Braeden Alexander

Braeden Alexander

First Published: September 20, 2018
  1. Articles by Braeden Alexander
  2. The History of the Panerai Luminor

    The History of the Panerai Luminor

    The Panerai Luminor was designed specifically for underwater commandos leading up to the Second World War. The watch was only available to military forces until 1993. Once the Panerai Luminor watch became available to the public, it was clear that it was a worldwide success for its value. And also for its purposeful functionality and rugged style. So it’s not a surprise that this watch has such a long and beautiful history. Panerai for the Royal Italian Navy Panerai was born when Giovanni Panerai opened a watch shop in Florence in 1860. The boutique immediately became an authorized dealer of some of the most reputable Swiss watch manufacturers of the time, including Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. By the early 20th century, Panerai began to supply the Royal Italian Navy with the range of high-precision instruments.   Leading up to the Second World War, Panerai put forth its first in-house prototype.  You guessed it, it was the Radiomir. This was the culmination of decades of research and tinkering within Officine Panerai as they initially filed for a patent for the Radiomir concept in 1916. The radium-based powder gave luminosity to the dials of sighting instruments and devices, boasting high visibility in extreme conditions and excellent underwater adhesive elements. Radiomir This Radiomir model was initially made for the frogman commandos of the First Submarine Group Command. This division wanted a rugged watch that could survive the extreme underwater conditions that they faced on a regular basis. The watch met the specific requirements that the navy was looking for, particularly with its enhanced visibility and underwater readability thanks to its unique luminous Radiomir. Following a series of secretive tests that involved both Panerai and the Royal Italian Navy, the Radiomir became the official watch of these submerged troops. The Navy’s historical archives contend that just ten prototypes were produced in 1936. The Constant Evolution It took two full years for the functions of the 1936 prototype to actually make it into production. Despite this, the subsequent years were defined by a constant strive for improvement. They wanted to better it in order to continually meet the navy’s lofty requirements. Making sure that the watch was constantly up to date, Panerai an d the Royal Italian Navy worked together. The watches had to remain underwater in extreme conditions for long periods of time. It’s also important for it to have resistance to extreme tension. The use of overlapping plates on the dial and the steel reinforcement of the wire lugs made for further resistance and underwater visibility. Panerai also opted for a 47 mm cushion-shaped case.  When Rolex stopped supplying equipment, Officine Panerai opted to equip their watches with the Angelus 240 movement. This dramatic shift guaranteed tightness over time since it reduced the number of times required to wind the watch. Radiomir Becomes Panerai Luminor The final evolution in the development of the watch came when Officine Panerai developed a new self-luminous substance. The innovative Luminor substance superseded the former radium-based paste. That lead the company to file a patent for the compound in 1949, officially replacing the Radiomir. The Panerai Luminor substance was not only far more radiant than the Radiomir, but also much safer. The initial radium-based paste was actually highly radioactive. With the Second World War having now drawn to a close, Panerai was also able to continue the technical research. It  culminated the development of the Panerai Luminor. As well as further reinforced wire lugs, cushion-shaped case and a flat, wide bezel. The watch went down in the annals of history in 1993. It happened when Panerai Officine Put forth their very first public collection. Consisting of the classic Panerai Luminor, Panerai Luminor Marina and Mare Nostrum.  They immediately became highly sought-after items for collectors and enthusiasts due to its immense historical value. As well as its unbeatable underwater properties and rugged style. The release vaulted Panerai Luminor into widespread contention when it comes to the most technically skilled manufacturers in the world of fine watchmaking.

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  3. The History of the Breitling Navitimer

    The History of the Breitling Navitimer

    The Breitling Navitimer is a world classic amongst pilot watches. Pilots from all around the world still use the Breitling Navitimer. While many Air Forces continue to issue the timepiece as regular equipment. The emblematic timepiece with an integrated flight computer remains one of the most popular chronographs in aviation. While the design has become an iconic look, the Navitimer is first and foremost a tool of aviation. Breitling Time: For the Plane and the Pilot It was in 1884 that a 24-year-old by the name of Léon Breitling arrived in St. Iminer to create his first chronograph. After founding the namesake company, Breitling had developed a formidable reputation as a skilled watchmaker who crafted both timepieces and intelligent measuring tools. In its early days, the brand focused on chronographs which were in increasing demand for industrial, military and scientific applications. Over the next few years, Breitling received serious demand for dashboard clocks in planes and military chronographs. By 1915, the company introduced one of the world’s first wrist chronographs with a separate push-piece above the watch crown. By the 20s, Breitling chronograph watches had earned its place as the aviator’s choice. A Mini Computer for Pilots During the 30s, Willy Breitling, the grandson of Léon who had inherited the company, envisioned the two-pusher chronograph–one to start and one to reset timing. Until 1934, chronograph wristwatches had only a singer push-piece, which Willy saw as a key deficiency. He also wanted to further the idea of the timepiece as a calculation tool and recruited the help of Marcel Robert.  Together, they came up with a scale that featured the three most important units for the pilot: STAT for standard mileage, KM for kilometers and NAUT for nautical miles. By the 1940s, this allowed for pilots to calculate essential functions such as fuel consumptions, average speeds or climbing speeds. The Birth of the Breitling Navitimer In 1942, the Breitling Chronomat was introduced. The ingenious slide rule bezel of the Chronomat catered to pilots. The watch was highly practical and performed brilliantly throughout WWII. A decade after its initial release, Breitling decided to improve on the innovative timepiece. Breitling introduced the Navitimer in 1952, which lent its name from the words “Navigation” and “Timer.” The slide rule bezel allowed for quick and easy calculations of complicated operations such as fuel consumption. As well as climb and descent rates and averages speeds without the need for any other tool. The pearl bezel guaranteed easy grip and overall handling when in use, while the black watch face and chronograph display made for a beautiful design. It was a true pioneer that earned its name for its multiple functions that served as both a navigation tool and timepiece. The first edition was powered by a manual chronograph movement with column wheel mechanism, known as the Venus 178, which was considered innovative at the time. These early versions of the navitimer are rare collectibles today. It didn’t take for the model to enjoy worldwide success in the aviation world. In the same year, the Navitimer became the official watch of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). In 1960, the partnership between the two entities was cemented with the inclusion of the winged logo of the AOPA. The Breitling Navitimer Effect During the 50s, Breitling targeted groups of pilots with its advertising, successfully creating a huge demand for navigation chronographs. By the end of the decade, Breitling was an official supplier of dashboard instruments for all major aircraft companies. During the 60s, Breitling replaced the Venus 178 movement with the Valjoux 7740 movement. In 1962, a special edition of the Navitimer, the Cosmonaute with the 24-hour display, accompanied astronaut Scott Carpenter to space. It was also admired by millions on the wrist of Captain Derval in the James Bond movie Thunderball (1965). In 1969, Breitling took another step towards modernity with the implementation of automatic chronograph movement in the form of the Breitling Calibre 11. All in all, the model has largely remained true to its aviation roots to this day. The instantly recognizable look of the Navitimer has attracted watch enthusiasts for generations, staying true to the classic aviator style watch. The dial is a reversed panda color scheme. Very busy iconic dial. The raised “B” winged logo and red sweep of the seconds hand both add a sparkling touch of color. Since its Breitling first introduced the model in 1952, the Navitimer has grown to achieve cult status. Generations of pilots have relied on the circular slide rules of the Navitimer for crucial calculations in the air. Whether in air and on land, the star of the Breitling collection continues to be an exceptional wrist companion to this day. The Breitling Navitimer is the most legendary of pilot watches and continues to reflect the spirit of aviation to this day.

