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  2. Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Anatomy of the Watch Bezel: A Complete Guide

    Before we pull the trigger on purchasing a watch, we always take note of things like its case shape and bracelet material. However, another important component that can either make or break a watch is its bezel. Along with the dial, the watch bezel plays a pivotal role in the aesthetic of the whole model. Offering both form and function, the watch bezel is a crucial component that should not be overlooked. If you want to know more, read on as we discuss all you need to know about watch bezels, how they function, and some of the most iconic bezel designs in watchmaking history. What is a Watch Bezel?  A watch bezel is best described as a ring, affixed to the top of the watch case, that surrounds the watch’s dial. It sits on top of the watch crystal and helps to keep it in place. The watch bezel is considered one of the most versatile components of a timepiece. This is particularly because numerous variations of it exist. Watchmakers use specific materials such as steel, aluminum, and ceramic to craft the bezel. Oftentimes, the watch bezel is then treated with other metals such as gold or silver for design and durability purposes. A Brief Background on the Evolution of Watch Bezels There really is no exact date as to when the watch bezel was first created or identified as part of a watch. Nevertheless, its evolution throughout the years is quite evident. What initially started out as a fixed, decorative component soon became a way to add more utility to a timepiece. Many well-known brands like Rolex and Omega have actually pioneered a number of the innovative bezels we have today. For example, in the 1930s, Rolex was one of the first manufacturers to attach a rotating bezel to a watch, the Rolex Zerograph. At the time, the brand did not know that this ingenious complication would eventually become a fundamental part of diving watches in the future. In the same decade, TAG Heuer released a selection of timepieces featuring a variety of decorative bezels. This further cemented the idea that watch bezels were becoming a more prominent design and utility element in timepieces. Over the years, manufacturers have gone out of their way to create new and innovative bezel complications. These impressive bezels have changed the watchmaking game forever. Today, there are numerous kinds of watch bezels, all with different functions and features, for you to choose from. What Are Watch Bezels Made From?  Technological advancements in watchmaking mean that there are a variety of materials which watchmakers can choose from when it comes to crafting a watch bezel. Different bezel materials offer different advantages, which we will now go through in detail. Stainless Steel Stainless steel is one of the most prevalent materials used when creating timepieces. As such, it is little surprise that stainless steel bezels are quite common as well. There are two main reasons why manufacturers choose to go with stainless steel over other metals: durability and aesthetics. In terms of reliability and robustness, stainless steel is the most viable option when it comes to watch bezels. It is highly resistant to scratches and corrosion. A stainless steel bezel is thus able to withstand much of the wear and tear that comes with frequent use and a harsh environment. While stainless steel is prone to discoloration, it is a material that is guaranteed to last. Using stainless steel ensures that your watch bezel will remain in one piece no matter what. In terms of aesthetics, stainless steel has an appealing, lustrous sheen that is remarkably close to precious metals like silver. It also boasts a very versatile look, which allows watchmakers to experiment and play around with the design of the watch. For instance, stainless steel bezels work extremely well with two-toned watch cases. Aluminum  Aluminum bezels are also quite popular in the watchmaking industry. Aluminum is often compared to stainless steel, especially since it is just as abundant and practical. One strength of aluminum is that it is a more lightweight alternative, so it wears less heavily than a stainless steel bezel. It also mixes well with different coatings and pigments. However, a downside of aluminum is that it is known to be less sturdy than stainless steel. It is also quite reactive to different environmental exposures, and can be corroded if used for extended periods of time. Ceramic Despite being the newest material on this list, ceramic is an increasingly popular choice when it comes to making watch bezels. Ceramic is extremely robust and is known for exhibiting excellent scratch-resistant properties that exceed those of stainless steel and aluminum. This is great in ensuring the watch bezel remains pristine, even after years of use. Furthermore, ceramic is also lighter in weight, making it more ergonomic and comfortable to wear. However, ceramic has its fair share of cons as well. When too much pressure is applied to a ceramic bezel, it can be susceptible to some chipping or breaking here and there. Ceramic is also much more expensive than stainless steel or aluminum. Which Material Makes the Best Bezel?  As mentioned, each material has its advantages and disadvantages. People have to take into account different factors when deciding which watch bezel material to go with. For instance, a stainless steel bezel is a classic. It is ideal for those who prefer durable watches that age well. Aluminum bezels, on the other hand, are perfect for those seeking a more lightweight watch option. Finally, ceramic bezels are great for those who prefer stylish watches that will not suffer too much abuse. At the end of the day, your choice of preferred bezel material boils down to personal preferences. Types of Watch Bezels Now, let us move on to the most frequently-seen types of watch bezels and how they function.  1. Fixed/Plain Bezel The original watch bezel, a fixed or plain bezel is the most basic type. This type of watch bezel primarily functions as a decorative component. Aside from helping to keep the watch crystal in place, the fixed bezel does not have any additional functions or features. Watchmakers frequently use fixed bezels when they want to show off certain design elements such as embedded jewels, inscriptions, and the like. A contemporary example of the fixed bezel would be the Seiko 5 Sports SRE003K1, which hails from the popular Seiko 5 Sports series. 2. Count-up Bezel Next up, we have the count-up bezel. This type of watch bezel is more commonly referred to as a dive bezel, as it is often seen on dive watches. It showcases a scale that counts from 0 to 60 and is meant to be aligned with the minute markers on the watch’s dial. The count-up bezel’s scale is typically used by divers to calculate their elapsed time underwater. Moreover, this type of bezel follows a unidirectional rotation that goes counter-clockwise, which is used as an indicator by many divers as well. To use the count-up bezel, you have to align its zero marker – the luminous pip – to the current position of the minute hand. As the minute hand ticks, this will show you how much time has elapsed since you started diving. For example, if you start your dive at 9:20, you have to move the zero marker of the bezel to the 20-minute marker on the dial, which is where the minute-hand should be. As time goes on, the minute hand will tick forward, allowing you to keep track of exactly how many minutes have passed. 3. GMT/World Time Bezel A GMT bezel, also known as a world time bezel, is made for those who need to keep track of two different timezones. It is especially useful to frequent jetsetters. This type of watch bezel is characterized by a 24-hour scale, which is kept separate from the 12-hour display on the dial. Some GMT watches come with an additional GMT hand, while others feature rotating bezels. A GMT watch with an extra GMT hand is paired with the 24-hour GMT scale, which can be set to indicate one timezone. If your watch comes with just a rotating GMT bezel and no additional hands, however, you will have to manually turn it to your desired timezone. 4. Tachymeter Bezel The tachymeter bezel is commonly featured in sports watches and chronograph pieces relating to anything and everything automotive. This is usually a fixed bezel with a scale that has units beginning from 0 and going up to around 1,000. The main function of the tachymeter bezel is to calculate either distance or speed by using how much time has passed. In order to use the tachymeter, you need to know the distance between two points and the elapsed time needed to get from one end to another. You can then use the bezel’s tachymeter scale to calculate your traveling speed. 5. Compass Bezel A compass bezel is an important component in many outdoor watches. It aids explorers in figuring out directions, so they will not get lost. The compass bezel is marked with letter engravings that indicate North, South, East, and West. Additional markers can be found in between each cardinal direction, indicating the degrees.One interesting thing about the compass bezel is that it is reliant on the sun rather than magnetic properties. When using the compass bezel, you have to first use the sun to determine your orientation. If the sun is rising, change your position, with the cardinal direction E pointed at the sun. If the sun is setting, however, you have to change your position so that W pointed at the sun. This will allow you to tell which direction you are facing and where you need to go. 6. Countdown Bezel `a countdown bezel works in similar way to the count-up bezel. However, instead of calculating elapsed time, the countdown bezel acts more as a stopwatch. You will align your desired time limit to its corresponding marker on the dial. The countdown bezel is extremely versatile and is used by both professionals in their fields and in people’s everyday routines too. In order to properly use the countdown bezel, the zero marker on the bezel must be lined up with the time limit you are trying to set. For example, if you decide to jog around for 20 minutes, make sure to rotate the bezel so that the zero marker is at the 20-minute position on the dial. This will then allow you to keep track of how much time has passed and how much time you have left. 7. Pulsometer Bezel  A pulsometer is a very old-school bezel type that dates back to the 1920s. Serving a very practical and straightforward purpose, this was one of the very first bezel complications ever invented. It is designed to help those in the medical field keep track of a person’s heart rate. Typically, a pulsometer has a scale that counts from around 40 (left) units/pulses to 200 (right) units/pulses. When using a pulsometer bezel, you have to manually count out a person’s heartbeats once the timer starts. You can then refer to the pulsometer scale and use it to calculate the rate at which the person’s heart is beating. It should be noted that nowadays, the pulsometer bezel is a very rare type of watch bezel. The invention of smartwatches that can automatically determine a person’s heart rate has rendered the pulsometer bezel nearly obsolete. Bonus: Watches with Iconic Bezels Rolex Pepsi Bezel  The Rolex GMT-Master might just have the most famous watch bezel ever. It boasts the Pepsi bezel, which is an iconic two-tone GMT bezel. It comes in vibrant red and blue hues, resembling the logo of a soda brand, which is why it is dubbed the Pepsi bezel. Since its invention, many other watch brands have released their own versions of the Pepsi bezel. You can see this in watches such as the Timex Q Reissue and the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79830RB-0001. Nevertheless, Rolex’s version remains the most legendary. The latest version of the Rolex Pepsi bezel has a 24-hour GMT scale and is made out of the brand’s patented Cerachrom material. TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary Tag Heuer is a brand that is known for its expertise in making tachymeter bezels. It has a long and rich history involving automobiles and the racing scene. This is probably how it has mastered the incorporation of tachymeter bezels in is watches. Take a look, for instance, at this limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Anniversary CBN2A1D.BA0643. It bears a fixed ceramic bezel in black with a tachymeter scale. Everything about this model serves as a tribute to the 160 years of the racing-inspired Tag Heuer Carrera series. Final Thoughts For those who are not that familiar with timepieces, the bezel is simply just a part of a watch. However, through this article, we have shown you just how much thought and effort watchmakers put into this versatile complication. From allowing watchmakers to exercise artistry and creativity to actually offering impressive utility, the watch bezel is definitely much more than just another watch component. It adds a lot of depth to a timepiece, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.  Photo Credits: Official Brand Websites Hooked on timepieces? Check out this Guide on Buying the Perfect IWC Portofino watch.

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  3. Doctor Strange Watch: An In-Depth Review of the Sorcerer’s Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Doctor Strange Watch: An In-Depth Review of the Sorcerer’s Jaeger-LeCoultre

