Orient is a sub-brand of mighty Seiko and sadly, they don’t seem to get the investment that the brand deserves, given its heritage. The latest Skeleton Star model, a tribute to the Star from 70s years ago is a case in point.
It actually looks like a Chinese clone, nothing like the original Star. Here’s the press info from Orient;
The new Skelton ( yep, they couldn’t even spell check skeleton) is featuring a new hand-wound movement with 70 hours of power reserve. The latest in-house 46-F8 series movements, feature longer power reserves of 70 hours, making them more practical than ever before.
The longer running time is achieved thanks to the new silicon escape wheel which is lighter and processed with higher accuracy. Beside, it has longer running time as well as a high accuracy of +15 to –5 seconds per day even with the ultimate skeletonisation.
The escape wheel visible through the watch’s skeleton structure uses Epson’s MEMS technology to control the film thickness at the nanometer level to adjust its light reflection, resulting in an eye-catching blue.
DUDE, DID YOU JUST SAY CROC LEATHER?
The vivid blue and a unique spiral shape evokes the Milky Way Galaxy, and the movement part at the nine o’clock position in the shape of a comet with two tails, symbolising the universe-inspired design theme. The model uses high-quality SUS316L stainless steel for the case, and comes with a hand-stitched, genuine crocodile leather strap.
Yes, they did say crocodile. In a woke era it is astonishing that Seiko-Orient think this won’t attract activists on social media keen to cancel their brand.
MISH MASH APPROACH
On the upside this 38mm watch has a sapphire crystal, front and back, but bafflingly it’s only got 50 metres of water resistance. So why not fit a Hardlex then?
70 hours of power is great but it’s hand-wound, mechanical, not auto. Again pointless. This mix of prestige features with some really dull aspects of the Star means it’s unlikely to attract many buyers. To be fair there are some better looking Star models in the range, including some with sub-sec dials that capture the early 50s spirit of the original. But this thing looks like a Thomas Earnshaw.
Zelos have a strong fanbase online and it’s easy to see why; tough, beefy watches with quality components, fantastic dive ability too.
But not every watch has to be a dive model right? Dress watches, everyday chronographs, old school three hand mechanicals, they all have their place. Then there are tourbillons, arguably Breguet’s greatest leap of imagination and skill. Perhaps the greatest technical advance in watchmaking from the 1780s to the mass production line techniques and toolmaking strategy at Waltham in the 1860s.
Here’s the latest from Zelos and it’s kinda different. Expensive too, but when you check the spec you’ll understand that Zelos are raising their game to the Swiss level here.
The sequel to last year’s Mirage Tourbillon, the 8 days skeleton is a showcase of engineering and design. A custom skeletonised, twin barrel movement powers the Mirage 8 day. This movement is supplied by La Joux-Perret, a prestigious movement manufacturer located in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
OK so they merged titanium with another metal called zirconium which creates a unique case design. Sapphire crystal of course, both sides, with the movement from La Joux Perret skeletonised on the dial plate. It’s a twin barrel 8-day tourbillon and you have to say there are very few watches using the LJP movements, so it has a real exclusivity, as this type of watch engine is usually seen on an Arnold & Son, Angelus, Hublot or Armin Strom perhaps.
The turbine effect on both barrels adds a jet age era feel and the dial has that carbon-fibre racing car dashboard feel too. It isn’t a throwback tourbillon which has elements of mantel clocks and fancy poker style hands. There are a range of colours and each option is limited to 25 pieces.
Yes, you would hesitate before spending $4000 on a Zelos. You could lose $2000 of that value in a few years, or it might just hold about 70% of its retail price. It would be safer to buy a Tudor Black Bay for £3300 or so and watch the value creep upwards. Yeah, it is a safer choice, also you’re running with the herd to an extent.
Bottom line; you love technology and rarity? Buy one because you can dare to be different. And afford it.
More here at the Zelos website.
LIV watches are big, bold and colourful – also pretty great value when you weigh up the spec. The GX dive model offers a chunky 44mm case diameter, Swiss movement, 300m depth rating and a ceramic bezel.
The latest Gen 2 model is on Kick right now, with prioces starting at $690 – though you need to add on VAT and UK import tax of course.
We reckon the Gamma Green and Cobalt Blue models will sell out fast, not so sure on the grey models. More details here at the LIV Kick page.
Raven watches has a new bronze case model on their website right now, which has an impressive spec; ETA 2824 movement, sapphire crystal and 300m of water resistance. It’s a great looker with the green dial option and sdistressed leather strap too – just saying.
At $1100 it isn’t cheap and it has to be said there are similar 300m spec bronze case watches for a little bit less on the Indie market. But this is a classic timepiece, which will definitely age well. Is that dial green remarkably similar to Bentley racing car green? Could well be and there is nothing wrong with that.
Here’s the tech spec;
39mm bronze case
300 meters WR
316L stainless case back
ETA 2824 decorated movement
Gloss deep green dial
Box sapphire crystal
Blue Superluminova (BGW9)
Swiss rubber strap choices
one year warranty
Limited to 30 watches
Torgeon have a handy 20% discount code on their website right now, which can be applied to the orange strap/dial versions of its 45mm T18 model.
