jean arevalo

jean arevalo

First Published: July 21, 2021
  1. Articles by jean arevalo
  2. Seiko Sea Urchin: A Review of Seiko’s Heavyweight in the Diving Arena

    Seiko Sea Urchin: A Review of Seiko’s Heavyweight in the Diving Arena

    Seiko Monster, Seiko Tuna, Seiko Turtle, Seiko Sumo — ask any newbie or expert watch collector about these names, and they will almost definitely recognize them. That is because they are all popular dive watches known for showcasing Seiko’s true value. They are proof of the brand’s expertise in producing high-caliber yet reasonably-priced timepieces. All of these affordable dive watches by Seiko have been adored by watch enthusiasts across the globe for years. However, in this article, we will not be looking at any of the aforementioned dive watches, many of whom have already been subject to much discussion. Instead, we will be delving a little deeper into another affordable, underrated dive watch that completes Seiko’s lineup of divers: the Seiko Sea Urchin. Hailing from the brand’s Seiko 5 range, the Seiko Sea Urchin is a sleek and well-built dive watch, with a classic design that is reminiscent of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001. So, without further ado, let us take a closer look at the most popular Sea Urchin watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15, and everything it has to offer. First Impressions Right off the bat, you will find that the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15 bears a very quintessential design that harkens back to two famous Rolex pieces: the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex GMT-Master II. While its easy-to-read dial layout closely resembles that of the Submariner, the Seiko Sea Urchin’s stylish colorway and overall design is a definite callback to the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001. This classic aesthetic is a large part of why the Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is the most popular of the Seiko Sea Urchin timepieces. As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin is not quite on par with the Rolex Submariner. Nevertheless, with its well-polished finish and durable build, this is a great diver watch and an excellent, affordable alternative to the Submariner. If you are looking for your next dive watch, but you are working with a limited budget, then the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15 is definitely an option you should keep in mind. Anatomy of the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 Image by Amazon Case and Caseback The Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 comes in a 41mm stainless steel case, which is very resistant to scratches and impacts. It has a rather standard case diameter, which enables this watch to fit well on wrists of virtually any size. Furthermore, its angular, finely beveled lugs add to the impression of slimness, making this watch look a little smaller than it actually is. It also has a thickness of just 13mm, making this quite a slender dive watch. Altogether, this is a very comfortable and easy-to-wear dive accessory and you should have no trouble toting the Seiko Sea Urchin around on your wrist all day. The sides of the Seiko Sea Urchin’s case are well-polished, giving it a gleaming and highly-reflective lustre. This is contrasted against the brushed, satin-finished lugs, which look sleeker and a little more subdued. This interplay of alternately brushed and polished surfaces makes the Seiko Sea Urchin look incredibly sophisticated and luxurious. Every inch of this watch plays with the light expertly, which is what makes it so pleasing to look at from various angles. On the underside of the Seiko Sea Urchin, you can find a see-through caseback made of Hardlex crystal. This allows you to freely view the beauty of the movement that beats inside the watch. This is a classic feature that any watch connoisseur would surely appreciate. A mid-sized crown is also located on the right side of the case, at 3 o’clock. Protected by short crown guards, this crown has gear-like edges which provide wearers with a better grip, so they can grasp and turn the crown more easily, even in their diving suits. Bezel and Dial Image by eBay As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 comes with a unidirectional elapsed time scale bezel, which enables divers to safely keep track of how much time they have spent underwater. The bezel of the Seiko Sea Urchin is crafted from stainless steel, with distinctive edges that almost look like the sides of a bottle cap. It is also fitted with a glossy elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic, which is highly scratch-resistant. This insert comes in gorgeous red and blue Pepsi colors. It is this stylish bezel that gives the Seiko Sea Urchin its resemblance to the famous Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001, otherwise known as the Rolex Pepsi. The dial of this watch comes in matte black, contrasting against the vibrant, Pepsi-colored bezel. It follows a very straightforward layout that recalls the simple dial design of the Rolex Submariner. The Seiko Sea Urchin’s dial comprises hour indices in various geometric shapes and thick sword-shaped hands. At 3 o’clock, you can find an elongated day-date aperture, outlined in silver to stand out more strongly against the black backdrop. The hands and indices are all generously coated in lume, which glows a bright, neon blue in the dark, allowing for optimal legibility even in poor lighting conditions. Seiko has also outfitted this watch with an elevated chapter ring, which is located on the rim of the dial. This chapter ring comes in jet-black to match the dial and bears markers in white for the minute track. Movement One of the best things about the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is the robust in-house caliber that runs inside. This watch is driven by the Seiko Caliber 7S36, first released in 1996. This movement is held together by 23 jewels and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It also possesses a power reserve of 41 hours, so you can leave the Seiko Sea Urchin aside for more than a day without having to worry about winding or resetting it. An unexpected delight about the Caliber 7S36 is that, despite being fairly affordable, this movement actually has a remarkable accuracy rate. Wearers have reported that properly calibrated Caliber 7S36 can reach precision rates of +/-2 seconds per day. In other words, this powerful movement can achieve timekeeping precision well beyond what other more expensive calibers are capable of. With the Caliber 7S36, you can rest assured that your Seiko Sea Urchin piece will give you impeccable timekeeping and reliability. Bracelet  To complete the watch’s sleek look, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is paired with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. It measures 22mm in size, with removable end links so you can adjust the strap to better fit around your wrist. It also has a triple-lock clasp, which ensures that the strap stays securely fastened to you, even when you are diving. If you are not a fan of steel bracelets, Seiko also offers wearers a NATO-style strap as a second option. The NATO strap is perfect for wearers who want to wear their Seiko Sea Urchin as a simple piece to complement their daily outfits. However, while the NATO textile strap is very comfortable, it is not recommended for frequent divers. This is because it is not waterproof. As such, for dedicated divers, the stainless steel bracelet is still a better alternative that delivers more comfort on diving adventures. Water Resistance As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 has a depth rating of 100 meters. This is quite a typical water resistance capacity for a regular dive watch, especially for one as affordable as the Seiko Sea Urchin. While it is more than enough for your next swim or snorkeling expedition, it is not quite enough for any deepsea scuba diving adventures you might have planned. Price As we have mentioned, the Seiko Sea Urchin is known for being a very affordable diver, even amongst the ranks of Seiko dive watches. The Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15, in particular, sells at just $255 USD. This is a very budget-friendly price considering the Sea Urchin’s classy stylishness and robust timekeeping. Alternatives to the Seiko Sea Urchin It cannot be denied that Seiko did an excellent job designing the Seiko Sea Urchin. It is a robust and classy dive watch that is easily considered top-of-the-line in its price range. That said, it might not be to everyone’s tastes. Maybe you want a dive watch with a better water resistance capacity, or you want something that looks and feels more high-end. If so, fear not! We have curated a list of the three best alternatives to the Seiko Sea Urchin that you can check out below. 1. Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00 The first watch on this list is the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00. This is a sporty, suave-looking dive watch with an excellent build and impressive features. It is presented in a 44mm titanium case coupled with a matching three-link titanium bracelet. Although this watch is slightly bigger than the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15, it is actually easier to handle and carry about all day, thanks to its lightweight and hypoallergenic titanium build. Fixed on top of the case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with a deep blue elapsed time scale insert made of aluminum. Mido complements the watch’s bezel with a striking, sea-blue dial. As opposed to the simpler, easier-to-read dial of the Seiko Sea Urchin, the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00’s dial is packed full of handy complications. It comprises rectangular hour indices, luminous, hollowed-out hands, and a long date window at 6 o’clock. It also follows a chronograph layout, with two sub-dials for the 30-minute and 60-second counters. On the rim of the dial, you can find a chapter ring with white markers for the nautical tachymeter, a useful and unique function not frequently seen in dive watches. Driving this Mido Ocean Star diver is a powerful in-house Caliber 60. This movement is modified from a base ETA A05.H31 caliber. The Mido Caliber 60 also manages to outdo the Seiko Sea Urchin with its 60-hour power supply and substantial 200-meter depth rating. The Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00 is available at approximately $2,019 USD. 2. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 If you are into minimalist aesthetics, then the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 should be right up your alley. This diver timepiece utilizes a 43mm stainless steel case and a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Its sleek all-silver exterior is contrasted against a jet-black elapsed time scale bezel. This bezel comes in an unusual dodecagon shape, with slightly angular sides that give this watch face a bit of an edge. On the right side of the case, you can find a sizeable screw-down crown protected by short crown guards on either side. The dial of this TAG Heuer watch comes in a clean white hue that blends well with the monochrome look of the rest of the watch. It bears a pattern of horizontal teak lines which resemble the flooring of yachts, calling back to its dive watch status. This dial is very straightforward, consisting of just geometric hour indices and sword-shaped hands outlined in silver, along with a magnified date aperture at 6 o’clock. A long seconds hand with a vibrant yellow tip serves to add a splash of color to this watch face. The hands and indices of this watch have been treated with neon green and blue lume, which helps illuminate the watch’s face in the dark. This TAG Heuer Aquaracer piece is run by a reliable TAG Heuer Caliber 5. This in-house automatic movement delivers a 38-hour power reserve and a whopping 300-meter water resistance capacity, which triples the depth rating of the Seiko Sea Urchin. If you want a robust dive watch capable of surviving extreme conditions deep underwater, then this TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 is definitely worth considering. This watch sells at around $2,849 USD. 3. Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060-0001 A list of Seiko Sea Urchin alternatives would not be complete without a Rolex Submariner piece. In this entry, we are looking at the Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060-0001. With its extremely similar dial layout and professional look, this is a high-end, luxury alternative to the Seiko Sea Urchin. This Rolex Submariner piece is housed in a 41mm Oystersteel case and matching three-link Oystersteel bracelet, which is extremely resistant to scratches, shocks, and impacts. This lustrous, silver exterior is sharply contrasted against a classic black dial and bezel. The bezel of this watch is also made of Oystersteel and is fitted with a top-of-the-line Cerachrom elapsed time scale insert. The black dial, meanwhile, contains just hour indices in different geometric shapes and Rolex’s signature Mercedes hands. As is typical for dive watches, the hands and markers of the watch are all coated in lume for optimal legibility even in low-light settings. Inside this Rolex watch, you can find a top-notch Rolex Caliber 3230. This in-house automatic movement is very robust and is able to withstand strong magnetic fields and shocks. In addition, it guarantees an extended 70-hour power supply and has an outstanding 300-meter depth rating. Finally, this Rolex caliber is incredibly precise, with an accuracy of +/-2 seconds per day, matching the precision of the Seiko Sea Urchin. Prepare to shell out around $16,599 USD for this top-tier diver. Final Thoughts On the whole, the Seiko Sea Urchin is an incredibly well-built dive watch, especially considering its affordable price. On top of its hardy build, this timepiece also comes with a stylish Pepsi design that is more commonly seen in GMT watches than dive pieces. Inspired by the Rolex Submariner, the Seiko Sea Urchin is a great, budget-friendly choice for an entry-level dive watch you can take underwater. All images are credited to Watchshopping.com unless otherwise stated. Can’t get enough with the powerful and robust Seiko watches? Have some time to read our article about the 10 Best Seiko Chronograph Watches. Featured image courtesy of u/henryd1214 on Reddit.

