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  2. Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415: Reviewing Grand Seiko’s Winter Watch

    Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415: Reviewing Grand Seiko’s Winter Watch

    Across the globe, Japanese watch brands have long been respected as some of the top picks for many watch connoisseurs and collectors. Take, for example, the Grand Seiko. It is a popular Japanese watchmaker that offers iconic luxury dress watches with phenomenal prestige. In this article, we will be looking at one of Grand Seiko’s most notable timepieces, the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415. Famously inspired by deep, wintery Japan, the SBGA415 showcases a beautiful stylishness and Grand Seiko’s trademark expertise in craftsmanship. Read on to find out more about this gorgeous nature-inspired timepiece and everything it has to offer.  Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415: An Overview Image by: Grand Seiko Introduced in 2019, the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415 hails from the brand’s Grand Seiko Heritage collection. This is a luxurious catalog of timepieces that boast an exceptional degree of Japanese craftsmanship. Many of the timepieces in the Grand Seiko Heritage series are created as homages to classic Grand Seiko watches, and the SBGA415 is one such example.  The SBGA415 was released alongside three other timepieces as part of the Four Seasons collection. As its name suggests, this line of watches was made to commemorate the four seasons of Japan. The Four Seasons collection includes the Grand Seiko Shunbun (The Vernal Equinox), Grand Seiko Rikka (Early Summer), and Grand Seiko Shubun (The Autumnal Equinox). All four of these watches are modern re-interpretations of the brand’s first automatic watch, the 1967 Grand Seiko 62GS. As such, they are designed with very similar builds as the Grand Seiko 62GS. This includes being bezel-less and possessing the same sleek, sophisticated luster that only Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique can bring forth.  Taisetsu: The Deep Snow of Winter Image by: Grand Seiko Although it may be a foreign concept to many of us, Japan actually has a deep-rooted and cultural notion of the four seasons. Each of Japan’s four seasons is divided into six phases, and every phase is a slow transition into a different season based on the movement of the Sun. Thus, this is equivalent to a total of twenty-four seasons, or what they call “sekki”.  The SBGA415, in particular, represents the concept of “taisetsu”, or the Deep Snow of Winter. This is a period in which the mountains in Japan are heavily covered under the winter snow. Taisetsu is also the twenty-first season amongst Japan’s long list of twenty-four “sekki”.  If you are familiar with Grand Seiko, you might remember that it also offers other snow-inspired dials like the Grand Seiko White Birch and the Grand Seiko Snowflake. These timepieces are all equipped with Grand Seiko’s hallmark of alluring textured dials. The same is also true of the SBGA415. Grand Seiko takes the SBGA415 as another opportunity to show off its interpretation of the beauty of the winter snow, creating a delightful treat for the eyes.  Without further ado, let us learn more about the Grand Seiko SBGA415 and its specifications in the following section of the article.  Anatomy of the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415 Case An elegant timepiece that weighs quite lightly yet exudes steady robustness, the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415 is made entirely from titanium. Since titanium is a metal that weighs 45% lighter than stainless steel, the Grand Seiko SBGA415 has an overall weight of just 102 grams, which provides wearers with a very comfortable and easy wearing experience. In addition, since this watch is based on the 1967 Grand Seiko 62GS, it does not have any bezel either. This further reduces the Grand Seiko SGA415’s weight, while also emphasizing its slender profile.  The case of the Grand Seiko SBGA415 measures 40mm in diameter and a slim 12.8mm in thickness. It also has a lug-to-lug width of 47mm. Given these measurements, this watch fits quite nicely on smaller-to-average-sized wrists. In addition, the case lugs of the Grand Seiko SBGA415 also show off an ergonomic downward curve, so that it slips smoothly under the cuffs of your shirt. This makes it the perfect dress watch to wear at formal events.  Moreover, this case is also beautifully embellished with a combination of a brushed finish and the brand’s in-house Zaratsu polishing techniques. The incorporation of Grand Seiko’s signature Zaratsu polish gives the watch case a mirror-like, distortion-free surface, so that it boasts an extraordinary luster. This is greatly contrasted against the case’s flanks, which are treated with a smooth, brushed finish.  Caseback On the underside of the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415, you can find an exhibition-style caseback that is firmly screwed-in. This caseback is also made from titanium and showcases a shiny, polished Zaratsu finish. Printed on the caseback are details about the watch such as its depth rating, country of manufacture, and more.  At the centre of the Grand Seiko SBGA415’s caseback lies a sapphire crystal insert. Through it, you can see the state-of-the-art movement that drives this timepiece. The sapphire crystal insert holds a delicate gold print of the Grand Seiko’s famous lion emblem.  Crown On the right side of the Grand Seiko Taisetsu SBGA415, you can find a titanium screw-down crown. It has a hefty size and comes with deeply grooved sides, providing wearers with a better grip with which to hold and turn it. Like the case, this crown is also treated with the brand’s Zaratsu polishing technique, giving it a remarkable sheen. The top of the crown is also embossed with the brand’s iconic “GS” logo, which is an exquisite trademark of most Grand Seiko watches.  Although the Grand Seiko SBGA415 is a dress watch, it is easily mistaken for a dive watch due to its impressive water resistance capacity. Its secure screw- down crown ensures a reliable depth rating of up to 100 meters. This allows you to wear the Grand Seiko SBGA415 not only on formal occasions, but also for water adventures like swimming and recreational diving. Since a typical dress watch is equipped with only 30 to 50 meters of water resistance, this is definitely one of the most outstanding features of the Grand Seiko SBGA415. Bracelet The Grand Seiko SBGA415 is paired with a three-link titanium bracelet. Like the SBGA415’s case, it is also embellished with a mix of brushed and Zaratsu-polished finishes. While the top links show off a predominantly matte surface, the remarkable gloss courtesy of Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing is noticeable on the slim edges of the watch’s center links. The side links are also treated with the Zaratsu-polished finish, showcasing a sharp contrast against the bracelet’s matte surfaces.  This titanium bracelet also comes with a folding clasp. It is equipped with a pair of push-button releases, so you can easily remove the bracelet as and when you need to. The top of the clasp bears an elegant, engraved emblem of the Grand Seiko logo, adding to this watch’s refined look. Dial Image by: Grand Seiko Like many of Grand Seiko’s watches, the Grand Seiko SBGA415 possesses an enchanting, textured dial. It has an intricate, light grey finish that mimics the texture of freshly-fallen snow, perfectly capturing the spirit of the Taisetsu season. This dial exudes a gentle softness that is sure to appeal to any eye that sees it.  Aside from that, this Taisetsu dial is also decorated with silver-tone applique hour indices and sharp dauphine hands, all of which are treated with the brand’s signature Zaratsu polishing technique. This dial is also accented by a sweeping blued steel seconds hand, which adds a touch of vibrancy to this otherwise cool dial.  A date aperture can be found at 3 o’clock, outlined with steel. Meanwhile, at 8 o’clock rests a power reserve indicator. This power reserve display comes in the shape of a lovely Japanese fan, paying homage to the brand’s Japanese roots.  A box-shaped sapphire crystal is used to protect this dial. It is scratch-resistant and shatterproof, guaranteeing that the watch’s face is guarded from hard bumps and impacts. The inner surface of the sapphire crystal has also been treated with an anti-reflective coating. This ensures that wearers have a clear and distortion-free view of the dial no matter what angle it is seen from.  Movement Image by: Grand Seiko The Grand Seiko SBGA415 runs on an in-house Grand Seiko 9R65 Caliber. This is a Spring Drive movement held together by 30 jewels. It boasts a stellar power reserve that lasts for up to 72 hours when fully wound. This top-notch self-winding movement also has an excellent precision rate of +/-1 seconds per day, providing an absolutely reliable and accurate display of time.  Price The Grand Seiko SBGA415 has a price tag of $6,600 USD. Given this price point, this entry-level luxury piece is the perfect starter watch for folks who are just starting their luxury watch collections. The Grand Seiko SBGA415 also caters to folks who want to invest in an impeccable, well-crafted luxury timepiece that does not break the bank. Final Thoughts Folks who are on the hunt for a suave timepiece should certainly consider the Grand Seiko SBGA415, as it offers unquestionable Japanese master craftsmanship. With its beautiful Taisetsu dial and its powerful Spring Drive movement, the Grand Seiko SBGA415 is an outstanding timepiece that is worthy of a place in any collection.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo credits: Grand Seiko.  Learn more about the latest watch offerings from Grand Seiko’s parent company, Seiko with the newly released All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches!

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  4. Rolex Platinum Daytona: A Review of the 50th Anniversary Cosmograph Daytona Watch

    Rolex Platinum Daytona: A Review of the 50th Anniversary Cosmograph Daytona Watch

