1. Newest Posts About Watch Buying Guides

  2. Why the Tudor Black Bay Can Be Your Everyday Watch

    When you think of dive watches, you’re probably thinking of something like the Rolex Submariner. But it seems Rolex’s sister company Tudor has been making a fair deal of noise with its Black Bay series. The one model that’s been making the most buzz lately is the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight model. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is a gem in more ways than one, which is what we are going to cover in this article. History of Tudor Black Bay In 1946 a subsidiary of Rolex was created by the late founder of Rolex Hans Wilsdorf. That company is the Tudor Watch Company that focused on creating high-quality timepieces at affordable prices. And after 1960, Wilsdorf’s company the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation has controlled the production of both Rolex and Tudor. For nearly half a century, Tudor was considered the underdog should the more accomplished and renowned Rolex line-up. This was evident as Tudor has been using the “Submariner” model name from 1954. However, years of being under its bigger sibling’s shadow, Tudor ultimately halted production in 1999. It looked as if Tudor’s days of playing second-best to Rolex were numbered for nearly 12 to 13 years, until 2012. This was the year that Tudor had introduced the Heritage Black Bay. At that time, it was just one watch, but then in the last 8 years, it was a family of watches. While it wasn’t based on any reference number, it was a stunning tribute to the Tudor dive watches during the mid-century. Buy Tudor Black Bay Watches The Black Bay series not only revived Tudor from obscurity but also give it its own identity away from the Tudor Submariner. That’s when we eventually got the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is the one that many deem to be the ideal rival to the Rolex Submariner. If you think we’re just hopeless fanboys who don’t know a thing about watches, then this article will prove you wrong. Why‌ ‌The‌ ‌Tudor‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Is‌ ‌The‌ ‌Perfect‌ ‌Watch‌ We’re going to come out straight and let you know that the title isn’t an exaggeration or a hyperbole either. Here’s why we think the Tudor Black Bay is the ideal watch that everyone and anyone is looking for: Case Most in the timepiece community consider 39 mm to be the ideal diameter case size for a watch. Fortunately, the stainless-steel case Black Bay Fifty-Eight model is exactly that size. The bezel is 39.5 mm and hangs over the case .5 mm. It’s also 11.9 mm thick, making it nearly 3 mm thinner and 2 mm smaller in diameter than the Heritage Black Bay models. It might not sound like it, but with a watch like this, that difference is felt outright. That difference is also better felt when the user puts the watch on. What’s interesting about the size, is that it’s reminiscent of a vintage Tudor Submariner, and also has the details to back it up. The lack of crown guards is what boosted my interest in the watch along with the case’s thick bevels. The lug bevels that had defined the Rolex GMT Master and Submariner came with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight. The bevels gave this watch excellent visual definition along with a touch of vintage. Made from 316L steel, the same one that Rolex used for their steel watches until switching over to the 904L alloy. The top portion of the lugs is finished in satin, where is the slides are polished. Another interesting bit is that the case lugs are beveled, which Rolex no longer provides. The Dial With the right lighting, help you see the matte “flesh” elements in the dial’s finish that the older, popular vintage pieces came with. The dial is domed, and we can pretty much see that when viewing it from the edge. The handset is clearly a call back to the Snowflake models from 1969. The gold-on-black style printing is identical to the galvanic dials from those vintage watches. The depth rating, the Tudor logo, the chapter ring, and the bezel markings were in a warm hue of gold. Although the brand describes it as “pink gold” markings, we found them to look warmer yellow, but that could be us. The rotating bezel’s red triangle brings back memories of the first generation of Tudor watches that were 200m water-resistant. This is what helped the Big Crown model got its recognition and is now being used with this Tudor Black Bay bezel today. Movement Tudor had their robust caliber MT5602 movement redesigned for a better fit with this smaller case. With it, we got the brand new caliber comedy MT 5402. What’s amazing is that has the same technical specs as its older sibling with a whole lot of goodies to it. Here are the following features of the MT5402 caliber: Silicon hairspring COSC-certified chronometer will the 70-hour power reserve 27 joules Free-sprung balance A bi-directional winding rotor A frequency of 28,800 BPH All of this despite being smaller in size. Bracelet Finally, to complete the overall throwback to Tudor’s vintage line-up was the rivet bracelet that came with the Black Bay line-up in 2016. But you can also swap this bracelet with a brown leather calfskin strap or a black wrap fabric strap that looks equally as good. The bracelet is 20 mm at the lugs which can taper down to 16 mm. Every link comes with sides that are rivet-plated with removable links coming off one rivet for a screw bar. Conclusion After more than a month of wearing this watch, we’ve come to the conclusion that we can’t get enough of it. And this only further proves that the Tudor Black Bay series is a force to be reckoned with. It’s hard to argue that the Black Bay Fifty-Eight looks and feels like a classic Submariner.

