Charles Miller

Charles Miller

First Published: May 09, 2018
  1. Articles by Charles Miller
  2. Hands-On with the TAG Heuer Monaco

    Hands-On with the TAG Heuer Monaco

    TAG Heuer is a highly respected name in the watch world, and for good reason. They manufacture high-quality products, don’t charge too much for them, and have fantastic branding. For all you collectors out there who want to purchase an entry-level Swiss piece, I definitely support going with a TAG watch. The question is, which one will you choose? Below, I outline all the reasons for why your answer might be the TAG Heuer Monaco. Brand Edouard Heuer, a 20-year-old craftsman and horology enthusiast, started this legendary company in 1860. He quickly established his brand as one of the top Swiss manufacturers in the world. In the beginning, they were best known as masters of the chronograph, but their catalog and areas of expertise have continued to grow. Today, TAG Heuer is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. They have a slew of celebrity ambassadors, tons of fans in the timepiece world, and a spot on most “top watch company” lists. To me, their defining characteristic is how fun and sporty the brand is. They don’t try to be anything they’re not, and instead thrive in the niche they have built for themselves. The History of the TAG Heuer Monaco Most watch experts will tell you that the TAG Heuer Monaco is an icon in horology culture. While this watch didn’t signal the invention of any one feature, it was the first of its kind to combine many into one. The three of note are it being square, waterproof, and a chronograph. Combine that with the exceptional aesthetics of the Monaco, and you had an instant classic. Its big moment came when A-list actor Steve McQueen put it on for his movie “Le Mans,” where he played the part of a racecar driver. From then on, the Monaco was a pillar in the watch community. TAG Heuer Monaco Appearance Simply put, the TAG Heuer Monaco is one of the most beautiful watches on the market. I think its most pleasing aspect is the contrast between squares and circles. The former includes the case and sub dials, while the latter describes the dial itself. What you get as a result is a watch that is entirely unique. Add in bright coloring and a fashionable leather strap, and you have a timepiece that is an absolute joy to look at. It looks even better when it’s on your own wrist, by the way. Materials TAG Heuer provides the quality you’d expect out of a watch in this price range. It is crafted from stainless steel, sports a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and generally comes with an alligator leather strap. While some of you might want a precious metal, those don’t fit well with this price point or TAG’s brand identity. Ultimately, this is a semi-affordable sport watch, not a luxurious dress piece. Movement The Monaco’s movement is Swiss-made, in-house, and has a 40-hour power reserve. Its accuracy is good, but not great. All of these metrics are roughly what you would expect out of this price range. This movement is not a strength that is worth discussing a ton, but it also isn’t a weakness. TAG Heuer Monaco General Craftsmanship Watch companies can often get away with low-level craftsmanship on dress watches and others with minimal functions. Luckily, they can’t do that with chronographs. You can feel a low-quality pusher the second you touch it, so every manufacturer in this space needs to deliver an exceptional product. The good news is that the TAG Heuer Monaco definitely lives up to its reputation. It is well-built, has a great chronograph, and sports 100m water resistance. I doubt you’ll be disappointed with its craftsmanship once you get your hands on this watch. TAG Heuer Monaco Niche Chronographs are almost always associated with aviation or racing, and the Monaco is no exception. In fact, it is one of the most famous racing watches of all time. It started with Steve McQueen in his prominent driving role, and that legacy has continued to this day. While there are more functional racing options on the market, few of them have the style and history of the Monaco. Additionally, consumers generally don’t purchase timepieces as tools to take on the road. Instead, they want the spirit of driving incorporated in a gorgeous watch. That is precisely what the Monaco delivers. TAG Heuer Monaco Overall Impression Shopping for Swiss watches is often intimidating. There are just so many brands out there, and most of them are incredibly expensive. All of TAG Heuer’s products provide a bridge between you and a watch market that is so often exclusionary. If you’re interested in this brand, they have a variety of options for you to choose from. As you might imagine, the TAG Heuer Monaco is my favorite of the bunch. It’s undeniable aesthetics, historical significance, and craftsmanship make it a sure bet, and I am confident that it would be a fantastic addition to your collection.

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  3. Why is the Rolex Daytona So Expensive?

    Why is the Rolex Daytona So Expensive?

