Tag Archives: watches

Orient Star His `n’ Hers Set

Seiko owned Orient has launched a His & Hers matched pair of watches, which some people like. Makes a nice wedding anniversary gift and all that jazz. Branded as STAR models, they feature a little skeleton – or open heart – type window in the dial.

Here’s the press info;

ORIENT STAR is launching three men’s and three ladies’ Classic Semi Skeleton models from the Classic Collection, with new designs that create a fresh, modern look.

The dials of the Classic Semi Skeleton models from the Classic Collection feature a window affording a partial view of the movement, and their designs evoke a level of sophistication unique to mechanical watches. While the colouring and details of previous models focused on traditional styling, these latest additions provide something different, with fresh designs creating a modern look.

The concept for the new model designs is “gentle sunlight”, and the dial colours are inspired by the gentle light of the sun shining upon water, plants, and forests. Beautiful shades of champagne gold, forest green, pale aqua, and pearl grey reflect feelings of gentleness
and happiness found in everyday life and natural scenery. (Yeah, crazy talk isn’t it? They just mean pastel shades – ed)

Although there is a difference between the men’s and ladies’ models in featuring ORIENT STAR’s (yep, we hate the capitals SHOUTY THING too – Ed) signature power reserve indicator or not, there are other common features besides the gentle colours. Both models share the same classically curved dial featuring stylish embossed
index markers, delicate roman numerals, and spade shaped hands.

The men’s and ladies’ models are designed to complement each other, sharing the same attractive classic-modern case shape with an elegant profile viewed from its side by gently domed mineral glass crystals, accented by rhinestone set in the crown. A sophisticated leather strap with a French turned edge finish completes the attractive design of these everyday fashion pieces.

The fresh new matching design, high-quality mechanical movements and accessible price point make them particularly appealing additions to the ORIENT STAR collection.

Orient isn’t officially imported into the UK so we are guessing that this set will retail at about £400, or £250 just for the gents model. But you may need to add on VAT na dimport duty to that.

VERDICT; Stick to Seiko or Citizen open heart classic watches, much better value.

Boldr Updates Dial Colours on Venture Field Medic

Boldr in Singapore has updated the dial choices on their Venture Field Medic model. Here’s the press info;

The bright, bold dial of this Venture Field Medic Salamander is inspired by the 2021 Pantone colour combo. We were searching for a camouflage theme that’s different, fresh, modern, and related to the Field Medic concept.

Salamanders not only possess highly conspicuous colour patterns to deter predators, but are able to heal & self-regenerate their own limbs. This Field Medic takes after the “Fire Salamander” and its beautiful bright yellow spots.

The Venture Field Medic utilizes an ultra-tough & super light 38mm titanium case and is powered by a SII VK64 Mecaquartz chronograph movement. The precisely graduated markings on the dial are able to count off heart and respiratory rates within a matter of seconds. When activating the chronograph, we’d recommend counting using 30-second intervals for higher accuracy.

The Field Medic is as sturdy as they come and rated for 200m water resistance, so don’t worry about getting your hands dirty. Designed for front-liners and watch enthusiasts, $30 from every Field Medic sold goes towards Covid-19 related charities. Make the most out of this tough tool watch while giving back for a good cause.

Ball Rescue Chronograph on Pre-Order Now

Ball just keep remixing that Roadmaster formula, with the latest variant being the Rescue Chronograph. Here’s the blurb;

Whether by air, land or sea, every rescue mission is unique. But there’s one common truth: timing is everything. A purpose-built tool for critical search and rescue situations, the new Roadmaster Rescue Chronograph delivers extreme accuracy, easy readability and high functionality.

Engineered with a patented pusher locking system, the chronograph function works in unison with the pulsometer scale to measure heart rate, while two illuminated sub-dial counters track elapsed time.

And for countdowns at all hours, the ceramic diving bezel features a bold micro gas tube inset. Vital functionality and versatile form that’s ready to venture wherever necessary.

Constructed from a titanium-steel combination, the 41mm case affords high impact strength, lightweight wearing comfort and trusted durability – even at extreme temperatures.

And with a case thickness of just 14.8mm, the tool watch fits securely with diverse types of gear. Atop the robust case, the steel bezel features a virtually scratchproof ceramic ring with countdown markings.

In the centre of the triangular marking, a micro gas tube inset ensures an instantly bright glow in darkness, allowing the uni-directional rotating bezel to be used for countdowns at all hours.

