Tag Archives: price

Seiko’s Supercool Prospex Channels The Spirit of `68

A new Seiko Prospex you say? Heck that is news. Here’s the word from Seiko on what likes like another classic iteration for collectors around the world.

Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first diver’s watch was born in 1965. With water resistance to 150m and an automatic movement, it proved its high quality and reliability when worn by members of the 8th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in 1966.

Thanks to the positive reaction of the members of the expedition on their return, Seiko’s diver’s watches were chosen by the same research team between the years 1966 and 1969, during which time the landmark Seiko diver’s watch with 300m water resistance and a 10-beat automatic movement was created, in 1968.

Today, Seiko introduces into the Prospex collection a new interpretation of the 1968 diver’s watch that is even better equipped to meet the challenge of the most extreme conditions on earth. This watch, with its advanced specifications, will be worn by members of the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition’s mission to Antarctica.

The original 1968 diver’s watch.

A heritage design, with the most advanced technologies

The case is in Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel for maximum corrosion resistance.

While the design reflects its heritage, every aspect of this new creation exemplifies the high levels of diver’s watch technology for which the Prospex collection is renowned. The case, bezel and crown are all made of Seiko’s Ever-Brilliant Steel, a grade of stainless steel* which is more corrosion resistant than that which is commonly used in watches today. To further ensure the watch’s durability, the crown is not screwed directly into the case but locked into a separate component that is built into the case and so can be more easily replaced.

*This material is used extensively in the surfaces of marine structures and vessels because of its extreme corrosion resistance in sea water. It has a PREN (Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number) value 1.7 times higher than that of the grade of steel used in most high-end watches. PREN is a widely accepted standard used to measure corrosion resistance.

Caliber 8L35, created especially for Seiko’s leading diver’s watches.

The watch is powered by Caliber 8L35 which was developed especially for diver’s watches and is hand-assembled by the craftsmen and women at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan. The movement’s rigidity and accuracy ensure the highest possible levels of performance in the most demanding environments, both on land and under water.

A dial inspired by the majestic ice sheets of the Antarctic

Inspired by the Antarctic landscape, the dial is supremely legible.

The patterned dial captures the feeling of the Antarctic landscape while the subtle gradation of the blue from light to dark echoes the hauntingly beautiful colours of the polar ice. The bezel also evokes the uniqueness of this frozen landscape with its ice-blue numerals and markers. All twelve-hour markers have a generous coating of Lumibrite, as do the hands, and the crystal is a dual-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface to ensure high legibility from every angle.

The strap’s design reflects that of the 1968
watch but it is made of silicone.

The additional Seichu fabric strap offers a
uniquely Japanese aesthetic and texture.

The design and texture of the watch strap pay homage to the 1968 original but it is now produced in silicone for greater strength and comfort. The watch is also offered with a fabric strap which incorporates a traditional braiding technique from Japan called Seichu. Of course, this Seichu strap’s strength and resistance to the degradation caused by exposure to sunlight meet the most demanding standards of Seiko Prospex diver’s watches.

The Prospex Save the Ocean series.
This new watch joins the Seiko Prospex Save the Ocean series in support of several different marine conservation initiatives, one of which involves contributions to the National Institute of Polar Research, which is based in Tokyo. As part of this program, Seiko recently donated watches to the 63rd Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) team.

Akio Naito, President of Seiko Watch Corporation, presents
the new Prospex to Takanobu Sawagaki, one of the leaders of the 63rd JARE.

This new Prospex diver’s watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,300 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in January 2022.

SLA055

Seiko Prospex 1968 Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation
Save the Ocean Limited Edition

Caliber 8L35
Driving system: Automatic
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Power reserve: 50 hours
Number of jewels: 26

Specifications
Ever-Brilliant Steel case and bezel
Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the
inner surface
Screw case back. Screw-down crown
LumiBrite on hands and indexes
Water resistance: 200m diver’s
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 42.6mm, Thickness: 13.1mm
Silicone strap with additional fabric strap included
Approximate recommended retail price in Europe: €4,600
Limited edition of 1,300

Gevril West Village: Swiss Movt, NYC Style

Gevril have a new model in their range, the West Village, available in various colours, including the Tiffany blue – or turqoise as most people call it. Could well be a winner. Here’s the info from Gevril;

Inspired by this dynamic neighbourhood, the West Village Collection was created by Gevril to encapsulate this feeling in a timepiece.

