All posts in “Watches”

Which Size Watch Is Right for You?

How does one break into the confusing, esoteric world of watch nerdery? Our new column, “How to Be a Watch Guy,” aims to answer all your new watch guy questions, and help you navigate the always exciting — but sometimes intimidating, complicated, and pricey — world of watches.

A few weeks ago, a colleague of mine emailed me with a concern. Did I think his watch was too small? He sent a pic of his wrist, wearing both a large 46mm Samsung Smart watch and a smaller — but still big — Timex Expedition, with a big black dial and chunky chronograph pushers. It looked fine to me. “My wrist is 8 inches,” he wrote. “So if you go by the rules, the 41mm Timex is too big.”

What rules was he talking about? These. They’re the first thing that pop up on Google when you search “watch size rules.” And good on them, for winning at Search Engine Optimization. But I’m here to tell you that it’d be best for watch lovers everywhere if they threw the current set of “rules” about watch size out the window.

I’ve been writing about watches since 2012, and I’ve heard all the Unwritten (But Often Actually Written) Rules. That if your wrist measured X you couldn’t wear any watches smaller than Y or bigger than Z. That small watches were for ladies. That big watches were on the rise; that small watches were on the rise. That millimeters were all that mattered.

Yes, the size of a watch is important to whether you ought to wear it. Hugely important, even, in some cases. But the current “rules” are both wildly arbitrary and strictly adhered to.

And I say: Throw. Them. Out. The. Window.

Lest we forget, watches are fashion. Fashion is personal. It’s subjective. And there’s plenty of bad advice out there. So here are some basic truths about watch size: Nothing about the “rules” is hard or fast. Check them out. Use them to make up your own watch rules. Then break them at will. Most of all: never again let Google tell you what size watch to wear.

Watch Size Isn’t Feminine or Masculine

The first wristwatches were “bracelet watches” or “wristlets” worn mostly by women. Soldiers during WWI then strapped pocket watches to their wrists, so as not to miss the appropriate time to fire artillery or charge out of the trenches (or worse, be early). The same debate of the sexes raged then as it does now: was this “wristwatch” thing for ladies or dudes? It’s logical that women, who are smaller than men, might on the whole wear smaller watches then men, who are bigger. But we’ve also sexualized the size of the watch to the nth degree.

a WWI-era “trench watch” from The Jewelry Editor

Watch sizes have vacillated widely over the years, but we tend to ignore that today. Lots of dudes would never be caught wearing a watch under a certain arbitrary size — say, 36mm — for fear of being mistaken for a lady. This doesn’t stop ladies (the smarter sex, obviously) from looking fantastic while wearing great big sports watches. We can all learn from this. Both really small and really big watches can be worn by anybody. Best to consider other factors when deciding what you like.

Size Isn’t Just About Diameter in Millimeters

The diameter of the watch case, in millimeters, is the common indicator of a watch’s size. For men, the “usual” sizes range from 35mm up to 45mm, though plenty of good watches fall outside of that range. But a case’s diameter is only part of the size story. A number of other factors come into play, like a case’s shape, its thickness, the location and size of the crown, whether there’s a bezel (and the bezel’s size), the vertical distance of the lugs (which attach to the strap or bracelet), and even the color of the dial or the shape and thickness of the watch’s crystal.

My 35.5mm Zodiac Sea Wolf, for instance, wears a lot larger on my wrist because of its domed crystal and its “long” lugs. A white dial tends to look larger than a dark one; a bezel can make a watch’s dial, and therefore the watch itself, look larger or smaller, depending on its style. Don’t just look at a watch’s diameter when deciding if it’s the right size for you. Yes, we live in an era of the online watch boutique, but trying it out on your own wrist is the best way to tell if you like its size.

A vintage Zodiac Sea Wolf wears larger than its 35mm case might suggest due to its long lugs

Every Wrist Is Different

Speaking of your wrist: it’s your own. Watch nerds talk a lot about the “sweet spot” for watch sizing; in modern parlance, that number is an inflexible range between 38 and 40mm. I say: the sweet spot is more relative than that. How do you find yours? If you’re a quantified type, go ahead and measure your wrist and use that number to narrow down the right potential watch size. Maybe you’re more like me, though; numbers don’t really help.

I’ve figured out my own “sweet spot” at around 34-39mm, by wearing a ton of watches. You might think about your wrist as a wall, and the watch your wearing as a painting. How do you want to fill up that wall today? How much space around the image do you want showing? It’s also worth noting that your “sweet spot” might change over the years, as your style and taste change. Keep an open mind. Try on a big hunk of a watch, or a little one, every once in a while. Maybe you’ll be surprised at how much you like the different size.

Size Relates to Utility.

A formal watch need not be large at all — the smaller-sized Cartier Tank is a case in point

How are you going to use the watch? Is it formalwear or for camping? Will you wear the watch every day or just on special occasions? You might find you love a huge watch, but when you try to wear it with a suit it looks bad; or that a tiny watch you love wearing everyday doesn’t work for your next big adventure. It’s perfectly possible that you don’t just love smaller watches, or bigger ones, or ones right down the middle — your perfect watch size might depend on the day. And that’s just fine.

Chris Wright, a former Gear Patrol editor, is a freelance writer based in L.A. Write him with your watch questions, comments and concerns at cwrighteditor@gmail.com.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Why This German Brand’s Controversial New Watch Isn’t a ‘Sport Watch’

If you weren’t already keenly aware, steel sport watches that cost as much as gold watches are very much a thing. It’s just that nobody saw one coming from the typically traditional and formal German brand A. Lange & Söhne when it recently released its new Odysseus. Expectedly, it’s proven controversial.

The most iconic examples of such steel luxury sport watches, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, were both designed in the 1970s by one Gerald Genta. Since then, brands have tried to replicate that undeniable mojo with their own entrances into this niche but important category — with varying degrees of success. Examples that come easily to mind are Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas, Piaget’s Polo S, Girard Perregaux’s Laureato, and Chopard’s recent Alpine Eagle.

The new Odysseus from A. Lange & Söhne might not perfectly fit the broad term “sport watch.” After all, it wasn’t designed for a specific activity, and the brand itself carefully says that it’s a “casual watch” rather than a “sport watch.” Fair enough.

Fans, however, saw the relatively sporty Odysseus as potential competition for watches like the Royal Oak and Nautilus. And they also saw it as something of a departure for the brand known for its formally styled, traditionally finished, and mostly leather-strapped watches.

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A. Lange & Söhne is among high-end brands that make watches almost exclusively in precious metals. As is the case with, say, Patek Phillipe watches, this means that collectors often disproportionately value the relativdely rare steel models for their novelty.

Like Patek’s Nautilus, the Odysseus stands out among A. Lange & Söhne’s collections for being serially produced in steel. It’s also Lange’s most water-resistant watch to date, with a screw-down crown and a rating of 100m, which means it’s suitable for swimming. It’s understandable that some have mistaken it for a “sport watch.”

Another element that characterizes watches like the Royal Oak and Nautilus is an integrated steel bracelet. The bracelet here is yet another unusual feature for Lange, but it’s not an “integrated” design in the sense that the case’s lugs will only fit proprietary straps. You could easily put it on a third-party strap.

Lange doesn’t want you to think that the Odysseus is any less representative of its core philosophy and DNA than any other watch it makes. Indeed, characteristic refinement and a range of design cues tie it to other collections, and its movement is hand-finished to the same astonishing degree that all A. Lange & Söhne watches are, from the simplest time-only watch up to the most complicated examples.

A completely new movement also makes the Odysseus notable. It features automatic winding — like a sporty everyday or casual watch should — and large, symmetrical date and day-of-the-week displays.

The brand’s fans and collectors had apparently been calling for a more versatile watch than the delicate and dressy ones that make up the majority of A. Lange & Söhne offerings. The Odysseus seems to offer all this and has a price typical for the brand’s precious metal-cased watches at $28,800.

It can take time for controversial watches like this to sink in, and for the market to make a judgement on them. That was true of the Royal Oak and the Nautilus, as well as A. Lange & Söhne’s own most successful pieces like the Lange 1 and the Zeitwerk. Time will tell if the Odysseus has the magic that made those watches legendary.

Gear Patrol had the chance not only to see the Odysseus in person, but to sit down with A. Lange & Söhne’s CEO Wilhelm Schmid to get his perspective on it.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: What were the challenges and inspirations that went into developing the Odysseus?

A: The project is almost as old as the modern company itself, because even Mr. Blümlein [who, along with Walter Lange, revived the company in 1994] worked on concepts, but it took us a lot longer than many other watches before we had the right idea. Let me elaborate a little bit on this. I believe that the success of the Lange 1, the Zeitwerk, the Datograph, or the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is firstly that there is a high recognition value. You’ll spot a Lange 1 from a distance because there is no other watch like it.

But these distinctive watch face designs don’t fall from a tree. You have to have an idea, and then you have to work with the idea. We had a rough concept by around 2013 or 2014, but it was probably another year before our designer was able to realize it. Then, construction started on the movement to accommodate the ideas.

Q: Did the sport watch idea come first or did it follow other design concepts?

A: It’s not a “sport watch.” I know, it’s always difficult to describe the Odysseus’s category. For me, a sport watch is a purpose watch like a diver or a pilot’s watch — watches made for doing sports or demanding activities.

The reason for us to develop the Odysseus was that a lot of customers said that they wear our watches throughout the year, but often not when relaxing with family on weekends or holidays, and that’s the most precious time. I don’t believe that is because of the gold or platinum cases; it’s more the alligator leather straps that stop them from wearing it when they go to the local pubs, to the pool or beach with the kids, skiing, or just hang around in hot, humid climates. You don’t want to go with that sort of watch to the beach.

You can call it a “sporty” watch, but it’s actually a watch for the most precious times we have: weekends, free time, when we do things a little less organized and planned than throughout the week. Yes, you can call it a “casual” watch.

“You can call it a “sporty” watch, but it’s actually a watch for the most precious times we have: weekends, free time, when we do things a little less organized and planned than throughout the week. Yes, you can call it a ‘casual’ watch.”

Q: Who is the Odysseus for? What does the profile of the target consumer look like?

A: It’s the same target group we address with our other watches. Again, we removed the need to worry about things like the alligator strap or scratching the gold and replaced it with a steel bracelet and case. But all the rest: the hands, the dial the movement, the decoration, the finish…that’s all A. Lange & Söhne, and also the price point is very typical for us.

So I think that it will be a watch for current clients or for people we couldn’t reach in the past because they don’t want a gold watch. You know, there are parts of the world where, even for religious reasons, like in the Middle East, you’re not allowed to wear gold, especially pink gold or yellow gold.

Q: Do you see the Odysseus as the first A. Lange & Söhne watch someone might buy?

A: Yes, of course. With the Saxonia Thin, we reached a lot of young, first-time A. Lange & Söhne buyers. I think that the Odysseus will also become a watch that can reach out to these people, but they have to understand how long the backorder list already is and that, because it’s an A. Lange & Söhne watch, it’s impossible for us to just ramp up production and produce more watches. So a little bit of patience is requested.

Q: What reactions have you seen to the Odysseus from collectors, from retailers, from the media?

A: It’s polarizing. But that is what we hoped for, to be honest. As much as we all want to be liked by everybody, if something is beautiful at the first glance, it’s also not of any longevity, and six months down the road nobody is interested anymore. It created a big discussion, a controversial discussion; people liked it, people didn’t like it.

What we realized is that quite a few people who came with the intention to not like the watch changed their mind after they put it around their wrist. I’m not saying that counts for everybody, but there’s a huge difference in the reaction between people who have seen the watch in person and those who have only seen it digitally or in print.

“It’s polarizing. But that is what we hoped for, to be honest…It created a big discussion, a controversial discussion; people liked it, people didn’t like it.”

Q: What can you share about how the collection might expand in the future? Will it evolve more in a sporty direction or more in the direction of complications and precious metals?

