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  2. Seiko Sea Urchin: A Review of Seiko’s Heavyweight in the Diving Arena

    Seiko Sea Urchin: A Review of Seiko’s Heavyweight in the Diving Arena

    Seiko Monster, Seiko Tuna, Seiko Turtle, Seiko Sumo — ask any newbie or expert watch collector about these names, and they will almost definitely recognize them. That is because they are all popular dive watches known for showcasing Seiko’s true value. They are proof of the brand’s expertise in producing high-caliber yet reasonably-priced timepieces. All of these affordable dive watches by Seiko have been adored by watch enthusiasts across the globe for years. However, in this article, we will not be looking at any of the aforementioned dive watches, many of whom have already been subject to much discussion. Instead, we will be delving a little deeper into another affordable, underrated dive watch that completes Seiko’s lineup of divers: the Seiko Sea Urchin. Hailing from the brand’s Seiko 5 range, the Seiko Sea Urchin is a sleek and well-built dive watch, with a classic design that is reminiscent of the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001. So, without further ado, let us take a closer look at the most popular Sea Urchin watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15, and everything it has to offer. First Impressions Right off the bat, you will find that the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15 bears a very quintessential design that harkens back to two famous Rolex pieces: the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex GMT-Master II. While its easy-to-read dial layout closely resembles that of the Submariner, the Seiko Sea Urchin’s stylish colorway and overall design is a definite callback to the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001. This classic aesthetic is a large part of why the Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is the most popular of the Seiko Sea Urchin timepieces. As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin is not quite on par with the Rolex Submariner. Nevertheless, with its well-polished finish and durable build, this is a great diver watch and an excellent, affordable alternative to the Submariner. If you are looking for your next dive watch, but you are working with a limited budget, then the Seiko Sea Urchin SNZF15 is definitely an option you should keep in mind. Anatomy of the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 Image by Amazon Case and Caseback The Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 comes in a 41mm stainless steel case, which is very resistant to scratches and impacts. It has a rather standard case diameter, which enables this watch to fit well on wrists of virtually any size. Furthermore, its angular, finely beveled lugs add to the impression of slimness, making this watch look a little smaller than it actually is. It also has a thickness of just 13mm, making this quite a slender dive watch. Altogether, this is a very comfortable and easy-to-wear dive accessory and you should have no trouble toting the Seiko Sea Urchin around on your wrist all day. The sides of the Seiko Sea Urchin’s case are well-polished, giving it a gleaming and highly-reflective lustre. This is contrasted against the brushed, satin-finished lugs, which look sleeker and a little more subdued. This interplay of alternately brushed and polished surfaces makes the Seiko Sea Urchin look incredibly sophisticated and luxurious. Every inch of this watch plays with the light expertly, which is what makes it so pleasing to look at from various angles. On the underside of the Seiko Sea Urchin, you can find a see-through caseback made of Hardlex crystal. This allows you to freely view the beauty of the movement that beats inside the watch. This is a classic feature that any watch connoisseur would surely appreciate. A mid-sized crown is also located on the right side of the case, at 3 o’clock. Protected by short crown guards, this crown has gear-like edges which provide wearers with a better grip, so they can grasp and turn the crown more easily, even in their diving suits. Bezel and Dial Image by eBay As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 comes with a unidirectional elapsed time scale bezel, which enables divers to safely keep track of how much time they have spent underwater. The bezel of the Seiko Sea Urchin is crafted from stainless steel, with distinctive edges that almost look like the sides of a bottle cap. It is also fitted with a glossy elapsed time scale insert made of ceramic, which is highly scratch-resistant. This insert comes in gorgeous red and blue Pepsi colors. It is this stylish bezel that gives the Seiko Sea Urchin its resemblance to the famous Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126710blro-0001, otherwise known as the Rolex Pepsi. The dial of this watch comes in matte black, contrasting against the vibrant, Pepsi-colored bezel. It follows a very straightforward layout that recalls the simple dial design of the Rolex Submariner. The Seiko Sea Urchin’s dial comprises hour indices in various geometric shapes and thick sword-shaped hands. At 3 o’clock, you can find an elongated day-date aperture, outlined in silver to stand out more strongly against the black backdrop. The hands and indices are all generously coated in lume, which glows a bright, neon blue in the dark, allowing for optimal legibility even in poor lighting conditions. Seiko has also outfitted this watch with an elevated chapter ring, which is located on the rim of the dial. This chapter ring comes in jet-black to match the dial and bears markers in white for the minute track. Movement One of the best things about the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is the robust in-house caliber that runs inside. This watch is driven by the Seiko Caliber 7S36, first released in 1996. This movement is held together by 23 jewels and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. It also possesses a power reserve of 41 hours, so you can leave the Seiko Sea Urchin aside for more than a day without having to worry about winding or resetting it. An unexpected delight about the Caliber 7S36 is that, despite being fairly affordable, this movement actually has a remarkable accuracy rate. Wearers have reported that properly calibrated Caliber 7S36 can reach precision rates of +/-2 seconds per day. In other words, this powerful movement can achieve timekeeping precision well beyond what other more expensive calibers are capable of. With the Caliber 7S36, you can rest assured that your Seiko Sea Urchin piece will give you impeccable timekeeping and reliability. Bracelet  To complete the watch’s sleek look, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 is paired with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. It measures 22mm in size, with removable end links so you can adjust the strap to better fit around your wrist. It also has a triple-lock clasp, which ensures that the strap stays securely fastened to you, even when you are diving. If you are not a fan of steel bracelets, Seiko also offers wearers a NATO-style strap as a second option. The NATO strap is perfect for wearers who want to wear their Seiko Sea Urchin as a simple piece to complement their daily outfits. However, while the NATO textile strap is very comfortable, it is not recommended for frequent divers. This is because it is not waterproof. As such, for dedicated divers, the stainless steel bracelet is still a better alternative that delivers more comfort on diving adventures. Water Resistance As a dive watch, the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15 has a depth rating of 100 meters. This is quite a typical water resistance capacity for a regular dive watch, especially for one as affordable as the Seiko Sea Urchin. While it is more than enough for your next swim or snorkeling expedition, it is not quite enough for any deepsea scuba diving adventures you might have planned. Price As we have mentioned, the Seiko Sea Urchin is known for being a very affordable diver, even amongst the ranks of Seiko dive watches. The Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15, in particular, sells at just $255 USD. This is a very budget-friendly price considering the Sea Urchin’s classy stylishness and robust timekeeping. Alternatives to the Seiko Sea Urchin It cannot be denied that Seiko did an excellent job designing the Seiko Sea Urchin. It is a robust and classy dive watch that is easily considered top-of-the-line in its price range. That said, it might not be to everyone’s tastes. Maybe you want a dive watch with a better water resistance capacity, or you want something that looks and feels more high-end. If so, fear not! We have curated a list of the three best alternatives to the Seiko Sea Urchin that you can check out below. 1. Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00 The first watch on this list is the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00. This is a sporty, suave-looking dive watch with an excellent build and impressive features. It is presented in a 44mm titanium case coupled with a matching three-link titanium bracelet. Although this watch is slightly bigger than the Seiko Sea Urchin SNFZ15, it is actually easier to handle and carry about all day, thanks to its lightweight and hypoallergenic titanium build. Fixed on top of the case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with a deep blue elapsed time scale insert made of aluminum. Mido complements the watch’s bezel with a striking, sea-blue dial. As opposed to the simpler, easier-to-read dial of the Seiko Sea Urchin, the Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00’s dial is packed full of handy complications. It comprises rectangular hour indices, luminous, hollowed-out hands, and a long date window at 6 o’clock. It also follows a chronograph layout, with two sub-dials for the 30-minute and 60-second counters. On the rim of the dial, you can find a chapter ring with white markers for the nautical tachymeter, a useful and unique function not frequently seen in dive watches. Driving this Mido Ocean Star diver is a powerful in-house Caliber 60. This movement is modified from a base ETA A05.H31 caliber. The Mido Caliber 60 also manages to outdo the Seiko Sea Urchin with its 60-hour power supply and substantial 200-meter depth rating. The Mido Ocean Star Ref. M026.627.44.041.00 is available at approximately $2,019 USD. 2. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 If you are into minimalist aesthetics, then the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 should be right up your alley. This diver timepiece utilizes a 43mm stainless steel case and a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Its sleek all-silver exterior is contrasted against a jet-black elapsed time scale bezel. This bezel comes in an unusual dodecagon shape, with slightly angular sides that give this watch face a bit of an edge. On the right side of the case, you can find a sizeable screw-down crown protected by short crown guards on either side. The dial of this TAG Heuer watch comes in a clean white hue that blends well with the monochrome look of the rest of the watch. It bears a pattern of horizontal teak lines which resemble the flooring of yachts, calling back to its dive watch status. This dial is very straightforward, consisting of just geometric hour indices and sword-shaped hands outlined in silver, along with a magnified date aperture at 6 o’clock. A long seconds hand with a vibrant yellow tip serves to add a splash of color to this watch face. The hands and indices of this watch have been treated with neon green and blue lume, which helps illuminate the watch’s face in the dark. This TAG Heuer Aquaracer piece is run by a reliable TAG Heuer Caliber 5. This in-house automatic movement delivers a 38-hour power reserve and a whopping 300-meter water resistance capacity, which triples the depth rating of the Seiko Sea Urchin. If you want a robust dive watch capable of surviving extreme conditions deep underwater, then this TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBP201C.BA0632 is definitely worth considering. This watch sells at around $2,849 USD. 3. Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060-0001 A list of Seiko Sea Urchin alternatives would not be complete without a Rolex Submariner piece. In this entry, we are looking at the Rolex Submariner Ref. 124060-0001. With its extremely similar dial layout and professional look, this is a high-end, luxury alternative to the Seiko Sea Urchin. This Rolex Submariner piece is housed in a 41mm Oystersteel case and matching three-link Oystersteel bracelet, which is extremely resistant to scratches, shocks, and impacts. This lustrous, silver exterior is sharply contrasted against a classic black dial and bezel. The bezel of this watch is also made of Oystersteel and is fitted with a top-of-the-line Cerachrom elapsed time scale insert. The black dial, meanwhile, contains just hour indices in different geometric shapes and Rolex’s signature Mercedes hands. As is typical for dive watches, the hands and markers of the watch are all coated in lume for optimal legibility even in low-light settings. Inside this Rolex watch, you can find a top-notch Rolex Caliber 3230. This in-house automatic movement is very robust and is able to withstand strong magnetic fields and shocks. In addition, it guarantees an extended 70-hour power supply and has an outstanding 300-meter depth rating. Finally, this Rolex caliber is incredibly precise, with an accuracy of +/-2 seconds per day, matching the precision of the Seiko Sea Urchin. Prepare to shell out around $16,599 USD for this top-tier diver. Final Thoughts On the whole, the Seiko Sea Urchin is an incredibly well-built dive watch, especially considering its affordable price. On top of its hardy build, this timepiece also comes with a stylish Pepsi design that is more commonly seen in GMT watches than dive pieces. Inspired by the Rolex Submariner, the Seiko Sea Urchin is a great, budget-friendly choice for an entry-level dive watch you can take underwater. All images are credited to Watchshopping.com unless otherwise stated. Can’t get enough with the powerful and robust Seiko watches? Have some time to read our article about the 10 Best Seiko Chronograph Watches. Featured image courtesy of u/henryd1214 on Reddit.

