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  2. 7 Stunning Watch Collaborations with Artists

    7 Stunning Watch Collaborations with Artists

    The worlds of watchmaking and creative arts have more in common than you may think. Indeed, some of the main aspects the two have in common include the underlying technical ability that takes years of practice and the importance of the visual aesthetic. As artists of all kinds continue to involve themselves more and more in fashion and culture, watchmakers have begun recruiting some big names for limited-edition watch collaborations. With watchmakers teaming up with tattoo artists, musicians, and everything in between, these watch collaborations have resulted in some very iconic pieces. Maybe you are looking to incorporate a splash of vibrancy onto your wrist, or you just want to add some of the most exclusive watches to your collection. Whatever it is, here are some of the most sought-after watch collaborations with artists today. 1: TAG Heuer & Alec Monopoly Image by: Flaunt.com Alec Monopoly is a world-famous graffiti artist. He is best known for his signature tag of the top-hatted Mr. Monopoly from the classic Monopoly board game. Since 2016, this contemporary street artist has been working with TAG Heuer as an “Art Provocateur”. This was part of an initiative to help improve the Swiss watchmaker’s overall artistic efforts. TAG Heuer and Monopoly linked up for a memorable take on the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Alec Monopoly Special Edition. This is a watch collaboration that reflects the groundbreaking spirit of the original Formula 1 41mm and also has the rebellious American artist’s stamp all over it. The dial of this watch is, without a doubt, its star. Mr. Monopoly himself makes an appearance on the watch’s dial, with a top hat on his head and a scarf covering his face. The final touch is an engraving of Monopoly’s signature “ALEC” graffiti tag on the back of the watch’s dial. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Alec Monopoly Special Edition was limited to just 200 pieces. 2: Hublot & Shepard Fairey Image by: Dujour.com While you might not have heard the name Shepard Fairey before, it is more than likely that you are familiar with some of his work. Most notably, Fairey was the creative mind behind the now-iconic Barack Obama “HOPE” poster that was ubiquitous during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Shepard Fairey is a street artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and activist. His “OBEY” art project, found on the streets of Los Angeles, challenged viewers to question authority. Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot teamed up with Fairey as part of its Hublot Loves Art series. The result was the manually-wound Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey. This timepiece featured the brand’s signature in-house TAG Heuer HUB 1201 movement, a 10-day power reserve, and a stylish gear-driven mechanical aesthetic. The watch’s design also boasted the artist’s iconic “STAR GEAR” logo next to the 3 o’clock aperture. As a limited-edition watch, there were only 100 pieces of the Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey produced. 3: Audemars Piguet & DJ Surkin / GENER8ION Image by: Audemars Piguet For a few years now, Audemars Piguet has been linking up with various creatives. This includes a number of watch collaborations with well-known musicians like Quincy Jones and Jay-Z. One of its most popular offerings, however, comes from a team-up with DJ Surkin. Known primarily for his beat-laden electro house, Surkin is also famous for founding a music platform known as GENER8ION. Together, Audemars Piguet and DJ Surkin created a watch they called “a celebration of sound”. As part of this effort, the French musician spent three days working at the Audemars Piguet headquarters. The result was a revamped version of the iconic Royal Oak watch: the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION. The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION has four distinctive chimes that play at different times. The first comes at 6:03 am to indicate the start of the day around the Audemars Piguet headquarters in Le Brassus. This is followed by a chime at 10:45am, which uses sounds that came directly from the rhythm of Audemars Piguet’s workshop activity. The 4:15pm chime was made using weather sounds from the valley. The final tune, at 10:17pm, mixes outdoor sounds with synthesized tunes to indicate the end of the day approaching. This Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION also comprises a glare-proof sapphire crystal, a titanium bezel, a black ceramic screw-locked crown, and titanium push pieces. However, the coolest part of this watch might be its skeleton dial, which shows off the impressive and sophisticated craftsmanship of its movement. 4: TAG Heuer & Bamford Image by: Metro-society.com Sometimes, iconic pieces are best when they are just that, right? Just like the exact manner in which they rose to fame. In this entry, we are looking at George Bamford. Bamford rose to fame through his Bamford Watch Department, in which he took iconic timepieces and customized them to their owner’s preference. TAG Heuer took notice of Bamford’s success and enlisted his talents for an official watch collaboration. Bamford took the Carrera, Autavia, and Monaco, three of TAG Heuer’s most iconic watches ever. He fitted these timepieces with super-lightweight carbon fiber cases, crisp black dials, and light blue details, giving them a fashionable revamped edge. 5. Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng  Image by: Bulgari and Saywho.fr If you are a fan of classic Chinese paintings, you might be acquainted with the Chinese-French artist Wang Yan Cheng. He is a great artist, renowned for his astonishing and spectacular artworks. Today, Wang is recognized as one of the central painters in the Chinese contemporary art scene. In 2022, the renowned Italian luxury watch brand Bvlgari announced its intention to bring together culture, time, and the contemporary by raising the personalization of Art and the Art of personalization to the next level. To this end, Bvlgari entered into a strong partnership with Wang. Together with Wang, Bvlgari presents the 44mm Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng. It is crafted from sleek, sandblasted black titanium, with a refined black onyx middle case. Through its skeleton dial, you can also admire the watch’s robust flying tourbillon movement, which grants it extreme stability and accuracy. Each piece of the Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng bears the inscription “Pièce Unique”. 6. Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’ By Elisabetta Fantone Image by: Crownwatchblog.com Elisabetta Fantone is a Canadian-Italian contemporary artist who stands out for her labyrinthine and colorful paintings. Her works have been featured in many notable art galleries worldwide. As a testimony to the quality of her work, Fantone’s celebrity clients include big names such as Celine Dion, the late Muhammad Ali, and the Kardashians. In 2016, Swiss luxury watch brand Corum was delighted to announce its new artistic watch collaboration with Fantone. The brand gave her full liberty to design its next quintessential bubble watch, resulting in the Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’. The Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’ presents a new, modern take on a classic Haute Horlogerie design. It comes in two different sizes, 42mm and 44mm, with the 44mm model being limited to just 88 pieces. The highlight of this watch is its masterful dial. It bears a beautiful, vibrant portrayal of Mona Lisa, which was originally painted by the famous Leonardo Da Vinci. 7. Parmigiani Fleurier x Marcello Lo Giudice Image by: aBlogtoWatch.com and Robbreport.com A few years ago, the Italian artist Marcello Lo Giudice painted the Eden Universe, Eden Ocean for a New York art exhibition. This sensational work of art captured the Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier’s attention. This led to a new watch collaboration between Parmigiani Fleurier and Lo Giudice. This artistic team-up produced the Limited Edition Tonda 1950. This is an ultra-rare limited-edition timepiece, with only 12 pieces available. Each Limited Edition Tonda 1950 model boasts a smaller recreation of the Eden Universe, Eden Ocean artwork on its dial, highlighting Lo Giudice’s greatest masterpiece. The brand achieved this using a unique layer technique, which allowed it to design each dial to perfection. It made the inscription and delineation of the raw dial plate’s design easier. This gave the Limited Edition Tonda 1950s dial more volume and dimension, adding to its sophisticated, well-built look. Featured image courtesy of Audemar Piguet’s official website. Searching for the best affordable watches in the market? Why not spare time to read our article about the Best Affordable Watch Brands Under $1,000.

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  3. Rolex Smurf: A Review of the Emblematic Rolex Submariner 116619LB

