VIDEO: The Seiko SPB239J is a retro-styled crowd pleaser

The craze for the Seiko 62MAS style shows no signs of slowing down, with the release of this SPB239J essentially confirming the brand’s intention to continue their climb into a higher tier of watchmaking. This vintage-inspired blueprint will continue to be adapted for all tastes, and this particular reference is sure to be a crowd pleaser, lathered with tasteful faux-ageing. The dial The SPB239 takes a refreshing approach to the black-and-gold colour scheme which dominates the world of vintage dive watches by incorporating a subtle two-tone look. Instead of having conflicting metallic surfaces, Seiko have kept all of the solid metal components such as the case, indices, and hands in their original silver finish, and use all of the printed and painted elements on the dial and bezel to represent the gold tone with a rich, creamy parchment colour. It carries all of the retro weight that gilt dials do, although appearing much more utilitarian instead of potentially blingy. Over the softly sunburst black dial, the SPB239 carries a lot of character for a very versatile watch. The layout of the 62MAS-inspired Prospex line is quickly becoming an unbeatable platform for Seiko enthusiasts, with all the details perfectly executed. The…

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FRIDAY WIND DOWN: How I learned to stop worrying and love watchspotting

When I first joined the Time+Tide team, I was given the remit of doing some occasional “watchspotting”. I confess that I wasn’t particularly enthused at this prospect of scrutinising pics of famous actors, musicians and athletes in order to identify whether they just so happened to be wearing a noteworthy watch. In fact, I was a bit sceptical. As a self-acknowledged watch nerd, what I’m always itching to know is the specifications, the finishes, the calibers. I’m often guilty of being more interested in what makes the watch literally tick than the surrounding context. But after a month or so passed, I began to realise the value of watchspotting. Being pretty evangelical about watches I’m constantly trying to make them more accessible so that other people can enjoy them, too. I don’t just want to speak to the existing watch community, I want to help it to grow. Pop culture, or in this instance watchspotting, offers another entry point into what can be an intimidating world. Plus, I can’t deny that I do pause my TV screen every time a watch comes into view, not just from professional but personal curiosity. If you’re interested in watches, chances are you’ll also…

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US Customs and Border Protection seize fake Rolex watches at JFK airport

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have seized a stash of counterfeit Rolex watches at John F. Kennedy International Airport. While inspecting a shipment from Hong Kong, CBP officers discovered the Rolex watches that would have been worth almost $300,000 USD had they been genuine. The officers referred all seizure information to CBP import specialists to verify the authenticity of the merchandise and to confirm possible trademark violations. As soon as the shipment of 19 Rolex watches was confirmed to be fake, the shipment was confiscated to keep the watches off the streets. “This most recent interception of counterfeit watches demonstrates the ongoing vigilance and commitment to our Agency’s mission by our CBP officers and import specialists,” said Marty Raybon, Acting Director of CBP’s New York Field Office. CBP protects businesses and consumers through an aggressive Intellectual Property Rights enforcement program. In the last financial year, the CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing counterfeit goods that would have been worth nearly $1.3 billion USD had they been genuine. Intellectual property experts Smart Protection reports that up to 400 million fakes watches hit the global market each year, with an estimated value of one billion US dollars. On the back of this…

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Watch & Act! Auction Items
13.08.2020  |  Time+Tide

A barn find to give you hope – the story of a very special NOS vintage Gruen Ocean Chief

vintage Gruen Ocean Chief

Editor’s note: This week, Eric Ku, vintage watch dealer and friend of Time+Tide, posted about five years having passed since the remarkable watch barn find story involving a LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm. A man by the name of Zach Norris came across an interesting-looking watch at a local Goodwill store, featuring a price tag of $5.99. He bought it in a heartbeat, suspecting it was worth more than the tag suggested, and was delighted to discover its true value. He was flooded with offers for the watch, one of which came from Eric Ku. He agreed to sell the watch to Eric for a cool $35,000. That’s right, nearly 6000 times the price he paid for it. We put a call-out to see if anyone else had their own story of successful thrift shop hunting, and Frank (@SpeedyFett on Instagram) reached out, telling the tale of his vintage Gruen Ocean Chief. Enjoy!  I have a barn find story from a couple years ago that is pretty special. I took my family on vacation to Philadelphia for my kids to experience the old historic area. Little did I know that in addition to the Liberty Bell, just around the corner was…

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