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  2. The Iconic Alpinist watch – The Seiko SARB017

    The Iconic Alpinist watch – The Seiko SARB017

    The Seiko Alpinist line is home to many high-quality Japanese hiking watches. Amidst the various stunning models, the collection contains the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist. Created in 2006, the Seiko SARB017 is probably the most iconic piece in this renowned series. While the main purpose of this timepiece is to be a reliable timekeeper for mountain climbers, it also carries an exclusive and luxurious design that keeps wearers and on-lookers constantly fascinated, no matter how many times they look at it. Even though the Seiko SARB017 was discontinued a few years ago, it continues to be highly sought-after by all sorts of enthusiasts and collectors from the watch community.  In this review, we will be inspecting the various specifications of the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist, to see just why there is so much undying hype surrounding this timepiece. Furthermore, we will also be taking a look at some excellent alternative models from the Seiko Prospex and the Citizen Automatic lines, to see how they compare against the Seiko SARB017 in terms of quality, characteristics, and price. Without further ado, let us have a go at the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist. Specifications Case Dimensions Most people would agree that the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist perfectly hits the sweet spot with its size. The SARB017 features a proportionate, well-sized case that measures 39mm in diameter, including its crown. It has a thickness of 12mm and has a slim lug width of 20mm. Lug-to-lug, the SARB017 measures around 47mm, which is also quite reasonable. In terms of weight, the watch weighs 79g, so it does not have much heft at all, which makes it light and easy to carry around on your wrist. Altogether, the timepiece can certainly fit comfortably on all kinds of wrists without looking too meagre or too bulky. Additionally, the Seiko SARB017 has a good curvature profile on its lugs, which makes it fit more cleanly on owners with small wrists while still being adequate to wear for those with larger wrist sizes. This model is pretty slim and compact, so you will not have to worry too much about accidentally bumping the wristwatch into things. Stainless Steel Case and Bi-directional Compass Bezel Seiko crafted the case of the SARB017 entirely out of stainless steel. Smoothly beveled throughout, the steel casing showcases a sleek exterior with a blend of brushed and polished surfaces that play around with light nicely. Fixed on top of the case is a stainless steel bezel that fits the watch case perfectly. The bezel of the Seiko SARB017 serves a unique purpose. While its outer portion is stationary and does not offer much beyond the protection of the dial, the inner section of the bezel wields the SARB017’s internal compass. The internal compass contains the directions, indices, and degrees that you can usually find in most compass watches. Printed in clear white and red, the labels are pretty small-scale but are still legible enough for wearers to easily read. The internal compass is neatly designed and does not compromise the dial’s elegant aesthetic. With the bi-directional compass bezel, wearers can use this Seiko timepiece to navigate through all sorts of terrains. For those who plan on bringing the Seiko SARB017 to their expeditions, this is a very welcome feature indeed. On the right side of the timepiece are two screw-down crowns. One is positioned at 3 o’clock, while the other can be found at the 4 o’clock position. The 3 o’clock knob carries a delicate “S” engraving and allows for manual hacking and winding. Those who possess this watch will know that turning the 3 o’clock crown also produces a distinguishable noise. Surrounding it are adequately-sized crown guards large enough to protect the crown well without hampering the wearer’s grip. The 4 o’clock knob, on the other hand, is used to manipulate the internal compass bezel. At first, wearers may find the compass a bit tricky to use, as the watch does not feature a compass hand, which can make it a little complex to read. In this case, the Seiko SARB017 comes with an instruction manual that informs users on how to operate the bezel. If you do not have the manual, there are also guides and videos online, made by owners of Seiko SARB017 timepieces, that will help you get accustomed to it. On the back of the SARB017 timepiece is a solid stainless steel caseback, which is screwed down for maximum security. While it would have been rather delightful to be able to view the movement through an exhibition-style caseback, the solid steel rear ensures that nothing can enter the watch from the outside, keeping the inner mechanisms safe from damage.  While the Seiko SARB017 is technically a mountaineering watch, it bears a water resistance capacity akin to that of a diver’s timepiece. Locked by screw-down crowns and a solid steel caseback, the watch can withstand up to 200m/20atm of water pressure. With that much water resistance, wearers can bring the SARB017 to any water sports and activities, from washing their hands to shallow diving. Honestly, this water resistance rating is more than enough for a wristwatch made for the mountains. Green Sunburst Dial The true highlight of the Seiko SARB017 is its dial, which features a green sunburst surface that plays around with light spectacularly. Depending on the light and angle, the face of the watch can promptly change from bright and pleasant emerald green to darker and more sincere jade green. On the outer rim of the watch dial, you can find a date window at 3 o’clock, Arabic numerals, and hour markers, all with gold-colored accents. Towards the center of the green watch face is an exclusive handset showcasing cathedral-themed minute and hour hands. There are not many inscriptions labeled on the dial. The only engravings you can find are Seiko’s signature and a few specifications about the watch’s movement and water resistance. As with many of Seiko’s models, the SARB017 uses the brand’s patented and eco-friendly LumiBrite technology for its luminescence. Seiko has always done a fantastic job when it comes to applying lume to their various watches. Though the lume pips of the SARB017 are pretty minuscule, the dial still manages to glow impressively in the dark. However, there is one downside. While the brightness does not disappoint, there is a bit of a problem with the watch’s overall legibility. Due to how Seiko designed the pips of the SARB017, identifying where the watch hands are pointing to can be a challenge in very dark environments. For a situation like this, you would probably have to take a closer look to really puzzle out the time. On the whole, the dial is not just lovely but also pretty well-balanced. Bearing only the essentials of a traditional Seiko watch, the dial is clean, uncluttered, and easy to read and admire. Along with the inner compass bezel, the Seiko SARB017’s dial looks unique while still remaining modest and elegant to the eyes. Sapphire Glass The Seiko SARB017 uses a sapphire crystal to protect its gorgeous green dial. Knowing how luxurious this material is, it can be relatively uncommon to find sapphire glass in a watch of this category and price range. Of course, with its luxury comes quality. As many of us are aware, sapphire glass is virtually scratch-proof. Rated “9” on the Mohs scale of hardness, the scratch-resistance of sapphire glass can only be outdone by diamonds. Keep in mind, however, that the sapphire crystal of the SARB017 does not come with an anti-reflective coating, so you might find yourself impeded by light glares in brightly lit areas. The sapphire crystal is flat and slightly raised above the case, which neatly matches the simple, measured, and elegant aesthetic of this Seiko watch. Seiko Calibre 6R15 Operating beneath the beautiful emerald green dial of the Seiko SARB017 is a Seiko Calibre 6R15 movement. Like many of the brand’s in-house movements, the automatic Calibre 6R15 uses the Seiko Diashock anti-shock system. This prevents the movement’s mechanisms from accumulating excess wear and tear. Paired with a power reserve that can last the watch up to 50 hours, the Calibre 6R15 can produce a total of 21,600 vibrations per hour. In terms of its precision, the Seiko 6R15 has an accuracy of +25/-15 seconds per day. Though it is an automatic movement, the Seiko 6R15 also has manual winding and hacking capabilities, which allows wearers to adjust the time more accurately. Patterned Leather Strap Seiko pairs the SARB017 with a classic brown patterned leather strap. That said, despite its comfortable fit, many owners of the Seiko SARB017 found the leather band to be a not-so-favorite part of this watch. This is largely due to the strap’s slightly plastic feel, which makes it a little stiff to wear. Thankfully, this wristwatch has a universal 20mm lug width, which allows users to easily replace the patterned leather strap with any other kind of after-market strap of their choice. As such, you can decide to either keep the strap or swap it for some other bracelet that perfectly suits your preferences. Price Before Seiko discontinued the SARB017 in 2018, the timepiece would retail at around $450 USD to $550 USD in Japanese domestic markets. Furthermore, as a member of the prestigious Seiko Alpinist line, this Seiko wristwatch is not something you can find just anywhere. Thankfully, there are sellers online who are currently in possession of a number of Seiko SARB017 pieces. Due to its demand and rarity, dealers tend to sell this Seiko timepiece for a much higher price than retail. An unworn SARB017 would generally cost you between $890 USD and $1,400 USD. If that seems a little too expensive for your budget, do not fret, for we have also found a Seiko SARB017 in good condition, selling at just $579 USD.  Alternatives Can’t find the watch anywhere? Not a fan of certain specifications? Whatever the case may be, we have prepared for you a list of excellent alternatives that nicely match the sleek aesthetics and overall feel of the SARB017 while costing you only a little more or a little less. Note that the prices listed below are approximate values as prices can vary depending on the dealer. Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1 – $700 USD Just at a single glance, anyone can see that the Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1‘s resemblance to the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist is uncanny. Before we proceed, you might be wondering why this Seiko Prospex model has two reference numbers. To make things clear, SBDC091 is the original reference number used locally in Japan, while SPB121J1 is its international reference number. Factually speaking, both reference numbers are correct. Seiko released the SBDC091/SPB121J1 in 2020, under the Prospex line. This timepiece was dubbed the Seiko Prospex Alpinist and features a slew of refined specs and up-to-date technology while still retaining the excellent qualities of the original 2006 model. So, just what is new with the Seiko Prospex Alpinist SBDC091/SPB121J1? Several things, to be precise. First of all, this 2020 Alpinist edition is a millimeter thicker than the SARB017. Instead of having a leather strap like the previous SARB017, Seiko couples the SBDC091/SPB121J1 with a new leather band made of calfskin. The calfskin band bears a lighter shade of brown and feels much smoother and more comfortable than the 2006 variant. Aside from that, the SBDC091/SPB121J1 also carries a new and improved sapphire crystal, which Seiko has treated with a layer of anti-reflective coating. With the addition of a cyclops lens on the sapphire crystal, wearers can also have a better view of the date window. As you look at the beguiling green dial, you will notice the Seiko Prospex logo and other compact inscriptions.  The differences don’t just stop there. Underneath the dial is an automatic Seiko 6R35 Caliber that runs numerous mechanisms within the timepiece. Compared to the 6R15 Caliber of its predecessor, the slightly larger 6R35 contains 24 jewels and has a power reserve that can last a whopping 70 hours. With the addition of 20 more hours of power reserve, owners of the SBDC091/SPB121J1 will not even have to wind their watches on the weekends. Apart from those differences, the 6R35 works just as well as the 6R15. It is just as accurate in timekeeping and produces the same number of vibrations per hour. That said, another difference between the two Alpinist models lies in their rear cases. While the SARB017 uses a solid stainless steel caseback to cover its hind end, the SBDC091/SPB121J1 showcases the beauty of the Seiko 6R35 movement through a highly secure see-through rear case. Lastly, we can compare and contrast the availability of the SARB017 and the SBDC091/SPB121J1. Since Seiko ceased production of the SARB017 back in 2018, stocks are limited, which, in turn, has affected its pricing. As stated previously, most SARB017 timepieces these days can cost you anything between $890 USD and $1,400 USD. On the other hand, if you find that a little exorbitant, you can opt for the SBDC091/SPB121J1 instead. Since the SBDC091/SPB121J1 is still being produced by Seiko and is, therefore, easier to find, it retails at a more budget-friendly price of $700 USD. Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X Mechanical Field Watch – $170 USD If you are on a budget and cannot deal with the Seiko SARB017’s elevated prices, Citizen has a neat and affordable alternative for you. The Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X is a green dial compass watch that proves to be highly competitive despite its lower retail price of $170 USD. That said, compared to the Seiko SARB017, the price of the Citizen NJ2198-16X does reflect some cuts in terms of quality. So, what are we getting from this watch with the $170 USD price tag, and how exactly does it fare against the SARB017? Let us find out. The Citizen NJ2198-16X comes in a 46mm stainless steel case. It has a bottle cap rotating compass bezel with very pronounced directions and degrees printed in white. Since this is a timepiece that costs less than $200 USD, it is no surprise that the watch uses a mineral crystal instead of luxury-grade sapphire. Mineral crystals are certainly more limited in terms of resistance, but they can still handle some light scratching. Furthermore, they might actually be more impact-resistant than sapphire glass is. The NJ2198-16X also boasts a screwed-down solid steel case rear which has a smoothly polished surface and some inscriptions on its outer rim. With all its exterior components, this Citizen watch is water-resistant up to depths of 100m. Citizen pairs the NJ2198-16X with a textile black and white leather strap. Apart from sharing the same green hue, the dial of this Citizen watch is quite different from the Seiko SARB017. Its boasts sizable Arabic numerals and thick hour indices. There is not much on the dial, except for the brand signature and the “automatic” specification of its movement. The true standout of the dial is its eccentric handset. It has a stubby minute hand and a red-outlined hour hand that resembles the standard-issue dark lightsaber of The Empire in Star Wars. The second hand has a white bubble and a red tip on its end. Visually, the dial comes off as a little plainer than both the SARB017 and its 2020 re-edition. Still, it does not look bad at all, with a clean aesthetic and well-spaced elements that are easy to read. Controlling the different gears and mechanisms of the NJ2198-16X is an automatic Citizen 8210 Caliber. Held together by 21 jewels, this mechanical movement produces 21,600 vibrations per hour and is manually hackable. It also possesses a power reserve of up to 40 hours. Not bad for a $170 USD timepiece.  While the Citizen NJ2198-16X is not quite up to par compared to the Seiko SARB017, it still proves to be an efficient timekeeper at a much more affordable price. If you are on a tight budget and appreciate its looks and qualities, the Citizen NJ2198-16X remains a good option. Final Thoughts Many would consider Seiko an underrated brand, not just because of its popularity, but on account of its reputation. As many of us know, Seiko, and Grand Seiko, are known for making stellar timepieces that step up to the quality of the likes of Rolex and Omega. Unfortunately, Seiko is commonly associated with mall brands, which, does not give it the same prestigious image as other Swiss watchmakers. Those who know the Japanese brand well agree that Seiko does not get the credit it rightfully deserves. All things considered, no words can rightfully describe how astounding this Seiko watch truly is. For something as relatively affordable as it is, you cannot go wrong with the Seiko SARB017. Boasting numerous hiking capabilities while still appearing sleek and stylish, it is easy to see why everyone wants to get their hands on this brilliant Seiko timepiece. Whether it is for navigating the mountains or upping your dress game at prestigious events, the SARB017 can get the job done right. It is a shame that, with its discontinuation, this iconic watch is not so easy to find nowadays. That said, while the Seiko SARB017 is indeed a rare specimen, its alternatives, the Citizen Automatic NJ2198-16X and the Seiko Prospex SBDC091/SPB121J1, are easier to find and are pretty nifty as well. Want to learn more about watch movements? Why not check out the most iconic caliber of them all, the Valjoux/ETA 7750. All photos credited to WatchShopping.com

