Citizen vs Seiko Dive Watches: Which Dive Watch Brand Should You Get?

Citizen vs Seiko Dive Watches Review

In the 1970s, Japanese watchmakers have taken the world of the watch industry by storm. This was largely in part due to the Quartz Revolution and the world of watches was changed forever. Japan is famous for making some of the best bang-for-the-buck timepieces in the industry.

This is especially true when it comes to dive watches.

If you are in the market for a new dive watch that won’t break the bank, you’ll likely end up choosing watches from Citizen and Seiko. Both are Japanese brands and from the initial look, there’s plenty of similarities between the two dive watch brands.

Today, I have the unenviable job of comparing Citizen vs Seiko dive watches. Which dive watch brand is better? Let’s find out!

Citizen vs Seiko Dive Watches: Head-to-Head Comparison

Citizen vs Seiko Dive Watches Review

Style and Design

When you look at both Citizen and Seiko dive watches, you’ll probably think that both watches look fairly similar. However, once you really observe the divers from both brands, you’ll see the distinct differences.

In general, Seiko divers tend to look more like the classic dive watches. For example, the Seiko Men’s SKX009K2 features the same design aesthetic as the classic Submariner. Many of their dive watches feature a vintage style and design but never looking outdated.

Also, the popular Prospex collection boasts the “land explorer” look with high legibility, sleek smooth design, and congested motion. It’s worth noting that the Prospex collection has many variants that are not limited to dive watches. Seiko also has the Seiko Grand collection for those who are looking for a more high-end watch.

On the other hand, Citizen also offers watches that have that unmistakable vintage design. However, unlike Seiko, Citizen seems to push the envelop more when it comes to its design philosophy. You can find many Citizen pieces that look more creative, experimental even.

When it comes to actual style and design, it’s hard to go wrong with either Citizen or Seiko. Both dive watch brands have models that look stylish and offer strong designs. At the end of the day, it will come down to your personal preference.

Construction and Durability

For construction and durability, Citizen vs Seiko dive watches can definitely go toe-to-toe with each other. For the crystals, Citizen tends to use mineral crystals while Seiko utilizes its patented Hardlex crystals. Both crystals are very impact resistant but I’ve found that both crystals are easily scratched.

For the materials, both dive watch brands don’t use precious metals (gold, platinum, etc.) for making the watches. Both brands use stainless steel for most of their dive watches which is not a problem at all. If you want a piece that uses precious metals, you might want to look into the Seiko Grand line.

Based on our tests, the bracelet of Citizen dive watches is better when compared to Seiko. This is hardly an extensive test but Citizen bracelets were more comfortable and durable than Seiko bracelets.

I’ve been doing some reading online and it seems that there’s an argument that Citizen has the upper hand in terms of production quality. However, there’s no definitive proof of this but I do know that both watches have a history of producing excellent quality watches for less.

Water Resistance

Of course, you can’t talk about dive watches without mentioning their water resistance rating. Which dive watch brand is the better diving tool? On average, I think that the two brands are fairly comparable with regards to water resistance rating. Both brands have models that can handle the standard 200 meters of depth. These dive watches are good for the average diver.

However, if you’re somewhat of a professional diver, Citizen has the leg up versus Seiko. Citizen has the Promaster 1000M Professional Diver which has a rating of 1000M/100Bar and perfect for serious scuba diving. Seiko also has a 1000 meter dive watch in the form of SBDX014G Marinemaster but it’s far more expensive when compared to Citizen’s offering.

Overall, both brands cater to a wide range of diving needs.

Features and Technology

When it comes to the best dive watches, I always check the illuminated hands. After all, you’re hundreds of meters down the ocean, so you want a watch that you can actually read – good illumination helps with that. In that regard, I think Seiko has the advantage over Citizen with the former’s LumiBrite hands/markers. It just works better, even in bright daylight.

In the matters of diving features, Seiko divers come with Kinetic and Spring Drive Technologies. The original Kinetic technology has been a point of success for Seiko but it does have some practical shortcomings. For instance, you need to wear the watch or oscillate in your hands to charge it. On the other hand, the Spring Drive movement melds the benefits of both automatic and quartz movements. It’s a mechanical movement with the accuracy of quartz.

On the flip side, Citizen uses Japanese quartz movement for most of its divers. There’s a couple of Citizen divers that also come with Atomic timekeeping which further enhances accuracy. However, the biggest advantage of Citizen dive watches is Eco-Drive technology. This technology powers watches from any natural/artificial light source and converts light to energy. That’s right, you won’t ever have to replace batteries with Eco-Drive timepieces.

For timekeeping and general features, Seiko has the upper hand when it comes to overall accuracy while Citizen comes out on top if you prefer a solar-powered watch.

Pricing

As mentioned, both Citizen and Seiko are known for affordable, high-quality dive watches. As far as pricing goes, Citizen and Seiko have very similar price ranges and both cater to a wide range of budgets. You can get a reliable dive watch with a $200-$300 price tag from both brands.

The main difference between the two is with the highest-end offering. The Seiko Prospex SBDX014G Marinemaster is available for $3,000+ while the Citizen Promaster 1000M Professional Diver comes with a $2,000+ price tag.

Best Citizen Dive Watches

1. Citizen BN0085 Eco-Drive

The Citizen BN0085 Eco-Drive is one of the best value dive watches that you can get from Citizen. It’s made from stainless steel with a textured dial and unidirectional gear-shaped bezel. The watch comes with a date window and luminous hands/indices.

There’s nothing too fancy here but it’s an Eco-Drive diver which means you don’t have to replace the batteries now and then. The BN0085 is a moderately-sized watch that keeps accurate time and offers some pretty great features.

2. Citizen BN0150-28E Eco-Drive Promaster

For starters, the Citizen BN0150-28E Eco-Drive Promaster is yet another bang-for-your-buck dive watch. It has a very simple design but has the inner workings of an excellent diver. It is water resistant to 660 feet, powered with Japanese quartz movement, and protected by mineral crystal casing. The BN0150-28E is a watch that’s useful in the ocean and the office.

This Promaster watch is a solid option if you’re looking for a dive watch that won’t cost you an arm and leg. It’s also a great gift for the upcoming holidays.

3. Citizen BN2029-01E Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand

The Citizen BN2029-01E Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand is highly recommended for those who are looking for a rugged dive tool. The BN2029-01E Eco-Drive Promaster Aqualand comes several great diving features such as the Rapid Descent Alarm, Auto-Start Dive mode, Max Depth Memory, and Depth Display.

Just by looking at it, you know that it’s a heavy-duty dive watch. Plus, it looks great as well although it might be a little too big for some people. The Aqualand is a great diving companion for both amateur and professional divers.

Best Seiko Dive Watches

1. Seiko Prospex SRPA21K1 Automatic

For a good dive watch under $500, the Seiko Prospex SRPA21K1 Automatic comes highly recommended. It really is a lot of watch for the price. You have the classic Pepsi colorway that just looks even better in person. With a depth rating of 200 meters (660 feet), it’s a solid diver for general use.

Seiko did a great job with the polishing on the case and bezel, giving the watch a more sophisticated look. The SRPA21K1 is a dive watch that you won’t mind wearing regularly.

2. Seiko Prospex SNE435P1 PADI Solar

The Seiko Prospex line is officially sanctioned by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Therefore, you know that you have a legitimate timepiece on your wrist. The Seiko Prospex SNE435P1 PADI Solar is a diving watch with serious pedigree and great price.

The SNE435P1 has a water resistance rating of 200 meters, making it a good fit for general diving purposes. This is a solar-powered watch and features a 10-month power reserve once it’s fully charged. It’s a bit on the bigger and thicker side but it’s hard to complain especially at this price point.

3. Seiko Prospex SRPC93 ‘Save The Ocean’ Samurai

Personally, the Seiko Prospex SRPC93 ‘Save The Ocean’ Samurai is one of the shining entries in Seiko’s Prospex line. In terms of comfort and wearability, it’s easily one of my favorite Seiko watches ever. The bracelet is solid and high-quality, and the reduced bulk made way for a better wearing experience.

It’s a good thing that the Prospex SRPC93 is also very stylish with its bright blue dial and knockabout body. The dial is just hypnotizing to look at, and it just begs to be worn in the water. Despite being a special edition Prospex, the SRPC93 can be yours for less than $500.

Citizen vs Seiko Dive Watches: Which One Should You Choose?

Finally, we’ve come to the end of the Citizen vs Seiko dive watches comparison.

So which one should you get?

Well, it depends on what you want from a dive watch. If you care more about watches with a classic vintage look, Seiko’s offerings should be a good starting point. Otherwise, Citizen has more watches with bolder designs.

As for the timekeeping and diving performance, both Seiko and Citizen are almost neck-to-neck. Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is a big deal since you don’t have to replace the batteries. Seiko dive watches have interesting movement technology but the older ones have practical drawbacks.

Lastly, pricing is almost the same between the two brands unless you go for the higher-end models. In that regard, Citizen edges out Seiko when it comes to high-end model pricing.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to go wrong with either dive watch brands. Both have a history of making high-performance dive watches at budget-friendly prices.

Zelos Watches Review [In-Depth Microbrand Review]

Zelos Watches Review

If you’re a regular reader of Watch Ideas, you’ll know that I’ve been dipping my toes in microbrand watches. Whether it’s the over-fatigue from pricey luxury brands or just looking for something new, microbrand watches are worth checking out due to some very interesting timepieces.

Today, we’ll take a look at the Singaporean-based watch brand, Zelos. This brand has gotten my attention because unlike many microbrands, Zelos is not a brand that only knows how to make Submariner-inspired pieces that are dime a dozen these days.

For this Zelos watches review, we’ll talk about the brand’s origin, the pros and cons, and the best timepieces this brand has to offer.

About Zelos Watches

Zelos Watches Review

Like many humble beginnings of microbrands, Zelos Watches was made possible because of Kickstarter. Zelos launched 3 models on Kickstarter and each model comes with increasing success. The Zelos was founded in 2014 by a former mechanical engineer, Elshan Tang. He’s a watch collector himself and is always fascinated with watch movements and unique designs.

As mentioned, Zelos launched its first three models via Kickstarter. The first model, the Helmsman, has managed to get 273% of the goal funding. Next, the Zelos Chroma garnered 350% of the targeted funding. Lastly, the Abyss managed to acquire 650% of the funding which is nothing short of amazing.

One of the most notable things about Zelos is that it produces watches from non-standard materials such as bronze, titanium, meteorite discs, and more. Zelos also aims to provide timepieces with unique designs and construction with a price that won’t break a bank.

