Thor Svaboe

Posts by Thor:

13.05.2021

Why I bought a Zenith pocket watch that’s 106 years old

One of the few worldly possessions of Mahatma Gandhi was his beloved Zenith alarm pocket watch that the social visionary used to make sure he didn’t miss prayer times. Being reminded of this merely underscored the intrinsic value of my newly arrived, perfectly smooth and deeply unfashionable piece of stress relief. What happened was this: while perusing Chrono24 looking at Zenith vintage watches with the fun “lowest-price-first” filter, a century old 53mm pocket watch had me inexplicably smitten. While I love their modern Chronomaster Sport and exuberant DEFY Extreme, I was intrigued to delve into the brand’s past. A perfectly…

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mr Porter 12.05.2021

#Kixntix: A limited edition IWC Pilot’s Watch 41 from Mr Porter meets Puma’s street-tough suede

Having buttressed their online fashion offering with an impressive collection of fine watches, Mr Porter has become a real force to be reckoned with over the last decade. To celebrate their 10th birthday, they’ve collaborated with IWC on a damn tempting version of their Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, a piece that delivers superb legibility at a relatively compact size.  This 10-year Anniversary model for Mr Porter is noticeable for me as I love suede watch straps. There is something appealing about the classic pilot strap of IWC being re-imagined with the strokeability of black suede. As it turns out, the…

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10.05.2021

Watch photography made easy: How to master the pocket shot

Introduction Whether it’s flaunting your bling or showing your mates just how good that new tropic strap looks on your Seiko Turtle, there’s no denying that the modern interest in watches is massively fuelled by Instagram,  Alongside the wrist roll and the flat-lay shot, one of the most popular depictions is the apparently casual pocket shot. But while the end-result looks simple, twisting your arm with an iPhone upside down is almost impossible unless you’re a contortionist or own a camera stand.  In short, there is an art to the humble pocket shot, but armed with these simple techniques and…

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Charlie Paris Concordia Automatic 10.05.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Charlie Paris Concordia Automatic offers vintage style tested in Antarctic blizzards

Last week, you might have spotted the evocative Charlie Paris logo depicting a stork in flight during our story on the new French Wave of microbrands. Today, we turn to the brand’s heavyweight offering: the Charlie Paris Concordia Automatic diver’s watch. Available for pré-commande (come on, let’s do it the French way), it’s a fresh and beguiling mix of strong vintage cues without being a total homage. Believe me, that’s not an easy task with close to 70 years of diver’s watches to be subconsciously inspired by. Charlie Paris was founded in 2014 by Adrien Sanglé-Ferrière and Ambroise Parlos. Based…

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09.05.2021

INTRODUCING: An exclusive space odyssey with the Dial Artist x Bamford Cosmic Rainbow.

The line between watch journalist and collector sometimes blurs. My interview with Chris Alexander (@thedialartist), a creative designer with a growing sideline in watch modification, inspired me to take urgent action. Chris’ abstract art that transforms dials from G-Shocks to Speedmasters, seriously struck a chord, eventually leading to this hot drop today. While researching his successful Galaxy Casioak series, I fell in love with Chris’ deep space vibe.  I started talking to him about a commission of my own, a project that quickly spiralled into something bigger, leading to the Dial Artist x Bamford Cosmic Rainbow being launched today. Through…

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cave diving 08.05.2021

Would you rock a $100,000 rose-gold tourbillon for cave diving? Meet the man who does…

When it comes to watches, I am continuously torn between the two extremes of my personality. On one side there’s my inner OCD stress-head who agonises over every hairline scratch. But then there’s the side of me that yearns for a spot of adventure. Reconciling the two isn’t always easy. We all love to read about scratched-up Submariners with cracked, faded bezels that were regularly employed in professional diving.  But the reality is that most of us care as deeply for our watches as Zach does in his story here.  So how would you feel about cave diving in Mexico…

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05.05.2021

#Kixntix: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic is cool enough to warrant its own bespoke sneaker

Hublot didn’t disappoint at Watches & Wonders delivering everything from a blaze of diamonds, to the brightest yellow watch I have ever seen. Apart from strapping the actual sun to your wrist, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic is flash enough to make the grumpiest old codger smile. But aside from a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare, what exactly do you match it up with? Well, to celebrate this bright yellow burst of horology, consider this Time+Tide’s contribution to the world of fashion, with our in-house designed Nike Waffle One through Nike By You,…

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03.05.2021

INTRODUCING: A return to the dapper dress watch with Swiss-manufactured debut brand, Fifty Eight

OK, I admit that I can be self-contradictory. While proclaiming last week that I enjoy the thrill of breaking established dress codes with a banged-up diver’s watch under a formal shirt sleeve, what I’m secretly longing for is the chance to dress up properly, and that does include the watch. In Norway we’re still semi-locked down, still in trackies, still haven’t travelled abroad for a year.  What better mood improvement is there than wearing the right watch with the right shirt and some sharp tailoring out to dinner. When you’re getting suited and booted, you can’t go wrong with something…

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03.05.2021

Watches on integrated bracelets have a secret downside. Does Vacheron Constantin have the cure?

Grail watches come in all shapes and sizes, from that vintage Seiko chronograph to a German masterpiece from the town of Glashutte. But when it comes to current hype, one category trumps them all: the integrated bracelet sports watch. For me, the elusive Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is still one of my ultimate dream watches, but I also continue to love the concept of the “One Watch”. What do I mean by that? Well, we all have that ONE piece that’s a solid favouite, and even if the best integrated bracelets feel all silky on the wrist, many watch aficionados,…

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french wave 02.05.2021

The new French Wave: 5 small watch brands setting a high bar for independents worldwide

Paris, Haute Couture and summer on the French Riviera – France has elegance ingrained into its very soul. Wrist-worn style is something we are used to seeing from both Cartier and Chanel, while Hermès has evolved into a serious horological prospect – take their sporty H8-series this year. But for the more budget-conscious, there is a French Wave of small brands with their very own take on good mechanical wristwatches, and their own trendsetting design language. From Baltic to Serica, the French have tapped into the vintage design vein with a certain savoir faire, resulting in a sharper and perhaps…

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Grand Seiko SBGH279 30.04.2021

#Kixntix: The brushed granite-cool of the Grand Seiko SBGH279 meets a killer pair of Nike Air Jordans

Have Grand Seiko poached all the best dial artists in the world? They certainly keep enlarging their repertoire with a range that’s as vast as it is colourful. From the lithe touch of the Snowflake with its silky feel of fresh snow, to the pink tinged cherry blossom dial of the SBGA413, last year was a treasure chest of dial art from Japan. This time, we revisit the monochrome formality of the grey dialled Grand Seiko SBGH279 from our story here, proving that the Zaratsu-skilled artisans can make magic happen even with a restrained lack of colour. Surface treatment and…

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serica 5303 29.04.2021

INTRODUCING: The new Serica 5303, a time-travelling tool watch with a French twist

With the tuxedo panache of the Oscars still fresh in my memory, I appreciate brand founder Jerome Burgert describing this new Serica 5303 diver’s watch as being adept at transitioning “from the wetsuit to the three-piece suit”. In defiance of Luke Benedictus’ story on the need for slim dress watches when suiting up, I sometimes love the cheeky juxtaposition of tool and glamour. A good style contrast will make both watch and suit pop, visually, photogenically and well, psychologically. Whether it’s 007 in a tuxedo ready to go full parkour over the roof-tops of Marrakech, or a Navy SEAL operative…

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26.04.2021

HANDS-ON: A return to elegance with the Longines Silver Arrow

The new Longines Silver Arrow constitutes a comeback for the functional steel dress watch, a watch that in its heyday would simply be a sporty everyday timepiece. It presents a reassuring throwback to the quieter times of the 1950s, a time when even half a day at the office would mean dressing up in a crisp shirt, suit and tie (do you even remember them?). With one of the most evocative names in the annals of Longines, maybe the Silver Arrow is the inspiration you need to get out of that tracksuit and put on some proper attire. No matter…

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York & Front Burrard 26.04.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The York & Front Burrard is an elegant take on military vintage

Eschewing the pretence of diving or sports, the pure military inspiration behind the new York & Front Burrard is pretty close to being the perfect functional tool watch. It’s a daily wearer with a distinctive style that comes in any colour you want, as long as it’s black or white. Sized at 38mm for textbook comfort, this Canadian microbrand with a Swiss heart ticks plenty of our boxes. It’s not bad going for a brand that co-founder Henry Cong admits “started out as a bit of a joke between friends about ‘how cool would it be to make our own…

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Tudor Black Bay Chronograph 25.04.2021

#Kixntix: The toughness of the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph meets the minimalist luxury of Common Projects

The new Tudor Black Bay Chronograph for me definitely scratched an itch I was well aware of, well, two itches. While I’m always impressed by the mechanics of a chronograph complication, I prefer clean dials and the contrasts of a sharp panda. The beefy Black Bay chronograph has always been sharp in the looks department, and I do enjoy the brashness of gold and steel in their John Player Special-esque model that I had a closer look at in our video here. At Watches&Wonders however, Tudor  sharpened their vintage design pencils, and took to the podium in the sub-$10,000 chronograph…

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fake luxury 22.04.2021

RECOMMENDED READING: What drives people to buy fake luxury goods?

As the largest brands within the fashion and watch industry wage war on fake luxury knock-offs, why do consumers continue to risk legal action for the mere look of success? While often stereotyped, counterfeit buyers are not a single group, argues Glyn Atwal  an Associate Professor at Burgundy School of Business in France, in this article on Jing Daily. China has surpassed both Hong Hong and the US as the largest market for Swiss watches. But still, the temptation to fake it ‘til you make it is strong, with counterfeit products constantly being an easy click away. In his analysis…

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G-Shock GSW-H1000 22.04.2021

The Casio G-Shock smartwatch alternative is here with the G-Shock GSW-H1000

Can the Casio G-Shock GSW-H1000 cause an upset in the smartwatch market? For me, living in Norway where most of my mates are very outdoorsy (you try telling them you don’t like skiing), I’m already seeing a scary decline in mechanical watches.   Everyday at the office for many translates to a naked wrist or an Apple Watch, then a Garmin, Polar or Samsung “wearable” for that afternoon run or bike ride. In other words, a growing number of people are already open to the functionality of a smartwatch. For those who still resist, the physical inertia of working from home…

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21.04.2021

Le Temps Celeste, 3 pieces of next-level craftsmanship from the inner sanctum of Vacheron Constantin

Writing this I feel the need to put on a double-breasted suit. But even then, I suspect that I still wouldn’t feel suitably attired for an encounter with Le Temps Celeste, a trio of wrist art within Les Cabinotiers, Vacheron’s upper echelon of historical and ultra-complex timepieces. Consider these mere examples of the bespoke possibilities of Vacheron Constantin, starting with a piece unique minute repeater adorned with a tourbillon and the dark glow of sapphires.   Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart – Leo Constellation Jewellery The enigmatic connection to the stars is immediately apparent in the breathtaking complexity of this…

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Watches & Wonders 20.04.2021

Ice, ice baby: The best gem set watches from Watches & Wonders

Gems, dazzle, diamonds and pizzazz. This year we have seen a delectable tableau of precious stones within, around, and pavèd on some of the flashiest new watches shown at Watches & Wonders. And while the entire Phygital viewing experience does leave a lot to be desired, the top maisons have managed to convey the blend of haute gioallerie with horology to a greater extent then I had ever imagined. Sadly my bank manager does not agree. The perhaps most interesting fact of the mesmerising dials on this list, is that all except one are aimed straight at both sexes, the…

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19.04.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: Is the Hegid Mirage the first interchangeable case system with a Swiss movement?

Variety is the spice of life – we all love to change things up. As a result, to many enthusiasts the mere idea of the “Exit Watch” or the “one watch for all occasions” is a frankly laughable concept. How many of us finally obtain that elusive grail only to start hankering for another piece on a whole other level? To feed our fickle tastes we resort to strap swapping as any watch can change personality with a suede two-stitch or NATO. But one thing we can’t change is the case. So imagine being able to have your favourite black…

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#kixntix 18.04.2021

#Kixntix: Pairing up the dazzling Zenith DEFY 21 Spectrum with a fresh blue Nike Air drop

We’re BACK with the streetstyle-centric #kixntix, and what better way to celebrate some of the sharpest watches to come out of Watches & Wonders than with some fresh Nikes? This time I’m enamoured by the cutting-edge engineering of the new Zenith DEFY 21 Spectrum collection. Powered by the tour de force 9004 movement – the twin-escapement version of the famous El Primero – be prepared for the brilliance of a dizzying spin of the 1/100th second chronograph hand. Set within in an angular steel case of 44mm, this ain’t no shy boy. And that’s on its own. With the Spectrum…

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18.04.2021

Three shades of Casioak: Is the G-Shock GA-2100 series the “everything” watch?

During the bombardment of new pieces during Watches & Wonders, I needed to keep things simple on my wrist. That’s why I embarked on one week of living exclusively with three top models (just watches sadly) of the Casio G-Shock GA-2100 “Casioak” series. Are they brilliant, over-hyped, ironic or now just plain ubiquitous? We’ve previously published articles on the watch’s value as a great everyday sports watch, top custom combos, and modification to bring out the watch’s inner Genta.  Personally, I was intrigued to see whether the Casioak could serve as a truly multipurpose watch that’s up to all the…

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top 5 sports watches 17.04.2021

Ready, set, GO! The top 5 sports watches of Watches & Wonders

This is turning out to be a year of stark contrasts. While some manufacturers insist on microscopic adjustments to tried and trusted case sizes and materials, the flipside of the horological coin is marked by bravado. A bravado in contrasts, from flashing neon sun-yellow ceramic to the demure elegance of brushed silver. Never has our diverse taste been served with such deliciously varied dishes that offer hints of a strong recovery after a dark year.  In one of the most hotly contested categories, my thoughts on the top 5 sports watches of Watches & Wonders show this to full effect.…

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Watches & Wonders 16.04.2021

Let’s be transparent: Tinted and clear sapphire dials are a trend in 2021

Sapphire crystal, the once exclusive, high-end material replacing scratch-prone acrylic and normal glass to protect our watch dials, is now widely available,and employed in some of the best dial designs of this year’s Watches and Wonders. But how is pure sapphire crystal actually made? One of the best (succinct) answers to this comes from the website of the Finnish watch brand, Rohje: “Sapphire glass, is made synthetically and isn’t actually considered a glass but a crystal. The sapphire crystal is made in very high temperatures and it made up from crystalline aluminium oxides. These are then cut with diamond saws,…

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Bulgari Allegra 13.04.2021

INTRODUCING: Supersized gem-set bezels bring the dazzle with the Bulgari Allegra

Jewellery and watches have always been interlinked, but there is a quantum leap from a gem-set bezel to the intricate wrist-worn jewellery of Bulgari. Set deep within their Roman DNA, the pure exuberance of the Italian Dolce Vita comes alive in the Bulgari Allegra. This is dazzling joie de vivre on a strap that willfully crosses the boundaries of fashion and horology.  While there are blued feuille hands on this sparkling mother of pearl dial, here the mundane notion of time telling is but a mere distraction. As a bejewelled bouquet of precious metal, for once I fully embrace the…

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Égérie collection 13.04.2021

Vacheron Constantin delivers the dazzle of diamonds in the Égérie collection

The new Égérie collection from Vacheron Constantin presents the beguiling combination of Haute Horlogerie with Haute Couture. Merely seeing the photos makes me jealous of my wife, as this is something I surely cannot classify as unisex. But maybe for once, that’s a good thing. While citing inspiration from the world of high fashion, there is, in these two new models, a profound sense of meticulous craftsmanship. That craftsmanship comes from the ateliers of Vacheron Constantin, but in these two new models there is an intense feeling of handcrafted jewellery through the dazzle only a pavé dial can bring to…

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Open Water 12.04.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Vero Open Water is an elegant tool that offers a welcome break from vintage

Cool, icy cool. That’s what we have here, in a watch that brings to mind the German form over function we know from Sinn. With an air of indestructability, the Vero Open Water is a watch in which I can see no trace of vintage, or even the slightest trace of retro homage. And this is always refreshing especially with such a contemporary design that speaks to you from the wide black DLC 60-minute bezel to the understated style of the deep midnight blue dial. This is a proper tool with a Swiss heart, proudly assembled and regulated by this…

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11.04.2021

INTRODUCING: Same shape, different recycled materials. Panerai take sustainability to the next level…

Panerai maintains a strong focus on sustainability. This is expressed through the construction and metallurgy of their watches, right down to recycled materials for their fabric and leather straps. Their new Luminor Marina eSTEEL™ is the latest example of this valiant endeavour. Throw in Panerai’s generosity in making their own research publicly accessible and their strong contribution to worthwhile causes and there’s an awful lot to admire. But we still want to see new designs from the masters of elegant tool watches. I will start with an open letter to CEO Jean-Marc Pontroué: Dear Monsieur Pontroué, I sincerely love the…

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Tudor Black Bay Chronograph 10.04.2021

INTRODUCING: Tudor’s Black Bay Chonograph hits the sweet spot between the Speedmaster and Daytona