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  4. Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Ever since Orient entered into the world of horology, it has received a great deal of respect in the community for producing high-quality, well-designed timepieces. All of their watches are made to honor Japan’s traditions and values. When you wear a Japanese watch, it is not just about wearing it to complete your newest fashionable look. Rather, you are actually wearing a piece of the country’s state-of-the-art technology, as is the case with the Orient Kamasu Red and Orient Kamasu Green models.  Since they are both renowned Japanese brands, Orient watches are often mistaken for and even compared to Seiko watches. These two popular watchmaking brands have their own individual expertise in craftsmanship and different inspirations for producing watches. While Orient is part of the Seiko Group, they can still be considered two different brands as both are distinct when it comes to their operations and productions.  Today, let us get into the Orient Kamasu, which is one of the toughest competitors to the Seiko SKX line. Read more about the Orient Kamasu’s exceptional qualities below and see just why it is one of the most popular timepieces today. Get To Know The Orient Kamasu  The Kamasu collection got its name from a distinctive sea creature, which is the Barracuda. Barracudas are big and fearsome fishes that are widely considered to be strong and inquisitive. Its long and thin body allows it to move rapidly, at speeds of around 36 mph (58 kph). Despite its terrifying appearance, the barracuda is an animal that receives utmost interest from professional divers around the world. The Orient Kamasu mirrors the fish’s features, specifically the teeth, which are mimicked through the sharp, triangular indices and handset of the Kamasu. Since its release in 2019, the Orient Kamasu has thrived among the thousands of dive watches on the market. This is largely due to its superior elements, robust functions, and much more affordable prices compared to other brands. One of the Kamasu’s most remarkable highlights is its wearability. Most users cannot deny the fact how smooth the watch feels against the wrist. Its solid structure, with polished surfaces and no sharp edges, also gives off the impression of being very well-crafted. One improvement Orient has made with the Kamasu is that it fixes the problems of old Orient watches, such as the lack of hand-winding, hacking movement, and poor hand functions. To address these shortcomings, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a new automatic caliber that has increased accuracy of ±15 seconds from -25/+35  seconds accuracy per day and comes with a stops-second function. This caliber is used in a number of Orient Kamasu variants, including the Orient Kamasu Red Ref. RA-AA0003R19A, the Orient Kamasu Green Ref. RA-AA0004E19A, the Orient Kamasu Blue Ref. RA-AA0006L19A, and more.  Orient Kamasu’s Specifications and Overview An affordable price does not have to equate to low-quality and poor performance, and the Orient Kamasu is certainly proof of that. If you are planning to purchase a reliable dive watch, but you’re also working with a tight budget, look no further than the Orient Kamasu collection. Let us take a deeper look at its features and functions. Case Case Diameter: 41.8mmCase Thickness: 12.8mmCase Material: Stainless steelBand Width: 22mmLug-to-lug Distance: 46.8mmThe case is a crucial component of any watch, and as such Orient devoted a great deal of effort into creating a good one for the Orient Kamasu. The Kamasu has a well-proportioned case size of 41.8mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 46.8mm with a 22mm lug width, so it can fit comfortably on the wrists of both men and women. Despite being a robust watch, the Kamasu is not too bulky or sporty and is just versatile enough to fit most fashion senses. The case itself is crafted from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, with a brushed surface on top and well-polished surfaces on the sides. Stainless steel is not just anti-corrosive but is also impact-proof and able to withstand being accidentally knocked around, especially when used in everyday life. This durability makes the Orient Kamasu perfect for people with adventurous and outdoorsy lifestyles. You will also notice the Kamasu’s properly curved lugs, tucked without reaching beyond the bottom of the screw-down caseback and with no harsh edges. The curved lugs sit well on the wrist, making the experience of wearing this watch a comfortable one that will not wear your wrist out throughout the day. In addition, the brand’s craftsmanship is shown in the gradual transition from having a brushed finish to a polished finish. Using solid, dense materials like stainless steel can sometimes make a case too heavy for a wearer, especially for those with more petite wrists. However, the Orient Kamasu only weighs 6oz, or 170g, which is considered quite lightweight for a dive watch. Its overall case design is also reminiscent of a traditional sports watch, so people who prefer a sportier vibe will be quite satisfied with the Kamasu. Dial The dials in the Orient Kamasu come in a variety of colors like red, dark green, blue, and black. Perhaps the favorite of most watch enthusiasts is the wine red dial. The subtle gradient red dial with a ruby sunburst pattern shines impeccably when reflected under direct light. As mentioned, the triangular hour and minute markers, as well as the thick handset, are all inspired by the Barracuda’s sharp teeth. The second hand is the most distinctive of all, as it has a thin and long shape, stretching up to reach the minute markers and give an accurate reading of time.  All Orient Kamasu watches are equipped with day and date displays that are nicely framed at the 3 o’clock position. You can see that the numerals in the date display are perfectly sized so as to be clearly visible regardless of the lighting conditions. LumiBrite technology is also added to indices, the handset, and the day and date aperture to give you a handy glow-in-the-dark watch when in the dark. On the dial, you can find the brand’s name, logo, the water-resistance capacity of the watch, and the movement used, all delicately printed and spaced out. Unlike other dive watches, the Orient Kamasu does not come with a chapter ring that makes the dial appear larger, which is a rather unique choice. Instead, the Kamasu maintains a slim and lightweight appearance.  Crown and Bezel The Orient Kamasu also features a secure screw-down crown, placed in the customary 3 o’clock position. It has the Orient logo engraved into it, and is well-sized, just enough to be functional and easy to grip. The solid teeth-shaped ridges also help to provide the wearer a more secure hold on the crown. As with most Japan-made crowns, the crown of the Kamasu is waterproof, styled to have a long post and a direct o-ring gasket. You might observe that the Orient Kamasu’s crown is slightly smaller compared to other watch brands. This is intentionally done so that the crown will not get in the way, scratching against the wearer’s wrist or getting easily damaged. The crown is often one of the most vulnerable parts of a watch, so Orient has designed it to be slightly smaller, with secure crown guards for extra protection. In addition, the Kamasu also has a 120-click unidirectional bezel, a standard requirement for diving watches. It rotates counter-clockwise providing a safe and consistent pattern for divers to track their bottom times. That said, if you are a professional diver, you know that the deeper you dive into the depths of the ocean, the darker it is, and the poorer your visibility will be. To ameliorate this, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a luminescent bezel for accurate timekeeping even underwater. The 120-click function of the bezel also gives you better and more precise accuracy when aligning the zero markers at the bezel tip to the minute hand. Bracelet The Kamasu watches come in either stainless steel bracelets or rubber straps, depending on which model you choose to have. The stainless steel bracelets are water-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and able to withstand variations in temperature. They are easy to clean, and because of the material, do not soak up or retain any kind of sweat after thorough exercise. Stainless steel bracelets can be a little heavy on the wrist, but they are also very versatile and can blend well with almost any style.  On the other hand, if you frequently engage in water activities, rubber straps might be preferable. Rubber is best used underwater. They are built from materials like silicone and polyurethane, which tend to be more lightweight, comfortable, and incredibly resistant to water. So if you intend to regularly exercise the Orient Kamasu’s capabilities as a dive watch, you might want to opt for a rubber strap. Movement An F6922 Caliber Automatic powers all the models under the Kamasu collection. It is a self-winding, automatic movement equipped with 22 jewels. This powerful in-house movement provides functions including hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, and a day/date indicator. Orient has claimed that the movement comes with an accuracy of -15 seconds to +25 seconds a day. Of course, this depends on the surrounding temperature, as well as the winding mechanism and the dial’s position. The F6922 Caliber comes with a 40-hour power reserve, which is more than sufficient for a modern mid-range dive watch today. It also has self-winding and hacking features, which are great additions to this movement, since many other dive watches lack them. You just have to make sure to carefully maintain the accuracy of the watch by wearing it for at least eight hours a day and setting the date within the hours of 8:00pm and 4:00am. Top Orient Kamasu Watches 1. Orient Kamasu Red RA-AA0003R19A For a price of just $280 USD, you can get this beautifully masculine Orient Kamasu Red. The case of this watch is almost exactly like that of the Orient Ray II. It is 41.8mm wide and measures 46.88mm from lug to lug, large enough to fit well on any man’s wrist. The bracelet is made of 316L stainless steel with a push-button deployant clasp. The bracelet uses a solid, Oyster-style link, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. The jet-black bezel also stands out from the usual dive watches in the market, with dotted patterns in between bold white numerals. The real highlight of the Orient Kamasu Red, however, is the red sunburst pattern on the dial, especially when positioned at the right angle, and with perfect lighting. At the 3 o’clock position is the day and date aperture, enclosed in a silver frame and placed against a white background. The color combination of red, white, and silver against the wine-red dial provides a good contrast, giving the wearer a clear and visible display. 2. Orient Kamasu Blue RA-AA0002L19A Another variation of the Orient Kamasu is the model with a deep blue dial and bezel. Just like the other pieces, this can be bought for $280 USD. This price is a great deal for a dive watch, especially given its top-notch features and functions. The Orient Kamasu blue has a 41.8mm size diameter, which is great for those who want a mid-sized watch with a comfortably lightweight profile for water activities. The contrast of its smooth silver finish and royal blue bezel and dial adds a level of class and elegance, so you could easily wear this watch to more formal suit-and-tie occasions as well. As with other Kamasu watches, this Orient Kamasu Blue comes with a flat sapphire crystal. Sapphire is one of the hardest materials used in luxury watches. Not only is it scratch-resistant, but it is also durable enough to withstand impacts, cracks, and breaks, unlike glass or plastic materials. The use of sapphire gives the dial a great deal of protection. 3. Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A The Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A is the latest addition to the Kamasu collection. Despite looking strikingly different from most other Kamasu models, it retails at the same affordable price of $280 USD, making this a piece worth checking out indeed. This model of the Orient Kamasu features gold accents on its bezel, indices, and hands set that contrast handsomely with the sharp black dial and strap. A slim profile highlights the entire case, giving it an air of sophistication that makes it a good match for any outfit and occasion. This model has a different look than the others in this collection. It uses silicone as its strap material instead. Silicone is a good material for sports watches since it is highly resistant to low and high temperatures. It is also more flexible and does not hurt the wrist, especially when you are doing intense sports activities. The Orient Kamasu Black also uses an Ardillon buckle for the clasp, adding a classic and simple look that’s well-suited for men. This is a more traditional option for watchmakers who want to design an easy-to-wear watch. This kind of clasp only needs to be clipped onto the buckle and pinned securely on the wrist. It has a flatter profile, a more classic design, and is less expensive. One problem with this clasp is that the Ardillon buckle can sometimes come open while being worn, so wearers have to be careful with this watch to make sure it does not fall off unexpectedly. 4. Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A The Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A is another best-selling timepiece for men. Just like the previous watches, it has a 41.8mm stainless steel case and 47mm lug-to-lug length. For a price of $280, it showcases a dark green dial with a beautiful sunburst pattern, which changes its color depending on the reflection of light. This timepiece also comes with a matching dark green bezel, with its 60-minute scale printed on it in a contrasting white hue. The Barracuda-inspired indices of the Orient Kamasu Green are generously coated with luminous material, which is very important for a dive watch, as it guarantees optimal readability even in dim lighting conditions. A substantial power reserve of 40 hours ensures that you don’t have to constantly wind this watch to keep it running. Orient Kamasu vs Seiko SKX  Anyone interested in the horology industry knows that these two lines of Japanese watches are always compared with each other. In fact, the Orient Kamasu and Seiko SKX are likely each other’s greatest competitors in the industry of watchmaking. They both set a high standard for entry-level dive watches in the market.  Though Orient is part of the Seiko Group, it maintains itself as a distinctive brand, with its own unique timepieces and innovations. Although Orient watches tend to be of slightly inferior quality compared to Seiko timepieces, the Kamasu collection was specially designed to be an improvement on the old models, featuring cutting-edge innovation and top-notch craftsmanship. It is Orient’s crowning glory, both in terms of aesthetics and functions offered. Combined with the fact that it is available at a very competitive price, the Orient Kamasu’s superior aspects cannot be ignored by many watch collectors. So, how exactly does the Kamasu fare against the Seiko SKX? Firstly, the case of the Seiko SKX has a polished finish, with slender curves and no sharp edges. It has a slightly larger case size of 42.3mm and offers a variety of colors for the dial. And to support the inner adventurer in you, it uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, which is proven to be resistant to everyday wear and tear, to protect the dial. An ISO-certified 200-meter water resistance capacity is another great feature that the watch possesses, as wearers can bring the Seiko SKX with them to poolside diving, swimming, snorkeling, and other such water activities. The Orient Kamasu, on the other hand, is lightly brushed on the top. It features the Orient brand logo delicately carved into its case back. A closer look at the dial reveals to you a beguiling and subtle gradient texture, which is great for those who don’t want a dial with just one solid color. To protect its dial, it uses a sapphire crystal, which is also known to be extremely scratch-resistant and is commonly used in durable watches. The Kamasu watches have a smaller case size of 41.8mm, so they can be worn more comfortably by both men and women. While the Orient Kamasu does not have an ISO rating, it does feature the same 200-meter water resistance, just like the Seiko SKX. The movement used is also a big determiner in the competition between these two watches. The Kamasu’s Caliber F6922 is an innovative movement with features like hand-winding and hacking and features +25 / -15 seconds accuracy per day. The Seiko SKX, on the other hand, only provides an accuracy of +50/-20 per day and does not come with hand-winding or hacking functions. In terms of the accuracy of timekeeping and the robustness of the features offered, the Kamasu clearly wins this round. Price is yet another deciding factor between these two models. Orient retails at a lower price of $280 USD, while the Seiko SKX can be purchased for an approximate price of $400 USD. Note also that the SKX collection has been discontinued; as such, prices may change depending on the independent seller you are dealing with. Most people can tell you that Seiko SKX is a popular, historical, and established collection of dive watches. On the other hand, the Orient Kamasu is a perfect example of a new challenger, a risk-taker that gives you a better value for money. All of its watches are made to give a modern, youthful look for a wearer. Final Thoughts If you are planning to get yourself a practical and functional diver’s watch, the Orient Kamasu will definitely be a great pick for you. On the whole, it offers plenty of features for a very affordable price point. The sapphire crystal, 40-hour power reserve, hardy stainless steel case, robust Caliber F6922, handy uni-directional bezel, secure screw-down crown, and wide range of models available for your choosing are more than enough to justify the affordable $280 USD price.  The Orient Kamasu will make for a great companion during your outdoor activities. Not only does it come with many useful functions to fulfill your every need, but its versatile look, which is not too sporty or bulky, also makes it great for everyday wear. Looking for a dive watch that would allow you to explore even greater ocean depths? Check out our list of recommended Deep-Sea Dive Watches and find a watch perfect for your next deep-sea mission.  Photo credits: All photos courtesy of the brand’s official websites.

