Hello fellow watch geeks! Today we will explore a very controversial watch in the watch community, that being my Apple Series 3 42MM smartwatch. This watch was given to me as a gift over the holidays and I had no idea what to expect from it nor a clue how to use it. Since then, I have learned so much about the little smart device, its' ups and downs, and why I think you should or shouldn't own one.
Main Functions of this SmartWatch
1. Complete Wireless connectivity ( no Phone needed with Cellular )
2. Bluetooth Hands-Free talking with volume through iWatch, Car, Computer, ect.
3. Great for working out and measuring your steps, calories, time elapsed.
4. Control music via Bluetooth
5.Send text messages in a breeze
6. Make calls with Siri while driving
7. Read news, weather, check emails, stocks.
Let us start off with some basic specifications on this exact model. Being the 42MM version or the larger version in comparison to the 38MM version we get a case diameter of 42.5 MM in a square case. The case thickness comes in at 11.4MM which is actually quite thin for the fast processor this device contains. The actual material of the case on my version is Aluminum, making it super light and comfortable for everyday wear on the wrist. If you were to remove the strap the case head itself weighs in at an ultralight 34.9 Grams ( GPS+ cellular version ). One thing I do adore about this watch is the fact that it actually has a water resistance rating of 50 Meters. Now, in terms of Swiss and Japanese watches this is generally a no no when thinking of submerging a watch in water, BUT I have taken mine in the pool without any problems what so ever. I assume it is safe to say the Series 3 is very capable in that manner. The aluminum is all brushed very smoothly and cut perfectly as expected from such a satisfying brand like Apple. There are two buttons on the right side of the watch, one is a wheel that spins and allows you to navigate , while the On/Off power button resides below that. A small hint of red covers the "crown" or the navigation wheel which is candy to the eye on a dark grey case.
Their really is not one permanent dial as many variations of different complications and apps allow you to create your own dial via your iPhone and plant It directly on your device. The crystal covering the dial is a Ion-X Glass which is new to me, but seems quite resilient to scratches and cracks so far. In terms of Pixels we are looking at 312x390 pixels combined with a OLED Retina display force touch screen. I was able to discover so many interesting faces to add to my watch and I have listed them below. Some of the complications such as split second chronographs are super expensive when it comes to mechanical watches. While there are also child friendly faces such as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, and easy to read large number faces, I still find them amusing and satisfying.
( Yes Mickey does Speak the time when you tap him! Go Mickey! )
Some Face Options / Stock Options
Apple Watch series 3 uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery which lasts up to 18 hours on a single charge. When comparing stated battery life to my iPhone 8, the Apple Watch certainly is more accurate and this thing does stay alive for a full 18 hours. The charging cable is also unique and new, a small circular pod that hooks on to the back of the watch where the sensors are located and charges the watch.
Caseback ( Sensors )
The case back of the Apple Watch contains all. your sensors and is actually comprised of Ceramic, a material widely used in the Swiss watchmaking industry by brands such as Rolex. With these sensors, you can measure your heart rate, use a Baromatric Altimeter, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope,
The strap supplied with my watch is indeed a very flexible, comfortable, durable and dust free silicone band. There are two buttons on the back to release the band if you wish to change the strap. I do however reccomend using Apples bands only as they are the best quality I have found from testing other aftermarket rubber straps. There are holes where you can adjust it to the exact size when strapping it to the wrist for superior comfort. I must say, it feels like I am literally wearing nothing sometimes.
Conclusion from a Watch Geek
The Apple Watch series 3 has definitely made some serious improvements in speed, power reserve, and wireless connectivity capabilites since the release of the Apple watch Series 2, which is a good thing coming from a company who makes such subtle changes from one release to the next. The watch may not be your dream watch if you enjoy automatic or mechanical timepieces only, but it is always worth it to give it a shot. I find myself using the watch once a week or so due to its easy function, comfortable fit, and reliability. I can say one thing though, I definitely NEED to throw on my Rolex Submariner or Seiko automatic watch the following day as these creations of time are my true passion. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions drop a comment below. I also left some links to purchase one if you feel like you would like to take a leap into smartwatch world.
