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  2. 15 Best Russian Watches

    15 Best Russian Watches

    Normally, when people think about watches, the brands that first come to mind are either Swiss or Japanese. However, there are other watch brands from different countries that also provide highly capable timepieces too. Brands like Skagen and Seagull are great examples of Danish and Chinese watchmaking, and they both showcase exceptional timepieces at rather affordable prices.  Many countries have their own unique take on watches. But for this article, we will focus on what Russian watchmaking has to offer. Stick around as we look at 15 of the best Russian watches available in the market. Maybe you might even see some underrated Russian brands that you are already familiar with. 15 Best Russian Watches 1. Vostok Amphibia Automatic (2415B/120509) Image By: Vostok Amphibia   Starting off our list is a Russian timepiece known for being one of the best affordable automatic diver’s watches out there. Worn by members of the Russian Navy, the Vostok Amphibia is a stainless steel watch that boasts great resilience and reliability. This iconic Russian timepiece dates back to the 1960s and is water-resistant up to depths of 200m. Today, the modern version of the Vostok Amphibia is still being manufactured, with strong shock and water-resistant properties. On top of this Vostok watch is a bold and large stainless steel rotating bezel, which wearers can use to keep track of elapsed time underwater. The Amphibia also has an analog watch face, which contains a mix of hour indices and numerals, arrow hands, and a deep red seconds hand, all applied with luminescence. This is all protected by a layer of scratch-resistant and impact-resistant mineral glass. Finally, this Russian watch is powered by an automatic Vostok 2415B caliber. You can purchase this watch for just $115 USD. 2. Sturmanskie Gagarin Classic Automatic (9015-1279600) Image By: Sturmanskie Based on the legendary Sturmanskie watch that Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin brought to space, the Sturmanskie Gagarin Classic Automatic features a vintage design with a whole lot of history. The watch comes in a stainless steel case coated with rose gold PVD and is paired with a brown alligator leather strap. It is fitted with a layer of mineral glass and has a water resistance capacity of 50m. Though this watch is not ideal for deepwater activities like diving, it is good enough to withstand the rain and even a shower. The dial of the Sturmanski Gagarin showcases a unique waffle-like pattern. This is adorned with rose gold-tone hour markers and hands and a small date complication at 3 o’clock. At the top half of the watch face, you can also find the Sturmanskie signature and company emblem printed on the dial. This Russian timepiece runs on a self-winding 9015 movement, which wearers can view through the watch’s transparent case back. It retails at a price of $455 USD. 3. Raketa Classic Big Zero (0219) Image By: Raketa Watch Club Originally designed in the 1970s, the Raketa Classic Big Zero is the brand’s most iconic timepiece. Word has it that Russian Premier Mikhael Gorbachev once wore a Raketa Big Zero piece during his official visit to Italy. This Raketa watch utilizes a 38mm stainless steel case accompanied by a sporty black leather strap with red stitching. Its well-sized crown, which can be found on the left of the case, features a groove pattern for an easier grip. While the watch’s dial is protected by a layer of sapphire glass, its see-through case back is made from mineral glass. Its dial of the Raketa Classic Big Zero features pronounced triangle hour markers and numerals, with a “0” in place of the 12 o’clock marker. As the story goes, while in Italy, Mikhael Gorbachev used the watch’s design, particularly the “0” marker, to explain the new beginnings of Russia. Ever since then, Raketa has made Big Zero’s design a trademark of the brand. The black waffle-like pattern of the dial brings out the silver in its hands and indices. Underneath its watch face is a Raketa 2615 movement, equipped with a power reserve that can last up to 40 hours when fully wound. This Premier watch has a retail price of $955 USD. 4. Nesterov Russian Strategic Aviation (H0513B02-74DB)  Image By: Nesterov The brand Nesterov acquired its name from Peter Nesterov, a famed Russian ace pilot and founder of aerial acrobatics. Nesterov’s catalog is home to numerous aviation watches with distinct designs and colorways. Among all its timepieces, the Nesterov Russian Strategic Aviation is a particular standout. Encased inside 47mm of stainless steel, this oversized watch is equipped with a polygonal bezel that has a tachymetric scale for wearers to calculate their speed. Protected by a layer of mineral glass, its deep blue dial consists of applied hour markers and hands, along with unusual cushion-like chronograph subdials. A date window between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. The movement that operates below its watch face is a quartz caliber sealed shut by a solid steel case back. Coupled with a classic stainless steel strap, this Russian watch has a water resistance rating of 100m. You can purchase this watch for $290 USD. 5. Denissov Barracuda (3133.1026.R.B28) Image By: Denissov A military-inspired timepiece with stylish and exclusive looks, the Denissov Barracuda is a robust and versatile timepiece that you can bring anywhere. Its case is crafted out of stainless steel, with a polished and matte finish to give this Russian watch an exceptional luster. On the right side of the Barracuda’s case are two pushers and a screw-down crown to ensure waterproofness even at depths reaching 100m.  The Barracuda’s segregated dial is definitely something to behold. Its handsome interplay of brown and sunburst blue colors makes this an incredibly fun watch to wear. It features a blue outer ring that contains applied hour numerals and a brown inner section that features chronograph subdials and skeletal watch hands. Placed between the 6 o’clock marker and the Barracuda logo is a small outlined date window. This watch is powered by a manual-winding Poljot 3133 along with its 42-hour power reserve. This Barracuda watch costs around $870 USD. 6. Vostok Komandirskie K-20 Automatic (2416/020716) Image By: Vostok Amphibia While Vostok is mostly known for the Amphibia, its Komandirskie collection also has quite the following. With its affordable price, powerful automatic movement, and 200m of water resistance, the Vostok Komandirskie K-20 Automatic is one of the best value-for-money Russian watches on the market. This watch uses a stainless steel case topped with a black elapsed time bezel. Its teeth-edged crown is quite sizable to ensure an easy grip both on land and underwater.  Its white dial features black hour indices, applied hands, and a date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. You can find a small red star sitting nicely under the luminous hands, and it adds a splash of color to the black and white watch face. This watch is powered by a Vostok 2416 caliber, which is fitted with thirty-one jewels. To complete its sleek, professional look, Vostok pairs the Komandirskie K-20 with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. You can purchase this affordable Russian watch for around $100 USD. 7. Raketa Amphibia (0252) Image By: Raketa Watch Club The Vostok brand is not the only one with an Amphibia. With its depth-defying, 400m water resistance capacity, the Raketa Amphibia is a solid Russian diver watch that showcases incredible durability and strength. This watch comes in a cushion-shaped stainless steel case, with a layer of protective sapphire glass and a comfortable black silicone strap. Looking at the Raketa Amphibia in its entirety, it somewhat resembles the sporty looks of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.  The dial of this watch features a sequence of luminous numerals and orange hour indices. Paired with luminous silver hands, the Raketa Amphibia is simple but also highly legible. Like most Raketa watches, its 12 o’clock marker is replaced with the brand’s trademark “0.” Operating underneath the watch face is an automatic Calibre 2615, which features an accuracy rate of -10/+20 seconds per day and a 40-hour power supply. This watch retails at approximately $1,130 USD. 8. Denissov Number One (955.112.001.4.N1M) Image By: Denissov Denissov’s selection of consists of a diverse catalog of watches, spanning from sporty models to dressy ones. An example of Denissov’s take on a classic timepiece is Denissov Number One. It comes in a polished stainless steel case with a unique crown that resembles the ones seen on Cartier Santos-Dumont models. This Russian watch is water-resistant up to depths of 50m and comes coupled with a black stingray leather strap. Exclusively-designed minute and hour hands swivel round the pearl dial adorned with refined silver Roman numeral hour markers and a small date window at 6 o’clock. On the dial’s inner section, you can find the brand signature and the model name written in fine cursive print. Hidden below the watch face is an ETA 955.112 quartz movement that you can also find in certain watches from Certina and Tag Heuer. You can purchase this watch for around $235 USD. 9. Sturmanskie Arktika Day-Night (2432-6821355) Image By: Sturmanskie Worn by seasoned polar explorers and travelers, the Sturmanskie Arktika Day-Night is a reliable timepiece that will not back down from any challenge. Made out of stainless steel and paired with a black leather strap, the watch is not only sleek but also very comfortable to wear. Fitted on top of the case is a durable and lightweight acrylic glass resistant to all kinds of hard impacts and scratches. On this watch’s black dial are vintage hour numerals applied with Swiss Super-LumiNova. Placed at the center of the watch is a beautifully designed 24-hour time scale for wearers to keep track of another time zone. The red second hand and central time zone pointer add a bit of colorful flair to this watch’s black and steel aesthetic. This $280 USD watch is powered by a Vostok 2432 automatic caliber with a 33-hour power reserve. 