Luke Benedictus

Posts by Luke:

19.04.2021

The launch of Zenith Icons is a thrilling prospect for vintage fans

I’ve always had a soft spot for vintage Zenith ever since buying a 1950s dress watch from a woman in Rome. Nervous that I was about to wire over my cash to a total stranger in a foreign country, I attempted to strike up a connection. If I was going to be swindled, I figured, then at least she’d feel mildly guilty if we’d built up some form of rapport. Over the back and forth of email, we slid into an easy correspondence. Paola explained the Zenith had originally belonged to her late grandfather, a former general in the Italian…

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18.04.2021

Fight, fight, fight: Why Apple and Swatch hate each other so much

Sometimes a professional rivalry gets personal. Grievances build up, eyes narrow and suddenly it all explodes into a fireball of drama and animosity. Something like that is now raging between Apple and Swatch in a long-running feud that, from the outside at least, seems petty, vindictive and wildly entertaining.   The two companies just keep throwing punches in a succession of legal spats. The latest came last month, when Apple lost a legal bid to block Swatch from registering Steve Jobs’ famous line “One more thing” as a trademark in the UK. “One more thing” was, of course, a well-known…

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Zenith Defy 21 Spectrum 11.04.2021

INTRODUCING: The Zenith Defy 21 Spectrum collection turns the volume up to 11

You know the phrase “Business on the outside, party on the inside”? Well Zenith has flipped that with the new, very limited-edition Zenith Defy 21 Spectrum line. The business is on the inside with that magnificent dual-escapement El Primero 9004 automatic movement – but there’s no doubting that it’s party time on the outside. A classy party, but with just a hint of wild abandon. It’s not the first time we’ve seen diamonds and precious stones – or solid colours – in the Defy models. A couple of years ago, a rose-gold Defy El Primero 21 added diamonds to the…

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Zach Blass 05.04.2021

How our 27-year-old US Editor traded his way to a spectacular watch collection on a budget

For a 27-year-old who isn’t the son of an oligarch, Zach Blass has amassed a serious watch collection. Highlights in his watch box include an A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down, a Rolex Submariner, a Blancpain 1185F, two Grand Seikos (the Snowflake SBGA211 and Spring SBGA413), a Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue, three Kuronos (the Mori, the Chronograph 2 and a Grand Akane on the way), a Doxa Suba 300 Carbon Aqua Lung and a very rare Seiko SBWA001. As we said, it’s a serious collection. But it’s also one that’s been meticulously curated out of financial necessity. “Because…

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04.04.2021

Why not knowing the time is a form of psychological torture used by the military

The project is called Deep Time. Right now, 15 people are sealed in a pitch-black cave in the south of France. They have zero access to watches, phones or any other means to monitor the passing of time.  Forcibly cut off from the outside world, the volunteers have signed up for what will no doubt prove an extreme psychological challenge. The reason these eight men and seven women have subjected themselves to this bizarre ordeal is all part of a scientific experiment. The aim: to investigate the effects that losing all sense of time has on the human body and…

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25.03.2021

How a Rolex Sky-Dweller inspired this boxer to go from working in McDonalds to become World Champion

There are easier ways of making a living than becoming a professional boxer. To win a world title requires almost pathological commitment with boxers typically training three times a day, doing roadwork first thing, strength and conditioning at midday, before honing their ringcraft with sparring, pads and bags in the afternoon. Throw in the dietary sacrifices required to make your fight weight – not to mention navigating the snake-pit of mercenary promoters – and the challenges facing a boxer are extreme. And that’s all for a career that can suddenly end with the connection of a single punch. British boxer…

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20.03.2021

Seven of the best G-Shock limited editions from the last 12 months

If variety is the spice of life, then whoever who signs off on the G-Shock limited-editions must have some extremely tingly tastebuds. The staggering range of influences that inform these pieces is like something out of a Dr Seuss fever dream, happily jumping from Borneo rainbow toads to NASA space travel. The sheer number of limited editions that G-Shock crank out is extraordinary, too.  According to G-Central (the G-Shock Watch Fan Blog), the brand produced 88 limited editions over the last 12 months at the time of writing. Here, in no particular order, are seven of our favourites. A Bathing…

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20.03.2021

Meghan Markle is now polarising the watch world, too, because of how she wears Princess Diana’s gold Cartier

Right now, Meghan Markle is the single most divisive woman in the Western World. Following her explosive interview on Oprah alongside Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex has become a wildly polarising figure. To her supporters, she’s emerged as a fearless advocate of positive change. Serena Williams, for example, described Meghan as “selfless” and “truly noble” after the Duchess revealed her racism claims against the royal family and described how the pressures of her role left her feeling suicidal. Critics like Piers Morgan meanwhile dismissed the Oprah interview as a “two-hour orgy of pious, self-indulgent, score-settling twaddle” in which Meghan…

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13.03.2021

Watch tattoos have become a bizarre new trend. What is wrong with people?

Paw prints, Celtic bands, bows on thighs, pretty much anything inked on the face… There’s no shortage of tattoo choices that are questionable at best and watch tattoos represent yet another baffling sub-category. After all, if you want to visibly declare your passion for a particular brand or model, there’s a straight-forward way to do it. You simply wear that watch on your wrist. But this doesn’t cut it for some people. Presumably, they think it’s all a bit fickle – the way you can take your watch off one day and swap it for another piece from your collection…

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08.03.2021

Fresh and unfiltered – why Dimepiece could be the shake-up that watch culture needs

If you want youthful edge and attitude, watch marketing is probably the last place in the known universe that you’re going to find it. Brands invariably take a strait-laced approach, heaping laboured emphasis on their luxury credentials, heritage and technical prowess. All of which is pretty dull. But it also risks turning off an entire generation. Brynn Wallner is the mastermind behind @dimepiece.co – an Instagram account with plans to evolve into something much bigger. The launch-pad for all this happened in 2019 when she spent a year working with the Sotheby’s editorial team in New York and was tasked…

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05.03.2021

Study explores the psychological reasons for posting on Rolex forums. Here’s what it found…

Let me pose a little thought experiment. How much have Rolex online forums cost the global economy in terms of wasted productivity in the workforce? How many hours are lost speculating over the Crown’s possible new releases, comparing advice on how to change an Oysterflex, or conducting snap polls on whether to buy the GMT Root Beer or the blue dial Submariner (two tone)? By my calculations, the dollar value would buy Paul Newman’s famous Daytona several times over. Rolexforums.com has hosted more than 11 million posts alone. But what is the psychological impetus behind this intense buzz of activity?…

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02.03.2021

This tale of an octopus wrestler’s Rolex Explorer worth $126,000 will change the way you view your watch

Question: How do you catch and wrestle a giant Pacific octopus? The answer, of course, is very, very carefully. That’s according to the Canadian Television Network who reported the extraordinary tale of a veteran octopus wrestler whose 1953 Rolex Explorer sold at a New York auction house last month for $126,000 USD. Bill Hook is a Vancouver Island resident who dropped out of high school at 15 to become one of the first scuba divers in British Columbia. His Rolex Explorer was a gift from his first wife and he wore the watch while taking part in spearfishing and octopus-wrestling…

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Daft Punk watches 27.02.2021

6 watches Daft Punk might have been wearing when they self destructed this week (SOB)

Initially, the idea of robots taking over the earth doesn’t sound too promising. But if the aforementioned robots happened to be Daft Punk it probably would be quite agreeable with lots of euphoric melodies and filter disco sounds yoked together with a sci-fi aesthetic. But that’s not going to happen now. This week Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo announced they were pulling the plug on Daft Punk. The news is particularly regrettable given that we never got a chance to find out what sort of watches the French dance music pioneers wear, but here are our unconfirmed suspicions. Hamilton…

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24.02.2021

How Arnold Schwarzenegger made the Seiko H558-5000 the ultimate tough-guy watch

As a 10-year-old boy in the 1980s, when I wasn’t attempting to learn how to moonwalk or riding my trusty BMX, my friends and I shared a collective obsession. We were constantly scheming to try and find ways to watch heinously violent films on VHS tapes. This under-age compulsion to show how grown-up and cool we were, invariably backfired and resulted in low-level trauma – Freddie Krueger alone gave me nightmares for weeks. But an off-shoot of this quest for ultra-violence was that one man loomed extra-large in our collective psyche. In the ’80s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the biggest action…