A: I can share that it will be a family, but I always focus on what I just launched and not what I’m going to launch. If you look to the other families, you will see that everything is possible. We won’t restrict ourselves too much, but there’s a clear strategy behind it.

The whole watch, from the push buttons to the bracelet was thought out carefully. If you know the plan is to create a new product family, you have to take that into consideration because a lot of the dial space is occupied by the indications. So anything you want to do in the next 10 years, you better consider now. Otherwise, a retrofit will be very difficult.

“From A to Z it’s the quality they expect from us in the movement, in the finishing, in the design aspects. So I would fight for every every centimeter if somebody told me that the Odysseus is not an A. Lange & Söhne through and through.”

Q: What has your personal experience been in developing the Odysseus?

A: It’s been a really long journey. I’ve now been running the company nine years, and I’ve launched quite a few watches in this time. But I think the Odysseus has by far been the most demanding, challenging, and also controversial watch we’ve launched in my nine years. I have a great team, and there’s a lot of passion that’s gone into this product. I can understand that we don’t meet everybody’s taste; I have to accept it. What I can assure everybody is that from A to Z it’s the quality they expect from us in the movement, in the finishing, in the design aspects. So I would fight for every every centimeter if somebody told me that the Odysseus is not an A. Lange & Söhne through and through.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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One of Our Favorite American Watchmakers Is Back

O ye fans of storied American watchmaking, rejoice! Benrus returneth.

What is a Benrus, you might ask? Benrus was an American watchmaking concern set up in New York City in 1921 by one Benjamin Lazarus (“Ben” + “-rus” from “Lazarus” = Benrus. Get it? Sure you do). The company made several well known military and aviation models (the DTU-2A/P, the Type I and II, the Sky Chief) and underwent or initiated several mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, etc. over the course of its life. For all intents and purposes, the models that excite most watch lovers were produced from the 1940s through the 1960s.

Benrus HQ was originally in the storied Hippodrome in NYC. It will return to the current iteration of the building in 2020

Now Benrus is being revitalized following its acquirement by a private investment group led met M&A attorney Michael Sweeney, and it plans on returning in late 2020 ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2021. For now, Benrus 2.0 is showcasing its Heritage collection watches, which are inspired by the company’s past designs, but evidently their launch in late 2020 will include “the reissue of select highly collectable vintage timepieces that helped to define the brand along with the opening of its historical archive.”

A Benrus DTU-2A/P on left

Let’s hope this means reissues of classic 1940s and 1960s-era pieces such as the DTU-2A/P and the Sky Chief. For now, be sure to check out the brand’s Field Watch ($1,095), which is available in three colors and certainly seems to take influence from the famed Bullitt watch famously rocked by Steve McQueen (check out this thorough writeup on the Bullitt from our friends at Worn & Wound).

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

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This Innovative Scratchproof Watch Was 50 Years Ahead of Its Time

Welcome to Watches You Should Know, a biweekly column highlighting little-known watches with interesting backstories and unexpected influence. This week: the Rado DiaStar.

The offbeat design of the Rado DiaStar isn’t the only reason it should get your attention. It’s funky, for sure, but you might not guess that it was technologically visionary. As ceramics and material innovation have become some of the most important current areas of competition among major watch brands, the DiaStar’s introduction in 1962 represents a milestone for the industry that today seems all the more significant. Rado introduced the DiaStar as “the world’s first scratchproof watch,” and the brand today quietly continues to be a leader in technical materials.

The DiaStar was long considered the “first ceramic watch,” but there has subsequently been some confusion since the material was tungsten carbide rather than the more common form of watchmaking ceramic, zirconium dioxide. The first this, the first that…These are important designations watch companies use to stake their place in history, but there’s often some controversy and discrepancy surrounding such claims. The Rado DiaStar is one such example that deserves some clarification. The DiaStar is indeed tungsten carbide, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the first ceramic watch.

It turns out that the definition of ceramic isn’t so cut-and-dry, as ceramic is more like a type of material than a specific substance. Naturally, the “high-tech ceramic” used for watchmaking is different than that of your coffee cup, which helps illustrate the wide variation possible in ceramics. According to Wikipedia, “a ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid material comprising metal, nonmetal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds.” There’s a lot to unpack there, but, essentially, ceramic can be made from a range of elements, including metals like tungsten.

So, is tungsten-carbide a ceramic? It seems that the American Ceramic Society, at least, considers it so, which is good enough for this non-chemist watch enthusiast to call the DiaStar the first ceramic watch.

It’s true, however, that most ceramic in watches today use a different compound. You can even find ceramic watches with ZrO2 proudly printed on their dials (for zirconium dioxide). No matter how you look at it, the Rado DiaStar was a unique and notable achievement. Tungsten carbide has been used in very few other watches, and more brands didn’t start making ceramic watches until the 1980s. Now, everybody’s doing it.

Scratch-resistance is an important part of what has helped make ceramic the new premium material of watchmaking. Indeed, the cases of many vintage DiaStar models still look essentially brand new. Sport watch bezels with aluminum inserts used to be standard, but they’ve now begun to feel inferior as ceramic has generally replaced them for use by luxury brands, from Rolex to Omega and many more.

Fully ceramic-cased watches, on the other hand, entail a whole other level of cost and complexity, but brands clearly consider them a worthwhile investment. While ceramic can chip or crack with very hard impacts, it’s valued for its scratch-resistance and lightweight properties, as well as for having a deservedly technical and exotic attraction. Excitingly, it also offers the the use of colors without coatings: For a long time, it was exceedingly difficult for watch manufacturers to produce ceramic in colors other than black and white with sufficient consistency and accuracy of hue, but Rado is again leading the way with the likes of its new Le Corbusier collection.

Ceramic in watchmaking didn’t really pick up until the 1980s, and the technology has really only getting off the ground in the last few years. Nowadays, just about every major brand seems to include a fully ceramic-cased watch in its catalog. (Even the Apple Watch comes in a premium version with a ceramic case option.) The 1962 DiaStar also used sapphire crystal far before it became the standard for luxury watch crystals that it is today. Ceramic bezel/case and sapphire crystal together give a watch an essentially unscratchable facade.

Ceramic is still a core part of Rado’s identity. The DiaStar came out almost 60 years ago, and Rado still offers it in a pretty true-to-original form, though with some different nomenclature. (Now the collection is named the Original, even though “DiaStar” still features prominently on the dial.) Its tungsten carbide case material is referred to as “Hardmetal” to differentiate it from its other watches that are High-Tech Ceramic, Plasma High-Tech Ceramic, and Ceramos (the alternate term “hardmetal” for tungsten carbide is standard but might be a little confusing). Of course, Rado also makes watches in stainless steel.

The DiaStar is aesthetically — shall we say — not for everyone. But knowing its place in history might change the way you look at it. The DiaStar being a somewhat overlooked watch is good news for vintage buyers who can appreciate its quirks, but Rado’s achievements deserve greater recognition, and every fan of watchmaking and material innovation should understand its significance.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Land Rover Collabed with a Swiss Watch Brand on this Sporty Chronograph

Briefly discontinued, the Land Rover Defender SUV is back for 2020, and now, it’s got a technical new Defy 21 watch from Zenith to go with it. Some sleek but relatively sober watches have resulted from the ongoing partnership between Swiss watchmaker Zenith and British automaker Land Rover, and the latest continues in that spirit. Somewhat like the Land Rover Defender, the Zenith Defy 21 has a tempered design that hides some impressive technology under the hood.

In a 44mm-wide brushed gray ceramic case, the Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition also has a brushed gray dial, whereas many other Defy 21 watches feature edgy designs with skeletonized dials. The look here, with traditional chronograph sub-dials and pushers, is deceptive because this is no ordinary chronograph. Like other El Primero movements, it operates at the uncommonly high frequency of 5Hz (4Hz is typical for most modern mechanical watches) for its time-telling functions, but there’s a lot more to pique your technical interest.

The chronograph function (stopwatch) uses a separate escapement and operates at no less than 50Hz, meaning the chronograph can accurately measure down to a hundredth of a second. Press the 2 o’clock pusher to start it, and the central hand whips around the dial once per second. The chronograph can run for 50 minutes, and the El Primero 9004 movement offers automatic winding and a power reserve for its time-telling of 50 hours — indicated by a linear display just below the Zenith logo.

Thankfully for those who might like the watch even without any particular connection to Land Rover, there’s no dual branding, at least on the watch’s dial side. The Zenith Defy 21 Land Rover Edition is limited to 250 examples and each will have a USD price of around $14,300.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Own a Seiko 5 Field Watch? Here Are 3 Great Upgrades to Consider

Ready to up your wrist game? In our series The Upgrade, we recommend more premium alternatives to popular watch models to help you navigate your next purchase. Today’s starting place: the classic Seiko 5 Field Watch.

There’s just about nothing else out there quite like the iconic SNK series Seiko 5 Field Watch — that is, nothing like it at the same price level. It’s basic, but for under $100 it offers a pretty decent automatic movement (which is visible, on modern versions, through the case back), solid construction, and an unbeatable military style that’s versatile and satisfying. On the right strap, it can feel a lot more expensive than it is.

Of the wide range of watches in the Seiko 5 phylum, the Seiko 5 SNK Field Watch specifically is where many people start getting into mechanical watches, and with good reason. You can wear one happily for years, but you might eventually want something…more. More refinement, more features, more accuracy, more cachet, perhaps.

Maybe you want the handy features that are standard in higher-end mechanical watch movements, like manual winding and hacking (where the seconds hand stops when setting the time). Well, all that inevitably costs more money. The examples below are all mechanical watches like the Seiko 5 SNK, but each also offer quartz versions that cost a bit less. You’re looking at spending several times the price of the Seiko 5 in any case, but they each represent a solid upgrade in their own ways. (Best of all, the price of each mechanical version is still less than $500.)

Like the Seiko 5’s Size? Try a Marathon General Purpose

The Marathon General Purpose watch offers a few things the Seiko doesn’t. The 37mm diameter of the Seiko 5 makes it work well for many wrists, especially those not previously accustomed to wearing a watch at all. Such sizes were previously considered “small,” but are becoming more common in men’s watches. The Marathon is even smaller at 34mm, but its shape and size make it wear more boldly than it might sound.

Pro tip: A bund-style or NATO strap can help make a small watch wear more prominently.

Marathon watches are produced in Switzerland and feature premium materials like sapphire crystal instead of the Seiko 5’s Hardlex, but the automatic movement inside is made by — wait for it — Seiko. It’s considered a bit more premium than the one used in the Seiko 5 and offers the ability to wind the movement manually. Built to government specifications for actual military use, the Marathon also features tritium illumination on its dial.

Price: $359

Like the Seiko 5’s Field Watch Look, but Want Something More Sophisticated? Try a Merci LMM 01

As its name suggests, Merci is a French brand, and they make a range of products besides this attractive, stylish, and surprisingly affordable field watch. If you like the field watch aesthetic of the Seiko 5, Merci’s LMM 01 offers a modern, playful, and refined take on the genre. It’s more design-oriented than the pragmatic Seiko 5, but it’ll probably feel more like an upgrade than any other watch on this list.

The Merci LMM 01 has a 37.5mm steel case, scratchproof sapphire crystal, and its powered by a Swiss-made mechanical movement. Unlike the Seiko and Marathon watches above, the Merci’s movement doesn’t offer automatic winding and must be regularly wound by hand (just as the Hamilton watch below). They cost more money because they are Swiss, but these basic manual movements help prices remain relatively affordable.

Price ~$440

Like the Seiko 5’s Understated, Versatile Style? Try a Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

We’ve said it time and again on Gear Patrol: the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is one of the most classic, bang-for-buck, solid mechanical watches you can get. You want a basic field watch like this to be just that: basic. The Hamilton Khaki Field, however, is going to be more robust and accurate, with better parts and materials, than the Seiko 5. It’s not an exact descendant of watches Hamilton actually produced for the military but leverages and represents that history well.

