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  2. Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition

    Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition

    One of the most special watches on the market is the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition. This limited-edition watch was released in remembrance of the late American hero, Carl Brashear. With its sleek build, high-quality craftsmanship, and unique history, this is one of the most sought-after Swiss watches by the collector community.  Oris started its collaboration with the Carl Brashear Foundation back in 2015. As part of the collaboration with the Carl Brashear Foundation, Oris has launched a total of three timepieces, with the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition being its latest release. Without further ado, let us take a deeper look into the life of Carl Brashear and the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition, which so aptly represents the values he stood for.  Carl Brashear: A Paragon of Courage and Resolution Carl Brashear is a name that needs no introduction. The world knows him as a legendary sailor and hero who never gave up. Brashear was a man so driven and firm in his resolve to advance that no hardship could stop him from what he loved to do the most: sail. Much in line with that, the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition is a sturdy, powerfully-built dive watch that can withstand any challenge. Childhood Brashear was born in 1931 to an underprivileged family in rural Kentucky. He was the sixth of eight children. Although Brashear had minimal access to education, it did not deter him or stop him from thinking big. From a very young age, Brashear had developed a firm resolve of creating a better life for himself. And through unyielding efforts, he manifested his dreams. Navy Career Although Brashear was only moderately educated, he enrolled in the US Navy in 1948 and successfully graduated from its Diving and Salvage School in 1954. This made him the first African-American to graduate from the institute. Brashear excelled in his career and made great strides until he met with an accident during one of his underwater endeavors in 1966. The Navy assigned Brashear to retrieve a lost nuclear bomb from the sea. During this operation, Brashear hit a loose pipe with his lower left leg. As he was not given proper medical care due to a lack of resources, Brashear’s leg had to be amputated.  The Navy decided to retire Brashear from duty, given his disability. However, Brashear refused to do so. Armed with grit and the aid of a prosthetic leg, he started training himself to dive again. Brashear worked day and night so that he could become certified again to do what he loved most. And eventually, Brashear more than achieved his goal. He was the first black man ever to become a master diver. Over his career, Carl Brashear has broken many glass ceilings, setting the benchmark for excellence in the diving field.  Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition Specifications Photo from OrisCase, Bezel, and Crown Let us now take a look at the specifications of the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition itself. This watch comes in a 40mm bronze case which measures 12.8mm thick. With a lug-to-lug distance of 48mm and a lug width of 20mm, this watch has fairly standard measurements and can fit well on wrists of almost any size.  The vintage-looking case is reminiscent of the bronze material of the helmet used by Brashear during his career with the US Navy. It has polished sides, while the lugs bear a sleeker, brushed finish, creating a visually interesting interplay of textures. Affixed to the top of this watch’s case is a unidirectional 120-click bezel which is also made of bronze. It has a coin-edged design, which makes it easier for wearers to grip and turn it. Located at 3 o’clock is a thick bronze screw-down crown which you can use to wind and set the watch. Thanks to its screw-down crown and caseback, this watch has a solid depth rating of 100 meters, meeting the ISO 6425 standards for dive watches.  Strap This watch also sports a non-elastic brown marine national strap, which aptly exhibits the watch’s fundamental concept. This strap offers a very comfortable fit and its warm brown tones go well with the watch’s bronze case. Dial The dial of the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition, meanwhile, shows off a gradient design that recalls the deep underwater seas. It has a rich blue hue that transitions to black as it spreads outwards, much like the ocean waters. This dial is ornamented with raised hour markers in various geometric shapes and thick bronze sword hands, all of which are coated in lume. A small date window can also be found at 6 o’clock.  Movement Powering this watch is the in-house Oris Caliber 401. Thanks to its twin barrels, this movement has a five-day power reserve. It also utilises over 30 non-ferrous and anti-magnetic components, including a silicon escape wheel and a silicon anchor. This helps make the watch more resistant to magnetic forces and thus more accurate. Even when exposed to an incredible 2,250 gauss, the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition has been proven to have less than a 10-second deviation a day. It also offers an excellent precision rate of +5/-3 seconds a day.  To add the cherry on top, the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition also comes with a 10-year warranty.  Special Case-Back Photo from OrisThe back of this watch’s case is made of solid stainless steel. Unlike the bronze material that makes up the rest of the case, this stainless steel caseback will not develop a patina. This avoids any potential skin irritations, ensuring that you will have a comfortable wearing experience.  The caseback also bears a beautiful Carl Brashear engraving, in which he is wearing his US Navy diving suit. Details on the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition are also carved on this caseback, including its serial number, depth rating, case material, and more.  Final Thoughts With only 2,000 pieces ever made, owning the Oris Carl Brashear Caliber 401 Limited Edition is a privilege that only a select few get to enjoy. Many watch aficionados dream of wearing one, but given the limited number of models produced by the company, this might be one of the hardest watches to acquire. Oris has perfectly commemorated the life of the great diver, Carl Brashear, with this watch. All photos from Oris’s official website Interested in learning about more stylish Oris dive watches? Check out our article on the classic Oris Divers Sixty-Five here.

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  4. 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 more 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 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 which 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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  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 amongst 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. 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 folks’ 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 an Omega 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 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 to 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 which 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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  7. Seiko Speedtimer: A Celebration of Seiko’s Sports Heritage