    The watchmaking and film industries have been entangled with each other for decades now. Brands like Hamilton and OMEGA are often featured in blockbuster movies, with popular examples such as the Omega James Bond watches and the Hamilton Interstellar watch. Indeed, there is no denying that a watch feature in a film is a good way to attract attention to the timepiece and add to a character’s aesthetic.   One of the recent crowd-favourite watch placements in film is the appearance of the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual in the Doctor Strange franchise. Seen often throughout both Doctor Strange films, this watch is notable in that it is not just a decorative piece. Instead, this Doctor Strange watch actually plays an important role in the films’ plots as well, further cementing its significance.  Read on to find out all you need to know about this iconic Doctor Strange watch.  A Look at the Doctor Strange Watch Anyone who has seen the Doctor Strange movies would know that the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual plays an important role in films. Some might argue that this is just another blatant form of product placement for lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who is known to be an ambassador of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Nevertheless, the filmmakers have been able to seamlessly incorporate the JLC Master Ultra Thin Perpetual into the Doctor Strange films, giving it both frequent close-ups and plot relevance.  In the first movie, the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is gifted to Doctor Strange by Christine Palmer, his former love interest. As a result, Strange develops a very strong emotional attachment to the watch. He is spotted wearing this Doctor Strange watch many times and continues to hold onto it even after it is shattered. The Doctor Strange watch is even prominently featured in the sequel, as it acts as a tangible reminder of everything the wizard has gone through and his failed romance with Palmer.  Now that we know a little more about why this Doctor Strange watch is so important to the sorcerer, let us take a closer look at it and find out why it is worthy of being worn by one of Earth’s mightiest heroes.  Case and Caseback The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is housed in a high-grade stainless steel case that exudes luxury right off the bat. It has a 39mm case diameter and a thickness of 9.3mm, which gives the watch a rather slender, petite build. This is quite impressive, as it requires a lot of skill and mastery to be able to craft a case of this size for a modern dress watch. Providing a well-balanced feel on your wrist, this Doctor Strange watch is a great option for those with small-to-mid-sized wrists.   On the underside of this Doctor Strange watch, you will see a transparent caseback. It gives you an up-cloe-and-personal view of the excellent in-house movement that powers all of this watch’s functions. This caseback also bears inscriptions of the watch’s details, such as its reference number, brand name, edition type, and more.  A single look at this Doctor Strange watch will tell you that no one can deny its superior aesthetics. That said, one of the most interesting things is that the entire process of making it was actually carried out in-house, in the JLC manufacture house. From its conceptualisation to its assembly, every step was done under the care of the brand’s amazing and meticulous watchmakers. Bracelet  This Doctor Strange comes with a gorgeous alligator leather strap in black, which you can also spot in the films. It is equipped with a double-folding buckle made of stainless steel, which keeps the watch securely fastened to your wrist.  Despite its simple style, this is the perfect strap for the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual. Coupled with the stainless steel case, this strap offers a very quintessential appeal, bringing out the straightforward elegance of the watch. This strap is also very versatile, as you can tell from the different outfits it is successfully paired with in the Doctor Strange movies.  Dial  Now, we move on to the most captivating aspect of the Doctor Strange watch: its face. The JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual shows off a refined silver-grey dial that is nothing short of sophisticated.  It is adorned with triangular applique hour markers and dauphine hands, all made from black nickel. These components are also finely bevelled and polished, adding to the sharp, exquisite appeal of this watch. This dial also bears a blued steel seconds hand, which provides a lovely contrast against the silver backdrop.  Aside from the usual time-telling components, this model is also packed with a number of useful complications. It contains three sub-dials which are lightly submerged, serving as the day of the week, month, and date indicators. A quaint little window which serves as he date display is placed near 8 o’clock. At 12 o’clock, you can also find a beautiful, crescent-shaped moonphase display. The best thing about this watch face is that, despite its many intricacies, it does not feel too crowded or overwhelming at all. All of its components are well-spaced out, creating a neatly organised and easy-to-read dial.  Technical Details  Like most watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre, there is more to the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual than a beautiful exterior. This Doctor Strange watch comes with an equally impressive, well-built interior that will make any knowledgeable watch connoisseur drool.  This watch runs on a Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 868, which is developed and assembled entirely in-house. It is an automatic movement that comprises 336 components and 46 jewels. This movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and offers a standard 38-hour power reserved. It also has a 50-metre depth rating, which is quite standard for a dress watch like this.  Price  If you are familiar with Jaeger-LeCoultre, then you would probably have some idea of the price range this watch falls under. As one of the most respected Swiss luxury brands today, most of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s watches come at fairly exorbitant price points, and the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is no different.  The JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual has a price tag of approximately $25,000 USD, befitting its exclusive and prestigious status.  Reputation Even before being featured in the Doctor Strange film franchise, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual was already highly-regarded among collectors and enthusiasts. First released in 2013, it quickly garnered a rather significant following. It is perceived by many as a chic and sophisticated dress watch that has much to offer when it comes to both functionality and craftsmanship.  Other Watches Featured In the Doctor Strange Franchise While the main watch in the Doctor Strange films is definitely the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual, there are other timepieces that made quick cameo appearances as well.  As mentioned, watches play a rather significant role in the haughty Doctor’s life. That is why it is no surprise that he has a rather impressive personal collection of his own. Here are some of the exceptional timepieces that were spotted in Doctor Strange’s watch drawer (from left to right):  Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116520  First up, we have the famous Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116520, which is a staple in any luxury watch collection. It is one of the most coveted timepieces out there, which is why it fits Strange’s image quite well.  This Rolex watch comes in a 40mm Oystersteel case, coupled with a three-link Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a thick, robust Oystersteel bezel which bears indicators for a handy tachymeter scale.  This watch showcases a clean white dial, which pairs wonderfully with its all-silver exterior. This dial has a rather sporty display, consisting of luminous applique hour markers and blunt hands. As a chronograph watch, it also has three sub-dials which are lined in thick rings of steel. These serve as the 1/8th of a second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters.  Inside this sleek watch is an in-house Rolex Calibre 4130. Held together by 44 jewels, this automatic movement has an exceptional power supply of 72 hours. It has also achieved Superlative Chronometer certification, which means it has outstanding accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day.  This Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch sells at around $44,000 USD. It is an excellent watch that is certainly worthy of everyone’s favorite Marvel sorcerer.  Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J The second model that can be spotted in Doctor Strange’s watch drawer is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J. This is another highly-regarded timepiece that is just as prestigious as the JLC Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual.  This JLC Reverso watch is presented in a rectangular case made of stainless steel. With dimensions of 45.6mm x 27.4mm dimension, this sharply angular watch looks great on slimmer wrists. Its classic and refined watch case is brought out even more by its handsome burgundy leather strap.  The dial of this watch boasts a rich red sunray-brushed finish, which perfectly complements its strap. It is ornamented with applique hour markers, bevelled dauphine hands, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. This watch also comes with a solid caseback and screw-down crown, both of which contribute to its decent 30-meter water resistance rating. A Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822 drives this watch’s functions. This is a manual-winding movement made up of 108 components and 19 jewels. It beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and has a 42-hour power reserve, making it truly reliable despite its petite size.  The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Ref. Q397846J costs about $10,000 USD. It is known to hold its value remarkably well, making it a very smart investment piece too.  TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476 Lastly, placed on the far-right of Doctor Strange’s watch drawer is a TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476. This watch has a very sporty and contemporary aesthetic which matches the persona of Strange in the first part of the film.  This TAG Heuer Monaco watch sports a 39mm square case made out of stainless steel. It is fitted with a classic leather strap in black, which balances against the modernity of the angular watch case.  The dial of this watch showcases a simple and serious matte grey finish. It is decorated with luminescent applique markers and sporty red-and-silver sword hands. It also has a bi-compax display, with two sub-dials for the 60-second and 30-minute counters, and a compact date aperture at 6 o’clock. Flipping this TAG Heuer watch over, you will find a see-through caseback. It gives you a glimpse of the TAG Heuer Calibre 12 that runs inside this watch. This movement has a depth rating of up to 100 meters, which makes it suitable for most water activities. When fully wound, it can also last for up to 40 hours.  The TAG Heuer Monaco Ref. CAW211J.FC6476 retails at $6,000 USD, making it one of the more affordable Doctor Strange watches. Final Thoughts The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is arguably the perfect timepiece for Steven Strange. Even if Benedict Cumberbatch was not a JLC ambassador, there is no other watch out there that complements the vibe of Doctor Strange as well as this model does.  It boasts classic and quintessential aesthetics whilst also showcasing modern and innovative craftsmanship, closely reflecting the persona of the aforementioned sorcerer. Ultimately, this Doctor Strange watch is as magical and captivating as the sorcerer who wears it. Photo Credits: Jaeger-LeCoultre, WatchShopping, and Reddit  Enjoy reading watch reviews? Check out this piece on the Rolex Coke!

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  4. Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    Seiko Black Series: All You Need To Know About The All-Black Seiko Prospex Watches

    For more than a century now, Seiko has been gracing the world with its excellent timepieces. It has contributed greatly to the watchmaking industry, as we can see from its quartz watch and dive watch innovations. Indeed, it is impressive how Seiko stands the test of time by constantly adapting to and developing new watch technology to keep up with the times.  Just this year, the brand released a special, limited-edition collection, the Seiko Black Series. Consisting of modern reissues that are based on older Seiko diving models, the Seiko Black Series consists of timepieces that are just uniquely Seiko. Read on to find out what the Seiko Black Series is all about and everything it has to offer.  Seiko Black Series: A Background While the Seiko Black Series was only released very recently, in 2022, its history actually dates back to as early as the 1960s. Most of the watches in this limited-edition series are modern re-interpretations of specific diving models from the 1960s and 1970s. In particular, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 is inspired by the 1965 Seiko Mechanical Diver, while the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 is based on the 1968 Seiko Mechanical Diver. Finally, the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 is a rebirth of the 1970 Seiko Mechanical Diver. We will look at each model in closer detail further down in this article.  Concept-wise, the Seiko Black Series revolves around the idea of night diving. This activity is something that many divers want to experience. Hence, Seiko opted to create four well-crafted dive watches that would serve as great companions even in the darkest environments possible. Indeed, even the collection’s name, the “Black Series”, is inspired by the night ocean that influences these watches’ designs.  An In-Depth Look at the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061   While we can definitely talk all day about each of the Seiko Black Series watches, let us first focus on the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. This is arguably the most different out of the four models in the Seiko Black Series.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is based on the iconic Seiko Captain Willard from the 1970s, which explains its vintage-inspired exterior. The Seiko Captain Willard is especially famous due to its appearance in the 1979 blockbuster film Apocalypse Now. Aside from that, the Seiko Captain Willard is also known for being adventurer Naomi Uemura’s chosen companion during his 12,000km solo dog-sled excursion from Greenland to Alaska.  While these might seem like minor details, the history of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard plays a big role in how the brand came up with the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061. In fact, the Japanese watch brand wanted to do the Seiko Captain Willard justice by making sure that its present-day version is just as durable and well-crafted as the original.  Compared to the other models in this lineup, the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 also boasts materials of higher quality and a superior mechanism. It also had a more limited production, with only 1,000 pieces made available for sale.  Case, Caseback and Bezel  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is presented in a high-quality stainless steel case with a full hard-coating in black, which boosts its resistance against scratches and impacts. It has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug width of 49.3mm, and a thickness of 13mm. This watch falls on the bulkier end, which, combined with its bold all-black aesthetic, only helps it stand out even more.  The back of this watch’s case is also made from solid, hard-coated black stainless steel. It is firmly screwed-down, which prevents any external elements from leaking into the watch. This contributes greatly to the watch’s impressive 200-metre water resistance rating. At the same time, this caseback also bears inscriptions of the watch’s details. This includes its country of manufacture, its serial number, materials used, and more. This Seiko Black Series model also comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel that really complements its watch face. It features a count-up scale on its black aluminium insert, which is bound to form a lovely patina as you use this watch. This is great for those who love vintage aesthetics, as this diver will most likely age well over time. The bezel ring also boasts a LumiBrite coat, allowing for excellent visibility even in low-light conditions.    Lastly, in between the bezel and the dial, you can find a curved sapphire crystal. It is treated with anti-reflective coatings on its inner surface, which prevents any visual distortions from affecting your view of the dial. Sapphire crystal is known for its superb durability, so it is very effective at protecting the watch face from any scratches.  Bracelet  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is fitted with a three-link stainless steel bracelet. Like the watch case, the entire bracelet is hard-coated in black, which only adds to the watch’s bold and rugged style. This bracelet also has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a push-button release extenders. This keeps the bracelet firmly fastened to your wrist and and allows you to quickly remove it when necessary.  The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 is also offered with an additional silicone strap upon purchase. Like the other components of the watch, this silicone band and its hardware come in a sleek shade of black, completing the watch’s all-black look. When paired with the case, it gives the watch a more casual, laidback vibe than the stainless steel variation. Using the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 with a silicone strap makes it the perfect option for an everyday beater watch.  Dial  One of the most captivating features of this Seiko Black Series model is its lovely face. The Seiko Prospex SLA061 shows off a black dial with a beautiful sand ripple design, which adds both texture and depth to the watch’s face. This design element reiterates the concept upon which the Seiko Black Series is based: the darkness of the night ocean.  Aside from that, this watch face is also filled with thick hour indices and bevelled sword hands. In between the 4 and 5 o’clock markers, you can also find a small date aperture with a black background and white text. The hands and indices of this watch are all coated in LumiBrite, allowing for improved readability even in the dark. On the very rim of the dial, there is a minute scale in stick indices in white.  Movement Another thing that sets the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061 apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series is that it is equipped with a more advanced mechanism. The SLA061 runs on an in-house Seiko Calibre 8L35, which was hand-crafted at the Seiko Watch Studio in Japan.  Held together by 26 jewels, the Seiko Calibre 8L35 is an automatic movement that boasts great reliability. It has an accuracy rate of +15/-10 seconds per day and a power reserve of approximately 50 hours.  Price Seiko is known for its very diverse portfolio, with watches that showcase drastically different specifications and price ranges. The Seiko Prospex Black SLA061, in particular, is one of the pricier models from the brand. This limited-edition watch, with its sophisticated, vintage-inspired aesthetic, sells at around $3,600 USD.  Other Models in the Seiko Black Series Now that we have talked about the Seiko Black Series’s stand-out model, let us take a look at the three remaining pieces in the collection. Note: As a special-edition series, the production of each Seiko Black Series model is limited. The three Seiko Black Series variants below had only 5,500 pieces released each. Every piece also comes with an additional silicone strap in black, like the Seiko Prospex Black SLA061.  1. Seiko Prospex Black SPB253 First, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB253, which was based on a mechanical diver from 1965. This is the cleanest model in the entire series with its well-defined, almost boxy case. It is the perfect combination of bold and sophisticated, making it quite a versatile accessory.  The SPB253 is housed in a 40.5mm stainless steel case in black and a rust-coloured strap made of polyester. Affixed to the top of the watch case is an aluminium count-up bezel. Embellished with vibrant orange accents, this bezel is coated in LumiBrite for better legibility.  Unlike the SLA061, the dial of this watch showcases a simpler matte black finish. It is adorned with luminescent black sword hands and rectangular hour indices, along with a date display at 3 o’clock. Orange and beige lume is also used to fill the hands and indices.  This watch is driven by a Japanese Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement shows off an outstanding power supply of 70 hours and can withstand water pressures of up to 200 metres.  With a price tag of just $1,200 USD, this is a much more affordable alternative to the SLA061.  2. Seiko Prospex Black SPB255  Next, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB255, based on a mechanical diver from 1968. Like its original, this Seiko Black Series watch has a sharp and chiselled exterior that makes the entire piece look robust and powerful. It is a great choice for those who love clean-cut and straightforward timepieces.  The SPB255 comes in a 42mm black case made of stainless steel, along with a dark brown polyester strap. Of all the watches in the Seiko Black Series, the SPB255 has the most flexible proportions as it was made to fit wrists of all sizes. A black count-up bezel with orange and silver indicators can be found on top of the watch case. Flipping this watch over, you can also find a solid stainless steel caseback. It is inscribed with the signature Seiko Tsunami logo.  The dial of this watch also comes in straightforward matte black. It contains luminous hour markers in various geometric shapes, along with sweeping sword hands and a date window at 3 o’clock. The seconds and minute hands of this watch are treated with soft orange lume, adding a bit of pop to this watch face.  This watch from the Seiko Black Series is also powered by a Seiko Calibre 6R35. This automatic movement is held together by 24 jewels and has a precision rate of +25/-15 seconds per day. It also possesses an excellent 70-hour power supply and a depth rating of 200 metres.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB255 retails at $1,200 USD.  3. Seiko Prospex Black SPB257  Lastly, we have the Seiko Prospex Black SPB257. As another modern reissue of the 1970s Seiko Captain Willard, this model is the closest to the SLA061. Compared to the previous two models, this watch has a more rounded exterior. It is the ideal option for those who love chunky divers.   The SPB257 sports a 42.7mm cushion-shaped case made of black stainless steel and a rust-brown polyester strap. The funky and unconventional shape of this watch’s case is what sets it apart from the other pieces in the Seiko Black Series. Sitting atop the case is a count-up bezel with aluminium inserts and LumiBrite coatings in silver and orange.  The matte black dial of this watch follows a very clean and straightforward layout. It comprises thick hour indices and long black sword hands, which are treated with orange and beige lume. At 3 o’clock, you can also find a small date complication.  This model is also equipped with a sapphire crystal glass, a solid steel caseback, and a screw-down crown, all of which contribute to its 200-meter water resistance rating. Behind the caseback, you can also find a Seiko Calibre 6R35, which can last for up to 70 hours when fully wound.  The Seiko Prospex Black SPB257 costs approximately $1,300 USD.  Why Should You Get the Seiko Black Series?  If you are still on the fence on whether the Seiko Black Series is worth it or not, below are some points to help you decide.  Good Concept. One of the things that make the Seiko Black Series so great is that it was born out of a clear concept. It revolves around the idea of a night ocean, explaining the boldness of its exterior and the toughness of its mechanism. On top of that, the Seiko Black Series is also inspired by revolutionary, vintage Seiko timepieces from decades ago. This gives the Seiko Black Series more depth, adding to its appeal as a collector’s piece. Well-Executed. In relation to having a good concept, Seiko was also able to execute its ideas perfectly in the Seiko Black Series. Each element used in the Seiko Black Series was mindfully chosen to allow for utmost beauty and reliability. It is the perfect balance between beautiful aesthetics and excellent functionality, making it a no-brainer choice for divers and watch enthusiasts. Reasonably Priced. The Seiko Black Series, as a whole, definitely falls on the more expensive end for Seiko. Nevertheless, it is still a very reasonable price considering the quality you get with each model, especially when compared to other Swiss luxury watches in the market. The Seiko Black Series models are not just ordinary Seiko watches that are mass produced every year, they are limited-edition pieces that reflect superior craftsmanship in every way.Final Thoughts The Seiko Black Series is a reflection of the Japanese brand’s unwavering commitment to innovation. It chose to use groundbreaking vintage models and turn them into modern reinterpretations that are better in almost every way. Each model is equipped with excellent design and functionality, meant to resonate with divers of every kind. If you are looking for a dive watch worthy of your investment, you definitely will not regret checking out the Seiko Black Series.  Photo Credits: Seiko Official Site and WSIf you are interested in watch guides and reviews, check out this piece on the Robust Sinn U50!

