Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm: Unboxing Review [PAM00088]

Unboxing Review: Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm [PAM00088] Luminor GMT sitting in supplied presentation box with strap adjustment tools in the background. The dial is made from both Arabic numerals and Indices for a high level of legibility

A Big GMT For The Modifier At Heart

Unboxing Review: Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm [PAM00088]

Of all watch makers, Panerai package their watches in the most understated box of all of them. And could perhaps be called modest, although we are still talking about a £5.5K watch. And talking about such an expensive item as modest – is an oxymoron in its self.

The Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm is supplied in a simple light orange coloured wood box with a rigid felt like insert. This Luminor watch is supplied with a brown alligator strap with a steel deployant buckle and an additional black rubber strap. The watch is also packaged with a screwdriver to replace the strap yourself and a solid feeling link removal tool.

Panerai PAM 00088 15-3-16 3

The watch follows Panerai’s successful design recipe of a bold striking design in a large case, a simple uncluttered legible dial and a wide assortment of straps.

Searching on just Panerai’s site yielded 18 strap results with a deployant buckle, ranging from alligator in normal, shiny and antiqued varieties, canvas, and calfskin straps. As well as titanium and steel bracelets. In addition to this there are a mind-boggling 23 different Panerai buckles compatible with this watch. Constructed from: Titanium, Steel, Red Gold, Pink Gold, White Gold and Tantalum.

There are then further options to be made for the metals finish: they can be brushed or polished and the steel options can have a DLC coating, or a black PVD coating applied.

With so many flexible options that the wearer can decide from, the Panerai watch experience is a highly individual and customised one. An iconic watch can be worn with a versatile choice of straps that gives more options to the wearer without diluting the classic design of the watch.

Panerai PAM 00088 15-3-16 4

The Panerai Luminor GMT [ref. PAM00088] has a wide-ish 44mm case diameter, excluding the crown and lugs. It would feel more at home on a guy’s wrist of normal to large proportions; as the solid stainless steel case weighs a fair bit, and the crown protrudes out of the casing by quite a lot. It features a solid case back and curved lugs that attempt to hug the wrist. A slightly cambered sapphire crystal sits on the face of the dial with an anti-reflective coating and a magnified date window at the 3 o’clock position. This being balanced on the opposing side of the dial by a silvered second counter, that contrasts well on the black dial.

Around the circumference of the dial are the 24-hour markers alternating between lines and Arabic characters for the GMT arrow-head hand to point to. Within them, are the hour markers and minute indicators in five-minute intervals. All the numbers are in a highly legible font that can be read easily from a distance or in limited light with the help of some luminescent fill.

Panerai PAM 00088 15-3-16 7
The Highly legible dial on the Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm shown in a low light environment

The watch is powered by an automatic OP VIII calibre movement. Which is a certified chronometer by the COSC for excellent accuracy and alternates at 28,800 VpH with a 42-hour power reserve.

Ultimately this is a bold iconic watch that has a solid presence on the wrist, all the while maintaining a high level of customizability to the wearers taste.

Buy this The Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm ref. [PAM00088] from our [Shop Here] discounted price.

Continue reading Panerai Luminor GMT 44mm: Unboxing Review [PAM00088]

What do Rolex and Apple both have in common?

Review of the Rolex GMT Master II [116710BLNR] aka ‘The Batman’ Dial, hands, cyclops date window, hour markers and Rolex markings

What does a Californian tech company founded in April 1976 and the world’s biggest luxury watch brand both have in common? Surprisingly quite a lot!

Despite being founded geographically 5,364 miles apart on opposing sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and separated by 71 years of time from the date they were both founded – Apple and Rolex are remarkably similar.

This article will explore what exactly they have both done to become so very successful!

Background

Rolex

Rolex is one of the most powerful brands on the planet being ranked by Forbes as the 64th most valuable brand (as of may 2016). Originally Rolex was founded by Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf to create a wristwatch that was both elegant and reliable.

Whilst they may not make the most expensive watches, constructed from ultra exotic rare materials or be the first to embrace new technologies when they arise – it’s all to their advantage. They may not have been the first to make a water-resistant divers wristwatch but their Rolex Submariner is not only synonymous with diving watches – it’s ‘The dive watch’.DSC_0935

Landmark innovations

  • 1910 – Rolex became the first wristwatch maker to obtain a Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision for a watch worn on the wrist for exceptional movement quality.
  • “Oyster” watch 1926 – First water and dust-resistant wristwatch, that would the following year be worn by the English swimmer Mercedes Gleitze on her 10-hour cross-channel challenge.
  • Datejust [ref.4467] 1945 – The first watch with an automatically changing date function shown via a date window in addition to being to an automatic chronometer. [Shop Rolex Datejust Here].Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index] - Laying on side with time set to 10:10:30 with a black background
  • Submariner [ref.6204] 1953 – First divers watch water-resistant to a depth of 100m (330 feet) – including a rotating bezel to allow divers to calculate remaining immersion time quickly. [Shop Rolex Submariners Here].Watch laying down facing right - Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]
  • Rolex GMT Master [ref.6542] 1954 – First watch to show two-time zones simultaneously – helping jet pilots and frequent flyers keep track of time in multiple locations. [Shop Rolex GMT Master II Here].Review of the Rolex GMT Master II [116710BLNR] aka ‘The Batman’
  • Day-Date 1956 – First watch to automatically change both the day and date on the dial of the watch – Only ever made in gold or platinum this prestigious wristwatch is famous for sitting on the wrists of many powerful world leaders. [Shop Day-Date Here].

Apple

Apple was the first company ever to reach a value in excess of US$700 Billion in 2015 who at that time employed 115,000 people full-time. And by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, they had generated 1.25% of the total GDP of the United States, with worldwide annual revenue totalling an incomprehensible US$233 billion.

They having amassed this gargantuan fortune with the creation of the modern smartphone ‘The iPhone’, that has since changed all our lives by making communications with one another so much easier. The iPod and iTunes revolutionised how we buy and consume music electronically – a trend that is not only confined to digital goods but physical ones too. Consumers can now not only buy music and apps online but groceries, gadgets and luxury watches. Continue reading What do Rolex and Apple both have in common?

Longines Master Collection Moon Phase: Unboxing Review [L2.673.4.78.3]

Longines Master Collection Moon Phase: Unboxing Review [L2.673.4.78.3] Sitting in supplied Longines box

An Affordable Moonphase, Tripple date Chronograph Watch!

Longines Master Collection L2.673.4.78.3

This is another example of how well Longings creates quality mechanical time pieces at a fraction of the price that others would charge.

It has a RRP of £2,070 (at time of publishing), with the next cheapest similar watch that I’ve found is the Zenith El Primero 410 Complete Calendar Moonphase with an RRP price of £7,770 with other brands charging considerably more for similar watches.

Longines Master Collection Moon Phase: Unboxing Review [L2.673.4.78.3] Watch on its side crown up, with inside of strap in view

So the Longines manages to create a comparable watch but at a third of the price of similar triple date, chronograph, and moon phase complication including watches. Although my colleagues argue that the Zenith’s less cluttered face feels more refined and less toy like than the Longines – but with a £5.7K difference in list price between the two, only you can decide if the added cost would be worth it.

Buying the Longines would save the buyer £5,700 over the Zenith El Primero 410. With that much money you could buy an acre of land, put a deposit down on a mortgage, buy a used Porsche Boxster 2.7, buy a new Rolex Submariner Date (116610LN), or go on a far away holiday to that place you’ve been longing to explore. Continue reading Longines Master Collection Moon Phase: Unboxing Review [L2.673.4.78.3]

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 1 Audemars Piguet + Rolex

biscayne_underwater_nps1-top16divewatchespart1

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 1 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver + Rolex Deepsea

What is a dive watch?

The dive watch is a type of watch that really encapsulates what it is to be a luxury watch. It’s simultaneously a functional piece of specialist equipment, needing to survive the punishing environment of being dragged down deep underwater, while still telling the time: but, they are typically built to extravagant specifications, being water resistant to 10 or even 100 times deeper than people will actually dive down to in reality. Few people will ever test these dive watches to their full capabilities!

