1. News and Features

  2. What Are Microbrand Watches?

    What Are Microbrand Watches?

    Small watch companies are increasingly popular and the unique microbrand watches they produce are creating some real competition for more established brands. So before you go out and pick up that well-known Rolex, Omega or TAG Heuer, it might be worth your while to check out some watchmakers you’ve probably never even heard of. Let’s take a closer look at what microbrands watches are, and the best watches they are offering. What Are Microbrand Watches? The somewhat nebulous term “microbrand” can be loosely used to apply to a lot of goods and services (such as a microbrewery for example). But in general, it means a company that only produces a small amount of inventory, usually in the range of 300 to 2,000 pieces a year. These items are most often sold directly to the consumer through the websites of the companies, causing a flurry of serious competition for the massive platforms like Amazon. You can also sometimes find microbrands in select retail spaces. In general, microbrand products are more affordable than offerings from luxury brands. This is especially true with microbrand watches. Also when it comes to watches, the microbrands will many times only do a portion of the work in-house, such as cases, dials, and straps, and outsource the movements to big brands like Citizen, Swatch or Seiko. Why Would You Want Microbrand Watches? Exclusivity is one of the main driving factors in the purchase of a microbrand watch. If you’re looking for an instantly recognizable status piece, you’re probably going to want to get a brand that people know and hold in high regard. You drop a Rolex Datejust on your wrist and folks tend to notice quite quickly. They also have a pretty good idea of the amount of cash you plunked down for that fancy status symbol. But chances are that very few people will recognize the name of microbrand watches. This sets you apart from the pack and garners admiration for originality, especially if it’s an eye-catching watch that exudes the same aesthetics as established brands. Another reason is quality. Microbrands often have the same Swiss movements, sapphire crystals, and high-quality stainless steel cases found with well-known watches. What Are the Best Microbrand Watches? Whew, that’s a big question. With so many new watch companies out there (and more popping up each day!), it’s hard to proclaim the “best.” But we can look to the microbrands that are popular and have earned serious praise from true watch aficionados. Below are our top 5 picks. 1: Halios  With a debut in 2009, Halios was at the forefront of the microbrand watch surge of late. Over the past decade, they have garnered respect for producing high-quality timepieces at affordable prices. They’re best known for their dive watches that draw inspiration from the timepieces of the 1960s, specifically their Seaforth model. Halios is a small operation, helmed in Vancouver by Jason Lim, who keeps the prices of his creations under $1,000, no small feat considering they use high-quality movements sourced from Japan or Switzerland. 2: Farer  This is another of the more established microbrands on the scene. Under the banner “British Design x Swiss Made,” vintage-inspired watches are manufactured in London with Roventa-Henex Swiss movements. Featuring sapphire crystals, high-grade metals and luxurious leather straps, GMTs, chronographs and minimalist three-hand models are sold in the $500 to $2,000 price range. One Farer’s of their most popular watches, the Farer Barnato II, is a real retro and back-to-basics timepiece that’s also one of their lowest-priced wares. 3: Christopher Ward  Another microbrand from England, Christopher Ward launched in 2004 in Maidenhead, England with three watch-loving friends who started assembling Swiss movements with locally sourced components. And they started selling their wares at a fraction of the price of established brands. Christopher Ward has since moved on to do most of their own manufacturing. That includes an in-house Calibre SH21, but still keeps their prices comparatively low. Their best-seller is the Grand Malvern Power Reserve dress watch. It’s an upscale and elegant timepiece by any measure and comes in at a cost of under $2,000. 4) Raven   Moving across Atlantic we get to some serious watchmakers out of Kansas. Raven has been producing high-quality dive watches on the outskirts of Kansas City since 2008. While there has been some criticism that their watches too closely resemble Submariners (notably their Vintage 42) that’s also one of their strengths. It’s hard to beat a good looking dive watch with ETA 2824 or Miyota 9015 movement. Not to mention sapphire crystals, and high-grade stainless steel for under $1,000. 5: Oak & Oscar  A relative newcomer, Oak & Oscar made its debut in 2015. The Chicago-based watchmakers specialize in casual-leaning timepieces that embody the classic style of the American Midwest. Their first offering, the Burnham Date, takes its name and design inspiration from Daniel Burnham. Daniel was an architect behind many of Chicago’s beloved structures including the Flat Iron Building. The Jackson is one of their most popular watches. It’s a fly back chronograph with a 60-hour power reserve. The color is gorgeous with a grey-and-white dial with hints of orange. Microband Watches Conclusion So nobody is suggesting you stop your search for that perfect Omega Seamaster Diver. Established models like the Rolex GMT-Master II and IWC Big Pilot will never be truly replaced by upstarts. And who wants to live in a world without an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore? But beyond the big names, it’s good to be aware that a lot of new microbrands are out there. And know that they’re making some really fine watches that are worthy of consideration too.