Powered by a Swiss ETA quartz movement, it’s a striking, modern watch that is aimed at the younger consumer. And KTM owners.
Here’s the blurb from Torgeon;
Designed in partnership with Team Pelfrey Star Mazda racers, this watch brings flight speed to the race track.
Equipped with a wide range of functional tools for race car and aviation enthusiasts living in high speed, this watch includes a Swiss Made ETA G10.212 quartz chronograph movement. With large, clearly displayed orange digits that add a hint of colour, a blue carbon fibre dial, a blue silicone strap and a heavy duty stainless steel buckle, this is an elegant timepiece with a thrilling edge.
Heimdallr isn’t a watch brand that’s been on our radar. But after a late night Google search for watches with the ETA 2824 Swiss movement, we found this dive model.
The spec is impressive for the price. Stainless steel case and bracelet (the cheaper option has a silicone strap), sapphire crystal with AR coating, superlume all over the indices and hands, screwdown crown, screw type caseback, date window and ceramic bezel.
It is nice that the dial has a shark logo rather than the brand name as well. So many China based watch brands have not very appealing names. We don’t blame them, all the good names are kinda snapped up already, but stuff like Cadisen, Benyar and more don’t add any value. In fact, you just end up explaining what the brand name means, so yeah, go with a shark logo.
Physically, this is a big watch at 44mm across and it’s 13mm high, so you need a big wrist to pull off the James Bond Thunderball look quite honestly.
OK, yes, it’s a Chinese brand and we know that puts a bit of doubt in people’s minds over the actual dive ability and manufacturing quality. There are import duties plus 20% VAT on top of the Sale price too.
But this spec for fashion quartz money? Hard to fault. The steel bracelet version costs around £250 by the way. Judge for yourself with a little visit to the Heimdallr site.
Swiss Calibre ETA 2824 Automatic, Ligne 11-1/2’”, 25 jewels, 28.800bph, 38-40 hour power reserve, adjusted by Eza Watches to six positions.
Automatic & manual winding, Display by means of hands: hour, minute, second. Date calendar, Stop second device, Shock-absorber for balance staff.
CUAI9 bronze case with mixed brushed and high gloss finish. Case diameter 41.0mm, lug width 22.0mm, case thickness 14.2mm (including the double domed glass), lug to lug 49 mm.
High gloss 316L Stainless Steel Caseback with engraved logo.
Dial with high gloss indexes filled with C3 SuperLuminova™.
Ceramic bezel insert with C3 SuperLuminova™ at 12 o’clock.
Double domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal.
Water resistant to 30 ATM, 300 meters.
Vintage leather and nato strap.
Adjusted to six positions and tested.
A Valjoux 7750 powered chronograph for just $1200? That is a deal!
Here’s the word from Boldr Watch Supply;
Built to accompany its wearer on the toughest regatta races, this is our first ever yachting chronograph watch, and like all Odysseys, it’s a beast on your wrist. Combining modern & classic elements meticulously designed for performance and durability, this stainless steel sailor features a 10-minute count back disk-dial and a flyback chronograph hand that resets immediately with a simple click.
At its heart lies an ETA Valjoux 7750 Chronograph Movement for seamless timekeeping while skimming the waves or exploring 500m under the surface. The dial is classic black & white with stylised boat-shaped skeleton hands to maintain the highest possible legibility. It also boasts a unique 2-in-1 bi-directional bezel function that pairs a 15-minute marker option with a specialized nautical miles tachymeter (Refer to watch manual for instructions.)
If you order today – 20th April – the price is $1199, rising to $1499 once the initial limited edition of 20 pieces has been snapped up.
Think about this for one minute, the Valjoux 7750 is still found in many a pre-owned Breitling, Sinn, Raymond Weil and more prestige brands, with asking prices of over $3000. So you’re getting the same engine, for much less money. Worth a look we say.
Baltic’s Aquascaphe twin crown is on pre-order right now and it’s a wel equipped tool watch that’s built to dive. With a serious 200m depth rating, sapphire crystal, 316 steel compressor case and dive time crown at the 2pm position, this model will do the job. The top crown moves the internal bezel, so you can set the minutes underwater accurately.
The second crown at 4 o’clock is used to wind the automatic movement and to set the time. The first 300 pieces are numbered on the caseback This watch is also slim, at just under 12mm in height from crystal to caseback. That might suit many watch fans who find the big chunky cases on say a Zelos, or some bronze indie watches just too much on dry land.
You can also buy it with a black dial and black bezel, plus there’s a PVD coated case option.
The pre-order price is £660, which is reasonable for something this well finished and manufactured in Europe, rather than China or Singapore. There will be import duties and perhaps some BS delivery company admin fees on top don’t forget.
Rivals include much of the Zelos range, plus dive brands like Enosken (1000m depth) or Marloe, who are based in the UK. There’s a great deal of choice when it comes to dive watches under £1000 these days, although twin crown models are not as common as single crown watches in general.
More at Baltic’s website here.