There are those certain watches from popular mainstream brands that have a huge following and are the genetic DNA of the brand, if not somewhat - entirely. Here is my list of the Top 5 watches that are generally classic, timeless, and retain value, with the chance of price increases as well in the future years to come.
#1 Rolex Submariner
As cliche as it might sound...but yes the Rolex Submariner is a timeless and classic dive watch and a very capable one. Prices have soared over the years way past inflation and for good reason. It is an awesome everyday, no nonsense, luxury watch. My version is the No date version or just the “Submariner”. It is more true to the lineage of the original submariner which did not have a date with a cyclops nor a date. It is clean, goes well with a suit or just a plain white t-shirt and cargo shorts. This watch retails at $7500 but since the rolex drought this year, new grey market prices have reached nearly $8500-$9000.
#2 Rolex Day Date “President”
The Rolex Day Date has been seen as a worldwide symbol for wealth, class, and well some gaudiness. You can find many different versions of this model at all different pricepoints. Many of your leaders and presidents have worn this watch at one time or another and it is an awesome looking watch. The solid 18K gold presidential bracelet ( hence the name President ), is seamless, comfortable, and attractive. The 18038 model seen on my wrist is a model from the early 1980s, and can be had for around $10,500 with box and papers. It is one of the best bang per buck solid gold watches one can find. The newer models tend to go for a bit more , and even more in the 40MM case.
#3 Omega Speedmaster Professional MoonWatch
When Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface in 1969 on the moon, guess what he was wearing? If you guessed an Omega Speedmaster, you were right. This iconic watch from powerhouse swiss watchmaker Omega has an enormous cult following, so much they created a special day of the week to wear your Speedmaster ( #SpeedyTuesday ). The version that is almost true to the original is the Speedmaster professional reissue which houses essentially the same 1861 calibre that was used in the first. It also can be bought with Hesalite glass which the original had or with a modern Sapphire crystal. This chronograph is sure to hold okay value, with vintage models soaring each year in price at auction. The best part about it is that a new Speedy can be bought for under $4000 USD.
#4 Breitling Navitimer
The Breitling Navitimer is one of the most iconic aviation watches to date. The newer models feature an all in-house B01 Breitling calibre with some amazing specifications. Older Navitimers can be had with Valjoux based movements for almost half the price, which is a bargain considering the history and iconic status this watch holds. It is a rather toolish watch with a functional slide rule for flight calculations such as multiplication, division, and more. The first Navitimer was introduced in 1952. New models can be bought new for around $6000 USD from various online outlets such as Jomashop, while older pre owned models can go for as low as $3,000.
#5 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
The JLC reverso was introduced in 1931 and originally intended for the upperclass of Brittain to be used whilst playing Polo. The case design was genius in that era, as one side is solid so that the crystal would not get damaged while playing. The Reverso really made a strong comeback in the mid 1980s and new models have been released each year in special editions. JLC is the watchmakers watchmaker some may say, as they produce all components in their own factory in Switzerland where the company originated. If you want Patek quality at an affordable price, JLC is the way to go. The standard JLC models can be found for around $8,000-$10,000, and higher for precious metals.
All Watch Addict readers can save 30% on any regular priced Thomas Earnshaw timepiece using the code WA30 at checkout which includes free international shipping
The Earnshaw Beaufort is housed in a steel case with a yellow gold IP plating for that extra luxurious look. The watch is also relatively affordable at under $300 USD with some neat details and decent finishing. The diameter comes in at 43MM while the coin edged breguet style case is 15.5 thick for a nice presence when on wrist. The case itself is water resistant to 5ATM and features a signed pull/push crown with a self winding position and a timeset. A rather circular shape is a nod to traditional swiss watchmaking with the thin short 22MM lugs protruding from the case. As this is an affordable watch, hardened AR coated mineral crystal is used on the front and back of this timepiece.
This blue guilloche dial is quite stunning to look at, especially in true daylight. A nice blend of open heart mechanics and classic roman numerals with breguet style gold tone hands help as well. A nice touch is the double EE logo on the counter balance of the smooth seconds sweeping hand. It is a rather simple movement featuring a 24 hr subdial and your time only. The subdial can be manipulated with a pusher located at the 2:00 position.
