Best Microbrand Watches: Fantastic Timepieces from Smaller Brands

These days, you’ll see a lot of smaller brands or “microbrands” put out by people who are passionate about the art of watchmaking.

These brands are not run by massive companies but instead by a single individual or a small team. If you want to learn more about microbrands, it’s highly recommended to check out our previous writeup about the best microbrand dive watches.

For today’s post, we take a look at the best microbrand watches that you can find in the market today.

Best Microbrand Watches

Key Features

Our Rating

Halios Seaforth 41mm steel-cased watch, 200m water resistance, Domed sapphire crystal, C3 SuperLuminova, GMT bezel, Miyota 90S5 movement, Beveled lugs ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Aevig Corvid Bauhaus influence, Bold mono spaced numbers, Swiss STP 1-11 movement, Water resistance up to 200 meters, Swiss Luminova, Pullup oiled leather strap ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Pantor Seahorse Miyota 9015 Japanese automatic movement, 316L stainless steel with brushed finish, Sapphire crystal, Swiss C3 SuperLumiNova, 24mm with 15pcs links separately and 6 step micro adjustment, 40 hours power reserve ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Farer Cobb 316L high grade stainless steel, Brushed bezel with polished edge, Matte night-sky blue dial, Super-LumiNova infill, Solid bronze straight crown, Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal, 10ATM water resistance ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Marchand Legacy High quality Japan Miyota 9015 movement, Carbon fiber dial, High grade stainless steel, 42mm diameter, 10 ATM (100M) water resistant ★ ★ ★ ★
Oak & Oscar Humboldt 40mm diameter, Stainless steel, Super-LumiNova BGW9 lume, Multiple bracelet options, Double-domed sapphire crystal with AR coating, Comes with a waxed canvas travel wallet ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Microbrand Watches

1. Halios Seaforth

Best Microbrand Watches Halios Seaforth

Halios is a brand that I have recently discovered and I must say that I am very impressed. This microbrand is known for its dive watches and its most famous offering is the Halios Seaforth.

Big Value Dive Watch

Halios and its flagship Seaforth diver watch have risen to fame on the internet. The brand is basically a one-man operation of Jason Lim out of Vancouver, Canada. It’s a passion project that attracted a lot of attention from the watch community.

It’s a good thing that Lim had an impeccable taste.

The Seaforth is a 41mm steel-cased watch that offers 200m of water resistance and protected with a domed sapphire crystal. If you are a fan of svelte minimal aesthetic, the Halios Seaforth warrants a well-deserved look from you.

Most of the heavy lifting is done by the dial and bezel. The combination of the brushed finish and expanding polished bevel on the lug adds up to an elegant but somehow still casual timepiece. The dial is a bit on the low-key side but that depends on your choice of dial.

The baton indices and matching hands are fitted with C3 SuperLuminova and are outlined in bold black. The dial really does have an undeniable charm that just puts a smile on my face.

The Halios Seaforth is an excellent dive watch that’s under $1,000. It’s a big value proposition that dive watch fans can’t afford to miss.

2. Aevig Corvid

Best Microbrand Watches Aevig Corvid

Aevig Corvid is another brand that recently came to my attention. If you are looking for a rugged field watch that offers no fuss, the Aevig Corvid comes highly recommended.

A Field Watch for Urban Warriors

Aevig has plenty of eye-catching timepieces in their stable but it’s the Aevig Corvid that really drawn my attention. Aevig describes the Corvid as a “no nonsense easy to read field watch” and I can only nod in agreement.

The Corvid is housed in a 40mm case which can be quite small by current standards. However, the watch has plenty of heft and its combined dimensions give the watch a substantial feel. The case is made from 316L stainless steel and it gets the job done of providing a solid feel to the watch.

I was not expecting much from the caseback but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a basic caseback but it has a block design which adds a great deal of character to the piece.

Of course, you can’t talk about this watch without mentioning the face. The dial reminds me of a vintage instrument panel found in early fighter planes. The dial features a metallic champagne color which adds more to the vintage look.

Moreover, the indices are all straight lines and topped with yellow orange circles for the hour hands. The dial looks clean and legible, and reminds me the best pilot watches out there. However, I was really thrown off with how the numbers are oriented.

Overall, the Aevig Corvid is elegant, simple, and offers good functionality.

3. Pantor Seahorse

Pantor is perhaps the oldest microbrand in this list. However, their track record continues to impress. The Pantor Seahorse is one of the best microband watches for the savvy diver.

A Dive Watch That Won’t Break the Bank

The Seahorse was released back in 2013 by the Hong Kong-based Pantor brand.

Just by looking at it, it’s quite clear that the Seahorse looks are inspired by the legendary Rolex Submariner. The watch’s face is in matte and is populated with circular and shield-shaped hour markers. The dial stands out for its simplicity and legibility. The overall design looks like it’s the illegitimate child of the Seiko Turtle.

The case is made from 316L surgical grade stainless steel with a brushed finish. One of the best design elements of the Seahorse is the recessed crown. This reminds me of the Girard-Perregaux Seahawk but with a less exaggerated approach.

Pro divers who are looking for an affordable dive watch that simply works will have a lot to like about the Seahorse. It is waterproof up to 1,000 meters and it even has extras like the automatic helium valve at 9H. The dial markers are lumed and they are sufficiently illuminated even when you are underwater.

The watch is powered by the reliable Miyota 9015 automatic movement which also helps in keeping the cost down. It’s hard to go wrong with a dive watch that offers great value and functionality.

4. Farer Cobb

Best Microbrand Watches Farer Cobb

Farer is a British microbrand company that offers Swiss-made timepieces. Even the most jaded watch snob has found it difficult to ignore what Farer has to offer. When it comes to the Farer lineup, the Farer Cobb mechanical watch is one of the standouts.

Microbrand Watch Luxury

Without a doubt, the Farer Cobb caught my eye because of its colorful aesthetic. When it comes to luxury watches, a healthy dose of colors would be viewed as experimental or avant-garde. It’s really not the case with Farer – a brand that doesn’t shy away from colors.

The Cobb is a watch with a striking blue dial. The shade is somewhat of a midnight blue which simply looks elegant. Then, your eyes move on to the subdials which are now aqua. Afterward, you notice the other colors like the yellow, red, and burnt orange.

Initially, this sounds like a mess on paper but Farer managed to nail all the design elements and colors without looking too garish. The execution is simply on-point.

The Cobb is a mechanical timepiece which happens to be a big step for the brand. The watch is powered with the ETA caliber 2894-2 movement which is more than a competent addition.

Lately, Farer has been knocking it out of the park with their offerings and the Cobb might just be my absolute favorite.

5. Marchand Legacy

Previously, microbrands mostly turned to crowdfunding platforms in order to have the money to get their passion project going. Most microbrands were funded via Kickstarter and that applies to the Marchand Watch Company. The Marchand Legacy is one of the many babies of crowdfunding.

Designed by Racers for Racers

Just by looking at the Marchand Legacy, you’ll know that it’s a racing-inspired watch. As if the iconic racing checkered flag on its face is not the biggest tell.

For starters, the case is made from high-grade stainless steel and the bezel is knurled but can’t be adjusted. It comes with a screw-down crown which is quite a surprise. The Legacy has a waterproof rating of 10ATM – not exactly a dive watch but it should be fine against the occasional splash.

The watch is powered by the Miyota 9015 movement which provides reliable timekeeping. In addition, the strap is also very high-quality and reminds me of a svelte leather racing car seat.

Last but not the least, the dial is obviously the star here and it’s interesting to note that it’s constructed with layers. The skeletonized minute hand is one of the most unique design elements of the Legacy. Of course, you can see that the center of the dial features a checkered flag in various colors.

To put it simply, the Marchand Legacy will have your hearts racing.

6. Oak & Oscar Humboldt

Best Microbrand Watches Oak & Oscar Humboldt

During the explosion of the microbrands, Chicago-based Oak & Oscar is one of the companies that made the watch folks stop and notice. The Oak & Oscar Humboldt is perhaps the best timepiece from the company and is worth including in this list of the best microbrand watches.

A Daily-Driver With a Story to Tell

Firstly, the Oak & Oscar Humboldt is a 40mm millimeter piece which means that it has medium thickness. I prefer to go with 42mm but for some reason, the Humboldt felt just right on the wrist.

The watch has a 20ATM water resistance rating which is a nice touch considering that it’s not even a dive watch. The rotating bezel is bi-directional and comes in handy for tracking an additional timezone. The dial is protected by a double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

The dial is actually a two-layer sandwich design which is an Oak & Oscar thing. Whether you get the watch in a blue or grey dial, you’ll end up with great-looking watch that you can wear almost everywhere. Night time use becomes possible with the Super-LumiNova BGW9 illumination. Also, the date window is located at the 6H which is another signature design element by the company.

Overall, the Humboldt is a distinct yet familiar effort from Oak & Oscar.

Microbrands Are Here to Stay

Thus, we’ve come to the end of our roundup of the best microbrand watches in the market.

Ultimately, the rise of microbrands excites many watch lovers.

As you can see, even independent companies can put out timepieces that are mind-blowingly good. Now, we’re not stuck with popular brands for our watch-collecting needs. After all, having more options is always a good thing.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: A Showdown of Two Very Similar Rolexes

Rolex GMT vs Submariner_Feat

When it comes to Rolex luxury sports watches, the Rolex GMT and Submariner are two of the most well-known models from Rolex’s lineup.

