Skagen have a new solar powered watch and this has the old school rectangular case style, for that vintage look.
There is a 32mm diameter ladies model and a 36mm gents case width in the range, with grey and blue dial options. The mesh strap is also available in grey or black. Skagen say that just a few hours sunlight can power the watch up and it will then keep going for up to 6 months, which is remarkable – if true.
I mean it defies the laws of physics, but yeah, could happen.
The watch also a case made from 50% recycled steel, in tune with the Skagen leaf ethos.
Price is £169 and engraving is free.
VERDICT; A Seiko, Lorus or Citizen solar is cheaper and does the same job, probably more reliable in the long run as the Japanese have been making solar watches for a long time. But if you want that european, basic Ikea furnishings look, then Skagen have it covered.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Skagen design ethos of minimalist looks, thin cases and qiartz movements has served them well – they have their fans. So two new models, the Freja and Melbye are worth a look.
The Freja has crystals set as hour markers, plus a partially recycled steel case and mesh, Milanese type bracelet strap. It definitely looks like jewellery and that is what ladies watches are usually all about -the tech stuff on movements and chrono functions doesn’t really grab many female buyers.
For gents the Melbye has a segmented dial, with that cool `sunken’ centre look that it’s vogue now. Possibly. We aren’t hip at the NWC mag, still wearing Regatta hoodies.
A mesh strap, titanium case, plus a dab of orange or blue on the inner chapter ring help this one stand out. It needs to for £159 which is expensive for a fashion watch in our humble opinion.
As it’s August then the Summer Sales are on, so your NWC watch fan decided to have a nose around online to find the big reductions and try to sift the bargains from the Eternas..sorry, the also rans.
Starting with Jura watches site, we spotted about a grand off a Nomos Glashutte Ahoi Datum, which still seems expensive at £2600 to us. You can buy plenty of dive watches with 200m ability, Swiss movements and 40mm cases from Indie brands for under £1000.
Given the resale value of a Nomos is on par with a Hamilton, you need to chivvy more from the price we think, even if you love the minimalist style of this model.
Also on the Jura site, a Longines Master chronograph with £350 off the list price is worth a look, as the classic lines won’t age too badly and the brand name always attracts buyers if you fancy selling it after a few years. An Oris Big Pilot at just under two grand is another handy discount, of about £600, on a well known watch brand.
As most of you know, H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Zales is the same company – Signet Group – so it’s worth a look to see what has been reduced in price as their staff have failed to bamboozle customers with the `Are you alright there?’ ploy in-store.
H Samuel have Citizen automatics with 50% off, for a retail of £199 – that is undeniably great value. A black and gold Eco-Drive for £130 is another fantastic deal if you are after an everyday watch that needs no battery for about ten years. Please don’t say it lasts forever, you just look like a bellend.
Now I’m a fan of the Casio Edifice range and a Scuderia Alpha Tauri at £149 is a hard-to-resist deal. Bluetooth, schedule timer, worldtimer, great night light – all the Casio features you love and beautiful styling too. Some Edifice models look like kids toys, let’s be blunt, but this one has a touch of class.
The Seiko Prospex models have sold out by the way. No surprises there.
Meanwhile at Ernest Jones they have a Longines Master automatic, 40mm case, three hands, auto reserve indicator near the 6pm position for £1300, down from £1900.
Or how about a Hamilton Jazzmaster at £385? This blue dial model looks fairly decent, steel bracelet and features a quartz movement. Cheap way to own your first Swiss watch.
A Tissot Chronograph on a tan leather strap for £550 isn’t too painful either, nice big 43mm case, water resistance to 200m and a good saving on the £790 RRP.
If you just want a very basic watch then Argo have it covered. How about a Casio 80s style digital in blue for £11.20? I mean yes, you have to drive to the shop to collect it, but jeez…what more do you want?
They also have a black dial Citizen Eco-Drive for £80 and a quartz hunter style pocket watch for £6.99. If you are kitting out a wedding party, then that’s the way to decorate those waistcoats.
