Category Archives: Watch market news

Yema Superman Full Lume – Pre-Order Opens Today

You can order the latest Yema Superman dive watch, which now features a full lume dial, so everything is glowing at night, not just the hands and markers. It’s priced from 990 euros, plus UK customers have got extra import duty on top, plus VAT.

The watch comes in 39mm or 41mm case widths, and features an in-house Cal movement. Steel bracelet or silicone rubber strap options. No date window by the way.

Here’s the word from Yema;

This one-of-a-kind Superman’s dial is treated with a Grade A Super-LumiNova® BGW9 thick coating providing one of the brightest dials out there. The ultra-phosphorescent ice blue light has a very long durability in the dark, offering a continued optimal reading of time even in complete darkness.

The stark white dial works exceptionally well during day-light conditions as well, really making the black and red elements of the dial standout.

The unique Superman bezel-lock at 3 o’clock has proven very useful to professional divers and is found on all Superman models since 1963. The unidirectional, circular-brushed steel bezel comes with marks at 5 and 15-minutes intervals and a luminescent triangular zero-mark at 12 o’clock.

The iconic seconds hand with its head shaped like a shovel is present in most Superman models since the 1970’s. The luminescent coating and red dot follow a purpose driven design, for scuba divers who dive in the dark.

Verdict; expensive dive watch at over 1000 euros plus taxes. Rivals like LIV, Squale, Deep Blue or San Martin all offer that full lume look for far less cash. The San Martin at £200 looks especially tempting if you are on a tight budget and don’t mind a Miyota automatic movement.

More info at Yema’s website over here. 

Watch Bargains: Chisholm Hunter Spring Sale

UK High Street jeweller Chisholm Hunter has a Sale on just now, so we picked out some bargains from the watches section.

INVESTMENT WATCHES

A limited edition Grand Seiko is arguably one of the best investment watches you can buy right now. On the upside, you are getting a superb watch, in many ways superior in quality to any Rolex, genuinely hand-crafted compared to mass produced. Secondly, no waiting list, you simply pay £10,370 and it’s yours. That’s 2K off list price.

You might find this unusual brown dial GS Sport 20th Anniversary Edition is a collectors item ten years down the line. Not too big at 44mm across, featuring the Spring Drive movement, with power indicator, chrono functions and 200m of resistance.

Could be a smart move.

How does ten grand off a Parmigiani Toric Chrono sound? This black dial beauty has a rarity value, although many watch fans don’t know much about the brand. COSC calibre, 40mm case, that lush gold bezelled case -understated brilliance really – perfect dress watch.

Now down to £11,700 for this ex-display model.

JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE COOL

A Zenith El Primero with a full skeleton dial is kinda different, most variants have that porthole/open heart thing going on. But this Zenith stands out for us because it has that tachymetre track at the edge of the see-thru dial, blue sub-dial detailing etc.  The whole thing has a punchiness and freshness about it, just looks totally different from the usual El Primero models. That’s a good move.

A handy 2K off list is good news, but at £7850, it’s still too rich for us, we reckon you should haggle it down to 7K straight, take it or leave it.

EVERYDAY CLASS

OK, a Longines for £700 is worth looking at because it has that classic Swiss name, a bold dial design with those standout numbers, plus superlume on the hands & markers. Inside there is a reliable quartz movement, long life battery. Like those crown protector shoulders too, plus the engraved rear case.

This 41mm watch is an everyday piece you can be proud to wear and it won’t break the bank.

Handy reduction from the £830 list price.

More Chisholm Hunter Sale stuff here.

Watches & Wonders 2022: Which New Rolexes Are Flippers Delights?

OK, let’s start with the big guns at Watches & Wonders and when we say that we mean the big investment watches – not the ones you might actually wear. No, let’s get real, Rolex watches have become investments like NFTs, old masters, classic Ferraris or arable land.

Let’s get into it, what’s new and what is ripe for scalping? That is the content you’re after, right?

ROLEX LEFT HOOKER

The big news from Rolex was the GMT Master II for left-handed wearers. You get the green/black bezel, and the cyclops lens has to move of course. Rare model in the future? You bet.