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  5. A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

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

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  6. Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Blue Rolex Submariners have been “the in-thing” for as long as watch collectors can remember. Ever since its first release, Rolex Submariners in blue have always been a big hit with the audience. No one can be exactly sure why that’s been the case. Perhaps it is simply the touch of Rolex magic? Regardless, blue-toned watches have become a staple for the Rolex crowd. They are extremely recognizable and a commodity to enthusiasts and collectors alike. One of the most iconic Rolex Submariner Blue timepieces is the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 116613LB, more commonly known as the Bluesy.  The Ref. 116613LB is a remarkable piece of luxury. It is one of Rolex’s latest and most beloved creations to date. Whether in conversations online or offline, this Rolex Submariner Blue is one of the most talked-about models in Rolex history. The Bluesy has so much to boast and has barely any faults. Many watch connoisseurs find that they simply can’t think of things to criticize this watch for. So, if there isn’t much to improve upon, how could Rolex possibly top the Ref. 116613LB? In 2020, Rolex released the successor to the Bluesy, the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB. The new Rolex Submariner Blue 126613LB features cutting-edge innovations and craftsmanship like no other. As we take a more detailed look at the new Bluesy, we will see if it truly is better than the original. Can Rolex refine a timepiece that already doesn’t disappoint? Let’s find out. Specifications Photo by Zeidman’s Watch Dimensions This addition to the Rolex Submariner line has a case diameter of 41mm, a millimeter more than standard Rolex Submariners. Although the specs show that the model is larger than average, the slimmed-down lugs and substantial bezel size make the watch appear smaller than it is. It is 12.7mm thick with a lug width of 21mm and has a lug to lug measurement of 48.1mm. Apart from the case diameter, the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB has proportions much like other Submariner models. That said, anyone who has owned a Submariner and worn it with no difficulty will have a similar experience sporting the spectacular Ref. 126613LB. Oystersteel and Yellow Gold Case and Caseback Image By: Rolex There isn’t anything that Rolex wouldn’t do to ensure a high-quality timepiece. Rolex uses a combination of beveled Oystersteel and yellow gold to produce the case of the Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB. Many Rolex enthusiasts are familiar with this iconic color scheme and refer to it as Yellow Rolesor. The term “Rolesor” is one that Rolex coined, meaning half gold and half steel. The Rolesor of the Submariner Ref. 126613LB is a blend of Rolex’s highly-regarded, durable Oystersteel and exquisite 18K gold. Rolex adopts the best properties of both materials and melds them into a perfect mixture of style and strength. The knob of the Submariner Blue Date is a screwed-down winding crown that features Rolex’s Triplock system. As its name suggests, the Triplock system makes use of a total of three gaskets to securely prevent water from leaking into the inner machinations of the watch. Simply put, this allows the crown to keep the timepiece safe underwater, whether the knob is screwed down or not. It ensures the watches are better protected and gives wearers some peace of mind knowing that their tremendously valuable timepiece is not in any danger.  Located at the rear of the timepiece is a screw-down caseback made from Oystersteel which keeps the inner mechanisms of the Rolex Submariner Blue safe. While it would have been nice to be able to view the movement at work through an exhibition caseback, a screw-down caseback is the optimal choice for greater protection. Compared to exhibition rear cases, screw-down casebacks are less vulnerable to leakages and can more effectively keep the watch safe from water damage.  Royal Blue Unidirectional Bezel Inserted on the top of the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB is a rich blue unidirectional bezel made of Cerachrom. “Cerachrom” is another word from the Rolex dictionary. It is an amalgamation of the English word “ceramic” and the Greek word “Chrom”, meaning color. At the top marker of the bezel is a luminescent bulb that provides brightness in dark environments. The ceramic bezel has its numbers and graduations overlaid with a tasteful gold coating to stand out from the blue surface of the dial. On the side of the bezel are notched edges that give an easier grip when rotating the bezel. The reason why Rolex uses ceramics instead of their renowned Oystersteel for the bezel is because of the scratch resistance. Unlike the metals used for bezels that can get scratched time and time again, ceramic bezels display a more resistant surface overall. It is scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and resistant to UV rays. The only problem with ceramic, however, is its fragility. It does not take much to break ceramic, so it is pivotal to keep the timepiece from receiving impacts. Compared to steel, ceramics are more fragile and can crack, even shatter after taking a hard bump.  Royal Blue Chromalight Dial It is impossible to deny the grandeur of the Rolex Submariner Blue’s sunburst royal blue dial. The dial is glorious, with a stellar design that shimmers and shines under all sorts of lighting conditions. On the dial are geometric hour markers and an alpha handset encased in luxurious 18K gold. The hour markers come in different shapes of circles, rectangles, and a triangle for 12 o’clock — a simple yet effective way to indicate time. Perched at the 3 o’clock position is a date window roofed by a convex cyclops lens. Rolex supplies the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with their signature Mercedes-style handset, similar to the ones found in other Submariners. The hands and hour markers are also generously coated with Chromalight to provide brightness and legibility in the dark.  Here is an intriguing detail about the Submariner Date Ref. 126612LB’s dial. Tilt the watch slightly to the side, and you can see “Rolex” engraved several times on the inner walls of the timepiece, a testament to how Rolex truly pays attention to the finest of details. The main difference this particular Rolex Submariner Blue has from the previous Bluesy is its crisp, white-colored text. Many enthusiasts and collectors welcomed the color change as it is a more satisfying contrast to the blue dial than the original gold text. Ultimately, however, it is up to the preference of the wearer which version is truly better. Another minor difference can be found at the bottom of the dial. Right below the 6 o’clock marker of the new Rolex Submariner Blue is a small “Swiss-Made” signature with a crown affixed in between. Sapphire Glass For a watch as extravagant as the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB, sapphire glass is the only option fit to shelter the striking royal blue dial. No other material does a good job of protecting the Submariner timepiece as sapphire glass. It is superbly scratch-resistant and can take a good beating compared to the other materials in its category. Positioned on the right side of the glass is a convex cyclops lens that magnifies the date aperture on the dial. Such placement allows owners of this two-tone Submariner to read the date with just a glance.   A lesser-known fact about sapphire glass is that it tends to be highly reflective. Because of that, it is typical for watchmakers to apply a layer or two of anti-reflective coating. This allows wearers to comfortably read the time without any obstructions. Although the scratch resistance of sapphire is certainly noteworthy, it is still susceptible to cracks and shattering. With that in mind, it is best to keep the Rolex Submariner Blue safe and not go knocking it around against a hard surface. Rolex Calibre 3235 Image By: Rolex Rolex equipped this blue Submariner Date with their latest mainline movement, the Caliber 3235. The Caliber 3235 is an automatic movement based on the previous in-house Caliber 3135. The 3235 features a precision of -2/2+ seconds per day, which is incredibly accurate even by Rolex’s standards. In making their latest caliber, Rolex didn’t just make some minor adjustments. Rather, they heavily modified every aspect of the 3135 to create an upgraded Caliber 3235 that is even more efficient and reliable. That said, just what changes and improvements were made to the 3235? First, we will address the oscillator. The Calibre 3235 uses a paramagnetic Parachrom Bleu Hairspring to oscillate the balance wheel. While the hairspring isn’t entirely new, it has undergone a series of upgrades and fine-tuning. As a result, it runs with more enhanced isochronism and is ten times more accurate. Rolex used a blend of zirconium and niobium to create the alloy of the revamped hairspring. These elements give the hairspring greater resistances to magnetism, corrosion, and varying temperatures. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers also work to dampen the rebound and compression of the hairspring. A traversing bridge secures the shock absorbers and reinforces the shock resistance even further. Rolex was also able to improve the power reserve of the 3235. The caliber can now last approximately three days. With the inclusion of the bidirectional self-winding feature, you could power the watch with a simple movement of your wrist. An incredible thing to note about this improvement is that Rolex achieved the enhanced power reserve by simply slimming down the walls of the mainspring barrel. The most significant improvement to the 3235 is its highly innovative Chronergy escapement. The escapement is what regulates the power delivered by the mainspring from the oscillator. When it comes to upgrading movements, one of the most delicate things to improve upon is the Swiss lever escapement. After much research and testing, Rolex came up with an escapement innovation that offers 15% more efficiency. Rolex also used nickel-phosphorus in developing the new escapement, allowing it to be more resistant to magnetism.  31 jewels hold the caliber 3235’s mechanisms to keep them from undergoing excess friction. The 3235 also has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, which is the ideal standard for modern luxury watches. Oystersteel Bracelet Another thing that makes Rolex timepieces remarkable is that every aspect has a certain standard of quality, even the bracelet. With the Rolex Submariner Blue’s bracelet, the first thing that draws our attention is the Yellow Rolesor pattern. Its design dates back to the 1930s and is present in the bracelets of many Oyster Perpetual models, such as the highly recognizable Rolex Datejust. Despite its age, it still proves to be a timeless look to this day. In addition, the Oystersteel material of the bracelet is exceedingly resistant to corrosion, which enhances its durability. The bracelet uses the Rolex Glidelock system, which allows users to freely and precisely expand the band up to 20mm. The system comes equipped with a flip-lock extension which allows wearers to further adjust the bracelet by an additional 26mm. Such measures are necessary to ensure divers and non-divers can wear the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with a comfortable and secure fit. Finally, a folding Oysterlock clasp fastens the bracelet cozily around the wearer’s wrist. The lock bears the iconic logo of the company and adds a sense of sophistication to the bracelet.  Water Resistance This blue Rolex Submariner Date also possesses a water resistance of 300m or nearly a thousand feet. The timepiece is COSC certified and has received Superlative Chronometer status after further testing in Rolex’s facilities. A luxury watch with 300m water resistance can effortlessly handle activities such as showering, swimming, snorkeling, and even recreational diving. This Rolex Submariner Blue can go to depths that reach the proximity of saturation diving but bear in mind that it has its limits. If you’re looking for a timepiece built for excellent underwater reliability even in the deepest waters, the Rolex Sea-Dweller might be a better choice.  An Alternative If you want a spectacular dive watch that isn’t a Rolex, here is an alternative that could more or less fit the bill. Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm Ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001 The Submariner and the Seamaster have gone at it for a long time. Whether it comes to cameos in James Bond movies or the actual horology industry, Rolex and Omega are nothing short of rivals. As expected, Omega has its own contender in competition with the latest blue Submariner of Rolex. In 2018, Omega unveiled their most recent 42mm Seamaster Diver Master Chronometer. The new Seamaster has a proficient set of qualities that match Rolex’s Ref. 126613LB.  Similarities to the Submariner First and foremost, the Seamaster is a self-winding watch that also uses kinetic energy to supply power to itself. It features a helium decompression system which allows the timepiece to release helium when worn during long dives. The installation of the helium escape valve makes the Seamaster a professional choice for underwater exploration. As an added benefit, the crown is self-locking and securely screwed in to offer better water resistance.  The Seamaster also makes use of a high-quality stainless steel case and a ceramic unidirectional bezel. Being unidirectional ensures accuracy to a diver, and the ceramic plating will reduce any chances of scratches staying on its surface. The Omega timepiece also received COSC certification for its performance, durability, and resistance to magnetism.  Differences Between the Submariner and the Seamaster Now that we are aware of the similarities between these two dive watches, what exactly does the Omega Seamaster do differently? Aside from having Omega’s signature wave dial, the Seamaster utilizes the Caliber 8800. Just like the Rolex 3235, this in-house Omega movement features more efficiency and preciseness in operation. The Caliber 8800 is METAS certified as a Master Chronometer — the highest standard for accuracy. For calibers to attain this status, watches must be COSC certified and undergo eight additional tests. What makes this certification more impressive is that timepieces must undergo these tests twice. Although Rolex’s 3235 is not METAS certified, it possesses a more efficient power reserve and beat frequency than the Caliber 8800. On the other hand, the Caliber 8800 contains 35 jewels to hold the movement and boasts a higher rating of 15,000 gausses of anti-magnetism. Another difference is the usage of sapphire. For the Seamaster, Omega furnished both the front and the rear with sapphire glass. The watch has a dome-shaped sapphire crystal to protect the dial and a transparent sapphire caseback to protect the back of the watch. Since the caseback is see-through, wearers can view the Caliber 8800 in all its glory. Putting everything together, the Omega Seamaster puts together lots of convenience with a considerable amount of elegance. Both the Submariner and Seamaster are excellent watches, but if you’re more of an Omega fan, then the latest Seamaster is also a splendid choice. A Fun Fact About the Seamaster Did you know that in the trailer of the latest instalment of 007 (No Time to Die), you can see Daniel Craig wear the 42mm Seamaster as his trusty timekeeper? His watch is the same model but of a different reference number. The exact reference Mr. Bond uses is 210.22.42.20.01.001. It is safe to say that we will see more of the Omega Seamaster in action once the movie finally releases. Let’s hope that Mr. Bond doesn’t break the watch. Then again, he probably has the money and the methods to get another one. Final Thoughts The 126613LB is most certainly a fine addition to the Rolex Submariner Blue series. With its astounding qualities and beguiling design, the blue Rolex Submariner Date is pretty much one of the best options out there. Like all Submariners, owners can sport this marvelous timekeeper on any occasion. Moreover, the Rolex Submariner Date 126613LB is always ready to deliver optimal performance with an added sense of sophistication. It is as beautiful as it is practical. The latest iteration of the Rolex Bluesy is, without a doubt, a stunning work of craftsmanship and innovation.  Need a more affordable diver watch? Have a look at the classy Orient Mako II? Featured Image By Rolex