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  5. Rolex Starbucks: A Review of the Rolex 126610LV

    Rolex Starbucks: A Review of the Rolex 126610LV

    Folks who are into watch collections know that the timepieces from Rolex are just about the most prestigious luxury watches money can buy you. Consider, for instance, the highly-coveted Rolex Submariner series.  The Rolex Submariner is famous for establishing the dominance of dive watches in the horological industry. As part of this repute, many Rolex Submariners are given a certain elite status and identity. This is why many popular Rolex Submariner models, like the Rolex Bluesy and the Rolex Smurf, have their own catchy nicknames. This also helps to distinguish each model in the eyes of the public.  In this article, we will be looking at a brand-new Submariner model: the Rolex Submariner Ref. 126610LV-0002. Despite its recency, the Ref. 126610LV-0002 has already received its own clever nickname, with many watch enthusiasts referring to it as the Rolex Starbucks. As one of the latest releases from the acclaimed Swiss watch brands, we are indeed intrigued by what Rolex Starbucks has to offer. Read on to find out more about the Rolex Starbucks, including its brief background and all its specifications.  Overview of the Rolex Starbucks Image by: Rolex Not even the pandemic could get in the way of Rolex releasing a new and handsome Rolex Submariner piece. Launched in September 2020, the Rolex Starbucks is quite a fresh entry into the watch industry. It is widely available in the market today.   As we mentioned, Rolex is quite well-known for its intriguing naming conventions. For decades, watch enthusiasts have gotten into the habit of associating specific Rolex models with famous figures and things in the field of popular culture. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 126610LV-0002, in particular, gained its name because its green-and-black colorway resembles the logo of the popular coffee chain, Starbucks. The Rolex Starbucks joins the ranks of other iconic green-themed Submariners like the Rolex Kermit and the Rolex Hulk.  Some people also refer to the Rolex Starbucks as the discontinued Rolex Kermit, because of its near-identical color palette. However, it should be noted that the Rolex Starbucks is actually far more advanced than the Rolex Kermit. It is packed with brand-new in-house construction and runs on the brand’s latest innovative movement.  Unlike vintage Submariners, you will not have any difficulty finding this watch in the market today. In fact, you can easily buy one in official Rolex stores and, of course, on our own WatchShopping website.  Anatomy of the Rolex Starbucks Case and caseback The Rolex Starbucks is presented in a 41mm case. It is made from the brand’s patented Oystersteel material. This case has a height of 12.4mm and a lug-to-lug width of 47.6mm. With these measurements, the Rolex Starbucks is relatively chunky. It will fit very nicely on medium-to-large-sized wrists. That said, if you have a slimmer wrist and you enjoy wearing oversized watches, the Rolex Starbucks can still serve as a great choice.   The watch’s robust Oystersteel composition makes it highly resistant to all sorts of cosmetic wear and tear such as corrosion and rust. In addition, the surface of the case is treated with a lovely satin finish, which is consistent with the finish on the watch’s lugs. This is contrasted against the polished flanks on both sides of the Rolex Starbucks’ case. This captivating interplay of different finishes gives the Rolex Starbucks a very visually interesting quality so that it has an especially lustrous look.  Flipping the Rolex Starbucks over, you will find a plain screw-down caseback. Like the rest of the case, this caseback is also made from solid Oystersteel. It is tightly screwed down, keeping the watch’s movement safe from any impacts or water damage.  Bezel Image by: Rolex One of the most distinctive aspects of any Rolex Submariner watch is its bezel. Like its Submariner peers, the Rolex Starbucks is equipped with a 60-click unidirectional Oystersteel bezel. It has knurled edges, which provide wearers with a better grip so they can turn it more easily. This is especially useful when you are trying to turn the bezel with wet hands or while wearing thick diving gloves.  The Rolex Starbucks’ bezel is fitted with a striking green Cerachrom bezel insert. It bears a 60-minute track for the watch’s elapsed time scale. Thanks to its high-tech Cerachrom composition, this bezel is also extremely scratch-proof and will not fade over time. The bezel also has a clean, polished finish. This gives it an exquisite shine, allowing it to strike an extraordinary contrast against the watch’s jet-black dial.  One advantage of having a bezel that only rotates unidirectionally is that you can prevent any accidental adjustment or backplay. This ensures that you will be able to track your elapsed time underwater more accurately.  Crown On the right side of the Rolex Starbucks’ case, you can find a polished screw-down crown. This crown has grooved, teeth-like edges, which give the wearer a trouble-free way of winding it. On the left and right side of the crown, you can find two hefty crown guards made from Oystersteel. These help keep the crown safe from any accidental impacts or shocks.  In addition, this crown is built with the brand’s innovative Triplock system. This offers top-notch security against the entry of any water, moisture, or dust. Thanks to its screw-down caseback and Triplock crown, the Rolex Starbucks has an outstanding depth rating of 300 meters. This makes it the perfect dive watch for all your underwater conquests like deep-sea diving, scuba diving, and more.  The top of the crown bears a delicate stamp of Rolex’s iconic crown emblem, adding an air of refinement to the Rolex Starbucks. Below the crown logo, you can find three small dots. These signify that the crown is equipped with a Triplock system.  Dial Image by: Rolex The Rolex Starbucks shows off a very straightforward and easy-to-read dial that is a signature of all Rolex Submariner watches. This dial has a stark black finish, which stands out in sharp relief against the metallic green bezel and all-silver watch case. It is decorated with luminous hour indices in various geometric shapes, classic Rolex Mercedes hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock.    Rolex also treats its dial with an in-house luminous pigment known as Chromalight. This lume glows a vibrant, neon blue in the dark and is said to last for up to eight hours. It helps to light up the watch face, so wearers can read the time easily even when in the dark or underwater.  Finally, this dial is protected by a layer of sapphire crystal. As the most expensive watch crystal available on the mark, it is highly scratch-resistant and also shock-proof. It also keeps the dial away from any external damage like water, dust, or dirt. Bracelet The Rolex Starbucks is paired with an elegant three-link Oyster bracelet. Much like the watch case, this bracelet also comes with a mesh of different finishes. It has satin-finished top links, while the sides of the links are given a glossy polished finish.  This watch is also equipped with the brand’s Oysterlock system, which is an in-house safety deployant clasp. This deployant clasp comes with an additional flap, which ensures that the strap is securely fastened to your wrist and will not come loose at any time. Engraved on the center of the extra flap is an image of Rolex’s crown logo, which further boosts this watch’s luxurious demeanor.  In addition, located underneath the watch’s clasp is a built-in Glidelock clasp extension. This allows you to adjust the length of the Oyster bracelet so that it fits nicely even when you are wearing a diving suit.  Movement The Rolex Starbucks runs on an in-house Perpetual Caliber 3235 movement. This self-winding automatic movement is held together by 31 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It has an incredible power reserve of 70 hours or approximately three days. It also possesses an excellent accuracy rate of -2/+2 seconds per day. As one of Rolex’s most advanced movements, the Caliber 3235 is equipped with the innovative Parachrom Bleu hairspring. This boosts the movement’s resistance to strong magnetic fields and extreme temperature fluctuations. The Caliber 3235 is also highly resistant to shocks, which further proves the absolute durability of this state-of-the-art movement. Price Rolex watches are famous for their expensive price tags. As one of the latest creations from Rolex, the Rolex Starbucks certainly does not deviate in that respect. It has an exorbitant price tag of $19,599 USD. On the whole, the Rolex Starbucks is a great investment watch that will surely appreciate in price in the future.  Alternatives to the Rolex Starbucks If you want something a little different, or if the Rolex Starbucks is too expensive for your tastes, we have listed down a few excellent alternatives below.  1. Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610 50anniv If you have the budget for it and would like to invest in a more expensive Submariner piece, take a look at the Rolex Submariner Ref. 16610 50anniv. This 50th-anniversary piece from Rolex is encased in a 40mm stainless steel case, along with a three-link bracelet made from the same material. Its jet-black dial is adorned with luminescent geometric hour indices, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock.  Affixed to the top of the watch’s case is a polished, lime green unidirectional bezel. This elapsed time scale bezel is the source of this watch’s ‘Rolex Kermit’ nickname. Underneath this handsome watch face, you can find an in-house Perpetual Caliber 3135 movement. Held together by 31 jewels, this self-winding movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and a solid power supply of 50 hours. Much like the recent Rolex Starbucks, this watch also has a depth rating of 300 meters. Rolex has discontinued the production of this anniversary watch since 2010, so finding one can be a little difficult. Fortunately, we still carry them on our website. You can get your hands on this rare Rolex Submariner watch for $33,299 USD. 2. Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 4157-07 4 24 64EB If you are looking for a robust alternative to the Rolex Starbucks, check out this dive piece from Oris. The Oris Aquis Ref. 01 733 7730 4157-07 4 24 64EB utilizes a 43.5mm stainless steel case and a sturdy black rubber strap. On top of the watch case is a 60-click unidirectional rotating bezel in steel. Like the Rolex Starbucks, it is also equipped with a green ceramic elapsed time scale insert. This bezel is complemented by a dark green metallic dial, which is filled with luminous hour indices, thick hands, and a compact date aperture at 6 o’clock.  This Oris Aquis timepiece is driven by an in-house Caliber 733. Based on the Sellita SW200-1 movement, this self-winding automatic movement beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) and has a standard power reserve of 38 hours. Similar to the Rolex Starbucks, this Oris Aquis watch also possesses an impressive water resistance of 300 meters, making it a perfect dive piece to use for your various deep-sea adventures.  This good-looking Oris timepiece retails at $2,000 USD. 3. Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0084-89E If you are looking for a low-cost alternative, check out the Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0084-89E. This Citizen dive watch is packed in a 42mm stainless steel case. It showcases the same green elapsed time scale bezel and jet-black dial as the Rolex Starbucks. The dial is furnished with luminous geometric hour indices, oversized syringe hands, and a day-date complication at 3 o’clock.  This dive watch runs on an in-house Caliber 8203 movement. Fitted with 21 jewels, this manual-winding movement beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and has an accuracy rate of +/-5 seconds per day. It also has a standard power reserve of 48 hours. In addition, this Citizen Promaster watch also showcases an unusual placement of its crown at 8 o’clock. This makes it the best choice for lefties who wear their watches on their right wrist. This Citizen dive watch sells at a budget-friendly price of just $259 USD. Final Thoughts After delving into the Rolex Starbucks, we have come to the conclusion that it is without a doubt one of the best creations from Rolex today. The Swiss craftsmanship poured into crafting this alluring masterpiece completely reflects how Rolex watches are meticulously produced.  If you have the money, now may be the perfect time to grab this perfect watch, which is truly a treasure worth keeping. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: Rolex. Featured image courtesy of Rolex. Love arcade games and watch collectibles? Check out our article on the awesome Street Fighter V and Seiko Watch Collaboration!

