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  2. All About Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut Collection

    All About Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut Collection

    When talking about luxury watches, brands like Omega, Rolex, Tudor, and the like are the ones that typically come to mind. However, people who are invested and familiar with watchmaking and Haute Horlogerie know that there is so much more to this world than just these few big names. Watch manufacturers like Audemar Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and Patek Philippe have been around for over a century now and are just as highly regarded by watch connoisseurs. Patek Philippe, for example, offers a wide catalogue of timepieces that are deeply coveted by serious collectors. If you’re interested, stick around, because we will be talking about anything and everything related to Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection, which is one of the most sought-after ranges out there.  Patek Philippe: A Brief History This Swiss brand’s origin dates back to 1839 when Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek founded their own company, called Patek, Czapek & Cie. Though their business was met with success, the two entrepreneurs ended up parting ways due to increasing differences. In 1844, Patek met horologist Jean Adrien Philippe at the Industrial Exposition in France where Philippe had just been awarded bronze for his innovations involving a keyless winding and hand-setting system. That chance encounter led to them eventually becoming business partners as they cofounded Patek Philippe & Co., starting a journey in which they would change the watchmaking game forever. Being one of the most highly regarded timepiece manufacturers to ever exist, it is only expected that Patek Philippe has had its fair share of milestones and breakthroughs through the decades. From patents for numerous innovations to countless firsts in horological world records, the Swiss brand has been a strong and steady presence in the luxury watchmaking world since the beginning. This is precisely why Patek Philippe is considered as a part of Haute Horlogerie’s holy trinity, alongside Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. At present, Patek has 9 collections with over 150 models in its current catalogue, one of which is the exceptional Patek Philippe Aquanaut lineup. All About the Aquanaut Collection  Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is one with a very deep history. Today, virtually any watch from this line would fall into the category of being highly sought-after, but this wasn’t always the case. One could describe the Aquanaut line as a work in progress for many years before it became the iconic collection it is now.  Let’s begin by talking about a different (but equally iconic) Patek Philippe collection called the Nautilus, which was launched in the early 70s.  Those familiar with luxury timepieces probably know that the Aquanaut has, from its inception, been associated with this nautical-inspired range. Back then, owning a Nautilus guaranteed you a spot at fancy yacht parties hosted by the elite. It was regarded by many as the perfect representation of a luxury sports watch.  At this point, you’re probably wondering: why make a new collection if the Nautilus was doing so well in the first place? Well, come the 1990s, a phenomenon called the dot-com boom occurred amidst a global recession. During this period of time, many people started leaning towards technology and the Internet to earn money. Lots of young millionaires emerged and they were more than willing to spend their newfound fortunes on anything and everything luxury. With this shift in global fortunes, Patek Philippe saw both a challenge and an opportunity. They wanted to make the most out of the situation by creating a new collection that would bring the youth to Patek Philippe. Following the success of the Nautilus, the Swiss brand drew inspiration from it, eventually leading to the birth of the Aquanaut. The Aquanaut started out as Patek Philippe’s attempt at wooing a younger market, and to some degree it was quite successful. The original Aquanaut was designed to be nothing short of casual, sporty, youthful, and luxurious; every aspect of it was immediately appealing to its intended younger audience. That being said, however, the Swiss brand knew that keeping the attention of their longtime patrons was just as important. Unfortunately, many older collectors and watch connoisseurs were less impressed. They saw the Aquanaut as a mere variation of the Nautilus, but without Gerald Genta’s prestigious signature. Come 1998, Patek Philippe released a new variant of the Aquanaut with the reference number 5065. Many perceive this model as the one that had a broader market appeal and successfully attracted a wider variety of people compared to the original. In the next years that followed, Patek Philippe continued to expand the Aquanaut collection by releasing different pieces under the said range. Eventually, it became just as iconic and well-recognized as the other top collections in the Swiss brand’s arsenal. At present, with numerous variations released over the past two decades, the Aquanaut is one of the sought-after timepieces in the world of luxury sports watches.  Iconic Aquanaut Pieces  It has been over 20 years since the first Aquanaut watch came out and it’s crazy how highly regarded the collection has become. With that said, why don’t we take a closer look at some of the most coveted Aquanauts released through the years?  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5065 ‘Jumbo’ This Patek Philippe Aquanaut was first launched back in 1998. It is known to be the watch that truly changed the public’s perspective regarding the Aquanaut collection. The Aquanaut Ref. 5065 comes in either a steel or yellow gold case paired with a comfortable rubber strap. Meanwhile, its black dial follows a textured grenade pattern with tritium markers on the minute track. This iconic model is powered by a 315 SC movement.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A ‘10th Anniversary Edition’ This Aquanaut was released in celebration of the collection’s 10-year anniversary back in 2007. In comparison to the models that came prior to it, the 5167A offers a more refined and subtle look which was a style preferred by many in the 21st century. It comes in the iconic stainless steel case along with a composite black strap that perfectly fits the understated style of the watch. This piece also features a black embossed dial with large luminescent hands, Arabic numerals, and a date window at 3 o’clock.  In terms of technical details, it has a self-winding mechanical movement and offers resistance to water up to 120 meters.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G ‘Advanced Research Travel Time’ The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G is one of the most controversial pieces in the collection. Without a doubt, it is the result of continuous technical innovations by the Swiss brand over the years. Even with just the exterior, you can already tell that it is an advanced and futuristic watch. It comes in an 18K white gold case paired with a composite strap in night blue. The embossed dial features an interesting open heart display, a complex time zone function, a day/night indicator, and an analog date counter. All these are possible thanks to two crucial innovations: an optimized Spiromax balance spring and a flexible mechanism. It should be noted that this watch is an acquired taste for many. Some might think that it is ‘trying too hard’, and it is a fair criticism to say that the dial of this watch is a little cluttered and has too much going on, which can be distracting for wearers. That being said, Patek Philippe’s goal with this was to truly showcase the technical advancements it had achieved, and in that regard, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5650G has acquitted itself admirably. Patek Philippe Aquanaut: Key Aspects Now that we know more about the Aquanaut and its origin, let’s delve into the key aspects that make this collection so unique and coveted.  Distinct Dial & Strap  It is undeniable that the Aquanaut has one of the most distinctive dials out there. Back in 1997, ‘bold and proud’ was a theme followed by many, be it in fashion or lifestyle in general. Patek Philippe took that to heart, which led to the conceptualization of this pronounced embossed pattern. What’s even more remarkable is that they also came out with a strap that perfectly complemented the dial, making it a true statement piece. However, over the years, trends continued to evolve, so the Swiss brand made sure to incorporate little tweaks here and there with the design. Now, the modern-day Aquanaut still follows the same embossed pattern but in a more quiet and refined fashion.  120m Water Resistance This aspect of the Aquanaut is probably expected since it draws inspiration from the sea and nautical themes. Since the Aquanaut is a relative of the ever-so famous Nautilus, having providing good water resistance isn’t something new for the brand. Most of the pieces in the current Aquanaut collection boast a water resistance of up to 120 meters. This excellent feature paired with a beautiful design makes the Aquanaut even more appealing.  Self-Winding Movement  Patek Philippe has been creating their own in-house calibers for countless decades now. They surely have it all, whether it’s quartz, automatic, or manual-winding movements. The Aquanaut collection is actually powered by a self-winding movement which makes use of gold rotors for optimal yield. Patek Philippe made sure that all the materials utilized in crafting the calibre complemented each other in order to maximize its full potential.  Selection of Patek Philippe Aquanaut This next section will be a closer look at some of the Patek Philippe Aquanauts currently available in the market that you could easily get for yourself.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G This Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G just screams youthful and luxurious. The unusual khaki color is what makes this timepiece so fresh and different compared to the other Aquanauts. With this watch, you get a sense of adventure that just pushes you to go out and explore. This Jumbo Aquanaut model comes in a white gold case paired with a composite bracelet in khaki green. Its embossed dial, which is of the same color as the strap, includes silver applied numerals, luminescent hands and markers, and an unobtrusive date window at the 3 o’clock position. Lastly, it has a see-through sapphire crystal caseback through which its high-performing caliber 324 SC is visible.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5072R This next model is nothing short of fancy and extravagant. The Aquanaut Ref. 5072R is the perfect Patek Philippe Aquanaut for all the women who enjoy dazzling, luxurious accessories. This Aquanaut comes in an exquisite rose gold case and a polymer strap in pearly beige. Its mother-of-pearl dial, designed in a checkerboard pattern, includes luminescent hands, Roman numerals, diamond hour markers, and a date window. It also has a diamond-set bezel and a sapphire crystal caseback through which the beautiful self-winding movement is visible. This timepiece is definitely a must-have for all the lavish ladies out there.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167/1A Third on this list is a more classic Patek Philippe Aquanaut watch for men. The Aquanaut Ref. 5167/1A is a gorgeous, versatile piece that would complement any ensemble. This model comes in a professional-looking case and bracelet both made of stainless steel. Its black dial follows the same pattern and layout as the other Aquanauts with large luminescent hands and markers. Much like the other pieces mentioned, this Aquanaut is driven by a calibre 324 SC with a power reserve of up to 45 hours. Ultimately, it is the quintessential option that should definitely be on every watch connoisseurs’ radar.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5164R The Aquanaut Ref. 5164R, also known as the Travel Time, is a timepiece that fully showcases Patek Philippe’s technological prowess. The best part about this watch is that it looks just as amazing as it is functional. This model comes in a rose gold case paired with a polymer bracelet in warm dark brown. Aside from the typical Aquanaut layout, the brown embossed dial also includes a dual time zone mechanism, a day/night indicator, and an analog date counter. It is equipped with a caliber 324 SC FUS, boasting a 45-hour power reserve. If you prefer something that looks a little more traditional, you can also get this Aquanaut Travel Time in a steel case and black strap as well.  Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5627/200A  The Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5627/200A is a more contemporary interpretation of the quartz Aquanaut Luce. While it is nothing short of lavish as well, this model offers a more casual and classic vibe. It is presented in a steel case along with a composite bracelet in black. The dial follows the usual Aquanaut layout with Arabic numerals and a date window at 3 o’clock. It also features a magnificent diamond-studded bezel, which makes this timepiece just as luxurious as the Luce. Lastly, it uses a quartz movement that’s powered by a caliber E 23‑250 SC. Price At this point, we all know that Patek Philippe is definitely on the more expensive side. Entry-level Aquanauts are known to fall within the $20,000 USD to $30,000 USD price range while the more recognized and extravagant watches are priced starting from $40,000 USD. It boils down to all sorts of different factors such as the model, materials used, whether it’s new or pre-owned, and more. At the end of the day, however, you should be prepared to pay the price for luxury, as the Aquanaut is definitely a watch that costs a pretty penny. The Aquanaut on Celebrities  Being one of the most prestigious watch brands out there, it is no surprise that the Aquanaut is loved by many influential figures out there. While it may be difficult for regular folks to get their hands on one, celebrities and the elite certainly have it easier. With that said, here are some of your favorite celebrities who have been spotted sporting their own Aquanaut:  Sir Paul McCartney Photo from Esquire UK Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most influential people in the music industry. He has a very successful career to back him up, from The Beatles to his solo endeavors, and it is no wonder why many look up to him as an icon. While music fans are bound to fangirl over him, watch connoisseurs also have much respect for him and his tasteful watch collection. In a feature with Esquire UK, Sir Paul McCartney was photographed wearing a Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167A. Apparently, he is often seen wearing this beautiful watch to different occasions, both on and off camera.  Drake  Photo from Instagram Drake is yet another another music legend on this list of Aquanaut patrons. A couple of years ago, someone posted an Instagram photo with Drake where he was wearing a rare Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5968A in all its chronograph glory. It came in a gleaming stainless steel case with a very striking orange strap. The rapper is known for his impressive watch collection so it really is no surprise that he owns a member of the Aquanaut family too. Tom Holland  Photo from Xinhua Last on this list is British actor Tom Holland who is best known for his role as Peter Parker/Spiderman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2019, he was seen wearing a Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5167R at a press conference for Spiderman: Far From Home in Seoul, South Korea. Despite being only a year old when the Aquanaut first came out, Tom chose this suave, versatile watch to match his overall style and ensemble.   Final Thoughts  At this point, most of us are aware of just why Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is such a big thing today. Though it didn’t start out as a coveted timepiece, the Swiss brand was able to cultivate this watch line and transform it into the headliner it is now. If you’re thinking about getting one, just remember that the Aquanaut comes with an interesting history, impressive features, and a beautifully distinct design. What more can you ask for in a watch, right?  If this has piqued your interest in Patek Philippe then make sure to check out our article on their iconic Nautilus 5711 model. Photo Credits: Patek Philippe Official Website

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  3. The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    The Orient Mako II – A Big Shark in a Bigger Ocean