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  4. Top 10 Ultra-Thin Watches

    Ultra-thin watches are all the rage these days, to the delight of those who prefer minimalist and sleek designs.  These slimmer watches may appear slightly smaller than your regular watch, but don’t be fooled by their pared-down size. They can give your bulky watches a run for their money. Watchmaking technology has make it possible for thinner watches to contain close to a hundred mechanical parts into compact cases, with the same technical capabilities as the bigger ones. Although thin watches have been around for decades, it became more popular when Piaget launched its thin Calibre 9P in 1957 — one of the world’s thinnest calibre movements.   Here we have compiled 10 of our favourite ultra-thin watches for every budget and style.  1. Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Thin Automatic 5377 Tucked inside the 7mm-thick case of this Breguet Classique Tourbillon is the Calibre 581DR movement. It measures 3mm in thickness and is secured by a “high energy” barrel. That movement also supplies an impressively high (for a tourbillon) frequency of 4-Hz, and comprises a peripheral winding motor in addition to automatic winding. Throw in a dial design that’s as innovative as it is elegant and you have yourself a classic, indeed. 2. Piaget Altiplano Calendar The ultra-thin Piaget Altiplano Calendar is elegant and sophisticated in all aspects. Powered by the 3mm 1205P self-winding mechanical movement and boasting only 6.36mm in height, the 40mm watch displays a minimalist design. From its 18K rose gold bezel and lugs to the silver dial and brown alligator leather strap, the watch is an epitome of a gentleman’s timepiece. The small seconds sub-dial at 5 o’clock, hands, hour markers and date window at 9 o’clock are neatly arranged on a three-level dial. The ultra-thin watch boasts 44 hours of power reserve. 3. Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat Steel The Drive de Cartier was initially launched in 2017 as a gold model. Later in 2018, the brand finally introduced it in stainless steel, lowering the price to under $6,000, but retaining the stunning squircle case design and 6.6mm thickness. A Cartier-branded version of the 430P calibre from Piaget (the pioneer of extremely thin watch movements) powers this exquisite watch.   4. Chopard L.U.C. XPS Featuring an extremely thin 3.3mm mechanical self-winding L.U.C Calibre 96.12-L movement, the Chopard L.U.C. XPS is in a league of its own. The COSC-certified chronometer offers 65-hour power reserve and water resistance of 30 metres. A brown alligator leather strap complements the 18K rose gold case and white dial of this elegant and powerful timepiece.  5. Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Most super-slim watches depend on a hand-winding movement to decrease the overall case thickness. But not this one! The Hamilton Jazzmaster manages to pack automatic winding and still be under 8.5mm in height. The Jazzmaster Thinline comes in a variety of different dial colours, each with a sunray finishing. This one in grey features teardrop shaped silver markers and luminous silver-toned hands. A khaki brown leather strap finishes the look of this 40mm dress watch.  6. Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-fine 1955 The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra Fine 1955 is a strikingly slim, 36mm stylish watch. The 4.13mm thick in-house mechanical movement gets its power from the calibre 1003 manual-winding mechanism. It features an elegant alligator leather strap, which comes in a solid black colour with a glossy finish. The transparent caseback and gorgeous sapphire crystal lens let you see through the watch easily. The crown, case, and gorgeous Ardillion buckle all look stunning in 18K pink gold. The watch also has a 30m water resistance.   7.  Rado True Thinline Quartz Boasting a height of only 5mm, this Rado True Thinline features the Rado calibre 140 quartz movement. With its all-white design, this ceramic watch looks terrific in a 39mm case. The hands and indexes are all in rose-gold tone, displaying a beautiful contrast against the white and minimalist dial. Casual and unconventional, this could be a perfect weekend watch for the gentleman on-the-go.   8. Baume & Mercier Classima At only 5.95mm thickness, the Baume & Mercier Classima 10354 is a polished and contemporary timepiece perfect for everyday wear. At the heart of this 40mm Swiss steel watch runs a quartz movement designed for precision timekeeping. It features a date function visible at 3 o’clock and Roman numerals that stand out pretty well against the white dial. A polished steel bracelet with triple-folding clasp finishes this elegant men’s watch.  9. Zenith Elite Classic Elegant in its simplicity, the ultra-thin Zenith Elite Classic in 39mm in 18K rose gold case is a true feat in watchmaking technology. It is powered by the Elite 679  automatic movement, which is only 3.85mm thick and beating at 28,800 VpH. The silver-toned sunray-patterned dial features engraved and rose-gold-plated hour markers and hands. A brown alligator leather strap complements the rose gold bezel and lugs. A 50-hour power reserve completes this sophisticated timepiece.    10. Nomos Glashütte Tetra Neomatik The only rose among the thorns, the Nomos Glashütte’s square Tetra for ladies is unbelievably thin for any timepiece, let alone an automatic one. Its 7.3mm thickness houses the Nomos’ in-house DUW 3001 calibre, a super-flat movement that’s only 3.2mm thick. It has a Bauhaus-inspired dial design and delicate lugs that are the perfect ornamentations to the watch’s minimal proportions. The sleek black strap perfectly complements the 33mm ladies’ dress watch. 