    Since 1905, Rolex has consistently come up with well-crafted, prestigious timepieces that continue to leave watch connoisseurs in awe. Take, for example, the highly-coveted Rolex Cosmograph Daytona M116506. Also known as the Rolex Platinum Daytona, this handsome piece is made with top-notch quality and exudes an unparalleled excellence that only this particular Swiss luxury watch brand can offer.  Let us get to know more about the Rolex Platinum Daytona as we dive into its roots, its specifications, and everything it has to offer.  A Brief Overview of the Rolex Platinum Daytona Image by: Rolex The Rolex Platinum Daytona hails from the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection. First released in 2013, it was a 50th anniversary piece meant to commemorate the launch of the first Cosmograph Daytona watch back in 1963. The Rolex Platinum Daytona was also a pioneer in its own way, as the first-ever Cosmograph Daytona piece to be crafted entirely from platinum. Built to cater to every racer’s needs, the Cosmograph Daytona series is Rolex’s luxurious lineup of professional racing watches. If you are familiar with this collection, then you might already know some of the famous Rolex timepieces that it houses. This includes some of the most expensive Rolex watches ever made and crowd-favorites such as the Rolex Panda and Rolex Rainbow. Given the prestige of the Cosmograph Daytona range, you can expect the Rolex Platinum Daytona to possess the same amount of quality and sophistication as the aforementioned, esteemed timepieces.  A Closer Look at the Rolex Platinum Daytona Case and Caseback Aside from being an exquisite anniversary timepiece, another huge draw of the Rolex Platinum Daytona is that it is crafted from one of the rarest and most expensive metals on Earth: platinum. This lavish platinum watch weighs in with a case that measures 40mm in diameter and 12.4mm in height. With these proportions, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is well-suited for wrists of all sizes.  The Rolex Platinum Daytona also offers a rather significant heft on your wrist, as it weighs over 280 grams. This is because it is made from platinum, which is 60% heavier than gold. Although this watch does sit on the heavier side, this just means that you get to feel the actual, substantial weight of its platinum build. As a result, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is a great choice for folks who love robust timepieces that are sturdy and well-built.  The Rolex Platinum Daytona’s case is also completely polished, which gives it an extraordinary luster that can be perceived from every angle. If you enjoy watches with a distinct, glorious sheen, then this aesthetically-pleasing timepiece is an excellent pick.   On the underside of the Rolex Platinum Daytona, you can find a solid caseback that is also made out of platinum. Unlike the rest of the watch case, this caseback has a sleek brushed finish. It is also tightly screwed down, ensuring that no moisture or dirt can enter the Rolex Platinum Daytona.  Bezel  The tachymeter bezel is one of the most important parts a racing watch should possess. As such, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is duly equipped with a platinum bezel that bears a chestnut brown Cerachrom insert. This is an in-house creation that is completely scratch-proof and corrosion-resistant. In addition, compared to traditional bezel materials like aluminum or plain ceramic, Cerachrom does not fade over time and is unaffected by the damage from UV rays. This brown Cerachrom insert is marked with a tachymeter scale, with the numerals and graduations carved in. They are filled with platinum, so the tachymeter scale has a silver tone that blends well with the chestnut brown of the Cerachrom insert.  Crown and Pushers Image by: Rolex On the right side of the Rolex Platinum Daytona, you will find a screw-down crown surrounded by two chronograph pushers. Crafted from platinum, these components are embellished with a lovely polished finish, enhancing the charismatic look of this chronograph piece. The screw-down crown is designed with sharp and wide ridges, so wearers have a better grip when turning it. On top of the crown is a beautifully embossed image of Rolex’s iconic crown emblem, which adds to the premium look of this watch. Under the crown logo are three embossed dots, signifying that this timepiece is equipped with the brand’s Triplock waterproof system. Thanks to this system, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters. This allows it to survive when used in water adventures like swimming and recreational diving.   Meanwhile, the two chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock are separated by two polished crown guards. These pushers control the watch’s chronograph functions, which can be used together with the tachymeter bezel to measure the speed of a moving object. Like the crown, these pushers are tightly screwed down. This ensures maximum protection of the Rolex Platinum Daytona from the entry of moisture or dust.  Dial Image by: Rolex The most eye-catching part of the Rolex Platinum Daytona is easily its exquisite dial. This dial comes in a stunning ice-blue color. It is treated with a beautiful sunray finish, which creates a metallic, shimmering effect when viewed from different angles.  The dial is ornamented with applique hour indices and slender platinum sword hands. All of these components are generously coated with Chromalight. This in-house luminous pigment glows a vibrant neon blue in the dark. It makes sure that wearers can read the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s face at all times. Rolex claims that its Chromalight can last for up to eight hours, which is double that of other materials used for luminosity. As a chronograph watch, the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s dial is also filled with three sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. These ice-blue sub-dials are outlined with rings of chestnut brown, which wonderfully complement the watch’s bezel.  A layer of sapphire crystal protects the Rolex Platinum Daytona’s dial. This type of watch crystal is both highly scratch-resistant and shatterproof, offering the dial excellent protection. Bracelet The Rolex Platinum Daytona is accompanied by the brand’s signature three-link Oyster bracelet. Also built from platinum, this bracelet is garnished with two different types of finishes, creating a striking interplay of textures.  You will observe a lovely polished finish applied to the flanks and the center links of the Oyster bracelet. The shoulder links, on the other hand, are done with a satin finish. This combination of matte and glossy looks gives the Oyster bracelet a very sophisticated aesthetic.  The Rolex Platinum Daytona’s bracelet also comes with a platinum folding clasp, which has an additional safety flap called the Oysterlock. This safety deployant clasp provides another level of security to the bracelet, making sure that it is firmly fastened to your wrist. Movement Image by: Rolex The Rolex Platinum Daytona runs on an in-house Rolex Caliber 4130. It is a self-winding chronograph movement that is held together by 44 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also boasts a stellar power reserve of up to 72 hours. As such, you can leave this timepiece on standby for approximately three days without having to constantly wind it.  The Rolex Caliber 4130 is also very durable, as it is equipped with the brand’s advanced Parachrom hairspring innovation. This improves the movement’s resistance to shocks and extreme temperature variations.  Price Given that Rolex generally offers their timepieces at high prices, you can already expect that the Rolex Platinum Daytona is priced at an exorbitant range. In fact, it comes at a whopping price tag of approximately $178,749 USD. As an investment watch, this sought-after piece is surely worth purchasing because its value will appreciate easily in the coming years.  Alternatives to the Rolex Platinum Daytona 1. Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1 For an ice-blue dial watch that comes at a more affordable price than the Rolex Platinum Daytona, check out the Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1. This Breitling piece is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case and a black alligator leather strap, which elevates the timepiece’s suave style. The underside of this strap also comes in a bright yellow hue, adding a more playful vibe to this serious timepiece. A thick black tachymeter bezel is also placed on top of the watch face.  The icy-blue dial of this watch is adorned with rectangular applique hour indices and slim sword hands, along with a red seconds hand that adds a touch of vivacity to this watch face. It also contains three sub-dials in black, for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters.  This Breitling Navitimer watch is powered by an in-house Breitling Caliber 01. It is a self-winding movement fitted by 47 jewels and has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). When fully wound, the Breitling Caliber 01 can last for an outstanding 70 hours. This watch also has a water resistance capacity of 30 meters, allowing it to survive any splashes or showers.  For a chronograph piece that can also double as a good-looking dress watch, you can get the Breitling Navitimer Ref. AB0138241C1P1 for $9,100 USD. 2. Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001 If you want a more rugged blue dial watch, then you might like the Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001. This Omega watch utilizes a professional all-stainless steel build, which includes a 38mm case and a matching three-link bracelet. With its compact case size, this Omega watch fits best on men with more slender wrists.  Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, the watch’s blue dial is decorated with applique hour indices, thin sword hands, and a circular date aperture at 6 o’clock. Also arranged on the dial are submerged, ellipse-shaped chronograph sub-dials that add a very unique look to this timepiece. This dial goes well with the watch’s tachymeter scale, which is fitted with a sky-blue aluminum insert.  Ticking inside this Omega Speedmaster piece is an in-house Omega Caliber 3330. Held together by 31 jewels, this automatic movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a 52-hour power rating. It is protected by a screwed-in caseback, which also gives the watch its 100-meter depth rating.  The Omega Speedmaster Ref. 324.30.38.50.03.001 retails at $5,279 USD.  3. Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063 Steering away from Swiss watchmakers, we will now check out an offering from a renowned Japanese watch brand: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063.  This watch comes from Seiko’s impressive roster of dive watches, the Seiko Prospex collection. As such, it has a superb water resistance capacity of 200 meters. It is packed in a chunky 44.5mm stainless steel case, coupled with a rugged black rubber strap. This is an apt and hardy combination that can take on any of your deep-sea conquests and diving needs. On top of the watch case, you can find a shiny blue ceramic bezel, which bears an elapsed time scale.  The dial of this watch also comes in rich blue, complementing the bezel. It is furnished with hour markers in various geometric shapes and thick sword hands, along with a small date complication between 4 and 5 o’clock. The hands and indices are all coated with the brand’s in-house LumiBrite material, which lights up the watch face in the dark. Three black chronograph sub-dials also fill the dial, for the 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour counters.  This watch is operated by an in-house Seiko Caliber V192. This is a solar-powered movement that can be charged with any source of light. As an efficient quartz movement, it also has a top-notch precision rate of +/-15 seconds per month. Seiko is known for its affordable prices, and the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDL063 is no different. This watch has a very budget-friendly price tag of just $626 USD.  Final Thoughts As an anniversary piece, the Rolex Platinum Daytona is a meticulously crafted and highly-regarded watch in the world of horology. With its rare platinum build, this timepiece radiates a truly charming and unusual appeal. If you are on the hunt for an elegant racing watch that will surely stand out in the crowd, then you should definitely consider the Rolex Platinum Daytona.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo credits: Rolex. Want to learn about the type of watches worn by one of the most powerful people in the world? Check out our article about Joe Biden’s Watch Collection!

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  5. Best Iced Out Rolex Watches for Our Inner Fashionistas

    Best Iced Out Rolex Watches for Our Inner Fashionistas

    Incorporating premium materials into its watches is a hallmark of Rolex. As one of the most iconic Swiss luxury watch brands in the horological industry, it should come as no surprise that the brand also has its own arsenal of captivating iced out watches. After all, there is no better way to create a truly luxurious timepiece than beautifully embellishing it with diamonds and gemstones. In this article, we will get to know some of the best iced out Rolex watches available in the market today. Although these iced out Rolex watches are set at exorbitant prices, they make for worthy investment watches, with price points that will surely skyrocket in the coming years. In addition, these luxury watches are also excellent fashion pieces that are sure to turn heads, no matter where you go.  Read on to find out all about the best iced out Rolex watches you can get today! Best Iced Out Rolex Watches 1. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU  For the first iced out Rolex watch on this list, let us take a look at the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU. This alluring timepiece comes in a 40mm 18K everose gold case, along with a three-link Oystersteel bracelet also made of 18K everose gold.  Everose gold is the brand’s in-house alloy. As its name suggests, it shows off a charming rose gold hue, which gives the watch an air of effortless class. Everose gold is made from a combination of pure gold, copper, and platinum. According to Rolex, thanks to its platinum content, everose gold will never lose its reddish color over time.  The watch shows off a striking, diamond-paved dial that also comes in rose gold. It is decorated with everose gold hour indices, Rolex’s signature Mercedes hands, and an additional arrow-headed hand for its GMT feature. A date window with a Cyclops lens is placed at 3 o’clock, so wearers can read the date more easily. The diamond embellishments also extend to the watch’s crown guards and case lugs, adding to the timepiece’s lavish presentation. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a bi-directional rotating bezel. It is filled to the brim with square-cut diamonds, sapphires, and rubies in a pattern that is reminiscent of the Rolex Pepsi. This colorful bezel helps add even more pizzazz to this flamboyant watch.  Driving this GMT-Master II piece is an in-house Rolex Caliber 3186. This automatic movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a standard 48-hour power supply. It also possesses an excellent accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  If you are on the hunt for an iced out Rolex watch that comes in lovely, vibrant colors, then the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU has got you covered. It has a price tag of $312,399 USD.  2. Rolex Day Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 The next watch on this list is one of the latest creations from the Rolex Day-Date collection. Released in 2021, the Rolex Day-Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 shows off a clean, all-silver style that shines as bright as the stars in the sky.  This Rolex watch is encased in a 40mm case made of 18K white gold, accompanied by a sleek three-link President bracelet. Sitting on top of the case is a pristine, diamond-set bezel. Both the watch’s bezel and bracelet are also crafted from 18K white gold.  The gleaming silver dial of this watch is also paved with diamonds, blending well with the watch’s bezel. It is adorned with baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires as its hour indices, adding a touch of color to this watch face. Aside from that, this dial is also furnished with blunt silver hands, a date display at 3 o’clock, and an arched day-of-the-week aperture at 12 o’clock.   This watch is powered by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3255. Fitted by 31 jewels, this self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and an outstanding power reserve of 70 hours. It also offers an incredible accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  If you love iced out Rolex watches with an extraordinary and clean glimmer, you can get the Rolex Day Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 for around $109,889 USD.  3. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR Who would have thought that a dive watch can also be garnished with glamorous diamonds and gemstones? This next watch is definitely the ultimate testament to that.  The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR has a solid water resistance capacity of 300 meters, making it a great companion for all sorts of deep-sea adventures. That said, you might not want to bring this prestigious timepiece with you into the water. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR is housed in a 40mm case made from 18K white gold, coupled with a three-link bracelet made from the same material.  Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal glass, the watch’s silver dial is studded with sparkling diamonds. A combination of round sapphire gemstones and diamond indices serve as the watch’s hour markers. Also arranged on the shimmering dial are luminous Mercedes hands and a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock. A brilliant, unidirectional bezel surrounds this dial. It is fitted with a variety of baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires in various shades of blue.  This Rolex Submariner is operated by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. It is an automatic movement which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a power rating of 48 hours. It also boasts a superb precision rate of +/-2 seconds per day. For a dazzlingly beautiful iced out dive watch, you can purchase the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR for around $214,059 USD. 4. Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 Hailing from the Rolex Datejust collection, the next watch on this list caters to men and women with more slender wrists. The Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is a fashionable and sophisticated Rolesor watch. It utilizes a compact 36mm case made from Oystersteel, along with a two-tone Jubilee bracelet that contains Oystersteel outer links and inner links crafted from 18K everose gold.  Compared to the previous iced out Rolex watches, the dial of the Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is very different. This watch showcases a rich, chocolate-brown Rolex Jubilee dial. This is a design made exclusively for the 40th anniversary of the Datejust series. It is composed of a distinctive, repetitive pattern of the word “Rolex”, giving the dial a mesmerizingly alien aesthetic.   Underneath a layer of sapphire crystal, the dial is decorated with blunt everose gold hands and a magnified date complication at 3 o’clock. Square-cut diamonds are used as the watch’s hour indices, elevating the lavish look of this timepiece. A diamond-set bezel made of everose gold is also placed on top of the watch’s case. It blends well with the watch’s voguish, high-class style.  This iced out Rolex watch is powered by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3235. This self-winding movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a marvelous accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day. It also has an astonishing 70-hour power supply. Of all the iced out Rolex watches in this article, the Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is the most affordable. It costs approximately $28,214 USD.  5. Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR If you are looking for a more sporty iced out watch, check out the Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR. This timepiece is presented in a 42mm 18K white gold case. This is paired with a robust black rubber strap, which offers a striking contrast against the watch’s glittering dial and case. With these dimensions, this watch can fit well on wrists of all sizes.  The watch’s dial shows off a silver finish and is paved with diamonds all over. It consists of geometric hour indices, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices of this watch are coated in white lume, which blends well with the silver backdrop of the dial. This watch is also equipped with a bi-directional rotating bezel made from 18K white gold. It is completely decorated with square-cut diamonds, enhancing the enthralling appearance of this watch.  The Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR’s face is guarded by a layer of scratch-resistant and shatterproof sapphire crystal. In addition, as a sailing watch, it also has a solid water resistance capacity of 100 meters. As such, you never have to worry about bringing this watch onto your yachts or your sailing trips.  Ticking inside this Rolex Yacht-Master piece is an in-house Rolex Caliber 3235. This automatic movement holds a stellar 70-hour power rating and has an astounding precision rate of +/-2 seconds per day. If you want an iced out Rolex watch that offers the perfect blend of elegance and sportiness, the Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR is the answer. It retails at around $146,541 USD. 6. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116595 If you are interested in an iced out watch with rich, ostentatious colors, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116595 is a great option. This one-of-a-kind piece from the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection is one of the most sought-after timepieces from the brand. It is so popular that it has been seen on the wrists of numerous famous figures worldwide, including American actor Mark Wahlberg and rapper Post Malone.  This watch sports a 40mm case made of 18K everose gold and a three-link Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Sparkling white diamonds are encrusted on the watch’s slim lugs and crown guards, which is a testament to Rolex’s attention to fine detail. This watch’s glamorous style is also boosted by the rose gold bezel that sits on top of its watch case. This beautiful bezel is filled with square-cut diamonds in an exquisite shower of rainbow hues, enhancing this watch’s flamboyant stylishness.  Delightfully contrasting the colorful vibrancy of this watch’s exterior is a jet-black dial. It comprises baguette-cut diamond hour indices in a variety of rainbow colors along with rose gold skeletal hands. You can also find three chronograph sub-dials made from pink gold crystals, which stand out brilliantly against the black dial. These serve as the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. Underneath this gorgeous watch face, you can find an in-house Rolex Caliber 4130. This self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a power supply of 72 hours. It also delivers an outstanding accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day. This exquisite Rolex Rainbow Daytona watch is set at a price of $773,299 USD. 7. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 For the last piece on this list of iced out Rolex watches, we have another dive watch adorned with diamonds and gemstones. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 uses a 40mm 18K white gold case and an 18K white gold Oyster bracelet. This watch is made even more handsome by its unidirectional rotating bezel, which is garnished with square-cut blue diamonds and sapphires.  The dial of this watch also shows off a vivid blue sunray finish. It has a classic Rolex Submariner dial layout, composed of geometric hour indices, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock.  This piece runs on the in-house Rolex Caliber 3135 which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). When fully wound, it can last for up to an average 48 hours. As a dive watch, it also boasts a 300-meter depth rating, so it is ready to be worn on all sorts of water adventures.  For a blue dial watch with a stunning exterior, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 can be bought for around $179,299 USD. Final Thoughts Iced out Rolex watches are clearly made to stand out in the crowd. These pieces are fascinating accessories that effortlessly turn heads thanks to the bold and enchanting appeal that they possess. As with many Rolex timepieces, these iced out Rolex watches are definitely worth investing in. They are great choices if you are looking for a lovely investment watch with a value that will appreciate in the years to come. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Featured image courtesy of Rolex. Want to read about a timepiece with an eye-catching watch complication? Check out our article about the Orient Sun and Moon!

