Tan Ci Heng

Tan Ci Heng

First Published: July 13, 2021
  1. Articles by Tan Ci Heng
  2. Top 25 Best Automatic Watches

    Top 25 Best Automatic Watches

    If you are new to the world of watches, you will know that familiarizing yourself with the different terms can be quite a difficult task, especially since there is a certain jargon used in horology. Regardless, one of the first things you need to learn is the difference between automatic and quartz timepieces. Quartz timepieces are powered by batteries while automatic watches are equipped with self-winding springs. Being able to differentiate between these two types of timekeepers will allow you to better understand the anatomy of a watch and how it works. While quartz models are unparalleled when it comes to accuracy, a good percentage of the best watches out there are actually driven by automatic movements. With that being said, we have curated a list of the best automatic watches that are worth your while!  25 Best Automatic Watches Here’s our list of the best automatic watches available right now.  1. Seiko 5  Though this collection from Seiko cannot quite compete when you put it head to head with the others on this list, that is also not the only way we grade watches. Instead, we also often look at whether a watch is a “bang for your buck”, or how much value that piece has. When you take that approach, the Seiko 5 immediately reveals itself to be an exceptional timepiece. This collection breaks the mould by delivering high-quality and durable automatic watches at surprisingly low prices, making it a fantastic choice for budget shoppers. 2. Tissot Powermatic  The Tissot Powermatic is an automatic watch that we have a soft spot for. It has a minimalist style, makes use of luxurious and expensive materials, and is just a joy to wear. As an added bonus, it sports an impressive 80-hour power reserve, which beats out many of the pricier options on this list. That feature makes this timepiece easy to use, as you can put it down for a couple of days and not have to reset it when you decide to wear it again. 3. Oris Aquis If you want to get an automatic watch that is a bit more expensive, then Oris is a natural step up. This Swiss manufacturer has an excellent reputation in the watch world and will not let you down. The Oris Aquis is an automatic dive watch collection that gives you a ton of options to choose from. Whether you like your timepieces big, small, minimalistic, or complex, this collection will be able to meet your needs. We especially love the Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7732 4157-07 8 21 05PEB, a charming green dial and bezel model which looks quite a bit like the famous Rolex “Hulk” Submariner. 4. Longines Master The Longines Master is another collection that we have a special affinity for. If you want to buy an automatic watch that comes with serious craftsmanship and an elegant aesthetic, then look no further. While this collection is very diverse, we recommend you take a look at the moon phase options first. There is just something so attractive and alluring about these automatic timepieces. Minimalist shoppers will also be happy to find that many of the automatic models in this collection sport clean, uncluttered dials. 5. Tudor Black Bay One of the most sought-after watches in the world is the Rolex Submariner. While that piece is certainly fantastic, buyers often have to wait years to get one or pay for them at a premium. If you want a luxury automatic diver, but do not want to jump through hoops, the Tudor Black Bay is a great option. Tudor is a sister company of Rolex, and they have created some truly amazing products over the years, with this model being their best seller. 6. Omega Speedmaster  The Omega Speedmaster is often called the “Moon Watch”, as it was on the wrists of the first astronauts that went to the moon. Trivia aside, this automatic watch is a fantastic deal and one of the premier icons in the horology world today. It is one of those products that you can order without any stress or fear, given its reputation and its tendency to appreciate in value. 7. IWC Pilot’s Watch IWC is quietly one of the top watch brands in the world, and the IWC Pilot collection is a bestseller of theirs. Consumers especially love the quality and the sturdiness of the materials used in IWC watches, along with everything else that IWC has to offer. Another advantage is that they come at multiple price ranges. Those of you who want to spend a little less can get an entry-level automatic Pilot, while big spenders can go for the more expensive IWC Big Pilot. 8. Rolex Submariner  You know this watch is truly iconic when we mention it twice in the article before it even comes up as an entry. That is the power of the Rolex Submariner, which may be the most in-demand timepiece on the market. It is not just hype, though, as this automatic model has top-tier Swiss craftsmanship and aesthetics that impress. Simply put, you cannot go wrong with the Submariner. 9. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon  Audemars Piguet is one of the most well-established luxury brands in the watchmaking industry. With over a century of experience, they have managed to gain a stellar reputation — thanks to the high-level craftsmanship shown in each timepiece they release. Considering their status, it is only expected that they offer their own range of quality automatic watches. In fact, their iconic Royal Oak collection is actually home to some of the best self-winding models out there. The AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon boasts both a gorgeous design and impressive specifications, such as a flying tourbillon function and a 65-hour power reserve. On the whole, it serves as an elegant automatic watch for all luxury watch enthusiasts. 10. Bell & Ross 03-92 Heritage  If we are talking about classy and avant-garde timepieces, Bell & Ross should definitely be one of the first brands you check out. They have a wide selection of unique models that come with excellent functions. The best thing about this brand is how they make sure that both the technical and creative aspects of watchmaking are always aligned and consistent, which is something clearly evident in all their models. The BR 03-92 Heritage, for example, is a great automatic watch with such a distinct design. The model’s robust exterior is complemented by its first-class features like a time-setting with hacking function and a 40-hour power reserve. It is the perfect self-winding watch for those who like sophisticated yet tough-looking pieces. 