    Seiko Speedtimer: A Celebration of Seiko’s Sports Heritage

    Seiko is one of the most well-established brands in the watchmaking industry. It has an extensive catalogue that includes many pieces famous amongst watch patrons and collectors, such as the Seiko Tuna and the Seiko Monster. One of the brand’s most iconic models is the Seiko Speedtimer. This is a cutting-edge sports watch and chronograph piece which has certainly made its mark on watchmaking history. Read on to find out all about the Seiko Speedtimer and what it brings to the table. When did Seiko make the Speedtimer watch?  The history of the Seiko Speedtimer dates back to as early as the 1960s. Originally a part of the Seiko 5 Sports collection, the Seiko Speedtimer is notable for being the first-ever automatic chronograph to be introduced to the world. Before its ground-breaking release in 1969, the Japanese brand spent over two years conceptualizing and developing the Seiko Speedtimer, ensuring that it would become the iconic watch series it is today. An In-Depth Look at the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813  Before we take a look at some of the best variants of the Seiko Speedtimer available on the market, let us delve into the Seiko Speedtimer Ref. SSC813. With its classic style, this watch is arguably the core model of the Seiko Speedtimer Solar Chronograph series. Case and Bezel  The Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 comes in a high-quality stainless steel case that promises utmost durability. It has a diameter of 39mm and a standard thickness of around 13.3mm, making it the ideal size for those with smaller-to-average-sized wrists. On the right side of the case, there is a stout screw-down crown that is surrounded on either side by two pushers. These components are vital in allowing the Ref. SSC813 a reliable depth rating of 100 meters. The screw-down crown also has deeply grooved sides, so wearers can grip and turn it more easily. Flipping the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 over, you can find a solid stainless steel caseback that is tightly screwed down. Showing off a sleekly brushed finish, this caseback keeps the back of the watch secured, preventing any moisture or dust from getting in and damaging its inner mechanisms. In addition, the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 also comes with a fixed bezel, which is fitted on top of its watch case. It has a black ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale inscribed on it. This tachymeter bezel is one of the most important parts of a chronograph and Seiko was able to incorporate it well into the timepiece’s rugged design. Bracelet  The Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 is paired with a stainless steel bracelet that has a three-piece link structure. The links of this watch have a semi-circular shape, while the insides of the link are flatter. This design allows the bracelet to fit more snugly on your wrist, which is exactly what you want in a sports watch. It was also constructed to have just the right amount of thickness and weight plus a low center of gravity, allowing for superior stability and comfort. Dial  The dial of the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 is arguably the most striking aspect of this watch. The brand used contrasting black, grey, and white colors for its different components, which creates a highly-legible and easy-to-read watch face. Design-wise, this Seiko Speedtimer model is heavily inspired by the Seiko chronographs from the 1960s. This white dial comprises fluted hour markers in soft grey and sharp black sword hands. A compact date window can also be found in between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. As a chronograph watch, this timepiece also has a handy chronograph display. Its dial features three chronograph sub-dials for its 60-second, 60-minute, and 24-hour counters. These chronograph counters all come in grey, so they stand out clearly against the rest of the white dial. A curved sapphire crystal is used to protect this watch’s face. This sapphire crystal has been treated with anti-reflective coatings, so wearers have a clear view of the dial that is unhindered by any visual or light distortions. Technical Details  The Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 is powered by a V192 caliber. This is a solar chronograph movement, which means that it is driven by both artificial and natural light. This movement has an excellent precision rate of around +/-15 seconds per month, which is a testament to the Japanese brand’s expertise in watchmaking. Lastly, on top of all its usual chronograph functions, the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 also comes with an electric power generation display. It also possesses an overcharge prevention feature, so you do not have to run the risk of burning out your watch. Price  Despite its rich heritage and excellent craftsmanship, the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813 has a very reasonable price tag of just $675 USD. Considering it uses state-of-the-art technology while also boasting a timeless, versatile design, anything under $1,000 USD certainly seems like a good deal for this watch. Other Variations of the Seiko Speedtimer Now that we know more about the Seiko Speedtimer SSC813, let us consider some other best Seiko Speedtimer models you should not miss out on. 1. Seiko Speedtimer SSC817  First up, we have the Seiko Speedtimer SSC817. This watch offers a completely different design compared to the SSC813. It has a more retro and playful vibe, which gives it a bit more of an edge compared to the standard black-and-white SSC813 model. It is the ideal Seiko Speedtimer option for those who love timepieces that boast both modern and vintage-inspired aesthetics. The SSC817 is presented in a 39mm stainless steel case and a sporty three-link bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a black bezel. It bears a tachymeter scale inscribed in muted yellow, which adds to the old-school look of the watch. The dial of this watch also blends well with the bezel, thanks to its textured yellow-gold finish. It is adorned with rectangular hour markers, black sword hands, a small date display, and three chronograph sub-dials in black. A curved sapphire crystal is used to protect this dial from any scratches or impacts. Driving this Seiko Speedtimer model is a V192 solar chronograph movement. On top of providing exceptionally precise timekeeping, this movement also has a solid battery life of six months when fully charged and a depth rating of 100 meters. This Seiko Speedtimer watch sells at a very reasonable price of $550 USD, making it one of the more affordable Speedtimer models. 2. Seiko Speedtimer SSC815  Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SSC815. This watch has a more masculine and sporty exterior which makes it the perfect choice for all the sportsmen in your life. Its cool colorway makes this a very versatile timepiece that is easy to pair with different styles. On the whole, this is a fail-safe option for those who want to make the most out of their watch. This Seiko Speedtimer watch is housed in a 39mm stainless steel case, coupled with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. It has a lug-to-lug distance of 45.5mm and a thickness of 13.3mm, which makes this an average-sized timepiece that can be comfortably and unobtrusively slipped under the cuff of your shirt. On top of the watch case is a sharp black bezel, with indicators in white and red for its tachymeter scale. While the dark red indicators can be a little difficult to read against the black bezel, they add a very rugged edge to the look of this timepiece. The dial of this watch, on the other hand, showcases a grained dark blue finish. It is furnished with applique silver hour indices, thick white sword hands, and a small date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. You can also find three chronograph sub-dials in grey and a vibrant red seconds hand, which provides the watch face with more dynamism and variety. The chronograph counters can be controlled using the two pushers on the right side of the watch case. This Seiko Speedtimer SSC815 runs on the brand’s V192 solar chronograph caliber. It has a precision rate of +/-15 seconds per month, an electric power generation display, and an overcharge prevention function. You also do not have to worry about getting this watch wet as it has a depth rating of 100 meters. If you are looking for a sports watch to use in your everyday life, this $580 USD model should definitely be on your radar. 3. Seiko Speedtimer SRQ035 Next up, we have the Seiko Speedtimer SRQ035. Released in 2021, this is actually a limited-edition model from the brand’s Seiko Prospex Speedtimer lineup. It draws inspiration from the Japanese brand’s long-time role as the official timekeeper at various sports competitions and events. In particular, this watch was designed to pay tribute to a particular 1/5th-of-a-second stopwatch from Seiko’s 1964 catalog, which explains its vintage aesthetic. The SRQ035 utilizes a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a three-link bracelet. This watch has a lug-to-lug distance of 45.5mm and a thickness of 15.1mm, which makes it slightly larger and heavier than the aforementioned models. That said, it was made to still rest ergonomically and comfortably on the wrist. Complementing the watch’s all-silver exterior is a clean white dial. It has a very straightforward layout, containing tiny dot indices, slim sword hands that are coated in lume, a subtle 60-minute track in black, and a date complication at 6 o’clock. On the outer rim of the dial, you can also find a black internal tachymeter scale which you can use to measure speed and distance. Two small chronograph sub-dials can also be found at 3 and 9 o’clock, for the 60-second and 30-minute counters. On the underside of this watch, you can find a see-through caseback, which gives you a clear view of the watch’s state-of-the-art Caliber 8R46. This is a brand-new automatic Seiko chronograph movement. It comes with a manual-winding capacity and can last for up to 45 hours when fully wound. As a limited edition model, there are only 1,000 units of the Seiko Speedtimer SRQ035 in existence. It is priced at around $2,900 USD. 4. Seiko Speedtimer SRQ039  In this entry, we are looking at the Seiko Speedtimer SRQ039. This is the newest model in the Seiko Speedtimer line, as it was only released in February 2022. It is one of the most unique pieces in the Speedtimer series, as it offers a more elegant and dressy aesthetic than the rest of its peers. This is a great option for Speedtimer patrons looking for a sports watch that would look great with formal ensembles as well. The SRQ039 sports a 42.5mm stainless steel case, paired with a handsome crocodile leather strap in black. It has the same lug-to-lug distance and thickness as the SRQ035, making it a good fit for those with slightly larger wrists. The dial of this watch shows off a gorgeous, sky-blue finish. It is decorated with applique hour indices, long sword hands, a date display at 6 o’clock, and an internal tachymeter bezel on its rim. It also has a chronograph display with two sub-dials for the 60-second and 30-minute counters, both of which come in a darker blue hue. An anti-reflective sapphire crystal helps guard this watch face, contributing to the timepiece’s 100-meter depth rating. Flipping the SRQ039 over, you will see an exhibition-style caseback. This allows you to fully admire the watch’s brand-new 8R46 Caliber. This is one of the most advanced chronograph movements offered by Seiko as it utilizes high-tech MEMS technology. It offers a precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day and has a decent 45-hour power reserve. The Seiko Speedtimer SRQ039 retails at about $3,000 USD. 5. Seiko Speedtimer SRQ037  The last model we recommend is the Seiko Speedtimer SRQ037. With its simple and sleek style, this watch serves as a subtler and more understated take on the Seiko Speedtimer. It has a versatile design that will probably still be in style even 20 years from now. This is a great choice for Seiko patrons who want something straightforward and timeless. The SRQ037 uses a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel bracelet. Both the case and bracelet are hard-coated, boasting their durability and resistance to scratches and impacts. On the right side of the dial, you can find an especially thick screw-down crown, along with two pushers for the watch’s chronograph functions. Compared to the previous models, this watch shows off a more muted brushed finish. This adds to the watch’s quiet and unostentatious style. The dial of this watch comes in a lovely and serious charcoal grey. It consists of silver applique hour indices, thick dauphine hands that are coated in lume, and a date aperture at 6 o’clock. A tachymeter scale in black encloses the dial. It also contains two chronograph sub-dials in black for the 60-second and 30-minute counters. The back of this watch is sealed shut by a thick, transparent sapphire crystal caseback. Through this caseback, you can see the impressive 8R46 Caliber that powers this Speedtimer watch. Consisting of 34 jewels, this is an automatic chronograph movement with manual-winding capacity and a 45-hour power reserve. You can purchase this watch for around $3,000 USD. This is one of the pricier Seiko Speedtimer models. How is the Seiko Speedtimer Different From Other Chronographs?  One thing that truly separates the Seiko Speedtimer from other chronograph pieces in the market is that it has such a rich history to back it up. As we mentioned earlier, Seiko was one of the brands at the forefront when it comes to pioneering the development of chronograph watches. In fact, the original Seiko Speedtimer was the first-ever automatic chronograph to ever hit the market. The fact that the Speedtimer series can trace its lineage all the way back to the start of automatic chronographs is a serious point in its favor. Another factor that makes the Speedtimer so distinct is the fact that it is equipped with highly advanced mechanisms. For instance, Seiko was able to integrate a high-tech solar-based movement into the Seiko Speedtimer. Not only did this make the Speedtimer more convenient to use for wearers, but it also proves the extent of the Japanese brand’s mastery over the watchmaking craft. Final Thoughts  The Seiko Speedtimer is a truly historic watch. It made a huge impact in the 1960s, when it was released as the first automatic chronograph watch ever, and has remained relevant to this day. Over the years, Seiko has made sure to upgrade the Speedtimer with the most ground-breaking technology available, which is why it is no surprise that it remains such a popular series today. The Seiko Speedtimer is definitely worth adding to your collection if you enjoy high-quality chronograph pieces. Photo Credits: WatchShopping Site Don’t miss out on our piece about the rugged and efficient Casio G-Shock DW5600E-1V!

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  8. Seiko Marinemaster: All About Seiko’s Outstanding Diver

