1. Newest Posts About luxury watches

  2. Best Iced Out Rolex Watches for Our Inner Fashionistas

    Best Iced Out Rolex Watches for Our Inner Fashionistas

    Incorporating premium materials into its watches is a hallmark of Rolex. As one of the most iconic Swiss luxury watch brands in the horological industry, it should come as no surprise that the brand also has its own arsenal of captivating iced out watches. After all, there is no better way to create a truly luxurious timepiece than beautifully embellishing it with diamonds and gemstones. In this article, we will get to know some of the best iced out Rolex watches available in the market today. Although these iced out Rolex watches are set at exorbitant prices, they make for worthy investment watches, with price points that will surely skyrocket in the coming years. In addition, these luxury watches are also excellent fashion pieces that are sure to turn heads, no matter where you go.  Read on to find out all about the best iced out Rolex watches you can get today! Best Iced Out Rolex Watches 1. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU  For the first iced out Rolex watch on this list, let us take a look at the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU. This alluring timepiece comes in a 40mm 18K everose gold case, along with a three-link Oystersteel bracelet also made of 18K everose gold.  Everose gold is the brand’s in-house alloy. As its name suggests, it shows off a charming rose gold hue, which gives the watch an air of effortless class. Everose gold is made from a combination of pure gold, copper, and platinum. According to Rolex, thanks to its platinum content, everose gold will never lose its reddish color over time.  The watch shows off a striking, diamond-paved dial that also comes in rose gold. It is decorated with everose gold hour indices, Rolex’s signature Mercedes hands, and an additional arrow-headed hand for its GMT feature. A date window with a Cyclops lens is placed at 3 o’clock, so wearers can read the date more easily. The diamond embellishments also extend to the watch’s crown guards and case lugs, adding to the timepiece’s lavish presentation. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a bi-directional rotating bezel. It is filled to the brim with square-cut diamonds, sapphires, and rubies in a pattern that is reminiscent of the Rolex Pepsi. This colorful bezel helps add even more pizzazz to this flamboyant watch.  Driving this GMT-Master II piece is an in-house Rolex Caliber 3186. This automatic movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a standard 48-hour power supply. It also possesses an excellent accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  If you are on the hunt for an iced out Rolex watch that comes in lovely, vibrant colors, then the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126755SARU has got you covered. It has a price tag of $312,399 USD.  2. Rolex Day Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 The next watch on this list is one of the latest creations from the Rolex Day-Date collection. Released in 2021, the Rolex Day-Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 shows off a clean, all-silver style that shines as bright as the stars in the sky.  This Rolex watch is encased in a 40mm case made of 18K white gold, accompanied by a sleek three-link President bracelet. Sitting on top of the case is a pristine, diamond-set bezel. Both the watch’s bezel and bracelet are also crafted from 18K white gold.  The gleaming silver dial of this watch is also paved with diamonds, blending well with the watch’s bezel. It is adorned with baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires as its hour indices, adding a touch of color to this watch face. Aside from that, this dial is also furnished with blunt silver hands, a date display at 3 o’clock, and an arched day-of-the-week aperture at 12 o’clock.   This watch is powered by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3255. Fitted by 31 jewels, this self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and an outstanding power reserve of 70 hours. It also offers an incredible accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  If you love iced out Rolex watches with an extraordinary and clean glimmer, you can get the Rolex Day Date Ref. 228349RBR-0036 for around $109,889 USD.  3. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR Who would have thought that a dive watch can also be garnished with glamorous diamonds and gemstones? This next watch is definitely the ultimate testament to that.  The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR has a solid water resistance capacity of 300 meters, making it a great companion for all sorts of deep-sea adventures. That said, you might not want to bring this prestigious timepiece with you into the water. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR is housed in a 40mm case made from 18K white gold, coupled with a three-link bracelet made from the same material.  Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal glass, the watch’s silver dial is studded with sparkling diamonds. A combination of round sapphire gemstones and diamond indices serve as the watch’s hour markers. Also arranged on the shimmering dial are luminous Mercedes hands and a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock. A brilliant, unidirectional bezel surrounds this dial. It is fitted with a variety of baguette-cut diamonds and sapphires in various shades of blue.  This Rolex Submariner is operated by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. It is an automatic movement which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a power rating of 48 hours. It also boasts a superb precision rate of +/-2 seconds per day. For a dazzlingly beautiful iced out dive watch, you can purchase the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659 SABR for around $214,059 USD. 4. Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 Hailing from the Rolex Datejust collection, the next watch on this list caters to men and women with more slender wrists. The Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is a fashionable and sophisticated Rolesor watch. It utilizes a compact 36mm case made from Oystersteel, along with a two-tone Jubilee bracelet that contains Oystersteel outer links and inner links crafted from 18K everose gold.  Compared to the previous iced out Rolex watches, the dial of the Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is very different. This watch showcases a rich, chocolate-brown Rolex Jubilee dial. This is a design made exclusively for the 40th anniversary of the Datejust series. It is composed of a distinctive, repetitive pattern of the word “Rolex”, giving the dial a mesmerizingly alien aesthetic.   Underneath a layer of sapphire crystal, the dial is decorated with blunt everose gold hands and a magnified date complication at 3 o’clock. Square-cut diamonds are used as the watch’s hour indices, elevating the lavish look of this timepiece. A diamond-set bezel made of everose gold is also placed on top of the watch’s case. It blends well with the watch’s voguish, high-class style.  This iced out Rolex watch is powered by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3235. This self-winding movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a marvelous accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day. It also has an astonishing 70-hour power supply. Of all the iced out Rolex watches in this article, the Rolex Datejust Ref. 126281RBR-0013 is the most affordable. It costs approximately $28,214 USD.  5. Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR If you are looking for a more sporty iced out watch, check out the Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR. This timepiece is presented in a 42mm 18K white gold case. This is paired with a robust black rubber strap, which offers a striking contrast against the watch’s glittering dial and case. With these dimensions, this watch can fit well on wrists of all sizes.  The watch’s dial shows off a silver finish and is paved with diamonds all over. It consists of geometric hour indices, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices of this watch are coated in white lume, which blends well with the silver backdrop of the dial. This watch is also equipped with a bi-directional rotating bezel made from 18K white gold. It is completely decorated with square-cut diamonds, enhancing the enthralling appearance of this watch.  The Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR’s face is guarded by a layer of scratch-resistant and shatterproof sapphire crystal. In addition, as a sailing watch, it also has a solid water resistance capacity of 100 meters. As such, you never have to worry about bringing this watch onto your yachts or your sailing trips.  Ticking inside this Rolex Yacht-Master piece is an in-house Rolex Caliber 3235. This automatic movement holds a stellar 70-hour power rating and has an astounding precision rate of +/-2 seconds per day. If you want an iced out Rolex watch that offers the perfect blend of elegance and sportiness, the Rolex Yacht-Master Ref. 226679TBR is the answer. It retails at around $146,541 USD. 6. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116595 If you are interested in an iced out watch with rich, ostentatious colors, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116595 is a great option. This one-of-a-kind piece from the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona collection is one of the most sought-after timepieces from the brand. It is so popular that it has been seen on the wrists of numerous famous figures worldwide, including American actor Mark Wahlberg and rapper Post Malone.  This watch sports a 40mm case made of 18K everose gold and a three-link Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Sparkling white diamonds are encrusted on the watch’s slim lugs and crown guards, which is a testament to Rolex’s attention to fine detail. This watch’s glamorous style is also boosted by the rose gold bezel that sits on top of its watch case. This beautiful bezel is filled with square-cut diamonds in an exquisite shower of rainbow hues, enhancing this watch’s flamboyant stylishness.  Delightfully contrasting the colorful vibrancy of this watch’s exterior is a jet-black dial. It comprises baguette-cut diamond hour indices in a variety of rainbow colors along with rose gold skeletal hands. You can also find three chronograph sub-dials made from pink gold crystals, which stand out brilliantly against the black dial. These serve as the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. Underneath this gorgeous watch face, you can find an in-house Rolex Caliber 4130. This self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a power supply of 72 hours. It also delivers an outstanding accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day. This exquisite Rolex Rainbow Daytona watch is set at a price of $773,299 USD. 7. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 For the last piece on this list of iced out Rolex watches, we have another dive watch adorned with diamonds and gemstones. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 uses a 40mm 18K white gold case and an 18K white gold Oyster bracelet. This watch is made even more handsome by its unidirectional rotating bezel, which is garnished with square-cut blue diamonds and sapphires.  The dial of this watch also shows off a vivid blue sunray finish. It has a classic Rolex Submariner dial layout, composed of geometric hour indices, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date aperture at 3 o’clock.  This piece runs on the in-house Rolex Caliber 3135 which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). When fully wound, it can last for up to an average 48 hours. As a dive watch, it also boasts a 300-meter depth rating, so it is ready to be worn on all sorts of water adventures.  For a blue dial watch with a stunning exterior, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116659SABR-0001 can be bought for around $179,299 USD. Final Thoughts Iced out Rolex watches are clearly made to stand out in the crowd. These pieces are fascinating accessories that effortlessly turn heads thanks to the bold and enchanting appeal that they possess. As with many Rolex timepieces, these iced out Rolex watches are definitely worth investing in. They are great choices if you are looking for a lovely investment watch with a value that will appreciate in the years to come. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Featured image courtesy of Rolex. Want to read about a timepiece with an eye-catching watch complication? Check out our article about the Orient Sun and Moon!