The new, all-steel Tudor Black Bay Chronograph seems to me like the sweet middle ground between two iconic watches.  I have a strained relationship with the Rolex Daytona – not that I can get one at retail – and feel it’s a bit too loud and well, Rolexy, even if I admire the quality. The Omega Speedmaster, on the other hand, is burdened by its own history. While I love it, I feel it’s a bit flat and floaty on the wrist and would rather have one of the bicompax-versions but they’re big and not “the Moonwatch”. Luckily, Tudor seemed…

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top 5 sports watches 09.04.2021

INTRODUCING: The new Zenith DEFY Extreme delivers three titanium-armoured sports watch contenders

Zenith threw a knockout punch only a few weeks ago with the new Chronomaster Sport, and our enthusiasm is quite apparent when reading Andrew McUtchen’s story here. It’s clear that CEO Julien Tornare and his team are on a roll and determined to continue their momentum. The new Zenith DEFY Extreme range enters the sports watch category with a confident swagger, offering high-tech tool watches in lightweight titanium. These watches are not for the wrist-shy out there, but hang on, let’s start by addressing this. I sometimes make the mistake myself of thinking larger diameters are the exceptions in 2021,…

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Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando 09.04.2021

INTRODUCING: The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando offers dark minimalism at its Japanese architectural best

We don’t have to remind you of either the importance or our enthusiasm for the genre-busting design of the thinnest sports watch available, with its ever expanding list of records and paper-thin complications.  The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando, however, is darkly different, as we see in this new chapter of the ongoing and fruitful collaboration. Tadao Ando is a Japanese star-chitect known for his clean minimalist perfection, and who better to work with Bulgari in getting back to the essence of the Finissimo. After all, the Genta-originated case is pure architecture for the wrist, with its continously surprising angles…

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08.04.2021

INTRODUCING: The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300 delivers a strong new vintage-inspired collection

The Aquaracer is many people’s first Good Watch and has become a well-loved collection from TAG Heuer. The new TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300 collection presents a strong vintage-inspired vibe including a razor-sharp limited edition that ticks all of my boxes. The Aquaracer might seem very familiar, but TAG Heuer has successfully transformed the range, with everything from a slimmer, new steel bracelet, to popping dial details and a bolder ceramic bezel design. Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Re. 844 Limited Edition Let’s smash the ball across the net first with the halo model in the range, the new case shape…

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Baume&Mercier Riviera 07.04.2021

INTRODUCING: A strong 70s revival sees the reawakening of the Baume & Mercier Riviera

Revisiting a distinct design with roots from 1973, Baume & Mercier has reinvented their Riviera range and we caught just as it was putting its gloves on and jumping into the ring to battle it out. What was it fighting for? I am, of course, talking about the legendary Integrated Bracelet Middleweight Belt and, yes, in the Baume & Mercier Riviera, we have a fit new contender. Secure in their knowledge of having a sharp design on their hands, the brand launches the Riviera on supple, tough looking rubber, steel bracelets, and in three sizes with colourful dials. I’m feeling…

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greubel forsey gmt sport 07.04.2021

The Greubel Forsey GMT Sport shows what a sports watch costing over $500k can really do

The beautifully convex shape and mind-boggling complexity of the Greubel Forsey GMT Sport is one of the most extreme examples of a sports watch you’re likely to see. While undoubtedly tough, this is a creation from the atelier that questions the very existence of the luxury sports watch genre. After all, is anyone truly likely to put a watch that costs more than $500,000 USD through its paces? Fingers crossed that they do. This watch displays a dizzying level of craftmanship in ways that are functional as well as aesthetic.   Like MB&F with their EVO model, and the previous…

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Pynchon Watches Negotium 05.04.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Pynchon Watches Negotium brings back heritage charm in a calendar watch with a difference

Many microbrands cater to our strong desire for vintage divers. This makes it increasingly frustrating if, like myself, you have a penchant for slim skin divers with a ’60s look and feel. You run the risk of eventually going broke or getting decision fatigue with such a vast choice of watches jostling for your attention. Besides, I only have one watch box, and double-wristing isn’t really my thing. That’s why there is a gap in the market for the return of classic formality, visible in many of the larger brands, but often passed on by the smaller debutants. Pynchon has…

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Smartflyer 03.04.2021

Hamilton partners with the hybrid-electric Smartflyer that aims to change the face of air travel

The future is electric, let’s face it. For me it’s inescapable, my wife’s hybrid Audi A3 is plugged in outside, and I live in a country (Norway) where the most sold new car last year was the all-electric Tesla Model 3. So yes, there’s an unstoppable shift and it will also soon be coming through the clouds near you. Hamilton may be known for their strong horological output, including many aeronautical-themed watches like the new X-Wind. But the brand is now renewing their bond with cutting-edge aviation by linking up with the Swiss company Smartflyer. This partnership makes sense for…

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Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G 02.04.2021

VIDEO: The Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G is a two-tone bruiser with winning charm

The Tudor Black Bay Chrono S&G has somewhat been left in the shadows of the oh-so-perfect-but-slightly-over-hyped 58. The original Black Bay 58 in black is actually part of my own collection, and while it does sit on my wrist with a calm, quiet confidence, I have toyed with the idea of flipping it for this two-tone big brother that comes with oodles of brash charm. Personally, I’m a sucker for a simple, balanced bi-compax chronograph, and this hits that nail square on the head. Two-tone designs are also a guilty pleasure for me, being old enough to feel a warm…

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Batavi Architect 02.04.2021

INTRODUCING: Is the Batavi Architect the sharpest microbrand take on the integrated bracelet sports watch?

Gerald Genta-inspired? Perhaps, but still very much its own style and formal elegance. The Batavi Architect is the latest upcoming release from the Dutch microbrand behind the popping fresh Kosmopoliet GMT, a colourful take on a vintage skin diver with a GMT function. This time the influence is from the laid-back cool of the 70s, in their new Batavi Architect. The shape is slim and recognisable, but sharpened up and with three rather unusual dial combinations. To put all homage discussions to rest I’ll start with the most fascinating version and, yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, that is…

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01.04.2021

Studio Underd0g makes the world’s first ever watch with a dial made from eggplant

Sustainability, veganism and organic materials may be the way forward, but they’re still a foreign language to many of the larger players in the watch industry. But microbrand Studio Underd0g is displaying a more progressive mindset after making the world’s first ever watch with a dial made from eggplant skin. Just like a bespoke wristwatch, all dials will be subtly different in look, colour and texture as no two aubergines are exactly the same. The purple dial will also gradually evolve with age as part of its wrist-worn journey of organic discovery. While we though it hard to top the…

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31.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey is a mystical titanium sculpture for your wrist

Hublot is no stranger to artistic collaborations – this is already their third one for 2021. At LVMH Watch Week, they presented another razor-sharp ceramic collaboration with Richard Orlinski, plus the diamond-studded “smiling flower” of Takashi Murakami. Now American street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his Obama “Hope” poster – has collaborated on the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey, a watch that doubles as a mandala-engraved sculpture dedicated to the cycle of life. This enigmatic piece of wrist art is based on the slender Classic Fusion range which, with a few exceptions, usually represents the more formal…

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30.03.2021

The Naked Watchmaker explains what it takes to make a movement a COSC-certified Chronometer?

Ever since our story on the inner workings of COSC here, via an in-depth article by The Naked Watchmaker, our thirst for horological knowledge remain. More specifically, what it takes to make a movement a COSC-certified Chronometer? And what is the intrinsic value of the certification?  We caught up with Peter Speake the co-founder of The Naked Watchmaker, a website with a weekly newsletter that analyses, dissects and disseminates everything from Breguet to Bulgari to satisfy your inner watchmaker. An important note from Peter Speake: There are exceptions to every rule in watchmaking, our answers are generalisations based on what…

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Orient Watch 30.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The toughest new tools from Orient Watch offer in-house credibility and superb value

Around Christmas time when I dug into the archives of Orient Watch, the lesser known sister company in the Seiko family, our story resounded with our readers in a big way. Personally, since my early days of vintage obsession, through to a brief flirtation with a Mako diver, I have nurtured a secret love for the quirky nature and superb value of Orient. Like that holiday destination you don’t want anyone else to find (it’s in the South of France, that’s all I’m telling you), I have been persuaded to share more of their horological offerings with you, and what…

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KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 Rainbow 29.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The knockout dazzle of the KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 Rainbow

Polarising did you say? Well, this is like nothing else, I’m back and forth between love and, well, indifference is not a word. Right now, I’m very much in the LOVE camp, and still trying to work out what the hell the KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 Rainbow looks like. A burnished heat shield from a re-entry heat shield fallen off a Space Shuttle? Gold plating gone chemically wrong? A petrified oil slick? I don’t care, I want it anyway. On the wrist, this is a conversation stopper like no other wristwatch (save perhaps a domed MB&F), but at a knockout…

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Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi 28.03.2021

The Pepsi challenge: 5 alternatives to the Rolex GMT-Master II at a range of prices

As we have touched on before in our story here, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref.126710 BLRO does actually live up to the hype. And while I would love to have one in my own watchbox, the two major hurdles of availability and cost can feel rather insurmountable. So how about the alternatives? Yes, there are some very good ones out there with their own takes on what is practically a separate watch genre. So let’s pop open a few different looking cans of Pepsi and have a taste of the sweet stuff with some fresh alternatives to the GMT-Master II.…

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Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton 28.03.2021

INTRODUCING: Elvis was a Sith Lord in a parallel universe and he wore the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton

First impressions: a stealth black UFO. perhaps? And then a red pulsating zig-zag that I feel like illustrating with a comic book “ZAP!”. This is my introduction to the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton. Fresh from being inspired by the vintage purity of the Intra-Matic chronograph we recently covered here, I was not expecting this dark futuristic visage from the Hamilton brand. Anyone conversant with watches past a certain age instantly equates the Hamilton Ventura with Elvis Presley. This, however is not a vintage reissue of his quirky triangular wristwatch from 1957 that was the first-ever battery-powered watch. Pretty damn far…

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27.03.2021

5 of the best watches with quick-change strap systems including Vacheron, Omega and Apple

“My name is Thor, and I am a strapaholic.” It’s only a matter of time before I get pulled into some kind of intervention with friends, family and a psychiatrist. I’m surely not the only watch lover who likes to swap my watch straps on a regular basis. But many brands seem to be stuck in the strap-tech stone-age and still rely on the fiddly spring bar that hardly offers a user-friendly way to change straps.  What if we coul just click’em all off and on at our leisure, changing a strap to match up that outfit in 10 seconds…

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Fears Brunswick Pt 26.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The Fears Brunswick Pt. combines platinum and diamonds with British understatement

Fears Watch Company is a big part of the renaissance of British watchmaking and yet another sign of the new roaring 20s as UK horology continues to regain its momentum. The most important model in the Fears catalogue is the Brunswick and I had the impression that it peaked with the beguiling vertical striations on the salmon-coloured reference we covered here. Today they turn their hand-crafted dial up to 11 with the Fears Brunswick Pt. I admit to this now being on my own wish-list, as I do have a tendency to wave the flag for the spirit and determination…

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TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer o2T 26.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer o2T gets a dark blue makeover to allow its flying tourbillon to shine

I’ll bet many people weren’t even aware of the name o2T, and that’s a big credit to TAG Heuer. It takes guts to downplay the micro-wonders of the mythical tourbillon, swirling slowly inside its cage at 6 o’clock. While we daily see references with less dazzle but 10 words to their model designation, here it’s simply the Heuer 02 calibre we know, with a very quietly spoken T, in the revamped TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer o2T. This understatement is in direct contrast to the clean-cut opening at the base of the dial, a small haute horologerie marvel peeking out at…

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The Wing 25.03.2021

Bremont brings large scale watch production back to the UK with the opening of The Wing

Bremont has long been considered Britain’s largest watch brand. Now the founders, Giles and Nick English, are looking to build on that success after opening the doors this week to their much anticipated manufacturing and technology centre, The Wing. With the Bremont Manufacturing and Technology Centre (AKA The Wing), Bremont are looking set to stretch their lead, after their 19-year quest to increase vertical production on what is already a strong range of hardy tool watches. Through the shots of photographer Alan Schaller we get the first glimpses of what is a 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility at the edge…

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Zenith DEFY 21 Ultrablue 23.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The Zenith DEFY 21 Ultrablue adds a touch of indigo to a high-tech tour de force

Only two weeks ago we introduced you to the firework display of bedazzling colours in the DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone, which hypnotised us with small, fresh flashes of the rainbow. This time, Zenith shows us how the angular tool presence of the DEFY series projects an image of quiet elegance, in the Zenith DEFY 21 Ultrablue.  As the more formal and less outrè brother of the Ultraviolet of 2020, the new Ultrablue is no less of a wrist presence. This time, the dark, matte sandblasted titanium case is matched to the comfortable signature DEFY rubber strap with an indigo blue…

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The Bremont Jaguar E-Type 60th Anniversary Chronograph 23.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The Bremont Jaguar E-Type 60th Anniversary Chronograph.

Finally, after a five-year hiatus, my inner petrolhead is awakened from its slumber, and by a watch! I will not bore you with my younger days of owning British sports cars from the Triumph GT6 to a Lotus Elan to a lovely series 1 Jaguar XJ6 from 1970 with dark blue leather seats. But one glance at the Bremont Jaguar E-Type 60th Anniversary Chronograph and I’m getting a delicious sense of deja-vu. I can almost smell the petrol and Connolly leather. I’ve got both family and past in the UK, so I do feel a little bit less objective than…

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22.03.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Tsao Baltimore Legacy delivers a host of vivid dials with proud American roots.

I’ve had quite a few microbrands in my personal watchbox. In fact, my first new mechanical watch after a waning vintage obsession was a microbrand. Due to the smaller nature of these businesses, one of the main attractions of buying these watches is the possibility of interacting with the brand owner during the retail process and even developing a relationship of sorts.  In addition, there is something cool about the ability of these plucky small manufacturers, many of which are run by one person, to go out alone and stand up to the greats. Alan Tsao of Tsao Baltimore is…

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19.03.2021

The best olive green dials featuring Patek Philippe, Hublot, Rolex and more (Pt II)

Writing this story has proved to me the growing popularity of olive-green dials. What was meant to be a snappy round-up, quickly snowballed into a two-parter simply because there were far too many great options that we couldn’t bear to leave out. Perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising, either. Olive green, after all, is a colour that’s particularly well-suited for watch dials being at once distinctive but highly wearable, too. Check out the pieces in this second installment as we consider some green-eyed beauties from Patek Philipp, Hublot, TAG Heuer, IWC and Rolex. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G The Grail Grenade –…

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18.03.2021

Olive you so much! The best olive-green watch dials including Seiko, Oris and Longines (Pt 1)

Green is the new blue, someone told us last year and, with the benefit of hindsight, this might well be the case. The evidence from 2020 and the early months of this year was saturated with gorgeous greens from lime flash to mossy dark elegance. Amid this sea of green, one of my favourite shades is the downplayed formality of olive tones. This is a distinct sub trend that started two or three years ago and anchors the bold notion of colour with a subdued panache. This particular segment of the green spectrum with its darker, more subtle nuances and…

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DOXA 18.03.2021

HANDS ON: The DOXA Sub 300 Carbon range delivers 6 eye-popping dials in future-proof carbon fibre

The DOXA Sub 300 is a strong diver’s watch with vintage leanings. But the Sub 300 Aqualung US Divers Limited Edition in carbon fibre offers a completely different proposition. Essentially, it refashions the piece with a modern edge – the sharp and moody presence of the industrial carbon fibre turning up the emphasis on the Sub 300 as a pure tool watch, while at the same time highlighting the vivid dial.  DOXA is now pairing all six references in the Sub 300 range with the inviting tactility of that new carbon fibre case.  Don’t be fooled, however, by the bright…

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18.03.2021

The 10 most popular microbrands on Time+Tide from Dan Henry to Kurono

Our weekly Micro Mondays feature has become a big success since its inception last year. The featured pieces often appeal because of their more accessible approach to watchmaking with a delightful blend of superb value and quirky designs that just wouldn’t happen in a listed company with a large design department. Purely on the basis of online traffic, these are the 10 most popular microbrands on Time+Tide from last year – a mix of new offerings and others that are fast evolving from fledgling independents into larger scale productions. 10. Kurono Japanese watchmaking artisan Hajime Asaoka makes stunning bespoke watches.…

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DOXA SUB 300 carbon 16.03.2021

VIDEO: Bright candy dials meet carbon fibre in the new DOXA SUB 300 Carbon range

Thanks to the vintage looks of its steel case, the DOXA SUB 300 is a cult diver’s watch. But ever since the SUB 300 Aqualung US Divers in carbon fibre came out, its dark presence has haunted the dreams of DOXA fans (in a good way).  Sleek and moody, the DOXA SUB 300 Carbon turns up the emphasis on the SUB 300 as a pure diver’s tool, while at the same time underlining the blisteringly fresh dials.  If, like me, you fancy the stealthy embrace of carbon fibre, this is very much your ticket. I do warn you though, you will…

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16.03.2021

RECOMMEND READING: The insane craftsmanship in the Bulgari Octo Finissimo revealed by The Naked Watchmaker

It’s no secret we are rather enamoured with the Bulgari Octo Finissimo and calling it a micro-technological marvel of the new century would not be overselling it. Following our article on Bulgari’s latest chapter of one-upmanship – where they managed to somehow engineer a tourbillon to fit the already infinitessimally optimised space inside the angular case – we are still none the wiser as to how they did it. Surely you too have wondered just what hides within the paper thin layers of cogs, bridges and small colourful pops of jewels in their caliber BV318. Rarely have we spent so…

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15.03.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: Studio Underd0g are smashing Kickstarter with a fresh sense of humour. We talk to their founder about making watches fun again

Studio Underd0g have a refreshingly playful approach to watchmaking. As the British microbrand explain on their website. “When the biggest news in the watch-world for 2020 is that a certain brand (that shall not be named) had increased their case size by an unfathomable 1mm it got us thinking… Why… so… serious…? Don’t worry, we don’t plan on taking them head on just yet, but we are here to inject a bit of silliness into what can be a very un-silly industry.” This is a very welcome perspective and plays out in Studio Underd0g’s cheerfully irreverent debut collection that consists…

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14.03.2021

Recommended Reading: Dufour and Journe are basically the Patek and Rolex of the Indies, and they are on a tear

The tide seems to be shifting in the auction world towards scarcity and craftsmanship, rather than scratched-up provenance and movie-star affiliations. We could see results of this theory already in our story on the latest Antiquorum auction here. In Monaco, the auction darlings of the last five years, steel sports Rolex, did OK, whereas the rarity value of a few references from F.P Journe smashed through the proverbial glass roof of the reserves. Are Philippe Dufour and F.P Journe the new auction stars and have steel sports watches peaked? In this article on industry insider Watchpro, Simon de Burton argues…

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12.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The first Seiko we’ve seen on a bund strap – the Limited Edition SJE085 Alpinist is a killer version of their first sports watch

When Seiko launched their new, vintage-inspired sub range of the Alpinist, we shared the three standard models in our story here, but we’ve kept the star under wraps. Here’s the fourth smaller sibling, the limited edition SJE085 Alpinist 1959 recreation, vintage purity on a surprising bund strap. While it might look like mere tweaks to the design of the bright trio covered in our previous story,  the SJE085 is, in fact, much more than mere hand-stitched leather cuff-ery. While the look is the same, the case and lugs are only for this Limited Edition, with a 36.6mm diameter versus 38mm…

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10.03.2021

INTRODUCING: This minty-fresh foursome celebrates the Seiko 140th Anniversary from a tough Seiko 5 to the technical tour de force of Astron.

