1. Watch Guides

  2. Tissot Watches, History and Heritage of the Brand

    Tissot Watches, History and Heritage of the Brand

    Many watch enthusiasts and celebrity personalities are huge Omega and Rolex fans.  However, there is another brand of watches that is just as prestigious and historical – that brand is Tissot watches. Let’s rewind the clock a little bit and see how Tissot watches came to be. History of Tissot Watches Tissot is the name of a Swiss luxury brand watch founded by the father-son duo of Charles-Félicien and Charles-Émile. They were from Crêt-Vaillant, Le Locle, in Northwest Switzerland, where they establish their company. Fortunately, that company still operates even as of today. Tissot watches is largely known for its mechanical, sports chronograph watches that involves a mix of simplicity and class. These days, the brand is part of the renowned Swatch group and still makes quality-driven, affordable Swiss watches. However, it wasn’t always like that. Shop Tissot Watches Previously, Tissot watches used to be known for building gold-cased, highly-reliable pocket watches. These watches were something that only the powerful and appreciative could possess. In just their first year, the company had already reached as well as sold their products in the United States. Then in 1858, the company had reached Russia. Tissot’s growth in Russia was successful when the brand’s 3rd-generation family member Charles Tissot went to Moscow in 1885. Charles was previously supposed to manage a local branch when he got there. However, he had other plans and made a new life for himself there with a Russian woman. Due to the personal relationship and connection established with the locals, the Russians formed most of Tissot’s customer base. In fact, the company became so renowned in Russia, that it also attracted the attention of Tsar Alexander II’s court. Tissot Watches Innovations and Trends Charles Tissot later erected a factory for the company in Chemin De Tourelles, Le Locle in 1907. This is where Tissot wanted to meet the demand of its customers from all over the world. In 1910, Tissot began producing women’s wristwatches. They especially stood out as they were made of platinum and gold, and some out of diamonds. After that, the company started producing men’s wristwatches before they got popular. Carrying on with their developments, Tissot officially became recognized as a large-scale company in 1917. They started manufacturing their own movements and made high-quality watches at affordable rates. Even though the watch styles were pretty common back then, Tissot was unique due to its technical innovations. That’s when they made their first-ever non-magnetic wristwatch in 1930. Tissot Watches, Bigger and Better It wasn’t until 1930 when Tissot joined forces with Omega. Both companies formed the first-ever Swiss watchmaking association called the SSIH (Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère). Then later in 1933, Tissot launched the Tissot Plan. It was an action plan established by Paul Tissot for marketing the brand’s watches. This plan offered to distribute the brand’s catalogs and target certain markets to retailers for free. 100 Year Celebration Tissot’s 100 years in the watchmaking industry was marked in 1953. Even still, instead of closing, it was starting to get bigger. This was a time when Tissot was able to manufacture both automatic and manual watches. This was because of its single calibre principal that simplified the production of movements with or without complications. When the brand’s name started to get bigger, many of the world’s high-ranking executives and officials visited Tissot’s headquarters Later on, the company started introducing teenagers to the market. Because of that, they started making watches that were chic, stylish, and colorful. Tissot Watches in the 80s and the 90s In 1983, Tissot joined the Swatch Group Limited. Besides that, the 80s were important for other reasons also. Tissot’s visionaries were happy to hold on to their traditions. This was because watch materials were always being revised. However, Tissot was always a step ahead before any other watchmaker. Tissot watches is responsible for introducing a number of revolutionary watches in the 80s. One was the Rock Watch‌ or watch made‌ ‌of‌ ‌stone‌ in 1985. Then in 1988, wood was used for the first time in watchmaking. Tissot also has a hand in using the mother of pearl for making high-end watches starting in 1987. Ever since then, several watch manufacturers have been trying to perfect the process. The 90s was when Tissot engaged in endless experimentation. In 1999 the T-touch technology was introduced in the first-ever tactile watch. And the brand has been constantly trying to improve the technology since then. Modern Developments After the T-Touch, Tissot later made the watch to be solar-powered, which made headlines all over the world. This watch would be known as the T-Touch‌ ‌Expert‌ ‌Solar‌. Tissot is also actively involved in sports – becoming an official timekeeper in several sporting events. Some of them include MotoGP, FIBA, fencing World Championships, NBA, cycling, ice hockey, and others. And even as we speak now, Tissot is still innovating timepieces that are sold globally.  Right now, there are over four million Tissot models that are sold worldwide every year. How to Avoid Buying a Fake Tissot Watches If you’re after the real deal, then you should be smart enough to spot a fake Tissot watch wherever you go. It’s not that common, but there are some models with parts that are manufactured from China. Just be sure to spot the “Made in China” writing on the product. Besides that, it’s also easy to spot a fake even when you hold one. The fakes are relatively lighter and cheaper when you feel them compared to the real thing. If it’s attached to a bracelet instead of a strap, a small rattle sound can be heard with each move. If you want a chronograph, then inspect the subdials where you can tell it’s a replica right away. And if the dials aren’t working or even moving, then it’s a dead giveaway.