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  6. Seiko SRP777: The King of Entry-Level Dive Watches

    Seiko SRP777: The King of Entry-Level Dive Watches

    When it comes to dive watches, one of the reigning Japanese watch brands that has a huge catalog of tried-and-tested pieces is Seiko. One of its most popular collections is the ever-dependable Seiko Prospex series, which holds a number of affordable and durable dive pieces. Some of its iconic timepieces include the Seiko Captain Willard and the Seiko King Samurai. For today’s article, we will be looking at yet another notable dive watch from the Seiko Prospex collection: the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP777. You might recognise this watch as one of the famous Seiko Turtle models. An awe-inspiring dive piece with cool features and a solid build, this is a rugged timepiece that is made for the modern-day man.  Let us take a brief overview of the history of the Seiko SRP777, before we delve deep into the watch itself and everything it can do.  History and Overview of the Seiko SRP777 Image by: Seiko Watches The Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP777, or Seiko SRP777 was released during the first quarter of 2016. It was launched alongside an all-stainless steel Seiko Turtle variant, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SRP775. Both models are modern reissues of the emblematic Seiko 6309, which was a popular dive watch introduced back in the 1970s. Both the Seiko SRP777 and Seiko SRP775 inherited their memorable cushion-shaped cases and durable builds from the original Seiko 6309 timepiece.  Today, many of Seiko’s iconic vintage dive watches are no longer being produced by the company. The Seiko 6309 is only one such example of this. This is also why the brand creates updated reissues of these vintage watches every now and then. Contemporary versions like the Seiko SRP777 give wearers the singularly unique opportunity of experiencing a vintage watch clothed in a modern build. Aside from being a reissue of the Seiko 6309, the Seiko SRP777 also stands out with its cute case that resembles the rounded shell of a turtle. Despite its robust quality, the Seiko SRP777 is also known for its affordable price point, which makes this watch a truly value-for-money purchase.  One thing to note is that the Seiko SRP777 should not be confused with the Seiko King Turtle. The King Turtle is another diver piece from the brand. Despite having a near identical design, the Seiko King Turtle differentiates itself by utilizing more premium materials and having a more exorbitant price point.  Now that we understand the history of the Seiko SRP777 a little better, let us explore all the features it has to offer.  Anatomy of the Seiko SRP777 Case and Caseback The Seiko SRP777 is presented in a neat cushion-shaped case that has a diameter of 45mm. Crafted entirely from stainless steel, this watch has a height of 13mm. This is a rather usual standard of thickness for most dive watches. It also possesses a lug-to-lug measurement of 48mm.  On the whole, the Seiko SRP777 is a rather chunky watch which poses a significant presence on your wrist. With this watch case’s apparent heft, the Seiko SRP777 is best suited for those who have average-to-large-sized wrists. It also caters to those who are particularly into oversized watches.  Flipping the Seiko SRP77 over, you can find a stainless steel caseback that is firmly screwed in. This caseback holds a delicate print of a tsunami logo, which is a signature of the Seiko Prospex dive watches.  On the right side of the watch case, you can also find a sizable screw-down crown. It can be used to set the time, day, and date of the watch. You can also manually wind the crown in order to jump-start the movement’s mainspring. Unlike most watches, the crown on the Seiko SRP777 is placed at 4 o’clock. This clever placement keeps the top of the crown from digging into the skin of your wrist, offering greater comfort when worn.  Bezel A dive watch would not be very effective if it did not have one of its core components: an elapsed time scale bezel. Fortunately, the Seiko SRP777 comes with a unidirectional, rotating elapsed time scale bezel that has 120 clicks. It has a bottle cap design, with thick ridges that ensure wearers can grip and turn it more easily.  The Seiko SRP777’s bezel is also fitted with a jet-black ceramic insert that is highly scratch-resistant. Aside from bearing a 60-minute scale, this insert also has a luminous pip at 12 o’clock. This provides better visibility, so you can read the watch face clearly even when in dark environments.  Dial Image by: americanloko on watchuseek The matte black Seiko SRP777 has a very simple and straightforward layout that promotes easy legibility. It is decorated with large hour markers in various geometric shapes, thick arrow-headed hands that are outlined in silver, and a day-date display at 3 o’clock. The hands and indices of this watch are all generously coaxed with Seiko’s patented LumiBrite material. This helps illuminate the watch face, so you can read it easily even when submerged in dark underwater depths.  On the rim of the dial, you can also find a black chapter ring that complements the dial and bezel. This chapter ring bears white stick indices for the watch’s minute scale. Finally, the dial is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal.  Strap Seiko complements the Seiko SRP777’s black watch face with a matching, high-quality black silicone strap. The choice of silicone for the strap is an excellent one, since it is completely waterproof, so it is a great fit for dive watches like the Seiko SRP777.    This rugged black strap is equipped with a stainless steel pin buckle, which keeps the watch firmly fastened to your wrist. In addition, the strap has an abundant number of adjustment holes. You can use these holes to determine how tightly or loosely you want to wear your watch, whichever you find most comfortable. This also comes in handy when you have to wear your diving suit, since you can easily adjust the strap to fit more loosely around it.  Water Resistance The Seiko SRP777 has a solid depth rating of 200 meters. Built to withstand extreme water pressures, this is the perfect dive watch for all sorts of watersports activities, be it surfing, scuba diving, jet-skiing, or more. It is also ISO-certified, which means it meets the ISO 6425 requirements — the standard for all dive watches.  Movement Image by: eBay The Seiko SRP777 is powered by an in-house Caliber 4R36. Held together by 24 jewels, this automatic Seiko movement has a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and a standard power supply of 41 hours. It also comes with manual-winding capabilities, so you can swiftly reset the watch if it runs out of power. Seiko also reports that this movement has an accuracy rate of +45/-35 seconds per day. One great thing about Seiko being such a popular watch brand is that you can buy a lot of its replacement parts online quite easily. If the movement of your Seiko SRP777 piece ever gets damaged, you can quickly find a brand-new replacement for it on the internet.  Price The Seiko SRP777 retails at just $379 USD. This budget-friendly price tag sets up the Seiko SRP777 as the king of entry-level dive pieces. With its affordable price and robust quality, this dive watch is certainly worth every penny.  Alternatives to the Seiko SRP777 1. Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Ref. SBDY021 The all-black Seiko SRP777 might seem a tad too serious to some, so here is another Seiko Turtle piece that brings out the fun with its striking blue dial and bezel. The Seiko Prospex Save The Ocean Ref. SBDY021 belongs to the special edition Save the Ocean sub-series, which itself is part of the Seiko Prospex lineup.  This Seiko watch comes in a 45mm stainless steel case with a stout, cushion-shaped build. This is paired with a sturdy black resin strap. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel. It bears a ceramic elapsed time scale that comes in two different shades of blue.  The dial, likewise, also comes in charming gradient blue. From top to bottom, the dial goes from a lighter blue color to a dark shade of almost black, as if you are descending into the depths of the sea. It also has a teak finish, such that it further resembles the choppy waves of the ocean.  This dial is adorned with large geometric hour markers and arrow-headed hands that have been treated with LumiBrite. A compact day-date window is placed at 3 o’clock too. Intriguingly, the day counter has its text in Japanese katakana, rather than the standard English used by most watches. This is a clever way to pay subtle tribute to the watch brand’s Japanese roots.  Like the Seiko SRP777, this watch is driven by a Caliber 4R36. It has a 41-hour power reserve and a water resistance capacity of 200 meters.  You can purchase this good-looking Seiko timepiece for around $479 USD.  2. Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W Citizen is another well-established and well-respected Japanese watch brand. Like Seiko, it houses a roster of amazing dive pieces under its Citizen Promaster series. One great dive watch offering from the brand is the Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W. This watch stands out with its brilliant green dial and its unusually-placed crown.  Packed in a 42mm stainless steel case, this Citizen watch is slightly smaller than the Seiko SRP7777. It comes with a hardy black silicone strap, which goes well with the watch’s black elapsed time scale bezel. This bezel also has sharp edges at intervals, which allows wearers to grip and turn it more easily. Contrary to most watches in the industry, the crown of this timepiece is placed at 8 o’clock. This makes it much easier to turn for right-handed users.  The dial of this watch is actually coated entirely in a neon green luminous pigment. As a result, the entire dial glows brightly in the dark, allowing for excellent visibility at all times. It is decorated with black and gray geometric hour indices and thick syringe hands. A day-date aperture with a black background and red and white text rest at 3 o’clock.  Underneath this vibrant watch face, you can find an in-house Citizen Caliber 8203. This automatic movement is sealed safely behind the watch’s stainless steel caseback. It has an accuracy rate of +/-5 seconds per day and a depth rating of 200 meters.  The Citizen Promaster Ref. NY0040-09W sells at just $319 USD.  3. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141 In terms of design, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141 is the closest to the Seiko SRP777. It utilizes a 43mm stainless steel case and a striped black rubber strap. Fitted on top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel. It bears a gleaming black ceramic insert with broad indicators in silver for an elapsed time scale.  This TAG Heuer watch also showcases a jet-black dial, which offers a great deal of unity with the black bezel. The dial is furnished with trapezoidal hour markers and long sword hands, all of which are outlined in silver. These dial components are also coated with Super-LumiNova material. In addition, a compact date complication is placed at 3 o‘clock.  Unlike the previous models mentioned in this article, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer watch runs on a battery-operated quartz movement. It offers an extensive battery life of four months. This watch also has an outstanding water resistance rating of 300 meters, exceeding that of the Seiko SRP777.  The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WAY101A.FT6141 costs approximately $1,600 USD.  Final Thoughts The Seiko SRP777 is no doubt an excellent dive piece that rightfully deserves to be called the king of entry-level watches. Normally, when you purchase a cheap timepiece, you would get a somewhat average watch with a tolerable quality and build. But since this watch is made by Seiko, one of the best watchmakers in the world, you can rest assured that you will get far more than what you pay with the Seiko SRP777.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo Credits: Seiko Watches, watchuseek, and eBay. Featured image courtesy of Seiko Watches. On the hunt for a uniquely-shaped timepiece? Read our article about tonneau watches and fifteen of the best watch offerings that are built in this lovely shape!