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  7. Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    If you are familiar with the world of watches, then you know that there is more to the industry than Swiss timepieces. Countries like Germany, Denmark, the United States, and others are becoming more and more known for their expertise in watchmaking. However, if there is one country that’s almost as well-recognised as Switzerland when it comes to horology, it would probably be Japan. Longstanding Japanese brands, like Seiko and Casio, are proof of how well the Japanese have mastered the craft. While it may seem like a competition, the watchmaking industry is a place of innovative cooperation and coexistence, and Citizen is the perfect embodiment of this. Many view this brand as the perfect mix of Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship, but we’ll get more into that later. If this has piqued your interest, then read on because we’ll be talking about Citizen Watches and in particular, their Citizen NY0040 model in this article.  Citizen: A Brief History  Citizen’s origin dates back to a little over 100 years ago in 1918. A jeweler named Kamekichi Yakamazi established a watch manufacturing firm called the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. The interesting thing about this firm is that Yakamazi was able to acquire Swiss machines and instruments for his company from watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid. This is where the idea of Citizen as a product of both Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship began. A couple of years down the line, and the Shokosha Watch Research Institute changed their name to the one they’re still known for today: Citizen Watch Company. This change was brought about by an ambitious goal in which they hoped to equip every citizen in Japan with a watch produced by them. Just like any other origin story, Citizen also went through their fair share of triumphs and obstacles throughout the years.  The Japanese manufacturer had a relatively strong start but certain unfortunate events happened, specifically the 2nd World War, which negatively affected the whole economy. While this was a devastating time for many individuals and businesses, it also became an avenue for a fresh start. After the war, Citizen decided to introduce themselves to the rest of the world under the name the Citizen Trading Company. This new moniker highlighted how their goals had shifted from being a Japanese-centric company to one that is more focused on showcasing their craft globally.  One of the defining moments for Japanese watchmaking was the onset of the Quartz Revolution back in the 70s. Seiko is known to be the first brand to ever release a quartz watch and Citizen followed their footsteps just a couple of years later. This opened up countless opportunities for Citizen which eventually led to greater success and more milestones for the brand. From groundbreaking digital models to the first-ever solar-powered watch, the Japanese company has focused on developing their technology to become the renowned name they are today.  Come the 21st century and Citizen has proved that they are not messing around. They’ve engaged in a massive expansion of their assets, purchasing well-known brands and watch groups like Bulova, Frédérique Constant, Arnold & Son, and more. The Japanese brand is also famous for its partnerships and collaborations with sports institutes, sports teams, and even Disney. When it comes to reputation, they are highly regarded today for their sustainable, eco-friendly, and reliable timepieces.  All About the Citizen Promaster The specific model we’ll be talking about in this article belongs to Citizen’s Promaster line. Before we delve into the Citizen NY0040 itself, let’s take a closer look at the Promaster collection.  The Citizen Promaster is regarded as one of the best that the brand has to offer. It consists of a selection of sports (and diving) watches that showcase Citizen’s technological prowess. The Promaster was officially launched in 1989, although some argue that this line actually dates back to the late 1950s when the Citizen Parashock and Parawater models came out. Regardless, there were 3 different Promaster models released in 1989: the Promaster Aqualand, the Promaster Altrichron, and the Promaster Sky. These pieces were specifically designed for professionals who were constantly in harsh environments whether it be land, air, or sea. It was marketed as the result of Citizen’s unwavering research and innovations in the last few decades.  Since then, this series has been home to numerous revolutionary pieces such as the Promaster Navihawk, the Promaster Amphibian, the Promaster Cyber Aqualand, and lots more.  What is the Citizen NY0040?  The Citizen NY0040, also known as the Promaster NY0040, was first launched back in 1997. It is a widely known model, especially within the watch community because of its distinctive physical features. Despite being released over 20 years ago, the NY0040 is surprisingly still being offered today, albeit with slight variations from the original. To the unfamiliar eye, this watch might seem like any other sports watch in the market, especially since it has aesthetic attributes similar to that of a typical diving model. However, there is definitely more than meets the eye with this timepiece simply because Citizen always manages to add a splash of Japanese workmanship to its pieces. Everything about the Citizen NY0040 is an expert Japanese take on sports watches, so you know it’s built to last. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?   Citizen Promaster NY0040 Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Diameter: 42mm Case Thickness:12mm Strap Material: Rubber (Urethan) Movement: Automatic | Miyota Calibre 8203 Power Reserve: 45 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior: Case & Bracelet The Citizen NY0040 actually comes in two variations — the NY0040-09EE and the NY0040-17LE — with the first sporting a mostly traditional black look and the second mostly in blue. Just like most sports watches, this model sports quite a rugged exterior but with an aura of professional class at the same time. It is a versatile piece that would look great with an everyday outfit or even a smart-casual ensemble. The Citizen NY0040 comes in a stainless steel case that has a diameter of 42mm, a thickness of 12mm, and 20mm lugs. These numbers may seem intimidating but it is in fact an ideal size for a men’s diving watch. Furthermore, it also has a one-way rotating aluminium bezel in smooth matte black with a luminescent pip in lieu of the 60-minute marker. The material and the design of the gear-shaped edges of the bezel were chosen for optimal visibility and ease of use when underwater.  Moving on, the dial is protected by mineral crystal glass which has scratch-resistant properties. On the rear of the watch is a solid caseback with engravings of the Citizen Promaster logo and other information regarding the specifications of the watch. One of the most distinctive features of the NY0040 is the position of its crown. In most watches, the crown is placed at the 4 o’clock position but this model has its crown on the opposite side at 8 o’clock. This was purposefully done to cater to left-handed individuals whilst also providing better comfort in general.  Lastly, the Citizen NY0040 comes with a high-quality rubber strap which is perfect for the harsh conditions of diving. Bracelets and straps are very important things to consider, especially when you’re looking for a durable sports timepiece. Rubber is the usual choice of strap when it comes to dive watches, while leather and steel are not recommended. Another great thing about the NY0040’s strap is that it has no-decompression limits, making it incredibly durable at any depth. Overall, making use of a rubber strap for the NY0040 was definitely a conscious decision on Citizen’s part in order to promote better functionality and reliability.  Dial The focus on ease of use did not stop with the materials and exterior of the Citizen NY0040. Each and every component in the dial was also designed with readability and comfort in mind. If you are familiar with watches, all you need is a single glance at the dial to know that the NY0040 is indubitably a diver’s watch. As mentioned, the NY0040 comes in classic shades of either black or blue, with both variants sporting a matte finish to avoid reflective light glares. It follows a typical analog layout with big luminescent hands and hour markers in various shapes. You can also find a day and date display at 3 o’clock. This aperture is presented as a black background with red text to indicate the day and white text for the date, adding a splash of color that to the dial that makes for better readability.  While most of the elements in the dial scream “diving watch”, it is also clear that Citizen kept the Citizen NY0040 versatile enough to be used both on land and underwater. It is a great option for people, especially divers, who don’t like changing their watches on a daily basis.  Movement The newest Citizen NY0040 is powered by a Miyota 8203 caliber automatic movement. It consists of around 21 jewels to reduce excessive wear and tear and has a frequency of 21600 beats per hour, which boasts a relatively high accuracy. Lastly, it has an impressive power reserve of 45 hours.  Citizen NY0040 vs Seiko SRP367 Baby Tuna The Citizen NY0040 is often compared with the Seiko SKX007 but, today, let’s switch it up by putting it against the ever-so-popular Seiko Baby Tuna. Both are renowned sports watches but today, we’ll see which is the better diver.  Seiko SRP637 ‘Baby Tuna’ Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Case Dimension: 47.5mm x 13.5mm x 50mm Strap: Stainless Steel  Movement: Automatic Power Reserve: 42 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior With a case diameter of 47.5mm, the Seiko Baby Tuna is definitely heftier than the Citizen NY0040. The Seiko Baby Tuna also looks a lot more robust and rugged compared to the NY0040, which leans towards a more classic sports watch style. Both are made from hardy stainless steel and have unidirectional bezels with luminous pips at the 60-minute marker. A key difference between the two, however, is that the Baby Tuna has a crown at 4 o’clock while the Citizen NY0040’s crown is at 8 o’clock. In addition, the NY0040 has a mineral crystal to protect the dial while the Baby Tuna makes use of Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal.  In terms of the strap, the Seiko Baby Tuna comes with a stainless steel bracelet while the Citizen NY0040 has a rubber strap. As mentioned, this is a crucial factor because some strap materials are more ideal for diving than others. However, it should be noted that the Baby Tuna has a clasp with a folding expansion feature which allows for a more snug fit around your wrist, even when you are wearing a wet suit.   Dial Moving on to the dial area, both models follow a standard dive watch layout with an analog display. Just like the Citizen NY0040, the Seiko SRP637 also has large, luminescent hands and hour markers. However, the Seiko Baby Tuna uses rectangular shapes while the NY0040 has mostly circular ones. Lastly, the Seiko model has a day and date window with a stark white background and black text while the NY0040 has one with a black background.  Technical Specifications When it comes to features and functions, it is safe to say that both are equally impressive. The two models each offer water-resistance of up to 200 meters and power reserves of over 40 hours. Both are also equipped with in-house Japanese calibers that follow automatic movements.  Prices This is probably where they differ most. The Seiko Baby Tuna SRP637 is priced at over $800 USD online today while the Citizen NY0040 retails at not more than $250 USD.  Verdict It is undeniable that both timepieces are excellent but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you consider worth it or not. In this case, I would have to go with Citizen NY0040 because it’s the more classic and sophisticated model between the two. It is an amazing diver’s watch but it’s also very versatile which means you can wear it on a variety of occasions. The best part is you get great functions and design without having to break the bank, as opposed to the Seiko Baby Tuna, which is considerably more expensive than the NY0040. Who should buy the Citizen NY0040?  Citizen Patrons. If you’re a fan of Citizen, then owning any piece from the Promaster collection is definitely the dream, given its rich history. Out of Citizen’s diverse catalogue, the NY0040 is one of their most recognizable models and it has been in the market for over 20 years now. The fact that it is still available today and is loved by so many just shows how well this timepiece has withstood the test of time. With that being said, the NY0040 is certainly a must-have for Citizen patrons out there! Professional and Leisure Divers. The Citizen NY0040 is a great starter watch for both professional and casual divers out there. It has all the elements and components of a great diving watch and it boasts quality Japanese craftsmanship as well. You get precision, ease of use, durability, and easy readability for under $300 USD. Sports Watch Enthusiasts. For individuals who are just in the beginning stages of their sports watch collection, the Citizen NY0040 is an excellent choice to consider. The NY0040 has a good story and rich heritage behind it, plus it belongs to a highly-regarded watch series from a renowned brand. Furthermore, this model is a popular one among the watch community so it makes for a great conversation topic. Final Thoughts  The Citizen NY0040 is a versatile-looking sports watch that’s equipped with equally excellent features. The Japanese brand truly found the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics with this timepiece. It is perfectly understandable why it is still being produced and sold in the market even after over two decades. Ultimately, the Citizen NY0040 is a great model to own regardless of whether you’re a diver or not.  If you’re interested in Japanese timepieces, make sure to read our article on The Orient Mako II. Photo Credits: Citizen Official Website

