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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: A Guide To One Of The Most Sought-After Luxury Sports Watch Today

    Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: A Guide To One Of The Most Sought-After Luxury Sports Watch Today

    When talking about the best luxury watch manufacturers of all time, it is almost impossible to leave the name Patek Philippe out of the conversation. Patek Philippe often steals the spotlight from its other close competitors in the field such as Rolex, Longines, Omega, and Audemars Piguet, because of how it always embodies ultimate and traditional Swiss watchmaking practices, all while incorporating innovative touches, in order to create remarkable, stunning pieces that could last for decades. All true watch enthusiasts know that this independent label is all about excellence, quality, and pure craftsmanship, which is why it comes as no surprise that it remains well-celebrated in the industry to the present day. If not for the seriousness with which Patek Philippe takes Haute Horlogerie, or “the high-art of watchmaking”, it would not hold the title of being the only brand in history that was able to sell eight watches for at least $2 million USD each at auctions. This alone says a great deal about the company and its solid reputation not only among connoisseurs but also among the general public. It serves as irrefutable proof that Patek Philippe’s products are extraordinary, with aesthetics that invoke timelessness and sophistication, as well as reliable mechanisms that prize robustness and longevity above all. From creating simple yet exquisite jewelry watches to crafting complicated watches with all sorts of fun features that exceed expectations, Patek Philippe truly knows how to constantly set the bar high. However, what’s really fascinating is that the label also excels in creating distinctive, one-of-a-kind sports watches that scream elegance and perfection—something that only Patek Philippe could ever pull off. One such sports watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, which carries an avant-garde design, along with striking features and a powerful mechanism that makes the watch even more desirable to watch fanatics. In this article, we will discuss the charms of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 and why it deserves a spot in your collection despite being frequently considered an overrated piece due to its extreme popularity. Does it deserve the hype it already boasts? What must-have features does the watch possess that make watch enthusiasts so eager to own one? What makes the Nautilus 5711 so grand and why is it dubbed one of the most coveted pieces from Patek Philippe? These are just some of the questions we will try to explore, and we will give you all the answers you need to help you make the right decision about whether or not to purchase this timepiece. Without further ado, let us find out more about the Nautilus 5711, in particular, its roots, glorious specifications, and outstanding versions which will truly steal your attention. How Patek Philippe Nautilus Came to Life Patek Philippe has been demonstrating its amazing expertise in watchmaking for about 182 years now, making them one of the oldest watchmakers in the world. While its history and background are undeniably superb and incomparable to most other companies, the brand is better known for its unique collections that are truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring. One of these collections is the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which houses chic, classy, and sporty timepieces that stand out easily without even having to try. Unveiled in 1976 as a way to signal the brand’s ventures into the vast world of luxury sports watches, the glamorous range redefines finesse and modernity in sports watches. In addition, the intricacy and fanciness of the Nautilus’s details and parts attest to how the company always strives for rarity and superiority, devoting its efforts to producing each member of the collection with great passion. But how exactly did the Nautilus start capturing the hearts of the public and who is the mastermind behind its iconic birth? The legacy of the Nautilus collection actually began shortly after the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch hit the market in 1972. Not only did it make history as the first-ever stainless steel luxury sports wristwatch in the world, but it also changed the perspective of both the masses and watchmakers when it came to steel watches. Although often regarded as the cheaper alternative to gold and titanium, stainless steel is a durable material that is good at resisting all kinds of corrosion. These anti-allergic properties can even bring health benefits to the wearer, especially when worn. While stainless steel had previously been used in affordable and mid-range timepieces, the creation of the Royal Oak led to the overflowing and trailblazing popularity of stainless steel as a sturdy and dependable material for high-end timepieces as well. Inspired by Audemars Piguet’s bold release of the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe finally decided that it was time for them to join the trend and release their own take on the quintessential luxury sports watch. Sticking to their principles, the label wanted their offering to have a versatile and head-turning design, coupled with a well-crafted and robust mechanism to ensure a smooth-sailing performance. They believed that this was the key to their past success, especially given how critics of that age had become increasingly equally concerned with both form and function in watches. Since the release of their first-ever luxury sports watch would have a role in enhancing their image and reminding people of how the brand executed their craft according to the highest standards whilst still upholding their great traditions, Patek Philippe wanted it to be special and extraordinary. Gerald Genta and His Role to Nautilus’ Iconic Birth Patek Philippe scored a huge win when they managed to unintentionally attract the attention of Gérald Genta, the same jewelry designer who invented the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet. Genta reportedly came up with the idea of the Nautilus during the 1974 Baselworld Trade Fair, where many watchmakers and jewelers from around the world gathered to display their masterpieces. While eating at a restaurant inside the hotel he was staying at, the artist suddenly came across a group of Patek Philippe employees talking to one another at the opposite end of the hall. This is when he suddenly had a eureka moment, which prompted him to ask for a piece of paper and a pencil from a waiter serving dishes near him. He impressively finished the initial sketch of the Nautilus in just five minutes, whilst observing the movements and gestures of the Patek Philippe workers. Genta’s design was inspired by portholes usually found on huge ships and resulted in the Nautilus possessing a rounded bezel and protruding edges on both left and right sides of the case. The aforementioned candid moment led to the birth of the whole Nautilus line, which has long been considered a game-changing collection for the brand, whose offerings emphasize lavishness and whose methods and aesthetics often revolve around intricate delicacy. Apart from sporting a peculiar case shape, all watches from the Nautilus roster have colorful and appealing dials that would make you drool in complete satisfaction and admiration. Not to mention, they also include many other interesting designs that Gérald Genta is known for, including the bracelet, dial arrangement, and bezel composition. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700 | Photo from @chronovantage2 on Instagram Launched amidst the ongoing quartz crisis, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A is the first member of the iconic collection that continues to make waves to the present day. Appearance-wise, it sports a hard and mesmerizing 42mm octagonal case, along with a medium-sized crown that is protected by crown guards and hands that contain luminous material for greater visibility in dark conditions. Besides the fact that it comes with a thick integrated bracelet that is recognizable even from afar, the dial also features a horizontal line pattern that is pleasing to the eye. All of its indices are numberless and are engraved in baton style, and the small yet impactful signature placed below the 12 o’clock position only adds to the minimalistic aura of the dial. This effect is further compounded by the date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker, which is so subtle to the point you could almost miss it at first glance. The text inside the said window is legible enough to be seen at a distance and people who like paying attention to small details would really appreciate how the date aperture was incorporated into the whole look of the watch. Making it even more exceptional, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A came with a hefty price tag that was close to the prices of real gold and rose gold timepieces released at the time. In fact, it was even recognized as one of the costliest stainless steel watches in the world. This tactic came as a surprise for true enthusiasts given that the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A was a time-and-date only model. Nevertheless, the elevated price must have been intriguing to watch connoisseurs, as many still wanted to experience its wonders, which has, over the years, led to a continuously growing demand for almost all Nautilus pieces ever produced. Where did Patek Philippe get the name Nautilus? The Patek