Many friends and loved ones have asked me about which Rolex timepieces to buy and many inquiries are about the Rolex GMT vs Submariner. At first glance, it’s easy to think that the GMT Master and Submariner is basically the same watch.

However, the devil is always in the details.

So for today’s head-to-head comparison, we are taking a closer look at the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex GMT Master II, and how they stack up against each other.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: Specs Comparison

For this head-to-head comparison, we’ll review the Rolex GMT Master II reference 116710 and the Rolex Submariner reference 116610.

But first, let us take a look at the key specs for both the GMT Master II and Submariner.

Model: Rolex GMT Master II Rolex Submariner
Reference #: 116710 116610
Model case: Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel Oyster, 40 mm, Oystersteel
Dial color: Black Black
Oyster architecture: Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
Material: Oystersteel Oystersteel
Bezel: Bidirectional rotatable 24-hour graduated bezel. Two-colour brown and black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, engraved numerals and graduations Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum
Winding crown: Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system Screw-down, Triplock triple waterproofness system
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet 300 meters / 1,000 feet
Movement: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Caliber: 3285, Manufacture Rolex 3135, Manufacture Rolex
Functions: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. 24-hour display. Second time zone with independent rapid-setting of the hour hand. Instantaneous date. Stop-seconds for precise time setting Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Oscillator: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring
Power reserve: 70 hours 48 hours
Bracelet: Oyster, flat three-piece links Oystersteel
Clasp: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: Head-to-Head Review

Design

In terms of design, no one will blame you if you think that both watches look very similar.

Both timepieces are housed in the 40mm diameter which is often referred to as the “super case.” The case features thicker lugs and crown guards which give off a bolder and chunkier appearance. Of course, both cases are done in 904L stainless steel (with the GMT receiving it a year later than the Submariner).

Both watches also come with the signature Oyster bracelet. However, the style of clasp and the polish are done differently on each of the watches. If you look closely, the GMT Master II bracelet’s center link features a high-gloss polish while the Submariner received a brushed satin finish for its bracelet.

Being a dive watch, Submariner gets the folding Oysterlock safety clasp with the proprietary Glidelock extension system. On the other hand, the GMT’s Oyster bracelet comes with a simple folding Oysterlock safety clasp with the Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link.

The bezel design is one of the key differences between the GMT Master II and Submariner. The Submariner is fitted with a 60-minute scale bezel which is used as a dive timer. On the flip side, the GMT Master features a 24-hour bezel for use in combination with the GMT hand.

Other models of the GMT also adds a splash of color which makes it more interesting for more people. I particularly enjoy the GMT model with the iconic Pepsi bezel. The Submariner has retained its iconic black dial over the years. However, the Submariner does have other color options like the vibrant green “The Hulk” Submariner.

Movement

Aside from a number of cosmetic differences, one of the most major differences between the GMT Master II and Submariner are their movements.

Rolex 3135 Movement

The reference 116610 Submariner is powered by the venerable Caliber 3135 movement which remained unchanged since 1988. The Caliber 3135 is a standard 3-hand automatic movement (hours, minutes, and seconds) with a date complication. Nothing much to say here but it’s a workhorse movement that gets the job done.

Rolex 3186 Movement

On the other hand, the reference 116710 GMT-Master II is fitted with the in-house Caliber 3186 movement. It also comes with a date complication and the hour hand can be adjusted independently. Like with all GMT Master models, the GMT Master II has a 4th GMT hand. This allows you to adjust the hour hand separately from the GMT hand.

As a result, GMT owners can simultaneously reference three time zones when used in combination with the watch’s rotating 24-hour bezel.

Both movements are COSC certified and run at +/- 2 seconds per day. In addition, both movements are equipped with Parachrom Bleu hairspring which protects the movement from magnetic fields and shocks. It’s also worth noting that the aesthetic of both movements is also fairly similar.

The power reserve of the GMT is far superior to the Submariner. The former boasts a 70-hour power reserve while the latter offers 48 hours of power reserve. This should not be an issue for most people but should you go on a weekend without wearing a watch, the difference in power reserve should show itself.

Functionality

When it comes to buying Rolex watches, you’re not really looking at your options with functionality in mind. As you can see, both the GMT and Submariner have their own uses.

However, just how do they stack up when it comes to day to day use?

For overall functionality, I reckon that the GMT Master II has the upper hand over the Submariner. The GMT function is just so robust and flexible that I can see myself using it more in daily life. From timing something while on the kitchen to deciding whether it’s time to call a loved one from another country, the GMT Master II can handle these tasks with little to no problem.

Sure, a smartphone is good enough for such tasks but there’s just something satisfying about looking down on your wrist to tell the time. With that said, jet-lagged travelers and jet-setters will have a lot to love about the GMT functions of the GMT Master II.

As for the Rolex Submariner, I can also time things but that’s about it. If I am a professional diver or someone who’s always near the water, the possibilities for the Submariner certainly do open up. After all, the Sub can handle depths to 300 meters. The Submariner’s water-resistance does add a great deal of ruggedness to the watch.

But alas, I’ll never come close to 300 meters of depth which means that the Submariner’s greatest asset is now moot. However, you really can’t underestimate the ruggedness and reliability of the Submariner for everyday use.

This feels like I’m grasping for straws here but the GMT Master II certainly has the upper hand when it comes to pure timepiece functionality.

Pricing

Looking at the price of the Submariner Date and the GMT Master II, they are about in the same price range. The GMT Master II is the pricier between the two but the price difference won’t be much of an issue – at least to an avid Rolex collector.

However, if the budget is tight and every dollar matters, the Submariner Date is the no-brainer option. It might be the less expensive watch between the two, it’s certainly not the inferior model. You will be getting your hands on a legendary timepiece that’s literally timeless. If you want, you may even opt for the more affordable standard Rolex Submariner, if you think you won’t miss the date aperture.

There’s more watch here than you can shake a stick at.

However, for pure functionality alone, the Rolex GMT Master II is hands down the better value for the money. This is especially true if you are always traveling abroad or simply want a watch with a GMT feature.

Rolex GMT vs Submariner: The Verdict

Rolex GMT vs Submariner_Feat

This concludes our Rolex GMT vs Submariner head-to-head review, so what’s the verdict?

From the design to the specs and features, you could swear that the Rolex GMT Master II and Rolex Submariner are essentially the same watch. However, as you can see, there are numerous key differences that set apart one from the other.

If you are giving me the choice between the Rolex Submariner or GMT Master II, I’ll have to give it to the GMT. Give me the Pepsi-bezeled GMT and all bets are off.

Don’t get me wrong though.

If you are an avid reader of WatchIdeas, you’ll know that I am the biggest fan of the Submariner. However, in this particular head-to-head comparison, the GMT edges out the black-dialed Rolex classic.

It is just that I think I’ll be able to use the GMT Master II in the spirit it was intended when compared to the Submariner. There’s just more watch that the GMT can offer more than the Sub. However, when it comes to the price, it’s really hard to go wrong with the Submariner and you won’t be missing much.

If you’re someone who’s having this conundrum, I’d say that it’s a good problem to have – but it’s also a very tricky choice. One has a GMT feature and a more complex movement while the other offers superior water resistance and ruggedness.

It’s really up to you to decide where you think your money is worth.

Best Women’s Watches Under 500: Luxury and Durable Affordable Watches

Best Women's Watches Under 500

Are you looking for one of the best women’s watches under 500 to gift to your mother, fiancée, friend or to own for yourself? Then you should consider the Michael Kors Darci Women’s Watch. This timepiece has a luxurious look with an elegant crystal set bezel. Furthermore, the watch offers water resistant to an acceptable depth.

 

Everyone loves a good women’s watch because it brings more than regular timekeeping. Yes, it offers elegance, sophistication, and water resistance wrapped in a durable package.

However, an impressive women’s timepiece might exceed the budget of the average consumer. As a result, the market is flooded with cheap knockoffs by watchmakers trying to profit from the lesser availability of affordable women’s watches. Having said this, it has become difficult to find a low priced watch with great features and durability.

Fortunately, we have done all the hard work for you and provided a sincere list of the best women’s watches under 500. Read on to get more details about these fantastic timepieces.

Best Affordable Women’s Watches Under $500

Michael Kors Darci Women’s Three Hand Wrist Watch

 

The popular luxury brand, Micheal Kors, makes an appearance on our list with its Darci Women’s Three Hand wristwatch. Combining elegance and durability all in one piece, this makes the watch an excellent investment for women. It also offers a price that can meet a $200 budget.

Affordable Elegant Timepiece

Like most amazing watches, the MK3298 has a slim profile while sporting lightweight features. With this in mind, you can wear the timepiece to work or at night without worrying about undue pressure on your wrist.

The MK3298 displays minimalism as it has a simple silver dial with raised gold-tone stick markers. A crystal set bezel surrounds the round watch face, thereby giving it a classic elegant look.

Sporting a 26mm gold-tone stainless steel case with mineral crystal, it can withstand the stress of regular use. Also, the watch has a gold-tone stainless steel bracelet that ends in a robust gold fold over clasp.