It doesn’t really matter if you are left handed, this is likely to return a handsome profit due to its rarity and striking good looks.  You would have a TAG Monaco with the crown on the wrong side, wouldn’t you? There y’go.

DAT PLAT DAY-DATE

A Day-Date made from platinum is a smart move, because the basic – dare we say old fashioned – Day-Date has been overlooked by many Rolex investors over the last few years.

Fact is, it doesn’t deliver the flipper returns that say a Sub or Daytona can promise. But an all-platinum edition is expensive to get into, has that bling appeal to younger collectors, plus a potential doubling of value in a few years’ time – we think.

OK we are guessing. But yeah, safer bet than a Banksy NFT, because the government can’t digitally freeze your Day-Date. Just saying.

That is exquisite working of the metal, streets ahead of older Rolex fluted bezels.

Beautiful ice-blue dial and fun fact, platinum doesn’t tarnish, or wear over time as say 18ct gold might, in certain conditions. In the jewellery game I always recommended plat wedding bands over gold for its durability and constant shine.

DATEJUST – CAN IT BE SAVED?

The Datejust is another watch that frankly, Rolex should have retired when Biden was still articulate.

It looks like something from the 1980s and that isn’t a good thing. Anyway, no changes announced so far to the mens Datejust, but for ladies the 31 model gets a range of flower power dials, with some diamonds set in there to justify the price.  Most ladies Rolex watches are bought by men or companies as gifts, so whether this floral makeover can persuade younger women to demand a LadyJust rather than a cooler Cartier remains to be seen.

Hey, we tell it like it is…

AIR-KING REMIXED, STILL NIXED

If there is one piece of advice any Rolex collector can give to a novice it is surely this; never buy an Air-King. You might think it’s a cheap way into Rolex ownership, but it will never shoot up in value, it will always be disappointing to look at too. Painful, but true.

So yeah, the Air-King needed a makeover badly. Which Rolex has done for 2022 but we still don’t think this is an investment piece and really, that is the primary reason for buying a Rolex. There are better Swiss watches out there in terms of engineering, there are better Japanese watches in fact, but we’ll get to that later this week.

So the Air-King gets the following updates says Rolex;

“A redesigned case with a crown guard and straight sides like the majority of Professional category models. The proportions of the bracelet have been revisited and the model benefits from an optimized Chromalight display. The watch’s display is now perfectly balanced: each five-minute interval is now marked by two digits.”

Now study the photo above carefully. Does that watch look like luxury, does it look fascinating, adorned with details that suggest watchmaking craft? It is a great tool watch, but tool watches don’t make thousands in profit in the flipper marketplace.

That’s the Rolex review, we shall be posting more Watches & Wonders stuff later this week.

Watch Dials: Is Purple The New Green?

Czapek has a new Purple Panda available as a limited edition, well actually it is sold out, even at 29,000 CHF. But that sparked a question; is purple the new green dial?

Czapek Panda.

You see last year green dials were popping up all over the place, from plam frond Rolex Oysters to a Panerai Luminor Marina. They were lit, as they say on US sitcoms. But in 2022, we crave novelty and we reckon purple is the new must have colour.

OK the Czapek is a sell out, but what elese can a luxury obessive blow their wad on? Please, keep it clean…

Well there’s the Hublot Big Bang Premier edition, which is just a smartwatch but does retail at £4300. It’s limited to 200 pieces as well.

Then there’s the Seiko Astron, which we spotted at £1875 online at First Class watches. Yes it’s a solar powered Seiko for an outrageous sum of cash, but look at that dial. It’s different. That’s the key. Prince was onto something all those decades ago.

Then there’s always the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak option. To be fair, this isn’t a new thing for AP, they have been making pruple dial variants for a few years now, but the frosted 18K white gold version, which retails for a rapper level $90,000, offers the sort of bling that only oligarchs and gangsters can buy into.

But we say check out William Wood, or indie brands like Zelos, Undone, Aragon and many more for purple dial watches that you CAN afford. It’s cool in 2022, trust us.

 

 

 

CIGA Blue Planet Now on Pre-Order

It’s one of the most striking watch dials around and the China based brand CIGADesign is really putting itself on the map in the watchmaking world right now.