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  4. Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Before we pull the trigger on purchasing a watch, we always take note of things like its case shape and bracelet material. However, another important component that can either make or break a watch is its bezel. Along with the dial, the watch bezel plays a pivotal role in the aesthetic of the whole model. Offering both form and function, the watch bezel is a crucial component that should not be overlooked. If you want to know more, read on as we discuss all you need to know about watch bezels, how they function, and some of the most iconic bezel designs in watchmaking history. What is a Watch Bezel?  A watch bezel is best described as a ring, affixed to the top of the watch case, that surrounds the watch’s dial. It sits on top of the watch crystal and helps to keep it in place. The watch bezel is considered one of the most versatile components of a timepiece. This is particularly because numerous variations of it exist. Watchmakers use specific materials such as steel, aluminum, and ceramic to craft the bezel. Oftentimes, the watch bezel is then treated with other metals such as gold or silver for design and durability purposes. A Brief Background on the Evolution of Watch Bezels There really is no exact date as to when the watch bezel was first created or identified as part of a watch. Nevertheless, its evolution throughout the years is quite evident. What initially started out as a fixed, decorative component soon became a way to add more utility to a timepiece. Many well-known brands like Rolex and Omega have actually pioneered a number of the innovative bezels we have today. For example, in the 1930s, Rolex was one of the first manufacturers to attach a rotating bezel to a watch, the Rolex Zerograph. At the time, the brand did not know that this ingenious complication would eventually become a fundamental part of diving watches in the future. In the same decade, TAG Heuer released a selection of timepieces featuring a variety of decorative bezels. This further cemented the idea that watch bezels were becoming a more prominent design and utility element in timepieces. Over the years, manufacturers have gone out of their way to create new and innovative bezel complications. These impressive bezels have changed the watchmaking game forever. Today, there are numerous kinds of watch bezels, all with different functions and features, for you to choose from. What Are Watch Bezels Made From?  Technological advancements in watchmaking mean that there are a variety of materials which watchmakers can choose from when it comes to crafting a watch bezel. Different bezel materials offer different advantages, which we will now go through in detail. Stainless Steel Stainless steel is one of the most prevalent materials used when creating timepieces. As such, it is little surprise that stainless steel bezels are quite common as well. There are two main reasons why manufacturers choose to go with stainless steel over other metals: durability and aesthetics. In terms of reliability and robustness, stainless steel is the most viable option when it comes to watch bezels. It is highly resistant to scratches and corrosion. A stainless steel bezel is thus able to withstand much of the wear and tear that comes with frequent use and a harsh environment. While stainless steel is prone to discoloration, it is a material that is guaranteed to last. Using stainless steel ensures that your watch bezel will remain in one piece no matter what. In terms of aesthetics, stainless steel has an appealing, lustrous sheen that is remarkably close to precious metals like silver. It also boasts a very versatile look, which allows watchmakers to experiment and play around with the design of the watch. For instance, stainless steel bezels work extremely well with two-toned watch cases. Aluminum  Aluminum bezels are also quite popular in the watchmaking industry. Aluminum is often compared to stainless steel, especially since it is just as abundant and practical. One strength of aluminum is that it is a more lightweight alternative, so it wears less heavily than a stainless steel bezel. It also mixes well with different coatings and pigments. However, a downside of aluminum is that it is known to be less sturdy than stainless steel. It is also quite reactive to different environmental exposures, and can be corroded if used for extended periods of time. Ceramic Despite being the newest material on this list, ceramic is an increasingly popular choice when it comes to making watch bezels. Ceramic is extremely robust and is known for exhibiting excellent scratch-resistant properties that exceed those of stainless steel and aluminum. This is great in ensuring the watch bezel remains pristine, even after years of use. Furthermore, ceramic is also lighter in weight, making it more ergonomic and comfortable to wear. However, ceramic has its fair share of cons as well. When too much pressure is applied to a ceramic bezel, it can be susceptible to some chipping or breaking here and there. Ceramic is also much more expensive than stainless steel or aluminum. Which Material Makes the Best Bezel?  As mentioned, each material has its advantages and disadvantages. People have to take into account different factors when deciding which watch bezel material to go with. For instance, a stainless steel bezel is a classic. It is ideal for those who prefer durable watches that age well. Aluminum bezels, on the other hand, are perfect for those seeking a more lightweight watch option. Finally, ceramic bezels are great for those who prefer stylish watches that will not suffer too much abuse. At the end of the day, your choice of preferred bezel material boils down to personal preferences. Types of Watch Bezels Now, let us move on to the most frequently-seen types of watch bezels and how they function.  1. Fixed/Plain Bezel The original watch bezel, a fixed or plain bezel is the most basic type. This type of watch bezel primarily functions as a decorative component. Aside from helping to keep the watch crystal in place, the fixed bezel does not have any additional functions or features. Watchmakers frequently use fixed bezels when they want to show off certain design elements such as embedded jewels, inscriptions, and the like. A contemporary example of the fixed bezel would be the Seiko 5 Sports SRE003K1, which hails from the popular Seiko 5 Sports series. 2. Count-up Bezel Next up, we have the count-up bezel. This type of watch bezel is more commonly referred to as a dive bezel, as it is often seen on dive watches. It showcases a scale that counts from 0 to 60 and is meant to be aligned with the minute markers on the watch’s dial. The count-up bezel’s scale is typically used by divers to calculate their elapsed time underwater. Moreover, this type of bezel follows a unidirectional rotation that goes counter-clockwise, which is used as an indicator by many divers as well. To use the count-up bezel, you have to align its zero marker – the luminous pip – to the current position of the minute hand. As the minute hand ticks, this will show you how much time has elapsed since you started diving. For example, if you start your dive at 9:20, you have to move the zero marker of the bezel to the 20-minute marker on the dial, which is where the minute-hand should be. As time goes on, the minute hand will tick forward, allowing you to keep track of exactly how many minutes have passed. 3. GMT/World Time Bezel A GMT bezel, also known as a world time bezel, is made for those who need to keep track of two different timezones. It is especially useful to frequent jetsetters. This type of watch bezel is characterized by a 24-hour scale, which is kept separate from the 12-hour display on the dial. Some GMT watches come with an additional GMT hand, while others feature rotating bezels. A GMT watch with an extra GMT hand is paired with the 24-hour GMT scale, which can be set to indicate one timezone. If your watch comes with just a rotating GMT bezel and no additional hands, however, you will have to manually turn it to your desired timezone. 4. Tachymeter Bezel The tachymeter bezel is commonly featured in sports watches and chronograph pieces relating to anything and everything automotive. This is usually a fixed bezel with a scale that has units beginning from 0 and going up to around 1,000. The main function of the tachymeter bezel is to calculate either distance or speed by using how much time has passed. In order to use the tachymeter, you need to know the distance between two points and the elapsed time needed to get from one end to another. You can then use the bezel’s tachymeter scale to calculate your traveling speed. 5. Compass Bezel A compass bezel is an important component in many outdoor watches. It aids explorers in figuring out directions, so they will not get lost. The compass bezel is marked with letter engravings that indicate North, South, East, and West. Additional markers can be found in between each cardinal direction, indicating the degrees.One interesting thing about the compass bezel is that it is reliant on the sun rather than magnetic properties. When using the compass bezel, you have to first use the sun to determine your orientation. If the sun is rising, change your position, with the cardinal direction E pointed at the sun. If the sun is setting, however, you have to change your position so that W pointed at the sun. This will allow you to tell which direction you are facing and where you need to go. 6. Countdown Bezel `a countdown bezel works in similar way to the count-up bezel. However, instead of calculating elapsed time, the countdown bezel acts more as a stopwatch. You will align your desired time limit to its corresponding marker on the dial. The countdown bezel is extremely versatile and is used by both professionals in their fields and in people’s everyday routines too. In order to properly use the countdown bezel, the zero marker on the bezel must be lined up with the time limit you are trying to set. For example, if you decide to jog around for 20 minutes, make sure to rotate the bezel so that the zero marker is at the 20-minute position on the dial. This will then allow you to keep track of how much time has passed and how much time you have left. 7. Pulsometer Bezel  A pulsometer is a very old-school bezel type that dates back to the 1920s. Serving a very practical and straightforward purpose, this was one of the very first bezel complications ever invented. It is designed to help those in the medical field keep track of a person’s heart rate. Typically, a pulsometer has a scale that counts from around 40 (left) units/pulses to 200 (right) units/pulses. When using a pulsometer bezel, you have to manually count out a person’s heartbeats once the timer starts. You can then refer to the pulsometer scale and use it to calculate the rate at which the person’s heart is beating. It should be noted that nowadays, the pulsometer bezel is a very rare type of watch bezel. The invention of smartwatches that can automatically determine a person’s heart rate has rendered the pulsometer bezel nearly obsolete. Bonus: Watches with Iconic Bezels Rolex Pepsi Bezel  The Rolex GMT-Master might just have the most famous watch bezel ever. It boasts the Pepsi bezel, which is an iconic two-tone GMT bezel. It comes in vibrant red and blue hues, resembling the logo of a soda brand, which is why it is dubbed the Pepsi bezel. Since its invention, many other watch brands have released their own versions of the Pepsi bezel. You can see this in watches such as the Timex Q Reissue and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79830RB-0001. Nevertheless, Rolex’s version remains the most legendary. The latest version of the Rolex Pepsi bezel has a 24-hour GMT scale and is made out of the brand’s patented Cerachrom material. TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary Tag Heuer is a brand that is known for its expertise in making tachymeter bezels. It has a long and rich history involving automobiles and the racing scene. This is probably how it has mastered the incorporation of tachymeter bezels in is watches. Take a look, for instance, at this limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary CBN2A1D.BA0643. It bears a fixed ceramic bezel in black with a tachymeter scale. Everything about this model serves as a tribute to the 160 years of the racing-inspired Tag Heuer Carrera series. Final Thoughts For those who are not that familiar with timepieces, the bezel is simply just a part of a watch. However, through this article, we have shown you just how much thought and effort watchmakers put into this versatile complication. From allowing watchmakers to exercise artistry and creativity to actually offering impressive utility, the watch bezel is definitely much more than just another watch component. It adds a lot of depth to a timepiece, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.  Photo Credits: Official Brand Websites Hooked on timepieces? Check out this Guide on Buying the Perfect IWC Portofino watch.

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  5. Grand Seiko SBGM221: A Review of Grand Seiko’s GMT Watch

    Grand Seiko SBGM221: A Review of Grand Seiko’s GMT Watch

    Grand Seiko has always been about packing stylishness and quality into a single watch. Those familiar with the watch industry probably know that this Japanese watchmaker has consistently created timeless pieces that leave an indelible mark on the whole watch market. Apart from its famous roster of dress watches influenced by nature’s grandeur, which includes models like the Grand Seiko White Birch and Grand Seiko Snowflake, this luxury watch brand is also known for producing vintage-inspired timepieces. In this article, we will be taking a look at one of Grand Seiko’s most popular vintage-influenced watches — the Grand Seiko SBGM221. Elegant and handsomely built, the Grand Seiko 9S Mechanical Ref. SBGM221 clearly epitomizes the brand’s distinguished reputation for making exceptional watches. As a GMT watch, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is easily on par with some of the most famous GMT luxury watches. Hailing from the brand’s 9S Mechanical series, this timepiece is especially notable as it is powered by Grand Seiko’s outstanding, state-of-the-art Hi-Beat caliber.  Without further ado, let us delve deep into the details of what the Grand Seiko SBGM221 has to offer.  A Closer Look at the Grand Seiko SBGM221: Case and Caseback The Grand Seiko SBGM221 is housed in a 39mm stainless steel case, with a height of 13.7mm. With these dimensions, this Grand Seiko watch fits well on small-to-average-sized wrists, especially for men with slimmer and more slender wrists. The entire case is polished with the brand’s in-house Zaratsu polishing technique. Thanks to Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 has a glossy, mirror-like shine. So, if you are looking for a truly lustrous and luxurious timepiece, then this is the perfect watch for you.  When you flip the Grand Seiko SBGM221 over, you will find a transparent caseback made of stainless steel and sapphire crystal. Like the rest of the watch case, this caseback is embellished with the brand’s Zaratsu finish, so it has an impeccable glamor when viewed under the light. Through the sapphire crystal insert, you get to see a full view of the powerful in-house movement that drives this watch.  This caseback is also screwed in using six sizable bolts, which keep the caseback firmly secured to the rest of the case, protecting the watch’s inner mechanisms from any dust or moisture exposure. Thanks to its screw-down caseback, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 has a depth rating of 30 meters. This is a fairly standard water resistance capacity for a dress watch like the Grand Seiko SBGM221, allowing it to withstand any splashes or showers.  Crown Tucked on the right side of the Grand Seiko SBGM221’s case is a polished screw-down crown. This crown is quite thick and is designed with a grooved pattern, giving wearers an easy grip so they can hold and turn the crown with little trouble. As is the tradition with most luxury timepieces, the top of the crown is stamped with the brand’s iconic “GS” emblem, marking this as a uniquely Grand Seiko timepiece.  Unlike most watches, the Grand Seiko SBGM221’s stout crown can be used to set not just the time, but also the timezone of the watch. When the crown is wound to the first position, you can turn it to move the hour hand and set the intended hour. When wound to the second position, the turning of the crown determines the minute and GMT hands, allowing you to set your desired time and timezone.    Dial Image by: user/torpedo109 on Reddit A glorious sight to behold, the Grand Seiko SBGM221’s dial is easily its most aesthetic component. Unlike the snow-covered dial of the Grand Seiko Snowflake or the azure sky-inspired backdrop of the Grand Seiko Skyflake, the Grand Seiko SBGM221’s dial shows off a clean, rich ivory ensemble. Although it has a fairly simple layout, the interior elements of this dial come together to create a very enchanting, well-organized watch face.  This ivory dial is adorned with thick, silver applique indices and razor-sharp dauphine hands, all of which are nicely beveled and completely polished. This ensures that the hands and indices of this watch all show off the same mirror-like finish as the case, so that they shine just as exuberantly when this dial is viewed under the light. A rectangular date display is also placed at 3 o’clock, encased inside a polished stainless steel frame. In addition, the rim of the dial is furnished with simple black stick indices for the minute track.  You probably also noticed that, apart from its usual stainless steel hands, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 also has a fourth hand made of blued steel. This thick, arrow-headed hand is the watch’s GMT hand. It is the very feature which makes this timepiece so intriguing. This hand points towards the printed 24-hour GMT scale, which is located near the applique hour markers. As a GMT watch, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 uses this display to keep wearers updated on a second time zone.  Strap A dress watch would not be as classy as it is if it is not paired with a stylish, elegant strap. Grand Seiko lives up to expectations by pairing the Grand Seiko SBGM221 with a handsome brown leather strap. This durable band is made from calfskin leather. It bears an aged crocodile pattern that adds to the watch’s vintage aesthetic. It also comes with a convenient stainless steel deployant clasp, so you can easily slip the watch on and off your wrist at any time.  Movement Visible through the watch’s see-through caseback, the Hi-Beat Caliber 9S66 that powers the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is truly a well-engineered one. The Caliber 9S66 is a state-of-the-art GMT movement that is crafted entirely in-house.  As one of the brand’s exclusive, innovative Hi-Beat movements, this movement is incredibly efficient, beating at a breathtaking frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (5Hz). Held together by 35 jewels, it offers an accuracy rate of -3/+5 seconds per day. When fully wound, the Caliber 9S66 can also last for up to 72 hours, or approximately three days, which is extremely impressive for a high-beat movement.  Price The price for the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is set at around $4,889 USD. For a high-end luxury timepiece equipped with an appealing Zaratsu finish and a highly advanced movement, you will find that this is actually quite a reasonable price.  Alternatives to the Grand Seiko SBGM221 If you think that the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is a little too exorbitant for you, fear not! We have prepared a few alternatives to the Grand Seiko SBGM221 that you might be interested in. Coming from highly-recognized watch companies in the industry, all of the dressy timepieces below show off the same vintage appeal as the SBGM221 and are also set at more budget-friendly price points.  1. Omega De Ville Ref. 424.13.40.20.02.001 First up, we have the Omega De Ville Ref. 424.13.40.20.02.001. This is a classic dress watch with very minimalistic features, boasting a quiet simplicity that is reminiscent of the German Bauhaus watches.  This Omega De Ville timepiece is presented in a 39.5mm stainless steel case, coupled with a quintessential black alligator leather strap. While its case is only half a millimeter larger than the Grand Seiko SBGM221, this watch also has a height of just 10mm. On the whole, this is a much slimmer timepiece, which you can easily and unobtrusively slide under the cuff of your shirt.  Complementing the sleek silver case of this Omega watch is a clean, silver-white dial. It contains Roman numeral hour markers, slender applique indices, beveled dauphine hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. All of these dial components come in sleek silver, which blends well with the rest of the dial, creating a very consistent color theme.  Underneath this straightforward watch face, you can find an in-house Omega Caliber 2500. Based on the ETA 2892-AT movement, the Caliber 2500 has been modified to fit this Omega watch. Held together by 27 jewels, it offers a reliable power supply of 48 hours or two days. The Omega De Ville Ref. 424.13.40.20.02.001 sells at about $3,750 USD.  2. Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Ref. 112520 Next up, we have the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Ref. 112520. Like the aforementioned Omega piece, this watch has a very simple and classic appeal. That said, it offers a different, slightly more ostentatious style, with its colorful dial components and livelier watch face.  This Montblanc timepiece is packed in a 38mm stainless steel case, with an extremely slim height of just 7.65mm, and an alligator leather strap in black. Of all the dress watches listed in this article, this is by far the smallest one. As such, this watch is best suited for smaller wrists with measurements that are on the slender side.  The dial of this watch comes in a soft white finish, which stands out well against the black strap. It is decorated with slim applique indices in rose gold, Arabic numeral markers in a rounded typeface, and rose gold dauphine hands with sharp, well-beveled edges. A rectangular date window, outlined in rose gold, can also be found at 6 o’clock. These rose gold accents, along with the single, blued steel seconds hand, add an exquisite, luxurious edge to this watch face.  Driving this Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie watch is the in-house Montblanc Caliber MB 24.09. Consisting of 25 jewels, it has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and sustains an average power reserve of up to 42 hours.  The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Ref. 112520 retails at approximately $2,835 USD.  3. Seiko Presage Ref. SARW049  A sibling brand of Grand Seiko, Seiko is another very reliable brand when it comes to suave dress watches. The Seiko Presage lineup offers elegant, dressy pieces with varying price points that range from as low as $300 USD, up to as high as $3000 USD.  The Seiko Presage Ref. SARW049 utilizes a 40.6mm stainless steel case, paired with a deep brown crocodile leather strap. That makes this Seiko Presage watch the largest timepiece to show up in this article.  The dial of this watch comes in a lovely porcelain white finish, which looks almost snow-white when viewed under the light. It is filled with Roman numeral hour markers in thin black font, blued steel leaf hands, and two sub-dials at 6 and 9 o’clock. The sub-dial at 6 o’clock serves as the pointer date display, while the sub-dial at 9 o’clock indicates the watch’s power reserve. At 12 o’clock, you can also find a Roman numeral marker in bright red, adding a burst of vibrancy to this watch face.  This watch runs on an in-house Seiko Caliber 6R27. Wearers can admire this movement in all its glory through the watch’s transparent caseback. Moreover, this movement also provides a power reserve that lasts up to 45 hours when fully wound, and you will be able to check this anytime using the sub-dial at 9 o’clock. Finally, although this Seiko Presage timepiece is designed as a dress watch, it actually has an excellent depth rating of 100 meters. As such, you can bring this watch with you to your swimming adventures without any fear.  The Seiko Presage Ref. SARW049 costs just $1,859 USD, making it the most affordable alternative to the Grand Seiko SBGM221.  Final Thoughts There is no doubt that the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is indeed one majestic dress watch. What better way to pair your formal attire than with an elegant timepiece that exudes great charm?  When it comes to aesthetics, the shine that radiates from the Grand Seiko SBGM221 and its captivating dial is just one of the reasons why you should not miss out on this watch. It also offers top-notch functionality, with its useful GMT feature and efficient, innovative Hi-Beat caliber. On the whole, the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is definitely a superb dress watch that is worth investing in.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: Reddit and Grand Seiko. Featured image courtesy of Grand Seiko. Interested in a very flamboyant luxury dress watch? Read our article about the Rolex Rainbow Daytona!