    Rolex Smurf: A Review of the Emblematic Rolex Submariner 116619LB

    Rolex is home to some of the most coveted timepieces in the world. It has a drool-worthy catalogue consisting of famous and diverse luxury pieces, such as the Rolex Batman and Rolex Pepsi, that every watch enthusiast and aficionado dreams of owning someday. One of the brand’s most emblematic watches is the Rolex Smurf, which hails from its iconic Submariner collection. Like its peers in the Submariner collection, the Rolex Smurf is a sturdily-built, luxurious dive watch. Indeed, having been in production for over ten years now, the Rolex Smurf remains one of Rolex’s most sought-after timepieces ever made. Stylish, sleek, and robust, in this article we will be taking an in-depth look at the Rolex Smurf and the reasons behind its enduring popularity Rolex Watches and Nicknames If you are new to the watchmaking world, you may not know about the habit some watch fans have of giving their favourite timepieces iconic nicknames. Oftentimes, when fans truly love a watch, they will give it a certain moniker based on its design, color, or structure. Some examples include Seiko’s dive watches, with popular examples like the Seiko Tuna or the Seiko Samurai. Rolex watches, too, are known for their witty labels which are used by the watch community more frequently than the actual names of these timepieces. For instance, many people have probably heard about watches such as the Rolex Coke or Rolex Hulk. In fact, you can probably take a guess as to the aesthetic and colorway of these watches just off their names. The Rolex Smurf is another one of these cleverly nicknamed Rolex watches. The reason behind this nickname should be pretty obvious, especially if you are familiar with the popular animated characters called The Smurfs. They are fictional creatures with bright blue skin that resembles the royal blue colorway of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116619LB, hence the Rolex Smurf’s catchy nickname. All About The Rolex Smurf The Rolex Ref. 116619LB, which is more popularly referred to as the Rolex Smurf, came out in 2008. It was released in celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary and the 55th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner collection. The Rolex Smurf immediately caught the attention of watch collectors around the world, as it was the first Submariner watch to be made solely out of precious white gold metal. With that said, let us delve deeper into the Rolex Smurf to find out everything else it has to offer. Case and Bezel Right off the bat, the most notable thing about the Rolex Smurf is its solid, 18-carat white gold case that simply exudes the utmost luxury. It has a diameter of around 400mm and a lug width of 20mm. These are rather standard measurements, allowing the Rolex Smurf to fit quite nicely on wrists of all sizes. One of the main reasons behind the exceptional popularity of the Rolex Smurf is its unique coating. In most cases, white gold watches tend to showcase a shiny and extremely bright sheen that draws the eye. For the Rolex Smurf, however, the brand opted to apply a slightly duller, greyer brushed finish. This unusual finish allows the Rolex Smurf to truly stand out against other white gold watches. On the top of the Rolex Smurf’s watch case, you can find the brand’s signature elapsed time scale bezel. Fitted with a deep blue Cerachrom insert, this bezel is marked with 60-minute graduations and can rotate in one direction, clockwise only. This bezel also comes with 120 clean clicks, with virtually no backplay, so you do not have to worry about jostling the bezel and losing track of your elapsed time underwater. Enclosed within the bezel is a layer of sapphire crystal, which is the strongest watch crystal available on the market. Tough and extremely resistant against scratches, this watch crystal is perfect for those who value durability in a watch. Bracelet The Rolex Smurf is paired with a gorgeous Oyster bracelet that is also made out of luxurious 18-carat white gold. With its classic three-link design, this Oyster bracelet is one of Rolex’s trademark creations, perfectly fusing durability and comfort. Like the watch case, this bracelet is embellished with a sleek brushed finish. It is also equipped with an Oysterlock clasp, which keeps the bracelet firmly fastened on your wrist. The Oysterlock clasp is engraved with the brand’s iconic crown logo, adding an air of refinement to this timepiece. Dial  As with most Rolex Submariner timepieces, the dial is the star of the show. The Rolex Smurf showcases a captivating shade of blue that is truly unique to this model and is the source of the watch’s nickname. This dial also boasts a classic, easy-to-read Submariner layout. It comprises thick hour markers in various geometric shapes, signature Rolex Mercedes hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock that is magnified by a special cyclops lens. The hands and indices of this watch are generously coated with Super-LumiNova. This causes the watch face to light up in a bright, neon blue hue when viewed in the dark, allowing for optimal legibility at all times. Movement and Other Features People often tend to focus a little too much on the exteriors of Rolex Submariner watches, due to their admittedly vibrant and luxurious designs. However, just like every other model in Rolex’s catalogue, the inner mechanisms of the Rolex Smurf are certainly worthy of discussion too. The Rolex Smurf is equipped with a well-crafted in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. This is a COSC-certified automatic movement that possesses an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. It boasts top-notch time-telling precision, with an accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day. Finally, this movement also offers an excellent 300-meter depth rating, making it truly reliable both in and out of the water. Price  It is no secret that Rolex watches are some of the most valuable timepieces to ever exist. While the Rolex Smurf is not the most exorbitant Rolex model out there, it is still highly coveted, especially since it is no longer in production today. The current estimated value of the Rolex Smurf is around $63,500 USD, which is a very hefty price indeed. You can also expect the value of the Rolex Smurf to appreciate in the next years, due to its prestigious Rolex branding and its status rare timepiece that is no longer in production. Rolex Smurf: Selling Points Now that we know more about the Rolex Smurf, let us consider a few main reasons why you should definitely consider adding this watch to your collection. Valuable. The Rolex Smurf is an expensive model that makes for a great investment piece. Even though it has been more than a decade since the Rolex Smurf was launched, its popularity only continues to grow throughout the years. As such, it is an incredibly valuable, highly-coveted watch with a resale value that will only appreciate in the future. Renown. Another reason why the Rolex Smurf is worth your time is that it is a well-established model in the watchmaking scene. If you are trying to make your collection more credible or impressive, adding this renowned timepiece to your assortment will surely garner rave compliments from fellow enthusiasts.Symbolic. This last point is directed to all the watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts who value the essence and the story of a timepiece above all. Released in celebration of Rolex’s 100th anniversary, the Rolex Smurf possesses great symbolic value as it was a tribute to the brand’s storied past and to what it can offer moving forward. The fact that it incorporated new materials and design elements while simultaneously celebrating the historical value of Rolex as a brand showcases how the Rolex Smurf represents everything that Rolex is all about.Alternatives to the Rolex Smurf If you are having trouble getting your hands on the Rolex Smurf, below are some alternative models you can opt for instead. 1. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB First up, we have the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB. Arguably on the same level as the Rolex Smurf when it comes to popularity, this Rolex timepiece showcases a very similar design to the Smurf, albeit with a different colorway and a slightly different vibe. This is a highly sought-after timepiece that would surely make any watch collector drool. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB is presented in a 40mm case made of 18-carat yellow gold, coupled with an Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Its gleaming, all-gold exterior gives off a flashier, more lavish feel that will draw the eyes of all who see it. Like the Rolex Smurf, this model also comes with a rotating elapsed time scale bezel that bears a royal blue Cerachrom insert. The dial of this watch, on the other hand, is a little different than the Rolex Smurf. Unlike the Smurf’s matte blue dial, this Rolex timepiece instead showcases a blue dial with a gorgeous, metallic sunray finish. This adds to the higher-end, classy look of this watch. The dial is also furnished with geometric hour markers, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. As with the Rolex Smurf, this timepiece is driven by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. Held together by 31 jewels, this COSC-certified automatic movement offers an accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day. It can last up to 50 hours when fully wound. This timepiece also has an excellent depth rating of 300 meters, befitting its status as a Rolex Submariner watch. Given all its impressive and extravagant characteristics, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB’s price tag of $39,995 USD is not surprising at all. 2. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001 Next up, we have the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001. This watch has a rather different design compared to the Rolex Smurf. Nevertheless, it shows off the same prestige and exclusivity as the Smurf, thanks to its similar colorway and use of luxurious materials. This watch serves as the ideal alternative for those seeking a blue-dial watch at the peak of luxury. This Patek Philippe watch comes in a 40mm cushion-shaped case and bracelet, both of which are made from 18-carat white gold. It showcases a matte blue dial with a horizontal teak pattern that adds to the sophisticated look of this watch. It also consists of white gold applique hour markers and blunt watch hands. Three unusual sub-dials are dotted around the dial. At 3 o’clock, you can find a quarter-month counter, while a day-of-the-week dial is placed at 9 o’clock. Located at 6 o’clock is a day-of-the-month dial, which also contains a lovely, starry moon phase indicator. A Patek Philippe Calibre 240 Q powers this watch. This is an automatic movement with a standard 48-hour power supply. The only downside to this watch, arguably, is the fact that it only has a water resistance capacity of 60 meters. While this is enough to survive any accidental splashes or showers, you will not be able to use this Patek Philippe Nautilus watch for any deepwater activities. Be prepared to shell out at least $449,000 USD to get your hands on the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001. 3. Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SBSA043 The Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SBSA043, on the other hand, serves as a more affordable alternative to the Rolex Smurf. It does not have the same luxurious feel as the previous models. Instead, this Seiko watch offers a more simple and more sporty aesthetic. It is perfect for those who want something similar to the Rolex Smurf without having to break the bank. This Seiko 5 Sports watch utilizes a 40mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a steel bezel, which guards the watch’s face against any impacts or scratches. Enclosed within this bezel is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Through the watch’s sapphire crystal, you can get a clear view of the watch’s striking blue dial. It comes in a beautiful shade of sunray blue and is adorned with geometric hour markers, large syringe hands, and a day-date complication at 3 o’clock. Flipping the watch over, you will find a transparent caseback that is also made of stainless steel. This caseback gives you a glimpse of the Seiko Caliber 4R36 that runs inside. This Japanese automatic movement offers a decent power reserve of 40 hours. On top of that, the Seiko SBSA043 is also water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters, making it suitable for most water activities. The Seiko SBSA043 costs approximately $490 USD. Final Thoughts  The Rolex Smurf is a gorgeous diving watch that really stands out among the rest. It comes in a mesmerizing shade of blue that perfectly complements its clever nickname. On top of that, it is also equipped with state-of-the-art functions and features that are powered by a well-crafted movement. While it is a little disappointing that the Rolex Smurf is no longer in production today, the guarantee of its constantly appreciating value makes this a great watch to add to your collection. Photo Credits: Watchshopping Site Interested in diving watches? Check out this piece on the Orient Mako II!

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  4. Get to Know the Robust Sinn U50

