Indie watch brand Aragon has launched its Divemaster II model just a few days ago. This model features some very tasty superlume on the dial, plus a wide range of dial colours; blue, orange, white, asa well as abalone and meteorite designs.
With a 200m depth rating, steel case, heat-treated K1 crystal and a supersize 45mm or humungous 50mm case diameter for those really big wrists, this watch makes quite a statement. Especially as we spotted it online for just $129, plus shipping. I mean, how is that possible?
Yep, it’s that Black Friday discount thing, so don’t fight it.
We aren’t always big fans of quartz watches but this Senna edition of the TAG F1 is on our wish list. Why? Senna. The greatest GP driver of all time? Probably.
Here’s the word from TAG
With its new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Senna Special Edition timepiece, TAG Heuer evokes the memory of one of the most mythical racers in the history of F1 and celebrates once again the partnership with the Senna brand. 30 years ago, Ayrton Senna became the youngest Formula 1 driver to win three world championships. To celebrate Ayrton Senna’s achievements, TAG Heuer and Senna brand launch a new SENNA Special Edition from the TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection.
One of the features of the timepiece is the embossed black leather bracelet, a reference to the S/EL that Senna used to wear on his TAG Heuer. The iconic bracelet was the first to be made by TAG Heuer.
Its distinctive unique S-shaped design is highly recognizable. The bracelet’s leather is dynamized with yellow stitching and also features a black steel clasp with double safety system push buttons.
Watch some Senna vs Prost rivalry here by the way;
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 Senna Special Edition colour scheme features yellow and black, paying tribute to Senna’s iconic colours. The yellow tone is present throughout this 2021 edition, starting with the famous double S (the Brazilian driver’s iconic brand), which crowns the bezel at 12 o’clock, alongside the Senna name.
The double S signature can be found on the dial too, where they are incorporated in the 6 o‘clock subdial. The grey anthracite dial houses classic hour, minute, and second indicators at 6, 9, and 3 o’clock, and is decorated with a discrete “TAG Heuer Formula 1” reminder.
The TAG Heuer Senna Special Edition 2021 also features an ultra-resistant black ceramic bezel, again accentuated by a delicate yellow border that underlines the elegance of the timepiece. The number 400 is engraved on the bezel, in a subtle reference to the 400 km/h speed that has never been reached in Formula 1. The hour hand and indexes are treated with Super-LumiNova® to ensure optimum legibility in all situations. This special edition features a quartz movement and is water-resistant to 200 meters (20 bar).
Last but not least, an image of the Brazilian driver’s iconic helmet is engraved on the caseback.
Prices; Switzerland 2 250 CHF
Europe 2 200 EUR
Great Britain 1 900 GBP
North America 2 300 USD
Japan 250 000 JPY
Hong Kong 18 550 HKD
The Addies Dive watches are known for value and this NH35 powered automatic, with 200m depth resistance, steel bracelet plus a beefy 44mm case diameter is an attractive watch. Then add the wave effect blue dial – nice.
Previously listed at just inder £200 it’s now down to £160.79
We love the teal coloured lume on the hands and markers, plus the numbers on the bezel – nice extra touch there.
There’s Free shipping to the UK as well, just thought you should know. Plus we spotted a sunray blue dial model, with the crown at 4pm, for just £124 or so – that makes a nice base for a MOD watch, as there so many dials and hands that fit that 44mm case/crown combo, plus NH35 engine inside.
Fancy a Rolkex Submariner homage? They have a quartz powered Sub look-a-like for just over fifty quid. Sweet.
Seiko are digging into their past for inspiration and just announced some new Prospex models. Here’s the press info;
In the 1960s, Seiko announced itself on the international sports timing stage with a whole new generation of high-precision equipment that was enthusiastically endorsed by many international sports federations and used to capture elapsed time at many of the world’s leading sports events.
