1. Newest Posts About Watch Buying Guides

  2. Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar: A Complete Guide on Tissot’s Solar-Powered Tactile Watch

    Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar: A Complete Guide on Tissot’s Solar-Powered Tactile Watch

    Tissot has a long rich history in the world of horology. Throughout the years, Tissot has always made sure to get with the times and adjust whenever possible. It does not matter if newer trends emerged, if new technologies were introduced, or even during a crisis; Tissot has managed to survive all these predicaments with their ability to adapt to the times. Of course, this extends to several other prominent Swiss watch brands as well, such as Rolex and Omega, but Tissot stands out with its resilience and expertise in watchmaking. One of the many achievements Tissot has accomplished is the introduction of the T-Touch to the world. This was the world’s first tactile watch to come into existence. It is a high-utility watch that establishes a connection between usefulness and style. The T-Touch has since evolved over the years with newer, more up-to-date functions and designs. One particular standout model is the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar.  The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 is a solar-powered tactile watch that was the product of Tissot’s watchmaking expertise over the years. Not only were they the first brand to successfully create a tactile watch, but they were also one of the main proponents who jumpstarted the successful shift from traditional watchmaking to the modern era. Casio also followed through with their Pro-Trek collection. A lot of people may liken the T-Touch collection to Casio Pro-Trek due to their similarities in terms of purpose and functions. There may be a few likenesses between the two, but it is undeniable that each has its own prominent and unique features that set them apart.  That being said, what makes the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar a prime choice for the average tech-savvy watch wearer? Is it a good choice for going on adventures? Or are its advanced features purely for cosmetics? Let us find out through a detailed walkthrough of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar below. History Once upon a time, Tissot was a brand known for exporting watches to USA and the Russian Empire in the 19th century. As a result, when the Russian revolution occurred, it was a huge challenge for Tissot and its fellow watchmakers. While many other watchmaking brands were forced to close their workshops due to the revolution, Tissot, however, stood strong and used its expertise and resources to keep going, eventually creating a powerful factory. In 1999, Tissot released the first-ever tactile watch which they dubbed the T-Touch. This watch allowed the wearer to perform certain actions with just a single tap on the screen. It was such a groundbreaking invention that it placed Tissot at the top of the market during that time. Compared to other traditional watches, the T-Touch was an unconventional timepiece that took the world by storm. It was equipped with a quartz movement that ran on batteries since an automatic movement would not be sufficient for this energy-consuming watch. Touchscreen technology was not as prominent back then as it is today. The first touchscreen phone was invented in 1992, seven years before the T-Touch. It is unknown if Tissot drew inspiration from that feat, but it cannot be denied that the invention of the touchscreen phone opened a few doors regarding this technology, allowing it to be applied to the art of horology. As technology develops, the use of solar power as an alternative source of energy has become increasingly prevalent in the modern age. It is accessible, cost-effective, and gives wearers much less hassle. That is why Tissot chose to incorporate this solar technology into the T-Touch series, which eventually resulted in the creation of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar, which was released in 2014. This timepiece became a massive success, particularly because of its solar capability. Outdoor enthusiasts found this watch to be useful due to its utility and accessibility. It does not have any overly complex features and there are no worries of accidentally tapping the screen and unintentionally activating some function. You need to push a certain button before being able to use its touchscreen features—making the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar a very secure timepiece in terms of accidental watch adjustments and the like.  In 2017, a new, updated version of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar was introduced at that year’s Baselworld. This was the T-Touch Expert Solar II, but we will touch more on this watch later on in this write-up. First Impressions Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.46.051.01Image courtesy of Watch Shopping At first glance, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.46.051.01 might seem like a regular wristwatch that provides the most basic timekeeping features. Indeed, as mentioned before, it does share quite a few similarities with the Casio Pro-Trek, including having a digital-analog dial, and the fact that both watches are solar-powered and are intended for outdoor activities. In that respect, you might be put off by this design, since it might initially strike you as being a bit of a copy. A closer look, however, reveals some major differences between these two watches. One significant difference is that the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar comes with tactile functionality. Touchscreens are all the rage nowadays and are unlikely to go away anytime soon. That is why Tissot’s move of including tactile functionality in the T-Touch Expert Solar to get with the times was a very smart one. Having a head start in applying touchscreen technology to watchmaking was a massive advantage for Tissot. This caused an instant surge of popularity which led to this watch practically flying off the shelves. Indeed, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar has proved to be extremely helpful and convenient in everyday life. With just a simple touch, you can do whatever you please with the T-Touch Expert Solar. The non-complicated mechanics made this watch very accessible. You will not have any problem recharging it or scrounging for batteries every once in a while. The major downside of this watch is its screen’s durability. Manufacturers have to make sure that the screen registers each touch successfully and accurately, or else the touchscreen will not function properly. As such, tactile glass screens are known to be quite fragile, and you have to be careful not to bang this watch around willy-nilly. Specifications The inner workings of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar are not that difficult to understand. The smartwatch mechanisms and complications are easy to navigate due to their straightforward nature. Furthermore, the design of this watch has a distinct style that strengthens its purpose as an adventurer’s watch. Much like Casio Pro-Trek, the T-Touch Expert Solar boasts a minimalistic and uncluttered dial that shows only what is necessary to the wearer. The buttons on the left side of the watch help keep the touchscreen secure, to avoid accidental touches activating certain functions. Without further ado, let us get down to the specifics of this timepiece. Case The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 has a 45mm titanium case with a black PVD coating. This case might be too big for some people, especially those with more petite wrists, but the size was strategically built to accommodate the tactile glass screen. A smaller case would mean a smaller screen. And if the screen is smaller, the tactile functions of the T-Touch Expert Solar would become limited. Despite being a smartwatch, the durability of the case is impressive. It has a scratch-proof crystal, a water resistance rating of at least 100 meters, and has antimagnetic properties. The 13mm thickness of this watch adds more to its weight and structure. Despite that, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 is still a fairly comfortable watch to wear, especially with its 22mm lugs curved at an angle to fit around the wrist smoothly. The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 does not have any existing crowns. The same can be said for all the other T-Touch watches, both the older and newer versions. Instead, it has three distinct buttons that are used to adjust the time or to activate the tactile function. These three buttons can be easily distinguished with their corresponding logos. From top to bottom, the first button has a plus sign, the middle one has a letter T, for Tissot, and the third button showcases a minus sign. Both the first and third buttons are used to adjust the time on the digital dial, while the middle button is used to activate the tactile function. These buttons are extremely easy to understand and use, and their functions are very straightforward—making the watch easy to get used to, even for first-timers. Dial The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 uses a black checkered dial. The digital dial can be found at the bottom half of the main dial and works hand-in-hand with the analog dial on the upper half. The hours and minutes hands are quite short and tipped with white. That said, though the stocky hands of this watch are charmingly designed, their shorter-than-average lengths may not be to everyone’s taste. The hour and minute markers are presented in a straightforward manner, with numerals 3, 6, 9, and 12 placed on the bezel. There are also specific functions that can be found across the dial. These functions, which can be activated by tapping on their corresponding markers, include the Meteo mode, altimeter, chronograph, compass, timer, and alarm. The Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 may be jam-packed with a lot of features, but the minimalistic design of the dial design ensures that it is still clean, uncluttered, and easy to read without getting confused. Movement Since the launch of the T-Touch collection, all the models in this range have used quartz movements. However, since the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 uses solar energy as its main source of power, some changes had to be made to its movement. The ETA E84.301 Swiss solar tactile quartz movement was used to accommodate its solar capabilities along with the other amazing features this watch has. One handy feature this watch has is that, if you are unsure whether the battery has any power left, you can easily check the power indicator with just a single touch. The same can be said of the watch’s other functions. The ETA E84.301 caliber is an innovative, state of the art solar quartz movement that puts Tissot one step ahead of its competition.  Strap The straps and bracelets for the T-Touch Expert Solar come in a variety of choices. Depending on the specific model, you can have either a synthetic rubber strap, an embossed cow leather band, or a titanium bracelet. In this case, the T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 is equipped with a titanium bracelet that has a folding clasp with a secure push-button lock. It also goes without saying that the titanium bracelet adds to the heft of the watch—giving it an overall weight of 123 grams. This is still quite manageable and comfortable on the wrist, due to the lightweight nature of titanium. The professional titanium strap effectively adds to the classy design of the T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00. Some might not be fans of a metallic bracelet paired with a tactile watch, but this sleek and elegant exterior creates a unique identity that sets this timepiece apart from the other versions of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. It is a solid timepiece that is perfect for those who prefer a sturdy all-in-one watch fit for both everyday wear and dressy occasions. Price Now that we know all the features and functions of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00, as you might expect, the price for this watch is quite expensive. Compared to Casio Pro-Trek, the T-Touch Expert Solar comes at a higher price that is quite reasonable for such a high-utility wristwatch. Indeed, it is also safe to say that in terms of utility, the T-Touch Expert Solar comes first when pitted against the Casio Pro-Trek. The T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 comes at a price of $1,150 USD. It may not be the best price for beginners, or for those working with a budget, but it certainly befits a watch of this caliber. Alternatively, you could always opt for trusted and respected second-hand markets for more affordable pieces of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar. Just be sure to check the legitimacy of your chosen seller. Newer Versions of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Image courtesy of Watch Shopping At Baselworld 2017, an updated version of the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar was introduced, the T-Touch Expert Solar II. It is a new and improved variant of the T-Touch Expert Solar, with a much more defined and detailed dial compared to the first version. Instead of going for the minimalistic route again, Tissot decided to fill in the empty spaces to create a busier dial with additional features and functions. The hours and minutes hands of this timepiece are shaped like compass arrows, and the dial pattern is changed from checkered to a more sophisticated pattern. The size and dimensions remain the same and lightweight titanium is still used to make the case of the T-Touch Expert Solar II. The only difference is the bezel is now made from scratch-proof ceramic instead. The retail price for this watch starts at $1,150 USD. It has the same price as its predecessor, and it is commendable of Tissot to not have given this watch a higher price tag despite its improved functionalities. Final Thoughts Going on an adventure surely takes a toll on every adventurer. Having the need to constantly prepare, be aware of both nightfall and dawn, and the worry of getting lost makes it a complex and arduous activity that not everyone can partake in. But with the emergence and assistance of adventurer utility watches like the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster, Garmin Fenix 6X Pro, the Rolex Explorer II, and of course, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar, it has become possible for even beginners to enjoy nature and its beauty. The T-Touch Expert Solar Ref. T091.420.44.051.00 does exactly what Tissot intended it to do. Its tactile functionality provides more insight into the technological advancements Tissot has engaged in order to dominate the watch market once more. Of course, today, there have been other touchscreen timepieces by different brands, but one can never truly forget the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar, which stands out as the pioneer of multi-functional tactile watches in the history of horology. If you are the outgoing type, you’ll love our 10 Best Cycling Watches! Be sure to check it out! All images courtesy of Tissot, unless stated otherwise.Featured image courtesy of Tissot.

