Charles Miller

Charles Miller

First Published: May 09, 2018
  1. Articles by Charles Miller
  2. 5 Best Hamilton Watches

    About 80 years ago, Hamilton watches was one of the premier American watch manufacturers. Their roots are incredibly deep in Western culture for a variety of reasons, the most significant being them supplying wristwatches to soldier in World War II. These days, they are based in Switzerland, but the quality and allure of the brand aren’t going anywhere. Add all that to the fact that they sell at relatively affordable prices, and you have one of the best watch brands in the world. I detail some of their best models below. 1: Khaki King The Khaki King is my personal favorite because it brings so much to the table. First, it has a fantastic look to it. The dial is absolutely gorgeous in all of the colors it comes in, and it complements its strap options perfectly. Going with the black dial and brown leather strap is the most common choice, but there are many more options for people who prefer different looks. Another crucial piece of the puzzle is the day-date complication. Not only is it incredibly useful, but the craftsmanship involved in making it is very impressive. Rounding out the appeal of the Khaki King is its 80-hour power reserve, which makes owning is very convenient. All in all, this watch is a fantastic buy. 2: Khaki Field The Khaki Field is quite a bit like the King, but with a few key differences. The first is the lack of day-date complication. While having the date will be enough for many consumers, others will miss having the day of the week. The second difference is size. Most Khaki Kings come in at about 40mm, while this simpler version is most often 38mm. Overall, this watch is very nice, and you’ll save a bit of money when you choose it over the other options on this list. An added benefit is that you may be able to find it in larger sizes if you prefer. You really can’t do much better when looking for a simple automatic field watch, so you can purchase the Khaki Field with confidence. 3: Intra-Matic The Hamilton Intra-Matic is a perfect watch for those of you who like the minimalist aesthetic. It has no numbers on it, nor does it have any extraneous information. There is just subtle branding, the word “automatic”, and a date complication. It’s simple black strap further feeds into the vibe that this watch gives off. This piece also has a distinctly vintage look, which comes from its silver dial. Almost every modern watch comes in black, white, or some bright color. The Intra-Matic matches its dial color to its silver case, which creates a unique aesthetic. Lastly, this piece is incredibly thin, making it an excellent choice for a dress watch. 4: Jazzmaster Open Heart Most watch collectors love knowing that they have a fantastic piece of machinery on their wrist. Others take it even farther, as they want to see that movement go to work. That is precisely what you get when you choose the Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart, which has a large viewing window on its dial. This isn’t your average skeleton watch, though. Instead, Hamilton watches clearly put a substantial amount of effort into creating an excellent design. Your dial window comes in an odd, but aesthetically pleasing shape, rather than the typical circle that you see on most pieces like it. Additionally, those of you who don’t like Skeleton watches can enjoy the same quality in the more conventional Jazzmaster models. 5: Ventura Our last pick is one of the most distinct watches of all time. It is the Hamilton Ventura, which is so unique that most timepiece collectors can spot it from a mile away. This is due to its shield-like shape, which is practically a triangle. The result is a piece that is incredibly futuristic looking. One issue collectors have with it is its quartz movement. There isn’t anything wrong with a battery powered watch, but some see this piece as not having much value for your money. That being said, if you love the look of it, it is absolutely worth every penny. Going with your gut is rarely a bad idea, and it definitely isn’t when purchasing a Ventura. Buying a new watch is one of the hardest decision a collector can make. A great way to narrow things down is choosing a brand first, and then going from there. If you decide that Hamilton is the right company for you, then you’ve made an excellent call. The next step is browsing through their catalog and finding out which pieces resonate with you most. The 5 Hamilton watches on this list are an excellent place to start!  I am confident that you’ll fall in love with one after giving them a closer look.

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  3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Watches in Movies