With a 38mm-wide steel case, the Hamilton Khaki Field is water-resistant to 50m and is topped with sapphire crystal. It’s powered by a manually wound Swiss movement, but current models feature a substantial 80 hours of power reserve. Ask any veteran watch enthusiast: you can’t go wrong with a Hamilton Khaki Field.

Price $495

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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One of Our Favorite Field Watches Is New and Improved and Back In Stock

We previously waxed poetic about the Carpenter Watches’ Brooklyn Field Watch nearly two years ago. Since then, we thoroughly reviewed the brand’s Brooklyn Gent, an awesome 38mm everyday automatic, and have been patiently awaiting their next release.

And while we’re still waiting on a thoroughly new model, we do have some good news: the Brooklyn Field Watch is back in stock, newly redesigned and awaiting eager wrists. The new M1B and M2B still come in both black and white dials on either black or brown leather straps, but the dials and cases have been slightly tweaked: the triangular marker at 12 o’clock is now a 60-minute marker, and the case, dial and hands have been improved via the use of new tooling for better finishing.

Other than that, you’re still getting a comfortable 40mm field watch powered by the Miyota 821A automatic movement, a double-domed sapphire crystal and exhibition case back, a date complication, C3 lume and 50m of water resistance. For $595, this is a great first field watch from an American brand — though of course, we’re not arguing against it becoming your tenth field watch, either.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Here’s the Automatic Dive Watch You Should Buy for Under $500

Nodus, a California-based microbrand, has been making dope, affordable field and dive watches for several years now. Their latest model line, the Sector, includes both dive and field watch variants in their signature affordable, feature-laden style. We’ll be focusing on the dive watch variant here, as we’ve got a more extensive review of the field watch coming out shortly — be sure to be on the lookout for that.

The Sector Dive (shipping this month) is a modern take on the skin diver, a type of dive watch from the 1960s meant not necessarily for SCUBA diving, but for shallower free diving and swimming, typically with a thinner case and only 100m or 150m of water resistance. These features are retained on the Sector Dive (smaller 38mm steel case, 150m water resistance), but the overall aesthetic has been suffused with thoroughly modern design sensibilities and tech.

Based around the Seiko NH35 automatic movement with date (regulated here to four positions), the Sector Dive features a double-domed sapphire crystal with blue anti-reflective coating, a steel, DCL-coated, 120-click unidirectional bezel with a lumed pip, a matching steel 20mm-to-18mm bracelet with a button release and micro-adjustment clasp, a screw-down crown, drilled lugs and four available dial finishes: matte black, matte white, matte beige and matte blue. Each handsome dial features multiple concentric sectors that lend the watches a dynamic, modern feel.

Priced at just $425, the Sector Dive is designed and assembled in Los Angeles and comes with a 24-month warranty from Nodus. If you’re on the hunt for a new diver with a unique look but you don’t want to break the bank — and you don’t need hundreds of meters of water resistance, which most people don’t — the Sector Dive may be the perfect choice.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

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Why Your Watch’s Warranty Is More Important Than You Think

Show of hands: How many people look closely at the warranty when watch shopping? Not many. Ok, how many people think it’s probably important? Yeah, you know it’s likely a good idea to consider it, especially since some companies offer considerably longer warranty periods than others. But, ugh, the fine print! In fact, it’s not as daunting or complicated a topic as you might think, and understanding a few basic points will help you buy with greater confidence.

Watch warranties have, interestingly, become a space for competition within the industry — a competition the consumer wins. With steadily improving technology and manufacturing, better-quality parts have led to more robust watches, and a lot of companies have been increasing the length of their warranties or offering “extensions” on them. It was news when, a few years ago, Rolex and, later, Omega increased their warranties to five years. Some Richemont brands like Cartier, IWC, Panerai, and Jaeger-LeCoultre have also begun offering warranty “extensions” that can amount to a total of eight years.

Those are some of the most prominent brands and strongest/longest warranties in the industry, and they are indeed noteworthy. However, as something that can add value and make a difference in consumers’ purchasing decisions, you should understand what exact benefits they offer — and what they don’t cover.

More than providing assurance against defects, importantly, warranties also reflect the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of its product — they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make good business sense. They help consumers trust the company they’re investing in, and trust is everything in luxury watches. It’s understandable that watch enthusiasts can be confused and overwhelmed by warranties’ legalese, so here are a few points worth clarifying.

Watch Warranties Don’t Cover Damage

Watch warranties are meant to protect against “manufacturer defects” — that is, anything you may discover is wrong with the watch rather than anything that happens to it. If you haven’t abused or damaged the watch yourself, the warranty should cover anything you find isn’t right with it. To preempt any ambiguity, most brands have a list of circumstances that are not covered, some of them specific and some of them broad. It’s also standard that if you or any third party has tampered with, modified, or repaired the watch, the company will consider the warranty voided.

Watch Warranties Don’t Cover Regular Servicing Costs

There are a few key issues related to buying a watch and caring for it that some people confuse — like the particulars of what’s covered in the warranty, what recommended servicing intervals are, and what servicing itself entails. Most luxury watches bought from an authorized dealer come with a warranty (or “guarantee”) from the brand of a couple (or a few) years, and most also recommend having the watch serviced every few years.

Brands typically have a specific recommendation regarding how often the watch should be serviced. Servicing is like a checkup/cleaning at the dentist, meant to catch any problems early on and keep a watch in generally good health. When Rolex increased its warranty period from two to five years, for instance, it also increased its recommended service interval from every three years up to ten years. That shows a lot of confidence, and supports Rolex’s role as an industry leader. After having a watch officially serviced, many brands, including Rolex, offer a new, two-year warranty.

IWC, however, recommends servicing your watch “approximately every 5 years.” With the brand’s recent warranty “extension,” that means your first service would fall within the warranty period — but you will be responsible for the cost. The warranty will only cover any defect that might be discovered. That’s typical of most watch warranties, but there are sometimes exceptions — Zenith’s 50th Anniversary A386 Revival watch, for example, has an unusual 50-year warranty that includes servicing, rather than the brand’s regular two years.

Not All Watch Warranties Are Equal

A two year-warranty is largely the industry standard, but this is changing as more brands raise the bar. European law actually requires a minimum two-year warranty for consumer goods, and it’s even longer in some countries. The general purpose of a warranty is to give consumers confidence that they’re buying a watch that works as advertised, so most have similar provisions. Length is the primary consideration for the customer, but in some cases this can differ even within a brand depending on the model or where it’s bought (be sure to ask about an international warranty if shopping abroad).

For example, Breitling offers a standard two-year warranty on watches using sourced movements, but it’s five years for those equipped with the brand’s in-house movements. A. Lange & Söhne offers two years but bumps it up to three if the watch is bought from a boutique, and Blancpain has the same deal. Grand Seiko is three years, and many others from the prestigious Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe to the Swatch Group’s entry-level-luxury brands (Hamilton, Mido, Rado, etc.) offer just the minimum two years.

While these are acceptable, it’s starting to seem like some brands need to catch up with the competition. The eight-year (two years standard, plus a free “opt-in extension”) warranty introduced for several Richemont brands is among the longest, and clearly meant to outdo the five years offered by the likes of Rolex and Omega.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Rolex Watches Will Hurt Your Wallet More in 2020

While you were busy reveling and ringing in the new year, Rolex was discretely changing its price tags. Most watches now cost a modest 3-6% more than previously, according to the USD prices listed on the Rolex website. For most models, this means several hundred dollars more.

If, for instance, you wanted a 2019 GMT Master II “Batman” — and you were somehow special enough to be able to get one at retail price — you would have saved $450 by having bought it in December. (It’s normal for brands to increase prices over time, and no one needs to panic. But we’re all about ruining your Wednesday mornings, so there ya go.)

The jump in MSRP may feel slightly ironic to many since you typically can’t even buy steel Rolex sport watches at retail, anyway. Buyers have to get on long waiting lists (the requisite for which is typically that one has previously purchased — wait for it — other Rolexes), and the watches often trade above MSRP on the secondary market almost immediately following their release.

By all means, don’t hate the player — hate the game. Rolex isn’t in the business of making inexpensive watches to begin with, and you can’t exactly blame ’em for hiking prices. That said, here’s how purchasing examples of popular Rolex models will hurt your wallet even more in 2020:

Rolex Submariner “No Date” Oystersteel 114060 $7,500 $7,900

Rolex GMT Master II “Batman” Oystersteel 126710BLNR $9,250 $9,700

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Oystersteel 116500LN $12,400 $13,150

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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The Complete Buying Guide to Tudor Watches

Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf created Tudor as a more affordable brand, one which initially housed third-party movements inside Rolex cases. Tudor’s relationship to Rolex has always lent the sub-brand serious credibility, but that relationship had also trapped Tudor under Rolex’s shadow. It didn’t help that the brand also completely disappeared from the U.S. market from 1996 through 2013.

However, beginning in 2012, Tudor thrilled fans of tool watches with the release of the Black Bay, a modern iteration of the now highly collectible Tudor Submariner, produced from 1954 until the 1990s. The Black Bay was an instant hit, and it allowed Tudor to step out from under Rolex’s shadow and beam its own identity more boldly. Since the Black Bay’s release, certain vintage Tudor Submariners have fetched over $100,000, which has also elevated the brand.

This isn’t to say that Tudor has left its strong ties to Rolex behind, and more than a few of today’s Tudor models are derivative of Rolex models: The (relatively) new Pepsi (red and blue) Black Bay GMT is a direct nod to Rolex’s GMT Master, while Tudor’s Style, Classic, and Glamour lines are alternatives to the Rolex Datejust and Day-Date.

The Rolex DNA is strong in some Tudor models. Left to right: Black Bay GMT, the Style, the Classic, and the Glamour.

Tudor also offers a number of less Rolex-esque models. The Black Bay’s signature “snowflake” hours hand (actually more of a diamond-shape) is such a bold feature that all Black Bay and Pelagos models look rather unique. Tudor’s Heritage Chrono (which references vintage Tudor models) looks nothing like a Rolex Daytona, and their feminime-leaning Clair de Rose lineup looks more like a Cartier than anything Rolex ever released.

Tudor’s own identity comes through on many of their most popular watches. Left to right: Black Bay, Pelagos, Heritage Chrono, Clair de Rose.

Then there are the Tudor oddballs, watches that pull Tudor far afield from Rolex. The bold yet simple North Flag with its race-ready numerical set, yellow accents, power reserve gauge, and integrated bracelet or strap is entirely unto itself. The Heritage Advisor is an alarm watch with a complex sector dial. And in 2019 Tudor completely confused the watch world by releasing the Black Bay P01, a dive watch from Tudor’s back catalog with a bezel locking mechanism integrated into the strap (a configuration strange enough to win the Challenge Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horologie de Geneve, and based yet again on a vintage model).

The Heritage Ranger may remind some of older Rolex Explorers and Tudor time-only Princes, but this 42mm watch looks more like an oversize WWII mil-spec piece than anything Rolex has ever offered.

Some of Tudor’s more unique watches keep the brand’s individuality in tact. Left to right: North Flag, Advisor, P01 (original and reissue), Heritage Ranger.

These variations within the Tudor catalog make it difficult to pinpoint a Tudor aesthetic, but there are overarching features that unite all the watches in Tudor’s catalog:

Mechanical Movements Every Tudor is a mechanical watch. Since 2015 with the release of the North Flag, Tudor has offered in-house movements in some of their watches, while the rest use modified ETA movements. Tudor’s transparency about what base movements they use from ETA is admirable.

Rugged Construction All Tudor watches are tough, even their dress watches. Water resistance ratings are 100 meters or better. Highly regarded KIF anti-shock systems replace the standard Incabloc systems typically used in ETA movements. Sapphire crystals are a given.