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  7. Orient Sun and Moon: The Earth’s Constant Companions in One Powerful Timepiece

    Orient Sun and Moon: The Earth’s Constant Companions in One Powerful Timepiece

    Those familiar with the watch industry probably know that Orient is one of the go-to brands for stylish yet affordable timepieces. Orient is known for offering exquisite dress watches that are with very accessible price points. One example is the well-loved Orient Sun and Moon sub-collection. Hailing from the Orient Classic series, the Orient Sun and Moon sub-collection holds a very popular reputation with many watch enthusiasts. These watches are famous not only for being budget-friendly but also because of their eye-catching sun and moon sub-dials. The Japanese watch brand regularly comes up with brand-new versions of these admirable Orient Sun and Moon watches that every watch collector looks forward to.  Without further ado, let us delve deeper into the Orient Sun and Moon series and everything it has to offer.  Orient Sun and Moon: How Does It Work? Image by: Orient Watch Out of all the different types of watch complications, the sun and moon sub-dial probably ranks as one of the most visually interesting ones. Much like how celestial bodies like the sun and the moon keep the company of Earth, the Orient Sun and Moon sub-dial accompanies its wearer in constantly informing them whether it is daytime or nighttime.  Taking the shape of a crescent-like contour, the Orient Sun and Moon sub-dial is a revolving disc that is divided into two equal halves. One half bears an image of a vibrant yellow-gold sun against a light blue background. The other boasts a metallic moon insert that is colored in a shade of gray or muted gold, placed against a dark blue backdrop that is also filled with stars.  As time passes, the sun and moon sub-dial rotate swiftly. When it is daytime, the part containing the face of the sun is displayed. However, as the day passes and the sun sets, the sub-dial rotates to show the other half, containing the moon’s face, to herald the arrival of nighttime. To put it simply, you can think of this complication as an AM/PM indicator but packed in a striking sub-dial that is very nice to look at.  Just like the moonphase complication that can be found on moon phase watches, the Orient Sun and Moon sub-dial is a very innovative, beautiful aspect of a timepiece. The incorporation of such a lively sub-dial is an appealing aesthetic that definitely enhances the Orient Sun and Moon’s elegant, classic look.  5 Best Orient Sun and Moon Models 1. Orient Classic Sun and Moon V3 Ref. AK00001Y Image by: Orient Watch For the first Orient Sun and Moon piece on this list, look at the Orient Classic Sun and Moon V3 Ref. AK00001Y. This watch comes in a 42.5mm stainless steel case that is coated in rose gold and a classic crocodile leather strap in brown. The warm tones of this watch give it a very soothing look that mature professionals are sure to love.  This watch also shows off a guilloche cream yellow dial, which wonderfully complements its exterior. It is decorated with slim Roman numeral hour markers and black leaf hands. You can also find two submerged sub-dials, which serve as the day-of-the-week counter and the sun and moon counters. In addition, an elongated date wheel also rests between 6 and 7 o’clock. This dial is protected by a layer of sapphire crystal.  An in-house Caliber F6B24 powers this enchanting rose gold watch. This self-winding movement is fitted with 22 jewels and beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). It has a standard power reserve of 40 hours. Furthermore, the brand also claims that this movement has a reliable accuracy rate of +25/-15 seconds per day. You can get your hands on this beautiful piece for around $250 USD to $300 USD. 2. Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-AS0004L If you are looking for a blue dial watch with an interesting color gradient, check out the Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-AS0004L. This watch is presented in a 42mm gold-plated stainless steel case and a lovely blue alligator leather strap.  This dress watch has an alluring dial with a rich, sunray blue finish that turns into a darker shade as it spreads out evenly towards the dial’s rim. It is furnished with silver hour indices, rose gold Roman numerals, and slender leaf hands. The sun and moon sub-dial can be found at 6 o’clock, while a sophisticated open-heart display is placed at 9 o’clock.   Visible through the watch’s see-through caseback is an in-house Caliber F6L22. This automatic movement consists of 22 jewels and has a beat frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). In addition, it has an average power rating of up to 40 hours.  As a limited-edition watch, there are only 1,500 pieces of the Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-AS0004L available. You can buy one for about $599 USD.  3. Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-KA0004L Compared to the previous models, the Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-KA0004L shows off a more complex dial layout which offers greater utility.  This delicate ladies’ watch is encased in a 34.8mm gold-plated stainless steel case, which is perfect for slender feminine wrists. It is coupled with a blue leather strap, which is secured by a deployant clasp in the same beautiful shade of rose gold.  Topped by a layer of sapphire crystal glass, the captivating blue gradient dial is composed of silver indices, rose gold Roman numerals, and leaf hands. Three rings are arranged on the dial. These serve as the date display, the day-of-the-week sub-dial, and the sun and moon complication.  Flipping this Orient Sun and Moon watch over, you can find a caseback made of solid stainless steel. This caseback guards a battery-operated quartz movement, which drives all of this watch’s functions.  As another limited-edition Orient Sun and Moon piece, there were only 1,000 pieces of the Orient Classic Sun and Moon Ref. RN-KA0004L produced. It has an estimated price tag of just $319 USD.  4. Orient Classic Sun and Moon V4 Ref. RA-AK0003S Image by: Orient Watch Launched in 2019, this next piece is among the first Orient Sun and Moon watches to house Arabic numeral hour markers. The Orient Classic Sun and Moon V4 Ref. RA-AK0003S utilizes a 42.5mm stainless steel case and a classic black alligator leather strap. This case is fitted with a curved sapphire crystal, which gives wearers a clear view of the watch’s dial.  Complementing the watch’s silver case is a pristine, smooth white dial. It is adorned with Arabic numerals in a slanting typeface, black leaf hands, and a date wheel at 8 o’clock. You can also find submerged sub-dials for the sun and moon and day-of-the-week counters.  This watch runs on the in-house Orient Caliber F6B24. You can admire this movement through the watch’s transparent caseback. It beats at 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz) and can last for up to 40 hours when fully wound. In addition, this watch is also completely water-resistant up to depths of 50 meters, allowing it to survive any accidental splashes or showers.  The Orient Classic Sun and Moon V4 Ref. RA-AK0003S sells at around $350 USD to $400 USD.  5. Orient Classic Sun and Moon V5 Ref. RA-AK0302B10A Image by: Orient Watch For the last Orient Sun and Moon watch on this list, have a look at the Orient Classic Sun and Moon V5 Ref. RA-AK0302B10A. Released in 2020, this watch is one of the more recent offerings from the Orient Sun and Moon line. Unlike the previous watches mentioned, this timepiece boasts a sleek, all-stainless steel construction. The case of this watch measures 41.5mm in diameter and is matched with a sturdy three-link bracelet.  The dial of this watch comes in matte black, standing out sharply against the silver exterior. It comprises silver-tone applique indices, sharp dauphine hands, and a traditional date window at 3 o’clock. A day-of-the-week sub-dial and sun and moon display can also be found on this dial. Both complications are ringed with silver so that they are more clearly visible against the black backdrop of the dial.  This refined dress piece is powered by an in-house Caliber F6B24. You can see this movement through the watch’s sapphire crystal caseback. It possesses a power supply of 40 hours and a depth rating of 50 meters, which is quite standard for dress watches. The Orient Classic Sun and Moon V5 Ref. RA-AK0302B10A costs approximately $455 USD.  Final Thoughts Given that the roster of Orient Sun and Moon timepieces are designed as dress watches, these are all versatile pieces that you can pair with your everyday outfit or wear on dressy occasions. Indeed, as casual everyday watches, the Orient Sun and Moon timepieces show off timeless, elegant aesthetics that complement just about any attire. Offered at affordable price points, these astonishing Orient Sun and Moon watches are a testament to the fact that, sometimes, you do not need to spend much in order to own a prestigious timepiece.  All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated.  Photo Credits: Orient Watch. Featured image courtesy of Orient Watch. Interested in a timepiece that has gone up to space? Check out our article about the Omega X-33!

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  8. A Detailed Look at President Joe Biden’s Watch Collection

