All posts in “Watches”

We’ve Never Seen a Tactical Watch Strap Design Like This

Novel watch strap designs are few and far between. The last we can recall is Crown & Buckle’s Chevron, sort of a love child between a Perlon and a NATO. (Disclaimer: we love these so much that we carry them in our store.) You got your NATOs, your leathers, your rubbers, your bracelets….you know the drill.

Well, the new Fidlock from DSPTCH, SF-based makers of awesome, utilitarian kit, is sort of a new breed: made of wide herringbone nylon webbing, it features a snap-enclosure buckle called the Fidlock Hook 20 for attachment/detachment. One side of the system hooks into the other, after which a second piece locks the “hook” into place:

fidlock strap inline 1

DSPTCH

Available for now in 20mm and 22mm sizes (and also available for the Apple Watch), the Fidlock comes in black, olive, coyote, MultiCam, burnt orange and safety orange colors for $36. Interestingly, the two halves of the strap (long and short sides) can be purchased in separate pieces for a multi-color look (each half costs $18).

Having not tried the Fidlock yet, I can’t speak to its quality, but I could easily see it on the wrist of a solider, explorer, or other intrepid soul who needs the ability to quick don and doff his watch.

More Info: Here

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Baltic Updated Two of Our Favorite Affordable Watches

Hear ye, hear ye — everyone’s fave boutique French watch brand is back with new wares! Baltic’s handwound Bicompax and automatic HMS three-handers are perennial favorites here at GP, and we’re thrilled to show you the brand’s newest versions.

Each is available in three new colors (black, blue and silver) and adds a touch of Art Deco to Baltic’s 1940s aesthetic: the watches now feature a stepped, brushed chapter ring for numerals 1-12 along with a central matte inner dial. The stepped look of the dial matches well the watches’ stepped cases, a hallmark of 1940s case design and a standout feature of Baltic’s first two timepieces.

baltic bicompax 002

Baltic Watches

The cases themselves are otherwise unchanged from those of the original Bicompax and HMS 001: both are stainless steel, 38mm in diameter by 12mm and 47mm lug to lug. Baltic has upgraded the strap choices to seven new leather options, each of which is produced by a company near Besançon, the historical heart of French watchmaking. (You can also purchase each watch on a steel beads-of-rice bracelet.)

baltic hms 002

Baltic Watches

The Bicompax chronograph is powered by the Seagull ST19 handwound movement, while the HMS is powered by the Miyota 821A automatic. Each watch ships in handsome cork box packaging directly from the brand. Best of all, pricing remains the same as that of the original Mk1 models: ~$639 for the chronograph and ~$393 for the three-hander.

More Info: Here

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Save Up to $450 on a Grand Seiko Watch

When it comes to high-end luxury timepieces, few watchmakers live up to the standards set by Grand Seiko. Since the brand’s origin designing the finest timepieces to come out of Seiko’s Suwa factory, Grand Seiko wristwatches have been the darlings of watch collectors and critics everywhere. They are among the most pristinely finished and accurate watches that money can buy, and thanks to veteran eBay seller WatchBox, there’s never been a better time to add one to your collection. Right now at WatchBox’s eBay store, you can save between $250 and $450 on models like the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Auto, the Grand Seiko SBGV238 and many more. Head to the link below to find a Grand Seiko that’s sure to fit your style.

Buy Now


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A Short Buying Guide to the New Apple Watch Bands

apple watch straps

Apple

Forget the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch SE, the new iPad Air, and all that other stuff — that stuff is expensive. New straps! New straps are more digestible.

Apple dropped several brand spankin’ new designs as well as several new colors for a few of its core Apple Watch bands. Chief amongst the newness is the Solo Loop, a strap made of a single piece of either silicone rubber or a polyester/silicone mix that doesn’t feature a buckle or clasp. Available in nine sizes, you simply find your correct fit and slip the band on and off.

We broke down the new bands as well as which classic models are receiving new color updates. Check ’em out below.

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1 The Solo Loop

apple.com

$49.00

Apple’s new Solo Loop is made of a single piece of liquid silicone rubber. It’s available in nine sizes for a precise fit and comes in seven colors.

2 The Braided Solo Loop

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$99.00

Made from recycled polyester and silicone materials, the Braided Solo Loop, which is also available in nine sizes, is sweat- and water-resistant.

3 The Leather Link

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$99.00

This leather band doesn’t have a clasp or buckle — rather, it comes in two lengths and features a hidden magnetic enclosure. It’s made of handcrafted Roux Granada leather.

4 The Sport Band

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$49.00

Apple’s Sport Band, which closes with a button system, now comes in four new colors, including Pink Citrus.

5 The Nike Sport Band

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$49.00

The Nike Sport Band, which is made from fluoroelastomer and features perforations for breathability, is a fan favorite. It’s now available in three new colors, including Vapor Green (pictured).

6 The Sport Loop

apple.com

$49.00

Made of a double nylon weave, the Sport Loop is soft and breathable and features a hook and loop fastening system. It now comes in seven new colors. 

7 The Nike Sport Loop

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$49.00

The Nike Sport Loop, with its nylon weave and reflective thread, is made for fitness. Several new colors are made to match a new line of Nike running shoes. 

8 Hermès Swift Leather Single Tour

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$339.00

Available in both single and double-pass versions in various leathers, the Hermès strap with its stainless steel buckle is an Apple Watch classic. It now comes in several new colors. 

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The Complete Buying Guide to Hamilton Watches

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

A lot of people’s first “nice” watch was or will be a Hamilton. With mechanical watch prices starting at $495, the Swiss brand with American roots makes a clear effort to offer strong value that longtime collectors continue to appreciate. Broad-ranging variety for largely under $2k — and plenty even under the $1k mark — makes Hamilton approachable and fun, while offering solid quality and even a brand name brimming with history.

Many watch enthusiasts perhaps continue to think of Hamilton as an American brand in some sense, even though they know that it’s been Swiss-owned for decades — almost no other surviving company better represents the era when the United States was a major force in the watch industry. Incorporated in 1892, Hamilton succeeded several companies that were producing watches in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the firm would be based until 1969 and where the original administrative and production structures still stand.

Producing its own movements, Hamilton built fine pocket watches meeting the stringent requirements of the railroads and later supplied the military with the likes of marine chronometers, field watches and even “canteen watches” for early navy divers. Other landmark timepieces included innovative models such as the first electric watch (Ventura) and first LED watch (Pulsar). The brand also became entrenched in Hollywood, with its watches appearing in over 500 films to date.

Though the company ended US production in 1969 and today exists under the Swatch Group’s umbrella of brands, its modern catalog draws on its American background — and not merely with reissues and vintage-inspired looks, but with a design philosophy that often seems informed by American Art Deco. (The tag line “American spirit, Swiss precision” sums up the company’s personality well.) Benefitting from Swatch Group resources, Hamilton watches are powered by reliable, mass-produced ETA movements, including those with the latest tech such as silicon parts and extended power reserves. Premium features such as sapphire crystal are also typical of Hamilton watches even at the lower price ranges.

Large brands with vast catalogs like Hamilton can be sliced and diced various ways. Broadly, however, about half of Hamilton’s most notable offerings have a military theme and fall within one of three Khaki collections: Field (land), Navy (sea) and Aviation (air). The remaining four have either a contemporary or fashion-oriented motif: the Jazzmaster and Broadway collections are more elegant, while the American Classics is very much what it sounds like, with reissues and vintage-inspired references abounding. The avant-garde Ventura line is quite its own thing.

There’s just about every kind of watch for just about every kind of person in Hamilton’s catalog. Expect strong value and a healthy dose of personality in the brand’s catalog, which we’ve broken down below.

Learn More: Here

Khaki Field

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: Khaki Field Murph $995; Khaki Field Titanium Auto $995; Khaki Field Mechanical $495: Khaki Field King $625;

Hamilton

The Khaki Field is a varied but cohesive collection. The mens line currently features over 70 models ranging from quartz movements to handwound and automatic mechanical ones. Easily the collection’s most notable model is the Gear Patrol-approved affordable favorite and absolute classic, the Khaki Field Mechanical.