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  5. 6 Best Mid-Range Watch Brands

    Most people are under the false assumption that the best watches and watch brands are those that are the most expensive. Although there is some truth to that, the cost is only one of many factors that make for a great timepiece. Characteristics of a Great Watch Here are some of the most essential factors that come with buying a watch. Materials: Despite what you may think, steel isn’t the most common material for affordably luxurious watches. And don’t even assume that every watch material is the same too. As a matter of fact, there are different types of steel that are of higher quality and are likely to maintain their shine. Some watches can be made from expensive ceramic or even precious metals, which offer more than cheap steel material. Movement Type: Movement type is another type of distinction that mid-range watches come with. Luxury watches come with complex mechanical movements, whereas the lower-priced ones feature a basic quartz movement. The most devoted watch collectors would often opt for an automatic movement. Although quartz is serviceable, it’s not that desirable among collectors. Ruggedness: One of the most desirable traits of luxurious watches is that they work in extreme situations like deep underwater. This is due to their robust construction and meticulous craftsmanship. One of the reasons people choose luxury watches is that they stand the test of time. Movement quality: If you thought all watch movements were the same, you are wrong. A few of the cheaper quality models either gain or lose seconds daily, which is why they require resetting. Also, affordable watches usually experience technical difficulties or stop working after a little while. Choosing a Mid-Range Watch If you’re opting for a mid-range watch, you’re looking for something between $500-$1,000. In this range, quartz movement isn’t that common, the finish and the fit have improved. Also, the automatic changes have become a bit more complicated. Some of the features of this range have improved as well, including water resistance. Many brands of this range offer a minimum water-resistance of 100 m, especially those that are sports-focused. Both Swiss and Japanese movements are excellent choices when it comes to offering timepieces with exquisite styling. Standards and expectations are higher with this price range, but it also comes with a few flaws as well. So, without further ado, here are some of the most budget-friendly watch brands that mid-tier watch lovers should probe around. 1: Tissot Tissot has been a favorite among Swiss watch consumers ever since it started business in 1853. Their first line of watches was said to have been a pocket watch with two time zones. Others believe that it was the first anti-magnet watch, a mass-produced pocket watch, and more. This remarkable brand is also the official timekeeper for several professional sports leagues from around the world. It’s no surprise that Tissot’s unrelenting yearn for producing quality-driven budgeted watches is what helped them garner their success. Watches under Tissot’s offer the perfect blend of function and form with absolute precision. Buy Tissot Watches 2: Seiko The Japanese phenom Seiko is also one of the most affordable watch brands in existence. And the reason why that’s the case because the brand always strives to produce watches with amazing value. So, whether you’re getting a basic model for $75 or a more luxurious one for $500, Seiko’s deals are some of the best. The brand is also credited for being the first one to develop a watch that uses an automatic movement with quartz accuracy. Seiko’s most renowned series is the 5, which means the five crucial aspects that their watches must meet to get that moniker. Buy Seiko Watches 3: Timex The Connecticut-based Timex has a fascinating history in the watchmaking business. It first started out in 1984 as the Waterbury Clock Company before it transformed into Timex Corporation 1944. Nowadays, this brand produces models for just about every occasion imaginable, whether it be a dress, sports, solar, or automatic, among others. One of its most recognizable models the Q Timex that was released back in 1979 and then was recently re-released. Timex has made a name for itself in developing watches but with a considerable amount of quality in them. They have a versatile range from the cheapest that comes under $50 to the priciest that comes between the range of $100-$300. No matter what, Timex always delivers in whatever their customers want. 4: Hamilton Hamilton is one of the only few from this list that produces watches on American soil. Not only have their watches been used for helping trains arrive on time, but they have also been used during the Second World War. Hamilton is also worn by a slew of well-known celebrities in the entertainment industry. One of those celebs included Elvis Presley when he wore Hamilton Ventura in his movie Blue Hawaii. This watch was the world’s first-ever electric wristwatch. Everything went well for Hamilton until it started facing severe competition from Japanese markets. From that point on, Hamilton went from being an independent firm to being under the world’s largest water wristwatch company, the Swatch Group. Even so, Hamilton’s design philosophy always honored their American heritage and upbringing. Buy Hamilton Watches 5: Casio Casio is yet another Japanese brand that has had an extensive line-up of mid-tier watches. It also offers some of the cheapest watches that become as low as $10, if you can believe it. Of course, this means that you’re not getting anything that’s of quality or class, but the price is still hard to beat. However, the more expensive ones provide more bang for your buck if your wallets can stretch that wide, that is. What it comes to their analog watches, they have models for divers, dressers, and anything else in the middle. However, their pride and joy is their G-Shock line-up. Buy Casio Watches 6: Oris Oris is one of the few independent watch brands in the world that isn’t owned by a brand portfolio. Because of this, they have had all the freedom to create whatever appeased them and their consumers alike. This attitude is what their slogan stands for, which is “Defining My Own Path, Going My Own Way.” Being your own boss means that you have the freedom to make whatever essential decisions are best for your interests. One of their most spectacular models is the Artelier Pointer Date. It comes with a unique pointer date complication and an automatic movement that you will never see with other branded models. Buy Oris Watches