    One thing that watch companies have known for centuries is that marketing with celebrities is incredibly effective. Say what you want about big-name endorsements, but they inform many of our opinions, whether we like it or not. An excellent example of this effect is Leonardo DiCaprio. Leonardo DiCaprio’s watches in his movies have caught the eye of many people. Below, we explore the exact pieces he has worn in some of his biggest movies. Inception – Tag Heuer Carrera In this film, Leo plays a heist artist. He’s no ordinary criminal, though. Rather than breaking into buildings or safes in the real world, the character implants ideas into people’s dreams while they sleep. The movie is a favorite among many, but did you notice the timepiece he sports in it? The watch is the TAG Heuer Carrera, which is notable for two reasons. First, DiCaprio is a brand ambassador for this company and frequently appears in advertisements for them. He also sports their pieces to parties and awards shows. We’re not sure if they paid to be in this film, but Leo being in it definitely helped them get their foot in the door. The second thing to note is the extreme conditions that DiCaprio braved in the movie. He treks through snow, water, and altitude at different points in it. Luckily, his TAG Heuer is built for the roughest conditions possible and kept ticking throughout the film. Blood Diamond – Breitling Chrono Avenger Our second DiCaprio movie features a role that is vastly different than the first. In Inception, he is a sophisticated, smooth, and well-dressed criminal. In Blood Diamond, he takes on a much more rugged role as a diamond smuggler. Though he is somewhat of a thief in both, the characters are quite different. Does that mean they require different watches? No matter how different these characters are, they both seem to have a flair for luxury. The reason we say this is that in Blood Diamond, Leo wears the Breitling Chrono Avenger, which is an esteemed timepiece in its own right. What it offers is excellent craftsmanship. It is made from the finest materials, has a Swiss origin, sports a reliable automatic movement, and is water resistant up to 300 meters. Additionally, it has an attractive aesthetic and comes in at a nice size (45mm), which is neither too large nor too small. The Great Gatsby – A Raymond Weil Concept The Great Gatsby is the story of an enigmatic and wealthy man that throws gaudy parties in hopes of his old lover showing up at them. Of course, at one point, she finally does. You’ll have to find out the rest of the story for yourself. Luckily, there are three mainstream works of art that depict this tale: The original book by Scott F. Fitzgerald, a movie with Robert Redford, and another film with Leonardo DiCaprio. The final and most recent edition features an all-star cast, each of which is outfitted with luxurious clothing. One example is Leo, who wears a gorgeous looking Raymond Weil concept. It is silver, square, and exudes pure luxury, which fits the character perfectly. Unfortunately for us, the watch DiCaprio wears in the film is not real. Instead, it is an entirely unique concept piece that is not for sale. While we cannot buy it, what we can do is find a timepiece that mimics that aesthetic and energy of the one in the movie. To do so, our best recommendation is to look at the Longines Evidenza, which has a similar shape and a classy Swiss brand to back it up. Wolf of Wall Street – Tag Heuer Series 1000 Wolf of Wall Street is the story of Jordan Belfort, who experienced a meteoric rise in the investment banking industry. Throughout the film, Leo depicts this character as a drug-abusing, hard-partying maniac with a ton of charisma. His friends are no different than him, and they combine to create a great deal of tomfoolery. This movie also features an excellent array of wristwatches. While Belfort’s friends opt for Rolex and IWC, Leo sports a Tag Heuer yet again. As you might imagine, the story of an insanely wealthy investment banker should feature a luxurious piece that fits right in with the culture surrounding it. In our opinion, that’s precisely what we get with the Series 1000. The ultimate debate you must have is whether or not you should model your timepiece choice after a movie character. No matter what your answer is to that question, you’ll likely agree that Leonardo DiCaprio characters are some of the best you could choose from. Between Tag Heuer, Breitling, and Raymond Weil, you have a few excellent brands at your disposal. No matter what, we hope you found a watch that you love on this list. At the very least, you should have a couple of ideas for your next movie night.

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  4. Quartz Watches: What is Quartz?

