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  2. Grand Seiko Snowflake: The Iconic Spring Drive Watch

    Grand Seiko Snowflake: The Iconic Spring Drive Watch

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

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  3. Panerai Bronzo: A Review On The Underrated Bronze Diver

    Panerai Bronzo: A Review On The Underrated Bronze Diver

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

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  4. 15 Best Titanium Watches Worth Every Penny

    15 Best Titanium Watches Worth Every Penny

    The best of us sometimes forget that the watchmaking world offers more than just traditional steel or gold timepieces. Indeed, one particular type of watch that has become increasingly popular in the industry recently is titanium watches. Titanium is a surprisingly great choice for watches. It is said that models made from this alloy are easily on par with those crafted from stainless steel or gold because of titanium’s versatility and durability. Without further ado, let us take a look at all the advantages titanium watches offer and some of the best titanium watches on the market that are worth your time. Why Should You Consider Titanium Watches?  1. Lightweight. One of the best things about titanium watches is that they are much lighter compared to watches made from materials such as stainless steel, gold, silver, and the like. This is all thanks to titanium’s lightweight composition, so watchmakers can easily use this material to craft large watches that are still very light and easy to carry. This is an appealing characteristic for those who enjoy wearing big timepieces but are burdened by how heavy they can be. Sometimes, the weight of a hefty stainless steel or gold watch can feel uncomfortable, especially after you have been wearing it all day. This is not really ideal for anyone. Going for lightweight titanium watches, on the other hand, guarantees a certain level of comfort and ergonomic properties. In addition, for all the practical enthusiasts who like to wear the same watch all day long, you get to make the most out of titanium watches. 2. Unique Aesthetic. Another characteristic that makes titanium watches worth considering is that a lot of titanium models boast unique aesthetics. Since most of us are used to how steel and gold timepieces look, titanium models serve as a breath of fresh air with their modern and adaptable style. This type of metal typically comes in a silver tone, with a bright gleam that plays against light well. It has a cool, lustrous look that can pair well with any kind of ensemble. In fact, the list of titanium watches we will be providing later in this article will be a mix of all sorts of different watches, from classic to sporty and more. 3. Non-Allergenic. Unlike many other metals out there, titanium is known to be a hypoallergenic material. This means that people with allergies and sensitive skin are less likely to be negatively affected by timepieces made of titanium. The reason behind this is that, unlike steel, silver, and the like, titanium does not contain any nickel or copper. These are metals known to cause allergic reactions like rashes or itching in those with sensitive skin. This is also why titanium watches make for great outdoor models since you do not have to worry about the sweat irritating your skin, especially around the wrist. 4. Extremely Durable. After reading about the lightweight properties of titanium watches, you might think that this means it is lacking in the durability department. However, this could not be further from the truth. Titanium is just as strong and heavy-duty as stainless steel, an alloy that is highly regarded for its robustness. In fact, depending on the grade of titanium used, it can easily be tougher and more resistant to scratching and bending than other common metals used in watchmaking. In addition, there is more to titanium than just its hardwearing structure. One trait that adds to the durability of titanium watches is the metal’s anti-magnetic properties. Since magnetic fields can cause damage to a timepiece’s inner mechanisms, the anti-magnetic properties of titanium watches ensure that their movements and other inner components will all function smoothly. Titanium watches also come with corrosion-resistant properties, so they are not susceptible to rust formation. This makes titanium watches the ideal heirlooms since they can be passed down from one generation to the next and still be in great form. 5. Highly Versatile. Lastly, titanium is simply an all-around, versatile metal that is perfect for modern-day watchmaking. While titanium has often been used in professional fields like the aviation and medical industries, advancements in watchmaking technology mean that there are just so many more options now. Whether it is used to craft tool watches like pilot and diver timepieces, or just casual and laidback models, watchmakers have a lot more room to play with when it comes to titanium. Titanium also serves as a more sustainable option, since it is much easier to recycle compared to steel and other precious metals. 15 Best Titanium Watches 1. Seiko Astron 8X Series Ref. SBXB085 Let us start off this list of best titanium watches with the Seiko Astron 8X Series Ref. SBXB085, a gorgeous piece that boasts very modern aesthetics. As a solar-powered model equipped with an impressive GPS, this watch belongs to the brand’s innovative Astron collection. It is sophisticated and highly developed in terms of both design and functionality. This Seiko watch comes in a 45mm titanium case and a three-link bracelet made of the same material. Fixed on top of the case is a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that has different city codes printed on it, allowing wearers to keep track of multiple time zones. The dial, on the other hand, has an analog display decorated with applied silver indices, luminous sword-shaped hands, a compact date window, a world time scale, and an arced power reserve indicator. Powering this state-of-the-art watch is an 8X22 solar quartz movement, which allows wearers to charge this watch using any light source. If you want an innovative, sporty-looking titanium watch, the Seiko Astron 8X Series Ref. SBXB085 goes for just $1,549 USD. 2. Hublot Classic Fusion Ref. 542.NX.1171.RX Next up, we have the Hublot Classic Fusion Ref. 542.NX.1171.RX, which has a completely different vibe compared to the first model. Rather than the Seiko Astron’s sportier look, this titanium watch has a more quintessential and classy design. Its versatile exterior makes it perfect for both casual days and formal affairs. This Hublot Classic Fusion watch is housed in a 42mm titanium case paired with a rubber strap in black. The dial, which matches the color of the band, has a very straightforward layout with only rectangular hour indices, rhodium-plated sword hands, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is driven by an automatic HUB1110 caliber with a 42-hour power reserve. If you prefer luxury titanium watches for everyday use, you should definitely consider getting this $7,300 USD Hublot model. 3. Maurice Lacroix Aikon Ref. AI6038-TT032-330-1 The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Ref. AI6038-TT032-330-1 is the perfect combination of a classic design and impressive utility. Its silver-tone exterior is matched with a striking watch face with shades of dark grey and blue, giving it a sophisticated yet sporty look. This model is perfect for both bold and casual adventurers out there. One interesting thing about this Maurice Lacroix Aikon watch is that it comes in a blend of metals, with a 44mm stainless steel case and a lovely five-link titanium bracelet. The mix of titanium and stainless steel used ensures that this watch will not feel too hefty against your wrist. The dark grey dial shows off a clean pattern of embossed squares and is decorated with luminous hour indices, slim sword hands, and a day-date window outlined in silver. The dial also has a chronograph display, with three sub-dials in deep blue hues, contrasting boldly against the grey backdrop. This watch runs on an automatic ML112 caliber. If you want something that manages to be both subtle and daring, this titanium Maurice Lacroix watch retails at around $4,300 USD. 4. Panerai Submersible Ref. PAM01162  The Panerai Submersible Ref. PAM01162 is one of the most distinctive and powerful-looking titanium watches on this list. It has a very rugged and robust build, which makes sense given that it belongs to the brand’s renowned diving collection. This is a great option for those who like unique, eye-catching timepieces.  This Panerai Submersible watch is encased in a 47mm cushion-shaped case made from titanium, with a rubber strap in blue. On the right side of the case, you can find Panerai’s signature semi-circle crown guard, with an oversized crown in bright blue, matching the watch’s strap. The dial itself shows off a black background with a very subtle striped blue pattern. It is adorned with sword-shaped hands, circular hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds counter with a blue hand. It runs on a self-winding P.4001/S caliber, which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. If you are a fan of tough-looking, oversized accessories, then do not miss out on this $13,849 USD Panerai watch. 5. Garmin MARQ Ref. 010-02006-01 The Garmin MARQ Ref. 010-02006-01 serves as a modern and technologically advanced take on titanium watches. Just with a single glance, you will immediately notice its cool and stylish digital face. The versatility that comes with this model is the very reason why Garmin chose to use titanium for its more dynamic watches, like this one. This Garmin MARQ piece is presented in a 46mm titanium case and bracelet, along with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal as the watch screen. The dial boasts a memory-in-pixel display with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. As a high-tech digital watch, the multitude of functions that this timepiece comes with is only to be expected. Some of these features include time, date, GPS, alarm, timer, health monitoring, environmental sensors, and many more. These are all made possible through a rechargeable battery, which has a life of up to 12 days in smartwatch mode. If you want a more contemporary, digital titanium alternative, you can get the Garmin MARQ Ref. 010-02006-01 for around $2,400 USD. 6. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ref. 103137  Next up, we have the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ref. 103137. This is probably one of the models that come to mind first for those who are already familiar with titanium watches. It boasts the same sophisticated and distinctive design that is often attributed to pieces in the Octo collection. On top of that, this model is known to be quite ergonomic, thanks to its lightweight titanium properties. There really is no wonder why it is a crowd favorite.  This Bulgari watch is housed in a 40mm titanium case paired with a bracelet of the same material, giving it a mostly monochromatic grey hue. The dial follows a very simple layout, consisting of slim hour indices, luminous dauphine hands, large Arabic numerals for the 6 and 12 o’clock markers, and a small seconds counter, all of which are plated in rose gold. On the underside of the watch, you can find a transparent caseback. This gives you a close-up view of the watch’s automatic BVL 138 movement, which has a 60-hour power reserve. Given all its impressive specs, it is no surprise why this iconic timepiece has a more exorbitant price tag of $11,920 USD. 7. OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 232.90.38.20.03.001 The OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 232.90.38.20.03.001 is another fairly popular model among collectors and enthusiasts. At first glance, you might not even be able to tell that it is a titanium watch since it looks exactly like most steel timepieces out there. It is the ideal option for those who enjoy the aesthetic of steel timepieces but would much prefer the lightness of titanium watches.  This OMEGA Seamaster model showcases a full titanium exterior, with a slim 37.5mm case and a three-link bracelet. The dial and elapsed time scale bezel come in matching deep blue hues, enhancing the watch’s overall sporty vibe. The dial is also furnished with thick hour indices, Arabic numeral markers, bold arrowhead hands, and a small date aperture at 3 o’clock. Though this watch might look simple, it comes with many additional features such as a chronometer, a helium escape valve, and a screw-in crown which give the watch an incredible depth rating of 600m. This watch runs on an OMEGA Co-axial Caliber 8520 with an impressive 50-hour power reserve. Priced at around $8,500 USD, this titanium OMEGA watch is definitely one you should not miss out on. 8. Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Ref. DM3002A-PC-WH The next watch on this list is the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Ref. DM3002A-PC-WH. This is an exceptionally robust and tough-looking timepiece, which is only to be expected of a watch from the Ball Watch Company. In order to balance out its bold exterior, Ball used titanium, with its lightweight properties, to craft this watch. This Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon piece comes in a 42mm titanium case, with a rubber strap in black that adds a more athletic feel to the whole model. Fitted on top of the case is a large rotating bezel, with bold white indicators for the elapsed time scale. This thick bezel also has gear-like edges to provide wearers with a better grip, so they can turn it more easily. The sector dial possesses a clean white hue and contains luminous hour indices, large Arabic numeral markers for the 6 and 12 o’clock positions, thick sword-shaped hands, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is powered by a self-winding Ball RR1101-C caliber with a 42-hour power reserve.  This $3,600 USD timepiece is one of the sturdiest titanium watches you can add to your collection. 9. Tudor Heritage Advisor Ref. 79620T The Tudor Heritage Advisor Ref. 79620T pairs a quintessential watch build with an unusual and busy dial design. Since it is a titanium watch, the color of its case is a lot lighter than typical steel watches, which is what makes it so striking at first glance.  This Tudor Heritage Advisor watch comes in a 42mm titanium case and a classic leather strap in black. The white sector dial consists of luminous hour markers, Arabic numerals, silver dauphine hands, an on/off indicator for the alarm, and a unique, circular power reserve display in white and red colors. At 6 o’clock, you can find a lovely, vintage-looking date counter in the shape of a sub-dial, with the indicator for 31 marked in bright red. The hints of red scattered across the watch add a bit of personality to this otherwise monochrome watch face. All of its functions are driven by a self-winding Caliber 2892 with a 42-hour power reserve.  This Tudor watch retails at approximately $5,850 USD. 10. Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 7153-07 4 24 64TEB The Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 7153-07 4 24 64TEB is another classic, sporty model that somewhat resembles the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean that was previously mentioned. It has a cool and snazzy exterior that would look amazing with either casual wear or smart attires.  This Oris Aquis piece comes in a 43.5mm titanium case, with a gleaming black elapsed time scale bezel made of ceramic and a rubber strap with the brand’s name embossed on it. The dial boasts an exquisite sunray grey finish and is furnished with luminous sword hands and hour markers, and a date window at 6 o’clock. Underneath this lovely watch face, you can find an automatic Oris 733 Caliber with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve.  Retailing for around $2,200 USD, this Oris piece is ideal for those who want a more classic, sporty titanium watch. 11. Skagen Titanium Ref. 233XLTTM The Skagen Titanium Ref. 233XLTTM can be described as a minimalist approach to titanium watches. It has a very understated design that makes it the perfect beater watch for everyday use. Like the aforementioned Maurice Lacroix Aikon Ref. AI6038-TT032-330-1, this watch’s overall structure is made from a combination of two different metals.  This Skagen Titanium watch comes in a slender 37mm titanium case and a mesh bracelet made of stainless steel. The sector dial shows off a gunmetal grey sunray finish and is adorned with luminous blunt hands, Arabic numeral markers in a modern typeface, a 24-hour layout, and a circular date window on the inner dial. While this watch boasts a classic, minimalist Scandinavian aesthetics, it is powered by a trusty Japanese Miyota quartz movement. Priced at just $155 USD, this Skagen watch serves as the most affordable option on this list. 12. Franck Muller Vanguard Ref. V45 SC DT TT NR BR ER The next watch on this list is the Franck Muller Vanguard Ref. V45 SC DT TT NR BR ER, which actually does not look like a titanium watch at first glance. It comes in a unique case shape and color that is rather unusual for a titanium timepiece. Regardless, it serves as a distinctive and striking option for those who like bold, avant-garde titanium watches. This Franck Muller Vanguard watch is presented in a 44x53mm tonneau-shaped titanium case with a layer of matte black coating and an alligator leather strap with red stitching. The rather crowded dial comprises large, stylized Arabic numeral markers, short blunt hands, a circular date window at 6 o’clock, and a compass scale on the outer rim of the dial. The hands and numeral markers are all filled with luminous pigment for better readability in the dark. The numerals, in particular, are outlined in red, offering a stylish contrast against the black dial background. Underneath this unique exterior, you can find an automatic FM0800 caliber with a 42-hour power reserve. If you are a fan of daring timepieces, you should definitely consider this $6,140 USD Franck Muller watch. 13. Hamilton Khaki Field Ref. H70575733 Unlike the Franck Muller piece, the Hamilton Khaki Field Ref. H70575733 is perfect for those seeking titanium watches with military-inspired designs. As mentioned earlier, titanium watches make for great outdoor timekeepers because of how lightweight and durable they are. As such, it is not surprising that Hamilton chose to use titanium to craft a model in their renowned military Khaki Field collection. This particular Hamilton watch is encased in a 42mm titanium case, with a lovely fabric strap in black. Its black sector dial boasts three different compartments. The outer-most ring bears the 60-minute scale, while the middle ring contains large luminous hour markers from 1 to 12 o’clock, and the inner dial consists of the luminous syringe hands and Arabic numeral markers that complete the watch’s 24-hour layout. A rectangular date window located at the 3 o’clock position straddles the middle and inner dials. All of these functions run on Hamilton’s in-house H10 automatic caliber, which has a whopping 80-hour power reserve. Priced at $995 USD, this is a classic titanium military watch you should definitely consider.  14. Longines Longines Spirit Ref. L38111532 The Longines Longines Spirit Ref. L38111532 serves as the perfect titanium watch for those who want a vintage-inspired piece from one of the oldest brands in the industry. It offers a very classic yet casual design that is bound to complement any ensemble. This Longines piece comes in a 42mm titanium case and a textile strap in black. The dial follows a very straightforward layout with small triangular hour markers, sword-shaped hands, and Arabic numerals that are filled with luminescent pigment. On the very rim of the dial, you can also find a 60-minute scale in black indicators. Underneath this retro exterior, you will find an automatic L888.4 caliber with an impressive 72-hour power reserve.  Retailing at around $2,600 USD, this is a quintessential timepiece worth adding to your collection. 15. Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.44.061.00 Lastly, we have the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.430.44.061.00 which is arguably one of the best titanium watches for diving available. Mido specifically chose to use titanium to craft this dive watch because of its durability and lightweight properties, making it a truly reliable underwater companion. This Mido Ocean Star piece is encased in a 42mm titanium case, with a matching three-link titanium bezel. Fitted on top of the case is a unidirectional rotating grey bezel, with an elapsed time scale marked in vibrant orange indicators. The dial boasts a matching shade of grain-textured grey and comprises the usual time-telling elements, including thick luminous hands, rectangular hour indices, and a day-date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is equipped with a Mido Caliber Powermatic 80, which is based on the ETA C07.621. It has a substantial 80-hour power reserve and a depth rating of 200m. If you want a trusty accessory to accompany you on your deep-sea adventures, this is one of the best and most affordable titanium watches you could go for, with a price tag of $1,049 USD. Final Thoughts Titanium watches, like any other type of watch, definitely have both advantages and disadvantages. However, the main thing is that it is definitely an option worth considering for those who want something new or different. Titanium watches are just as versatile and durable as other watches, with the added bonus of being much lighter than the average timepiece. And with the increasing popularity of titanium watches in the industry, you do not even have to worry about ever running out of options!  Photo Credits: All photos are from the WatchShopping site.  If you’re getting hooked on watch lists, make sure to check out our article on the 15 Best Limited Edition Watches as well!

