Watch Movements | Differences Between Mechanical & Quartz

Watch Movements HUB1201

Any self-respecting watch collector will want to know what makes their timepieces tick. A person with an eye for detail will surely appreciate the mechanism that runs inside the case.

If you are interested or confused about watch movements, you’ve come to the right place. For today’s post, we talk about watch movements, the differences between mechanical and quartz, and more.

Types of Watch Movements

Between watch manufacturers, you can find countless watch movements available and many of them are proprietary creations. However, all watch movements can be broken down to two major categories – Quartz and Mechanical.

1. Quartz Movement

Watch Movements Grand Seiko 9F Caliber
The Grand Seiko 9F82A

The advent of quartz crystal movement (typically shortened to quartz) is attributed to Seiko. It was Christmas Day in Tokyo when Seiko introduced the Astron, the very first quartz wristwatch. Quartz is a battery-powered movement which was groundbreaking at the time especially when compared to the traditional hairspring/balance wheel combination.

The announcement of the Astron was heard all over the world. By 1977, Seiko became the world’s largest watch company. It essentially kickstarted the era of battery-operated wristwatches. It certainly helped that quartz provided excellent accuracy and required no maintenance aside from battery replacements.

Quartz, in general, tend to be low cost due to very little moving parts and being battery-operated. However, watch enthusiasts find quartz timepieces to be less desirable due to the overall lack of craftsmanship and engineering.

But what exactly makes a movement a quartz movement?

How Quartz Movement Works

Watch Movements Miyota 2025
Miyota 2025 Japan Made Quartz Movement

To measure the time, watches that house the quartz movement need electrical current. The current, in this case, is supplied by the battery which acts as the main power source. The electrical signal is sent via a piece of crystal quartz which then vibrates at a rate of 32,768 times per second.

The crystal essentially becomes an oscillator. This oscillation helps to keep the time which replaces the function of the hairspring/balance wheel combo in a mechanical movement.

In terms of accuracy, the Horological Journal wrote:

Even the humblest quartz wristwatch can maintain time accurate to within less than 1 second per day with the aid of inhibition compensation. And due to the surprisingly good stability of 32 kHz quartz crystal oscillators, the accuracy of quartz wristwatches can be expected to change by only a small amount over time.

Watch Movements Tissot PR100 COSC
The Quartz-powered Tissot PR 100 COSC

More often than not, quartz-powered watches are far less expensive when compared to mechanical watches. However, there are also luxury watches that comes with a quartz movement such as the Longines Conquest VHP and Tissot PR100 COSC.

Benefits of Quartz Movement

  • Superior Accuracy – A non-certified quartz watch has an accuracy of about 99.9998% while a certified one will be 99.9999% accurate.
  • Ease of Use – If you want a watch that you can just wear and forget, a quartz watch is a great option. You won’t need to wind your watch from time to time, and still be able to keep time.
  • Low Maintenance – A quartz movement has a very little number of moving parts. In addition, the battery only needs a replacement every 3 to 4 years.
  • Less Expensive – As mentioned, quartz watches are generally less expensive when compared to mechanical models. These movements are mass-produced, so they have mainstream appeal and affordability.

Disadvantages of Quartz Movement

  • Needs Battery to Operate – Quartz watches need a battery to keep on ticking. If the battery runs out, the watch stops working. Replacing the battery can be a real inconvenience for many collectors.
  • Collectability – While there are luxury timepieces that come with quartz movement, most of them are mass-produced. This means that quartz watches don’t hold their value over time. The most serious watch collector will find a quartz movement less desirable when compared to mechanical models.

2. Mechanical Movement

Watch Movements Patek Philippe 2499
The most iconic and desirable Patek Philippe reference 2499 movement.

Most watch enthusiasts prefer mechanical movement for their luxury watches.

Simply put, mechanical movements boast a high level of quality and craftsmanship, expertly crafted by watch artisans. A mechanical movement features an intricate series of moving parts that working together to get the watch ticking. The intricate mechanism in mechanical watches can only be described as art.

A lot of in-house mechanical watches created by Swiss watchmakers have fetched hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars during auctions. One notable example is the extremely rare Patek Philippe reference 2499, costing as much as $7 million dollars.

Watch Movements ETA 2660
Swiss Made ETA 2660

However, there are movement companies such as ETA that have managed to mass-produce mechanical movements for watchmaking purposes. This enabled smaller brands to make mechanical timepieces that can compete with leading luxury watch brands.

The general design of mechanical watches hasn’t changed over the years. However, the use of technology has allowed movement makers to improve precision and add a greater attention to detail to their creations.

How Mechanical Movement Works

Watch Movements Mechanical Movement

All mechanical timepieces uses the combination of hairspring and balance wheel.

Unlike quartz watches, a mechanical model utilizes energy from a wound spring instead of a battery. The spring will then transfer the energy via the springs and gears within the movement. This component powers the overall function of the watch including the hands and complications.

The oscillation of the balance wheel results in a back and forth motion which is not unlike the movement of a pendulum. For a mechanical watch to function continuously, the spring has to be wound with regular frequency.

Benefits of Mechanical Movement

  • Longer Lasting – A skillfully built mechanical watch can last for a lifetime, provided that it’s treated with proper care and maintenance.
  • No Battery Needed – The hand-wound mainspring is the main component that powers a mechanical watch. Thus, when the watch stops working, you can simply wind it up instead of going to a jeweler to replace the batteries.
  • Smooth Hand Movement – For some people, the smooth sweeping motion of the hands in a mechanical movement is better than the quartz’ tick-tick motion.
  • Aesthetics – If you appreciate great attention to detail, you’ll fall in love with the beauty of mechanical movements. Many luxury mechanical watches have a clear sapphire casing on the back which allows you to admire the rotations and oscillations of the moving parts.

Disadvantages of Mechanical Movement

  • More Expensive – While it’s easy to admire the construction of a mechanical watch, the superior craftsmanship also comes with a high price tag. Top-quality mechanical watches can easily cost thousands of dollars and up to six figures for the super luxurious models.
  • Less Accurate – The accuracy of mechanical movements is simply nowhere near that of a quartz. The most accurate mechanical watches are “Certified Chronometers” and it still can’t compare to quartz in terms of accuracy.
  • Need to Wind – Many watch enthusiasts don’t mind the winding process. However, some users think that it can be a chore especially if the timepiece has low energy retention.

The Two Types of Mechanical Watch Movements

There are actually two types of mechanical movements that power many luxury watches: manual and automatic (self-winding). There are differences between mechanical movements and each has its own special characteristics.

1. Manual Movement

Watch Movements HUB1201
Hublot In-House HUB120 mechanical movement with manual winding

Manual movement is the oldest type of watch movement in existence. They are also referred to as “hand-wound movements.” Manual watches are more desirable to collectors because they display the watch movements in full glory through the case-back.

As the name implies, a watch powered by a manual movement necessitates the winding up of the piece on a regular basis. This may well be the deciding factor as to why one would refuse to buy a manual watch.

However, for enthusiasts who treat their timepieces as more than just a timekeeping tool, the process of winding the watch becomes a veritable ritual. This adds a level of intimacy with their time measuring companion and improves the overall experience of owning the watch.

How Manual Movement Works

A manual watch gets its energy through the winding stem. When you talk about winding the watch, it refers to the action of turning the winding stem which tightens the mainspring. The mainspring then accumulates the energy which transmits to the hands and complications.

The balance wheel is responsible for keeping regular time. The wheel swings in a back and forth motion and interacts with the escapement. The motion transmits to the gears which power the hands.

The escapement is the part that transfers energy to the wheel so the latter oscillates at a given rate. The oscillation is what the wearer can hear as the ticking sound.

To wind the mainspring, the user simply needs to turn the crown several times.

2. Automatic Movement

Watch Movements Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona Self-Winding Movement

Up to this day, the question of who invented the automatic movement is still up for debate. Some folks say it’s Abraham-Louis Perrelet and some believe that the inventor is Hubert Sarton. Either way, that will be a debate for another day.

The automatic movement is the next logical step after the hand-wound movement. Without the need to manually wind the timepiece at least once every other day, it’s easy to see why. The motion of the arm is enough to keep the watch wound.

Basically, as long as you have it on your wrist, the watch will keep ticking.

For the most part, an automatic movement works in the same way as manual systems do – save for the addition of a metal weight called the rotor.

How Automatic Movement Works

To understand how an automatic movement works, it’s important to know about the most important components.

As mentioned earlier, the rotor is what sets the automatic movement apart from the manual. The rotor is a semi-circular weight which connects to the movement. The rotor can freely move in a 360° direction and it goes with the watch’s movement on the wrist.

The reverser mechanism is another essential component that sits between the gears and rotor. This part enables the rotor to rotate the mainspring regardless of the direction it turns.

There’s also the escapement which essentially “divides” the time in equal fractions. This is the component that releases the energy supplied by the gears to the lever.

Modern automatic watches come with a power reserve that allows you to take them off without worrying that it will run out of power. For instance, a watch with a 72-hour power reserve can remain in your nightstand for close to three days and it will still be ticking once you wear it again.

How to Tell the Differences Between Mechanical & Quartz?

So, is it possible to tell if a watch is quartz or mechanical just by looking? Well, some watches indicate the type of movement under the hood through the dial. These tips below should let you determine if a watch comes with a quartz or mechanical movement:

  • If the second hand is moving in a smooth, continuous motion, the watch houses a mechanical movement.
  • If the second hand is moving in little steps or in a tick-tick motion, you are looking at a quartz watch.

Watch manufacturers are continuously innovating to improve the quartz technology. They continue to improve the crystal’s frequency so it mimics the smooth motion of mechanical watches. With that said, the little tip above might not be applicable anymore.

Which Movement is Right for You?

As you can see, each type of watch movement has its fair share of pros and cons. It all comes down to personal preference between a “purist” view of watchmaking and convenience. It’s also good to consider how you will use your watch.

If you are looking for an affordable timepiece that you can essentially set-and-forget, you are better off with a quartz watch. It is also going to be more accurate and requires little to no maintenance.

On the other hand, if you value the art of horology and drawn to the elegance of micro-mechanical movements, then a mechanical watch is a no-brainer.

Regardless of your choice, the choice between quartz and mechanical movement says a lot about a person’s individuality. Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand watch movements and the differences between mechanical & quartz movements.

Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5: In-depth Comparison

Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5

After spending hours going through the features of both smartwatches, we choose the Fenix 5 as the best option on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article.

Fenix 5 has a long battery life, and it also alerts you when the charge drops to 20%. We also love the Fenix 5 because of its multisport mode, which helps you to switch between sports easily. Finally, the Fenix 5 records and stores more landmarks on your GPS than the Traverse Alpha.

 

The Suunto Traverse Alpha and Gamin Fenix 5 are some of the devices that outdoorsman or athlete should keep handy. Both smartwatches have great features that make them rival many flagship watches in the market.

Sporting impressive designs, both devices are built with materials that can handle extreme conditions. Also, they promise support for apps that help you maintain a mobile and healthy lifestyle. They even come with the extended battery life, which keeps them running for long hours. This makes both smartwatches the best option for camping and long trips.

Since both timepieces offer great features, choosing between the two watches might be hard. However, with our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 article, we will guide you in making the best choice. First, let’s begin with the Suunto Traverse Alpha review.

Suunto Traverse Alpha

 

Seen in some circles as the best military watch, the Suunto Traverse Alpha is a handy device for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing.

It even comes as a great item to use during your camping trips. This smartwatch can withstand rugged terrain while performing various functions that will meet the needs of any outdoorsman or athletes. With such impressive specs, the watch standout on our Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 post.