You can use the Darci Women’s watch in the shower or at the pool as it is water resistant up to 165ft. But it cannot be used for diving or snorkeling trips.

Opinions and Drawbacks

If you are looking for one of the best women’s watches under 500, the MK3298 should be on your shopping list. This timepiece will make a great accessory with any formal or casual outfit.

However, it has a battery that runs out within a short period. Also, the crystals on the bezel fall off in the long run, leaving behind a copper toned hole that makes the watch less attractive.

Citizen Women’s Eco-Drive Watch with Date, EW1544-53A

 

The Citizen Women’s two-tone Eco-Drive watch looks simple at first glance. This watch is durable and highly suitable for women in need of a timepiece that can handle tough conditions. It also has an impressive feature that keeps it running without a battery. What‘s even better is that it is one of the best women’s watches for aquatic activities like short dive and snorkeling.

Simple Durable Timepiece

Most Citizen Watches with great features comes at a high price above $500, but in this case, it is a lot different. No need to break the bank because, with a budget below $300, you can get this sturdy women’s watch. It has a stainless steel case of 26mm diameter that can fit any wrist size.

This simple design watch features a white dial with easy to read black hour markers. Its dial lies under a scratch resistant mineral crystals that protect it from dust. The calendar window at the 3.0 clock hand keeps you informed on the current date.

Its gold-tone bezel gives the watch an added beauty to complement your wears. It has a two-tone stainless steel bracelet that makes the watch looks beautiful on the wrist. Also, with its fold-over clasp, the Citizen Eco-drive is comfortable enough for women with a small or large wrist.

Like other Eco-drive watches, the Japanese quartz movement is fueled by any light to keep it running every day. This means there is no battery replacement required, thereby saving you more money in the long run.

 

Opinion & Drawbacks

This is a durable timepiece for women in need watches under $500.  The design is not too complex like most ladies watch, which makes it very easy to read and use. You can take your bath or a swim with this watch on your wrist without worries.

However, if you’re concern about dates, then this watch is not for you. The calendar window is too small to read, and you have to adjust the date settings more often for it to work correctly. Overall, it offers a simple style and high functionality for everyday use.

Seiko Women’s SUT068 Watch

 

Traditionally, Seiko has launched timepieces that impress consumers worldwide. One of such products is the Seiko Women’s SUTO68 watch that looks good on the feminine wrist.

Solar Powered Watch with Impressive Features

Like most watches on our list, the SUTO68 has a petite look which promises less weight than other models. Because of these features, this timepiece is comfortable to wear.

Although SEIKO offers a three-year warranty on the watch, the SUTO68 has a build that can outlive years of wear and tear. For instance, its Hardlex dial window is exceptionally resistant to knocks and scratches while its two-tone steel case back can withstand rust.

Seiko displays elegance on this watch by giving it a mother of Pearl dial surrounded with a diamond accented bezel. Also, the watch has gold-toned hands and hour markers.

If you purchase this dress watch, there is no need to get extra batteries. This is because the watch has a rechargeable battery that runs on solar power. You can top up the cell with either natural or artificial light.

Opinion and Drawbacks

It’s no surprise that the SUTO68 poses as one of the best women’s watches under 500. After all, its elegant dial looks dazzling while the solar powered battery prevents you from spending extra cash on extra batteries.

But the SUTO68 has some minor downsides. For instance, its diamonds are hardly noticeable while the bracelet is weaker than most Seiko models on the market.

Ladies’ Swarovski Crystal Crystalline Oval Rose Watch

 

For women that love everything fashion and beauty, the Ladies’ Swarovski Oval Rose watch is the perfect choice for you. On your wrist, this will make you look like a million bucks. Luxury at its peak as it looks beautiful and eye-catching even from a far distance. You won’t regret buying and wearing this timepiece to any big occasion such as weddings, cocktail and dinner parties.

Luxury and Beautiful Timepiece

The unique oval shape design makes it look stunning. Also, combined with its inner ring filled with over 1000 crystals, this watch is the ideal piece to add a touch of sparkle to your wrist. For added beauty, it has a rose gold plated stainless steel bracelet that secures the watch on your wrist comfortably.

The Ladies Oval Rose is built with rose gold stainless steel case, and it features a Swiss quartz movement.  Your eye will be drawn more often to the inner ring silver-tone dial with gold hands, and the swan logo at the 12-o’clock marker. Also, it boasts of applied index markers and rose gold accents on the 3, 9, and 6-hour marker.

Opinion and Drawbacks

This is a perfect fashion accessory for women who appreciate subtle elegance. With a sturdy build and water-resistant to a depth of 100-feet, you will certainly enjoy this watch for a more extended period.

The biggest drawback is that it is pricier than others on our list. It does not also feature a calendar window. And most importantly, you need to handle the watch with care because it is a bit dainty and delicate.

Overall, It is one of the best women’s watches under 500 with an incredibly beautiful design on our list.

Bulova Women’s 98P121 Highbridge Watch

 

Do you still feel that you can’t find the best women’s watch under 500? Then you should check out this exceptional item from Bulova which offers excellent features at a budget-friendly price.

Mother of Pearl Watch

Looking at this item, it’s certain that the fixed stainless steel bezel with a ceramic top will draw many compliments. A piece of mineral crystal protects its mother of pearl dial from damage and moisture while its hardened stainless steel and ceramic bracelet ensure secure placement. Overall, the Bulova Highbridge promises durability over an extended period.

One of the most beautiful parts of this timepiece is its mother of pearl dial. This feature houses silver toned luminous hands that sweep across eight diamond hour markers. At the three o-clock position lies a date display window.

Like most luxury women’s watches, this timepiece has a slim profile with lightweight features. With this being said, this timepiece is comfortable to wear on any occasion.

It offers water resistant up to a depth of 90-feet, meaning you can use it during light swimming. But we suggest that you leave the watch behind before you go for a dive in the ocean.

Opinion and Drawbacks

Bulova has always offered great watches and one example of such impressive products is the Bulova’s Women’s Highbridge Watch.

However, the ceramic plates on this watch usually chip easily, meaning the material cannot handle knocks. Furthermore, you might encounter some difficulty while setting the date because the knob is hard to pull out.

Victorinox Swiss Army Women’s Alliance Sport Watch

 

Although it’s a sport watch, this item from the Swiss brand has the look and specs that will rival most luxury timepieces. Luckily, it comes at an affordable price that makes it one of the best women’s watches under 500.

Sleek Sports Watch

Unlike most watches on our list, the Women’s Alliance Sport watch looks slightly bulky. However, it feels light and comfortable on the wrist.

The attractive black dial boasts of luminous silver-toned hands which allow you to read the watch in low lighting. Also, scratch resistant sapphire glass covers the dial while a black plated stainless steel bezel surrounds the crystal.

Its sturdy case back promises water resistant up to 330-feet while a polished steel bracelet offers added security. Overall, the watch can withstand swimming strokes without falling from your wrist or exhibiting rust.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The bracelet darkens the skin on the wrist, thereby making it a less than perfect timepiece for women. Also, you cannot see the hour markers in the dark because they do not contain luminous paint.

Nixon Kensington’ Women’s Watch

 

With its Japanese quartz movement coupled with an analog display, this timepiece will offer accurate timekeeping and luxury with ease. It even provides better features than most female watches within the same price range.

Bold Watch with Sturdy Build

Also known as the Kensingston A099, this item is not a regular sized women’s watch. It has a case back that measures at 37mm and a bright white dial which gives it a minimalistic look. Its engraved and printed markers bring additional charm.

A mineral crystal covers the impressive dial and protects it from damage. The glass is also scratch resistant. Under the rain, the A099 works perfectly. This comes as no surprise as it boasts of water resistant up to 165-feet.

Opinion and Drawbacks

The Nixon Kensington has some issues which might make you consider other options. First, the material is too light, raising questions of the durability of the metal. Next, the gold plating on the watch fades after prolonged use.

Final Thought on the Best Women’s Watches Under 500

A woman’s watch can be an additional accessory to complement every day’s wears, but we shouldn’t break the bank to get it. Hence, we believe our selected best women’s watches under 500 will serve your specific needs and meet your budget. Whether you need a fashion, luxury, or a short dive watch, we’ve got you covered.

Most Career women will surely love the Citizen Women’s two-tone Eco-Drive watch watch due to its classic and simple design. But if you want a luxury watch with extreme beauty, we suggest you opt for the Ladies’ Swarovski Oval Rose watch. Again, if both timepieces don’t match your style, you can check out other watches on the list that does.

History of Watches: From Sundials to Smartwatches

History of Watches - Sundial

When you think about it, watches have come a long way.

While watches are a common accessory and fashion statement nowadays, the same thing can’t be said around 100 years ago. Today, we go back in history and highlight the history of watches and how this invention became an integral part of modern life.

A Brief History of Watches – From Sundials to Smartwatches

1. Circa 3,500 B.C.

History of Watches - Sundial

  • The first sundial was invented. After observing the daylight and dark’s natural rhythm civilizations around the world devised a method to measure the flow of time. At first, calendars are used which then became instruments with increased precision.