    Seiko Marinemaster: All About Seiko’s Outstanding Diver

    One of the world’s largest and most renowned watchmakers is the Japanese brand Seiko. The brand offers a wide range of outstanding watch models, including professional dive watches that are loved by watch enthusiasts worldwide. On top of that, Seiko is also known globally for its introduction of the quartz movement in the sphere of horology. Thanks to its ceaseless innovation and consistent production of high-quality watches, many watch aficionados have developed an inclination toward the brand’s products over the years.  Of all the dive watches in Seiko’s catalog, one particular standout is the Seiko Marinemaster. Powerful and robust, the Seiko Marinemaster is a distinctive timepiece that has carved out its own place in the brand’s history. Without further ado, let us get better acquainted with the Seiko Marinemaster, its history, achievements, and the best Marinemaster models that money can buy you.  Seiko Marinemaster: A Brief History First released in 1968, the Seiko Marinemaster has been around for a very long time, with many new Marinemaster models being released over the years. Because of the extensiveness of its history, we will only be discussing a few of the Marinemaster’s significant milestones, particularly those that relate to the models we will be discussing in greater detail later in this article:  1968: Seiko releases its first Hi-Beat dive watch, the Marinemaster. Launched just three years after Seiko first ventured into the dive watch market, the 1968 Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7001 showed off a monobloc case and an impressive 300-meter water resistance capacity. The high-beat frequency of this Marinemaster’s new, built-in driving system also ensured exceptionally precise timekeeping, even when used underwater.  1975: The first Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7010 was born. It came in a chunky yet lightweight titanium build and was made especially for professional diving. This Seiko Marinemaster model had an outstanding 600-meter depth rating and its outer case was bolstered by a thick shroud which provided additional protection from scratches and impacts.  1978: Three years later, an upgraded timepiece with a similar build to the 1975 Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster Ref. 6159-7010 was released. This new Marinemaster was the first saturation diving watch ever to utilize an in-house quartz movement. It continues to epitomize Seiko’s dedication to never-ending innovation.  2005: Fast forward to thirty years later, and the Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. Ref. SBDB001 was introduced. This watch was crafted using lightweight titanium and equipped with a luxurious sapphire crystal, which served to protect the watch’s dial. This watch was well-suited for saturation diving with its water resistance capacity of 600 meters. Today, the Seiko Marinemaster sub-collection has expanded to hold a wide variety of timepieces, all of which fall under the extensive Seiko Prospex series. These, of course, include the “Tuna” Marinemaster models. Fun fact: the “Tuna” nickname awarded to these timepieces is a witty reference to the cylindrical shape of a tuna can. The Seiko “Tuna” Marinemaster watches showcase round, shrouded cases that are said to resemble actual tuna cans, hence the nickname. This tuna can design continues to be used in modern Marinemaster models today.  In addition, there are two distinct features that tie every Marinemaster watch together. The first is an aesthetic one: the off-center placement of the Marinemaster’s huge crown on the right side of the case, at 4 o’clock. Secondly, each Marinemaster variant also possesses an excellent water resistance capacity that exceeds 200 meters.  Now that we are more familiar with the collection as a whole, let us take a look at some of the best Marinemaster models on the market.  Best Seiko Marinemaster Models 1. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN035 First on this list is the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN035, which is also famously known as the “Ninja Tuna.” The striking all-black theme is what this timepiece is all about. This watch comes in a bulky 47.7mm case made of stainless steel. Not only is the case wide, but it is also quite thick, with a height of 14.7mm. This gives the Ninja Tuna a nice, substantial heft on your wrist. The black-tone case is coupled with a matching black silicone bracelet which is durable enough to carry the weight of the timepiece.  As per its all-black theme, the dial of this watch also comes in matte black. It has a fairly simple layout, with geometric hour markers and broad arrow-head hands, all of which are generously coated with lume. A day-date window is also located next to the 3 o’clock marker. Placed atop the case is an 120-click rotating bezel with a black insert for its elapsed time scale.  The Ninja Tuna is driven by a Seiko 7C46 quartz movement. Held together by seven jewels, this movement has an excellent battery life of five years. On top of that, the Ninja Tuna also has a respectable depth rating of 300 meters.  If you want a tough yet subtle-looking dive watch, you can get the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ninja Tuna Ref. SBBN035 for $1,149 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017 Next on this list is the Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017. This Seiko Marinemaster watch is packed in a 44.3mm stainless steel case, along with a three-link case made of the same material. Both the case and bracelet are treated with Seiko’s unique Diashield coating. This enhances their resistance to scratches and protects the elegant, brushed mirror finish of the watch’s exterior.  The watch’s gear-edged elapsed time scale bezel and dial, on the other hand, come in jet-black. The dial is adorned with geometric hour indices and thick sword hands, all of which are coated in the brand’s patented LumiBrite material, allowing for optimal legibility even in the dark. A small date display, outlined in silver, also sits at 3 o’clock.  Driving this Seiko Marinemaster piece is the brand’s in-house 8L35 automatic movement. Based on the Grand Seiko 9S55 caliber, this movement has a solid 50-hour power reserve. The Seiko Prospex Diver Marinemaster Ref. SBDX017 is also able to withstand water pressures of up to 300 meters.  This luxurious Seiko Marinemaster watch sells at around $2,999 USD. 3. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SLA021J1 In this entry, we have what is perhaps the most popular Marinemaster model ever: the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SLA021J1. This watch is presented in a 44.3mm stainless steel case with a bracelet made of the same material. The 15.4mm width of the case makes this watch thicker than the average dive watch.  As with the previous Marinemaster models, this watch shows off a stark black dial. It is furnished with LumiBrite-coated geometric indices, satin-finished hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. The yellow seconds hand also stands out clearly with its lovely, bright yellow tone, which adds a burst of vibrancy to this monochrome watch face.  This watch runs on the Seiko 8L35 automatic movement. Aside from having a reliable 50-hour power supply, it also has a depth rating of 300 meters.  This powerful Seiko Marinemaster classic is priced at approximately $2,399 USD.  4. Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB077J1  The next timepiece on this list is the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SPB077J1. More commonly known as the Seiko Baby Marinemaster, this is a modern re-interpretation of Seiko’s 1968 Marinemaster 300m dive watch. It is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case that measures 13.1mm thick, making it relatively smaller and slimmer compared to other Seiko Marinemaster models. This is coupled with a sleek three-link stainless steel bracelet and a black elapsed time scale bezel.  Complementing the bezel is a matte black dial. This dial follows a straightforward design, comprising circular and trapezoidal hour indices, thick arrow-headed hands, and a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices are all treated with Seiko’s LumiBrite material for optimal legibility at all times.  Underneath this simple watch face, you can find the brand’s in-house 6R15 automatic movement. This caliber possesses a 50-hour power supply and is equipped with hand-winding and hacking capabilities. Finally, as a “baby” version of the Seiko Marinemaster, this dive watch comes with a depth rating of just 200 meters.  The Seiko Prospex SPB077J1 costs $1,595 USD. It is a great choice for those seeking a more budget-friendly Seiko Marinemaster option.  5. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011 Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011. This watch comes in a robust titanium case measuring 46mm wide and 17mm thick, along with a bracelet made of the same material. Despite its large size, however, the watch’s titanium construction makes it quite lightweight compared to other stainless steel watches.  Standing out against the watch’s all-silver exterior is a black elapsed time scale bezel and a matching black dial. This dial has a slightly more complicated layout compared to the aforementioned Seiko Marinemaster models. It consists of LumiBrite-coated hour indices in various geometric shapes, broad sword hands, a date window at 3 o’clock. An arcing power reserve indicator is also located near the 9 o’clock marker.  This watch is powered by an in-house Seiko 5R66 movement. As an automatic movement, this caliber provides an extended power reserve of 72 hours. It also possesses an impressive depth rating of 600 meters, so you can easily use this watch for deep-sea saturation diving.  With its lightweight build and powerful movement, the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Spring Drive Ref. SBDB011 is definitely a great pick. The price of this watch costs $3,699 USD. 6. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBDX014  The next watch on this list is the Seiko Marinemaster Ref. SBDX014, which is more commonly known as the “Emperor Tuna.” As befitting its name, this watch is encased in a majestic 48.2mm titanium case. Adding to its already massive size is the black ceramic shroud that surrounds the watch, giving it its robust “tuna can” shape. Despite its large build, however, the Emperor Tuna is actually quite light, thanks to its lightweight titanium case construction and sturdy black silicone bracelet.  The dazzling contrast between the black and rose gold hues of this watch is easily one of its most fascinating features. The lovely rose gold accents on the Emperor Tuna’s bezel and crown truly help make it distinct from its Marinemaster peers. This effect is enhanced by the watch’s geometric, LumiBrite-coated indices and rose gold-tone arrow hands, which stand out cleanly against the dial’s black finish. A tiny date display can also be found between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers.  Inside this luxurious-looking timepiece, you can find an in-house Seiko 8L35 movement, which possesses a reliable 50-hour power supply. In addition, the Emperor Tuna is also able to withstand water pressures of up to 1000 meters, which is excellent for saturation diving.  Priced at $3,149 USD, this one-of-a-kind Seiko Marinemaster watch is a must-have for any dive watch collector. 7. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005 Joining this list is the Seiko Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005, which stands out with its stylish silver-and-blue colourway. This watch utilizes a chunky 48.2mm titanium case which measures 19.77mm thick and a bracelet made of the same material. While its oversized case gives this watch a considerable presence on your wrist, its lightweight titanium build ensures that it is not too heavy to tote around. Fixed atop the case is a titanium bezel with a metallic blue elapsed time scale insert and a diagonal-cut design that adds more personality to this stylish watch.  Another highlight of this Seiko Marinemaster watch is its lovely blue dial, which showcases an alluring, ocean-inspired wave texture. This dial is beautifully contrasted by satin-finished sword hands and LumiBrite-covered geometric indices. A small date aperture can also be found between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. Driving this watch is an in-house Seiko 8L55 automatic movement. Held together by 37 jewels, this calibre can last for up to 55 hours when fully wound. Like the Seiko “Emperor Tuna” Marinemaster, this watch also has an excellent depth rating of 1000 meters.  The Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBEX005 is worth approximately $5,089 USD, making this one of the more expensive Seiko Marinemaster pieces available.  8. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi-Beat Ref. SLA025 Image by: eBay Eighth on the list is the limited-edition Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi Beat Ref. SLA025. As a homage to the 1968 Seiko Hi-Beat, this is a modern take on the aforementioned vintage dive watch. It uses a 44.7mm monobloc stainless steel case and a pyramid silicone strap in black. On top of the case, you can find a 120-click unidirectional bezel. This bezel is fitted with a black ceramic insert, bearing exquisite gold indicators for its elapsed time scale.  Like many other Marinemaster models, this watch also showcases a simple black dial. However, this watch distinguishes itself with the luxurious gold accents peppered across the dial. The dial’s luminous geometric indices and sword-shaped hands are all encased in gold plating, while the date complication at 3 o’clock is also framed in gold. This Marinemaster piece runs on the brand’s in-house 8L55 automatic caliber. This gives the watch a 55-hour power supply and a reliable depth rating of 300 meters.  As a limited-edition gem, there are only 1,500 pieces of the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Hi Beat Ref. SLA025 available in the world. It retails at around $4,900 USD. 9. Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDX043 Image by: Seiko Watches For the next watch, we have another limited edition timepiece, the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBDX043. Released in honor of the brand’s 140th anniversary, this Marinemaster model is one of three limited-edition divers launched by Seiko under the branding of “Iriomote Island.” It is housed in a 44.3mm polished stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel bracelet. Fixed on top of the case is a black elapsed time scale bezel, with ridged edges that provide wearers with a better grip.  The star of this watch, without a doubt, is its mesmerizing green dial. Boasting a rich green hue, this dial contains geometric hour indices and satin-finished hands that are filled with LumiBrite, maximizing legibility in the dark. Its seconds hand comes in a distinctive, bright yellow hue, adding a hint of vibrancy to this dark watch face. You can also find a compact date window located at 3 o’clock as well.  Like many other Seiko Marinemaster models, this timepiece is powered by the brand’s in-house Seiko 8L35 automatic movement. Aside from possessing a 50-hour power supply, this watch also has a solid 300-meter depth rating.  Seiko produced only 3,000 pieces of the Seiko Prospex Ref. SBDX043. Thanks to its exclusivity and its charming design, this Marinemaster model sells at $2,509 USD. 10. Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027 For the last watch in this list, we have the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027, popularly known as the “Yellow Tuna”. This watch is presented in a colossal 49.3mm black-tone case and a robust silicone strap in black. Surrounding the case is a glossy black shroud made of ceramic which adds to the watch’s heft and protects it from any impacts or scratches. You do not have to worry about the Yellow Tuna’s large size, however, as it is actually quite light and comfortable to wear — thanks to its titanium build.  On top of the watch’s case, you can find a 120-click unidirectional bezel with a funky yellow insert for the elapsed time scale. This vibrant bezel helps give the watch a certain lively personality. Yellow accents can also be found scattered all over the watch’s black dial, in particular, on its minute and seconds hands, further enhancing the watch’s quirky vibe. Aside from that, this dial is also decorated with geometric hour markers in white, an arrow-headed hour hand, and a day-date display at 3 o’clock.  Driving all of these functions is the brand’s in-house Seiko 7C46 movement. This automatic movement carries a power reserve of about 50-hours. This is complemented by the watch’s incredible 1000-meter depth rating, which makes it well-equipped for long-distance saturation diving.  If you want a powerful yet fun dive watch, you can buy the Seiko Prospex Marinemaster Ref. SBBN027 for approximately $2,049 USD. Final Thoughts The Seiko Marinemaster models are indeed amazing and innovative timepieces that have helped exhibit the excellence of Seiko’s craftsmanship over generations. Without a doubt, these Marinemaster pieces are a great inclusion to one’s growing dive watch collection. With their robust movements and impressive water-resistance capacities, you would definitely not want to miss out on these Seiko Marinemaster watches.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: eBay and Seiko Watches. Featured image courtesy of ludalmg90 on Flickr. Are you interested in military-inspired digital watches? Check out our review of the Nixon Regulus.

