I am always torn about writing about Rolex watches - because frankly, they don't need the press. While I'd be happy wearing any number of Rolex watches (although I feel most of them are too small these days), there are a few interesting models that standout to me that don't get a lot of face time. In fact, many of my favorite Rolex watches are less than stellar sellers. These include two-tone models (Rolesor) and models like this Rolex Daytona with a meteorite dial.
An underdog watch brand that I really like is N.O.A. Funny how Americans says the letters out (as it is actually an acronym) for "none of the above," but in Europe they seem to say it like it is a word. I met with N.O.A ("NOA") in Baselworld to check out their pieces and was really impressed. The presence the watches have is really interesting, and they are very comfortable to wear. Some of them are going to be an acquired taste, but few can say that they aren't pretty pieces. I have been especially interested in some of their more sporty pieces such as the Scyllis diver, and the prototype of their new Skandar watch (seen at the bottom here). These are just a sampling of their new pieces.
Ever wanted to start your own watch brand? Curious the type of person who does and the stuff they face in the process? John and I interview Jeff Kuo, who started Xetum watches - a Swiss Made brand located and operated in San Francisco, CA.
See Citizen watches on eBay here.
Of course I am reminded of the "bumble bee" forged carbon Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch. Maybe it is just because of that bold yellow flange ring. Tutima is an excellent dial maker, not only in design, but quality. For the price, there are few brands that make dials so crisp and rich. Only brands like Sinn are competition for this style. The dial is matte black with white lume hour indicators and hands, with proper minute markers. I first thought that the hands were too short, and they sort of appear that way, but they aren't when trying to use the watch. Tutima might benefit from lengthening them just a tad bit, but there is no lack of easy reading here. The placement of the Arabic hour numerals on the flange ring is great. There are few other watches so keen on telling you the time. I have to praise the SuperLumiNova lume application for being so bright. Tutima properly has the day and date on black colored discs to match the dial. The handsome deep-set dial is further benefited from a properly AR coated sapphire crystal over the face.
The government will eventually ground all the remaining U-2 planes - even though they are still being used for limited missions today. Why? Unmanned spy drones and orbital spy satellites have become more useful, much more useful. While I will never call a super cool spy plane is obsolete, the U-2 is a historical token of the ingenuity that the need for secrecy can create, and will eventually be only a reminder of the past. But they still have a good 5-10 years in them. I want you to check out the two cockpit images. One is of an original U-2 cockpit, and the other is of a more modern one with upgraded instrumentation. Notice that even with more reliance on computers and screen, there are still analog instrument. Cause the bottom line is, electronics can fail, and in many events people trust mechanical things more. So a watch like the Bremont U-2 not only looks like it belongs in the plane, but is useful to wear while in it as well.
In some respects the watch looks like a (more) metrosexual Cartier. The blued steel hands (gold in at least some of the pieces0 are larger than you might expect and stylized just a bit less than Louis the XIV's wardrobe. The dial is rich with artistic merit, and could never be referred to as busy or too complex. Though it is a "full dial." There is a central ring to help with telling the time. The tapered Roman numerals look sharp, and sexy. Blown up more than Cartier's versions.Adding to the legibility and poise of the watch is a sapphire crystal that has been coated with AR on both sides.
For an classic look that feels awesome, you really can't go wrong with CVDK watches. You have luxury, traditional looks, fascinating complications, and that interesting avant garde pedigree you always seem to find in Dutch watches. CVDK feels well made, and have a indy spirit that is in total contrast to the more corporate feel of a Cartier for example. Prices for most Christiaan van der Klaauw Planetarium watches are in the ,000 - ,000 range. Some advice though... if you have one of these, please never let it wind down and always keep it in a winder... cause then you'll have to reset the planetarium.,. and what a chore that would be!
Thanks to Storm for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
AskMen.com commanded that I make a list of the top 10 Japanese watches currently available. I am not even the type of person who is able to choose a favorite movie or food. But it looks like list making is popular, and you all enjoy it. The list of the top Japanese watches includes Seiko, Citizen, Casio, and Orient watches. Everything in the list if a good choice. Even # 10 is still in the "top 10." So check it out, comment if you feel so inspired, and feel free to come up with your own additions to the list or lists of your own.
