All posts in “Watches”

G-SHOCK’s New Slim Fitness Watch Packs A Ton of Features in a Sleek Package

  • Brand: G-SHOCK
  • Product: GBD200
  • Price: $150
  • From: gshock.com

    As a part of its G-SHOCK Move line of sports watches, G-SHOCK recently released the GBD200, a rugged-yet-slim watch that marries a classic G-SHOCK aesthetic with functionality that runners will love. The watch connects to G-SHOCK’s Move smartphone app and allows you to track your steps and running workouts easily. It’s available in two colorways, a black and a high-voltage yellow. To see how the GBD200 would stand up to a summer training routine, we gave one to our tester who took it for a spin and spent a week wearing it.

    casio gps

    Gear Patrol Studios

    What We Like

    The most immediately noticeable feature of the GBD200 is how thin it is. Compared to other fitness-tracking watches that we’ve tested, the GBD200 is noticeably lighter weight and lower profile. When running in other fitness-tracking watches, they can be quite heavy and cumbersome if you’re used to hitting the pavement without something strapped to your wrist. The GBD200, on the other hand — we could see anyone using it and not feeling burdened by it.

    casio gps

    Gear Patrol Studios

    You’re probably thinking “It’s lightweight? It must be flimsy.” But that’s hardly the case. Like G-SHOCK’s other watches, the GBD200 prioritizes durability. The case and bezel are made from a shock-resistant resin, the display is protected behind mineral glass and the whole package is water-resistant down to 200-meters — that’s 656 feet. Try taking your other fitness-tracking smartwatch to depths like that.

    Out of the box, the GBD200 is easy to set up. Simply hold down the button on the upper left corner of the watch for two seconds to display the settings menu. Hit pairing, then connect it via the G-SHOCK Move app on your smartphone. From there you can create a profile with all of your stats like age, weight and height. Once you’ve set up your account, you’re off to the races.

    For our tester, the best way to test the watch was to, well, test it. Before heading out for a run on a loop that’s just under two miles, our tester left their smartphone behind and hit the red button on the upper right corner of the watch to start tracking. As the first mile rolled around, the GBD200 displayed a pace of just over 5’30”. That’s quick, and came as a surprise to our tester who was filled with confidence — feeling as though the GBD200 had instilled in them a newfound motivation for running fast. The watch audibly beeped as each mile rolled by — until our tester realized they were kilometers. No wonder the pace had been so “fast”. Thankfully, the GBD200 makes it easy to switch the units displayed on the watch (from metric to imperial) either through the settings menu on the watch itself or through the G-SHOCK Move app.

    casio gps

    Gear Patrol Studios

    casio gps

    Gear Patrol Studios

    The App itself is as intuitive as the watch is. It allows you to view your mileage for the month, set goals for distance covered, view calories burned, average pace and more. It even allows you to add activities manually should you forget to put your watch on before heading out. There’s also a handy phone finder function that can be accessed through the watch and will play an audible tone on your phone to help you locate it, even if it’s in silent mode.

    Like the app, the GBD200 display also shows the log data of your activities so you can easily keep track of how you’re pacing toward your goals. It’s a helpful feature for staying motivated and keeping after your goals when your progress is simply a glance at your wrist away.

    g shock

    But perhaps the most convenient feature of the GBD200 is its battery life. Where most fitness-tracking watches make use of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, the GBD200 runs on a single CR2032 battery that will last for roughly two years before needing to be replaced. Read: goodbye forgetting to charge your watch the night before a big training run and missing out on all of your data.

    From the Brand

    “Say hello to some serious passion for sports with the Move line up of G-SHOCK watches. Whichever model you chose and whatever workout you do, these models feature distinctive design in multi-sport functions chosen to calibrate with the most extreme workouts. All the info you need is at your fingertips — distance, speed and pace, as well as auto lap readings to keep track of running times for set distances. The display includes calories burned, a step tracker, interval timer and lap timer to keep your daily exercise on track.”

    casio gps

    Gear Patrol Studios

    Who It’s For

    While the GBD200 will offer the most to those who are runners and have running goals that they are working toward, the classic G-SHOCK styling and rugged durability make it a great watch for everyday wear as well. Even if you’re simply looking to keep track of your steps and set goals for staying active throughout the day, the GDB-200 can be a solid companion in that endeavor.

    Verdict

    The GBD200 offers a ton in a slim and sleek package and at a great price point. If you’re looking for a lightweight fitness watch to help you achieve your summer fitness goals, the GBD200 is a great option. It doesn’t sacrifice durability and features classic styling that doesn’t scream “I’m a hardcore fitness enthusiast” — that’s our kind of fitness tracker.

    Price: $150

    SHOP NOW


    gear patrol studios native driver

    Gear Patrol Studios

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

The Best Pilot’s Watches Available Right Now

You are a pilot, flying the aircraft of your dreams. What do you need? Scarf? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Trusty copilot? Roger that, Ace.

The Short List

Now, what about your watch. What does it look like? It’s highly legible. It can survive drastic changes in temperature and pressure, and is protected from magnetic fields. If you’re a fighter pilot, you need to be able to read it in between strafing runs and shouting at obscenities at Tom Cruise. A globe-trotting commercial pilot might want a GMT hand showing a second time zone; a solo explorer flying an ultralight might want a GPS function in the watch.

You are, presumably, only an imaginary pilot. But who cares? The best pilots watches mix and match all sorts of cool features; what was once the tool watch of choice for fighter jocks has a rich history and a wildly divergent set of uses. Pilots watches are all different — which means you have lots of chances to find just the right one. Here are our favorites.

Courtesy

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII

iwc.com

$4,250.00

IWC’s Mark line is a benchmark in military watches. The famous IWC Mark XI was made in 1948 for the British Ministry of Defense and was worn by British pilots, and the Mark XVIII feels descended directly from it. The Mark XVIII offers that history and character, an eminently practical and satisfying watch for everyday wear, an in-house automatic movement as well as IWC’s stellar build quality.
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Sellita SW300-1 automatic
Notable Feature: Soft-iron inner case for anti-magnetism

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

breitling.com

$9,350.00

With a fascinating history and distinctive look, the Breitling Navitimer is one of the most iconic pilot watches ever — scratch that: it’s one of the most iconic watches of any kind. First produced in 1954 to offer pilots a range of functionality via its slide rule bezel and chronograph, the Navitimer features a captivatingly busy dial like little else available (apart from its imitators). This modern version is powered by the brand’s excellent in-house B01 movement and features a bold-wearing case measuring 43mm.

Diameter: 43mm
Movement: Breitling B01 automatic
Notable Functions: Chronograph, slide rule bezel

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Stowa Verus 40

stowa.de

$875.00

Stowa makes a great example of the classic Flieger style pilot watch in the same tradition as watches like the IWC Mark XI, and it’s got real history doing so. The Verus 40, however, is something a little different: that utilitarian military design has been ever so slightly tweaked to offer a more modern and refined product. The result still feels very much like a pilot’s watch, but makes a lot more sense for daily wear. It also helps that the watch offers all this for well under $1,000, complete with premium features such as sapphire crystal and a Swiss automatic movement.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Sellita SW200-1
Notable Functions: Date

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Seagull 1963 Chronograph

seagullwatchcompany.com

$560.00

The Tianjin WuYi watch factory was one of the Chinese government’s most important watch factories during the Industrial Revolution. In 1963, it produced the first Chinese chronograph, the ST3. The factory privatized during an entirely different revolution — the quartz one — and today makes a number of movements, including tourbillons. It also makes the 1963 Chronograph, an homage to the ST3 and an affordable mechanical chronograph featuring a column wheel, to boot.
Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Seagull ST19 hand-winding
Notable Functions: Chronograph

SHOP NOW

Courtesy

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical

hamiltonwatch.com

$895.00

Hamilton released its Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical in 2019 as a modern interpretation of a watch it made for RAF pilots in 1973 commonly called the W10. The contemporary version is executed nicely, staying very close to the original design, but with some interesting details like a textured dial that gives it a slightly more refined feel and strong legibility. Though measuring only 33mm wide, we can attest that it’s full of character and wears great on its NATO strap.
Diameter: 33mm
Movement: Handwound Hamilton H-50
Notable Functions: 80-hour power reserve

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Farer Pilot Automatic Morgan

farer.com

$895.00

Since 2015, the British-based brand Farer has combined sharp mid-century looks with unexpected pops of color. Its new Pilot Automatic watch is a funky take on the popular style of military watch referred to as B-Uhr (Beobachtungs-Uhren, or Flieger) based on those used by the German air force in WWII (yes, that German air force). While many brands offer their own version of the B-Uhr, Farer’s interpretation offers something that feels contemporary and fun while retaining a clear connection to the traditional design. And it helps that the price is right, too.
Diameter: 39.5mm
Movement: SW200-1 automatic
Notable Functions: Faraday cage for anti-magnetism

SHOP NOW

Courtesy

Yema Superman French Air Force Edition

yema.com

$999.00

French brand Yema’s Superman may be a diver, but it was initially produced for the French Air Force, and so are these modern versions, which are meant for the military branch’s rescue divers and fighter pilots. With its rotating bezel and distinctive locking mechanism, the Superman’s strong legibility and rugged build are as suitable for aviation as its 200m water resistance is for diving. It looks great with its steel bezel and bracelet, and is available in quartz, automatic, 39mm, 41mm and PVD versions.
Diameter: 39mm or 41mm
Movement: Ronda 515 (quartz); Yema MBP1000 (automatic)
Notable Functions: Rotating bezel; bezel-locking mechanism

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Ollech & Wajs P-104

ow-watch.ch

$1,303.00

Ollech & Wajs made a strong comeback when it returned from obscurity with its P-104 pilot watch. With buckets of character and a genuine tool-watch feel, the P-104 also has a unique look that stands out on the wrist. Simple, three-hand time-telling is complemented by a rotating bezel with a slide rule scale that’s useful for all kinds of calculations — the kinds that will be useful to pilots and civilians alike. And the premium for the beads-of-rice bracelet options is well worth it.
Diameter: 39.56mm
Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
Notable Functions: Bi-directional, rotating slide rule bezel

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic

alpinawatches.com

$1,295.00

Alpina has the mid-range pilot’s watch absolutely nailed down. Its dial finishing and style is legible and classic; its hands, unique and elegant; the crown, perfectly big. Any first-time pilot’s watch buyer should check out the brand’s entire line to consider everything from its chronographs to its affordable throwbacks. But the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic is a good place to start.
Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic
Notable Functions: Date

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Monta Skyquest

montawatch.com

$2,190.00

Monta, based out of St. Louis, Missouri, has scored a number of hit watches over the past years by combining indie prices with big-brand finishing and Swiss movements. The Skyquest combines a dive watch’s bulk with a Sellita GMT movement and rotating bezel. “Monta is filling a niche here in the GMT market,” we wrote in our hands-on review, “and they’re doing it with an attention to detail that typically costs much, much more.”
Diameter: 40.7mm
Movement: Sellita SW330 automatic
Notable Functions: GMT hand; rotating bezel

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Fortis Flieger F-39

fortis-swiss.com

$2,500.00

Fortis is a Swiss brand largely focused on tool watches, so it’s no surprise to find a whole range for pilots. The Flieger series exists alongside more traditional aviation watches, but the new F-39 has a distinctly fresh and modern feel while remaining immediately recognizable as a pilot watch and connected to historical models. The F-39 is a time-only watch with a 39mm case, but the brand also released watches in the same collection offering other features and sizes including a very cool chronograph.
Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Sellita SW 200-1 automatic
Notable Functions: Bi-directional 12-hour bezel

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Seiko Astron

seikowatches.com

$2,000.00

Seiko’s innovation and pragmatic values are expressed in many different forms — and not only in its popular automatic dive watches. Take, for instance, the modern Astron collection: Its GPS function allows for accurate timekeeping no matter where you are. It calculates your position, and, when you cross a time zone boundary, adjusts the watch’s time for you, anywhere in the world.
Diameter: 42.7mm
Movement: Seiko 5X53 solar
Notable Functions: GPS timekeeping and time zone adjustment; world time; dual time; perpetual calendar

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Oris Big Crown Bronze Pointer Date

oris.ch

$2,100.00

Oris is regarded as a brand that punches above its price range, and the Big Crown Pointer Date makes one of the best cases for that reputation yet. Released in 2019 and based on the brand’s classic pilot’s watches, this version maintains a vintage take on the Big Crown line, with a coin-edged bezel and a fourth hand that points to the date around the edge of the dial. With unique combination of bronze case and brown dial, it’s a damn well-executed watch. It’s reasonably priced as well, though a bronze case commands a premium over steel versions.
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Oris Calibre 754 (Sellita SW 200-1)
Notable Functions: Pointer date

