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  2. Italian Watches: 10 Best Italian Watch Brands You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

    Italian Watches: 10 Best Italian Watch Brands You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

    There are some countries that are especially prominent in the watchmaking world, namely Switzerland and Japan. This is because Swiss and Japanese watch brands have played a huge role in forging the industry into what it is today.  That said, people sometimes forget that other countries can also master the art of making watches, and with their own unique touches to boot. This is why we have curated a list of the best Italian watch brands in the market, along with Italian watches in their catalogs that you should definitely check out. Read on to find out more. 10 Italian Watch Brands and the Best Italian Watches They Offer 1. Bulgari  To start off our list strong, we have Bulgari. This is one of the most well-established Italian watch brands in the market. Bulgari is a beloved name in the fashion industry and has been gracing the world with its well-crafted jewelry for over a century now.  One thing that sets Bulgari apart from other companies is how it integrates its mastery over making accessories with watchmaking. This gives Bulgari’s Italian watches a certain, special flair that virtually no other brand can replicate, making the brand even more appealing to watch collectors.  Bulgari caters to both men and women. These Italian watches can be divided into eight different collections. For ladies, Bulgari offers the Serpenti, Lucea, Divas’ Dream, High Jewelry, Bulgari Bulgari, and Grande Complications watch lines. Men, on the other hand, can choose from the Octo, Gerald Genta, Bulgari Bulgari, and Grande Complications collections.  One of Bulgari’s most highly-regarded watches is the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ref. 103464, which boasts a very modern and chic look. This is a very impressive model, both in terms of design and engineering, as it shows off an ultra-slim exterior that only the best watchmakers can achieve. With a price tag of around $12,000 USD, this piece gives you a good estimate of Bulgari’s price range.  2. Gagà Milano Another Italian watch brand you should keep on your radar is Gagà Milano. It is a relatively new player in the watchmaking game, having been founded in the early 2000s.  The word Gagà refers to a common Milanese expression used to describe a man who is sophisticated both in manners and style. This definition plays a big role in the concept of Gagà Milano, which revolves around intricate and modern watchmaking techniques. Today, Gagà Milano specializes in creating stylish, chic, and eccentric Italian watches that truly complement the individuality of its wearer.  Gagà Milano has a very extensive catalog in its arsenal, consisting of numerous watch lines with very diverse models. Some of the collections under its belt include the Napoleone, Manuale 48mm, Classic, Slim, Quirky Tourbillon, Silver, and many more. The brand also has a special, limited-edition series developed in collaboration with famous football player Neymar Jr, the Neymar Jr. Limited Edition. Given its unconventionality as a watch manufacturer, there is little wonder why so many aficionados have been captivated by Gagà Milano.  Another great thing about Gagà Milano is that it has reasonably-priced pieces that typically fall within the $500 USD to $3,000 USD range. For instance, the Gagà Milano Manuale 48mm Ref. 5213MIR01S is one of its best-selling models. Priced at just $1,380 USD, it has a very fun and quirky design that truly stands out amongst the more traditional, classic watches. It is a great starter piece for those who enjoy playful, avant-garde accessories. 3. Panerai  Next on our list of Italian watch brands is Panerai, another well-established manufacturer of Italian watches. This company was founded by Giovanni Panerai in 1960. It acted as a store, a workshop, and a watchmaking school.  In the decades that followed, Panerai was able to make a name for itself and eventually became one of the most luxurious watchmakers in the industry. Today, Panerai is known for its stylishly bold timepieces that are just as impressive on the inside.  Reputation-wise, Panerai is one of the go-to brands for those who love oversized watches. The timepieces Panerai make are incredibly robust yet elegant, which makes them a great addition to any watch collection.  The brand’s watches can be divided into four different lines: the Submersible, the Luminor, the Luminor Due, and the Radiomir. While this might seem like a limited selection of models, the Italian brand manages to cover all the important categories, from hardy survival watches to more formal dress pieces.  One of the most renowned models in Panerai’s assortment is the Panerai PAM 125. This is a handsome piece from the brand’s Luminor series and it showcases a simple yet rugged exterior. While it has a more straightforward design, its simplicity complements the overall sportiness and robustness of the watch. Priced at around $5780 USD, this is a fail-safe option for novice Panerai collectors. 4. Gucci In this entry, we have one of the most famous names in the fashion industry: Gucci. While it is more famous for its flamboyant luxury apparel, Gucci also has an array of designer timepieces in its portfolio.  Gucci was founded in 1921, by its namesake Guccio Gucci. However, the brand only started creating Swiss-made watches in 1972. As an Italian watch brand, however, Gucci also made sure to incorporate the vibrancy that comes with its cultural roots into the pieces it creates. This is precisely why Gucci watches are perfect for those who enjoy overtly extravagant accessories.  This big-league fashion brand has a decently-sized selection of timepieces in its catalogue. These watches are mainly categorised into two sections: men’s watches and women’s watches. However, the brand also has special collections such as the Gucci 25H Timepieces, G-Timeless, and Grip watches.  If you are a fan of Gucci’s clothing lines, you probably have a good idea as to how much its products cost already. Indeed, Gucci’s watches come at a similar price range too, starting at $500 USD and going up to around $1,500 USD.  One of the most popular models under this brand is the Gucci G-Timeless Ref. YA1264148. This watch shows off a striking and elaborate design that fully embodies the Gucci name. This makes it very recognisable and true to the brand’s stylistic core. It sells at around $870 USD.  5. Emporio Armani  Like Gucci, Emporio Armani is another very well-known name in the luxury fashion world. Founded in 1975 by Giorgio Armani, the brand started making timepieces rather early on. This allowed Emporio Armani to quickly establish a place for itself in the premium watch market. Emprio Armani watches tend to boast classical Italian styles which are incredibly versatile, perfect for all kinds of occasions.   At present, Emporio Armani has more than 100 timepieces in its diverse portfolio, with about 58 watches for women and 72 models for men. On top of that, all Emporio Armani pieces showcase quintessential designs that are easy to pair with different outfits. If you want a more classic take on Italian watches, Emporio Armani is definitely the brand to check out. The best part is that you do not have to break the bank for these watches, as they typically range from around $100 USD to $600 USD.  Take, for instance, the incredibly affordable Emporio Armani Renato Ref. AR11184, which costs just $150 USD. With its subtle all-black colourway, this watch has a stylish and chic aesthetic that goes well with just about any ensemble. While it may not be as striking or as fancy as some of the other Italian watches mentioned in this list, its straightforwardness is what makes it worth checking out.  6. Salvatore Ferragamo Next, we have Salvatore Ferragamo. As with Gucci and Armani, this Italian luxury brand is renowned in the fashion industry. It was founded in 1927 by is namesake, Salvatore Ferragamo. Today, it is best known for offering bold and sophisticated goods such as shoes, bags, and even timepieces. Watches are not actually Salvatore Ferragamo’s specialty. Nevertheless, it has been able to produce excellently-crafted models that wonderfully combine Italian designs with Swiss watchmaking.  Salvatore Ferragamo watches can be categorised into timepieces for men and women, amounting to around 70 models in total. While it may sound like the brand has limited options, it actually presents a rather wide variety of watch types for you to choose from. These range from chronographs and skeleton pieces, to dress and sports watches.  On top of that, Salvatore Ferragamo is also famous for having sustainable, environmentally-friendly models. These were made with less negative environmental impact than standard timepieces from other brands. In general, the prices of Salvatore Ferragamo watches range from around $800 USD to $2,000 USD.  Our favorite piece from Salvatore Ferragamo is the Ferragamo Experience Watch which is priced at $1195 USD. This is a standout timepiece that boasts an excellent mix of Swiss and Italian craftsmanship. It has a sporty, masculine build that exudes very casual and laidback vibes. On the whole, this is a good starter piece for those who are unfamiliar with Italian watches.  7. Locman Locman, on the other hand, is a company that only true Italian watch connoisseurs would know. Founded in the 1980s by Marco Mantovani, this brand stands out because of its specific, unique vision and concept.  Locman was first established in the Island of Elba. As a result most, if not all of its timepieces are inspired by the sea. The brand has also made sure to incorporate its devotion and high regard for its home in every watch it produces, allowing for some truly meaningful creations.  Locman currently has 10 different collections: Amo, Limited Editions, Montecristo, 1960, Stealth, Mare, Ducati, Sport Anniversary, Island, and Isle d’Elba. Each series shows off different styles and functions, raising from sporty and casual to classic and formal.  Another cool thing about Locman is that it offers a rather wide range of prices. Its watches start at approximately $400 US and can go up to over $1,00 USD. Ultimately, as a watchmaker, Locman believes that refinement and Italianness come hand-in-hand, and this is definitely reflected in its portfolio.  The Isola d’Elba Ref. 0460A02-00BLWHPB serves as the perfect representation of what Locman’s watchmaking ideals are all about. It has a marine-inspired exterior that showcases both traditional and modern design cues. This watch also runs on a powerful quartz Miyota 2115 movement, making it a treat in terms of both visuals and functionality. Retailing at around $535 US, this is a great choice for those who love dive watches.  8. Anonimo Anonimo is one of the best options for those seeking an Italian watch brand that incorporates Swiss watchmaking into their process. While it might not be as prestigious as some of the other brands on this list, Anonimo has truly mastered the art of fusing Italian and Swiss watchmaking techniques, and this shows clearly in its catalog. Looks-wise, Anonimo watches look quite similar to some Panerai models. As such, it is an excellent option for those who love robust and chunky accessories.  Anonimo offers four main collections: Epurato, Militare, Nautilo, and the Special Series. While these watches differ in size, shape, colorway, and functionality, all the models Anonimo offers come an air of sophistication that not many other brands can replicate. Anonimo watches are typically priced at around $2,000 USD to $6,000 USD.  The Anonimo Epurato Ref. AM-4000.01.101.W11 shows off a ruggedly handsome build paired with an excellent Swiss-made SW200-1 movement. Despite its large size, it still boasts a rather elegant feel, thanks to its simple and straightforward design. Worth around $2,300 USD, this is definitely a model to check out if you enjoy sturdy Italian watches.  9. Zannetti The next Italian watch brand on our list is Zannetti, which has some of the most artistic timepieces out there. Just by looking at any one of its creations, and you can tell that the value that Zannetti places on style and visuals.  Zannetti was founded in 1982 by Riccardo Zannetti, with the aim of spreading Italian creativity to the world. Decades later, it is safe to say that the brand has been able to achieve this goal. It has consistently produced beautifully-designed watches that show off clear, flamboyant Italian influences.  With a total of 14 collections under its belt, you certainly will not run out of options with Zannetti. Each and every watch line it has revolves around a certain theme or concept that reflects its Italian heritage. For example, the brand has a Gladiator and a Palatino series, both of which are associated with Rome. Since Zannetti’s watches are nothing short of masterful, their thousand dollar price tags seems quite justified on the whole. One of the brand’s most intriguing models is the Zannetti Discobolo. This watch takes inspiration from the famous statue of the same name. The dial of this piece shows off the brand’s artistic interpretation of the sculpture, giving it a very classic Roman aesthetic. The Zannetti Discobolo is priced at around $8,500 USD.  10. Mazzucato Last but definitely not the least, we have Mazzucato. This is an Italian watch brand that offers ultra-modern timepieces. It was founded by Simone Mazzucato, who is also the brilliant mind behind the brand’s forward-looking designs. With a background in Industrial Design, Mazzucato shared his expertise with the world by creating cutting-edge timepieces that boast utmost functionality.  Mazzucato currently has five collections: RIM Sport, RIM Monza, RIM Scuba, RIM GT, and RIM SUB. While each line has a different purpose, every single Mazzucato watch comes with an incredibly advance design that only true masters can craft.  To fit its #NeverBoring slogan, Mazzucato is not bound by traditional watchmaking techniques at all. The brand values innovation in all aspects, which allows it to stand out from the other watchmakers in this list. That said, good things do not come cheap. Expect to drop a couple thousand bucks to get your hands on a Mazzucato timepiece.  One of Mazzucato’s most striking models is the RIM Sport Chronograph. This watch makes use of the brand’s signature Reverse Industrial Movement (RIM) which allows for 2 dials and 2 movements in one watch. One side is driven by a high-performance automatic mechanism while the other showcases an excellent chronograph movement.   It also has a very powerful and futuristic-looking exterior that perfectly matches its robust mechanism. If you are hooked on this watch like we are, all you need is $1,400 USD to acquire one for yourself.  Final Thoughts  While this list only has ten Italian watch brands, there are definitely others out there that also deserve to be recognized. Many of them serve as a reflection of both Italian culture and watchmaking which is why they are worth researching on. Hopefully, this article has shown you that there is more to the industry than just Swiss and Japanese-made watches!  Photo Credits: Official Watch Brand SitesEnjoy reading listicles? Check out this piece on the 15 Best Tonneau Watches!

