As watch lovers, we spend our afternoons pitching, researching and writing stories, poring over the new timepieces coming in and out of our office and hunting for deals on used and vintage pieces online. When a new watch comes across our radar, one that particularly resonates with our tastes, we can’t help but obsess over it. We talk about them, debate their relevance, orate on their greatness and rail on their faults. So, here’s a taste of that: six timepieces our watch-loving staff can’t seem to shake, right this second.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
At first glance, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight doesn’t look remarkably different than any other watch in Tudor’s big Black Bay family. Which is good, considering it is a handsome watch to begin with. But look closer, and you’ll see it measures in at just 39mm in diameter and 11.9mm thick — a difference of 2mm and 2.85mm respectively from the standard Black Bay. Miniscule as it may seem, it makes one hell of an impression when you wear it. In fact, if you’ve worn a Submariner from the ’60s or ’70s — Rolex or Tudor — it feels almost identical. And if you’re familiar with what those vintage Subs sell for you’ll find its $3,250 starting price considerably more stomachable. Mainstream luxe really isn’t my jam (I prefer the affordable, the weird and the weirdly affordable), but after trying the Fifty-Eight on at Baselworld, I’ve had a very hard time getting it off my mind. — Andrew Connor, Staff Writer
Seiko Prospex SRP779 “Turtle”
For a burgeoning watch nerd, there’s only one brand that commands a high level of respect from the watch industry while offering watches at a tremendous value: Seiko. I’ve currently been eyeing up the Seiko SRP779, affectionately known as the “Turtle” thanks to its cushion-shaped case that resembles the shell of a turtle. The original Seiko Turtle debuted in the mid-70s as the 6306 and 6309. The SRP779 is a virtual carbon copy of that watch and features Seiko’s 4r36 movement. SRP779s can be found on Amazon for around $280, which is about as good a deal as you’ll find on a watch that carries as much prestige. — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
Ed note: Since writing this, AJ has already bought this watch. I couldn’t be more proud. — Andrew Connor
I’ve been obsessing over the Cabot Watch Company G10, a field watch that was once standard issue to British armed forces. The CWC is one of the few quartz watches I would consider wearing, mostly because of how elegant yet rugged I think it looks. I’m particularly attracted to the choice of typography on the dial and the unique case shape; I’ve never seen another like it. I would only get a G10 designed with a “T” on the dial — this indicates the presence of obsolete tritium lume, which has since been replaced by a Luminova light source (designed with an “L”). Why? I like the look of how the Tritium ages and patinas on older decommissioned examples. The G10 was originally issued in 1980 and had a run of 28 years — there are roughly over 200,000 of these watches out there, meaning there are plenty of used ones to find on eBay. — Hunter D. Kelley, Associate Designer
Rolex Daytona 6263 Signed by the Sultan of Oman
In just a couple days, Phillips — the auction house, not the charming and charismatic Gear Patrol Photo Editor — will sell a stunning collection of Rolex Daytona chronographs and be hammering equally impressive figures for them. Glancing through the catalog, I ran into a couple whose dials bare stamps for both a former Emir of the UAE and the Sultan of Oman. These were given out to friends and family who presumably did something very rad. They also tend to be a bit heavy-handed; the logos are huge and overbearing. Sure they’re rare, but they don’t exactly enhance the aesthetics. There is, though, an exception: a Daytona sold by Christie’s a few years ago that is maybe my grail of grails. Instead of a state symbol or insignia, this 1974 6263 Daytona just bears the signature of the Sultan of Oman in beautifully-thin red Arabic script. It’s understated, intriguing, balanced and objectively perfect-looking. And though it sold for a mighty $785,000 way back in 2013, I bet it’s worth well north of a million now. — Henry Phillips, Deputy Photography Editor
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph
Panda and reverse panda chronographs are having a moment right now. Why these options weren’t part of every brand’s core line from the beginning, though, is beyond me — black and white are, after all, the most popular colors in almost any product category. Gripes aside, none of the new releases riding this monochromatic trend have sparked thoughts of irresponsible spending for me quite like Vacheron’s new Overseas Chronograph. It’s extremely well-executed and, in my opinion, a massive upgrade from the solid blues, browns and silvers previously offered in the collection. Yes, it’s pricey, especially for a stainless steel chronograph (close to triple the MRSP of a new Daytona), but it’s a Vacheron. It’s also one of the most versatile looking automatic chronographs I’ve seen of late, taking on very different looks when paired with its various OEM straps and bracelet, making it an excellent addition for someone in search of an upscale watch that they’ll feel at home wearing in almost any situation. — Ben Bowers, Co-Founder
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra-Thin
I don’t need another vintage diver or chrono. But I do need a nice watch to wear to wear in the city, and I’ve had my eyes on an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for a while. This unique Royal Oak was created for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass. The limited edition run of 50 pieces is characterized by a slimmed down 18-carat yellow gold case and matching bracelet. The dark green “petite tapisserie” dial feature is dead simple and just features a date window. The 39mm case doesn’t scream for attention; it’s alluring in its simplicity. Sure, it’s pretty damn expensive, but that ‘Make Offer’ button is calling my name.
This comprehensive guide to chronographs the covers history, important terms to know, and the 25 best chronographs you can buy in 2018. Read the Story