It’s 140 years since Seiko founder Kintaro Hattori established his first watchmaking shop in Tokyo. To mark this occasion, the Seiko designers must’ve had a craving for menthol judging by the icy cool aesthetics of the Seiko 140th Anniversary collection. Seiko 5 Sports 140th Anniversary Limited Edition SRPG47K1 Let’s kick off with the most accessible piece, a sharp Seiko 5 Sports. I sincerely feel that we now can count the 5 as the proper heir  to the SKX throne with a bewildering array of colourful editions available (like the ones covered in our story here or this mad batch of…

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09.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The Zenith DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone is a psychedelic conversation starter

Zenith threw a knockout punch only a few weeks ago with the new Chronomaster Sport. But CEO Julien Tornare and his team are clearly on a roll. The DEFY 21 continues the brand’s momentum with this unexpectedly colourful collaboration with a contemporary artist. The Zenith DEFY 21 Felipe Pantone finds their high-tech tool watch inhabiting a dark ceramic suit enlivened by a a laser light-show of colours. In the process, Zenith have again set new standards of material treatment in a textbook example of how to catch the attention of even the most blasé watch enthusiast. It’s great to see…

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09.03.2021

The Dial Artist is the man behind the customised CasiOak Galaxy – the hottest G-Shock on the planet

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the G-Shock CasiOoak and have become particularly intrigued by the modified versions. The CasiOak has quickly become the darling of everyone from first watch-wearing millennials to experienced collectors. Then it dropped. The Casioak Galaxy was a collaboration between IFL Watches and The Dial Artist (Kit Alexander) as part of a range of customised CasiOaks.  The hyper-colourful Galaxy went viral like a Supreme mega-drop and became a huge hit on social media, selling out fast. Like a cheeky nod to the precious stones on a rainbow bezel Rolex, it hit the zeitgeist right…

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08.03.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: Furlan Marri deliver retro chronographs at a great price in their assured debut collection

The 1940s were peak years for twin register chronographs with some notable greats from Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Lemania.  As the functional sports watches of that era, the typical twin register layout was balanced with a delicate design language and an often whimsical art-deco flourish to the graphics. In 2021, their intricate detail and compact 34-35mm cases make them perfect dress watches. But the combination of their high value and frail mechanical movements means they often languish in display cases and safes rather than getting the daily wear they deserve. Admittedly, there is much to be said for  staring…

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07.03.2021

INTRODUCING: The new Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation

Neo-vintage? Vintage-inspired?  Take your pick with this new interpretation of the Alpinist. Personally, I love it, I’m still happily surfing on the vintage wave – somewhat more like a tsunami at times, and haven’t had my fill of nostalgia yet. Seiko gave us what we wanted in 2020, but there’s no stopping them in this 140th anniversary year. After releasing a fresh new take on the Alpinist last autumn, here is a brand new vision for the series in the Seiko Prospex 1959 Modern Re-Interpretation, a strong trio of references that reimagine what many cite as Seiko’s first sports watch…

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03.03.2021

The 5 most baller watches from our NOW buying guide including Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Louis Vuitton

According to the Urban Dictionary, the definition of a baller is: “A person that makes shit happen. Without additional context, ‘baller’ typically is assumed to imply demonstrated ability in generating prodigious amounts of cash money, and/or a proficiency with creating frequent and mind-blowing sexual opportunities (note the non-gender specific reference, implying that ballers can be men or women, gay or straight — it is a matter of perspective).” If this be you, finding your wrist-match in our NOW magazine is a joyful experience, as even the smallest picture of any of these sparkly wrist-jewels will induce a Cheshire Cat grin.…

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Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 02.03.2021

VIDEO: The Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 is the unsung hero in the Professional series

Each of the models in the Rolex Professional series is a tool watch made for a man on a mission. While the Submariner and Sea-Dweller are diving watches, the Rolex Explorer II was originally built in 1971 for speleologists or cave explorers who required a sturdy, functional and highly legible watch while working in almost total darkness.  Fortunately, it’s proven to be sufficiently versatile for other pursuits.  The Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 is the model’s most recent incarnation and, if you know Rolex by their divers, you’ll be surprised by its no-nonsense toughness, instrument-like dial, and crisp black and…

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Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 28.02.2021

HANDS ON: Is the Rolex Explorer II enough of a value proposition to be the Crown’s ultimate tool watch?

You’ll notice I wrote “tool watch” in the headline and will undoubtedly be challenged on this on two counts, so I’ll address them before the temperature rises. Because the Rolex Professional range does indeed consist of archetypal tool watches, no matter their value and luxurious status. We all know the other two greats, but both the Submariner and Sea-Dweller’s impressive tool-stats are often forgotten due to the brand’s high-end standing. The fact that they also fit very well under a suit jacket doesn’t help, but they are still rugged tool watches at heart, believe me. The Explorer II on the…

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H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph 27.02.2021

VIDEO: The H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph refuses to play by the rules

Just when we had finally sussed out the design language of Moser they have another ace up their sleeve and it seems to be a very big sleeve indeed. The H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph still feels new, even after being out for almost a year and, with its timeless vibe, I suspect that’ll still be the case after many years, especially with this new and alluring dial. While the holy trinity of legacy brands tweak their tried and tested icons by a millimetre or two, that safe path is not for Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser. This…

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26.02.2021

INTRODUCING: A duo of disruptors mount up in the King Nerd x G-Shock GM-6900GKING-9ER

Johnny Dowell, a.k.a King Nerd – who was one of our Londoners featured recently in a series by European Editor Mike Christensen – is a watch customizer with a very sharp point of difference. He is an engraver, and applies his craft to watches, among other things – it’s a world of traditional craftsmanship you wouldn’t necessarily associate with street cool wristwear. Today I’m knocked out by his flamboyant collaboration with on-the-march G-Shock in the King Nerd x G-Shock GM-6900GKING-9ER. In this gold version of their tough GM-6900, the IP-plated case and über-cool King Nerd designed patterned strap turn our perceptions…

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25.02.2021

RECOMMENDED READING: Why Patek Philippe’s decision to kill their most popular product is a business masterstroke

Many of us, myself included, have the 5711 steel Nautilus cemented onto our watch grail wish-list. Now, the infamous eight year waiting-list you’d have to endure after ordering one is no more. Patek Philippe’s top selling reference is being discontinued, and many a collector on an exclusive AD list will return to square one, with the prices of pre-owned pieces skyrocketing (as covered in our recent story here). At first glance, the decision to abandon the 43-year-old Nautilus 5711 looks seriously counterintuitive, But as Entrepreneur.com explains in this story, the move makes sense if you look at it through the…

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22.02.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Ark from Jacob Veil might be the best value integrated bracelet watch around

Let’s not beat around the bush, I can see it too. The Gerald Genta influence is strong here, but in a somewhat butcher presence than other arboreally named references and porthole-alike wristwear. So before you start throwing punches, yes, certain design cues are notable in The Ark from Jacob Veil. But maybe those cues have become popular for a reason so we shouldn’t be too sensitive. Is it a homage? I’d say no, in the same way as the Bell&Ross BR05, once decried and dissected, is now a big success for the very same reasons. The Ark from Jacob Veil…

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H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red 22.02.2021

HANDS ON: The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red presents a dial that’ll make you weep

The H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red ticks all my own personal boxes in a big way. The fact that I am a dial man who loves a coloured face and has a marked preference for three-hand watches makes it seem perfect on paper. Fortunately, it’s even better in the metal. First impressions Let’s face it: three hands are the bare necessities that provide all that we genuinely need. I know I keep harping on about a simple mechanical watch being zen-inducing, but I genuinely feel it holding a delightful piece like this in my hand.…

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20.02.2021

This is why Norifumi Seki looks set to become the Next Big Thing in watchmaking

Last week it happened again. I was standing in line at a coffee shop and, of the seven people queuing, I was the only one wearing a proper watch. There were four naked wrists, one Garmin and one Apple Watch constantly buzzing and flashing. Now if we have any chance of turning this sad situation around we desperately need an injection of youth into the watchmaking industry. Is Norifumi Seki the answer? Yes, that’s serious pressure laying the entire future of the watchmaking industry on just one man. But hear me out. How many independent Japanese watchmakers do you know?…

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19.02.2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Reverso book, 90 years of a timeless Art Deco masterpiece, ready for your coffee table

Rectangles, what do they mean? According to whiteriverdesign.com, these shapes represent stability. In fact, the rectangle is the most commonly used area shape in logo design. The reason for its popularity, apparently, is that it is a trusted familiar shape that represents honesty, solidity and stability. As squares and rectangles have straight lines and right angles they have a very mathematical, balanced feel. These shapes scream rationality, practicality and conformity. Rectangles are neither flashy nor attention-seeking – some may even venture they are boring – but clever designers will twist or turn them to add interest to a design. Enter…

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H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red 18.02.2021

VIDEO: You’ll get lost in the spellbinding dial of the H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red

H.Moser have become central to the revival of deep fumé or degradè dial finishing. Their deep colours captivate your attention like no flat black dial ever could. In this video we check out the the H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Swiss Mad Red, which certainly lives up to its colourful name. This luscious cherry cocktail offers a tasty take on the everyday sports watch. We know Moser watches from ironic haute horlogerie with their Swiss Alp series and some of last year’s most hypnotising dials with their unexpected collaboration with MB&F. But can they really do everyday? The…

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18.02.2021

6 rules on how to attend a watch get-together without making everyone hate you

A watch get-together (GTG) enables like-minded enthusiasts to catch up and gawp at each other’s beloved pieces. This might be your rare chance to try on some beardy guy’s vintage Daytona, admire the enamel dial of a Breguet up close, or merely add your trusty Doxa to a #sexpile that’s worth north of $1.5 million. Yet if you want to be invited back to one of these special events, there are some ground rules we need to address – many of which I have witnessed to my chagrin. So join us in crossing fingers that 2021 delivers many a GTG,…

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17.02.2021

RECOMMENDED READING: Did Seiko quietly kickstart the massive heritage trend 21 years ago?

Now I wholeheartedly confess to being a die-hard Seiko fan with two of the dearest favourites in my watch box being my inky black delight – Grand Seiko SBGR053 – and my limited edition Baby Marinemaster. The latter one is pertinent to this article as one of the many “inspired by” 62MAS heritage reissues from Seiko over the last three years that we’ve been lapping up like we actually need wristworn timetelling in 2021. But recently we (well, all credit to our deputy ed. Nick Kenyon) found an article on Worn and Wound from 2017, that we recommend you check…

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16.02.2021

Patek Philippe sales in 2020 down by 20% is not any kind of big deal

Yessir, the cone of silence surrounding the manufacture of Patek Philippe has lifted twice in a week. The brand are surfing atop of a media wave of their own making. Only last week we reported first on the discontinuation of the already near-impossible to get Nautilus ref. 5711, and in our story here we shared the discreet and wild speculation surrounding a possible 6711 replacement.  Now Watchpro reports Patek Philippe sales slumped by 20% in 2020. “2020 was not our best year, but it was okay,” is the leading quote of the story. This is hardly surprising, and probably a better…

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15.02.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: Was the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT the freshest microbrand travel watch of 2020?

No, not another GMT?! Well, what if we tell you that this is a 39mm piece of vintage-inspired perfection with a goldilocks-sized 38mm case and a slightly wider bezel. And that its colours are as F.R.E.S.H as only the French can make them. If you know Baltic already, you might say that this is a natural move. But Etienne Malec and his design team have still managed to surprise us with the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT. Here we have no less than three sapphire-bezelled pops of zesty wrist goodness that trigger a mix of exaltation and deep sadness in equal measure.…

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14.02.2021

Boxer Amir Khan’s son gets £30,000 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona as a first birthday present

Some champions refuse to wear their hard-earned Rolex through staunch working-class pride – like MMA fighter Michael Bisping in our story here. But British boxer Amir Khan is a man of style and hardly shy of wrist. And why not start the “taking care of it for the next generation” sentiment literally by getting your one-year-old son not only one of the best sports chronographs on the market, but a damn good investment to boot, in the form of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. On point indeed! And judging by the Instagram shot at his account @amirkingkhan, this is none other…

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Farer Field Watch Collection 12.02.2021

HANDS-ON: The Farer Lomond shakes up the field watch with perky blasts of colour

With its catalogue of very British watches, Farer has quickly developed a solid following among enthusiasts. Yet they were only established in 2015, when they made a proper mark on the microbrand scene with their colourful Universal series. The brand is now endeavouring to shake up the field watch, a category that tends to be tough, monochrome and often rather one-dimensional. The result is the Farer Lomond, a watch that’s sartorially fresh, perfectly sized and comes with a surprising package for all the strap-a-holics out there. With clear British heritage and a Swiss heart, the Lomond is a solid everyday…

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09.02.2021

The crazy tale of the pimp, the ransom and the lost F.P Journe watch worth $100,000

Talk about a conversation piece. The loss and eventual return, against all odds, of a F.P Journe Centigraphe S, now worth $100,000 USD, was a tale that made my jaw drop. Particularly given it involved a pimp, a ransom and a desperate chase to be reunited with this watch of a lifetime. The man at the centre of this wild story was my good friend Leonardo, aka @watchleo, a Boston collector who first shared this story through his private Instagram account. Below, Leonardo gives Time+Tide the whole story. The tale unfolds “Two years ago, one fateful summer day, I was…

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08.02.2021

5 of the best new black watches, with lume tricks and colour pips

Whether you are Darth Vader’s distant cousin or just enjoy the stealthy look of a ninja assassin, let us tempt you to the dark side. NOW, Time+Tide’s Watch Buying Guide, reviewed almost 200 of the best new releases from the last 12 months and among them were some real black beauties. From lume-infested diving watches to a flying tourbillon from Louis Vuitton that’ll inspire you to blow your budget (or possibly sell your house), the only real question is what’s your preferred shade of black when it comes to your wrist? Zenith DEFY El Primero 21 Carl Cox Edition The…

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08.02.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: The Sirrush Corbetti delivers Scandinavian flair in a classic chronograph enlivened with fresh pops of colour

The vintage vibe already seems strong this year as we clearly see in new releases from Big Box brands and microbrands alike. So what’s happened to the modern, rugged sports chronograph, a staple of any decent watch collection? Well, have a look at the Sirrush Corbetti. Here’s a microbrand debut that just might possess that tool toughness you’re looking for in a solid everyday sports watch with popping fresh details and a Swiss movement. We do love a good sports chronograph and, yes, some of us do actually use them for timing – even if Powerpoint presentations and boiling eggs…

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07.02.2021

Is your life complicated enough? These are the best value watch complications that deliver serious bang for your buck

Yes, maybe you use your watch mostly to tell the time. But how about the joys of using a good old chronograph to time your bike ride to the shops. Or flying into another time zone with a GMT on your wrist (it will happen again one day). Let’s tempt you with the best value watch complications taken from our NOW magazine watch buying guide.  After all, time-only watches are all well and good, but sometimes a bit of extra functionality doesn’t hurt. Dan Henry 1937 Dress Chrono Dan Henry is possibly the world’s most generous watch collector, sharing his…