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  4. A Complete Guide to the Powerful A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus

    A Complete Guide to the Powerful A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus

    A.Lange & Söhne is one of the most highly-regarded brands in the watchmaking industry. It has long been known for offering classic, sophisticated, and complex timepieces that boast unparalleled craftsmanship. However, a few years back, the brand showed the world that it could do more than just excellent traditional watches with the release of the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus. The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus was the brand’s first attempt at venturing into the contemporary sports watch market. Indeed, based on the positive critical reception from the public upon the Lange Odysseus’s release, it is safe to say that they managed to more than exceed expectations. With all that said, let us take a closer look at what the Lange Odysseus really has to offer. A Brief Background on the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus was introduced to the luxury watchmaking scene just back in 2019. It caused quite a storm among enthusiasts and connoisseurs because of how unique it is compared to other timepieces made by the renowned brand. While A.Lange & Söhne is known for making elegant, classic dress watches, the Lange Odysseus is like a breath of fresh air with its more sophisticated and sporty design.  On top of that, this series is also frequently regarded as the “Everyday Lange” because of its accessibility and versatility overall. It consists of models that are made out of precious metals and stainless steel, allowing for more variety in materials, design, and prices as well. This versatility and range offered by the Lange Odysseus make it a perfect choice for an everyday watch, hence its nickname. Ultimately, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus is most notable for being the first sports timepiece to be released by the German watch company, which definitely piqued the curiosity and interest of many. A Closer Look at the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117 Now that we know more about the Lange Odysseus, let us take a closer look at the most recent model in the series: the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117.  Case and Bracelet  The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117 comes in a stunning and robust titanium case that looks incredibly professional. It measures 40.5mm in diameter and has a height of 11.1mm, which is a fairly standard size that allows it to fit almost all wrists quite nicely. This Lange Odysseus piece also does away with the watch lugs, giving it a sleeker, more compact look. Combined with its lightweight titanium build, this makes the Lange Odysseus incredibly easy to tote around. You could wear this watch all day without feeling any discomfort or heft. On the right side of the case, you can find a small, short crown. Its edges are nicely grooved, giving wearers more purchase when they try to grip and turn the crown. On either side of the crown, you can also find nicely tapered buttons, which can be used to control the watch’s day and date functions. These buttons give the watch a lopsided, asymmetrical look, which adds a hint of quirky personality to the Lange Odysseus. Flipping the Lange Odysseus around, an exhibition-style caseback is used to seal the back of the watch shut. The upper half of the caseback is covered by a steel construction that contains four striking blued steel screws and has the word “DATOMATIC” embossed on it. The rest of the caseback, however, gives you a clear and up-close view of the movement that runs inside the Lange Odysseus. The watch’s details are also engraved around the rim of the caseback, including its movement, case material, brand name, and model number. The Lange Odysseus is also notable for being the first-ever water-resistant A.Lange & Söhne watch and this is made possible by its high-quality screw-down crown and caseback. They keep the Lange Odysseus’s case tightly sealed shut, preventing any moisture or dust from getting into the watch and damaging its inner mechanisms. Thanks to these elements, the Lange Odysseus is able to withstand water pressures of up to 100 meters, so you could easily bring this watch into the shower or to the beach for a quick swim. Finishing off the Lange Odysseus’s handsome look is a five-link bracelet also made out of titanium, which adds to the watch’s comfortable and lightweight feel. It features a firm ratchet clasp, which keeps the strap securely fastened to your wrist. This clasp is embossed with the German brand’s signature logo, bolstering the watch’s refined vibe. The entirety of the Lange Odysseus’s exterior, from its bracelet down to its case and crown, is wonderfully polished, giving it a marvelous luster that simply shines under the light. Dial Moving on to the main attraction, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117 shows off a beautiful brass sector dial that is bound to captivate any who sees it. This model boasts two contrasting textures that manage to seamlessly flow together, creating a lovely visual experience. It also has a very neat, well-organized layout, managing to showcase many elements without looking too crowded or complex. The outer circle of the dial comes in a smooth grey finish and is adorned with rectangular applique hour indices made of luxurious white gold. The center of the dial, on the other hand, has a rougher surface. It consists of white gold sword hands that sweep majestically across the dial. The hands and indices are all coated in lume, which allows for optimal legibility even in the dark. The Lange Odysseus also comes with a number of additional complications. Overlapping both sections of the watch is the small seconds counter, along with the big date aperture at 3 o’clock and the day-of-the-week display at 9 o’clock. Both the day and date windows are outlined in silver, allowing them to stand out more clearly against the lovely grey backdrop. Movement Driving the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117 is a powerful Caliber L155.1 DATOMATIC. This is a tailor-made automatic movement specially developed by the A.Lange & Söhne team. It comprises 312 parts and 31 rubies, with a diameter of 32.9mm and a height of 6.2mm. This innovative movement incorporates a brand new escapement system, which gives it a high frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a substantial 50-hour power supply, making it incredibly efficient. This escapement system also enables the movement to be incredibly precise, with wearers reporting an outstanding accuracy rate of +/-1 second per day, matching that of Grand Seiko’s famous Spring Drive movement. Price Range  Aside from being the most recent Lange Odysseus model released, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363117 is also a limited edition timepiece, with only 250 units in existence. This makes it both exclusive and quite difficult to get, which means you can expect a high price tag to come with it. Its retail price is set at a hefty $63,300 USD and it can potentially cost more when acquired from resellers. Best A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Variations  Below are some of the other, best variations of the Lange Odysseus that are available in the market right now: 1. A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363038 First, we have the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363038, which was just launched back in 2020. As expected from a Lange Odysseus watch, it has a stunning exterior that consists of classic and sophisticated elements. While this Lange Odysseus model is clearly a luxury watch, it is also versatile enough to be used for more casual occasions. The Ref. 363.038 is presented in a luxurious 40.5mm white gold case, coupled with a supple leather strap in dark brown. This is coupled with a brass grey sector dial that wonderfully blends two different textures. The outer ring of the dial shows off an embossed grooved finish and is furnished with applique hour indices. The inner section of the dial is smooth, comprising just luminous sword hands in white gold. This watch also contains a day-of-the-week complication, a big date window, and a small seconds sub-dial, which also bears the same smooth and grooved textures as the main dial itself. Just like the other Lange Odysseus models, this watch runs on the L155.1 DATOMATIC Caliber. This is a well-crafted in-house movement that boasts exceptional accuracy, matching the impressive precision rates offered by the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement. To top it all off, you can even catch a glimpse of this movement through the watch’s gorgeous exhibition caseback. The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363038 is priced at approximately $42,500 USD. 2. A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363179 Another variation of the Lange Odysseus comes in the form of the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363179. While it bears the same robust build as the other Lange Odysseus pieces, the design of this model is tweaked in such a way that it gives off a rather different vibe compared to its peers. The Ref. 363179 showcases a modern, dressier aesthetic that is simply perfect for any formal occasion or dinner party. This Lange Odysseus watch is housed in a sturdy 40.5mm case made of scratch-resistant stainless steel, coupled with a matching five-link bracelet made of the same material. While the case of this watch is carefully polished, its bracelet shows off a sleek, brushed finish. The differing textures offer an appealing dichotomy, giving a bit of an edge to this Lange Odysseus watch. The dial of the Ref. 363179, however, is easily its most stylish element. This sector dial boasts a lovely dark blue hue and, like the other Lange Odysseus watches, it intriguingly bears two different textures. The outer circle of the dial has a lovely, smooth finish and is decorated with silver applique hour indices. The inner section of the dial, which contains the white-gold hands, has a grainier texture which gives the watch a more sophisticated look. This luminous dial also consists of day-date displays and a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Inside this watch, you can find the iconic L155.1 DATOMATIC Caliber, which is known to power all Lange Odysseus watches. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and can last for up to 50 hours when fully wound. This stylish model is one of the more affordable Lange Odysseus options. It sells at around $32,300 USD. 3. A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363068 Last but certainly not least, we have the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363068, which was also launched in 2020. As well-crafted as the other Lange Odysseus models, this watch possesses the most rugged, sporty look out of all the watches in the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus collection. It gives off a robust and masculine vibe, making it the perfect everyday timekeeper for men. The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus Ref. 363068 utilizes a 40.5mm case made of luxurious 18K white gold and a chick black rubber strap. Two vertical grooves run down this durable black strap, adding to its outdoorsy style. As with the other Lange Odysseus pieces, the grey sector dial of this watch has two different textures. The outer section of the dial has an embossed, grooved structure, while the center of the dial is smooth and clean. This dial is also adorned with a large date window, a day-of-the-week aperture, and a small seconds counter, along with white gold hands and applique hour indices that are filled with luminescent pigment. Powering all of these functions is a well-crafted L155.1 DATOMATIC. This outstanding movement possesses a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and an outstanding precision rate of +/-1 second per day. With its high-quality materials and stylishly athletic design, it is no surprise that this model comes with a price tag of around $45,500 USD. Is the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus worth it?  Though it is not exactly the most affordable timepiece out there, the Lange Odysseus features many excellent qualities that make it worth every penny. If you are still not sold, here are some of the top reasons why you should keep the Lange Odysseus on your radar:  Pinnacle of Luxury Watchmaking. The A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus is arguably one of the best luxury watches on the market. Aside from the fact that it comes from such a renowned brand, it is obvious that this timepiece showcases high-level craftsmanship. Every step taken to craft the Lange Odysseus was carefully done in order to ensure optimal performance and design. The brand even developed a new movement to drive this gorgeous sports watch. Ultimately, you are not only paying for the name but also for the superior watchmaking that comes with the Lange Odysseus. Simple Yet Unique. While these two words may seem to contradict each other, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus is indeed simple yet unique. Despite its price, there really is nothing too flashy or over-the-top about this watch. However, it is extraordinary in its own way just because it is something quite different from the usual offerings by the German brand. Despite being best known for classy, quintessential timepieces that are great for lavish living, A.Lange & Söhne still managed to release an equally amazing model that offers a new and contemporary sports style. Iconic Timepiece. In relation to the previous point, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus was once the talk of the town because of its uniqueness. This piqued the curiosity of many people which, in turn, helped in building the reputation of the watch. Even today, the Lange Odysseus continues to be one of the most popular series from the brand because of its sophisticated design, the excellent craftsmanship behind it, and its interesting background. Who should buy the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus?  A.Lange & Söhne Patrons. If you are a long-time fan of A.Lange & Söhne, you probably already know just how iconic the Lange Odysseus is. It serves as further testimony that even “traditional” watch companies can compete with contemporary players when it comes to creating modern watches. The Lange Odysseus represents the brand’s versatility and innovation when it comes to the watchmaking craft, making it a really special timepiece for both the A.Lange & Söhne and its loyal patrons. Luxury Sports Watch Collectors. While there are many different forms of sports watches available in the market, the A.Lange & Söhne Odysseus is one every watch collector should consider. It is elegant, beautiful, and versatile in the most subtle yet prestigious way possible. The Lange Odysseus can even be perceived as a representation of quiet luxury, with the exclusivity and class that it exudes. Ultimately, this is a timepiece that guarantees credibility amongst the elite. Final Thoughts Ultimately, what started out as a groundbreaking contemporary timepiece has become a sought-after collection that comprises innovative yet elegant sports watches. The Lange Odysseus showcases the ideal fusion between traditional watchmaking and modern cues, making it stand out among all the A.Lange & Söhne offerings. If you want a durable and elegant sports timekeeper, you really cannot go wrong with the Lange Odysseus.  Photo Credits: A.Lange & Söhne Website & WatchShopping Interested in more watch guides? Check out this piece on the rugged Seiko Monster!