    A common piece of advice you hear in our culture is that you must “walk before you can run.” The logic behind the proverb is simple: You should learn the basics of any given idea or activity before you move on to more advanced concepts. Such is true in the world of wristwatches, as many people try to discuss advanced ideas without first knowing the simple ones. Today, I will address one of those preliminary questions by explaining what quartz is and how it makes our watches tick. Three Kinds of Watch Movements First, let’s go over the three fundamental ways that watches work. You can imagine them as three different engines, each with a different way of keeping time. They are as follows. Automatic – This movement is the same as manual, but you do less winding by hand. The reason is that the manufacturer constructs the watch to wind itself with the regular motion of you wearing it. Both manual and automatic can be grouped into the “mechanical” category. Manual – This type of movement is basically a tiny machine that turns the hands of your watch. You give it power my winding it, and it keeps time relatively well. Quartz – Lastly, we have quartz, which is also commonly referred to as “battery powered.” I will talk more about the function of this type of movement in the coming sections. Quartz Watches: The Mineral Quartz is essentially a translucent and beautiful looking rock. Though you may not have heard of its base compound, silicon dioxide, it is very likely that you’ve seen quartz at some point in your life. People love to make necklaces out of this mineral and decorate their homes with especially large pieces of it. On a smaller scale, quartz makes up a significant portion of the sand you see at the beach. The reason why it is relevant in the world of watches is the fact that it is piezoelectric. What that means is that quartz has a unique relationship with electricity. If you apply pressure to one of these crystals, it will create a bit of voltage. Applying voltage will have the opposite effect too, as the quartz will vibrate in response to electricity. How Quartz is Used to Make Watches Tick So, what does a quartz crystal do on the inside of a watch? Manufacturers use that concept of piezoelectricity to make these products keep nearly perfect time. The following is the process that they undergo each second. The battery in the watch supplies a microchip with electricity. That chip creates a circuit with the quartz crystal. After precisely 32768 oscillations, also called vibrations, the chip sends a signal to the gears of the watch. It tells it to progress one second. In analog displays, this process makes the second-hand tick. In a digital watch, there is no ticking, just the progression of the numerals on the screen. Let me clear up one potential point of confusion. It is step three, which deals with a seemingly large number of oscillations. The first thing you need to know is that quartz crystals vibrate 32768 times in one second. That is a feature of them that is a simple fact of nature. What manufacturers do to take advantage of that is create microchips that can detect each oscillation. The result is a watch that tells time with excellent accuracy. Accuracy Quartz watches are the most accurate of the three I described above. The reason is that they see minimal variation in how quickly they tick. Mechanical pieces will often lose or gain 2-20 seconds in a day due to gravitational variation. All that means is that your watch moves a bit faster or slower based on the position of your arm or the environment you’re in. Quartz watches, on the other hand, more often lose or gain 20 seconds a year. The reason is that the system of measuring oscillations is incredibly reliable. The only factor that can throw it off is extreme temperatures, but even those do not do much. Now that we’ve settled the science behind these types of movements, we can move on to how they translate in the watch world. In general, quartz watches are cheaper than their mechanical counterparts. This is because they are much easier to manufacture. The reason people still go with mechanical is that timepieces are works of art, not just tools. Consumers like to know that they have a complex machine on their wrist, rather than a somewhat simple one. That complexity comes with a price though, as mechanical pieces often need servicing. The basic explanations of each are as follows. Quartz – Cheaper, more reliable, more convenient, but less impressive in terms of craftsmanship. Mechanical – More expensive, less reliable, less convenient, but more artful in their construction. Quartz Watches Conclusion Now that you understand these options at their simplest level, you can make a decision on which resonates with you more. Either way, you’ll be a more informed consumer and one that is more likely to make a satisfying purchase in the future.

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  5. Beginners Guide to Ulysse Nardin Watches

    While Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe get most of the headlines, there are a ton of lesser known watch brands that create products with exceptional quality. One of them is Ulysse Nardin. This company, to some degree, flies under the radar in the watch world. Still, they are one of the better brands out there and are loved by watch geeks and celebrities alike. Below, I go through everything you need to know about Ulysse Nardin and their catalog of watches. History of Ulysse Nardin Watches Ulysse Nardin founded his company in 1846 at the young age of 23. His journey in horology started long before that, though, as his father was also a watchmaker. After years of apprenticeship with both his family and other professionals, Nardin decided to create his own brand. His and his partner’s focus instantly went to marine chronometers, and given their track record, undoubtedly mastered this niche. Their first piece of exposure was winning a prestigious award at the International Exhibition in London. It wasn’t long after that they were supplying their chronometers to navies and shipping companies around the world. Like most brands, Ulysse Nardin is no longer creating tool watches for armies and organizations. Instead, they are one of the many luxury timepiece manufacturers on the market. While not as recognizable as some of the biggest names, they are well respected and always in the conversation when discussing the best watch brands in the world. Price Range The most basic Ulysse Nardin watches can be had for around $5000, which puts them right around the price range of Rolex and other brands like them. One interesting thing about this company, though, is how expensive some of their models get. They manufacture some of them with precious metals, diamonds, and incredible complications, meaning that their prices reach up to $50K. At the top end, they have some really well-made tourbillons that sell for an amount of money that is unattainable for most buyers.   Place in the Market As I’ve alluded to throughout, Ulysse Nardin is not one of the watch brands that everyone has heard about. That being said, I see them as a company that delivers about as much quality as the competitors in their price range. Additionally, you might like that they have a bit less recognition from the average consumers. This factor will make your watch a bit more unique and less likely to be the same as your peers. Status Among Experts Most experts believe that Ulysse Nardin is a great brand. They take a lot of care in designing, constructing, and marketing their watches, and this devotion definitely shows. Collectors also enjoy how much value you can get out of this brand. While you have to pay for the popularity of other brands, Ulysse Nardin flies under the radar a bit more and generally gives you a better deal on your purchase. Types of Watches Though this brand has a ton of options, there are three that seem to be the most popular. Flashy – Ulysse Nardin likes to work with precious metals and flashy color schemes. One of the best representations of this fact is their Classic Dual Time Automatic GMT, which is made from rose gold, sports a deep blue dial, and has a similar colored strap to match. Minimalist – Next, you have the opposite of their flashy models. These are generally more affordable, elegant, appealing to those of you with understated style. They are my personal favorites, as I love a good-looking dress watch. Dive – Lastly, Ulysse Nardin makes a variety of tough, attractive divers. They have beautiful designs, excellent materials, and a high level of craftsmanship, making them an excellent buy for just about anyone. Famous Fans One factor I always enjoy looking at is which brands have celebrity wearers. While Ulysse Nardin doesn’t have scores of prominent fans, they have a few that will surprise you. The first is one of the most famous athletes of all time, Michael Jordan, who frequently wears this brand to high-profile events. Sticking with sports, you also have Randy Johnson, one of the best pitchers of all time. Its number one fan, though, is the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. If Ulysse Nardin is good enough for the owner of Amazon, then it’s good enough for anyone. Is Ulysse Nardin Right for You? While I won’t be able to give you a simple yes or no response, I can provide some guidance. It is undeniable that Ulysse Nardin is a fantastic brand that manufactures exceptional products. This much is confirmed by experts around the world. What is up in the air is whether or not they’re right for you.  I suggest first looking at the price and deciding whether or not you can afford one. If you can, then it’s time to put your watch of choice head to head with others around that price point. Knowing how great this brand is, the Ulysse Nardin will probably win that showdown and become your newest wrist companion.