    Orient is known for being an underrated watchmaking company. They have a wide-range selection of watches that far exceed their current reputation. Among their lines of diver watches, one model truly stands out among the rest. That model is the Orient Mako II. There are a lot of cheap timepieces out there that turn out to be disappointments. They may be easy to afford, but when you need them the most, they will fail to deliver. The Mako II is not like that. With this model, Orient can personally show you just how much $150 has to offer you. In a world of seafloors inhabited by Rolex Submariners and Omega Seamasters, we often forget that a trusty dive watch does not necessarily have to cost a fortune. There are more affordable options in the market, and the Orient Mako II is one of the most reliable and fair choices. Try to find a timepiece that does the job better than this with a similar price tag, and you will see just what an arduous task it poses. With that said, let’s dive into the Orient Mako II and what it can do. Let’s start with a brief overview of the origins of the first edition Orient Mako and how the Mako II came to be.  The Original Mako Orient released the first Mako in 2004. The Mako was a flagship model and was an effective crowd puller as an affordable diving wristwatch. With its affordable price and capable features, the Mako was a popular choice of a first timepiece for many newcomers. It was an enormous success for Orient, and allowed them to learn more about their market. Thanks to the constructive criticism and feedback from its wearers, Orient was later able to design a new and improved model, the Orient Mako II. The Mako features a 41.5mm case with a royal blue dial. It uses an automatic movement known as the Orient Caliber 46943 with a 40-hour power reserve. Though the Mako comes with mineral glass, it is always possible to swap it for something more sturdy. For its final feature, the Mako can handle 200m or 660ft of water pressure. And to top it all off, this timepiece does not even reach $200. Just by looking at the specs and its price tag, it is apparent that this diver watch is a suitable, easily affordable diver watch for anyone. Funnily enough, this watch was not originally called the Mako. There are a handful of stories on how the Mako got its name, but the most frequent iteration involves the dolphin logo of its rubber strap. Wearers of the Orient Mako started to notice that the supposed dolphin on the rubber strap of the Mako seemed to more closely resemble a shark instead. In particular, fans thought that it looked like the shortfin mako shark. Since then, enthusiasts, and later the company itself, started calling the timepiece the Orient Mako.  Here’s a fun fact you might not have known: the shortfin mako shark, which the Orient Mako is named for, holds the record for being the fastest shark in the world. Specifications Photo by u/motorcyclerider100 from Reddit Dimensions of the Orient Mako II Starting with the dimensions, the Orient Mako II is 13mm thick and measures 41.5mm in diameter. As far as the lugs are concerned, the Mako II has a lug width of 22mm and a lug to lug measurement of 47mm. Although the size sounds quite standard, the wristwatch actually looks smaller than what the dimensions specify due to the nature of its curved lugs. That said, those with larger wrists may perceive their Orient Mako II to be a bit small-scale. If wearers want a watch that feels a little more substantial, they could instead opt for the larger Orient Mako XL. On the whole, however, the Mako II is well-sized for a wristwatch in its category and fits adequately on many. Stainless Steel Case The Orient Mako II has an aesthetically pleasing structure. The case of the Mako II has a considerable amount of heft to it without being too cumbersome on the wrist. It is made of stainless steel, and it is both brushed on its lugs and polished on its sides. As a result, the exteriors of the timepiece exude a satisfying clean look with a welcoming gleaming sheen. Accompanied by a thin bezel, the Mako II boasts a stunning and sporty build that looks appropriate for diving. The bezel on top of the Orient Mako II is particularly unique. It is relatively slim with a deep blue color and notched edges on its sides. The bezel is unidirectional with 120 clicks and can track a typical total of 60 minutes of elapsed time. Aside from the standard blue edition, the bezel can also come in all-black or in the iconic Pepsi-themed colors. While the black version also looks smart, the Pepsi version can be exceptionally appealing. With its ridged sides and slim build, choosing the Pepsi-themed model of the Mako II makes the bezel bear an uncanny resemblance to the bottle cap of a Pepsi drink.  With regards to the functionality of the bezel, although the notched edge is supposed to provide an easier grip, it doesn’t really offer any additional help. The thin structure of the bezel might look sleek, but it also makes turning the bezel quite a challenge at times. In terms of profession, it could be even harder to use for divers, considering account the gear that divers wear. Ultimately, the Mako II’s bezel looks good, but the functionality is sub-par and is better off changed to a slightly thicker bezel. Fortunately, the Mako III and the Mako XL feature a bigger bezel for those who require greater ease of use. Another feature that we need to look at is the crown. The Mako II’s crown has some good polishing on it. Engraved neatly on the center of the knob is the logo of its maker – Orient. It is a beautiful-looking crown, but it also has problems of its own. Much like the bezel, it is a tad difficult to use. For many owners of the Mako II, the crown guards do not give enough space and are too tightly crowded around the knob, making it difficult to turn. Again, this would prove even more burdensome for fully-geared divers who wish to bring the Orient Mako II with them into the water. At the back of the Orient Mako II is a solid screw-down case back that protects the movement inside. Some may prefer having an exhibit-style transparent case back, but using a screw-down case is the optimal choice to reduce the risk of having any leakages, which is crucial for a dive watch like this.  Mineral Glass There is nothing extraordinary to note here. Mineral crystal is a standard in watches of this price range. The crystal will still get the job done, but it will not shelter the dial from anything more than light scratches. If you’re concerned about the quality of protection the crystal offers, you could opt to customize the watch by replacing the mineral glass with sapphire. However, keep in mind that sapphire will cost more. Deep Blue Sunburst Dial When looking through the mineral crystal, the Orient Mako II immediately greets on-lookers with a beautiful deep blue sunburst dial. Hour markers and indices occupy the rim of the dial, other than at the 6th, 9th, and 12th o’clock positions. The hour marker at the 3 o’clock position is replaced with a day and date window perched on the right side of the dial. At the center of the watch are sword-shaped minute and hour hands as well as a red-tipped second hand. The Orient Mako II has luminescent material applied on its hands, indices, and hour markers, so wearers are able to tell the time even in the dark. Completing the overall look is the logo and signature of Orient located below the 12th hour of the dial. The Mako II also comes with a black dial variant, while the Mako II USA sports a white dial.  Orient Caliber F6922 One of the biggest complaints that owners of the first edition Orient Mako had was the inability to wind and hack the movement manually. Since then, Orient has devised a new caliber is adjustable by hand and demonstrates the ability to tell time more precisely. This new and improved movement is none other than the in-house Caliber F6922. What makes this movement so interesting is the innovative design of the caliber. Although the F6922 is automatic, it can still be hand-wound, providing wearers benefits from either side of the spectrum. The caliber has an accuracy of -15/15+ seconds, which is much more precise than the -25/35+ seconds accuracy of its predecessor. That said, the movement will still require consistent regulation every few days. Orient uses Seiko’s Diashock as shock absorbers for the automatic apparatus. The system supplies twenty-two jewels to hold the mechanical movement in place and keep the mechanisms from experiencing excessive wear and tear. The F6922 is capable of 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour and has a 40-hour power reserve. Altogether, Orient’s in-house automatic caliber is a sturdy workhorse, built with the capacity to withstand actual diving and the pressures that come with it. Three-Link Bracelet The Orient Mako II comes with the usual three-link bracelet you can find on numerous affordable Japanese timekeepers. The end links are hollow, but the bracelet is easy to calibrate and wraps around the wrist comfortably. In addition, the steel of the bracelet has been brushed and polished thoroughly, so it possesses the same glossy, professional shine as the case. A double-locking clasp with a push-button design is used to fasten the bracelet. This stainless steel bracelet gives the watch a smart, distinguished look, but there are other options available. You could experiment with different straps that better compliment the classic design of the Mako II. Depending on your preferences, you can select from a wide variety of straps and bracelets. 200m Water Resistance 200m is a deep dive. With resistances like that, the watch can withstand almost all sorts of water activity, from taking a shower to scuba diving. The only thing this wristwatch cannot handle is professional diving, which usually reaches depths of around 500m. This limitation is not a hindrance as people tend to purchase a timepiece like this for design purposes and recreational diving rather than its proficiency deep underwater. Although this timepiece is highly capable, the Orient Mako II does not have ISO certification. Taking into account that this is a very affordable $150 watch, this is a fairly minor con. For those seeking an underwater companion on their casual dive outings, however, the Orient Mako II is still more than up to the task. Alternatives For those who are not a fan of the Mako II’s style, there are a few alternatives that also provide a variety of intriguing features for a similar price tag. Orient Ray II Photo by u/pleisner3 from Reddit There is no doubt that Orient knows how to make a great-looking, affordable dive watch. If the Mako II isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe their Orient Ray II would suit you better. The Ray II sports a matte black dial, similar to that of a Rolex Submariner. Pair that with a black chapter ring and a wonderfully polished stainless steel case, and you get an affordable diver timepiece oozing with sophistication.  Orient also did a remarkable job in applying luminescence to the Ray II. The quality of the luminosity is clean, well-lit, and is unexpected for a timepiece of this price range. Compared to the Mako II, the Ray II does a better job of providing wearers good legibility in the dark. An F6522 in-house caliber powers the inner machinations of the Ray II, and its performance is identical to that of the Mako II’s F6922 calibre. Other than those features, the Mako II and Ray II are almost indistinguishable. Unfortunately, that also includes the hard-to-maneuver bezel and miniature crown. That said, the Ray II is arguably the best alternative to the Mako II. It offers nearly the same amount of features and conveniences and comes with a similar price point. The Ray II also has a wider variety of dial colors to choose from, such as deep blue and pumpkin orange. Seiko SKX007 Photo by Amazon If you’re willing to plonk more money on a trustworthy timekeeper, then look no further than the Seiko SKX007. The Seiko SKX007 is a fan-favorite amongst the range of affordable diver watches. Unlike the Ray and Mako II, the Seiko SKX007 is ISO certified, making it a highly credible and ideal choice for buyers. It possesses 200m of water resistance, hardlex glass, the Seiko 7S26 movement, and is a versatile look suitable for all occasions and activities.   It is undeniable that the SKX007 looks like a first-class watch. The blend of black and white skillfully laden on the dial and bezel makes for a beguiling design. In addition, the timepiece functions extraordinarily well in the dark. Seiko is known to do impressive work applying luminescence to their watches, and they did not disappoint with the SKX007. Seiko also uses hardlex glass to shelter the dial. Hardlex has a reputation for being more durable and resistant than mineral crystals without being too costly. Although not quite as sturdy as sapphire, hardlex glass is still an inexpensive upgrade from mineral crystals. The bezel itself has more grip than the two previously mentioned timepieces. It’s smooth, it clicks decently, and it does not have any significant amounts of wobble. Indeed, the bezel feels like something you would encounter in much more expensive wristwatches. Sadly, the crown faces the same problem as the Mako II and Ray II. Much like those watches, the crown guard of the SKX007 gives too much cover, such that it becomes tricky to use the knob. Wearers will need a bit of fingernail strength to get that pesky crown going. The Seiko 7S26 which the SKX007 uses is an in-house automatic movement and is a predecessor to the 4R36 movement. Regrettably, the 7S26 does not feature manual winding and hacking capabilities. As long as you don’t find the mechanical movement too frustrating to use, however, then this Seiko is still a good option. Since its time in the production line, the SNK007 has become more limited, and this has led to an increase in value. Right now, the timepiece fetches an average price of $330. Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Diver Photo by NY Watch Store The Promaster Diver is a Citizen timepiece built for those who enjoy swimming at the beach. Aside from having 200m of water resistance, the watch uses solar power to energize its internal components. One of the best things about this eco-friendly timekeeper is its quartz movement, which is usually more precise than mechanical movements. Since this particular Citizen uses quartz to operate, you can rest assured that you will have no trouble keeping accurate time with this watch.  The bezel is one of the most important features of a watch, so let’s take a look at how the Promaster Diver fares in that regard. On the side of the Promaster Diver’s bezel is an alternating pattern of teeth-like edges and smoothened surfaces. This design may be an unusual choice, but it serves its purpose in providing more grip. It clicks and turns well, which is satisfying. Compared to the other alternatives, this timepiece seems to have the least amount of negatives. The Citizen Promaster Diver costs approximately $180. It is more pricey than the Mako II, but it does offer a lot of benefits. Like the Mako II, the Promaster Diver can come with either a blue or black dial.  Final Thoughts Affordable Japanese diver watches continue to occupy the market to this day. Although there are a wide variety of them, not many can step up to the quality of the Mako II. If you were to look for another wristwatch under $200 that provides the same all-rounded strengths as the Mako II, chances are you probably won’t be having much luck. Although the Mako II is nowhere near perfect, it proves to be a substantial improvement from its predecessor. It is hard to go wrong with the Orient Mako II. For a timepiece that fetches a price between $130 – $150, calling this just another economical wristwatch would be an understatement. With capabilities far exceeding other wristwatches in the same price range, the Orient Mako II is nothing short of a powerhouse. The charisma of this particular timepiece is utterly magical. Whether someone is new to watches, an experienced enthusiast, or an avid collector, the Mako II attracts the eyes of all who see its sleek look. 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. Featured image courtesy of James Case on Flickr

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  4. The New Trio Seiko Alpinist Models: A Collector’s Guide in 2021