This is part 1 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

The function of a dive watch is a simple one – to monitor how long a diver has been underwater, and more importantly, how long they have left with their limited oxygen supply. Or for the wearer to just look cool while wearing an extremely durable and reliable watch – which is more often the case.

US Navy 081207-N-9769P-029 Divers swim over a reef during a certification dive as part of the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) program
This Photo is a U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jayme Pastoric [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In the horological world, the dive watch is in a paradoxical state where it is both a highly functional tool but is also absurdly specific in function that few people buy them to actually go diving with – for the purpose they were created for. And if they do go diving with one on then they are more often used as a redundancy for digital diving computers: with, the majority of people buying diving watches being ‘desk divers’, who have little intention of going diving with their watch on their wrist.

A dive watch is considered a luxury item today because of the tiny number of people who really need one, and the superlatively high-quality construction. Even professional divers have no great need for them because they will use electronic dive computers that are more accurate, reliable and give more information to the diver.

When buying a dive watch a person is buying something with a great promise of performance – they assure the buyer of unparalleled durability and are perhaps the most durable of all watch types. These watches are so incredibly expensive because of the huge amount of time that the movements, casing, strap, deployant clasp and diving extensions have spent in R & D to make the perfect, most durable, dive watch possible.

Why buy a dive watch?

The greater reason that people would buy a diving watch is because of the peace of mind that they give; that their robust construction makes dive watches the most reliable watch type to choice from. And makes them suited to a wide range of environments where toughness and reliability are desired.

They’re built to escape damage from water whether intentional or unintentional, they are designed to be tough enduring a beating, and are meant to just keep on running.

Things to consider when buying a diving watch for actual diving

  • Water Resistance – Will its seals keep increasing water pressure out of the watches internals?
  • Dial Legibility – How easy can the markings on the dial be read in subdued light?
  • Bezel – The most common way to time the duration spent under water is with a unidirectional bezel, though this is not always the case.
  • Strap Type – Some are more suitable than others for extended lengths submerged under water? Look for a rubber or a metal bracelet if it is your intention to go diving with the watch on, as leather just isn’t suitable for prolonged immersion under water (no matter what treatment it may have had applied to it).
  • Extra Features – Things such as a helium escape valve, depth gauge or a chronograph that functions at extreme depths can add value and set apart a dive watch from their competition.

And now in price descending order – The Top 16 Dive Watches Of 2016

1 – Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver [15703st.oo.a002ca.01] RRP: £13,900 – £20,000

15703st.oo.a002ca.01_main

This watch retains many components that made the original Royal Oak so highly iconic; such as, the unique octagonal bezel with exposed screw heads, the maxi-tapisserie ‘waffle’ textured dial, minimalist dial markers and an integrated strap design.

As a dive watch, the Royal Oak Offshore Diver is highly capable being rated down to a depth of 300m underwater. Though few people would realistically take such an expensive watch so deep under water. Nodoutubly the generous depth rating reassures prospective buyers at the robustness of its construction. The integrated bezel used would appear to have been chosen for aesthetical reasons rather than practical ones – as they are seen as being too fiddly to adjust once underwater with gloves on by divers. Continue reading Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 1 Audemars Piguet + Rolex

Breguet Classique 5277: Unboxing Review [5277bb/12/9v6]

The Breguet Classique 5277: Unboxing Review - Siting in supplied box

An Excellent Traditional Dress Watch

Unboxing Review: Breguet Classique [5277bb/12/9v6]

The Breguet Classique 5277 encapsulates what Breguet is all about. Originally founded in 1775 by Abraham-Louis Breguet, they have grown into one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.

They have been leading innovators in the watch-making industry and are the inventors of the first tourbillons, and created one of the first wristwatches. They have become a favourite of Royalty and have frequently been commissioned for heads of state.

Buy this Breguet Classique [5277bb/12/9v6] from our shop [Here] at a discounted price.

Breguet Classique 5277- Unboxing Review [5277bb-12-9v6] 006

The Breguet Classique 5277 carries on their design staples of a modest sized dress watch in 18Kt gold. With a machined guilloche patterned face giving some depth to the otherwise simple dial design. And blued steel open tipped hands, that have become an icon of Breguet design.

Breguet Classique 5277- Unboxing Review [5277bb-12-9v6] - supplied leather presentation box

It comes in the best quality box I have ever found for a luxury watch, being constructed structurally from what looks like mahogany. Externally a high-quality leather is used with a good sheen to it. And the internals of the box carries on from the hints of the outside by using leather suede. This is a case where you can see the effort that has been put into creating it. It’s better than most of its competitor’s cases as it feels like something that could actually be put out on display rather than hidden away in the bottom of a cupboard; to forever after lay in wait until it comes to resell the watch or move house. Continue reading Breguet Classique 5277: Unboxing Review [5277bb/12/9v6]

Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

Rolex held in hand - Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

Two-Tone Rolex Submariner Review

Hands-On Review: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date [116613LB]

Perhaps the most recognisable watch on the face of the planet – the Rolex Submariner is such a tremendously iconic and timeless design, from the biggest luxury watch brand in the world.

This Hands-On Review will focus on the two-tone edition [116613LB] Perpetual Submariner Date that you can buy from our shop [Here]

The two-tone Submariner [116613LB] with a blue dial offers both the toughness of the 904L stainless steel that Rolex uses and the prestige of a gold watch simultaneously packaged into just a single watch. It’s blue faced sunburst dial (a textured effect involving brushing the face in a radial pattern – as opposed to linear) contributes to the sophisticated feel of the watch and gives off some funky patterns under different lighting environments.

Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

History

Rolex never originally started out to become the most prestigious luxury watch brand in the history of the world; it has just been something that they have become, while making the most reliable and accurate watches that simply tell the time and nothing else (other than perhaps a chronograph or date function, or built for a very specific environment in mind).

The Submariner is a watch that people tend to gravitate towards once they believe they have attained success. It’s by no means an end of the line for a serious watch collection, but rather a signal that the beginning has just begun. Continue reading Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

Rolex Yachtmaster II: Hands-On Review [116680]

Rolex Yachtmaster II - Held in hands - Review [116680]

The Rolex Watch For The Extrovert

Hands-On Review: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yachtmaster II [116680]

The Rolex Yachtmaster II is a very peculiar watch in that it’s just so spectacularly different to every other watch in the ‘Oyster Perpetual‘ family that Rolex makes! It’s like some rebellious sea-faring child of the Titan 44mm Deepsea [116660] and the more sophisticated 40mm Yacht-Master.

Rolex Yachtmaster II- Hands-On Review [116680] 024

It being similar to the Deepsea in not just size but with the environment that it has been designed for. Whilst the Deepsea may not have any more complications than just a simple date function; it has been designed to solve a remarkably specific problem. Not getting crushed by enormous water pressure under a staggering 3900m (12800ft) of water! Is this a depth that I think many divers (and Rolex Deepsea’s by extension) will find themselves in on a frequent basis – or maybe just once or twice in their lifetime. Once the watch has left the Rolex factory – I think the odds are fairly low that the watch will ever be subjected to such high pressure after initial testing.

Buy the Rolex Yachtmaster II [116680] from our shop here.

Rolex Yachtmaster II- Hands-On Review [116680] 038Although Rolex has never been a company to make watches with tourbillons or carrousel’s, they being a maker of mainly super reliable tool watches (and very expensive ones at that), the Yacht-Master II allows them to flex their horological muscle and make an insanely complicated complication. That solves a very specific problem that very few people will ever face. Continue reading Rolex Yachtmaster II: Hands-On Review [116680]

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index]

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index] - Watch on its side with its crown up and time set to ten past ten

Eternal Luxury – The Datejust II

Hands-On Review: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II [116300 Silver Index]

The Oyster Perpetual DateJust II is one of Rolex’s most horologically simple watches, with the only added complication being a simple date function. This Iconic watch has a striking presence on the wrist but is less blingy and showy than other Rolex’s; the watch commands a high level of respect without appearing overly flamboyant.

It’s not standing on its head to gain attention like its sibling the Yachtmaster II or insanely robust to depths never before dived down to like the Rolex Deepsea – this, is a sensible Rolex, for sensible people.

