Charles Miller

Charles Miller

First Published: May 09, 2018
  1. Articles by Charles Miller
  2. History of the Rolex Day-Date

    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. Rolex Day-Date 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. Rolex Day-Date 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. Rolex Day-Date 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 a Rolex Day-Date is 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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  3. Top 6 Japanese Dive Watches

    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 Seiko Official WebsiteOf 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 Orient Official WebsiteIn 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 Seiko Official WebsiteThe 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 Citizen Official WebsiteYou 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 Orient Official WebsiteOur 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, an 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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  4. Luxury Watch Brands: The Holy Trinity of Watchmakers

    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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  5. Hands-On with the Omega Constellation

    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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  6. A Closer Look at the Rolex Batman Watch

    A Closer Look at the Rolex Batman Watch

    Of all the watches that Rolex offers, the Rolex 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 Rolex 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 the Rolex Batman Watch So 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 A Rolex Batman Watch 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 Rolex 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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  7. Choosing Between Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre

    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. Cartier 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 History 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. Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier 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 Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cartier 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. Rado Watches: Their Top Collections

    Rado Watches: Their Top Collections

    Rado recently had their 100th anniversary, as they were founded in 1917. At that time, their name was Schlup & Co. The reason is that they had not begun creating their own branded watches yet, instead being a manufacturer of movements for other brands. Finally, in the 1950s, Rado watches came out with their first original design, and they’ve been a significant player in the watch community ever since. One of their notable attributes is how creative they get with materials. That includes their many kinds of ceramic, metal, and diamond. In the current era, Rado watches are known for having exceptional quality and a diverse catalog of fantastic watches. I highlight the best of them in the sections below. Hyperchrome Rado Watches The Hyperchrome collection contains some of Rado’s most expensive watches. Most of them are large, masculine, sporty, and robust, which is perfect for a large segment of consumers. You’ll also find chronographs on a substantial portion of this collection. On the women’s side of things, you can get a Hyperchrome in a smaller size and with a more feminine design. Those of you who have a bit of cash to spend can also get one with diamonds on it. Lastly, I like that you can get a Hyperchrome at multiple price points. Some of them are at $1000, while others get all the way up to $7000. This variance means that there is something for everyone. All in all, this is my number one collection from this brand, and I endorse it completely. Integral Rado Watches This collection is so popular because of how incredibly sleek it is. Each watch has a rectangle shape, but it isn’t blocky or boring. As much as I love old-fashioned rectangular watches, such as the Cartier Santos, it is nice to see one that incorporates that shape and a modern aesthetic. Another great thing about its look is the simple color schemes Rado uses. Each model is primarily black, but with a trim of gold, rose gold, or silver. If you’re someone that loves to add a bit of luxury to your watches, then this is the collection for you. Rado lets you add four diamonds to the dial in the twelve, three, six, and nine spots. Even better, this addition does not add much to the price, so you can make it happen without feeling guilty. The one issue you might have is that those diamonds make it very hard to tell the precise time, but I imagine most of you won’t mind this. Original Rado Watches As you might assume from the name, the Original collection has a distinctly vintage design. It is defined by a case that is very spherical and bubbly. Add that to a petite dial, and you have a truly unique aesthetic. Many of these watches have bejeweled dials too, so if you like that look, you’ll love the Original. The second defining aspect of this collection is the material it is made out of. Rado claims that it is essentially scratch-proof. Not only is that impressive, but it should also keep your watch looking great no matter how long you have it. This makes these products a better deal than most in their price range. Diamaster Rado Watches The three collections we went through above were all quite unique. While many love an eye-catching and original timepiece, others prefer classic styles. If you fit into the latter category, then the Diamaster collection might be perfect for you. The most popular models in it have a very modern look, as they are minimalistic and attractive. That simple look doesn’t define the entire collection, though. You can also find a small second subdial and a variety of unique designs. You’ll have to check them all out yourself to get a clear idea of what the Diamaster collection has to offer. True Rado Watches This collection has a fascinating blend of styles. On the one hand, you have simple, clean looking, minimalist watches. On the other, you have eye-catching designs that will surprise you. That kind of diversity is a strength, and it makes the True especially alluring. My favorites of the bunch are definitely the skeleton dials. They do a great job of showing off Rado’s movements and craftsmanship, all while giving off an attractive aesthetic. Like many other collections that Rado offers, you can also get these watches with diamonds on the dial. While Rado watches has a slightly smaller name than other Swiss manufacturers, they pack a ton of value into their watches. This brand also brings legitimate uniqueness to the table, as their materials are a bit different than the other options on the market. Ultimately, I put them right up there with other Swiss brands as an affordable option that offers a pretty great deal. If you decide that Rado is for you, then sticking to the five collections in this article is a smart bet.