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  6. Seiko Arnie: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sturdy Favorite

    Seiko Arnie: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Sturdy Favorite

    Watches worn in films have made their mark on a lot of folks’ spheres of consciousness. Through the medium of film, the general public has become familiar with an array of iconic timepieces, especially if they are worn by renowned actors. Some popular examples include James Bond’s Omega Seamaster pieces and the Hamilton watches that show up in Tenet and Interstellar.  Appearances in pop culture can also be a huge factor that contributes to a particular watch amassing massive popularity and its own cult following. For those familiar with film and watch circles, the Seiko Arnie is perhaps one of the most famous instances of a watch receiving a huge following after an appearance in a film. Indeed, the influence of the American action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom the watch was named after, cannot be denied when it comes to the Seiko Arnie’s popularity. Read on to find out more about the Seiko Arnie and everything it has to offer.  History and Overview of the Seiko Arnie  Arnold Schwarzenegger wearing the Seiko Arnie on Commando (1985). Image by: 20th Century Fox The Seiko Arnie hails from the brand’s flagship Seiko Prospex collection. This series of watches is widely recognized for its amazing roster of dive watches, which includes well-known names such as the Seiko Marinemaster and Seiko Turtle. As an esteemed Japanese watch brand, Seiko has only continued to meet everyone’s expectations with the well-crafted Seiko Arnie.  Introduced in 1982, the original Seiko Arnie piece released was the Seiko H558. It was notable for being the first-ever hybrid dive watch to grace the world. The launch of the Seiko H558 further cemented Seiko’s position as one of the leading innovative watchmakers globally. It also showcased the exceptional designs that came with Japanese craftsmanship.  Back in the ‘80s, the Seiko H558 garnered much popularity thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The American actor utilized the watch in many of his action and sci-fi films, including massive hits like Commando (1985) and Predator (1987). This eventually led to the Seiko H558 being nicknamed after the actor, receiving the catchy  “Seiko Arnie” moniker. Over time, the Seiko Arnie gained a cult following which included not just watch enthusiasts, but also the actor’s growing fanbase worldwide. Seiko Arnie 2019 Image by: Seiko In August 2019, Seiko released a modern reissue of the well-loved 1982 Seiko H558. Dubbed the Modern Interpretation of the iconic 1982 Seiko Arnie, the brand-new Seiko Arnie watch came in a completely new build, including its construction and movement. It was launched in three different versions: Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ025 (2019)Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ027 (2019)Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ028 (2019)Of the three reissue models, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SNJ025 bears the greatest resemblance to the original Seiko H558. It is also the most popular piece amongst watch connoisseurs. Let us get to know more about the modern Seiko Arnie in the next section of the article. Anatomy of the Seiko Arnie Case and Caseback The Seiko Arnie comes in a huge and chunky build that matches perfectly with the former bodybuilder and actor it is named for. Crafted in stainless steel, the case of this watch measures a thick 47.8mm in diameter and has a height of 13.8mm. These measurements suit folks whose wrist sizes border around medium to large. In spite of its immense construction, however, the Seiko Arnie actually wears quite lightly on the wrist, weighing around 114 grams. As such, you can easily and comfortably wear the Seiko Arnie even for long periods of time.  Surrounding the stainless steel case of this watch is a matte black shroud, which helps to emphasize its hefty look. This shroud is made from robust, shock-resistant plastic and adds to the lightweight build of the Seiko Arnie. If you are familiar with Seiko’s timepieces, you might have recognized this shroud feature from the design of the Seiko Tuna watches. Although it makes the case extra bulky, this shroud also provides the watch with an additional layer of protection against any accidental bumps or impacts.  On the underside of the Seiko Arnie, you can find a solid stainless steel caseback. It holds a delicate engraving of a cresting tsunami. This is a common feature seen in many Seiko dive watches. The caseback is also tightly screwed down. This prevents any water or dirt from leaking into the Seiko Arnie and damaging its inner mechanisms.   Crown and Pushers On the right side of the Seiko Arnie’s case, you will see a large crown made of polished stainless steel. Like the caseback, this crown is securely screwed down and helps to safekeep against the entry of moisture or dirt. The crown also comes with grooved edges, which makes it easier to grip and turn, especially when it is wet.  Located on the other side of the case are two thick, protruding pushers. The push-button at 8 o’clock is used to change the modes on the Seiko Arnie’s digital display. This includes switching between the watch’s stopwatch, alarm, date, and time display features. The push-button at 10 o’clock, on the other hand, controls the Seiko Arnie’s built-in LED backlight and stopwatch functions. Finally, using both pushers in conjunction allows you to set the watch’s alarm.  Bezel One of the most important components of a dive piece is its bezel, and Seiko Arnie does not fail to deliver. Fixed on top of the Seiko Arnie’s watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with 120 clicks. It does not have any backplay whatsoever. This ensures that you will not accidentally turn it backwards and lose track of your elapsed time underwater.  This bezel has thick, ridged edges that resemble the sides of a bottle cap, giving wearers a better grip. You do not have to worry about any difficulty in turning the bezel, since it sits taller than the surrounding plastic shroud. The bezel is also fitted with a black aluminum insert. It is filled with a 60-minute count-up scale and a luminous pip at 12 o’clock, which helps illuminate the watch face.  Dial Image by: Seiko Aside from its famous association with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Seiko Arnie is also recognized for its striking hybrid dial. It shows off a matte black finish and is filled with hour markers in various geometric shapes and arrow-headed sword hands outlined in silver. A chapter ring, placed around the dial, bears indicators in white for the minute track. All of these components are generously coated in the brand’s LumiBrite material, allowing for optimal legibility even in low-light environments.  A rectangular digital screen is placed on the topmost section of the dial. It displays the watch’s time, alarm, stopwatch, and calendar functions. Even in the dark, you can still see this digital display clearly thanks to the Seiko Arnie’s built-in LED backlight. The dial of this watch is also protected by a tough layer of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal. It keeps the watch face safe from any hard impacts or scratches.  Strap Image by: Seiko The Seiko Arnie is paired with a sturdy silicone strap in black. It has thick, wave-like ridges that ensure the strap rests securely on your wrist. The strap’s durable silicone material is also completely waterproof, so it is a great partner for this dive watch.  In addition, the Seiko Arnie’s strap also comes with a multitude of adjustment holes. This allows the wearer to easily adjust their strap for a looser or tighter fit. It is also equipped with a stainless steel buckle, which keeps the strap safely fastened to your wrist.  Water Resistance The Seiko Arnie has an impressive water resistance capacity of up to 200 meters. You can bring it on all sorts of water adventures, from surfing and swimming to deep-water conquests like professional diving. As a dive watch, the Seiko Arnie is also ISO 6425-certified.  Movement  Driving the Seiko Arnie is an in-house Seiko Caliber H851. This is a solar-powered quartz movement which can be charged using exposure to any light source, artificial or natural. When fully charged, the Seiko Caliber H851 can last for up to six months. It also has a superb accuracy rate of +/-15 seconds per month.  Price Coming from a watch brand widely known for its affordable prices, the Seiko Arnie has an extremely budget-friendly price tag of just $419 USD. With its robust build and jam-packed features, this accessible price makes the Seiko Arnie well worth the purchase.  Alternatives to the Seiko Arnie 1. Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E For another dive piece that comes from a notable Japanese brand, check out the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E. This Citizen watch is presented in a 44mm stainless steel case with a height of 14mm, making it considerably smaller than the Seiko Arnie. With these dimensions, this Citizen watch can fit well on wrists of all sizes.  The Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E also has a sleek hybrid dial. It bears a matte black finish and contains trapezoidal hour indices and thick syringe hands. These hands and indices are all filled with a light green lume that adds a softer touch to this watch face. The minute hand is also outlined in orange, which pops brightly against the rest of the black backdrop. At 12 o’clock, a light gray digital display can be found.  This Citizen Promaster piece also comes with various functions such as alarms, depth measurements, and a stopwatch, all of which are displayed on the watch’s digital screen. Wearers can control these features using the small push-buttons found at 2, 8, and 10 o’clock. A screw-down crown is also located at 4 o’clock, with a stout water pressure sensor placed on the left side of the case. Like the Seiko Arnie, the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E is water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters.   You can get your hands on the Citizen Promaster Ref. JP2000-08E for $459 USD. 2. Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00 For another robust dive watch with a very quintessential style, check out the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00. This Mido piece utilizes a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a high-quality black rubber strap. Sitting atop the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale insert made of black ceramic. Like the Seiko Arnie, it also possesses an outstanding water resistance rating of 200 meters.  Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, the black dial of this watch is ornamented with rectangular hour indices, silver skeletal hands, and a day-date aperture at 3 o’clock. The seconds hand of this watch is tipped with orange, adding a burst of color to this watch face. These components are all treated with Super-LumiNova, which lights up the dial in the dark.  This Mido Ocean Star piece runs on an in-house Mido Caliber 80. Held together by 25 jewels, this self-winding movement beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and offers a stellar power supply of 80 hours.  The Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.17.051.00 retails at $890 USD. 3. Oris Divers Ref. 01 733 7720 4354-07 4 21 18 If you would like to invest in a more expensive dive watch, this handsome timepiece from Oris might interest you. The Oris Divers Ref. 01 733 7720 4354-07 4 21 18 shows off a gorgeous combination of black and royal gold tones. It sports a 42mm stainless steel case and an elegant black rubber strap. Fitted on top of the case is a unidirectional count-up bezel, with a black ceramic insert and gold-tone edges.  Arranged on this watch’s black dial are luminous geometric hour markers and broad sword hands, which come in a lovely shade of rose gold. A trapezoidal date complication, outlined in gold, can also be spotted at 3 o’clock. All of these functions are driven by the watch’s Oris Caliber 733. Based on the Sellita SW200-1 movement, this caliber has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a standard 38-hour power reserve. You can buy this Oris Divers watch for around $2,200 USD.  Final Thoughts Through this in-depth look at the Seiko Arnie, we can say that it is certainly an incredible dive watch, especially with its modern, upgraded features and solid build. It is an apt timepiece for the modern-day man and can be utilized in all sorts of adventures, especially water-based ones. For those seeking a hefty dive piece with hybrid features, the Seiko Arnie is definitely a great option. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo credits: 20th Century Fox, Seiko PH, Seiko USA, and Seiko Watches. Are you on the hunt for an iconic vintage watch? Check out our review of the rare Rolex Coke.