Its big brother, the Khaki Field Auto, is also an easy recommendation: it offers some relatively premium features like automatic winding and a more refined design — it’s perhaps even more attractive in lightweight titanium versions. Another standout model is the Murph, originally created as a prop for the film Interstellar before becoming available for purchase. Finally, sometimes overlooked but offering a day-date feature and pragmatic look is the Khaki Field King — a solid everyday option.

Diameter: 33mm-50mm
Configurations: Time only; time and date; day of the week and date; chronograph
Price Range: $325-$1,795

Learn More: Here

Khaki Navy

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: Khaki Navy Pioneer Small Second Auto $1,095; Khaki Navy Scuba Auto $695; Khaki Navy Frogman Auto $1,095; Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO Auto $2,095

Hamilton

The Khaki Navy collection is where you’ll find Hamilton’s dive watches like the Scuba and Frogman, but also other maritime-themed options such as the classically styled Pioneer, which is based on the look of marine chronometers. The Navy Scuba is a favorite for daily wear, with approachable sizing and some great color options — including one made especially for Gear Patrol.

The Frogman is modern and boldly sized, with a prominent crown-guard locking mechanism that references Hamilton’s historical canteen watches. If the Frogman is bold and quirky, though, the thousand-meter-water-resistant Below Zero outdoes it with a 46mm case featuring four large screws and an all-black design.

Diameter: 36mm-46mm
Configurations: Time only; time and date; center seconds; small seconds; GMT; chronograph
Price Range: $695-$2,945

Learn More: Here

Khaki Aviation

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: Khaki Aviation Air Race Auto $745; Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical $845; Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto $895; Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto $1,095; Khaki Aviation Taekoff Air Zermatt Auto $1,195; Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Aluminium $1,145

Hamilton

A large and wide-ranging collection, Khaki Aviation encompasses everything from technical-looking chronographs to classic flieger styles and vintage reissues — but certain long and similar-sounding model names can cause some confusion. For example, you might be surprised that the “Pilot,” “Pioneer” and “Pilot Pioneer” are all quite different watches — add “Auto” or “Auto Chrono” to any of those, and the variety grows. (At least the names are descriptive.) One of our favorite recent affordable watch releases is called the Pilot Pioneer Mechanical, but we prefer to just call it the “W10” after the vintage model it’s based on.

The Khaki Aviation Pilot Day-Date is a classic: based on the well-known flieger watches of WWII, it comes in quartz and mechanical versions in a 42mm case, offering the date as well as the day of the week fully spelled out at 12 o’clock. Variations of this model might have slightly different names, sizes or features (such as a chronograph), but they all feel very much part of the same family.

The 41mm Pilot Pioneer Auto also has a military look but features an inner rotating bezel, with some versions even available in interesting colors in relatively uncommon but lightweight aluminum. The Air Race (the Khaki Aviation Auto is a very similar model) is simple and classically designed, representing the most affordable mechanical watch in the Aviation collection.

More modern and aggressive looks can be found in the X-Wind models as well as the Takeoff, each of which features its own interpretation of a sleek and technical pilot’s watch. The X-Wind automatic chronograph models are toward the high end of the Khaki Aviation collection at over $2,000, but a 46mm all black Takeoff Auto Chrono will run you $3,295.

Diameter: 33mm-46mm
Configurations: Three-hand; time and date; day-date; GMT; chronograph
Price Range: $545-$3,295

Learn More: Here

American Classic

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: PSR Digital Quartz $745; Thin O Matic Auto $895; Boulton Mechanical $895; Intra-Matic Auto Chrono $2,195; Intra-Matic Auto $945

Hamilton

American Classic is where vintage rereleases (of non-military watches) and generally retro-inspired models live — it contains everything from funky, digital LED PSR watches to the Don Draper-handsome Intra-Matic and much more. A well-executed, Sixties-style dress watch with a high-quality movement (ETA 2892), the Intra-Matic Auto is a favorite, and its Chrono version is just as popular with a panda dial.

Offering many of the same useful features and handsome looks, the Valiant, Thin-O-Matic, Railroad and Spirit of Liberty are practical, everyday automatic watches offering compelling bang for buck. Similarly vintage-inspired and formally inclined, there are also the rectangular shaped Boulton and Flintridge watches — the latter of which has an unusual metal dial cover that opens on a hinge.

Easily the sportiest member of the American Classics collection is the Pan Europ, based on early 1970s racing watches and available in three-hand or chronograph versions.

Diameter: 27mm; 34.5mm;
Configurations: Three-hand; time and date; day-date; GMT; chronograph
Price Range: $445-$3,500

Learn More: Here

Jazzmaster

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: Jazzmaster Regulator Auto $1,275; Jazzmaster Day Date Auto $1,045; Maestro Small Second Auto $1,225; Jazzmaster GMT Auto $1.275; Viewmatic Auto $795; Maestro Auto Chrono $1,895; Thinline Auto $995;

Hamilton

While American Classics models like the Intra-Matic get plenty of deserved attention as great all around dress watches, the Jazzmaster line with its Thinline and Viewmatic are also worth considering. The core of the Jazzmaster line contains simply named models like the Auto and Day Date Auto — more variations include the Jazzmaster Power Reserve, GMT Auto, Regulator Auto and Auto Chrono. Easily Hamilton’s largest collection, the Jazzmaster men’s line currently contains nearly 150 models.

In addition to the basic Jazzmaster models with their myriad configurations, sub-collections include the Maestro as well as the aforementioned Viewmatic and Thinline. Within each of these ranges are a number of models with Skeleton treatments (where the dial is mostly cut out to reveal the movement beneath) and Open Heart versions (with a partial dial cutout, often in odd shapes).

Diameter: 37mm-46mm
Configurations: Time only; time and date; day-date;
Price Range: $445-$6,195

Learn More: Here

Broadway

hamilton watches
From Left: Broadway Day Date Auto $995; Broadway Auto Chrono $1,895; Broadway GMT $1,545

Hamilton

The Broadway line is comparatively focused and compact, with a consistent aesthetic across its range of models. Often distinguished by a wide vertical line across its dials, the collection’s features and configurations will be familiar from other Hamilton lines, with quartz and automatic models with day-date, GMT and chronograph options.

Diameter: 40mm-46mm
Configurations: Day-date; GMT; chronograph
Price Range: $625-$1,945

Learn More: Here

Ventura

hamilton watches
Clockwise from Top Left: Ventura Chrono Quartz $995; Ventura Auto $995; Ventura Elvis80 Auto $1,495; Ventura Quartz $895

Hamilton

The Ventura is one of the most quirky and distinctive watches you can credibly call “iconic.” In 1957, its space age look was meant to emphasize the revolutionary tech inside (it was the first electric watch). From the creative mind of famed industrial designer Richard Arbib, the forward-looking watch got a boost of star power when Elvis Presley wore it on set — and the Ventura went on to form a collection based on its triangular case.

Today, the quartz models feel the closest to the original collection, with a faithful design and sizing — not to mention the appropriateness of a battery-powered movement. There are several choices of dial configurations and colors, as well as chronograph options. Mechanical watch snobs also have options, and the boldly sized Ventura Elvis 80 offers a funky but modern feel.

Diameter: 14.5mm-42.5mm
Configurations: Time only, chronograph
Price Range: $725-$3,895

Learn More: Here

Experimental Models

hamilton watches
From Left: Jazzmaster Face 2 Face $6,195; ODC X-03 Auto $3,500

Hamilton

An exception to Hamilton’s approachable, everyman image is the occasional totally out-there model. Though there have been more of these in the past (such as a production model of the watch created for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey), there are currently only a couple models that fit in this category (and they’re technically part of collections mentioned above). The totally avant-garde ODC X-03 features three time zones with a dial made to look like the planet Jupiter. The Face 2 Face watch has a reversible 53mm-wide case with two separate movements and a dial on each side, topping out the brand’s entire price range at over $6,000.

