratch-resistant properties. On the rear of the watch is a solid caseback with engravings of the Citizen Promaster logo and other information regarding the specifications of the watch. One of the most distinctive features of the NY0040 is the position of its crown. In most watches, the crown is placed at the 4 o’clock position but this model has its crown on the opposite side at 8 o’clock. This was purposefully done to cater to left-handed individuals whilst also providing better comfort in general.  Lastly, the Citizen NY0040 comes with a high-quality rubber strap which is perfect for the harsh conditions of diving. Bracelets and straps are very important things to consider, especially when you’re looking for a durable sports timepiece. Rubber is the usual choice of strap when it comes to dive watches, while leather and steel are not recommended. Another great thing about the NY0040’s strap is that it has no-decompression limits, making it incredibly durable at any depth. Overall, making use of a rubber strap for the NY0040 was definitely a conscious decision on Citizen’s part in order to promote better functionality and reliability.  Dial The focus on ease of use did not stop with the materials and exterior of the Citizen NY0040. Each and every component in the dial was also designed with readability and comfort in mind. If you are familiar with watches, all you need is a single glance at the dial to know that the NY0040 is indubitably a diver’s watch. As mentioned, the NY0040 comes in classic shades of either black or blue, with both variants sporting a matte finish to avoid reflective light glares. It follows a typical analog layout with big luminescent hands and hour markers in various shapes. You can also find a day and date display at 3 o’clock. This aperture is presented as a black background with red text to indicate the day and white text for the date, adding a splash of color that to the dial that makes for better readability.  While most of the elements in the dial scream “diving watch”, it is also clear that Citizen kept the Citizen NY0040 versatile enough to be used both on land and underwater. It is a great option for people, especially divers, who don’t like changing their watches on a daily basis.  Movement The newest Citizen NY0040 is powered by a Miyota 8203 caliber automatic movement. It consists of around 21 jewels to reduce excessive wear and tear and has a frequency of 21600 beats per hour, which boasts a relatively high accuracy. Lastly, it has an impressive power reserve of 45 hours.  Citizen NY0040 vs Seiko SRP367 Baby Tuna The Citizen NY0040 is often compared with the Seiko SKX007 but, today, let’s switch it up by putting it against the ever-so-popular Seiko Baby Tuna. Both are renowned sports watches but today, we’ll see which is the better diver.  Seiko SRP637 ‘Baby Tuna’ Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Case Dimension: 47.5mm x 13.5mm x 50mm Strap: Stainless Steel  Movement: Automatic Power Reserve: 42 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior With a case diameter of 47.5mm, the Seiko Baby Tuna is definitely heftier than the Citizen NY0040. The Seiko Baby Tuna also looks a lot more robust and rugged compared to the NY0040, which leans towards a more classic sports watch style. Both are made from hardy stainless steel and have unidirectional bezels with luminous pips at the 60-minute marker. A key difference between the two, however, is that the Baby Tuna has a crown at 4 o’clock while the Citizen NY0040’s crown is at 8 o’clock. In addition, the NY0040 has a mineral crystal to protect the dial while the Baby Tuna makes use of Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal.  In terms of the strap, the Seiko Baby Tuna comes with a stainless steel bracelet while the Citizen NY0040 has a rubber strap. As mentioned, this is a crucial factor because some strap materials are more ideal for diving than others. However, it should be noted that the Baby Tuna has a clasp with a folding expansion feature which allows for a more snug fit around your wrist, even when you are wearing a wet suit.   Dial Moving on to the dial area, both models follow a standard dive watch layout with an analog display. Just like the Citizen NY0040, the Seiko SRP637 also has large, luminescent hands and hour markers. However, the Seiko Baby Tuna uses rectangular shapes while the NY0040 has mostly circular ones. Lastly, the Seiko model has a day and date window with a stark white background and black text while the NY0040 has one with a black background.  Technical Specifications When it comes to features and functions, it is safe to say that both are equally impressive. The two models each offer water-resistance of up to 200 meters and power reserves of over 40 hours. Both are also equipped with in-house Japanese calibers that follow automatic movements.  Prices This is probably where they differ most. The Seiko Baby Tuna SRP637 is priced at over $800 USD online today while the Citizen NY0040 retails at not more than $250 USD.  Verdict It is undeniable that both timepieces are excellent but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you consider worth it or not. In this case, I would have to go with Citizen NY0040 because it’s the more classic and sophisticated model between the two. It is an amazing diver’s watch but it’s also very versatile which means you can wear it on a variety of occasions. The best part is you get great functions and design without having to break the bank, as opposed to the Seiko Baby Tuna, which is considerably more expensive than the NY0040. Who should buy the Citizen NY0040?  Citizen Patrons. If you’re a fan of Citizen, then owning any piece from the Promaster collection is definitely the dream, given its rich history. Out of Citizen’s diverse catalogue, the NY0040 is one of their most recognizable models and it has been in the market for over 20 years now. The fact that it is still available today and is loved by so many just shows how well this timepiece has withstood the test of time. With that being said, the NY0040 is certainly a must-have for Citizen patrons out there! Professional and Leisure Divers. The Citizen NY0040 is a great starter watch for both professional and casual divers out there. It has all the elements and components of a great diving watch and it boasts quality Japanese craftsmanship as well. You get precision, ease of use, durability, and easy readability for under $300 USD. Sports Watch Enthusiasts. For individuals who are just in the beginning stages of their sports watch collection, the Citizen NY0040 is an excellent choice to consider. The NY0040 has a good story and rich heritage behind it, plus it belongs to a highly-regarded watch series from a renowned brand. Furthermore, this model is a popular one among the watch community so it makes for a great conversation topic. Final Thoughts  The Citizen NY0040 is a versatile-looking sports watch that’s equipped with equally excellent features. The Japanese brand truly found the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics with this timepiece. It is perfectly understandable why it is still being produced and sold in the market even after over two decades. Ultimately, the Citizen NY0040 is a great model to own regardless of whether you’re a diver or not.  If you’re interested in Japanese timepieces, make sure to read our article on The Orient Mako II. Photo Credits: Citizen Official Website

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  8. Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

    Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

    Dive watches remain an iconic and timeless luxury item for men. While there are numerous options available in the horological market, we can’t deny that Rolex dive watch collections are the most sought-after pieces. This is particularly true of the famous Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, the acclaimed diving watch which provides a whopping 3,900 meters of water resistance. Although there is a wide variety of dive watches you can find in Rolex’s extensive catalog, such as its pioneer diving piece the Submariner, the Deepsea Blue simply stands out from the rest of its competitors. Given that Rolex always tries to go above and beyond when it comes to creating an exquisite time-telling accessory using its superb craftsmanship, innovation, and practical skills in horology, it is no surprise that the Rolex Sea-Dweller collection’s Deepsea Blue offers such impressive features. Aside from its top-notch water resistance, it is also equipped with a high-performance in-house Caliber 3235. This is a new generation movement produced by Rolex. It ensures that this diving timepiece offers the highest precision possible even when exposed to the harshest conditions underwater. What’s more, the Deepsea Blue features an elegant and luxurious face, so this wonderful timepiece could easily double as an everyday watch too. If you’re looking for a durable and classy dive watch to be used on your next exploration into the abyssal world, the Rolex Deepsea Blue will more than exceed your expectations.  A Quick Look at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Watch In the horology industry, Rolex will always be the luxury watch manufacturer to beat. This Swiss brand has always been at the forefront of creating top-notch timepieces that showcase distinctive and memorable characteristics. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced back in 1967 and since its first release, it has always been considered a true tool watch and diving accessory. As an early predecessor of the Submariner collection, the original Sea-Dweller was designed with certain basic functionalities. It aimed to not fail at meeting the needs of any avid diver when they head off to conquer the underwater world. Over the years, the different Sea-Dweller timepieces that have been released have featured varying underwater diving depth potentials, ranging from 610 meters to as deep as 3,900 meters. Earlier versions of the Rolex Sea-Dweller were also not equipped with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve was only added when the latest Rolex Sea-Dweller model Ref. 126600 was launched back in 2017. Today, the Sea-Dweller collection is easily distinguishable from the rest of the Rolex lineup, as it does not feature a date magnifier, which is visible in most Rolex other models. One major milestone for the Sea-Dweller collection was when it introduced its first Rolex Deepsea model in 2008, featuring a “Ringlock system.” This system is now commonly used by skilled watchmakers when they sealing sapphire crystals to cases, as it ensures a more tighter fit so the crystal doesn’t simply come loose and leave the dial exposed. Another notable feature the Sea-Dweller added was its “Glidelock clasp” and diver extension link, which allow the watch’s bracelet to be more securely fastened around the diver’s wrist so it won’t fall off, even when the diver is dressed in diving gear. These advancements in the Sea-Dweller’s designs over the years are a testament to how Rolex has consistently sought to upgrade this early dive watch, creating a collection that you can always rely on