Tag Archives: specs

Tudor Black Bay Bronze: No Excuses Necessary

The Tudor Black Bay 58 has been the watch that’s really put Tudor in the Premier League for many collectors. For decades the Tudor was seen as a poor man’s Rolex and a few years ago when the brand was still basically slotting ETA 2824 movements inside nice cases you could easily pass by and maybe go for an Omega or Breitling instead.

But the recent Black Bay 58 watches are a class apart, the brand has raised its game. The MT5400 movement has 70 hours reserve, it’s COSC certified and features some sandblasted parts, blue screws and a tungsten monobloc rotor, with a unique look. I’m going out on a limb now and saying a Tudor isn’t a watch you have to apologise for wearing, like it’s not the Rolex you wanted, but it’s all you can afford.

It has a 39mm case diameter which some might say is a few mm too small. It is a general watch, not a dive model, despite the 200m rating, so we think it’s big enough – it has symmetry, balance and the brown bezel and dial really give this a coherent look that many Swiss watches lack. Sometimes less is more.

One detail that jars on this however, the NATO style strap made from a recycled parachute just looks cheap compared to the fully bronze link bracelet option. Just saying.

Here’s the blurb from Tudor;

The characteristic elements of the new Black Bay FiftyEight model are a 39 mm bronze case, an aesthetic nod to the bronzes on old ships and other deep-sea diving equipment, but also the characteristic proportions of the first TUDOR divers’ watches dating from the second half of the 1950s, particularly the famous 7924 reference or “ Big Crown”, the first TUDOR watch to be waterproof to 200 metres (660 ft), presented in 1958.

The choice of a “living” metal – in this case a high performance aluminium bronze alloy used particularly in naval engineering for submerged parts required to demonstrate a high level of resistance to corrosion such as propellers, for example – ensures the development of a subtle and unique patina on the case
of every watch to match its user’s habits.

In addition to a highly functional appearance, in line with the naval world to which it pays tribute, the Black Bay Bronze presents entirely satin-brushed finishes that guarantee the homogeneous development of this patina.

The combination of a domed dial in matt “brown bronze”, shaded concentrically from the exterior towards the centre, and a bezel presenting the same gold accents found on the hands and hour markers, completes the face of this model. The overall visual
effect is of a rich, patinated object that might have battled the waves of the seven seas for years on its owner’s wrist, and which is “made” for them and their lifestyle.

At £3390 it isn’t cheap and it isn’t Rolex level expensive either. What it definitely offers is a great spec for the price, because it’s a last-a-lifetime watch, that won’t really date, go out of fashion, and someone will always want to buy it.

Octon Watches: 300m Dive Spec For Under £200? That’ll Do.

We had an email in yesterday alerting the Northern Watch Co magazine to Octon watches in Sweden.

So glad they did. Amazing value watches, many are auto models, with the trusty Sellita SW200 or Seiko NH35 movement inside, sapphire crystal and a 300m rating. Prices start at just £181 – yep under £200.

That really compares well with Indie brands who are charging nearly £700 for the same spec dive watches. Let’s not get started on Swiss brands at £1400 and above, which you could argue are more about the perceived value of the brand name than the actual dive spec of the watch.

OK, let’s be honest, you won’t get many people wanting to bid on your Octon watch if you decide to sell it on eBay to fund another purchase two years down the line. But if you just love watches that have reliable features and a range of bright dial options for swimming n diving, then Octon delivers.

Better yet, you can build you own watch, choosing dial, bracelet, strap, movement and bezel. Here is one we did earlier;

We love that Build-A-Bear online shop feature – it’s just like Bamford London but without the premium price tag.

More here.

Doxa WhitePearl Is a Cool, Understated Number

We love the super clean, pure white looks of this Doxa dive watch. Some dive watches have bells n whistles, big chunky cases, or feature more lume on the dial, hands and bezel than a Las Vegas showbar. But this is just…snow leopard cool.

