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  2. 15 Best Russian Watches

    15 Best Russian Watches

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

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  4. Marathon GSAR: A Comprehensive Review

    Marathon GSAR: A Comprehensive Review

    Military watches are crafted to be as durable as possible, ensuring maximal longevity. Since military personnel prefers utility over design—which is perfectly reasonable given their line of work—aesthetics tend to be less of a priority for military watches. Marathon is a great example of a watch brand that champions functionality and durability. By focusing on substance over style, Marathon has firmly cemented its place as one of the best military watch manufacturers in the market. The Marathon GSAR, otherwise known as the Marathon Government-Issued Search and Rescue, is a collection of high-utility watches meant for critical military missions. This Canadian-made watch ensures optimal comfort and mobility, improving the success rate of the wearers’ missions—especially since time is very crucial in dire situations. In addition, these watches are tried and tested by both the Canadian and US military forces, which serves as a testament to their quality. Today, we will be taking an in-depth look at the Marathon GSAR to just see what makes it so special as a search and rescue watch. Plus, we have also included 5 impressive alternatives for the Marathon GSAR watch if you are looking for something similar. Read on to find out more! First Impressions Image courtesy of Marathon Official The Marathon GSAR collection is an ambitious innovation meant to help military personnel fulfil their duties. It comes highly approved by the Canadian and US governments and has been endorsed by many high-ranking officers as well, so you can be sure of its reliability. That being said, the Marathon GSAR might not be of much interest to the average watch enthusiast or casual wearer. Indeed, its plethora of features tend to be useful primarily for military individuals or explorers and is not a great fit for the dance floor or as part of your everyday routines. If, however, you are looking for a companion on your next outdoor adventure, then the Marathon GSAR is a great choice. Without further ado, let us go over the specifications of the Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101. Specifications Case The Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101 is also commonly known as the Large Diver’s Automatic, due to its sizeable case. It employs the use of 361L stainless steel to craft its case, which measures 41mm in diameter. In addition, this is quite a robust watch, with its 14mm thickness. It also has a secure screw-in crown which keeps any moisture or dust from getting into the watch and causing damage to its inside. The water resistance rating on the Marathon GSAR is a whopping 30 ATM or 300 meters. This allows it to withstand great water pressures, which makes it a massive help during underwater search and rescue missions—the very purpose it was meant to fulfil. It is equipped with a 2.8mm thick sturdy sapphire crystal, which protects the dial from all sorts of external elements and damage. Dial The Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101 has a jet black dial with white numeral hour markers and a 24-hour layout commonly found in military watches. There is also a small date aperture between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, too. The monochrome design allows time to be easily read even with all the details on the dial. Image courtesy of Marathon Official Its visibility is also further boosted when used in the dark. Equipped with tritium gas tubes with glow that can last up to 25 years, divers can easily tell the time even when deep down underwater. The Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101 uses their very own luminescent technology, the MaraGlo. Notably, the MaraGlo is proven to be non-radioactive, so you do not have to worry about any hazards when it comes to using tritium gas tubes.” Movement Image courtesy of Marathon Official The Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101 is equipped with the ETA 2824-A2 caliber. This is an automatic movement that is popularly used in the market. With over 32 hours of power reserve, you can achieve a lot of things while wearing this watch—especially during search and rescue missions. Furthermore, since this is an automatic caliber, you do not have to worry about having to manually wind the watch during your missions. All you have to do is wear it and go about your business, and as long as it is on your wrist, it will never stop ticking. That said, if you do take the watch off for several days, simply turn the grooved crown to manually wind the watch again. Strap The strap used on the Marathon GSAR Ref. WW194006SS-0101 is a 20mm black rubber strap. It adds comfort and maintains the balance of the watch’s design, enhancing its sporty look. Price This high-functioning, government-issued search and rescue watch does not come cheaply. However, this is to be expected of a military-grade watch like this, which delivers impressive precision and durability. You can purchase this watch for around $1,300 USD. 5 Marathon GSAR Alternatives 1. Casio G-Shock 35th Anniversary Magma Ocean Ref. GWF-1035F-1JR Since the Marathon GSAR is technically a diver’s watch, you can find several dive watches that are just as robust as the Marathon GSAR. The only difference is that these watches are not government-issued, let alone made for the sole purpose of search and rescue missions. That said, the Casio G-Shock 35th Anniversary Magma Ocean Ref. GWF-1035F-1JR is an exceptional Casio’s diver’s watch that would surely be of use to you during your underwater expeditions. The Casio G-Shock 35th Anniversary Magma Ocean Ref. GWF-1035F-1JR has a large 52.8mm case made of hard-coated stainless steel and polymer. This might sound like an unusual combination, but this case is reinforced for maximum protection against water pressures and shocks. The dial, on the other hand, is mainly digital. It also has a backlight function to provide a light source in the dark and underwater, giving this G-Shock watch greater legibility. This Frogman piece is also equipped with Casio’s very own Tough Solar and Multi-Band 6 features, making it eco-friendly and highly functional. This watch retails at $749 USD. It is a great alternative to the Marathon GSAR since it is fitted with incredibly useful features for both diving and other outdoor activities. 2. Longines HydroConquest Ref. L37813587 Longines also have an impressive dive watch up their sleeves. The Longines HydroConquest Ref. L37813587 is a perfect example of a stylish diver’s watch that is comparable to the Rolex Submariner but is much more affordable. The Longines HydroConquest Ref. L37813587 uses a 41mm stainless steel case with a bidirectional rose gold bezel. The bezel also has a black ceramic insert, painted with a tachymeter scale for improved utility. This is paired with a two-toned stainless steel bracelet with exquisite rose gold central links. The dial of this HydroConquest watch looks a lot like the Submariner, as it features bold circular hour indices and a date window at 3 o’clock. Its black backdrop blends perfectly with the rose gold accents all over the watch’s exterior. This watch is also equipped with a water resistance rating of 300 meters, so it is more than capable of competing against the Marathon GSAR. In addition, it makes use of the Longines Caliber L888 automatic movement to ensure excellent precision and a 62-hour power reserve. As a stylish luxury diver, this watch is a bit more expensive than the Marathon GSAR. It retails at a price of $1,699 USD. 3. Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79230B-0007 Tudor is another luxury watch brand that does not fall short when it comes to exceptional dive watches. If you are in the market for a luxury diver that offers a sleek style while also providing durability and functionality useful during outdoor activities, give the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79230B-0007 a shot. The Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79230B-0007 makes use of a 41mm stainless steel case with a sporty dark blue leather strap. That said, for those who prefer a more professional look, you can opt to swap the leather strap for a stainless steel bracelet too. The dial is protected by a high-quality, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It does not have a date aperture, but it features large hands and oversized geometric hour markers which are very easy to read. The water resistance capacity of this watch is slightly less impressive than the Marathon GSAR, at 200 meters. It might not be as powerful as the Marathon GSAR, but if you are looking for a pseudo dress piece that boasts durability and versatility, then this Tudor Black Bay model might be the one for you. You can purchase the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 79230B-0007 for $3,475 USD. 4. Seiko Prospex Divers Ref. SBDC101 If you are looking for an affordable alternative to the Marathon GSAR, the Seiko Prospex Divers Ref. SBDC101 is a great choice. Priced at around $1,449 USD, this Seiko piece offers a straightforward, minimalist design that promotes comfort and class. The Seiko Prospex Divers Ref. SBDC101 utilizes a quintessential build, with a 40mm stainless steel case and matching three-link bracelet. The black dial contrasts nicely with its silver-tone hands and thick hour indices, allowing for improved legibility. A date aperture can also be found replacing the 3 o’clock marker. As a dive watch, this model also comes with a black bezel, marked with a tachymetric scale in white paint. With its substantial 200-meter water resistance capacity, this is an excellent option for those seeking a partner during underwater dives. 5. SINN Diving U212 Ref. 212.040-Solid-2LSS In terms of utility, the SINN Diving U212 Ref. 212.040-Solid-2LSS is possibly the best alternative to the Marathon GSAR. Although it does come at a more expensive price of $3,049 USD, this watch offers a delightfully versatile aesthetic and features even better than that of the Marathon GSAR. The case of the SINN Diving U212 Ref. 212.040-Solid-2LSS is quite large, weighing in at a diameter of 47mm. It is best suited for average-to-large-sized wrists. This case, and its matching bracelet, are both made from bead-blasted German submarine steel, a military-grade material that maximizes the watch’s durability both underwater and in extreme weather conditions. The submarine steel bezel is marked with playful red and black accents and comes with a tachymetric scale for optimal utility. The dial of this Sinn timepiece also comes in black, with contrasting white indices and hour and minute hands. The seconds hand comes in bright red, adding a hint of sportiness to this piece. One downside to this watch is that the date aperture is much smaller than in the previously mentioned watches. That said, given the large size of the dial, the date display is still quite readable. Equipped with an incredible water resistance capacity of 1,000 meters, you can easily bring this watch on deep dives without ever having to worry about water damage. Indeed, this Sinn Diving piece is quite pricey, but the value you get from it is far more than what you pay for. Final Thoughts The Marathon GSAR is an exceptional watch that showcases the potential of military and dive watches, and how innovation and passion can take things further. This tool watch might not be for everyone, especially since it is geared more towards military use and extreme adventures. Nevertheless, if you are intrigued by the functionality of the Marathon GSAR, you are still welcome to give it a go and see if it fits your lifestyle. And if you think that a rugged government-issued watch is too much for your tastes, we have also presented five great alternatives. These alternatives have the same utility as the Marathon GSAR, but they possess different styles that just might fit your tastes more. Images courtesy of WatchShopping, unless stated otherwise. Featured image courtesy of Marathon Official If you consider yourself an adventurer and are looking for a durable companion, have a look at our 20 Best Hiking Watches in 2021!

