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  2. Tissot Watches, History and Heritage of the Brand

    Many watch enthusiasts and celebrity personalities are huge Omega and Rolex fans.  However, there is another brand of watches that is just as prestigious and historical – that brand is Tissot watches. Let’s rewind the clock a little bit and see how Tissot came to be. History of Tissot Watches Tissot is the name of a Swiss luxury brand watch founded by the father-son duo of Charles-Félicien and Charles-Émile. They were from Crêt-Vaillant, Le Locle, in Northwest Switzerland, where they establish their company. Fortunately, that company still operates even as of today. Tissot is largely known for its mechanical, sports chronograph watches that involves a mix of simplicity and class. These days, the brand is part of the renowned Swatch group and still makes quality-driven, affordable Swiss watches. However, it wasn’t always like that. Shop Tissot Watches Previously, Tissot watches used to be known for building gold-cased, highly-reliable pocket watches. These watches were something that only the powerful and appreciative could possess. In just their first year, the company had already reached as well as sold their products in the United States. Then in 1858, the company had reached Russia. Tissot’s growth in Russia was successful when the brand’s 3rd-generation family member Charles Tissot went to Moscow in 1885. Charles was previously supposed to manage a local branch when he got there. However, he had other plans and made a new life for himself there with a Russian woman. Due to the personal relationship and connection established with the locals, the Russians formed most of Tissot’s customer base. In fact, the company became so renowned in Russia, that it also attracted the attention of Tsar Alexander II’s court. Tissot Watches Innovations and Trends Charles Tissot later erected a factory for the company in Chemin De Tourelles, Le Locle in 1907. This is where Tissot wanted to meet the demand of its customers from all over the world. In 1910, Tissot began producing women’s wristwatches. They especially stood out as they were made of platinum and gold, and some out of diamonds. After that, the company started producing men’s wristwatches before they got popular. Carrying on with their developments, Tissot officially became recognized as a large-scale company in 1917. They started manufacturing their own movements and made high-quality watches at affordable rates. Even though the watch styles were pretty common back then, Tissot was unique due to its technical innovations. That’s when they made their first-ever non-magnetic wristwatch in 1930. Bigger and Better It wasn’t until 1930 when Tissot joined forces with Omega. Both companies formed the first-ever Swiss watchmaking association called the SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère). Then later in 1933, Tissot launched the Tissot Plan. It was an action plan established by Paul Tissot for marketing the brand’s watches. This plan offered to distribute the brand’s catalogs and target certain markets to retailers for free. 100 Year Celebration Tissot’s 100 years in the watchmaking industry was marked in 1953. Even still, instead of closing, it was starting to get bigger. This was a time when Tissot was able to manufacture both automatic and manual watches. This was because of its single calibre principal that simplified the production of movements with or without complications. When the brand’s name started to get bigger, many of the world’s high-ranking executives and officials visited Tissot’s headquarters Later on, the company started introducing teenagers to the market. Because of that, they started making watches that were chic, stylish, and colorful. The 80s and the 90s In 1983, Tissot joined the Swatch Group Limited. Besides that, the 80s were important for other reasons also. Tissot’s visionaries were happy to hold on to their traditions. This was because watch materials were always being revised. However, Tissot was always a step ahead before any other watchmaker. View this post on Instagram The Tissot Tradition gives modern watchmaking a touch of nostalgia. Today's technology with a vintage design. #Tissot #ThisIsYourTime #ThisIs2020 #SwissMade #Watchmaking #Design #Lifestyle #Luxury #Watchfam #Watch #Timepiece #Watchesofinstagram A post shared by Swiss Watches since 1853 (@tissot_official) on Jan 11, 2020 at 11:22am PST Tissot is responsible for introducing a number of revolutionary watches in the 80s. One was the Rock Watch‌ or watch made‌ ‌of‌ ‌stone‌ in 1985. Then in 1988, wood was used for the first time in watchmaking. Tissot also has a hand in using the mother of pearl for making high-end watches starting in 1987. Ever since then, several watch manufacturers have been trying to perfect the process. The 90s was when Tissot engaged in endless experimentation. In 1999 the T-touch technology was introduced in the first-ever tactile watch. And the brand has been constantly trying to improve the technology since then. Modern Developments After the T-Touch, Tissot later made the watch to be solar-powered, which made headlines all over the world. This watch would be known as the T-Touch‌ ‌Expert‌ ‌Solar‌. View this post on Instagram After 18 rounds, some of the greatest races in history and three new World Champions, it’s time to bring the curtain down on 2019. Do it in style with the Tissot T-Race 2019 Automatic ltd edition on your wrist.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #MotoGP #OfficialTimekeeper A post shared by Swiss Watches since 1853 (@tissot_official) on Nov 16, 2019 at 12:15pm PST Tissot is also actively involved in sports – becoming an official timekeeper in several sporting events. Some of them include MotoGP, FIBA, fencing World Championships, NBA, cycling, ice hockey, and others. And even as we speak now, Tissot is still innovating timepieces that are sold globally.  Right now, there are over four million Tissot models that are sold worldwide every year. How to Avoid Buying a Fake Tissot Watches If you’re after the real deal, then you should be smart enough to spot a fake Tissot watch wherever you go. It’s not that common, but there are some models with parts that are manufactured from China. Just be sure to spot the “Made in China” writing on the product. Besides that, it’s also easy to spot a fake even when you hold one. The fakes are relatively lighter and cheaper when you feel them compared to the real thing. If it’s attached to a bracelet instead of a strap, a small rattle sound can be heard with each move. If you want a chronograph, then inspect the subdials where you can tell it’s a replica right away. And if the dials aren’t working or even moving, then it’s a dead giveaway.