for excellent and improving quality. Back in 2012, famous film director James Cameron navigated the abyssal world at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submersible vessel. This submersible was called the Deepsea Challenger, and it carried Cameron and his crew to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean as part of a project to produce a movie named Deepsea Challenge 3D. As part of this project, Rolex created and designed a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece. This timepiece eventually came to be known as the Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This diver watch features water resistance up to a stunning 12,000 meters, making this the perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean. To celebrate and honor the project’s success and accomplishment, in 2014, Rolex released a new model of the Deepsea, which they called the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea D-Blue 116660. This model of the Deepsea Blue was quite similar to the original prototype in terms of technical functions, but differed in appearance. The 2014 Deepsea Blue featured a two-hued dial, fading from blue to black, a visual representation of the depths of the vast ocean. This visual tick is also the reason why this timepiece is the first in the Deepsea line to carry the ‘D-Blue’ moniker. In addition, the dial had the word ‘DEEPSEA’ printed in green, derived from the color of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel. This watch is now famously known among watch collectors and aficionados as the Deepsea James Cameron, and reached popular heights never seen by the original Deepsea Blue in 2008. Yet another new version of the Sea Dweller Deepsea Blue was announced back in 2017, at Baselword, called the Sea-Dweller Deepsea Blue Ref. 126600. In 2018, this model of the Deepsea Blue was launched. This latest variant was introduced as an enlarged version of the Deepsea Blue 126600, featuring a date magnifier and equipped with a refreshed version of the caliber 3235. In short, all these different variants of the Rolex Deepsea Blue can be found in the brand’s extensive catalog. The first-ever version was referred to as the Deepsea 116660, featuring a grand yet straightforward black dial with white text on its dial. The second version, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, was officially introduced to the watch community back in 2014, and marked the growing popularity of the Deepsea lineup. And the newest version is the popular Rolex Deepsea Blue Ref. 126660, launched at Baselworld. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the latest Deepsea Blue has to offer. Up Close with Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 The original version of the Rolex Deepsea D-blue was released in August 2014. It was upgraded to the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 in 2018, offering newer functions and features so that it could better serve as a diving watch accessory to be utilized for your next underwater adventure. It comes with excellent qualities that you’d be hard-pressed to find in other diving timepieces, which is a huge reason why this watch has really dominated the world of diving watches. The newest Deepsea D-Blue 126660 does offer many features that the original has, but with some tweaks and upgrades. One central change was made to the lug size, so that it now measures 21mm, smaller than the original 22mm lug size. It also comes with a much bigger clasp on its bracelet, making it a more comfy dive watch to wear than the first Deepsea D-Blue. As with other Rolex Deepsea models, each Deepsea D-Blue 126660 timepiece is skilfully crafted and powered by a first-class caliber 3235 movement. This model also features a broader strap, and a case that has been slightly redesigned compared to previous versions of this Rolex Sea-Dweller watch. Other than that, many of the essential parts are still intact and unchanged. It is still the best diving watch in the Rolex Sea Dweller collection that you can find when planning a scuba diving adventure. Its main highlight is that it is a robust, durable, and functional piece crafted to survive virtually any variant temperature underwater. It is the perfect watch for anyone seeking to prove Rolex’s outstanding skills as a legendary watchmaker. Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 116660 DB from Watchshopping.com Case: 904L Oyster Steel Case dimension: 44 mm Dial: D-Blue Water-resistant: 3,900 m or 12,800 feet Power reserve up to 70-hour (Certified as Superlative Chronometer) Bezel and Case Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemon from Flickr One extremely distinguishable feature of the Rolex Deepsea Blue is its case. Crafted from 904L Oystersteel to ensure its durability, the case measures about 44mm in diameter. Oystersteel is known for being one of the best materials to use when making watch cases, since it possesses superb resistance. It also offers an excellent, gleaming finish after polishing and maintains its grandeur even when exposed to the harshest of environments and temperatures underwater. Some users of Deepsea Blue report that the watch can feel slightly bigger when worn on the wrist. Despite measuring 44mm, it looks a little more like a 45mm case. The good thing, however, is that the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue still feels extremely comfortable around your wrist and gives you a nice sense of balance when wearing it. Its bezel features a black, unidirectional, and rotating ceramic bezel with numerals graduated on a 60-minute scale. The bezel is secured in place using a Ringlock system. If you’re not familiar with the Ringlock system, it is an innovative case architecture made by Rolex itself which allows the Rolex Deepsea Blue to resist any sorts of massive pressures underwater even at depths of 3,900 meters. It is made using three elements: nitrogen-alloyed steel on its central ring that shapes the system’s backbone, a sapphire crystal (5.5 mm thick), and grade 5 titanium for its caseback. The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue also comes with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve is a type of safety valve created by Rolex back in 1967 and it functions as a decompression chamber for the timepiece so it can survive the most extreme pressures underwater. Dial Even with just a quick glance at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, you’d be hard-pressed to forget its stunning and unique dial. This timepiece showcases a perfect two-toned gradient dial, starting from a brilliant blue hue at the top to the engulfing black depths below. Its two-color gradient dial commemorates the accomplishment of man’s journey into the ocean depths, exploring the deepest place on earth — the iconic Mariana Trench. Furthermore, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue’s dial, with its semi-glossy features and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, can capture and reflect light gorgeously. This is a dial you cannot find in the rest of Rolex’s watch collections. It is the main highlight of this timepiece, a grand and awe-inspiring face that is sure to catch everyone’s attention. Movement Another remarkable feature of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue is that it is equipped with a powerful in-house caliber 3235 that comes with an antimagnetic Parachrom-Blue hairspring. The automatic caliber 3235 is an upgraded version of the caliber 3135 that is used in the older Rolex Deepsea Blue. This caliber is the newest generation movement crafted by Rolex. It comes with a whopping 14 patents, a testament to just how far Rolex pushed the limits of watchmaking technology with the caliber 3235. The caliber 3235 offers a high power reserve of up to 70 hours, impressively high time precision, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, and reliability and functionality that any wearer can depend on when exploring the abyssal world. Furthermore, the caliber 3235 features Rolex’s newest Chronergy, a perfect combination of the existing Paramagnetic blue parachrom hairspring and high energy efficiency. It is also COSC Chronometer-certified, which guarantees its powerful performance. Caseback Equipped with a titanium caseback, the Rolex Deepsea Blue is impressively flexible because of the natural qualities of the alloy, providing it more resilience and durability against massive pressures and impacts. It is a caseback crafted to survive and resist even the extreme pressures underwater.  Bracelet/Strap Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemo from Flickr Like the original version of the Deepsea D-Blue watch, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 also features a famous classic Oysterlock bracelet. One upgrade this model comes with, however, is its larger, less tapering strap, which is paired with slightly bigger lugs. This was a big improvement from the original model, which was crafted with too-narrow lugs, so it sometimes felt unbalanced when sitting on a wearer’s wrist. The redesigned lugs of the Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660, with its larger fit, offers more comfort to the wearer and looks more proportionately shaped on the watch. This timepiece also features an Oysterlock clasp to avoid the watch suddenly coming loose from your wrist, and a Glidelock system like its previous version. The bracelet also comes with a revamped diver’s extension, allowing the Rolex Deepsea Blue to fit well on your wrist even when wearing gloves or a wetsuit. Price It is not news that Rolex watches do not come at a low price. Every Rolex timepiece is the product of expert Swiss craftsmanship and Rolex’s extensive history and experience as a watch manufacturer, and all of this shows in its cost. Owning this latest version of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 126660 will cost you about USD 17,399.00 retail. Considering the impressive attributes of this watch, this price is honestly extremely worth it. Not only do you get a durable, functional, and first-class dive watch, but you also get all the comfort and ease of wearing a classic Rolex timepiece. The Original: Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Reference 116660 Rolex-Deepsea-D-Blue-116660-2 l Photo by jilemo from FlickrRolex Deepsea D-Blue 16660 l Photo by jilemo from FlickrTwo years before the release of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660, famous film director James Cameron navigated underwater at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submarine vessel. The vessel was called the Deepsea Challenger, designed to be able to survive the depths of the Pacific Ocean. As part of the this project, Rolex created a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece, which eventually became popularly known as Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This timepiece features water-resistance of up to 12,000 meters, a perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean. In 2014, the Swiss luxury watch brand released its newest version of the Rolex Deepsea, featuring a D-Blue dial with the reference number 116660, to commemorate the success of James Cameron’s abyssal expedition. This refreshed version is similar to the previous model in some technical aspects. The greatest distinction, however, is that the 2014 Rolex Deepsea Blue featured a two-tone dial. In addition, the words DEEPSEA were written on the dial in a green tint, a tribute to the inspiration that James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel was for this watch. Nowadays, this version of the watch is widely known as the Deepsea James Cameron. The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is equipped with a 904L stainless steel case developed by Rolex specifically for this watch. Some of its key features include a Ringlock system, a 5mm thick protective sapphire crystal, and a satin-finished and brushed caseback made of titanium. Its dial, with a radiant blue to black gradient, also adds to the natural beauty of this timepiece. In addition, it features a useful date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position. Aside from that, this watch is also equipped with an Oysterlock bracelet measuring 26 mm long. This means that it comes with an Oysterlock safety clasp fitted with its flip-lock extension system. It is crafted this way to ensure it can survive any sorts of impacts and pressures underwater without any risk of coming loose and falling off the wearer’s wrist. It is also equipped with a top-notch Rolex in-house caliber 3135 movement to ensure high accuracy and precision even in aquatic environments.  