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  9. Seiko Street Fighter Watches: A Sentimental Treat for Fans

    Seiko Street Fighter Watches: A Sentimental Treat for Fans

    For many video game and arcade game enthusiasts, watch collectibles made in honor of their favorite games are some of the best forms of memorabilia. Most of the time, these items serve as a token of sentiment for gamers and also give wearers a tinge of nostalgia for the time that has passed. Seiko, a leading watch manufacturer, has collaborated with Capcom, the popular Japanese distributor of several popular video and arcade games, to introduce a lineup of six watch collectibles from the famous video game, Street Fighter V. The Seiko Street Fighter V watches serve as a gift for all the fans who have a deep affection towards the iconic fighting game and also for collectors intrigued by such watch memorabilia Seiko Street Fighter V Collection Released in 2020, the Seiko Street Fighter V collection consists of six watches that pay homage to six of the most-loved characters from the Capcom video game, Street Fighter V. Each of the six Seiko Street Fighter watches corresponds to the respective personalities, attributes, and colors of the referenced characters. This is an exclusive, limited-edition lineup, with only 9,999 pieces available per model.  The Seiko Street Fighter V watch series is housed under the Seiko 5 Sports collection. The Seiko 5 Sports is a massive lineup of very affordable timepieces with modern designs, catering to people of all ages. In fact, the Seiko 5 Sports range is also home to the limited-edition Seiko Naruto and Boruto watch series from the hit manga and anime show, Naruto.  The Seiko Street Fighter V Watches 1. Seiko 5 Sports RYU – Unshakable Fist (Ref. SRPF19K1) First up, we have the Seiko 5 Sports Ryu, which embodies Ryu, a fan-favorite character who is considered one of the best fighters in the Street Fighter video game. With its red, white, and black themes, this watch is entirely designed according to the distinct color scheme of Ryu.  This watch comes in a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a white nylon-leather strap that is patterned to look like Ryu’s white karate gi. Fixed on top of the case is a two-toned red and black unidirectional rotating bezel, which introduces a spray of color to this watch. This bezel bears an unusual pattern of scratches and cuts, which symbolize the wounds that have been inflicted upon Ryu during his struggles and his journey as he trains to become a better fighter. The watch’s silver case and white strap go well with its clean white dial, which also showcases a cloth-like texture that is quite particular to Ryu’s white attire.  This dial is furnished with rectangular hour indices, thick lume-covered hands, a day-date display at 3 o’clock, and a set of four Kanji characters at 9 o’clock. These four stylized Kanji characters, which can be found printed on both of Ryu’s red gloves, translate to wind, forest, fire, and mountain. Combined, they make up the concept of “Furinkazan”, which conveys the concept of “as fast as the wind, as quiet as the forest, as daring as fire, and immovable as the mountain”. This is a reference to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and a representation of Ryu’s impressive skills.  This watch is powered by Seiko’s in-house Caliber 4R36. Held together by 24 jewels, this automatic movement has a solid power reserve of 41 hours. The serial number of this limited edition watch can also be found engraved onto its caseback.  A robust watch that truly epitomizes a strong fighter, the Seiko 5 Sports Ryu can be yours for around $469 USD.  2. Seiko 5 Sports KEN – Rush ‘n’ Blaze (Ref. SRPF20K1) Next up, we have the Seiko 5 Sports Ken. With its striking combination of red, black, and gold, this watch is a homage to Ken Masters, showcasing a completely different motif compared to his longtime best friend and rival, Ryu. Ken Masters is the total opposite of Ryu in terms of personality and this can be seen through the rugged, aggressive Seiko 5 Sports Ken.  This Seiko Street Fighter watch is presented in a 42.5mm black-tone stainless steel case and a vibrant red nylon and leather strap with contrasting black stitching. The underside of this strap is made of black leather material with a golden print of Ken’s company’s logo, the Masters Foundation. This stylish feature enhances the visual quality of the watch as a whole, while also paying tribute to Ken’s character beyond his status as a fighter.  Fitted on top of the watch’s case is a gorgeous unidirectional bezel with luxurious gold-rimmed sides, much like Ken’s beautiful, lustrous blonde hair. This bezel bears a black insert, with stark red indicators that stand out clearly for the elapsed time scale. A layer of Hardlex crystal, which is an identifying feature of most Seiko watches, also helps shelter the dial from any scratches and impacts.  In opposition to the Seiko 5 Sports Ryu, the dial of this watch shows off a matte black finish. It is elegantly decorated with sizeable geometric hour indices in red, mimicking the patterns that can be found on Ken’s red-and-black fighting attire. This dial also contains lovely gold skeletal hands and a handy day-date window at 3 o’clock.  Through the watch’s see-through caseback, you can admire its in-house Seiko Caliber 4R36. This automatic movement possesses a depth rating of 100 meters and can last for up to 41 hours when fully charged. If you want to feel the presence of a fierce and suave timepiece, you can buy the Seiko 5 Sports Ken for $449 USD. 3. Seiko 5 Sports CHUN-LI – Blue Jade (Ref. SRPF17K1) Chun-Li, the first-ever female character introduced in the whole Street Fighter series, shows what it means to be an empowered woman: bold, brave, and beautiful. The elegance and poise of Street Fighter’s main female protagonist are manifested through the alluring Seiko 5 Sports Chun-Li. Through its stylish blue and gold motifs, this watch mimics Chun-Li’s iconic blue Chinese dress.  This Seiko Street Fighter watch is housed in a 42.5mm stainless steel watch, coupled with a posh blue calf leather strap with white stitching. The underside of the strap is decorated with the enchanting sight of a hovering dragon, an aesthetic which can also be seen on Chun-Li’s white belt. The case is also affixed to a blue bezel with stylised Roman numeral markers in gold that simply ooze luxury and glamor. Like other Seiko Street Fighter models, this watch’s face is protected by a Hardlex crystal, which is as strong as Chun-Li’s ability to defend herself from her enemies The dial of this watch boasts a royal blue hue with a gorgeous sunray finish. It is adorned with jewel-like dot indices, luminous arrow and syringe hands, and a day-date aperture outlined in silver at 3 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, you can find an exquisite gold emblem that recreates the pattern of Chun-Li’s collar. The 6 and 9 o’clock markers are also replaced with sharply beveled triangle markers in silver, which reference the large spiked bracelets that Chun-Li wears while fighting.  Inside this Seiko Street Fighter piece, you can find the brand’s Seiko Caliber 4R36. This self-winding movement beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and possesses a 41-hour power supply.  The Seiko 5 Sports Chun-Li is priced at $379 USD.  4. Seiko 5 Sports GUILE – Indestructible Fortress (Ref. SRPF21K1) Cool, patriotic and loyal, Guile, a Major in the US Air Force, is one of the eight original characters released in the first Street Fighter game. What better way to give tribute to such a fearless man than to create a watch solely in honor of him? Hence, we have the sporty Seiko 5 Sports Guile, which looks extraordinarily like a military watch.  This Seiko Street Fighter piece utilizes a 42.5mm black-tone stainless steel case and a solid brown calf leather strap with contrasting white stitching. On top of the dial is an olive green unidirectional bezel with indicators in neat white and red typefaces for the countdown scale.  The military camouflage of Guile’s attire is especially illustrated through this watch’s dial. Arranged on its camouflage-patterned dial are luminous white Arabic numeral markers, skeletal silver hands, and a day-date complication at 6 o’clock. The golden patch that Guile wears on his uniform is located at 6 o’clock, while the military dog tag that he wears in honor of his late best friend in the Air Force, Charlie Nash, can be found at 9 o’clock.  Underneath this stoic watch face, you can find the brand’s in-house Caliber 4R36. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz), this automatic movement possesses a 41-hour power supply and a depth rating of 100 meters.  Thanks to its earthy tones, the Seiko 5 Sport Guile is probably the most versatile timepiece in the Seiko Street Fighter collection and can be paired with virtually any outfit. It sells at just $369 USD.  5. Seiko 5 Sports ZANGIEF – Iron Cyclone (Ref. SRPF24K1) The Seiko 5 Sports Zangief is based on Street Fighter’s Zangief, a professional wrestler with a massive, brawny build that is terrifying to his fellow fighters and enemies. This watch is encased in a 42.5mm stainless steel case in matte yellow, coupled with a red and yellow nylon strap. The great thing about this nylon bracelet is that it shows off a design that is almost identical to the red and gold wristbands wrapped around the wrestler’s wrists. With this watch, you will be able to possess an image just like Zangief himself.  The glossy red paint of the watch’s dial and its circular pattern is reminiscent of Zangief’s special attack move, “Cyclone Lariat”, which invokes a cyclone. This dial is ornamented with black Arabic numeral markers and rectangular indices that are accented with gold, along with black arrow and syringe hands. A day-date window can be found at 3 o’clock, with a magnifier lens above it for greater legibility. Fixed on top of the case is a layer of hardlex crystal and a gold-toned unidirectional bezel. This bezel is inspired by Zangief’s studded gold belt, which makes the watch appear sturdier and more durable. This watch is driven by an in-house Caliber 4R36. This automatic movement beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour and is held together by 24 jewels. The watch itself also has a reliable depth rating of 100 meters, which makes it a great choice for watersports activities.  The Seiko Sports 5 Zangief costs approximately $359 USD.  6. Seiko 5 Sports BLANKA – Call Of The Wild (Ref. SRPF23K1) From the jungles of Brazil, Blanka is the mean and green feral man who has powerful electric abilities that can stun any fighter down. With his thick orange locks and green skin, Blanka is a truly distinctive character, and those eye-catching traits are passed down to the Seiko 5 Sports Blanka too. Indeed, the vibrant colors of the watch are as electrifying as Blanka’s electric powers This watch is presented in a 42.5mm gray-tone case with a vibrant green and red nylon strap. The case is also affixed to a gray unidirectional bezel. This bezel bears a green insert that has been painted with yellow strikes of lightning. This design is an allusion to one of Blanka’s special attacks, “Electric Thunder”, which he uses to create a massive volt of electricity that can zap any enemies who come close to him.  The dial of this watch also comes in a flamboyant, bright green hue. It showcases a spiral pattern that references the rolling attacks of Blanka as he charges toward his enemies. This dial also comprises silver and yellow hands and a day-date window outlined in silver at 3 o’clock. Along the rim of the dial, you can find sharp triangular hour indices that mimic the razor-sharp teeth of the ferocious fighter.  Underneath this vivid watch face, you can find the brand’s in-house Caliber 4R37. This automatic movement possesses a 100-meter water resistance capacity and can last up to 41 hours when fully wound. If you are into a watch that has electrifying features and an ostentatious design, the Seiko 5 Sports Blanka retails at $369 USD. Final Thoughts The Seiko Street Fighter V watches paves the way for lovers and enthusiasts of watches, video games, and arcade games to relive the precious memories of their beloved interests. For Seiko Street Fighter watches in particular, the relatively affordable prices of the watches pose a great element of added opportunity for their fans and gamers worldwide to invest in such noteworthy watch collectibles. Considering their inexpensive prices, the Seiko Street Fighter watches are no doubt a great investment and a nice addition to any fan’s watch collection.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of Seiko Watches. Are you a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Check out our article on the epic Citizen x Marvel Watch collection!