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  7. Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000: An In-Depth Review

    Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000: An In-Depth Review

    The Casio G-Shock series is one of the most well-known collections in the horology industry. Known to both watch enthusiasts and casual wearers who are not familiar with the watch market, the Casio G-Shock is highly regarded for its hefty build and robust durability. In particular, the Casio G-Shock stands out for its use of resin, which gives it a superior degree of shock and impact resistance.  Of course, a brand like Casio is nothing if not adventurous. As such, in 2020, the brand diversified its G-Shock range with the release of the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000. Despite belonging to the G-Shock collection, these G-Shock MTG watches break from the norm with their sleek metal cases and high-quality finishes. Promising style and ever-reliable levels of shock resistance, the Casio G-Shock MTG is the G-Shock collection’s newest premium line.  Without further ado, let us delve deep into the Casio G-Shock MTG and everything it has to offer.  All About Casio G-Shock MTG B2000 The first Casio G-Shock MTG watches were introduced in 2018, under the moniker Casio G-Shock MTG-B1000. Despite being the newest additions to a collection known for using resin materials, the G-Shock MTG line distinguished itself by incorporating unprecedented levels of metal into its watches. These watches managed to show off more lustrous aesthetics, while still maintaining the level of shock resistance expected from G-Shock watches.   Thanks to the popular reception of the G-Shock MTG-B1000 timepieces, Casio decided to release newer, upgraded variants of the G-Shock MTG. Most recently, in September 2020, the brand unveiled its G-Shock MTG-B2000 watches. These latest iterations of the G-Shock MTG promise more stylish designs and updated features that can only be found in Casio’s top-tier models.  Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000: First Impressions Right off the bat, the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 is still recognizable as a distinctively G-Shock piece, with its rugged and outdoor-ready build. It is a revamped version of the G-Shock MTG-B2000, with similar dimensions and a slightly busier dial.  One significant upgrade that has been made to the G-Shock MTG-B2000, however, is its bezel. As opposed to the MTG-B1000’s round case, the MTG-B2000 shows off a rare dodecagonal bezel, tailored to suit shock-resistant watches like this.  Thanks to this bezel, watch fans have remarked on the MTG-B2000’s resemblance to other watches with angular bezels. This has led to very flattering comparisons with iconic pieces like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. As a result, the MTG-B2000 possesses a versatility that makes it an interesting choice as a dress watch for formal occasions too.  Anatomy of the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000  Case  The Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 comes in a chunky 55.1mm case that measures 15.9mm in thickness. Although it is slightly smaller than its MTG predecessor, this watch still poses a very significant presence on your wrist, a trait that is true of all G-Shock watches. Like the watch bezel, the case itself is twelve-sided, giving it a very sharp and angular look.  The case of the MTG-B2000 shows off a very layered build, which contributes greatly to its durability. It is composed of a rigid carbon monocoque case and a firm stainless steel cargo frame, which protects the inner case from external shocks. The stainless steel frame is treated with a black IP finish and a lovely Sallaz polish. This gives the frame a sleek, mirror-like black surface that adds to the visual appeal of this watch.  The use of carbon is critical in the MTG-B2000, as it is both highly shock-resistant and can be molded into complex shapes, offering greater design freedom. Since carbon is very lightweight, its use also ensures that the G-Shock MTG-B2000 does not weigh too heavily on your wrist. Thanks to the case’s semi-carbon composition, the MTG-B2000 weighs just 156 grams in total, which is quite light considering its size.  The case is also equipped with the brand’s signature Triple G Resist system. A major factor contributing to the G-Shock watches’ durability, it reinforces the MTG-B2000’s ability to withstand shocks, centrifugal forces, and vibration. In addition, the MTG-B2000 also has a solid depth rating of 200 metres, so you can easily bring it for a swim.  Casio Watches Bezel As we mentioned, the bezel is also a highlight of the G-Shock MTG-B2000. This bezel has an unusual dodecagonal shape. It is crafted entirely from stainless steel, so it is very robust and protects the watch face from any scratches or impacts.  The bezel is also treated with a layer of ion plating. This further boosts its resistance to scratches while also giving it its shiny pink-red hue.  Casio Watches Band The G-Shock MTG-B2000 comes with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Like the watch case, this bracelet has been treated with a black IP finish and Sallaz polish. In order to reduce the heftiness of the MTG-B2000, however, Casio has hollowed out this bracelet to make space for metal injection moulding. This reduces the overall weight of the MTG-B2000’s bracelet to 15% less than a typical, all-stainless steel strap.  This metal strap is equipped with a double slide lever. This allows you to quickly wear or release it, maximising convenience.  Aside from that, the MTG-B2000 is also offered with a soft urethane strap in black. If you want your MTG-B2000 piece to be even lighter, then this urethane band is a great choice. With the urethane strap, the MTG-B2000 weighs 127 grams in total and comes at a slightly cheaper price tag.  Dial Compared to its predecessor, the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 shows off an improved dial configuration which allows for easier readability. It shows off a matte black finish that wonderfully complements the rest of the watch.  This dial is also filled with oversized sword hands in silver-white and thick, applique hour markers that give this watch face a three-dimensional look. The hands and indices have been coated in Casio’s LumiBrite material, allowing for optimal legibility even in the dark. On top of that, this watch also comes with an LED backlight, which you can activate using one of the pushers on the side of the case.  As a chronograph watch, the G-Shock MTG-B2000 also contains three sub-dials in different sizes. The sub-dial at 8 o’clock serves as the 12-hour chronograph counter, while a smaller day-night indicator is placed to the right of it. At 3 o’clock, you can find the day-of-the-week and mode indicators. Finally, a 24-hour display is placed on the upper left hand of the dial. Metallic red accents are also scattered all around this watch face, matching the bezel and giving it an especially cool look.  Movement Underneath this packed dial, you can find an in-house Japanese Seiko quartz caliber. This is a Tough Solar movement, which means that it can be charged using any form of consistent light source, artificial or natural. When fully charged, it can last for up to an impressive five months without any exposure to light.  Dual Core Guard Structure Casio Watches One of the core features of the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 is its Dual Core Guard Structure. This is an improved version of the Metal Core Guard Structure, which was first introduced in the MTG-B1000.  The Dual Core Guard Structure accentuates the aesthetics of a metal watch without the need to make it too big or bulky. It does away with the traditional metal caseback. Instead, the Dual Core Guard Structure employs a carbon monocoque case that seamlessly integrates both the case and caseback, making use of the strong yet lightweight nature of carbon. A metal frame is then placed around the case, offering it greater protection against external damage. Other Features Casio Watches The Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 comes with a number of useful Casio-developed systems as well. For instance, it is equipped with the brand’s Multi-Band 6 technology. This enables it to receive time calibration signals from six radio stations around the world, which allows for more accurate timekeeping. It also has Bluetooth connectivity features, so wearers can automatically sync up the watch’s time or change between 300 different timezones.  Casio also developed a dedicated app for G-Shock watches, the G-Shock Connected, which the MTG-B2000 has access to. Using this app, wearers can check on the watch’s updates and data history or access alarm and timer settings. You can even use this app to keep track of your health stats through the watch.  The MTG-B2000 supports operating systems including and above iOS and Android 7.0.  Price and Availability As the most luxurious item in the entire G-Shock lineup, the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 retails at a more exorbitant price compared to its peers. You can purchase it for around $1,000 USD.  Final Thoughts The Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 is a truly unique G-Shock offering. It retains the collection’s signature rugged boldness. At the same time, it also incorporates a new stylishness through its metal framing, giving the MTG-B2000 a versatility that allows it to fit in both in the wilderness and in more formal settings. Without a doubt, the MTG-B2000 is the best that G-Shock has to offer.  All photos used in this article are credited to Casio. If you’re enjoying the Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000, check out more model G-Shock timepieces from Casio here.

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  8. Best Porsche Watches For the Automobile Lovers Out There