Today, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is available for USD 15,500.00. This might be quite an exorbitant price to sum, but if you consider all its top-class features as a diving watch, it is actually quite a fair price. Keep in mind, also, that any watch from Rolex tends to appreciate in value over the years. As such, Rolex watches also make for perfect investment pieces. Opting to buy this Rolex Deepsea Blue watch will not only give you a time-telling accessory to use on your next scuba diving adventure but also offers you the chance to be the owner of a true horological masterpiece. Final Thoughts Rolex never fails to craft high-caliber, high-performing timepieces. Although the Sea-Dweller collection is just a predecessor of Rolex’s first-ever collection of diving timepieces under the Submariner collection, it does not stop the former from being a very sought-after dive timepiece. This is especially true with the updated Rolex Deepsea D-Blue watches. These watches display the brand’s excellent craftsmanship and expertise in horology, offering superb features such as water resistance of up to 3,900 meter and a top-notch in-house caliber 3235 movements. With its iconic face and functionality, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue diving watch really deserves to be on your radar. Want to know more about other Rolex models, particularly the most expensive watches in their extensive catalog? Check this review we have about 15 Most Expensive Rolex Watches. Featured image from amh1998 on Pixabay

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  9. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    In 2018, Grand Seiko celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of the iconic in-house caliber 9S automatic movement. With this celebration came the release of new, upgraded limited edition timepieces, to the delight of many fans. These are all models that are definitely made for luxury, using top-tier materials, and designed with undeniable finesse. Among the watches released for the 20th anniversary of the caliber 9S, the platinum VFA watch and the Special Standard gold timepiece stand out. These two models are — without a doubt — more expensive than other watches during the drop. However, the most stunning piece, without a doubt, is the Grand Seiko SBGH267. This timepiece displays Grand Seiko’s excellence when it comes to crafting stainless steel watches. It simply isn’t possible to find a Grand Seiko watch that’s subpar in the design department. The company prides itself on producing high-quality, meticulously designed watches that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. Even among the catalog of exquisite and lavish luxury watches the Grand Seiko has, however, the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is still a standout. This watch is magnificently simple at its finest. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 alone would be pointless without touching on the caliber 9S itself. How can a movement be so iconic that it deserved a new, updated release even 20 years later? Let’s examine the beginnings of Grand Seiko, how the company came up with the caliber 9S, and how it has influenced the creation of the Grand Seiko SBGH267. What makes this movement so iconic? History of the Caliber 9S The release of the in-house caliber 9S is one of Grand Seiko’s most prominent milestones and for good reason. For a long time, it was the standard movement used in all Grand Seiko watches. The caliber 9S’s excellent performance and innovative design made it a favorite in the horology community. The creation of this movement is one of the many achievements that truly put Grand Seiko on the map as a brand that could compete with more prominent Swiss luxury brands, proving that Grand Seiko is just as much about top-of-the-line innovation as it is about luxurious designs. Let’s take a closer look at Grand Seiko and how the caliber 9S really came to be. The Beginnings of Grand Seiko When Grand Seiko launched, Seiko Corporation had already made a name for itself in the Japanese market as a manufacturer of clocks and gauges. Seiko Corporation was well on its way to carving out an important place in the watch industry. In order to promote competition within the corporation, which would lead to improved and better quality products for all of the Seiko brand, the company opened two subsidiaries. These subsidiaries were named Suwa Seikosha and Daini Seikosha, and each operated completely independently of the other. Seiko’s strategy worked, as the competition between the two subsidiaries pushed each to come up with more out-of-the-box thinking and present different solutions to horological challenges. As a result, Seiko was met with increasing success as a horological innovator. Among the two subsidiaries, Suwa Seikosha was the more prominent name, and it was Suwa Seikosha that came up with Grand Seiko in 1960. However, ultimately, the inventions and efforts of both subsidiaries were crucial to the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand. In 1960, Suwa Seikosha created the first Grand Seiko watch, known simply as the Grand Seiko (GS) 1960, fitted with the caliber 3180 movements. This movement was the first chronometer-grade caliber produced in Japan. Such a watch, of course, cost a great deal. In today’s dollars, it cost around $3,500 USD. This was quite an exorbitant price for Seiko Corporation, which had, up till then, produced mainly mid-range watches. However, this soon became the standard of Grand Seiko watches — luxury watches that were more expensive than the offerings from its sister brand Seiko, that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watches. Grand Seiko’s Milestones The Grand Seiko 1960 was an impressive watch, even by today’s standards. The watch had a two-phase regulator mechanism. It was also outfitted with a hacking mechanism, which means that the movement could be instantly stopped when you pulled on the crown. This allowed you to more accurately set the time of the watch. Suwa Seikosha, however, was insatiable and constantly seeking new ways to improve upon this watch. In 1963, Suwa developed the 57GS. It is a low-bear hand-wound wristwatch released under the Grand Seiko brand. The 57GS is far different from the first-generation GS. With the 57GS, Suwa innovated by creating a luxury wristwatch encased within a stainless steel case. Keep in mind that this watch was launched in 1963. The first Swiss luxury watch with a stainless steel case — the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — wouldn’t be released for another 9 years, making Suwa a true pioneer with the design of the 57GS. The 57GS has a screw-down caseback, replacing the old snap-back crown of the first-generation Grand Seiko. As a result, it provided better water resistance, up to depths of 50 meters. It also featured an automatically changing date. The movement also earned its certification as a chronometer. In 1966, certain changes were made to the 57GS movement. Suwa increased the beat rating of the movement to 19,800 from 18,000, but the movement also lost its chronometer certification. In 1966, the 62GS was launched. The 62GS’s design stood out with its tiny crown unusually positioned at 4 o’clock. It was also the first Grand Seiko watch to function with an automatic movement. At the time, Grand Seiko had already become a popular choice, not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world. From there, the innovations from the brand just kept pouring in, building further upon the reputation of Grand Seiko as a quality manufacturer of luxury watches that constantly sought to upgrade itself. Launching the Caliber 9S Now, the previous few watches from the brand that we’ve discussed were definitely game-changers. They placed Grand Seiko firmly on the map as a luxury watch brand to keep an eye on. However, the Grand Seiko’s distinctive style wasn’t quite there yet. We’re talking about the distinguishing aesthetics and physical design of Grand Seiko watches. Sure, GS had already released a number of luxury timepieces but they were very much a callback to the conservative designs popularized by Swiss brands. So, in 1967, the company launched the 44GS — the watch that truly defined the Grand Seiko’s own style. There are three main features from the 44GS that made the brand stand out from its competition. It was a truly iconic watch that allowed light to play beautifully off its surface no matter the day, time, or place. Firstly, the 44GS features flat surfaces that are true to their definitions — two-dimensional and extremely flat. Within the dial, the hands and hour markers of the watch were also designed to be wide and flat on the surface of the dial. However, the polished edges of the watch still allowed light to reflect off them well. Finally, the 44GS had distortion-free mirrored surfaces achieved through Zaratsu polishing. On top of its high-precision calibers, Grand Seiko made a step forward with the 44GS by improving upon their watches’ aesthetic designs, making them truly worthy of the luxury status. From there, the company took a break due to the debut and increasing popularity of quartz movements. For the next 30 years, Grand Seiko took a backseat to let Seiko ride the tides to greatness with their quartz watches. However, this break didn’t cause Grand Seiko to disappear. Instead, the brand took its time to enhance the performance of its mechanical calibers. Grand Seiko used various tests to improve upon the performance of their movements. Moreover, their engineers and designers created a new balance spring that featured a special curved shape. These innovations resulted in the launch of a brand new mechanical caliber, the 9S5 series, which was first launched in 1998. The Caliber 9S Series The 9S5 caliber proved to be a great addition to Grand Seiko. In later developments, the brand also produced a new SPRON alloy for the mainspring as well as a new escapement, perfected with the advanced Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. New Caliber 9S versions continued to be released with different upgrades, such as the 9S6 with its 72-hour power reserve. The 9S8 also proved impressive with an improved 10-beat movement. The 9S caliber series proved to be the new Grand Seiko standard, with impressive accuracy that went beyond simple chronometer certification. Truly, it was on a different scale from the 1966 standards set by its predecessor. 