Buy the DateJust II from our shop here.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index]

Background

The DateJust was originally released in the year 1945 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Rolex being incorporated. At the time it was the very first automatic watch to feature an automatically changing date window; thus, changing the face of wristwatches forever after.

The Datejust was not only an innovative timepiece at the time but has become the modern archetype of the classic watch, it simply tells the time and date with nothing to complicate things, its design transcends changes in fashion (preserving relevance) like a bullion of gold maintains its value during economic turmoil. Aesthetically, the Datejust II has endured for well over half a century and kept relevance with a simple but powerful design blueprint. Making a timepiece that will eternally be remembered for its timeless luxury and sophistication.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index]

Construction

It’s the go-to iconic classic watch. A winding rotor uses the movement of the wearer’s wrist to charge the mainspring and calculate the time and date. The clean design transcends the fluctuating tides of fashion. Aesthetically, the DateJust retains relevance and will never go out of fashion. Continue reading Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II: Hands-On Review [116300 Silver Index]

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter 47mm: Hands-On Review [01 733 7705 4134-07 5 23 14FC]

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter 47mm: Hands-On Review [01 733 7705 4134-07 5 23 14FC] - Dial close up with watch on its side with crown up and venting crown activated

The Worlds First Automatic Watch With A Mechanical Altimeter

Hands-On Review: Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter 47mm [01 733 7705 4134-07 5 23 14FC]

This mountainous 47mm wide Oris is truly gigantic in size at a whopping 47mm wide and has a substantial 17.7mm case depth. It is not only Oris’s first watch of its kind; but, ‘the world’s first automatic watch with a mechanical altimeter’. (With the world’s first manual wind watch with a mechanical altimeter, being taken by the far more expensive Breva Genie 02 – with an eye-watering list price of $132,000).

The Worlds First Automatic Watch With A Mechanical Altimeter

The ProPilot Altimeter is an unsurprising watch coming from Oris – a brand that has made a name for itself by making mechanical watches, with useful complications, at an affordable price point. And this watch also acts as a spiritual sequel to the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge watch: but, instead of measuring depth diving under water – the altitude flying up and into the air.

Cessna.206h.stationair2.arp
Cessna 206H Stationair 2 at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire, England – By Arpingstone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It accomplishes two vital things that Pilots will need, packed into something that can be worn on the wrist in the form of a gargantuan watch – the time and altitude. Continue reading Oris Big Crown ProPilot Altimeter 47mm: Hands-On Review [01 733 7705 4134-07 5 23 14FC]

Omega Rio 2016 Olympic Limited Edition Seamaster Diver 300m: Hands On Review [522.30.41.20.01.001]

Omega Rio 2016 Olympic Limited Edition Seamaster Diver 300m: Hands On Review [522.30.41.20.01.001] - Laying on its side crown up facing the right

Omega And The Olympic Games (2016)

Hands On Review: Omega Rio 2016 Olympic Limited Edition Seamaster Diver 300m: [522.30.41.20.01.001]

Ever since 1932, Omega has been the Official Timekeeper of 26 Olympic Games. This Rio 2016 Limited Edition Seamaster, of only 3016 pieces, celebrates this rich heritage of Omega’s legacy by timing tens of thousands of Olympic athletes in their pursuit of new athletic records, both personal and international, at each Olympics, with exceptional accuracy from the start to finish line.

Omega OLYMPIC COLLECTION (Seamaster) 522.30.41.20.01.001

This Rio 2016 Limited Edition Seamaster, introduced at BaselWorld 2016, is different to the standard editions in that it’s a hint more colourful with the black bezels numeral’s being filled with red, green, yellow and blue lacquer, each representing the colours of the Olympic rings – which are in turn a representation of all the countries and nations that come together to compete in the Olympic games. It also features a new wave pattern on the dial inspired by Rio and a commemorative case back.

Buy this Omega Rio 2016 Olympic Limited Edition Seamaster Diver 300m 522.30.41.20.01.001 here from our shop.

Olympic Heritage With Omega

The partnership between Omega and the Olympics started 84 years ago with a single swiss watchmaker arriving in Los Angeles in 1932, with 30 split-second chronographs. Today decades of innovations have led to Olympic records being measured with equipment made by Omega, (the Quantum Timer is currently used), that has a maximum variation of only 1 second every 10,000,000 seconds, (which is 1 second every 115 days, 17 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds).

Omega OLYMPIC COLLECTION (Seamaster) 522.30.41.20.01.001

Throughout the years working as the Official Timekeeper for the Olympic games, Omega has been at the forefront of technological timing advancements. Continue reading Omega Rio 2016 Olympic Limited Edition Seamaster Diver 300m: Hands On Review [522.30.41.20.01.001]

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

The Titan ETNZ Seamaster

Hands-On Review: Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

This Omega Seamaster watch is refreshingly different to the usual stainless steel and metal bracelet norm. This ETNZ special edition Seamaster 300m has an unusually spartan dial, that focuses on functionality, and is of a surprisingly lightweight build for such a big chunky watch.

Continue reading to find out what’s so different with this Seamaster 300m and who this watch is made for…

The Seamaster’s Background

The first Seamaster made by Omega was originally released all the way back in the year 1948, being based on the Omega Marine which was their first water-resistant watch. Today the watch conjures up images of Britain’s best-loved secret agent 007 – James Bond. First seen on the silver screen sat on the wrist of Pierce Brosnan while he outmanoeuvred his enemies in the film GoldenEye that hit theatres in 1995.

The Seamaster was chosen thanks to Lindy Hemming, the costume designer for the film (who’s subsequently worked on five James Bond films), because of its long fruitful heritage of being worn by members of the British Navy, to which Bond belongs to.

You can buy this Omega Seamaster [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ] watch from our shop here.

Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ] Continue reading Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 44mm: Hands-On Review [212.92.44.50.99.001 ETNZ]

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm: Unboxing-Review [311.33.42.30.01.001]

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm: Unboxing-Review [311.33.42.30.01.001] The Omega Speedmaster held in my hand held up to the front of the supplied box Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm: Unboxing-Review [311.33.42.30.01.001] © 2016 blog.thewatchsource.co.uk

The Modern Moonwatch Speedmaster Of Today

Unboxing Review: Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm [311.33.42.30.01.001]

This is the new Moonwatch for the space race lovers who may not be able to afford an original pre-moon 105.012 or post-moon 145.012 Omega Speedmaster, being tested and certified by NASA to endure extremes in temperature, humidity, shock, pressure and vibrations. But unfortunately for some, these rare gems of timepieces also command a high asking price on the second-hand market. Costing 3 or 4 times that of the Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch I’m currently reviewing here (released in 2014). Or this watch could be suited to those who don’t want the hassle of buying a second-hand original. What with finding one in a good condition, with a service history, from a reputable seller, at a good price.

Buy this Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch from our shop here at a discounted price.

Man on Moon photo NASA photo AS15-88-11863 1 August 1971
Man on the Moon – NASA photo AS15-88-11863 – The photograph was taken by Astronaut James B. Irwin, Lunar Module pilot – Taken on the 1st August 1971. [If you look closely you can just make out the Omega Speedmaster straped to the left wrist of the austonaute in the photo, next to the corner of the USA’s flag.]

Compared to the Original Moonwatch

The Omega Speedmaster 311.33.42.30.01.001 is the closest that a modern Speedmaster has got to the original (but with an Alligator leather strap rather than the bracelet version 311.30.42.30.01.005 found here) and maintains a manual wound movement, a three-dial chronograph, no date function, a black dial, a black tachymeter bezel, a Hesalite crystal and a solid case back. It makes use of the updated calibre 1861 movement that increases the accuracy and reliability of the 321 (pre-moon) movements at 18,000 v\h and the 861 movements at 21,600 v\h (post-moon). 

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm- Unboxing-Review [311.33.42.30.01.001] 17
The Speedmaster sitting on the centre of its very large box
Continue reading Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 42mm: Unboxing-Review [311.33.42.30.01.001]

Oris Divers Sixty-Five With Metal Bracelet: Quick Look [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18]

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five (With Metal Bracelet) [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18] held in the hand with a black bacground

Quick Look Review: The Oris Divers Sixty-Five with a Stainless Steel Bracelet

[01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18]

Having previously compleated a review of the Divers Sixty-Five with a rubber strap on this page the photos here are to show what it looks like on the Oris metal bracelet provided.