Minimal Precious Metals Other than the gold used on their two-tone models, Tudor uses no precious metals for their watch cases. Steel is the main metal, with bronze and carbon offered on select models.

High-End Straps and Bracelets Tudor’s bracelets are supple yet robust, and their leather and fabric straps are proprietary high-end offerings that cost over $100.

Reasonable Prices Though there is some overlap, Tudor’s prices stop more or less where Rolex’s begin, at just over $6,000.

NOTE: Though this buying guide is organized by product line, you can use the Table of Contents below (organized by watch type) to quickly jump to a particular model.

Table of Contents
Dive Watches

Field Watches

Chronographs

GMTs and Alarms

Dress/Elegant Watches

Ladies Watches

Black Bay

Easily Tudor’s most popular watch, the 41mm Black Bay dive watches are available in a number of colorways.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5602 (COSC) (Note: before 2016, ETA movements were used)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $3,475 — $5,075 (price depends on materials and strap/bracelet choice)

Black Bay Fifty-Eight Dive Watch

Instantly sold out internationally, the Black Bay 58 came out in 2018 and thrilled hip watch enthusiasts who prefer vintage sizes.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5402 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 39mm
Price: $3,375 (strap); $3,700 (bracelet)

Black Bay Bronze Dive Watch

The matte gray fade on the dial, gilt accents, and the soft tones of bronze lend this model a warmth you won’t find on other models.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5601 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 43mm
Price: $4,150

Black Bay P01 Dive Watch

The oddball that shocked watch nerds around the world in 2019, the P01 has a unique bezel locking mechanism built into the strap connectors, a crown at 4-o’clock, and comes with a waterproof rubberized leather strap.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $4,000

Black Bay GMT

This watch shares a lot with the Rolex GMT Master, including, unfortunately, scarcity. Locked in safes for those lucky souls who managed to get on waiting lists, we can only hope that Tudor bumps up supply sometime soon.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5652 (COSC) with second time zone.
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $3,725 — $4,050 (price depends on strap/bracelet choice)

Black Bay Chrono

Obviously the Rolex Daytona is the big brother to the Black Bay Chronograph, but these watches feature snowflake hands, two sub-dials (rather than three), a date window at 6 o’clock and round markers, all of which set the Tudor apart from the Rolex. Getting a chronograph with an in-house movement for under $5,000 represents awesome value.
Movement: In-house manufacture calibre MT5813 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 200m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $4,900 — $5,225 (price depends on materials and strap/bracelet choice)

Black Bay 32/36/41

At time-only watch with bold legibility, snowflake hands and robust construction, these “field watches” (Tudor doesn’t call them that) are as close as Tudor gets to making a Rolex Explorer. Available with either a blue or black dial, there is a size for any wrist.
Movement: ETA-based 2824 with upgrades
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 32mm; 36mm, 41mm
Price: $2,525 — $2,950

Pelagos

Made from titanium, the Pelagos is Tudor’s modern diver, with robust specifications, a scratch-proof ceramic bezel insert, and blocky markers that pair beautifully with the signature snowflake hands. The LHD model is for lefty-handed folks, but more than a few righties have opted for this unique model, even finding that the crown position adds a bit of comfort for active use. Available in black or blue.
Movement: Manufacture calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 500m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $4,575

North Flag

Unlike anything in Tudor or Rolex’s catalog, the North Flag offers an integrated bracelet or strap that’s reminiscent of those of Audemars Piguet. The power reserve gauge indicates how much of the 70-hour power reserve is on hand at any time, and the yellow accents and blocky numerals give the it an automotive vibe.
Movement: Manufacture calibre MT5612 (COSC)
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 40mm
Price: $3,725-$3,850 (price depends on strap/bracelet choice)

Heritage Ranger

A decided nod to Tudor’s older Oyster Prince models, the Heritage Ranger uses the older rose logo (instead of the modern shield), and proves a bold time-only field watch in a modern size.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement, calibre 2824 -2
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $2,675-$3,000

Heritage Chrono

A fun and funky no-date, dual-register chronograph in steel that’s based on vintage Tudor chronos and truly unlike anything Rolex offers, this watch makes a bold statement in any of its three colorways.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2892 with additional module for chronograph function
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 41mm
Price: $4,200 — $4,525

Heritage Advisor

Alarm watches offer a unique and useful complication, and the brown dial with red accents makes for a stand-out timepiece. This is Tudor’s most expensive watch.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2892 with additional alarm function mechanism developed exclusively by Tudor
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $5,900 — $6,225

Black Shield

Ceramic is often a coating on steel, but for the Black Shield Tudor has opted for a monoblock carbon mid-case, which sets this watch apart from its competitors. The three-register chronograph is not entirely unlike that of a Rolex Daytona, but the rest of the watch is nothing like a Rolex.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical chronograph movement calibre 7753
Water Resistance: 150m
Case Diameter: 42mm
Price: $5,050

1926 Series 28/36/39/41

It’s best to think of the 1926 Series as a modular system. You can choose between any of the four sizes, between all steel or two-tone, between diamonds or not, and between silver, black or opaline dials. Add up all the combinations, and you can go from a sporty 41mm field watch that’s similar to the Rolex Explorer down to a 28mm steel and gold, diamond-studded dressy piece for Mom.
Movement: Self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824 with date
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 36mm; 39mm; 41mm
Price: $1,800 — $3,525

Glamour Series

This series feels quite Rolex-y, and as such is quintessentially Tudor in the old-school sense of the brand as an affordable alternative to some of Rolex’s most iconic watches. The 42mm Double Date features a dual-aperture “big date” complication, while the 39mm Day Date and the 28mm/31mm/36mm Date models resemble watches straight out of the Rolex catalogue.
Movement: Manufacture calibre MT5641 (COSC) self-winding mechanical movement with day-date; Calibre 2834 with date (depending on size and function)
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 31mm; 36mm; 39mm; 41mm
Price: $2,225 — $5,250

Style Series

These are more affordable Rolex-esque watches, available only with time and date complications powered by third-party movements from ETA, on leather or bracelets, in all steel or two-tone, with or without diamonds, and in a number of dial colors. Another modular system from Tudor, these watches can cover a lot of ground from fancy women’s models to straightforward large ones.
Movement: Various from ETA depending on size
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 34mm; 38mm; 41mm
Price: $2,100 — $3,750

Classic Series

Glitzier with their bold fluted bezels, diamond-set bezels, and shimmering dials, the Classic lineup comes in two classic sizes which harken back to long-standing Rolex models. Yet another modular lineup, there are many configurations to choose from.
Movement: 28mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2671; 38mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824-2
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 28mm; 38mm
Price: $2,425 — $6,625

Clair de Rose

These are decidedly aimed at women, available only in steel, and available on either a bracelet or a strap. Dial variants are limited to opaline with or without diamonds.
Movement: 34mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2824-2; 26mm and 30mm: self-winding mechanical movement calibre 2671
Water Resistance: 100m
Case Diameter: 26mm; 30mm; 34mm
Price: $2,225 – $2,950

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Dive Watch

So you’re ready to pull the trigger on your first dive watchnice. But where do you begin? There are seemingly countless options, most of which look exactly the same, some of which are affordable and some of which are astronomically expensive for no discernible reason. How do you tell one from the other?

We put together a list of 5 questions to ask yourself as you’re shopping around for your first diver that should make the process a bit easier. You don’t have to worry too much about water resistance — technically, a dive watch should be water-resistant to at least 100m anyway, which is more than enough for 99% of humanity — but there are certain other considerations to keep in mind:

1. What Will You Be Using It For?

An Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 with an HEV

It’s telling that the term “desk diver” has come into regular use in the watch world — “desk diver” being a dive watch that is relegated to the dry, non-aquatic world of, say, the office. If you’re not inclined to, you know, actually go diving with your dive watch, then there are certain features you might not (or definitely do not) need: a helium escape valve, for instance, or a count-up (dive) bezel, even (certain dive watches come with 12-hour bezels, which are better suited to travel), or a rubber strap or a bracelet with a dive extension clasp. Ask yourself what you’re actually gonna do with the watch, and it’ll help make your purchase easier.

2. Do You Want an Automatic or a Quartz Movement?

An in-house Panerai P9003 movement with GMT complication

Of course, the first 30-40 years of dive watches (if you begin counting when Panerai debuted its naval watches) were powered by mechanical movements, of the handwound or automatic variety. These days, you can get a quartz version that will keep time even more accurately, and the question is more one of personal preference. A solar-powered watch alleviates the concern of having to change the battery for long period of time (if at all), whereas an automatic will require service at some point but should last perpetually if taken care of. Underwater, it doesn’t make much of a difference — though there’s something psychologically satisfying about watching the sweep second move and being sure that it’s functioning correctly.

3. Do You Want a Bracelet?

The Rolex Glidelock clasp and Fliplock extension expand the Oyster bracelet for use with a wetsuit

Steel dive bracelets such as the Rolex Oyster were designed specifically for diving, and improvements over the years have led to incredibly ergonomic systems for easily donning and doffing the watches and wearing them over a wetsuit (think: dive clasp extensions; the Rolex GlidLock system; etc.). If you’re gonna make use of the bracelet while diving, then you should probably buy a watch with a bracelet featuring a dive extension. However, many people wear watches on steel dive bracelets out of the water as well, so you may simply favor one for this purpose. If it’s a choice between buying a watch that’s available with or without a dive bracelet, we say shell out for the metal — you can always swap it out for a NATO or rubber down the line.

4. How Visible Is the Dial?

A Dan Henry 1970 Diver with improved LumiNova for high visibility

There’s a pretty good chance that if you dive, an analog watch isn’t your primary timing instrument — you’re likely using a dive computer. However, it’s always good to have a backup, and not everyone dives with a computer. Thus, you definitely want a highly visible dial, which will likely be done up in Super-LumiNova (if a modern watch) or tritium (in self-contained tubes on modern watches). Without going into the minutiae of tritium vs. SLN, suffice it to say that having an uncluttered, highly visible dial is key both underwater and on dry land — find a bright enough watch on a bracelet and you can likely use the thing as a bedside clock.

5. What Kind of Warranty Comes with the Watch?

Repairs to mechanical watches can be expensive, so a good warranty goes a long way

Many of the major players are now offering extended warranties of several years (Rolex’s, for instance, is five years, and IWC’s is an incredible eight). Though these warranties largely cover manufacturer defects and not routine service (which is recommended by many brands every 3-5 years and can be quite expensive), the peace of mind that comes with a long warranty accompanying one’s expensive timepiece goes a long way if you’re taking it underwater. What’s more, most authorized service centers extended the warranty for another period of time after performing warranty-covered repairs. The warranty won’t cover routine wear and tear, but if you have a catastrophic fail underwater resulting from poor manufacturing, you’ll be glad to have it.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

More by Oren Hartov | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

Three Pre-Owned Rolex Datejust Watches Available Right Now

The Rolex Datejust may, in a sense, be the perfect watch. The archetypical watch. The watch you steel off the wrist of your grandfather without feeling all that badly about it.

Featuring an in-house Rolex movement with date that turns over exactly at midnight and the iconic Jubilee bracelet (or, in its more modern guise, occasionally an Oyster bracelet), the Datejust is simple, well proportioned, handsome and versatile — you can take the bracelet off and throw it on any number of aftermarket straps to dress it up or down, and it’ll still look killer.

Check out the three different examples of pre-owned Datejusts below, from vintage through modern, to get a taste of the aesthetic (and be sure to read our exhaustive guide to the model).

Datejust 1601 “Linen” Dial

What We Like:
Though the ref. 4467 is the first Datejust from 1945, it’s the 16XX series that has become perhaps the most well known reference. This example has a beautiful “linen” pie-pan dial with tritium markers and a white gold fluted bezel, a 36mm steel case, and a matching Jubilee bracelet. Dating from the late 1970s, it’s guaranteed to never go out of style.