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  6. History of the Rolex Day-Date

    The Rolex Day-Date is one of the most iconic watches of all time. Throughout its history, it has been the top pick of generals, world leaders, celebrities, and thousands of consumers. It is only natural to wonder where this watch came from, how it gained such widespread appeal, and whether or not you should add one to your collection. Below, I address all of these points and, as a bonus, tell you how to spot a fake Rolex. Rolex Day-Date Pre-Release Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, was somewhat of a marketing genius. He knew that if his company was going to become one of the biggest names in the world, it needed to outfit high-profile individuals. That campaign began with outfitting generals. Wilsdorf’s first big win was getting Swiss Army General Guisan to wear one of his pieces. Later, the brand put its watches on the likes of Winston Churchill, and most famously, Dwight Eisenhower. For the latter, Rolex prepared an 18 karat yellow gold timepiece with a custom engraving and gave it to him in 1951. Though Eisenhower was not president at the time, he would soon gain the highest office in the United States. Getting Its Nickname: The President The Rolex Day-Date came out in 1956. While somewhat common these days, it was the first watch to ever display both the day of the week and the date. Even better, Rolex manufactured it in yellow gold and platinum as an ultra-luxury timepiece. The synthesis of these influences made it both a horological masterpiece and a luxurious wrist companion for the upper crust of society. Eisenhower, who was already regularly wearing a yellow gold Rolex, soon made the switch and started wearing a Day-Date. This was the birth of this timepieces famous nickname, but it didn’t end there, as other presidents wore it too. The most interesting story of them all involves John F. Kennedy. Sources report that Marilyn Monroe gifted a Day-Date to him, and it even had a short love note inscribed on the case back. Significance in the Modern Era The design of the Day-Date really hasn’t changed much in the past few decades. In many ways, it is timeless, and Rolex realizes that keeping it nearly the same is a smart move. Their updates instead mostly involve improved craftsmanship and versatility. Another thing that hasn’t changed is that influential people seem to gravitate towards this watch. Warren Buffett, who was the richest man in the world for a few years, has been sporting the same one for decades. Another huge influencer was the fictional character, Tony Soprano. He wore a gold Day-Date in his long-running show, The Sopranos, and it became even more of a status signal. Place in the Market Right Now As you can imagine, this watch is still immensely popular. As far as I can tell, there are three aspects of it that people find incredibly alluring. History – The first factor that makes this watch appealing is what we’ve been discussing this entire article. It has a rich heritage, has been worn by scores of historical figures, and continues to be a popular choice to this day. Those historic events and endorsements mean a lot to collectors. Aesthetics – There is just something so attractive about the design of this watch. I believe that this charm comes from it walking the line between too few and too many design elements. Its no-frills construction makes it easy to look at, while its Roman numerals and texture save it from being too plain. Hybrid Approach – Lastly, the Day-Date gives you something that every Rolex product has. That is a combination of incredible resiliency and luxury. The truth is that most brands can only pull off one of those. They either choose delicate products, or they go for pure tool watches. Rolex bucks that trend by delivering both in one gorgeous package. Should You Get a Rolex Day-Date for Yourself? There are really only two points that you need to focus on before buying a Day-Date for yourself. The first is price, as these watches are incredibly expensive. You’ll need a lot of cash to get one for yourself, so don’t go falling in love with it unless you’re ready to pay upwards of $15K. The second question to ask is whether or not it fits your style. While not incredibly flashy, these watches come in precious metals and tend to pop off your wrist when you wear them. If you like a more understated look, then you might want to go in a different direction. Making Sure It’s Legitimate Now, it’s time to give you some tips on how to spot a fake Rolex. The big areas to look at are the overall quality, waterproof capabilities, the printing of the logo, the case back, and the weight. If any of these factors don’t feel quite right, you probably have a fake on your hands. Optimally, though, you’ll never have to conduct any tests at all. Buying from a trusted seller with authentic goods is the best way to make that happen.