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  9. Reviewing the Rolex Yacht-Master II

    Reviewing the Rolex Yacht-Master II

    While the Submariner and GMT Master II get the most buzz, Rolex actually has an extensive catalog that is full of watches you may not have heard of. One of them is the Rolex Yacht-Master II. This timepiece is one of the more polarizing out there because it is so flashy and expensive. Of course, that doesn’t just mean that it has a few haters. It also means that the Yacht-Master II has a cult following of people who absolutely love it. Below, I cover both sides of the debate by going over each aspect of this watch. Brand The one thing that everyone can agree on is that Rolex is an exceptional brand. They’re independent, in high demand at all times, and create truly fantastic products. Rolex has been at the top of the watch world since the early 1900s, and they show no signs of slowing down. What separates them from the rest of the market is their proficiency in both luxury and function. On the one hand, they manufacture tough, tool-like watches. Whether you drop your Rolex, get it wet, or put it under any other stress, it should keep on ticking. On the other hand, they have become masters of luxury by offering precious metals and elegant designs. The market has rewarded Rolex for their devotion to the craft. This is evidenced by the wait lists that come with purchasing watches from them. While you can buy certain models at any time, the most popular are on backorder for years. This is a testament to how appealing Rolex is, though it is frustrating for collectors. Rolex Yacht-Master II Appearance Plain and simple, the Rolex Yacht-Master II is very flashy. Your standard steel model has a silver case, blue bezel, and a dial that features red, white, and blue coloring. It definitely has a patriotic look to it, as it incorporates the three colors of the United States flag. In my opinion, the design on this watch works and would look great on most people’s wrists. If you want to get something a bit more luxurious, you can opt for different materials. That includes a two-tone model with Everose gold, an especially bright yellow gold option, and a very interesting white gold and platinum blend. Each color scheme has a different personality, so be sure to look at all of them before making your decision. Rolex Yacht-Master II Materials First, let’s go over the materials that every Rolex Yacht-Master II has. They are a sapphire crystal and stainless-steel interior components. Both of them have fantastic quality and definitely live up to this model’s price range. The difference between them comes in the form of metal type, which we touched on above. Rolex offers Oystersteel, Everose gold, yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. This gives you a great selection of materials to choose from. Rolex Yacht-Master II Movement The movement on this watch is likely the most interesting part of it. While most timepieces have typical complications, such as showing a date, the Yacht-Master II has one that is oddly specific. It is a stopwatch that counts down from ten. This function is meant for timing the start of Regattas, but you can use it for any task that takes under ten minutes to complete. This strange chronograph is especially unique because of the way it functions. Not only does the bezel have a direct effect on how the watch works, but the Yacht-Master II has a mechanical memory that can always bring you back to where you left off. The stopwatch function is made possible by the 4161 movement that Rolex manufactures themselves. Aside from its complication, this piece of machinery is also incredibly accurate. It should only lose or gain two seconds per day, which helps with not having to reset your watch all the time. Rolex Yacht-Master II General Craftsmanship Though this watch only has 100m water resistance, it was not created for diving. Instead, it is a watch you wear while on a boat, not under it. Resistance aside, it is clearly very well made, as most Rolex watches are. I fully endorse its craftsmanship. What Makes Rolex Yacht-Master II Special The defining characteristic of this watch is how beautiful, ostentatious, and unapologetic it is. Between its design, materials, color scheme, and complication, you have a timepiece that is truly unique. Watch companies often do not surprise their customers. Luckily, Rolex still does so here and there, as evidence by their somewhat recent Yacht-Master II release. Rolex Yacht-Master II Overall Impression You will have to decide for yourself whether you think the Rolex Yacht-Master II is charming or obnoxious. While some will enjoy having a unique complication, others will dislike how little function it has outside of specific events. In a similar vein, some will love the original design of this watch, while others will be more drawn to conventional models. Wherever you end up, one thing is certain: The Rolex Yacht-Master II is hard to take your eyes off of.