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  5. Editor’s Pick: 20 Blue Dial Watches Worth Buying

    Editor’s Pick: 20 Blue Dial Watches Worth Buying

    If there is any dial color as charming and versatile as black, then, without a doubt, it would have to be the color blue. Blue dial watches are a classic choice that deserves more buzz. These blue dials are incredibly adaptable and can be found in a wide variety of models, ranging from casual everyday watches to dressy timepieces and sporty tool watches. No matter what outfit you pair it with, a blue dial watch will never fail to look good on your wrist. Now, if you are interested in growing your collection of blue dial watches, then you are in luck! We have curated a list of the 20 best blue dial watches in the market worth buying. Stick around and see if some of these offerings might be to your liking. 20 Best Blue Dial Watches in the Market Considering the adaptability of blue dials, it is no surprise that blue dial watches are quite common. They are a popular choice of both watchmakers and watch collectors, and as a result, the market is home to an expansive sea of blue dial watches. Indeed, if we were to go through every single blue dial model ever made, we would be here for quite a while. To make your choice easier, we have narrowed it down to a list of the 20 best blue dial watches we know of. On top of sporting handsome blue dials, the watches shown below are all exceptional in their own rights, made from high-quality materials and with excellent features. 1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.01 Image By: Watch Shopping Our list starts with one of the most iconic blue dial watches ever created, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Developed by the watchmaking legend Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak is a true trailblazer, responsible for the popularization of luxury steel sports watches. The Royal Oak is so famous that, to this day, it remains the face of the Audemars Piguet brand. This is one watch that celebrities such as Brad Pitt, John Mayer, and Stephen Curry all love to wear. Over the years, Audemars Piguet has released numerous Royal Oak models. For this section, however, we will be looking at the modern Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.01. This sophisticated timekeeper comes in a 41mm stainless steel case and bears the Royal Oak’s signature octagon-shaped bezel with eight screws. Its dial boasts a charming sunray blue Grand Tapisserie finish and is furnished with applique white gold hour indices, luminescent blunt hands, and a compact date window at 3 o’clock. Underneath this lovely watch face is the Audemars Piguet Caliber 4302. Comprising 257 parts and 32 jewels, this advanced self-winding caliber has a substantial 70-hour power reserve. You can get this Royal Oak watch for around $153,700 USD. 2. Tissot PRX Powermatic 80 Ref. T137.407.11.041.00 Image By: Watch Shopping While the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an exceptional timepiece, its exorbitant price makes it out of reach for many. If you do not have the budget for a Royal Oak, do not worry, as Tissot has an alternative that will surely pique your interest. The PRX Powermatic 80 Ref. T137.407.11.041.00 is an excellent timekeeper for those who want a stylish yet affordable blue dial watch. This Tissot PRX timepiece is presented in a 40mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case with an integrated stainless steel bracelet. Like the Royal Oak, this dial shows off an elegant Tapisserie finish, albeit in a darker blue hue. It is also adorned with slim hour indices, blunt hands, and a date window outlined in silver at 3 o’clock. On the underside of this watch is a transparent caseback, which gives you a clear view of the Powermatic 80 caliber inside. This renowned movement comes with a whopping 80-hour power supply. This Tissot PRX watch sells for just $640 USD. 3. Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPC25K1 Image By: Watch Shopping Seiko has a lot of blue dial watches. From its sporty and playful 5 Sports models to its elegant Mechanical timepieces, each collection is sure to hold at least one striking blue dial watch. One timepiece that especially catches our eyes is the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPC25K1. With its unique dial, 200m water resistance, and affordable price tag, it is pretty hard to go wrong with an enticing dive model model like this one. This Seiko Prospex piece is housed in a 45mm stainless steel case, coupled with a stainless steel strap. It bears a two-tone elapsed time scale bezel in cool blue and black hues, a design which is reminiscent of the famous Rolex Batman. This bezel blends perfectly with the watch’s sunburst dial, which showcases a unique blue finish that fades to black as you veer to the sides. This dial also contains geometric hour markers and broad arrow-shaped hands, along with a day-date aperture at 3 o’clock. This watch is powered by an in-house Seiko Caliber 4R36, with its 41-hour power supply. The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRPC25K1 fetches a price of $480 USD. 4. Rolex “Bluesy” Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB-0002 Image By: Watch Shopping Whether you are a seasoned collector or newcomer to the watch community, you would surely have heard of the Swiss watchmaker Rolex. Worn by the likes of Sean Connery, Jennifer Aniston, and Robert Downey Jr., Rolex watches are the go-to for anyone who wants a recognizable and iconic luxury timekeeper. For those seeking a glossy blue dial Rolex timepiece, let us refer to one of its most sensational models, the Rolex “Bluesy” Submariner Date Ref. 126613LB-0002. Hailing from the coveted Rolex Submariner series, the Rolex Bluesy is probably the most famous of the blue dial watches in the market. It flaunts the lavish Rolesor style, using a 41mm Oystersteel case, a yellow gold unidirectional rotating bezel, and a two-tone bracelet crafted from Oystersteel and yellow gold. Fitted on top of the bezel is a rich blue elapsed time scale insert, which perfectly complements the royal blue dial. This metallic blue dial has a very simple and easy-to-read layout, comprising luminous applique indices, Mercedes-style watch hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. Powering this watch is the Rolex 3235 Caliber. This is a Superlative Chronometer-rated caliber, with an outstanding accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day and a power reserve that can last up to 70 hours. Wearers can avail the Rolex Bluesy for around $29,500 USD. 5. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 220.13.38.20.03.001 Image By: Watch Shopping If any timepiece could rival the Rolex Submariner, it would have to be the Seamaster. As one of Omega‘s largest watch collections, the Seamaster series contains a wide and diverse selection of dive pieces. If you want a highly capable dive watch similar to the Submariner, but with a much more attainable price, the Omega Seamaster is your best bet. For a bold blue dial Seamaster model, check out the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ref. 220.13.38.20.03.001 This Omega Aqua Terra timepiece utilizes a 40mm case crafted from high-quality stainless steel. Its case highlights curved lugs, an unguarded crown, and a sapphire caseback that gives a neat view of the watch’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Omega Caliber 8800. Its sunray blue dial is also quite unusual, bearing a pattern of horizontal teak lines that resembles the wooden decks seen on luxury yachts. It is decorated with triangular hour indices, thick arrow-headed hands, and a trapezoidal date aperture at 6 o’clock. This Omega watch retails at just $5,400 USD. 6. Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic Ref. AB2030161C1A1 Image By: Watch Shopping Having precise timekeeping is important for divers, as it ensures they do not spend too much time underwater. This could make the difference between life and death. One brand known for offering extremely reliable dive pieces is Breitling. And yes, it offers a model with a stunning blue dial too: the Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic Ref. AB2030161C1A1 This Breitling Superocean Heritage model is encased in a solid 44mm stainless steel case, coupled with a stylish mesh bracelet made of the same material. Its sunray blue dial shows off a gorgeus brushed finish and comprises applique indices of varying sizes, pronounced arrow hands, and a rectangular date complication at 6 o’clock. This watch is driven by a Breitling B20 self-winding movement. Held together by 26 jewels, this caliber has a 70-hour power supply, a depth rating of 200 meters, and an accuracy rate of -4/+6 seconds per day. Although it does not top Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer, this is still considered extremely precise for a dive watch. You can purchase this Breitling watch for approximately $5,200 USD. 7. Grand Seiko “Shubun” Ref. SBGH273 Image By: Watch Shopping When it comes to designing cases and dial finishes, there are not many brands that do it quite like Grand Seiko. This high-end Japanese brand has built a reputation of crafting absolutely exquisite luxury dress watches. Returning to the realm of blue dial dress watches, we have the Grand Seiko “Shubun” Ref. SBGH273. This is a delightful piece that would elevate just about any formalwear you own. Based on the 1967 Grand Seiko 62GS, the Grand Seiko Shubun shows off a multi-dimensional 40mm stainless steel case, coupled with a box-shaped sapphire crystal and a three-link strap. The case and bracelet have both been treated with Grand Seiko’s signature Zaratsu polish, giving them a glorious, unparalleled luster. The dial of this watch is also exceptional. It flaunts a deep blue finish that replicates the clear night skies of the autumn equinox in Japan. Aside from that, it also contains silver-tone indices, dauphine hands, and a date display outlined in silver at 3 o’clock. Driving this watch is the Grand Seiko 9S85 Caliber, with its 55-hour power reserve. The Grand Seiko Shubun has an estimated price tag of $7,470 USD. 8. Tag Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211P.FC6356 Image By: Watch Shopping A passionate watch brand dedicated to motorsports, TAG Heuer is a fan-favorite of every racing enthusiast. No matter what type of cool new racing watch you might be looking for, TAG Heuer is sure to have you covered. And yes, the brand also has a racing piece with a bold blue dial: the Tag Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211P.FC6356. Hailing from the Monaco series, this TAG Heuer watch is presented in a distinctive, square-shaped 39mm case made of stainless steel. It shows off alternatively brushed and polished surfaces, adding to this watch’s sophisticated look. Its dial holds a matte blue finish and consists of two white sub-dials, applique sword hands, and a circular minute track in white indicators. Vibrant red accents are also dotted all around the dial, bolstering its sporty vibe. Inside this watch, you can find the TAG Heuer Caliber 11. This is an automatic movement with a power reserve that can last for approximately 40 hours. This Tag Heuer watch sells at $6,350 USD. 9. Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono Ref H38416541 Image By: Watch Shopping The best thing about wearing a vintage timepiece is that they never go out of style. Unfortunately, genuinely vintage timepieces can be hard to find. Furthermore, they tend to command high prices that could really take a chunk out of your wallet. Thankfully, you could settle for a vintage-inspired timepiece, which is the next best thing. For a retro-influenced watch that will not break your bank, take a look at the Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono Ref. H38416541. This Hamilton timepiece comes in a 40mm stainless steel case, paired with a handsome brown leather strap. Its matte blue dial carries a sporty, vintage-looking design, comprising baton indices, slender sword hands, two white sub-dials, a date display at 6 o’clock, and an internal tachymeter scale on the rim of the dial. Underneath this watch face is a self-winding Hamilton H-31 Caliber, with a solid 60-hour power supply. This Hamilton American Classic watch is worth around $2,195 USD. 10. MeisterSinger New Vintage Neo Plus Pointer Date Ref. NED417_SCF01 Image By: Watch Shopping German watches are highly coveted for their appealing minimalist aesthetics. By applying the principles of the Bauhaus art movement, these timepieces showcase simple designs where form meets functionality. The German brand MeisterSinger is highly-regarded for its Bauhaus watches, having been recognized with numerous awards. In particular, the brand’s MeisterSinger New Vintage Neo Plus Pointer Date Ref. NED417_SCF01 is a standout model. This New Vintage wristwatch utilizes a slim 40mm stainless steel case and a black leather strap. Its metallic sunray blue dial follows a very straightforward layout. It comprises double-digit Arabic numeral markers in a neat typeface, an unusual date display in the shape of a central sub-dial, and the brand’s signature: a single, long hour hand that sweeps across the dial. These functions are all run by a Sellita SW221 movement with a 38-hour power reserve. You can get this MeisterSinger watch for just $1,250 USD. 11. Maurice Lacroix Aikon Ref. AI6007-SS002-430-1 Image By: Watch Shopping Tapisserie dials are always exciting to see. We started off this article with the king of Grand Tapisserie dials, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. However, if you are looking for something that has the same style as the Royal Oak, but is a little more affordable, then the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Ref. AI6007-SS002-430-1 is a great option. Known as one of the best Royal Oak alternatives, this Aikon timepiece uses a 39mm stainless steel case, fitted with a fixed bezel that has claw-like structures seemingly holding it in place. Its blue dial boasts a glossy Tapisserie finish and is decorated with applique hour indices, luminous sword hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock. Driving this watch is the brand’s in-house ML115 Caliber. This movement is held together by 26 jewels and has a 38-hour power supply. Wearers can buy this Maurice Lacroix watch for $2,000 USD. 12. IWC Portofino Automatic Ref. IW356522 Image By: Watch Shopping If you are set to go on a fancy night out, you would not want to leave home without bringing a dress watch. For a truly luxurious and sophisticated dress watch, take a look at the Portofino Automatic Ref. IW356522. This lustrous Portofino watch uses a 40mm case made of lavish 18K yellow gold, along with an elegant alligator leather strap in dark blue. It bears a refined sunray blue dial with a metallic brushed finish and is furnished with yellow gold stick indices, slim Feuille hands, and a date display at 3 o’clock. Inside this watch, you can find an IWC Caliber 35111, consisting of 163 components and 25 jewels. With its 42-hour power reserve, this movement is sealed behind a yellow gold caseback engraved with an image of the Portofino Harbor. This IWC watch has an estimated price tag of $12,800 USD. 13. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Ref. 241688.1 Image By: Watch Shopping Some people pick watches based on their practicality. They want timekeepers that can work efficiently through thick and thin while still looking good. And one of the best blue dial watches that promises exactly that is the Victorinox I.N.O.X. Ref. 241688.1 This Victorinox piece comes in a 43mm stainless steel case and a ridged rubber strap in sporty blue. Those familiar with the I.N.O.X series will be well aware of the feats of this watch, which include surviving a fall from 10 meters high and getting run over by a 64-ton tank. Indeed, durability is not something this watch lacks. And with its lovely dark blue dial, the Victorinox piece comes out of trouble with style. Powering this watch is an analog quartz movement, which promises top-notch accuracy and reliability. Get this incredible timepiece for just $480 USD. 14. Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7732 4135-07 4 21 64FC Image By: Watch Shopping With over a century of watchmaking experience, Oris is known for creating some of the best modern dive watches on the market. Oris dive pieces come in a variety of designs, with models that can look sporty, elegant, creative, or a mix of all three. Currently, Oris has three collections dedicated to diving: the Oris Divers, the Oris Prodiver, and the Oris Aquis. Our next featured wristwatch hails from the Aquis series: the Oris Aquis Date Ref. 01 733 7732 4135-07 4 21 64FC. This Oris Aquis Date piece is presented in a 39.5mm stainless steel case. This is paired with a black rubber strap and a matching black elapsed time scale bezel made from ceramic, which is highly scratch-resistant. Its blue dial flaunts an attractive metallic sunburst finish and is adorned with thick hour indices and sword hands, along with a date window at 6 o’clock. Ticking underneath this watch face is the Oris Caliber 733. Based on the Sellita SW200-1 movement, this caliber has a 38-hour power reserve and an impressive 300-meter depth rating. This Oris watch retails at around $2,000 USD. 15. Longines Conquest V.H.P. Ref. L37194969 Image By: Watch Shopping One of the oldest watchmakers in the industry, Longines has been making timepieces since 1832. Innovators at heart, Longines watches are known for their impeccable accuracy. Its most accurate models can be found in its V.H.P. sub-collection, which stands for “Very High Precision”. Luckily, the V.H.P. sub-collection also has a handful of blue dial watches. For this entry, we will be looking at the Longines Conquest V.H.P. Ref. L37194969. Hailing from the Conquest series, this watch utilizes a 41mm stainless steel case and a textured blue rubber strap. Its dial bears a matching matte blue finish and is decorated with baton hour markers, thick sword hands, a date complication at 6 o’clock, and stylish red accents that add a burst of personality to this watch face. The movement that makes this watch so precise is a quartz caliber, hidden behind a solid steel rear case. This Longines watch has an estimated price tag of $1,225 USD. 16. Glashutte Original Senator Sixties Annual Edition Ref. 1-39-52-14-02-04 Image By: Watch Shopping Refinement and elegance are the two things that Glashutte Original takes pride in. With their minimalist looks, reliable movements, and hardy cases, Glashutte Original watches truly speak for themselves. Anyone who needs a dressy timepiece with a bold and tasteful dial should definitely consider this brand. For instance, the Glashutte Original Senator Sixties Annual Edition Ref. 1-39-52-14-02-04, is an excellent timekeeper that makes a fine addition to any watch collection. This Senator model uses a 39mm stainless steel case and an aged grey leather strap. Its exclusive blue dial has an unusually elevated center, topped with stylized Arabic numeral markers, stick indices, and slender blunt hands. On the underside of the watch is a sapphire crystal caseback, which allows wearers to see the Caliber 39-52 in all its mechanical glory. Held together by 25 jewels, this movement can last for up to 40 hours. Purchase this Glashutte Original Senator watch for a price of $5,900 USD. 17. Franck Muller Vanguard Ref. V41 SC DT YACHTING  Image By: Watch Shopping Looking for a watch that can truly make you stand out? Check out the Vanguard Ref. V41 SC DT from the “Master of Complications”, Franck Muller. This Vanguard watch is sheltered in a slender 44mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, paired with a stylish blue alligator leather strap. Protected by a layer of sapphire crystal, its unique blue dial shows off pronounced, stylized Arabic numeral markers, a circular date section outlined in silver at 6 o’clock, and luminous stout hands. This watch is operated by a Swiss automatic movement, ensuring quality and reliable timekeeping at all times. This Franck Muller watch sells for about $6,550 USD. 18. Hublot Classic Fusion Ref. 540.NX.7170.NX Image By: Watch Shopping Hublot is another brand that many collectors and enthusiasts associate with adventurous designs. Today, however, we will be turning our attention to a more toned-down Hublot timepiece: the Hublot Classic Fusion Ref. 540.NX.7170.NX. This watch has a very classic, sporty design that goes well with both casual and formal looks. This Classic Fusion timepiece uses a 42mm lightweight titanium case and three-link titanium bracelet, which is just as resistant to scratches and impacts as stainless steel but weighs about 30% less. Its sunray blue dial comprises two large chronograph sub-dials accompanied by applique silver indices, long sword hands, and a square date display at 6 o’clock. Covering the back of the watch is a layer of sapphire crystal, which gives wearers an up-close view of the Caliber HUB1153 inside. Held together by 35 jewels, this movement can last for up to 42 hours. This Hublot Classic Fusion watch fetches an estimated price of $9,400 USD. 19. Sinn Diving Watch U1 B Ref. 1010.0102 Image By: Watch Shopping The brand Sinn is well known for its unparalleled tool watches. Whether you are looking for a handy aviation model or a durable dive piece, Sinn’s tool watches are state-of-the-art and guaranteed to survive all sorts of harsh conditions. For a blue dial Sinn tool watch, one splendid timepiece we would like to recommend is the Sinn Diving Watch U1 B Ref. 1010.0102. This Sinn Diving Watch comes in a 44mm case and three-link bracelet, both made of high-quality German submarine steel, which is highly resistant to impacts and seawater corrosion. Topped with a layer of anti-reflective sapphire crystal, this case is also water-resistant to depths of 1,000 meters, making this an outstanding dive piece that can be worn on all your deep diving adventures. The textured blue dial of this watch also features uniquely shaped, painted hour markers, syringe watch hands, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. Both the hands and indices are generously coated with lume, allowing for optimal legibility in the dark. You can get the Sinn U1 B for $2,480 USD. 20. Panerai Luminor Due Ref. PAM00927 Image By: Watch Shopping The Panerai Luminor Due is a collection of watches based on the original 1950s Panerai Luminor. Released in 2016, this new selection of Panerai wristwatches showcases a thinner case structure coupled with modern in-house movements. For our final timepiece, we will be checking out the Luminor Due Ref. PAM00927. This Panerai watch is presented in a 42mm cushion-shaped titanium case paired with a blue alligator leather strap. On the right side of the case is the Panerai Luminor’s distinctive large crown, which is protected by a semi-circle crown guard. Its blue sunburst dial is simple but delicate, featuring gold-tone hour indices, pencil hands, a date aperture at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds sub-dial on the left. This watch is equipped with the Panerai Caliber P.900, which possesses an impressive power reserve that can run for three days. This Panerai Luminor watch is worth approximately $7,200 USD. Top Reasons Why You Should Get a Blue Dial Watch As many in the watch community know, watches are more than just a timekeeper you wear on your wrist. They also serve as fashion statements that can level up your style game while expressing your character. As with any timepiece, owning blue dial watches comes with its benefits. To provide you with better insight, here are some of the main reasons why you should consider purchasing blue dial watches. 1. Universal Design Blue is a color that can look good on almost anything. This applies to watches too. A blue dial watch will fit anyone well. On top of that, blue dials themselves have a certain charm that matches any sort of timepiece. You have seen them placed in daily beaters, sophisticated dress watches, and different kinds of sports watches, and they all fit wonderfully. The point here is: blue is a remarkably versatile color that will never go out of style. 2. Diverse Choices, Varying Prices Because of how broad the selection is, there is bound to be a blue dial timepiece just for you. Virtually every watch brand offers blue dial watches. And depending on the brand, the price of their blue dial watches ranges affordable, moderately-priced, entry-level luxury, or extravagant. So, whether you have a tight budget or are willing to invest in a grail piece, you have quite the assortment of blue dial watches to choose from. 3. Built by Brands You Trust Ultimately, all these blue dial watches are built by brands with years of experience. They are skilled watchmakers who pride themselves on their crafts, assuring wearers that the model they purchase is made with absolute quality, craftsmanship, and expertise. Of the blue dial watches listed above, you can rest assured that every single one is incredibly durable and reliable. Final Thoughts Whether it is an affordable quartz model, an automatic sports watch, or a complicated dress watch, it is hard to go wrong with a blue dial timepiece. Stylish and versatile, blue dial watches can be brought to virtually any occasion. The popularity of blue dial watches also means that there is a huge variety available in the market. Indeed, while the blue dial watches we have displayed above are some of the best available, they are only the tip of the iceberg. So, make sure to do your research and select a blue dial watch just for you. Featured Image By: Audemars Piguet Need a sublime green-dialed dress watch that will not cost you an arm or a leg? Have a look at the Seiko Alpinist SARB017 and see if this might be the exact timepiece you are looking for.