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  4. Best Watches to Wear With a Suit

    Best Watches to Wear With a Suit

    The classic look of suit and tie is best complemented with a timeless watch. But what are some of the best watches to wear with a suit? Well that’ll depend on a few things. When it comes to fashion and menswear, there’s perhaps nothing that’s more timeless than a suit. Any occasion that calls for a suit also requires meticulous attention to detail: your shirt, tie, shoes, belt and, of course, the all-too important pocket square. The most important detail, however, lies on your wrist. Whether you have an important celebration with friends on the horizon or you’re simply looking to spice up your office attire, the right watch to complement your suit provides an undeniable amount of elegance, sophistication and class. This unheralded accessory can be looked at as the final touch that can make or break an outfit. Since men wear limited jewelry, your choice of formal timepiece should not only resonate with your style but also make a tasteful personality statement. It’s no secret that a timepiece will lift your formal wardrobe to the next level. Here are a few pointers to help you find the perfect watch that will look best with a suit. Black Suit Due to its versatile nature, a black suit is the easiest to work with by far. A black suit is the epitome of a timeless classic, and finding a watch with the same properties is a sure-fire way to guarantee a healthy ensemble. A timepiece that features a black leather strap and a simple face is an incredibly simple way to make a style statement. For a look that’s slightly more casual, substitute the black leather strap for a shiny silver bracelet. The silver will work great to complement the black suit in a way that’s not overpowering. This may not work for black tie events, but more so formal business parties or dinner gatherings. The Nomos Glasshütte Tangente is a straightforward timepiece characterized by its black leather strap and simple dial. The exquisite aesthetic is clean and symmetrical while the round dial harmoniously hits all the right angles. The classic typography of the numbers and letters are the finishing touches. The Bulova Classic equipped with a stainless steel case makes an immediate power statement. Through sophisticated detailing, an understated aesthetic and vintage tailoring, the timepiece works to complement the classic look of a black suit. Navy Suit Similar to its black counterpart, navy is among the most popular shades of suits in large part due to its versatile nature. Cool tones like black and silver may look best with navy suits. There’s no need for anything outlandish or over-the-top, as that will simply take away from the timelessness of a navy suit. A watch with a simple navy blue dial face is an understated but subtle choice. Since you’re sticking to tonally similar pieces, you can also choose something that stands out more for a glossier finish. The Omega De Ville is the prestigious timepiece with its ocean blue dial and stainless steel bracelet. Watching the dial to your outfit is a sure-fire way to subtly separate yourself from the crowd and express a bit of individuality. A Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso is a classic with a design that dates back to 1931. Initially developed for polo players, it embodies everything the classic dress timepiece should be: simple, elegant, sophisticated, luxurious. The slim and sleek lightweight frame allows for a contemporary yet classic timepiece that looks great with a suit. Gray Suit Charcoal, graphite, etoupe–gray suit options range wildly in its exact shade, making it tricky to match. A leather strap and silver face is an infallible choice of timepiece in this situation. The Patek Philippe Calatrava minimalistic available in precious metals. There are certainly classic watches that look good with every suit. These time-only wristwatches lends themselves especially well to suits. They also all have minimalist and simple dials and leather straps. With its leather strap, minimal display and sleek frame, the Piaget Altiplano is another great option for a gray suit. The timepiece is the ultimate expression of refinement, while the ultra-thin structure makes for an overall effortless style. Brown & Tan Suits Warmer tones such as gold, tan and leather bode well with brown suits. Like gray, tanned suits come in all sorts of shades so you’ll have to use your best judgment at the same time. Keep things simple and without any complicated features–brown suits already have a retro-inspired look to them. You can’t go wrong with a leather strap, silver strap or crocodile strap. The Cartier Tank dates back to 1917 and defines simple, elegant luxury watches. Inspired when Louis Cartier adorned British Mark IV tanks during WWI, the design of the Tank is simple, sleek and elegant. It’s also a knockout classic piece that’s timeless as a pioneer of wristwatches making it the perfect complement for a suit and tie affair. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph lends a classic look that boils down to its perfection in every detail. The minimalist dial and rich brown strap is a wonderful complement. So the next time you’re thinking of what are some of the best watches to wear with a suit, keep in mind what color you’d like your suit to be first! The rest will come pretty natural.