Design and Battery Life

The Suunto Traverse Alpha weighs 75g while maintaining a width of 47mm. Although these figures present it as a bulky item, it is a lightweight watch that’s comfortable on the wrist.

The watch has a face covered with sapphire glass that can resist scratches. Also, a stainless steel bezel surrounds this part of the timepiece. A replaceable sturdy nylon-silicone wristband also secures the watch on any wrist size. Overall, the Traverse Alpha is highly durable which makes it an excellent smartwatch for construction workers.

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is water resistant to 100m. Having said this, you can use the watch for any aquatic activities except deep-diving underwater.

Battery life from this smartwatch depends on how the watch is used. For instance, the battery can last for 15 hours with the GPS ON or about 14 days when the GPS is set off (which is ideal for long hikes). You can charge the battery with a USB compatible charger.

Sensors

For outdoor enthusiasts, being able to monitor your health and fitness, and keep track of your location is a big plus. By using the GPS features, you can keep track of your routes while its GLONASS provides increased GPS accuracy. For Avid travelers, use the compass feature to address your route quickly if you lost direction.

The Traverse Alpha has a built-in thermometer; hence, you don’t need a separate device to check your temperature. Its heart wrist rate or belt monitor keeps your health in check throughout the day etc.

Since weather and pressure could change at any time, Traverse Alpha has a built-in barometer to help keep you informed. Unlike the Garmin Fenix 5, this smartwatch can alert you if there is a thunderstorm coming.  It offers additional features that are helpful for daily outdoor activities- this includes gyroscope and accelerometer.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

The Transverse Alpha watch gives you details of your physical activity levels. This comes as a great feature, especially if you intend to lose some pounds or engage in outdoor activities.

For example, its GPS function prevents a hiker from getting lost by keeping track of past and current locations. This also comes in handy during fishing or hunting as it helps users mark ideal spots for chasing prey.

With the Traverse Alpha, you can measure your daily steps and estimate the calories burned throughout the day. By default, you can view your estimated daily step count in the time display. Also, the watch gives an overview of the steps taken in a week, month, or year.

Apart from steps, the outdoor smartwatch records the number of swimming strokes made within a particular period. The device gathers this data and stats by measuring your arm movements.

All smartphones are compatible with the Suunto Traverse Alpha. This means that you can send and receive information from the smartphones to the watch via Bluetooth or ANT +.

App & Display

The Traverse alpha face display is easily readable, and the watch comes with fantastic apps for sports activities.   With a screen resolution of 128 x 128 pixels, you will find it pretty easy to read and control.

As you should know, time zones change from city to city or other countries. Luckily, Traverse Alpha has a built-in sunrise and sunset alert, and world timer. These features will keep you informed on the current time and when to wake up in the morning.

As an avid Hunters and Angler, time is crucial, which is why the Alpha offers a moon phase calendar, and Moonrise and Moonset times. With this, it’s pretty easy to know when to go fishing and hunting. A big plus as it comes with an auto-shot detection that dates and mark the exact spot when you shoot a rifle or shotguns.

If you don’t want to cause a scene in the morning or at night, you can set your preferred time to wake up and work routine using its silent alarm or vibration alerts.

Did you forget to bring a flashlight for Camping? Well, you don’t have to worry. The Traverse features efficient flashlight mode that you can use to keep your vision clear in dark conditions.

What’s even better is that the smartwatch is also compatible with the Movescount app. This app allows you to share and sync your daily activities, explore new routes, and customize your watch.

The Traverse didn’t leave out some essential features. It still offers additional features which include a stopwatch, notifications, and social features, etc.

Price and Warranty

The Suunto Traverse Alpha cost over $350 and it comes with a two-year warranty. Suunto also offers one year warranty that covers accessories including bracelets, and sensors, etc. However, the company does not make any provisions for wear and tear.

Before you enjoy the warranty service, the company suggests that you register the watch on the company’s website with proof of purchase.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Traverse Alpha is a durable smartwatch for outdoor enthusiasts, but construction workers and military will also benefit from its built-in features. Compared to the Fenix 5, it is lightweight and comfortable to wear. Also, when it comes to Suunto smartwatches, it stands as one of the top models with great sensor features.

However, it also has its drawbacks when compared to Fenix 5. First, its face screen display only in two colors (Black and white). On GPS mode, the battery life is 9 hours shorter, which means you enjoy more time using the Garmin Fenix 5. Unlike the Garmin, the Traverse won’t alert you when the battery is low.

 

Garmin Fenix 5

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 stand as one of the best watches for basic training and other rigorous activities. It delivers a wide range of features while sporting an attractive design that rivals the look on any Suunto smartwatch.

Packed with fitness, health, and GPS tracking features, the Fenix 5 can keep you fit and safe on any terrain. Furthermore, it has a sturdy build that can withstand usage under extreme conditions. For these reasons, this smartwatch has a great edge in the Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5 contest.

Design and Battery Life

Since Fenix 5 is ranked as one of the best outdoor smartwatches, it’s expected that it has a rugged design. However, it has an elegant look that can complement any outfit.

The Fenix 5 sports a display screen covered with sapphire glass. With this material, the watch can handle knocks and scratches encountered during outdoor activities.

The case is made from fiber-reinforced polymer while a stainless steel case back secures its engine. A replaceable elastomer bracelet fits the smartwatch on any wrist size.

The Fenix 5 promises a water resistance up to 100m, making it a good watch for most aquatic activities. However, sports such as scuba diving might damage it.

Battery life depends on the features activated on the watch, such as sensors, activity tracking, and GPS. On basic mode, it runs up to 14 days, but when in GPS mode, it takes up to 24 hours for the battery to drain. Finally, on UltraTrac GPS mode, it offers 75 hours of battery life.

Sensors

In comparison with other smartwatches on the market, the Fenix 5 offers accurate sensor features. Unlike Suunto, it features a heart rate monitor that can track your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. The tracked heart rate is not only shown on the watch but also recorded in Garmin connect. This makes it easy for you to check your progress.

You can use the watch to calculate burned calories, stress levels, and monitor your sleep pattern every day.

This Garmin smartwatch provides GPS sensors with GLONASS function for maximum accuracy.  Avid travelers and other outdoor enthusiasts will find this watch handy as it has a built-in barometer, compass, and other measurement tools.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

Like most smartwatches, the Fenix 5 supports a healthy lifestyle by tracking various activities. It performs this task by using sensors that monitor different health stats.

A sleep tracker detects and monitors your movement during sleep hours (except naps) while the auto goal feature creates a daily step goal based on your recent activity levels. The move alert encourages you to go for a walk after prolonged sitting.

Regarding connectivity, the Fenix 5 works with WiFi, which enables firmware updates on the watch without using a smartphone. The timepiece also supports Bluetooth for connections with smartphones.

The smartwatch also works with ANT + technology that enable it to link to fitness equipment. This feature helps you track your stats when you use devices such as treadmills or spin bicycles.

App & Display

When it comes to top-tier smartwatches with cool apps and display faces the Garmin Fenix 5 is never left out. This Garmin smartwatch has a color LCD screen with 240 x 240 pixels visible in bright sunlight. Its display screen is also Transflective, enabling you to read in low lighting.

Unlike most smartwatches, these timepiece support varieties of apps which include Garmin Connect, Strava Live Segment, and LiveTrack features. The Garmin Connect offers you more leverage to download plenty of apps such as car locators, work planners, etc. Not only that, it allows you to share information and activities with other members on the Garmin Community. As for the Strava Live segment, this helps runners and cyclists perform better. Use the LiveTrack feature to allow family and friends to cheer you on every step on race day in real-time.

Pair your phone with the smartwatch to enjoy smart notifications. With this feature, you get instants alerts like text, Facebook notification, and calls from your phone to the smartwatch. This makes it easy for you to respond or decline messages when you’re running or engaging in other sports.

Add more function to your smartwatch using the Connect 1Q store packed with many apps. If you misplace your smartphone, you can quickly use its Find My Phone App on the watch to locate it.

Garmin also packs up other exciting feature you will find useful. These features include sunrise and sunset alerts, and Golf features, etc.

Price and Warranty

You can get the Garmin Fenix 5 for more than $400. After purchase, the Garmin offers a one-year limited warranty that covers issues with materials or quality.

Furthermore, before you can claim your warranty, register the watch on the company’s website. Ensure you have either the original or the copy of your receipt.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Overall, Garmin Fenix features excellent sensor, display, and connectivity that will satisfy buyers in need of sports smartwatch. The best part about is its long battery life and the accuracy of its GPs and sensor features.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch that supports many apps, this is the best choice for you. However, it does not have a built-in world timer and no feature to trackback your route outdoors. Finally, those with smaller wrist might not find this watch comfortable to wear because it is pretty bulky and heavy.

Final Thought and Recommendation on Suunto Traverse Alpha vs Garmin Fenix 5

From everything mentioned above, it’s certain that both smartwatches are durable and comes with great features.

However, having looked at their display faces, designs, apps, and battery life, we concluded that the Garmin won this challenge. First, the Fenix 5 can go 9 hours more on GPS mode than Suunto before needing a battery recharge. It supports varieties of apps than the Traverse alpha, and compatible with window phone.

Well, in terms of durability the Suunto traverse Alpha edges out the Garmin Fenix 5. Also, you can’t check your temperature with Fenix 5 but the Suunto can do that for you. What’s even better is that you can track back your route with the Traverse Alpha but not with Fenix 5.

Finally, with all this said, both smartwatches stand a great challenge. But I’m sorry to break your heart with my choice I still prefer the Garmin Fenix 5 due to its attractive design and color LCD screen.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches: Lesser Known Divers That You Need to Know

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Featured

When most people think about dive watches or just watches in general, they usually think of large, popular brands such as Rolex, Omega, Casio, Seiko, and many others.

We have already made several guides and reviews about the best dive watches available, so for today, we’ll do something a little bit different.

Today, we’re going to set out eyes on the best microbrand dive watches. Before we start with the round-up, I think it’s best that we first define what exactly is a microbrand watch.

What is a Microbrand Watch?

By definition, a microbrand is basically a small, independent brand. For microbrand watches, they are tiny-fledgling businesses that are generally run by watchmakers and craftsmen.

There are “larger” microbrands out there but they are mostly small-person companies that work with third-party manufacturers to bring their creations to life. There are microbrands that actually create their in-house movements but those are quite rare in the scene.

Microbrand designs are not exactly commercial but most of them are quite creative and can spark the interest of collectors who are looking for something exclusive and rare. The growth of crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter has made it possible for small companies to get their designs and ideas funded.

Some examples of early microbrand watches are the Timefactor’s Dreadnought or the OCEAN7 LM-1. However, it’s worth noting that most of the brands included in this list have expressed some distaste at the “microbrand” terminology.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches

Best Microbrand Dive Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Farer Aqua Compressor Leven316L high grade stainless steel, Satin sunray brushed top, Silver sunray dial, Oversized polished black steel hour hand, off-white Super-LumiNova, Natural black rubber strap, 30ATM water resistant, 2.2mm double curved sapphire crystal glass front, Solid bronze tapered crown for movement★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Pantor SeahorseMiyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement, 316L stainless steel with brushed finish, Sapphire crystal, Swiss C3 SuperLumiNova, 24mm with 15pcs links separately and 6 step micro adjustment, 40 hours power reserve★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Spinnaker BradnerJapan NH35 Automatic Movement with 3 Hands with Date, Stainless Steel, Waterproof Genuine Leather Strap, Tang Buckle, 18 ATM Water Resistance, 41 hours of power reserve, Swiss Super-LumiNova★ ★ ★ ★
Vostok Amphibia200 m (20 Bar) Water Resistant, Luminous hands and dots, Official supplier of watches for the Defense Department of the Soviet Union★ ★ ★ ★
Unimatic U1-EMAluminium black bezel, Super-luminova lumed dot, Black matte stealth outline dial, Horween Cordovan Shell strap, Unimatic two piece design, NH35A automatic movement tuned to 21600bph, 41h power reserve, Brushed SS signed custom buckle★ ★ ★ ★

1. Farer Aqua Compressor Leven

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Farer Leven

Farer is a British company that has unveiled its first few models back in 2015. All of Farer’s timepieces and are notable for their 60’s inspired designs with a touch of the tropical. The Farer Aqua Compressor Leven is one of the three dive watches that the brand offers.