10. Nesterov LI-2D (H0984A02-45B) Image By: Nesterov The Nesterov LI-2D is a Russian stainless steel watch featuring a blue dial and an ever-reliable quartz movement. It has a case size of 45mm, making it a great timepiece for those who love oversized watches or have larger wrists. The royal sunblue dial is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant mineral crystal. The brand pairs this with a matching blue leather strap with white stitching.  Arranged on its blue dial are pointed hour indices, Arabic numerals, and outlined minute and hour hands. At each quarter of the dial are rounded green triangles that add a bit of variety to the watch’s design. This watch has a fairly simple style, but it appeals with its straightforward elegance. Underneath the watch face is a quartz movement that is covered by a solid steel case back. This watch has a budget-friendly price tag of $155 USD. 11. Raketa Copernicus (0231) Image By: Raketa Watch Club Inspired by the original Soviet Copernicus watch, the Raketa Copernicus pays tribute to the science of astronomy with its bold and planet-inspired design. With a water-resistant stainless steel case and top-notch, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, the Russian watch is not just unique but also very durable. The push-pull crown on the right side of its case is also relatively large, allowing for an easy grip. With its standard 40mm diameter, the watch fits well on wrists of any size. The highlight of this watch, without a doubt, is its innovative watch face which allows you to tell the time in an unusual way. It features a blue dial with three planet-like structures occupying the surface and only a single red seconds hand. The two smaller circles, with red markers on their rims, are the hour and minute displays. The smaller “planet” is the hour hand, while the mid-sized ring represents the minute hand. The back of the timepiece has a neat partial display that gives you a view of the Raketa 2615 movement inside. You can get this watch for $1,290 USD. 12. Vostok Aviator Airacobra Quartz (V.1.11.0.034.4) Image By: Vostok Amphibia A handsome aviation timepiece with no frills, the Vostok Aviator Airacobra is a wonderful quartz watch with an appealing, minimalistic design. It comes in a perfectly round, lustrous stainless steel case with long, protruding lugs and an unguarded crown. Equipped with a water resistance capacity of 100m, this Russian watch’s quintessential aesthetic is complemented by a brown alligator leather strap. The dial of the Aviator Airacobra contains light-colored Arabic numerals and hour indices that blend nicely with its black backdrop. Its hands have been coated in luminescence to provide legibility even in dark environments. On top of the 6 o’clock marker, you can find a curved and elongated date window that shows the current date, as well as the previous and next dates. Beneath the dial is a Ronda 6003B movement with a battery life that can last up to 40 months. This watch costs $500 USD. 13. Sturmanskie Ocean 3133 (3133/1981599) Image By: Sturmanskie Showcasing accuracy, practicality, and reliability, the Ocean 3133 is a modern recreation of the iconic Sturmanskie watch with the same name. It comes in a stainless steel case coupled with a sporty blue leather strap with red stitching. The crystal protecting the watch’s face is made of mineral and gives a clear and unhindered view of the Ocean 3133’s nautical dial.  The dial of this watch, with its applied indices and hands, also contains a stopwatch and a telemeter scale. Wearers can control these features using the watch’s extra crown, on the left side of the watch, and two pushers. Located at the lower section of the dial is an outlined date window which takes the place of the 6 o’clock index. This $950 USD watch is powered by a reliable Poljot 3133 movement, which is equipped with a 42-hour power reserve and sealed by an engraved solid steel caseback. 14. Nesterov I-190 (H0983B02-14D) Image By: Nesterov Accompanied by a brown leather bund strap, the Nesterov I-190 is a stylish timepiece that boasts 100m of water resistance and an attractive copper-colored dial. This Russian wristwatch utilizes a 46mm stainless steel case topped with a layer of mineral glass. Its substantial 15mm thickness gives the Nesterow I-190 a bit of heft and presence on the wrist. The exquisite copper dial consists of inner and outer sections, each with different surface textures and designs. The smooth and brushed outer ring contains black hour markers and numerals that add more personality to the watch’s overall look. The inner circle with a guilloche engraving resembling the pattern of a clamshell holds the minute and hour hands, as well as the circular date aperture. Powered by a quartz movement, this affordable $130 USD Russian watch is definitely worth adding to your collection. 15. Denissov Free Rider (9015.1015.3B.B3) Image By: Denissov Our final timepiece is a model from Denissov that boasts an exceptionally sporty look. Housed inside a stainless steel case coated with black PVD, the Denissov Free Rider is a striking watch and rugged watch. Its water resistance capacity of 100m ensures that the Free Rider still looks good and works well even after a splash in the pool. Dark but somewhat flashy, this timepiece’s suave looks are completed by its black leather strap with orange stitching. Separated into an inner and outer section, the watch’s black dial sports an attractive design. Its outer ring holds a mix of orange-and-white hour markers and Arabic numerals that contrast sharply against their black backdrop. The inner section has a raised, tire-like texture, along with syringe hands that are applied with Super-LumiNova and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. This watch is powered by a Japanese Miyota 9015 automatic movement, complete with its twenty-four jewels and 42-hour power supply. This watch retails at $410 USD. A Brief History of Russian Watches While European and American watch manufacturers were already producing watches on a massive scale in the 1800s, Russia did not have its first watchmaker until 1927. In 1930, the Russian Labor and Defence Council founded the Moscow Watch Factory, which produced watches for the Soviet Government and the Red Army. One of their most popular timepieces was the Commander — a watch commonly used by officers of the Red Army. In 1941, the Moscow Watch Factory had to evacuate to the city of Zlatoust after an attempted invasion. A year later, the Chistopol Watch Factory, known today as Vostok, was established. In 1946, the Moscow Watch Factory started creating Pobeda watches. These watches had specifications specially approved by the leaders of the Soviet Union. During this time, most Russian watches were only being produced for the Russian Army. It was only in the 1950s that watches started to be manufactured for the general public. When the first Soviet satellite was launched in 1957, the Sputnik watch was made to commemorate this event. By the 1960s, the Russian watch industry had grown at an excellent rate, developing some stunning and rare timepieces. In the same year, the Moscow Watch Factory introduced the country to Poljot’s first watch. Russian watches also have quite a bit of history with space travel. In 1960, a Russian cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin became the first person to traverse into outer space. Back then, there were no specific Russian watches produced for cosmonauts. Gagarin simply wore his own Sturmanskie watch for the flight. Later on, other cosmonauts started wearing Poljot and Strela watches to their space travels too. As such, from those days onward, Poljot, Sturmanskie, and Strela watches were inseparably linked with space. The Moscow Watch Factory later created the 3133 model — a versatile timepiece officially developed for the Russian army, navy, and Russian cosmonauts. Image By: Sturmanskie By 1965, watches manufactured by the Moscow Watch Factory were already being exported outside the Soviet Union. These timepieces were sent to 70 different countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States. Through their crucial role in developing the Russian watch industry, the Moscow Watch Factory was given the highest Soviet award in 1966. Four years after that, products from the Chistopol Watch Factory, whose timepieces were already being developed under the Vostok name, were exported to 54 different countries across the globe. Fast forward to this day, and the Russian watch industry has continued to thrive and grow. Some early Soviet brands such as Vostok and Sturmanskie are still creating watches to this day and have become some of the most well-known representatives of Russian watchmaking. In recent years, many other Russian watch brands have started to appear. Some of these brands source their movements from Vostok, while others use Swiss calibers in their watches. Whether it is a historical watch brand or a modern Russian watchmaker like Denissov, Moscow-Classic, Nesterov, or Raketa, these manufacturers are maintaining the tradition and soul of Russian watch history. Final Thoughts From this list, it is evident that Russian watches are highly underrated and deserve to be more under the spotlight. They are affordable, reliable, and quite easy to service. Additionally, they carry unique designs that make them stand out from their competitors. Although the Russian watch industry is rather young compared to the Swiss, Japanese, and German watch industries, their audience continues to grow steadily every day. No longer just a niche, Russian watches have become a beautiful part of the collections of many watch enthusiasts.  If you are looking to get your own Russian timepiece, you should definitely obtain one of the Russian watches listed above. That said, make sure to do some research and diligent inspection before finalizing your purchase. Cheap imitations of Russian watches, along with swapped-out parts and aftermarket modifications, are relatively prevalent. Featured Image By: Sturmanskie Looking for a great pilot’s watch? Have a look at this Guide on finding the perfect Glycine Airman