Swiss automatic movement, 38 hour reserve, quirky 19mm lug width.

You can personalise the strap with a coloured rubber option in orange, blue, red, yellow etc, or go for the steel, beads of rice links. Retail is $990 on this one.

Here’s the spec from Doxa;

Unveiled at Baselworld 2019, this 3-hand diver’s watch has a case made of highest-quality 316L stainless steel. At a diameter of 42 mm, the SUB 200 is topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating and the distinctive curvature of the domed plexiglass used back in the day.

Waterproof to a depth of 200 meters (20 ATM), the model features a unidirectional rotating bezel. All the elements providing dive-relevant information, except the bezel, have a Super‑LumiNova® luminescent coating. The bracelet is 316L stainless steel and features a folding clasp with the DOXA fish symbol.

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.

Latest Ball Engineer GMT III: Superlume & COSC Spec

If you want a Ball Engineer GMT at a special pre-order price, then you need to move fast. This new model is available exclusively online. Pre-order now at a limited-time price until 30 June 2021, says Ball Watches and who are we to argue?

As you would expect, it’s got the famous lume via gas tubes tech in there, plus the usual Ball Swiss quality details; the new variation on the Ball Watch GMT formula retails at £1620 by the way.

Here is the press info.

In the Engineer III Jet-Set GMT, we’ve united the uniqueness of a true GMT with revolutionary micro gas tubes. The result is accurate timekeeping that shines in the darkest environments. And because our luminosity shines automatically, you never have to charge it.

The extraordinary tubes are integrated into each applied hour marker on the dial, as well as all four hands, including the tip of the GMT hand. Glowing in harmony with the Super-LumiNova coating on the ceramic bezel and the 24-hour home time indication, three time zones can be easily read in complete darkness.

White dial version really stands out.

Inside the 40mm stainless steel case, the COSC certified precision is protected by advanced technology. Our special mu-metal shield delivers anti-magnetic protection to an intensity of 80,000 A/m (1,000 Gauss). Comprised of nickel, iron, copper and molybdenum, mu-metal ensures that every component, especially the delicate hairspring, withstands the harmful effects of magnetism. This level of protection is vital when flying at high altitudes and when venturing into unknown terrain.

 

 

60s Style Seiko Presage Models Are Retro Heaven

There are retro/recreation style watches all over the internet right now, from brands like Timex, Zenith, Casio, Tissot, Longines and many more. You can’t blame watch brands for making the most of their heritage and remixing it DJ style for the 21st century.

So as a fan of the Seiko Presage models, I approve of everything to do with the Style 60’s range – except the incorrect use of the apostrophe. Nothing belongs to the number 60. It should be 60s plural, denoting the decade of style, OK?

Moving on, let’s look at these models which are arriving in June at Seiko dealers. The SRPGO models have blue, black, champagne or green dials and a 41mm case, featuring the 4R35 movement. Yep, you can wind it – no shaking required.

It has a more sporty feel than some existing Presage models, mainly due to the dive style bezel and more utilitarian crown. The cocktail time watches have the onion shaped crown. It looks like a scuba ready watch, but it really isn’t a dive piece though at 5atm rated.

Got some nice lume on there, plus a retro hardlex box crystal for that 60s vibe. Nice touch, but many buyers will still be slightly miffed that they are paying decent money for an acrylic crystal watch. That’s Seiko for you – they don’t have to change their philosophy for you, me or anyone else.

Some variants have a vintage, faded type lume on the indices for that extra retro flavour.

Prices start at £440 for the black model with a NATO strap and rise to £530 for the open heart dial option. Seiko are deifinitely `price-walking’ their fanbase up to entry level Swiss stuff, but then you could argue that a Seiko Presage is on par with a basic Hamilton, Tissot or Longines.

Except for the plastic crystal. Oh and the poor packaging with that kinda cheap ol’ 90s white box. OK yeah, they are getting cheeky on prices.