It is also available on a fabric strap [Shop Here] with a [Review Here].

‘The updated Oris Divers Sixty-Five manages the tough balancing act of updating a classic design, with modern manufacturing techniques, for an audience with different ideals. While not diluting the original spirit and charm of the 50-year-old design icon. ‘

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five (With Metal Bracelet) [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18] Bracelet Pulled Strait To One Side

Oris Divers Sixty-Five laying on its side on a black leather surface [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18]

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five is produced with either a black or a blue and grey faced dial. It comes supplied with either a black NATO-style nylon strap with a push button deployant buckle, a black or khaki fabric strap with a tang buckle, a black rubber ‘tropic’ strap, or a stainless steel bracelet with a push button deployant buckle.

These photos are of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18] on a stainless steel strap.  Continue reading Oris Divers Sixty-Five With Metal Bracelet: Quick Look [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18]

Rolex GMT Master II: Unboxing Review [116710BLNR]

Review of the Rolex GMT Master II [116710BLNR] aka ‘The Batman’ Dial closeup

Unboxing the Rolex ‘Batman’

Rolex GMT Master II: Unboxing Review [116710BLNR]

Throughout wristwatch history, Rolex has forever been at the forefront of innovation. They are known as the first major manufacturer of a completely water-resistant diver watch thanks to a series of  landmark publicity stunts to promote their brand. They put another mark into the history books with the Datejust that automatically adjusted the date by itself – an unheard of accomplishment at the time. And they are also attributed with the first watch to show two-time zones with the GMT master.

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The dial of the blue and black ‘Batman’ Rolex GMT Master II [11670BLNR]
The watch that I will be doing an unboxing review today is as the title suggests – the new ‘Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR‘ aka ‘The Batman’

The Rolex GMT Master II 116710BLNR  can be brought from our shop from here.

This newer edition of the GMT Master II improves on the last alliteration in 3 key areas:

  1. It’s bigger size to appeal to current watch tastes.
  2. The bracelet feels more robust and the clasp has been completely redesigned to be stronger and adds a 5mm Easylink extension.
  3. The revolutionary two-tone ceramic bezel is highly scratch resistant and will not fade with time.

So What Is New?

The GMT Master II has evolved over the years by a gradual refinement of the horological art. Improving an already great watch – into an even better one!

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The Rolex ‘Batman’ GMT Master II [116710BLNR] on the left and the ‘Coke’ GMT Master II on the right. Both are sat on a green Rolex box.
Above is pictured a GMT Master II sold a staggering 27 years ago. I’m not saying it doesn’t look used, but it has certainly endured the time well and I look forward to seeing if the new GMT Master II copes just as well to daily abuse.

Continue reading Rolex GMT Master II: Unboxing Review [116710BLNR]

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 6 Oris + Tissot

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Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 6 Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm + Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronograph

Previously, in the penultimate article (number 5) I reviewed; the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph (43mm)  [cay211b.ba0927], Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) [L2.808.4.52.9], and Oris ProDiver Date 49mm [01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB].

This is part 6 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

15 – Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18] RRP: £1,150

01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18_main

Perhaps one of the most charming watches on this list and one of the more popular items available from our shop – the Oris Divers Sixty-Five is a great example of a brand updating a classic design with modern materials and manufacturing techniques; replacing a coated brass casing with stainless steel, and a plexiglass crystal with a more modern sapphire crystal.

Retaining the 40mm case size of the original, the Divers Sixty-Five remains of vintage proportions without overly modernising its classic design.

Charismatic box numerals are found by the 12, 3, 6, and 9 markers respectively, that gives this Oris watch a highly distinctive appearance. The luminescent fill used is the SuperLuminova called ‘Light Old Radium’ giving the markers an aged look.Oris Divers Sixty-Five Laying back on its strap at an angle on black leather with the clasp going out of focus in the background [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18]

Water-resistant to 100m the Oris Divers Sixty-Five should be more than adequate for use on holiday and semi-professional diving.

The movement used is the Oris Caliber 733 (based on an SW200-1) which beats at 28,800 v/h, contains 26 Jewels and has a modest power reserve of 38 hours. It allows hacking when setting the time, quick setting the date, and hand winding.

Ultimately the Oris Divers-Sixty Five provides a lot of watch for the asking price, is unique in looks being unlikely to be confused with another diving watch, and demonstrates how a brand can re-engineer a classic piece without corrupting the original spirit of the watches design. This diving watch is for the person who would like a quality mechanical watch, that looks different to most dive watches out there, from a reputable brand at an affordable price.

Buy this Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm [01 733 7707 4064-07 4 20 18] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Size: 40mm or 42mm

Dial Colour: Black, Blue, Grey and Blue, or Black and Blue.

Strap Type: Fabric (tang buckle), Black Rubber Tropic strap (tang buckle), Fabric NATO (Deployant), Leather, or a Stainless Steel Bracelet.

All Variataions of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five can be found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

The Oris Divers Sixty-Five (With Metal Bracelet) [01 733 7707 4064-07 8 20 18] Bracelet Pulled Strait To One Side

16 – TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph [T0664171705700] RRP: £440

t0664171705700_mainThe second quartz watch to feature on this article the TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph provides a capable dive watch at a very affordable price point. It includes many features usually to be found on vastly more expensive watches.

Its black bezel is surprisingly a ceramic and the crystal on the front of the watch is a synthetic sapphire crystal. The back of the stainless steel casing is a solid case back which has been screwed in to provide a water-resistance of 300m (990ft) that is more than adequate for most peoples aquatic exploits.

The TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph’s black rubber strap lends its self to a life in contact with water that will not degrade with prolonged exposure to water unlike every leather strap; the watch strap is held togeather with a tang buckle.

Inside, an ETA Caliber G10.211 movement provides both the time, date and chronograph functionality. A circular date window is located at the 4 o’clock that manages to match the surrounding hour markers in a similar style. The three sub-dials by the 10, 6 and 3 each respectively show a 30-minute register, a 60-second register and a 1/10th of a second register.

A case size of 45mm wide and 13mm thick makes this watch large but of typical proportions for a diving watch.

Buy this TissotSeastar 1000 Chronograph [T0664171705700] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 5 Tag Heuer + Longines + Oris

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Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 5 Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph + Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) + Oris ProDiver Date 49mm

Previously, in part 4 of this series I reviewd; the Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm [232.30.46.51.01.002],  Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 [a73310a8/bb74-1lts], and Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm [01 774 7708 4154-Set RS].

This is part 5 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

12 – Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph (43mm)  [cay211b.ba0927] RRP: £2,750
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Tag Heuer’s offering of a more wallet friendly automatic diving watch, with a ceramic bezel, is the Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph [cay211b.ba0927].

In Tag’s lineup, this watch straddles the gap between the entry quartz aquaracers and the 500m Automatic Chronograph Aquaracers (which have more than a passing resemblance to the Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Co-Axial Chronograph 42mm watch collection).

Buying this Tag Heuer Aquaracer gets you a well proportioned stainless steel watch, a metal bracelet with a safety latch, 300m of water resistance to play with, a ceramic uni-directional bezel and the workhorse Tag Heuer Caliber 16 chronograph movement inside.

It doesn’t make use of a helium escape valve – but considering the price I wasn’t expecting one (if your heart is set on a chronograph Tag with a helium escape valve then have a look at the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph 500M [Here]). 

On the automatic Aquaracer’s dial, we have 3 subdials at the 12, 6 and 9; they display the 30-minute register, 12-hour register, and a small seconds subdial respectively. At the 3 o’clock position is a date window and the Tag Heuer logo. Its hands, indices hour markers and the top of the bezel each has had a luminescent compound applied.

There’s a ceramic uni-directional bezel that makes this watch more competitive (than this watches metal bezeled sibling) when compared to competing diving watches.