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  3. Why the Rolex Hulk Watch is So Popular

    Why the Rolex Hulk Watch is So Popular

    Watches, like memories, are an essential part of a person and often lasts a lifetime. Hence for a watch to be worthy of one’s lifelong companionship, it should be nothing short of perfect. It’s not daily that you find yourself looking at a watch as beautiful and luxurious as the Rolex Hulk watch. One look at this timeless beauty is enough to woe just about anyone. But its incredible look and design are not the only qualities that make it so desirable. The watch comes with some breath-taking features that add to its unparalleled popularity. Why is it so popular? Because it deserves it. Finest Quality Oyster Steel The material that is used in the construction of any watch often plays an important role in its popularity or lack thereof. People look out for this factor while investing in any watch. And hence one reason why the Rolex Submariner Hulk is so popular is that it is made with oyster steel. Oyster steel belongs to the 904L steel family and is an alloy that goes into high-technological products and chemical industries. It is highly resistant to scratches and spots. Its exceptional finish ensures the timeless beauty can survive the harshest of conditions. Moreover, it doesn’t corrode and allows for greater stability. Breathtaking Green Dial The green dial is perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Rolex Hulk watch. It not only creates its unique identity but also adds to its overall luxurious look. Like most Rolex watches, these too are also designed and manufactured in house by hand, which allows great attention to detail and hence ensures the highest level of perfection. The hour markers are fashioned from 18-carat gold; this not only prevents tarnishing but also gives it the signature, three-dimensional effect. The dial, which is described as green gold, has a metallic finish that gives it durability and strength. Moreover, to the customer’s delight, the dial also changes between different shades of green when exposed to light hence making it a unique Hulk watch. Innovative Bezel The company has also added innovation to this brilliant Rolex Hulk watch by incorporating ceramic in their bezel. This colored ceramic bezel is a rarity and is not commonly found in watches. But maybe they should because they come with huge benefits. They never fade, rub off or wear out. Moreover, they are highly resistant to scratches and spots. The Rolex Hulk comes with a rotatable bezel that is a key functionality of the watch. The engraved 60-minute graduations also allow you to safely and accurately monitor both diving time and decompression stops. There is also a luminescent capsule on the zero marker, so no matter how dark the environment is, you can count on the bezel’s high legibility. Moreover, the watch works exceptionally well underwater, too; this is all thanks to the bezel’s carefully designed knurled edges. But if you thought that only the exterior of the watch is spectacular, wait till you see the inside of it. The Rolex Hulk watch is made with strong and durable materials. It incorporates deposited platinum within the beautiful indexes and numerals on the dial. Highly Robust Oyster Bracelet A watch is often judged based upon the quality and design of its bracelet, and we can assure you that the Rolex Hulk watch doesn’t disappoint here either. Its oyster bracelet combines the best of both aesthetics and technology, thereby ensuring the highest form and function. To aid in this watch, the Hulk watch comes with an oyster clasp. This not only makes your watch prevent accidental openings but also makes it very secure. It comes with a glide lock that allows you to make fine adjustments to your Rolex Hulk watch without needing any tools. Highly Advanced Calibre Another reason that adds to the undying popularity of the Rolex Hulk watch is the fact that it comes equipped with caliber 3135. This is a self-winding mechanical movement that is one of Rolex’s many specialties. The 3135 is not just a certified Swiss chronometer but has also passed the official Swiss chronometer testing institute, a feature that greatly adds to the Hulk’s overall appeal. The feature is a unique element of high-precision watches. It comes fitted with a parachrom hairspring. The 3135 caliber also allows for greater reliability in terms of accurate time and movements. Moreover, it provides much greater resistance to shocks and temperature variations. Hence for people who travel a lot, Rolex Hulk often ends up being the top choice. Perfect underwater The Rolex is also highly popular with swimmers and sports enthusiasts. The watch comes with central hour, minute and seconds hands. It also allows you to set the date and time instantaneously. But perhaps why sports personalities prefer it most is because of its high precision. This lets them accurately time their practice sessions and hence keep tabs on their progress. The Rolex Hulk watch also provides water resistance up to 1000 feet or roughly 300 meters. This comes in handy not only for fans of water sports but for professional swimmers as well. Therefore, these consumers prefer the Rolex Hulk because it ensures them convenience and elegance both at the same time. Regardless of whether someone buys the Rolex hulk or not, there is no denying that they all love it. If its breath-taking exterior is not enough to impress someone, its spectacular interior surely is. And at the end, the verdict is that the Rolex Hulk watch is popular because it is worthy of that popularity.