Philippe Nautilus was named after the submarine used by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s 1870 French novel titled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The blueprint of all Nautilus timepieces serves as an ode to the original structure of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, particularly its porthole that has an oval shape. Despite not being a diver’s watch, the Patek Philippe Nautilus has provided water resistance of up to a whopping 120 meters and this is all thanks to the extraordinary construction of the case, particularly its ear-like sides and massive lugs that prevents any moisture from interfering with the watch’s core. Throughout its 45-year run, the Nautilus roster has grown in order to offer a greater variety to potential consumers who have been wanting to give its members a try and who have been curious about the great reviews surrounding all its watches. From only endorsing stainless steel models, the glamorous line now offers other material options such as rose gold and white gold as well as case size variations. Furthermore, some of the watches in the Nautilus collection also come with additional functionalities such as a moon phase display, a power reserve indicator, a chronograph feature, a 60-minute counter, and even a dual time zone display. What’s more is that all of the current Nautilus models now come with upgraded and enhanced in-house movements, stepping away from the automatic caliber 920 made by Jaeger LeCoultre in favor of three of the biggest names in the industry, namely Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and of course, Patek Philippe. The said mechanism, known as the Caliber 28-255 after undergoing various in-house finishing and processes, was used to power the first set of Nautilus models ever produced, including the Ref. 3700. This goes to show how this Swiss company always tries its best to innovate its products, while still practicing the traditional norms the brand has developed since its establishment. Some may say that the Patek Philippe Grand Complications or the Patek Philippe Aquanaut are more worth the money and are more attractive and reliable timepieces, but no one can deny that the Nautilus is unrivaled when it comes to uniqueness and value. Amidst the numerous beloved iterations of the Nautilus collection, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 remains a highly popular piece, which we will discuss and dissect further in this article. In fact, it is arguably the most coveted timepiece ever produced by any manufacturer in the entire history of watches. Aside from bearing a masculine and commanding appearance, this timepiece has distinct charms that make it the perfect epitome of a modern classic. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: The Perfect Daily Wristwatch Perhaps the most famous Nautilus model out there, the Patek Philippe 5711 is one of the jaw-dropping upgrades to the original Nautilus 3700 released by the brand back in the early 1970s. The Patek Philippe 5711 was introduced to the public for the very first time in 2006 in celebration of the Nautilus collection’s 30th-year anniversary and is considered by many lovers to be the most sought-after contemporary luxury watch. This is one big reason why this watch is frequently the center of horological talks and debates and why it comes with a relatively high price tag. Certain rumors even claim that it can take up to 8 to 10 years for an individual to finally own a 5711 piece with the correct retail price. Some people, especially the impatient ones and those that do not stick with any specific budget when it comes to their collections, resort to buying from legitimate secondhand markets and trusted online websites, willing to pay more than the original cost. Now that the whole 5711 series is nearing the end of its production, expect all of its models to become harder to acquire as prices will continue to soar, given how Patek Philippe only releases a limited number of Nautilus pieces each year. Aside from the fact that the Nautilus 5711 demonstrates what refined and ultramodern watchmaking is about, it also attests to the creativity, mastery, and rigor Patek Philippe demonstrates when conceptualizing and creating their memorable pieces. Just by looking at the said second-generation Nautilus model, you will recognize that there is beauty in simplicity and why watches with little to no ornamentations often catch the attention of many, just by virtue of their structure and elegant appeal. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-010 | Photo from @watchourluxembourg on Instagram Inspired by its original predecessor, the Nautilus 3700, which is often the star of many auctions given its rich background and its breathtaking attributes, the Nautilus 5711 has a handsome and prepossessing aura, coupled with a striking design that all men from different walks of life would surely appreciate. Even young and professional women could easily rock this piece if they wish to due to its versatile and classic vibe. Apart from relying on a high-powered mechanism, the watch also comes with a relatively wide case—slightly bigger than the exterior of the 3700—that easily fits any wrist type whether slim or stout. Not to mention, it is also made out of premium and exquisite materials that guarantee its fantastic serviceability and long life span. It is no wonder why many collectors and watch lovers consider any 5711 models as valuable investment pieces, which can accompany them to endless occasions for decades to come. Although often regarded as a basic timepiece without many bells and whistles, the Nautilus 5711 is the best choice available if you want a casual sports watch that could double as a dress watch you can bring to any formal gatherings. Created to deviate from typical concepts, it does not come with any detailed or complicated rotating bezels but it still comes with an impressive water resistance level that is close to the ratings true diving pieces have. Others even compare it to the Zenith Defy Titanium and the Tudor Black Bay 41, but nothing can beat how the Nautilus 5711 performs, how it delivers great results, and how it elevates the style and outfit of any wearer in an instant. Regardless of its price, it is a truly-must have watch for anyone who is looking for a piece they could proudly parade around. Up Close With The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 Patek Philippe first announced a cease in the production of its flagship three-hand Patek Philippe Nautilus in 5711/1A-010 steel with blue dial variation in early 2021. Since then, many connoisseurs have been trying their luck in securing their very own piece before resellers take advantage of this watch’s rarity and legacy. The sudden news of the halt in manufacturing took the watch world by surprise given that the legendary model is still considered a vital part of the brand’s inspiring and rich heritage. There is still no unified reason why the aforementioned watch is extremely popular but a lot of true enthusiasts consider it as a prized possession because of its size, shape, and overall elegant construction that no other brands could ever imitate. Often the center of attraction, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-010 closely resembles the brand’s first-ever luxury sports watch, especially in terms of its exterior. This is probably the reason why people are dying to get ahold of this timepiece, as it gives them the chance to own a rare gem but in a much more modernized version. While a lot of people have resigned themselves to the discontinuation announcement, a lot of watch lovers have been praying for the release of more versions of the Nautilus 5711 before it actually goes off the market at the end of this year. Much to their delight, Patek Philippe released a new member of the 5711/1A gang in April 2021 as part of the final stretch of the range. Called the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014, the watch also pays homage to the original Nautilus time-and-date only watch, but with an olive green dial. If you have been planning to get yourself one, below are the important details and a brief review regarding the 5711/1A-014 you should take note of. Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 40mmMovement: Mechanical in-house, Automatic Calibre 26-330 S CPower reserve: Minimum – 35 hours; Maximum – 45 hoursWater resistance: 120 metersCase As mentioned above, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014 boasts a case size of 40mm, which is the standard for the modern Nautilus watches, including its direct predecessor, the 5711/1A-010. Most people consider this a fairly large watch, given its wide and stout appearance. Its origins may have also played a significant role in such a perception since the Ref. 3700/1 was commonly known as the “Jumbo” back in the day due to its bigger size. However, the Nautilus 5711/1A-014 still feels extremely comfortable when worn on the wrist despite its size. Not to mention, it is convenient to wear while going about your daily tasks due to its well-balanced measurements and equal proportions. When it comes to height, this model measures about 8.3mm, giving the watch a sleek look and a high-tech feel. This also allows you to easily slip the gorgeous timepiece under your dress shirt’s cuffs. A glance at the watch might give you the illusion that it is quite thick and short due to its bulky top ring, but you will be surprised to know that the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in question is actually thin, especially from the sides. While it does not necessarily mean that it is lightweight, the slenderness of this timepiece provides a beautiful balance to