11. Seiko Presage SRPG05J1  Even if you are not exactly familiar with the watchmaking world, you have probably heard of Seiko at least once in your life. They are one of the most popular and respected brands in the market — thanks to their expertise in Japanese craftsmanship. Seiko is also home to numerous collections with excellent automatic watches. Their Presage collection has its fair share of quality self-winding models, with the SRPG05J1 being one of many outstanding automatic pieces. It is equipped with a caliber 4R35 and has a power reserve of up to 41 hours. If you want a well-crafted automatic watch, then make sure to check out the Seiko Presage line as well!  12. Hamilton Khaki Field Murph Auto Many of us know Hamilton as the brand loved by the big screen because of the countless appearances of their watches in films. There is just something about their timepieces that make for perfect companions to protagonists and other characters. While this proves their creativity and striking looks, Hamilton watches are not just about aesthetics. In fact, their current catalogue consists of pieces with impressive specifications, functions, and features. One of their best automatic watches is the Khaki Field Murph Auto, which was actually featured in the film Interstellar. It is equipped with an H-10 caliber that follows a three-hand movement and has a whopping 80-hour power reserve. This timepiece is a must-have for those who like self-winding models with classic exteriors.  13. Breitling Superocean Automatic 36 Breitling is another highly-regarded manufacturer with over a century of experience under its belt. They are known as pioneers in the industry especially given their expertise in crafting certain watch complications. While their claim to fame may be their chronographs, the brand also has an exceptional portfolio of automatic watches such as the Breitling Superocean collection, which primarily consists of diving models. The Superocean Automatic 36, for example, is driven by an automatic Breitling 17 caliber which boasts an excellent power reserve of approximately 38 hours. If you’re looking for a solid automatic diving watch, then do not miss out on the Superocean Automatic!  14. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Bulgari is a well-respected jeweler and watch manufacturer in the luxury world. While all their products are of the utmost quality and elegance, the timepieces they offer are on another level of stunning and technical. Through their knowledge of stones and jewels, they are able to create statement pieces that boast high performance as well. For example, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is one of their most popular timepieces. This particular model is an automatic watch, equipped with their BVL138 Finissimo caliber, with a power reserve of 60 hours. However, the most interesting part about it is that the aforementioned calibre is actually known as the thinnest automatic movement in the world. If you want a gorgeous and equally complex self-winding watch, then the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is just the right one for you!  15. Timex Waterbury Traditional Automatic While most of the recommendations on this list are from luxury manufacturers, some mass-market brands out there also offer excellent automatic watches. Timex, for one, is a company best known for its affordable and accessible timepieces. They are a popular go-to for many, especially the youthful audiences, because of the easygoing aesthetics their watches possess. One of their best self-winding models is the Waterbury Traditional Automatic which serves as a tribute to the first few Timex timepieces ever made. Since the brand had already been utilizing automatic calibers way back then, they opted to go with an improved version of said movements for the Waterbury Traditional Automatic. This automatic watch is perfect for those who want a casual, vintage-inspired piece that will not break the bank.  16. Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118/1A  When it comes to Haute Horlogerie, one name that will surely pop up is Patek Philippe. They are home to many of the most sought-after and expensive timepieces in the market. Patek Philippe has a rather untouchable reputation — thanks to its rich history and mastery of the watchmaking craft. With all that being said, it is no surprise that they also have some of the best automatic watches out there. For example, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118/1A, also known as the Ladies Automatic Nautilus, is driven by a powerful self-winding movement with a 45-hour power reserve and 29 jewels. With its sophisticated aesthetics and well-crafted caliber, this automatic timepiece is a great investment for all the ladies who enjoy luxury watches.  17. Victorinox Alliance Mechanical  Victorinox is known for offering high-quality products that boast excellent Swiss craftsmanship. Despite being late bloomers in the watchmaking industry, their expertise in metals and mechanics has allowed them to create outstanding timepieces. When it comes to automatic watches, a lesser-known but still great model is the Victorinox Alliance Mechanical. This Victorinox Alliance timepiece is a very classic-looking watch with contemporary features. It is equipped with an automatic ETA 2892 caliber and has a power reserve of up to 42 hours. If you are looking for something quintessential yet robust, then you should definitely check out the Alliance Mechanical.  18. Mido Ocean Star 200C Mido is a Swiss brand best known for its pieces inspired by architecture. In fact, the iconic Mido Multifort is a mechanical watch based on famous structures, namely the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Roman Colosseum. This is also one of the few watch manufacturers that can balance design and functionality perfectly. Aside from the Multifort, another renowned line they have is the Ocean Star, which came out in the 1950s. It is one of their flagship collections at present and it consists mostly of automatic watches. The Ocean Star 200C, in particular, is equipped with the Automatic Mido Caliber 80 which has date-day functions and an impressive 80-hour power reserve. If you’re looking for a self-winding timepiece that is perfect for underwater activities, then the Mido Ocean Star is a great option!  19. Bulova 96A246 Men’s Classic Bulova is an American watch company with a very colorful and rich heritage. Since their founding in 1875, they have accumulated numerous milestones which have cemented their reputation as a premium brand. They also offer a vast selection of timepieces with different designs, functions, and specifications. One of the best automatic watches they have is the 96A246 Men’s Classic, also known as the Hack Watch. It is a vintage-inspired model based on the brand’s history with the military. Moreover, it is driven by a three-hand, automatic movement with 21 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. This automatic timepiece is definitely recommended to those who want a self-winding watch with retro aesthetics.  20. Certina DS Action GMT Certina is a Swiss watch brand best known for its DS Concept technology. Its name stands for “double security”, which essentially means that they make use of especially sturdy and robust components for their timepieces. This shows how much the brand upholds reliability and precision which is clearly reflected in their current catalogue as well. While they have a lot of great automatic watches, the DS Action GMT serves as one of the best models they offer and is definitely worth the price. It is driven by a Powermatic 80.661 calibre with a multiple timezone mechanism and an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. This is perfect for those who want a casual yet multi-functional self-winding watch.   