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  4. Rolex Coke: Everybody’s Favorite GMT Watch

    Rolex Coke: Everybody’s Favorite GMT Watch

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

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  5. Bulova Devil Diver Review: The Cool And Affordable Dive Watch

    Bulova Devil Diver Review: The Cool And Affordable Dive Watch

    One issue faced by many American watch brands is that they tend to be rather underrated and shrugged off by many watch patrons. This is because, globally, whether it is the watch community or just casual folks unfamiliar with watches, people tend to be more familiar with timepieces that are made in European countries like Germany and Switzerland. While German and Swiss watches are certainly deserving of the prestige and recognition they receive, this does not mean American watches should be overlooked either. One top-notch American watch brand that deserves more recognition is Bulova, whose humble beginnings originated in New York City. Bulova is a diverse watch brand, known for catering to younger generations while also showing off a selection of exquisite vintage-influenced pieces. One such vintage watch that Bulova is famous for is the Bulova Oceanographer. More popularly known as the “Bulova Devil Diver”, the Bulova Oceanographer collection is a tribute to the brand’s acclaimed 1970s Oceanographer dive watch, which is highly regarded as a retro classic. With the original Oceanographer being discontinued, the new, upgraded version of the Bulova Devil Diver has become a popular favorite for all those vintage dive watch fans. This article will be taking a closer look at the modern Bulova Devil Diver, including its specifications, price, and everything you need to know about this dive watch. A Brief Background on the Bulova Devil Diver Founded in 1875, Bulova was one of the first brands that helped kickstart the American watch industry. In establishing its reputation as a top-notch watchmaker, Bulova produced a number of classic timepieces that remain quite popular in the market today, particularly in America. One such classic timepiece was the Oceanographer. Introduced in the 1970s, the Oceanographer was Bulova’s attempt at breaking into the dive watch market. As those familiar with the watch industry will know, dive pieces have always been a major part of the industry. Owning an excellent dive watch can be a sign of prestige for the wearer, but being able to craft an outstanding dive watch is a mark of a watchmaker’s expertise and skill. This resulted in many watch brands introducing their own renditions of the dive watch, with the Oceanographer being Bulova’s. While the original Oceanographer was discontinued, it remained a popular icon in the American watch market. Eventually, the brand revived the Oceanographer through its modern Bulova Oceanographer series. Nicknamed the “Bulova Devil Diver”, this is a line of quintessential dive watches that focuses on uniqueness and minimalism, rather than incorporating a multitude of confusing complications. This contributes to their timelessness and is one of the main reasons why the Bulova Devil Diver holds such value as a vintage-influenced classic. With their unusual, bright colourways and straightforward, easy-to-use layouts, the Bulova Devil Diver timepieces all exude a simple, exquisite charm. On top of being engineered with high-quality materials, the bright colour schemes of the Bulova Devil Diver watches also make it easier for divers to read the time underwater, making them more effective, practical, and eye-catching dive pieces. In the next section, we will be reviewing the 2019 Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B322 and everything it has to offer. Specifications Case The Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B322 comes in a 44mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, with curved lugs that make the watch look smaller than it is. This 44mm diameter is quite standard, allowing this watch to fit well on wrists of all sizes. Fixed on top of the case is the Bulova Devil Diver’s signature two-toned bezel, made of scratch-resistant stainless steel. This unidirectional rotating bezel also shows off an elapsed time scale insert in handsome black and sea-green hues. Instead of the resin paint used by the original Bulova Oceanographer, the Bulova Devil Diver 96B320’s bezel uses modern acrylic paint, which is less flakey. On the right side of the case, you can find a sizeable unguarded crown. This stainless steel crown has finely grooved edges, which provides wearers with a better grip so they can grasp and turn the crown more easily. The underside of the Bulova Devil Diver is sealed shut with a stainless steel caseback, engraved with the brand’s name. This caseback is also securely screwed down, giving the watch its impressive 200-meter water resistance capacity and keeping its inner mechanisms safe from any moisture or dust. Dial Paired with the black and green bezel is the Bulova Devil Diver’s green dial. This dial looks almost like a shimmering green ocean when viewed under the right light, harkening back to the watch’s status as a dive piece. On top of boasting such a gorgeous shade of sea green, this dial also follows a very simple, clutter-free layout that is easy to read with just a glance. Indeed, this straightforward dial is one of the Bulova Devil Diver’s strengths as a dive watch. It comprises perfectly circular hour markers, thick sword-shaped hands, a rectangular date window outlined in silver, and a minute track with slim indices. As with most dive watches, the hands and hour markers of the Bulova Devil Diver are all generously coated with lume. In dim lighting conditions, the lume in the Bulova Devil Diver glows green, matching the watch’s green dial and allowing for optimal legibility at all times. Fitted on top of this watch face is a box-shaped sapphire crystal. As the hardest type of watch glass available, this sapphire crystal keeps the dial safe from any impacts or scratches. Movement Driving the Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B322 is a Japanese Miyota 821D movement. While it lacks any sort of flashy complications, as a Japanese caliber, this self-winding movement is incredibly reliable. Held together by 21 jewels, this caliber beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and has a substantial power reserve of 42 hours. It is also equipped with quick-set date and hacking seconds functions, which ensures more precise timekeeping. Watch Strap Finishing off the Bulova Devil Diver’s sleek look is a robust three-link stainless steel bracelet. This bracelet comes with a double-press fold-over buckle, which keeps it securely fastened to your wrist. In addition, it also has a safety bar and extender, so that those with larger wrists can quickly adjust the length of the bracelet to ensure it fits better. On the whole, this bracelet adds to the professional look of the Bulova Devil Diver, making it a great choice for any formal events you might have. In addition, it is also completely waterproof, so you can even bring the Bulova Devil Diver with you on your deepsea adventures without ever worrying about getting the strap damaged. Price The price for the Bulova Oceanographer Ref. 96B350 starts at around $559 USD in retail. This is a relatively affordable price, especially for such a reliable dive watch. Best Bulova Devil Diver Models 1. Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B350 Image courtesy of Bulova For those who enjoy more unusual, vibrant timepieces, one of the best Bulova Devil Diver models available is the Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B350. Released in 2021, this is one of the most recent versions of the Bulova Devil Diver available. It comes in a 41mm tonneau-shaped case made of stainless steel, with curved lugs and a matching stainless steel bezel. This bezel bears the signature Devil Diver two-toned insert, with the first quarter showing off a bright orange hue and the rest of the bezel coming in jet-black. This handy elapsed time scale insert helps wearers keep track of the amount of time they have spent underwater. The dial of the watch also comes in the same playful shade of orange, perfectly complementing the bezel. Aside from that, this dial is also furnished with dot hour markers, broad sword-shaped hands, a date complication at 3 o’clock, a minute track, and at the center of the dial, a pattern of crossed lines, reminiscent of an archery target. Underneath this lively watch face, you can find a Japanese Miyota 821D caliber. This movement has a power reserve of 42 hours and gives the watch a solid depth rating of 300 meters. This Bulova Devil Diver’s look is completed by a robust, thick polyurethane strap in black. This strap is incredibly robust and virtually impossible to break or snap. This makes it extremely secure and a perfect choice to tackle all sorts of tough challenges underwater, as you can rest assured that your Bulova Devil Diver piece will never come off. That said, one downside to the Bulova Devil Diver’s polyurethane strap is that some wearers have complained of it actually being too thick. This adds to the weight of the strap, making it less than ideal for everyday use or casual wear. In addition, wearing this thick strap while going about your daily routines can also be a little stuffy and sweaty, leading to some discomfort. All in all, frequent divers are sure to appreciate the robustness of the Bulova Devil Diver’s strap. However, those who want to utilize this watch for everyday use might prefer to check out some alternative after-market strap options. You can purchase the Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B350 for around $600 USD. 2. Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B320 Those who enjoy sportier-looking timepieces are sure to enjoy the Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B320. This watch is housed in a 40mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, making it the smallest of the Bulova Devil Diver pieces in this article. This is coupled with slender, curved lugs and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. As part of the Bulova Devil Diver trademark, this watch also bears a two-toned stainless steel bezel, in colorful blue and yellow hues. Engraved on the bezel are indicators in black and white for the elapsed time scale, which stand out strongly against the contrasting yellow and blue backgrounds, allowing for optimal legibility. The dial of this watch also comes in a rugged matte blue color. It is adorned with luminous hour markers, broad luminous sword hands, a date aperture outlined in silver at 3 o’clock, and a bright yellow lollipop seconds hand. At the center of the dial, you can find two yellow lines in the shape of a target cross, casting a sharp, eye-catching contrast against the blue background. On top of that, the watch’s details are also painted in white on the dial, including its brand name and its 200-meter, or 666-feet water resistance capacity — the source of the watch’s “Devil Diver” nickname. Driving this watch is a Japanese Miyota 821D caliber. Held together by 21 jewels, this self-winding movement can last for up to 42 hours when fully wound. The Bulova “Devil Diver” Oceanographer 96B320 retails at around $559 USD. Alternatives to the Bulova Devil Diver 1. Gucci Dive Ref. YA136209A As far as quartz watches go, the Gucci Dive Ref. YA136209A takes the cake in terms of being a reliable, stylish quartz dive watch. This sporty-looking Gucci watch is presented in a sizeable 45mm stainless steel case, making it larger than any of the Bulova Devil Diver pieces. This is coupled with a rugged red and green nylon strap and a black unidirectional rotating bezel. On this elapsed time scale bezel, you can find indicators in white, muted green, and red, matching the nylon strap and upping this watch’s stylishness factor. The dial of this watch also comes in cool jet-black, blending nicely with the black bezel. It has a rather simple layout, comprising luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, sizeable arrowhead and lollipop hands, and an elongated date display at 6 o’clock. On the rim of the dial, you can also find a minute track, with stick indices and small Arabic numeral hour markers for easier and quicker time-telling. Powered by a sturdy quartz caliber, this Gucci Dive watch also has a solid depth rating of 200 meters, much like the Bulova Devil Diver. The price of the Gucci Dive Ref. YA136209A starts at $999 USD. While it is a little more exorbitant than the Bulova Devil Diver, this is still a wonderful deal for anyone searching for a dive watch that is versatile, stylish, and dependable. It even carries the famous Gucci name and prestige, which more than makes up for the price of this watch. 2. Seiko Prospex Street Series Ref. SRPF81K1 Another great alternative to the Bulova Devil Diver is the Seiko Prospex Street Series Ref. SRPF81K1. Commonly known as the Seiko Tuna for its stout, tuna can-shaped case, this is a solid, durable watch that many divers have relied on for their underwater adventures. This Seiko Prospex watch is housed in a 46.3mm stainless steel case. This case is hard-coated, bolstering its resistance to scratches and impacts and making this a hardy timepiece that can withstand any challenges on land or underwater. Like the Bulova Devil Diver, this watch is also equipped with a two-tone unidirectional rotating bezel. Its elapsed time scale insert comes in colors of jet-black and muted orange, giving the watch a rugged yet somewhat vintage look. Complementing the black and orange bezel is a matte black dial. The components in this dial are quite large, making this dial look a little more cluttered than it actually is. The plus side of this, of course, is that this makes the dial more readable, which is especially important for divers underwater. It is decorated with thick hour indices and broad blunt hands, all of which are generously coated in lume, improving visibility in poor lighting conditions. Aside from that, you can also find a compact date window located between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers. Underneath this straightforward watch face, you can find an in-house Seiko Caliber 4R35. This self-winding movement is held together by 41 jewels and can last for up to 41 hours when fully wound. To make things even sweeter, this Seiko watch is solar-powered, which means it can be charged using any light source, whether natural or artificial. Finally, like the Bulova Devil Diver, this watch also has an excellent 200-meter depth rating. The Seiko Prospex Street Series Ref. SRPF81K1 is worth approximately $589 USD, which is a reasonable price for such a sturdy, reliable dive watch. Final Thoughts The Bulova Devil Diver may not be the best dive watch in the market, but with its affordability and flashy looks, it certainly makes for a fantastic entry-level dive piece. As a remake of the 1970s Bulova Oceanographer, the Bulova Devil Diver carries a long and respected heritage, making it even more desirable. With the Bulova Devil Diver, wearers — both professionals and rookies — are guaranteed stylish visuals and a seamless underwater experience. All images courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise.Featured image courtesy of Bulova. If you are still looking for the perfect dive watch to fit your wrists, have a look at our review on the Certina DS Action Diver—it might be the watch you’re looking for!

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  6. Bulova Accutron Watch Collection: The First Electrostatic Watches in Horology