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20.02.2021

How your watch can inspire you to live a bigger and better life

Recently I saw a tragicomic sight. It was an ultra-sleek McLaren 720S sports car in a violent shade of tangerine. Now anyone with a driving licence could appreciate this turbocharged V8 was a bona fide supercar. But this magnificent piece of automotive engineering was now inching along through rush-hour at the walking pace of a very small child. I’ve no idea if the driver actually lived in the traffic-choked city or not. Either way, given that most Aussie highways have heavily policed speed limits that top out at 110km/h, you could be fairly sure that this car’s 710bhp would never…

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18.02.2021

You cannot be serious! Shouts of “Rolex” could soon replace “Out” calls at the tennis

It’s turned into a mighty strange Australian Open. Before the Grand Slam event began, many players were herded into quarantine and forced to practise their drop-shots against their hotel-room walls. Next up, crowds were barred from Rod Laver Arena when Melbourne entered a hard five-day lockdown. Yet perhaps the most enduring change from this tournament is that human line judges are set to become a long-term casualty of COVID in a shift that might ultimately result in “Rolex!” being shouted instead of traditional “out!” calls. The line judges at the Aussie Open were ditched because of the new social-distancing restrictions…

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16.02.2021

This is how Rod Stewart’s Cartier got stolen during a pitch invasion at Wembley

Rod Stewart often recounts a piece of advice from his dad: “To be properly contented, a man needs three things: a job, a sport, and a hobby. So in my case, my job is singer, my sport is football and my hobby is model railroading.” Leaving aside the slightly dubious pursuit of model railways, Stewart has always been mad about football. He had trials with the London club Brentford in his teens and was still playing twice a week well into his mid 60s. But his passion for the game also extends to being a huge Celtic and Scotland supporter.…

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MMA fighter Michael Bisping won't wear his gold Rolex because it makes him "feel like an absolute wanker" 10.02.2021

MMA fighter Michael Bisping won’t wear his gold Rolex because it makes him “feel like an absolute w*nker”

“I run this whole thing. I run New York. I run this whole ship. Without me none of this happens. I run this whole sh*t.” That was Conor McGregor talking with characteristic modesty about his contribution to the UFC.  In the process, he’s following the tradition of top fighters from time immemorial. That’s because putting your body on the line necessitates absolute self-belief. Allowing the merest chink of doubt to enter your psyche can prove disastrous. Hence the endless stream of braggadocio and positive self-talk, whether it’s Mohammad Ali proclaiming “I am the greatest” or Floyd Mayweather insisting “There is…

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06.02.2021

7 ways to use your diving bezel that don’t involve getting wet

Maybe you love the smell of neoprene in the morning. You explore the ocean’s depths on such a regular basis that your Facebook friends barely recognise you without your mask on. But chances are that if you own a diving watch, it’s rarely (if ever) used for the purpose for which it was intended. And as for that helium release valve? Well, that’s guaranteed to stay redundant for the rest of its watertight days. That’s totally OK, too. A diving watch isn’t just a good option for aquatic types familiar with the discomfort of shoehorning themselves into a damp wetsuit…

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Bulgari Octo Finissimo blue dial 02.02.2021

How the Bulgari Octo Finissimo accidentally became the most contemporary watch of modern times

Fast-forward 30 years into the future. You’re being chauffeured by your robot valet in your flying car on a trip to buy another pair of underpants made from laser-beam holograms (you’re not entirely convinced by them, but your cyborg wife thinks they look sexy). But when you glance at the watch on your wrist – yes, you will still be wearing one – what will it look like? Going by the vast bulk of watch releases over the last decade, the answer to that question is probably not that different. Not only does watch design move at a truly glacial…

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30.01.2021

This is why a gold Rolex is still the most divisive watch on earth

“I’m a working class lad from Lancashire,” Michael Bisping said in a recent interview. “I’ve got a solid gold Rolex but I never wear it, because I feel like an absolute wanker.” Right there, with the concussive force of one of his left hooks, the former MMA fighter nails that vague sense of unease that every owner of a gold Rolex must navigate. That’s because no other watch can trigger such a flood of polarising emotions that range from searing envy to sanctimonious disdain. A gold Rolex isn’t just a watch, it’s a divisive psychodrama with more baggage than a…

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23.01.2021

Can we all just admit that “erotic watches” are cringeworthy and embarrassing?

Some chapters of our sexual lives are best left behind – so why aren’t erotic watches dead and buried?  This question sprung to mind last week after reports of Conor McGregor’s latest watch purchase that we wrote about here. In case you missed it, one of the pieces the UFC fighter bought was the Jacob & Co Rasputin Diamond Erotic Minute Repeater Watch, a $1.5m USD timepiece smothered with nearly 30 carats worth of sparklers over the case and dial.  Above the blue skeltonised hands, two swans gaze lovingly each other’s eyes until this innocent pastoral scene gets an X-rated…

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16.01.2021

Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks and watches. My son might have it. So what’s it all about?

So we’re staying at my in-laws and my two-year-old is lying in his cot stubbornly refusing to go to sleep. Presently, I’m summoned to his room (again) by a frenzy of yells. “Daaad!” he says pointing to the mantelpiece. “That clock is scary!” “How so? I enquire. “IT’S GOT GOOGLY EYES!!!” Peering at the table clock, I grudgingly admit the two winding holes for the chimes and pendulum embedded in the stepped dial do look a bit like eyes. So I cover the clock’s fearsome visage with a blanket. All seems to be well and, after the customary round of…

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12.01.2021

RECOMMENDED READING: Could your PlayStation 5 controller screw up your watch by emitting magnetic fields?

Magnets are useful for many things. They’ve helped decorate the outside of countless fridges, inspired the name of a seminal New York rap group (the Ultramagnetic MCs), and given Wile E Coyote various half-baked ideas in his doomed attempt to catch Road Runner. But magnets are less benign when it comes to your mechanical watch. Proximity to even small magnets can sabotage the balance spring and make your watch run fast, slow or even stop altogether. That’s why a new story on psu.com is potentially daunting. It highlights a thread on Reddit that clams the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller can…

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09.01.2021

Should you take off your watch before having sex?

We turn now to one of the great philosophical dilemmas of our time. It’s a profound and complex question that lies at the knotty intersection between primal desire, technology, psychology, gender equality and the mood-killing potential of trying to undo a particularly fiddly NATO strap. I refer, of course, to the ticklish conundrum: should you take off your watch before having sex? It’s actually a more divisive issue than it sounds. When Men’s Health conducted a Twitter poll on the subject in January 2019 the jury was pretty inconclusive with 57% of respondents saying that wearing a watch during sex…

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02.01.2021

Glashütte Original, Blancpain and Mido make up Luke’s three favourite watches of 2020

The lack of watch fairs and face-to-face watch showings meant that I saw fewer watches in the metal in 2020 than I had done in the last 10 years. But this lack of face time didn’t stop me salivating over a few key pieces that shot straight to the top of my wish-list. These were my three favourite watches of 2020. Glashütte Original Sixties Blue Annual Edition The burnt orange and forest green iterations of this watch were already provocatively sexy. But the glacial glory of this pale blue version is truly mesmerising. The shift in colour on the sunray-finished…

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01.01.2021

The big question: Why is it so hard to buy a new steel Rolex?