    Get to Know the Robust Sinn U50

    Despite being a rather underrated brand, the watchmaker Sinn certainly has what it takes to impress everyone with its versatile timepieces. Established in 1961 by pilot and entrepreneur Helmut Sinn, this German watch company has consistently produced an array of trustworthy, robust tool watches. For instance, the durable pilot chronograph Sinn 365 from the brand’s Instrument Chronographs lineup has long been a favorite of many watch enthusiasts.  In this article, however, instead of taking to the skies, we will be delving deep into the ocean depths with one of Sinn’s most interesting dive watch offerings: the Sinn Diving Watches Ref. 1050.030-Solid-2LSS. Commonly referred to as the Sinn U50, this German dive watch packs a ton of features in a very compact, rugged form. Housed under Sinn’s Diving Watches collection, the Sinn U50 is the quintessential dependable dive watch designed perfectly for the modern-day man. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Sinn U50 and everything it has to offer. For now, let’s take a look at the awesome features that the Sinn U50 has to offer. First Impressions Image by: Sinn Right off the bat, the Sinn U50 has a very robust look that simply screams masculine ruggedness. The watch’s dapper exterior and steel-grey makeup give it a very distinctive look that sets it apart from other, more common silver-tone watches.  You can also immediately tell that the Sinn U50 is a dive watch, thanks to its highly legible dial layout and its distinguishing elapsed time scale bezel. However, thanks to its sleek poise, the Sinn U50 can also easily be used as a dress watch. Indeed, given its versatility in both form and function, the Sinn U50 is a suitable timepiece for just about any occasion, be it water-based fun activities, formal events, or everyday use.  A Closer Look at the Sinn U50 Case and Caseback A handsome dive watch that is constructed with an exceptionally robust build, the Sinn U50 is encased in a 41mm German Submarine Steel case. Unlike ordinary stainless steel cases, German Submarine Steel is more durable and highly indestructible. It also comes with a deep grey hue, giving the watch a seriousness and gravitas that sets it apart from the usual silver-tone stainless steel timepieces.  The Sinn U50 is fairly slim, coming in at just 11.2mm thick, so you can easily and unobtrusively slip this watch under the cuff of your shirt. This is quite unique for dive watches since they tend to be quite hefty and bulky in size. Most watch enthusiasts will probably recognize that the Sinn U50 is a smaller version of the Sinn U1, which shows off a very similar design but is slightly bigger, with a 44mm diameter case size. As such, the Sinn U50 will fit quite well on small-to-average-sized wrists.  On top of its hardy German Submarine Steel build, the Sinn U50 is also coated with the brand’s in-house Tegiment technology. This Tegiment treatment bolsters the case hardness of the Sinn U50, further improving its already-impressive resistance to scratches and impacts. As such, you can expect added durability and toughness from the Sinn U50, courtesy of Sinn’s impressive innovations.  The Sinn U50 also has a smooth matte coating, which is truly a delightful treat to the eyes. Its muted luster pairs well with the dull gray sheen of the German Submarine Steel metal, adding to the watch’s masculine style. Flipping the watch over, you will see the same uniform matte finish on the watch’s caseback. Aside from that, this caseback also displays a stamped engraving of the U50 name.  Bezel Equipped on top of the watch case is a 60-click unidirectional rotating bezel. Like the case, the bezel is also crafted using German Submarine Steel and reinforced with the same in-house Tegiment material, making it extremely strong and resilient.  This bezel is also patterned with markers in black, white, and vivid red for the elapsed time scale. These colored markers contrast sharply against the silver-grey dial so they can be seen more easily. The white inverted triangle at 12 o’clock is also filled with lume, which helps keep the watch face illuminated in the dark.  Crown One feature that is sometimes seen on dive watches is the placement of the crown at the 4 o’clock position. Typically, on most timepieces, crowns are placed at 3 o’clock, perpendicular to the watch case. This can be uncomfortable for wearers, as the crown can end up digging into the skin of the wearer’s wrist. Placing the crown at 4 o’clock puts it at an angle against the wrist. This prevents it from pressing into your wrist so that you will have a more comfortable watch experience.  The Sinn U50 adopts exactly this design in order to maximize user comfort, with its long screw-down crown being placed neatly at 4 o’clock. This crown is very wide, with smooth ridges that provide you with a better grip, so you can turn and wind the watch more easily. Crafted using German Submarine Steel, this crown is covered in a matte finish and bears a neat, embossed image of Sinn’s emblem on top.  Dial Image by: Sinn The dial of the Sinn U50 is a highly aesthetic component that boosts the watch’s entire look. It follows a very simple and straightforward layout that prioritizes legibility. This is very important for dive watches like the U50 since it ensures that the dial will be easy to read at all times, even when you are in the midst of an underwater dive.  This matte black dial houses large, printed white hour indices, white minute markers, and a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock. It is also furnished with a pair of thick hour and minute syringe hands, along with a slimmer seconds hand that has a square-shaped tip. The hands of the watch all come in bright two-tone colors of red and white. They stand out clearly against the black backdrop of the dial, and the vibrant red hues in particular help add a pop of eye-catching color to the watch face.  Aside from its sizable indices, the dial also has a clear, luminous display that allows for optimal legibility, even in poor lighting conditions. The hour indices and hands are all generously coated in Super-LumiNova, which is the preferred brand of lume for most watchmakers. It provides steady and long-lasting luminescence, so you do not have to worry about it losing its effectiveness even after years. A layer of sapphire crystal is also used to protect the dial, safeguarding it from any scratches or hard knocks.  Bracelet The Sinn U50 is accompanied by an H-link bracelet made from stainless steel. The matte finish of the bracelet blends perfectly with that of the case and caseback, giving the whole watch a very smooth and clean look. The bracelet is locked using a safety deployment clasp, which keeps the bracelet firmly wrapped around your wrist. As the most secure type of watch clasp, it ensures that the bracelet will not simply come loose and slip off your wrist. Water Resistance An ultra-reliable dive watch, the Sinn U50 possesses an outstanding water resistance of up to 300 meters. It is also ISO-certified, which means it has undergone extensive testing throughout its manufacturing process, guaranteeing that it can survive harsh underwater depths. Both its caseback and crown are tightly screwed down, preventing any entry of water into the timepiece. Truly a meticulously crafted dive watch, you can bring the Sinn U50 with you on all your water-based conquests, be it swimming or deep-sea diving.  Movement The Sinn U50 is powered by an automatic Swiss Sellita Caliber SW300-1. This movement is relatively slim in size, measuring just 3.6mm thin, and is the main reason why the Sinn U50’s watch case is also quite slender. Held together by 25 jewels, the Sellita Caliber SW300-1 has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also has a standard power reserve of 42 hours.  Price It’s safe to say that the Sinn U50 has what everyone is looking for in a dive watch. Aside from possessing a stunning, rugged appearance, this watch is also built with robust, heavy-duty construction and possesses excellent water resistance capabilities.  Despite how it exceeds people’s expectations for a dive watch, the Sinn U50 is actually priced quite reasonably. You can purchase this watch for around $3,079 USD, which is still relatively budget-friendly compared to the other luxury dive watches on the market. Alternatives to the Sinn U50 Below is a list of dive watches that we recommend as alternatives for the Sinn U50. These timepieces are all from trustworthy watch companies and are meticulously crafted, boasting reliable dive watch qualities. They are also offered at different price points, so you can select the piece that best fits your budget. 1. Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001  For a more luxurious alternative to the Sinn U50, take a look at the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001. Known as a subsidiary company of Rolex, the Swiss brand Tudor is famous for offering Rolex-quality watches at much more affordable prices. In particular, the brand is recognized for its iconic Black Bay collection, from which the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001 hails.  This Tudor watch utilizes a 42mm stainless steel case. Despite the average size of the watch case, this timepiece wears quite large on the wrist, thanks to its thick watch lugs and 55.7mm lug-to-lug measurement. As such, this watch might be a little uncomfortable for those with smaller wrists. However, if you have an average-to-large-sized wrist, or if you simply love wearing oversized watches, then this is just the right piece for you.  This watch also comes with a hybrid strap. This is quite a rare type of strap that you do not see much. It is made from an interesting combination of leather material lining the top of the strap, and rubber material underneath its lining. The hybrid strap is stylish, efficient, and most importantly, waterproof. Thus, it is a great choice for a dive watch like the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001.  The dial of this watch shows off a matte black finish, which stands out in sharp relief against the polished silver case. This dial has a classic Black Bay layout, comprising luminous geometric indices, Tudor’s iconic snowflake hands, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. Driving all of these features is an in-house Tudor Caliber MT5612. Aside from offering a 200-meter depth rating, this movement also has a stellar 70-hour power supply. The Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001 retails at $4,100 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 The Japanese watch brand Seiko is known for having some of the best dive watches in the industry. Its Seiko Prospex collection offers an entire buffet of dive watches with outstanding features and diverse designs, giving you a massive variety of amazing timepieces to choose from. An excellent alternative to the Sinn U50, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 sports a 44.3mm stainless steel case, coupled with a three-link bracelet made from the same material.  Affixed to the top of the watch case is a smooth black elapsed time scale, with large white indicators for improved visibility. This bezel is wonderfully complemented by the watch’s black dial. This dial contains oversized geometric indices, thick sword hands, and a rectangular date display at 3 o’clock. The indices and hands are coated with Seiko’s patented LumiBrite pigment, which keeps the watch face illuminated in poor lighting conditions. This Seiko Prospex watch runs on an in-house Seiko Caliber 8L35. Containing 26 jewels, this movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It can last for up to 50 hours when fully wound, which gives it a slight advantage over the Sinn U50. In addition, like the Sinn U50, this watch also has a depth rating of 300 meters.  The Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 costs approximately $2,399 USD.  3. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 TAG Heuer is best known for producing racing watches under its popular Carrera lineup. Over the years, however, the Swiss brand has cultivated an impressive series of dive watches with its Aquaracer collection, which provides high-quality dive pieces at entry-level prices.  The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 is presented in a 41mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. On top of the case, you can find a thick stainless steel bezel. Aside from bearing bold black indicators for its elapsed time scale, this bezel also features six claw-like structures, which gives the watch a more unique, distinctive look. Like the aforementioned models, this watch also shows off a jet-black dial. It is ornamented with luminous silver-tone indices, bold arrow hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock.  As opposed to the other dive watches in this article, all of which are automatic timepieces, this TAG Heuer model is powered by a quartz movement. This gives it an excellent battery life of about 24 months. As with the Sinn U50, this watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 300 meters.  In spite of its sleek, professional appearance, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 is the most affordable option on this list. It is priced at just $1,700 USD.  Final Thoughts The Sinn U50 certainly surpasses the requirements of what makes a great dive watch. Aside from its good-looking appearance, Sinn’s usage of robust German Submarine Steel is what truly makes this watch worth the purchase. Adding to that, the watch is a lovely, versatile timepiece that can be worn in just about any event and situation. The Sinn U50 is not only simply a tool to be used in swimming or diving, but it is also an accessory that adds more character to its wearer. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: Sinn. Featured image courtesy of Sinn. Are you into motorsports or racing? Are you looking for the perfect racing watch? Check out our article on the Best Racing Watches this 2022 – you’ll never know, some pieces might spark an interest in you!

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  5. Cartier Roadster: A Dress Watch with Traditional Classic Cartier Aesthetic