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  4. Casio G-Shock Watches: Skeleton Series

    Casio G-Shock Watches: Skeleton Series

    With skeleton watches becoming increasingly popular, Casio G-Shock gets in on the trend with a collection of skeleton watches that is truly like no other. Enter the Clear Skeleton Series. Most watch lovers are familiar with skeletonized watches which let you see the inner workings of the timepiece from the face much in the way an exhibition case back lets you see all those cool turning gears from the watch’s reverse side. So how does it work when you don’t have the intricate workings of a traditional mechanical watch? True, Casio’s skeletonized analog and analog-digital G-Shocks don’t put on a show as eye-catching as mechanical watches, but it’s still pretty awesome to get a window into the inner world of your watch. The Casio G-Shock Clear Skeleton line is no doubt inspired by Casio’s Baby-G collection, but the roots go much, much deeper. A Trip Back to the 80s Okay, for some this will be hard to accept, but we should be honest about Casio’s history. We should expose the unvarnished truth because, well, in the mid-80s and early 90s, Casio was the go-to brand for the ultra-nerdy. Casio gave tech-hungry geeks calculator watches, a flip-top database model, and a watch with a rudimentary fantasy game for the Dungeons and Dragons basement dwellers. There was a 1987 model that, for reasons that seem bizarre today, could dial a touch-tone phone on voice command. But that was back then, and time literally changes all things. Nerdy eventually morphed into trendy and today we celebrate nerd-chic style. The Skeleton Series DW-5600SK-1 takes us on a nostalgic trip back to the early days of Casio, welling up memories of Rubik’s Cubes, Sony Walkman and Members Only jackets. This is largely because of a case that stays true to Casio’s old-school square shape we first met back when the classic DW-5200C dropped in the U.S. in 1984. The new 5600 also has some of the functions we recall from yesteryear, like the Flash Alert and EL backlight for use in low light. Casio G-Shock, A Blast From the Past But the 5600 goes for a more futuristic feel with a gray metallic mirrored face around its digital display. Add in the future-is-now feel of a smoke-grey translucent band and a clear bezel. Two complementing metallic tones blend well against the semi-transparent resin to give the watch a real contemporary feel that makes it good for everyday wear and not the odd accessory you throw on for a lark. As with all G-Shocks, they’ve got the line’s signature Seven Elements: resistance to water, electric shock, physical shock, gravity, vibration, low temperature, and overall toughness. They also have some standard Casio G-Shock features including water resistance up to 200 meters, a stopwatch, countdown timer, and twelve and 24-hour formats. Casio G-Shock Honors the 90s While the entire skeletonized series has an 80s vibe, we would be remiss in not pointing out the 90s influences. It was in the 90s when Casio broke free from high-school science classes and exploded across mainstream America, notably with the G-Shock DW-5900 and its iconic three-eye LCD display. Fans of The Big Lebowski know that John Goodman famously brandished a G-Shock in the classic 90s film. That same case shape, which helps to make the G-Shock the instantly recognizable watch it is today, is now available in a skeletonized version. The DW-6900SK-1 Skeleton bridges both decades. It’s an analog-only watch like the 5600 and shares the same metallic mirrored face, but has a rounded case that’s more in line with the G-Shocks we know from the 90s, such as the Frogman diving model that bowed in 1993. The new 6900 is similarly water-resistant to 200 meters and has the same translucent case and strap as the 5600. Keeping with the greyscale theme, the GA-700SK-1A Clear Skeleton is also a watch that would be at home cruising the mall for an Orange Julius and Hot Dog on a Stick in the 80s and early 90s. This offering in the recent series is an analog-digital model with 3D hour and minute hands alongside a digital readout. Made of the same transparent resin with a similar grey metallic face as the 6900, the GA-700 also features Casio G-Shock’s signature big front button and a front Super Illuminator LED light. Here Comes the Color with Casio G-Shock What would a trip back to the 80s be without a big bold splash of neon? Tt stays with the semi-transparent smoky and dark grey theme on the outer case and band. The GA-400SK-1A4 is sure to grab attention with its bright pink bezel, hands and eye-popping pink accents. For a fun, lighter look, the GA-400SK-1A9 has an all-clear case and band with a vivid two-tone lemon-lime bezel. So break out the leg warmers, spray up your hair for some extra altitude and set your smartphone to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go!” The 80s are calling and Casio G-Shock has skeleton watches that are perfect for the occasion.

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  5. Watch Case and Cabinets to Hold Your Timepieces

