Tag Archives: value

A Minimalist Watch For a Fiver? Yep

Let’s suppose for a minute that you like Skagen watches, millions of people do. But you hate paying £150 for a basic quartz watch that has a caseback so impossible to remove, even Timpsons expert openers leave three or four scratches when its battery change time.

Or you might like Nomos Glashutte models, like the post-modernist Orion Neomatik, with its hushed grey dial tones and wafer-thin hands. But again, you dislike the Nomos price tag of about £1800.

Beautifully understated, but nearly two grand. Not everyone wants to spend that on a watch.

There is a cheaper way to look uber-modern and stylish, albeit with a quartz movement for just a fiver – including postage. Seriously.

We found a brand in China called Top Of the World and bought this grey-green dial model which cost just £4.75, yes under a fiver.

Good old AliExpress brought this one up when we searched quartz gents watches by price and you have to admit that it delivers. Packed in a curious flip-up bubble of plastic, there’s no box or papers. Just a basic leaflet telling you how to set the hands.

It was set to the correct UK time when it arrived, which is a nice touch by the brand, not many Swiss companies would bother to set the new watch to the right time.  Measuring just 41mm across, with a superslim bezel this is the perfect fit for many people. It’s not too high either at 10.6mm.

You get a PU fake leather strap, so it ticks the vegan box if you like to make sure that no leather is in your life. On the wrist the PU actually feels really soft and comfortable.

The dial has got that Junghans Max Bill kind of look, although the numbers are slightly smaller. It’s utilitarian, basic and none the worse for that, in fact the entire design reminded me of a rev counter from a mid-70s Honda CB400/550/750, minus the fabled red zone – which always used to fade in the sunlight.

Save the planet, keep paperwork down to a minimum.

Those ultra skinny hands stand out nicely and you can get the time with a glance. No superlume for night time of course, but you know…it’s a fiver. Some artisan cafes are charging that for a bowl of organic apple porridge.

VERDICT:

This beats Argos, Amazon or eBay when it comes to cheap prices and a decent spec. It arrived in just under a week too, so five stars for value. Nope, we aren’t on commission, we just like a bargain.

More info here.

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.

Cheap Watches: What’s Your Price Limit?

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.

Limit watches start at about £20 RRP. More here.

Watch Reviews: A Dive Style Watch For a Tenner?

Northern Watch Co magazine misses the old days when you could sit in a pub debating all kinds of things, such as why do  most Lib Dem candidates all have dreadful hair?

Another Alan Partridge topic is that only rubbish watches like Bench, Henleys and similar car boot dross can be had £10 or so. You have to pay about £25 to get a simple timekeeper that will last you a couple of years.

So in spite of pubs now pretending to be field hospitals that serve alcohol and chicken wraps as a sideline, we took up that challenge last week.

The winner of our ebay search was a near-mint Casio dive style quartz, which cost £10 exactly, plus £2.99 postage. This MRW 200 model is available online from as little as £14.99 at Argos, although other outlets are trying to get over 30 quid for it.

You can’t blame them because it’s a decent watch for the money, with 100m water resistance, a moveable bezel, some OK lume on the hands and markers, plus a resin strap and day/date feature.

Unpacking the watch I was surprised at how clean this used watch was – hardly a mark on it and set to the right time, date and ticking away. It even had the original docs in the groovy 1990s style see-thru box.

On the wrist it feels super light and not too big, with a 42mm case diameter. The caseback screws down and the only way water can sneak in is via the crown, which has little protector lugs next to it. The white dial lets the markers stand out and after holding the watch under a kitchen light for a few minutes, the lume was bright for around 20 mins. Not bad at this price.

No, you would not scuba dive in this watch, and the docs state that quite clearly. But a little dip in a hotel pool should be fine.

Like every Casio, this one feels well made and durable. The black paint on the case will probably withstand a few knocks better than most budget watches and the painted on white numerals on the bezel looks nice and thick under a loupe.

The clasp even has  a Casio logo indented into it, which is a neat touch on a low cost watch. Most are unsigned.