While the onslaught of microbrands might be sudden and prolific, Zelos is one of the few brands that really do stand out.

Zelos Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Are Zelos watches worth the investment? We enumerate the things that we love and we don’t love about this Singaporean-based microbrand.

What We Love

Remarkable Designs

Like I’ve said earlier, Zelos is not a brand that just tries to make Submariner-inspired timepieces. If that’s the case, I’m fairly certain that Zelos will remain a deeply obscured brand.

Zelos’ rise in popularity can be attributed to the brand’s non-traditional designs. For instance, despite the several conventions that a dive watch must adhere to, Zelos has found a way to stay unconventional. Sure, some Zelos watches that look conventional in design but for the most part, the brand did a good job of separating itself from the rest, design-wise.

Zelos’ use of non-traditional materials such as bronze, titanium, and Damascus has significantly cemented the brand’s design identity. For example, the use of a bezel crown made some of Zelos’ dive watches look like a vintage diving helmet. Another example is the Zelos Hammerhead which comes in five colorways that promote the 70’s-inspired diver aesthetic.

Another thing that stands out for me is Zelos’ attention to detail. Some of their models are brimming with intricate details, and a few to the point that it’s almost overdone. From here, you can really appreciate the watchmakers’ passion for horology.

Zelos has managed to shake up the world of microbrands due to its ever-evolving watch designs, and I’m in for the ride.

Diver Durability

When it comes to dive watches, durability comes with the territory. After, a dive watch is designed to withstand the harsh and grueling conditions of deep-sea diving. However, there are watch companies out there thinking that adding water resistance to their products automatically makes them a good dive watch.

Zelos is doing a great job of making dive watches that can actually be worn by professional divers. First, the brand uses high-quality materials for their watches. Thus, even if you’re not planning to dive anytime soon, you still have a watch that will serve you in a long time.

The level of construction in Zelos watches is worth mentioning as well. There are some models with some clunky components but in general, most Zelos watches offer the much-needed ruggedness and durability. The Zelos watches that I own feel weighty and secure. Overall, you just feel like they’re a reliable timekeeping tool.

Excellent Value

Initially, I was interested in Zelos due to their watches’ strong and unique designs. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that their watches are offered at reasonable prices. Many of their popular models are available for less than a grand and some lower-end models are available for about $300 or less.

Considering that many other independent watchmakers put out more expensive models with less quality, I believe that Zelos provides a great bang for any collector’s buck. To keep the price reasonable, Zelos had to cut some corners, most specifically with the watch movements. However, the actual quality of the materials and craftsmanship is definitely up there.

With the amount of quality that goes into Zelos watches, they can easily go into a few thousand when sold by a more prestigious brand. Even the accessories such as leather straps are cost-effective. With Zelos, you just know that you’re getting your money’s worth and more.

Great Selection

Unlike many indie watch brands these days, Zelos offers a healthy number of watch collections.

For the most part, Zelos specializes in making high-quality dive watches. Its dive watch collection is impressive, from the old Helmsman series to the bigger and badder Great White collection, you’ll have no shortage in terms of choices.

As of this writing, there are 12 different collections in Zelos’ active lineup of watches. Each of the collection offers about 7-8 watches on average, with many different colorways and bezel designs. The wide variety of Zelos watches is something all watch collectors can appreciate.

What We Don’t Love

Movements Could Be Better

Zelos mainly uses ETA or Miyota movements for their watches. This is hardly a surprise considering that Zelos watches are less expensive than similar models. If Zelos starts using complex mechanical movements for their watches, the prices will skyrocket.

This isn’t exactly a bad thing but if you’re looking for something intricate and complex, you won’t find it with Zelos watches. They do use some noteworthy ETA movements such as the ETA 6498 but they’re not exactly common.

Zelos Watches are Big

Zelos only makes big watches.

If you’re looking for a 40mm dive watch, Zelos is not the brand for you. The brand aims to provide heavy-duty tool watches and making them big and bulky comes with the territory. Customers with smaller wrists will find these watches too unwieldy.

Fortunately, there’s a smaller dive watch called the Zelos Mako Diver which comes at 40mm with a lug-to-lug length of 46mm. It’s still pretty big but it’s a good option for those who are looking for something smaller.

Availability Issues

Making this Zelos watches review has been a challenge, mainly because their watches are not exactly easily available. Even places like Amazon only sells a few Zelos models. If you like Zelos watches and you want to buy one, you might out of luck.

Aside from brick and mortar stores located in Singapore and Hong Kong, there are only a few dealership websites that sell Zelos watches. Even the official Zelos websites have very limited stocks and most models are sold out. If you’re in the U.S., you can try your luck in places like the TheMicrobrandStore.

Best Zelos Watches

1. Zelos Swordfish

Named as one of the fastest fishes in the ocean, the Zelos Swordfish is a great introductory watch for would-be Zelos enthusiasts. Like many Zelos dive watches, the Swordfish is an intriguing model with robust specs.

For your information, there are two different versions of Swordfish. One comes with the NH35 movement, a proven Seiko movement and the one that comes with the ETA 2892 movement. The only significant difference between the two is that the ETA variant features a date complication.

The Zelos Swordfish impresses with its solid feel, excellent dial details, and ease of wear. The Swordfish dial features amazing details and a brushed surface. It’s just an interesting diver with a high-level presentation.

Most Zelos Swordfish watches are available for around $300+ except for the meteorite versions that can go up to $800.

2. Zelos Abyss 2

Zelos Watches Review Abyss 2

The Zelos Abyss 2 is a tank of a diver. This timepiece is cased in bronze, features a twin-crown, and powered with a Swiss automatic movement. As its namesake implies, the Abyss 2 is a bronze sea-monster that’s capable of going down to 3,000 meters of pressure.

The Abyss 2’s water resistance is completely ridiculous and unnecessary, yet it’s an awesome flagship feature. Under 3,000 meters of depth, you’ll definitely find yourself in the ocean’s dark abyss. You are probably asking, why? Zelos watchmakers will probably answer, “why not?” Zelos engineered the Abyss 2 because they can and it’s a badass thing to do.

As you might expect, the Abyss 2 is a massive solid block of metal at 51.5mm lug to lug length and 19mm thickness. It uses marine-grade CUSN8 bronze and it generates a beautiful patina over time.

It’s a proper sea-monster of a watch.

3. Zelos Skyraider

Zelos Watches Review Skyraider

The Zelos Skyraider is one of the latest offerings from this microbrand. The Skyraider is interesting because it’s a highly legible Flieger watch and is a tribute to the A-1 Skyraider, a propeller plane by the U.S. Air Force during WW2.

The Skyraider comes in two different models: CUSN8 bronze or GR5 titanium. The warm patina of the bronze model elicits a warm feeling while the titanium gives off a contemporary, lightweight feel. I love the Skyraider’s dial with its detailed engravements and beautiful, clean lines. You can also get a version with skeletonized dial that reveals the inner components and the handwound ETA 6498 movement.

Overall, the Skyraider is a fairly unique Flieger watch with a refreshing twist.

Zelos Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Zelos Watches Review Helmsman

As per usual, we end this Zelos watches review with a verdict.

Are Zelos watches worth checking out? That’s a big yes! Zelos has done a great job of separating itself from other indie watch companies. The brand features some truly interesting and bold designs.

In particular, I love the dive watches from Zelos because they truly look and feel like diving tools but features impeccable style.

In terms of value, Zelos also doesn’t disappoint. The most expensive Zelos will only cost you around $2000 which is not bad at all, considering the actual quality of the watches.

If you’re looking to get into microbrands, Zelos watches are a great starting point.

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review: A Timeless Diving Tool

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review

The Rolex Submariner is perhaps one of my most favorite watches of all time. As a dive watch, it can’t go toe-to-toe with the most advanced dive models but it gets the job done and in no way an inadequate dive companion.

When the Rolex Sea-Dweller was released back in the late 1960s, the Swiss watch company has a single-minded mission in mind: to reach deeper depths than the Submariner and survive anything underwater. Again, the Submariner was not seen to have flaws, so the release of the Sea-Dweller is more for the extension of the former’s diving utility.

Today, we have an in-depth (pun intended) Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review for you.

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review: At a Glance

With a water-resistance that can go to thousands of meters underwater, the Rolex Sea-Dweller is a niche offering and is geared towards saturation divers. Let’s first take a look at the key specs and features of the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600.

Model:

Rolex Sea-Dweller

Reference no.

16600

Model case:

Stainless steel w/ helium escape valve (40mm) w/ rotatable timing bezel

Oyster architecture:

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

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

Scratch-resistant sapphire
Water-resistance: Waterproof to 1,220 m (4,000 ft)

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Caliber:

3135, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Bracelet:

Stainless steel Oyster bracelet, original Rolex

Clasp:

Stainless steel fold-over clasp with divers extension, original Rolex

Dial:

Black w/ luminous hands and hour markers

Certification:

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

Reviewing the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600

First Impression

Just to be clear, the Rolex Sea-Dweller 16600 is by no means a new Rolex model. In fact, its production run ended by 2008 and it became a well-sought model as the newer Sea-Dweller was released. This is also the main reason why I’ve taken interest to this particular Sea-Dweller iteration.

As for my first impressions, I’ve quickly warmed up to the Sea-Dweller because it’s the long-lost sibling of the classic Submariner. The Submariner’s black dial design is so iconic and pleasant that the excitement came almost immediately after opening the box many years ago. With that said, the Sea-Dweller looks good and you won’t mind wearing it on a daily basis.

Right out of the box, you can tell that the Sea-Dweller 16600 is a professional tool that can take a beating. The package itself is quite special. The package includes the infamous Rolex anchor, extra dive suit links, the link changing tool for the bracelet, and a Buehlmann diving chart. It’s worth noting that the link-changing tool was exclusive to the Sea-Dweller.

One of the first things I noticed about the Sea-Dweller 16600 is the Helium escape valve (HEV) which is the signature feature of the Sea Dweller series. Other watch manufacturers have copied this system but it’s only Rolex that has done it with great success.

Design

As mentioned, the Sea Dweller 16600’s design is very similar to the Submariner, specifically to the 16610 model. They’re so similar that they might as well be the same watch. The Sea Dweller was designed for diving professionals that need a timepiece that could go a lot deeper and withstand the harshness of saturation diving.

The derivative design of the Sea Dweller is exactly why I enjoyed it the first time. The venerable black dial of the Sea Dweller is one of the main design highlights for me. The Submariner 16610 has knocked it out of the park design-wise. However, I still find myself longing for the 5513 or 14060 because of the no-date dial. The pure, clean lines are just a beauty to behold.