its overall pristine look, making it a notable and worthy purchase. Even without the presence of any fancy prints or patterns, the cleanness of the case, along with its extremely well-brushed satin finish, makes it more enticing to own. When it comes to the caseback, Patek Philippe does not fail to demonstrate what they are best at, and that is letting the wearers admire how the movement works at any time of the day. Protected by a sapphire crystal that looks clear even from afar, the caseback features six square shapes that serve as the main protection for the movement. In fact, you would not immediately notice the presence of the sapphire crystal unless you inspect the case back closely. This just means that Patek Philippe wants every customer to have an unparalleled timekeeping experience. Putting emphasis on the mechanism, the caseback is also placed in a unique and slightly bulging manner, which also gives the movement more definition. In terms of durability, you can already leave your worries behind as the majority of Patek Philippe Nautilus watches are made from strong and well-built stainless steel. Boasting great characteristics, this metal can withstand a few scratches, dents, and impacts, which is great for people who have fast-paced lifestyles which revolve around extreme activities. Even if you encounter accidental bumps during your commutes, with a stainless steel watch like the 5711/1A-014 as your companion, it is sure to perform well and still look brand-new despite any impacts. While it does not have the same lightweight attributes as titanium, stainless steel ensures that the inner portions of the watch, where the movement is located, are protected and secure from any kinds of moisture, which could otherwise lead to major rust and corrosion. Bezel, Water Resistance and Crown The minimalistic crown of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 certainly deserves some recognition. Placed in a screw-down manner, it comes with the signature emblem of the brand, which is simple and lovely at the same time. Taking the shape of an old stylized cross, the logo gives off an atmosphere of class and elegance and is the perfect symbol of Patek Philippe’s excellence. If you want to adjust the time, you can just simply pull the crown outwards and turn it in the correct direction. The vertical-teeth edges of the crown ensure a nice and easy grip so that you would not have a hard time changing the time configurations. Since it is also protected by a crown guard with shiny rounded edges, rest assured that the crown will stay at its original position at all times and is unlikely to sustain any damage even if it’s bumped around a little. The newest Patek Philippe 5711 watch also comes with a water resistance rating of 120 meters. This may not be considered a big deal since all Aquanaut models and other watches from the Nautilus collection boast the same capacities. However, it is still an achievement compared to other sports and dress watches in the market. Bear in mind that Patek Philippe Nautilus timepieces are not tool watches. They are only meant to be elegant sports watches so this degree of water resistance is already quite impressive. While you cannot bring the Nautilus 5711/1A-0014 to any extreme water sports activities such as snorkeling or deep-sea diving, it is still well-equipped for your dips in the pool. What’s more, you can also use it while bathing or while swimming in a pool for exercise. All in all, this precious watch will stay high-functioning even when in contact with water, as long as you exercise sufficient precautions and do not take this watch beyond a depth of 120 meters. The bezel of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in the 5711/1A-014 variation is also worthy of attention. The octagon-shaped bezel is unrivaled in its minimalism. The bezel is composed of eight thin and refined sharpened edges, a design so unusual that it immediately became a major selling point for all 5711 models ever made. In addition, it allows connoisseurs to easily distinguish the Nautilus lineup from other pieces designed by Gérald Genta for other brands like Rolex and Audemars Piguet. The sapphire crystal contained within the bezel serves as excellent protection for the dial and has a more rounded shape, which makes this 5711/1A-014 model look a little softer and more feminine, thus appealing to many women too. It also distinguishes the Nautilus range from other members of the extensive Patek Philippe catalog. Matching the overall theme of the timepiece, the bezel, along with the full and wide lugs with curved sides, possess the same natural silver hue that gives off a feeling of clean professionalism under any sort of lighting conditions. Dial This walkthrough will not be complete if we will not discuss the dial, which is the highlight of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014. The style of the dial strongly resembles that of its forerunner, the 5711/1A-010. This version’s dial comes in a pretty olive green color. It is subtle and enrapturing, to the point that you could stare at the dial all day without feeling too overwhelmed or intimidated. Not to mention, its alluring sunburst finish and rugged texture of horizontal lines make the whole timepiece reminiscent of old-school watches we can find in vintage stores and online markets. In terms of its features, the dial comes with gold-applied hour-markers that take the shape of batons, all of which are equipped with a luminous coating so there is good visibility even during conditions where there is little to no light available. All of the indices bear the same silver tone as the case, bracelet, lugs, and crown for a more unified and cohesive look. The 12 o’clock position adds a little variety to the dial, as it is marked with two baton-shaped indices for swifter distinction. Both the hour and minute hands of the dial are silver and baton-styled like the indices, except they come with rounded edges that complement the whole aesthetic of the watch. The only hand marker that is different is the sweeping seconds hand, which takes the form of a simple elongated stick that stretches out towards the very end of the dial. Sticking to the signature functionalities of the first-ever Nautilus watch, the 5711/1A-014 also comes with a date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker. Indeed, this watch brings only the essential functions a wearer would need in every situation. You will also see minute white-colored dots surrounding the dial’s external edges, which can serve as a guide in telling the time more accurately. Patek Philippe really did a great job in keeping the watch’s face as minimalistic and uncluttered as possible, allowing spectators to admire the construction and concept behind its design without being too distracted by the watch’s functions. The inclusion of a signature with no grandiose font style or vibrant color below the 12 o’clock indices makes the new Nautilus watch even more trendy. To conclude, everything about the dial of the 5711/1A-014 is quite similar to its predecessor. It is an upgraded version of the Nautilus that still maintains the classic designs that made the Nautilus line popular, to begin with. Indeed, the 5711/1A-014 proves to be a top-tier timepiece that will always provide you the confidence and the opportunity to shine in any room you are in. Movement Since the movement of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in Ref. 5711/1A-014 is made in-house, you can expect that its performance will always be top-notch. Specifically, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 relies on an automatic movement called the Caliber 26-330 S C, which is a modified version of the Caliber 324 S C that powers all the existing 5711/1A-010 models in the world. Aside from boasting a power reserve of up to 45 hours, the 31-jewel and 212-component movement also beat at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (“vph”). It also has a hacking seconds function that allows you to adjust the time more accurately. The movement is completed with an engraving of the brand’s logo that gives off a very exclusive feel. With this movement, expect this quality timepiece to last you for the succeeding generations to come. Bracelet Just like its case, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014’s bracelet is made from stainless steel, with central thick links that ensure it is a nice fit on any wrist. Adding to that, it also has a double folding clasp, adorned with the same logo you will see in the movement and crown. This is much better than the clasp used in the 3700 variant since this clasp is a lot more secure and ensures that the watch would not fall from your wrist by accident. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Pros and Cons Pros It comes from a respected brand. Need we say more? Patek Philippe has acquired a great deal of recognition over the past few decades and it is all well-deserved, given the attention to detail and supreme level of workmanship they put into every piece they release. In fact, famed royalty, scientists, and artists among others are all part of their amazing clientele history and they certainly would not buy Patek Philippe products if they weren’t of the highest quality and class, right? If you’re the type of person who has high standards when it comes to your timepieces and cares about the brand’s reputation and values, you do not have to worry because Patek Philippe will surely exceed your expectations. By owning a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch, you are doing yourself a favor, as it is an incredible timepiece you could wear for the rest of your life. It is a great investment piece. Considering how their prices keep on increasing over the last decade due to consistently high demand, any Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch would have a great resale value. If you ever come across an opportunity to own such a three-hand piece with a blue dial, do not ever let it go. This is especially if it comes with a reasonable price, since this watch will surely be harder to find in the next few years due to the line’s imminent discontinuation. Cons It is hard to acquire. We are not overreacting when we say that it could really take years for you to get your own Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch from an authorized dealer. In fact, it is almost impossible now to get your hands on the newest model with the olive green dial, given how it is only produced in limited pieces. With the Nautilus 5711 line already coming to an end, we are also very unlikely to see restocks. You can always opt to buy from trusted resellers though but expect it to come at a whopping price that is two or three times higher than its original selling cost. Price Range of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 As of right now, a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Ref. 5711/1A-014 goes for a retail price of around $36,500 USD. This may be slightly higher if you go for pieces coming from authorized resellers in secondhand markets. In fact, many secondhand resellers sell a good quality Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 for around $100,000 USD. Final Notes Elegant, stylish, and compelling. These are the three best terms that describe the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, especially the 5711/1A-014 variation. While many are still skeptical about buying it because of its gigantic price tag, there is no denying that is one of the best watches out there, offering you everything you could need for an everyday timepiece. There is not much to complain about it too because its features and design are striking and versatile enough to match any style and to make you stand out among the crowd. Now that the Nautilus 5711 series is coming to an end, it will be quite interesting to see how Patek Philippe will utilize their creativity in order to create a succeeding model that could also pass as a heritage piece in the future. Given how the brand likes mixing traditional elements with modern concepts, it will not be surprising if they release yet another series that goes beyond the norm. Nonetheless, nothing can change the fact that the Patek Philippe 5711 will always remain as a true icon in the watch realm. Interested in knowing more about the brand Patek Philippe as well as its other offerings? Make sure to check out our articles on the Holy Trinity of Watchmakers as well as 10 Luxury Wall Clocks To Upgrade Your Home or Office. Photos from Patek Philippe’s website unless stated otherwise Featured image from Patek Philippe

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  9. The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    Orient is known for being an underrated watchmaking company. They have a wide-range selection of watches that far exceed their current reputation. Among their lines of diver watches, one model truly stands out among the rest. That model is the Orient Mako II. There are a lot of cheap timepieces out there that turn out to be disappointments. They may be easy to afford, but when you need them the most, they will fail to deliver. The Mako II is not like that. With this model, Orient can personally show you just how much $150 has to offer you. In a world of seafloors inhabited by Rolex Submariners and Omega Seamasters, we often forget that a trusty dive watch does not necessarily have to cost a fortune. There are more affordable options in the market, and the Orient Mako II is one of the most reliable and fair choices. Try to find a timepiece that does the job better than this with a similar price tag, and you will see just what an arduous task it poses. With that said, let’s dive into the Orient Mako II and what it can do. Let’s start with a brief overview of the origins of the first edition Orient Mako and how the Mako II came to be.  The Original Mako Orient released the first Mako in 2004. The Mako was a flagship model and was an effective crowd puller as an affordable diving wristwatch. With its affordable price and capable features, the Mako was a popular choice of a first timepiece for many newcomers. It was an enormous success for Orient, and allowed them to learn more about their market. Thanks to the constructive criticism and feedback from its wearers, Orient was later able to design a new and improved model, the Orient Mako II. The Mako features a 41.5mm case with a royal blue dial. It uses an automatic movement known as the Orient Caliber 46943 with a 40-hour power reserve. Though the Mako comes with mineral glass, it is always possible to swap it for something more sturdy. For its final feature, the Mako can handle 200m or 660ft of water pressure. And to top it all off, this timepiece does not even reach $200. Just by looking at the specs and its price tag, it is apparent that this diver watch is a suitable, easily affordable diver watch for anyone. Funnily enough, this watch was not originally called the Mako. There are a handful of stories on how the Mako got its name, but the most frequent iteration involves the dolphin logo of its rubber strap. Wearers of the Orient Mako started to notice that the supposed dolphin on the rubber strap of the Mako seemed to more closely resemble a shark instead. In particular, fans thought that it looked like the shortfin mako shark. Since then, enthusiasts, and later the company itself, started calling the timepiece the Orient Mako.  Here’s a fun fact you might not have known: the shortfin mako shark, which the Orient Mako is named for, holds the record for being the fastest shark in the world. Specifications Photo by u/motorcyclerider100 from Reddit Dimensions of the Orient Mako II Starting with the dimensions, the Orient Mako II is 13mm thick and measures 41.5mm in diameter. As far as the lugs are concerned, the Mako II has a lug width of 22mm and a lug to lug measurement of 47mm. Although the size sounds quite standard, the wristwatch actually looks smaller than what the dimensions specify due to the nature of its curved lugs. That said, those with larger wrists may perceive their Orient Mako II to be a bit small-scale. If wearers want a watch that feels a little more substantial, they could instead opt for the larger Orient Mako XL. On the whole, however, the Mako II is well-sized for a wristwatch in its category and fits adequately on many. Stainless Steel Case The Orient Mako II has an aesthetically pleasing structure. The case of the Mako II has a considerable amount of heft to it without being too cumbersome on the wrist. It is made of stainless steel, and it is both brushed on its lugs and polished on its sides. As a result, the exteriors of the timepiece exude a satisfying clean look with a welcoming gleaming sheen. Accompanied by a thin bezel, the Mako II boasts a stunning and sporty build that looks appropriate for diving. The bezel on top of the Orient Mako II is particularly unique. It is relatively slim with a deep blue color and notched edges on its sides. The bezel is unidirectional with 120 clicks and can track a typical total of 60 minutes of elapsed time. Aside from the standard blue edition, the bezel can also come in all-black or in the iconic Pepsi-themed colors. While the black version also looks smart, the Pepsi version can be exceptionally appealing. With its ridged sides and slim build, choosing the Pepsi-themed model of the Mako II makes the bezel bear an uncanny resemblance to the bottle cap of a Pepsi drink.  With regards to the functionality of the bezel, although the notched edge is supposed to provide an easier grip, it doesn’t really offer any additional help. The thin structure of the bezel might look sleek, but it also makes turning the bezel quite a challenge at times. In terms of profession, it could be even harder to use for divers, considering account the gear that divers wear. Ultimately, the Mako II’s bezel looks good, but the functionality is sub-par and is better off changed to a slightly thicker bezel. Fortunately, the Mako III and the Mako XL feature a bigger bezel for those who require greater ease of use. Another feature that we need to look at is the crown. The Mako II’s crown has some good polishing on it. Engraved neatly on the center of the knob is the logo of its maker – Orient. It is a beautiful-looking crown, but it also has problems of its own. Much like the bezel, it is a tad difficult to use. For many owners of the Mako II, the crown guards do not give enough space and are too tightly crowded around the knob, making it difficult to turn. Again, this would prove even more burdensome for fully-geared divers who wish to bring the Orient Mako II with them into the water. At the back of the Orient Mako II is a solid screw-down case back that protects the movement inside. Some may prefer having an exhibit-style transparent case back, but using a screw-down case is the optimal choice to reduce the risk of having any leakages, which is crucial for a dive watch like this.  