2. 1400 – 1500

History of Watches - Fusee Clock
Da Vinci’s sketch of a fusee clock.
  • In 1485, Leonardo da Vinci sketched a fusee for a clock.
  • In 1504 to 1508, the clockmaker Peter Henlein has invented the first modern pocket watch. He is also known as the father of the modern clock and the entire watchmaking industry.
  • In the 1500s, early clock watches became popular and were fastened to clothing or worn around the neck like a necklace. The clock watches only had hour hands and they’re not very good for keeping the time. Therefore, they were more like a status symbol for the rich.

3. 1600 – 1700

History of Watches - Balance Spring

  • In 1657, the balance spring was invented by either Christiaan Huygens or Robert Hooke (it’s a long-running dispute). The balance spring significantly improved the accuracy of watches.
  • In 1675, King Charles II of England introduced the waistcoat. During this time, watches have been reformed to the pocket style in order to fit the waistcoat’s pockets.
  • Around 1680, English clockmaker Daniel Quare invented a repeating mechanism for watches. The mechanism repeats a ringing bell sound every quarter hour.
  • In 1680, the minute hand is introduced in Britain and in France in 1700. It’s worth noting that the minute hand was invented by Jost Burgi back in 1577.

4. 1700 – 1800

History of Watches - Lever Escapement
Lever escapement
  • In 1704, Jacob and Peter Debaufre along with Nicolas Facio pioneered the use of rubies for their watch movements.
  • The year 1759 saw the invention of the lever escapement, courtesy of Thomas Mudge. Then in 1785, the escapement was improved by Josiah Emery which is now used in modern watches.
  • Swiss watchmaker and one of the fathers of precision watchmaking Abraham Louis Perrelet invented the self-winding movement in 1780.

5. 1800 – 1900

History of Watches - Patek Philippe First Wristwatch
First Patek Philippe Wristwatch (1868)
  • The year 1848 became a landmark year because it was the year when Louis Brandt opened his own workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds. This Swiss city becomes the ground zero for a little-known watch company, Omega.
  • The year 1868 marks another historical milestone for the watchmaking industry. Of course, this is when Patek Philippe of Patek Philippe & Co. made the very first wristwatch. On top of that, the company also pioneered the chronograph, split-seconds hand, perpetual calendar, and minute repeater.
  • In 1876, the introduction of cheaper materials and industrialized manufacturing enabled watches to be mass-produced. This allowed regular workers to own watches as a practical possession than as a status symbol.
  • In 1880, Constant Girard of the Girard-Perregaux fame has developed a wristwatch concept for German naval officers. The order came directly from Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany which amounted to 2,000 units. This marks the first notable commercialization of wristwatches.
  • The year 1884 marked the time when Greenwich, England was officially declared as the zero meridian (GMT +0). This became the worldwide standard of time zones.

6. 1900 – 2000

History of Watches - Cartier Santos
The Cartier Santos
  • During the 1900s, a type of wristwatch called Wristlet was introduced. This product was geared towards women.  It is more of a passing fad than an actual, serious timepiece. The gentlemen, who typically carried pocket watches, dismissed this fad and was quoted that they would “sooner wear a skirt than wear a wristwatch.

Milestones

  • In 1904, aviation pioneer and Brazilian inventor Alberto Santos-Dumont worked with his friend Louis Cartier to devise a timepiece that will allow the former to time his flight performance while keeping both hands on the control. Cartier worked with his master watchmaker, Edmond Jaeger to create a prototype for the Santos wristwatch. This was the advent of the very first pilot watch, the Cartier Santos-Dumont.
  • In 1905, Visionary Hans Wilsdorf founded the Wilsdorf and Davis in London. Three years later, Wilsdorf opened an office in Switzerland which then started the Swiss luxury watch company, Rolex.
  • During the WWI, the importance of watches was highlighted. Delays must be avoided therefore, watches must be synchronized. Soldiers were given wristwatches called “trench watches” and housed pocket watch movements. These watches were large and bulky, and the crown is positioned at 12 o’clock. It looks pretty much like a pocket watch.
  • On January 3, 1957, the Hamilton Electric wristwatch by the Hamilton Watch Company has made its debut. It is the first ever battery-operated electric wristwatch and also the first model to never require winding.
  • In 1969, Seiko released the Seiko Quartz Astron (ref. 35SQ) which is the world’s first quartz movement powered watch. This kickstarted the rise of the quartz movement.
  • In 1972, Hamilton introduced the very first commercial electronic digital wristwatch, Pulsar. It first retailed for the pricey sum of $2,100 (roughly $12,000 today). However, as the 70s come to an end, digital watches were sold for $10 a piece.

7. 2000 – Present

History of Watches - Timex Data Link 150

  • In 1994, the Timex Data Link 150 was released and it’s one of the many watches with built-in database functionality. However, other watches had no useful way to transfer data to a more permanent medium like a computer. The Data Link 150 solved this by allowing the user to transfer information to and fro a computer via an optical sensor.
  • The year 2002 saw the introduction of the very first wristwatch with a built-in camera. That was the Casio Wrist Camera, which is capable of capturing 120-by-120-pixel photos in grayscale.
  • The Seiko E-Ink Watch, released in 2005, is another milestone for digital watches. It’s the first timepiece to utilize an e-ink display. Five years later, a new and improved model was released with an active matrix e-ink display. This allowed better clarity and added four shades of gray.
  • Many people thought that digital watches are going obsolete. since they can always check the time with their smartphones. However, Cupertino tech giant Apple proved them wrong with the release of the Apple Watch Series 1. The watch successfully merged fashion and function. It had the ability to sync the watch with an iOS device to send messages, display call information, monitor health statistics, and more. Since then, digital wristwatches have become more popular with consumers.

How Switzerland Came to Dominate Watchmaking?

History of Watches - Swiss Watch Industry

Many watch enthusiasts agree that nothing runs quite like a Swiss-made watch. You can’t really talk about the history of watches without touching upon Swiss watches. How did this small country become such a dominating force in the global watch industry?

Switzerland facts

  • The art of watchmaking is not even present in Switzerland until the 14th century. It was when the Huguenot refugees had set up shop in Geneva that started the whole thing. Records show that by the year 1554, there were watchmakers working in Geneva.
  • In 1601, the very first watchmaking guild was established in Geneva. At this point, Geneva watchmakers have established a reputation for making high-quality timepieces.
  • During the 19th century, the Swiss watchmaking industry grew considerably. By the year 1850, the Swiss were making over two million watches per year. England, the country’s main competitor, can only manage 200,000 watches annually.
  • Although American watches posed a threat to the Swiss, the country turned it around with the release of the Rolex Oyster, the world’s first waterproof watch. On top of the trademark Swiss innovation, the country managed to tip on the winning side.
  • During the 1970s, the Swiss watchmaking industry faced another threat in the form of the Japanese quartz watches. The quartz-powered watches were more accurate and not to mention, cheaper. The Swiss watchmaking industry crumbled under this pressure. However, over time, Nicolas Hayek founded Swatch and released their own quartz models.
  • Today, the Swiss watchmaking industry is once again feeling the pressure against tech giants like Apple. Apple managed to outsold Swiss watches with their own Apple Watch.

Top 10 Historically Significant Watches of All Time

1. Cartier Santos

Cartier Santos

The Cartier Santos is one of the first-ever wristwatches. Prior to the Santos, people have been pulling a pocket watch for checking the time. The Cartier Santos solved this problem and it ultimately revolutionized the world of watchmaking.

2. Rolex Submariner

Rolex SubMariner

When Rolex released “The Sub”, the watch industry hasn’t been the same since.

The Submariner was not released as a luxury item, it was intended to be a tool watch for professional divers. However, it became so popular that it earned cult status as a top-tier sports watch. The Submariner is the most popular model in Rolex’s lineup and for good reason.

3. Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is the first perpetual calendar chronograph. This watch was historically significant. It not only did track the date but also managed to measure small increments of time.

3. Omega Speedmaster

Omega Speedmaster

Also referred to as the “Moonwatch” or “Speedy”, the Omega Speedmaster took over the world by storm. It remains as one of the most famous watches in the world. It was originally designed to be used by race car drivers but it underwent rigorous NASA testing and became the first official timepiece of the agency. It’s the first timepiece ever to be worn on the surface of the moon.

4. Tissot Antimagnetique

Tissot Antimagnetique

The balance spring of a watch is very vulnerable to a magnetic field. Once it came in contact with magnets, the spring sticks to the watch and the timepiece runs faster than normal. Consequently, in 1930, Tissot introduced the Antimagnetique which earned the distinction as the world’s first mass-produced watch that’s protected from magnetic fields.

5. Cartier Tank

Cartier Tank

Introduced in 1918, the Cartier Tank is supposedly inspired by the silhouette of a World War I tank.

The Tank saw a very limited release back in 1919 with only a grand total of six units made. However, today it’s more accessible and remains a target for bootleggers.

6. Seiko Astron

Seiko Astron

Formerly known as the Seiko Quartz-Astron 35SQ, the Astron Wristwatch was the world’s first watch that comes with quartz movement. Seiko pulled up the curtains of Astron in Tokyo on December 25, 1969. This marked the beginning of the Quartz crisis and revolution.

7. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was everything a luxury timepiece was not supposed to be. Released in 1972, it was the very first luxury watch that’s made from stainless steel. The octagonal form and exposed crews have remained unchanged over the years.

8. Zenith El Primero

Zenith El Primero

When it comes to precision, the Zenith El Primero is certainly one of the top contenders.

