Charles Miller

Charles Miller

First Published: May 09, 2018
  1. Articles by Charles Miller
  2. 7 Best Dive Watches to Consider

    7 Best Dive Watches to Consider

    Looking for the best dive watches? Diver watches are one of the most popular kinds of watches, and there are two primary reasons why. The first is aesthetics, as these timepieces generally have bracelet straps, simple dials, and attractive bezels. The second is function. Divers tend to have excellent water resistance and a high level of general toughness. While most of us have heard of the biggest names in the dive watch world, there are a variety of other options that fly below the radar. Below, I introduce you to some (underrated) best dive watches that you may want to consider. Best Watches to Consider 1: Orient Kamasu Orient makes up one third of the famous trio that is affordable Japanese manufacturers. For the record, the other two are Seiko and Citizen. This brand has some renowned diver models, including the Ray and Mako, but the Kamasu is excellent as well. It is essentially the more luxurious version of those other models. The price is roughly double, it has a fantastic movement, and it sports a sapphire crystal. Overall, this higher priced model from Orient is an excellent watch and is a great choice for people who want an upgrade over the brand’s typical offerings. 2: Certina DS PH200M The best aspect of this Certina is its gorgeous design. Its dial and bezel complement each other perfectly and looking at it from a distance creates an exciting aesthetic effect. I also love that it incorporates a Powermatic 80 movement, which gives you an 80-hour power reserve. This means that you can take the watch off, let it rest for a few days, and then put it back on without needing to reset the time. The one feature that you might not like is its thickness, which comes in at a hefty 14.4mm. 3: Seiko Prospex As I mentioned above, Seiko is one of the Japanese brands that has an excellent reputation for affordable prices and high-quality products. Their Prospex line supports this assertion, and the craftsmanship on it is way above its price range. It is an especially great choice for those of you with larger wrists, given that most of the models in this collection exceed 44mm. The last thing I love about the Prospex line is how many options it has in it. No matter what, you should find one that catches your eye. 4: Zodiac Super Sea Wolf The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf is our first model in the entry-level luxury domain. Its beauty is the first thing that jumps out at you when you see it, as the design is incredibly well put together. The Sea Wolf manages to balance simplicity and originality, with the final product being an excellent timepiece. As far as quality, it has a sapphire crystal, fantastic movement, and sturdy materials. This brand is less appreciated than bigger names, but it is definitely worth taking a look at. 5: Sinn EZM 3 This German brand is a bit enigmatic, mostly because they have next to no online presence. Instead, they simply craft amazing watches and sell them in brick and mortar stores. Their success, despite outdated marketing techniques, is a testament to the quality they deliver. The EZM 3 is no exception. It offers a whopping 500m water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and a dependable ETA movement. That resistance level is especially impressive, as most divers only go to 100-300m. 6: Oris Divers 65 While Oris doesn’t make the most exceptional timepieces in the world, I believe that they’re one of the most competent brands out there. They create fantastic watches, don’t often release “flops,” and serve their fanbase incredibly well. The Divers 65 is a great example of this proficiency. Its quality is nearly unmatched in this price range, and buyers get a lot of bang for their buck when they choose it. I especially like the bronze models, which have an aesthetic that is unique and attractive. You really can’t go wrong with this watch, so if you love it, go ahead and purchase with confidence. 7: Tudor Pelagos Rolex has an interesting relationship with two of their most famous watches: The Submariner and Sea Dweller. These models are essentially the same, but the latter has a few more capabilities. This is relevant because Tudor is the little brother of Rolex, and they have a similar dynamic. It is between the ultra-popular Black Bay and the under-appreciated Pelagos. The latter is actually one of my favorite dive watches on the market, though. It looks great, has great quality, and is resistant all the way to 500m. Best Dive Watches Conclusion If you want to grab yourself a Rolex Submariner or Tudor Black Bay, I don’t blame you. They are tried and true diver watches that will likely serve your needs. That being said, some of you will want to go for an under-appreciated option. Whether it be for originality, lower prices, or both, sticking to the timepieces on this list is a smart bet.