21. Panerai Luminor Marina  Panerai is a watch brand known for its genius fusion of Italian aesthetics, Swiss craftsmanship, and enthusiasm for the ocean. These serve as the main foundation of the brand, which they are able to execute well with every piece. Panerai also makes their own in-house movements, which boast different, avant-garde complications. This particular Luminor Marina, for example, is an automatic watch powered by their P.9010 caliber. It is made of 200 components and 31 jewels, with a power reserve of up to 72  hours. If you are looking for a sophisticated, distinct, and robust self-winding watch, then this model should definitely be on your list.  22. TAG Heuer Monaco Automatic  TAG Heuer is one of the most established luxury watch brands in the industry. They have a rich heritage involving automotive sports, which is evident in many of their collections. Aside from that, they are also known for showcasing highly precise and excellent Swiss craftsmanship. In fact, they offer some of the best automatic watches out there, such as the TAG Heuer Monaco. This is a very modern and distinct piece that is powered by their Caliber 02 automatic chronograph movement, with an 80-hour power reserve. If you want a sporty and striking self-winding watch, then do not miss out on the TAG Heuer Monaco!  23. Longines Heritage Classic  Longines is another brand with an established history behind them. Since the very beginning, they have been known for creating impressive time-telling instruments primarily used in competitions. This helped in cementing their reputation as a trusted partner of different figures in the world of sports, which has also become the backbone of their company’s name. As expected from a manufacturer driven by the desire to innovate, their current catalogue consists of well-crafted timepieces that boast high levels of accuracy and functionality. Of course, they also offer their fair share of excellent automatic watches. Their Longines Heritage collection, for example, consists of self-winding models with quintessential aesthetics. Each timepiece in this collection is driven by the brand’s automatic L893 movement and has an impressive power reserve of 72 hours. This is definitely a must-have for those who want a classic, vintage-inspired automatic watch!  24. Rado Captain Cook Automatic  Rado is another Swiss brand that has mastered the art of balancing creativity and functionality. They have a lot of innovative designs with impressive specifications, thanks to their expertise in watch technology. Rado currently offers a gorgeous selection of automatic watches, such as the Captain Cook Automatic, which gives off a very vintage aesthetic. Following a self-winding movement, it also boasts a whopping 80-hour power reserve.  25. Orient Mechanical Contemporary  Lastly, we have Orient, which is a Japanese company best known for its selection of classic and traditional timepieces. Their goal is to provide timeless models that are bound to last a long time, which is very on-brand for them. An example of this would be their Mechanical Contemporary Watch which is a perfect mix of classy and dependable. It is powered by a Japan-made automatic movement with 21 jewels and 221600 vph. On the whole, Orient is probably a go-to brand if you are looking for quintessential automatic watches that come at relatively affordable prices. Why Go For An Automatic Watch? No Battery Required Since automatic watches are designed to wind themselves automatically, it follows that they do not need a battery to operate. You will not wake up one day to find the watch battery drained on the morning of an important business meeting. Basically, you do not have to worry at all about having to replace the batteries every now and then with an automatic watch, which makes them very convenient indeed. Fairly Accurate Automatic timepieces fare well where accuracy is concerned. A standard automatic watch will clock in at plus or minus 25 seconds with respect to the actual time, which you will agree is not too bad. Of course, this will depend on who is wearing it, or rather, what you want to use the watch for. If you are in the medical, marine, or military sector, then naturally every second counts. In such cases, rather than an automatic watch, you would probably need a timepiece that is extremely accurate, such as a chronometer from Ulysse Nardin. No Hand Winding Necessary if Worn Regularly If you wear your automatic watch all the time, you will never have to manually wind it, which makes it very convenient. Your automatic piece will simply wind itself with the motion of your hand as you go about your daily routine. Stellar Aesthetics Just the craftsmanship alone incorporated in automatic watches is sheer genius, not to mention the engineering. This makes them some of the most aesthetically pleasing watches on the market. A simple look at the Rolex GMT Master II confirms this. Smooth Movement To add to the stunning aesthetics, these automatic watches boast smooth and suave hand movements. The smooth movement of the hands is even more pronounced if you pick an automatic watch with high beats per second (BPH). A high BPH can also increase the reliability of an automatic timepiece. This is something you will appreciate if your taste in watches goes beyond the aesthetic appeal. High Power Reserve Automatic watches have a high power reserve—particularly if they are fully wound. An automatic model can have up to 42 hours of power stored before you need to wind it up again. Depending on the brand you pick, some automatic watches can even store up to 10 days of power. Low Maintenance Automatic watches are generally easy to maintain. By using a soft cloth to wipe your watch every night, you will have it looking as good as new for years. But this does not eliminate the need to handle it with caution. Like any other watch, avoid showering or bathing with your automatic timepiece, even if it is waterproof. Exposing your automatic watch to water will result in the gasket expanding, which reduces the watch’s accuracy and overall lifespan. Final Thoughts  While quartz, mechanical, and automatic watches all have their fair share of pros and cons, self-winding timepieces remain a staple for many. There are countless options available and this list is merely a glimpse at some of the best automatic watches in the market. With the diversity of options available, regardless of your personal preferences, you are bound to find the right automatic watch just for you!   If this got you interested in watches, make sure to check out our article on the Iconic Seiko SARB017!  Photo Credits: Official Watch Websites