    Cartier Roadster: A Dress Watch with Traditional Classic Cartier Aesthetic

    When we talk about motorsports and watches, the first things that come to mind would probably be famous names like the TAG Heuer Monaco or the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. These are renowned collections based on racing and automobiles that are remarkably popular among the motorsports community. However, one automotive-inspired series that only true watch connoisseurs know about actually comes from Cartier, in the form of the Cartier Roadster.  In this article, we will take a look at the Cartier Roadster range and see if it is truly as impressive as people say.  History of the Cartier Roadster  Launched in the early 2000s, the Cartier Roadster is one of popular Cartier collections ever released. Just from its name, you can probably already guess that it is inspired by motorsports and automobiles. Racing watches are not a new concept in the horological world. However, Cartier was still able to create a line that was completely and uniquely its own by perfectly incorporating its mastery of elegance and sophistication with sportiness. One of the key reasons why this series so captivated watch fans is due to the hints of vintage elements in its design. In fact, the Cartier Roadster is based on the dashboard layout of a 1950s Porsche, giving the watch a very nostalgic, retro aesthetic. Best Cartier Roadster Models  Despite its short run, the Cartier Roadster boasts a rather extensive catalogue with a wide selection of models. These watches can be divided into three categories: the Cartier Roadster Men, Cartier Lady’s Roadster, and the Cartier Roadster Chronograph. In this section, we will take a look at some of the best Cartier Roadster models you can find in each of these categories. Cartier Roadster Men  The Cartier Roadster watches for men serve as the core of this collection. These were the original Cartier Roadster models. They consist of classic pieces that incorporate subtle, automotive-inspired elements, which makes them great accessories to wear both on and off the racetrack. One thing about the Cartier Roadster Men watches is that they are not as overtly masculine as other racing watches on the market. This is precisely why the Cartier Roadster Men is well-known for its versatility. 1. Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62002V3 The Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62002V3 is arguably one of the coolest watches in the entire Cartier Roadster catalog. It has a suave modern aesthetic that brings out the sophistication in any outfit it is paired with. This Cartier Roadster watch is housed in a 38mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. The case of this watch has a barrel-shaped design, which allows it to stand out from all the other motorsport-inspired pieces on the market. The dial of this watch has a jet-black finish, which contrasts sharply against its all-silver exterior. It has a racetrack layout and consists of luminescent sword hands, Arabic numeral markers, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The Arabic numerals of this watch come in alternating red and white hues. The hour markers are painted in white. The double-digit minute markers, on the other hand, are a vibrant, striking red, giving the watch a cooler and more rugged look. The Ref. W62002V3 is driven by a Cartier Calibre 3110. Based on the popular ETA 2892-A2 movement, the Cartier Calibre 3110 is an automatic movement that has a power reserve of 42 hours. You can purchase this watch for around $6,200 USD. 2. Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62048V3 Another handsome Cartier Roadster Men’s watch worth adding to your collection is the Ref. W62048V3. This watch is the perfect fusion of sportiness and elegance. You can easily wear this at both your fancy dinner parties and in your everyday routines. This Cartier watch is presented in a 38mm barrel-shaped case and a three-link bracelet, both made of stainless steel. Its dial shows off a radiant and rich blue sunray finish that simply draws your eye to it. It contains large Roman numeral markers in an elegant, slanting typeface, thick sword hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. Protecting the watch is a sapphire crystal with scratch-resistant properties and a 100-meter depth rating. Like the previous Cartier Roadster model mentioned, this watch runs on a Cartier Calibre 3110. Held together by 21 jewels, this self-winding movement offers quick-set date capabilities and a 42-hour power supply. Be prepared to shell out at least $7,125 USD to get your hands on the Ref. W62048V3. Cartier Lady’s Roadster  The Cartier Lady’s Roadster watches are offered in the same barrel-shaped cases as the Cartier Roadster Men. The primary difference, however, is that the Cartier Lady’s Roadster timepieces come in smaller sizes and have daintier, more feminine designs compared to the Cartier Roadsters for men. For instance, many Cartier Lady’s Roadster watches are embellished with jewels and gems, making them extra appealing to the ladies. 1. Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62016V3  One of the greatest pieces in the Cartier Lady’s Roadster lineup is the Ref. W62016V3. It offers a simple and straightforward design, making it an excellent classic piece for everyday wear. Despite its unassuming exterior, this model still exudes an air of quiet luxury that few other brands can replicate. The Ref. W62016V3 comes in a slim 31mm stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel three-link bracelet. Complementing its polished silver exterior is a lovely silver-white dial. This dial bears the classic Cartier Roadster racetrack design. It is also adorned with slanting Arabic numeral markers in black, luminous black sword hands, and a magnified, trapezoidal date aperture at 3 o’clock. Guarding this watch face is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. At the core of this Cartier Roadster watch is the Swiss Cartier Caliber 688. This is a powerful quartz movement that offers excellent precision and an outstanding battery life of more than five years. In addition, this watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters. The Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62016V3 is one of the most affordable pieces in this article. It retails at just $5,400 USD. 2. Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62026Y4 Another Cartier Roadster worth discussing is the Ref. W62026Y4. With its exquisite two-tone colorway, this watch boasts a refined sophistication and luxury that is unlike any other. This Cartier Roadster watch is even smaller than the previous model, encased in a 29mm barrel-shaped case. This is paired with a two-tone bracelet that shows off stainless steel outer links and lavish yellow gold inner links. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a yellow gold fixed bezel, which goes wonderfully with the watch’s bracelet. The dial of this watch showcases a silver-white finish with faint black lines that replicate the look of a classic racetrack. It is furnished with thick Roman numeral markers, luminous sword hands, and a magnified date complication at 3 o’clock. The nail-shaped cyclops lens of this watch is cleverly attached to its screw-down crown, creating a rather unique, protruding look. Inside this watch, you can find the same well-crafted Caliber 688 quartz movement. It offers great precision, making this watch both beautiful and reliable. The Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. Ref. W62026Y4 has an estimated price tag of $6,750 USD. Cartier Roadster Chronograph Now, we move on to the bolder pieces in the Cartier Roadster catalogue. The Cartier Roadster Chronograph takes this collection to a whole new level of functionality and aesthetic. Since the Cartier Roadster is a motorsport-inspired series, adding a chronograph model definitely fits the concept. In fact, the Cartier Roadster Chronograph is probably more deeply rooted in the automotive scene than the other two Cartier Roadster lines. 1. Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206020 The Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206020 is a striking and unusual piece for those who love eccentric chronographs. It shows off a very sporty elegance that you do not frequently see in other chronographs. The Ref. W6206020 utilises a chunky 50mm case that is made out of stainless steel, along with a black rubber strap. Despite its large diameter, the tonneau shape of this watch case means that it does not take up too much space on your wrist. As such, it can fit quite well on wrists of all sizes. Fitted on top of the case is a black-coated fixed bezel, which blends in perfectly with the watch’s strap. As a chronograph piece, the silver opaline dial of this watch is a lot busier than the other models previously mentioned. It is decorated with slanting Roman numeral markers, luminous sword hands, a trapezoidal date display at 3 o’clock, and three sub-dials in black. Unlike traditional chronograph sub-dials which have a clean and round shape, the sub-dials on this watch are oval-shaped, which allows them to fit neatly into the dial. Powering all of these features is a reliable Swiss automatic movement. If you are a fan of racing-inspired watches, this $7,525 USD model should definitely be on your radar. 2. Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019 In this entry, we have the Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019. Compared to the previous model, this version has a softer and more versatile appeal. This model sports a 49mm barrel-shaped case. This is coupled with a sleek three-link bracelet made of the same material, which gives the watch a more professional, office-ready look. The silver opaline dial comprises large Roman numeral markers, sword hands, a sizeable date window at 3 o’clock, and three oval sub-dials in white for the 60-second, 60-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. Like the Ref. W6206020, this watch also runs on a high-quality Swiss automatic movement. The Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019 costs about $7,975 USD. Frequently Asked Questions Now that we know more about the Cartier Roadster’s best models, let us talk about some of the most frequently asked questions about this series.  Is the Cartier Roadster discontinued?  Unfortunately, the Cartier Roadster is no longer in production today. It ran for a relatively short time, from the early 2000s up until 2012. Its discontinuation in 2012 caused much disappointment among fans and patrons of the collection. How do you set a Cartier Roadster watch?  The process of setting a Cartier Roadster piece is quite similar to that of other watches. In fact, it is fairly straightforward. You simply have to pull the crown of your Cartier Roadster out. Turning it either clockwise or counterclockwise will then cause the hands of the watch to move. Then, just rotate the crown until you reach the correct time/date. Is the Cartier Roadster worth adding to your collection?  Honestly, this really depends on what your preference is, especially since every collector has different factors to take into consideration. The Cartier Roadster is a well-crafted and highly-respected racing watch. One of the most appealing things about the Cartier Roadster is that it boasts elegance and sophistication you cannot find in most other motorsports-inspired watches, which tend to be more rugged. If you want something that offers a slightly different twist on the automotive watch, then the Cartier Roadster is a must-have. Modern Alternatives to the Cartier Roadster The Cartier Roadster can be pretty hard to get today, especially since it has been discontinued. As such, here are some alternative models that you can consider adding to your collection instead. 1. Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004 First, we have the Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004. This watch is perceived by some as the modern reincarnation of the Cartier Roadster. This Drive de Cartier watch uses a 40mm cushion-shaped case made of stainless steel and a leather strap in black. Although it is slightly larger than most of the Cartier Roadster models mentioned above, this watch’s cushion case means that it has a more compact build. This allows it to fit well on both small and large wrists. On the right side of the case, you can find a screw-down crown that is fitted with a blue cabochon spinel. This crown helps guarantee the watch’s 30-meter depth rating. The dial of this watch showcases a simple yet refined silver finish. It is filled with thick Roman numeral markers, a minute track with square markers and stick indices, a date aperture at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds sub-dial. Adding to the stylish contemporary look of this watch are its blued steel hands, which bring a pop of color to this watch face. On the underside of this Cartier watch, you can find a transparent caseback. Through it, you can admire the automatic movement that ticks inside the watch. This is a Cartier Calibre 1904-PS MC, which is held together by 27 jewels and has a 48-hour power supply. The Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004 is worth approximately $6,800 USD. 2. Longines Evidenza Ref. L26424736 The next Cartier Roadster alternative we have is the Longines Evidenza Ref. L26424736. This is a classic piece that has a build and design that is quite similar to the Cartier Roadster. The icing on the cake is that it even has a more affordable price tag, catering to those with more limited budgets. This Longines Evidenza watch is presented in a slim 33mm tonneau-shaped case and a multi-link bracelet, both made using stainless steel. Complementing the watch’s all-silver exterior is its silver-white dial, which boasts an alluring guilloche finish. This dial is ornamented with slanting Arabic numeral hour markers, blued steel hands, and a date complication and small seconds sub-dial, both at 6 o’clock. Underneath this elegant watch face, you can find a Longines Caliber L615. This is an automatic movement which can last for up to 42 hours when fully wound. This watch also has a depth rating of 30 meters, which is less than what is offered by the Cartier Roadster models. If you want an affordable alternative to the Cartier Roadster, this Longines watch is just what you are looking for. It sells at just $2,400 USD. Final Thoughts  The Cartier Roadster is an excellent collection that consists of well-crafted automotive-inspired watches. It is incomparable to other models because it brings unparalleled sophistication and exquisiteness to motorsport watchmaking. Ultimately, this is a series worth checking out if you enjoy retro timepieces linked to the racing scene.  Photo Credits: Amazon If you wanna increase your watch knowledge, check out our article on the Grand Seiko SBGM221!

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  6. How To Open Elgin Pocket Watches: A Complete Guide

    How To Open Elgin Pocket Watches: A Complete Guide

    The watchmaking industry is known to be deeply entangled with history and tradition. This is why there are a lot of heirloom watches today, passed down from one generation to another. Aside from that, this is also why many people enjoy collecting vintage and antique timepieces. In particular, one exquisite type of vintage watch that watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts love to collect is pocket watches.  Today, Elgin pocket watches are amongst the most coveted type of pocket watches, and for good reason. However, since they are quite the relic, some might not really know how to properly handle one. It would be quite a shame for you to spend a pretty penny on an Elgin pocket watch, only to realise you do not know how to open one.  As such, this article is meant to serve as a guide, not just to the brand, but also to teach you how to open Elgin pocket watches. All About Elgin  Before we discuss how to open Elgin pocket watches, let us take a little trip to the past and find out more about this highly-regarded brand.  The renowned Elgin pocket watches are created by the Elgin Watch Company. This is an American brand that was in operation from 1864 to 1968. It is known for producing some of the most precise timepieces out there. This has contributed greatly to the brand’s pristine reputation, which has lasted to this day.  On top of that, Elgin further cemented its place in the industry by being a pioneer in the mass production of high-quality watches. While its models do not have quite the same prestige as Swiss luxury brands like Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe, the Elgin pocket watches were still a popular choice amongst those looking for a high-quality, yet reasonably-priced timepiece.   Despite not being in production anymore, Elgin’s timepieces are still highly coveted. Elgin pocket watches, in particular, are considered valuable collectibles, even to this day. Depending on the rarity and the condition of the timepiece, its price can range from around $300 USD to over $5,000 USD. This is only to be expected since many of Elgin’s vintage models are made out of precious metals.  How To Open Elgin Pocket Watches Now that we know a little more about Elgin, let us focus on the main point of this article: how to open Elgin pocket watches.  If you have recently acquired an Elgin pocket watch and are curious about what it looks like on the inside, you probably want to open it up to check it out yourself. However, Elgin pocket watches are precious antiques. Hence, you have to be very careful when handling them to lessen the risk of doing permanent damage to your timepiece. Luckily for you, we have clearly laid down, step-by-step, how to open Elgin pocket watches. First, you have to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of whatever Elgin pocket watch you have.  Figure out things like the type of exterior it has and if there are hinges you need to be aware of. Remember that you will have a difficult time handling your timepiece if you are unfamiliar with it or if you are not comfortable touching it. This step will also allow you to know if you need to be extra careful in the process moving forward. Next, put your pocket watch on a flat but smooth surface. You can do this by placing a towel on the table you are using. This serves as a preventative measure so that your pocket watch will not get scratched or damaged by external factors. Whilst gently holding down the sides of your pocket watch, unscrew the watch glass/watch face by turning it until it detaches from the rest of the timepiece. Meanwhile, if you want to check out your Elgin pocket watch’s mechanism, simply go back to Step 2 (with all parts of the pocket watch intact) and turn it over. Then, hold it down and turn the caseback until it unscrews from the rest of the timepiece. Final Thoughts While pocket watches are not as popular as they were decades ago, it is undeniable that Elgin has created amazing timepieces that are beloved to this today. In fact, the unmatched craftsmanship and skill that comes with an Elgin pocket watch are some of the main reasons why people are so keen on getting their hands on one and opening it up. Lucky for us, it is not as difficult as it seems to see what an Elgin pocket watch really has to offer both inside and out.  Photo Credits: Ebay and Elgin Numbers Site  If you enjoy learning about watches, check out this piece on How To Change Time On Armitron Watches!

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  7. A Complete Buying Guide to Stuhrling Watches