Fortunately, the Sea Dweller 16600 features the best of both worlds. The lack of the Cyclops lens seem a bit strange but I imagine that the lens isn’t that essential for saturation divers. The thicker, bulkier profile of the 16600 gives it an extra wrist presence.

Unfortunately, the Sea Dweller 16600 has stopped its production and its the last of the “old-style” Sea Dweller before the release of the DeepSea 116660. The design of the 16600 is just classic and timeless, but never outdated.

Construction and Wearability

Both the case and bracelet of the 16600 is made of 904L stainless steel. It doesn’t get any simple than this but still delivers in functionality. While the Sea Dweller isn’t the most popular series by Rolex, it featured some innovative construction designs.

Deep sea divers use a helium/oxygen mix in their tanks when going for a dive. Helium pressure can penetrate the crystal of the watch and can accumulate pressure due to decompression. Early deep sea divers literally saw the crystals get blown out of their watches. Rolex has addressed this issue by adding a helium escape valve into the Sea Dweller. This mechanism lets out the helium pressure once it reaches a critical point.

Along with this deep-sea diving innovation, Rolex added more to the depth rating of the watch. This timepiece features a waterproof rating of 1,220 meters (4,000 ft) which should be more than enough for most professional divers. The addition of the Triplock crown adds another layer of water resistance.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Sea Dweller has an extra thickness and weight to it. While it does have a significant wrist presence, it’s noticeably heavier as well. With that said, wearing the Sea Dweller 16600 isn’t exactly comfortable. This is clearly designed to be a tool watch, so it’s not something that you’ll want to wear daily.

Similar to the Submariner, the 16600 also features the dive suit extension link in the Oyster bracelet clap. This allows divers to adjust the size of the bracelet to make way for the suit.

Timekeeping

Rolex submariner review

You can’t call this a Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review without talking about its timekeeping capabilities.

At the heart of the Sea Dweller 16600 is the caliber 3135 self-winding movement. For some history, the movement was first introduced in 1988 and it quickly became the main workhorse of the Rolex brand. This venerable movement has been used to power Rolex classics like the Datejust and Submariner Date. Many experts believe that the 3135 is one of the best movements made by Rolex.

The 3135 is a high-beat movement with an oscillation at 28,800 beats per hour (BPH). The movement is based on 31 jewels and comes with a date aperture that immediately changes at exactly midnight. As far as accuracy goes, the 3135 movement is legendary for its accuracy. As expected, the 3135 is also COSC certified. Based on my experience, I didn’t have any accuracy issues with the 16600.

The quality of timekeeping is exactly what you can expect from a Rolex timepiece. There’s really nothing to complain about here.

Pricing

Because the production for the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 has ceased, you can’t buy this piece anymore, at least not officially from Rolex. Due to the limited nature of the 16600’s availability, expect to pay a little bit higher for a used model. For reference, the Sea Dweller 126600 can be yours for around $11,000.

At this point, the Sea Dweller 16600 has become a well-sought piece for Rolex collectors. When this model was released, it was available for the $4400 retail price tag. These days, you’d be lucky to find a 16600 that doesn’t command a price of below $6000.

With that said, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a definite collector’s item and strikes a good balance between quality and value. The thing I enjoy the most about the 16600 is that it feels like a proper sequel to the Submariner 16610. From the design to overall utility of the watch, I am happy to have gotten the 16600 even at a fairly inflated price.

If you are looking to get the classic-looking Sea Dweller, the best time to act is now. There’s no telling if the price will continue to skyrocket.

Should You Get the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600?

Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 Review

So what’s our verdict for this Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 review?

While the Rolex Sea Dweller 16600 has made a strong first impression, it rarely makes my weekly rotation. However, that’s just me having too many watches to wear. For what it’s worth, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a strong showing for Rolex. It features a timeless, clean design that you can wear almost anywhere at any time. The watch itself is a bit on the bulkier side, so there were some compromises in terms of comfort.

If you are looking for a true dive watch for deep-sea diving, you are probably better off getting a dive computer. But that’s not saying that the Sea Dweller 16600 is not a proper dive watch because it’s actually an amazing one. Its depth rating is very impressive and there are some great dive-related innovations that remains relevant up to this day.

However, the lack of availability means that you’ll be spending more than you have to and you still get a used piece.

Overall, the Sea Dweller 16600 is a hardcore Rolex for the hardcore deep-divers. Yes, the newer version is even more hardcore but visually, I think the 16600 is the superior choice here. I am in no way a diver but there’s a lot to love here even for non-dive watch fans.

Momentum Watches Review: Solid Timepieces That Just Work

Momentum Watches Review Featured

For many months now, I’ve been dipping my toes into microbrand watches. Some smaller brands, in my opinion, have missed the mark while some have absolutely nailed their vision. Today, we’re going to talk about a microbrand that has hit its mark.

Today, we’re going to talk about Momentum Watches, a Canadian-based company that has made a wide range of timepieces – from dive watches to dress watches.

 

For this Momentum watches review, we’ll talk about the brief history of the brand, break down the things that we love and don’t love, and review some of the best pieces this brand has to offer.

About Momentum Watches

Momentum Watches Review History

Momentum watches have been around since 1980. As mentioned earlier, Momentum watches is based in Vancouver, Canada. Actually, the company that works on the watches itself is called St. Moritz Watch Corp. However, the company designs, assembles, and services the watches under the Momentum.

The company’s main philosophy is to design and manufacture watches with casual and active but straightforward designs. The company claims that its watches feature excellent waterproof performance at a reasonable price. Most, if not all, of their watches are catered towards people with an active lifestyle.

Many of Momentum’s watches have a familiar and classic design – another thing that’s in-line with their design philosophy. This watch company isn’t looking to buck the trend but it’s a slave to trends either. Momentum focuses on making watches that have quality, functionality, and style.

Momentum Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Is it worth adding a Momentum timepiece to your collection? Here are the things that I love and appreciate about Momentum watches and some aspects that I don’t care about.

What We Love

1. No-Nonsense Design Philosophy

Sometimes, you just have to step back and appreciate what a watch company is trying to do. Momentum is not trying to revolutionize the watch industry with advanced timekeeping mechanisms and space-age construction, their main design philosophy is to make watches for the everyday people.

That’s something that I can get behind.

Momentum watches are something that you can wear and just go about your day. Even their best dive watches and high-end field timepieces have relatively traditional designs but reliable ruggedness. The features on the watches are about as basic as you can get but that’s perfectly fine.

If you are looking for a brand with a no-nonsense approach to their watches, it’s worth looking into what Momentum has to offer.

2. Rugged, Durable Timepieces

In light of Momentum’s philosophy of watches that just works, their timepieces are ultra-rugged, durable, and require little to no maintenance.

Despite not being premium, luxury pieces, many Momentum’s products are made from high-quality components like 316L steel, sapphire crystals, AR coating, and other durable materials. These are watches that can take quite a beating which is why it’s used by many professionals.

As of now, Momentum watches can be found on the wrist of law enforcement, firefighters, coast guards, and military personnel.

3. Looking Good

Momentum watches aren’t going to win any awards when it comes to fresh or innovative designs. However, that’s not to say that the watches aren’t good looking.

In fact, Momentum offers plenty of great-looking watches.

The designs of Momentum watches can be quite derivative but I have no problem wearing them on my wrist. For instance, the Momentum 1M-SP00B6B Atlas Titanium is a nice-looking field watch with a bold and legible dial. The Momentum Fieldwalker Adventure Watch is another watch that features a rock-solid design and is frankly very fashionable.

For certain, you won’t have a problem wearing Momentum watches daily.

4. Reasonable Price Tag

Perhaps the main selling point of Momentum watches is their price tags. These watches won’t cost an arm and leg but you still get a quality timekeeping tool.

The price range for Momentum watches ranges from $99-$300 which is great considering their overall quality. Because of this, Momentum is a good brand for up and coming watch collectors or if you’re in the market for a good gift watch.

There’s simply a lot of watch here for the money.

What We Don’t Love

1. Inconsistencies with Quality

While Momentum units have respectable quality, it’s worth noting that it’s still a microbrand. With that said, I found some quality issues with some Momentum watches I’ve checked.

This is especially true with entry-level models.

This is quite understandable with lower-end models because the company has to cut some corners here and there. Perhaps the most obvious solution to keep the cost down is with the movement. While the Miyota movement gets the job done, I just feel that it could be better while still keeping the cost down. There are also strap quality issues with some of the models.

In general, Momentum watches are well-built, there were just a couple of quality issues that are hard to ignore.

2. Derivative Designs

As mentioned earlier, Momentum’s timepieces are good-looking on their own. However, I must say that most of their designs are rather uninspired.

Many of their design elements look to be lifted from other brands like Seiko and Citizen. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in general but if you’re looking for an inspired timekeeping tool, Momentum might not be the brand for you.

Don’t expect these watches to be the pinnacle of timekeeping design.

Best Momentum Watches

Of course, we can’t have a Momentum watches review without highlighting some of the best units the brand has to offer. Here are watches that best represent Momentum in my opinion.

1. Momentum Steelix Field Watch

The Momentum Steelix Field Watch is perhaps one of the most popular watches by Momentum – for good reason.

Rock-Solid Design

The Momentum Steelix Field Watch has caught my eye because it features a design that’s similar to a vintage Seiko. When I got the watch, it looks and feels like a well-constructed unit.

I also tend to gravitate towards black dialed watches so the Steelix is the first model I’ve checked for writing this Momentum watches review. With that said, the dial looks attractive with the charcoal color, bold numerals, and sword-style hands. Legibility is also excellent for this watch which is a must if you’re planning to wear it on the field.

The Steelix does feel a little bit heavy but it’s not that big of a deal once you get used to it. After several adjustments, the watch sits comfortably on my wrist. The nylon band could be better but it’s durable enough for people with an active lifestyle.

The Steelix Field Watch is one of the more impressive models by Momentum. Plus, it comes with a great price tag and is a great value for money.

2. Momentum M50 Mark II

The Momentum M50 Mark II is yet another popular piece by the brand. The M50 Mark II is touted by the company as their toughest watch, bar none. It’s a dive that’s good enough for deep-sea exploration, so take that as you will.

From Deep-Sea Diving to Beater

The Momentum M50 Mark II is a great option for a dive watch that won’t break the bank. With a water-resistance rating of 500M / 1650FT, this is a diver that you can reliably wear underwater. It’s no wonder that it has become a prime choice for law enforcement, special forces, firefighters, and EMT professionals.