Today we are going to explore one of my first luxury watch purchases going back to a era of the early 2000s where bigger watches were popular and especially the Breitling Super Avenger. This watch was very much seen on the wrists of music artists, producers, and celebrities in the hip hop industry and on the street. It is very much still a great well made luxury product of Breitling and has some great characteristics and design. My watch is featured with a Diamond Bezel which was added by myself, yet I can swap to the stock steel bezel in a breeze.
The 48MM 316L polished stainless steel case is definitely on the larger side of things and yes it is quite a statement piece. This watch features a chunky thickness of 18.6MM and a heavy hitting weight of 153 grams on the supplied bracelet. I believe my watch weighs in at around 140 grams due to the links I removed. The watch is obviously a chronometer certified chronograph with pushers at 2:00 and 4:00 for start/stop and reset. The nurreled crown sits in between at 3:00 and allows for a really strong grip when using the crown and is robust as it can be. The entire case is done in a Breitling super high polish for spectator legibility ( lol ). The finishing is as you would expect from a Breitling , very good. The long curved lugs conform to the wrist in a beautiful way and sit comfortably. In terms of lug width we do have a 24MM lug width to accompany this 48MM case. One of the best features of this chronograph is that it is capable of 300M of water resistance, as long as you dont engage the chronograph underwater. It truly is a sport watch and is certainly one of the toughest ones out there. It is a chunk of steel that cannot be penetrated and can be considered a weapon in some countries.
The dial is your typical Valjoux 7750 layout with three subdials and a date window at 3:00. This model sports the black dial even though it might look blue due to the heavy layer of anti-reflective coating Breitling puts on their Sapphire crystals. The beautiful Breitling logo is applied and raised at 3:00 labaled “1884-Chronometre-Certifie”. This is a 12 hour chronograph so at 6:00 there is a 12 hour shbdial and up at 9:00 is your running seconds subdial. Heading to noon there is a 30 minute counter for quick reference of chronograph timing as well. The double stick markers are definitely polished in a silver tone and the dial has a lot of depth and may even seem sunk in a bit. Decent lume fills the long broad hands and red tipped chronograph hand as well as the 12:00 PIP and small markers around the indices. The lume is nothing like Omegas lume but it certainly lasts a while and is a greenish color. The 120 click unidirectional bezel is very tooly and precise and allows for a 60 minute timer just like a dive watch.
Inside this beast lies the Caliber 13 automatic COSC certfied ( -4 +6 ) movement. This movement is a top end Valjoux 7750 with custom plates, bridges, perlage work, and Geneve stripes. In terms of real time accuracy myne has been steady at +5 a day for around 8 years with one service done by Breitling. It is a reliable, tough, easy to service, accurate movement with 42 hours of power reserve.
The Breitling Super Avenger is equipped with a 3 link bracelet which has excellent fluidity and is quite superb in construction when comparing to lets say a modern Omega bracelet. Solid end links join firmly to the case and the milled clasp is enscribed with “BREITLING” and “Manufacture en Suisse” on the inner portion. The high
mirror like polish looks superb but is definitely a scratch magnet. Four micro adjustments are available for preferred fit as well.
Pricing : $5490 Retail , this model was discontinued in 2013 and the new Super Avenger II retails for under $6,000.
Included with your Zelos Mako Bronze is a wood cigar style box, metal warranty card, spring bar remover, leather roll, and a leather spare strap.