Earnshaw incorporates a automatic self winding movement from Huangzhou. This movement features a 38 hour power reserve, 22 jewels, and a decent accuracy on my example of around +9 seconds a day. The only letdown is the absence of a hacking feature. The movement is displayed both through the front and back of the watch for some visual excitement and a more high end look.
TE always has nice genuine leather straps with their signature E style buckle. The strap is embossed and is 22MM tapering to 20MM. The buckle
is plated as well to match the case color. No break-in period is honestly necessary for these straps and they are comfy out of the box.
This is not a luxury timepiece and was never intended to be. I would consider this to be a great well made affordable alternative to really high end Haute Horology brands such as Breguet, Vacheron, Patek, ect. It is indeed well worth the money asked and especially a value proposition if you use the code WA30 for that 30% off full price. I look forward to reviewing more timepieces from the Earnshaw brand in the future and am excited to see what else they have to offer.
Welcome back to another review my fellow Watch Addicts. Today on the table is the all new JS9 automatic dive watch from Swiss watch manufacturer Armand Nicolet. Armand has a history dating back to 1846 and originated in the Tramelan area of Switzerland. They are a relatively small company with 20 or so employees, but definitely put out quite a decent watch for the coin.
To see the Packaging please view the video review on my YouTube channel
The JS9 is a very nice looking watch at first glance with its solid 316L brushed steel case, along with nice chamfered polished edges which go around to the backside of the 24MM lugs. In terms of diameter, we are looking at a bit of a larger diver at 44MM wide and 13MM thick. The case has a rather unique design considering the “Claw” style lugs which depart downwards for comfortable placement on the wrist. The caseback is something also that quite surprised me with a really detailed brushed engraving of specification and a fish emblem. This IS a diving watch considering the 300M water resistance with screw down crown/caseback. A nice feature that I found is the awesome grip on the black rubberized signed crown. I must admit, the grip is very good, and this is also unique as very few watch brands implicate this design besides Audemars Piguet and a couple others.
The dial is a Matte black with a slight grainy substance in texture. Applied markers surround the dial and are flipped which give the JS9 its’ own design. This watch certainly does not homage other popular divers such as the Submariner, which we see way too often. Inside these markers lays evenly applied Green SuperLuminova which I found to be quite responsive and gets the job done ( Pic Below ). Although, this is a true dive watch, the whole style of design and logo in a typical Armand Nicolet always reminds me of dress watches or fancier functional everyday watches. Standard features at this pricepoint of $1700 CHF include an Anti-Reflective sapphire crystal, a 120 Click Ceramic Unidirectional bezel which is pretty decent in terms of functionality and feel. Paddle style brushed grey toned hands blend in with the black/white color scheme and look in place on this piece. One odd thing I noticed is the absence of lume at the 12:00 Triangle on the bezel, which I wish they would have added for easier timing in dark settings. Lastly, I like the white background date window at 3:00 and feel it does look in tune with the white elements on the JS9.
Inside the JS9 resides an automatic ETA 2846 Swiss movement which A.Nicolet calls the AN-2846-9. This movement beats at a lower rate of 21,600 BPH, features a custom AN rotor, 21 jewels, and a 48 hour power reserve. This watch doesn’t have a COSC certification and runs within the ETA standard at around -10 seconds a day on my example. We all know ETA makes reliable and easy to service no nonsense workhorse movements , so no need to really worry about issues if a service is performed every few years.
The 24MM brushed steel bracelet is of good quality and has those swiss fluidity characteristics. Do keep in mind that this bracelet uses double screws, so if you are
not accustomed to sizing this type of bracelet which requires two flathead micro screwdrivers in opposite motions at the same time, please do see a watchmaker. I, myself had no issue and sized it fairly quick, removing 3 links and the half link that the bracelet comes with. I do wish they did include another half link so I can have a perfect even fit on both sides. A dual button butterfly clasp is incorporated which provides a seemless clean look when on wrist. The bracelet does feature some nice perlage on the inner clasp and a safety fold over signed clasp for finishing touches. The articlulating links really do make a big difference in terms of comfort, and I am overall happy with the bracelet on my 6.5” wrist. There are also options with rubber straps which do look pretty appealing and in my eyes would look a bit more sporty, or “diver-like”.