    read more
    0
  3. Seiko SUP880: A Comprehensive Review

    Seiko SUP880: A Comprehensive Review

    Amongst the Japanese watchmakers, Seiko is one of the most well-respected brands in the market. Since its founding in 1881, Seiko has developed a truly massive catalog of versatile, durable, and high-quality watches. Whether you are looking for the best diver watch, a trusty sports watch, or a dress watch for all your formal events, Seiko has got you covered. Out of Seiko’s extensive, diverse lineup, the Seiko SUP880 is one of the brand’s most well-received dress watches. This timepiece is an instant stunner, packed with practical features and a chic, fancy aesthetic. The Seiko SUP880 is actually a Cartier-inspired dress watch, which explains its classy, fashionable influences. Without further ado, let us explore the Seiko SUP880, including its specifications, price, and everything it has to offer. First Impressions Photo from (user/Dlhick20/) on Reddit Right off the bat, the Seiko SUP880 shows off a handsome and captivating design that simply elevates any sort of formalwear. As mentioned, this watch is inspired by the Cartier Tank timepieces and as such, it bears a strong resemblance to those watches, especially in terms of its unusual square-shaped case and cabochon spinel crown. From its gold-tone stainless steel case and classy, vintage-influenced dial to its suave black leather strap, everything about the Seiko SUP880 simply screams elegance. Anatomy of the Seiko SUP880  Photo from Amazon Case, Caseback, and Crown Inspired by the Cartier Tank, the Seiko SUP880 is one of the fanciest, most exquisite dress watches that Seiko has ever released. It is presented in a slender 28.5mm square-shaped case, with a gorgeous polished gold finish that gives the watch an appealing, gleaming lustre. Its size is perfect for those with smaller wrists, or for anyone who enjoys wearing slimmer dress watches. The lugs of this watch have a thinner, rounder shape, and a fixed bezel is placed on top of the Seiko SUP880’s case, protecting the sides of the dial from any impacts. One way in which the Seiko SUP880 distinguishes itself from the Cartier Tank is in terms of the build of the case. Whereas the Cartier Tank has a flatter shape, the Seiko SUP880 has thicker edges on the left and right that protrude outwards, past the flat surfaces of the watch crystal and caseback. It looks almost like a dial surrounded by four thick walls, giving off an impression of sturdiness and well-built durability. On the right side of the watch, you can find a small crown. This crown is designed the same way the crowns of the Cartier Tank watches are. It comes in a gold-tone, with fine grooved edges that allow wearers to grip and turn the crown more easily. At the tip of the crown is a protruding black cabochon spinel, much like the blue spinels that can be found on the Cartier Tank pieces. Fitted on top of the case is a layer of Hardlex crystal, which protects the dial from scratches and impacts. This is another difference between the Seiko SUP880 and the Cartier Tank, which is equipped with a more expensive sapphire crystal. The underside of the Seiko SUP880 is sealed with a solid gold-tone stainless steel caseback. Engraved on the caseback are the watch’s details, such as its movement, serial number, waterproof rating, and more. This caseback is also firmly screwed-down, preventing any dust and moisture from seeping into the watch and damaging its inner mechanisms. With its screwed-down caseback and crown, this watch has a solid 30-meter depth rating. This water resistance capacity is fairly standard for a dress watch like the Seiko SUP880 and is enough to withstand a few splashes and rain. Dial The dial of the Seiko SUP880 is elegant and stylish. It contains a number of vintage-influenced components that add to the watch’s whole old-school aesthetic. For instance, this dial comprises slender Roman numeral hour markers and thin Feuille hands in a striking black tone, bolstering the classiness of this dial. The dial’s soft white finish is also decorated in a pattern of light grey stripes. This renders the watch more refined and graceful while also making the dial look less boring and plain. Movement Inside the Seiko SUP880 is a robust in-house V115 solar quartz movement. This caliber is equipped with a pack of solar cells, which are used to convert light energy into electrical energy. With this incredibly innovative feature, wearers can charge the Seiko SUP880 using any light source, be it natural or artificial light. As such, you will never have to worry about replacing the battery of the Seiko SUP880. This makes the Seiko SUP880 a very environmentally-friendly watch too since it reduces battery wastage. When fully charged, the V115 solar quartz movement possesses a power reserve that can last for up to 12 months. As a quartz caliber, the V115 movement showcases trademark precision. It has an impressive accuracy rate of +/- 15 seconds per month, so you can definitely rely on the Seiko SUP880 for precise timekeeping. Strap Photo by user/weedNV/ on Reddit The Seiko SUP880 is coupled with a classic alligator leather strap in black, completing the watch’s very quintessential aesthetic. This strap is equipped with a pin buckle made of gold-tone stainless steel, which keeps the watch tightly secured to your wrist. This strap is extremely comfortable against the wrist and is perfect for your next dinner party. Price As with most Seiko watches, the Seiko SUP880 is available at a very reasonable price. In fact, the Seiko SUP880 is famously known as a budget-friendly version of the Cartier Tank watches, which it was inspired by. The Seiko SUP880 is priced at just $110, which is incredibly affordable, considering the watch’s fancy, chic style, and top-notch quartz movement. Alternatives to the Seiko SUP880  The Seiko SUP880 is, without a doubt, a very classy dress watch. It embodies Seiko’s signatures of adept craftsmanship and constant innovation, with its elegant design and powerful solar movement, and its accessible price is just the cherry on top of the cake. Nevertheless, let us not forget that each person has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to wearing a watch. For those who like the Seiko SUP880’s style but want something a little different, we have curated a list of three excellent alternatives that you can check out below. 1. Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004 As we have talked about extensively above, the Seiko SUP880 was inspired by the Cartier Tank collection. As such, the Cartier Tank is simply a natural alternative to the SUP880. In particular, we recommend the striking Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004. With its classic gold and black colourways and high-quality materials, this watch is the best luxury alternative to Seiko SUP880 you can find. This Cartier watch utilizes a 38.4mm square-shaped case made of solid 18K yellow gold, coupled with an aged-looking black alligator leather strap. Compared to the Seiko SUP880, the size of the Ref. W5200004 is considerably larger and it can fit wrists of virtually any size. Wrapped around the dial is a fixed bezel, also made of 18K yellow gold. On the right side of the watch, you can find a yellow gold crown with an inset cabochon spinel. This cabochon spinel comes in a deep blue hue, setting up a satisfying contrast against the luxurious yellow gold case. The dial of this watch is also a little different from that of the Seiko SUP880, but it shows off the same vintage charm. This dial has a handsome, metallic silver finish. It is adorned with thick Roman numeral markers, white and black minute tracks, and blued steel sword hands that add a burst of personality to this watch face. Protecting the dial is a layer of sapphire crystal, which is the most expensive watch glass available. This is because sapphire crystal is exceptionally strong and scratch-resistant, with only diamond being capable of scratching it. Driving this watch is an in-house Caliber 690 quartz movement. This powerful quartz caliber is held together by eight jewels and has outstanding four-year battery life. In addition, it comes with a 30-metre depth rating, enabling the watch to survive some showers and downpours. As a luxury alternative to the Seiko SUP880, you can purchase the Cartier Tank Solo Ref. W5200004 for around $6,749 USD. Its more exorbitant price is well worth it, considering the first-rate materials used to craft this Cartier watch. 2. Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00 Next up, we have the Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00. This is also a dress watch, albeit with a quirkier design that caters to younger and more modern audiences. It immediately stands out, thanks to its uniquely-shaped case. This watch is housed in a 39mm rectangular stainless steel case, which curves slightly at both ends, conforming nicely to the slopes of your wrist. This Tissot piece is paired with a fashionable alligator leather strap in light brown. The dial of this watch showcases a sleek silver finish. It is decorated with large Arabic numeral markers in a curling, stylized typeface that give this watch face a very playful, Willy Wonka-esque aesthetic. Towards the center of the dial, you can find a black minute and hour indices and Poire Corps renflé watch hands made of blued steel, which add a pop of colour to this black-and-white dial. Powering this Tissot Heritage watch is a first-class caliber ETA 901.001. Held together by three jewels, this is a quartz movement with an extended battery life of 132 months. In addition, this watch also has a 30-metre depth rating, like the Seiko SUP880. If you are looking for a simple yet fun dress watch, then the Tissot Tissot Heritage Ref. T117.509.16.032.00 should definitely be on your radar. It sells at approximately $479 USD. 3. Hermes Heure H Ref. HH1.110 For another classy, opulent alternative to the Seiko SUP880, check out the Hermes Heure H Ref. HH1.110. This timepiece from the prestigious Hermes brand boasts a very unique design that even manages to stand out from the Seiko SUP880 and Cartier Tank watches. Instead of having a simpler square-shaped case, the case of this watch is designed to look like a stylized capital “H”, with the wide, protruding lugs forming the ends of the letter. This timepiece comes in a slender 30.5mm stainless steel case and a warm leather strap in light brown. A layer of sapphire crystal is attached to the case and serves to protect the dial from any external damage. This Hermes Heure H watch also shows off a minimalistic yet attractive white dial. The center of the dial is decorated with a faint grey guilloche finish. It has a very straightforward layout, consisting of black Arabic numeral markers in a wide typeface and silver sword hands. Inside this watch, you can find a reliable quartz movement. It has a battery life of 24 months and a 30-meter water resistance capacity. This Hermes watch is available for around $2,049 USD. Final Thoughts On the whole, the Cartier-inspired Seiko SUP880 is definitely an interesting entry in Seiko’s catalog. It retains the classy, refined nature of its source inspiration while also using simple, more affordable materials to create a more budget-friendly piece. Seiko even managed to upgrade the Seiko SUP880 by incorporating its own innovative solar technology, which makes the Seiko SUP880 a worthy investment indeed. If you want a reliable, hardy dress watch that looks fancier than it costs, you should definitely consider purchasing the Seiko SUP880. All images are credited to Watchshopping.com unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of (/user/TheFoxyGentleman/) on Reddit. If you are searching for a robust, rugged watch that can take on any challenge, then the Casio Rangeman is definitely a watch you should check out.

    read more
    0
  4. Grand Seiko Snowflake: The Iconic Spring Drive Watch

    Grand Seiko Snowflake: The Iconic Spring Drive Watch

    Grand Seiko has always been at the top of the watchmaking game when it comes to crafting high-end, reliable luxury watches. In 2005, the Japanese brand introduced the Grand Seiko Snowflake, perhaps one of the most outstanding and quintessential dress watches to ever be produced. The Grand Seiko Snowflake features an exquisite, timeless design with its iconic snowflake dial. With its powerful 9R Spring Drive caliber, this is one of the few Japanese-made timepieces that easily match, and maybe even surpass its Swiss siblings. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211, including its roots and the excellent attributes it comes with. History of Grand Seiko Snowflake The original Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA011 was first launched in 2005. Its case and bracelet were made entirely of titanium, which was quite uncommon at the time. Titanium is highly regarded in the watch community for its superb scratch-resistance, corrosion resistance, and lightweight profile. Many users of the Ref. SBGA011 were impressed by both the watch’s timeless aesthetics and how light and easy it was to carry around. The Ref. SBGA011 also stood out for its so-called “snowflake” dial, which featured a vertically grained texture inspired by snow-covered terrains in Japan. The popularity of the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA011 led the brand to introduce a few more variants of the Snowflake timepiece. These include the Ref. SBGA259, which is furnished with gold hands and hour markers, and other limited edition models. The Ref. SBGA011 itself was reintroduced in 2010 as the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SGBA211, bearing the same classic Snowflake design but with updated features and more advanced technology. In 2019, Grand Seiko also released the Ref. SBGA407, also known as the “Blue Snowflake”, or the “Skyflake”. This was the first Grand Seiko Snowflake version to be offered in a black leather strap instead of the usual titanium bracelet, and it also came in a smaller, more compact case. Anatomy of the Grand Seiko Snowflake Case Although the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211 is most widely known for its exquisite dial, there is more to it than just its face. Like the original Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA011, the Ref. SBGA211 comes in a titanium case that measures 41mm in diameter. This is a fairly standard size, which means the Ref. SBGA211 can fit nicely around wrists of all sizes. Its titanium build makes this Grand Seiko Snowflake around 30% lighter than it would have been if it was made of stainless steel. In addition, the structure of the Grand Seiko Snowflake is carefully designed, featuring a deft geometry with carefully beveled edges and slim lugs that make it look smaller and thinner than its actual size. On the right side of the case is a 6mm screw-down crown with teeth-like edges that provide wearers with a better grip, so they can easily grip and turn the crown. Along with the secure screw-down steel caseback, this crown protects the watch’s internal mechanisms, giving it a solid depth rating of 100m. Fitted on top of the case is a fixed bezel, also made of stainless steel. With its masterful Zaratsu-polished finish, executed by expert Grand Seiko craftsmen, the entirety of the Grand Seiko Snowflake’s exterior has a gleaming lustre that simply cannot be rivaled. Snowflake Dial As previously mentioned, the star of the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211 is its white dial, which the watch was named after. Nicknamed the “snowflake” dial, this watch face features a simple yet timeless design. It boasts a refined and absolutely unique finish inspired by the snow-covered landscapes during winters in Shiojiri, Japan. Although this dial is made of brass, the chromatic surface, with its vertically grained texture, allows the dial to look as soft as snow. A domed layer of luxurious, anti-reflective sapphire crystal tops the dial, keeping it safe from any scratches or impacts. The snowflake dial is also furnished with applique indices, a date window outlined in silver at 3 o’clock, and silver-tone dauphine hands, along with a blued steel seconds hand that adds a burst of color to this predominantly white dial. Between the 7 and 8 o’clock markers, you can find an elegant power reserve indicator that is designed to resemble a fan, as a visual tribute to this watch’s Japanese heritage. The brand’s use of silver plating allows it to incorporate slight, carefully placed crevices across the dial, creating intriguing shadow illusions that change depending on how light hits the dial. Indeed, this is a dial that you simply cannot take your eyes off. Spring Drive Movement Aside from its admittedly gorgeous aesthetics, the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211 is also sought-after for the superior accuracy it offers. With its first-class Spring Drive Caliber 9R65, the interior of this watch is just as impressive as its quintessential exterior. Rather than using the standard combination of an escape wheel, lever, and balance inside the caliber, the Spring Drive Caliber 9R65 makes use of the Tri-Synchro Regulator technology. As you might have guessed from its name, this means that the Caliber 9R65’s regulating system ingeniously combines three different classifications of energy: electrical (quartz crystal), magnetic (glide wheel), and mechanical (mainspring). Although the Caliber 9R65 is still a mechanical movement, its different method of regulating energy affords it greater efficiency. This gives the watch an extended power reserve of 72 hours and an impressive accuracy rating of ±1 second day-to-day on average, which is unprecedented for a movement that uses a mainspring. Bracelet Much like the case, the bracelet of Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211 is also made of high-intensity titanium, which is more resistant to corrosion and scratches than regular stainless steel. This three-link bracelet shows off alternately Zaratsu polished and finely brushed surfaces. This interplay of textures is incredible to look at and perfectly complements the overall design of the watch, giving you a truly classic beauty of a dress watch. Price  Considering Grand Seiko’s prestigious reputation and expertise in crafting top-notch luxury watches, it is no surprise why its timepieces tend to retail at higher prices. In particular, the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211 has a price tag of around $5,679 USD. With its gorgeous aesthetics and state-of-the-art movement, this is quite a reasonable price for the Ref. SBGA211. Other Notable Grand Seiko Snowflake Models 1. Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGY002 If you are looking for a Grand Seiko Snowflake piece with a more masculine, handsome vibe, the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGY002 makes for an excellent choice. Rather than the titanium case that the Grand Seiko Snowflake traditionally comes in, the Ref. SBGY002 is presented in a slim 38.5mm case made of luxurious 18K yellow gold. This yellow gold case, along with the watch’s handsome brown alligator leather strap, set up an alluring contrast against its signature snowflake dial. A layer of dual-curved, anti-reflective sapphire crystal is also used to add an extra layer of protection to the dial. The dial of the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGY002 also stands out for being a little unlike its peers. As opposed to most Grand Seiko Snowflake watches which bear silver-tone appliques, the dial of the Ref. SBGY002 is adorned with gorgeous gold and blue accents. These include its slim gold hour indices, gold dauphine hands, and the same blued steel seconds hand that can be found on the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA211. The Ref. SBGY002 also has a simpler and more minimalist layout, as it does away with the power reserve indicator and date aperture that can be found on other Snowflake models. Inside the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGY002, you can find the Spring Drive Caliber 9R31 movement, which boasts an impressive 72-hour power reserve. It also has an excellent precision rate of ±1 second per day or ±15 seconds per month on average. The Ref. SBGY002 also has a solid water resistance rating of 30m. This does not match up to the Ref. SBGA211’s 100m depth rating, but is enough to handle some accidental splashes or even a trip into the shower. The Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGY002 retails at around $25,000 USD. 2. Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA407 Another incredible Grand Seiko Snowflake model is the recently released Ref. SBGA407. With its sky-blue dial and black leather strap, the Ref. SBGA407 has a more casual look compared to the original Grand Seiko Snowflake, effortlessly combining dressy elegance with cool sportiness. Its 40.2mm Zaratsu-polished stainless steel case with slim, beveled lugs also adds to its classic appeal. As with other Grand Seiko Snowflake variants, the Ref. SBGA407 comes with an exquisitely textured dial that resembles fresh, soft snow. However, this model sets itself apart with the light blue hue of its dial, which has led to it being nicknamed the “Skyflake” or the “Blue Snowflake”. Aside from its color, the dial of the Ref. SBGA407 comes with all the usual Snowflake trappings, including silver-tone hour indices, dauphine hands, a blued steel seconds hand, a date window outlined in silver, and a fan-shaped power reserve display. The Ref. SBGA407 also runs on the brand’s in-house Caliber 9R65, which gives it a 72-hour power reserve and an accuracy rating of ±1 second per day. In addition, it is equipped with a substantial water resistance capacity of 100m. If you are looking for an elegant luxury watch with subtle details and a powerful movement, you can get this Grand Seiko Snowflake piece for around $5,800 USD. 3. Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA283 Photo from Watchshopping.com Last but not least, we have the Grand Seiko Snowflake Ref. SBGA283. This elegant timepiece boasts a soft, understated look that is perfect for all your formal events. This dressy watch comes in a 39mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet, which perfectly complements its metallic, sunray white snowflake dial. This dial is decorated with slender hour indices, beveled dauphine hands, a date aperture outlined in silver, and a fine power display indicator in the shape of a Japanese fan. A domed sapphire crystal is used to protect this watch face. On the underside of the case, you can find a see-through sapphire crystal caseback. This gives you an up close and personal view of the Spring Drive 9R65 Caliber running this watch. This automatic movement has a substantial 72-hour power supply and a solid 100-meter water resistance capacity. Priced at just $3,769 USD, this sleek timepiece is one of the most affordable Grand Seiko Snowflake watches you can get. Alternatives to the Grand Seiko Snowflake If you are unable to get your hands on a Grand Seiko Snowflake piece, or you are not entirely satisfied with its price, here are some great alternatives you can check out. 1. Seiko Presage Ref. SRPG23J1 Photo from Watchshopping.com One of the best budget-friendly alternatives to the Grand Seiko Snowflake is the Seiko Presage Ref. SRPG23J1. Like the Grand Seiko SBGA211, its all-silver look radiates a clean, timeless elegance that goes wonderfully with all your formalwear. This Seiko watch utilizes a 40.5mm stainless steel case and a five-link bracelet. Although its dial is white like the Grand Seiko SBGA211’s, this watch face has a slightly different design. It shows off a gorgeous sunburst dial, with lines radiating out from the center of the watch face. This dial is also furnished with beveled triangular hour indices, slender dauphine hands, and a compact date aperture outlined in silver at 3 o’clock. Inside this watch, you can find an in-house Seiko 4R35 Caliber. This automatic movement has a 41-hour power reserve and a 50-meter water resistance rating, which is quite standard for a dress watch. You can purchase this Seiko Presage timepiece for just $419 USD. 2. Tissot T-Classic Couturier Ref. T035.407.11.031.01 Photo from Watchshopping.com Next up, we have the Tissot T-Classic Couturier Ref. T035.407.11.031.01, which is another sleek and classy all-white timepiece. This watch is presented in a 39mm stainless steel case and bracelet, complementing the graceful silver-white dial. It also has a transparent caseback and a layer of sapphire crystal that keeps the dial safe from scratches and impacts. The dial of this Tissot T-Classic watch has a slightly different, unusual layout. Aside from its applique hour indices and long, silver dauphine hands, this dial also contains an elongated day window at 12 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, you can find a matching silver outline, containing the rectangular date display. Underneath this subtle watch face is the brand’s impressive Powermatic 80 caliber. This outstanding movement has a whopping 80-hour power supply and a depth rating of 100 meters. This Tissot watch sells at around $539 USD. 3. Omega Speedmaster Ref. 231.13.42.21.02.001 Photo from Watchshopping.com For a leather alternative to the Grand Seiko Snowflake, take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Ref. 231.13.42.21.02.001. This sophisticated timepiece shows off a very classic build, with a 41.5mm stainless steel case coupled with a handsome alligator leather strap in brown. Its silver case matches well with the white dial, which bears a pattern of faint vertical lines running across its surface. This dial also comprises triangular hour indices, slender arrow-headed hands, and a trapezoidal date complication at 3 o’clock. Driving this Omega watch is a first-class Omega Caliber 8500. This is an exceptionally accurate movement, offering a precision rate of +/-1.5 seconds a day, which is almost on par with the Grand Seiko Snowflake’s Spring Drive calibers. In addition, it has a 150-meter water resistance capacity, making it the most waterproof watch on this list. This Omega Speedmaster timepiece is the closest in price to the Grand Seiko Snowflake, with an estimated price tag of $5,369 USD. Final Thoughts Ultimately, the Grand Seiko Snowflake is a high-end timepiece with timeless beauty and high precision performance. This watch is designed with classic Japanese style, with its snowflake-inspired dial being a special standout. Furthermore, the top-notch Spring Drive movement that powers the Grand Seiko Snowflake ensures that this watch is the perfect blend of powerful aesthetics and top-notch watch technology. Indeed, if you are looking for a luxurious dress watch for your collection, you will never go wrong with the Grand Seiko Snowflake. Photos are credited to Grand Seiko’s official website unless otherwise stated. Featured image from Grand Seiko’s official website. Looking for the best hiking watches to use on your next hiking adventure? Read our article about the 20 Best Hiking Watches in 2021 to look for a top-tier watch.