    read more
    0
  3. Related Post
  4. Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Orient Kamasu: A Guide To The Expert Diver’s Watch

    Ever since Orient entered into the world of horology, it has received a great deal of respect in the community for producing high-quality, well-designed timepieces. All of their watches are made to honor Japan’s traditions and values. When you wear a Japanese watch, it is not just about wearing it to complete your newest fashionable look. Rather, you are actually wearing a piece of the country’s state-of-the-art technology, as is the case with the Orient Kamasu Red and Orient Kamasu Green models.  Since they are both renowned Japanese brands, Orient watches are often mistaken for and even compared to Seiko watches. These two popular watchmaking brands have their own individual expertise in craftsmanship and different inspirations for producing watches. While Orient is part of the Seiko Group, they can still be considered two different brands as both are distinct when it comes to their operations and productions.  Today, let us get into the Orient Kamasu, which is one of the toughest competitors to the Seiko SKX line. Read more about the Orient Kamasu’s exceptional qualities below and see just why it is one of the most popular timepieces today. Get To Know The Orient Kamasu  The Kamasu collection got its name from a distinctive sea creature, which is the Barracuda. Barracudas are big and fearsome fishes that are widely considered to be strong and inquisitive. Its long and thin body allows it to move rapidly, at speeds of around 36 mph (58 kph). Despite its terrifying appearance, the barracuda is an animal that receives utmost interest from professional divers around the world. The Orient Kamasu mirrors the fish’s features, specifically the teeth, which are mimicked through the sharp, triangular indices and handset of the Kamasu. Since its release in 2019, the Orient Kamasu has thrived among the thousands of dive watches on the market. This is largely due to its superior elements, robust functions, and much more affordable prices compared to other brands. One of the Kamasu’s most remarkable highlights is its wearability. Most users cannot deny the fact how smooth the watch feels against the wrist. Its solid structure, with polished surfaces and no sharp edges, also gives off the impression of being very well-crafted. One improvement Orient has made with the Kamasu is that it fixes the problems of old Orient watches, such as the lack of hand-winding, hacking movement, and poor hand functions. To address these shortcomings, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a new automatic caliber that has increased accuracy of ±15 seconds from -25/+35  seconds accuracy per day and comes with a stops-second function. This caliber is used in a number of Orient Kamasu variants, including the Orient Kamasu Red Ref. RA-AA0003R19A, the Orient Kamasu Green Ref. RA-AA0004E19A, the Orient Kamasu Blue Ref. RA-AA0006L19A, and more.  Orient Kamasu’s Specifications and Overview An affordable price does not have to equate to low-quality and poor performance, and the Orient Kamasu is certainly proof of that. If you are planning to purchase a reliable dive watch, but you’re also working with a tight budget, look no further than the Orient Kamasu collection. Let us take a deeper look at its features and functions. Case Case Diameter: 41.8mmCase Thickness: 12.8mmCase Material: Stainless steelBand Width: 22mmLug-to-lug Distance: 46.8mmThe case is a crucial component of any watch, and as such Orient devoted a great deal of effort into creating a good one for the Orient Kamasu. The Kamasu has a well-proportioned case size of 41.8mm and a lug-to-lug distance of 46.8mm with a 22mm lug width, so it can fit comfortably on the wrists of both men and women. Despite being a robust watch, the Kamasu is not too bulky or sporty and is just versatile enough to fit most fashion senses. The case itself is crafted from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, with a brushed surface on top and well-polished surfaces on the sides. Stainless steel is not just anti-corrosive but is also impact-proof and able to withstand being accidentally knocked around, especially when used in everyday life. This durability makes the Orient Kamasu perfect for people with adventurous and outdoorsy lifestyles. You will also notice the Kamasu’s properly curved lugs, tucked without reaching beyond the bottom of the screw-down caseback and with no harsh edges. The curved lugs sit well on the wrist, making the experience of wearing this watch a comfortable one that will not wear your wrist out throughout the day. In addition, the brand’s craftsmanship is shown in the gradual transition from having a brushed finish to a polished finish. Using solid, dense materials like stainless steel can sometimes make a case too heavy for a wearer, especially for those with more petite wrists. However, the Orient Kamasu only weighs 6oz, or 170g, which is considered quite lightweight for a dive watch. Its overall case design is also reminiscent of a traditional sports watch, so people who prefer a sportier vibe will be quite satisfied with the Kamasu. Dial The dials in the Orient Kamasu come in a variety of colors like red, dark green, blue, and black. Perhaps the favorite of most watch enthusiasts is the wine red dial. The subtle gradient red dial with a ruby sunburst pattern shines impeccably when reflected under direct light. As mentioned, the triangular hour and minute markers, as well as the thick handset, are all inspired by the Barracuda’s sharp teeth. The second hand is the most distinctive of all, as it has a thin and long shape, stretching up to reach the minute markers and give an accurate reading of time.  All Orient Kamasu watches are equipped with day and date displays that are nicely framed at the 3 o’clock position. You can see that the numerals in the date display are perfectly sized so as to be clearly visible regardless of the lighting conditions. LumiBrite technology is also added to indices, the handset, and the day and date aperture to give you a handy glow-in-the-dark watch when in the dark. On the dial, you can find the brand’s name, logo, the water-resistance capacity of the watch, and the movement used, all delicately printed and spaced out. Unlike other dive watches, the Orient Kamasu does not come with a chapter ring that makes the dial appear larger, which is a rather unique choice. Instead, the Kamasu maintains a slim and lightweight appearance.  Crown and Bezel The Orient Kamasu also features a secure screw-down crown, placed in the customary 3 o’clock position. It has the Orient logo engraved into it, and is well-sized, just enough to be functional and easy to grip. The solid teeth-shaped ridges also help to provide the wearer a more secure hold on the crown. As with most Japan-made crowns, the crown of the Kamasu is waterproof, styled to have a long post and a direct o-ring gasket. You might observe that the Orient Kamasu’s crown is slightly smaller compared to other watch brands. This is intentionally done so that the crown will not get in the way, scratching against the wearer’s wrist or getting easily damaged. The crown is often one of the most vulnerable parts of a watch, so Orient has designed it to be slightly smaller, with secure crown guards for extra protection. In addition, the Kamasu also has a 120-click unidirectional bezel, a standard requirement for diving watches. It rotates counter-clockwise providing a safe and consistent pattern for divers to track their bottom times. That said, if you are a professional diver, you know that the deeper you dive into the depths of the ocean, the darker it is, and the poorer your visibility will be. To ameliorate this, Orient has equipped the Kamasu with a luminescent bezel for accurate timekeeping even underwater. The 120-click function of the bezel also gives you better and more precise accuracy when aligning the zero markers at the bezel tip to the minute hand. Bracelet The Kamasu watches come in either stainless steel bracelets or rubber straps, depending on which model you choose to have. The stainless steel bracelets are water-resistant, corrosion-resistant, and able to withstand variations in temperature. They are easy to clean, and because of the material, do not soak up or retain any kind of sweat after thorough exercise. Stainless steel bracelets can be a little heavy on the wrist, but they are also very versatile and can blend well with almost any style.  