The range is inspired by the Crown Chrono model from 1964, but the modern days Style 60’s models lack the stopwatch button at the 2pm position.  Maybe that tribute watch is in the pipeline for the Christmas selling season?

More info here at Seiko’s site.

Monsieur Watches Helm One Dive is on Kick

We love Kickstarter watches and this Monsieur Helm One dive model has got some cool features.

Let’s start with the lume which is kinda different in that it isn’t just applied to the hour markers and hands. The distinctive logo diver’s helmet pattern is also lit up at night. Looks great we think and made possible via a sandwich dial so the lume shines through the top plate y’see. Clever detail.

Inside the 41mm steel case there is a Seiko NH38 cal movement, which spells reliability. Sapphire crystal, 300m depth rating, see-thru caseback and signed crown add neat touches.

Also, the bracelet has a clever little ratchet lever, so you can adjust the foldover clasp without using a watchmaker’s pin pusher tool. Handy.

Price is £178 on the early bird deal, which is great value, even with 20% VAT and import duty on top.

Moere here.

Would You Pay £1500 For a Casio G-SHOCK? Maybe So

We only ask the question because Casio have other limited edition G-Shock watches that cost over 6K, which is basically Floyd Maywether level collecting mania. Compared to those, this titanium beauty actually seems like great value. It features a special alloy case material, which Casio says was developed for a mirror polish smooth finish and outstanding durability. That is the Casio G-Shock USP when you mull it over, so yeah, makes sense.

Inside there is a Casio movement that tells the time, day, date, week, plus features like a countdown, an hourly alarm function and a host of other digital goodness like a Worldtime function, so you can select which city to sync with, as you travel like the Fresh Prince of Instagram in Dubai.

There is a light button too. Old school. Nice.

Taste the rainbow, wear the rainbow.

Sapphire crystal and what the…what about those multi-coloured links? Get the Skittles Rainbow on your wrist. It also has a screw down crown, for that extra water resistance, in fact it’s good for 200m so no worries on swimming with this goldfinger Casio on. The watch is ion-plated, not gold plated, but you know what, if you are a diehard Casio fanboi then this is going to be a very collectable piece in years to come. Not saying that investing £1500 in a used Omega Constellation from the 1960s isn’t a better investment, because it undoubtedly is, but sometimes a quirky wristwatch, that’s way outside of the mainstream, is a good thing to own.

More here at the G-Shock website.

Rolex Explorer II: Classic Tool Watch Makes a Great Investment

The latest Explorer II made its debut yesterday and we have to say the white dial and vivid orange GMT hand are classic touches that didn’t need to be changed. The new movement is a welcome upgrade, so you now have a 70 hour power reserve, plus the dial features new super-bright lume on the markers and hands. The case size is 42mm too, which will suit many buyers as it looks like a proper watch, not a 36mm vintage model.

It’s arguably a better investment than the Explorer with two tone case because it won’t date so quickly and the lack of gold links in the bracelet makes it slightly less attractive to thieves. Wearing a dress Rolex openly in public is becoming pretty dangerous in many UK cities, even in daytime, so owning something that looks more akin to a Seiko 5 or a Maurice Lacroix Aikon is a wise precaution.

Here’s the press info from Rolex;

Rolex is introducing its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer II. This technical watch, in Oystersteel, was created for the boldest explorers and now features a redesigned case and bracelet. This update brings enhanced visual balance and harmony to the timepiece while remaining true to its aesthetic heritage.

On the white lacquer dial, the hour markers – whose black coating is applied using PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) – and the black lacquer hour, minute and seconds hands stand out for their matt finish. The 24-hour hand retains its characteristic orange hue, which is the same colour as the Explorer II inscription that has featured on the dial since 2011.

The new-generation Explorer II also benefits from an optimized Chromalight display. In dark conditions, the intensity of the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated. In daylight, these display elements also have a brighter white hue.