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Longines Spirit

longines.com

$2,150.00

Longines has some of the most notable aviation heritage of any watchmaker. They outfitted pioneers like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, after all, so nothing could have seemed more natural than when the brand finally launched a dedicated pilot watch collection in 2020. The new Longines Spirit collection offers a luxe-feeling modern pilot watch with a few dial variations and a couple case sizes for automatics (as well as a chronograph).
Diameter: 40mm or 42mm
Movement: ETA A31.L11 automatic
Notable Functions: Date

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Hanhart 417 ES

hanhart.com

$2,115.00

Hanhart made one of the most legendary pilot’s chronograph watches back in the 1950s, and it’s known simply as the 417 ES. For many people, this watch’s cool factor is amplified by having been worn by actor and “King of Cool” Steve McQueen. Toward the end of 2020, the brand brought it back (they’d be crazy not to), and they kept it close to the original with a thin (for a chronograph) case courtesy of a manually wound movement and offered on a bund-style watch strap just as worn by pilots — and Mr. Steve McQueen.
Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Sellita SW 510 M
Notable Functions: Chronograph

SHOP NOW

Courtesy

Meister Pilot Chronoscope

junghanswatchesusa.net

$2,600.00

Junghans was making clocks for planes all the way back in the 1930s and wristwatches for the West German military in the 1950s. Those ‘50s chronos looked a lot like the Meister Pilot Chronoscope. The watch’s surprisingly modern-looking angularity comes from the watch’s bezel, which is deeply scalloped. It also features a column-wheel chronograph and a dial with two sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock. In black and stainless steel, it’s mid-century and brutalist at the same time.
Diameter: 43mm
Movement: J880.4
Notable Functions: Chronograph

SHOP NOW

Courtesy

Sinn 158 Bundeswehr

sinn.de

$2,660.00

The 158 Bundeswehr is based on watches that Sinn produced in the 1980s that were more or less refurbished and rebranded Heuer watches. And while the 158 Bundeswehr might not have the flyback function of the original, it’s got that no-nonsense, bi-compax look of iconic midcentury pilot’s chronographs, and sporty red highlights to boot. Sinn is beloved among watch nerds because it produces quality and toughness at an attainable price, though this one is limited to 500 examples.
Diameter: 43mm
Movement: Sellita SW 510
Notable Functions: Chronograph; rotating bezel

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Airain Type 20 Re-Edition

airain.com

$2,920.00

The Airain Type 20 Re-Edition is yet another modern remake of a vintage pilot’s watch, but newly resurrected brand seems to have done a solid job and kept it faithful to the original. It looks great largely because the original watch was so cool, but of course the Re-Edition is upgraded with modern goodies like a manually wound, La Joux-Perret flyback chronograph movement. For a genuine retro feel, however, Airain used Hesalite crystal rather than the more modern choice of sapphire.
Diameter: 39mm
Movement:
Notable Functions: Flyback chronograph, rotating 12-hour bezel

SHOP NOW

Bell & Ross

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Nightlum

bellross.com

$3,900.00

Bell & Ross is famous for its square watches that mimic an aircraft’s dashboard instruments. The BR 03-92 Nightlum takes that concept a step further by applying the look of a glowing instrument panel at night to its dial with ample luminescent paint. Against a black dial and housed in an all-black ceramic case, the hands and indices stand out even more and result in strong legibility and a very tactical look, indeed.
Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Sellita SW300-1
Notable Functions: Ceramic case, green-tinted sapphire crystal

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Courtesy

Omega Spacemaster Z-33

omegawatches.com

$5,900.00

If you want to really capture the funkiness of the late sixties and early seventies in a sci-fi kind of way, the Omega Spacemaster Z-33 is your choice. Its tonneau-shaped case is brushed titanium, with an extra-thick titanium case back that supposedly helps its alarm sound extra-loud. Its dial features UTC time plus two additional time zones and a perpetual calendar. And yes, it’s quartz — because let’s be honest, the void of space doesn’t care about your nostalgia for mechanical gears.
Diameter: 43mm x 53mm
Movement: Omega 5666 (quartz)
Notable Functions: UTC + 2 time zones; alarm; perpetual calendar

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Rolex

Rolex GMT Master II

rolex.com

$9,700.00

As Rolex lore has it, sometime in the 1950s, PanAmerican airlines requested a watch for their pilots that had would allow them to track both GMT and local time. The result was the Rolex GMT Master, with a half-blue, half-red bezel. Though this classic “Pepsi” configuration is perhaps most well-known, at Baselworld 2019 Rolex brought back the “Batman” bezel (black and blue), giving the GMT-lover even more choice. It’s an icon of the air, with a legend that’s far outlived its vintage airline roots.
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Rolex Caliber 3285
Notable Functions: GMT hand

SHOP PRE-OWNED

The Complete Panerai Buying Guide: Every Current Model Line Explained

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.

Giovani Panerai opened his first watch shop in Florence, Italy in 1860, and his operation soon expanded to include a bustling workshop and Florence’s first horological training center. By the early 20th Century, Panerai had taken on contracts for the Royal Italian Navy, and in 1916 Panerai secured a crucial patent for Radiomir, a radium-based glowing paint.

Like so many firms stuck in fascist countries, Panerai developed watches for the wrong side during WWII, but Mussolini’s dictatorial mandates and deep pockets spurred Panerai to innovate at a rapid pace. They developed the Perspex crystal (1936), massive luminous sandwich dials (1938), integrated lugs with spring bars (1940) and a movement with an 8-day power reserve to reduce wear on crown seals (also 1940). After the fascists fell, Panerai developed their renowned tritium-based lume called Luminor (1949), and their signature lever-activated crown lock (1950).

the early panerai storefront
The early Panerai storefront.

Panerai

Panerai’s wrist watches didn’t reach a wider audience until they offered a civilian collection in 1993 and attracted the endorsement of Sylvester Stallone. By 1997, Panerai had become so successful that the Vendome Group (later the Richemont Group) acquired the firm, moved production to Switzerland, and transformed Panerai into the luxury sport watch company we know today.

It took Panerai some time to shed Sly’s Rocky/Rambo bravado and tell its own story more directly, but once it did, the company offered up a subtler form of badassery that’s all about oceangoing adventure. Italy is almost entirely coastline, and their Navy is famous for innovative maritime technologies and techniques. Panerai was right there making the dive watches, gauges, and compasses for these pioneers of the deep. Meanwhile, the company has maintained a close relationship with yacht racing, including on vintage wooden yachts.

Despite the relocation of its manufacturing to Switzerland, Panerai’s style remains faithful to the original Italian designs of the early to mid-20th Century, and today’s collection is far more diverse than ever before.

sylvester stallone’s panerai luminor 5218 201a
Sylvester Stallone’s Luminor 5218-201A.

Panerai

    A Vast and Diverse Catalog
    Broken into four collections, Panerai offers over 20 in-house movements as well a slew of movements built on third party bases, and these calibers are found in well over 200 individual watch models available in steel, bronze, titanium, gold, platinum, and proprietary case materials such as BMG-TECH (bulk metallic glass), Carbotech (polyether ether ketone), and Panerai Composite (synthetic ceramic using micro arc oxidation).

    Sometimes the distinction between models is merely a matter of case material or dial color, but it’s common to grow frustrated shopping for a Panerai because one’s preferred look and fit don’t always come equipped with the movement/functions one prefers—or vice-versa. We aim to make navigating this dense catalog as easy as possible.

    Panerai Numbers
    Each watch is assigned an individual reference or PAM number: PAMxxxxx. Colloquially, the reference numbers are often referred to without the zeros between the PAM and the numbers at the end.

    Panerai’s in-house movements carry calibre numbers in this format: P.xxxx.
    The company’s movements built on a Unitas/ETA base have Roman numeral calibre numbers that start with OP (e.g., OPXXII).

    Panerai’s Four Model Categories

    The best way to divide and conquer the vast Panerai catalog is to start with the collection you’re interested in followed by the case size that’ll fit you best (keeping in mind that Panerais are meant to wear boldly). Using a filter on the brand’s site, you’ll see that while there are 150 models in the Luminor family, so if you know that 42mm is the size for you it handily narrows it down to just 6 (at time of writing). Then, you’ve just got some dial colors and complications to consider.

    However, much of the variety in Panerai comes from its movements and complications. The quintessential Panerai experience is quite possibly a Luminor at 44mm, but there are over 100 models that fit that description so, in addition to narrowing down your choices by case material, you’ll also have a slew of features available. For the most basic and entry-level options, check out the range called Base Logo.

    Panerai Luminor

    Beginning in the late 1940s, Panerai moved away from Radiomir lume to the tritium-based mixture patented as Luminor. In 1950 Panerai introduced its signature crown lock. The Luminor line features this crown lock, integrated lugs, and a cushion case shape that has its roots in the past but was also modernized a bit for 1993’s first civilian collection. This is easily the most recognizable Panerai look today.

    SHOP PRE-OWNED

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Base Logo PAM01086

    panerai.com

    $5,000.00

    This is he classic Panerai look for the least money possible, and it even comes with an in-house movement. The Base Logo is the brand’s most basic, with several options in the Luminor and Radiomir collections. You get two-hand time telling via a simple manually wound movement — and a painted dial rather than the brand’s signature “sandwich dial.” Newer models have in-house movements but older ones were sourced.

    Diameter: 44mm
    Movement: Panerai P.6000 manual

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Marina PAM02392

    panerai.com

    $7,900.00

    The headline here is 42mm. A lot of people find the bulk of the Panerai catalog at 44mm, 45mm and 47mm simply unwieldy despite loving everything else about the watches. So many rejoiced when this new version was introduced in TKTK, offering the complete package — only in a smaller and more wearable one. Note that it’s water-resistant to 100m, rather than a traditional dive watch’s 300m, but more than sufficient for most needs.

    Diameter: 42mm
    Movement: Panerai P.9010 automatic

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Power Reserve PAM00423

    panerai.com

    $10,200.00

    The PAM 432 is a good representative of the brand’s big-boy 47mm watches, as well as an example of complications. Here we have a power reserve indicator, as you’ll find on many other models, particularly useful since the movement here is manually wound. Other complications you’ll find are the likes of GMTs and flyback chronographs, often in combination.

    Diameter: 47mm
    Movement: Panerai P.3002 manual

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech PAM01118

    panerai.com

    $16,400.00

    Panerai is strong on style, but the brand shows it horological substance with forward-looking and experimental watches using avant-garde materials, high-end complications and finishing as well as exotic techniques. Here, the brand combined its proprietary carbon composite material Carbotech with lume embedded in the case at unexpected and unconventional places.

    Diameter: 44mm
    Movement: Panerai P.9010 automatic

    Panerai Luminor Due

    Though generally smaller, thinner, and feeling a bit “fancier,” the Due (“two” in Italian) feels like a sub-collection of the Luminor line and features the familiar design and crown guard locking mechanism. It’s understandable that the brand wanted to separate it from the famously rugged Luminor with its dive watch origins, though, as the Due has only a dress-watch-level of water resistance at 30m and a slimmer profile. The Due line premiered in 2018 and is Panerai’s answer to demands for both smaller and more feminine models.

    SHOP PRE-OWNED

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Due PAM00927

    panerai.com

    $7,400.00

    Offering a similar look and size to 42mm Luminor models, it might at first be hard to tell what makes this a Due. It’s got less water resistance and a thinner case, and this particular model offering features like brushed titanium and an automatic movement with 3 days of power reserve — and an overall elegant execution based on vintage models.

    Diameter: 42mm
    Movement: Panerai P.900 automatic

    Panerai

    Panerai Piccolo Due PAM01029

    panerai.com

    $15,700.00

    These petite Panerais at only 38mm in the Luminor Due collection are called Piccolo Due. The smallest Panerai you’re going to find, it still has the captivating look (minus the presence) and shows that the brand’s charisma doesn’t rely on its size. This one is fancied up in the brand’s Goldtech gold alloy, but there are more affordable versions in steel as well.