The makers of the El Primero worked on the watch’s movement for a full seven years which is an incredible feat by itself. The movement is very complex and it beats at an impressive 36,000 vibrations per hour. This made it possible to have an accuracy of 1/10th of a second. The El Primero is still in production today.

9. Casio G-Shock

Casio G-Shock

The original Casio G-Shock was invented by Japanese engineer Kikuo Ibe out of the frustration from the fragility of most mechanical and quartz watches. He knew he had to make a watch that can withstand a great deal of punishment. The G-Shock is not a watch that you’ll hear from the mouth of a diehard mechanical watch enthusiast. But it’s a groundbreaking model nonetheless.

10. Swatch Quartz

Swatch

While it used to be an industry giant, the Swiss watch industry was in a bad shape during the 80s. Swiss watches were losing out to quartz watches in a big way.

In response, the Swiss responded with the Swatch. It is a relatively simple but innovative timepiece with only 51 parts. Consequently, the Swatch was a commercial success and it allowed the Swiss watch industry to catch a second wind.

Watches Have Come a Long Way

The art of watchmaking has a long and rich history. The legacy of timepieces will continue to become an integral part of our lives.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand some aspects of the history of watches.

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

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Featured

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a closer look!

Frederique Constant Worldtimer Review: At a Glance

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

Model:

Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture

Reference no.

FC-718NWM4H6

Movement:

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

Power reserve:

42 hours

Case material:

Stainless steel

Case diameter:

42 mm

Crown:

2-O-Rings crown

Crystal:

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

Height:

12.1 mm

Dial:

Navy, world map, applied white luminous indexes.

Strap:

Alligator Strap

First Impression

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Worldtimer Dial

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial

The Worldtimer dial is easily the star of this timepiece.

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

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

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial_2

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

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

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

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

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

Construction and Wearability

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Bracelet

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

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

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

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

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

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

Timekeeping

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

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

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

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

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Movement

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

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

Pricing

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Dial_3

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

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

Honestly, there is none!

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

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

Should You Get the Frederique Constant Worldtimer?

Fredrique Constant Worldtimer Review Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: A True Utilitarian Rolex Timepiece

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

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

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

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

Rolex Explorer 2 Review: At a Glance

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

Model:

Rolex Explorer II

Reference no.

216570

Model case:

Oyster, 42 mm, Oystersteel

Oyster architecture:

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

Material:

Oystersteel

Bezel:

Fixed, 24-hour graduated

Winding crown:

Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system

Crystal:

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

Movement:

Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding

Caliber:

3187, Manufacture Rolex

Precision:

-2/+2 sec/day, after casing

Functions:

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

Oscillator:

Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring

Winding:

Bidirectional self-winding via Perpetual rotor

Power reserve:

48 hours

Bracelet:

Oyster, flat three-piece links

Clasp:

Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link

Dial:

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

Certification:

Superlative Chronometer (COSC + Rolex certification after casing)

First Impression

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Polar White Dial

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

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

Rolex Explorer 2 Review Chromalight
Rolex Explorer II Chromalight

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

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

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

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

The Robust Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Oystersteel Bracelet

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

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

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

Timekeeping

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing

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

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

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

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

Should You Get the Rolex Explorer II?

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

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

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

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

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

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm Review

Review of Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 mm

With the rise of luxury-grade smartwatches, some watch-wearing aficionados have left behind decades of quintessential quality for smartphone compatibility. You won’t see those digital watches on my wrist, however, because I remain committed to the enhanced reliability and industry-leading durability built into my Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36. Here’s my Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm review.

 

I fully recommend this watch, secure in the knowledge that Rolex has decades of innovation that have gone into this model, starting back in 1926 with the first-ever water-proof watch. Those innovations carry on today with a heightened sense of aesthetic refinement, as exemplified by its simplified glow-in-the-dark watch face.

I wouldn’t make such a strong recommendation on brand alone. Over the years, I’ve always done my research before investing in such a mainstay of luxury fashion. Now, I’m passing on my research for the outstanding Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 to you so that you can fully appreciate what it feels like to receive a watch recommendation from a consummate expert.

There may be many fish in the sea, but when it comes to luxury watches, take my word for it: there is only one Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36.

Customer Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm Review

 “A classic starter watch” – Hodinkee, a leading online high-quality watch publication

“…a benchmark to which many others in the watch industry are measured.” – Business Insider

“…the very essence of a Rolex watch.” – The Jewelry Editor

Pros

  • Every model in collection built with durable, proprietary Oystersteel
  • An exceptionally reliable winding mechanism, certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute
  • Classic visual appeal mixed with modern innovations like glowing numerals
  • Waterproof up to 330 feet

Cons

  • Requires winding every two days (48 hours)
  • Lacks traditional Arabic numerals
  • Limited dial plate color selection palette

Enhanced Reliability

Even among luxury watches, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 places reliability at its core and works its essential functionality into every minute detail of the prime time-keeping mechanism. With a top-quality hairspring and an enhanced self-winding mechanism, I will gladly count on this watch when it comes to keeping precise time down to the second.

Its new and improved central time keeper is the reason for the model’s reliability. Equipped with a 3130 caliber self-winding mechanism, this Rolex Oyster is capable of keeping steady time well beyond the 48 hour power reserve if properly attended to.

Another key component to ensuring this model’s reliability is its Parachrom hairspring. This hairspring enhances the Perpetual 36’s ability to withstand shocks and significant temperature changes by serving as a kind of turtle shell for each precision cog within the timekeeper. This watch can handle all of those unexpected dangers and still ensure that you always have the time of day at hand (or at wrist, as the case may be).

Rolex’s long-standing commitment shines through at the heart of the Oyster Perpetual 36 as well, given that the 3130 caliber mechanism and Parachrom hairspring were developed and implemented in-house.

All of this tinkering in-house has paid off, with this model earning the COSC’s (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) “superlative chronometer” rating based upon its core functionality alone. The COSC hardly ever hands out this certification, so its presence on this model should stand as a testament to its reliability.

All of this attention to detail results in a precision rating of -2/+2 sec/day. By any measure, that is an exceptional amount of precision for a luxury watch. Among many other factors, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36’s enhanced reliability stands out as one of its top qualities.

Industry-leading Durability

As noted with the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36’s newly reinforced hairspring mechanism, this watch is surprisingly durable beyond the bounds of most fragile luxury watches. In fact, it’s almost become the norm that a luxury watch wearer must always move with caution for fear of damaging their wrist-bound jewelry. This Rolex watch really gives you a chance to break from that normative trepidation.

 

While gold and silver are traditionally known as the precious metals, this Rolex Oyster might give watch experts reason to add a new specialized metal to that list. Using Rolex’s own proprietary steel alloy – Oystersteel – this model is able to provide a scratch-resistant, tarnish-resistant body that won’t take on dents and nicks.

Though other Rolex watches offer Oystersteel as a material component, only the Perpetual 36 has truly mastered its implementation. And speaking of implementation, Oystersteel’s metallic cousins have seen implementations in a variety of pursuits beyond luxury goods. Aerospace and chemical industries are just two fields that have appreciated this steel family’s long-term ability to remain maximally resilient.

As might be expected, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36’s steel alloy construction brings with it a weighty drawback. Compared to more diminutive luxury watches, this model adds some noticeable weight to your wrist.

But as Cara Barrett at Hodinkee points out, this watch is “heavy without weighing your arm down.” Essentially, this watch’s weight can be considered the optimal middle point between a burden and a presence-less Walmart watch – weighty, but just enough to remind you that you are wearing a fine product made of high-grade steel and crystal.

A Sight to See – Even in the Dark

As with so many Rolex watches before it, the Oyster Perpetual 36 is a sight to behold. This model in particular finds a great middle point between minimalism and wearable contrast. Though the dial plate color selection options are limited, those available create perfect visual harmony with the refined silver color of the watch’s Oystersteel body.

Speaking of the watch body, the Perpetual 36 features a classic oyster-style bracelet band that many watch owners have come to appreciate for its style and comfort. Each 3-piece link – known as an Oyesterclasp – in the bracelet is set together to allow them to move seamlessly, which empowers you to wear this watch for days without discomfort.

In contemporary terms, I’ve been tempted to move away from analog watches many times in order to find a modern watch that can be read while out on a dark night in the city. That’s why when I learned that the Oyster Perpetual 36 features glow-in-the-dark index numerals, I simply knew it would be a quick favorite.

This faint glow isn’t a distraction either, more comparable to the (formerly radioactive) glow seen on watches worn by World War II pilots. Even now, my friends and associates are amazed to see an analog luxury watch that glows in this manner. As such, I never leave home for an evening out without my Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 on my wrist.

Minimalist Indexes – A Concern?

One concern some watch shoppers often profess is a dislike for minimalist Roman numeral indexes, as used on this watch. I cannot help but agree with these concerns, as I – a life-long glasses wearer – need all the extra visibility I can get when it comes to checking my watch. In truth, I believe that the addition of Arabic numerals would be the only thing that improves this watch in my eyes.

Altogether, this Rolex watch preserves what is effective and sporty about its core brand while still creating a contemporary niche for itself, thanks to its standout innovations. If performance and durability alone don’t sell you on the Perpetual 36, then I really believe its aesthetic appeal will do so.