    The New Trio Seiko Alpinist Models: A Collector’s Guide in 2021

    Seiko has been a trusted brand of watches for countless years. Many have adorned this brand because its pieces come at very affordable prices with consistently high quality. Since its first release, the Seiko Alpinist has been immensely popular, gaining many positive reviews from popular sites and magazines. Now, the newest release of the Seiko Alpinist has become the talk of the town, especially for watch collectors. Pay close attention, as we tell you everything you need to know about the three newest models of the Seiko Alpinist. Seiko Alpinist’s Old Models The Seiko Alpinist was first released back in 1959. It was designed as a traditional sports watch, intended to meet every mountain climber’s and recreational athlete’s needs. Although it was initially made for the Japanese market, the Seiko Alpinist’s popularity quickly spread beyond the borders of Japan.   The original design of the Seiko Alpinist had a screw-back case and a sturdy leather cuff band.  Luminous inserts could be found in the indexes, hour and minute hands, and the remarkable mountain-shaped markers at the three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions. These particular designs were made to give the watch more classic aesthetic and greater durability, preventing dust or small particles from entering the case and protecting it from any moisture and water. These designs remain incredibly popular even today, pushing Seiko to apply them to the new Seiko Alpinist-inspired models.  New Seiko Alpinist-Inspired Models Originally designed as a traditional sports watch, the Seiko Alpinist’s design has evolved over the years, from a traditional sports watch to a highly functional watch that fully embodies the Seiko Prospex collection today. The re-created Seiko Alpinist features an upscaled quality, and these new wristwatches join the ranks of other innovative collections under the brand, such as the Seiko Presage. In fact, these timepieces are the hybrid models of the Prospex series. One notable change to the new Seiko Alpinist watches is the elimination of the “Alpinist” label on the dial or caseback. Instead, they are now referred to as Alpinist-inspired watches. Nevertheless, the iconic markers, dials, rings, straps, and indexes are still made with the same designs as their predecessors.  Get to Know More About the Recreation of 1959 Seiko Alpinist Did you know that the original Seiko Alpinist watches paved the way for Seiko to enter into the sports watch arena? Its first-ever model was introduced in 1959 as part of the Laurel collection. This particular collection from Seiko was among the first in the watch industry to produce an enamel dial produced by the company itself. This collection was especially well-received by the public because of how the watches were well-designed. Its popularity as a trailblazer led the brand to develop more sports watches and other timing devices for sports such as the Seiko 5 Sports. In 2003, another batch of Seiko Alpinist watches was produced, this time featuring a quartz movement. The watches possessed a high-precision caliber movement 8F56 with a frequency of 196,609. A few of its remarkable features included the GMT function and perpetual calendar. And unlike the modern Seiko Alpinist watches, the 2003 models featured a titanium case and bracelet with 100-meter water resistance. The 2003 batch was only available in two versions: Seiko Alpinist SBCJ021 (cream dial) and SBCJ019 (black dial) with illumination.  The third generation of Alpinist watches was released in 2006. Now, these watches—SARB017, SARB013, and SARB015—were the most famous among all, especially the SARB017, nicknamed the “Alpinist Green” for its green dial. It featured different dials and as well as upgraded movement and indices. Unfortunately, the production of these watches was discontinued by Seiko in 2018. Most recently, in 2020, Seiko released a new collection of what they label as “Alpinist-inspired” watches, marketed as part of Seiko’s Prospex line. The famous SPB117, SPB119, and SPB121 bear the 6R35 caliber movement and a cyclops (magnifier) over the 3 o’clock date aperture. The SPB117 stands out among all as it is the only model that has a different bracelet and indices. Read more below to find out about these watches. New Features of Seiko Alpinist-Inspired Models Seiko itself announced that they made a considerable number of changes to the watches. It is available in three different models: green dial (SPB121), black dial (SPB117), and gray dial (SPB119). Some of the changes that you should look out for include: New automatic 6R35 caliber movementUpgraded power reserve up to 70 hoursUse of stainless steel materialSlimmer casesTwin crown set upCyclops over the date windowEach model has its own unique characteristics that would perfectly match its owner while staying consistent with the line’s overall hybrid design and layout.  SPB117 Model What to look for in your Seiko Alpinist SPB117 model: Three-link oyster braceletMountain-shaped indicesSmall Prospex “X” logo on the dialCathedral-styled handsThe SPB117 shows a different dial design than the other models. This is also the only watch that comes with a stainless steel Seiko Alpinist’s bracelet with oyster-styled links, making it versatile enough to be worn by both men and women who have outfit variations. The links of the bracelet are sturdy, measuring 20mm lug width, which is thinner than other watches. The three-link bracelet is all-brushed, easy to wear, and gives a smooth, functional feel.  The sought-after black dial does not have the usual Arabic or Roman numerals; it simply has the triangular indexes that are inspired by the Seiko Alpinist models. The iconic red “20 bar” label is found below the “X” symbol that marks this as a Prospex watch. An outer compass ring is present in the bezel with two rings of markings. The inner marks every one degree, while the outer ring marks every 15 degrees. Like the previous Alpinists, the SPB117 has cathedral-style hands with a luminescent feature generously applied up to the tips. A newly-styled date display window shows a larger numeral on a white background. All these are enclosed with a 39.5 mm stainless steel and a Seiko Alpinist’s 46mm lug to lug case, which is water-resistant up to 200m, or 660ft. Lastly, you do not need to worry about the readability of the numerals, since a magnifier is included in the new features. All of these wearable features from the SPB117 come with just $750. SPB119 Model What to look for in your Seiko Alpinist SPB119 model: White dialHuge Arabic numerals on even numbersRotating compass bezelCathedral style handsThe Seiko SPB119 is another professional watch Seiko has added to their collection. It is a 39.5mm watch that showcases a very clean and sleek design. One unique feature of the SPB119 is that, among the newly-issued models, it is the only variant with a white dial. The rotating compass bezel is controlled by a dedicated crown at 4 o’clock, making it another feature of its directional bearings. This feature works by holding the watch horizontally and pointing the hour hand towards the sun. This will allow you to set the internal compass bezel accordingly.  The new silver indices of the SPB119 are another notable change from the SARB013, an older, similarly white-dialed Alpinist model that featured gold-colored indices. Comfort is also a priority in this timepiece, as it comes with a black calfskin leather strap and a sturdy, durable deployant clasp. This kind of strap is easier to use and can be secured just by fastening it and expanding the strap’s size accordingly. Like the other new models, the SPB119 also features a sapphire crystal with a magnifier on the exterior for a more readable time display.  For a price of $699 only, the SPB119 provides every wearer a decent and functional watch that has an accuracy of +25 to -15 seconds per day. Powered by the 6R35 caliber movement, it moves automatically with a manual winding capacity and beats at 3Hz with 24 jewels. The 6R35 caliber movement also provides an upgraded power reserve of 70 hours, which is great if you intend to wear the SPB119 for several days.  SPB121 Model What to look for in your Seiko Alpinist SPB121 model: Green dialGold numerals and indicesNATO strapPerfect lug to lug measurementReleased for a price of $659.00, the SPB121 model stood out among the rest because of its unique golden numeral markers placed in a sunburst green dial. It also has minimalistic, simply-styled letterings for its label. The Prospex “X” logo found at the bottom signifies emphasizes its status as part of Seiko’s Prospex collection. An inner rotatable compass ring can also be found at the 4 o’clock position. The watch’s 39.5mm stainless steel case is a great size for all wrists, whether men or women. A lug-to-lug size of 46.4mm is the perfect measurement, carefully balancing the sturdiness and the versatility of the watch. This is a watch you can opt to wear as either a casual dress watch or as a professional watch. The versatile combination of silver, gold, and green colors makes this watch perfect for any attire a wearer could have.  The SPB121 also has a screw-back case with an open window, allowing you to easily view the movement inside. Also, a date magnifier is placed in the watch, along with an upgraded sapphire crystal that is AR-coated. Some collectors prefer to pair this watch with a NATO strap to make it look more sporty. Its 200-meter water resistance allows you to do outdoor activities like swimming and diving without having to worry about the static pressure exerted on the watch.  Who Should Buy These? Anyone who has an admiration for classic, luxurious, and valuable watches would definitely love to wear one of these Seiko Alpinist-inspired timepieces. Though these are made with high-quality materials and upgraded features, they still come with inexpensive prices that are easy for almost any watch collector to afford.  Furthermore, since 1881, Seiko has been a favorite of many watch enthusiasts. Its watches have become the symbol of value and style. Even famous personalities like Kristen Stewart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sandra Bullock have shown their appreciation for this brand. For anyone looking to wear the same timepieces as your favorite celebrities, Seiko watches are an affordable and reliable choice. Pre-Owned Buying Tips Hundreds of Seiko watch imitations are sold anywhere, online and in-store. Some are even sold at higher prices with very low quality. As such, we want to help you have your own authentic watch by giving you these tips: Buy from Reliable SellersMake sure that you are buying from a reliable store or seller before making an offer to save yourself from fraud. Watchshopping.com is a reputable store of watches that sells several watch brands, including Seiko. It promises buyers 100% authentic products with safe and secure payment. You can also go to Seiko online communities to check for some other stores that are verified by members. Look for Replacement PartsIf you are buying a Seiko watch, make sure to check its worn parts like the dial, bezel, or hands. Oftentimes, pre-owned watches are already being serviced and replaced with new old stock (NOS) parts. So, before paying the full price, you should determine the age of each part. Verify the Serial NumbersVerifying the serial number (comprised of six digits) means it should match the model number. Engravings on the case, movement, and bracelet should also match with those on authentic Seiko watches. Reference numbers of Seiko watches are commonly found on the caseback bearing the case code and the movement.  2021 Seiko Alpinist Models Available in August 2021, the SPB241J1, SPB243J1, SPB245J1, and the limited edition SJE085J1 will be the latest versions of the Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-creation.  First, the SJE085J1 Limited Edition, with only 1,959 available pieces, is one of the most awaited timepieces from the upcoming release. Among the re-created timepieces, it is the only one that is powered by Caliber 6L35 with an accuracy of +15 to -10 seconds per day and 45 hours of power reserve. It embodies the original Seiko Alpinist with a leather strap that sits within a protective cuff band. This watch is smaller and thinner than its predecessors, with measurements of 36.6mm case diameter, a lug-to-lug of 43.8mm, and a thickness of only 11.1mm. It features a stainless steel case material with a box-shaped sapphire crystal for additional durability. The black dial contains silver hands and indices come with the Lumibrite feature that creates a multi-dimensional effect on the surface of the dial.  Seiko has not specified the magnifying feature on the SJE085J1 Limited Edition, but we can be sure that it comes with a date display and stop-seconds function. The watch is also 20-bar water-resistant, allowing it to withstand water pressures up to 200 meters. Unlike the SJE085J1 Limited Edition, the other three models SPB241J1 (white dial), SPB243J1 (black dial), and the SPB245J1 (green dial) are powered by Caliber 6R35 with a 38mm cases diameter and 12.9mm thickness. More differences from the Limited Edition piece include the curved sapphire crystal, a three-fold clasp with a push-button release for the strap, 10 bar water resistance, and a see-through caseback.  Quick History of Seiko Watches If you have wondered where and when did Seiko start as a watch company, it all began in 1881 in Japan. A 21-year old, Kintaro Hattori, braved the big city of Tokyo to open a small shop where he sold and repaired watches and clocks.  After more than a decade, his humble shop grew and was fully established. Following a factory expansion, Hattori’s place of business was later named the ‘Seikosha’, which translates to “exquisite house” or “success house”. The shop-turned-factory marked the beginning of Hattori’s accomplishment as one of the world’s most important manufacturers of timepieces. In the late 1890s, Kintaro Hattori broadened the range of his business, from producing simple wall clocks to innovating a new model of a pocket watch, which he called the “Timekeeper”. This development added to the country’s pride in keeping up with modern technology. Fast forward to 1913, and Seikosha produced Japan’s first-ever wristwatch, The Laurel. This step forward made the brand popular more than ever, pushing it to become a manufacturing force in the horology industry that created hundreds of watches a day.  Seikosha was then rebranded to Seiko in 1924. This was after Seiko released several timepieces internationally that allowed the brand to become synonymous with accuracy and precision, innovation, and refinement.  Recent innovations and development from Seiko include the Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch that was made with a 6-hour chronograph and an energy-saving technology, the Seiko EPD watch that was considered as the world’s first watch with an active matrix system, and the Seiko Spring Dive that was equipped with energy efficiency and friction reduction.  Conclusion Over the years, the Seiko Alpinist has gone through a lot of changes, from its movement, cases, straps, indices, and dials. Despite all these changes, however, it has established and maintained its own identity in the wide world of watches. The re-created Seiko Alpinist watches continue to combine fashion, functionality, and affordable prices, while also providing a variety of styles for everyone to choose from. Can’t get enough of Seiko watches? Check out more of its best-selling watch collections like the Presage and Brightz. If you are looking for another watch guide that could help you in choosing your dream wristwatch, read our watch buying guide articles and get yourself familiarized.  Photo credits: All photos courtesy of Seiko’s official website unless stated below the image.

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  5. Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko Samurai: A Review on One of Seiko’s Best Diver’s Watches