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

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

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

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  7. Ressence Watches: The Rotating Minimalist Watches

    Ressence Watches: The Rotating Minimalist Watches

    Ever heard of a watch with a rotating dial inside? How about one that has an oil-filled dial? While these concepts might seem strange and even avant-garde, you might be intrigued to know that they have been made possible by the Swiss luxury watch brand, Ressence. Through constant technological advancement and design innovation, the marvelous, minimalistic Ressence watches have been made into existence. Read on to find out all you need to know about the one-of-a-kind Ressence watches.  What is Ressence? Established in just 2010, Ressence is a relatively new luxury microbrand when it comes to the industry of watchmaking. Benoît Mintiens, the founder of the brand, was an industrial designer who sought to craft innovative watches that mirrored the modern aesthetics of the 21st century. To that end, Mintiens successfully introduced a lineup of timepieces that possessed an utterly unique oil-based design, while still showcasing the same functionality a traditional watch had.  Interestingly, while Belgium is the birthplace of this luxury watchmaker, all Ressence watches are actually meticulously manufactured in Switzerland. This ensures that each Ressence piece meets all the stringent quality control standards a Swiss-made watch model is required to meet.  Fun fact: Ressence is a creative combination of the words “renaissance” and “essence.” The brand’s name perfectly encapsulates how it has revitalized the watchmaking art, through its introduction of a breed of watches that capture the very soul of timekeeping in a whole new way. This is demonstrated by Ressence’s creative invention of a watch with a revolving dial and its launch of the world’s first-ever oil-filled watch dial.  But just what exactly is so special about these Ressence watches? Let us find out.   How Do Ressence Watches Work? Image by: Ressence Watches One thing you can be sure of is that the design of Ressence watches is brand new, even when taking into account the entire history of watch manufacturing. You might wonder how exactly a Ressence watch manages to achieve its rotating, oil-filled dial; the answer lies in what the brand calls “ROCS”.  ROCS, which stands for “Ressence Orbital Convex System”, is Ressence’s patented in-house module. The ROCS utilizes custom-modified movements, based on the ETA 2892/2 and ETA 2824/2 calibers, as the very foundation of the Ressence watches’ whole structure. These movements are carefully adapted by Ressence in order to deliver impressive mechanisms which are able to power its watches’ signature rotating dials.  Rotating Dial In terms of motion and display, all Ressence watches share the same signature dial display. This includes a minute hand that is rotated alongside the main disc, as well as smaller individual rotating discs that house the hours, seconds, day-of-the-week, and AM/PM markers.  The hour ring is slightly larger than the two discs that contain seconds and day-of-the-week markers. The day-of-the-week ring is also rather distinctively designed. Instead of bearing any numerals, it consists of seven arcs that make up a circle: five portions that are filled in white indicate the weekdays, while the two empty segments indicate the weekends. All of these components circle around the main dial as the watch performs its function of reliably displaying the time.  All of the movements within the Ressence watches’ dials are powered through the usage of the ROCS. In particular, the operations of the co-planar rotating discs and rings that orbit the dial make up an intricate arrangement that includes more than a hundred pieces of gear. These elements are deliberately, meticulously organized in a convex manner. In fact, unlike traditional timepieces, these gears are laid out in several layers. This makes it easier for these different components to keep moving cleanly around the dial.  Oil-filled Dial Another selling point of the Ressence watches is their unusual oil-filled dials. Ressence’s main goal in utilizing oil was to ensure the readability of the watch face, so that wearers would have a clear view of the dial from any angle. In particular, the use of oil was meant to prevent the refraction of light when it hits the dial’s protective layer of sapphire crystal.  Thanks to Ressence’s unique employment of oil in its watches, every oil-filled Ressence watch is divided into two chambers. The upper half of the case, which is visible to viewers, is filled with oil and contains the ROCS, while the lower half of the dial remains dry and houses the watch’s caliber. In order to maintain the smooth rotation of the dial and its components, Ressence utilizes strong magnets which keep the two different chambers connected.  Caseback Crown Yet another remarkable trait of all Ressence watches is the placement of the crown. Conventionally, with traditional timepieces, the crown can be found on the right side of the watch case, either at 3 or 4 o’clock. Ressence, however, has opted to place its crowns on the casebacks of its watches instead.  A simple lever is located on each Ressence watch’s caseback and can be used to manage and wind the watch’s functions. This innovative crown placement serves to give the watch a more minimalistic appearance, while also emphasizing the alluring display of the dial. According to the brand, this caseback crown also allows wearers a certain degree of freedom. Whether you are a lefty or a righty, you will have zero trouble operating the crowns of Ressence watches.  Best Ressence Watches on the Market As we have established, Ressence is known for producing luxury timepieces that boast high-end, intricate mechanisms and stylish, avant-garde designs. Despite all their complexity and innovation, however, Ressence watches are also known for clean, uncluttered layouts that exude a very minimalistic appeal. Without further ado, let us take a look at some of the best watches that Ressence has to offer.  1. Type 1 Slim Image by: Ressence Watches First on the list is the sleek Ressence Type 1 Slim. This titanium watch is a redesign of Ressence’s first-ever release of the Type 1. Measuring 42mm in diameter and just 11mm thick, this slender watch comes in a case made out of robust grade 5 titanium and a snug black leather strap. Its lightweight titanium build ensures that this watch is incredibly easy to carry around all day, an effect which is bolstered by the watch’s incredible slim lugs.  Complementing the watch’s black leather strap is a striking matte black dial. This dial is furnished with a sweeping white minute hand and co-planar spheres containing the hours, seconds, day-of-the-week, and AM/PM indicators. Boasting a clean minimalism that rivals even the German Bauhaus timepieces, this dial is remarkably easy to read at a glance, even with its curious design. A double-domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating is also used to protect this watch face from any impacts or scratches.  The Ressence Type 1 Slim runs on the brand’s in-house ROCS 1.3, which has a solid power supply of 36 hours. It is important to note that this watch is not particularly designed to withstand extreme water conditions as it only offers 10 meters of water resistance. While this water resistance capacity is quite typical for a dress watch like the Ressence Type 1 Slim, you should still be extra careful when using this watch.  You can purchase this watch for around $20,000 USD.  2. Type 1² Squared  Image by: Ressence Watches For a more stylish blue dial watch option, check out the Ressence Type 1² Squared. This timepiece is presented in a square cushion-like design measuring 41mm in diameter. Its case, which is made from stainless steel, bears a gleaming, polished finish that adds to the luster of this Ressence timepiece. This is coupled with thin straight lugs and a handsome blue leather strap.  The highlight of this watch is easily its elegant blue dial, which boasts a lovely, swirling sunray finish that looks extremely well brushed. This dial is decorated with three discs for the hours, seconds, day-of-the-week, and AM/PM markers, while a long white minute hand can also be found on the upper right side of the dial. You will notice subtle orange accents on the day-of-the-week and small seconds rings, which help add a distinct, vibrant edge to this timepiece. Each disc also bears its own sunray finish, creating an interplay of blue shades that is incredibly satisfying to look at under the light.  Like the Type 1 Slim, this watch is powered by the brand’s patented ROCS 1.3. Customized from a base ETA 2892 Caliber, the ROCS 1.3 offers a 36-hour power reserve and a 10-meter depth rating.  The Ressence Type 1² Squared is priced at approximately $20,000 USD. This fashionable luxury dress watch would be the perfect companion for any formal event or dinner party.  3. Type 2 Image by: Ressence Watches Our next timepiece is a first of its kind. The Ressence Type 2 is a particularly innovative watch because it prides itself on being the first mechanical watch to come with a smart crown. This watch is housed in a large 45mm case made of lightweight grade 5 titanium, coupled with a matching gray leather bracelet.  A matte gray dial finishes off the watch’s monochrome look, giving it a consistent, uniform aesthetic. This dial is adorned with a white-coated minute hand, along with rings for the hours, seconds, and AM/PM markers. The Ressence Type 2, however, does away with the day-of-the-week indicator seen in previous Ressence watches. Instead, it replaces this with a mode selector disc which displays the current function of the watch. These include the local timezone (yellow), a second time zone (green), bluetooth connectivity (blue), and the e-Crown (indicated by the white downwards arrow).  Wearers can use the unique e-Crown on the dial to automatically set the correct time of the watch, so you do not have to manually wind the levered crown on the caseback. In this way, the e-Crown provides wearers with more user-friendly engagement. You can activate it by simply tapping on the sapphire crystal of the dial and the discs will swiftly rotate to show you the correct time. In addition, this e-Crown can also be operated to show you a second time zone through a smartphone app via Bluetooth. All of these functions are driven by the brand’s in-house ROCS 2 module, which can last for up to 36 hours when fully wound.   For a more extravagant, high-tech watch with a handy smart crown, the Ressence Type 2 retails at a costly price of $48,800 USD. 4. Type 3 Image by: Ressence Watches Next up, we have the world’s first-ever oil-filled dial watch, the Ressence Type 3. Released in 2015, this watch is an updated version of the first Type 3, which was initially launched in 2013. This watch utilizes a 44mm case made of grade 5 titanium, coupled with a matching titanium caseback and a rugged black leather strap. This case is especially in a curved shape, almost like a small pebble; this ensures that the oil-filled dial is clearly legible from every angle. The whole watch face is also kept safe by a layer of sapphire crystal, so you do not have to worry about any scratches or impacts.  The star of the Ressence Type 3, of course, is its oil-filled dial. This dial follows a layout that is incredibly similar to other Ressence watches, comprising separate discs for the hours, seconds, AM/PM, and day-of-the-week indicators, along with a long white minute hand. Scattered across the dial are bright yellow, blue, and red accents, which help add a touch of vivid color to this otherwise monochrome watch face.  This dial is also filled with 37.5ml of oil, although you will hardly feel the weight of this timepiece at all, thanks to its lightweight titanium construction. Ressence made sure to include an oil temperature disc. This is a helpful safety aspect, especially for wearers who frequently travel to places with varying temperatures, as it keeps the oil from freezing or overheating.  Inside this sophisticated timepiece, you can find an in-house ROCS 3.5 module. Based on a standard ETA 2824-2 base caliber, this movement provides the watch with a 36-hour power supply.  If you are looking for a truly out-of-this-world timepiece that wears very light, the Ressence Type 3 is an excellent choice. It is worth an estimated price of $42,200 USD.  5. Type 5 Image by: Ressence Watches In this entry, we will be looking at Ressence’s first-ever dive watch, the Ressence Type 5. This watch comes in a bulky 46mm case made of lightweight grade 5 titanium. It is offered with two different straps: a supple black leather bracelet, which can be utilized for formal events and office use, and a black nylon strap which is great for everyday, casual routines.  The watch also comes with a jet-black dial, which matches wonderfully with its bracelet. This dial consists of a minute hand, along with different discs for the hours, seconds, and temperature gauge. It is also decorated with colorful yellow, red, and blue accents, which add a hint of vibrancy and liveliness to this watch face. Even when underwater, this dial can be read with optimal legibility from any angle, thanks to the oil inside the dial and the anti-reflective sapphire crystal that protects it.  As a dive watch, the Ressence Type 5 comes with a slender rotating bezel marked with green and white indicators for its elapsed time scale. It also has a reliable 100-meter depth rating, which allows you to use this watch for watersports activities such as swimming and recreational diving. Inside the Ressence Type 5, you can find the brand’s in-house ROCS 5 module. Held together by 41 jewels, this module offers a power supply of 36 hours.  The Ressence Type 5 can be yours for around $35,800 USD. 6. Type 8 Image by: Ressence Watches Last on this list is the luxury brand’s latest addition to the Ressence collection: the Ressence Type 8. Of all the Ressence watches, the Type 8 has to be the very definition of what a minimalist watch is all about.  This watch is encased in a 42.9mm grade 5 titanium case that measures a slim 11mm in thickness. Its thin, straight watch lugs are barely visible, hidden under the round titanium case. This helps reinforce Type 8’s sleek and slender look. A smart blue leather strap is used to keep this watch securely fastened around your wrist.  Turning our eyes to the Type 8’s watch face, its matte cobalt blue dial is luxurious in its simplicity. This watch does away with all the additional complications and discs. Instead, it keeps things straightforward with just white minute indices on the rim of the main dial and a single disc bearing hour markers and an hour hand, all in white. In low-visibility conditions, these elements all glow brightly, thanks to their Super-LumiNova coatings. Underneath this minimalistic watch face, you can also find an in-house ROCS 8 module, which possesses a 36-hour power reserve.  The Ressence Type 8 sells at just $14,800 USD, making it one of the more affordable Ressence watches.  Final Thoughts Where design and innovation meet, technological creations are born. However eccentric some concepts of Ressence watches may be for some, you cannot deny that the ideas behind their products deserve to be lauded. For a luxury brand, Ressence sure knows how to serve its customers well with well-made and unique high-end watches. All images courtesy of Ressence Watches and Flickr.  Want more watches with unique dials like this? Check out our articles about the Swatch Sistem51 and Gorilla Watches.