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  4. Zelos Watches: Top 3 Collections

    Some great affordable watch brands have had humble beginnings, and that’s certainly the case with Zelos Watches. A 2014 Kickstarter campaign took the Singapore-based brand’s assets from near zero to around $80,000. This allowed founder Elshan Tang to break into the microbrand market. In the years since Zelos watches shown serious staying power with stunning designs and solid workmanship at reasonable prices. Most models featuring sapphire crystals, automatic movements, and high-grade materials such as 316L stainless steel. Zelos watches prove that high quality can come at a low cost. At least low when compared to more upscale brands such as Rolex and Omega, as the Zelos prices run the gamut from about $300 to $1,300. So what do we have in this price range that’s well within the reach of most watch lovers? Let’s take a look at three of their top collections. Relish Retro Style with the Hammerhead Drawing inspiration from cherished cushion-shaped dive watches from the 1960s and 1970s, the Hammerhead combines a vintage design with the technology of today. Hammerhead sharks are stealthy and strong. They’re often found stalking prey along the pressure-heavy ocean floor and using their namesake heads as weapons when they come across a quarry. So too the Zelos Hammerhead is one tough timepiece, with cases of either 316L steel or marine-grade bronze. For maximum protection, a double-domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal tops the dial, while the display caseback is similarly made of sapphire. The Hammerhead’s bezel continues the commitment to toughness with the option of zirconium-oxide ceramic. It is incredibly resistant to scratches, abrasions, and corrosion. The material is gauged several times more durable than stainless steel. It measures at an impressive 1,500 HV on the Vickers hardness test. Water-resistant up to 1,000 meters with a screw-down crown, the Hammerhead was literally built for swimming with sharks. For something truly unique, go with the meteorite version with a dial and bezel made from a meteorite. A meteorite, meteorite? Yup, a big old rock that was formed billions of years ago, hurtled through space for millennium on end, plummeted to earth in a fiery fall and then got sourced for a watch. Meteorite models are one of a kind as the patterns of no two space rocks are the same. Chroma for Minimalist Charm While the Hammerhead offers a big dose of bravado, the Chroma Collection comes in with subtle and understated warmth. With 42mm diameters, you might think that Chromas wear large, but the lack of lugs makes them come off considerably smaller than their actual size would suggest. Chroma watches do share some of the Hammerhead’s attributes in terms of toughness, such as sapphire crystals front and back, 316L stainless steel, bronze, or carbon fiber cases, along with water resistance up to 50 meters. But they also have finer sides, with versions that mix satin-brushed and polished stainless steel finishes with rose gold plating. Adding an elegant touch, 20mm straps are crafted from waxed crazy horse leather, coveted for the antique look they acquire as they age gracefully. The most affordable timepieces Zelos offers, nearly all of the watches in the Chroma line are priced between $269 and $299, with a few exceptions. One such outlier that’s priced at $499 is a limited edition made of Damascus steel, an alloy often used in making high-end knives that finishes with an eye-catching wood grain pattern. And these are all especially nice given the price, as they’re not quartz but actually automatics with Miyota 821A movements. Skyraider Takes Aviation to a New Era Zelos looked back to World War Two for inspiration in its latest aviation watch, named after the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. The famous fighter plane was revered for its resilience, serving as the last propeller-driven aircraft to fly missions for the United States Air Force. And while the design of the Skyraider Collection takes cues from classic pilot watches, we also get a modern take with meteorite and skeletonized dials among its contemporary notes. Cases go on the larger side with 42.5mm width and lug-to-lug spans of 50mm. And we go seriously Old School with a classic manual-wind movement. An ETA 6498 caliber with 44 hours of reserve power that originally got its start in pocket watches. The large crown is not screw-down and has no crown guards. That means it gives the watch a truly vintage look of pilot watches from a time gone by. Dials are eye-catching, each unique in their own distinct ways. The titanium and bronze case models offer dial options. Options including skeletonized, meteorite, and “atmosphere blue” with a turbine pattern and a gradient that goes from blue to black. A Muonionalusta meteorite that plummeted to what we today call Sweden about a million years ago offers a one-of-a-kind pattern. The skeletonized version shows us the inner workings, topped by hands with a generous amount to C3-Super-LumiNova. That guards against legibility issues we sometimes see with skeletonized watches. Zelos Watches Conclusion Following that first fateful Kickstarter campaign, Elshan Tang did more. Elshan went on to create a series of successful crowd-sourced initiatives. He raised more than a million dollars for his watchmaking enterprises. Most days you can find him hunched over a workbench at his Singapore studio. As he is busy working on the next great Zelos watches.