    Seiko has been in the watchmaking market for several decades now. Even though their timeless expertise paved the way for creating high-quality watches, Seiko, in general, has yet to be considered as a luxury watch brand—with Grand Seiko being an exception. This, in turn, puts Seiko on par with Casio in terms of mass-producing several iconic and affordable wristwatches. But that does not necessarily mean that Seiko does not have a few gems hidden in its sleeves. There is no doubt that Seiko has created a global following due to the reliability and iconic designs of their watches. This popularity has led to several pocket watches and wristwatches that have taken the modern era by storm. One of the many innovative watches that Seiko has produced is the Seiko Prospex Samurai. In this review, we will be discussing what makes the Seiko Prospex Samurai watch one of Seiko’s best diver’s watches in the 21st century.  History of Seiko Prospex Samurai Seiko started as a small watch repair shop in Central Tokyo back in 1881. In 1892, Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori expanded by buying a factory in Tokyo which he named Seikosha. The massive success of the Seikosha, which roughly translates to “exquisite house” or “success house”, marked the start of Seiko becoming a substantial figure in the watchmaking industry. Competing with the prominent Swiss watchmakers, the Japanese watch brand captivated the world with its top-notch watchmaking expertise. This success was further amplified when Kintaro Hattori created the “The Laurel”, Japan’s first-ever wristwatch in 1913. With Seiko’s headstart in cutting-edge horological technology, Kintaro Hattori then went on to produce several more wristwatches under the Seiko brand name. Photo Courtesy of Seiko In 2004, Seiko introduced a promising watch model that embodies all the watchmaking principles of Kintaro Hattori, as well as the accumulated experiences of the brand. The model in question? The Seiko Prospex Samurai. This watch is widely regarded as one of the best diver’s watches Seiko has ever released. Not only does it have the classic bulky size of a regular diver’s watch, but it also has a reliable automatic calibre movement and a 200m water resistance. The first generation of the Seiko Samurai watch was made with both titanium and stainless steel, with later generations being made only in stainless steel. You may be wondering why this particular watch is named “Samurai” of all things. Seiko, like many other watch brands, has been known to name its products in the most abstract way possible. A few examples are the Seiko Monster and the Seiko Turtle. The Seiko Monster got its name due to its size, while the Seiko Turtle has a shape reminiscent of a turtle’s shell. The Seiko Samurai, on the other hand, derives its name from the minute hands of the watch, which are shaped like a sword. This might be confusing to some since a samurai katana is a curved long sword, rather than a regular straight-edged sword. Regardless, it holds up, especially since Seiko has always been rather unpredictable in terms of naming their watches. Impressions At a glance, the Seiko Prospex Samurai may seem like an ordinary diver’s watch. Without knowing the specifics of its name, you might be wondering: what makes this particular watch so special? There are several features that set the Seiko Samurai apart from other Seiko diver’s watches. One of them is the Seiko Samurai’s waffle-textured dial and the sleek stainless steel case. The watch’s sleek sword-shaped minute hand, as well as the unusually-shaped arrowhead hour hand, also serve to distinguish it from other watches. These unique design schemes are what make the Seiko Samurai an ideal diving companion that can also be used outside of the said activity.  Since the Seiko Prospex Samurai was initially a Japan-exclusive watch, not much was known regarding the specifics of the watch other than the name itself and the fact that it is a diver’s watch. However, over the years, it slowly gained the right kind of attention from watch enthusiasts, making this seemingly rare timepiece highly sought-after. The black dial variant is the most common option available in the market. Furthermore, since this was a highly exclusive watch, variations of the Seiko Samurai can be relatively hard to find. Seiko took advantage of the high demand for the Seiko Samurai and released a few limited edition colour variants—one of which is the rare Seiko Samurai Orange Dial SRPC07.  The indications and the AR35 calibre movement might make it seem like the Seiko Samurai series is just like any other dive watch in the market. With the hours, minutes, and seconds hands, as well as the date aperture, anyone would assume that it is just an ordinary watch. But a closer look reveals that the Seiko Samurai actually offers more than it initially seems. Let’s take a look at the specifications of the Seiko Prospex Samurai and how they set it apart from other diver’s watches. Specifications Looking at a Seiko watch for the first time may leave you thinking that there are only minor changes with each watch line. That is perfectly understandable since Seiko has been sporting similar design schemes to stay true to their established identity. A closer look, however, shows us how Seiko manages to create subtle, if not major, changes with each of their staple watches, giving a distinct look to each watch while still emphasizing consistency within the Seiko brand. If you prefer a larger case size, the Seiko Monster will surely meet your needs. If you are looking for a watch with a perfectly round shape and has a sizeable thickness, the Seiko Tuna is a perfect choice. The point is, Seiko watches stay true to their brand, while also making sure that each watch is uniquely suited to meet the user’s needs. Case and Bracelet Initially, the Seiko Prospex Samurai was introduced mostly in titanium, with stainless steel as a secondary option. The titanium versions, however, were later discontinued in 2008. That is why stainless steel variants are the ones that are more easily available in the market. Rest assured, however, that the stainless steel cases and bracelets are easily comparable with titanium materials in terms of durability and shine. The lugs were made smaller to balance out the proportions of the watch and provide maximum comfort on the wrist. On the other hand, the bezel adds more to the design of the whole watch with its engraved diamond shape patterns on the sides. If you look closely, this pattern also resembles the diamond pattern found on the hilt of a katana—a nice detail that stays true to the watch’s namesake. The overall size of the Seiko Samurai is not as bulky as it seems. At 43.8mm in diameter and 13.4mm in thickness, this watch is slightly smaller than your average diver’s watch. Nevertheless, the stainless steel case still provides excellent durability, no matter the size.  Dial The original Seiko Samurai was released with only a black dial with a waffle-like textured pattern. Following that, Seiko released several more variations that include a gradient ocean blue dial that goes from indigo-blue at the top to black at the bottom, and the seemingly rare orange dial. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the colour of the dial alone, but since the discontinuation of the Seiko Samurai series, finding your preferred Seiko Samurai watch may prove to be harder than it seems. Most people resort to buying pre-owned units, while others are still scouring official stores to find the one they are looking for. These dials exude a variety of styles such as sporty, chic, classy, and casual. Nonetheless, the original waffle-pattern textured dial still best represents the simplicity of the Seiko Samurai line. Indications The indications of the Seiko Samurai are minimalistic and focus more on reliability rather than style. A diver’s watch should always be clear and accurate when it comes to timekeeping. Otherwise, it could potentially lead to certain accidents, such as miscalculated decompression stops or running out of oxygen due to the inaccuracy of a watch. That said, the Seiko Samurai provides fairly simple watch functions that allow the user to tell the time as accurately as possible, without the risk of miscalculation. The watch also sports white hour markers and hands, providing maximum legibility even in the dark ocean depths, so telling the time will not pose much of a problem. Furthermore, with the help of the LumiBrite technology, you can easily read the time both in the dark and underwater.  As mentioned before, the minute hands of the watch are shaped like swords. While they do not resemble katanas, when these hands meet each other at a certain time, they do look more reminiscent of a sword when combined. This is a cool detail to take note of. The date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position. Since it is a diver’s watch, the bezel of the Seiko Samurai can only be rotated counterclockwise. The markers on the bezel are also white, maintaining a consistent design scheme while also allowing for greater legibility. Rather than adding a more few bells and whistles, the straightforward nature of the Seiko Samurai prioritizes function, making it an extremely reliable dive watch that deserves the praise it’s getting. Calibre Movement There are a lot of people who frequently associate Seiko with Casio, mainly because both are Japanese companies. One difference to keep in mind is that Casio very rarely makes automatic watches, and instead produces quartz movement watches. In comparison, Seiko has many automatic movement watches to choose from. The calibre used in the Seiko Samurai is the AR35. This is an automatic calibre movement that allows hand-winding and provides many of the useful functions necessary for a dive watch.  One of the best functions the AR35 offers is the stop-seconds function. This allows the user to adjust the time without having to worry about the seconds hand, ensuring accurate synchronization, right down to the second. This function has existed in the industry for several years now but is still widely used in the horological craft. Another notable feature is the power reserve of the Seiko Samurai. This movement allows the watch to last for approximately 41 hours when not in use. Since it is both a self-winding and manual-winding watch movement, running out of power will not be a problem for the wearer.  A Few Notable Seiko Prospex Samurai Models Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial – SRPB51K1 Starting with the original model, the Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 retains the simplicity of the Samurai watches that came before it. With the black waffle-textured dial and minimalistic indications, it is impossible to mistake the watch’s classic design. The watch also sports a 43.8mm stainless steel case and a stainless steel bracelet, ensuring that the durability of the watch remains the same. The bezel has a black and grey colour with a unidirectional movement. The hands and indexes are all coated in LumiBrite, which allows visibility even in the dark or underwater.  Speaking of underwater, all of the Seiko Samurai watches can go up to 200 meters underwater, and the Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 is no different. This is to be expected, since it is a diver’s watch, and this is indicated on the dial itself. The watch is further equipped with the AR35 calibre movement, which gives it a 41-hour power reserve as well as the stop-seconds function. Overall, nothing can beat the original when it comes to subtlety and simplicity. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic Black Dial (Hard Coating) – SRPB55K1 The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 offers a similar design as the Samurai SRPB51K1, with a few notable differences. This model is reminiscent of the titanium variant due to the black coating of the case. Rest assured, though, that this watch uses stainless steel for its case, and thus maintains the same durability as other Samurai watches. The bracelet used for the Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 is silicone instead of stainless steel. Not only does this add more comfort, but the soft exterior also adds more to the style of the watch. The Seiko Samurai SRPB55K1 also retains the familiar black waffle pattern on its dial. However, it offers a different look on both the hands and the indexes. By using a gold-tone lining, the indicators are highlighted without any worry of legibility issues. The markings on the bezel also adopt a gold colour scheme to stay true to the overall design and provide a refined feel to the totality of the watch. Seiko Prospex Samurai Automatic “Save The Ocean” – SRPC93K1 Last on the list is the Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1, a special edition timepiece introduced in 2018. Versions of this edition can be found in both the Seiko Turtle and Seiko Samurai lines as well. This model does not only look good, but it also provides a specific message for everyone in terms of marine conservation.  Much like the rest of the Seiko Samurai models, the Seiko Samurai SRPC93K1 holds the same design, size, and functionalities. The highlight of this watch is its beautiful gradient dial which perfectly captures the ocean depths. The engraved horizontal lines add a texture to the dial that resembles the unending waves of the sea. The black section at the bottom of the dial embodies the unknown depths of the ocean that are yet to be explored. The Seiko Samurai “Save The Ocean” SRPC93K1 is a watch that symbolizes the importance of marine life as well as the beauty of the vast ocean. Seiko Samurai Price Range The best thing about Seiko’s watches is that they are at a very affordable price range. Although Seiko is not considered a luxury brand, the watches are of amazing quality and should be considered for your collection. Seiko Samurai watches do not cost more than a thousand dollars apiece. Indeed, the functionalities and the classic designs of the Seiko Samurai ensure that this is the timepiece that will give you the most bang for your buck. The Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51K1 currently costs $469 in the market. Since it features the common design of the Seiko Samurai collection, the price tag for it seems fairly reasonable compared to its fellow watches in the collection. Each model may differ in price, but the usual price range starts from $450 up to $600. Compared to the usual price of Casio watches, the Samurai is undoubtedly more expensive—but for good reason. For only a few hundred dollars more, you can own a dive watch that is equipped with an automatic movement, which is the best choice compared to a quartz watch. It may not be on par with the Rolex Submariner, but it is a great timepiece for those who plan on starting a watch collection. Either way, do not be discouraged about its price being below $1000; the Seiko Samurai is a solid automatic dive watch that offers more than what it is worth. If it is still above your desired budget, you can always rely on pre-owned watches. Depending on the condition, it can be bought for as low as $300—or even lower. Just be sure to find a reliable seller and avoid shady deals online. Final Thoughts The Seiko Prospex Samurai is truly one of Seiko’s most popular dive watches today. Not only does it provide the necessary tools for diving, but it also boasts impressive accuracy and reliability. The AR35 calibre movement exceeds all expectations when it comes to sustaining a diver’s watch while also prioritizing precision.  In addition to that, the Seiko Samurai is also flexible in terms of usage. The bezel can be used when timing recreational activities other than diving. Furthermore, the compact size of this watch makes for a great everyday watch. The various dial colours available are yet another reason for the Seiko Samurai’s popularity. With so many colors to choose from, you can mix them up with any event or activity as you see fit. Whether it’s professional or casual, the Seiko Samurai manages to be the perfect watch for any occasion. Overall, the Seiko Prospex Samurai is a great diver’s watch that is easily on par with most of the top dive watches in the industry. For a very affordable watch, the Seiko Samurai is more than what it is worth—making it the perfect underwater companion for everyone. Looking for the best Seiko timepiece to give to your girlfriend or mother? Take a look at our list of Best Seiko Women’s Watches for some great options. Featured image courtesy of George Thomas from Flickr

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  6. The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph – Why Should You Need One?

    The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph – Why Should You Need One?