A Luxury Price Tag

Perhaps the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36’s only considerable drawback is its price. For those accustomed to shopping in the luxury market, this will come as no surprise. But because of all of the innovation, performance, and durability described above, this model runs a steep price tag.

On the other side of the coin, though, this watch represents a worthwhile investment that may never need to be replaced. In fact, with its long-term reliability and resistance to degradation taken into account, you’ll very likely pass this watch down one day, to a son, daughter, or grandchild.

Also, price need not always be a distraction. In fact, some observers may even consider it an attraction. I won’t lie, I have at least once bragged about how much I’ve paid for a watch simply to demonstrate how I am personally committed to owning fine goods. Though being a braggart is not necessary with the Oyster Perpetual 36, you’ll certainly have good cause to point it out to companions when you wear it.

If price is an issue for you, though, you should definitely consider shopping around for the best available price. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is carried widely by many watch dealers, as well as by some local jewelers. If you have a favorite dealer, you should definitely give them a call in order to find the best possible price point for this must-have watch.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm Review Bottom Line

In total, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 is a fantastically-built, fantastically-performing luxury watch that I fully recommend. While I don’t often go out of my way to profess my precise watch preferences online, I really do believe that this watch, in particular, is worth the cost and the time needed to procure it.

While I do have many watches in my collection, I don’t expect them to stay with me forever. More importantly, my children aren’t expecting to keep my collection when I’m gone. But I hope to impress upon them how well I expect this Rolex watch to last, perhaps enough for one of them to one day wear it proudly.

This is all to say, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 is a watch worth wearing, time and again. From its classic oyster shell band to its precision internal components, you will be glad to add this watch to your wardrobe. I hope this Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36mm review has helped you learn about this terrific watch.

Datejust Vs Day Date: A Tale of Two Top-Shelf Rolex Classics

Datejust Vs Day Date Featured

If you are an avid reader of the blog, you’ll know we all love our Rolexes here. The main problem with the Rolex brand is that they have so many stellar timepieces that choosing one can be a daunting task. Today, we have another Rolex head-to-head with the Rolex Datejust vs Day Date.

Many people are stuck between the Datejust and Day Date since the ownership experience are fairly similar. To compare, one is a very popular Rolex timepiece and widely considered a timeless classic while the other is a watch that’s pretty much the embodiment of prestige.

We get where you’re coming from if you say you’re stuck between these two luxury timepieces. Fortunately for you, we are here to help.

Rolex Datejust Vs Day Date: Specs Comparison

First, let’s check out the key specs of both Datejust and Day Date.

Model: Rolex Datejust 41 Rolex Day Date 40
Reference #: 126333 228238
Model case: Oyster, 41 mm, Oystersteel Oyster, 40 mm
Dial color: Champagne White
Oyster architecture: Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown Monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown
Material: Yellow Rolesor 18 ct yellow gold
Bezel: Fluted Fluted
Winding crown: Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system Screw-down, Twinlock double waterproofness system
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Water Resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet 100 meters / 330 feet
Movement: Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Caliber: 3235, Manufacture Rolex 3255, Manufacture Rolex
Functions: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands. Instantaneous date with rapid setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting Centre hour, minute and seconds hands Instantaneous day and date in apertures, unrestricted rapid-setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Oscillator: Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring. High-performance Paraflex shock absorbers
Power reserve: 70 hours 70 hours
Bracelet: Jubilee, five-piece links President, semi-circular three-piece links
Clasp: Folding Oysterclasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link Concealed folding Crownclasp

Rolex Day Date 40 Review

For this head-to-head review, we’ll be taking a look at the Rolex Day-Date 40 reference no. 228238. The Day Date 40 is also commonly referred to as the “Rolex President.” The series includes other variants like the Everose gold 228235, 18ct white gold 228239, and the smooth bezel 950 platinum 228206.

However, for this review, we’ll be focusing on the 18ct yellow gold reference 228238.

Design

The Rolex Day Date was designed to merge both the design elements of a prestige timepiece and a functional sports watch. Interestingly, the Day Date isn’t exactly a popular item for sports watch collectors but I have to say that it more than succeeds as a prestige status timepiece.

Rolex has definitely upped their dial game with the Day Date 40. The new Day Date sports an array of elaborate dials and sophisticated technology. We’ve managed to get our hands on the model with the white dial and it’s truly a thing of beauty.

The hour markers are fitted with 18 ct gold which prevents tarnishing. Instead of the traditional Roman numeral dial, the Day Date 40 features luminous block markers. I prefer Roman numeral dials but for some reason, I don’t mind the block markers here. Additionally, the hour and minutes hands are in matchstick style and are also luminous.

The laser-etching technique is on-point and the sunray finish provides the much-needed sophistication and delightful nostalgia.

As with the older Day Date models, you’ll find the day aperture at 12 o’clock and the date aperture at 3 o’clock. The date aperture features the signature Cyclops lens which I have always been a fan of. The dial is bold and very easy to read. All in all, the Day Date 40 dial is another showcase of Rolex’s extreme attention to detail.

Construction and Wearability

This is a prestige timepiece through and through, a fact that’s very well demonstrated by the Day Date 40’s case. The model we reviewed features a fluted bezel. Take note that only the gold versions come with fluted bezels. If I am not mistaken, the platinum model comes with a smooth bezel.

The watch features the iconic Oyster case with a monobloc middle case, screw-down case back and winding crown. This provides the watch with a respectable waterproof rating of 100 meters. The dial is protected with a scratch-resistant sapphire that offers superior scratch protection.

You can’t really talk about the Day Date without mentioning the “President” bracelet.

Launched in 1956, the President bracelet is a staple design element of the Day-Date. The bracelet is made from solid gold or platinum, and it’s characterized by three semi-circular links which do a great job of making the watch very comfortable. That’s right, the Day-Date 40 looks and feels like a true luxury watch.

The bracelet is now fitted with ceramic inserts inside the links which adds durability and suppleness. An interesting detail is the concealed attachment under the bezel which adds up to a seamless, flowing design. The concealed folding Crownclasp reveals the hinged Rolex crown – a very nice touch.

Timekeeping

Perhaps the biggest update to the Day Date line is the new in-house movement: the Calibre 3255.

Datejust Vs Day Date Caliber 3255

The 3255 Caliber is not something that I would call a pretty movement and that is perfectly fine. The movement doesn’t have knock-your-socks-off finishing effects (hidden by a screw-down caseback) but it’s built to be a high-performance timekeeping machine. The more I look into it, the more I think that it’s a triumph of industrial design.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad-looking movement at all. In fact, it sports a distinguished lean-and-mean look that I personally enjoy.

As you might have guessed, the 3255 Caliber is COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute) certified. The -2 / +2 seconds per day precision is definitely here. The addition of the Parachrom Blue balance spring adds more durability to the movement.

Finally, the end result is a very efficient self-winding movement that’s more than capable of handling external forces. With a three-day power reserve, you have a very reliable timekeeping tool in your wrist.

Rolex Datejust 41 Review

For the other half of our Rolex Datejust Vs Day Date head-to-head, we are going in-depth with the super popular Rolex Datejust 41.

Design

Without a doubt, the Datejust is a long-standing classic within the Rolex stable. The Datejust has seen many updates over the years but its core design elements remain true to the original. Even with the release of the Datejust II, I found myself coming back to the original Datejust.

This is especially true when the Datejust 41 was released.

Undoubtedly, the Datejust 41 has all the makings of an iconic Rolex timepiece. You have the fluted bezel, the Cyclops lens, and the Oyster bracelet. We’ve got our hands on the reference 126333 model and I have to be honest that I am not the biggest fan of the champagne dial.

It’s a little too old-school for my taste.

If you want a more timeless design, the Datejust 41 reference 126300 is a solid option. In addition, the great thing about the Datejust 41 collection is the wide variety of dials to choose from including champagne, black, dark rhodium, slate, silver, blue, and white.

The hands and hour markers are treated with Rolex’s Chromalight display that ensures excellent visibility during low lighting conditions. Of course, there’s the Cyclops lens that magnifies the date aperture. It’s not an essential feature for most people but it’s sure a welcome one.

Construction and Wearability

The signature Oystersteel bracelet that comes with the Datejust 41 is always a treat. Additonally, there are also models that come with the five-piece link metal Jubilee bracelet.

Like the Day Date 40, the Datejust 41 also features a concealed attachment system found underneath the bezel. Again, this gives the watch with a seamless look. In addition, the folding Oysterclasp gets the job done for closing and opening the bracelet.

Fortunately, adjusting the watch is a cinch using the patented Easylink rapid extension system which allows you to adjust the bracelet by up to 5mm increments. This is such a welcome feature during hotter temperatures and you need to roll up your sleeves.

Durability-wise, the watch is made from Rolesor material which combines the 18 ct white gold with Oystersteel. On top of that, the dial is protected with scratch-resistant sapphire. To sum up, you can expect legendary Rolex durability and reliability with the Datejust 41.

Timekeeping

Datejust Vs Day Date Caliber 3235

The Datejust 41 collection runs on the in-house movement, the Caliber 3235.

The movement boasts the Chronergy escapement for better efficiency. With a power reserve of 70 hours, I have to say that it’s a powerhouse of a movement. Overall, the 3235 movement is a fine caliber with distinct bridges and gold-plated covers.

Unfortunately, it remains invisible to would-be admirers.