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  3. Used Omega Watches: Tips on Buying One

    Used Omega Watches: Tips on Buying One

    Purchasing a new watch from Omega can cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 in today’s market. While those prices are accessible for a tiny percentage of the population, they aren’t for most others. As a result, collectors often buy used watches. This practice lowers their costs substantially, while at the same time giving them a timepiece that is every bit as good as a new one. Unfortunately, doing so comes with a bit of risk, as purchasing a used watch is less reliable than brand new. I offer some tips on buying used Omega watches in the sections below. Used Omega Watches: Understand What Makes a Seller Risky The biggest mistake you can make is choosing the wrong seller. These people can scam you in two ways: Not Delivering – In the first example, the seller you choose doesn’t send you a watch at all. Whether it be on eBay or through an unestablished website, this person will take your money and never deliver your Omega. This outcome is relatively uncommon. Under Delivering – Our second example is much more prevalent. It is under delivering, which frequently happens when the watch you receive doesn’t match the website’s photos and description. When choosing a seller, look at sales history, pictures of the product, and how clean the website looks. If they have no track record, blurry photos, or a poorly constructed site, then it is best to find someone else. Choose a Reputable Dealer Find a reputable dealer like Watchshopping.com! The following are a few indications of a reliable seller. Professional Website – Though looks can be deceiving, having an aesthetically pleasing and functional website is always a positive sign. Good Looking Pictures – Blurry photos or ones that don’t match the watch you want are both negative indicators. Choose a seller with high-quality pictures instead. Customer Support – The best vendors on the internet have customer support that you can chat with or email at any time. Content – When someone is a scammer, they generally don’t put a lot of time into their website. Having blog posts, YouTube videos, or social media accounts is a sign of legitimacy. Remember the Cost of Service At this point, you’ve settled on a reputable seller and it is time to buy your Omega watch. One thing that you have to remember is how much it will cost to service your new timepiece. Most manufacturers recommend taking their products into an expert every 5 years. Each time that will run you a few hundred dollars, so be sure to note that when looking at your financial situation. Another issue you often run into is watches needing servicing right away, as they are more than 5 years old and perhaps have not had the service they need. This will add to your purchase price because you will need to spend some amount of money right away. Used Omega Watches: Look for Dents and Scratches When you buy a new watch, you never have to think about the condition of it. Presumably, it has never been worn, so there should not be any damage. Used Omega watches are different. They’ve generally been worn a fair amount before you ever get your hands on them, so there is always a risk of minor damage. You can defend against this by requesting photos of the watch and inspecting them carefully. Doing so should reveal any imperfections. Get the Box and Papers (If Possible) Optimally, your purchase will come with the original box and papers. This means that in addition to the watch, you’ll receive its packaging and the documentation that proves its legitimacy. If you purchase a relatively new watch, you should get one or both of these. Older timepieces have a higher risk of not having either of them. Ultimately, the box and papers aren’t required, but they are nice to have. Buy What You Like This is a tip for all watch buyers, and it definitely applies to purchasing a used Omega. If you love the Seamaster or Speedmaster, you’re making an excellent choice. That said, you don’t need to go with a big-name model. A different timepiece might speak to you, and you should choose whichever you like best. The good thing about Omega is that they are an exceptional brand, and any watch you buy from them should impress. Enjoy Your New Watch!  Once you get your Omega in the mail, it is time to start enjoying it. Some of you will make it your everyday watch, while others will keep it under wraps and only bring it out for special occasions. However you plan to use it, I ask that you enjoy it. Collecting timepieces is one of the most enjoyable hobbies in the world and purchasing used Omega watches is an excellent way to explore it.

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  4. Reviewing the Oris Aquis Watch