20th Anniversary Models To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 9S mechanical caliber, Grand Seiko launched three new, limited-edition models of Grand Seiko watches in 2018. Each contained a different, special and newly-released 9S caliber movement, encased within distinctive 20mm cases. The first model is a Hi-Beat 36,000 VFA Ref. SBGH265J. This watch, which comes in a platinum case, is a truly rare collector’s piece, with only 20 pieces released on the market. It bears the V.F.A. initials on the dial, which stands for Very Fine Adjusted. This abbreviation was first used in 1969. This abbreviation refers to the precision rate of the caliber, that exceeds that of the Grand Seiko Standard. Powered by the 9S85 Hi-Beat 36,000 Caliber, it boasts an accuracy rate of +3 to -1 seconds per day. Then, there’s the Hi-Beat 36000 Special Ref. SBGH266J. Now, this is a classy yellow-gold watch, limited to only 150 pieces. This watch contains the movement commonly known as the Grand Seiko Special Standard. That means that the watch has an accuracy of around +4 to -2 seconds per day. Finally, the main star of our article: the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Ref. SBGH267G. It features a clean, traditional stainless steel case. Grand Seiko only released 1,500 pieces of this watch. The SBGH267G’s movement features a different, unusual oscillating weight made from titanium and tungsten. This weight comes in exquisite blue, due to anodic oxidation, which generates an oxide film via the process of electrolysis. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Grand Seiko SBGH267G, and all the great features it brings to the table. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 The Grand Seiko SBGH267 Limited Edition truly has its wonderful features, whether that’s due to the exquisite Grand Seiko design or the outstanding and distinctive movement. There’s something special about this stainless steel offering that makes it even more appealing than its higher-priced siblings. For sure, the VFA model in platinum and the Special Standard in gold are both true collector’s items. However, the SBGH267, with its more classic Grand Seiko look and equally outstanding performance, is the one that watch enthusiasts should really keep their eye on. First Impressions Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that this is a quality watch. We do have a lot of expectations with this watch, however. It’s a Grand Seiko watch with an iteration of the 9S and that alone bears more weight than it just being a limited edition watch. 9S is the first movement the Grand Seiko has released after 40 years of staying still. It features 36,000 vibrations per hour. The SBGH267 itself not overly fancy but its clean, professional exterior made from stainless steel is definitely luxurious, from its look to its texture and feel. Sure, the gold and the platinum models might seem more elegant at first glance. However, this is an equally refined offering with little details that truly make it a luxury watch hailing from the east. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Specs Before we get to our complete review of this watch, let’s first take a look at its specifications: Model: Hi-Beat 36000, Caliber 9S 20th Anniversary Limited EditionReference Number: SBGH267Case Diameter: 39.5 mmCase Thickness: 13 mmCase Material: Stainless steel, Zaratsu polishedIndexes: Baton, laser polishedDial Color: Deep blueWater Resistance: 100 meters, 330 feet, 10ATMStrap/Bracelet: Three-link stainless steel bracelet Movement Caliber: 9S85Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, datePower Reserve: 55 hoursFrequency: 5 Hz (36,000 vph)Accuracy: +5 to -3 seconds per day Jewels: 37Diameter: 28.4 mmWinding: Automatic winding with tungsten and anodized titanium oscillating weightInformation: MEMS fabricated skeletonized escape wheel with micro-oil reservoir teeth, and MEMS fabricated skeletonized leverChronometer Certification: Grand Seiko Hi-Beat internally controlled Case The case of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is quite similar to the two other watches from the limited edition drop. Each watch carries a similar Grand Seiko Style that no other brand could emulate. We’re talking about the unusual designs we mentioned earlier — two-dimensional, impossibly flat and thin, and mirror-like in polish. In particular, Grand Seiko’s method of polishing their watches can only be achieved through Zaratsu polishing. Zaratsu polishing has existed even before the beginnings of Grand Seiko. During the 1950s, the Hayashi Seiko factory had a polishing machine that had the words GEBR.SALLAZ engraved on it. This is the very place where a great deal of Grand Seiko watches are being manufactured. GEBR. stands for a German word that means “brothers.” Meanwhile, SALLAZ was the family name of the company that had built the machine. Indeed, the word Zaratsu was derived from the way the Japanese pronounced SALLAZ. This polishing machine became prominent for one very clear reason. Instead of the sides of the rotating disc used to polish watches, the machine uses the front of the disk to polish the surfaces of the case watch. This allowed for a very distinct polish that provides exceptionally crisp case lines and a mirror-like reflection to whoever is looking at the case of the watch. No distortions, no weird faces. This method of polishing became what we popularly know today as the Zaratsu polishing. Now, not everyone can achieve this, that’s why it’s so unique to the Grand Seiko brand. Only the machine and Grand Seiko’s master craftsmen can make this work. Dial The dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 has a very unique motif. On the dial, you can find spiral engraving with letters of the Grand Seiko logo, along with the mark of Daini Seikosha. Daini is the other half of Grand Seiko and was responsible for developing the first Hi-Beat movement. The company is now known as Seiko Instruments Inc. The design of the dial is unparalleled; it comes in an exquisite, textured deep blue color like no other. What we love about this design is that it successfully invokes luxury and class without having to use any precious metals at all. It doesn’t come in the usual gold, platinum, or even silver that is frequently used in luxury watches. It’s just a blue dial with a really great design that speaks for itself and adds even more dimension to an already impressive watch. Furthermore, as you might’ve noticed, the baton hands are not simply rectangular metal markers applied on the dial. They’re also raised to a height that adds volume and layers to an otherwise minimalistic watch. Even the date aperture comes with the same three-dimensional design, protruding out from the face of the dial. Once again, this is where the Grand Seiko Style comes in. You can see the light play off every part of the watch — the shadows on the engraved dial, as well as the reflections on the sharp, polished edges of every marker and hand. The GS logo at the 12 o’clock position and the second hand both come in fine gold. It allows both to stand out from the stainless steel casing and markers, as well as the blue dial, giving the watch an aura of sophistication. Movement Now, the dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is already very impressive. However, there’s nothing like a high-quality movement to make it all better. We’ve already gone through the makings and history of the 9S movements. Since this watch a tribute to that, we know that the same movement powers this watch. It displays a high level of accuracy and precision, as well as a power reserve that lasts up to 55 hours. The 9S85 caliber movement on this watch doesn’t have quite the same accuracy and precision as the Very Fine Adjusted or Special models. However, Grand Seiko fans know that the performance of Grand Seiko movements frequently outperforms the standards which are promised. Grand Seiko watches are always better in practice than on the brochure, and this is no different. It is worth noting, though, that the movement of the SBGH267 stands out from the others as a particularly beautiful deep blue-colored movement that matches the blue motif of the dial. It has an anodized titanium and tungsten rotor as can be seen on the see-through caseback. This is very similar to the rotor of the 10th Anniversary GMT Grand Seiko. Although its caliber underperforms slightly compared to the Very Fine Adjusted and Special models, its gorgeous hue and more affordable pricing make the SBGH267 a very good deal still. Pricing The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a limited edition, Hi-Beat watch. That means that it’s bound to have a fairly high asking price. With only 1,500 editions available, it costs around 6,300 USD in retail. Now, that’s what you get for a luxurious, well-made, bang-for-the-buck wristwatch from Grand Seiko. Compared to other models like Rolex, the price isn’t that exorbitant and it definitely has a promising future ahead of it. Is the Grand Seiko SBGH267 a great investment piece? The easy answer to this question is yes. The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a great investment piece. This isn’t only because it’s a limited edition, though. For a long time, since the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand, its watches have long been in the line of sight of collectors. This adds the SBGH267 to the same pedestal. Indeed, reports have shown that, in the years after its release, collectors are certainly keen to pay more than the retail price of this timepiece just to own it. Right now, you can purchase one for around 8,800 to 9,000 USD. And that’s just a couple years since its debut. We look forward to seeing just how this watch will be valued in the future — we certainly expect it to just keep rising! Grand Seiko SBGH267: Accuracy and Grandeur in One Perfect Package This release from Grand Seiko is definitely one for the books. It displays everything we expect from the brand — an equally luxurious and functional watch without the sky-high prices of Swiss brands. What we can see with this watch is the future of Japanese luxury watch manufacturers. The SBGH267 forces Swiss watch purists to look their way and see just what else Grand Seiko has in store for the horology community. Can’t get enough of Grand Seiko? Learn 3 reasons why we love Grand Seiko! Photo credits: All photos courtesy of Grand Seiko’s official website.