Modern Classic with a Colorful Touch

The 60’s aesthetic of the Leven is very apparent with its super-smooth silver sunray dial that adds a timeless elegance to the watch. The Leven features a steel cushion case with both brushed and polished elements. The polished ring is quite subtle but it looks great and is a testament to Farer’s attention to detail.

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the Leven is its dial. From the burnt orange minute hands to the baton’s square color blocks teal edge, there’s a surprising pop of colors present in the dial. At the same time, the watch looks like a mature, classic dive model and will only look out of place for dressier formal outfits.

As for many dive watches, the legibility on this watch is top notch. The minute markings and hands are treated with the Super-LumiNova illumination which not only looks great but functional as well. The split color bezel is a nice touch with a 20-minute detailed scale for decompression times.

This dive watch boasts a 30ATM water resistance. The Leven provides a great balance of sophistication and playfulness.

2. Pantor Seahorse

The Pantor Seahorse is one of the more affordable dive watches in this list. Pantor is a microbrand that somehow went under my radar, and I’m sure on many people’s radar as well. Pantor is a company based from Hong Kong and it has a pretty solid dive watch under its belt.

Earned Its Place in the Microbrand Dive Watch World

The Pantor Seahorse is one of the first models that was released by this microbrand, way back in 2013. However, it’s good to know that Pantor is still in the business of manufacturing watches.

Anyway, the Pantor Seahorse is not exactly an original design and it’s clearly inspired by the Rolex Submariner. With that said, the Seahorse is a good-looking watch with a simple and clean dial. The large markers are popping out and great for legibility. The case reminds me a bit of the Seiko Turtle case design but it still looks unique on its own.

The Seahorse is waterproof to 1000 meters which means that even pro divers can use this watch underwater. The automatic helium valve at 9H is also a nice touch. The watch is powered by the ever-present Miyota 9015 automatic movement. It’s not the most superior movement out there but it gets the job done.

Best of all, the Pantor Seahorse is offered at a fairly affordable price.

3. Spinnaker Bradner

 

 

When it comes to quirky microbrands, Spinnaker definitely comes to mind. It’s a budget-friendly brand but it still manages to churn out timepieces with out-of-the-box designs. The Spinnaker Bradner is one of the best microbrand dive watches when it comes to sheer quirkiness and whimsy.

Wetsuit-Inspired Dive Watch

While researching the Spinnaker Bradner, I found out that the inspiration for the watch is a wetsuit – then it all suddenly made sense. The watch was named after Hugh Bradner, the inventor of the neoprene wetsuit.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Spinnaker Bradner_1

This 42mm dive watch comes with a stainless steel case with a 20mm strap. Despite the size and build of the Bradner, it’s a fairly light watch. However, the comfort level could definitely use some improvement. With that out of the way, the case itself looks aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, you can’t talk about the Bradner without mentioning its dial. The dial just oozes with personality, thanks to the wetsuit-inspired bi-directional rotating inner-bezel. Adjusting the bezel is quite the delight as it doesn’t jump or click, just smooth all the way through. However, I think the hour indicators and hands are not matching up to the bezel, stylistically speaking.

The Bradner is far from perfect but for the sub $500 tag price, I am more than willing to forgive its gripes.

Click here to access to our exclusive article for the Spinnaker Bradner Review.

4. Vostok Amphibia

Vostok is a lesser-known brand that’s hailed from Russia. While Vostok is not the biggest brand out there, it has managed to create several iconic timepieces. The Vostok Amphibia offers cheap thrills outside the traditional charms of the Swiss cantons.

A Lesser-Known Classic

The Vostok Amphibia is currently available in many different case styles and bracelets. The watch is named “Amphibia” because it looks like a watch that is both suitable for land and water.

The Amphibia’s design for water resistance is quite interesting because the resistance is improved as the surrounding pressure increases. Central to this interesting design is the caseback system. The watch uses a bayonet style caseback. At increased pressure, the case back is pushed towards the rubber gasket which improves the resistance of the watch.

Truly a watch that’s worthy of the Soviet defense department.

The quirky design of the dial is another feature that attracted me to the Amphibia. The off-beat, retro-infused charm is certainly hard to deny. The lume of the watch is not really that special but it functions as intended. With that said, the legibility of the watch is not that great which can be polarizing for many collectors.

The Vostok Amphibia is crude and simple, and can be yours at a ridiculously low price.

5. Unimatic U1-EM

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Unimatic U1-EM

Unimatic is an Italian watchmaker that’s known for their beautiful, minimalist dive watches. Most of their designs are limited edition runs, so you’d better be fast on your feet. If you are looking for something stealthy and minimalistic, the Unimatic U1-EM should be right down your alley.

Stealthy, Minimalistic Dive Watch

The Unimatic U1-EM is a thing of beauty and its minimalistic design just adds a great deal to its overall look. The black matte stealth outline dial with thick indices look simple but packs a lot of character. However you look at it, the Unimatic U1-EM looks unique and it seems like a deconstructed dive watch.

Best Microbrand Dive Watches Featured

The case is also a standout with the brand’s signature minimal aluminium black bezel. The sharpness is definitely there and the brushing looks absolutely well done. The domed crystal sapphire with interior AR coating is simply eye-catching and offers a sleek vintage touch.

On the other hand, the luxurious Made in Italy Horween Cordovan Shell strap certainly helps in making the watch feel premium. I can wear it all day and I have experienced no discomfort while using the watch. The watch houses the Automatic calibre Seiko NH35A 21600bph which is a decent movement and very cost-efficient.

The Unimatic U1-EM offers a very compelling package in terms of design, function, and value.

The Rise of Microbrand Watches

This wraps up our buyer’s guide of the best microbrand dive watches.

The microbrand scene is definitely catching on and it’s becoming a wild west as more companies join in on the fun. Overall, this list should be a good starting point for collectors who are looking to start a microbrand watch collection.

Invicta Watches Pro Diver Review

Review of Invicta Pro Diver Watch

While the majority of us are used to brands of dive watches from Omega, Rolex and others that have some of their products costing thousands of dollar; it is possible to write off any other cheaper brand as below standard.

But after several experiences with diver watches and feedbacks from different watch forums, Invicta Pro Diver watches have been quite surprising. For a product with a price tag less than a hundred dollars, they have a remarkable reputation in the watch community.

Invicta Watches are made with everything from excellent build quality to a solid automatic movement backed with awesome value for money. The Swiss-made Invicta Pro Diver Watch is a solid and reliable piece with a fashionable look to be suitable for everyday use.

Although the Invicta Pro Diver is almost looking like the cheaper replica of the Rolex Submariner, and there are so many out there, but you will rarely find a dive watch with this quality of design and functionality with a price range of $100.

You may have heard about the Invicta Pro Diver Watches a couple of times, but I have made my research on the details and features. I will give my thoughts on this product.

Ratings

4.2 Stars, 22 reviews – Walmart.com

Pros – Invicta Pro Diver Watches

  • Quality Build up
  • High water resistant
  • Affordable price
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons – Invicta Pro Diver Watches

  • Not so accurate
  • Weak lume
  • Hard to turn the bezel

Benefits / Drawbacks – Invicta Pro Diver Watches

It wouldn’t matter how great a product is; there are certain benefits as well as a few mentionable drawbacks. The outcome of this section does not entirely affect the quality of the Invicta Pro Diver Watch described above – Let’s be frank, no wristwatch is without a few drawbacks.

Quality Build up

The quality of the materials used in building up the Invicta Pro Diver is impressive with a variety of finishes. The build-up includes the case, the dial, the bracelet, and also the movement.

Case

The makers pulled off the Submarine case to a reasonable extent. From your first check on the metal, you will see that it is entirely made with a thick 316L stainless steel and has a sturdy feel. The 8929OB model is made of a chunky-looking metal of 40MM diameter and 12MM thickness to give a nice balance of heft to it.

I’ve had encounters with watch brands that claim to be scratch resistant, and after a few uses, they begin to look old. Invicta Pro watches, on the other hand, have proven to be true to their word with a scratch-resistant mineral crystal. They have a functional bezel, which is a great feature, but it is difficult to rotate.

It has an excellent waterproof ability coupled with luminescent hands to cover you for a water depth of 200m as long as the case-back is screwed in. The case-back is polished with mineral crystal exhibition to show the movement at work and held down by screws. It has some basic information on it, such as water resistance and model number. The materials that make up this watch is one of the reasons I think the Invicta Pro Diver Watch is a good deal.

Dial

From many feet away, you can spot the Pro Diver on any wrist. The dials have a classy, eye-catching, elegant appearance and look way expensive than what it costs. The design of the dial has been mechanized and applied with high standard accuracy. It is simple, with solid finishing and polished surfaces to look very neat from all angles.

The Invicta 8926OB is the most popular in the Pro Divers series, and the dial looks exactly like the black dial Submariner with all the round and baton Mercedes logo hour hand and a sword-like minute hand. The hands and markers are filled with lume, which works to some extent. The only noticeable difference is the name and logo of the company engraved below the 12-hour position of the watch, and its properties right above the 6:00 position.

On the dial, there is a quickset date at 3:00 position, beneath the magnified Cyclops that is glued on the mineral glass. One Pro diver model that caught my attention is the 9094OB; it has a deep blue metallic dial with a sunburst effect and appears glossy under certain lighting conditions. The overall design of the dial is impressive, but I think they have been a little bit unimaginative. Anyway, It is not so much of a deal breaker since the aesthetic value remains.

Bracelet

The Invicta Pro Diver watches come with comfortable bracelets, with better quality and lighter weight than the popular Seiko models. Most Pro Divers models like 8929OB are made of a chunky-looking metal 20MM wide at the lug and 18MM at the buckle to give a good feel on the wrist as well as a smart look.

The double locking buckle system features a fold-clasp with a safety catch and four micro adjustments for a smooth snug fit. The clasp is held down pretty tight so that it won’t come off. The bracelet doesn’t look bad on the wrist. It is well polished with an excellent finish on every link to be uniform and match the appearance of the case.

The word ‘Invicta’ is engraved on the back of every link, the company’s logo etched on the clasp which isn’t really necessary, but to some extent, it shows evidence of their craftsmanship and the attention to details.

Movement

As a typical wristwatch user, paying attention to the little details is my thing, and I have concluded that the accuracy and type of movement vary based on the model you get; I will address the both of them.

The Japanese quartz movement is more financially convenient, but from feedbacks, most users prefer the automatic option. The automatic movement is slightly more expensive than the Japanese quartz. The machinery is not an actual Invicta make; it’s more like they sourced it from Seiko and built the rest around it. Don’t get me wrong – Seiko is a highly respected brand which makes the Pro Diver one of the best you can find under $100.

But as reliable to some extent with a decent power reserve of about 48 hours, it lacks the precision of a Swiss movement, and the accuracy can easily be affected when you don’t wear it or wind it.

Affordable price

The obvious and most significant lure of the Invicta Pro Diver watches is the price, and it’s because anyone can afford it. For just a few bucks the Invicta Pro Diver offers outstanding value for money, it’s difficult for anything to go wrong. Perfect steal! Hardly will you come across another dive with to match this quality at this price.

