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Justin Mastine-Frost

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muhle-slider 09.01.2017

LIST: The 9 best watches of 2016 – $4000 to $5000 (and a bit more)

Time for the final leg of our tour of the best ‘affordable’ watches of 2016. We’re now at the upper end, at that fun little sweet spot where things start to get really interesting, with some serious in-house movements on offer, and amazing solid designs. It’s the upper limit for many people, so a lot of these options are less disposable and more ‘one good watch’. We’ve snuck a few pieces in that are priced just north of 5k, because we’re devious like that. And of course, if you wanted to spend a few (hundred/thousand) dollars more, the sky’s the limit,…

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radohyperchrome1616basel2016-2 08.01.2017

LIST: The 7 best watches of 2016 – $3000 to $4000

That’s right folks, we’re at it again, clawing our way through our top choices with an ever-ballooning budget, and believe it or not, this was our toughest category yet. The $3000 to $4000 category seems to have run a little thin for 2016, but we’ve still been able to round out a healthy assortment of picks that would make a nice (and in some cases quite peculiar) addition to your growing watch brigade. Again, we’ve  snuck in a couple of big guns just under the $4k cap including one of our favourite releases of the year from a brand our own Andy Green just…

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oak-oscar-sandford 07.01.2017

LIST: The 11 best watches of 2016 – $2000 to $3000

For our third instalment we’re entering a slightly different echelon of watches. Some buyers will just dive right into their first watch at this price bracket, whereas others will have whetted their appetites on more entry-level pieces, and are now ready to step up their game. You’ll notice a lot more familiar names on this list, as well as a few surprises. Overall it’s a healthy pack of contenders with a nice mix of  divers and dress watches. Oak and Oscar Sandford On the heels of the much-loved Burnham three-hand model, the Oak and Oscar Sandford continued to impress fans by offering…

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sinn-556-anniversary 06.01.2017

LIST: The 9 best watches of 2016 – $1000 to $2000

We’ve already got you covered in the zero to 1K category, but as you inch your way up the watch-buying food chain, the decisions don’t automatically get much easier, and the $1-2K range is just as tricky to navigate. While there’s still plenty to pick from, the quality can be all over the board in the same way it can in lower price brackets. After all, this is the spectrum where fashion houses like Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo try to sell you ETA quartz-powered timepieces for no other reason than the fact their logos adorn the dials and casebacks. Once again, we’ve…

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best-under1k-slider 05.01.2017

LIST: The 8 best watches of 2016 – under $1000

“What watch should I buy for ___ dollars?” is the almighty question we hear day in and day out. And while there’s no simple answer, we thought we’d point you in the right direction with a ‘best of’ hit list in every thousand dollar interval from one to five over the next few days. We can’t possibly hit every single watch in each segment, but our goal is simple — to give our fellow enthusiasts a healthy set of options that fit a wide range of tastes and budgets. With that in mind, let’s kick things off with eight of the best…

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Omega-GSOTM-Meteorite-2 31.03.2016

HANDS-ON: The Omega Speedmaster Grey Side of the Moon Meteorite, plan 9 from outer space

Omega is clearly focusing on the Planet Ocean and Speedmaster this year, with a solid cluster of variants in each model range being unveiled at Baselworld 2016. The attention-grabbing blue dialed Speedy Moonphase was instantly a fan favourite, while those of us who remember the jaw-dropping meteorite dial from Jaeger-LeCoultre last year took little time to begin fawning over Omega’s take on the sexy material from outer space. This is quickly turning into the year at Basel where models I’ve seen press shots of – and been none too impressed – have managed to win me over in real life. In…

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Bulgari-Octo-Solotempo-Ultranero-1 28.03.2016

HANDS-ON: The Bulgari Octo Solotempo Ultranero – 4 reasons this is the first Bulgari watch to win me over

I’ve never really gotten all that “into” Bulgari. Look,  I can appreciate the level of craftsmanship that the Italian haute joaillerie brand puts into their casework, (and more recently their movements), but I’ve never pictured myself wearing one. The Octo Solotempo Ultranero might just have changed all that. A case so sharp you could cut yourself What more can be said about Gerald Genta’s famous case design that hasn’t already been said? It’s a stunningly crafted piece of hardware that is even more impressive when finished in black DLC. Bulgari is proud to point out that there are 110 facets on…

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Hublot-Big-Bang-Meca-10-slider 22.03.2016

HANDS-ON: The Hublot Big Bang MECA-10, for when one power reserve indicator isn’t enough

Hublot are one of the boldest (and most polarising) brands in the luxury watch industry – their designs inspire intense feelings, both negative and positive. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, they’re constantly innovating and challenging their watchmakers and design teams with bold ideas that sometimes answer a why, and others simply a why not? More often than not, that answer comes from the helm – the powerful voice of Chairman of the Board Jean-Claude Biver stating with confidence that the answer is “Because we are Hublot, and that is what we do.” I’m the first…

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Seiko-presage-SRQ019J-1 21.03.2016

HANDS-ON: The Seiko Presage Chronograph 60th Anniversary Limited Edition, where quality meets affordability

While much attention has been paid to the latest Grand Seiko offerings, as well as their ultra-cool Prospex Marinemaster GPS-Solar Dual Time, we can safely argue that the limited edition Presage chronographs are their finest under-the-radar offerings of 2016. Seiko is launching the Presage collection internationally this year, and these two watches celebrate the 60th anniversary of Seiko’s first automatic watch. The pair of sleek vintage-inspired chronographs come in at a comfortable 42mm, and offer two very attractive, and very traditional dial options ­- white enamel, and the gorgeous and incredibly labour-intensive deep black Urushi Lacquer. Both just about made…

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Longines-Heritage-1918-thumb 18.03.2016

HANDS-ON: The Longines Heritage 1918, old world charm done right

There’s no arguing that the vintage reissue trend is still going strong, though this latest offering from Longines digs further back into the archives than we were expecting. Their newly unveiled Heritage 1918 draws on the brand’s early history, having a very early pocketwatch-conversion vibe to it that, though a little unconventional at first, has grown on us quickly, and reminds us of the Longines Heritage Spirit. Its rich lacquered dial, contrasting honey-brown varnish painted numerals, and blued cathedral hands scream classic early 1900s watchmaking. Unlike the faux-tina lume we have seen from countless other brands in an attempt to…

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