    read more
    0
  5. Panerai Bronzo: A Review On The Underrated Bronze Diver

    Panerai Bronzo: A Review On The Underrated Bronze Diver

    In 2011, Panerai, an Italian brand, ventured out of its comfort zone with the goal of crafting a watch using a new, virtually untested material: bronze. When the brand unveiled the Panerai Bronzo under its Submersible collection, the watch became an instant hit, gaining an incredibly favorable response from the horology community. In fact, Panerai is actually considered the pioneer the bronze watch fad. Its creation of the trendsetting Panerai Bronzo was the trigger that urged other watchmakers like Tudor, Bell & Ross, and Hublot to start offering bronze timepieces of their own. To this day, the Panerai Bronzo continues to be one of the brand’s most well-received watches. Since its launch, this diver watch has remained one of the definitive watches in the Panerai catalog. Without further ado, let us take a look at the Panerai Bronzo, including its history, specifications, and everything that makes it so popular with the watch community. First Impressions In this section, we will be reviewing the latest version of the Panerai Bronzo — the Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968. As a bronze watch, the Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 shows off a warm, gold-toned appearance. Although it lacks the lustre of a typical gold watch, the Panerai Bronzo’s almost chocolate-y exterior is extremely appealing in its own right. It exudes an air of cosy comfort that blends especially well with casual and semi-casual styles. This watch also comes with a brown ceramic disc inserted into a bronze rotating bezel, a brown dial, and a dark brown leather strap, making for a very unified look overall. Crafted out of high-end materials, this watch guarantees top-notch robustness. Panerai’s use of this copper alloy is also a natural fit for the Bronzo’s military-inspired, almost steampunk-like style. If you are searching for a truly unique, hardy diver watch, then the Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 is definitely a worthy grab. Up Close with Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 Case, Bezel, and Crown The Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 is a visually striking dive watch that comes in a bulky 47mm case, made out of phospor bronze. This is a high-end bronze alloy composed of 92% copper and 8% tin. This patented alloy is incredibly robust and demonstrates a strong resistance to corrosion and scratches. Unlike the typical aluminum-bronze alloy used in watches like the Tudor Black Bay Bronze and Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph, which has a more gold-bronze hue, the Panerai Bronzo’s phosphor bronze case has a more reddish tinge when brand-new. Over time, the Panerai Bronzo’s case augments verdigris, which is the vibrant blue-green patina that will develop on the surface of the case due to oxidation. In addition, this case also shows off a linear, brushed finish that highlights the patina as it develops, since oxidation tends to expand within the granule of the brush. On the right side of the case, you can find Panerai’s signature oversized crown and crown guard. The crown of this watch is incredibly thick and stout. It also comes with gear-like edges that give wearers a better grip, so they can hold and turn the crown more easily. Protecting the crown is a massive crown guard in the shape of a semi-circle. It curves over the top of the crown, protecting it from any scratches or impacts. Both the crown and crown guard are also made of phosphor bronze. Another top-tier feature of the Panerai Bronzo is its dive bezel. This bezel is made of phosphor bronze, with an elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic in a warm, matte brown tone. Unlike traditional elapsed time scale bezels, this watch does not have printed indicators all over. Instead, it only has printed indices on the first quarter of the bezel, followed by bronze applique indices in five-minute intervals. This gives the watch a more stylish, minimalistic look. This bezel is also highly scratch-resistant and has grooved sides like that of a coin, so that wearers can grip and turn the bezel with ease. Dial As a top-tier dive watch, the Panerai Bronzeo Ref. PAM 968 follows a very simple dial layout that prioritizes legibility above all else. Its dial comes in a gorgeous shade of matte dark brown that perfectly matches the bezel. This dial comprises round applique hour indices, a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock, a small seconds counter at 9 o’clock, and hollowed-out hands with lume-filled tips. The hands and indices, which are a distinctive feature of the brand’s Submersible line, are all coated in lume which glows bright blue in the dark, allowing for optimal legibility even in poor lighting conditions. Movement The Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 is driven by a robust Caliber P.9010. This is an in-house self-winding movement, equipped with double barrels that give it its extensive 72-hour power reserve. This means that you can leave the Panerai Bronzo aside for a whole weekend and it will still continue to tick even without being wound or reset. Held together by 37 jewels, this caliber beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has an impressive accuracy rate of +6/-6 seconds per day. Strap  The Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 is coupled with a supple natural leather strap in brown with beige stitching. A large pin buckle, made of brushed titanium, is used to keep the strap securely fastened around your wrist. One interesting thing is that Panerai also includes an extra rubber strap in the packaging of the Panerai Bronzo. This rubber strap comes in military green. It also pairs well with the watch overall design and is a sportier, more casual alternative to the Panerai Bronzo’s standard brown leather strap. You can simply pick whichever strap best suits your style and change it whenever you want. Water Resistance The Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 comes with an excellent 300-meter water resistance capacity, which far exceeds the standard 100-meter depth rating that most dive watches come with. Indeed, if you want to go snorkeling or on a scuba diving adventure, this watch is more than equipped to handle the journey. Price As a luxury dive watch, the Panerai Bronzo Ref. PAM 968 sells at around $17,000 USD. While this is a little pricey, considering the Panerai Bronzo’s unique styling, superior performance, and reputation as one of the first bronze watches, ultimately, this watch is more than worth the price. A Brief History of Panerai Bronzo The Panerai Bronzo was first introduced in 2011 and instantly created a huge buzz in the entire watchmaking scene as the first bronze-cased watch to be developed. The popularity of the Panerai Bronzo led to a so-called bronze fad in the horological scene, prompting other brands to deliver their own takes on the bronze watch. Panerai itself started out with the green-dial Bronzo Ref. PAM 382, followed by the Bronzo Ref. PAM 507 in 2013, and then the Bronzo Ref. PAM 671. Most recently, in 2019, Panerai released the Bronzo Ref. PAM 968, which quickly became one of the most desirable dive watches in the brand’s entire catalog. It is also notable for being the first Panerai Bronzo watch to carry a ceramic bezel. Alternatives to the Panerai Bronzo By every measure, the Panerai Bronzo is an excellent dive watch. However, it might not necessarily be an option for everyone, whether that is because it falls outside your budget or because you simply are unable to find a Panerai Bronzo piece to purchase. Fret not, however, for we have curated a list of three of the best alternatives to the Panerai Bronzo that you can find on the market. 1. Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79012m-0001 Image by: Watchshopping Tudor is among the distinguished brands that have released their own versions of bronze watches. Under its popular Tudor Black Bay line, the brand introduced the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79012m-0001, popularly known as the Tudor Black Bay Bronze. This is a stylish, high-class diver watch that boasts a bronze case similar to that of the Panerai Bronzo. The Tudor Black Bay Bronze comes in a 39mm satin-brushed case and three-link bracelet, both constructred from a special aluminum bronze alloy. Like the Panerai Bronzo’s phospor bronze case, the case of the Tudor Black Bay Bronze boasts an exceptional resistance to corrosion and scratches. Fitted on top of the Black Bay Bronze’s case is a bronze unidirectional rotating bezel, bearing a 60-minute graduated anodized aluminum disc in chocolate brown. On the underside of the watch, you can also find a solid steel caseback that has been coated in a layer of bronze-colored PVD, further bolstering its resistance to scratches. The dial of this watch also shows off a chocolate brown hue that perfectly complements its lighter bronze exterior. This dial is very straightforward, consisting of just luminous hour indices in various geometric shapes and the Black Bay collection’s signature snowflake hands. Underneath this simple yet striking watch face, you can find an in-house Tudor Caliber MT5400. This movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and an excellent 70-hour power supply. Furthermore, it is also equipped with a handy water resistance rating of 200 meters. Although this is not quite as good as the Panerai Bronzo’s 300-meter depth rating, it is still more than enough to tackle most watersports activities. Despite being a reliable luxury dive watch like the Panerai Bronzo, this Tudor piece comes at a much more inexpensive price. The Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79012m-0001 has an estimated price tag of $7,169 USD. 2. Bell & Ross Instruments Ref.BR0392-D-R-BR/SCA Image by: Watchshopping Next up, we have the Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0392-DR-BR/SCA. This watch is instantly recognizable, thanks to its stunning square-shaped appearance and striking colorway. This Bell and Ross timepiece utilizes a 42mm square-shaped bronze case coupled with a dark brown leather strap. It also has a unidirectional bronze bezel with an anodized aluminum ring in metallic red, setting a striking contrast against the bronze case. Indeed, one of the best things about this watch is how it uses a gorgeous interplay of lighter bronze and vibrant red hues, setting it apart from other, plainer bronze timepices. The dial of this watch also showcases a deep red finish that is incredibly satisfying to look at. This dial is furnished with luminous gold-tone indices and broad blunt hands, along with a compact circular date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. On the elevated rim of the dial, you can find printed indices in white for the minute track. Protecting the watch face is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This Bell & Ross Instruments watch is driven by a Caliber BR-CAL.302. Held together by 25 jewels, this movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also has a substantial 40-hour power reserve and a depth rating of 300 meters, which matches that of the Panerai Bronzo. If you are looking for a rugged, reliable, and distinct bronze watch, then this $4,949 USD dive watch is definitely a worthy grab. What makes it even better is that this is the most affordable bronze timepiece on this list. 3. Omega Seamaster Ref. 234.92.41.21.10.001 Image by: Watchshopping Finally, we have the Omega Seamaster Ref. 234.92.41.21.10.001. This timepiece stands out as a luxury dive watch that is presented in a combination of bronze and gold, boasting a grandiose, vintage-looking appearance. This Omega Seamaster piece is housed in a 41mm bronze-gold case, paired with a supple calfskin leather strrap in brown. This bronze-gold case features alternately brushed and polished sides, ensuring a dull lustre on every inch of the case. It also comes with a black elapsed time scale bezel made of bronze gold and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that provides the watch face with additional security. The dial of this watch flaunts a dark brown, almost black hue that goes well with the bronze case. It is adorned with triangular hour indices, luminous arrow-headed hands, and Arabic numeral markers in a rounded typeface. The hands and indices are all coated in a muted orange lume, adding to the watch’s retro look. Inside this watch, you can find an in-house Omega Caliber 8912. This movement has a solid 60-hour power reserve and beats at 25,200 vibrations per hour (3.5Hz), which is quite unusual for a watch movement. Held together by 38 jewels, this movement is also incredibly durable, as it is resistant to strong magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. Finally, it possesses a 300-meter depth rating, which is perfect for most water activities. Be prepared to shell out around $11,749 USD before you can get your hands on this Omega watch. Final Thoughts On the whole, Panerai did an amazing job with the Panerai Bronzo, especially since it was the first-ever attempt at a bronze watch in the market. Not only is the Panerai Bronzo a memorable and incredibly reliable luxury dive watch in its own right, but it is also responsible for kickstarting a remarkable trend in horology, giving this watch a prestigious history as well. With all these cool features, it is no wonder why the Panerai Bronzo remains so popular in the watch community. All images are credited to eBay unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of (u/0-o-o_o-o-0) on Reddit. Still searching for another top-tier diver watch in the market? Why not spare some time to read our article on the Oris Aquis Date.