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TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph 06.02.2021

HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph says it’s time to re-awaken your inner petrol head

Surely this is a marriage made in motorsport heaven? Your inner petrolhead might be increasingly dormant at a time where there’s an increasing emphasis on soulless electric cars and less of the freedom and speed that motor racing traditionally symbolises. If so, consider this watch your re-awakening. To paraphrase TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer and Porsche share an attitude with both brands in constant pursuit of high performance.  Certainly the connection between TAG Heuer and the German masters of speed, is a strong one – just think of Steve McQueen wearing a Heuer Monaco while racing a Porsche…

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The olive-green Farer Exmoor field watch feels like wrist-bound British tailoring with a sexy twist 05.02.2021

HANDS-ON: The olive-green Farer Exmoor field watch feels like wrist-bound British tailoring with a sexy twist

Sharp design mixed with a distinct British aesthetic is a winning combination that has earned Farer a solid following among knowing enthusiasts. The brand was established back in 2015 when they made a proper mark on the microbrand scene with their colourful Universal series. Now they’re back with the Farer Exmoor field watch with its crisp olive-green design that’s a breath of fresh air in a category of mostly monochrome tool watches. Farer has built a reputation as a small brand with an emphasis on vintage inspiration, often slim of design with fresh colours and bags of personality to spice…

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04.02.2021

VIDEO: The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph is a marriage made in motorsports heaven

To paraphrase TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault, Porsche and TAG Heuer share an attitude: both brands are in constant pursuit of high performance. TAG Heuer sees this alliance as a natural step after decades of friendship that we can visibly trace. All petrolheads appreciate the connection TAG has with motorsports, all the way back to Steve McQueen wearing a Heuer Monaco while racing a Porsche 917 in the film LeMans with a flat 12 engine wailing behind his back. As you will see in our video, the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph embodies this high-octane spirit and passion for speed.…

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04.02.2021

Rolex, Patek, Tudor and TAG plus 34 other brands to show at Watches and Wonders in April

I will be perfectly honest, ever since starting to write about watches, my sincere wish has been to meet up with the Time+Tide team at Basel, SIHH or even some far-flung Far Eastern destination. But then, KER-CLUNK! It was as if a giant hand pulled down a large POWER OFF handle, the lights dimmed and it all went eerily quiet. COVID-19 signalled the temporary end of watch fairs. Yet thanks to the determination of Jean-Christophe Babin at Bulgari and various other horological powerhouses that pulled together Geneva Watch Days, things didn’t end as glumly as they might have. The GWD…

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Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph 03.02.2021

VIDEO: The Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph is set to be one of the boldest sports watches of 2020

The term “luxury sports watch” is often an overused clichè.  But the Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph leaves you in no doubt of its intentions. A bold case combined with serious swagger and eye-popping green accents makes it a bright spark of contemporary design in a world of homage watches. Shy it ain’t. This watch is neither small nor particularly quiet, but maybe it’s exactly what we need? Not everyone wants a softly spoken 38mm skindiver, and this is nothing of the sort. The first time I lay my hands on it I notice that in this rather…

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Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph 01.02.2021

HANDS-ON: The Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph brings green lasers to a gun fight

The expression “luxury sports watch” is often hideously misused and exaggerated. But here the Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph leaves you in no doubt. Serious swagger and hyper-fresh pops of green are the order of the day to bring a bright spark of sharp contemporary design into a world of vintage homage. First Impressions Well, what can I say, this watch is neither small nor demure, and that’s exactly what we need – not everyone wants a quietly spoken 38mm skindiver, and this is nothing of the sort. The first time I lay my hands on it I’m…

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31.01.2021

Ox-fresh: Celebrate Chinese New Year with wristworn art from Blancpain to Swatch

The Swiss maisons are at it again, bringing their entire arsenal of craftsmanship to celebrate the Chinese New Year. As we all know, the Chinese market is huge and a great reason for watch brands to bring out the big guns. By big guns, however, we really mean the opposite here, as tiny instruments and loupes are dusted off to bring artisanal handmade details to the forefront and start off 2021 with an artful bang. Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Spirit of Shi Chen Lustrous gold meets inky black framed in the classic L.U.C case from Chopard that offers a perfect…

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30.01.2021

INTRODUCING: If Darth Vader wore a watch it’d be this Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon

One of my favourite traits of the Octo catalogue from Bulgari is its matte, smooth and very quiet elegance. While the endlessly creative Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Bulgari’s chief watch designer, continually sets the bar ever higher, it’s mostly done without the flash and bang of complications. But this week we saw the debut of the Bulgari Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon. While Bulgari has created some more demonstrative pieces – like the sinous dynamic of the Serpenti series – the brand’s emphasis is generally on the understated style and fascinating angular design of the unique Octo case. On the back of…

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Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces 28.01.2021

AUCTION NEWS: This Vacheron Constantin sold for just 40 per cent of its $3 million prediction. Is 2021 off to a catastrophically slow start?

I did choose to be very optimistic in my story last week about the astounding Vacheron Constantin Tour de L’Ile reaching a cool record $3 million to kick off a healthy 2021. The estimate was set at Antiquorum’s Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces in Monaco to a spread of $1.8 – $3 million. But the watch didn’t make it – far from it, in fact – ending up selling for a paltry $1.2 million plus buyer’s premium. This begs the questions: are we merely looking at early signs of a fickle market in this astronomical price range? Or does this suggest…

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Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Magic Gold 26.01.2021

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Magic Gold weaves a golden web to trap you in a world of micro-mechanical wonder

Blown away by the first picture in the press release. Where to start? I’ll be honest with you, while we want to share the news from the LVMH Watch Week as soon as it comes out, it does create the luxury of frustration, very apparent in this story on the Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Magic Gold. My frustration is one of knowing I could easily write 2000 words on this indecipherable world of the hand-wound Calibre HUB9011 watch movement and still not fully comprehend its head-scratching complexity. But that is exactly what makes the MP-11 series so special and still…

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26.01.2021

INTRODUCING: With this razor-sharp trio, Hublot once again move the goalposts with the Big Bang Integral Ceramic

FINALLY! We cried in 2020 as Hublot unleashed their Integral series. With one fell swoop, the Masters of Bold brushed competition aside in the wristwatch MMA series of the Integrated Bracelet Battle For Supremacy. Ingeniously retaining the sharp design language of the Big Bang collection, now close to a contemporary classic, we got the chunkiest, edgiest bracelet on the market that’s (crucially) still very comfortable. With our integrated bracelet appetites supposedly sated with titanium, King Gold and black ceramic, today launched no less than three new colours, making the Hublot Big Bang Integral Ceramic a high-tech materiality showcase for Hublot.…

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26.01.2021

INTRODUCING: The juiced up Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire adds another shade to the wristflex rainbow

Hublot is no stranger to coloured sapphire cases, but never have we seen this delicious colour in any wrist-worn wonder, from Hublot or anyone else. ..Well, who else would be up for this flavour of Vitamin See that will have everybody eyeballing your wrist? As the boldest, brightest spark of colour in the LVMH Watch Week press conference this morning, it literally caused me to jump a measurable few inches from my chair. Like a blood orange blood infusion of Haute Horologie, the (deep breath) Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Orange Sapphire has a name as long as its impact…

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24.01.2021

Recommended Reading: Will yet another auction record be broken this weekend? The world’s most complicated wristwatch is up for grabs…

This might be exactly what we need to start 2021 with a BANG, and signal what we all hope is a strong year of growth for both the watch industry and consumer market in general. Auction results are a very important marker of the market temperature, and as WatchPro reminded us, this weekend sees the auction of the thoroughly mind-bending form of the Vacheron Constantin Tour de L’Ile, a vastly complex and equally dazzling micro-engineered piece of horological art. Everything is in place for a new auction record and a flying start to the year. The Vacheron Constantin Tour de…

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Sydney Hublot Boutique 23.01.2021

As the doors open again, here are 3 watches you can only get in the Sydney Hublot boutique

Sydney’s New Year fireworks were more symbolic than ever this year, hopefully distancing us from so many of 2020’s bleak memories including lockdown and Trump. And what about online shopping? Clicking is easy don’t get me wrong, but go through your watch drawer and do the maths: how many pieces have you actually bought online and how many have turned out to be a slightly different colour or size on your wrist than you imagined? My bet is there’s a fair few. That’s why we still need the reassurance of walking through the front doors of a boutique, having that…

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19.01.2021

Battle of the Doxa colours! Cast your vote as the team fight over their favourite hit of dive-watch freshness.

We love the fresh pop of Doxa colours – what an easy way to brighten up your day. But what’s your favourite? Are you a monochrome black Shark Hunter, or an orange Professional traditionalist? We put this to the team in an editorial meeting and a heated discussion ensued, recorded for posterity by yours truly to be shared here.  Should you feel like submerging yourself further in the deep, check our story on the latest Sub 200s here, and the Sub 300s here Fergus Nash: Yellow “I know orange is the Doxa colour, but to me the ‘Divingstar’ yellow just…

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18.01.2021

MICRO MONDAYS: A titanium watch for under $500? No, we haven’t been drinking. Meet the Boldr Venture Chaigo…

Titanium: the strong, ultralight metal of the future. Once exclusive to Formula 1 cars and racing bike parts, now you can get hold of it in watch form for less than than $500 in a limited edition with a full titanium bracelet. The Boldr Venture Chaigo might be the world’s best value titanium watch at $499 on a bracelet. That’s a bold statement but, in fact, it’s no Boldr (sorry!) than the conclusion of our story on the regular Venture model here on its tough NATO strap. Now Boldr is stepping up their game with an unexpected and refreshing collaboration…

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17.01.2021

The Seiko x Neighborhood dive watch is awesome. Here are 5 watches that (maybe) inspired it including Tudor, Rolex and more

Sexy red details combined with vintage inspiration is a marriage made in horological heaven with all Big Box brands wanting in on the game. The market is chock-a-block with slim, tough divers that emulate the discrete tools of the fifties and sixties, and we can’t seem to get enough of them. Me? Guilty as charged. I love their feeling of purity and the nostalgic sense of a simpler mid-20th century life that seems so far from 2021. Admittedly, I still haven’t got the scuba gear to throw in the back of the car, but it’s more about that notion of…

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Orient watches 16.01.2021

Orient Watches: the Japanese brand with a cult following for sharp designs and extraordinary value

Orient is a strong value-based Japanese brand beloved of watch forum and vintage fanatics.  The most well-known references are bold ’70s forays into the colourful world of degrade and multi-year calendar dials. While merging with Epson in the early 70s brought Orient watches under the strong wings of the Seiko corporation, they have stayed true to their own path of Japanese design and great value cementing their position in the Asian market. But in the west they remain something of a secret that’s well worth discovering. Orient enjoyed an upsurge in the 2000s with the classic shape and mechanical calibers…

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Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 15.01.2021

VIDEO: The Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 two-tone delivers true underwater opulence

Why does this seem like a natural combination, while all my logical senses tell me it’s wrong in so many ways? The Rolex Sea-Dweller ref. 126603 is methodically over-engineered in every functional capacity and yet, if we compare it to the similarly butch Omega Ploprof, it feels like the polar opposite, somehow managing to still exude an elegant, raffish air.    With this Rolesor yellow gold version, make that an air of caddish insouciance, as it flaunts its capabilities as a tool watch by bringing the gold. To be honest, as a two-tone watch Rolex does the best job in the…

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13.01.2021

Collector Jack Wong has accidentally discovered one of Rolex’s hidden secrets…

Most owners of a platinum Rolex would be fearful of tampering with such an insanely valuable watch. One false move, after all, could eventuate in scratching away thousands of dollars of value from that frightfully expensive platinum Oyster bracelet. But Jack Wong is not most owners. The Singapore-based collector – whose stunning array of watches can be viewed at his Instagram account @jackwongyf – was meddling with the bracelet of his diamond-studded Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona when he made a startling discovery. Inadvertently, Jack stumbled upon the hitherto unknown fact that within the platinum links of the bracelet, Rolex inserts…

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13.01.2021

Celebrating Seiko’s NH35 movement – the unsung hero used by top microbrands in everything from indestructible divers to vintage stunners

Is Seiko’s NH35 movement ubiquitous due to its brilliance or sheer availability? This hand-wound, hacking movement is today widely used on the microbrand scene and is basically the unbranded version of Seiko’s 4R35 movement that’s universally admired for its toughness and accuracy. Similarly reliable and robust, the NH35 is a strong mechanical heart fitted to Seiko’s mid-price Prospex and Presage families, including the Turtles, Samurais and round-cased Cocktail time references. It’s also bafflingly affordable. While in ETA or Sellita movements we talk about the ease and accessibility of service costs, a box-fresh NH movement can be bought for half the…

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12.01.2021

Four styles of watch under $4000 that make perfect 18th birthday presents

The 18th birthday is a milestone event. It symbolises becoming an adult and growing up, so why not mark it with a special gift? When I was young, what I wanted was A Good Watch, a concept that has changed drastically for the kids. Because, let’s face it, the COVID-stricken 17-year-old of 2021 is not focused on much more than wishing they could go clubbing, obsessing over TikTok and staying up until 4am playing Fortnite with mates. The watches they spot might be the latest G-Shock drop on Hypebeast to go with that Supreme hoodie, or they might not even…

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11.01.2021

Our sexiest watch shots of 2020 plus five tips to take better watch pics yourself

OK, honesty time: I’m a self-confessed dial obsessive. Don’t get me wrong, the hypnotic ballet of a tourbillon still tugs my heartstrings so much it hurts. But have that poking out of a masterful dial and I’m ready to sell my BMW. The dial is the face, the first impression and, for me, the absolute numero uno. A beautiful movement or a delicate brushed white-gold bracelet, somehow they don’t do anything for me without an equally stunning dial. So here goes. These are my favourite shots of watches Time+Tide published in 2020 and they include one of my own with…

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Sports watches on rubber straps 10.01.2021

Rubber fetish: 5 of the best sports watches on rubber straps from monochrome to lemon fresh

While I deeply enjoyed writing the story about unlikely grail watches on rubber straps, let’s be honest. Most of them are far out of reach for most mortals even with a serious budget, given the watches’ limited supply. So here is a look at some more accessible examples that are tough, fresh and, most importantly, readily available on the comfort of rubber. From monochromatic diver’s watches to vintage candy-coloured options, take your pick of the best sports watches on rubber straps.   Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Omega show there’s nothing dull about a white dial in this carefully honed evolution…

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09.01.2021

His & hers watches are the anniversary gift that lets you justify adding a new piece to your collection

When it comes to a significant anniversary, a diamond ring is always a welcome gift that’ll make her positively swoon with gratitude for a day or two. But why not invest in a matching set of watches? “His and hers” might conjure up slightly naff images, but the reality can actually prove to be a genuine win-win. Not only will you ensure your partner has something nice for their wrist that reminds you both of that special day, it’s also a cunning way to justify a new addition to your collection that you can enjoy with each new wristroll. Here…

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08.01.2021

Why can’t the watch industry match Apple Watch straps for comfort?

Fact: we are stuck in the strap-technology stone age while the world is moving on. Is the 100-year-old technology of the spring bar beautiful nostalgia? Or simply large manufacturers being lazy? We all have a story of that one time, changing a strap to match up that outfit, fiddling with a screwdriver, scratching the lug, only for the spring bar to go ping! Off into the world, never to be seen again and you obviously didn’t have a spare 20mm one. Let’s face it: we need new easy solutions. Can anyone beat Apple at the comfort game, or has someone…

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07.01.2021

You’re not the only one whose grail watch is on a rubber strap. Here are 5 of the most desirable

The term “grail watch” is used to refer to the ultimate collection piece. It might be a rare vintage treasure or a modern horological marvel depending on your personal taste. Effectively though it represents the Mount Everest of your watch-buying ambitions and is likely to be financially ruinous.  Grail watches traditionally therefore conjure up images of serious heavyweight timepieces – a Patek Philippe grand complication perhaps or an early Rolex Submariner with a tropical dial.  But what happens when the best manufacturers in the business launch their haute horlogerie on the utilitarian sportiness of a soft rubber strap? It’s a…

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05.01.2021

RECOMMENDED READING: Enter the secret labs of COSC and learn their secrets

Watchmaking can often seem like an intimidating world that’s inaccessible to all but the most tech-savvy. But Peter Speake-Marin is striving to change that with his fascinating website, The Naked Watchmaker. After exiting his eponymous haute horlogerie watch brand, Speake-Marin has worked as a consultant and started his site with a desire to demystify and inform. Or in his own words: “To bring to a new generation the magic and passion of watchmaking and to increase the knowledge of those already bitten by the horological bug.” Last week he gave us a free ticket into the shadowy world of the…

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04.01.2021

Grief, frustration and regret: The watches that got away…

I may sound mad to anyone not consumed with a boggle-eyed obsession for watches. But as many of you know, the watches that get away can hurt just as much to talk about as a failed relationship. In the dazed aftermath, processing your heartache often requires some long and painful soul-searching. How can you ever come to terms with the fact that you allowed yourself to lose her? Obviously, I’m talking about the watch here …  Even if I don’t have any million-dollar tales of missing out on a scratched Explorer in a second-hand shop for $10, I feel equally…

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03.01.2021

The watches I wore the most in 2020: The Seiko Prospex SPB083J1, Sinn 104 and Lorier Neptune

Sooo difficult! This has been a bastard year, in which one of the few ways to cheer yourself up in the Home Office has been to keep the collection in rotation and flip some unworn wrist machines. But still, within my changing collection, there are a handful of watches that have stuck with me. I wanted to pretend that my favourite two watches were also the ones I wore the most – namely my Holthinrichs Ornament or the inky black Grand Seiko SBGR053. But even as I enjoy reading about scratched-up Subs and dented Daytonas, my OCD tendencies demand a…

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The weirdest watches 30.12.2020

Prepare to be shocked, bamboozled and charmed by the weirdest watches of 2020

Every year, the Time+Tide team publishes NOW, our annual print extravaganza. As it says on the cover, essentially it’s a watch buying guide that rounds up the year’s most notable releases into a greatest hits compilation of about 200 watches. But in amongst the usual suspects from the likes of Rolex, Omega and co are some genuine horological oddities. Here are some of weirdest watches – the strangest, most delightful creations we have been lucky enough to come across. Ranging from a Swatch to a million-dollar watch with one of the longest names in the magazine, prepare to be wowed.…

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watchmaking steel 29.12.2020

Material gains: what’s the deal with steel and what type is the best for watchmaking?