“It’s the million dollar elephant in the room,” says Eric Ku, the world-renowned watch expert and dealer. “Why can nobody get anything now?” He’s referring to the extraordinary difficulty facing the average punter hoping to buy a new steel Rolex without paying way over the recommended retail price on the grey market. In the watch community, this has become a common lament. For the average buyer, sourcing a steel Rolex at the recommended retail price can increasingly feel like mission impossible. Whereas five years ago, the “Batman” blue and black bezel GMT-Master II was the hard-to-get model, and then the…

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29.12.2020

RECOMMENDED READING: MJJ Exclusive is where Europe’s top footballers buy their bling

When you’re a 25-year-old footballer earning upwards of £100,000 a week, a standard luxury watch can feel a little pedestrian. As Esquire UK’s Finlay Renwick writes in this illuminating story into the lifestyles of football’s elite: “For the best and boldest in Europe, your run of the mill Big Bang, Nautilus or Submariner just won’t cut the Colman’s. They’re after something a little more unique.”   The man they go to in such circumstances is Matthew J. Jones, the man behind MJJ Exclusive. As the CEO and creative director, the 30-something’s day-job involves kitting out playboys, Saudi royals and footballers…

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hammer prices of celebrity owned watches 26.12.2020

Up to scratch: The most famous watch engravings of all time

Engraving a watch has zero functional value. It’s a highly personal move that’s made with the heart not the head – indeed many would argue that it’ll invariably harm a watch’s re-sale value. Unless, of course, you happen to be wildly famous. In such cases, a star-studded form of alchemy takes place with the engraving adding an extra layer of intimacy, effectively turning the watch into something akin to a horological autograph. These are some of the most famous examples that break all the standard rules of engraving and show yet again that if you’re rich and famous enough, you…

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Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2020 20.12.2020

Five big issues keeping the Swiss watch industry awake at night

The watch industry can sometimes feel a bit impenetrable. Trying to get beyond the marketing hype and brand noise isn’t always easy. That’s why the Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study 2020 is worth a look for a truly objective insight into what the hell is really happening on Planet Watch. Conducted between August and September 2020, the study is based on a survey and interviews with 55 senior executives in the watch industry. In addition, 5800 consumers were also surveyed across China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the US (FYI, Deloitte…

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best 40th birthday watches 14.12.2020

This is 40: the best watches under $5000 to celebrate that milestone birthday

“After 40,” Abraham Lincoln once said, “every man gets the face he deserves.” We assume that Abe was talking here about watch faces and so, with that in mind, we turned our attention to the best timepiece you can buy to celebrate a 40th birthday for under $5000. Because 40 is a milestone worth celebrating. This is the decade of self-actualisation, where you stop caring what other people think about you so much. Sure, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows – your hangovers are tougher, your back hurts more. But you also start to know who you really are and…

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09.12.2020

LIST: Luke’s 5 favourite articles of 2020

How many watches have you seen in the metal this year? My personal tally would surely be an all-time low. The COVID pandemic cancelled watch fairs while product viewings turned into digital affairs where white-gloved reps waved their timepieces at you over live video streams. There’s no real substitute for any of this, of course. To truly appraise a watch you have to hold it in your hands to feel its heft, click its bezel, watch how the sunlight bounces off the dial. But when you’re denied that opportunity due to a merciless pandemic keeping you house-bound for months on…

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06.12.2020

Sex, biceps and watch choices – how your wrist size affects your life

There’s a famous Bond scene in Octopussy where Roger Moore’s 007, clad in his customary white tuxedo, sits down to play a spot of high-stakes backgammon. His adversary – the malevolent Kamal Khan – is surreptitiously cheating, using a set of loaded dice. Unfazed, Bond accepts Khan’s 200,000 rupee wager and, using a Fabergé egg as collateral, promptly switches the dice to throw a perfect double six. Moore shrugs off his triumph with his usual expression of wry bemusement. “It’s all in the wrist,” he insists. It’s a throwaway line, but it turns out that the wrist is indeed regarded…

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Crime gang steals celebrity watches 03.12.2020

Gang robs UK celebrities to steal watches by Patek, Rolex and Cartier in £26 million haul

An international gang flew into London to carry out a 13-day burglary spree on the homes of the rich and famous that netted them a whopping £26 million. Multiple watches were stolen in the heists, including pieces from Patek Philippe, Rolex, TAG Heuer and Cartier. Prosecutor Timothy Cray QC told the court: “The plan, quite simply, was to steal as much as possible from some fantastic houses in this city of London. The burglaries netted big money – in round figures £26million … mainly in some fabulous jewellery and cold hard cash.” The first house to be burgled was that…

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual dial colour 29.11.2020

Place your bets! Which Rolex Oyster Perpetual 2020 dial colour will sell for the highest price at the Hong Kong Watch Auction later today?

This year’s Melbourne Cup is over, but now there’s an exciting new race, with the runners and riders taking horological form. That’s because this Sunday, Phillips is hosting the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XI. There’s a drool-worthy collection of pieces up for grabs, including watches from Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne and many more. But there are also some eyebrow-raising inclusions with lots 813-817 dedicated to Rolex’s new range of Oyster Perpetuals in a veritable sorbet rainbow of colours. These lots stand out, not because of the eye-popping colours, but because of the fact that these stainless-steel pieces are…

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What watch does Sean wear in Gangs of London 28.11.2020

Sean Wallace’s Rolex Datejust in Gangs of London shows that the watch doesn’t always maketh the man

Too often in a TV drama, a character’s watch is just a random accessory lobbed in by the wardrobe department at the last minute. Yet when it’s done right, a watch can become infused with psychological depth and meaning. And when it’s done to absolute perfection it can deliver a tell-tale insight into a character’s very soul. In Gangs of London – currently screening on Stan in Australia – Sean Wallace’s Rolex Datejust is very much the latter. The British drama is essentially a bare-knuckle version of The Godfather with a cockney accent. Chaos reigns after Finn Wallace, the gangster…

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21.11.2020

Is it a bad idea to wear a better watch than your boss?

There’s a reason why office dress codes are more confusing than ever. On the whole, they no longer exist. Unless you’re obliged to wear a uniform or work in one of those dwindling industries where the suit and tie still prevails, most offices have loosened their collars. But this apparent lack of rules does not mean that sartorially anything goes. Every workplace maintains a set of unspoken conventions and it’s up to you to figure them out. The sad reality is your working wardrobe is less about “dress to impress” and more “dress to fit in”. This might seem like…

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19.09.2020

Money to burn: 4 crazy watch accessories for jaded billionaires (don’t even bother looking)

As Woody Allen famously said, “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” More specifically, it can help you cultivate a magnificent watch collection. But what does the rich man do when he has scratched his horological itch until it’s red-raw? When he’s become jaded with the tedious rigmarole of snapping up grail watches and minute-repeater tourbillions? He starts to focus on his crazy watch accessories instead … The coffee table of horological dreams Pedro Costa is a Colombian designer who believes that size matters. He takes classic watch designs and scales them up into pieces of furniture.…

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19.09.2020

From Bruno Mars to Jay-Z: celebrities’ most staggering acts of watch-giving generosity

Random acts of kindness are all very well. But at Time+Tide, we prefer our gestures of mind-blowing generosity to come in a horological format. From rock stars to comedians and actors to athletes, the moral of this story is simple: work hard, amass your fortune then spread the love by upgrading the wrists of mankind, one watch at a time. Bruno Mars plays Santa In 2019, Bruno Mars revealed on Instagram that he’d given his bandmates a Christmas present to remember. “My boys continue to show the world what time it is,” he wrote in the Instagram caption. “And a…

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13.09.2020

5 watches specially made for movies, from Hamilton in Tenet, to Audemars Piguet in End of Days

Sometimes cinema prop masters get lucky. On certain rare occasions, instead of having to unearth pitch-perfect watches for a movie, brands will collaborate on brand-new timepieces that are purpose-built for the film. This often proves to be a win-win. The brands get some welcome publicity and a touch of big-screen glamour, the prop masters get watches that are tonally spot-on and unique. Here are five memorable examples. Tenet x Hamilton Tenet is Christopher Nolan’s new and, let’s face it, utterly baffling sci-fi thriller. It basically involves soldiers racing back and forth through time in a desperate bid to find a…

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12.09.2020

Sex toys, murder victims and cocaine: the dark side of the Apple Watch

Bubble wrap was originally devised as a form of three-dimensional wallpaper. The modern treadmill was invented to harness the muscle power of idle prisoners in order to mill grain. Frisbees were created by a Connecticut pie company as a dish for their wares. Fascinating facts aside, the point here is that many things are designed with noble intentions that are promptly subverted in unexpected ways. Inevitably, that’s also proved true with the Apple Watch which, according to consumer research firm Strategy Analytics, sold more than 50 million units in 2018 and 2019 combined. The smartwatch was released in 2015 to…