    A Complete Buying Guide to Stuhrling Watches

    Stuhrling watches are some of the best-selling pieces across several countries. As some of the best starter watches in the market, Stuhrling caters to an incredibly wide range of customers, including pilots, divers, racers, athletes, and more. In addition, Stuhrling goes beyond by crafting modern timepieces, applying state-of-the-art designs to watches that are offered at a very affordable price range. It is through the development of these diverse, innovative Stuhrling watches that it has remained one of the best watch brands for both men and women. If this is your first time buying a Stuhrling watch, then you have come to the right place. We have organised a complete buying guide for those looking to purchase their first Stuhrling watches. Read on to find out more about the brand’s history, as well as the best Stuhrling pieces that you can get today. A Brief History of Stührling Watches Stührling was named after the famous Swiss watchmaker, Max Stürhrling. Founded in 1999 by Chaim Fischer, Stuhrling first started out as a brand selling tourbillon watches. Unlike many other watch brands that began at the bottom with small stores for handcrafted timepieces, Stuhrling almost immediately sprang to the top. This was largely due to Fischer’s challenging vision of creating brand-defining products. At the time, tourbillon watches were only manufactured in France and Switzerland. So, when Stuhrling started producing them in the United States, it resulted in a record-breaking success. Stuhrling’s tourbillon watches were so well received that it even pushed other American watch brands to start creating their own models as well. Following the success it saw with tourbillon watches, Stuhrling started to diversify its products. This included creating dedicated sports timepieces, diving watches, pilot models, and more. This was a crucial step, which allowed Stuhrling to gain a broader hold on the wide watch market. Stuhrling watches were also all highly respected for their quality and durability. Each Stuhrling timepiece is created by an exceptional team of watchmakers who pay the utmost attention to every intricate detail. This has allowed Stuhrling to remain one of the most respectable brands in horology. Today, Stuhrling becomes even more popular as it enters the e-commerce market. According to the brand, there are over 15 million Stuhrling watch owners around the world. All Stuhrling watches are still made in accordance with the brand’s original vision: to craft high-quality everyday timepieces offered at accessible price points. Where Are Stuhrling Watches Made The manufacturing and production process of a watch are two of the most important things that watch enthusiasts will check. The first thing you should know is that Stuhrling is not owned by any conglomerate or big company. Instead, it is a closely-held, privately-owned company in Brooklyn, New York. To begin with, Stuhrling values all its customers’ input by holding an online forum, where patrons can give ideas on how to improve upon Stuhrling watches. The actual development and design of the watches are carried out in the brand’s New York headquarters. Meanwhile, the manufacture of Stuhrling watches takes place in Shenzhen, China. This is the same place where giant companies like Sony and Apple manufacture their products. According to Stuhrling, the craftsmanship from Shenzhen is second only to Switzerland when it comes to watchmaking. This, along with the brand’s desire to maintain accessible prices for its watches, is the main reason whyStuhrling watches are manufactured in Shenzhen. Most Popular Stührling Watches On the Market 1. Stührling Original Ascot 3913 First up, we have the Stührling Original Ascot 3913. This watch boasts a stylish, minimalist aesthetic that evokes the classic German Bauhaus watch designs. It comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with a lustrous polished finish and a supple black leather strap. The case of this watch has no overly complex curves or markings, giving it a very clean and simple look. The only adornment on this case is a prominent, fluted-style crown at 3 o’clock. The dial of this watch shows off a refined, silver-brushed finish. In line with minimalist designs, it has a very straightforward layout. It comprises thin stick indices and slender leaf hands, along with a small circular date window, outlined in black, at 6 o’clock. The hands and indices of this watch come in a black finish, so they can stand out more clearly against the dial. Although this dial is not treated with lume, its silver-and-black finish still ensures a clear time display. Protecting the dial is a layer of shatter-resistant Krysterna crystal. The Stührling Original Ascot 3913 retails at just $85 USD. 2. Stührling Original Regatta Champion 395 One of the best-selling Stuhrling watches is the Stührling Original Regatta Champion 395. This is a rugged and fashionable dive watch, with a sleek silver and blue colourway that is highly reminiscent of the Rolex Smurf. It is durable enough to survive the seas but also looks good enough to fit right in on the dance floor too. This watch is presented in a 42mm stainless steel case and a three-link bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a metallic blue bezel, with indicators in silver for its elapsed time scale. The dial, likewise, shows off a rich blue sunray finish that perfectly matches the bezel. It is furnished with thick trapezoidal hour markers, oversized Arabic numerals, and large sword hands, all of which are highly legible against the blue backdrop. The hands and indices are also coated in lume, allowing for optimal visibility even in the dark. This Stuhrling watch is powered by a highly accurate Japanese Miyota movement. It also possesses a 100-meter depth rating, which is a great support when diving, snorkeling, or swimming. The Stührling Original Regatta Champion 395 sells at around $110 USD. 3. Stührling Barringer 972 Tourbillon As we mentioned, tourbillon watches are some of Stuhrling’s most prominent offerings. One great tourbillon option from the brand is the Stührling Barringer 972 Tourbillon. For those who love having sophisticated complications on their watches, this should certainly be part of your collection. This Stuhrling watch utilizes a 40mm stainless steel case and a genuine alligator leather strap in brown. The case of this watch is coated in rose gold, giving it a more luxurious, high-end look. On top of the watch case is a sapphire crystal, which is known for being the strongest watch glass on the market. It protects the watch’s face from any scratches or impacts. The highlight of this watch, without a doubt, is its dial — like the famous Rolex GMT-Master II 126719BLRO-0002 boasting a beautiful meteorite dial, albeit in a darker grey finish. This is a design that is rarely seen on modern watches, which only makes this Stuhrling watch even more valuable. The dial is ornamented with slender Roman numeral markers and thick diamond hands. At 6 o’clock, you can also find an aperture that gives you an up-close-and-personal view of the watch’s tourbillon movement. Through this opening, you can admire the movement’s delicate Cote de Geneve design. The Stührling Barringer 972 Tourbillon costs approximately $1,895 USD. It is one of the most expensive Stuhrling watches on the market. That said, considering its rare dial design and complex tourbillon movement, the Stuhrling Barringer 972 Tourbillon is certainly well worth its price. 4. Stührling Legacy Perle 3951 For all the ladies out there who love tourbillon pieces, the Stührling Legacy Perle 3951 is just for you. This dress watch is an exquisite, dazzling timepiece with quality that goes beyond what you pay for. It is perfect for both casual occasions and for more glamorous dinner events. This Stuhrling watch sports a slim 36mm stainless steel case, coupled with a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. On top of the watch case, you can find a fixed bezel also made of stainless steel. This bezel is embedded with beautiful crystals, which add to the lavish look of this watch. Complementing this watch’s all-silver case is an open-heart dial with a shimmering, mother-of-pearl finish. It is furnished with applique Roman numeral markers, black leaf hands, and round black hour markers that are also studded with crystals. The open-heart aperture is placed at 9 o’clock, allowing wearers to clearly admire the watch’s movement. The Stührling Legacy Perle 3951 has an estimated price tag of $145 USD. 5. Stührling Original Executive 3133 Lastly, we have the Stührling Original Executive 3133. With its sophisticated skeleton watch design, this is one of the most complex timepieces in Stuhrling’s arsenal. It uses a classic combination of a 44mm stainless steel case and a black alligator leather strap. The watch’s face is safeguarded by a Krysterna crystal, which is almost as durable as sapphire crystal. The outer rim of this watch’s dial has a plain white finish. This places the attention firmly on the complicated skeleton design that takes up most of the dial, giving you a clear view of the automatic movement underneath. Aside from that, the dial also contains steel plume hands and applied shark teeth indices, all of which are made of blued steel, adding to the cool and sleek look of this watch. You can purchase the Stührling Original Executive 3133 at just $150 USD. Final Thoughts The wide variety of designs, functions, and complications make the Stuhrling watches stand out from thousands of watch brands across the world. The icing on the cake, of course, is the affordable prices that these Stuhrling watches come at. If you want to look like a trendsetter without breaking the bank, then the Stuhrling watches are definitely something that you should check out. All photos are from Stührling’s official website unless stated.  Are you planning to give someone a gift? Check out our 30 Best Men’s Watch Gift Guide!

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  8. Rolex Coke: Everybody’s Favorite GMT Watch