    Reviewing the Oris Aquis Watch

    Oris might be my favorite brand in the watch world right now. Why? Because their strategy and trajectory just make sense. While nearly every other brand routinely disappoints their fans, Oris is quietly putting together a fantastic catalog. They also have the craftsmanship and heritage to back it up. Of all the watches they offer, the Oris Aquis watch is likely the most popular. It is a fantastic diver that delivers a ton of value for its price, and I fully endorse getting one for yourself. Now, let’s go over why that is the case. Oris Brand Paul Cattin and Georges Christian founded Oris in 1904. Like most of the big-name timepiece companies, they did so in Switzerland. They quickly took off as an alarm clock and pocket watch company and thrived in those niches for many years. Oris entered the wristwatch market in the 60s, which ended up being an important move for them. Aside from a dip in sales during the Quartz Crisis, they have continued to build their brand to greater and greater heights. In the current era, they are somewhat of a “collectors brand.” This designation means that much of the public doesn’t know about them, but hardcore watch enthusiasts do. This position suits them well, and they are one of the more sought-after brands among this population. The most defining characteristic of Oris Aquis watch is how much value they deliver for the price. I’ve talked to scores of experts of this brand, and that is the conclusion each of them comes to. While a couple thousand dollars is still a hefty price tag for most, you might find that an Oris serves you just as well as a timepiece worth twice as much. The Aquis is an excellent example of that trend. Oris Aquis Watch Appearance A watch can have the best movement in the world and a slew of fantastic materials, but if it’s not good looking, it’s not worth wearing. Luckily, the Oris Aquis is one of the most attractive timepieces out there. The first reason why is how sleek and simple most of this collection’s models are. Oris doesn’t try to do too much, instead relying on a classic look that will never go out of style. The second thing that jumps out at you is how many aesthetic and functional options you have at your disposal. You can choose from exciting color combinations, alternative materials, chronographs, and even diamond encrusted bezels. As long as you like divers, there will be something for you in the vast Oris Aquis catalog. Oris Aquis Watch Materials The materials on this watch are just what you would expect. It has a stainless-steel case, sapphire crystal, and a variety of options for the bracelet. What gets lost in online product descriptions, though, is the quality within these designations. Not all stainless-steel cases are made equal, nor are crystals or bracelets. Luckily, Oris knocks it out of the park in each domain. Oris Aquis Watch Movement The movement you get will depend on the model you choose. More affordable options mostly have an Oris Calibre 733 in them, while others have the Calibre 743. Ultimately, no matter which you choose, you’ll be getting a high-quality, in-house movement. Oris doesn’t cut costs on machinery with any of their collections, and the Aquis is no exception. General Craftsmanship of Oris Aquis Watch Many of these timepieces have 300m water resistance, while the most expensive go all the way up to 500m. Either way, the craftsmanship Oris puts into them is impressive. Your Aquis will be able to hold up against the elements, whether that be water, drops from height, or anything else. What Makes the Oris Aquis Watch Special The defining benefit of purchasing this watch is something we’ve already discussed. It is value. While you can get a better timepiece by paying an extra few thousand dollars, most customers care more about bang for your buck, rather than just quality. In this domain, the Oris Aquis is virtually unmatched. It competes with the best divers in the world, while simultaneously not being too tough on your wallet. I’ve been studying the watch industry for a long time, and I genuinely believe that the Aquis is one of the best dive watch deals out there. Overall Impression of the Oris Aquis Watch The two crucial areas you look at first when shopping for a watch are type and price range. Many of you might decide to go with a diver at around $1-2K. In that case, I can’t think of a better option than the Oris Aquis. It has compelling heritage, fantastic craftsmanship, and beauty that few other watches can match. I see it as one of the best options on the market right now, and one that you really can’t go wrong with. All you have to do to get started is browse through the many color and style options. When one catches your eye, make it yours.

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  5. Good Watch Brands for Casual Wearers

    Good Watch Brands for Casual Wearers

    The watch world is filled with expensive products, complicated language, and honestly, somewhat snobby people. That being said, these factors have a lesser effect on the culture surrounding more affordable brands. The good news for casual wearers is that there are a variety of good watch brands out there that have rich histories and sell awesome watches. I go through my six favorites in the sections below. Seiko Seiko has become synonymous with value because they deliver quality that is well above their price range. Whether you want an ultra-cheap quartz watch, an entry-level mechanical piece, or something a bit pricier, this brand can surely meet your needs. Another great thing about them is the number of styles they offer, including dress, dive, field, and much more. This isn’t some new company that sells soulless watches, either. Seiko has played a big part in the story that is the watch industry, with perhaps their crowning achievement being the proliferation of the quartz movement. Even in recent times, they continue to innovate with advancements like inventing spring drive technology. Ultimately, Seiko has an excellent reputation and would be a great choice for your casual watch purchase. Tissot The good news for casual wearers is that you can still get a piece of Swiss manufacturing at a lower price point. Perhaps the best of them all is Tissot, who like many brands, has an alluring history of over 100 years. To this day, they create some of the best affordable products on the market. You can enjoy racing watches, dress pieces, divers, and everything in between when you choose this exceptional brand. If you don’t know where to start in Tissot’s catalog, I suggest checking out the Powermatic 80 and Seastar lines. The former has really good looking, dressy watches with long power reserves, while the latter contains some of the best dive watches under $1000. No matter which you pick, you’ll end up with a fantastic timepiece. Casio This brand is an icon in the watch world, but what makes them unique is that they have three types of timepieces that they make: Affordable Digital – One thing I love about Casio is how many watches they sell for under $50. Simple and sleek digital pieces make up most of those products. G-Shock – While also digital, the G-Shock deserves its own category. These watches are tough, insanely popular, and offer some of the best value on the market. Analog – Casio is most famous for their digital pieces, but they also make some really great analog watches for people who prefer a classic look. Casio is the perfect brand for casual wearers who don’t want to break the bank. Timex What I like best about Timex is that they don’t try to be anything they’re not. Unlike some other brands, they don’t market their watches as luxury products. Instead, they call them what they are, which is affordable workhorse timepieces. A perfect representation of this idea is their iconic Weekender, which many thousands of casual wearers own around the world. One more attractive aspect of this brand is that they’re one of the few brands that is based in the United States. While almost every other company operates out of Japan, Switzerland, or Germany, Timex was founded and has continued to manufacture in the USA. Swatch The name “Swatch” comes from the marriage of two words, second watch, that define the personality of this company. What the founders set out to do was be a complement to the titans of the watch industry, not a competitor to them. The result of this ethos was affordable, eye-catching, quartz movement watches. While some of you won’t like how strange they look, others will be drawn to them instantly. If you’re not familiar with their offerings, you’ll have to browse their catalog and find out for yourself. It is also worth noting that they now offer mechanical movements as well as quartz, so their appeal is a bit wider than it once was. Citizen Anyone who has watched television in that last 20 years has heard of the famous Citizen Eco-Drive watches. These are quartz timepieces that harvest the energy of the sun to power themselves. Don’t think that having a solar powered movement is some gimmick, though. Citizen is actually one of the best affordable watchmakers in the world. Even better, they offer a variety of styles, so you should find one that works for you no matter what. I would personally check out their field watches and chronographs first, but it’s worth taking a look at their full catalog. You can find great Citizen watch options from online watch stores like Watchshopping.com. Though portions of the timepiece industry are stuffy and expensive, there are still good watch brands for casual wearers. If you fit into that category, sticking with the six companies on this list is a smart bet. Not only will you not break the bank, but you’ll also end up with a well-made product that has some real history behind it. In my opinion, that’s the best of both worlds.