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30.08.2020

REVEALED: How to steal a watch clean off someone’s wrist without them even knowing …

We like to believe that we maintain basic control of our personal space. Within the limited orbit of our bodies, we think that we stand relatively secure as masters of our physical domain. As it turns out, this is a total delusion. The world’s most legendary “theatrical pickpocket” is Apollo Robbins (below), who possesses the dexterity of a supernatural ninja. The American entertainer is most famous for an encounter with former president Jimmy Carter’s Secret Service detail in which he successfully pilfered the agents’ pockets of everything from their security badges to Carter’s itinerary. Essentially, Robbins’ act involves removing objects…

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Hollywood fake prop watches 29.08.2020

Hollywood’s fake watches: from Kill Bill’s dodgy Rolex Daytona to Drive’s phoney Patek

Willing suspension of disbelief is part of the viewer’s contract with any film. But if you like watches, you still crave authenticity when it comes to a character’s timepiece. Much of the time, prop masters deliver the horological goods, too. You think of Captain Willard’s trusty Seiko 6105 in Apocalypse Now, Patrick Bateman’s Rolex Datejust in American Psycho or Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco Chronograph in Le Mans. But sometimes artistic licence is also applied to the actors’ wristwear in a case of “fake it till you make it” or at least manage to wangle a heftier wardrobe budget. Some offenders,…

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smartwatch insecure 23.08.2020

New study: your smartwatch is making you more insecure

The notion that “knowledge is power” has arguably become the guiding principle of our professional lives. Organisations are more reliant than ever on numerical evidence to gauge how they’re shaping up. Businesses study balance sheets, governments scrutinise trade figures, media networks analyse traffic growth and revenue streams. Sport, too, has become ever more data-obsessed after the so-called “Moneyball effect” saw the Oakland A’s baseball team thrive after they started basing their decisions on statistical analysis, rather than the hunches of ageing scouts. As a result, the corporate maxim, “If it’s not measurable, it’s not manageable” has become universally accepted. The…

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22.08.2020

Do you still wear a watch when there’s no one to impress? COVID reveals two camps…

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal ran a story with the provocative headline: “Should You Wear a Watch if There’s No One to Impress?” Two writers debated this pressing issue. One insisted that, even if you’re working from home in solitude, wearing a watch “can help to foster a sense of normalcy during a brutally abnormal year”. The other writer argued the opposite. He quoted a lawyer who admitted that wearing his Rolex seemed weirdly inappropriate while he was sat at home in Lululemon shorts. Whatever your personal opinion on the matter, the fact this issue was even discussed…

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09.08.2020

Hunter S. Thompson: The unlikely Rolex Man

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” Hunter S. Thompson was good like that. Always generous when it came to doling out whacked-out life advice. In his writing, he offered heartfelt tips on many things, from hotel liaisons (“Don’t have sex in the lobby – it’s usually awkward”) to optimised forms of hedonism (“Have an objective to give your bender a theme. For instance, stalking and killing a wild pig with a bowie knife”). This type of off-kilter wisdom reflects Thompson’s libertarian values and drug-addled life. Until these hard-living ways…

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06.08.2020

RECOMMENDED READING: Apple sold nearly 10 million more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019

A few years back, I remember interviewing Jean-Claude Biver and asking how he thought smartwatches would impact the traditional watch industry. Biver insisted the innovation was positive, saying that he believed smartwatches “will bring the attention of young people back to the wrist”. In other words, they would persuade a new generation to start wearing watches once again. Well, smartwatches certainly seem to have stimulated something. This piece from Business Insider reports that Apple shipped 31 million watches last year compared with the estimated 21.1 million shipped by the entire Swiss watch industry put together. That’s an astounding feat of…

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06.08.2020

The watches, and wild watch stories, of Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson has led a truly crazy life. We don’t have time to go into it all here: the horrific childhood, the dizzying ascent, the pet tigers, the rape conviction, the coke habit, the comeback(s), the ear biting, the tragic death of his daughter, the facial tattoos …  Let’s just say that Tyson hasn’t pulled any punches in the life-experience department. His watches overall have not been as wild, but several of the stories surrounding them have a familiar ring. In January 2000, for example, the Mike Tyson circus arrived in London. “Iron Mike” was there to fight the British heavyweight…

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watch collecting psychology 02.08.2020

We all have “the disease” of watch collecting, we asked a psychologist why we opted in for this…?

“Completely irrational”, “a horrible affliction”, “the disease” … that’s how Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary described his obsession with watch collecting in a Time+Tide interview (read it here). It’s easy to understand O’Leary’s ambivalence about his hobby. After all, viewed from a certain perspective, watch collecting doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. Watches are not only often wincingly expensive, they’re also functionally redundant in that you can always tell the time by glancing at your phone. The desire to collect multiple watches can therefore seem even more nonsensical. Particularly if you keep most of them stashed in a safe.…

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27.07.2020

“Is this watch over or under $15 million?” – Floyd Mayweather plays “The Ice Is Right” with Greg Yüna

Floyd Mayweather looks straight down the barrel of the camera as he waves around a watch that’s not so much dripping in diamonds as drenched to its blinding core. The watch is the Jacob & Co Billionaire watch, a one-of-a-kind piece produced with Italian businessman, fashion label owner and Formula 1 personality Flavio Briatore. The 47.5mm case and integrated bracelet are bedecked with 239 emerald-cut baguette diamond stones while a manually wound tourbillion beats within. Over the top? Yes. And then down the other side before spiralling into a high-speed blur of double loops. “Over $15 million or under $15…

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25.07.2020

From Scarface to Tony Soprano – Hollywood’s 5 best gangsters and their watches

The watches of Hollywood mobsters tend to contradict the old adage that crime doesn’t pay. For any self-respecting gangster, the wrist is valuable real estate on which to flaunt your ill-gotten gains. Sure, you may be trying to evade the long arm of the law, but your watch invariably denotes your cashed-up status as a man on the make. Preferably in gold, if available. The upshot of this trend is some fascinating watches that make a life as a career criminal look relatively appealing. (As Woody Allen said on crime: “The hours are good, you meet a lot of interesting…

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22.07.2020

A WEEK ON THE WRIST: Sex, booze and life insurance with the Tikker “death watch”

At 3am, the world can seem like a bleak place. Staring at the bedroom ceiling unable to sleep, I find myself wrestling with a familiar stampede of anxieties. All the usual suspects are present and correct: the financial headaches, the career regrets, the mounting horror that my “double crown” is, in fact, a nascent bald spot. It seems as good a time as any to properly confront my mortality by agreeing to review the Tikker “death watch”. Because while these moments of nocturnal angst have a tendency to flare up from time to time, tthey’ve become way more frequent of…

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18.07.2020

Play it cool: the rules of “stealth bling” and what they mean for your watch

“To be truly elegant one should not be noticed.” So said Beau Brummell, who despite ultimately dying as a syphilitic loon, is still regarded as the biggest single influence on contemporary men’s style. This recognition stems, in part, from Brummell creating the forerunner to the modern suit. But equally significant was his insistence that dressing well meant flying under the radar. “If people turn to look at you on the street,” he said, “you are not well dressed, but either too stiff, too tight, or too fashionable.” The context for this was that Brummell grew up in the late 18th…

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11.07.2020

What do Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin’s watch collections say about them?

“Is it East versus West/Or man against man?” That was the question memorably posed by Survivor in the smash hit from the Rocky IV soundtrack, Burning Heart. And it’s pertinent to this week’s celebrity death match, too. Representing truth, justice and the American way, in a fetching pair of shorts bedecked with stars and stripes, is President Donald Trump. Glowering with menace in the red corner, meanwhile, is Vladimir Putin, who’s still nonplussed over the fact that this showdown can’t be settled by his favoured medium ( judo and/or electoral manipulation). Instead, this clash of the superpowers will be fought…

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COVID watch infection 07.07.2020

Could your watch give you COVID? Expert reveals why your timepiece could increase your chances of infection and how to stop it

You’re washing your hands multiple times a day. You’re trying to social distance wherever possible. You’re taking such precautions in order to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19. But what are you doing about your watch? Think about it for a second. Your watch accompanies you practically everywhere, it’s in direct physical contact with your body and the outside world and you rarely wash it (if ever). It’s therefore never going to be an entirely sterile object. That was emphatically demonstrated by a February study when the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Atlantic University swabbed 20 watches for germs.…

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04.07.2020

OPINION: Will COVID hammer the final nail into the coffin of the dress watch?