With luminous indices, hands and dial and fluted bezel, the timepieces in the West Village Collection fulfill the promise of art meeting life.

The magnified date feature makes it easy to see at a glance while the Swiss Sellita SW200 movement keeps perfect time. If you get caught in the rain on city streets or take a quick dip in the Hudson River, this watch is water resistant to 100 meters / 300 feet. The coup de grace? Watch faces available in an artist palette of colours.

It retails at $3,295, plus UK import duty and VAT on top. But we did find it online heavily discounted at about $600.

More here.

IWC Spitfire: Fabulous Flying Machines

Swiss brand IWC celebrate the mighty Spitfire fighter plane, which many historians argue was crucial in the Battle of Britain during the summer of 1940.

There’s a lot to be said for the Messerschmidt bf109 of course and the Me262 jet could well have turned the tide for the Nazi regime, had they been able to marshal enough resources to produce the high speed fighter in vast numbers. Probably too controversial to celebrate those brilliant aircraft nowadays by making a themed watch but NWC mag embraces all history. Otherwise how can you learn from it?

Anyway, what about the latest IWC watch? Here’s the word;

The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329701) features a case, case back and crown made from lightweight and robust grade 5 titanium.

The dark grey matte colour results from an elaborate surface treatment in which the components are first polished and then sandblasted. The design of the black dial was inspired by historical observation watches. Only the minutes and seconds are printed in white on the outer ring, while the hours appear smaller and in a more discreet grey print on the inner ring.

Traditionally, this layout made it easier for pilots and navigators to read the minutes and seconds at just a glance. They needed this information to perform tasks like celestial navigation during visual flights. The distinctive field watch design is complemented with a brown calfskin leather strap with contrast stitching.

The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Spitfire (Ref. IW329702) features a bronze case and crown as well as a titanium case back. Alongside copper, the bronze used by IWC also contains aluminium and iron.

This specific composition makes the alloy around 50 per cent harder than standard bronze. Additional characteristics include the material’s exceptional biocompatibility and its ability to develop a unique patina over time, which will give each timepiece a distinct character and look of its own.

The warm colour of the bronze harmonises with the military green dial and the gold-plated hands. Both the hands and hour markers have been coated with a luminescent material to facilitate readability at night. The timepiece is fitted with a green buffalo leather strap with a unique texture. The two new Spitfire models feature IWC’s EasXCHANGE system which allows the wearer to quickly and easily change the strap at the touch of a button without any additional tools.

Several alternative strap options made from calfskin and rubber are also available as accessories.

The model has the 82100 cal automatic movement and there’s an extended 6-year warranty available if you register the watch. We couldn’t spot a price on the IWC website but let’s take a guess at around £7600.

More here.

Tourbillon Power To The Depths & Back

Blancpain has sent us info on a new Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon model, here’s the press info;

The Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours diver’s watch epitomises the encounter between horological complexity and high performance. Its flying tourbillon whirls inside a dedicated opening in the
refined blue dial. This new model comes in a surprisingly light titanium version, as well as a red gold version ensuring a striking presence on the wrist.

Introduced in 2007 with the launch of the contemporary Fifty Fathoms collection, the Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours is a symbiosis of Blancpain’s savoir faire in the realm of diver’s watches and its expertise in horological complications. Tried and tested for more than a decade, it has established itself as a superlative timepiece, enabling the beauty of the tourbillon mechanism to be admired even at great depths.

The two new versions of this prestigious diver’s watch showcase this sophisticated complication through a refined blue dial graced with a sunburst finish. The tourbillon, referred to as “flying” because it has
no upper bridge to drive its cage, appears to be floating in a large round opening at 12 o’clock. The technical complexity of this watch construction contrasts with the sporty style of the hour-markers,
hands and bezel.

The latter remains a key element of the watch, with its notched edge giving added grip, its unidirectional rotation system and its slightly domed scratch-resistant sapphire insert.

The 45 mm-diameter case of this new Fifty Fathoms is available in two materials: grade 23 titanium and red gold, both satin-finished. A bold choice for a highly complicated watch, titanium is notable for
its lightness – ensuring excellent wearer comfort – as well as its resistance to shocks, pressure and corrosion. Red gold offers a more conventional setting for the tourbillon and radiates an aura of timeless nobility.