Mineral Glass There is nothing extraordinary to note here. Mineral crystal is a standard in watches of this price range. The crystal will still get the job done, but it will not shelter the dial from anything more than light scratches. If you’re concerned about the quality of protection the crystal offers, you could opt to customize the watch by replacing the mineral glass with sapphire. However, keep in mind that sapphire will cost more. Deep Blue Sunburst Dial When looking through the mineral crystal, the Orient Mako II immediately greets on-lookers with a beautiful deep blue sunburst dial. Hour markers and indices occupy the rim of the dial, other than at the 6th, 9th, and 12th o’clock positions. The hour marker at the 3 o’clock position is replaced with a day and date window perched on the right side of the dial. At the center of the watch are sword-shaped minute and hour hands as well as a red-tipped second hand. The Orient Mako II has luminescent material applied on its hands, indices, and hour markers, so wearers are able to tell the time even in the dark. Completing the overall look is the logo and signature of Orient located below the 12th hour of the dial. The Mako II also comes with a black dial variant, while the Mako II USA sports a white dial.  Orient Caliber F6922 One of the biggest complaints that owners of the first edition Orient Mako had was the inability to wind and hack the movement manually. Since then, Orient has devised a new caliber is adjustable by hand and demonstrates the ability to tell time more precisely. This new and improved movement is none other than the in-house Caliber F6922. What makes this movement so interesting is the innovative design of the caliber. Although the F6922 is automatic, it can still be hand-wound, providing wearers benefits from either side of the spectrum. The caliber has an accuracy of -15/15+ seconds, which is much more precise than the -25/35+ seconds accuracy of its predecessor. That said, the movement will still require consistent regulation every few days. Orient uses Seiko’s Diashock as shock absorbers for the automatic apparatus. The system supplies twenty-two jewels to hold the mechanical movement in place and keep the mechanisms from experiencing excessive wear and tear. The F6922 is capable of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour and has a 40-hour power reserve. Altogether, Orient’s in-house automatic caliber is a sturdy workhorse, built with the capacity to withstand actual diving and the pressures that come with it. Three-Link Bracelet The Orient Mako II comes with the usual three-link bracelet you can find on numerous affordable Japanese timekeepers. The end links are hollow, but the bracelet is easy to calibrate and wraps around the wrist comfortably. In addition, the steel of the bracelet has been brushed and polished thoroughly, so it possesses the same glossy, professional shine as the case. A double-locking clasp with a push-button design is used to fasten the bracelet. This stainless steel bracelet gives the watch a smart, distinguished look, but there are other options available. You could experiment with different straps that better compliment the classic design of the Mako II. Depending on your preferences, you can select from a wide variety of straps and bracelets. 200m Water Resistance 200m is a deep dive. With resistances like that, the watch can withstand almost all sorts of water activity, from taking a shower to scuba diving. The only thing this wristwatch cannot handle is professional diving, which usually reaches depths of around 500m. This limitation is not a hindrance as people tend to purchase a timepiece like this for design purposes and recreational diving rather than its proficiency deep underwater. Although this timepiece is highly capable, the Orient Mako II does not have ISO certification. Taking into account that this is a very affordable $150 watch, this is a fairly minor con. For those seeking an underwater companion on their casual dive outings, however, the Orient Mako II is still more than up to the task. Alternatives For those who are not a fan of the Mako II’s style, there are a few alternatives that also provide a variety of intriguing features for a similar price tag. Orient Ray II Photo by u/pleisner3 from Reddit There is no doubt that Orient knows how to make a great-looking, affordable dive watch. If the Mako II isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe their Orient Ray II would suit you better. The Ray II sports a matte black dial, similar to that of a Rolex Submariner. Pair that with a black chapter ring and a wonderfully polished stainless steel case, and you get an affordable diver timepiece oozing with sophistication.  Orient also did a remarkable job in applying luminescence to the Ray II. The quality of the luminosity is clean, well-lit, and is unexpected for a timepiece of this price range. Compared to the Mako II, the Ray II does a better job of providing wearers good legibility in the dark. An F6522 in-house caliber powers the inner machinations of the Ray II, and its performance is identical to that of the Mako II’s F6922 calibre. Other than those features, the Mako II and Ray II are almost indistinguishable. Unfortunately, that also includes the hard-to-maneuver bezel and miniature crown. That said, the Ray II is arguably the best alternative to the Mako II. It offers nearly the same amount of features and conveniences and comes with a similar price point. The Ray II also has a wider variety of dial colors to choose from, such as deep blue and pumpkin orange. Seiko SKX007 Photo by Amazon If you’re willing to plonk more money on a trustworthy timekeeper, then look no further than the Seiko SKX007. The Seiko SKX007 is a fan-favorite amongst the range of affordable diver watches. Unlike the Ray and Mako II, the Seiko SKX007 is ISO certified, making it a highly credible and ideal choice for buyers. It possesses 200m of water resistance, hardlex glass, the Seiko 7S26 movement, and is a versatile look suitable for all occasions and activities.   It is undeniable that the SKX007 looks like a first-class watch. The blend of black and white skillfully laden on the dial and bezel makes for a beguiling design. In addition, the timepiece functions extraordinarily well in the dark. Seiko is known to do impressive work applying luminescence to their watches, and they did not disappoint with the SKX007. Seiko also uses hardlex glass to shelter the dial. Hardlex has a reputation for being more durable and resistant than mineral crystals without being too costly. Although not quite as sturdy as sapphire, hardlex glass is still an inexpensive upgrade from mineral crystals. The bezel itself has more grip than the two previously mentioned timepieces. It’s smooth, it clicks decently, and it does not have any significant amounts of wobble. Indeed, the bezel feels like something you would encounter in much more expensive wristwatches. Sadly, the crown faces the same problem as the Mako II and Ray II. Much like those watches, the crown guard of the SKX007 gives too much cover, such that it becomes tricky to use the knob. Wearers will need a bit of fingernail strength to get that pesky crown going. The Seiko 7S26 which the SKX007 uses is an in-house automatic movement and is a predecessor to the 4R36 movement. Regrettably, the 7S26 does not feature manual winding and hacking capabilities. As long as you don’t find the mechanical movement too frustrating to use, however, then this Seiko is still a good option. Since its time in the production line, the SNK007 has become more limited, and this has led to an increase in value. Right now, the timepiece fetches an average price of $330. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Photo by NY Watch Store The Promaster Diver is a Citizen timepiece built for those who enjoy swimming at the beach. Aside from having 200m of water resistance, the watch uses solar power to energize its internal components. One of the best things about this eco-friendly timekeeper is its quartz movement, which is usually more precise than mechanical movements. Since this particular Citizen uses quartz to operate, you can rest assured that you will have no trouble keeping accurate time with this watch.  The bezel is one of the most important features of a watch, so let’s take a look at how the Promaster Diver fares in that regard. On the side of the Promaster Diver’s bezel is an alternating pattern of teeth-like edges and smoothened surfaces. This design may be an unusual choice, but it serves its purpose in providing more grip. It clicks and turns well, which is satisfying. Compared to the other alternatives, this timepiece seems to have the least amount of negatives. The Citizen Promaster Diver costs approximately $180. It is more pricey than the Mako II, but it does offer a lot of benefits. Like the Mako II, the Promaster Diver can come with either a blue or black dial.  Final Thoughts Affordable Japanese diver watches continue to occupy the market to this day. Although there are a wide variety of them, not many can step up to the quality of the Mako II. If you were to look for another wristwatch under $200 that provides the same all-rounded strengths as the Mako II, chances are you probably won’t be having much luck. Although the Mako II is nowhere near perfect, it proves to be a substantial improvement from its predecessor. It is hard to go wrong with the Orient Mako II. For a timepiece that fetches a price between $130 – $150, calling this just another economical wristwatch would be an understatement. With capabilities far exceeding other wristwatches in the same price range, the Orient Mako II is nothing short of a powerhouse. The charisma of this particular timepiece is utterly magical. Whether someone is new to watches, an experienced enthusiast, or an avid collector, the Mako II attracts the eyes of all who see its sleek look. 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. Featured image courtesy of James Case on Flickr

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  10. The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph – Why Should You Need One?

    The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph – Why Should You Need One?