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  6. Rolex Pepsi vs. Tudor Pepsi

    Rolex Pepsi vs. Tudor Pepsi

    The first thing we should go over is what a “Pepsi” is. This nickname refers to GMT watches that have a blue and red bezel. Though some use it to describe all timepieces of this type, most only do in the context of Rolex and Tudor. These watches are both highly sought after in the collector community due to the craftsmanship and aesthetics that they offer. Purchasing one of them is an easy decision, but the hard part comes when you have to choose between them. I provide some guidance in the following passages. Tudor and Rolex’s Relationship Tudor is often referred to as Rolex’s “little brother.” The reason is that both companies have the same founder, Hans Wilsdorf. He started Rolex in the early 1900s, and after a few decades of radical success, decided that he wanted to create a brand that was more accessible to mainstream consumers. The result became Tudor, which was inspired by English royalty. Though Rolex has grown into the biggest watch brand in the world, Tudor is no slouch either. They are one of the more respected names on the market, and experts generally agree that they deliver a lot of value for their price range. Tudor’s performance has been especially high in the last 10 years, as they have expanded their marketing in the United States and come out with a variety of bestsellers. Rolex Pepsi and Tudor Pepsi General Differences  Wilsdorf’s wanted to make a brand that was a lot like Rolex, but much cheaper. The areas that Tudor cuts costs in are the ones that make its big brother a special and luxurious company. Here are a few crucial differences. Handmade Elements – Rolex tries to use as little machinery as possible in the construction of their watches. For example, they have a person apply the indices to their dials, rather than a machine. Tudor has very few handmade elements. Movements – While Tudor movements are quite good, Rolex’s are generally more accurate. Materials – Tudor watches tend to come in a high grade of stainless steel. Rolex will either use even higher quality steel or incorporate precious metals. Craftsmanship – The sturdiness and reliability of a watch are hard to define, but you can usually feel craftsmanship when you get a product in your hands. Rolex tends to have more versatile timepieces than Tudor. Comparing the Pepsi From Each Brand Now, onto the matter at hand. The Pepsi from each brand embodies the differences I described above. Tudor’s Pepsi version is quite good but doesn’t have an incredibly high level of quality. Rolex goes the extra mile in each category but has the price tag to match. One additional point to note is their appearance. The Rolex Pepsi has a modern vibe to it, as the watch is bright, on an interesting bracelet, and has a refined design. The Tudor version is a bit more vintage looking, which will be preferable to some collectors. The Three Debates If you’re still having trouble choosing between these two beautiful watches, then consider the three primary debates below. They get to the heart of the differences between these two products and should provide some much-needed guidance. Exceptionalism Vs. Value – Are you interested in getting a lot of bang for your buck? Or do you prefer to have the best watch possible, no matter the cost? When comparing these two Pepsi watches, the Tudor is definitely a better deal. That being said, collectors with massive budgets may choose the more luxurious product, and I don’t blame them. Retro Vs. Modern – If you purchase a Rolex Pepsi, you’re going to get noticed by a lot of people. The reason is that it is bright, colorful, and on a modern looking strap. The Tudor Pepsi is the opposite, as it is a bit more muted and looks like a watch from a different era. One style isn’t better than the other, but you might have a strong preference between them. Big Name Vs. Smaller Name – Lastly, you have the brands behind these two watches. Some of you will like to have the Tudor name on your wrist. While it is by no means a small company, fewer people will recognize it. Generally, it is more well known by watch enthusiasts, rather than regular people. On the other hand, Rolex is a name that almost everyone knows. The status that comes with owning one might be something that appeals to you. Conclusion All in all, the Rolex Pepsi and Tudor Pepsi are both exceptional watches. They have a high level of craftsmanship, beautiful aesthetics, and great brands behind them. Still, they have some crucial differences, one of which might sway you one way or the other. I can confidently tell you though, that there is no wrong decision here. Both are fantastic, and I’m sure you’ll be satisfied no matter which you choose.