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  6. Best Selling NOMOS Glashütte Watches

    As Germany’s largest producer of mechanical watches, NOMOS Glashütte sells quite a few timepieces. Let’s look at the top sellers in the field. The watch brand has been around for less than 30 years. Already, the market is flooded with imitators who try to capture the Bauhaus-inspired minimalism that’s made NOMOS Glashütte a global success. They keep things simple and subtle, with style flowing out of function. Their clean designs say they don’t want to draw attention. Which, of course, draws your attention. The Top Tangents Watches in the Tangente family are far and away the top sellers out of all of the NOMOS Glashütte offerings, and probably the ones you’ve seen the most as they’ve been in production for over 25 years. This is the watch that truly embodies the essence of the brand with no-nonsense designs that first burst onto the scene in the 1990s, featuring slim cases and minimalistic dials that remind of watch designs from the 1920s. Tangente 33 As you may have guessed by the name, this is a watch with a 33mm diameter. And small by most watch measures, therefore lending itself more to female wrists. But it is classic enough for men who simply wish to sport a watch with a lower profile. Reference 122 is particularly popular, with tempered blue hands that stand out against a white dial. It comes on a soft beige velour leather strap that adds an extra hint of elegance. Buy Nomos Glashutte Tangente Watches Tangente Neomatik A relative newcomer, the self-winding Neomatik made its debut at Baselworld 2015. It has the honor of being the brand’s first automatic watch. While still reserved and grounded in minimalist style, Neomaticks cry for just a bit more attention with dashes of striking colors. The Midnight Blue version is a top seller, and one look tells you why. The deep blue dial is an attention-getter on its own. All the more alluring with a slash of neon orange on the seconds hand. Yet the round case and slender design elements still keep things subdued and firmly grounded in the NOMOS credo of downplayed style. With a 35mm diameter, it works equally well on male and female wrists. Buy Nomos Glashutte Tangente Neomatik Watches Square Sells with the Tetra 27 duo Taking a departure from the classic round case, the Tetra 27 duo goes with a square case. And that Bauhaus minimalism gets even more stripped down with just hour and minute hands on the no-nonsense face, thus the “duo” in its name. In general, square cases exude elegance, exquisitely exhibited by the Panthère de Cartier all those decades ago. And the Tetra 27 adds on a further dollop of sophistication with slim glimmering gold hands. Perfect for slender wrists, both the 33mm and the 27mm models are popular for those seeking understated elegance. Buy Nomos Glashutte Tetra Watches The Club Campus Neomatik Smaller than many of the offerings in the line, it comes in with a subdued 37mm diameter and is housed in a slender case, with rose gold hands standing against a white silver-plated face that makes it quite elegant. But it doesn’t dip into extreme minimalism like some of the other offerings in the NOMOS repertoire, featuring an eclectic mix of Arabic and Roman numbers on the dial. Or add in a bit of boldness with the ever-popular midnight blue Reference 767. Buy Nomos Glashutte Club Watches The Masses Love the Minimatik Rounding out the most-popular offerings we have the Minimatik, which isn’t actually as “mini” as you might think with a 35.5mm diameter, a size that perfectly suits both male and female wrists. The white-faced Reference 1203 keeps things more in line with traditional NOMOS Glashütte watches. It features the trademark white face and a just-the-basics vibe. Adding a bit of boldness, the Reference 1205 offers a midnight blue dial. That dial has eye-catching green markers and a neon orange seconds hand. You can put either watch on a fine leather strap and have a great look. You have a great dress-casual piece that works from the office to weekend outings. Buy Nomos Glashutte Minimatik Watches The Tangente Sport Neomatik This watch takes things up to a hefty 42mm in diameter. But the size is countered by back-to-basics designs with traditional white and midnight black dials. It’s also built tough with water resistance up to 1,000 feet, a sapphire crystal, and a sturdy stainless steel bracelet. Versatility is a key to pleasing the masses, and NOMOS Glashütte has certainly mastered that with its best-selling watches. Pick up one of their timepieces and you take them on almost anywhere.