    Modern watch collectors are sometimes frustrated with Rolex, which is often considered the biggest brand in the industry. The reason why is how little supply there is for their most sought-after watches. While you can get less popular models at retail prices, ones like the Rolex Daytona can get pretty tough to get your hands on. Why is that? Below, I highlight a few reasons for this phenomenon and give you some strategies for how you can deal with it. The Rolex Daytona Watch companies never know which models will be a hit and which won’t. Instead, they do their best with updating current styles, creating new ones, and marketing them into becoming best sellers. The Cosmograph Daytona undoubtedly made it into that category, and there are a few reasons why. First, this watch just looks amazing. Whether you choose Oyster Steel, gold, or platinum, the aesthetics on these watches are fantastic. The primary reasons why are their classy color schemes, simple dial design, and a wonderful tachymeter on the bezel. Though other factors are important, looks make or break a watch. Luckily, the Daytona thrives in this domain. Next, every other part of this watch is impressive as well. It has a fantastic movement, is made from excellent materials, and delivers all of the quality that you expect out of a Rolex watch. You even get 100M water resistance, which is not common in racing pieces. Overall, the Cosmograph Daytona is one of the best timepieces on the market, and just about every collector would love to own one. Incredible Demand Trends are one of the more interesting things that come out of our culture, and when you’re not attuned to them, they are quite mysterious. The Daytona has reached an undeniable level of demand for a few different reasons. The first is what we discussed above. It really is an excellent watch, and the people purchasing it have justification for doing so. The second factor here is that demand often turns into a feedback loop. It goes something like this: A watch company comes out with an exceptional product. Collectors instantly hop on board and purchase one for themselves. CEOs, actors, athletes, musicians, and other trendsetters take a liking to it and start to wear it out. The general public sees trendsetters wearing the product and decides to buy some for themselves. As supply runs out, more and more people want that watch. The limited number of units makes owning the timepiece exclusive, which further feeds into demand. As you can see, the hype surrounding the Cosmograph Daytona started as 100% about the product. Now that some time has passed, though, it has a mystique surrounding it that makes it even more alluring. Limited Supply Here’s the part where collectors get frustrated with Rolex. Rather than meet this high demand with a large batch of products, they produce a supply that is far too small to satisfy the consumers. Now, this is a point of contention in the watch industry. The question is: Do they purposely limit supply, or can they honestly not keep up? Most experts lean towards the former, though we do not know for sure. Regardless, there are not enough Daytona’s to satisfy the market, and that scarcity puts collectors into a suboptimal situation. You’ll see what I mean if you walk into a Rolex dealer and ask for a Cosmograph Daytona. Chances are the salespeople will be amused, compose themselves, pull out a multi-year waitlist, and wish you well. That’s a lousy position to be in, but what can you do about it? How to Purchase One There are three primary ways in which you can purchase a Cosmograph Daytona. They are as follows. Know Somebody – Any famous or deeply powerful person can get their hands on a Daytona. The reason is that they have status to throw around. The odds are that their position in society will get them to the top of wait lists without putting in much effort. The only way you can utilize this option is if you have a close relationship with a dealer. Get in Line – You can go to any dealer and ask to be put on their waitlist. After a certain amount of time, you’ll get to buy your Daytona at retail price. Unfortunately, that could be two years or more. Are you willing to wait that long? Pay a Bit More – Your last option is my favorite of them. It involves paying a bit over retail price and getting your Daytona right away. Though it isn’t perfect, it’s the best of the bunch. Like many collectors out there, you might fall in love with the Rolex Daytona and decide that you must have it. In that case, you will now know why it is a great watch, what makes it so expensive, and how you can get one anyways. No matter which path you choose, this legendary timepiece should meet your expectations.