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  5. Certina DS Action Diver: One of the Best Diver Watches?

    Certina DS Action Diver: One of the Best Diver Watches?

    Certina is a Swiss luxury watchmaking brand that many enthusiasts and collectors would acknowledge as underrated. The brand has a rich history of being at the forefront of waterproof innovations, and a prime model that exemplifies this is the Certina DS Action Diver. The DS Action Diver is an elegant timepiece from the Certina Aqua collection. It showcases a stylish design, tried-and-tested timekeeping accuracy, and certified water resistance. While classified as a luxury diver watch, the DS Action Diver is one of the brand’s more accessible references. Despite its affordability, the DS Action Diver maintains the quality seen in all Certina watches and sticks true to the brand’s traditional watchmaking values. Today, we will take a better look at the Certina DS Action Diver, its specifications, and its price. In addition to that, we will also view some alternative wristwatches from different brands and see if the DS Action Diver is truly worth the investment. Specifications Watch Dimensions Certina has released several variations of the DS Action Diver. For this review, we will be focusing on the Certina DS Action Diver Ref. C032.407.11.051.00.  This Certina DS Action Diver has a case diameter of 43mm and a case height of 13.1mm, making this a rather oversized watch. It has a non-standard lug width of 21mm, so finding a matching after-market strap might take some effort. Although this watch weighs around 180 grams with its bracelet, it is well-balanced and surprisingly not as top-heavy as it looks. On the whole, the DS Action Diver is quite a substantial watch and will look large on smaller wrists. If you have a thicker wrist or you are not bothered by its heft, then this Certina watch is well worth your time and budget. 316L Stainless Steel Case, Bezel, and Case Back Image By: Certina 316L stainless steel continues to be the ideal material for watch cases due to its ruggedness, corrosion resistance, and unmistakable luster. The case of the Certina DS Action Diver mainly consists of brushed steel. Taking a closer look at the sides of the case, you will notice that Certina has brushed the steel vertically. This is a little uncommon compared to the usual way other watchmakers brush their watches and gives the Certina DS Action Diver a slightly different shine. Other components of this Certina timepiece, such as the bezel and the rear case, utilize polished steel instead.  Located on the right of the steel case is a large crown with crown guards. Engraved on its center are the letters “DS,” which stands for the “Double Security” concept that the Certina DS Action Diver is crafted with. The crown of the watch is screwed-down, creating a secure vacuum seal that prevents water from entering the watch. With its considerable size and patterned grooves, the crown provides an easy grip so wearers and divers can use it with relative ease. Inserted on top of the case is a unidirectional rotating bezel made of aluminum and polished stainless steel. The bezel has a full 60-click rotation and no back play whatsoever. This bezel also comes with patterned grooves around its rim for a more secure grip. That said, the bezel is quite small. So, once your palms get sweaty, getting a proper hold of the bezel might be a little tricky. Such a design might be a problem for divers who plan to bring this watch to their expeditions. Aside from that, the bezel also has a black surface that contrasts with legible silver indices. At the tip of the bezel is an inverted silver triangle with a luminous pearl at the centre. This provides wearers with a source of brightness so they can read the elapsed time scale more easily. Moving on to the rear of the watch, the Certina DS Action Diver uses a solid steel caseback that bears the iconic DS turtle logo. Certina engraves the turtle there as a reminder of the brand’s long-term affiliation with the Florida Sea Turtle Conservancy. The rear case also bears bits of information regarding the watch and its specifications.   Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal As always, sapphire glass is the material of choice for luxury watchmakers due to its unparalleled scratch resistance. The sapphire crystal that Certina uses is flat and treated with an anti-reflective coating from top to bottom. This makes it very legible, and you will not have to worry about light glares or reflections no matter what angle you view it from. Black Dial The dial of the Certina DS Action Diver has a classic layout, with a jet-black face and lume-applied geometric hour markers and hands. The hour markers take the form of luminescent shapes that neatly contrast the black dial. Additionally, the 3 o’clock marker is smaller, to make room for the date window. The handset of the DS Action Diver consists of a sword-like minute hand, an arrow-shaped hour hand, and a red Breguet second hand that adds a splash of vibrant colour to the dial. Each hand possesses decent girth and length, which allows the watch to be easily read with a simple glance. In the dark, the hour markers, hands, and bezel pip start to radiate with different shades of Super-LumiNova coating. The pip itself emits a green color, while the hands and markers have a blue luminescence. While it is not anything drastic, the different hues of the Super-LumiNova coatings add some fun to the watch, as opposed to the usual monochrome luminescence you see in most watches. Powermatic 80.111 Image By: Certina Underneath the surface of the Certina DS Action Diver is the brand’s Powermatic 80.111 movement. The Powermatic 80.111 is an automatic caliber that Certina modified from an ETA.2824 caliber. What makes this movement stand out is its 80-hour power reserve. For Certina to achieve this, they added a customized kinetic chain and reduced the beat frequency of the ETA movement from 28,800 beats per hour to 21,600 vph. As a result, the caliber uses less energy, which also cuts down on excess wear and tear. This modified caliber produces only six beats per second, instead of the eight beats per second produced by the standard ETA.2824 movement. However, this is not a very noticeable difference, and the improved power reserve is an excellent trade-off. 316L Stainless Steel Bracelet Image By: Certina As with the case, Certina uses 316L stainless steel to forge the bracelet of the DS Action Diver. This bracelet consists of solid polished links and half-links that have the same sheen as the rest of the watch. Its buckle features a deployment clasp with double pushers to release. A set of smaller pushers are also present to give the bracelet a diver extension. This provides around 15mm of leeway for micro-adjustments, which is convenient for divers who want to wear the watch over a wetsuit.  If you are not fond of the stainless steel bracelet, a matching rubber strap is also offered for this Certina DS Action Diver. 300m Water Resistance Certina places a lot of importance on being ISO-certified, which is not surprising. Before obtaining certification, the model must go through rigorous testing. The criteria involve resistance to water pressures, condensation, shock, temperature, and overpressure. Once your watch matches the international standard for diver watches and is ISO-certified, people will begin to see your dive piece as remarkable and trustworthy.  The Certina DS Action Diver is an ISO-certified timepiece that can withstand up to 300m of water pressure. That means that the DS Action Diver can participate in all sorts of water-related activities. From taking a shower to scuba diving, this Certina timepiece can handle it all. In fact, the 300m water resistance rating even allows the user to bring the watch to the dark depths of professional or saturation diving. Approximate Price The Certina DS Action Diver retails at approximately $865 USD. Compared to other dive watches of its caliber, the DS Action Diver is highly affordable. You will definitely get your money’s worth with this diver timepiece. A pre-owned model can cost as low as $550 USD, which is around the same price as a brand-new Seiko Prospex Samurai.  What is Double Security? Image By: Certina Double Security, or DS, is a concept Certina created that provides several protective procedures and enhancements for their watches. It ensures that the timepiece is reliable, durable, and efficient at work. Double Security usually improves upon certain aspects of the wristwatch, such as anti-magnetism, water resistance, longevity, and robustness. Over the years, Certina has continuously adapted its DS concept to reflect the brand’s high standards in watchmaking. Through arduous research and rigorous testing, the DS concept continues to produce Certina wristwatches with top-of-the-line quality. Alternatives Still not convinced that the DS Action Diver is the watch for you? No need to worry. Just like the fish in the sea, there are plenty more watches out there for you to try. Here are some highly competitive alternatives to the Certina DS Action Diver. Seiko Prospex Automatic Divers Watch (SRPE93K)  Seiko is a watchmaker that seems to have an answer to everything. As such, they also possess an excellent, budget-friendly alternative to the Certina DS Action Diver. Feast your eyes on the Seiko Prospex Automatic Divers Watch Ref. SRPE93K. While this tonneau-cased timepiece has a look similar to the DS Action Diver, it also has a set of exclusive qualities that make it stand out.  This Seiko Prospex timepiece fetches an approximate price of $530 USD. It comes in a 44mm stainless steel case, making it a millimeter bulkier than the Certina DS Action Diver. As a more affordable alternative that is cheaper by more than $300 USD, the Ref. SRPE93K has some features that are not as first-rate as the DS Action Diver. For instance, Seiko uses their patented Hardlex crystal to shelter the dial. Although Hardlex offers decent protection, it is not as scratch-resistant as sapphire glass. Seiko equips the Ref. SRPE93K with their 4R36 caliber. This is a self-winding movement with manual hacking capabilities. While that in itself is neat, the caliber can only last up to 41 hours, nearly half of what the Certina’s Powermatic 80 is capable of. Additionally, this Seiko Prospex has a water resistance of 200m. It is still pretty substantial but is lower than the DS Action Diver’s 300m water resistance rating. One thing the Prospex excels in is lume quality. As many of us know, Seiko watches are known for their exceptional glow in the dark. With their eco-friendly LumiBrite technology, the Ref. SRPE93K has fantastic luminescence and is slightly brighter than the Certina DS Action Diver. In terms of style, the DS Action Diver has more ample spacing between each component compared to this Seiko Prospex watch. The hints of red, smaller hour markers and slimmer hands make the DS Action Diver appear more refined. Of course, preference is king, and it will always be the deciding factor. What makes the Seiko Prospex Automatic Divers Watch Ref. SRPE93K something to consider is its balance between quality and price. It offers great specs for an affordable price of just $530 USD, which is much cheaper than the Certina DS Action Diver. And like many other gorgeous timepieces, the Ref. SRPE93K is not just a divers watch, as you can bring it to chic events or on your daily routines. Truthfully, it would be quite a task to find a $500 USD watch that offers as much as this Seiko Prospex Automatic Divers Watch does. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (H82335131) Hamilton is another brand associated with top-notch quality and affordable prices. For this reason, we chose the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto as the second alternative to the Certina DS Action Diver. This Hamilton watch comes in a 40mm stainless steel case. At first glance, you will notice the Khaki Navy Scuba’s lovely black dial with white indices, hour markers, minute and hour hands, and a splash of red on its second hand. Aside from the largely monochrome color scheme, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto also has other similarities with the Certina Diver. First of all, the Hamilton Khaki Navy is powered by a Hamilton H10 automatic movement. It features a power reserve that can last up to 80 hours — the same amount of time as Certina’s Powermatic 80. The Khaki Navy Scuba utilizes high-quality sapphire glass to protect its dial. Like Certina, Hamilton also wants to best protection possible for its dark and alluring watch face. In addition, the sapphire crystal used by Hamilton is anti-reflective as well. Like the Certina DS Action Diver, the Khaki Navy Scuba also comes with a round stainless steel case and a screw-down crown. These are is crucial in ensuring the security and waterproofness of the watch. That said, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba is only water-resistant up to depths of 100m. Although this allows you to take the watch for a good swim, it is considerably less than the Certina DS Action Diver’s 300m. Even comparing this Hamilton watch with the Seiko Ref. SRPE93K, its water resistance rating is 100m less. If having excellent water resistance is not a high priority for you, then this Hamilton watch is definitely worth checking out. Even with its lesser water resistance capabilities, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba still stands out as a highly competent and sleek timepiece. Final Thoughts All in all, the Certina DS Action Diver watch is an incredible piece. It showcases the attention to detail, sophistication, and craftsmanship that Certina provides with all its models. Moreover, it bears a classy and timeless look that also makes it an excellent dress watch. Realistically, you can use this Certina timepiece for all sorts of activities and events. It has a stellar design and a robust exterior that allows it to withstand anything that gets in its way.  To top things off, the Certina DS Action Diver comes at a relatively modest price point. Although excellent alternatives do exist, the DS Action Diver promises quality and reliability above all. It is a practical and affordable piece of luxury that you cannot find just anywhere. Looking for another kind of divers watch? Check out the Orient Mako II and see if it’s worthy of a spot in your collection. Featured Image By: Certina

