Seiko Prospex & Presage Ginza Editions

Seiko has released two new models that pay homage to the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo.

The Ginza district in central Tokyo has a special importance for Seiko. It was where the company’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing clocks and watches in1881, when he was just 21 years old and, today, Ginza is still where the company is located.

In celebration of Seiko’s 140th anniversary and its long association with Ginza, two limited editions are introduced into the Prospex and Presage collections which capture both the classic and modern faces of Ginza.

Both creations have dial patterns that echo the district’s traditional cobblestone streets but are in a blue-gray tone that also evokes the contemporary feel of the many modern and architecturally interesting buildings which define Ginza today. Heritage and modernity. History and progress. These two creations capture the essential characteristics of today’s Seiko.

PROSPEX GINZA

The Prospex limited edition is based on the modern re-interpretation of the 1959 Alpinist watch introduced earlier this year.

The intricate pattern of the dial incorporates two different sunray patterns which, as the viewing angle changes, create ever-changing impressions that capture the texture and feel of Ginza’s cobblestones. The seconds hand pays homage to the district’s history with Komparu, a traditional Japanese color named after Komparu Street, where Ginza’s nightlife was once centered. This blue color with a soft green tone was first used in the middle Meiji era (1868 – 1912), instantly found favor among the many geishas who lived there and then gradually became a popular color among the public.

The watch is powered by Caliber 6R35, which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. The glass is a curved sapphire crystal that is resistant to scratches and the watch is water resistant to20 bar. It is offered as limited edition of 3,500 and will be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

RRP is 750 euros.

PRESAGE

The Presage creation features the same cobblestone-inspired dial pattern and Komparu color seconds hand, but the watch has the distinguished aspect of the recently released “Style60’s” design series inspired by the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph.

The box-shaped glass, sharp hands and faceted indexes are inherited directly from the Crown Chronograph and create a retro feel that matches perfectly with the classic dial pattern. The opening at the 9 o’clock position allows the wearer to see and enjoy the beating of the escapement and the 24 hour sub-dial above it offers a different and useful way to tell the time.

This Presage watch is offered as a limited edition of 4,000 and will also be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

The RRP is 590 euros and it shows how Seiko is gradually `price walking’ its customer base up to a higher level. Is the Presage on par with a Hamilton Khaki? Yes, it is, but when you come to sell either model you struggle to get £200 back online, or at a watch shop.

VERDICT:

Buy a classic green dial Seiko Alpinist instead, or a trad Prospex dive watch. Both will hold their value better in the long run.

Max Finkel Using Blockchain Certificates

We spotted this release on the newswires a few days ago. Blockchain certificates seem to be the way things are going with luxury watches, everything must be tracked and traced. here’s the release;

Globally recognized for its luxury Swiss watch collection, Max Finkel Moment utilizes blockchain technology to preserve the authenticity of each timepiece from manufacturing onwards. The company, originally founded in Switzerland in 1937, was recently re-established in the USA in 2021.

Although the company headquarters is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, the timepiece manufacturing remains in Switzerland, where a veteran team of watchmaking professionals expertly blend precision components with aesthetically pleasing casings.

Swiss Watch Max Finkel Moment LLC

Find more about the Swiss watch at https://maxfinkelmoment.com.

Watch and jewelry counterfeits and the second-hand market have plagued the luxury sector since the eighteenth century. According to estimates by the Swiss Customs Service, some 30 to 40 million counterfeit watches are put into circulation each year. Max Finkel Moment states that these counterfeits cost 1.9 billion euros per year in related losses, particularly on the European market. This has led to the industry turning to computer technology to regain market authenticity.

The result is The WatchCertificate™, which uses an open and non-proprietary technology based on the blockchain Ethereum. “This blockchain technology allows the sole owner of the certificate to access it and to keep a digital duplicate of his timepiece throughout his life,” explains the company’s senior spokesperson, Paul Stein. “The WatchCertificate™ technology also enables numerous additional services, such as transfer of ownership, insurance and theft reporting.”

Braun Chronograph: Get 50% Off

The Braun watch brand has a Sale on right now and you can get the all-black chronograph for £275, which is half price. This is a high spec quartz watch, with a one-piece case construction and sapphire crystal. Here’s the press blurb;

The case of this Braun analogue watch is carved of one single block of steel. This one-piece’ construction eliminates the need for a case-back and in turn removes the element of potential leakage.