This is a sharp looking everyday watch that you can wear when giving your vintage stuff a rest inside its case, or winder. You could lose it and not worry too much because at this price it’s cheaper than a gastro pub meal with a couple of drinks.

There is a difference between cheap, and great value. Any Casio offers that value, plus a little bit of respect from watch collectors and the general public alike. People see it and say `It’s a Casio so they last for years.’

When you buy that kind of brand rep for a tenner, you’re winning.

 

LIV Watches Price Hike Due Soon

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.

New Watches: Vertigo Medusa is 300m Dive Watch Winner

Vertigo watches have a very clean, classic styled, minimalist dive watch on the blocks for 2021.

The Medusa features an engraving of the legendary figure on the caseback, a trusty Seiko NH35 auto movement inside, plus sapphire crystal, superlume and three stunning colours on the dial. Unidirectional bezel, and a 300m depth rating. We love the fume green best, but the damask red is a winner too, then there’s traditional black with bright yellow hour markings. Case size is 41mm which is probably just right for many gents wrists, material is 316 grade stainless.

The good news is that the price on pre-order is just 230 euros. Yep, that is a bargain price for a 300m dive watch. Try adding another 1500 euros on top for anything with Swiss made on the dial. OK, you get the cachet of Swiss, but for the money a Seiko powered automatic with genuine underwater ability has to be a Christmas gift winner for any watch lover.

Just saying, we aren’t on commission or anything. More at the Vertigo site. 

Kingsbury’s Varsity Motorsport Auto is a Quirky Alternative

Some people like a 4pm position winding crown, some don’t. But if you don’t like it on an automatic watch, then it’s no biggie, as you won’t be winding it very often.

So the Varsity budget auto from Canada based Kingsbury Watches, is a refreshing change from the mainstream, for several reasons not just the 4pm crown. Although it’s motorsport themed dials lack some of the visual punch of say Omogolato or Viquiera, the Varsity is more old school, a bit plainer, more 1950s/60s. But for some collectors less is more, there is a simplicity, a functionality at play here.

kingsbury watch varsity 3

Looks vintage, but the Varsity is in fact very modern; there’s a sapphire crystal, plus Superlume on the hands and markers and a stainless steel case. That classic sub-second dial with red hand gives this a dashboard clocks kinda vibe.

We like the engraved caseback too. You don’t often get details like this on a budget watch priced under £150.

kingsbury watch varsity 2

Fact is, a Seiko YN77 movement powered watch, with a spare NATO or leather strap, for about £120 is amazing value. You can buy a boxed set of all four yellow, blue, grey and black dialed Varsity watches for $840 Canadian dollars, which works out at just £480.

Given that each yellow/blue/black or grey watch is one of just 50 being made,  so 200 Varsity models in total, that is sweet deal we say.

There’s more here at the Kinsgbury Kickstarter page.

There’s Gonna Be A Waiting List: Bucherer Drops Blue AP Royal Oak

This will be a rare beast in the future. Any AP Royal Oak is pretty hot stuff right now in the UK and many other countries, but a Bucherer Blue edition? You won’t see many of these coming up for re-sale in the next decade we reckon.

Why would you sell it on? Look at it, it is stunning, with its tapisserie dial, which has a kind of quilted tile look, there’s no way better way to describe it really. It stands out a mile away, which is a good thing.

Equally impressive are the 18K gold bezel and end links, which add just the right amount of contrasting colour. The pushers are black because, well, you can sometimes agree that less is more, right?

bucherer blue AP edition movt

42mm case size is arguably a perfect compromise for many a wrist. Inside there is an automatic, in-house AP movement with a 50 hour reserve. Functional, nothing fancy, just your basic lifelong tool watch that will almost certainly never, repeat never, go out of style. You can view that movement through the caseback as well.

Get in line we say because the demand will be strong, even at CHF 34,900, which is about £29,200 or so.

Timex Q Watches Capture The Spirit of 1979 Perfectly

First released in the 1970s, the original Q Timex watches were quartz powered and replaced an ageing mechanical and auto line-up.