Diameter: 49mm-53mm
Configurations: Dual time; triple time zone; chronograph
Price Range: $3,500-$6,195

The Valjoux 7750 Chronograph Is a Timekeeping Icon

1970 was a year of great ups and downs for the mechanical chronograph. The vaunted Omega Speedmaster helped bring the crippled Apollo 13 space capsule back to Earth. James Bond’s Rolex Cosmograph helped 007 foil Blofeld on a mountaintop lair in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. And it had been only a year since the great riddle of making a self-winding chronograph was solved, with several companies crossing the finish line in what was horology’s version of an arms race. Fresh off of this triumph, the market was awash in great chronographs, like the Zenith El Primero, the Heuer Monaco and the Breitling Chrono-matic, all still icons to this day. But what should have been the dawn of a decade of glory for these automatic timepieces was prematurely overshadowed by a new, even more revolutionary invention: the quartz movement.

Within a couple of years, no one cared if their chronograph was self-winding. Quartz watches were all the rage — light, durable, infinitely more accurate and growing cheaper by the year. They were the future while mechanical watches were century-old relics — heavy, complicated and expensive. In perhaps the most telling indication of the mechanical watch’s demise, even James Bond switched from his reliable Rolex to a digital Seiko for 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me.

During this dark period of the early ’70s, a humble watch movement was developed that may have saved the mechanical chronograph from the dustbin of history and is still being made to this day, found in countless timepieces from humble entry-level watches to expensive perpetual calendar masterpieces. That movement is the ETA 7750 or, as it was formerly and still more commonly known, the Valjoux 7750. It is a movement that inspires heated debate among watch connoisseurs, equally revered and laughed at. But no one can deny the impact this movement has had on the watch industry.

valjoux 7750 watch

IWC

Most of the chronographs of the 1960s used a delightful little mechanism called a column wheel to start, stop and reset the stopwatch functions. Renowned for its precision and snappy response, the column wheel took skill to produce and was seen as a high achievement for a watchmaker. But it didn’t lend itself well to mass production or low cost and was an easy target for the cheap hordes of quartz watches coming out of Japan. The mechanical chronograph languished.

The Valjoux 7750 is characterized by its rather stiff pusher action and by the familiar “wobble” of the winding rotor when it spins inside the case. These traits annoy some and are endearing to others.

In 1973, inspired by the automatics of Zenith, Heuer, et al., the Vallée de Joux movement maker, Ébauches SA, adapted one of their old hand-cranked chronograph movements and released the Valjoux 7750 to little fanfare. The movement was not as refined as the Zenith or Calibre 11, but its relative crudeness is made up for by its robustness. The 7750 is a coulisse-lever escapement, meaning that the stopwatch functions are driven by levers that push an oblong cam back and forth, alternately starting, stopping and resetting the chronograph. The architecture of the 7750 lent itself to easier mass-production than did column wheel calibres, but by the mid-’70s quartz was king and there wasn’t the call for a high volume of mechanical chronographs and the movement remained largely dormant.

By the mid-’80s, the Swiss watch industry was showing signs of life thanks in large part to the cheap quartz Swatches that were all the rage. Many companies survived the Quartz Crisis by consolidating and sharing resources. Ébauches SA, now know as ETA, was absorbed by the Swatch Group and cranked out movements for any number of watch companies. While quartz was still on top, a renewed interest in mechanical movements led to a renaissance of automatic watches. Proud old names of watchmaking were resuscitated — Omega, IWC, Longines — and started selling old technology to a new generation. It was finally time for the Valjoux 7750 to have its moment in the sun.

With the watch industry just back on its feet, in-house production of column-wheel chronographs was not practical — they required considerable design and manufacturing resources and were expensive to make and to sell. The Valjoux 7750 was the perfect answer and the movement found its way into countless mechanical chronographs from everyone from Tissot to Sinn to TAG Heuer to Omega.

valjoux 7750 watch

Retro Watch Guy

Ubiquity has led to a sort of snobbery among watch geeks who tend to prefer in-house column-wheel movements. But like the venerable Mercedes 280 Diesels that have done time as Third World taxis and limousines alike, the Valjoux 7750 cannot be dismissed as a second-rate movement.

People who know watches can usually tell a Valjoux 7750-powered watch just by holding it. It is characterized by its rather stiff pusher action, sometimes by a slight backlash of the seconds hand as the chronograph engages and by the familiar “wobble” of the winding rotor when it spins inside the case. These traits annoy some and are endearing to others. The movement is not only simple and rugged but it is also highly flexible. While the most common iteration is a three sub-dial layout, the 7750 could be adapted to display a date, the day and date, two subdials (in lieu of three) and even a moonphase complication. Watch companies could order the 7750 however they chose and either drop it into their case as is, or modify it in-house.

Nowadays, walk into any watch dealer looking for a mechanical chronograph and the majority of timepieces you’ll see have a Valjoux 7750 ticking inside, no matter what the watch company has renamed it. This ubiquity has led to a sort of snobbery among watch geeks who tend to prefer in-house column-wheel movements. But like the venerable Mercedes 280 Diesels that have done time as third-world taxis and limousines alike, the Valjoux 7750 cannot be dismissed as a second-rate movement. It is the motor that revived the mechanical chronograph for a new generation and has powered countless fantastic timepieces. Now, with the Swatch Group threatening to cut off supply of ETA movements to companies outside its domain, it remains to be seen what the future of the 7750, and the mechanical chronograph, holds.

5 Watches with the Valjoux 7750 Movement

Tourneau Chronograph

valjoux 7750

eBay

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Heuer Pasadena

valjoux 7750

eBay

Shop Pre-Owned

Damasko DC57

valjoux 7750

eBay

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LeJour ref. 7000

valjoux 7750

eBay

Shop Pre-Owned

Raymond Weil Chronograph

valjoux 7750

eBay

Shop Pre-Owned

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TAG Heuer Just Revamped One of the World’s Best Chronographs

After years of vacillating between vintage remakes and aggressive, hyper-modern sport watches, there are positive signs of TAG Heuer now trying a more even-keeled approach. With a return to the core values and aesthetics that made the Carrera an icon, the new and simply named Carrera Chronograph watches are a welcome balance of contemporary and classical. Following the sporty and modern-looking but restrained Carrera Sport Chronograph watches, there’s hope that this signals a new direction for the brand — cause they look damn good.

tag heuer carrera chrono

TAG Heuer

Housed in a 42mm steel case, the new models come in four dial variations of blue, gray, black and silver — the silver featuring contrasting, rose gold-toned hands and indices. On steel bracelets or leather straps, they lean away from a purely sporty identity and more toward a genuinely versatile option. With a water-resistance of 100m, they don’t need to be relegated to the office. The excellent, in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph makes these feel like serious watches.

Its restrained looks and lack of the ever popular tachymeter scale will remind many of the famous, first-ever Carrera — but TAG isn’t necessarily reaching back that far, as these models are also reminiscent of chronographs produced in the 1990s-2000s. Available in October 2020, prices will be $5,350 whether on a bracelet or a strap (in which case, the bracelet offers a better value) with the silver dial model featuring gold-plated dial elements costing $5,550.

Learn More: Here

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Upgrade Your Pilot’s Watch to This Overbuilt Beauty

When you’re looking for a serious, well designed watch that you can genuinely beat the shit out of, certain marques rise to the top of mind. Tutima, which has a long history of making tool watches in Glashütte, Germany, is one such brand.

Tutima’s latest offering, the Grand Flieger Airport, builds upon their aviation heritage, albeit via a thoroughly modern approach. Available in both chronograph and three-hander form, the Grand Flieger Airport features a 43mm steel case, a bi-directional 12-hour bezel available for the first time in ceramic, and color-coordinated dials and textile straps with deployant clasps. Both models also feature screw-down crowns, anti-reflective sapphire crystals above both the dial and case back, and an impressive 200m of water resistance. All hands, indices, and 12 o’clock bezel markers are coated in Super-LumiNova.

tutima glashüttesa watches

Tutima Glashütte/SA

tutima glashüttesa watches

Tutima Glashütte/SA

The three-hand model, which features the Tutima cal. 330 (based on the ETA 2836), has a day-date display and sparse, highly legible dial. Handsome and oversized, it’s certainly a cool-looking watch, but to my mind, the real star of the show here is the chronograph: featuring the Tutima cal. 310, it’s adorned with a day-date display at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock with red demarcations, a running seconds counter at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock. (This movement, of course, is based on the famed ETA/Valjoux 7750, which powered some of the coolest chronographs of the last 40 years.)