    The Sinn 356 Chronograph is a pilot watch that belongs to the Sinn Instrument Chronographs collection. Ironically, despite its considerable reputation, this pilot watch flies under the radar. Sinn is known to make a lot of excellent timepieces. Although they aren’t the most famous brand, their level of craftsmanship gives them an identical reputation. The Sinn 356 is a pilot chronograph with qualities that can reach heights. Though it is not one of Sinn’s most modern or popular creations, the 356 can hold its own and challenge your expectations. This article aims to give us a better understanding of the Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph and its variants. Hopefully, this helps you decide if the Sinn 356 is the ideal timepiece for you.  Everything We Need to Know About the Sinn 356 Sinn manufactured the 356 in 1996 as the successor to the 256 Pilot Chronograph — featuring a more refined and elegant look than its predecessors. Although the Sinn 356 chronograph has garnered some age, the watch carries a design and function that transcend its era and can fit in similarly just like any other modern timepiece.  There are two versions of the 356: The base variant and the SA variant. The beloved German watch company had three SA variants as alternative options for the original timepiece. Each version of the 356 SA showcases different-colored dials with a satin-finished steel case. With that said, let’s get right into the specifications of the Sinn 356. Dimensions of the Sinn 356 With regards to its overall size, the Sinn 356 is proportionally average. The timepiece has a case diameter of 38.5mm with a thickness of 15.5mm. It also has a band lug width of 20mm and a lug to lug distance of 45.6mm. Without the strap, the timepiece weighs 71 grams which should neither be too light nor too heavy. All aspects put together, the watch is well-balanced and can lay on anyone’s wrist with relative comfort.  Bead-Blasted Case  While the SA versions use satinized steel, the original Sinn 356 features a stainless steel casing that has been bead-blasted to achieve its confident dull sheen. The case is beautifully beveled to give the 356 a smooth and sleek look that fits all occasions. The bezel is also wonderfully crafted and fastens the dome-shaped acrylic glass neatly. Wearers can access the chronograph function of the 356 through pushers stationed at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock of the timepiece.  All models are pressure-resistant and screwed with a large crown to protect the inner mechanisms from pressure changes. The reason for this design dates back to the 20th century. At that time, pilots would often wear gloves to protect their hands from the conditions of flight. Since the pilots wore the gloves throughout the flight, adjusting their timepiece proved to be an infuriating task. As a solution, Sinn and other watch companies applied larger crowns so pilots would not have to remove their gloves. Bead-Blasted vs. Satinized What’s the difference between bead-blasted steel and satinized steel? First of all, both kinds of finishes are processed differently. Bead-blasted steel is the result of projecting spherical-shaped media to a steel surface. In effect, the steel obtains a uniform and streak-free exterior. Achieving a satin finish is done by brushing an abrasive material vigorously on steel. After the steel is polished and softened, the outcome is a modern-looking matte finish that is also resistant to corrosion. The second difference comes from the sheen. Bead-blasted steel offers a dull and non-reflective look, while satin-finished steel looks shinier and sharper. Due to this, the case of the standard 356 is not as reflective as its SA variants. Another difference comes from their resistance. Unfortunately, satin-finished steel is more resistant to corrosion and scratches compared to bead-blasted. If not maintained properly, the case of the standard Sinn 356 will corrode faster than its other versions. Does that mean satin-finished steel is better than bead-blasted steel? In terms of resistances, satinized steel is the clear winner. How about for appearance? That will all boil down to your preferences. Both types of finishing look good on the case. Whether bead-blasted or satin-finished, it is of great significance to carefully maintain the case of the 356. Doing this will allow its clean and elegant look to stay with you for many years to come. Dial  The standard Sinn 356 and its SA-I variant bear the same matte black dial with a syringe-like minute and hour hands. The dial consists of three recessed subdials and a bordered day and date window. This design allows the subdials and the window to be more discernible without compromising the main dial. I particularly like the structure of the handset due to its design. The thickness of the lower part of the arrows allows the alpha handset to be more noticeable, and its upper, more slender arrowhead pinpoints time precisely without meshing with the other dials.  White-colored numbers, hour markers, indexes, and subdial handsets are scattered across the dial to counteract its dark flat surface while giving it a minimalistic yet sophisticated two-toned look. The digits for 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock, and 12 o’clock are unregistered in the dial to make space for the positioning of the day and date window and the subdials of the dial. All numbers and handsets are coated with luminescent colors to allow easier reading at night. The 356 SA-II and SA-III use a copper and silver electroplated guilloche dial, respectively. Having the dials of the SA II and III electroplated gives it a premium chrome style that can catch the eyes of any viewer. Describing the process of making an electroplated dial is not an easy task, but a summary of the process is available in Sinn’s Technology Glossary. All versions have the Sinn and Flieger (Pilot) signature positioned at the top and bottom of the day and date window. Acrylic Glass An acrylic dome-shaped glass shelters the dial of the standard Sinn 356. Acrylic glass is a type of protection made of Poly-acrylic Esters. The material is flexible, impact-resistant, and is a more cost-effective substitute for sapphire. Users can opt to have the acrylic glass replaced with sapphire glass for more long-term durability. Despite being regarded as glass, acrylic has more resemblances to hard plastic than actual glass. That said, the glass is highly resistant to breaks, weather, and corrosion. While this type of material is impact-resistant, it has a softness that makes it susceptible to scratches. Too many scratches will hinder its wearers from reading the dial effectively. With that in mind, Sinn ensures that their users can hide light scratches with a good amount of polishing. SA versions of the 356 come with a dome-shaped Sapphire glass as standard. The interior of the sapphire dome is coated with an anti-reflective inlay — allowing wearers to view the time from different angles and lighting conditions without any distortion. SW 500 Movement A Sellita SW 500 uses a mechanical, self-winding mechanism to operate the Sinn 356. The SW 500 is based on the Valjoux 7750 and is known for its resilience and durability. It is a relatively large and thick movement that bears 25 jewels to reduce wear and tear. The system produces 28,800 oscillations per hour and is anti-magnetic. A seconds stop function is also present in the mechanism for wearers to synchronize time with reliable precision.  The movement of the 356 is protected by a stainless steel caseback that is screwed down (along with the crown) for more efficient water resistance. The SA variants utilize a sapphire crystal caseback that is similarly screwed down. Since the SA case backs are transparent, wearers can view the inner machinations of the 356 in all its intricate glory. Comprehensive Strap Selection Sinn provides its customers with the option to choose their preferred leather, stainless steel, or silicone strap for the 356. The catalog of leather bands for the Sinn 356 is composed of a wide-range selection that features cowhide, calfskin, horsehide, and alligator leather. Customers can also choose between a two-link, bead-blasted, stainless steel bracelet or a black silicone strap with a large-scale or small-scale folding clasp. Personally, the timepiece looks stylish with any strap on it. I suggest that you pick one that allows your watch to lay comfortably on your wrist. Alligator leather may be the safest and most refined material, but it is also the most luxurious among the four. Water Resistance Despite being a pilot’s watch, all versions of the Sinn 356 are waterproof and can endure water pressure for up to 10 bars or 100 meters. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a bar is a type of measurement equivalent to 10 meters of water pressure. Timepieces of this kind of caliber can resist rain splashes and shower water without a problem. While it is unsuitable for extreme water sports such as deep-sea diving, the timepiece can withstand more leisurely activities such as swimming and snorkeling.  Up Close with the 356 Flieger Family It would be disappointing if I keep mentioning the variants without giving you an illustration of their unique appearances. Without further ado, let’s meet the other attractive individuals that complete the Sinn 356 Pilot family. 1. Sinn 356 SA Photo by SinnThe first SA variant of the 356 Pilot is the most identical to the standard model. With sapphire glass and a satin-finished casing as the only difference, the 356 SA offers its wearers a similar timeless look with a little more luxury and a lot more durability. The changes may not be dramatic, but the switch from bead-blasted to satinized steel will increase the overall corrosion resistance of the watch. Sapphire glass is also much more resistant to scratching than acrylic. Shaping the sapphire was a strategic move by Sinn as it increases the capabilities of the sapphire to resist impacts. A timepiece built this way can effortlessly withstand the test of time while maintaining its deep and stylish appearance. 2. Sinn 356 SA-II Photo by SinnBeneath the sapphire dome lies a shiny copper interior. A closer look at the SA II reveals a uniform guilloche pattern that travels outward from the center of the electroplated dial. The distinct beauty of the SA II makes its wearers stand out from the mundane crowd with a powerful and fashionable statement.  Despite boasting an intriguing design, it happens to be my least favorite member of the Sinn 356 family. To me, the other colors complement the entire watch better than the copper tone. Don’t get me wrong, the timepiece still looks astounding. It’s just my preference. 3. Sinn 356 SA III Photo by SinnThe SA III is the final entrant to the 356 series and is my favorite among the four. This marvelous piece possesses a silver-hued, guilloche-patterned, electroplated dial similar to the SA II. Despite the coloring, the dials are still highly legible. The blend of the satinized steel and silver interior gives the SA III an even complexion throughout its structure without melding the different components too much.  I love the level of sophistication the SA III Pilot brings. If I had it, I would pair the timepiece with a stainless steel two-link bracelet. This kind of bracelet will allow me to keep the uniformity of the watch. I’m Not a Pilot, Why Would I Need the Sinn 356? Different people need different things. A carefully designed timepiece can go a long way in meeting the owner’s specific criteria. A diver watch specializes in water resistance, allowing it to stick by its owner’s side while traversing the mysterious ocean. Sports watches have features to let their users track their progress as they enter a healthier lifestyle. For socialites and secret agents, becoming dressed to kill is a feat that only a striking dress watch can achieve.  However, some watches break the limit and become more than just a tool. The Sinn 356 is more than just a tool watch. It is a companion that’s always there for you when you need it. Yes, the 356 caters to pilots, but it is no stranger to everyday life. With such a versatile appearance and function, the watch can be what you want it to be. It is stylish enough to be used for special occasions and is strong enough to be brought underwater. The Best Alternative to the Sinn 356 Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Auto Chrono Photo by HamiltonIf you want a different pilot watch, you can go for the Hamilton X-Wind Auto Chrono. With more crowns and a tachymetric scale, this piece from the Hamilton Khaki Aviation collection is more than just a substitute. The X-Wind uses the H-21, an automatic movement with a reserve of 60-hours. With the case and dial loaded with numbers and meters, the design of this particular Hamilton watch leans to a more technical side. Personally, the dial of the Hamilton is not as legible as the Sinn 356. I also prefer the overall simplistic design of the 356. If this is the kind of watch you’re looking for, don’t let my preferences stop you. The X-Wind fetches a similar price tag of $1,870. Final Thoughts Though it is not the greatest among the Sinn Instrument Chronographs watches, the Sinn 356 is a stunning example of what the ideal pilot watch should be. It is a timepiece that can accurately display various times to its wearers, even when battling through extreme conditions. It flaunts a dateless style that can be directed to Sinn’s tradition in watchmaking throughout the years. All aspects considered, there’s barely anything to add or remove from the 356 to make it even better. Maybe the only thing the watch is missing is an owner?  The Sinn 356 Pilot Chronograph fetches an average price of $1,700 USD to $2,400 USD, while its variant’s price ranges between $2,300 USD and $3,400 USD. It does require a hefty amount of money, but it is definitely worth your investment. With proper maintenance, this watch can probably outlive you. With that in mind, you won’t just be buying the watch for yourself. The Sinn 356 can be passed down as an heirloom to the next generation so that they too can love and respect the glorious timepiece just like you did. Need a diver watch? Check out our guide to the Omega Aqua Terra 150m

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  7. Patek 5970 — An Ode to the 5270’s “Perfect” Older Brother

    Patek 5970 — An Ode to the 5270’s “Perfect” Older Brother

    One of the most symbolic father-son moments in watch history was when Philippe Stern handed the reins of Patek Philippe to his son Thierry Stern. This iconic moment gave birth to one of the most outstanding timepieces in watch history — the Patek 5970.  The Patek Philippe 5970 is a series of perpetual calendar chronographs manufactured by Patek Philippe in the early 2000s. Anyone who is an avid watch collector will tell you that Patek Philippe provides one of the finest watches in the industry. The passed-down technique that Patek uses in crafting their timepieces is evocative of the brand’s image. This technique made the glorious anatomy that makes up the Patek 5970. At first glance, you’re not entirely sure if the timepiece is vintage, modern, a mix of both, or somewhere in between. In this article, we will unshroud the mystery that makes this watch not only a prized possession but also a technical masterpiece. After discovering what the Patek 5970 has to behold, we will compare the 5970 with its successor — the 5270. But before we head into the nitty and gritty of the 5970, let’s get to know the origins of this lovely slice of luxury, A Closer Look at the Patek 5970 The Patek Philippe 5970 was coined in 2004 by Thierry Stern as the successor to the reference 3970. In devising the 5970, Thierry wanted to create a watch that would cater to the younger generation while also inheriting the legacy that defined Patek’s remarkable history. Patek Philippe began manufacturing the reference 5970 in 2004 and ended its production in 2011. The Patek 5970 was the last of Patek’s perpetual calendar watches to utilize the Lemania 2310-based movement. The Patek 5970 series would sell at an approximate price of $100,000 USD to $200,000 USD for each timepiece.  The Patek 5970 was later on succeeded by the Patek 5270, which uses Patek’s in-house movement mechanisms. Although it was the 5270’s time to bask in the limelight, the watch (5270) did not receive the same amount of appreciation compared to its predecessors. The 5970 remains one of Patek’s most revered and most sought-after references to date. Its unmatched luxury and distinct design make this timepiece a close and spitting image to the Perfect Watch. Photo from Phillips Specifications The timepiece measures 40mm in diameter with a thickness of 13mm. The Patek 5970 will look even thicker if your wrist is on the small side. Despite its bulky appearance, the watch is well-proportioned and fits the hand like a glove. People can don this premium watch with relative ease on various special occasions or in everyday life. Even in this level of luxury, it’s not easy to find a burly wristwatch that can wrap comfortably around your wrist.  1. Case Different cases with various colors shelter the Patek 5970 and its variants. The custom cases cover and protect the timepiece from danger and also separates it from other corresponding references. While none of them are inherently the same, each watch case has its own set of similarities. The case can either be made of 18Kt gold or platinum, depending on the model version. Each case comes with a crown and two pushers positioned at the right side of the timepiece. The watch cases are sleek and finished skillfully, and the lugs on each side are carefully beveled to lay comfortably on one’s wrist while avoiding excess protrusion. Personally, I am glad that the lugs are very short. The appeal of long-lugged watches is something I cannot (and will not) understand. Long lugs make my timepiece look like it has a pair of skis attached to it. I prefer having a small-lugged wristwatch that does not look like it’s ready to ski down a snowy mountain. 2. Dial Like most of Patek’s line-up of perpetual calendars, the Patek 5970 can indicate different aspects of time. From seconds, minutes, and hours, all the way to days, months, years, leap years, and moon phases, the 5970 fulfills its role like any other watch of its caliber. By looking at any of the Patek Philippe 5970 variants, you’ll see that the dials are ladened with all sorts of time indicators and matching leaf-style handsets. The dials for the Patek 5970G, Patek 5970R, and Patek 5970J feature a light tinge, while the Patek 5970P has its dial colored black. Visible near the rim of each dial is a tachymetric scale that provides more functionality to the 5970. Despite being fully loaded, there’s still a sufficient amount of space that separates each component. The subdials and numbers are far enough to not clash with one another, allowing its wearers to view the time and date without difficulty. The preciseness placed on the proportions and overall balance of the dial is remarkable — a distinct level of craftsmanship Patek has carried throughout the ages.  The Patek Philippe and Geneve signatures are placed below the day and month window to complete the dial’s style. 3. Movement Photo from Phillips As mentioned above, a Lemania-based movement operates the Patek 5970. The base of the apparatus is deeply customised to create the CH 27-70 Q. Although heavily modified, the Lemania-based mechanism is a crucial piece of Patek’s perpetual timepieces due to its usage in the company, dating back to 1986. The Patek 5970 has a power reserve of 60 hours before needing to be manually rewound. Twenty-four jewels hold the CH 27-70 Q together to reduce friction between the parts. At the rear of the watch, you can see an exhibition-style caseback that shelters the mechanism. With this design, people can enjoy viewing the intricacies of the CH 27-70 Q movement. The watch uses sapphire glass to form the transparent caseback to help ensure that the apparatus can avoid all sorts of scratches and damage. 4. Strap The Patek 5970s typically use high-quality alligator straps to hold their luxurious timepiece. Juxtaposed to other reptile skin such as crocodile skin and caiman skin, the material of Alligator skin is much more flexible and durable. Alligator leather is also said to age well, so it pairs well with an ageless watch such as the Patek 5970. Alligator skin undergoes a type of processing that excludes the use of harmful chemicals, allowing users with sensitive skin to wear the watch without irritation. Maintenance for the alligator strap is simple and easy, too, since all you need to do is wipe it with a damp cloth. Picking alligator leather was an experienced choice for making the 5970’s strap. Patek Philippe 5970’s Four Different Variants Photo from Phillips Patek Philippe 5970P (Platinum) Possibly the fan-favorite of the series, the platinum-cased 5970 boasts a unique and versatile look that makes it stand out among the rest. This particular 5970 is the only model that features a black dial. The 5970P entered production in 2010 and was the last version of the series before its discontinuation. The charcoal black dial and platinum case made this particular 5970 model attain an exceedingly high demand among enthusiasts and collectors alike.  I’m a simple man. When I see the color black, I like it. The blackness of the dial definitely sets it apart from the other three versions. It is the most popular variant of the bunch and is the series’ highest sold base watch. Patek Philippe 5970R (Rose Gold) You’ve probably heard this specific color go around during the release of the iPhone 6. One of the first 5970s produced was the Patek Philippe 5970R. Like the 5970G, the 5970R began its production in 2004. Patek continued to manufacture the 5970R for five years and halted production in 2009.  Compared to most shades of rose gold that highlight a rosy-red hue, the redness of the 5970R has a milder tone which makes the gold aspect of the rose gold shade more distinct. The merging of the rose gold case with the clean yet elaborate white dial makes the 5970R a vintage take with a modern twist. Although it has some resemblances with the 5970J (yellow gold), this eccentric work of art has its personalized spot in the series that gives it as much attention as its siblings. Photo from Christie’s Patek Philippe 5970G (White Gold) The Patek 5970G was also one of the first in the series to make its debut. Along with the rose gold version, Patek began producing the 5970G in 2004. This model features a neatly done white dial accompanied by a matching white gold case. The white dial is balanced with black hands and black numerals, giving it a simple yet intriguing two-toned elegance. Although the Patek 5970G arguably has the cleanest look, it was the least popular piece of the series. Its minimalist design has likely catered to a younger demographic instead of Patek’s usual audience. I’m glad to be a part of the younger generation, as I think the 5970G suits me. The complementing tones are elegant, and the watch looks good on all kinds of wrists. Photo from Phillips Patek Philippe 5970J (Yellow Gold) Everything about the Patek 5970 screams classic, and you can sense the prestigious aura it exudes. The 5970J was introduced in 2009 and is the rarest model of the reference. It was made as another option for enthusiasts apart from the rose gold and white gold versions and only underwent one year of production. I’m a total sucker for this kind of color scheme, and this variant is undoubtedly my favorite among the four. Its extensive vintage look, high-quality crafting, and sepia-like tone sequence make this watch one of the best watches I’ve ever seen. Patek 5970 vs. Patek 5270 — A Comparison  The Patek 5970 has been likened to the Patek 5270 by many watch enthusiasts. Both perpetual calendar watches were conceived during Thierry’s time as chairman and are both reputable constructs. Although most enthusiasts deem the former to be more well-loved than the latter, more 5270s populate the market. You can find a model of the 5270 under the Patek Philippe Complications with no sign of the Patek 5970. That said, let’s get a better understanding of these two models. Movement: CH 27-70 Q vs. 29-535S Q The first and apparent difference is the movement. Unlike the 5970, which used a heavily modded Lemania 2310, the 5270 used the 29-535S Q,  a mechanism built solely in-house. Not only was it a more modern apparatus, but it was also the first mechanism Patek ever made. The 29-535S Q comes with a column wheel to manage the different levels of the watch. The new column wheel allows the systems of the 5270 to work smoother and be subject to lesser wear and tear. Is it better than the 5970’s movement? Technically, yes. Another difference, albeit minor, between the two is their power reserves. The 5270 has a power reserve of 65 hours, while the 5970 only had a power reserve of 60 hours. Other than that, the two mechanisms work like a charm with barely any noteworthy contrasts.  Diameter: 40mm vs. 41mm The Patek 5970 has a diameter of 40mm, while the 5270 has a diameter of 41mm. The 5270s new case and new lugs make this model one of Patek Philippe’s most sizable references in their catalog. Despite being only a millimeter greater in diameter, the 5270 is visibly bulkier than its predecessors. The Patek 5970 also exhibited a more comfortable fit compared to the 5270. That said, both references fit cozily on the wrist despite their girthy exterior. Series: One vs. Three  The Patek 5970 only had a single series during its production. The sole series of four metals features the following versions: Rose Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold, and Platinum. With four stunning and unique timepieces, it proved challenging for enthusiasts and collectors to pick a favorite. With regards to the Patek 5270, there were things it did right and things it didn’t. I usually like hearing the good news first so let’s start with that. The 5270 had two windows embedded on its 4:30 and 7:30 sides. This innovation solved an issue that some users had in reading the 5970’s multiple dials.  That said, it is time for us to go through the three series of the 5270 and its bumpy road. The first series of the 5270 featured a white gold case identical to the 5970 variant, a light-silver dial with a gold handset, and (get this) no tachymeter. It is unknown why Patek excluded this component from the 5270. Due to that decision, fans were unhappy with the outcome as their expectations were unmet. In effect, the 5270 had to reintroduce itself in a second series. The second series had a white gold case with a choice between an opal or blue dial. To not cause events that repeat history, the second series now comes with a tachymetric scale. Patek finally took care of the problem. However, a new obstacle made itself apparent when enthusiasts noticed something unsightly in the dial. How should I say this? Do you know that feeling when you take a picture of yourself, and you see your double-chin? Yes, that grim reminder that we need to lose weight is such an eyesore.  The 5270 has a similar issue in which a small protrusion is visible at the bottom of the dial. This design messes with the perfect circle of the tachymeter and is an absolute bane for those with an inkling of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Funnily enough, this disfigurement also acquired was described as a “chin” by its users and viewers in the watch industry. The model was further snubbed by its audience not only because reading the tachymeter would prove a challenge but also because that “chin” is straight-up unsightly. Well, it looks like it’s back to the drawing board. After yet another fault, the brand releases its 3rd series of the 5270. This installment has the same palette option as the second series (white gold case with either a blue or opal dial. The series also unveiled another color scheme – sporting a Rose Gold casing merged with an opal dial. It looks like the third time was definitely the charm for the 5270. The 5270 finally had its breakthrough and is now placed in a better light. Goodbye, chin. I won’t miss you a single bit. Is one better than the other? It took a while, but the 5270 finally hit the sweet spot that the Patek 5970 has leisurely stayed. Despite having mishaps during the development of the 5270s series, its first and second series developed a niche as part of the 5270’s history. Such models would sometimes fetch a price that’s equal to the models of the 5970. Is one better than the other? Personally, no. I like the 5970 better by default, but that doesn’t mean that the 5270 lacks. Both references showcase superb performance and individual style, which is what matters the most. The 5970 may be rarer, but they are both priced closely. Additionally, I think these two references (along with the 3970) can outclass any of Patek’s current catalogs — including Patek’s Grand Complications set. Final Thoughts The Patek 5970 is a reference series that you could very much call perfect. Honestly, you won’t find a more spectacular piece of horology than the 5970. It’s simply such a beautiful timepiece that it’s in a league of its own. No wonder the world of watch enthusiasts has kept its eye on this particular reference. It has so much to flaunt and hardly had anything remotely disappointing to converse.  If anything, one thing I can complain about is the longevity of its production. For such a lustrous and complex timepiece, the amount of time it had in assembly was considerably short. There was only an estimated amount of 2,800 ever made, according to watch collector and Patek Philippe expert John Reardon. With only that many 5970s, you probably will not be seeing the whole in-person anytime soon.  This beloved timepiece not only marked Thierry Stern’s spot in Patek Philippe’s lineage but also made Philippe Stern a contented and proud father. _____________________________________________________________________ Want a watch that’s more oriental?  Here are the Top 5 Japanese Dress Watches.