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  3. Every James Bond Watch That Was Worn

    Every James Bond Watch That Was Worn

    James Bond is possibly the most iconic fictional secret agent known in the entertainment industry. He has been through virtually every corner of the world and loves keeping a fine collection of watches under his sleeve. It’s fair to say that a James Bond watch is as vast in his nearly sixty-year career. From the Rolex Submariner in 1962’s Dr. No to the Omega Seamaster in 2015 Spectre, we’ve got all of Bond’s watches covered in this article. 1. Dr. No – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 James Bond and his Rolexes go way back to Ian Fleming’s original novel, “Casino Royale”. And this isn’t surprising considering Fleming himself wore a Rolex Explorer reference 1016, on an extensible Oyster riveted strap. 2. From Russia with Love – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 Sean Connery’s premium Rolex Submariner returns in the sequel “from Russia with Love.” It was apparent that the Submariner was undoubtedly Connery’s favorite watch at that time. 3. Goldfinger – Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 We assure you, that the Submariner isn’t going to hog the spotlight of this article for long. The reference 6538 makes its third consecutive appearance for Connery’s Bond character and the most iconic of them all. The watch’s best scene is arguably when Bond checks his timepiece as a heroin factory blows up in the back. 4. Thunderball – Breitling Top Time Although Bond wears the Submariner Ref. 6538 for the last time, Thunderball debuted another historic new watch in the series. This watch is the Breitling Top Time reference 2002. Unfortunately, it was also the last time the watch was ever worn. It was also the first watch that MI6 Quartermaster Q gave to Bond as a gadget in the form of a watch. 5. You Only Live Twice – No Known Watches   Yes, you read the title correctly. This was the first Bond film where the fans were left scratching their heads about the kind of timepiece the main character wore. Honestly, we’re not even sure if he had one, to begin with. Some say that he wore the same Gruen Precision as he did in Dr. No, but there were no true standout moments. 6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – Rolex Chronograph Reference 6238 Connery took a back seat for this one as Australia’s George Lazenby portrays the infamous MI6 agent. Little did we know it would be his first and only appearance. Regardless, Lazenby’s Bond wore three different Rolex Submariners. First was the reference 5513 on a bracelet of iconic Oyster Steel. Then a Submariner ref. 6358 and then a Chronograph ref. 6238. 7. Diamonds Are Forever – No Watch Visible Truth be told, we’d much rather have Connery reprise his role as Bond than care about whether he’s wearing a watch or not. 8. Live and Let Die – Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 Not only do we get two watches in this film, but we also witness the debut of Roger Moore as Bond. First, we see Bond checking his time on a Hamilton Pulsar P2 Digital LED Watch. Then we see him getting his Rolex Submariner 5513 from Q Branch. Thanks to Q’s mechanical engineering, the watch provides Bond with a circular saw and a magnet. Both of which are nifty for getting Bond out of a rut or two. 9. The Man with the Golden Gun – Rolex Submariner Reference 5513 At this point, you wouldn’t be criticized for dubbing the reference 5513 for being the “James Bond Rolex.” Although the watch shows up again, it doesn’t come with any sweet tricks or gadgets. But it’s still a treat to look at. 10. The Spy Who Loved Me – Seiko 0674 LC In Roger Moore’s third appearance as Bond, he wears the Seiko reference 0674 LC throughout the entirety of the film. It’s also the only time Moore would wear a Seiko watch. However, the movie’s promotional images depict Bond wearing a Rolex GMT-Master instead. 11. Moonraker – Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar It’s no surprise Bond would be wearing a totally tricked-out Seiko M354 Memory Bank Calendar, in this space-themed instalment. The significance of the watch is shown near the finale of the movie with a literal big bang. 12. For Your Eyes Only – Seiko Reference H357 Duo-Display For the 13th Bond film, the H357 Duo-Display features an analog time display along with a digital display. This watch proved helpful to Bond in transmitting messages with an inbuilt microphone. 13. Octopussy – Seiko G757 Sports 100 Despite the risqué name, Octopussy introduced us to a Seiko TV watch. It’s a digital sports chronograph with an extra feature added by Q Branch. It allows Bond to keep tabs on someone with a planted tracking device. 14. A View to a Kill – A Series of Rolexes In his last portrayal of Bond, Roger Moore sported a series of Rolex watches on his wrist. First was a wide dial quartz chronograph known as the Seiko SPR007-7A28 – 7020. Next was a Seiko H558-500 SPW001 Dive Watch. After that was a two-tone watch called the Seiko 6923-8080 SPD09. And finally, was the Rolex Datejust. 15. The Living Daylights –  Heuer Reference 980.031 After Moore, came Timothy Dalton as Bond. In “The Living Daylights” Bond is wearing a TAG Heuer reference 980.031, making Dalton also the first Bond to wear a TAG Heuer. 16. License to Kill – Rolex Submariner reference 16800/168000 For Dalton’s final Bond movie, he wore a Rolex Submariner. And since the movie came out in 1989, it was most likely the Submariner reference 16800 / 168000. It was also the last Bond movie to feature a Rolex Submariner. 17. GoldenEye – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Reference GoldenEye – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Reference 2541.80 Quartz The 17th Bond movie featured Pierce Brosnan making his debut as the Suave British agent 007. It was also the first film to introduce a new line of James Bond watches with Omega. The model worn by Brosnan’s Bond character was the Seamaster Professional 300M reference 2541.80 quartz dive watch. 18. Tomorrow Never Dies – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Reference 2531.80 In his second outing as James Bond, Brosnan wore an automatic version of the quartz watch from GoldenEye. The watch is clearly visible when Bond picked it up in a Chinese safe house. 19. The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Reference 2531.80 Once again, Brosnan’s Bond wears the same watch in his final two films in the first two. Only this time, the watch is equipped with some of Q Branch’s ingenious goodies. 20. Casino Royale – Omega Seamaster Professional 300M Reference 2220.80.00 In Daniel Craig’s debut as Bond, he wears two Omega Seamaster watches. The first is the Omega Seamaster Diver 300 (reference 2220.80) and the Seamaster Planet Ocean (reference 2900.54.91). 21. Quantum of Solace – Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Reference 2201.50 In his second outing as Bond, Craig is seen wearing The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m reference 2201.50. This version comes in a stainless steel bracelet but doesn’t get that much screen time, unfortunately. 22. Skyfall – Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ref. 232.30.42.21.01.001 There are two types of Omega Seamaster’s that appear in “Skyfall.” The first is a Planet Ocean 600M coming in a unique titanium case. The other was an Aqua Terra in a stainless steel bracelet and a stunning blue dial. 23. Spectre – Omega Seamaster 300 Ref. 233.32.31.41.21.01.001 Like the title of the movie, the James Bond watch in this one was the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre.