Now the modern Timex company has launched Q Timex 1979 Reissue, with bright pops of colour added to the iconic features of the original — a rotating bezel, woven stainless-steel bracelet, functional battery hatch and domed acrylic crystal.

In orange, green, and a Pepsi blue/red combo the Q range offer old school looks with a chunky bracelet and that vintage battery cover on the back. Yep, you can use a 20p coin to unlock and fit a new battery yourself. Easy peasy.

At £159 these Timex Reissues aren’t cheap, but they do have a retro style that sets them apart – plus a steel bracelet, which many people prefer to leather. Simple reason; straps wear and split, bracelets can last a decade with care.

timex auot 40mm m79

There’s also a new Timex M79 retro style auto on the way, which is 40mm case size and features a handsome Batman bezel, plus see-thru caseback. That is priced at £249.

There is a summer sale on now, with 30% off the Marlin and Waterbury gents models by the way. More here. 

 

Longines Heritage Tuxedo – Bit Too Retro?

OK, not sure about this Longines Tuxedo model. First, it has an uncanny resemblance to the Triumph/Ingersoll pocket watches of the 1950s/60s, with its bold black and white dial design, and striking chapter ring numerals.

That’s no bad thing, but the sub-second dial and plain jane looks of the three-hand model are going to be a problem for some buyers we reckon, mainly because it looks so much like a vintage watch from 60 years ago – in fact, let’s be blunt, at first glance this Tuxedo could look like a low cost vintage watch. It isn’t that impressive for the money. Just an opinion, please don’t cancel us on Twitter.

The chrono version of the Heritage Tuxedo is a sharper looking customer for sure, although we would still take a vintage Valjoux 7733 chronograph for £500-£1000 over this new Longines at £2200 any day.

The best price we saw for the Tuxedo 3-hand auto online was £1480 at Jura watches, which makes this an expensive alternative to owning a genuine, vintage Longines Conquest automatic for example, which might be around £1000-£1200 for a mint example.

Here’s the press info fromLongines;

Longines celebrates the carefree spirit of the late 1940s. After the harsh war came a time of prosperity and celebration. Elegance was back in fashion; men wore suits and women wore recently-introduced nylon stockings. People got dressed up to go out and dance to the rhythm of jazz bands. The new Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo creations – one with 3 hands and the other featuring a chronograph – are inspired by two historic pieces designed in the spirit of their time, modernised.

Longines offers two new models inspired by historical pieces with the typical aesthetics of the regained freedom of the late 1940s. You can easily imagine it on the wrist of partygoers at jazz clubs. They have been nicknamed “Tuxedo” by collectors, the contrast of black and white on their dial reminds us of the suits worn during the elegant and festive evenings of the time.

longines tuxedo 2

To respect the spirit of the original models, Longines has chosen here not to add the word “Automatic” on the dials. In keeping with the aim to create timepieces that are as faithful as possible to historical timepieces, there is also no date window on contemporary models, which are presented on semi-matt black leather straps, perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the era.

The Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo is available in two versions: a 3-hand model and a chronograph model.

The former stands out for the aesthetics of its dial, a typical and very popular design from the 1940s. An opaline silver disc surrounded by a sublime matt black circle of thin baton hands covered with Super-LumiNova®. The small seconds counter, located at 6 o’clock, is off-centre: this detail contributes to the charm of this 38.50 mm-diameter timepiece housing the exclusive L893.5 movement with its silicon balance spring, a guarantee of quality and precision.

The chronograph version displays matt black, opaline and midnight blue, colours as elegant as they are refined. Several zones feature on its dial, and a tachymetric scale – quite rare for a Longines watch – also enriches its circumference, just like on the original model. The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph – Tuxedo houses in its 40.00 mm-diameter case a movement (calibre L895.5) developed exclusively for Longines Heritage timepieces. It is also equipped with a silicon balance spring.

With its two new models in contrasting black and white, The Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo brings us back to a colourful era that brought back parties!