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  5. The History of Casio’s Popular G-Shock Watch Model

    The History of Casio’s Popular G-Shock Watch Model

    In fusing design and technology, Casio’s now iconic G-Shock watch defied gravity. It also shattered the reputation of the watch as a fragile piece of jewelry. The Casio G-Shock watch holds a special place in the hearts of many. There are few non-mechanical watches that inspire collectors as much as the iconic G-Shock. The story of the ubiquitous and cherished G-Shock watch is directly tied to its battle against the laws of nature. Born from a Dream Kikuo Ibe was heartbroken after he witnessed a watch given to him by his father shatter to pieces as he dropped it.  Kikuo, an engineer at the Head of Watch Design for Casio, vowed to create a reliable timepiece that could withstand major impacts and drops. In 1981, he assembled a tight-knit team of three expert engineers with to goal to perfect what they called the Triple 10 philosophy. The watch had to withstand a drop from 10 meters, resist 10 atmospheres of water pressure and it had to have a battery that lasts ten years. They spent two years of painstaking experimentation and over 200 prototypes. The so-called “Team Tough” still found themselves far away from achieving their lofty goal. It wasn’t until it came across a stroke of inspiration at a local playground in the form of a bouncing rubber ball. He visualized that the center of the ball doesn’t suffer the same shock as the exterior. So he focused his designs in the same manner. After more rigorous testing and tinkering by Ibe and his team, they had something that worked. They created a hollow case structure made from urethane foam. This casing guarded the timekeeping module with the help of gel cushioning material at the key pressure points to protect the watch’s vitals. They also crafted the protruding points on the case and bezel from urethane to protect the buttons and glass in all directions. The G-Shock DW 5000C was resistant to all forms of high G-forces, drops and heavy vibrations. It was available in April of 1983 and gave a new meaning to the word durable. Rise into Pop Culture In its early days, the chunky case of the G-Shock failed to capture the hearts of the masses. Early advertisements showed a hockey player taking a hard slap shot wearing a G-Shock watch. That helped establish its early reputation as the “toughest watch in the world” under extreme conditions. In this utilitarian niche is where its early following came: extreme athletes, first responders, outdoor enthusiasts and military personnel. Its casing assured protection against extreme levels of shock resistance and also featured a ten year battery, 200 meters of water resistance and the digital functions that remain integral to G-Shock today. By the 1990s, the G-Shock watch model had established a place among skateboarders on the west coast and the hip-hop community on the east. The release of the DW-5900C with its innovative Tri-graph liquid crystal display was cherished among youth. From youth across the country and the release cemented its image as a staple in these subcultures of fashion and streetwear. The upscale metal casing of the MRG series made its debut in 1996 with its ability to be worn both dressed up and casually. Drawing upon this success, Casio opted for high-profile collaborations within the realms of streetwear such as Stussy and BAPE in 1997 and 1998 respectively. These models were fashion statements as much as anything else. It’s something that continues to this day with notable limited edition collaborations. From Wu-Tang, Maison Martin Margiela, Burton and Takashi Murakami. Ironically, its rise into pop culture in America made it popular in its home nation of Japan as well. At the time, American pop culture was trendy among Japanese youth. Constant Motion The G-Shock watch was in constant reinvention. That’s what made the timepiece more than the plethora of novelty trends from the 90s.  Trends such as sneakers that lit up and chained wallets. The G-Shock was more than simply a flash-in-the-pan that came and went with the times. After a incremental dip in sales towards the end of the decade, Ibe and Casio began to shift its focus. Going away from fashion, streetwear and pop culture in favor of the performance capabilities that made the model famous in the first place. Which was: shock resistance, tough performance and innovative technology. In 2000, Casio introduced the GW-100. It was the first radio-controlled model to be able to receive time-calibration radio signals from one of six worldwide stations.  Never Give Up Time never stands still and neither does G-Shock, which seeks to constantly reinvent itself. It has become synonymous with independence, innovation and pushing the limits. The blend of its peculiar aesthetic and stubborn toughness made the G-Shock watch an instant favorite among utilitarian crowd. But its beloved place in pop culture caused it to define an entire generation. It’s one of those rare products that transcends its category into the realm of a cultural phenomenon.