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  4. Closer Look at the Citizen Promaster Watch Collection

    Closer Look at the Citizen Promaster Watch Collection

    The Citizen Promaster is a collection to pay attention to. No matter how fancy the design is, watches are meant to be functional pieces of technology. And when it comes to function, no other brand has done as much to improve upon the concept than Citizen. This applies especially with the brand’s top-of-the-line Citizen Promaster series. When the first three models of the Promaster line were introduced in 1989, things have really looked up for Citizen. This lineup has been known for its cutting-edge innovations as well as durable and functional designs. These are all the makings for a typical adventurer timepiece. Since its inception, the Promaster has introduced a series of models that have done Citizen proud. Some of these models include the following: 1. Citizen Promaster Aqualand The original Promaster Aqualad diving watch was made from scratch to meet the needs of expert saturation divers. It was equipped with the first-ever digital depth gauge, replacing the heavier depth computer on longer scuba dives. For land adventures, there was the 1989 Promaster Altichron. It was one of the first to include a digital altimeter navigate through elevations from 300M below to 5000 above sea level. The third one of the series was the Citizen Promaster Sky which was made for pilots. Its vast range of aviation features included a slide rule fuel-computing bezel. It was also one of the first to include a quick push-button world timer adjustment setting. 2. Citizen Promaster Land Eco-Drive The Land Eco-Drive PMD56-2951 comes with a titanium case and a pretty green-curved dial. What’s more, is that it comes with sapphire glass, making it astonishingly scratch-proof. Its sword-type hands, white IP plating, and geometric shapes in place of the 6 and 12 numerals add to this watch’s uniqueness. The 3 o’clock date window breaks the dial’s green monotone. Shop Citizen Promaster Watches It even features radio reception, charge warning, and fixed time reception. Besides that, there’s also anti-magnetism, 200m water resistance, and overcharge prevention warning. The watch is powered by a state-of-the-art solar quartz movement. 3. Promaster Professional‌ ‌Diver‌ ‌Citizen‌ ‌Watch‌ The Professional‌ ‌Diver‌ watch is a remastered version of an old classic diving watch, now as an Eco-Drive Promaster. This new version comes with over 984 feet of water-resistance, allowing it to hold its own against other waterproof sports watches. This watch is embedded with the Eco-Drive technology, so the sunlight is the only charging port you’ll need. This means that you’ll no longer need to charge the watch by plugging it into a socket or even have to use/replace batteries. It is both comfortable and light and comes with a buckle closure and a molded polyurethane band. This makes the watch highly durable and functional that will stand against the forces of the outdoor world. The luminous hands and easy to read display ensure you always know the time whether you’re underwater or asleep at night. The DLC-coated crystal dial window ensures that scratches or anything else doesn’t scratch the screen. 4. Promaster Navihawk‌ ‌A-T‌ ‌Citizen‌ ‌Watch‌ If you’re a complete horologist geek craving for a mess of technical functions, then this watch is it. Measuring in at 48 mm, the Navihawk is one of the largest in Citizen’s collection. It was designed to demand your very attention without looking for other means of telling time. Given its size, it is just the right timepiece for pilots or those who travel a lot. This model has synchronized time adjustments in various cities from anywhere on Earth. Some of its best features include a perpetual calendar, an accurate GPS function, and a power reserve indicator. It even has 200m water resistance and a daylight‌ ‌savings‌ ‌time‌ feature. All those features in a stainless-steel case with black ion plating are just too good to ignore. And we shouldn’t forget to mention the luminous, black dial as well as the deep embossed black polyurethane strap. The only downside to this watch is its overwhelming face display and functionality. It might be too much for those who are a complete novice to sophisticated timepieces. But once you get the hang of it, you’ve got more than just a pretty face right there on your wrist. 5. Citizen Promaster Land Eco-Drive Arti Klong The Land Eco-Drive Ultimate Klong is an outdoor watch series that has more functions than its sporting qualities. The Arti Klong is one that is a real headliner for this lineup. Its crystal glass and stainless-steel case offer immense durability and power. It features an electronic compass and an altimeter that measures altitudes at about 10,000 meters. This is an ideal thing to have for mountaineers and adventure trekkers. Powered by the Eco-Drive technology, this watch has enough juice for 11 months once completely charged. And those who are fond of complex and playful designs, this timepiece is more than enough to satiate your hunger. 6. Citizen Promaster GPS Satellite‌ ‌Wave‌ If you’re taking a back a little bit by the less complex design here, don’t be. The Eco-Drive GPS Satellite‌ ‌Wave‌ is ambitious and hi-tech‌ as its name makes it out to be. This watch is already a trendsetter with it’s non-reflective material. Its complex mechanism means it features some of the most impressive accruements and then some that any watch owner desires. It has a satellite timekeeping system, GPS signal reception, day and date display, summertime feature, and 40 different time zones. If that’s not good enough for you, then you haven’t seen the power reserve indicator, overcharge prevention function, and perpetual calendar. And all of that behind a solid stainless-steel casing. Not only does this Citizen Promaster tick all the right boxes, but its craftsmanship is out of this world.