Water-resistant to 30 bar (approximately 300 metres), the Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Jours houses selfwinding Calibre 25C, a movement finished with a Côtes de Genève motif and circular graining in the noblest watchmaking tradition. Its gold oscillating weight is satin-brushed and openworked to provide
the most open possible view of the movement.

The titanium timepiece is available with a blue NATO or sailcloth strap, as well as a titanium bracelet; the red gold watch comes with a blue NATO or sailcloth strap. For both models, the sailcloth strap can
be combined with a pin buckle or folding clasp, as desired.

This new model is a welcome addition to the Fifty Fathoms collection, embodying Blancpain’s passion for the underwater world which was initially expressed in 1953 with the launch of the first modern diver’s watch. Created by Jean-Jacques Fiechter, Blancpain’s co-CEO at the time and a pioneer of scuba diving, the Fifty Fathoms represented a turning point in the watch industry by setting the standard for diver’s watches.

Price? Yeah, there is the catch it retails at just over £97,000. Yep almost 100K for a watch. If you need to spend that dodgy Bounceback loan cash before HMRC catch up with you, then there is a black and gold variant which is just over £110,000.

More here. 

Hamilton Khaki Take-Off Celebrates Aviation Expertise

Italy has a great aviation history so it’s no surprise that Hamilton wanted to celebrate it.  For example Piaggio built the first bomber with a pressurised cockpit for high altitude work back in 1919.  Then there’s the incredible story of Umberto Nobile’s adventure in an airship,  and subsequent rescue, as he journeyed to the North Pole back in the 1920s – well worth reading if you have the time.

So the Khaki Take-Off is a quirky, supersized pilot watch that celebrates daring aviators, with splashes of industrial yellow on its chunky 46mm wide case. From some angles it kinda looks like a De Walt tool box, no offence Hamilton…

The watch celebrates Dario Costa’s low level flight through a tunnel, which is obviously a kinda tricky stunt to do, and you can see the Red Bull YT video here;

This is very much a dashboard type, tool watch and you can in fact clip it onto your dashboard, as well as wear it on your wrist.  Inside you get the H31 automatic movement, which powers other Khaki models.

The Take-Off has 60 hours of power reserve, plus those distinctive Bullhead style pushers mounted at the top of the case. It has a kind of rally driver appeal, although NWC mag thinks that you could get something equally quirky for a great deal less cash.

Yeah, the price of this Swiss beauty is £2645 which is expensive for a Hamilton and given the rapid depreciation of most Hamilton watches we have to recommend you consider a Citizen Chrono Racer Bullhead at about £500, or perhaps a Mondia Bolide quartz, which has bullhead pushers and striking styling. Only £199 online.

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.

Grand Seiko, With a Sky Full Of Stars

The word from Grand Seiko who have built a watch that kinda looks hewn from solid platinum by hand;

In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the company, Grand Seiko presents a new Spring Drive masterpiece made by the elite team of watchmakers at the Micro Artist Studio in Grand Seiko’s manufacturing facility in Shiojiri, located in the same Shinshu region as Achi.

The watch will be available as a limited edition of 50 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques in August 2021.

The blue of the dial has a remarkable depth that is accentuated by the quiet and delicate sparkle of what appear to be distant stars. A unique manufacturing and finishing technique combining stamping, plating and painting gives the dial a different aspect at each and every viewing angle, just as does the sky above Achi.

The Platinum 950 case is carefully engraved with a pattern which is replicated in different directions on the Zaratsu polished case, again capturing the exquisite order and ever changing aspect of Achi’s starry skies.

The watch presents a refined and slim profile with a diameter of 38.5mm and depth of 9.8mm.The hour and minute hands and hour markers are made of 14k white gold to ensure that their brilliance endures for decades. The Grand Seiko name, the minute markers and all the other markings are etched into the dial.

Every aspect of the movement is designed without compromise. The power reserve indicator is on the back side of the movement next to the barrel whose shape echoes that of the bellflower that is the symbol of Shiojiri.

Those blue screws look like a constellation of stars on the movement. Nice touch.