    Bulova Accutron Watch Collection: The First Electrostatic Watches in Horology

    As the longest-running American watch company in the world, Bulova has a pretty huge catalogue of diverse, high-quality timepieces sold at different price points. While it is currently owned by Citizen Watch Co., this 146-year-old brand has been making remarkable watches, as seen in the Hack and the Computron collections, since way before that. One remarkable achievement under Bulova’s belt that we will be looking at today is its invention of the Bulova Accutron watch. The Bulova Accutron watch stands out for being the first electrostatic timepiece ever made. All of the watches in this series feature interesting elements, such as humming sounds instead of the usual ticking. They are also equipped with innovative electrostatic movements, making them modern marvels with vintage aesthetics. Read on to find out more about the Bulova Accutron, including its history, the impact it has had on the watchmaking world, and the best Bulova Accutron watches available. All About Bulova Accutron Image from Flickr The Bulova Accutron watch collection was first introduced in 1952, thanks to Arde Bulova and Max Hetzel. With the growing popularity of battery-powered quartz watches, Bulova and Hetzel both wanted to try out something different, so they created their own path. This led them to research and develop electrostatic watches, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Accutron.  The first Bulova Accutron watch, called the Bulova Accutron Spaceview, was officially released in 1960 in several different variants. Each Bulova Accutron watch was equipped with a tuning fork fixed between two electromagnetic coils and transistors, which acted as a power source for the tuning fork oscillator. This gave the Bulova Accutron Spaceview a frequency of 360 Hz and an incredible accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds a day. The Bulova Accutron’s exceptional accuracy led to a collaboration between the brand and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The USA space agency sought to utilize the Bulova Accutron watch for 46 of their space expeditions, including the first moonwalk in 1969 and the Vanguard mission. Aside from NASA, Bulova also worked hand-in-hand with American railroad companies. The Bulova Accutron was used to measure the precise time of train arrivals and departures, preventing any collisions. Several years later, the brand developed a new Bulova Accutron watch model, the Accutron Astronaut. This watch was specially intended for professional use, specifically NASA’s space expeditions and the American Air Force. The Accutron Astronaut came with a 24-hour rotating bezel and a special hand indicator, which enabled the watch’s GMT function. It was also equipped with an upgraded Caliber 214HN, which came with a mechanical hacking feature. The Modern Bulova Accutron With an increasing demand for modern technology, the brand eventually stopped producing Bulova Accutron watches with tuning fork mechanisms. Instead, during Citizen’s acquisition of Bulova in 2008, the Accutron was relaunched and classified into different collections such as the Gemini, Massela, Mirador, Curacao, Saleya, etc. All of these new Bulova Accutron watches were powered by either quartz or mechanical movements. In other words, the 2008 series of Accutron models essentially lost their electrostatic watch status. In 2010, Bulova released special editions of the Accutron watches in celebration of its 50th anniversary. For this event, Bulova brought back the electrostatic movement, while also revolutionizing Accutron’s design and capabilities. In the next section, we will be reviewing the 2010 Bulova Accutron watch and everything it is capable of. Case Most Bulova Accutron watches come in a bulky 45.1mm case size with a thickness of 15.6mm. However, the women’s Bulova Accutron Legacy models come in smaller case sizes with 32.8mm diameters. Regardless of the size, the cases of the Bulova Accutron watches are all made of 316L stainless steel, with different variations in tones and finishes. Some come in an exquisitely polished gold tone, while some come in a combination of rose gold tones with a sleek brushed finish. The round Bulova Accutron watches, especially those with green, red, and orange colourways, strongly recall the vintage 1960s Bulova timepieces. On the other hand, the Bulova Accutron Alpha watches stand out with their unique shield-shaped cases and hooded lugs. Lastly, we have the Legacy models, which boast striking diamond-shaped cases that are asymmetrical to the wrist. The cases of all Bulova Accutron watches also come with applied, smooth sunray finishes, with no harsh edges. They play with the light gorgeously, giving the Bulova Accutron watches a lustrous glamor from every angle. Each Bulova Accutron watch also has a large embellished crown at 3 or 4 o’clock, depending on the model you are looking at. These crowns are designed with grooved edges for an easier grip. On the Bulova Accutron Alpha watches, these crowns are unusually hidden under the case, with just the top of the crown peeking out from behind. Dial The dial of the modern Bulova Accutron watches resembles the vintage Accutron models. They come with skeletonized dials that fully show their electrostatic movements. This open dial design allows wearers to admire these unusual movements at work. The Bulova Accutron dials also come in various colorways. Some models come in darker gunmetal shades, while others feature a mix of silver and gold, green and gold hues, and more. Typically, the motors, bridges, hands, and turbine generators comprise the sections of the movement which you can see on the dial. Some Bulova Accutron pieces also possess a visible jeweled centre ring that spins parts of the generator. On the outer rim of the Bulova Accutron’s dial, you can find applied hour indices that are coated in luminous pigment to ensure a clear time display even in low light conditions. These hour markers come in a variety of shapes and are sometimes printed in white to better contrast against the dial. At the centre of each Accutron dial is a set of slender dauphine hands in shades of gold or silver. Even with their sophisticated skeletonized faces, you will not be confused by the Accutron’s dial, since Bulova made sure that each Accutron model follows a straightforward and highly legible time display. Protecting the intricate Accutron dial is a domed mineral crystal. This kind of material works well in protecting the watch face from any scratches or impacts. It might not be as strong as sapphire crystal, but mineral glass is much more scratch-resistant than acrylic or Plexiglass. Electrostatic Movement As mentioned, the vintage Bulova Accutron was the first watch to ever use an electrostatic movement. Although Bulova swapped to regular quartz and mechanical movements for the 2008 release of the Accutron, the new 2010 Accutron models have returned to electrostatic movements, albeit with some upgrades and innovations. These modern versions of the Bulova Accutron utilize a Miyota Caliber NS30. Held together by 28 jewels, this is an incredible self-winding electrostatic movement. One of the changes that have been made from the vintage Accutron models is that instead of using a tuning fork, the Caliber NS30 comes with two small generators found at the bottom of the dial instead. These turbine-like generators spin automatically when there is wrist movement, creating positive and negative electric charges. A larger generator, also known as an electrostatic motor, also turns continuously to run the seconds hand. By using the attraction and repulsion of positive and negative electric charges produced by the two smaller generators, this electrostatic motor generates electrical current and mechanical energy. This caliber also comes with a handy power-saving function. The electrostatic motor will stop spinning after five minutes of inactivity, causing the seconds hand to automatically stop too. As a result, the seconds hand will stop at exactly 12 o’clock, while the minute and hour hands continue to track the time. To wind it back, you just have to move your arm for three to five seconds to get the self-winding caliber working again. Strap The Bulova Accutron is offered with two different straps. You can pick between a leather strap or an integrated rubber bracelet. Both of these strap options are thick and wide, equipped with double-press deployant closures. Because the leather and integrated rubber materials are both relatively lightweight, you do not have to worry about these straps being too heavy on the wrist. In fact, you can easily wear them throughout the day without them feeling too hefty. That said, some Accutron models do not give you the option of swapping your watch strap, as it is integrated into the entire watch. As such, be sure to pick your strap carefully when making your purchase. Top 5 Bulova Accutron Watch Models 1. Accutron Spaceview 2020 2ES6A001 The new Bulova Accutron Spaceview is the most popular watch in this collection, in large part because it boasts a design most reminiscent of the vintage Accutron models. This watch comes in a 43.5mm round stainless steel case paired with a classic black leather strap and protruding, angular lugs. Protecting the watch face is a strong, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with a transparent outer ring. The dial of this watch shows off the Accutron’s familiar complex skeletal design. Its NS30 electrostatic energy movement is highlighted with the signature metallic green accents that could also be found on the 1960s Accutron Spaceview watches. It does away with the old Accutron Spaceview’s copper coil, instead of using a more durable drive coil for the stepper motor. A single bright orange seconds hand serves to add a pop of quirky personality to this watch face. This movement is also equipped with power-save hacking functions. This new Accutron Spaceview 2020 2ES6A001 sells at around $3,450 USD. 2. Accutron DNA 2020 2ES8A001 The Bulova Accutron DNA series has always perfectly complemented the Accutron Spaceview in terms of its design and features. One significant difference, however, is that this Accutron DNA 2020 2ES8A001 has a sleeker, more circular build. This is largely thanks to its unique integrated lugs, which have a curved metal surface connecting to the strap. This Bulova Accutron watch is presented in a bulky 45.1mm stainless steel case with a smooth black leather strap. Like the Accutron Spaceview, the Accutron DNA also has a sophisticated-looking skeletal dial furnished with striking green highlights. Instead of peppering the green accents all over the dial, however, the Accutron DNA showcases a metallic green hour and minute track on the rim of the dial. This stylish design is reminiscent of the professional Rolex Milgauss Ref. 116400 GV Black. The electronic components towards the center of the dial show off silver and black finishes, giving them a very robust, industrial look. This dial is also adorned with polished dauphine hands coated in luminescent material. You can get your hands on this watch for around $3,300 USD. 3. Bulova Accutron II 97A110 Alpha Looking for something that really breaks from tradition? Check out the Bulova Accutron II 97A110 Alpha. This watch utilizes a bold and unusual 42mm shield-shaped case, with a well-brushed golden finish that enhances its sleek look. This is coupled with polished hooded lugs and a handsome leather strap in brown. Like the aforementioned Bulova Accutron watches, this Accutron Alpha piece shows off a complicated open heart design embedded in a green anodized aluminum dial. The rim of the dial contains stick indices for the minute track and white circular hour markers that have been filled with lume. The 12 o’clock marker is also replaced with the brand’s signature tuning fork logo. The movement of this timepiece bears a brushed gold finish that radiates outwards, complementing its brushed gold-tone case. This Accutron Alpha watch also stands out for not having an electrostatic movement. As one of the 2008 Bulova Accutron releases, this timepiece is driven by a quartz UHF caliber. This movement possesses a frequency of 262 kHz and an impressive battery life of two years. If you do not mind having an Accutron timepiece without an electrostatic movement, you can buy the Bulova Accutron II 97A110 Alpha for just $370 USD. 4. Accutron II 96A155 Alpha Another popular Accutron choice for men is the Accutron II 96A155 Alpha. If you want an Accutron Alpha timepiece with more quintessential colors, then this is the watch for you. It is housed in a 43mm stainless steel case with a brushed finish, along with polished hooded lugs and a classic alligator leather strap in black. The dial of this watch is quite similar to that of the previous Accutron Alpha model. It boasts a green anodized aluminum surface, as a callback to the green highlights found on the dials of older Accutron models. It also follows a skeleton layout, giving wearers an up-close view of the gold-plated, brushed movement inside the watch. This watch also comprises a simple minute track, white circular hour indices, and luminous silver dauphine hands. The seconds hands of this watch is thin as a needle, with a tail tip that holds the brand’s iconic tuning fork logo. As an Accutron model released in 2008, this watch is equipped with a quartz UHF movement. This caliber has a beat frequency of 262 kHz and a solid 30-meter depth rating. Since this is a quartz piece, the Accutron II 96A155 Alpha has a much more affordable price tag compared to most other Bulova Accutron watches. This watch sells at an estimated price of just $300 USD, making it one of the most budget-friendly watches in the Accutron collection. 5. Accutron Legacy 2SW7A001 Finally, we have the Bulova Accutron Legacy 2SW7A00, which caters to women looking for a sophisticated and elegant timepiece. This watch utilizes a slender 32.8mm gold-plated stainless steel case in an asymmetrical diamond shape. It flaunts a gorgeous polished finish, giving the watch an exquisite lustre that plays with the light well. A brown lizard-embossed leather strap with subtle details completes the classy look of this watch. The dial of this Accutron Legacy watch also differs from other Accutron pieces. Instead of a skeleton dial, this watch bears a more traditional, exquisite pearl sunray finish. It is decorated with gold-plated hour indices, bevelled dauphine hands, and dot indices for the understated minute track. This is also the only Accutron model that uses a Swiss-made automatic movement. It is powered by a Sellita SW200 caliber, which is held together by 26 jewels and has a 38-hour power supply. The Bulova Accutron Legacy 2SW7A00 is priced at approximately $1,450 USD. Wrap Up The Bulova Accutron watches are not the ordinary pieces you see in the market. On top of their iconic status as the first electrostatic watches, these timepieces also show off rich histories and ingenious engineering. The Bulova Accutron is a true technological marvel and a testament to Bulova’s constant innovation and creativity. On top of that, the Bulova Accutron watches all come at relatively affordable prices, with excellent quality that will surely fulfill all your desires. Photo Credits: Images are from Bulova’s website unless stated. Want to see more Bulova watches? Check out our review of the vintage Bulova Royal Oak!

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  7. A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