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  10. Valjoux 7750 – Valjoux’s Greatest Invention

    Valjoux 7750 – Valjoux’s Greatest Invention

    No wristwatch is complete without its movement. The movement is one of the most fundamental components of any timepiece. Quite simply, it is the mechanism that keeps your watch ticking. Without it, your wristwatch would be dead.   Every watch enthusiast has their own opinions on their favorite and least-preferred movements. That being said, one of the most talked-about watch movements in the history of horology is the Valjoux 7750. Some argue that the Valjoux 7750 is one of the most exceptional chronograph movements ever made. Others, on the other hand, would say that the movement is cheap, generic, and, to an extent, outdated. Indeed, the debate over the Valjoux 7750 has gone on for years. With that said, let’s find out more about Valjoux and the making of the 7750. In addition, we will also learn about what is inside the Valjoux 7550 and how it acquired its reputation. By taking a closer look at this movement, we’re going to show you just which side of the debate was right about the Valjoux 7750 after all. Valjoux – The Foundation of Many Photo from eBay Valjoux is a Swiss manufacturer renown for producing quality mechanical watch movements. Valjoux derived its name from the original address of the company, located in Joux Valley, which is otherwise known as Vallée de Joux. Valjoux was an independent manufacturer until they joined AUSAG in 1931. AUSAG, now known as Swatch Group, is a conglomerate that took in numerous independent movement manufacturers. Many of the manufacturers AUSAG has bought throughout the years are extremely well-known names. These include, among others, Blancpain, Hamilton, Longines, Oris, and of course, Valjoux. The competition over the creation of newer, more innovative, and more technologically advanced movements has always been an intense one in the watch industry. In 1969, Zenith released the El Primero, a new chronograph watch that possessed the most precise automatic movement they ever invented. Dubois Depraz, in collaboration with Breitling, Tag Heuer, and Hamilton, also unveiled their latest ground-breaking movement, which they called the Chronomatic movement. While these were all brainchildren that rocked the waters of the horology field, none of them could compare to the revolutionary quartz tidal wave that changed the landscape forever. Quartz Crisis – End of an Era  From the moment it emerged on the market in the early 1970s, the quartz movement has dominated the market with an iron fist. After just a few years, most people were turning to their Seikos and other quartz-operated timepieces, while the old mechanical wristwatches were left at home gathering dust. The quartz movement proved to be the nightmare of every traditional Swiss movement manufacturer. Not only were quartz movements incredibly accurate in keeping time, but they were also much cheaper to make. With such heavy competition, Valjoux had to think of something quick. They hired a young watchmaker named Edmond Capt to provide them with a movement that could compete with Zenith, Dubois, and most importantly, the all-powerful quartz movement. What they needed was a sturdy and dependable movement that was easy to manufacture. In addition, the new movement had to be chronograph-rated and feature a quick-set day and date function. Their expectations were high and Edmond had to meet their requirements as soon as possible.  Thankfully, Capt was a quick thinker. He made use of the Valjoux 7733 as the foundation for his new movement. The Valjoux 7733 is an old chronograph movement of Valjoux’s, released in 1969, with features such as a small seconds sub-dial, a seconds counter, but no day or date function. Capt’s new movement kept the basic timekeeping functions that the Valjoux 7733 also provided. His most innovative customisation to his new movement was having the column wheel replaced with a lever and camp system. Due to this adjustment, it became easier for Valjoux to mass-produce this upgraded chronograph movement since it was more affordable and required less precision. With the additional help of computer technology, Capt’s invention, the Valjoux 7750, became a reality. During the first year of its release, the Valjoux was able to sell 100,000 units of the 7750. It looked like a bright enough future for the 7750, but dark clouds revealed themselves soon enough. Even with such an ingenious design, it was not enough to challenge the quartz movement. In 1975, both Zenith and Valjoux succumbed to their shrinking markets. Zenith had to discontinue the El Primero while Valjoux halted the production of their Valjoux 7750. In addition, the managers of Valjoux planned to destroy the molds and dies for the Valjoux 7750 as well. Capt, who viewed the 7750 as one of his best creations, was affronted by the thought. He decided to keep the molds and dies of the 7750 in the hope that he might one day still be able to use them. You might think, at this point, that Valjoux and the 7750 seemed to be on their last legs. Thanks to Capt’s actions, however, a spark of hope soon revealed itself to the mechanical movement industry. Re-igniting the flame As mentioned, the quartz movement took the 1970s by storm. The trend of quartz-operated timepieces remained strong and showed no signs of stopping. For the Swiss companies to survive what came to be known as the Quartz Crisis, they had to consolidate. AUSAG and another conglomerate named SSIH merged to become what we know today as the Swatch Group. This newly made group went on to integrate with Piaget and later bought Heuer in 1982.  In the next decade, although quartz remained king, the demand for mechanical movements recommenced. The 1980s was the dawn of a new era for automatic watches. After the formation of the Swatch Group occurred, Valjoux merged with another movement manufacturer known as ETA. A collaboration between the two Swiss companies took place and led to the birth of the Valjoux/ETA 7750. This improved 7750 showcased a highly customizable base and 4Hz beat rate. One of the first watchmakers to take advantage of the latest 7750 was IWC. Technical director Kurt Klaus opted to use the 7750 as the base for their newest invention, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Kurt famously designed the Da Vinci Chronograph entirely by hand instead of using computers. The decision was a good move and gave the timepiece a distinguished reputation that added to its classic design. Thanks to the success of the Da Vinci, IWC returned to the 7750 for yet another project. As a commemoration of the company’s 125th anniversary, IWC manufactured the Destriero Scafusia. For this watch, IWC made use of yet another customized 7750 that featured a flying tourbillon, a minute repeater, a split-second chronograph, and a perpetual calendar. The success of IWC’s 7750 watches eventually led the watchmaking company Fortis to also adopt the ETA/Valjoux 75750 into their crafts. Fortis had to modify the 7750 calibre as their target market – Russian cosmonauts – were dissatisfied with the lack of an alarm feature in the 7750. In order to fix this issue, Fortis hired a watchmaker named Paul Gerber to design an alarm that could pair well with the 7750. As a result, Fortis was able to develop the first automatic watch with an alarm. Aside from that, Gerber also made other modifications. He added a second spring barrel to help power the alarm in the timepiece and made adjustments to the rotor so that it could better supply power to the barrel. As time passed by, more and more watchmakers understood the appeal of the ETA/Valjoux 7750 and started to incorporate it into their products. All these different watchmakers had different needs and requirements to fulfill, and so each of them modified the 7750 to meet the standards of their specific target audience. Over time, there became hundreds of variations of the 7750 out in the world, populating the various case backs of numerous watches. As a result, the 7750 has become one of the most frequently used movements, with many unique versions of itself in the ocean of timepieces out there. Anatomy of the 7750 Now that we’ve gone through the history and the arduous journey undergone by the Valjoux 7750, it’s time for us to take a look at what makes up the composition of this mechanical movement. First of all, the 7750 is a mechanical, manual-wind movement that uses a three-plane cam system to operate its mechanisms. The standard 7750 has subdials at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. The original Valjoux 7750 units contained 17 jewels, while most modern ETA 7750 variants hold 25 jewels, which allows for less wear and tear. The movement comes with a day/date function positioned at the 3 o’clock position of the timepiece. However, not all versions of the 7750 have this feature since some manufacturers opt to remove the day and date aperture to offer a cleaner, less cluttered look on the dial. The original 7750 contained mechanisms that were partially made out of plastic. More modern, modified 7750s frequently replace the plastic parts with metal, as it is more durable and sturdier. Contemporary models of the ETA 7750 also exhibit a faster frequency. These days, the 7750 produces 28,800 vibrations per hour instead of 21,600 from previous versions. Some modified variants of the 7750 have been manufactured on a wide scale. Apart from the base 7750 model, we also have the 7751, 7753, and 7754 movements. Out of all these units, the 7751 has the most additional features. The 7751 comes with a central date hand, a day and month sub-dial, and a sub-dial for moon phases. Following that, we have the 7753 movement. Unlike other ETA/Valjoux 7750s, the 7753 variant has its sub-dials positioned in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions of the main dial. The 7753 also positions the date aperture at the 4 o’clock position of the watch face instead of the usual 3 o’clock. Lastly, we have the final version, the 7754. The one thing that the 7754 has that other models do not is a GMT hand. That said, aside from the mentioned differences, all ETA/Valjoux 7750s operate fairly similarly otherwise. 