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  8. Breitling Watches: Which One Should You Buy?

    Breitling Watches: Which One Should You Buy?

    If you look at the range of Breitling watches over the years, you’ll know this is one brand that never made the mistake of ‘getting stuck in a rut.’ On the contrary, Breitling’s watch designers often set the pace in the industry, adding innovative features to watches and remembering to meet the need of the wearer, whether it’s a pilot, an athlete, or a businessman wearing it. What else made it possible for this brand to survive and flourish in a very competitive industry? We have a few thoughts on the matter. Breitling Since 1884 The Breitling brand started in 1884, when a talented watchmaker, Leon Breitling, manufactured both measuring tools and timepieces. His brand from Switzerland gained the industry’s respect because of his innovative approach. For example, he managed to simplify chronograph designs that were also easier to manufacture. They looked sleek and maintaining them was relatively effortless. All of these, watch owners appreciated. After this great start, Breitling was a family-run business for decades. After Leon, there was Gaston who kept up the family reputation for thinking out the box. In 1915, it was thanks to Gaston that Breitling gave the market one of the first chronographs fitted with an additional button – a push-piece close to the crown – to change how chronographs are used on wristwatches. Next in line was Willy Breitling who did need assistance in running the company, since he was very young when his father passed away. During this season of Breitling’s history, the company manufactured one of its most famous pieces, namely the Navitimer. This is an excellent example of the brand’s practical approach, with the flight-specific slide rule, making it the chosen timepiece for many pilots. Willy eventually decided to sell the brand, purely because of his deteriorating health and his children being too young to take over such a successful brand. In 1979, he sold Breitling to an entrepreneur. Breitling Today Lucky for us, Willy chose well when selling Breitling to Ernest Schneider. Ernest understood both watchmaking and being a pilot, so he could continue leading this impressive and practical brand. Another change took place in 2017 when the brand formed part of CVC Capital Partners. Under the supervision of the CEO, Georges Kern, the brand still impresses with its products. Today, you’ll find Breitling watches that suit various types of lifestyles. While Breitling always exudes style, quality, and craftsmanship, you can find one that suits you whether you’re a business professional, a surfer — have a look at the Breitling Superocean range— a pilot, or a nature lover that often hikes in the wilderness. This classic brand gives you the chance to pick a timeless look, but you can also look ultra-modern with different colored straps. So, which Breitling will you wear? We review some of the best ones. Breitling Watches to Consider for Your Arm 1. Breitling Navitimer The Breitling Navitimer will probably be at the top of the Breitling lists for years to come because it’s been popular ever since its launch in the 1950s. You’ll see the face is quite busy while its stand-out feature is the slide rule bezel, designed especially for pilots to find useful. But of course, anyone can wear this to look stylish and have an interesting accessory on your arm. With the wide range of sizes—as small as 35mm and as large as 46mm—you can buy according to your taste. Do you want an automatic or a chronograph watch? They’re all available in the Navitimer range and there are also many color schemes and strap types to pick from. 2. Breitling Superocean Heritage 57 The Breitling Superocean Heritage range gives more proof of the brand’s ability to meet specific needs with their designs—this time for divers. It’s not a recent development, with dive watches on the company’s product list for a few decades already. The Breitling Superocean Heritage 57 is a crowd favorite, with oversized indices and a ceramic bezel that’s concave and bidirectional. The case is 42mm, which is a comfortable size to wear for most people and on the self-winding mechanical watch, you can get as much as 42 hours in reserve power. Take your pick of colors, designs, and strap types to suit your preferences! 3. Breitling Top Time Limited Edition If you collect watches, one of the best Breitling’s to invest in will be the Top Time. Some may find the Zorro dial striking—exactly what you’re after when it comes to making a statement with your accessories. There was an original Top Time launched in the 60s, but it made a comeback and this one works for both men and women. You get a 41mm case,  up to 48 hours in reserve power after self-winding and the leather strap is the final stylish element you need. Breitling Watches Final Thoughts Breitling never stopped innovating, but the brand manages to keep a sense of classic style in its modern designs. Are you a pilot, a diver, or a travel-junkie? Whatever profession or field you belong to, a  Breitling watch might just work out for you!

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  9. Deep-Sea Dive Watches: How Far Below Can They Go?

    Deep-Sea Dive Watches: How Far Below Can They Go?

    We all know what dive watches are. But is it okay to use them on formal events or anywhere else you go? Is it so you can take it with you underwater when you’re swimming, scuba diving, or going on deep-sea missions? Or is it all of that? Whatever your reason may be, we’re sure to find a dive watch that is just what you’re looking for. What Are Dive Watches? It is a luxuriously fancy watch, that much we all know, but it is more than that. As the name implies, dive watches are suited for underwater purposes. These timepieces let us know how long we’ve been underwater, and how much oxygen we have left in our tanks. Dive watches have been with us since the beginning of the 20th century. What’s more, is that they are still both useful and fashionable to this very day. Dive watches are quite distinguishable compared to other watch types, in that they are usually larger and robust. Their other distinctive features include a rotating bezel and rest on either a rubber strap or a metal bracelet. Besides that, they’re built for everyday use as they’re built like indestructible tanks. Their readings are also very easy to read, but most of all, they just look absolutely cool. Dive watches are highly renowned for the following features: Water-resistance Build quality Virtually pinpoint accuracy Highly legible dial State of the art watch movement Whether you’re picking a new one or your first-ever dive watch, this article is the ultimate destination for your needs. We’ve got a commendable assortment of the finest branded dive watches from Seiko, Hamilton, Tissot, Orient, and more. 1. Seiko 5 Sports SRPD35K1 Dive Watch The Seiko SRPD35k1 is an homage to the legendary affordable SKX007. That’s because this timepiece sports the same classic looks, only with a modern feel and some vivid colorways. It features the conventional Pepsi red and blue bezel, mixed with a deep blue dial. The watch’s other features are identical to the other members of the dive watch line from Seiko. These include a day-and-date display, unidirectional bezel, offset screw-down crown, a transparent case back, hardlex crystal, and Lumi Brite markers and hands. The watches material is made of 42.5 mm brushed stainless steel with 100 m of water-resistance. The 4R36 automatic movement that was built in-house offers a 41-hour power reserve and manual winding. It’s safe to say that this watch ticks (no pun intended) all the right boxes for every day, luxurious-type watch. 2. Rolex Submariner Another high-profile name in the dive watch community is that of Rolex Submariner, which is witnessed in its Submariner lineup. Rolex has been in the dive watchmaking business since 1926, beginning with the Rolex Oyster. And ever since then, there have been other types of dive watches that were just as good as the Oyster. Some of them include the Sea-Dweller Deep-Sea and the Rolex Sea-Dweller, to name a few. Rolex dive watches are especially known for their immense testing of components and materials. That’s because these watches are especially used on the field by professional and military divers, as well as sub-aquatic explorers. In all those circumstances, the watches are meant to withstand high water pressure and other conditions. For instance, the Rolex Sea-Dweller Deep-Sea gets its name from a special 1960 prototype. That prototype went 35,800-feet in an underwater voyage with the Bathyscaphe Trieste. What’s amazing is that the watch was placed outside the craft, and it was still intact when it reached back to the surface. Constant feedback from watch experts in the field has allowed Rolex to continually improve their dive watches over the years. As a result, the Rolex watches are known to be both aesthetically pleasing and fully functional out in the open. If you’re looking for a model that knocks both out of the park, the Submariner is the one for you. 3. Maurice de Mauriac L2 Deep Blue If you really want to make a killing statement when scuba diving, swap on the Maurice de Mauriac. Its impeccable leather and bronze profile, along with its stunning silhouette, make every boat ride feel sophisticated. If you want to thank someone for this horological beauty, it would be the industrial designer and architect named  Fabian Schwaerzler. The watch comes with a one-of-a-kind dive bezel with markers for just 15 minutes, unlike others with 60 minutes; a unique creative approach that makes for a modern minimalist watch. The watch’s bronze alloy case is a bit sturdier than stainless steel, which adds to its quality heftiness. The superluminova markers brighten up visibility. Furthermore, the watch will also develop the coveted patina appearance as the days, months, and years go by. 4. Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic That appearance alone can make anyone who wears it the life of the party. That is precisely how the Seastar 1000 Powermatic from Tissot got its name; Seastar. This watch is another solid entry in our list of the most popular and trend-worthy dive watches. Apart from its ravishing design, the Seastar 1000 Powermatic boasts a commendable array of features as well. Besides its regal-looking date display, the Powermatic also has three subdials to the top. The forces of nature will have a hard time against its body as it’s constructed from the 316L stainless steel material. Interestingly, the watch’s unidirectional bezel is ceramic. This means that the watch is resistant to corrosion and will weigh less than 180 g. That is a remarkable way considering that the Seastar consists of steel straps and has a 43 mm wide length.