The new-generation Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3285, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.

The Explorer II is heir to the privileged relationship that has long united Rolex and exploration. Presented in 1971, this robust and reliable watch quickly became an essential tool for explorers travelling to the far corners of the globe, often in extreme conditions. Thanks to its 24-hour display comprising an additional, orange hour hand and an engraved bezel, the Explorer II allows the wearer to clearly distinguish daytime from night-time hours. This is particularly useful in areas where it is difficult or even impossible to distinguish between day and night, such as underground or in polar regions, which experience six months of daylight and six months of darkness a year. In certain conditions, this display enables the watch to serve as compass. The 24-hour display can also be used to show a second time zone.

UPGRADED MOVEMENT

The new-generation Explorer II is equipped with calibre 3285, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2018 and is fitted on this model from 2021. At the forefront of watchmaking technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Calibre 3285 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.

Calibre 3285 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3285 extends to approximately 70 hours.

The new-generation Explorer II is fitted with an Oyster bracelet. Developed at the end of the 1930s, this three-piece link bracelet is known for its robustness.

The Oyster bracelet on this new watch features the Rolex-designed and -patented Oysterlock folding safety clasp, which prevents accidental opening. It is also equipped with the Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily adjust the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm. In addition, a concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case.

New Rolex Explorer: 36mm Case, Two-Tone Bracelet

OK, we are in two minds about the latest Rolex Explorer with two-tone bracelet. Yes, it adds a kinda executive touch to a watch that has looked a little bit dated for a few decades. But 18ct gold centre links? Hmm, yeah it’s a bit Swiss Tony. Plus a 36mm case size is too small for much of the 50-60-something, male dominated market that Rolex enjoys. The watch collector market has got used to 40mm being the default size for a statement watch on the wrist. That’s all we are saying Rolex, so get that 39/41mm case option prototype tested and in production for September.

Here’s the press blurb from Rolex;

Rolex is presenting its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer. At 36 mm, it returns to the size of the original model launched in 1953 following the first ascent to the summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May that year.

The new-generation Explorer is notably released in a yellow Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold). The black dial, now lacquered, bears the index hour markers and emblematic 3, 6 and 9 numerals that are the cornerstones of the model’s personality, evoking the determination and spirit of adventure that give rise to great achievements.

The new-generation Explorer’s Chromalight display is particularly impressive. In dark conditions, the intensity of the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated. In daylight, these display elements also have a brighter white hue.

The new-generation Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.

AN EXPLORATION TOOL 

Presented in 1953, the Explorer is emblematic of the close ties between Rolex and exploration. In the 1930s, the brand began to equip numerous Himalayan expeditions with Oyster watches. Among these was the group that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were part of when they became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet).

This pioneering move illustrated the company’s ambition to use the world as a laboratory, testing its watches in real conditions in order to continually improve them. The feedback that Rolex received from the members of these different expeditions therefore had a direct influence on the evolution of its watches, making them more precise and robust.

GOLD CENTRE LINKS

Rolesor, the combination of 18 ct gold and Oystersteel on a Rolex watch, has been a signature feature of the brand since 1933, when the name was registered. It is a meeting of two metals: one, noble and precious, attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, highly resistant to corrosion, assuring strength and reliability. All of these qualities mirror the elegance and performance that come together in a Rolex watch.

On the yellow Rolesor version of the new-generation Explorer, the bezel, winding crown and centre links of the bracelet are in 18 ct yellow gold, while the case and outer links of the bracelet are in Oystersteel.

100m WATER RESISTANCE

The new-generation Explorer’s 36 mm Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watch’s movement.

MODERN MOVEMENT, PLENTY OF RESERVE

The new-generation Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2020. At the forefront of watchmaking technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.

Calibre 3230 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.

Calibre 3230 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3230 extends to approximately 70 hours.