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  3. A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    The IWC Portofino is a diverse collection of exceptional timepieces. With hand-wound, automatic, chronograph, moon phase, and even tourbillon models, the Portofino is as eclectic as it gets. Despite having a great variety of models, the IWC Portofino collection adheres to tradition as its cornerstone concept. IWC is a Swiss watchmaking brand renowned for its excellent quality and timeless designs. In this guide, we will help you discover all you need to know about the IWC Portofino. Furthermore, we will also take a look at some of the different pieces in the series and find out which Portofino truly belongs to your wrist. History of the IWC Portofino Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The story of the IWC Portofino began in the 1980s when watchmakers around the world were still recovering from the quartz crisis. While other brands were looking for modern ways to remain relevant in changing times, IWC decided to look further into the past. Instead of looking for contemporary methods to create new timepieces, the brand stuck to more conventional roots by seeking inspiration from an ageless design that has proven itself time and time again. For this, they looked to one of the most prolific watchmakers in history, Jean-Antione Lepine. Lepine is well-known for his signature 18th-century pocket watch. His iconic timepiece stands as one of the most recognised watches ever made and features a design that remains a classic from generation to generation. Preparing for their future by looking into the past, IWC knew that they were onto something potentially game-changing. Through extensive deliberation and expert craftsmanship, the Swiss brand was able to develop the IWC Portofino. IWC Portofino Models Throughout the Years 1980s IWC introduced the Portofino collection in 1984. Their first model, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251, was a sleek and elegant timepiece showcasing a vintage look with horological elements attributed to Jean-Antione. Taking influence from his famous pocket watch, the Ref. 5251 sported an oversized case and a plain white dial with Breguet hands, Roman numerals, a seconds display, and a moon phase indicator. With all these things put together, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251 had the appearance of a classic pocket watch for the wrist. What made this timepiece particularly unforgettable was its moon phase function. Bearing a golden moon by the 3 o’clock position that strikingly contrasted the white surface, the dial of the Ref. 5251 resembled that of a freshly cooked sunny-side-up egg. As a result, collectors started nicknaming this premiere piece “The Fried Egg.” In 1988, IWC added two more models to the Portofino, namely, Ref. 3730 and Ref. 3731. These two watches housed an innovative movement known as the Caliber 631 or the “Mechaquartz.” The Caliber 631 was a hybrid movement conceived by the creative minds of Jaeger-LeCoultre. While it was technically a quartz movement, the Caliber 631 came equipped with mechanical chronograph functions. The Ref. 3730 and Ref. 3731 featured a handy rotating date display located at the outer rims of their respective dials.  1990s Five years later, IWC created a classic dress watch that was more minimalistic than its previous offerings, the Ref. 2010. This 1993 model was one of the smallest Portofino models IWC ever made. It displayed a modest aesthetic with gold stick hands and hour indices. Underneath the Ref. 2010 was IWC’s Caliber H/849 — a flat hand-wound movement that was only 1.85mm thick. This watch underwent production from 1993 to 2005. In 1995, IWC engineered the Ref. 3050 Romana Perpetual Calendar, the collection’s first perpetual chronograph. This was one of the slimmest perpetual chronographs ever produced and was in the foreground of IWC’s shelves until 2001. It highlighted a hand-wound movement and a timeless design beloved by all. 2000s The IWC Ref. 3533 Portofino Automatic is a model developed with IWC’s community. By garnering feedback from their audience during the 1990s, IWC created a traditional Portofino with a more sizable case. The Ref. 3533 bore a design similar to the collection’s Ref. 2010, but with very different specifications. The Portofino Automatic Ref.3533 highlighted an automatic caliber with new complications such as central seconds and a date function at 3 o’clock. 2008 marked the brand’s 140th anniversary. To commemorate the momentous occasion, IWC released an exclusive collection featuring re-editions of their most coveted watches. Among those timepieces was a tribute to the very first Portofino, the Portofino Vintage. While bearing the Ref. 5251’s iconic elegant design, the Portofino Vintage showcased IWC’s in-house Caliber 98800, which relocated the moon phase indicator to the 12 o’clock position and the seconds display to 6 o’clock. Watch enthusiasts were delighted to see the return of the moon phase indicator. Additionally, IWC offered the new Portofino Vintage with an exhibition-style caseback for wearers to view the movement at work. 2010s In 2011, IWC established the Ref. 5101 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days. Bearing the brand’s newest hand-wound caliber, the Ref. 5101 stands at the forefront of IWC as the flagship model of the Portofino line. The dial of the new IWC Portofino displays several chronograph complications such as a date function, a seconds display, and a power indicator. Although it has numerous robust features, the dial bears a clean and uncluttered look, promoting easy readability. Underneath the dial is the IWC-manufactured Caliber 59210. Possessing the brand’s latest technology, the Caliber 59210 features a power reserve that can last up to 192 hours or eight days. With such a brilliant innovation, wearers of the Ref. 5101 would only have to wind this luxurious timepiece once every week. Exceptional and sophisticated all around, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is one of IWC’s most capable and popular Portofino models ever. Three years later, IWC crafted the latest edition to the Portofino collection, the Portofino Automatic 37. The Portofino Automatic 37 brings a slew of wonderfully crafted, mid-sized three-hand models to the IWC Portofino collection. Its case measures 37mm in diameter, which is perfect for those with more slender wrists. Through this timepiece, the Portofino collection once again expands its variety. With two-button chronographs, moon phase watches, quartz movements, automatic movements, two-hand models, and now three-hand models, the Portofino was nothing short of diversified. In 2017, IWC created their latest in-house chronograph caliber, which was the Caliber 59800. The new movement featured a moon phase indicator along with IWC’s ground-breaking eight-day power reserve. Holding IWC’s latest horological innovations, the brand then integrated the Caliber 59800 into their Ref. 5101s models in the same year. On their 150th anniversary in 2018, IWC brought the spotlight back to the Portofino Automatic by unveiling a limited edition variant known as the IWC Portofino Automatic 150 Years. This upgraded automatic wristwatch showcases an eye-catching blue lacquer-finished dial with a sleek rhodium-plated handset. IWC limited this exclusive version of the Portofino Automatic to 2000 models. Sheltered by a 40mm stainless steel case, the Portofino Automatic 150 Years suits the wrists of both ladies and gentlemen. The showcase, however, didn’t stop there. A year later, IWC introduced a luxurious edition of the IWC Portofino Automatic, which featured a petite 34mm 18K gold case with 104 diamond studs encrusted around its surface. Accompanied by an embossed silver-plated dial, this new 34mm automatic timepiece is now the most prestigious ladies’ model in the IWC Portofino line. Exploring the IWC Portofino Family The IWC Portofino line is home to all kinds of timepieces. Ranging from automatic watches, moon phase watches, chronograph watches, and more, you definitely won’t be running out of choices with the IWC Portofino. But with so many variations, it can be quite the challenge to pin down the ideal watch for you. Rather than going through every single model in the collection, we have hand-picked a few timepieces that truly embody the heritage and core aspects of the IWC Portofino. Prices for the IWC Portofino start at $4,900 USD and increase from there. Depending on the model, the materials used, and the features offered, a brand-new Portofino can cost you up to $58,000 USD. While prices for the IWC Portofino aren’t strictly top-of-the-line, you would still get more value for your money if you purchased a model from the pre-owned market.  