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  5. 5 Reasons Why Mk II Watches Are Good Watches

    You may wonder if Mk II watches are indeed good watches. It’s a fair question as the microbrand has flown somewhat under the radar and occupies an odd space in the watchmaking world. They do homages, contemporary takes on classic designs that could be disastrous in the wrong hands. But Mk II watches do this arguably better than anyone else. Here are a few reasons why. 1: The Spirit of Bill Yao Founder Bill Yao is about as hands-on as a company head can get. Literally. He’s often found at his workbench agonizing over every little detail on whatever watch he’s currently fixated on. A graduate of the elite Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yao turned away from the world of high finance and a lucrative career on Wall Street. Instead, he followed his love of tinkering with timepieces and started making aftermarket parts for Seiko watches. That passion project would eventually lead to his launching Mk II Watches in 2002, based in the suburbs of Philadelphia where Yao was born and raised. And while Mk II has a range of ready-made offerings, they’re equally known for their customizations that are done by Bill himself. That kind of personalized attention requires patience from his loyal fans, who can wait months or even years until their one-of-a-kind creation is complete. 2: The Turbulent Tale of the Kingston If you’ve heard nearly nothing about Mk II, which is the case for many a non-watch-geek, the little you have heard probably involves the Kingston. It’s the watch that put the fledgling company on the map and nearly caused its downfall. It started with a simple idea. Yao wanted to create a watch that payed tribute the Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 worn by Sean Connery in the James Bond flick Dr. No. Sounds straightforward enough. He wanted to build it to match Rolex quality and offer that high-end craftsmanship at a price of just over $1,000. Okay, ambitious, but plausible given Yao’s skills. Soon enough, 100 trusting customers made pre-orders. But the financial crisis that was rippling across the world in 2009 had its say. From vendors to assembly and quality control, you name a stage of the watchmaking process and there was a problem facing Yao. Delays led to more delays, with months turning into years. Some customers even accused Yao of fraud. But, after five harrowing years, the last of the initial orders was delivered, though with little profit to show for the years of pain. Then fortune took a turn. The Kingston was so well received that nobody even talked about the disastrous rollout. Reviews were glowing. Some people started reselling the watches for two and three times the price they just paid. Many felt the homage actually outdid the original Rolex! Yao was suddenly famed for homage watches, renowned for creating affordable masterworks that were well worth the wait. Mk II had arrived. 3: They Transcend Homages Say the word “homage” and you can almost feel the collective eye roll of serious watch aficionados. But for Mk II watches, “homage” is a guiding principle, with a very specific meaning. That’s why the company is named Mark 2, as in the second version, common in military speak. Mark 2 is the new chapter in a watch’s story. So for Mk II, this second evolution of a timepiece means capturing the original style of watches from the past and making them more accessible with today’s technology. Mk II has some strict rules about how they handle homages. First, in order for a watch design to get the homage treatment, it must be at least 15 years old, and preferably much older. You can’t pay homage to a contemporary timepiece, that’s not how homages work. Second, the functionality of the homage must be equal to, or better than, the watch that they’re honoring. They don’t do cheap knock-offs. Third, the homage should bring value to a watch’s story. Changes and modern interpretations on original designs take the initial intent into account and attempt to honor that intention rather than simply go for similarity. 4: Modern Military Style Among the list of things that Mk II watches does well in, and that’s a solid list, perhaps none is better than making military-inspired watches. The Mk II Paradive goes in a different direction with its homage to military watches, notably with the Gen 3 model that mirrors the Benrus Type I divers watch that was issued to US soldiers during the Vietnam War. While looking decidedly modern, the Gen 3 echoes the style of the Benrus on its dial, bezel, and case without ever slipping into tactless imitation. Drawing inspiration from Rolex and Tudor’s MilSub, the Fulcrum is what Mk II likes to call its “American MilSub.” The Fulcrum is unique in the Mk II line as it doesn’t pay homage to any specific model, but rather the genre of vintage military watches as a whole. Instead of a diver-style rotating bezel, an American MilSub has a prominent twelve-hour unidirectional bezel. A bead-blasted steel case wears on the large side at 42mm in diameter, with anti-magnetism and a sapphire crystal adding durability. It’s ready for action on a sturdy rubber strap. 5: A Nice Price From the beginning, affordability was at the heart of Bill Yao’s plan. The goal was to make luxury watches accessible through imitation. And the reasonable price tags of their ready-to-wear timepieces prove that Mk II watches have succeeded. Offerings in their Cruxible line are available online for about $650, while their Hawkinge models cost even less at under $600. Their Paradive watches come in at just under $900. And for true bargains, they’re accepting pre-orders for their Stingray II and Tornek-Rayville watches at $450 each. None of this is to say that a Rolex isn’t worth the cost. Or that an homage to an Omega is better than the real thing. But if you broaden your thinking a bit, and understand the motivation behind an homage watch, a creation from Bill Yao’s MKII workshop just might be the next timepiece you put on your wrist.