    Diameter: 38mm
    Movement: Panerai P.900 automatic

    Panerai Radiomir

    Referencing Panerai’s earliest military watches from the 1930s, Radiomir models stand out from the rest of collections for a couple of reasons. First, they lack the prominent crown guard and locking mechanism that nearly defines the brand and is a feature of every other collection. They also have a couple of case styles with either wire lugs that detach for strap changes or the Radiomir 1940 models with integrated lugs and spring bars. Radiomir watches might look relatively classical and retr0-feeling — but remember that many are sized to offer a very prominent presence, mostly at 45mm or 47mm diameters.

    SHOP PRE-OWNED

    Panerai

    Panerai Radiomir Base Logo PAM00753

    panerai.com

    $4,500.00

    Like the Luminor Base Logo above, this is the most basic and affordable Radiomir model — as well as the brand’s overall entry point. No “sandwich dial” or automatic winding, but you do get an in-house movement, 100m of water resistance and a bold wrist statement at 45mm.

    Diameter: 45mm
    Movement: Panerai P.6000 manual

    Panerai

    Panerai Radiomir California PAM00931

    panerai.com

    $8,700.00

    No logo or dial text, just a whopping 47mm steel case and a California dial. The brand plays around with dial designs a bit in its Radiomir collection, and Panerai is one of the watchmakers known for California dials (half Roman, half Arabic numerals). This particular model features wire lugs, onion crown and a gradient effect for its light brown dial. Inside, it runs on a manually wound in-house movement offering only hours and minutes but nicely decorated and visible through a display caseback.

    Diameter: 47mm
    Movement: Panerai P.3000 manual

    Panerai

    Panerai Radiomir 1940 Tourbillon GMT Oro Rosso PAM00558

    panerai.com

    $123,300.00

    This is an example of the Radiomir 1940 case with its integrated lugs — as well as showcasing the brand’s take on classical, high-end horology. Although it’s got a relatively traditional look, a couple stand out features aren’t readily apparent: First is that its caseback reveals a tourbillon and a power reserve indicator, while its straightforward dial displays GMT and day/night functions. Finally, it’s in a massive 48mm case in the brand’s Goldtech alloy.

    Diameter: 48mm
    Movement: Panerai P.2005 manual, tourbillon, GMT, power-reserve, am/pm, 6-day power reserve

    Panerai Submersible

    In 2019, Panerai separated out its dedicated dive watches into this new category, and doing so vastly simplified its catalog. While other Panerai watches might technically deserve to be called dive watches due to their origins and water resistance, these have features like rotating bezels we tend to associate with modern divers. It also differs from other collections due to elements like its dial design and skeletonized hands.

    SHOP PRE-OWNED

    Panerai

    Panerai Submersible PAM00973

    panerai.com

    $8,900.00

    Like other collections, many of Panerai’s Submersible dive watches are imposing in size, so when the brand introduced a new version at 42mm a lot of people were pleased. It’s sized right, is water-resistant to 300m and features an excellent automatic movement with 3 days of power reserve. It’s priced to compete for your Submariner money, but incontrovertibly offers a stronger and more distinctive personality.

    Diameter: 42mm
    Movement: Panerai P.900 automatic

    Panerai

    Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo PAM00382

    panerai.com

    $10,200.00

    Another feature Panerai is known for is its early use of bronze — and the seductive way it names watches made from it: Bronzo. Looking like it came from a sunken wreck and and is ready to go back to explore it, this massive 47mm dive watch will only look better and more rugged as its bronze case patinas. It also features one of the brand’s most compelling movements offering a 3-day power reserve and automatic winding.

    Diameter: 47mm
    Movement: Panerai P.9000 automatic, 3-day power reserve

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This New Watch from Montana Is a Throwback to Old-School Watchmaking

Cast your gaze onto the southwest corner of the map of Montana, and you’ll find the city of Bozeman. Make your way there and sully forth down to Main Street, and you’ll discover a watch shop called The Last Wind Up, run by 30-year veteran watchmaker Dave Berghold. After decades of watch repair and selling new and vintage watches, he’s quietly put his experience into creating a timepiece of his own. It’s called the Model 1, as reported by our friends at Worn & Wound — and the result of Berghold’s labors is a handsome, classically designed watch that we can’t help but be charmed by.

There are more and more crowdfunded watch brands bursting onto your Instagram feed everyday, and many of them are even based in the United States and have a local angle. What makes Dave Berghold’s project stand out, however, is that it simply feels like the watch your local watchmaker made — the way we imagine more watches were created at one time in the past.

Berghold’s approach is similar to that of many startups, as his parts are sourced from European suppliers: German case, French hands, Swiss movement, but assembled by him. Also like with other watches, however, it’s the story and creator’s vision (and the quality of those components, of course) that gives it its character. With his “DB” monogram at 12 o’clock and “Bozeman, MT” under the 6 o’clock seconds subdial, the design recalls vintage American pocket watches or pilot’s watches.

Housed in a 38mm case with a prominent onion crown, the Model 1’s pocket watch connection is further strengthened by a hand-wound movement which is on full display through a wide case back window. The lume-filled cathedral hands and Breguet numerals are appropriately classical and a bison strap provides a local touch. Only 50 examples were produced for the initial run, but more are on the way and can be expected for delivery in August 2021 for $1,950 each.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

The Omega Speedmaster Isn’t the Only Moon Watch

unimatic u1 sp watch

Unimatic

It’s not really nerdy to be enthusiastic about the NASA space program’s history: carry around an official Space Pen and get a Snoopy pin for your lapel and hipsters will glance sideways in knowing approval — but watches in particular are a great way for fans to show their passion and feel connected to the story, and there seems to be a full-blown trend of NASA watches that’s emerged in recent years.

It makes sense, too: the space program is compelling for its mix of science, adventure, nostalgia and now-retro technology, and watches themselves share some of the same attraction. Of course, for authenticity it’s hard to beat the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch that NASA tested and selected as official gear for its many space missions, but more and more watchmakers are getting in on the action for less than the Moonwatch’s $6,000+ price tag.

The watches that today carry the NASA logo aren’t necessarily affiliated with the US government agency like the Speedmaster is. There are regulations for using the NASA logo, but brands can apply for permission in a process that doesn’t seem overly stringent — similar to the way many watchmakers have gotten permission to use the British Ministry of Defense’s “Broad Arrow” symbol. The watches below shouldn’t be thought of as some collaboration with NASA, but the agency has probably given approval for the use of its branding.

Some of the watches below are limited editions that sold out quickly and can even be hard to find on the secondhand market, another testament to their popularity. They might be worth hunting for, but they also suggest a trend that’ll surely see more such watches in the future — and you’re advised to act fast when you do see one you love.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Timex Navi XL NASA

Timex has made more than one NASA-branded watch, but this is the latest — and, yeah, it sold out. If you can find it, though, it’s about the cheapest way to get that logo on your wrist or that of a young space enthusiast. 

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Quartz

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Swatch Space Collection Space Race

Swatch recently announced a whole Space Collection of five NASA watches that use their “Bioceramic” material. Each watch features the agency’s logo on the strap and colorways to match. The simple, monochromatic Space Race model is our favorite. 

Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Quartz

Casio G Shock “All Systems Go” DW5600NASA21-1

G-Shock’s first NASA watch announced in 2020 was one of most sought-after watches of the year. This followup to it offers a similar aesthetic but trades the all-white design for a black and white colorway that suggests the look of the shuttles, spacesuits and other NASA gear. 

Diameter: 42.8mm
Movement: Quartz

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Divided by Zero Grissom DBZ x NASA

Divided by Zero offers a fun, design-forward and crowdfunded approach to watches. With an aesthetic that should appeal to any science or sci-fi fan, the four watches in its NASA collection feature a white and blue theme that makes the connection instantly recognizable. 

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Miyota 1S13 quartz

Xeric Trappist-1 NASA Edition

Xeric always has a creative Trappist-1 NASA Edition uses two large, glowing circles to indicate the hours and minutes. The dial features an also-glowing starscape with a frame over the dial that makes you feel like you’re viewing the universe from a spacecraft porthole. It comes in multiple variations.

Diameter: 44mm
Movement: Seiko VH31 quartz (automatic also available)

SHOP PRE-OWNED

Unimatic U1-SP

When an ultra-hip brand like Unimatic makes a NASA watch, you know it’s gonna sell out in no time. They’ve made more than one, in fact — the latest is a version of their mecaquartz chronograph — but the U1-SP captures the spirit best, in our opinion. 

Diameter: 41.5mm
Movement: Seiko NH35A automatic

Anicorn Space Watch

That iconic curvy NASA logo? It’s known as “the Worm,” and it was designed by one Richard Danne. He’s NASA and for many other projects in his life, one bring this watch. It’s said to be “inspired by space itself,” features a solid automatic movement and comes in two variations. 

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic

Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy Award”

This special edition-Speedy doesn’t have the NASA logo, but it does feature branding in the form of the agency mascot, Snoopy, here seen on a spacewalk in one of the subdials. The watches are based on the Silver Snoopy Award that was given to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding service — giving the motif a suddenly much more serious presence than just that of a cute cartoon character.

Diameter: 42mm
Movement: Omega 3861 hand-wound

SHOP PRE-OWNED

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Still Waiting for Your Rolex GMT? This Watch Might Tide You Over

Sometimes, you might crave a Pepsi, but have to settle for an RC Cola. Or, in this case, you might want the expensive and difficult-to-get-your-hands-on-anyway Rolex GMT Master II with its cola-brand-red-and-blue bezel, nicknamed the “Pepsi” — and, in this metaphor, RC Cola is an affordable new quartz GMT watch in Timex‘s Waterbury collection.

The bi-colored bezel — which signifies day and night on a 24-hour scale — will always refer back to the original GMT watch from Rolex. Many other watchmakers have employed this colorway and concept before (including Timex itself), however, and Timex nods to its popularity by calling this model the “Traditional GMT.” The overall look will be familiar to Rolex fans at first sight, but Timex has added multiple touches of its own.

This is a notably colorful take on the GMT, with a two-tone approach mixing both steel and gold-toned elements in addition to the Pepsi colors which extend to the blue dial with its red GMT hand (plus, a green seconds hand). Both the “traditional” GMT look as well as the gold-and-steel combo lend a retro feel that fits well with the current trend, and that’s further supported by a moderate 39mm case diameter and the brand’s original Waterbury logo found on the dial, crown and seconds hand counterweight. The pusher at 2 o’clock is used to adjust the GMT (second time zone) hand.

watch

Courtesy

The new Timex Waterbury Traditional GMT is available on a leather strap for a price of $189, or you can double down on the two-tone look and go for a steel bracelet with gold-toned center links for $219. It might not be as refreshing as a Rolex Pepsi, but Timex offers something that’s fun, good-looking, affordable — and that you can have right now.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

The Best Gold Watches for Men

rolex oyster day date watch

Rolex

Gold is created by supernovas when neutron stars collide and is thought to be the first metal known to humans — but more importantly: it likely looks good on your wrist. It also has a long history in watchmaking, but you might even look right past all that simply for its famously bewitching shininess. Stainless steel tends to be the preferred material for most watches today, but there’s still a potent allure to the gold watch.

Go back to before the 1920s and 1930s when stainless steel was first used in watchmaking and you’ll find a lot of watches made from silver and gold. These are softer materials that are easier to machine — and it helps that they polish up particularly well. Unlike silver, though, gold is also highly resistant to tarnishing. Even after steel began to be used for watch cases, it didn’t become common until many decades later, and elegant gold watches remained popular.

Gold has weight both cultural and physical. Around the 1940s in the US, for example, a tradition began of presenting a gold watch to retiring employees after decades of service at a company. That practice has mostly been abandoned today, but the gold watch as a symbol of value, achievement and just something special remains in the popular memory.

If you want a gold watch today, there are many choices. You can simply get the look with a “gold-toned” or “gold-plated” watch, one with gold plating over a less expensive metal (usually steel), or you can spring for one of solid gold. Most solid gold watches use 18 carat gold, an alloy of 75% gold mixed with other metals that help harden it (and cost less than pure 24 carat, which is generally too soft for watches anyway). A more affordable option can also (but rarely) be found in 14 carat (about 53%) gold. The misleading term gold-filled refers to a thin (less than 5% of total weight, but thicker than gilding or gold plating) layer of gold over a core of another metal, but this is uncommon in modern watches.

Watchmakers often like to use gold because it allows them to mark up their products. The price of a gold watch will often be considerably more than the value of the material itself compared to the same watch in steel, but watchmakers can also add value through finishing — even though gold is easier to work with than a cheaper, harder metal like steel. In addition to classic yellow gold, many watch companies use red gold, pink gold, rose gold and even produce and name their own unique alloys.