From the Seller: This watch is in overall very good condition for its age. The linen dial is clean, has some blemishes around the edge. The case doesn’t seem to have been polished heavily, scratches from everyday wear can be seen.

Datejust 16234 “Rhodium Roman”

What We Like:
It’s easy to discern the lineage dating from the ’60s and ’70s Datejusts in the more modern 5-digit serials dating from the early 2000s. You still get the 36mm steel case with white gold bezel and matching Jubilee bracelet, but this model has a gorgeous rhodium dial with Roman numerals — a modern take on a classic look. What’s more, it comes with box and papers.

From the Seller: Excellent used condition with signs of wear, but unpolished with sharp lugs and factory finishes. Clear numbers. Factory rhodium Roman dial as indicated on papers. Original Rolex Jubilee Bracelet in tight condition.

Datejust 41 Ref. 126300

What We Like:
If you dig the DJ aesthetic but want a more modern-sized watch, then the Datejust 41 is the ticket. This 6-digit reference features not a Jubilee, but an Oyster bracelet, as well as a COSC-certified in-house cal. 3235 movement, a grey dial with white gold indices and Chromalight lume. With box and papers and dating to 2018, this is the DJ for the 21st century.

From the Seller: This timepiece is in overall excellent pre-owned condition with only a few small blemishes on the crystal. Date display is located at the 3 o’clock position. Comes with Rolex box, papers dated 03/12/2018, and manuals.

Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol’s watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

More by Oren Hartov | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

These Are Some of Our Favorite Travel and Adventure Watches of 2019

This roundup is part of This Year in Gear, a look back at the year’s most notable releases. To stay on top of all the latest product news, subscribe to our daily Dispatch newsletter.

Oris ProDiver Dive Control Limited Edition

Price: $4,950
From: oris.ch

Oris continues to do what it does best with this bold, function-oriented beast of an oversized dive watch developed in concert with a professional offshore diver.

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Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Bi-Compass

Price: $3,900
From: bellross.com

The last few years saw Bell & Ross expand its watch offerings with round case shapes, but the Bi-Compass takes us back to the beginning.

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Rado Captain Cook MkII

Price: $2,150
From: rado.com

The new Rado Captian Cook Mk II may be styled and even sized like its 1962 ancestor, but modern features make it remarkably robust.

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Omega Seamaster New York Edition

Price: $7,600
From: omegawatches.com

Omega’s Seamaster dedicated to New York City captures the classic style of past eras in a modern, technical package.

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Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition

Price: $8,600
From: breitling.com

With the Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, an iconic watch returns in a faithful recreation of the original from 60 years ago.

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G-SHOCK Mudmaster GGB100
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Deleted: If you want the best rough and tumble watch you can do quite anything in, the obvious choice is the G-SHOCK Mudmaster GGB100. Part of a long heritage based on toughness and technology, the G-SHOCK GGB100 features a newly developed Carbon Core Guard structure that is made from lightweight and rigid carbon fiber-reinforced materials to keep the watch protected from the roughest treatment. Along with the Quad Sensors to keep you abreast of your surroundings and Bluetooth connectivity via the G-SHOCK app, you can be sure this Mudmaster will never leave you in a lurch. The G-SHOCK GGB100 is an essential piece of kit for any adventure. Learn More: Here
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Sinn 206 ARKTIS II

Price: $3,570
From: sinn.de

The 206 Arktis II and 206 St Ar recreate the original watches that first introduced some of Sinn’s legendary durability features.

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Oris Aquis Date Relief

Price: $2,000
From: oris.com

This is the same Aquis Date you know and love, but with a different bezel, dial and two sets of options for how you’ll affix it to your wrist.

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Breitling Cockpit B50 Orbiter Limited Edition

Price: $8,360
From: breitling.com

Breitling’s bold new Professional watch is crammed with features and celebrates the first non-stop hot air balloon flight around the world.

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Casio G-Shock Full Metal GMW-B5000V

Price: $1,000
From: casio-watches.com

Casio’s new G-Shock comes in a metal case with an aged treatment that gives it the look of a well-worn pair of jeans.

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Mühle-Glashütte Sea-Timer BlackMotion

Price: $2,599
From: muehle-glashuette.de

This masculine dive watch from Mühle-Glashütte is dark and serious, with tough German tool-watch cred to back up its mean looks.

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MHD SA2

Price: $833
From: mhdwatches.com

Matthew Humphries, previously Head of Design at Morgan Car Company, designed the SA2 as a sleek automatic watch with clear automotive influence.

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Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Automatic

Price: $1,395
From: alpinawatches.com

Titanium and bronze PVD coatings over steel cases make for interesting looks on this rugged diver watch with retro-inspired dials.

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

Price: $19,500
From: blancpain.com

In reissuing the Barakuda, Blancpain has resurfaced an obscure military variant of the famed Fifty Fathoms, and it’s one of the best-looking recent dive watches.

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Glashütte Original Spezialist SeaQ

Price: $9,500+
From: glashuette-original.com

The Spezialist SeaQ vintage-inspired dive watch is the first in a new family of sport watches from respected German brand Glashütte Original.

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Zodiac Super Sea Wolf

Price: $1,095
From: zodiacwatches.com

Vibrant new automatic dive watches from Zodiac’s popular Super Sea Wolf collection are extremely wearable and fun summer wrist gear.

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Serica W.W.W. WM Brown

Price: $540
From: serica-watches.com

The Serica W.W.W. WM Brown edition is a handsome, modern interpretation of the famed W.W.W. watch from World War II with a Swiss automatic movement and moderate size.

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Vertex MP45B

Price: ~$3,980
From: vertex-watches.com

The new Vertex MP45P is a badass monopusher chronograph watch in all black that perfectly leverages the brand’s history in military watches.

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Luminox Sport Timer 0900 30th Anniversary Limited Edition

Price: $945
From: luminox.com

Luminox’s handsome and tough Sport Timer 0900 30th Anniversary model hearkens back to the golden age of field watches.

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Archimede 36mm Pilots Watch

Price: ~$690+
From: archimede-watches.com

The Archimede 36mm Pilots Watch takes a classic military design and downsizes it to a more wearable size.

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Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115

Price: $7,600
From: oris.ch

The Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre115 from Oris features a completely skeletonized in-house movement and a 44mm titanium case.

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Aquadive Poseidon GMT

Price: $1,395
From: aquadive.com

The Poseidon GMT is a dual-time zone dive watch housed in a 42mm case that’s water-resistant to a whopping 1,000m.

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Omega Seamaster Diver 300m James Bond

The latest Bond watch is the first version designed with input from Bond himself.

Price: $6,500
From: omegawatches.com

Omega has released a new Seamaster Diver 300M in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond 007 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, featuring a 42mm stainless steel case, 300m of water resistance and limited to 7,007 pieces, of course.

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Mido Ocean Star Tribute Special Edition

Price: $1,150
From: shopmido.com

The Mido Ocean Star Tribute celebrates 75 years of the brand’s well-known dive watch with a handsome and relatively affordable 1960s style.

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MkII Hellion

Price: $649
From: mkiiwatches.com

Based on the American “canteen watches” of WII, Mk II’s Hellion is an automatic, military-style watch for under $700.

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Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation

Price: $2,295
From: zodiacwatches.com

The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation dive watch was made in collaboration with a renowned diver and National Geographic photographer.

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Oak & Oscar Olmstead

Price: $1,375+
From: oakandoscar.com

The Olmsted field watch from Chicago-based micro brand Oak & Oscar features a “sandwich dial” and pays tribute to the company’s hometown.

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Doxa Sub 300T Conquistador

Price: $1,890
From: doxawatches.com

Fifty years since its introduction, Doxa’s renowned dive watch gets a colorful update in the Sub 300T Conquistador.

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Ochs und Junior Two Time Zones + Date

Price: ~$9,390
From: ochsundjunior.com

The new Ochs und Junior Two Time Zones + Date watch has an unusual, minimalist dial design, but reading the time is actually a simple affair.

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Blancpain Air Command

Price: $19,800
From: blancpain.com

Faithful to the original, Blancpain’s Air Command revives a model that narrowly missed adoption by the U.S. Air Force.

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Monta Atlas

Price: $1,565
From: montawatch.com

With the Atlas GMT watch, Monta offers a ton of value in the form of a useful complication in a solid, refined package.

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Zenith Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Adventure

Price: $7,700
From: zenith-watches.com

Zenith’s bold pilot watches in 45mm bronze cases with green dials are super stylish and recall military watches from the first World War.

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Ultramarine Morse 9141N GMT

Price: $1,836
From: ultramarine-watches.com

This GMT watch from indy brand Ultramarine is competitively priced and uses all Swiss parts, down to the last screw in its automatic movement.

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Fortis PC7 Team

Price: ~$2,499+
From: fortis-swiss.com

Fortis celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Swiss Air Force’s Display Team with chronograph and time-only pilots watches.

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Haven Chilton

Price: $1,799
From: havenwatches.com

Based in the Midwest, Haven is an American microbrand debuting with a very vintage-inspired and moderately sized automatic chronograph.

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Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow

Price: $1,935
From: christopherward.com

Christopher Ward updates an old-school complication with modern design, bringing the moon phase into the 21st century.

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Maen Skymaster

Price: ~$780
From: maenwatches.com

This young microbrand is giving vintage chronograph fans just about everything they want with this affordable, 38mm classic-feeling watch. You won’t find a Swiss automatic chronograph for much less.

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Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph

Price: $260
From: danhenrywatches.com

The Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph watch offers the looks of a vintage collector’s favorite at a highly approachable price.

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Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown Chronograph

Price: $3,495
From: frederiqueconstant.com

The Yacht Timer watch from Frederique Constant is made for timing yacht races with a clean, handsome interpretation of the chronograph.

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Breitling Aviator 8 Mosquito

Price: $7,710+
From: breitling.com

This vintage-styled chronograph watch recalls its early aviation history with a solid, handsome package recalling a classic WWII-era wooden aircraft.

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Bremont H-4 Hercules

Price: $11,895+
From: bremont.com

Three new GMT watches from British Bremont celebrate the H-4 Hercules, or “Spruce Goose,” incorporating actual wood from the historic plane.

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IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph

Price: $13,100
From: iwc.com

IWC has introduced a limited-edition version of its popular Timezoner watch in “sepia brown” to mark a historic trans-Atlantic flight.

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Farer World Timer Automatic

Price: $1,550
From: farer.com

Farer’s World Timer, available in 3 dial colors, offers 24 time zones in a 39mm stainless steel case, all for a reasonable price.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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The Best Watch of 2019 Is Steeped in Mystery

This story is part of the GP100, our annual roundup of the best products of the year. To see the full list of winners, grab the latest issue of Gear Patrol Magazine.

Vintage-inspired watches are on the come-up and have been for years. From midcentury racing chronographs to military timepieces only issued to servicemen, nouveau-vintage pieces are — to varying degrees of adherence — modernized, reimagined versions of their respective originals. And though the vintage trend spawned dozens of reissues over the calendar year — including some that are simply an easy cash-grab — it also informed one of the most unique watches in recent memory: the Blancpain Air Command.

Few people have ever gotten their hands on the obscure original that inspired the modern Air Command. In the 1950s, Swiss manufacturer Blancpain was contracted to produce the now-iconic Fifty Fathoms dive watch for the U.S. Navy, to be distributed by Blancpain’s American distributor, Allen Tornek. The Air Command, a flyback chronograph where the chronograph hand can be reset to zero and started again with a single button push, was then constructed roughly to the design of the famed Type 20 military chronograph and intended for use by the U.S. Air Force. However, only a dozen timepieces were ever produced, and the watch never made it to full serial production.

A countdown bezel and flyback chronograph are classic midcentury pilot’s watch features.

In other words, this puppy is all kinds of rare. Once every blue moon, an original Air Command will surface at an auction, hammer for somewhere north of $100,000 and quietly fade into the ether.