The Swiss movement is mounted into the case from the top before being covered and sealed by the sapphire crystal. This allowed the Braun designers to taper the bottom part of the watch more elegantly and attach the band lugs in such a way that would not be possible with conventional watch construction.

The simple screwdown battery cover means that replacing the battery is easy-peasy too – a definite bonus.

We also spotted a classic three hand ladies Braun for just £24. Considering the build quality that is a bargain.

More here.

Viqueria Prometeo on Pre-Order

Viqueria has a new model available for pre-order. The Prometeo comes with Seagull or Unitas power unit and delivery is expected in late September. Here’s the word from the factory;

With the Viqueria Prometeo, revisit the notion of simple elegance with 43mm (11mm thickness) case and fumé dials boiled down to the absolute essential for quick reading: Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 and clear railroad graduations around the dial. Seconds sit at 6 in a circular finishing subdial.

Encased in 316L Stainless Steel case with a perfectly mixed polished and brushed finishing, this unique timepiece features a fumé red or blue dial with a great Ecru Super-LumiNova® C5 accents. This combination of case material and variant dial sets it apart from all other Viqueria’s existing models.

The Viqueria Prometeo is proposed with a double choice of manual-winding calibers: a Swiss Unitas 6498 and a Seagull ST36. Both calibers are checked and regulated in Italy by our factory during the watch assembly.

The watch is delivered on a gorgeous italian leather strap by 2DStraps, a famous Italian leather-goods manufacturer.

Prices start at 197 euros, plus UK import duties and VAT on top. More here.

Crimewatch: Round-Up of Rolex Thieves

Latest round up of Rolex thefts we spotted across the UK;

PRESTON

Ramsdens, like all pawnbrokers, is a target for watch thieves, as they have a wide selection of pre-owned Rolex items in stock. Usually staff are trained to secure the door when customers are in the shop, but thieves often get an accomplice to hold the door open for a moment, pretending to be just another random customer who has turned up 5 mins later.

Police in Preston Lancs have issued a photo of a suspect who asked to see an Oyster Perpetual and then did a runner.

DANCING THIEF CONVICTED

Meanwhile in Birmingham, a thief nabbed a ladies Rolex by doing a strange dance; Local Police released a statement on the trial and conviction;

Police said Abdelhadi Bahou Jabour approached a couple in Birmingham on 10 July and struck up banter.

He then broke out in a dance routine described by police as “part Bruce Forsyth, part Artful Dodger” as he slipped off the woman’s watch. Jabour, from Findern Green, Sneinton, Nottingham, admitted two robberies and an attempted robbery.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1486031/Birmingham-thief-Abdelhadi-Bahou-Jabour-dance-stolen-rolex-watch?jwsource=cl

After failing to steal the man’s watch, when it snagged on his cuff, West Midlands Police said the 24-year-old jogged away from Colmore Row.

He soon stumbled across another woman wearing a £4,700 Rolex watch, which he also made off with. Jabour is due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 6 October.

GLOUCESTER

A jeweller’s shop was targeted using the old Ted Bundy technique of appearing to be slightly injured, or with a disability of some sort. The incident happened around 3.50pm on Tuesday 10 August when a Rolex Submariner watch, valued at £8,995, was stolen.

A man had entered the store using a crutch to aid his mobility. However, after asking to view the watch, he ran out of the store without paying for it.

The man was described as being black, of a medium build and around 5ft 6/7ins in height. Investigating officers have now released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the theft.

 

Skagen Ancher: German Minimalism, Without The Price Tag

Skagen has released a new slimline chronograph, called the Ancher.

The case has 50% recycled content, there’s a new movement inside, plus the lugs are kinda chamfered, so you should get a smoother wrist fit. We like the black coating too. Understated and not too big at 40mm, this makes a nice everyday quartz watch.

Full chrono flyback functionality too, plus some lume on the numbers. Price is £149 and there’s optional engraving for that birthday gift experience.

There is a blue model but it’s already sold out.

What we like about this watch is that it has that super clean, minimalist Junghans/Glashutte sort of flavour without the 1K plus price tag.