    A Detailed Look at President Joe Biden’s Watch Collection

    In early 2021, the rest of the world watched as the United States of America elected its 46th President into office. It ended with a win for President Joe Biden, who has occupied said position for over a year now. To those who do not dabble in politics, what you know about Biden might be a little limited. For instance, you are likely just aware that Biden belongs to the Democratic Party and that he served as the 47th Vice President from 2009 to 2017, under Obama’s administration. While all these are relevant details that give insight into who Biden really is, one interesting factoid you may not have known is that Biden is also known for possessing a rather impressive watch collection. Over all of his years in politics, Biden has been seen and photographed wearing a variety of timepieces on numerous occasions and in work-related activities. It has gotten to a point where many watch collectors around the globe have started noticing and remarking on Biden’s excellent tastes in timepieces. As such, in today’s article, we will be taking a closer look at President Biden’s diverse watch collection and the remarkable timepieces in it. Joe Biden’s Watch Collection  1. OMEGA Seamaster 300 M Mid Size Quartz  US President Joe Biden has been spotted wearing a handsome OMEGA Seamaster 300 M Mid Size Quartz on numerous occasions. It is one of his go-to timepieces when attending presidential matters, and Biden often pairs it with either his business or smart casual attire. The watch itself boasts a very classic and versatile design, making it a great choice for an everyday accessory. This OMEGA Seamaster watch is presented in a 36.25mm stainless steel case, along with a five-link bracelet made of the same material. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a unidirectional rotating bezel with an elapsed time scale insert in metallic blue. The blue dial of the watch matches the shade of the bezel. It has a distinctive ocean motif, showing off a pattern of alluring, symmetrical waves. This dial is adorned with geometric hour markers, skeletal sword hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. A layer of sapphire crystal also protects the watch’s face, guarding it against any scratches. This watch crystal has been treated with anti-reflective coatings, so wearers have a clear and unhindered view of the dial. Inside this watch, you can find an OMEGA 1538 movement. This is a quartz precision movement that showcases a sleek and shiny rhodium-plated finish. It possesses an impressive battery life of up to 42 months. This watch also has an excellent water resistance capacity of 300 meters, which is only to be expected, since it belongs to one of the most well-known diving collections on the market. The OMEGA Seamaster 300 M Mid Size Quartz is no longer in production today. Nevertheless, it remains a very popular piece, thanks in part to its good reputation as one of Biden’s favored watches. This OMEGA watch is valued at around $2,000 USD to $3,000 USD, which is a very affordable range for a luxury timekeeper like this. 2. Rolex Datejust 41 Another wonderful piece in President Biden’s watch collection is the gorgeous Rolex Datejust 41. This is actually quite unusual, especially since heads of the Oval Office are typically associated with another, specific Rolex model: the Rolex Day-Date. This started in the 1960s when President Lyndon Johnson was spotted wearing a gold Day-Date watch. President Johnson went on to gift some Rolex Day-Date pieces to his colleagues during his term, which quickly solidified the watch’s link to the White House. Ever since then, the Rolex Day-Date has been widely considered the “President’s watch”, which makes Biden’s choice of the Datejust 41 quite surprising. President Biden’s Rolex Datejust watch is housed in a 41mm Oystersteel case. This is coupled with a Jubilee bracelet that is also made of Oystersteel. Unlike the watch’s case, which boasts a full polished finish, this Jubilee bracelet showcases polished center links and brushed outer links. This creates a visually interesting interplay of textures, adding to the Rolex Datejust 41’s appeal. On top of the case, you can also find a cleanly polished fixed bezel, which protects the watch face from any external damage. Like the previous model, this Rolex Datejust 41 piece is another lovely blue-dial watch. Its dial boasts a refined sunray blue finish and is ornamented with rectangular hour indices, silver blunt hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. Underneath this sophisticated watch face is a Rolex Manufacture 3235 Caliber. This is a COSC-certified Rolex movement, which has an extended 70-hour power supply. As an advanced Rolex movement, the Caliber 3235 also comes with a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring and high-quality Paraflex shock absorbers. These features help boost the movement’s resistance to extreme temperatures and impacts. This Rolex watch sells at around $10,899 USD. While it is an unconventional choice for a US President, especially after decades of tradition, the Rolex Datejust 41 proves to be the perfect accessory for President Biden. He even chose to wear it during his inauguration ceremony in 2021. 3. Vulcain Cricket  Next up, we have the Vulcain Cricket. Like the Rolex Day-Date, this is a watch that is deeply rooted in Oval Office traditions. This timepiece is also frequently called the “President’s Watch”, as it is gifted to every American Head of State. It all began in 1953 when President Truman received a 14-carat Vulcain Cricket from the White House News Photographers Association during his last day in office. This inspired Mr. Paajenen, a Finnish jewelry store owner, to present every ensuing US President with a Vulcain Cricket piece of their own. These include Pres. Johnson, Pres. Eisenhower, Pres. Obama, and eventually, Pres. Biden.  The Vulcain Cricket comes in a slim 36mm steel case. It is paired with either a brown or a black Louisiana alligator leather strap so that the watch gives off a truly vintage feel. This watch also has a slender thickness of around 12.7mm, so you can easily and unobtrusively slip this watch under the cuff of your shirt. The Vulcain Cricket is offered in three different dial colors: silver, charcoal grey, or rich blue. Its dial also has a rather straightforward design, as it always comprises triangular hour indices, bold Arabic numeral markers, and sharp dauphine hands. Driving this masterpiece is a Vulcain V-10 Caliber. This is a mechanical in-house movement that is made up of 165 components and 25 jewels. It is decorated with a smooth nickel coating, blue screws, and skeleton ratchets, demonstrating the brand’s mastery over the watchmaking craft. Some of the Vulcain V-10 Caliber’s features include an alarm circa 20 seconds, a 42-hour power reserve, and a standard 50-meter depth rating. The Vulcain Cricket is a truly impressive and exquisite timepiece. As such, it is no surprise that President Biden already has two of these in his collection. Biden was first spotted wearing a Vulcain Cricket watch when he was still President Obama’s second-in-command, and he got his second piece after he was officially inaugurated into office. 4. Seiko Alarm Chronograph  Moving on to the next Biden watch, we have the Seiko Alarm Chronograph. This is one of the more affordable pieces in Biden’s watch collection. It is a vintage model that was originally produced in the late 1990s or the early 2000s. The Seiko Alarm Chronograph is known for being one of President Biden’s favorite beater watches. During his presidential campaign, Biden was often seen wearing this modest Seiko Chronograph watch, which allowed him to appeal more to the humble masses. This Seiko watch utilizes a 36mm stainless steel case and a retro-looking two-tone bracelet made of the same material. The gold accents that are peppered all over this watch’s exterior give it a higher-class, more elegant aesthetic. The dial, meanwhile, shows off a soft white finish. It consists of gold-plated hour indices, slender sword hands, and a date aperture that is also outlined in gold. This dial also has a chronograph display, with three sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters. Like the date display, these counters are rimmed with gold, so they stand out more clearly against the rest of the dial. This lovely timepiece runs on a Japanese quartz movement that boasts the utmost reliability. It also comes with a cool alarm feature, further adding to this watch’s functionality. Finally, you can even use this Seiko watch when swimming, since it has a solid depth rating of 100 meters. As a watch that is no longer in production today, the Seiko Alarm Chronograph is quite a rare novelty. It costs around $200 USD to $300 USD. 5. Tissot T-Touch Ref. T013.420.47.202.00 The Tissot T-Touch Ref. T013.420.47.202.00, on the other hand, serves as a more modern and sporty piece from President Biden’s watch collection. There have been anecdotes about him wearing this watch since as early as when he was still the Vice-President of America. It says a lot about President Biden’s daily routines since the T-Touch was specially designed with those for active lifestyles. In fact, this is an outdoor watch that comes with a variety of excellent functions for all types of wilderness adventures. This is a First Generation Tissot T-Touch timepiece. It sports a 40mm stainless steel case and a sporty rubber strap in black. This timepiece’s case is complemented by thick, protruding lugs, which add to the watch’s bulky and robust look. Fitted on top of the case is a silver-grey compass bezel, which adds to the functionality of this timepiece. The dial, on the other hand, shows off a hybrid layout, which means it has both an analog and a digital display. It contains thick luminescent hands, large trapezoidal hour markers, and a rectangular LCD screen at 6 o’clock. As a highly practical outdoor watch, this Tissot timepiece is also equipped with a wide range of useful features. These include an altimeter, a compass, an alarm, a thermometer, a barometer, and more. All of these functions can be accessed just by touching the watch’s touchscreen sapphire crystal. On top of all that, this watch is also powered by a quartz movement and has a depth rating of around 30 meters. On President Biden, this T-Touch watch is often paired with his smart casual fits and dapper suits. This just proves how versatile the watch is and why President Biden keeps it in his collection. While this particular Tissot timepiece is no longer being produced, Tissot does still manufacture a Second Generation version, the Tissot T-Touch II Ref. T047.420.44.057.00. This second-generation model is priced at about $569 USD. 6. OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch  Moving on to another luxury watch, President Biden is known to have at least one version of the OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch in his collection. Specifically, he sports the Omega Speedmaster Professional Ref. 311.30.42.30.01.005. President Biden was featured in an American lifestyle magazine wearing this watch back in 2017. He was also spotted with it on his wrist on numerous occasions last year, as he carried out his duties as the 46th President of the United States. This Omega Speedmaster watch uses a 42mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. Its sleek, all-silver exterior is sharply contrasted against its rotating tachymeter bezel, which bears a black insert made of scratch-resistant ceramic. The dial of this watch also comes in matte black, complementing the bezel. It is decorated with rectangular hour indices, slender pencil hands, and three submerged sub-dials for the 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. This dial is also guarded by a Hesalite crystal, which prevents the watch face from being scratched. Performance-wise, this handsome model is driven by an in-house Omega Caliber 3861. This is a high-quality manual-winding movement. It possesses a Master Chronometer certification, which is a testament to its highly precise timekeeping and boasts durable, anti-magnetic properties. This watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 50 meters. This Omega model retails at $6,300 USD. 7. Apple Watch  The last of Biden’s watches that we will be tackling is none other than his good old Apple Watch Series 7. It is not as expensive as the other luxury timepieces in Biden’s watch collection, but it serves as more of a practical choice than anything else. Indeed, anyone with a busy lifestyle would surely appreciate an accessory that can be seamlessly integrated into your everyday life and the Apple Watch does this perfectly, making it a great choice for the 46th US Head of State. President Biden is also known for being the first US President to wear an Apple Watch while in office. This has resulted in folks seeing President Biden as a leader who is open to modernity. The Apple Watch Series 7 is available in either stainless steel or lightweight aluminum. It is offered in an array of colors (such as green, silver, blue, starlight, and more) and strap materials (like, nylon, leather, or stainless steel). The dial of this watch features a durable Retina display. Wearers can select between a model with an Ion-X dial or with a sapphire crystal dial. Aside from that, the Apple Watch Series 7 also comes equipped with a dual-core processor, a W3 wireless chip, and a U1 chip, all of which are crucial to its functionality. As expected of a high-tech smartwatch like this, the Apple Watch Series 7 shows off state-of-the-art features that make your everyday life easier. These include health monitors and activity trackers, exercise apps, and environmental sensors. You can also easily connect it to your smartphone and other Apple gadgets, allowing for seamless connectivity no matter where you are. The Apple Watch Series 7 can be purchased from around $700 USD to $1,000 USD. Final Thoughts  The models we have listed above are just some of the more notable timepieces from President Biden’s watch collection. Nevertheless, they prove how impeccable his taste is when it comes to choosing the right timekeepers. The diversity and versatility that comes with President Biden’s watch collection, in terms of both price and style, is truly impressive, especially when you consider his position. Hopefully, we will get to see more of President Biden’s watches in the years to come! Photo Credits: Official Watch Sites, Amazon, and GQ If you want to read more listicles, check out this piece on the Best White Watches For Men!

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  9. 7 Stunning Watch Collaborations with Artists

    7 Stunning Watch Collaborations with Artists

    The worlds of watchmaking and creative arts have more in common than you may think. Indeed, some of the main aspects the two have in common include the underlying technical ability that takes years of practice and the importance of the visual aesthetic. As artists of all kinds continue to involve themselves more and more in fashion and culture, watchmakers have begun recruiting some big names for limited-edition watch collaborations. With watchmakers teaming up with tattoo artists, musicians, and everything in between, these watch collaborations have resulted in some very iconic pieces. Maybe you are looking to incorporate a splash of vibrancy onto your wrist, or you just want to add some of the most exclusive watches to your collection. Whatever it is, here are some of the most sought-after watch collaborations with artists today. 1: TAG Heuer & Alec Monopoly Image by: Flaunt.com Alec Monopoly is a world-famous graffiti artist. He is best known for his signature tag of the top-hatted Mr. Monopoly from the classic Monopoly board game. Since 2016, this contemporary street artist has been working with TAG Heuer as an “Art Provocateur”. This was part of an initiative to help improve the Swiss watchmaker’s overall artistic efforts. TAG Heuer and Monopoly linked up for a memorable take on the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Alec Monopoly Special Edition. This is a watch collaboration that reflects the groundbreaking spirit of the original Formula 1 41mm and also has the rebellious American artist’s stamp all over it. The dial of this watch is, without a doubt, its star. Mr. Monopoly himself makes an appearance on the watch’s dial, with a top hat on his head and a scarf covering his face. The final touch is an engraving of Monopoly’s signature “ALEC” graffiti tag on the back of the watch’s dial. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Alec Monopoly Special Edition was limited to just 200 pieces. 2: Hublot & Shepard Fairey Image by: Dujour.com While you might not have heard the name Shepard Fairey before, it is more than likely that you are familiar with some of his work. Most notably, Fairey was the creative mind behind the now-iconic Barack Obama “HOPE” poster that was ubiquitous during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Shepard Fairey is a street artist, graphic designer, illustrator, and activist. His “OBEY” art project, found on the streets of Los Angeles, challenged viewers to question authority. Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot teamed up with Fairey as part of its Hublot Loves Art series. The result was the manually-wound Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey. This timepiece featured the brand’s signature in-house TAG Heuer HUB 1201 movement, a 10-day power reserve, and a stylish gear-driven mechanical aesthetic. The watch’s design also boasted the artist’s iconic “STAR GEAR” logo next to the 3 o’clock aperture. As a limited-edition watch, there were only 100 pieces of the Big Bang Meca-10 Shepard Fairey produced. 3: Audemars Piguet & DJ Surkin / GENER8ION Image by: Audemars Piguet For a few years now, Audemars Piguet has been linking up with various creatives. This includes a number of watch collaborations with well-known musicians like Quincy Jones and Jay-Z. One of its most popular offerings, however, comes from a team-up with DJ Surkin. Known primarily for his beat-laden electro house, Surkin is also famous for founding a music platform known as GENER8ION. Together, Audemars Piguet and DJ Surkin created a watch they called “a celebration of sound”. As part of this effort, the French musician spent three days working at the Audemars Piguet headquarters. The result was a revamped version of the iconic Royal Oak watch: the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION. The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION has four distinctive chimes that play at different times. The first comes at 6:03 am to indicate the start of the day around the Audemars Piguet headquarters in Le Brassus. This is followed by a chime at 10:45am, which uses sounds that came directly from the rhythm of Audemars Piguet’s workshop activity. The 4:15pm chime was made using weather sounds from the valley. The final tune, at 10:17pm, mixes outdoor sounds with synthesized tunes to indicate the end of the day approaching. This Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie x GENER8ION also comprises a glare-proof sapphire crystal, a titanium bezel, a black ceramic screw-locked crown, and titanium push pieces. However, the coolest part of this watch might be its skeleton dial, which shows off the impressive and sophisticated craftsmanship of its movement. 4: TAG Heuer & Bamford Image by: Metro-society.com Sometimes, iconic pieces are best when they are just that, right? Just like the exact manner in which they rose to fame. In this entry, we are looking at George Bamford. Bamford rose to fame through his Bamford Watch Department, in which he took iconic timepieces and customized them to their owner’s preference. TAG Heuer took notice of Bamford’s success and enlisted his talents for an official watch collaboration. Bamford took the Carrera, Autavia, and Monaco, three of TAG Heuer’s most iconic watches ever. He fitted these timepieces with super-lightweight carbon fiber cases, crisp black dials, and light blue details, giving them a fashionable revamped edge. 5. Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng  Image by: Bulgari and Saywho.fr If you are a fan of classic Chinese paintings, you might be acquainted with the Chinese-French artist Wang Yan Cheng. He is a great artist, renowned for his astonishing and spectacular artworks. Today, Wang is recognized as one of the central painters in the Chinese contemporary art scene. In 2022, the renowned Italian luxury watch brand Bvlgari announced its intention to bring together culture, time, and the contemporary by raising the personalization of Art and the Art of personalization to the next level. To this end, Bvlgari entered into a strong partnership with Wang. Together with Wang, Bvlgari presents the 44mm Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng. It is crafted from sleek, sandblasted black titanium, with a refined black onyx middle case. Through its skeleton dial, you can also admire the watch’s robust flying tourbillon movement, which grants it extreme stability and accuracy. Each piece of the Octo Roma Naturalia x Wang Yan Cheng bears the inscription “Pièce Unique”. 6. Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’ By Elisabetta Fantone Image by: Crownwatchblog.com Elisabetta Fantone is a Canadian-Italian contemporary artist who stands out for her labyrinthine and colorful paintings. Her works have been featured in many notable art galleries worldwide. As a testimony to the quality of her work, Fantone’s celebrity clients include big names such as Celine Dion, the late Muhammad Ali, and the Kardashians. In 2016, Swiss luxury watch brand Corum was delighted to announce its new artistic watch collaboration with Fantone. The brand gave her full liberty to design its next quintessential bubble watch, resulting in the Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’. The Corum Bubble Watch ‘Mona Lisa’ presents a new, modern take on a classic Haute Horlogerie design. It comes in two different sizes, 42mm and 44mm, with the 44mm model being limited to just 88 pieces. The highlight of this watch is its masterful dial. It bears a beautiful, vibrant portrayal of Mona Lisa, which was originally painted by the famous Leonardo Da Vinci. 7. Parmigiani Fleurier x Marcello Lo Giudice Image by: aBlogtoWatch.com and Robbreport.com A few years ago, the Italian artist Marcello Lo Giudice painted the Eden Universe, Eden Ocean for a New York art exhibition. This sensational work of art captured the Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier’s attention. This led to a new watch collaboration between Parmigiani Fleurier and Lo Giudice. This artistic team-up produced the Limited Edition Tonda 1950. This is an ultra-rare limited-edition timepiece, with only 12 pieces available. Each Limited Edition Tonda 1950 model boasts a smaller recreation of the Eden Universe, Eden Ocean artwork on its dial, highlighting Lo Giudice’s greatest masterpiece. The brand achieved this using a unique layer technique, which allowed it to design each dial to perfection. It made the inscription and delineation of the raw dial plate’s design easier. This gave the Limited Edition Tonda 1950s dial more volume and dimension, adding to its sophisticated, well-built look. Featured image courtesy of Audemar Piguet’s official website. Searching for the best affordable watches in the market? Why not spare time to read our article about the Best Affordable Watch Brands Under $1,000.