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  4. A Complete Guide to the Swatch Sistem51 Collection

    A Complete Guide to the Swatch Sistem51 Collection

    The Swatch Group is famous for changing watchmaking forever as it salvaged multiple companies from the wrath of the quartz crisis. Since the company took its stand as a Swiss giant, its name became synonymous with affordable yet excellent timepieces. After 30 years of excellence, the company was challenged to release a watch that best described its heritage while also dictating its future. So, in 2013, everyone was treated to a modern icon — the Swatch Sistem51. What is the Swatch Sistem 51? The Swatch Sistem51 is quite a sight to behold. When it was first launched, it was conceptualized as a plastic watch. Plastic watches are actually quite typical for Swatch. However, what made the Swatch Sistem51 truly impressive was that it is a mechanical watch, unlike Swatch’s usual quartz-powered pieces. To put things into perspective, a simple mechanical movement typically has 130 components. The Swatch Sistem51’s self-winding mechanical movement truly outdid itself, with just 51 parts, and all of its cogs mounted on a single screw. In addition, it is also a true powerhouse caliber, with features like 90 hours of power reserve and top-notch accuracy. 5 Best Swatch Sistem51 Watches Swatch has a plethora of Sistem51 watches you can choose from. So, to help you decide which one to pick, we gathered 5 of the best Swatch Sistem51 watches for your perusal. 1. Sistem51 Sistem Pilote YIB404 The Sistem Pilote stands out with its unique all-black design. This model comes with a sunburst black dial that features a cut-out in the shape of a crescent. This allows wearers to view the movement at work through the face of the watch. This 42mm stainless steel watch also innovatively plays with blacks of various hues. From its dial case to its hour indices and hands, each of these comes in contrasting hues of black that allow for better legibility. In addition, this Swatch Sistem51 piece also has a silver second hand and a circular date window at 3 o’clock. With a comfortable black leather strap, this watch would make a fine everyday accessory. You can purchase the Sistem Pilote for just $245 USD. 2. Sistem5 Sistem White SUTW400 From a black Swatch Sistem51 watch, let us head to the other side of the color spectrum with a white edition. Also measuring 42mm in diameter, this watch, like most Swatch watches, is made mostly from plastic. The white strap comes in very durable rubber material. This Sistem White piece also has a circular date window at 3 o’clock, but this one comes in a bright lime shade. On the white dial are vibrant, multi-colored dots that give the timepiece more personality. Even the caseback and movement of the watch are brightly colored in a variety of different hues, spicing this watch up. This bold and bright Swatch Sistem51 piece has a price ranging from $100 USD to $110 USD. 3. Sistem51 Irony Sistem Soul YIS402 For those who prefer stainless steel watches, check out the Sistem Soul. This is a monochrome watch with a very minimalist design. The dial of the watch comes in white, while the stainless steel case bears a cool silver hue. The white dial also boasts an intricate geometric design that is sure to draw your eye in. Unlike the previous two models, this Swatch Sistem51 piece has a square date window. It is also marked with 60-minute markers in 5-minute increments and has a 24-hour layout to boot. In retail, this watch costs around $245 USD. 4. Sistem51 Sistem Thought The handsome Sistem Thought stands out as a contemporary take on military watches. This 42mm stainless steel watch in black also bears a striking black dial. It has a cut-out in the middle of the dial that gives you a glimpse of the caliber running underneath. It also boasts 12-hour markers and a peculiar date scale on the inner ring of the dial. This watch comes with a classy brown leather strap, so you could easily bring it to dressier occasions too. This Swatch Sistem51 piece retails at around $245 USD. 5. Sistem51 Sistem Col-Ora SUTB408 Much like the Sistem White, the Sistem Col-Ora boasts splashes of color in an otherwise simple, monochrome watch. The markers of this watch come in bright colors, with the caseback striped diagonally in the same hues. The strap of the watch also comes with vertical ridges for a little bit of texture. This is a plastic watch and costs around $150 USD in retail. History of the Swatch Sistem 51 The concept of the Swatch Sistem51 takes people back to the history of Swatch. Today, the company is better known for its colorful and popular designs, collaboration with artists, and marketing that targets the masses. However, Swatch is also remembered as a company that changed the way the Swiss watchmaking industry was run forever. Swatch was created in response to the horology industry’s quartz crisis. Prior to the 1970s, the industry was comprised only of mechanical timepieces. However, this all changed in the late 1970s, when there was a quartz watch boom. Quartz is cheap and can be mass-produced, and this greatly threatened the mechanical watch business, which is what the Swiss watchmaking scene is mostly composed of. This crisis completely overtook the Swiss market, so much so that James Bond — known for his Rolex watches at the time — even switched to using a digital watch from Seiko for a while. Nicolas G. Hayek is the person responsible for turning the Swiss watchmaking industry around. He created a company that was known as the Swiss Corporation for Microelectronics and Watchmaking Industries. This company, better known as SMH, became a merger of prominent brands including Omega, Tissot, and Longines. This company, which was funded by Hayek himself, reformed the watchmaking industry. Eventually, SMH was renamed the Swatch Group. Through this company, Hayek introduced the modern age of machination and continued to mass-produce Swiss masterpieces. Launching the Swatch Sistem51 In 2013, Swatch celebrated its 30th year in the industry. Creative director Carlo Giodanetti was asked to create a brand new Swatch timepiece for the brand’s 30th anniversary. Indeed, this was quite a challenge as he had to come up with something spectacular that still remained true to the idea of what Swatch is all about. At the 2013 Baselworld, Swatch pulled the curtains back on their Sistem51. Deemed as a spectacle and one of the most exciting launches of that year, the Swatch Sistem51 was a worthy tribute to Swatch’s 30th anniversary. The Swatch Sistem51 was notable for two reasons: firstly, it was a new, unique mechanical timepiece from a company that lived primarily on quartz movements. Secondly, the Swatch Sistem51 watches are sold at around 100 CHF to 200 CHF. This makes the Swatch Sistem51 the cheapest automatic Swiss watch on the market. Building the Swatch Sistem51 A mechanical movement follows some basic principles that need to be preserved for it to function well. Firstly, the mechanical caliber should have a mainspring barrel. It should also be wound by a peripheral rotor that powers the gear train. The gear train then functions at a rate controlled by the oscillating balance wheel as well as the ticking level escapement. What is impressive about the Sistem51 is that they kept all these intact with just 51 parts. Considering the average mechanical movement has around 130 components, the Swatch Sistem51, which has been slimmed down to just 51 parts, is truly a mechanical marvel indeed. In addition, the Sistem51 movement does not have any screws. All of its components are held together by metallic pins. You can see this through the clear caseback of a Swatch Sistem51 watch. Finally, for efficiency reasons and to stay true to the idea of a Swatch watch, the escape lever of the Swatch Sistemt1 also comes in plastic! There are some polarizing views about this but it helps make this watch truly affordable. The process of building the Swatch Sistem51 is also a technological marvel in itself. This is because the whole process is entirely robotized. ETA, Swatch’s movement manufacturer, put up an innovative facility in Boncourt, Switzerland for just this purpose. According to reports, the facility has a total of 400 machines installed that work non-stop, 24 hours a day, up to six whole days a week. These machines are responsible for creating the components in the Swatch Sistem51 movement. They are also in charge of fixing the movement into the main plate before moving on to the decoration of the watch. Using digital printers, each Swatch Sistem51 piece gets decorated according to different themes that best reflect Swatch’s affordable yet flamboyant design philosophy. Although Swatch does not share how many watches it makes a year, estimates suggest that around 4,000 Swatch Sistem51 are made every day. In 2016, Swatch built a second facility, doubling its production capacity. Combining the prowess of these two facilities, we are looking at an estimate of two million watches made every year. That is way higher than even Rolex! Final Thoughts On the whole, there are some polarizing views when it comes to Swatch. Watch enthusiasts have gone into endless debates over the brand’s use of plastic and flamboyant, loud designs. That said, you cannot deny that it has achieved an efficient marvel with the mechanization of the Swatch Sistem51’s production process. The Sistem51 is a true testament to Swatch’s ideals of affordability, efficiency, and innovation, and continues the legacy of Swatch’s colorful and accessible plastic watches. Looking for more affordable mechanical watches? Learn more about the Hamilton Khaki King and Seiko 5 watches. Photos courtesy of Swatch Group.

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  5. Casio GA-2100: The Outstanding CasiOak Watch