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  7. 5 Tips to Make Sure a Watch is Authentic

    How can you tell if you’re looking at authentic watches? Are there watch tips to help you ferret out fakes? There are plenty of fakes out there, but of course there are authentic watches too. This is a fear most collectors face once, and maybe more than twice, in their lifetimes. You’ve found a watch you really want. Everything looks good, but you’re not 100% sure about the seller, and therefore not 100% sure you’re getting the real deal when you purchase your timepiece. That makes the first tip obvious, but not always so simple. 1: Buy from a Reputable Source But what makes a source “reputable?” Yes, buying directly from the manufacturer is the best iron-clad way to make sure your purchase is legitimate. But that will take nearly all of the pre-owned market out of the picture, limiting your choices and raising the costs, as buying new through the manufacturer can be more expensive than through a retailer. Don’t think a big reputable store guarantees authentic watches. We could list several massive global enterprises everyone knows and mostly trusts that sell everything from computers and bicycles to clothing and watches. But if watches aren’t their specialty, they’re probably not going to have the precautions in place to sniff out all fakes. Individual sellers can also be risky, as it could be difficult to do enough research about them to ensure everything they’re selling is legit. To get a good price, and the reputation to back up that what you are paying for is authentic, look to the top, long-running online stores that specialize in watches. There are only a handful of them, easily found on a Google search, and they’re your best bet. 2: Beware the Frankenwatch As you may know or can probably guess by the name, Frankenwatches have lots of parts from lots of different watches. So they’re not exactly counterfeit, but they’re certainly not totally authentic. The first whiff of a clue you’ll get with a pieced-together watch is the price. It probably seems too good to be true, and probably is. Then things get complicated as many of the inner workings may have come from lesser timepieces. It may be a genuine vintage Rolex Daytona case and dial, but the movement has been long since replaced with cheaper parts. Or they could have swapped the bracelet out for a cheap imitation or replaced the sapphire crystal with plexiglass. Paperwork is a big help in sniffing out Frankenwatches. If a watch has been regularly serviced and records kept, you can sleep sounder knowing it is legit. Other than that, use your common sense, check out a watch thoroughly, and look to Tip 1 and reputable dealers to avoid the Frankenwatch trap. 3: Learn to Spot Fakes on Sight This is more a collection of tips, but if you are going to evaluate watch authenticity on your own, there are a few telltale signs you should always be aware of. Check the weight. Really, put it on an electronic scale and see if it meets the manufacturer’s specs. Luxury watches often use high-quality gold, steel, and platinum that is physically heavier than cheap imitation parts. Most times you can feel the weight difference in your hand, but it can’t hurt getting the correct weight down to the ounce. Scrutinize the face. Just as one bad stitch tells you a handbag is fake, the slightest flaw on a watch’s face is a sign there might be trouble. Given the prices they fetch, luxury watches don’t leave the manufacturer with even the tiniest of flaws on their dials. So if one letter is off, one minute marker is just a hair out of alignment, or the engraving isn’t ultra-smooth, chances are pretty good the watch might not be authentic. Listen closely. Literally put your ear up to the watch and listen to it work. High-end watches are designed to function at amazingly low volume levels. The ticking you hear when you hold the watch close to your ear should be subtle. If you hear ticking when the watch isn’t right up next to your ear, move on because it’s probably a fake. 4: Compare Images Luckily, you’re armed with information when considering a watch purchase. You can look at high-resolution images of the watch from the manufacturer and compare those to the watch in question. Often times a watch that isn’t authentic has extra information, extra this, extra that. A fake might have the word “chronograph” printed around a subdial when the original doesn’t. The engraving, the case shape, the indices — there could be ever-so-slight differences that one might not notice at first glance but will be obvious when doing a close-up side-by-side comparison with the real deal. 5: Accept That Amazing Bargains Don’t Exist You’ve probably seen TV commercials where people brag about their online deals — “I got this big flat screen TV for 20 dollars!” “I got these designer shoes for just five bucks!” They’re stretching the truth to its breaking point. If you find a super cheap price for a watch, you can almost be sure it’s not authentic. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good deals and affordable watches out there when it comes to authentic watches. It just means you should expect to pay a reasonable price, no more or less. How much? That’s as varied as the watches available for sale across the planet. So it’s all about research, research, research. Look everywhere that is selling the watch you want, compare prices, make a list (actual or just in your head). Somewhere right in the middle of all of those prices that are posted you’ll know the fair price you should pay. The world is full of fake watches and, unfortunately, disreputable people ready to take your money for them. But with a little homework and a lot of common sense, you can have some beautiful authentic watches.