Both models are available with cool green or blue “dégradé” dials (they fade from the colored to black at the outer edges of the dial) and Cordura straps or a steel bracelet. Prices are $2,500 (strap) to $2,900 (bracelet) for the three-hander or $3,900 (strap) to $4,300 (bracelet) for the chronograph.

More Info: Here

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These Are Some of the Best New Luxury Sport Watches

There’s an ongoing buzz in the watch industry around integrated bracelets and elegant sport watches intended for general casual wear. The category is typified by the prestigious Audmears Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus: sporty in style but not intended for any specific sport or activity — and often incorporating elements like prominent bezels and edgy styling. Though loosely defined, more brands than ever are recently offering their own take on the concept.

You’ll sometimes hear watch executives call this genre “sports chic” and note that it constitutes a significant portion of luxury watch sales — with models featuring integrated bracelets being particularly desirable. Why is this an attractive feature? While most watches have lugs of standard sizes that can accommodate all kinds of straps, watches with integrated bracelets have lugs designed only to fit the bracelet made specifically for that model. This can add value (and cost) because bracelets are challenging to design and and complicated to produce — and one created for a particular watch can make the overall product feel more cohesive. The drawback is that you’ve got far fewer strap changing options than most watches.

Otherwise traditional brands have branched out to offer their own “sports chic” watches, explaining that their customers want the prestige and refinement they offer but in a package they don’t have to worry about, say, taking swimming. Made for weekends, vacations and other such occasions, this is a “casual watch” that typically comes in steel instead of precious metal cases and leather straps, with decent water resistance, and often with a more aggressive styling and size. Here are some notable recent examples.

Citizen Corso

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Prestige brands aren’t the only ones getting in on the action. Citizen offers a solid everyday watch with a simple styling that leans into a sporty and modern vibe without being too dressy or plain. The Corso, redesigned for late 2019, is also an eminently affordable as well as practical option, equipped with sapphire crystal the Japanese brand’s own quartz movement with a battery constantly recharged via exposure to light.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $280

Learn More: Here

Frederique Constant Highlife Automatic

[image id=’6be5d120-aa63-4e6a-97ba-dff416af81c2′ mediaId=’1e5d02fb-abe2-4487-b384-d75804e3f32f’ align=’center’ size=’medium’ share=’false’ caption=” expand=” crop=’original’][/image]

Frederique Constant mostly makes traditional, dressy watches, while its sister brand Alpina does the sporty stuff. The new Highlife, however, offers a a modern design and, yes, an integrated bracelet/strap, all while maintaining that elegant Swiss sensibility. You can also get the same case and styling with an “open heart” (dial cutout displaying the balance wheel) and even a sub-$10k perpetual calendar.

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 Automatic
Water Resistance: 50m
Price: $1,995

Learn More: Here

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Center Seconds

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Independent Swiss brand H. Moser & Cie. always takes a slightly unexpected approach. Though it features soft curves and a retro-feeling cushion-shaped case, the Streamliner fits into the same trend as other brands, offering a casually oriented automatic steel watch with specs like 120m of water resistance. The brand’s signature fumé dial here is in a striking green, making the Streamliner stand out even among its sportier peers.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: H. Moser & Cie. HMC 200 Automatic
Water Resistance: 120m
Price: $21,900

Learn More: Here

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus

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Many were surprised when A. Lange & Söhne introduced the Odysseus steel sport watch — precious metals and conservative watchmaking typically being what the German brand does best. While the everyday, casual watch is best represented in simple time-and-date models, Lange added a little horological complication and interest with large day-of-the-week and digital date displays. They’ve since also introduced a version in gold.

Diameter: 40.5mm
Movement: A. Lange & Söhne L155.1 Automatic
Water Resistance: 120m
Price: $28,800

Learn More: Here

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These Are Some of 2020’s Best Watches, According to Experts

Every year, the watch industry celebrates itself with pomp and circumstance in an awards ceremony called the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (or GPHG). It’s more or less akin to the Oscars of watchmaking. For 2020, there are 84 nominees across 14 categories — many of which are somewhat esoteric. So, let’s drill down and check out some of the more fun categories: specifically, dive watches, chronographs and best mens overall watches.

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Diver’s Watch Nominees

Breitling Superocean Automatic 48 Boutique Edition

black dive watch with green dial

GPHG

In black DLC-coated titanium, this boutique version of Breitling’s dive watch has a deep green dial and matching strap.

Diameter: 48mm
Price: ~$5,895

Learn More: Here

Doxa SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers

black carbon watch with yellow highlights

GPHG

Doxa’s famous SUB 300 takes on quite a unique character with a lightweight, strong and striking-looking carbon case.

Diameter: 42.5mm
Price: ~$5,275

Learn More: Here

Grand Seiko 9RA5 Spring Drive Diver’s 600m

steel diver watch with black dial

GPHG

Featuring Seiko’s innovative Spring Drive technology, this luxury dive is water-resistant to 600m.

Diameter: 46.9mm
Price: ~$13,650

Learn More: Here

Ming 18.01 H41

design dive watch with steel bracelet

GPHG

Design-focused independent brand Ming released its first dive watch this year with some unique features.

Diameter: 40mm
Price: $3,250

Learn More: Here

Reservoir Hydrosphere Bronze Maldive Edition

bronze dive watch on black strap

GPHG

Produced in collaboration with watch magazine Revolution, this bronze Reservoir watch features the brand’s signature retrograde display and jumping hour indicators.

Diameter: 45mm
Price: ~$4,790

Learn More: Here

Ulysse Nardin Diver X Cape Horn

black dive watch

GPHG

Made for the Vendée Globe sailing race, Ulysse Nardin’s dive watch is light and tough in titanium and carbon.

Diameter: 44mm
Price: ~$10,900

Learn More: Here

Chronograph Watch Nominees

Atelier de Chronométrie #8 Split-Seconds Chronograph

black chronograph watch

GPHG

Housed in an 18k “gray gold” case, this split-second chronograph is based on a vintage Venus movement recreated and decorated by hand.

Diameter: 39.8mm
Price: ~$121,630

Learn More: Here

Breitling Top Time Limited Edition

chronograph watch with retro dial

GPHG

Brietling created this retro-styled limited edition in homage to its Top Time watch, which was originally produced in the 1960s.

Diameter: 41mm
Price: ~$5,450

Learn More: Here

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph Automatic

steel chronograph watch with simple dial

GPHG

When H. Moser & Cie. introduced its new Streamliner collection this year, it took the form of an unexpectedly sporty offering.

Diameter: 42.3mm
Price: $39,900

Learn More: Here

Kurono Chronograph 1

art deco chronograph watch on black leather strap

GPHG

Aside from Seiko, Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka’s affordable brand Kurono is one of the few non-European brands at the GPHG.

Diameter: 38mm
Price: ~$4,050

Learn More: Here

Louis Moinet Memoris Superlight

blue and orange chronograph with exposed mechanics

GPHG

Louis Moinet traces its history to the invention of the chronograph, and the brand’s technical and colorful entrant is one of the most visually striking of the show.

Diameter: 46mm
Price: ~$28,600

Learn More: Here

Parmigiani Tondagraph GT

steel watch with black dial

GPHG

One of the independent Swiss brand’s sportiest watches, Parmigiani’s Tondagraph is made entirely in-house.

Diameter: 42mm
Price: 21,450

Men’s Watch Nominees

Bulgari Octo Finissimo S

bulgari watch with blue dial

GPHG

The complicated but impressively thin (6.4mm) case of the Octo Finissimo is complemented by a steel bracelet and blue dial.

Diameter: 40mm
Price: ~$12,650

Learn More: Here

De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky

blue watch with tourbillon on white background

GPHG

De Bethune’s typically sci-fi inspired and artistic angle is here expressed with a signature blue hue, skeletonized lugs and a tourbillon at 6 o’clock on the dial.