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  10. Hands-On with the New IWC Spitfire

    Hands-On with the New IWC Spitfire

    When it comes to luxury watches, the inconvenient truth is that most of the population will never be able to afford one. That is especially true when it comes to brands like IWC, who’s cheapest products often still break the bank. An exciting development that came out of SIHH 2019, a major watch convention, is that this brand is coming out with one of their most accessible options yet. It is the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire, also known as the IWC Spitfire. Below, I assess this watch and answer a couple of frequently asked questions about IWC. Brand In 1868, a skilled craftsman named Florentine Ariosto Jones decided he was going to start his own timepiece manufacturing business. He called it the International Watch Company, which was later shortened to IWC. Despite some initial resistance from local government, Jones soon opened his factory, and his little watch brand started churning out products. World War II nearly ended IWC, but also led to its massive growth. The first reason why is that its home city of Schaffhausen was bombed during the war. One of those bombs actually directly hit the factory, but luckily, never exploded. What did explode was IWC’s sales, as wristwatches became incredibly popular after the war had ended. Like so many other brands, IWC suffered massively in the quartz crises of the 1970s and 80s. Though they never went out of business, changes needed to be made. The company ended up selling a majority stake to an investment group, which was then later bought by the luxury giant Richemont. These days, IWC is stable and back to being focused on what they love most: Creating fantastic watches for their customers. History of the IWC Spitfire The exact IWC Spitfire watch I have in front of me today is quite new, but the roots of this collection go back to 1948. At that time, IWC was supplying pilot watches to the British Air Force. Due to that nature of the job, the timepieces needed to be tough, legible, and resistant to air pressure. IWC delivered on these goals and gave the Air Force a slew of fantastic products. Like so many other tool watches, the IWC Spitfire isn’t just for pilots. Instead, consumers around the world have developed a love for the style and heritage that they bring to the table. These watches look great, perform exceptionally, and are some of the most popular products on the market. Appearance Watch companies often make one of two mistakes when they create their products. They either design a gaudy watch with too much to look at, or they make their pieces dull and boring. IWC masterfully walks the line between these two traps, and the Spitfire is a glowing example of that. The result is a watch with an extremely legible dial, a tastefully placed date window, and a charming color scheme. My favorite aspect is the latter. It has a black dial, white dial elements, a hint of tan, and even a bit of red. All of that combines to make a watch that is very aesthetically pleasing. Materials & General Craftsmanship The standard Spitfire model has a stainless steel case and sapphire crystal, both with an exceptional level of quality. You also get to choose between a few straps, the most notable of them being textile and calfskin. The last option you’ll have is getting a bronze case. While I have the stainless steel option in front of me, the bronze version is undeniably charming. Ultimately, no matter which materials you choose for your IWC Spitfire, you will be getting a high level of quality. Movement The IWC Spitfire comes with one of their best movements, the 32110 Calibre. It is accurate, automatic, and manufactured in-house. The thing I like best about it, though, is its 72-hour power reserve. That’s a lot more than you usually get at this price point and is a factor that will make owning the product much more convenient. Two Frequently Asked Questions I often get the following questions when it comes to IWC watches: 1: Where can I find IWC watches for sale? – While you can buy their products in a variety of places online, I recommend using a website that guarantees authenticity and has an excellent reputation. 2: How much are IWC watches? – That will depend on the level of quality you want out of your watch. Some of them, like the Spitfire, cost less than $5,000. Others will be more like $15,000. IWC Spitfire Overall Impression The IWC Spitfire is truly the best of both worlds. It has a classic pilot watch aesthetic, is manufactured by one of the best brands in the world, and costs under $5,000 to purchase. For me, buying one of these timepieces is a slam dunk, and I recommend it for any collector out there who’s interested.