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  10. Richard Mille Rafael Nadal: A Closer Look at the RM 27-04 and RM 35-03

    Richard Mille Rafael Nadal: A Closer Look at the RM 27-04 and RM 35-03

    Considering how popular this Swiss watch brand is with celebrities, it is not a stretch to say that we have probably all heard of Richard Mille before. From Canadian rapper Drake and social media influencers like Logan Paul to K-pop idols like G-Dragon, Richard Mille watches have been spotted on the wrists of a great many famous stars.  However, if we are talking about the most influential name that pops up whenever Richard Mille is mentioned, then it would have to be the Spanish professional tennis superstar, Rafael Nadal. As the only male tennis player who has set a record of winning 21 grand slam titles, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that Rafael Nadal is one of the most celebrated figures in the world. As such, it is little surprise that even an exclusive luxury watch brand like Richard Mille has chosen to pay tribute to Rafael Nadal with the release of the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal.  In this article, we will be taking a look at the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal timepieces dedicated to the tennis superstar. In particular, we will review two of the most outstanding pieces in the lineup, the RM 27-04 and the RM 35-03, while also briefly going through the history of the long partnership between the Swiss watch brand and the legendary tennis icon. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal watches! Richard Mille Rafael Nadal: Partnership Through Time and Sports All the most iconic timekeepers in the world have their own unique backstories and the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal is no different. The partnership between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal began in 2008 when the tennis star met watch brand Richard Mille’s founder and namesake for the first time.  It is said that for a long time, Nadal had refused to wear watches in general and that he was especially uncomfortable wearing watches while playing matches. Mille saw Nadal’s aversion to wristwatches as a challenge to overcome, making it his mission to persuade the world’s top male tennis player about the benefits of watches.  Mille’s efforts eventually paid off. In 2010, two years after their first encounter, Mille presented Nadal with a timepiece created specifically for him: the RM 027 RN Tourbillon. This timepiece was the first watch to be known as the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal. In the same year, Nadal began sporting Richard Mille watches and became the official ambassador of the luxury watchmaker, a title which he continues to hold to this very day.  RM 027 RN Tourbillon Image by: Richard Mille The RM 027 RN Tourbillon was the first-ever watch dedicated to the tennis legend. At first glance, the watch appears to be on the heavy side because of its apparent chunky size. It is housed in a  48mm x 39.7mm x 11.85mm case, giving it quite a substantial presence on the wrist. That said, this watch is actually made out of a black carbon composite material which makes it much lighter than it looks. Weighing only 18 grams, this timepiece is a highly efficient accessory both on and off the tennis court. Its sophisticated skeleton dial only adds to the stylishness of the piece.  This all-black glory was a limited-edition watch, with only 50 pieces released worldwide. As befitting its exclusive status, the RM 027 RN Tourbillon had an exorbitant price tag of around $525,500 USD. Images by: WatchProSiteUpon its release, Nadal started to continuously wear the RM 027 RN Tourbillon in his games. Fun fact: he even wore it during the 2011 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Open, where he won and secured the grand title. In the same year, after Nadal had won this tournament and played in several more games, Richard Mille personally donated his version of the RM 027 RN Tourbillon to be auctioned off in Monaco. By the end of the auction night, it had been sold for a price of €510,000 euros, or around $530,000 USD. In the next section of the article, we will be discussing two more Richard Mille Rafael Nadal timepieces that honor the world-renowned professional athlete: the RM 27-04 and the RM35-03. Make sure to stick around as we delve deep into these awesome watches.  RM 27-04 & RM 35-03: First Impressions RM 27-04 Tourbillon (left) and RM 35-03 (right) Images by: Richard MilleAs part of its ongoing collaboration with and tribute to the distinguished athlete, Richard Mille has continued releasing more Richard Mille Rafael Nadal timepieces. Two of these watches include the RM 27-04 Tourbillon and the RM 35-03. RM 27-04 Tourbillon: The RM 27-04 Tourbillon was released in September 2020. It is a limited-edition Richard Mille watch, with only 50 pieces released worldwide. It was launched in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the partnership between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadal. This timepiece has a rather funky appeal, with a soft, blue tone strap blends in well with the skin when worn. On top of that, the RM 27-04 Tourbillon also shows off vibrant red and orange accents, which add to the visual appeal of the watch while also giving it more of a quirky edge.   RM 35-03: The RM 35-03 is one of the most recent Richard Mille Rafael Nadal timepieces, released in just December 2021. This watch exudes a sturdy, masculine vibe, all thanks to its robust, meticulously textured case ridges. The watch itself is a refreshing sight with its clean white casing and light blue strap. Despite its rugged build, the white and light blue color combination provides an extraordinary charming aesthetic.  On the whole, you can tell that both of these Richard Mille Rafael Nadal timepieces simply ooze elegance and grandeur. With the RM 27-04 Tourbillon and the RM 35-03, the brand has excellently encapsulated the idea of luxury and power into two fashionable timepieces.  Without further ado, let us have an in-depth look at the RM 27-04 Tourbillon before we proceed with an examination of the RM 35-03 afterward.  Anatomy of the RM 27-04: Case and Caseback Image by: Richard Mille The case of the RM 27-04 comes in the usual Richard Mille tonneau shape, which is an identifying trait of all of the watches from the luxury brand. This dark brown case is made from a well-built construction composed of titanium and an exact 38.5% carbon fiber content. Patented as the “TitaCarb”, these materials give the RM 27-04 an extraordinarily lightweight yet durable build. This case weighs a feather-light 30 grams. To give context, it weighs just as much as a slice of one single loaf of bread!   In addition, the brand’s use of the TitaCarb technology also makes this case incredibly robust. It is extremely resistant to impacts, shocks, sweat, and moisture. This makes the RM 27-04 perfect for sports activities and worthy of the tennis champion that it is named after. This TitaCarb material is also very effective in combating fluctuating temperature changes. The durability of the RM 27-04 is a testament to how meticulously Richard Mille crafts its timepieces.  On the underside of the RM 27-04, you can find a sapphire crystal caseback. This protects the watch’s inner mechanisms while also giving wearers a clear view of the movement inside. The caseback is also carefully engraved with the name of the Richard Mille brand, along with the serial number of the watch.  Crown Image by: Richard Mille A highlight of the RM 27-04, the watch’s large, orange-toned crown is a magnificent beauty in itself. This chunky crown has a concave black tip and is surrounded by a layer of thick orange rubber, with textured sides that allow wearers to grip and turn the crown without any hassle. The bright orange of the crown stands out clearly against the darker watch case, making for a lively contrast. This crown is also safely secured by a nitrile o-ring seal, which prevents any moisture from getting into the watch.  Dial Even with the vibrancy of the rest of the watch, the RM 27-04’s dial is still a true highlight. It showcases a prominent string pattern that cleverly mimics the net of a tennis racket. The cable of the string pattern is made from a flexible steel material, which completely achieves its goal of initiating a racquet’s mesh.  This dial also shows off a sophisticated skeleton display, which is one of Richard Mille’s trademark aesthetics. This dial is decorated with small triangular hour indices, along with arrows and turnbuckles that all come in a vivid red hue. The skeletal red and silver hands also help add to the stylish look of this watch. A layer of sapphire crystal guards the watch face, keeping it safe from any scratches or impacts.  Strap The RM 27-04 is coupled with a handsome, pastel blue nylon strap. Thanks to its fabric makeup, the strap is able to resist water quite well, so you do not have to worry about sweating when you are wearing this watch. Even if it ends up becoming damp due to moisture, this nylon strap will dry out quite fast.  This strap is also equipped with velcro closures on both ends, which makes it very easy to both wear and remove. Not only does it provide a very snug fit, but these velcro fasteners also come in handy when the strap needs to be adjusted from time to time.  Water Resistance Despite being a very sporty timepiece, the RM 27-04 is not actually designed as a waterproof watch. As such, while it is very lightweight and easy to wear, the RM 27-04 is bound by some limitations that make it less suitable for use in water. This watch has a depth rating of 50 meters, so it can only survive some light splashes and showers. Wearers are not advised to wear the RM 27-04 when they go for their swimming or diving trips.  Movement Image by: Richard Mille The RM 27-04 is driven by an in-house Richard Mille Caliber RM 27-04. Fitted with 19 jewels, this is a tourbillon movement that beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). It also has an adequate power reserve of 38 hours.  The best part about the Richard Mille Caliber RM 27-04 is that it is capable of withstanding extreme acceleration forces of up to 12,000 g’s. As a result, no matter what kind of extreme pressure you put this watch under, this durable caliber will stay suspended and intact under the exposed steel mesh of the dial.  Price Given that the RM 27-04 is from an ultra-luxury watch brand and that it is an exclusive model with only 50 pieces available globally, it is no surprise that this watch retails at quite an exorbitant price. Indeed, this Richard Mille Rafael Nadal watch is only really intended for those who can afford Richard Mille’s sky-high price tags. The price for the RM 27-04 is set at a whopping $1,050,000 USD. Anatomy of the RM 35-03: Case and Caseback Image by: Richard Mille The soft white case of the RM 35-03 is made up of a combination of quartz TPT and carbon TPT.  These two materials produce an ultra-lightweight and thin byproduct, which serves as the main makeup of the watch case. This byproduct can also be easily molded, which is why the case of this watch has very robust, cleanly structured edges. Furthermore, due to the expensiveness of quartz TPT and carbon TPT materials, Richard Mille is known for being the only brand in the world to use them in its watches. This adds to the exclusive status of the RM 35-03.  This watch case also comes with two pushers. Unlike most timepieces which place all the pushers on the right side of the case, the RM 35-03 has a Selector button at 2 o’clock and another push button at 7 o’clock which you can use to control the timepiece’s Sport Mode function.  Flipping the RM 35-03 over, you will see a transparent sapphire crystal caseback. Aside from giving you a clear view of the spectacle that is the RM 35-03’s movement, this caseback is also engraved with Richard Mille’s brand stamp.  Crown Image by: Richard Mille A sizable crown sits on the right side of the RM 35-03’s watch case, placed neatly next to the Selector button. It is rubbed in a layer of light blue rubber, which provides wearers with a good grip when setting the watch. The textured molding of the rubber coating also prevents your fingers from slipping as you wind this crown.  Dial Like the RM 27-04, the dial of this watch shows off a complex skeleton display. This display takes the shape of a subtle yet enchanting butterfly silhouette, adding to the sophistication of the RM 35-03. It is also furnished with white Arabic numeral markers and tiny triangular indices in bright yellow.  Along with silver skeleton hands for the hours and minutes, this dial also contains two small red hands. The hand between 2 and 3 o’clock indicates which of the three modes the watch is currently in winding (W), neutral (N), or hand-setting (H). These modes can be operated using the Selector button at 2 o’clock. A second red hand, placed at 6 o’clock, is used to indicate whether the rotor is turned or not. This can be controlled using the Sport Mode pusher on the left side of the case.  Strap The RM 35-03 is equipped with a light blue strap that is made from high-quality rubber. Designed to wrap tightly around the wrist, the ends of the watch are firmly secured using a stainless steel metal buckle. As a nice touch, this strap also matches the color of the watch’s crown, creating a nice visual symmetry.  Water Resistance Just like any other Richard Mille watch, the RM 35-03 can easily be used as a versatile sports watch or a dress watch. That said, with a depth rating of only 50 meters, the RM 35-03 is not a great choice for wearers who frequently engage in water-based activities.  Movement Image by: Richard Mille The RM 35-03 is powered by an in-house Richard Mille Caliber RMAL2. Held together by 38 jewels, this movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). In addition, it boasts an impressive power supply of 55 hours.  The most striking thing about the Richard Mille Caliber RMAL2 is its eye-catching butterfly build, with the rotor designed to resemble a butterfly’s wings. Using the watch’s Sport Mode function triggers the movement of the rotors, causing them to create the shape of a butterfly in flight.  Wearers can also use the Selector pusher at 2 o’clock to change the mode of the movement. You are given three options, winding (W): the watch can be wound; neutral (N): the watch is in an idle working state; and hand-setting (H): manual setting of time.  Price If there is such a thing as an entry-level watch in the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal collection, then this timepiece is surely it. The RM 35-03 sells at around $220,000 USD. While it is certainly not cheap, the RM 35-03 is still much more affordable than some of the other entries in the Richard Mille Rafael Nadal lineup.  Final Thoughts Even in the world of horology, which is dominated by known luxury watch brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe, Richard Mille definitely triumphs when it comes to establishing itself as the ultimate luxury watch brand. Known for its complex, luxurious designs and out-of-this-world prices, Richard Mille has loudly defined itself as more than just another luxury watch manufacturer.  The Richard Mille Rafael Nadal collection is a testament to the brand’s status and prestige. This collaborative effort between Richard Mille and one of the world’s greatest tennis players has produced a series of extremely well-crafted watches, including the RM 27-04 and the RM 35-03. If you are a superfan of Rafael Nadal, or if you want a high-caliber watch that aptly represents your lavish lifestyle, then these Richard Mille Rafael Nadal watches should definitely be on your radar.  All images courtesy of Richard Mille and WatchProSite. Looking for an affordable everyday watch? Check out our detailed article on the best Swatch Watches on the market!

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  11. Seiko SPB149: The Affordable And Tough Descendant of the 62MAS