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  6. The History of the Cartier Tank

    The History of the Cartier Tank

    With a heritage rooted in WWI, the Cartier Tank has come to define classical elegance with its simple and pioneering design. The Cartier Tank is one of those rare watches that’s endured time itself without losing its integrity. First introduced in 1917, the timepiece has a rich heritage that’s matched by few. Though Cartier has since released various editions, the Tank remains almost identical to the model put forth over a century ago. Although the design is simple, it’s instantly recognizable and has come to define classical elegance. The Cartier Tank is a true pioneer of luxury timepieces that unlocked a new chapter in the history of watchmaking. Built Like a Tank Two years into the First World War, the public had its first glimpse of a top-secret military weapon. The British deployed the armored tank for the first time at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Under the leadership of Winston Churchill, the world watched in awe as these “landships” changed the stalemate of trench warfare. Engineers designed these war machines to cross no-man’s-land and punch through enemy defenses with ease. This deployment ushered in a new era of mechanized warfare. Louis Cartier had become enamored with the distinctive design and rigorous geometry of the British Mark IV armored tank. So much so that he created a watch in 1917 that reflected the aesthetic of this new wartime phenomenon. Living in Paris, Cartier also witnessed first-hand the dawning of the Cubism movement, the German Bauhaus style and de Stijl in Holland. Machine-influenced shapes were just coming into fashion and Cartier seized the opportunity by pushing it to another level. Following the Liberation of France in 1918, Cartier presented the prototype “Tank” to American General John Joseph Pershing for his wartime efforts. Pershing cherished the watch and brought it back to the United States where it was thrust into the spotlight. A Pioneer of Luxury Watches Like the intimidating land ships rolling around the Western Front, the Cartier Tank itself ventured into unchartered territory in watchmaking. The Cartier Tank was a timepiece that broke the rules and ushered in a new era of watchmaking. The most obvious was the rectangular and flat case inspired directly by the angular shape of the Mark IV tank. During the early 20th century, wristwatches were still a relatively new phenomenon. Traditional pocket watches still dominated the timepiece landscape–and nearly all of them were round. With the introduction of the Tank, Cartier steamrolled the pocket watch, playing a vital role in ushering the era of the wristwatch. This design was also a radical departure from the twisting foliage of the dominant Art Nouveau style. The no-frills timepiece was a simple two-handed watch with no additional functions. The rectangular shape and clean lines made for a simple and elegant aesthetic. This was topped off nicely with roman numerals, adorned blue hands and leather bracelet. The sapphire cabochon-cut stone on the winding crown remains a hallmark of Cartier timepieces to this day. The Tank Goes Strong Cartier also created the intricate shape of the Cartier Tank with a fully attached strap. Not only did this strap connect the arm to the dial, but it played a vital role in the distinctive aesthetic as well. The ergonomic folding buckle allowed for a streamlined look that allowed the wearer enhanced security. In his pursuit of excellence, Cartier wanted to create a complete watch that went beyond the case and dial. He decided to team up with Edmond Jaeger and famed Swiss manufacturers Jaeger-LeCoultre for the raw movements of the timepiece. He entrusted Jaeger with complete creative freedom. Cartier redefined the less-is-more approach and reached the perfect balance between form and function–the holy grail in the world of luxury timepieces. It didn’t take long for its popularity to soar. Into the Hands of the Influential The Tank is perhaps the epitome of elegance and sophistication. Cartier has a history of supplying its products to royalty, so it was no surprise that the Tank quickly found its way onto the wrists of the influential. Following the conclusion of WWI, the Cartier Tank was popular among the Hollywood elite. The world saw the Tank on the wrist of Rudolph Valentino in the 1926 film The Son of the Sheik. Gary Cooper and Warren Beatty are a few notable names who liked the sober timepiece. Cartier even supplied political figures such as Jackie Kennedy and the Obamas. During the postwar days, the Cartier Tank was fashionable. Today, it’s the simple and pure design typical of Cartier is a timeless classic. The elegant aesthetic is one of those rare products that will not only last for generations, but it will forever look as modern as it did when it left the drawing board. Regardless of age, gender, style or occasion, the Cartier Tank is an excellent choice that has come to define luxury and elegance! Inspired by the innovative war machine, the invincible timepiece has become a true legend in the world of watchmaking.

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  7. History of TAG Heuer Monaco Watch