Having moved house last year, I finally got around to collecting the last remaining items from our storage facility last weekend. All that was left was a forlorn collection of those random bits and pieces that you barely use, but can’t quite stomach throwing out. There was a box of bedraggled Christmas decorations, a tennis racquet with broken strings and countless CDs (despite the fact I no longer own a CD player). But there was also a battered trunk containing all eight of my suits alongside a musty tuxedo. None of these had been worn in the past 18 months.…

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Liverpool players' watches 30.06.2020

Rolex, Patek Philippe and Richard Mille – the Liverpool players’ watches are as spectacular as their football

The 30-year wait is over. Liverpool are Premier League champions, having clinched the title with a record seven games of the season to spare. Frankly, it turned into an annihilation. Jürgen Klopp’s team won 26 of 27 league games from August to February 28 and haven’t lost at home in the league for three whole years. Right now they are English, European and World champions. But how does the team’s wrist game stack up? The Mastermind – Jürgen Klopp The Watch – IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “50 Years Aquatimer” Usually when a team is this dominant, the…

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28.06.2020

LONG READ: The hidden truth behind Walter White’s TAG Heuer Monaco in Breaking Bad

There’s a scene in the fifth series of Breaking Bad where Walter White, the high school chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, is forced to roll a barrel full of money through the desert. Zooming in from a wide shot of the merciless landscape, the camera finds White bent double and panting with exertion. As he continues to wind his way through the arid terrain, he passes a pair of khaki pants lying crumpled in the dust. It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but those pants weren’t dumped there coincidentally. It was subsequently confirmed by the show that they were, in fact, the…

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24.06.2020

Buying a “birth-year” watch for your kids is the excuse you need to beef up your collection

Why do we have children in the first place? To anchor our rudderless lives with a faint sense of meaning? To give and receive unconditional love? To experience the most profound and humbling experience that is available to humanity? No, no and thrice no! We have children, of course, as a half-arsed excuse to buy ourselves more new watches. Never has this justification been needed as urgently as right now. With the global economy tanking, mankind is facing the worst recession since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, as we all get increasingly lax about social distancing, a second wave of COVID…

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American psycho Rolex 20.06.2020

Why Rolex’s problem with American Psycho goes deeper than a chainsaw-wielding maniac

Patrick Bateman is an unlikely pop cultural icon. Yet that’s exactly what the anti-hero of American Psycho has become. Almost 30 years since Bret Easton Ellis’ book was published, and 20 since the movie’s release, Bateman’s Armani-clad mass murderer continues to resonate in the contemporary psyche. Type his name into Google and you’ll find a cosmetic brand named after him (Bateman Skincare), a LinkedIn post offering “American Psycho’s Top 10 Personal Branding Tips” and various first-person articles of the “I Followed Patrick Bateman’s Psychotic Skincare Routine For a Week” variety. Fascination with the film, in particular, has reached seriously nerdy…

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16.06.2020

NEWS: Study shows that a love of luxury watches is proof of superior virility

Consider the magnificent tail of the male peacock. The flamboyance of the plumage fanning out to display multiple colours makes it an arresting sight to behold. But not everyone has been similarly enamored. As Charles Darwin wrote in April 1860, the mere sight of a peacock, “makes me sick!”. The problem for Darwin was that the peacock’s tail made no evolutionary sense. The bird’s feathers can reach up to six-feet long and make up almost 60 per cent of its body length. Not only does the peacock’s tail therefore make him more visible to predators, it also makes him easier…

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06.06.2020

7 times you should never take a photo of your watch – Updated

Editor’s note: This one’s an oldie but a goodie by Luke that stuck in my, and many other reader’s heads. Whenever I see people at a wedding sneaking off for a wristshot, I think of it. And I’ve recently seen a couple of fresh examples that I’ve added here. So we’ll consider it a rolling list that we can update for the times.   Let’s get this straight at the outset: you should go easy on the watch shots full-stop. As normal as it might be among your watch loving pals, standing in the middle of a casino, trying to frame…

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05.06.2020

Rent a Rolex Submariner now for $299 a month – will luxury watch rentals ever take off?

“Consumers have demonstrated an appetite to shift away from traditional ownership to newer ways in which to access product.”  That was the intro of the “End of Ownership” chapter in “The State of Fashion 2019”, a detailed report by the Business of Fashion and global management consultants McKinsey. The chapter outlined one of the big trends predicted to change the way we shop. “More consumers will see a growing proportion of their wardrobes made up of pre-owned or rented products, especially for high-value items and accessories,” it said. Describing how the prices of top-end watches and jewellery have nearly doubled…

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Coronavirus shorten waiting list 04.06.2020

Will Coronavirus, and a recession, shorten that waiting list you’re still on? An economics professor and a former Swatch Group MD weigh in…

Entire nations forced under lockdown, airlines teetering on the brink of collapse, fistfights erupting over rolls of toilet paper … Coronavirus has rocked the planet and God knows what life will be like when ‘normality’ resumes. It’s unlikely to be normal as we knew it, that’s for sure. In such desperate times, it may seem crass to speculate on what COV-19 will do to the watch market. But as a website that views life through a watch-centric lens, we’re unapologetically going right there. If nothing else, a little glimmer of a silver lining may be just what you need right…

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31.05.2020

How long have YOU got left to live? The ‘death watch’ tells you and starts the countdown. Weirdly, that’s a positive thing…

Why are vampires invariably such jaded fellows? I reckon immortality has something to do with it. Sure, the wild hunger to feast on human blood must prove an inconvenient business at the best of times. And, yes, coffins make for uncomfortable beds. But I suspect the world-weary demeanour of the undead stems mainly from their immortality – a condition they preserve just as long as they avoid being skewered through the heart with a stake. By and large, death is viewed as a real bummer. It signals the end of joy, laughter, good times, not to mention any future instalments…

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27.05.2020

Mythbusting four Rolex myths, from The Great Escape, to the English Channel to British Columbia

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” That line — from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the classic western starring John Wayne and James Stewart — nails the way in which some tales become impossible to resist. Certain details might prove apocryphal. Slabs of the narrative turn out to be completely made up. But we choose to avert our eyes from these exaggerations because, well, they get in the way of a cracking yarn. What’s all this got to do with Rolex? The brand’s position as the most powerful watchmaker in the world is founded both on horological innovation…

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26.05.2020

This is the world’s most inspiring watch. It costs $150 and belongs to “the scariest Navy SEAL imaginable”

There’s a watch out there that could genuinely change your life. It could make you happier, healthier and more successful. It could help you regain a sense of control in these messed-up times and add some much-needed pep to your step. The best part? You can pick one up here for the princely sum of $150. The watch in question is a Timex Ironman T66801 and it belongs to Jocko Willink, the man that Tim Ferris famously dubbed “the scariest Navy SEAL imaginable”. Willink is certainly an intimidating customer. He’s a 104kg man-mountain with a permanently fresh buzzcut and a…

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24.05.2020

From Hemingway’s Rolex to Murakami’s vintage Heuer – the 7 best watch quotes from literature

Whether it’s the Breguet pocket watch that belongs to the dastardly Baron Danglars in The Count of Monte Cristo or the orange-dialled Doxa worn by Dirk Pitt in Clive Cussler’s novels, the literary world is full of watches. Sometimes they’re mentioned as passing details to flesh out a character’s appearance. Sometimes a character’s wristwear comes laden with semiotic depth to reveal some hidden facet of their personality. For this article, Time+Tide hastily re-read every single book ever written – OK, we skimmed a couple – to unpack our selection of horological quotes. THE QUOTE: “He could not just wear a…

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15.05.2020

From Chris Hemsworth in Extraction to American Sniper, why G-Shocks are the ultimate bad-ass watches