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  5. History of Omega Seamaster Watches

    History of Omega Seamaster Watches

    The Omega Seamaster has garnered a reputation for being one of the most prominent Bond watches. However, the history of the watch dates back decades before the fictional British super agent first swapped it on his wrist. In this lineup’s 70-year history, the Omega Seamaster became highly renowned, to say the least. It was a watch that could be worn as a sophisticated dress watch or a heavy-duty solid steel diver. Let us rewind time and see how this timeless horological masterpiece came to be. The History‌ of the Omega Seamaster The first model of the Seamaster was launched back in 1948. These models were based on designs of a watch that Omega had made for British airmen during the Second World War. It came with an O-ring gasket and had improved water resistance, which is why it was called “waterproof” at the time. It had a depth rating between 10 to 30 meters. Shop Omega Seamaster Watches This was an improvement from previous water-resistant watches that relied on shellac or lead gaskets. The problem with such watches is that they were easily affected by temperature changes. That’s what a diver would experience at several depths. So to get around this, Omega looked upon World War 2 submarines as an inspiration. From that inspiration, the brand included a resilient rubber gasket in the Seamaster’s final design. The new case allowed the models to withstand 60-meter depths and temperature ranges between -40 to 50 degrees C. The original edition came with two variations: center seconds, as well as small seconds at the dial’s bottom. It was made out of stainless steel material and designed with sturdy, short lugs with a slim profile for everyday use. In 1955, the Swiss Laboratory for Watch‌ ‌Research‌ tested out 50 Seamaster cases with a 60-meter depth rating. This along with the experimentation for new materials led to the introduction of several new models in the latter decades. The Omega Seamaster 300 (1957) Following the testing, Omega rolled out a trio of Master watches starting from 1957 when scuba diving was all the rage. These new watches included the Railmaster, the Speedmaster, and finally the Seamaster 300. The Omega Seamaster 300, unlike its previous models, was actually built to be used underwater. Despite the title, the Seamaster 300 could go as far as 200 meters underwater. Omega claims that it was due to the limitations of the equipment, and not the watch itself. The CK2913, which was the original reference, displayed the new Naiad winding crown. This was Omega’s response to the screw-down design, the patent which is still utilized over at Rolex. Omega Seamaster Chronograph 1968 This was a more fashionable take on the traditional diver watch. It had symmetrical subdials that were easy to read and didn’t just appeal to seamen. Interestingly, this watch is what inspired Alaska III which was used on the space shuttle in the 80s. Protopapas says that it predates the future NASA proposal by 10 years. The Bond‌ ‌Watch‌ or Seamaster 300M (1994) Somewhere during the mid-1990s, the Omega Seamaster had lost its steam. To make things worse, this decline allowed another fan-favorite in the Omega Seamaster Professional to take over. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Seamaster 300 achieved global recognition as a James Bond watch. Not only that, the Omega Seamaster officially dethroned Rolex as the favorite new timepiece for the suave British agent. This was a big deal since Ian Fleming, author of James Bond did include a Rolex in the GoldenEye novel. What’s more, is that he also wore a Rolex himself during the time the book was published. This change was made because the costume designer of the film said that Omega was more relevant to the British Royal Navy. As a result, it was more relevant to the James Bond character. The model of the watch was the Seamaster Professional 300M that Brosnan’s Bond character worn in GoldenEye. And ever since then, for the next 25 years, the Omega would be the trademark Bond watch. For the next three Brosnan Bond films, the character was sporting the Omega 300 Automatic‌ ‌Chronometer. When Daniel Craig stepped in as Bond in 2006 Casino Royale, he was wearing two Omega watches. The first was the Omega Seamaster 300 and the other was the Seamaster Planet Ocean that came with a rubber strap for the action sequences. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean made another appearance in the Craig-Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008). He later wore the same watch for Skyfall (2012). Then in the 2015’s Spectre, a special edition of the Omega Seamaster 300 was released titled Spectre. This was to commemorate the 20-year partnership of the brand with the Bond franchise. This served as a call back to the first Bond Seamaster. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (2003) 2003 was when the Planet‌ ‌Ocean‌ range was meant to dive deeper into the sea. These versions came with the Omega Co-Axial 2500 movement. They also came with a 600-meter water resistance rating, a chronometer certification, and a helium-escape valve. These watches were the first to come with state-of-the-art materials like the in-house Omega 8500 caliber, and the liquid metal bezels. This pretty much explains why this watch was good enough to be a Bond watch starting from Casino Royale. Seamaster Professional‌ ‌Diver‌ 300m (2018) In 2018, this watch celebrated the 25th anniversary with a facelift of the 1993 classic with 2018 technology. The saw the release of 14 such models that came in several finishes. Protopapas compared the Omega Seamaster as a classic car design that’s never going to lose its luster.

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  6. 5 Reasons Why Mk II Watches Are Good Watches