Diameter: 43mm
Price: ~$85,300

Learn More: Here

Laurent Ferrier Classic Origin Green

green watch on white background

GPHG

Independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier’s take on classical watchmaking is subtle and understated, with a green dial but high refinement and haute horlogerie all around.

Diameter: 40mm
Price: ~$33,800

Learn More: Here

Petermann Bédat Dead Beat Second

gold watch on brown strap

GPHG

Though classical in design and proportions, Petermann Bédat’s Dead Beat Second represents a tough horological feat — it’s a mechanical watch with a seconds hand that ticks every second rather than sweeping.

Diameter: 39mm
Price: ~$70,850

Learn More: Here

Romain Gauthier Insight Micro-Rotor Squelette Manufacture-Only Carbonium

skeletonized carbon watch on blue dial

GPHG

Romain Gauthier’s boldly styled and skeletonized micro-rotor watch has a case in a carbon composite and striking blue highlights.

Diameter: 42m
Price: ~$182,700

Learn More: Here

Voutilainen 28SC

blue watch on black strap

GPHG


Celebrated watchmaker Kari Voutilainen presents a classical look in restrained sizing with horological details to die for.

Diameter: 38.5mm
Price: ~$81,475

Learn More: Here

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This Brand Just Brought Back a Handful of Its Vintage Watches

Since its recent spin-off from Bulova as a distinct brand, Accutron has been going whole-hog on vintage reissues and vintage-inspired designs. Most recently, the company re-released several of its vintage models within its Legacy collection — each model is limited to 600 pieces and features a modern 26-jewel automatic movement, sapphire crystal and transparent case back. Prices range from $1,250 through $1,550 — check out three of our favorites below.

More Info: Here

1 Accutron Legacy 2SW6B002

accutronwatch.com

$1,390.00

An update of the ref. 261 released in 1971, the 2SW6B002 features a 38.5mm steel cushion case, automatic movement and funky blue dial with date.

2 Accutron Legacy 2SW6C001

accutronwatch.com

$1,390.00

The Date and Day “Q” from 1960 is given a new lease on life. With its unusual day-date arrangement, striking Arabic indices and futuristic look, it’s a handsome watch that’s sure to turn heads.

3 Accutron Legacy 2SW6B001

accutronwatch.com

$1,290.00

The “R.R.-O” from 1970 featured a dial that confirmed to Canadian Railroad specs, with “0” through “12” indices and a prominent red seconds hand. Nab this reissued version with a transparent case back.

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These May Be Zenith’s Coolest Watches of 2020

The modern look of Zenith’s Defy collection isn’t merely stylistic but also represents the truly innovative movement technology inside. New versions of the Defy 21 chronograph and Defy Classic are among the most striking yet, with ceramic cases and bezels in a contrasty black-and-white colorway that wouldn’t look out of place on a Star Wars stormtrooper. Technically, they seem nearly as futuristic.

The Defy 21 chronograph runs on a (very) modern version of Zenith’s famous El Primero movement. While its time-telling mechanism operates at an unusually high rate of 5Hz, the chronograph uses a separate escapement and operates ten times as fast at a crazy 50Hz, allowing for stopwatch measurements down to a hundredth of a second. The three-hand Defy Classic doesn’t have the exotic features of the chrono, but its Elite 670 automatic movement is made in-house and offers an 50-hour power reserve. Both watches are thoroughly skeletonized so you can see the movements from both the dial side and via the case back.

The black ceramic cases and white ceramic bezels have a sandblasted finish for a muted texture. The Zenith Defy 21 chronograph has a bold 44mm case and a price of $13,600 while the Defy Classic is 41mm and $8,200. Both will be available only at brand boutiques or online directly from Zenith.

Learn More: Here

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Get Into Pilot’s Watches with This Cool Bronze Flieger for $800

Vintage enthusiasts might be familiar with Le Jour as a distributor of Yema watches in the United States as well as a European distributor of Heuer watches, but today the newly revived brand is independent and cranking out cool new tool watches of its own left and right.

The brand’s latest timepiece is the Flieger LJ-FL-001, a modern take on the classic “flieger” watch done up in bronze with a satin finish. The LJ-FL-001 maintains an oversized case size (45mm) in reference to the original German pilot’s watches of WWII (though these originals were about 55mm in diameter) as well as a classic “onion” crown. 13.5mm in height with a 22mm lug width, the Flieger isn’t for the faint-of-wrist, but if you’re game with an oversize watch, it’s a cool opportunity to get that vintage pilot’s watch look for under $1k.

le jour flieger

Le Jour

Powered by this Swiss automatic Sellitta SW200 movement, the LJ-FL-001 features a black “A”-type dial with Arabic indices and an outer minute track done up in green Super-LumiNova C3, as well as matching sword hands and a date window at 3 o’clock. Water resistant to 100m, the case features a stainless steel back with a rose gold finish, matching it visually to the rest of the case.

Equipped with two straps — one the classic leather flieger model with rivets and the second a black “Zulu”-style nylon strap — the watch is available directly from the brand for $800.

Buy It Now

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This Man Makes a Living Selling Vintage Ads, and Business Is a-Boomin’

Nick Federowicz is in the watch business, but not in the way you’d think.

While he does wear watches, he doesn’t really collect them, and he certainly doesn’t sell them. What he does do is source the best midcentury watch advertisements from vintage magazines, frame them, and then sell those.

ad patina
Ad Patina founder Nick Federowicz and his son.

Ad Patina

That’s it — that’s the whole gig. Easy, you say? Well, not really. Not at all. Nick makes it look easy due to his skill set, which he’s refined over many, many years (though his Chicago-based business, Ad Patina, is just a few years old): he knows where to find the best ads, he waits patiently for great examples of those ads, and he works with a talented local framer to design the perfect frame and matte combination to make each piece sing. (You can buy his ads unframed as well, but unless you have a favorite local framer, it would seem a shame not to take advantage of Nick’s taste and knowledge.)

Nick works with each client individually to source exactly what that person is looking for — even if it takes months or longer — then continues the process over a series of texts, emails or phone calls (his preferred method) to perfectly frame the ad according to the customer’s preferences. Sometimes a watch boutique or vintage dealer will purchase an entire wall’s worth of these ads and decorate a shop with them, and once you’ve seen a few, it’s not difficult to ascertain why. (Check out the design process below, with video courtesy of @josuatoday.)

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Vintage ads speak to a bygone era — an age in which GPS hadn’t filled out every corner of the map, and when the average salaried employee could, with a few month’s hard saving, actually afford (and find) a steel Rolex sports watch. While that time may be long gone, the ads — and the feelings they inspire — remain.

We spoke with Nick about his business, how he got started, and of course, what it is he loves so much about watches.

The Interview

Q. I understand that your teenage bedroom was a shrine to watches, filled with watch ads you found and framed. Where did this fascination with watches come from?

A. I was a teenager in the 1990s, so when it came to learning about and being inspired to own a watch, like a Rolex, I didn’t really have the same resources and diversions as we do today. I became more aware of Rolex models through magazine advertisements. But it was a more personal encounter that ignited the fire that still blazes…

Some of my favorite memories growing up were visiting friends of our family — a successful husband/wife with a beautiful home filled with objects that always caught my eye and fascinated me. For some reason the couple’s watches always captured my attention most. Most notably, the lady of the house’s solid gold Datejust laced and encrusted with diamonds and emeralds. But also, her husband’s watches struck me — both Rolexes. He rotated between a stainless steel Oysterquartz and gold Day Date “President.” When I really think about it, these particular watches were the origin of my love affair with watches, Rolex in particular.

ad patina

Ad Patina

Q. What sort of watches were you attracted to at a young age, and what drew you to them?

A. I’ve always been and always will be a Rolex guy. I can’t say I knew about brands like Patek Philippe or even the Omega Speedmaster back when I was a teenager first taking notice of watches.

In addition to the Rolex-wearing family we knew, I actually had a high school teacher who owned several Rolex models, including a “white face” Daytona (this is what we called it back then). He took me under his wing and definitely was a strong influence getting me hooked on the brand.