For today’s chrysophilist, you’ll find several options below offering simply the warm or blingy look of gold for affordable prices, as well as several more serious investments that’ll remind you of their auriferous composition by the weight on your wrist.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Casio Vintage A168WG

Just about the cheapest gold-colored watch we can actually recommend is one of the many available digital masterpieces from Casio. Go for a gold calculator watch, a Casio World Time or analog-digital… but this is a classic iteration that even many serious watch lovers can appreciate with more genuine appreciation than irony.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 35mm
Movement: Quartz

Q Timex 1975 Reissue

The Timex Q (or Q Timex) series that resurrects vintage quartz models from the 1970s is full of style and value. This reissue of a model from 1975 has a 38mm case and offers a look that’s hard to find in modern watches. Proudly announcing its quartz movement, this is a solid watch for a shot of fashion or as a fun gift.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Quartz

Seiko 5 Sports SRPE74

The absurdly high bang-for-buck Seiko 5 Sports collection is based on a rugged sport watch concept, but among the many available variations are also those in a gold-toned execution. It might not be the kind of gold watch to make you look like a high roller, but it just might be a fun and accessible bit of bling for your wrist. A rose gold variation is available in addition to this yellow gold.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 42.5mm
Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic

Casio G-Shock Full Metal GMWB5000GD-4

If you like the throwback vibes of a digital watch in gold, there are great choices from Timex, Nixon, Bulova and even Hamilton. But few are more exciting than the original G-Shock design from 1983, and when you see it done up in metal (gold, no less) rather than its iconic black plastic, it feels kinda meta and kinda awesome. These models also include premium features like Tough Solar, bluetooth and Multiband 6. 

Materials: Rose gold ion-plated (IP) stainless steel
Diameter: 43.2mm
Movement: Casio quartz module 3459 with solar charging

Apple Watch Series 6

When the Apple Watch debuted in 2014, it also offered an Edition option in 18ct gold priced $10,000-$18,000. It’s no longer produced, but nowadays you can get gold-colored versions of the Sport in aluminum or something like this: the Series 6 in stainless steel with gold coating, and even a Milanese loop band to match. 

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 38mm or 42mm
Movement: Apple Wear OS

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto

One of the best dress watches around of course looks good in a gold finish. Hamilton really got the details and style of its Intra-Matic right, and with its curved sunburst dial and simple design, it’ll make you feel like Don Draper no matter what else you’re wearing. This simple case has a PVD gold coating and inside it houses an automatic movement.

Materials: Yellow PVD-coated stainless steel
Diameter: 38mm 
Movement: ETA 2892 automatic 

The Best Two-Tone Watches, and Why They Don’t Suck

If you don’t wanna go full-gold — but you do wanna go full 1980s — get yourself a two-tone watch.

LEARN MORE

Tissot Excellence Automatic 18K Gold

You just found probably the most affordable modern watch in solid 18ct gold around. We’re happy to say that it not only fits that criterion, but also has a great classic design, is sized nicely at 39.8mm, houses an excellent Swiss automatic movement and more. Cool, right? There are options of yellow or rose gold, black or white dials — and there’s even a quartz version for about $900 less.

Materials: 18k rose gold 
Diameter: 39.8mm
Movement: ETA 2892 automatic

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

There’s almost no more classic, recognizable and (yes) elegant watch than the Cartier Tank, and it’s at its best in this exact form: with a thin hand-wound movement and rose gold case as the Tank Louis Cartier. With a case that’s only 6.6mm thick with an in-house movement inside, this is the archetypal gold watch experience.

Materials: 18ct rose gold 
Diameter: 25.5mm
Movement: Cartier 8971 MC

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia

It’s no hyperbole that when you handle an A. Lange & Söhne watch for yourself, it’s palpably special. You’ll understand why the brand uses precious metals for its cases almost exclusively, as it just seems appropriate for something of this level of refinement. The Saxonia in pink gold and is just about the brand’s most accessible product. (Also check out the brand’s own “Honey Gold” alloy usually reserved for special editions.) 

Materials: 18ct pink gold 
Diameter: 37mm
Movement: A. Lange & Söhne L941.1

Omega Seamaster 300

Who says gold watches have to be formal and dressy? There are plenty of examples of gold sport watches from the Rolex Submariner to the Omega Seamaster 300, a great example with its excellent balance of moderate 41mm case size, vintage looks and, of course, rock-solid movement. (Omega’s proprietary alloy of rose gold is called “Sedna Gold,” but this particular version is classic yellow gold.)

Materials: 18ct yellow gold 
Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Omega 8401 automatic

Rolex Day-Date 40 “President”

Nothing says “gold watch” like a Rolex Day-Date, otherwise known as the “President.” The Day-Date, in fact, only comes in precious metals, so there’s no mistaking its prestige even when it’s in white gold. With a full gold bracelet and that iconic fluted bezel, it screams “wealth” and is a worthy aspirational watch. It also comes in a range of configurations, including other gold alloys and dial colors such as Rolex’s own rose gold alloy called “Everose.”

Materials: 18ck yellow gold 
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3255 automatic

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin

Conceived specifically to be produced in steel, there’s a little irony to a gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — but never mind that, because it’s one of the most baller watches out there. With a full gold (integrated) bracelet, it costs more than double its otherwise identical counterpart in stainless steel, but at these prices who’s counting, anyway?

Materials: 18ct rose gold 
Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Audemars Piguet 2121 automatic

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

This Is the Seiko 5 Watch That Fans Designed

Sixteen million votes, five components, one affordable Seiko watch.

The Seiko 5 Sports watch before you is the latest variation to join the impressively broad and constantly growing collection. It fits right in aesthetically among the multitudinous options but has a story to set it apart: this is the watch that was designed by a fan and received the most “likes” in an online campaign.

From late 2020 into early 2021, Seiko ran the Custom Watch Beatmaker campaign in which fans could mix and match options online to create their own design. Rather than a watch customizer in which you could then buy your creation, however, it works by allowing people to view all the other configurations fans had made and vote on your favorite. Just to make it more fun, each design was also paired to one of 32 original songs created by up-and-coming artists.

Based upon the collection’s excellent flagship model — which features a 42mm case and 4R36 automatic movement — the elements available for fans to work with were limited. Combining options of 6 bezel inserts, 11 dials, 7 hand colors, 4 case finishes and 8 bands leads to a lot of possibilities, however, and more than 48,000 configurations were submitted. From more than 16,000,000 votes cast, the winning watch with its steel case, red and blue bezel and gold-toned dial got over half the votes, with more than 8,500,000. The gold dial recalls older Seiko 5 models and perhaps shows some nostalgia for those salad days of ultra-cheap Seikos.

watch

Courtesy

Watch companies offering customizing options through the likes of an online configurator has been a hot topic within the industry, but is still relatively rare and slow to evolve — though some companies are leading the way. Could Seiko be floating the concept of made-to-order Seiko 5 Sports watches similar to personally configured sneakers? Seiko likely has the resources to do it, but just because something like that is possible and would be popular doesn’t mean it’s good branding. For now, the brand probably garners a lot more excitement and attention with these campaigns and limited editions.

The SRPH19 is limited in production and only 2,021 of the more than 8 million voters will be able to buy one. It’ll be available from Seiko’s site online starting in September 2021 for the same price as non limited models at $295.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

The Best Vintage Field Watches Reissued for Today

hamilton khaki pilot pioneer mechanical watch

Hamilton

The modern watch scene has been dominated by vintage inspiration and reissues for years now. As this market matures, some trends have begun to emerge, from chronographs and dive watches at vintage sizes to issued military field watches resurrected for modern audiences. A military connection was always a compelling hook, but mix it with some history and the natural charm of such items and it’s easy to understand why vintage-inspired field watches have been coming back strong.

These watches often have significant histories — like the so-called “Dirty Dozen” and the A-11, “the watch that won the war,” which are among the cool models we’ve seen reproduced in modern form. They’ll often feel most authentic when they’re small (for contemporary tastes) with manually wound movements and completely lacking in superfluous decoration, but some brands have tweaked the formula to interesting effect.

Part of the attraction to field watches is their eminent versatility and approachability, with simple designs and moderate case sizes that seem like a great choice for just about any personality — and the best part is that their simplicity often means that they’re some of the most affordable options in the popular segment of sport and tool watches.

Hot on the heels of dive watches in popularity, you can expect this segment to grow, as there are still cool historical examples just waiting to be “rediscovered,” and many brands with genuine history that have yet to capitalize on it. There are even more modern brands interpreting the field watch anew, but here are some with historical connections that are sure to tug the heartstrings of any fan of military or field watches.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Timex MK1 Mechanical 36mm Fabric Strap Watch

Recalling an obscure watch that Timex made for the military in 1982 (as well as the brand’s Camper series), the Mk1 (reviewed here) is a fun and affordable way to get some field watch history and style on your wrist. The historical watch was made of plastic and intended as disposable, but this modern one is in steel and powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement. Do you want to beat it up or rely on it in combat situations? Probably not, but it can be fun to wear or to gift. 

Diameter: 36mm
Movement: Undisclosed Chinese hand-wound
Water Resistance: 50m 

Praesidus Tom Rice A-11

The A-11 and its counterparts were made for the US military in WW2 by American companies Waltham, Elgin and Bulova, and it’s been called “the watch that won the war.” There have been homages to these watches, but now the American brand Praesidus is making an affordable version with a design that’s close to the original and dedicated to specific veterans who wore the watch. It offers a basic Japanese automatic movement and choices of size, dial color and straps.

Diameter: 38mm or 42mm
Movement: Seiko NH35 automatic
Water Resistance: 50m 

Bulova Hack Watch

Bulova was once one of the most prominent American watchmakers, with a wide range of watches including the MIL-W-3818A spec field watch in the 1950s and ’60s. This reissue is one of our favorites the brand has made in recent years, and it’s perfectly sized for modern tastes at 38mm. It’s powered by an automatic movement from its sister company, Miyota. Older versions of this movement didn’t provide “hacking” (meaning the seconds hand stops when you set the time), but it’s especially appropriate for this model and important to its history.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Miyota 82S0 automatic
Water Resistance: 30m 

MWC G10 Automatic 300m with Bracelet

CWC produced watches known as the G10 for military use back in the 1980s, and they still do today. Homage watch maker MWC makes quartz versions for around a mere $100, but you might also want to check out this automatic version that features sapphire crystal and an uncommon (for field watches) 300m of water resistance. It’ll look most authentic on a NATO strap, but it’s a nice bonus for daily wear that it comes on this steel bracelet.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Undisclosed automatic
Water Resistance: 300m 

Khaki Field

More or less the quintessential modern field watch, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is based on the milspec GG-W-113 the brand (along with other American watchmakers) made from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. Basic and n0-frills with a matte finished case and hand-wound movement, it captures the pragmatic spirit of a military field watch perfectly and is easy to recommend as an affordable field watch.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: ETA C07.111 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 50m 

MkII Cruxible Hellion Date

American microbrand MkII is dedicated to bringing back vintage military watches, and it offers its own version of the famed “canteen watch” diver updated for modern wear and dubbed the Cruxible. The case is bigger than the original at 39mm and it’s powered by a Seiko automatic movement, but this is an excellent option for anyone drawn to vintage milspec watches.

Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Seiko NE15C automatic
Water Resistance: 100m  

CWC Mellor-72 Mechanical

CWC’s Mellor-72 Mechanical offers a hell of a value and a real military connection. The company worked with militaries back in the day and continues to do so today — as a British company, the watch even includes the iconic Broad Arrow symbol that marked British government property as well as the circled T that signified the use of tritium paint (though Super-LumiNova illuminates the hands and indices here). 

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Sellita SW210 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 50m

Marathon GPM Genreal Purpose Mechanical

Marathon has been making watches for military use since 1941, and they continue to do so today. The General Purpose Mechanical is a modern interpretation of the mil-spec GG-W-113 used by the US army in the 1980s, and it’s built to meet current military specifications. It runs on a manually wound Swiss mechanical movement and includes the brand’s signature use of tritium gas tubes for dial illumination. 

Diameter: 39mm
Movement: ETA 2801 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 50m

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical

This watch is based on one known as the 6BB when it was issued to the British air force or the W10 when issued to the army in the 1970s (like the CWC above) — so we’ll say it counts as a field watch. Maintaining the original 33mm width is uncommon in today’s watch market, but we found it wore particularly well when reviewing it. It feels refined for a military watch, with a great dial texture and a smooth, manually wound Swiss movement offering an 80-hour power reserve.