    A Complete Guide to the Vintage Bulova Royal Oak

    Today, there are a plethora of gorgeous contemporary timepieces in the market, with new models being released every year, not just by renowned and prestigious Swiss companies, but also by famous brands from Japan, America, Germany, and more. Although stylish modern watches are popular in their own right, there is and has always been, a great demand for vintage timekeepers in the watch community. This is largely due to the rich heritage, legacies, and quintessential, nostalgia-invoking designs that vintage pieces offer. The American brand Bulova, in particular, is highly acclaimed for its expertise in crafting classic watches with impressive, state-of-the-art features. In fact, there is even a so-called “vintage Bulova obsession” in the horology community, with many watch collectors eager to get their hands on the brand’s funky watches from the 60s-80s. Out of Bulova’s entire catalog, one vintage model that is especially of note is the Bulova Royal Oak. Controversial yet frequently discussed, the Bulova Royal Oak has an interesting, storied history that matches its eye-catching design. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the vintage Bulova Royal Oak, including its colorful past, its specifications and features, and everything it has to offer. History of the Bulova Royal Oak The history behind the Bulova Royal Oak is a contentious one, closely tied to the history of another similarly-named, similarly-designed timepiece — the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Somehow, over the years, an interesting myth emerged regarding the origins of the Bulova Royal Oak, fascinating watch collectors and casual fans alike. The story of the Royal Oak begins with a legendary watchmaker, Gerald Genta. Genta is famous for having worked with the most significant brands in the watchmaking scene, producing trailblazing timepieces like the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Bulgari Bulgari. As the legend goes, Genta was working for Bulova in the late 1960s when he was tasked to design a new timepiece, one that had to be classically designed and attractive at the same time. With this in mind, Genta made the first Royal Oak. However, when Genta introduced this new design to his bosses at Bulova, his ideas were turned down. Following this rejection, Genta left Bulova, moving to Audemars Piguet. The Swiss brand was amazed by Genta’s design and would launch it at the 1972 BaselFair under the moniker “Audemars Piguet Royal Oak”. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was such a hit that Bulova quickly revisited Genta’s original design, forging it into the watch we know of today as the Bulova Royal Oak. In reality, however, this myth of the Bulova Royal Oak is an invention. While Genta did work at Bulova for some time, he only developed the Royal Oak when he was already working under Audemars Piguet. According to Genta himself, the director of Audemars Piguet had reached out to him directly, requesting that he design a sports watch made entirely from steel. Genta promptly went to work, coming up with the design for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak overnight. Although the myth of the relationship between the Audemars Piguet and Bulova Royal Oaks was false, it was nevertheless hugely influential. The association between the two timepieces was very beneficial for Bulova, raising the profile of its Royal Oak significantly. Indeed, this was a major factor that led to the popularity of the Bulova Royal Oak. Up Close with Bulova Royal Oak Case and Bracelet Photo by u/weedNV from Reddit Even at first glance, the Bulova Royal Oak is instantly recognizable with the sharp, geometric features of its exterior. Its slender 36mm stainless steel case is cleanly beveled, with hooded lugs that bear sharp, angular edges. On the right side of the case is a mid-sized steel crown in the shape of a hexagon. This crown has finely grooved edges, which provide wearers with a better grip so they can more easily pinch and turn the crown. If you flip the watch over, you can find a monogram engraving of a ballerina on the stainless steel caseback, which adds to the exquisite sophistication of this Bulova piece. The star of this watch, of course, is its fixed bezel, which is reminiscent of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s own iconic bezel. Crafted from stainless steel, this bezel is shaped like an octagon, fitted with eight screws and carefully beveled, well-defined sloping sides that give off an impression of precision and class. On top of the bezel is a layer of domed mineral crystal that protects the watch face from any scratches or impacts. The Bulova Royal Oak is also paired with a sleek stainless steel bracelet. This professional-looking bracelet comes with 18 links and a signed deployant clasp that keeps the watch firmly secured on your wrist. On the whole, the watch’s unpolished finish offers a simple yet elegant aesthetic. Dial To perfectly complement its striking and well-defined stainless steel case and bracelet, Bulova pairs its Royal Oak with a gorgeous white honeycomb dial. This straightforward dial boasts a flawless and timeless look, with a minimalistic layout consisting of slender stainless steel indices, thin stick hands, and an outlined date window at 3 o’clock. Although this dial does not contain any luminous material, the indices and hands are all highlighted with black lacquer. This gives the indices and hands a stronger contrast against the white backdrop, allowing for better legibility in poor lighting conditions. At 12 o’clock, you can find an emblem of the dial replacing the hour index, marking this as a uniquely Bulova piece. Movement Another prominent feature of the Bulova Royal Oak that stirred the hearts of many watch collectors and enthusiasts is the impressive automatic caliber that powers this vintage timepiece: the ETA 2892 movement. This is a quintessential watch caliber that is used in many other famous timepieces, such as the Omega Speedmaster 300 and the IWC Pilot Mark XVIII. The ETA 2892 caliber measures a relatively slim 3.6mm in thickness. Held together by 21 jewels, it has a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a substantial 50-hour power reserve. Equipped with this reliable caliber, it is no surprise why Bulova remains a favorite amongst the masses. Price As a rare timepiece released in the 1970s, the Bulova Royal Oak has since been discontinued. Along with its distinctive appearance and constant buzz, it is only expected that the Bulova Royal Oak has a fairly expensive price tag. Today, the Bulova Royal Oak is only available on the second-hand market and it will cost you at least $2,999 USD to get your hands on a piece of this watch. Of course, this price might differ slightly depending on the seller that you find and the exact condition the watch is in. How to Spot a Fake Bulova Royal Oak? The status of the Bulova Royal Oak as a buzzy, frequent topic of conversation and a popular watch collector choice means that it is often victim to counterfeits. As such, it is crucial to know what features to check so you can differentiate between an authentic Bulova Royal Oak and a fake replica. Here are five essential elements that you should inspect that can help you avoid spending money on a fake Bulova Royal Oak. 1. Check the Watch Face First off, you should double-check the whole face of the Bulova Royal Oak. Make sure that the text printed on the dial of the Royal Oak is correct, as counterfeits sometimes mess that up. Under the 12 o’clock marker, you should find a simple print of the brand’s name and nothing else. If you find one that is engraved with “Bulova Accuracy” or “Bulova Movement”, you can be sure that it is a counterfeit. The Bulova Royal Oak is also furnished with a layer of scratch-resistant mineral glass, so make sure to check on this feature as well. If the watch crystal is too run-down or covered in scratches, then you might be looking at a replica. In addition, on the right of the case, there should be a hexagonal crown with sharply cut, geometric details. Inspect the watch to make sure that the crown has those fine edges. If your Bulova Royal Oak’s crown is dulled, uneven, or not hexagonal, then it is likely to be fake. 2. Research the Watch Serial Number Before setting foot into any watch retailer or jewelry store, it is crucial to do some research, specifically by checking the serial number of the watch you want to purchase. The exact serial numbers of every Bulova Royal Oak piece are listed on the brand’s official website, so make sure to check those out and validate whether the watch you are about to purchase is authentic or not. 3. Check the Case Back As was previously mentioned, the caseback of the Bulova Royal Oak is engraved with the Bulova symbol and the image of an elegant ballerina. The serial number, as well as the date of manufacture, can also be found on the caseback. Check meticulously to ensure that the manufacture date and serial number both match the numbers found on the warranty card. 4. Check the Weight Another important thing to check is the Bulova Royal Oak’s weight. Remember that authentic Bulova Royal Oak models are crafted entirely from stainless steel and therefore have a good, substantial heft to them, unlike counterfeits, which tend to be made from cheaper, lighter materials. 5. Check the Price Lastly, do not fall for prices that seem too good to be true. Remember that a vintage Bulova Royal Oak still comes at a relatively high price of at least a few thousand dollars, considering the unique style and rich heritage it offers. Familiarize yourself with the price range of a vintage Bulova Royal Oak so you can compare it against the price provided to you and do not be too easily duped by what looks like a good bargain. Alternatives to the Bulova Royal Oak The Bulova Royal Oak is, without a doubt, a classy, timeless piece that deserves to be on your radar. But considering its status as a discontinued vintage watch, it can be difficult to even find pieces of this watch on the market. For those who have been facing such difficulties, do not worry. We have curated a list of the best alternatives to the Bulova Royal Oak available today. All of these watches share the same distinct, elegant vibe as the Bulova Royal Oak. 1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04 Since the Bulova Royal Oak’s release, it has been consistently linked to the legendary Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. In fact, Audemars Piguet‘s Royal Oak watch is highly regarded for being the first-ever Royal Oak in the market. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak offered a truly unique, memorable watch design, kicking off a trend of brands trying to produce their own “Royal Oak” watches with the signature octagonal bezels. One great watch from Audemars Piguet is the Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.04. Like Bulova’s Royal Oak, this watch exudes effortless elegance with its clean face and finely-polished exterior. This timepiece comes in a 41mm case and bracelet both made out of stainless steel, paired with the highly recognizable, perfectly angular octagonal stainless steel bezel with eight screws. The sharp white dial shows off the collection’s iconic Grande Tapisserie design and has a simple layout, furnished with just silver-tone stick hands, slim hour indices, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. It also has a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the dial. Powering this gorgeous timepiece is the brand’s impressive in-house Caliber 4302. Held together by 32 jewels, this watch has an excellent 70-hour power reserve and a depth rating of 50 meters, which is more than enough for a dress watch. If you want a more luxurious, reliable alternative to the Bulova Royal Oak, you can get your hands on this Audemars Piguet watch for approximately $55,699 USD. 2. Bvlgari Octo Ref. 10196 Looking for a more casual alternative to the Bulova Royal Oak? Then you should definitely take a look at the Bvlgari Octo Ref. 101964. This watch is a simple stunner, with its striking black-and-white build. It comes with a 41mm stainless steel case with sharply cut edges that give it a very refined look, along with a handsome alligator leather strap in black. Like the Bulova Royal Oak, this timepiece has an octagon-shaped face. However, it differentiates itself from the Royal Oak watches by having a thicker bezel without the cleanly beveled sides, giving it a more rugged look. The dial of this Bvlgari watch also comes in jet-black and is delightfully contrasted against rectangular hour indices, silver Arabic numeral markers, skeleton hands, and a minute yet highly legible date window at 3 o’clock. It is powered by an in-house BVL 193 Caliber, which you can observe through the watch’s transparent caseback. This movement possesses a 50-hour power reserve and a solid 100-meter water resistance capacity, so you could easily go for a dive with this watch. This suave, versatile Bvlgari Octo watch retails at around $5,099 USD. 3. Girard-Perregaux Laureato Ref. 81005-11-231-11A Another classic watch that serves as a great alternative to Bulova Royal Oak is the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Ref. 81005-11-231-11A. This timepiece features a slim 38mm stainless steel case, bracelet, and beveled octagonal bezel that go well with the stunning gray dial. This guilloche dial, which hearkens back to the honeycomb dial of the Bulova Royal Oak, is equipped with luminous hands and hour indices, along wth a grey-and-white date aperture located at 3 o’clock. Equipped with an automatic GP03300-0130, this Girard-Perregaux Laureato watch has a frequency of 28,800 VpH whilst delivering a 46-hour power reserve. Moreover, it comes with a 30-meter depth rating, so it can easily handle any heavy downpours or even a trip to the shower. Just be prepared to shell out around $11,399 USD for this Girard-Perregaux timepiece. Final Thoughts On the whole, the Bulova Royal Oak is an exceptional vintage watch, albeit with a slightly muddy history. It is a fancy dress piece well-loved amongst watch connoisseurs, and for very good reason. While the Bulova Royal Oak would make an excellent addition to any collection, the fact that its production was discontinued years ago means that it can be difficult to find a genuine Bulova Royal Oak model. As such, if you have your heart set on this watch, just make sure you do your research and check carefully to ensure the Bulova Royal Oak model you are purchasing is authentic. All images are from Watchshopping.com unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy to u/LacksSenseOfHumor from Reddit. Looking for other minimalist watches worth adding to your collection’s list? Why not check our articles on 7 Minimalist Watches for Men and 6 Classic Watches That Are Collectibles.