On the other hand, if you frequently engage in water activities, rubber straps might be preferable. Rubber is best used underwater. They are built from materials like silicone and polyurethane, which tend to be more lightweight, comfortable, and incredibly resistant to water. So if you intend to regularly exercise the Orient Kamasu’s capabilities as a dive watch, you might want to opt for a rubber strap. Movement An F6922 Caliber Automatic powers all the models under the Kamasu collection. It is a self-winding, automatic movement equipped with 22 jewels. This powerful in-house movement provides functions including hours, minutes, central sweep seconds, and a day/date indicator. Orient has claimed that the movement comes with an accuracy of -15 seconds to +25 seconds a day. Of course, this depends on the surrounding temperature, as well as the winding mechanism and the dial’s position. The F6922 Caliber comes with a 40-hour power reserve, which is more than sufficient for a modern mid-range dive watch today. It also has self-winding and hacking features, which are great additions to this movement, since many other dive watches lack them. You just have to make sure to carefully maintain the accuracy of the watch by wearing it for at least eight hours a day and setting the date within the hours of 8:00pm and 4:00am. Top Orient Kamasu Watches 1. Orient Kamasu Red RA-AA0003R19A For a price of just $280 USD, you can get this beautifully masculine Orient Kamasu Red. The case of this watch is almost exactly like that of the Orient Ray II. It is 41.8mm wide and measures 46.88mm from lug to lug, large enough to fit well on any man’s wrist. The bracelet is made of 316L stainless steel with a push-button deployant clasp. The bracelet uses a solid, Oyster-style link, so you don’t have to worry about its durability. The jet-black bezel also stands out from the usual dive watches in the market, with dotted patterns in between bold white numerals. The real highlight of the Orient Kamasu Red, however, is the red sunburst pattern on the dial, especially when positioned at the right angle, and with perfect lighting. At the 3 o’clock position is the day and date aperture, enclosed in a silver frame and placed against a white background. The color combination of red, white, and silver against the wine-red dial provides a good contrast, giving the wearer a clear and visible display. 2. Orient Kamasu Blue RA-AA0002L19A Another variation of the Orient Kamasu is the model with a deep blue dial and bezel. Just like the other pieces, this can be bought for $280 USD. This price is a great deal for a dive watch, especially given its top-notch features and functions. The Orient Kamasu blue has a 41.8mm size diameter, which is great for those who want a mid-sized watch with a comfortably lightweight profile for water activities. The contrast of its smooth silver finish and royal blue bezel and dial adds a level of class and elegance, so you could easily wear this watch to more formal suit-and-tie occasions as well. As with other Kamasu watches, this Orient Kamasu Blue comes with a flat sapphire crystal. Sapphire is one of the hardest materials used in luxury watches. Not only is it scratch-resistant, but it is also durable enough to withstand impacts, cracks, and breaks, unlike glass or plastic materials. The use of sapphire gives the dial a great deal of protection. 3. Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A The Orient Kamasu Black RA-AA0005B19A is the latest addition to the Kamasu collection. Despite looking strikingly different from most other Kamasu models, it retails at the same affordable price of $280 USD, making this a piece worth checking out indeed. This model of the Orient Kamasu features gold accents on its bezel, indices, and hands set that contrast handsomely with the sharp black dial and strap. A slim profile highlights the entire case, giving it an air of sophistication that makes it a good match for any outfit and occasion. This model has a different look than the others in this collection. It uses silicone as its strap material instead. Silicone is a good material for sports watches since it is highly resistant to low and high temperatures. It is also more flexible and does not hurt the wrist, especially when you are doing intense sports activities. The Orient Kamasu Black also uses an Ardillon buckle for the clasp, adding a classic and simple look that’s well-suited for men. This is a more traditional option for watchmakers who want to design an easy-to-wear watch. This kind of clasp only needs to be clipped onto the buckle and pinned securely on the wrist. It has a flatter profile, a more classic design, and is less expensive. One problem with this clasp is that the Ardillon buckle can sometimes come open while being worn, so wearers have to be careful with this watch to make sure it does not fall off unexpectedly. 4. Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A The Orient Kamasu Green RA-AA0004E19A is another best-selling timepiece for men. Just like the previous watches, it has a 41.8mm stainless steel case and 47mm lug-to-lug length. For a price of $280, it showcases a dark green dial with a beautiful sunburst pattern, which changes its color depending on the reflection of light. This timepiece also comes with a matching dark green bezel, with its 60-minute scale printed on it in a contrasting white hue. The Barracuda-inspired indices of the Orient Kamasu Green are generously coated with luminous material, which is very important for a dive watch, as it guarantees optimal readability even in dim lighting conditions. A substantial power reserve of 40 hours ensures that you don’t have to constantly wind this watch to keep it running. Orient Kamasu vs Seiko SKX  Anyone interested in the horology industry knows that these two lines of Japanese watches are always compared with each other. In fact, the Orient Kamasu and Seiko SKX are likely each other’s greatest competitors in the industry of watchmaking. They both set a high standard for entry-level dive watches in the market.  Though Orient is part of the Seiko Group, it maintains itself as a distinctive brand, with its own unique timepieces and innovations. Although Orient watches tend to be of slightly inferior quality compared to Seiko timepieces, the Kamasu collection was specially designed to be an improvement on the old models, featuring cutting-edge innovation and top-notch craftsmanship. It is Orient’s crowning glory, both in terms of aesthetics and functions offered. Combined with the fact that it is available at a very competitive price, the Orient Kamasu’s superior aspects cannot be ignored by many watch collectors. So, how exactly does the Kamasu fare against the Seiko SKX? Firstly, the case of the Seiko SKX has a polished finish, with slender curves and no sharp edges. It has a slightly larger case size of 42.3mm and offers a variety of colors for the dial. And to support the inner adventurer in you, it uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, which is proven to be resistant to everyday wear and tear, to protect the dial. An ISO-certified 200-meter water resistance capacity is another great feature that the watch possesses, as wearers can bring the Seiko SKX with them to poolside diving, swimming, snorkeling, and other such water activities. The Orient Kamasu, on the other hand, is lightly brushed on the top. It features the Orient brand logo delicately carved into its case back. A closer look at the dial reveals to you a beguiling and subtle gradient texture, which is great for those who don’t want a dial with just one solid color. To protect its dial, it uses a sapphire crystal, which is also known to be extremely scratch-resistant and is commonly used in durable watches. The Kamasu watches have a smaller case size of 41.8mm, so they can be worn more comfortably by both men and women. While the Orient Kamasu does not have an ISO rating, it does feature the same 200-meter water resistance, just like the Seiko SKX. The movement used is also a big determiner in the competition between these two watches. The Kamasu’s Caliber F6922 is an innovative movement with features like hand-winding and hacking and features +25 / -15 seconds accuracy per day. The Seiko SKX, on the other hand, only provides an accuracy of +50/-20 per day and does not come with hand-winding or hacking functions. In terms of the accuracy of timekeeping and the robustness of the features offered, the Kamasu clearly wins this round. Price is yet another deciding factor between these two models. Orient retails at a lower price of $280 USD, while the Seiko SKX can be purchased for an approximate price of $400 USD. Note also that the SKX collection has been discontinued; as such, prices may change depending on the independent seller you are dealing with. Most people can tell you that Seiko SKX is a popular, historical, and established collection of dive watches. On the other hand, the Orient Kamasu is a perfect example of a new challenger, a risk-taker that gives you a better value for money. All of its watches are made to give a modern, youthful look for a wearer. Final Thoughts If you are planning to get yourself a practical and functional diver’s watch, the Orient Kamasu will definitely be a great pick for you. On the whole, it offers plenty of features for a very affordable price point. The sapphire crystal, 40-hour power reserve, hardy stainless steel case, robust Caliber F6922, handy uni-directional bezel, secure screw-down crown, and wide range of models available for your choosing are more than enough to justify the affordable $280 USD price.  The Orient Kamasu will make for a great companion during your outdoor activities. Not only does it come with many useful functions to fulfill your every need, but its versatile look, which is not too sporty or bulky, also makes it great for everyday wear. Looking for a dive watch that would allow you to explore even greater ocean depths? Check out our list of recommended Deep-Sea Dive Watches and find a watch perfect for your next deep-sea mission.  Photo credits: All photos courtesy of the brand’s official websites.