    Rolex Coke: Everybody’s Favorite GMT Watch

    Highly-coveted Swiss watch brands like Rolex have cemented their place in the whole field of horology. As one of the pioneer watchmakers, Rolex is notable for having iconic timepieces that also come with catchy, memorable nicknames. Some popular examples from the brand’s GMT-Master II collection include the Rolex Pepsi and Rolex Root Beer, which are named after soda drinks, as well as another well-known watch that is dubbed with a famous DC comic character’s name, the Rolex Batman.  Following the brand’s trend of naming watches after beverages, we have yet another striking GMT-Master II watch: the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710. Commonly known as the Rolex Coke, this is one of the most sought-after timepieces in the GMT-Master II series. In this article, we will be delving deep into the stylish Rolex Coke and everything it has to offer.  History of the Rolex Coke Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760 Image by: Conan435 on watchuseek Out of Rolex’s extensive series of GMT watches, perhaps the most famous is the Rolex Pepsi, which immediately garnered much attention when it was released in 1954. Rolex continued to research and develop its GMT timepieces, before finally debuting its upgraded collection, the GMT-Master II.  The first-ever GMT-Master II watch to be launched was the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760. Introduced in 1983, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760 had a color palette that resembled the popular Coca-Cola beverage. Encased in a traditional bottle container, the Coca-Cola drink itself came in black, while its brand name was stamped on the bottle in a bright red label. The Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760, with its two-tone combination of black and red, was therefore quickly associated with the famous Coca-Cola soda. It became the first watch to earn the nickname “Rolex Coke”.  The original Rolex Coke was built with a rather chunky body. This was necessary to accommodate its thick in-house Caliber 3085, which had a diameter of 28.5mm and a height of 6.3mm. As a result of its physique, this first Rolex Coke actually also went by two other names. Firstly, it was called the “Rolex Fat Lady”, because it possessed a taller case height, a broader bezel, and chunkier crown guards compared to previous Rolex GMT-Master watches. This watch also came to be known as the “Sophia Loren”, after a popular Italian actress. This was because the Ref. 16760’s thick curves reminded folks of Loren’s curvy figure.  Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 Several years after the debut of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16760, Rolex released an updated version of the original Rolex Coke in 1989: the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710. This variant was constructed with a slimmer height and smaller crown guards. It also ran on a brand-new, more advanced movement. The updated Rolex Coke was in production for about 18 years before Rolex decided to discontinue it in 2007. In fact, it is this specific Rolex Coke GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 that we will be tackling in this article.  Although it has been about 15 years today since the Rolex Coke was discontinued, watch fans continue to hope for the brand to release it again, or to even produce a newer version of it. As of today, the vintage Rolex Coke is sold mostly as a pre-owned collector’s item, with prices sky-rocketing with every passing year. With that, let us learn more about the Rolex Coke and what makes this watch so one-of-a-kind.  Anatomy of the Rolex Coke Case and Caseback The Rolex Coke comes in a 40mm case made of the brand’s patented, highly scratch-resistant Oystersteel material. This case spans a lug-to-lug measurement of 47.6mm and has a standard lug width of 20mm and a height of 12mm. Given these measurements, the Rolex Coke will fit nicely on smaller-to-average-sized wrists. It also comes with slim watch lugs that slant inwards, giving the watch a more streamlined, subtle build that you can easily slip under the cuff of your shirt. The surface of the Rolex Coke’s case is embellished with a lovely satin finish. This is complemented by uniformly satin-finished lug hoods and polished flanks on both sides of the watch. This interplay of different textures gives the watch an exquisite sheen that is unlike any other, so it shines lustrously no matter what angle you view it from.  When you flip the watch over, you will also see a plain screwed-down caseback. Made of solid, brushed Oystersteel, this sleek and sturdy caseback protects the watch’s reliable in-house movement.  Bezel The two-tone bezel of the Rolex Coke is the most identifying characteristic of this watch. The shiny red and black color scheme of the bezel’s Cerachrom insert recalls the colors of the bottled Coca-Cola soda, hence its catchy nickname. This is a bi-directional rotating bezel, with grooved sides that are shaped like a bottle cap, so that wearers can grip and turn it more easily when setting the time.  Aside from its Coca-Cola hues, the Cerachrom bezel insert is also patterned with a 24-hour GMT scale in clean silver indicators. This plays a crucial role in helping wearers keep track of a second timezone using this watch. Since the bezel can be rotated in two directions, you can easily turn it back to your intended hour format, even if you accidentally rotate it out of the desired timezone of your choice. Crown On the right side of the watch case, you can find a screw-down crown surrounded by two crown guards. The top of the crown is elegantly engraved with the iconic Rolex crown logo, which is a traditional feature of all Rolex timepieces.  One thing to note is that, unlike its Submariner cousins, the Rolex Coke is not actually designed as a dive watch. Nevertheless, the crown of this watch is still equipped with the brand’s patented Twinlock system. Together with the watch’s securely screwed-down caseback, this Twinlock system ensures that the Rolex Coke has a depth rating of 100 meters, which meets the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches.  As such, you can freely take this watch with you to all your water-based adventures like swimming and snorkeling. Indeed, the Rolex Coke’s respectable water resistance capacity depth rating is a testament to the quality and durability that Rolex imbues in all of its watches.  Dial Image by: u/Big-Shtick on Reddit The Rolex Coke houses a distinct, jet-black dial. It is decorated with luminescent hour indices in various geometric shapes, Rolex’s signature Mercedes hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. This date display is magnified by a classic Rolex Cyclops lens, which makes it easier for wearers to read the date. The dial also includes an additional, fourth GMT hand. This GMT hand has an arrow-headed tip and is painted in a vibrant red tone, allowing it to stand out more clearly against the rest of the black dial.  Furthermore, this dial is safeguarded by a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal. As the most durable watch crystal available on the market, it offers excellent resistance against scrapes and impacts. Indeed, you will not have to worry about accidentally dropping the Rolex Coke or bumping it against a hard surface, as its sapphire crystal will not easily break or scratch.   Bracelet The Rolex Coke is offered with a three-link Oystersteel bracelet. This bracelet shows off an intriguing aesthetic makeup that is very similar to the Rolex Coke’s case, with satin-finished top links and gleaming, polished sides. It is also equipped with what Rolex calls the Oysterclasp. This is an Oystersteel safety deployment clasp that is further locked in place by a built-in additional flap,  With the watch’s secure locking system, you will not have to worry about it falling off your wrist or accidentally snapping the clasp open. The clasp is also engraved with the brand’s crown logo, which adds a lovely air of refinement to this timepiece.  Movement Underneath the good-looking exterior of the Rolex Coke is an in-house Perpetual Caliber 3185. This powerful automatic movement is fitted with 31 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It boasts an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. This durable movement is also highly resistant to shocks and temperature changes, thanks to its innovative Parachrom hairspring.  First introduced in 1989, the Caliber 3185 is one of the oldest in-house movements from Rolex. Today, the Caliber 3185 can only be found on the brand’s earlier watches, with one example being the Rolex Coke. In 2005, the Caliber 3185 was replaced by the upgraded Caliber 3186. The Caliber 3186 is now used to drive newer timepieces from the GMT-Master II series, such as the Rolex Batman, and from the Explorer II range, like the Rolex Explorer II Ref. 16570.  The use of the rather old-school Caliber 3185 helps boost the Rolex Coke’s reputation as a distinguished vintage timepiece. Price The Rolex Coke is one of the most coveted luxury watches in the world, and it is set at a price that reflects this. Thanks to its hardy Oystersteel build, its prestigious brand name, and its refined vintage movement, the Rolex Coke is priced at a whopping $31,769 USD.  One of the best things about the Rolex Coke is that you can expect its price to appreciate in the coming years. Since Rolex stopped the production of this watch in 2007, in most cases, it is sold as a secondhand timepiece. Indeed, you would be lucky to be able to find an unused, untouched piece of this vintage watch. Thanks to its rarity and vintage quality, the Rolex Coke stands out as an excellent investment watch. Alternatives to the Rolex Coke We know that the Rolex Coke is exceptionally pricey and may not cater to everyone’s budget. As such, if you love the look of the Rolex Coke but are looking for a more affordable, entry-level alternative, we have got you covered. Detailed below is a list of timepieces from different trusted watch brands that show off a similar design and aesthetic to the Rolex Coke. Do not worry – unlike the Rolex Coke, you will not have a hard time finding any of them since they are all widely available in the market today.  1. Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0393-BL-ST/SCA Firstly, we have a uniquely square-shaped watch from Bell & Ross: the Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0393-BL-ST/SCA. This watch distinguishes itself with its angular case and stylish Coke colourway. It is presented in a 42mm x 42mm square case made of stainless steel and a thick black leather strap. Like the Rolex Coke, it also boasts a bidirectional 24-hour GMT bezel with a fashionable black and red insert. The screw-down crown on the right side of the watch, along with its solid caseback, gives the watch a water resistance capacity of 100m. Like the Rolex Coke, this watch’s dial also showcases a matte black finish. It houses thick hour indices and Arabic numeral hour markers in a large round typeface, along with thick sword hands and a circular date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. As a GMT watch, this dial also contains an additional GMT hand, which has an arrow-headed tip that is outlined in bright red. This Bell & Ross Instruments timepiece runs on an in-house Caliber BR-CAL 303. Based on the ETA 2893-2 movement, this automatic movement is fitted with 21 jewels and has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also possesses a standard power reserve of 42 hours.  You can purchase the robust Bell & Ross Instruments Ref. BR0393-BL-ST/SCA for around $4,200 USD.  2. Seiko Prospex Ref. STBR009  For another affordable timepiece greatly influenced by the Rolex Coke’s design, check out the Seiko Prospex Ref. STBR009. This is a limited-edition watch, with only 2,000 pieces available worldwide. Hailing from Seiko, a watch brand that is famous for its arsenal of versatile dive watches, the Seiko Prospex Ref. STBR009 is a rugged and chunky-looking diver that doubles as the perfect everyday companion.  This Seiko Prospex watch is packed in a 42.7mm round case made of stainless steel and black polymer. This is coupled with a sturdy black silicone strap. Completing the watch’s striking, mostly black motif is its jet-black dial, which is protected by a layer of Hardlex crystal. This dial is filled with geometric hour indices and thick arrow-headed hands, all of which are generously coated with the brand’s LumiBrite material. A compact date aperture also sits at 4 o’clock.  The only color that can be found on this Seiko watch comes from its stylish elapsed time scale bezel. This unidirectional rotating bezel is fitted with a ceramic insert in the classic black and red Coke hues. Unlike the Rolex Coke, however, which has the insert divided evenly into two different colors, this watch’s bezel is only painted vibrant red up to the 15-minute indicator. Inside this watch, you can find a solar-powered Caliber V147 movement. This quartz movement has an excellent accuracy rate of +/- 15 seconds per month and can withstand water pressures up to 200 meters. When fully charged, it can also last up to approximately ten months. You will not have to worry about this Seiko timepiece stopping at any time since it can be quickly and efficiently charged through exposure to any stable source of light. If you want a dive watch that comes in the style of the Rolex Coke, the Seiko Prospex Ref. STBR009 retails at $575 USD.  3. Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348  Lastly, we have the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348. This watch sports a 44mm stainless steel case and a black silicone strap. On top of this Bulova timepiece is a two-tone elapsed time scale bezel that can be rotated unidirectionally. It is painted in the same metallic red and black hues as the bezel of the Rolex Coke, hence its similarity to the iconic Rolex watch.  This dial also showcases a sector black dial. The outer ring of the dial has a smooth finish and consists of thick white hour indices and a small date complication at 3 o’clock. The center segment of the dial, on the other hand, bears a waffle-like texture and is furnished with thick, luminous sword hands. Protecting this watch face is a layer of scratch-resistant mineral crystal, which gives its wearer a clear view of the dial This Bulova Classic watch is powered by a battery-operated quartz movement that’s very easy to maintain and replace. It has an extended battery life of two years. The Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 sells at a bargain price of just $239 USD.  Final Thoughts No matter how expensive the Rolex Coke is, a classic watch like this is no doubt an ideal investment. If you have the budget and happen to come across this glorious timepiece, consider yourself one of the luckiest persons in the world. A rare vintage watch like this is truly a treasured possession that deserves the highest level of appreciation.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: watchuseek and Reddit. Featured image courtesy of Paola Kizette Cimenti on Flickr. On the hunt for an elegant dress watch? Read our article about the Grand Seiko White Birch. Or if you’re interested in a dress watch that has a very unique style, read our review of the Grand Seiko Godzilla. 

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  9. How To Change Time On Armitron Watches: A Clear Step-by-Step Guide

    How To Change Time On Armitron Watches: A Clear Step-by-Step Guide

    When people think of American watch brands, the manufacturers that typically come to mind first are names like Hamilton, Bulova, and Timex. These are well-known players in the industry who have contributed greatly to the American watchmaking game in one way or another. However, there is a hidden gem that watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs love: Armitron. Armitron is one of those brands that only true watch aficionados would know. It offers an array of timepieces that are aesthetically pleasing and equipped with innovative features. Indeed, some Armitron watches show off designs that look extremely complex at first sight, which has been known to put some wearers off. There have even been some complaints from wearers about not knowing how to change time on Armitron watches. That said, you have nothing to worry about! In this article, we walk you through a quick and easy guide on how to change time on Armitron watches. Once you are through with our guide, you will see that you have nothing to fear when it comes to Armitron watches. How To Change Time On Armitron Watches  Since Armitron offers a very wide variety of timepieces, let us focus on how to change the time on one of its most popular watches: the Armitron Pro Sport.  Armitron Chrono Pro Sport The Armitron Chrono Pro Sport is one of the best-selling models in the American brand’s Pro Sport (Unisex) line. This $30 USD digital watch comes in a 48mm black resin case. It boasts a light gray LCD screen, which is embellished with gold accents scattered all around the watch face. The Armitron Chrono Pro Sport has quite a robust and complex-looking exterior, which can be intimidating to some. This is why we have provided a simple rundown on how to change time on Armitron watches like this below: First and foremost, you have to familiarize yourself with the different components of this Armitron watch. It comprises four operating buttons, with two on the left and two on the right. The upper-left button (A) is used to set the time, while the bottom-left one (B) is used to change the mode the watch is in. The upper-right button (C) is used to control the stopwatch and split time functions. Finally, you can use the bottom-right (D) button to activate the watch’s luminescent display. In order to change this watch’s time, you have to press the upper-left button (A). Press and hold this button until you see the watch screens blinking, which indicates that the watch is on time-set mode. Next, press and hold the bottom-left button (B) to activate the time set-up mode. Once the hour numbers are blinking, go ahead and press the upper-right button (C) to set the hour.When you are finished adjusting the hour, press the bottom-left button (B) again, and you will see the minute numbers flashing on the screen this time. To set the watch’s minutes, simply press the upper-right button (C) until you get your desired minute value. Lastly, to end this sequence, press the upper-left button (A) again. The watch should immediately return to time-telling mode.A Brief Overview of Armitron Watches Armitron is an American-based company founded by a holocaust survivor named Mr. Eugen Gluck. In his time, Gluck served as a symbol of hope to many. This was especially because he created Armitron as part of his goal to embody the American dream after going through inconceivable horrors during the war. While it was not an easy journey, Gluck’s commitment and determination were factors crucial to the success of Armitron. Since the very beginning, Armitron has been known for manufacturing chic and budget-friendly watches. Armitron watches were meant to be stylish timepieces that bring out the individuality of a person, making the most of the synergy between outfit and accessory. This idea quickly became the foundation of the brand, which has led it to where it is now: beloved by many. In fact, there was a time when Armitron’s quartz pieces were perceived as being more luxurious than big names like Seiko and Casio. Today, Armitron is also the Official Timekeeper of the New York Yankees, which is another factor that contributes to its popularity. Aside from being known as America’s watch, Armitron was also one of the few trailblazers of the watchmaking world in the 1980s. It was among the pioneers that led to a shift toward more digitalized systems in horology. This would become a very important part of the brand’s history, as it is known today for having an excellent selection of both digital and analog watches under its belt. At present, Armitron offers four different collections: Galaxy, Jen Stark X Armitron, Retro, and Pro Sport. These timepieces come at price ranges of around $20 to $60 USD. These are undeniably affordable watches, even when compared to other accessible popular brands Citizen and Seiko. Final Thoughts Armitron is one of the best budget-friendly brands out there. It offers reliable, gorgeous watches that are just as functional as pieces from more popular watchmakers. While some Armitron models might seem complex, the brand makes sure to incorporate user-friendly components for its patrons’ convenience. Indeed, we hope that our guide has helped familiarize you with how to change time on Armitron watches. Ultimately, Armitron watches are definitely worth a try! If you are interested in reading about non-mainstream watch brands, check out this guide on the AVI-8 Watches! Photo Credits: Armitron Website

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  10. AVI-8 Watches: Home to Some of the Best Pilot Watches