“The least believable part of Extraction is that at no point do any of the 183 people that Chris Hemsworth kills mention how ridiculously good looking he is…” That’s what Netflix said in a recent tweet about their new balls-to-the-wall action extravaganza that’s set to become their biggest movie ever (90 million households watched the film in the first four weeks). The pleasantly ludicrous shoot-em-up finds Hemsworth weaving through a barrage of bullets in his role as Tyler Rake, a mercenary tasked with recovering the son of an Indian drug lord. Suffice to say, he doesn’t take a softly-softly approach…

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09.05.2020

Bruce Wayne’s watches in the Dark Knight trilogy are the most pitch-perfect timepieces in cinema history. Here’s why…

From Humphrey Bogart’s wide-brimmed fedora in Casablanca to Indiana Jones’ whip in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the right prop has defined many big-screen characters. Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy of Batman films contains an object deserving similar recognition. Except you don’t notice it. The reason why is that it’s so exquisitely tuned to its owner’s personality that it’s barely perceptible as a standalone item. What I’m getting at, of course, is Bruce Wayne’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. After Joel Schumacher’s disastrous attempts at the superhero franchise (the director even publicly apologised for Batman & Robin), Nolan’s films were very different. Batman Begins…

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05.05.2020

There is a scientific reason that you ache for new watches, this is it

If you’re reading Time+Tide, then you probably already own a watch. In fact, I suspect, you’re likely to have a fair old few. There’s that slimline dress watch that nestles so comfortably beneath your shirt cuff. The rugged diver that you love in spite of the fact that you barely know how to snorkel. Perhaps you’ve got a weekend watch, too, something fun and colourful to signal to your subconscious that you’re finally off-duty. For many men (and, yes, it is usually men), that’s just the start of it. I know several guys who flatly refuse to reveal how many…

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28.04.2020

The hidden party trick that makes the Jaeger‑LeCoultre Master Control Calendar a (relatively) accessible work of art

The thing about understated magnificence is that, at first glance, it’s often overlooked. And then it happens. The “why-Miss-Jones-without-your-glasses-you’re-beautiful” moment. Suddenly noticed, the full force of its charm slaps you sharply in the face, to leave you genuflecting with slack-jawed wonder and a slightly goofy smile. This is how I feel about the just-released Jaeger‑LeCoultre Master Control Calendar. Not that there’s some drudge-to-goddess transformation going on here. The appeal of this watch is hiding in plain sight (except for one very cool once-a-month party trick, about which, more later). JLC introduced its Master Control collection in 1992, naming them after…

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28.04.2020

RECOMMENDED READING: If you own a high-value vintage watch, this story could make your day

Tragically, Covid-19 spells economic doom for many businesses. But while many industries are flat-lining or being forced into hasty reinventions, there are signs that the vintage watch industry will not just scrape through, but that some corners are in fact going from strength to strength. Cam Wolf in GQ explores how auction houses and watch dealers are currently doing record business when it comes to their vintage watch trade. Earlier this month, for example, two weeks in a row, Sothebys broke its record for most-expensive watch sold online. Wolf explores why vintage watches are booming in the face of the…

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26.04.2020

Why Rolex, Patek and others’ decision to postpone new releases might be the move that makes you fall in love with watches all over again

Like an addict itching for a fix, I recently listened to a football podcast where one of the hosts dropped a surprising confession. He admitted that, despite Covid-19 having stopped all games being played for six weeks, he wasn’t actually missing live football. Instead he’d taken the opportunity to re-watch old World Cups, enjoy classic matches from the past and pore over documentaries on some of the greatest players ever to grace the pitch. This experience, he insisted, had served to rekindle his love for the sport. In fact, he was now enjoying his football far more than when he…

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22.04.2020

The new guard of action heroes and their watches, from Hobbs & Shaw to John Wick to Triple Frontier

It’s a hard life being the watch of an action hero. For starters, you’re forced to put up with all the endless gunfights, speedboat chases and henchmen annihilation. Worse still, you’re always getting overlooked. The viewer’s eye rarely gets to appreciate the majesty of your Swiss-made dial, because it’s invariably yanked towards whatever kung-fu carnage or helicopter hijacking that your square-jawed owner is currently involved in. Yet these cinematic timepieces deserve their moment in the spotlight. That’s why we’ve decided to take a closer look at the watches on the end of the stunts. Hobbs & Shaw – Rolex and…

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13.04.2020

NOT ON MY WATCH: The one “truly strange and unnerving” detail that ruins the Cartier Tank for this writer

Remember the moral of The Emperor’s New Clothes? When something is universally praised, you become unwilling to speak out, even if something is gravely wrong on a fundamental level. That’s how I feel about the Cartier Tank. I know this is wildly sacrilegious. The Cartier Tank is, after all, one of the most iconic watches of all time, whose classic design has withstood the fluctuating whims of fashion for more than a century. Since Louis Cartier rolled it out in 1919, the Tank has graced the wrists of a veritable Who’s Who of movers and shakers. You want names? OK,…

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07.04.2020

“Knock me out and you’ll get my Rolex” – what happened when Tyson Fury fought Anthony Joshua

It’s the clash of the titans that every boxing fan wants to see: Tyson “the Gypsy King” Fury, the WBC champion, taking on Anthony Joshua, the WBA, WBO and IBF title holder. The super-fight would be a historic decider to confirm who really is the undisputed world heavyweight champ. Will it ever happen? Unfortunately, given the tawdry machinations of the boxing world, nothing is certain. But to boost the chances of “the Battle of Britain” actually taking place, Time+Tide suggests the eventual promoter sticks some wristwear on the line for the winner. That’s because Joshua recently told Sky Sports that…

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05.04.2020

Swatch or Patek, what would you wear if you were President? USA vs Australian Presidents and PMs decide…

It’s a surprisingly vexed question. You get voted into office as a Prime Minister or President, and suddenly the public’s attention turns to your wrist. Do you continue to wear the watches you’ve worked so hard to acquire? Or do you suddenly downgrade your wrist to what you were wearing when you were in short pants … Among the current international statesmen, Vladimir Putin is very much in the “If you’ve got it flaunt it” category. His astonishing watch collection stands alone. Where others prevaricate over Patek or Pulsar, Putin puts on the Ritz. Picks of the bunch would have…

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Nicolas Sarkozy 04.04.2020

“If you don’t have a Rolex by the time you reach 50, then you have clearly failed in your life.” Remembering Sarkozy, the ‘Bling-Bling’ president

In the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election, France’s leader Nicolas Sarkozy, was preparing to deliver a campaign speech in Paris. Striding through the heaving crowd in Place de la Concorde, Sarkozy grinned and shook the hands of his cheering supporters. But halfway along, a realisation flashed through his mind. Without stopping, he whipped off his watch and surreptitiously tucked it into his pocket.   The watch in question was a Patek Philippe 5140G-001 Perpetual Calendar in white gold with an opaline white dial. A gift from his wife – the former model and millionaire heiress Carla Bruni – Sarkozy’s…

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buy Patek Philippe online 30.03.2020

As of today, you can buy Patek Philippe online. Will COVID-19 force more brands into e-commerce? 

A crisis can often prove the catalyst for change. Amid the chaos, we’re forced to rethink how we do things — often with positive results. The First World War, for example, had a radical impact in redefining civil liberties, race relations and women’s rights. It’s way too early to untangle the full impact of the coronavirus on the watch industry. But there are signs the pandemic could push certain brands to reconsider their stiff resistance to e-commerce. Watch brands have always maintained a heavy reliance on selling through bricks and mortar stores. Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that third-party retailers account for…

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Hamilton PSR 28.03.2020

In these crazy times, Hamilton’s quirky sci-fi release makes perfect sense

When it comes to the dress code for our post-apocalyptic future, the Mad Max films wrote the rulebook. Essentially, what they prescribe is an “anything goes” approach involving heavy use of asymmetrical shoulder pads, harnesses, gratuitous cargo pockets and lots and lots of leather. The presumed rationale behind such get-ups is that, when you’re trying to survive in a dystopian wasteland, you wear whatever you can scavenge. But I reckon something else is going on here, too. When your circumstances become truly outlandish, the standard rules no longer apply. Forced to become more open-minded as life takes an unexpected turn,…

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watch robberies 27.03.2020

Strip clubs, the Pink Panther & Rafa Nadal – 5 of the most notorious watch robberies of the last decade

Have you ever bought a pre-owned watch? Do you know exactly where it came from? It’s worth asking yourself that question because luxury watches are wildly attractive to thieves. Not only do they command a strong resale value, but the fact that watches are small enough to slip into a pocket makes them easy to transport and move on to buyers who may have no idea of their stolen origin. As a result, it’s hardly surprising that watches are regularly targeted by crooks. As the following crimes show, there are unscrupulous people out there who’ll go to extreme and sometimes…

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Dustin Martin kennedy ambassador 16.03.2020

Is AFL star Dustin Martin’s hook-up with luxury watch chain Kennedy a case of retailers finally getting real?