    5 Reasons Why Mk II Watches Are Good Watches

    You may wonder if Mk II watches are indeed good watches. It’s a fair question as the microbrand has flown somewhat under the radar and occupies an odd space in the watchmaking world. They do homages, contemporary takes on classic designs that could be disastrous in the wrong hands. But Mk II watches do this arguably better than anyone else. Here are a few reasons why. 1: The Spirit of Bill Yao Founder Bill Yao is about as hands-on as a company head can get. Literally. He’s often found at his workbench agonizing over every little detail on whatever watch he’s currently fixated on. A graduate of the elite Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yao turned away from the world of high finance and a lucrative career on Wall Street. Instead, he followed his love of tinkering with timepieces and started making aftermarket parts for Seiko watches. That passion project would eventually lead to his launching Mk II Watches in 2002, based in the suburbs of Philadelphia where Yao was born and raised. Photos from mkiiwatches officialAnd while Mk II has a range of ready-made offerings, they’re equally known for their customizations that are done by Bill himself. That kind of personalized attention requires patience from his loyal fans, who can wait months or even years until their one-of-a-kind creation is complete. 2: The Turbulent Tale of the Kingston If you’ve heard nearly nothing about Mk II, which is the case for many a non-watch-geek, the little you have heard probably involves the Kingston. It’s the watch that put the fledgling company on the map and nearly caused its downfall. It started with a simple idea. Yao wanted to create a watch that payed tribute the Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 worn by Sean Connery in the James Bond flick Dr. No. Sounds straightforward enough. He wanted to build it to match Rolex quality and offer that high-end craftsmanship at a price of just over $1,000. Okay, ambitious, but plausible given Yao’s skills. Soon enough, 100 trusting customers made pre-orders. Photos from mkiiwatches officialBut the financial crisis that was rippling across the world in 2009 had its say. From vendors to assembly and quality control, you name a stage of the watchmaking process and there was a problem facing Yao. Delays led to more delays, with months turning into years. Some customers even accused Yao of fraud. But, after five harrowing years, the last of the initial orders was delivered, though with little profit to show for the years of pain. Then fortune took a turn. The Kingston was so well received that nobody even talked about the disastrous rollout. Reviews were glowing. Some people started reselling the watches for two and three times the price they just paid. Many felt the homage actually outdid the original Rolex! Yao was suddenly famed for homage watches, renowned for creating affordable masterworks that were well worth the wait. Mk II had arrived. 3: They Transcend Homages Say the word “homage” and you can almost feel the collective eye roll of serious watch aficionados. But for Mk II watches, “homage” is a guiding principle, with a very specific meaning. That’s why the company is named Mark 2, as in the second version, common in military speak. Mark 2 is the new chapter in a watch’s story. So for Mk II, this second evolution of a timepiece means capturing the original style of watches from the past and making them more accessible with today’s technology. Mk II has some strict rules about how they handle homages. First, in order for a watch design to get the homage treatment, it must be at least 15 years old, and preferably much older. You can’t pay homage to a contemporary timepiece, that’s not how homages work. Second, the functionality of the homage must be equal to, or better than, the watch that they’re honoring. They don’t do cheap knock-offs. Third, the homage should bring value to a watch’s story. Changes and modern interpretations on original designs take the initial intent into account and attempt to honor that intention rather than simply go for similarity. 4: Modern Military Style Among the list of things that Mk II watches does well in, and that’s a solid list, perhaps none is better than making military-inspired watches. Photos from mkiiwatches officialThe Mk II Paradive goes in a different direction with its homage to military watches, notably with the Gen 3 model that mirrors the Benrus Type I divers watch that was issued to US soldiers during the Vietnam War. While looking decidedly modern, the Gen 3 echoes the style of the Benrus on its dial, bezel, and case without ever slipping into tactless imitation. Drawing inspiration from Rolex and Tudor’s MilSub, the Fulcrum is what Mk II likes to call its “American MilSub.” The Fulcrum is unique in the Mk II line as it doesn’t pay homage to any specific model, but rather the genre of vintage military watches as a whole. Instead of a diver-style rotating bezel, an American MilSub has a prominent twelve-hour unidirectional bezel. A bead-blasted steel case wears on the large side at 42mm in diameter, with anti-magnetism and a sapphire crystal adding durability. It’s ready for action on a sturdy rubber strap. 5: A Nice Price From the beginning, affordability was at the heart of Bill Yao’s plan. The goal was to make luxury watches accessible through imitation. And the reasonable price tags of their ready-to-wear timepieces prove that Mk II watches have succeeded. Offerings in their Cruxible line are available online for about $650, while their Hawkinge models cost even less at under $600. Their Paradive watches come in at just under $900. And for true bargains, they’re accepting pre-orders for their Stingray II and Tornek-Rayville watches at $450 each. Photos from mkiiwatches officialNone of this is to say that a Rolex isn’t worth the cost. Or that an homage to an Omega is better than the real thing. But if you broaden your thinking a bit, and understand the motivation behind an homage watch, a creation from Bill Yao’s MKII workshop just might be the next timepiece you put on your wrist.

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  7. A Closer Look at Orion Watches