Of course, magazine advertisements also did the trick, making me fall hard for “The Crown.” Probably the first time I took notice of a Rolex ad was at the dentist’s office — flipping through magazines in the waiting room. One of the reasons I dreamed of owning a Rolex was to have an object that could be with me through thick and thin — that would last. The advertisements sold me on a Rolex being up for the task of being a lifelong watch. I must have reasoned, if it was good enough for the various professionals, artists, adventurers and athletes featured in the advertisements of those days, it was certainly good enough for me.

In my junior year of high school, I had enough money saved up from working long hours at a grocery store. I had the opportunity to attend a class trip to Paris. And long story short, that’s where I bought my first Rolex, a stainless steel Datejust, which I still proudly own and wear to this day.

The advertisements sold me on a Rolex being up for the task of being a lifelong watch.

Q. What did you study in university, and what do you do professionally (or, if Ad Patina is a full-time gig, what did you do before then?)

A. I graduated college in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. I actually never ended up looking for a job in that field. Instead, along with two college buddies, I started immediately down the entrepreneurial path. I remember spending my post-college days working on a business plan to launch a retail clothing boutique. To aid in my research and get some real-world experience, I got a job working at a department store selling women’s shoes. Our startup never started up, but fortunately, I was enjoying steady employment, which provided a much-needed paycheck at the time.

My career in finance never took off. Looking back, I don’t think that was my calling in life. I actually ended up sticking with fashion retail and enjoyed many successful years as a salesperson.

At the beginning of 2019 Ad Patina had some momentum carrying over from the interest during the holiday season. This uptick in my side business combined with a slow period in my retail gig presented a “now or never” opportunity.

So, in March of last year I made the decision to quit my job and pursue Ad Patina full-time to see where the business could go if I had more time to dedicate to it…Without a doubt this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Q. You hunt for vintage ads and sell them either framed or unframed. What gave you the inkling that this might form the basis of a successful business?

A. I started to rekindle my relationship with watch advertisements several years ago. Mainly I got back into them because the ads were a stand-in for the actual watches. As you know, collecting and buying vintage watches can have its challenges — such as the cost to acquire (especially if you’re after vintage Rolex sports models). Ads were much less expensive to collect, yet offered potentially a very similar level of enjoyment and fulfillment. Searching for and acquiring the ads quickly satisfied my desire to hunt old watches and have a collection of them. To this day I honestly get a huge thrill unearthing a beautifully preserved advertisement from a magazine.

ad patina

Ad Patina

I was having fun collecting ads and sharing my treasured finds with close friends I’d made in the watch community. It probably crossed my mind to sell them, but I was hesitant…Mainly, my fear was, if I sold a rare ad, what if I couldn’t find it again? Eventually I was encouraged by a friend to make my discoveries available. He said something to the effect of ‘there’d be plenty of watch enthusiasts out there excited to own an original ad to go with their prized “grail watch.”‘

I felt I had a strong following of members of the watch community and I was knowledgeable enough about watches to know which ads would be in demand. This strength and opportunity, plus my passion for ads and some other intangibles and soft skills I had, put me in a unique position to test this business idea. Ad Patina started around April 2017. Right away there was interest. Of course, there’s so much more to the story of Ad Patina — how it’s become what is today. But in a nutshell, it’s been the most-amazing experience putting these ads in the spotlight, participating in the watch community from a business standpoint and creating a strong market for watch advertisements.

Ads were much less expensive to collect, yet offered potentially a very similar level of enjoyment.

Q. You obviously have a special affinity for Rolex. What is it about the brand that draws you in? Do you feel the modern brand still has the same spirit?

A. My taste, knowledge, personal circumstances and the market have changed a lot since I bought my first Rolex in 1998. But I still very much feel the same at my core when it comes to Rolex.

ad patina

Ad Patina

A lot of the same reasons I was attracted to the brand long ago are the reasons I still feel strongly about it today. First and foremost, when I handle or fantasize about owning certain Rolex models, they still evoke a feeling of toughness and being a great companion. The robustness and versatility of Rolex appeals to me so much, because deep down I’m a one-watch-man and Rolex makes a watch that is up for that task — something that can do it all and last a lifetime. Additionally, today, because of the Internet, Instagram and the watch community, I’m drawn to the design aspects and model history.

For me, compared to newer models, the neo-vintage and vintage references offer more, especially the way they connect me to the past. I’m a very nostalgic person and love nothing more than reminiscing about the past. The 5-digit references or older models represent a bygone era I wish still remained — like the buying experience and the motivation behind buying or collecting. This is part of the reason I enjoy the vintage ads so much. They speak to and remind me of a time period that I cherish.

ad patina

Ad Patina

This all being said, it’s hard for me to feel the same about the brand as I did in the 1990s. Today, the aesthetics of current offerings, the marketing, the buying experience and ownership intentions are so different.

I know there’s so many people that become first-time Rolex owners today and cherish their 6-digit Sub or GMT as much as I do my early Rolex purchases. I’d love nothing more than Rolex to introduce a model or redesign a reference that speaks to me — from the fit to the look. But so far, nothing has given me that feeling, tangibly or emotionally. I think if Rolex went back to their roots a little with marketing (long-form advertising, less celebrity-endorsed) and actually had all the models available for sale in shops — that would do a lot for fans like me to embrace the modern lineup with the same affection we have for the older pieces.

Q. Which brands besides Rolex do you feel designed the most compelling ads and why?

A. Just about every watch brand has a standout advertisement or two, Rolex among them (consider their, “If you were…” campaign run from 1967 until 1970).

When it comes to watch brands other than Rolex, the first one that comes to mind is IWC. Perhaps no brand that has caused more of a commotion with their ads…I’m not sure how effective their advertising campaign was in the 1990s/early 2000s when it came to capturing market share or driving sales, but certainly their ads back then caused a stir and are still talked about today. Many of the ads in this series have racy headlines printed across the top of the page in bold, black font against white background. Whether you’re a fan of IWC watches or not, it’s likely you know of these ads.

ad patina

Ad Patina

Another brand that I’d say has very compelling ads is Land Rover. Their vintage ads always had headlines that were well written and witty. In addition, these ads have a visual element/styling that ties in perfectly with the headline. You may or may not prefer the vehicle, be it a Range Rover, Discovery or Defender. But you’re sure to find a headline that hits home — that makes you smile or laugh a little.

Q. What is the process like for sourcing ads, and once you have one, for deciding how to matte and frame? Can you walk us through this?

A. First, let me first say, it’s not just about finding ads, but rather it’s about finding quality ads. Ads that are in-demand, in very nice condition and able to be framed.

When I’m searching for ads, the bulk of my time is spent replenishing “sold out” ads or sourcing ads that have been requested. On that note, there’s a number of ads that do have a waiting list (I keep good notes on who wants what). I’m always asking people to be patient. It can take considerable time to locate a lot of these ads. I love to surprise people with a message that I found their ad or their turn is up for a popular ad. Of course, I’m also always hunting for fresh inventory — ads that I’ve never had or that I never knew existed. Honestly, for me, the thrill of finally acquiring a mythical ad or discovering something new is like the feeling of getting a new watch.

The thrill of finally acquiring a mythical ad is like the feel of getting a new watch.

One of the first steps to sourcing ads is knowing where to look…For almost three years I’ve been researching where to find advertisements. That is, what magazines to look in — from genres to publications. From here it’s about pinpointing the exact issue a particular ad is in. But knowing the issue and date of a magazine that contains a specific advertisement isn’t enough. I then need to be able to locate the magazine. And then hope the ad inside is in nice shape. I know of the whereabouts of so many amazing ads, but the magazines are so scarce. There’s a number of ads I’m lucky if I find once per year…

ad patina

Ad Patina

As far as actually getting the magazines and ads, at this point, they come to me all different ways. I’m always on the lookout for magazines…From locally at resale shops to scouring the Internet. I’ve had followers of my Instagram account, @adpatina, reach out to me with ads they’ve collected over the years and are willing to let go. Also, as I’m sure many watch dealers do, I’ve developed relationships with “pickers” all over the world who know what I like. In the end it comes down to researching magazines, incessantly searching and buying. It’s a grind, but a process I truly enjoy, especially every time I’m able to secure a great ad that checks all the boxes — a beautiful ad through and through: style, condition, high framing potential.