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  6. Brew Watches: 5 Things to Know

    If you’re looking for a watch that embodies luxury, quality and creativity then Brew Watches is your brand. Anyone looking to make a statement will definitely find a Brew Watch appealing. Characterized by stylish visuals and equally impressive performance, Brew Watches will have anyone looking dapper. Keen to learn more about this stunning brand of watches? Keep reading as we list five things you’ll find fascinating about Brew Watches and why it’s among the top watch brands. 1: Brand Inspired by Coffee There’s absolutely nothing random about the brand name. The word ‘’Brew” is synonymous with coffee—and so is the brand. It’s pretty cool that Brew Watches were first inspired by industrial espresso machines. Jonathan Ferrer, who is the brains behind the brand, has an immense love for coffee. The combination of warm and contrasting colors on espresso machines was also an inspiration of his. As such, you’ll find that all Brew watches have a similar blend of colors and textures reminiscent of espresso machines. Moreover, one timepiece from Brew Watches—the Retrograph watch —is specifically designed to time how long it takes to brew an espresso coffee! But this doesn’t take away from the stylish design that makes the watch suitable to wear with any outfit. 2: Very Affordable One would expect to dig deep into their pockets to own one of these exclusive timepieces. But lucky for you that’s not necessarily the case. Brew Watches continue to release affordable quartz watches despite the exquisite designs. You’ll definitely find something to suit your budget. Case in point: the Brew Mastergraph is one of the latest releases to come out of the brand. Available in three different designs, its clean and retro-style is consistent with all Brew Watches. By donning this exquisite timepiece, you’ll definitely be the envy of your friends. The stunning design of the Brew Mastergraph is somewhat similar to the Rolex Cosmograph. This just goes to show that these affordable time pieces can easily compete with high-end brands watch brands. 3: Ideal for Everyday Wear Careful consideration is put into designing every component of Brew Watches. Each strap is made using supple Italian leather to produce a truly distinctive timepiece which is far from ordinary. The cases are made using solid stainless steel which is polished by hand. So, given how chic Brew watches are, it’s easy to assume that they can only be worn for special events. But they’re suitable for just about any occasion. The precise dimensions found on the watches make them comfortable for everyday wear. 4: Made of the Highest Quality Brew watches use impressive quality. You can expect the timepiece to last for years before you have to think of replacing it. This is because the brand goes the extra mile to ensure that all watches meet specific standards. The watches are tested and are hand-assembled. After being assembled, Brew watches are further tested to make sure that they’re both pressure and water-resistant. But be sure to practice extra caution near water because the watches aren’t entirely waterproof. You do have the option to return the watch if you feel that it doesn’t meet your standards. That’s how confident the brand is in the quality of their products. Thanks to their 14-day return policy, you can return the watch provided that you have the receipt and that it’s free from damage or signs of wear & tear. 5: Brew Watches Come with a One Year Limited Warranty Malfunctions happen with any product, including watches. The brand understands this and decided to cover all their products with a one-year limited warranty. Note that the warranty only covers the watches against manufacturer defects. If you happen to notice any issues with your watch, you’re free to drop the manufacturer an email. The support staff will immediately respond with instructions on how you can send the watch back.  Note however that damages caused by accidents, tampering or mishandling of the product will automatically void the warranty. Brew Watches Conclusion With plenty of designs to pick from, you’re bound to find a watch that suits your individual taste or preferences. If you don’t need one for yourself, Brew Watches make the perfect accessory to gift a loved one, be it for Christmas, anniversary or a birthday. With that said, will you be getting a Brew Watch for yourself or a loved one? Let us know!