    AVI-8 Watches: Home to Some of the Best Pilot Watches

    Pilot watches are some of the most sought-after watches today. Their robust efficiency and functionality in the aviation industry contribute to the increasing chamber of pilot watch enthusiasts around the globe. Truly, any watch collection is incomplete without a pilot watch. That said, a lot of pilot watches can come at a very expensive price, falling outside the budget of most folks. This is where AVI-8 enters the picture.  The roster of AVI-8 watches holds its own against its competitors, thanks in large part to its affordable prices. Sure, AVI-8 watches may not be as popular as other brands for pilot watches like IWC’s Pilot collection or the Pilot lineup from Zenith, but they are a great, reliable alternative for buyers on a tight budget. With prices kept firmly under $500 USD, what more can you ask for from such affordable but durable pilot watches? But first of all, what exactly are AVI-8 watches? Stick around as we find out. AVI-8 Watches: Your Guide to the Skies Stylized as “AVI-8”, the brand’s name is actually meant to be pronounced as “aviate”. This is a run and clever way to name the brand, while also referencing what its watches are all about: aviation.  Established in the year 2012, AVI-8 is a UK watch brand that offers a wide variety of pilot watches with different designs. This ten-year-old watch brand proudly pays homage to various historical planes with its timepieces. It also serves as a tribute to the heroic airmen who have piloted these machines. As such, an AVI-8 timepiece is not just an ordinary pilot watch in itself. Instead, each AVI-8 watch tells the story of a particular historical aircraft. This rich heritage gives the AVI-8 watches a certain historical value within the aviation industry.  AVI-8 Collections Hawker Hurricane  Image by: AVI-8 The Hawker Hurricane collection is AVI-8’s most popular lineup for its pilot watches. It references the Hawker Hurricane which was a British fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. The Hawker Hurricane aircraft were manufactured between the 1930s and 1940s, acquiring its due fame for being one of the keys to defeating the German air force. The Hawker Hurricane watch collection consists of classic pilot watches with lovely vintage designs. The timepieces in this series are offered with either a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet. They also come with features such as Arabic numeral hour markers, long indices, tachymeter scales, and chronograph layouts. In particular, the Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph is especially useful for aviators or anyone who plans on going on an adventure through the skies.  Hawker Harrier Image by: AVI-8 The Hawker Harrier lineup shows off a totally different vibe from the Hawker Hurricane. The pilot watches in this collection simply ooze sophistication, with complex skeletal dials that show off the inner mechanisms of each Hawker Harrier timepiece. Through these skeletal dials, you can admire the different gears that keep the Hawker Harrier ticking. The design of the Hawker Harrier watches especially resembles that of the Oris Big Crown Propilot X. This collection is inspired by the Harrier Jump Jet, which was first used in the 1960s. The inner mechanisms of the Hawker Harrier are inspired by the engines of the Rolls Royce Pegasus that powered the Harrier Jump Jet, hence the unique design of the Hawker Harrier’s skeletal dial. The pilot watches in this series have case diameters that range from 44mm to 45mm. They are well-suited for those with large wrists, or people who enjoy wearing extra-large timepieces.  Hawker Hunter Image by: AVI-8 Home to exceptionally rugged and impressive pilot watches, the Hawker Hunter watch collection pays homage to the British fighter aircraft of the same name. This aircraft is famous for being the first plane to beat the world’s airspeed record back in 1953. In addition, the sub-collections in the Hawker Hunter series also reference the important mechanical components of the aircraft, along with the legendary aviator responsible for breaking the world’s airspeed record. In line with that, there are three sub-collections in the Hawker Hunter lineup: Avon, Retrograde, and Duke.  Like the Hawker Harrier, the Hawker Hunter Avon timepieces boast complex skeletal dials that show off the Japanese automatic movements powering them. The Hawker Hunter Duke and Retrograde models are chronograph models. Each Duke and Retrograde watch can be distinguished using the large crown on the right side of its case, along with the two pushers that help control the timepiece’s chronograph functions.  P-51 Mustang Image by: AVI-8 Inspired by the fighter bomber used by the US Air Force, the P-51 Mustang series comprises a seemingly explosive array of pilot watches. This line consists of four sub-collections that celebrate important figures and parts of the P-51 aircraft: Hitchcock, Blakeslee, Jubilee, and Patriot.  The Hitchcock and Blakeslee models are notable for their multilayered dials, which are designed to resemble the body of the P-51 Mustang military aircraft. The watches from the Jubilee and Patriot series, on the other hand, are inspired by the cockpit and aviation elements of the aircraft respectively. Every watch in the P-51 Mustang series is protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, ensuring that they are just as tough as the P-51 Mustang aircraft itself. If you are into robust and extremely durable watches, then the AVI-8 P-51 Mustang watches are the perfect choice for you.  Spitfire Image by: AVI-8 Lastly, we have the Spitfire collection, which is composed of watches that celebrate the Spitfire, a British fighter aircraft used during World War II. The pilot watches in this series are categorized into three sub-collections: Smith, Lock Chronograph, and Type 300 Automatic.  All of the watches in the Spitfire line showcase domed cases that mimic the elliptical structure of the Spitfire aircraft itself. Each watch also comes with a bulky crown located at 3 o’clock, with two pushers on either side that resemble the propellers of the historical aircraft. In addition, the AVI-8 Spitfire watches also show off an oversized hour and minute numerals that provide optimal legibility to their wearers. If you want a truly classic, vintage watch that bears a striking resemblance to a historical machine, then the AVI-8 Spitfire is the one to go for. 5 Best AVI-8 Watches 1. AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph Classic White (Ref. AV-4011-01) Image by: AVI-8 The first timepiece on our list of recommended AVI-8 watches is a timeless classic: the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph Classic White (Ref. AV-4011-01). This sleek pilot watch comes in a solid 42mm stainless steel case and a brown leather strap with white stitching. Thanks to its supple leather strap, this watch fits snugly on your wrist.  The plain white dial of this watch is furnished with large, bolded Arabic numeral markers, a small date window at 3 o’clock, a tachymeter scale, and three chronograph sub-dials. The 60-minute and 1/10th of a second counters show off gleaming, metallic sunray finishes that distinguish them from the rest of the dial, and the 60-minute counter in particular is decorated with blue and red accents. The 60-second sub-dial at 9 o’clock, on the other hand, boasts vibrant blue, red, and yellow tones, which stand out distinctly from the Hawker Hurricane’s black-and-white motif. Next to the date display, you can also find the printed image of a small Hawker Hurricane aircraft.  The back of this watch is sealed shut by a solid stainless steel caseback. This caseback is also engraved with a silhouette of the Hawker Hurricane aircraft, encapsulating what this timepiece is all about. A large crown and two pushers are located on the right side of the case and can be used to operate the mechanisms of this watch. In addition, it runs on a Japanese quartz movement, which is powered using a watch battery.  With its classy, quintessential looks, the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Classic Chronograph Classic White is a versatile pilot watch that can easily double as a dress piece. This watch retails at just $210 USD.   2. AVI-8 P-51 Mustang Blakeslee Chronograph Legion (Ref. AV-4077-11) Image by: AVI-8 Next on the list is the AVI-8 P-51 Mustang Blakeslee Chronograph Legion (Ref. AV-4077-11). This watch is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case that measures 13mm thick and a matching stainless steel bracelet, which adds to the watch’s robust look. Fixed on top of the case is a round bezel with a tachymeter scale that comes in handy when calculating speed.  As a celebration of Colonel Don Blakeslee, who is known for piloting the P-51 Mustang aircraft, this watch’s multilayered black dial is designed to mirror the frame of said aircraft. It comprises thick sword hands, oversized, hollow Arabic numeral hour markers, and rectangular applique indices that give the watch a unique, rugged look. The red accents scattered across the minute and second chronograph sub-dials, along with the vibrant red seconds hand, provide a sharp contrast to the watch’s mostly monochrome theme.  This watch is driven by a meca-quartz movement. This is a hybrid caliber that allows a plain quartz movement to take on certain characteristics of a mechanical caliber. Protecting the watch’s meca-quartz movement is a solid stainless steel caseback. The caseback is engraved with an image of the P-51 Mustang aircraft, adding to the aesthetic appeal of this watch.  If you are looking for an exceptionally robust and sporty pilot watch, the AVI-8 P-51 Mustang Blakeslee Chronograph Legion (Ref. AV-4077-11) is definitely worth considering. It costs around $315 USD.  3. AVI-8 Hawker Harrier Matador Chronograph Desert Brown (Ref. AV-4065-06) Image by: AVI-8 If there is one word that can properly describe the AVI-8 Hawker Harrier Matador Chronograph Desert Brown (Ref. AV-4065-06), it is simply strange, but in a good way. As a tribute to the mighty Hawker Harrier aircraft, this AVI-8 watch is truly an odd-looking, almost avant-garde watch. This watch uses a bulky 45mm stainless steel case and a handsome brown leather strap. Surrounding the dial is a large, slanting internal tachymeter bezel, which is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant mineral crystal. On the right side of the case, you can also find two long piston-like pushers and a guarded crown.  The most interesting thing about this timepiece is its sophisticated skeletal dial, which is heavily inspired by the intricate engineering of the Hawker Harrier aircraft, with several layers of gears carefully arranged across the dial. This dial is also adorned with applique indices coated with muted yellow lume and luminous skeletal hands. As a chronograph watch, this timepiece comes with sub-dials for the 60-minute, 60-second, and 1/20th of a second counters, all of which are designed to resemble the gears of the engine that controls the Hawker Harrier aircraft. Finally, a big date complication is also located at 12 o’clock.  Flipping the AVI-8 Hawker Harrier Matador Chronograph Desert Brown (Ref. AV-4065-06) over, you will see a solid stainless steel caseback. This caseback shows off an engraved symmetrical pattern that imitates the turbine blades which drive the Hawker Harrier aircraft. Underneath this caseback is a powerful quartz movement with a solid depth rating of 100 meters.  This complex and stylish AVI-8 watch sells at approximately $330 USD.   4. AVI-8 Spitfire Type 300 Automatic Gunmetal Grey (Ref. AV-4073-44) Image by: AVI-8 Next up, we have a pilot watch that honors the military aircraft, Spitfire. The AVI-8 Spitfire Type 300 Automatic Gunmetal Grey (Ref. AV-4073-44) is sheltered in a 42mm gray-tone stainless steel case accompanied by a bracelet made from the same material. This watch is also offered with an additional gray leather strap, giving wearers an option as to which style of bracelet they prefer. A complete package for a magnificent pilot watch, indeed.  In keeping with the watch’s all-gray exterior is a simple, elegant gray sector dial. This dial consists of large double-digit Arabic numerals, slim indices for the minute track, and a small date aperture at 3 o’clock. One of the most intriguing things about this dial is its alternating display of minutes for the odd hours and hours for the even hours. A small seconds sub-dial is also located above the 5 o’clock marker. Unlike other AVI-8 watches, this pilot watch is driven by a Miyota automatic movement which contains 21 jewels.  The AVI-8 Spitfire Type 300 Automatic Gunmetal Grey (Ref. AV-4073-44) can be yours at $425 USD.  5. AVI-8 Hawker Hunter Avon Automatic Diables Rouges (Ref. AV-4078-22) Image by: AVI-8 For the last watch in this list, we have an AVI-8 pilot watch that celebrates the aviators who flew the Hawker Hunter aircraft. The AVI-8 Hawker Hunter Avon Automatic Diables Rouges (Ref. AV-4078-22) sports a 44mm stainless steel case, with a matching stainless steel bracelet and a truly iconic skeleton dial. A close look at this watch reveals a design that almost looks like a never-ending spiral illusion. Equipped on top of the dial is a textured fixed bezel that resembles the turbine of the Hawker Hunter Avon engines. This same design is also borne out on the watch’s large crown, which is also highlighted with red accents that give the watch a bolder, fiercer look.   The open-heart dial of this watch is ornamented with lume-coated applied indices, thick sword hands, and subtle minute markers. One downside to this dial is its Arabic numeral hour markers. Although some of these markers are painted in bright red, others come in faint gray hues which blend into the rest of the dial and can be a little difficult to read without squinting.  Through the watch’s transparent caseback, you can see its NH36 movement. Held together by 24 jewels, this automatic caliber beats at a frequency of 21,600 per hour. In addition, it has a 40-hour power reserve which gives the watch ample idle time before having to be wound up again. The AVI-8 Hawker Hunter Avon Automatic Diables Rouges (Ref. AV-4078-22) is currently priced at $395 USD. Final Thoughts AVI-8 watches, however unknown they may seem, offer an amazing stack of pilot watches. Its pilot watches deserve due recognition, not only for their affordability but also because of their durability. By using hardy stainless steel material as their main element for their watches’ construction, AVI-8 assures you of a reliable deal for its pilot watches.  Moreover, AVI-8 watches are also famous for their rich heritage, intricate designs, and craftsmanship. Just like the historical military aircrafts that AVI-8 pilot watches pay tribute to, the brand itself also deserves to be iconized in the history of aviation watchmaking.  Photo Credits: AVI-8 Looking for a reliable and durable dive watch? Read more about a watch that you can take to the seas with our Seiko Tuna review.