    Watch Case and Cabinets to Hold Your Timepieces

    In the horology world, we often worry so much about our watches that we don’t think about how to store them, like a watch case. Collectors frequently end up keeping the one-slot cases that they receive with each timepiece. This is sub-optimal for a variety of reasons, including taking up too much space, a lack of aesthetic quality, and too much branding. The better option is purchasing a watch case or cabinet to hold your timepieces. I go through some of your best storage and watch case options in the sections below. Sodynee WBPU12-03 This gorgeous 12-slot case comes in at a surprisingly low price, but doesn’t sacrifice any quality to get there. Even better, it has a glass viewing window, making it easy to look at your watches without opening the top. I’m also very impressed by Sodynee’s customer service promise, which guarantees a replacement or refund in the event of an issue. The one thing you might not like about it is the fact that it uses synthetic leather, rather than genuine. Songmics UJWB012 While some of you will only want to store your watches, others will want extra space for other accessories. If you fit into the latter group, then this Songmics case is a smart choice. It has a glass window on top, 12 watch capacity, and a lower chamber that looks like a typical jewelry box. The result is a watch case that can hold all of your timepieces, a pair of sunglasses, your wallet, and more. Please note that this is another box with synthetic leather, so look elsewhere if you want the real deal. Hawk & Gable 12 Slot Organizer This gorgeous box breaks the mold with its unique materials. Unlike most, which are leather or wood, it is made from carbon fiber. What you get as a result is a smooth, light, and aesthetically pleasing case. I also like that it comes with a lock and key. That security won’t keep out serious intruders, but it is a nice design feature and makes owning this case even more pleasurable. Glenor Co 6 Slot Watch Box Glenor Co might be the best affordable watch box manufacturer in the world right now, and this 6-slot box is an excellent representation of that. Its design is pleasing, its function is undeniable, and its price is reasonable. I also like that you have a variety of options within the Glenor catalog. They sell in many sizes and styles, so you should be able to find a product that fits your needs no matter what. Case Elegance Solid Wood Organizer Simple, safe, and elegant. Those are the words I use to describe this gorgeous watch case. What I like most is that it doesn’t try too hard to impress you with bells and whistles. Instead, it simply has a classic design and fantastic quality. They also make a point out of making sure their box doesn’t magnetize your watches, which is a significant concern for many collectors. Shock Case Cushioned Nylon Box Lastly, we have an option that isn’t particularly luxurious or nice to look at. Instead, it thrives on pure function. This case uses a soft material and zipper to protect your timepieces when you have to transport them. When it comes time to make a purchase for watch cases or storage, consider the following points. Size – How many watches are in your collection? This is the most pivotal issue for you to resolve. As you can imagine, purchasing a case with 12 slots won’t look right for storing just 5 watches. The opposite is true as well. Function – Will you be traveling with your case? Or will it always stay at home? A lighter option will work for the former, while the latter opens you up to heavier ones. Materials – The two primary choices you have here are wood and leather. Each has a different look and feel, so take your time in deciding which is right for you. Aesthetics – Here, you will choose between a variety of different looks. That includes coloring, how many levels the cabinet has, and more. Price – Lastly, it’s time to settle on the right price. I personally love to splurge a bit on cases, but your strategy will be up to you. Watch Case Conclusions At the end of that process, you should have the perfect watch case or cabinet to hold your timepieces. Presentation is worth it, and when you choose one from this list, you’ll be exceptional in that regard.

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  6. Grey Market: What Is It Exactly?

    Grey Market: What Is It Exactly?

    You must have heard someone advising you to buy grey market watches. The first question that arises is, what is grey market anyway? A place where the goods or products are traded outside of the original manufacturers authorized distribution channel is called the Grey Market. These goods are neither illegal nor counterfeit. The goods are usually sold at a much lower price than the price they’re sold at by the authorized sales market.  This market allows trading to take place on suspended stocks or before official trading in the white market starts. One of the biggest stocks that are traded around in the Grey Market comprises of watches. Over the years, this industry has bloomed into a multibillion-dollar one. This allows consumers to get their hands on products such as a diamond-studded Rolex at a price that’s almost $10,000 cheaper than the original price. Why Does the Grey Market Exist? Once a retailer has excess inventory, he could make a proposal to the Grey Market dealers, with heavy, daunted prices. Before the invention of the internet, this market existed in major cities and storefronts. These transactions at that time had almost little to no effect on the authorized retail market, other than that you wouldn’t even know you were purchasing something from the Grey Market. But now, times are different, and the internet has a big impact on the transactions of these watches. The internet has given an opportunity to these Grey Market dealers to make a prominent presence. More timepieces make their way from the Swiss dominated official retail industry to the Grey Market where they’re sold with surprising discounts. Although the sound of discounted luxury watches would be like music to the consumers’ ears, these high discounts damage the careful fabrication of the prestige this luxurious industry holds and makes it much harder to sell products at their original price of retail. It also causes issues for the distributors of high-end brands, whose main goal is to make deals with authorized retailers. When these brand’s spokesperson walks into the shop of an authorized dealer, the first they get to hear is, “My clients are buying you watches at lower prices online, so I can’t sell these here anymore.” or “Why shouldn’t I buy your watches from the internet where they’re sold at a much less price?” This causes a great plummet in the sales of the distributor. Many leading companies are trying to reduce the loss that occurs in the industry. The chief executive of Longines, Walter von Kanel, is using a group of private operators to track down the retailers that sell their goods at the Grey Market. Where Does it Get its Supply From? It’s actually the brands themselves that give the market what they want. When retailers in foreign countries liquidate their inventory, it ends up in the Grey Market. This is done to get rid of old inventory and to gain short-term money flow. Some Grey Market dealers have contacts with authorized dealers and can actually order or demand a specific watch. If you’re browsing online and find a watch with 40 percent or more off, the chances are that it’s probably a product of the Grey Market. The catch is, no matter where the watch gets sold, it’ll add to the advertisement profit. For example, if an authorized retailer sells $100,000 worth of watches to the Grey Market, the profit might only be $5,000 to $10,000, but the advertising will give it an additional $5,000-$10,000 profit. How Should Brands Avoid Selling to the Grey Market? Brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe have an annual inventory in the 90 percent range. These are rare brands to see on the Grey Market. The products of these brands aren’t easily accessible; the demand will either meet the supply or outweigh the supply; hence, there’s no need for them to sell at discounted prices. Secondly, the brand should be loyal to the authorized retail network. If one thing is to be avoided, it has to be over-manufacturing. That’s how these brands stay off the Grey Market. Only occasionally, you can find them on the Grey Market, and even those watches are purchased at a suitable discount and then sold at or very close to the original price. Usually, these brands cut off their supply from the offending authorized retailers and deprive the market of their goods. If a large manufacturing company is capable of making 50,000 watches, it doesn’t mean that they should. Especially if the demand is of 40,000 watches, instead, making it less than the required amount would be more beneficial. Brands can also lower the original price if they’re not selling at current prices. This could appeal a lot more to the consumer’s side. Another solution is that instead of dumping their old inventory to the Grey Market, they can sell those same watches to authorized retailers in bulk. They can sell these with better prices than the prices they sell them at for in the Grey Market. Conclusion Not to forget that there is a much bigger risk of buying rip-offs of such products from the Grey Market. It’s much more important to do background checks when buying from an unauthorized retailer. In conclusion, there is a big risk factor in making trades with the Grey Market from both ends. It all depends on the strategy the consumer or retailer uses.