There’s also an Ancher automatic model at £249, witha  skeleton dial. Kinda nice.

 

Watch Investing: Five Watch Brands Best Avoided

We all know that flipping a Rolex is a no-brainer. If you can get a new Rolex Sub, Daytona or Sea-Dweller then you can sell it a few months later and probably make between 5K and 20K profit.

That’s why some Rolex dealers have three year waiting lists, they are the world’s safest investment this side of a detached property in Surrey. Not the Milgauss or the Air-King obviously, nobody really likes those.

But some watch brands not only fail to rise in value, they can lose you a fortune too, sometimes over 50% of the retail price in under two years. Depends on the model naturally, but here are some tips on which supposed `prestige’ brands are often a poor investment.

FAVRE LEUBA

Titan/Tata the car maker thought they would revive an old Swiss brand and yes, they produced some nice watches. The Favre-Leuba Raider for example is a nice Valjoux 7753 powered chronograph. But is it worth over two grand? Not really.

Titan are scaling down Favre-Leuba watch production this year and cutting their losses. The sorry episode shows you need more than an 18th century heritage to sell watches. If you’re tempted to buy an Favre-Leuba in the closing down sale our advice is don’t, you’ll never live long enough to see a return on that investment.

ETERNA

Once the byword for Swiss movement quality, the old Eterna name morphed into ETA, which still powers many watches today – made in Singapore, Swizerland or the UK.

Now Eterna produces Sellita powered automatics which are OK, albeit slightly dated in terms of style. That wouldn’t matter if they were charging Rotary or Seiko Tuna money RRP, but at £1700 or more an Eterna is a really huge waste of money. Look hard enough online and you can find some of them at £400.

Don’t buy the Eterna Kon-Tiki at £1600 thinking you will make money. With just 200m of depth resistance and a Sellita SW200 inside it Eterna are really taking the pi** frankly. There are better watches in the Christopher Ward range for £700.

HAMILTON

Ask 100 random watch browsers in a shop where they think Hamilton watches are made and I guarantee that at least 10 of them will say the USA. Still, after decades of being part of the Swatch Group, people still believe Hamilton is a US watch brand.

Try selling a Hamilton Jazzmaster (WTH is that name all about?), Khaki or even a Ventura at a watch shop or pawnbrokers and you will be shocked at the low offer.  Typically under £200 with box n papers. The problem is that many collectors have twigged that Hamilton use the same Powermatic 80 movement as the entry level Tissot models, which is a perfectly OK movement, but still.

The Intra-Matic looks nice but inside you’ll find the ancient Valjoux 7753 engine, adapted and tweaked. For £1600 that’s not a great deal.

You can buy lots of vintage Valjoux 7753 powered watches online for £600-£900 and you might actually make some cash. Need we go on? Buy a vintage Hamilton instead.

MONTBLANC

Looks like an IWC. Just buy an IWC. Better bet.

I once had a Montblanc foutain pen, lovely thing. That’s the trouble, many collectors still think this is a pen and accessory brand, not a watch brand.

Owned by Richemont, the Montblanc factory produces some amazing limited editions but their bread n butter range is seen gathering dust in many High Street jewellers shops. Unloved and viewed with some suspicion.

BREMONT

Controversial eh? Much as I like to support watchmaking in the UK,  after working 18 months in a pawnbrokers shop I had ONE, yes one, enquiry to see and try on a Bremont watch which languished in the window. The pre-owned Breitlings, TAGs, Rolex, Omega and other fast-moving models all had collectors asking to view on a daily basis.

These are beautifully made watches, very heavy too, so you feel like you’re getting lots of watch for the money. But four grand retail for the MBII or ALT P2? You will need an ejector seat when your wife finds out you spent 4K on a watch she’s never heard of. Fact.

 

 

 

Dear Watch Brands: China Is Watching You

Recently Audemars Piguet lost a brand ambassador because of the long-running spat between China and Taiwan, which could lead to war of course. Short-lived war, as nobody would dare try to assist Taiwan, let’s face it.

But the bitter argument raises questions about the views of watch brand amabassadors. How do their values sit with European based, occasionally Woke, watch companies? On this occasiona AP decided that free speech trumped the CCP party line from its ambassador, but how much longer can capitalist companies hold onto such liberal values?