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  5. A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

    A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

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

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  6. Timex Marlin: A Guide to the Classy Vintage-Inspired Automatic Watch

    Timex Marlin: A Guide to the Classy Vintage-Inspired Automatic Watch

    Since the inception of watchmaking, mechanical watches have been a staple of the industry. Although there have been brief surges where attention was turned to alternatives like quartz movements, mechanical watches have always been appreciated because of the complexity and effort that goes into making them. A huge number of outstanding watch models in the past were mechanical, hand-wound pieces, including Timex’s own vintage 1960s Marlin watch. In recent years, however, as watchmaking technology has developed, automatic or self-winding watches have come to dominate the industry. Able to wind themselves using the kinetic energy from the movement of the wearers’ hands, the convenience afforded by automatic watches makes their popularity a no-brainer. Many watchmakers have also pivoted towards using handy automatic calibers for their modern timepieces, and that includes Timex too. In 2017, the brand reintroduced the Timex Marlin, this time with contemporary innovations and an advanced automatic caliber. The upgrades made to the Timex Marlin were well-received, and it has quickly become one of the brand’s more popular lines. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Timex Marlin and everything it has to offer. First Impressions Early photos of the 1960 Timex Marlin Those who are familiar with the vintage Timex Marlin released in the 1960s will probably immediately recognize this contemporary version of the Marlin. With its straightforward, minimalistic design, the Timex Marlin has almost the same design as its predecessor, just with a few tweaks to stay in line with the modern age of timekeeping. Sleek and well-balanced, the Timex Marlin is the perfect versatile watch to bring to either your next office event or on your everyday routines. For today’s article, we will be examining the classic Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV, along with its details and specifications. Specifications Case The Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV boasts a 40mm rounded stainless steel case and thin, long lugs that emphasize its mid-century design. This is a very quintessential design, which can also be seen on other watch brands like Fossil and Tissot, This in turn makes the Timex Marlin a great alternative piece, versatile enough to elevate just about any outfit. Fitted on top of the watch case is a layer of domed sapphire glass which has been treated with anti-reflective coatings, so it protects the dial from scratches and allows for a clear, glare-free view of the watch face. On the right side of the case, you can find a well-sized stainless steel crown. With its grooved sides, this crown provides a nice grip so wearers can easily turn or adjust the crown to wind the watch. This crown is also securely screwed in, keeping the inner mechanisms of the wach safe from any moisture or dust. As an everyday watch, this watch has a fairly standard water resistance rating of 30m. While this is enough to withstand some splashes and showers, the Timex Marlin is not built for underwater use, so you should avoid bringing it to any heavy water sports activities or dives. On the underside of the Timex Marlin’s case, you can find a transparent caseback made of sapphire crystal. Using this caseback, you can admire the new automatic movement that this modern Marlin timepiece is equipped with. Dial The dial is the true highlight of this watch. Sleek and minimalistic, this dial may not look as grandiose as some other luxury dress watches, but it shows off a simple, classic charm that is hard to beat. This silver dial showcases a metallic, finely brushed sunray finish that you simply cannot take your eyes off. It comprises slim applied indices, thin, luminous sword hands, a minute track on the rim of the dial, and a compact date window with a white background and black text at 3 o’clock. With no flamboyant or overly complicated designs to distract from the watch face, the focus is placed squarely on the splendour of this quintessential dial. Movement As a modern automatic watch, the Timex Marlin is driven by the popular Miyota 8215 self-winding caliber. This is a standard-grade movement that excels in providing basic timekeeping needs and is very commonly used in the watch industry. With a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz), this caliber has a solid 42-hour power reserve and an average accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. It also comes with a quickset date function. While the Miyota 9215 Caliber is not the most precise movement available, it is fairly standard for a watch of this price range. Bracelet The Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV makes use of a handsome brown leather strap with brown stitching, which perfectly complements its polished case. Stylish and handsome, this leather strap adds to the quintessential look of the Timex Marlin without detracting from its minimalistic dial. If you prefer it, Timex also offers leather straps in a variety of other colors, so you could easily swap the brown strap out for something that is more to your tastes. Price One of the best things about the Timex Marlin is that it is one of the most affordable automatic watches in the market. For just $259 USD, you can enjoy the simplistic beauty of this watch without causing a massive dent in your savings. Other Notable Timex Marlin Models The Timex Marlin collection also provides a number of variations that you might enjoy more than the Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV. All of these models share the same classic builds and minimalistic designs, but there are a few differences in terms of the style and the watch complications they come with. Here are four of the most notable Timex Marlin models you should look into if you want something more with a bit more character. 1. Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Featuring Snoopy Secret Agent Ref. TW2U99500 If you are a fan of the Snoopy series or cartoon characters in general, the Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Featuring Snoopy Secret Agent Ref. TW2U99500 will give you the nostalgia factor you are looking for. With its adorable Snoopy-inspired design, this collaborative Marlin watch is suitable for all ages.  Like the Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV, the Timex Marlin Snoopy Secret Agent Ref. TW2U99500 comes with a 40mm polished stainless steel case that perfectly complements its brushed silver sunray dial. This dial is also adorned with slim hour indices in grey and slender luminous sword hands. The main differences between the dials of the two models is that this Snoopy watch lacks a date aperture and bears an intricately painted design of Snoopy in a detective outfit at 6 o’clock instead. To match Snoopy’s black outline, Timex pairs this edition of the Marlin with a cool black alligator leather strap. This watch also runs on the same Miyota 8215 self-winding caliber. Quirky and fun, you can get this Timex Marlin Snoopy watch for around $259 USD. 2. Timex Marlin Featuring the Chicago Cubs Logo Ref. TW2U93300 Are you an avid fan of baseball? If so, you might have already heard of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The Timex Marlin Featuring the Chicago Cubs Logo Ref. TW2U93300 also offers a similar design and feature as the Timex Marlin Ref. TW2T22700ZV. It is presented in a 40mm polished stainless steel case, with a smooth brown leather strap and a brushed silver sunray dial. The dial is furnished with jet-black hour indices and luminous sword hands for a better, more readable contrast, along with a date window outlined in black at 3 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, you can find the Chicago Clubs logo. The caseback of this watch also bears a carefully engraved baseball emblem. Finally, this watch has been upgraded to be able to withstand depths of up to 50 meters. For approximately $259 USD, you can now represent your favorite baseball team with your watch. 3. Timex Marlin Automatic California Dial Ref. TW2U83200 The Timex Marlin Automatic California Dial Ref. TW2U83200 offers a nice change of pace whilst still boasting the same minimalistic style. This watch comes in a 40mm polished stainless steel case paired with a light brown leather strap. Instead of using a silver sunray dial and slim applique indices, this particular model bolsters its uniqueness by showcasing a rustic peach dial with Roman numeral hour markers in a block typeface. This is accompanied by hour markers in various shapes and sharp dauphine hands in black. The Timex Marlin Automatic California Dial Ref. TW2U83200 has a retail price of $249 USD, which is a few bucks cheaper than most of the other Marlin models in this article. 4. Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Featuring Charlie Brown Ref. TW2U12700 Of course, this list would not be complete without a Charlie Brown edition of the Timex Marlin. The 40mm Timex Marlin Automatic x Peanuts Featuring Charlie Brown Ref. TW2U12700 also capitalizes on the nostalgia factor, much like the Secret Agent Snoopy version. The best part about this watch is its polished look and canvas-like dial that portrays Charlie Brown playing with a kite. This dial design allows the wearer to relive their childhood, while also being appropriate for all ages since the sketch of Charlie Brown and his kite does not look too “cartoony” or childish. Unlike the Snoopy Secret Agent Timex Marlin, this watch also bears a small date window at 3 o’clock. With a nice, nostalgic twist that will surely bring back memories, this watch sells at an estimated price of $259 USD. Final Thoughts Timex has always been one of the best watch brands that offer affordability and reliability through their watches. With its quintessential looks and elegant designs, this is a straightforward and versatile dress watch that you can pair with virtually any ensemble. If you want a suave dress watch for any occasion, you should definitely consider the Timex Marlin. Image courtesy of Times, unless stated otherwise. Featured image courtesy of Timex. If the Timex Marlin fascinated you to some degree, check out our review on the Tissot Visodate—it will surely appeal to your tastes!