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  7. Rado Captain Cook Limited Edition Watch

    Rado Captain Cook Limited Edition Watch

    Rado is a Swiss brand which has introduced Rado Captain Cook timepiece after almost 240 years of the death of the famous British navigator, cartographer, and navigator. These Rado watches have been named after him. The latest Rado watch, known as the Captain Cook automatic limited edition watch, had 1962 pieces. Since it was a very limited edition watch, it was only available between the years 1962 and 1968. Rado Captain Cook Introduction 2017 was a good year for Rado watch fans because the Rado Captain Cook automatic limited edition watch was reintroduced. This watch has been so popular that it is still widely bought. The new edition watch introduced in the year 2017 has a lot of features; for instance, the high technology black ceramic inserts as well as the sapphire crystal for maximum protection of the dial. A very common and usual feature of Rado watches is the use of ceramic in their making. The use of ceramics is a must to give a look of perfection. In the year 1990, Rado introduced the Rado ceramic in which both the bracelet of the watch as well as the case was completely made up of ceramic. Apart from this, the high technology injection feature and process paved the way for the creation of valuable timepieces. However, ceramic is just one of the materials that Rado is proud of using in the making of their watches. The ceramic looks like metal but the best thing about it is that it has the weight of ceramic while it is durable like steel. So, you might witness many of the Rado watches in a lot of colors like gold, rose gold and platinum, but in reality, since they are a type of ceramic, they rarely have any weight. This means these watches are extremely light on your wrist and are durable. Rado Captain Cook Automatic Limited Edition The Rado Captain Cook watch has 80 hours of power reserve, which means it has a huge battery life. Apart from this, you can view the seconds, minutes, and hours as well as the date at the 3 o’ clock position. The brown colored dial on the Rado Captain Cook is printed with indexes along with super luminova which gives a very retro-like look to the watch. People who love vintage styled watches will love this watch due to the polished stainless steel case. You can also view three seahorses on the steel case back. Along with the arrow and sword-shaped hands, which further give a very vintage look to the watch. The best thing about the Rado Captain Cook limited edition watch is that it is genuinely important for customers. This is because of the amazing options that it comes with. For instance, any fine day, you would not want to wear the brown leather strap. This isn’t an issue at all because you can always opt for the stainless steel Milanese bracelet as well as the green colored strap which comes with the watch. Rado Materials Earlier we read about the use of ceramic materials in Rado watches. Now we will let you know a bit more of the amazing materials used in these. Talking about the high-tech diamond, Rado has been using diamonds in their watches for a while now. The use of cutting-edge nanotechnology along with resistant high-tech diamond surface has allowed Rado watches to be unique. Apart from diamond, sapphire crystal is also used in almost all Rado watches. The use of sapphire crystal is responsible for creating a seamless transition from the sapphire crystal to the case as well as to the bracelet of the watch. Coming over to the metal used, in the year 1962, Rado introduced the Rado Diastar 1, which was the most popular watch of that time. The great secret and success behind this watch was the use of hardcore metal in its making. Metal is still used in the making of Rado watches today as it does not wear and tear with time. Metal also has the ability to withstand climatic changes and so, you can wear this watch anywhere in the whole world where no matter how the weather is. Rado, a Brand Worth Buying Rado watches are actually popular all across the world. That’s because their innovative design and revolutionary materials used to create the masterpieces. It has the ability to produce the most durable as well as recognizable watches in the whole world. Rado watches have made their name in the world as goes their famous motto, “If we can imagine it, we can make it.” This is true even to date as their loyal customers and fans are spread out over the entire world.