As with all Rolex timepieces, the 3235 movement is COSC certified with -2/+2 sec/day precision and done after casing. The blue Parachrom hairspring breathes inside the caliber and is made from niobium-zirconium-oxygen alloy. In addition, this spring is responsible for providing incredible resilience to the movement and protects the watch from temperature fluctuations to shocks.

Rolex Datejust Vs Day Date: The Verdict

Datejust Vs Day Date Featured

This concludes our Day Date vs Datejust comparison. So what’s my verdict?

As you can see, the Datejust 41 and Day Date 40 are fairly similar in terms of specs and features. Ownership experience is about the same as well. However, there are some distinct differences between the two especially when it comes to the design.

Alternatively, you could just read the dial and see Datejust or Day-Date.

For starters, the Day-Date 40 is a legacy timepiece that’s unlike any other. The collection represents the success and accomplishment of Rolex for over six decades. If you are looking to splurge for a prestige watch, the Day-Date 40 is made for you. After all, it’s a watch that was worn by presidents.

On the other hand, the Datejust is the second most popular Rolex model, next to the trusty Rolex Submariner. First, the wide variety of designs and models offer better accessibility and flexibility. As far as accessibility goes, the asking price is a lot less when compared to the Day-Date. In conclusion, if you’re looking for the more affordable option or looking to own your very first Rolex, the Datejust 41 is a no-brainer choice.

Sea Dweller vs Submariner: A Rolex Luxury Dive Watch Skirmish

Sea Dweller vs Submariner

If you are in the market for the best dive watches, you have your work cut out for you. When it comes to diving watches, it’s hard to go wrong with a Rolex. However, even when you decide to go for a Rolex dive watch, you’re not out of the woods yet. Many people find themselves choosing between the Rolex Sea Dweller vs Submariner.

Today, we’re going to pit the legendary Rolex Submariner against its brother from another mother, the Rolex Sea Dweller.

Both Rolexes are exceptional timepieces that are designed for aquatic activities. If you’re asking which one I prefer, I have to give it to the Submariner. It’s a legendary dive watch for a reason and I can wear the Submariner in just about every possible occasion.

When you’re stuck between a Submariner and Sea Dweller, it’s really a good problem to have. Let’s dive right in, pun intended.

Rolex Sea Dweller Review

 

As of this writing, Rolex has already announced the Sea Dweller 126603 which is the shiny, new 2019 version – basically the “luxe” version of Rolex’s middle durability dive watch.

However, for this review, we’re going to take a look at the Rolex Sea Dweller reference 116600. The Sea Dweller is well considered a true diving tool for professional divers. After all, it’s a dive watch that can go a whopping 4,000 feet underwater.

Design

Between 2009 and 2014, Rolex didn’t release a 40mm version of the Sea Dweller. However, the Swiss luxury watch did release the 44mm Sea-Dweller Deep Sea which offered an insane water resistance rating of 12,800 feet. Despite the unmatched water resistance, many collectors felt that it’s too large at 44mm and yearned for a contemporary Sea Dweller that followed the original design.

Then the Sea Dweller 116600 came.

The Rolex Sea Dweller 116600 is 40mm in diameter and features a slight-domed crystal. Just like the original, the 116600 doesn’t have the “cyclops” feature that magnifies the date window at 3 o’clock. The watch also comes with a helium escape valve on the side of the case at 9 o’clock. This design feature helps with enhancing water resistance and expelling helium gas during a saturation dive.

The 116600 keeps up with Rolex’s modern lineup with the addition of Cerachrom bezel and a Gildelock clasp.

Just by the looks alone, it’s clear that the Sea Dweller shares many design elements with the Rolex Submariner. Although the basic design of the Sea Dweller is more than 60 years old, it still looks like a modern timepiece. One reason for this is the bezel. The ceramic insert is now more scratch-resistant when compared to the easily marred aluminum insert.

I have always been a fan of Submariner’s dial so it’s not surprising that the Sea Dweller’s dial is also a winner in my book. The matte finish dial is the stuff dreams are made of. Shame about the lack of magnifier for the date aperture.

Construction and Wearability

As mentioned, the Sea Dweller can handle depths to 4,000 feet essentially making it a tough timepiece for all sorts of conditions. Although many Rolex users are only willing to go as deep as the kitchen sink with their watches on, it’s still nice to know that you have such a heavy-duty watch.

The addition of the Rolex Oyster bracelet and Glidelock extension system are some of the most noteworthy upgrades to this iteration of the Sea Dweller. Adjustability becomes a non-issue since you can adjust the watch from 2mm for up to 20mm increments. Since this is a dive model, you can extend the bracelet up to 26mm to make way for dive suits.

As you might expect, the bracelet feels supple and comfortable on the wrist. The addition of the 904L steel protects the watch from corrosion. It also comes with a Triplock crown with five insulators for keeping moisture away.

With that said, the Sea Dweller is built like an absolute rock and probably one of the most durable watches I’ve owned.

Timekeeping

The Dweller is powered by Rolex’s venerable 3135 movement. It’s worth noting that it’s the same movement found in the 116610 Submariner Date. The movement features a power reserve of 48 hours and comes with a Parachrom hairspring and COSC certification.

On a side note, the newer Sea Dweller models (126603, 126600) have received a movement update with the inclusion of the 3235 movement.

As for the 3135 movement that comes with the Sea Dweller, it’s the most successful and widely-used movement by Rolex. It’s simply a robust, accurate, and reliable movement. The 3135 is a faultless movement and I have no problems with it.

Rolex Submariner Review

Going head-to-head with the Sea Dweller is the ever-popular dive watch Rolex Submariner. The Submariner is a classic dive watch through and through, and depending on what you choose to believe, it’s the original dive watch ever released.

However, I’m not about to go into this watch’s rich history. Many others have done it before me. For this timepiece highlight, we’ll go with the Rolex Submariner reference 114060.

Design

The Rolex Submariner 114060 is a watch that went through several redesigns. With just a couple of subtle changes, Rolex has created another watch that made a profound impact on the industry.

The design of the 114060 harkens back to the design of the original models. The lack of the date aperture can be a deal-breaker for some people but I personally like this design choice. This makes the Submariner very simple to operate and adds an iconic and classic design.

Plus, not everyone likes the cyclops magnifier found in the Submariner date.

The unidirectional bezel comes with a ceramic insert. In contrast, previous Submariner models are equipped with aluminum inserts. This is good because ceramic inserts tend to be more scratch-resistant than aluminum ones. The bezel engravings add a great deal of detail and texture to the watch.

Of course, you can’t talk about the Submariner without mentioning the iconic black dial. The Sub’s black dial is a personal favorite of mine and it’s all here in its full glory. All of the markers are fitted with an 18K white gold frame which looks stunning and oozing with elegance. Legibility is also on-point, thanks to the larger and Chromalight-infused indices.

Construction and Wearability

Everyone forgets that the Submariner is also a dive watch and can handle up to 300 meters or 1,000 feet depth rating. However, when it comes to water resistance rating, the Sea Dweller vs Submariner is a no-brainer since the former can go down to 4,000 feet.

It’s more like a casual dive watch than a dedicated diving tool.

The crown is fitted with the Triplock waterproofness system which prevents moisture from finding its way inside the case. The middle case is made from 904L corrosive resistant steel which is a standard fair for Rolex timepieces. Like a good wine, the stainless steel case becomes even more beautiful over time.

The solid-link Oyster bracelet is stellar as always and I have no complaints as far as comfort goes. The bracelet comes with the Oysterlock safety clasp and glidelock extension system which make adjusting a breeze. Since you can adjust the bracelet by 2mm increments without needing a specialized device, finding a great fit is all too easy.

Timekeeping

Rolex 3130 Movement

The Rolex Submariner 114060 is equipped with Rolex’s Calibre 3130. This self-winding movement is a straightforward, time-only timekeeping feature that’s purely functional but exquisitely designed. It features a 48-hour power reserve and it’s COSC certified.

It might be a rudimentary movement but it’s a timekeeping solution on which Rolex built its legendary reputation.

The 3130 movement won’t blow anyone’s mind but many collectors will surely appreciate its reliability and robustness. The Submariner will keep running despite the occasional bumps and knocks.

Side by Side Comparison

Here’s a side by side comparison of the Sea Dweller vs Submariner.

Model: Rolex Submariner Rolex Sea Dweller
Series: Submariner Collection Sea-Dweller 4000
Reference #: 114060 116600
Case Material: Oystersteel Oystersteel
Dial Color: Black Black
Bracelet/Strap: Oyster, flat three-piece links Oyster, flat three-piece links
Clasp Type: Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Rolex Glidelock extension system
Movement: Self-Winding 3130, Manufacture Rolex Self-Winding 3135, Manufacture Rolex
Bezel: Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic, numerals and graduations coated in platinum Unidirectional rotatable 60-minute graduated, scratch-resistant Cerachrom insert in ceramic
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Water Resistance: 300 meters / 1,000 feet 4000 feet / 1220 meters
Case Diameter: 40 mm 40 mm
Case Thickness: 13 mm 14.8 mm

Sea Dweller vs Submariner: The Verdict

As you can see, the Sea Dweller and Submariner are obviously cut in the same cloth of superior Swiss craftsmanship. Both dive watches share a number of common features such as the Folding Oysterlock safety clasp, Triplock crown, 48-hour power reserve, and more.