    read more
    0
  5. Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Tudor North Flag: A Guide to Classic Yet Underrated Chronograph

    Although Tudor first became known as the sister company of the more prestigious watch brand Rolex, the company allowed this to be a reason not to establish its own reputable name in the watch industry. In fact, over the years, Tudor has developed into one of the most highly-coveted Swiss watchmakers with its luxurious and refined timepieces that are available at very reasonable prices. It offers a range of top-notch watches that cater to the needs of both men and women who wish to own a high-caliber timekeeper. Aside from that, Tudor is also known for many innovations in the world of horology, such as the creation of its own first-ever caliber movement, the Caliber MT5621, which you can find in the Tudor North Flag. This particular collection features many classic and cutting-edge timepieces, with the Caliber MT5621 providing exceptionally precise timekeeping as well. That said, the Tudor North Flag has been a remarkably underrated line of watches. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Tudor North Flag in detail and break down just why it deserves more attention from watch enthusiasts. A Quick Look at Tudor North Flag’s History Photo by Manuel Rebic from Flickr When discussing Tudor’s roots, it is impossible not to mention Rolex. Both Swiss watch brands were founded by the same person, Hans Wilsdorf, who sought to create an alternative, more affordable version of Rolex. In 1926, Hans Wilsdorf launched a new collection of luxurious watches offered at much lower price points. Some called them the poor man’s version of the expensive Rolex, but discerning watch enthusiasts quickly noticed that they offered superb quality and robust functionality despite their lower prices. This collection quickly became known as the Tudor. For decades, Tudor continuously produced exquisite timepieces. However, Tudor watches stopped being sold in the U.S. market in 1996. There’s no clear reason why, but the decision was likely made by its parent company, Rolex. After several years, Tudor finally returned with a powerful masterpiece, the Tudor Heritage Chrono, in 2013. Two years later, they followed up with the launch of the Tudor North Flag in 2015. Tudor’s First in-House Calibre The Tudor North Flag, as mentioned, stood out because it featured the brand’s first-ever powerful in-house Caliber MT5621. As earlier versions of Tudor watches were equipped with caliber movements from external suppliers, the creation of its first in-house movement was a massive milestone for the brand. In fact, this was the major shift that allowed the brand to establish its own identity in the watch community and no longer be referred to as just a sister brand of Rolex. While it is true that the Tudor Pelagos was the first watch to be powered by the Caliber MT5621, it was the Tudor North Flag that proudly showcased its excellent functions and mechanisms with the North Flag’s see-through caseback. This feature is not one often found in Rolex watches, making the Tudor North Flag all the more distinctive. In fact, the Tudor North Flag serves as a testament to how Tudor expertly carves out its niche, setting itself apart from Rolex. The Inspiration Behind Tudor North Flag’s Existence Named after the British North Greenland Expedition, the Tudor North Flag actually takes inspiration from the 1952 expedition’s Oyster Prince time-telling accessory, as well as the exceptional 1970’s Tudor Ranger II. The Oyster Prince was historically crafted to be used by the crew of the British North Greenland Expedition back in 1952, which means that it was designed to be a reliable, robust, and highly accurate timepiece that could survive being exposed to all sorts of extreme environments. The Tudor North Flag took from the Oyster Prince a similar identity of being a tough, rigid, and highly precise timekeeper intended for the hardiest of survivalists. With regards to the overall design of the Tudor North Flag, on the other hand, a quick glance makes it immediately apparent that it has a resemblance to Tudor’s own Ranger II, an iconic timepiece from way back in the 1970s. Like the Ranger II, the Tudor North Flag features a similar arrow-shaped handset filled with lume and a heavy-based chapter ring. One difference between the two watches, however, is that the Tudor North Flag does not adopt the Ranger II’s oversized fluted bezel, opting instead for a smoother and more refined bezel. All in all, the Tudor North Flag is a fresh, modern take on the Ranger II. Up Close with Tudor North Flag Case Material: Stainless steel Dial: Black Case diameter: 40mm Movement: Calibre MT5621 Power reserve: 70 hours Water resistance: 100m Case and Bezel Right from the outset, the most striking feature you’re likely to notice from the unique Tudor North Flag is its sophisticated case. Crafted as a luxury sports watch, the stainless steel case of this timepiece has a slim build and clean lines with its sharp, angular edges. In addition, it features a high-tech steel bezel that is unusually lined with black ceramic on the outer rim and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that serves as protection for the dial. With its proportionate 40mm case diameter, previous owners have reported that the Tudor North Flag is extremely comfortable on the wrist, with a size that is just right. Its incorporated lugs and tapered crown are fine details that add to the lightweight profile of the watch. Along with its substantial 100m water resistance, this timepiece displays a contemporary appearance that is a modern twist on the vintage Tudor Ranger II. Dial The dial of the Tudor North Flag is yet another highlight of this handsome timepiece, as it boasts an avant-garde and minimalistic style. Along with its rectangular hour markers, the watch also displays two oversized Arabic numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock that dominate the black dial. The numerals and hour markers are all wrapped in white lume to provide excellent visibility even in poor lighting conditions. You will also notice the small rectangular date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position and a bright yellow power reserve indicator located at 9 o’clock that serves as a splash of color to the dial. This power reserve also works as a rotating disc, adding a touch of contemporaneity to this timepiece. Another elegant feature of the Tudor North Flag is its luminous silver-toned hour and minute hands, and vibrant yellow seconds hand with a rectangular tip. The white and yellow handset smartly contrasts against the black dial, which adds to the legibility of this timepiece. We can also find the Tudor name and logo printed on the dial, right under the 12 o’clock marker. Lume Tudor ensures that the hour markers and hands of the North Flag are all either coated or filled with luminescent material. This gives it a gorgeous light blue glow in low-lighting conditions, making time-telling easy no matter where you are. This is one of the most essential features a timepiece must have and the brand’s use of a high-end lume for the Tudor North Flag highlights how Tudor spared no expense in crafting this watch. Movement While the gorgeous aesthetics of the Tudor North Flag are definitely an eye-catcher, the real show-stopper when it comes to this watch is its movement. The Caliber MT5621 movement is, as previously mentioned, Tudor’s first-ever in-house caliber movement. It was a significant turning point for Tudor, as this ability to craft a top-notch movement with excellent engineering and craftsmanship helped the brand to build its own reputation instead of just being identified as a sister company of Rolex. As the Tudor North Flag was the primary vehicle that Tudor used to introduce the Caliber MT5621, this gives the watch a special status in the Tudor catalog and history indeed. Going back to Caliber MT5621 movement, it is a top-notch automatic movement that features a 4Hz beat rate, a bidirectional winding system equipped with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring, and an adjustable inertia oscillator. It is a COSC-certified chronometer with a record of accuracy rating of not more than -2/+4 seconds, and as such is a highly reliable, accurate, and functional movement that you can rely on for years to come. It also features a whopping power reserve of up to 70 hours. This is a particular standout compared to other high-end sports watches, which tend to only offer up to 40 hours of power reserve. Moreover, this in-house movement is also surprisingly durable. Not only is it able to withstands shocks and external vibrations, but it is also anti-magnetic and has superior dimensional stability. It features a free-spring balance wheel, a design that is characteristic of high-end Swiss-made movements like those from prominent watchmakers Patek Philippe and Rolex. The mechanisms of the Caliber MT5621 can be observed through the see-through case back of the Tudor North Flag, allowing wearers to appreciate the grand and efficient design of this movement. Bracelet/Strap Tudor offers two different options for the strap of the North Flag. You can choose between a brushed, professional stainless steel strap or a yellow-stitched, black leather strap. The former is crafted with a solid satin finish, which blends perfectly with the matching stainless steel case. The yellow and black leather strap, on the other hand, pairs well with the neon accents visible on the Tudor North Flag’s sporty dial. Regardless of which one you opt to use, both straps are crafted by Tudor to be durable and easy to wear. Both of them feature safety catches and folding clasps that allow the straps to fit nicely and securely around wrists of any size. Pros and Cons of Tudor North Flag Despite all of the impressive attributes of the Tudor North Flag, it is not quite the perfect timepiece. That is why, before making a decision on the Tudor North Flag, you want to make sure to consider all the good and the bad first. We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons so you really know what you’re getting with the Tudor North Flag. Pros Excellent build and quality finish.  Each component of the Tudor North Flag watch is skillfully crafted by the brand to ensure its durability, reliability, and functionality. Furthermore, knowing that Tudor is one of the most reputable Swiss watchmakers, you can rest assured that it only uses premium materials to create its timepieces, and the Tudor North Flag is no exception.Equipped with Tudor’s first in-house movement and COSC-certified chronometer. One of the most noteworthy features of the Tudor North Flag is that it is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house movement, the Caliber MT5621. This movement is shock-resistant and has anti-magnetic capabilities, making it a durable movement with a long shelf life. It is also commended for its highly precise timekeeping, showcasing the identity and reliability of a genuine Swiss-made movement.Known for its affordability. Another highlight of the North Flag watch is its budget-friendly pricing. Considering the robust features this watch offers, getting it at a price that will not break your bank is certainly considered a steal. Cons Limited strap options. If you’re the type of person who loves to switch up the straps of your timepiece for different occasions, then sadly, this Tudor North Flag might not be for you. Although it has incorporated lugs to provide greater comfort against the wearer’s wrists, there isn’t really a diversity of choice available in terms of strap options. As mentioned, these North Flag watches only come with two types of straps, formal stainless steel, or a sporty black and yellow leather version. An alternative solution is to buy a custom-made strap, which, unfortunately, can be quite expensive.Not as popular as other Tudor collections. Despite all the features the Tudor North Flag offers, it remains quite an underrated timepiece. If you’re planning to buy a watch to invest in for the future, buying this watch might be a risk for you, particularly when it comes to resale value, as it isn’t as heavily sought-after as some of its Tudor peers. Two Variants of Tudor North Flag  1. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0002 One notable feature of this version is its stunning black dial, boasting a contemporary and classic sporty look. This Tudor North Flag 91210N-0002 features a 40mm stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal to add extra protection to its dial, a see-through skeleton caseback, and a smooth black leather strap with a fold-over safety clasp to complete the overall classy, sporty look. It is equipped with the brand’s first-ever in-house automatic movement, famous for its high accuracy and resistance to shocks and magnetism. Aside from that, this Tudor model also comes equipped with a water resistance rating of up to 100 meters. You’ll notice that the handy date aperture can also be found at the 3 o’clock position. This first version of the Tudor North Flag is available for only $3,939 USD. 2. TUDOR North Flag 91210N-0001 This second version of Tudor North Flag features all the same characteristics as the previous watch. It also has a 40mm round stainless steel case with integrated lugs, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a see-through caseback that showcases the watch’s in-house Caliber MT5621 movement. It has an impressive power reserve of up to 70 hours and is equipped with 100 meters of water resistance. The only difference of this Tudor North Flag 91210N-0001 is its strap, which is made of stainless steel and offers more of a professional, classic feel with its clean geometry. This version is just a little pricier, retailing at $4,499 USD. Final Thoughts We can’t deny that we tend to opt for the most prestigious watchmakers like Rolex, Tag Heuer, or Omega when looking at Swiss luxury watch brands. Sometimes, we forget that it is not just the most prominent brands that are worthy of interest or capable of delivering high-quality timepieces. Indeed, Tudor, with its luxurious and reliable watches available at very reasonable prices, is definitely one to keep an eye on. In particular, the Tudor North Flag is a classic and functional timepiece that offers highly accurate timekeeping and a handsomely contemporary aesthetic. This timepiece was the vehicle through which Tudor introduced its first-ever in-house movement, which adds to the historical significance and depth of the Tudor North Flag as well, as part of this impressive Tudor milestone. At the end of the day, the Tudor North Flag is a durable, reliable, and functional time-telling accessory with an important history to boot. For these reasons, it is an excellent and underrated piece perfect for watch enthusiasts looking to expand their collections. Looking for other Tudor watches you would definitely want to add to your collection? Check our article on the Best Picks From Tudor Watches. All photos are credited to Watchshopping.com unless stated otherwise. Featured image from Manuel Rebic on Flickr.