7750’s Notoriety Despite the marvelous feats the 7750 attained throughout the years, it still has its fair share of doubters and naysayers. Why do some people dismiss the 7750?  Cheap Over the years, the 7750 has become the go-to movement for many watchmakers for its customisable capabilities and affordability. Other watch fanatics, however, argue that the cheapness of the 7750 brings down the overall value of the watch. Since the watch industry uses the 7550 in all categories and types of timepieces, many argue that the contrast set up between luxury and more economic watches is devalued by the presence of the 7550. Many watch wearers would be displeased by the knowledge that their luxurious $3,000 watch uses the same movement as a more budget wristwatch worth $300. Generic and Mundane People can indeed get tired from seeing the same thing over and over again. As we’ve mentioned, since this mechanical movement appears in a vast number of different watches, the architecture of the ETA/Valjoux is simply too ubiquitous and has become too mundane for many watch enthusiasts. This is why some would prefer in-house movements for their luxury timepieces, as it brings to the table something that is a little more distinct and sophisticated. To them, the ETA/Valjoux 7750 is just too generic and overused, bringing down the exclusivity and class of their luxury timekeeper. Cam-Actuated There is an ongoing debate between the strengths of column-wheel chronographs as opposed to those of cam-actuated systems. Although the performances of both are nearly identical, some still prefer column-wheel chronographs. The naysayers of the cam-actuated system have claimed that because the 7750 is cam-actuated, when the watch starts running, it is frequently accompanied by a sudden jerk of the seconds hand. In reality, this is actually because the gears of the cam-actuated mechanism are merely fixing themselves before initiating the system. As opposed to the supposed jerkiness of the cam-actuated system, some argue that chronograph movements that use a column wheel tend to run smoother. The pushers in the cam-actuated system have also been criticized as being harder to press than the pushers present in column-wheel movements. It all boils down to preferences Ultimately, none of the reasons mentioned above are factual. In the end, it all comes down to what a person likes and what they dislike. Collectors and enthusiasts alike may regard the ETA/Valjoux 7750 as banal, but it also has strengths that they can not deny. The 7750 has proven itself to be an absolute workhorse. Despite being a relic from the past, this humble automatic movement has survived all sorts of adversities and advancements and continues to produce satisfying results. It may be generic, but there is a reason why so many highly-regarded watchmakers have chosen the 7750 for their quality timepieces. Valjoux 7750 Watches 1. IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph First on the list is a watch that was briefly mentioned earlier in the article, the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar. As the name reveals, Leonardo Da Vinci was the inspiration in designing this particular IWC Perpetual Calendar. The IWC Da Vinci was the first in its series to be operated by a mechanical movement. A caliber known as the IWC 79261 controlled the inner machinations of the watch. You might not be able to tell from the name alone, but the IWC 79621 is actually a Valjoux 7750 that was heavily modified to cater to the needs of the IWC Da Vinci. As stated previously in the article, it was Kurt Klaus who brought this movement to IWC. Klaus refused the use of computers and chose to modify the movement by hand. The resulting IWC Da Vinci timepiece was a huge success and it marked the comeback of luxury mechanical watches amidst the era of quartz. Photo by Time and Watches 2. Sinn 358 Diapal Pilot Chronograph The Diapal Pilot is an example of a modern watch that uses the Valjoux 7750. In this modified variant of the Valjoux 7750, 25 jewels hold the movement to prevent the apparatus from experiencing additional wear and tear. The Diapal Pilot is the first and only model of the Sinn 358 Chronograph series to utilize the Valjoux 7750. Later iterations of the Sinn 358 replaced the 7750 either with a Sellita SW 500 or a Concepto C99001. Funnily enough, both of these movements based their designs and functions on the 7750. Sinn uses all three mechanisms in different versions of their Instrument Chronograph series. The three watch systems may not be the same, but they all promise reliability and durability. Photo by Sinn 3. Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Calibre 16 DD Automatic Horology history associates Heuer and Valjoux in several instances. Aside from their mutual affiliation with the Swatch Group, Valjoux has also supplied many Heuer timepieces with 7750 calibers. In 2005, Heuer released their newest Carrera Automatic, which featured their latest movement, the Calibre 16. In making the Calibre 16, Heuer introduced the world of watches to their version of a modified Valjoux 7750. The Calibre 16 is utilized in several timepieces from different Tag Heuer collections, including Carrera, Link, and Aquaracer. Two years ago, Heuer stopped using the 7750 as the base for their Calibre 16 and replaced it with the Sellita SW 500. The new Calibre 16 now occupies the casebacks of Heuer’s main ranges of chronograph watches namely the Aquaracer, Carrera, and Formula 1. 4. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic  Hamilton created the X-Wind Automatic to commemorate their association with the US Airmail. Although they found that the 7750 had a decent enough performance, they were not entirely satisfied with the longevity of the 7750’s power reserve. After a few customizations to the Valjoux 7750 base, Hamilton produced their very own H-21. The upgrades resulted in a modern and more accurate 7750 with a new power reserve that can last for a whopping 60 hours. Compared to other watchmakers, Hamilton made fewer modifications to the base 7750. Despite this, the H-21 is one of the most notable innovations in the Hamilton lineup. The movement was later awarded COSC certification, and the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic became a hit among Hamilton’s audience.  Photo by Hamilton 5. Breitling Avenger II Here’s a fun fact — Leonardo Dicaprio wore this watch in the 2006 movie Blood Diamond. The timepiece appeared in many scenes and is one of Breitling’s most well-known models. Like every other watch in this list, Breitling made several adjustments to the Valjoux 7750. Through their efforts, the company brought the Breitling 13 caliber to the world of horology. The Breitling 13 features a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour with a 42-hour power reserve. Due to its unidirectional ratcheted bezel, the rotor of the Avenger II can move freely. The result? A lively timepiece that “wobbles” gleefully on the owner’s wrist.  Photo by Breitling Final Thoughts To this day, the 7750 is arguably one of the most recognizable and iconic automatic movements. There aren’t many movements in the scope of horology that have made an impact quite like it. The ETA/Valjoux 7750 is a rugged and easily modifiable mechanism currently used by many reputable companies. Although it was first named the Valjoux 7750, today, it is officially called the ETA 7750. Despite the renaming, however, most people still refer to it as the Valjoux 7750. Although it is not the most advanced movement, a finely-tuned Valjoux 7750 can reach heights that are equal to just about any modern movement out there. No matter which side of the debate you’re on, it is undeniable that the Valjoux 7750 is of great importance to watch history. Not only was the 7750 a component that gave relevance to the remnants of Swiss watchmakers, but it was also a crucial innovation responsible for reviving the whole industry of mechanical movements. Just as importantly, it was the movement that allowed so many watch manufacturers to unleash their creativity, making broad modifications to the Valjoux 7750 to best suit their purposes. Released over the decades, these modified variants prove, time and time again, that the Valjoux 7750 is as strong as ever. Valjoux is not out of the watch game and does not plan to leave anytime soon. Looking for a watch you can travel with? Here are the 20 Best Travel Watches for Globetrotters and Frequent Flyers. Featured Image by: Wikimedia Commons

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  11. 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

