Tag Archives: themed

Timex Continues With Retro Groove

Timex is staying on the retro path with new colour choices for the Q Reissue series, including a deep blue dial/bezel combo that we love.  It has a 38mm case, steel bracelet, easy-change battery compartment on the caseback – all that good stuff from the past, with a modern quartz movement inside.

It is a great looker although £175 is expensive for a basic fashion watch. Rivals from Sekonda, Accurist, even a Seiko 5, can be had for about £110. Just saying.

Now if you rock the Pride month then the Timex Malibu models will be right up your alley. Featuring Miami art deco colours, these watches have a 36mm case width, quartz movt, acrylic crystal and gold tone painted bracelets, which are the expandable type.

Good news for older customers who often miss these expanding links, although taking the pins out to remove links can be a bit of a faff, even for jewellers and watch shops.

Bizarrely, they feature a rotating bezel, which seems pointless on a fashion watch but still. Price is £175.

More info on  the UK Timex site here.

MHD Type 3 Goes on Pre-Order

The MHD Type 3 automatic watch, which NWC magazine has been following for some months during its development, is now available for pre-order.

Price is £745 inc VAT and you get a 40mm case watch, with a 1920s Bugatti style design – we love that motorsport style grille on the case. There is also a power reserve on the dial, plus an overall clocks/dashboard vibe, all of which help to make this a winner when it comes to looks.

Inside you will find the humble Miyota automatic movement, so it is an expensive watch for the `engine’ featured. You have to love the details like the Italian leather strap and the fact that it is a limited edition of just 100 pieces. Truly a one-off design that mixes retro motoring with modern minimalism, you can find out more here.

Was Rothmans THE Motorsport Paint Job of The 80s?

We reckon it was. Seen on rally cars like the insane Porsche 911, the Le Mans racers of the famed 24 hour endurance events, US sports cars, or the amazing Honda V4 race bikes – and a few road bikes – the Rothmans red/white/blue combo just defined that era. Which some today even cite as the greates decade in motorsports of all time.

Yes, we just started a pub debate and the pubs aren’t even open. But look at the evidence; Doohan vs Rainey and Schwantz in 500 GPs, the Audi Quattro and Group B in Rallying. Then there’s the battles between Piquet, Prost and Senna in F1, plus the bonkers turbo cars of the time. World Superbikes also started in the late 80s. I rest my case, and my can of Kestrel lager.

So this Omologato Heritage watch, with a Seiko quartz movement inside its 42mm steel case,  chrono functions, plus natty Italian leather strap is a vintage delight. Reliable and decent value at £370. That’s all, it just does exactly what a retro watch should do – looks like a million dollars standing still.

More here. 

Latest Ball Engineer II Model; Waco Glider Edition

The latest from Ball Watch Co;

On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, BALL Watch proudly presents the all new Engineer Master II Waco Glider, an officer’s watch that combines vintage style with modern technology. Limited to 1,943 pieces each to commemorate the year that the Waco CG-4A gliders went into active service, the Engineer Master II Waco Glider features a manual winding movement, plus micro gas tube luminosity and 1,000 gauss (80,000 A/m) anti-magnetic protection.

From now on until 13 January 2021, pre-order your Engineer Master II Waco Glider at an exclusive price of £1450. Your order will include a complimentary green NATO strap for a change of look.

Legibility is of upmost importance in any military timepiece, thus we have opted for a minimalistic approach for the Waco Glider. The 3, 6 and 12 o’clock numerals, as well as hour batons and hands are equipped with micro gas tubes; the design is clean yet eye-catching. In dark and low-light conditions, our industry-leading technology delivers incomparable brightness.

The centre of the case back is left entirely blank and serves as your canvas for customization. Engrave your name, commemorate a special moment, or add a short personal message – it’s your opportunity to re-enact the practice that was often seen on vintage timepieces.

More info at Ball watches here.