    The Sinn 356 Chronograph is a pilot watch that belongs to the Sinn Instrument Chronographs collection. Ironically, despite its considerable reputation, this pilot watch flies under the radar. Sinn is known to make a lot of excellent timepieces. Although they aren’t the most famous brand, their level of craftsmanship gives them an identical reputation. The Sinn 356 is a pilot chronograph with qualities that can reach heights. Though it is not one of Sinn’s most modern or popular creations, the 356 can hold its own and challenge your expectations. This article aims to give us a better understanding of the Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph and its variants. Hopefully, this helps you decide if the Sinn 356 is the ideal timepiece for you.  Everything We Need to Know About the Sinn 356 Sinn manufactured the 356 in 1996 as the successor to the 256 Pilot Chronograph — featuring a more refined and elegant look than its predecessors. Although the Sinn 356 chronograph has garnered some age, the watch carries a design and function that transcend its era and can fit in similarly just like any other modern timepiece.  There are two versions of the 356: The base variant and the SA variant. The beloved German watch company had three SA variants as alternative options for the original timepiece. Each version of the 356 SA showcases different-colored dials with a satin-finished steel case. With that said, let’s get right into the specifications of the Sinn 356. Dimensions of the Sinn 356 With regards to its overall size, the Sinn 356 is proportionally average. The timepiece has a case diameter of 38.5mm with a thickness of 15.5mm. It also has a band lug width of 20mm and a lug to lug distance of 45.6mm. Without the strap, the timepiece weighs 71 grams which should neither be too light nor too heavy. All aspects put together, the watch is well-balanced and can lay on anyone’s wrist with relative comfort.  Bead-Blasted Case  While the SA versions use satinized steel, the original Sinn 356 features a stainless steel casing that has been bead-blasted to achieve its confident dull sheen. The case is beautifully beveled to give the 356 a smooth and sleek look that fits all occasions. The bezel is also wonderfully crafted and fastens the dome-shaped acrylic glass neatly. Wearers can access the chronograph function of the 356 through pushers stationed at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock of the timepiece.  All models are pressure-resistant and screwed with a large crown to protect the inner mechanisms from pressure changes. The reason for this design dates back to the 20th century. At that time, pilots would often wear gloves to protect their hands from the conditions of flight. Since the pilots wore the gloves throughout the flight, adjusting their timepiece proved to be an infuriating task. As a solution, Sinn and other watch companies applied larger crowns so pilots would not have to remove their gloves. Bead-Blasted vs. Satinized What’s the difference between bead-blasted steel and satinized steel? First of all, both kinds of finishes are processed differently. Bead-blasted steel is the result of projecting spherical-shaped media to a steel surface. In effect, the steel obtains a uniform and streak-free exterior. Achieving a satin finish is done by brushing an abrasive material vigorously on steel. After the steel is polished and softened, the outcome is a modern-looking matte finish that is also resistant to corrosion. The second difference comes from the sheen. Bead-blasted steel offers a dull and non-reflective look, while satin-finished steel looks shinier and sharper. Due to this, the case of the standard 356 is not as reflective as its SA variants. Another difference comes from their resistance. Unfortunately, satin-finished steel is more resistant to corrosion and scratches compared to bead-blasted. If not maintained properly, the case of the standard Sinn 356 will corrode faster than its other versions. Does that mean satin-finished steel is better than bead-blasted steel? In terms of resistances, satinized steel is the clear winner. How about for appearance? That will all boil down to your preferences. Both types of finishing look good on the case. Whether bead-blasted or satin-finished, it is of great significance to carefully maintain the case of the 356. Doing this will allow its clean and elegant look to stay with you for many years to come. Dial  The standard Sinn 356 and its SA-I variant bear the same matte black dial with a syringe-like minute and hour hands. The dial consists of three recessed subdials and a bordered day and date window. This design allows the subdials and the window to be more discernible without compromising the main dial. I particularly like the structure of the handset due to its design. The thickness of the lower part of the arrows allows the alpha handset to be more noticeable, and its upper, more slender arrowhead pinpoints time precisely without meshing with the other dials.  White-colored numbers, hour markers, indexes, and subdial handsets are scattered across the dial to counteract its dark flat surface while giving it a minimalistic yet sophisticated two-toned look. The digits for 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 12 o’clock are unregistered in the dial to make space for the positioning of the day and date window and the subdials of the dial. All numbers and handsets are coated with luminescent colors to allow easier reading at night. The 356 SA-II and SA-III use a copper and silver electroplated guilloche dial, respectively. Having the dials of the SA II and III electroplated gives it a premium chrome style that can catch the eyes of any viewer. Describing the process of making an electroplated dial is not an easy task, but a summary of the process is available in Sinn’s Technology Glossary. All versions have the Sinn and Flieger (Pilot) signature positioned at the top and bottom of the day and date window. Acrylic Glass An acrylic dome-shaped glass shelters the dial of the standard Sinn 356. Acrylic glass is a type of protection made of Poly-acrylic Esters. The material is flexible, impact-resistant, and is a more cost-effective substitute for sapphire. Users can opt to have the acrylic glass replaced with sapphire glass for more long-term durability. Despite being regarded as glass, acrylic has more resemblances to hard plastic than actual glass. That said, the glass is highly resistant to breaks, weather, and corrosion. While this type of material is impact-resistant, it has a softness that makes it susceptible to scratches. Too many scratches will hinder its wearers from reading the dial effectively. With that in mind, Sinn ensures that their users can hide light scratches with a good amount of polishing. SA versions of the 356 come with a dome-shaped Sapphire glass as standard. The interior of the sapphire dome is coated with an anti-reflective inlay — allowing wearers to view the time from different angles and lighting conditions without any distortion. SW 500 Movement A Sellita SW 500 uses a mechanical, self-winding mechanism to operate the Sinn 356. The SW 500 is based on the Valjoux 7750 and is known for its resilience and durability. It is a relatively large and thick movement that bears 25 jewels to reduce wear and tear. The system produces 28,800 oscillations per hour and is anti-magnetic. A seconds stop function is also present in the mechanism for wearers to synchronize time with reliable precision.  The movement of the 356 is protected by a stainless steel caseback that is screwed down (along with the crown) for more efficient water resistance. The SA variants utilize a sapphire crystal caseback that is similarly screwed down. Since the SA case backs are transparent, wearers can view the inner machinations of the 356 in all its intricate glory. Comprehensive Strap Selection Sinn provides its customers with the option to choose their preferred leather, stainless steel, or silicone strap for the 356. The catalog of leather bands for the Sinn 356 is composed of a wide-range selection that features cowhide, calfskin, horsehide, and alligator leather. Customers can also choose between a two-link, bead-blasted, stainless steel bracelet or a black silicone strap with a large-scale or small-scale folding clasp. Personally, the timepiece looks stylish with any strap on it. I suggest that you pick one that allows your watch to lay comfortably on your wrist. Alligator leather may be the safest and most refined material, but it is also the most luxurious among the four. Water Resistance Despite being a pilot’s watch, all versions of the Sinn 356 are waterproof and can endure water pressure for up to 10 bars or 100 meters. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a bar is a type of measurement equivalent to 10 meters of water pressure. Timepieces of this kind of caliber can resist rain splashes and shower water without a problem. While it is unsuitable for extreme water sports such as deep-sea diving, the timepiece can withstand more leisurely activities such as swimming and snorkeling.  Up Close with the 356 Flieger Family It would be disappointing if I keep mentioning the variants without giving you an illustration of their unique appearances. Without further ado, let’s meet the other attractive individuals that complete the Sinn 356 Pilot family. 1. Sinn 356 SA Photo by SinnThe first SA variant of the 356 Pilot is the most identical to the standard model. With sapphire glass and a satin-finished casing as the only difference, the 356 SA offers its wearers a similar timeless look with a little more luxury and a lot more durability. The changes may not be dramatic, but the switch from bead-blasted to satinized steel will increase the overall corrosion resistance of the watch. Sapphire glass is also much more resistant to scratching than acrylic. Shaping the sapphire was a strategic move by Sinn as it increases the capabilities of the sapphire to resist impacts. A timepiece built this way can effortlessly withstand the test of time while maintaining its deep and stylish appearance. 