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  4. Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020

    Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020

    Most horology experts agree that the Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches of all time. Getting your hands on one is generally quite easy, though, as it is a mass market product. What won’t be easy to obtain is the new Tokyo 2020 Speedmaster line. The reason is that it is only being sold in Japan and in limited supply. Regardless of whether you get one for yourself, discussing this new line is fun and exciting. Below, I get into the details surrounding the Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020. History of the Speedmaster One historical event defines the Omega Speedmaster over all else and has led to this watch’s top nickname, the “Moonwatch.” The story is a short, but compelling one. It starts with a crew of American astronauts sliding Speedmasters on their wrists, and it ends with those men walking on the moon. Naturally, Omega has used this event in its marketing campaigns ever since. Still, this watch is not all hype and history. It is one of the best options in its price range and is a favorite among experienced collectors. Overall Impression of This Model You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the watch world who hates Speedmasters. They are attractive, well made, and have one of the best brands backing them up. Add all that to unbeatable heritage, and you have a watch that shouldn’t disappoint. I also especially love the tachymeter and chronographs. These elements make the Speedmaster a functional piece and one that represents the culture of racing. Special Edition Watches Collectors have a love-hate relationship with special edition watches. On the one hand, they are often fantastic products and have an enticing level of exclusivity. On the other, that exclusivity also limits that amount of people that can enjoy them. Ultimately, special editions are a significant part of watch culture, and that isn’t going to change. No matter how you feel about them, though, the beauty of the Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 is undeniable. As far as the case back, you get the Olympics logo, text that says, “Tokyo 2020,” and the logo for this specific event. It is very pleasing to look at, though it will not be visible while you’re wearing the watch. What’s Different About Them? As far as foundational design elements and functions, these Speedmasters are exactly the same as mainstream models. The differences come in the form of a unique case back and five color schemes that correspond with the five rings of the Olympic symbol. I’ve briefly described each of them below. Blue – This model has a blue tachymeter, blue dial, and white subdials. The aesthetics of it work very well, giving it a sporty and attractive energy. Yellow – Black and gold are a timeless combination, and this Speedmaster is yet another example of that. Its dial and tachymeter are primarily black, with the gold coloring being used as a complementary color throughout. Black – You might call this black and white timepiece a “panda watch.” Its white dial is absolutely gorgeous, and overall, it is an excellent pick for people who have a less flashy fashion sense. Green – The three primary colors here are green, gray, and rose gold. While those might not sound like they’d fit together well, once you see this watch, you’ll undoubtedly find that they do. Red – Lastly, we have the contrast of a red tachymeter with a clean, white dial. This is likely my favorite of the bunch. Japan Exclusive Now, for some not-so-great news. The Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 is, as you might have guessed, exclusively being sold in Japan. Though many watch blogs are writing about it, Omega isn’t even advertising this product on their US or European websites. In the past, that would most likely lead to westerners never owning this special edition watch, but times have changed. How You Can Get One for Yourself With the rise of the internet, the days of total exclusivity are over. Omega could have kept this watch in Japan exclusively in another era, but now, collectors in the western world are going to be able to get their hands on some of them. There are two ways to make it happen. 1: Go to the Olympics in Tokyo – Of course, you can always get a new watch the old-fashioned way. You’ll just have to make a trip to Japan, walk into an Omega store, and purchase one in person. If you choose this option, you might be able to make a wonderful vacation out of it. 2: Purchase One Online – You can count on many collectors purchasing a limited edition Speedmaster and selling it not long after. There will also be people who buy one specifically to resell it. Either way, these watches will eventually start to show up for sale online at online watch stores!

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  5. Reviewing the Grand Seiko Spring Drive