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  11. A Closer Look at Piaget Watches: Piaget Polo S

    A Closer Look at Piaget Watches: Piaget Polo S

    Piaget watches has one of the best reputations in the luxury watch world. Just about every expert agrees that they manufacture excellent timepieces and deliver a substantial amount of value in each of their products. A few years ago, they updated one of their old lines and introduced the Piaget Polo S. Collectors were instantly excited and entranced by this piece due to its gorgeous design and delighted to find that it had a high level of quality as well. Below, I tell you everything you need to know about the Piaget Polo S. The Brand Georges-Édouard Piaget started his business in 1876, but it didn’t quite look like the top-tier manufacturer we see today. In fact, he and his team only manufactured movements and sold them to watchmakers, rather than creating products of their own. That all changed a few years later when the brand was born. Piaget’s business has changed quite a bit in the last 50 years. First, their watchmaking skills continued to grow, and they became one of the better timepiece producers in the world. Second, they have built up a legitimate reputation in the jewelry world. They are now an all-around powerhouse luxury brand with an excellent reputation among collectors. History of the Piaget Polo S Most watches hit the market and get little to no reaction, usually due to them being not attractive or original. The ones that send waves through the horology world do so because they’re new and exciting in some way. The two factors that led to this watch’s meteoric rise were its unique look and excellent marketing. An interesting aspect of the latter was Piaget getting Ursula Andress, one of the all-time most famous “bond girls,” to help with advertising. It wasn’t long before massive celebrities like Andy Warhol and Sammy Davis Junior were wearing the Polo, and eventually, sales from the watch made up a third of Piaget’s total sales. The Polo has evolved quite a bit in the last 20 years, as it has become Piaget’s signature watch. It now incorporates a variety of materials, complications, and color schemes. While it has changed quite a bit from the original design, collectors around the world still adore it. Design The design on the Piaget Polo S is a bit of a paradox. On the one hand, it is incredibly simple and has very few elements that really catch your eye. On the other, it is surprisingly attractive and alluring. I believe that this effect comes from the combination of an interesting shape and no-frills construction. All in all, this watch is one with class and style. My favorite element of it is its dial. First, the most popular models have a gorgeous, deep blue coloring. Even better, you can pair that with a matching leather strap and achieve top-tier aesthetic quality. Another is the texture on the dial, which is delightfully ribbed. These little features add up and making this watch incredibly charming to look at. Craftsmanship and Materials You definitely can’t knock the Polo S on craftsmanship or materials. It is well built, incredibly sturdy, and gives you a lot of quality for its price range. The standard model comes in a high grade of stainless steel and with a sapphire crystal. More expensive options give you precious metals like rose gold and diamonds. No matter which you pick, your watch will undoubtedly have a high level of quality. Movement Piaget constructs their movements in-house and does so at a very high level. The one you’ll get in your Polo S will be accurate, have a 50-hour power reserve, and shouldn’t need a tuneup for many years after purchase. Another positive aspect of this watch is that you can watch its movement work through its case back. This factor gives you a more intimate relationship with the inner workings of your timepiece. The Family it Belongs to One of the defining trends of the last 40 years has been a move towards watches that are both luxurious and sporty. The most famous example of all time is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, with the Patek Philippe Nautilus being a close second. This is the family that the Piaget Polo S belongs to. It is eye-catching, luxurious, and sturdy all at the same time, and those that own it only have good things to say. Even better, this watch is much less expensive than the two previously mentioned. That factor makes it an especially attractive buy. Overall Impression  Plain and simple, the Piaget Polo S is a fantastic watch and one that I endorse completely. The reason why is that it achieves two crucial goals simultaneously. Not only does it belong to the same family as the Royal Oak and Nautilus, but it also doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg to purchase. These factors combined make the Polo S an excellent choice for any collector who is interested in it.

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