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  8. COSC Certified Watches: What is COSC Certification?

    COSC Certified Watches: What is COSC Certification?

    Your Guide to COSC Certified Watches Is the watch you are thinking of buying COSC certified? Not all watches qualify though. Only the highest quality watches can pass the exacting tests required to receive this distinction. Purchasing a certified watch is your assurance that your new watch is of exceptionally high quality. What is COSC Certification? The Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres (COSC) is a neutral and impartial Swiss non-profit organization. They work independently of watchmakers. Their goal is to certify the finest quality Swiss watches through rigorous testing of a watch’s internal timekeeping components. Not any watch can just pass the test and receive an official certificate. A watch must have only the finest components possible. And of course it’s assembled by expert watchmakers only. If a timepiece gains distinction as a certified watch, it will have a unique identification number engraved on the movement and receive an official certificate. COSC certified watches are clearly distinct from ordinary watches and have a must higher added value. More than a million watches a year receive a certification. But that is still only a small fraction (6%) of Swiss watchmaking, already justifiably renowned! COSC Certified Watch Brands In 2015, there were three watch brands with the most timepieces to receive certifications. Rolex topped the list in 2015 with 795,716 watches receiving their certificates. Getting second place was Omega with 511,861 certified watches. Breitling watches received 147,917 certificates. Of those, 28,499 were quartz models. Of all the other watch brands tested, none received more than 100,000 certificates, although Tissot came close. They had 96,563 certified timepieces including 30,581 quartz models. Tissot was the overall leader in quartz timepieces. Back in 2008, Longines introduced its Record Collection. That collection was entirely full of COSC certified watches. Are You Ready for a Certified Watch? A COSC certified watch is right for you if quality, craftsmanship, and precision are important to you. At Watchshopping.com, we carry a great selection of watches that were deemed worthy of the certification. You can be rest assured that any watch you purchase with us is guaranteed to be authentic and in perfect working order. Contact us for more information or to place an order. *Citing confidentiality concerns, watchmakers requested that COSC no longer publish exact numbers and the organization agreed. 

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  9. Hands-On with the New IWC Spitfire

    Hands-On with the New IWC Spitfire

    When it comes to luxury watches, the inconvenient truth is that most of the population will never be able to afford one. That is especially true when it comes to brands like IWC, who’s cheapest products often still break the bank. An exciting development that came out of SIHH 2019, a major watch convention, is that this brand is coming out with one of their most accessible options yet. It is the Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire, also known as the IWC Spitfire. Below, I assess this watch and answer a couple of frequently asked questions about IWC. Brand In 1868, a skilled craftsman named Florentine Ariosto Jones decided he was going to start his own timepiece manufacturing business. He called it the International Watch Company, which was later shortened to IWC. Despite some initial resistance from local government, Jones soon opened his factory, and his little watch brand started churning out products. World War II nearly ended IWC, but also led to its massive growth. The first reason why is that its home city of Schaffhausen was bombed during the war. One of those bombs actually directly hit the factory, but luckily, never exploded. What did explode was IWC’s sales, as wristwatches became incredibly popular after the war had ended. Like so many other brands, IWC suffered massively in the quartz crises of the 1970s and 80s. Though they never went out of business, changes needed to be made. The company ended up selling a majority stake to an investment group, which was then later bought by the luxury giant Richemont. These days, IWC is stable and back to being focused on what they love most: Creating fantastic watches for their customers. History of the IWC Spitfire The exact IWC Spitfire watch I have in front of me today is quite new, but the roots of this collection go back to 1948. At that time, IWC was supplying pilot watches to the British Air Force. Due to that nature of the job, the timepieces needed to be tough, legible, and resistant to air pressure. IWC delivered on these goals and gave the Air Force a slew of fantastic products. Like so many other tool watches, the IWC Spitfire isn’t just for pilots. Instead, consumers around the world have developed a love for the style and heritage that they bring to the table. These watches look great, perform exceptionally, and are some of the most popular products on the market. Appearance Watch companies often make one of two mistakes when they create their products. They either design a gaudy watch with too much to look at, or they make their pieces dull and boring. IWC masterfully walks the line between these two traps, and the Spitfire is a glowing example of that. The result is a watch with an extremely legible dial, a tastefully placed date window, and a charming color scheme. My favorite aspect is the latter. It has a black dial, white dial elements, a hint of tan, and even a bit of red. All of that combines to make a watch that is very aesthetically pleasing. Materials & General Craftsmanship The standard Spitfire model has a stainless steel case and sapphire crystal, both with an exceptional level of quality. You also get to choose between a few straps, the most notable of them being textile and calfskin. The last option you’ll have is getting a bronze case. While I have the stainless steel option in front of me, the bronze version is undeniably charming. Ultimately, no matter which materials you choose for your IWC Spitfire, you will be getting a high level of quality. Movement The IWC Spitfire comes with one of their best movements, the 32110 Calibre. It is accurate, automatic, and manufactured in-house. The thing I like best about it, though, is its 72-hour power reserve. That’s a lot more than you usually get at this price point and is a factor that will make owning the product much more convenient. Two Frequently Asked Questions I often get the following questions when it comes to IWC watches: 1: Where can I find IWC watches for sale? – While you can buy their products in a variety of places online, I recommend using a website that guarantees authenticity and has an excellent reputation. 2: How much are IWC watches? – That will depend on the level of quality you want out of your watch. Some of them, like the Spitfire, cost less than $5,000. Others will be more like $15,000. IWC Spitfire Overall Impression The IWC Spitfire is truly the best of both worlds. It has a classic pilot watch aesthetic, is manufactured by one of the best brands in the world, and costs under $5,000 to purchase. For me, buying one of these timepieces is a slam dunk, and I recommend it for any collector out there who’s interested.