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  7. Sustainable Watches: 4 Great Options

    It’s the year 2020 and sustainability is cool. Citizens of the world became more aware of the impacts of it. The environment is changing the way in which they shop and purchase watches. Even though most brands are aware of this, few luxury watch brands currently offer sustainable watches that are worth mentioning. There are some sustainable watches on the market that are nothing short of incredible. Today we’ll be filling you in on four sustainable watch options across various price points that look good, work well and do their bit for the environment. 1: Alpine Eagle Collection by Chopard Chopard is one of the most sustainable luxury watch brands in existence and is a driving force that encourages other brands to follow in its footsteps—or rather carbon footprints. The brand has been using 100% fair mined gold in its watches exclusively since 2018 and invests in local Latin American mines. In addition to its usage of ethical gold, the Alpine Eagle collection also supports environmental efforts by raising awareness for the bird of prey it draws its name from. The model we’re focusing on today is the 298600-3002. The 298600-3002’s Rhodium plated dial is inspired by the iris of an eagle’s eye and the watch sports a masculine look & feel. It’s water resistant up to 100 meters and features a stainless steel bracelet, scratch resistant sapphire crystal & a polished finish. 2: Mike Horn Special Edition Submersible by Panerai Panerai has stepped aboard the green train in its limited edition Mike Horn Special Edition Submersible watch. The watch was made in collaboration with South African-born Swiss adventurer, Mike Horn. It’s worthy of going on his worldly adventures with him. The case, crown, bezel and case back of the Mike Horn Special Edition have all been made from revolutionary EcoTitanium. The strap is made from recycled PET and the watch is resistant up to 300 meters. The perfect finishing touch to this watch is the engraved case back with features Mike Horn’s signature as well as a beautifully simplistic depiction of underwater sea life picturing a whale, jellyfish, a turtle and a shoal of tuna. 3: Iconic Edition by Baume Baume is an eco-aware brand that focuses on the millennial market. It is the latest addition to the Richemont luxury goods group which owns brands such as Audemars-Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and IWC Schnaffhausen. The brand itself is ethical and sustainable as are all of the products it produces. The watch we’ll be focusing on today is the brand’s first watch in its collection of sustainable watches: the Iconic Edition. This watch is constructed with 100% recycled polyethylene and recycled & recyclable aluminum. It is waterproof up to 30 meters. The plastic used to make the watch comes from our oceans. Wow, just wow. 4: Paul by Kerbholz As far as eco-friendly watches go you’ll struggle to find one as friendly as the Paul, brought to you by the German accessory company Kerbholz. This watch boasts not only a stunning design but a 100% vegan rating too. The sandalwood timber used to construct this bad boy comes from sustainable forestry efforts. Powered by a Japanese Miyota quartz movement, the clasp and crown are constructed from recycled stainless steel. Every aspect of this watch is eco-friendly from its climate neutral shipping policy down to the fact that 10% of every purchase is donated to environmental initiatives such as the bienenretter project and the Plant for The Planet foundation. Brands That Do Their Bit Just because luxury brands don’t produce eco-friendly watches doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their small part. There are a number of brands that support environmental initiatives including the following big names: Ulysse Nardin Breitling Breguet Nomos Glashütte Oris OMEGA Rolex Hublot   Final Thoughts As you can see, you have some incredible sustainable watches to pick from. Not only do these eco-friendly watches look beautiful and have impressive specs sheets but they are gentle on our planet. Any one of them is worthy of claiming its spot on your wrist. We must admit that it’s somewhat surprising that in today’s environmentally conscious climate so few luxury watch brands are coming to the eco-party. By this time next year we sincerely hope to see a significant increase in the number of luxury eco-friendly watches available.

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  8. An Introduction to Monta Watches