“This is one of the most intriguing watches in Blancpain’s history, and a real mystery watch,” says Jeffrey Kingston, noted collector, author and speaker on watches. “Did Blancpain create the Air Command and then Tornek tried to sell it to the Air Force, or the other way around? It’s the classic chicken-and-the-egg question.”

Further Reading
This Reissue of an Obscure Military Chronograph Watch Is Absurdly Beautiful
21 of the Best Military Watches and Their Histories

Whatever the answer, someone seems to have done some head-scratching at Blancpain before the company created a new limited-edition version of the watch, available in a run of 500 pieces. Apart from a few concessions to modernity — an upgraded, in-house movement with automatic winding, Super-LumiNova-coated hands and indices, and sapphire crystals among them — the new Air Command is otherwise a dead ringer for the original.

A custom red gold rotor drives the aviation theme home.

Like the original, the design of the modern watch remains utility-focused. It is intended for pilots, and it can record intervals up to 12 hours in duration using the chronograph function (the original’s running-seconds subdial has been replaced with a 12-hour subdial, though both models feature 30-minute subdials at three o’clock). The dial features both a 1/5th-seconds track and a base-1,000 tachymeter, used to compute speed or distance traveled in conjunction with the chronograph. Then there’s the rotating countdown bezel, used to measure remaining time in an event, and the aforementioned flyback function, making it a cinch to time intervals such as one-minute holding patterns. In other words, the Air Command is a textbook example of a pilot’s watch, and it oozes midcentury cool.

The dial features a 12-hour totalizer at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute totalizer at 3 o’clock.

Kingston, a pilot and flight instructor himself, loves the utility of the Air Command: “The feature that you don’t see very often is the countdown bezel. What you’re always thinking about as you’re flying is the time to the next ‘fix,’ which is a destination or a waypoint. A countdown bezel allows you to measure the amount of time to the next fix, and not many watches that call themselves pilots watches have this feature.”

But the question on the mind of every watch nerd out there has nothing to do with its usefulness or historical accuracy — it’s a question of laziness. If watch companies continue relying on recreations of vintage pieces, what will the iconic designs of tomorrow look like? Updated versions of the iconic designs of yesteryear?

The Air Command occupies a special place in the modern horological landscape. Having never been commercially available — hell, having never been available even to the U.S. military — a modern remake gives the general public access to a product that it would otherwise never have been able to appreciate, let alone own.

Case Diameter: 42.5mm
Winding: Automatic
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Price: ~$19,003

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

These Are Some of the Most Notable Watch Accessories of 2019

This roundup is part of This Year in Gear, a look back at the year’s most notable releases. To stay on top of all the latest product news, subscribe to our daily Dispatch newsletter.

Barton Alligator Grain Leather Watch Bands

Price: $28
From: bartonwatchbands.com

If you dig the look of gator but don’t necessarily want gator deaths on your conscience, these bovine leather watch straps are the way to go.

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Hodinkee Bedford Watch Strap

Price: $165
From: hodinkee.com

Nubuck leather makes for a unique look and a super comfortable strap, and Hodinkee’s latest is available in a range of shades.

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Crown & Buckle Chevron Watch Straps

Price: $32+
From: crownandbuckle.com

If NATO straps are too bulky and perlons are too flimsy, then the Chevron from Crown & Buckle might be your perfect watch strap.

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Tropic Rubber Diving Strap

Price: $63
From: gearpatrol.com

The Tropic rubber watch strap is back, and it’s available in four colors in 20mm in the Gear Patrol Store.

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Seiko Prospex SPB101

If you’re going to up your watch game, you need a watch in your box worthy of the extra effort. Seiko’s line of Prospex watches are a must-have for sport lovers and adventure seekers whether in the water, in the sky or on land — case in point, the SPB101. With its combination of 200m water resistance and shock resistance, it’s appropriate for activities in any terrain in addition to the challenges of every day. So if you’re looking for a timepiece that can match your pace, add a Seiko to your collection. Learn More: Here

Haveston M6 Strap Stowage Roll

Price: $45
From: haveston.com

Haveston’s M-6 Strap Storage Solution is made from 20 oz. cotton canvas and can store roughly 30 NATO or single-pass straps.

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Shinola Watch Collector’s Box

Price: $295
From: shinola.com

Shinola’s new watch collector’s box is made of oak, has space for four of your prized watches, and is customizable with your initials.

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Analog/Shift Premium Leather Straps

Price: $75+
From: analogshift.com

NYC-based Analog/Shift’s premium Italian leather watch straps are available in 15 different variations for under $100 each.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

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These Are Our Bucket-List Watches of 2019

This roundup is part of This Year in Gear, a look back at the year’s most notable releases. To stay on top of all the latest product news, subscribe to our daily Dispatch newsletter.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar

Price: $24,500
From: baume-et-mercier.com

If you want a really stellar perpetual calendar in a gold case, you usually have to plonk down a whole lot more than $25,000. So one could argue that the Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar is a value buy — an easy way for guys whose means might be more senatorial than princely to buy their first perpetual Calendar.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel

Price: $34,700
From: jaeger-LeCoultre.com

The Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel is a limited series of 100 pieces that feature hand-guilloché enamel dials in a beautiful, translucent deep blue. Producing an enamel dial is difficult enough, but this is next-level stuff.

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Breitling Navitimer Pan Am Edition

Price: $9,160
From: breitling.com

The Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am Edition is part of Breitling’s broader Navitemer 1 Airline Editions capsule collection, which is billed as an homage to an era when flying was still glamorous and permissive of smoking.

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A. Lange & Söhne 25th Anniversary Lange 1 Moonphase

Price: $52,140
From: alange-soehne.com

This year, Lange celebrated 25 years of the Lange 1 watch with limited-edition versions announced each month until October, and February saw the release of the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase to coincide with the opening of a new London boutique.

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Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167a

With the perfect blend of prestige and practicality, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A is comfortable, legible and an all-around perfect daily watch that is worthy of being on anyone’s watch bucket list. StockX can help get the 5167A — or any other luxury watch for that matter — off your list and onto your wrist, with guaranteed authenticity and historical sales data. Learn More: Here

Breitling Premier Bentley Centenary

Price: $10,500
From: breitling.com

As Bentley celebrates its hundredth birthday this year, Breitling is helping to mark the occasion with the Breitling Premier B01 Bentley Centenary watches. While wooden watches aren’t necessarily new, it can be hard to integrate this material tastefully, and it’s not something seen very often in a luxury timepiece.

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Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 Anniversary

Price: ~$34,600
From: omega.com

The solid-gold Speedmaster Apollo 11 Anniversary Limited Edition uses a new gold alloy from Omega called “Moonshine gold” that contains more palladium than normal, features a paler hue, and is promised to retain its color longer over time.

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Panerai Submersible Bronzo PAM 968

Price: $16,500
From: panerai.com

Panerai Bronzo watches have always been very exclusive products, only sold to clients with a special relationship with the brand. The new Panerai Submersible Bronzo PAM 968, on the other hand, is available to anyone worldwide if they are fast enough and flush enough.

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Tudor Black Bay P01

Price: $3,950
From: tudor.com

Based on an old military prototype from the 60s that was never put into production, the new P01 features an unusual bezel-locking system integrated into the endlinks of its bracelet, asymmetrical crown placement around 4 o’clock and a steel 12-hour bezel.

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Patek Philippe Calatrava 5212A

Price: $29,500
From: patek.com

Patek is exceptionally good at presenting complicated calendar information in extremely elegant and intuitive ways, and they’ve done it again, this time in the form of a steel (gasp!) watch that displays the date, day of the week, and number of the current week.

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Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC

Price: $6,350+
From: porsche-design.com

Combining a slick look done in Porsche Design’s distinctive style with functionality built for travelers, the brand has struck a winning combination with the Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC, available in signature material, titanium, or in solid gold.

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Breitling Superocean Automatic

Price: $3,450+
From: breitling.com

Totaling 24 models across five available case sizes, Breitling’s new Superocean collection offers a dive watch in sizes and colors for just about every taste — provided you’re into the modern, bold part of the Breitling aesthetic.

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Rolex GMT Master II Meteorite Dial

Price: $38,400
From: rolex.com

Materials are what characterize this particular Rolex GMT Master II. In a white gold case, it combines the popular red-and-blue ceramic “Pepsi” bezel with a silvery gray meteorite dial for a recognizable but distinct look that sets it apart from its sporty siblings.

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Patek Philippe Aquanaut Khaki Green

Price: $35,00
From: patek.com

With the look of a mini wrist grenade in “khaki green” with a matching rubber strap and a 42mm diameter, the new Aquanaut reference 5168G-010 features a white gold case and $35,000 price tag. Despite the price, it’s a fun offering that lacks the formality that some of the brand’s exquisite haute horology can inevitably exhibit.

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Casio G-Shock Mr. G G2000G

Price: $7,400
From: gshock.com

The new G-Shock MRG G2000G-1A watch features traditional Japanese craftsmanship and the latest Casio technology, though arguably coolest of all the watch’s features are the bracelet’s center links, which are hand-finished in the yasuri-me technique borrowed from Japanese sword-making.

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Grand Seiko Spring Drive Nissan GTR

Price: $24,300
From: grand-seiko.com

In celebration of 50 years of the Nissan GT-R, Grand Seiko is releasing a new Spring Drive-powered chronograph, dubbed the SBGC229. Housed in a combination 46.4mm titanium-and-ceramic case, it features a column wheel-controlled mechanical chronograph movement.

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A. Lange & Söhne 25th Anniversary Lange 1 Tourbillon

Price: $335,800
From: alange-soehne.com

The Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” is the fourth of 10 models celebrating the Lange 1’s anniversary in 2019. Produced in white gold with blue steeled hands and limited to just 25 pieces, it features a rotating peripheral ring indicates the month and a retrograde day-of-the-week display.

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Citizen Calibre 0100 Quartz

Price: $7,400+
From: citizenwatch-global.com

Though the technology was announced in 2018, the wristwatch containing the super-accurate Citizen Caliber 0100 quartz movement debuted at Baselworld 2019. It’s accurate to within one second per year, powered by light with Citizen’s Eco Drive technology, and prices start at over $7,000.

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Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Black Ceramic

Price: $15,600+
From: bulgari.com

The Octo Finissimo has become Bulgari’s flagship watch collection, combining a shockingly thin but complex case with highly distinctive modern looks and excellent movements. For Baselworld 2019, the brand introduced new models in line with industry trends featuring all-black ceramic cases.

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Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase Manufacture

Price: $2,595+
From: frederiqueconstant.com

The new Classics Moonphase Manufacture watch from Frederiqe Constant features an in-house movement offering a symmetrical dual-sub-dial layout for the date and moon phase in a classically inspired package.

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Omega De Ville Tresor Master Co-Axial

Price: $6,500+
From: omegawatches.com

Omega’s current De Ville Tresor line of dress watches haven’t changed much visually from many of the watches featuring similar names made decades ago. This is exactly what many people like about them, but Omega has updated them in a number of other ways.

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Ressence Type 1ZZ

Price: ~$20,688
From: ressence.com

In collaboration with Chronopassion, a Parisian watch retailer, Ressence has released an all-black version of the Type 1, dubbed the Type 1ZZ. The Type 1ZZ is essentially a slightly altered version of the Type 1 Slim from 2019’s SIHH show, which uses a thinner case and lever-operated winding and setting mechanism.

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Heuer Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition

Price: $6,550
From: tagheur.com

The introduction of the Heuer Monaco was one of the several major events in watches that occurred in 1969. In time for this anniversary, a new iteration of the Monaco has been released — with a green dial and striking pops of color, the “1969–1979” limited edition celebrates the 1970s.