Diameter: 33mm
Movement: ETA C07.111 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 100m 

Vaer A12 Dirty Dozen

California-based Vaer has a range of military-inspired watches, this one being is its tribute to the famous Dirty Dozen. Its 36mm size and manually wound Swiss movement are historically appropriate, and it offers some strong value. This interpretation feels a little more contemporary, and the brand offers some slightly different design features than other such remakes (see below). The connection remains clear, however, and so does the value. 

Diameter: 36mm
Movement: ETA 7001 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 100m

Timor Heritage Field

One of the original 12 companies to make the Dirty Dozen watches, Timor is back with an elevated-feeling reissue available with manual or automatic Swiss movements inside. Now based in the UK, it’s able to legitimately use the Broad Arrow just like the originals did. A modern Swiss movements will keep it healthy well into the future, and a sapphire crystal will remain looking new and scratch-free.

Diameter: 36.5mm
Movement: Sellita SW260 automatic or SW216 hand-wound
Water Resistance: 50m 

The Longines Heritage Military

Okay, this is technically a reissue of a pilot’s watch from the 1940s. But if you like the size, style and military origins of the other watches here, there’s a good chance you’ll click with this one as well. For this modern recreation, Longines created a unique dial with a speckled look evoking an aged vintage watch. 

Diameter: 38.5mm
Movement: ETA A31.L01 automatic
Water Resistance: 30m 

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Did Todd Snyder Just Create the Best Timex Q Yet?

When do we plan to stop talking about the Q Timex? Never, that’s when. Because we love it. Why? It looks good. It’s cheap. It comes in lots of different colors. It has a cool bracelet. It’s cheap. It’s consistently available. It’s well-sized. Did we mention it’s cheap?

Todd Snyder also clearly seems to dig it. The famed menswear designer, is perhaps Timex’s best known and most consistent partner, having worked with the American-founded brand on numerous designs over the past several years. But his latest may be the coolest: a cream-dialed Q with one of the dopest 1970s-inspired dials we’ve ever seen.

With its square indices and thin red cross-hatch pattern, this is a design that you can find on vintage Omega and Hamilton as well as on vintage Timex itself, and one that we’re more than happy to see resurrected. Vintage-colored lume on the hands and indices melds right into the dial, which remains legible given the black surrounds on the hour indices and the subtle pops of color.

Other than this new dial color, the Q is the same one we know and love: It features a 38mm steel case, a matching steel bracelet (here with a fold-over clasp), a day-date display powered by a quartz movement, a unidirectional bezel (here in count-up/dive configuration) and a convenient battery hatch. Best of all, it’s still just $179 — the same price as that of the rest of the Q catalog models. Go ahead: make this your new summer watch and thank us later.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Hamilton’s New Military Watch May Be Its Best Yet, But You Can’t Buy It Here

There’s one problem with the all-black watches everybody loves: while they might look cool as fashion accessories, they don’t function well as watches because of compromised legibility. Mostly, you can’t have a black-on-black watch design and a solid, easy time-reading experience — but the new, limited collab watch from Hamilton and Japanese fashion label N.Hoolywood just might be the best of both worlds. It also takes the form of one of our favorite field watches…but is unfortunately hard to get your hands on.

Based on watches the brand made for American soldiers, Hamilton’s Khaki Field collection offers a range of colors but mostly remains pretty straightforward and traditional. Add Japanese designer Daisuke Obana’s vision to the mix, however, and you’ve got an edgy, modern design that manages to feel authentic to the watches’ roots at the same time. It’s the second collaboration for the two brands, and this time it’s part of the N.Hoolywood’s collection based on military post exchange (PX) stores.

N.Hoolywood took the basic military feel of the Khaki Field and doubled down by giving it a stealthy black treatment with matte finishes. The Arabic numeral hour markers are black against the black dial, as with other such “phantom” watches, so they’ll appear almost like shadows, visible only in certain lights. All that blackness, though, makes the white Super-LumiNova-coated hands, outer track with its triangle hour markers, and the inner track with military time stand out even more. It all looks unexpected, pragmatic — and just plain cool and unique.

watch

Courtesy

The Khaki Field Auto — which the watch is based on — is a more practical alternative to the basic Khaki Field Mechanical that we love to recommend as the field watch go get. With automatic winding, the Auto offers more detailed case finishing and construction as well as a slightly upsized 40mm diameter. It also offers a case back window to view the H-10 movement with 80 hours of power-reserve, and for the N.Hoolywood model, the window is plainly printed with the words “Watch, wrist: General Design by N. Hoolywood/Hamilton” and some of the watch’s specs.

On an appropriately deep black NATO-style strap, the Hamilton x N.Hoolywood Khaki Field Auto is limited to only 300 examples at a price of around $1,060 each. Unfortunately, it can only be purchased in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

LEARN MORE

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This Might Be the Weirdest Perpetual Calendar Watch You’ve Ever Seen

The watch in front of you might at first appear cryptic. Is this arrangement of lines and dots some form of analog Morse code or an alien language? Nope — it’s independent brand Ochs und Junior’s captivatingly creative take on the perpetual calendar watch, the Calendario Cent’Anni, and it’s a lot more intuitive to read than you might think.

The Swiss brand is known for its unusual, minimalist aesthetic and alternative time display concepts — so what exactly are we looking at? The hours and minutes are easily recognizable and the same as on any traditional watch, and they’re starkly contrasted against the dial along with the indices. The series of 31 windows indicate the date when filled with color via a rotating disc beneath the dial. (They’re be easiest to read on the version of the watch that demarcates every fifth day with Arabic numerals.)

At 6 o’clock just below the month disc is a small seconds disc. Then, toward the center of the dial, you’ll see a disc with a dot indicating twelve markers, which are the months. And finally within that turning disc is a tiny disc with four positions that turns every year to indicate a leap year, which occurs when it aligns with the dot. This perpetual calendar will (theoretically) only need adjustment after 100 years, hence the “Cent’Anni” part of its name.

watch

Courtesy

It’s not only the watch’s visual display that’s clever and minimalist, but also the horology under the dial. Ochs und Junior used an automatic movement from Ulysse Nardin that only indicates the time and date but gave it some significant modifications: The brand took this movement and was able to give it the more involved functions and indications you see here with only nine additional components. That’s interesting and efficient, for sure, but it’s also practical horology, because fewer moving parts mean fewer opportunities for things to go wrong, and easier servicing if they do.

All this fits in a 40mm titanium case with short lugs that should make its ergonomic wearing experience feel as well thought out as its dial. Ochs und Junior typically offers customizing options for its clients, but the Calendario Cent’Anni comes in set designs, which include a black dial with or without date markers as well as a white dial. Each variation has the same price of around $16,475, and is available to order directly from the brand online.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Our New Favorite GMT Watch Costs Less Than $1,500

Rejoice, all ye fans of affordable GMT watches — we have another one for you. And it’s so cool that you’ll have to wear a sweater in July.

A collaboration between our friends at watch website Hodinkee and the fine folks at Unimatic, one of our favorite boutique watch brands, the H Series actually includes three watches — but the GMT definitely takes the cake: Housed in a 41.5mm case, it’s only 11.8mm thick (hell yeah!) and features 22mm drilled lugs for easy strap changing. Outfitted with the Sellita SW330-2 automatic GMT movement, it’s the first Unimatic to feature this travel-friendly complication.

hodinkee x unimatic h series

HODINKEE

It’s also water-resistant to an impressive 300m, features ample Super-LumiNova lume on the dial and ships with a black cordovan leather strap as well as a single-pass NATO. Done up in signature Hodinkee grey, the U1-HGMT is outfitted with a 24-hour, unidirectional bezel and individually adjustable grey GMT hand for easy time zone changes.

Unimatic makes a handsome, highly legible watch, and it’s hard to argue with this one — especially at this price: the watch is $1,395 and ships in a hardshell, Pelican-style case. For our money, this is far and away the best GMT of 2021. However, should you be GMT’d out and are more in the mood for a dive watch or a simple field watch, the new Hodinkee X Unimatic collection includes those, too.

HODINKEE

HODINKEE

There’s the Uno U1-H, which features the classic Unimatic dive watch case and silhouette, here paired to a 60-minute, unidirectional dive bezel and the Sellita SW200-1 movement ($875). There’s also the Modello Due U2-H, which lacks crown guards and features a cool, vintage-inspired California dial as well as a two-piece Cordura strap as well as a NATO strap ($675).

All three watches are limited editions of 500 pieces each, and will be available for purchase at 11 AM EST today from the Hodinkee Shop.

LEARN MORE

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

This Is One of Our Favorite Watch Dials of the Year So Far

Combining history, high-end watchmaking and multiple current trends at once, this is a watch that should get any horological geek’s attention: The Swiss brand Czapek & Cie. has partnered with watch enthusiast website Fratello on a limited edition version of its sporty Antarctique watch with a winning combination of its naturally compelling design and a green dial (and some other unique touches). It’s one of our favorite recent models in the popular genre of high-end steel sport watches.

For any budding watch nerds who aren’t yet familiar with Czapek, it’s the name of the watchmaker that co-founded the brand now known as Patek Philippe as Patek, Czapek & Cie. back in 1839. Czapek split with Patek to form his own company in 1845 that only lasted 24 years, but was re-launched in 2012 — and has quietly been a delight of independent watchmaking fans since.

The Antarctique is the brand’s take on the popular genre of “lifestyle sport watch,” with a steel case designed especially to fit its proprietary bracelet a là Gerald Genta’s classic Royal Oak and Nautilus watches. (This “integrated bracelet” concept has seen a resurgence in popularity, especially among higher-end watchmakers.) The stainless steel case measures a moderate 40.5mm wide and 11.3mm thick and houses the brand’s own SXH5 automatic movement with a microrotor. This is standard for the collection, but the new model stands out for its dial.

watch

Courtesy

The version of the Antarctique called the Passage de Drake has a cool dial texture dubbed “Stairway to Eternity,” and it usually comes in the common color choices of black, white or blue. Another way that the Fratello version feels particularly on-trend is that it adds a green “Veridian” variation with a pleasing kind of teal tone. A subtle difference from the rest of the collection is that the 12 o’clock Arabic numeral is here replaced by a double index — like on earlier models from the Antarctique collection — for Fratello.

Czapek doesn’t mass-produce zillions of watches: This limited edition will only have 50 examples, so you’d better act fast if you want one. For a little sense of personalization, buyers get to specify if they want a seconds hand in plain steel, with an orange tip or one that’s fully orange. In addition to the steel bracelet, the watch comes with a proprietary rubber strap, all for a price around $24,600 including European sales tax.

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

American Watches Worthy of Your Wrist

The watch scene in the United States, long a predictable and quiet market of watch lovers and buyers, is changing. That’s thanks in part to America’s own kind of volatility: a crucible of American watchmakers and small brands, rising and falling, growing and changing, duking it out for a whole new market of Americans who want to wear a watch made by an American company. The American Watch Renaissance is real. It’s also complicated.

“It’s total chaos,” said Nick Harris, a former Seiko modder who went to Seattle’s Watch Technology Institute and started his own brand, Orion, when I asked him what it’s like to be a small American watchmaker today. “It’s a madhouse.”

American watchmaking has laid dormant since the 1940s, when prominent US watchmakers, already on the decline, were forced to turn their factories to wartime production. Switzerland, neutral during WWII, capitalized, and American watch brands never recovered. American buyers got perfectly comfy with their Rolexes and their Seikos. Then, in 2011, Shinola woke some of those buyers up with watches that used Swiss quartz movements but were put together in its Detroit factory. A small army of brands has followed suit.

It’s not always been rose gold and sunburst dials. Shinola got shellacked by the FTC in 2015 over “American-made” labeling; there’ve been fights over “in-house” claims by up-and-coming brands, and big names like Niall have winked out of business in an instant.

The biggest trends, though, have been great for consumers. Quality mechanical watchmakers of the old school like RGM have quietly stayed the course, keeping traditional, luxury-level watchmaking alive Stateside and inspiring young tinkerers. Larger, mainstream brands, Shinola included, are all-in for mechanical watches. Smaller first-wave brands like Weiss are continuing to grow and break into the public consciousness. The affordable market has shattered into a sea of microbrands run by up-and-comers like Harris, some of them successful, and each with its own dynamic vision and accessible models.