One of the first things that you’ll notice about the M50 Mark II is its airtight construction. It just feels solid and appropriately rugged. Plus, the scratch-proof sapphire crystal does a great job of protecting the dial. Even if you’re not looking for a dive watch that will serve you underwater, this one makes an excellent beater watch.

For timekeeping and power, the M50 Mark II houses the Japanese Quartz Movement and 10-year battery life for precise timekeeping and longevity. The dial is also fully lumed which comes in handy for low-light conditions like under the ocean.

Overall, the M50 Mark II is very impressive as far as affordable dive watches go.

3. Momentum Atlas Titanium

Lastly, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is another successful creation by this Canadian-based watchmaker. It’s another field watch with a restrained look and a very nice feel to it.

Super Luminous Field Watch

First, the thing that I love the most about the Momentum Atlas Titanium is its size. The 38mm case  is a good size for a field watch such as this. The Atlas Titanium sits nicely on the wrist and it doesn’t hurt that it has a striking yet restrained look.

The face just screams “field watch” style and reminds me of some Hamilton watches. The dial is bold, simple, and legible – the oversized numbers made sure of that. The superluminous hands and numbers look quite nice during low-light conditions. However, the white dial version can be particularly bright.

Of course, you can’t talk about the watch without mentioning the Titanium case. The case is gray, matte-finished titanium. While it looks nice on its own, I would have preferred a brushed finish. As is, the case has like a sort of “plasticky” feel to it. However, it’s hard to complain about titanium cases especially at this price point.

Overall, the Momentum Atlas Titanium is a simple, durable, easy to wear and use field watch. It’s another Momentum watch that offers a great value proposition.

Momentum Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Momentum Watches Review Featured

Finally, we conclude this Momentum watches review with a verdict.

The watches by Momentum comes highly recommended. This particular microbrand doesn’t break any ground but it doesn’t need to. There are some issues with quality but they’re not enough to make me turn away. There’s just so much watch here for your money.

Momentum watches are stylish, functional, and offers great value. Check them out if you’re in the market for a good entry-level to mid-range watch.

Deep Blue Watches Review [In-Depth Brand Review]

As you may know, microbrands are making a big splash in the watch industry. Microbrands are usually small watch companies that are fairly new in the business. However, our featured brand review for today is not exactly a new-ish company but still qualifies as a microbrand.

Today, we’re going to do a brand review of Deep Blue.

Deep Blue is a brand that’s usually referred to as the “indie diver.” This is because this microbrand is solely devoted to selling diver watches – the only one of its kind in the industry. They have been around since 2007, so they’re not exactly a new company.

For this Deep Blue watches review, we take a plunge and find out if this microbrand is a hit or miss.

History of Deep Blue Watches

Deep Blue Watches Review History

Founded in 2007, Deep Blue Watches is an American company that’s based in New York. As mentioned, Deep Blue not only specializes in dive watches but it’s the only type of watch that they manufacture.

In the past, true dive watches have strict applications – either for military or deep sea explorations. These dive watches are referred to as “tool watches.” However, these dive watches aren’t exactly the best-looking tools out there.

Although there were so-called dive watches that graced the market, many of them can’t be used by members of the armed forces or professional divers. Deep Blue Watches has presented a solution by pioneering a collection of true diver watches – looks stylish on land but can go deep in the sea.

The company motto is “Precision Diver” which basically refers to robust and dependable timepieces that can be used by professional divers and military personnel. Deep Blue watches are designed with value and dependability in mind. They have dive models that can travel to depths of up to 3000 meters, without sacrificing accuracy and durability.

To some extent, Deep Blue Watches has helped revitalized the dive watch industry. The brand may not have the same prestige and legacy as other dive brands, it’s still a well-respected brand among collectors.

Deep Blue Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Deep Blue Watches Review_1

Should you go to the deep end by buying Deep Blue watches? We highlight the things that we love and we don’t love about this dive watch microbrand.

What We Love

High-Performance Timepieces

Deep Blue is exclusively manufacturing dive watches and they know exactly how to put out a well-designed piece. The best thing about Deep Blue dive watches is that they don’t just look the part but with the performance as well.

The best dive watch is durable and of course, can handle the great depths of the ocean. Due to their solid construction and design, some of the best Deep Blue divers can handle depths of 3,000 meters. That is a mighty impressive performance for a dive watch.

Now, I am not a professional diver myself and won’t be coming near the ocean anytime soon. However, I have been looking around and it seems that professional divers have taken a liking to Deep Blue watches. It’s feedback like this that will let you know that Deep Blue is the real deal as far as dive watches go.

Based on my experience, Deep Blue watches are yet to disappoint when it comes to durability and dependability.

Thoughtful Design Decisions

While Deep Blue didn’t exactly set the world of dive watches on fire, I do appreciate some of the design decisions that this company has made.

For instance, some of the Deep Blue models have ceramic or sapphire bezels that are comparable with some high-end luxury watches. The thing is, Deep Blue divers aren’t exactly high-end, so it’s certainly nice to see high-end features from a mid-range brand.

Another thing I love about their dive watches is the adjustable wetsuit extensions on bracelets. This goes to show that Deep Blue is truly catering to professional divers. Many watchmakers can get away with simply jacking up a timepiece’s water resistance and call it a dive watch.

These thoughtful design decisions by Deep Blue deserves a lot of respect.

Good Value

If you are looking for a robust and dependable tool watch, it’s hard to go wrong with what Deep Blue has to offer. One of Deep Blue’s core values is to provide top-notch value to customers who are willing to give them a chance.

This means providing timepieces that are accurate, durable, and have good designs. However, they are also adamant in keeping the costs of their watches on the affordable side. True enough, even the highest end model will remain below $1,000, except for the Master 2000 series.

For a dive watch, this is simply unheard of, especially considering the quality of Deep Blue watches.

Excellent Customer Support

The folks at Deep Blue stands by their products 110%. This really shows once you get in touch with their customer support.

Just for this Deep Blue watches review, I’ve contacted their support to ask some questions. I was pleasantly surprised at how responsive and helpful the support team is. I was expecting some canned response from the representative but instead, I was treated to some great solutions to my issues.

They gave me the impression that they will always tend to my needs. For lesser-known brands like Deep Blue, excellent customer service can go a long way in bolstering their reputation.

What We Don’t Love

Derivative Aesthetic

If you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind dive watch with a unique design, you won’t find it in Deep Blue.

While most Deep Blue watches feature a solid design, it’s clear that the company took some inspirations from other popular dive watches such as the Citizen’s Blue Promaster or Seiko Prospex SRP775. Deep Blue dive watches aren’t exactly a pinnacle of originality.

However, Deep Blue does offer watches that look unique such as the Deep Blue Abyss. Also, for some reason, some models can be quite difficult to read at a glance.

Just Dive Watches?

This is more of a nitpick than anything.

Deep Blue knows what they are doing and can put out quality timepieces. Thus, I was hoping that they would branch out to other types of watches. If you don’t like dive watches, Deep Blue has nothing for you.

However, this company has plenty of good-looking watches that you can avail of. You don’t have to be a professional diver or military to appreciate their collection. I know for a fact that I’ll wear my Deep Blue watches casually, and that’s fine.

Just a wishful thinking on my part.

Best Deep Blue Watches

1. Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver

You can’t have a good Deep Blue watches review without mentioning one of its most popular models, the Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver.

Solid Diver with Great Value

The Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver caught my eye because it has fairly decent specs and it’s available for less than $300 (depending on the color options).

This being a dive watch, can go to 300 meters which is already a lot if you’re planning to use it casually. However, it’s just good to know that this watch can go deep.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the Master 1,000 is a massive watch with a 44mm case and 15mm in height. It features a helium release valve at 10 o’clock and a unidirectional bezel. You just know right off the bat that this diver is not messing around.

The watch is powered by a Seiko NH 35 automatic movement which is quite pedestrian as far as automatic watches go. There’s also a date window that is not often seen with dive models. The bezel is ceramic and the lume offers incredible visibility in low-light situations.

Overall, the Deep Blue Master 1000 Automatic Diver can go deep without digging deep within your pockets.

2. Deep Blue Diver 1000 Automatic

The Deep Blue Diver 1000 Automatic is also another great recommendation for dive watches under $1,000. This model can go even deeper than the Master 1000 but not by much.

A Sporty, Stylish Diver

One thing that you’ll appreciate about this diver is that it’s available in many different colorways and bracelet types. I have the Diver 1000 Black/Red Bezel and it’s a great looking watch that I can wear daily and dressier events. Some of the unique ones are the Abalone Shell and Orange Sunray.

Again, this is a fairly large watch at a 44mm case and 15mm thickness. It comes in a 316L stainless steel case which provides a good deal of durability. While the watch is a bit on the bulky side, it surprisingly doesn’t feel larger when worn. The bulky profile does give off the impression that it’s a tool watch.

For the movement, the Diver 1000 comes with a 21.6k bph Seiko NH35. It’s stable, accurate, and helps keep the price down.

Overall, it’s a perfectly capable dive watch with a stylish flair.

3. Deep Blue Pro Sea Diver

If you’re a professional diver who’s looking for a dive watch but doesn’t want to spend too much, the Deep Blue Pro Sea Diver is worth checking out.

For the Hardcore Underwater Explorers

The Pro Sea Diver is available in many different bezel colors such as black and blue, orange, and black and green. The rotating bezel is a thing of beauty with its 120 oddly satisfying clicks. The bezel and case give the watch a gear-like look.

The plain blue dial nails the typical dive watch element and I must say that it looks even better in person. At 3 o’clock sits the date window and all the hands and markers are generously lumed.

Again, this watch is powered by the respectable 24-jewel Seiko NH36 movement with an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day. It’s not the best movement but it offers consistency and accuracy with a solid power reserve.

Of course, you can’t review this watch without mentioning the 1,000-meter depth rating. That’s right, it’s a professional dive watch by all means.

Deep Blue Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Deep Blue Watches Review Featured

To end this Deep Blue watches review, we now put down our verdict.

Should you check out what Deep Blue has to offer? Only if you’re looking for a high-performance boutique dive watch that won’t break the bank. For the money, you get a lot of watch that will serve you well, even if you’re not a professional diver. If for some reason that you don’t like dive watches, Deep Blue might just not be the brand for you.