    read more
    0
  6. A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

    A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

    Today, there are a plethora of gorgeous contemporary timepieces in the market, with new models being released every year, not just by renowned and prestigious Swiss companies, but also by famous brands from Japan, America, Germany, and more. Although stylish modern watches are popular in their own right, there is and has always been, a great demand for vintage timekeepers in the watch community. This is largely due to the rich heritage, legacies, and quintessential, nostalgia-invoking designs that vintage pieces offer. The American brand Bulova, in particular, is highly acclaimed for its expertise in crafting classic watches with impressive, state-of-the-art features. In fact, there is even a so-called “vintage Bulova obsession” in the horology community, with many watch collectors eager to get their hands on the brand’s funky watches from the 60s-80s. Out of Bulova’s entire catalog, one vintage model that is especially of note is the Bulova Royal Oak. Controversial yet frequently discussed, the Bulova Royal Oak has an interesting, storied history that matches its eye-catching design. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the vintage Bulova Royal Oak, including its colorful past, its specifications and features, and everything it has to offer. History of the Bulova Royal Oak The history behind the Bulova Royal Oak is a contentious one, closely tied to the history of another similarly-named, similarly-designed timepiece — the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Somehow, over the years, an interesting myth emerged regarding the origins of the Bulova Royal Oak, fascinating watch collectors and casual fans alike. The story of the Royal Oak begins with a legendary watchmaker, Gerald Genta. Genta is famous for having worked with the most significant brands in the watchmaking scene, producing trailblazing timepieces like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Bulgari Bulgari. As the legend goes, Genta was working for Bulova in the late 1960s when he was tasked to design a new timepiece, one that had to be classically designed and attractive at the same time. With this in mind, Genta made the first Royal Oak. However, when Genta introduced this new design to his bosses at Bulova, his ideas were turned down. Following this rejection, Genta left Bulova, moving to Audemars Piguet. The Swiss brand was amazed by Genta’s design and would launch it at the 1972 BaselFair under the moniker “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak”. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was such a hit that Bulova quickly revisited Genta’s original design, forging it into the watch we know of today as the Bulova Royal Oak. In reality, however, this myth of the Bulova Royal Oak is an invention. While Genta did work at Bulova for some time, he only developed the Royal Oak when he was already working under Audemars Piguet. According to Genta himself, the director of Audemars Piguet had reached out to him directly, requesting that he design a sports watch made entirely from steel. Genta promptly went to work, coming up with the design for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak overnight. Although the myth of the relationship between the Audemars Piguet and Bulova Royal Oaks was false, it was nevertheless hugely influential. The association between the two timepieces was very beneficial for Bulova, raising the profile of its Royal Oak significantly. Indeed, this was a major factor that led to the popularity of the Bulova Royal Oak. Up Close with Bulova Royal Oak Case and Bracelet Photo by u/weedNV from Reddit Even at first glance, the Bulova Royal Oak is instantly recognizable with the sharp, geometric features of its exterior. Its slender 36mm stainless steel case is cleanly beveled, with hooded lugs that bear sharp, angular edges. On the right side of the case is a mid-sized steel crown in the shape of a hexagon. This crown has finely grooved edges, which provide wearers with a better grip so they can more easily pinch and turn the crown. If you flip the watch over, you can find a monogram engraving of a ballerina on the stainless steel caseback, which adds to the exquisite sophistication of this Bulova piece. The star of this watch, of course, is its fixed bezel, which is reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s own iconic bezel. Crafted from stainless steel, this bezel is shaped like an octagon, fitted with eight screws and carefully beveled, well-defined sloping sides that give off an impression of precision and class. On top of the bezel is a layer of domed mineral crystal that protects the watch face from any scratches or impacts. The Bulova Royal Oak is also paired with a sleek stainless steel bracelet. This professional-looking bracelet comes with 18 links and a signed deployant clasp that keeps the watch firmly secured on your wrist. On the whole, the watch’s unpolished finish offers a simple yet elegant aesthetic. Dial To perfectly complement its striking and well-defined stainless steel case and bracelet, Bulova pairs its Royal Oak with a gorgeous white honeycomb dial. This straightforward dial boasts a flawless and timeless look, with a minimalistic layout consisting of slender stainless steel indices, thin stick hands, and an outlined date window at 3 o’clock. Although this dial does not contain any luminous material, the indices and hands are all highlighted with black lacquer. This gives the indices and hands a stronger contrast against the white backdrop, allowing for better legibility in poor lighting conditions. At 12 o’clock, you can find an emblem of the dial replacing the hour index, marking this as a uniquely Bulova piece. Movement Another prominent feature of the Bulova Royal Oak that stirred the hearts of many watch collectors and enthusiasts is the impressive automatic caliber that powers this vintage timepiece: the ETA 2892 movement. This is a quintessential watch caliber that is used in many other famous timepieces, such as the Omega Speedmaster 300 and the IWC Pilot Mark XVIII. The ETA 2892 caliber measures a relatively slim 3.6mm in thickness. Held together by 21 jewels, it has a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a substantial 50-hour power reserve. Equipped with this reliable caliber, it is no surprise why Bulova remains a favorite amongst the masses. Price As a rare timepiece released in the 1970s, the Bulova Royal Oak has since been discontinued. Along with its distinctive appearance and constant buzz, it is only expected that the Bulova Royal Oak has a fairly expensive price tag. Today, the Bulova Royal Oak is only available on the second-hand market and it will cost you at least $2,999 USD to get your hands on a piece of this watch. Of course, this price might differ slightly depending on the seller that you find and the exact condition the watch is in. How to Spot a Fake Bulova Royal Oak? The status of the Bulova Royal Oak as a buzzy, frequent topic of conversation and a popular watch collector choice means that it is often victim to counterfeits. As such, it is crucial to know what features to check so you can differentiate between an authentic Bulova Royal Oak and a fake replica. Here are five essential elements that you should inspect that can help you avoid spending money on a fake Bulova Royal Oak. 1. Check the Watch Face First off, you should double-check the whole face of the Bulova Royal Oak. Make sure that the text printed on the dial of the Royal Oak is correct, as counterfeits sometimes mess that up. Under the 12 o’clock marker, you should find a simple print of the brand’s name and nothing else. If you find one that is engraved with “Bulova Accuracy” or “Bulova Movement”, you can be sure that it is a counterfeit. The Bulova Royal Oak is also furnished with a layer of scratch-resistant mineral glass, so make sure to check on this feature as well. If the watch crystal is too run-down or covered in scratches, then you might be looking at a replica. In addition, on the right of the case, there should be a hexagonal crown with sharply cut, geometric details. Inspect the watch to make sure that the crown has those fine edges. If your Bulova Royal Oak’s crown is dulled, uneven, or not hexagonal, then it is likely to be fake. 2. Research the Watch Serial Number Before setting foot into any watch retailer or jewelry store, it is crucial to do some research, specifically by checking the serial number of the watch you want to purchase. The exact serial numbers of every Bulova Royal Oak piece are listed on the brand’s official website, so make sure to check those out and validate whether the watch you are about to purchase is authentic or not. 3. Check the Case Back As was previously mentioned, the caseback of the Bulova Royal Oak is engraved with the Bulova symbol and the image of an elegant ballerina. The serial number, as well as the date of manufacture, can also be found on the caseback. Check meticulously to ensure that the manufacture date and serial number both match the numbers found on the warranty card. 4. Check the Weight Another important thing to check is the Bulova Royal Oak’s weight. Remember that authentic Bulova Royal Oak models are crafted entirely from stainless steel and therefore have a good, substantial heft to them, unlike counterfeits, which tend to be made from cheaper, lighter materials. 5. Check the Price Lastly, do not fall for prices that seem too good to be true. Remember that a vintage Bulova Royal Oak still comes at a relatively high price of at least a few thousand dollars, considering the unique style and rich heritage it offers. Familiarize yourself with the price range of a vintage Bulova Royal Oak so you can compare it against the price provided to you and do not be too easily duped by what looks like a good bargain. Alternatives to the Bulova Royal Oak The Bulova Royal Oak is, without a doubt, a classy, timeless piece that deserves to be on your radar. But considering its status as a discontinued vintage watch, it can be difficult to even find pieces of this watch on the market. For those who have been facing such difficulties, do not worry. We have curated a list of the best alternatives to the Bulova Royal Oak available today. All of these watches share the same distinct, elegant vibe as the Bulova Royal Oak. 1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04 Since the Bulova Royal Oak’s release, it has been consistently linked to the legendary Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. In fact, Audemars Piguet‘s Royal Oak watch is highly regarded for being the first-ever Royal Oak in the market. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak offered a truly unique, memorable watch design, kicking off a trend of brands trying to produce their own “Royal Oak” watches with the signature octagonal bezels. One great watch from Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04. Like Bulova’s Royal Oak, this watch exudes effortless elegance with its clean face and finely-polished exterior. This timepiece comes in a 41mm case and bracelet both made out of stainless steel, paired with the highly recognizable, perfectly angular octagonal stainless steel bezel with eight screws. The sharp white dial shows off the collection’s iconic Grande Tapisserie design and has a simple layout, furnished with just silver-tone stick hands, slim hour indices, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. It also has a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial. Powering this gorgeous timepiece is the brand’s impressive in-house Caliber 4302. Held together by 32 jewels, this watch has an excellent 70-hour power reserve and a depth rating of 50 meters, which is more than enough for a dress watch. If you want a more luxurious, reliable alternative to the Bulova Royal Oak, you can get your hands on this Audemars Piguet watch for approximately $55,699 USD. 2. Bvlgari Octo Ref. 10196 Looking for a more casual alternative to the Bulova Royal Oak? Then you should definitely take a look at the Bvlgari Octo Ref. 101964. This watch is a simple stunner, with its striking black-and-white build. It comes with a 41mm stainless steel case with sharply cut edges that give it a very refined look, along with a handsome alligator leather strap in black. Like the Bulova Royal Oak, this timepiece has an octagon-shaped face. However, it differentiates itself from the Royal Oak watches by having a thicker bezel without the cleanly beveled sides, giving it a more rugged look. The dial of this Bvlgari watch also comes in jet-black and is delightfully contrasted against rectangular hour indices, silver Arabic numeral markers, skeleton hands, and a minute yet highly legible date window at 3 o’clock. It is powered by an in-house BVL 193 Caliber, which you can observe through the watch’s transparent caseback. This movement possesses a 50-hour power reserve and a solid 100-meter water resistance capacity, so you could easily go for a dive with this watch. This suave, versatile Bvlgari Octo watch retails at around $5,099 USD. 3. Girard-Perregaux Laureato Ref. 81005-11-231-11A Another classic watch that serves as a great alternative to Bulova Royal Oak is the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Ref. 81005-11-231-11A. This timepiece features a slim 38mm stainless steel case, bracelet, and beveled octagonal bezel that go well with the stunning gray dial. This guilloche dial, which hearkens back to the honeycomb dial of the Bulova Royal Oak, is equipped with luminous hands and hour indices, along wth a grey-and-white date aperture located at 3 o’clock. Equipped with an automatic GP03300-0130, this Girard-Perregaux Laureato watch has a frequency of 28,800 VpH whilst delivering a 46-hour power reserve. Moreover, it comes with a 30-meter depth rating, so it can easily handle any heavy downpours or even a trip to the shower. Just be prepared to shell out around $11,399 USD for this Girard-Perregaux timepiece. Final Thoughts On the whole, the Bulova Royal Oak is an exceptional vintage watch, albeit with a slightly muddy history. It is a fancy dress piece well-loved amongst watch connoisseurs, and for very good reason. While the Bulova Royal Oak would make an excellent addition to any collection, the fact that its production was discontinued years ago means that it can be difficult to find a genuine Bulova Royal Oak model. As such, if you have your heart set on this watch, just make sure you do your research and check carefully to ensure the Bulova Royal Oak model you are purchasing is authentic. All images are from Watchshopping.com unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy to u/LacksSenseOfHumor from Reddit. Looking for other minimalist watches worth adding to your collection’s list? Why not check our articles on 7 Minimalist Watches for Men and 6 Classic Watches That Are Collectibles.