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  7. Introduction to Sevenfriday Watches

    Introduction to Sevenfriday Watches

    Recently, we started carrying Sevenfriday watches. This young, promising brand has been in very high demand lately, and we decided that it was time to meet it. Whether you’re familiar with this company or not, I’m sure there are a few things that you could learn about it. I hope to fill that knowledge gap by discussing Sevenfriday’s brand identity, watches, other products, and more. You can find all of that in the following passages. Brand Identity Sevenfriday was founded by a man named Daniel Niederer. Prior to the launch, he had been a highly successful lawyer. His former niche, assisting luxury watch distribution companies, doesn’t surprise anyone. At some point, he decided that he wanted to turn his life in a different direction. That choice led to Sevenfriday, a brand that models their products off of cars, vintage televisions, and other objects that you might not expect. To me, this brand is all about the synthesis of originality, vintage styles, and modern innovation. What you get a result is a company with legitimately eye-catching products. Whether you love them or hate them, they can’t be ignored. A Young Company As you may have assumed, Sevenfriday is not some watch brand that has been around since the 1800s. Instead, it was founded around 2012. This can be seen as both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, you might prefer brands with long histories. On the other, you could decide that a newer company appeals to you, especially one that is so unique. Origin Of Products Another thing you should know is where these products originate. While the company designs them in Switzerland, they source their movements from Japan and assemble the watches in China. This practice has some level of stigma in the timepiece world, but in my opinion, it is unfounded. An excellent product is an excellent product, wherever it comes from. Sevenfriday has high quality standards and wouldn’t let their suppliers cut corners, so being sourced from China shouldn’t concern you. The Watches They Carry Now, to the fun part. Sevenfriday has seven collections, each of them with their own unique style. One thing to note is that this brand groups their watches by giving them a one letter designation, not a full name. The following are brief descriptions of my favorites. M – While the cases on these watches are square, their dial design is more like a triangle. Each of them has a unique way of telling the time, too, so be prepared to acclimate to something new. My favorite is the M1B/01, which seems to be one of their most popular models. Q – This is another fresh design that instantly catches your eye. The defining aspect of it is all the circles that are incorporated. You’ll find them in the dial and in two subdials, which is something you don’t often see. V – To be clear, no Sevenfriday watch is conventional. That being said, the V Series looks at least somewhat like a regular timepiece. As a result, it is probably your best bet if you want something a bit funky, but not so strange that you have trouble using it. Beyond Watches Like many modern watch brands, Sevenfriday has expanded their catalog past just timepieces. In the process, they’ve amassed offerings for bracelets, sunglasses, hats, hoodies, and t-shirts. What I like about these additional products is that they all have a similar vibe to the company’s watch, and they have the same quality you’d expect from Sevenfriday. Lastly, they sell watch accessories like straps and protective cases. Social Media Presence One of the brand’s strong points is social media, and Instagram seems to be their number one platform. It is littered with cool product photos, Sevenfriday restaurants, and people wearing their products all around the world. I definitely recommend giving their Instagram page a look. Sevenfriday Stories I always enjoy it when a brand incorporates some culture into their identity. Sevenfriday clearly does this, as evidenced by their involvement in putting on concerts, opening restaurants, and more. They are also very involved in travel culture, as evidenced by their collaborations with influencers in that space. Verification One of the most interesting things Sevenfriday does is put verification chips in their watches. As a result, you can determine the authenticity of a timepiece by taking to an authorized dealer or simply using an application on your smartphone. While I’m not sure how many fakes there are floating around in the world, a verification chip is a nice feature. Ultimately, Sevenfriday is a fresh take on an industry that so often is resistant to innovation. They have legitimately innovative designs, impressive craftsmanship, and give you a nice amount of watch for your money. I support any of you adding one of their products to your collection, and especially for those of you who crave originality.