Whether it’s a bespoke luxury piece, a tough tool watch or even a daily diver, stainless steel is still watchmaking’s primary material of choice. Yet while 316L grade steel is increasingly used by a number of brands, there are, in fact, better, smoother and harder alternatives for watchmaking. Is there such a thing a precious steel? Well, in German, the name for stainless steel is “edelstahl”, effectively a portmanteau of “edel” which means “noble” and “stahl” which means “steel”, suggesting that some people certainly recognise the benefits of the hard-wearing material. But which is the best form of steel to…

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Rolex Kermit to buy 29.12.2020

Get your hands on a Rolex Hulk (right now) and don’t be left green with envy

Sometimes you get a horological itch that you just have to scratch. My latest is focused on the verdant charm of a green Rolex. But I’ll need one of Luke’s “The Enabler” excuses first. I’m currently running all manner of different scenarios through my mind, a veritable roulette wheel of justifications, trying to find the right one to make this purchase remotely acceptable to my better half. Please help with suggestions! But that’s just stage one, the second challenge is actually tracking one down … I’ve had a good look in the drawer marked “green” at Bob’s Watches, and lo…

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28.12.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The BOLDR Odyssey Freediver melds style and substance at an eyebrow-raising price

BOLDR is a well-established microbrand with a strong following, which we covered earlier this year in a story on their tough, keenly priced Venture titanium field watch. We suspect there might be something new coming in January (hint!) but, for the moment, let’s take a look at the rugged BOLDR Odyssey Freediver that’s recently been released in five fresh versions. The Freediver is a cool diver’s watch at a perfectly sized 40mm with a 14mm thickness and BOLDR’s first custom 316L steel bracelet. Even from the dark stealthy teaser shots, the watch’s tough, angular shape immediately strikes you, with the…

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The second Paul Newman Rolex Daytona auction 28.12.2020

Why did the second Paul Newman Rolex Daytona sell at auction for the “bargain” price of $5m?

Nothing over $1 million can really be called a bargain. Particularly when it’s a mere wristwatch from the Swinging Sixties. Yet we all know the stratospheric values paid for Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona 6241. The first one went for a mind-boggling and (then) world record $17.8 million USD back in 2017. Fast forward to the here and now. We are at the end of 2020, a year of slow turnover sure, but not across the board – the huge Chinese market has already picked up with YOY sales considerably up from 2019.  But earlier this month, Racing Pulse – a…

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27.12.2020

We followed every single round of the Fratello Omega Speedmaster World Cup in case you missed it, and the winner is…

Which is the best Omega Speedmaster of all time? Our friends at Fratello Watches decided there was only one way to settle this one properly – by launching the Speedmaster World Cup. Over a gruelling tournament that lasted almost two months(!), 32 eager Speedies duked it out to determine who would be the ultimate victor. As with any World Cup, there was agony, ecstasy and the odd contentious refereeing decision. But what emerged from Fratello was an admirably comprehensive analysis of this iconic watch in all its myriad forms. Here are the top five contestants. The Winner: the Calibre 321…

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 26.12.2020

Five wildly desirable alternatives to the blue dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 is a definite contender for “The Only Watch You’ll Ever Need” category. With its classic dark blue sunray dial, the intrinsic quality that resonates within any Rolex case is blatantly obvious in the Oyster Perpetual, even at this relatively accessible price point. Although whether the actual watch is accessible at your local AD may prove a different story … But if you can’t get your hands on one or fancy something a little bit different, what are your alternatives that deliver the same qualities – namely that special combo of formality with everyday wearability not…

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Grand Seiko SBGX343 25.12.2020

INTRODUCING: The Grand Seiko SBGX343 is like a kick-ass Milgauss / Explorer hybrid with a killer quartz movement

Is this the perfect everyday tool watch from the Zaratsu wizards? I am seriously baffled by the Grand Seiko SBGX343. This seems to be nothing less than a dynamic amalgamation of our favourite design traits from Grand Seiko and a prominent Swiss crowned supplier of largely unavailable cyclopsed divers’ watches. Our Japanese friends have managed to pull this feat off without a hint of homage, while exuding a wholesome daily watch-vibe with contemporary wrist presence. To top it off it is powered by the quartz perfection of their 9F61 calibre. The case is recognisable from the sporty SBGV243, characterised by…

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Thor's 3 favourite watches of 2020 24.12.2020

Thor’s 3 favourite watches of 2020, including Greubel Forsey, Moser and Longines

What were Thor’s 3 favourite watches of 2020? On a length-to-difficulty ratio, this piece ranks right up there in the difficulty stakes. Seriously, how am I supposed to sum up my three favourites of the whole year? In this bastard 12 months of lockdowns and cancelled holidays, there has been a deluge of delights from Switzerland, Japan and Germany. Suffice to say, once again this will be pure fantasy in terms of budget, but what the hell. We are allowed to dream, so dream on watch lovers! My vivid dreams are filled with grail pieces from Greubel Forsey, H. Moser…

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24.12.2020

#Kicktock: Adidas meets the Bamford x Time+Tide GMT2 to brighten the gloom

To be honest with you, I’ve been dying to match up the fresh popping colours of our new Bamford London x Time+Tide GMT2.  Made in collaboration with George Bamford at his secret lab, the Bamford Watch Department, it’s a real black beauty that fizzes with bright accents and sporty energy. But what are the perfect companions for this much coveted watch? Well, as luck would have it, some red-hot orange trainers from Adidas and winterwear from North Face have just dropped on Hypebeast.  Sure, we’re blowing our own trumpet, drumming our own drum, playing our own accordion here. But this…

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Brad Pitt watch collection 23.12.2020

RECOMMENDED READING: The watch collection of Brad Pitt will make you drool with envy

Raw sex appeal may have won Brad Pitt some of his early Hollywood roles. But rather than coast along on his dashing looks alone, the actor’s career has evolved to turn him into one of, if not the, biggest movie stars in the world. From Thelma & Louise to Fight Club and Moneyball to The Big Short, Pitt has built a career of unimpeachable magnificence. Alarmingly, his watch collection offers similar credibility. As if it wasn’t already annoying enough that my wife is still besotted with this cheeky age-defying bastard, GQ has uncovered that Pitt is a selective watch collector…

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Sellita SW510 23.12.2020

5 watches that use the Sellita SW510 chronograph movement, from $2000 – $4000USD

Modern life is increasingly stressful. The incessant buzz of notifications from your mobile and laptop can make one yearn for simpler times. Amid such craziness, one way to restore a vague sense of calm is by handwinding your watch. There is something strangely reassuring about twiddling the crown and feeling the gears engage and the resistance of the spring slowly tighten. Indeed, this small act of winding your watch can help nudge you into a more tranquil frame of mind. When it comes to hand-wound and automatic chronographs, one notable movement is the Sellita SW510, a great value Swiss bi-compax…

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best 40th birthday watch 22.12.2020

Rolex? Grand Seiko? You’ve earned it! The best 40th birthday watches for under $20K

In a man’s life, certain birthdays develop greater significance than others – or at least create a whole lot more angst. Your 40th can prove particularly tricky as you struggle to convince yourself that the best years of your life still lie ahead. But this milestone birthday also presents a golden opportunity to buy yourself a genuinely serious watch. Time+Tide’s advice: instead of getting all misty-eyed for your lost youth, console yourself with some of these ideas for a new 40th birthday watch. The TAG Heuer 160th Anniversary Carrera The TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition (available for…

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best Rolex GMT-Master 22.12.2020

Battle Royale: Let’s get ready to rumble! Which is the ultimate Rolex GMT-Master?

OK, this was a tough challenge and an ugly battle predictably ensued. Essentially, we scoured the vaults of Bob’s Watches and found some of the best Rolex GMT-Master options around. But which is the ultimate winner?  From classic Coke to the freshness of the Pepsi’s iconic red and blue bezel, we’ll admit that tempers ran hot on this one as the Time+Tide team fought it out. Luke Benedictus’ choice: The cerachrom bezel Batman, ref. 126710 There’s one overwhelming reason that I’m rooting for the Caped Crusader here. Obviously, it’s got everything to do with the bi-colour bezel and, more specifically,…

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Zelos Watches Blacktip 200m 21.12.2020

INTRODUCING: The Zelos Watches Blacktip 200m is one of the best-value divers around

Zelos Watches stand out for their well-honed design vision and obsession with details that puts them firmly on the microbrand podium. Elshan Tang, the owner and designer, releases a steady stream of new stock on their website, ranging from chunky bronze divers to dress watches with elaborate ETA movements. But whatever Zelos offer, it’s quickly snapped up, a fate that is inevitably set to befall their new Blacktip 200m Diver that offers superb value at just $429 USD. This watch sees them enter the highly competitive market for vintage-inspired skin divers. Refreshingly, they’ve done so retaining a clear Zelos language…

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watch gift options under $5k 21.12.2020

5 great watch gift options under $5K if you don’t know what to buy this Christmas

Christmas is COMING. Yes, even in this year we are going to experience the delights of Christmas trees, the beach for the lucky Australians, and what will surely be extra lovely presents. So why not head over to our shop and check out these watch gift options under $5K that are here to spread some New Year Joy. Yes, of course you’re allowed to buy one for yourself, we won’t tell. As for shipping, we won’t make Christmas from here, but we’ll sure get 2021 off to a great start … William Wood Watches Valiant William Wood is, I admit, one…

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H.Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon 20.12.2020

HANDS-ON: The H. Moser x MB&F Tourbillon is like a domed space station on an alien moon

When is a wristwatch no longer a wristwatch? This is the question as you hold the H. Moser x MB&F Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon because it feels like an otherworldly creation. Have MB&F and H. Moser freed one of the alien pilots from Area 51 – and employed him (it?) in their design department? Is this domed beauty actually from another planet? The mind is thoroughly boggled. One thing is for sure: time is immaterial when you put this on your wrist, and gaze through the impossibly high sapphire dome. The dial, it’s all in the dial Well, there is no…

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Hublot Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle 16.12.2020

#Kicktock: Hublot’s street-tough dial made from concrete meets its match with New Balance

This week we go monochrome in the urban jungle, with the new Hublot Classic Fusion Concrete Jungle New York and an awesome pair of New Balance trainers just dropped on Hypebeast. The gritty edge of concrete is just as fresh as a splash of colour and Hublot’s avant-garde touch is very much present in the elegant form of their Classic Fusion line.  This is as tough as it is impressive on a material level, as this is no mere dial or case finish, but actual concrete composite. With a mix of 65-75% fine cement, and epoxy resin, reinforced by fibre…

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best pastel watches of 2020 15.12.2020

Chalky brights and sexy sorbets – 5 of the best pastel watches of 2020

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Aussie summer or the Northern Hemisphere winter, whether locked down or suddenly released, we need colours in our lives more than ever this year. From bubblegum pink to baby blue, pastel-coloured watch dials never fail to turn heads and lift sagging spirits, and every man should be secure enough to rock a bright dial from time to time. Check out a few of our picks for the best pastel watches of 2020. Rolex Oyster Perpetual ref. 126000 “Candy Pink”  This is one of the freshest dials on a Rolex since the legendary lacquered Stella…

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Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition 12.12.2020

8 of the best titanium watches: Part 2 is about the high-end and featherweight

If you missed Part 1 of this series looking at some of the best titanium watches, you can take a look right here. While for some the notion of titanium is beholden to large divers and the cutting-edge of the tool watch spectrum, Part 2 might surprise you with a lesser known and far dressier side to the story. Brace yourself for some exquisite Haute Horlogerie and James Bond references dressed up in the armoured finery of titanium. Laurent Ferrier Opaline 40mm  The last place you would expect to find titanium is in a beautifully simple, haute horlogerie dress watch from…

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best titanium watches 12.12.2020

8 of the best titanium watches: Part 1 is large, indestructible and mind-bendingly light

Titanium: the strong, ultralight metal of the future. Once exclusive to F1 parts and featherweight bike parts, the material is almost divisively light. Some people actually tell you that the light weight puts them off, as if a heavy watch is a sign of intrinsic value and quality. In the case (pun intended) of precious metals, yes, the heavy weight of a Submariner in solid gold does imbue it with an extra level of quality. But on an everyday watch or, even better, a diver’s watch? All positives in my book. How would sir like the intense legibility and strength…

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affordable entry level Rolex 11.12.2020

Be quick! These ‘entry level’ Rolex models are available to buy now (at time of posting)

Editor’s note: Posting stories about Rolex watches you can buy now is like trying to hold a live fish down to get the hook out. A very slippery business. We have had to re-write this post twice already, as the models we’re nominating are slipping away as quickly as we write about them. So, if you see anything you like, move fast, or forever hold your peace. And apologies in advance if – once again – they’ve disappeared before you snap them up.  Entry-level Rolex. Words that don’t necessarily sit in the same sentence, but you still want to ask…

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11.12.2020

LIST: Thor Svaboe’s 5 favourite articles of 2020

In a tough year, what better way to cheer yourself up than great articles on our beloved wrist-worn wonders. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our content, whether languishing in lockdown or in a home office that’s hopefully more spacious than my little writer’s den (I gallantly offered the larger space to the wife). These are my favourite articles this year, a year surprisingly packed with horological content. Some for their poetic flourishes and some for their thought-provoking content. HANDS-ON: A poetic tribute to the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic – Fergus Nash I thoroughly enjoyed the rich prose of Fergus Nash…

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Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Titanium 10.12.2020

HANDS-ON: The Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Titanium feels like the future on your wrist

Even after such a strong year for Hublot, and after getting up close and personal with the Black Magic version here, the new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Titanium still intrigues me with its intricately woven industrial micro-architecture. Even as the Big Bang series is getting close to becoming an industry standard for large, open-worked luxury sports watches, there is always something new to discover, and for me the tonneau-shape is king. A case for the renaissance of titanium? With the arcing tidal movements of fashion, titanium seems to be enjoying a new rise in popularity, even in slim,…

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Back to work watches 08.12.2020

Back in the office? Cheer yourself up with the help of a new work watch

Editor’s note: Here at Time+Tide, we not only want to cover all of the best watch releases in the articles we write but also offer some of those watches at the Time+Tide Marketplace. We work hard to make sure the pieces we are proud to offer in our Marketplace are not only quality watches that we would love to have in our own collections, but also horologically interesting and watches we believe would find happy homes in our readers’ collections. So with that out of the way, let’s take a look at five back-to-work watches that are currently available at…

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Bamford and Nike 04.12.2020

#Kicktock: White-hot drops this week from Bamford and Nike create monochromatic magic

Bamford and Nike? You read that right. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato. To me it’s a quietly spoken grail watch in that hotly contested category of integrated bracelet sports watches. Its slim case design and smooth ergonomic bracelet make this an easy collection favourite. So much so that it’s included in a list of Nautilus alternatives here. But now, BAM! FORD! (sorry), the lead purveyor of custom chic in collaboration with some of the biggest players of 2020, has dropped a white-hot ceramic version of the GP classic, the Laureato Ghost. To…

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Longines Legend Diver Bronze 03.12.2020

VIDEO: The Longines Legend Diver Bronze is a sleeper hit in the crowded retro diver field

The Longines Legend Diver Bronze is a noteworthy remix. It takes the tried and true, double-crown, super compressor-style case of the original and breathes fresh life into it with the new material. The warmly toned bronze eliminates all of the conservative, vintage-inspired character of its steel sibling, and dramatically increases the level of rustic charm and associated adventure. While still keeping the same 42mm case size and proportions, the design feels thoroughly refreshed in a way that’s hard to ignore.  While the new case material is the main drawcard here, the dial of the Longines Legend Diver Bronze is a…

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Bravur x Wingardh by Bravur Watches 30.11.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Bravur x Wingårdh delivers Nordic modernism at its most clean and serene

In Scandinavia, our long dark winters should be a fertile breeding ground for horology. Just as the oppressive gloom sent the Swiss inside to tinker about with watchmaking tools and lathes, you might expect a similar tradition to have developed in these parts – Scandinavian design and Nordic minimalism are, after all, deeply engrained in our regional psyche. Alas, however, there are just a few watchmakers out here. Yet one that has gained traction is the Swedish brand Bravur Watches, whose clean-cut designs set it apart from the barrage of microbrands. Their latest offering, the Bravur x Wingårdh Limited Edition,…