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  8. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    In 2018, Grand Seiko celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of the iconic in-house caliber 9S automatic movement. With this celebration came the release of new, upgraded limited edition timepieces, to the delight of many fans. These are all models that are definitely made for luxury, using top-tier materials, and designed with undeniable finesse. Among the watches released for the 20th anniversary of the caliber 9S, the platinum VFA watch and the Special Standard gold timepiece stand out. These two models are — without a doubt — more expensive than other watches during the drop. However, the most stunning piece, without a doubt, is the Grand Seiko SBGH267. This timepiece displays Grand Seiko’s excellence when it comes to crafting stainless steel watches. It simply isn’t possible to find a Grand Seiko watch that’s subpar in the design department. The company prides itself on producing high-quality, meticulously designed watches that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. Even among the catalog of exquisite and lavish luxury watches the Grand Seiko has, however, the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is still a standout. This watch is magnificently simple at its finest. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 alone would be pointless without touching on the caliber 9S itself. How can a movement be so iconic that it deserved a new, updated release even 20 years later? Let’s examine the beginnings of Grand Seiko, how the company came up with the caliber 9S, and how it has influenced the creation of the Grand Seiko SBGH267. What makes this movement so iconic? History of the Caliber 9S The release of the in-house caliber 9S is one of Grand Seiko’s most prominent milestones and for good reason. For a long time, it was the standard movement used in all Grand Seiko watches. The caliber 9S’s excellent performance and innovative design made it a favorite in the horology community. The creation of this movement is one of the many achievements that truly put Grand Seiko on the map as a brand that could compete with more prominent Swiss luxury brands, proving that Grand Seiko is just as much about top-of-the-line innovation as it is about luxurious designs. Let’s take a closer look at Grand Seiko and how the caliber 9S really came to be. The Beginnings of Grand Seiko When Grand Seiko launched, Seiko Corporation had already made a name for itself in the Japanese market as a manufacturer of clocks and gauges. Seiko Corporation was well on its way to carving out an important place in the watch industry. In order to promote competition within the corporation, which would lead to improved and better quality products for all of the Seiko brand, the company opened two subsidiaries. These subsidiaries were named Suwa Seikosha and Daini Seikosha, and each operated completely independently of the other. Seiko’s strategy worked, as the competition between the two subsidiaries pushed each to come up with more out-of-the-box thinking and present different solutions to horological challenges. As a result, Seiko was met with increasing success as a horological innovator. Among the two subsidiaries, Suwa Seikosha was the more prominent name, and it was Suwa Seikosha that came up with Grand Seiko in 1960. However, ultimately, the inventions and efforts of both subsidiaries were crucial to the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand. In 1960, Suwa Seikosha created the first Grand Seiko watch, known simply as the Grand Seiko (GS) 1960, fitted with the caliber 3180 movements. This movement was the first chronometer-grade caliber produced in Japan. Such a watch, of course, cost a great deal. In today’s dollars, it cost around $3,500 USD. This was quite an exorbitant price for Seiko Corporation, which had, up till then, produced mainly mid-range watches. However, this soon became the standard of Grand Seiko watches — luxury watches that were more expensive than the offerings from its sister brand Seiko, that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watches. Grand Seiko’s Milestones The Grand Seiko 1960 was an impressive watch, even by today’s standards. The watch had a two-phase regulator mechanism. It was also outfitted with a hacking mechanism, which means that the movement could be instantly stopped when you pulled on the crown. This allowed you to more accurately set the time of the watch. Suwa Seikosha, however, was insatiable and constantly seeking new ways to improve upon this watch. In 1963, Suwa developed the 57GS. It is a low-bear hand-wound wristwatch released under the Grand Seiko brand. The 57GS is far different from the first-generation GS. With the 57GS, Suwa innovated by creating a luxury wristwatch encased within a stainless steel case. Keep in mind that this watch was launched in 1963. The first Swiss luxury watch with a stainless steel case — the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — wouldn’t be released for another 9 years, making Suwa a true pioneer with the design of the 57GS. The 57GS has a screw-down caseback, replacing the old snap-back crown of the first-generation Grand Seiko. As a result, it provided better water resistance, up to depths of 50 meters. It also featured an automatically changing date. The movement also earned its certification as a chronometer. In 1966, certain changes were made to the 57GS movement. Suwa increased the beat rating of the movement to 19,800 from 18,000, but the movement also lost its chronometer certification. In 1966, the 62GS was launched. The 62GS’s design stood out with its tiny crown unusually positioned at 4 o’clock. It was also the first Grand Seiko watch to function with an automatic movement. At the time, Grand Seiko had already become a popular choice, not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world. From there, the innovations from the brand just kept pouring in, building further upon the reputation of Grand Seiko as a quality manufacturer of luxury watches that constantly sought to upgrade itself. Launching the Caliber 9S Now, the previous few watches from the brand that we’ve discussed were definitely game-changers. They placed Grand Seiko firmly on the map as a luxury watch brand to keep an eye on. However, the Grand Seiko’s distinctive style wasn’t quite there yet. We’re talking about the distinguishing aesthetics and physical design of Grand Seiko watches. Sure, GS had already released a number of luxury timepieces but they were very much a callback to the conservative designs popularized by Swiss brands. So, in 1967, the company launched the 44GS — the watch that truly defined the Grand Seiko’s own style. There are three main features from the 44GS that made the brand stand out from its competition. It was a truly iconic watch that allowed light to play beautifully off its surface no matter the day, time, or place. Firstly, the 44GS features flat surfaces that are true to their definitions — two-dimensional and extremely flat. Within the dial, the hands and hour markers of the watch were also designed to be wide and flat on the surface of the dial. However, the polished edges of the watch still allowed light to reflect off them well. Finally, the 44GS had distortion-free mirrored surfaces achieved through Zaratsu polishing. On top of its high-precision calibers, Grand Seiko made a step forward with the 44GS by improving upon their watches’ aesthetic designs, making them truly worthy of the luxury status. From there, the company took a break due to the debut and increasing popularity of quartz movements. For the next 30 years, Grand Seiko took a backseat to let Seiko ride the tides to greatness with their quartz watches. However, this break didn’t cause Grand Seiko to disappear. Instead, the brand took its time to enhance the performance of its mechanical calibers. Grand Seiko used various tests to improve upon the performance of their movements. Moreover, their engineers and designers created a new balance spring that featured a special curved shape. These innovations resulted in the launch of a brand new mechanical caliber, the 9S5 series, which was first launched in 1998. The Caliber 9S Series The 9S5 caliber proved to be a great addition to Grand Seiko. In later developments, the brand also produced a new SPRON alloy for the mainspring as well as a new escapement, perfected with the advanced Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. New Caliber 9S versions continued to be released with different upgrades, such as the 9S6 with its 72-hour power reserve. The 9S8 also proved impressive with an improved 10-beat movement. The 9S caliber series proved to be the new Grand Seiko standard, with impressive accuracy that went beyond simple chronometer certification. Truly, it was on a different scale from the 1966 standards set by its predecessor. 20th Anniversary Models To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 9S mechanical caliber, Grand Seiko launched three new, limited-edition models of Grand Seiko watches in 2018. Each contained a different, special and newly-released 9S caliber movement, encased within distinctive 20mm cases. The first model is a Hi-Beat 36,000 VFA Ref. SBGH265J. This watch, which comes in a platinum case, is a truly rare collector’s piece, with only 20 pieces released on the market. It bears the V.F.A. initials on the dial, which stands for Very Fine Adjusted. This abbreviation was first used in 1969. This abbreviation refers to the precision rate of the caliber, that exceeds that of the Grand Seiko Standard. Powered by the 9S85 Hi-Beat 36,000 Caliber, it boasts an accuracy rate of +3 to -1 seconds per day. Then, there’s the Hi-Beat 36000 Special Ref. SBGH266J. Now, this is a classy yellow-gold watch, limited to only 150 pieces. This watch contains the movement commonly known as the Grand Seiko Special Standard. That means that the watch has an accuracy of around +4 to -2 seconds per day. Finally, the main star of our article: the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Ref. SBGH267G. It features a clean, traditional stainless steel case. Grand Seiko only released 1,500 pieces of this watch. The SBGH267G’s movement features a different, unusual oscillating weight made from titanium and tungsten. This weight comes in exquisite blue, due to anodic oxidation, which generates an oxide film via the process of electrolysis. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Grand Seiko SBGH267G, and all the great features it brings to the table. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 The Grand Seiko SBGH267 Limited Edition truly has its wonderful features, whether that’s due to the exquisite Grand Seiko design or the outstanding and distinctive movement. There’s something special about this stainless steel offering that makes it even more appealing than its higher-priced siblings. For sure, the VFA model in platinum and the Special Standard in gold are both true collector’s items. However, the SBGH267, with its more classic Grand Seiko look and equally outstanding performance, is the one that watch enthusiasts should really keep their eye on. First Impressions Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that this is a quality watch. We do have a lot of expectations with this watch, however. It’s a Grand Seiko watch with an iteration of the 9S and that alone bears more weight than it just being a limited edition watch. 9S is the first movement the Grand Seiko has released after 40 years of staying still. It features 36,000 vibrations per hour. The SBGH267 itself not overly fancy but its clean, professional exterior made from stainless steel is definitely luxurious, from its look to its texture and feel. Sure, the gold and the platinum models might seem more elegant at first glance. However, this is an equally refined offering with little details that truly make it a luxury watch hailing from the east. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Specs Before we get to our complete review of this watch, let’s first take a look at its specifications: Model: Hi-Beat 36000, Caliber 9S 20th Anniversary Limited EditionReference Number: SBGH267Case Diameter: 39.5 mmCase Thickness: 13 mmCase Material: Stainless steel, Zaratsu polishedIndexes: Baton, laser polishedDial Color: Deep blueWater Resistance: 100 meters, 330 feet, 10ATMStrap/Bracelet: Three-link stainless steel bracelet Movement Caliber: 9S85Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, datePower Reserve: 55 hoursFrequency: 5 Hz (36,000 vph)Accuracy: +5 to -3 seconds per day Jewels: 37Diameter: 28.4 mmWinding: Automatic winding with tungsten and anodized titanium oscillating weightInformation: MEMS fabricated skeletonized escape wheel with micro-oil reservoir teeth, and MEMS fabricated skeletonized leverChronometer Certification: Grand Seiko Hi-Beat internally controlled Case The case of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is quite similar to the two other watches from the limited edition drop. Each watch carries a similar Grand Seiko Style that no other brand could emulate. We’re talking about the unusual designs we mentioned earlier — two-dimensional, impossibly flat and thin, and mirror-like in polish. In particular, Grand Seiko’s method of polishing their watches can only be achieved through Zaratsu polishing. Zaratsu polishing has existed even before the beginnings of Grand Seiko. During the 1950s, the Hayashi Seiko factory had a polishing machine that had the words GEBR.SALLAZ engraved on it. This is the very place where a great deal of Grand Seiko watches are being manufactured. GEBR. stands for a German word that means “brothers.” Meanwhile, SALLAZ was the family name of the company that had built the machine. Indeed, the word Zaratsu was derived from the way the Japanese pronounced SALLAZ. This polishing machine became prominent for one very clear reason. Instead of the sides of the rotating disc used to polish watches, the machine uses the front of the disk to polish the surfaces of the case watch. This allowed for a very distinct polish that provides exceptionally crisp case lines and a mirror-like reflection to whoever is looking at the case of the watch. No distortions, no weird faces. This method of polishing became what we popularly know today as the Zaratsu polishing. Now, not everyone can achieve this, that’s why it’s so unique to the Grand Seiko brand. Only the machine and Grand Seiko’s master craftsmen can make this work. Dial The dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 has a very unique motif. On the dial, you can find spiral engraving with letters of the Grand Seiko logo, along with the mark of Daini Seikosha. Daini is the other half of Grand Seiko and was responsible for developing the first Hi-Beat movement. The company is now known as Seiko Instruments Inc. The design of the dial is unparalleled; it comes in an exquisite, textured deep blue color like no other. What we love about this design is that it successfully invokes luxury and class without having to use any precious metals at all. It doesn’t come in the usual gold, platinum, or even silver that is frequently used in luxury watches. It’s just a blue dial with a really great design that speaks for itself and adds even more dimension to an already impressive watch. Furthermore, as you might’ve noticed, the baton hands are not simply rectangular metal markers applied on the dial. They’re also raised to a height that adds volume and layers to an otherwise minimalistic watch. Even the date aperture comes with the same three-dimensional design, protruding out from the face of the dial. Once again, this is where the Grand Seiko Style comes in. You can see the light play off every part of the watch — the shadows on the engraved dial, as well as the reflections on the sharp, polished edges of every marker and hand. The GS logo at the 12 o’clock position and the second hand both come in fine gold. It allows both to stand out from the stainless steel casing and markers, as well as the blue dial, giving the watch an aura of sophistication. Movement Now, the dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is already very impressive. However, there’s nothing like a high-quality movement to make it all better. We’ve already gone through the makings and history of the 9S movements. Since this watch a tribute to that, we know that the same movement powers this watch. It displays a high level of accuracy and precision, as well as a power reserve that lasts up to 55 hours. The 9S85 caliber movement on this watch doesn’t have quite the same accuracy and precision as the Very Fine Adjusted or Special models. However, Grand Seiko fans know that the performance of Grand Seiko movements frequently outperforms the standards which are promised. Grand Seiko watches are always better in practice than on the brochure, and this is no different. It is worth noting, though, that the movement of the SBGH267 stands out from the others as a particularly beautiful deep blue-colored movement that matches the blue motif of the dial. It has an anodized titanium and tungsten rotor as can be seen on the see-through caseback. This is very similar to the rotor of the 10th Anniversary GMT Grand Seiko. Although its caliber underperforms slightly compared to the Very Fine Adjusted and Special models, its gorgeous hue and more affordable pricing make the SBGH267 a very good deal still. Pricing The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a limited edition, Hi-Beat watch. That means that it’s bound to have a fairly high asking price. With only 1,500 editions available, it costs around 6,300 USD in retail. Now, that’s what you get for a luxurious, well-made, bang-for-the-buck wristwatch from Grand Seiko. Compared to other models like Rolex, the price isn’t that exorbitant and it definitely has a promising future ahead of it. Is the Grand Seiko SBGH267 a great investment piece? The easy answer to this question is yes. The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a great investment piece. This isn’t only because it’s a limited edition, though. For a long time, since the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand, its watches have long been in the line of sight of collectors. This adds the SBGH267 to the same pedestal. Indeed, reports have shown that, in the years after its release, collectors are certainly keen to pay more than the retail price of this timepiece just to own it. Right now, you can purchase one for around 8,800 to 9,000 USD. And that’s just a couple years since its debut. We look forward to seeing just how this watch will be valued in the future — we certainly expect it to just keep rising! Grand Seiko SBGH267: Accuracy and Grandeur in One Perfect Package This release from Grand Seiko is definitely one for the books. It displays everything we expect from the brand — an equally luxurious and functional watch without the sky-high prices of Swiss brands. What we can see with this watch is the future of Japanese luxury watch manufacturers. The SBGH267 forces Swiss watch purists to look their way and see just what else Grand Seiko has in store for the horology community. Can’t get enough of Grand Seiko? Learn 3 reasons why we love Grand Seiko! Photo credits: All photos courtesy of Grand Seiko’s official website.