The rims of the bridges, the holes for the rubies and the screws are all expertly hand polished to a perfect mirror finish and the tempered blue screws stand out in contrast to the hairline finish of the bridges to heighten the perception of the perfection of the engineering. The caliber also incorporates an 18k yellow gold plaque on the lower bridge, which carries the engraved words “Micro Artist” but which can, if the owner so wishes, be replaced with a word of his or her choice.

The outstanding 84 hour power reserve of Caliber 9R02 is realized thanks to the Dual Spring Barrel, in which two mainsprings are set in parallel within a single barrel, and the Torque Return System.

When the mainspring has been fully wound and the torque output is at its highest, approximately 30% of the available power is not needed to maintain the precision of the watch and is in effect wasted in a normal movement.

The Torque Return System uses this energy to rewind the mainspring, resulting in an increase in the power reserve. In Caliber 9R02, this system is activated for 48 hours after the mainspring has been fully wound.

The price for perfection? A mere 80,000 euros.

Fancy an AP Royal Oak Homage for Car Boot Money?

OK, let’s be honest, cheap watches from China are never gonna be collectable. Then there’s the whole Covid thing and whether you should buy stuff made by slaves in a totalitarian dictatorship. Oh wait, you like iPhones, microwaves and BMW 1 Series cars, so that’s OK.

One thing most watch fans agree on is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, with the classic Genta design case is a beatiful timepiece, a true classic. It never gets old, it just keeps reinventing itself like David Bowie used to every time he got bored with his characters. I can’t afford one, so I bought a Benyar lookalike online for £22 from Aliexpress just to test how good/bad these homage watches are.

The packaging is impressive for such a bargain basement watch.

THE UNBOXING

You have to be impressed with a watch at this money which has a swing tag, polishing cloth, guarantee card and owners manual inside. The watch was wrapped in a polybag and had blue strip protectors on the clasp, plus skintight polythene protective strips on the bracelet links.

When you consider that many Indie dive watches with quartz movements offer a cloth bag, that’s it, for your £300 on Kickstarter, that does seem like decent packaging.

Easy to push pins out and tap back in again for a perfect fit.

THE TECH STUFF

Inside the 41mm case there is a Miyota quartz movement, so reliability is a given. The case is steel, and not that well polished and finished. Likewise the bracelet links don’t quite move with the silky smooth slickness of a proper watch, like say a Seiko Presage.

On the dial there is a little sunray effect and a kind of waffle-ish look. Maybe school graph paper lines is a better way to describe it. The date window is a bit small, but on the upside the date wheel advances nicely in the first position on the crown. Big crown too, easy to grip.

Yep, plenty of linkage there.

ADJUSTING THE BRACELET

If you have a big wrist this watch will fit you. The number of links is huge, I reckon it would fit an eight inch wrist. I removed 5 links to make it perfect for my skinny 7 inch wrist, using my push-pin tool. It was easily done, no problems.

The clasp closes very smooth, you just press down the 6pm section first, then the 12 noon section clicks into place, with an embossed square logo pressing into place to secure the foldover clasp. Twin button release – which is a bit chunky and digs into my wrist slightly, but then I like a watch to fit snug, not loose so the crown starts digging into my hand.

DOES IT LOOK LIKE AN AP ROYAL OAK FROM A DISTANCE?

I think it does, so long as you are about 26 feet away. Once you can see the Benyar name and football club type shield logo, plus the lack of AP lettering, then you know it’s a fake. Sorry, homage. Here are the photos.

VERDICT: UNREAL VALUE FOR THE MONEY

It can cost you £22 to buy a pint and artisan fish n chips in London, so let’s not quibble too much about this Benyar. It tells the time, the Miyota engine means it will most likely keep doing that for a decade and the steel case looks durable, albeit a bit rough cast.

I just wish the Chinese would choose some better names for their homage watch brands; Pagani isn’t too bad. Tevise is acceptable. But Benyar, Helmdallr, Biden, Lige, Olevs and Wwoor..? Come on, these names are rubbish, they shout poverty and no class.

Clasp closes up nicely, logo is a an unexpected detail on a watch this cheap.

Let me give you one example of how a cheap watch briefly became cool because of its name; Ice watch. Yes, nothing special, but jewellers across Britain were getting 50 quid a pop for them at one stage.

You can fool some of the people, some of the time. As the Covid Plandemic proves only too well.