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  7. Choosing Between Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre are two of the most respected names in the watch world. Additionally, collectors often find themselves choosing between these two brands because there is so much overlap in their offerings. For example, many people who are looking for an elegant luxury watch come to the Cartier Santos, Cartier Tank, and Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. What they end up with is a seriously tough choice. Below, I do my best to help you make that decision for yourself. History Cartier was established by a French entrepreneur in 1847. Today, it is part of a greater conglomerate, but it retained family ownership for over 100 years. The brand has always been synonymous with luxury, but not always with luxury watches. In fact, Cartier is likely best known for its jewelry manufacturing. Their history of supplying royal families with priceless jewels supports that reputation, along with King Edward VII calling them “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.” Jaeger-LeCoultre has a more typical watch manufacturer history. It began in 1833, and the brand quickly became a large-scale producer of timepieces. They were so proficient that they even supplied many other big-name companies, one of them being Patek Philippe. One thing that you might find amusing in this comparison is that Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre once had a similar relationship, where the latter supplied the former with movements. This company was and still is considered one of the great luxury watchmakers in the world. Brand Identity Despite having many similar watches, these two horological giants actually have significantly different brand identities. Cartier’s defining characteristics are being elegant and having a very diverse catalog. They sell jewelry and a variety of other items, all of them meticulously crafted with luxury in mind. Jaeger-LeCoultre, on the other hand, is more of a pure watchmaker. They seek elegance as well, but their devotion to offering only watches leads to a different identity. Niche Cartier essentially only offers luxury watches. You’ll find sportier models here and there, but they do almost all of their work in the dress watch space. Jaeger-LeCoultre has a more well-rounded catalog. Browsing through it, you’ll find dress watches, chronographs, GMTs, and everything in between. Simply put, Cartier really only offers products in one niche. Jaeger-LeCoultre does so in many. Cartier’s Iconic Watches Cartier is most famous for the following 3 collections. Tank – The Tank is one of the oldest watch models in the world. Inspired by military equipment from World War I, this gorgeous design has stood the test of time and become an absolute classic. Santos – This collection is similar to the Tank, but sports a square shape, rather than a rectangle. It is another timepiece that seems to never go out of style. With such a timeless design, it isn’t surprising that this is the case. Ballon – Cartier’s two most recognizable watches have a rectangular shape. Still, they also do circles, with the Ballon likely being the most notable example. Collectors who prefer a timepiece that is a bit less common often opt for this collection over the Santos and Tank. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Iconic Watches The 3 collections below are the most popular among Jaeger-LeCoultre buyers. Reverso – The Reverso is a fantastic timepiece from top to bottom, has an amazing history, and entrances collectors with its reversible face. Add all of those together and you have a can’t-miss watch. Master – This collection is absolutely beautiful and offers some very cool features, one of them being a moon phase. It is an excellent option for those of you who want luxury but don’t love the Reverso. Polaris – While Jaeger-LeCoultre is best known as a luxury brand, they have some fantastic sporty pieces in their Polaris collection. This is where they incorporate chronographs and other aviation capabilities. How to Choose Between Them If you still can’t decide, I recommend looking at the following 3 points. 1: Style – As we’ve discussed, Cartier really only offers one style. It is elegant and luxurious dress watches. If that’s what you want, you will still have a tough choice. On the other hand, if you prefer something a bit different, like a chronograph, then Jaeger-LeCoultre is the clear choice. 2: Aesthetics – Another easy way to decide is by looking at appearances. Does one watch jump out at you as having a truly exceptional design? If so, get it. 3: Brand Identity – Lastly, you might take issue with the fact that Cartier is better known as a jeweler. This would lead you to Jaeger-LeCoultre, a purer watchmaker. You might feel the opposite way too, as Cartier’s reputation may appeal to you. I hope you now have some clarity as to which of these two exceptional brands is right for you. The good news is that you really can’t go wrong in making this choice. Why? Because fantastic companies like Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre don’t disappoint buyers very often.