IWC Portofino Automatic Watches The Portofino collection primarily consists of classic automatic watches. With a timeless look and a highly recognisable build, the IWC Portofino Automatic stands out as an excellent tribute to the vintage pocket watch of a bygone era. Each Portofino Automatic holds a black, white, or blue dial and uses stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold for its case. IW356504 Portofino Automatic The IWC Portofino Automatic IW356504 is one of the most alluring and talked-about timepieces in the entire collection. With an exquisite 18K 5N rose gold case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a minimalist silver dial, the IW356504 brings back an ageless aesthetic with a modern twist. Underneath the dial is an automatic IWC 35111 Caliber. Carrying some of the latest technologies of IWC, the 35111 Caliber consists of a self-winding mechanism and a substantial 42-hour power reserve. IWC also pairs the IW356504 with a comfortable dark brown alligator leather strap. What makes this model truly unique, apart from the high-quality materials used, is its one-of-a-kind case back. When you look at the back of this watch, you can see a beautiful engraving of the Ligurian coast in all of its glory. Delicately carved, down to the smallest detail, the panoramic view perfectly captures a moment in Portofino frozen in time for all to admire. With a water resistance of 30m, the IW356504 Portofino Automatic retails at $12,800 USD. IW356502 Portofino Automatic For an automatic wristwatch with a more budget-friendly price, look no further than the Portofino Automatic IW356502. Unlike the IW356504, the case IW356502 is made from high-quality stainless steel. Furthermore, this version of the Portofino Automatic contains a stark black dial that satisfyingly contrasts against clean silver indices and hands and a stainless steel caseback. As a more affordable variant, the caseback of the IW356502 does not feature the Portofino engravings that can be seen in the collection’s more luxurious timepieces. All in all, the IW356502 costs $4,900 USD. IW459401 Portofino Automatic Moon Phase The IWC Portofino collection also features some automatic models with moon phase indicators. One of the most popular variants is the IW459401 Automatic Moon Phase. What sets the IW459401 apart is its moon phase indicator, which is run by an automatic IWC 35800 Caliber. With this added complication, the IW459401 becomes a more robust timepiece while still sporting a nostalgic vintage design. This IWC Moon Phase watch utilizes a hardy stainless steel case and sapphire glass to protect the entirety of the model. The IW459401 sells for just $6,900 USD. IWC Portofino Automatic Chronographs The IWC Portofino also offers an attractive selection of automatic chronographs. While bearing multiple complications that allow you to keep track of the various aspects of time, the Portofino chronographs still retain the neatness and timelessness that this prestigious collection is known for. The Portofino Chronograph can come with a white, black, or blue dial, and is housed in a 42mm case made from stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold.  IW391027 Portofino Chronograph  The IW391027 Portofino Chronograph is an elegant timepiece with a sophisticated look. Crafted with the utmost care, it bears a clean and crisp design throughout its structure. The IW391027 comes in a sizeable 42mm stainless steel case paired with a classic dark brown alligator leather strap. Inside the round steel case is a clean, uncluttered silver-plated dial. Apart from the usual hours, minutes, and seconds functions, the dial also contains a few chronograph complications and a handy day and date window. Accompanied by sleek rhodium hands and indices, the dial is protected by a layer of sapphire glass. The IW391027 is operated by IWC’s 75320 Caliber. Held by 25 jewels, the 75320 Caliber is a self-winding, automatic movement with a power reserve that can last up to 44 hours. Covered by a stainless steel caseback, the IW391027 sells for $6,100 USD. IW391035 Portofino Chronograph Image By: IWC Schaffhausen Compared to the IW391027, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is a more luxurious variant. The timepiece has similar functions and dimensions to the IW391027 but uses a sensual 18K 5N rose gold case. Additionally, the IW391035 sports a striking royal blue dial that perfectly compliments its golden hands and indices. Located at the back of the timepiece is a rose gold caseback that showcases the artful engraving of the Portofino harbour. Since it is made from more exotic materials, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is slightly costlier, retailing at $16,800 USD. IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Watches This line of IWC Portofino timepieces is quite possibly the most popular among watch enthusiasts. Featuring IWC’s revolutionary eight-day power reserve, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound boasts an impeccable design and practical innovations. Portofino Hand-Wound timepieces come in three forms: Original, Moon Phase, and Tourbillon Retrograde. IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The IW510104 Hand-Wound Eight Days is arguably the most iconic modern-day watch of the Portofino collection. The IW510104 comes in a 45mm 18K rose gold case paired with a dark brown alligator leather strap. Its dial features a slate-colored surface that contains golden hands and Roman numerals, complete with a power reserve indicator, a seconds display, and a date window. The watch runs on IWC’s highly capable 59210 Caliber. This in-house automatic caliber is capable of winding itself through the natural movement of the wearer’s hand and is capable of powering the IW510104 for eight whole days. Sealed by a see-through sapphire rear case, the IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is worth $19,800 USD. Another version of this Portofino comes with an additional moon phase indicator at the 12 o’clock position and costs $23,900 USD. IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days If the IW510104 is too extravagant for your tastes, IWC also offers a subtler, more affordable