    Reviewing the Grand Seiko Spring Drive

    Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are some of the most impressive in the luxury market. The primary reasons why are general craftsmanship, one exceptional dial component, and the famous Spring Drive movement. Today, I will explain each of these aspects, as well as a few others. Before we begin though, I must give my full endorsement of this brand and the Spring Drive models they make. You really can’t do much better at this price range, making these pieces excellent choices for luxury enthusiasts. Anyways, let’s get on with the review. Brand Grand Seiko is part of the larger Seiko brand, which is most famous for delivering affordable watches with a ton of value. They created Grand Seiko because it is odd for a company to sell pieces at $75 and $10,000. Creating a whole new entity was the correct move, as you can now search for a specific brand name when you’re looking for a luxury option. Ultimately, Seiko and Grand Seiko both have excellent reputations in the watch world and rich histories to back them up. History of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Many of the watches I review are old and iconic. In this section of those reviews, we frequently discuss pieces that were created decades ago. This is not the case with the Spring Drive, as its movement technology is brand new. What’s cool about them, though, is that the Seiko started trying to make them 1977. It took them a full 30 years to complete the task, but it was well worth the wait. While these models don’t have roots that go back 50+ years, they are still a few decades in the making. Grand Seiko Spring Drive Appearance Grand Seiko keeps its design very simple and minimalist for these watches. All you’ll see on the dial is a date, power reserve, subtle branding, and metal hour markers. The one feature that jumps out at you is the second hand, which is often a deep blue. Overall, though, these timepieces are not going to catch your eye. Many collectors consider that to be a very good thing. The area where you can inject your personal style is the color scheme, as Grand Seiko offers black, white, and silver dials. Materials The Grand Seiko Spring Drive models over deliver in the domain of materials. That comes down to their titanium cases and sapphire crystal. While the latter is standard among luxury options, titanium usually costs quite a bit more than what Grand Seiko sells these watches for. These excellent materials contribute to the sturdiness of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive models, which is one of their top selling points. Grand Seiko Spring Drive Movement Now, onto the most exciting part of these watches. Their movements are unlike any other on the market because they incorporate mechanical and electronic component. The former is standard among luxury timepieces, and Grand Seiko builds a masterful bit of machinery into these pieces. The electronic aspect is what makes them so unique. It regulates the movement, making it incredibly accurate and rarely losing or gaining seconds. One especially interesting way in which it does so is through applying brakes to the second hand. It is such a smart device that it can detect when your watch is ticking too fast and take the necessary action to slow it down. Grand Seiko Spring Drive General Craftsmanship As I’ve mentioned throughout this article, these watches are clearly very well made. You can feel their quality when you have them in your hands, spin the crown, and wear them on your wrist. They also give you 100m water resistance, which is nice for rain, spills, and accidental dips into water. The entire Seiko family is famous for delivering craftsmanship above their price range, and the Spring Drive line is no different. Grand Seiko Spring Drive Niche These watches definitely aren’t sporty. Instead, they are best used as dress watches. Their simple design and elegant energy lend themselves to formal events, and you can wear them day to day as well. The only time I wouldn’t put on a Grand Seiko Spring Drive is during a rugged task like playing sports or doing yard work. Other than that, you have a timepiece that will give you a lot of mileage. Grand Seiko Spring Drive Conclusion  To be honest, I can’t recommend this watch enough. You see its appeal the second you get your hands on it, as it is shiny, sturdy, and has a nice weight to it. Once you give it a wear, it becomes an even better deal, as it just feels great on your wrist. The icing on the cake is the Spring Drive movement on the inside and the power reserve marker on your dial. These are two components that no other timepieces have, making your Grand Seiko genuinely unique. If you have enough money to make one of these watches yours, then don’t hesitate. Get yourself a Spring Drive and never look back.

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  6. Hublot Watches: Top 3 Collections