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  7. A Starter Guide to the Stylish Vincero Watches

    A Starter Guide to the Stylish Vincero Watches

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

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  8. 15 Custom Engraved Men’s Watches As A Perfect Gift

    15 Custom Engraved Men’s Watches As A Perfect Gift

    Gift-giving can be a tedious ordeal for the best of us. It takes a lot of thinking and research before we even get to buy the present. One of the best, fail-safe things you can give someone, however, is a well-crafted timepiece. Stylish and functional, a watch that is properly and thoughtfully picked can say a lot about the recipient. However, given the multitude of options available in the market, finding the perfect watch can be difficult. Luckily for us, there are many companies out there with customizable models that would make for an ideal, personal gift. So, without further ado, let us look at some of the best brands that offer custom engraved men’s watches. Why Consider Getting a Custom Engraved Watch?  Before we get into the list proper, here are some of the main reasons why you should consider getting custom engraved men’s watches for the gentlemen in your life.  1. Memorable and Thoughtful. One big reason why people choose to get personalized gifts is that there can be so much more meaning behind them. The same, of course, goes for custom engraved watches. Giving a timepiece that is tailor-made for the recipient shows how much thought went into that present, making it even more special. This makes it a more memorable gift than one you just pick out of the store.  2. One-of-a-Kind. Another great thing about custom engraved watches is that they are truly one-of-a-kind. Whatever inscription you decide to engrave on a timepiece is unique because it is a reflection of your relationship with the recipient. Whether it is simple initials or a memorable date, having that permanently carved into the watch makes it really special.  3. Tells a Story. While people often opt for names or initial inscriptions, you also have the option of engraving something unique about your relationship with the recipient. You can choose a word, a phrase, or a date that means a lot to both of you, which can tell a story or even unlock a memory for the recipient.  15 Custom Engraved Watches  1. Cartier Santos Dumont Ref. W2SA0011 First off, we have the Cartier Santos Dumont Ref. W2SA0011 — a classic option for those looking for luxury custom engraved men’s watches. Aside from its sophisticated exterior, this model also makes for the perfect gift with its beautiful heritage. Any watch enthusiast would love this timepiece, as it hails from a well-established collection known for being one of the pioneering timepieces in aviation. This Santos de Cartier watch comes in an unusual square-shaped case crafted from stainless steel, measuring 43.5mm x 31.4mm. This is coupled with a lavish square rose gold bezel and an alligator leather strap in black. The dial of this watch also boasts an elegant design with a silver sunray finish, striking blued steel hands, and thin, stylized Roman numerals. Powering its functions is a high-autonomy quartz movement with an impressive battery life of around six years.  If you want to make this gift a little more personal, you can avail yourself of Cartier’s complimentary engraving service. This allows you to inscribe any word on the watch, within a 20-character limit, in either regular or cursive typeface. Priced at $5,900 USD, this dressy present would surely make anyone happy.  2. Timex Weekender 40 Up next, we have the Timex Weekender 40, which is a more casual and affordable alternative in terms of custom engraved men’s watches. Unlike the Cartier Santos Dumont, this watch is a lot more laidback and versatile, making it a good everyday watch. It is a great present for those who are on a budget but still want to give something personal and special. Aside from engraving your watch, you can also fully customize the watch’s design, from its face to its strap. The standard version of this Timex piece comes in a 40mm brass case paired with a grey nylon strap. It has a black dial with a 24-hour layout, containing luminous blunt hands and Arabic numeral markers in a faded brown hue. On the underside of this watch, you can find a solid steel caseback, where the personal inscriptions are placed. Finally, inside this watch is a lovely quartz movement that powers all of its functions. The best part is that this custom engraved men’s watch will only cost you around $80 USD. 3. Undone Type 20 Panda Second on this list of engraved men’s watches is the Type 20 Panda, which is a lovely model from the micro-brand Undone. This is the ideal present for those who like unique, retro-inspired pilot watches and you can even customize it to your liking. For instance, should you choose this model, you have the option of picking different colors for its exterior and adding inscriptions to the dial and caseback as well.  This particular Type 20 Panda watch is presented in a 41.5mm stainless steel case along with a leather strap in brown. It flaunts the popular panda dial design, with a white background and two chronograph counters in black, resembling the eyes of a panda. The dial also comprises luminous, slender sword-shaped hands and Arabic numeral markers in a rounded black typeface. Driving this watch is a Japanese TMI VK64 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph movement that guarantees top-notch accuracy.  For just $330 USD, you can get your best friend, dad, brother, or significant other this vintage-inspired engraved men’s watch. 4. Vincero The Kairos The Vincero The Kairos serves as another classy and quintessential engraved men’s watch option. It is one of the most versatile models on this list and is great for those who enjoy casual and smart-casual outfits. This is also a pretty neutral watch option, with its understated looks and subtle colorway. Unlike the previous engraved men’s watches mentioned, Vincero charges a $43 USD customization fee for this watch. This will allow you to inscribe words or messages, within the character limit, on the caseback. The Kairos comes in a 42mm ion-plated stainless steel case in grey, along with a top-grain Italian leather strap in brown. The dark grey dial perfectly complements the case and shows off a minimalistic layout, consisting of slender luminous blunt hands, polished hour indices, and a date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is run by a Citizen Miyota Quartz movement that ensures utmost reliability. Retailing at only $160 USD, this watch will surely receive compliments from those who come across it.  5. Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Ref. A17367021I1A1 5th on our list is the Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Ref. A17367021I1A1, a bold and quirky luxury watch option that may serve as the perfect gift for a family member or a significant other. This Breitling Superocean watch stands out with its fun and sporty vibe. As a customizable engraved men’s watch, Breitling offers free engraving services that allow you to choose between letters (a maximum of three) or numerical inscriptions. The Ref. A17367021I1A1 is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case, paired with a polished three-link bracelet and a ratcheted rotating bezel bearing a black elapsed time scale insert. The dial showcases a vibrant yellow color that simply draws the eye and is adorned with luminous hour indices, Arabic numeral markers, sword-shaped grey hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is powered by a self-winding, in-house Breitling 17 Caliber. Priced at $4,500, this is the ideal luxury gift for that youthful special someone who enjoys athletic styles. 6. Skagen Melbye Three-Hand Date Ref. SKW6785 One of the sleekest customizable engraved men’s watches you can gift someone is the Skagen Melbye Three-Hand Date Ref. SKW6785. This is an affordable timepiece that boasts a rustic Scandanavian aesthetic, perfect for any type of casual ensemble. On top of that, if you want to get a message or word inscribed on the caseback, you can do so free of charge. This model also serves as an eco-friendly gift option as it is made of sustainable materials.  This Skagen watch utilizes a 40mm stainless steel case made of 50% recycled material, along with an eco leather strap in brown. This is contrasted against a subtle grey dial, featuring a unique layout with luminous sword hands, silver hour indices and Arabic numeral markers, a 60-minute chapter ring in light blue, and a month-date display outlined in silver. Inside this watch, you can find a reliable SR621SW battery, which contributes to the watch’s budget-friendly price. If you are on the hunt for a reasonably-priced yet aesthetically pleasing present, you can get this for only $135 USD.   7. Fossil Bronson Chronograph Black Ref. FS5712 The next watch on this list of engraved men’s watches is the robust, powerfully-build Fossil Bronson Chronograph Black Ref. FS5712. This is the ideal watch gift for someone who loves tough, masculine styles. Just like the previous model, you can also get the caseback engraved if you want to add a personal touch to your present, free of charge.  This Fossil watch uses an oversized 50mm ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet, both of which come in a rugged black hue. On the right side of the case, you can find a stout crown and two pushers, which add to the bulky look of the watch. The black dial of this watch completes its all-black theme and is decorated with thick, luminous sword-shaped hands, pronounced Arabic numeral markers and hour indices, a date window, and a chronograph display with three counters in black. Running this watch is a highly precise SR920SW battery. Priced at $200 USD, this engraved men’s watch is a great choice for that strong, reliable person in your life. 8. OMEGA Seamaster 300 Ref. 233.62.41.21.01.001 The OMEGA Seamaster 300 Ref. 233.62.41.21.01.001 is slightly different compared to the engraved men’s watches we have listed above. Unlike most of the recommended models on this list, you can only get an inscription on the strap of this watch, and not on the case itself. OMEGA offers you the option of putting either a 4-letter word or a date (in numbers) on the timepiece’s free strap loop. This OMEGA Seamaster timepiece is presented in a 41mm yellow gold case, coupled with a novonappa strap and a unidirectional bezel with a black elapsed time scale. It also comes with a sand-blasted black dial, consisting of luminous arrow-headed hands and triangular hour indices made of luxurious 18K yellow gold. On the underside of the watch, you can find a transparent caseback, which gives you a close-up view of the self-winding Caliber OMEGA 8401 inside.  If you want a truly exquisite and jaw-dropping custom gift, you can get this watch for around $20,500 USD. 9. Nomos Glashuette Metro 38 Ref. 1109 Next, we have the Nomos Glashuette Metro 38 Ref. 1109, with its simple and minimalistic Bauhaus-inspired look. This is a lovely option for those who like avant-garde yet highly versatile designs, as it can go well with virtually any type of outfit. If you want to make it more personal, you can also get an engraving on the caseback of up to 4 lines (limited to 22 characters per line) for an additional fee of $60 USD. This Nomos Glashuette watch is housed in a slim 38.5mm stainless steel case, with a Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap in black. It shows off a galvanized, white silver-plated dial with thin stick hands, simple blue and black dot hour indices, small Arabic numerals for the 60-minute track, and a small seconds sub-dial with a vibrant red hand at 6 o’clock. Underneath this simple yet subtle exterior is an in-house, manual winding Alpha Caliber. Held together by 17 jewels, this movement has a substantial 43-hour power reserve. You can get this engraved Nomos Glashuette Metro men’s watch for around $2,610 USD. 10. Nixon Regulus Ref. A1180-001-00 Next up on our list of best engraved men’s watches, we have the Nixon Regulus Ref. A1180-001-00. This is a unique and cool gift option as it is a fully digital timepiece, perfect for those who love modernity and robustness above all else. For $15 USD, you can also get the caseback engraved with any message you want, limited to two lines (13 characters per line). This Nixon watch comes in a 46mm black stainless steel case paired with a free swing TPU 80 band. The digital dial displays a custom high-contrast LCD layout that shows the watch’s many functions, such as the time of day, date, alarms, timers, and more. This dial is also equipped with a backlight, which illuminates the watch face for optimal legibility when in the dark. All of these features can be controlled using the push-buttons found on the side and front of the watch’s case. Driving the Nixon Regulus Ref. A1180-001-00 is a custom digital LCD module, which comes with shock-resistant properties, bolstering the watch’s durability. This reliable Nixon Regulus timepiece is one of the most budget-friendly options on this list. It sells at an estimated price of $190 USD. 11. Solios The Solar Black The Solios The Solar Black is yet another minimalist option that serves as a great timepiece for everyday use. If you are looking for engraved men’s watches with simple designs, then this is one of the best models out there. To make it more personal, you can also cough up $20 USD to add an engraving on its caseback.  This Solios watch utilizes a 40mm rose gold-plated stainless steel case coupled with slim lugs and a grey mesh bracelet made of the same material. This is strikingly contrasted against the jet-black dial, which showcases a straightforward layout containing just thin hour indices and slender stick hands in rose gold. Despite the simplicity of this watch’s exterior, inside, it is equipped with an impressive solar-powered caliber. This movement allows you to recharge the watch by exposing it to either natural or artificial light. If the recipient of your gift is someone who loves the environment, they will surely enjoy this sustainable engraved men’s watch. It retails at approximately $300 USD. 12. Suunto 9 Peak For something slightly different, let us look at a custom engraved smartwatch option. The Suunto 9 Peak is a lovely, high-tech smartwatch that you can fully customize based on your recipient’s preferences. You have the option of selecting the case and bracelet for this model and you can even get a custom engraving on it as well. This is one of the best gifts you can get for someone who loves practicality and technology. The default version of this Suunto watch is housed in a 43mm granite blue titanium case and a black microfiber strap, giving it a very lightweight build. The sleek digital dial, which comes with handy touchscreen capabilities, can pull up a multitude of functions, such as 4/7 activity tracking, navigation, weather, sports modes, and more. This Suunto 9 watch runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, with a lifespan of around 14 days when in time mode. For $750 USD, you can get this custom engraved men’s watch that boasts utmost functionality. 13. Swatch SXY New Gent The Swatch SXY New Gent is an affordable and customizable option that caters to those who want something more fun and crazy. Swatch actually offers a diverse variety of personalized watches through its Swatch x You platform. Through this platform, you can pick out a specific design and movement from a predetermined list to make the perfect timepiece, just for you. You will also have the opportunity of engraving a word or message on the watch’s caseback, making it an even more special gift. For instance, the Swatch SXY New Gent model depicted above comes in a 41mm white plastic case and strap, decorated all over with a unique and quirky Street Stories design. The dial is completely transparent, which allows you to fully admire the mechanical movement that runs inside. Aside from that, you can also find simple hour markers and slender silver hands on the dial. If you want a truly unconventional engraved men’s watch, this timepiece has a price tag of around $145 USD. 14. Woodwatch French Oak Wine Barrel  The Woodwatch French Oak Wine Barrel is easily one of the most distinct timepieces on this list of engraved men’s watches. It has a one-of-a-kind exterior that effortlessly appeals to those who lead sustainable lifestyles. If you want to get a custom inscription on it, you can simply fork out an extra $25 USD to get your chosen message, date, or symbol engraved on the caseback.  This Woodwatch is presented in a 41mm stainless steel and natural wood case, paired with a bracelet made of the same materials. The black dial bears a rather straightforward layout with luminous blunt hands, slim hour indices, and legible Arabic numeral markers, along with a compact date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is powered by a reliable Miyota 2115 quartz movement. The Woodwatch French Oak Wine Barrel retails at around $350 USD. 15. Revolo Classic Last but not the least, we have the Revolo Classic, which is another timepiece that you can fully customize to your liking. You have the option to choosing the following: case material, dial color, bracelet type, movement used, handset design, and more. Aside from that, you can also get a personalized engraving on the caseback with either words, numbers, or even an image.  The specific Revolo Classic piece shown above comes in a 43mm stainless steel case paired with a suede leather strap. The jet-black dial follows a simple layout with luminous sword-shaped hands, slim hour markers, rounded Arabic numerals, and a date window at 3 o’clock. This dial design actually looks quite reminiscent of the luxurious, vintage-influenced Panerai Luminor timepieces. Finally, this watch runs on a trusty Miyota 821A Calibe that boasts top-notch Japanese craftsmanship For $450 USD, you can get this straightforward engraved men’s watch. Final Thoughts After going through all these engraved men’s watches, you can see that the watchmaking world is one of the best industries you can check out when it comes to personalized items and gifts. While people’s opinions are split on the value of custom engraved men’s watches, there is no denying that they can make for very meaningful presents. Next time you are in need of a unique gift, simply come back to this article and check the recommended engraved men’s watches out! Photo Credits: Official Watch Websites If you’re still unsure whether to get a custom watch or not, check out this article to hopefully convince you! 