The case on the Zelos Mako measures 40MM in diameter and has a thickness of 13.5MM. These dimensions are doable , atleast on my 6.5 inch wrist as we have a nice and rational 46MM lug to lug distance. The watch features blocked off lugs so it really helps the Mako wear like a true 40MM watch, unlike something like a ceramic Submariner. Now to the good stuff, the case is comprised of CUSN8 Bronze which really came out great in my eyes. It has an almost light rose gold look which is really eye catching and looks superb. This case WILL patina over time as any bronze case will and that is just awesome. The lugs feature polished edges on each side which give a little substance to the brushed bronze case and crown.The crown itself is extremely hard to grip and screw in and out which is a huge letdown and probably the only negative thing about this watch besides the oddly cluttered dial. On top of this beautiful Anthracite dial lays a boxed Sapphire crystal with Anti-Reflective coating and is slightly domed as well, giving the watch a semi-vintage look. In terms of water resistance the Mako is a serious contendor with a 500 Meter rating, definitely suitable for swimming, diving, and pretty much any water activity you can imagine. To accompany the high WR rating they added a lumed screw down crown with the Zelos logo which is a first for me in hand. Whats a dive watch without a dive bezel? This watch has a beautiful 120 Click uni directional lumed bronze bezel which lines up perfectly to 12:00 and features zero backplay. Its one of those bezels you can fidget with and feel good about yourself.
The caseback is fairly simple and done in all stainless steel with a mako shark which is raised which I am fine with. Your personal edition number is also inscribed on the screw down caseback.
The dial on the Zelos Mako is definitely a unique one as it truly is its’ own thing. Large applied circular lumed markers surround the dial with an extra marker at 12:00-3:00-9:00 which are lumed as well. I assume this was done as a reference point to tell the time easier or to just take up space. The Anthracite color definitely plays well with the bronze and has a beautiful wave design. A black date aperture located at 6:00 with white numerals allows for easy legibility as well, and the size is nicely proportioned with the markers. Heading to the chapter ring there are fine minute and second markings with lumed circles. Lastly, the simple Z for zelos logo is applied in a bronze color beneath 12:00 allowing the dial to peak through.
For the pricepoint, I can definitely say kudos to Zelos for equipping this watch with a swiss made Selitta SW-200 automatic movement. I have a lot of experience with these movements and they are true workhorses keeping consistent time and honestly functions identical to its friend, the ETA-2824. The movement has a 38 hour power reserve, holds 26 jewels, and beats at a smooth 4 hertz or 28,800 BPH. I have been getting around +5 seconds a day for a week or so which is good in my book! If you are not familiar with this movement, it is also widely used in most ORIS models.
Now on a $430 watch with alot of kit for the money I was quite surprised by the quality of the supplied straps. I really was not expecting two great quality straps, One Tropic style rubber strap with a signed Zelos bronze buckle and a leather strap without a buckle which you will need to swap out with the rubber if you intend to use it.
Lume - What we have all been waiting for!
There are two types of strong lume on this model in a Multi Color scheme as you can see pictured below. We get a C3 SuperLuminova filled on all the applied markers and bezel along with a blue BGW9 on the chapter ring and dots surrounding. All in all, the lume is certainly bright and really gives the famed Seiko Lumibrite a run for its money. On a side note this is the first time I have experienced an actual Lumed crown, and it is freakin awesome. ( see video below )
Being my first experience with an actual Bronze watch it has so far been an excellent one. Prior to receiving the Mako I had no idea what to expect in terms of quality and function. In all honesty I am quite surprised they can put together such a value packed watch for such a low price. The movement is great, the casework is decent, and the lume is extraordinary. I really have no gripes about this model and that is quite rare. I do reccomend if your interested in grabbing one of these to do it quick before the price jumps on June 15th ( Link Below ). I look forward to what Zelos has to offer us watch enthusiasts in the future.
Watches are great for the mind, body, and soul. They create a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and add to your wardrobe at the same time. There is just one kicker, these things can be expensive! With my experience in the watch industry and collecting watches myself I have gathered a list of the top 5 watches one can really get for under $500 USD from mainstream brands. These watches can be found at most brick and mortar shops or online at ease.