Also, as good as this sounds, it can also be a downside – Since most models of Invicta are built as replicas of other expensive and more popular brands like Rolex, there are lots of users. So much for standing out!

But instead of thinking about the Pro Diver as a Submarine imitation, it may help to if you consider it as an affordable Diver Watch that proves quality does not have to come with a scary price tag.

High Water resistance

The Invicta Pro Diver do fine for a dive watch even if its waterproof ability is not totally higher than regular dress watches. Still, everything is solid and fit as long as the case back is screwed down and the crown is screwed in, your Pro Diver watch will survive swimming or splish-splashing.

All Invicta Pro Diver Watches are tagged as water resistant of up to 200 meters, so swimming as deep as between 100 to 150 meters will not affect the functional state of the watch. To be on a safer side and not put your watch at risk, I will not advise that you go as deep as the exact 200 meters.

Let me be blunt with you, if you want to dive with a watch regardless of the dive condition intensely, I suggest you get something else that is truly tested and rated for robust dives like the actual Rolex Submarine.

Weak Lume

In general, the watch has a remarkable water resistance rating, but sadly, the lume is pathetic. Even after being exposed to direct light for hours, it only glowed brightly in the dark for a few minutes before fading away. Let’s face it; we will already expect at least a few imperfections from a dive watch below $100.

Comfortable to wear

When purchasing watches, we often forget to check how comfortable it would be after wearing it: the case size, weight, and length of bracelets. Fortunately, the Invicta Pro Divers watch passes this test with excellence. You should not have any issue; the size is just right, coupled with the weight that is not to light or heavy; rather, it is balanced as it sits nicely on your wrist.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Invicta Pro Divers Watch has proven to be fantastic for the price. Anyone who possesses a piece will admit that they put some effort into adding quality, value, and care to every unit to ensure customer’s satisfaction.

Amidst all the ‘good’ and ‘not so good features’ of the Invicta Pro watch, you will always find something very pleasing. The shortcoming does not affect the reliability of watch so even when you have more expensive watches, you can get the Invicta Pro Diver Watch as an option for casual or sport use, as it can bear the banging and hitting.

You do not have to be a diver before wearing a dive watch; it is also designed to serves for your everyday purpose. Whether you are a new watch collector or a seasoned one, if you like the Invicta watch, opt for one. It’s well worth the money.

Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5: Sports Watch In-depth Comparison

Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5

Looking at the durability, features, and design offered by both brands, the Fenix 5 edge out on the Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5 contest. For one, it has longer battery life and it even alerts you when the battery is low. It is resistant not only to water but also to sweat and dust. Finally, Fenix X5 also allows you to choose a map type, share your location, and it keeps track of the entire history of your past routes.

 

Over the years, Suunto Spartan Ultra and Garmin Fenix 5 watch have caught the attention of many smartwatch seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Both brands have great qualities and features that make them stand out from many top top-tier smartwatches on the market.

They have a design that is easy to use and built with quality materials that can withstand rough terrain. They provide extraordinary battery life that will keep you active and inform for a longer time. Finally, they support apps which will help you maintain an active lifestyle, and navigate to any terrain.

Choosing between both watches might be confusing since they offer great features. That’s why we’ve come up with the article on Suunto spartan ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5 to set out the battle and the winner between the two timepieces.

First, we’re going to start with the Suunto Spartan Ultra.

Suunto Spartan Ultra

 

The Suunto Spartan Ultra is an impressive smartwatch that works great for outdoor activities. Due to its durable materials, this Finnish timepiece can withstand harsh conditions and last for many years.

Design & Battery Life

This smartwatch weighs 73g while it has a diameter of 1.97 inches. Looking at these dimensions, the Spartan Ultra seems bulky, but it is a portable timepiece.

When we take a look at its durability, it’s certain you will enjoy the watch for many years. A shock resistant sapphire glass covers its display screen to protect it against any impact from heavy elements.

Spartan Ultra offers a case back of high-quality plastic and a coated titanium bezel. It also has a replaceable silicone strap that fits snugly to the wrist and absorbs moisture. Having said this, it is comfortable enough to wear throughout the day.

Suunto Spartan Ultra promises a water resistance up to 100m. This makes it an excellent option for swimming and short dives.

Out of the box, the watch offers a rechargeable battery that provides 18 hours of power even on activated GPS mode. You can turn on the power saver mode to enjoy more battery life of up to 26 hours.

Sensors

The presence of a barometer chamber enables the Spartan Ultra to provide accurate pressure reading and weather forecast. Also, the same sensor offers a thermometer for precise temperature measurements. It also has a GPS module with a compass that helps you navigate any terrain during any outdoor activity.

The Suunto Spartan features a heart rate monitor on its back panel to help keep your health in check throughout the day.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

The Spartan Ultra watch monitors your daily activity levels. This is essential, especially if you are training for a sports event or trying to keep fit.

Its activity counter resets daily at midnight. Also, at the end of the week, the watch provides a report that shows a summary of your physical activity levels.

The watch also has a calorie counter that gives accurate readings of the number of calories burned over a particular period. Furthermore, you can even set goals for the number of steps you want to take or calories you want to lose.

The Sunnto doesn’t forget to keep your health in check as it provides a sleep tracker to make your bedtime worthwhile. It includes an alarm feature that will keep you up for daily routine.

With the Suunto Movescount app, you can track your moves, including distance, speed, and calories. The app also allows you to personalize your moves, share your experience to social media, and explore new routes.

You can connect the Ultra with any smartphone via Bluetooth. This technology allows you to send and receive information between both devices.

App & Display

Unlike most smartwatches, the Ultra has a large display and offers an always-on touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 × 300 pixels. With the help of its backlight, it’s easy to read the watch in bright and dark environments. But as it’s “always on,” you can also see the display without using its backlight.

Suunto offers the Movescount app, which helps to sync your physical activities to the Movescount web platform. This feature also enables you to set up your smartphone to send notifications to the watch.

Price & Additional Customer Satisfaction

The Suunto Spartan Ultra watches cost more than $300. But if you want one with chest strap monitor that means you have to consider getting an upgraded version at a higher price.

Buyers will get 2-years warranty which starts from the date of purchase. They also provide a 1-year warranty which covers accessories including its sensors, and bracelets, etc. As expected, the policy does not cover wear and tear.

To benefit from this warranty service, you are expected to register the smartwatch on the company’s website with proof of purchase, which includes a receipt.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Suunto Spartan Ultra has features which make it durable and comfortable to use. But it has some issues that make it lose some points in this Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5 contest.

First, Spartan Ultra display screen is less sturdy compared to Fenix 5. Although it can stay ON for a long time without charging, it offers lesser battery life than Garmin F5. Now let’s head down to the Garmin Fenix 5.

Garmin Fenix 5

 

The Garmin Fenix 5 stands as one of the sturdiest multisport outdoor watches on the market. It comes with impressive features that make it a worthy investment for the modern consumer, construction workers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Known for its health, fitness, and GPS tracking features to help keep you fit and safe at all time. Its elegant design will help complement your outdoor and casual outfit anytime and any day.

Design & Battery Life

Fenix 5 weighs 85g  and it has a width of 51mm that can fit any wrist size. However, it looks bulkier than a regular wristwatch.

With a display screen covered with sapphire glass, the Fenix 5 can withstand shocks and scratches during outdoor activities. It also has a case made from fiber- reinforced polymer while a stainless steel covers and protects its engine. A replaceable elastomer band secures the Fenix 5 on your wrist.

Garmin Fenix 5 offers a water resistance of up to 100m which makes it a perfect watch for those looking for dive smartwatch. Due to its anti-dust feature, it stays clean and clears throughout the day.

One of the impressive features is its battery life. On basic mode, a fully-charged Fenix 5 can run for two weeks. That means you don’t need to carry the charger along all the time.

The watch, however, lasts for 24 hours on GPS mode while its UltraTrac mode delivers 60 hours of battery life. Furthermore, its battery can be recharged with a USB cable via a port on the watch’s case back.

Sensors

The Fenix 5 offers an astonishing array of sensors that will help make life easier, especially during outdoor trips. These sensors include GPS with a 3D compass for easy navigation across unknown territory. It also features a barometer that detects weather changes which helps you prepare for storms during camping.

With its wrist-based heart monitor, you can view your heart rate data on a dedicated widget. For increased accuracy, you can also pair the watch with a chest monitor.

Activity Tracking & Connectivity

As expected, this item is designed to provide information to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It achieves this aim with the use of the sensors that help to track various physical activities.

Its activity tracking feature records distance traveled, daily steps, and floors climbed. It also counts the amount of sleep taken.

Fenix 5 offers WiFi connectivity that allows you to update its firmware and upload data without connecting to a smartphone. However, the smartwatch supports Bluetooth to pair your smartphone to the timepiece.

The main selling point is that it features an ANT+. This feature allows you to view your fitness, sport, and health rates in real-time on your smartwatch. It also enables you to control TV set and other devices using the timepiece.

Display & App

An always-on color display screen with 218 × 218 pixels graces the front of the Fenix 5 smartwatch. This screen has a surface that uses sunlight to make the watch face appear brighter. Thanks to this feature, you can read the display under direct sunlight.

However, when indoors or under poor light, the screen is dimmer than what you will see on other smartwatches. Under such circumstances, you can use the watch’s backlight.

The Garmin Fenix 5 app (also known as the Garmin Connect) has a home screen with large circles that count numbers of steps and the amount of sleep. It also helps to count your Calories and keep track of your activities.

Furthermore, you can swipe the screen to get additional information on outdoor activities. This includes swimming, running, and floor climb. Also, the pages on the app are customizable, which means you can change their number and order. Other icons on this app that will keep you excited include new feed, leaderboard, calendar, and snapshot.

One exciting part is that the Fenix 5 supports most Google apps like the Find my phone app, which allows users to locate misplaced smartphones. Since it won’t be right to disturb anybody, you can activate its silent alarm to keep you up for morning activities.

The Garmin didn’t skip out on providing other basic Features. It still features smart notifications, stroke identification, and digital scorecards.

Price and Additional Customer Satisfaction

One thing for sure is that the Garmin is pretty expensive as it comes at a price above $400.  It offers a one-year limited warranty that covers issues with materials or quality. For you to claim the warranty, it’s advised to register the product on the company’s website using the sales receipt. Also, since they care more about their customers, they provide a 90 days replacement and repair window.

Opinion and Drawbacks

From the above, it’s evident that the Fenix 5 smartwatch sports an incredible amount of app and features. With this said, this watch will meet the needs of any athlete or adventurer looking for a smartwatch.

However, what we don’t like about this product is its poor connectivity in remote areas. Another downside is the absence of a touchscreen, and it looks bulky on the wrist. Overall, the watch is a significant investment for outdoor enthusiasts.

Final Thought and Verdict

From the above comparison between Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5, you should have known that both brands come with impressive features and are made of durable materials. However, the Garmin Fenix takes a step further by offering additional features including connectivity and tracking features.

So who is the winner in the battle between Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 5? Well, we will go with the Fenix 5 because it comes with impressive features not common to most smartwatches. It also defeats the Spartan Ultra in many aspects.

For instance, the battery life of the Fenix 5 exceeds that of the Ultra. Also, the Garmin watch is resistant to dust, water, and sweat while the Ultra features only water resistance.

The Fenix 5 navigation is easy to read than Spartan Ultra. Finally, the Ultra features only Bluetooth while the Garmin Fenix 5 supports Bluetooth and caps it up with WiFi and ANT +.

Overall, both smartwatches are exceptional devices for outdoors. But if you think you don’t like both smartwatches you can look out for other best outdoor smartwatch.