    A Closer Look at Orion Watches

    In the recent avalanche of affordable watch brands, Orion Watches has managed to poke its head above the pack and grab attention. That’s no easy feat. Let’s look at how this upstart microbrand has earned so much respect in just a few short years. Orion Watches, A Family Heirloom Launches a Dream It began with one simple act of gift-giving. While a teenager, Orion watches founder Nick Harris received a 1955 Omega Constellation that had been passed down in the family for generations, starting with his great grandfather. Nick saw that the watch needed repair and started studying up on horology. And a passion for watches was ignited. Nick began modifying watches as a hobby, and soon started selling them online. People readily purchased his creations and the demand for his modding grew. After some training at Seattle’s SAWTA watch-making school, Nick decided it was time to go pro by launching his own brand. Orion watches was born with a plan to hit the market in 2016. Orion Watches Debut of the Orion 1 The Orion 1 was the first watch to bow under the Orion banner, starting with a limited 300-piece run. Nick created his premiere piece for watch wearers like himself, those with slim wrists and a love of vintage flair. And for watch lovers who like things a bit out of the norm, with a 9mmdiameter that should in no way work on a 38mm case. Yet it does, with some help from hefty crown guards, a generous bezel, and oversized lugs that combine to make these large individual components not seem so big as a whole. Keen observers will note that the matte dial is a nod to classic Omega Seamaster’s, giving the watch that dressy-but-sporty vibe that we first saw with luxury tool watches in the 1950s. Calamity Stakes a Claim Among Dive Watches The Orion Calamity is one of their most popular offerings. And it’s not one that was destined to succeed. Today’s market is inundated with dive watches, from both established brands and a slew of recent microbrands. Plunging into those waters and making waves (how many puns can we get?) probably isn’t the best business plan. Yet Orion went for it with their Calamity. The results? A great modern dive watch that pleases the masses. Keeping things simple, the Calamity is only offered in stainless steel with black, blue, or green matte dials. Measurements also stay conservative at 40mm across with 11.3mm thickness. In what appears to be a nod to the Orion 1 (and thus Nick’s signature feature) it comes with a massive knurled screw-down crown that’s bracketed by sloped crown guards, helping to downplay its considerable size. The dial is no-nonsense, feeling sporty with a pop of orange on the second hand. And while most microbrands go with more affordable components on the inside, the Calamity features Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement, costing more as it’s thinner than the more common 2824. With water resistance up to 666 feet, the Calamity is ready for underwater action but perhaps feels more suited for dress-casual occasions. Orion Watches, Going Classic and Contemporary with the Hellcat The name “Hellcat” may have stirred up a notion about airplanes in your brain. Yes, the Hellcat was a famous World War Two fighter plane and the US Navy’s go-to aircraft for missions in the Pacific theater. And so Orion aptly named its pilot watch after this aviation legend. A follow-up to the Calamity, the Orion Hellcat isn’t quite as vintage-inspired as its name might suggest. Yes, it does have elements of throwback flair. Such as the lack of crown guards that reminds of watches from a previous era. But overall it feels more modern. It has a thin bezel on a streamlined stainless steel case that mixes polished and bead-blasted surfaces. Large Arabic numerals give a contemporary feel to the dial. It’s available in black and an eye-catching glossy red. The latter is a rarity with pilot watches, as black, white, and blue are the norms. That makes the Hellcat an iconoclastic entry in the pantheon of aviation horology. Source: orionwatch offical websiteOrion Watches, Suave Military Style of the Field Standard The Field Standard was created in reaction to the poorly made military watches. More so from that lesser microbrands who have churned out of the past few years. With their flimsy crowns and crystals that feel on the verge of cracking. Instead, Orion’s field watch features a domed sapphire crystal with AR coating and a case made out of 316L stainless steel that’s highly resistant to corrosion. And the Field Standard is water-resistant up to 100 meters. But this isn’t really a watch that wants to get tested out in the wilds. Unless your idea of wild is a buttered rum latte at an upscale bistro. The dial goes for classic cool with large Arabic numerals, topped by pronounced cathedral hands. On a black or brown croc-patterned strap, the Field Standard oozes business-casual charm. But as field watches tend to do, it’s just as happy to dress down with jeans and a t-shirt. Nick’s come a long way since that fateful day when he first held the family heirloom that would guide his life into the watchmaking world. And now we imagine that the cherished timepiece he passes on to future generations will be an Orion.

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  8. Breva Watches: All You Want to Know About the Truly Unique Brand

    Breva Watches: All You Want to Know About the Truly Unique Brand

    When you think about unique brands in the watch industry, Breva watches should be top of your list. This is one watch manufacturer who did NOT follow the crowd when it came to designing its pieces. From its origins to the models Breva launched over the years, the brand is in a league of its own. Is this a watch meant for collectors? Or is it the next brand you’ll wear on your arm? Let’s find out. Breva Watches — The Origins There’s some romance entangled in the story of how Breva came to be. The name was inspired by the wind around Lake Como after all. But it’s also clear that its inventor was driven by passion and had appreciation for modern inventions. And of course, the weather. The man behind Breva watches was Vincent Dupontreue from Paris. He was born there in 1977 and even his childhood was marked by the influence of jewelry since he sold bracelets when he was as young as 11. This also proves the sense of entrepreneurship that would come in handy later in his journey. Later on in his life he worked at a clothing store but when his young age prevented him from managing his own boutique, he went out completely on his own. In the late 1990s Vincent opened a fashion brand, named after himself. Vincent clearly had an interest in many industries because he later sold his brand, studied business and got into the art gallery business. All of this led up to his decision in 2010 to start up the Breva fashion watch brand. Breva Watches Journey Vincent’s projects were always motivated by his love for being an entrepreneur. This particular project—Breva—had the added motivation of him wanting a unique way to forecast the weather. Some motivation came from the warm winds at Lake Como and it also resulted in the name, since ‘La Breva’ refers to this type of wind. But Vincent wanted to do much more than simply give honor to the weather; he wanted to empower watch wearers to get forecasts from their timepieces. For this reason, you’ll find unique components on Breva watches, such as altimeters and even barometers. It took some time to make this idea a reality. From the time the brand started it took three years until it launched its first impressive watch, the Genie 01, in 2013 at Baselworld in Switzerland. This is how the world came to have its first timepiece with altimeter, weather forecasting barometer and time components in one unit. Best of all is that the designers didn’t lose sight of the aesthetic value of wristwatches. The brand’s watches are incredibly functional, but you can view any Breva watch and you’re bound to fall in love with the look as well. Breva Watches To date Breva watches has launched three main models: Genie 01, Genie 02, and Genie 03. Each watch is unique, in terms of look and features. The Genie 03’s attraction is the small but effective mechanical Speedmeter which can measure air speed. There’s also power reserve indicators and a compass. You can imagine that it requires some space to fit in all the interesting components, but Breva watches does it while still providing a stylish watch. A bit bulky perhaps, but comfortable to wear. For example, the Genie 03 measures 44.7mm x 17.50mm. The secret lies in the fact that certain features can open up to perform their tasks. On the Genie 03 the watch’s anemometer can lift above the face of the watch in order to catch the wind and give you the information you want. On the Genie 03 the brand also showcased its knowledge in terms of movement design. Your watch comes with the Breva’s own automatic movement called the BRE03.001. Another characteristic that makes the watches so attractive is the fact that you can see many of the components and gears through the sub dial of sapphire crystal. You can see how your watch works and even just by looking at the small parts you’ll notice the high level of craftmanship & workmanship the brand invests in its pieces. Breva Watches — Who is it for? Some critics may say that Breva watches are simply a trend with features people won’t use. But the truth is that a watch that delivers accurate weather information, without the need to connect to the World Wide Web or without you making a call, could be of exceptional value. For example, it can help someone who is hiking in a remote area. When you have some information about the surrounding air pressure and wind it can help you determine if a storm is on its way. Final Thoughts Vincent was driven by his entrepreneurial spirit to bring something onto the market that’s truly different. Will it be everyone’s preference? Perhaps not. But is it worth your consideration to own something that will have people take a second look at your arm? Definitely.