Central to this success was a range of stopwatches that incorporated Seiko’s innovative “heart-shaped cam” mechanism, a feature which delivered a level of precision once thought unachievable by manual sports timing devices. Then, in 1969, Seiko introduced the Seiko Speedtimer with the innovative Caliber 6139.
It was the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch, two devices that delivered real improvements in the measurement of elapsed time in a wristwatch and are still a pre-requisite in high functionality chronographs.
Today, a new series of six watches inspired by the Speedtimer and Seiko’s rich and continuing tradition of sports timing join the Prospex collection. A limited edition watch with a new automatic chronograph movement pays faithful tribute to the design of the 1964 stopwatch, while a second version with the same caliber and a series of four solar chronographs complete the range.
DO YOU LIKE BIG BUTTONS?
We do, although not on watches as they tend to dig into the back of your hand. If you are partial to oversize pushers, the Limited Edition chronograph’s dial pays homage to the 1/5th second stopwatch from 1964 says Seiko.
The numerals at each ten-second mark and the markings stand out prominently against the plain white dial and guarantee the same high level of legibility. The chronograph second hand is gently curved down towards the dial so that the tip of the hand is as close as possible to the dial’s markers and extends to the tachymeter markings at the very edge of the dial, thus ensuring that elapsed time can be read accurately at a glance. The large concave pushers ensure the high operability for which the original stopwatch was renowned.
Inside the watch has the 8R46 Cal movement by the way. It’s a limited edition watch, 1000 pieces with each dial variant and costs 3200 euros retail. Ouch, you can buy a nice GS pre-owned for that, just saying.
BUDGET TIGHT? GO SOLAR
There are four variants all using the Seiko solar cell power unit, with different dial colours. The white one has a little `reversed out’ Rolex Daytona feel there, doesn’t it? Much more affordable at 680 euros.
Is a Grand Seiko worth £54,000? We only ask the question because as great as a Grand Seiko is, we are at Patek money and the watch market is Swiss dominated. Maybe it’s a great investment, maybe not.
Anyway that expensive GS model is the star in a range of new models from the famed Japansese watch house of horology, with some more affordable models on offer for us mere mortals on average wages and ever rising taxes.
That GS at £54,000 is the Hi Beat, Annual Rings, (above) made from platinum and limited to just 140 pieces by the way. In case the Sultan of Brunei is a regualr reader of NWC magazine.
Other GS models are available on pre-order right now, including a very nice Mechanical Seasons: Summertime edition, with a kind of light blue, folded linen effect on the dial. Seiko says;
“The dial of this watch is inspired by early Summertime in Japan just after the rainy season when the refreshing southern wind breezily ripples on the sea and the lakes to mark the start of high summer.”
This one is relatively affordable at £6860 by the way.
Finally, this is our fave from teh new GS model line-up, the Spring Drive Suwa Lake . This blue dial watch is a classic, and very much an investment piece or grail watch for the average collector with 3-5K per year to devote to their watch obsession.
A 40mm case, updated power reserve of 120 hours, yes 120 hours, plus a see-thru caseback so you can admire that exquisite workmanship every month or so.
There is a great deal to be said for owning a Spring Drive rather than a Rolex Sub. Why? Well in some ways it is a purists choice because you are investing in the watch technology of today, not a refinement of 1950s dive watch tech. That marriage of electronic power and mainspring drive is a clever tour de force in miniature, rather like the gear-driven V4 motor powering the first 1980s VFR750 from Honda.
OK we digress, what’s the pice of the Suwa? £8200, which is bang on Rolex Sub territory.
Spinnaker are one of the more popular Indie watch brands, with the Hull mdoel being a strong seller online. The new additions include a refreshed Hull range, plus the Croft, Wreck and Dumas models.
Let’s get into it.
The Dumas range has dial colours in Tangerine, cream, blue and burgundy – although they give them cool names like Sahara instead of cream. Inside you’ll find the trusty Seiko NH35 auto engine, with a steel 44mm case, sapphire crystal and screwdown crown filling out the spec sheet nicely.