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  6. 15 Best Russian Watches

    15 Best Russian Watches

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

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  7. 30 Ultra Unique Watches

    30 Ultra Unique Watches

    If you ever dared to think that a watch is nothing more than a time-telling device, this article is here to change the way you think. Today you’re going to discover six ultra-unique watches that make the act of telling time more like the art of time telling. From wrist watches that play classical music to watches without faces, here are six ultra-unique watches that would be as at home on your wrist as they would be in a display case in a museum—and probably will be one day! Ultra-Unique Watches: Our 30 Best Picks Although ultra-unique watches may not be everyone’s cup of tea, many brands, both well-esteemed and underrated, still offer such pieces to showcase their artistry. Below are 30 of our recommended ultra-unique watches full of creativity — in no particular order. 1. Cartier Mechanical Legends Crash Skeleton Photo from @mertaslanfashion on Instagram It would only be right to begin this list with a piece from a brand best known for crafting imaginative and unparalleled watch designs: Cartier. The Cartier Mechanical Legends Crash Skeleton is a very striking timepiece. It looks quite intimidating at first, but is indeed a rare gem when it comes to performance and composition. First unveiled in the 1960s, it comes in a 28.15mm 18K rose gold case with a beautiful brushed finish, paired with a grey alligator leather strap to finish off its elegant but bold look. The idea for this watch’s odd shape emerged when a client brought in his distorted Cartier Baignoire model, which was damaged from a car accident, for repair. Under the hood, the Cartier Mechanical Legends Crash Skeleton with a studded crown relies on a hand-wound mechanism called the Caliber 9818 MC. Solidly built to fit the unusual, asymmetric case shape, the movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Priced at around $83,300 USD, this Cartier watch may have been controversial when it was first released, but its relevance and timelessness remains celebrated to this day.  2. Swatch Retro-Rosso Ref. GR185 Next up, we have another model with an open-worked dial that exhibits a completely different vibe than the previous one. From the color scheme and materials used to the strap choice, this Swatch unisex model is daring and eye-catching in every way.  Embodying design cues from the 80s, the Swatch Retro-Rosso Ref. GR185 has a 34mm translucent red plastic case and bezel, as well as a matching red silicone strap. The dial sports a vibrant yellow hue and is transparent, allowing wearers to admire the intricate structure of the quartz movement that runs underneath its hood. Apart from bearing neon green baton hands, the watch’s face also features black hour markers on the outer rim of the dial. These hour markers are spelled out in alphabet letters instead of the usual Roman or Arabic numeral formats. Such detail gives this Swatch model in question a hint of quirkiness and character. You do not have to have a sight like a hawk in order to see that this casual Swatch watch is incredibly special. For just $75 USD, you will surely make many heads turn with this distinctive piece. 3. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Ref. 116595RBOW Photo from Tommy B on Flickr Here we have another colorful watch, but this one gives off an air of absolutely sumptuous luxury. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Ref. 116595 carries an air of sportiness and sophistication perfect for urbane men and women. It also demonstrates the Swiss brand’s admirable craftsmanship and expertise in gem-setting. Considered one of the holy grails of Rolex timepieces, you will easily stand out in a crowd with this dazzling and unique luxury watch on your wrist. This Rolex Cosmograph Daytona model has a 40mm 18K Everose gold case paired with a tough sapphire crystal. Extremely fancy and luxe, its bezel features 36-colored gradient sapphires in beautiful baguette cuts. Rolex also used the same precious stones for the hour markers, except for the 12 o’clock marker, which sports the brand’s distinctive crown logo instead. Delving further into the watch’s layout, its dial has a black lacquer backdrop with luminous baton hands that glide smoothly across the surface. You can also find three rose gold sub-dials, all dedicated to chronograph functions, and diamond-studded lugs and crown guards for an added lavish touch. Bright and truly spectacular to look at, this Rolex watch costs around $474,000 USD. It is one of the models on this list that carries a significantly hefty price tag, all to match its lavish aesthetics. 4. Casio Databank DBC-611-1D This list of unique watches will not be complete without a piece from Casio. Hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun, the company manufactures both durable time-telling devices suitable for professional pursuits and cool digital watches like this Casio Databank DBC-611. It is one of the most stylish calculator watches available on the market today, especially with its classy silver-and-black color scheme and peculiar structure. Right off the bat, the Casio Databank DBC-611 gives you a real blast from the past with its familiar nostalgic aesthetics. It comes in a 46.5mm resin case and a sleek stainless steel bracelet with a fully-adjustable clasp. The digital display boasts texts that remind you of video games you used to play in the past, while the watch’s keypad has a flat layout that is very easy to press and play around with. This watch also offers numerous functionalities ranging from dual time, stopwatch and five alarm features, multi-language display, hourly time signal, 25-page Databank, and an 8-digit calculator, among others. Lastly, a Japanese quartz movement with about 3 years of battery life is what keeps the watch running. You can buy this budget-friendly and incredibly innovative Casio watch for just $70 USD. 5. Boegli Grand Opera Ref. M902 At first glance, this watch looks like a regular mechanical timepiece with a slightly busy dial. However, on closer look, you will find that it is far from the usual complicated watches you see around. This timepiece does not just tell you the time—it is actually a watch that possesses musical capabilities! What’s more, it also mimics the abilities of highly-expensive minute repeater watches, but at a much more accessible price. As one of the prettiest music box watches out there, this Boegli Grand Opera watch emits the tune of Chopin’s Tristesse through a round module with a 17-teeth cylinder. The user can start and stop the music by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock. Aesthetics-wise, the graceful exterior of this timepiece is emphasized by a 47mm brushed stainless steel case, a fixed bezel, and a black leather strap with a butterfly buckle. The silver dial has a vibrant blue time display on the left, with white Arabic numerals and hands. On the right, you can find a window for the drums and pins, signifying that Boegli gives equal importance to both the musical and horological aspects of the watch. If you are looking for a beautiful companion that tells time like a dream, then this $4,200 USD timepiece should be at the top of your must-have list.  6. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Speaking of minute repeater watches, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Ref. 26577TI.OO.D002CA.01 remains unrivaled in this department. Apart from bearing a sophisticated and futuristic look, its unique shape and dial layout are all crafted to steal the attention of those on the hunt for fully-functional statement pieces. This complex watch is widely considered one of the most impressive releases by Audemars Piguet. This Swiss-made watch, priced at $597,000 USD, comes in a 44mm case made out of titanium that perfectly complements its simple black rubber strap. The octagonal outer bezel makes it more recognizable as an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak piece, while the black ceramic crown and titanium pushers on the side add more texture to its dapper look. Apart from sporting an open-worked layout, the dial has satin-brushed components, black counters, and an black inner bezel with white markings for greater legibility. It also has white gold skeleton hands with yellow accents, adding a splash of color to this steely timepiece. Compared to other minute-repeaters out there, this unique watch probably has the best acoustic performance.  7. MB&F Horological Machine N°7 Aquapod TI Blue Crafted to make many heads turn, the MB&F Horological Machine N°7 Aquapod TI Blue comes in a 53.8mm grade 5 titanium sphere-shaped case. Its striking case shape is inspired directly by organic jellyfishes found in the deep waters of the ocean. To balance its look, the company added a floating blue unidirectional bezel and a black aircraft-grade rubber strap with intricate engravings and a matte finish. Its dial includes white hour and minute markers that can be seen through two titanium spherical rings rotating on central bearings. Just like a jellyfish, the winding rotor and some segments of the Aquapod’s movement glow effortlessly in dark environments, thanks to their Super-Luminova coatings.  This unique watch is powered by a sphere-shaped automatic movement with 303 components and 35 jewels. To top it all off, it boasts a 72-hour power reserve and a 60-second flying tourbillon at the center to achieve optimal performance. If you have been seeking a piece that showcases Haute Horlogerie at its finest, then this MB&F watch, priced at around $98,000 USD, is your best bet. 8. Anura Rafael Write Time Like what its name suggests, the Anura Rafael Write Time combines the capabilities of a tourbillon watch and a fountain pen into one. It comes in a 42mm pink gold case and runs on a 472-component linear Caliber ARS001/T movement. Its horological capsule comes in a flawless rose gold tone, with a tough sapphire crystal serving as its main protection. Inside, there are three hour and minute discs adorned with large hand-engraved and hand-painted Arabic numerals that tell the time accurately. In order to convert the watch into a writing tool, you just need to release the rotating ring, remove the module, and then attach it to the pen’s body. The actual pen is also made out of the same pink gold material and is decorated with the same alligator leather material found in the strap. Carrying a price tag of $267,000 USD, this is a flamboyant and unique watch that will surely bring out the personality of its wearer. 9. Ora Unica Photo by @watchyouwear_th on Instagram Let us take a break from costly, lavish timepieces and take a look at this minimalist designer beauty. The Ora Unica is a very straightforward and streamlined piece that could effortlessly match any outfit you choose to pair it with. It is the perfect unique dress watch for those of you who like keeping things simple and neat.  Delving into its capabilities, this watch runs on a three-hand quartz movement and is water-resistant up to depths of 30 meters. The star of this timepiece, without a doubt, is its dial. Exuding an almost all-black appearance, the Ora Unica’s dial boasts a crisp matte black backdrop and a mini circle at the center. It also features two white curved lines that serve as its pointers. One end is for telling the hour, while the other one represents the minute. This graphic drawing of lines turns and changes its form as the time passes, giving wearers a source of quick entertainment. With a price of around $200 USD, this may be one of the cheapest models on this list, but it is definitely a decent timepiece worth checking out. 10. Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Alpine View When it comes to visually-appealing luxury timepieces, the Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater Alpine View is surely one of the front-runners. Oozing with dignity and splendour, this watch comes in a 47mm 18K white gold case and a handmade black strap made out of alligator leather. What makes this watch so interesting is its intricately-made white mother-of-pearl dial. The dial boasts hand-engraved and painted 18K white gold bird figures on its outer rim, all sporting various colors that are easy on the eyes. The backdrop of the dial is a gorgeously painted mountain range that you simply cannot take your eyes off. Sticking with its regal theme, this timepiece also features hands, printed lugs, and a crown made out of white gold as well. It is powered by an in-house Caliber RMA88 that beats at 18,000 vph. This Jaquet Droz watch, which comes with a minute repeater function, retails at $525,000 USD. That being said, it is unfortunately not water-resistant, so be sure to keep this timepiece dry.  Although it comes with a minute repeater function, this Jaquet Droz watch, which retails for $525,000 USD, is unfortunately not water-resistant, so be sure to keep it dry.   11. Qlocktwo W39 White Collection Have you been wanting a unique timepiece with clean and stylish aesthetics? Well, the W39 White Collection by German brand Qlocktwo might just be for you. This watch has a standard 39mm square-shaped stainless case with a fixed bezel. However, it is the sleek dial that makes this quite an interesting watch. Instead of the typical analog layout with geometric or numeral hour markers and hands, this watch displays the time in full, spelled out words. By pushing the thin button on the right side of the watch, the words spelling the correct time will be lit up with bright white LED lights. This also makes the timepiece very readable even in dim conditions. The watch also has many other useful attributes such as a perpetual calendar, a seconds mode, and a battery level indicator. Priced at around $857 USD, this is definitely the kind of unique watch you can wear on both your dress up and dress down days. 12. Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire Black Striking and incredible, the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire Black has a sophisticated blueprint that is really pleasing to the eye. It boasts a special 45mm case made out of fine sapphire blocks and a thick translucent rubber strap. Since the case is transparent, any wearer can freely admire the hand-wound 20-jewel Caliber BR-CAL.288 tourbillon movement located at 6 o’clock. The addition of a skeletonized black dial adorned with baton hands and indices also make the watch more commanding than ever. When it comes to durability, you do not have to worry as the surface of this Bell & Ross watch is protected with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal that is great in withstanding impacts, scratches, and bumps. With only 8 pieces produced, it is no surprise that this unique Bell & Ross timepiece has a heavy price tag of around $480,000 USD.  13. De Bethune Maestri’Art DW5 Armilia Next up, we have another artistic watch that truly redefines the world of horology. Right off the bat, the De Bethune Maestri’Art DW5 Armilia looks like it came right out of a science fiction film.  First released in 2019, this special edition watch draws inspiration from artist/cartoonist Francois Schuiten work, Obscure Cities. This is why the watch’s 58mm pink gold case has a graphic representation of the fictional underground city, Armilia, in a hand-drawn and hand-engraved format. To achieve a realistic and pristine look, De Bethune scouted a few talented Swiss engravers to work on the illustrations. They also added a lovely black alligator leather band to add to its elegant aesthetics. Since the piece is still technically considered a Dream Watch, it is only natural that it boasts an odd, spaceship-like build. On the top of the case, you will see a small sapphire window that displays the jumping hours and analog minutes. Carrying a price tag of $207,365 USD, this is truly a unique hand-wound timekeeper like no other. 14. Louis Moinet “8 Marvels of the World” Machu Picchu Immerse yourself in the beauty of one of the greatest wonders of the world with this piece from independent Swiss label Louis Moinet. Released under the 8 Marvels of the World collection, this luxurious watch is an actual charmer which is unparalleled in its breathtaking detail.  The Louis Moinet “8 Marvels of the World” Machu Picchu has an 18K rose gold case with engravings all over its surface. This matches the aesthetic of its elaborate dial which depicts the iconic site of Machu Picchu using numerous hand-engraved and hand-painted techniques. The drawings found on the face of this unisex watch, including the hummingbird, the condor, the golden sun symbol at 12 o’clock, the mountains, and the sky are inspired by works from the Nazca civilization. This Louis Moinet watch runs on a 60-second tourbillon movement called the Caliber LM35. Aside from bearing 19 jewels, the mechanism also beats at 21,600 vph. You can have a proper view of the watch through the dial, all-thanks to its open-heart layout. With its lovely and contemporary look, this $2.7 million USD-watch would look nice with a suit and tie. You can also wear it with your favorite shirt and jeans and still look great. 