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best pilot watches of 2020 over $10k 30.11.2020

The best pilot watches of 2020 over $10K, feat. Rolex, IWC and Breitling

Some of us love diver’s watches, some skeletonised dress watches. But no matter what you do — driving a truck or stuck behind a desk — maybe nothing is more tempting in watches than the world of aviation, whether it be invoking the adventurous spirit of WWII dogfights, or the memories of Top Gun. You might actually fly a twin-prop Cessna and rely on the infallibility of a top-tier pilot’s watch to back you up in an emergency. Here is a top 5 of the best, from high-tech weapons-grade ceramic to aged black steel with rose gold accents. Chocks away as we…

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H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph 29.11.2020

HANDS-ON: An intense love letter to the ‘retro futurism’ of the H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Flyback Chronograph

Once again, I am confused, seriously confused. When I’d finally sussed out the language of Moser they have another ace up their sleeve. Not entirely new, but even after being out for almost a year it still astounds me when I get my hands on it, and here it delights with a new alluring blue dial. The H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph is different from, well, everything. While legacy brands tweak their tried and tested icons by 1mm, that well-lit safe path is not for Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser. Difference, innovation, and the unlikely term, irony.…

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Seiko Presage SRPF37J and SRPF39J 29.11.2020

HANDS-ON: Seiko Presage SRPF37J and SRPF39J, where Sharp Edge meets Milanese

I had a secret wish this autumn, which was the intricate dial structure of the Seiko Presage Sharp Edged series filtering into the round case Presage range, and here we are, perfectly paired with a Milanese mesh strap instead of a bracelet. The Seiko Presage series is well known for the Cocktail Time series, glossy dials saturated with colours and the simple elegance of applied indices. The new Seiko Presage SRPF37J and SRPF39J bring a few welcome design twists, including the ever-evolving dial art of Seiko with a hypnotising pattern. First impressions What strikes you first when trying on these…

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Longines Legend Diver Bronze 27.11.2020

HANDS-ON: The Longines Legend Diver Bronze makes warm metals cool again

The Longines Legend Diver Bronze is a pitch-perfect, vintage-style diver. Yet somehow it’s failed to get the attention it deserves due, in part, because understatement is the name of its game. While the Rado Captain Cook turns heads with its lush colourways and the Oris Divers Sixty-Five makes noise with its ever-changing iterations, this bronze diver plays things down and allows its impressive looks to slowly take hold of your psyche. By the time you finally notice it, well, it’s already too late. You’re completely under its spell. First impressions If you are intrigued by the charm of bronze, but…

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26.11.2020

Attention space cowboys: 5 alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster that you probably haven’t considered

The Speedmaster Professional is so well known, so in command of its hallowed place in the history of watchmaking, how could you possibly find an alternative? Given that it is a watch that has actually been to the moon (conspiracy theories about the Mojave Desert aside), any comparisons will have to be approximate at best. This will be an attempt to offer alternatives to the actual space-flown chronograph that can also muster period-perfect and legible chronographs with monochromatic balanced designs. The Speedmaster now represents a huge range, from the Speedmaster Professional to versions in platinum and gold, but all are…

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Seiko Prospex SPB189 and SPB191 25.11.2020

HANDS-ON: The new Shogun is finally here in the form of the Seiko Prospex SPB189 and SPB191

OK, let’s start by remembering the SBDC007, the legendary Seiko Shogun. Now I might be slightly biased because, at one point, I had two of them — after reading reviews saying the watch was so good it’d make you forget your other wrist-worn beauties. Well, believe the hype. The watch was that good and pretty difficult to get your hands on, too. It was a pure JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) model, large but deceptively light in a way that made its 43.5mm size seem smaller on the wrist. Now the new Seiko Prospex SPB189 and SPB191 have arrived and they’re…

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Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea 23.11.2020

The full story behind the Electric Feels of the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea, a late-night disco diver for the wrist

Despite my Nordic roots and name, it’s beginning to occur to me that I’m not cool enough for the new Linde Werdelin. The Swiss-Danish watchmaker is well known for their decidedly strong design language. Increasingly, they’re nearly as well known for their stoic refusal to be deterred from banking all on it. Today, it’s the same. They’ll stand their ground with a very special 88-piece limited edition of their first diver, the Linde Werdelin Oktopus Blue Sea. Immensely strong looking, and dainty like, well, an anvil or a block of arctic granite. Which is exactly why we enthuse about these…

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23.11.2020

8 of the best dive watches released in 2020 over $10K

Divers! We love ’em. I’m wearing a technical diver as I’m writing this — helium escape valve and all. Does it mean I’ve got a diver’s kit packed up, in the boot of my car, ready to go? Not unless you count the defunct photo props I have in a box, dry since 2010. It’s not about the action itself, it’s about knowing you can. We’ll show you some of the best dive watches of 2020 over $10K, safe in the knowledge that you can jump on a plane, charter a speedboat out to an atoll in the Pacific, and jump…

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Rolex and Puma 22.11.2020

#kicktock: The party’s on in this matchup of bright colours from Rolex and Puma x Porsche

While you adjust your sunnies, so as not to be blinded by the yellow and baby blue show, let’s ask some pressing questions. Do we expect these colourways from Puma? Yes. Do we expect atomic daffodil orange and bright Tiffany blue in the most traditional model from Rolex, the Oyster Perpetual? Not exactly. The OP has favoured pops of colour over subdued colour ways in recent times, so no, not at all. And yet here we are a month or so later, colourful Rolex references in blue, orange, pink and coral being viral candy on Instagram, like a fresh breeze,…

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21.11.2020

5 alternatives to the Patek Philippe Nautilus that are Nauty By Nature

The Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711 might be your grail of grails, or simply the perfect taste of ’70s glamour. There is a reason so many love the porthole-inspired steel perfection, which – in the present day – is flat out unattainable even with cash to spend. So, that pampering AD appointment with $40-60,000 ready to despatch, the complimentary espresso in a gold-rimmed cup, the satin-gloved handover … Not any time soon. Do we have alternatives? We found five. Piaget Polo S The unusual alternative, the unsung hero, a Piaget that isn’t ultra-thin? Yes, the Polo S will confound and…

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H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Centre Seconds 17.11.2020

HANDS-ON: The Moser Streamliner Centre Seconds dragon breathes pure fire

Once again they manage to surprise us, from ironic rectangular horology to a hypnotising collaboration with MB&F, to this, where Moser enter the ring for the strongly contested Integrated Steel Sports Watch Bracelet contest. Yes, I tried it on – and did not want to take it off – the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds. OK, the competition in this category is tough, but so is this smooth nugget. The case and bracelet is familiar from the GPHG-winning Streamliner Flyback Chronograph, but this time Moser sticks to their speciality, which is a beguiling time-only fumé dial. Except for…

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15.11.2020

#Kicktock: We pair Nike’s latest drop with the DOXA SUB 200 C-Graph, and magic happens

Hypebeast recently dropped the orange-flavoured candy of the Nike Air Force 1 ’07 LV8 Total Orange, a searchlight-bright version of the iconic trainer. As if the zesty orange wasn’t enough, they have teamed up with 3M for the metallic silver highlights, in an unashamed flash of reflections from the tiniest sliver of sunlight. This is the perfect time to crank up the volume on colour and to match orange with yet more orange. Matchy-matchy goes atomic level when paired with the new DOXA SUB 200 C-Graph. No matter if you’re just released into the world from isolation and back to…

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14.11.2020

INTRODUCING: The Sinn 103 Sa G is a totally new look for Sinn, and we can get around it

This week, in an unusual move from the obsessive tool laboratory of Sinn Spezialuhren (yes, Special Watches — only tools and instruments may apply), comes a glittery fresh take on the social media and forum hive-mind favourite, the 41mm Sinn 103 pilot’s chronograph. In the Sinn 103 Sa G version they have taken what is a very compact and Leica-quality like monochromatic pilot’s watch and added colour. And what that intense sparkly green has done is transform this serious tool into a delicious piece of wrist candy. Metallic green sparkles in the sun and adds a delightful twist to a superb piece…

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best green dial watches of 2020 13.11.2020

Green Is the New Blue. From bottle green, to olive, to khaki, here’s the best green dial watches of 2020, part 2

Yes, let me say it again, we love colours! I’ll shamelessly repeat the same statement from part 1 of this delightfully green story, this one coming to you from a more rough-and-ready angle. This story is still meant as an inspiration to move away from the quiet solitude of matt black dials and embrace a bright new world of everything from matte olive to bright apple green, so let’s take a look at a few more of the best green dial watches of 2020. Mood upswing guaranteed. Seiko Prospex “Captain Willard” SPB153J Yes! They did it. After the beautiful SLA033,…

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IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium 12.11.2020

HANDS-ON: The IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium, a stone-cold classic … blacked-out, suited up and mission-ready

All the connotations and daydreams that come with the image of a fighter pilot are on show in the intriguing IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium, a functional tool watch that transcends the genre. The cool black finish could only be German, and following a strict code of functionality that, while formal in its monochrome symmetry, exudes a calm feeling of trust. The case is not exactly lithe at 44mm with a close-to 17mm thickness, but the fit on the wrist makes me believe that there is a well-staffed Department of Ergonomics at IWC Schaffhausen. Even without the…

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11.11.2020

How do you like these apples? The best green dial watches of 2020, Part 1, including Longines, IWC and Seiko

YES, we love colours! Why do we drop Instagram comments peppered with flame emojis for a Breitling or Mido rainbow dial, and yet still find ourselves at home with a monochrome dive watch, a monochrome moon watch, a black Casi-Oak and maybe, to get hog wild, a blue dial sports watch? B-o-r-i-n-g. Do what you say and go green, the colour of the year, whether it be olive toughness or bottle green in a svelte gold case. Do not be shy of wrist, and spice up that wardrobe with a pick from this verdant basket of goodness as we look…

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Hublot Big Bang Millennial Pink 09.11.2020

The Hublot Big Bang Millennial Pink in this video sure is pretty, but is it pink, per se?

Editor’s note: In case you’re wondering, yes! This is the ‘pink’ watch we’ve been hanging to see in the metal, if not just to contrast the real-life shade with the renderings in the press release. And, do we still call it pink? Well, Thor does, as you’ll see from the opening par. But I don’t. This is light beige. Nude. Flesh. Champagne. If it is indeed pink, it’s the palest, duskiest pink I’ve ever seen. It’s no less compelling for the tonal shift, in fact it becomes even more unusual. I don’t know about you, but there’s something about this…

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08.11.2020

Hanhart just quietly released the 417ES, a Pilot’s watch famously worn by McQueen, and it’s a sleeper vintage monster

Does this seem familiar? Yes, the popular bronze Hanhart chronograph recently released by some good friends of ours, seen on a Time+Tide editorial wrist here ,is a bronze 417 chronograph. Now Hanhart has remade the original stainless steel icon – a crisp cut classic military pilot’s chronograph with an earthbound claim to fame. The man among men, daredevil, own stunt-performing suave adventurer Steve McQueen wore one, and not while sipping a latte, I can tell you that much. Motorcycle off road endurance racing – a tough, dirty and bone-shaking job for any watch, including the Hanhart 417ES that we associate…

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Rolex Explorer 1 alternatives 08.11.2020

Cut costs, not quality: 5 superb Rolex Explorer alternatives, including Grand Seiko, Tudor and more

I’m not alone in considering the Rolex Explorer one of the best examples of clean, sharp, monochromatic watches out there. But it’s fair to ask – for any of a host of very fair reasons – what are the best Rolex Explorer alternatives if you can’t get a direct path to the Crown? It’s not easy, as we’re looking at one of the cleanest designs out there, with superb comfort to boot. And let’s face it — it’s not a tool watch anymore, it’s good enough to be the most consistently rated ‘one watch’ on the planet. The ultimate functional daily.…

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06.11.2020

The ‘Ragnarok’ by Tidemann Watches might be the first ever haute horlogerie release with its own heavy metal theme song…

What does ‘Ragnarok’ mean? In a word: Armageddon. A dramatic name for one of Nordic origins (me), and a dramatic set of preconceptions for a debut in Nordic Haute Horlogerie via Glashütte. Elbow nudging greetings are exchanged with Tom André Tidemann, and we go for a walk in the crisp air of Scandinavian autumn. The Oslo-based international watch dealer, with a strong portfolio of aces from Cyrus, Czapek Geneve and Parmigiani Fleurier, is clearly excited to be on the brink of a major release. A long personal voyage is culminating in the first watch from Tidemann Luxury Watches, the Ragnarok…

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Louis Vuitton 2020 collection 06.11.2020

The Louis Vuitton 2020 Collection delivers flying tourbillons, gem-set cases and some very special spinning cubes

Louis Vuitton are best known today for their leather goods, and historically for their travel trunks, but when it comes to watchmaking, most aren’t aware of the work they do. Of course, having such a well-recognised brand globally is a double-edged sword, where Louis Vuitton bags are desired all over the world, but the quality of their other products is less well understood. But don’t let that lull you into thinking the French-founded brand can stitch a seam and nothing else. No, the Louis Vuitton watchmakers are some of the finest in the world, earning their movements the Geneva Seal,…

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TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph collection 05.11.2020

VIDEO: The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph collection, a sharp new formula for a classic

In a year that sees TAG Heuer peaking with vintage inspiration, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph collection comes sliding into our feeds as a fresh take on a classic. There is strong inspiration from its ’60s heyday, while a contemporary 42mm case, and a sparkling new engine inside in the Heuer-02 movement, inspires a timeless quality worthy of the strong Carrera heritage, with no need for fauxtina. In these four strong references, we have a distillation of the design codes of the Carrera, which is to many the epitome of a 1960s chronograph. There is an elegant, urban touch…

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TAG Heuer Carrera Collection blue dial 04.11.2020

VIDEO: The new TAG Heuer Carrera Collection blue dial is a contemporary take on the classic racing watch

If, like me, you love the svelte lines and sharp details of the vintage Heuer Carrera, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Collection blue dial chronograph (available for purchase here) is a reliable, sleek modern rendition. This is faithful to the lineage, in a contemporary 42mm. The deep blue dial blends formality with the clear motorsports lineage of the range, and is yet another strong contender from La Chaux-de-Fonds. There is no doubt that you are wearing a Carrera, yet this shows just how much a new rich colour brings to the resilient DNA. A sleek, suit-ready take on one of…

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Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poincon de Genève 03.11.2020

HANDS-ON: The dark traveller, Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève

The Louis Vuitton Tambour Curve Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève is an unabashedly large futuristic dark metropolis under sapphire. I see an angular maze-like horological architecture within an organic patterned cutting-edge composite case. Hypnotised by the 9 o’clock rotating magic of the Flying Tourbillon you’ll notice it being delicately cut into the dark and recognisable structure of the LV logo. The dial – or is it the movement? The dial complexity is such that the LV signature – bold and large within an intriguing depth of openworked haute horlogerie — becomes a natural part of the movement architecture. It is almost…

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Brellum PILOT Power Gauge Chronometer 02.11.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Brellum Pilot Power Gauge Chronometer – a COSC-certified classic pilot’s chronograph with a modern edge

Brellum has just released a resolutely modern, yet classic take on a pilot’s chronograph, with the sharpest of details – and shows how much colour and texture transforms the aviator personality of the Brellum Pilot Power Gauge Chronometer. This is another strong reference from Brellum that will follow your lead, be it battle-ready flight instrument under a leather jacket sleeve, or as a sharp sports chronograph on a bracelet. From the monochrome bulletproof image of the black dial version, to the delicate silver sunburst dial on a classic steel bracelet bringing a modern formality to the table. If we start…

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TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Anniversary 02.11.2020

IN-DEPTH: The two TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Limited Editions – are they the perfect Two-Watch-One-Brand collection of 2020?