Within the 15mm case thickness but behind the solid case back is the Tag calibre 16 movement; originally designed by Valjoux but known as the ETA 7750 movement. It’s one of the most ubiquitous chronograph movements around, being used by luxury watch brands like Tudor, Panerai, Hublot and IWC, it’s easy to service and is a very durable movement that has a good accuracy considering its price. Tag have made their own modifications, on the ETA 7750 movement into the Tag calibre 16, to yield a power reserve of 42 hours, it beats at 28,000 v/h, contains 24 rubies, a date complication that can be quick set, and a chronograph complication.

Built as an introduction to the world of luxury watches the Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph’s sapphire crystal and ceramic bezel should repel scratching and most of the abuse you can throw at it, keeping it looking new for longer.

But this Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph (43mm)  [cay211b.ba0927] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Bezel Type: Stainless Steel or Ceramic

Dial Colour: Black, Blue or White

Strap Type: Stainless Steel Bracelet or Black Fabric

Case material: Stainless Steel, Titanium, or Two-Tone Stainless Steel and Plated Yellow Gold

All variations of the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic Chronograph are found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

13 – Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) [L2.808.4.52.9] RRP: £1,970
L2.808.4.52.9_main

Both the Longines Heritage Diver’s retro aesthetics, high-quality chronograph movement, and reasonable asking price makes this a sought-after classic diving watch.

Taking inspiration, from as you may have guessed, a 1967 diving watch by Longines; the biggest aesthetic changes being the introduction of a running seconds dial at the 6 o’clock, and the addition of a date window between the 4 and 5-hour markers.

A capable diving watch this is, at a rated 300m of water resistance – it’s a watch which could happily go diving with you if you were to have the desire to do so.

Its polished 42mm stainless steel case is peculiarly polished for a diving tool watch, though the red aluminium bezel and playful contrasting white sub dials reassure that this is no dress watch, but compared to other dive watches – it’s a rather dressy dive watch, and at 16mm thick it does sit rather high up on the wrist.

The bezel is rather fascinating in design as it incorporates an aluminium diving bezel (uni-directional) and a 12 hour scale that can be used to give the time in different time zones with but a twist of the bezel – simpler than unscrewing a crown to change a secondary time zone hand on a GMT watch. Beneath the protective sapphire crystal, we have a stepped tachymeter scale that can be used to make quick calculations with the chronograph.

On the reverse of the watch, we have a solid case back with a spearfishing skin-diver in relief, a subtle reminder of Longines rich past. Talking about heritage – Longines is one of the oldest luxury watch brands around having started their journey way back in 1832 and was one of the first to get worldwide protection for their brand name and winged hourglass logo by being registered with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property. And has been the oldest brand name to be registered with the WIPO (who is the current protector of intellectual property) that is still in use unchanged today.

Underneath the solid case back is one of this watches best features – the Longines Caliber L688.2 column wheel chronograph movement! Built by ETA exclusively for Longines use it’s something very unusual to see at this price point, because of the difficulties in constructing such a complicated movement. A large number of chronograph movements are simply a modular 3 hand (hour:minutes:seconds) movement with an add-on to gain the additional chronograph functionality. Due to the design nature of the Column wheel chronograph – all are required to be build around this fundamentally important component of the movement (making this integrated column wheel chronograph movement more expensive to develop and make).

It is a staggering attainment that Longines has created a watch with this type of chronograph movement at under £2K, with nearly all chronograph movements in this price range using cam-actuated movements (like the famous Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch); column wheel chronograph movements are considered more luxurious because the vertical clutch minimises stuttering when starting and stopping the timer. Brands that use this more luxurious movement include Rolex, ZenithGirard-Perregaux and Omega on some of their high-end Speedmasters.

With a power reserve of 54hours, the Longines Caliber L688.2 should in theory still be telling the time after both of the Rolexes and Cartier Diver have run out of juice. The movement beats at 28,000 v/h.

Despite this vintage inspired Longines Heritage Diver watch looking rather simple in design it houses a complex movement type rarely seen on such an affordable watch. It’s also a very versatile watch which can be used as a diving watch (using the bezel to track elapsed time), as a chronograph (registering up to 12 hours), a quasi-GMT (with the use of the bezel) or a casual dress watch at a push.

This Longines Heritage Diver (1967 Chronograph) [L2.808.4.52.9] is availbale to buy from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

It is also available to buy on a [Leather Strap] (L2.808.4.52.0) and a [Metal Bracelet] (L2.808.4.52.6) from our [Shop Here].

14 – Oris ProDiver Date 49mm [01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB] RRP: £1,650

Oris ProDiver Date 49mm 01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB

Not quite as large as the Oris ProDiver Chronograph: Unboxing Review [01 774 7683 7154-Set] that I wrote about [Here], the non-chronograph version is a little smaller in width and marginally less tall by 3.5mm – at only 15.9mm thick, making this Oris ProDiver the more practical of the two.

With a brushed titanium casing, black rubber strap, lume applied high contrast dial markings, helium escape valve and the innovative rotation safety bezel – this Oris packs in heaps of features for such an affordable and inexpensive timepiece; a term which can only be used relative to other watches as no luxury watch is truly a necessity – being a non-essential item is admittedly one of the requirements for something to become a luxury.

I can’t think of many people who would require a watch to go any deeper than the rated 1000m – which just happens to be equal to the height of Mount Snowdon (Tallest mountain in Wales). Thinking about it some more I still can’t think of any people who would need to dive half that!

A clean dial from Oris showcases one of the things that Oris does rather well – making good quality and functional tool watches, with its clean and well-proportioned dial that has a good amount of contrast between the hour markers and matt black dial behind. Oris as a brand may not be considered the most luxurious or sophisticated; but, along with Longines, they provide a very high-quality watch to price ratio.

Each marker has had Superluminova BG W9 applied that is considered the brightest Superluminova to appear white in daylight conditions.

An Oris 733 based SW 200-1 movement that packs in a central hour, minute and second hand and a date window that is hacking and quick changing is used under the solid titanium case back. It winds automatically, bi-directionally with their red rotor, at 28,800 v/h at a somewhat short 38-hour power reserve.

The Oris ProDiver Date 49mm is available on both a black rubber diving strap with a titanium folding clasp and diving extension, or for a modest price premium a titanium metal bracelet with a push button safety.

Buy this Oris ProDiver Date 49mm [01 733 7682 7154-07 4 26 34TEB] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Strap: Black Rubber or Titanium Bracelet [Shop Here].

Also available is the [ProDiver Pointer Moon 49mm] and [ProDiver Chronograph 51mm] – All Oris ProDiver watches can be found from our [Shop Here].

Continue: Part 6 Oris + Tissot (coming soon)!

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 4 Omega + Breitling + Oris

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Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 4 Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm + Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 + Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm

Previously, in part 3 of this series I reviewed: the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056], Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date [116610LN], and IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801].

This is part 4 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

9 – Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm [232.30.46.51.01.002] RRP: £5,010 – £20,950
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Omegas offering for a tough diving watch with a chronograph function comes in the form of this Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph. In order to appeal to a large number of audiences the watch is available in a few different colour options, strap types, and even includes a couple of variants set with a ring of 42 diamonds, constructed from titanium, or an 18kt rose gold case option – which weighs in at just over £20K (at the current RRP).

What is so unusual on this Omega dive watch is the fact that the chronograph complication pusher buttons don’t screw down and can be used safely down at a depth of 600m (or 2000 feet). Whilst most chronometer watches that are water resistant down to depths require their push buttons to be screwed down and not used, with most serious diving watches being cool used down to 300m – being ok to use the chronograph function down to 600m is a staggering attainment.

On the right of the dial is where both the minute and second hands for the chronograph complication are sharing the same sub-dial. The hour hand using an orange aluminium arm, and the minute hand is constructed out of polished steel – both of which employing the use of luminescent fill.

Located at the bottom of the dial, a shy inconspicuous date window sits at the 6 o’clock position with white text applied over a black background. At the 9 o’clock position is the Omega Planet Ocean 600m’s continuous seconds sub-dial.

Small this watch is not, at 45.5mm wide and 19.2mm thick it’s even more massive than the already dimensionally elephantine Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea’s [116660] 44mm by 17.7mm case size.