The result for buyers today is more great watches at every price range, from $100 to $10,000. Below are some of our favorites.

Brew Watches

Brew Retromatic

brew-watches.com

$495.00

It’s no easy feat to stand out among microbrand watch companies today, but New York-based Brew Watch Co. makes it look almost effortless. The Brew Retromatic offers a unique style and set of features that are otherwise hard to find in the watch industry, and more so at its price point. Non-round watches are rare, and those that you actually want to wear are far rarer. With an adroit design and Swiss automatic movement for under $500, the Retromatic is nearly in a class of its own. The best part is that it’s approachable in personality and price, but still offers the mechanical movement and level of detail that watch nerds value.

Movement: Sellita SW200 automatic
Diameter: 36mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Nodus Retrospect III

Noduswatches.com

$475.00

Based in Los Angeles, Nodus represents a crop of young American brands offering the features they know fellow watch enthusiasts appreciate at affordable prices made possible by quality Asian suppliers. Founders Wesley Kwok and Cullen Chen are longtime friends who started the brand together with their own life savings, rather than going the more common Kickstarter route. Nodus is going strong today, and a look at the Retrospect dive watch will tell you why: Its design is rock-solid, it’s powered by a Seiko NH35 movement, and it’s got serious features like sapphire crystal and 200m of water resistance.

Movement: Seiko NH35 Automatic
Diameter: 40.5mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Shinola The Runwell Automatic

shinola.com

$1,095.00

When it was founded in 2012, Shinola was a game-changer for American watches, touting its local Detroit staff as part of the city’s Renaissance, and the watches they assembled with Swiss quartz movements as a return to an American-made ethos. Since then, some would say the American watch movement has left them behind, moving on to younger, smaller brands, and moving toward the mechanical. Shinola shows signs of catching up, however, with mechanical watches a permanent part of the company’s lineup — including the brand’s flagship model, the Runwell.

Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic
Case Diameter: 39.5mm or 45mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Autodromo Intereuropa Manual Wind

autodromo.com

$1,250.00

Auto-inspired watches are nothing new. Yet designer Bradley Price has breathed new American life into the trope, blending a consistent design language spoken by both car and watch enthusiasts with quality finishing and reasonable prices (thanks to Hong Kong manufacturing). That formula has been a winning one for buyers, and it’s taken a number of different forms in its association with all things automotive. The Intereuropa falls on the classic side, recalling the colors and flowing lines of Italian cars from 1949-1964 — the era of the race it was named for. It’s 39mm wide and nice and thin, housing an ETA 7001 manually wound Swiss movement and listing for $1,250.

Movement: ETA 7001 manual
Case Diameter: 39mm
Water Resistance: 50m

Pelton

Pelton Sector

peltonusa.com

$1,499.00

The founder of Pelton watches, Deni Mesanovic, is one of those clearly talented individuals with a wide-ranging skill set and gobs of entrepreneurial energy. His watch business followed a business designing and building microphones, and he’s since also expanded to luxury eyewear and leather goods. He assembles the watches himself, but more notable is that he actually crafts many components in-house. His Sector watch is perfectly representative of the brand, with handmade dials that each require about six hours of work. As each is made to order, however, they take a few weeks to be delivered.

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
Case Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Oak & Oscar

Oak & Oscar Olmsted 38

oakandoscar.com

$1,575.00

Oak & Oscar’s founder Chase Fancher ditched a real estate job in 2015 to start his Chicago-based brand. His newest watch, the Olmsted, is the second permanent member of the collection (the rest were limited editions). It was inspired by the founder of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, and takes the brand in a decidedly field-watch direction: with its 100m water resistance rating, double domed sapphire crystal, sandwich dial with plenty of lume and dependable ETA movement, it’s another example of what Fancher considers the “perfect everyday, go-anywhere kind of watch.”

Movement: ETA 2892-A2 automatic
Case Diameter: 38mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Haven Watch Co

Haven Watch Co. Chilton

Havenwatchco.com

$1,799.00

Haven, a brand proudly based in the American midwest, is new on the scene as of 2019, and brings some fun and color to the watch world with its Chilton chronograph. Drawing on funky chronograph designs of the 1960s and ’70s, it features numerous vintage-inspired elements and details to appreciate, for those so inclined. Take its box-style sapphire crystal, for example, or its panda and reverse-panda dials and vibrant highlights. And unlike many chronographs that tend toward the large side, it’s just 37.5mm wide. Based on this first watch, it’s worth looking forward to Haven’s future as well.

Movement: Sellita SW510M manual
Case Diameter: 37.5mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Monta

Monta Atlas

montawatch.com

$1,850.00

Monta was founded in St. Louis where its cofounders were, respectively, working in finance and running a company making high-end rubber watch straps. Only a few years later, Monta is one of the stars of American watchmaking, known for offering the look and feel of name-brand Swiss watches at microbrand prices. The Atlas, the brand’s fourth collection, combines field watch styling with a GMT complication powered by a Sellita 330 Swiss automatic movement. Most of all, it’s the combination of refined details and a purposeful tool watch vibe that give any Monta model its sense of value and character.

Movement: Sellita 330 automatic
Case Diameter: 38.5mm
Water Resistance: 150m

Vortic

Vortic Watches Railroad Edition

Vorticwatches.com

$2,995.00

“We hope to remind everyone that the United States used to be the world superpower of watchmaking,” says R.T. Custer, cofounder of Vortic Watch Company, which has found a unique way to prod that memory. Each of the brand’s watches is centered around an antique pocket watch movement, dial, and hands, refurbished and placed inside a custom-made case. The Railroad Edition uses only refurbished “railroad-grade” watches made by American companies like Elgin, Waltham, and Illinois. The watches are huge, of course — each around 51mm — and though they’re all different, each is chock-full of American watchmaking heritage contained within its display case back.

Movement: Custom, refurbished American-made mechanical
Case Diameter: 51mm
Water Resistance: N/A

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

What Is a Radio-Controlled Watch?

Welcome to Watches You Should Know, a biweekly column highlighting important or little-known watches with interesting backstories and unexpected influence. This week: the Junghans Mega 1.

The “perfect” watch should be as convenient, practical and accurate as possible. This notion largely drove watchmaking innovation for centuries, but as watches have taken on a luxury role in modern life, there are now only a few companies that invest in the technology that can genuinely realize such an ideal. We’re not talking about watches that do what a smartphone or computer does, but those that use the latest technology to autonomously deliver the best possible timekeeping experience.

This is a field dominated by the big Japanese companies — Seiko, Citizen and Casio — each of which has vast resources for research, development and production. But tucked away in the Black Forest of Germany, the 160-year-old brand Junghans is quietly developing its own tech like quartz movements with radio-synching and solar charging. Not only do they continue to offer something interesting and unique today, but they pioneered the radio-controlled watch with the Junghans Mega 1 back in 1990.

junghans mega 1 wristwatch

Bukowskis

We’re looking at a wonderfully funky timepiece, an excellent specimen of the space-age design that quartz and digital watches had engendered over the preceding decades. With a digital display and asymmetric case developed with Frog Design, the Mega 1’s strap incorporated an antenna for receiving radio signals. Quartz movements used by Junghans and everyone else were already highly accurate, however, so what does this radio-synching tech actually do? Well, it makes watches even more accurate.

Once a day, a signal from a transmission station will update your watch with the exact current time. That signal is itself synched with an atomic clock, and there are six such transmission stations around the world. (For example, the atomic clock that’s the basis for standard time in the United States is in Boulder, Colorado, and will be accurate to better than one second in over 100 million years. Accurate enough for ya?)

Even though Junghan’s current quartz movements promise accuracy to within about +/- 0.02 seconds per day without radio synching, that negligible deviation can’t compete with a radio-synched watch — so long as you’re in North America, Europe or East Asia and in range of the signals. You get it: your watch stays really, really accurate.

meister mega wrist watch

Junghans

There are now also systems that use GPS satellites and the internet to keep your watches and other devices more or less synched with atomic clocks anywhere on the planet, but Junghans’ story remains compelling: In 1985, five years before the Mega 1, the brand released the “first radio-controlled, series production table clock for private use” and followed it up a year later with a solar-charging version. These features combined in the Mega Solar wristwatch in 1993 and are part of the brand’s lineup today in a modern form.

Junghans isn’t the only European brand making quartz movements — and you can even find solar-charging ones from brands such as Tissot and Cartier — but you’ll be hard pressed to find many making a real effort to offer something as unique and pragmatic as Junghans’ offerings by combining features like radio synching and solar charging: a “problem-free wristwatch” that “runs forever and is never wrong,” as the brand describes its goal. These movements are also notable because they’re developed totally in-house with notable features such as hand alignment that syncs every minute; a perpetual calendar; a seconds hand that jumps twice a second and more.

A “perfect” watch should be convenient, practical and accurate — but many would argue that its elegance is equally important. This is where Junghans particularly stands out from its Japanese competitors: Although its technology and history deserve more recognition, Junghans is primarily known for its stylish Bauhaus designs like the famous Max Bill line. And if you want that German construction and iconic look for not a lot of money, you can get it with a mechanical movement or one that’s made in-house and synched with atomic clocks.

LEARN MORE

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Sorry, But You Can’t Have Tudor’s Coolest New Watch

Every two years, the world’s dedicated watch nerds hold their collective breath in anticipation of a bunch of special, one-off watches that they can’t buy. Only Watch, a special auction whose proceeds fund research into muscular dystrophy, brings together some of the biggest players in the horological landscape in service of the greater good. Each company makes a special piece unique to be auctioned off at the Only Watch event, and the resulting watches are invariably some of the coolest pieces of the year.

Many of these watches are merely special variations of existing models, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dope as hell. Take Tudor’s Black Bay GMT One, for example: it’s the same BB GMT that we all know and love, but done up in…well, I don’t know what. Tudor says it’s a “secret stainless steel aging technique.” It sort of looks like a BB GMT that was dug up under a ziggurat in the year 3200 by some alien archaeologist. Whatever it is, it’s cool.

tudor

Tudor

The bracelet was treated to match, and even the movement was treated: “the bridges and mainplate were coated in black before being aged by barrel tumbling.” It’s also a Master Chronometer, meaning it’s anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss and accurate to within, in this case, +/- 5 seconds per day.

So how much does this special Black Bay GMT cost? No one can know yet, remember?! It’s gonna be auctioned off to the highest bidder on November 6th, 2021, and the proceeds will fund muscular dystrophy research. See — something good can come from all this crazed watch collecting.

LEARN MORE

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

The Complete Buying Guide to Breitling 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.

Breitling, headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland, remains one of the few independent large-scale Swiss watch brands. In addition to their global retail reach, they currently have fourteen boutiques located in the United States alone. If, however, you don’t live near an authorized Breitling dealer or prefer to shop online, this guide will help educate you on the brand’s vast catalog of offerings. Breitling has recently revised many of their collections and there is no better time than now to re-educate yourself on their wares.

To ensure a high level of time-keeping accuracy, all current Breitling watch movements are tested by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, or COSC). Watch movements that pass multiple rounds of stringent COSC testing earn the coveted “Chronometer” certification. Every new Breitling watch is a COSC-certified chronometer with maximum average deviations of -4 to + 6 (mechanical) and -/+ .07 seconds (quartz) per day.

Modern Breitling offers a robust catalog categorized by eight product lines, each of which represent distinct variations of sport-oriented timepieces with roots in the tradition of fine Swiss watchmaking. Breitling’s modern luxury watches also come in a variety of sizes, styles, and functional capabilities.

Breitling’s History

1948 breitling chronomat ad and watch
Left: 1948 Breitling Chronomat ad, Right: “A very rare, extremely well-preserved, and historically imported stainless steel chronograph wristwatch from 1962.”

Old Pocket Watches & Phillips

Breitling has been producing watches since 1884, and was the first watch company to move the chronograph activation button away from the crown in 1914. A significant game-changer came in 1932 when they added a second pusher to reset the chronograph. Breitling then innovated again in 1941 with the introduction of the Chronomat, the first watch with a basic circular slide rule on the rotating bezel, which was used for computations.

Civilian air travel boomed following World War II. By 1952, a more complex slide rule combined with a chronograph made the new Navitimer a favorite of both hobby and professional pilots who relied on analog technology. (This was famously documented when NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter flew the Mercury-Atlas 7 mission with a Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute on his wrist.) During this period, Breitling solidified its image as synonymous with aviation.