version with similar specifications. Priced at $9,900 USD, the IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days uses durable, scratch-resistant stainless steel to make its case. Its cool silver-plated dial showcases an analog layout, with a gold-toned set of hands and indices. This watch features the exact same complications that you can find in the slate dial of the IW510104. In general, the IW510103 bears capabilities and functions identical to more expensive variants of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days watches, including the whopping eight-day power reserve. Brand-new vs. Pre-owned Once you decide to buy an IWC Portofino watch, your choices will boil down to whether you want a timepiece that is either brand-new or pre-owned. Both sides have their respective sets of pros and cons. Pre-owned watches are almost always more affordable than brand-new models. That said, it is pivotal to take into account all the aspects of the timepiece when discussing its price. A few factors that apply in this discussion include Portofino’s overall condition, the presence or absence of its original box and paperwork, and whether the whole piece still retains all its original parts. Generally, pre-owned Portofino timepieces can help buyers save up to 50% of their total budget. If you look hard enough for a second-hand Portofino, it is possible for you to find sellers who offer IWC Portofino watches with prices as low as $3,700 USD, although you have to be careful to double-check the authenticity of the watch and the condition it is in. Of course, buying a brand-new IWC Portofino from an authorized dealer eliminates all possible worries. However, each watch bears a value that runs the risk of depreciating over time. While Portofino watches resell quite well, it is crucial to consider all your options so that you invest in the right timepiece. If you know where to look, purchasing a pre-owned timepiece could be the better option compared to buying a Portofino that is brand-new. Having that choice allows you to own a fantastic IWC Portofino watch of nearly the same quality for a more budget-friendly price. Final Thoughts For thirty-seven years, the IWC Portofino has continued to be one of IWC Schaffhausen’s most outstanding collections. With its natural looks, gorgeous structure, robust features, and the public’s undying demand for classic watches, the Portofino holds an impressive reputation among men and women alike. By retaining the brand’s core values, the IWC Portofino collection establishes itself as a permanent member of the IWC family to look out for. Looking for a pilot watch? Here are the Best IWC Big Pilot watches for aviation enthusiasts. Featured Image By: IWC Schaffhausen

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  4. 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

    6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

    Ask any watch enthusiast about the biggest inventors in the industry and the name Seiko is sure to come up. This is the company responsible for the creation of the quartz movement. It also introduced the cutting-edge technology of radio solar-powered timepieces. Seiko simply never stops looking for ways to innovate in the industry. Today, we’ll take a closer look at one of its most impressive inventions to date: Seiko Kinetic watches. As Seiko continues to provide people with watches that function with utmost efficiency, it never forgets to create new technology as well. The Seiko Kinetic joins the roster of Seiko’s quality conceptualisations, alongside its mechanical, quartz, and solar movements. As you can expect, Seiko put great effort into developing this ingenious movement. So, without further ado, let us walk you through everything you need to know about Seiko Kinetic. We’ve also come up with a list of 6 of the best Kinetic watches from the brand that you’ll surely love. To fully understand the idea of Kinetic watches, let’s take a look at its history alongside the company’s track record of innovations. Seiko: Disrupting the Watch Industry Since the invention of watches, watchmakers have always been on the lookout for ways to change the game up. This is because watches are engineering marvels and there are endless ways to make them better. Even to this day, manufacturers still manage to find ways to improve how we keep and perceive time through these little devices. Seiko, as one of these aforementioned manufacturers, has spearheaded the charge on many of these technological advances in the horology industry. Seiko’s Notable Innovations Kintaro Hattori founded Seiko in 1881 as a watch and clock retail and repair store. The company grew with the help of foreign trading companies, importing popular Western timepieces into Japan. From the beginning, the company had been marking many firsts, not only for Japan but also for the rest of the world. In 1894, the company constructed a store that had a clock tower. Located on the corner of Ginza 4-chome block, this clock tower became known as a classic landmark. In 1913, as the trend of pocket watches was slowly dying, the company launched The Laurel, Japan’s first-ever wristwatch. The Laurel was just the beginning of Seiko’s iconic run as a wristwatch manufacturer. Fast forward to 1964, when Seiko became the official timer of the Tokyo Olympics. This was the first time ever that electronic timepieces were fully integrated into the games. After this momentous feat, Seiko went on to serve as the official timer for 5 other Olympic Games. Only 4 years later in 1968, Seiko launched the world’s first quartz wall clock. It was also this year that Seiko occupied the top spot for mechanical watch precision at the Geneva Observatory Competition. With the company on a roll, in 1969, Seiko launched the Quartz Astron, the world’s first quartz watch. Those familiar with watch history will know that the launch of the Quartz Astron took a toll on the Swiss watch industry. Quartz watches caught on remarkably quickly, and the mechanical watches of many Swiss watch manufacturers were rapidly overtaken. Many years later, the rest of the world — especially the Swiss watch market — began rolling out their very own quartz-powered watches. Seiko itself continued to put out ground-breaking tech almost every decade. In the 1970s, Seiko developed the world’s first radio wave clock. Then, at the 1986 Basel Fair, Seiko unveiled its first Kinetic prototype. Other historic Seiko milestones include the invention of the Astron (the world’s first GPS solar watch, 2012) and the world’s first satellite radio wave clock in 2014. Their most recent milestone is their creation of the world’s first hybrid radio wave clock in 2019. History of Seiko Kinetic Everything began at the 1986 Basel Fair when Seiko unveiled the first kinetic prototype it had been working on. At that time, the prototype carried the name “AGM” (Automatic Generating Movement). It was the first watch that was capable of converting kinetic movement into electrical energy. The prototype was Seiko’s way of introducing this technology to the world. 