A Seiko Prospex Street model might not be your thing, as it’s grey hues look a bit underwhelming, but at £270 it’s a fair price for a new Seiko. We like the Seiko 5 Streetfighter edition at £305 as well.
A Rado Couple Classic is a decent 40mm Swiss watch, with a see-thru caseback and a known brand name, all for £895, which is the absolute limit that you should pay for any Rado. Try selling one at a pawnbrokers if you don’t believe me, these are impossible to sell at a decent margin, so you’ll be pleasantly insulted with a 500 cash offer, even with box n papers.
Finally, an Oris divers Sixty-Five for £1270 is a fair price. It isn’t anything special compared to many Indie brand dive models, but that Oris name and the classic blue dial/black bezel design really does hold a broad appeal.
Omega has refreshed its Aqua Terra model this summer, with a great choice in 38mm and 41mm diameter cases. It’s a model that’s often overlooked by collectors, who prefer the Speedmaster, Planet Ocean or Constellation models, but it has an everyday wearability that makes it a winner for many watch buyers.
Yeah, not everyone buys with an eye to make money in the future – sometimes, it’s because you like the watch. Radical huh? Here’s the press kit blurb from Omega.
As the name suggests, Aqua Terra is all about versatility. An OMEGA timepiece designed for adventurous individuals equally at ease in the central city as they are in the middle of the ocean. In keeping with the lifestyle of its intended wearers, the Swiss brand has taken the Aqua Terra into exciting new territory, by introducing a seconds hand that’s an absolute first.
The 2021 collection consists of ten 38mm models, two of which are luxury editions; as well as nine new 41mm models, including four luxury versions.
Small Seconds and other big changes
The standout feature on all new models is a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, encircled by an applied subdial ring: many in 18K Sedna™ gold – some even set with diamonds.
The collection features new dials in subtle sun-brushed shades and two-tone teak patterns with eye-catching hour markers, including diamonds arranged incrementally from 6 to 12 o’clock and sailboat hull-shaped indexes with iridescent mother-of-pearl inlay.
To fix the new watches firmly to the wrist there are bracelets in matching metals, rubber straps in beige and blue – and leather straps in red, burgundy, beige and green.
Of the four mighty movements driving the Small Seconds watches, there are two luxury calibres (8803/8917), each distinguished by an 18K Sedna™ gold rotor and balance-bridge.
At the sportier end of the 38 mm spectrum are eight watches in either stainless steel, or a blend of steel and 18K Sedna™ gold, powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8802, with new dials in dark green, light green, linen and extra white mother-of-pearl. The latest 38 mm OMEGA’s sport matching bracelets or beautifully coloured leather straps, depending on the model.
For lovers of luxury there are also two 18K Sedna™ gold models with diamond-set bezels, powered by OMEGA’s exquisite Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8803 with 18K Sedna™ gold rotor and balance-bridge. Fans can choose an Aqua Terra with purple jade dial and 18K Sedna™ gold bracelet, or a model with extra white mother-of-pearl dial and red leather strap.
The 41 mm range includes four stainless steel editions and one in stainless steel and 18K Sedna™ gold, all powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8916. Two-tone dials in blue-grey, silvery-blue and silvery-beige, add depth to the displays and contrast beautifully with the new subdials. Watches are fitted with either a matching bracelet, or an integrated structured rubber strap in a complementary colour.
The larger-sized editions also include four models in 18K Sedna™ gold, all powered by a movement as luxurious as the watch’s exterior: OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8917. Aqua Terra aficionados can select either a two-tone blue-grey dial, or a two-tone silvery beige dial. Both options come with a choice of matching bracelet or integrated rubber strap.
Tested at the highest level
In addition to enjoying a new way to track the seconds, Aqua Terra owners can be sure their new OMEGA will perform perfectly every hour of the day. Each watch comes with a 5-year warranty and Master Chronometer certification card, ensuring that the watch has passed the tests certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS).
Ladies n gentlemen, can we have a tip of the hat to Accurist who have launched a pretty decent 1970s chronograph for under £130. In fact we saw one example at £109 on Ideal World today.