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  8. Rolex Submariner vs. Rolex GMT Master II

    Rolex Submariner vs. Rolex GMT Master II

    Rolex is the most recognizable watch brands in the world, and they have attained that status for a variety of reasons. One of them is this brand having a few models that are absolute classics and some of the most highly sought-after products on the market. Not only do the Rolex Submariner and Rolex GMT Master II fit into that category, but they also have similar price points. This makes them ripe for being compared side by side, which is precisely what I do in the sections below. The Brand Rolex’s achievements include crafting the first waterproof watch, creating a model that can withstand the pressure of the bottom of the ocean, sending a timepiece to the top of Everest, and everything in between. The mystique behind their brand has only grown in recent years, as buying a Rolex is often the first thing people do when they achieve a certain level of success. Don’t think that this brand is all marketing and hype, though. They actually create some of the best watches on the market, each with its own unique charm. History When Rolex Submariner made its debut in 1953 they likely didn’t know just how popular it would become. I imagine they were simply creating a watch that looked great and had legitimate diving capabilities. Over time, though, it has arguably become their signature product. The GMT Master first came about in 1953. Rolex created it during a collaboration with Pan Am, which was one of the top aviation companies of that time. While it hasn’t quite gained the notoriety that the Submariner has, it is incredibly popular in its own right. Niche & Function The Submariner is a dive watch, which means it has various features that make it functional underwater. They include water resistance, metal that resists corrosion, luminescent dial components, and much more. While most consumers will never take their luxury watch underwater, these capabilities serve them in two ways. The first is the joy of knowing how tough their timepiece is, and the second is owning a product that holds up to the elements during day to day life. The Rolex GMT Master II has fewer diving capabilities, but sports one crucial feature that collectors absolutely love. It is a GMT hand, which tells you the time in an alternate time zone. It works by having a fourth hand on the dial that points to a number on the bezel. This function is great for people that frequently travel or do business with other countries. Quality You can’t argue with the quality of either of these timepieces. Rolex creates both with sturdy materials, reliable movements, and a fantastic wearing experience. The one difference you’ll find is that the Submariner is a bit tougher, given that it needs to function deep underwater. That being said, a regular wearer likely won’t notice any quality difference between them. Aesthetics The funny thing about these watches is that their designs are almost entirely the same. Your first significant difference is the GMT hand on the dial of the Rolex GMT Master II, which the Rolex Submariner doesn’t have. The second is their bezels, as the Submariner’s helps you count down from 60, while the GMT’s lets you tell time in a second zone. Beyond nuts and bolts, though, you get more significant differences in color schemes. The Submariner has a few classic arrangements that people love, such as all black, all green, and all blue. The Rolex GMT Master II switches things up by having two-tone bezels. This effect creates the classic Batman and Pepsi styles, among others. Price The price you pay for your Rolex depends on a variety of factors, including color scheme, which metals you choose, and much more. Still, I can make some generalizations about how much you’ll pay for each model. I find that the GMT II tends to cost a few thousand more than its comparable Submariner model. Why? My best guess is that a GMT movement is more complex and expensive to create, given that demand for both should be about the same. Whichever you choose, you’ll be paying quite a bit, but you’ll also get one of the better watches out there. Which is Right for You? If you’re choosing between these two iconic models, focus on the following points before you make a decision. Looks – Does one of them instantly appeal to you? That might be the Hulk Submariner, Batman GMT Master, or any other model. If this is the case, then go with your gut. Functionality – Do you love the GMT feature? What about impressive dive capabilities? Whatever your preference is, choose your watch accordingly. If you go through those two factors and still can’t decide, then go with the more affordable option. Really, though, you can’t lose when you choose a Submariner or GMT Master II.

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  9. An Introduction to Parmigiani Fleurier