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  8. Top 6 Japanese Dive Watches

    Before we get into the list, let’s discuss a crucial question: Why are dive watches so popular? My opinion is that it comes down to two factors. The first is aesthetics, as most divers have great looking designs, bright bezels, and an overall charming look to them. The second is toughness. Dive watches are designed to withstand the pressure and stresses of going underwater, which makes them very versatile in day to day use. Now that we’ve gone over that point, it’s time to get into the best Japanese divers on the market. Below, you’ll find Seiko dive watches, pieces from Orient, an unconventional Casio, and more. 1: Seiko SKX Of all the Seiko dive watches in their catalog, the SKX has achieved cult status like no other. In my opinion, this popularity comes from its no-frills design, sturdy construction, and the immensely popular brand that manufactures it. What you get as a result is one of the best deals in the entire watch world. When you purchase your SKX, you’ll have two major choices. They are the color scheme and strap. The former comes down to a brighter two-tone vs. all black, while the latter is between a typical bracelet and a rubber strap. 2: Orient Mako In many ways, Orient is like Seiko’s younger brother. It is also Japanese, has an exceptional level of quality, and is even owned by Seiko’s parent company. That being said, they retain their own unique identity, and many consumers prefer them to the larger brand. One of their most popular watches is the Mako, which is a diver that you can usually find for under $200. While it isn’t the toughest watch in the world, it is incredibly impressive at its price point. Even better, it has a clean design that is hard to beat. 3: Seiko Prospex The second of our Seiko dive watches is the Prospex line, which many prefer over any other Japanese dive watch. While the SKX gets much of the publicity, this collection actually has an even higher level of craftsmanship, and it has the reputation to match. There is a factor that makes it a bit polarizing, though, which is its size. Just about every Prospex watch is over 45mm, and some of them get into the 50s. That kind of diameter will not sit well on some people’s wrists and doesn’t match everyone’s style. 4: Citizen Promaster Diver You rarely talk about Seiko and Orient watches without mentioning Citizen too. They are another Japanese powerhouse with an excellent reputation among experts, and their divers are perfect examples of their manufacturing prowess. The best of them all is the Promaster Diver, which looks quite a bit like the SKX. It has a reliable automatic movement, date complication, and high level of quality all around. 5: Casio Frogman Of all the watches on this list, the Casio Frogman is the most unique. The reason is that it doesn’t look like your typical diver. Instead, it has the bulky build of a G-Shock, while simultaneously being built with dive capabilities in mind. What you get as a result is an ultra-tough watch with a solar powered movement, 200m water resistance, and atomic timekeeping. Overall, the Frogman is a fantastic pick for anyone that wants a more rugged look for their dive watch. 6: Orient Kamasu Our last watch is the Orient Kamasu, which is a luxury alternative to the Mako and Ray. It is very similar to those two other models, but its quality is turned up a notch in every way. You can see that in its sapphire crystal, better movement, and even higher level of overall craftsmanship. If you fall in love with Orient but want to purchase something a bit nicer than their most popular offerings, then the Kamasu is perfect for you. I hope that this article has achieved two goals. The first was answering the question, “why dive watches are so popular.” The second was showing you some of the best affordable options out there, including Seiko dive watches, Orient collections, a Citizen, and a Casio. I personally endorse each of the watches on this list and doing a bit of research on them will show you that just about everyone in the timepiece community agrees. As a result, you can shop from these picks with confidence.

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  9. Luxury Watch Brands: The Holy Trinity of Watchmakers