For me, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition (available for purchase here) could quite possibly be my favourite from the maison in the last 20 years, and I am not exaggerating. This is a pure Carrera chronograph, a sharp, clear and distilled version of its forefather, the silver monochrome Carrera 2447SD. It approaches the epitome of what a chronograph should be, and sits in the Goldilocks zone of a slender 39mm steel case. We are looking at a supremely comfortable size, though with a visual impact more like 40mm due to its delicate polished bezel and light…

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best big watches 01.11.2020

The 5 best GMTs of 2020 over $10K, including Audemars Piguet, Hermès and more

Editor’s note: Arguably, the GMT complication is the most practical in a watch. Everyone has at least one other time zone they want to track, but there aren’t many people using their chronographs to measure F1 lap times. The GMT complication also offers an opportunity to think about the world at large. It reminds you of how big the world is, and presents an opportunity to forget the moment-to-moment stresses that we all face in our lives. If that wasn’t enough, the wristwatch GMT complication has been imagined in innumerable ways over the decades, and are an exciting and creative…

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2020 FANTASY WATCH COLLECTION 30.10.2020

You voted, and this was the most popular $5000 watch collection made up of 2020 releases only

Editor’s note: I don’t want to go all salty Kanye West on Taylor Swift at an awards ceremony here, but imma just pop up here to say that Thor has declared himself the winner in the Fantasy Watch Collection under $5000 edition, EVEN THOUGH I polled more likes on Instagram, and was within one, or even tied up in the commenters’ votes. Also, Beyoncé’s video was indisputably better. *mic drop* (Congratulations, Thor)    Instagram has given me the Oscar for Watch Journalists, the Emmy of Watchgeeks. I won the all-important $5000 round of #fantasywatchcollectionweekend and to quote the song, I’m…

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Seiko Prospex SLA043J1 27.10.2020

The Seiko Prospex SLA043J1 is the less expensive version of the $10k Seiko Prospex SLA037J1

For us, there was only one effective way to rate and review the luxurious Seiko Challenger diver, the $9995AUD Seiko Prospex SLA037J1, a re-creation of Seiko’s first dive watch, the 62MAS, launched in 1965. And that was to put it up against a brand nobody baulks at spending that kind of money for a diver: Omega with their Seamaster 300 Co-Axial vintage. Once put in the ring, we let them duke it out, spec for spec. And the verdict? I concluded that some will no doubt be attracted to what might be the very pinnacle of Seiko’s dive range, and an…

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serica 4512 26.10.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Serica 4512, a tough French take on classic military utilitarian chic

The WMB came out in 2019 as an unusual and strong contender from the newly formed French microbrand Serica, through an idea from the only American on the team, author of A Man & His Watch, Matt Hranek. Inspired by the iconic Wrist Watch Waterproof of the armed forces, a tough-looking everyday tool watch with optional dial colours and hands, it hit a perfect note within the horological community. Covered in Nick Kenyon’s story here, where Nick went as far as calling it the revival of the good, affordable watch. Well, I think he might have been right, and here…

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TAG Heuer Carrera Collection 26.10.2020

IN-DEPTH: The TAG Heuer Carrera Collection, powered by a movement from the present, with an all-time classic design from the past

As a watch journalist in 2020, based in Europe under the draconian rule of the pandemic, it’s easy to lose perspective and here is a particular example. Despite my missionary preachings and personal taste, 38-39 millimetres is not the Goldilocks size for everyone. So, with this self-realisation in mind, the  TAG Heuer Carrera Collection is pitch-perfect for most buyers at 42mm. And there is not a shadow of a doubt that these four strong contenders from La Chaux-de-Fonds are likely to hit a sweet spot as modern takes on a stone-cold classic. The four references here are based on the…

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Best Chronographs of 2020 25.10.2020

The 15 best chronographs of 2020 over $10K, a vivid blend of sports, precious metals and remade icons

Editor’s note: If you missed the first part of this series, make sure you check out eleven of our favourite chronographs of 2020 under $10K right here. In this part we are looking at the other side of the coin – the best chronographs of 2020 that ring the till at $10K and over. Here we go. Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph This was one of the 2020 high points for AP, engaging Andrew in our big feature here, and myself as soon as we saw the press photos. It sparked much discussion on the mighty internet; to me it…

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24.10.2020

11 of the best chronographs of 2020 under $10,000 Aussie dollars (and wayyyy under $10,000USD)

There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a strong year for chronograph releases. From vintage reissues to thoroughly modern expressions of the wrist-worn stopwatch, the range of offerings has been diverse and exciting. Let’s take a look at 11 of the best chronographs of 2020 under $10K. TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Silver True to its pure ’60s inspiration, the TAG Heuer Carrera 160th Silver is sharp enough to straddle three categories, and still come up trumps. As a pitch-perfect vintage chronograph it retains the original inspiration, as viewed through a non-reflective Leica lens in perfect filtered daylight. The functionality and…

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Hublot Meca-10 Clock 23.10.2020

Mass gains! Hublot are peak 2020 as they release a mechanical desk clock FOUR TIMES the size of the Meca-10 model

In Scandinavia we have a traditional saying: all good things come in threes. And, boy, does this apply to clocks in 2020. First, the Hodinkee table clock that broke the internet and brutally maimed the comments section, then the futuristic T-Rex from Massena LAB, MB&F and L’Epée. And here comes lucky number three – the Hublot Meca-10 Clock. Hublot’s impressive in-house Meca-10 movement was released four years ago, and this year made its debut in the fabulous tonneau-shaped Spirit of Big Bang, to our micro-mechanical marvelling delight. So, as an answer to your question, no, this is not a small…

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Seiko Prospex SNR049J 23.10.2020

INTRODUCING: The Seiko Prospex SNR049J Batman will leave you black and blue

Looks can be deceiving, and the Seiko Prospex SNR049J proves the point in idiosyncratic style, once again firmly setting the bar for how we perceive a tool watch. This is a deliciously blue faced, limited reference in the LX series, Seiko’s pinnacle of sports and diver’s watches. In 2020 this is a brash and unapologetically large watch, but even at 44.8mm, Seiko are the masters of watch ergonomics, and close to unbeatable for chunky tool watch comfort. Don’t be surprised if this feels like a 41-42mm watch on the wrist, as the familiar muscular sides curve downwards at the lugs,…

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Bulgari Bulgari aluminium 22.10.2020

HANDS-ON: The Bulgari Aluminium time-only – a summer-fresh take on a ’90s lightweight classic, still a winning formula, still fresh

The strangest feeling is to be had when you first put on the Bulgari Aluminium time-only — if you actually get it on in the first place. Holding it makes you do a double take and shift it from left to right hand as if to check your own function as a makeshift human set of scales. Yes, this is metal, but we’re not used to light, cool, matt aluminium in a watch case. Then there is a chunky rubber bracelet. Yes, a linked rubber bracelet, in itself a novel concept that surprises in equal amounts. My entire image of Bulgari…

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Massena LAB Uni-Racer 21.10.2020

INTRODUCING: Massena LAB Uni-Racer, the first in-house production from Massena LAB, with a fresh take on vintage chronograph perfection

From the secret lab of William Massena we have come to expect the unexpected. The LAB has a short but exciting history of sharp collaborations with a disruptive edge, exhibiting a wide scope of taste and style. This exciting new model is a case in point, with the last public project being a brilliant vintage bronze version of the T-Rex by MB&F, which was as much art as a static timepiece. This time, Massena has gone into the rich archives of sports chronographs for inspiration to give us the fresh, yet familiar, Massena LAB Uni-Racer. The inspirational basket of vintage…

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Yema Superman Bronze collection 15.10.2020

INTRODUCING: The new Yema Superman Bronze collection debuts two new in-house calibers, with fresh dials in a strong combination of steel and bronze

The Yema Superman is a strong vintage diver, with two selling points that should be a wake-up call for other brands, starting with an obvious and rather rhetorical question: When you go out to buy a pair of jeans with your slimmer and shorter mate (speaking for myself here), do you buy the exact same size? If the answer happens to be no, then look at the Superman range from Yema, specifically the all-new Yema Superman Bronze collection. Yema is a small, proudly French brand with a strong following, yet they have understood the basics … we have different wrists.…

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MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO 13.10.2020

INTRODUCING: The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO is a new haute horlogerie player in the sports watch market

The complexity is tangible, the feeling is tingly yet disturbing. I’m seeing the unreal sight of the MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO, or any MB&F for that matter – on a moulded soft rubber strap in an image surely done with a green screen CGI. I mean, mountain biking or hiking with a piece of highly strung horological art worth close to $300,000 AUD on your wrist, surely not. And the heat that seeps from that fiery orange within the movement: if I was an A.I. this would mean a sensory overload and system crash; intriguing seems a proper understatement.…

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12.10.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The FullGear Pioneer – a customisable pilot watch featuring tritium tubes, launching this week

We love classic pilot watches. Tough, no-nonsense brushed steel case tools that are a faithful reminder of the aviation glory days of yesteryear. What we want is a simple, clear dial and legibility on point, and monochromatic efficiency. But what if we had all this as a base, for a fully customisable watch not always wanting to be the demure quiet tool? Let’s introduce the FullGear Pioneer — it is all of the above and more, with a bright twist. FullGear is launching the Pioneer pilot’s watch on Kickstarter today, on October 12, designed by a team of veterans from the…

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Albany Watches AMA Diver 12.10.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Albany Watches AMA Diver – a mother of pearl dial diver, with a $300USD price tag

Divers, the tough tool watches that become our best buddies on adventures, strapped on with a wetsuit as backup to a dive computer. All this sounds wonderful, though for those of you in lockdown they have an even more important task, which is to remind us of what will come, as well as adventures spent; keeping our spirits up. The Albany Watches AMA Diver is launching this week on Kickstarter, with the Albany name paying tribute to the WA city where the founder’s father grew up. This is a classic ’60s skindiver with an inspiration as beautiful as it is…

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Swatch x 007 ²Q 12.10.2020

INTRODUCING: No Time To Die might be delayed, but the new Swatch x 007 ²Q is available right now

After the success of the previous Swatch x 007 collaboration, another tough and colourful watch is back, now exclusively in time for the release of No Time To Die. In his infinite wisdom, Q has tinkered away in his basement and come up with the Swatch x 007 ²Q. Here we have a brash and colourful openworked sports watch in the SKIN Irony series, with a tough steel body, intensely Swatch, with a few tricks up its sleeve. In a world turned upside down, for 2020 Swatch and Q has done the same to the Swatch x 007 ²Q, with…

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dornbluth 11.10.2020

5 German watch brands you may not have heard of, but will desire – 2020 edition

Germany is solidifying its position as among the very best go-to alternatives to Switzerland for wrist-worn marvels. While we all know that the Glashütte-based A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte Original, Nomos and Sinn produce top-notch alternatives to the Neuchâtel valley, here is an ode to the lesser-known maisons. These are fiercely independent brands showing their 2020 models, many of which you will not find even in our comprehensive Time+Tide archives. We will endeavour to broaden your Germanic horizon with five German independent watches, from traditional Haute Horlogerie, through Bauhaus and classic Flieger style. Kudoke The Kudoke 2 Nocturne Stefan Kudoke…

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11.10.2020

Would you pay $13,000USD for a Speedy that’s spent 188 days in space? Because that’s the current online bid…

Now, we all have an image of the Speedmaster Professional, the icon, the Tool of Tool watches, the Moon Watch. A beautiful 42mm piece of history, with its delicate white lumed baton hands pointing to a still timeless sixties minute track, and delicate slightly recessed sub chronograph registers on a plain, matt monochromatic dial. Twisted lyre lugs the stuff of a thousand replicas. But let’s be one hundred per cent honest with ourselves. This is not a watch per se, this is not an object to tell the time or make sure you catch the bus, but dreams made metal.…

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Moser Swiss Alp Watch 09.10.2020

INTRODUCING: The Moser Swiss Alp Watch is less a clever gimmick than it is just great

The Moser Swiss Alp Watch is a thoroughly intriguing proposal, in what seems a familiar smooth shape of a rectangular pebble with re-imagined wire lugs. Your non-horologically biased mates, family and colleagues will no doubt pose the question as to why this has a crown and a hand-sewn alligator strap, only to be silenced by the mesmerising blue depth of the fumé dial. A dial with depth and detail that doesn’t distort or disappear when seen at an angle … what is this witchcraft? Yes, this was designed as a statement piece. You will understand the deeper meaning without mentioning…

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Seiko Astron SSH073J 08.10.2020

INTRODUCING: The Seiko Astron SSH073J Limited Edition offers dressy darkness in ceramic and titanium

Seiko’s 2020 arsenal of new watches has yet another devastatingly attractive addition in the Seiko Astron SSH073J. In parallel with the mechanical in-house divers and sports watches we can’t seem to get enough of, we find the ultra-precise Astron series, here shown in the dressy darkness of titanium and ceramic. I apologise in advance for more Star Wars references, but they are too tempting. With this on Mr Vader’s wrist, the Death Star would always be on time, as the Astron accuracy is legendary. We sing the praises of Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive and Quartz models with their beguiling mix…

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Minase Divido 05.10.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Minase Divido

A round watch case like few others, sharp angles, quirky Japanese design and a Swiss movement? Surely that can grab your attention, even in these weeks of big stories from Switzerland. At a time when just as many gravitate towards the well known, we have the ones that turn towards another path, a path less crowded, where you will find small manufacturers like Minase. In the Akita province of northern Japan, Minase, more atelier than maison, produce around 500 watches a year – of which the Divido, unusually, is the only round watch, rising to fame a while back on…

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Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph Monopusher 04.10.2020

HANDS-ON: The Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph Monopusher is like a sandwich with every filling possible, and I’m hungry

I am utterly perplexed by the Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph Monopusher. This is a watch, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pontos range, that encompasses some of my favourite features across the ages of horology, amalgamated into one. Stealthy black, chunky yet not too large, both contemporary and vintage, with a chronograph dégradé dial. Oh, and why not throw in an in-house chronograph movement and a monopusher for the hell of it. Ordering one sandwich with all your sweet and savoury favourites would end in disaster, yet the Pontos seems to pull it off. I’m hungry for it. With…

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Rolex Oysterflex 04.10.2020

The Oysterflex Bible – every Rolex Oysterflex reference, named and rated

We all know only too well how a Rolex Oyster or Jubilee bracelet embraces the wrist unlike any other assembly of steel parts available. It’s a watch bracelet with the feel of silk. Lesser common an experience is the sampling of an Oysterflex bracelet, Rolex’s version of a rubber strap. At the time it was released, the brand stridently avoided that description, by the way. We must mention neither the war, nor rubber. Back then, it seemed like typical watch industry doublespeak – where every commoner material is granted a loftier title. That is, until it was in the hand;…

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Seiko SRPE39K 04.10.2020

INTRODUCING: These incredible photos of the Seiko SRPE39K Save The Ocean say it all

Editor’s note: If a picture tells a thousand words, then we should just drop these shots right here and dispense with the written review. Jason Reekie, our main man, has absolutely nailed these, and honoured some exceptionally imaginative, detail-oriented and captivating dial work. Seiko’s ascension, with a little help from their friends at Grand Seiko one can’t help but think, continues apace.  In a blessed year for Seiko, they return with yet another sharp take in the form of the Seiko SRPE39K Save The Ocean Special Edition, a new “King Turtle” with a blue degradè dial and stingray motif. Every…

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Bulgari Octo Finissimo steel 03.10.2020

Does the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Steel truly belong with the big hitters? We put two Trinity Watches next to it to find out….

While I have my loupe on and shirtsleeves turned up, consider this article an appointment with a hypnotist. Because, in my opinion, there is a pressing need to reset the preconceptions of the ‘Holy Trinity’, and to call out the desire created by inaccessibility for what it really is: which is FOMO. Not being able to have things. How it makes us want to have things. But the three-watch comparison we have created here is not a setup with a predetermined outcome. Perhaps, after all, we should leave existing structures of worship intact. Perhaps the ‘Trinity’ is timeless? Untouchable? The…

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30.09.2020

5 of the best watches released in 2020 under $3k, including Grand Seiko, Bulgari and Monta

This has been a bountiful year for the horologically inclined, and full of surprises. We have gone shopping with the virtual Time+Tide gold credit card, and found what we think might be five of the best watches under $3kUSD in 2020. It is an eclectic selection, from established microbrands to tough divers and a flyweight re-edition from Bulgari. The choices are diverse, if not easy to make. A fool might suggest to double your budget and take two home, but play your cards right and your budget might stretch further than you think. Grand Seiko SBGP005   Yes, the first…

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Grand Seiko SBGW264 28.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Grand Seiko SBGW264, a classic dress watch in 18k gold with a hypnotic tapisserie dial

I’m a vintage diver enthusiast, embracing smaller diameters, but still with a predilection for tough tools, even — don’t tell anyone — with a bespoke shirt and a suit. Grand Seiko have single-handedly restored my faith in dress watches in 2020, with their Elegance series having several new references in what is a superb case. The Grand Seiko SBGW264 is another case (and dial) in point, and for me just another sign that the dress watch is alive and well, and speaks the Japanese language. The exquisite case shape in the Grand Seiko Elegance line has a language all of its…

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28.09.2020

HANDS-ON: The Hublot Meca-10 movement makes a move into the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic

A dark brooding presence on the wrist is causing infatuation today, with a vast power reserve and the unexpected lightness of high-tech ceramic. The new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is a futuristic tonneau-shaped timepiece that surprises and assures you in equal measure, with its lightweight tank-like solidity and industrial fascination. A winning case for ceramics This is Hublot’s debut of their cutting-edge Meca-10 movement in the sharp contemporary shape of the Spirit of Big Bang series, with this being the darkest, almost menacing, version, Black Magic. The tonneau shape is not svelte at 45mm, with a…

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27.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Glashütte Original Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 might be the most stunning tourbillon of the year

In a year of great horological heights, Glashütte Original is once again pushing for the summit with the Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 limited edition. This comes after a succession of eye-catching 2020 releases, featuring some of the best dials in the business, and fascinating top tier versions of their vintage perfect diver SeaQ, which made me desire a diamond set bezel for the first time. With the Alfred Helwig Tourbillon,  Glashütte Original seem to have toned it down to the quiet elegance of traditional German haute horlogerie, but this time the movement is the star. Turn the watch around with…

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24.09.2020

The Mondaine Official Swiss Railways stop2go BackLight has a couple of party tricks ready for your sleeve, and it’s in our shop now