In conclusion, the JS9 is certainly an appealing entry level luxury dive watch from Armand Nicolet. It checks all the boxes and stacks up to other competitors divers in this price range such as Oris, Raymond Weil, Rado, and so on. I do like the semi-dressy look and believe this can be a very versatile watch whether wearing it with your suit or a day at the beach. The overall design and cut of the case definitely sets it apart from other brands and having more options in this segment is certainly needed. Thanks for taking the time to read another Watch Addict article.
The Talay is certainly a large and heavy duty watch with its thick 15.5MM case and 45MM diameter. The case utilizes 316L Brass with a complete brushed finish that Patinas nicely over time as most brass watches do. The 24MM lugs are unique because you will need to use the screwdriver supplied to release the rubber strap incase you wanted to swap to the leather one supplied. Maranez only produces brass watches as I am aware of, and they seem to be doing quite a good job. The finishing is decent, while the toughness factor is up there on the rikter scale. I just get that ruggid, durable, tool like feel when wearing/handling this model. Water resistance is 300M and the screw down crown is a pleasure to use and easy to grip which is good to see.
The double layered Green Amazon dial is a bit vintage like in my opinion but very legible and easy to read at a glance. The standard 12-3-6-9 layout is utilized here while the sword and needle hands are brass colored to match the case. Above the dial rests a anti reflective thick Sapphire crystal for extra durability, as if we needed more. Superluminova which glows green also is very legible and responsive ( Lume Shot Below ), and is sure to last the night. Now, the sterile 120 click Unidirectional bezel is very very precise with zero backplay. The bezel is sturdy, yet not too hard to rotate with the great coin edged sides. A nice touch is the lumed pip at 12:00 for legibility underwater or at night. Some folks might not enjoy a sterile bezel as you will have to count yourself when timing something, so one may not see this as a true diving bezel. Nonetheless, it looks the part and is super clean to the eye.
Seiko NH35 Automatic Movement
Hand Winding : Hacking
41 Hour Power Reserve
+7 seconds a day from this example
Now, Maranez supplies a beautiful Isofrane style rubber strap which literally smells great ( Juicy Fruit Gum? ) and features a brass buckle with their swimming lady logo. I must say the buckle is a bit big for my likings, but if you want that Panerai buckle look, this will suit you well. The second strap is a genuine leather brown strap which is also of decent quality, although I tend to stick to waterproof straps on a watch I intend to get wet.
The $279.99 pricepoint for this model is certainly worth it in my opinion if we look at all we get with the total package. From the automatic Seiko movement, Sapphire Crystal, two good quality straps, very good lume, and bezel action. If you are on the hunt for an affordable brass timepiece, I would reccommend taking a look at Maranez , as I believe this model is worth your money. Thanks for taking the time to read, and be well.
7/23/2018 1 Comment
There is always that one watch that stands out in front of others when it comes to originality, design, and function. The Bolm Automation stands for all three of those and today we will take a closer look at it.
The 304L Stainless steel case is a different grade than your average 316L steel case but honestly it feels the same and I do not really see the difference. In terms of diameter we get a very modern average case size of 41.7MM and a case thickness of 13MM. The lug to lug measurement comes in at 51MM making this watch wear truly like a 42MM timepiece should. A nice PVD finish is shown on this model with zero blemishes or errors , so that is good to see. The case shape definitely sits ergonomically correct on my wrist with an ever so slight curvature at the departure of the 22MM lugs. At this pricepoint of $499 one would expect sapphire crystal, and we do get that along with a anti reflective clear coating in this flat crystal. The caseback however is using a mineral crystal which sits inside the screw down 100M water resistant case. One unique thing about the automation is the crown placement at 10:00, diverted away from our usual 3:00. I found that it really keeps out of the way and I barely notice it. It is however easy to pull out and set the time.