    read more
    0
  6. A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

    A Guide To Buying The Perfect IWC Portofino

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

    read more
    0
  7. Seagull 1963: An In-Depth Guide on the Historical Chinese Chronograph

    Seagull 1963: An In-Depth Guide on the Historical Chinese Chronograph

    The world of horology holds a diverse cast of luxury watchmaking brands that champion accuracy and timeless designs over anything else. These companies mostly hail from Switzerland, Germany, the United States of America, and Japan. That said, there are quite a few watch companies, not from the aforementioned countries, that is criminally underrated by the general public. For instance, the Seagull 1963 chronograph easily comes to mind. This is a classic Chinese watch that holds significant value in terms of its history and intended usage. Indeed, if you are an avid watch collector, you may already be aware of the Seagull 1963. The horology industry and the military have often affiliated themselves with each other throughout the years. The same can be said with Rolex, Alpina, Casio, and many more renowned watchmaking brands. In many ways, being affiliated with the military boosts a watch’s historical significance, making it a more valuable investment. Others argue that being trusted by the military is a testament to the reliability and quality of a watch and its maker. This is why the Seagull 1963 deserves recognition from more than just long-time watch connoisseurs.  The general design of the Seagull 1963 watches follows one specific blueprint. The sizes may vary, the color scheme may have certain twists and there may be several options available for straps and bracelets, but the main structure of the Seagull 1963 remains the same. This allows the Seagull 1963 to preserve its value throughout the years, showing the world just what made it popular back during its initial release. History Prior to becoming the Seagull 1963, this watch went through several name changes. The Tianjin Watch Factory was founded in 1955 with a fairly limited budget and manpower. This factory would soon expand and attempt to create the first Chinese watch available for export. This company was initially named “WuXing”, which translates to “Five Stars.” This name, however, was short-lived and was ultimately changed to “Dong Feng” during Mao Zedong’s rise to power. The word “Dong Feng” means “East Wind”, signifying the headstrong principles and lofty goals of this watch factory. In 1961, the Tianjin Watch Factory was given a mission that would change the course of its production. With official permission to develop a watch for the Chinese Airforce, the Tianjin Watch Factory started manufacturing numerous prototypes with corresponding serial numbers for each pilot. This was done to ensure a structured system and promote confidentiality throughout the military. This development was called “Project 304.” This codename was used as part of the confidentiality agreement between the company and the military. From its launch to the completion of the project in 1963, over 30 prototypes were issued by the company. This prompted the coining of the name “The 1963” as the official name of the watch. Over the years, the Tianjin Watch Factory continued its horological innovation and proceeded to garner attention from all over China. In 1974, the company started exporting its watches, which led to another name change for the sake of appealing to other nations. The Seagull 1963 was selected as its official English name. It is rare for a watch company to produce just one watch with a single design that still manages to hold such historical significance. Considering the high regard the Seagull 1963 continues to be held in, it is truly a classic timepiece that is both affordable and a great addition to collections. First Impressions The Seagull 1963 has a very simplistic and minimalist design that gives us a retrospective look into a fraction of Chinese History. Some who are unaware of its origins may shrug it off and deem it a cheap mechanical watch. In reality, however, the Seagull 1963 is far from being a mediocre watch, despite its affordable price point. Furthermore, a large number of collectors and watch connoisseurs have an undeniable soft spot for vintage watches. Even if a watch has a very low price point, all that matters is its heritage and historical significance. With that in mind, the Seagull 1963 is a definitive vintage watch that has slowly but surely evolved over the years. Not much has changed in terms of its style, but there were several reissues of this watch as the years went by. These reissues provide more modern takes on the Seagull 1963 without taking away most of its original charm. One of the Seagull 1963’s most notable designs is its off-white dial. It adds more to the Seagull 1963’s vintage aspect, as it still maintains the classic 1960s demeanour.  All in all, the Seagull 1963 is a great watch that caters to both beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike. The affordability of this watch makes it accessible to those who are on a tight budget. Plus, the Seagull 1963 is a breath of fresh air since Chinese watches are quite rare in the watchmaking industry. Sampling a variety of watchmakers from across the globe gives us a chance to indulge in their cultures for a little bit—adding to the appeal of the Seagull 1963. Specifications Looking at the Seagull 1963, you may be led to believe that it is a simple quartz watch with limited features. In reality, it is actually an incredible tool watch with robust functionalities. This should be expected since the Seagull 1963 is trusted by the Chinese airforce to the point where extreme confidentiality was enacted during its production. Let us take a closer look at the detailed specifications of the Seagull 1963. Case, Crown, and Case Back The original Seagull 1963 (Prototype 304) has a 38mm stainless steel case with an 11mm or 14mm thickness, depending on the crystal used. The case was made smaller and lighter to provide more comfort to the pilots. It may be a little too thin for some, but the NATO or leather straps that come with the Seagull 1963 adds to its comfort. The 38mm diameter and 11mm thickness provide a proportionate design scheme that allows for god compatibility on any wrist size. The caseback is screwed down to protect the inner mechanisms of the watch from the water. On the newer variations, the caseback now has a see-through crystal, allowing wearers to look inside into and see how the watch’s movement operates. This is a now-common design found in a number of modern luxury watches. The Seagull 1963 also has a 30m water resistance. Keep in mind that this watch has a very thin case, so having 30m of water resistance is already an incredible feat. The scratch-resistant crystal also adds to the protection of the watch. There are many variations of the crystal throughout the production of the Seagull 1963. These crystals can alter the dimensions of the watch since some models come with a domed crystal and others with a flat one. The domed crystal adds 3mm of thickness to the watch, granting a total of 14mm in thickness. This variation is actually the original crystal that was used during the Seagull 1963’s initial production. The flat crystal, which maintains a more standard surface compared to the domed crystal, is only 1mm thick. The crown of the Seagull 1963 is also screwed down to prevent water from going in, although it is unusually placed on the left side of the watch. As usual, the hands can be adjusted with the un-screwed crown. The same procedure is used to wind the Seagull 1963 since it is a hand-wound mechanical watch. The two buttons beside the crown are used to control the chronograph sub-dials. These buttons are used to start and stop the timer as the wearer pleases.  Dial The dial of the Seagull 1963 is probably its most defining feature. The slim profile of the stainless steel case perfectly complements the clean off-white color of the dial, without any unnecessary styles or embellishments that encumber the legibility of the watch. The off-white dial itself provides a clear view of each numeric character on the dial. The Seagull 1963 has gold-plated applied indices. It has numeral markers for all of its even numerals, but its odd numerals take the shape of triangle markers. The gold-toned hour markers blend well with the off-white dial and are a very popular color combination in the watch industry. The minute and seconds markers can be found on the outer rim of the dial. These markers may be small, but they are still visible and easy to read.  