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  6. Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Blue Rolex Submariners have been “the in-thing” for as long as watch collectors can remember. Ever since its first release, Rolex Submariners in blue have always been a big hit with the audience. No one can be exactly sure why that’s been the case. Perhaps it is simply the touch of Rolex magic? Regardless, blue-toned watches have become a staple for the Rolex crowd. They are extremely recognizable and a commodity to enthusiasts and collectors alike. One of the most iconic Rolex Submariner Blue timepieces is the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 116613LB, more commonly known as the Bluesy.  The Ref. 116613LB is a remarkable piece of luxury. It is one of Rolex’s latest and most beloved creations to date. Whether in conversations online or offline, this Rolex Submariner Blue is one of the most talked-about models in Rolex history. The Bluesy has so much to boast and has barely any faults. Many watch connoisseurs find that they simply can’t think of things to criticize this watch for. So, if there isn’t much to improve upon, how could Rolex possibly top the Ref. 116613LB? In 2020, Rolex released the successor to the Bluesy, the Rolex Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB. The new Rolex Submariner Blue 126613LB features cutting-edge innovations and craftsmanship like no other. As we take a more detailed look at the new Bluesy, we will see if it truly is better than the original. Can Rolex refine a timepiece that already doesn’t disappoint? Let’s find out. Specifications Photo by Zeidman’s Watch Dimensions This addition to the Rolex Submariner line has a case diameter of 41mm, a millimeter more than standard Rolex Submariners. Although the specs show that the model is larger than average, the slimmed-down lugs and substantial bezel size make the watch appear smaller than it is. It is 12.7mm thick with a lug width of 21mm and has a lug to lug measurement of 48.1mm. Apart from the case diameter, the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB has proportions much like other Submariner models. That said, anyone who has owned a Submariner and worn it with no difficulty will have a similar experience sporting the spectacular Ref. 126613LB. Oystersteel and Yellow Gold Case and Caseback Image By: Rolex There isn’t anything that Rolex wouldn’t do to ensure a high-quality timepiece. Rolex uses a combination of beveled Oystersteel and yellow gold to produce the case of the Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB. Many Rolex enthusiasts are familiar with this iconic color scheme and refer to it as Yellow Rolesor. The term “Rolesor” is one that Rolex coined, meaning half gold and half steel. The Rolesor of the Submariner Ref. 126613LB is a blend of Rolex’s highly-regarded, durable Oystersteel and exquisite 18K gold. Rolex adopts the best properties of both materials and melds them into a perfect mixture of style and strength. The knob of the Submariner Blue Date is a screwed-down winding crown that features Rolex’s Triplock system. As its name suggests, the Triplock system makes use of a total of three gaskets to securely prevent water from leaking into the inner machinations of the watch. Simply put, this allows the crown to keep the timepiece safe underwater, whether the knob is screwed down or not. It ensures the watches are better protected and gives wearers some peace of mind knowing that their tremendously valuable timepiece is not in any danger.  Located at the rear of the timepiece is a screw-down caseback made from Oystersteel which keeps the inner mechanisms of the Rolex Submariner Blue safe. While it would have been nice to be able to view the movement at work through an exhibition caseback, a screw-down caseback is the optimal choice for greater protection. Compared to exhibition rear cases, screw-down casebacks are less vulnerable to leakages and can more effectively keep the watch safe from water damage.  Royal Blue Unidirectional Bezel Inserted on the top of the Rolex Submariner Blue Ref. 126613LB is a rich blue unidirectional bezel made of Cerachrom. “Cerachrom” is another word from the Rolex dictionary. It is an amalgamation of the English word “ceramic” and the Greek word “Chrom”, meaning color. At the top marker of the bezel is a luminescent bulb that provides brightness in dark environments. The ceramic bezel has its numbers and graduations overlaid with a tasteful gold coating to stand out from the blue surface of the dial. On the side of the bezel are notched edges that give an easier grip when rotating the bezel. The reason why Rolex uses ceramics instead of their renowned Oystersteel for the bezel is because of the scratch resistance. Unlike the metals used for bezels that can get scratched time and time again, ceramic bezels display a more resistant surface overall. It is scratch-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and resistant to UV rays. The only problem with ceramic, however, is its fragility. It does not take much to break ceramic, so it is pivotal to keep the timepiece from receiving impacts. Compared to steel, ceramics are more fragile and can crack, even shatter after taking a hard bump.  Royal Blue Chromalight Dial It is impossible to deny the grandeur of the Rolex Submariner Blue’s sunburst royal blue dial. The dial is glorious, with a stellar design that shimmers and shines under all sorts of lighting conditions. On the dial are geometric hour markers and an alpha handset encased in luxurious 18K gold. The hour markers come in different shapes of circles, rectangles, and a triangle for 12 o’clock — a simple yet effective way to indicate time. Perched at the 3 o’clock position is a date window roofed by a convex cyclops lens. Rolex supplies the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with their signature Mercedes-style handset, similar to the ones found in other Submariners. The hands and hour markers are also generously coated with Chromalight to provide brightness and legibility in the dark.  Here is an intriguing detail about the Submariner Date Ref. 126612LB’s dial. Tilt the watch slightly to the side, and you can see “Rolex” engraved several times on the inner walls of the timepiece, a testament to how Rolex truly pays attention to the finest of details. The main difference this particular Rolex Submariner Blue has from the previous Bluesy is its crisp, white-colored text. Many enthusiasts and collectors welcomed the color change as it is a more satisfying contrast to the blue dial than the original gold text. Ultimately, however, it is up to the preference of the wearer which version is truly better. Another minor difference can be found at the bottom of the dial. Right below the 6 o’clock marker of the new Rolex Submariner Blue is a small “Swiss-Made” signature with a crown affixed in between. Sapphire Glass For a watch as extravagant as the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB, sapphire glass is the only option fit to shelter the striking royal blue dial. No other material does a good job of protecting the Submariner timepiece as sapphire glass. It is superbly scratch-resistant and can take a good beating compared to the other materials in its category. Positioned on the right side of the glass is a convex cyclops lens that magnifies the date aperture on the dial. Such placement allows owners of this two-tone Submariner to read the date with just a glance.   A lesser-known fact about sapphire glass is that it tends to be highly reflective. Because of that, it is typical for watchmakers to apply a layer or two of anti-reflective coating. This allows wearers to comfortably read the time without any obstructions. Although the scratch resistance of sapphire is certainly noteworthy, it is still susceptible to cracks and shattering. With that in mind, it is best to keep the Rolex Submariner Blue safe and not go knocking it around against a hard surface. Rolex Calibre 3235 Image By: Rolex Rolex equipped this blue Submariner Date with their latest mainline movement, the Caliber 3235. The Caliber 3235 is an automatic movement based on the previous in-house Caliber 3135. The 3235 features a precision of -2/2+ seconds per day, which is incredibly accurate even by Rolex’s standards. In making their latest caliber, Rolex didn’t just make some minor adjustments. Rather, they heavily modified every aspect of the 3135 to create an upgraded Caliber 3235 that is even more efficient and reliable. That said, just what changes and improvements were made to the 3235? First, we will address the oscillator. The Calibre 3235 uses a paramagnetic Parachrom Bleu Hairspring to oscillate the balance wheel. While the hairspring isn’t entirely new, it has undergone a series of upgrades and fine-tuning. As a result, it runs with more enhanced isochronism and is ten times more accurate. Rolex used a blend of zirconium and niobium to create the alloy of the revamped hairspring. These elements give the hairspring greater resistances to magnetism, corrosion, and varying temperatures. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers also work to dampen the rebound and compression of the hairspring. A traversing bridge secures the shock absorbers and reinforces the shock resistance even further. Rolex was also able to improve the power reserve of the 3235. The caliber can now last approximately three days. With the inclusion of the bidirectional self-winding feature, you could power the watch with a simple movement of your wrist. An incredible thing to note about this improvement is that Rolex achieved the enhanced power reserve by simply slimming down the walls of the mainspring barrel. The most significant improvement to the 3235 is its highly innovative Chronergy escapement. The escapement is what regulates the power delivered by the mainspring from the oscillator. When it comes to upgrading movements, one of the most delicate things to improve upon is the Swiss lever escapement. After much research and testing, Rolex came up with an escapement innovation that offers 15% more efficiency. Rolex also used nickel-phosphorus in developing the new escapement, allowing it to be more resistant to magnetism.  31 jewels hold the caliber 3235’s mechanisms to keep them from undergoing excess friction. The 3235 also has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, which is the ideal standard for modern luxury watches. Oystersteel Bracelet Another thing that makes Rolex timepieces remarkable is that every aspect has a certain standard of quality, even the bracelet. With the Rolex Submariner Blue’s bracelet, the first thing that draws our attention is the Yellow Rolesor pattern. Its design dates back to the 1930s and is present in the bracelets of many Oyster Perpetual models, such as the highly recognizable Rolex Datejust. Despite its age, it still proves to be a timeless look to this day. In addition, the Oystersteel material of the bracelet is exceedingly resistant to corrosion, which enhances its durability. The bracelet uses the Rolex Glidelock system, which allows users to freely and precisely expand the band up to 20mm. The system comes equipped with a flip-lock extension which allows wearers to further adjust the bracelet by an additional 26mm. Such measures are necessary to ensure divers and non-divers can wear the Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB with a comfortable and secure fit. Finally, a folding Oysterlock clasp fastens the bracelet cozily around the wearer’s wrist. The lock bears the iconic logo of the company and adds a sense of sophistication to the bracelet.  Water Resistance This blue Rolex Submariner Date also possesses a water resistance of 300m or nearly a thousand feet. The timepiece is COSC certified and has received Superlative Chronometer status after further testing in Rolex’s facilities. A luxury watch with 300m water resistance can effortlessly handle activities such as showering, swimming, snorkeling, and even recreational diving. This Rolex Submariner Blue can go to depths that reach the proximity of saturation diving but bear in mind that it has its limits. If you’re looking for a timepiece built for excellent underwater reliability even in the deepest waters, the Rolex Sea-Dweller might be a better choice.  An Alternative If you want a spectacular dive watch that isn’t a Rolex, here is an alternative that could more or less fit the bill. Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer 42mm Ref. 210.30.42.20.03.001 The Submariner and the Seamaster have gone at it for a long time. Whether it comes to cameos in James Bond movies or the actual horology industry, Rolex and Omega are nothing short of rivals. As expected, Omega has its own contender in competition with the latest blue Submariner of Rolex. In 2018, Omega unveiled their most recent 42mm Seamaster Diver Master Chronometer. The new Seamaster has a proficient set of qualities that match Rolex’s Ref. 126613LB.  Similarities to the Submariner First and foremost, the Seamaster is a self-winding watch that also uses kinetic energy to supply power to itself. It features a helium decompression system which allows the timepiece to release helium when worn during long dives. The installation of the helium escape valve makes the Seamaster a professional choice for underwater exploration. As an added benefit, the crown is self-locking and securely screwed in to offer better water resistance.  The Seamaster also makes use of a high-quality stainless steel case and a ceramic unidirectional bezel. Being unidirectional ensures accuracy to a diver, and the ceramic plating will reduce any chances of scratches staying on its surface. The Omega timepiece also received COSC certification for its performance, durability, and resistance to magnetism.  Differences Between the Submariner and the Seamaster Now that we are aware of the similarities between these two dive watches, what exactly does the Omega Seamaster do differently? Aside from having Omega’s signature wave dial, the Seamaster utilizes the Caliber 8800. Just like the Rolex 3235, this in-house Omega movement features more efficiency and preciseness in operation. The Caliber 8800 is METAS certified as a Master Chronometer — the highest standard for accuracy. For calibers to attain this status, watches must be COSC certified and undergo eight additional tests. What makes this certification more impressive is that timepieces must undergo these tests twice. Although Rolex’s 3235 is not METAS certified, it possesses a more efficient power reserve and beat frequency than the Caliber 8800. On the other hand, the Caliber 8800 contains 35 jewels to hold the movement and boasts a higher rating of 15,000 gausses of anti-magnetism. Another difference is the usage of sapphire. For the Seamaster, Omega furnished both the front and the rear with sapphire glass. The watch has a dome-shaped sapphire crystal to protect the dial and a transparent sapphire caseback to protect the back of the watch. Since the caseback is see-through, wearers can view the Caliber 8800 in all its glory. Putting everything together, the Omega Seamaster puts together lots of convenience with a considerable amount of elegance. Both the Submariner and Seamaster are excellent watches, but if you’re more of an Omega fan, then the latest Seamaster is also a splendid choice. A Fun Fact About the Seamaster Did you know that in the trailer of the latest instalment of 007 (No Time to Die), you can see Daniel Craig wear the 42mm Seamaster as his trusty timekeeper? His watch is the same model but of a different reference number. The exact reference Mr. Bond uses is 210.22.42.20.01.001. It is safe to say that we will see more of the Omega Seamaster in action once the movie finally releases. Let’s hope that Mr. Bond doesn’t break the watch. Then again, he probably has the money and the methods to get another one. Final Thoughts The 126613LB is most certainly a fine addition to the Rolex Submariner Blue series. With its astounding qualities and beguiling design, the blue Rolex Submariner Date is pretty much one of the best options out there. Like all Submariners, owners can sport this marvelous timekeeper on any occasion. Moreover, the Rolex Submariner Date 126613LB is always ready to deliver optimal performance with an added sense of sophistication. It is as beautiful as it is practical. The latest iteration of the Rolex Bluesy is, without a doubt, a stunning work of craftsmanship and innovation.  Need a more affordable diver watch? Have a look at the classy Orient Mako II? Featured Image By Rolex