    Best Porsche Watches For the Automobile Lovers Out There

    Porsche is a German automobile manufacturer known worldwide for its arsenal of iconic luxury sports cars. For many folks, owning a Porsche car is a dream come true. However, did you know that aside from automobile products, Porsche also offers its own roster of remarkable watches?  Over the years, Porsche has expanded its line of merchandise into various commodities that cater to its customers globally. Aside from watches, these also include clothing, accessories, and various lifestyle products. In terms of Porsche watches, many pieces are derived from the brand’s own line of famous sports cars. Hence, wearing one feels like already owning a Porsche car. In addition, many of the Porsche watches are crafted as racing watches built to be used in racing competitions. However, these timepieces are generally built with versatile designs. This allows them to be used as dress watches or even in casual, everyday life. Let us take a quick look at some of the best Porsche watches offered in the market today, and how the brand first came up with these timepieces in the rest of this article. Porsche Watches: A Brief Overview Image by: Porsche In 1972, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche founded and headed Porsche Design, a company separate from Porsche itself. Under Porsche Design, high-end goods in the form of pens, sunglasses, and many more were manufactured. Up to this day, the production of these items under Porsche Design still continues.  Known for being the creative mind behind the Porsche 911, Porsche sought to release a timepiece derived from the aforementioned sports car. He wanted to create a watch that looked just like the Porsche 911, with just as much craftsmanship and innovation. Thus, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 was born. Launched in 1972 along with Porsche Design, this watch was a masterpiece. Not only was it the first all-black chronograph watch, but it also paved the way for Porsche to succeed in the watch industry in the years to come.  Continuing the legacy started by Porsche Design, today, Porsche watches are designed in the Porsche Design Studio in Zell am See, Austria. They are then forwarded to and manufactured in the brand’s own watchmaking company under Porsche Design Timepieces AG located in Solothurn, Switzerland. 10 Best Porsche Watches 1. Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (1972 Limited Edition) Image by: Porsche For the first watch on this list, let us take a look at the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (1972 Limited Edition). First launched in 1972, this Porsche watch is most famous for being worn in films starring the American actor Tom Cruise. It has appeared in hit films like Top Gun (1986) and the recent blockbuster hit Top Gun: Maverick (2022). Fifty years after its original debut, the brand has just relaunched this timepiece in 2022. As a 50th anniversary model, the production of the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (1972 Limited Edition) is limited to just 500 pieces.  The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (1972 Limited Edition) utilizes a black-coated titanium construction for its case and three-link bracelet. Since it weighs 45% lighter than steel, this titanium watch wears much lighter than the average stainless steel watch. It is housed in a 40.8mm case with a height of 14.15mm, allowing it to fit wrists of all sizes quite well.  This watch also shows off a sleek matte black dial, which complements its exterior quite nicely. It is adorned with luminous hour indices and blunt hands, along with a vibrant red seconds hand that adds a pop of color to this watch face. At 3 o’clock rests a compact day-date window. Three sub-merged sub-dials also fill the dial, serving as the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters. Along with the tachymeter scale on the dial’s rim, these chronograph sub-dials are used to measure the speed of a moving object, especially in the context of racing. This watch is driven by the in-house Porsche WERK 01.140 Caliber. It is an automatic movement that beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a standard power supply of 48 hours. If you love all-black watches, you can get the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (1972 Limited Edition) for $7,700 USD.  2. Porsche Lifestyle Collector’s Watch Ref. WAP0701700N0CL  Image by: Porsche Next up, we have another limited-edition model, the Porsche Lifestyle Collector’s Watch Ref. WAP0701700N0CL. It is presented in a 42mm cushion-shaped case made from stainless steel. This square watch is coupled with a multicolor textile strap designed with racing stripes exactly like the 1972 Porsche 956. The strap is held by twisted wire lugs that add to the fashionable look of this watch. The watch’s brushed silver dial is decorated with Arabic numeral markers, black pencil hands coated with Super-LumiNova, and a circular date display at 6 o’clock. On the rim of the dial is a minute track in blue and red, the colors of the 1972 Porsche 956. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a thick fixed bezel. Fitted with eight screws, this bezel is also made of stainless steel and protects the watch face from any impacts and knocks.  This Porsche watch is powered by a battery-operated Ronda 515 quartz movement. It offers a water resistance capacity of 100 meters and can last for up to 45 months when fully charged.  As a special-edition watch, there are only 1,956 pieces of the Porsche Lifestyle Collector’s Watch Ref. WAP0701700N0C available worldwide. That said, its $500 USD price tag makes it very affordable and accessible to many watch collectors.  3. Porsche Lifestyle Chronograph Race Ref. WAP0700090NRAC  Image by: Porsche If you are on the hunt for a Porsche watch with very unique features, check out the Porsche Lifestyle Chronograph Race Ref. WAP0700090NRAC. This timepiece is packed in a 42mm stainless steel case, paired with a multicolor textile strap. It is also delivered with an additional black rubber strap, which you can use in all sorts of sports-related activities.  The polished silver dial of this watch is furnished with Arabic numeral markers, blue sword hands, a tachymeter ring, and vivid red accents scattered all around the dial, including on the seconds hand. As a chronograph watch, it also has three chronograph sub-dials, which are operated using the polished pushers at 11 and 1 o’clock.  The unusually-placed screw-down crown at 12 o’clock, along with the stainless steel caseback, affords this watch a solid 100-meter depth rating. Finally, this watch runs on the Miyota OS30 Caliber. This is a high-end quartz movement that has an accuracy rate of +/-20 seconds per month and a superb battery life of approximately five years.  The Porsche Lifestyle Chronograph Race Ref. WAP0700090NRAC retails at just $750 USD. 4. Porsche Lifestyle Classic Chronograph Turbo Ref. WAP0700880LCLC  Image by: Porsche For a Porsche watch in a lovely ensemble of blue tones, we have the Porsche Lifestyle Classic Chronograph Turbo Ref. WAP0700880LCLC. This watch is encased in a 44mm satin-finished stainless steel case, giving the timepiece a very smooth look. It is matched with a blue textile strap that goes well with the blue accents of the dial.  The watch’s white dial is guarded by a layer of sapphire crystal with scratch-resistant and anti-reflective properties. Arranged on it are blue Arabic numerals, luminous hands outlined in blue, and a small date aperture at 3 o‘clock. Red accents can also be found on the two blue chronograph sub-dials, adding to the watch’s handsome, dynamic aesthetic. Inside this watch, you can also find a reliable quartz Ronda movement.  You can get your hands on the Porsche Lifestyle Classic Chronograph Turbo Ref. WAP0700880LCLC for $850 USD. 5. Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 39 Ref. 4056487017266  Image by: Porsche The Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 39 Ref. 4056487017266 is one of the three models released by the brand that was inspired by the 2020 Porsche Panamera. As such, this watch bears a striking resemblance to the sports car’s interior design. These include the watch’s strap, which is made from the same leather as the Porsche vehicle’s seats, and the dial’s design, which mimics the car’s dash clock.  This watch is housed in a 39mm black titanium case with a thickness of 12.25mm. Given these dimensions, it can fit quite well on small-to-average-sized wrists. Its hollow titanium lugs add to this watch’s slim, lightweight look. In addition, it is also very easy to wear and remove thanks to its folding clasp. This watch boasts a solid 100-meter water resistance capacity, allowing you to bring it on all sorts of water adventures.  The brushed black dial of this watch is ornamented with rectangular hour indices, Arabic numerals, blunt hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. A small seconds sub-dial is also placed at 6 o’clock. Ticking inside this watch is the Porsche Design Caliber WERK 03.200. Fitted with 31 jewels, this movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a modest 38-hour power reserve. Hailing from the luxury collection of Porsche watches, the Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 39 Ref. 4056487017266 is priced at $5,350 USD. 6. Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 42 Ref. 4046901928001  Image by: Porsche If you have a larger wrist and would like to opt for a blue version of the previous Porsche Design watch, take a look at the Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 42 Ref. 4046901928001.  This luxury piece comes in a 42mm titanium case, paired with a blue Porsche leather strap and slim, hollowed lugs that are also made of titanium. This watch can fit quite comfortably on wrists of all sizes and it wears very lightly to boot, thanks to its lightweight titanium and leather construction.  The brushed blue dial of this watch shows off an alluring sunray finish. It is filled with white hour indices, Arabic numeral markers, and luminous blunt hands. You can also find a compact date indicator at 3 o’clock and a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock.  Underneath this gorgeous watch face, you can find a Porsche Design Caliber WERK 03.200. Held together by 31 jewels, this automatic movement offers a 38-hour power supply and a water resistance capacity of 100 meters.  The price of the Porsche Sport Chrono Subsecond 42 Ref. 4046901928001 is set at $4,750 USD. 7. Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Ref. 4046901809379  Image by: Porsche Next up, we have a luxury piece inspired by the Porsche 911. The Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Ref. 4046901809379 is built in a 42mm titanium case, coupled with a brown calfskin leather strap.  The dial of this watch boasts a rich, chocolate brown hue that matches its strap perfectly. It consists of rectangular hour indices, blunt black hands, a date display at 4 o’clock, and scattered, bright red accents.  The dial also has two chronograph sub-dials for the 30-minute and 12-hour counters, along with a curved function display at 9 o’clock which shows the running seconds. These features can be controlled using the long pushers on the right side of the watch case. Compared to traditional chronograph pieces, this watch comes with a flyback function. This enables you to stop and reset the running chronograph without stopping it altogether. It comes in especially handy when you need to register the lap times in a race. This watch is notable for being equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house automatic movement: the Porsche Design Caliber WERK 01.200. Composed of 25 jewels, this self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a standard 48-hour power rating. The Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Ref. 4046901809379 can be purchased for $6,350 USD. 8. Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator Ref. 4046901564131  Image by: Porsche For a state-of-the-art Porsche watch, here is the Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator Ref. 4046901564131. This watch sports a 45.5mm monobloc case with a height of 15.6mm, crafted entirely from titanium. While this oversized timepiece fits best on medium-to-large-sized wrists, those with smaller wrists can also wear it quite comfortably, thanks to its lightweight titanium build.  This GMT watch showcases a handsome black sunburst dial. It comprises a tachymeter chapter ring on its rim, white hour indices, thick sword hands, and two chronograph sub-dials for the 30-minute and 12-hour counters. A running seconds counter also rests at 9 o’clock, while a small date aperture can be found at 4 o’clock. A simple 24-hour scale is also engraved on the slanting edges of the dial. You might have noticed that this Porsche watch does not have traditional pushers. That is because they are integrated into the monobloc case itself. Referred to as the rocker switch, the cut lines on the right side of the case can be pushed inwards to control the stopwatch, GMT, and chronograph functions of this timepiece.  The back of this watch is sealed shut by an exhibition-style caseback. Through it, you can admire the watch’s ETA/Valjoux 7754 movement. It beats at 28,800 (4Hz) and has an average power supply of 42 hours. This watch also possesses a reliable water resistance rating of 100 meters.  The Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator Ref. 4046901564131 costs $6,350 USD. 9. Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Flyback Ref. 4046901811006  Image by: Porsche If you love sporty and rugged Porsche watches, check out the Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Flyback Ref. 4046901811006. This robust timepiece is sheltered in a 42mm black titanium case, accompanied by a black vehicle leather strap. The matte black dial is made from carbon fiber, with its eye-catching and distinct criss-cross pattern. It contains white hour indices, luminous sword hands, a date complication at 4 o’clock, and a vivid red seconds hand that adds a touch of vibrancy to this watch face. You can also find two chronograph sub-dials with sleek sunray black finishes, for the 30-minute and 12-hour counters.  Affixed on top of the watch is a black tachymeter bezel. On the right side of the watch, a screw-down crown is placed. It is surrounded by two sizable chronograph pushers, which are used to operate the watch’s flyback function. All of these features are powered by a Caliber WERK 01.200, which provides a power reserve of 48 hours.  The Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Flyback Ref. 4046901811006 is worth $6,700 USD. 10. TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. CBN2A1F.BA0643  For many watch connoisseurs, watch collaborations are one of the most exciting parts of the horological sphere. One prime example of this is the TAG Heuer Carrera Ref. CBN2A1F.BA0643. This watch is a collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer and Porsche. It uses a 44mm stainless steel case paired with a three-link bracelet made from the same material.  The dial shows off a black textured surface that resembles the asphalt used in racing tracks. It is filled with Arabic numerals in a white typeface, luminous skeleton hands, and three chronograph sub-dials with vibrant red accents. Affixed to the top of the watch face is a tachymeter bezel, with a thick black ceramic insert.  This timepiece is operated by the in-house TAG Heuer Caliber 02. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and boasts a stellar 80-hour power supply. Unlike the previous Porsche watches, however, this collaborative piece only has a depth rating of 30 meters. This allows it to survive any simple showers and splashes.  If you want a robust racing watch with a classy look, this TAG Heuer Carrera piece comes at $6,550 USD.  Final Thoughts After going through this list of notable Porsche watches, it is quite clear that Porsche has not only cemented its reputation in the field of automobiles but also in the line of modern and innovative timepieces. The brand surely knows how to create excellent watches that fans of automobiles would definitely want to own. If you love sports cars and the Porsche brand in particular, then these Porsche watches are surely worth collecting. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo credits: Porsche. Looking for a robust dive watch? Check out our review of the Sinn U50!

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  9. Italian Watches: 10 Best Italian Watch Brands You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

    Italian Watches: 10 Best Italian Watch Brands You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