    Seiko SPB149: The Affordable And Tough Descendant of the 62MAS

    Since 1881, Seiko has had an undisputedly amazing and long history of creating innovative timepieces. In fact, the Japanese brand’s consistency in delivering reliable dive watches is recognized by watch enthusiasts worldwide. Also known for its budget-friendly timepieces, Seiko is one of the most popular watchmakers in the world, especially for those who are just starting out their watch collections.  In this article, we will be taking a look at an outstanding limited edition dive watch from Seiko: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149. Hailing from the sports series of Seiko’s Prospex lineup, this watch was released recently in 2020. Since the Seiko SPB149 was launched in celebration of the 55th anniversary of Seiko’s first-ever dive watch, the 1965 Seiko Prospex Diver 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000, this timepiece is also known as the “1965 Diver’s Modern Re-Interpretation”. It perfectly encapsulates the original look and features of the 1965 Seiko Prospex Diver 62MAS, while also incorporating modern design elements and technology.  It should be noted that this particular Seiko Prospex model actually has three reference numbers: SPB149, SPB149J, and SPB149J1. For the sake of clarity, however, we shall henceforth refer to this watch as the Seiko SPB149. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Seiko SPB149, including its specifications, capabilities, and a brief foray into its Seiko 62MAS lineage.  The Seiko 62MAS Lineage Seiko Prospex 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000 (1965) Image by: bigsom from watchuseek The extensive history of Seiko’s dive watches dates back to its very first dive piece, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS Ref. 6217-8000. Who would have thought that this watch, created nearly 60 years ago, would have such an impact on the watchmaking world? Nevertheless, the influence and iconic design of the Seiko Prospex 62MAS has continued for years after its launch. As such, it is no surprise that Seiko chose to release the Seiko SPB149 in celebration of the Seiko Prospex 62MAS’s 55th anniversary.  Encased in a slender 38mm stainless steel case, the original Seiko Prospex 62MAS came with a textured black silicone strap and 150m of water resistance. It was powered by an in-house Seiko Caliber 6217, which possessed a power reserve of 31 hours. Today, the Seiko Prospex 62MAS is incredibly rare. It can be extremely hard to find the Seiko Prospex 62MAS, and as a result, resellers often sell this vintage watch quite expensively. The price for the Seiko Prospex 62MAS usually begins at $5,000 USD and can trend higher depending on the condition of the watch and the seller in question.  A Quick Look at 62MAS Descendants  Given the continuing legacy of the legendary Seiko 62MAS, Seiko has decided to capitalize on this by issuing several modern editions of this particular dive watch. These contemporary re-issues include: Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB051 / SPB051J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB053 / SPB051J / SPB053J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA017 / SLA017J1 (2017)Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 / SLA037J / SLA037J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB143 / SPB143J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB145 / SPB145J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB147 / SPB147J1 (2020)Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149 / SPB149J / SPB149J1 (2020) Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB213 / SPB213J1 (2021)In this article, we shall discuss the two limited-edition 55th-anniversary models that were released in 2020: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 and the Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149. Anatomy of the Seiko SPB149 (2020): Case and Caseback The Seiko Prospex Ref. SPB149 shows off a majestic all-stainless steel build. This watch utilizes a 40.5mm stainless steel case with a height of 13.2mm. Despite being larger than the Seiko 62MAS, this is still quite a slim size for a watch, so the Seiko SPB149 is best suited for those with small-to-average-sized wrists. This case is completely brushed all over, while also bearing a smooth, polished finish on the upper sides of the watch case. This makes up an elegant combination of alternating matte and shiny tints, giving the Seiko SPB149 an impeccable luster that is incredibly satisfying to look at.  Affixed to the top of the watch case is a 120-click unidirectional rotating bezel. The brushed black finish of the ceramic bezel insert nicely contrasts against the white print of its elapsed time scale. This bezel also has coin-like edges, which makes it easier for wearers to hold and turn. This is a handy, hassle-free feature that provides wearers with a better grip, especially if they are wearing diving gloves. On the underside of the Seiko SPB149, you can find a solid stainless steel caseback that has been smoothly polished. At the center of the caseback is an engraved emblem of Seiko’s ocean wave logo. This elegant crest can also be found on the casebacks of most Seiko dive watches, with one example being the Seiko Monster. The watch’s serial number is also engraved on its caseback, making it feel more special and unique.  Crown Tucked on the right side of the case is a protruding screw-down crown. The subtle, grooved edges of the crown give wearers a better grip when turning the crown. As mentioned, this crown is firmly screwed down, safeguarding the watch’s inner mechanisms from the potential entry of any dust or moisture.  More importantly, this crown is also used to wind the mainspring of the Seiko SPB149, along with its date complication. If you want to use this crown to set the correct time, you have to first pull the crown out to the first position. Turning the crown while it is in the first position allows you to control the hour and minute hands. To set the correct date, pull the crown out to the second position and rotate it to choose the right date.  Dial In keeping with the Seiko SPB149’s ocean-inspired theme, the dial of this watch showcases a striking matte blue finish. The layout of this dial is incredibly reminiscent of the Seiko 62MAS’s, incorporating thick, rectangular hour indices and chunky blunt hands. A date window also sits at 3 o’clock, helping you keep track of which day it is. This dial is accented by a pale gold-toned seconds hand, which adds a softer touch to this dark watch face.  Seiko’s use of its LumiBrite technology also ensures that this dial is highly legible, even in poor visibility conditions. The hands and hour markers of this watch are all generously coated with lume, keeping the watch face well illuminated in the dark. A layer of sapphire crystal is also used to protect the dial, keeping it safe from any scratches or impacts.  Bracelet The Seiko SPB149 is offered with a three-link bracelet made of hardy stainless steel. Like the watch case, this stainless steel bracelet boasts alternating matte and polished sides. The front and back of the bracelet are well-brushed and play well against the polished finish applied to the bracelet’s sides.  This bracelet is secured by a clamshell lock with Seiko’s brand name subtly printed on it. The clasp has a double buckle feature, which allows wearers to quickly and effortlessly wear or remove this bracelet. In addition, this bracelet is equipped with a handy built-in dive extension. This is an incredibly useful function, enabling wearers to adjust the length of the bracelet for a more snug fit on their wrists.  Water Resistance Designed as a dive watch, the Seiko SPB149 boasts excellent waterproof capabilities. It possesses a solid water resistance capacity of 200 meters, which is double that of the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. Moreover, the Seiko SPB149 is appropriately equipped with a luminescent dial and a reliable elapsed time scale bezel. These elements make the Seiko SPB149 a great companion for all your watersports activities like swimming and diving. Movement The Seiko SPB149 is driven by Seiko’s in-house Caliber 6R35 movement. This same in-house movement is also used in a number of other Seiko watches. These include the Seiko Alpinist models and some pieces from the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged series. As expected, Seiko makes sure that its timepieces are fully equipped with dependable mechanisms that power them. The Caliber 6R35 is a robust automatic movement that provides high performance and accuracy. Held by 24 jewels, this movement has a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). On top of that, it has an outstanding power reserve of 70 hours. This exceeds the average power supply of most dive watches, making it an excellent choice for wearers who like to go on long adventures. Price As a limited edition piece with only 5,500 pieces available, the exclusive Seiko SPB149 is a special treasure to avid watch collectors. That said, the Seiko SPB149 actually retails at a relatively affordable price despite its quality and 62MAS heritage. The price for this watch ranges from $1,400 USD to $2,000 USD.  Moving on, let us take a look at the rubber strap counterpart of the Seiko SPB149: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037.  Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037 (2020) Image by: Seiko Watches The second watch Seiko introduced in celebration of the Seiko 62MAS’s 55th anniversary is the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA037. Also referred to as the “1965 Diver’s Recreation”, this watch effortlessly mimics the quintessential design and durability of the original Seiko 62MAS. Instead, the Seiko SLA037 distinguishes itself by shying away from its predecessor’s black theme, opting instead for a blue-on-blue watch makeup.  This watch comes in a 39.9mm stainless steel case, making it just slightly bigger than the Seiko 62MAS. It is fitted with a box-shaped sapphire crystal and a textured blue rubber strap. On top of its dial is a unidirectional rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale insert in black. The dial of this watch also comes in a gorgeous sunray blue finish, complementing the strap. Aside from having an improved 200m depth rating, this watch runs on an in-house Seiko Caliber 8L55, which has an outstanding 70-hour power supply.  Like the Seiko SPB149, the Seiko SLA037 is a limited edition timepiece, with only 1,100 pieces available worldwide. Since it is more exclusive, it is also priced slightly higher, costing around $6,300 USD.  Alternatives to Seiko SPB149: 1. Bell & Ross Vintage Ref. BRV292-BU-G-ST/SST On the hunt for a fancier alternative? The Bell & Ross Vintage Ref. BRV292-BU-G-ST/SST is packed in a 41mm stainless steel case, paired with a bracelet made from the same material. On top of the case is a coin-edged unidirectional rotating bezel. Its metallic blue bezel insert is nicely contrasted by the lovely, rose gold tones of its elapsed time scale insert.  Complementing the watch’s bezel is its dark blue sunray dial, which looks almost black in the dark. It is adorned with luminous rose gold stick indices, large Arabic numeral hour markers, and sweeping pencil hands. Additionally, a small circular date aperture sits between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. All of these elements come together to make up a very stylish, elegant watch face.  Inside this Bell & Ross timepiece, you can find an in-house Bell & Ross Caliber BR-CAL.302. It can last for up to an average of 38 hours when fully wound. In addition, as a sturdy military timepiece, this watch is able to withstand water pressures of up to 100 meters. You can easily use this watch in light water activities such as swimming and snorkeling, although it is not recommended for diving purposes.  This Bell & Ross Vintage watch costs approximately $3,300 USD.  2. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. CAZ101K.BA0842  For another dependable alternative to the Seiko SPB149, take a look at the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. CAZ101K.BA0842. While a lot of timepieces from the Formula 1 lineup are racing watches, this versatile watch also doubles as a dive piece. It is presented in a 43mm stainless steel case with a matching stainless steel bracelet. Fixed on top of the watch case is an oversized tachymeter scale which bolsters the watch’s toughness. A screw-down crown on the right side of the case also provides the watch with a solid 200-meter water resistance capacity.  The dial of this watch shows off a beautiful sunray blue finish. It is packed full of complications, including trapezoidal applique hour markers, thick sword hands, and a date complication at 4 o’clock. A large Arabic numeral hour marker can also be found at 12 o’clock. As a chronograph piece, this watch also incorporates three chronograph sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 10-hour counters. These sub-dials come in a lighter shade of blue, adding more of a contrast to the watch face. Driving all of these functions is a handy quartz movement.  This TAG Heuer watch sells at around $1,700 USD.  Final Thoughts The Seiko SPB149 is both a historical and a modern timepiece built into one. As a tribute to the legendary Seiko 62MAS, the Seiko SPB149 demonstrates how the important feats in Seiko’s watchmaking history are honored in this modern climate. At the same time, it is also a powerful and durable timepiece that is great for those seeking a reliable entry-level dive watch.  With its surprisingly budget-friendly price and stylish design, the limited edition Seiko SPB149 is an excellent dive watch choice. All images courtesy of the Watch Shopping website, unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy of Seiko Watches and watchuseek. Interested in the famous Star Wars film series? Read our article on the watch collaboration between Citizen and Star Wars!