Here’s the AP newswire summary;

Chinese singer and actor Lu Han, a former member of popular K-pop boy band EXO, said Sunday he would cut ties with Swiss luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet after its CEO referred to Taiwan as a country in an interview.

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, objects to any reference to the self-governing island as a country. Under the one-country policy, other countries have diplomatic relations with either China or Taiwan, but not both.

In a video circulating online, the watch brand’s CEO François-Henry Bennahmias referred to Taiwan as an “ultra-modern, high-tech country” in an interview.

Lu has been an ambassador for Audemars Piguet since 2018. A statement posted by Lu’s studio said he and his team urged the watch brand to apologize in both Chinese and English but failed to reach an agreement with the company, leading Lu to cut ties.

“National interests are above all else, Lu Han and Lu Han’s studio will defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement read.

CHINA RULES THE WORLD NOW

Big brands are always keen to jump onto any virtue signalling opportunity of course, but the issue of accepting that a country actually exists is something that many Swiss watchmakers are going to have to think about.

China remains a huge market for Swiss brands, as the high value products are often used to bribe officials to get things done. Cash has been more or less abolished, and that means every transaction online can be tracesd, so barter is the only solution.

There is another problem for the Swiss; the supply of China assembled parts. Some brands follow the `Swiss Made’ rule closely, which states that 51% of the watch must be made in Switzerland. That leaves 49% from elesewhere. Obviously using Taiwanese manufacturers would be very, very risky in today’s climate of fear.

Now that senile hair-sniffer Joe Biden is in the White House and China has authorised the Taliban to take over Afghanistan, (in order to obtain lithium there,) the matter of hiring brand ambassadors, letting them speak on Instagram and TikTok etc. could seriously damage the finances of any Swiss watch brand who stepped on a social media mine laid by China.

Just saying.

 

Citizen Updates `82 Promaster Dive Models

Citizen has updated the Promaster Dive range, here’s the word;

The legendary divers watch. Reinterpreted. The updated design is inspired from the original 1982 Citizen Professional Diver timepiece, now reinvented for the Citizen Dive Collection.

Featuring a bold blue camo print dial with luminous hands and markers and date display. This ISO compliant timepiece achieves a bold look with a Super Titanium™ case with sandblast finish and a blue silicone strap.

Additional features include one-way rotating elapsed-time bezel, screw-back case, screw-down crown, water resistance to 200 metres and wet suit strap extender, meaning this watch is perfect to accompany you on any diving adventure.

Price is £399 in the UK, the watch features a mineral, not sapphire crystal. More here.

Timex Digital Captures That 70s Vibe

Digital watches were a huge thing back in the 1970s, to the extent where the Swiss watch industry was almost destroyed by the Japanese brands. The Japanese pioneers like Seiko and Casio were followed by US watch brands and even a few UK companies like Accurist finally jumped on the quartz/digital bandwagon.

The classic `TV dial’ digital watch design still looks cool today and you can add on some 1971 Coca-Cola advertising colours too, for that super retro touch. There are other watch designs in the Timex-Coke range too by the way.

The Indiglo lume button is a feature that we love at NWC mag too, just handy if you wake up in the night all dazed n confused.

Here’s the word from Timex;

Timex are pleased to announce a limited-edition collection of vintage-inspired watches, in partnership with Coca-Cola®. The capsule collection brings together two iconic American brands, Timex and Coca-Cola®, to herald an enduring message of tolerance and hope. Meant to inspire watch wearers around the world to make time for what matters – peace, love and harmony – Timex is releasing three commemorative styles, a Timex T80, a Timex Standard and the Q Timex, to celebrate Coca-Cola’s® time-honoured 1971 ‘Hilltop’ commercial and the unity message it portrays.

“In the same way you offer to buy someone a Coke®, the act of asking for the time is a meaningful gesture – a way of bridging differences, striking up good conversation, and finding community,” says Shari Fabiani, Senior Vice President Brand Marketing and Creative for Timex Group.

“We are dedicated to bringing quality timekeeping to all and have always believed in making time for community. We’re thrilled to team up with Coca-Cola® in their original message of solidarity and continuing to inspire the world to sing together in perfect harmony.”

Available at Timex.co.uk, RPP: £79 – £169.