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  8. Common Questions and Answers for Rolex Watches

    You’ve got questions about Rolex watches, and we’ve got answers. The first is a no-brainer. Is Rolex really so different from other brands? Yes, in quite a few ways. Let’s look at some. Rolex Watches Materials Rolex uses a much higher grade of steel than most other watch manufacturers, going with low-carbon 905L stainless steel in their timepieces. Most brands, even high-end luxury names, use 316L steel. The grade Rolex uses is tougher, largely due to additions of molybdenum, copper, chromium and nickel, which makes it harder to work with, but turns out a much stronger corrosion-resistant result. If you’ve ever picked up a gold Rolex you’ve probably been struck by the weight. That’s because Rolex uses solid gold, from cases and bracelets to crowns and a host of other parts. A lot of other brands with names nearly as prestigious as Rolex use gold plating in some or all of their components. Then there’s Rolex’s Everose gold. That pink hue on the signature alloy Rolex introduced in 2005 comes from a unique combination of pure gold with small amounts of platinum and copper, which gives it powers to resist fading for years longer than gold-only watches. Manufacturing Rolex Watches Most watch brands outsource at least some of the work, from the smallest of components to complete movements. Not with Rolex. They do everything in-house. That means they make every single tiny gear, spring, and screw. They built their own foundry at their headquarters in Switzerland to smelt gold, steel, and platinum for the ability to handle everything on their own. While some machines are employed, the overwhelming majority of the work is done by the hands of arguably the world’s highest-trained watchmakers. The Only True Chronographs Now the word “chronograph” gets thrown around a lot. In general use, the word just means that a timepiece has a stopwatch function. By that definition, a plastic watch you can pick up at the supermarket is a chronograph. For Swiss watchmakers, the word chronograph means so much more. Formed in 1973 to ferret out dubious claims by watchmakers, the Swiss organization Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (or COSC) has strict parameters for certifying chronographs. Very few watches, in fact only 3% of Swiss watches, pass their scrutiny. All Rolexes are COSC certified, and Rolex is the only brand that can make that 100% true chronometer claim. Where Should I Buy Rolex Watches? Back in the early days of the internet, you would have been taking a big chance to buy Rolex online. But we’ve had a public internet for over three decades now and that’s given a lot of sites time to mature and establish their reputations and authority. So you can feel safe buying a Rolex watch from an established website. When we’re talking about a new Rolex, things are a bit simpler. Look at the top sites, compare prices and features, and click. Going pre-owned presents some challenges. You have to consider the watch’s condition: mint, worn but well, or the dangerous territory of “fixer-upper.” Do your research, but in all cases best if you have the original paperwork. If you want to go old-school and walk into a retailer, chances are you’ll pay a higher price. It depends on the store, and the country. You might think Switzerland is the cheapest place to buy them, as Rolexes are made there, but it’s actually one of the most expensive places to pick one up. You’d do better in countries like Japan and Hong Kong, where they’re crazy about watches and the sheer volume of what’s available is high, driving the prices down for both new and used watches. And you will find a lot of pre-owned Rolexes all across Asia. Buy Rolex Watches Which Rolex Models Hold Their Value the Best? In general, Rolex watches retain their value pretty well, so any model you buy will fetch a decent price upon resale. But a few shine brighter. Mostly due to name recognition. With a history that goes back nearly a century, and the stamp of approval from James Bond, the Rolex Submariner holds its value particularly well. The fact that it’s a dive watch built for durability makes it especially attractive to the resale market. The Rolex Day Date is another model that should bring in a nice price should you decide to sell. It’s got (pun intended) timeless style and elegance that will never go out of fashion. The Yacht-Master and Yacht-Master II are more models that owe their valuation to toughness, waterproof timepieces that were built to last. They’re also bold timepieces with iconic looks that watch aficionados will never tire of. What Should I Buy for My First Rolex Watch? Much of that depends on you. How will you wear it? Will it be for work, dress casual occasions, or everyday use? Can you afford one? The prices run from a few thousand to up into the stratosphere. Why do you want one? Is it a status thing or are you truly interested in fine watches? Then consider size. Are you going with a big watch or is your wrist suited for something more subtle? A case diameter of 41mm can be considered the line between oversized and not, and most Rolexes are between 36mm and 41mm, though there are larger. As for the model, well, once you’ve taken an honest look at yourself and what you want, that should be a bit clearer. With over a century of history, there’s a lot to learn when considering a Rolex. It can be overwhelming if you want to delve into the details. But there’s true reward in the end. And there are answers to all of your questions.

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  9. Watch Straps: Leather vs. Metal Watch Strap