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  9. ToyWatch, All You Need to Know

    ToyWatch, All You Need to Know

    Don’t for one moment let this watch brand’s name fool you. Although called ‘ToyWatch,’ these accessories are everything but toys. And since it’s been mentioned on ‘Oprah’s Favorite Things’ list in the past, chances are you might want one too. Below we’ll share the basics about this brand so you can determine which of their many models—they cater for every preference—should find its way into your closet. ToyWatch, The Company The ToyWatch brand originated in the style-focused city of Milan, Italy in 2006. Perhaps it was inspiration from this city that resulted in the ornate logo design. But another aspect the company stood for was “fun.” That’s in part why they started out with manufacturing plastic watches. The president and CEO of the company was Stefano Cassina. Over the years the brand grew and opened facilities in America—where a subsidiary was created—as well as Hong Kong. At one stage, in America, ToyWatch USA was headed by Agostino Magni. He gained experience while being president of Rebecca Jewelry as well as by working for the Sundek swimsuit brand. His wide network and influence—even with retailers such as Bloomingdale’s—assisted in expanding in the US. The company saw various changes, with shareholding resulting in J. Hirsch & Co owning just under 50% of the brand’s shares in 2011. In 2013 there were more changes when ILP III private equity fund eventually owned all the shares. No matter what was happening behind the scenes, the watches found favor with the masses and eventually they were sold across the world. Outlets from London to Kuala Lumpur added these to their watch collections. As mentioned, Oprah loved the brand and Ellen DeGeneres also featured certain models on her show in 2009. Today, you’ll still find many ToyWatch products on the market. However, the original company itself was eventually dissolved. The products that form part of the ranges definitely represent uniqueness! You’ll find watches with flower imagery, stunning jewels and even watches worn as bangles that wrap around your wrist several times. What to Expect from a ToyWatch The name of the brand definitely fits with its original watch ranges. They were mostly manufactured from plastic. But the brand kept an open mind and started catering for other niches too. Today you’ll find all kinds of substances in ToyWatch ranges: Aluminum and steel Swarovski elements as decorative features Gold and diamonds for style Ceramic Silicon Polycarbonate Leather straps The watches also incorporate features that the modern customer values. This includes tachymeters, magnified dates and chronographs. This expansion means the accessories can meet consumers needs in terms of durability, style and functionality. ToyWatch Products Do yourself a favor and look at a page online or a storefront where various ToyWatch models are displayed. You’ll quickly notice the diversity this brand decided to launch onto the market over the years. The company has many collections, with engaging names such as ‘Skull’, ‘J-Looped’, ‘Velvety’ and ‘Maya Natural Stones’. You can see from this short list—there are many more—that there’s something for everyone. There’s even a Vintage collection and a ToyStrong. In each of these collections there’s bound to be a watch that suits your outfits and preferences. Final Thoughts The history of ToyWatch tells the story of an original idea that spoke to what certain people were looking for. It also shows the power of being willing to change according to what consumers at large are after. From plastic for fun to crystal for some luxury, ToyWatch has featured it all! Although the company changed and the original entity even ceased to exist, the watch industry still has many ToyWatch options to offer. Which one will you wear?

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  10. Martian Watches: Your Go-To Guide

    Martian Watches: Your Go-To Guide

    If you want to be associated with those that are ahead of their time, Martian Watches is a brand you should take note of. The brand has a few claims to fame and below we’ll explore all these aspects in detail. Of course, it’s not only about the brand’s unique history. What are their watches like? In short, they’re definitely worth adding to your shortlist of accessories to buy this year, especially if you love innovative gadgets. Want to find out more? Where did Martian Watches Come from? Here’s a unique story: Martian Watches is actually a watch brand founded by another company called SilverPlus, Inc. The company originated in Irvine, CA and is a proudly US brand. The company behind Martian Watches, SilverPlus, Inc, is known as a distributor of communication equipment. The president is Stan Kinsey, a well-known investor who has been part of famous brands’ boards, such as serving as an executive at Disney back in the 80s. The brand was established over a decade ago in 2007. But at the time it had one of the most innovative approaches to watch technology. Now wonder the name still garners respect from many people. What Makes Martian Watches Unique? Here’s one of the most fun facts about Martian: to the best of the industry’s knowledge, Martian was the first brand ever to incorporate voice command into one of its watches. These days you’ll find many brands, from Fitbit to Samsung that have this feature. But Martian was the first. Another unique approach to being part of the watch industry was HOW the brand funded its new products. The wireless watches that could connect to Smartphones were first sent to customers in 2013 but before that the brand launched a Kickstarter campaign. This was successful enough to gain the funds they needed to realize their dream. The Martian brand wasn’t only adored by gadget lovers. Other prominent brands also took note, with Guess wanting to team up with them with the goal of designing a few smartwatches together. Eventually, not all these plans were realized; but the fact that such a well-known company took note of Martian, proved the brand’s worth. Features of Martian Watches The initial focus behind the Martian range was to create watches that allow for hands free management of wearers’ mobile devices. This was done by putting wireless technology to good use and enabling watches to communicate with phones. They also created a compact OLED display. The units’ other features included: Noise cancelling microphones Speakers Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity Micro USB port Accelerometer The USB port is the feature you use to charge your Martian watch and watches are compatible with both Android & iOS. As mentioned, Martian did everything it could to stay ahead of the game, adding features modern consumers can appreciate. Via the OLED screen wearers can see who is calling them on their mobile devices and you can even get notifications from your social media profiles. Yes, today these seem like regular features, but a few years ago it was unheard of. All these impressive features and the innovative approach to the watch industry earned the brand awards, from respected entities such as CNET. They won the Edison Award for Productivity Tools in 2013 and even Popular Mechanics CES gave them an Editor’s Choice Award. There’s no doubt that Martian impressed everyone around them. Martian Watches Today It wasn’t all plain sailing for the brand unfortunately. The company launched another Kickstarter campaign later on, but this one didn’t go as planned. They suffered significant losses, couldn’t supply all their clients with the watches ordered and they ran into debt. The sad news is that the brand didn’t survive in the long term. After a strong start in 2007 and its many victories in the watch industry, it had to close its doors in 2018. During its 11 years of operation it added impressive watch models to the modern market. Martian Watches that Deserve a Place in Your Collection If you can get your hands on a Martian watch these days, go for it. The brand succeeded in incorporating high tech and impressive style in many of the models. If analog is your preference, there’s the Martian G2G with its modern spin or the ultra-classy Passport model. Or perhaps you’ll prefer the Marian Victory available in four different designs that go with almost any outfit. The older Notifier model was also a crowd favorite and you can see the brand catered with watch styles for various niches. The watches all come with Voice Command technology that empowers you to live more hands free. Final Thoughts Not all good things last forever and it’s sad that such a prominent brand is no longer part of the industry. But the smartwatches they left behind were impressive and still