Best Smartwatch For Tweens

best smartwatch for tweens

We’ve researched for hours on end to give you a short list of the best smartwatch for tweens. In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without a smartwatch. They are convenient, durable, and give you access to apps, texts, and other essential information during the day.

If you’re a parent on the fence about buying a smartwatch for their tween, then we may be able to give you some insight. So far, the best smartwatch for tweens is the Amazfit Bip.

As a parent, you want to give your kids the best, but a smartwatch can be a huge responsibility that your child may not be ready for. An excellent method to test run their responsibility without entirely investing in an expensive smartwatch is to get them a tween smartwatch.

These devices work very similarly to your traditional smartwatch and provide the same features, but come at a much more reasonable price point. However, the main differences stem from the fact that these are lightweight, more durable, and don’t always need to be paired with an iPhone.

Alternatively, you can also choose from the best Chinese smartwatches if you’re looking for standard budget friendly smartwatches.

Amazfit Bip

The Amazfit Bip is one of the best smartwatch for tweens. The design is similar to your everyday smartwatch but is built to be durable and long lasting. It’s the perfect companion to keep your tween active and informed with multiple boostable features that set it apart from others. Some of these include 30-day battery life, a GPS locator, and dust and water resistance.

Durable & Convenient Bezel Design

The smartwatch has a lightweight design clocking in at 32g which makes it comfortable enough to wear throughout the day. As a tween, fashion is also important, which is why the Bip comes in four trendy colors; Onyx Black, White Cloud, Kokoda Green, and Cinnabar Red.

Another positive which makes it ideal for tweens is that it features IP68 water resistance and has an anti-dust screen. This keeps it safe and clean, even though school events, activities, and hangout sessions. Besides this, the screen features a 1.28” display that’s transflective and includes built-in illumination, enabling your tween to read it in most lighting conditions.

Wide Variety of Apps & Fitness Modes

For quick access, there are four different sports modes which can help you track your activities in real time. Get instant feedback with heart rate monitoring, auto activity tracking, and set daily goals using the Mi-Fit App. If your tween is in sports, training, or includes active hobbies, the Mi-Fit app will come in handy.

Includes Smart Features

A smartwatch isn’t useful unless it gives you constant access to connect to other people and the online world. The Bip goes beyond fitness tracking and also connects you with smart features that can help you manage your day. Use the weather report to check up on future weather conditioning, receiving smart notifications, and track sleep quality.

Don’t think that the Bip skipped out on any other basic features. It still includes an alarm clock, timers, a stopwatch and more.

What Do We Think?

Overall, the Amazfit Bip includes many features that would satisfy your tweens hunger for a real smartwatch. In fact, the device is a smartwatch but does tend to fall short on accuracy.

If you or your tween is relying on it for the basic features, then they will be pleased with its fast performance. However, the fitness tracker isn’t as accurate as you’d find in a fitness smartwatch. Instead, you may want to alternatively look into the best smartwatch for cycling for more accurate fitness trackers.

Pebble 2+

The Pebble 2+ is another excellent device that provides your tween with a whole host of basic features. Some features include a heart rate monitor, automatic step and sleep tracker, built-in microphone, and up to 7 days of battery life.

Unique Monitoring System

Keeping active and healthy is a part of any tweens daily life. The Pebble 2+ includes heart rate monitoring that connects to the Pebble Health app and enables you to check your progress. This is an excellent feature for active tweens trying to compete in sports competitions or extracurricular activities.

Track total steps walked, calories burned, and tailor your fitness goals so that you can keep on track. Plus, the Pebble Health app can also track the quality of sleep and help estimate recovery time after each workout.

Superior Voice Dictation & Multi-app Connectivity

Another benefit to the Pebble is the built-in microphone which comes with voice dictation. Be able to use the device to answer calls and chat. The program also allows you to reply to messages via voice commands automatically and enables you to record reminders with a breeze.

The Pebble watch face display is designed to be easily readable with just one glance that way, you’re not distracted and can focus on other tasks – perfect for students. It helps dismiss other distractions and enables you to stay in the know.

Lastly, the watch includes over 10,000 various apps which range from games, health, and fitness, social media, etc. For tweens, you’ll have plenty of access to all your favorites.

Durable Bezel Design

Giving a smartwatch to a tween can cause some panic because most smartwatches can become easily damaged. The Pebble 2+ focuses on providing a durable exterior that can last throughout your tweens everyday life.

The smartwatch can take a quick dunk in the water and is water-resistant up to 30 meters. This allows your tween to take it to the pool, in the shower, or even in the rain. To help keep your tween informed, the battery also lasts up to seven days with one charge, useful for those who forget to plug their watches or phones in.

What Do We Think?

The Pebble is one of the most efficient smartwatches for tweens we’ve seen on the market. It comes with all the features your tween would love, but also includes a durable display and exterior, perfect for keeping up with their active lives.  The only big downside we’ve found is that the backlight display isn’t exactly the best, which can hinder its use.

Fitbit Versa Smartwatch

Our last top pick for the best smartwatch for tweens is the Fitbit Versa Smartwatch. It includes all of the core fitness apps but also provides smart features such as sleep tracking, heart rate monitors, notifications, and a 4-day long battery lifespan. Plus, there are multiple colors available which provides style and makes it a fashionable choice for tweens.

Activity Tracker & App Support

For an active tween, being able to track their daily activity is a huge plus. The heart rate monitor, sleep cycle tracker, and four-day battery life comes in handy. The Fitbit includes more than 15 different exercise modes which enable your tween to use it to track their daily or extracurricular activities.

If you’re worried about their whereabouts or want to know they are safe, the GPS tracker can be paired with your iPhone and gives real-time pacing and distance reports.

Plus, the smartwatch includes access to all sorts of apps, including sports, weather, calendar, and more.

Automatic Notification Updates

Get instant updates sent from your phone to your smartwatch instantly. The Fitbit includes calls, texts, and notifications paired directly to your smart devices. What’s even better is that it can sync with Mac OS X 10.6 and up and also be paired with iPad 3 gen and up. Lastly, it can also be connected to Windows 10 devices, which provides you with plenty of options if your tween doesn’t own a phone.

Slim Watch Case Design

The Fitbit is iconic for its slim yet durable design. Overall, the watch and wristband is lightweight, breathable, and is comfortable enough to wear all day. The anodized aluminum body provides extreme durability, which makes the exterior water resistant up to 50 meters.

What Do We Think?

The Fitbit is an iconic choice for most active users, but tweens can benefit from the sturdy design and comfortable wearability. Overall, we’d say that this is the best smartwatch for tweens because of the versatility, app choices, and thin exterior, which makes it perfect for activities.

Although, there are still a few major drawbacks. User reviews have stated that the iPhone sync drops connection at times and needs to be paired again. Besides this, battery life tends to fade over time, but this is common with lower grade devices.

Our Verdict For the Best Smartwatch For Tweens

Purchasing a smartwatch for your tween can be a daunting task because they’re not only going to be picky about what you give them but also want something that works well.

Other features to keep an eye out for are dust repellant, water-resistance, and pairing to other devices. The dust repellant helps prevent dirt, grime, and muck from seeping into the device and ruining it when your tween is being active, and the water-resistance helps for outdoor activities.

Overall, we still believe that the best smartwatch for tweens out of the three is the Amazfit Bip. Why? First off, the price point isn’t as expensive as other brands, but it’s not cheap enough where the company is skipping out on quality.

Secondly, the device is very durable, which is excellent for keeping up with tweens everyday activities. Lastly, it includes access to apps, keeps your tween updates, and comes in multiple colors, styles, and includes an adjustable band.

If you don’t like any of the recommendations, we suggest you check out the best outdoor smartwatch or the best smartwatch for cycling. Either of those two articles will provide you with just as durable watches, although they may be more expensive.

Best Chinese Smartwatch: Budget Friendly Smartwatch with Superior Quality

Best Chinese Smartwatch

Having tested various smartwatches for durability and looking at their designs, and features, we concluded that the Amazfit Bip stands as the best Chinese smartwatch. This smartwatch offers an incredible battery life, a durable body, water resistance, and a wide selection of downloadable display faces. Besides, it costs lesser than top-tier watches.

 

Best Chinese Smartwatch

Are you looking for a budget-friendly smartwatch that comes with exceptional features, design, and quality materials? Then you should consider a Chinese smartwatch. Chinese made watches are better alternatives to famous brands like Apple and Samsung.

Most times, when we hear the word “Chinese,” we think of a cheap watch with low-quality. Although Chinese smartwatches might be cheap, some are of superior quality and packed with great features.

The Huawei and Amazfit are some of those Chinese companies that stand as a great rival to most popular smartwatch brands. They might not be well-known, but their smartwatches are durable, good-looking, and comes with impressive features.

For instance, they offer support on all platforms, including Andriod 4.3 and iOS 7.0. Furthermore, they feature Bluetooth 4.0, which enables the user to make or receive calls on directly from the smartwatch. They also allow users to read text messages and notifications, directly from it, especially when connected to your smartphone.

There are also other Chinese smartwatches in the market, but choosing the ideal one might be difficult. However, we have done the hard work and picked the best Chinese smartwatches suitable for you.

Huawei Watch 2 Classic Smartwatch

 

The Watch 2 classic is an improved version of the Huawei watch 1. This Huawei smartwatch offers elegance and great features at a price that can fit your low-budget.

Durability

The watch 2 classic has a stainless steel body while a sturdy ceramic bezel surrounds its display face. With such materials, the watch can handle knocks and shocks that come with regular use.

Design and Features

On the Watch Classic 2 lies a 1.3 inch AMOLED display. This screen is covered with Gorilla Glass that can resist shocks, scratches, and cracks. Since the watch uses an AMOLED screen, it is readable in bright light and saves power.

Furthermore, the smartwatch has a traditional 22mm watch strap. Leather graces the top of the strap while it has water-resistant silicon that covers the part that touches your wrist. However, if you want you to change the bracelet, there are other options to choose from.

The Watch Classic 2 has a 420mAh battery that provides 36-48 hours of battery life. The best part is that it charges quicker than most models.

Opinion and Drawbacks

If you want a Chinese smartwatch with better features, it’s best to check out the Huawei Watch 2 Classic.

However, the watch has a weak pin that breaks after some time. This smartwatch also has a look that you might consider unattractive, and it feels bulky on the wrist.

Overall, the watch standout when compared to similar products in the market as it can operate in harmony with your smartphone and independently.

Finow Smart Watch X5

 

Here comes one of the most popular Chinese smartwatches made from durable materials. Finow X5 comes with features that will be of great benefit to users. It has a display screen that is easy to read, and the watch also supports all kind of apps.

Durability

One thing that stands out about these watches is its durability. With a bezel made from stainless steel, it can withstand light impact from elements like stone and snow, etc.

It has a sturdy leather wristband which adds to the watch durability and beauty. With this in mind, rest assured that it will last longer and spice up your outfit.

Another big plus is that buyers will also get two-pieces of the tempered glass screen protector as an added package.

Design and features

The Finow X5 has 1.4’’ OLED round display that allows users to operate the smartwatch efficiently. It offers more flexibility and smooth operation as it comes with an inbuilt 2GB RAM. Finow X5 also comes with 16GB ROM that gives more freedom to store things like videos, music, documents and other important files.

If you’re looking for a smartwatch to use solo without connecting to your smartphone, this is a perfect choice for you. The reason is that it has a Nano-SIM slot to put in your SIM. With this, users can receive and make calls, send messages, and get notification directly from the device. Furthermore, without the use of mobile data, you can turn ON its WI-FI module to surf the internet.