    History of TAG Heuer Monaco Watch

    From the racetrack to the history books, the TAG Heuer Monaco watch is an instantly recognizable classic. The Principality of Monaco is the most densely populated sovereign state in the world. During the Monaco Grand Prix, thought to be of the most important automobile races in the world, thousands flock to the city-state and the population nearly triples. The TAG Heuer Monaco watch embodies the core of the prestigious race and the sport of auto racing, but the journey was decades in the making. A Trusted Name in Sports Timekeeping Since it was founded in 1860, TAG Heuer has established a reputation as the world’s leading manufacturer of reliable and robust chronographs. The Swiss label has contributed its fair share of innovation to the world of watchmaking. As the label grew in popularity, the brand became directly tied to the development of the sport of automobile racing.  The first major milestone came in 1916 when the Heuer introduced the patented Mikrograph. This game-changing model was the world’s first stopwatch with a precision of 1/100 of a second. TAG Heuer followed this up the Autavia in 1933, the first dashboard watches for automobiles and aviation. In the same year, the TAG Heuer pocket chronographs were used as official stopwatches for the Olympic Games. This cemented the brand’s reputation as a leading name for precision timekeeping in sports in the early days of racing. By the 60s, a young Jack Heuer, great grandson of the founder, held the reins at Heuer. He saw the booming world of motorsport and all its glamor and excitement as lucrative business for the brand. His first major mark on the brand was the relaunch of the Autavia. He followed this up with the release of the Carrera, a watch specifically designed for racecar drivers. Heuer named the timepiece after the Pan American road race and it quickly became a staple among racecar drivers for its simple yet effective chronograph design. TAG Heuer Monaco The connection between TAG Heuer and the sporting world was further consolidated in 1969 with the creation of Tag Heuer Monaco. Automatic winding watches were a hot fixture on the market at the time. As the brand was pumping out Carreras, they also worked separately on the world’s first automatic chronograph movement, housed in the classic Autavia. Heuer, however, wanted to achieve a less traditional timepiece built around the innovative new movement. TAG Heuer Monaco was the result of a partnership between Jack Heuer, Dubois Depraz, the leading specialist in the development of the modules, and Breitling, who shared the funding of the expensive undertaking. The dubbed “Project 99” resulted in a modular automatic chronograph built on a Buren base movement with an independent Dubois-Depraz chronograph attached to the watch. Erwin Piquerez, owner of a Swiss company that produces watch cases, proposed a square case that was also waterproof. It was positioned within the world of automobile racing and was made available to the public at Basel Fair of that same year at a retail price of $200. Named after the prestigious Monaco Formula One race, it was the world’s first waterproof automatic chronograph in a square case. The timepiece was further polished off with its metallic blue dial, domed plastic crystal and crown positioned on the left to remark that the watch didn’t need winding. The counters at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock were meant to precisely measure chronograph hours and minutes. The TAG Heuer Monaco was an industry disrupting product with its unique square case design. Steve McQueen The legend of the TAG Heuer Monaco is consolidated with its hero, Steve McQueen. In 1971, the iconic Hollywood actor was filming Le Mans, a film that depicted the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race. McQueen’s was set to depict the film’s main character who was racing for the Porsche team. Inspired from Swiss driver Jo Siffert, who was a consultant on the movie. He was the leading man for the Porsche team competing in the World Sportscar Championship. He also happened to be a good friend of Jack Heuer’s and an ambassador of the brand on the track. McQueen wore the same jumpsuit of the Swiss champion, boldly sporting the TAG Heuer logo on his chest. In a bid to depict Siffert as accurately as possible, he also matched the chronograph on his wrist. While Siffert preferred to wear the round Heuer Autavia 1163T, McQueen instead opted for the square-shaped Monaco chronograph. The timepiece drew him in with its unconventional look. The blue dial and unique design was highly visible during the film and had become forever associated with the legendary Hollywood star himself and all of the glamor and excitement of the Monaco Grand Prix itself. The timepiece garnered tons of exposure during the movie and it wasn’t long before the TAG Heuer Monaco 1133B became one of the most recognizable sports watches ever designed. TAG Heuer Monaco Later Days TAG Heuer Monaco was considered a limited success at first, largely due to its unusual shape. By 1975 it had disappeared from catalogues and Heuer halted its production. It wasn’t until 1998 that the brand recognized the heritage of the ingrained watch and launched the successful “Re-Edition” series that was inspired by classic chronographs from the 1960s. Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) took over TAG Heuer the following year. Since then the watch has remained a fixture in luxury fashion and high fashion. In 2003, LVMH released the Modern Monaco, reference CW2113. It is defined by the Tag Heuer logo rather than the traditional Heuer logo. By its aesthetics alone, the Monaco was a brilliant feat in watchmaking. It remains one of the flagship models to TAG Heuer to this day. And is one of the most distinguishable watches ever made. The square casing was truly revolutionary. The TAG Heuer Monaco remains one of the coolest watches on the market four decades after its initial launch. It’s an instantly recognizable classic that isn’t going out of style anytime soon. The rich heritage of the timepiece packs a big punch. It’s also directly tied to the development of the Monaco Grand Prix and embodies the thrill and excitement of the sport of automobile racing itself.

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  8. History of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

    History of Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

    No watch has ever played such a pivotal role in human achievement as the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. Omega introduced the Speedmaster in 1957. A few imagined it would be the watch that would accompany some of the most daring moments in human history. In fact, no timepiece has played such a pivotal role in some of humankind’s greatest achievements. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch has been a part of all six NASA manned lunar missions since 1969. That’s a pretty impressive representation of Omega’s pioneering spirit.  The Speedmaster Moonwatch as the first chronograph to include a tachymeter scale on the bezel. This was a revolutionary idea that has set the benchmark for all chronographs to this day. Omega conceived the model to measure elapsed times and speeds in a high-precision manner. There was also an emphasis on durability in different situations in a model that was easy to read and use. The Space Race During this time, the USA and the USSR were in the midst of a technological and patriotic showdown. At the height of the cold war, the two opposing supernations were neck and neck to see who could advance further into the realm of manned space exploration. In his address to Congress on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy made clear America’s ambitions to land a man on the moon and return him safely to earth before the end of the decade. At the time, the moon seemed like an unthinkable target, but one that would surely go a long way in conquering space. The Omega Speedmaster made its unofficial voyage into space in 1962 during NASA’s Project Gemini, one of America’s first manned space missions. Astronaut Walter Schirra wore his personal CK 2998 Speedmaster onboard the Stigma 7 Mercury spacecraft that orbited earth six times, a flight that lasted 9 hours and 15 minutes. Shortly after, there was an official petition signed by the astronauts for wristwatches as part of their equipment. The space explorers needed backup timing devices that were durable enough to handle the elements of the universe and equipped with a chronograph that was precise and accurate. With this in mind, NASA set into motion the search for the perfect timepiece. Tested to Withstand the Universe In addition to Omega, NASA invited many reputable watchmakers including Wittnauer, Rolex and Longines to the testing. Led by aerospace engineer and hardware expert James H. Ragan, the models in question were first exposed to temperatures that ranged from 0ºF (-18ºC) to 200ºF (93ºC). Also violent shocks, extreme pressure variations, bone-jarring vibrations and tested under zero gravity. The only watch to come out on the other side was the Omega Speedmaster, which was declared “flight qualified by NASA for all manned space missions” on March 1, 1965. Omega SpeedmasterJust three weeks later, the Speedmaster made its first official trip into space. It was on the wrists of Virgil Grissom and John Young during the Gemini 3 mission. On June 3 of the same year, the Speedmaster made another appearance. This time on the wrist of Edward White while he performed America’s first spacewalk during the Gemini 4 mission. Unlike almost all the equipment NASA provided their astronauts, the Speedmaster was not designed specifically for use in harsh environments of outer space. In fact, the timepieces remained largely unchanged to those that were available in retail stores across the world. The only exception was that a velcro strap replaced the steel bracelet in order to fit over the padded suits of the astronauts. Apollo 11 The Speedmaster was again chosen for the daring Apollo 11 mission. On July 16, 1969, the Apollo blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Four days later, commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle lunar module on the surface of the moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Nearly 600 million viewers back on earth were glued to their television sets. Armstrong descended the ladder utter the immortal words: “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin touched the surface shortly after wearing no other than his trusty Speedmaster on the outside of his suit. From that day forward, the Speedmaster has been dubbed the “moonwatch” for its role in one of the greatest scientific achievements in human history. Apollo 13 The Omega Speedmaster was more than simply present during these space missions. The electronic timekeeping mechanisms on board were damaged after the explosion of an oxygen tank. “Houston, we’ve had a problem” commander James Lovell muttered. It was initially supposed to be a moon landing. The Apollo 13 was forced to abandon their mission due to a dangerously low supply of power and fuel following the blast. It was one of the most heightened situations of the 20th century. Lovell was forced to resort to his mechanical self-winding Speedmaster chronograph. He used it to time the critical firing of the re-entry rockets. This allowed for the safe return of his crew to planet Earth. In recognition of its crucial role, Omega received the Silver Snoopy award in 1970. It’s the highest honor awarded by NASA astronauts for achievements made in the realm of human flight safety and mission success. The Legend Lives On In 1975, the Speedmaster found itself again as the center of another momentous geopolitical moment in world history. During the Apollo-Soyuz mission, when the Apollo rocket docked with the Soviet Union’s Soyuz in space for a handshake. American astronauts were delighted to see that Soviet astronauts were also wearing the Omega Speedmaster Chronographs. The Omega Speedmaster was the first modern-day chronograph ever built. But it’s played a vital role in space exploration for nearly its entire existence.  It’s been reincarnated in the form of many special editions watches. It’s the nearly identical standard Professional that remains the most iconic today.