The two chronograph sub-dials are positioned at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The size of these sub-dials is just right, not too small as to be unreadable and not too big, so the dial doesn’t look cluttered. As for the designs of the dial, there is a red star with a gold outline below the 12th-hour marker along with the words “21 Zuan”, which translates to “21 Jewels.” This pertains to the embedded jewels found on the calibre movement used in the watch. Chinese writing can also be found on the bottom part of the dial, which is only natural considering its country of origin. These characters spell out “China”, and under it reads “Tianjin Watch Factory.” Calibre Movement The calibre movement used in the original Seagull 1963 that was released in 1961 was the Venus 175 caliber. This movement was commonly found in watches that were manufactured during the 40s up to the 50s. Given that the Venus 175 caliber is quite outdated in the modern age, the Tianjin Watch Factory has changed the caliber movement used to the new ST19. The Seagull ST19 caliber is a hand-wound mechanical movement that is used in the reissued versions of the Seagull 1963 watch. Not much has changed in regards to the functions and features offered, but the reliability and accuracy of the ST19 caliber movement allow the Seagull 1963 to keep up with its modern contemporaries.  Oddly enough, the Seagull 1963 chooses to highlight the number of jewels used on the dial instead of the caliber movement used. The reason behind this design is still a mystery. On top of that, the Seagull 1963 can last up to an impressive 45 hours when wound to its maximum capability. Winding a watch may not be a significantly time-consuming activity, but it can prove to be a hassle if you forget about it, so the relatively long 45-hour power reserve is very handy. Indeed, the ST19 calibre movement is definitely a huge improvement on the Venus 175 caliber in terms of reliability and utility. Notable Variations Did you know that there are several variations of the original Seagull 1963 watch model? Most of them vary in size, color scheme, and even manufacturer. The Tianjin Watch Factory may be the main manufacturer of the Seagull 1963, but they are more lenient than they seem when it comes to their products. They have allowed the distribution of the Seagull 1963 from several vendors. Aside from that, the Tianjin Watch Factory has even allowed third-party companies and watchmakers to create new Seagull 1963 watches, with the same name and design. This is an almost unheard-of move, especially for a watchmaking company. With that in mind, here are a few notable variations of the Seagull 1963. The Seagull 1963 38mm (Original) When it comes to reissues or tribute watches, most watchmakers would strictly follow the original blueprint of the watch being reintroduced. That way, the heritage of the reissued watch is clear, even through its design. Of course, some watchmakers love to add their own modern twists when creating a tribute watch. This practice can sometimes leave fans divided. Some may want a part-by-part remake of the original watch, while others welcome the idea of change. It is a tricky situation that can happen in any industry. That is why the Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is a great example of a remake done right. This reissue stayed true to the original that was released for the Chinese Airforce. It retained the 38mm stainless steel case along with the domed crystal that contributed to its 14mm thickness. The weight of the Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is not a concern either, as it remains the same as that of an 11mm Seagull 1963 watch. The reissued Seagull 1963 also maintained the same off-white dial with gold-toned applied indices, and black minutes and seconds markings. The chronograph sub-dials can also be found at the same 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, with both chronographs being operated through the two buttons located beside the screw-down crown. Despite being manufactured by different vendors in China, the Seagull 1963 remake did not undergo any change whatsoever across vendors. The ST19 calibre movement is found inside every piece of the Seagull 1963 remake, the same 30m water resistance is also present. The Seagull 1963 38mm reissue is an excellent utility watch, and the only real challenge is finding a reliable vendor that manufactures it. The Seagull 1963 Panda As the name suggests, the Seagull 1963 Panda is reminiscent of the famous Chinese national symbol, the grand panda. In this reissue, a number of features were changed while keeping the base design intact. Instead of going for the original 38mm case, a larger 42mm polished stainless steel case was used for this version. The polished stainless steel blends well in the modern era of horology, where polished stainless steel tends to be more popular than just stainless steel alone. The Seagull 1963 Panda also uses a black and red NATO-style strap to provide a more unique design that sets it apart from the original.  The dial of the Seagull 1963 is a pearlescent white, a sharp and glossy color that matches the silver-toned appliques and hands. The minute markings are still in contrasting black, located at the outer rim of the dial, which makes them easier to read. The chronograph sub-dials, on the other hand, are colored black to complete the panda motif of the watch, as it resembles the endearing black eyes of a giant panda. The Seagull 1963 Price Range As mentioned before, the production of the Seagull 1963 branched out to several third-party vendors across China. This made it difficult to acquire an authentic Seagull 1963 model due to the inevitable rise of counterfeits and cheap knockoffs. Such instances also led to negative reviews from patrons who received fake Seagull 1963 pieces of cheap quality. Some of these reviews have reported that the crystal falls off easily after a single impact, while others received an unsecured caseback. These problems are all the result of fake sellers hawking counterfeit Seagull 1963 models. That said, there are still reliable sources of an authentic Seagull 1963 watch to be found online. Renowned online stores should definitely be your top choice when looking for this sought-after watch. Lucky for you, the price range for the authentic Seagull 1963 is really still quite affordable. In fact, the highest price for this watch is $560 USD, which is manufactured by a certain watchmaker called “Sea-Gull.” The prices for these watches may vary, but as long as you can get your hands on a genuine model, the quality remains consistent. Some buyers have reported getting authentic Seagull 1963 models for as low as $334 USD. As for the Seagull 1963 Panda version, its retail price is $339 USD, which is quite budget-friendly for such a well-designed watch. Final Thoughts The Seagull 1963 is definitely a classic watch that definitely deserves greater recognition and respect. There are two main reasons why a lot of people might be conflicted about getting this watch. The first one is the presence of an overwhelming number of counterfeits and knockoffs that managed to infiltrate the market, largely due to the fact that there is no single manufacturer for the Seagull 1963. Second is the lack of official information on the Internet that highlights more of the Seagull 1963’s history.  That said, there is no doubt that the Seagull 1963 is a great watch with a very interesting heritage. From its honourable purpose as an official aviation watch intended for the Chinese military, the Seagull 1963 definitely soared the skies with glory. It is true that the original Seagull 1963, made by the Tianjin Watch Factory, is no longer available or is extremely rare to find. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a great watch to add to your collection, the Seagull 1963 remake might be an excellent one. It is affordable and has a particular nostalgic charm—the perfect vintage utility watch for the modern connoisseur. If you are looking for more classic watch designs, check out our Top 5 Japanese Dress Watches to find the best dress watch for you. All images courtesy of Seagull 1963