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  9. Valjoux 7750 – Valjoux’s Greatest Invention

    Valjoux 7750 – Valjoux’s Greatest Invention

    No wristwatch is complete without its movement. The movement is one of the most fundamental components of any timepiece. Quite simply, it is the mechanism that keeps your watch ticking. Without it, your wristwatch would be dead.   Every watch enthusiast has their own opinions on their favorite and least-preferred movements. That being said, one of the most talked-about watch movements in the history of horology is the Valjoux 7750. Some argue that the Valjoux 7750 is one of the most exceptional chronograph movements ever made. Others, on the other hand, would say that the movement is cheap, generic, and, to an extent, outdated. Indeed, the debate over the Valjoux 7750 has gone on for years. With that said, let’s find out more about Valjoux and the making of the 7750. In addition, we will also learn about what is inside the Valjoux 7550 and how it acquired its reputation. By taking a closer look at this movement, we’re going to show you just which side of the debate was right about the Valjoux 7750 after all. Valjoux – The Foundation of Many Photo from eBay Valjoux is a Swiss manufacturer renown for producing quality mechanical watch movements. Valjoux derived its name from the original address of the company, located in Joux Valley, which is otherwise known as Vallée de Joux. Valjoux was an independent manufacturer until they joined AUSAG in 1931. AUSAG, now known as Swatch Group, is a conglomerate that took in numerous independent movement manufacturers. Many of the manufacturers AUSAG has bought throughout the years are extremely well-known names. These include, among others, Blancpain, Hamilton, Longines, Oris, and of course, Valjoux. The competition over the creation of newer, more innovative, and more technologically advanced movements has always been an intense one in the watch industry. In 1969, Zenith released the El Primero, a new chronograph watch that possessed the most precise automatic movement they ever invented. Dubois Depraz, in collaboration with Breitling, Tag Heuer, and Hamilton, also unveiled their latest ground-breaking movement, which they called the Chronomatic movement. While these were all brainchildren that rocked the waters of the horology field, none of them could compare to the revolutionary quartz tidal wave that changed the landscape forever. Quartz Crisis – End of an Era  From the moment it emerged on the market in the early 1970s, the quartz movement has dominated the market with an iron fist. After just a few years, most people were turning to their Seikos and other quartz-operated timepieces, while the old mechanical wristwatches were left at home gathering dust. The quartz movement proved to be the nightmare of every traditional Swiss movement manufacturer. Not only were quartz movements incredibly accurate in keeping time, but they were also much cheaper to make. With such heavy competition, Valjoux had to think of something quick. They hired a young watchmaker named Edmond Capt to provide them with a movement that could compete with Zenith, Dubois, and most importantly, the all-powerful quartz movement. What they needed was a sturdy and dependable movement that was easy to manufacture. In addition, the new movement had to be chronograph-rated and feature a quick-set day and date function. Their expectations were high and Edmond had to meet their requirements as soon as possible.  Thankfully, Capt was a quick thinker. He made use of the Valjoux 7733 as the foundation for his new movement. The Valjoux 7733 is an old chronograph movement of Valjoux’s, released in 1969, with features such as a small seconds sub-dial, a seconds counter, but no day or date function. Capt’s new movement kept the basic timekeeping functions that the Valjoux 7733 also provided. His most innovative customisation to his new movement was having the column wheel replaced with a lever and camp system. Due to this adjustment, it became easier for Valjoux to mass-produce this upgraded chronograph movement since it was more affordable and required less precision. With the additional help of computer technology, Capt’s invention, the Valjoux 7750, became a reality. During the first year of its release, the Valjoux was able to sell 100,000 units of the 7750. It looked like a bright enough future for the 7750, but dark clouds revealed themselves soon enough. Even with such an ingenious design, it was not enough to challenge the quartz movement. In 1975, both Zenith and Valjoux succumbed to their shrinking markets. Zenith had to discontinue the El Primero while Valjoux halted the production of their Valjoux 7750. In addition, the managers of Valjoux planned to destroy the molds and dies for the Valjoux 7750 as well. Capt, who viewed the 7750 as one of his best creations, was affronted by the thought. He decided to keep the molds and dies of the 7750 in the hope that he might one day still be able to use them. You might think, at this point, that Valjoux and the 7750 seemed to be on their last legs. Thanks to Capt’s actions, however, a spark of hope soon revealed itself to the mechanical movement industry. Re-igniting the flame As mentioned, the quartz movement took the 1970s by storm. The trend of quartz-operated timepieces remained strong and showed no signs of stopping. For the Swiss companies to survive what came to be known as the Quartz Crisis, they had to consolidate. AUSAG and another conglomerate named SSIH merged to become what we know today as the Swatch Group. This newly made group went on to integrate with Piaget and later bought Heuer in 1982.  In the next decade, although quartz remained king, the demand for mechanical movements recommenced. The 1980s was the dawn of a new era for automatic watches. After the formation of the Swatch Group occurred, Valjoux merged with another movement manufacturer known as ETA. A collaboration between the two Swiss companies took place and led to the birth of the Valjoux/ETA 7750. This improved 7750 showcased a highly customizable base and 4Hz beat rate. One of the first watchmakers to take advantage of the latest 7750 was IWC. Technical director Kurt Klaus opted to use the 7750 as the base for their newest invention, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Kurt famously designed the Da Vinci Chronograph entirely by hand instead of using computers. The decision was a good move and gave the timepiece a distinguished reputation that added to its classic design. Thanks to the success of the Da Vinci, IWC returned to the 7750 for yet another project. As a commemoration of the company’s 125th anniversary, IWC manufactured the Destriero Scafusia. For this watch, IWC made use of yet another customized 7750 that featured a flying tourbillon, a minute repeater, a split-second chronograph, and a perpetual calendar. The success of IWC’s 7750 watches eventually led the watchmaking company Fortis to also adopt the ETA/Valjoux 75750 into their crafts. Fortis had to modify the 7750 calibre as their target market – Russian cosmonauts – were dissatisfied with the lack of an alarm feature in the 7750. In order to fix this issue, Fortis hired a watchmaker named Paul Gerber to design an alarm that could pair well with the 7750. As a result, Fortis was able to develop the first automatic watch with an alarm. Aside from that, Gerber also made other modifications. He added a second spring barrel to help power the alarm in the timepiece and made adjustments to the rotor so that it could better supply power to the barrel. As time passed by, more and more watchmakers understood the appeal of the ETA/Valjoux 7750 and started to incorporate it into their products. All these different watchmakers had different needs and requirements to fulfill, and so each of them modified the 7750 to meet the standards of their specific target audience. Over time, there became hundreds of variations of the 7750 out in the world, populating the various case backs of numerous watches. As a result, the 7750 has become one of the most frequently used movements, with many unique versions of itself in the ocean of timepieces out there. Anatomy of the 7750 Now that we’ve gone through the history and the arduous journey undergone by the Valjoux 7750, it’s time for us to take a look at what makes up the composition of this mechanical movement. First of all, the 7750 is a mechanical, manual-wind movement that uses a three-plane cam system to operate its mechanisms. The standard 7750 has subdials at the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. The original Valjoux 7750 units contained 17 jewels, while most modern ETA 7750 variants hold 25 jewels, which allows for less wear and tear. The movement comes with a day/date function positioned at the 3 o’clock position of the timepiece. However, not all versions of the 7750 have this feature since some manufacturers opt to remove the day and date aperture to offer a cleaner, less cluttered look on the dial. The original 7750 contained mechanisms that were partially made out of plastic. More modern, modified 7750s frequently replace the plastic parts with metal, as it is more durable and sturdier. Contemporary models of the ETA 7750 also exhibit a faster frequency. These days, the 7750 produces 28,800 vibrations per hour instead of 21,600 from previous versions. Some modified variants of the 7750 have been manufactured on a wide scale. Apart from the base 7750 model, we also have the 7751, 7753, and 7754 movements. Out of all these units, the 7751 has the most additional features. The 7751 comes with a central date hand, a day and month sub-dial, and a sub-dial for moon phases. Following that, we have the 7753 movement. Unlike other ETA/Valjoux 7750s, the 7753 variant has its sub-dials positioned in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions of the main dial. The 7753 also positions the date aperture at the 4 o’clock position of the watch face instead of the usual 3 o’clock. Lastly, we have the final version, the 7754. The one thing that the 7754 has that other models do not is a GMT hand. That said, aside from the mentioned differences, all ETA/Valjoux 7750s operate fairly similarly otherwise. 