Any grand plans to become a deep diving, commercial, mixed gas, saturation, diver then rest assured that the manual helium escape valve on the outside of the casing by the 10 o’clock won’t impede you on your dark murky aquatic exploits, letting any trapped helium molecules out of the casing whilst decompressing.

The liquid metal bezel is only available on the more expensive titanium models with blue dials and bezels. The reason why liquid metal is used for markings on ceramic bezels is its incredible strength, being three times harder than steel and it can be bonded to the ceramic smoothly. Its bezel is of the unidirectional variety, only turning in one direction, and built for the purpose of diving.

Omega has put into the Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm their calibre 9300 movement; a proper in-house movement that combines two mainspring barrels to provide a generous power reserve of 60 hours. It beats at 28,800 v/h and contains 54 Jewels. The reverse of the movement can be viewed through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back; with, the bridge, the rotor and main plate being rhodium plated and machine decorated with Geneva waves in arabesque. The 9300 Omega movement has not been COSC certified but has instead been METAS tested in-house at Omega, hopefully adding, even more, value to the watch than just COSC testing (it is, after all, a more stringent standard to pass at).

The Swiss government controlled METAS Federal Office Of Metrology agency will be working with Omega to test each movement (that omega makes in-house) as they don’t have their own facility (like COSC do). METAS will be certifying and be confirming the results of the movements, and testing the monitoring equipment used by Omega. Omega appears to be moving away from COSC for their own movements to separate their watches from everybody else’s – They are by no means the first brand that has started to certify their own watches accuracy with two notable examples being Rolex with their superlative chronometer testing of each watch after casing and the Patek Philippe Seal.

The variation that an METAS certified movement must be within is also a lot more stringent than COSC (which is based on the international ISO 3159 standard) being within 0 and +5 seconds per day, a step up from the -4 to +6 second tolerance that a COSC movement needs to be within in order to be certified a chronometer. METAS also test the power reserve and the water resistance of each watch: but, the thing that METAS tests that other testing bodies seem to be lacking are a movement’s resistance to magnetic fields.

The 9300 Omega movement is very resistant to high strength magnetic fields because of its ‘Si 14′ silicon balance spring. Wheres the Rolex Milgauss has a magnetic tolerance to 1,000 gausses (as you may have gathered from the name milli-gauss) the Omega 9300 movement levels this up further and is resistant to magnetism up to 15,000 Gauss.

Often overlooked, a mechanical watch’s vulnerability to magnetic fields is a serious problem faced by owners of these luxury watches. If a watch is treated properly, not dropped, serviced when required, and is not subjected to water pressures higher than it should be taken into, the reason why most watches stop keeping good time is because the movement has been subjected to overly powerful magnetic fields. It’s not unheard of for a watch to lose accuracy just by being kept sat on an Ipad (and its magnetically attaching cover) overnight while not wearing it.

Each of these movements is tested with a monstrous 1.5-ton magnet, at the Omega testing facility, to check the imperviousness of each movement to magnetic fields in order to subject each movement to over the 15,000 gausses required.

The chronograph function on the Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial is also of the column-wheel variety – considered by most watch connoisseurs to be superior to cam-actuated chronograph mechanisms, and column-wheel chronographs are also found on more expensive luxurious watches. 

[Read about  Column-Wheel Vs Cam Actuated Chronographs Here]

The bracelet’s clasp thankfully includes a micro-adjustment system and a divers extension. And fortunately Omega has instead opted for screw in pins; far better than the push-pins used in the less expensive Seamasters that so infuriates everyone who has the misfortune of having to take a link or two out of one.

Lume-wise, hour markers and hands are all imbued with this bright blue lume – with the exception of the minute hand and central bezel marker (having green lume). Each of the bright white markings provides good legibility against the watches black or blue dial (these watches being constructed out of titanium).

With the Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm, Omega has demonstrated that they can compete with the other high-end divers watches out there like the; Submariner, Calibre de Cartier Diver, and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe – all of which are available in gold. A tell that perhaps the buyer’s of these watches are not, in reality, going deep sea diving with their watch strapped onto their wrists. That we will leave to the Deepsea, ProPlof 1200m, and Oris Depth Gauge Chronograph – watches each appearing to be designed for real divers.

Buy this Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm [232.30.46.51.01.002] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

All the Omega Planet Ocean 600m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm watches available to buy from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

10 – Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 [a73310a8/bb74-1lts] RRP:£3,600-£4,515

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This Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 is an exceptional diver watch in that the chronograph function is still operatable all the way down to 2000m deep under water. That would be like having Portugal’s tallest mountain (Serra da Estrela) made from water crashing down on the Superocean Chronograph and not a drop of water being let inside of the watch’s casing. It’s certainly good to know that if on your aquatic adventures the watch were to, unfortunately, fall off your wrist – that any sea life under the world record 610 metres ADS dive (or 332 metres world record SCUBA dive) would be able to admire the fully functional chronograph watch – intact and working perfectly.

To accomplish this astonishing feat, Breitling has used their patented magnetic push-button system, on the Breitling Superocean Chronograph, that results in a case without holes for the chronograph buttons to operate through – thus eliminating two vulnerability’s that could compromise the internals of the watch while deep underwater. Instead of conventional push buttons that require access to the movement inside the watch’s water resistant casing – magnetic push pieces are manipulated by the user, that push their magnetic field through the solid casing of the watch, resulting in a far more durable tool watch.

In addition to the fancy magnetic pusher buttons, the solid case back is screwed in and a thick 4mm glare-proof cambered sapphire crystal protects the dial. Its screw down crown is double-gasketed for additional protection from water while deep underwater.

Serra-da-Estrela (1)
‘Serra da Estrela covered with snow’ By Gsarmento (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
At only 46mm wide this Breitling Superocean Chronograph is by no means the biggest divers watch but is certainly one of the thickest at a monstrous 19.10mm. Available in only stainless steel (and a limited numbered edition in Blacksteel of only 2,500 pieces) this chronograph watch is one of the more practical and utilitarian watches on this list and perhaps more suited to life actually under water than some of the other contenders on this list.

This Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 watch makes use of a helium escape valve, unidirectional diving bezel, and luminescent markings on the hands and hour marking on its Volcano black dial.

As a quartz watch (and a rather expensive one at that) this watch would suit somebody who desires a highly accurate horological time keeping device that is low maintenance. Not requiring constant winding or servicing; but, only a change of its 394 type battery every 2 or 3 years. Breitling has used their calibre 73 SuperQuartz movement for this watch – that is as you would expect COSC certified.

Intriguingly, the 73 SuperQuartz movement is a rather sophisticated movement for a quartz: its movement is thermo-compensated and is supposedly 10 times more accurate than a standard quartz movement. It enables quick timezone changing for frequent flyers and a chronograph capable of recording a time to within a tenth of a second – up to a durations of 12 hours. It is available to buy on a variety of straps and differing sub-dial register colours.

Buy this Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 [a73310a8/bb74-1lts] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Sub-Dial Register colours: Green, Blue, Black, Red

Strap type: Superocean leather strap (with colourd edges),  Diver Pro rubber strap, Ocean Racer rubber strap (with circular cut outs), or the stainless steel Professional III bracelet.

Limmited eddition: M200 Blacksteel limited and numberd edition of only 250 pieces [Found Here].

All variations of the Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000 can be found from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

11 – Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm [01 774 7708 4154-Set RS] RRP: £3,400
01 774 7708 4154-Set RS_main

Oris’s most capable dive watch on offer is the very unique Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph: a watch that not only includes a chronograph complication, but also a rare mechanical depth gauge that uses the increasing pressure underwater to compress trapped air to indicate the depth.

Water-resistant to 500m, with the depth gauge reading to 100m, this watch is not one of those watches which are just a normal watch with some beefed up water seals – it has been designed singularly to be a dive watch and nothing else.

As water enters the channel opening by the 12 o’clock it compresses a trapped bubble of air and turns the channel a dark grey – where the water and air bubble intersect is the depth reading. The yellow graduations mark the depth in meters from zero down to 100m.

Oris’s Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph is available on a black rubber strap that is easily adjusted in length, with a thoughtful stopper at the end to keep the strap attached to the clasp when making big sizing adjustments. Built into the clasp is a ‘Sliding Sledge’ mechanism to allow for small adjustments to be made quickly without taking the watch off.