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  8. Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue: A Review

    Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue: A Review

    When thinking about Tudor watches, most often than not, the one model that usually comes to mind is the emblematic Tudor Black Bay. As one of the brand’s most coveted and recognized collections, the Tudor Black Bay is home to numerous magnificent luxury dive watches that many would say are on par with the quality of a Rolex Submariner. One particular Black Bay piece that has been gaining the attention of many enthusiasts and collectors is the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue. With its vintage design and compact structure, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue pays tribute to the brand’s first-ever dive watch, the Tudor Submariner. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at this modern interpretation of the classic Tudor dive watch, along with its detailed specifications, its price, and some possible alternatives. Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue (79030B-0001) Image By: Watch Shopping Stainless Steel Case Starting with its case dimensions, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue has a case diameter of 39mm and a case height of 12.1mm, making it slimmer than most Black Bay models, which tend to come in 41mm and 43mm cases. With its toned-down size, wearers can easily and inconspicuously slide this watch under their cuffs, so it is not too bulky and obtrusive to wear. In addition, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue has a standard lug-to-lug measurement of 47.8mm and a lug width of 20mm, which makes it very convenient for wearers to swap out the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue’s strap for some alternative options that better fit their tastes. The case of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is made out of high-quality stainless steel. It showcases finely polished sides and satin-finished lug hoods, providing an attractive combination of both duller and gleaming surfaces. Fixed on the right side of the watch is a screw-down crown bearing a raised image of the brand’s iconic rose emblem, which serves to enhance the watch’s aura of prestige. On the underside of the Black Bay 58 Blue is a solid steel rear case that is also securely screwed down, preventing any moisture or dust from leaking in and damaging the watch’s inner mechanisms. With its screw-down crown and rear case, this timepiece has a total depth rating of 200m. As such, you can easily bring the Tudor Black Bay 58 with you into the shower, to the pool, or even to the beach. Plan to go scuba diving with the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue? You are sure to find its stainless steel unidirectional rotating bezel useful, in that case. Fitted on top of the bezel is a matte blue anodized aluminum insert, with silver gilded numerals and markers for the elapsed time scale. A luminescent pearl is positioned at the 12 o’clock marker, providing better legibility in deep waters. The micro-knurling of this bezel is also quite nice, as it has fine tooth-like edges that provide wearers with a better grip compared to the Rolex Submariner. As such, you can easily pinch and turn the bezel, even if you are wearing a diving suit. When rotated, the bezel rings out with loud and chunky click noises, giving the timepiece more of a mechanical feel and ensuring that you will never lose track of the elapsed time. Matte Blue Dial As the source of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue’s name, the dial of this watch shows off a handsome matte blue surface with a silver-white chapter ring. The layout of this dial is both elegant and straightforward, with applique markers that take the form of large geometric shapes and the Black Bay collection’s signature snowflake hands. Much like the other Black Bay 58 models, the lume quality of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is excellent. Its hour markers and handset are all generously applied with lume that allows it to glow bright green in the darkest environments, ensuring optimal legibility. The Tudor signature, along with its depth rating and the COSC-certification of its movement, is also labeled on this dial in a neat white typeface that contrasts satisfyingly against the blue backdrop. When viewed in its entirety, this watch face evokes a memory of the similar-looking dials on the classic Tudor Submariner timepieces. Domed Sapphire Crystal Image By: Watch Shopping Fitted on top of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue’s dial is a layer of domed sapphire glass. Known for its luxurious feel and unparalleled scratch resistance, the sapphire crystal is the most sought-after watch crystal for high-end timepieces. For context, sapphire crystals measure a “9” on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. It is virtually impossible to scratch this watch glass and the only thing that could possibly damage it is diamond. That said, there are some downsides to the use of sapphire crystal as well. Although sapphire crystal is incredibly scratch-resistant, it is more vulnerable to shocks and can be shattered by hard impacts, so be careful not to go knocking your Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue around. Sapphire crystal is also highly reflective, which could cause visual distortions when looking at the timepiece from certain angles. Unfortunately, much like Rolex, Tudor does not treat their watch crystals with anti-reflective coatings, so you might have some trouble reading your watch under very bright daylight. Tudor Manufacture Caliber MT5402 The Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is powered by the brand’s in-house Caliber MT5402. This is a self-winding mechanical movement with a bidirectional rotor system, allowing it to re-energize its own power supply as the wearer walks through kinetic energy. Held by 27 jewels, this Tudor caliber has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a lengthy power reserve that can last up to 70 hours when fully wound. The Tudor MT5402 is also COSC-certified, providing an excellent accuracy rate of -4/+6 seconds per day. As long as this movement is kept in good condition, rest assured that you will not be having any reliability issues with the Tudor Caliber MT5402. Stainless Steel Bracelet Image By: Watch Shopping Coupled with the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is a three-link stainless steel bracelet with beautifully polished sides and a satin-finished top surface. Its design replicates the riveted stainless steel bracelets seen on vintage Rolex and Tudor models. This bracelet is also equipped with a folding clasp and safety catch, along with removable links that allow wearers to size the bracelet to their preferred fit, so it will rest more comfortably and securely on their wrists. From a quality standpoint, the strap of the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is expertly done and easily matches the stainless steel bracelets used in Rolex timepieces. Price As Rolex’s little sister, Tudor is known for offering timepieces with Rolex-level quality and aesthetics at much more affordable prices, and the same goes for the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue. Typically, a brand-new Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue will cost you around $4,000 USD. A pre-owned version can be slightly cheaper, ranging between $2,800 USD to $3,800 USD in price depending on the seller and the condition of the watch. Alternatives to the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue Whether you think it is too small, too expensive, or simply just not your cup of tea, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue may not be the exact diver that everyone is looking for. If you are not quite satisfied with this Black Bay piece, not to worry, for there are several other timepieces like the Black Bay 58 Blue that could be more to your liking. Why not take a look at some of these gorgeous alternative watches and see if they suit you more than the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue? 1. Seiko Prospex Japan 2020 Sumo (SBDC113) Image By: Watch Shopping First up is the limited edition Seiko Prospex Sumo (SBDC113) from the brand’s Japan Collection of 2020. Although it is much more affordable than the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue, the design and quality of this Seiko diver does not deviate too far from it.  This Seiko Prospex watch comes in a sturdy 45mm stainless steel case, which makes it a lot larger than the 39mm Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue. As you examine the timepiece from its sides, you will notice that its case has a nicely executed three-dimensional build. With its mirror-polished surfaces, this watch almost mimics the lustrous Zaratsu finishing that can be seen on Grand Seiko models. The screw-down crown positioned at 4 o’clock is also relatively large, with grooved edges so wearers will have an easier time turning and winding the crown. Like the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue, this watch has a stainless steel unidirectional bezel fitted with a glossy blue elapsed time scale insert that will come in handy when diving. This timepiece is also water-resistant up to depths of 200m, making it an excellent watch to use for anything from swimming to leisure diving activities. Turning the Seiko Prospex Sumo (SBDC113) around, you can find a solid steel caseback that is engraved with the Seiko Japan Collection 2020 logo. Protected by a layer of sapphire glass, the dial of this Seiko watch boasts a gorgeous sunburst blue surface with a metallic finish. It is adorned with geometric hour markers and broad sword-shaped hands. In addition, the seconds hand is painted a bright yellow-green, which symbolizes the vitality of the ocean and adds a touch of vibrancy to this watch. Taking the place of the 3 o’clock marker is a rectangular date complication that is outlined with silver. Both the hands and markers of this dial are coated with Seiko LumiBrite. As many watch enthusiasts know, the lume quality of LumiBrite is impressive, even matching the grade of luminescence found in higher-end Swiss timepieces. Underneath the blue Seiko dial is the brand’s automatic Caliber 6R35. Held together by 24 jewels, the 6R35 runs at a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz), which is notably slower than the 28,800 vibrations per hour on the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue’s MT5402. Fully wound, this Seiko movement can last for approximately 70 hours. This limited edition Seiko timepiece is worth approximately $1,160 USD. If your interest is piqued by this watch, make sure to get your hands on it as quickly as possible as its production was capped at just 1,000 pieces. 2. Oris Aquis Date (01 400 7769 4135-07 8 22 09 PEB) Image By: Watch Shopping The Aquis series is one of Oris’s most popular and largest collections. It consists of numerous Swiss dive watches that come in a variety of colors, styles, sizes, materials, and movements. Among the diversity of timepieces in the selection, one model that really stands out is the Oris Aquis Date (01 400 7769 4135-07 8 22 09 PEB). With its robust build, handsome looks, and reliable caliber, this Oris Aquis Date is, without question, an excellent alternative to the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue. The Oris Aquis Date utilizes a 41.5mm stainless steel case accompanied by a brushed stainless steel bracelet. Its unidirectional rotating bezel holds a blue elapsed time scale made of ceramic, which is quite rare in this price range. Compared to anodized aluminum, ceramic is much more scratch-resistant and shatterproof. On top of the dial is a domed sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coatings on both sides, allowing for optimal readability. The Oris Aquis Date also has an impressive depth rating of 300m, which is 100m more than the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue.  The sunburst blue dial of this watch features rhodium-plated hands and indices applied with Swiss Super-LumiNova. The 6 o’clock marker is replaced with a submerged date window, which blends into the blue dial nicely with its black background. Using the well-sized screw-down crown on the right of the case, wearers can adjust the seconds and date functions as they please. This Oris Aquis watch is powered by an Oris Caliber 400. As an automatic movement, it beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has an extended power supply that can run for up to a whopping 120 hours. Displaying an accuracy rate of -3/+5 seconds per day, the Oris Caliber 400 is more precise than a chronometer-rated movement and can be adjusted to five positions. The Oris Aquis Date (01 400 7769 4135-07 8 22 09 PEB) retails at around $2,900 USD. 3. Tissot T-Sport Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 (T120.407.11.041.02) Image By: Watch Shopping The last watch on this list is the Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 (T120.407.11.041.02). This particular Tissot watch uses a 43mm stainless steel case topped by a layer of sapphire crystal. It also has a unidirectional rotating bezel, with a black ceramic bezel ring for optimal scratch resistance. As with all dive watches, this bezel ring is marked with an elapsed time scale in bold silver indicators. With a screw-down crown and a transparent screw-down caseback, this T-Sport watch has a remarkable depth rating of 300m. Furthermore, its stainless steel mesh strap has a diver’s extension, which will allow owners to wear the watch comfortably over a wetsuit. The dial of this Tissot Seastar piece shows off a metallic blue finish and is decorated with applique hour markers in the form of geometric shapes, large sword hands, and a round date complication at 3 o’clock. Underneath the watch face is Tissot’s signature Powermatic 80 movement. It produces a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and is equipped with the lengthy 80-hour power reserve that this automatic Tissot movement is widely known for. The Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 (T120.407.11.041.02) sells for approximately $860 USD, making it the most accessible timepiece on this list. With its quintessential dive watch aesthetics, this is a highly versatile piece that will not look out of place whether you are diving, on a casual outing, or in an important meeting. Final Thoughts With its durable build, sleek design, and COSC-certified movement, what’s not to love about the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue? In its entirety, the Black Bay 58 Blue truly looks and feels like a Rolex Submariner, albeit with a few distinctive Black Bay characteristics, such as slimmer lugs and the iconic snowflake hands. Considering its much more accessible price, it is no surprise why many would be perfectly happy going for a Black Bay 58 Blue rather than a Rolex Submariner. If you are searching for a prestigious luxury blue-dial dive watch that you can bring anywhere you go, the Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue is the ideal timepiece for you. Featured Image By: Tudor Watch Thinking about sprucing up your beloved timekeeper? Have a look at this Guide on Polishing Watches and see if you should or should not polish your watch.