20 years later, it would become synonymous with excellent performance and convenience. Moreover, along with solar powered-watches, kinetic watches also became the poster child for eco-conscious watchmaking standards. Two years after they unveiled their prototype, Seiko went on to launch the first-ever kinetic watch available commercially. This new watch went by the name “AGS” (Automatic Generating System”), rather than the aforementioned AGM. Over the years, Seiko sold 8 million units of the original AGS. It wasn’t until 1991 that Seiko officially rebranded the AGS into the Seiko Kinetic, as we know it by today. In 1998, Seiko launched the Kinetic Auto Relay. The highlight of this new watch was the improvement in the at-rest operating period of the watch. Seiko extended this to 4 whopping years. Then, just one year later, in 1999, they released the Ultimate Kinetic Chronograph — the watch that had the best of both worlds. This watch made use of both mechanical and electronic watchmaking methods. A new generation Kinetic Chronograph was launched in 2003, carrying with it the same idea. 2005 marked another milestone for the brand as the Kinetic Perpetual was released. The appearance of this watch leaned more towards traditional dress watches. With the power of kinetic energy plus the longevity of a perpetual calendar, this is a timepiece that is definitely meant to last. During its release, Seiko promised that this watch will never have to be corrected until the year 2100, almost a hundred years in the future. Finally, in 2007, the Kinetic Direct Drive launched to great hype and enthusiasm from consumers. Unlike previous kinetic watches, this timepiece allowed the watch to generate energy not just through its electrical mechanisms, but also by winding the crown, as with mechanical movements. What is the Seiko Kinetic? So, how exactly does the Seiko Kinetic watch work? Kinetics pertain to the generation of energy via movement. Every Seiko Kinetic watch contains an internal electrical generator. This generator can be powered by something as simple as the movement of the user’s wrist. The energy generated sits in a rechargeable battery which, unlike cell batteries in quartz movements, doesn’t require frequent replacement. As such, it is also a much more eco-friendly option. Types of Kinetic Watches There are various different Seiko Kinetic watches available today: Ultimate Kinetic Chronograph can store up to 1 month of power.Kinetic Direct Drive can store up to 1 month of charge. It also functions like mechanical movements as you can wind it by physically turning the crown.Kinetic Chronograph can store up to 5 months of power.Kinetic Perpetual stores up to 6 months of charge that can be preserved for 4 years when not in use.Kinetic GMT can preserve its charge for up to 4 years and goes to sleep mode after 72 hours.Kinetic Auto Drive can also preserve its charge for up to 4 years and goes to sleep mode after 72 hours.Kinetic vs Mechanical Movement Kinetic Movement (L) vs Mechanical Movement (R) You might be wondering how the movement of a Seiko Kinetic differs from a typical mechanical movement. Although both movements come with a swinging rotor, one difference between the two lies in the location in which each movement stores power. Mechanical movements store energy in the spring while kinetic watches store it in a capacitor. In an automatic mechanical movement, the rotor moves when the wrist moves. This winds the spring that is responsible for powering up the watch. Manual-winding watches work differently because you’d have to manually turn the crown to wind it. Automatic watches can store power in what we call a power reserve. Depending on how great the power reserve is, you would be able to keep wearing the watch until your power reserve ran low, at which point you would have to turn the crown to wind it up again. For watch enthusiasts who have already amassed a large collection, a watch winder is actually a fantastic idea. This is a device that keeps the watch moving even when you’re not wearing it, such that it remains charged and ready for another day in the field. A kinetic watch works in a fairly similar way. Swinging or moving your arm while wearing a kinetic watch causes the oscillating rotor within the watch to move. With that, several gears start to turn, and this produces electricity via a small generator. This generator charges the capacitor where energy is stored. Just like mechanical movements, kinetic watches have to be constantly worn in order to stay charged. Alternatively, a watch winder also works wonders for this type of movement. Eco-Friendly Choices: Kinetic vs Solar Seiko Kinetic Watch (L), Seiko Solar Watch (R) Kinetic and solar watches are both known for their eco-friendly properties. That being said, for those seeking an environmentally-friendly timepiece, which one is better? The answer, really, is that it depends. Each watch has its own set of pros and cons. For example, Seiko Kinetic watches have to be constantly worn on your wrist or placed on a wrist winder in order to be functional. On the other hand, solar watches need light to recharge, be it artificial or natural light. Solar watch batteries tend to last for a decade on average, and as such, a solar watch is perfect for those who don’t have time to constantly change the batteries of their watches. This is also why most solar watches come with very rugged, sporty designs. As a timepiece intended for people who need unyielding power, solar watches have to be able to function for as long as their adventures do. At the end of the day, choosing one watch over another depends on your personal preference and needs. Kinetic watches are a great idea if you’re looking for something with a little more edge, especially if it’s a Seiko Kinetic Direct Drive that you’re eying. On the other hand, if you’re more of an outdoorsy person or someone who can maintain a constant source of light nearby, then a solar watch might be a better idea for you. 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches Seiko is the sole proprietor of kinetic watches, and over the years, they’ve come up with quite an impressive range. So, if you’re finally sold on getting a kinetic watch, you might be a little confused about which one to get. We’ve gathered 6 of the best Seiko Kinetic watches on the market to narrow down your choices! Check them out below. 