There’s a nice hexagonal link detail on the bracelet which gives it a classic 70s feel too.
Price is £315 which is competitive, considering you get 300m depth resistance. Plenty of Swiss dive watches with a 300m depth rating cost over 2K, just FYI…
The Croft model is a mid-size watch at 40mm, which makes it ideal for everyday wear. There’s a nice Pepsi bezel option (pictured), plenty of lume as you can see, plus the NH35 movement inside.
Just 150m of depth resistance is probably plenty for most people, there’s a date window magnifying glass, and we love the textured finish on the dials, which are graduated blue, or a kind of slate grey.
At £220 this is another winner for us.
The old Hull has been around for a few years so Spinnaker are right to refresh it without changing a winning formula. So new dial colours are the big news for this VK Meca-Quartz chronograph, with fume blue or red/black options, plus two more variations on the black dial theme. Hate to mention it, but a pearl white with reversed out sub-dials would probably look awesome.
At £235 it’s a bit pricey for a quartz chronograph, because there is some very strong competition on Ali Express at under £70 on chronographs, plus lots of Kickstarter projects using the VK movement that are a little bit more unique in terms of design and slightly cheaper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Buy a classic green dial Seiko Alpinist instead, or a trad Prospex dive watch. Both will hold their value better in the long run.
The latest from Ball watches is a classic design in our humble opinion. Not too big at 41.5mm across, two beautiful blue dial options, plus a great tech spec for the watch fan who wants soemthing versatile enough to handle watersports, but compact for everyday use too. Here’s the word from Ball;
The Engineer M Skindiver III series pulls together our signature features and next-generation capability, all while showcasing a few vintage touches.
Our one-of-a-kind micro gas tubes have been integrated below the ultra-durable domed sapphire bezel, ensuring extreme readability in all darkness. On the wrist, the 41.5mm diameter and 14mm height pair with 5mm domed sapphire crystal and drilled lugs to deliver the perfect mix of toughness and comfort.
And amid harsh knocks, our patented resistance technology shields the COSC certified precision of our in-house caliber. The newest in our long line of trusted divers, the Engineer M Skindiver III series is a game-changer for dark depths and watchmaking.
The Engineer M Skindiver III is available only at the BALL Watch official online store. Limited to 1,000 pieces, the latest addition – the Beyond in blue domed sapphire bezel is available for pre-order until 29 September 2021 at an exclusive price of £2200 ofr the entry level model, and £2950 for the top of the raneg which has some extra gas tube lume.
By that we mean how little will you spend for an everyday quartz watch that tells the time and looks half decent?
We say about £20. There are some basic Casio models that retail for around £15 and of course Amazon and Ali Express are packed with 15 quid watches with oddball names and basic packaging.
But Time Products in the UK, who sell Accurist and Sekonda, have an even cheaper brand called Limit in their portfolio. It’s an old Swiss brand, famously the maker of good automatics and mechanical models back in the 50s and 60s, but then like many Swiss brands, the quartz attack from Japan in the 80s finished them off.
We love this Limit digital with its Wire Guard logo and chunky design. Yep, it’s £30 but watch out for regular Limit deals and offers online. Nice digital display plus a backlight button for checking the time if you wake up in the night.
Let’s be honest a water resistance of 100m at this price level is pretty fair. Most fashion watches have just 50m, some less. The orange digital model at the top of ther page has a reasonable spec and we think it looks kinda sporty too.
You can’t really fault this red digital, with an alarm, stop watch and a plastic strap. So yeah you can swim in it. £25 is alright we think and although we aren’t saying disposable watches are a good thing, you ain’t gonna shed a tear when the strap splits and that’s the end of the watch.
It’s easy to get snobby about watches, but if you work in a rough job and your watch gets damaged, or you want to buy a teenager a watch and you just know they will hammer it to destruction, then brands like Limit offer the working person a chance to buy something with a guarantee that looks modern, and tells the time, for the sort of money that MPs spend on coffee n a vegan snack bar.