    read more
    0
  7. A Starter Guide to the Stylish Vincero Watches

    A Starter Guide to the Stylish Vincero Watches

    Vincero is one of the newly-minted watch brands in the industry. Since its inception in 2014, this company has gained a lot of favorable responses from the watch community, thanks to the stylish, distinctive, and high-quality watches it offers. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the fashionable Vincero watches, along with the brand itself and its history. Brief History of Vincero Watches  Vincero is considered a fairly new face in horology. Founded in 2014, Vincero began its very colorful journey when a group of three friends — Aaron, Tim, and Sean — decided to live their dreams of establishing a watch company that delivers top-notch timepieces. For four years, this trio studied the trends and developments in the watchmaking industry before they left the USA and came to China. They then began to design and produce classy, contemporary watches that have helped this brand make a name for itself. One impressive thing about Vincero is how hands-on the brand is in the entire watchmaking process. All Vincero watches are designed and crafted in-house, which is something the brand takes pride in. Throughout its seven years in the industry, Vincero has introduced numerous collections and designs that make up its entire catalog.  Best Vincero Watches Collection Vincero Chrono S Watches One of the brand’s most sought-after collections is the famous Vincero Chrono S. The first collection the brand ever launched, it consists of bold and striking watches that fall within the $149 USD to $189 USD price range. Since its release, the Vincero Chrono S has been a true crowd-pleaser. Each Chrono S timepiece is made only using first-class materials to ensure its durability. They come in 40mm stainless steel cases and sturdy stainless steel casebacks, with the words “VENI VIDI VICI” engraved on them. These Vincero watches also show off large, clean dials and chronograph displays with small sub-dials, ensuring both legibility and functionality. On the right of each Chrono S timepiece, you can find a chunky crown and two long pushers, which you can use to control the watch’s chronograph functions. The Chrono S is also offered with a variety of straps in diverse colors, all made from Italian leather, adding to the elegant vibe of the watch. These Vincero watches are all powered by Miyota quartz movements. This is a built-in stopwatch movement, which makes the Chrono S quite unique from the rest of the timepieces under the brand. With its classy styling, the Chrono S goes extremely well with almost any formalwear and is perfect for your next fancy date. Vincero Kairos Watches If you are looking for a stylish everyday watch, you should definitely check the Vincero Kairos collection. This line consists of watches with highly modern designs, crafted to match anyone’s everyday wardrobe without them having to worry about breaking the bank. The Vincero Kairos timepieces cost around $149 USD on average, a highly affordable price for such refined, fashionable timepieces. The Vincero Kairos collection comprises six different watches, with each following a similar build, albeit with slightly different styles and looks. Each watch in this series comes with a thin 42mm stainless steel case and a clean, minimalistic dial that you simply cannot take your eyes off. Instead of being cluttered with complications, these Vincero watches have dials that are furnished with just applique hour indices, slim, luminous sword hands, and compact date apertures at 3 o’clock. Those who love simple, straightforward watches are sure to appreciate the Vincero Kairos. One downside to the Vincero Kairos timepieces is that they are not made for rough use, so they are not the best choices for outdoor activities. That said, these Vincero watches do come with 100-meter depth ratings, so you do not have to worry about getting them wet or bringing them into the shower. Vincero Bellwether Watches For another series of sleek Vincero dress watches, take a look at the Vincero Bellwether. This is a collection made with utmost care and attention to every detail. These Vincero watches show off well-polished 43mm cases made from durable 316L stainless steel, making them perfect for those with average-to-large-sized wrists. The casebacks of these watches are also unique, as they are furnished with small pieces of marble, similar to that of Michaelangelo’s David statue. With its versatile aesthetics, you could easily wear the Bellwether on casual days or even with your formal outfits. These watches also come with highly legible dials which are protected by layers of luxurious sapphire crystal. These dials are decorated with two chronograph sub-dials, slender dauphine hands, applique hour indices, rectangular date windows at 6 o’clock, and colorful seconds hands that match the colorway of the watch’s strap. An Italian leather strap completes the Bellwether’s entire handsome appearance while also delivering maximal comfort to your wrist. Like the Vincero Chrono S, the Bellwether collection is powered by excellent Japanese Miyota quartz movements. These calibers guarantee top-notch accuracy and solid 100-meter water resistance capacities. The price for the Vincero Bellwether watches ranges from around $169 USD to $199 USD, making them slightly more expensive than the Vincero Chrono S. Vincero Altitude Watches Vincero also offers you a selection of rugged yet chic timepieces through its Altitude collection. The Vincero Altitude watches show off understated, neutral colorways that enhance their depth and beauty, making them all-rounder timepieces that can match any of your outfits. These Vincero watches are presented in 43mm cases, with subtly-textured dials that you simply cannot take your eyes off. Fitted on top of each Vincero Altitude model’s front case is a stainless steel tachymeter bezel. These dials are adorned with thick Losange hands, bold Arabic numeral markers, date functions at 3 o’clock, and chronograph sub-dials for the 24-hour and dual-time functions. The luminous hands and hour markers are all generously coated with lume, providing optimal readability even in poor lighting conditions. On top of each Vincero Altitude model’s front case, you can find a stainless steel countdown bezel, which is befitting their status as pilot watches. The Vincero Altitude collection utilizes a first-class Citizen Miyota quartz movement. This caliber has waterproof properties, boasting a 100-meter depth rating. For $185 USD, you can get a beautiful and functional model from the Altitude line. Vincero Rogue Limited Watches If you are searching for a rugged and reliable sports watch, look no further. The Vincero Rogue watches are designed to withstand all sorts of harsh conditions, enabling them to accompany you on all your outrageous activities. Priced at around $235 USD, the Vincero Rogue timepieces show off versatile, athletic designs that would not look out of place at your next sports meet or in your daily routines. These Vincero watches come in 43mm cases made of 316L surgical grade stainless steel, with rounded outer bezels that bear handy tachymeter scales. The dials of these watches are busier than the aforementioned timepieces, cluttered with luminous blunt hands, slim indices, sizeable chronograph sub-dials, and a date function between 4 and 5 o’clock. Vincero pairs the Rogue with a variety of perforated rubber straps, which are extremely comfortable and add to the watch’s robust aesthetics. Instead of the usual Miyota quartz movement, the Vincero Rogue collection is equipped with a first-class Seiko Mecha-Quartz movement. This is a hybrid movement, with the timekeeping capabilities being powered by a quartz movement while the chronograph’s stopwatch functions are driven by a mechanical caliber, offering wearers the best of both worlds. The Vincero Rogue typically sells for an estimated price of $245 USD. Vincero Outrider Watches Another collection from the brand that offers watches meant to accompany outdoorsy individuals is the Vincero Outrider. The Vincero Outrider series includes stylish, robust field watches that boast strong, masculine appearances. For outgoing folks who enjoy a great adventure, the Vincero Outrider would serve as a great companion. In terms of its appearance, the Vincero Outrider looks more like a tool watch than the typical, dressier designs Vincero is known for. It comes in a sleek 41mm case made of stainless steel, paired with a tough textile strap and an elapsed time scale bezel to help you keep careful track of the time spent. The dial is quite busy, furnished with chronograph sub-dials, large sword-shaped hands, and Arabic numeral markers coated in lume. One downside to this watch is the quality of its lume. Unlike more reliable lumes such as Super-LumiNova or LumiBrite, you should not expect the Vincero Outrider’s lume to last through the night. Like the Rogue collection, the Vincero Outrider timepieces all use top-notch Seiko Mecha-Quartz movements. Priced at around $195 USD, this excellent field watch offers a great timekeeping experience. There are currently a total of six Outrider models in this collection. Vincero Iconic Automatic Watches The Vincero Iconic collection is a series of expertly designed dress watches that deserves to be on your radar. These are a higher-end version of the usual Vincero dress watches, exuding luxury and class to match more well-known watch brands. These Vincero watches are offered with a variety of colorways, straps, and styles. So, whether you are looking for a mesh bracelet piece or a leather strap model, the Vincero Iconic collection has got you covered. These Vincero watches come in ion-plated 41mm cases, which are crafted from 316L stainless steel. Their dials are plain yet striking, with simple layouts comprising unusual, skeletal dauphine hands, applique hour indices, slim indicators in white for the minute track, and a date display at 6 o’clock. A luxurious sapphire crystal keeps the dial protected from any harm, while a solid 100-meter depth rating adds to this Vincero Iconic’s durability. Another impressive feature of these Vincero watches is that, unlike the aforementioned watches, they are driven by powerful Seiko automatic movements. These self-winding calibers guarantee substantial 40-hour power reserves and can be wound using the kinetic energy from the wearer’s wrist movements. With a price range of around $285 USD to $305 USD, these high-end Vincero automatic dress watches are definitely worth the investment. Vincero Reserve Automatic Watches Known as the Reserve Automatic collection, Vincero describes this series of watches as its most “outstanding watch collection to date”. Indeed, the Vincero Reserve Automatic timepieces are crafted to be the brand’s most advanced, high-powered automatic watches. They are sleek, professional tool watches equipped with a variety of practical complications such as chronographs, day displays, date windows, full month calendars, and more. The Vincero Reserve Automatic watches are presented in 41mm cases coupled with matching three-link bracelets, both made of ion-plated 316L stainless steel in a range of colors. Both the case and bracelet are well-brushed, giving the Reserve Automatic a dull sheen, almost like titanium, that is incredibly appealing to the eyes. Decorated with Super-LumiNova-coated sword hands and applique indices, you are offered a choice between a stainless steel bracelet with links, a mesh strap, or a leather band for this watch. Like the Vincero Iconic, the Reserve Automatic also stands out for being a rare automatic watch in Vincero’s catalog. Housed inside the Reserve Automatic watches are the first-class Citizen Miyota 9100 Premium Automatic calibers. These movements come with 40-hour power supplies and water resistance capacities of 100 meters. Just expect to shell out around $510 USD before you can get your hands on these bold, high-utility Vincero watches. Vincero Vessel Watches For those who enjoy deepsea adventures, the Vessel collection is a series of robust and reliable diver watches capable of withstanding all sorts of harsh conditions underwater. Designed to look distinctive and sporty, the Vincero Vessel consists of nine expertly-made models. Their prices range from between $225 to $235 USD, which is quite reasonable considering everything these Vincero watches offer. Each Vincero Vessel model is equipped with a 200-meter water resistance rating, which is at least double what the other Vincero watches are capable of. Of the nine models in this series, the first seven are offered with comfortable black silicone straps, while the last two come with sleek stainless steel bracelets that add to their watches’ professional vibes. These watches also come with stocky unidirectional bezels made of stainless steel. Unlike the bezels seen on most other dive watches, which bear elapsed time scale indicators on the bezel itself, the Vincero Vessel has its 60-minute timer mounted on an inner bezel instead. The Vincero Vessel timepieces are also the largest of the Vincero watches, with their 44mm cases made of 316L stainless steel. Their dials have straightforward dive watch layouts, with stick indices for the minute track, a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock, dauphine hands, and pronounced hour markers, generously coated with lume to provide optimal legibility underwater. On top of these dials, you can find solid sapphire crystals that provide an extra layer of protection. Finally, the Vincero Vessel also runs on a reliable quartz Miyota caliber. Alternative to the Vincero Watches If, for whatever reason, you are unable to get your hands on any Vincero watches, or if you want something that has a bit more of an established brand name, here are some of the best alternatives to the Vincero watches. 1. Seiko Neo Sports Chronograph Ref. SSB097P1 Photo from Watchshopping The first watch on the list is the handsome Seiko Neo Sports Chronograph Ref. SSB097P1, which retails at $299 USD. Like many of the Vincero watches, this sporty timepiece comes in a 43mm stainless steel case, paired with a glamorous black dial and matching black alligator leather strap. Its busy dial is adorned with slim hour indices, a pronounced Arabic numeral at the 12 o’clock marker, slender blunt hands, a date window, and three submerged chronograph sub-dials of differing sizes. This timepiece has a 43mm stainless steel case, a glamorous black dial, and a black leather strap. Its dial is furnished with sharply pointed hands and geometric indices. The 12 o’clock marker is displayed in Arabic numerals, which makes it more eye-catching. In addition, this watch is also equipped with three subdials, which function as a second, minute, and hour-time chronograph. Inside this Seiko watch, you can find a reliable Seiko quartz caliber 6T63, which has a handy quickset date function and 100 meters of water resistance. 2. Citizen Eco-Drive Ref. CA7060-88E Photo from Watchshopping Sought-after for its appealing aesthetics, this Citizen Eco-Drive Ref. CA7060-88E is indeed a worthy grab. It is housed in a 42mm stainless steel case and five-link bracelet, setting up a classic contrast against the jet-black dial. This dial has a simple layout that resembles the one seen on the Vincero watches, consisting of applique hour indices, silver dauphine hands, a date window at 3 o’clock, and two chronograph sub-dials at 6 and 12 o’clock. Encased inside this Citizen watch is the brand’s innovative Eco-Drive movement. This enables the watch to charge itself using any available light source, including solar energy. This caliber also possesses an extensive 6-month power reserve and a 50-meter water resistance rating, ensuring that it can survive a few splashes. You can purchase the Citizen Eco-Drive Ref. CA7060-88E for just $159 USD. 3. Tissot T-Classic PR 100 Chronograph Ref. T101.417.11.041.00 Photo from Watchshopping Last but not least, we have the Tissot T-Classic PR 100 Chronograph Ref. T101.417.11.041.00. This watch comes in a 41mm stainless steel case and stylish mesh bracelet, which perfectly complement the grandiose blue dial. Its dial comprises silver-tone blunt hands, slim stick indices, a date window, and three sub-dials for the 60-minute, 60-second, and 12-hour chronograph functions. Fitted on top of the dial is an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, which keeps the watch face safe from scratches and impacts. Aside from that, this T-Classic watch is run by a first-class ETA Caliber G10.211. Held together by 4 jewels, this is a Swiss quartz movement that possesses a 100-meter depth rating. This Tissot watch has a retail price of around $349 USD. Final Thoughts Vincero is a brand that offers stylish and reliable timepieces that deserve to be on your radar. Although this brand is considered fairly new in the industry, this has not stopped it from producing a variety of distinctive, contemporary watches loved by a younger audience. Whether you are looking for a rugged field chronograph, a classy automatic watch, or a sporty timepiece, you will surely find what you are looking for in Vincero’s catalog.  All images are courtesy of Vincero’s official website unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of Vincero’s official website Curious, what are the best hiking watches in the market today? Take some time to read our article about the 20 Best Hiking Watches in 2021.