Japanese Anime Themed Seiko 5 Auto Models

Comic book themed watches have been around since the days of Batman, Superman, Hopalong Cassidy and Dan Dare. Some are highly collectable and can fetch thousands. So here’s some kapow type news from Seiko;

Introduced in 1968 and re-born in 2019, the Seiko 5 Sports watch offers durable and reliable mechanical watches for watch lovers. We are big fans of the modern Seiko 5 models, because they are amazing value. Seiko has launched seven new Seiko 5 Sports creations, inspired by two leading Japanese animations, NARUTO and BORUTO.

NARUTO was first broadcasted in Japan in 2002 and then marketed abroad. BORUTO is the sequel to the series and centres on Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, whose adventure continues today. Each of the seven creations capture both animation’s central characters: Naruto, Sasuke, Shikamaru, Lee, Gaara from NARUTO, and Boruto and Sarada from BORUTO.

The series will be available worldwide at Seiko Boutiques and selected retailing partners in December, as limited editions of 6,500 yen each. That’s about £50 on our currency converter, but we aren’t expecting these bargain Seiko models to make it to the UK at that RRP.

We aren’t big on anime stuff here at the Northern Watch Co but the Rock Lee is our fave. Just looks the part. Nice leg warmers too.

 

Are Car Branded Watches a Good Investment?

The world of watches and motor sport go hand in racing glove. You only have to look at the auction prices being realised for watches owned by movie star drivers like Paul Newman or Steve McQueen at the stratospheric end. But even lower down the millionaire collector market, 60s motorcycle champion Mike Hailwood’s Heuer Carrera Chronograph made £56,000 at auction last year.

But let’s assume you can’t afford a racing driver or bike racer’s original watch. You mightr be tempted by a limited edition motor themed wristwatch, especially one that is produced in association with your fave car manufacturer. If you own a BMW, Merc, Alfa, Bentley, Audi or Maserati then why not buy the factory-approved watch?

Well, the short answer is that some of them are fashion statements, not great watches. If you really want long term investment value, then weigh up all the pros and cons.

The Breitling Bentley is a good example of how an automotive branding exercise adds very little in terms of collector appeal. Bentley commissioned Breitling back in 2002 to create an onboard clock that would enhance the new GT model. Since then there have Bentley themed watches every year, but some enthusists feel the Breitling Bentleys don’t really offer a great deal of interest, given that many have the ETA 2892 movement – or modded variants – inside the cases. I mean, you could just buy a Navitimer right?

Premier B01 Chronograph Bentley watch large

The only exceptions I would say are limited edition Bentley models, like the 2019 Premier B01 model pictured, which has a bit of genuine old Bentley Blower dasboard as the dial plate. These MIGHT fetch considerably more money in the future, plus they have the in-house B01 movement inside, so arguably a superior timepiece than a humble ETA powered Bentley watch.

IMHO some motor company watches are very decent value. The Mercedes automatic chronograph in black PVD, featuring a Valjoux 7750 movement costs £1299, which is cheap compared to other Valjoux powered watches like the TAG Monaco, (£4250 approx new) although the Monaco looks fantastic set against the rather utilitarian Merc watch.

mercedes valjoux automatic watch

The downside with the Mercedes, like any branded watch, is that when it comes to selling it on, your potential market is generally limited to Mercedes owners, or wannabe owners. But still, you should be able to get £500-£700 for any modern era Valjoux automatic with box and papers, even from Cash Converters. In the great scheme of things that isn’t huge depreciation for say 5-10 years of ownership and enjoyment.

A nice alternative to the handsome Gulf Racing stled TAG Monaco, is the Baume & Mercier Clifton, Shelby Cobra edition. OK, it just has an ETA Valjoux 7750 inside and it costs £6500, but it is never going to sell in volume and the stunning looks should attract collectors for decades to come, especially when V8 cars are banned and the Cobra becomes a mythical museum piece.

Baume__Mercier_CliftonClubCobra

For me, it is the Peter Brock inspirfed design details, like the Cobra shaped second hand, and the wheel shaped see-through caseback, that set the special edition model apart. It sums up what makes all petrrolheads tick; obsessive attention to originality and detail, improving performance and looks by customising something. Getting envious looks down the Ace Cafe or the local hang-out.

In the end, buy a Swiss watch because you love the way it looks on the wrist, not just the resale value. Otherwise you’re just another trader.