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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are fans of the LIV watch brand here at NWC mag. They offer great value, build quality and vibrant styling too. Especially if you prefer bigger 43mm sized watches. Bad news though, prices are going up on June 1st, so here’s the word from LIV.
Since 2017, we have not had a price increase on any of our watches. Today I am announcing a modest increase in both the GX-AC and the P-51 collections. This increase is due to material and production costs going up.
The GX-AC will go up by $100:
$990 to $1090
$1050 To $1150 (for the TJ)
$1070 to $1170 (Rose Gold)
The P-51 will go up by $100:
$1370 to $1470
$1490 to $1590 (Fifth Anniversary Special)
If you have been eying one of these watches, now is the time to take advantage and pull the trigger.
Green is everywhere this year, from Boris Johnson’s latest attempts to micro-manage our entire lives by banning gas boilers, bacon sandwiches and petrol cars, to the myriad – yes we used myriad – green dial watches showcased by Rolex, IWC, Patek, Tudor and others at Watches & Wonders.
Now TAG has joined th party with a green dial variant on their classic Monaco model. I refuse to say `iconic’ because some herberts on local news websites are now describing their local bus depot as iconinc. It’s laughable. OK then, classic TAG Monaco features like the 39mm case, black sub-dials, plus it a luminous green glow at night on the hands and markers. The see-thru caseback has some green text, plus there’s a dash of green on the movement too.
Yours for £5500 and there are just 500 pieces available. Verdict; we still the Gulf Porsche racing colours is the best TAG Monaco of modern times. There, we said it.
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;
The latest variant on the Omega Seamaster is the 300 Bronze, which combines classic styling with the gradual patina of bronze alloy and the weathered look that emerges over time. Here’s the press info;
Omega first introduced the Seamaster 300 in 1957 – designed especially for divers and professionals who worked underwater. More than 60 years later, the collection has been completely upgraded, and includes this special model created in Omega’s own bronze alloy.
The 41 mm case and bezel are crafted from 9K Bronze Gold, while the brown ceramic bezel ring includes a diving scale in vintage Super-LumiNova. On the bronze dial, you’ll find recessed hour markers and open numerals with Super-LumiNova, as well as PVD Bronze Gold coloured hands. Presented on a brown leather strap with a 9K Bronze Gold buckle, this timepiece includes a transparent sapphire crystal caseback, enabling a clear view of the Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8912.
Calibre: Omega 8912
Self-winding movement with Co-Axial escapement.
Certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS,
resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. Freesprung balance with silicon balance spring, two barrels
mounted in series, automatic winding in both directions.
Time zone function. Special luxury finish with Geneva
waves in arabesque.
Power reserve: 60 hours
Domed, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective treatment inside.
A new Grand Seiko in platinum is something a bit special. You may find it hard to square the circle of spending 60,000 euros on a Seiko watch. But this is one of 140 pieces, so if you live long enough, it will probably be worth a small fortune one day. Like Bitcoin, there are no guarantees.
But what you are certain of is that Seiko has handcrafted something amazing, that still looks non-showy, pure and functional. Here’s the press info;
The dial delights the eye and warms the heart with its organic feel and brings to life Grand Seiko’s conception of the Nature of Time.
An almost tactile effect is created by the way the light captures the multi-dimensional texture of the dial. The miniscule but visible variations in the dial’s depth reveal the subtlety of the dark and light tones of the wood grain. This high-beat watch incorporates a powerful and distinctive overall design known as Series 9, that is set to be part of the future signature of Grand Seiko.
The hour hands are large in volume and are crafted to align exactly with the grooved and prominent hour markers, enhancing the legibility of the time. A distortion-free mirror finish and delicate hairline finish alternate to give the case a quiet and harmonious glow. With its wide lugs and a satisfyingly substantial leather strap, the watch offers perfect comfort and fits solidly and neatly on the wrist.
With its highly efficient Dual Impulse Escapement, Grand Seiko free-sprung balance and twinbarrel construction, Caliber 9SA5 is a high-beat movement that delivers a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day and a power reserve of 80 hours. The caliber represents the very finest in modern watchmaking, combining unique technologies with craftsmanship of the highest order.