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  7. Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    If you are familiar with the world of watches, then you know that there is more to the industry than Swiss timepieces. Countries like Germany, Denmark, the United States, and others are becoming more and more known for their expertise in watchmaking. However, if there is one country that’s almost as well-recognised as Switzerland when it comes to horology, it would probably be Japan. Longstanding Japanese brands, like Seiko and Casio, are proof of how well the Japanese have mastered the craft. While it may seem like a competition, the watchmaking industry is a place of innovative cooperation and coexistence, and Citizen is the perfect embodiment of this. Many view this brand as the perfect mix of Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship, but we’ll get more into that later. If this has piqued your interest, then read on because we’ll be talking about Citizen Watches and in particular, their Citizen NY0040 model in this article.  Citizen: A Brief History  Citizen’s origin dates back to a little over 100 years ago in 1918. A jeweler named Kamekichi Yakamazi established a watch manufacturing firm called the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. The interesting thing about this firm is that Yakamazi was able to acquire Swiss machines and instruments for his company from watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid. This is where the idea of Citizen as a product of both Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship began. A couple of years down the line, and the Shokosha Watch Research Institute changed their name to the one they’re still known for today: Citizen Watch Company. This change was brought about by an ambitious goal in which they hoped to equip every citizen in Japan with a watch produced by them. Just like any other origin story, Citizen also went through their fair share of triumphs and obstacles throughout the years.  The Japanese manufacturer had a relatively strong start but certain unfortunate events happened, specifically the 2nd World War, which negatively affected the whole economy. While this was a devastating time for many individuals and businesses, it also became an avenue for a fresh start. After the war, Citizen decided to introduce themselves to the rest of the world under the name the Citizen Trading Company. This new moniker highlighted how their goals had shifted from being a Japanese-centric company to one that is more focused on showcasing their craft globally.  One of the defining moments for Japanese watchmaking was the onset of the Quartz Revolution back in the 70s. Seiko is known to be the first brand to ever release a quartz watch and Citizen followed their footsteps just a couple of years later. This opened up countless opportunities for Citizen which eventually led to greater success and more milestones for the brand. From groundbreaking digital models to the first-ever solar-powered watch, the Japanese company has focused on developing their technology to become the renowned name they are today.  Come the 21st century and Citizen has proved that they are not messing around. They’ve engaged in a massive expansion of their assets, purchasing well-known brands and watch groups like Bulova, Frédérique Constant, Arnold & Son, and more. The Japanese brand is also famous for its partnerships and collaborations with sports institutes, sports teams, and even Disney. When it comes to reputation, they are highly regarded today for their sustainable, eco-friendly, and reliable timepieces.  All About the Citizen Promaster The specific model we’ll be talking about in this article belongs to Citizen’s Promaster line. Before we delve into the Citizen NY0040 itself, let’s take a closer look at the Promaster collection.  The Citizen Promaster is regarded as one of the best that the brand has to offer. It consists of a selection of sports (and diving) watches that showcase Citizen’s technological prowess. The Promaster was officially launched in 1989, although some argue that this line actually dates back to the late 1950s when the Citizen Parashock and Parawater models came out. Regardless, there were 3 different Promaster models released in 1989: the Promaster Aqualand, the Promaster Altrichron, and the Promaster Sky. These pieces were specifically designed for professionals who were constantly in harsh environments whether it be land, air, or sea. It was marketed as the result of Citizen’s unwavering research and innovations in the last few decades.  Since then, this series has been home to numerous revolutionary pieces such as the Promaster Navihawk, the Promaster Amphibian, the Promaster Cyber Aqualand, and lots more.  What is the Citizen NY0040?  The Citizen NY0040, also known as the Promaster NY0040, was first launched back in 1997. It is a widely known model, especially within the watch community because of its distinctive physical features. Despite being released over 20 years ago, the NY0040 is surprisingly still being offered today, albeit with slight variations from the original. To the unfamiliar eye, this watch might seem like any other sports watch in the market, especially since it has aesthetic attributes similar to that of a typical diving model. However, there is definitely more than meets the eye with this timepiece simply because Citizen always manages to add a splash of Japanese workmanship to its pieces. Everything about the Citizen NY0040 is an expert Japanese take on sports watches, so you know it’s built to last. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?   Citizen Promaster NY0040 Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Diameter: 42mm Case Thickness:12mm Strap Material: Rubber (Urethan) Movement: Automatic | Miyota Calibre 8203 Power Reserve: 45 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior: Case & Bracelet The Citizen NY0040 actually comes in two variations — the NY0040-09EE and the NY0040-17LE — with the first sporting a mostly traditional black look and the second mostly in blue. Just like most sports watches, this model sports quite a rugged exterior but with an aura of professional class at the same time. It is a versatile piece that would look great with an everyday outfit or even a smart-casual ensemble. The Citizen NY0040 comes in a stainless steel case that has a diameter of 42mm, a thickness of 12mm, and 20mm lugs. These numbers may seem intimidating but it is in fact an ideal size for a men’s diving watch. Furthermore, it also has a one-way rotating aluminium bezel in smooth matte black with a luminescent pip in lieu of the 60-minute marker. The material and the design of the gear-shaped edges of the bezel were chosen for optimal visibility and ease of use when underwater.  Moving on, the dial is protected by mineral crystal glass which has scratch-resistant properties. On the rear of the watch is a solid caseback with engravings of the Citizen Promaster logo and other information regarding the specifications of the watch. One of the most distinctive features of the NY0040 is the position of its crown. In most watches, the crown is placed at the 4 o’clock position but this model has its crown on the opposite side at 8 o’clock. This was purposefully done to cater to left-handed individuals whilst also providing better comfort in general.  Lastly, the Citizen NY0040 comes with a high-quality rubber strap which is perfect for the harsh conditions of diving. Bracelets and straps are very important things to consider, especially when you’re looking for a durable sports timepiece. Rubber is the usual choice of strap when it comes to dive watches, while leather and steel are not recommended. Another great thing about the NY0040’s strap is that it has no-decompression limits, making it incredibly durable at any depth. Overall, making use of a rubber strap for the NY0040 was definitely a conscious decision on Citizen’s part in order to promote better functionality and reliability.  Dial The focus on ease of use did not stop with the materials and exterior of the Citizen NY0040. Each and every component in the dial was also designed with readability and comfort in mind. If you are familiar with watches, all you need is a single glance at the dial to know that the NY0040 is indubitably a diver’s watch. As mentioned, the NY0040 comes in classic shades of either black or blue, with both variants sporting a matte finish to avoid reflective light glares. It follows a typical analog layout with big luminescent hands and hour markers in various shapes. You can also find a day and date display at 3 o’clock. This aperture is presented as a black background with red text to indicate the day and white text for the date, adding a splash of color that to the dial that makes for better readability.  While most of the elements in the dial scream “diving watch”, it is also clear that Citizen kept the Citizen NY0040 versatile enough to be used both on land and underwater. It is a great option for people, especially divers, who don’t like changing their watches on a daily basis.  Movement The newest Citizen NY0040 is powered by a Miyota 8203 caliber automatic movement. It consists of around 21 jewels to reduce excessive wear and tear and has a frequency of 21600 beats per hour, which boasts a relatively high accuracy. Lastly, it has an impressive power reserve of 45 hours.  Citizen NY0040 vs Seiko SRP367 Baby Tuna The Citizen NY0040 is often compared with the Seiko SKX007 but, today, let’s switch it up by putting it against the ever-so-popular Seiko Baby Tuna. Both are renowned sports watches but today, we’ll see which is the better diver.  Seiko SRP637 ‘Baby Tuna’ Specs Case Material: Stainless Steel Case Dimension: 47.5mm x 13.5mm x 50mm Strap: Stainless Steel  Movement: Automatic Power Reserve: 42 hours Water Resistance: 200 meters Exterior With a case diameter of 47.5mm, the Seiko Baby Tuna is definitely heftier than the Citizen NY0040. The Seiko Baby Tuna also looks a lot more robust and rugged compared to the NY0040, which leans towards a more classic sports watch style. Both are made from hardy stainless steel and have unidirectional bezels with luminous pips at the 60-minute marker. A key difference between the two, however, is that the Baby Tuna has a crown at 4 o’clock while the Citizen NY0040’s crown is at 8 o’clock. In addition, the NY0040 has a mineral crystal to protect the dial while the Baby Tuna makes use of Seiko’s patented Hardlex crystal.  In terms of the strap, the Seiko Baby Tuna comes with a stainless steel bracelet while the Citizen NY0040 has a rubber strap. As mentioned, this is a crucial factor because some strap materials are more ideal for diving than others. However, it should be noted that the Baby Tuna has a clasp with a folding expansion feature which allows for a more snug fit around your wrist, even when you are wearing a wet suit.   Dial Moving on to the dial area, both models follow a standard dive watch layout with an analog display. Just like the Citizen NY0040, the Seiko SRP637 also has large, luminescent hands and hour markers. However, the Seiko Baby Tuna uses rectangular shapes while the NY0040 has mostly circular ones. Lastly, the Seiko model has a day and date window with a stark white background and black text while the NY0040 has one with a black background.  Technical Specifications When it comes to features and functions, it is safe to say that both are equally impressive. The two models each offer water-resistance of up to 200 meters and power reserves of over 40 hours. Both are also equipped with in-house Japanese calibers that follow automatic movements.  Prices This is probably where they differ most. The Seiko Baby Tuna SRP637 is priced at over $800 USD online today while the Citizen NY0040 retails at not more than $250 USD.  Verdict It is undeniable that both timepieces are excellent but, at the end of the day, it all boils down to what you consider worth it or not. In this case, I would have to go with Citizen NY0040 because it’s the more classic and sophisticated model between the two. It is an amazing diver’s watch but it’s also very versatile which means you can wear it on a variety of occasions. The best part is you get great functions and design without having to break the bank, as opposed to the Seiko Baby Tuna, which is considerably more expensive than the NY0040. Who should buy the Citizen NY0040?  Citizen Patrons. If you’re a fan of Citizen, then owning any piece from the Promaster collection is definitely the dream, given its rich history. Out of Citizen’s diverse catalogue, the NY0040 is one of their most recognizable models and it has been in the market for over 20 years now. The fact that it is still available today and is loved by so many just shows how well this timepiece has withstood the test of time. With that being said, the NY0040 is certainly a must-have for Citizen patrons out there! Professional and Leisure Divers. The Citizen NY0040 is a great starter watch for both professional and casual divers out there. It has all the elements and components of a great diving watch and it boasts quality Japanese craftsmanship as well. You get precision, ease of use, durability, and easy readability for under $300 USD. Sports Watch Enthusiasts. For individuals who are just in the beginning stages of their sports watch collection, the Citizen NY0040 is an excellent choice to consider. The NY0040 has a good story and rich heritage behind it, plus it belongs to a highly-regarded watch series from a renowned brand. Furthermore, this model is a popular one among the watch community so it makes for a great conversation topic. Final Thoughts  The Citizen NY0040 is a versatile-looking sports watch that’s equipped with equally excellent features. The Japanese brand truly found the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics with this timepiece. It is perfectly understandable why it is still being produced and sold in the market even after over two decades. Ultimately, the Citizen NY0040 is a great model to own regardless of whether you’re a diver or not.  If you’re interested in Japanese timepieces, make sure to read our article on The Orient Mako II. Photo Credits: Citizen Official Website