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  10. Rolex Smurf: A Review of the Emblematic Rolex Submariner 116619LB

    Rolex Smurf: A Review of the Emblematic Rolex Submariner 116619LB

    Rolex is home to some of the most coveted timepieces in the world. It has a drool-worthy catalogue consisting of famous and diverse luxury pieces, such as the Rolex Batman and Rolex Pepsi, that every watch enthusiast and aficionado dreams of owning someday. One of the brand’s most emblematic watches is the Rolex Smurf, which hails from its iconic Submariner collection. Like its peers in the Submariner collection, the Rolex Smurf is a sturdily-built, luxurious dive watch. Indeed, having been in production for over ten years now, the Rolex Smurf remains one of Rolex’s most sought-after timepieces ever made. Stylish, sleek, and robust, in this article we will be taking an in-depth look at the Rolex Smurf and the reasons behind its enduring popularity Rolex Watches and Nicknames If you are new to the watchmaking world, you may not know about the habit some watch fans have of giving their favourite timepieces iconic nicknames. Oftentimes, when fans truly love a watch, they will give it a certain moniker based on its design, color, or structure. Some examples include Seiko’s dive watches, with popular examples like the Seiko Tuna or the Seiko Samurai. Rolex watches, too, are known for their witty labels which are used by the watch community more frequently than the actual names of these timepieces. For instance, many people have probably heard about watches such as the Rolex Coke or Rolex Hulk. In fact, you can probably take a guess as to the aesthetic and colorway of these watches just off their names. The Rolex Smurf is another one of these cleverly nicknamed Rolex watches. The reason behind this nickname should be pretty obvious, especially if you are familiar with the popular animated characters called The Smurfs. They are fictional creatures with bright blue skin that resembles the royal blue colorway of the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116619LB, hence the Rolex Smurf’s catchy nickname. All About The Rolex Smurf The Rolex Ref. 116619LB, which is more popularly referred to as the Rolex Smurf, came out in 2008. It was released in celebration of the brand’s 100th anniversary and the 55th anniversary of the iconic Rolex Submariner collection. The Rolex Smurf immediately caught the attention of watch collectors around the world, as it was the first Submariner watch to be made solely out of precious white gold metal. With that said, let us delve deeper into the Rolex Smurf to find out everything else it has to offer. Case and Bezel Right off the bat, the most notable thing about the Rolex Smurf is its solid, 18-carat white gold case that simply exudes the utmost luxury. It has a diameter of around 400mm and a lug width of 20mm. These are rather standard measurements, allowing the Rolex Smurf to fit quite nicely on wrists of all sizes. One of the main reasons behind the exceptional popularity of the Rolex Smurf is its unique coating. In most cases, white gold watches tend to showcase a shiny and extremely bright sheen that draws the eye. For the Rolex Smurf, however, the brand opted to apply a slightly duller, greyer brushed finish. This unusual finish allows the Rolex Smurf to truly stand out against other white gold watches. On the top of the Rolex Smurf’s watch case, you can find the brand’s signature elapsed time scale bezel. Fitted with a deep blue Cerachrom insert, this bezel is marked with 60-minute graduations and can rotate in one direction, clockwise only. This bezel also comes with 120 clean clicks, with virtually no backplay, so you do not have to worry about jostling the bezel and losing track of your elapsed time underwater. Enclosed within the bezel is a layer of sapphire crystal, which is the strongest watch crystal available on the market. Tough and extremely resistant against scratches, this watch crystal is perfect for those who value durability in a watch. Bracelet The Rolex Smurf is paired with a gorgeous Oyster bracelet that is also made out of luxurious 18-carat white gold. With its classic three-link design, this Oyster bracelet is one of Rolex’s trademark creations, perfectly fusing durability and comfort. Like the watch case, this bracelet is embellished with a sleek brushed finish. It is also equipped with an Oysterlock clasp, which keeps the bracelet firmly fastened on your wrist. The Oysterlock clasp is engraved with the brand’s iconic crown logo, adding an air of refinement to this timepiece. Dial  As with most Rolex Submariner timepieces, the dial is the star of the show. The Rolex Smurf showcases a captivating shade of blue that is truly unique to this model and is the source of the watch’s nickname. This dial also boasts a classic, easy-to-read Submariner layout. It comprises thick hour markers in various geometric shapes, signature Rolex Mercedes hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock that is magnified by a special cyclops lens. The hands and indices of this watch are generously coated with Super-LumiNova. This causes the watch face to light up in a bright, neon blue hue when viewed in the dark, allowing for optimal legibility at all times. Movement and Other Features People often tend to focus a little too much on the exteriors of Rolex Submariner watches, due to their admittedly vibrant and luxurious designs. However, just like every other model in Rolex’s catalogue, the inner mechanisms of the Rolex Smurf are certainly worthy of discussion too. The Rolex Smurf is equipped with a well-crafted in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. This is a COSC-certified automatic movement that possesses an impressive power reserve of 50 hours. It boasts top-notch time-telling precision, with an accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day. Finally, this movement also offers an excellent 300-meter depth rating, making it truly reliable both in and out of the water. Price  It is no secret that Rolex watches are some of the most valuable timepieces to ever exist. While the Rolex Smurf is not the most exorbitant Rolex model out there, it is still highly coveted, especially since it is no longer in production today. The current estimated value of the Rolex Smurf is around $63,500 USD, which is a very hefty price indeed. You can also expect the value of the Rolex Smurf to appreciate in the next years, due to its prestigious Rolex branding and its status rare timepiece that is no longer in production. Rolex Smurf: Selling Points Now that we know more about the Rolex Smurf, let us consider a few main reasons why you should definitely consider adding this watch to your collection. Valuable. The Rolex Smurf is an expensive model that makes for a great investment piece. Even though it has been more than a decade since the Rolex Smurf was launched, its popularity only continues to grow throughout the years. As such, it is an incredibly valuable, highly-coveted watch with a resale value that will only appreciate in the future. Renown. Another reason why the Rolex Smurf is worth your time is that it is a well-established model in the watchmaking scene. If you are trying to make your collection more credible or impressive, adding this renowned timepiece to your assortment will surely garner rave compliments from fellow enthusiasts.Symbolic. This last point is directed to all the watch connoisseurs and enthusiasts who value the essence and the story of a timepiece above all. Released in celebration of Rolex’s 100th anniversary, the Rolex Smurf possesses great symbolic value as it was a tribute to the brand’s storied past and to what it can offer moving forward. The fact that it incorporated new materials and design elements while simultaneously celebrating the historical value of Rolex as a brand showcases how the Rolex Smurf represents everything that Rolex is all about.Alternatives to the Rolex Smurf If you are having trouble getting your hands on the Rolex Smurf, below are some alternative models you can opt for instead. 1. Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB First up, we have the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB. Arguably on the same level as the Rolex Smurf when it comes to popularity, this Rolex timepiece showcases a very similar design to the Smurf, albeit with a different colorway and a slightly different vibe. This is a highly sought-after timepiece that would surely make any watch collector drool. The Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB is presented in a 40mm case made of 18-carat yellow gold, coupled with an Oyster bracelet made of the same material. Its gleaming, all-gold exterior gives off a flashier, more lavish feel that will draw the eyes of all who see it. Like the Rolex Smurf, this model also comes with a rotating elapsed time scale bezel that bears a royal blue Cerachrom insert. The dial of this watch, on the other hand, is a little different than the Rolex Smurf. Unlike the Smurf’s matte blue dial, this Rolex timepiece instead showcases a blue dial with a gorgeous, metallic sunray finish. This adds to the higher-end, classy look of this watch. The dial is also furnished with geometric hour markers, Mercedes hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. As with the Rolex Smurf, this timepiece is driven by an in-house Rolex Caliber 3135. Held together by 31 jewels, this COSC-certified automatic movement offers an accuracy rate of +/-2 seconds per day. It can last up to 50 hours when fully wound. This timepiece also has an excellent depth rating of 300 meters, befitting its status as a Rolex Submariner watch. Given all its impressive and extravagant characteristics, the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116618LB’s price tag of $39,995 USD is not surprising at all. 2. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001 Next up, we have the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001. This watch has a rather different design compared to the Rolex Smurf. Nevertheless, it shows off the same prestige and exclusivity as the Smurf, thanks to its similar colorway and use of luxurious materials. This watch serves as the ideal alternative for those seeking a blue-dial watch at the peak of luxury. This Patek Philippe watch comes in a 40mm cushion-shaped case and bracelet, both of which are made from 18-carat white gold. It showcases a matte blue dial with a horizontal teak pattern that adds to the sophisticated look of this watch. It also consists of white gold applique hour markers and blunt watch hands. Three unusual sub-dials are dotted around the dial. At 3 o’clock, you can find a quarter-month counter, while a day-of-the-week dial is placed at 9 o’clock. Located at 6 o’clock is a day-of-the-month dial, which also contains a lovely, starry moon phase indicator. A Patek Philippe Calibre 240 Q powers this watch. This is an automatic movement with a standard 48-hour power supply. The only downside to this watch, arguably, is the fact that it only has a water resistance capacity of 60 meters. While this is enough to survive any accidental splashes or showers, you will not be able to use this Patek Philippe Nautilus watch for any deepwater activities. Be prepared to shell out at least $449,000 USD to get your hands on the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5740/1G-001. 3. Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SBSA043 The Seiko 5 Sports Ref. SBSA043, on the other hand, serves as a more affordable alternative to the Rolex Smurf. It does not have the same luxurious feel as the previous models. Instead, this Seiko watch offers a more simple and more sporty aesthetic. It is perfect for those who want something similar to the Rolex Smurf without having to break the bank. This Seiko 5 Sports watch utilizes a 40mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a steel bezel, which guards the watch’s face against any impacts or scratches. Enclosed within this bezel is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Through the watch’s sapphire crystal, you can get a clear view of the watch’s striking blue dial. It comes in a beautiful shade of sunray blue and is adorned with geometric hour markers, large syringe hands, and a day-date complication at 3 o’clock. Flipping the watch over, you will find a transparent caseback that is also made of stainless steel. This caseback gives you a glimpse of the Seiko Caliber 4R36 that runs inside. This Japanese automatic movement offers a decent power reserve of 40 hours. On top of that, the Seiko SBSA043 is also water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters, making it suitable for most water activities. The Seiko SBSA043 costs approximately $490 USD. Final Thoughts  The Rolex Smurf is a gorgeous diving watch that really stands out among the rest. It comes in a mesmerizing shade of blue that perfectly complements its clever nickname. On top of that, it is also equipped with state-of-the-art functions and features that are powered by a well-crafted movement. While it is a little disappointing that the Rolex Smurf is no longer in production today, the guarantee of its constantly appreciating value makes this a great watch to add to your collection. Photo Credits: Watchshopping Site Interested in diving watches? Check out this piece on the Orient Mako II!