Thanks to its GPS function, the Finow X5 can be used to keep track of your location. Fitness trainers will also consider this smartwatch very useful as it can count heart rates, calories, and other modes.

Opinion and Drawbacks

One of its downsides is the battery life of the watch. On a single full charge, it can only last for 6 hours. Not the biggest drawback but charging a device more often can be pretty annoying. However, with its fantastic design, great features, and screen resolution, this is a great smartwatch to own.

Amazfit Bip Smartwatch by Huami

 

The Amazfit Bip is an ideal fitness smartwatch which comes at an affordable price. It offers an always-on screen, extended battery life, and even works with Andriod and iOS devices.

Durability

Built with polycarbonate and matte plastic, the Amazfit Bip can withstand wear and tear regularly. It also has IP68 water and dust rating, which means Amazfit Bip can resist dusty and wet conditions.

Design and Features

The smartwatch Weighs 5.1 pounds and has a portable case. It’s well-designed to fit any wrist size. It also has a soft silicone strap which lasts longer than leather or metal bracelets.

A sturdy sheet of 2.5D Gorilla Glass covers the “always on” display which offers 176 x 176 resolutions. The watch even provides a massive selection of watch faces which you can download and change quickly.

One of the great features of the Amazfit Bip is its battery life. The watch has a 190mAh cell that can last for 45 days with activity and sleep monitoring. However, if you activate the GPS and the heart rate monitor, the watch will last for a minimum of 14 days.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Amazfit bit standout when it comes to durability and elegance, but its Bluetooth connectivity disables more often when connected to devices. Another downside is that sometimes, the GPS and calorie counter does not give accurate information.

Overall, the Amazfit Bip watch is one of the affordable smartwatches that offer both GPS and heart rate monitoring functions. It also supports a wide range of apps on either IOS or Andriod devices.

Mobvoi Ticwatch 2

 

The Ticwatch 2 is an innovative and affordable smartwatch that comes with great features that make it a worthy investment. Its beauty will also spice up your outfit anytime and any day.

Durability

This smartwatch comes in two variants – the Onyx and Oak. Both models have case backs of stainless steel that can endure regular use. Although they are water resistant, they cannot withstand showers or swimming.

Design and Features

The Ticwatch 2 has a rounded shape with an ideal screen. It also has a 1.4-inch pixel OLED display. Its bracelets are either of stainless steel (Onyx) or leather (Oak) material.

On a full charge, the Ticwatch 2’s battery can last for a day. However, if you deactivate the GPS feature, the battery can last for more than 24 hours. The battery can be charged wirelessly via its “TiCharge” features using the dock included in the box.

Like most devices on this list, the Ticwatch works with devices that run on Andriod 4.3+ or iOS 8.0+. It also has 4GB internal storage for your music files, document, and videos.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Ticwatch 2 battery performs poorly while the display goes blank after a short period. Some units also have software problems and non-existent updates.

Amazfit A1612B PACE Smartwatch

 

Amazfit PACE deservedly ranked as a great contender in our list of the best Chinese smartwatch due to its great battery life, internal storage, and superior quality. With this said, there is no doubt this is a perfect choice for anyone in need of a low-priced smartwatch.

Durability

The smartwatch has an elegant display screen protected with gorilla glass. Also, its certification for IP67 water-resistance also adds to its durability as it protects the smartwatch from splashes and dust. With this mind, users can use it for short dives.

Design and Features

Amazfit is one of the most popular brands known for its fantastic design and no doubt the A1612B PACE is no exception. For one, it has a 320×300 screen resolution for easy reading and control. It also comes with an interchangeable strap that allows the watch to stay secure to the wrist.

Combined with its aesthetic design and sturdy construction, the smartwatch comes with great features for daily use. The Amazfit pace features a Bluetooth 4.1 that you can use to connect to your smartphone. Hence, you can receive notifications of incoming calls, messages, and emails directly from the device.

Thanks to its 280mAH battery, it can run for up to 5 days of regular use. This smartwatch also has large internal storage that can be used to store up more files, including music, video, and documents.

One exciting part is that it comes with GPS and GLONASS function for accurate location tracking and outdoor navigation.  Another big plus is its sensor features, which include heart rate monitor, gyroscope, and brightness sensor.

Opinion and drawbacks

Despite the Amazfit PACE feature a Bluetooth 4.1, It loses connection with smartphones more often. Also, for those that use the latest Android version smartphone, this isn’t an option for you. The reason is that it isn’t compatible with android 8.0 or later versions. But one thing for sure it can complement your outfit and works great for fitness tracking and heart rate monitoring.

Garmin vívomove Hybrid Smartwatch: Best Smartwatch Made in Taiwan 

 

This elegant hybrid watch works great for activity tracking. Garmin Vivomove HR does not feature GPS, but it has a great design, heart rate monitor, and impressive battery life.

Durability

The Garmin Vivomove offers water resistance at a maximum distance of 50 meters. Also, to add to its durability, it has a body of hardened stainless steel and glass.

Design and Features

The Garmin Vivomove weighs 40.8g which makes it a comfortable wrist wearable. It also looks less bulky than most watches from other brands.

Its watch case has a bezel built with brushed steel and plastic. Also, the smartwatch has a replaceable 20mm thin rubber strap that can fit any wrist size. Since the bracelet is made from rubber, it can handle the moisture from the skin.

If you enable the smartphone notifications, the Vivomove’s rechargeable battery can last for five days. But when the notifications are deactivated, the watch offers a battery life of two weeks.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Its elegant design will impress buyers looking for the best smartwatch made in Taiwan. However, it has some flaws on the touch screen part and fitness tracking feature.

For instance, the screen responds slower than the displays found on other devices. Furthermore, it’s pretty difficult to read the display in sunlight.  Besides, the fitness tracker offers inaccurate readings, while the watch is not an excellent option for outdoor workouts.

Amazfit Stratos Multisport Smartwatch: Best Chinese Smartwatch for Sports

 

Amazfit Stratos is a smartwatch that has sport watch functions. Combined with other features, it stands as one of the best Chinese smartwatches for short dives and outdoors.

Durability

The watch is sturdy and can withstand most activities, including swimming. The reason is that it has a fiberglass case, ceramic bezel, and scratch resistant Corning Gorilla glass.

Design and Features

Although the watch looks bulky, it weighs a decent 70 grams. On the back panel lies a heart rate sensor and charging port.

The Amazfit Stratos has a 1.34 inch LCD touchscreen that can be read in direct sunlight, while its backlight helps for dark environments.

When in basic mode, the watch can last for 35 hours on a single charge but runs for 5 hours in GPS mode. You can easily recharge the battery with a dock charger that comes with the watch.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Although the Stratos works well, it has some issues. First, it disconnects more often when it is 10ft away from a paired device. Next, the touch screen responds slowly. Finally, the battery drains faster than expected.

Overall, most fitness watches don’t come cheap, but the Amazfit Stratos watch has Bluetooth, GPS, and activity tracking at a lesser price.

NUHIWIY Waterproof SmartWatch

 

We can’t end the list of the best Chinese smartwatch without adding this slim smartwatch. The NUHIWIY smartwatch comes at a price below $50, making it pretty affordable for those on a low budget. The NUHIWIY is a lightweight smartwatch with remarkable fitness tracking features.

Durability

From its wristband, buckle, to the watch body, this smartwatch is made of high-quality materials. It has a sturdy stainless steel buckle that can withstand knocks or heavy impact.

In addition to its durability, it is a high level IP67 waterproofed smartwatch. With this said, it is resistant to dust, sprays, and splashes of water in all direction.

Design

At first glance, this smartwatch is pretty slim and has a lightweight body made from durable materials. Due to Its compact design, it does not bump into things easily when used for sport and fitness activities.

With impressive fitness and activity tracking features, it can help to count steps, heart rates, and calories. This smartwatch will also be your best buddy during the day and at bedtime as it can monitor your blood pressure and sleep as well.

It has bright 0.96” OLED screen display for easy reading and control. The NUHIWIY offers impressive connectivity as it comes with Bluetooth LE 4.0. With this feature, when connected to your smartphone, you can receive incoming calls and information content from the smartwatch.

The NUHIWIY smartwatch works perfectly with IOS and Andriod. With 90mAh battery, it can run for up to 3-7 days on regular use. The best part is that on standby mode you will enjoy 15 days of battery life.

Unlike other smartwatches on the list, the NUHIWIY supports 10-languages; hence, whether you’re an English speaker, Japanese, German, or French speaker this a perfect watch for you.

It offers 12 months of warranty to protect buyers against manufacturers defect, shipping, and usage damages.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Users might find it challenging to use due to its small screen size. Another downside is that it does not come with GPS features. Hence, it is not a perfect choice for those in need of a smartwatch for navigation purpose. Overall, this smartwatch is of great use for fitness training, and it will also help to keep check of your health.

Final Word on the Best Chinese Smartwatch

Chinese also produce smartwatches that can rival many popular brands in terms of quality, design, and features.

Most Chinese smartwatch might be underrated, but our list of smartwatches is of superior quality, and they come with impressive features.

We hope that with our sincere list of the best smartwatch you will find it pretty easy to get the right one. However, if you want a smartwatch that will spice up your outfit, then we recommend the Garmin vívomove HR. But If you desire durability more than elegance, then Amazfit Bip will be the perfect choice for you.

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Review: A Serious World Time Watch for the Money

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Featured

When it comes to luxury watches, people tend to stick with the usual suspects like Rolex and Omega. However, if you are such a collector, you are missing out on some of the best high-quality luxury watches out there. This is exactly why I have decided to write this Frederique Constant Worldtimer review.

Personally, I really like the Frederique Constant brand because they are quite great at offering high-quality timepieces with in-house movements at fairly reasonable prices. Many luxury brands still demand absurd prices for their watches while using classic ETA movements.

For me, the brand name alone just won’t cut it.

Frederique Constant is a brand close to my heart since they have brought unique watches to the table for reasonable. Is this the case with the Frederique Constant Worldtimer?

Let’s take a closer look!

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Review: At a Glance

As you can see, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer is a true worldtimer, it’s not just a GMT watch with cities ring. Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let us first take a look at the key specs and features of the watch:

Model:

Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture

Reference no.

FC-718NWM4H6

Movement:

FC-718 Automatic movement. 26 jewels, 28’800 alt/h with Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Worldtimer

Power reserve:

42 hours

Case material:

Stainless steel

Case diameter:

42 mm

Crown:

2-O-Rings crown

Crystal:

Convex Sapphire
Water-resistance:Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Height:

12.1 mm

Dial:

Navy, world map, applied white luminous indexes.

Strap:

Alligator Strap

First Impression

 

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at the Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, reference FC-718NWM4H6.

As I held the watch in my hands, my eyes are immediately drawn to the worldtimer dial. I am too fond of dials that are way too busy but it seems Frederique Constant knows how to pull it off well. If you like your information with an in your face approach, this watch might just be for you.

With that said, Frederique Constant did a great job with this stunning dial. It certainly sports a very unique look and it’s how you pull off a dressier traveler’s watch. Despite the sheer complexity of the dial, I can see traditional watchmaking design elements such as the elegant alpha hands and the beautiful sunburst finish.

But surely, this watch would be difficult to use, right? Despite its busy profile, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer features one of the easiest world time complication I’ve used.

The predominant navy blue works rather well with the multi-layered approach of the design. While it does feed you information that you probably don’t need each and every time, pulling out the info that you need becomes a non-issue once you get used to the watch.

Also, I’ve been getting compliments and “where did you buy that” questions while wearing the watch.

The Worldtimer Dial

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial

The Worldtimer dial is easily the star of this timepiece.