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  8. Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

    Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

    Dive watches remain an iconic and timeless luxury item for men. While there are numerous options available in the horological market, we can’t deny that Rolex dive watch collections are the most sought-after pieces. This is particularly true of the famous Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, the acclaimed diving watch which provides a whopping 3,900 meters of water resistance. Although there is a wide variety of dive watches you can find in Rolex’s extensive catalog, such as its pioneer diving piece the Submariner, the Deepsea Blue simply stands out from the rest of its competitors. Given that Rolex always tries to go above and beyond when it comes to creating an exquisite time-telling accessory using its superb craftsmanship, innovation, and practical skills in horology, it is no surprise that the Rolex Sea-Dweller collection’s Deepsea Blue offers such impressive features. Aside from its top-notch water resistance, it is also equipped with a high-performance in-house Caliber 3235. This is a new generation movement produced by Rolex. It ensures that this diving timepiece offers the highest precision possible even when exposed to the harshest conditions underwater. What’s more, the Deepsea Blue features an elegant and luxurious face, so this wonderful timepiece could easily double as an everyday watch too. If you’re looking for a durable and classy dive watch to be used on your next exploration into the abyssal world, the Rolex Deepsea Blue will more than exceed your expectations.  A Quick Look at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Watch In the horology industry, Rolex will always be the luxury watch manufacturer to beat. This Swiss brand has always been at the forefront of creating top-notch timepieces that showcase distinctive and memorable characteristics. The Rolex Sea-Dweller was introduced back in 1967 and since its first release, it has always been considered a true tool watch and diving accessory. As an early predecessor of the Submariner collection, the original Sea-Dweller was designed with certain basic functionalities. It aimed to not fail at meeting the needs of any avid diver when they head off to conquer the underwater world. Over the years, the different Sea-Dweller timepieces that have been released have featured varying underwater diving depth potentials, ranging from 610 meters to as deep as 3,900 meters. Earlier versions of the Rolex Sea-Dweller were also not equipped with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve was only added when the latest Rolex Sea-Dweller model Ref. 126600 was launched back in 2017. Today, the Sea-Dweller collection is easily distinguishable from the rest of the Rolex lineup, as it does not feature a date magnifier, which is visible in most Rolex other models. One major milestone for the Sea-Dweller collection was when it introduced its first Rolex Deepsea model in 2008, featuring a “Ringlock system.” This system is now commonly used by skilled watchmakers when they sealing sapphire crystals to cases, as it ensures a more tighter fit so the crystal doesn’t simply come loose and leave the dial exposed. Another notable feature the Sea-Dweller added was its “Glidelock clasp” and diver extension link, which allow the watch’s bracelet to be more securely fastened around the diver’s wrist so it won’t fall off, even when the diver is dressed in diving gear. These advancements in the Sea-Dweller’s designs over the years are a testament to how Rolex has consistently sought to upgrade this early dive watch, creating a collection that you can always rely on for excellent and improving quality. Back in 2012, famous film director James Cameron navigated the abyssal world at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submersible vessel. This submersible was called the Deepsea Challenger, and it carried Cameron and his crew to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean as part of a project to produce a movie named Deepsea Challenge 3D. As part of this project, Rolex created and designed a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece. This timepiece eventually came to be known as the Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This diver watch features water resistance up to a stunning 12,000 meters, making this the perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean. To celebrate and honor the project’s success and accomplishment, in 2014, Rolex released a new model of the Deepsea, which they called the Rolex Sea Dweller Deepsea D-Blue 116660. This model of the Deepsea Blue was quite similar to the original prototype in terms of technical functions, but differed in appearance. The 2014 Deepsea Blue featured a two-hued dial, fading from blue to black, a visual representation of the depths of the vast ocean. This visual tick is also the reason why this timepiece is the first in the Deepsea line to carry the ‘D-Blue’ moniker. In addition, the dial had the word ‘DEEPSEA’ printed in green, derived from the color of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel. This watch is now famously known among watch collectors and aficionados as the Deepsea James Cameron, and reached popular heights never seen by the original Deepsea Blue in 2008. Yet another new version of the Sea Dweller Deepsea Blue was announced back in 2017, at Baselword, called the Sea-Dweller Deepsea Blue Ref. 126600. In 2018, this model of the Deepsea Blue was launched. This latest variant was introduced as an enlarged version of the Deepsea Blue 126600, featuring a date magnifier and equipped with a refreshed version of the caliber 3235. In short, all these different variants of the Rolex Deepsea Blue can be found in the brand’s extensive catalog. The first-ever version was referred to as the Deepsea 116660, featuring a grand yet straightforward black dial with white text on its dial. The second version, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, was officially introduced to the watch community back in 2014, and marked the growing popularity of the Deepsea lineup. And the newest version is the popular Rolex Deepsea Blue Ref. 126660, launched at Baselworld. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the latest Deepsea Blue has to offer. Up Close with Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 The original version of the Rolex Deepsea D-blue was released in August 2014. It was upgraded to the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 in 2018, offering newer functions and features so that it could better serve as a diving watch accessory to be utilized for your next underwater adventure. It comes with excellent qualities that you’d be hard-pressed to find in other diving timepieces, which is a huge reason why this watch has really dominated the world of diving watches. The newest Deepsea D-Blue 126660 does offer many features that the original has, but with some tweaks and upgrades. One central change was made to the lug size, so that it now measures 21mm, smaller than the original 22mm lug size. It also comes with a much bigger clasp on its bracelet, making it a more comfy dive watch to wear than the first Deepsea D-Blue. As with other Rolex Deepsea models, each Deepsea D-Blue 126660 timepiece is skilfully crafted and powered by a first-class caliber 3235 movement. This model also features a broader strap, and a case that has been slightly redesigned compared to previous versions of this Rolex Sea-Dweller watch. Other than that, many of the essential parts are still intact and unchanged. It is still the best diving watch in the Rolex Sea Dweller collection that you can find when planning a scuba diving adventure. Its main highlight is that it is a robust, durable, and functional piece crafted to survive virtually any variant temperature underwater. It is the perfect watch for anyone seeking to prove Rolex’s outstanding skills as a legendary watchmaker. Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 116660 DB from Watchshopping.com Case: 904L Oyster Steel Case dimension: 44 mm Dial: D-Blue Water-resistant: 3,900 m or 12,800 feet Power reserve up to 70-hour (Certified as Superlative Chronometer) Bezel and Case Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemon from Flickr One extremely distinguishable feature of the Rolex Deepsea Blue is its case. Crafted from 904L Oystersteel to ensure its durability, the case measures about 44mm in diameter. Oystersteel is known for being one of the best materials to use when making watch cases, since it possesses superb resistance. It also offers an excellent, gleaming finish after polishing and maintains its grandeur even when exposed to the harshest of environments and temperatures underwater. Some users of Deepsea Blue report that the watch can feel slightly bigger when worn on the wrist. Despite measuring 44mm, it looks a little more like a 45mm case. The good thing, however, is that the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue still feels extremely comfortable around your wrist and gives you a nice sense of balance when wearing it. Its bezel features a black, unidirectional, and rotating ceramic bezel with numerals graduated on a 60-minute scale. The bezel is secured in place using a Ringlock system. If you’re not familiar with the Ringlock system, it is an innovative case architecture made by Rolex itself which allows the Rolex Deepsea Blue to resist any sorts of massive pressures underwater even at depths of 3,900 meters. It is made using three elements: nitrogen-alloyed steel on its central ring that shapes the system’s backbone, a sapphire crystal (5.5 mm thick), and grade 5 titanium for its caseback. The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue also comes with a helium escape valve. The helium escape valve is a type of safety valve created by Rolex back in 1967 and it functions as a decompression chamber for the timepiece so it can survive the most extreme pressures underwater. Dial Even with just a quick glance at the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue, you’d be hard-pressed to forget its stunning and unique dial. This timepiece showcases a perfect two-toned gradient dial, starting from a brilliant blue hue at the top to the engulfing black depths below. Its two-color gradient dial commemorates the accomplishment of man’s journey into the ocean depths, exploring the deepest place on earth — the iconic Mariana Trench. Furthermore, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue’s dial, with its semi-glossy features and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, can capture and reflect light gorgeously. This is a dial you cannot find in the rest of Rolex’s watch collections. It is the main highlight of this timepiece, a grand and awe-inspiring face that is sure to catch everyone’s attention. Movement Another remarkable feature of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue is that it is equipped with a powerful in-house caliber 3235 that comes with an antimagnetic Parachrom-Blue hairspring. The automatic caliber 3235 is an upgraded version of the caliber 3135 that is used in the older Rolex Deepsea Blue. This caliber is the newest generation movement crafted by Rolex. It comes with a whopping 14 patents, a testament to just how far Rolex pushed the limits of watchmaking technology with the caliber 3235. The caliber 3235 offers a high power reserve of up to 70 hours, impressively high time precision, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, and reliability and functionality that any wearer can depend on when exploring the abyssal world. Furthermore, the caliber 3235 features Rolex’s newest Chronergy, a perfect combination of the existing Paramagnetic blue parachrom hairspring and high energy efficiency. It is also COSC Chronometer-certified, which guarantees its powerful performance. Caseback Equipped with a titanium caseback, the Rolex Deepsea Blue is impressively flexible because of the natural qualities of the alloy, providing it more resilience and durability against massive pressures and impacts. It is a caseback crafted to survive and resist even the extreme pressures underwater.  Bracelet/Strap Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Bracelet l Photo by jilemo from Flickr Like the original version of the Deepsea D-Blue watch, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660 also features a famous classic Oysterlock bracelet. One upgrade this model comes with, however, is its larger, less tapering strap, which is paired with slightly bigger lugs. This was a big improvement from the original model, which was crafted with too-narrow lugs, so it sometimes felt unbalanced when sitting on a wearer’s wrist. The redesigned lugs of the Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 126660, with its larger fit, offers more comfort to the wearer and looks more proportionately shaped on the watch. This timepiece also features an Oysterlock clasp to avoid the watch suddenly coming loose from your wrist, and a Glidelock system like its previous version. The bracelet also comes with a revamped diver’s extension, allowing the Rolex Deepsea Blue to fit well on your wrist even when wearing gloves or a wetsuit. Price It is not news that Rolex watches do not come at a low price. Every Rolex timepiece is the product of expert Swiss craftsmanship and Rolex’s extensive history and experience as a watch manufacturer, and all of this shows in its cost. Owning this latest version of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue 126660 will cost you about USD 17,399.00 retail. Considering the impressive attributes of this watch, this price is honestly extremely worth it. Not only do you get a durable, functional, and first-class dive watch, but you also get all the comfort and ease of wearing a classic Rolex timepiece. The Original: Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Reference 116660 Rolex-Deepsea-D-Blue-116660-2 l Photo by jilemo from FlickrRolex Deepsea D-Blue 16660 l Photo by jilemo from FlickrTwo years before the release of the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660, famous film director James Cameron navigated underwater at a depth of around 11,000 meters using a submarine vessel. The vessel was called the Deepsea Challenger, designed to be able to survive the depths of the Pacific Ocean. As part of the this project, Rolex created a particular prototype version of the Rolex Deepsea timepiece, which eventually became popularly known as Oyster Perpetual Date Sea-Dweller DEEPSEA CHALLENGE. This timepiece features water-resistance of up to 12,000 meters, a perfect watch to use when exploring what’s beneath the Pacific Ocean. In 2014, the Swiss luxury watch brand released its newest version of the Rolex Deepsea, featuring a D-Blue dial with the reference number 116660, to commemorate the success of James Cameron’s abyssal expedition. This refreshed version is similar to the previous model in some technical aspects. The greatest distinction, however, is that the 2014 Rolex Deepsea Blue featured a two-tone dial. In addition, the words DEEPSEA were written on the dial in a green tint, a tribute to the inspiration that James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger vessel was for this watch. Nowadays, this version of the watch is widely known as the Deepsea James Cameron. The Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is equipped with a 904L stainless steel case developed by Rolex specifically for this watch. Some of its key features include a Ringlock system, a 5mm thick protective sapphire crystal, and a satin-finished and brushed caseback made of titanium. Its dial, with a radiant blue to black gradient, also adds to the natural beauty of this timepiece. In addition, it features a useful date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position. Aside from that, this watch is also equipped with an Oysterlock bracelet measuring 26 mm long. This means that it comes with an Oysterlock safety clasp fitted with its flip-lock extension system. It is crafted this way to ensure it can survive any sorts of impacts and pressures underwater without any risk of coming loose and falling off the wearer’s wrist. It is also equipped with a top-notch Rolex in-house caliber 3135 movement to ensure high accuracy and precision even in aquatic environments.  Today, the Rolex Deepsea D-Blue Ref. 116660 is available for USD 15,500.00. This might be quite an exorbitant price to sum, but if you consider all its top-class features as a diving watch, it is actually quite a fair price. Keep in mind, also, that any watch from Rolex tends to appreciate in value over the years. As such, Rolex watches also make for perfect investment pieces. Opting to buy this Rolex Deepsea Blue watch will not only give you a time-telling accessory to use on your next scuba diving adventure but also offers you the chance to be the owner of a true horological masterpiece. Final Thoughts Rolex never fails to craft high-caliber, high-performing timepieces. Although the Sea-Dweller collection is just a predecessor of Rolex’s first-ever collection of diving timepieces under the Submariner collection, it does not stop the former from being a very sought-after dive timepiece. This is especially true with the updated Rolex Deepsea D-Blue watches. These watches display the brand’s excellent craftsmanship and expertise in horology, offering superb features such as water resistance of up to 3,900 meter and a top-notch in-house caliber 3235 movements. With its iconic face and functionality, this Rolex Deepsea D-Blue diving watch really deserves to be on your radar. Want to know more about other Rolex models, particularly the most expensive watches in their extensive catalog? Check this review we have about 15 Most Expensive Rolex Watches. Featured image from amh1998 on Pixabay