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  11. Get to Know the Robust Sinn U50

    Get to Know the Robust Sinn U50

    Despite being a rather underrated brand, the watchmaker Sinn certainly has what it takes to impress everyone with its versatile timepieces. Established in 1961 by pilot and entrepreneur Helmut Sinn, this German watch company has consistently produced an array of trustworthy, robust tool watches. For instance, the durable pilot chronograph Sinn 365 from the brand’s Instrument Chronographs lineup has long been a favorite of many watch enthusiasts.  In this article, however, instead of taking to the skies, we will be delving deep into the ocean depths with one of Sinn’s most interesting dive watch offerings: the Sinn Diving Watches Ref. 1050.030-Solid-2LSS. Commonly referred to as the Sinn U50, this German dive watch packs a ton of features in a very compact, rugged form. Housed under Sinn’s Diving Watches collection, the Sinn U50 is the quintessential dependable dive watch designed perfectly for the modern-day man. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Sinn U50 and everything it has to offer. For now, let’s take a look at the awesome features that the Sinn U50 has to offer. First Impressions Image by: Sinn Right off the bat, the Sinn U50 has a very robust look that simply screams masculine ruggedness. The watch’s dapper exterior and steel-grey makeup give it a very distinctive look that sets it apart from other, more common silver-tone watches.  You can also immediately tell that the Sinn U50 is a dive watch, thanks to its highly legible dial layout and its distinguishing elapsed time scale bezel. However, thanks to its sleek poise, the Sinn U50 can also easily be used as a dress watch. Indeed, given its versatility in both form and function, the Sinn U50 is a suitable timepiece for just about any occasion, be it water-based fun activities, formal events, or everyday use.  A Closer Look at the Sinn U50 Case and Caseback A handsome dive watch that is constructed with an exceptionally robust build, the Sinn U50 is encased in a 41mm German Submarine Steel case. Unlike ordinary stainless steel cases, German Submarine Steel is more durable and highly indestructible. It also comes with a deep grey hue, giving the watch a seriousness and gravitas that sets it apart from the usual silver-tone stainless steel timepieces.  The Sinn U50 is fairly slim, coming in at just 11.2mm thick, so you can easily and unobtrusively slip this watch under the cuff of your shirt. This is quite unique for dive watches since they tend to be quite hefty and bulky in size. Most watch enthusiasts will probably recognize that the Sinn U50 is a smaller version of the Sinn U1, which shows off a very similar design but is slightly bigger, with a 44mm diameter case size. As such, the Sinn U50 will fit quite well on small-to-average-sized wrists.  On top of its hardy German Submarine Steel build, the Sinn U50 is also coated with the brand’s in-house Tegiment technology. This Tegiment treatment bolsters the case hardness of the Sinn U50, further improving its already-impressive resistance to scratches and impacts. As such, you can expect added durability and toughness from the Sinn U50, courtesy of Sinn’s impressive innovations.  The Sinn U50 also has a smooth matte coating, which is truly a delightful treat to the eyes. Its muted luster pairs well with the dull gray sheen of the German Submarine Steel metal, adding to the watch’s masculine style. Flipping the watch over, you will see the same uniform matte finish on the watch’s caseback. Aside from that, this caseback also displays a stamped engraving of the U50 name.  Bezel Equipped on top of the watch case is a 60-click unidirectional rotating bezel. Like the case, the bezel is also crafted using German Submarine Steel and reinforced with the same in-house Tegiment material, making it extremely strong and resilient.  This bezel is also patterned with markers in black, white, and vivid red for the elapsed time scale. These colored markers contrast sharply against the silver-grey dial so they can be seen more easily. The white inverted triangle at 12 o’clock is also filled with lume, which helps keep the watch face illuminated in the dark.  Crown One feature that is sometimes seen on dive watches is the placement of the crown at the 4 o’clock position. Typically, on most timepieces, crowns are placed at 3 o’clock, perpendicular to the watch case. This can be uncomfortable for wearers, as the crown can end up digging into the skin of the wearer’s wrist. Placing the crown at 4 o’clock puts it at an angle against the wrist. This prevents it from pressing into your wrist so that you will have a more comfortable watch experience.  The Sinn U50 adopts exactly this design in order to maximize user comfort, with its long screw-down crown being placed neatly at 4 o’clock. This crown is very wide, with smooth ridges that provide you with a better grip, so you can turn and wind the watch more easily. Crafted using German Submarine Steel, this crown is covered in a matte finish and bears a neat, embossed image of Sinn’s emblem on top.  Dial Image by: Sinn The dial of the Sinn U50 is a highly aesthetic component that boosts the watch’s entire look. It follows a very simple and straightforward layout that prioritizes legibility. This is very important for dive watches like the U50 since it ensures that the dial will be easy to read at all times, even when you are in the midst of an underwater dive.  This matte black dial houses large, printed white hour indices, white minute markers, and a compact date aperture at 3 o’clock. It is also furnished with a pair of thick hour and minute syringe hands, along with a slimmer seconds hand that has a square-shaped tip. The hands of the watch all come in bright two-tone colors of red and white. They stand out clearly against the black backdrop of the dial, and the vibrant red hues in particular help add a pop of eye-catching color to the watch face.  Aside from its sizable indices, the dial also has a clear, luminous display that allows for optimal legibility, even in poor lighting conditions. The hour indices and hands are all generously coated in Super-LumiNova, which is the preferred brand of lume for most watchmakers. It provides steady and long-lasting luminescence, so you do not have to worry about it losing its effectiveness even after years. A layer of sapphire crystal is also used to protect the dial, safeguarding it from any scratches or hard knocks.  Bracelet The Sinn U50 is accompanied by an H-link bracelet made from stainless steel. The matte finish of the bracelet blends perfectly with that of the case and caseback, giving the whole watch a very smooth and clean look. The bracelet is locked using a safety deployment clasp, which keeps the bracelet firmly wrapped around your wrist. As the most secure type of watch clasp, it ensures that the bracelet will not simply come loose and slip off your wrist. Water Resistance An ultra-reliable dive watch, the Sinn U50 possesses an outstanding water resistance of up to 300 meters. It is also ISO-certified, which means it has undergone extensive testing throughout its manufacturing process, guaranteeing that it can survive harsh underwater depths. Both its caseback and crown are tightly screwed down, preventing any entry of water into the timepiece. Truly a meticulously crafted dive watch, you can bring the Sinn U50 with you on all your water-based conquests, be it swimming or deep-sea diving.  Movement The Sinn U50 is powered by an automatic Swiss Sellita Caliber SW300-1. This movement is relatively slim in size, measuring just 3.6mm thin, and is the main reason why the Sinn U50’s watch case is also quite slender. Held together by 25 jewels, the Sellita Caliber SW300-1 has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It also has a standard power reserve of 42 hours.  Price It’s safe to say that the Sinn U50 has what everyone is looking for in a dive watch. Aside from possessing a stunning, rugged appearance, this watch is also built with robust, heavy-duty construction and possesses excellent water resistance capabilities.  Despite how it exceeds people’s expectations for a dive watch, the Sinn U50 is actually priced quite reasonably. You can purchase this watch for around $3,079 USD, which is still relatively budget-friendly compared to the other luxury dive watches on the market. Alternatives to the Sinn U50 Below is a list of dive watches that we recommend as alternatives for the Sinn U50. These timepieces are all from trustworthy watch companies and are meticulously crafted, boasting reliable dive watch qualities. They are also offered at different price points, so you can select the piece that best fits your budget. 1. Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001  For a more luxurious alternative to the Sinn U50, take a look at the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001. Known as a subsidiary company of Rolex, the Swiss brand Tudor is famous for offering Rolex-quality watches at much more affordable prices. In particular, the brand is recognized for its iconic Black Bay collection, from which the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001 hails.  This Tudor watch utilizes a 42mm stainless steel case. Despite the average size of the watch case, this timepiece wears quite large on the wrist, thanks to its thick watch lugs and 55.7mm lug-to-lug measurement. As such, this watch might be a little uncomfortable for those with smaller wrists. However, if you have an average-to-large-sized wrist, or if you simply love wearing oversized watches, then this is just the right piece for you.  This watch also comes with a hybrid strap. This is quite a rare type of strap that you do not see much. It is made from an interesting combination of leather material lining the top of the strap, and rubber material underneath its lining. The hybrid strap is stylish, efficient, and most importantly, waterproof. Thus, it is a great choice for a dive watch like the Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001.  The dial of this watch shows off a matte black finish, which stands out in sharp relief against the polished silver case. This dial has a classic Black Bay layout, comprising luminous geometric indices, Tudor’s iconic snowflake hands, and a small date window at 3 o’clock. Driving all of these features is an in-house Tudor Caliber MT5612. Aside from offering a 200-meter depth rating, this movement also has a stellar 70-hour power supply. The Tudor Black Bay Ref. 70150-0001 retails at $4,100 USD. 2. Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 The Japanese watch brand Seiko is known for having some of the best dive watches in the industry. Its Seiko Prospex collection offers an entire buffet of dive watches with outstanding features and diverse designs, giving you a massive variety of amazing timepieces to choose from. An excellent alternative to the Sinn U50, the Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 sports a 44.3mm stainless steel case, coupled with a three-link bracelet made from the same material.  Affixed to the top of the watch case is a smooth black elapsed time scale, with large white indicators for improved visibility. This bezel is wonderfully complemented by the watch’s black dial. This dial contains oversized geometric indices, thick sword hands, and a rectangular date display at 3 o’clock. The indices and hands are coated with Seiko’s patented LumiBrite pigment, which keeps the watch face illuminated in poor lighting conditions. This Seiko Prospex watch runs on an in-house Seiko Caliber 8L35. Containing 26 jewels, this movement has a beat frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz). It can last for up to 50 hours when fully wound, which gives it a slight advantage over the Sinn U50. In addition, like the Sinn U50, this watch also has a depth rating of 300 meters.  The Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA021J1 costs approximately $2,399 USD.  3. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 TAG Heuer is best known for producing racing watches under its popular Carrera lineup. Over the years, however, the Swiss brand has cultivated an impressive series of dive watches with its Aquaracer collection, which provides high-quality dive pieces at entry-level prices.  The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 is presented in a 41mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. On top of the case, you can find a thick stainless steel bezel. Aside from bearing bold black indicators for its elapsed time scale, this bezel also features six claw-like structures, which gives the watch a more unique, distinctive look. Like the aforementioned models, this watch also shows off a jet-black dial. It is ornamented with luminous silver-tone indices, bold arrow hands, and a date complication at 3 o’clock.  As opposed to the other dive watches in this article, all of which are automatic timepieces, this TAG Heuer model is powered by a quartz movement. This gives it an excellent battery life of about 24 months. As with the Sinn U50, this watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 300 meters.  In spite of its sleek, professional appearance, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Ref. WBD1110.BA0928 is the most affordable option on this list. It is priced at just $1,700 USD.  Final Thoughts The Sinn U50 certainly surpasses the requirements of what makes a great dive watch. Aside from its good-looking appearance, Sinn’s usage of robust German Submarine Steel is what truly makes this watch worth the purchase. Adding to that, the watch is a lovely, versatile timepiece that can be worn in just about any event and situation. The Sinn U50 is not only simply a tool to be used in swimming or diving, but it is also an accessory that adds more character to its wearer. All images courtesy of WatchShopping website, unless otherwise stated. Photo Credits: Sinn. Featured image courtesy of Sinn. Are you into motorsports or racing? Are you looking for the perfect racing watch? Check out our article on the Best Racing Watches this 2022 – you’ll never know, some pieces might spark an interest in you!

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