    Hublot Watches: Top 3 Collections

    Many collectors consider Hublot watches to be one of the flashier brands on the market, and it is no mystery why. This brand is very heavy-handed with its marketing, books some of the top ambassadors in the world, and is unapologetic about everything they do. One interesting thing about this brand is that they don’t have many collections. Instead, they only create a few kinds of watches, but those models tend to sell incredibly well. I go through the best of them in the following passages. Big Bang The Big Bang is the watch that took Hublot from a relatively unknown brand to one of the most famous in the world. It’s most recognizable feature is the masculine and industrial aesthetic energy that it exudes. This collection reminds me of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus in the way it looks, which is fantastic company to keep. While many watches in the current market look like the Big Bang, most of them were in response to Hublot’s masterpiece. The Big Bang is one of the few collections to really change the nature of the watch market. Another big selling point of the Big Bang collection is just how many options there are inside of it. If you take a look through their catalog, you’ll find models with eye-catching color schemes, diamonds encrusted on the case, tourbillons, strange designs, and everything in between. Hublot seems to have gone all in on the Big Bang, and fans of the brand are absolutely loving it. Lastly, despite its masculine aesthetic, Hublot watches offers some options for women, too. They are smaller, have lighter color schemes, and many are bejeweled in a feminine style. Hublot has created a Big Bang for just about everyone, so I definitely recommend taking a quick look through the various options that they offer. Classic Fusion Let’s get one thing straight: Hublot doesn’t create any products that are affordable or modest. That being said, the Classic Fusion collection is a bit more accessible and humble than all of the others. They are smaller, have less crowded dials, and tend to not have chronograph complications. Additionally, this collections uses luxurious leather straps, while the Big Bang is more likely to use rubber. While the Classic Fusion collection is less eye-catching than the rest of the Hublot catalog, many consumers out there will prefer it. Not everyone wants the biggest, flashiest, and most robust option. Instead, plenty of collectors will look for a more toned down Hublot. If you fit into that category, then the Classic Fusion is likely your best option. I would check out the “Classic Fusions” first because their designs and color schemes have the most mainstream appeal. People that choose the Classic Fusion generally want the name “Hublot” on their wrist, but don’t want to pay exorbitant prices to get it there. Don’t think that it is a bad option just because it is more affordable, though. These models are actually very impressive and would make for an excellent addition to your collection. Spirit of Big Bang The Spirit of Big Bang collection has a novel shape, surprising color combinations, and interesting materials. You’ll have tons of options for how unique you’d like your watch to look. At one of the spectrum, you can choose somewhat traditional colors and aesthetics. On the other, you can pick something entirely different. One example is the Blue Sapphire, which has a case that is entirely made out of sapphire crystal. Overall, the Spirit of Big Bang is a logical evolution of the collection it is named after. It brings the same creativity and aesthetic to a new shape, and you might find that you prefer it to its predecessor. Given that the craftsmanship and movements of all of these watches are similar, you can use looks to choose between the Big Band and the Spirit of the Big Bang. Conclusion Though they are one of the more polarizing brands in the watch world, Hublot watches has a cult following among a significant portion of collectors. If you want to know which collection is likely the best choice, I would say it is the Big Bang. These watches are absolute classics, have a fantastic look, and give off a vibe that many people love. Those of you who are more unconventional might go with the Spirit of Big Bang, MP, or Novelty collections. No matter what, though, you’ll be getting an excellent watch that is sure to turn heads.

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  7. Tiger Woods Sports a Rolex Deepsea After Masters Win

    Tiger Woods Sports a Rolex Deepsea After Masters Win

    Tiger Woods ended a massive drought and reached the top of the golf world again. Many people (Woods included) thought that he would likely never make it back to this point. That was the consensus after more than ten years of injuries and disappointment. Still, against all odds, he recaptured that former magic and took home the trophy. But this isn’t an article about golf. Instead, it is about the Rolex Deepsea watch he put on after the win. Tiger has had a few brand ambassador roles over the years, with one of his most recognizable coming from TAG Heuer. In the past few years, though, he has represented Rolex. This highly sought-after luxury brand didn’t need any more exposure, but they got it from Woods after his big win. I discuss Tiger’s favorite Rolex in the sections below. View this post on Instagram The green jacket. "It fits." A post shared by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on Apr 14, 2019 at 12:18pm PDT The History of the Rolex Deepsea This model is actually a subcategory of the Sea-Dweller collection, so let’s go over both. The latter is essentially a higher-quality version of the Submariner. It looks almost entirely the same but can function at much greater depths. The primary reasons why are its gas escape valve and an overall higher level of craftsmanship. Another significant difference is that modern Sea-Dwellers most often come in precious metals, rather than stainless steel. Many experts call it the ultra-luxury version of the Submariner. The specific Rolex Deepsea that Woods put on was the James Cameron edition Deepsea, and the story behind it is phenomenal. It starts with the prominent director wanting to go to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, which is the deepest part of the ocean. Rolex saw this as a marketing opportunity and decided to create a watch with an incredible amount of water resistance. The result is 3900m capabilities, which is thirteen times the typical resistance of a dive watch. While I’m sure that Tiger won’t be spending much time in the deep ocean, knowing that he has that kind of craftsmanship in his watch must be nice. Appearance Tiger’s Rolex Deepsea is one of the most beautiful watches in the world. First, it has all the gorgeous design features of a Submariner. It is simple, functional, and very well put together. Second, it comes in a color scheme that is very pleasing to the eye. The blue dial and black bezel work incredibly well together, which was on full display as Tiger lifted his trophy. Materials The materials you will get from your Deepsea will depend on the year and precise model you choose. Previous versions come in Rolex’s typical stainless steel, while the newest options come in precious metals like white gold. No matter which route you take, though, you will be getting top of the line quality. Rolex never disappoints in this domain. Rolex Deepsea Movement The Deepsea uses Rolex’s calibre 3235 movement, which many consider to be one of the top options in the world. It is incredibly accurate, has a 70-hour power reserve, and is virtually impervious to magnetism. If this becomes your everyday watch, there is a good chance that you won’t have to reset it for months. The first reason why is its accuracy, as it only loses or gains 2 seconds per day. The second is its power reserve, which will keep it ticking for days after you take it off. General Craftsmanship of Rolex Deepsea This watch might have the highest level of craftsmanship in the entire world, and that isn’t an exaggeration. As mentioned previously, it has a staggering 3900m water resistance. This metric indicates that this timepiece is as well made as they come. Just think about the fact that it can function at the bottom of the ocean without issue. All of that pressure, and the Rolex Deepsea handles it with ease. The result is that you should be able to put it through any day to day trial and not have to worry about it breaking down. Niche There are dive watches, and then there is the Rolex Deepsea. The minimum water resistance for a diver is actually only 100m, which is barely sufficient for surface swimming. Better options, like the Submariner, generally go to 300m. The Deepsea achieves a whopping 3900m, a capability that kept it ticking in the deepest part of the ocean. I will give this watch the crown as the ultimate diver, and I doubt anyone would argue against that. Rolex Deepsea Overall Impression Any watch that is good enough for Tiger Woods it is probably good enough for you and me. That is absolutely the case with the Rolex Deepsea. First, it has everything you’d expect out of Rolex, including a clean design and a fantastic level of quality. Second, it gives you one of a kind water resistance, which is both useful and flat out cool. If you can afford this fantastic timepiece, then don’t hesitate. Go get one for yourself.