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  9. A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    The IWC Portofino is a diverse collection of exceptional timepieces. With hand-wound, automatic, chronograph, moon phase, and even tourbillon models, the Portofino is as eclectic as it gets. Despite having a great variety of models, the IWC Portofino collection adheres to tradition as its cornerstone concept. IWC is a Swiss watchmaking brand renowned for its excellent quality and timeless designs. In this guide, we will help you discover all you need to know about the IWC Portofino. Furthermore, we will also take a look at some of the different pieces in the series and find out which Portofino truly belongs to your wrist. History of the IWC Portofino Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The story of the IWC Portofino began in the 1980s when watchmakers around the world were still recovering from the quartz crisis. While other brands were looking for modern ways to remain relevant in changing times, IWC decided to look further into the past. Instead of looking for contemporary methods to create new timepieces, the brand stuck to more conventional roots by seeking inspiration from an ageless design that has proven itself time and time again. For this, they looked to one of the most prolific watchmakers in history, Jean-Antione Lepine. Lepine is well-known for his signature 18th-century pocket watch. His iconic timepiece stands as one of the most recognised watches ever made and features a design that remains a classic from generation to generation. Preparing for their future by looking into the past, IWC knew that they were onto something potentially game-changing. Through extensive deliberation and expert craftsmanship, the Swiss brand was able to develop the IWC Portofino. IWC Portofino Models Throughout the Years 1980s IWC introduced the Portofino collection in 1984. Their first model, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251, was a sleek and elegant timepiece showcasing a vintage look with horological elements attributed to Jean-Antione. Taking influence from his famous pocket watch, the Ref. 5251 sported an oversized case and a plain white dial with Breguet hands, Roman numerals, a seconds display, and a moon phase indicator. With all these things put together, the IWC Portofino Ref. 5251 had the appearance of a classic pocket watch for the wrist. What made this timepiece particularly unforgettable was its moon phase function. Bearing a golden moon by the 3 o’clock position that strikingly contrasted the white surface, the dial of the Ref. 5251 resembled that of a freshly cooked sunny-side-up egg. As a result, collectors started nicknaming this premiere piece “The Fried Egg.” In 1988, IWC added two more models to the Portofino, namely, Ref. 3730 and Ref. 3731. These two watches housed an innovative movement known as the Caliber 631 or the “Mechaquartz.” The Caliber 631 was a hybrid movement conceived by the creative minds of Jaeger-LeCoultre. While it was technically a quartz movement, the Caliber 631 came equipped with mechanical chronograph functions. The Ref. 3730 and Ref. 3731 featured a handy rotating date display located at the outer rims of their respective dials.  1990s Five years later, IWC created a classic dress watch that was more minimalistic than its previous offerings, the Ref. 2010. This 1993 model was one of the smallest Portofino models IWC ever made. It displayed a modest aesthetic with gold stick hands and hour indices. Underneath the Ref. 2010 was IWC’s Caliber H/849 — a flat hand-wound movement that was only 1.85mm thick. This watch underwent production from 1993 to 2005. In 1995, IWC engineered the Ref. 3050 Romana Perpetual Calendar, the collection’s first perpetual chronograph. This was one of the slimmest perpetual chronographs ever produced and was in the foreground of IWC’s shelves until 2001. It highlighted a hand-wound movement and a timeless design beloved by all. 2000s The IWC Ref. 3533 Portofino Automatic is a model developed with IWC’s community. By garnering feedback from their audience during the 1990s, IWC created a traditional Portofino with a more sizable case. The Ref. 3533 bore a design similar to the collection’s Ref. 2010, but with very different specifications. The Portofino Automatic Ref.3533 highlighted an automatic caliber with new complications such as central seconds and a date function at 3 o’clock. 2008 marked the brand’s 140th anniversary. To commemorate the momentous occasion, IWC released an exclusive collection featuring re-editions of their most coveted watches. Among those timepieces was a tribute to the very first Portofino, the Portofino Vintage. While bearing the Ref. 5251’s iconic elegant design, the Portofino Vintage showcased IWC’s in-house Caliber 98800, which relocated the moon phase indicator to the 12 o’clock position and the seconds display to 6 o’clock. Watch enthusiasts were delighted to see the return of the moon phase indicator. Additionally, IWC offered the new Portofino Vintage with an exhibition-style caseback for wearers to view the movement at work. 2010s In 2011, IWC established the Ref. 5101 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days. Bearing the brand’s newest hand-wound caliber, the Ref. 5101 stands at the forefront of IWC as the flagship model of the Portofino line. The dial of the new IWC Portofino displays several chronograph complications such as a date function, a seconds display, and a power indicator. Although it has numerous robust features, the dial bears a clean and uncluttered look, promoting easy readability. Underneath the dial is the IWC-manufactured Caliber 59210. Possessing the brand’s latest technology, the Caliber 59210 features a power reserve that can last up to 192 hours or eight days. With such a brilliant innovation, wearers of the Ref. 5101 would only have to wind this luxurious timepiece once every week. Exceptional and sophisticated all around, the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is one of IWC’s most capable and popular Portofino models ever. Three years later, IWC crafted the latest edition to the Portofino collection, the Portofino Automatic 37. The Portofino Automatic 37 brings a slew of wonderfully crafted, mid-sized three-hand models to the IWC Portofino collection. Its case measures 37mm in diameter, which is perfect for those with more slender wrists. Through this timepiece, the Portofino collection once again expands its variety. With two-button chronographs, moon phase watches, quartz movements, automatic movements, two-hand models, and now three-hand models, the Portofino was nothing short of diversified. In 2017, IWC created their latest in-house chronograph caliber, which was the Caliber 59800. The new movement featured a moon phase indicator along with IWC’s ground-breaking eight-day power reserve. Holding IWC’s latest horological innovations, the brand then integrated the Caliber 59800 into their Ref. 5101s models in the same year. On their 150th anniversary in 2018, IWC brought the spotlight back to the Portofino Automatic by unveiling a limited edition variant known as the IWC Portofino Automatic 150 Years. This upgraded automatic wristwatch showcases an eye-catching blue lacquer-finished dial with a sleek rhodium-plated handset. IWC limited this exclusive version of the Portofino Automatic to 2000 models. Sheltered by a 40mm stainless steel case, the Portofino Automatic 150 Years suits the wrists of both ladies and gentlemen. The showcase, however, didn’t stop there. A year later, IWC introduced a luxurious edition of the IWC Portofino Automatic, which featured a petite 34mm 18K gold case with 104 diamond studs encrusted around its surface. Accompanied by an embossed silver-plated dial, this new 34mm automatic timepiece is now the most prestigious ladies’ model in the IWC Portofino line. Exploring the IWC Portofino Family The IWC Portofino line is home to all kinds of timepieces. Ranging from automatic watches, moon phase watches, chronograph watches, and more, you definitely won’t be running out of choices with the IWC Portofino. But with so many variations, it can be quite the challenge to pin down the ideal watch for you. Rather than going through every single model in the collection, we have hand-picked a few timepieces that truly embody the heritage and core aspects of the IWC Portofino. Prices for the IWC Portofino start at $4,900 USD and increase from there. Depending on the model, the materials used, and the features offered, a brand-new Portofino can cost you up to $58,000 USD. While prices for the IWC Portofino aren’t strictly top-of-the-line, you would still get more value for your money if you purchased a model from the pre-owned market.  IWC Portofino Automatic Watches The Portofino collection primarily consists of classic automatic watches. With a timeless look and a highly recognisable build, the IWC Portofino Automatic stands out as an excellent tribute to the vintage pocket watch of a bygone era. Each Portofino Automatic holds a black, white, or blue dial and uses stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold for its case. IW356504 Portofino Automatic The IWC Portofino Automatic IW356504 is one of the most alluring and talked-about timepieces in the entire collection. With an exquisite 18K 5N rose gold case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a minimalist silver dial, the IW356504 brings back an ageless aesthetic with a modern twist. Underneath the dial is an automatic IWC 35111 Caliber. Carrying some of the latest technologies of IWC, the 35111 Caliber consists of a self-winding mechanism and a substantial 42-hour power reserve. IWC also pairs the IW356504 with a comfortable dark brown alligator leather strap. What makes this model truly unique, apart from the high-quality materials used, is its one-of-a-kind case back. When you look at the back of this watch, you can see a beautiful engraving of the Ligurian coast in all of its glory. Delicately carved, down to the smallest detail, the panoramic view perfectly captures a moment in Portofino frozen in time for all to admire. With a water resistance of 30m, the IW356504 Portofino Automatic retails at $12,800 USD. IW356502 Portofino Automatic For an automatic wristwatch with a more budget-friendly price, look no further than the Portofino Automatic IW356502. Unlike the IW356504, the case IW356502 is made from high-quality stainless steel. Furthermore, this version of the Portofino Automatic contains a stark black dial that satisfyingly contrasts against clean silver indices and hands and a stainless steel caseback. As a more affordable variant, the caseback of the IW356502 does not feature the Portofino engravings that can be seen in the collection’s more luxurious timepieces. All in all, the IW356502 costs $4,900 USD. IW459401 Portofino Automatic Moon Phase The IWC Portofino collection also features some automatic models with moon phase indicators. One of the most popular variants is the IW459401 Automatic Moon Phase. What sets the IW459401 apart is its moon phase indicator, which is run by an automatic IWC 35800 Caliber. With this added complication, the IW459401 becomes a more robust timepiece while still sporting a nostalgic vintage design. This IWC Moon Phase watch utilizes a hardy stainless steel case and sapphire glass to protect the entirety of the model. The IW459401 sells for just $6,900 USD. IWC Portofino Automatic Chronographs The IWC Portofino also offers an attractive selection of automatic chronographs. While bearing multiple complications that allow you to keep track of the various aspects of time, the Portofino chronographs still retain the neatness and timelessness that this prestigious collection is known for. The Portofino Chronograph can come with a white, black, or blue dial, and is housed in a 42mm case made from stainless steel or 18K 5N rose gold.  IW391027 Portofino Chronograph  The IW391027 Portofino Chronograph is an elegant timepiece with a sophisticated look. Crafted with the utmost care, it bears a clean and crisp design throughout its structure. The IW391027 comes in a sizeable 42mm stainless steel case paired with a classic dark brown alligator leather strap. Inside the round steel case is a clean, uncluttered silver-plated dial. Apart from the usual hours, minutes, and seconds functions, the dial also contains a few chronograph complications and a handy day and date window. Accompanied by sleek rhodium hands and indices, the dial is protected by a layer of sapphire glass. The IW391027 is operated by IWC’s 75320 Caliber. Held by 25 jewels, the 75320 Caliber is a self-winding, automatic movement with a power reserve that can last up to 44 hours. Covered by a stainless steel caseback, the IW391027 sells for $6,100 USD. IW391035 Portofino Chronograph Image By: IWC Schaffhausen Compared to the IW391027, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is a more luxurious variant. The timepiece has similar functions and dimensions to the IW391027 but uses a sensual 18K 5N rose gold case. Additionally, the IW391035 sports a striking royal blue dial that perfectly compliments its golden hands and indices. Located at the back of the timepiece is a rose gold caseback that showcases the artful engraving of the Portofino harbour. Since it is made from more exotic materials, the IW391035 Portofino Chronograph is slightly costlier, retailing at $16,800 USD. IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Watches This line of IWC Portofino timepieces is quite possibly the most popular among watch enthusiasts. Featuring IWC’s revolutionary eight-day power reserve, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound boasts an impeccable design and practical innovations. Portofino Hand-Wound timepieces come in three forms: Original, Moon Phase, and Tourbillon Retrograde. IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days Image By: IWC Schaffhausen The IW510104 Hand-Wound Eight Days is arguably the most iconic modern-day watch of the Portofino collection. The IW510104 comes in a 45mm 18K rose gold case paired with a dark brown alligator leather strap. Its dial features a slate-colored surface that contains golden hands and Roman numerals, complete with a power reserve indicator, a seconds display, and a date window. The watch runs on IWC’s highly capable 59210 Caliber. This in-house automatic caliber is capable of winding itself through the natural movement of the wearer’s hand and is capable of powering the IW510104 for eight whole days. Sealed by a see-through sapphire rear case, the IW510104 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days is worth $19,800 USD. Another version of this Portofino comes with an additional moon phase indicator at the 12 o’clock position and costs $23,900 USD. IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days If the IW510104 is too extravagant for your tastes, IWC also offers a subtler, more affordable version with similar specifications. Priced at $9,900 USD, the IW510103 Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days uses durable, scratch-resistant stainless steel to make its case. Its cool silver-plated dial showcases an analog layout, with a gold-toned set of hands and indices. This watch features the exact same complications that you can find in the slate dial of the IW510104. In general, the IW510103 bears capabilities and functions identical to more expensive variants of the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days watches, including the whopping eight-day power reserve. Brand-new vs. Pre-owned Once you decide to buy an IWC Portofino watch, your choices will boil down to whether you want a timepiece that is either brand-new or pre-owned. Both sides have their respective sets of pros and cons. Pre-owned watches are almost always more affordable than brand-new models. That said, it is pivotal to take into account all the aspects of the timepiece when discussing its price. A few factors that apply in this discussion include Portofino’s overall condition, the presence or absence of its original box and paperwork, and whether the whole piece still retains all its original parts. Generally, pre-owned Portofino timepieces can help buyers save up to 50% of their total budget. If you look hard enough for a second-hand Portofino, it is possible for you to find sellers who offer IWC Portofino watches with prices as low as $3,700 USD, although you have to be careful to double-check the authenticity of the watch and the condition it is in. Of course, buying a brand-new IWC Portofino from an authorized dealer eliminates all possible worries. However, each watch bears a value that runs the risk of depreciating over time. While Portofino watches resell quite well, it is crucial to consider all your options so that you invest in the right timepiece. If you know where to look, purchasing a pre-owned timepiece could be the better option compared to buying a Portofino that is brand-new. Having that choice allows you to own a fantastic IWC Portofino watch of nearly the same quality for a more budget-friendly price. Final Thoughts For thirty-seven years, the IWC Portofino has continued to be one of IWC Schaffhausen’s most outstanding collections. With its natural looks, gorgeous structure, robust features, and the public’s undying demand for classic watches, the Portofino holds an impressive reputation among men and women alike. By retaining the brand’s core values, the IWC Portofino collection establishes itself as a permanent member of the IWC family to look out for. Looking for a pilot watch? Here are the Best IWC Big Pilot watches for aviation enthusiasts. Featured Image By: IWC Schaffhausen