    6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

    Ask any watch enthusiast about the biggest inventors in the industry and the name Seiko is sure to come up. This is the company responsible for the creation of the quartz movement. It also introduced the cutting-edge technology of radio solar-powered timepieces. Seiko simply never stops looking for ways to innovate in the industry. Today, we’ll take a closer look at one of its most impressive inventions to date: Seiko Kinetic watches. As Seiko continues to provide people with watches that function with utmost efficiency, it never forgets to create new technology as well. The Seiko Kinetic joins the roster of Seiko’s quality conceptualisations, alongside its mechanical, quartz, and solar movements. As you can expect, Seiko put great effort into developing this ingenious movement. So, without further ado, let us walk you through everything you need to know about Seiko Kinetic. We’ve also come up with a list of 6 of the best Kinetic watches from the brand that you’ll surely love. To fully understand the idea of Kinetic watches, let’s take a look at its history alongside the company’s track record of innovations. Seiko: Disrupting the Watch Industry Since the invention of watches, watchmakers have always been on the lookout for ways to change the game up. This is because watches are engineering marvels and there are endless ways to make them better. Even to this day, manufacturers still manage to find ways to improve how we keep and perceive time through these little devices. Seiko, as one of these aforementioned manufacturers, has spearheaded the charge on many of these technological advances in the horology industry. Seiko’s Notable Innovations Kintaro Hattori founded Seiko in 1881 as a watch and clock retail and repair store. The company grew with the help of foreign trading companies, importing popular Western timepieces into Japan. From the beginning, the company had been marking many firsts, not only for Japan but also for the rest of the world. In 1894, the company constructed a store that had a clock tower. Located on the corner of Ginza 4-chome block, this clock tower became known as a classic landmark. In 1913, as the trend of pocket watches was slowly dying, the company launched The Laurel, Japan’s first-ever wristwatch. The Laurel was just the beginning of Seiko’s iconic run as a wristwatch manufacturer. Fast forward to 1964, when Seiko became the official timer of the Tokyo Olympics. This was the first time ever that electronic timepieces were fully integrated into the games. After this momentous feat, Seiko went on to serve as the official timer for 5 other Olympic Games. Only 4 years later in 1968, Seiko launched the world’s first quartz wall clock. It was also this year that Seiko occupied the top spot for mechanical watch precision at the Geneva Observatory Competition. With the company on a roll, in 1969, Seiko launched the Quartz Astron, the world’s first quartz watch. Those familiar with watch history will know that the launch of the Quartz Astron took a toll on the Swiss watch industry. Quartz watches caught on remarkably quickly, and the mechanical watches of many Swiss watch manufacturers were rapidly overtaken. Many years later, the rest of the world — especially the Swiss watch market — began rolling out their very own quartz-powered watches. Seiko itself continued to put out ground-breaking tech almost every decade. In the 1970s, Seiko developed the world’s first radio wave clock. Then, at the 1986 Basel Fair, Seiko unveiled its first Kinetic prototype. Other historic Seiko milestones include the invention of the Astron (the world’s first GPS solar watch, 2012) and the world’s first satellite radio wave clock in 2014. Their most recent milestone is their creation of the world’s first hybrid radio wave clock in 2019. History of Seiko Kinetic Everything began at the 1986 Basel Fair when Seiko unveiled the first kinetic prototype it had been working on. At that time, the prototype carried the name “AGM” (Automatic Generating Movement). It was the first watch that was capable of converting kinetic movement into electrical energy. The prototype was Seiko’s way of introducing this technology to the world. 20 years later, it would become synonymous with excellent performance and convenience. Moreover, along with solar powered-watches, kinetic watches also became the poster child for eco-conscious watchmaking standards. Two years after they unveiled their prototype, Seiko went on to launch the first-ever kinetic watch available commercially. This new watch went by the name “AGS” (Automatic Generating System”), rather than the aforementioned AGM. Over the years, Seiko sold 8 million units of the original AGS. It wasn’t until 1991 that Seiko officially rebranded the AGS into the Seiko Kinetic, as we know it by today. In 1998, Seiko launched the Kinetic Auto Relay. The highlight of this new watch was the improvement in the at-rest operating period of the watch. Seiko extended this to 4 whopping years. Then, just one year later, in 1999, they released the Ultimate Kinetic Chronograph — the watch that had the best of both worlds. This watch made use of both mechanical and electronic watchmaking methods. A new generation Kinetic Chronograph was launched in 2003, carrying with it the same idea. 2005 marked another milestone for the brand as the Kinetic Perpetual was released. The appearance of this watch leaned more towards traditional dress watches. With the power of kinetic energy plus the longevity of a perpetual calendar, this is a timepiece that is definitely meant to last. During its release, Seiko promised that this watch will never have to be corrected until the year 2100, almost a hundred years in the future. Finally, in 2007, the Kinetic Direct Drive launched to great hype and enthusiasm from consumers. Unlike previous kinetic watches, this timepiece allowed the watch to generate energy not just through its electrical mechanisms, but also by winding the crown, as with mechanical movements. What is the Seiko Kinetic? So, how exactly does the Seiko Kinetic watch work? Kinetics pertain to the generation of energy via movement. Every Seiko Kinetic watch contains an internal electrical generator. This generator can be powered by something as simple as the movement of the user’s wrist. The energy generated sits in a rechargeable battery which, unlike cell batteries in quartz movements, doesn’t require frequent replacement. As such, it is also a much more eco-friendly option. Types of Kinetic Watches There are various different Seiko Kinetic watches available today: Ultimate Kinetic Chronograph can store up to 1 month of power.Kinetic Direct Drive can store up to 1 month of charge. It also functions like mechanical movements as you can wind it by physically turning the crown.Kinetic Chronograph can store up to 5 months of power.Kinetic Perpetual stores up to 6 months of charge that can be preserved for 4 years when not in use.Kinetic GMT can preserve its charge for up to 4 years and goes to sleep mode after 72 hours.Kinetic Auto Drive can also preserve its charge for up to 4 years and goes to sleep mode after 72 hours.Kinetic vs Mechanical Movement Kinetic Movement (L) vs Mechanical Movement (R) You might be wondering how the movement of a Seiko Kinetic differs from a typical mechanical movement. Although both movements come with a swinging rotor, one difference between the two lies in the location in which each movement stores power. Mechanical movements store energy in the spring while kinetic watches store it in a capacitor. In an automatic mechanical movement, the rotor moves when the wrist moves. This winds the spring that is responsible for powering up the watch. Manual-winding watches work differently because you’d have to manually turn the crown to wind it. Automatic watches can store power in what we call a power reserve. Depending on how great the power reserve is, you would be able to keep wearing the watch until your power reserve ran low, at which point you would have to turn the crown to wind it up again. For watch enthusiasts who have already amassed a large collection, a watch winder is actually a fantastic idea. This is a device that keeps the watch moving even when you’re not wearing it, such that it remains charged and ready for another day in the field. A kinetic watch works in a fairly similar way. Swinging or moving your arm while wearing a kinetic watch causes the oscillating rotor within the watch to move. With that, several gears start to turn, and this produces electricity via a small generator. This generator charges the capacitor where energy is stored. Just like mechanical movements, kinetic watches have to be constantly worn in order to stay charged. Alternatively, a watch winder also works wonders for this type of movement. Eco-Friendly Choices: Kinetic vs Solar Seiko Kinetic Watch (L), Seiko Solar Watch (R) Kinetic and solar watches are both known for their eco-friendly properties. That being said, for those seeking an environmentally-friendly timepiece, which one is better? The answer, really, is that it depends. Each watch has its own set of pros and cons. For example, Seiko Kinetic watches have to be constantly worn on your wrist or placed on a wrist winder in order to be functional. On the other hand, solar watches need light to recharge, be it artificial or natural light. Solar watch batteries tend to last for a decade on average, and as such, a solar watch is perfect for those who don’t have time to constantly change the batteries of their watches. This is also why most solar watches come with very rugged, sporty designs. As a timepiece intended for people who need unyielding power, solar watches have to be able to function for as long as their adventures do. At the end of the day, choosing one watch over another depends on your personal preference and needs. Kinetic watches are a great idea if you’re looking for something with a little more edge, especially if it’s a Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive that you’re eying. On the other hand, if you’re more of an outdoorsy person or someone who can maintain a constant source of light nearby, then a solar watch might be a better idea for you. 