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  9. History of Rolex Daytona: Why It’s Still So Popular

    History of Rolex Daytona: Why It’s Still So Popular

    When Hans Wilsdorf founded Rolex in 1905, the automotive industry as a whole was still in its infancy. German and American manufacturers were competing for a way to mass produce their cars. Little did he know, his soon-to-be revolutionary brand would become associated with a sport that hadn’t even been imagined yet.  The Beginning Wilsdorf himself would become infatuated with the high-octane sport of automobile racing and the lifestyle surrounding it. Specifically that of Sir Malcolm Campbell. Known by his peers as the “Speed King,” the British motorist was among the most successful race car drivers during the 1920s and 1930s. Daytona Beach was the location that hosted the first organized races. It was instrumental in pioneering the sport, attracting competitors, enthusiasts and fans alike. Between 1924 and 1935, the Sir Malcolm Campbell shattered nine land speed records in his iconic Bluebird race car, five of which occurred at Daytona Beach. The Racing World and the Oyster  What’s more is that he also happened to be an avid wearer of Rolex watches, both on and off the racetrack. During the height of his success and fame in 1931, he wrote a personal thank you note to Rolex’s headquarter. He gushed about the durability and reliability of the Oyster during his races. The lifestyle of Sir Malcolm Campbell during his time in the “speed capital of the world” symbolized that of Rolex. This made him the first official brand ambassador in the early 20th century. His lavish and fast-paced lifestyle, as well as the attention, caught the eye of William France, who left everything and moved to Daytona with just $100 in his pocket. As Sir Malcolm Campbell and other race car stars of the time left in favor of Bonneville Salt Flats due to the poor quality of the track, France began to lay the foundation of the National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR). In the early days of Daytona, the elongated oval-shaped racecourse partly ran along the bend of the oceanfront along the beach. The smooth, compacted sand was ideal for land speed records and made for an entertaining spectacle. Under France, the popularity of the high-octane sport skyrocketed during the 1940s and 1950s. In 1953, France proposed the creation of what would be dubbed the Daytona International Speedway, moving the racecourse to a permanent asphalt track that could accommodate the large crowds. Rolex and NASCAR’s Relationship It was during this time that Rolex capitalized on the movement with the creation of the Rolex Oyster Chronograph. It’s what many consider to be the forefather of the iconic Daytona. Dubbed “Reference 6234,” they released just 500 annually between 1955 and 1961. During that time, Rolex registered the name “Cosmograph.” These so-called “Pre-Daytonas” sold for a measly $200 at the time and had very limited success. Especially since other watch brands had already established themselves as chronograph specialists. Rolex became the first official timekeeper of the Daytona International Speedway in 1962. The following year,  they released the Cosmograph “Reference 6239.” The model was emphatically nicknamed the “Daytona” to cement its affiliation with the now prestigious auto race. Rolex designed the timepiece to meet the demands of the professional drivers. They did so by having a larger tachymeter scale on the bezel that allowed for the precise measurement of speed. The close relationship between the sport and the brand would begin to culminate with the initial release of the Rolex Daytona Chronograph in 1965. Each timepiece paid homage to the Daytona International Speedway. Each also came equipped with an even larger tachometer engraved on the bezel. One-minute, thirty-minute and 12-hour recorders, 17-jewel movement, sweeping second-hand time to ⅕ of a second and finished off with the iconic Rolex Oyster waterproof stainless steel case. Going Hollywood This watch managed to make its way into the hands of celebrity race car driver Paul Newman. He received it as a gift by his wife Joanne Woodward in 1972. His personal Daytona watch became his favorite accompaniment during races but also off the track. In large part due to Paul Newman as an unofficial ambassador, the Rolex achieved incremental and steady increase in popularity. The actor was frequently spotted with his Paul Newman Rolex Daytona which he wore every day until his passing in 2008. In 1988, there was enough demand that Rolex released a second iteration, this time featuring a Zenith El Primero modified winding movement. These models were designated with a five-digital reference number. They continued to push the envelope with the introduction of a third iteration in 2000, designated with a six-digital reference number. The calibre 4130 self-winding movement is still in use today, complete with 44 jewels, 72-hour power reserve, kid shock absorbers and column-wheel switching. The start, stop and reset functions are enabled by pushers that screw down to create a crisp and clear click.  Then and Now Today the iconic black dial allows for a precise reading of ⅛ second. While the two counters on the dial displayed the lapsed time in hours and minutes. Drivers can map out their track times and tactics without fail. The Daytona also features the brand’s iconic Oyster bracelet which equips the model with the reliable technology. In addition, an impeccable aesthetic that has stood the test of time. Despite the continued innovation, the legacy of the Rolex Daytona begins and ends with Paul Newman. The limited “Paul Newman” models fetch millions at auction today. They’re instantly recognizable by the block markers instead of lines.  Also, one of four contrasting color combinations along the dial’s periphery. The model must be Reference number 6239, 6241, 6262, 6263, 6264 or 6265. These haven’t been produced for decades, leaving them to become a rare collector’s item. Daytona Is Here to Stay Along with the Submariner, the Rolex Daytona has remained a mainstay among its most iconic of timepieces. The Rolex Daytona, in particular, represents Rolex’s ability to bring reliability and solidity and merge them into a beautiful timepiece. Rather than a single “eureka” moment, the ascension in popularity and development of the Rolex Daytona was a slow burn. Throughout its 55-year history, there were many years in which the model would sit at an authorized dealer’s shop. It now stands as one of the most sought-after timepieces. It has become associated with some of the sport’s most recognizable icons such as Sir Malcolm Campbell and Paul Newman. The 55-year history of the Rolex Daytona was a slow burn in its acquisition of popularity and development. The model that would often sit for years at an authorized dealer’s shop now stands as among the most sought-after timepieces ever. At its core, the Daytona embodies Rolex’s passion for the sport and the racers themselves. While its longevity and rich story is what distinguishes it as a true classic. 

