I’m out to prove that you can be passionate about watches and not spend boatloads of money by reviewing watches every week that cost under $1,000, many under $500.
A New Column on Watches Under $1,000
Six Battery-Powered Powerhouses
The quartz watch was our introduction to timekeeping — the gateway drug that spurred our talk of ticks and led to our appreciation of mechanized complications — and like our first car, it demands respect. Battery-powered watches pack incredible complications, intricate details and robust build quality into an infinitely wearable and affordable package. Even the most ardent watch snob would be proud to strap any of these six quartz watches upon his wrist.
One giant leap
Wearing a $20,000 watch with a white strap onboard a Great Lakes wreck diving charter is inviting ridicule. But duty called, and I strapped the Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite ($20,000, limited to 59 pieces) over my drysuit cuff, clipped on the Reef digital dive module and waddled to the back of the boat. It quickly proved a sports watch in a category all its own.
Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: An affordable Kiwi travel watch, a Wright brothers Bremont, Moscow’s time zone change and more.
Great Excuses For A Rubdown
We spend a lot of time outside, and the reality is that we’re often more fastidious about taking care of our bikes and boards than we are our skin. News flash: even if you don’t burn, you should be doing something to block the UV rays from permeating your dermis. These sunscreen options should cover whatever type of protection you need.
Coming up Short(s)
It’s important to keep your closet stocked with a few pairs of stylish, proper-length shorts that show off a little leg, look respectable and keep you comfortable when it’s hot. These twelve pairs will look as great with a t-shirt as they will with a button-up Oxford.
Gentlemen, start your chronographs
The motoring watch has long been a symbol of masculine derring-do and a love of machinery. Here are six modern timepieces that still capture the exhaust smell and sound of engines running wide open on a ribbon of tarmac.
Keep the revs high
One of the best ways to enjoy a summer weekend is a top-down road trip out of town. Pick up a fun roadster like an Alfa Romeo Spider (preferably in rosso corsa) for just these occasions.
A Pearl of an Oyster
For our series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. The Rolex Oyster Precision Linen Dial flies a bit under the radar, with baton hands, a smooth polished bezel and a lovely textured cream dial collectors call “linen”. It also comes with its original green box, Rolex guarantee (long since expired) and 19-millimeter steel bracelet with the Rolex logo on the clasp.
TICKING OFF THE LATEST IN WATCH NEWS
This Week in Watches: F.P. Journe revamped in gold, a Darwin-inspired series by Arnold & Sons, a modular version of the Inkler DEFAKTO, and more.
Haute Horlogerie Bargain Hunting
This past January, Montblanc shook up their lineup with a steel perpetual calendar, a more affordable (though still not cheap) alternative to the unobtanium that is Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar. How do the two compare?
Born from the sea
The contemporary IWC Portuguese is not merely a watch, but rather an entire model line within IWC’s collection, with everything from chronographs to minute repeaters and perpetual calendars counted among its ranks. It is one of the stalwarts of the Schaffhausen brand’s collection and almost universally loved by watch aficionados for the line’s clean, classic aesthetics, purity of design and fascinating history. And it all sprang from a single request from a singular watch market.
Testing its steely resolve
The Superocean Chronograph Steelfish ($5,700) is Breitling’s latest addition to its dive watch lineup. We tested it among the toothy predators of Bonaire’s Salt Pier.
Ticking off the latest in watch news
This Week in Watches: July 15, 2014. The Bell & Ross WW1 Guynemer, news on Apple’s iWatch, BENRUS lives again, and more.
Gear Patrol x Analog/Shift
For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. The Wittnauer Professional Chronograph we have this week is classic ’60s style, with widely spaced contrasting colors, “Panda” style, subdials for running seconds and elapsed minutes, blocky hands and a bold red sweep hand. It’s an American beauty.
The British Brand Beats the Swatch Group's Embargo in the Best Possible Way
Last week, while we Americans were celebrating our independence from England, English brand Christopher Ward was celebrating independence of a different sort. The ten-year-old Internet watch company announced that it had created its first in-house mechanical movement, the calibre SH21, for its new C9 Harrison 5 Day Automatic timepiece. While the watch itself is a handsome piece, fitting well into Ward’s lineup of classic sports and dress watches, it’s this movement under the hood that has the watch world buzzing.