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

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

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

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  10. Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko has been in the watchmaking market for several decades now. Even though their timeless expertise paved the way for creating high-quality watches, Seiko, in general, has yet to be considered as a luxury watch brand—with Grand Seiko being an exception. This, in turn, puts Seiko on par with Casio in terms of mass-producing several iconic and affordable wristwatches. But that does not necessarily mean that Seiko does not have a few gems hidden in its sleeves. There is no doubt that Seiko has created a global following due to the reliability and iconic designs of their watches. This popularity has led to several pocket watches and wristwatches that have taken the modern era by storm. One of the many innovative watches that Seiko has produced is the Seiko Prospex Samurai. In this review, we will be discussing what makes the Seiko Prospex Samurai watch one of Seiko’s best diver’s watches in the 21st century.  History of Seiko Prospex Samurai Seiko started as a small watch repair shop in Central Tokyo back in 1881. In 1892, Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori expanded by buying a factory in Tokyo which he named Seikosha. The massive success of the Seikosha, which roughly translates to “exquisite house” or “success house”, marked the start of Seiko becoming a substantial figure in the watchmaking industry. Competing with the prominent Swiss watchmakers, the Japanese watch brand captivated the world with its top-notch watchmaking expertise. This success was further amplified when Kintaro Hattori created the “The Laurel”, Japan’s first-ever wristwatch in 1913. With Seiko’s headstart in cutting-edge horological technology, Kintaro Hattori then went on to produce several more wristwatches under the Seiko brand name. Photo Courtesy of Seiko In 2004, Seiko introduced a promising watch model that embodies all the watchmaking principles of Kintaro Hattori, as well as the accumulated experiences of the brand. The model in question? The Seiko Prospex Samurai. This watch is widely regarded as one of the best diver’s watches Seiko has ever released. Not only does it have the classic bulky size of a regular diver’s watch, but it also has a reliable automatic calibre movement and a 200m water resistance. The first generation of the Seiko Samurai watch was made with both titanium and stainless steel, with later generations being made only in stainless steel. You may be wondering why this particular watch is named “Samurai” of all things. Seiko, like many other watch brands, has been known to name its products in the most abstract way possible. A few examples are the Seiko Monster and the Seiko Turtle. The Seiko Monster got its name due to its size, while the Seiko Turtle has a shape reminiscent of a turtle’s shell. The Seiko Samurai, on the other hand, derives its name from the minute hands of the watch, which are shaped like a sword. This might be confusing to some since a samurai katana is a curved long sword, rather than a regular straight-edged sword. Regardless, it holds up, especially since Seiko has always been rather unpredictable in terms of naming their watches. Impressions At a glance, the Seiko Prospex Samurai may seem like an ordinary diver’s watch. Without knowing the specifics of its name, you might be wondering: what makes this particular watch so special? There are several features that set the Seiko Samurai apart from other Seiko diver’s watches. One of them is the Seiko Samurai’s waffle-textured dial and the sleek stainless steel case. The watch’s sleek sword-shaped minute hand, as well as the unusually-shaped arrowhead hour hand, also serve to distinguish it from other watches. These unique design schemes are what make the Seiko Samurai an ideal diving companion that can also be used outside of the said activity.  Since the Seiko Prospex Samurai was initially a Japan-exclusive watch, not much was known regarding the specifics of the watch other than the name itself and the fact that it is a diver’s watch. However, over the years, it slowly gained the right kind of attention from watch enthusiasts, making this seemingly rare timepiece highly sought-after. The black dial variant is the most common option available in the market. Furthermore, since this was a highly exclusive watch, variations of the Seiko Samurai can be relatively hard to find. Seiko took advantage of the high demand for the Seiko Samurai and released a few limited edition colour variants—one of which is the rare Seiko Samurai Orange Dial SRPC07.  The indications and the AR35 calibre movement might make it seem like the Seiko Samurai series is just like any other dive watch in the market. With the hours, minutes, and seconds hands, as well as the date aperture, anyone would assume that it is just an ordinary watch. But a closer look reveals that the Seiko Samurai actually offers more than it initially seems. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the Seiko Prospex Samurai and how they set it apart from other diver’s watches. Specifications Looking at a Seiko watch for the first time may leave you thinking that there are only minor changes with each watch line. That is perfectly understandable since Seiko has been sporting similar design schemes to stay true to their established identity. A closer look, however, shows us how Seiko manages to create subtle, if not major, changes with each of their staple watches, giving a distinct look to each watch while still emphasizing consistency within the Seiko brand. If you prefer a larger case size, the Seiko Monster will surely meet your needs. If you are looking for a watch with a perfectly round shape and has a sizeable thickness, the Seiko Tuna is a perfect choice. The point is, Seiko watches stay true to their brand, while also making sure that each watch is uniquely suited to meet the user’s needs. Case and Bracelet Initially, the Seiko Prospex Samurai was introduced mostly in titanium, with stainless steel as a secondary option. The titanium versions, however, were later discontinued in 2008. That is why stainless steel variants are the ones that are more easily available in the market. Rest assured, however, that the stainless steel cases and bracelets are easily comparable with titanium materials in terms of durability and shine. The lugs were made smaller to balance out the proportions of the watch and provide maximum comfort on the wrist. On the other hand, the bezel adds more to the design of the whole watch with its engraved diamond shape patterns on the sides. If you look closely, this pattern also resembles the diamond pattern found on the hilt of a katana—a nice detail that stays true to the watch’s namesake. The overall size of the Seiko Samurai is not as bulky as it seems. At 43.8mm in diameter and 13.4mm in thickness, this watch is slightly smaller than your average diver’s watch. Nevertheless, the stainless steel case still provides excellent durability, no matter the size.  Dial The original Seiko Samurai was released with only a black dial with a waffle-like textured pattern. Following that, Seiko released several more variations that include a gradient ocean blue dial that goes from indigo-blue at the top to black at the bottom, and the seemingly rare orange dial. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the colour of the dial alone, but since the discontinuation of the Seiko Samurai series, finding your preferred Seiko Samurai watch may prove to be harder than it seems. Most people resort to buying pre-owned units, while others are still scouring official stores to find the one they are looking for. These dials exude a variety of styles such as sporty, chic, classy, and casual. Nonetheless, the original waffle-pattern textured dial still best represents the simplicity of the Seiko Samurai line. Indications The indications of the Seiko Samurai are minimalistic and focus more on reliability rather than style. A diver’s watch should always be clear and accurate when it comes to timekeeping. Otherwise, it could potentially lead to certain accidents, such as miscalculated decompression stops or running out of oxygen due to the inaccuracy of a watch. That said, the Seiko Samurai provides fairly simple watch functions that allow the user to tell the time as accurately as possible, without the risk of miscalculation. The watch also sports white hour markers and hands, providing maximum legibility even in the dark ocean depths, so telling the time will not pose much of a problem. Furthermore, with the help of the LumiBrite technology, you can easily read the time both in the dark and underwater.  As mentioned before, the minute hands of the watch are shaped like swords. While they do not resemble katanas, when these hands meet each other at a certain time, they do look more reminiscent of a sword when combined. This is a cool detail to take note of. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position. Since it is a diver’s watch, the bezel of the Seiko Samurai can only be rotated counterclockwise. The markers on the bezel are also white, maintaining a consistent design scheme while also allowing for greater legibility. Rather than adding a more few bells and whistles, the straightforward nature of the Seiko Samurai prioritizes function, making it an extremely reliable dive watch that deserves the praise it’s getting. Calibre Movement There are a lot of people who frequently associate Seiko with Casio, mainly because both are Japanese companies. One difference to keep in mind is that Casio very rarely makes automatic watches, and instead produces quartz movement watches. In comparison, Seiko has many automatic movement watches to choose from. The calibre used in the Seiko Samurai is the AR35. This is an automatic calibre movement that allows hand-winding and provides many of the useful functions necessary for a dive watch.  One of the best functions the AR35 offers is the stop-seconds function. This allows the user to adjust the time without having to worry about the seconds hand, ensuring accurate synchronization, right down to the second. This function has existed in the industry for several years now but is still widely used in the horological craft. Another notable feature is the power reserve of the Seiko Samurai. This movement allows the watch to last for approximately 41 hours when not in use. Since it is both a self-winding and manual-winding watch movement, running out of power will not be a problem for the wearer.  A Few Notable Seiko Prospex Samurai Models Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial – SRPB51K1 Starting with the original model, the Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 retains the simplicity of the Samurai watches that came before it. With the black waffle-textured dial and minimalistic indications, it is impossible to mistake the watch’s classic design. The watch also sports a 43.8mm stainless steel case and a stainless steel bracelet, ensuring that the durability of the watch remains the same. The bezel has a black and grey colour with a unidirectional movement. The hands and indexes are all coated in LumiBrite, which allows visibility even in the dark or underwater.  Speaking of underwater, all of the Seiko Samurai watches can go up to 200 meters underwater, and the Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 is no different. This is to be expected, since it is a diver’s watch, and this is indicated on the dial itself. The watch is further equipped with the AR35 calibre movement, which gives it a 41-hour power reserve as well as the stop-seconds function. Overall, nothing can beat the original when it comes to subtlety and simplicity. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial (Hard Coating) – SRPB55K1 The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 offers a similar design as the Samurai SRPB51K1, with a few notable differences. This model is reminiscent of the titanium variant due to the black coating of the case. Rest assured, though, that this watch uses stainless steel for its case, and thus maintains the same durability as other Samurai watches. The bracelet used for the Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 is silicone instead of stainless steel. Not only does this add more comfort, but the soft exterior also adds more to the style of the watch. The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 also retains the familiar black waffle pattern on its dial. However, it offers a different look on both the hands and the indexes. By using a gold-tone lining, the indicators are highlighted without any worry of legibility issues. The markings on the bezel also adopt a gold colour scheme to stay true to the overall design and provide a refined feel to the totality of the watch. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic “Save The Ocean” – SRPC93K1 Last on the list is the Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1, a special edition timepiece introduced in 2018. Versions of this edition can be found in both the Seiko Turtle and Seiko Samurai lines as well. This model does not only look good, but it also provides a specific message for everyone in terms of marine conservation.  Much like the rest of the Seiko Samurai models, the Seiko Samurai SRPC93K1 holds the same design, size, and functionalities. The highlight of this watch is its beautiful gradient dial which perfectly captures the ocean depths. The engraved horizontal lines add a texture to the dial that resembles the unending waves of the sea. The black section at the bottom of the dial embodies the unknown depths of the ocean that are yet to be explored. The Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1 is a watch that symbolizes the importance of marine life as well as the beauty of the vast ocean. Seiko Samurai Price Range The best thing about Seiko’s watches is that they are at a very affordable price range. Although Seiko is not considered a luxury brand, the watches are of amazing quality and should be considered for your collection. Seiko Samurai watches do not cost more than a thousand dollars apiece. Indeed, the functionalities and the classic designs of the Seiko Samurai ensure that this is the timepiece that will give you the most bang for your buck. The Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 currently costs $469 in the market. Since it features the common design of the Seiko Samurai collection, the price tag for it seems fairly reasonable compared to its fellow watches in the collection. Each model may differ in price, but the usual price range starts from $450 up to $600. Compared to the usual price of Casio watches, the Samurai is undoubtedly more expensive—but for good reason. For only a few hundred dollars more, you can own a dive watch that is equipped with an automatic movement, which is the best choice compared to a quartz watch. It may not be on par with the Rolex Submariner, but it is a great timepiece for those who plan on starting a watch collection. Either way, do not be discouraged about its price being below $1000; the Seiko Samurai is a solid automatic dive watch that offers more than what it is worth. If it is still above your desired budget, you can always rely on pre-owned watches. Depending on the condition, it can be bought for as low as $300—or even lower. Just be sure to find a reliable seller and avoid shady deals online. Final Thoughts The Seiko Prospex Samurai is truly one of Seiko’s most popular dive watches today. Not only does it provide the necessary tools for diving, but it also boasts impressive accuracy and reliability. The AR35 calibre movement exceeds all expectations when it comes to sustaining a diver’s watch while also prioritizing precision.  In addition to that, the Seiko Samurai is also flexible in terms of usage. The bezel can be used when timing recreational activities other than diving. Furthermore, the compact size of this watch makes for a great everyday watch. The various dial colours available are yet another reason for the Seiko Samurai’s popularity. With so many colors to choose from, you can mix them up with any event or activity as you see fit. Whether it’s professional or casual, the Seiko Samurai manages to be the perfect watch for any occasion. Overall, the Seiko Prospex Samurai is a great diver’s watch that is easily on par with most of the top dive watches in the industry. For a very affordable watch, the Seiko Samurai is more than what it is worth—making it the perfect underwater companion for everyone. Looking for the best Seiko timepiece to give to your girlfriend or mother? Take a look at our list of Best Seiko Women’s Watches for some great options. Featured image courtesy of George Thomas from Flickr