    An Introduction to Parmigiani Fleurier

    Parmigiani Fleurier is a relatively new Swiss brand that has been making waves in the watch industry. Collectors and casual wearers are both starting to pay attention, but what defines this company? Where do they come from? And should you give up your hard earned money to get your hands on one of their products? I answer these questions in the following passages. Brand History Though every entrepreneurial endeavor presents significant risk, Michel Parmigiani’s decision to start his watch workshop in 1976 was especially dangerous. Why? Because the Quartz Crisis had just ravaged the industry, and very few people were investing in new businesses. Still, against everyone’s advice, Parmigiani followed his love for horology and opened his shop. For roughly 20 years, Parmigiani worked with brands but didn’t have his own. That all changed in 1996 when he founded his own. Experts had told Michel to make this leap for years, as they saw just how talented he was. Finally, he did it, and he named that company Parmigiani Fleurier. In the modern era, Parmigiani Fleurier produces a healthy mix of cutting edge watches and classic styles. No matter what kind of timepiece they’re creating, though, they keep the same exceptional quality standards. Most experts agree that this brand is worth at least a look, and I agree with them wholeheartedly. Where They Get Their Inspiration One of the strangest discoveries scientists have made is a metric called “the golden ratio.” Numerically, it is 1: 1.618, but that doesn’t tell us anything on its own. Where it gets interesting is examples of the ratio, which can be found all over the beautiful natural world. The spirals of seashells and snowflake geometry are just two of them. The relevance of this ratio is the effect that has had on Michel Parmigiani’s designs. Not only does he take it into account when he creates his watches, but he also looks towards other aspects of nature for inspiration. This unique approach leads to him creating a multitude of timepieces with exciting designs. Innovations They’ve Made For such a young company, Parmigiani Fleurier has a surprising amount of innovations to their name. The following are a few of them. Dual Time – While two time zone watches have been around for some time, Parmigiani Fleurier managed to make the most accurate in the world. It keeps time so well, in fact, that it is the only one on the market that is accurate to within a minute on both zones. 30 Second Tourbillon – Most tourbillons go through one rotation in one minute. Parmigiani Fleurier decided to show off their engineering prowess by cutting that number in half. They claim that this advancement makes the watches function better. Bugatti Partnerships – Parmigiani Fleurier has partnered with the famous Bugatti automobile brand a couple of times now, and the results have been phenomenal. The products they’ve created are incredibly powerful and have an exciting look to them. Price Range Parmigiani Fleurier is undoubtedly a luxury brand, so you’ll have to pay quite a bit to get your hands on one of their watches. Even the most affordable of them can still cost upwards of $10K, and the most expensive get over $50K. All I have to say is make sure you have a thick wallet before falling in love with one of these watches. Where They Fit in the Market One thing you’ll notice about the watch industry is that older is almost always better. New brands tend to underdeliver on quality, while the ones that are over 100 years old give you a lot more for your money. I believe that Parmigiani Fleurier is unique in this regard, as they are somewhat new, but also not gimmicky or a bad deal. They are undeniably skilled at watchmaking, and if you like their designs, they are every bit as attractive as the big name brands. Classy Marketing Another aspect of this brand that I like is how understated they are with their marketing. It seems like every other watch company is much more heavy-handed, whether that be Daniel Wellington with Instagram marketing or Breitling grabbing scores of celebrity ambassadors. While Parmigiani Fleurier does market themselves, they seem to do so in a much classier way. It feels organic, rather than forced, and many collectors appreciate that. Is Parmigiani Fleurier Right for You? The first issue you need to resolve is whether or not you have enough money for one of their products, as they are quite expensive. If the answer is yes, I would look at this brand and the other options in your chosen price range. Going with a more established brand is perfectly reasonable but choosing Parmigiani Fleurier absolutely is as well. If you go with the latter, you’ll also be wearing a unique brand that many haven’t heard of. That’s something most collectors can’t say.

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  10. Hands-On with the Oris Big Crown

    Hands-On with the Oris Big Crown

    Many would be collectors shy away from the watch market due to exorbitant prices. An Omega will run you a few thousand dollars, most Rolex pieces come in at over $10K, and that’s only the beginning. Other brands sell watches for double, triple, and quadruple those sums. Those kinds of number can be very intimidating, but many lesser known brands deliver almost as much quality at a fraction of the price. One of them is Oris, which will be the subject of today’s article. I go over everything you need to know about their famous Big Crown watch in the following passages. Brand Like many big-name timepiece companies, Oris was founded in Switzerland over 100 years ago. They started out producing only pocket watches, but in 1925, entered the wristwatch market. As a side note, this trend was actually an industry-wide one, as World War I brought upon significant changes to the market. Oris was one of the primary victims of the ‘quartz crisis’ in the 1970s but found new life after being acquired by the Swatch group. They currently occupy one of my favorite spaces in the watch market, which is entry level Swiss brands. Their watches are exceptional, their prices are somewhat affordable, and they are one of the best companies that produce watches under $2,000. The History of the Big Crown Oris and their Big Crown model have been married for almost as long as the company has been around. It came about in 1938 and was manufactured for pilots in World War II. Many of its signature features reflect this devotion. The most significant of them is, as you might predict, the crown. The rationale behind this design element is that pilots should be able to adjust their watches without taking off their gloves. Nearly 100 years later, the Big Crown continues to be one of the most popular collections in the Oris catalog. Some popular choices are the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date and Oris Big Crown Propilot. Appearance The beauty of the Big Crown comes from its synthesis of elegance and utility. Like many aviation watches, it has a few extra features that give the dial some character. Unlike other timepieces in this genre, though, Oris manages to not crowd the design and make the watch look jumbled. The final result is a gorgeous watch that walks the line well between aesthetics and function. One more thing to note is just how many coloring options you have. I would personally go with the bronze case and green dial, but there are hundreds of different looks for you to choose from. That kind of diversity makes the Big Crown even more appealing. Materials Most Big Crowns come with a stainless-steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and high-grade leather strap. That being said, there are a variety of other options at your disposal. You can instead go with a bronze case, stainless steel bracelet, nylon strap, and much more. No matter what, though, you’re going to end up with a watch that has impressive materials. Oris definitely doesn’t cut corners when it comes to constructing their timepieces, and when you get your hands on one, it shows. Movement The exact movement you receive will depend on which model you get, but each of them has in-house machinery built by Oris in Switzerland. Your power reserve will likely be around 38 hours, and the accuracy on that movement will be quite good. You shouldn’t expect anything exceptional at this price point, but you get a pretty good bang for your buck. The deal is especially favorable when you consider that the Swatch group is behind these movements. That fact provides some more certainty that yours will run well for years to come. General Craftsmanship Simply put, these watches are fantastic. You will most likely feel that quality right away, no matter which model you go with. They have just the right weight, the crown is an absolute joy to spin, and everything else about them is very well put together. As a bonus, each of them comes with 100M water resistance, which should save your timepiece in the event of it getting wet. Niche As we’ve discussed, the Big Crown is an aviation watch. That means that some of these models have chronographs and other useful pilot features. Largely, though, the primary aviation features that they have are legible dials and big crowns. They are much simpler than many other options on the market, so if you like the minimalist look, the Big Crown is a great pick. Overall Impression Oris is one of my favorite brands, and the Big Crown might be their most iconic piece. It is well made, good looking, and delivers in every possible way. I completely endorse every watch in this collection and am confident that you would be happy if you bought one for yourself.