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  9. Polar Grit X: One of the Best Outdoor Watches

    Polar Grit X: One of the Best Outdoor Watches

    Over the past few years, the sports smartwatches market has been dominated by Suunto and Garmin. In 2020, however, a newcomer blasted onto the scene to great acclaim: the Polar Grit X. Stylish, robust, and highly functional, the Polar Grit X poses a legitimate challenge to the reigns of Suunto and Garmin. Without further ado, read on to find out more about the Polar Grit X, including its specifications, price, and everything it brings to the table. First Impressions Image courtesy of Polar At first glance, the Polar Grit X might seem like any other sports smartwatch. It does not deviate far from what you would typically expect a smartwatch to be, with its futuristic-looking LED dial display and sleek all-black exterior. However, once you actually try this watch out, you will find that there is more to the Polar Grit X than meets the eye. Its polished case and smooth black strap not only look appealing but also feel incredibly comfortable against the wrist too. Furthermore, this watch also comes with a series of features that are straightforward and easy to navigate, making this the consummate adventurer’s timekeeper. Specifications Case and Caseback The Polar Grit X is presented in a 47mm “Extreme High Strength” stainless steel case. The case has also been well-polished, giving it a muted lustre that is sure to draw the eye. Aside from its suave looks, this case is also extremely robust. Its sturdy stainless steel build allows it to withstand all sorts of external impacts and damage. It has also been reinforced with a layer of DLC coating, which provides greater resistance against scratches while also giving the watch its stylish black hue. Finally, the case also has a solid 100m depth rating, so the watch can easily survive quick showers or even a dip in the pool. Unlike traditional watches, the Polar Grit X does not have a crown. Instead, it has a series of pushers on both sides of the case. This is fairly standard for a smartwatch, as you can use these pushers to control the numerous functions the smartwatch has. The pushers on the Polar Grit X are textured with protruding dots, so you can easily feel for and press them without even looking down at your watch. The middle button on the right side of the case also comes with a bright red ring around it. This differentiates its use from the other two sub-buttons, while also adding a nice bit of contrast to the watch’s all-black exterior. One downside to the pushers, however, is that they are not labelled. This can make them a little confusing to use at first since you might lose track of what each button is intended for. However, after a few days of use, you are sure to get more used to the Polar Grit X. Image courtesy of Polar On the underside of the Polar Grit X, you can find a set of heart rate sensors that will continuously monitor your vitals, 24/7. Also located on the caseback is a charging port for you to recharge your watch. The caseback has been carefully waterproofed, ensuring that it is not vulnerable to any water or other wet elements that might damage the charging port and sensor circuits. Dial As a smartwatch, the Polar Grit X’s dial shows off a handy touchscreen LED display, so you can navigate through each application with just a simple swipe of the screen. One fun thing about the Polar Grit X is that its LED screen actually offers a diverse array of interactive display options, which the wearer can choose from at their own discretion. For instance, if you prefer an analog display, you can easily change it through the interface. If you enjoy more high-tech digital displays, the Polar Grit X also provides a number of interesting digital designs that are all easy to use and as accurate as can be. The Polar Grit X uses a layer of laminated Gorilla Glass. This Gorilla Glass is chemically strengthened to provide greater resistance against scratches and hard impacts or shocks, so your watch screen will not easily crack. It has also been treated with anti-fingerprint coatings. This ensures that the screen will not get too smudged or dirtied by your fingerprints, so the display remains clear and readable at all times. The dial is further protected by a slightly protruding stainless steel bezel, which has also been given a layer of DLC coating for greater durability. Feature Highlights Moving away from its physical build, the Polar Grit X, as mentioned, is equipped with a ton of useful functions meant to make life easier for the average sports enthusiast or outdoorsman. It has many programs that wearers can indulge in, including meditation exercises for those who are not into overly physical activities. Having said that, let us go through some of the best features the Polar Grit X has to offer. Hill Splitter – This allows the wearer to monitor their performance data whenever they are going up or down a hill or mountain. With this feature, you can improve on your speed and endurance during mountain hiking.Route Guidance – This works wonders for those who frequently enjoy trekking, jogging, and cycling. It provides wearers with a map that shows either the fastest or the most optimal routes to take to safety.FitSpark – For those who are just getting started on their active lifestyles, this is a training program that provides a total of 19 ready-made workouts for wearers to choose from. You can use this to train your cardio, strength, enduance, and more. Overall, it is simple, accessible, and highly effective.FuelWise – This is a program that notifies the wearer when he or she needs to rehydrate after going for a nice long walk or jog. In fact, FuelWise can notify the wearer even when they are stationary. It is a nice way to help cool down the body.Sleep Plus Stages – This helpful application provides the wearer with tips regarding their sleep data. If you are having trouble sleeping, this will guide you on which steps to take to ensure a nice, restful nap.Serene Breathing Exercises – After a long and extensive workout session, it is good to relax a bit and maintain consistent breathing intervals to cool down, which is exactly what this function provides. You can also use the Serene Breathing Exercises to meditate and keep your mind and body in tip-top shape. Phone Notifications – A smartwatch would not be complete without a phone connectivity feature. You can connect your Polar Grit X to your phone for better synchronization with the time, data, and secure updates from time to time. Watch Strap The Polar Grit X is offered with three different types of straps. You can choose between a silicone band, a textile bracelet, or a leather strap, depending on your preferences. Each of these straps brings a certain style with it that inevitably changes the overall vibe of the watch. If you want a more sophisticated smartwatch, the leather strap would be a perfect choice. if you want something more casual, for everyday use, the textile bracelet would be a better choice. And lastly, the silicone band is more neutral, providing a versatile design that is especially suited for those who dabble in sports. Price The price of the Polar Grit X starts at $430 USD. This is quite a steal, as the Polar Grit X has a rather affordable price tag compared to other sports smartwatch alternatives from Suunto or Garmin. Alternatives to the Polar Grit X 1. Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24 If your budget allows it, have a look at what Garmin has to offer. For those who want a more rugged alternative to the Polar Grit X, the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24 provides exceptional durability and utility that is perfect for outdoor adventures such as trekking and camping. The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar does not have the same stylish case as the Polar Grit X. However, it makes up for it with highly functional features meant to make your life more convenient, such as its solar-powered lens, phone connectivity through Bluetooth, a power manager that allows the watch to last several weeks, and even an energy monitor called Body Battery. The Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar Ref. 010-02157-24 comes in a 51mm fibre-reinforced titanium case, paired with a matching titanium bracelet. To ensure that this watch is as sturdy as it can be, Garmin incorporated a DLC-coated stainless steel exterior to keep the front of the watch safe. Although this Garmin watch looks big and bulky, it is actually a lot lighter than it seems, thanks to its lightweight titanium build. As such, you could easily tote this watch around all day without too much trouble. Finally, it also has a 100m water resistance capacity, which is more than adequate for the average smartwatch. The price for this watch starts at around $1,049 USD. 2. Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 The Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is another viable alternative if you are looking for another sleek and fashionable outdoor smartwatch. Suunto is undoubtedly an expert in creating stylish smartwatches that offer exceptional durability. Much like the Polar Grit X, the Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black has a brighter, more vibrant design that would not look out of place in your everyday life. The Suunto 9 G1 Baro Black Ref. SS050087000 is equipped with a 50mm fibre-reinforced polyamide case, a black stainless steel bezel, and a matching black silicone strap. On top of its 100m water resistance capacity, this watch also comes with a total of 80 different modes for running, cycling, swimming, and more, making it the perfect companion for any sportsman. This Suunto 9 watch retails at $919 USD. Final Thoughts Without a doubt, the Polar Grit X deserves a spot as being one of the best outdoor watches that you can find on the market. Effortlessly challenging the sleek style of the Suunto 9 series, the Polar Grit X has a nice balance of fashion and utility. With this watch as your outdoor companion, you are ready for just about any challenge. Image courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise. Featured image courtesy of Polar. If you are still left undecided, have a look at the 20 Best Hiking Watches in 2021—you might find the right one for you!