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  11. Deep-Sea Dive Watches: How Far Below Can They Go?

    Deep-Sea Dive Watches: How Far Below Can They Go?

    We all know what dive watches are. But is it okay to use them on formal events or anywhere else you go? Is it so you can take it with you underwater when you’re swimming, scuba diving, or going on deep-sea missions? Or is it all of that? Whatever your reason may be, we’re sure to find a dive watch that is just what you’re looking for. What Are Dive Watches? It is a luxuriously fancy watch, that much we all know, but it is more than that. As the name implies, dive watches are suited for underwater purposes. These timepieces let us know how long we’ve been underwater, and how much oxygen we have left in our tanks. Dive watches have been with us since the beginning of the 20th century. What’s more, is that they are still both useful and fashionable to this very day. Dive watches are quite distinguishable compared to other watch types, in that they are usually larger and robust. Their other distinctive features include a rotating bezel and rest on either a rubber strap or a metal bracelet. Besides that, they’re built for everyday use as they’re built like indestructible tanks. Their readings are also very easy to read, but most of all, they just look absolutely cool. Dive watches are highly renowned for the following features: Water-resistance Build quality Virtually pinpoint accuracy Highly legible dial State of the art watch movement Whether you’re picking a new one or your first-ever dive watch, this article is the ultimate destination for your needs. We’ve got a commendable assortment of the finest branded dive watches from Seiko, Hamilton, Tissot, Orient, and more. 1. Seiko 5 Sports SRPD35K1 Dive Watch The Seiko SRPD35k1 is an homage to the legendary affordable SKX007. That’s because this timepiece sports the same classic looks, only with a modern feel and some vivid colorways. It features the conventional Pepsi red and blue bezel, mixed with a deep blue dial. The watch’s other features are identical to the other members of the dive watch line from Seiko. These include a day-and-date display, unidirectional bezel, offset screw-down crown, a transparent case back, hardlex crystal, and Lumi Brite markers and hands. The watches material is made of 42.5 mm brushed stainless steel with 100 m of water-resistance. The 4R36 automatic movement that was built in-house offers a 41-hour power reserve and manual winding. It’s safe to say that this watch ticks (no pun intended) all the right boxes for every day, luxurious-type watch. 2. Rolex Submariner Another high-profile name in the dive watch community is that of Rolex Submariner, which is witnessed in its Submariner lineup. Rolex has been in the dive watchmaking business since 1926, beginning with the Rolex Oyster. And ever since then, there have been other types of dive watches that were just as good as the Oyster. Some of them include the Sea-Dweller Deep-Sea and the Rolex Sea-Dweller, to name a few. Rolex dive watches are especially known for their immense testing of components and materials. That’s because these watches are especially used on the field by professional and military divers, as well as sub-aquatic explorers. In all those circumstances, the watches are meant to withstand high water pressure and other conditions. For instance, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deep-Sea gets its name from a special 1960 prototype. That prototype went 35,800-feet in an underwater voyage with the Bathyscaphe Trieste. What’s amazing is that the watch was placed outside the craft, and it was still intact when it reached back to the surface. Constant feedback from watch experts in the field has allowed Rolex to continually improve their dive watches over the years. As a result, the Rolex watches are known to be both aesthetically pleasing and fully functional out in the open. If you’re looking for a model that knocks both out of the park, the Submariner is the one for you. 3. Maurice de Mauriac L2 Deep Blue If you really want to make a killing statement when scuba diving, swap on the Maurice de Mauriac. Its impeccable leather and bronze profile, along with its stunning silhouette, make every boat ride feel sophisticated. If you want to thank someone for this horological beauty, it would be the industrial designer and architect named  Fabian Schwaerzler. The watch comes with a one-of-a-kind dive bezel with markers for just 15 minutes, unlike others with 60 minutes; a unique creative approach that makes for a modern minimalist watch. The watch’s bronze alloy case is a bit sturdier than stainless steel, which adds to its quality heftiness. The superluminova markers brighten up visibility. Furthermore, the watch will also develop the coveted patina appearance as the days, months, and years go by. 4. Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic That appearance alone can make anyone who wears it the life of the party. That is precisely how the Seastar 1000 Powermatic from Tissot got its name; Seastar. This watch is another solid entry in our list of the most popular and trend-worthy dive watches. Apart from its ravishing design, the Seastar 1000 Powermatic boasts a commendable array of features as well. Besides its regal-looking date display, the Powermatic also has three subdials to the top. The forces of nature will have a hard time against its body as it’s constructed from the 316L stainless steel material. Interestingly, the watch’s unidirectional bezel is ceramic. This means that the watch is resistant to corrosion and will weigh less than 180 g. That is a remarkable way considering that the Seastar consists of steel straps and has a 43 mm wide length.

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