Ball Watches Review : In-depth Review of Popular Ball Watches

Ball Watches Review

We consulted different notable horologists and carried out in-depth ball watches review on the best models.  With our findings, we chose the  Ball Engineer Master II Diver as our favorite. The reason is that not only does it look elegant on the wrist, but it also has a high level of water resistance.  What is even better is that it can withstand up to 5000Gs of shock and works great in areas with high magnetic fields.

 

Ball Watches Review

If you are looking for a watch company with an intriguing past, then you should check out the Bell Watch company. In the 19th century, the owner, Webb C. Ball, was the first watchmaker to design timepieces with standard time signals while holding a top post in the railroad industry.

He set up guidelines that many watch companies use to design precision watches. These rules affected several features, including the dial arrangement, power reserve, and anti-magnetism.

Presently, Ball creates watches with unique designs and features that show its railroad roots. With a Ball watch, you can partake in various activities under different conditions. This is because it comes with specs and a build that ensures durability and functionality.

On this Ball watches review, we will be looking closely at some of the brand popular timepieces and their features. We will also see if the features are worth its hefty price tag.

Short Story of Ball Watch

Although the company creates beautiful watches, its history is gloomy. It was born after a fatal train accident that was caused by poor timing from the authorities.

To prevent a similar occurrence, Webster C. Ball, a watchmaker, was appointed as the “Chief Time Inspector.” He created strict timing standards that led to the birth of the company’s logo. During this time, the company created timepieces with movements from Elgin, Waltham, and Hamilton. These watches had the words “Official RR Standard” printed on each of their dials.

In the mid and late 1900s, the company was sold due to low interest among consumers. But today, Ball has risen as an Asian brand that makes Swiss watches with several exciting features. These include its gas tubes for easy reading, sturdy built, and elegant dial.

Currently, a descendant of Webb Ball plays some roles in the company, but I am not sure of his duties. If you want to know more about Ball’s gloomy origins, you can visit its official website for more details.

Let’s get started with a Ball watch Fireman review, where I will tell you more about its impressive features.

Best Ball Watches

 

1. Ball Fireman Storm Chaser Pro

 

This new timepiece designed for storm chasers at all levels came into existence when they partnered with a member of the BALL Explorer club and Ball Ambassador, Dr. Joshua Wurman.

The Fireman Storm Chaser Pro is a sturdy watch that can withstand extreme physical activity. It also stands as a trendy, clean fashion accessory with practical features such as a robust build and luminous gas tubes. While we’re still on the review of ball watches, let’s see other specs Firestorm chaser has to offer.

Case

Ball watches Review- Ball Gents-Watch Fireman Storm Chaser Pro

The Storm Chaser Pro features a 42mm steel case that measures 16mm in height. This size might come as a relief, especially for people who think the current Storm Chaser is too bulky.

The dial inside the case depends on the variant of the Storm Pro. One model offers a white dial while two others have either a black or grey dial. But all dials house glowing microtubes with which you can read the watch in poorly lit environments or at night.

Dial

Review for Ball watches -Ball Gents-Watch Fireman Storm Chaser Pro

Another reason to love the Storm Chaser Pro is its legible and functional display. Here, you have a telemeter scale with which you can measure your distance from a lightning strike. Moreover, the chronograph begins during a lightning strike and ends when thunder rumbles. It has two sub-dial, and at the 3 o’clock marker, a display window shows the day and date.

Movement

Ball Fireman review - Ball Gents-Watch Fireman Storm Chaser Pro

This watch includes the Ball Ball’sBall’s RR1402 automatic chronograph movement. With such a feature, the timepiece promises 25 jewels and a power reserve of 48 hours. Overall, it offers a high level of precise timekeeping.

Bezel

The top of the case has a narrow bezel which makes the watch look bigger. This bezel is made of aluminum and stands as the thinnest on any Ball watch. It also secures anti-reflective sapphire crystal on this timepiece.

Price

Many horologist and watch lovers are always intrigued to get ball timepieces because of its impressive designs. And it is no doubt because they keep on offering new models that are unique in their own way. The best part is that they never fail to make their watch eye-catching and easy to read due to the micro gas illumination feature. With the price of the Firestorm chaser pro below $3000 and its high shock resistance, it worth to be a great investment for anyone looking for the best firefighter watches or elegant timepieces.

Wearability

Like most Ball watches, the Fireman Storm Chaser comes in a calfskin leather strap. Although it has a unique look, it fits with the overall design of this Ball watch. It even feels soft against the skin, thereby making it an ideal item for prolonged use.

If you prefer metal, you can purchase the timepiece with a stainless bracelet, but at a different price. For lovers of other types of straps, you can replace any of the mentioned designs with your preferred bracelet option.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Despite its affordable price, the Storm Chaser Pro can hold its own against expensive watches. After all, it boasts of gas tubes that do not require a recharge while sporting an attractive but durable design. However, it might look out of place on smaller wrists because of its chunky case.

2. Ball Engineer Master II Diver Black Face

 

As expected from a brand with over a century of matchmaking, Ball has created a diving timepiece that maintains a vintage look while offering elegance and durability. This watch – the Ball Engineer Master II Diver, also promises exceptional water resistance, without sacrificing its impressive design.

Fortunately, it costs less than $2,000, which makes it an ideal item for the budget-conscious watch snob. Here are other specs on this timepiece that make it a worthy investment.

Case

Ball Engineer Master II Diver Review- Ball dive watches

This part of the watch is circular and measures 41.5m with a 14mm thickness, thereby making it comfortable for extended use. It has a stainless steel case that looks attractive on the wrist and can handle the pressures of knocks and moisture. You will also find it easy to clean.

The watch also has a screw-down case back that provides a water-tight seal. With such features, it stays protected from splashes and prevents dust and dirt from entering the watch.

Dial

Ball Engineer Master II Diver Black Face

There are many things to love about the dial of the Ball Engineer Master II Diver. First, it comes in black with white inner bezels, giving it a luxurious and practical feel. It also has micro gas tubes on its markers for easy reading under low light conditions.

A sheet of sapphire glass covers the elegant dial. This crystal can resist scratches while offering improved readability with its anti-reflective coating.

Strap

ball watch engineer review- ball watch review

A stainless steel bracelet holds the watch to your wrist. For added security, Ball added a folding buckle to the end of the bracelet. Overall, there is no need to worry about losing your watch during physical activities on land or sea.

If you don’t like the feel of metal, you can swap this part for a rubber strap with a standard buckle. Although it looks weaker than steel, it can handle moisture and offer comfort at the same time.

Movement 

ball watch engineer review- Review of ball watch 2019

Ball watches have a reputation for accurate timekeeping due to its classic movement. Here, the Ball Engineer Master II Diver uses a Swiss Automatic that offers the same level of accuracy with ease.

Water Resistance 

Unlike other timepieces listed in this ball watches review, the Engineer Master Diver II has a high level of water resistance. It offers a water resistance of 300m. With this said, you can use the watch for various aquatic activities including swimming and scuba diving. It also has a screw-down crown that helps keep moisture and dust out of its internal components.

Anti-Magnetism 

Typically, automatic watches are more precise than manual variants. However, this accuracy can be affected by magnetic fields.

If you are looking for a watch that can perform in areas with high magnetic fields, choose the Ball Engineer Master II Diver. It can withstand magnetism up to 12,000 A/m.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

The watch is an attractive but not an affordable option for the watch enthusiast or professional diver. It also offers a higher level of accuracy because of its anti-magnetic properties. However, it might look bulky on smaller wrists.

3. Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II

 

If you are a fan of high-end GMT models, but you are shopping on a budget, then you should add the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II to your list. This is because it cost less and has similar specs offered on watches from flagship brands.

These specs include a readable dial and an attractive rotating bezel. It also has a build that can handle knocks, falls without showing signs of wear, and tear. Below are some of the exciting features on the timepiece.

Case 

Ball Watch review - Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II

Without adding the crown, the case on this item measures at 42mm while having a thickness of 14mm. With such dimensions, the watch will fit various wrist sizes without adding extra weight to them.

This case is made of stainless steel which remains attractive after years of repeated uses. It even has a sapphire crystal that can resist scratches with ease.

Dial

Ball Watch review

The design on the watch includes a black dial surrounded by a movable sapphire bezel with luminous markers. On the dial, it features luminous hands, which allow easy readability at night. The anti-reflective coating on the crystal further enhances this legibility.

You can read the date at the position between the 4 and 5 o’clock position. If you want to check the day of the week, you will have to move to the window on 3 o’clock position.

Strap

Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II

The watch has a tapered stainless steel bracelet which ends in a folding buckle and extension buckle. Such a feature helps the timepiece remain on your wrist during any physical activity. Moreover, the material used can withstand corrosion with ease.

The watch also comes in a model that includes a rubber strap with a standard buckle. As expected, this strap can also handle corrosion and offer comfort like the metal variant.

Power Reserve 

Apart from offering a reasonable level of accuracy, the movement also supports a power reserve of 42 hours. This reserve ensures you enjoy similar accuracy timekeeping even if the watch is not on your wrist. It also prevents you from winding the watch at regular intervals.

GMT Functions 

Since the watch is designed for the global traveler, it includes a GMT feature with dual time zones. This feature helps you know the time in your home city and destination with relative ease.

Opinion and Drawbacks 

Investing in the Ball Gents-Wristwatch Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II is not a poor choice. This is true especially as it has features that suit all forms of activity, including air travel. These include a robust build, GMT functions, readable dial, and comfortable strap. Besides, it is more affordable at less than $4,000.

But its 42mm case might look bulky thereby making it unsuitable for smaller wrists. It also has a water resistance of 100m which cannot hold against diving or swimming for long periods.

Ball Watches Review: Do They Worth the Investment

This brings us to the final roundup of the Ball watches review. With origins rooted in railroad history, Ball has designed watches that fit various activities and looks. For instance, Ball Engineer Master II Diver has impressive features for the pro-diver. As for the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT , it handles the timing needs of international travel while the Storm Chaser Pro is a perfect choice for storm chasing and one of the best watches for Firefighter.

Although they have impressive features, they are high-end watches. Ball watchmaker offers specs that include a durable design, micro gas tubes, Swiss automatic movement, and power reserve. Furthermore, they can rival the options offered by expensive brands.

In summary, you can get an excellent Ball watches for half the price of either a Rolex or Omega timepiece with similar specs. So if you are on the lookout for a vintage watch that combines modern design and specs for a reasonable price, you should consider checking Ball’s line of watches.

Longines HydroConquest Review

Review of Longines HydroConquest

The Longines HydroConquest line of diving watches are top-of-the-line accessories for the modern businessman. They feature a professional style that also works well with casual attire. If you would like to invest in a premium Swiss brand sports watch, you should consider this line of luxury wristwatches.