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  8. Timex Q Reissue: The Return of the Splendid 1970s GMT Watch

    Timex Q Reissue: The Return of the Splendid 1970s GMT Watch

    Timex is one of those brands that has been in the horology industry for as long as we remember. This American brand has always catered to the needs of both men and women looking for durable, stylish timepieces at accessible prices. Timex was also behind the existence of the legendary Timex Q watch, which was released in the 1970s as a popular and more budget-friendly alternative to the iconic Rolex GMT-Master II.  Given the Timex Q’s success, it is no surprise that the brand chose to bring it back today in the form of the Timex Q Reissue. Bearing classic aesthetics inspired by its predecessors, the Timex Q Reissue continues to be a sleek, affordable option for watch enthusiasts who enjoy vintage looks. But is it worth the hype? Let us take a closer look at everything the Timex Q Reissue has to offer to find out. First Impressions Even at first glance, the Timex Q Reissue has a quintessential vibe that instantly reminds you of the 70s. This timepiece has a neo-vintage aesthetic, with its angular, beveled case and stainless steel bracelet. Like its 1970s predecessor, it also comes with a dark red and blue Pepsi GMT bezel, an innovation first developed by the trailblazing Swiss watchmaker Rolex. The watch’s muted blue dial also contrasts well against the beige hour markers, enhancing the watch’s retro yet classy look. Anatomy of the Timex Q Reissue Case and Bezel The case of the Timex Q Reissue is both elegant and extremely satisfying to look at, with its cleanly brushed surfaces. Made of stainless steel, this case measures 38mm in diameter and 11.5mm in height, making this quite a slender watch that is very easy to tote around all day. In addition, its sharply beveled edges give the impression of the Timex Q Reissue being even smaller than it really is. As a result, this watch is great for those with small-to-average size wrists and those who simply love wearing slimmer watches. Like the original Timex Q, this watch has solid hooded lugs, which is quite uncommon in modern watches, further emphasizing this watch’s vintage style. The Timex Q Reissue also inherits the original’s beautiful red-and-blue Pepsi GMT dial, an iconic watch design that makes it even more appealing. This stainless steel bezel is highly scratch-resistant and can be smoothly rotated in both directions. It also comes with silver Arabic numeral indicators that allow you to keep track of a second time zone and blunted teeth-edges so wearers can grip and turn it more easily. Fixed on top of the bezel is a domed acrylic crystal that serves to protect the Timex Q Reissue’s dial. Dial The beguiling dial of the Timex Q Reissue shows off a muted navy blue hue, which pairs perfectly with its Pepsi bezel. This dial incorporates a classic, retro-inspired layout, making it a real favorite with vintage watch fans. It has large geometric hour indices and silver-outlined lollipop hands, along with a sizable day-date window located at 3 o’clock. The hour indices and hands are all coated in beige-white luminous material, giving them a bright green glow in the dark that satisfyingly contrasts its navy blue backdrop. The brand also added a faux patina to the watch to add a bit of nostalgia to the whole piece. On the whole, Timex did a great job re-capturing the same 70s vibe of the original timepiece. Movement One thing that might be a little lackluster about the Timex Q Reissue is the movement that powers it. Just like its predecessor, the Timex Q Reissue is equipped with a quartz movement, the Seiko SII Epson PC33. It is a little disappointing that Timex did not see fit to upgrade the movement with the Timex Q’s modern release and this Seiko caliber definitely shows its age. This is a relatively cheap and basic movement, so you have to manually set the day function by moving the hands past midnight instead of having the watch automatically set the date for you. This can be quite a downside for fans who prefer watches that offer greater convenience. Caseback On the underside of the Timex Q Reissue, you can find a caseback that is also remarkably similar to its 1970s version. This screwed-in stainless steel caseback has a brushed finish and provides a water resistance capacity of around 50 meters. It has a very minimalistic, simple look, with just the brand name, reference code, and other such information stamped on the back and no flowery designs or engravings that you might find on other watches. The small opening on the upper left side of the caseback allows you to change the battery of the Timex Q Reissue on your own. All you have to do is stick a coin into the slot, turn it until it opens and you will be able to change the watch’s battery. Bracelet/Strap The Timex Q Reissue comes with a bracelet also made from stainless steel. It adds to the watch’s quintessential look, perfectly complementing its overall design, and feels extremely comfortable on the wrist as well. This strap also has a buckle that keeps the watch firmly secured on your wrist. Price Aside from its heritage and classic design, the most exciting part of this Timex Q Reissue is its affordable price. Retailing at just $179 USD, the Timex Q Reissue is quite a value-for-money option. It should be noted that the Timex Q Reissue was hugely popular and sold out quite rapidly. This has led to its price being marked up slightly on the second-hand market, although this problem has been marginally alleviated by the release of new 2020 models of the Timex Q Reissue. Today, you can probably get the Timex Q Reissue second-hand for under $250 USD. Ultimately, if you are looking for the best, most accessible vintage-inspired timepiece, this is one you should definitely check out. Brief History of Timex Q Watch During the quartz crisis in the 1970s, watch industries all over the world were impacted. Numerous American watchmakers were driven into bankruptcy and were compelled to sell off their brands to various foreign corporations. At that time, only Timex and Bulova continued to operate in America. However, in order to survive the financial difficulties caused by the quartz crisis, these two brands decided to venture out by entering the quartz watch industry themselves. It was this saga that led to Timex launching the very first version of the Timex Q in 1979. The Timex Q was a very popular and in-demand model, right from the outset. Timex utilized elements that were trendy in the 1970s in the making of this watch, leading to the Timex Q being recognized by many watch enthusiasts worldwide. Some of these elements included the angular-shaped case, the stylish Pepsi bezel, and the mesh bracelet. As a quartz watch, the Timex Q was far more affordable and accessible than most of its mechanical watch peers. Thanks to its highly recognizable Pepsi bezel, the Timex Q became the go-to alternative for those who wanted but could not afford the Rolex GMT-Master. This association with Rolex’s GMT-Master raised the Timex Q’s profile even further, making this watch a cornerstone in Timex’s history. 2020 Timex Q Reissue Models Photo from Professional WatchesAs previously mentioned, the Timex Q Reissue was a huge hit upon its release and was quickly sold out. In 2020, to accommodate continued demand, Timex launched three new color variations of the sought-after Timex Q Reissue. These three variants share nearly identical specifications as the original Pepsi version of the Timex Q Reissue, including 38mm cases, robust quartz movements, and teeth-edged rotating GMT bezels with bi-color designs. The only difference between the Pepsi Timex Q Reissue and these 2020 models is that their dials and bezels come in different colorways. The 2020 Timex Q Reissue variations include the Ref. TW2U60900ZV (black dial with a black and green bezel), the Ref. TW2U61100ZV (navy blue dial with an orange and navy blue bezel), and the Ref. TW2U61200 (white dial with a red and navy blue bezel). The price of these versions remains the same, costing around $179 USD each. Alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue The Timex Q Reissue is an excellent and very affordable vintage watch with a truly classic design. That said, despite its great qualities and features, not all are that fond of wearing a retro-inspired quartz watch. Whether it is because you prefer mechanical pieces or you want something that looks a little more contemporary, fear not. We have collated a list of some of the best alternatives to the Timex Q Reissue that you should consider checking out. 1. Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 1670 Blue Red Photo from Watchshopping.com Ever since it was first launched, both the original and modern editions of the Timex Q have been closely linked to the Rolex GMT-Master due to their rather similar appearances. As such, the first option on our list of best Timex Q Reissue alternatives has to be the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710, which is perfect for those seeking a fancier, more prestigious GMT watch. This Rolex GMT-Master II piece is a classic luxury icon. It comes in a 40mm case and bracelet crafted from the brand’s proprietary Oystersteel material, which is exceptionally resistant to scratches and corrosion. The lustrous silver case and bracelet cast a satisfying contrast against the watch’s jet-black dial, which is adorned with geometric hour markers, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The dial is protected by a layer of luxurious sapphire crystal, which is the hardest watch crystal available. This Rolex watch also features a two-toned Pepsi bezel made out of highly scratch-resistant Cerachrom. Unlike the Timex Q Reissue, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16710 is powered by an in-house automatic Caliber 3185. This exquisite, hand-crafted movement has a substantial 50-hour power reserve and comes with a water resistance rating of around 100 meters. You can purchase this Rolex Pepsi watch for around $24,899 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 Photo from Watchshopping.com Next up, we have the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1, commonly known as part of the brand’s Seiko Samurai range. Named as such for its luminous sword-shaped minute hand, this watch stands out with its Pepsi bezel and its textured black dial that bears a subtle pattern of waves. This is quite a big watch, with a 43.8mm stainless steel case paired with a matching three-link steel bracelet. Like other Seiko Prospex watches, it is also equipped with a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, adding an extra layer of protection to the watch face. Aside from the “samurai” minute hand, the dial of this Seiko watch is also decorated with thick luminous hour indices, an arrow-shaped hour hand, a thin red seconds hand, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. This watch is driven by the brand’s automatic 4R35 Caliber which offers a solid 41-hour power reserve. In addition, it has an impressive depth rating of 200 meters, so this watch can easily act as a companion on all your fun water activities, such as diving or water skiing. The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPB09K1 is priced at approximately $509 USD, which is quite a worthy bargain considering its exceptional features. 3. Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 Photo from Watchshopping.com Last but not least, we have the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348, which is another quartz watch packed with excellent features. It boasts a large 44mm stainless steel case, which is complemented by a stylish grey sector dial and a black silicone strap. This Bulova Classic watch also has a two-tone bezel. However, unlike the Timex Q Reissue and the Rolex GMT-Master, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is actually classified as a dive watch. As such, its sophisticated red and grey bezel is actually marked with an elapsed time scale in white indicators instead. The watch face is also protected by a layer of mineral crystal. The dial of this Bulova watch is also very straightforward, adorned with luminous arrow hands, hour indices, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. As mentioned, the Bulova Classic Ref. 98B348 is a quartz watch, so it runs on a powerful quartz movement that offers a 100-meter water resistance capacity. With a price tag of just $249 USD, this Bulova timepiece is closest in price to the Timex Q Reissue while also bearing a more contemporary style. It is the best alternative to the Timex Q Reissue for modern audiences. Final Thoughts The Timex Q Reissue watch is an exquisite retro-inspired model that definitely deserves to be on your radar. With excellent features, a memorable design, and an affordable price tag, the only downside to the Timex Q Reissue is really its movement, which could really use a more advanced upgrade. That said, if you are seeking an accessible 70s-inspired timepiece and do not mind the subpar movement, then the Timex Q Reissue is the perfect, nostalgia-inducing choice. Photos credit to Timex’s official website unless otherwise stated. Featured image courtesy to u/Kevin-Benjamin on Reddit. Curious what makes Grand Seiko distinctive from the Seiko watches? Check out our article about The Differences Between Seiko and Grand Seiko Watches.