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches Seiko is the sole proprietor of kinetic watches, and over the years, they’ve come up with quite an impressive range. So, if you’re finally sold on getting a kinetic watch, you might be a little confused about which one to get. We’ve gathered 6 of the best Seiko Kinetic watches on the market to narrow down your choices! Check them out below. 1. Seiko Prospex SUN023P1 First on the list is the Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1. As a member of the popular Prospex family, this timepiece is both a kinetic watch and a dive watch. It has a measured diameter of 47mm, not including the crown, so you know that it has a wide and balanced face. This watch also has a protective shroud which gives it a rugged, sportier look. This model is also a part of Seiko’s “tuna can” line of watches. Seiko’s tuna watches are all built to handle professional diving trenches. Every part of this watch is made for professional diving. The band is made from polyurethane and can fit perfectly over wetsuits. Even if you’re not a diver, you won’t have to worry either. The 24mm strap is easily swappable for more conventional straps. The Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1 also has a power reserve indicator so you can easily tell when your watch is running out of charge. To activate this, you only need to press the button positioned at the 2 o’clock position. The second hand will then point to indicate how much power is left in the watch. To set things into perspective, an indicator of 30 seconds is equivalent to six months of power. Another noticeable detail on the dial of the watch is a fourth hand, sword-shaped and lined with blue. This hand indicates 24-hour time, which is especially convenient for those who are used to military time. As expected, this watch also has a powerful lume. All Seiko watches are blessed with this and the same applies to the Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1. Moreover, this is extremely useful for those who like to go diving. The only downside to this watch is the small dot on the bezel of the watch at the 12 o’clock position. For such a big watch, a bigger lume-filled dot would be more visible and a lot more helpful, especially underwater. On the whole, this is a great watch that’s perfect for sporty use or adventurous weekends. This timepiece might not be the right fit for more formal settings, but it’s definitely ready for anything it might encounter. 2. Seiko SRH013 Velatura Kinetic Direct Drive Another sporty timepiece on our list, the Seiko Velatura SRH013 features a very modern design. It has a rugged look with an aesthetic that’s reminiscent of sports cars. If you’re a thrill-seeker, then this is just the watch for you. In all black, the watch measures 42mm in diameter. It also comes in a stainless steel case that can withstand just about anything. The black rubber band strap of the Velatura SRH013 is made to look a lot like a threaded tire. Overall, this timepiece features a racing car motif that Seiko handled very well. On the dial is a day-and-date display that is designed to resemble the dashboard of a car, which pairs wonderfully with the concept of the watch. With a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, this is the perfect adventure watch. The Seiko Velatura SRH013 has a water resistance of 100 meters. That isn’t a lot but it’s definitely enough to handle a little splash here and there. 3. Seiko Prospex SKA413 “Adventure” The Seiko Prospex SKA413 “Adventure” offers just about everything you need from a dive watch. It can handle up to 200 meters of depth. The watch also features a sturdy stainless steel case that can withstand any sort of impacts or scratches. Fitted on the top of this case is a black bezel designed with silver gear-like edges. These edges make it easier to grip and turn the bezel, especially if you’re using a glove or in a wetsuit. This bezel rotates unidirectionally, in an anti-clockwise movement. This is important because it prevents the bezel from being turned in the wrong direction, which would mess up a wearer’s ability to quickly tell the time. The bezel can count up to sixty minutes of elapsed time. As with all Seiko watches, we get a great lume from this watch. Some people might not like the look of the chunky strap, but it does feel extremely comfortable around the wrist. Alternatively, you could also opt to change it according to your preferences. Simply fit a NATO strap or a stainless steel bracelet into the drilled lugs of the watch and you’d be good to go for any adventure you might have planned. 4. Seiko Premier SNP149P2 Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition This watch is one that’s a lot classier and better paired with formal wear than the others on the list. It carries a very conservative aesthetic, from the distinguished month sub-dial to the combination of the refined baton and Roman numeral markers. This is exactly what you would expect from a special edition watch released by Seiko. We’re talking, of course, about the Seiko Premier Kinetic Novac Djokovic. It is a total feast for the eyes. This tasteful dress watch was made for Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic. At the time of this article’s release, Djokovic is ranked the world’s No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He has been sitting at that position for a record of 327 weeks. Djokovic has also finished as year-end No. 1 on an Open Era joint record on six occasions. This watch also comes with another sub-dial that displays 24 hours. The date display is prominently placed on the dial, at the 12 o’clock position, and comes with a stylish bronze-colored metal frame. It truly expresses a sophisticated look that is perfect for the winner that it was made for. 5. Seiko Prospex SUN065 GMT PADI There’s a lot to unpack with the Seiko SUN065. This is yet another Prospex watch — this time made in collaboration with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). This timepiece looks stunning, especially underwater, with its combination of blue and silver aesthetics. It is a great timepiece that uses the Seiko Kinetic movement — the Kinetic GMT variation in particular. This means that the watch can display a second time zone which is great for those who are always out on adventures all over the world. This watch features an analog dial display. Fully charged, the power of this timepiece can last for 6 long months. To check how much juice you have left, you only need to press the push-button at 2 o’clock. Finally, at 47.5 mm, it’s a large and rather hefty watch. It can also go as deep as 200 meters — indeed the ultimate dive watch. 6. Seiko Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde So far, we’ve introduced to you some of the best dive watches that are powered by kinetic movement. However, some people aren’t looking for just a tool watch. Instead, they seek more classic timepieces that have fool-proof timepieces. If that’s the type of kinetic watch you’re looking for, then we bring to you Seiko Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde. This is a great timepiece that offers a classy yet modern design, perfect for more formal occasions. The Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde has a sapphire-crystal window and is resistant to water up to depths of 100 meters. So, even though it’s not a diving watch, it can handle a bit of moisture. You can take a quick dip with this watch and not have to worry about damaging it at all. This watch also comes with a day-and-date display. As a dressy watch, you can expect the watch to lack lume. The only lume you can find is on the elegant hands of the watch. It may be a challenge to tell time with this watch in the dark but it’s definitely perfect for your next suit and tie event. Seiko Kinetic: A Universal Game-changer Seiko Kinetic watches are perfect for people who are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint. It’s also a great watch that keeps people active and moving. It is clear just why Seiko put the effort and time into creating this technology. It’s a lot more cost-efficient than mechanical movements and just as powerful. While we look forward to seeing just how much further Seiko can improve on the Seiko Kinetic, it must be said that what they have for us today is already an impressive lineup. Interested in checking out more Seiko watches? Take a look at our guide to the Seiko Samurai: A Review of One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches. Photo credits to Seiko’s official website

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