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  10. 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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  11. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    Grand Seiko SBGH267 Review: Accuracy and Grandeur

    In 2018, Grand Seiko celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of the iconic in-house caliber 9S automatic movement. With this celebration came the release of new, upgraded limited edition timepieces, to the delight of many fans. These are all models that are definitely made for luxury, using top-tier materials, and designed with undeniable finesse. Among the watches released for the 20th anniversary of the caliber 9S, the platinum VFA watch and the Special Standard gold timepiece stand out. These two models are — without a doubt — more expensive than other watches during the drop. However, the most stunning piece, without a doubt, is the Grand Seiko SBGH267. This timepiece displays Grand Seiko’s excellence when it comes to crafting stainless steel watches. It simply isn’t possible to find a Grand Seiko watch that’s subpar in the design department. The company prides itself on producing high-quality, meticulously designed watches that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. Even among the catalog of exquisite and lavish luxury watches the Grand Seiko has, however, the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is still a standout. This watch is magnificently simple at its finest. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 alone would be pointless without touching on the caliber 9S itself. How can a movement be so iconic that it deserved a new, updated release even 20 years later? Let’s examine the beginnings of Grand Seiko, how the company came up with the caliber 9S, and how it has influenced the creation of the Grand Seiko SBGH267. What makes this movement so iconic? History of the Caliber 9S The release of the in-house caliber 9S is one of Grand Seiko’s most prominent milestones and for good reason. For a long time, it was the standard movement used in all Grand Seiko watches. The caliber 9S’s excellent performance and innovative design made it a favorite in the horology community. The creation of this movement is one of the many achievements that truly put Grand Seiko on the map as a brand that could compete with more prominent Swiss luxury brands, proving that Grand Seiko is just as much about top-of-the-line innovation as it is about luxurious designs. Let’s take a closer look at Grand Seiko and how the caliber 9S really came to be. The Beginnings of Grand Seiko When Grand Seiko launched, Seiko Corporation had already made a name for itself in the Japanese market as a manufacturer of clocks and gauges. Seiko Corporation was well on its way to carving out an important place in the watch industry. In order to promote competition within the corporation, which would lead to improved and better quality products for all of the Seiko brand, the company opened two subsidiaries. These subsidiaries were named Suwa Seikosha and Daini Seikosha, and each operated completely independently of the other. Seiko’s strategy worked, as the competition between the two subsidiaries pushed each to come up with more out-of-the-box thinking and present different solutions to horological challenges. As a result, Seiko was met with increasing success as a horological innovator. Among the two subsidiaries, Suwa Seikosha was the more prominent name, and it was Suwa Seikosha that came up with Grand Seiko in 1960. However, ultimately, the inventions and efforts of both subsidiaries were crucial to the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand. In 1960, Suwa Seikosha created the first Grand Seiko watch, known simply as the Grand Seiko (GS) 1960, fitted with the caliber 3180 movements. This movement was the first chronometer-grade caliber produced in Japan. Such a watch, of course, cost a great deal. In today’s dollars, it cost around $3,500 USD. This was quite an exorbitant price for Seiko Corporation, which had, up till then, produced mainly mid-range watches. However, this soon became the standard of Grand Seiko watches — luxury watches that were more expensive than the offerings from its sister brand Seiko, that could easily compete with Swiss luxury watches. Grand Seiko’s Milestones The Grand Seiko 1960 was an impressive watch, even by today’s standards. The watch had a two-phase regulator mechanism. It was also outfitted with a hacking mechanism, which means that the movement could be instantly stopped when you pulled on the crown. This allowed you to more accurately set the time of the watch. Suwa Seikosha, however, was insatiable and constantly seeking new ways to improve upon this watch. In 1963, Suwa developed the 57GS. It is a low-bear hand-wound wristwatch released under the Grand Seiko brand. The 57GS is far different from the first-generation GS. With the 57GS, Suwa innovated by creating a luxury wristwatch encased within a stainless steel case. Keep in mind that this watch was launched in 1963. The first Swiss luxury watch with a stainless steel case — the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — wouldn’t be released for another 9 years, making Suwa a true pioneer with the design of the 57GS. The 57GS has a screw-down caseback, replacing the old snap-back crown of the first-generation Grand Seiko. As a result, it provided better water resistance, up to depths of 50 meters. It also featured an automatically changing date. The movement also earned its certification as a chronometer. In 1966, certain changes were made to the 57GS movement. Suwa increased the beat rating of the movement to 19,800 from 18,000, but the movement also lost its chronometer certification. In 1966, the 62GS was launched. The 62GS’s design stood out with its tiny crown unusually positioned at 4 o’clock. It was also the first Grand Seiko watch to function with an automatic movement. At the time, Grand Seiko had already become a popular choice, not only in Japan but also in other parts of the world. From there, the innovations from the brand just kept pouring in, building further upon the reputation of Grand Seiko as a quality manufacturer of luxury watches that constantly sought to upgrade itself. Launching the Caliber 9S Now, the previous few watches from the brand that we’ve discussed were definitely game-changers. They placed Grand Seiko firmly on the map as a luxury watch brand to keep an eye on. However, the Grand Seiko’s distinctive style wasn’t quite there yet. We’re talking about the distinguishing aesthetics and physical design of Grand Seiko watches. Sure, GS had already released a number of luxury timepieces but they were very much a callback to the conservative designs popularized by Swiss brands. So, in 1967, the company launched the 44GS — the watch that truly defined the Grand Seiko’s own style. There are three main features from the 44GS that made the brand stand out from its competition. It was a truly iconic watch that allowed light to play beautifully off its surface no matter the day, time, or place. Firstly, the 44GS features flat surfaces that are true to their definitions — two-dimensional and extremely flat. Within the dial, the hands and hour markers of the watch were also designed to be wide and flat on the surface of the dial. However, the polished edges of the watch still allowed light to reflect off them well. Finally, the 44GS had distortion-free mirrored surfaces achieved through Zaratsu polishing. On top of its high-precision calibers, Grand Seiko made a step forward with the 44GS by improving upon their watches’ aesthetic designs, making them truly worthy of the luxury status. From there, the company took a break due to the debut and increasing popularity of quartz movements. For the next 30 years, Grand Seiko took a backseat to let Seiko ride the tides to greatness with their quartz watches. However, this break didn’t cause Grand Seiko to disappear. Instead, the brand took its time to enhance the performance of its mechanical calibers. Grand Seiko used various tests to improve upon the performance of their movements. Moreover, their engineers and designers created a new balance spring that featured a special curved shape. These innovations resulted in the launch of a brand new mechanical caliber, the 9S5 series, which was first launched in 1998. The Caliber 9S Series The 9S5 caliber proved to be a great addition to Grand Seiko. In later developments, the brand also produced a new SPRON alloy for the mainspring as well as a new escapement, perfected with the advanced Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. New Caliber 9S versions continued to be released with different upgrades, such as the 9S6 with its 72-hour power reserve. The 9S8 also proved impressive with an improved 10-beat movement. The 9S caliber series proved to be the new Grand Seiko standard, with impressive accuracy that went beyond simple chronometer certification. Truly, it was on a different scale from the 1966 standards set by its predecessor. 20th Anniversary Models To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 9S mechanical caliber, Grand Seiko launched three new, limited-edition models of Grand Seiko watches in 2018. Each contained a different, special and newly-released 9S caliber movement, encased within distinctive 20mm cases. The first model is a Hi-Beat 36,000 VFA Ref. SBGH265J. This watch, which comes in a platinum case, is a truly rare collector’s piece, with only 20 pieces released on the market. It bears the V.F.A. initials on the dial, which stands for Very Fine Adjusted. This abbreviation was first used in 1969. This abbreviation refers to the precision rate of the caliber, that exceeds that of the Grand Seiko Standard. Powered by the 9S85 Hi-Beat 36,000 Caliber, it boasts an accuracy rate of +3 to -1 seconds per day. Then, there’s the Hi-Beat 36000 Special Ref. SBGH266J. Now, this is a classy yellow-gold watch, limited to only 150 pieces. This watch contains the movement commonly known as the Grand Seiko Special Standard. That means that the watch has an accuracy of around +4 to -2 seconds per day. Finally, the main star of our article: the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Ref. SBGH267G. It features a clean, traditional stainless steel case. Grand Seiko only released 1,500 pieces of this watch. The SBGH267G’s movement features a different, unusual oscillating weight made from titanium and tungsten. This weight comes in exquisite blue, due to anodic oxidation, which generates an oxide film via the process of electrolysis. We’ll be taking an in-depth look at the Grand Seiko SBGH267G, and all the great features it brings to the table. Reviewing the Grand Seiko SBGH267 The Grand Seiko SBGH267 Limited Edition truly has its wonderful features, whether that’s due to the exquisite Grand Seiko design or the outstanding and distinctive movement. There’s something special about this stainless steel offering that makes it even more appealing than its higher-priced siblings. For sure, the VFA model in platinum and the Special Standard in gold are both true collector’s items. However, the SBGH267, with its more classic Grand Seiko look and equally outstanding performance, is the one that watch enthusiasts should really keep their eye on. First Impressions Right off the bat, it’s easy to see that this is a quality watch. We do have a lot of expectations with this watch, however. It’s a Grand Seiko watch with an iteration of the 9S and that alone bears more weight than it just being a limited edition watch. 9S is the first movement the Grand Seiko has released after 40 years of staying still. It features 36,000 vibrations per hour. The SBGH267 itself not overly fancy but its clean, professional exterior made from stainless steel is definitely luxurious, from its look to its texture and feel. Sure, the gold and the platinum models might seem more elegant at first glance. However, this is an equally refined offering with little details that truly make it a luxury watch hailing from the east. Grand Seiko SBGH267 Specs Before we get to our complete review of this watch, let’s first take a look at its specifications: Model: Hi-Beat 36000, Caliber 9S 20th Anniversary Limited EditionReference Number: SBGH267Case Diameter: 39.5 mmCase Thickness: 13 mmCase Material: Stainless steel, Zaratsu polishedIndexes: Baton, laser polishedDial Color: Deep blueWater Resistance: 100 meters, 330 feet, 10ATMStrap/Bracelet: Three-link stainless steel bracelet Movement Caliber: 9S85Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, datePower Reserve: 55 hoursFrequency: 5 Hz (36,000 vph)Accuracy: +5 to -3 seconds per day Jewels: 37Diameter: 28.4 mmWinding: Automatic winding with tungsten and anodized titanium oscillating weightInformation: MEMS fabricated skeletonized escape wheel with micro-oil reservoir teeth, and MEMS fabricated skeletonized leverChronometer Certification: Grand Seiko Hi-Beat internally controlled Case The case of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is quite similar to the two other watches from the limited edition drop. Each watch carries a similar Grand Seiko Style that no other brand could emulate. We’re talking about the unusual designs we mentioned earlier — two-dimensional, impossibly flat and thin, and mirror-like in polish. In particular, Grand Seiko’s method of polishing their watches can only be achieved through Zaratsu polishing. Zaratsu polishing has existed even before the beginnings of Grand Seiko. During the 1950s, the Hayashi Seiko factory had a polishing machine that had the words GEBR.SALLAZ engraved on it. This is the very place where a great deal of Grand Seiko watches are being manufactured. GEBR. stands for a German word that means “brothers.” Meanwhile, SALLAZ was the family name of the company that had built the machine. Indeed, the word Zaratsu was derived from the way the Japanese pronounced SALLAZ. This polishing machine became prominent for one very clear reason. Instead of the sides of the rotating disc used to polish watches, the machine uses the front of the disk to polish the surfaces of the case watch. This allowed for a very distinct polish that provides exceptionally crisp case lines and a mirror-like reflection to whoever is looking at the case of the watch. No distortions, no weird faces. This method of polishing became what we popularly know today as the Zaratsu polishing. Now, not everyone can achieve this, that’s why it’s so unique to the Grand Seiko brand. Only the machine and Grand Seiko’s master craftsmen can make this work. Dial The dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 has a very unique motif. On the dial, you can find spiral engraving with letters of the Grand Seiko logo, along with the mark of Daini Seikosha. Daini is the other half of Grand Seiko and was responsible for developing the first Hi-Beat movement. The company is now known as Seiko Instruments Inc. The design of the dial is unparalleled; it comes in an exquisite, textured deep blue color like no other. What we love about this design is that it successfully invokes luxury and class without having to use any precious metals at all. It doesn’t come in the usual gold, platinum, or even silver that is frequently used in luxury watches. It’s just a blue dial with a really great design that speaks for itself and adds even more dimension to an already impressive watch. Furthermore, as you might’ve noticed, the baton hands are not simply rectangular metal markers applied on the dial. They’re also raised to a height that adds volume and layers to an otherwise minimalistic watch. Even the date aperture comes with the same three-dimensional design, protruding out from the face of the dial. Once again, this is where the Grand Seiko Style comes in. You can see the light play off every part of the watch — the shadows on the engraved dial, as well as the reflections on the sharp, polished edges of every marker and hand. The GS logo at the 12 o’clock position and the second hand both come in fine gold. It allows both to stand out from the stainless steel casing and markers, as well as the blue dial, giving the watch an aura of sophistication. Movement Now, the dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH267 is already very impressive. However, there’s nothing like a high-quality movement to make it all better. We’ve already gone through the makings and history of the 9S movements. Since this watch a tribute to that, we know that the same movement powers this watch. It displays a high level of accuracy and precision, as well as a power reserve that lasts up to 55 hours. The 9S85 caliber movement on this watch doesn’t have quite the same accuracy and precision as the Very Fine Adjusted or Special models. However, Grand Seiko fans know that the performance of Grand Seiko movements frequently outperforms the standards which are promised. Grand Seiko watches are always better in practice than on the brochure, and this is no different. It is worth noting, though, that the movement of the SBGH267 stands out from the others as a particularly beautiful deep blue-colored movement that matches the blue motif of the dial. It has an anodized titanium and tungsten rotor as can be seen on the see-through caseback. This is very similar to the rotor of the 10th Anniversary GMT Grand Seiko. Although its caliber underperforms slightly compared to the Very Fine Adjusted and Special models, its gorgeous hue and more affordable pricing make the SBGH267 a very good deal still. Pricing The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a limited edition, Hi-Beat watch. That means that it’s bound to have a fairly high asking price. With only 1,500 editions available, it costs around 6,300 USD in retail. Now, that’s what you get for a luxurious, well-made, bang-for-the-buck wristwatch from Grand Seiko. Compared to other models like Rolex, the price isn’t that exorbitant and it definitely has a promising future ahead of it. Is the Grand Seiko SBGH267 a great investment piece? The easy answer to this question is yes. The Grand Seiko SBGH267 is a great investment piece. This isn’t only because it’s a limited edition, though. For a long time, since the formation of Grand Seiko as a brand, its watches have long been in the line of sight of collectors. This adds the SBGH267 to the same pedestal. Indeed, reports have shown that, in the years after its release, collectors are certainly keen to pay more than the retail price of this timepiece just to own it. Right now, you can purchase one for around 8,800 to 9,000 USD. And that’s just a couple years since its debut. We look forward to seeing just how this watch will be valued in the future — we certainly expect it to just keep rising! Grand Seiko SBGH267: Accuracy and Grandeur in One Perfect Package This release from Grand Seiko is definitely one for the books. It displays everything we expect from the brand — an equally luxurious and functional watch without the sky-high prices of Swiss brands. What we can see with this watch is the future of Japanese luxury watch manufacturers. The SBGH267 forces Swiss watch purists to look their way and see just what else Grand Seiko has in store for the horology community. Can’t get enough of Grand Seiko? Learn 3 reasons why we love Grand Seiko! Photo credits: All photos courtesy of Grand Seiko’s official website.