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  9. 15 Best Sailing Watches for the Avid Sailor

    15 Best Sailing Watches for the Avid Sailor

    For most of us, watches are more than just mere accessories that tell time. Today, timepieces are also frequently used as tools to guide people through various activities in their daily lives. This is largely because, over the decades, technological innovations have introduced countless functions and features into the watchmaking world. This has allowed the purpose of watches to broaden and branch out as well. A perfect representation of this would be the existence of watches specifically used in industries and activities such as aviation, motorsports, diving, and even sailing. In fact, the last of those industries is actually related to our main topic for today. In this article, we will delve into what sailing watches are, how they can help us carry out nautical activities and some of the best sailing watches that are worth checking out today. What is a Sailing Watch?  Sailing watches, also referred to as yachting watches, are a specific type of timepiece best suited for maritime-related conditions. For a timekeeper to be considered a sailing watch, it needs to have certain specifications, like high accuracy and an impressive water resistance rating. There are also some models with additional functions meant to aid seafarers and yachtsmen in their tasks. That being said, when it comes to aesthetics and design, sailing watches are not necessarily limited to a typical nautical style. While some sailing pieces are specifically marine-inspired, the majority of these models simply boast sporty-looking exteriors.  15 Best Sailing Watches  Without further ado, here are some of the best sailing watches available in the market right now.  1. Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta Chronograph Starting off this list with a bang is the Omega Speedmaster X-33 Regatta Chronograph, which is one of the best models for professional sailors out there. Just with a single glance at its robust build, you can tell that it is a powerful timepiece packed with impressive capabilities. This Omega Speedmaster watch is presented in a 45mm lightweight, scratch-resistant titanium case along with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and a black nylon fabric strap with blue stitching. The black watch face has a hybrid layout, featuring both digital and analog displays. This includes a bezel with a minute track scale, luminous hands and hour indices, three LED windows, and cool blue, red, and white accents. Driven by a quartz OMEGA 5620 caliber, this limited edition model also comes with the following: an alarm, a date function, a countdown timer, a race timer, a logbook, and more.  You can get this watch for approximately $5,900 USD. 2. Garmin quatix® 6 The Garmin quatix® 6 is one of the best digital sailing watches you can invest in. It is a must-have for all the tech-savvy folks out there who enjoy timepieces with utmost functionality both on land and at sea. This Garmin model has a fiber-reinforced polymer case paired with a comfortable silicone strap in blue. The watch face consists of a screwed-in stainless steel bezel and a transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP) display. Aside from the usual timekeeping abilities, some of its other main functions include health monitoring, GPS tracking, smartphone connectivity, various sports modes, boat data streaming, a built-in barometer, tide tables, and lots more. Lastly, it has a battery life of around 14 days, so you do not have to worry about bringing this timepiece with you on long boat trips. With a substantial depth rating of around 100 meters, this smartwatch retails at just $699 USD and is an ideal companion for all your ocean adventures. 3. Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Ref. A13313161C1S1  Next up, we have the Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph 44 Ref. A13313161C1S1, with its sporty and highly-functional exterior. Everything about this model screams nautical-inspired, which makes sense because it belongs to Breitling’s iconic diving collection. This Breitling Superocean piece comes in a 44mm stainless steel case paired with a mesh-patterned rubber bracelet and a unidirectional rotating bezel in blue. The matching sunray blue dial follows a classic analog layout featuring oversized arrow hands, applied indices, day-date windows, and a chronograph display with 3 sub-dials. Lastly, this watch is powered by a COSC-certified Breitling Caliber 13, which has a 48-hour power reserve and a water resistance rating of 200 meters.  This is one of the more classic sailing watches on this list and is priced at around $6,100 USD. 4. Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Chrono Flyback Ref. PAM00526  The Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Chrono Flyback is one of those sailing watches made especially for professional seafarers out there. It has a distinct and robust exterior — thanks to its unusual, bulky cushion-shaped case and durable titanium build. This is paired with an oversized crown and semi-circle crown guard, and caoutchouc strap in black. The dial of this Panerai Luminor 1950 piece features a black backdrop, with thin sword-shaped hands, luminous hour indices and Arabic numerals, and a chronograph layout with 2 sub-dials for the small seconds and flyback counters. As per its name, this watch also comes with a regatta countdown function and is powered by an automatic P.9100/R caliber. It has an impressive 72 hour-power reserve and a water resistance capacity of 100 meters. This is a great sailing watch for all the serious regatta racers out there and you can purchase it for around $17,200 USD.  5. Bulova Marine Star Chronograph Ref. 98B301  The Bulova Marine Star Chronograph Ref. 98B301 is yet another nautical-inspired piece with a stunning blue dial and bezel that is reminiscent of the ocean. The case, bezel, bracelet, and crown guards of this Bulova Marine Star watch are all made of scratch-resistant stainless steel. The rotating bezel, however, has a blue insert marked with an elapsed time scale in rose gold that blends perfectly with the watch’s rose gold pushers and crown. Like the bezel, the dial of this Bulova piece also comes in deep blue. It is furnished with bold luminous indices, sword-shaped hands, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a chronograph layout with 3 sub-dials. In addition, this 6-hand model is powered by a quartz movement and has a 200-meter depth rating. This is one of the more affordable sailing watches on the market with a price tag of just $575 USD. 6. Alpina Sailing Yachttimer Countdown The Alpina Sailing Yachttimer Countdown is one of the most rugged, sporty sailing watches on this list. It has a 44mm stainless steel case paired with a robust black rubber strap and a handy rotating compass bezel in black. The matching black dial is furnished with countdown windows for the regatta timer, along with luminous hands and hour markers in red and white for greater contrast and legibility. This watch is powered by a self-winding movement and has an impressive 300-meter water resistance rating. This Alpina watch is no longer part of the brand’s current catalogue. However, you can still find it going for around $3,060 USD on the second-hand market, depending on the seller and the condition of the watch. 7. Rolex Yacht-Master 2 Ref. 116680  Of course, this list of best sailing watches would not be complete without a model from the Rolex Yacht-Master 2 collection. The Yacht-Master 2 Ref. 116680 is one of the most popular sailing watches ever released. It has a classic, sporty exterior that goes really well with the complexity of its watch face. This Rolex model comes in a 44mm case and bracelet made from Oystersteel, which is a robust, shock- and corrosion-resistant material developed by the Swiss brand. Fitted on top of the case is a matching Oystersteel bezel with a bright blue insert. The white dial of this watch follows a unique layout with thin luminous hands and compact hour markers, a stop-seconds sub-dial, and a regatta countdown timer in the form of an elongated arch. All of these features are powered by the brand’s in-house, self-winding Caliber 4161. If you are a sailing professional, this is a great luxury sailing watch to invest in for around $23,600 USD. 8. Seiko Prospex Marine Master Ref. SBEX005  The Seiko Prospex Marine Master Ref. SBEX005 is a beautiful timepiece that draws inspiration from the ocean. It is the perfect sailing watch for those who are completely enamored with both the marine sport and the sea itself. This Seiko Prospex watch is presented in a hardy 48mm titanium case and bracelet with a rotating bezel in metallic blue. With its larger build, this piece is best suited for those with average-to-big wrists. Its exquisite wave-patterned blue dial consists of large luminous markers, sword-shaped hands, and a small date window between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. Powered by a Japanese automatic movement, this Seiko watch packs a punch with its incredible 1000-meter water resistance rating. The Seiko Prospex Marine Master Ref. SBEX005 retails at approximately $5,089 USD. 9. Panerai Luminor Marina Ref. PAM00778  The Panerai Luminor Marina Ref. PAM00778 is one of the most versatile and classy sailing watches you can get. Although it is frequently used for nautical activities, this watch does not have a marine-inspired design or super sporty exterior. Thus, you can pair it with just about any attire and bring it with you to all sorts of events, including dinner parties and even the office. This Panerai watch has a cushion-shaped stainless steel case paired with a leather strap in light brown. Like the other Panerai Luminor models, it has an oversized crown that is easy to grip and turn and the signature semi-circle crown guard. Meanwhile, its exquisite white dial is adorned with luminous sword-shaped hands, small circular hour markers, neat Arabic numerals, and a small-seconds counter. This three-hand watch is equipped with a hand-wound P.6000 caliber and has a 100-meter water resistance capacity. If you want a versatile, classy sailing watch that you can use every day, you simply have to fork out around $5,400 USD for this Panerai Luminor Marina Ref. PAM00778. 10. Bremont Regatta AC Next up, we have the Bremont Regatta AC, which is one of the best models from the brand’s selection of sailing and nautical-inspired watches. It comes with impressive functions that will surely appeal to both casual and professional sailors out there. This Bremont timepiece is presented in a 43mm lightweight titanium case along with a Temple Island rubber strap in black and a sleek rotating bezel. The white dial has luminescent hands and indices, a date window, and a chronograph display with three sub-dials, including a countdown timer. This dial is also peppered with red and blue accents, giving it a more colorful, vibrant look. Powering the watch is an in-house Bremont self-winding movement with a 42-hour power reserve and a 100-meter water resistance rating.   Retailing at around $15,900 USD, this is a must-have timepiece for yachtsmen who prefer complex yet playful timepieces.  11. Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta Ref. 1553-155-3/43 The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta Ref. 1553-155-3/43 is a model with very modern, nautical-inspired aesthetics and an array of handy abilities. This Ulysse Nardin Marine watch has an exceptionally advanced-looking design, with its gear-like bezel, patterned sector dial, and sleek metallic blue and silver accents. The Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta Ref. 1553-155-3/43 comes in a 44mm stainless steel case paired with a sporty rubber strap in blue. The sunray blue sector dial consists of a smooth outer ring, a chapter ring marked with a bright yellow regatta countdown timer, and a patterned inner dial. On the outer ring, you can find silver hour indices, stylized Roman numeral markers, and a date window, while the inner dial is furnished with luminous lozenge hands. A small seconds counter straddles all three sections of the dial, enhancing its sophisticated, high-tech look. These complications are all driven by a UN-155 Manufacture movement with a 60-hour power reserve.  With a price tag of approximately $19,420 USD, this is the perfect modern watch to wear on your open water sails. 12. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 220.10.41.21.03.001 Next up, we have another model from Omega, but one from its iconic Seamaster Aqua Terra collection instead. The sporty and professional Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 220.10.41.21.03.001 is a watch that can complete any nautical task, both above and underwater. This Seamaster watch comes in a 41mm stainless steel case paired with a bracelet made of the same material. Its striking blue dial features a horizontal teak pattern, inspired by the look of luxury sailing boats. It is also furnished with luminous triangular indices, hands, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a minute track scale on the rim of the dial. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 220.10.41.21.03.001 is powered by a self-winding Caliber 8900 movement, which is certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology. It possesses impressive technical specifications, including a 150-meter depth rating, a 60-hour power reserve, and a resistance to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 Gauss. You can get your hands on this Aqua Terra model for around $5,700 USD. 13. Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown Ref. FC-380GT4H6B The Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown is probably one of the most elegant modern sailing watches you can purchase. Everything about its design screams simple sophistication, making it a great accessory to wear to lavish yacht parties or high-profile regatta races. This Frederique Constant model comes in a 42mm brushed stainless steel case and three-link bracelet that gives off a chic, professional vibe. Its suave dark grey dial boasts a guilloché pattern, luminous dauphine hands, silver indices, and 5 circular windows at the 10 to 12 o’clock position for the countdown timer. Underneath this refined exterior, you can find an automatic FC-380 caliber with a 48-hour power reserve and a 100-meter depth rating.   If you are willing to shell out around $4,025 USD, you should definitely consider getting this watch for your next yacht race!  14. Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale Ref. YMNGMT39-GMS The Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale Ref. YMNGMT39-GMS is the only model on this list that was designed by a professional from the French Navy. It is a military-grade sailing watch that is built to survive the harshest circumstances. This Yema sailing watch is presented in a slim 39mm stainless steel case paired with a blue and yellow fabric strap and a rotating GMT bezel. The matching blue dial features large hands and hour indices that are coated in Super-LumiNova for improved visibility even on dark stormy sailing trips, and a date window in white next to the 3 o’clock marker. Aside from that, it also has an impressive 300-meter water resistance capacity and is equipped with an in-house YEMA3000 caliber. If you are looking for a tried and tested sailing watch, make sure to check this piece for around $1,049 USD.  15. Tissot Sailing-Touch Ref. T056.420.27.051.01 Lastly, we have the Tissot Sailing-Touch Ref. T056.420.27.051.01, which is another digital sailing watch packed with countless useful features. One of the best things about this particular Tissot model is that it caters specifically to those who enjoy sailing, be it casually or professionally. The Tissot Sailing-Touch Ref. T056.420.27.051.01 comes in an anti-magnetic 45mm stainless steel case paired with a bi-material bracelet in black made of rubber and steel. The dial has a sleek hybrid layout with luminous indices and a touch-screen tactile display that cleverly mimics the radar system of a boat. Some of its functions include a compass, alarms, a perpetual calendar, a tide indicator, a regatta timer, multiple time zones, and more — all of which are powered by a powerful Renata CR 2032-N quartz movement.  With a price tag of just $1,220 USD, this is one of the best multi-functional watches you can invest in, especially for serious sailors. Features of a Sailing Watch  The list of 15 sailing watches we have curated above are some of the best models in the market, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other excellent sailing watches out there, and you simply have to do the research to find out which is best suited to your taste. To help you along the way, here are some of the key characteristics that you can find in sailing watches, although it should be noted that these are not necessarily present in every single sailing watch. Superior Water Resistance  Even though yachtsmen do not necessarily go swimming or diving when sailing, having a watch with an excellent depth rating is still very important, given the nature of the environment they are in. The ocean is known to be a volatile, unstable domain so there is always a possibility of you and your watch getting dunked into water, whether you like it or not. While there are no official criteria, a water resistance capacity of at least 100 meters should suffice.  Excellent Durability  Another essential characteristic of a sailing watch is its excellent durability. Due to the changes in the environment that may occur, sailors need a well-built timepiece made from quality materials that can take any kind of damage, be it scratches, hard impacts, or corrosion. With that in mind, it is best to look for timepieces made of materials with scratch, shock, and corrosion-resistant properties, like stainless steel steel, aluminum, copper, soft rubber, and more.  Utmost Functionality Telling time is the bare minimum when it comes to sailing watches. While not all nautical-inspired models come with additional complications, multi-functionality is always a welcomed bonus. Some of these features may include a compass, a barometer, a GMT display, and many more. Many sailing watches today are also equipped with a regatta timer, which is a crucial complication in yacht racing. A regatta timer allows the wearer to track how much time is left before the competitors in the regatta can start the cross line. This function is essential in sailing competitions because boats and yachts are in constant motion, which means the countdown is necessary as sailors maneuver the waters before the official start of the race. Ultimately, all these complications help make the sailing process easier to handle for wearers, which is the essence of a true sailing watch. Final Thoughts We hope that this list of 15 sailing watches has helped you to get more familiar with some of the numerous sailing watches out there. Each and every piece has its own share of strengths and weaknesses, so it is understandable if you are a little confused about which model to get. At the end of the day, it all depends on your personal criteria and preferences but rest assured that you will find the perfect watch for your sailing adventures.  Photo Credits: WatchShopping and Official Watch Sites If you are hooked on listless, check out our piece on the 15 Best Retro Watches Worth Your Time!