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  8. Hands-On with the Panerai Luminor

    Hands-On with the Panerai Luminor

    Panerai is a brand that you hear about a bit less than the biggest companies in the watch world, but they deserve to be in the same discussion as those larger names. One reason why might be the fact that they only have a few collections. This is not a brand that has hit a home run on numerous models, but instead is one with a bread and butter product that they sell incredibly well. Regardless of how big or small their name is, nobody argues with the fact that their Panerai Luminor collection is highly sought after. Brand Founder Giovanni Panerai was a watchmaking expert, and he spread his knowledge to the community by opening a workshop and school. He established that facility all the way back in 1860, making this brand one of the oldest in the world. His initial success came from a model called the Radiomir, which impressed the horology world with its especially luminescent dial. As time went on, Panerai began supplying the navy with a large number of watches, while also seeing tremendous success in the commercial world. The brand really took off when they expanded their catalog in the 90s, and they continue to impress watch enthusiasts to this day. History of the Luminor As I explained above, the Radiomir was Panerai’s first big hit. The Luminor came much later, but it was based on a specific Radiomir model from the 50s. That timepiece had the signature flat bezel, wide case, and unique crown that you see on Luminor models today. As time passes, Panerai continues to improve this iconic piece more and more. An in-house movement and better materials are two of those innovations. Appearance The most attractive part of wearing a Panerai Luminor is its appearance. It is wide, bulky, and distinctly masculine, which are traits that many people absolutely love. I also enjoy how distinct the crown is. As you can see, it is a disc enclosed by metal, rather than the typical circle that you get with almost every other watch. All in all, this is a gorgeous timepiece. Materials The Luminor has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, and alligator leather strap. These factors combine to make a watch with incredibly impressive materials. One possible complaint comes from people who will wear the Luminor as a dress watch, the reason being that they might want a precious metal instead of steel. In my opinion, though, stainless steel is the superior metal for such a robust watch. It is hard to complain about any of the materials that make up the Luminor. Movement The Panerai Luminor is an extensive collection with many different movements powering it. Looking at them from a broad perspective, I am very impressed with their quality. Things get even better when you focus in on one specific type of Luminor. I especially like the ones with an astounding 8-day power reserve. This means that you can wear your watch for a full day, power it up with kinetic energy, and then let it sit for an entire week on the shelf. When you decide to put it on again, the hands should still be spinning. Not only is this capability convenient, but it is also deeply impressive. General Craftsmanship The overwhelming impression you get when handling a Luminor is one of sturdiness. Just one touch will have you feeling that these timepieces are thick, heavy, and well built. The specifications back that up, as they have a relatively large amount of weight to them and impressive water resistance. Overall, the craftsmanship of these watches is undeniable, and purchasing one will most likely lead to decades of ownership without damage. Niche The Panerai Luminor is actually quite hard to define. On the one hand, its roots are in the aquatic category. You can see that influence in modern models in the form of 300m water resistance and a luminescent dial. On the other hand, these watches do not have bezels, which is are essential for dive pieces. What you end up with is somewhat of a dress watch, though much heavier and sturdier than most. To be honest, it is difficult to put the Luminor into a specific category. Overall Impression The Panerai Luminor is an unquestioned icon in the watch world. It is large, heavy, masculine, and well made. If that’s the kind of timepiece you’re looking for, then you can’t do much better than this collection. Whether you want to purchase it or not will come down to price and aesthetics. Those of you that love the look and have the cash shouldn’t hesitate to pick one of these beauties up. Those of you who don’t can look towards other options.