The dial’s centerpiece is the gray anthracite world map with illuminated applied hour markers. The innermost ring is the bi-color 24-hour ring, the white refers to the traditional day hours and blue for the traditional dark hours.

The outermost ring is the city-ring which can be operated via the crown. The different cities correspond to each major time zones. The city ring is aligned with the 24-hour ring and is used to display the corresponding time.

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial_2

Now, this may seem to be confusing but the watch is actually quite simple to use. Basically, you simply have to set the city that represents your home timezone to the 12 o’clock position. This is done by rotating the crown counterclockwise at the first stop. Once the ring is set to your home time in the city ring, you can then look at any other time zone to know the time. The rest of the work is left to the movement.

It’s a really elegant solution without complicating things so much.

As for the actual design of the dial, it is fairly stylish with an upmarket look. While there’s a lot going on in the dial, it’s wonderfully legible including the names of the cities.

If there’s one thing I’m not sure of is the large date sub-dial at 6 o’clock. On one hand, I appreciate that they made the date dial large enough for legibility but it annoyingly obscures five of the twenty time zones and a considerable part of the world map. A simple date window or even an “oversized” date window is a much better solution.

Regardless of the date dial, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer’s dial is a resounding success.

Construction and Wearability

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Bracelet

The Worldtimer is 42 mm in diameter and 12.1 mm in thickness. The three-piece case is made with polished stainless steel and the case back is sapphire. The 42 mm might seem a bit too large for many people but it’s actually the perfect size for this watch.

The complexity of the dial alone warrants a larger diameter, any less would negatively impact the Worldtimer’s legibility. Even with the larger diameter, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer doesn’t feel like a 42 mm watch. This can be attributed to the designer’s decision to include a domed case. As a result, the watch looks and feels smaller than it is.

Comfort is also a non-issue which is a way of saying that it wears comfortably. It never felt too heavy and sits nicely on the wrist. The curve of the lugs is rather smooth unlike in other watches that are sharp. I don’t know about you but I don’t like the feel of lugs poking against my skin.

The Worldtimer comes with a navy alligator strap with off-white stitching. Along with the polished case, the inclusion of the alligator strap adds up to a rather sharp-looking timepiece. Imagine yourself wearing a dressier travel watch as you jaunt from one country to the next.

The watch oozes with traditional elegance but with a contemporary twist as well.

The other brown dial version (ref: FC-718WM4H6B) comes with a light brown leather strap with white stitches.

Timekeeping

You can’t have a Frederique Constant Worldtimer review without talking about its in-house movement. The entire Worldtimer collection is powered by the in-house FC-718 caliber movement. Other watchmakers could have thrown in a standard GMT movement and called it a day.

However, that’s not the case with Frederique Constant’s world time watch.

The FC-718 Manufacture automatic caliber features 26 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. World times generally need at least one additional pusher for advancing things but not so much here. With the FC-718 movement, everything is done via the crown and that’s a design decision that I can get behind.

Frederique Constant not only made an in-house movement but they also made it in a way that everything can be adjusted via the crown – no additional pushers or buttons here. This makes the watch a breeze to operate despite looking complicated in the surface.

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Movement

The movement is a thing of beauty as well and thanks to the transparent crystal case back, viewing the movement is made possible. The movement is designed to be clean and simple from the ground up. Timekeeping works great and I have yet to encounter any issues.

For this price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a timepiece with a stunning in-house movement.

Pricing

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial_3

Watch folks are a tough crowd and they will turn up their noses just with the price alone. This is quite a shame since many collectors would probably shy away from Frederique Constant Worldtimer just because of the accessible price.

True enough, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer is offered at a rather unexpected price. With a high-quality, polished design and an in-house movement, many of you are probably asking: “what’s the catch?”

Honestly, there is none!

What we have here is a full-featured World Time watch that delivers in quality and features. There are also some smart design decisions here which make the watch a cinch to use. Even if you are not familiar with using world time models, the Worldtimer is a good model to get you started.

Seriously, one of the most attractive aspects of the watch is its price point. This package offers great value for the dollar.

Should You Get the Frederique Constant Worldtimer?

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Featured

This Frederique Constant Worldtimer review won’t be complete without our final verdict.

So should you bother looking in the direction of the Frederique Constant Worldtimer? Absolutely!

If you are looking for this style of world timer, the Frederique Constant Worldtimer offers a value unlike anything you’ve seen before. While the complex dial makes it seem like a tough piece to use, operating the watch is actually very intuitive. Everything is done via the crown so you don’t have fiddle around with pushers or buttons for setting the watch.

The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture is highly recommended for buyers who are looking to get into the realm of world time watches. It’s also a great option for jet setters who prefer a classier and dressier watch than the sportier GMTs on the market. Overall, it’s a unique timepiece that offers excellent versatility.

On the other hand, this watch is not for you if you like your dials plain and simple. There’s really a lot going on with the watch and there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. The date dial obscuring many of the dial elements can also be a deal-breaker for many collectors.

The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer looks great, inside and out. Plus, it’s versatile and very easy to use with a low entry barrier in terms of price.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: A True Utilitarian Rolex Timepiece

When you are looking for a watch that you can wear under the toughest conditions, you are probably not looking for a Rolex. However, if you are in the market for one of the toughest luxury watches available, today’s Rolex Explorer 2 review is for you.

After all, it’s a timepiece that’s designed for cave divers and spelunkers. Although not many of you will be using this watch for exploring dark caves, it’s still a watch that’s rich in history.

Among the Rolex collection, the Rolex Explorer II has always been some sort of oddity. It’s not as popular as the Submariner or Datejust but it’s still going strong even after 45 years of production.

With that said, let’s take an in-depth look at the Explorer II ref. 216570 a.k.a. the Polar.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: At a Glance

The Rolex Explorer II is a relatively quirky offering that added plenty of character to the Swiss luxury brand’s stable. Before we go to a detailed Rolex Explorer II review, let’s first check out its key specs and features.

Model:

Rolex Explorer II

Reference no.

216570

Model case:

Oyster, 42 mm, Oystersteel

Oyster architecture:

Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Fixed, 24-hour graduated

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water-resistance:Waterproof to 100 metres / 330 feet

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Caliber:

3187, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Functions:

Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display. Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Instantaneous date. Stop-seconds for precise time setting

Oscillator:

Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Power reserve:

48 hours

Bracelet:

Oyster, flat three-piece links

Clasp:

Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link

Dial:

White, Highly legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence

Certification:

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

First Impression

Take note that the 216570 White Dial is the new and improved version of the Rolex Explorer II 16570. There are actually two dial versions of the 216570: white and black (pictured below). While I am a big fan of black dials, I went with the white dial since it somehow looks better than the black version.

My first impression is that the watch maintains most of the essence of classic Rolex timepieces but has been reworked to appeal to contemporary collectors. Perhaps the most obvious change is the 42mm case diameter. In comparison, the original Rolex Explorer 214270 was only 39mm.

It’s one of the largest models in the Rolex catalog.

Purists and traditionalists will surely prefer the smaller 39mm but as an outdoor tool watch, the size increase is more than welcome.

The white maxi dial is another standout with its boldness and superior legibility – perhaps it’s boldest among other Rolex sports watches. The glossy white dial has markers with black surrounds. It is an instantly striking dial with somehow more of the signature Rolex attention to detail.

The construction looks to be on-point and while I’m not too keen on wearing it to explore cave systems, it feels like it would serve me well even if I choose to. It looks and feels like a true tool watch and noticeably less luxurious.

The Polar White Dial

The Polar white dial is a masterclass in contrast. The Chromalight markers and hands sit perfectly against the white background, and the bright orange 24-hour GMT hand adds a perfect contrast to everything that’s going on.

In case you don’t know, the 24-hour hand enables the user to keep the time for two different time zones. In addition, it will also let you know if it’s day or night, very useful when you are down in a cave.

Rolex Explorer 2 Review Chromalight
Rolex Explorer II Chromalight

As mentioned, the Rolex Explorer II features top-notch legibility. After all, it’s a watch designed for very low-light environments or at night. Based on my tests, the proprietary Chromalight coating does a great job of providing long-lasting readability.

Plus, it looks amazing when the blue luminescent coating is activated.

The black surround around the oversized markers and stubby hands is another great detail that completes the overall look of the Explorer II. I have always been a fan of the Cyclops lens so it’s a nice cherry on top as far as the dial goes.

The Rolex Explorer 2 is bigger and bolder which is what you want for a heavy-duty tool watch.

The Robust Case

The Rolex Explorer II was first released back in 1971, and since then it has gone through numerous makeovers over the four decades. It was designed for extreme resistance and this is mainly due to its robust case.

Of course, there’s the 904L stainless steel that makes the case which measures 42mm in diameter and a thickness of 13mm. While I don’t have the largest wrist, the 42mm diameter is more preferable to me than the 39mm of the previous Explorer.

For reference, the Yacht-Master II is 43mm and the Sea-Dweller Deepsea is 44mm.

Just like with the previous generations of Explorer, the watch is fitted with Rolex’s signature twinlock screw-down crown. This adds a fair bit of waterproofness to the watch and should be able to handle a few splashes. Just make sure you don’t wear the Explorer II for diving.

In classic Rolex style, the watch features sapphire crystal on the front and a solid case back on the back. The 24-hour bezel is made with fixed stainless steel with a satin brush finish. However, the bezel is more prone to scratches. I would have loved it more if it instead had ceramic inserts like on the Rolex Submariner.

However, the brushed finish of the bezel does look great.

The Oystersteel Bracelet

The Explorer II uses the signature Oyster bracelet made in 904L steel with three links. Looking closely, you’ll see that the center links of the bracelet lack polish. This is, of course, a conscious design choice for a more “tool-like” look. However, the sides are polished which adds an interesting twist to the bracelet’s aesthetic.

As you might expect, the bracelet’s construction feels very solid and it comes with the Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink system. This enables the user to extend or shorten the last link by 5mm increments which is useful for achieving a great fit.

While the Glidelock fine-adjustment extension found on watches like the Submariner is the superior system, the Easylink is useful for adjusting the short and long positions. This allows you to easily adjust the bracelet in case of weather changes.

Timekeeping

Rolex Explorer 2 Review 3187 Movement
Explorer II’s 3187 Caliber Movement

Of course, you can’t have a Rolex Explorer 2 review without talking about the movement. With that said, the Explorer 2 is powered by the automatic in-house calibre 3187.

The movement features a paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring with a 48-hour power reserve. For the price, I was expecting a better power reserve than 48 hours. Having to reset the watch after two days of not wearing it does get old pretty quick.

The blue Parachrom hairspring provides the much-needed resistance against magnetic fields. Plus, it adds a good deal of durability to the watch which is crucial for the type of environments the model is designed for. Even with extreme temperature changes, the Explorer II will remain ticking accurately.

The 3187 won’t blow anyone’s mind when it comes to aesthetic but that’s no big deal since you’re getting a robust solid steel caseback anyway.

Like with all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3187 is a certified Swiss chronometer with -2/+2 sec/day precision performed after casing.

Pricing

The Explorer II 216570 Polar is about on the same price range as the Rolex Submariner. However, if you can get a pre-owned Explorer II, expect to pay a little more than a no-date Submariner and a little less than a date Submariner.

It’s no entry-level watch like the Rolex Air-King but it’s certainly an affordable option if you’re looking to get into the Rolex rabbit hole. Due to its not-so-massive popularity, you won’t find an Explorer II that sells for over the retail price. Basically, you can just walk up to a Rolex shop right now and later come out with the watch on hand.

This isn’t the case for other popular Rolex models like the aforementioned Submariner where the cost is driven up by demand.