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David Rutten Streamline Meteorite

Price: $9,850
From: davidrutten.com

Almost everything about the first watch from indy watchmaker David Rutten is unusual. Called the Streamline, its tank-like case is made of meteorite and, in place of a traditional dial, it features an uncommon fully “digital” display with a mechanically interesting movement providing a jumping hour complication.

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Rolex Daytona Mad Paris

Price: $57,084
From: brownsfashion.com

It still says Rolex on the dial, but just about everything about this Rolex Daytona chronograph watch has been altered. The basic configuration is intact, but the case and bracelet are DLC-coated a matte black, and the Rolex Daytona bezel with its familiar tachymeter scale is replaced with contrastingly blingy black sapphires all around.

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Omega Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Price: $6,300+
From: omegawatches.com

Regular commemorative special-edition watches can be expected from Omega, as it’s the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. The brand has already released Tokyo 2020 Olympics special edition Speedmaster watches, and it’s now following up with Aqua Terra and Planet Ocean models, both featuring ceramic dials.

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TAG Heuer Bamford Black Badger Calibre 5

Price: $6,740
From: bamfordwatchdepartment.com

The new Bamford X Black Badger “Fordite” TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 watches use a “material” that is an accidental bi-product of painting cars, and results in strikingly colorful and organic-looking patterns.

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IWC Bucherer Portugieser

Price: ~$8,137
From: bucherer.com

IWC has teamed up with famed Swiss retailer Bucherer for a limited edition take on the Protugieser. An entry in Bucherer’s Blue Editions line, the new LE features an outer railroad track, minute track, numerals and textile strap done up in blue.

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Omega Seamaster Ultra Terra Ultra-Thin

Price: $48,600
From: omegawatches.com

The new Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Ultra Light exists in the niche realm of high-end, experimental horology developed for athletic performance. Housed in a titanium case, even the weight of the movement was taken into consideration, and it all adds up to a mere 55 grams when on its velcro strap (only slightly more on rubber).

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H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Perpetual

Price: $39,000
From: h-moser.com

The Pioneer Perpetual Calendar MD from H. Moser & Cie once again offers complex inner workings that display a good deal of information, but in a remarkably clean and balanced way. Of course, one also can’t overlook the attractive sunburst finish of the dial with its fumé, or smoked, treatment.

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Breitling Aviator Eithad Airways Limited Edition

Price: $4,995
From: breitling.com

The latest Navitimer 8 is a collaboration with the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways, which joins a line of watches from different collections in partnership with various airlines. Notably, this dial features Arabic numerals — that is, Eastern Arabic numerals, as used in Arabic-speaking countries — as well as other text.

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Casio G-Shock Full Metal Titanium GMW B5000TB

Price: ~$1,388
From: casio-intl.com

The terms G-Shock and stealth wealth don’t often occur in close proximity to one another, but what else do you call a $1,000+ G-Shock made to closely resemble the inexpensive, indestructible plastic icon. The new GMW-B5000TB is fully cased and braceleted in titanium with premium features like sapphire crystal and Tough Solar.

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MIH Gaia Watch

Price: ~$2,900
From: montremih.com

This is a watch with a story to tell, and it’s not your typical product made by a watch company. Rather, it’s the fruit of a project organized by a Swiss horology museum making use of the specialties of craftsmen in the local La Chaux-de-Fonds industry.

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Grand Seiko Heritage Autumn SBGH269

Price: $6,400
From: grand-seiko.com

The new SBGH269 uses earthy red tones mixed with gold elements on the dial to express the brand’s vision of fall. Through the sapphire display case back, the titanium rotor is anodized green to reference the contrast of the leaves that haven’t turned yet.

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Longines Heritage Classic

Price: $2,150
From: longines.com

Following on the heels of several recent nouveau-vintage designs, Longines has released the Heritage Classic, a modern sector dial watch celebrating those of the 1930s. The watch features a dial divided into sectors with a silver opaline inner disk and sub-seconds counter.

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A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus

Price: $28,800
From: alange-soehne.com

As A. Lange & Söhne’s first steel sport watch, the Odysseus is a departure for the brand in many ways. There have been steel watches by Lange before, but only in extremely limited quantities and, naturally (or, perhaps, unnaturally), their novelty for collectors made them roughly as expensive as the standard gold fare.

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Audemars Piguet Royak Oak Black Ceramic

Price: ~$131,434
From: audemarspiguet.com

With a black case and openworked dial revealing an in-house movement, this perpetual calendar-equipped Royal Oak is a stunner. The in-house cal. 5135 features 374 components, 38 jewels, 40 hours of power reserve, and perpetual calendar with week indication, day, date, moonphase, month, leap year, hours and minute functions.

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H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Moon Phase Concept Watch

Price: $35,000+
From: h-moser.com

Typically, moon phase displays utilize a small window toward the bottom of the dial, which is often necessitated by the presence of perpetual calendar functions such as day, date and month windows. Here, however, the moon phase takes center stage, blending into the aventurine and appearing as an organic part of the dial.

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Laurent Ferrier Bridge One

Price: ~$33,532
From: laurenferrier.com

The Bridge One timepiece marks the start of a new line from Laurent Ferrier that draws inspiration from a famous bridge in Geneva, the Passerelle de I’lle — and they’re not for the entry-level collector or casual enthusiast.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

A daily magazine of immersive stories, deals, buying advice, product-forward editorial, and reports from far-flung places.

More by Gear Patrol | Follow on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email

Seiko’s Cult Favorite Alpinist Watch Is Back with Solid Upgrades

Though it’s often overshadowed by Seiko’s own divers, when the Seiko Alpinist was apparently discontinued, there was suddenly buzz around the classic sport watch. Vintage examples began trading for higher prices, and some limited editions were released and quickly sold out. Now, popular demand has been answered and the Alpinist is back and updated to fit coherently in the brand’s Prospex collection — and it’s brandishing some notable upgrades. Frankly, it looks damn good in each of its four current variants.

Many are attracted to the history associated with the Aplinist, introduced in 1959 for Japanese “mountain men,” and often considered the brand’s first sport watch. Along with the unique design and rugged specs, such as sapphire crystal and 200m of water-resistance, the restrained sizing of 39.5mm is also a welcome addition. The magnifying glass over the date, or “cyclops,” however, is always a controversial element in watch design. Another notable feature is the asymmetric crown at 4 o’clock, which controls a rotating inner bezel.

The new Seiko Alpinist comes in four different versions at launch with familiar color schemes, including an ever-popular iteration in green and a black-dial version with a steel bracelet, though the brand has held off on resurrecting the popular blue-dial version for now. All contain an upgraded Seiko 6R35 automatic movement that offers a very respectable 70 hours of power reserve.

Three new Seiko Prospex Alpinist models (SPB119, SPB121, and SPB123) come on a strap and have price of $725, whereas the black-dialed SPB119 on a bracelet is $750. Availability is expected in January 2020.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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Here Are Some of the Most Affordable Watches of 2019

This roundup is part of This Year in Gear, a look back at the year’s most notable releases. To stay on top of all the latest product news, subscribe to our daily Dispatch newsletter.

Seiko 5 Sport

Price: $268
From: amazon.com

The famed affordable, mechanical watch has been reimagined in four different dial colors in the form of a “Super Compressor”-style diver with 100m of water resistance.

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Humism Watches

Price: $298
From: humism.com

By utilizing an automatic movement in concert with two to three rotating discs, Humism Watches founder David Sze has created the effect of a dynamic, “blooming” piece of artwork that lives on the wrist.

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Timex American Documents Series

Price: $495
From: timex.com

With the exception of their Swiss-made quartz movements, the American Documents Series watches see Timex using domestically produced parts, from crown tubes to packaging.

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Christopher Ward C1 Grand Malvern Worldtimer

Price: $1,485
From: christopherward.com

Christopher Ward’s new C1 Grand Malvern Worldtimer is well-positioned in the “affordable world timer” camp at less than $1,500, despite featuring a complication that often renders watches that house them quite expensive.

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The Centric Lightwell Chronograph

This rugged, general-purpose watch combines highly-durable materials with low-maintenance, solar-powered movements from Seiko. The Lightwell Chronograph from Centric Instruments is constantly charging under natural and artificial light so it never needs a new battery. It’s also outfitted with 100 meters of water resistance and a high-contrast dial with luminous markers, making it a versatile and utilitarian choice for your wrist. Learn More: Here

Mercer Madison

Price: $549
From: mercer.com

New Jersey-based Mercer Watches delivers an enamel-dialed beauty available in black or white for well under $1,000, something difficult to achieve even in today’s diverse microbrand landscape.

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Collins Hyperion

Price: $495+
From: collinswatch.com

The Hyperion is a military/aviator-style timepiece with a 40mm case, 100m of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, Super-LumiNova lume and the Swiss-made Sellita SW200 movement, available in several finishes for between $500-$600.

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Mido Multifort Patrimony

Price: $890+
From: mido.com

With three gorgeous dial choices, a pulsometer scale and quality leather straps, the Multifort Patrimony is a value-packed contemporary take on the best of mid-20th century watchmaking.

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Orient Kano Dive Watch

Price: $235+
From: orientwatchusa.com

The Orient Kano (“water god”) is everything fans love about Orient’s current dive watches, updated with a handsome design featuring mixed polished and matte finishes for a more refined feel.

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Jack Mason Canton

Price: $225+
From: jackmasonbrand.com

The Day-Date is a sleek, dressy departure for tool watch manufacturer Jack Mason — available in both quartz and automatic versions in 40mm case, it’s an affordable complement to a night out or a day in the office.

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Vero Century

Price: $1,060
From: verowatch.com

The Vero Century is available in three different dial colors and two different sizes, but keeps the ornamentation to a minimum. Distinctly colorful and powered by a Swiss automatic movement, it’s a fun watch without a hint of pretension.

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Alpina Alpiner Quartz

Price: $795+
From: alpinawatches.com

Alpina’s latest addition to its Alpiner collection is the most affordable yet, and is perfectly at home in the outdoors or at the office. With multiple dials to choose from and 100m of water resistance, it’s the perfect everyday watch.

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Tockr Skytrain

Price: $1,200+
From: tockr.com

The Skytrain, from Texan watchmaker Tockr, offers a sporty but straightforward design with some personality provided by details like a crosshair dial and seconds hand tipped with the shape of an airplane.

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MVMT Field Watch Collection

Price: $95+
From: mvmtwatches.com

Water resistant to 100m, these affordable field watches promise durability with stainless steel cases (and different color coatings depending on the model) and Miyota quartz movements.

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Timex Nigel Cabourn Referee

Price: $162
From: nigelcabourn.com

Timex teamed up with British designer Nigel Cabourn on this soccer-inspired watch, which features the first 45 minutes of the dial done up in a cool red/orange in reference to a 45 minute-long half of a soccer match.

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Mido Commander Big Date

Price: $990+
From: mido.com

The modern Commander balances retro and modern, dressy and sporty, as well as luxury and relative affordability, but most important is that it is recognizable as a distinct entry in Mido’s greater watch offerings.

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Casio A700W

Price: $34+
From: casio.com

The new Casio Classic A700W series of retro-inspired watches offer functionality and nostalgia at unbeatable prices and feature LED lights, daily alarms and stopwatches.

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anOrdain Model 2

Price: ~$1,180+
From: anordain.com

With a beautiful enamel dial made in-house in the grand feu style and a modern Swiss automatic movement, the Model 2 from anOrdain is a sporty take on an ancient technique.

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Casio G-Shock GA140

Price: $99
From: gshock.com

Casio’s new GA140 line of G-Shock watches feature the brand’s signature bold designs, tough cases and practical tech, but with a new 1990s design theme. A more playful take on a serious tactical watch used by professionals in the military.

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Yema Superman Heritage

Price: $1,499
From: store.gearpatrol.com

Available in “Pepsi,” “Coke” and “Batman” variants, these GMT watches retail for $1,499 and are limited to 100 pieces each. If you love the GMT Master look but can’t quite justify the price, we suggest you look here.