The latest addition to the Roadmaster Rescue Chronograph with black ceramic bezel inset put the focus on the dial design with the popular “panda” and “reverse panda” colorways. Limited to 1,000 pieces each, it is now available for pre-order until 17 September 2021 at an exclusive price of £1590.

 

Advisor Protege – New Automatic On The Blocks

Advisor watches has a new model on the way. Called the Protege, it has a 37.5mm square case, with an automatic Miyota movement inside. There are various green, blue and black dial choices.

Leather strap or steel bracelet – also a see-thru caseback.

The dial has a sort of carbon fibre finish, that’s slightly industrial and the screws on the bezel also give it that tool watch vibe. No word on prices yet, but there is an email subs waiting list if you are keen.

More here.

 

Indie Brands: Spinnaker Line-Up is Refreshed

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…

CROFT

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.

HULL

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.

Check out more Spinnaker goodness on their website.

Torgoen Adds New Dial Colours to the T43

The T43 model from Torgoen gets new blue, green and red dial/bezel colour options. The 200m dive watch has a beefy 44mm case diameter, a Swiss Ronda quartz movement inside, plus a spahhire crystal.

Screw down crown naturally. It comes as standard with a leather strap, and it’s worth noting a PU synthetic is an extra £36. Bit steep, we think you could buy a decent 20mm silicone strap from eBay for a tenner frankly.

All adds up to nice spec for the RRP, which is £209.

More here.

Bell+Ross BR-5 GMT: Tool Watch Simplicity

The GMT is a watch tradition that never goes out of fashion. Yes, most of us don’t travel that much now that Covid19 has provided climate zealots with the ammunition to shutdown overseas jaunts for the 80%, but still, a GMT looks good. Plus it helps you stay in sync with an overseas office if you work in say global IT, insurance, media production etc.

Now Bell+Ross have that aircraft heritage and that cockpit dial gauge style thing going on. All good. The screwdown bezel gives it a too, watch focus, a utilitarian feel. Ditto the integrated bracelet links, which add a sort of `hewn from metal’ vibe.

Then there’s the stark white-on-black numbers and markers. Functional for sure, but also punchy, eye-catching and sort of timeless. This won’t go out of fashion like some Swiss watches do – anyone still collecting Ebel chronographs with their huge pushers and rounded off cases? Nope, thought not.

At 41mm across, it’s the right size, it also looks pure tool-watch slick, stripped down and ready to travel. No fancy additions, not even a day to sit alongside the date window.

This is a pricey watch at £4100 on a textured strap, £4500 on a bracelet. For all its super-clean, brushed steel brilliance the Bell+Ross BR-5 range is Sellita powered, albeit decorated and upgarded by the B&R concern.

That is a heck of a price to pay for a Sellita powered watch, so our verdict is spend the £4500 on a different GMT, like a pre-owned Explorer maybe, or even a new Tudor Black Bay. You will hold the watch value better in the long run because B&R simply does not have the fanbase in the UK that big brands like Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Breitling et al has, or ever will have.

Like so many watches that dare to be genuinely different, B&R pay the price in the fickle collector market.

TAG Aquaracer 300: New Night Diver Variants

Is a TAG watch cool or not? That’s a tough one, because a Monaco in Gulf colours, or even the blue dial, is a winner. Some of the Carrera models also look the business, as do the fume dial Autavias, with their vintage 70s racing driver vibe remixed for the modern era perfectly. But then, there’s the quartz stuff..and that smartwatch thing. Hmm.

But the Aquaracer has its fans, and for good reason; this is a dive watch you can wear with a suit and it looks distinctive, quality and reasonably fresh. Here’s the word from TAG;

INTRODUCING THE NIGHT DIVER

Following the launch of the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer
Professional 300 series during Watches and Wonders Geneva in April, TAG Heuer announces three additions to the go-anywhere family of watches, including a new iteration of a TAG Heuer icon, the all-black, lume-dialled TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Night Diver.

TAG Heuer enthusiasts will recognise the name “Night Diver”, which was first introduced in the mid-1980s. Loved by active, style-conscious watch buyers who push their limits, exploring nature and
going beyond the edge, it became one of the most celebrated sports watches of its era.

Today’s TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 collection picks up this story. TAG Heuer’s design, engineering and heritage teams worked together to deliver a faithful update to a much-loved watch,
retaining and improving signature details such as the famous 12-sided bezel and the dial’s horizontal engraved lines to produce a refined, highly versatile modern classic.