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  11. Top Collections from Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Top Collections from Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Watch experts consider Jaeger-LeCoultre to be one of the top brands in the world. One thing that they love so much about it is its long history. This company has been around since the 1800s, and they have been a top tier producer since the beginning. The hype around them isn’t all about brand identity and history, though. They also produce a variety of fantastic collections with amazing watches in them. I go through my 5 favorites in the sections below. Reverso The history of the Reverso begins in 1930. After a businessman broke his timepiece in a polo match, Jacques-David LeCoultre was tasked with created a watch with a reversible face. A few years in the lab ended up creating one of the most iconic watches of all time. It is charming for two reasons. The first is that it is simply an excellent timepiece. Between a gorgeous design, high-quality materials, and a reliable movement, this product can stand on its own. What makes it special, though, is the wearer’s ability to flip the face over and reveal pure metal on the other side. This feature continues to entrance collectors to this day. The modern Reverso is still an icon, and it has some modern updates that you’ll love. Its materials continue to get better, Jaeger-LeCoultre offers it in a variety of metals, and you can play around with color schemes to get the perfect look. I really cannot recommend this watch enough. It is by far my favorite dress piece from any brand, and it would make a fantastic addition to your collection. Master This Master collection is not an easy one to describe. The reason is that it offers such a diverse range of watches. Each of them has a circular shape and a dressy vibe to it, but that is all you can say to group them together. The best way to get a feel for the Master collection is through scrolling the catalog yourself. It contains minimalist styles, moon phases, chronographs, tourbillons, and everything in between. While this diversity makes it hard to characterize, the good news is that you should be able to find a watch that you love. My personal favorites are the perpetual calendars, but your style might differ. No matter what, choosing from the Master collection is a safe bet. Polaris Of all the Jaeger-LeCoultre collections, Polaris is the most unique. Why? Because it contains sporty aviation watches. This is only surprising if you understand what this brand is generally known for, which is pure luxury. The Polaris collection breaks the mold and thrives while doing it. Enthusiasts often like to build their collections by getting one or two of every type of watch. That means they’ll have a diver, a chronograph, a dress piece, and more. The Polaris collection is best for those of you who are looking for a chronograph or aviation timepiece, but also love the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand. You’ll be happy to find that despite this genre not being JLC’s specialty, these watches are every bit as fantastic as the ones offered by sportier companies. Rendez-Vous Many watch enthusiasts don’t know that wristwatches were first worn by women. Men carried theirs in their pockets, while their wives sported timepieces on their wrists. This all changed in World War I, but the fact remains that manufacturers used to create wristwatches with solely women in mind. The Rendez-Vous is a celebration of that heritage. It is a collection that is meant for only women, is extremely elegant, and has an entirely unique design. You can also purchase it in stainless steel, silver, and gold, depending on your budget and preferences. On the upper end, you can even get one that is encrusted with diamonds and has tourbillon. Overall, these watches are excellent choices for women and the men that buy gifts for them. Geophysic Though there are a couple of plain watches in this collection, the most popular ones are very unique in their function and design. That fact comes down to the dial on these pieces, which is a world map and has major cities around the world on the outside of it. Not only does this design look great, but it provides a truly useful function. People who do business with other countries or physically travel to them can check the time in that zone without having to do any math. These watches are great for anyone that moves around a lot or simply enjoys the world time features that they offer. Simply put, Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the finest watch brands in the world, and you can’t go wrong when choosing from their collections. My favorite is the Reverso, but some of you might not like the rectangular shape or reversible face. The good news is that there are plenty of other options if you choose to go in a different direction. When a company is as reliable as Jaeger-LeCoultre, any watch you get will surely be exceptional.

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