Priced at £980, the watch is different design in that it has an hour indicator, but the minutes are indicated by a chapter ring type track. The hour is shown by a compass type logo, rather than a hand. It sounds tricky but it’s actually quite simple to look at and understand the time exactly.

A titanium and steel case, sustainable packaging and a 35 jewel mechanical movement inside.

It’s very different and for that alone, we think CIGA are onto something because so many Chinese brands simply produce homage watches and low cost skeleton dial watches. You have to go your own way and that’s what the Blue Planet watch does.

It also taps into that super-woke, save the earth virtue signalling that the under 30s and people in the public sector love to crow about. So yeah, ticks that box too. Sharp marketing.

More here.

Want to Be Hypnotised? Buy a Triple Axis Watch Winder

Yes, there is nothing so addictive to view as your fave automatic watch spinning like a politician explaining oligarch donations.

This Pulsar 360 watch winder mimics those gyroscope toys, which some of you junior scientists might have enjoyed as children. Send the watch all over the place and get that rotor turning. Here’s the word from the project promoters on Kickstarter;

We will bring you a state-of-the-art watch winder that will keep your watch wound in the best possible way. It eliminates the time-consuming process of rewinding and resetting the time of your automatic watch.

Where conventional watch winders only have one axis on which the watch revolves, we gave The Pulsar 360 three-axis to let it rotate freely in any direction. The hypnotizing rotations let your watch defy gravity. This does not only look highly spectacular; in this way, wrist movements are more accurately simulated, and your watch movement will be charged faster.

It also holds the watch securely inside a glass ball. Which has a disco light show effect, if you want it. Cool or what?

Bad news; it costs  £394 on pre-order. Oh well, cheaper than a Wolf.

More here. 

Timex M79 Gets a Blue Dial Variant

The M79 automatic is a homage to the Timex watches of old and this already handsome watch now has a blue dial variant in the range. Priced at £265 it has a Miyota movement inside, see-thru caseback, steel bracelet, day/date feature and is water resistant to 50m.

Nice all-rounder and 40mm case width makes it an everyday choice for many watch fans.

The only downside is the price, as there are plenty of 40mm automatics with Seiko NH35 or Miyota movements inside from Indie brands on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Ali Express.

If you want to splash out there’s always an Orient at about £180-£200.

More info at the Timex site here.

The DAX is Back Everyone: Get Set For 160mpg Fun

Yes the mighty Honda DAX is back, just in time for fuel price hikes, queues at pumps and general commuter misery. Relive those 70s moments with the economical DAX 125; it’s funky, frugal and will become a modern classic. In fact Honda should make a retro styled watch to match the DAX.

No, it isn’t watch news, but we like it, so the DAX’s return to Europe gets a mention.

There is a grey/blue colour scheme as well.
23YM HONDA ST125 DAX

Here’s the word from Honda;

After an absence of 41yrs, the Honda Dax is set to finally return to Europe, joining the Monkey and the MSX125 Grom in Honda’s unique mini-bike line-up.

With its iconic pressed steel T-shaped frame, no other motorcycle, big or small, cuts the same shape as the Dax. The frame, which extends from under the seat to the chrome handlebars, is reminiscent of a Dachshund with its short legs and long body, which led to the naming of the original ST50 Dax in 1969.

Old school 50cc custom DAX from the 70s.

Check the video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVTLajyJtUc

The 23YM Dax keeps the unmistakeable, iconic look of the original, with the frame (which also houses the fuel tank) providing plenty of strength for two up riding. Suspension is taken care of by 31mm USD forks matched to twin rear shocks.

Completing the classic look, these are paired to blacked out 12in mini-bike wheels, complete with fat, balloon-like tyres which allow effortless around-town agility. Lighting is full LED and the Dax features a striking, compact negative LCD display, chrome handlebars and pillion grab rail.

Delivering smooth power and torque from the EURO5 compliant 124cc SOHC two valve, air- cooled engine, the Dax features a centrifugal clutch and four speed gearbox for relaxed, enjoyable riding, solo or two up.

The 23YM Dax will be available in two dynamic colour options: Pearl Nebula Red and Pearl Cadet Grey, complete with both a classic Honda Wing logo and a model logo featuring the eponymous canine.