    There are some countries that are especially prominent in the watchmaking world, namely Switzerland and Japan. This is because Swiss and Japanese watch brands have played a huge role in forging the industry into what it is today.  That said, people sometimes forget that other countries can also master the art of making watches, and with their own unique touches to boot. This is why we have curated a list of the best Italian watch brands in the market, along with Italian watches in their catalogs that you should definitely check out. Read on to find out more. 10 Italian Watch Brands and the Best Italian Watches They Offer 1. Bulgari  To start off our list strong, we have Bulgari. This is one of the most well-established Italian watch brands in the market. Bulgari is a beloved name in the fashion industry and has been gracing the world with its well-crafted jewelry for over a century now.  One thing that sets Bulgari apart from other companies is how it integrates its mastery over making accessories with watchmaking. This gives Bulgari’s Italian watches a certain, special flair that virtually no other brand can replicate, making the brand even more appealing to watch collectors.  Bulgari caters to both men and women. These Italian watches can be divided into eight different collections. For ladies, Bulgari offers the Serpenti, Lucea, Divas’ Dream, High Jewelry, Bulgari Bulgari, and Grande Complications watch lines. Men, on the other hand, can choose from the Octo, Gerald Genta, Bulgari Bulgari, and Grande Complications collections.  One of Bulgari’s most highly-regarded watches is the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ref. 103464, which boasts a very modern and chic look. This is a very impressive model, both in terms of design and engineering, as it shows off an ultra-slim exterior that only the best watchmakers can achieve. With a price tag of around $12,000 USD, this piece gives you a good estimate of Bulgari’s price range.  2. Gagà Milano Another Italian watch brand you should keep on your radar is Gagà Milano. It is a relatively new player in the watchmaking game, having been founded in the early 2000s.  The word Gagà refers to a common Milanese expression used to describe a man who is sophisticated both in manners and style. This definition plays a big role in the concept of Gagà Milano, which revolves around intricate and modern watchmaking techniques. Today, Gagà Milano specializes in creating stylish, chic, and eccentric Italian watches that truly complement the individuality of its wearer.  Gagà Milano has a very extensive catalog in its arsenal, consisting of numerous watch lines with very diverse models. Some of the collections under its belt include the Napoleone, Manuale 48mm, Classic, Slim, Quirky Tourbillon, Silver, and many more. The brand also has a special, limited-edition series developed in collaboration with famous football player Neymar Jr, the Neymar Jr. Limited Edition. Given its unconventionality as a watch manufacturer, there is little wonder why so many aficionados have been captivated by Gagà Milano.  Another great thing about Gagà Milano is that it has reasonably-priced pieces that typically fall within the $500 USD to $3,000 USD range. For instance, the Gagà Milano Manuale 48mm Ref. 5213MIR01S is one of its best-selling models. Priced at just $1,380 USD, it has a very fun and quirky design that truly stands out amongst the more traditional, classic watches. It is a great starter piece for those who enjoy playful, avant-garde accessories. 3. Panerai  Next on our list of Italian watch brands is Panerai, another well-established manufacturer of Italian watches. This company was founded by Giovanni Panerai in 1960. It acted as a store, a workshop, and a watchmaking school.  In the decades that followed, Panerai was able to make a name for itself and eventually became one of the most luxurious watchmakers in the industry. Today, Panerai is known for its stylishly bold timepieces that are just as impressive on the inside.  Reputation-wise, Panerai is one of the go-to brands for those who love oversized watches. The timepieces Panerai make are incredibly robust yet elegant, which makes them a great addition to any watch collection.  The brand’s watches can be divided into four different lines: the Submersible, the Luminor, the Luminor Due, and the Radiomir. While this might seem like a limited selection of models, the Italian brand manages to cover all the important categories, from hardy survival watches to more formal dress pieces.  One of the most renowned models in Panerai’s assortment is the Panerai PAM 125. This is a handsome piece from the brand’s Luminor series and it showcases a simple yet rugged exterior. While it has a more straightforward design, its simplicity complements the overall sportiness and robustness of the watch. Priced at around $5780 USD, this is a fail-safe option for novice Panerai collectors. 4. Gucci In this entry, we have one of the most famous names in the fashion industry: Gucci. While it is more famous for its flamboyant luxury apparel, Gucci also has an array of designer timepieces in its portfolio.  Gucci was founded in 1921, by its namesake Guccio Gucci. However, the brand only started creating Swiss-made watches in 1972. As an Italian watch brand, however, Gucci also made sure to incorporate the vibrancy that comes with its cultural roots into the pieces it creates. This is precisely why Gucci watches are perfect for those who enjoy overtly extravagant accessories.  This big-league fashion brand has a decently-sized selection of timepieces in its catalogue. These watches are mainly categorised into two sections: men’s watches and women’s watches. However, the brand also has special collections such as the Gucci 25H Timepieces, G-Timeless, and Grip watches.  If you are a fan of Gucci’s clothing lines, you probably have a good idea as to how much its products cost already. Indeed, Gucci’s watches come at a similar price range too, starting at $500 USD and going up to around $1,500 USD.  One of the most popular models under this brand is the Gucci G-Timeless Ref. YA1264148. This watch shows off a striking and elaborate design that fully embodies the Gucci name. This makes it very recognisable and true to the brand’s stylistic core. It sells at around $870 USD.  5. Emporio Armani  Like Gucci, Emporio Armani is another very well-known name in the luxury fashion world. Founded in 1975 by Giorgio Armani, the brand started making timepieces rather early on. This allowed Emporio Armani to quickly establish a place for itself in the premium watch market. Emprio Armani watches tend to boast classical Italian styles which are incredibly versatile, perfect for all kinds of occasions.   At present, Emporio Armani has more than 100 timepieces in its diverse portfolio, with about 58 watches for women and 72 models for men. On top of that, all Emporio Armani pieces showcase quintessential designs that are easy to pair with different outfits. If you want a more classic take on Italian watches, Emporio Armani is definitely the brand to check out. The best part is that you do not have to break the bank for these watches, as they typically range from around $100 USD to $600 USD.  Take, for instance, the incredibly affordable Emporio Armani Renato Ref. AR11184, which costs just $150 USD. With its subtle all-black colourway, this watch has a stylish and chic aesthetic that goes well with just about any ensemble. While it may not be as striking or as fancy as some of the other Italian watches mentioned in this list, its straightforwardness is what makes it worth checking out.  6. Salvatore Ferragamo Next, we have Salvatore Ferragamo. As with Gucci and Armani, this Italian luxury brand is renowned in the fashion industry. It was founded in 1927 by is namesake, Salvatore Ferragamo. Today, it is best known for offering bold and sophisticated goods such as shoes, bags, and even timepieces. Watches are not actually Salvatore Ferragamo’s specialty. Nevertheless, it has been able to produce excellently-crafted models that wonderfully combine Italian designs with Swiss watchmaking.  Salvatore Ferragamo watches can be categorised into timepieces for men and women, amounting to around 70 models in total. While it may sound like the brand has limited options, it actually presents a rather wide variety of watch types for you to choose from. These range from chronographs and skeleton pieces, to dress and sports watches.  On top of that, Salvatore Ferragamo is also famous for having sustainable, environmentally-friendly models. These were made with less negative environmental impact than standard timepieces from other brands. In general, the prices of Salvatore Ferragamo watches range from around $800 USD to $2,000 USD.  Our favorite piece from Salvatore Ferragamo is the Ferragamo Experience Watch which is priced at $1195 USD. This is a standout timepiece that boasts an excellent mix of Swiss and Italian craftsmanship. It has a sporty, masculine build that exudes very casual and laidback vibes. On the whole, this is a good starter piece for those who are unfamiliar with Italian watches.  7. Locman Locman, on the other hand, is a company that only true Italian watch connoisseurs would know. Founded in the 1980s by Marco Mantovani, this brand stands out because of its specific, unique vision and concept.  Locman was first established in the Island of Elba. As a result most, if not all of its timepieces are inspired by the sea. The brand has also made sure to incorporate its devotion and high regard for its home in every watch it produces, allowing for some truly meaningful creations.  Locman currently has 10 different collections: Amo, Limited Editions, Montecristo, 1960, Stealth, Mare, Ducati, Sport Anniversary, Island, and Isle d’Elba. Each series shows off different styles and functions, raising from sporty and casual to classic and formal.  Another cool thing about Locman is that it offers a rather wide range of prices. Its watches start at approximately $400 US and can go up to over $1,00 USD. Ultimately, as a watchmaker, Locman believes that refinement and Italianness come hand-in-hand, and this is definitely reflected in its portfolio.  The Isola d’Elba Ref. 0460A02-00BLWHPB serves as the perfect representation of what Locman’s watchmaking ideals are all about. It has a marine-inspired exterior that showcases both traditional and modern design cues. This watch also runs on a powerful quartz Miyota 2115 movement, making it a treat in terms of both visuals and functionality. Retailing at around $535 US, this is a great choice for those who love dive watches.  8. Anonimo Anonimo is one of the best options for those seeking an Italian watch brand that incorporates Swiss watchmaking into their process. While it might not be as prestigious as some of the other brands on this list, Anonimo has truly mastered the art of fusing Italian and Swiss watchmaking techniques, and this shows clearly in its catalog. Looks-wise, Anonimo watches look quite similar to some Panerai models. As such, it is an excellent option for those who love robust and chunky accessories.  Anonimo offers four main collections: Epurato, Militare, Nautilo, and the Special Series. While these watches differ in size, shape, colorway, and functionality, all the models Anonimo offers come an air of sophistication that not many other brands can replicate. Anonimo watches are typically priced at around $2,000 USD to $6,000 USD.  The Anonimo Epurato Ref. AM-4000.01.101.W11 shows off a ruggedly handsome build paired with an excellent Swiss-made SW200-1 movement. Despite its large size, it still boasts a rather elegant feel, thanks to its simple and straightforward design. Worth around $2,300 USD, this is definitely a model to check out if you enjoy sturdy Italian watches.  9. Zannetti The next Italian watch brand on our list is Zannetti, which has some of the most artistic timepieces out there. Just by looking at any one of its creations, and you can tell that the value that Zannetti places on style and visuals.  Zannetti was founded in 1982 by Riccardo Zannetti, with the aim of spreading Italian creativity to the world. Decades later, it is safe to say that the brand has been able to achieve this goal. It has consistently produced beautifully-designed watches that show off clear, flamboyant Italian influences.  With a total of 14 collections under its belt, you certainly will not run out of options with Zannetti. Each and every watch line it has revolves around a certain theme or concept that reflects its Italian heritage. For example, the brand has a Gladiator and a Palatino series, both of which are associated with Rome. Since Zannetti’s watches are nothing short of masterful, their thousand dollar price tags seems quite justified on the whole. One of the brand’s most intriguing models is the Zannetti Discobolo. This watch takes inspiration from the famous statue of the same name. The dial of this piece shows off the brand’s artistic interpretation of the sculpture, giving it a very classic Roman aesthetic. The Zannetti Discobolo is priced at around $8,500 USD.  10. Mazzucato Last but definitely not the least, we have Mazzucato. This is an Italian watch brand that offers ultra-modern timepieces. It was founded by Simone Mazzucato, who is also the brilliant mind behind the brand’s forward-looking designs. With a background in Industrial Design, Mazzucato shared his expertise with the world by creating cutting-edge timepieces that boast utmost functionality.  Mazzucato currently has five collections: RIM Sport, RIM Monza, RIM Scuba, RIM GT, and RIM SUB. While each line has a different purpose, every single Mazzucato watch comes with an incredibly advance design that only true masters can craft.  To fit its #NeverBoring slogan, Mazzucato is not bound by traditional watchmaking techniques at all. The brand values innovation in all aspects, which allows it to stand out from the other watchmakers in this list. That said, good things do not come cheap. Expect to drop a couple thousand bucks to get your hands on a Mazzucato timepiece.  One of Mazzucato’s most striking models is the RIM Sport Chronograph. This watch makes use of the brand’s signature Reverse Industrial Movement (RIM) which allows for 2 dials and 2 movements in one watch. One side is driven by a high-performance automatic mechanism while the other showcases an excellent chronograph movement.   It also has a very powerful and futuristic-looking exterior that perfectly matches its robust mechanism. If you are hooked on this watch like we are, all you need is $1,400 USD to acquire one for yourself.  Final Thoughts  While this list only has ten Italian watch brands, there are definitely others out there that also deserve to be recognized. Many of them serve as a reflection of both Italian culture and watchmaking which is why they are worth researching on. Hopefully, this article has shown you that there is more to the industry than just Swiss and Japanese-made watches!  Photo Credits: Official Watch Brand SitesEnjoy reading listicles? Check out this piece on the 15 Best Tonneau Watches!