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  12. An In-Depth Review of the Handy Coros APEX Pro

    An In-Depth Review of the Handy Coros APEX Pro

    Have you ever gone hiking outside and wished you had a smart tool that can help you navigate your way? Or have you ever gone through a full workout session and realized that you want to know your physical stats in real-time? Well, these are only some of the reasons why we now have smartwatches like the Coros APEX Pro. This handy sports smartwatch was designed with athletes in mind so that they would be able to go through rugged environments as conveniently and easily as possible. With that in mind, let us delve a little deeper into the details of the reliable Coros APEX Pro and everything it has to offer.  Overview of the Coros APEX Pro  The Coros APEX Pro was originally released back in September 2019. This sports watch made quite an impact on both patrons of the brand and the general public because it was equipped with all sorts of impressive features that allowed it to stand out even amongst a veritable crowd of smartwatches in the horology industry. In fact, just a month after it was officially introduced to the world, the Coros APEX Pro became the recipient of the Best in Gear award by BelieveInTheRun running blog. This just shows that there is far more to the Coros APEX Pro than meets the eye. In-Depth Look at the Coros APEX Pro First things first, the Coros APEX Pro is actually an improved version of the Coros APEX, which was launched just a year prior to the Pro. It is classified as a Premium Multi-Sport Watch that is designed for athletes and those who love going on outdoor adventures. Now, let us take a closer look at the extraordinary features of the Coros APEX Pro. Case and Dial The Coros APEX Pro is presented in a 47mm titanium alloy case with a durable, scratch-resistant aluminum cover. Its bulky size makes this watch best suited for those with average-to-large-sized wrists. However, it is also made from titanium alloy, which weighs 45% less than regular stainless steel. As a result of its titanium composition, the Coros APEX Pro has a rather lightweight build, so even those with smaller wrists can easily wear this watch around all day. The Coros APEX Pro is offered in three different colorways: white, silver, and black. Each option is incredibly sleek and classic, showcasing a sporty exterior that is perfect for that athleisure style. On the right side of the case, you can also find a stout crown which is surrounded by two smooth pushers. The crown has wide, deeply grooved sides, which provides wearers with a better grip so they can hold and turn it more easily. The functions of the two pushers are also carefully engraved in black on the watch case. This facilitates ease of use and ensures that you will not be confused by the Coros APEX Pro’s many functions. Meanwhile, the dial of this watch showcases a Touch Screen Memory LCD display with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels. It offers a colorful and vibrant display screen that is highly legible, whether under bright light or in the dark. This dial is also protected by a layer of sapphire glass, which boasts unmatched robustness and scratch-resistant properties. This means that you can peacefully work out and exercise without having to worry about damaging your watch in the process. Band  The Coros APEX Pro comes with a high-quality black silicone band that measures 22mm long, so it fits snugly around your wrist. You also have the opportunity of adding a nylon strap to your purchase, in case you ever want to swap out the original bracelet and try a different style. Both the nylon strap and silicone bracelet are great, practical options for sports and outdoor activities, so you can choose whichever one best suits your personality and preferences. Technical Specifications  The most important part, when talking about an outdoor smartwatch, is what technical specifications it has to offer. These details would determine whether the smart accessory is worth it or not. Luckily, the Coros APEX Pro is equipped with numerous functions that are perfect for all kinds of adventures and activities. In fact, it was designed specifically with athletes enduring harsh conditions in mind.  First of all, the Coros APEX Pro has an in-depth navigation system that supports offline mapping, which means you can keep track of your routes in real-time. This model also comes with an extensive training mode that covers different sports like cycling, running, swimming, and strength training. It offers over 200 accessible workouts and exercises that range from simple running and trekking to more niche activities like speed surfing, catering to just about any sport you could think of. With the Coros APEX Pro, you also get state-of-the-art sensors such as an oximeter, a heart rate monitor, a barometric altimeter, a compass, and many more. This watch also possesses a water resistance capacity of up to 100 meters, which makes it quite a reliable underwater companion as well. All of these functions are powered by a rechargeable battery that boasts superior quality. You can wear the Coros APEX Pro continuously for 30 days in regular use mode, for 40 hours in full GPS mode, and for 100 hours in UltraMax mode. When you finally do need to recharge this Coros APEX Pro, it will take only up to two hours for you to get a full battery charge. Price  With the range of high-tech features they offer, smartwatches tend to come at fairly exorbitant prices. That said, the Coros APEX Pro breaks from the mold, offering a very reasonable price tag of just $399 USD. It almost sounds too good to be true when you think about all the functions and capabilities the Coros APEX Pro comes with. 3 Alternatives to the Coros APEX Pro  Below are some alternative models to the Coros APEX Pro that you should also keep on your radar.  1. Suunto 9 Ref. SS050450000F    First, we have the Suunto 9 Ref. SS050450000F, which is a staple smartwatch amongst outdoor enthusiasts and those with active lifestyles. Much like the Coros APEX Pro, it is equipped with excellent features that would make your adventures even more fun and convenient. On top of that, this timepiece also doubles as a great everyday watch, as it comes with handy functions that you can use daily. This Suunto 9 watch comes in a glass-fiber-reinforced polyamide case, which is paired with a textile strap in a bright lime hue. The touchscreen dial is made of sapphire crystal, which is a material known for its durability and scratch resistance. It showcases an LED matrix display with a decent resolution of 320 x 300 pixels, providing wearers with a vibrant color display. The biggest reason why this Suunto watch is a great alternative to the Coros APEX Pro is because of all its impressive functionality and multitude of features. These include 24/7 trackers and numerous outdoor modes for trekking, hiking, and other such activities. For instance, if you like exploring the great unknown, you can feel at ease with this watch as it has an elaborate GPS and navigation system. It also offers access to different environmental trackers such as a barometer, a thermometer, a weather radar, and more. When it comes to exercise and training, this Suunto 9 watch comes with multiple sports modes that cover both land and water activities. If you are currently in recovery, you can also manage your physical stats through the watch’s impressive health trackers. Finally, this watch runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that allows for a lifespan of one to 14 days, depending on the mode in use. If you do not mind forking out more money, you should definitely consider getting this excellent $640 USD smartwatch. 2. Alpina AlpinerX Ref. AL-283LBBO5SAQ6 Next up, we have the Alpina AlpinerX Ref. AL-283LBBO5SAQ6. This is perfect for those who want something as powerful as the Coros APEX Pro, but with a more traditional, classic aesthetic. Highly-advanced smartwatches are great, but they are not for everyone, so this Alpina watch serves as a great middle-ground for those who want the best of both worlds. This Alpina AlpinerX piece is housed in a 45mm stainless steel case, coupled with a thick black rubber strap that gives the watch a very sporty and robust look. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a thick, rotating stainless steel bezel. Unlike most smartwatches that come with fixed bezels, the Alpina AlpinerX Ref. AL-283LBBO5SAQ6’s bezel shows off indicators in black for its compass scale. The dial, likewise, distinguishes itself from traditional smartwatches by showing off a hybrid layout with both analog and digital displays. It contains pointed hour indices and Arabic numeral hour markers in a bold white typeface, all of which are generously coated with lume. Located on the top half of the dial are luminous sword hands outlined in vivid orange, which add a more playful, vibrant edge to this timepiece. On the lower half of the watch face, you can also find a simple black digital screen. Thanks to this digital screen, this watch can do a lot more than your average analog timepiece. Its functions include activity and sleep tracking, dynamic coaching, a Worldtimer, a smart alarm, notifications for calls and messages, a UV indicator, an altimeter, a thermometer, a barometer, and a time recorder. All of these features can be helpful when you are out and about in nature or in everyday life. Our very favorite thing about this Alpina watch is that you do not have to constantly charge it, as it is powered by an MMT-283-1 quartz movement. This quartz caliber has a battery life of more than 24 months, so you just need to get the batteries changed every couple of years. You can also use this watch for all sorts of water activities as it has a 100-meter water resistance rating. The Alpina AlpinerX Ref. AL-283LBBO5SAQ6 retails at $1,195 USD. 3. TAG Heuer Connected Ref. SBR8010.BT6255 Last but not the least, we have the TAG Heuer Connected Ref. SBR8010.BT6255, which serves as the most luxurious option on this list. It belongs to TAG Heuer’s acclaimed selection of smartwatches, which is known for being equipped with top-of-the-line specifications. Like the Coros APEX Pro, this watch comes with a very chic and modern design that is easy to pair with any style. This TAG Heuer Connected Modular watch utilizes a 42mm stainless steel case and a smooth black rubber strap, enhancing the watch’s sophisticated yet sporty vibe. The dial features a boxed sapphire crystal, which allows for a clean and clear screen view. While it does have a full touchscreen display, you also have the option of using the crown and pushers to navigate this watch too. Moreover, it is powered by a rechargeable battery that boasts a 330 mAh capacity, which can be charged to full in just one hour and thirty minutes. When it comes to functionality, this TAG Heuer Connected watch showcases high-level innovation. Its features include fitness tracking, health monitoring, and seamless WiFi connectivity. If you like to exercise or play certain sports, you can easily track your performance through TAG Heuer’s optimized sports system, too. You can also connect it to your smartphone, so you will have access to smart notifications and other downloadable apps for your watch. The TAG Heuer Connected Ref. SBR8010.BT6255 might be considerably more expensive than the Coros APEX Pro. That said, it is only to be expected, considering you are paying both for the watch’s impeccable specifications and for its prestigious TAG Heuer branding. You can get your hands on this watch for approximately $1,830 USD. Final Thoughts The Coros APEX Pro is one of the best smartwatches you can get on the market, especially for its value. Despite its reasonable price, it is equipped with quality features that are on par with big names like Suunto and Garmin. In fact, the Coros APEX Pro serves as a safe choice for those who are not comfortable spending over $500 USD on a smartwatch. Despite its affordability, you can rest assured that the functionality and reliability of the Coros APEX Pro are not compromised in any way.  Photo Credits: Coros Website and WatchShopping Site If you are sporty and like playing golf, check out this piece on the 10 Best Golf Watches!

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