    Given the surge of boutique watch brands in recent years, Monta Watches may not have hit your radar screen. But maybe they should have. While headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, the microbrand makes all of its watches in Switzerland. They have a passion to preserve the centuries-old tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking. In less than five years Monta has earned the respect of watch aficionados. They’ve offered some serious competition to established brands. Let’s take a closer look at this American-born Swiss-made success story. It Started with the Oceanking In 2016, Monta watches debuted its first-ever offering. The Monta Oceanking may have been new but it owed much of its makeup to the greatest dive watches in the history of horology. Specifically, those from the 1950s, as the Oceanking is an unashamed homage to classics like the Rolex Sea-Dweller, Omega Seamaster, Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and others that captured the imagination of adventurous watch lovers decades ago. The connection to Rolex is even deeper (pardon the pun) as the founders of Monta watches hail from Everest Horology, which produces rubber straps for Rolex sports watches. In design, the Oceanking checks all of the boxes that all great dive watches should. A 40mm stainless steel case has a large nearly-onion-shaped crown for easy underwater gripping. Its bearing-mounted bezel is equally grip-friendly. Plus there’s water resistance up to 1,000 meters. An anti-reflective domed crystal tops a non-nonsense matte dial with easy legibility that serves well in undersea situations and presents subdued sophistication on land. And while the case has notes that echo a contemporary Rolex Submariner, its beveled edges and polished flanks give it a truly unique feel. Comparisons to other luxury dive watches get even better when you consider the Oceanking’s price point of around two grand. Then Came the Triumph In strictly branding terms, one might have thought the Triumph Field should have been Monta’s debut timepiece. The name Monta, derived from “mountain,” is an ode to the company’s connection to Everest. It stands to reason that a watch designed for mountainous terrain would have come first. But we didn’t meet the Triumph Field until Baselworld 2017. It has some design elements that echo the Oceanking. One could call the Triumph Field a military spin-off of Monta’s first-ever watch. It has a case diameter of 38.5mm and 9.6mm thickness. The Triumph is slightly smaller than the Oceanking, but wears just about as big given the heft of its broad lugs. The stainless steel case mixes finish with polished (chamfers, for example) and brushed (planes) surfaces. That continues the unique mix on the bezel, bracelet, and clasp. The dial follows the Oceanking’s no-frills approach. Flip it over to find a display case back that lets you get a look at the Swiss-made Sellita SW-300 automatic movement. And while the Triumph Field falls squarely into the tool-watch bucket, it wears well in dressy situations, equally at ease on a link bracelet or a sturdy rubber strap as it is on fine leather for more formal occasions. Things Soar with the Skyquest GMT Another Monta watch we met at Baselworld 2017, the Skyquest GMT again serves as an homage to the great tool watches of the 1950s. This time we harken back to the revered Rolex GMT Master Ref. 6542, first made for Pan Am pilots in 1954 and today beloved by collectors for its once-groundbreaking ability to track dual time zones with a glance to the wrist. We owe some of Skyquest’s design to the Oceanking. This could also be considered a spin-off, a GMT version of Monta’s firstborn. Just as Rolex did when they rolled out the Submariner and its GMT-Master cousin together back in 1954 at the Swiss Watch Show that would become Baselworld. Even the names of Monta’s “Oceanking” and “Skyquest” sound like they could be part of the Rolex family. More on Skyquest But the Skyquest departs from Rolex’s influence in a number of intriguing ways. Skyquest’s ramp-up GMT hand is more reminiscent of classic Seiko models than Rolex. The coin-edge bi-directional bezel features a target-shaped and lumed pip at the 12’clock position. Available in two finishes, black and gilt, the Skyquest dials don’t spare the lume and are super bright with an intensity that rivals pro dive watches. Rhodium-plated sword hands and red accents offer a vintage feel without going old-timey. The Skyquest’s stainless steel case also mixes brushed and polished finishes. While its Sellita SW330 automatic GMT movement has 25 jewels and a power reserve of 42 hours. Priced in the $1,600 to $1,900 range, this is not the cheapest GMT out there, as the market today is flooded with automatic GMTs you can pick up for under a grand. But the quality and craftsmanship of the Skyquest is comparable to that of luxury watches found at much higher prices. Monta Watches Conclusion If you’re in the market for a fine tool watch, you can, as many do, look to the established brands like Rolex, Hublot, and Tudor, to name a few. Or turn your eyes to emerging brands who have looked back to watchmaking heritage to stake out new paths ahead. Monta watches will likely one day spawn its own new generation of watchmakers intent on continuing the tradition.

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  9. A Closer Look at Orion Watches

    In the recent avalanche of affordable watch brands, Orion Watches has managed to poke its head above the pack and grab attention. That’s no easy feat. Let’s look at how this upstart microbrand has earned so much respect in just a few short years. A Family Heirloom Launches a Dream It began with one simple act of gift-giving. While a teenager, Orion watches founder Nick Harris received a 1955 Omega Constellation that had been passed down in the family for generations, starting with his great grandfather. Nick saw that the watch needed repair and started studying up on horology. And a passion for watches was ignited. Nick began modifying watches as a hobby, and soon started selling them online. People readily purchased his creations and the demand for his modding grew. After some training at Seattle’s SAWTA watch-making school, Nick decided it was time to go pro by launching his own brand. Orion watches was born with a plan to hit the market in 2016. Orion Watches Debut of the Orion 1 The Orion 1 was the first watch to bow under the Orion banner, starting with a limited 300-piece run. Nick created his premiere piece for watch wearers like himself, those with slim wrists and a love of vintage flair. And for watch lovers who like things a bit out of the norm, with a 9mmdiameter that should in no way work on a 38mm case. Yet it does, with some help from hefty crown guards, a generous bezel, and oversized lugs that combine to make these large individual components not seem so big as a whole. Keen observers will note that the matte dial is a nod to classic Omega Seamaster’s, giving the watch that dressy-but-sporty vibe that we first saw with luxury tool watches in the 1950s. Calamity Stakes a Claim Among Dive Watches The Orion Calamity is one of their most popular offerings. And it’s not one that was destined to succeed. Today’s market is inundated with dive watches, from both established brands and a slew of recent microbrands. Plunging into those waters and making waves (how many puns can we get?) probably isn’t the best business plan. Yet Orion went for it with their Calamity. The results? A great modern dive watch that pleases the masses. Keeping things simple, the Calamity is only offered in stainless steel with black, blue, or green matte dials. Measurements also stay conservative at 40mm across with 11.3mm thickness. In what appears to be a nod to the Orion 1 (and thus Nick’s signature feature) it comes with a massive knurled screw-down crown that’s bracketed by sloped crown guards, helping to downplay its considerable size. The dial is no-nonsense, feeling sporty with a pop of orange on the second hand. And while most microbrands go with more affordable components on the inside, the Calamity features Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement, costing more as it’s thinner than the more common 2824. With water resistance up to 666 feet, the Calamity is ready for underwater action but perhaps feels more suited for dress-casual occasions. Going Classic and Contemporary with the Hellcat The name “Hellcat” may have stirred up a notion about airplanes in your brain. Yes, the Hellcat was a famous World War Two fighter plane and the US Navy’s go-to aircraft for missions in the Pacific theater. And so Orion aptly named its pilot watch after this aviation legend. A follow-up to the Calamity, the Orion Hellcat isn’t quite as vintage-inspired as its name might suggest. Yes, it does have elements of throwback flair. Such as the lack of crown guards that reminds of watches from a previous era. But overall it feels more modern. It has a thin bezel on a streamlined stainless steel case that mixes polished and bead-blasted surfaces. Large Arabic numerals give a contemporary feel to the dial. It’s available in black and an eye-catching glossy red. The latter is a rarity with pilot watches, as black, white, and blue are the norms. That makes the Hellcat an iconoclastic entry in the pantheon of aviation horology. Suave Military Style of the Field Standard The Field Standard was created in reaction to the poorly made military watches. More so from that lesser microbrands who have churned out of the past few years. With their flimsy crowns and crystals that feel on the verge of cracking. Instead, Orion’s field watch features a domed sapphire crystal with AR coating and a case made out of 316L stainless steel that’s highly resistant to corrosion. And the Field Standard is water-resistant up to 100 meters. But this isn’t really a watch that wants to get tested out in the wilds. Unless your idea of wild is a buttered rum latte at an upscale bistro. The dial goes for classic cool with large Arabic numerals, topped by pronounced cathedral hands. On a black or brown croc-patterned strap, the Field Standard oozes business-casual charm. But as field watches tend to do, it’s just as happy to dress down with jeans and a t-shirt. Nick’s come a long way since that fateful day when he first held the family heirloom that would guide his life into the watchmaking world. And now we imagine that the cherished timepiece he passes on to future generations will be an Orion.