15. Nixon Dork Too Men All Gold  If you think that timekeepers that come with a writing instrument or a musical ability are crazy inventions, wait until you see this next piece from American brand Nixon. The Nixon Dork Too Men’s watch utilizes a small-sized digital display and a speaker to dictate time. In other words, it is a watch that speaks! How awesome is that? This men’s watch is made out of molded stainless steel, with a matching gold-colored bracelet that completes its classy look. Unlike the aforementioned watches, this one is a bit smaller, with a case size of 34mm. However, it has chunky sides that add a rather vintage feel to the watch. Occupying the majority of the case is the speaker cover, while the bottom part is reserved for the red digital LCD display. This Nixon watch has time and date-telling capabilities, an alarm, and an EL backlight. It also comes with a micro-USB charging port that you can use to recharge the watch’s battery. The only downside of this Nixon Dork Too timepiece is that it is only splash-resistant, so you cannot directly submerge it underwater. This piece retails at around $150 USD and only speaks English for now. But who knows? Considering how much of a hit this unique watch was, Nixon might just add some more languages in the future. 16. Bulova Computron Ref. 97C110 Up next, we have the straightforward yet outstanding Bulova Computron. This vintage-style model first came out in the 1970s, but its influence and reputation among collectors and watch lovers still remains relevant to this day.  This watch has a 30mm trapezoidal stainless steel case with a beautiful gold hue and a delightful polished finish. It also features an Oyster-like bracelet with solid links and a folding clasp. While the build is already a scene-stealer, what makes this watch extremely unique is its small rectangular digital display placed below the patterned case. Apart from bearing vibrant red digits, the LED screen allows any wearer to see the hour, minute, 12/25 hour time, second timezone, day, and date. Every feature of this watch can be controlled by pushing the single button on the side. You can buy this iconic Bulova watch for only $295 USD. 17. Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Navihawk GPS Oftentimes, unique watches are not just about physical attributes. Timepieces can also be considered extraordinary if they are equipped with outstanding technologies that contribute to the watch’s accuracy and overall performance. The Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Navihawk GPS Ref. CC9025-85E is a prime example of that. This Citizen timepiece, priced at $1,295 USD, has an extremely busy dial and a rugged, masculine aesthetic. It measures 47mm in size and has a large black titanium case that matches well with its black case. In keeping with its dark theme, the model in question has a beautiful black dial with white accents and texts. More than all these features, however, the focal point of this Promaster GPS watch is its core. It runs on an advanced movement with Eco-Drive technology, meaning that the model actually relies on sources of light for its power. What’s more, this bold and fierce watch is equipped with satellite GPS timekeeping feature, a date window, a synchronized time adjustment available in 27 cities, and even an alarm. 18. Richard Mille RM 50-03 Richard Mille is one of the few innovative brands in the market today that goes all out with its themes, workmanship, and technologies. The Richard Mille RM 50-03, created in collaboration with the McLaren Formula 1 team, serves as proof of the brand’s dedication to luxurious and advanced watchmaking.  This powerful timekeeper comes in a black tonneau-shaped case made out of graphene, titanium and carbon. Matching the dark aesthetic, we also have a rubber strap injected with a graphene component, which allows for great lightness and elasticity. On the sophisticated dial, you will find a split-second chronograph with a tourbillon, a power reserve indicator, and a torque indicator with green, yellow, and red accents. It also has a function indicator that tells you whether the watch is in neutral configuration or whether you can wind or set it. Finally, this watch is powered by the hand-wound and lightweight Caliber RM50-03, with 70 hours of power reserve. Loaded with jaw-dropping functions and with only 75 pieces ever produced, it is no surprise why this Richard Mille watch costs $1.68 million USD. 19. Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ref 95.9000.9004/78.R582 The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 Ref 95.9000.9004/78.R582 may look like a simple watch with a skeletonized dial but its mechanism is what makes this watch captivating and unique. It comes in a 44mm titanium case with a brushed finish, and an elegant black rubber strap with alligator leather coating. Its dial follows an openworked layout with two counters reserved for the chronograph function: one is in black while the other sports a blue-toned outline. This Zenith Defy model also features a power-reserve display at 12 o’clock, a small seconds display at 9 o’clock, and rhodium-plated and faceted hands and indices that are coated with Super-LumiNova. Powered by an outstanding El Primero 9004 Certified Chronometer movement, which can measure 1/100th of a second, this men’s watch also has a separate chronograph hand. Retailing at $12,500 USD, this luxurious Zenith watch is one of their best offerings on the market. 20. Projects Terra-Time Grey Designed by James Wines and Alex Donahue, the open landscape concept of the Projects Terra-Time Grey is what makes it a watch worth getting. Bearing an affordable price tag of around $145 USD, it is the ideal choice for those who like neutral tones but want something with an unconventional appearance. This watch has a 40mm stainless steel case, straight lugs, and crown, all with gorgeous brushed finishes. Tying the muted look together, we also have a well-proportioned gray silicone strap. With a water resistance rating of 50m, this watch can withstand occasional splashes and a swim in the pool. However, the highlight of this watch lies in its six-layered dial, which boasts different shades of gray that represent the layers of the earth. Taking inspiration from contour maps and agricultural terraces, the dial consists of simple sword-shaped hands and circular hour markers that add to the watch’s minimalistic aesthetic. 21. Patek Philippe Complications Ref. 5180/1R This Patek Philippe Complications Ref. 5180/1R runs on a hand-engraved 159-component skeleton movement with a 48-hour power reserve. In terms of physical attributes, this Patek Philippe watch comes in a classic 39mm pure rose gold case, and a bracelet with a fold-over clasp in the same material. Like most luxury watches, the front and back of this timekeeper are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This is a straightforward time-teller, without any overly complex complications. Instead, its dial simply boasts two sleek black dauphine hands and a skeleton dial that shows off its delicate and luxurious movement at work. Ladies who need a dash of finesse in their lives can cop this piece for around $111,000 USD. While its price certainly is not a joke, this Patek Philippe Coomplications watch will forever remain as a timeless statement piece, making it quite a reasonable purchase. 22. Ziiiro Eon Clear White Chic and minimal—these are the words that best fit the Ziiiro Eon Clear White. Wondering how exactly it works? Well, you can track the time using the red and black baton shapes that serve as the hour and minute hands. Designed to upgrade your timekeeping experience, both parts rotate in an orbital motion, like what regular analog pieces do, just without the presence of elongated pointers. Apart from bearing a 41mm 316L stainless steel case and hardened mineral crystal, the watch has a cool polyamide nylon strap in white. In addition, it has a brushed silver-and-black gradient dial which you simply cannot take your eyes off. Powered by a Miyota 1L-26 quartz movement with an accuracy rating of +/-20 seconds per month, this unique Ziiiro watch retails at around $180 USD. 23. Xeric Halograph II Automatic Green Brown Limited Edition Another watch with a cool and contemporary look is the Xeric Halograph II Automatic Green Brown Limited Edition. The watch has a 46mm 316L stainless steel case with a scratch-resistant sapphire glass. This is paired with a handsome brown leather strap from Horween which has a quick change spring bar system, allowing wearers to easily switch straps according to their preferences. The star of this watch is its green dial, which boasts four halo hands with luminous coatings. These hands float over the inner and outer arcs at the top of the dial, which indicate the hours and the minutes, respectively. Furthermore, you can also find two displays at the bottom, which are directly attached to the movement window. One is for the day/night function, while the other indicates the running seconds. You can purchase this unique quartz-powered watch for just $499 USD. 24. Patek Philippe Grand Complications Ref. 6102R Another enthralling timepiece on this list is the Patek Philippe Ref. 6102R, which is a member of the brand’s most prestigious collection, the Grand Complications. From the material and color choice down to the dial blueprint, it is nothing but an actual stunner. Its dial comes in a pretty black color speckled with silver, and has sapphire crystal disks scattered all over its surface to achieve an aesthetic reminiscent of a realistic night sky. There are also transparent disks dedicated for the sky chart and a Milky Way design at the center of the dial.  Moving on to the technicalities, this watch also showcases the time of meridian passage of Sirius and of the moon, as well as solar time functions, among others. The only downside about this Patek Philippe celestial watch is that it is not too big on water resistance. However, given the delicacy of its components, this is quite understandable. Prepare to shell out about $316,000 USD if you want to get your hands on this ultra-unique timepiece.  25. Casio G-Shock GMWB5000CS Have you been wanting a classic black-and-white watch but with a unique twist? Then the Casio G-Shock GMWB5000CS might be the answer to your prayers. The brand really went all out with the construction of this piece, as it sways from the usual rugged and plain plastic build of G-Shock watches.  With a wide octagonal case and bezel crafted out of stainless steel, the Casio model in question is one of the brand’s full-metal limited edition pieces. This timepiece is often called the “TRON” because of its resemblance to the grid landscape found in the movie of the same name. Its exterior has a black IP finish with laser engravings, resulting in a sharp and stunning Grid Tunnel pattern that all watch enthusiasts will surely appreciate. True to its name, this unisex watch has astonishing shock-resistance and 200m water-resistance capacities. This Casio sports watch is also packed with tons of handy features such as bluetooth connectivity with GPS, multi-band atomic time calibration, and world time with 39 time zones, and more. You can experience these all for just $800 USD. 26. Timex T80 Classic Digital Coke Edition Fun and hip are the words that best describe the Timex T80 Classic Digital Coke Edition. It is a retro-inspired digital watch that bears an aesthetic funky and compelling enough to make you stand out without being too loud. Enclosed in a 34mm silver brass case, the watch has an acrylic protective barrier and four pushers at both sides. You will also see a digital display right at the center of the dial, with black texts and INDIGLO® night-light for greater readability. Surrounding its outer ring are vibrant Coca Cola details in yellow, red, orange, pink, and blue tones. Apart from bearing month, day, and date functions, this unique watch for men and women also has a chronograph that measures 1/100th of a second, and a daily alarm. Priced at only $89 USD, you will be able to elevate your style with this trendy and affordable unique watch. 27. Breguet Marie-Antoinette No.1160 Considered a reproduction of the original piece commissioned for Marie-Antoinette back in the early 1780s, the Breguet Marie-Antoinette No.1160 holds the title of being the fifth most complicated watch in the world. Evoking a regal feel, this luxurious pocket watch runs on a 63-jewel automatic movement, with parts made out of wood-polished pink gold and blued steel. Wearers can admire its extravagant beauty through its skeletonized dial, which is also adorned with Roman numeral indices and aqua blue hands. This unique watch packs a lot of features such as a perpetual calendar, equation of time, hour-repetition, quarters and minutes, and independent seconds. Valued at $30 million USD, this watch exemplifies the art of watchmaking in the most splendid way possible. 28. The Electricianz Carbon Z Black Leather Nato For our next watch, we have the cool, electricity-inspired Carbon Z Black Leather Nato from the brand THE ELECTRICIANZ. With a playful and vibrant design, this watch has a 45mm round stainless steel case and an embroidered strap made out of calfskin leather. The black dial boasts oddly-shaped hands in different color highlights, and rounded baton hour markers that have blue LED backlights. They give this unique men’s watch an extraordinary, rich look during night time. Looking at the left side of the dial, you will also see wires in five different colors that gives the watch a high-tech feel. Priced at around $325 USD, this unique watch for men runs on an exclusive electric module. 29. Truwood Journey Hailing from a relatively young and eco-friendly brand, the Truwood Journey is the ideal watch for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Endorsing sustainability and elegance all at once, it houses a Japanese automatic movement at its core. You can glimpse its sleek and polished beauty through the open-heart dial. Aside from sporting a nude-colored outer dial and a mixture of baton and Roman numeral indices in silver, the face of this men’s watch also consists of sleek hands that glide smoothly. What makes this Truwood timepiece distinct is that both its case and bracelet are made out of genuine, high-quality olive wood and zebrawood. You just have to be careful while wearing it as this unique watch for men is only water-resistant up to depths of 30m. For just $379 USD, you will be able to take this unique piece home. Plus, you will also be able to help the environment, since Truwood plants 10 trees for every purchase made from their site. 30. Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 Ending this list with a bang, we have another astronomical watch called the Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600. This watch has an 18K white gold 45mm case and a matching black Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with fine stitchings and a saddle finish. The matte black dial boasts stick hands and baton-style hour markers, all in a shiny silver hue. However, what makes this watch truly stand out are its impressive technical features. Designed to stun, it comes with 23 complications and numerous astronomical functions for a trailblazing and ultra-unique watch. Showcasing top-tier workmanship, it even has a tourbillon, a power reserve indicator, and a hand-wound movement with 64 jewels and 514 parts that truly exceed expectations. This Vacheron Constantin piece costs around $1 million USD, which is not surprising, considering this is the brand’s most complicated wristwatch to date. Final Thoughts Picking out a creative watch worth donning on your wrist can be quite challenging knowing that there are many brands that excel in creating them. Some timekeepers can give you a glimpse of the celestial sky’s current condition, while some embody unusual shapes and hand-engraved dial designs that may even pass as works of art. As long as you know what you need and what instances you are planning to use such special watches for, you will surely be able to covet a good and long-lasting one with top-notch quality and features. Whatever piece you end up choosing, it is always a good idea to have at least one ultra unique watch in your closet. Want to know more about other watch brands and their lovely offerings? Check out our articles on the Seiko Kinetic, Patek Philippe Aquanaut and the Most Expensive Rolex Watches. Photos from official brand websites, unless stated otherwise