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  10. Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Before we pull the trigger on purchasing a watch, we always take note of things like its case shape and bracelet material. However, another important component that can either make or break a watch is its bezel. Along with the dial, the watch bezel plays a pivotal role in the aesthetic of the whole model. Offering both form and function, the watch bezel is a crucial component that should not be overlooked. If you want to know more, read on as we discuss all you need to know about watch bezels, how they function, and some of the most iconic bezel designs in watchmaking history. What is a Watch Bezel?  A watch bezel is best described as a ring, affixed to the top of the watch case, that surrounds the watch’s dial. It sits on top of the watch crystal and helps to keep it in place. The watch bezel is considered one of the most versatile components of a timepiece. This is particularly because numerous variations of it exist. Watchmakers use specific materials such as steel, aluminum, and ceramic to craft the bezel. Oftentimes, the watch bezel is then treated with other metals such as gold or silver for design and durability purposes. A Brief Background on the Evolution of Watch Bezels There really is no exact date as to when the watch bezel was first created or identified as part of a watch. Nevertheless, its evolution throughout the years is quite evident. What initially started out as a fixed, decorative component soon became a way to add more utility to a timepiece. Many well-known brands like Rolex and Omega have actually pioneered a number of the innovative bezels we have today. For example, in the 1930s, Rolex was one of the first manufacturers to attach a rotating bezel to a watch, the Rolex Zerograph. At the time, the brand did not know that this ingenious complication would eventually become a fundamental part of diving watches in the future. In the same decade, TAG Heuer released a selection of timepieces featuring a variety of decorative bezels. This further cemented the idea that watch bezels were becoming a more prominent design and utility element in timepieces. Over the years, manufacturers have gone out of their way to create new and innovative bezel complications. These impressive bezels have changed the watchmaking game forever. Today, there are numerous kinds of watch bezels, all with different functions and features, for you to choose from. What Are Watch Bezels Made From?  Technological advancements in watchmaking mean that there are a variety of materials which watchmakers can choose from when it comes to crafting a watch bezel. Different bezel materials offer different advantages, which we will now go through in detail. Stainless Steel Stainless steel is one of the most prevalent materials used when creating timepieces. As such, it is little surprise that stainless steel bezels are quite common as well. There are two main reasons why manufacturers choose to go with stainless steel over other metals: durability and aesthetics. In terms of reliability and robustness, stainless steel is the most viable option when it comes to watch bezels. It is highly resistant to scratches and corrosion. A stainless steel bezel is thus able to withstand much of the wear and tear that comes with frequent use and a harsh environment. While stainless steel is prone to discoloration, it is a material that is guaranteed to last. Using stainless steel ensures that your watch bezel will remain in one piece no matter what. In terms of aesthetics, stainless steel has an appealing, lustrous sheen that is remarkably close to precious metals like silver. It also boasts a very versatile look, which allows watchmakers to experiment and play around with the design of the watch. For instance, stainless steel bezels work extremely well with two-toned watch cases. Aluminum  Aluminum bezels are also quite popular in the watchmaking industry. Aluminum is often compared to stainless steel, especially since it is just as abundant and practical. One strength of aluminum is that it is a more lightweight alternative, so it wears less heavily than a stainless steel bezel. It also mixes well with different coatings and pigments. However, a downside of aluminum is that it is known to be less sturdy than stainless steel. It is also quite reactive to different environmental exposures, and can be corroded if used for extended periods of time. Ceramic Despite being the newest material on this list, ceramic is an increasingly popular choice when it comes to making watch bezels. Ceramic is extremely robust and is known for exhibiting excellent scratch-resistant properties that exceed those of stainless steel and aluminum. This is great in ensuring the watch bezel remains pristine, even after years of use. Furthermore, ceramic is also lighter in weight, making it more ergonomic and comfortable to wear. However, ceramic has its fair share of cons as well. When too much pressure is applied to a ceramic bezel, it can be susceptible to some chipping or breaking here and there. Ceramic is also much more expensive than stainless steel or aluminum. Which Material Makes the Best Bezel?  As mentioned, each material has its advantages and disadvantages. People have to take into account different factors when deciding which watch bezel material to go with. For instance, a stainless steel bezel is a classic. It is ideal for those who prefer durable watches that age well. Aluminum bezels, on the other hand, are perfect for those seeking a more lightweight watch option. Finally, ceramic bezels are great for those who prefer stylish watches that will not suffer too much abuse. At the end of the day, your choice of preferred bezel material boils down to personal preferences. Types of Watch Bezels Now, let us move on to the most frequently-seen types of watch bezels and how they function.  1. Fixed/Plain Bezel The original watch bezel, a fixed or plain bezel is the most basic type. This type of watch bezel primarily functions as a decorative component. Aside from helping to keep the watch crystal in place, the fixed bezel does not have any additional functions or features. Watchmakers frequently use fixed bezels when they want to show off certain design elements such as embedded jewels, inscriptions, and the like. A contemporary example of the fixed bezel would be the Seiko 5 Sports SRE003K1, which hails from the popular Seiko 5 Sports series. 2. Count-up Bezel Next up, we have the count-up bezel. This type of watch bezel is more commonly referred to as a dive bezel, as it is often seen on dive watches. It showcases a scale that counts from 0 to 60 and is meant to be aligned with the minute markers on the watch’s dial. The count-up bezel’s scale is typically used by divers to calculate their elapsed time underwater. Moreover, this type of bezel follows a unidirectional rotation that goes counter-clockwise, which is used as an indicator by many divers as well. To use the count-up bezel, you have to align its zero marker – the luminous pip – to the current position of the minute hand. As the minute hand ticks, this will show you how much time has elapsed since you started diving. For example, if you start your dive at 9:20, you have to move the zero marker of the bezel to the 20-minute marker on the dial, which is where the minute-hand should be. As time goes on, the minute hand will tick forward, allowing you to keep track of exactly how many minutes have passed. 3. GMT/World Time Bezel A GMT bezel, also known as a world time bezel, is made for those who need to keep track of two different timezones. It is especially useful to frequent jetsetters. This type of watch bezel is characterized by a 24-hour scale, which is kept separate from the 12-hour display on the dial. Some GMT watches come with an additional GMT hand, while others feature rotating bezels. A GMT watch with an extra GMT hand is paired with the 24-hour GMT scale, which can be set to indicate one timezone. If your watch comes with just a rotating GMT bezel and no additional hands, however, you will have to manually turn it to your desired timezone. 4. Tachymeter Bezel The tachymeter bezel is commonly featured in sports watches and chronograph pieces relating to anything and everything automotive. This is usually a fixed bezel with a scale that has units beginning from 0 and going up to around 1,000. The main function of the tachymeter bezel is to calculate either distance or speed by using how much time has passed. In order to use the tachymeter, you need to know the distance between two points and the elapsed time needed to get from one end to another. You can then use the bezel’s tachymeter scale to calculate your traveling speed. 5. Compass Bezel A compass bezel is an important component in many outdoor watches. It aids explorers in figuring out directions, so they will not get lost. The compass bezel is marked with letter engravings that indicate North, South, East, and West. Additional markers can be found in between each cardinal direction, indicating the degrees.One interesting thing about the compass bezel is that it is reliant on the sun rather than magnetic properties. When using the compass bezel, you have to first use the sun to determine your orientation. If the sun is rising, change your position, with the cardinal direction E pointed at the sun. If the sun is setting, however, you have to change your position so that W pointed at the sun. This will allow you to tell which direction you are facing and where you need to go. 6. Countdown Bezel `a countdown bezel works in similar way to the count-up bezel. However, instead of calculating elapsed time, the countdown bezel acts more as a stopwatch. You will align your desired time limit to its corresponding marker on the dial. The countdown bezel is extremely versatile and is used by both professionals in their fields and in people’s everyday routines too. In order to properly use the countdown bezel, the zero marker on the bezel must be lined up with the time limit you are trying to set. For example, if you decide to jog around for 20 minutes, make sure to rotate the bezel so that the zero marker is at the 20-minute position on the dial. This will then allow you to keep track of how much time has passed and how much time you have left. 7. Pulsometer Bezel  A pulsometer is a very old-school bezel type that dates back to the 1920s. Serving a very practical and straightforward purpose, this was one of the very first bezel complications ever invented. It is designed to help those in the medical field keep track of a person’s heart rate. Typically, a pulsometer has a scale that counts from around 40 (left) units/pulses to 200 (right) units/pulses. When using a pulsometer bezel, you have to manually count out a person’s heartbeats once the timer starts. You can then refer to the pulsometer scale and use it to calculate the rate at which the person’s heart is beating. It should be noted that nowadays, the pulsometer bezel is a very rare type of watch bezel. The invention of smartwatches that can automatically determine a person’s heart rate has rendered the pulsometer bezel nearly obsolete. Bonus: Watches with Iconic Bezels Rolex Pepsi Bezel  The Rolex GMT-Master might just have the most famous watch bezel ever. It boasts the Pepsi bezel, which is an iconic two-tone GMT bezel. It comes in vibrant red and blue hues, resembling the logo of a soda brand, which is why it is dubbed the Pepsi bezel. Since its invention, many other watch brands have released their own versions of the Pepsi bezel. You can see this in watches such as the Timex Q Reissue and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79830RB-0001. Nevertheless, Rolex’s version remains the most legendary. The latest version of the Rolex Pepsi bezel has a 24-hour GMT scale and is made out of the brand’s patented Cerachrom material. TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary Tag Heuer is a brand that is known for its expertise in making tachymeter bezels. It has a long and rich history involving automobiles and the racing scene. This is probably how it has mastered the incorporation of tachymeter bezels in is watches. Take a look, for instance, at this limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary CBN2A1D.BA0643. It bears a fixed ceramic bezel in black with a tachymeter scale. Everything about this model serves as a tribute to the 160 years of the racing-inspired Tag Heuer Carrera series. Final Thoughts For those who are not that familiar with timepieces, the bezel is simply just a part of a watch. However, through this article, we have shown you just how much thought and effort watchmakers put into this versatile complication. From allowing watchmakers to exercise artistry and creativity to actually offering impressive utility, the watch bezel is definitely much more than just another watch component. It adds a lot of depth to a timepiece, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.  Photo Credits: Official Brand Websites Hooked on timepieces? Check out this Guide on Buying the Perfect IWC Portofino watch.

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  11. Doctor Strange Watch: An In-Depth Review of the Sorcerer’s Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Doctor Strange Watch: An In-Depth Review of the Sorcerer’s Jaeger-LeCoultre

    The watchmaking and film industries have been entangled with each other for decades now. Brands like Hamilton and OMEGA are often featured in blockbuster movies, with popular examples such as the Omega James Bond watches and the Hamilton Interstellar watch. Indeed, there is no denying that a watch feature in a film is a good way to attract attention to the timepiece and add to a character’s aesthetic.   One of the recent crowd-favourite watch placements in film is the appearance of the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual in the Doctor Strange franchise. Seen often throughout both Doctor Strange films, this watch is notable in that it is not just a decorative piece. Instead, this Doctor Strange watch actually plays an important role in the films’ plots as well, further cementing its significance.  Read on to find out all you need to know about this iconic Doctor Strange watch.  A Look at the Doctor Strange Watch Anyone who has seen the Doctor Strange movies would know that the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual plays an important role in films. Some might argue that this is just another blatant form of product placement for lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who is known to be an ambassador of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Nevertheless, the filmmakers have been able to seamlessly incorporate the JLC Master Ultra Thin Perpetual into the Doctor Strange films, giving it both frequent close-ups and plot relevance.  In the first movie, the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is gifted to Doctor Strange by Christine Palmer, his former love interest. As a result, Strange develops a very strong emotional attachment to the watch. He is spotted wearing this Doctor Strange watch many times and continues to hold onto it even after it is shattered. The Doctor Strange watch is even prominently featured in the sequel, as it acts as a tangible reminder of everything the wizard has gone through and his failed romance with Palmer.  Now that we know a little more about why this Doctor Strange watch is so important to the sorcerer, let us take a closer look at it and find out why it is worthy of being worn by one of Earth’s mightiest heroes.  Case and Caseback The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is housed in a high-grade stainless steel case that exudes luxury right off the bat. It has a 39mm case diameter and a thickness of 9.3mm, which gives the watch a rather slender, petite build. This is quite impressive, as it requires a lot of skill and mastery to be able to craft a case of this size for a modern dress watch. Providing a well-balanced feel on your wrist, this Doctor Strange watch is a great option for those with small-to-mid-sized wrists.   On the underside of this Doctor Strange watch, you will see a transparent caseback. It gives you an up-cloe-and-personal view of the excellent in-house movement that powers all of this watch’s functions. This caseback also bears inscriptions of the watch’s details, such as its reference number, brand name, edition type, and more.  A single look at this Doctor Strange watch will tell you that no one can deny its superior aesthetics. That said, one of the most interesting things is that the entire process of making it was actually carried out in-house, in the JLC manufacture house. From its conceptualisation to its assembly, every step was done under the care of the brand’s amazing and meticulous watchmakers. Bracelet  This Doctor Strange comes with a gorgeous alligator leather strap in black, which you can also spot in the films. It is equipped with a double-folding buckle made of stainless steel, which keeps the watch securely fastened to your wrist.  Despite its simple style, this is the perfect strap for the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual. Coupled with the stainless steel case, this strap offers a very quintessential appeal, bringing out the straightforward elegance of the watch. This strap is also very versatile, as you can tell from the different outfits it is successfully paired with in the Doctor Strange movies.  Dial  Now, we move on to the most captivating aspect of the Doctor Strange watch: its face. The JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual shows off a refined silver-grey dial that is nothing short of sophisticated.  It is adorned with triangular applique hour markers and dauphine hands, all made from black nickel. These components are also finely bevelled and polished, adding to the sharp, exquisite appeal of this watch. This dial also bears a blued steel seconds hand, which provides a lovely contrast against the silver backdrop.  Aside from the usual time-telling components, this model is also packed with a number of useful complications. It contains three sub-dials which are lightly submerged, serving as the day of the week, month, and date indicators. A quaint little window which serves as he date display is placed near 8 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, you can also find a beautiful, crescent-shaped moonphase display. The best thing about this watch face is that, despite its many intricacies, it does not feel too crowded or overwhelming at all. All of its components are well-spaced out, creating a neatly organised and easy-to-read dial.  Technical Details  Like most watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre, there is more to the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual than a beautiful exterior. This Doctor Strange watch comes with an equally impressive, well-built interior that will make any knowledgeable watch connoisseur drool.  This watch runs on a Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 868, which is developed and assembled entirely in-house. It is an automatic movement that comprises 336 components and 46 jewels. This movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and offers a standard 38-hour power reserved. It also has a 50-metre depth rating, which is quite standard for a dress watch like this.  Price  If you are familiar with Jaeger-LeCoultre, then you would probably have some idea of the price range this watch falls under. As one of the most respected Swiss luxury brands today, most of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watches come at fairly exorbitant price points, and the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is no different.  The JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual has a price tag of approximately $25,000 USD, befitting its exclusive and prestigious status.  Reputation Even before being featured in the Doctor Strange film franchise, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual was already highly-regarded among collectors and enthusiasts. First released in 2013, it quickly garnered a rather significant following. It is perceived by many as a chic and sophisticated dress watch that has much to offer when it comes to both functionality and craftsmanship.  Other Watches Featured In the Doctor Strange Franchise While the main watch in the Doctor Strange films is definitely the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, there are other timepieces that made quick cameo appearances as well.  As mentioned, watches play a rather significant role in the haughty Doctor’s life. That is why it is no surprise that he has a rather impressive personal collection of his own. Here are some of the exceptional timepieces that were spotted in Doctor Strange’s watch drawer (from left to right):  Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116520  First up, we have the famous Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116520, which is a staple in any luxury watch collection. It is one of the most coveted timepieces out there, which is why it fits Strange’s image quite well.  This Rolex watch comes in a 40mm Oystersteel case, coupled with a three-link Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a thick, robust Oystersteel bezel which bears indicators for a handy tachymeter scale.  This watch showcases a clean white dial, which pairs wonderfully with its all-silver exterior. This dial has a rather sporty display, consisting of luminous applique hour markers and blunt hands. As a chronograph watch, it also has three sub-dials which are lined in thick rings of steel. These serve as the 1/8th of a second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters.  Inside this sleek watch is an in-house Rolex Calibre 4130. Held together by 44 jewels, this automatic movement has an exceptional power supply of 72 hours. It has also achieved Superlative Chronometer certification, which means it has outstanding accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  This Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch sells at around $44,000 USD. It is an excellent watch that is certainly worthy of everyone’s favorite Marvel sorcerer.  Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J The second model that can be spotted in Doctor Strange’s watch drawer is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J. This is another highly-regarded timepiece that is just as prestigious as the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual.  This JLC Reverso watch is presented in a rectangular case made of stainless steel. With dimensions of 45.6mm x 27.4mm dimension, this sharply angular watch looks great on slimmer wrists. Its classic and refined watch case is brought out even more by its handsome burgundy leather strap.  The dial of this watch boasts a rich red sunray-brushed finish, which perfectly complements its strap. It is ornamented with applique hour markers, bevelled dauphine hands, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. This watch also comes with a solid caseback and screw-down crown, both of which contribute to its decent 30-meter water resistance rating. A Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822 drives this watch’s functions. This is a manual-winding movement made up of 108 components and 19 jewels. It beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and has a 42-hour power reserve, making it truly reliable despite its petite size.  The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J costs about $10,000 USD. It is known to hold its value remarkably well, making it a very smart investment piece too.  TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476 Lastly, placed on the far-right of Doctor Strange’s watch drawer is a TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476. This watch has a very sporty and contemporary aesthetic which matches the persona of Strange in the first part of the film.  This TAG Heuer Monaco watch sports a 39mm square case made out of stainless steel. It is fitted with a classic leather strap in black, which balances against the modernity of the angular watch case.  The dial of this watch showcases a simple and serious matte grey finish. It is decorated with luminescent applique markers and sporty red-and-silver sword hands. It also has a bi-compax display, with two sub-dials for the 60-second and 30-minute counters, and a compact date aperture at 6 o’clock. Flipping this TAG Heuer watch over, you will find a see-through caseback. It gives you a glimpse of the TAG Heuer Calibre 12 that runs inside this watch. This movement has a depth rating of up to 100 meters, which makes it suitable for most water activities. When fully wound, it can also last for up to 40 hours.  The TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476 retails at $6,000 USD, making it one of the more affordable Doctor Strange watches. Final Thoughts The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is arguably the perfect timepiece for Steven Strange. Even if Benedict Cumberbatch was not a JLC ambassador, there is no other watch out there that complements the vibe of Doctor Strange as well as this model does.  It boasts classic and quintessential aesthetics whilst also showcasing modern and innovative craftsmanship, closely reflecting the persona of the aforementioned sorcerer. Ultimately, this Doctor Strange watch is as magical and captivating as the sorcerer who wears it. Photo Credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre, WatchShopping, and Reddit  Enjoy reading watch reviews? Check out this piece on the Rolex Coke!