This is where I bought the road test watch by the way.

 

 

Is Hamilton Price-Walking The Intra-Matic?

Price-walking is that thing insurers do at renewal time. You get an email, forget it ane they auto renew; same product but £55 more this year.

So adding an olive green dial version to the Intra-Matic and raising the RRP to over two grand seems kinda the same deal. The old blue or white dial models looked great. In fact I prefer the blue dial Intra’s vibrant punch, it really lifts off the wrist.

But why is the same watch now another £300 to buy? We found a blue dial model on CW Sellors at £1930 with a 10% off pop-up window on the website. That makes it about £1740 retail.

It won’t work Hamilton. Even if you did see off Lewis and his trademark case, don’t get cheeky.

Football Fan Hub? That’s The Latest Hublot Big Bang

Hublot is celebrating its association with the UEFA EURO 2020™ tournament by presenting the official timepiece of the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship – the Big Bang e connected watch – as well as a brand-new podcast.

Hublot is offering this one as a limited-edition of 1,000 pieces.

After a year-long postponement during the pandemic, for the first time in its history the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship will be held in 11 cities in 11 different countries. The bezel on the Big Bang e watch sports the colours of the flags of the 12 nations initially planned to host.

Aesthetically, it features the attributes of the brand’s iconic Big Bang model. For greater ergonomics, it is available in a 42 mm case in Black Magic, the spectacular polished black ceramic developed by Hublot technicians, which is water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres.

The sapphire crystal means the AMOLED high definition touchscreen is easy to use while, just like a mechanical watch, the push-button on the rotary crown is used to activate its functions.

It is fitted with a complex electronic module developed in partnership with other brands within the LVMH group. It operates on WearOS by Google software, which has been adapted and perfected to meet Hublot’s requirements, notably via an app specially dedicated to football which enables users to follow the competition in real time.

Amongst the features of this watch, in addition, of course, to following the timing of the matches with timekeeping, half-time, extra time and the end of the match, the Big Bang e also notifies the wearer of cards awarded, player substitutions, penalties and goals. There is also the option to view information on the team line-ups, the players’ rankings and their position on the field.

The watch is priced at £4800 in the UK. Kinda cheeky for a smartwatch we reckon, but Hublot has a devoted fanbase in the world of football, namely the overpaid Premier level players and their entourage, so shifting 1000 of these shouldn’t be too hard.

FLAG DOWNLOADS

Moreover, users will also be able to download, free of charge, dials in the colour of their country exclusively developed for the Big Bang e from the Google Play Store, an offer not compatible with other connected watches already available on the market.

In addition, as well as the magnificent rubber strap with titanium deployant buckle clasp supplied as standard, fans will have the opportunity to purchase other straps in the colours of their favourite teams. These will be easily interchangeable thanks to the famous one-click system developed by Hublot.

FREEBIES FOR REFEREES

For the UEFA EURO 2020™ European Championship, Hublot will be equipping all the referees officiating during the tournament with special Big Bang e Referee watches. This special version will help the refereeing body to manage the timekeeping of the matches and any extra time, and will be connected to Goal-line technology and the famous VAR video control system. The board used by the fourth official to show player substitutions will also be sporting Hublot colours.

In its drive to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, Hublot has pursued its exploration in every dimension of technology and so, from 12th May, is launching a podcast series called “Hublot Fusion Podcast”. Hosted by French sports broadcast journalist Anne-Laure Bonnet, these 12 episodes will feature interviews with footballing legends, as well as with friends and ambassadors of Hublot. The podcasts will focus on the 12 universal values of victory: solidarity, union, passion, commitment, inclusion, equality, friendship, justice, respect, fair play, tolerance and sharing.

In another major new initiative, 200 customers of the Big Bang e joining the Hublotista community will be given a non-fungible token (NFT) containing an excerpt from one of the episodes of the “Hublot Fusion Podcast”! These tokens were developed with the leading ETHEREUM software company : ConsenSys. The tokens strictly comply with the ERC-1155 standard, and their owners can exchange these tokens on platforms which are benchmarks in the world of NFTs, including OpenSea.

The 1,000 Hublot Big Bang e UEFA EURO 2020™ connected watches are available exclusively on the brand’s e-commerce platform www.hublot.com from May 12th until May 26th, and then in Hublot boutiques.