7750’s Notoriety Despite the marvelous feats the 7750 attained throughout the years, it still has its fair share of doubters and naysayers. Why do some people dismiss the 7750?  Cheap Over the years, the 7750 has become the go-to movement for many watchmakers for its customisable capabilities and affordability. Other watch fanatics, however, argue that the cheapness of the 7750 brings down the overall value of the watch. Since the watch industry uses the 7550 in all categories and types of timepieces, many argue that the contrast set up between luxury and more economic watches is devalued by the presence of the 7550. Many watch wearers would be displeased by the knowledge that their luxurious $3,000 watch uses the same movement as a more budget wristwatch worth $300. Generic and Mundane People can indeed get tired from seeing the same thing over and over again. As we’ve mentioned, since this mechanical movement appears in a vast number of different watches, the architecture of the ETA/Valjoux is simply too ubiquitous and has become too mundane for many watch enthusiasts. This is why some would prefer in-house movements for their luxury timepieces, as it brings to the table something that is a little more distinct and sophisticated. To them, the ETA/Valjoux 7750 is just too generic and overused, bringing down the exclusivity and class of their luxury timekeeper. Cam-Actuated There is an ongoing debate between the strengths of column-wheel chronographs as opposed to those of cam-actuated systems. Although the performances of both are nearly identical, some still prefer column-wheel chronographs. The naysayers of the cam-actuated system have claimed that because the 7750 is cam-actuated, when the watch starts running, it is frequently accompanied by a sudden jerk of the seconds hand. In reality, this is actually because the gears of the cam-actuated mechanism are merely fixing themselves before initiating the system. As opposed to the supposed jerkiness of the cam-actuated system, some argue that chronograph movements that use a column wheel tend to run smoother. The pushers in the cam-actuated system have also been criticized as being harder to press than the pushers present in column-wheel movements. It all boils down to preferences Ultimately, none of the reasons mentioned above are factual. In the end, it all comes down to what a person likes and what they dislike. Collectors and enthusiasts alike may regard the ETA/Valjoux 7750 as banal, but it also has strengths that they can not deny. The 7750 has proven itself to be an absolute workhorse. Despite being a relic from the past, this humble automatic movement has survived all sorts of adversities and advancements and continues to produce satisfying results. It may be generic, but there is a reason why so many highly-regarded watchmakers have chosen the 7750 for their quality timepieces. Valjoux 7750 Watches 1. IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph First on the list is a watch that was briefly mentioned earlier in the article, the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar. As the name reveals, Leonardo Da Vinci was the inspiration in designing this particular IWC Perpetual Calendar. The IWC Da Vinci was the first in its series to be operated by a mechanical movement. A caliber known as the IWC 79261 controlled the inner machinations of the watch. You might not be able to tell from the name alone, but the IWC 79621 is actually a Valjoux 7750 that was heavily modified to cater to the needs of the IWC Da Vinci. As stated previously in the article, it was Kurt Klaus who brought this movement to IWC. Klaus refused the use of computers and chose to modify the movement by hand. The resulting IWC Da Vinci timepiece was a huge success and it marked the comeback of luxury mechanical watches amidst the era of quartz. Photo by Time and Watches 2. Sinn 358 Diapal Pilot Chronograph The Diapal Pilot is an example of a modern watch that uses the Valjoux 7750. In this modified variant of the Valjoux 7750, 25 jewels hold the movement to prevent the apparatus from experiencing additional wear and tear. The Diapal Pilot is the first and only model of the Sinn 358 Chronograph series to utilize the Valjoux 7750. Later iterations of the Sinn 358 replaced the 7750 either with a Sellita SW 500 or a Concepto C99001. Funnily enough, both of these movements based their designs and functions on the 7750. Sinn uses all three mechanisms in different versions of their Instrument Chronograph series. The three watch systems may not be the same, but they all promise reliability and durability. Photo by Sinn 3. Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Calibre 16 DD Automatic Horology history associates Heuer and Valjoux in several instances. Aside from their mutual affiliation with the Swatch Group, Valjoux has also supplied many Heuer timepieces with 7750 calibers. In 2005, Heuer released their newest Carrera Automatic, which featured their latest movement, the Calibre 16. In making the Calibre 16, Heuer introduced the world of watches to their version of a modified Valjoux 7750. The Calibre 16 is utilized in several timepieces from different Tag Heuer collections, including Carrera, Link, and Aquaracer. Two years ago, Heuer stopped using the 7750 as the base for their Calibre 16 and replaced it with the Sellita SW 500. The new Calibre 16 now occupies the casebacks of Heuer’s main ranges of chronograph watches namely the Aquaracer, Carrera, and Formula 1. 4. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic  Hamilton created the X-Wind Automatic to commemorate their association with the US Airmail. Although they found that the 7750 had a decent enough performance, they were not entirely satisfied with the longevity of the 7750’s power reserve. After a few customizations to the Valjoux 7750 base, Hamilton produced their very own H-21. The upgrades resulted in a modern and more accurate 7750 with a new power reserve that can last for a whopping 60 hours. Compared to other watchmakers, Hamilton made fewer modifications to the base 7750. Despite this, the H-21 is one of the most notable innovations in the Hamilton lineup. The movement was later awarded COSC certification, and the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic became a hit among Hamilton’s audience.  Photo by Hamilton 5. Breitling Avenger II Here’s a fun fact — Leonardo Dicaprio wore this watch in the 2006 movie Blood Diamond. The timepiece appeared in many scenes and is one of Breitling’s most well-known models. Like every other watch in this list, Breitling made several adjustments to the Valjoux 7750. Through their efforts, the company brought the Breitling 13 caliber to the world of horology. The Breitling 13 features a frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour with a 42-hour power reserve. Due to its unidirectional ratcheted bezel, the rotor of the Avenger II can move freely. The result? A lively timepiece that “wobbles” gleefully on the owner’s wrist.  Photo by Breitling Final Thoughts To this day, the 7750 is arguably one of the most recognizable and iconic automatic movements. There aren’t many movements in the scope of horology that have made an impact quite like it. The ETA/Valjoux 7750 is a rugged and easily modifiable mechanism currently used by many reputable companies. Although it was first named the Valjoux 7750, today, it is officially called the ETA 7750. Despite the renaming, however, most people still refer to it as the Valjoux 7750. Although it is not the most advanced movement, a finely-tuned Valjoux 7750 can reach heights that are equal to just about any modern movement out there. No matter which side of the debate you’re on, it is undeniable that the Valjoux 7750 is of great importance to watch history. Not only was the 7750 a component that gave relevance to the remnants of Swiss watchmakers, but it was also a crucial innovation responsible for reviving the whole industry of mechanical movements. Just as importantly, it was the movement that allowed so many watch manufacturers to unleash their creativity, making broad modifications to the Valjoux 7750 to best suit their purposes. Released over the decades, these modified variants prove, time and time again, that the Valjoux 7750 is as strong as ever. Valjoux is not out of the watch game and does not plan to leave anytime soon. Looking for a watch you can travel with? Here are the 20 Best Travel Watches for Globetrotters and Frequent Flyers. Featured Image by: Wikimedia Commons

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  10. 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

    6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches for the Modern Collector

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

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  11. All About Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut Collection