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  10. How to Buy or Sell a Watch on a Classified Site

    How to Buy or Sell a Watch on a Classified Site

    Nowadays, almost everything can be bought online. Even luxury goods such as clothes, bags, and accessories are no stranger to this process. But as more and more people get comfortable with purchasing things online, online marketplaces can still be a daunting place to navigate. A plethora of risks present themselves in the process. However, the same dangers also apply to sellers of consumer goods within online marketplaces and classified sites. As collectors of designer items and fine pieces of jewellery such as watches look to downsize or reorganise their collections, they now turn to classified sites to sell their pre-loved items. But that’s not to say that they’re doing it without risks in mind. To sell anything online, it takes a ton of research, preparation, and of course, a bit of scepticism. A lot of watch enthusiasts look into classified sites to find great deals on coveted watches — be it a vintage Cartier or a hard-to-get Rolex. And, believe it or not, even the tiniest detail helps you to be able to seal that deal. Any seller must provide all the necessary information needed to put the listing up and centre for vying patrons. To keep yourself from making terrible mistakes on your future watch listing, we’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about selling your watch on classified sites. So, how do you keep yourself safe from all these risks and make the most out of a deal? What is a classified site? Classified sites have a long history when it comes to online buying and selling or goods and services. It’s a place where buyers and sellers meet for just about anything. The history of classified sites dates as far back as the Internet’s existence. People took advantage of the new technology not only to share information but also to exchange goods and services. Different people flock to these places — job seekers, employers, dealers, casual buyers, and people looking to find new friends all over the world. A classified site is a one-stop-shop for everything and anything you need. Just like any online marketplace, a classified site has various categories you can browse different goods from. Name it, and you’ll most likely find it. Most sites include general categories such as computers and electronics, clothes and accessories, every type of vehicle, food, toys, and games, and even houses and furniture. These categories help buyers and sellers navigate where to look for a specific item or service with ease. But alongside these, you may also find job listings, communities, and forums. Watches on Classified Sites As classified sites expanded to an even bigger market, it also started catering to non-essentials such as luxury items, particularly watches. Usually found under the jewellery category, watches are on their way to having a whole category of their own. In fact, classified sites dedicated only to watches have been popping up left and right. The watch community is a steady-growing one. But with the stark prices of timepieces, the easiest way to grow a collection is by scouring such sites with the intent of buying pre-loved authentic watches. After all, if one wants a Patek Philippe Nautilus, for example, purchasing one from a Patek Philippe store will only put them on a long waiting list that can take up to 10 years. To get your hands on a Patek Philippe timepiece, the easiest, almost more convenient way of purchasing one is through a classified site. What can you find on classified sites? As aforementioned, you can purchase just about anything on a classified site. Given that, even watches are no different from all the varied subcategories of timepieces to choose from. Firstly, you can find any brand you desire on a classified site — from Omega and Audemars Piguet to Seiko, Citizen, or even Mido. You may even find watches from microbrands that not everyone knows of. You can also find different types of watches around these sites. You can spot great deals for an electronic watch such as a Hamilton Ventura, a manual-wound from Nomos Glashutte, an automatic from Tudor, or a quartz watch from Tissot. Even choices for analogue or digital watches from brands like Casio and Suunto flock classified sites. It’s an endless choice of any type of watch you like! But more than that, it’s a wonderful place to find great deals for popular, discontinued, and vintage models. Classified sites at times hold the key to a coveted Rolex Sky-Dweller or Orient Power Reserve. How to List a Watch It’s quite easy to list a watch on a classified site. Firstly, gather all the information you can get on your watch such as key features to put on your listing. Then, when all that is ready, you may proceed to create the listing on your preferred classified site. Make sure you’ve done your research on which one will give you the best deals and protects your safety as much as it protects the buyer. Open an account on your preferred classified site and provide the necessary information before making a listing. Pick a category of your choice. Watches are usually posted under the jewellery category, but other sites have a category reserved just for timepieces. After that, you’ll mostly be prompted to provide additional information such as a post title that’s catchy enough to stop a prospective buyer from scrolling, price, and description including the watch’s make and model, dimensions, and even its model number. Most classified sites require a specific location for the listing for an optimised viewing and streamlined search, especially for buyers. How to Sell Watches on Watch Shopping If you take a quick trip on watch forums, you’ll find that most enthusiasts refer to specialised classified sites that focus only on selling watches and related accessories. If you want a more refined search, then you should head on to sites like Watch Shopping. The purpose of these sites is to make watch-buying more efficient and safe for both buyers and sellers. Unlike other classified sites, sites like Watch Shopping doesn’t allow instant postings and filters genuine sellers and buyers for better and legitimate transactions. To sell a watch on Watch Shopping, simply follow the following steps. Fill up a form provided by the site and include as much information as possible to help auditors assess the timepiece with great scrutiny. It also helps them make an accurate and reasonable quote on the watch’s price. Some of the necessary information includes the watch’s brand, model, or series name, model number, purchase date, and condition. You’ll also be asked to provide high-quality photos. Once done, submit your form and a representative will get in touch with you on how to proceed with the sale with information on the quote and shipping. Usually, the site itself handles and pays for the shipping of the timepiece so you won’t have to worry about the details. Once they receive the watch, they’ll assess the watch once again and get in touch with the watch’s final value. If you decide to push through with the sale, then you’ll have the choice to use the balance as a credit to purchase a different timepiece of your choice! For instance, if you want to sell a TAG Heuer Carrera on Watch Shopping, simply fill the form with the necessary information. Pick Tag Heuer on the drop-down list of watch brands then write “Carrera” on the model or series name box. Provide the model number and indicate whether or not you still have the original box and papers. You must also provide the date of purchase and where you bought the timepiece from. While the date of the purchase says a lot about the final value of the timepiece, the condition of the watch still holds heavier value than any other information. After all, a well-maintained watch sells better than a battered timepiece. Provide high-quality photos and you’re good to go! You may also do the same for other watch brands and models. Whether it’s a Panerai Radiomir or a Longines HydroConquest, you’ll be sure to find an accurate quote for your beloved timepiece. Guidelines for Buying and Selling Watches on a Classified Site Buying and selling anything online poses a lot of risks, especially with luxury goods. There are a bunch of counterfeits and knockoffs in the market that anyone easily mistakes for an original. Technology these days makes it harder to pick the two apart. Meanwhile, certain buyers might rip off unsuspecting sellers who might be in desperate need to unload a certain part of their collection. To keep yourself safe from fraudulent deals, here are some guidelines you must keep in mind. 1. Initiate a stable communication system. Make an effort to start a stable communication system that’s secure for both parties. Whether it’s via email or phone, make sure that this communication system is constant and reliable. With this, you should be able to communicate everything with the other party swiftly and, if possible, instantly. Any changes in important information such as shipping, payment, and even the watch’s condition should be communicated properly to avoid any hassle or confusion that could lead to a dissatisfactory transaction. 2. Always meet the other party with a friend. Whenever you’re making a transaction that requires a meet-up, make sure that you’re accompanied by a friend. Whether you’re the seller or buyer, a witness will not only help keep you safe from any dangers but also make sure that the transaction runs smoothly. In the event of any turmoil or confusion, that friend may bear witness and help resolve the issue swiftly. It would also be great if the friend accompanying you know about the watch you’re buying or selling to have a third-party perspective on the situation. 3. Set up a safe and mutual location for meet-ups. A lot of watch sellers and buyers have designated locations for meet-ups that are of neutral territory. Picking the right one is key to the overall safety of both parties, not only from scams but also from the environment, especially that you’re about to make a very expensive transaction. Usually, transactions like this are done in watch shops. 4. Double check on the final details of the transaction. Before proceeding with the transaction, whether it’s a meet-up or an online transaction, make sure that both parties agreed on all the aspects of it. From the exact price, location of meet-up or courier (if it’s being shipped), to the final condition of the watch, make sure that all of these details are final and well understood by both parties. Confusions on the day of the exchange can cause quite a trouble, not only for the buyer but also the seller. If you can bring documentation of the final price and condition agreed on, then all the better. 5. Document everything. With that said, document every exchange between you and the other party. If you’re the buyer, make sure that you have all the information needed and that you’re not up for any hidden charges. Make sure that the person you’re buying from is a legitimate individual with good credentials. If you’re a seller, make sure that you take note of everything that your buyer agrees and disagrees with. Also, see to it that you end up with one common decision for everything, to avoid any hassle in the future. Guidelines for Watch Buyers While these are just general guidelines, here are some specific codes to adhere to as a buyer. 1. Always check the authenticity of the watch. We know that it can get exciting especially if you came across a vintage Vacheron Constantin watch on a website. Sometimes, you just want to get in there and covet the watch of your dreams. But always think twice about the authenticity. Ask for necessary papers and ask an expert or around forums about a watch’s authenticity before proceeding with a purchase. After all, if you’re looking for a 70,000 USD Patek Philippe Grand Complication, you’ll want to make sure that you’re buying the real one. You can’t take back that amount of money in a snap. However, if you’re buying from a shop known for selling authentic high-end watches, then you’ll most likely be in a safe space. Finding a shop as such can put you at ease and make transactions faster and easier than other classified sites. 2. Get your purchased watch verified on the spot. A lot of people can get away with this part of the transaction. If ever you’re meeting up with a seller in a watch shop, make sure to have the watch authenticated while the seller is still with you. An exchange can be so quick that you won’t have time to authenticate a timepiece and belatedly find out that you’ve just purchased a counterfeit. To avoid this, ask the seller to stay while the watch is being authenticated. This way, you’ll be more at ease! Guidelines for Watch Sellers Sellers must follow certain guidelines to veer away from frauds just as buyers do. So, to keep yourself safe from any fraudulent transaction, keep these in mind. 1. Only allow instantly verified payment methods. Dishing out more than 10,000 USD is not easy, just as it’s not easy to lose a 12,000 USD Bulgari Octo. To guarantee that a payment method is legitimate, make sure that it can easily be verified. Cheques are the easiest way to be defrauded given that it can bounce without you knowing until you attempt to deposit it to your account or encash it. If possible, only receive cash payments, especially if it’s a meet-up. Recount the payment as many times as possible if need be. If you’re doing a digital transaction, cryptocurrency is a quick and easy mode of payment that’s also secure and legitimate. 2. Meet the buyer at a secure place. As aforementioned, make sure that you’re in a neutral territory where the buyer can’t get away with the watch while it’s being inspected. Especially if the payment has not been handed over yet, make sure that the buyer won’t be able to get away with your watch. 3. Check the shop’s ratings and reviews. If you’re planning on selling your watch on a site such as Watch Shopping, you’ll be in good hands. With that said, always check the shop’s Yelp or TrustPilot reviews to make sure that you’re leaving your timepiece in good hands. Why You Should Sell on Watch Shopping There are many reasons why you should sell your beloved timepiece on a professional site such as Watchshopping. These companies have been in the business long enough to understand and put the buyer’s and seller’s best interest first. Particularly for sellers, letting a timepiece go can be quite a challenge when you’re on sites like Craigslist as there would be a lot of fraudulent offers that may only put your efforts to waste. With sites like Watch Shopping, you’ll surely need no meet-ups and therefore not risk any physical or environmental harm. They also make sure that the buyers are just as legitimate as the sellers, making it easier for the seller to unload a part of a collection. All the information necessary for an exchange can be found on the site so you can finish the transaction with ease. Not to mention, sites as such already have a loyal set of clientele that are always on the lookout for the best timepieces. There are many reviews that can be spam or fabricated just so the rating of the shop gets improved without anyone knowing that they’re selling counterfeits or pooling a fake clientele. To keep you safe from such vile practice, turn to trusted rating sites such as Yelp and TrustPilot. These sites filter out spam and unverified reviews that may only be placed there to bait unsuspecting buyers and sellers. It’s also important to remember that these sites have their own help centres that are available to chat and communicate with. Watch Shopping knows how daunting it can be to entrust a high-end timepiece to a stranger to sell them, but the site provides an open and easy communication line that will help you sleep well at night. Sites like these also give the seller an option to trade the timepiece instead of simply selling them. Some of us sell our watches not just to earn money but to buy a different timepiece that could refine our collection even better. In the event that you’re looking for a timepiece that would complete your collection, sites like Watch Shopping allow for a trade instead. This makes for a swift exchange without the hassle and stress of finding an authentic timepiece elsewhere! Perhaps the most important part of any agreement, the return and exchange policy of these sites is always in favour of the buyer and the seller. With very few exceptions such as sales or promos, returns, exchanges and refunds make any transaction 10 times better. Final Thoughts The reason classified sites are on the rise is not only because of the developing technology but also due to the utmost convenience it offers. After all, these sites give an easy platform for people who don’t have all the means to sell their watches elsewhere. But as a seller or a buyer, it’s not always a safe haven to make transactions. Sure, it’s quite convenient to just make a deal online, but meet-ups also have its advantages. And just as it does, both means have their own disadvantages. The Internet can be quite a dangerous place for people who are not careful enough. That’s why proper and enough research can be of great help when it comes to online transactions. Make sure you’re on a reliable site and dealing with legitimate people. Take every information you get with a grain of salt. But most importantly, don’t settle for anything that has a bad ring to it. When in doubt, don’t push through. There are a lot of people who will be willing to purchase your timepiece with better intentions. Preferred sites such as Watchshopping can be of great help in protecting you as a seller. They have all the authenticating measures as well as a distinct means of indicating a watch’s value. These sites also have options to keep your best interests in mind. Don’t risk losing a great timepiece or a ton of money just for the sake of ending a transaction. With all the deals you’ll find online, always make sure you’re buying an authentic timepiece; because at the end of the day, you may not save 50% if the watch is fake.