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  10. 15 Best Retro Watches Worth Your Time

    15 Best Retro Watches Worth Your Time

    Ask any watch connoisseur about a piece they treasure the most in their respective collections and there is a high chance that retro watches will come up in the conversation. Vintage timekeepers are often treated as valuable and desirable accessories given the rich history behind them. Most retro watches are also hand-crafted and are intricately built to last for a very long time. This is why they serve as testaments to many watch brands’ craftsmanship, attention to detail, and passion for top-notch watchmaking. Nostalgic, functional, and appealing—retro watches are simply must-have items in any watch collection. If you have been wanting to anchor your collection with a dependable vintage timepiece, this article is just for you! Retro Watches: Our Top Picks From famous brands like Casio to underrated classics like Zodiac, there are many labels that offer trustworthy retro watches at different price points. Thus, it can be quite difficult and determine which ones best suit your lifestyle and budget the most. To help you choose the right piece, we have gathered 15 of the best retro watches in the market. Take a look below and see which one of these retro watches is most to your tastes! 1. Seiko 6139-6005 Photo by borgsauce_wis on Instagram Case material: Stainless steelCase dimension: 40mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticWater resistance: 70 meters Kicking off our list is a piece from one of the most highly-acclaimed names in Japanese horology. Seiko has been impressing everyone with its magnificent lineup of timekeepers since its establishment 140 years ago. From simple time-only quartz pieces to robust divers made specifically for conquering vast depths of waters, name what type of watch you desire and the brand probably has it in its arsenal. One famous vintage Seiko timepiece is the Seiko 6139-6005, popularly known as the “True Pogue”. Created in the 1960s, this watch got its iconic nickname after NASA astronaut and United States Air Force (USAF) pilot Colonel William Pogue wore it during the Skylab Mission 4 in 1973. This Seiko retro watch comes in a 40mm stainless steel case and has a caseback made out of the same material. It bears the famous Pepsi bezel first seen in Rolex GMT-Master, adding some stylish flair to this Seiko watch. The dial comes in a bright yellow shade and is protected by a layer of the brand’s proprietary Hardlex crystal. Since this is a chronograph watch, it has a 30-minute sub-dial as well as two pushers adjacent to the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock markers. The Seiko 6139-6005 is powered by the Caliber 6139B automatic movement which beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (vph). In addition, this durable retro watch is equipped with Seiko’s Diashock technology, which allows it to maintain its accuracy even after taking some hard knocks and impacts. All things considered, the Seiko 6139-6005 is a conversational piece worth checking out. It costs around $300 USD to $700 USD depending on the condition the piece is in. Indeed, this is one of those retro watches that can definitely help you stand out in a crowd. 2. Casio CA53W-1 Case material: ResinCase dimension: 35mmMovement: Japanese QuartzBattery Life: approximately 5 yearsWater-resistance: No depth rating available Perhaps one of the most trailblazing watch inventions of all time, the Casio CA53W-1 is one of the first retro digital watches ever. This calculator watch was the most stylish and unique accessory back in the day. In fact, its popularity among kids, teens, and adults of all genders back then can be compared to the fame Apple watches enjoy today. Having it on your wrist was equated to being cool and trendy, especially since it appeared in several blockbuster films and tv shows such as Back to the Future Part II and III, Breaking Bad, and Mr. Bean. Bearing a straightforward appearance, this Casio watch has a lightweight exterior that consists of a 35mm octagonal black case and a strap, both made out of resin. The face of this retro Casio watch seems quite intimidating at first due to its stocky 4-grid keypad. That said, once you get to know how it works, you will realize how helpful it is in making your daily routines easier. The buttons on the calculator keypad have markings that come in white, yellow, and red shades that allow for better readability even in dim lighting conditions. When it comes to performance, this Casio digital watch will surely give you the best bang for your buck. Apart from having dual time features, it also has a stopwatch that measures 1/100th of a second in either elapsed, spilt, or 1st-2nd place modes, an hourly time signal, a full auto-calendar of up to 2009, and a 12 or 24-hour layout. With an accuracy rating of +/- 30 seconds per month, its 3-volt lithium CR2016 battery can last up to 5 years. Of course, as a calculator watch, you can also use it to perform 8-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The Casio CA53W-1 is still available in most Casio stores, under the Databank division. It retails at just $25 USD, making it not one of the cheapest retro watches available today. 3. Bulova Computron Case material: Stainless Steel Case dimension: 31mmMovement: QuartzBattery Life: approximately 5 yearsWater-resistance: 30 meters Next up, we have another extraordinary retro digital watch, oozing with elegance and sophistication. The Bulova Computron Chrome edition was first introduced in 1976. It was the first light-emitting diode (“LED”) watch released by the American brand. Back then, watchmakers were still struggling with the quartz crisis. As a response, Bulova came up with the Bulova Computron as an innovative response to people’s growing demand for quartz watches. The Bulova Computron was hugely successful and allowed the brand to become widely known in both the quartz and digital watch markets. In 2019, Bulova released a reissue of the Bulova Computron, which serves as a direct ode to its predecessor. This new edition retains the original vintage spirit of its forerunner while also incorporating updated attributes and modern technology. Adventurous and creative are the perfect words to describe the new Bulova Computron watch. Its 31mm stainless steel trapezoidal case gives off a strong vintage feel and is paired with a uniquely-shaped steel bracelet with patterned links. Unusually enough, the blue LED display where you can see the time and date only occupies the bottom part of the long dial. The focal point of this vintage Bulova watch is that almost every function it has can be controlled with just a push of a button, which can be found on the right side of the case. Pressing this button once will turn on the watch and doing so a few more times will show you the time and date. Bulova also added a dual time zone feature to the 2019 reissue as a way of fitting the watch to the current modern landscape. Finally, this watch has a decent 30-meter water resistance rating and is powered by a quartz movement that has two-year battery life. Retailing at a reasonable price of $300 USD, this is one of those cool retro watches you definitely do not want to miss out on. 4. Grand Seiko First Case material: 18ct GoldCase dimension: 35mmMovement: Mechanical, Manual-windPower reserve: approximately 45 hoursWater-resistance: No depth rating available Grand Seiko is another Japanese brand that has been in the market for over 60 years. It is a subsidiary of Seiko dedicated to producing high-end, high-quality luxury watches on par with the top Swiss timepieces. Among its notable and rave-worthy products is, of course, the first-ever Grand Seiko watch, also known as the Grand Seiko 3180. This vintage Grand Seiko piece is the perfect epitome of a classic dress watch. Compared to the aforementioned watches, the Grand Seiko 3180 has a more modest and subtle look. The dial has a straightforward analog layout, with a lovely off-white dial containing luxurious gold-plated dauphine hands and baton indices. The dial is inscribed with elegant cursive black texts that spell out the watch’s technical information while also helping to enhance its vintage vibe. This is paired with a 35mm stainless steel case in gold and a handsome dark brown leather strap. In terms of its technical specification, this retro watch relies on a chronometer-grade Caliber 3180 movement that has an accuracy rating of +12/-3 seconds a day. Priced at around $1,700 USD to $3,000 USD, this is a limited edition retro piece that watch enthusiasts are sure to go crazy for. 5. Timex Marlin Photo by carolina_timex_machine on Instagram Case material: Stainless steelCase dimension: 33mmMovement: Mechanical, manual-windWater-resistance: No depth rating available Here, we have another fantastic dress watch from the American brand Timex. Founded in 1984, Timex has always been more inclined to create quartz-powered pieces. That being said, the brand’s old yet tough mechanical Timex Marlin is surely one for the books. Just like most retro watches, the Timex Marlin has had numerous reissues. However, the original models hailing from the ’60s remain unmatched when it comes to their movements and overall build. The aesthetic of the Timex Marlin leans towards the minimalist side. It comes in a gold-colored stainless steel case paired with a black leather strap. The beautiful champagne sunburst dial is decorated with matching gold Arabic numerals and hour markers. In terms of functionality, this gold retro watch runs on a hand-wound mechanical movement. It is also water-proof so bringing this watch on your occasional trips to the pool would not be any problem. You just need to shell out around $60 USD to $300 USD to be able to purchase a Timex Marlin on legitimate secondhand markets. 6. Seiko TV Watch Photo by WAI’s Watch Museum on Flickr Case dimension: 40mmWeight: 190 gramsBattery life: 5 hoursWater-resistance: No depth rating available The Seiko T001, better known as the Seiko TV Watch, is perhaps the most awe-inspiring piece in this entire rundown. Considered the inspiration for all present-day smartwatches, it serves as Seiko’s grand leap into the future. Right off the bat, you will notice that the watch has a trailblazing design that goes beyond the norm. It comes in a square-shaped steel case with a sturdy strap of the same material. This monochromatic color combination goes really well with its two liquid crystal displays. These displays are dedicated to the television and time-calendar functions. This Seiko wristwatch is meant to function with four other necessary components, namely the headphones, headphone cord, video, receiver, video connector. In order for the watch’s television to work, you just have to connect the receiver and the headphones to the watch body itself. In addition, this retro watch also comes with a stopwatch and an alarm feature, giving you the ultimate timekeeping experience. If you want a stunning timepiece that reminds you of how much watchmaking has evolved throughout the years, you should definitely go for this Seiko TV watch. It goes for around $800 USD to $1,200 USD on secondhand markets. 7. Tissot Visodate Seastar Seven Photo by David Broglin on Flickr Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 34mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticPower reserve 45 hoursWater-resistance: No depth rating available Here we have a Swiss entry that boasts regality and sophistication. Coming from the brand Tissot, whose philosophy revolves around the constant pursuit of innovation, the Tissot Visodate Seastar Seven is one of those models that certainly deserves more recognition. This retro Tissot watch from the 1960s comes in a thin 34mm stainless steel case with a silver mesh strap. It has a large crown placed next to the 3 o’clock mark, with teeth edges for an easier grip. Meanwhile, the faded silver sunburst dial contrasts well with its applied black and gold indices and hands. A domed crystal protects the face of this vintage watch from any external threats and impacts, while a screw-down steel caseback ensures that the watch is safe from water damage. This is a dressy retro watch that breaks barriers by deviating from the usual bulky and fierce appearance of most diver watches. The Tissot Visodate Seastar Seven runs on a 21-jewel self-winding movement called the Caliber 784-2. Bearing a price tag that ranges between $100 USD and $1,000 USD, this retro watch is sure to last you a long time. 8. Casio F-91W-1 Case material: ResinCase dimension: 33mmMovement: Japanese QuartzBattery Life: approximately 7 yearsWater-resistance: 50 meters Another cool retro watch you should look out for is the Casio F-91W. It is best known for being the first mass-produced digital watch, with approximately 3 million units sold every year. While it does not have the same exclusivity as watches produced by Swiss giants like Rolex and Patek Philippe, this retro digital watch from the late ’80s is definitely a steal, especially considering its affordable price tag. The Casio F-91W comes in a 33mm black resin case and a matching strap with a buckle closure that ensures it will fit nicely on your wrist. Its rectangular digital display is protected by a layer of heavy-duty acrylic glass and is rimmed with red, blue, and yellow elements that give this timepiece a fun and quirky touch. This retro watch also has a microlight on the side that illuminates the screen effortlessly when needed. Apart from telling the time, this retro men’s watch also features an automatic calendar, a daily alarm, a 1/100th-second stopwatch feature, and a 12/24 hour time format. Above all these, what is great about this Casio vintage watch is that it comes in many chic colorways such as gold and black, blue and silver, and black and silver, to name a few. It can be purchased for just $20 USD. 9. IWC Mark XI Photo by Timur Gromov on Flickr Case material: Stainless steelCase dimension: 36mmMovement: Mechanical, manual-windPower reserve 44 hoursWater-resistance: 20 feet For those of you who are craving for a true military watch that can endure all sorts of challenges, the IWC Mark XI is the right piece for you. Launched in 1949, the field watch was made for the members of the British Royal Air Force (RAF). Like other field watches, the IWC Mark XI has a simple yet impactful design. It features a black time-only dial that serves as a great backdrop to the white Arabic numerals and the silver hands. Luminous symbols are placed at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock markers to provide better legibility in dark conditions. When it comes to this retro military watch’s build, it has a slim case size of 36mm. The stainless steel case has a polished finish which gives the watch a more professional luster. This IWC watch is also anti-magnetic and water-resistant up to 20 feet. It also has an oversized crown, so that wearers can grip and turn it more easily. Equipped with one of the most accurate three-hand movements ever made the Caliber 89, this retro watch costs around $2,000 USD to $8,000 USD. 10. Zodiac Sea Wolf Photo by verge_escapement on Instagram Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 35mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticWater-Resistance: 200 meters The Zodiac Sea Wolf is often underappreciated, but it is notable for being one of the first few divers to ever grace the market. Considered a true classic, this watch should definitely be on every watch enthusiasts’ radar. This Zodiac retro watch is enclosed in a well-brushed 35mm stainless steel case and a brass-plated bezel. This is paired with a striking black dial that features broad luminous hands and triangle hour markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. In addition, this timepiece uses an automatic movement made by ETA and A. Schild. It has a hacking feature and comes with a substantial 200-meter water resistance rating. That said, one downside to this retro watch is that its teeth-edged bezel is quite sensitive to wear and tear, so you should be careful not to knock it around. For that same reason, while this watch only costs around $1,000 USD, it’s pretty hard to get a piece in good condition nowadays. 11. Seiko 6105-8110 Photo from Tommyzeta on Flickr Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 44mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticPower reserve: Approximately 32 hoursWater-Resistance: 159 meters Often called the Seiko Captain Willard by watch fanatics because of its appearance in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, the 6105-8110 is a remarkable vintage piece. This retro watch comes with a sizable 44mm stainless steel cushion case. It also has an extremely legible dial — thanks to its thick, luminous geometric-shaped hour markers and baton hands. Embodying a utilitarian appeal, its black dial perfectly complements the silver case and appliques. This retro Seiko watch runs on a premium automatic 6105B caliber. It has 17 jewels and beats at a frequency of 26,600 vph. Apart from having a power reserve of 32 hours, the movement also comes with a quick-set date and hacking seconds functions that allow you to set the time accurately. It can also withstand water pressures of up to 150 meters. Paired with a rubber strap with a waffle-like pattern, the price of this watch ranges from between $1,000 USD to a little over $1,500 USD. 12. Omega Seamaster DeVille Chronograph Photo by Davidt on www.omegaforums.net Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 35mmMovement: Mechanical, Manual-windWater-resistance: No depth rating available The Omega Seamaster DeVille Chronograph, also known as the Omega Seamaster 321, is yet another lustrous and desirable retro watch. It was released during the 1960s—the same era in which the iconic Omega Speedmaster started gracing the market. Considered an underrated creation by the brand, this vintage chronograph watch certainly packs a punch. This retro watch comes in a 35mm stainless steel case and a fine brown leather strap. The muted white dial contains sleek baton indices, elongated sword hands, and three chronograph sub-dials. As its name suggests, this watch is powered by the manual-winding Caliber 321, which is the same mechanism used in early Speedmaster models. If you want to experience the wonders of Omega watches, then the Omega Seamaster DeVille Chronograph is a great option to start with. You can get this vintage piece for around $4,000 USD to $6,000 USD. 13. Bulova Oceanographer Snorkel 666 Photo by Mick McMahon on Flickr Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 41mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticWater-Resistance: 203 meters If you are looking for a trustworthy retro diver that does not stick to the norm, then the Bulova Oceanographer Snorkel 666 is a great option. In terms of design, it has a very cool and straightforward look. The unusual black-and-red unidirectional bezel gives the watch a sporty vibe. The watch comes in a 41mm asymmetrical stainless steel case and a huge crown that goes well with its black rubber strap. This retro watch’s black dial comes with luminous indices in small circle shapes. This also serves as its main selling point, since the tubes used to illuminate the watch make them almost resemble those precious stones you typically see in watches made by famous jewelers or luxury brand. In addition, this Bulova watch also comes with a large double-digit date display on the right, which is very handy to have. This vintage piece can withstand water pressures of up to 200 meters. This was pretty much a huge deal during that era since most of its close competitors only had water-resistance capacities of less than 200m. Powered by the Caliber 11 BLACD, this retro watch has a price tag ranging between $500 USD to $700 USD. 14. Gruen Precision Day-Date Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 34mmMovement: Mechanical, AutomaticWater-Resistance: No depth rating available Stylish, dependable, and precise, the Gruen Precision Day-Date is another retro dress watch you certainly do not want to miss out on. Unlike the previous dress watches we have discussed above, this Gruen piece shows off a date window at 3 o’clock and an elongated day aperture above the 6 o’clock marker. It also comes in a 34mm gold-plated steel case and a luscious brown leather strap. The champagne dial, which has baton indices and luminous dauphine hands, adds a suave flair to this retro watch. Under the hood of this vintage dress watch is an in-house 512CB movement with 17 jewels. For a price of just $500 USD, you can get this no-frills retro timepiece that prioritizes both form and function. 15. Hamilton Ventura Photo by txinkman on Flickr Case material: Comes in various materialsCase dimension: Comes in various sizesMovement: Comes in various movementsWater resistance: Comes in various ratings Known as the world’s first electric timepiece, the Hamilton Ventura is a must-have for the vintage watch junkies because of the rich history it carries. It was created shortly after World War II, all thanks to industrial designer Richard Arbib’s creativity and thirst for peculiar concepts. The Ventura became even more popular after its appearance in some of Elvis Presley’s blockbuster films. With its boomerang-shaped case and minimalistic dial layout, this cutting-edge retro watch is a total stunner. The early Hamilton Ventura watches came in a 14K yellow gold or white gold case paired with a silver or black dial respectively. Each piece also boasted an electricity-like pattern at the center of its dial, running under the gold-plated hands of the watch. These retro watches were equipped with Hamilton’s iconic in-house Caliber 500, which was the product of decades worth of exploration and research. Today, the Hamilton Ventura comes in numerous iterations, but all of them stay loyal to most of the design cues of the original, particularly in terms of case shape. You can get modern pieces with skeleton dials or models that come with ETA-based automatic movements. There are also special editions specially crafted to commemorate Elvis Presley’s legacy. Bearing a price range of $700 USD to $2,000 USD, this is the perfect retro watch for you if you want a splash of quirkiness in your life.  Final Thoughts All in all, retro watches have withstood the test of time largely because of their contributions to the growth of the horological realm as well as their timeless aesthetics. Even with all the newfangled innovations in watchmaking today, no one can deny the exclusivity and heritage that retro watches can bring. Whether you prefer old dive watches with great stories, a robust digital watch, or an elegant dress piece you can wear to any occasion, there are many retro watches out there that will tickle your fancy. Indeed, the list of best retro watches we have collated here really is just the tip of the iceberg. Just make sure you do your research and pick a piece that best fits your needs and budget. Interested in knowing more about other types of watches you can score and eventually add to your growing collection? Then make sure to check out our articles on the 6 Best Seiko Kinetic Watches and the Top 5 Japanese Dress Watches. Featured image by affordablewristtime from Instagram Other photos from official watch websites unless noted otherwise

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  11. Top 25 Best Automatic Watches