Luxury brands invariably dangle a world of mahogany-panelled exclusivity. Viewed through the prism of their marketing, life is presented as a stately whirl of weekend polo, yachts and vintage convertibles. Access is restricted by a velvet rope and the relative depth of your wallet. But the chance to belong to this rarified community — the champagne always in the ice-bucket, peacocks strolling across the clipped lawn — remains an enviable prospect. Asked to pick someone who embodies this lifestyle, the AFL player Dustin Martin wouldn’t even make the draft. Sipping on a gin and juice in the Maldives, in a cabana with…

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rare custom Tudor 15.03.2020

David Beckham just wore a rare custom Tudor, we’ve tracked down three more you’ve probably not seen

David Beckham’s latest project has got off to a dodgy start. For six long years he’s worked tirelessly to establish the first Major League Soccer team in Miami. After endless wrangling over stadium sites and investment, Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami – or Inter Miami – played their first two games this month. Unfortunately, they lost both. In further bad news for the club’s part-owner, on the eve of Miami’s first-ever home game this weekend, the league has just been shut down for a month due to coronavirus. On the plus side, Beckham has already wangled a new watch out…

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tries to steal your Rolex 13.03.2020

What should you do when a knife-wielding maniac tries to steal your Rolex?

Picture the scene: it’s a dark night and you’re leaving work when suddenly a man in a balaclava accosts you, waving a 12-inch knife in your face. Give me your Rolex or I’ll “f***ing stab” you, he yells.   This was the nerve-jangling scene that confronted Mark Ewart last week as he left his business, Apple Flooring Ltd, in Basildon, Essex. On his wrist was his beloved Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller – he really didn’t want to give it up. CCTV footage showed what happened next. On a whim, Ewart snatched his watch off his wrist and hurled it onto the…

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5 Times You Should Never Take a Photo Of Your Watch 08.03.2020

5 times you should never take a photo of your watch

Let’s get this straight at the outset: you should go easy on the watch shots full-stop. Unless you’re taking a pic to share with a fellow watch lover, snapping close-ups of your shiny new wrist-wear is rarely necessary or wise. But there are scenarios where it is expressly forbidden. At a wedding It’s the happy couple’s special day! A bold leap of faith that represents the symbolic union of two people standing together until the dawn of time (or at  least until one of them gets caught banging the cleaning lady). What it’s not is a novel photographic backdrop for…

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Jean-Claude Biver 25.02.2020

Jean-Claude Biver reveals “the most beautiful watch I have ever seen”

Jean-Claude Biver is a horological superhero. The legendary watch entrepreneur brought Blancpain back to life, resuscitated Omega and turned Hublot into a super-brand for which LVMH paid almost half a billion dollars. As a result, he’s assembled a private watch collection that would do King Midas proud. Auction house Phillips understands the appeal, which is why they’ve launched a touring exhibition of Biver’s personal timepieces. After stints in Hong Kong and New York, the collection has now pitched up in London until the end of the month (details here). Speaking in a WatchAdvisor video (see below), Biver reveals some random…

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Rodger Corser 24.02.2020

Actor Rodger Corser brings Ch.9 travel show Postcards into the Time+Tide office!

Whether he’s playing a hard-partying surgeon in Doctor Doctor or a bewildered zombie in Glitch, Rodger Corser is a square-jawed fixture on Australian TV. But he’s also a serious watch guy. So when Channel 9 travel show Postcards asked him to pick his favourite Melbourne venues, we were humbled that he picked Time+Tide. “I’m part of the watch community Time+Tide Club,” he told host Shane Crawford. “I really liked the craftsmanship that goes into a watch and the fact they work for all budgets — you can have a great $500 watch or go all out with the big stuff.” Noting…

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17.02.2020

What Sealed The Deal: Ben’s Bulgari Diagono Scuba

Ben came into the Time+Tide offices to buy a NATO strap for his TAG Heuer Monaco. But the conversation quickly turned to the unusual Bulgari diver’s watch on his wrist. Here, Ben explains the backstory behind the purchase and why — despite it contradicting everything he normally likes in a watch — he absolutely loves it. Originally, this was my dad’s watch, but I think he only wore it twice in 10 years. Dad tends to like bigger pieces – he’s also got a Panerai Luminor and a TAG Heuer Link Calibre 5. With this watch, he’d always just say it was…

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Kyle Chalmers TAG Heuer 11.02.2020

“As swimmers, everything we do revolves around time” Olympic champ Kyle Chalmers teams up with TAG Heuer

The worst brand associations feel like they’ve been hatched in drunken brainstorms at the end of a very long day. There seems zero reason to attach the celebrity to the product, beyond a marketing budget that urgently needs to be spent. Thankfully, TAG Heuer’s decision to partner up with Kyle Chalmers isn’t like that at all. In fact, it seems less like a marketing decision than intuitive common sense. Think about it, for a second. You’ve got a watch called the Aquaracer, so it’s logical you buddy up with an Olympic gold-winning swimmer. And that’s exactly what TAG Heuer have…

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08.02.2020

The Enabler: How to justify buying another watch (#10. The end of the world is nigh)

The Doomsday Clock started ticking in 1947. This was the brainchild of an international group of researchers called the Chicago Atomic Scientists who’d participated in The Manhattan Project – an R&D program that resulted in the production of the first nuclear weapons. Essentially, the Doomsday Clock was designed to calculate precisely how close we are to global catastrophe. Mankind’s proximity to annihilation was simply expressed by the number of “minutes” to midnight. The people who determine the time on the clock aren’t just a bunch of wild-eyed loons. The board is made up of scientists and other boffins with deep…

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horology house fake rolex daytona 04.02.2020

What we know so far about the alleged fake Rolex scandal engulfing popular YouTuber @horologyhouse

It’s Australia’s biggest watch scandal in living memory. Hell, if anything is going to end up with a ‘-gate’ suffix in our world, it’s this. Last weekend, Rolexforums.com broke the news that Christopher Essery — the man behind @horologyhouse, a popular YouTube Channel, website and Instagram account renowned for its macro photography — is alleged to have sold a fake Rolex Daytona for $29,000. The thread has more than a quarter of a million views and, at last count, 1452 comments. Based in Perth, Essery also sells watches and accessories through his website www.horologyhouse.com. This site, along with his social media…

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Brian May Seiko 01.02.2020

Fingerpickin’ good: Queen’s Brian May teams up with Seiko to make a watch inspired by his guitar

Poodle-haired rock god Brian May is world famous as the lead guitarist in Queen who shaped their sound with his nimble-fingered picking and razor-sharp melodies. What’s less well known is that he’s also a die-hard Seiko fan. For years, May has worn one of the brand’s iconic dive watches on his wrist. He’s regularly spotted wearing the Seiko 7548-7010, a diver he picked up while first on tour in Japan back in the 1970s. Now he’s gone one better. May has collaborated with Seiko to create a watch that echoes the design of his homemade guitar that he built with…

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28.01.2020

Stunning video footage of a (fantasy) yellow gold Rolex ‘Hulk’ Submariner emerges, prompting Basel predictions

“Forecasting future events is often like searching for a black cat in an unlit room, that may not even be there,” wrote Steve Davidson in The Crystal Ball. The art of predictions, in other words, tends to be an absolute mug’s game. When you’re trying to make forecasts about Rolex – a company that shrouds its plans with MI5 levels of secrecy – it’s even more of a challenge. But these lousy odds haven’t stopped YouTuber Jenni Elle from peering into her crystal ball to predict Rolex’s new releases for Baselworld 2020. What’s more, she’s created an impressive concept video…