    The Holy Trinity, or Big Three, is a loose designation that watch experts have given to the most prevalent luxurious watch brands in the world. Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin are the three luxury watch brands that make it up. Each of them is thought to have reached the pinnacle of horology. They use top of the line materials, possess undeniable manufacturing prowess, have an illustrious history, and continue to dominate the luxury watch space to this day. Below, I give a brief overview of each of these companies and provide some guidance on how you might choose between them. Audemars Piguet AP’s story began with Edward Auguste Piguet and Jules Louis Audemars teaming up in 1875. Both were acclaimed watermakers at the time, but neither knew just how successful their brand would ultimately become. Their notable achievement at the end of the 19th century was creating the first repeater watch, which on demand, would tell you the time in the form of chimes. While this may not sound impressive in the modern day, it was a legitimate show of mastery in 1892. Audemars Piguet was one of the titans of the watch industry for a long time, but they didn’t necessarily separate themselves from the pack until 1972. That date marks their unveiling of the now famous Royal Oak collection. It is not often that a timepiece truly shocks the horology world, but in this case, the Royal Oak absolutely did. It combined two worlds that previously had stayed separate: Sport and luxury. On the one hand, it was incredibly tough and made of stainless steel. On the other, it was manufactured with the kind of craftsmanship you usually find in high luxury. The Royal Oak quickly became one of the most popular watches in the world, and that trend has not gone away. The most recent move AP made was unveiling their new Code 11.59 line. While its reception was mixed, most enthusiasts are excited to see the brand evolve from almost exclusively manufacturing one collection to creating a more extensive catalog. Patek Philippe Patek Philippe is another brand that has been around for a long, long time. It was founded in 1851 and quickly became one of the top names in the watch world. One thing that almost everyone knows them for is their mastery of complications, such as the perpetual calendar. The other is that they produce truly incredible watches. While AP has a relatively limited catalog, Patek Philippe has a variety of options. For example, luxury lovers can choose the elegant Calatrava, while sporty watch fans can go with the Nautilus. Either way, collectors always get an excellent product when they purchase from this esteemed brand. Vacheron Constantin The last member of The Holy Trinity is Vacheron Constantin. Though they are a top watch brand in the world, I would say they are the least famous of the bunch. That being said, the quality of their products is up to the standard of both AP and Patek. One thing that makes Vacheron Constantin special is just how old they are. While most Swiss brands are over 100, this company has been around since 1755. That’s an astounding amount of history, and you get a small piece of it on your wrist when you choose to wear their products. How to Pick Between Them If you’re interested in buying from one of these brands, I recommend going through the following three points. They should help you make the right decision. The Royal Oak – When choosing between these brands, I suggest you start at the Royal Oak. Of all the models sold by each company, this is the one that catches people’s eye the most. If you love it, go with AP. If you don’t, then choose one of the other two. Other Specific Models – Though the Royal Oak is the most notable of the bunch, there are other models that you might instantly be drawn to. I suggest you take a quick look at Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe’s catalog. You might find yourself falling in love with the Calatrava, Patrimony, or some other beautiful timepiece. Brand Recognition – Lastly, ask yourself how much you care about brand recognition. Audemars Piguet likely sells the most recognizable watches, while Patek Philippe is a close second. On the other hand, you might want to wear a brand that fewer people recognize. In that case, go with Vacheron Constantin. Conclusion From now on, whenever you hear “The Holy Trinity” or “The Big Three,” you’ll know the brands that make up this exclusive club. Even better, if you have the budget to purchase from one of them, you now have a bit of guidance on how to choose between them. No matter what, any watch you get from The Holy Trinity will be a true Swiss masterpiece.

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  10. Hands-On with the Omega Constellation

    I recently had the privilege of getting my hands on one of the latest Omega Constellation. While this collection does not have the name recognition of the Seamaster or Speedmaster, it has quickly become one of my favorite offerings from this brand. One phrase experts often use to describe products is “everyday watch.” What this means is that the timepiece lends itself to being worn every day, rather than just for special occasions. I believe that the Omega Constellation is one of the best everyday watches on the market, and I explain why in the sections below. Brand Omega is one of the most recognizable brands in the luxury watch space, and for good reason. They famously put Speedmasters on the first astronauts who went to the moon, outfitted James Bond in multiple movies, and have established themselves as one of the best timepiece companies in the world. Rolex and Omega seem to always be in the same conversation. The reason is that they are both top-tier brands and have similar price points. Discussing the Constellation is another area where Rolex comes up because this model is so much like the Day-Date and Datejust. All three are everyday watches, have simple designs, and serve the same purpose in a watch collection. The question is, does the Constellation give you more bang for your buck? As much as I adore Rolex, I do think that most Omega products are a better deal than their Swiss counterpart. The Constellation is no exception, as it does everything that the Rolex models do and still comes in at a lower price. History of the Constellation This watch is one with some legitimate history, and it all began in 1952. Omega released it soon after World War II ended, with its name coming from a famous Jet that flew during the war. It was a major success right away. While not as popular in Western countries, it was and still is one of the best-selling watches in China and other parts of Asia. The one complaint people have about the Constellation is that the design is a bit plainer than the models of old. While I understand that position, it is also reasonable to enjoy every era of this iconic watch. Appearance   While this watch comes in multiple designs, the most popular one has a blue strap, silver case, and blue dial. This color combination flat out works, and it looks fantastic with almost any outfit. I also love the simplicity of the dial. Omega doesn’t crowd it with extraneous subdials or design features. Instead, they give it a simple date window, a classy design, and a texture that is incredibly pleasing to the eye. The last thing to note on appearance is this watch’s fluted bezel, which is absolutely gorgeous and feels great beneath your fingers. Materials The model I handled has a domed sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, and a leather strap. Each of those three components is a level above most watches that I’ve handled, and I fully endorse them. The one that I was most impressed by was the crystal. It is scratch resistant, anti-reflective on both sides, and has an incredibly charming domed effect. General Craftsmanship The quality of this watch is excellent from top to bottom. That includes the fluted bezel, case, strap, and everything in between. While not built to withstand a ton of pressure, this timepiece should last you for generations. It is tough against scratches, has 100m water resistance, and is overall resilient against the trials of day to day life. Movement The movement inside the Omega Constellation is quite good. It has a 60-hour power reserve, automatically winds itself, and has a gorgeous aesthetic quality. My one qualm with it is that I prefer a watch with three days of power reserve at the minimum. Still, it’s hard to complain about machinery that is so accurate and reliable. What Makes it Special For what makes this watch special, I will go back to our discussion about Rolex’s Day-Date and Datejust. Those are two of the most sought-after day to day timepieces in the world, but their price point is just too high for the majority of consumers. What makes the Constellation special is that it packs in nearly as much quality as those products but is generally a few thousand dollars cheaper. Overall Impression Omega is famous for delivering a ton of value with their watches. While many other brands of this quality choose to sell for over $10,000, they break the mold by keeping their timepieces accessible to a higher proportion of collectors. The Constellation is a prime example of that trend, and I see it as one of the best buys you can make in the current watch market. If it catches your eye, don’t hesitate. Go get one for yourself.