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  10. Top 5 Dan Henry Watches

    When people think of affordable watch brands one of the names that pop up is Dan Henry watches. This microbrand produces beautiful and vintage-inspired timepieces at affordable prices. We love introducing you to affordable watch brands and what they have to offer to your wrists. So today we’ll be shining the spotlight on Dan Henry watches. A Bit About the Brand Dan Henry Watches is a watch company that was founded in 2016. It was founded by, you guessed it, a man by the name of Dan Henry. Dan was a chap whose vintage watch collection was 1,500 strong. He sourced these watches from flea markets and local auctions and eventually his watch-loving friends asked him to start sourcing watches for their collections to. One day he decided to open up an Instagram account to proudly display his watches and this led to him starting his own watch blog called Timeline. Watch. Before he knew it, he, this regular watch enthusiast like you, had become the person other people turned to for advice and information on all thing’s vintage watches. He couldn’t source enough watches to keep up with the demand and so he decided to create his own vintage-inspired watch brand. Thus, the microbrand Dan Henry was borne and the horologist community was thrilled. Top 5 Dan Henry Watches 1: 1963 Pilot Chronograph First we have the 1963 Pilot Chronograph. You know how much we love our pilot watches and this one is no exception. It features a 3D embossment of a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spy plane on its case back. Also, a 12-hour rotating bezel, double deck sandwich dial and is water resistant up to 165 feet. It is constructed with high-quality stainless steel 316L, has a Miyota 6S20 quartz chronograph and sapphire crystal glass. The watch was designed to appeal to the inner adventurer in each of us and is stylish yet functional as a pilot’s watch. It’s available in silver or black. 2: 1964 Gran Turismo Chronograph Next up we have the 1964 Gran Turismo Chronograph. This sleek timepiece is constructed with stainless steel 316L. It has a sapphire coated double domed mineral glass crystal. In addition, it features a classic beads-of-rice bracelet. The watch has two sub dials, a tachymeter, a Seiko caliber VK63, a chrono hand and instant rest functionality. It is water resistant up to 165 feet. On the back case-back is a 3D embossment of the Aston Martin DB5 automobile. That ties in with the fact that it was created with the inner high-performance driver found within all of us. The fact that this watch resembles a panda is not lost on the brand. They have created their option line around it. It is available in Panda, Evil Panda, Slate Gray and Silver variations. 3: 1962 Racing Chronograph Nobody can look at this 1962 Racing Chronograph and not want to shout ‘on your marks, get set, go!’ This stainless steel 316L watch has a chronograph, 24-hour indicator and is water resistant up to 165 feet. This watch aimed to embody everything a racing watch should and has been built to withstand the tough conditions out on the track. The watch is available in blue, Panda or Evil Panda. 4: 1968 Dragster Chrono Now let’s take a look at the 1968 Dragster Chrono. This watch is simple but sporty. It has been built with high quality stainless steel 316L. If durability is your biggest concern, look no further than this bad boy. It’s tough and water resistant up to 165 feet. The watch steers away from stylishness and enters the sports watch arena. It’s available in black or white and you can pick between a black or brown strap. 5: 1947 Dress Watch Lastly, we have the 1947 Dress Watch. This stylish timepiece will help anyone to achieve that gentleman status. It has a sapphire coated mineral glass and a strap made from either leather or NATO. It’s water resistant up to 165 feet and features a sub dial in its simple design. The 1947 Dress Watch is meant to elevate the style of the wearer—whether they are attending a black-tie event or a business meeting. It’s available in silver or rose gold and features a black leather strap or a black NATO strap. Final Thoughts There’s no denying that being a watch enthusiast can be a pretty expensive hobby to maintain. But with affordable watch brands like Dan Henry producing stunning wristwear like the five we introduced you to today out there, this hobby becomes much more budget friendly. What do you say? Will you be reserving a spot in your collection for Dan Henry watches? Or are you an exclusive luxury brand supporter? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them with us in the comments section down below so we can keep providing you with the content you want to read.