    All About Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut Collection

    When talking about luxury watches, brands like Omega, Rolex, Tudor, and the like are the ones that typically come to mind. However, people who are invested and familiar with watchmaking and Haute Horlogerie know that there is so much more to this world than just these few big names. Watch manufacturers like Audemar Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe have been around for over a century now and are just as highly regarded by watch connoisseurs. Patek Philippe, for example, offers a wide catalogue of timepieces that are deeply coveted by serious collectors. If you’re interested, stick around, because we will be talking about anything and everything related to Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection, which is one of the most sought-after ranges out there.  Patek Philippe: A Brief History This Swiss brand’s origin dates back to 1839 when Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek founded their own company, called Patek, Czapek & Cie. Though their business was met with success, the two entrepreneurs ended up parting ways due to increasing differences. In 1844, Patek met horologist Jean Adrien Philippe at the Industrial Exposition in France where Philippe had just been awarded bronze for his innovations involving a keyless winding and hand-setting system. That chance encounter led to them eventually becoming business partners as they cofounded Patek Philippe & Co., starting a journey in which they would change the watchmaking game forever. Being one of the most highly regarded timepiece manufacturers to ever exist, it is only expected that Patek Philippe has had its fair share of milestones and breakthroughs through the decades. From patents for numerous innovations to countless firsts in horological world records, the Swiss brand has been a strong and steady presence in the luxury watchmaking world since the beginning. This is precisely why Patek Philippe is considered as a part of Haute Horlogerie’s holy trinity, alongside Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. At present, Patek has 9 collections with over 150 models in its current catalogue, one of which is the exceptional Patek Philippe Aquanaut lineup. All About the Aquanaut Collection  Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is one with a very deep history. Today, virtually any watch from this line would fall into the category of being highly sought-after, but this wasn’t always the case. One could describe the Aquanaut line as a work in progress for many years before it became the iconic collection it is now.  Let’s begin by talking about a different (but equally iconic) Patek Philippe collection called the Nautilus, which was launched in the early 70s.  Those familiar with luxury timepieces probably know that the Aquanaut has, from its inception, been associated with this nautical-inspired range. Back then, owning a Nautilus guaranteed you a spot at fancy yacht parties hosted by the elite. It was regarded by many as the perfect representation of a luxury sports watch.  At this point, you’re probably wondering: why make a new collection if the Nautilus was doing so well in the first place? Well, come the 1990s, a phenomenon called the dot-com boom occurred amidst a global recession. During this period of time, many people started leaning towards technology and the Internet to earn money. Lots of young millionaires emerged and they were more than willing to spend their newfound fortunes on anything and everything luxury. With this shift in global fortunes, Patek Philippe saw both a challenge and an opportunity. They wanted to make the most out of the situation by creating a new collection that would bring the youth to Patek Philippe. Following the success of the Nautilus, the Swiss brand drew inspiration from it, eventually leading to the birth of the Aquanaut. The Aquanaut started out as Patek Philippe’s attempt at wooing a younger market, and to some degree it was quite successful. The original Aquanaut was designed to be nothing short of casual, sporty, youthful, and luxurious; every aspect of it was immediately appealing to its intended younger audience. That being said, however, the Swiss brand knew that keeping the attention of their longtime patrons was just as important. Unfortunately, many older collectors and watch connoisseurs were less impressed. They saw the Aquanaut as a mere variation of the Nautilus, but without Gerald Genta’s prestigious signature. Come 1998, Patek Philippe released a new variant of the Aquanaut with the reference number 5065. Many perceive this model as the one that had a broader market appeal and successfully attracted a wider variety of people compared to the original. In the next years that followed, Patek Philippe continued to expand the Aquanaut collection by releasing different pieces under the said range. Eventually, it became just as iconic and well-recognized as the other top collections in the Swiss brand’s arsenal. At present, with numerous variations released over the past two decades, the Aquanaut is one of the sought-after timepieces in the world of luxury sports watches.  Iconic Aquanaut Pieces  It has been over 20 years since the first Aquanaut watch came out and it’s crazy how highly regarded the collection has become. With that said, why don’t we take a closer look at some of the most coveted Aquanauts released through the years?  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5065 ‘Jumbo’ This Patek Philippe Aquanaut was first launched back in 1998. It is known to be the watch that truly changed the public’s perspective regarding the Aquanaut collection. The Aquanaut Ref. 5065 comes in either a steel or yellow gold case paired with a comfortable rubber strap. Meanwhile, its black dial follows a textured grenade pattern with tritium markers on the minute track. This iconic model is powered by a 315 SC movement.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ This Aquanaut was released in celebration of the collection’s 10-year anniversary back in 2007. In comparison to the models that came prior to it, the 5167A offers a more refined and subtle look which was a style preferred by many in the 21st century. It comes in the iconic stainless steel case along with a composite black strap that perfectly fits the understated style of the watch. This piece also features a black embossed dial with large luminescent hands, Arabic numerals, and a date window at 3 o’clock.  In terms of technical details, it has a self-winding mechanical movement and offers resistance to water up to 120 meters.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G ‘Advanced Research Travel Time’ The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G is one of the most controversial pieces in the collection. Without a doubt, it is the result of continuous technical innovations by the Swiss brand over the years. Even with just the exterior, you can already tell that it is an advanced and futuristic watch. It comes in an 18K white gold case paired with a composite strap in night blue. The embossed dial features an interesting open heart display, a complex time zone function, a day/night indicator, and an analog date counter. All these are possible thanks to two crucial innovations: an optimized Spiromax balance spring and a flexible mechanism. It should be noted that this watch is an acquired taste for many. Some might think that it is ‘trying too hard’, and it is a fair criticism to say that the dial of this watch is a little cluttered and has too much going on, which can be distracting for wearers. That being said, Patek Philippe’s goal with this was to truly showcase the technical advancements it had achieved, and in that regard, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G has acquitted itself admirably. Patek Philippe Aquanaut: Key Aspects Now that we know more about the Aquanaut and its origin, let’s delve into the key aspects that make this collection so unique and coveted.  Distinct Dial & Strap  It is undeniable that the Aquanaut has one of the most distinctive dials out there. Back in 1997, ‘bold and proud’ was a theme followed by many, be it in fashion or lifestyle in general. Patek Philippe took that to heart, which led to the conceptualization of this pronounced embossed pattern. What’s even more remarkable is that they also came out with a strap that perfectly complemented the dial, making it a true statement piece. However, over the years, trends continued to evolve, so the Swiss brand made sure to incorporate little tweaks here and there with the design. Now, the modern-day Aquanaut still follows the same embossed pattern but in a more quiet and refined fashion.  120m Water Resistance This aspect of the Aquanaut is probably expected since it draws inspiration from the sea and nautical themes. Since the Aquanaut is a relative of the ever-so famous Nautilus, having providing good water resistance isn’t something new for the brand. Most of the pieces in the current Aquanaut collection boast a water resistance of up to 120 meters. This excellent feature paired with a beautiful design makes the Aquanaut even more appealing.  Self-Winding Movement  Patek Philippe has been creating their own in-house calibers for countless decades now. They surely have it all, whether it’s quartz, automatic, or manual-winding movements. The Aquanaut collection is actually powered by a self-winding movement which makes use of gold rotors for optimal yield. Patek Philippe made sure that all the materials utilized in crafting the calibre complemented each other in order to maximize its full potential.  Selection of Patek Philippe Aquanaut This next section will be a closer look at some of the Patek Philippe Aquanauts currently available in the market that you could easily get for yourself.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G This Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G just screams youthful and luxurious. The unusual khaki color is what makes this timepiece so fresh and different compared to the other Aquanauts. With this watch, you get a sense of adventure that just pushes you to go out and explore. This Jumbo Aquanaut model comes in a white gold case paired with a composite bracelet in khaki green. Its embossed dial, which is of the same color as the strap, includes silver applied numerals, luminescent hands and markers, and an unobtrusive date window at the 3 o’clock position. Lastly, it has a see-through sapphire crystal caseback through which its high-performing caliber 324 SC is visible.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5072R This next model is nothing short of fancy and extravagant. The Aquanaut Ref. 5072R is the perfect Patek Philippe Aquanaut for all the women who enjoy dazzling, luxurious accessories. This Aquanaut comes in an exquisite rose gold case and a polymer strap in pearly beige. Its mother-of-pearl dial, designed in a checkerboard pattern, includes luminescent hands, Roman numerals, diamond hour markers, and a date window. It also has a diamond-set bezel and a sapphire crystal caseback through which the beautiful self-winding movement is visible. This timepiece is definitely a must-have for all the lavish ladies out there.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167/1A Third on this list is a more classic Patek Philippe Aquanaut watch for men. The Aquanaut Ref. 5167/1A is a gorgeous, versatile piece that would complement any ensemble. This model comes in a professional-looking case and bracelet both made of stainless steel. Its black dial follows the same pattern and layout as the other Aquanauts with large luminescent hands and markers. Much like the other pieces mentioned, this Aquanaut is driven by a calibre 324 SC with a power reserve of up to 45 hours. Ultimately, it is the quintessential option that should definitely be on every watch connoisseurs’ radar.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5164R The Aquanaut Ref. 5164R, also known as the Travel Time, is a timepiece that fully showcases Patek Philippe’s technological prowess. The best part about this watch is that it looks just as amazing as it is functional. This model comes in a rose gold case paired with a polymer bracelet in warm dark brown. Aside from the typical Aquanaut layout, the brown embossed dial also includes a dual time zone mechanism, a day/night indicator, and an analog date counter. It is equipped with a caliber 324 SC FUS, boasting a 45-hour power reserve. If you prefer something that looks a little more traditional, you can also get this Aquanaut Travel Time in a steel case and black strap as well.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5627/200A  The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5627/200A is a more contemporary interpretation of the quartz Aquanaut Luce. While it is nothing short of lavish as well, this model offers a more casual and classic vibe. It is presented in a steel case along with a composite bracelet in black. The dial follows the usual Aquanaut layout with Arabic numerals and a date window at 3 o’clock. It also features a magnificent diamond-studded bezel, which makes this timepiece just as luxurious as the Luce. Lastly, it uses a quartz movement that’s powered by a caliber E 23‑250 SC. Price At this point, we all know that Patek Philippe is definitely on the more expensive side. Entry-level Aquanauts are known to fall within the $20,000 USD to $30,000 USD price range while the more recognized and extravagant watches are priced starting from $40,000 USD. It boils down to all sorts of different factors such as the model, materials used, whether it’s new or pre-owned, and more. At the end of the day, however, you should be prepared to pay the price for luxury, as the Aquanaut is definitely a watch that costs a pretty penny. The Aquanaut on Celebrities  Being one of the most prestigious watch brands out there, it is no surprise that the Aquanaut is loved by many influential figures out there. While it may be difficult for regular folks to get their hands on one, celebrities and the elite certainly have it easier. With that said, here are some of your favorite celebrities who have been spotted sporting their own Aquanaut:  Sir Paul McCartney Photo from Esquire UK Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most influential people in the music industry. He has a very successful career to back him up, from The Beatles to his solo endeavors, and it is no wonder why many look up to him as an icon. While music fans are bound to fangirl over him, watch connoisseurs also have much respect for him and his tasteful watch collection. In a feature with Esquire UK, Sir Paul McCartney was photographed wearing a Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A. Apparently, he is often seen wearing this beautiful watch to different occasions, both on and off camera.  Drake  Photo from Instagram Drake is yet another another music legend on this list of Aquanaut patrons. A couple of years ago, someone posted an Instagram photo with Drake where he was wearing a rare Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5968A in all its chronograph glory. It came in a gleaming stainless steel case with a very striking orange strap. The rapper is known for his impressive watch collection so it really is no surprise that he owns a member of the Aquanaut family too. Tom Holland  Photo from Xinhua Last on this list is British actor Tom Holland who is best known for his role as Peter Parker/Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2019, he was seen wearing a Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167R at a press conference for Spiderman: Far From Home in Seoul, South Korea. Despite being only a year old when the Aquanaut first came out, Tom chose this suave, versatile watch to match his overall style and ensemble.   Final Thoughts  At this point, most of us are aware of just why Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is such a big thing today. Though it didn’t start out as a coveted timepiece, the Swiss brand was able to cultivate this watch line and transform it into the headliner it is now. If you’re thinking about getting one, just remember that the Aquanaut comes with an interesting history, impressive features, and a beautifully distinct design. What more can you ask for in a watch, right?  If this has piqued your interest in Patek Philippe then make sure to check out our article on their iconic Nautilus 5711 model. Photo Credits: Patek Philippe Official Website

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