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  10. Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020

    Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020

    Most horology experts agree that the Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches of all time. Getting your hands on one is generally quite easy, though, as it is a mass market product. What won’t be easy to obtain is the new Tokyo 2020 Speedmaster line. The reason is that it is only being sold in Japan and in limited supply. Regardless of whether you get one for yourself, discussing this new line is fun and exciting. Below, I get into the details surrounding the Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020. History of the Speedmaster One historical event defines the Omega Speedmaster over all else and has led to this watch’s top nickname, the “Moonwatch.” The story is a short, but compelling one. It starts with a crew of American astronauts sliding Speedmasters on their wrists, and it ends with those men walking on the moon. Naturally, Omega has used this event in its marketing campaigns ever since. Still, this watch is not all hype and history. It is one of the best options in its price range and is a favorite among experienced collectors. Overall Impression of This Model You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the watch world who hates Speedmasters. They are attractive, well made, and have one of the best brands backing them up. Add all that to unbeatable heritage, and you have a watch that shouldn’t disappoint. I also especially love the tachymeter and chronographs. These elements make the Speedmaster a functional piece and one that represents the culture of racing. Special Edition Watches Collectors have a love-hate relationship with special edition watches. On the one hand, they are often fantastic products and have an enticing level of exclusivity. On the other, that exclusivity also limits that amount of people that can enjoy them. Ultimately, special editions are a significant part of watch culture, and that isn’t going to change. No matter how you feel about them, though, the beauty of the Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 is undeniable. As far as the case back, you get the Olympics logo, text that says, “Tokyo 2020,” and the logo for this specific event. It is very pleasing to look at, though it will not be visible while you’re wearing the watch. What’s Different About Them? As far as foundational design elements and functions, these Speedmasters are exactly the same as mainstream models. The differences come in the form of a unique case back and five color schemes that correspond with the five rings of the Olympic symbol. I’ve briefly described each of them below. Blue – This model has a blue tachymeter, blue dial, and white subdials. The aesthetics of it work very well, giving it a sporty and attractive energy. Yellow – Black and gold are a timeless combination, and this Speedmaster is yet another example of that. Its dial and tachymeter are primarily black, with the gold coloring being used as a complementary color throughout. Black – You might call this black and white timepiece a “panda watch.” Its white dial is absolutely gorgeous, and overall, it is an excellent pick for people who have a less flashy fashion sense. Green – The three primary colors here are green, gray, and rose gold. While those might not sound like they’d fit together well, once you see this watch, you’ll undoubtedly find that they do. Red – Lastly, we have the contrast of a red tachymeter with a clean, white dial. This is likely my favorite of the bunch. Japan Exclusive Now, for some not-so-great news. The Omega Speedmaster Tokyo 2020 is, as you might have guessed, exclusively being sold in Japan. Though many watch blogs are writing about it, Omega isn’t even advertising this product on their US or European websites. In the past, that would most likely lead to westerners never owning this special edition watch, but times have changed. How You Can Get One for Yourself With the rise of the internet, the days of total exclusivity are over. Omega could have kept this watch in Japan exclusively in another era, but now, collectors in the western world are going to be able to get their hands on some of them. There are two ways to make it happen. 1: Go to the Olympics in Tokyo – Of course, you can always get a new watch the old-fashioned way. You’ll just have to make a trip to Japan, walk into an Omega store, and purchase one in person. If you choose this option, you might be able to make a wonderful vacation out of it. 2: Purchase One Online – You can count on many collectors purchasing a limited edition Speedmaster and selling it not long after. There will also be people who buy one specifically to resell it. Either way, these watches will eventually start to show up for sale online at online watch stores!