As a modern entrepreneur, I needed a wristwatch I could wear with my best suit for those important conference meetings, but also wanted an accessory that would work for weekend get-togethers with friends and family.

The HydroConquest line from Longines easily caught my attention. I was aware of their unsurpassed reputation for creating quality watches. And I admired the dressy casual look of their timepieces. Also, the brand’s customer ratings are some of the best I’ve seen for a watch manufacturer in several years.

Who is the Longines HydroConquest Wristwatch Designed For?

The Longines line of HydroConquest watches were not designed for one single target audience. Instead, the manufacturers created a watch design for a much broader range of customers. The look caters to business professionals and watch enthusiasts alike. Especially those interested in a stylish and long-lasting accessory.

This diving sports watch is water-resistant up to 30 bar. However, that doesn’t mean it is strictly for divers. The chronological dial and luxurious look make this impressive sports watch an excellent choice.  The watch is perfect for today’s busy CEOs and top negotiators. It is resistant to both dust and water. This means you can easily wear this sports watch daily without worrying about  damage from the elements.

Watch collectors and enthusiasts love this line. Mainly because it features a classic Swiss watch style with several extras. Those extras make the HydroConquest line unique. The sports watch collection  offered in various designs features gold or silver straps. The watches are also available with straps made from synthetic materials. The variety of designs allows customers to find one watch to match s their inimitable personality and style preference.

Why We Recommend This Line of Diving Watches

When a watch has enough staying power to remain one of the most talked about diving watches for more than a decade, it’s worth looking into. The HydroConquest was first introduced in 2007 and remains one of the best Swiss made watches you can buy.

The specifications for this collection are impressive 10 years after their release. But as a consumer, you shouldn’t rely on technical aspects alone. It’s impossible to tell how nice a watch truly is unless you try it out for yourself.

Even though I’m not a diver, I do consider myself a watch enthusiast. And I have always loved the rugged yet sophisticated look of Longines’ diver watches. Their sleek design makes them stand out just enough to get noticed. But at the same time, they offer just the right amount of flair so that they don’t take the attention away from the rest of your attire.

Like most Swiss watches, those from the Longines HydroConquest line are designed to outlast any other general sports watch available. They are manufactured using only the finest and most durable materials in the industry.

Designing a mechanical watch that will outlast the owner seems impossible. But that is what he Longines brand strives to achieve with every luxury watch they create.

The Longines brand pays attention to detail. And that fact alone makes their watches worth checking into.

The Features You Will Love About The Longines HydroConquest Watch

The Longines HydroConquest diving watch is a work of art in itself. It features a 41mm diameter stainless steel case. That helps ensure that it remains water resistant up to 300 meters. The steel material is heavy, but refined. This makes it a durable piece that is also comfortable to wear. Leaving the wearer with a very solid feel. The durability you can both see and feel with this watch is sure to provide divers with the confidence they need to take this watch deep into the water without concerns.

All watches in the HydroConquest line feature the impressive Longines caliber 633 movement. These timepieces have a unidirectional rotating aluminum bezel with a sapphire crystal and a screw-in crown. The quality indexing on the bezel and face, along with spaced Arabic numbers and markers make this watch easy to glance at and read quickly throughout the day.

The included date feature may not be a one of the most essential features of this watch, but it’s included as a useful reminder and situated at the 3 o’ clock mark. All these specifications combined make this a fine choice for those spending their day at sea or at the office.

Along with the 41mm stainless steel version, there are also smaller models available such as the 39mm watch designed for slimmer wrists and a 30mm Ladies design. The HydroConquest line even features a 25mm quartz version adding more variety to their collection.

The Downside to the Longines HydroConquest Watch

The Longines HydroConquest line of timepieces is a truly elegant collection. These Swiss watches are so well-made they are still talked about as if they are brand new products over a decade after their initial release. But as with any type of product, there are always some features that all customers aren’t going to agree on.

Overall there are very few complaints about this watch collection. But if you look around online you can find a mentions of negative aspects such as the wedges that provide protection to the watch crown. They do their job well, but are also quite sharp, which can be uncomfortable at times. Others have mentioned the solid case back which is a bit unusual for a mechanical watch.

But since the HydroConquest is also a diving watch, the solid back helps to further ensure the optimal amount of water resistance

About The Longines Brand

Longines is a Swiss luxury watchmaker brand that is based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1832 and since 1983, it has been a subsidiary of another popular Swiss watch brand, Swatch Group.

The company was founded by a Swiss watchmaker Auguste Agassiz. Their first chronograph movement watch, the 20H, was developed in 1878 and featured all three chronograph functions, start, stop and reset. These functions were all accessible via the crown of the watch.

In 1931 Longines partnered with legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh to create an aviation watch known as the Longines Weems. They later followed up this timepiece with another aviation watch, the Longines Chronocinegines, in 1954.

Today the brand has developed strong relationship switch the sporting industry by creating timepieces ideal for those interested in archery, automobile racing, horse racing and tennis. The brand continues to be one of the most popular Swiss diving watch manufactures across the globe and still considered a wise investment for anyone willing to purchase one of these fine, luxurious watches.

Specifics for the Longines HydroConquest Sports Watch

Here are a few of the specifics for the HydroConquest Sports Watch Line.

Watch Case & Bracelet

  • Case & Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel
  • Specifications: Screw-in Crown and Unidirectional rotating bezel.
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Screw-down case back
  • Water resistant up to 30 bar
  • Case Dimension: Ø 41.00 mm
  • Bracelet Buckle: Double-security folding clasp and integrated diving extension

Movement, Functions, & Dials

  • Caliber: L633 self-winding mechanical movement with 28’800 vibration per hours. 38 hours of power reserve in all.
  • Function: hours, minutes, seconds, and date
  • Arabic numerals and indexes for markers with Super-LumiNova®
  • Silver polished hands also with Super-LumiNova®

Why We Think You Should Consider Buying the Longines HydroConquest Watch

A Longines HydroConquest wristwatch is a smart buy for anyone who loves the beauty and craftmanship of a luxury divers watch, but also wants a timepiece they can wear anywhere at any time. It’s a luxury watch that works like your traditional sports watch. So, you never have to switch out timepieces when going from business to casual.

The HydroConquest line of watches features a high visibility display with a sapphire crystal glass. These watches include the brand’s Super-LumiNova® feature which illuminates the watch face so you can easily see the dial hands and display in dark settings.

The watches have a popular 41mm casing size with the brand’s L633 movement that is based off of ETA 2824. Each watch also includes a diver extension bracelet and has a 300m water resistance rating for peace of mind while diving.

Final Thoughts on the Longines HydroConquest

The HydroConquest line of watches by Longines features timepieces that are a remarkable masterpiece of today’s innovative watch manufacturing. The sweeping automatic movement works similar to a Rolex, which is a testament of the quality of the Longines brand. With that type of comparison, it is easy to see why so many watch enthusiasts are impressed by this line of wristwatches.

Overall, the quality of the HydroConquest diving watches remains to be some of the very best that you can buy, and that’s saying a lot considering these watches have been available for more than ten years. While highly advanced watch models have been developed by other brands in the past decade, the HydroConquest continues to stand its ground and remain a favorite with luxury watch enthusiasts.

If you are interested in investing in a high-quality Swiss timepiece, the Longines brand is a good place to start your search. You can be assured that you are buying a wristwatch that with withstand the test of time and technology. And considering that these watches are around a sixth of the price of a Rolex, a Longines HydroConquest is a smart choice for watch collectors on a budget.

Victorinox Watches Review [In-Depth Brand Review]

Victorinox Watches Review_1

While not as popular as other Swiss watch brands, Victorinox is a brand name that deserves respect. The brand has been around for more than a century but most people know it as the one responsible for creating the trusty Swiss Army knife.

Victorinox is indeed a fairly new watchmaking brand. However, with generations of success, Victorinox is a brand that many watch collectors can’t afford to ignore.

For today’s Victorinox watches review, we’ll take a look at the history, pros and cons, and the best models this watch has to offer.

The History of Victorinox Watches

 

The company Victorinox Swiss Army (abbreviated as VSA) was founded by Karl Elsener in 1884. The name Victorinox was actually derived from Elsener’s mother’s name – Victoria, and the “inox” is the French word for steel. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the name materialized.

In 1890, the Swiss Army started buying pocket knives to equip its soldiers. A part of this lucrative government contract was won by Elsener.

Switching over to the United States, the company Charles Forschner & Sons was founded in 1855 in New Britain, Connecticut. The brand was making butcher scales. In 1877, Forschner died and his son Richard changed the name of the company to RH Forschner and moved its operations to New York. The company started supplying butcher knives in 1921.

In the 1930s, RH Forschner started looking for alternative suppliers and eventually started buying knives from Victorinox. This relationship flourished and soon, Forschner gained exclusive rights to sell Victorinox knives in the States.

In the 1989, the wristwatch “Swiss Army” was launched and became a great success in North America. From this point, Victorinox was not just known for its heavy-duty pocket knives but also high-quality Swiss watches.

Fast forward to Victorinox and Swiss Army Brands (SABI), the latter formerly RH Forschner, announced the formation of a new company called Victorinox Swiss Army Watches.

From the Source

The Victorinox Swiss Army has a long and complicated history. If you want to go in-depth, we highly recommend that you check out this post from Victorinox. It’s pretty compelling stuff.

Victorinox Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Are Victorinox watches worth checking out? We break down the things that we love and we don’t love about this Swiss watch brand.

What We Love

Compelling History and Legacy

Victorinox Watches Review_Swiss Knife

Many folks are familiar with the Victorinox brand of watches but are surprised to learn that they’re the makers of the venerable Swiss Army Knife.

Victorinox is not exactly a forefront name when it comes to timepiece innovation. If you are a big fan of horology, Victorinox’s history will not be your cup of tea. However, it’s still interesting to know how a pocket knife maker turned into a respectable watchmaking brand.

After all, Victorinox has been around for more than 120 years. Therefore, history buffs and avid collectors will have a field day when looking at what this Swiss brand can offer, history-wise.

Victorinox Swiss Army is not just a Swiss brand, it’s a watchmaking company with a long and rich history.

Beautiful Rugged Designs

 

Victorinox watches are about as tough as they look (more on the toughness aspect later). Many of my Victorinox timepieces feature a rugged design which resonates well with me. Many of their designs are fairly simple but they do pack a lot of visual punch.