Some Swiss Watch Brands Will Clear Stock, Then Boycott

UPDATED 10.03.22

Rolex has now stated that it will pause supplies to Russia, according to woke business outlet Bloomberg. Rolex have made it clear that only Rolex watches already shipped before the conflict were – or are – on sale via Indie dealerships.

Maker of posh watch boxes and automatic turning cabinets Wolf has announced that it’s stopping its Russian Federation supply.

LATEST UPDATE 09.03.2022

Kering Group, which currently owns Gucci has suspended its sales in Russia as continued calls for boycotts find favour with Western politicians and pundits.

There is nothing stopping Russian buyers ordering a  watch from a China based Rolex, Blancpain or TAG stockist and having it sent over the border. In fact latest trade stats show that China is doing nicely from the Ukraine war, as exports to Russia are up 16% in February, reports AFP.

It’s taken a week of bloodshed and the mass exodus of 1 million refugees, but some luxury Swiss watch brands are choosing the right side of history and banning further sales and exports to the Russian Federation.

Swatch Group, who own Longines, Breguet, Harry Winston, Mido, Omega and Tissot, amongst others, issued a statement yesterday to WatchPro magazine that they were suspending sales to Russia.

Today French fashion brand Hermes, who make their own bespoke watches and straps, updated their position;

“Deeply concerned by the situation in Europe at this time, it’s with regret that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our stores in Russia and pause all our commercial activities.”

Cartier owner Richemont Group suspended its operations today.

But other than that, the big Swiss watch names are continuing to sell their products in Russia. Some might say a bit hypocritical, given the woke/green claptrap their PR departments love to spout about trans rights, gender pay gaps, equality, say no to racism, BLM, recycling plastic bottles into straps and so on. Killing children with missile attacks is fine, but if you don’t admit your guilt over white privilege, then woooh, we might cancel you.

So why the sluggish response from the super woke Swiss watch brands? Easy answer; money.

ROUBLE COLLAPSE MEANS BUMPER SALES

Most other well known watch brands are silent on the invasion of Ukraine, with Rolex, Breitling, LVMH and others cashing in as the rouble slides into the dustbin of global currencies.

Fact is, the wealthy in Moscow and St Petersburg are buying luxury goods as a potential barter asset, as their national currency becomes worthless and the threat of international banking sanctions, plus freezes on digital banking within Russia, mean they might not be able to transfer wealth overseas very easily in future.

Escaping mother Russia with a dozen Rolexes or Cartiers does give you a chance of bribing your way out of the civil war which will undoubtedly erupt in Russia, should Putin be ousted, or killed.

Make no mistake, every ‘Stan nation surrounding Russia, plus China, Turkey, Iran and others, will see a golden opportunity to acquire land, mineral wealth and a chance to extend their borders, should Putin’s fall from power be sudden and violent.

So watch brands are selling out fast. When the shelves are bare of valuable barter goods, then you can expect an announcement on a boycott from the Swiss watch federation. That’s business.

LIV Watches Will Not Sell To Russia

No sales accepted from the Russian Federation, that’s the message from LIV watches and we can’t say we blame them. Here’s the email LIV watches founder Chaz sent out earlier today;

As a brand that sells watches to watch lovers worldwide, we have never taken any political stand or aligned with any causes. On the contrary, we believe that the watch-loving community should be a place for all to indulge without any conditions.

Still, the atrocities that Russia is committing on the Ukrainian people, at the behest of Mr. Putin, are something I have never thought would happen in today’s day and age.

As a show of solidarity to the Ukrainian people dying on the streets for their freedom, LIV Swiss Watches will NOT accept any Russian orders.

I want to clarify that this is not a move to hurt the fun-loving Russian people who want to live and prosper like the rest of the free world, but strictly a move to show our solidarity with Ukraine. We want to use our platform to support in any way we can because we are all stronger united.

So, I ask that you consider joining me in helping our friends in Ukraine by donating to these trustworthy organizations that are in urgent need of funds:

Here at LIV, we pray for a quick and peaceful end to this conflict. May peace be restored in Ukraine, and no more innocent lives are lost.

Sincerely,

Chaz picture
ChazCo-founder & Watch FreakLIV Swiss Watches