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  9. Watch Parts: Bits and Pieces You Should Know

    Watch Parts: Bits and Pieces You Should Know

    Getting into the watch collecting hobby can be daunting for a variety of reasons. One of them is not knowing the vocabulary that comes with it. For example, all of the watch parts. Experienced people will often speak in terms that regular people don’t understand without even knowing it, which can be frustrating. Below, I clear up that confusion by going through some of the most crucial bits and pieces of watch parts that make up your average wristwatch. Case This term refers to the housing that the interior of the watch sits in. They are generally made from stainless steel, gold, silver, titanium, cheaper metals, ceramic, or plastic. The one your timepiece is made from will depend on its price and usage. For example, dress watches frequently come in precious metals, while more rugged pieces often come in plastic. You can think of it as the base or center of the entire timepiece, as almost every other part connects to it directly. Dial The dial plays a crucial role in defining the function and aesthetics of the watch. It is the piece that you look at when you want to see what time it is. Manufacturers have many choices to make when they create them, including what texture, color, and complications they want them to have. They also must decide how they want to place the hour markers. That usually means lines, numbers, or a combination of the two. Hands Of course, a dial would be useless without the hands moving around it. These pieces are the arrows that tell you what time it is. There are generally between 2 and 4 of them, depending on the function of the watch. The standard is 3, as most timepieces have an hour, minute, and second hand. Still, some get rid of the second hand and only have 2, while others have an alternate timekeeping system that requires a 4th. This is another area where manufacturers use their creativity to create unique coloring and designs. Bezel The bezel is an outer ring on the case that holds a variety of pieces together. In some watches, its only function is to provide stability. In others, it is used as a design feature or one with a specific purpose. A good example is dive watches, which have bezels that count down from 60 seconds or minutes. The wearer can usually spin the bezel around and change its positioning based on his or her needs. Lug Lugs are less interesting than most watch parts, but also play a crucial role. They are extensions of the case that connect the base of the watch to the strap. Whether that is leather, canvas, or metal, the lugs hold those two pieces together. Crown If you’ve ever set a watch before, you know that you have to pop that little circle out of the side of the case before starting. This piece is the crown, and without it, you wouldn’t be able to reset your watch. It is also a place where manufacturers like to put their logo and experiment with other design features. They come big, small, simple, and ornate. Some of them even have precious jewels at the end of them, though that is quite rare. Strap Watches are great, but without straps, you can’t wear them. This piece helps make your owning experience much more pleasurable by putting the product on your wrist, rather than in your pocket. The most common variants are leather, metal mesh, metal bracelet, nylon, and canvas, but there are endless options out there. Crystal The crystal is the piece of glass that separates your dial from the outside world. The beauty of them is that they let you see what time it is while also keeping your watch protected. Sapphire and mineral are the two most common materials they are made out of, with the former being more expensive and sought after. Movement The last piece of the puzzle is the movement. This term refers to the machinery that makes the watch function. On a quartz piece, it will be relatively simple, and battery powered. Mechanical watches are more complicated and power themselves with kinetic energy. Either way, getting into the specific parts of movements could be its own post. Just know that there is a complex system inside your timepiece that moves the hands and keeps time for you. I hope this little guide has answered some of your questions and made you a more informed watch collector. Timepieces are wonderful little machines, but their construction is quite complicated. Going over terms and learning about the structure of them can be very helpful, and I am happy to provide that assistance to you. The next step in your education will be understanding the inner workings of the movement, so go research that if you’re ready to learn more!