    read more
    0
  8. Oris Aquis Date: A Look at the Brand’s Iconic Dive Watch

    Oris Aquis Date: A Look at the Brand’s Iconic Dive Watch

    Oris is a coveted Swiss watch brand that offers a plethora of highly-functional and stylish timepieces. More specifically, the Oris Aquis is one of the most popular collections in the brand’s extensive catalog. This is a series of expertly designed diver’s watches equipped with state-of-the-art practical features.  One highly regarded range from the Aquis collection is the Oris Aquis Date. This iconic diver watch possesses a modern design, high-performance specifications, and a budget-friendly price, making it a go-to timekeeper for many divers and watch enthusiasts. Built to withstand the harshest conditions underwater with its 300-meter depth rating and dressy enough to up your formal wear, the Oris Aquis Date is a highly versatile timepiece you can bring to nearly any occasion. In this article, let us take a closer look at the Oris Aquis Date, its history, and the excellent features it offers. History of Oris Aquis Date  The release of the Rolex Submariner in 1954 was a game-changer for the watch industry as a whole. The Submariner hit the ground running with explosive popularity, giving dive watches a reputation for prestige, class, and luxury. As a result, by the 1960s, the entire horology industry had started shifting towards a trend of creating classy dive pieces. This led to Oris releasing its first 100-meter diver’s watch, popularly known as the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, in 1965. Oris’s entrance into the dive watch market was a success, as the Oris Divers Sixty-Five became a crowd favorite, especially amongst divers and watch enthusiasts. 46 years down the line, Oris released a new collection dedicated to divers — the Oris Aquis. This is a series of high-end diving models that boast a more contemporary style. Oris equipped the Aquis with an improved 300-meter water resistance capacity, giving it a competitive edge against many of its other dive watch counterparts in the market. Among the many Aquis watches, the Oris Aquis Date is one of the most highly-regarded variants, thanks to its distinctive and modern style. Versions of the Oris Aquis Date Throughout the Years Oris Aquis Date 43.5mm Version In 2017, Oris launched an Aquis Date model in a 43.5mm size. It has a quintessential stainless steel case and a unidirectional bezel with a black elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic. This watch is instantly recognizable, thanks to the detailed engravings of the Oris shield emblem and logo on the caseback and folding clasp respectively. One great thing about this 43.5mm version is the diversity of dial colorways offered. You are given a choice between three options. The first dial features a dark blue sunburst design with contrasting silvery-white indices and hands, while the second has similar elements against a classy black backdrop instead. The third dial is more vibrant and sporty, consisting of bright orange pointers and hour markers against a black surface. All three dials are generously treated with Super-LumiNova pigments to provide optimal readability in any sort of lighting condition. Oris also offers you three different strap options to choose from with the Oris Aquis Date 43.5mm. You can opt between a stainless steel bracelet, a rubber strap, or a leather band. The models with the black rubber strap or brown leather band retail at just $1,531 USD. The blue rubber strap variant, on the other hand, has a price tag of around $1,637 USD. Finally, the stainless steel version is priced slightly higher at $1,649 USD. Oris Aquis Date 39.5mm & 41.5mm The smallest version of the Oris Aquis Date available is the Oris Aquis Date 39.5mm, which, as you might expect from its name, has a 39.5mm stainless steel case and matching bracelet of the same material. Rather than using the typical ceramic bezel, the brand utilizes a black tungsten bezel — a rare material known for being highly resistant to scratches. This bezel is engraved with white numerals and markers for the elapsed time scale and comes in a variety of colorways including black, dark green, silver, and more. In February 2020, Oris released a new model of the Aquis Date 39.5mm. This sophisticated piece came with a striking ocean blue sunray dial, paired with a gleaming black tungsten bezel. It is adorned with thick luminous hands and hour indices, along with a rectangular date window at 6 o’clock. This Oris Aquis Date piece is driven by a self-winding movement with a 38-hour power reserve. Like other Aquis Date models, this watch comes with an impressive 300-meter water resistance rating, making it a reliable option on diving excursions. In 2020, Oris also released a 41.5mm version of the Oris Aquis Date, which has similar features to its smaller counterpart. Apart from its size, the main difference between the two models is that the 41.5mm model is offered with either a rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. It also has a slightly different dial, boasting a darker blue sunray finish. You can purchase the 39.5mm model for around $2,000 USD, while the 41.5mm costs more, at around $2,200 USD. Oris Aquis Date 45.5mm Version Photo from Watchshopping The largest model of the Oris Aquis Date available is the Aquis Date 45.5mm. This model has similar specifications to the smaller variants of the Oris Aquis Date, but it comes with larger angular crown protectors and wider lugs, giving this watch more of a spiral balanced look. It also comes with a black dial furnished with sword hands, luminous indices, a day-date aperture, and a broken-up orange or yellow second scale around the rim, adding a burst of vibrant color to the otherwise dark watch face. This Oris Aquis Date 45.5mm comes in either a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap. The rubber strap is also available in three hues, which you can pick based on your preference: yellow, black, and orange. Depending on the specific model and materials chosen, the price of this watch ranges from between $1,450 USD to $ 1,755 USD. Best Selections of the Oris Aquis Date  1. Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7730 4153-07 4 24 63EB Movement: Automatic Oris Caliber 733 Jewels: 26Power Reserve: 38 hoursWater Resistance: 300 metersRight off the bat, this Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7730 4153-07 4 24 63EB looks incredibly classic and sophisticated. It is housed in a 43.5mm stainless steel case, which perfectly complements the striking sunburst grey dial and matching grey rubber strap. Its dial comes with luminous sword hands, hour indices, and a vibrant red seconds hand that adds a burst of vibrancy to the watch face. Priced at $1,799 USD, this diver’s watch is a great choice, not just as a companion on your underwater adventures, but also for your everyday look. 2. Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7731 4151-07 8 18 05P Photo from Watchshopping Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7731 4151-07 8 18 05PMovement: Automatic Oris Caliber 733Jewels: 26Power Reserve: 38 hoursWater resistance: 300 metersThe next watch on our list is an ideal time-telling tool for all the ladies out there who enjoy minimalist designs. The Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7731 4151-07 8 18 05P is encased in a slender 36.4mm stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel bracelet. This is paired with an exclusive, snow-white dial and a stainless steel bezel with a white elapsed time scale insert. The white dial of this watch is decorated with luminous sword-shaped hands and silver-white indices that maintain the watch’s quiet silver-and-white aesthetic. If you are looking for a classic ladies’ piece, then this $1,549 USD Oris Aquis Date model is a worthy grab. 3. Oris Aquis Date Ref.01 733 7730 4152-07 5 24 12EB Movement: Automatic Oris Caliber 733Jewels: 26Power Reserve:  38 hoursWater Resistance: 300 metersIf you are looking for a dressier dive watch that is sure to draw everyone’s eyes at your next dinner party, then you should definitely consider the Oris Aquis Date Ref.01 733 7730 4152-07 5 24 12EB. This watch has a 43.5mm stainless steel with squarish, angular lugs and an aged brown leather strap. Its dial showcases a gorgeous sunburst brown finish which pairs surprisingly well with the gleaming maroon-colored elapsed time scale bezel. On the underside of the watch, you can find a transparent caseback, which provides wearers with a clear view of the watch’s Oris 733 Caliber. You can get your hands on this watch for approximately $1,399 USD. 4. Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7732 4157-07 4 21 64FC Movement: Automatic Oris Calibre 733Jewels: 26 Power Reserve: 38 hoursWater Resistance: 300 metersFor another stylish, masculine Oris Aquis Date option, take a look at the Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7766 4157-07 4 22 64FC. Presented in a 41.5mm stainless steel case, this watch shows off a glamorous green dial, a stainless steel bezel with a metallic, royal green elapsed time scale insert, and a comfortable black rubber strap. It also has a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal fitted on top of the case front, providing greater security to the dial. Retailing at $1,580 USD, this timepiece is a wonderful partner for both your diving adventures and your everyday routines. 5. Oris Aquis Date Automatic Ref. 01 733 7730 4134-07 8 24 05PEB Photo from Watchshopping.com Movement: Automatic Oris Calibre 733Jewels: 26Power Reserve: 38 hoursWater Resistance: 300 metersLast but not least, we have the Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 4134-07 8 24 05PEB — a handsome timepiece with a quintessential black and silver build. This watch is housed in a 43.5mm stainless steel case and bracelet, serving a classic contrast against the grandiose black dial and metallic black elapsed time scale bezel. Like other Oris Aquis Date models, this timepiece is outfitted with a sapphire crystal that protects the dial from any external threats. For an estimated price of $1,799 USD, you can get this durable and stylish Aquis Date watch. Alternatives to Oris Aquis Date The Oris Aquis Date is one of the most classic and reliable divers watches on the market. However, although it is packed with all the essential features of a good diving timepiece, not everyone might be able to get their hands on it. As such, we have collated a list of the best alternative models to Oris Aquis Date that you should consider checking out. 1. Seiko Prospex Ref. SNE573P1 Photo from Watchshopping.com The first watch on the list is from another iconic Japanese brand, Seiko. The Seiko Prospex Ref. SNE573P1, like the Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 4134-07 8 24 05PEB, is a lovely classic option with its 38.5mm stainless steel case, striking black dial, matte black elapsed time scale bezel, and black silicone strap. Its watch face is decorated with luminous arrowhead hands and geometric hour indices for easy reading even in low-light conditions, along with a compact date window at 3 o’clock. This Seiko Prospex piece has a 200-meter depth rating, which ensures it can withstand some harsh underwater conditions, although it is not quite as impressive as the Oris Aquis Date’s 300-meter water resistance capacity. In addition, it is driven by an in-house quartz Caliber V147, which has an outstanding 10-month power reserve when fully charged. If you are looking for a reliable, practical, and durable diving piece, you should opt for this Seiko Prospex piece, retailing at just $509 USD. 2. Omega Seamaster Ref. 231.10.44.50.09.001 Photo from Watchshopping.com If you are into more understated styles, the Omega Seamaster Ref. 231.10.44.50.09.001 might be just the right choice with its quiet all-silver aesthetic. This watch is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet of the same material, which go well with the soft white dial. This dial, which features a pattern of fine vertical lines running across it, is adorned with luminous arrowhead hands, triangular hour markers, and a date window placed between 4 and 5 o’clock. Its chronograph layout consists of three sub-dials, which function as the small seconds, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters. This Omega Seamaster piece runs on a top-notch in-house Caliber 3313 movement, which offers a 52-hour power reserve and a solid 150-meter water resistance capacity. You can purchase this Omega watch for approximately $5,429 USD. 3. Citizen Promaster Ref. NB6004-83E Photo from Watchshopping.com The last watch on our list of Oris Aquis Date alternatives is the Citizen Promaster Ref. NB6004-83E — a reliable, high-quality diver that should definitely be on your radar. It comes in a 46mm titanium case and a three-link bracelet made of the same material. The use of titanium gives this watch a lightweight build, ensuring that it is easy to tote around during your long dives in spite of its larger size and robust profile. Fitted on top of the case is a chunky, heavily textured bezel, which bears a pattern of pyramid-shaped studs and raised numerals for the elapsed time scale. The face of this Citizen Promaster watch showcases the same pyramid pattern as the bezel, except in a black hue. It is also furnished with luminous geometric indices, silver and red hands that add a burst of vibrant color, and a small date aperture at 3 o’clock. Citizen also made sure to equip this timepiece with a 200-meter water resistance rating, so it can fulfill all your underwater needs. Powered by an in-house Caliber 9051 with a 42-hour power reserve, you have to be prepared to shell out around $869 USD for this rugged diving watch. Final Thoughts Oris is a distinguished Swiss watch brand that caters to the needs of both men and women looking for stylish, highly-functional timekeepers. The brand’s Oris Aquis Date fits perfectly into its catalog. With its handsome modern design, high-performing specifications, relatively accessible price, and outstanding 300-meter depth rating, you can never go wrong with this dressy diver’s watch. Featured image courtesy to Kyle Wasinger on Flickr All images from Oris’s official website unless otherwise stated. Still looking for other options of the best diving watches in the horology market? Why not take some time to read our article on the Top Dive Watches Under 1000 to get more familiar with other top-notch diving watches that come at a very budget-friendly price.