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  11. Breva Watches: All You Want to Know About the Truly Unique Brand

    When you think about unique brands in the watch industry, Breva watches should be top of your list. This is one watch manufacturer who did NOT follow the crowd when it came to designing its pieces. From its origins to the models Breva launched over the years, the brand is in a league of its own. Is this a watch meant for collectors? Or is it the next brand you’ll wear on your arm? Let’s find out. Breva Watches — The Origins There’s some romance entangled in the story of how Breva came to be. The name was inspired by the wind around Lake Como after all. But it’s also clear that its inventor was driven by passion and had appreciation for modern inventions. And of course, the weather. The man behind Breva watches was Vincent Dupontreue from Paris. He was born there in 1977 and even his childhood was marked by the influence of jewelry since he sold bracelets when he was as young as 11. This also proves the sense of entrepreneurship that would come in handy later in his journey. Later on in his life he worked at a clothing store but when his young age prevented him from managing his own boutique, he went out completely on his own. In the late 1990s Vincent opened a fashion brand, named after himself. Vincent clearly had an interest in many industries because he later sold his brand, studied business and got into the art gallery business. All of this led up to his decision in 2010 to start up the Breva fashion watch brand. Breva Watches Journey Vincent’s projects were always motivated by his love for being an entrepreneur. This particular project—Breva—had the added motivation of him wanting a unique way to forecast the weather. Some motivation came from the warm winds at Lake Como and it also resulted in the name, since ‘La Breva’ refers to this type of wind. But Vincent wanted to do much more than simply give honor to the weather; he wanted to empower watch wearers to get forecasts from their timepieces. For this reason, you’ll find unique components on Breva watches, such as altimeters and even barometers. It took some time to make this idea a reality. From the time the brand started it took three years until it launched its first impressive watch, the Genie 01, in 2013 at Baselworld in Switzerland. This is how the world came to have its first timepiece with altimeter, weather forecasting barometer and time components in one unit. Best of all is that the designers didn’t lose sight of the aesthetic value of wristwatches. The brand’s watches are incredibly functional, but you can view any Breva watch and you’re bound to fall in love with the look as well. Breva Watches To date Breva watches has launched three main models: Genie 01, Genie 02, and Genie 03. Each watch is unique, in terms of look and features. The Genie 03’s attraction is the small but effective mechanical Speedmeter which can measure air speed. There’s also power reserve indicators and a compass. You can imagine that it requires some space to fit in all the interesting components, but Breva watches does it while still providing a stylish watch. A bit bulky perhaps, but comfortable to wear. For example, the Genie 03 measures 44.7mm x 17.50mm. The secret lies in the fact that certain features can open up to perform their tasks. On the Genie 03 the watch’s anemometer can lift above the face of the watch in order to catch the wind and give you the information you want. On the Genie 03 the brand also showcased its knowledge in terms of movement design. Your watch comes with the Breva’s own automatic movement called the BRE03.001. Another characteristic that makes the watches so attractive is the fact that you can see many of the components and gears through the sub dial of sapphire crystal. You can see how your watch works and even just by looking at the small parts you’ll notice the high level of craftmanship & workmanship the brand invests in its pieces. Breva Watches — Who is it for? Some critics may say that Breva watches are simply a trend with features people won’t use. But the truth is that a watch that delivers accurate weather information, without the need to connect to the World Wide Web or without you making a call, could be of exceptional value. For example, it can help someone who is hiking in a remote area. When you have some information about the surrounding air pressure and wind it can help you determine if a storm is on its way. Final Thoughts Vincent was driven by his entrepreneurial spirit to bring something onto the market that’s truly different. Will it be everyone’s preference? Perhaps not. But is it worth your consideration to own something that will have people take a second look at your arm? Definitely.

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