    Casio GA-2100: The Outstanding CasiOak Watch

    In 1983, Japanese watchmaking brand Casio created their first-ever G-Shock timepiece, the DW-5000. The DW-5000 showcased Japanese technology, reliability, and hardy longevity. A few years after its release, Casio released the AW-500. This timepiece was notable for being the first G-Shock analog model to come into existence. While bearing G-Shock’s trademark durability, the AW-500 also had a unique and bulky exterior that screamed toughness. Fast forward to today, and Casio’s G-Shock lineup is filled to the brim with all sorts of rugged timepieces. Out of all of the recent releases, one particular G-Shock model stands tall. In 2019, Casio unveiled the G-Shock GA-2100. Sometimes referred to as the CasiOak, the GA-2100 quickly became an unlikely favorite of the watch community. Let us take a more detailed look at the GA-2100 and why people just cannot seem to get enough of this watch. All About the CasiOak The CasiOak assembly consists of a number of models. For this article, we will be focusing on the Casio G-Shock GA-2100-1A and its exclusive features.  Image By: G-Shock Carbon Core Guard Case Casio watches are known for their oversized builds. As such, it should not come as a surprise that the CasiOak GA-2100-1A has some bulk to it. This watch has a case dimension of 45mm and a thickness of 11.8mm. It measures 48.5mm lug-to-lug and has a lug width of 16mm. Despite its rugged aesthetics, this CasiOak model weighs a light 51g, making it comfortable to wear and easy to bring around. This is all thanks to the case’s Carbon Core Guard structure. The use of the Carbon Core Guard structure gives the watch the same formidable resistances as a traditional G-Shock while also ensuring a more lightweight build. For those not so familiar with the concept, the Casio G-Shock Carbon Core Guard Structure is a formula Casio uses for their newer G-Shock watches. It enables the brand to attain the perfect harmony between sturdiness and size. By reinforcing its resin cases with carbon fiber, Casio is able to strengthen the exteriors of its cases while also toning down its overall girth and weight. The CasiOak GA-2100-1A uses this same Carbon Core Guard principle but showcases it in an octagonal form, with an octagon-shaped case and bezel. Printed on the bezel are the “G-Shock” and “Protection” signatures, along with function labels that indicate the purpose of each pusher. As you turn the CasiOak over, you immediately see its stainless steel case back. Screwed-down for maximum protection, the rear case is engraved with the “Carbon Core Guard” signature, along with the Casio name and some other information on the G-Shock model. As with all G-Shock watches, the resin material of the case protects this CasiOak watch from all kinds of shocks and impacts. It also has a substantial 200-meter water resistance rating. This allows the CasiOak GA-2100-1A to withstand everything from rain to ocean water. Design-wise, you can immediately see that this watch bears some resemblances to Audemars Piguet’s world-renowned Royal Oak. Casio, however, insists that they derived the design from their own 1983 and 1989 models, the DW-5000 and the AW-500. Whatever it is, you cannot deny the looks of the CasiOak GA-2100-1A. It carries an aesthetic that blends the durability we love from Casio G-shock watches with a hint of Gerald Genta sophistication. Casio also pairs the GA-2100-1A with a matching resin band that is integrated into its case.  Multidimensional Dial The work on the dial, for a lack of a better term, is exceptional. It has a three-dimensional look that highlights each component on the dial surface. Its minute indices take the form of understated cuts etched around the rim. The hour indices, on the other hand, are bulkier and protruding and have a light grey hue. It boasts a neat set of sword-shaped minute and hour hands mounted on a slight elevation that, in turn, gives more depth to the watch face. All versions of the CasiOak GA-2100 contain two unique features: a day display at 9 o’clock and a digital screen between the 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. The layout of the CasiOak GA-2100 is quite ingenious, as it manages to fit all its complications on its dial without making it look cluttered or messy. The day display takes the form of a small indicator that points to the seven days of the week, which are etched inside a narrow semi-circle. The digital screen is intriguing, as it bears an irregular rhombus-like shape. The digital display is compact enough to fit its allocated space while also providing legible texts and numerals. One downside to the CasiOak is that the brand only added luminescence on the watch hands. As such, the overall lume quality is quite underwhelming. Personally, it would have been neat to have the hour markers coated in lume as well. That said, the CasiOak does come with LED light and backlight features. These provide the CasiOak GA-2100 with sufficient sources of brightness and legibility in dark times environments. Mineral Glass For such an affordable watch, mineral glass is pretty much what you would expect. The budget-friendly crystal provides a clear view of the watch face and offers a decent amount of protection from scratches. In addition, wearers can easily buff out any scuff marks with the help of some polish, a soft buffing cloth, and elbow grease. If the crystal becomes too obscure due to excessive damage, you can also replace the mineral crystal quite cheaply. Casio 5611 Module The CasiOak GA-2100-1A uses a 5611 quartz movement. For a G-Shock watch, this caliber provides a moderately limited set of features: digital and analog time, full-auto calendar up to the year 2099, hourly time signal, five alarms, countdown timer, stopwatch, and world time. The 5611 caliber is powered by two SR726W batteries that can last up to three years. In terms of precision, it has an accuracy of +/-15 seconds a month. On the whole, the CasiOak has a pretty basic slew of functions compared to other G-Shock models. That said, it is still a highly functional watch with handy functions that offer wearers a lot of convenience in their daily routines. Price The CasiOak GA-2100-1A, in particular, can cost you around $99 USD. Depending on the model purchased, the CasiOak can fetch a selling price of up to $250 USD. Some pre-owned versions do also come with a slight discount, depending on the seller and the condition the watch is in.   CasiOak Variants Since its launch in 2019, the CasiOak GA-2100 lineup has become home to several diverse and colorful models. Currently, CasiOak has a catalog of 15 different watches in total. For you to have a better idea of what the range looks like, here are a few distinct, fan-favorite CasiOak models that would make great additions to your collection. 1. GA-2100-1A1 Image By: G-Shock The G-Shock GA-2100-1A1 is arguably one of the most popular variants in the CasiOak selection. With an all-black aesthetic, from its dial and case to its resin brand, the GA-2100-1A1 comes off as an edgy and contemporary G-Shock timepiece. While its dark looks appeal to the eyes of many, it also has some design flaws. For instance, when you bring the CasiOak GA-2100-1A1 into a dark environment, the dial can be a little hard to read. Even with luminescent material coated on its hands, the watch face is still not very legible in poor lighting conditions. Fortunately, this CasiOak watch is packed with LED lights, so it can illuminate itself if necessary. Aside from the legibility of the watch face, however, the GA-2100-1A1 brings everything the CasiOak series promises — ruggedness, durability, and sophisticated style. 2. GA-2100-4A Image By: G-Shock Here is another highly recognized CasiOak GA-2100 model. Red throughout, this timepiece is quite eye-catching and a true sight to behold. The genius of this model lies in how Casio managed to make each shade of red stand out without looking too uniform. According to the brand, Casio used a total of nine different shades of red for this G-Shock watch. The CasiOak GA-2100-4A is a testament to the brand’s knack for integrating simple designs with creativity, practicality, and lots of charm.  3. GA-2100HC-2A Image By: G-Shock For a stylish and adventurous-looking CasiOak, have a look at the GA-2100HC-2A. Unlike the models mentioned above, this CasiOak watch does not utilize Carbon Core Guard Structure. Instead, it uses white and blue transparent resin for its case and integrated band, giving the GA-2100HC-2A a theme of marine exploration. The contrast of white, silver, and blue hues make this watch highly legible even in the dark. This allows it to double as a fantastic dive watch. The CasiOak G-Shock GA-2100HC-2A is an affordable and reliable watch for thrillseekers who thrive on underwater adventures. 4. GA-2100-5A Image By: G-Shock Another fascinating two-toned timepiece is the CasiOak GA-2100-5A. At a glance, the GA-2100-5A features a dark dial with a beige watch case and wristband. With both colors put together, they make up a CasiOak model that bears a tasteful yet rugged design. If the GA-2100HC-2A is fit for aquatic expeditions, then the GA-2100-5A is made for exploring deserts and arid landscapes. Alternatives Not so sure what to feel about CasiOak watches? Not a problem! Listed below are some alternative timepieces that not only possess similar qualities to the GA-2100 but also sell at relatively affordable prices.  Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Sea Series 3729 – $495 Image By: Watch Shopping For our first alternative, we have the Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Series 3729. Although it is a little more expensive than any CasioOak model, this Luminox timepiece comes with its own set of brilliant qualities that is well worth the price.  Where Casio uses Carbon Core Guard for their watch case, Luminox utilizes their iconic CARBONOX material. As with the Carbon Core Guard, Luminox’s CARBONOX takes advantage of the abundance and durability of carbon. The use of CARBONOX gives this Luminox Bear Grylls watch a rugged look and unparalleled durability that can take on any challenge. Both the Casio GA-2100 and the Luminox 3729 also possess similar water resistance ratings of 200m. Each of them also uses mineral glass to shelter their respective dials. That said, Luminox uses a hardened mineral crystal, which is hardier and more resistant to hard impacts. Another thing the Luminox 3729 excels in is battery life. The Luminox 3729 can last 50 months, which is 14 months more than the 3-year battery life of the CasiOak.  Exclusive to the Luminox 3739 is a unidirectional rotating bezel. As a diving watch, this bezel insert contains a time scale for divers to measure their elapsed time underwater. This timepiece may not have a day indicator like the CasiOak, but it does have a date function at 3 o’clock. Hidden below the dial of the Luminox 3739 is a Ronda 515 movement. This is protected by a solid 316L stainless steel rear case. Maurice Lacroix Aikon – $1,990 USD Image By: Watch Shopping The CasiOak, in itself, is a more accessible and casual version of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. If you want a more luxurious alternative to the CasiOak that only costs a fraction of the Royal Oak, there is no better option than the Maurice Lacroix Aikon. Encased in 39mm of stainless steel, the Aikon comes with a matching Maurice Lacroix stainless steel bracelet. With its blue tapisserie dial, elongated hour markers, silver sword hands, and date aperture at 3 o’clock, the Aikon exudes opulence similar to the famed Audemars Piguet watch.  Unlike the CasiOak and Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Series 3729 which run on quartz calibers, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon is operated by a mechanical movement. The caliber is known as the ML115. It is a self-winding clockwork based on the Sellita SW200-1. It can produce 28,800 beats per hour (4Hz) and has a power reserve that, when fully wound, lasts up to 38 hours. Protecting the ML115 caliber is an exhibition-style case back, so wearers can view the movement while it operates. In terms of design, the Aikon is almost spot-on, with the main difference being the claw-like structures on its bezel and its composition, which is not quite as octagonal as the CasiOak. It also has a depth rating of 200m, so you can easily take this timepiece for a swim too. Final Thoughts For a $99 watch, the CasiOak GA-2100-1A offers a whole lot of enjoyable perks with only a few flaws. It does so in a robust and genuine style that we do not regularly see in a traditional G-Shock. One improvement that Casio could consider making to this watch is with regards to its lume, which is a little lacking. Realistically speaking, coming across a timepiece identical to this Casio G-Shock watch along with all its features and price would be exceedingly rare. It just goes to show that Casio, as a watchmaking brand, is one-of-a-kind and in a league of its own. As for their CasiOak watches, it is (mineral) crystal clear why everyone wants to get their hands on this rugged yet lovely piece of G-Shock craftsmanship. Looking for a watch to end all your watch hunger? Have a look at one of Patek Philippe’s greatest pieces, the Patek 5970. Featured Image By G-Shock

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  6. Seiko SARB017: The Iconic Alpinist Watch