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  11. Omega X-33: The Popular Space Icon Watch

    Omega X-33: The Popular Space Icon Watch

    Traveling to space is definitely on a lot of people’s bucket lists. Thanks to all the recent advancements in science and technology, we have entered a chapter where almost anyone can go up to space as long as they have the money and tools. And when it comes to the topic of space exploration, there is no watch brand more trusted than Omega. This established Swiss luxury watch brand is known for creating timepieces designed to cater to astronauts and individuals who would love to travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere.  Throughout the age of space exploration, Omega has certainly made its mark through a number of significant events, such as being the official watchmaker for the quadrennial Olympic games and creating official Olympics watches. And of course, who could ever forget that the first watch on the moon was a timepiece from this acclaimed watchmaker? Since then, Omega has gone on to develop a series of wonderful, highly durable timepieces designed just for space, such as the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch”.   In this article, we will be delving into one of Omega’s most historic sub-collections: the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33. The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 watches are crafted specifically to be used in the pursuit of space exploration and traveling through the sphere of heavenly bodies. More commonly known as the Omega X-33, let us take a closer look at the history of this lineup and the current models it offers.  Omega X-33: Your Reliable Travel Buddy to Space The Omega X-33 was first introduced in 1998, in collaboration with esteemed space agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Over the years, Omega has produced many different, upgraded generations of the Omega X-33, which has continued on to this day.  Like the emblematic Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, the Omega X-33 is a series that is both rich in heritage and of the utmost significance in the domain of mankind. Having been used in a number of space missions, the Omega X-33 is notable as a part of the prestigious list of watches that have been to space.  Omega X-33 First Generation Image by: Omega Watches After years of meticulous research and testing by Omega, NASA and ESA, the first-ever official Omega X-33 watch was presented in 1998. Witnessed by accredited NASA astronauts and Russian cosmonauts, the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. TPIC 3990.50.00 was launched at the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas. This watch is considered the first generation of the Omega X-33 collection and was succeeded by newer versions in the following years to come.  This first Omega X-33 timepiece was a watch built to be worn on the planet Mars. Also dubbed the Mars Watch, this Omega Speedmaster piece boasted an all-titanium construction. It showed off a sophisticated hybrid dial, which consisted of both analog and multifunctional digital displays.  This watch had a case diameter of 42.25mm and was equipped with a polished, unidirectional count-up bezel. Since this Omega X-33 watch had a digital layout, it could quickly and easily show its time, date, alarm, and countdown functions. It could also efficiently display the watch’s chronograph features, which came in especially handy when accurately timing specific events like launching a ship.  The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. TPIC 3990.50.00 also had four sizable pushers, which you could use to control its functions. This watch was designed in such a way that even astronauts wearing thick gloves could operate it without any hassle. Capable of withstanding extreme fluctuations in temperatures and gravitational pressures, this Omega X-33 piece was the best option for space travelers in every aspect. It was driven by the brand’s in-house Caliber 1666 quartz movement, which was made exclusively for this Omega X-33 model.  Omega X-33 Second Generation Image by: Omega Watches The second generation of the Omega X-33 was the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 3291.50.00. Released in 2001, this Omega X-33 variant was quite similar to the first model. It had a similar robust appearance, the same functions, and the same in-house quartz movement. It only underwent minor tweaks in terms of its design and the materials used.  The second-generation Omega X-33 came in a similar case size measuring 42.25mm but was crafted from a more durable grade 2 titanium material instead. This particular alloy has a more muted, dull gray sheen, which gives this watch a certain degree of seriousness and gravitas. In addition, the case and bracelet of this Omega X-33 model also boast a sleek and well-brushed finish.  Affixed to the top of the watch case is a matte silver count-up bezel that can now rotate bi-directionally. At the bezel’s 12 o’clock, you can find a luminous pip that is filled with Super-Luminova, which helps keep the watch face illuminated in the dark for better legibility.  Images by: @SpaceX and @AstroBehnken on Twitter Back on May 20, 2020, astronaut Robert Behnken was seen wearing an Omega X-33 piece during the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket ship. This spacecraft was the first crewed mission of Elon Musk’s SpaceX program and it was bound for the International Space Station (ISS). However, contrary to most speculation on the internet, it was actually the second-generation Omega X-33 watch that Behnken sported, and not the latest model (2014).  In a photo posted on July 21, 2020, through Behnken’s Twitter, he can be seen floating inside the ship, amidst the celestial bodies, with his Omega X-33 watch wrapped around his wrist. The fact that even the second-generation Omega X-33 model can survive so well in space, even today, is a testament to the quality and durability the brand has imbued in its X-33 timepieces. Indeed, Behnken is one of a few people who have used this watch in space, along with fellow astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. and Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin.  Omega X-33 Third Generation Image by: Omega Watches In 2014, Omega released the third generation of the Omega X-33 series. With the help of the ESA, the third-generation Omega X-33 is a new and completely improved space watch. It has passed a series of tests and simulations conducted by the ESA. As such, this hardy space watch is so qualified that it is even provided by the agency as official equipment for their own astronauts.   The phenomenal partnership between Omega and the ESA resulted in these third-generation X-33 models having a brand-new, super durable construction. This allows the watches to withstand a series of significant space take-off-related problems. For instance, the third-generation X-33 is now able to withstand 7 G’s of acceleration, varying ranges of extreme temperature conditions, vibrations from a spaceship’s launch, and even high radiation.  In terms of its appearance, the third-generation Omega X-33 now has a larger case size, measuring 45mm. It also shows off a brand-new ceramic bezel insert that is highly scratch-resistant. Finally, this model is now powered by a well-crafted in-house thermocompensated quartz movement. The newer, updated versions of the Omega X-33 are widely available in the market today. There are two models in the third generation of the Omega X-33. We will be taking a close look at both of them in the following section of this article.  Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Models 1. Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 318.90.45.79.01.001 Image by: Omega Watches Although this model is slightly larger than its predecessors, you will immediately recognize this as an Omega X-33 piece, thanks to its recognizable design and distinctive, muted gray look.  Case and Bracelet The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 318.90.45.79.01.001 utilizes a 45mm case constructed from grade 2 titanium. This case is on the thicker end, with a height of around 14.89mm. However, since its titanium material weighs about 45% lighter than stainless steel, the watch still has a very lightweight build that wears comfortably on your wrist. It weighs just 110 grams, which is perfect for astronauts who need to avoid being weighed down while in space.  This Omega X-33 piece also comes with a three-link bracelet, which is crafted from a combination of grade 2 and grade 5 titanium. Due to the properties of grade 2 titanium, the entire watch comes in a dull, muted gray hue. It is given a smooth, brushed finish to prevent any visual distortions or light reflections, which is especially important during space explorations.  Dial and Bezel The eye-catching dial of this Omega X-33 model showcases a lovely hybrid display. On the rim of the watch, you can find a black ring, which is filled with white hour indices that are coated with Super-LumiNova. This ring surrounds a black LCD display, which showcases the time, date, timer, and chronograph functions. This LCD screen can also show different space-relevant functions, such as mission elapsed time (MET) and phase elapsed time (PET). The dial is also furnished with a pair of thick Super-LumiNova sword hands, along with a bright red seconds hand that adds to the vibrancy of the watch face. Protecting the dial is a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal. This crystal is enclosed within a bi-directional rotating count-up bezel made from durable ceramic material.  Movement This Omega X-33 piece runs on an in-house Omega Caliber 5619. This is a thermocompensated quartz movement that provides superb accuracy even when undergoing extreme fluctuations in temperature. It is sealed shut behind a solid titanium caseback.  As a space watch, the Omega X-33 only has a depth rating of 30 meters. This is a little disappointing, as you can take this watch up to stellar heights, but not on deep underwater depths. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure — this watch was designed to be used in space and not for water-based activities.  Price The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 318.90.45.79.01.001 retails at $5,900 USD.  2. Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 318.92.45.79.03.001 Image by: Omega Watches The second model available in the Omega X-33 range today is the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition. This limited-edition watch was made in celebration of the Solar Impulse project, a project supported by Omega which aimed to create an aeroplane that could fly around the world powered solely by solar energy. Although this Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse watch has the same features as the other Omega X-33 model, it stands out with its cool, distinct colors and more laidback, casual vibe.  Case The Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Ref. 318.92.45.79.03.001 comes in a stunning blue and green ensemble and shows off a more playful side of the serious Omega X-33 collection. It is packed in a grade 2 titanium case with a relatively large diameter of 45mm. This is paired with a vibrant, colorful NATO strap with blue and neon green tones. On the whole, this watch wears incredibly lightly on your wrist, weighing just 76 grams.  Dial and Bezel The gorgeous dial of this watch is composed of a blue outer ring that is outlined in green, giving the watch face a more vibrant and dynamic look. On this blue ring, you can find Super-LumiNova-coated hour indices and a subtle minute track. This dial also encompasses a black LCD display, with Super-LumiNova sword hands and a neon green seconds hand.  The functions of this watch can be operated using the four hefty pushers located on either side of the watch. Furthermore, affixed to the top of the watch case is a bi-directional count-up bezel that is crafted from grade 2 titanium and blue ceramic.  Movement  Because of its name, you might mistake this watch for a solar-powered one. In reality, however, it is still run by the brand’s in-house Caliber 5619 quartz movement. Like the previous model, this timepiece also offers a mediocre depth rating of 30 meters. This allows it to survive any accidental splashes of water or rain.  Price With only 1,924 pieces available worldwide, this limited edition Omega X-33 watch is priced at $5,900 USD. Final Thoughts Omega will always be the watch brand to beat when it comes to watches fit for space exploration. The rich history of astronauts and cosmonauts who have used Omega watches beyond the Earth’s atmosphere is already a statement in and of itself. With hardy and durable space-ready watches like the Omega X-33 and the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, Omega will forever be an inextricable part of mankind’s illustrious space endeavors.  Photo Credits: Omega Watches and users @SpaceX and @AstroBehnken on Twitter. Featured image courtesy of Omega Watches. Interested in a very affordable and useful smartwatch? Read our article about the awesome Coros APEX Pro!

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