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  12. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: A Guide To One Of The Most Sought-After Luxury Sports Watch Today

    Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: A Guide To One Of The Most Sought-After Luxury Sports Watch Today

    When talking about the best luxury watch manufacturers of all time, it is almost impossible to leave the name Patek Philippe out of the conversation. Patek Philippe often steals the spotlight from its other close competitors in the field such as Rolex, Longines, Omega, and Audemars Piguet, because of how it always embodies ultimate and traditional Swiss watchmaking practices, all while incorporating innovative touches, in order to create remarkable, stunning pieces that could last for decades. All true watch enthusiasts know that this independent label is all about excellence, quality, and pure craftsmanship, which is why it comes as no surprise that it remains well-celebrated in the industry to the present day. If not for the seriousness with which Patek Philippe takes Haute Horlogerie, or “the high-art of watchmaking”, it would not hold the title of being the only brand in history that was able to sell eight watches for at least $2 million USD each at auctions. This alone says a great deal about the company and its solid reputation not only among connoisseurs but also among the general public. It serves as irrefutable proof that Patek Philippe’s products are extraordinary, with aesthetics that invoke timelessness and sophistication, as well as reliable mechanisms that prize robustness and longevity above all. From creating simple yet exquisite jewelry watches to crafting complicated watches with all sorts of fun features that exceed expectations, Patek Philippe truly knows how to constantly set the bar high. However, what’s really fascinating is that the label also excels in creating distinctive, one-of-a-kind sports watches that scream elegance and perfection—something that only Patek Philippe could ever pull off. One such sports watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, which carries an avant-garde design, along with striking features and a powerful mechanism that makes the watch even more desirable to watch fanatics. In this article, we will discuss the charms of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 and why it deserves a spot in your collection despite being frequently considered an overrated piece due to its extreme popularity. Does it deserve the hype it already boasts? What must-have features does the watch possess that make watch enthusiasts so eager to own one? What makes the Nautilus 5711 so grand and why is it dubbed one of the most coveted pieces from Patek Philippe? These are just some of the questions we will try to explore, and we will give you all the answers you need to help you make the right decision about whether or not to purchase this timepiece. Without further ado, let us find out more about the Nautilus 5711, in particular, its roots, glorious specifications, and outstanding versions which will truly steal your attention. How Patek Philippe Nautilus Came to Life Patek Philippe has been demonstrating its amazing expertise in watchmaking for about 182 years now, making them one of the oldest watchmakers in the world. While its history and background are undeniably superb and incomparable to most other companies, the brand is better known for its unique collections that are truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring. One of these collections is the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which houses chic, classy, and sporty timepieces that stand out easily without even having to try. Unveiled in 1976 as a way to signal the brand’s ventures into the vast world of luxury sports watches, the glamorous range redefines finesse and modernity in sports watches. In addition, the intricacy and fanciness of the Nautilus’s details and parts attest to how the company always strives for rarity and superiority, devoting its efforts to producing each member of the collection with great passion. But how exactly did the Nautilus start capturing the hearts of the public and who is the mastermind behind its iconic birth? The legacy of the Nautilus collection actually began shortly after the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch hit the market in 1972. Not only did it make history as the first-ever stainless steel luxury sports wristwatch in the world, but it also changed the perspective of both the masses and watchmakers when it came to steel watches. Although often regarded as the cheaper alternative to gold and titanium, stainless steel is a durable material that is good at resisting all kinds of corrosion. These anti-allergic properties can even bring health benefits to the wearer, especially when worn. While stainless steel had previously been used in affordable and mid-range timepieces, the creation of the Royal Oak led to the overflowing and trailblazing popularity of stainless steel as a sturdy and dependable material for high-end timepieces as well. Inspired by Audemars Piguet’s bold release of the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe finally decided that it was time for them to join the trend and release their own take on the quintessential luxury sports watch. Sticking to their principles, the label wanted their offering to have a versatile and head-turning design, coupled with a well-crafted and robust mechanism to ensure a smooth-sailing performance. They believed that this was the key to their past success, especially given how critics of that age had become increasingly equally concerned with both form and function in watches. Since the release of their first-ever luxury sports watch would have a role in enhancing their image and reminding people of how the brand executed their craft according to the highest standards whilst still upholding their great traditions, Patek Philippe wanted it to be special and extraordinary. Gerald Genta and His Role to Nautilus’ Iconic Birth Patek Philippe scored a huge win when they managed to unintentionally attract the attention of Gérald Genta, the same jewelry designer who invented the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet. Genta reportedly came up with the idea of the Nautilus during the 1974 Baselworld Trade Fair, where many watchmakers and jewelers from around the world gathered to display their masterpieces. While eating at a restaurant inside the hotel he was staying at, the artist suddenly came across a group of Patek Philippe employees talking to one another at the opposite end of the hall. This is when he suddenly had a eureka moment, which prompted him to ask for a piece of paper and a pencil from a waiter serving dishes near him. He impressively finished the initial sketch of the Nautilus in just five minutes, whilst observing the movements and gestures of the Patek Philippe workers. Genta’s design was inspired by portholes usually found on huge ships and resulted in the Nautilus possessing a rounded bezel and protruding edges on both left and right sides of the case. The aforementioned candid moment led to the birth of the whole Nautilus line, which has long been considered a game-changing collection for the brand, whose offerings emphasize lavishness and whose methods and aesthetics often revolve around intricate delicacy. Apart from sporting a peculiar case shape, all watches from the Nautilus roster have colorful and appealing dials that would make you drool in complete satisfaction and admiration. Not to mention, they also include many other interesting designs that Gérald Genta is known for, including the bracelet, dial arrangement, and bezel composition. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700 | Photo from @chronovantage2 on Instagram Launched amidst the ongoing quartz crisis, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A is the first member of the iconic collection that continues to make waves to the present day. Appearance-wise, it sports a hard and mesmerizing 42mm octagonal case, along with a medium-sized crown that is protected by crown guards and hands that contain luminous material for greater visibility in dark conditions. Besides the fact that it comes with a thick integrated bracelet that is recognizable even from afar, the dial also features a horizontal line pattern that is pleasing to the eye. All of its indices are numberless and are engraved in baton style, and the small yet impactful signature placed below the 12 o’clock position only adds to the minimalistic aura of the dial. This effect is further compounded by the date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker, which is so subtle to the point you could almost miss it at first glance. The text inside the said window is legible enough to be seen at a distance and people who like paying attention to small details would really appreciate how the date aperture was incorporated into the whole look of the watch. Making it even more exceptional, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A came with a hefty price tag that was close to the prices of real gold and rose gold timepieces released at the time. In fact, it was even recognized as one of the costliest stainless steel watches in the world. This tactic came as a surprise for true enthusiasts given that the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A was a time-and-date only model. Nevertheless, the elevated price must have been intriguing to watch connoisseurs, as many still wanted to experience its wonders, which has, over the years, led to a continuously growing demand for almost all Nautilus pieces ever produced. Where did Patek Philippe get the name Nautilus? The Patek Philippe Nautilus was named after the submarine used by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s 1870 French novel titled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The blueprint of all Nautilus timepieces serves as an ode to the original structure of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, particularly its porthole that has an oval shape. Despite not being a diver’s watch, the Patek Philippe Nautilus has provided water resistance of up to a whopping 120 meters and this is all thanks to the extraordinary construction of the case, particularly its ear-like sides and massive lugs that prevents any moisture from interfering with the watch’s core. Throughout its 45-year run, the Nautilus roster has grown in order to offer a greater variety to potential consumers who have been wanting to give its members a try and who have been curious about the great reviews surrounding all its watches. From only endorsing stainless steel models, the glamorous line now offers other material options such as rose gold and white gold as well as case size variations. Furthermore, some of the watches in the Nautilus collection also come with additional functionalities such as a moon phase display, a power reserve indicator, a chronograph feature, a 60-minute counter, and even a dual time zone display. What’s more is that all of the current Nautilus models now come with upgraded and enhanced in-house movements, stepping away from the automatic caliber 920 made by Jaeger LeCoultre in favor of three of the biggest names in the industry, namely Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and of course, Patek Philippe. The said mechanism, known as the Caliber 28-255 after undergoing various in-house finishing and processes, was used to power the first set of Nautilus models ever produced, including the Ref. 3700. This goes to show how this Swiss company always tries its best to innovate its products, while still practicing the traditional norms the brand has developed since its establishment. Some may say that the Patek Philippe Grand Complications or the Patek Philippe Aquanaut are more worth the money and are more attractive and reliable timepieces, but no one can deny that the Nautilus is unrivaled when it comes to uniqueness and value. Amidst the numerous beloved iterations of the Nautilus collection, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 remains a highly popular piece, which we will discuss and dissect further in this article. In fact, it is arguably the most coveted timepiece ever produced by any manufacturer in the entire history of watches. Aside from bearing a masculine and commanding appearance, this timepiece has distinct charms that make it the perfect epitome of a modern classic. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: The Perfect Daily Wristwatch Perhaps the most famous Nautilus model out there, the Patek Philippe 5711 is one of the jaw-dropping upgrades to the original Nautilus 3700 released by the brand back in the early 1970s. The Patek Philippe 5711 was introduced to the public for the very first time in 2006 in celebration of the Nautilus collection’s 30th-year anniversary and is considered by many lovers to be the most sought-after contemporary luxury watch. This is one big reason why this watch is frequently the center of horological talks and debates and why it comes with a relatively high price tag. Certain rumors even claim that it can take up to 8 to 10 years for an individual to finally own a 5711 piece with the correct retail price. Some people, especially the impatient ones and those that do not stick with any specific budget when it comes to their collections, resort to buying from legitimate secondhand markets and trusted online websites, willing to pay more than the original cost. Now that the whole 5711 series is nearing the end of its production, expect all of its models to become harder to acquire as prices will continue to soar, given how Patek Philippe only releases a limited number of Nautilus pieces each year. Aside from the fact that the Nautilus 5711 demonstrates what refined and ultramodern watchmaking is about, it also attests to the creativity, mastery, and rigor Patek Philippe demonstrates when conceptualizing and creating their memorable pieces. Just by looking at the said second-generation Nautilus model, you will recognize that there is beauty in simplicity and why watches with little to no ornamentations often catch the attention of many, just by virtue of their structure and elegant appeal. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-010 | Photo from @watchourluxembourg on Instagram Inspired by its original predecessor, the Nautilus 3700, which is often the star of many auctions given its rich background and its breathtaking attributes, the Nautilus 5711 has a handsome and prepossessing aura, coupled with a striking design that all men from different walks of life would surely appreciate. Even young and professional women could easily rock this piece if they wish to due to its versatile and classic vibe. Apart from relying on a high-powered mechanism, the watch also comes with a relatively wide case—slightly bigger than the exterior of the 3700—that easily fits any wrist type whether slim or stout. Not to mention, it is also made out of premium and exquisite materials that guarantee its fantastic serviceability and long life span. It is no wonder why many collectors and watch lovers consider any 5711 models as valuable investment pieces, which can accompany them to endless occasions for decades to come. Although often regarded as a basic timepiece without many bells and whistles, the Nautilus 5711 is the best choice available if you want a casual sports watch that could double as a dress watch you can bring to any formal gatherings. Created to deviate from typical concepts, it does not come with any detailed or complicated rotating bezels but it still comes with an impressive water resistance level that is close to the ratings true diving pieces have. Others even compare it to the Zenith Defy Titanium and the Tudor Black Bay 41, but nothing can beat how the Nautilus 5711 performs, how it delivers great results, and how it elevates the style and outfit of any wearer in an instant. Regardless of its price, it is a truly-must have watch for anyone who is looking for a piece they could proudly parade around. Up Close With The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 Patek Philippe first announced a cease in the production of its flagship three-hand Patek Philippe Nautilus in 5711/1A-010 steel with blue dial variation in early 2021. Since then, many connoisseurs have been trying their luck in securing their very own piece before resellers take advantage of this watch’s rarity and legacy. The sudden news of the halt in manufacturing took the watch world by surprise given that the legendary model is still considered a vital part of the brand’s inspiring and rich heritage. There is still no unified reason why the aforementioned watch is extremely popular but a lot of true enthusiasts consider it as a prized possession because of its size, shape, and overall elegant construction that no other brands could ever imitate. Often the center of attraction, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-010 closely resembles the brand’s first-ever luxury sports watch, especially in terms of its exterior. This is probably the reason why people are dying to get ahold of this timepiece, as it gives them the chance to own a rare gem but in a much more modernized version. While a lot of people have resigned themselves to the discontinuation announcement, a lot of watch lovers have been praying for the release of more versions of the Nautilus 5711 before it actually goes off the market at the end of this year. Much to their delight, Patek Philippe released a new member of the 5711/1A gang in April 2021 as part of the final stretch of the range. Called the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014, the watch also pays homage to the original Nautilus time-and-date only watch, but with an olive green dial. If you have been planning to get yourself one, below are the important details and a brief review regarding the 5711/1A-014 you should take note of. Case material: Stainless SteelCase dimension: 40mmMovement: Mechanical in-house, Automatic Calibre 26-330 S CPower reserve: Minimum – 35 hours; Maximum – 45 hoursWater resistance: 120 metersCase As mentioned above, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014 boasts a case size of 40mm, which is the standard for the modern Nautilus watches, including its direct predecessor, the 5711/1A-010. Most people consider this a fairly large watch, given its wide and stout appearance. Its origins may have also played a significant role in such a perception since the Ref. 3700/1 was commonly known as the “Jumbo” back in the day due to its bigger size. However, the Nautilus 5711/1A-014 still feels extremely comfortable when worn on the wrist despite its size. Not to mention, it is convenient to wear while going about your daily tasks due to its well-balanced measurements and equal proportions. When it comes to height, this model measures about 8.3mm, giving the watch a sleek look and a high-tech feel. This also allows you to easily slip the gorgeous timepiece under your dress shirt’s cuffs. A glance at the watch might give you the illusion that it is quite thick and short due to its bulky top ring, but you will be surprised to know that the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in question is actually thin, especially from the sides. While it does not necessarily mean that it is lightweight, the slenderness of this timepiece provides a beautiful balance to its overall pristine look, making it a notable and worthy purchase. Even without the presence of any fancy prints or patterns, the cleanness of the case, along with its extremely well-brushed satin finish, makes it more enticing to own. When it comes to the caseback, Patek Philippe does not fail to demonstrate what they are best at, and that is letting the wearers admire how the movement works at any time of the day. Protected by a sapphire crystal that looks clear even from afar, the caseback features six square shapes that serve as the main protection for the movement. In fact, you would not immediately notice the presence of the sapphire crystal unless you inspect the case back closely. This just means that Patek Philippe wants every customer to have an unparalleled timekeeping experience. Putting emphasis on the mechanism, the caseback is also placed in a unique and slightly bulging manner, which also gives the movement more definition. In terms of durability, you can already leave your worries behind as the majority of Patek Philippe Nautilus watches are made from strong and well-built stainless steel. Boasting great characteristics, this metal can withstand a few scratches, dents, and impacts, which is great for people who have fast-paced lifestyles which revolve around extreme activities. Even if you encounter accidental bumps during your commutes, with a stainless steel watch like the 5711/1A-014 as your companion, it is sure to perform well and still look brand-new despite any impacts. While it does not have the same lightweight attributes as titanium, stainless steel ensures that the inner portions of the watch, where the movement is located, are protected and secure from any kinds of moisture, which could otherwise lead to major rust and corrosion. Bezel, Water Resistance and Crown The minimalistic crown of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 certainly deserves some recognition. Placed in a screw-down manner, it comes with the signature emblem of the brand, which is simple and lovely at the same time. Taking the shape of an old stylized cross, the logo gives off an atmosphere of class and elegance and is the perfect symbol of Patek Philippe’s excellence. If you want to adjust the time, you can just simply pull the crown outwards and turn it in the correct direction. The vertical-teeth edges of the crown ensure a nice and easy grip so that you would not have a hard time changing the time configurations. Since it is also protected by a crown guard with shiny rounded edges, rest assured that the crown will stay at its original position at all times and is unlikely to sustain any damage even if it’s bumped around a little. The newest Patek Philippe 5711 watch also comes with a water resistance rating of 120 meters. This may not be considered a big deal since all Aquanaut models and other watches from the Nautilus collection boast the same capacities. However, it is still an achievement compared to other sports and dress watches in the market. Bear in mind that Patek Philippe Nautilus timepieces are not tool watches. They are only meant to be elegant sports watches so this degree of water resistance is already quite impressive. While you cannot bring the Nautilus 5711/1A-0014 to any extreme water sports activities such as snorkeling or deep-sea diving, it is still well-equipped for your dips in the pool. What’s more, you can also use it while bathing or while swimming in a pool for exercise. All in all, this precious watch will stay high-functioning even when in contact with water, as long as you exercise sufficient precautions and do not take this watch beyond a depth of 120 meters. The bezel of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in the 5711/1A-014 variation is also worthy of attention. The octagon-shaped bezel is unrivaled in its minimalism. The bezel is composed of eight thin and refined sharpened edges, a design so unusual that it immediately became a major selling point for all 5711 models ever made. In addition, it allows connoisseurs to easily distinguish the Nautilus lineup from other pieces designed by Gérald Genta for other brands like Rolex and Audemars Piguet. The sapphire crystal contained within the bezel serves as excellent protection for the dial and has a more rounded shape, which makes this 5711/1A-014 model look a little softer and more feminine, thus appealing to many women too. It also distinguishes the Nautilus range from other members of the extensive Patek Philippe catalog. Matching the overall theme of the timepiece, the bezel, along with the full and wide lugs with curved sides, possess the same natural silver hue that gives off a feeling of clean professionalism under any sort of lighting conditions. Dial This walkthrough will not be complete if we will not discuss the dial, which is the highlight of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014. The style of the dial strongly resembles that of its forerunner, the 5711/1A-010. This version’s dial comes in a pretty olive green color. It is subtle and enrapturing, to the point that you could stare at the dial all day without feeling too overwhelmed or intimidated. Not to mention, its alluring sunburst finish and rugged texture of horizontal lines make the whole timepiece reminiscent of old-school watches we can find in vintage stores and online markets. In terms of its features, the dial comes with gold-applied hour-markers that take the shape of batons, all of which are equipped with a luminous coating so there is good visibility even during conditions where there is little to no light available. All of the indices bear the same silver tone as the case, bracelet, lugs, and crown for a more unified and cohesive look. The 12 o’clock position adds a little variety to the dial, as it is marked with two baton-shaped indices for swifter distinction. Both the hour and minute hands of the dial are silver and baton-styled like the indices, except they come with rounded edges that complement the whole aesthetic of the watch. The only hand marker that is different is the sweeping seconds hand, which takes the form of a simple elongated stick that stretches out towards the very end of the dial. Sticking to the signature functionalities of the first-ever Nautilus watch, the 5711/1A-014 also comes with a date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker. Indeed, this watch brings only the essential functions a wearer would need in every situation. You will also see minute white-colored dots surrounding the dial’s external edges, which can serve as a guide in telling the time more accurately. Patek Philippe really did a great job in keeping the watch’s face as minimalistic and uncluttered as possible, allowing spectators to admire the construction and concept behind its design without being too distracted by the watch’s functions. The inclusion of a signature with no grandiose font style or vibrant color below the 12 o’clock indices makes the new Nautilus watch even more trendy. To conclude, everything about the dial of the 5711/1A-014 is quite similar to its predecessor. It is an upgraded version of the Nautilus that still maintains the classic designs that made the Nautilus line popular, to begin with. Indeed, the 5711/1A-014 proves to be a top-tier timepiece that will always provide you the confidence and the opportunity to shine in any room you are in. Movement Since the movement of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in Ref. 5711/1A-014 is made in-house, you can expect that its performance will always be top-notch. Specifically, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 relies on an automatic movement called the Caliber 26-330 S C, which is a modified version of the Caliber 324 S C that powers all the existing 5711/1A-010 models in the world. Aside from boasting a power reserve of up to 45 hours, the 31-jewel and 212-component movement also beat at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (“vph”). It also has a hacking seconds function that allows you to adjust the time more accurately. The movement is completed with an engraving of the brand’s logo that gives off a very exclusive feel. With this movement, expect this quality timepiece to last you for the succeeding generations to come. Bracelet Just like its case, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014’s bracelet is made from stainless steel, with central thick links that ensure it is a nice fit on any wrist. Adding to that, it also has a double folding clasp, adorned with the same logo you will see in the movement and crown. This is much better than the clasp used in the 3700 variant since this clasp is a lot more secure and ensures that the watch would not fall from your wrist by accident. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Pros and Cons Pros It comes from a respected brand. Need we say more? Patek Philippe has acquired a great deal of recognition over the past few decades and it is all well-deserved, given the attention to detail and supreme level of workmanship they put into every piece they release. In fact, famed royalty, scientists, and artists among others are all part of their amazing clientele history and they certainly would not buy Patek Philippe products if they weren’t of the highest quality and class, right? If you’re the type of person who has high standards when it comes to your timepieces and cares about the brand’s reputation and values, you do not have to worry because Patek Philippe will surely exceed your expectations. By owning a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch, you are doing yourself a favor, as it is an incredible timepiece you could wear for the rest of your life. It is a great investment piece. Considering how their prices keep on increasing over the last decade due to consistently high demand, any Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch would have a great resale value. If you ever come across an opportunity to own such a three-hand piece with a blue dial, do not ever let it go. This is especially if it comes with a reasonable price, since this watch will surely be harder to find in the next few years due to the line’s imminent discontinuation. Cons It is hard to acquire. We are not overreacting when we say that it could really take years for you to get your own Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch from an authorized dealer. In fact, it is almost impossible now to get your hands on the newest model with the olive green dial, given how it is only produced in limited pieces. With the Nautilus 5711 line already coming to an end, we are also very unlikely to see restocks. You can always opt to buy from trusted resellers though but expect it to come at a whopping price that is two or three times higher than its original selling cost. Price Range of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 As of right now, a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Ref. 5711/1A-014 goes for a retail price of around $36,500 USD. This may be slightly higher if you go for pieces coming from authorized resellers in secondhand markets. In fact, many secondhand resellers sell a good quality Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 for around $100,000 USD. Final Notes Elegant, stylish, and compelling. These are the three best terms that describe the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, especially the 5711/1A-014 variation. While many are still skeptical about buying it because of its gigantic price tag, there is no denying that is one of the best watches out there, offering you everything you could need for an everyday timepiece. There is not much to complain about it too because its features and design are striking and versatile enough to match any style and to make you stand out among the crowd. Now that the Nautilus 5711 series is coming to an end, it will be quite interesting to see how Patek Philippe will utilize their creativity in order to create a succeeding model that could also pass as a heritage piece in the future. Given how the brand likes mixing traditional elements with modern concepts, it will not be surprising if they release yet another series that goes beyond the norm. Nonetheless, nothing can change the fact that the Patek Philippe 5711 will always remain as a true icon in the watch realm. Interested in knowing more about the brand Patek Philippe as well as its other offerings? Make sure to check out our articles on the Holy Trinity of Watchmakers as well as 10 Luxury Wall Clocks To Upgrade Your Home or Office. Photos from Patek Philippe’s website unless stated otherwise Featured image from Patek Philippe

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