    read more
    0
  9. Timex Q Reissue: The Return of the Splendid 1970s GMT Watch

    Timex Q Reissue: The Return of the Splendid 1970s GMT Watch

    Timex is one of those brands that has been in the horology industry for as long as we remember. This American brand has always catered to the needs of both men and women looking for durable, stylish timepieces at accessible prices. Timex was also behind the existence of the legendary Timex Q watch, which was released in the 1970s as a popular and more budget-friendly alternative to the iconic Rolex GMT-Master II.  Given the Timex Q’s success, it is no surprise that the brand chose to bring it back today in the form of the Timex Q Reissue. Bearing classic aesthetics inspired by its predecessors, the Timex Q Reissue continues to be a sleek, affordable option for watch enthusiasts who enjoy vintage looks. But is it worth the hype? Let us take a closer look at everything the Timex Q Reissue has to offer to find out. First Impressions Even at first glance, the Timex Q Reissue has a quintessential vibe that instantly reminds you of the 70s. This timepiece has a neo-vintage aesthetic, with its angular, beveled case and stainless steel bracelet. Like its 1970s predecessor, it also comes with a dark red and blue Pepsi GMT bezel, an innovation first developed by the trailblazing Swiss watchmaker Rolex. The watch’s muted blue dial also contrasts well against the beige hour markers, enhancing the watch’s retro yet classy look. Anatomy of the Timex Q Reissue Case and Bezel The case of the Timex Q Reissue is both elegant and extremely satisfying to look at, with its cleanly brushed surfaces. Made of stainless steel, this case measures 38mm in diameter and 11.5mm in height, making this quite a slender watch that is very easy to tote around all day. In addition, its sharply beveled edges give the impression of the Timex Q Reissue being even smaller than it really is. As a result, this watch is great for those with small-to-average size wrists and those who simply love wearing slimmer watches. Like the original Timex Q, this watch has solid hooded lugs, which is quite uncommon in modern watches, further emphasizing this watch’s vintage style. The Timex Q Reissue also inherits the original’s beautiful red-and-blue Pepsi GMT dial, an iconic watch design that makes it even more appealing. This stainless steel bezel is highly scratch-resistant and can be smoothly rotated in both directions. It also comes with silver Arabic numeral indicators that allow you to keep track of a second time zone and blunted teeth-edges so wearers can grip and turn it more easily. Fixed on top of the bezel is a domed acrylic crystal that serves to protect the Timex Q Reissue’s dial. Dial The beguiling dial of the Timex Q Reissue shows off a muted navy blue hue, which pairs perfectly with its Pepsi bezel. This dial incorporates a classic, retro-inspired layout, making it a real favorite with vintage watch fans. It has large geometric hour indices and silver-outlined lollipop hands, along with a sizable day-date window located at 3 o’clock. The hour indices and hands are all coated in beige-white luminous material, giving them a bright green glow in the dark that satisfyingly contrasts its navy blue backdrop. The brand also added a faux patina to the watch to add a bit of nostalgia to the whole piece. On the whole, Timex did a great job re-capturing the same 70s vibe of the original timepiece. Movement One thing that might be a little lackluster about the Timex Q Reissue is the movement that powers it. Just like its predecessor, the Timex Q Reissue is equipped with a quartz movement, the Seiko SII Epson PC33. It is a little disappointing that Timex did not see fit to upgrade the movement with the Timex Q’s modern release and this Seiko caliber definitely shows its age. This is a relatively cheap and basic movement, so you have to manually set the day function by moving the hands past midnight instead of having the watch automatically set the date for you. This can be quite a downside for fans who prefer watches that offer greater convenience. Caseback On the underside of the Timex Q Reissue, you can find a caseback that is also remarkably similar to its 1970s version. This screwed-in stainless steel caseback has a brushed finish and provides a water resistance capacity of around 50 meters. It has a very minimalistic, simple look, with just the brand name, reference code, and other such information stamped on the back and no flowery designs or engravings that you might find on other watches. The small opening on the upper left side of the caseback allows you to change the battery of the Timex Q Reissue on your own. All you have to do is stick a coin into the slot, turn it until it opens and you will be able to change the watch’s battery. Bracelet/Strap The Timex Q Reissue comes with a bracelet also made from stainless steel. It adds to the watch’s quintessential look, perfectly complementing its overall design, and feels extremely comfortable on the wrist as well. This strap also has a buckle that keeps the watch firmly secured on your wrist. Price Aside from its heritage and classic design, the most exciting part of this Timex Q Reissue is its affordable price. Retailing at just $179 USD, the Timex Q Reissue is quite a value-for-money option. It should be noted that the Timex Q Reissue was hugely popular and sold out quite rapidly. This has led to its price being marked up slightly on the second-hand market, although this problem has been marginally alleviated by the release of new 2020 models of the Timex Q Reissue. Today, you can probably get the Timex Q Reissue second-hand for under $250 USD. Ultimately, if you are looking for the best, most accessible vintage-inspired timepiece, this is one you should definitely check out. Brief History of Timex Q Watch During the quartz crisis in the 1970s, watch industries all over the world were impacted. Numerous American watchmakers were driven into bankruptcy and were compelled to sell off their brands to various foreign corporations. At that time, only Timex and Bulova continued to operate in America. However, in order to survive the financial difficulties caused by the quartz crisis, these two brands decided to venture out by entering the quartz watch industry themselves. It was this saga that led to Timex launching the very first version of the Timex Q in 1979. The Timex Q was a very popular and in-demand model, right from the outset. Timex utilized elements that were trendy in the 1970s in the making of this watch, leading to the Timex Q being recognized by many watch enthusiasts worldwide. Some of these elements included the angular-shaped case, the stylish Pepsi bezel, and the mesh bracelet. As a quartz watch, the Timex Q was far more affordable and accessible than most of its mechanical watch peers. Thanks to its highly recognizable Pepsi bezel, the Timex Q became the go-to alternative for those who wanted but could not afford the Rolex GMT-Master. This association with Rolex’s GMT-Master raised the Timex Q’s profile even further, making this watch a cornerstone in Timex’s history. 2020 Timex Q Reissue Models Photo from Professional WatchesAs previously mentioned, the Timex Q Reissue was a huge hit upon its release and was quickly sold out. In 2020, to accommodate continued demand, Timex launched three new color variations of the sought-after Timex Q Reissue. These three variants share nearly identical specifications as the original Pepsi version of the Timex Q Reissue, including 38mm cases, robust quartz movements, and teeth-edged rotating GMT bezels with bi-color designs. The only difference between the Pepsi Timex Q Reissue and these 2020 models is that their dials and bezels come in different colorways. The 2020 Timex Q Reissue variations include the Ref. TW2U60900ZV (black dial with a black and green bezel), the Ref. TW2U61100ZV (navy blue dial with an orange and navy blue bezel), and the Ref. TW2U61200 (white dial with a red and navy blue bezel). The price of these versions remains the same, costing around $179 USD each. Alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue The Timex Q Reissue is an excellent and very affordable vintage watch with a truly classic design. That said, despite its great qualities and features, not all are that fond of wearing a retro-inspired quartz watch. Whether it is because you prefer mechanical pieces or you want something that looks a little more contemporary, fear not. We have collated a list of some of the best alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue that you should consider checking out. 1. Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 1670 Blue Red Photo from Watchshopping.com Ever since it was first launched, both the original and modern editions of the Timex Q have been closely linked to the Rolex GMT-Master due to their rather similar appearances. As such, the first option on our list of best Timex Q Reissue alternatives has to be the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710, which is perfect for those seeking a fancier, more prestigious GMT watch. This Rolex GMT-Master II piece is a classic luxury icon. It comes in a 40mm case and bracelet crafted from the brand’s proprietary Oystersteel material, which is exceptionally resistant to scratches and corrosion. The lustrous silver case and bracelet cast a satisfying contrast against the watch’s jet-black dial, which is adorned with geometric hour markers, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The dial is protected by a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal, which is the hardest watch crystal available. This Rolex watch also features a two-toned Pepsi bezel made out of highly scratch-resistant Cerachrom. Unlike the Timex Q Reissue, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 is powered by an in-house automatic Caliber 3185. This exquisite, hand-crafted movement has a substantial 50-hour power reserve and comes with a water resistance rating of around 100 meters. You can purchase this Rolex Pepsi watch for around $24,899 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 Photo from Watchshopping.com Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1, commonly known as part of the brand’s Seiko Samurai range. Named as such for its luminous sword-shaped minute hand, this watch stands out with its Pepsi bezel and its textured black dial that bears a subtle pattern of waves. This is quite a big watch, with a 43.8mm stainless steel case paired with a matching three-link steel bracelet. Like other Seiko Prospex watches, it is also equipped with a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, adding an extra layer of protection to the watch face. Aside from the “samurai” minute hand, the dial of this Seiko watch is also decorated with thick luminous hour indices, an arrow-shaped hour hand, a thin red seconds hand, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is driven by the brand’s automatic 4R35 Caliber which offers a solid 41-hour power reserve. In addition, it has an impressive depth rating of 200 meters, so this watch can easily act as a companion on all your fun water activities, such as diving or water skiing. The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 is priced at approximately $509 USD, which is quite a worthy bargain considering its exceptional features. 3. Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 Photo from Watchshopping.com Last but not least, we have the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348, which is another quartz watch packed with excellent features. It boasts a large 44mm stainless steel case, which is complemented by a stylish grey sector dial and a black silicone strap. This Bulova Classic watch also has a two-tone bezel. However, unlike the Timex Q Reissue and the Rolex GMT-Master, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is actually classified as a dive watch. As such, its sophisticated red and grey bezel is actually marked with an elapsed time scale in white indicators instead. The watch face is also protected by a layer of mineral crystal. The dial of this Bulova watch is also very straightforward, adorned with luminous arrow hands, hour indices, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. As mentioned, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is a quartz watch, so it runs on a powerful quartz movement that offers a 100-meter water resistance capacity. With a price tag of just $249 USD, this Bulova timepiece is closest in price to the Timex Q Reissue while also bearing a more contemporary style. It is the best alternative to the Timex Q Reissue for modern audiences. Final Thoughts The Timex Q Reissue watch is an exquisite retro-inspired model that definitely deserves to be on your radar. With excellent features, a memorable design, and an affordable price tag, the only downside to the Timex Q Reissue is really its movement, which could really use a more advanced upgrade. That said, if you are seeking an accessible 70s-inspired timepiece and do not mind the subpar movement, then the Timex Q Reissue is the perfect, nostalgia-inducing choice. Photos credit to Timex’s official website unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy to u/Kevin-Benjamin on Reddit. Curious what makes Grand Seiko distinctive from the Seiko watches? Check out our article about The Differences Between Seiko and Grand Seiko Watches.

    read more
    0
  10. Casio Rangeman: A Review of the Brand’s Toughest Watch

    Casio Rangeman: A Review of the Brand’s Toughest Watch

    Casio is widely regarded as being home to some of the toughest watches in the world. While this Japanese brand has numerous refined collections that have greatly contributed to horology, it only truly made a name for itself with its legendary Casio G-Shock collection. This is a line of exceptionally rugged tactical timepieces designed to survive any sort of harsh conditions. One particular high-caliber watch in this collection is the Casio Rangeman GW-9400. Equipped with G-Shock’s famous triple sensor technology and a robust build that is virtually unmatched in the watchmaking world, the Casio Rangeman has become the perfect companion to professionals and adventurers working in extreme conditions. In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Casio Rangeman GW-9400, including its specifications, price, and just what makes it so popular. Brief History of Casio G-Shock Rangeman  In 2013, Casio launched a new series of modern G-Shock watches. Known as the Master of G line-up, these new additions to the G-Shock collection were notable as they came with Casio’s newest, state-of-the-art triple sensor technology. Among these watches was, of course, the Casio Rangeman GW-9400. Today, the Casio Rangeman has become the most coveted model out of the many G-Shock watches in existence. It is the number one pick amongst outdoorsmen and sportsmen of all categories. With its superb features, rugged, combat-ready profile, and accessible price, the Casio Rangeman’s popularity is truly no surprise. Anatomy of the Casio GW-9400 Rangeman Case and Bezel Photo from Watchshopping.com All of the Casio Rangeman GW-9400 watches are built using solid resin cases. The Casio Rangeman’s case is incredibly thick, which provides greater protection against shocks and impacts. They also tend to be large, measuring around 53mm to 55mm in diameter. However, despite their robust sizes, the use of resin means that the Casio Rangeman is actually very light, weighing around 93g, so you can still wear the watch comfortably for extended periods of time. The Rangeman’s thick case is also constructed to have a more three-dimensional profile, with the dial being submerged and surrounded by layers of resin so that the screen of the dial is always protected. As a digital watch, the Casio Rangeman comes packed with an array of useful functions. As a result, the case is also crowded with pushers and buttons that allow you to control these features. For instance, a larger, protruding pusher located at the 3 o’clock position allows you to access the triple sensors’ different modes. Other pushbuttons can be used for the watch’s chronograph functions, to change between different time zones, and so on. You also don’t need to fear being confused by all these buttons and features. The pushers on the Casio Rangeman are all carefully labeled in clean grey and white typefaces, allowing you to get the hang of this watch very quickly. Dial As previously mentioned, the Casio Rangeman has a digital dial that is filled with useful features. It consists of a layer of scratch-resistant mineral glass, with a gray backdrop text in a highly legible, typical black font. Casio opted for a digital dial instead of an analog one because they wanted to optimize this watch in terms of readability and ease of use, so as to better serve the adventurers and hikers that were the main target audience of the Casio Rangeman. With a segmented digital dial, wearers could take one quick glance at the watch face and immediately see all the information they needed. In order to accommodate all of the functions the Casio Rangeman has, the dial is split into four different screens. When in the default modes, the screens each display the time, day of the week, the month and day, and a chronograph display. By pressing the different pushers on the side of the case, you can change the modes of the watch to bring up different types of information such as the compass, the barometric pressure readings, and so on. Movement The Casio Rangeman’s impressive functions are all driven by a high-performing quartz movement. As a quartz caliber, it offers a superlative accuracy rate of ±1 second per day, or ±15 seconds per month. It is also equipped with an incredible 8-month long battery. If necessary, you can also turn on the watch’s power save function, which allows the Casio Rangeman to last up to 23 months when fully charged. Furthermore, this is a solar movement, so you can charge it with solar power, simply by exposing it to light. Bracelet Photo from Watchshopping.com The Casio Rangeman GW-9400 also comes with an integrated resin band, which completes the watch’s sporty and rugged aesthetic. This strap is ergonomic and feels comfortable against your wrist even after hours of use. A stainless steel buckle keeps the strap securely wrapped around your wrist. Resistance The Casio Rangeman GW-9400 is not called one of the toughest watches in the world for nothing. With its sturdy resin case, Casio designed this watch to have water, mud, and shock-resistant properties. It can withstand low temperatures of up to -10°C or 14°F and is water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters. Whether you are diving, swimming, hiking, or doing any other outdoor adventure, this timepiece is the best partner you could have, since it can take a beating and still remain functional no matter what you put it through. That said, make sure to give your Casio Rangeman a good rinse afterward so it always looks clean and pristine. Functions First off, the Casio GW-9400 Rangeman is one of the first timepieces to ever feature the brand’s triple sensor technology, which means that it is equipped with a barometer, altimeter, and compass functions. These are essential to those who are out and about in their adventures. Aside from this, the watch also contains sunrise and sunset data, a thermometer, and Casio’s MultiBand 6 technology, which allows the watch to keep precise time by staying calibrated to surrounding radio waves. This watch also comes with features that are incredibly useful in everyday life. These include a chronograph stopwatch that can measure up to 1000 hours, 31 different time zones, a countdown timer, 5 daily alarms, a full auto-calendar, and much more. With everything that it can do, the Casio Rangeman is a watch that is truly meant to serve you and make your life easier. Best Casio Rangeman GW-9400 Models Now that we have established the Casio Rangeman’s impressive specifications and everything it can do, let us take a look at some of the best GW-9400 models available right now:  1. Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF Photo from Watchshopping.com The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is an instantly recognizable G-Shock model with its rugged, mostly grey build, which is complemented by some vibrant red accents. This is one of the most sought-after models of the Casio Rangeman for the power and practicality it boasts. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF comes in a 53mm case and strap, primarily crafted from resin, rubber, and silicone. These are materials renowned for being highly flexible, hypoallergenic, and having excellent water-resistant capacities. Its digital screen displays the hour, minutes, seconds, date, and day of the week and is filled with grey hues of varying shades. This is complemented by bright red accents dotted around the watch, in the form of red texts and a red stripe around the stainless steel pusher, which serve to brighten up this Casio Rangeman and enhance its sporty look. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF is equipped with an in-house quartz Caliber 3410. This powerful movement ensures top-notch accuracy, with a precision rate of ±15 seconds per month. It also offers Multiband Atomic Timekeeping and a 200-meter water resistance capacity, making it an ideal piece for your next water adventure. This Casio Rangeman retails at around $449 USD, which is a very budget-friendly price for such a tough watch. 2. Casio Rangeman GW-9400DCJ-1JF The next watch on this list is of the best Casio Rangeman models is the GW-9400DCJ-1JF, also known as the Rangeman Desert Camouflage. This is another powerfully-built Casio Rangeman with a design that is based on the camouflage uniforms of military units assigned to work in the desert. As the newest member of the Master of G sub-collection, this Casio Rangeman piece was crafted with desert adventurers and military soldiers in mind. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400DCJ-1JF comes with the standard black resin case with some carbon fiber inserts to better reinforce the case’s sturdiness and resistance to shocks and impacts. Its strap is different from other Rangeman models, coming in a light brown camouflage pattern that blends into its desert surroundings. This Rangeman piece has a stunning digital dial with sharp black text and a lighter-colored background than the Rangeman GW-9400J-1JF. This dial is protected by a flat layer of scratch-resistant mineral crystal. In addition, you can find gold and beige-toned markings all over the thick resin bezel, complementing the softer hues of the dial and the resin strap. The Rangeman Desert Camo GW-9400DCJ-1JF comes at a slightly more expensive price tag of $770 USD. 3. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400-3DR Last but certainly not least, we have the all-green Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400-3DR. This watch bears the standard Rangeman build but stands out with its unique, forest-themed colorway. It is a tough-looking watch equipped with innovative features that correspond to its price. The Casio Rangeman GW-9400-3DR features a case and strap both made out of dark green-coated plastic resin, paired with a mineral crystal that provides the digital dial with greater protection. This watch is slightly larger than the aforementioned models, coming in at around 55.2mm in diameter. It is a rugged, sturdy timepiece that can withstand shocks, mud, low temperatures, scratches, and even has a water resistance rating of 200m. As with other versions of the Rangeman, the GW-9400-3DR is equipped with a solar-powered quartz movement and the brand’s famous triple sensor technology. You can purchase this watch for approximately $300 USD, making this the most affordable Rangeman piece in this guide. Final Thoughts  While there are other durable and rugged watches out there, there is still no timepiece that can be as tough and reliable as the Casio Rangeman. Equipped with the G-Shock’s impressive technological innovations and signature robust build, this is the best survival watch to use in any and every adventure. Furthermore, with its very accessible price range, virtually anyone can own a Rangeman of their own.   Featured image from Casio Official Website. All images courtesy to Casio’s Official Website unless stated. Want to know more about other toughest watches from the Casio collections you should never miss paying attention to? Check our guide about the Best Casio Dive Watches.