    Apart from picking the actual make of a watch, another tough selection is the kind of strap. You might be wondering which is better—leather or metal. If you can only afford one everyday wristwatch, then this is an important decision. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between leather and metal watch straps so you can know which one your best option will be. Why Select Luxurious Leather? Leather watch straps are a classic familiar favorite for many. Because of its naturally soft, light feel, it’s a comfortable material that is both flexible and long lasting. Available in a variety of colors and styles, this type of watch strap has the ability to adjust & expand over time. It can be a seamless fit to your wrist. How much you pay for a leather watch strap is determined by the leather’s quality and distinctiveness. You also need to consider the watch brand & strap maker. While leather is commonly made from cowhide, leather watch strap styles also include using alligator, calf, crocodile, ostrich and shark hides. Each hide has their unique beauty, texture and pattern. Buy Leather Watches An excellent dress watch option for formal events, leather is sophisticated and elegant. The added bonus is that you can try to wear the same colored shoes or belt so that you are fashionably matched. Leather watch straps are generally made with a solid buckle system. This prevents the watch pin from coming undone unexpectedly. The Pros of Mighty Metal Stainless steel bracelet watches are a popular choice for sport watches. Suitable for many sporting activities, a metal strap watch such as a Rolex appears more expensive than leather and can also function as a dress watch for fancier occasions. A metal watch strap is tough and provides a sense of stability because it is heavy. You can quite easily distinguish between the qualities of different metal watch straps simply by feeling them in your hands. A metal watch strap usually wears out along with the life of the watch and doesn’t require frequent replacing. Strong and not likely to break, metal watch straps can get wet. They don’t damage as easily as leather when exposed to your sweat and water droplets. The material doesn’t stretch visibly. Buy Metal Watches What to Look Out for with Leather Watch Straps While leather straps come in diverse colors, a particular hue might be restrictive and only suit certain outfits. It’s necessary to care for and clean your leather watch strap. This avoids cracking and helps maintain your watch strap’s elasticity. However, the reality is a leather watch strap will wear out over time.  The small strap holders could break or the holes eventually become stretched. You can easily replace your leather watch strap more than once throughout your actual watch’s life, but make sure to purchase the real deal. It can be easy to mistake fake leather for a genuine good quality strap. To prolong the life of your leather watch strap, avoid getting it wet. Leather straps can stain and smell rather pungent when they have been exposed to water. Remove it when washing your hands or dishes as well as when swimming or performing high intensity exercises or sports that make you perspire. If you don’t do this, your sweat soaks through the strap and in time this can produce a nasty odor & cause the strap to eventually break. If you do accidentally wet your leather watch strap, remove your watch and let it lie on a window sill or flat surface in direct sunlight to dry it out. The Downside of Metal Watch Straps Some people find the solid feeling of a metal watch too weighty for everyday use. A metal watch strap can look smart for more formal occasions, but it doesn’t look as chic as a leather watch strap. While you can wear a metal watch strap all day every day, you may experience itchiness on hotter days due to sweat being trapped under the metal. In addition, metal is very sensitive to temperature. If left in a place such as in the direct hot sun or in a cold bedroom, putting on your metal watch can be unpleasant. A metal watch strap is not as resistant to everyday knocks. It’s possible for the clasps on the strap to become undone, especially if they nick or bump something forcefully. Pricier brands of metal watches attempt to combat this by manufacturing straps with a positioning clasp with safety. Tiny scratches can be polished out on your metal watch strap. These straps can be magnets for grime caught in the tiny crevices, and in time the metal can appear duller. Be sure to know how to correctly clean and take care of your metal watch strap. Ensuring your metal watch fits correctly can be a bit tricky. If you buy a watch at a store, links can be removed until the strap length is suitable. A watch purchased online could be more difficult to adjust. Conclusion Both leather and metal watch straps have their strengths & uses. Because this is such a personal decision, it’s still best to first do some window shopping and even try on some watches in store so you know how they really look & feel. Based on that you can opt for either a store or the best online watch store, but you’ll have a much better idea of what suits you!

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  10. Best American Watch Brands