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  10. Luxury Watches That Can Benefit World Travelers

    Luxury Watches That Can Benefit World Travelers

    Whether you find yourself on the road for business, the annual family holiday, or maybe you’re just an avid traveler – a watch is simply a travel essential as old as time itself. As any savvy traveler will tell you, the ideal wrist watch offers the right balance of quality, functionality and of course, style. Whether you find yourself lounging by the sea or exploring the streets of a new city, there are a number of watches that were designed to meet the demands of the modern traveler and all the needs that come with the journey. Luxury watches that will benefit world travelers: 1: Rolex GMT-Master II The obvious choice. The Rolex GMT-Master II is an all-time classic and the ultimate travel watch that is versatile, functional and fashionable. Since it was conceived in the 1950s for transatlantic pilots crossing several time zones at once, the wearer is able to monitor two separate time zones. Whether it’s family, friends or work, the Rolex GMT-Master II allows you to eliminate the mental math when it comes to thinking in other time zones in the form of a beautiful timepiece. 2: Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time The ultimate convergence of class, durability and time telling – the Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time. It has long established itself as an essential among the most sophisticated of travelers. The bespoke design is bolstered with automatic Vacheron Constantin 2460 WT/1 movement, 150-meter depth water resistance rating and an antimagnetic build. The real gem is that this World Time watch doesn’t simply house 24 time zones, but rather all 37 including those also offset by 15 and 30-minute intervals. 3: Grand Seiko Heritage  With Grand Seiko, it’s the unseen technical details that make them so impressive. The high-beat movement ticks at 36,000 bpm (most high-end mechanical watches beat between 21,000 and 28,000 bpm), bolstering the insane accuracy and giving its seconds hand a much smoother movement than other similar options. 4: Sinn Uhren 857 UTC FVR Tested and certified to the German flight standards, this Sinn watch is essentially shockproof and can reliably operate at temperatures between -49 and 195 degrees fahrenheit. That makes it the no nonsense choice for the thrill-seeking adventurer. The watch also features two time zones and an aviation-inspired design. 5: Omega Speedmaster If it was durable enough for NASA astronauts during their visit to the moon, the Omega Speedmaster will be reliable enough for any travel adventure the road may throw your way. With its unique ability to measure distance and speed, the Omega Speedmaster is one of the most exceptional watches to carry on any journey. The simplicity in aesthetic make it a stylish choice that you can’t go wrong with. 6: Monta Skyquest The Monta Skyquest is a GMT that comes equipped with 300m of water resistance.  Also, an automatic Sellita SW330 movement and a power reserve of 42 hours. It is the perfect “tool watch” that you can take into the water without having to baby it like the Rolex GMT-Master II. The exquisite steel bracelet and rubber strap make for a beautiful design, while allowing you to have the peace of mind for whatever your trip throws at you. 7: Nomos Zürich World Time This model is more of an advanced GMT with a world city ring around it. But the Nomos Zürich World Time comes equipped with the brand’s DUW 5201 movement. It’s also 30m water resistance. The watch doesn’t display the hour for all 24 time zones individually. Instead, the city at the 12 o’clock dial corresponds to the time shown on the main dial. When the pusher at 2 o’clock dial is pressed, the world ring advanced to the next city. While the hour hand advanced one hour in perfect synchronicity. The clean aesthetic is the perfect options for the modern globetrotter. 8: Ball Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime Designed to withstand the harshest of conditions, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Worldtime is the timepiece every explorer needs. This Ball watch will hold up particularly well for any and all globetrotting adventures. You can find yourself on top of Mount Everest. Or perhaps on Italy’s Mediterranean coastline, you’ll want a watch that holds up against all odds. 9: Farer Lander Automatic GMT The beautiful mid-century explorer look of the Farer Lander features a blue dial and leather wrist strap. The subtle 39.5mm x 10mm case pairs nicely with the bronze crown. While the model offers up to 100m of water resistance and automatic ETA 2893-2 movement. 10: Patek Philippe World Time Besides being one of the most elusive high-end timepieces, the Patek Philippe World Time is an efficient watch. You can locate a particular time zone with the simple push of a button. The impeccable design lends itself to the first-class traveler, as it seems it was meant to be worn next to business attire with its gold finishing. It is not only a real luxury watch but also a convenient one due to its dual timezone complications.