HAMILTON KHAKI FIELD AUTOMATIC 38MM $400
The Hamilton Khaki Field automatic is my number one pick and a watch I own as well. It features everything you need on a daily basis and is super reliable/affordable at the same time. The watch is Swiss Made by Hamilton and features an automatic Swiss ETA movement which has a whopping 70 hour power reserve. The watch also features lumed arabics, 100M of water resistance ( safe to swim ) , and a very comfortable bracelet with a secure clasp. If your just getting into watches and want a truly decent watch that can hold its' own in the crowd of watch enthusiasts and collectors, this is the one to buy.
Tissot Visodate automatic Mens Watch $375
The second watch I chose is more of a dressy watch and is made by Swiss company TISSOT. Tissot has an extremely long and rich history in Swiss watchmaking and is respected worldwide by watch lovers. This model features a nice 40MM case equipped with a Swiss automatic ETA 2836-2 25 Jewel movement, holding around 42 hours of power reserve. The watch also comes with a Sapphire crystal, genuine leather band with easy slide adjustment clasp. Its all around a well built, simple, no nonsense stand out watch to wear to work when you are in a suit or more proper attire. The watch is not water resistant at only 30M, but don't be afraid to wash your hands with it.
SEIKO ALPINIST SARB017 - $500
The Seiko Alpinist SARB017 automatic compass watch produced by powerhouse SEIKO in Japan is definitely one to purchase. This model was just discontinued and the prices are soaring rapidly as collectors grab them by the dozen. The watch is currently selling for around $475 USD and can be found from various online outlets. Anyway, it is an extremely good looking watch with a great movement. This watch features the 6r15 Seiko In-House movement which is one of the better Seiko movements. The compass feature also can be useful when camping, hiking, or just to play around with. A green dial with gold applied markers and lumed marquelle style hands really top it off for me. It is definitely a watch you can keep in the collection for more than a decade.
Seiko Turtle SRP777 Automatic Dive Watch
At around $300 the Seiko SRP777 is a compelling offer to any watch collector. The history behind the watch goes back to the Vietnam War where the original Seiko Cushion cased dive watch was utilized by US Troops. This is in fact a re-issue of that model , only it is a bit different in terms of the actual watch. What do we get? Well, the watch has a automatic in-house 4r36 movement with hand winding and hacking capability. The watch also features a buttery smooth uni-directional dive bezel along with 200M of water resistance. Lume is also a key factor in picking a dive watch and this one puts high end watches to shame with its' lumibrite. At 44MM it might be too large for some folks but remember it is a cushion case so it kind of just sinks into the wrist and fits a bit smaller in diameter. Pictured above is my beloved Seiko Turtle on my 6.5" wrist.
TISSOT PRS516 AUTOMATIC DIVER - $500
My fifth and final watch ( these watches are in no order ) is the TISSOT PRS516 automatic 100M dive watch. Tissot really produces a great product all the way down to the packaging of the actual watch. Each Tissot watch comes equipped with a full book outlining the complete history of the company. This watch is certainly a good looking watch with its red "T" accent on the counter balance of the seconds hand, along with the bold applied indices. Inside this watch is the reliable and trustworthy Swiss automatic ETA movement with a day and date feature. It is not truly a "DIVE" watch as generally most dive watches need to be at least 200M water resistant, but you can definitely take this one on your next vacation to the Bahamas and play around in the ocean or pool with it.
Thanks for taking the time to read my list and I have left some links below where you can purchase these 5 watches for the BEST and LOWEST price on the web. Remember, if purchasing from an Authorized Dealer you will definitely pay more money and receive the same exact product. The only difference is you will receive a manufacturers warranty when paying that steep price. From my experiences with $500 watches all the way too $10,000 watches if you buy from a trusted dealer and site you will be fine.
Orient , owned by the Epson corporation has been killing the scene of affordable dive watches in the past couple of years. They did this mainly with the Orient Ray and Mako lines of dive watches. These watches can be had at under $200 USD and offer a whole lot more in function and quality than the fanboy favorite Seiko SKX.