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  11. A Closer Look at the Rolex Batman Watch

    Of all the watches that Rolex offers, the Batman might be their most popular right now. First, let’s go over what that name refers to. It is the GMT Master II with the black and blue bezel. People call it the Batman because those colors correspond with an older version of that superhero. Now, onto the watch. Below, I explain why the Rolex Batman watch is so popular among collectors and consumers alike. Brand One thing people often do not know about Rolex is that it started under the name ‘Wilsdorf and Davis,’ which came from its founders, Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis. The name was soon changed to the iconic ‘Rolex,’ and the company started making history all around the world. That started when it outfitted a swimmer with the first waterproof watch and had her swim across the English Channel with it. This tradition of achievement lives on to this day, with a recent example being sending a timepiece to the very bottom of the ocean. Capabilities aside, Rolex has a certain aura around it that no other watch brand has. It balances mainstream appeal with the adoration of collectors like no other, and it is more recognizable than any other company in this niche. Purchasing a Rolex is a right of passage for many young professionals and a status symbol for those who are already established. While every fan of the brand has their own favorite, the Batman is a watch that is in constant demand. Appearance The funny thing about Rolex watches is that while they signal status, they aren’t particularly flashy. In fact, their designs are quite understated, classic, and even elegant. The Rolex Batman is no exception. It has a black dial, white dial elements, and the kind of hands that you would expect on a GMT. The factor that sets it apart, though, is its bright bezel. There’s just something so attractive about the way the black and blue look next to each other. In the right light, it is as bright and beautiful as any watch on the market. Overall, I consider the Rolex Batman watch to be one of the most handsome timepieces in existence. Movement The movement in the Rolex Batman watch is incredibly accurate. It loses or gains just 2 seconds per day, and as an added benefit, has a 70-hour power reserve. You also get to enjoy keeping time in two zones at once, as this movement supports a GMT clock. I’ll touch on that a bit later. General Craftsmanship Again, you can’t really knock Rolex in any of these categories. The Batman is sturdy, well made, and should hold up to any day to day trials that you put it through. One thing to note, though, is that this piece only has 100m water resistance. As a result, I wouldn’t go swimming with it. Materials  The materials on this watch are precisely the quality you’d expect from Rolex. Your standard GMT Master II comes in Oystersteel, which is Rolex’s proprietary stainless-steel recipe. Its selling point is that it is even more scratch resistant and tough than typical materials. One small adjustment that the brand made recently is that the Batman now comes on a slightly different strap. That change has not affected the makeup of its materials, though. What Makes It Special The first thing that makes this watch special is a factor we’ve already gone over. It is the aesthetic quality of that black and blue bezel. I am not alone in saying that it is incredibly gorgeous, as collectors around the world are scrambling to get their hands-on Batman’s every day. The second is the fact that it has a GMT complication, which lets you keep time in two zones at once. It does so through a simple mechanism. First, Rolex installs a fourth hand on the dial. It is bright blue and points all the way to the outside of the watch. Second, they number the bezel from 1 to 24, making it a 24-hour clock. What you can do as a result is set that larger GMT hand to a second time zone that corresponds with a number on your bezel. This function is both exciting for regular people and useful for those that travel frequently. How You Can Get One for Yourself My one gripe with the Rolex Batman watch has nothing to do with the product itself. Instead, it is with the supply and demand surrounding it. As mentioned above, this timepiece is one of the most sought after in the world. At the same time, Rolex is not producing enough of them to meet that demand. What we end up with is a situation where you have to choose between two options: Buy it at MSRP but wait years to get it. Pay a premium by buying from a third-party seller. If you absolutely need to get a Batman for yourself, those are your two choices. I personally would take option two, but you’ll have to make that call for yourself. Regardless, you’re going to end up with a fantastic watch. I can promise you that.

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