Regarding framing, I work closely with a local, professional framer (Therieau Art and Frame) who has decades of experience. Every week I visit his shop, design projects and pick up completed work. I oversee all decisions and my framer, Paul, does a masterful job executing. Throughout the week we’re in constant communication about production. Often we’re calling or texting each other back and forth — he needs clarification or approval or I’m changing the plan.

No two framing projects are alike — even if I’m framing the same ad. Each ad has its own unique challenges ultimately driven by the paper. The first decision is the overall design. Whether to frame “classic” or “floating” style. Sometimes the ad dictates this decision, for example if crucial imagery goes right to the edge of the page or text is printed close to the edge. In this case, I would definitely float the page (Editor’s Note: i.e. frame without a matte), so as not to cut off or crowd. Before framing starts, I always have some level of discussion with the customer to make sure we’re on the same page and the project comes out great.

ad patina

Ad Patina

Then it’s time to choose the materials and decide on dimensions. The most time-consuming and often critical juncture of framing is choosing the matting. The “matting” is the border around the ad. For example, it’s not as easy as selecting white matting. It’s all about choosing just the right shade of white or cream that best compliments the tone of the paper and enhances the ad. As you can imagine each paper can age to a slightly different tone. I typically scan through twenty to fifty different shades to try and get it just right.

After selecting the matting, the next step is deciding on the dimensions of the matting. After years of framing, I have my preferences on the various widths to go with depending on the size of the ad page or framing style chosen.

To help give you a sense of what takes place during the design phase and then ultimately the framing process, watch this video!

Q. What ads are the most popular with your customer base?

A. To no one’s surprise, Rolex ads are the best sellers. Among the hundreds of different Rolex ads I sell, there is one that is consistently demanded: the 1966 “top of the Matterhorn” featuring the Explorer Ref. 1016.

Another Rolex ad that is right behind the “Matterhorn” in terms of popularity and demand is a particular Submariner ad with a woman’s hand reaching for a tuxedoed man’s Submariner (also from 1966). The big difference between this and the “top of the Matterhorn” Explorer ad is that this Submariner ad is much harder to source. At one point I went for a six-month stretch unable to find one, despite always being on the lookout. But, I do find them and slowly but surely I fulfill the waiting list. I certainly encourage people to inquire about it — I love to make wishes come true!

To no one’s surprise, Rolex ads are the best sellers.

Outside of Rolex, I’d say the black/white Patek Philippe Nautilus ad from the late 1970s is a top-seller. It’s always cool to have what is likely the very-first ad for a model, especially a model like the Nautilus, which has endured and become quite possibly the flagship model for Patek Philippe…

On the topic of first advertisements, the 1965 Porsche 911 ad is another popular one. It may be the first full page ad for this iconic car…Again, it’s probably no surprise, Porsche ads are the most popular non-watch ads.

ad patina

Ad Patina

Q. Do you have any other projects coming up that you’d like to discuss?

A. Plans are in the works to launch a third Pop-Up Shop on Analog/Shift’s website…We’ve collaborated once again to curate a selection of framed vintage advertisements. This time, not just watches, but also vintage airline, car/truck and camera ads. When we launch, you’ll be able to view, read about and purchase these directly on Analog/Shift’s website. Stay tuned…

ad patina

Ad Patina

Q. Do you collect watches today, or are the ads enough to feed the horological obsession?

A. The ads are not enough! But, in a way, they do satiate my craving for hunting and collecting watches. About my watches…I don’t consider myself a collector, but rather a wearer of watches. Sometimes I feel like collecting implies someone is owning to own. I own to wear. And when I mean wear, I mean really wear. Not just on special occasions or when conditions are perfect. I have a few watches and all of them I wear in month-long rotations. The first day of each month I select a watch and wear it every day for the entire month. Morning, noon and night. Doing everything — the dishes, playing rough with my son, chores around the house, riding a bike, you name it…At this point, any watch I own or plan to “collect” will be worn this way.

I have a strong affection for Rolex, going back over twenty years when I bought my first. I’ll always love this brand the most and plan to have more…My favorite model is the Explorer II. Currently I have three, including a vintage Reference 1655, which I was fortunate to get a few years ago, locally, from the grandson of the original owner.

More Info: Here

Some of the Best Recent Watch Releases You Might Have Missed

Unfortunately, we can’t possibly cover every single new watch that comes across our desks in as deep a fashion as we’d like. However, here’s our roundup of some of the coolest new watches released over the last couple weeks that we didn’t get to just yet. You won’t want to miss these — check ’em out!

1 Frederique Constant Highlife Collection

Frederique Constant reintroduced a watch line built around a sporty theme and integrated steel bracelet. The collection includes basic automatic models as well as an “open heart” (the dial is cut out to display the balance wheel) and a sub-$10,000 perpetual calendar.

Diameter: 41mm
Price: $1,895-$9,495

Learn More: Here

2 Unimatic x Mihara Yasuhiro U1-MY2

Italian brand Unimatic partnered with Japanese designer Mihara Yasuhiro for the second time to produce an all-white watch, from its Cerakote-coated steel case to its dial, hands, indices and even strap. Limited to 100 examples, it’s a striking, fashion-forward look, powered by a Seiko NH35A automatic movement.

Diameter: 40mm
Price: ~$920

Learn More: Here

3 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Pink Gold

Vacheron Constantin gives its travel-themed sport watch a new treatment, with a blue dial matched to a fully pink gold case and bracelet. New versions include a time-and-date automatic and a perpetual calendar.

Diameter: 41mm
Price
: $46,200-$88,500

Learn More: Here

4 Panerai Submersible Azzurro PAM1209

A new Submersible dive watch from Panerai features a blue ceramic bezel and black dial in a nicely sized 42mm case. Powered by the brand’s own P.9000 automatic movement, it’s available directly from the brand as an e-commerce exclusive.

Diameter: 42mm
Price: $9,800

Learn More: Here

5 Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM1096

It’s the “Year of the Luminor” at Panerai as the brand celebrates 70 years of its most famous line. This new model — produced as part of the brand’s partnership with the Luna Rossa sailing team — features a GMT function and a new sustainable material called Scafotech.

Diameter: 42mm
Price: $10,800

Learn More: Here

6 IWC Portuguiser Chronograph Steel Bracelet

IWC announced an update to its famous chronograph — for the first time, the brand is offering the Portuguiser on a bracelet, and it looks absolutely killer. The bracelet features a butterfly-style clasp and it can also be bought separately for existing Portuguiser models.

Diameter: 41mm
Price: ~$10,150

Learn More: Here

7 Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Flying Tourbillon Chronograph

Audemars Piguet’s controversial CODE 11.59 collection gets a complicated, high-end, avant-garde new model with a skeletonized treatment, flying tourbillon and flyback chronograph. Housed in a white gold case, it’s limited to only 50 examples.

Diameter: 41mm
Price: ~$264,400

Learn More: Here

8 Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GRB200

A new version of G-Shock‘s aviation professional-geared Gravitymaster comes equipped with the brand’s latest “Carbon Core Guard” technology for increased durability — and debuts in three colorways. It’s packed with technical and durability features, of course, and will be available this month.

Diameter: 54mm
Price: $350

Learn More: Here

9 Junghans Meister Terrassenbau

German watchmaker Junghans introduces a pair of minimalist watches dedicated to a local landmark in the Black Forest: a building called the Terrassenbau, which housed the Junghans manufacture. The building’s terraced facade is depicted on the case back, but the watch is overall tasteful and classic, available in automatic and hand-wound versions.

Diameter: 38.4mm (auto); 37.7mm (manual)
Price: $1,695-$1,895

Learn More: Here

10 Grand Seiko T0 Constant-force Tourbillon Movement

Grand Seiko announced not a complete watch but teased with just a movement — of a type and complexity that’s unexpected from the brand. Grand Seiko rarely strays into complications, but the new movement not only features what’s considered the pinnacle of complicated horology, the tourbillon, but one of an even more rare variety using the principle of constant force. Keep an eye out for the watch that’ll house it.