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25.01.2020

The end of the road – Luke’s exit watch

You’ll be familiar with the misadventures of Spinal Tap over their 1982 album, Smell The Glove. The original cover artwork is problematic. Featuring the image of “a greased, naked woman on all fours wearing a dog collar”, the cover is knocked back by retailers who flatly refuse to display such a sexist image. Without the band’s knowledge, an alternative is secretly arranged by the record company. When the heavy metal album is eventually released, it comes with a cover that is completely black. In the film, as guitarist Nigel Tufnel evaluates the new record sleeve, he utters the legendary line:…

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2019 $20K fantasy watch collection 23.01.2020

Luke’s 2019 $20K fantasy watch collection

Sometimes you’ve got to face the bitter truth. Between small children, a house needing urgent renovation and a woeful inability to pick the winning lottery numbers, I can’t spend big on a new watch for the foreseeable future. Luckily, right now the “premium economy” end of the market is stronger than ever. Here are five watches that collectively add up to $18,740 from my $20K fantasy budget. The remaining $1260? That’s getting lumped on Powerball tickets to hopefully swell next year’s coffers. DOXA SUB 200 $1590 I’ve got a hankering for a no-nonsense diving watch that I can wear to…

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20.01.2020

WATCH DISASTERS #2: This is why you shouldn’t drown your Omega in Berocca

Wear and tear often bolsters the appeal of a vintage watch. Picture a chronograph dial aged to a warm tropical hue, or a pilot’s watch overshadowed with caramel patina. Rather than signs of decay, such well-worn details are celebrated as adding character and authenticity. Like the laughter lines on an old man’s face, they’re testimony to a life well-lived. Yet there are limits … It wasn’t an expensive watch. I’d picked up my Omega Seamaster about 20 years ago in Melbourne’s Block Arcade. Hailing from the 1950s, this was a pleasantly discreet timepiece, a steel-cased dress watch with gold hands…

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best gold watches Rolex Daytona Rainbow 18.01.2020

The Enabler: How to justify buying another watch (#9. “But it’s an investment…”)

NOTE: We understand that you’ve found a new watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But rationalising this fact – coupled with the fact that it’ll cost a bucketload of cash – may not always sit well with the less horologically minded. That’s where we come in … Use The Enabler’s advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest acquisition. Sadly, it’s time for The Enabler to bow out. Over the last few weeks I’ve furnished you with a stack of irrefutable reasons to justify blowing your pay-packet on yet another watch. To testify on your horological behalf we’ve called to the…

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11.01.2020

The Enabler: How to justify buying another watch (#8. The Punctuality Excuse)

NOTE: We understand that you’ve found a new watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But rationalising this fact – coupled with the fact that it’ll cost a bucket-load of cash – may not always sit well with the less horologically minded. That’s where we come in … Use The Enabler’s advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest acquisition. Mahatma Gandhi whittled his life down to the barest possible essentials. When he died he owned fewer than 10 possessions. Captured in an iconic photo, these included his wire-rimmed spectacles, two pairs of sandals, a metal bowl and a plate. But the…

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06.01.2020

Ice, ice, baby: Ronaldo just wore the most expensive Rolex ever made

Making the right choice for your left wrist is never easy. But at least your options are generally curtailed by the size of your budget. That isn’t a problem for soccer deity Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s because the Juventus superstar is satanically rich. According to Forbes magazine, Ronaldo was soccer’s highest-earning player of the last decade, pocketing a colossal 548 million pounds ($A1.033 billion) during the 2010s. How do you tackle the stern challenge of spending all this loot? Well, Ronaldo was recently spotted at the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference wearing the Rolex GMT-Master II Ice (ref. 116769TBR), a timepiece…

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Justify Buying Another Watch 02.01.2020

The Enabler: How To Justify Buying Another Watch (#7. You Can Pretend You’re Into Mindfulness)

I once knew a glamorous magazine editor who presided over one of the big fashion monthlies. On the inside of her delicate wrist, beneath an impeccably curated collection of designer bangles, resided a small tattoo. Inked in block-capital letters was the single word: “NOW”. This tattoo was a strategically placed reminder for her to stay “in the moment”. Instead of catastrophising about the future or getting hung up on the past, this tattoo was a note-to-self that emboldened her to stay anchored in the “here and now”. Focusing on the present, she explained, was a way of staving off anxiety.…

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Watches Of 2019 28.12.2019

Luke’s 5 favourite watches of 2019

I’ve certainly had less turbulent years. In 2019, I quit a stable job, hurled myself into start-up life and lived with my in-laws for 10 months (!) before moving into a house that can euphemistically be described as “a renovator’s delight”. I changed a gazillion nappies and failed miserably to persuade my two sons — aged one and two — to sleep through the night. Over the last 12 months I’ve rarely worked so hard or slept so little. That’s probably why I was particularly drawn to vintage-inspired pieces this year. Their nostalgic designs hark back to a simpler time that, we…

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Kanye West 24.12.2019

The Enabler: How To Justify Buying Another Watch (#6. The Kanye West Contention)

Kanye West is many things: hip-hop superstar, fashion designer, maverick genius, not to mention Kim Kardashian’s other half. What he is not often recognised as is a beacon of sound common sense. It turns out there’s a very good reason for this. Yeezy’s public comments suggest a man who is not only a full-blown egomaniac  (“By 50% I am more influential than Stanley Kubrick, Apostle Paul, Picasso…”) but also slightly deranged (“I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.”) Oh dear. Nevertheless, there was a moment when the 42-year-old rapper uttered the most profound truth imaginable.…

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22.12.2019

LIST: Luke Benedictus’ 5 favourite stories of 2019

It’s that time of the year where we sift misty-eyed through the archives, getting nostalgic about the horological highlights from the past 12 months. From Instagram watch clichés to the “unholy shitstorm of hurt feelings” provoked by Audemars Piguet, this is my top five. Sandra Lane on why hype and high prices are killing it for watch collectors Decade-long waiting lists. Manufactured shortages. “Gentlemen dealers.” Steel sports watches being listed at 200 per cent of their RRP… The inimitable Sandra Lane takes aim at the money-chasing mania that is ruining things for genuine watch collectors. 5 Instagram watch cliches that…

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The Cost Per Wear Argument 13.12.2019

The Enabler: How To Justify Buying Another Watch. (#5: “The Cost Per Wear Argument”)

NOTE: We understand that you’ve found a new watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But rationalising this fact – coupled with the fact that it’ll cost a bucket-load of cash – may not always sit well with the less horologically minded. That’s where we come in … Use The Enabler’s advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest acquisition. There are times in life when you don’t want to come across as some hairy-arsed chancer. You need to bestow yourself with the veneer of credibility and moral judgement. In short, you have to present yourself as halfway convincing. How to pull…

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How To Justify Buying Another Watch. (No.4 “The Milestone Celebration”) 09.12.2019

The Enabler: How To Justify Buying Another Watch. (#4: “The Milestone Celebration”)

NOTE: We understand that you’ve found a new watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But rationalising this fact – coupled with the fact that it’ll cost a bucket-load of cash – may not always sit well with the less horologically minded. That’s where we come in … Use The Enabler’s advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest acquisition. Phony enthusiasm. Beleaguered smiles. Rank insincerity. No, we’re not discussing politicians’ attempts to pass themselves off as genuine sports fans. What I’m talking about is why receiving Christmas presents leaves me increasingly cold. To explain this “bah humbug” mindset, a week or…

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The Enabler No. 3 30.11.2019

The Enabler: How To Justify Buying Another Watch #3 … “It’s A Symbol Of Moral Resistance Against The Spiritual Decay Of Modern Life”

NOTE: We understand that you’ve found a new watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But rationalising this fact – coupled with the fact that it’ll cost a bucket-load of cash – may not always sit well with the less horologically minded. That’s where we come in … Use The Enabler’s advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest acquisition. “How have men’s attitudes changed towards their watches in the last 50 years?” This was a question I asked Walter von Känel, the veteran Longines CEO, a few years back. As a hallowed fixture at the brand since 1969, his…

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