In the supplied pelican like waterproof box is also an additional stainless steel bracelet with a diving extension, professional strap changing tools, spare lugs, and a device for cleaning inside the sapphire crystal channel.

At 48mm wide this really is a very large weighty watch. Expectantly the case back is of the solid variety (with a meters to feet conversion table up to 100m engraved into it).

Covered in white coloured Superluminova BG W9 the hands and indices have a good level of legibility. The subdials for the chronograph complication are the standard 12 hours spread over 2 registers. These sections of the dial are further distinguished from the rest of the dial with the use of a guilloche pattern on both the chronograph and running second sub-dials.

Inside an Oris Caliber 774 base SW500 powers the watch, beating at 28,800 v/h, containing 25 jewels and has an approximate power reserve of 48 hours

While not cheap the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph certainly feels like you would be getting a lot for your money were you to buy one. It gives the wearer not just the promise of performance – but real performance.

Buy this Oris Aquis Depth Gauge Chronograph 48mm [01 774 7708 4154-Set RS] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

There is also a 46mm non chronogrph version of the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge watch [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Continue: Part 5 Tag Heuer + Longines + Oris (coming soon)!

 

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 3 Cartier + Rolex + IWC

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Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 3 Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver + Rolex Submariner Date + IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm

Previously, in part 2 of this series we reviewed; the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm, Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm, and Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m.

This is part 3 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

6 – Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056] RRP: £5,800
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Cartier’s dive watch may be a tool watch – but it’s a very sophisticated one at that. The Calibre de Cartier Diver is a capable dive watch whilst simultaneously looking great with more dressy appearance compared to its competitors.

It’s water-resistant to 300m (does not include a helium escape valve) and is unusually thin for a diving watch at only 11mm thick, and tipping the scales at just 111g. It has a practically sized casing at 42mm, with its oversized bezel and crown guard making it look bigger than it really is. The blue synthetic spinel crown gives the Calibre de Cartier Diver an elegant look, letting this Cartier diving watch feel more at home in a formal environment in addition to its life under water.

Being different to most of the watches on this list the bezel is covered in a black ADLC coating, over either a steel or rose gold case; it’s unidirectional and can be adjusted in 30-second increments (120 clicks in total). Featured at the 12-marker is the bezels only luminescent part, a luminescent triangle that lights up green.

The dial’s hour markers are all Roman numerals, and the running seconds use Arabic characters. When in low light the Super-LumiNova glows green; from, only the XII Roman numeral at the top, but just the small rectangle markers for each hour marker, all three sword-shaped hands, and the register of the running seconds sub-dial.

The Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver’s strap is on the small side for a man’s watch, and would only be able to fit over the diving suit of a guy with slim wrists. The strap is the non-standard width of 23.5mm by the lugs.

A single running second sub-dial sets this watch out from the crowd, adding some dynamics to the dial. Sat in-between the 2 and 4-hour markers is a curiously trapeze like date window showing three days simultaneously with a triangle pointing to the current day.

Protecting the Caliber 1904 MC automatic mechanical movement is a solid case back; with, two barrels coupled in series to smooth out the energy transfer from the mainspring, at a rated power reserve of 48 hours. Contained within the movement are 27 jewels, and it beats at 28,800 v/h or 4 Hz. Cartier’s in-house movement is built from a total of 186 parts.

You can buy this Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver [w7100056] watch from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Case material: Stainess steel, Black ADLC coated stainless steel, Stainless Steel & Rose Gold and 18kt Rose Gold.

Strap Type: Black Rubber Strap, Stainless Steel Bracelet, Steel and Gold Bracelet.

Dial Colour: Black or Blue.

All variations of this watch can be brought from our site at a discounted price [Here].

7 – Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date [116610LN] RRP: £5,700
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The universally iconic archetypal dive watch – the one that started it all, the Rolex Submariner. Starting life in the 1950’s as an answer to the cries for a watch that could survive the punishing environment deep under water, the Submariner has progressed into the most famous of all dive watches around. Recognised by both the horologically inclined and watch novices alike.

Built from the tough and durable 904L stainless steel alloy that basically only Rolex use because of the additional costs involved when working with it: this special steel alloy is used for the fine finish that can be applied to it and an increase in durability – so it will hold its finish for longer than a lesser steel alloy.

With a 40mm diameter, the Rolex Submariner is one of the smaller dive watches on this list but due to some clever designing by the people at Rolex, it wears more like a 42mm watch. It is water resistant down to a depth of 300m – it does not include a helium escape valve.

Electric blue sunburst dial of Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

At the top of its class, the Submariner uses Rolex’s Chromalight luminescent compound that Rolex states ‘lasts up to eight hours’ meaning that dial legibility should be good enough to read the time whether exploring life underwater or checking the time in the middle of the night.

This Rolex’s beating heart is the completely in house 3135 calibre movement, built with a Parachrom hairspring giving the watch a great resistance to shock and temperature caused timing variations. It has a 48-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800v/h. The movement in each Submariner will have been sent to COSC for chronometer certification, and after casing Rolex conduct their own accuracy tests – each movement will be within -2/+2 seconds a day to become a Superlative chronometer. The 3135 calibre movement also includes a date window by the 3 o’clock marker which is magnified by a cyclops window.

The Rolex Oyster perpetual submariner date is the archetype dive watch. It has been around for a good long time and it’s not going to be disappearing anytime soon. If you can’t decide between this and another dive watch then just pull the trigger on the Sub – you can’t go wrong. They are also one of the few watches that reliably hold their value – with it not being unheard for a used two-year-old used model only losing a couple of hundred pounds on a list price of some £5,700. But when Rolex eventually increase their prices – the value of your Rolex will increase too!

Buy this Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN from our [Shop Here].

Shop all Rolex Submariner Dates [Here]

Variant: Dial and bezel colour: Black, Green or Blue

Case and Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel, ‘Rolser’ Two Tone Gold, Solid Gold in either Yellow or White 18kt.

Other variant: Submariner (no date) [Here]

Submariner laying on side with crown facing up - Rolex Submariner Date: Hands-On Review [116613LB]

8 – IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801] RRP: £5,500
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IWC’s offering for recreational divers is the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm (iw376801 pictured). It’s available on both a rubber strap with a tang buckle (which is fitted with a quick change system and sells for a RRP of  £5,500) or a metal bracelet (RRP £6240) and has a water resistance of 300m.

Its 44mm case width and 17mm thickness make the Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph of average proportions for a diving watch. Of all the diving watches on this list, it is the only one to include the day of the week in addition to the date, which IWC have combined with a charming chronograph complication.

Dial legibility is enhanced with the use of a blue luminescent compound on each of the hour markers, and the hour and minute hands (though having both a light coloured dial and hands means visibility is not the best it could possibly be – if that’s a concern then go for this watch but with a black dial).

Its chronograph complications pusher buttons do not screw down; but, considering that this watch is only water resistant to 300m I don’t suppose they are really needed. The 30-minute subdial is located at the 12-position, and the hour subdial counts up to the usual 12 hours (being sat by the 6 o’clock position). A running seconds dial is located opposite the date and day windows by 9 o’clock.

The Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph’s casing does not include a helium escape valve but does have a rather intriguing bezel: to progress the diver’s bezel you turn the external bezel counter-clockwise, and this will advance the internal bezel and its markings; if the outer bezels knocked clockwise it will not affect the inner bezel. This is thanks to a sliding clutch system that allows the external bezel to communicate with the internal bezel while maintaining the 300m water-resistance of the watch. The clutch mechanism’s protective covering is found at the protrusion of the left of the watches casing.

Inside is an IWC calibre 79320, it beats at 28,800 vph, includes 25 jewels and has a power reserve of 44 hours.

Buy this IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm [iw376801] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

The additional IWC Aquatimer Automatic Chronograph 44mm watches can be found from our [Shop Here].

Continue: Part 4 Omega + Breitling + Oris (coming soon)!

Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 2 Blancpain + Ulysse Nardin + Omega

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Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion – Part 2 Blancpain Fifty Fathoms + Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver + Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m

Previously, in [Part 1] of this series was discussed what a dive watch is, why people buy them, what to look out for when buying one for actually diving, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver [15703st.oo.a002ca.01] and Rolex Deepsea [116660].