The dial has some nice detailing and was certainly thought out beforehand with its anodized centric guilloche finish, exemplifying a timepiece in a much higher bracket. The hands are painted black with white overlapping them allowing for some contrast and visual excitement. Here is the fun part, the daylight timer. This watch can be a bit hard to comprehend at first glance but within an hour or so I was able to use the function with ease. It can display the daylight time in the cities of Los Angeles, NY, Tokyo, and Stockholm. All of this is done using the bi directional clicking bezel ( each sector of city has 12 markings for each month, simply line it up before 12:00 and read the stationary bezel for your daylight time. The next cool thing is the rotating disc at 6:00. This disc is actually not too useful the farther from Stockholm we go, but it is visuaully appealing and is meant to be a AM/PM indicator. The rest of the dial is fairly simple with a small applied Bolm logo and small minute markings surrounded by larger hour markings. Everything really flows together nicely here with the monotone colors and design. In case you were wondering, no lume is present on this model.
The Seiko NH37A automatic movement is featured inside the automation, shown through an exhibition caseback. This movement has hacking, hand wind, and a diashock system for better shock resistance. It is beating at 21,600 BPH and has 24 jewels. It is rather accurate and features the mod for the disc which differentiates itself from the standard NH35 we commonly see.
If the strap does one thing, it matches 100% the clean, industrialist aesthetic this timepiece shows off. It is genuine leather featuring a black pvd signed buckle and a suede underside. I found it rather comfortable after 2 days of break-in and do not see a problem with it.
Conclusion and Price
Furthermore, my fellow watch addicts - The Automation by Bolm is certainly not your everyday tool watch or diver we see pop up every thirty seconds , so uniqueness is a key factor when deciding to embark on a journey with this watch. It also has some cool, geeky features such as the Daylight timer, and indicator disc. I think if you really want a wildcard piece in your boring collection ( 😊 ) , the Bolm can definitely fill that niche.
This watch will be made in a second batch very soon - If you subscribe to the newsletter on the website they will inform you when it is available
Zip Up storage case with logo is provided with each Undive Dark Sea watch
The bold and striking Dark Sea is housed in a 316L steel case with a diameter of 45MM ( 47MM Including crown 20MM Lug Width ) and is rather masculine in appearance. In terms of thickness I recorded a measurement of 15.5MM and a lug to lug width of 50MM. These specs allow for this 45MM watch which is quite large to wear a bit smaller due to that width. The case has highly polished tops and brushed sides with an automatic helium escape valve. A nice design aspect is the slab crown guard on the 3:00 side of the watch and adds some visual appearance and dimension. I must say this is a tough watch, and its finished like a luxury watch. There are times when I can pick up a watch and just feel the quality, and that happened with this one..
The deep black dial is covered by a thick AR coated sapphire crystal and surrounded by a 120 click Panerai style dive bezel. The bezel action itself surprised me as it is really really good, and I rarely say that. The action is buttery smooth and precise with minimal play, and useful at night with a lumed pip at 12:00. The actual dial is pretty typical of a dive watch with applied circular lumed markers, but the small things like the light blue seconds hand and the matching “DARKSEA” is certainly a nice touch. The lume utilized on this model is BGW9 Superluminova which glows blue. It is responsive, lasts some time, and evenly applied.
Seiko NH35 Automatic
+5 Seconds a day on my example
Now the strap supplied on the 22MM lugs is a Crafter Blue genuine rubber strap with a pleasant scent. If you don’t know they produce very high quality dive straps for all types of watches. It is also a super long one, and can accommodate wrists of pretty much any size. Included in the package is a steel mesh band with adjustable links, a zulu two piece strap, AND a genuine leather strap in brown. Quite surprisingly, all three extras are of good quality and that does help with the pricepoint of $436 dollars.
The Undive Dark Sea certainly is a well built watch all around and offers some nice extras. The pricepoint might be more than what some expect to pay for the set of specifications included, but rest assure once in hand you will begin to realize why it costs this much. The finishing is top notch and so are the rest of the components. It is a real 500M capable diver or a tool watch if you want to leave it at that. Thanks for reading and please do watch the hands on video where I go a bit more in depth.