According to MB&F, the main inspiration behind the Thunderbolt watch is the A-10 plane - though lots of people speculated about it being something more Sci-Fi in origin. Actually, 'Thunderbolt' is just one of the plane's names and nickname, but it is the official name, and likely the "nicest" for a watch. The other options are "Warthog" and "Tank Killer." Neither is particularly well-suited for a luxury watch as far as MB&F is surely concerned. You can see two images I have placed in this article of the A-10 plane. The HM4 is themed after the placement of the two large, top-mounted jet engine turbines, as well as the fact that they wanted to do an aviation themed watch. By the way, the A-1o is an awesome plane. It has been used for decades, and is one of the US army's most powerful air-to-ground attack planes (that isn't specifically a bomber, and it has many benefits over a bomber). Always exciting is the giant nose-mounted gatling gun. The plane is also really strong, having much more armor than other planes. Because of its hefty weight, it has those large engines to help it take off and fly as best as possible.
Like I said, you will recognize the design elements including the Arabic numeral "12" and hour marker styles from digital clocks. Without being a cheesy homage to he 1980's, RSW was able to incorporate a vintage style looking dial on a modern watch, and do it well. The large hands are very easy to read, and taken from another RSW piece known simply as the Diving Tool Watch. The dial is also enhanced by SuperLumiNova luminant. In addition to a few case style choices, there are a number of dial choices. Black with a variety of hand and numeral colors (such as green, yellow, red, white), and with a white dial or silvered dial. RSW is pretty much just having a fun time offering a number of colorful options. Who knows what will sell the best, they all look pretty neat depending on your taste.
While this isn't the first year for the Healey Chrono Automatic watch, this year it comes with a special guest. Apparently, when you buy the watch, you get a hand-made stopwatch (which Frederique Constant called a "stoptimer"). Yes, I know the watch itself already has one of those, but how often to you get the chance to get a mechanical stopwatch that isn't found in a state sponsored sale of items from your local public school's athletic department after much needed modernizing.
The Tide function is cool because it takes into account the time and date in combination with a port that you set to determine tidal data. That is another important piece of information for boating enthusiasts as the function tells you the times of high and low tides. It should also help you know whether the tides are coming in or going out.
Price for these watches is likely a couple thousand dollars. Not too much more than that I am sure. For that price they are indeed a splurge for most of the people in my mind that will like them here in the US, but not something that is so expensive you just scoff and shake your head. Any understanding of the Swiss watch market will rather easily justify these prices. While the RSW Outland 3H isn't a watch revolution, it is a fresh look, with a mind for a market that largely ignores watches but shouldn't. How to capture 'generation .com' isn't clear, but doing so with cheeky watches that look like what your uncle wore back in 1979 isn't necessarily the best way of going about it. At the same time, the Outland 3H is nifty watch novelty that should speak nicely to enough people. Look for it soon.
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I've finally joined the ranks of the many, many Luminox watch owners. On my wrist, is the new Colormark Chrono (Chronograph) - in a delightful green on black color scheme. The Colormark line started with a three-hand model, where Luminox took their standard look, and switched up the colors for something more fun. As such, you have options such as green, blue, orange, and white.
Inside the watch is a marvelous movement that looks as good as it should operate. It is the automatic Bovet made Calibre 16BA01. It has a micro-rotor in solid platinum on the rear of the watch, and a number of functions. The Pininfarina Tourbillon Ottana watch has the time (with smaller single hand dial on the back of the watch), special seconds hands that makes a revolution each three minutes, but has indicators for each minute, big date indicator, power reserve indicator (watch has about 80 hours of power reserve), and a unique 80 second tourbillon. On the side of a case is a minute repeater style lever, but it is used to flip the watch over or transform it into one of its other forms. The movement alone has 514 parts, and is interestingly made mostly from brass. Quite beautiful in design and decoration. The type of movement you feel proud taking home to mother.
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme Lab 2 Technical Specs from Jaeger-LeCoultre:
Back at Baselworld last month I was really excited about seeing one particular timepiece - the Bremont Supermarine 500. When I first learned about the watch sometime ago, I wrote about the Supermarine 500 here, exclaiming that it was the watch that helped me pay attention to the new British brand. The attractive 500 meter water resistant dive watch with a vintage inspired design based on an old seaplane looked like a must have - but I needed to see it in the flesh.