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  11. Custom Watches: Make Your Gifts More Meaningful

    Custom Watches: Make Your Gifts More Meaningful

    Finding the perfect gift to give someone can be quite tedious. Sometimes you just have no idea what to get them, especially if they already have everything. It has to feel special and meaningful. The solution to finding the right gift for the person who has everything – make it personal! Customised gifts really add a personal level to the gift. One brilliant personalised gift idea is getting custom watches — whether it’s a simple engraving on a luxury watch like a Rolex or Patek Philippe or you can do it from scratch like a photo watch. Here’s a guide to help you find the custom watch perfect for your loved one. Why Customise? A lot of gifts can seem impersonal. You could be buying a wedding gift for a not-so-close family friend from their registry without really putting any thought into it. Or it could be a last-minute gift you give someone when you accidentally forget their birthday. And that’s all okay. But for someone who means a lot to you, sometimes you’d just want to go the extra mile and get them something more personal. Photo from Jewel GramWhen giving someone a gift, you have to consider their personality and the nature of your relationship. Sometimes, people aren’t really into gifts so it would be best to put your efforts into something else they’d appreciate more. But if your loved one is someone who has “receiving gifts” as one of their main love languages, putting some thought into a gift and making it more personal could really make them happy. There are a lot of ways to make a gift more special, and getting a custom item is one good idea. Custom Watches: More than Just Fancy Items Photo from PinterestFundamentally, a watch is meant for telling time. However, that’s not the only use of a watch. Nowadays, a lot of people use watches as a way to express themselves or their style. And since watches are a common gift for special occasions, it’s a good avenue for personalisation. Watches, especially from luxury watch brands such as Audemars Piguet or IWC, are also handed down from one generation to another as family heirlooms. So, imagine how special it would be to be handed down a personalised watch your grandfather once owned. A custom watch has so much more meaning. It is more than just a fancy item on your wrist. That personalised watch would be something only the receiver of the gift would have. Giving custom watches to a loved one gives them the opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind memento that they will be able to cherish for a very long time. Types of Watch Customisation   Photo from Philippine Watch Club1. Watch engraving There are a lot of ways to customise watches. One of the most common ways people create personalised watches is by adding a watch engraving. It’s simple, classy, and makes the watch truly their own. Some people have a phrase engraved on the caseback that could be important to the giver and receiver’s relationship. For married couples, this could be a snippet from their vows or even an inside joke. Sometimes people also have their names or initials engraved to really make that person feel that it is a watch meant just for them. One of the most controversial engraved watches by far is a Rolex Day-Date watch, given by Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe to then US President John F. Kennedy on the occasion of his birthday [photo above], with an engraving: “Jack, with love as always from Marilyn. May 29th, 1962″.   Photo from Unsplash2. Adding gems and diamonds Another thing you can do to customise your watches is by adding some adornments in the form of diamonds or other precious stones. There are ladies luxury watches — such as the Bulgari Serpenti, Chopard Happy Diamonds, or Ballon Bleu de Cartier — that already comes with gems and diamonds. But if you feel like you need more gems, you can always customise it to meet your style. You can either ask the brands themselves to customise the watches, or you can go to an independent jeweller or watchmaker to set the gems on your existing watch to personalise it. Photo from Soul Feel3. Using photos and mementos The last type of customisation we’ll talk about is a photo watch. Basically, you use personal photos like the design for the dial. You can also do it with jewellery and cufflinks. This could be a photo of the person you’re gifting it to, or a photo of you together, or just something that means a lot to them. The possibilities are endless with this one since there are so many photos you can choose from. To customise a photo watch, first, you have to select a photo. Now, there are a lot of things to consider in selecting a photo. What’s the personality of the person you plan on giving a custom watch to? Do they prefer something more minimal or do they like vibrance? You could also consider their interests. Photo from UnsplashAnother thing to consider is the watch you plan to customise. You can’t just choose any type of watch. You have to make sure they’d like the watch you’re getting them and that it fits their personality. You also have to make sure that having a photo dial would make sense for the watch. For example, if a lot is already going on in the watch, adding a photo dial might make it look too cluttered. You need to have an overall cohesive design so keep that in mind. Lastly, one of the most important things is setting a budget. You have to make sure that both the watch and the customisation would fit your budget. Make sure to set a reasonable budget and choose your options in that range.   Best Jewellery Watches and Diamond-Studded Watches to Customise There are a lot of watches you can customise. But for this list, we’re focusing on jewellery watches and luxury watches. These watches are great to customise because you already have amazing quality to work with. A luxury watch purchased as a gift is typically reserved for special occasions, so why not make it even more special by adding a personal touch to the gift. Mix technical value with personal worth to create something truly meaningful. Rolex Lady Datejust  The Rolex Lady Datejust is part of an iconic collection in the brand’s repertoire. Rolex first introduced the Datejust series in the 1940s, and it was very popular due to the collection’s versatility and the amazing finish of the watches. Due to the collection’s popularity, Rolex decided to create the Rolex Lady Datejust watches in 1957 so that ladies can also enjoy the amazing quality the original collection had to offer. In terms of movement, the Rolex Lady Datejust delivers nothing but high quality. It is a chronometer, so you can expect insane accuracy with this watch. Its power reserve is up to approximately 55 hours and it runs on a perpetual, self-winding, mechanical movement. The standard case for ladies is 28mm and is made from either stainless steel, Everose Rolesor — which is a mix of Oystersteel and 18K Everose gold, white gold, or yellow gold. The bracelet is also made from the same material and features a stunning bezel with a fluted design. The watch has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal — the best type of watch crystal out there — and a cyclops lens over the watch’s date window. It has a beautiful dial, which, depending on the model can be pink, white, or yellow, that has a nice sunburst finish. For the indexes, instead of the usual numbers, you will instead find diamonds set on the dial for a classier feel. A jewellery watch, such as the Rolex Lady Datejust featured above, is a perfect watch to have customised. Since this watch is already amazing on its own, you don’t need to go overboard when customising it. A simple watch engraving at the back of the watch would suffice to keep the watch’s beautiful features and add your own personality to it. Patek Phlippe Calatrava The Patek Philippe Calatrava collection is known for its sleek and clean design. Although the construction leans toward a more minimalistic vibe with just watch hands and no indexes or date windows, the particular Calatrava featured below offers a highly elegant look. It has a 37mm rose gold case with a diamond-studded bezel.  It has a sturdy sapphire crystal, which is probably the most scratch-resistant type of watch crystal. The watch runs on an automatic movement and has a power reserve of 48 hours. Not to mention, the bezel, as you can see, is diamond-studded. Now, the star of this  Patek Philippe watch is its orchid-pattern dial. Unlike typical watch dials, this watch doesn’t just use a solid color or a textured effect. It has a unique orchid dial that makes it stand out. This is a perfect gift to surprise your loved ones, especially if they are known for having a green thumb or have a particular love for orchids. And if you can’t really afford a luxury watch, you can use this watch as inspiration. If you have a dear one who loves to take photos of plants and post them on Instagram, or perhaps they like to create art involving flowers, you can take those pictures and have a shop personalise your chosen watch with the flower design. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak  Audemars Piguet released the Royal Oak collection in 1972, introducing to the world the first luxury sports watch honed from steel. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is known for its steel octagonal design. This Royal Oak for ladies featured below is one of the more iconic models from the collection. It’s got a clean, patterned black dial and diamond-studded bezel. It runs on an automatic movement and has a 60-hour power reserve. It is 37mm in diameter and has a sapphire crystal. The watch has silver stick hands and indexes and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Most people who opt for this watch as a gift often personalise it with an engraving at the back with the name of the recipient and the date it was given. There are definitely a lot of opportunities to turn this already cool watch into something more special through customisation. Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier  Only released in 2006, the Ballon Bleu de Cartier is one of Cartier’s more recent collections. What makes this a popular timepiece among the collection from Cartier? Well, the hint is in the name itself. “Ballon” refers to the watch’s balloon-like curves in its case that make a beautiful curvaceous silhouette. And “Bleu” is derived from the blue synthetic cabochon that you can find on the watch’s crown. The particular Ballon Bleu de Cartier model above has a round stainless steel case that is 28mm in diameter. The simple yet elegant dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Similar to the case, the watch bracelet is also made of stainless steel. On the dial, you’ll find small and thin watch hands in a vibrant blue. You’ll also see a Roman numeral at the 12 o’clock position, while the other hour markers are set with diamond studs. This jewellery watch from Cartier is a perfect mix of simplicity and elegance. It’s got a simple dial that really puts the focus on the diamond indexes. Because of it, this could easily become a wonderful gift for a loved one. You can either add more diamonds on the bezel or have it engraved with a nice message on the caseback. Bulgari Serpenti  Now, here’s a watch unlike any other. From the name itself, you can probably guess where the watch takes its inspiration in terms of design. The Bulgari Serpenti is truly unique with its snake-like coils and lines. The fascinating Serpenti watch featured above from the Italian brand Bulgari has stainless steel and rose gold case with a unique shape. Its case resembles the head of the snake while its bracelet represents its body, which coils around the wrist comfortably. The watch has a silver opaline dial with silver watch hands and hand-applied indexes. Meanwhile, its rose gold bezel is studded with diamonds. This jewellery watch would be the perfect gift to give your serpent-loving friend. The unique design of this watch will surely wow and excite the receiver. You can even go the extra mile and have the dial customised to make it a full-diamond dial. Or you can have a nice message engraved on its caseback. This will surely bring a smile to snake lovers every time they have to check the time. Chopard Happy Diamonds  Chopard really wowed the watch industry when they released their Happy Diamonds series back in 1976. The iconic double-whirl layout that characterises this collection is truly remarkable. Add the slender design and diamonds and this jewellery watch is the epitome of elegance in design. The Chopard Happy Diamonds watch featured below has an 18K rose gold case and diamond-studded bezel. Maintaining the slender theme, this watch has a very sleek and thin alligator strap in glossy black. Its numberless dial is in a lovely mother of pearl guilloché. This jewellery watch is definitely a wonderful gift to give to a loved one. The design holds such an incomparable elegance. What could possibly make this jewellery watch even better? Well, adding a watch engraving at the back would really be a nice touch. But be warned, this is quite a small watch. So, it’s best not to have a sentence or phrase engraved since it probably won’t fit. Our suggestion? Have a watch engraving of their initials so that they can truly feel that this watch is meant for only them. That’ll definitely make them feel special and warm inside. Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa  Simple yet elegant, the Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa is a wonderful watch to add to your wardrobe. It’s got a clean white leather strap, which matches very well with its rectangular case. The particular model below has a lovely ivory dial with a sunray guilloché finish. On the dial, you’ll see a combination of rose gold-plated indexes and Arabic numerals. A Parmigiani Fleurier signature, the watch hands are in a delta shape with rose gold lining and luminescent coating. The bezel, which is the star of the show, is studded with diamonds. If you’re feeling extra generous and you want more diamonds, you can personalise it and ask for more diamonds or other precious gemstones on the dial. But, if you like to keep things simple but personalised at the same time, you can opt for a watch engraving on the caseback instead. IWC Portofino  Released in 1984, the IWC Portofino takes inspiration from a village in Italy. The brand wanted to capture the laid-back yet elegant vibe that Portofino, Italy holds. The collection was a hit and remains to be one of the most successful models by IWC due to its timeless design. Despite having a few extra features, the Portofino successfully exhibits a clean and minimalistic design. The IWC Portofino featured below is a men’s diamond watch, which features a stainless steel case with a see-through sapphire glass caseback. This open-back design allows you to peek at the watch’s intricate movement. The same sapphire glass is also used at the front to provide a scratch-resistant crystal for the watch. For the strap, we have a gorgeous alligator leather in gray. Not to mention, the watch’s bezel is studded with diamonds. The dial is a clean gray with some silver accents. It’s got thin, silver hour markers and small Arabic numerals accented with more diamonds. At the centre, you will find matching silver-tone watch hands. The watch also has a date window at 3 o’clock. To personalise it, you can include a small engraving at the back to make it more special. Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-vous The Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-vous is a stylish watch that simply exudes elegance. The particular model featured below has a rose gold case with a diamond-studded bezel. This pairs really well with the black alligator leather strap with pin buckle. Moreover, the watch has a milky white dial with a subtle textured design. You’ll have no problem reading the time with this watch since it has large Arabic numerals. It also has minute markers, but instead of the usual position at the outer part of the dial, these markers are found near the centre. At the centre, you will find two watch hands in a stunning aqua blue shade. The watch also has a date window in a small semicircle aperture above the 6 o’clock position. This elegant jewellery watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre will make a perfect gift for your loved one. We suggest preserving the watch’s elegant dial. Instead, you can put a watch engraving at the back to make the gift more personal. Jaquet Droz Lady 8  The Jaquet Droz Lady 8 is a watch that is an icon in its own right. The particular watch featured below has a stainless steel case that is decorated with 48 diamonds, making it really classy. The back of the watch is transparent, allowing you to see its intricate movement. It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a black leather strap. This jewellery watch from Jaquet Droz has a dome-shaped aventurine dial with a galaxy design. It would be a perfect gift to give to that friend who just loves to gaze at the stars. Make your space-loving friend feel even more special by adding a personalised watch engraving at the back or adding more diamonds on the bezel to make it full-pave. Instagram’s Role in Customisation Photographs have always played a vital role in preserving moments, whether historical or personal. And with the rise of the digital world, cameras have become more accessible to the public. Almost everyone now has a smartphone in hand with its own camera that they can use to take photos and selfies. And in this digital landscape, the opportunity to create is definitely abundant. Photo from UnsplashInstagram founders saw an opportunity to create an application that allows people to post photos they took on their own phones and share them on an online platform for others to view. In the beginning, users were mostly sharing personal photos for friends to view or as an archive for memories. But since then, the app has significantly evolved and now people and businesses, just like Jewel Gram, are using it to produce custom jewellery using Instagram photos. Using Instagram Photos to Customise Jewellery and Watches Photo from Jewel GramAlthough a lot of businesses are more of Instagram-adjacent, there are also businesses where Instagram is firmly rooted in its operations. Take Jewel Gram, for example. As mentioned above, this is a site that allows you to take photos from Instagram and use it to personalise jewellery. As a photo-centric app, Instagram is often utilised for personalisation. We know about taking photos from friends’ or family members’ Instagram photos and putting them on shirts or mugs as personalised gifts. But there are actually a lot of different things you can customise and make special using Instagram photos. One great idea of using Instagram photos to customise is for personalised watches. Final Thoughts Personalised gifts, especially custom watches or jewellery, are always heartwarming and special. They add sentimental value to a material object to make it more meaningful. After all, an object is just an object until we add meaning to it. Putting thought and effort into a gift is a sure way to make your loved ones happy. Custom watches turn ordinary timepieces into one-of-a-kind special items, which are perfect gifts to give your loved ones. They both have high material value and high personal meaning. What’s more, they’re something that can be passed down as a family heirloom. With a custom watch, you can give your loved one a personalised gift that they’ll be able to treasure for a very long time to come.   Featured photo from Not On The High Street

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