Despite the simple overall design, what really stands out to me is Victorinox’s attention to detail. It’s almost as if every facet of the watch is lovingly crafted. Victorinox timepieces boast great details, adding depth to the overall visual appeal. I love how clean and textured Victorinox watches are.

Plus, these watches really look like they could take a beating.

Excellent Toughness

 

Victorinox timepieces will last you a long time. The construction quality of these watches is on-point. These watches feel tight, robust, and gives off a high-quality feel. Speaking of quality, Victorinox watches generally are made from high-quality materials.

Even the low-end models come with solid stainless steel and coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal.

With that said, I would highly recommend Victorinox watches if you are looking for a daily beater timekeeping tool. Aside from the fact that they are durable, they also look good enough that you can wear them all the time. They’re not called all-terrain watches for nothing.

Good Value

Apart from a few luxury pieces, the core collections of Victorinox are mostly budget-friendly – at least as far as Swiss watches go. The most popular Victorinox pieces are available for less than $500. You can even find an entry-level model in Amazon that goes below $100.

As a result, getting a Victorinox watch is a good entry-level point into Swiss watches. There’s nothing amazing when it comes to internal features like movement but you’ll get a solid good watch nonetheless. Due to the great price point, Victorinox watches are also excellent gifts for people who don’t wear watches.

I gave my dad a Victorinox Swiss Army Maverick and he loved it.

Good Reputation

While checking out what Victorinox has to offer, the brand is already looking good. Victorinox is already a fairly known brand, even way before their days of manufacturing watches. I’ve owned several Victorinox Swiss knives, so I already know what to expect with their watches.

Having said that, Victorinox is a brand with an established history and legacy. You’re not exactly gambling with an obscure brand if you choose to go with Victorinox Swiss Army.

What We Don’t Love

Pedestrian Timekeeping Features

Victorinox Watches Review_Quartz Movement

If you are looking for pieces with expertly crafted mechanical movements, Victorinox is not the brand for you. Most if not all Victorinox models house a Swiss quartz movement which is about as low-end that you can get as far as movements go.

Don’t get me wrong, Victorinox watches are accurate, thanks to its reliable quartz movement. However, these watches don’t exactly pack advanced features that most modern watches have but that’s fine by me.

Don’t expect these watches to be marvels of horology.

Not Solely a Watch Maker

Although Victorinox has already proven itself in the watch industry, it’s hard to ignore that they’re exclusively a watch company. While it’s not that much of a problem for me, I know some people who won’t give this brand a chance just because they’re not solely a watchmaking company.

On the other hand, some people are also accusing Victorinox of diluting the brand by making other products aside from watches. They are already a respectable knife manufacturer. Many feel that the addition of other products like clothing, fragrance, and luggages diminishes the brand.

Best Victorinox Watches

This Victorinox watches review won’t be complete if we don’t highlight the best models this brand has to offer.

1. Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon

 

Most people have a Victorinox as their first pocket knife. The Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon is created in the same spirit as the famous Swiss Army knives.

The “tacticool” design is certainly a stand out, especially with the paracord strap. The strap adds a great deal of personality to the INOX – it looks amazing on-wrist. Whether you’re an outdoor person or the military type, the design of this watch will impress you.

The main draw of this model is the Carbon Composite material. This material makes the INOX highly durable but also hypoallergenic and lightweight. The case does have a “plastic” feel to it but that’s only due to the carbon material.

The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon is one of the best military watches and it has certainly earned that spot.

2. Victorinox 249087 Original XL

 

The Victorinox 249087 Original XL is the perfect entry-level option to this Swiss brand. During its release, it became quite popular which is why it re-imagined and relaunched.

The Victorinox 249087 Original XL is a no-nonsense analog watch with a simple dial and overall design. Sometimes, you just need a watch that works and the Original XL fills that requirement beautifully. The dial looks very readable with lumed hands and markers.

It comes with a nylon band which surprisingly feels comfortable. The durability is on-point, making it an excellent beater watch. Finally, the watch comes at a great price. Tremendous value!

3. Victorinox Maverick Chronograph

Now, for a high-end offering from Victorinox, we have the Victorinox Maverick Chronograph.

This watch stands out due to its classic, sophisticated look. It’s the type of watch that you can wear every day but dressy enough for gala events. Victorinox has managed to strike a balance between function and form. It’s a good-looking timepiece, especially with the beautiful gray dial and subdials.

It comes with a stainless steel bracelet which feels comfortable and secure. However, the entire watch does feel a bit heavy-handed but it’s not much of a big deal. Unfortunately, the snap-in clasp mechanism is flawed. The clasp is a chore to operate.

Lest we forget, the Victorinox Maverick Chronograph is a dive watch with a 10 ATM (100 m./330 ft.) water resistance rating. It’s not exactly one of the best dive watches that you can buy but it’s nevertheless a respectable effort from Victorinox.

Victorinox Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

Victorinox Watches Review_Featured

Let’s wrap up this Victorinox watches review with our recommendation.

Should you bother with Victorinox watches? Absolutely! The Swiss brand offers plenty of timepieces that are both great looking and functional. Victorinox watches won’t exactly blow anyone’s mind but they’re great entry-level options for the realm of Swiss watches. Ultimately, these watches are excellent value for the money.

Best Lume Watch

best lume watch

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night and try to check the time, only to realize that you can’t check the time without switching on the lights? Lume watches can help you. There are many of these illuminated watches on the market today and finding the best one is not easy. To help you, we have compiled this list of the best lume watches you can buy right now. The Luminox Navy Seal is our top pick lume watch.

 

It offers users an excellent combination of style, functionality, and value. If you are in a hurry, you can stop reading here and purchase the Luminox. If you are interested in other high-quality wristwatches on the market, do read on.

Our Top Pick – Luminox Navy Seal

This watch is our top pick because it offers a perfect combination of ruggedness, style, functionality, and value. Luminox designed it for night missions by Navy Seal teams. Luminox is known for the “always visible technology” found in its watches, and the Luminous Navy Seal watch is no exception. It is a military-grade wristwatch that sits comfortably on your wrist, beautifully designed, and importantly, offers readability at night

Impressive Design

The case of the watch is made of carbon-reinforced polymer; which ensures it is not only super-durable but also lightweight. The dial window is shatter-resistant, shock-absorbing, and can take a beating without a single scratch. It comes with a silicon-type 23mm rubber band that serves you whether wet or dry. The low magnetic signature found on the watch, something rarely found in watches of this type or at this price, is excellent for security personnel.

Illumination

Aside from all these features, what you are likely most interested in is the illumination the watch offers. The Luminox Navy Seal features Tritium illumination, which is arguably the best lume method. This feature ensures that the watch will light up non-stop for up to 25 years. We enjoyed using it in the dark as it was straightforward to read.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Overall, you will be hard-pressed to find a lume watch that offers functionality, looks excellent, and provides illumination in low-light conditions all at a reasonably affordable price. The only drawbacks we observed are the bands. The bands are not as durable as the rest of the watch, and it slips out of place.

Runner up – Ball Hydrocarbon AeroGMT

 

If you are looking for a big, bold, fun, and simply stunning timepiece, look no further than the AeroGMT from Ball. This watch comes at a rather hefty price too, indicated in the stunning appearance; there is no doubt that the envious stares it’ll get will make every penny worth it.

Stunning Design

The Ball Hydrocarbon AeroGMT is an exquisitely crafted wristwatch that keeps up to three time zones. The Hydrocarbon line of watches from Ball is often the best offerings from the company. Most of the models in the range come with the crown guard system proprietarily owned by Ball. Hence, the design is unlike anything you’ll see out there. The system ensures that the crown is fully screwed down, and is protected from bumps and damage. Although appearing big and bold, on wearing the wristwatch, you’ll discover it is not an especially big piece. At 42mm by 13.5mm, it is a reasonable size watch. Additionally, from 3 o’clock to 9, the bezel is red while it is black on the other half.

Tritium Illumination

The watch’s black dial features 43 tritium gas tubes that provide illumination even in low-light conditions. There are different colors for different time zones: orange-colored markers for 1-12 hour markers, green on bezel markers, and blue for the 3rd time zone.

Water Resistance

The AeroGMT is waterproof to up to 100 meters. While this is not as impressive as the 200-meter depth of our top pick, it ensures that you can go swimming without fear of ruining your relatively expensive wristwatch.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This wristwatch is a classy watch that screams high end. It looks and feels incredible. The size is comfortable, as well. Ensure your sleeves are not too tight as the watch might get in the way of formal wear.

Best Lume Watch for Women – Victorinox Dive Master 500

 

The Victorinox Dive Master 500 is a beautiful wristwatch that comes in an elegant design perfect for casual occasions or diving activities. If you are concerned about the illumination provided in low-light conditions, the Victorinox allays your fears by liberally applying lume to the dials of the watch.

Splendid Design

The Victorinox comes in a design that will enhance your appearance and complement any outfit in your closet. It features a 43mm stainless steel case complete with a crown at 3 o’clock. The rubber strap measures 18 mm and will hold the watch firmly to your wrist. Whether dry or wet, the strap remains comfortable as it can withstand adverse weather.

Water resistance

The watch displays splendid durability and water resistance. Although it looks dainty, it has some of the best water-resistance you will find on a lume watch. If you are a diver or enjoy engaging in aquatic activities, you will find the watch adequate for your needs. It has a whopping water-resistance of up to 500 meters.

Durable Dial Window

The window of this watch is of sapphire glass which makes it resistant to scratching. You can rest assured that the dial window will remain clear for long, allowing you to read the details on the watch without any hassles.

Illumination

If you are concerned about the lume on this watch, don’t be! The hands, indices, and even the dive bezel of the Victorinox have a liberal amount of Superluminova applied. Hence, whether at night or in the deep sea, you can easily read the face of the watch. Even the minutest amount of light charges the lume and will last for up to a day.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Victorinox is the best lume watch for women. With its stylish design and classy appearance, it is undoubtedly a lovely addition to your casual attire. When it comes to performance and illumination, we have no issues with this watch. The singular drawback is that you might not like the casual appearance and might opt for something a bit more serious-looking.

Best Budget Lume Watch – Citizen Men’s Promaster BN0151-09L

 

If you seek a good-looking watch at an affordable price, or you prefer quartz over an automatic, then our budget option will suit you right to the ground.

Design

The design on the Citizen Promaster is rather simple. The cylinder has lugs, the crown, and the crown guards stuck on. It is a versatile piece that can go well with casual wear. The watch doesn’t have any intricate designs on the body, a reflection of its budget status. Nevertheless, the polishing on the case is neat and consistent. Considering how much it costs, the overall finish is decent.