This is part 2 of a series of 6 parts on diving watches of 2016. Parts onetwothreefourfive and six can be found from these links (coming soon).

‘The dive watch is a type of watch that really encapsulates what it is to be a luxury watch. It’s simultaneously a functional piece of specialist equipment, needing to survive the punishing environment of being dragged down deep underwater, while still telling the time: but, they are typically built to extravagant specifications, being water resistant to 10 or even 100 times deeper than people will actually dive down to in reality. Few people will ever test these dive watches to their full capabilities!’
– Part 1 Audemars Piguet + Rolex: Top 16 Dive Watches In 2016: An Opinion

3 – Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm [5000-1110-b52a] RRP: £7,290 – £19,730
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If for whatever reason you don’t want a Rolex then take a look at the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. It’s water resistant to the usual 300m, is a more comfortable 43mm wide (and 13.40mm deep) and even includes a transparent case back, which is a feature less often found on dive watches; though, this may be due to the increased thickness they give a watches case, the perceived weakness that they give and the additional cost involved.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms holds its own style with its monochrome aesthetics that playfully toys with light – largely thanks to the brushed radial sunburst dial. Its black ceramic bezel borrows from Blancpain’s sister brand Omega for the use of Liquidmetal® graduating markings. This exotic alloy is three times harder than stainless steel and is one of the few things that can be bonded to the ceramic material used for bezels.

It doesn’t include a helium escape valve or a diving extension. The supplied rubberised canvas strap may be too small to wear over a diving suit, something to consider if you intend to go diving with one on – and have large wrists.

A luminous dot is located at the 12 o’clock on the bezel, and a combination of rectangular and circular markings are used for the hour markers and the watch’s hands.

Inside is the Blancpain Caliber 1315 beating at 28,800 v/h, being composed out of 227 parts, contains 35 Jewels and has an approximate power reserve of an excellent 120 hours. Wedged in between the 4 and 5 o’clock hour markers is sat a fairly nonobstructive date window.

This watch is certainly a capable diver watch, but perhaps targets the non-diving ‘desk divers’ who don’t go diving anyway. It doesn’t fall into the trap of extreme water resistance that will never get utilised but ends up creating an impractically large watch that’s uncomfortable to wear. The same could be said to watches with bulky diving-clasps that will never get used – they get in the way and make a watch less comfortable.

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is everything a dive watch should be and nothing it shouldn’t. Its vintage-inspired aesthetics holds a design that should endure additional time well. It’s personally one of my favourite dive watches on this list.

You can buy the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatic 43mm [5000-1110-b52a] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Case material: Stainless Steel, Titanium, Ceramic or 18kt Rose Gold.

Strap: Stainless Steel Bracelet, Ruberised Fabric or NATO (in black or green).

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here].

A chronograph eddition is also available: ‘Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph 43mm’ RRP: £10,270 – £12,080 [Buy Here].

5025-5230-52a-blancpain_mainBlancpain also offer a Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Days [Buy Here] solely available in 18kt rose or white gold. This insanely luxurious and exubrant watch is available from a RRP of only just £92,600 – and with the white gold option with 32 baguette diamonds and 4 trillion (triangle) shaped additoinal diamonds weighing in at 6.68 carats, costing an eye poping £149,200. Making the Blacpain Fifty Fathoms Tourbillon 8 Days the most expensive dive watch that money can currently buy.

4 – Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm [263-10-3r/93] RRP: £6,300 – £23,480
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From the company who historically built incredibly well-engineered marine chronometers and provided them to over 50 of the world’s navies in the 1800’s, and whose logo includes a ships anchor as a nod to their naval interwind past is the ‘Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm’. It’s water resistant to 300m, comes in either stainless steel or 18kt Rose Gold and is only available with a rubber strap or metal bracelet.

The dial of the Maxi Marine Diver is graced with a wave like a pattern and includes a power reserve indicator underneath the 12-marker, and small seconds sub-dial and date function above the 6-marker.

The uni-directional bezel includes the usual luminescent marker at the 12, and both the hands and hour markers included luminescent fill. This in combination with its red striped hour markers gives good legibility and time reading accuracy – regardless of the environment, the watch finds itself in.

Under the solid case back is a UN Caliber UN-26 which beats at 28,800 v/h and has a rough power reserve of 42 hours.

Ulysse Nardin’s Maxi Marine Diver does not include a helium escape valve, but in reality, the only people who will end up needing one will be commercial divers during saturation diving. In this case, if they wanted a watch to take diving with them they would perhaps desire a more robust functional option.

Its charismatic aesthetics makes the Ulysse Nardin’s dive watch one of the more unique looking dive watches on this list and even has a power reserve indicator which is a rather rare complication to see – particularly on a mechanical dive watch.

You can buy the Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 44mm [263-10-3r/93] from our [Shop Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Case Material: Stainless Steel or 18kt Rose Gold

Dial and Bezel Colour: Black or Blue

Strap Type: Rubber Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelt

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here].

5 – Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m [224.30.55.21.01.001] RRP: £6,000 – £6,150
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One of the first brands to capture the professional diver’s tool watch market in the 1970’s was Omega with their Ploprof 600 with its incredibly distinctive design. This new PloProf is water resistant to a staggering 1200 meters and refines what was already a very liked and capable watch into an even more capable professional divers watch.

The crown on Omega’s ProProf has always been on the left side of the watch to minimise the chance of any impacts to the crown, and it’s surrounded by an iconic chunky crown guard that’s a result of a functional design. This design feature also means that when the crown guard is opened it measures a callosal 55mm wide – otherwise only a 50mm by 48mm casing size.

Unusually for a dive watch, the bezel has been overlaid with a sapphire crystal that allows it to match the dial more thoroughly. Underneath this sapphire cover, a generous amount of Super-LumiNova has been applied to all of the bezel’s graduations – this is a proper tool watch. And what is perhaps even more unusual is that the bezel turns in both directions; but, in order to make changes to the bezels position the button on the right side of the case must first be pressed down.

At the base of the button extrusion, is an automatic helium escape valve which will allow the tiny helium molecules inside of the watch to escape during decompression in saturation diving.

Luckily for divers, the clasp that Omega uses includes a push-button micro-extension system and a 26mm divers extension to comfortably wear the watch over a diving suit. The clasp is well engineered and is relatively compact for what it accomplishes.

Omega has used their own exclusive in-house calibre 8500 movements. Luckily, it utilises a double barrel to give a power reserve of 60 hours. It beats at 25,200 v/h, contains 39 jewels and is composed of 202 parts. Also included is a date function that presents itself in between the 4 and 5-hour markers.

You can buy this Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200m [224.30.55.21.01.001] from our shop [Here] at a discounted price.

Variations: Strap typeShark-Proof metal bracelt (RRP £6150) or rubber strap (RRP £6000).

Rubber strap colours: Orange, Black or White.

Dial colour: White or Black.

All variations of this watch can be brought [Here] from our shop at a discounted price.

Continue: Part 3 Cartier + Rolex + IWC (coming soon)!

Tag Heuer Senna Special Edition Formula 1 Watch: Unboxing Review [waz1012.ba0883]

Senna Special Edition waz1012.ba0883 Watch Unboxing Review - Watch sitting on top of presentation box

Senna – Formula 1 Racing Legend

Unboxing Review: Tag Heuer Special Edition Formula 1 Watch [waz1012.ba0883]

This Formula 1 Tag Heuer watch is one of several in a range of watches celebrating the astronomical racing success of Ayrton Senna. Born as Ayrton Senna da Silva on the 21st of March 1960 in São Paulo Brazil, he would later go on to win three formula 1 championships, and is regarded by many as the greatest driver who ever lived.

Tag Heuer Senna Special Editions waz1012.ba0883: Unboxing Review

As an established watch company whose heritage has been deeply influenced with automobiles (making their first dashboard chronograph for cars and aircraft in 1911) building a series of watches honouring such a sensational formula 1 driver makes so much sense for Tag Heuer. Continue reading Tag Heuer Senna Special Edition Formula 1 Watch: Unboxing Review [waz1012.ba0883]