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  11. What is a GMT Watch?

    What is a GMT Watch?

    Watches are usually meant to showcase local time, but there is an exception of GMT watch. A GMT watch not only apprises you of domestic time, but it also briefs you about time in different countries. The most happening feature of a GMT watch is its ability to exhibit time in different poles of the world. GMT – “Greenwich Meantime” GMT watch comes along an additional time zone. It gives an idea of the current time in countries all over the world. It has an inexplicably amazing feature to reveal time worldwide. GMT watches carry a special kind of bezel, a rotatable one, which has the capacity of a world clock. It tends to inform you about time across the globe. The belt amidst the bezel is the core trait of a GMT watch. That belt tends to move with a slight push of the hand. What the Additional Time Zone Works Like  You basically need to know the time difference that your country has with other countries in the world. This information is important as it is going to guide you about how much you need to rotate the bezel of the GMT watch. For calculating the difference in time, you just need to Google it away. Google, in a nanosecond, can guide you about the difference of time between your city and the city you want to know the time of. Let’s assume, you live in Chicago, and you want to acquire the time in Toronto. The two amazing neighbors share many things in common, be it culture or history. Being neighbors, the time difference between them is not worlds apart. Considering the fact that Canada is only one hour ahead of the United States, you will have to move the bezel forward only one time. When you take this necessary step, you will be instantly informed about the current hour and minute in Toronto. For instance, if you are an inhabitant in Moscow, and you want to know the current time in Sydney, you have to know the time difference which is eight hours to be exact. So, you will have to move the bezel 8 times to have a knowhow of what the clock struck in the Australian continent. The Bezel is Compartmentalized Into Two Usually, a GMT watch has the bezel divided into two parts. The bezel of a GMT watch is a bi-colored one. Generally, a black and blue combination or black and red works for the compartmentalization of the bezel. One part has the time zone for the night hours, and the other part indicates the day hours. Thence, the extended time zone shows ante meridiem (before) hours and post meridiem (after) hours in different colors. The Historical Background: GMT Was Initially Inspired By Pilots GMT watches were basically made to accommodate pilots, but in this day and age, almost everyone can use these watches. Pilots have to fly planes, and for them, it is important to know of the time in different corners of the world. To satiate this need, the horology industry introduced GMT watches with a dual time zone. These GMT watches reduced the problem of time-reading while flying from one place to another. For a very long time, pilots had to struggle knowing time after departing from the domestic space. The horology industry then progressed by leaps and bounds and came up with an apt solution. GMT watch came out as a trademark of the horology industry. After a while, these GMT watches became widely popular, and almost everyone had access to this wonderful timepiece. After this revolutionary development, it became available for an ordinary person’s utility. A GMT is a Must for People with Wanderlust Do you like traveling worldwide? Do you like to explore new cities, new countries, and new continents? Then a GMT watch is an absolute need. You can’t be careless enough not to put on a GMT watch while traveling from one place to another. Whether you are required to travel because your job demands it, you are a photographer whose bread and butter depends on traveling, or you’re a writer with a vibe to unravel the nature, it’s better for you to have a GMT watch tied on your wrist. Frequent travelers find it an absolute necessity. Most Famous GMT Watches 1: Rolex GMT Master II watch The ravishing gold bracelet of the watch outclasses all other specs. This Rolex GMT Master II watch has a rotating bezel which is bi-directional. There is an amazing and off-beat contrast as the dial is in green color; however, the watch markers are synonymous to the gold bracelet. The watch can also resist water up to 100 m. There’s a screw down crown attached beside the bezel. There is a regular date calendar at 3 ‘o clock. On top of all that, there are luminous watch markers for the additional time zone. 2: Breitling Avenger II GMT watch This Breitling GMT timepiece has a stainless steel case whose width is 43mm. There’s a leather-made black strap perfectly suiting the silver steel case. The watch offers 300 mm of water resistance. Moreover, the watch markers and hands (min and hour) inside the fully black dial are silver-toned. The seconds hand is given in red, for a change. The outstanding features also include a 42-hour power reserve. The date can be seen via date calendar at 3 ‘o clock. 3: IWC Pilot Automatic GMT watch The focal point of the IWC Pilot automatic is a beautiful and stainless steel case. It flaunts a black leather-made strap. The rotating bezel is quite unique as it has city names written on it. The screw down crown alongside the bezel is accompanied by two push buttons. The water resistance is up to 60mm. The black dial has a couple of sub-dials, 12-hour display, and a date calendar, and is a chronograph watch. Along with it, it proffers a 68-hour power reserve.

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