Diameter: 36mm
Price
: NA

Learn More: Here

11 Ulysse Nardin Executive Dual Time

Joining Ulysse Nardin’s Executive collection is a new Dual Time model, which shows a second time zone in 24-hour format at 9 o’clock. Don’t mistake it for a date window — the date is displayed digitally at 2 o’clock.

Diameter: 43mm
Price: $8,300

Learn More: Here

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Three Cheaper Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner

There’s nothing quite like the original Rolex Submariner, but with a base price of $8,100 (in steel and without a date display), even the most affordable iterations of it remain out of reach for aspiring owners.

The iconic dive watch is handsome and versatile, with its balance of conservative and sporty design. So any alternative should offer similar qualities without feeling like a knockoff. Here are three, clocking in at different price points, each selected for their comparable wearing experience.

The Alternatives

Seiko Prospex “Sumo” SPB101

Seiko-Prospex-Sumo-Gear-Patrol

One of Seiko’s nicknamed models, the “Sumo” has a traditional look compared to many of the Japanese brand’s often quirky dive watches. It differs from the Submariner in small details like its handset and bezel markings, as well as in more substantial ways, such as its case shape and 4 o’clock crown. Of course, it’s got an in-house automatic movement, as well. The overall impression, however, is of a classically styled modern dive watch that offers something like a Submariner feel. Dot indices look particularly “Rolex,” but as with all Seiko watches, its own character becomes apparent on the wrist.

Movement: Seiko 6R35 Automatic
Diameter: 45mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $850

Learn More: Here

Monta Oceanking

Monta-Ocean-King-Gear-Patrol

Monta interprets Rolex not as a specific look but as the concept of a perfect, refined tool watch. This has informed the brand’s entire approach and lineup, including the Oceanking dive watch. Your Submariner alternative doesn’t have to look like a Submariner if it feels like one in certain key ways. Monta isn’t exactly offering in-house movements at this price point, but it is offering an incredibly strong value, with a refined diver that punches well above its weight.

Movement: Sellita SW300 Automatic Elaborè Grade
Diameter: 40.7mm
Water Resistance: 300m
Price: $1,745+

Learn More: Here

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Tudor-Black-Bay-58-Gear-Patrol

Tudor is Rolex’s own alternative to Rolex watches. As a corporate sibling to the mighty Crown, Tudor makes watches of extremely high quality, just at a lower price point. With in-house-made, COSC chronometer-certified Tudor movements, the Black Bay collection has long been a worthy Rolex surrogate — but the Black Bay Fifty-Eight hits even closer to the ideal mark with its 39mm case size.

Movement: Tudor MT5402 Automatic
Diameter: 39mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $3,375+

Learn More: Here

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Thousands of People Are Clamoring for This Watch

Two years have flown by since we reviewed Nodus’s original Contrail watch, and boy, has the world changed since then. Thankfully, the boys at Nodus have been productive as ever, cranking out cool new tool watches and updating previous winning formulas. The sequel to their original Contrail, in fact, had a waitlist several thousand people long — now, however, you can pre-order one at a pretty great price in one of six colors.

The Contrail II is built with a dive watch’s robustness and water resistance (200m in this case), but the utility of a travel watch: it’s equipped with a 12-hour bezel (available in sapphire or steel) mounted on ceramic ball bearings for easy second time zone calculation, making for an ideal travel companion. Add in a 3mm-thick sapphire crystal, the Miyota 9015 automatic movement, a screw-down crown, a two-tone date wheel, and a funky H-link bracelet, and you’ve got a formula for one cool watch.

nodus contrail ii

Nodus

Available in six colors, each 39mm Contrail II is generously coated in Super-LumiNova BGW9 Grade A for nighttime visibility and ships with a two-year warranty. Regularly priced at $675, if you order before September 14th, you can nab the watch at just $600 — shipping is set for this month.

Buy Now

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You Can Now Get the Rolex Coke Bezel Look for the Price of a Timex

The Q Timex was a smash hit when it debuted in 2019 with a “Pepsi” bezel — the nickname for a half-blue, half-red bezel like that of the Rolex GMT Master. Its popularity has led to it blossoming into a full collection, and now on the heels of more colors announced earlier this year come three new versions with gold toned cases as well as a red-and-black-bezeled “Coke” version.

The Coke model differs from the Pepsi not only in the color of its bezel, but it also features a black dial instead of a blue one. It’s otherwise the same as the original reissue, however, with a 38mm steel case and very retro bracelet, powered by a quartz movement as the “Q” in its name proudly advertises. The other two new models feature gold-toned cases of yellow and rose gold. Both also feature the bicolor bezels (and paired dial colors) but the blingy case finishings take center stage.

A total of seven variations of the Q are currently available from Timex for a price of $179 in steel or $189 for the gold-toned models.

Learn More: Here

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These Gorgeous Gold Watches May Be This Watchmaker’s Best

Relaunched in 1990 after 45 years of dormancy due to the destruction of WWII and communism’s threat to private commercial enterprise, the German brand A. Lange & Söhne is a remarkable modern success story. Tracing its founding to 1845 means the company is 175 years old this year, and it’s marking the occasion in Shanghai at the Watches & Wonders event with three beautiful new models within the 1815 collection (named for the founder’s birth year). Housed in cases made from the brand’s proprietary “honey gold” alloy and featuring varying levels of movement complexity, the new watches offer views of their movements through transparent case backs.

1815 Thin Honeygold

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

One of the brand’s simplest watches, with a 6.3mm-thick case and hand-wound movement, this version of the 1815 Thin has a white enamel dial and is limited to 175 examples.

Diameter: 38mm
Price: $34,400

1815 Rattrapant Honeygold

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

Featuring a rattrapante function that makes it even more complicated than a traditional chronograph, the extensively hand-finished, manually wound movement visible through the 1815 Rattrapant Honeygold’s case back is a visual treat. Sporting a black dial, it shows honey gold’s hue in a different light and is limited to 100 examples.

Diameter: 41.2mm
Price: $134,400

1815 Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

a lange söhne watches

A. Lange & Söhne

Immensely complex, the Tourbograph Perpetual is an example of some of the brand’s most impressive work. It features a tourbillon, chronograph (with rattrapante function), a perpetual calendar and a moon phase display and is limited to only 50 examples.

Diameter: 43mm
Price: On Request

Learn More: Here

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The Latest Oris Watch Honors a Baseball Legend

Numerous versions of Oris’s famed Big Crown Pointer Date have debuted in the last few years, from pastel-dialed beauties to special, limited edition bronze models. The latest iterations, however, is even more special.

Honoring baseball legend Roberto Clemente, who played 18 seasons with the Pirates, was part of two World Series-winning teams and was the first Latin American player to reach 3,000 career hits, the new Roberto Clemente Limited Edition is part of Oris’s Change for the Better initiative, a series of partnerships with various non-profits. (Clemente was tragically killed at just 38 years old while accompanying an aid shipment down to Nicaragua on New Years’s Eve, 1972 following a major earthquake.)

oris big crown pointer date baseball

Oris

The Roberto Clemente Foundation, established in 1993 by Clemente’s widow Vera and his son Luis, honors the Hall of Famer’s legacy with a mission to “Build Nations of Good.” As Luis Clemente explained, the foundation “develops tomorrow’s leaders through education, sports and service leadership. We encourage students to become goodwill ambassador sin their communities.”

The new watch sees Oris rendering the Pointer Date concept with a special white dial with gold detailing inspired by Clemente’s uniform, as well as a gold “21,” which was Clemente’s number. Super-LumiNova coats the hands and indices beneath a domed, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The dial is housed in a 40mm stainless steel case with 50m of water resistance — other features include a screw-down crown, a light brown leather strap with double stitching resembling that of a baseball glove, and the Oris cal. 754 movement. The 754 (Sellita SW 200-1) features an instantaneous date complication and hacking as well as a power reserve of 38 hours.

The watch, whose case back is adorned with a relief image of Clemente at back and a unique number, ships in a special box with certificate, an addition black, gold and white NATO strap and a strap-changing tool. Limited to 3,000 pieces (the number of Clemente’s lifetime hits), it’s available now for $1,950.

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