Daring design for (kind of) modest means
Avant-garde watch design is best designed by what isn’t, rather than what it is: Understand classics like dress, dive, and aviator watches and you’ll know avant-garde when you see it. The problem with breaking the mold is that these watches often come with an equally unbelievable and impressive price tags, leaving mere mortals’ bank accounts wanting. But more recently, a handful of watchmakers have taken a shot at inspired and unique design, without the insane price tags. These are our favorites that at least won’t bankrupt you.
Ticking off the latest in watch news
This Week in Watches: July 8, 2014. A pure Pinion, a blacked-out Luminox, a vintage-inspired clock, a poor man’s Heuer and more.
Step foot on the tarmac at Edwards or the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan and you’re likely to see a few Breitling watches on the pilots’ wrists — as much a part of standard aviator kit as the ubiquitous and eponymous aviator shades. Breitling’s connection with pilot’s watches is more than a historical footnote or a well-branded, retro-inspired line of heritage watches. The brand has won pilots’ favor over the decades due to the functionality and rugged build of the watches themselves, which have evolved over time as much as the planes the pilots are flying.
New or old, a pilot’s watch much be legible, tough, accurate and reliable, with extra points awarded if it looks good riding the sleeve of a flight jacket. This flock hits those marks.
Ticking off the latest watch news
This Week in Watches: a young watch authority, a mean chopper-edition watch, and an Oris with a mechanical altimeter.
Off-Kilter in all the right ways
The new Longines Avigation Watch Type A7 differs visually from the 1930s original (most notable for its 45 degree canted dial) only in minor dial details. Other features remain: the 49 millimeter diameter, the hinged case back, the Breguet hands, and Arabic numerals. We break it down.
A different WWW
For our new series, Timekeeping Selects, we’ve partnered with Analog/Shift, the New York-based purveyor of vintage watches. We’re doing the legwork for you, handpicking stunning, unique vintage timepieces at a wide variety of prices — all with impeccable authenticity, great stories, meticulously serviced and ready to wear. Our third offering is a Cyma British Military watch
($995) that fulfills the British Ministry of Defense’s “Watch, Wristlet, Waterproof” specification with several unique twists.
One Breath, One Dive
Most of the people who come to Bonaire are SCUBA divers, hauling heavy bags of gear — buoyancy vests and regulators. But on this visit, I decided to try something different: freediving. No tanks, just a breath of air. I wanted to experience the transcendent silence and freedom freedivers talk about. The best man to learn from is in Bonaire, and I was about to get a one-on-one lesson from him.
Ticking Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches: The Sistem51 hits U.S. shores, Audemars Piguet’s new digs, the missing watches of ten great men and much more.
Lean and Clean
While thick, robust watches have their benefits, they often fall prey to door jams and snags on cuffs and jacket pockets alike. More often than not, a truly practical and comfortable watch will also be a thin watch. These watches feel wafter thin (because they are) but still look of consequence, and are in fact some of the best dress watches around. For an understated yet stately look that fits under a cuff with heaps of clearance (10mm thick at max, including crystal), these six are some of the best.
Superlative Goods Just South of the Arctic
Although Böle, a small Swedish tannery on the northern banks of the Baltic Sea, is producing what may be the best leather goods on the planet, you still haven’t heard of them. That might a bit intentional on their part, though.
The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna ($230,400 in white gold, $229,200 in pink gold) is, as you can tell from its name, a watch for the man who enjoys complexity. It’s a perpetual calendar indicating time in a regulator style; it has a unique power reserve indication at 6:00; it has an orbital moon phase on the back. And that’s just the tip of the horological iceberg. Let us try to explain.
Shades of Tennis's Most Unique Tournament
The French have two Brits to thank for their beloved red playing surface, which today lives on in small training centers on the outskirts of Paris, tournaments for the rising stars of the sport, and one of professional tennis’s oldest events. We were on hand during the week of the French Open to capture all the nuance of the storied surface.