Made In Japan


There is lots to be said for a Citizen solar watch. Doesn’t need a battery, and the solar cell unit lasts about 10-12 years, so arguably better for the environment. Then you have 200m water resistance, so swimming or diving is OK.

This latest green coloured model, the Promaster, also has a big 44mm wide case, loads of lume, plus chroograph features, so you can time any type of event. At £399 it isn’t cheap, but because Citizen specialise in making watches, not just sticking their logo onto stuff like fashion brands, you get something more durable, better designed for the task at hand.

We say wait until the major UK watch shops have a sale on an check this green `un out at say £300 or less.






We checked out a Philips auction results page and apart from the mind-bending $6.5m price for a Patek Nautilus, it was interesting to see Grand Seiko watches going above estimates by a hefty margin.

A 2011 30th anniversary 36mm GS in mint condition made $20,000, while a platinum case Spring Drive from 2016 made 88,000 Swiss Francs, or around £70K sterling back in May 2021.  Considering a brand new GS 8-Day Spring Drive is 50K that’s not a bad return on your investment.


This series of watches for men starts at about £145, rising to £195 for the solar power models – quite pricey for what it is. We reckon you might as well buy a Seiko solar, rather than the sub-brand. Just saying.


Casio has announced an update to its G-Steel watches, now slimmer than ever and with the same solar cell power, bluetooth, countdown features, carbon core etc.

Steel pushers too by the way.



New for June 2021 – variations on the 60s box-crystal theme. NATO strap or bracelet, faded lume on selected styles too. Prices start at £440.



If you want to build your own Seiko MOD watch there are many companies now who can help. One is Lucas Atelier, who have been in this sector for some years now. Cases, dials, hands, crowns, bezels – they can supply it all.

You do need some watch assembly skills, but Lucas will help you with advice and tips. Our advice at NWC mag is to buy some cheap old Seiko 5 watches online for say £40-£50 and practice taking them apart and then putting them together before you invest in a new MOD watch. Making something yourself is a great feeling.

Singapore based Lucas just launched a new snowflake dial, so you can give your SKX that Grand Seiko touch. Nice work.

More here.


Why not take a virtual tour of the Grand Seiko Studio in Japan? You can book an appointment to for a real life tour, Covid restrictions permitting of course, but in the meantime, here is an online glimpse into a world of watchmaking perfection.

New Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Models. See our news archive for more details;


Happy birthday to Orient, who celebrate their 70th anniversary this year.

Not officially available in the UK, but these Japanese watches have dive models like the Mako, plus the Worldtimer and Orient Three Star pieces in their heritage. Great watches for collectors on a budget, and the modern Mako is a striking, tough design.


Casio announces the first analogue model within G-SHOCK’s popular FROGMAN series of dive watches.

While still maintaining the asymmetrical design that has become synonymous with the iconic series, the new GWFA1000-1A2 features a new monocoque case made of carbon fibre reinforced resin which integrates the case and case back; providing the utmost durability and low absorbency.

The watch comes with a navy band alongside a silver and black watch face which displays dual time, dive time and tide in analog format. The GWFA1000-1A2 also boasts enhanced readability with large, luminescent hour and minute hands, making it easier for divers to check their dive time at a quick glance.

The new GWFA1000-1A2 is built with premium materials, including a sapphire crystal with non-reflective coating and its tough flouroelastomer band adds exceptional resistance to staining and hydrolysis, which allows the watch to be used in and out of the water without worry.

Additional technical features include a Super Illuminator LED light which helps to ensure readability in the dark and underwater, built-in tough solar technology for self-charging capabilities and Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping for self-adjusting, accurate hour/date display virtually anywhere on the globe.

As part of the release, G-SHOCK has unveiled an exclusive landing page taking consumers through the features, which can be viewed HERE.


Silky skills, this is premier league watch servicing in action. Great video from Grand Seiko;


A few words and pics on Japanese watches; vintage models, collectable models and our faves from the big names in Japan today.

We love the Seiko Prospex recreation of their original 60s dive watch, even down to the dolphin logo on the caseback.

Seiko Astron – the first mass market quartz watch, the wristwatch that almost sent the Swiss wath manufacturers into meltdown and bankruptcy. You can say that the era of modern timekeeping began here, December 1969.

You have to admire the clean simplicity of the design, from the recessed crown to the traditional baton markers. A contrast to the busy, button-festival, backlit Casio digitals that were to come by the mid 70s.
Why do we love the Orient Mako 2? Well it has a newer F6922 movement, based on a recent Seiko Calibre, that combines 21,600bph reliability with affordability.  You can get a plain blue bezel, or the famous Pepsi red/blue combo. It’s automatic of course, but you can wind it too, features a 40 hour power reserve, which is enough for most people. Great value at about £160 online, although no official importer to the UK as it clashes with Seiko of course.
The Presage is such a great value automatic, which you can find for about £300 retail, or online. Exhibition back, you can wind it to get it started, and there are some lovely sunburst dial designs too. Great everyday watch that’s smart enough for a night out too.
Orient is a decent sub-brand in the Seiko empire and we are always baffled as to why they don’t officially import them, as they do with Lorus and Pulsar. Many Orient automatics are just as reliable as Miyota powered offerings from other manufacturers in the £100-£150 bracket.
Just a handsome blue dial Citizen – you can pick these up from about £20 on ebay.
Like most Seiko 5 autos this one needs a few minutes of shaking from side to side to really get it going, then wear it for a few busy days to build up the spring’s tension, so it will run all through the night.