2. Sinn 356 SA-II Photo by SinnBeneath the sapphire dome lies a shiny copper interior. A closer look at the SA II reveals a uniform guilloche pattern that travels outward from the center of the electroplated dial. The distinct beauty of the SA II makes its wearers stand out from the mundane crowd with a powerful and fashionable statement.  Despite boasting an intriguing design, it happens to be my least favorite member of the Sinn 356 family. To me, the other colors complement the entire watch better than the copper tone. Don’t get me wrong, the timepiece still looks astounding. It’s just my preference. 3. Sinn 356 SA III Photo by SinnThe SA III is the final entrant to the 356 series and is my favorite among the four. This marvelous piece possesses a silver-hued, guilloche-patterned, electroplated dial similar to the SA II. Despite the coloring, the dials are still highly legible. The blend of the satinized steel and silver interior gives the SA III an even complexion throughout its structure without melding the different components too much.  I love the level of sophistication the SA III Pilot brings. If I had it, I would pair the timepiece with a stainless steel two-link bracelet. This kind of bracelet will allow me to keep the uniformity of the watch. I’m Not a Pilot, Why Would I Need the Sinn 356? Different people need different things. A carefully designed timepiece can go a long way in meeting the owner’s specific criteria. A diver watch specializes in water resistance, allowing it to stick by its owner’s side while traversing the mysterious ocean. Sports watches have features to let their users track their progress as they enter a healthier lifestyle. For socialites and secret agents, becoming dressed to kill is a feat that only a striking dress watch can achieve.  However, some watches break the limit and become more than just a tool. The Sinn 356 is more than just a tool watch. It is a companion that’s always there for you when you need it. Yes, the 356 caters to pilots, but it is no stranger to everyday life. With such a versatile appearance and function, the watch can be what you want it to be. It is stylish enough to be used for special occasions and is strong enough to be brought underwater. The Best Alternative to the Sinn 356 Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Auto Chrono Photo by HamiltonIf you want a different pilot watch, you can go for the Hamilton X-Wind Auto Chrono. With more crowns and a tachymetric scale, this piece from the Hamilton Khaki Aviation collection is more than just a substitute. The X-Wind uses the H-21, an automatic movement with a reserve of 60-hours. With the case and dial loaded with numbers and meters, the design of this particular Hamilton watch leans to a more technical side. Personally, the dial of the Hamilton is not as legible as the Sinn 356. I also prefer the overall simplistic design of the 356. If this is the kind of watch you’re looking for, don’t let my preferences stop you. The X-Wind fetches a similar price tag of $1,870. Final Thoughts Though it is not the greatest among the Sinn Instrument Chronographs watches, the Sinn 356 is a stunning example of what the ideal pilot watch should be. It is a timepiece that can accurately display various times to its wearers, even when battling through extreme conditions. It flaunts a dateless style that can be directed to Sinn’s tradition in watchmaking throughout the years. All aspects considered, there’s barely anything to add or remove from the 356 to make it even better. Maybe the only thing the watch is missing is an owner?  The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph fetches an average price of $1,700 USD to $2,400 USD, while its variant’s price ranges between $2,300 USD and $3,400 USD. It does require a hefty amount of money, but it is definitely worth your investment. With proper maintenance, this watch can probably outlive you. With that in mind, you won’t just be buying the watch for yourself. The Sinn 356 can be passed down as an heirloom to the next generation so that they too can love and respect the glorious timepiece just like you did. Need a diver watch? Check out our guide to the Omega Aqua Terra 150m

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  11. Patek 5970 — An Ode to the 5270’s “Perfect” Older Brother

    Patek 5970 — An Ode to the 5270’s “Perfect” Older Brother

    One of the most symbolic father-son moments in watch history was when Philippe Stern handed the reins of Patek Philippe to his son Thierry Stern. This iconic moment gave birth to one of the most outstanding timepieces in watch history — the Patek 5970.  The Patek Philippe 5970 is a series of perpetual calendar chronographs manufactured by Patek Philippe in the early 2000s. Anyone who is an avid watch collector will tell you that Patek Philippe provides one of the finest watches in the industry. The passed-down technique that Patek uses in crafting their timepieces is evocative of the brand’s image. This technique made the glorious anatomy that makes up the Patek 5970. At first glance, you’re not entirely sure if the timepiece is vintage, modern, a mix of both, or somewhere in between. In this article, we will unshroud the mystery that makes this watch not only a prized possession but also a technical masterpiece. After discovering what the Patek 5970 has to behold, we will compare the 5970 with its successor — the 5270. But before we head into the nitty and gritty of the 5970, let’s get to know the origins of this lovely slice of luxury, A Closer Look at the Patek 5970 The Patek Philippe 5970 was coined in 2004 by Thierry Stern as the successor to the reference 3970. In devising the 5970, Thierry wanted to create a watch that would cater to the younger generation while also inheriting the legacy that defined Patek’s remarkable history. Patek Philippe began manufacturing the reference 5970 in 2004 and ended its production in 2011. The Patek 5970 was the last of Patek’s perpetual calendar watches to utilize the Lemania 2310-based movement. The Patek 5970 series would sell at an approximate price of $100,000 USD to $200,000 USD for each timepiece.  The Patek 5970 was later on succeeded by the Patek 5270, which uses Patek’s in-house movement mechanisms. Although it was the 5270’s time to bask in the limelight, the watch (5270) did not receive the same amount of appreciation compared to its predecessors. The 5970 remains one of Patek’s most revered and most sought-after references to date. Its unmatched luxury and distinct design make this timepiece a close and spitting image to the Perfect Watch. Photo from PhillipsSpecifications The timepiece measures 40mm in diameter with a thickness of 13mm. The Patek 5970 will look even thicker if your wrist is on the small side. Despite its bulky appearance, the watch is well-proportioned and fits the hand like a glove. People can don this premium watch with relative ease on various special occasions or in everyday life. Even in this level of luxury, it’s not easy to find a burly wristwatch that can wrap comfortably around your wrist.  1. Case Different cases with various colors shelter the Patek 5970 and its variants. The custom cases cover and protect the timepiece from danger and also separates it from other corresponding references. While none of them are inherently the same, each watch case has its own set of similarities. The case can either be made of 18Kt gold or platinum, depending on the model version. Each case comes with a crown and two pushers positioned at the right side of the timepiece. The watch cases are sleek and finished skillfully, and the lugs on each side are carefully beveled to lay comfortably on one’s wrist while avoiding excess protrusion. Personally, I am glad that the lugs are very short. The appeal of long-lugged watches is something I cannot (and will not) understand. Long lugs make my timepiece look like it has a pair of skis attached to it. I prefer having a small-lugged wristwatch that does not look like it’s ready to ski down a snowy mountain. 2. Dial Like most of Patek’s line-up of perpetual calendars, the Patek 5970 can indicate different aspects of time. From seconds, minutes, and hours, all the way to days, months, years, leap years, and moon phases, the 5970 fulfills its role like any other watch of its caliber. By looking at any of the Patek Philippe 5970 variants, you’ll see that the dials are ladened with all sorts of time indicators and matching leaf-style handsets. The dials for the Patek 5970G, Patek 5970R, and Patek 5970J feature a light tinge, while the Patek 5970P has its dial colored black. Visible near the rim of each dial is a tachymetric scale that provides more functionality to the 5970. Despite being fully loaded, there’s still a sufficient amount of space that separates each component. The subdials and numbers are far enough to not clash with one another, allowing its wearers to view the time and date without difficulty. The preciseness placed on the proportions and overall balance of the dial is remarkable — a distinct level of craftsmanship Patek has carried throughout the ages.  The Patek Philippe and Geneve signatures are placed below the day and month window to complete the dial’s style. 3. Movement Photo from PhillipsAs mentioned above, a Lemania-based movement operates the Patek 5970. The base of the apparatus is deeply customised to create the CH 27-70 Q. Although heavily modified, the Lemania-based mechanism is a crucial piece of Patek’s perpetual timepieces due to its usage in the company, dating back to 1986. The Patek 5970 has a power reserve of 60 hours before needing to be manually rewound. Twenty-four jewels hold the CH 27-70 Q together to reduce friction between the parts. At the rear of the watch, you can see an exhibition-style caseback that shelters the mechanism. With this design, people can enjoy viewing the intricacies of the CH 27-70 Q movement. The watch uses sapphire glass to form the transparent caseback to help ensure that the apparatus can avoid all sorts of scratches and damage. 