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Citizen Promaster Nighthawk

Price: $316
From: citizenwatch.com

Citizen’s take on its beloved Promaster Nighthawk, featuring a 44mm steel case and powered by the brand’s Eco-Drive quartz technology, is a sleek, modern mix of military-inspired pilot’s watch and world time complication.

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Seiko SUS Collection

Price: $185+
From: nanouniverse.com

Reprising a simple model from the 1990s, Seiko again taunts international fans with the domestic-only reissue of a stylish, affordable, military-inspired watch called the SUS.

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Citizen Promaster Fugu

Price: $360+
From: citizenasialimited.com

Following the release of some Promaster automatic divers specifically for Europe, Citizen has announced another regional release focused on South East Asia with six solid new Promaster watches.

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Swatch Sistem Bau

Price: $150
From: swatch.com

With 25 different models to choose from in the Bau Swatch Collection, there’s a Bauhaus-inspired watch for everyone. But the automatic Sistem 51 version, dubbed the Sistem Bau, is by far the coolest the coolest.

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Casio Edifice EQB1000D-1A

Price: $300
From: casio.com

Casio Edifice offers tons of practical features and a great value, and the newest model has the latest tech (world time, alarms, stopwatches, Bluetooth) in a case that’s only 8.9mm thick.

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Timex Waterbury Automatic

Price: $249+
From: timex.com

The new Waterbury Automatic Collection features 21-jewel automatic movements, date windows and 40mm or 42mm steel cases. Best of all, they come in multiple dial colors and strap/bracelet options, all for well under $300.

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G-Shock Neo Tokyo Series

Price: $99+
From: sshock.com

The new Casio G-Shock Neo Tokyo series watches (including fully digital and ana-digi models) reference a dark, futuristic anime vision of Tokyo with neon highlights from the 1980s.

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Shinola Detrola

Price: $395
From: shinola.com

High-grade 43mm resin cases with 50m of water resistance make the Detrola lightweight and durable but also offer nearly endless color options — and many of the new models are intensely vibrant.

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Jack Mason Camber Chronograph

Price: $275+
From: jackmasonbrand.com

The Jack Mason Camber racing chronograph, which features a 42mm steel case with a sapphire crystal, a 22mm lug width and 100m of water resistance, is available in several different configurations and starts at just $275.

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Casio Pro Trek PRT-B50

Price: $200
From: protrek.com

The newest Pro Trek, which offers a lot of the same features and toughness as its brother-brand, G-Shock, but with more of a focus on pragmatic functionality, is the PRT-B50 series, and it introduces an accelerometer and smartphone connectivity.

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Nodus Duality

Price: $700
From: noduswatches.com

The new Duality from California-based brand Nodus is a modern take on the Super Compressor-style of dive watches. In two versions with monochromatic black or white dials, it’s affordably priced at $700 and offers a unique feature in its dial construction.

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Citizen Promaster Marine

Price: $375
From: macys.com

The Citizen Promaster line is known for its rugged watches that are packed with tech and yet remain affordable. In a special, limited edition for Macy’s, the Japanese brand has introduced a new Promaster Marine dive watch that features Eco-Drive light-charging technology, a GMT function, and a Super Titanium case.

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Seiko Presage SPB111J1

Price: ~$1,380
From: seikowatches.com

Seiko’s newest model in its elegant Presage line serves up a calming green dial in enamel, powered by automatic movement and featuring the 6R35 automatic movement and 100m of water resistance in a 40.5mm case.

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G-Shock DW5600SB Series

Price: $110
From: gshock.com

Part of the über-popular DW5600 model range, these new G-Shock colors feature matching cases and jelly-style bands, and well as negative LCD displays in matching shades.

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Bulova American Clipper

Price: $277
From: macys.com

The new Bulova x Macy’s American Clipper, a limited-edition collaboration piece with vintage-inspired looks, featured a 39mm case and an automatic movement, and has a pretty approachable price.

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Brew Mastergraph

Price: $375
From: brew-watches.com

Brew Watches’ new Mastergraph features a hybrid of mechanical feel and quartz functionality as well as a triple register chronograph and 38mm cushion case, all for just $375.

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Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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This Watch Is Made for the Blind but Is Wildly Popular with the Sighted

“It’s a watch for the blind.”

That easy explanation, in a single stroke, justifies the avant-garde form of the Eone Bradley watch and makes it immediately both understandable and intriguing. Looking a little closer, this is a strikingly original and fascinating product on multiple levels, and its creator Hyungsoo Kim has a compelling story to tell about how it came to be and why it raises important issues.

Rather than using a traditional dial and hands covered by glass, the Eone Bradley tells time by touch via ball bearings, which lends it a unique look. While initially intended for blind customers, its combination of unique design and compelling story have made it a successful fashion item that can be regularly spotted on wrists around the world. Indeed, 95% of Eone Bradley watches are bought by the sighted. In a time when most analog watches are functionally obsolete, something that stands out visually and conceptually, genuinely fills an important niche, and has a practical purpose behind its design is rare and refreshing.

What’s it like to use one? Even the sighted might sometimes need to check the time discreetly. First, feel around the edge of the watch until finding the ball bearing. You’ll then slide your finger to the top of the watch to find the nearest index, orienting yourself because the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock indices reach all the way to the edge while those in between don’t. The 12 o’clock index is palpably the fattest. Now you know the hour, and it’s then easy to find the minutes via the ball bearing in the groove on top of the watch.

It takes a little getting used to, but becomes easier. If you’re sighted, you can also read the time visually, of course. Driven by a Swiss quartz movement, the ball bearings are moved by magnets — if they become disengaged from the magnets, a flick of the wrist will send them rolling in their grooves to easily find their place again. It’s all so simple, and yet not at all obvious.

The Eone Bradley has been around since its 2013 Kickstarter launch, and subsequent models have mostly represented minor design differences and colors. A Swiss quartz movement helps keep the watches affordable at under or around $300, but watch enthusiasts should appreciate that new models all use ceramic for the top ring — something that’s a trend now among many luxury watch brands for the material’s luxurious feel, technical interest, and scratch-resistance.

Compared to the crowds of luxury and indy watch brands at constant pains to stand out with something that looks “different” and rationalize it with contrived backstories, Eone appears effortlessly original. Many brands claim to “break the mold” with alternative concepts or displays (discs instead of hands, anyone?), but Eone offers a genuinely novel experience.

Eone’s founder and CEO Hyungsoo Kim charmingly refers to “touching time.” He is down-to-earth but has a unique perspective, and he recently discussed his brand and products with Gear Patrol. [The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.]

Eone’s Founder and CEO Hyungsoo Kim

Q: Bradley Snyder is a big part of Eone’s branding. Why did you name the watch after him?

A: Bradley Snyder is a former naval officer who was blinded diffusing bombs in Afganistan. He later went on to win gold and silver medals in the Paralympic Games. We named this watch after him because his story is inspiring not only to the blind community but to everyone, and his goal aligns well with our goal, which is to break stereotypes and misconceptions people have towards the blind. It might sound a little cliche, but we want to change how people think about disabilities and abilities and inclusion. So 15% of our proceeds support a naval special operations veterans’ organization where Bradley Snyder is a board member.

Q: You were a graduate student in business management at MIT when you developed the Eone Bradley. How did you get the idea to make a watch for the blind?

A: One of my classmates was blind, so that was how I found out about the problem they have. When I sat next to him, he had to poke me all the time to ask what time it was. It was very surprising that in the 21st century there wasn’t a good solution. It’s not that designers are excluding blind people on purpose when designing objects like clocks and watches, we just don’t know what’s going on with them, we don’t have much interaction with them.

For example, technology is advancing really fast, and all the products and gadgets are becoming smaller, slimmer, good-looking… but even on vending machines and microwaves all the buttons are now a touchscreen panel. If you can’t see, you can’t use them at all. So many people who are blind, when they need something, they go to the junk stores to find old products with buttons and knobs. But even those are disappearing.

It’s a very big problem they are facing, but we just don’t know. We just assume that their lives must be taken care of somehow because of all this amazing technology, but it’s actually going the opposite direction. So we wanted to raise awareness so more designers and engineers would pay attention to inclusive design.

Eone stands for “everyone,” because we want to raise awareness and promote inclusiveness, not to focus on disabilities. The action of touching something is a universal experience that can be shared by the blind and the sighted together. When I “touch time,” now and then it makes me think that this must be something that blind people are also doing as well. So it kind of leads to a sense of connection.

Q: Something like high-end minute repeater watches that chime the time on demand aren’t an option for average people. What alternatives do blind have for checking the time in their daily lives?

A: There are talking watches and braille watches, but most options are really cheap. Many of them break easily, and having a watch speak the time out loud is inappropriate or embarrassing in a lot of situations. Blind people can also use smartphones with earpieces, but for them, being able to hear the surrounding environment is very important, so that’s not the best option.

Q: What were the challenges in developing and designing the Eone Bradley?

A: At first, we wanted to make a watch for the blind with braille dots, but it turned out they really didn’t like that approach. It was very shocking and surprising: we brought the prototype for the first user group testing of about 50 blind individuals, and the first question they asked us was: “do you know how many of us can read braille?” I never thought about it, I just assumed that if you’re blind you can read braille. So I said, “maybe eight or nine out of ten of you can read braille.” It turned out only 10% or 20% of blind people can read braille because unless they’re born blind they don’t get to develop the necessary sense of touch. A lot of people, like Bradley Snyder, become blind later in life.

The other thing that surprised me, and embarrassed me, was that I had assumed that they would mostly care about functionality and less about the looks. They want to look good just like everyone else. They asked how big it was, what it was made of, and what color the strap was. Finally, while I thought they would be happy to have something made just for them, blind people didn’t want something made just for blind people. They didn’t want to use a product that focuses on their disabilities and separates them. They wanted a watch that everyone wants to wear.

After the first prototype, we had to start from scratch. We built a team consisting of not only MIT designers and engineers but people with all kinds of abilities and disabilities. It was a little more than a year and a half from our first user group meeting to launching the Kickstarter campaign, and we went through 50 or 60 prototypes for the first model.

Q: Were you surprised to see the watch well received by the sighted?

A: Our Kickstarter in 2013 was a huge success compared to what we expected. We were surprised because most people who supported us were sighted. They supported us because they liked our story as well, but mostly they just liked our design. That’s what we want from our customers. We don’t want our customers to buy our watches because we are supporting the blind community, we want our customers to like our products because the design is unique and it looks beautiful.

To be honest, among our blind customers, it’s split. Some people who are blind find the price point to be too expensive and they’re not happy with that, and for them it was a disappointment. But some people are happy to have an option, and to have a watch to wear when they dress up.

Q: What particular technical challenges were there in developing the watch?

A: We do a lot of user group testing. Usually, visual design can be done really quickly. You can send out the drawings and get feedback, but because we rely on tactile functionality, we actually have to print the physical prototypes to be able to touch it and feel it. Even the size of the ball bearings went through so many iterations because of needing to find the balance between the ball bearings with regards to size and look. For example, for the markers’ design: our latest one went through about 15 or 20 iterations.

We can use thinner quartz movements, but their torque is not strong enough to drive the magnets. When we test different sizes that are smaller, they look nice and the watch could be thinner, but it gets hard to feel the ball bearings. To increase tactile functionality, bigger ball bearings are better, but then the watch becomes too heavy, too large, and looks too chunky. So finding the balance takes time and is quite challenging.

Q: What watches or products have influenced you? Do you wear or have any other watches?

A: This might make you laugh, but I used to hate wearing watches. I bike all the time, and I just don’t like wearing expensive watches. I used to like Skagen — I like their designs. Skagen was one of my favorites.

Nowadays, I’m really into environmental and eco-friendly products — they call it upcycling. They make bags and clothing from plastics and recycled materials. Ive been really into that and we’ve been exploring it, for example, with recyclable packaging and straps made from leather car seats.

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email