1. Seiko Prospex SUN023P1 First on the list is the Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1. As a member of the popular Prospex family, this timepiece is both a kinetic watch and a dive watch. It has a measured diameter of 47mm, not including the crown, so you know that it has a wide and balanced face. This watch also has a protective shroud which gives it a rugged, sportier look. This model is also a part of Seiko’s “tuna can” line of watches. Seiko’s tuna watches are all built to handle professional diving trenches. Every part of this watch is made for professional diving. The band is made from polyurethane and can fit perfectly over wetsuits. Even if you’re not a diver, you won’t have to worry either. The 24mm strap is easily swappable for more conventional straps. The Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1 also has a power reserve indicator so you can easily tell when your watch is running out of charge. To activate this, you only need to press the button positioned at the 2 o’clock position. The second hand will then point to indicate how much power is left in the watch. To set things into perspective, an indicator of 30 seconds is equivalent to six months of power. Another noticeable detail on the dial of the watch is a fourth hand, sword-shaped and lined with blue. This hand indicates 24-hour time, which is especially convenient for those who are used to military time. As expected, this watch also has a powerful lume. All Seiko watches are blessed with this and the same applies to the Seiko Prospex Kinetic SUN023P1. Moreover, this is extremely useful for those who like to go diving. The only downside to this watch is the small dot on the bezel of the watch at the 12 o’clock position. For such a big watch, a bigger lume-filled dot would be more visible and a lot more helpful, especially underwater. On the whole, this is a great watch that’s perfect for sporty use or adventurous weekends. This timepiece might not be the right fit for more formal settings, but it’s definitely ready for anything it might encounter. 2. Seiko SRH013 Velatura Kinetic Direct Drive Another sporty timepiece on our list, the Seiko Velatura SRH013 features a very modern design. It has a rugged look with an aesthetic that’s reminiscent of sports cars. If you’re a thrill-seeker, then this is just the watch for you. In all black, the watch measures 42mm in diameter. It also comes in a stainless steel case that can withstand just about anything. The black rubber band strap of the Velatura SRH013 is made to look a lot like a threaded tire. Overall, this timepiece features a racing car motif that Seiko handled very well. On the dial is a day-and-date display that is designed to resemble the dashboard of a car, which pairs wonderfully with the concept of the watch. With a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, this is the perfect adventure watch. The Seiko Velatura SRH013 has a water resistance of 100 meters. That isn’t a lot but it’s definitely enough to handle a little splash here and there. 3. Seiko Prospex SKA413 “Adventure” The Seiko Prospex SKA413 “Adventure” offers just about everything you need from a dive watch. It can handle up to 200 meters of depth. The watch also features a sturdy stainless steel case that can withstand any sort of impacts or scratches. Fitted on the top of this case is a black bezel designed with silver gear-like edges. These edges make it easier to grip and turn the bezel, especially if you’re using a glove or in a wetsuit. This bezel rotates unidirectionally, in an anti-clockwise movement. This is important because it prevents the bezel from being turned in the wrong direction, which would mess up a wearer’s ability to quickly tell the time. The bezel can count up to sixty minutes of elapsed time. As with all Seiko watches, we get a great lume from this watch. Some people might not like the look of the chunky strap, but it does feel extremely comfortable around the wrist. Alternatively, you could also opt to change it according to your preferences. Simply fit a NATO strap or a stainless steel bracelet into the drilled lugs of the watch and you’d be good to go for any adventure you might have planned. 4. Seiko Premier SNP149P2 Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition This watch is one that’s a lot classier and better paired with formal wear than the others on the list. It carries a very conservative aesthetic, from the distinguished month sub-dial to the combination of the refined baton and Roman numeral markers. This is exactly what you would expect from a special edition watch released by Seiko. We’re talking, of course, about the Seiko Premier Kinetic Novac Djokovic. It is a total feast for the eyes. This tasteful dress watch was made for Serbian tennis legend Novak Djokovic. At the time of this article’s release, Djokovic is ranked the world’s No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He has been sitting at that position for a record of 327 weeks. Djokovic has also finished as year-end No. 1 on an Open Era joint record on six occasions. This watch also comes with another sub-dial that displays 24 hours. The date display is prominently placed on the dial, at the 12 o’clock position, and comes with a stylish bronze-colored metal frame. It truly expresses a sophisticated look that is perfect for the winner that it was made for. 5. Seiko Prospex SUN065 GMT PADI There’s a lot to unpack with the Seiko SUN065. This is yet another Prospex watch — this time made in collaboration with PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). This timepiece looks stunning, especially underwater, with its combination of blue and silver aesthetics. It is a great timepiece that uses the Seiko Kinetic movement — the Kinetic GMT variation in particular. This means that the watch can display a second time zone which is great for those who are always out on adventures all over the world. This watch features an analog dial display. Fully charged, the power of this timepiece can last for 6 long months. To check how much juice you have left, you only need to press the push-button at 2 o’clock. Finally, at 47.5 mm, it’s a large and rather hefty watch. It can also go as deep as 200 meters — indeed the ultimate dive watch. 6. Seiko Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde So far, we’ve introduced to you some of the best dive watches that are powered by kinetic movement. However, some people aren’t looking for just a tool watch. Instead, they seek more classic timepieces that have fool-proof timepieces. If that’s the type of kinetic watch you’re looking for, then we bring to you Seiko Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde. This is a great timepiece that offers a classy yet modern design, perfect for more formal occasions. The Coutura SRN066 Kinetic Retrograde has a sapphire-crystal window and is resistant to water up to depths of 100 meters. So, even though it’s not a diving watch, it can handle a bit of moisture. You can take a quick dip with this watch and not have to worry about damaging it at all. This watch also comes with a day-and-date display. As a dressy watch, you can expect the watch to lack lume. The only lume you can find is on the elegant hands of the watch. It may be a challenge to tell time with this watch in the dark but it’s definitely perfect for your next suit and tie event. Seiko Kinetic: A Universal Game-changer Seiko Kinetic watches are perfect for people who are becoming more conscious of their carbon footprint. It’s also a great watch that keeps people active and moving. It is clear just why Seiko put the effort and time into creating this technology. It’s a lot more cost-efficient than mechanical movements and just as powerful. While we look forward to seeing just how much further Seiko can improve on the Seiko Kinetic, it must be said that what they have for us today is already an impressive lineup. Interested in checking out more Seiko watches? Take a look at our guide to the Seiko Samurai: A Review of One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches. Photo credits to Seiko’s official website

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