The Retro Racer has a qaurtz movement, the usual chrono functions and a Milanese mesh bracelet option too. It only has a 50m depth rating so don’t go swimming while wearing it, but this is an everyday watch that captures 70s motorsport style with a selection of dial colours. We love the blue best, but the silver is cool and the black option with red second hand gives you that older 60s vibe. The brown leather strap has the Paddy Hopkirk perforated look as well.
The thing we like about this is that the case has those rounded angles on its old fashioned TV dial look. Accurist has been making round case chronographs for ages, but since they dropped the Sekonda Monaco homage, they haven’t really produced anything a bit different from most of the budget fashion quartz watches out there. (Yes, Sekonda, Limit and Accurist are owned by the same company)
This new Accurist watch could pass for one of the many Indie brand VK64 models out there on Kickstarter right now and yep, that’s a good thing.
Why? Well, Accurist has become the Honda Jazz of watches, it’s an old person watch brand, so if it’s going to survive then they need some punchy, sharp designs – and they need to make much more of their 1960s Old England heritage. Spaceman cases, steering wheel watches, Twiggy Union Jack revival…the opportunity is there, get busy.
Accurist has produced a sort of Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance video for the Retro Racer, which is worth a look;
We thought it would be a good time to have a look on Amazon for the best deals on gents automatic watches. Not that we aren’t fans of old school watch shops, especially those that sell pre-loved watches. But there is no denying that for new watches, it is hard to beat the low overhead, store-your-stock-in-a-warehouse approach, then ship it from Bratislava when the sale goes through online.
OK this is an old Seiko 5 model, nothing special in terms of movement and you have to shake it, it does not wind up like the later Seiko 5 or Presage models. But for £99 if you sign up for a Mastercard deal, or £119 without the credit card, you cannot grumble. It’s got a guarantee, the box, paperwork and you can always sell it for about £70-£80 on eBay a few years down the line if you liek to churn your collection. Yep, we did say churn it like butter.
ROTARY SUPER 7
Not as cool as a Party Seven giant can of ale from the 1970s of course, but the Rotary Super 7 has that Rolex Submariner Pepsi look nailed down, and it claims to be waterproof down to 1000 feet, yes 300 metres. That a 300m dive watch for under £230. Great daubings of superlume on the dial too. Hard to fault on tech specs, this steel case, sapphire crystal watch is NOT made in Switzerland, but arguably has a few Swiss level quality features for the money. On Amazon, supplied by Watchnation based in Chester, Cheshire.
ORIENT MAKO II
Yes, like the Seiko 5 this is another end of line watch, but the blue dial Orient has an elegant look, an ideal case diameter at 42mm and a 200m depth rating. So yes, swim or dive in it – it’s made by Seiko so it’ll cope. Steel case, steel bracelet, although you can get a NATO strip for an extra tenner on the Amazon deal we spotted. The Orient brand is NOT officially imported into the UK so many examples you see are from overseas sellers in Germany, USA, Singapore, HK etc. That means import duty and VAT on top, so paying £119.50 on Amazon solves that paperwork problem.
Yes, you could buy a convincing Rolex fake from somewhere in China for £400-£500, but frankly this Milgauss homage, or shall we say blatant copy, is just £55 and yours from Amazon delivered in a day or two. It has an automatic movement inside, plus see-thru caseback, so you can appreciate the rough casting finish on the rotor and the appalling bridgework. We say buy this as a gift for the bloke in the family that you don’t like, Uncle Nobhead basically. He’ll have it round to Cash Converters quicker than you can say `I’m too sexy for my TJ Hughes Shirt.’
That’s an automatic watch for £55 though, you cannot even buy a fashion quartz from Michael Coarse, sorry, Kors, for that money.
BULOVA MARINE STAR
Orange is nice to have in your collection, just for those sporty days, or a trip to the beach in summer when you want a watch that handles some seawater. The Bulova brand is owned by Citizen, so you are getting a reliable Miyota auto movement inside, plus a mineral crystal, 200m of depth rating and a big 45mm case width too. The white dial is quite rare on Bulova models, so it’s a left field choice. Good value for someone with a bigger wrist, especially at £269.