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  10. 30 Best Microbrand Watches

    30 Best Microbrand Watches

    Most of us would agree that the watchmaking industry is mostly dominated by well-established companies with decades of experience under their belt. This is proven by the fact that even those who are not interested in horology have probably heard of big brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer, Seiko, Casio, and more. However, there is so much more to the watch industry than just these famous names. That is why, today, we will be introducing you to some of the best microbrands out there and what they have to offer.  What is a Microbrand Watch?  Before we delve into the list proper, let us first define what microbrand watches are. In layman’s terms, a microbrand is an independent company or business that operates on a significantly smaller scale compared to big corporations in the market. In turn, this means that microbrand watches are simply timepieces that are made by these independent companies, firms, or entities.  30 Best Microbrand Watches 1. Monta Atlas 24-Hour Date  First on our list is a lovely model from an American independent brand called Monta. They are a Missouri-based company that offers timepieces made with quality Swiss craftsmanship. Despite only being founded in 2016, they have already found the perfect balance between tradition and modern technology, which is clearly reflected in their products.  For example, the Monta Atlas 24-Hour Date shows off a classic, sporty aesthetic mixed with a very functional design. This watch comes in a 38.5 mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet with an appealing sunburst charcoal dial. Its dial is adorned with luminous hour indices, large sword hands, and a date window outlined in white at 6 o’clock. All of these are driven by a Swiss-made automatic MONTA Caliber M-23 with a 42-hour power reserve. You can even bring this dressy timepiece to your next watersports date because it has a solid depth rating of 150 meters. If you value both aesthetics and functionality, this is one of the best microbrand watches you can get. It has a price tag of around $1,950 USD.  2. Farer Cobb Monopusher  Up next, we have a model from a fairly popular brand called Farer. It is a small British watch company that wants to make a difference by offering detailed timepieces with a purpose. One of the reasons why this brand has some of the best microbrand watches on the market is because it is driven by the desire to incorporate unique ideas into its craft.   This philosophy is evident in the Farer Cobb Monopusher, with its eye-catching and distinctive design. It has a 40.5mm stainless steel case along with a capped mono-pusher and a St. Venere leather strap. The dial, however, is the true star of this timepiece, with its liberal use of striking blue, yellow, and orange hues, a combination you do not often see on watches. The dial also has a three-hand system, a chronograph display with two sub-dials, and a rectangular date window. These are powered by a self-winding Sellita SW510 MP movement, which has an extended power reserve of 62 hours and a 100-meter depth rating.  Priced at $1,995 USD, this is a must-have for those who enjoy colorful and vibrant timepieces! 3. Eone Bradley Mesh Black Eone is one of the most innovative independent brands on this list. What makes it stand out is that it has a wide selection of watches that boasts unique and inclusive designs. In fact, Eone wants its timepieces to be accessible to as many people as possible. This is why it creates products that can easily be used by persons with disabilities as well.  For example, the Eone Bradley Mesh Black is a gorgeous monochromatic watch that exudes an air of subtle elegance. It is presented in a 40mm lightweight titanium case paired with a stainless steel mesh bracelet in black. The very distinct dial features raised hour markers, recessed tracks, and two magnetized balls in lieu of traditional watch hands. The way this watch works is that one ball will travel around the track on the outer rim of the dial to indicate the hour, while the ball that moves along the inner track shows the minute. Powered by a Ronda quartz movement with Swiss-made components, this one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional dial accommodates those who are visually impaired. Eone’s dedication to offering inclusive timepieces that are still very well-crafted is why we consider it to be one of the best microbrand watches in the industry. Even better, its products come at very affordable prices, with the model above costing just $310 USD. 4. Uniform Wares C-35 Uniform Wares is a London-based watch company that focuses on practical and purposeful designs. Right from the start, Uniform Wares has been keen on being as hands-on as possible throughout its entire watchmaking process, which is undoubtedly a large reason behind its success. Today, it is best known for offering contemporary, minimalist timepieces that are uniquely its own.  A classic model in Uniform Wares’ catalog is the C-35. It features a 35mm stainless steel case that has been coated in a layer of gold PVD, paired with a Nappa leather strap that is offered in a variety of colors. Its white dial follows a straightforward layout with just sleek diamond-cut hands and slender black hour indices. Underneath the simple exterior, you can find a Swiss-made Ronda 1062 movement with an accuracy rate of -10/+20 secs.  With a price tag of just $430 USD, this is the ideal microbrand watch for those who like modern, minimalistic timepieces. 5. Shinola The Middle Child Detrola  Next, we have an American watch company called Shinola, which was founded back in 2011. Its story began with the idea of establishing a brand that manufactures quality products of all kinds, and it was eventually brought to life through a factory in Detroit. At present, Shinola has a wide variety of products in its catalog, from bags and jewelry to well-crafted timepieces.  One of its most distinct models is The Middle Child Detrola. This watch has a mostly monochromatic exterior, with a 43mm case made of resin and stainless steel and a semi-transparent silicone strap in grey. These are tastefully complemented by the watch’s dial, which shows off a translucent design that allows you to admire the Argonite 705 quartz movement beneath. Aside from that, the dial is also adorned with Arabic numerals in a neat white typeface, blunt hands coated in Super-LumiNova, and a date window. Retailing at $395 USD, this is one of the best microbrand watches for those who like timepieces that are fun yet low-key. 6. Oak & Oscar The Jackson Grey Oak & Oscar is a Chicago-based microbrand founded in 2015. One outstanding timepiece in its arsenal is the limited edition model known as The Jackson. This watch showcases a textured grey dial housed in a 40mm stainless steel case, along with a handsome leather strap in brown. This dial is peppered with vibrant orange accents, which gives a lovely contrast against the darker-hued backdrop. The dial is furnished with a variety of useful functions, including a tachymeter scale on its inner bezel, a chronograph display with two sub-counters, a date window, luminous silver and grey hour indices, and a three-hand mechanism. All of this runs on a manual-winding Eterna Caliber 39, which has a 50-meter water resistance capacity and a solid 60-hour power supply. If you are someone who prefers a balance between utility and style, this $2,850 USD piece is a must-have. 7. TRIWA Smoky Nevil TRIWA is a watch brand that focuses on creating pieces that go beyond what is trendy. They believe that watches are more than just tools and accessories, which is why it incorporates symbolic elements related to relevant issues today. Aside from that, TRIWA also aspires to be both innovators and transformers through watchmaking.  The TRIWA Smoky Nevil serves as a reflection of the brand’s philosophy with its timeless aesthetic and multi-functionality. It is presented in a 42mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet, which give a sleek, classy vibe to the whole timepiece. The dark grey dial is decorated with luminous blunt hands, slim applied hour markers, a 60-minute track, and a chronograph display with 2 sub-counters. This watch is driven by a quartz movement in the form of the Miyota OS21 caliber.  You can get your hands on this microbrand watch for around $350 USD. 8. Christophe Claret Baccara Next up, we have a model from a high-end independent watch company called Christophe Claret. This microbrand was established by its namesake back in 1991 and is best known for producing quality timepieces on par with big names in the industry. One of the reasons behind Christophe Claret’s success is the way they incorporate both sophistication and innovation into every watch they make.  The Christophe Claret Baccara is a perfect representation of what the brand’s craft is all about. This model has a luxurious 45mm white gold case, coated in a layer of scratch-resistant black PVD, and a high-quality alligator leather strap in black with red stitching. While this handsome exterior is already impressive, the highlight of this timepiece is by far the intricate design of its watch face. Through a lapis lazuli and rhodium-plated metallization, this dial boasts a complex dragon pattern with red sword hands and playful hour markers that resemble playing cards. Underneath this delicate watch face is a BCR09 hand-wound movement with a power reserve of 72 hours.  If you are a luxury watch enthusiast who has an interest in low-key microbrand watches, you can cop the Christophe Claret Baccara for around $247,938 USD. 9. Votch Aalto Gold & Juniper Votch is a UK-based microbrand that specializes in creating eco-friendly products. Votch is very serious when it comes to the environmentally-friendly values they uphold, especially on the issue of animal welfare, which is what makes it stand out as an independent company. In fact, Votch’s portfolio consists of contemporary watches that are all cruelty-free and sustainable.  One of Votch’s bestsellers is the Aalto Gold & Juniper, which flaunts a combination of green and minimalist aesthetics. It is encased in a 40mm gold-plated case along with a vegan faux leather strap in deep green. The black dial has a very simple yet chic layout, with printed stick and dot indices, thin Feuille hands, and Arabic numerals in a modern, rounded typeface. This watch is powered by a Japanese-made GL20 quartz movement.  For around $179 USD, you can purchase this subtle yet fun microbrand watch without feeling too guilty about your carbon footprint. 10. De Bethune DB26 GMT Starry Varius  De Bethune is another independent watch company that falls on the luxury side of the spectrum. While it is a  relatively small Swiss brand, its catalog consists of watches that would remind you of big names like Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, and the like. De Bethune has also mastered the art of balancing technology and design which is why its pieces are considered some of the best microbrand watches out there.  The model that stood out to us the most was the DB26 GMT Starry Varius, with its multitude of artistic watch complications. The watch’s exterior is comprised of a 42mm lightweight titanium case paired with an extra-supple alligator leather strap in black. It has a beautifully complex dial containing a date ring on the inner-most section, a 24-hour sub-dial, a 12-hour ring, and a minute ring on the rim of the dial. Driven by a hand-wound DB2507 caliber, this watch is also equipped with a one-of-a-kind day/night indicator, a microsphere, and a three-hand mechanism.  If you are a fan of well-engineered masterpieces, the DB26 GMT Starry Varius is the perfect watch to add to your collection. It retails at around $207,073 USD. 11. Baltic Aquascaphe GMT Baltic is a French watch brand founded in 2017 that offers high-quality, timeless pieces that will not break the bank. However, besides its amazing portfolio, one thing that stood out to us was the story behind this independent company. What started out as a mere inheritance of a watch collection eventually blossomed into a passion for the horological craft. To this day, the watch heirlooms left to founder Ettiene Malec remain the driving force behind the brand’s watches. For example, the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT has vintage-inspired aesthetics that resemble iconic models like the Rolex GMT-Master II and the Tudor Black Bay. It is presented in a 39mm stainless steel case with a two-tone blue and grey GMT bezel and a tropic rubber strap. Meanwhile, its black dial comprises a clean and highly legible layout, with luminous sword hands, an arrow-headed GMT hand, hour markers in various geometric shapes, a single Arabic numeral marker at 12 o’clock, and a date window at 6 o’clock. All of these function through a self-winding Swiss movement. Lastly, on the underside of this watch, you can find a caseback with an engraving of different time zones in the world. If you are only at the beginner phase of your microbrand watch collection, you can start with this classic and familiar model, which sells at approximately $1,040 USD. 12. Defakto Struktur Superluminova Next up, we have Defakto, which is a German company that specializes in creating quality Bauhaus watches. Defakto takes pride in selling products that are made entirely in-house, from the conceptualization of the watches’ designs to their actual production. This is the very reason why the brand has numerous awards and titles attached to its name.  One of the best models in Defakto’s arsenal is the Defakto Struktur Superluminova, which is as minimalistic and straightforward as it gets. It comes in a 40mm stainless steel case paired with a black cowhide strap made from Germany. Its black dial follows a simple layout with just stick hour and minute indices of different lengths, blunt hands coated in Super-LumiNova, and a small second counter at 6 o’clock. This microbrand watch is also equipped with a Swiss quartz movement called the Ronda 6004.D.  Retailing at around $335 USD, this model is recommended for all those who like sleek Bauhaus timepieces. 13. Lang & Heyne Friedrich III Lang & Heyne is another independent German watch company that offers quintessential timepieces. This brand upholds artistry and tradition above all else, which can be seen in each watch they make. If you are a fan of the watch manufacturer A.Lange & Sohne, you will most likely fall in love with Lang & Heyne as well.  The Freidrich III is the perfect representation of Lang & Heyne’s craftsmanship with its classic design that simply oozes nostalgia. It is housed in a 39.2mm luxurious white gold case and a high-quality alligator leather strap in black. Its silver dial contains vintage-looking Roman numerals in thin font, cathedral hands in rose gold, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Within the case is a hand-wound Caliber VI movement with a 55-hour power reserve. For around $22,850 USD, you can get your hands on this traditional luxury timepiece. 14. FP Journe Classique Divine 36MM FP Journe is a standout microbrand that prizes both classic aesthetics and highly-advanced technology. Its portfolio consists of traditional timepieces that are both engineering marvel and artistic feat. FP Journe values innovation, which is why many of its watches are equipped with state-of-the-art, uniquely designed complications. A perfect example of this would be the Divine 36 MM from the brand’s Classique collection. This is a complex timepiece that is encased in a 36mm platinum case and an alligator leather black strap. It features a vintage-looking white gold and silver dial with blued steel hands, Arabic numeral markers in a rounded typeface, a small seconds counter, and a big date window. The most striking components of this watch also serve as the greatest expression of the brand’s innovativeness. These include its arced power reserve display, with quirky indicators that count in multiples of 24, and its gorgeous moon phase function, which depicts a dark, starry night. On the underside of this watch, you can find an open caseback with a Brevet self-winding caliber. This movement has a whopping 120-hour power reserve. This is one of the best microbrand watches you can add to your quintessential collection. It retails at around $52,900 USD. 15. Bravur Geography Automatic Bravur is a Swiss independent brand that was only founded in 2017. It specializes in creating modern timepieces that are meant to be ideal everyday companions. Despite being a small company, Bravur dedicates a lot of time and effort to making its watchmaking process as smooth and streamlined as possible. This ensures that it produces watches that are durable and of high quality.  