    read more
    0
  8. Rolex Kermit: A Complete Guide on Rolex’ 50th Anniversary Watch

    Rolex Kermit: A Complete Guide on Rolex’ 50th Anniversary Watch

    Introduction Out of all the watches Rolex has released, most would agree that the Rolex Submariner is at the top of the list in terms of popularity. It could even be considered Rolex’s best watch, beating GMT-Master by a thin margin. But then again, Rolex is known for manufacturing great timepieces that are loved worldwide. Throughout all the years that Rolex has been in operation, the consistently high quality of its watches is solid proof of Rolex’s passion and its long-running vision. To mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner, Rolex launched the Rolex “Kermit” Submariner. The name might sound a little odd at first, but there have been a stranger and more abstract watch names, with Seiko watches being a prominent example. In Rolex’s case, the “Kermit” name isn’t just a gimmick to catch attention—a quick look at the watch itself quickly reveals to us that it’s also a reference to the watch’s stunning green color scheme. Photo courtesy of Rolex Considering Rolex’s long-standing history as a renowned watch manufacturer, it is no surprise that the company chose to create a tradition that would allow them to commemorate this history. According to this tradition, every time a Rolex watch model reaches its 50th anniversary, a new commemorative watch is introduced. In this case, the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Submariner was marked by the release of the Rolex Kermit 16610LV in 2003. As such, the Rolex Kermit was made specially to pay homage to the Rolex Submariner’s legendary status. This review will shed light on Rolex’s commemorative traditions as well as how the Rolex Kermit watch came to be. What makes the Rolex Kermit special? Why is it named as such? Is it worth it to own a Rolex Kermit? Let’s find out. History The Rolex Submariner was first introduced in 1954. Since its release, it has easily ranked among the best diver’s watches on the planet. You might be a little confused as to why the Rolex Kermit was introduced in 2003, since strictly speaking, the Rolex Submariner would’ve been in its 49th year in 2003. The real reason for this is because Rolex had already been working on the Submariner since 1953, with the Rolex Turn-O-Graph. The Turn-O-Graph was the prototype for the Submariner, which explains the similarities in their designs. The Turn-O-Graph may not be an official Submariner predecessor on paper, but it cannot be denied that Rolex used it as the main blueprint for both the Submariner and the GMT-Master. As such, 1953 is considered the official birth of the Submariner, and so the 50th anniversary of the watch being in 2003 actually checks out.  You might also have noticed that the color green is an extremely prevalent one on most of Rolex’s special watches. Prime examples of this include the Rolex Hulk, Rolex GMT-Master Yellow Gold Green Dial, and, of course, the Rolex Kermit itself—both old and new versions. Based on Rolex’s philosophy, the color green is often associated with luxury and riches. With this belief, it is only appropriate for Rolex to use this particular color on their special watches. With the color green evoking lavishness, wealth, and luck, Rolex using this color perfectly captures and represents these aspects of their commemorative watches. Some might think that the color green is a little out of place on a professional, sportier dive watch, but Rolex has managed to complement it well with both gold and stainless steel cases. This is a big reason why many celebrities and watch enthusiasts simply adore the way Rolex utilizes this specific color. In 2010, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was unfortunately discontinued to make way for the release of the Rolex Hulk. The Hulk is an improved version of the Rolex Kermit, with a green dial and bezel. This is unlike the Rolex Kermit which has a black dial and a green bezel. The Rolex Hulk proceeded to become a mainstay in the Rolex Submarine line due to its popularity. It should be noted that although the Rolex Hulk is based on the Rolex Kermit, it is not actually considered a commemorative watch by Rolex. A few years later, the Rolex Kermit made a triumphant return due to massive demand from fans all over the world. There is no doubt that the first Rolex Kermit was already a popular model during its release, but the Rolex Hulk was arguably even more popular, with several official Rolex stores having a shortage of said watch. The new Rolex Kermit 122610LV was introduced to satisfy the wants of the majority of their patrons. At a glance, there seem to be few obvious visible changes. Rest assured, however, that Rolex has added quite a few notable upgrades to the new Rolex Kermit, and we will be discussing each one below. Impressions At first glance, the green bezel of the Rolex Kermit might look a little odd to watch connoisseurs. Most would agree that it is an unusual color, especially for a Rolex Submariner model. A closer look, however, reveals that Rolex did a great job of picking out a unique color to fit the legendary Submariner line. Although people were initially a little skeptical about this watch, the eventual popularity of the Rolex Kermit is not to be taken lightly. It is no surprise that many Rolex enthusiasts and watch connoisseurs want to get their hands on this watch. This is not just because it is a commemorative watch, but also because of its comfortable profile and luxurious design. The visual similarities between the Rolex Kermit 16610LV and the Rolex Kermit 122610LV might make it hard for you to decide which one of the two to choose. But keep in mind that the 16610LV was discontinued almost two decades ago and has since been replaced by the newer 122610LV version—making the older one somewhat obsolete in terms of features and functions. Nevertheless, both Rolex Kermit watches are still highly-regarded members of the Submariner collection. Do not be deceived into thinking that the green bezel is the only thing that makes the Rolex Kermit a great watch. While it is an outstanding design, the Kermit still manages to create its own identity in other ways, truly setting itself apart from other Submariner watches and solidifying its purpose as a 50th-anniversary watch. Specifications The features and functions of the Rolex Kermit do not go astray from the usual Submariner blueprint. This means that the Kermit possesses all the functions that you would expect a luxury dive watch to have. The 1953 Turn-O-Graph’s primary functions were limited to a unidirectional rotating bezel and a straightforward dial that consisted mainly of time indicators. These features were later inherited by the Rolex Submariner and can be found in the Rolex Kermit as well. With that in mind, here are the specifications of the Rolex Kermit watch. Case, Crown, and Bezel Photo courtesy of Rolex Since Rolex Submariner watches feature a 41mm case, both the Rolex Kermit 122610LV and the 16610LV also follow suit with the same case size. The case of the Rolex Kermit is made from a 904L corrosion-resistant stainless steel case, so it can withstand most impacts and scratches. The bracelet is made from the same material and makes use of the Oysterlock technology, which keeps it secure on your wrist and minimizes any risk of it coming loose. The Rolex Kermit has a thin profile with very little heft, making for a very comfortable fit on the wearer’s wrist. The green bezel, which is the highlight of the watch, rotates unidirectionally, something that is true of the bezels of all Submariner watches. The green bezel also has 60-minute markings to provide a more accurate and clear reading of the time. The bezel also comes with silver gear-like edges, which provides wearers with a better grip even if they are wearing gloves or in a wetsuit, which is especially useful for a dive watch. One difference that the new 122610LV has from the original Rolex Kermit is that it uses a darker shade of green on the bezel. Not only does it look different from the first Rolex Kermit watch, but it also creates a more solid and tasteful design that surpasses the bright green hue of the 16610LV.  The case of the Rolex Kermit is both scratch-resistant and shock-resistant. In addition, the Rolex Kermit possesses 300m of water resistance, well above the ISO rating for standard diver’s watches. The solid, screwed-down caseback of the Rolex Kermit is also effective at keeping moisture from leaking into the watch, thus protecting the inner mechanisms safe from foreign elements. It cannot be denied that the Rolex Submariner collection is well-known for its durability, and this is true of the Rolex Kermit as well. The Rolex Kermit also features a screwed-down crown that is similar to those of other Submariner watches. The Rolex logo is etched on the surface of the crown, and its teeth edges make it easy to use when configuring the time or when hand-winding. In addition, many Rolex watches offer a particularly easy way of winding. All a wearer has to do is unscrew the crown counterclockwise and switch to clockwise to initiate the winding process. The watch will not indicate that it is fully winded. Instead, it allows you to keep rotating the crown while keeping the watch fully winded. This may be a little confusing at first, especially for beginners, but it is a fool-proof design that many Rolex watches adopt, including the Rolex Kermit. Dial Photo courtesy of Rolex Much like the first Rolex Kermit model, the new 122610LV stayed true to the stark black dial tone. Not only does it provide consistency to the design, but it also goes to show how well-loved the black dial and green bezel combination of the Kermit is. It is a minimalistic, professional design that still manages to stand out in a crowd. The Rolex Kermit is an analog watch that uses silver-toned hands and applied indices. White minute markers can be found on the outer rim of the dial. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position and has a date magnifier fitted over it as part of the sapphire crystal. The combination of the black dial and the white markers is a specially popular combination found on many Rolex dive watches. It serves to provide better visibility in the dark, especially underwater. This is further emphasized on the luminous material applied to the hands and indices of the watch. It is also worth noting that the Chromalight display technology is used on the dial. This means that, apart from the Super-Luminova coating on the hands and indices, the Rolex Kermit also emits a different form of light to ensure maximum legibility at all times. The sapphire crystal offers a scratch-resistant surface for greater protection both underwater and on land. Caliber Movement Initially fitted with the 3135 automatic caliber movement, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV provides the same accuracy and reliability that older Rolex Submariner watches are accustomed to. The 3135 caliber was the main movement used in older Submariner watches before Rolex decided to change it into the 3235 caliber movement. The 3135 caliber has 31 jewels to prevent excess wear and tear and has a consistent rate of 28,800 VpH. It also provides a 50-hour power reserve. Now, the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV uses a more updated version of the 3135, which is the 3235 automatic caliber movement. Not only does it have the same solid 28,800VpH, but it also provides a 70-hour power reserve that is significantly longer than the previous movement. This self-winding movement was introduced in 2017, with the intent of creating a more powerful caliber movement that is still reminiscent of the features found on the 3135 caliber movement. The 3235 automatic caliber movement uses a paramagnetic oscillator as its balance mechanism, which gives the caliber more reliability in terms of synchronization and the winding factor. The 3235 is a massive improvement on the 3135 in many ways, which allows for maximum utility for its wearers—particularly professionals. Comparison Rolex Kermit vs Rolex Hulk As mentioned before, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV was discontinued and was partially replaced by the Rolex Hulk in 2010. A comparison of these two popular watches is more than justified considering their similar designs and their places in the Submariner collection. The Rolex Hulk provides a chunkier profile that distinguishes itself from the Rolex Kermit. It has a much thicker, bulky profile that is the opposite of Rolex Kermit’s thin case design. The lugs are also thick, which adds to the hefty weight of the watch. That being said, the Rolex Hulk has a 40mm stainless steel case, which is actually a millimeter smaller in diameter than the Rolex Kermit. The green dial and the green bezel of the Rolex Hulk also deviate slightly from the shade of the Rolex Kermit’s green bezel. While the 16610LV uses a bright shade of green, the Rolex Hulk uses a darker shade to match the green dial. This gives it a subtle and refreshing color that does not stand out too exaggeratedly. Following the introduction of the 3235 caliber movement in 2020 as the new main movement of the Submariner line, Rolex decided to discontinue the Rolex Hulk watch. As a result of this, the newer version of the Rolex Kermit was launched and came equipped with improved features, including the new 3235 caliber movement. The choice of a Rolex Hulk as opposed to a Rolex Kermit really is an issue of preference. Both models have a lot in common, but the size and stature of the cases greatly affect the way these watches are worn. If you have a larger wrist, or if you just prefer a heftier watch that you can really feel around your wrist, then the Rolex Hulk is the right watch for you. But if you prefer a slimmer, more lightweight watch, then the Rolex Kermit 16610LV 122610 LV will surely provide you with the comfort you desire. The retail price for the Rolex Hulk 116610LV is currently $9,050. It is cheaper than both the old and new Rolex Kermit watches. However, since Rolex announced the Hulk’s discontinuation, the market for pre-owned Rolex Hulk watches has risen significantly. Currently, the average price for a pre-owned Rolex Hulk 116610LV is at a whopping $24,000, almost the same price as the Rolex Kermit 16610LV. Pre-owned Rolex Hulks are certainly worth a pretty penny at the moment, so you should be vigilant when shopping for a pre-owned watch and check to ensure that the piece you are getting is authentic so as to avoid losing an unnecessary amount of money online. Rolex Kermit Price Range It is a well-known fact that Rolex watches fall on the expensive side of the spectrum when it comes to watch prices. The approximate price for a Rolex Submariner can reach up to $20,000 above, depending on the model. Some Rolex Submariners can be found at $8,000, but this is most likely the lowest price you could get for a Rolex luxury watch. The price for the new Rolex Kermit 122610LV is approximately $10,000 in retail. Take note that the prices for these watches may change over time, depending on the demand. For those who prefer the original version of the Rolex Kermit, keep in mind that it has long been discontinued by Rolex and is no longer available in official stores. As such, the Rolex Kermit 16610LV can only be found on the second-hand market. These prices tend to be more expensive due to their commemorative status as well as their rarity in the market. The prices for pre-owned Rolex Kermits usually cost $23,670, although the price can vary greatly depending on the condition of the watch and the seller. Compared to the average prices of the Rolex Submariner collection, the retail price of the Rolex Kermit is not as bad as it seems. In fact, it is far more affordable than its fellow Submariner watches, making it a great choice for people who are working with a strict budget. Why You Should Buy This Watch There are a few reasons why buying the Rolex Kermit watch is a great decision. First and foremost, the Rolex Kermit holds a special status in the world of Rolex. Not only does it have a different design that stands out from the whole Submariner collection, but it also symbolizes just how far the legendary Rolex Submariner has come. Consistently maintaining overwhelming popularity from all over the world for 50 solid years is not an easy feat. In fact, luxury watch companies are only capable of that by constantly introducing innovative watch designs and high-functioning caliber movements, which speaks to the quality the Rolex Submariner has consistently put out over the years. The Rolex Kermit represents the rich heritage and passion that Rolex poured into each of their watches. If you are a watch enthusiast, a collector, or someone who just wants a taste of the luxurious world of horology, the Rolex Kermit is definitely a great watch to go with.  Final Thoughts At first, there were several people who are a bit sceptical about the design choice of Rolex when introducing the Rolex Kermit. Can we really blame them? The green color is very unusual, especially when found on a Rolex Submariner. But then again, Rolex blew everyone’s minds when they made it work. With a tastefully dark shade of green plus a sleek black dial, the Rolex Kermit offers a smoother design scheme that masterfully synchronizes with its intended purpose as a dive watch.  The Rolex Kermit is definitely an amazing watch to commemorate the Submariner’s 50-year journey. In particular, the Rolex Kermit’s comeback in 2020 has defied all odds, and once again relived the top-notch watchmaking quality of Rolex. Still looking for the right dive watch for you? Check out our Rolex dive watch collection—you might find the perfect piece to accompany you on your next underwater adventure. Featured image courtesy of Rolex

    read more
    0
  9. Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

    Rolex Submariner Blue (Date 126613) – The Modern Bluesy

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

    read more
    0
  10. Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

    Citizen NY0040: The Enduring Diver

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

    read more
    0
  11. Rolex Deepsea D-Blue: A Look at the Brand’s Top-Notch Dive Watch

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

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

    read more
    0
To Top