    Seiko SARB017: The Iconic Alpinist Watch

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

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  7. Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Although Tudor first became known as the sister company of the more prestigious watch brand Rolex, the company allowed this to be a reason not to establish its own reputable name in the watch industry. In fact, over the years, Tudor has developed into one of the most highly-coveted Swiss watchmakers with its luxurious and refined timepieces that are available at very reasonable prices. It offers a range of top-notch watches that cater to the needs of both men and women who wish to own a high-caliber timekeeper. Aside from that, Tudor is also known for many innovations in the world of horology, such as the creation of its own first-ever caliber movement, the Caliber MT5621, which you can find in the Tudor North Flag. This particular collection features many classic and cutting-edge timepieces, with the Caliber MT5621 providing exceptionally precise timekeeping as well. That said, the Tudor North Flag has been a remarkably underrated line of watches. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Tudor North Flag in detail and break down just why it deserves more attention from watch enthusiasts. Tudor’s First in-House Calibre Photo by Manuel Rebic from Flickr The Tudor North Flag, as mentioned, stood out because it featured the brand’s first-ever powerful in-house Caliber MT5621. As earlier versions of Tudor watches were equipped with caliber movements from external suppliers, the creation of its first in-house movement was a massive milestone for the brand. In fact, this was the major shift that allowed the brand to establish its own identity in the watch community and no longer be referred to as just a sister brand of Rolex. While it is true that the Tudor Pelagos was the first watch to be powered by the Caliber MT5621, it was the Tudor North Flag that proudly showcased its excellent functions and mechanisms with the North Flag’s see-through caseback. This feature is not one often found in Rolex watches, making the Tudor North Flag all the more distinctive. In fact, the Tudor North Flag serves as a testament to how Tudor expertly carves out its niche, setting itself apart from Rolex. The Inspiration Behind Tudor North Flag’s Existence Named after the British North Greenland Expedition, the Tudor North Flag actually takes inspiration from the 1952 expedition’s Oyster Prince time-telling accessory, as well as the exceptional 1970’s Tudor Ranger II. The Oyster Prince was historically crafted to be used by the crew of the British North Greenland Expedition back in 1952, which means that it was designed to be a reliable, robust, and highly accurate timepiece that could survive being exposed to all sorts of extreme environments. The Tudor North Flag took from the Oyster Prince a similar identity of being a tough, rigid, and highly precise timekeeper intended for the hardiest of survivalists. With regards to the overall design of the Tudor North Flag, on the other hand, a quick glance makes it immediately apparent that it has a resemblance to Tudor’s own Ranger II, an iconic timepiece from way back in the 1970s. Like the Ranger II, the Tudor North Flag features a similar arrow-shaped handset filled with lume and a heavy-based chapter ring. One difference between the two watches, however, is that the Tudor North Flag does not adopt the Ranger II’s oversized fluted bezel, opting instead for a smoother and more refined bezel. All in all, the Tudor North Flag is a fresh, modern take on the Ranger II. Up Close with Tudor North Flag Case Material: Stainless steel Dial: Black Case diameter: 40mm Movement: Calibre MT5621 Power reserve: 70 hours Water resistance: 100m Case and Bezel Right from the outset, the most striking feature you’re likely to notice from the unique Tudor North Flag is its sophisticated case. Crafted as a luxury sports watch, the stainless steel case of this timepiece has a slim build and clean lines with its sharp, angular edges. In addition, it features a high-tech steel bezel that is unusually lined with black ceramic on the outer rim and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that serves as protection for the dial. With its proportionate 40mm case diameter, previous owners have reported that the Tudor North Flag is extremely comfortable on the wrist, with a size that is just right. Its incorporated lugs and tapered crown are fine details that add to the lightweight profile of the watch. Along with its substantial 100m water resistance, this timepiece displays a contemporary appearance that is a modern twist on the vintage Tudor Ranger II. Dial The dial of the Tudor North Flag is yet another highlight of this handsome timepiece, as it boasts an avant-garde and minimalistic style. Along with its rectangular hour markers, the watch also displays two oversized Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock that dominate the black dial. The numerals and hour markers are all wrapped in white lume to provide excellent visibility even in poor lighting conditions. You will also notice the small rectangular date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position and a bright yellow power reserve indicator located at 9 o’clock that serves as a splash of color to the dial. This power reserve also works as a rotating disc, adding a touch of contemporaneity to this timepiece. Another elegant feature of the Tudor North Flag is its luminous silver-toned hour and minute hands, and vibrant yellow seconds hand with a rectangular tip. The white and yellow handset smartly contrasts against the black dial, which adds to the legibility of this timepiece. We can also find the Tudor name and logo printed on the dial, right under the 12 o’clock marker. Lume Tudor ensures that the hour markers and hands of the North Flag are all either coated or filled with luminescent material. This gives it a gorgeous light blue glow in low-lighting conditions, making time-telling easy no matter where you are. This is one of the most essential features a timepiece must have and the brand’s use of a high-end lume for the Tudor North Flag highlights how Tudor spared no expense in crafting this watch. Movement While the gorgeous aesthetics of the Tudor North Flag are definitely an eye-catcher, the real show-stopper when it comes to this watch is its movement. The Caliber MT5621 movement is, as previously mentioned, Tudor’s first-ever in-house caliber movement. It was a significant turning point for Tudor, as this ability to craft a top-notch movement with excellent engineering and craftsmanship helped the brand to build its own reputation instead of just being identified as a sister company of Rolex. As the Tudor North Flag was the primary vehicle that Tudor used to introduce the Caliber MT5621, this gives the watch a special status in the Tudor catalog and history indeed. Going back to Caliber MT5621 movement, it is a top-notch automatic movement that features a 4Hz beat rate, a bidirectional winding system equipped with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring, and an adjustable inertia oscillator. It is a COSC-certified chronometer with a record of accuracy rating of not more than -2/+4 seconds, and as such is a highly reliable, accurate, and functional movement that you can rely on for years to come. It also features a whopping power reserve of up to 70 hours. This is a particular standout compared to other high-end sports watches, which tend to only offer up to 40 hours of power reserve. Moreover, this in-house movement is also surprisingly durable. Not only is it able to withstands shocks and external vibrations, but it is also anti-magnetic and has superior dimensional stability. It features a free-spring balance wheel, a design that is characteristic of high-end Swiss-made movements like those from prominent watchmakers Patek Philippe and Rolex. The mechanisms of the Caliber MT5621 can be observed through the see-through case back of the Tudor North Flag, allowing wearers to appreciate the grand and efficient design of this movement. Bracelet/Strap Tudor offers two different options for the strap of the North Flag. You can choose between a brushed, professional stainless steel strap or a yellow-stitched, black leather strap. The former is crafted with a solid satin finish, which blends perfectly with the matching stainless steel case. The yellow and black leather strap, on the other hand, pairs well with the neon accents visible on the Tudor North Flag’s sporty dial. Regardless of which one you opt to use, both straps are crafted by Tudor to be durable and easy to wear. Both of them feature safety catches and folding clasps that allow the straps to fit nicely and securely around wrists of any size. Pros and Cons of Tudor North Flag Despite all of the impressive attributes of the Tudor North Flag, it is not quite the perfect timepiece. That is why, before making a decision on the Tudor North Flag, you want to make sure to consider all the good and the bad first. We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons so you really know what you’re getting with the Tudor North Flag. Pros Excellent build and quality finish.  Each component of the Tudor North Flag watch is skillfully crafted by the brand to ensure its durability, reliability, and functionality. Furthermore, knowing that Tudor is one of the most reputable Swiss watchmakers, you can rest assured that it only uses premium materials to create its timepieces, and the Tudor North Flag is no exception.Equipped with Tudor’s first in-house movement and COSC-certified chronometer. One of the most noteworthy features of the Tudor North Flag is that it is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house movement, the Caliber MT5621. This movement is shock-resistant and has anti-magnetic capabilities, making it a durable movement with a long shelf life. It is also commended for its highly precise timekeeping, showcasing the identity and reliability of a genuine Swiss-made movement.Known for its affordability. Another highlight of the North Flag watch is its budget-friendly pricing. Considering the robust features this watch offers, getting it at a price that will not break your bank is certainly considered a steal. Cons Limited strap options. If you’re the type of person who loves to switch up the straps of your timepiece for different occasions, then sadly, this Tudor North Flag might not be for you. Although it has incorporated lugs to provide greater comfort against the wearer’s wrists, there isn’t really a diversity of choice available in terms of strap options. As mentioned, these North Flag watches only come with two types of straps, formal stainless steel, or a sporty black and yellow leather version. An alternative solution is to buy a custom-made strap, which, unfortunately, can be quite expensive.Not as popular as other Tudor collections. Despite all the features the Tudor North Flag offers, it remains quite an underrated timepiece. If you’re planning to buy a watch to invest in for the future, buying this watch might be a risk for you, particularly when it comes to resale value, as it isn’t as heavily sought-after as some of its Tudor peers. Two Variants of Tudor North Flag  1. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0002 One notable feature of this version is its stunning black dial, boasting a contemporary and classic sporty look. This Tudor North Flag 91210N-0002 features a 40mm stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal to add extra protection to its dial, a see-through skeleton caseback, and a smooth black leather strap with a fold-over safety clasp to complete the overall classy, sporty look. It is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house automatic movement, famous for its high accuracy and resistance to shocks and magnetism. Aside from that, this Tudor model also comes equipped with a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters. You’ll notice that the handy date aperture can also be found at the 3 o’clock position. This first version of the Tudor North Flag is available for only $3,939 USD. 2. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0001 This second version of Tudor North Flag features all the same characteristics as the previous watch. It also has a 40mm round stainless steel case with integrated lugs, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a see-through caseback that showcases the watch’s in-house Caliber MT5621 movement. It has an impressive power reserve of up to 70 hours and is equipped with 100 meters of water resistance. The only difference of this Tudor North Flag 91210N-0001 is its strap, which is made of stainless steel and offers more of a professional, classic feel with its clean geometry. This version is just a little pricier, retailing at $4,499 USD. Final Thoughts We can’t deny that we tend to opt for the most prestigious watchmakers like Rolex, Tag Heuer, or Omega when looking at Swiss luxury watch brands. Sometimes, we forget that it is not just the most prominent brands that are worthy of interest or capable of delivering high-quality timepieces. Indeed, Tudor, with its luxurious and reliable watches available at very reasonable prices, is definitely one to keep an eye on. In particular, the Tudor North Flag is a classic and functional timepiece that offers highly accurate timekeeping and a handsomely contemporary aesthetic. This timepiece was the vehicle through which Tudor introduced its first-ever in-house movement, which adds to the historical significance and depth of the Tudor North Flag as well, as part of this impressive Tudor milestone. At the end of the day, the Tudor North Flag is a durable, reliable, and functional time-telling accessory with an important history to boot. For these reasons, it is an excellent and underrated piece perfect for watch enthusiasts looking to expand their collections. Looking for other Tudor watches you would definitely want to add to your collection? Check our article on the Best Picks From Tudor Watches. All photos are credited to Watchshopping.com unless stated otherwise. Featured image from Manuel Rebic on Flickr.

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

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

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

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  9. Brew Watches: 5 Things to Know

    Brew Watches: 5 Things to Know

    If you’re looking for a watch that embodies luxury, quality, and creativity, then Brew Watches is your brand. Anyone looking to make a statement will definitely find a Brew Watch appealing. Characterized by stylish visuals and equally impressive performance, Brew Watches will have anyone looking dapper. Keen to learn more about this stunning brand of watches? Keep reading as we list five things you’ll find fascinating about Brew Watches and why it’s among the top watch brands. 1: Brand Inspired by Coffee There’s absolutely nothing random about the brand name. The word ‘’Brew” is synonymous with coffee—and so is the brand. It’s pretty cool that Brew Watches were first inspired by industrial espresso machines. Jonathan Ferrer, who is the brains behind the brand, has an immense love for coffee. The combination of warm and contrasting colors on espresso machines was also an inspiration of his. Photo from brew-watches official websiteAs such, you’ll find that all Brew watches have a similar blend of colors and textures reminiscent of espresso machines. Moreover, one timepiece from Brew Watches—the Retrograph watch —is specifically designed to time how long it takes to brew an espresso coffee! But this doesn’t take away from the stylish design that makes the watch suitable to wear with any outfit. 2: Very Affordable One would expect to dig deep into their pockets to own one of these exclusive timepieces. But lucky for you, that’s not necessarily the case. Brew Watches continue to release affordable quartz watches despite the exquisite designs. You’ll definitely find something to suit your budget. Case in point: the Brew Mastergraph is one of the latest releases to come out of the brand. Available in three different designs, its clean and retro-style appearance is consistent with all Brew Watches. By donning this exquisite timepiece, you’ll definitely be the envy of your friends. Photo from brew-watches official websiteThe stunning design of the Brew Mastergraph is somewhat similar to the Rolex Cosmograph. This just goes to show that these affordable timepieces can easily compete with high-end watch brands. 3: Ideal for Everyday Wear Careful consideration is put into designing every component of Brew Watches. Each strap is made using supple Italian leather to produce a truly distinctive timepiece that is far from ordinary. The cases are made using solid stainless steel which is polished by hand. So, given how chic Brew watches are, it’s easy to assume that they can only be worn for special events. But they’re suitable for just about any occasion. The precise dimensions found on the watches make them comfortable for everyday wear. Photo from brew-watches official website4: Made of the Highest Quality Brew watches use impressive quality. You can expect the timepiece to last for years before you have to think of replacing it. This is because the brand goes the extra mile to ensure that all watches meet specific standards. The watches are tested and are hand-assembled. After being assembled, Brew watches are further tested to make sure that they’re both pressure and water-resistant. But be sure to practice extra caution near water because the watches aren’t entirely waterproof. Photo from brew-watches official websiteYou do have the option to return the watch if you feel that it doesn’t meet your standards. That’s how confident the brand is in the quality of its products. Thanks to their 14-day return policy, you can return the watch provided that you have the receipt and that it’s free from damage or signs of wear & tear. 5: Brew Watches Come with a One Year Limited Warranty Malfunctions happen with any product, including watches. The brand understands this and decided to cover all their products with a one-year limited warranty. Note that the warranty only covers the watches against manufacturer defects. Photo from brew-watches official websiteIf you happen to notice any issues with your watch, you’re free to drop the manufacturer an email. The support staff will immediately respond with instructions on how you can send the watch back.  Note however that damages caused by accidents, tampering, or mishandling of the product will automatically void the warranty. Brew Watches Conclusion With plenty of designs to pick from, you’re bound to find a watch that suits your individual taste or preferences. If you don’t need one for yourself, Brew Watches make the perfect accessory to gift a loved one, be it for Christmas, an anniversary, or a birthday. With that said, will you be getting a Brew Watch for yourself or a loved one? Let us know!  