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  12. Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    For more than a century now, Seiko has been gracing the world with its excellent timepieces. It has contributed greatly to the watchmaking industry, as we can see from its quartz watch and dive watch innovations. Indeed, it is impressive how Seiko stands the test of time by constantly adapting to and developing new watch technology to keep up with the times.  Just this year, the brand released a special, limited-edition collection, the Seiko Black Series. Consisting of modern reissues that are based on older Seiko diving models, the Seiko Black Series consists of timepieces that are just uniquely Seiko. Read on to find out what the Seiko Black Series is all about and everything it has to offer.  Seiko Black Series: A Background While the Seiko Black Series was only released very recently, in 2022, its history actually dates back to as early as the 1960s. Most of the watches in this limited-edition series are modern re-interpretations of specific diving models from the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 is inspired by the 1965 Seiko Mechanical Diver, while the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 is based on the 1968 Seiko Mechanical Diver. Finally, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 is a rebirth of the 1970 Seiko Mechanical Diver. We will look at each model in closer detail further down in this article.  Concept-wise, the Seiko Black Series revolves around the idea of night diving. This activity is something that many divers want to experience. Hence, Seiko opted to create four well-crafted dive watches that would serve as great companions even in the darkest environments possible. Indeed, even the collection’s name, the “Black Series”, is inspired by the night ocean that influences these watches’ designs.  An In-Depth Look at the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061   While we can definitely talk all day about each of the Seiko Black Series watches, let us first focus on the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. This is arguably the most different out of the four models in the Seiko Black Series.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is based on the iconic Seiko Captain Willard from the 1970s, which explains its vintage-inspired exterior. The Seiko Captain Willard is especially famous due to its appearance in the 1979 blockbuster film Apocalypse Now. Aside from that, the Seiko Captain Willard is also known for being adventurer Naomi Uemura’s chosen companion during his 12,000km solo dog-sled excursion from Greenland to Alaska.  While these might seem like minor details, the history of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard plays a big role in how the brand came up with the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. In fact, the Japanese watch brand wanted to do the Seiko Captain Willard justice by making sure that its present-day version is just as durable and well-crafted as the original.  Compared to the other models in this lineup, the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 also boasts materials of higher quality and a superior mechanism. It also had a more limited production, with only 1,000 pieces made available for sale.  Case, Caseback and Bezel  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is presented in a high-quality stainless steel case with a full hard-coating in black, which boosts its resistance against scratches and impacts. It has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug width of 49.3mm, and a thickness of 13mm. This watch falls on the bulkier end, which, combined with its bold all-black aesthetic, only helps it stand out even more.  The back of this watch’s case is also made from solid, hard-coated black stainless steel. It is firmly screwed-down, which prevents any external elements from leaking into the watch. This contributes greatly to the watch’s impressive 200-metre water resistance rating. At the same time, this caseback also bears inscriptions of the watch’s details. This includes its country of manufacture, its serial number, materials used, and more. This Seiko Black Series model also comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel that really complements its watch face. It features a count-up scale on its black aluminium insert, which is bound to form a lovely patina as you use this watch. This is great for those who love vintage aesthetics, as this diver will most likely age well over time. The bezel ring also boasts a LumiBrite coat, allowing for excellent visibility even in low-light conditions.    Lastly, in between the bezel and the dial, you can find a curved sapphire crystal. It is treated with anti-reflective coatings on its inner surface, which prevents any visual distortions from affecting your view of the dial. Sapphire crystal is known for its superb durability, so it is very effective at protecting the watch face from any scratches.  Bracelet  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is fitted with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Like the watch case, the entire bracelet is hard-coated in black, which only adds to the watch’s bold and rugged style. This bracelet also has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release extenders. This keeps the bracelet firmly fastened to your wrist and and allows you to quickly remove it when necessary.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is also offered with an additional silicone strap upon purchase. Like the other components of the watch, this silicone band and its hardware come in a sleek shade of black, completing the watch’s all-black look. When paired with the case, it gives the watch a more casual, laidback vibe than the stainless steel variation. Using the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 with a silicone strap makes it the perfect option for an everyday beater watch.  Dial  One of the most captivating features of this Seiko Black Series model is its lovely face. The Seiko Prospex SLA061 shows off a black dial with a beautiful sand ripple design, which adds both texture and depth to the watch’s face. This design element reiterates the concept upon which the Seiko Black Series is based: the darkness of the night ocean.  Aside from that, this watch face is also filled with thick hour indices and bevelled sword hands. In between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, you can also find a small date aperture with a black background and white text. The hands and indices of this watch are all coated in LumiBrite, allowing for improved readability even in the dark. On the very rim of the dial, there is a minute scale in stick indices in white.  Movement Another thing that sets the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series is that it is equipped with a more advanced mechanism. The SLA061 runs on an in-house Seiko Calibre 8L35, which was hand-crafted at the Seiko Watch Studio in Japan.  Held together by 26 jewels, the Seiko Calibre 8L35 is an automatic movement that boasts great reliability. It has an accuracy rate of +15/-10 seconds per day and a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.  Price Seiko is known for its very diverse portfolio, with watches that showcase drastically different specifications and price ranges. The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061, in particular, is one of the pricier models from the brand. This limited-edition watch, with its sophisticated, vintage-inspired aesthetic, sells at around $3,600 USD.  Other Models in the Seiko Black Series Now that we have talked about the Seiko Black Series’s stand-out model, let us take a look at the three remaining pieces in the collection. Note: As a special-edition series, the production of each Seiko Black Series model is limited. The three Seiko Black Series variants below had only 5,500 pieces released each. Every piece also comes with an additional silicone strap in black, like the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061.  1. Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 First, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253, which was based on a mechanical diver from 1965. This is the cleanest model in the entire series with its well-defined, almost boxy case. It is the perfect combination of bold and sophisticated, making it quite a versatile accessory.  The SPB253 is housed in a 40.5mm stainless steel case in black and a rust-coloured strap made of polyester. Affixed to the top of the watch case is an aluminium count-up bezel. Embellished with vibrant orange accents, this bezel is coated in LumiBrite for better legibility.  Unlike the SLA061, the dial of this watch showcases a simpler matte black finish. It is adorned with luminescent black sword hands and rectangular hour indices, along with a date display at 3 o’clock. Orange and beige lume is also used to fill the hands and indices.  This watch is driven by a Japanese Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement shows off an outstanding power supply of 70 hours and can withstand water pressures of up to 200 metres.  With a price tag of just $1,200 USD, this is a much more affordable alternative to the SLA061.  2. Seiko Prospex Black SPB255  Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255, based on a mechanical diver from 1968. Like its original, this Seiko Black Series watch has a sharp and chiselled exterior that makes the entire piece look robust and powerful. It is a great choice for those who love clean-cut and straightforward timepieces.  The SPB255 comes in a 42mm black case made of stainless steel, along with a dark brown polyester strap. Of all the watches in the Seiko Black Series, the SPB255 has the most flexible proportions as it was made to fit wrists of all sizes. A black count-up bezel with orange and silver indicators can be found on top of the watch case. Flipping this watch over, you can also find a solid stainless steel caseback. It is inscribed with the signature Seiko Tsunami logo.  The dial of this watch also comes in straightforward matte black. It contains luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, along with sweeping sword hands and a date window at 3 o’clock. The seconds and minute hands of this watch are treated with soft orange lume, adding a bit of pop to this watch face.  This watch from the Seiko Black Series is also powered by a Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement is held together by 24 jewels and has a precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day. It also possesses an excellent 70-hour power supply and a depth rating of 200 metres.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 retails at $1,200 USD.  3. Seiko Prospex Black SPB257  Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257. As another modern reissue of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard, this model is the closest to the SLA061. Compared to the previous two models, this watch has a more rounded exterior. It is the ideal option for those who love chunky divers.   The SPB257 sports a 42.7mm cushion-shaped case made of black stainless steel and a rust-brown polyester strap. The funky and unconventional shape of this watch’s case is what sets it apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series. Sitting atop the case is a count-up bezel with aluminium inserts and LumiBrite coatings in silver and orange.  The matte black dial of this watch follows a very clean and straightforward layout. It comprises thick hour indices and long black sword hands, which are treated with orange and beige lume. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a small date complication.  This model is also equipped with a sapphire crystal glass, a solid steel caseback, and a screw-down crown, all of which contribute to its 200-meter water resistance rating. Behind the caseback, you can also find a Seiko Calibre 6R35, which can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 costs approximately $1,300 USD.  Why Should You Get the Seiko Black Series?  If you are still on the fence on whether the Seiko Black Series is worth it or not, below are some points to help you decide.  Good Concept. One of the things that make the Seiko Black Series so great is that it was born out of a clear concept. It revolves around the idea of a night ocean, explaining the boldness of its exterior and the toughness of its mechanism. On top of that, the Seiko Black Series is also inspired by revolutionary, vintage Seiko timepieces from decades ago. This gives the Seiko Black Series more depth, adding to its appeal as a collector’s piece. Well-Executed. In relation to having a good concept, Seiko was also able to execute its ideas perfectly in the Seiko Black Series. Each element used in the Seiko Black Series was mindfully chosen to allow for utmost beauty and reliability. It is the perfect balance between beautiful aesthetics and excellent functionality, making it a no-brainer choice for divers and watch enthusiasts. Reasonably Priced. The Seiko Black Series, as a whole, definitely falls on the more expensive end for Seiko. Nevertheless, it is still a very reasonable price considering the quality you get with each model, especially when compared to other Swiss luxury watches in the market. The Seiko Black Series models are not just ordinary Seiko watches that are mass produced every year, they are limited-edition pieces that reflect superior craftsmanship in every way.Final Thoughts The Seiko Black Series is a reflection of the Japanese brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation. It chose to use groundbreaking vintage models and turn them into modern reinterpretations that are better in almost every way. Each model is equipped with excellent design and functionality, meant to resonate with divers of every kind. If you are looking for a dive watch worthy of your investment, you definitely will not regret checking out the Seiko Black Series.  Photo Credits: Seiko Official Site and WSIf you are interested in watch guides and reviews, check out this piece on the Robust Sinn U50!

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