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  11. Watch Buying Guide: Best Men’s Watches Under $3,000

    Watch Buying Guide: Best Men’s Watches Under $3,000

    For those looking to get the best value on a statement watch, there are a number of affordable men’s watches on the market that don’t skip a beat. A nice watch is something that everybody deserves in their lifetime. In reality, sometimes a luxury timepiece is not always the top priority. While you may be working hard towards one day acquiring that Rolex, Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet, there are a number of more affordable options that still offer outstanding design, top-notch quality and will satisfy even the most devoted of watchmaking enthusiasts. Here are some of the best men’s watches under $3,000 that are as affordable as they are substantial. Tag Heuer Carrera The Tag Heuer Carrera effortlessly blends sophisticated design with ultimate precision. The model was released in 1963 to celebrate the famous Carrera Panamericana auto race. These auto racing roots remain evident in this Swiss-made Carrera to this day with its dependability and precision. The classic, yet contemporary sports watch lends a minimalist design that is fitting for the office or a casual outing with friends. If you want a beautifully simple watch that can survive pretty much anything, this particular Tag Heuer Carrera is certainly worth a look. Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Bell & Ross excels at taking vintage-inspired designs and bringing them to the forefront with a modern twist. The BR V1-92 is no different. The clean lines, dial design and well-proportioned case make for a simple and refined choice. The model incorporates a BR-Cal.302 (Bell & Ross’ take on the Sellita SW300-1) for a respectable automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve that allows for its great price point. Oris Aquis Date  Finding a quality diving watch at a reasonable price range is no easy feat. Fortunately, the Oris Aquis Date Diver is one of the few that manages to effectively straddle the line. With its strong design and high-performance capabilities, the Aquis boasts real-world functionality that is committed to using 100 percent mechanical movements. Oris is consistently regarded as one of the best-values among Swiss watches, making the Aquis an overall excellent choice for a watch. Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day Date The innovative Maurice Lacroix Pontos is truly a purist’s dream. The model brilliantly blends the best of Swiss watchmaking tradition and technical mastery with modern minimalistic design. The mechanical heart immediately stands out upon first glance and gives the timepiece its character and personality. The Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day Date is particularly attractive for those who appreciate the technical side without compromising style. Tudor Heritage Ranger Registered in 1926 by Rolex, Tudor was positioned for its offering of affordable timepieces without diluting the brand name. The Tudor Heritage Ranger is perhaps the most emblematic of its models that typifies the original spirit of the Tudor Oyster Price that dates back to the 1960s. The timepiece features subtle touches of modern design and equipped with up-to-date technical features of the brand for a fantastic casual and sporty look. Seiko Presage At the price range of a Seiko, it’s hard to go wrong. One of the best-kept secrets in watchmaking (value-wise), is the Presage collection. Combining a Japanese artisanal design with Seiko’s traditional mechanical heritage, the Presage may very well be the best bang for your buck. The straightforward timepiece features a monochromatic design that will surely age gracefully as the years pass. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra  Originally created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Omega, the Seamaster collection quickly became one of the brand’s most famous models throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Its sporty look grew even more famous in the ’90s when it became the official watch of James Bond. The iconic look of the watch with striking blue against steel wrist is a versatile and valuable piece in your rotation. This is high-precision watchmaking at an affordable price if you’re on the market for a men’s watch.  NOMOS Glashütte Club 38 Campus The sleek and sophisticated bilingual dial of the NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 38 makes it easy to dress it up or casually. NOMOS carries an elegant style that looks great with a suit or while you’re traveling the world. The 38.5mm dial and stainless steel casing contrast beautifully against the black leather strap. It is also water-resistant to 100 meters. Its beauty lies in its aesthetic, outstanding materials and overall clean look. It’s the relaxed, fun and youthful style of the timepiece that is particularly appealing. Breitling Colt Automatic The Breitling Colt Automatic has everything you need in an automatic Swiss timepiece. This Breitling is durable and still lends itself to a particularly youthful and energetic aesthetic. Originally intended for the Armed Forces, the Colt Automatic features a sturdy case for optimal protection. It is water-resistant to 200 meters and houses a chronometer-certified self-winding movement. Tissot T-Sport PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph This Tissot model is proudly sporty and athletic in its look and spirit. The brand’s heritage is rooted in automobile racing, which goes back to the 1960s. The steel case is a beautiful stainless steel with a black tachymeter bezel that is highlighted with bold accents along with the seconds hands and pushers. We hope that this has helped you out a bit in your search for the best men’s watches without spending over $3,000.

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