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  10. Top Affordable Mechanical Watches for Men

    Top Affordable Mechanical Watches for Men

    When looking for an affordable timepiece, many people do not usually consider a mechanical watch. At least, they do not do so at first. More often than not, people would opt for a quartz wristwatch due to its price, which tends to be cheaper. To be sure, there are many high-quality quartz watches out there with great prices, but there are also numerous outstanding mechanical timepieces in the market that come with similar, affordable price tags. Despite being quite economical, each mechanical model is packed with complications and quality that you can trust. For this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best affordable mechanical watches available for the dashing enthusiast. 20 of the Best Affordable Mechanical Watches in the Market Affordable mechanical watches are not the easiest things to come by. But do not fear, for we have you covered. Listed below are 20 of the best affordable mechanical watches in the market. Keep in mind that the models are listed in no particular order and each piece is an excellent choice in its own right.  1. Seiko 5 SNK805 Image by: Ebay Our list starts with the military-inspired Seiko SNK805 from the Seiko 5 line, which features a no-nonsense matte-finish green dial that keeps things simple, with an inner ring for hour markers. Its outer ring contains numerals for the minutes and seconds, and a day-and-date complication at 3 o’clock. The 38mm stainless steel case is modest, lightweight, and unassuming in the best possible sense. Inside the watch is a reliable 7S26C mechanical movement that performs beyond the watch’s approximate price point of $100 USD. Combined with a green nylon strap, this affordable Seiko mechanical watch is homey and constantly ready to go. 2. Orient TriStar  Image by: Ebay When people ask about an affordable mechanical watch from Orient, the response is usually the Bambino. And without a doubt, the Bambino is great. Its elegance and affordability are undeniable. But Orient also has another affordable mechanical timepiece, which many people argue is actually better than the Bambino: the Orient TriStar. Marked by the three stars applied on its watch face, the TriStar has a history that dates back to the 1970s. The brand states that the TriStar was originally meant to be an option for countries with less access to replaceable quartz watch batteries. Weighing in at 40mm in diameter, the TriStar possesses a timeless look with its stainless steel case and classy light brown nylon strap. While some TriStar models can reach up to $200 USD, other pieces will only cost you around $100 USD. 3. Invicta Pro Diver 8926 Image by: Invicta Watch The Invicta Pro Diver is renowned in the watch community as one of the best affordable alternatives to the Rolex Submariner. In many respects, that statement does hold. First of all, an Invicta Pro Diver is worth around $100 USD. That affordability in itself should already be a point for consideration. The watch comes in a 40mm stainless steel case that has a water resistance capacity of 200m, and a matching, sleek stainless steel bracelet. Working behind the black dial is an NH35A mechanical movement, and you can view the caliber at work through an exhibition-style case back. In terms of looks and functionality, the Invicta Pro Diver is quite the selection. Sure, it’s not an actual Rolex, but it is definitely a great option as a mechanical watch, especially if you are working with a budget.  4. Citizen Promaster NY0040 While the Invicta Pro Diver is a great bargain, you can take a serious step up forward in terms of diver’s watches by shelling out a little more moolah for a Citizen Promaster. The Citizen NY0040 is an ISO-certified diver’s watch with a depth rating of 200m and a high-visibility black dial. Its 46mm stainless steel case features a blend of brushed and polished surfaces, giving it a rugged and super sporty appearance. Inside the case is an in-house 21-jewel Miyota 8200 movement. Truthfully, this is a watch that wants the attention, and if its specs are not enough to get yours, then maybe the under-$300 USD price tag will. 5. Timex Marlin Automatic California Dial Image By: Timex Timex describes the Marlin Automatic California as a watch inspired by vintage models during the 1930s to 1940s. With its classic looks and hand-wound movement, the Marlin Automatic California exudes sophistication and never fails to catch the eyes of on-lookers. Its rose gold-colored case is sleek in every sense of the word and gives the watch a luxurious feel. Beneath its alluring black dial is a tried-and-tested automatic movement equipped with 21 jewels and a 40-hour power reserve. Taking everything into account, it does come as quite the shocker that something this beautiful and reliable only costs around $250 USD. 6. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Hamilton is always a great choice when it comes to affordable automatic watches. The Khaki Field Mechanical is a piece of American watchmaking that pays homage to Hamilton’s rich heritage. Though the case leans towards the small side, measuring only 38mm in diameter, its brushed case, simple dial layout, and hacking capabilities allow this Hamilton to stand as a genuine American military field watch. Usually supplied with an ETA 2801-2 automatic movement, the Khaki Field Mechanical boasts a vintage military aesthetic and retails at under $500 USD.  7. Tissot Everytime Swissmatic Coming in at around $400 USD, the Tissot Everytime Swissmatic is a stylish yet affordable piece from the T-Classic collection, and is one of Tissot’s best entry-level mechanical watches. This watch offers the best of Swiss watchmaking, with its clean and minimalistic aesthetics. Its stark black dial contrasts delightfully against its silver-toned indices, long hands, and slim stainless steel case. This elegant look is topped off with a classy black leather strap. Apart from its dressy looks, another impressive aspect of the Everytime Swissmatic is its movement. Its automatic movement boasts a power reserve that can last up to 70 hours and has an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per day. For such an affordable price, it would prove quite a challenge to find a mechanical caliber as capable as this one. 8. Bulova Aerojet 98A187 While tourbillon watches are beyond the budgets of many, Bulova has a budget-friendly open-heart timepiece that almost anyone can afford. Covered by a 41mm stainless steel case, the Aerojet 98A187 showcases a grey dial with rose gold-colored indices, dauphine hands, and a circular window at 6 o’clock to give the dial a faux-tourbillon aesthetic. The window puts the spotlight on the Miyota movement’s balance wheel, where you can see it oscillate back and forth. You can also view the Miyota in its entirety through the Aerojet’s exhibition-style case back. The Bulova Aerojet 98A187 can be purchased at just only $299 USD. 9. Seiko Prospex “Save the Ocean” Samurai SBDY019 The “Save the Ocean” Samurai is a Seiko timepiece that needs no introduction. Several aspects make this Prospex diver iconic, including its design, heritage, reliability, and its price. To be exact, the Seiko SBDY019, also known as the SRPC93, is priced around $500 USD. Made in collaboration with Fabien Cousteau, grandson of world-renowned marine biologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the enigmatic SBDY019 comes in a 43.8mm stainless steel case paired with a dark matching sleek silver bracelet of the same material. Of course, the real star of the show is the watch’s dial. Its uneven blue gradient emulates the imagery of ocean waters, which is thematic on-point, considering this Seiko Samurai is a diver’s watch. The 4R35 movement that powers this mechanical watch is reliable and has manual winding and hacking capabilities.  10. Orient Kamasu Image By: StufflerMike (Watchuseek) It is pretty hard to find a mechanical watch under $300 USD. It is even more challenging to find one that also comes with protective sapphire glass, which is typically the most expensive of watch crystals. Fortunately, you can get all this and more with the Orient Kamasu. The Kamasu, formerly known as the Mako 3, is a diver’s watch that boasts a sturdy stainless steel case, 200m of water resistance, a layer of sapphire glass, and a cool blue rotating bezel. Inside the casing is a mesmerizing blue sunburst dial with outlined indices, hands, and a day-and-date window. This watch is powered by an automatic Orient Caliber F6922, which many say is able to match the reliability and accuracy of Seiko’s movements. Overall, this watch offers so much for so little, and is one of the best value-for-money mechanical timepieces you can get. 11. Vostok Amphibia Automatic Image By: Vostok Amphibia People who know about Vostok watches will definitely vouch for how great the Amphibia really is. As a brand, Vostok is the watch supplier for the Russian army. The Amphibia, in particular, is an affordable and robust watch made to withstand different environments. Costing around $90 USD, this Russian stainless steel mechanical watch with 200m of water resistance and a reliable Vostok automatic movement. This watch comes in a variety of colors and designs, meaning you certainly will not be limited by your options, and will easily be able to find a Vostok Amphibia that suits your specific tastes. Each Amphibia timepiece also has a power reserve that lasts for 31 hours when fully wound.  