Famed jazz trumpeter Miles Davis was also known to wear a Breitling Navitimer — it’s easy to spot on his left wrist in photos from the 1960s. In Thunderball, James Bond wears a Breitling Top Time with a (prop) Geiger counter complication. On the mega-hit television show Seinfeld, a careful eye can spot Jerry Seinfeld almost always wearing a Breitling. (Seinfeld still wears a Breitling Aerospace when performing his live stand-up act.) On any given Sunday, you’ll find James Brown wearing a Navitimer on the pre-game show NFL Today.

Breitling is also rolling out their in-house caliber B01 movement that features in many of their modern chronographs. In 2017, they partnered with Tudor to exchange these B01 movements for the use of Tudor’s in-house MT5612 three-hand movement. The consumer transparency of the exchange program is non-traditional in Swiss watchmaking, and benefits the consumer by allowing both brands to add refinement to their luxury timepieces while maintaining a competitive market position.

Chronomat

breitling chronomat watches

Breitling

Breitling reintroduced the Chronomat in 2020 with a refreshed style that’s consistent with the original 1984 versions. One of the main identifying features of the Chronomat is the rouleaux (stacked cylindrical-link) bracelet — there are only a few specialty Chronomat models for which a metal bracelet is not available. Even the optional rubber strap for the Chronomat retains the stacked-cycling look. The rider tabs (trapezoids) on the rotating bezel at “0, 15, 30, and 45” provide additional grip and were designed to be easy to use while wearing gloves.

Breitling

Breitling Chronomat B01 42

breitling.com

$287.00

The Breitling B01 42 Copper, with its unique copper-colored dial, is a mainstay of the Chronomat line. Looking for less bold? Traditional colored dials are also available. You’ll also find other features that are used across the Chronomat line, such as like the rider tabs, rounded pushers and crown, and the rouleaux bracelet. If you have a hard time finding a comfortable bracelet, the Chronomat B01 42 is worth a look.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 15.1 x 50.5mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 200m

Strap: Bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $8,250 (bracelet)

Breitling

Breitling Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar

breitling.com

$14,600.00

If you love additional complications, but also like a sporty look, check out the Super Chrnomat 44 Four-Year Calendar: There are so many complications that you might want to consider keeping this watch on a winder so that you don’t have to reset all of them if the 42-hour power reserve runs out. It also has no shortage of allure, with 18k red gold accents, multiple subdials, and a commanding wrist presence.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 19 automatic

Dimensions: 44 x 14.5 x 53.5mm

Material: Stainless steel/18k red gold

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Rubber strap or bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $14,600 (strap); $15,200 (bracelet)

Professional

breitling professional watches

Breitling

The Professional line is a no-nonsense, function-first collection — these are tool watches designed for specific purposes and harsh environments. If you’re looking for a watch that’s gonna take a beating, the Breitling Professional models are a great place to start. (They’re tough enough for Bear Grylls to use on some of the most extreme wilderness survival adventures on the planet.) But don’t be fooled by the rugged utilitarian aesthetic — these are still high-quality luxury watches.

Breitling

Breitling Emergency

breitling.com

$18,695.00

The Breitling Emergency is a very large watch — it has to be massive to fit a dual-frequency emergency radio transmitter in the case. When its bottom crown is unscrewed, an integrated antenna system begins broadcasting a signal that will alert emergency rescuers to your location. (And it is not a gimmick — just trust us here.) While massive, the Emergency is about as authentic as it gets for wilderness, oceanic, or alpine backcountry survival gear.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 76 SuperQuartz

Dimensions: 51 x 21.6 x 63mm

Material: DLC-coated titanium

Water Resistance: 50m

Strap: Rubber strap or bracelet 26/20mm

Price: $19,950 (bracelet); $18,695 (strap)

Breitling

Breitling Aerospace EVO

breitling.com

$4,375.00

The Aerospace EVO is the ultimate sleeper-pick from Breitling — in many ways, it represents the apex of analog/digital quartz watches: The crown activates the controls for the additional digital functions on its otherwise analog dial, which include a second-time zone, alarm, chronograph, and countdown timer. With a little practice, the user interface is fairly intuitive. There is traditional lume treatment on analog portions as well as a blueish backlight for the digital areas.

Movement: Breitling Cal. 79 SuperQuartz

Dimensions: 43 x 10.8 x 52mm

Material: Titanium

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $4,375 (bracelet)

Navitimer

breitling navitimer watches

Breitling

Without a doubt, the Navitimer is Breitling’s flagship watch. Iconic and easily recognizable, its distinctive feature is the slide rule, bi-directional bezel. (It’s usually white, contrasting with the dial and complementing the subdials.) The iconic look is also functional: Before digital calculators, slide rules were commonly used to quickly calculate multiplication and division. The handy slide rule bezel, in conjunction with Navitimer’s chronograph complication, was quickly adopted by pilots.

Breitling

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

breitling.com

$9,350.00

The iconic Navitimer still has the same overall design language and function as the original released in 1952: The friction bezel is bi-directional and is used by aligning the numbers on it with the unit index numbers on the dial to perform analog calculations. The Navitimer B01 also features Breitling’s newest in-house automatic chronograph movement. Despite a very busy dial, it’s also surprisingly easy to read at a glance. Don’t let the 43mm size intimidate you, as this watch wears smaller due to the downward angle of the lugs.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 14.2 x 49.1mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather stap or bracelet 22/20mm

Price: $9,350 (bracelet); $8,650 (strap w/folding clasp); $8,350 (strap w/tang)

Breitling

Breitling Navitimer 1959 Edition

breitling.com

$39,900.00

The overall aesthetic of the Navitimer 1959 Platinum looks more vintage than modern: The big Arabic numerals, vintage logo, and lack of a date window on the dial easily distinguish the 1959 from its modern B01 cousin. The movement is still in-house, but it’s a hand-wound, in-house Breitling caliber B09. Completing the vintage vibe, the 1959 also features a domed Plexiglas crystal. It’s limited to only 59 pieces, so catch one if you can!

Movement: Breitling Cal. B09 hand-wound

Dimensions: 41 x 14.3 x 51.5mm

Material: Platinum

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather 22/18

Price: $39,900

Superocean Heritage

breitling superocean heritage watches

Breitling

If you’re looking for something aquatic with a touch of nostalgic legacy, the Superocean Heritage collection is worth checking out. The design elements reflect Breitling’s long history of producing dive watches dating back to the 1950s, with dials and bezels with more negative space for a cleaner look. Breitling has gone to great lengths to unify their straps and bracelets within collections, and you’ll find some of their best in the Superocean Heritage collection. Not only are they classically elegant, but they are also made to get wet! As a bonus, the three-hander watches in this collection feature the B20 movement, a modified Tudor in-house cal. MT5612.

Breitling

Breitling Superocean Heritage B20 Automatic 42

breitling.com

$5,100.00

It’s easy for a dive watch to get overly busy. Breitling kept it simple with cues stemming from their own 1950’s Superocean. There are two great features to this watch: The first is the robust COSC-certified B20 (Tudor MT5612) movement with a 70-hour power reserve. The second is the excellent steel mesh bracelet found in the Superocean Heritage line. It’s one of the best mesh bracelets in this price range, if not the best.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B20 automatic (modified Tudor cal. MT5612)

Dimensions: 42 x 14.3 x51.5mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 200m

Strap: Steel Bracelet (mesh) or Rubber 22/20mm

Price: $5,100 bracelet; $4,750 strap

Breitling

Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57

breitling.com

$4,835.00

The Superocean Heritage 1957 had collectors clambering when it was announced: The distinct concave bezel and retro hour markers at 12, 3, 6, 9 combine to produce a watch styled for Tomorrowland but designed in the mid-century. (Ironically, the projected style of the future is now the look of the past.) Despite the 42mm spec, there is quite a bit of bezel overhang and the case wears smaller, and the lack of date complication leaves the symmetry of the dial intact. In short, the Superocean Heritage 1957 is a few standard deviations from center — in a good way.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B10 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 9.9 x 46mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet or leather strap 20/18mm

Price: $4,835 (bracelet); $4,630 (strap w/folding clasp); $4,380 (strap w/tang)

Avenger

breitling avenger watches

Breitling

From DLC-coated cases to multi-time zone GMT functionality, the Breitling Avenger collection has you covered. While chronographs and time-only watches still exist in this collection, the Avenger watches have a distinct military feel — think of them as field watches, but with a distinct Breitling design. Most are available on a metal bracelet or on a leather strap that looks more like woven canvas. And while there are no precious metal watches in the Avenger collection, but there are few titanium options.

Breitling

Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf Night Mission

breitling.com

$4,850.00

If you like large watches and modern military styling, check out the Avenger Automatic Seawolf. The lightweight titanium case offsets its 45mm diameter and the weight of the mechanical movement. Distinguishing features of this model include DLC-black coating, a large cylindrical crown, and dial numerals in the style of surplus military stenciling that are treated with Super-LumiNova for night visibility. The rugged Avenger Seawolf Night Mission is a fully capable dive watch with a helium escape valve and 3,000m of water resistance.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 45 x 18.3 x 55.2mm

Material: DLC-coated titanium

Water Resistance: 3,000m

Strap: Leather 22/20mm

Price: $5,150 (strap w/pushbutton); $4,850 (strap w/tang)

Breitling

Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 43

breitling.com

$4,500.00

The Avenger Automatic GMT 43 features a 24-hr hand to track a second-time zone. The unidirectional steel bezel with rider tabs and radial brushing can also measure elapsed time. This watch fits the “GMT-Diver” category, being capable for both ventures. (The twenty-four-hour scale is printed on the chapter ring for easy readability.) Details are not overlooked on this luxury tool watch, like the red top on the sweep seconds hand and the grenade-grip screw-down crown.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B32 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 12.2x 52.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Bracelet or leather 22/20mm

Price: $4,500 (bracelet); $4,350 (strap w/push button); $4,200 (strap w/tang)

Superocean

breitling superocean watches

Breitling

The Superocean is one of Breitling’s most popular lines for good reason — it builds on the company’s dive watch legacy to offer modern GADA (go-anywhere, do-anything) watches. There are seven dial colors to choose from as well as five sizes (36, 42, 44, 46, and 48mm), which should cover just about anyone. The majority of the Superocean watches are available on a metal bracelet or rubber strap with a choice of tang-type buckle or pushbutton folding clasp. You would be hard-pressed not to find a dive watch with a size/dial/strap combo from the modern Superocean collection that didn’t suit your taste.

Breitling

Breitling Superocean Automatic 42

breitling.com

$4,000.00

The Superocean line from Breitling is a top seller for a reason: From beach getaways to boring meetings, this watch can handle it all. The 42mm version wears similar to a Rolex Submariner at a fraction of the price. (To sweeten the comparison, you can actually buy the Breitling Superocean without a waitlist scenario.) And unlike with Rolex, you don’t have to pay precious metal prices for a blue dive watch. There is serious competition in this dive watch price category, as the Superocean contends with heavy-hitters like the Tudor Black Bay and the Omega Seamaster.

Pro Tip: Buy the Superocean on the bracelet and buy a Breitling rubber strap ($75) and tang-type buckle ($150). For $225 total it’s like having a whole new watch for the summer or a vacation. It’s well worth it.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 13.3 x 50.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 500m

Strap: Steel bracelet or rubber strap 20/18mm

Price: $4,200 (bracelet); $4,000 (strap w/pushbutton); $3,700 (strap w/tang)

Breitling

Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 Outerknown

breitling.com

$4,150.00

Outerknown is legendary surfer Kelly Slater’s clothing brand that embodies sustainability as a core value and not a marketing gimmick — the 44 Outerknown builds on the solid platform of the Superocean and then takes it up a level. Its single-pass ECNYL® yarn strap is made from upcycled plastic ocean waste, and it comes in a unique green colorway to differentiate it from the rest of the Superocean line. Don’t be afraid to paddle out into a set with this one.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B17 automatic

Dimensions: 44 x 14.2 x 53mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 1,000m

Strap: ECNYL® yarn single-pass 22/22mm

Price: $4,150 (strap)

Premier

breitling premier watches

Breitling

This is Breitling’s space to show off its high-level watchmaking — the collection feels more high-end in craftsmanship, and this is reflected in the price. Split-second chronographs, moon phases, and tourbillons are all found here. You aren’t going to find the level of case or movement finishing in a Breitling that you’ll find at Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne. However, when timepieces from the Premier collection start getting mentioned in the same conversations as those high-horology watchmakers, suddenly its pricing becomes a relative value proposition.