4. Strap The Patek 5970s typically use high-quality alligator straps to hold their luxurious timepiece. Juxtaposed to other reptile skin such as crocodile skin and caiman skin, the material of Alligator skin is much more flexible and durable. Alligator leather is also said to age well, so it pairs well with an ageless watch such as the Patek 5970. Alligator skin undergoes a type of processing that excludes the use of harmful chemicals, allowing users with sensitive skin to wear the watch without irritation. Maintenance for the alligator strap is simple and easy, too, since all you need to do is wipe it with a damp cloth. Picking alligator leather was an experienced choice for making the 5970’s strap. Patek Philippe 5970’s Four Different Variants Photo from PhillipsPatek Philippe 5970P (Platinum) Possibly the fan-favorite of the series, the platinum-cased 5970 boasts a unique and versatile look that makes it stand out among the rest. This particular 5970 is the only model that features a black dial. The 5970P entered production in 2010 and was the last version of the series before its discontinuation. The charcoal black dial and platinum case made this particular 5970 model attain an exceedingly high demand among enthusiasts and collectors alike.  I’m a simple man. When I see the color black, I like it. The blackness of the dial definitely sets it apart from the other three versions. It is the most popular variant of the bunch and is the series’ highest sold base watch. Patek Philippe 5970R (Rose Gold) You’ve probably heard this specific color go around during the release of the iPhone 6. One of the first 5970s produced was the Patek Philippe 5970R. Like the 5970G, the 5970R began its production in 2004. Patek continued to manufacture the 5970R for five years and halted production in 2009.  Compared to most shades of rose gold that highlight a rosy-red hue, the redness of the 5970R has a milder tone which makes the gold aspect of the rose gold shade more distinct. The merging of the rose gold case with the clean yet elaborate white dial makes the 5970R a vintage take with a modern twist. Although it has some resemblances with the 5970J (yellow gold), this eccentric work of art has its personalized spot in the series that gives it as much attention as its siblings. Photo from Christie’sPatek Philippe 5970G (White Gold) The Patek 5970G was also one of the first in the series to make its debut. Along with the rose gold version, Patek began producing the 5970G in 2004. This model features a neatly done white dial accompanied by a matching white gold case. The white dial is balanced with black hands and black numerals, giving it a simple yet intriguing two-toned elegance. Although the Patek 5970G arguably has the cleanest look, it was the least popular piece of the series. Its minimalist design has likely catered to a younger demographic instead of Patek’s usual audience. I’m glad to be a part of the younger generation, as I think the 5970G suits me. The complementing tones are elegant, and the watch looks good on all kinds of wrists. Photo from PhillipsPatek Philippe 5970J (Yellow Gold) Everything about the Patek 5970 screams classic, and you can sense the prestigious aura it exudes. The 5970J was introduced in 2009 and is the rarest model of the reference. It was made as another option for enthusiasts apart from the rose gold and white gold versions and only underwent one year of production. I’m a total sucker for this kind of color scheme, and this variant is undoubtedly my favorite among the four. Its extensive vintage look, high-quality crafting, and sepia-like tone sequence make this watch one of the best watches I’ve ever seen. Patek 5970 vs. Patek 5270 — A Comparison  The Patek 5970 has been likened to the Patek 5270 by many watch enthusiasts. Both perpetual calendar watches were conceived during Thierry’s time as chairman and are both reputable constructs. Although most enthusiasts deem the former to be more well-loved than the latter, more 5270s populate the market. You can find a model of the 5270 under the Patek Philippe Complications with no sign of the Patek 5970. That said, let’s get a better understanding of these two models. Movement: CH 27-70 Q vs. 29-535S Q The first and apparent difference is the movement. Unlike the 5970, which used a heavily modded Lemania 2310, the 5270 used the 29-535S Q,  a mechanism built solely in-house. Not only was it a more modern apparatus, but it was also the first mechanism Patek ever made. The 29-535S Q comes with a column wheel to manage the different levels of the watch. The new column wheel allows the systems of the 5270 to work smoother and be subject to lesser wear and tear. Is it better than the 5970’s movement? Technically, yes. Another difference, albeit minor, between the two is their power reserves. The 5270 has a power reserve of 65 hours, while the 5970 only had a power reserve of 60 hours. Other than that, the two mechanisms work like a charm with barely any noteworthy contrasts.  Diameter: 40mm vs. 41mm The Patek 5970 has a diameter of 40mm, while the 5270 has a diameter of 41mm. The 5270s new case and new lugs make this model one of Patek Philippe’s most sizable references in their catalog. Despite being only a millimeter greater in diameter, the 5270 is visibly bulkier than its predecessors. The Patek 5970 also exhibited a more comfortable fit compared to the 5270. That said, both references fit cozily on the wrist despite their girthy exterior. Series: One vs. Three  The Patek 5970 only had a single series during its production. The sole series of four metals features the following versions: Rose Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold, and Platinum. With four stunning and unique timepieces, it proved challenging for enthusiasts and collectors to pick a favorite. With regards to the Patek 5270, there were things it did right and things it didn’t. I usually like hearing the good news first so let’s start with that. The 5270 had two windows embedded on its 4:30 and 7:30 sides. This innovation solved an issue that some users had in reading the 5970’s multiple dials.  That said, it is time for us to go through the three series of the 5270 and its bumpy road. The first series of the 5270 featured a white gold case identical to the 5970 variant, a light-silver dial with a gold handset, and (get this) no tachymeter. It is unknown why Patek excluded this component from the 5270. Due to that decision, fans were unhappy with the outcome as their expectations were unmet. In effect, the 5270 had to reintroduce itself in a second series. The second series had a white gold case with a choice between an opal or blue dial. To not cause events that repeat history, the second series now comes with a tachymetric scale. Patek finally took care of the problem. However, a new obstacle made itself apparent when enthusiasts noticed something unsightly in the dial. How should I say this? Do you know that feeling when you take a picture of yourself, and you see your double-chin? Yes, that grim reminder that we need to lose weight is such an eyesore.  The 5270 has a similar issue in which a small protrusion is visible at the bottom of the dial. This design messes with the perfect circle of the tachymeter and is an absolute bane for those with an inkling of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Funnily enough, this disfigurement also acquired was described as a “chin” by its users and viewers in the watch industry. The model was further snubbed by its audience not only because reading the tachymeter would prove a challenge but also because that “chin” is straight-up unsightly. Well, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board. After yet another fault, the brand releases its 3rd series of the 5270. This installment has the same palette option as the second series (white gold case with either a blue or opal dial. The series also unveiled another color scheme – sporting a Rose Gold casing merged with an opal dial. It looks like the third time was definitely the charm for the 5270. The 5270 finally had its breakthrough and is now placed in a better light. Goodbye, chin. I won’t miss you a single bit. Is one better than the other? It took a while, but the 5270 finally hit the sweet spot that the Patek 5970 has leisurely stayed. Despite having mishaps during the development of the 5270s series, its first and second series developed a niche as part of the 5270’s history. Such models would sometimes fetch a price that’s equal to the models of the 5970. Is one better than the other? Personally, no. I like the 5970 better by default, but that doesn’t mean that the 5270 lacks. Both references showcase superb performance and individual style, which is what matters the most. The 5970 may be rarer, but they are both priced closely. Additionally, I think these two references (along with the 3970) can outclass any of Patek’s current catalogs — including Patek’s Grand Complications set. Final Thoughts The Patek 5970 is a reference series that you could very much call perfect. Honestly, you won’t find a more spectacular piece of horology than the 5970. It’s simply such a beautiful timepiece that it’s in a league of its own. No wonder the world of watch enthusiasts has kept its eye on this particular reference. It has so much to flaunt and hardly had anything remotely disappointing to converse.  If anything, one thing I can complain about is the longevity of its production. For such a lustrous and complex timepiece, the amount of time it had in assembly was considerably short. There was only an estimated amount of 2,800 ever made, according to watch collector and Patek Philippe expert John Reardon. With only that many 5970s, you probably will not be seeing the whole in-person anytime soon.  This beloved timepiece not only marked Thierry Stern’s spot in Patek Philippe’s lineage but also made Philippe Stern a contented and proud father. _____________________________________________________________________ Want a watch that’s more oriental?  Here are the Top 5 Japanese Dress Watches.

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