12. Nodus Sector Field Image By: Nodus Watches Sold at approximately $425 USD, the Nodus Sector Field is a mechanical field watch that comes with a variety of functions for your everyday needs. Its stainless steel case features a mix of bead-blasted and polished surfaces, a sapphire crystal, and a water resistance rating of 100m. The brown sunburst sector dial is beguiling, to say the least, and it comes with a sword-shaped handset that matches well with the overall design scheme of the watch. Underneath the watch face is a Seiko NH35 automatic movement, which Nodus regulated in four positions to achieve a precision rate of +/- 10 seconds per day.  13. Fossil Inscription Automatic Image By: Fossil Oftentimes, wearers like to be able to see their watch’s movements in action. However, not all wristwatches come with a display case or skeleton dial. In this case, we have found an affordable watch with a suave skeleton dial that allows you to view its intricate mechanical movement at work. The Fossil Inscription can come in a smoke or gold-tone case and boasts an octagonal curvature with screws unusually placed at each end of its bezel. It has a case size of 42mm, but its short lugs make it look much slimmer. This watch only has a water resistance capacity of 50m, which is not surprising considering its beautiful skeleton dial. Still, the Fossil piece is attractive and makes for a trusty $250 USD timekeeper. 14. Swatch Sistem51 Irony Sistem Boreal Image By: Swatch Even after years, the Swatch Sistem51 remains a fresh and modern take on mechanical watches. Assembled by an army of robots, each Sistem51 watch comes with an automatic movement equipped with 51 components, a central screw, and a 90-hour power reserve. There are many Sistem 51 timepieces to choose from, and they are all superb options. But one model that instantly catches our attention is the $215 USD Sistem51 Boreal. With its one-of-a-kind celestial dial, this Swatch watch comes in a finely-polished stainless steel case coupled with a matching stainless steel bracelet. Its beauty is magnificent and it is an affordable mechanical model that belongs in anybody’s collection. 15. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Mechanical Image By: Victorinox Retailing at approximately $650 USD, the Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Mechanical stands as the highest-priced affordable mechanical watch on our list. From its looks alone, you can understand why this Victorinox timepiece fetches such a price. It is both classy and sporty, and fits snugly thanks to its 40mm diameter and 9.9mm height. Located underneath the gorgeous asphalt-like watch face is an authentic Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement, which you can view clearly through the exhibition-style rear case. Equipped with triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire glass, 100m water resistance, and adequate lume, the Alliance Mechanical is an exceptional mechanical timepiece that instantly ups your class once you wear it. 16. Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto Image By: Hamilton Watch Its moniker of “King” is not just for show. With its handsome looks, military heritage, sturdy structure, and 80-hour power reserve, the Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto rightfully earns its title as the king. If you have been looking for an affordable mechanical watch for a while now, you should know that it is not easy finding something this capable, worth around just $575 USD. This Hamilton Khaki Field watch boasts a 50m water-resistant stainless steel case that uses an anti-reflective sapphire crystal on top. Its H-40 movement has a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and can be viewed through the open case back. 17. Marathon General Purpose Mechanical Image By: Marathon Watch The Marathon General Purpose Mechanical is a watch that leans on the small side, both in size and price. Worth around $360 USD, the General Purpose Mechanical sports a slender 34mm Fibershell case. Though the watch is quite slim in structure, its automatic movement packs a sizable punch. The timepiece uses a Seiko NH35 self-winding caliber, a kind of mechanical movement that winds itself through the natural motion of your wrist. After being fully wound, this Marathon wristwatch can last up to 41 hours. Sheltered by scratch-resistant sapphire glass, General Purpose Mechanical is dust-proof and water-resistant up to depths of 30m. 18. Laco Augsburg Image By: Laco Available in both 39mm and 42mm sizes, the Laco Augsburg boasts a highly legible dial with leaf-style hands and a generous amount of lume. Its Laco 21 automatic movement features manual hacking, which is a nice benefit to have on a $400 USD watch. Its case has some incredible profiling for an entry-level Flieger timepiece, and its case back provides a nice view of the mechanical movement in motion. 19. Tissot T-Classic Le Locle Powermatic 80 Another member of the T-Classic series, the Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 is an opulent yet luxurious mechanical watch that you will certainly want to try. Like the Khaki Field King Auto, the Le Locle Powermatic 80 costs around $575 USD. The model we have for this list is the Le Locle T006.407.16.053.00. This Powermatic 80 timepiece features a 39mm stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Its sector dial sports a vintage design with a patterned black surface, silver-toned Roman numerals, and leaf-shaped hands. Running the watch is the Powermatic 80 movement renowned for its 80-hour power reserve. 20. Seiko Presage Cocktail Time “Blue Moon” SRPB41J1 The last watch on this list is this stunning Presage piece Seiko made in collaboration with renowned Japanese bartender Ishigaki Shinobu. Commonly known as the Blue Moon, the SRPB41J1 is a prime example of exceptional Japanese watchmaking. Without a doubt, the best part about this watch is its dark blue sunburst dial. Its overall design and how it plays with light makes the watch an outstanding yet affordable work of art. Protected by a 40.5mm stainless steel case, the Blue Moon utilizes an automatic 4R35 movement. Tried and tested, this movement exhibits reliable accuracy and a 41-hour power reserve. If you want a mechanical watch that looks captivating while only costing you around $440 USD, look no further than the SRPB41J1. What is a Mechanical Watch? Essentially, a mechanical watch is a timepiece that utilizes a clockwork mechanism to tell the passage of time. This differs from a quartz model, which functions electronically with the help of a small battery. There are two kinds of mechanical watches: hand-wound and automatic. Hand-wound models get their power from being manually wound on a regular basis. Automatic movements, on the other hand, can supply power to itself through a self-winding apparatus. Mechanical watches, both hand-wound and automatic, typically have five main components: a mainspring, a gear train or wheel train, a balance wheel, an escapement mechanism, and, of course, a dial.  The mainspring is a spiral torsion spring that acts as the power source of the timepiece. Generally, the mainspring must be wound regularly, either by hand or by a self-winding apparatus, to keep the watch functioning. The energy received from the mainspring transfers via the gear train to the balance wheel. As the balance wheel oscillates back and forth from the force, the escapement mechanism releases the gear train to move forward with each swing of the balance wheel. This, in turn, moves the watch hands forward at a steady rate, making the watch “tick”.  Now, when you buy a mechanical watch, you need to bear a few things in mind. These models are very different from the regular quartz watches you see every day. If you are new to the concept of mechanical timepieces or have never invested in one, doing a bit of research will save you from a lot of unwarranted stress and will ensure that you are ready for your first mechanical timekeeper. Why Are Mechanical Watches So Expensive? Most mechanical timepieces tend to be more expensive than their quartz counterparts. While not all mechanical watches come at prices that break the bank – hence the point of this guide – there are several reasons why mechanical watches tend to be pricey in general. Quality First and foremost is the quality. Compared to quartz movements, watchmakers craft their mechanical movements with materials of the highest quality. As a result, the parts in a mechanical watch tend to be more durable, reliable, and resilient. When put together expertly by a skillful watchmaker, each component makes up a clockwork mechanism movement that is built to last for a lifetime. Craftsmanship Next, we have the craftsmanship of the watchmaker. It is not easy to forge a mechanical movement. It takes years of experience and practice to master the art. There are hundreds of parts that form an intricate structure inside a timepiece. How a watchmaker puts them all together, without any component misaligning, is a testament to the watchmaker’s craft. Heritage The third reason for the elevated prices of mechanical watches involves the watchmaker’s heritage. While there is a universal standard to making watches, each brand has its own method of creating a mechanical timepiece. A mechanical watch that is handmade traditionally is unique, as it highlights authenticity and exclusivity. Although the industry continues to dish out innovation after innovation, what remains true to every brand is the traditional values they personally imbue in their timepieces. Value All things put together, a mechanical watch comes out as a horological work of art. And just like a work of art, its value increases as time passes. In general, mechanical watches always appreciate and have a higher value over time, and this is especially true of models from the most recognized brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. Final Thoughts These mechanical watches are always fascinating to look at, especially when they come with a transparent case back that allows you to see their mechanical movements in all their glory. Seeing every component at work reminds you of the effort and expertise a watchmaker invests into their craft. Now, nobody is saying you should not splurge on a brand like Rolex or Omega, if you are able to. After all, luxury watches, including mechanical ones, come at a much more exorbitant cost due to their overall elevated value. That said, our list today is a reminder that you can still acquire an exceptional mechanical wristwatch without ever having to break the bank. Looking for fine additions to your Classic Watch collection? Have a look at this article on 20 Classic Watches that also act as collectible pieces Photo credits to WatchShopping.com unless otherwise stated.