The Mondaine Official Swiss Railways stop2go BackLight is indisputable proof that Swiss precision timekeeping is more than mere wristwatches. At first glance this might seem like a great example of mid-century modern, or even Bauhaus-inspired design minimalism, in a utilitarian case. You will only understand fully if you’ve been to one of the pristine Swiss railway stations and glanced up at the eerily exact station clock before your train to Genève arrives four seconds early, never late, and leaves on the second. This very same crisp white face is present on each model from Mondaine, intensely legible in monochrome –…

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23.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The critics were wrong, and the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time flies again, this time as the 7234G-001

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in its first iteration, ref 5524G-001 definitely caught our attention when it was released. We called it the most confusing watch of Baselworld 2015. Patek Philippe had anticipated the sceptical reaction, and the opening line of their press release about the watch sought to quickly legitimise it – referring to the two-hour angle pilot watches from the ’30s whose style codes it extends. But, despite the fact that PP holds its turnover cards close to its chest, word since then is that it has sold better than expected with its sharp and unexpected style. Journalists…

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SeikoProspex SLA042 23.09.2020

GPHG 2020 – 5 disruptive nominees that should be winners in a chaotic and disrupted year

As the inaugural peak of Haute Horlogerie appreciation is upon us, a renewed GPHG convenes. This time with an expanded panel of judges, a semi-online voting process, and, refreshingly, with a truly broad range of nominees. There is a sense that perhaps disruption is the plat du jour. So, let the GPHG roll on with the words of Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin fresh in our minds: “It’s time now for revenge, it’s time for coming back, it’s time for reassuring watch lovers that the industry is back, that the watch industry will excite them, that the watch industry has never…

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22.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Camo Yohji Yamamoto is everything that’s great about the brand, in a watch

Hublot’s Big Bang series this autumn is like an unstoppable tank, with this last month being marked by strong new editions of Big Bang and the Spirit of Big Bang. But no watch has quite captured all that the brand has become quite like this urban warrior, with an almost imperious level of quality and finishing. The Hublot Big Bang Camo Yohji Yamamoto is dressed to kill in full camouflage, and their second collaborative project this year with the enigmatic Japanese designer, this time with only 200 watches available in Hublot boutiques. Hublot dials up the toughness a considerable notch…

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Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GP 20.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 1000 GP

Two brands, both brash, bold, loud and cutting edge. Well, OK, not loud in the same sense as a V12 engine, but Hublot is a perfect fit as the watchmaking partner to Ferrari. This time, it is a celebration of Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix, a milestone in Formula One’s 70th anniversary year and, yes, it took place last weekend at the Mugello circuit in Italy. The bright red steeds of Ferrari are interlinked with F1 like no other brand in history, and after a few changes in their suppliers of racing engines for the wrist, they found the perfect match…

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Seiko Alpinist SPB155J 19.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The brand new Seiko Alpinist SPB155J and its siblings SPB157J and SPB159J

The Seiko Alpinist series is a beloved staple of enthusiasts on watch forums and Instagram, with its comfortable shape, size and particular Japanese take on a sophisticated field watch with a rich history. Earlier this year, changes came to the lineup, with the Alpinist logo no longer present, and the Prospex X above the historical “Automatic” vintage font logo at 6. I observed the discussions that ensued, and was left with the positives of the excellent 6R35 movement easily tipping the scales on the plus side. This time the new Seiko Alpinist SPB155J and its siblings SPB157J and SPB159J are…

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18.09.2020

Get ready, one more sleep till you can order the ultimate unisex summer watch, the Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhiro U1-MY2

Unimatic’s tough Italian exterior gets the touch of Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro in a marriage of crisp white Cerakote™ and extreme minimalism. Unimatic, based in Milan, has a strong reputation for their no-nonsense tough 40mm tool watches, with their bold cases and stubby-perfect 49mm lug-to-lug length. With the Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhiro they have managed to bridge the divide between horology and Hypebeast. This is their second collaborative project this year, with the previous project being the instantly sold out Unimatic x Massena Lab neo-vintage version of this same U1. This time they’re back with a focus on purity, both…

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Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Flying Tourbillon Chronograph 13.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Flying Tourbillon Chronograph, a pinnacle of complexity within the range

Close to being at a loss for words … almost thankful that I haven’t got this on my wrist for a hands-on review as I would not leave the house. Email to Director: Self-imposed lockdown initiated, reason — the new Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Flying Tourbillon Chronograph needs a full 10 days of attention, all Wi-Fi and mobile communication hereby disconnected. Let’s start with the obvious. The CODE 11.59 range has been expanded this year with new references featuring more expressive colours. From the first image alone, it is clear that this is something completely different again. The Tourbillon Chronograph…

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11.09.2020

What nickname has Instagram settled on for the Rolex Submariner ref. 126619LB in white gold?

Now that Rolex has released watches and ended that dreadful rumour that they were sitting 2020 out, the important work begins. Nicknaming them. The one that has perhaps caused the most contention, is this one, the Submariner ref. 126619LB in white gold.   We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about it below. But first, some data. We asked Instagram what its nickname should be. Our favourites are as follows: Sonic. BMW (or Beemer). Blueberry. Sega. Add to these a decidedly not-catchy suggestion of “I wish the stupid nickname game would stop and availability happens.” The winner,…

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Grand Seiko SBGC238 07.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The new Grand Seiko SBGC238 Limited Edition Spring Drive Chronograph is futuristic, aggressive, brilliant

I am beginning to run out of synonyms for the scope of Grand Seiko for 2020, with yet another impressive reference being pulled out of what seems to be a very deep hat. This time we are looking at the Grand Seiko SBGC238, a limited edition of the largest most angular case possibly ever from the brand. It is a shape that echoes strength in a futuristic form that, in spite of its angular weapons-grade appearance, sits very comfortable on the wrist, once again setting the bar for large-case ergonomics.  The case Yes, we are looking at a large chunk…

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Limited Edition in 18k white gold 06.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The menthol-fresh Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Limited Edition in 18k white gold

In a week marked by the one-millimetre revolution, Audemars Piguet has quietly tip-toed into the room and released a frosty breeze of a limited Royal Oak to everyone’s surprise. As if by magic, a new reference of the perfectly sized 39mm Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Limited Edition in 18k white gold appeared on their website.  This is no revolution, but rather a superb dial colour variation suiting the white gold to a tee. I’m thinking this is a sharp move by AP, though with a short 100-piece production run they might be gone rather quickly, as this combination is a…

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sub-40mm Technical Divers 05.09.2020

5 heavy-duty dive watches from a range of price points that don’t monster the wrist – all sub-40mm

Many of us are re-evaluating our preferred size of watches, as the trend is ever-increasing (or should that be shrinking?) towards 36-40mm watches for men, with vintage vibes. In my case, it’s a matter of practicality. My wrist is on the slender side and I wear a shirt most days, so a 45mm wrist chunk is not going to work. The increasing range of options is a godsend for many of us.  But have diminishing sizes hit all categories? Let’s say we’re looking for a tough, no-nonsense modern tool watch that can take a beating. In other words, a diver.…

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Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series 01.09.2020

INTRODUCING: The Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series is yet another competitively priced collection for dial fetishists

Seiko Presage is the sharp alternative between everyday Seiko and the mythical big brother Grand Seiko, with a price range coinciding with the Prospex range and an emphasis on dressy references with a classic Japanese twist. During the last couple of years, Presage has mainly been known for their very popular Cocktail Time series, with a typical Seiko focus on superb value for money – especially in their choice of colourful and elaborate dials. As with their ever-expanding Prospex series, we are now seeing a proper step up in style with the new Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series.  In this…

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best dials of 2020 31.08.2020

The best dials of 2020 – Part 2

Editor’s note: If you missed Part 1, make sure you check it out as it includes the likes of Moser, Chopard and Greubel Forsey. In the best dials of 2020 Part 2 we keep the eye-catching dials rolling, from affordable microbrands all the way to the most haute of horology. Enjoy!  anOrdain Model 2 Time-consuming vitreous enamel with a high breakage quota, and a Scottish microbrand producing time-consuming small batches of 36mm watches. This quirky combination must have been a hard sales pitch to secure funding from the bank managers, but had they seen the end result, the arguments would…

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Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic 30.08.2020

INTRODUCING: The breathtaking and brutally slim Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic

Let’s be honest, 2020 is not just a year of disastrous market decline, job losses and lockdowns. This year has also been one of rapid change and lateral thinking within the horological community. There have also been many heartening examples of the show going on, despite the uncertain backdrop. And with another stunning timepiece in the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic, it’s proof again that there’s no stopping Jean-Christophe Babin and Bulgari, as we witness yet another record-breaking complication for the ultra-thin Octo Finissimo. What is a certainty is that the Finissimo line was launched only six years…

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Girard-Perregaux Infinity 42 27.08.2020

INTRODUCING: The Girard-Perregaux Infinity Editions show their dark side at Geneva Watch Days

Girard-Perregaux is not holding back at the Geneva Watch Days, launching their complete but limited Infinity Editions, a tempting collection set around the dark opulent theme of gold, polished black onyx and titanium. At first, it seems an incongruous marriage of past and future: the rarely seen deep gloss black of onyx associated with jewellery and Rolex dials of the ’70s, paired with what is still considered, in our traditional halls of Haute Horlogerie, futuristic titanium. Unusually and fascinatingly, Girard-Perregaux has darkened both limited editions of existing references and debuts their Free Bridge model. Join us as we visit the…

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best Beads-of-Rice bracelets 27.08.2020

3 of the best beads-of-rice bracelets on the market and the differences between them

The beads-of-rice bracelet, a bracelet design only a few years ago lost to the winds of time — a memory of stretched-out and rattly bracelets on a well-worn 35mm vintage gents watch. Or the mythical Gay Frères kind, one of the most sought-after. I’m embarrassed to admit that I once threw one in the trash, short of knowledge. As with many details of horological nature, the BOR bracelet has again come full circle, but tighter of tolerance, with a solid feel and on the cusp of becoming ubiquitous. If your memory is of the charmingly loose and jangly feeling of your…

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Best Dials of 2020 26.08.2020

The Best Dials of 2020 – Part 1

Me, I’m a dial man. Don’t get me wrong, I love a sharp bevelled case and intricate movements, but what gets me first is the face of the watch. Here we’ll look at 10 examples – over two stories, the second of which to follow in the coming days – of dial faces that could launch a thousand watch enthusiasts. Into bliss. From minimalist craftsmanship in precious metals to microbrand vitreous enamel, these are the best of the best. There’s no need to underline the fact that 2020 has been a dramatic year, with a sharp downturn for the Swiss…

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Boldr Venture 24.08.2020

MICRO MONDAYS: The Boldr Venture might be the best value titanium watch on the market

Yes, it’s a very bold opening line. In fact, this is no boldr (sorry!) than a simple statement of the facts, should you sum up the parts, starting with a titanium watch with 200m water resistance for under $300 USD including shipping. Boldr Supply Co. is an established microbrand with five watch lines, and a solid community following of their watches and accessories for the self-categorised Urban Explorer. The two questions you’re likely to ask yourself: How is it possible to have a stock model in titanium with a low might-never-happen-Kickstarter project price? Is the compact field watch that is…

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Girard-Perregaux Laureato 23.08.2020

IN-DEPTH: Girard-Perregaux Laureato Vs. the Laureato Absolute Chronograph – the Beauty and The Beast

If you were to pick Girard-Perregaux’s Jekyll & Hyde, this would be the pair of watches that fit the bill; the Laureato 38mm and the Laureato Absolute Chronograph. Girard-Perregaux is a distinguished but quiet presence on the horological scene, and have a history whose shadow and depth extends well beyond the brand’s current day reputation. And when we are talking about the modern era and the category du jour: steel sports watch with integrated bracelets, GP are well and truly in the game with the Laureato range, reissued in 2017, based on the 1975 hit. This, however, is a tale…

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best Scandinavian watches 21.08.2020

The Nordic way – 5 of the best Scandinavian watch brands, and the models they are known for

The Arctic is a tough environment with long dark winters, where the isolation breeds creativity and a certain strict code of design, whether they be the toughest tool watches or classic dress pieces in a Scandinavian pared-down aesthetic. Regardless of the style of watch, there is a design language that defines the Nordic region. Here are five of the best Scandinavian watch brands out there, and some of their best known models.  5 of the best Scandinavian watch brands Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite – a tough tool with an astronomic twist The masters of Nordic tools, Linde Werdelin, originate from…

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Seiko SLA037 Omega Seamaster 300 review 15.08.2020

IN-DEPTH: A top-of-the line Seiko diver, SLA037 Vs. the lesser-seen Omega Seamaster 300, same price, different experience?

Editor’s note: Here we continue a new style of review that pits two similarly specced watches against each other, in an arena that is less touched up, and more true to the naked eye than our usual images. Last week we had a super-popular Seiko and the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. While both alike in specs, they were at very different price points. So, this time we thought we’d pit two dive watches with similar specs and aesthetics – from the golden mid-century era – and almost an identical price, against each other. There is extra sass here, because one is proof…

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Glashütte Original SeaQ diamonds 11.08.2020

INTRODUCING: The Glashütte Original SeaQ – a 39.5mm dive watch with a diamond bezel? Sorry, what?

Watching Andrew in the Virtual Baselworld 2020 recap I had a deep understanding of the distracted description of the glacial blue degradè dial of the Sixties pieces from Glashütte Original. Today I’m quietly drawn to something that is so far removed from my vintage diver tool-tastes that I am genuinely surprised. Glashütte Original is the independent child in the Swatch Group family, left to their own devices in the German mountains, with the result being a superb range of classic Germanic horology infused with a strong identity and in-house production. Their fascinating mix of strictly traditional watchmaking, in their Senator series,…

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Sinn U50 SDR 09.08.2020

HANDS-ON: The Sinn U50 SDR is submarine tough, but mighty slim and perfectly sized at 40mm

A neutron star is tiny, at an average 20km in diameter, but incredibly dense. Its mass is equivalent to 1.5 times our Sun – which has room for more than a million Earths. How does this set the backdrop to a review of the fêted Sinn U50 SDR, the first-ever Sinn with a waiting list?  Physics and astronomy is an unusual starting point for a watch review, but stay with me…! Thanks to the generous engineers at Sinn Spezialuhren in Frankfurt, I have had the new Sinn U50 diver comfortably on my wrist for a couple of weeks, and the…

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Tudor Black Bay 58 Vs. Seiko Prospex SPB147 08.08.2020

IN DEPTH: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Vs. Seiko Prospex SPB147J – the battle of gilty pleasures

If a watch has become synonymous with the One Watch Collection, a quintessential vintage diver, or the perfect Sub reissue Rolex never released, it’s the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. In fact, care of the recent navy blue update, it’s currently as viral as the AD waiting lists are long. Personally, I love vintage tool watches, and especially the quiet bling that a warm touch of gold brings to the party. But can we find alternatives in the same perfect 38-40mm size from another big box brand? Yes, we can — from Seiko, well known for their brilliant vintage reissues, but…

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Rolex GMT-Master 1675 02.08.2020

LONG READ: I did not want to like the vintage Rolex Pepsi GMT-Master ref. 1675. It had other plans.

I have had enough of vintage Rolex. Really, enough. Hyped out. Even in the darkest days of lockdown I would skip Hodinkee’s Talking Watches episodes focusing on GMT-Master references and vintage Rolex collections … bring me some carbon fibre! Why, then, do I find myself standing here outside the house of the owner of a 1969 Rolex GMT-Master 1675 feeling sick and wanting to leave? Caressing the scratched lug for the last time, trying to read the surface like braille, encoding the history within. I did not want to hand it back. A weekend with the iconic Rolex “Pepsi” 1675 I’m…

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MB&F X L'EPÉE X MASSENA LAB 31.07.2020

INTRODUCING: MB&F x L’Epée x Massena LAB

How can a table clock be desirable? My thought process is well on the way to becoming coherent, meaning Sellable To The Wife. She has a background as a buyer in the oil business, so I can’t tell her that the need for a USD$27,000 non-wearable time piece is driven by desire.  The title of my presentation (with PowerPoint?): How to justify the purchase of a USD$27,000 table clock with a T-Rex theme. Well, actually, just the skeletonised legs and one eye, but beautifully made … It will be made more difficult by her not knowing what Max Büsser and…

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Garbage Watch 25.07.2020

INTRODUCING: The Garbage Watch is a piece of trash and they know it

Not the zingiest name I’ve come across, I must admit. Is this a statement, an actual watch – or something stolen by an Area 51 engineer from an alien craft?  It might be all of the above and, boy, it’s brash and edgy (pun intended). Consider this an ongoing story as much as it is a watch. While everyone is staring goggle-eyed at the bold architectural structure with its bombardment of colours and textures, I will endeavour to explain the mission of this Garbage Watch. Vollebak is at the cutting edge of high-tech fashion, and this is their first watch.…

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Linde Werdelin 3 Timer GMT blue dial 10.07.2020

IN-DEPTH: Linde Werdelin release ‘3 Timer’ GMT in sandblasted steel with stunning blue gradient dial, limited to just 55

No fauxtina, no sub 40mm case and seemingly hewn out of a three ton block of arctic granite … I am blown away by how something so big can be so refreshing. A massive chunk of sandblasted blue freshness. You can tell by my name that I might have a Nordic bias here – but my personal preference is small, vintage, with a hint of bling. Yes, everything the Linde Werdelin range is not. Still, I feel myself drawn to this big chunk of a watch, seemingly made for my demigod namesake and not for my puny wrists. The lineage…

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