    Top 25 Best Automatic Watches

    If you are new to the world of watches, you will know that familiarizing yourself with the different terms can be quite a difficult task, especially since there is a certain jargon used in horology. Regardless, one of the first things you need to learn is the difference between automatic and quartz timepieces. Quartz timepieces are powered by batteries while automatic watches are equipped with self-winding springs. Being able to differentiate between these two types of timekeepers will allow you to better understand the anatomy of a watch and how it works. While quartz models are unparalleled when it comes to accuracy, a good percentage of the best watches out there are actually driven by automatic movements. With that being said, we have curated a list of the best automatic watches that are worth your while!  25 Best Automatic Watches Here’s our list of the best automatic watches available right now.  1. Seiko 5  Though this collection from Seiko cannot quite compete when you put it head to head with the others on this list, that is also not the only way we grade watches. Instead, we also often look at whether a watch is a “bang for your buck”, or how much value that piece has. When you take that approach, the Seiko 5 immediately reveals itself to be an exceptional timepiece. This collection breaks the mould by delivering high-quality and durable automatic watches at surprisingly low prices, making it a fantastic choice for budget shoppers. 2. Tissot Powermatic  The Tissot Powermatic is an automatic watch that we have a soft spot for. It has a minimalist style, makes use of luxurious and expensive materials, and is just a joy to wear. As an added bonus, it sports an impressive 80-hour power reserve, which beats out many of the pricier options on this list. That feature makes this timepiece easy to use, as you can put it down for a couple of days and not have to reset it when you decide to wear it again. 3. Oris Aquis If you want to get an automatic watch that is a bit more expensive, then Oris is a natural step up. This Swiss manufacturer has an excellent reputation in the watch world and will not let you down. The Oris Aquis is an automatic dive watch collection that gives you a ton of options to choose from. Whether you like your timepieces big, small, minimalistic, or complex, this collection will be able to meet your needs. We especially love the Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7732 4157-07 8 21 05PEB, a charming green dial and bezel model which looks quite a bit like the famous Rolex “Hulk” Submariner. 4. Longines Master The Longines Master is another collection that we have a special affinity for. If you want to buy an automatic watch that comes with serious craftsmanship and an elegant aesthetic, then look no further. While this collection is very diverse, we recommend you take a look at the moon phase options first. There is just something so attractive and alluring about these automatic timepieces. Minimalist shoppers will also be happy to find that many of the automatic models in this collection sport clean, uncluttered dials. 5. Tudor Black Bay One of the most sought-after watches in the world is the Rolex Submariner. While that piece is certainly fantastic, buyers often have to wait years to get one or pay for them at a premium. If you want a luxury automatic diver, but do not want to jump through hoops, the Tudor Black Bay is a great option. Tudor is a sister company of Rolex, and they have created some truly amazing products over the years, with this model being their best seller. 6. Omega Speedmaster  The Omega Speedmaster is often called the “Moon Watch”, as it was on the wrists of the first astronauts that went to the moon. Trivia aside, this automatic watch is a fantastic deal and one of the premier icons in the horology world today. It is one of those products that you can order without any stress or fear, given its reputation and its tendency to appreciate in value. 7. IWC Pilot’s Watch IWC is quietly one of the top watch brands in the world, and the IWC Pilot collection is a bestseller of theirs. Consumers especially love the quality and the sturdiness of the materials used in IWC watches, along with everything else that IWC has to offer. Another advantage is that they come at multiple price ranges. Those of you who want to spend a little less can get an entry-level automatic Pilot, while big spenders can go for the more expensive IWC Big Pilot. 8. Rolex Submariner  You know this watch is truly iconic when we mention it twice in the article before it even comes up as an entry. That is the power of the Rolex Submariner, which may be the most in-demand timepiece on the market. It is not just hype, though, as this automatic model has top-tier Swiss craftsmanship and aesthetics that impress. Simply put, you cannot go wrong with the Submariner. 9. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon  Audemars Piguet is one of the most well-established luxury brands in the watchmaking industry. With over a century of experience, they have managed to gain a stellar reputation — thanks to the high-level craftsmanship shown in each timepiece they release. Considering their status, it is only expected that they offer their own range of quality automatic watches. In fact, their iconic Royal Oak collection is actually home to some of the best self-winding models out there. The AP Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon boasts both a gorgeous design and impressive specifications, such as a flying tourbillon function and a 65-hour power reserve. On the whole, it serves as an elegant automatic watch for all luxury watch enthusiasts. 10. Bell & Ross 03-92 Heritage  If we are talking about classy and avant-garde timepieces, Bell & Ross should definitely be one of the first brands you check out. They have a wide selection of unique models that come with excellent functions. The best thing about this brand is how they make sure that both the technical and creative aspects of watchmaking are always aligned and consistent, which is something clearly evident in all their models. The BR 03-92 Heritage, for example, is a great automatic watch with such a distinct design. The model’s robust exterior is complemented by its first-class features like a time-setting with hacking function and a 40-hour power reserve. It is the perfect self-winding watch for those who like sophisticated yet tough-looking pieces. 11. Seiko Presage SRPG05J1  Even if you are not exactly familiar with the watchmaking world, you have probably heard of Seiko at least once in your life. They are one of the most popular and respected brands in the market — thanks to their expertise in Japanese craftsmanship. Seiko is also home to numerous collections with excellent automatic watches. Their Presage collection has its fair share of quality self-winding models, with the SRPG05J1 being one of many outstanding automatic pieces. It is equipped with a caliber 4R35 and has a power reserve of up to 41 hours. If you want a well-crafted automatic watch, then make sure to check out the Seiko Presage line as well!  12. Hamilton Khaki Field Murph Auto Many of us know Hamilton as the brand loved by the big screen because of the countless appearances of their watches in films. There is just something about their timepieces that make for perfect companions to protagonists and other characters. While this proves their creativity and striking looks, Hamilton watches are not just about aesthetics. In fact, their current catalogue consists of pieces with impressive specifications, functions, and features. One of their best automatic watches is the Khaki Field Murph Auto, which was actually featured in the film Interstellar. It is equipped with an H-10 caliber that follows a three-hand movement and has a whopping 80-hour power reserve. This timepiece is a must-have for those who like self-winding models with classic exteriors.  13. Breitling Superocean Automatic 36 Breitling is another highly-regarded manufacturer with over a century of experience under its belt. They are known as pioneers in the industry especially given their expertise in crafting certain watch complications. While their claim to fame may be their chronographs, the brand also has an exceptional portfolio of automatic watches such as the Breitling Superocean collection, which primarily consists of diving models. The Superocean Automatic 36, for example, is driven by an automatic Breitling 17 caliber which boasts an excellent power reserve of approximately 38 hours. If you’re looking for a solid automatic diving watch, then do not miss out on the Superocean Automatic!  14. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Bulgari is a well-respected jeweler and watch manufacturer in the luxury world. While all their products are of the utmost quality and elegance, the timepieces they offer are on another level of stunning and technical. Through their knowledge of stones and jewels, they are able to create statement pieces that boast high performance as well. For example, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is one of their most popular timepieces. This particular model is an automatic watch, equipped with their BVL138 Finissimo caliber, with a power reserve of 60 hours. However, the most interesting part about it is that the aforementioned calibre is actually known as the thinnest automatic movement in the world. If you want a gorgeous and equally complex self-winding watch, then the Bulgari Octo Finissimo is just the right one for you!  15. Timex Waterbury Traditional Automatic While most of the recommendations on this list are from luxury manufacturers, some mass-market brands out there also offer excellent automatic watches. Timex, for one, is a company best known for its affordable and accessible timepieces. They are a popular go-to for many, especially the youthful audiences, because of the easygoing aesthetics their watches possess. One of their best self-winding models is the Waterbury Traditional Automatic which serves as a tribute to the first few Timex timepieces ever made. Since the brand had already been utilizing automatic calibers way back then, they opted to go with an improved version of said movements for the Waterbury Traditional Automatic. This automatic watch is perfect for those who want a casual, vintage-inspired piece that will not break the bank.  16. Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118/1A  When it comes to Haute Horlogerie, one name that will surely pop up is Patek Philippe. They are home to many of the most sought-after and expensive timepieces in the market. Patek Philippe has a rather untouchable reputation — thanks to its rich history and mastery of the watchmaking craft. With all that being said, it is no surprise that they also have some of the best automatic watches out there. For example, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118/1A, also known as the Ladies Automatic Nautilus, is driven by a powerful self-winding movement with a 45-hour power reserve and 29 jewels. With its sophisticated aesthetics and well-crafted caliber, this automatic timepiece is a great investment for all the ladies who enjoy luxury watches.  17. Victorinox Alliance Mechanical  Victorinox is known for offering high-quality products that boast excellent Swiss craftsmanship. Despite being late bloomers in the watchmaking industry, their expertise in metals and mechanics has allowed them to create outstanding timepieces. When it comes to automatic watches, a lesser-known but still great model is the Victorinox Alliance Mechanical. This Victorinox Alliance timepiece is a very classic-looking watch with contemporary features. It is equipped with an automatic ETA 2892 caliber and has a power reserve of up to 42 hours. If you are looking for something quintessential yet robust, then you should definitely check out the Alliance Mechanical.  18. Mido Ocean Star 200C Mido is a Swiss brand best known for its pieces inspired by architecture. In fact, the iconic Mido Multifort is a mechanical watch based on famous structures, namely the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Roman Colosseum. This is also one of the few watch manufacturers that can balance design and functionality perfectly. Aside from the Multifort, another renowned line they have is the Ocean Star, which came out in the 1950s. It is one of their flagship collections at present and it consists mostly of automatic watches. The Ocean Star 200C, in particular, is equipped with the Automatic Mido Caliber 80 which has date-day functions and an impressive 80-hour power reserve. If you’re looking for a self-winding timepiece that is perfect for underwater activities, then the Mido Ocean Star is a great option!  19. Bulova 96A246 Men’s Classic Bulova is an American watch company with a very colorful and rich heritage. Since their founding in 1875, they have accumulated numerous milestones which have cemented their reputation as a premium brand. They also offer a vast selection of timepieces with different designs, functions, and specifications. One of the best automatic watches they have is the 96A246 Men’s Classic, also known as the Hack Watch. It is a vintage-inspired model based on the brand’s history with the military. Moreover, it is driven by a three-hand, automatic movement with 21 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. This automatic timepiece is definitely recommended to those who want a self-winding watch with retro aesthetics.  20. Certina DS Action GMT Certina is a Swiss watch brand best known for its DS Concept technology. Its name stands for “double security”, which essentially means that they make use of especially sturdy and robust components for their timepieces. This shows how much the brand upholds reliability and precision which is clearly reflected in their current catalogue as well. While they have a lot of great automatic watches, the DS Action GMT serves as one of the best models they offer and is definitely worth the price. It is driven by a Powermatic 80.661 calibre with a multiple timezone mechanism and an impressive power reserve of 80 hours. This is perfect for those who want a casual yet multi-functional self-winding watch.   21. Panerai Luminor Marina  Panerai is a watch brand known for its genius fusion of Italian aesthetics, Swiss craftsmanship, and enthusiasm for the ocean. These serve as the main foundation of the brand, which they are able to execute well with every piece. Panerai also makes their own in-house movements, which boast different, avant-garde complications. This particular Luminor Marina, for example, is an automatic watch powered by their P.9010 caliber. It is made of 200 components and 31 jewels, with a power reserve of up to 72  hours. If you are looking for a sophisticated, distinct, and robust self-winding watch, then this model should definitely be on your list.  22. TAG Heuer Monaco Automatic  TAG Heuer is one of the most established luxury watch brands in the industry. They have a rich heritage involving automotive sports, which is evident in many of their collections. Aside from that, they are also known for showcasing highly precise and excellent Swiss craftsmanship. In fact, they offer some of the best automatic watches out there, such as the TAG Heuer Monaco. This is a very modern and distinct piece that is powered by their Caliber 02 automatic chronograph movement, with an 80-hour power reserve. If you want a sporty and striking self-winding watch, then do not miss out on the TAG Heuer Monaco!  23. Longines Heritage Classic  Longines is another brand with an established history behind them. Since the very beginning, they have been known for creating impressive time-telling instruments primarily used in competitions. This helped in cementing their reputation as a trusted partner of different figures in the world of sports, which has also become the backbone of their company’s name. As expected from a manufacturer driven by the desire to innovate, their current catalogue consists of well-crafted timepieces that boast high levels of accuracy and functionality. Of course, they also offer their fair share of excellent automatic watches. Their Longines Heritage collection, for example, consists of self-winding models with quintessential aesthetics. Each timepiece in this collection is driven by the brand’s automatic L893 movement and has an impressive power reserve of 72 hours. This is definitely a must-have for those who want a classic, vintage-inspired automatic watch!  24. Rado Captain Cook Automatic  Rado is another Swiss brand that has mastered the art of balancing creativity and functionality. They have a lot of innovative designs with impressive specifications, thanks to their expertise in watch technology. Rado currently offers a gorgeous selection of automatic watches, such as the Captain Cook Automatic, which gives off a very vintage aesthetic. Following a self-winding movement, it also boasts a whopping 80-hour power reserve.  25. Orient Mechanical Contemporary  Lastly, we have Orient, which is a Japanese company best known for its selection of classic and traditional timepieces. Their goal is to provide timeless models that are bound to last a long time, which is very on-brand for them. An example of this would be their Mechanical Contemporary Watch which is a perfect mix of classy and dependable. It is powered by a Japan-made automatic movement with 21 jewels and 221600 vph. On the whole, Orient is probably a go-to brand if you are looking for quintessential automatic watches that come at relatively affordable prices. Why Go For An Automatic Watch? No Battery Required Since automatic watches are designed to wind themselves automatically, it follows that they do not need a battery to operate. You will not wake up one day to find the watch battery drained on the morning of an important business meeting. Basically, you do not have to worry at all about having to replace the batteries every now and then with an automatic watch, which makes them very convenient indeed. Fairly Accurate Automatic timepieces fare well where accuracy is concerned. A standard automatic watch will clock in at plus or minus 25 seconds with respect to the actual time, which you will agree is not too bad. Of course, this will depend on who is wearing it, or rather, what you want to use the watch for. If you are in the medical, marine, or military sector, then naturally every second counts. In such cases, rather than an automatic watch, you would probably need a timepiece that is extremely accurate, such as a chronometer from Ulysse Nardin. No Hand Winding Necessary if Worn Regularly If you wear your automatic watch all the time, you will never have to manually wind it, which makes it very convenient. Your automatic piece will simply wind itself with the motion of your hand as you go about your daily routine. Stellar Aesthetics Just the craftsmanship alone incorporated in automatic watches is sheer genius, not to mention the engineering. This makes them some of the most aesthetically pleasing watches on the market. A simple look at the Rolex GMT Master II confirms this. Smooth Movement To add to the stunning aesthetics, these automatic watches boast smooth and suave hand movements. The smooth movement of the hands is even more pronounced if you pick an automatic watch with high beats per second (BPH). A high BPH can also increase the reliability of an automatic timepiece. This is something you will appreciate if your taste in watches goes beyond the aesthetic appeal. High Power Reserve Automatic watches have a high power reserve—particularly if they are fully wound. An automatic model can have up to 42 hours of power stored before you need to wind it up again. Depending on the brand you pick, some automatic watches can even store up to 10 days of power. Low Maintenance Automatic watches are generally easy to maintain. By using a soft cloth to wipe your watch every night, you will have it looking as good as new for years. But this does not eliminate the need to handle it with caution. Like any other watch, avoid showering or bathing with your automatic timepiece, even if it is waterproof. Exposing your automatic watch to water will result in the gasket expanding, which reduces the watch’s accuracy and overall lifespan. Final Thoughts  While quartz, mechanical, and automatic watches all have their fair share of pros and cons, self-winding timepieces remain a staple for many. There are countless options available and this list is merely a glimpse at some of the best automatic watches in the market. With the diversity of options available, regardless of your personal preferences, you are bound to find the right automatic watch just for you!   If this got you interested in watches, make sure to check out our article on the Iconic Seiko SARB017!  Photo Credits: Official Watch Websites

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  12. 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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