One of our favorite pieces from Bravur is the Geography Automatic. It has a high-grade 39mm stainless steel case along with a leather strap. One fun thing about this watch is that it is customizable, so you can choose the color of the strap you want, and you even have the option of monogramming it. This watch also flaunts a sparkling white, unusually curved sector dial. The outer rim of the dial has a sleek, silver brushed finish with slim hour indices, Arabic numerals, and a small circular date window. The inner section of the dial has a smooth white hue, with a 24-hour layout in vibrant blue indicators and a four-hand mechanism. As a GMT watch with dual time zones, this watch runs on a self-winding ETA2893-2 caliber with a 42-hour power supply. With a price tag of around $1,450, this serves as a great option for those seeking an everyday watch with versatile aesthetics. 16. Brew Metric Retro Brew Watch Company is a microbrand founded by Jonathan Ferrer. One day, while Ferrer was on his usual coffee break, he realized how much he savored every moment of peace he had with his hot beverage, which made him see the true value of time. Combining his passion for coffee and design, Ferrer now creates distinctive watches that are loosely based on industrial coffee machines.  The Metric Retro is one of the Brew Watch Company’s bestselling watches, and for good reason. It has a unique, retro-inspired design that will surely brighten up any ensemble. This model comes in a square-shaped stainless steel case with a size of 36mmx41.5mm and a bracelet with a black dial that features bright pops of yellow, orange, and green color. The watch face is also decorated with bright luminous hands and rectangular hour indices, a rectangular date window, and a chronograph display with two sub-counters. All of these components function using a hybrid VK68 mecha-quartz chronograph movement.  This is the perfect microbrand watch for those who like colorful, vintage-influenced timepieces. The best part is that you only need $395 USD to get one. 17. Carpenter G2 Brooklyn Gent Carpenter Watches is an American brand based in Brooklyn, New York. It focuses on creating mechanical timepieces that boast a balance between contemporary elements and vintage-inspired aesthetics. This is why most, if not all, of its watches can be considered timeless, versatile accessories.  The G2 Brooklyn Gent perfectly epitomizes this with its sleek and elegant exterior. It has a 38mm darkened stainless steel case and three-link bracelet that go really well with the black dial. The layout of the watch face is rather simple, with only applied hour indices, thin sword-shaped hands that are coated in lume, minute Arabic numerals, and a round date window at 3 o’clock. It also has a sapphire exhibition caseback that gives you a glimpse of the Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement behind the scenes.  Priced at $795 USD, this is one of the best microbrand watches for those who like chic and dapper pieces. 18. Sternglas Naos White Next up, we have Sternglas, which is a German independent company founded by Dustin Fontaine in 2016. Dustin worked at a watch factory when he was young and it introduced him to what would be his lifetime passion: watchmaking. At present, Sternglas is one of the most popular microbrands in the industry with its wide selection of Bauhaus timepieces.  The Naos White is a Sternglas model that definitely deserves a spot on this list because of how straightforward yet classy it is. It is presented in a 38mm stainless steel case along with a calf leather strap in brown. The white dial shows off a very minimalistic layout with thin blue stick hands, painted stick indices, a date window, and Arabic numerals in a neat typeface. This watch is driven by a Ronda 717 caliber, which is an analog quartz movement.  If you want an affordable Bauhaus-inspired timepiece, then this $215 USD model is just for you. 19. MK-II Key West MK-II is an American watch company that was founded back in 2002. It started out as a firm that sold watch components to other manufacturers until it eventually started offering its own timepieces. MK-II’s specialty lies in creating durable, well-crafted tool watches that can be used both casually and professionally.  One eye-catching model from the brand is the Key West with its striking Pepsi bezel. Drawing inspiration from the iconic Rolex Pepsi, this watch comes in a 39.2mm stainless steel case and brushed three-link bracelet with a rotating two-tone GMT bezel in red and blue hues. The white dial includes luminescent Mercedes hands, hour markers in various geometric shapes, and a date window in a bright red font, along with a red arrow-headed seconds hand. A Swiss-made ETA 2893-2 caliber powers all of these functions.  If you are a fan of Pepsi bezels, you can get your hands on this model for around $2,000 USD. 20. Halios Fairwind  20th on our list is Halios, a small independent company founded in 2009. What started out as a mere interest in timepieces resulted in a brand that offers a beautiful selection of watches to the community today. Since the people behind Halios were once consumers and enthusiasts themselves, they apply their own experiences into making Halios one of the best microbrands in the market.  The Fairwind model serves as a testament to Halios’s dedication to watchmaking. It is housed in a 39mm stainless steel case and matching bracelet with a bidirectional bezel in bathyal blue. The dial, which comes in a matching shade of rich blue, has a straightforward display with just luminescent hour markers and blunt hands that run on an automatic SW200-1 caliber. This movement also has a 40-hour power reserve and a solid 200-meter water resistance rating.  For $775 USD, you can cop one of these durable divers for your next underwater adventure. 21. Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph Like IWC, the brand Autodromo is one of the best sources of microbrand watches inspired by motorsports. The entire company was built on the idea of expressing the essence of racing and automotive through well-designed timepieces. A perfect representation of this would be the Prototipo Chronograph, with its retro, motorsports-influenced aesthetics. It comes in a 42mm stainless steel case paired with a genuine leather racing strap. The watch face, meant to look like the dashboard of a sports car, draws inspiration from racer Vic Elford, who owned a Porsche 908/02 with the same color palette. It consists of stick hour markers, luminous blunt hands, a chronograph display with three sub-dials, and vibrant red and blue shades all over. Underneath this sporty watch face is a Seiko VK63 Chronograph caliber, which is actually a hybrid mecha-quartz movement.  If you are an aficionado of motorsports and watches, you can get this cool-looking timepiece for around $775 USD.   22. Vortic The Boston 408 Unlike Autodromo, Vortic is an independent watch company that specializes in providing vintage timepieces that embody the American spirit. Vortic is known for restoring antique pocket watches and turning them into fully functional wristwatches. This makes the brand an ideal source of legitimate retro microbrand watches. The Boston 408 belongs to Vortic’s American Artisan Series. It was originally a pocket watch manufactured by the Waltham Watch Company. This is a fairly large 46mm model with a stainless steel case and a handsome leather strap in brown. The white dial contains large Arabic numerals in a classy typeface, metallic spade-shaped hands, and a small seconds counter. Inside this timepiece, you can find the pocket watch’s original hand-wound movement that dates all the way back to 1908.  If you are a true vintage collector, you should definitely check out this piece, which retails at around $2,895 USD. 23. Traska Venturer Arctic White Next up, we have Traska which is a small and low-key brand created in 2018. It offers a selection of reasonably priced timepieces with classic, robust aesthetics. Just with a single glance, you can tell that its watches are powerfully built and extremely reliable.  The Venturer Arctic White is presented in a 46mm stainless steel case and three-link bracelet, all of which have been treated with scratch-resistant coatings. The white-lacquered dial comprises rectangular applied indices, diamond-cut blunt hands, Arabic numerals in a neat typeface, an internal rotating bezel, and a date display at 6 o’clock. All these, along with the watch’s second time zone function, are driven by an automatic Miyota 9019 movement.  If you are looking for a versatile yet tough-looking timepiece, this $585 USD model might just be the right one for you. 24. Anordain Model 1 Payne’s Grey Fume Anordain is an independent company that focuses on strengthening the intertwined connection between design and manufacture. It believes that, in order to create the best watches, everything should go through a streamlined process under one roof. This allows for a more hands-on experience with each and every timepiece.  One of our favorites from Anordain’s catalog is the Model 1 Payne’s Grey Fume, which is a gorgeous piece that follows contemporary design codes. It has a 38mm case with a black cordovan strap. The main attraction, however, is the watch’s smoky grey dial, with its heat-treated hands and thick, golden Arabic numerals. Inside this watch is an automatic ETA 2824-2 movement.  If you are as in love with this artsy model as we are, you can purchase one for around $2,087 USD. 25. Haven The Chilton (Ref 1031)  Haven is one of the best manufacturers of microbrand watches because it knows its niche. It incorporates traditional watchmaking styles into its manufacture of lively, eye-catching timepieces. The Chilton Chronograph is one of Haven’s best models since its design boasts a perfect balance between fun and functionality. It is a 37.5mm watch in stainless steel with a retro-inspired, colorful watch face. The chronograph display flaunts different hues of red, blue, and black on a metallic-looking champagne dial with a sunray finish. It also comes with thick luminous hands that run on a hand-wound SW510M movement.  Retailing at $1,799 USD, this serves as the perfect model for those who have an affinity towards vibrant accessories. 26. Zelos Great White V2 Zelos is a Singapore-based watch company that offers state-of-the-art timepieces crafted from bronze or carbon fiber. The mere existence of this microbrand is proof that you do not have to pay a huge sum of money to get quality watches that are built to last.  The Great White V2 stands out from the rest of the brand’s catalog — thanks to its tough and sporty exterior. It comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and brushed three-link bracelet, along with a carbon fiber dial and bezel. Thanks to the use of this carbon fiber material, the grey watch face showcases a unique, textured illusory look with luminescent hands, thick hour markers, and a date aperture at 6 o’clock. Underneath this artistic watch face is a Miyota 9015 caliber.  This Zelos watch has a price tag of just $459 USD.   27. The Horse The Resin The Horse is an Australia-based lifestyle brand that was established in 2009. It offers a variety of products such as bags, small leather goods, and timepieces. When it comes to watches, The Horse specializes in minimalist, contemporary designs. One of the best things about this brand is that it has a wide selection available, which means you are bound to find the perfect watch for you.  The Horse has a limited edition model called The Resin, which is noteworthy because of how simple yet distinct it is. It is presented in a 42mm stainless steel case along with a genuine Italian leather strap and a unique tortoiseshell bezel. The plain black dial comprises applied rose gold indices, thin blunt hands coated in luminescent material, and a date display at 3 o’clock. It also possesses a Japanese quartz movement and a 50-meter water resistance capacity.  If you want something simple and affordable, you can get this watch for just $123 USD. 28. Pelton Perseus  Pelton is another microbrand that offers different kinds of products like leather goods, sunglasses, and of course, watches. It markets its models as handcrafted timepieces that possess high precision and quality. In fact, if you check out Pelton’s whole selection, you will find many watches that are comparable to those from popular luxury names in the market.  The Perseus caught our attention immediately because of its resemblance to other iconic watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Bulgari Octo. It showcases a familiar integrated bracelet and a very distinct, rounded bezel shape that harkens back to the signature octagonal bezel of the Royal Oak. Encased in a 39mm all-stainless steel exterior, this watch’s silver sunray dial has slim luminous hour indices, blunt hands, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. Inside this watch is a self-winding ETA 2824-2 movement. Priced at around $2,999 USD, this watch is recommended for those who love the Royal Oak timepieces but want something a little more accessible!  29. Boldr Field Medic II  Next, we have Boldr which is another Singapore-based company that specializes in adventure gear and watches. Given the nature of the brand, you can already expect its timepieces to be specially made to withstand any type of environment. Boldr crafts its products to be the perfect everyday companions, whether you are out to explore or just on a leisurely walk outside. One of Boldr’s most popular pieces is the Field Medic II, which draws the eye with its appealing panda watch face. This watch comes in a slim 38mm titanium case paired with a nylon NATO strap in black. Its white dial follows a chronograph layout with luminescent syringe hands, a pulsometer, respiratory scale, and two sub-counters in black. Since this is a watch specially made for those in the medical field, it is equipped with an SII VK64 mecha-quartz movement that boasts great accuracy and precision.  Regardless of whether you are a medic or not, this is still a very cool microbrand tool watch to own. You can add this to your collection for just $299 USD. 30. Undone Vintage Killy Lastly, we have Undone, which is a brand that aims to change people’s view of the watchmaking industry. Undone believes that timepieces are unique forms of self-expression, so you do not always have to purchase a trendy or popular model. Instead, you should be seeking the perfect, tailor-made watch that can tell your personal story.  The Vintage Killy is a customizable watch that you can fully personalize, from the dial and hands down to the case and strap. The model in the photo, in particular, has been customized to come in a 40mm stainless steel case paired with a suede textured strap in beige. The dial consists of dark blue Feuille hands, Arabic numerals in a rounded typeface, a telemeter scale, and a chronograph display with 2 counters. Underneath this vintage-looking exterior, you can find a Japanese TMI VK61 Flyback Chronograph caliber, which is a hybrid mecha-quartz movement.  Retailing at around $315 USD, the perfect watch is within your reach and you will not even have to break the bank to get it! Final Thoughts The list above proves that there is more to the watchmaking industry than just the big names we know and love. Whether it is a luxury timepiece or a more casual model, you are bound to be able to find a microbrand that specializes in what you are looking for. Ultimately, the world of horology is one that is full of potential for both watchmakers and consumers.  Photo Credits: Official Watch Sites If you are interested in more watch lists, check out our piece on the 15 Best Russian Watches!