As far as resale value goes, this luxury steel watch offers a rock-solid resale value. However, it’s not exactly a fly-off-the-shelves sale when compared to other popular Rolex models.

Should You Get the Rolex Explorer II?

To wrap up this Rolex Explorer 2 review, we put in the verdict if this watch is worth the investment or not.

The Explorer II is a somewhat a forgotten model that’s lost in the sea of Submariners, Day-Dates, and Daytonas. This is quite a shame especially when it’s one of the few unashamedly utilitarian Rolex timepieces.

I love the big and bold display with a throwback design to the vintage Explorer. However, Rolex made some excellent updates that make it more appealing for fans of contemporary timepieces. It looks great, especially with the Polar white dial and offers legibility for days. In terms of comfort, the watch sits comfortably on my wrist so I have no complaints.

It’s also perhaps the toughest and most robust Rolex watch that I’ve owned. More than anything, it’s a tool watch and a great one at that.

The Rolex Explorer II is not the kind of watch that I would recommend for first-time Rolex buyers but it sure is an imposing addition to any luxury watch collection.

Best Inexpensive Dive Watch: Cool Underwater Dive Watch Under $400

Best Inexpensive Dive watch

There are vast numbers of dive watches from various brands. However, our favorite and the best inexpensive dive watch goes to the NEYMAR Men’s Diver Watch. This watch offers a higher level of water resistance, hardened sapphire crystal, bright luminous markers, and indicators. Besides that, it can withstand 1000meters of water pressure.

What’s The Best Inexpensive Dive Watch in 2019?

Most people own dive watches, even if they are not professional divers. Usually, these timepieces look bulky and bold as they have to handle the stress related to watersports. However, they look elegant and can complement a wet suit, casual and formal wear.

A good dive watch also provides an accurate reading of time and depth. Most of them have bright dials which glow in the dark, and they have parts made from durable materials.

Since there are many dive watches with various qualities and high prices, getting an affordable dive timepiece might be difficult. Hence, to make things pretty easy for you, we’ve provided a genuine list of the best inexpensive dive watch in 2019.

Invicta Men’s 8928OB Pro Diver Gold Automatic Watch

 

For countless years, Invicta has offered products which combine elegance with high performance. The Invicta Men’s 8928OB Automatic watch is no exception to the brand’s quality watches. It features as one of the best in the Brand’s Pro Diver series and has excellent qualities that make the watch perfect for divers.

Elegant Case and Bracelet

Unlike other Invicta products which come in a single color, the Invicta 8928OB features a 13mm thick steel case in gold and silver tones. Behind the case lies a transparent skeleton case that displays the watch’s movement.

The timepiece has a 21cm long silver stainless steel strap. Furthermore, the bracelet has a clasp buckle which allows the watch to fit securely on the wrist.

Both the strap and bracelet are evenly polished, thus giving the watch a stylish look.

Attractive Display

A beautiful face graces the front of the watch. This face has a simple matte black or silver dial on a vibrant blue background. Under various lighting or viewing angles, the tint of the face could change.

Luminous Dials

Since it’s a diving watch, this Invicta dive watch has hands which offer a bright green glow when in deep or murky waters. It even has an electric blue dial which you can view in low or bright light.

Accurate Movement

With this timepiece, there is no need for batteries or regular windings. The reason is that the watch offers an authentic Japanese Automatic Movement and works with kinetic energy generated when you swing your arms.

Opinions and Drawbacks

This Invicta watch is a great timepiece but one if its downside is that it sometimes counts slowly or faster. That’s the time seconds is either a little forward or backward.

Orient Mako II Dive Watch

 

The Orient Mako II Dive Watch comes as an improved successor to the Mako I. It also stands as an ideal option for buyers looking for a cheap but durable dive timepiece. With this in mind, Orient has become popular with amateur and seasoned divers.

Sturdy Bezel

Unlike most watches, the Mako II has a 120 click sloping aluminum bezel. This feature makes the timepiece look elegant while making it blend with the case and crystal. It also makes it easier to operate.

Since its bezel is made from aluminum, it can withstand wear and tear for an extended period. It also makes the watch lighter than models with steel bezels.

Sturdy Steel Case

As expected, the Mako II offers a better case than the Mako I. Surrounded by rounded edges – its case blends with the polished end links of the stainless steel strap. Overall, it creates a look that fits with a wet suit or formal attire and offers water resistance of up to 200meters.

Tough Clasp

Although Mako II is a budget watch, it has a sturdy clasp. This part comes with double locking and push-button features. Overall, it prevents the timepiece from unexpected openings during dives or a swim.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Orient Mako II is an affordable, elegant, and durable watch. However, it looks smaller than regular dive watches and has a tight bezel. Furthermore, it has a crown which does not unscrew easily.

Seiko Men’s SSC017 Dive Watch

 

Known in some circles as the Air Diver, the Seiko Prospex Solar Dive Watch has an impressive design which makes it stand out as a great contender in our list. It also comes with functions that make it suitable for diving and other water activities.

Solar Recharge

There is no need to wind the watch since the timepiece uses solar power to recharge its battery. A full charge offers six months of battery life.

Water Resistance

An average watch has a resistance of 100 meters, but the SSC017 offers an impressive 200m or 20 ATM. With this water-resistant rating, this makes the watch suitable for most aquatic activities. It also has a firm pusher and crown that can withstand leaks during scuba diving.

Classic Stainless Steel Case

This timepiece can handle shocks and scratches with its 43mm stainless steel case. It also has a 13 mm thickness. Overall, the case gives the watch a bulky look, which is wearable.

It has three sub-dials and luminous markers covered with a sheet of durable Hardlex material.

Extendable Bracelet

A polished and brushed stainless steel strap secures the Seiko SSC017 on any wrist size. It also has a dive extension which allows a diver increases its length when worn with a wet suit.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Seiko SSC017 is an impressive diving watch with great functions. However, it has a few downsides. First, the blue paint peels within a short time. It does charge under cloudy weather. Finally, it’s not a full-scale chronograph since it does not have a tachymeter scale.

Luminox Men’s 3001 Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch

 

The Luminox Men’s 3001 is a timepiece designed to work great in dark environments. This Luminox Navy SEAL Series watch is resistant to water, which makes it great for water sports. Here are the highlights of this fantastic timepiece.

Reinforced Carbon Case and Water-resistant

The durable case is made from a carbon strengthened with polymers. Also, it includes a unidirectional polymer bezel. Behind the watch, a PVD stainless case held down by tight stainless screws keeps water out.

This dive watch has a water resistance of up to 200m (600ft). This makes it a viable option for swimming and scuba diving.

Micro Gas Lights

Unlike most diving watches, the Luminox does not use bright paint in the dark. Instead, it works with micro gas lights embedded on the hands and indicators on the watch face. Furthermore, there’s no need to recharge the lights or push any button before they come on.

Adjustable Rubber Strap

The Luminox watch has a silicon type 23mm wide rubber bracelet with a double locking buckle. This material can withstand hours of water exposure while making the user feel comfortable. It also fits all wrist sizes.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Luminox Navy Seal Watch can rival any dive watch in the market, but it has some issues. For one, the watch is pretty too bulky on the wrist and its strap is held with a weak pin. Overall, this timepiece is a great product and will be worth spending your cash on.

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Watch

 

The Citizen BN0150-28E is a part of the Citizen Promaster Sea Collection range of professional diving watches. It also comes with a design that will fit for scuba diving and everyday use.

Impressive Battery

The watch has a lithium-ion battery which you can recharge with artificial or natural light. Besides, the battery can last for as long as 20 years and does not require changing.

Strong Bezel

A stainless steel bezel surrounds the watch face of the BN0150-28E. You can turn in a single direction. When underwater, it’s harder to rotate which prevents it from moving accidentally. Besides, the bezel has a mechanism which produces an audible click when turned.

Slim Case

The product has a stainless steel case that has a thickness of 12mm and a diameter of 43mm. These dimensions present the Citizen eco-drive master watch as a slim item. With such a profile, it can easily avoid bumps against rocks or coral in the water.

Elegant Watch Face

The watch face includes an attractive black dial. This simple background allows you to view the silver hour indicators and hands easily. Since the hands feature luminous paint, you can use the timepiece under low light condition.

Opinion and Drawback

We praise the watch for its excellent design, size, and functions. However, the watch face looks crowded while the band feels thin when worn. Also, the product does not come with an instruction manual on how to operate the watch.

NEYMAR Men’s 1000m Diver Watch – Best Inexpensive Watch for Scuba Diving

 

The Neymar men’s diver watch stands as the final watch on our list of the best inexpensive dive watch. This product offers elegance and high performance when used for aquatic sports and regular use.

Anti-Reflective Sapphire Crystal

A sheet of anti-reflective sapphire crystal covers the watch face of the NEYMAR Diver watch. Since the material is almost as hard as diamond, it can withstand shocks and scratches better than mineral glass models.

Impressive Water Resistance Level

Most dive watches offer water resistance within 100 -200m. However, the NEYMAR watch promises resistance to 1000m  of water pressure, which makes it an ideal option for scuba diving.

Helium Escape Valve

On the right edge of the case lies a helium escape valve. With this valve, you can expel helium gas that might slip into the watch case during deep sea diving.

Super Easy Screwdown Crown

It has a large screw-down crown at the figure 3 hour mark of the timepiece.  Guards protect the crown from knocks and bumps. Its crown is easy to grip and wind.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Neymar watch is sturdy enough to withstand water pressure at 1000m.  It also has a weak bracelet clip.

Overall, the Neymar Diver watch features great functions and it comes at an affordable price. It even competes against many top brands such as Seiko.

What to Look Out For When Buying a Dive Watch

What gets most buyers confused is what a dive watch need to have and what to look out for in a dive watch. Not all watches that present itself as a dive watch can work great when it goes deep down underwater.   Here are important things to consider when buying a dive watch.

Water-resistant

At this point, using the ISO term would not be a good idea. Because as for ISO, a good dive watch should be resistant to 100 meters of water pressure. But many watchmakers don’t agree to that. They believe a perfect dive watch should have a water resistant to 200 meters. The reason is due to added pressure movement underwater and the degradation time of the gaskets. It’s not about being waterproof but how long can it withstand such water pressure. Hence, it’s best to be on a safer side.

Luminescence

This makes the watch more readable even in low light condition. The lume paint is coated on the hands and dial markers to absorb light, and it glows during low light or night dives. A perfect watch for Diver should have lume painted on the 5 minutes dial markers, 60 minutes bezels, hour hands, minutes and seconds.

Rotating Uni-directional Timing Bezel

This is a significant factor to consider because this helps divers account for elapsed time. The rotational bezel should move the counter at clockwise direction and not the other way around. So that if there is a change in movement during a dive underwater, it gives a reduce time rather than more.

Also, most dive watches have an external bezel but there some exception like the Bulova Snorkel with an internal bezel.

Movement Type

There are different types of movement, which includes quartz, mechanical, automatic, and digital. Quartz movement is known for its accurate time while the mechanical movement is very popular due to its correct alignment of gears, level of quality and craftsmanship. Watches with mechanical automatic movement is also great as it works with the aid of kinetic energy generated when the wrist is in motion. However, the one to choose depends on your personal preference.

Final Word on the Best Inexpensive Dive Watch

For a roundup, getting one of the best inexpensive dive watches will pay off since it will serve your need and last longer. Having read through the reviews of our best-selected watches and buying guide, you will ind it pretty easy to get the right one.

These dive watches are not only great for underwater but they can also complement your everyday casual and formal outfit.

However, as we’ve said from the start, the Neymar dive watch still stands out as our top pick. It might require a higher budget, but it certainly worth the price. But if you want a watch that can glow more at night for easy reading, then consider getting the Luminox dive watch.