So there are now 11 references in the new Aquaracer line-up. All three new models are non-limited and go into the core collection, each with a 43 mm stainless steel case and rubber strap equipped with TAG Heuer’s innovative adjustable folding clasp.

The new black and blue versions pick up on the bracelet models introduced at Watches and Wonders: both are colour-themed with matching black or blue dials, ceramic bezel inserts and rubber straps.
The standout model of the release is the black DLC-coated Night Diver, joining the TAG Heuer AquaracerProfessional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 as the collection’s hero pieces.

Its stainless-steel case, bezel, crown, caseback and clasp are all coated in matt black diamond-like carbon, known as DLC, a high- performance, hard-wearing finish designed for use in extreme conditions. The bezel insert is highly resistant black ceramic.

EXTRA LUME

The Night Diver’s other signature feature is its fully luminescent dial, which is coated in green SuperLumiNova® to deliver exceptional glow-in-the-dark performance. To ensure ultimate legibility in extreme low-light conditions, the watch’s minute and central seconds hands are filled with blue lume to contrast with the green of the dial.

The hour hand and octagonal hour markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock are filled with green lume, and the remaining octagonal hour markers are all edged with black lacquer. The triangle on the unidirectional rotating bezel at 12, which is crucial to accurately and safely measure dive times, is also filled with striking blue lume to match the blue of the minute and central seconds hands.

FUNCTIONALITY

There’s a unidirectional rotating bezel, a screw-down crown, water resistance to at least 200 metres, luminous markings, a scratch-resistant crystal and a double safety clasp.

The 12 sides of the bezel are all faceted for grip, the crown is protected to prevent accidental damage and there’s a magnifying glass over the date, which is integrated into the underside of the sapphire crystal, making it smooth to the touch.

UK Prices start at £2250.

VERDICT; What we like about the Aquaracer 300m dive models is that you are getting much the same spec as the Omega Seamaster, but without the £3500-£4500 price tag. Forgive the pun. It’s a versatile watch, and at 43mm suits most wrists. You will always find someone wants to buy it from you pre-owned as well, and often for a decent percentage of the original RRP.

The many-sided bezel also adds a little difference, a bit of visual appeal, because so many dive watches – and all their homages – essentially look the same; round case 40-44mm, uni bezel with big lume numbers, cyclops and a screwdown protected crown. Sometimes a detail like the 12-sided feature makes you, the owner, stand out from the crowd. That’s a good thing we reckon.

Viqueria Prometeo on Pre-Order

Viqueria has a new model available for pre-order. The Prometeo comes with Seagull or Unitas power unit and delivery is expected in late September. Here’s the word from the factory;

With the Viqueria Prometeo, revisit the notion of simple elegance with 43mm (11mm thickness) case and fumé dials boiled down to the absolute essential for quick reading: Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 and clear railroad graduations around the dial. Seconds sit at 6 in a circular finishing subdial.

Encased in 316L Stainless Steel case with a perfectly mixed polished and brushed finishing, this unique timepiece features a fumé red or blue dial with a great Ecru Super-LumiNova® C5 accents. This combination of case material and variant dial sets it apart from all other Viqueria’s existing models.

The Viqueria Prometeo is proposed with a double choice of manual-winding calibers: a Swiss Unitas 6498 and a Seagull ST36. Both calibers are checked and regulated in Italy by our factory during the watch assembly.

The watch is delivered on a gorgeous italian leather strap by 2DStraps, a famous Italian leather-goods manufacturer.

Prices start at 197 euros, plus UK import duties and VAT on top. More here.

Skagen Ancher: German Minimalism, Without The Price Tag

Skagen has released a new slimline chronograph, called the Ancher.

The case has 50% recycled content, there’s a new movement inside, plus the lugs are kinda chamfered, so you should get a smoother wrist fit. We like the black coating too. Understated and not too big at 40mm, this makes a nice everyday quartz watch.

Full chrono flyback functionality too, plus some lume on the numbers. Price is £149 and there’s optional engraving for that birthday gift experience.

There is a blue model but it’s already sold out.

What we like about this watch is that it has that super clean, minimalist Junghans/Glashutte sort of flavour without the 1K plus price tag.

There’s also an Ancher automatic model at £249, witha  skeleton dial. Kinda nice.