However, there are also many key differences between the Sea Dweller 43 vs Submariner.

The Sea Dweller is like the Submariner but has been hitting the gym for quite some time. The former is a sportier and bulkier watch that focuses on pure utility. The 4,000 feet depth rating means that it’s the go-to piece for any serious divers. It’s a thicker piece than the Submariner but it has more elegant lugs. The Sea Dweller doesn’t have a mainstream appeal and that’s perfectly fine.

On the other hand, you have the Submariner which is possibly the most immediately identifiable timepiece ever made. The Submariner is available in many different sizes and models. Everything about the Submariner is just so well-done and it’s a highly-accessible watch. It’s no wonder that it’s the most popular introductory model to the Rolex brand. Plus, if budget is an issue, the Submariner is certainly the cheaper choice.

Choosing between the Sea Dweller vs Submariner is not the worst problem to have. This is one of those cases where it’s impossible to make the wrong choice. The choice depends on what you need from a luxury dive watch.

Hublot Classic Fusion Review: An In-Depth Look at the Classic Fusion Titanium 45mm

Hublot Classic Fusion Review Featured

Hublot – talk about a brand that aims high.

It’s a brand that isn’t afraid to experiment, which allowed Hublot to create watches that really push the limits of the excessive and avant-garde. There’s a good chance that you’ve seen your favorite athletes and celebrities wearing a Hublot timepiece.

With the Hublot Classic Fusion, the Swiss luxury watchmaker has created a truly timeless collection that just keeps on giving.

I am very excited about today’s review because we have a truly classic watch for you. For this Hublot Classic Fusion review, we dive deep into the Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium 45mm.

Hublot Classic Fusion Review: At a Glance

The Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm Titanium is perhaps the best entry-level watch to consider if you’re looking to get your very first Hublot.

Let’s first take a look at the key specs and features of the watch:

Model:

Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm Titanium

Reference:

511.NX.1171.LR

Case size:

45 mm

Case:

Polished and Satin-finished Titanium

Bezel:

Vertical Satin-finished Titanium with 6 H-shaped Titanium Screws

Available sizes:

42-38-33 mm

Crystal:

Sapphire with Anti-reflective Treatment

Dial:

Mat Black Dial, Satin-finished Rhodium-plated Appliques, Polished Rhodium-plated Hands
Strap: Black Rubber and Alligator Straps

Clasp:

Stainless Steel Deployant Buckle Clasp

Movement:

HUB1112, Self-winding Movement

Power reserve:

42 Hours

Water resistance:

50m or 5 ATM

First Impression

Prior to the Classic Fusion, my only exposure with Hublot is with the Big Bang which was so popular back in 2005 that it brought the ailing brand back to life. While I do think that the Hublot Big Bang is a feat in watchmaking, its busy and bold aesthetic is not for me.

The release of the Classic Fusion changed all that.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium looks more demure and contemporary when compared to the Big Bang. I got some homework done and it’s clear that Hublot drew some inspiration from their early watches from the 1980s. At 45mm and with just a simple date window, it’s about as straightforward as you can get with a Hublot timepiece.

Unboxing the Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium was such a pleasure. I have had watches that have a more premium price point than this model but this packaging blows them out of the water. The attention to detail is astounding and it even comes with USB authentication and you can register the watch over at Hublostista.com.

As for the watch itself, the no-nonsense approach is what makes it so interesting. Although it’s indeed a subtle and softer Hublot, the Classic Fusion Titanium is clearly a well-made watch. The 45mm wide case has me worried but it’s really not that bad unless you have a smaller wrist.

The simple crown and muted matte black dial add a great deal to the premium feel of the timepiece. The “H” screws on the bezel provide the much-needed Hublot hallmark.

Simplicity is where it’s at, and the Classic Fusion Titanium does a fine job without looking too plain and dull.

Case: Size and Construction

 

 

As I have mentioned, the 45mm wide case is usually at the higher spectrum of my comfort zone. However, one thing that I really like about the Classic Fusion Titanium is its slimness. Actually, I think Hublot did a great job with setting the slimness against the wide case of the watch. If you think 45mm isn’t for you, the Titanium is also available in three other sizes: 42-38-33 mm.

The polished titanium case looks great and I was surprised that it even looks better in person. The case gives that refined look which is a nice surprise coming from a brand that tends to go for louder design choices. The six H screws significantly help in achieving that trademark Hublot brand look. While the unaligned screws may annoy some people, I enjoyed the fact that they are not evenly aligned.

The imperfect placement of the screws adds a great deal of personality to the piece. The faceted lugs along with the porthole aesthetic complete the overall look of the Titanium. The mix of polish and vertical brush finishes keep things interesting. The transparent caseback shows the beautiful movement which is always something I enjoy.

One complaint that I have is with the watch’s ability to ward off scratches and cuffs. Although Hublot claimed that they used grade 6 titanium, I was surprised that it already has tiny scuffs on the bezel only after a few hours of wear. It’s hardly a big deal but it can be a deal-breaker for some collectors.

Dial: Simplicity is Its Strength

I’ve been going about how simple the Titanium is but that doesn’t mean that it’s not stylish at all. On the contrary, this is one good-looking timepiece.

The black dial with the satin finish gives us the best of both worlds of being elegant and sporty. The dial throws light all over the place and is further enhanced by the Rhodium-plated hands and appliqués – both design elements are polished and faceted.

At 12 o’clock you will see both Hublot logos and the date window sits at 3 o’clock. The stylized Automatic label is positioned at 6 o’clock. Again, these elements are all basic and nothing to write home about but they are all well-done and symmetrical. You got to love those clean lines.

If you are looking for a similar watch with more pizzazz to it, the pricier Hublot Classic Fusion Power Reserve Titanium is certainly worth the look.

One thing that I really appreciate about the dial is its rich texture. This is where Hublot’s attention to detail pays off. From the hour markers to the hands, everything about the dial just screams textured – it’s oddly satisfying.

The dial is far from perfect though. My main issue with the Titanium is legibility. When it’s bright out, the watch suffers from legibility issues. In low light conditions, you’ll wish that the hands and hour markers are lumed for increased legibility.

Movement: Gets the Job Done

Hublot Classic Fusion Review Movement

The Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium is powered by the self-winding movement HUB1112. It’s interesting to note that this movement is based on the automatic Sellita caliber SW300-1 movement which is also used in brands like Baume et Mercier and Bell and Ross pilot watches.

While the Classic Fusion uses a derivative movement, there’s nothing to be concerned about since the Sellita has been proven to be accurate and reliable. Hublot succeeds in finishing the movement to their own standards and even added their own in-house date module (only the 45mm version).

The lack of a pure in-house movement doesn’t really bother me personally. Keep in mind that the Titanium is an entry-level model. With that said, even the staunchest movement snob will begrudgingly agree that the Sellita is a rock solid movement.

Wearability: Undeniable Wrist Presence

 

 

The Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium comes in two types of bracelet: the alligator strap and rubber strap which is fondly referred to as “gummy strap.” Surprisingly, the strap is one of my most favorite things about this Classic Fusion package.

The rubber-backed alligator strap is my go-to for dressier events. The leather is sewn into the rubber lining which not only adds to the overall appeal of the watch, it’s quite comfortable as well. I was expecting some stiffness from the strap but I was pleasantly surprised.

For my daily wear, the rubber strap works great especially when you’re shooting for a sportier look. Both straps are very easy to adjust. The addition of the Hublot logo at the buckle is another detail that I enjoy. I have to applaud Hublot for paying great attention to detail to the straps.

It really feels like you’re wearing a premium timepiece.

Many people are saying that Hublot does wrist presence well. I am happy to confirm that particular feedback on account of personal experience. I have lost count of the number of compliments I’ve received while wearing the Titanium. It’s indeed a watch that you can easily wear in a variety of settings.

It’s just a good-looking, stylish piece through and through.

Pricing

As mentioned several times in this review, the Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium is an entry-level model. With that said, I think Hublot nailed the pricing for the Titanium.

If you are looking to give Hublot a well-deserved try, the Titanium is the perfect gateway piece. If you don’t fancy the black dial, the Classic Fusion Titanium Opalin and Classic Fusion Blue Titanium are good alternatives.

In comparison, the limited editions and high-end models of the Classic Fusion are easily triple or quadruple the vanilla Titanium. For instance, the Classic Fusion Chronograph Rose Gold and Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski are excellent considerations for serious collectors.

So you might be asking, for the price, will you get the full Hublot experience with the Titanium? I would say yes! From the look and feel, the Titanium boasts the pure Hublot DNA.

Should You Get the Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium?

To end this Hublot Classic Fusion review, we ask if this watch is worth the investment.

While it looks like the Classic Fusion is essentially a stripped-down version of the Big Bang, this is not the case at all. Hublot took the core of what makes the Big Bang and condensed it into a softer and more subtle package. It’s elegant and sporty at the same time, and housed in a contemporary slim case.

It has its fair share of drawbacks and it’s mainly with the legibility of the piece. Honestly, for a luxury watch, you’d be hard-pressed to find any serious issue with the watch.

Hopefully, this Hublot Classic Fusion review has helped you decide if the Titanium is a good entry-level option to the Hublot brand.