The 41MM case on the Orient Ray 2 line combines polished sides with brushed tops and a rather proportionate dimension of 41MM x 13MM thick with 22MM lugs. The finishing is rather good for a $175 watch and I think it looks way more expensive than it actually costs. We get a mineral crystal, 120 Click uni directional aluminum bezel , and a screw down signed crown for 200 meters of water resistance. I must admit the bezel action is not that great because it is very hard to get a grip on the bezel due to it being so close to the case and angled downwards. This is a problem for me and I know I am not the only person who noticed that.
The typical diver layout is utilized here on this straight black dial with applied luminous markers. The seconds hand has a nice red arrow tip which helps stand out over the white lume filled markers. The day and date window at 3:00 are frames with a border and certainly legible at a glance. At 12:00 Orient and Automatic are printed in white while the Orient logo is applied in polished silver.
The orient In house caliber F6922 is used in this watch which also represents quality and good bang per buck. It is not an easy thing to find a watch at this pricepoint with an in house movement besides seiko automatics. This movement is hackable, hand windable, contains 22 Jewels, and holds a power reserve of 40 hours. In terms of accuracy, you can expect around 7-8 seconds plus a day when broken in. The movement beats at 21,600 BPH or 3 Hertz.
The 22MM stainless steel oyster style bracelet is not the most luxurious or fluid bracelet around but it certainly is better than most Seiko stock bracelets. The bracelet uses push pins for adjustment and features a few micro adjustments on the signed Orient clasp for fine adjustment. We do not get solid end links on this version but it would of been nice.
I threw myne on a Silicone Barton band and it certainly does the watch justice
Furthermore, compared to its competitor the Seiko SKX , I can see why myself and others are grabbing these over Seikos pride and joy timepiece. The watch has a better movement, bracelet, and overall a more modern aesthetic. I will say that the Seiko Lumibrite is brighter than Orient Lume though. At this pricepoint you will have a hard time finding a better set of specifications for the money making the Orient Mako 2 a winner in my book.
If your a regular user of Instagram you have probably seen this Asian fellow around named “Ben Baller”. Well, who is he and what does he exactly do? He is a jeweler and originally started producing jewelry for high end A list celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Justin Bieber and many more. His shop is located in the Slauson swapmeet in Southern California where it is run by his family now on a day to day basis I believe. He creates custom jewelry per your design/drawing and specifications and it is all done in house from the mold creation down to the casting and diamond setting. You can really say that IS a true jeweler. I ran into this fellow on social media and had to get a custom pendant made once I saw the craftsmanship of his work compared to other jewelers in New York City. Kind of odd, No? NYC is home to west 47th street which controls a large portion of the jewelry business in the USA. The thing is that a lot of these “Jewelers” dont have anything to do with the creation of their work. They buy the pendants and necklaces wholesale from large vendors located on 47TH street in those huge buildings and you really aren’t getting anything special as every store stocks the same pendants and jewelry besides a few.
What did I order and How did I order?
I contacted if and co via telephone and spoke with one of Bens relatives James who was extremely attentive and polite. I told him what I wanted and had a photo and size already drawn up. I explained the quality of diamonds I wanted the size chain as well. I went for a custom “E” pendant with around 1.8 carats of micro pave set SI-1 - VS2 Stones. I also chose to cast the piece in 14K solid yellow gold as it is a bit more robust than 18K as it contains 58.5 percent gold content. In 4 weeks the pendant was at my door and it was just what I expected. The neat and consistent stone setting is really unbelievable and this is all done by hand, no machines. I was extremely pleased and would not hesitate to trust them with my money again. If you are wondering what I paid you are looking at north of $2500 USD. The price might seem high but you truly do get a higher quality pendant. Nowadays, they have stockpiled and pre made tons of different pendants such as their famous Micro Jesus Pendant, Wolf Pendants, Lion Pendants, and much more so they are readily available. I will drop a link if you want to check them out.
The main component of a mechanical movement is the mainspring, a spring that gradually unwinds and transmits energy. A mechanical watch will keep accurate time despite requiring winding up if it's manual. ... Inside an automatic watch sits a small weighted rotor that has to oscillate in order to wind the mainspring.