Ball watches has released a classic black dial, black bezel Roadmaster GMT, making it ideal for post-pandemic jet-setters, influencers and international business travellers. The Marine GMT is already available with blue, white and green dial/bezel options, plus a Pepsi bezel by the way. The day/date option also adds a certain businesslike function to this model – this is a watch for someone who wants to know the exact time, and demands Swiss build quality without a prestige brand price tage. It’s COSC certified, just like class-leading Omega, Rolex or AP models, but you pay less to get the same job done. Just saying.
Here’s the word from Ball;
Innovation for fearless exploration, a belief that’s not only held dearly in the BALL Watch family, but also fostered the creation of the Roadmaster Marine GMT series. Engineered to the specifications of a 35-year Navy Mariner veteran, it’s the world’s first GMT timepiece with day and date functions, delivering utmost functionality. The pioneering quick-set GMT push buttons revolutionize the way GMT hand is adjusted with its ease-of-use. The tough titanium material and COSC certified mechanical movement guarantee perfect performance in the most imperfect situations. Topping off with the darkness-conquering luminosity of the micro gas tube. The watch that once ran America’s railroads now empowers world explorers to live freely and fearlessly.
Our specially-made GMT movement module allows for three time zones to be tracked simultaneously. Simply by turning and pressing either one of the patented quick-set buttons, the GMT hand can be easily set instead of turning the main crown. The button at 8 o’clock moves the GMT hand backward, while the 10 o’clock button moves it forward. When travelling, the GMT hand reveals the local time in conjunction with the bi-directional bezel whereas the main hour hand shows the home time.
The classic black bezel version marks the latest addition to the signature Roadmaster Marine GMT ceramic series, a statement piece that fits for all occasions. Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Roadmaster Marine GMT Black bezel is now available for pre-order until 12 May 2021 at an exclusive price, which is £2110. More info at the Ball website.
Timex automatics are pretty fair value, although the Miyota movement found inside them is very similar to the one found in an Accurist auto at half the price. But then again, we buy watches because they look the part and the M79 certainly does that. Seaparated at birth from a Rolex GMT Batman? Well, yeah, you could say that at a distance. So if you want a 40mm auto that looks retro but kinda modern too, theis fits the bill for £255 we reckon.
Blue/Black or Red/Black bezel options by the way. See-thru caseback, acrylic crystal, stainless steel case and bracelet – 50m resistance. Here is the word from Timex;
Our M79 Automatic is something entirely new, even though it might look familiar. Inspired by the 1970s Q Timex and elevated with a 21-jewel mechanical movement, this watch is a fresh interpretation of a much-loved Timex® icon. Powered by your movement, this automatic watch packs a 40-hour power reserve and can also be wound manually by using the crown. Featuring a unidirectional black and red bezel, black dial with luminous markings, a woven stainless-steel bracelet and exhibition case back, this modern watch captures the bold spirit of an era that changed everything.
This Kickstarter project caught our eye for two reasons, first it is a bronze watch that is ultra thin. This is great because quite a few bronze watches look like an old school Jules Verne diver’s helmet. Secondly, you can specify ETA or Miyota movement inside, which is always good for those who want that Swiss vibe. It can boost resale value too, let’s be honest.
The Miyota models start at just $489 on the early bird deal, with delivery expected around June 2021. The ETA models start at about $1000 and you get a premium, handmade-in-Japan, leather strap and box with it as part of the deal.
But the real value of this watch is in the details. Things like the superlume on the markers and hands, the polished caseback and Harrison H1 chronometer etched-on logo, ceramic bezel and much more. The wave effect on the dial for example, just catches the eye and makes you want to glance at the watch again. This watch is 42mm across and just 13.4mm high. That is super slender, like Instagram pout model skinny.
Bear in mind the H1 model has a depth rating of 500m, yes that’s over 1600 feet deep, so this has to withstand a lot of pressure. In short Zeitgeist have created something very premium, impressive build quality, with a dive functionality that matches some Blancpain models, at a Hamilton or Tissot price. That is a powerful set of reasons to consider this watch and it is no surprise that the Kick project has been over-subscribed already, with £22,000 pledged.