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  8. History of the Omega Speedmaster

    History of the Omega Speedmaster

    For decades the Omega Speedmaster has embodied the essence of auto racing and held a coveted spot at the forefront of racing-inspired watches. But, what makes it so special? Let’s trace the evolution of this quintessential racing watch. Omega Speedmaster, It Was Part of a Trilogy When we first met the Omega Speedmaster in 1957, it was not alone; it was launched in conjunction with the Seamaster 300 CK 2913 dive watch, and the Railmaster CK 2914, which had antimagnetic properties for train travel. In the 1950s, Omega was the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games and so stopwatch chronograph functions were high on their list of priorities. It was only natural that the very first Speedmaster (ref. CK2915) had a triple-register chronograph design that’s remarkably similar to the Speedmasters produced today. Dubbed the “Broad Arrow” for its hour hand, this ode to classic Italian auto racing was only in production for three years, making it popular with collectors today. Omega Speedmaster Moon Madness Takes Hold in the 60s We got a few more similar versions of the Speedmaster in the late 1950s and early 60s. Omega started putting “Professional” on the dials in the summer of 1965, during one of the watch’s most notable periods in the midst of the Space Race. So much has been said about the Omega Speedmaster and its association with space missions. A Speedmaster, famously called the “Moonwatch,” was worn by astronaut Walter Schirra on the Sigma 7 launch in 1962 and one went along for the first lunar landing in 1969. The watch continued its association with NASA during the decades that followed. Mark II Ushers in the 70s As Omega peered over the edge of a new decade, they sought designs that would take them from the 60s into the 70s. Enter the Omega Mark II, with a striking barrel-shaped case that was unconventional at the time. The original Mark II that debuted in 1969 came in two versions, one with a black-and-white design scheme, and a special racing edition with orange elements. We only got a few years of Mark IIs, as Omega soon moved on to Mark IIIs. But in 2014, Omega gave us an updated edition of the Mark II with all the trademarks of the original. Mark III Takes the Reins The Speedmaster Mark III had an eye-catching design when it was unveiled in 1971, and praise for its modern lines continues to this day. With its signature Flightmaster case, this first of the automatic Speedmasters was also the very first to have a date function, a day-night indicator, and sub-dial features that match today’s modern Speedmasters. Available with blue, silver, and black dials, the Mark III is an atypical entry, which makes watch aficionados love them even more. Things Get Funky in the 70s Cultural norms were upended in the 1970s. Music and fashion were breaking barriers like never before. Revolution was in the air. Omega had to shake things up and deliver some designs that fit with the times. One such example is the Speedmaster 125 that debuted in 1973. One look and you can see why the watch might have its detractors. It’s big, bulky, and the dial looks like something you might find on an old Russian submarine. But the watch has its throwback charms and some historical significance as it was released to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Omega’s founding. Digital Days With the X-33 Here’s one from the late 90s that’s for the quirkier of collectors. The “Mars Watch” didn’t go as Omega had wished. Hoping to build on their “moon” success, the watchmakers went for the next step of Mars exploration, but the campaign never generated excitement. Still, the Mars move gave us one of the more unusual members of the Omega Speedmaster family, the Speedmaster X-33. Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a digital display on a Speedmaster, which functions like both a digital watch and a mechanical chronograph. While this hybrid never made it to Mars, it was involved in several space missions and used by astronauts on the International Space Station. Omega Speedmaster Celebrating 50 Years in 2007 Many recall the recent 60th anniversary Speedmaster in 2017. And that’s an impressive addition to the catalog, with a design that mirrors the very first Speedmaster from 1957. But discerning collectors have taken more note of the 50th anniversary Speedmaster we met in 2007. The 2007 watch broke a few norms on its Golden Jubilee birthday. While most Speedmasters have matte dials, this one went with a lustrous enamel dial. The usual 50 meters of water resistance was doubled to a depth of 100 meters. And on the inside, Omega placed the much-praised caliber 3201 movement. Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon to Today In 2013, we got a tribute to the lunar-landing days of the Speedmaster with the now-classic Dark Side of the Moon. This ceramic “Moonwatch” is aptly named with its stark black design. And it is ceramic through and through, from its case and chronograph pushers to the caseback and dial, made from black zirconium oxide ceramic. While the watch does harken back to the long-over Space Race, it’s a decidedly modern timepiece. Omega streamlined the design by taking three subdials down to two, and beefing up the size of the case, to boldly go into the contemporary world. Conclusion So, where do you fall? Are you a modern watch wearer who prefers a sleek ceramic Speedmaster? Maybe you take to vintage charm from the 70s or perhaps lean more to one-off oddities from the 90s. With over eight decades of Speedmasters to choose from, surely there’s one that suits your style.