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  11. 16 Best Watches Under $2000

    16 Best Watches Under $2000

    You might not know this, but the most common entry-level price range for luxury watches happens to be somewhere between $1,000 USD and $3,000 USD. If you are looking for a sophisticated luxury timepiece, but you have a set budget of under $2,000 USD, then you have come to the right page. What do you look for in a luxury watch? Is it a product made from precious metals? Something that can last you for decades or generations? A watch that can elevate your public image? Indeed, luxury timepieces have a lot to offer, which is why they do not come cheaply.  Fear not, however! We have compiled 16 of the best luxury watches that fall entirely within your budget limit. Each timepiece in this list is famous for its classic style, reliability, and affordability. Watches Under $2,000: Our Top Picks 1. Monta Atlas GMT When you mix sophisticated with sporty, you get Monta’s Atlas GMT.This Monta watch’s stainless steel case is both polished and brushed, giving it a professional, gleaming sheen. It also comes with a sapphire crystal, applied dial elements, and several other quality parts like a signed buckle, rotor, and teeth-edged crown. Its striking black dial is its real highlight. It gives you a classy feel, with its sunburst black backdrop contrasted against silver appliques and vibrant red accents. In addition, the Monta Atlas GMT is equipped with a Swiss Sellita SW300 movement, which is an upgrade from the SW200. The SW300 variation comes with a GMT complication that allows for the tracking of a second-time zone. It also offers approximately 42 hours of power reserve, making it ideal for everyday wear. It is water-resistant up to  depths of 150 meters, meaning you can easily bring it to your casual diving activities. Just be prepared to fork out about $1,850 USD for this luxurious timepiece. 2. Seiko Presage Ref. SPB095  When it comes to pristine watch craftsmanship that comes at affordable prices, Seiko is second to no one. This has been proven with its Seiko Presage line, which offers meticulous in-house watchmaking, excellent value, and  flawlessly-made dials that showcase the legendary Japanese Shokunin culture.  One exceptional watch from this line is the Seiko Presage SPB095J1. This watch’s dial is made out from exquisite Arita porcelain, giving it an unusual, snow-white surface. This dial is made from the artistic brilliance of Hiroyuki Hashiguchi, and a team of expert craftsmen from the island of Kyushu. Moreover, the Seiko Presage SPB095J1 is powered with Seiko’s very own caliber 6R35 automatic movement. This is a powerful movement with a whopping 70 hours of power reserve. It also has a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters, making it a great collectible piece. For just $1,700 USD, you can buy this one-of-a-kind Japanese luxury watch. 3. NOMOS Club Campus Ref. 738 NOMOS Glashutte is a relatively small and independent watch brand. That said, it has managed to make a formidable name for itself in a surprisingly short amount of time. This is mostly because the brand continuously focuses on developing high-quality yet accessible watches. In particular, these NOMOS Glashutte watches come with  powerful in-house calibers that are priced quite reasonable. The NOMOS Club series is an ideal testament to that reputation. The Nomos Glashutte Club 738 has a price tag of $1,650 USD and offers customers a 38.5mm case made of polished steel. It boasts one of the brand’s signature calibers, the Alpha. This manual movement accurately tells the hours, minutes, and seconds. It also has a substantial 43-hour power reserve. This watch’s youthful and stylish approach makes it ideal for students or graduates looking for the best watches under $2,000. 4. Longines The Longines Master Collection Ref. L29094786  The Master Collection from Longines made its debut back in 2005 and has been a crowd favorite ever since. The beautiful Longines Master Collection L29094786 is a particular standout from this range. This stainless steel watch comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Its textured dial features blued steel hands that sweep majestically over painted Arabic numeral markers. This watch also has a 64-hour power reserve, so you do not have to worry about winding it over the weekends. The bracelet on this Longines timepiece is made of stainless steel, and has a buckle to keep the watch securely fitted on your wrist.  Today, the Longines Master watch retails at a price of $1,650 USD. It is a must-have watch for those looking for a simple yet luxurious piece at a budget-friendly price. 5. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough Here is something that fits right in the budget range of the middle class. This Eco-Drive Tough watch from the Citizen Promaster collection features a basic watch design equipped with the latest quartz technology. This watch’s steel monobloc case is water-resistant up to depths of 200 meters. Along with the stainless steel bracelet and case comes a synthetic sapphire crystal and a secure screw-down crown. The watch is also eco-friendly and can be powered by light, thanks to the  Eco-Drive technology of Citizen. Retailing at $400 USD, this is a great and affordable all-rounder timepiece. 6. Bell & Ross Ref. BR V1-92  Like NOMOS, Bell & Ross is another relatively young, modern watchmaking brand. Launched in the 1990s, Bell & Ross has grown into one of the most well-known luxury brands out there today. The minimalistic and striking dial design of Bell & Ross Vintage BRV192 is what helps this watch stand out. This Bell & Ross Vintage piece also boasts a conventional round case with a slim size of 38.5mm.The Sellita SW300-1, a Swiss version of the more established ETA 2892, is what powers this regal timepiece.  For just $1,669 USD, you can own this handsome watch, which is also equipped with a water resistance rating of 100 meters. 7. Hamilton Khaki Aviation Ref. H64666155 Hamilton is a brand popularly known for its collection of top-notch and uniquely well-crafted watches. The minimalist yet sophisticated design of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation H64666155 makes it one of the most sought-after pieces of Hamilton. Its stainless steel case and bracelet perfectly match the striking silver dial. This is paired with luminous grey hands and three gleaming silver sub-dials to complete the whole exquisite look. This watch also comes with a sapphire crystal and a skeleton case back that allows you to view the watch’s movement at work.  What’s more, this Hamilton Khaki Aviation watch is powered by a first-class in-house caliber H-31. This is a type of movement crafted based on the ETA 7753 caliber. The H-31 movement delivers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours when fully wound. You can purchase this watch for around $1,139 USD only. 8. Tissot Heritage Navigator Ref. T078.641.16.037.00 Tissot remains at the top of its game when it comes to designing and creating a wide variety of functional and distinctive watches. Simply put, they offer all kinds of timepieces, whether you are looking for a classy automatic piece or a rugged sports watch. In particular, the Tissot Heritage T078.641.16.037.00 is one of the best timepieces worth having on your wrist. It is a watch that is exclusively designed to explore the world, and comes with a multitude of time zones. This watch was released during the celebration of Tissot’s 160th anniversary in 2013. It is aesthetically designed, with a 43mm round stainless steel case that perfectly complements the stunning silver dial. A brown leather strap is used to complete the watch’s eye-catching and timeless look. On top of that, this Tissot watch runs on a top-notch ETA caliber 2893-3 automatic movement. It offers 46 hours of reserve power, making the model in question an ideal, user-friendly timekeeper. In the end, what entirely makes the timepiece worth-owning is its first-class value. This Tissot Heritage luxury watch is available for just $1,729 USD, which is a very reasonable price considering its numerous superb features. 9. Tudor 1926 Automatic Ref. 91650-0001 Tudor is a brand highly coveted for its excellent craftsmanship,  and is known for inventing high-caliber watches at affordable prices. Although it was first always associated with the more prestigious Rolex, Tudor never gave up on establishing its own reputation in the world of horology. Over the years, the brand has  created several iconic timepieces like the Tudor Black Bay and Tudor North Flag. However, one variant we want you to take a closer look at is the minimalist yet exquisite Tudor 1926 91650-0001. Available at just $1,719 USD, it  is a beautiful casual timepiece equipped with top-notch features. The case and bracelet are made from stainless steel, which perfectly complements the striking silver dial. The dial itself is furnished with gold-tone lead hands and Arabic numeral indices. Finally, this Tudor 1926 timepiece is equipped with an in-house Swiss caliber 2824 automatic movement.  10. Tutima Glashütte Grand Flieger Ref. 6105-02 Tutima Glashutte has experienced many ups and downs in the years of its watch industry operation. Nevertheless, Tutima Glashutte has persisted, eventually establishing itself as a top-notch German watch brand. Perhaps its best-known achievement is its creation of the iconic Tutima Glashutte Grand Flieger 6105-02. This is a pilot watch that has gained a lot of attention from the watch community. Since its release, this luxury timepiece remains a sought-after collectible item among seasoned connoisseurs. Even at first glance, this Tutima Glashuette Grand Flieger watch is recognizable due to its striking black dial, which boasts power and practicality. It features a stainless steel case and bracelet with a see-through case back. It is powered by top-notch in-house caliber 330 movement, which has 30 hours of power reserve. For just $1,809 USD, anyone can own this legendary German watch under $2,000. 11. Meistersinger New Vintage Ref. VT903_SN02 The next German brand on our list is MeisterSinger. This is a brand famous for its collection of traditional watches equipped with contemporary,  state-of-the-art functions. The MeisterSinger New Vintage VT903_SN02 is one of its superior vintage-inspired timepieces furnished with excellent features. This watch offers a classic appearance with its ivory dial, which is complemented by a stainless steel case and brown leather strap. Like other MeisterSinger variants, this timepiece also comes with a sapphire crystal and a transparent case back. Its 38mm size is also ideal for anyone with a smaller-to-average size wrist. More than that, what ticks inside this MeisterSinger New Vintage watch is a high-caliber Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (“vph”) and has a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. You can purchase this vintage-inspired watch for just $1,579 USD. This is a very reasonable price considering its superior features and gorgeous quintessential aesthetics. 12. Oris Big Crown Propilot Ref. 0175477414065-0782022 If you love wearing durable stainless steel watches, look no further. We highly recommend the Oris Big Crown 0175477414065-0782022, which is available at $1,499 USD. This Oris watch boasts an incredibly elegant face. This is all thanks to its glamorous matte blue dial, which is furnished with luminous cathedral hands, painted Arabic numeral indices, and vibrant red accents. Its case and bracelet are all made from stainless steel. The Swiss movement that runs inside this Oris Big Crown watch is its real show-stopper. Oris utilised their very own 754 automatic movement, which is crafted based on  the top-notch Sellita SW200-1. Ultimately, this Oris luxury watch under $2,000 is aesthetically designed, with all the  functions you need in a timekeeper. 13. Sinn Instruments Watch Ref. 104.011 Sinn is another German watchmaker known for producing top-notch watches made to assist working professionals on their missions. Sinn is noteworthy for its watches’ robustness, ruggedness, and reliability. The Sinn Instrument Watches 104.011 is one of its most functional vintage-inspired watches. Its 41mm case is made from stainless steel, which matches the grandiose black dial, bezel, and brown cowhide strap. It also comes with a sapphire crystal to protect the dial from any kinds of external threats. Equipped with a first-class caliber SW220-1 automatic movement, this Sinn Instrument Watch watch offers unmatched precision. It also comes with anti-magnetic features and beats at approximately 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour. Do not worry about the price, as this watch is available at just $1,599 USD. 14. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch Ref. FC-285B5B6B If you are looking to own a timeless watch that will forever remain iconic and relevant, then Frédérique Constant has just the thing for you. The Swiss brand leads the horology industry with its expertly crafted luxury watches available at very budget-friendly prices. In fact, the handsome  Frédérique Constant Horological Smartwatch FC-285B5B6B is particularly accessible, retailing at $829 USD only. This watch features a stainless steel case and bracelet that ensures excellent durability. It also has a bold jet-black dial furnished with silver leaf hands and classy Roman numeral indices. It also comes with a solid steel case back and a high-quality, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial. This Frédérique Constant Horological Smartwatch watch relies on a precise MMT-285 quartz movement. This timepiece comes with a display notification feature to let you know if someone has called or sent you a message. It also offers health tools, such as heart rate tracking, that allows you to monitor your health status. 15. Grand Seiko 9F Quartz Ref. STGF265 Grand Seiko is a top-tier brand best known for its incredible  ±1 second day-to-day accuracy. The brand never fails to impress with its luxurious timepieces, which are equipped with uniquely Japanese styles and state-of-the-art watch technology. One variant that you may consider adding to your collection is the good-looking Grand Seiko 9F Quartz STGF265. At a glance, you can already tell how exquisite this watch is. Its case and bracelet are made of stainless steel, which match the lovely beige dial. It measures 28.5mm in diameter, a perfect size for women’s wrists. Equipped with a top-notch caliber 4J52 quartz movement, this Grand Seiko 9F Quartz watch is not only stylish but also remarkably accurate. For just $1,959 USD, you can own this beautiful and reliable timepiece. 16. Junghans Max Bill Ref. 027/4700.02 Junghans is the go-to watch brand for anyone seeking timepieces that incorporate cutting-edge technology with minimalist designs. As another German watch brand, Junghans is sought-after for its collection of Bauhaus-inspired watches packed with exceptional features. One luxurious piece it offers is the minimalist yet elegant Junghans Max Bill 027/4700.02. This watch is sold at a very reasonable price of $1,199 USD. It features a round stainless steel case, which matches the appealing matte silver dial. Like other Junghans models, this version is equipped with a sapphire crystal to protect the dial from any damage. This Junghans Max Bill watch is powered by a powerful caliber J800.1 automatic movement. When the watch is fully wound, it offers up to 38 hours of power. All in all, this is the perfect option for those looking for a good minimalist timepiece with a budget-friendly price. Final Thoughts Regardless of which type of watch you want to own, our lists of best watches under $2 000 USD will never disappoint you. Each timepiece in this rundown offers unique styles and aesthetics, all of which are equally functional and reliable. Though every brand  listed here has its own signature features,  they all have the same primary goal. That is, to provide you with the best timekeeping experience at the most affordable prices possible.  Want to know more about what are the most iconic watches today? Check our article about the 10 Most Iconic Watches. Photos credit to Watchshopping.com.

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