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  11. Closer Look at the Chopard Mille Miglia

    Closer Look at the Chopard Mille Miglia

    For more than three decades, the Chopard Mille Miglia has kept the spirit of vintage road racing alive with a steady flow of limited-edition timepieces. Let’s delve into what makes this watch so special. Mille Miglia. “1,000 Miles” in Italian. It stands for the distance and the thusly titled open-road race that once roared through the Italian countryside. While the last of the endurance racers competed in the grueling heat more than half a century ago, today Chopard captures their essence in the watch that’s named in their honor. They Rolled Out of the 80s While the final drivers crossed the last finish line of the Mille Miglia in 1957, it wasn’t until over three decades later that the Swiss watchmakers Chopard paid homage to their neighbors to the south. In 1988, Chopard debuted what would be the first of a series of limited edition Mille Miglia watches, starting with their Chopard Mille Miglia Chronograph. It was designed to capture the spirit of road racing with a prominent bezel, pronounced tachymeter scale, and a design inspired by the look of a classic race car’s dashboard. Drivers and Watches Today, the famed race is honored by the annual Mille Miglia Storica.  A parade of pre-1957 classic cars and a massive road-rally event for serious auto enthusiasts. The event features a rotating roster of A-list celebrity drivers. These drivers have a serious incentive to participate. Each is presented with that year’s limited edition Mille Miglia just for taking part. A Few of Our Favorite Chopard Mille Miglia Watches With a new offering each year since 1988, there are lots to choose from in the line. But let’s take a look at some standouts that have become favorites through the years. Chopard Mille Miglia 8331 To mark the 10th anniversary of the watch, Chopard created the much-loved 8331. This one doesn’t try to overwhelm with size, with a relatively small 39mm diameter round case. Like all in the line, it honors racing heritage, here with a tachymeter on the dial and three chronograph functions. And, sure, maybe they are overdoing it a bit on the racing theme with the rubber strap featuring a tire-tread pattern. But hey, it works. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. And for all of those gearheads who like to poke around under the hood of a car, flip this one over to view the inner workings of the movement through a display case back. Mille Miglia GTS We first met the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control at Baselworld in 2015. A bezel with a black aluminum insert gives the GTS a super sporty look. It’s complemented by a black dial that pays tribute to dashboards of yore. The dial is dominated by large Arabic 6 and 12 numerals. Those numerals are matched only in their prominence by the trademark Chopard red-arrow logo that crosses the date window. The power reserve indicator is styled to look like a gas gauge on a car from the 1950s. It is available in stainless steel and 18-karat rose gold. The GTS can go on a stainless steel bracelet but the sporty watch feels just as at home on a sturdy rubber strap. Chopard Mille Miglia GMT 8992 This is one of the most iconic timepieces in the line. The GMT 8992 is an all-stainless-steel chronograph that jumps feet first into racing style. It has the trademark tachymeter on the dial and a 24-hour bezel that frames its 42mm face. Three chronograph dials continue the racing functionality, as does the signature Chopard Mille Miglia red-arrow race logo. While it comes with a fine leather strap, this sporty offering might feel a bit more fitting on a thick rubber strap. Chopard Mille Miglia Racing Colors These are arguably the most popular watches in the line. We need to leap forward 30 years from its debut to the anniversary editions we saw in 2018. The watches stayed true to the racing roots. The five colors on the 30th-anniversary rollout represent the colors of the countries that competed in the original race. France raced blue Bugatti’s, Italy drove red Alfa Romeos, the British brought green Bentleys, Silver Arrow Mercedes came from Germany, and Belgium competed with yellow race cars. Each watch in the group sports these different dial colors. In common they have 42mm wide stainless steel cases with 12.67mm thickness, screw-down crowns, and pushers to operate chronograph functions in true vintage racing style. Chopard Mille Miglia, Does the Name Sound Familiar? No, you’re not crazy. Well, at least not for any strange sense of familiarity you may have felt with the name Chopard Mille Miglia. That’s also the name of Italian airline Alitalia’s frequent flyer program. Classic Corvettes are painted with Mille Miglia Red. And the Mille Miglia is also a type of jacket, featuring goggles in the hood, that’s popular with British soccer fans. But the name Chopard Mille Miglia will forever be associated with the iconic watches from Chopard. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few who are invited to take the wheel of a classic roadster. More realistically, just keep an eye out online and perhaps one of these coveted watches will find their way from the race routes of Italy to your wrist.

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