Comfort

The Citizen Promaster comes with a blue silicone strap that feels comfortable on the skin (at least on ours). Wearing it, we didn’t need any strap extenders or similar mechanisms. If you wish, you can switch the silicone diving band with any other band you sample. Since it comes with 20 mm lugs, you can always find straps to fit it. It is a lightweight watch that you can wear and even forget you are wearing a watch. With the 12mm thick profile, it looks sleek and charming. The 43mm diameter is relatively small, as well. 

Illumination

During our testing, we observed that the watch has all the markers generously filled with lume. Therefore, you can wake up at 3 AM and get a good read of the face of the watch. It requires exposure to sunlight, and we were delighted that after a brief exposure, it lasted for up to six hours.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The watch is an impressive timepiece. The only drawback is that as a budget watch, it doesn’t look as good as the other watches on this list.

Premium Pick – Rolex Submariner

 

This watch almost requires zero introductions. If you want a watch that will last for a long time and you have the cash, this is the watch for you.

Design and Build

The Submariner comes with the high-quality signature craftsmanship, and design Rolex is known for. It looks great no matter what you wear it on. We daresay it elevates your appearance no matter what you wear. Whether to a business meeting or a gala, or even something more casual, there is no place it wouldn’t fit.

Water resistance

The Rolex is a durable watch that can last for a lifetime. With regards to water resistance, it can survive up to 300 meters underwater.

Illumination

In the past, the lume used on Rolex watches was radium-based. While this lasted for a long time, it is dangerous to health. Today, Rolex has shifted to its proprietary lume, dubbed Chromalight. This compound is safe and glows blue rather than green. It provides splendid illumination in low-light conditions and lasts for a long time.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Rolex Submariner is a splendidly constructed, premium watch that will draw appreciative glances wherever you wear it to. Chromalight is innovative and delivers illumination even in low-light conditions. The only drawback we have is the price of the watch.

Final Words

From this review, you have seen some of the best lume watches available on the market. If you seek an affordable watch choose the Citizen Men’s Promaster.  The Victorinox Dive Master 500 is great for women, and our top pick the Luminox Navy Seal will please even the most critical of watch enthusiasts.

We hope you will use our review to choose the best lume watch for you.

Vostok Watches Review: Is This Russian Brand Any Good?

Vostok Watches Review Amphibia Model

Microbrands excite me because they offer a wide range of watches that are not just high-quality but feature unique designs as well. As of late, I’ve been getting into microbrands and some of the best microbrand watches I’ve seen are truly stellar.

Vostok isn’t exactly your typical microbrand since it has been around since the 1940s. Based on their track record, their watches have every right to be called classics.

 

Today, we have a Vostok watches review for you. We’ll talk about the history of the brand, its pros and cons, and the best watch models.

The History of Vostok Watches

Vostok Watches Review Amphibian

The Vostok Watch Makers, Inc. was founded back in 1942. This was made possible when one of the Moscow watch-making plants of the First Moscow Watch Factory was transferred to a small town called Chistopol. It’s interesting to note that the plants only made defense equipment during the war. However, once the war as ended, the company moved on to make mechanical watches.

However, the brand name “Vostok” was only used by the company in the 1960s. It was presumed that the name “Vostok” was derived from the Vostok space program. This is interesting because other soviet watches such as Poljot and Raketa are also named after space programs.

In 1965, the company was commissioned to be the official supplier of the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union. It was also the same year when the famous Komandirskie (“Commander’s”) watch was released. It wasn’t long before the creation of Amphibia, a stainless steel diving watch.

By the year 1980, the Vostok Watch Makers company was putting out 4.5 million watches a year.

At the turn of the 21st century, Vostok has tried its hand in making luxury watches for the more affluent customers. In the year 2004, they began supplying movements to the Koliz Company of Lithuania, the makers of the Vostok Europe brand.

In 2010, Vostok filed for bankruptcy and their official site became inaccessible. However, the company was restructured and resumed making watches and movements.

Vostok Watches Review: Pros and Cons

Are Vostok watches worth your time and money? We outline what we love and don’t love about this timepiece brand.

What We Love

Great Colorful History

Vostok Watches Review Amphibia

For a relatively unknown brand (at least in the U.S.), Vostok boasts a rich history. It’s not a brand that’s born out of a crowd-funding campaign (not a dig to crowd-funded watch brands), these watchmakers have a proper history and wartime heritage.

The company’s heyday was back in the 1960s and ’70s. Back in the days of the USSR, Vostok watches are some of the best timepieces that you can get.

Considering its rich history and being one of the most notable Russian brands, it’s a shame that it’s not more popular. But I guess that it’s good that they are still producing watches up to this day.

Original Designs

While the brand didn’t exactly spark a watch revolution, some of Vostok’s original designs are still respected.

A good example of this is the venerable Vostok Amphibia. The traditional way to build a dive watch is to manufacture the case, crown, and crystal – all with a static water resistance rating. The Amphibia’s design is different because the watch’s resistance actually improves as the pressure around it increases.

Central to this innovative design is Vostok’s caseback. Instead of the usual screw down caseback, Vostok utilizes a bayonet-style caseback with a threaded locking ring. Along with the large gasket, the watch can handle greater pressures as the depth increases.

For a more comprehensive explanation of Vostok’s design methodology, I highly recommend that you check out this post.

Daily Beater

Upon closer inspection, you can see that Vostok watches’ construction is different. The most obvious indicator of this is the crown. However, Vostok watches boast a solid feel that is comparable to some of the toughest G-Shock watches.

With that said, Vostok watches are excellent for daily wear. These are timepieces that you can wear without a care in the world – respectable beater watches indeed.

This brings us to the next point.

Budget-Friendly

When it comes to value for money, Vostok watches are hard to beat. Many people are calling them the G-shock of automatic watches.

And I tend to agree.

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this Vostok watches review, these timepieces are tough and rugged. For instance, my Amphibia has been with me for a long while and it’s still alive and kicking. Sure, it has plenty of wear-and-tear signs but it never stopped working.

It’s a good thing that Vostok timepieces won’t cost you an arm and leg. They’re not the best-looking watches out there but they’re high-performance and comfortable. Good value proposition.

What We Don’t Love

Quality Control Issues

When you purchase a Vostok watch and expect Rolex-esque quality control, you’re bound to be disappointed.

Despite the solid construction, many users are reporting about quality issues. For instance, one unit had a malfunctioning movement or downright inaccurate. Thus, you end up with a paperweight unless you have it serviced.

These inconsistencies seem to be quite common with all models of Vostok watches. If you can get a unit with a functioning movement, you’re in for a treat.

Not So Intuitive Design Elements

While Vostok had some pretty interesting design choices, not all of them is a home run.

One thing that I noted was the winding mechanism. I guess I was just spoiled with luxury watches but the winding mechanism of Vostok seems unintuitive and awkward. The crown is not that better too because it feels wobbly at times. Again, this can be attributed to the fact that Vostok watches have different construction than conventional watches.

Some of the design and construction elements do take a lot of getting used to.

Lack of Variety

If you love a brand that offers a wide range of watch models and designs, Vostok is not the brand for you.

At the top of my head, I can only name the Amphibian and Komandirskie when it comes to Vostok watches. Although both models offer many different iterations, the level of variety that I am looking for is just not there. I just wish that Vostok made more watches since they do cater to an interesting niche.

However, one can argue that having only a few models is a boon since choice paralysis becomes a non-issue. Coupled with Vostok watches’ affordable price tag, the level of entry for the brand is fairly low.

Best Vostok Watches

1. Vostok Amphibia Zissou

Movie and pop culture enthusiasts will recognize the Vostok Amphibia Zissou because it was worn by Bill Murray and the rest of Team Zissou in the quirky 2004 movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. For the uninitiated, the movie follows the story of the washed-up oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray).

Like the character Zissou, the Vostok Amphibia Zissou is a wonderfully quirky and budget-friendly dive watch. When I pulled it out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised at how good-looking it is. However, I was also taken aback at how small it is.

The nautical-themed dial is a winner in my book. The dial features a playful look without looking tacky. However, it does look flat and lacking in texture but that’s to be expected for a budget dive watch. The dial also features luminous markings but frankly, they’re quite poor.

The Vostok Amphibia Zissou is an excellent starting watch if you want to get your first mechanical model. I replaced mine with a NATO strap and it looks amazing.

2. Vostok Komandirskie

The Vostok Komandirskie (Командирские = “Commander”) is the shy big brother of the Vostok Amphibian. While it’s not as popular as the Amphibian, the Vostok Komandirskie boasts an interesting history and is well-loved by Russian watch collectors.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Komandirskie is its 24h dial. Instead of the usual 1-12 Arabic numerals, the dial features 2-24 numerals which is a unique design choice. In fact, this is the only watch I’ve seen that comes with a 24-hour dial.

Needless to say, it takes a lot of getting used to.

If you can get past the 24-hour dial, you have a pretty rugged and functional wristwatch. It does have some weird or downright unintuitive quirks like the bezel. Instead of the usual clicking action like with most watch bezels, the Komandirskie’s bezel rotates freely. I am just so used to the tactile feel of conventional bezels. Plus, it’s easy to adjust the bezel by accident.

Again, the Vostok Komandirskie is an excellent beater watch. Mine looks properly used with scratches and dings but still looks great.

3. Vostok Amphibia “Scuba Dude”

 

The Vostok Amphibia Scuba Dude is not exactly a new model for this list. However, it’s also different from the other Amphibia model featured earlier.

The main selling point of the Vostok Amphibia Scuba Dude is that it’s available in many different case designs. I got mine in Amphibia Blue and it came with the “420” case. It’s basically a round polished steel case with shortened lugs but no crown-guards. There’s also other case variants like the 090, 710, and the 110.

There’s quite a bit of thickness to the case and some may find it a bit tall as well. This seems to be the case if you opt for the NATO strap.

In addition, the design of the dial is also quirky but less so when compared to the Amphibia Zissou. The off-beat, retro-infused aesthetic is certainly something that many collectors will appreciate.

Being a dive watch, the Amphibia Scuba Dude can perform in depths of over 200 meters. With a sub $100 price, this watch is a steal.

Vostok Watches Review: Are They Any Good?

We end this Vostok watches review with our recommendation.

If you are looking for a luxury watch that nails every aspect of the design and features, then Vostok watches isn’t up your alley. However, if you’re in the market for a cheap but durable watch with an interesting history, you should check out what Vostok has to offer.

Ultimately, Vostok is just a solid watch brand and their watches should be worthy additions to any collection.