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  11. 10 Fun Watch Complications to Spice Up Your Next Timepiece

    10 Fun Watch Complications to Spice Up Your Next Timepiece

    Initially, watches were only tasked with one responsibility — to tell the time in hours, minutes, and seconds. But as watchmaking technology advanced, watches became increasingly complex and capable of doing more and more. Nowadays, we see all sorts of models with different types of complications that give these watches other purposes aside from simply telling the time. While they are not an essential part of any timepiece, watch complications are always a treat to have due to their practical benefits and added convenience. Depending on the model, a wristwatch can have just one extra function or an entire set of added watch complications. Individually, each watch complication fulfils a role, and the more complications a timepiece has, the more things it can do. In this modern day and age, the industry has developed all sorts of watch complications for various needs. Tag along with us today as we take a look at and understand some of the most recognizable watch complications that exist today. What is a Watch Complication? In the most basic sense, a complication is an added function on a watch that allows it to do more than show the time. Watch complications can vary from simple everyday features like date displays to extravagant works of Haute Horlogerie that consist of multiple functions, like perpetual calendars. As opposed to installing more applications and programs into a smartwatch, integrating watch complications into a mechanical timepiece is a much more remarkable feat. This is because it incorporating watch complications requires a great degree of proficiency, cleverness, and technical mastery. Today, watch complications are quite prevalent. You can pretty much find any number of them in many timepieces out there. For today, let us look at 10 of the most iconic watch complications ever invented, as well as a few models that bear them. 10 Most Popular Watch Complications in Watches 1. Date Arguably the most basic watch complication, the date complication allows wearers to view the date on their watch. Currently, there are four different versions of the date display: date window, big date, pointer date, and subsidiary date dial. The date window is the most ubiquitous form of the date complication. It is typically represented by a small aperture that contains a colored background and numerals in a contrasting shade. The big date, on the other hand, has a much larger frame compared to the traditional date window. It is made up of two boxes, with the left box presenting the numbers 0-3 and the other showcasing the numbers 0-9. A pointer date works differently from the date window and big date. Instead of using an opening to display the date, a pointer date has numerals printed on the watch’s chapter ring. An additional watch hand is used to pinpoint the current date. The final variant of the date complication is the subsidiary date dial. This version shows off the date in the form of a sub-dial and is often accompanied by other watch complications. All the different types of date complications listed above can be adjusted by winding the watch’s crown. Rolex Submariner Date 41 (126613LN-0002) Image By: Watch Shopping The date window is beautifully showcased in this impeccable Rolex model, the Submariner Date 41 (126613LN-0002). Accompanied by a yellow Rolesor bracelet, this Rolex Submariner piece comes in a 41mm Oystersteel case and a yellow gold unidirectional rotating bezel with a black ceramic insert for its elapsed time scale. Its dial has the classic Submariner design, with a black metallic surface, luminous applied indices in geometric shape, Mercedes hands, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. Rolex emphasizes the date window with a magnifying cyclops lens fitted on the watch’s scratch-resistant sapphire glass, allowing for greater readability. Powering this watch is the COSC and Superlative Chronometer-rated Rolex Caliber 3235. This automatic Rolex movement has an accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day and a solid 41-hour power reserve. With its screw-down caseback, screw-down crown, and Triplock triple waterproofness system, this Rolex Submariner Date 41 has an impressive depth rating of 300m. You can get this Submariner watch from our website for around $24,399 USD. 2. Day-Date A slight upgrade to the date function, the day-date complication adds the day of the week to the standard date display. Generally, the day and date complications are placed side by side, in small windows on the watch face, usually where the 3 o’clock marker is located. However, modern design innovations have allowed watchmakers to position the day-date complication in other areas of the dial. Like the simple date, the day and date complications can be adjusted using the crown. Winding the knob in one direction sets the day while rotating it the other way sets the date.  Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto (H64455523) Image By: Watch Shopping Boasting modern take on the day-date feature is the Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto (H64455523). Bearing the extensive military heritage that the brand is known for, this Hamilton timepiece utilizes a sturdy 40mm stainless steel case coupled with a brown cow leather strap. It has a see-through caseback that gives wearers a clear view of the movement inside. This Hamilton Khaki Field watch is water-resistant up to depths of 50m, which is more than enough to prevent raindrops and light splashes from entering the timepiece. Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, the dial of the Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto has a vintage military-inspired design with some modern touches. The sector dial is split into two segments, with a white outer ring and an inner dial that has a metallic silver sunray finish. The outer ring consists of large Arabic numerals from 1 to 12, while the inner dial contains smaller Arabic numerals from 13 to 24, along with luminous syringe hands. Unlike most timepieces, the elongated day and date windows of this watch are located at 12 o’clock instead. This watch runs on the Hamilton H-40, an automatic movement with 25 jewels and an extended 80-hour power supply. The Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto sells for just $689 USD. 3. Moon Phase The moon phase is a conventional and aesthetically-pleasing watch complication that shows wearers the different phases of the moon. Simply put, a moon phase function tells us if there is a new moon, quarter-moon, half-moon, or full moon on a specific day. It was first designed to help keep sailors informed about the tides at sea. In our modern everyday lives, however, they do not serve any real purpose beyond the aesthetic. That being said, moon phase indicators are still very pleasing to look at, so many luxury watchmakers have gone out of their way to design them with exquisite and complex displays. While it can stand alone on a watch, many brands also like to feature the moon phase display alongside a perpetual calendar. Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase (1-36-04-04-02-30) Image By: Watch Shopping There are a number of watches in the market that come with moon phase indicators. One model that shows off a truly elegant moon phase display is the Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase (1-36-04-04-02-30). Hailing from the brand’s Senator Excellence collection, this Glashutte Original watch comes in a thin 42mm stainless steel case and a suave black alligator leather strap. Its fixed bezel is finely beveled, putting the spotlight on the galvanized blue dial. The deep blue dial is complemented by slender triangular indices, Lancette hands, a panorama date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, and a gorgeous moon phase display in the shape of a silver crescent moon. Underneath this appealing watch face, you can find a Glashutte Original Caliber 36-04. This is an automatic caliber equipped with a silicon balance spring, a skeletonized rotor, and an incredible power reserve that can last up to 100 hours. Without a doubt, this reliable dress watch can up your style and sophistication to a whole new level. The Glashutte Original Moon Phase fetches an approximate price of $8,659 USD. 4. Elapsed Time Scale As opposed to a countdown timer that tells the remaining time left, an elapsed time scale is a watch complication that shows the amount of time that has passed. For professional divers, this function is crucial for keeping track of how much oxygen they have left in their tanks. More often than not, an elapsed time scale is represented by a unidirectional rotating bezel with a time scale either engraved onto or inserted on top of it. This bezel must always turn unidirectionally, as this prevents it from rotating in the wrong direction, minimizing miscalculation while on the field. If a bezel rotates in the wrong direction, it might cause a dive to be inadvertently extended. This could be very dangerous for the diver who would spend too much time underwater as a result. Seiko Prospex PADI Samurai (SRPF09K1) Image By: Watch Shopping Seiko is known for its extensive selection of Japanese dive watches. Despite being very affordable, each Seiko dive piece is made with a high degree of craftsmanship and a keen eye for efficient design. There are numerous watches to choose from, but the one model that unequivocally catches our attention is the Seiko Prospex PADI Samurai (SRPF09K1). Housed in a 43.8mm stainless steel case, this Seiko Prospex model showcases a unidirectional rotating bezel with a memorable two-tone design that mimics the red and blue color scheme of the Pepsi logo. Topped with a layer of Hardlex glass, this timepiece has a depth rating of 200m, so you can easily bring it for water sports like diving or snorkeling. The dial of this Seiko watch has a subtle pattern of textured ocean waves, calling to its identity as a dive watch. It is adorned with thick hour indices and stout arrow hands, all of which are generously applied with Seiko Lumibrite for optimal nighttime visibility. Robust and fashionable, this is a model you can wear for pretty much any occasion. Driving this watch is a Seiko 4R35 automatic movement with a 41-hour power reserve. Get your hands on this Seiko Prospex watch for just $509 USD. 5. GMT A GMT complication is a handy feature for those who often travel the world. It provides wearers with a second, separate time zone that they can freely customize, allowing the watch to display two different time zones instantaneously. A timepiece with a GMT complication typically has an additional watch hand in a different shape and color than the hours, minutes, and seconds hands. Depending on the model, the reference time is located either on the bezel or around the rim of the dial. Ultimately, the GMT complication brings convenience to the traveling wearer, but also adds a flair of uniqueness to the watch as a whole. Rolex GMT Master II (116710 BLNR) Image By: Watch Shopping Commonly known as the “Rolex Batman“, the Rolex GMT Master II (116710 BLNR) is a spectacular dive watch with a striking GMT bezel. Its sleek Oystersteel case measures 40mm in diameter, which is pretty universal in terms of wrist sizes. While the unidirectional rotating bezel is made from stainless steel, the blue GMT scale inserted on top is crafted entirely from scratch-resistant Cerachrom. It shows off a two-tone blue-black hue, the inspiration behind the watch’s Rolex Batman nickname. Coupled with an Oystersteel bracelet, this Rolex GMT-Master II piece has a solid water resistance rating of 100m. This Rolex timepiece bears a matte black dial adorned with applique indices in geometric shapes and Mercedes-style watch hands. Along with a magnified date complication, the dial has a blue arrow-headed GMT hand that stands out prominently against the dark dial surface. Underneath the watch face is a Rolex Caliber 3186. This is a COSC-certified Superlative Chronometer movement with 31 jewels and a 50-hour power supply. This iconic Rolex GMT “Batman” piece retails at around $26,400 USD. 6. Tourbillon Created by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the tourbillon is a unique complication that improves the balance of the timepiece, effectively eliminating any timekeeping errors that might be caused by gravity or changing watch positions. Although the tourbillon does not have any tangible uses besides making a watch more precise, it is still very pleasing to look at. Commonly appreciated as a sign of high horology, the tourbillon is extremely rare and requires an extraordinary amount of skill and patience to craft. Because of this, the tourbillon is typically found on high-end luxury watches. Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT 47 (PAM00768) Image By: Panerai As one of the leaders of Italian watchmaking, Panerai is a world-renowned watch brand recognized for its exceptional luxury timepieces. One of their newest projects, the Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT 47 (PAM00768), boasts a tourbillon in what might arguably be one of their most complicated timepieces to date. This Panerai Luminor watch comes in a 47mm cushion-shaped titanium case, making it incredibly durable and lightweight. Its front and back are sealed with sapphire glass to provide wearers with a clear view of the watch’s inner workings. On the right side of the case, you can find the brand’s signature semi-circle crown guard with a stout, oversized crown. The brand pairs this watch with a gray alligator leather strap that wonderfully complements its fixed Carbotech bezel. With its skeletonized dial, wearers can view the tourbillon and the entirety of the watch caliber in all of their complexity. This timepiece also has an additional GMT component, which is characterized by a luminous arrow hand outlined in black. Running this timepiece is the P.2005/T Caliber. It is made up of 277 components, including a Glucydur balance spring, and has an impressive 6-day power reserve. This sophisticated timepiece is worth an estimated price of $164,360 USD. 7. Power Reserve Indicator A power reserve indicator is a watch complication used to determine the amount of energy remaining in the watch. It is often represented by a labeled meter and a hand or needle. The zone where the needle travels along indicates how much power is left in the timepiece before it needs rewinding. In some cases, watches can have power supplies that last for days, in which case the power reserve display will show the days instead of the hours. For those curious about the inner workings of the power reserve indicator, this complication actually represents the amount of tension on the watch’s mainspring. The less tension there is, the more the needle moves, and the less time wearers have until they need to rewind the movement. IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (IW510115) Image By: Watch Shopping With a minimalist design that breathes elegance, luxury, and sophistication like no other, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (IW510115) is the brand’s ultimate dress watch. Coupled with a gray suede strap, this IWC Portofino watch is presented in a lustrous, slim 45mm stainless steel case. The case is topped with an arched sapphire crystal that has been treated with anti-reflective coatings from top to bottom. The dial of this IWC watch is beautifully executed, with a slate gray finish decorated with slender stick-like indices and silver leaf-shaped hands. Its complications include a date window, a small hacking seconds display with clean white and red indicators, and an arcing power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. Since this timepiece can last for up to 192 hours, it keeps track of the power reserve by the day. The fascinating movement operating this chic watch is the IWC-manufactured 59210 Caliber. Wearers who want to see this powerful Swiss caliber at work can look at it through the transparent caseback. You can buy the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days for around $9,700 USD. 8. Chronograph The chronograph feature is one of the most prevalent complications in watchmaking. Essentially, a chronograph is another word for a stopwatch. A timepiece with a chronograph function typically has two to three pushers at the side of the case that works as the chronograph’s start and stop buttons. There are three types of chronographs: Monopoussoir, Retour-En-Vol, and Rattrapante. Monopoussoir, or the one-button chronograph, comes with only one pusher. Unlike contemporary chronographs, this version is not capable of recording interrupted time. The Retour-En-Vol, commonly known as the flyback chronograph, has two pushers. Its first pusher is used to start and stop the timer, while the second pusher is used to reset the counters. The Retour-En-Vol allows for split-second accuracy readings, which is especially convenient for pilots and race car drivers. The last version of the chronograph complication is the Rattrapante. Also known as the split-seconds chronograph, the Rattrapante is equipped with three buttons. It also has two seconds hands to allow wearers to keep track of two events simultaneously. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial Chronometer GMT Chronograph (231.13.43.52.02.001) Image By: Watch Shopping There is always a Seamaster watch for everyone. If you are looking for a dashing timepiece that comes with a chronograph function, check out the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Chronograph (231.13.43.52.02.001). This classic dive watch comes in a 43mm stainless steel case paired with a dark brown leather strap. With its anti-reflective sapphire glass, screw-in crown, and exhibition-style rear case, the Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Chronograph has a substantial water resistance capacity of 150m. Located at the side of the case are two elongated pushers that allow wearers to control the chronograph features of this Omega timepiece. The dial showcases a silvery-textured finish with faint vertical lines, reminiscent of the floorboards seen on luxury sailboats. It is furnished with luminous triangular indices, a slender GMT hand, a small seconds sub-dial, 60-minute and 12-hour counters, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a rose-gold plated arrow handset. This watch runs on an Omega Co-Axial Caliber 9605, which is a chronometer-rated self-winding movement with a 60-hour power reserve.  Wearers can purchase this handsome Omega chronograph for approximately $9,350 USD. 9. Tachymeter A tachymeter is a kind of watch complication used especially for measuring speed. Tachymeters work by measuring the miles or kilometers per hour at which something travels. For this complication to work, the wearer must be moving at a constant rate of speed and distance. Traditionally, the tachymeter is placed on the outer or inner bezel of the timepiece. The tachymeter is also commonly found on chronograph watches. TAG Heuer Formula One (CAZ2011.FT8024) Image By: Watch Shopping There are not many brands that can create top-notch racing chronographs like TAG Heuer does. Housed in a 44mm PVD-coated stainless steel case, the TAG Heuer Formula One (CAZ2011.FT8024) stands as a testament to how far the brand has come in its 160 years of unyielding service. Fixed at the top of the case is a black PVD-coated stainless steel bezel marked with a tachymetric scale which wearers can use to measure their speed. Although this Formula One watch is not a dive piece, it has an impressive depth rating of 200m. This watch’s face presents a beautiful canvas decorated with applied silver indices and blunt hands, three chronograph subdials outlined in silver, and a date section at 3 o’clock. Enclosed by a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire glass, this charming dial is preserved from the outside world. Operating this sporty timepiece is the TAG Heuer Caliber 16 Automatic, complete with its 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) balance frequency and 42-hour power reserve. This TAG Heuer watch fetches a price of $3,100 USD. 10. Perpetual Calendar Expensive and exceedingly rare, the perpetual calendar is one of the most elaborate complications that can exist on a watch. Between the perpetual calendar, the triple calendar, and the annual calendar watch complications, the perpetual calendar is by far the most precise out of them all. It is capable of accurately keeping track of the date, the day, the month, the year, and even the leap year. Because of its complex design and functionality, the perpetual calendar is primarily found on high-end luxury watches. Patek Philippe Grand Complications (5320G-001) Image By: Watch Shopping The perpetual calendar can come in various forms. For the Patek Philippe Grand Complication (5320G-001), this sophisticated complication is exhibited in an elegant and somewhat vintage style. The 40mm case of this Patek Philippe watch is crafted from luxurious 18K white gold and is sheltered on its front and back by layers of sapphire glass. Its lacquered cream dial consists of gold-applied Arabic numerals in a neat typeface and syringe hands coated with lume to provide optimal legibility in low light conditions. Apertures on the upper section of the dial show the day and month, while the sub-dial at the bottom presents the date and the moon phase indicator. On the right and left sides of the sub-dial, there are two small circular windows. The one on the right shows the leap year, while the one on the left serves as a day/night indicator. Beneath the dial is the self-winding perpetual calendar movement known as the Caliber 324. The caliber of this Grand Complications timepiece is made up of 367 components, including a 21K gold central rotor, a Spiromax balance spring, and a power reserve that, when fully wound, can last for up to 45 hours. As the most premium timepiece on this list, the Patek Philippe Grand Complication (5320G-001) is worth $92,260 USD. Final Thoughts Whether it is in analog or digital, a date function, or a perpetual calendar, watch complications never fail to give their wearers the greatest conveniences when they need it. Although these extra features are not core functions of the watch, it is hard to imagine our beloved timepieces without them. Apart from giving wearers more utility, watch complications also demonstrate the expertise and technical prowess of the watchmaker. Indeed, it is always neat to have a watch that can do more than tell the time. As the industry steadily grows and technology advances, watchmakers only continue to expand the list of what a wristwatch is capable of doing. Featured Image By: Patek Need a solid luxury dive watch that won’t cost you a fortune? Check out the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue and see if this is the watch you’ve been looking for.

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