    When looking for watch brands that hail from the United States, names like Shinola Watches and Oak & Oscar inevitably come to mind. Along with these two established brands, there are a lot of great timepieces being made in the USA these days. Let’s take a look at what some of the best American watch brands have to offer. Shinola From the pages of Vogue and GQ to the wrist of President Barack Obama, Shinola has made quite a name for itself since releasing its first watch in 2013. The Detroit-based brand has become so ubiquitous it seems surreal that we’ve had them around for less than a decade. Their product line from bags and jewelry to stereo speakers and bicycles has grown well beyond what started in an old abandoned building in Detroit. While we can’t say they’re totally made in America, as Shinola sources from across the globe, the final products are hand-assembled by more than 200 craftspeople in their workshop at the landmark Argonaut Building in the Motor City. For luxury timepieces at affordable prices and clean lines that exude an American attitude, Shinola doesn’t disappoint. Vortic For some truly unique vintage pieces, Vortic is hard to beat. They’re “Frankenwatches” in the best possible sense. Vortic uses a combination of 3D printing and sourcing from antique movements. The company is based out of Fort Collins, Colorado. It takes American-made watches and breathes new life into them with straps, cases, and crystals that are crafted in the USA. Buy one of the creations they have on hand or bring them your vintage watch for a full refurbishment. You can even go on their website and customize your own watch. You can even build it from the vintage pieces they have in stock. And if you’re looking for a cool pocket watch, this is the place to go! Martenero A newcomer on the micro-brand scene, Brooklyn-based Martenero offer some stunning designs at equally impressive prices that are surprisingly affordable. You can get one of their handmade automatic watches in the $500 to $700 range. While they do source movements from across the globe, all of the assembly and testing is done in New York City. Favoring white dials with black indices and small pops of color, their designs are decidedly minimalist. Autodromo As you can probably guess by its name, Autodromo puts out automobile-inspired timepieces, notably nodding to the muscle cars that ruled US roads in the 1960s and 1970s. Based out of Brooklyn, Autodromo goes for a vintage vibe and keeps things minimalist and released in limited numbers. Quartz power keeps the costs down, though they do have automatic models in their catalogue. Weiss Watch Company LA-based with the boast that their watches are 100% made in the USA, Weiss Watch Company was founded by a California native who was trained by Swiss watchmakers. You can see the watchmaking heritage in their offerings, particularly their field watches that exude classic style. And all of their high-quality components, including 316L stainless steel buckles, cases, and crowns, are made in America. Add in solid brass dials, sapphire crystals front and back, and Caliber 1003 movements and you have one heck of a fine small-brand timepiece. Devon Another great brand out of California, this one hails from Pasadena. Devon Watches eschews traditional timepiece aesthetics from more of a steampunk approach to their watches, crafting “time belts” that would be at home in Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory. Minutes are displayed on vertical belts, while hours are shown on horizontal belts on these see-them-to-believe-them watches. While they may appear to get cranked to life, they’re actually battery-powered and rechargeable. They’re big, bold, attention-grabbing and not meant for the conventional watch wearer. Oak & Oscar What’s not to love about a name that comes from the founder’s love of oak-barrel-aged spirits and his beloved dog Oscar? That’s how Chase Fancher got the name for his watch company. The company gives a portion of its proceeds to a dog-rescue organization, among other charitable endeavors. They can’t go with a full “Made in the USA” claim though. Their movements are made in Switzerland, but everything else is sourced and assembled in America. Oak & Oscar goes for classic looks and traditional style that make them a favorite for special-occasion gifts and cherished as heirloom pieces. Kobold Founder Michael Kobold was trained in Germany by master watchmakers. He started assembling European components into watches in Pittsburgh in the early 2000s. He’s since moved production of Kobold Watches to a farm in Merry Oaks, tucked into Pennsylvania’s Amish country. He established the first new watch-case manufacturing facility in the U.S. in more than half a century. The cases were inspired by Kobold’s own climb up Mount Everest. That’s when he tested his watch components along the harrowing ascent. Kobold’s American-made creations exude classic sports-watch aesthetics that dress up well on fine leather straps. So you can look to Switzerland and Germany for Old World watchmaking heritage. Turn your eyes to Japan for the latest technology. But for classic timepieces with good old-fashioned tradition, maybe think “Made in the USA” for your next watch.

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  11. Choosing the Perfect Watch Band

    When you’re choosing the perfect watch, keep in mind that the right band will level up your look. The ideal choice accents your outfit and emphasizes your personal style. There are distinct watch band materials to choose from, and each lends your watch a different character. With a few different watch bands, you can give a single watch a wardrobe of looks. Here are four types of watch bands to consider. 1: Stainless Steel The stainless steel watch band is a classic, luxurious look. The links of a stainless steel band are heavier than other band styles, giving it more weight, both literally and figuratively. This style looks best with business or more formal attire. There are a lot of watches and choices in this category. Watches like the substantial sized men’s Hamilton Broadway and the elegant women’s Hamilton Jazzmaster project polished confidence. Buy Stainless Steel Watches 2: Pin Buckle A pin buckle band closes with a clasp that inserts a pin through a hole in the band. This type of band can be made of a range of materials, giving you the option of choosing a casual look, like this men’s L.U.C. XP silver dial watch with a simple yet polished cashmere fabric band or the rugged rubber band of this men’s Chopard Happy Diamonds watch. You can also find bands in sleek, elegant leather, like this women’s Chopard Imperiale. Pin buckles provide a more secure clasp than other types of bands. Buy Pin Buckle Watches 3: Bracelet Watch Bands A bracelet band takes the polish of a stainless steel band to the next level. The name is an apt description, because this style evokes the subtle gleam of jewelry. You can’t top the enduring elegance of bracelet watch bands. A two-tone band is a refined look, like this sleek ladies Longines Presence watch or the statement-making Rolex Submariner in 18K yellow gold. Buy Bracelet Watches 4: Strap A strap band can take a watch from refined to informal. This is a lightweight and adaptable option for flexible style. Leather strap bands with contrast stitching, like Panerai Luminor men’s watch, are a high-impact yet casual look. A sleek leather band can take a watch from formal to everyday polished, as with this Tissot gold women’s watch. For an unexpected and sophisticated style, look for a leather band in an unexpected color, like this unisex Orion watch with a beige velour leather strap. Buy Strap Watches In the search for the watch of your dreams, don’t ignore the options different bands provide. The right band can give a refined, formal watch a casual style. Your ideal watch can have a range of looks with the perfect selection of bands. Being the best online watch store, Watchshopping.com has a selection of heirloom quality watches that are sure to satisfy your most exacting standards. See what we have to offer today.

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