Sean Ding

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INTRODUCING: The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph

We don't hear too much about Alpina, but the new Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph line is one of the more exciting vintage-style releases this year. This is why. Aside from having three equally appealing dial colour options, the monopusher movement and case geometry adopted by Alpina for this release is particularly noteworthy and makes for a refreshing change from the more common, round-case chronographs that dominate the scene. All three models boast wonderfully angular case profiles and lugs, the lines of which are reminiscent of a high-performance concept car (yes, I know we're talking about a pilot's chronograph, so…

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INTRODUCING: The emerald beauty of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer with green dial

Emerging from the safety of black, blue and white dial sport watches, the radiant TAG Heuer Aquaracer in emerald green marks an adventurous step forward for the line-up. Yet for a brand that is no stranger to radical innovation (Mikrotimer Flying 1000, anyone?), it's surprising that it took them this long to come out with a green dial sport watch. But no matter. The green dials have arrived, and they're here to stay. At 43 and 32mms in diameter (men's and women's versions respectively), as well as 300m of water resistance, sapphire crystal and all the other bells and whistles…

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Ming 17.06 07.09.2019

INTRODUCING: The Ming 17.06 Copper and Monolith

Reintroducing their debut 17.01 model, the Ming 17.06 Copper and Monolith boast major construction improvements over their predecessors, as well as making some subtle design tweaks. With two new models, let's first take a look at the 17.06 Copper. Offering warm earthy tones set within a polished stainless steel case, the 17.06 Copper is easily the dressier, more 'traditional' looking of the two. When it comes to the level of texture and detail within the dial pattern, the 17.06 Copper has confidently entered territory previously dominated by the likes of Grand Seiko. The combination of a mirror finish polished case…

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Zodiac Astrographic Limited Edition 02.09.2019

A watch for C-3PO – the Zodiac Astrographic Limited Edition

The recent anniversary of the moon landing saw my Instagram feed explode with Speedmaster wrist shots, and an overwhelming number of watch brands releasing special edition watches to commemorate the event. But when the new Zodiac Astrographic Limited Edition somehow beat the algorithm and made its way onto the top of my explore feed, I was immediately intrigued. While most moon-landing-anniversary watches tend to be retrospective, celebrating the glory days of space exploration, the Astrographic Limited Edition distinguishes itself for also being future-looking. The seconds hand, designed to resemble an orbiting Mars, represents an ideological shift to the next frontier…

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Citizen Promaster NY0080 24.08.2019

The Citizen Promaster NY0080-12E – scratching an itch with a spiky bezel

It's probably a bit generous to call me a 'collector', but as I continue on this journey, I'm discovering that I genuinely enjoy meaningful attempts by companies to do something different. In today's expanded universe of microbrands and industry stalwarts, it can take a lot to stand out, but it takes even more to stand out in a good way. But that's what I enjoy about the Citizen NY0080 line-up, the successor to the original NY0040 'Fugu'. To me, the Fugu line-up (in particular the black dial one that I own) is an excellent example of a watch that stands…

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Is the Bamford London GMT a knock-out?

When a name renowned for its personalisation of higher-end pieces announces an off-the-shelf offering, it tends to raise eyebrows. However, the Bamford brand has defied expectations not once, but twice, now with the Bamford London GMT. Housing the self-winding Sellita SW330-1 25, it has already been widely pointed out that the Bamford GMT case and dial configuration is strongly reminiscent of the Zenith Sub Sea from the 1960s. But fixating on the fact that Bamford made a GMT watch that looks like something that already exists is ignoring the fact that's kind of what Bamford is known for … They…

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Sorna World Timer 31.07.2019

MY 6 WEEKS WITH: The Sorna World Timer

If you want to know how hard you need to slap a chicken to cook it, the internet is almost too ready to give you an answer. On the other hand, if you google any combination and permutation of the words 'Sorna', 'World Timer' and 'watches', you'll find four to five relevant searches that are older than most high schoolers. Even Wikipedia, the all-knowing and all-seeing, doesn't seem to acknowledge the existence of this watch and brand. If that isn't the bleakest affirmation of obscurity, then I don't know what is. What follows is a distillation of all the research…

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Montblan sunrise 13.07.2019

OPINION: Why wristwatches are more relevant than ever

In 2019, the President of the United States sends foreign policy updates live to your phone. You can order takeaway from a mountaintop, and toilet seats can perform health checkups. At first, this seems to be a net positive for humanity. However, it has made it incredibly difficult to disconnect from the world around us and slow down, and in an age where my boss can remotely access and dictate my schedule from now until eternity, I take comfort in knowing that there is one place left, from which he cannot steal my time. Wristwatches speak to us from what…

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