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  9. Top 5 Swiss Watch Brands

    Top 5 Swiss Watch Brands

    Which luxury company produces the finest Swiss watch brands? Let’s run through the top five Swiss watch brands and look at why they enjoy enviable places in the upper echelon of the watchmaking world. Swiss Watch Brands  1: Rolex Are They Really That Good? They’ve got the world’s best-known name in luxury watches and Swiss watch brands, but what do you get when you buy a Rolex? Well, you get a watch like no other because Rolex is a company like no other. They’re privately owned, for one, and the freedom to operate independently can’t be overstated. While most other high-end watchmakers use 316L stainless steel, Rolex exclusively uses 904L steel. They retooled their production facilities to handle the super durable alloy that looks different from your usual stainless steel. The benefits of Rolex operating on its own includes an on-site foundry for smelting gold, in-house manufacturing of all movements, and their own science labs to examine everything from oil viscosity to metallurgy on a microscopic level. And as for variety, with nearly a century of history, the choices are almost innumerable. Among the most-popular Rolexes ever made are the Submariner dive watches, the Cosmograph Daytona racing watches, and the Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II. The Yacht-Masters came decades after the debuts of the Daytona and the Submariner. So they lack history. But their versatility and adaptability put them in contention for the all-time favorite Rolexes. 2: Omega for Swiss Heritage If you’re interested in Swiss watch brands, and you’re talking about a Rolex, then you’re probably going to be talking about an Omega, too. It’s the age-old question: Which is better, a Rolex or an Omega? We may never be able to find a quantifiable answer, but we can look at a few reasons why one might lean to Omega. Omega has been around for longer than Rolex. That’s usually a surprise to many as Rolex is synonymous with watch heritage. But Omega is older by over half a century, tracing its roots to a Swiss workshop that opened in 1848. Perhaps Omega isn’t perceived so much as an “older” brand because it’s often seen in popular culture, on the wrists of the current James Bond and a host of celebs, including brand ambassadors such as George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, and Michael Phelps, to name a few. The undisputed champ when it comes to popularity is the Omega Speedmaster Professional, or “Moonwatch,” a classic timepiece made for space flight that’s taken well to terrestrial life. But, perhaps nearly as known and loved, are the Omega Seamasters. In particular, Planet Ocean Seamasters are some of the best dive watches you can buy that complement nearly any wardrobe on land. 3: Patek Philippe with Dress and Dive Classics Folks have long joked that Patek Philippe is a “Rich Man’s Rolex.” While that may not be literally true, there is truth in the sense that you are looking at a different level when considering a Patek Philippe dress watch. Patek Philippe is a go-to brand for people who want to ascend to that rare air without being too flashy about it. Bling is for other brands. Patek Philippe’s best-known and most-iconic watch is, without doubt, the Calatrava. The legendary dress watch bowed in 1932 and today remains an ever-popular flagship model for the brand. The Calatrava set the standard for what a good dress watch should be — simple and elegant with moderate proportions. While it has less time in the spotlight than the Calatrava, the Patek Philippe Nautilus comes a close second in terms of popularity. People were slow to embrace the dive watch, which debuted in 1976 to little fanfare. But in 2006, the 30th-anniversary edition was an enormous hit, and popularity hasn’t waned to this day. 4: TAG Heuer Has Auto Racing History Any look at TAG Heuer watches should first peer past 1985, when the company Techniques d’Avant-Garde (TAG) bought a big part of Heuer Watches. Heuer’s tale actually begins in 1860, when Edouard Heuer set up his watchmaking shop in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He was soon known for making chronographs, especially for airplanes and cars, and in 1914, Heuer made a chronograph for the wrist. The Heuer racing watch was born! The watchmaker would be synonymous with auto racing to this day, producing the famed Monaco’s and Carrera’s. Other than its race-inspired offerings, TAG Heuer excels at dive watches, which they didn’t get into until the 1980s. The late start doesn’t seem to have done any harm as the Aquaracer competes with some of the best dive offerings from Omega and Rolex. 5: IWC for Big, Bold Statements The International Watch Company (IWC) makes some really nice dive watches, such as the Aquatimer. But IWC will probably never outdo Omega dive watches. And the IWC chronographs, specifically the Portugieser, are wonderful. But they may never beat Rolex chronographs, at least in the minds of many. What IWC can lay claim to, perhaps more than any other Swiss luxury brand, is pilot watches. This Swiss watch brand’s reputation earned with sweat, and blood. Literally, as IWC watches went into combat in both World War One and World War Two. There are a vast number of models under their five categories of pilot watches. That includes Top Gun, Spitfire, Classic, Le Petit Prince, and a category for Le Petit Prince author Antoine De Saint-Exupéry. But the pilot watch most everyone knows and loves is the IWC Big Pilot, the brand’s most-iconic watch with its huge dial and signature onion crown. Swiss Watch Brands We should give honorable mentions to Audemars Piguet, Tissot, and Longines, who all trace their histories back to Switzerland more than a century ago. With that kind of heritage, it’s hard to find a fine Swiss watchmaker you wouldn’t welcome into the Top 5!

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  10. Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Top Watch Picks This Year

    Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Top Watch Picks This Year

    A good-looking, functional timepiece is one of the best gifts for tired, hard-working dads for Father’s Day. Fortunately, there are dozens of options available in terms of luxury, design, and function in this very article. Whether your dad is looking for the fanciest watch on the market or the most budget-friendly, you’ll find what you want here. We’ve even got a watch for those types of dads who aren’t that into watches as well. So, without further ado, here are some of the best watches that would make for a great Father’s Day gift: 1. Seiko 5 SNK809 Even with the explosion of the watch culture in the last couple of years, not every dad is essentially watch-crazy. But if you want to get them onboard the trend, there’s nothing better than the Seiko 5 SNK809. Despite its affordable price tag, this watch from Seiko is anything but cheap. The case is gorgeously handsome and features a wide-sloping bezel and short-broad lugs. The 4 o’clock window shows the brand’s trademark recessed crown. The dial is styled in classic type-B Flieger, mixed with efficient readability and excellent vintage pilot looks. The display case back features Seiko’s proprietary 7S26 automatic movement, which is impressive for this model’s price range. Being both cheap and versatile makes the SNK809 a wonderful gift for first-time watch owners. 2. Emporio Armani Leather Strap‌ ‌Watch‌ When it comes to buying watches for dads on Father’s Day, practicality is the main keyword. This leather strap watch from Emporio Armani is an ideal keep for dads for their short getaways or weekend brunches. If you want your dad to stand out from the crowd, then be sure to get him a model with a unique green strap. 3. Grant Chronograph‌ ‌Leather‌ ‌Watch‌ Fossil is a name that resonates with ingenuity and creativity. They’re always focused on making fashionable, quality watches that are both accessible and exciting. For those reasons, this would make a great Father’s Day gift. This is exemplified with the brand’s Grant watch, thanks to its classic-clock-inspired Roman numerals. Its unique identity is forged by its bright blue dial, light brown leather, and silver steel case. The straps are made of silicon which is very comfortable to wear and waterproof. 4. Casio World Time Digital‌ ‌Watch‌ This affordably-priced retro-futuristic-looking timepiece would make one of the nicest Father’s Day gift ideas. It features a multi-functional dial with a 12/24-hour format, a world time indicator, a world map, a countdown timer, and more. The watch is encased in fine plastic with a slick stainless-steel case back. Over five alarms can be configured as a one-time or daily alarm and can be automatically disabled. It comes with a 100-meter water-resistance capability. This means that the watch is ideal for snorkeling and swimming, although not sub-aqua diving or high-board diving. The watch also features a battery with a 10-year power-reserve without even changing them once in between. 5. Raymond Weil Maestro This luxurious lineup is responsible for introducing the Skeleton Swiss and Moon‌ ‌Phase‌ watches to the market. The designs are the personification of Raymond Weil’s unorthodox craftsmanship and the value that the brand represents. It may be simple looking, but it is stylish in its design and that too at a very reasonable price range. It comes with a sapphire crystal dial window that doesn’t reflect in broad daylight. It’s also water-resistant to 165 feet, making it suitable for showering and swimming. All in all, it’s a fine choice for fathers who appreciate impeccable design and quality along with the value it provides. 6. G-Steel‌ ‌Watch‌ Shop Casio Watches Another excellent choice for Father’s Day! The G steel watch is a collaborative effort from the Casio G-Shock along with jazz label Blue‌ ‌Note‌ ‌Records‌. This model was especially inspired by vinyl records. This inspiration is seen in the model’s case back, offering a commendable classic vibe in a modern setup. One of the G-Steel’s coolest features is that it can hook up to your smartphone through Bluetooth. With this, you can accurately tell the time, change settings like alarms, as well as the world clock with ease. This is an ideal watch for fathers who are always on the go. 7. Hamilton Khaki‌ ‌Field‌ Shop Hamilton Khaki Field Watches If your dad’s the old school type, then you can’t go wrong with the classic Hamilton Khaki‌ ‌Field‌. The simple feel-style dial, along with the straight-lug bead-blasted case, syringe hands, and Arabic numerals make this timepiece a true classic. Much of these creative features are inspired by the 1940s Hamilton military watches. It is functional, simple and will also make the Hamilton identical in another 70 years. This is the perfect Father’s Day gift for someone who isn’t looking for too much attention. 8. Seiko 5 Sports Shop Seiko Watches For the outgoing, sporty type dads, the Seiko 5 Sports is a must-own timepiece. They’re available in a variety of configurations both in terms of bracelets and straps. They come in 42.5 mm steel cases and feature automatic day-date movements without having to worry about changing batteries. Besides that, they’re also 100-meter water-resistant, making them excellent for outgoing adventures. 9. Nomos Metro Shop Nomos Glashutte Metro Watches The Nomos Metro is the type of luxury watch that is fit for fathers who appreciate precision German engineering and craftsmanship. It features a Metro date power reserve built by a brilliant young engineer named Mark Braun. Not only does the power reserve indicator remind wearers when they should rewind but it is also one of its design features. Its other features include hands with quill tips that are finely crafted along with its colorful hour indexes. The Metro is powered by the brand new DUW 4401 movement that features the date, sub-seconds, as well as the brand’s patented power-reserve indicator.

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  11. Zelos Watches: Top 3 Collections

    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 proved 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. Photo from zeloswatchesThe 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 a 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. Photo from zeloswatchesChroma 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. Photo from zeloswatchesCases 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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