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  10. 5 Best Hamilton Watches

    5 Best Hamilton Watches

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

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  11. Reviewing the Underrated Rolex Cellini Collection

    Reviewing the Underrated Rolex Cellini Collection

    When you hear the word “Rolex,” a variety of images likely pop into your head. Perhaps you see the robust Submariner, iconic Datejust, or any other model that is consistently in high demand. The one that you probably don’t think of is the Rolex Cellini collection, which is significantly different than any other in this brand’s catalog. The question to ask is if they are less popular for good reason, or if they are legitimately underrated. I give my opinion below. Brand Simply put, Rolex is the most famous watch brand in the world. They’ve been around for over a century now, and they’ve been at the top of the market since the beginning. Creating the first waterproof watch is an older accolade of theirs, with a more modern one being the building of a timepiece that can withstand the pressure of the deepest part of the ocean. Today, collectors continue to spend years on wait lists to get their hands on one of the more popular sport models of Rolex. That bubble will burst eventually, but it has been going strong for many years. History of the Rolex Cellini The interesting thing about the Cellini is that it breaks the mold in the Rolex world. Most of the models that this company offers can be called “tool” watches. For example, they build the Submariner as a dive watch and the Daytona as a racing piece. Each has a purpose. Dress watches, on the other hand, do not. Rolex began to dabble in these types of timepieces with their “Prince” model, but it wasn’t as popular as planned, and they eventually scrapped it. Entering the modern age, Rolex decided to bring the Prince back in 2005. It was relatively successful, and then the brand made another crucial choice. They made a choice to expand their dress watch offers in the form of the Cellini collection. The Rolex Cellini came out in 2014, and though not as sought after as other models, it has a cult following among many collectors. Rolex Cellini Appearance In my opinion, Rolex knocks it out of the park with the aesthetics of this collection. The crucial piece of the puzzle is having the right amount of design features. Too many leads to losing elegance, but too little makes for a boring timepiece. Rolex walks that line brilliantly with each Cellini model. The branding is subtle but distinct, and if there are complications, they’re done tastefully. Add all of that to the classic color schemes that Rolex uses, and you have an excellent line of dress watches. Materials As you’d expect, the materials on these pieces are top of the line. That starts with its high-grade leather strap and sapphire crystal, both of which are impressive. The crucial aspect, though, is the case. Those of you who purchase a Rolex Cellini will be pleased to know that your watch comes in 18kt gold. Even better, you can go with white, rose, or yellow coloring. Between the strap, crystal, and case, you’re getting a fantastic deal when you choose Cellini. Movement Though movements are a bit less important for dress watches, Rolex doesn’t use that as an excuse to deliver a mediocre product. Instead, they install their signature in-house machinery to each piece. Aside from all of the luxury that these watches offer, Rolex Cellini owners will also end up with an accurate movement that has a respectable power reserve. Rolex Cellini General Craftsmanship Rolex Cellini watches are quite sturdy, despite their devotion to elegance and luxury. One metric we can discuss is water resistance, which is 50m on most of these models. While you shouldn’t be swimming with your watch, it is nice to know that you won’t need to take it off in a bit of rain. You can also rest easy if you happen to get your watch wet. Rolex Cellini Niche As I’ve mentioned many times already, this is a dress watch. That means you will likely wear it somewhat infrequently and do so with formal clothing. That being said, you don’t have to follow the general habits of other watch owners. These timepieces are quite sturdy, so wearing one daily is reasonable. You might just have to get it serviced or polished more often. I personally would go with a stainless-steel piece for day to day wear, but the choice is yours. Rolex Cellini Overall Impression Despite being less popular than other Rolex models, I am deeply impressed by the aesthetics, materials, and craftsmanship of the Rolex Cellini collection. If you would like to purchase a dress watch, getting a Rolex Cellini is an excellent choice.

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