    read more
    0
  11. Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Although Tudor first became known as the sister company of the more prestigious watch brand Rolex, the company allowed this to be a reason not to establish its own reputable name in the watch industry. In fact, over the years, Tudor has developed into one of the most highly-coveted Swiss watchmakers with its luxurious and refined timepieces that are available at very reasonable prices. It offers a range of top-notch watches that cater to the needs of both men and women who wish to own a high-caliber timekeeper. Aside from that, Tudor is also known for many innovations in the world of horology, such as the creation of its own first-ever caliber movement, the Caliber MT5621, which you can find in the Tudor North Flag. This particular collection features many classic and cutting-edge timepieces, with the Caliber MT5621 providing exceptionally precise timekeeping as well. That said, the Tudor North Flag has been a remarkably underrated line of watches. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Tudor North Flag in detail and break down just why it deserves more attention from watch enthusiasts. Tudor’s First in-House Calibre Photo by Manuel Rebic from Flickr The Tudor North Flag, as mentioned, stood out because it featured the brand’s first-ever powerful in-house Caliber MT5621. As earlier versions of Tudor watches were equipped with caliber movements from external suppliers, the creation of its first in-house movement was a massive milestone for the brand. In fact, this was the major shift that allowed the brand to establish its own identity in the watch community and no longer be referred to as just a sister brand of Rolex. While it is true that the Tudor Pelagos was the first watch to be powered by the Caliber MT5621, it was the Tudor North Flag that proudly showcased its excellent functions and mechanisms with the North Flag’s see-through caseback. This feature is not one often found in Rolex watches, making the Tudor North Flag all the more distinctive. In fact, the Tudor North Flag serves as a testament to how Tudor expertly carves out its niche, setting itself apart from Rolex. The Inspiration Behind Tudor North Flag’s Existence Named after the British North Greenland Expedition, the Tudor North Flag actually takes inspiration from the 1952 expedition’s Oyster Prince time-telling accessory, as well as the exceptional 1970’s Tudor Ranger II. The Oyster Prince was historically crafted to be used by the crew of the British North Greenland Expedition back in 1952, which means that it was designed to be a reliable, robust, and highly accurate timepiece that could survive being exposed to all sorts of extreme environments. The Tudor North Flag took from the Oyster Prince a similar identity of being a tough, rigid, and highly precise timekeeper intended for the hardiest of survivalists. With regards to the overall design of the Tudor North Flag, on the other hand, a quick glance makes it immediately apparent that it has a resemblance to Tudor’s own Ranger II, an iconic timepiece from way back in the 1970s. Like the Ranger II, the Tudor North Flag features a similar arrow-shaped handset filled with lume and a heavy-based chapter ring. One difference between the two watches, however, is that the Tudor North Flag does not adopt the Ranger II’s oversized fluted bezel, opting instead for a smoother and more refined bezel. All in all, the Tudor North Flag is a fresh, modern take on the Ranger II. Up Close with Tudor North Flag Case Material: Stainless steel Dial: Black Case diameter: 40mm Movement: Calibre MT5621 Power reserve: 70 hours Water resistance: 100m Case and Bezel Right from the outset, the most striking feature you’re likely to notice from the unique Tudor North Flag is its sophisticated case. Crafted as a luxury sports watch, the stainless steel case of this timepiece has a slim build and clean lines with its sharp, angular edges. In addition, it features a high-tech steel bezel that is unusually lined with black ceramic on the outer rim and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that serves as protection for the dial. With its proportionate 40mm case diameter, previous owners have reported that the Tudor North Flag is extremely comfortable on the wrist, with a size that is just right. Its incorporated lugs and tapered crown are fine details that add to the lightweight profile of the watch. Along with its substantial 100m water resistance, this timepiece displays a contemporary appearance that is a modern twist on the vintage Tudor Ranger II. Dial The dial of the Tudor North Flag is yet another highlight of this handsome timepiece, as it boasts an avant-garde and minimalistic style. Along with its rectangular hour markers, the watch also displays two oversized Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock that dominate the black dial. The numerals and hour markers are all wrapped in white lume to provide excellent visibility even in poor lighting conditions. You will also notice the small rectangular date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position and a bright yellow power reserve indicator located at 9 o’clock that serves as a splash of color to the dial. This power reserve also works as a rotating disc, adding a touch of contemporaneity to this timepiece. Another elegant feature of the Tudor North Flag is its luminous silver-toned hour and minute hands, and vibrant yellow seconds hand with a rectangular tip. The white and yellow handset smartly contrasts against the black dial, which adds to the legibility of this timepiece. We can also find the Tudor name and logo printed on the dial, right under the 12 o’clock marker. Lume Tudor ensures that the hour markers and hands of the North Flag are all either coated or filled with luminescent material. This gives it a gorgeous light blue glow in low-lighting conditions, making time-telling easy no matter where you are. This is one of the most essential features a timepiece must have and the brand’s use of a high-end lume for the Tudor North Flag highlights how Tudor spared no expense in crafting this watch. Movement While the gorgeous aesthetics of the Tudor North Flag are definitely an eye-catcher, the real show-stopper when it comes to this watch is its movement. The Caliber MT5621 movement is, as previously mentioned, Tudor’s first-ever in-house caliber movement. It was a significant turning point for Tudor, as this ability to craft a top-notch movement with excellent engineering and craftsmanship helped the brand to build its own reputation instead of just being identified as a sister company of Rolex. As the Tudor North Flag was the primary vehicle that Tudor used to introduce the Caliber MT5621, this gives the watch a special status in the Tudor catalog and history indeed. Going back to Caliber MT5621 movement, it is a top-notch automatic movement that features a 4Hz beat rate, a bidirectional winding system equipped with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring, and an adjustable inertia oscillator. It is a COSC-certified chronometer with a record of accuracy rating of not more than -2/+4 seconds, and as such is a highly reliable, accurate, and functional movement that you can rely on for years to come. It also features a whopping power reserve of up to 70 hours. This is a particular standout compared to other high-end sports watches, which tend to only offer up to 40 hours of power reserve. Moreover, this in-house movement is also surprisingly durable. Not only is it able to withstands shocks and external vibrations, but it is also anti-magnetic and has superior dimensional stability. It features a free-spring balance wheel, a design that is characteristic of high-end Swiss-made movements like those from prominent watchmakers Patek Philippe and Rolex. The mechanisms of the Caliber MT5621 can be observed through the see-through case back of the Tudor North Flag, allowing wearers to appreciate the grand and efficient design of this movement. Bracelet/Strap Tudor offers two different options for the strap of the North Flag. You can choose between a brushed, professional stainless steel strap or a yellow-stitched, black leather strap. The former is crafted with a solid satin finish, which blends perfectly with the matching stainless steel case. The yellow and black leather strap, on the other hand, pairs well with the neon accents visible on the Tudor North Flag’s sporty dial. Regardless of which one you opt to use, both straps are crafted by Tudor to be durable and easy to wear. Both of them feature safety catches and folding clasps that allow the straps to fit nicely and securely around wrists of any size. Pros and Cons of Tudor North Flag Despite all of the impressive attributes of the Tudor North Flag, it is not quite the perfect timepiece. That is why, before making a decision on the Tudor North Flag, you want to make sure to consider all the good and the bad first. We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons so you really know what you’re getting with the Tudor North Flag. Pros Excellent build and quality finish.  Each component of the Tudor North Flag watch is skillfully crafted by the brand to ensure its durability, reliability, and functionality. Furthermore, knowing that Tudor is one of the most reputable Swiss watchmakers, you can rest assured that it only uses premium materials to create its timepieces, and the Tudor North Flag is no exception.Equipped with Tudor’s first in-house movement and COSC-certified chronometer. One of the most noteworthy features of the Tudor North Flag is that it is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house movement, the Caliber MT5621. This movement is shock-resistant and has anti-magnetic capabilities, making it a durable movement with a long shelf life. It is also commended for its highly precise timekeeping, showcasing the identity and reliability of a genuine Swiss-made movement.Known for its affordability. Another highlight of the North Flag watch is its budget-friendly pricing. Considering the robust features this watch offers, getting it at a price that will not break your bank is certainly considered a steal. Cons Limited strap options. If you’re the type of person who loves to switch up the straps of your timepiece for different occasions, then sadly, this Tudor North Flag might not be for you. Although it has incorporated lugs to provide greater comfort against the wearer’s wrists, there isn’t really a diversity of choice available in terms of strap options. As mentioned, these North Flag watches only come with two types of straps, formal stainless steel, or a sporty black and yellow leather version. An alternative solution is to buy a custom-made strap, which, unfortunately, can be quite expensive.Not as popular as other Tudor collections. Despite all the features the Tudor North Flag offers, it remains quite an underrated timepiece. If you’re planning to buy a watch to invest in for the future, buying this watch might be a risk for you, particularly when it comes to resale value, as it isn’t as heavily sought-after as some of its Tudor peers. Two Variants of Tudor North Flag  1. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0002 One notable feature of this version is its stunning black dial, boasting a contemporary and classic sporty look. This Tudor North Flag 91210N-0002 features a 40mm stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal to add extra protection to its dial, a see-through skeleton caseback, and a smooth black leather strap with a fold-over safety clasp to complete the overall classy, sporty look. It is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house automatic movement, famous for its high accuracy and resistance to shocks and magnetism. Aside from that, this Tudor model also comes equipped with a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters. You’ll notice that the handy date aperture can also be found at the 3 o’clock position. This first version of the Tudor North Flag is available for only $3,939 USD. 2. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0001 This second version of Tudor North Flag features all the same characteristics as the previous watch. It also has a 40mm round stainless steel case with integrated lugs, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a see-through caseback that showcases the watch’s in-house Caliber MT5621 movement. It has an impressive power reserve of up to 70 hours and is equipped with 100 meters of water resistance. The only difference of this Tudor North Flag 91210N-0001 is its strap, which is made of stainless steel and offers more of a professional, classic feel with its clean geometry. This version is just a little pricier, retailing at $4,499 USD. Final Thoughts We can’t deny that we tend to opt for the most prestigious watchmakers like Rolex, Tag Heuer, or Omega when looking at Swiss luxury watch brands. Sometimes, we forget that it is not just the most prominent brands that are worthy of interest or capable of delivering high-quality timepieces. Indeed, Tudor, with its luxurious and reliable watches available at very reasonable prices, is definitely one to keep an eye on. In particular, the Tudor North Flag is a classic and functional timepiece that offers highly accurate timekeeping and a handsomely contemporary aesthetic. This timepiece was the vehicle through which Tudor introduced its first-ever in-house movement, which adds to the historical significance and depth of the Tudor North Flag as well, as part of this impressive Tudor milestone. At the end of the day, the Tudor North Flag is a durable, reliable, and functional time-telling accessory with an important history to boot. For these reasons, it is an excellent and underrated piece perfect for watch enthusiasts looking to expand their collections. Looking for other Tudor watches you would definitely want to add to your collection? Check our article on the Best Picks From Tudor Watches. All photos are credited to Watchshopping.com unless stated otherwise. Featured image from Manuel Rebic on Flickr.

    read more
    0
To Top