Breitling

Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40

breitling.com

$8,400.00

The Breitling B09 Chronograph 40 has charming dimensions that many should find both desirable and wearable, though the visual draw is the light green-colored dial that Breitling has aptly dubbed Pistachio. The in-house, hand-wound B09 movement features a chronograph complication with a modern 70-hour power reserve, and the subdials keep the dial balanced and provide negative space with a two-register (bicompax) layout. The absence of a self-winding on the B09 keeps the chronograph 13mm tall, and it will slide under the sleeve of a dress shirt.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B09 hand-wound

Dimensions: 40 x 13 x 47.6mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather 20/18mm

Price: $8,400

Breitling

Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42

breitling.com

$12,950.00

The Breitling Premier B25 Datora doesn’t simply punch above its weight class — it goes Iron Mike with a first-round knock-out blow. With all of the information that it provides, it lives up to its triple calendar designation: Its in-house B25 automatic caliber features numerous compilations: chronograph, date, day, month, and moon phase. All of the complications are well positioned within the movement to provide an exceptionally balanced dial layout. Retailing at a fraction of the price of a triple calendar Patek Philippe, the Breitling B25 Datora gives you that ultra-high-end luxury experience without breaking the bank.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B25 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 15.3 x 50mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather (w/folding clasp) 22/18mm

Price: $12,950

Aviator 8

breitling aviator 8 watches

Breitling

The Aviator 8 collection calls back to Breitling’s rich aviation history without living in the shadow of the Navitimer. Here, you’ll find lots of chronographs and 12-hour bezels, and many of the designs should seem familiar, as they often end up as homages. Don’t confuse familiarity with monotony, however — there are interesting offerings with unique function-first features, such as the eight-pronged bezel found on the Super 8. If you’re into classic aircraft like the Curtiss Warhawk or De Havilland Mosquito, the Aviator 8 is the Breitling collection that you should look at first.

Breitling

Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic Day & Date 41

breitling.com

$4,550.00

Breitling offers another watch in stainless steel that Rolex only sells in precious metal (in the form of the Day-Date): The Automatic Day-Date 41, which is a versatile sports watch for those who like to see the day of the week in addition to the date. Breitling chose a circularly brushed rotating steel bezel for this model, which is plain except for an inverted triangle that can be used to count down or measure elapsed time. It also features highly legible, large Arabic numerals and is available on several different straps with different buckle options.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B45 automatic

Dimensions: 41 x 11.1 x 48.7mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Bracelet or leather strap 21/18mm

Price: $4,550 (bracelet); $4,300 (strap w/folding clasp); $4,100 (strap w/tang)

Breitling

Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito

breitling.com

$7,950.00

If you’re into vintage Breitling chronographs but enjoy modern reliably for daily wear, look no further: The Aviator 8 B01 43 Mosquito should remind you of those early pilot chronographs designed by Breitling. Orange-colored tips on the pencil-style hands and on the subdial details aid legibility in contrast to the otherwise black and white dial, while the black aluminum bezel insert pulls the overall design together and makes tracking an additional time zone easy. It’s powered by Breitling’s in-house B01 movement found in their top-tier chronograph models, and for added convenience, there’s a date window positioned at 4:30.

Movement: Breitling Cal. B01 automatic

Dimensions: 43 x 13.9 x 51.1mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather 23/20mm

Price: $7,950 (strap w/folding clasp); $7,750 (strap w/tang)

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Still Don’t Understand Luxury Sport Watches? Here’s How the Royal Oak Started It All

Welcome to Watches You Should Know, a biweekly column highlighting important or little-known watches with interesting backstories and unexpected influence. This week: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

To refer to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as a mere icon is to almost willfully ignore the importance of the watch, the line it inspired, or, indeed, the genre that it gave birth to. Few, if any, timepieces have so thoroughly altered the industry or impacted our conception of watchmaking as the Royal Oak, and for good reason. This timepiece didn’t just save a company. It single-handedly created an entirely new class of watch.

To understand the importance of the Royal Oak, one must first understand the era that preceded its inception. The ‘70s were a time of tumult in the Swiss horology industry, with many storied manufactures on the brink of bankruptcy; that is, if they hadn’t succumbed already. The reason for this trouble was the advent of the inexpensive quartz watch from Japan, which found favor with the buying public not only for its affordability, but also for its superior accuracy and robustness. This time has been referred to as the “quartz crisis”, and a crisis is exactly what it was. Audemars Piguet was no more immune to its effects than its competitors.

ap gold dial royal oak jumbo watch worn on wrist
A white gold Royal Oak with a salmon dial seen at SIHH 2019.

Henry Phillips

Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 in the heart of Switzerland’s watchmaking region, La Vallée de Joux, by friends Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. By the early 1970s it had risen to the highest tiers of horology through its mastery of complications (complex functions beyond mere timekeeping) and its exquisite craftsmanship. However, none of this was able to prevent the manufacture from edging ever closer towards the precipice of financial ruin. Drastic measures were needed, though their form would take the industry by surprise. In fact, it was an urgent request from an Italian distributor that sparked the flame that would eventually become the Royal Oak.

As the story goes, on the eve of the 1971 Basel Fair, Georges Golay, then Audemars Piguet’s managing director, contacted a watch designer and asked him to design an “unprecedented steel watch” in response to the request from Italy. It was 4 p.m. By the following morning, the Royal Oak was all but born. The quick turn-around time can be attributed to the designer that Golay tasked with this project: the legendary Gérald Genta. By 1972, Genta was well-known in the industry, with several high-visibility projects to his name, like the Universal Genève Polerouter, the Omega Constellation and the Patek Philippe Ellipse. The Royal Oak, however, would prove to be a departure for him, and also his magnum opus. It was unlike any watch conceived before, and it would come to define Genta until his passing in 2011, 40 years after he first sketched out the design.

gerald genta
Gerald Genta, the master watch designer.

Courtesy

As conceived, the proposed watch would affect a nautical mien, with an octagonal bezel and exposed retaining screws that were meant to be evocative of a commercial diver’s helmet. The exposed rubber gasket served to reinforce this theme, which also extended to the name, “Royal Oak,” which was a reference to the historical British warships of the same name (which, in turn, were named after the oak tree that provided shelter to King Charles II as he was fleeing the Roundheads during the English Civil War in 1651). The meticulously finished and equally slim bracelet was integrated into the case design. The latter of which had such a sufficiently generous diameter (39mm) that it would come to be referred to by collectors and fans as the “Jumbo.”

Per the request of the Italian distributor, the watch would be crafted from steel, something unheard of in a high-end watch. Ironically, doing so made the watch several orders of magnitude more difficult to manufacture than gold, as steel proved to be a much harder material to hand-finish to Audemars Piguet’s exacting standards. In fact, the first prototypes were made from white gold. Imagine that: using gold, because steel was too difficult to finish properly. This would be just one of the conventions that the Royal Oak would upend.

No matter how different the intent, design or size of a given Royal Oak may be, it’s connected to the rest of the line through the breakthrough design of the original.

Ultimately, it would be the finishing that would set the price of a then-astronomical $3,000. To put this perspective, that figure was approximately 10 times dearer than the Rolex Submariner of the era. Pundits seized on this as evidence that Audemars Piguet was out of touch and that the watch would be an instant failure, and it seemed that the naysayers would be right, as the Royal Oak proved to be anything but a runaway success. It took almost three years to sell out the first production run of 1,000 pieces.

Nonetheless, the first production Royal Oak, the 5402 A-Series, which made its official debut at the 1972 Basel Fair, stunned the industry with its bold, angular design and impossibly slim case. At a mere seven millimeters, the Royal Oak hugged the wrist and affected an elegance that belied its decidedly masculine lines. This was possible thanks to its movement, the calibre 2121. (In fact, Patek Philippe would use this same movement in their initial version of the Nautilus, a watch that was their response to the Royal Oak — and designed by Genta as well.)

ap royal oak 15202 green
An in-house AP movement complete with gold automatic winding rotor.

Diode SA – Denis Hayoun

Over the years, the Royal Oak would spawn an entire line within Audemars Piguet’s portfolio that would come to include perpetual calendars, dual time zones and more. The most impactful departure, however, would be the Royal Oak Offshore, which made its debut in 1993. This watch adopted the octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet of the original, but was super-sized with a much thicker case that housed a magnetically-shielded chronograph movement and was water-resistant to a full 100 meters.

Designed by Emmanuel Gueit, the original Offshore was a massive affair crafted from stainless steel. It would eventually come to define the luxury sport watch in the new millennium, much as the first Royal Oak defined the genre before it. The Offshore found favor with actors, sportsmen, rap artists and well-heeled collectors alike, not in the least part because it hewed so closely to the original formula, though with an added dose of testosterone, which pointed distinctly toward the direction the industry was moving. In fact, one of the Offshore’s most ardent fans was none other than actor cum politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, who owed his fame and popularity in no small part to his personification of the very qualities that made the Offshore so appealing. Schwarzenegger’s input in the design of the now-classic “End Of Days” Offshore — which featured prominently on his wrist in the movie of the same name — helped kick off the acceptance of treated black cases on luxury watches.

royal oak offshore selfwinding chronograph watch detail
Royal Oak Offshore Self-winding Chronograph: a grey dial with “Méga Tapisserie” pattern, white gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

Audemars Piguet

Today, the Royal Oak line has encompassed everything from robust, officially certified diving watches crafted from exotic materials such as titanium, ceramic and forged carbon fiber, to delicate haute horology pieces that can divine the difference between mean time and star time. Yet no matter how different the intent, design or size of a given Royal Oak may be, it’s connected to the rest of the line through the breakthrough design of the original. The “Jumbo” has remained in Audemars Piguet’s repertoire throughout the years, consistently sought after by die-hard collectors and true aficionados of the brand. To this day it continues to get regular updates and compelling new variations. No matter how much things may change, though, it would seem that ultimately, they remain the same.

Long live the Royal Oak.

LEARN MORE SHOP PRE-OWNED

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Seiko’s Affordable Field Watch Is Finally Back…Kind of

When people speak of a “Seiko 5,” many are thinking specifically of a single line within that vast family of awesomely affordable automatic watches — the cult-classic, dirt-cheap, but seemingly discontinued SNK field watch. In today’s era of everything-old-being-new-again and everything Seiko being highly hyped (and not without good reason), it would’ve been pure folly not to bring the SNK back in some form, and the new SRPG is it.

Kind of.

The Seiko 5 Sports line is the brand’s (still recently) resurrected family of entry-level automatic sport watches — and like everything Seiko does today, it’s generally more refined and cohesive than beloved beaters like the original SNK and SKX dive watch.

The dive-style models that debuted the modern Seiko 5 Sports are the descendants of the SKX, and when the brand introduced models with smaller cases and sans the dive-style bezel (but otherwise with an identical design), many watch fans thought that it was meant to represent the SNK as a field watch-type of option.

But the people want proper field watches, and that’s what the new SRPG line delivers. It’s the first to join modern Seiko 5 Sports with a totally different case and design, and it’s the smallest diameter in the collection yet at 39.4mm.

If you know your cheap Seikos, however, you’ll recognize that the basic design of the SNK was passed over for another model from the old Seiko 5 line known as the SNZG: It was bigger than the new models, but otherwise most elements from the dial design to the hand set to the crown positioning at 3 o’clock are straight from the SNZG.

watch

Courtesy

watch

Courtesy

Seiko’s holding out on the SNK for now, but the new field watches should be crowd pleasers nonetheless. They have a classic military look, 100m of water resistance and should wear smallish, field watches often do. With day and date displays, they’re powered by the same movements as their contemporary siblings in the line, the in-house automatic 4R36 with 41 hours of power reserve.

Like its predecessors, the new field watch is among the most affordable Seiko 5 Sports. It’s priced at full retail the same as the “bezel-less dive watches” mentioned above, and only $20 less than the most affordable dive-style models.

watch

Courtesy

At launch, it’s offered in seven variants with different dial colors, strap options and even a steel bracelet — but these will probably always feel the most appropriate on NATO straps. Available now directly from the brand online, the new Seiko 5 Sports SRPG field watches are $275 regardless of whether you choose steel bracelet (more value here) or nylon strap. (One gradient-dial version costs $315 and hints at more variants and special editions, just like we’ve seen explode among the rest of the Seiko 5 Sports offerings.)

SHOP NOW

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io