December 23, 2009

Longines HydroConquest Review


Longines HydroConquest Watch Review

  Longines is another well respected brand from the Swatch Group and this dive watch holds true to the reputation. The Hydroconquest (ref. L3.649.4.96.6) has a nice combination of brushed and polished finishes, with a rich blue dial. This dial has raised silver indices and numerals, filled with SuperLuminova. The ratcheted unidirectional bezel, has 0-60 elapsed time markers, with a lume dot (PIP) located at the 12 o’clock position. This bezel is also a combination of brushed and high polished finishes. These raised high polished tabs tend to not look so great if the watch is in regular rotation. Showing scuffs and scratches very easily. The Hydroconquest uses a nice Swiss automatic movement, the very reliable ETA 2824-2. This watch is rated to 300m of water resistance, plenty deep for most us desk divers! Not only is the watch ready for a good diving expedition, it’s also very versatile for day to day dress. W&R thinks of this as a dive and dress watch hybrid. Not really a great diving watch (minimal lume) and not a true dress watch. Ironically, this makes it a great everyday watch. 
Pros - Long history, great value

Considerations - For a dive watch would like to see more lume on the indices

Case Diameter: 41mm
CaseStainless Steel
BezelUnidirectional
DialRich Blue 
Crystal: Sapphire
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: 2824-2
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Water Resistant: 300M
Lug Width: 21mm

December 13, 2009

U-Boat Flightdeck CAS 50mm Review

U-Boat Flightdeck 50mm Watch Review


  The U-Boat Flightdeck CAS 50mm is one of U-boat’s more manageable watch sizes. The case comes in at 50mm and shows off the clean smooth lines of dial very well. The Flightdeck has a nice fit and finish and features a display back. The dial is black carbon fiber, with plenty of lume applied to the hands and numerals. There are three subdials, all powered by a Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement, with an approximate power reserve of 44 hours.
  Aesthetically, the watch has a nice balance, with the crown guard on the left side in usual U-Boat fashion. U-Boat is also stamped and bead blasted on the case side, impressive in touch viewed in person.  There is a date window at 9 o’clock, correct positioning in regards to the crown location. U-Boats are handcrafted in Italy, this is reflected in the MSRP.

Pros Unique, handcrafted

Considerations Water resistance, size

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 50mm
Strap: Leather 
Lug Width: 22mm 
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 44 hrs
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance: 100m

December 6, 2009

Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver 300M Review

Citizen Eco-Drive Diver 300M Watch Review

  Citizen is very well known for its Eco-Drive range of watches. The Citizen Eco-Drive Professional Diver 300M (ref # BN0070-09E) is another great example using this light powered technology. One of the first things you will notice about this watch is the wave pattern used on the dial, along with the large lumed indices. The yellow seconds hand, Diver’s 300M, and accent at the 12 o’clock position, add a nice visual contrast to the dial. It has a very soft integrated black rubber diver’s strap that is functional and comfortable.
  Now for the information that makes this Eco-Drive watch so impressive: 180 Day Power Reserve, no battery to change (ever!), 300M water resistance, screw-down crown, 44mm case diameter, 13mm thick, 5 Year Original Citizen US Warranty through an Authorized Dealer. All of this makes for one heck of an affordable dive watch.

Pros - Great value, 180 Day Power Reserve, 5 year US warranty from an AD

Consideration - Mineral crystal, integrated strap limits options for change

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Strap: Rubber 
Lug Width: 23mm 
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Mineral
Power Reserve: 180 hrs
Movement: Battery
Water Resistance: 300m

November 21, 2009

Victorinox Air Boss Mach 4 Review


   
Victorinox Swiss Army Air Boss Mach 4 Watch
  The Victorinox (Swiss Army) Air Boss Mach 4 is another sharp watch for 2009. One thing I really appreciate from Victorinox is that the dials are always very legible. They manage to put a lot of different features into their dials, while managing to keep the dial uncluttered visually. 
  The most distinctive feature of the new Mach 4 is the small seconds found on the 7 o’clock position. There is also an oversized crown at the 2 o’clock position that controls the inner rotating bezel, 60 minute counter. The watch uses a Unitas 6497 manual movement, housed in the 45mm case. I feel with the Air Boss using an inner bezel, the watch does not look as large as a watch with an external bezel at 45mm. It is an oversized watch, but it works very well. The Mach 4 has sapphire crystal, with an exhibition back. All of this is supported nicely on a brown leather strap.

Pros - Easy to read, unique seconds, sporty and dressy

Consideration - Lug width is not a standard size for other strap options

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Strap: Leather 
Lug Width: 23mm 
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 56 hrs
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance: 100m

November 8, 2009

Anonimo Opera Meccana Professionale 6000 Review



Anonimo Opera Meccana Professionale 6000 Watch Review
  Anonimo is a relatively young company founded in 1997. Anonimo is the Italian word for “anonymous”. The watch is about the personality of the wearer, not the company. 
  Anonimo Opera Meccana Professionale 6000 watch is also known as Model 6000. With the seductive dial and clean crisp flowing lines of the case this is a hard watch not to like. At the 4 o’clock position, the Opera Meccana has a locking system and an automatic helium expulsion valve. There is subtly placed magnified date window at the 3:30 position. Anonimo uses caliber ANONIMO 0.1.0, built off an ETA 2824-2. This is not a small watch coming in at 45mm, with domed sapphire crystal. The Professionale will take you deep, over 6000 feet should you need to go to that depth! If you get a chance to see Anonimo watches in person, you will be impressed with fit, finish, function, and innovation. 
  Only 250 made...All Anonimo’s are made in limited numbers.

Pros - Not common, build quality (fit/finish)

Consideration - No bracelet option, not inexpensive

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Strap: Rubber 
Lug Width: 24mm 
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 40hrs
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance: 2000m

November 7, 2009

Seiko Ananta Chronograph Review

Seiko Ananta Chronograph Watch
  The Seiko Ananta Chronograph has a lot of engineering behind this watch. Ananta is a Sanskrit word that means ‘the infinite’ and this is part of a collection that expresses Seiko’s dedication to infinite perfection. Katana is the ancient art of sword making, this watch pays homage to this history. The side of the watch case has the distinctive Katana curve, with the case back and lugs being forged from a single piece of steel.
  The Ananta uses the now well known Spring Drive technology, arguably the most accurate automatic movement produced today. Seiko uses specifically Caliber 8R28 featuring 28,800 vibrations per hour, 34 jewels, 292 parts, and a power reserve of 45 hours. There is a see through case back that displays the rotor, the rotor pays homage to the hand guard on a Katana sword. The case is 46mm, supported by a crocodile strap, with a three fold clasp and push button release. This watch is very well crafted and thought out. Seiko has raised the bar.

Pros - Spring Drive, easy to read, well thought out

Consideration - There might be some sticker “shock” potential to the casual Seiko owner, watch has a large wrist presence

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 46mm
Strap: Crocodile 
Lug Width: 24mm 
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 45hrs
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance: 100m

November 1, 2009

Rolex Submariner No Date 14060 Review

Rolex Submariner No Date 14060 Watch Review
  Let’s “dive” a little deeper into this lesser known dive watch and circle back. There are a number of reasons that make this the best watch for men. First, most realize that the Submariner is the most recognizable watch to the mass public, one reason being the magnifying cyclops on the crystal above the date. Because there is no date on this watch ref #14060, there is no cyclops. No cyclops means it will be a little less recognizable than it’s big brother (ref #16610). The no-date version still uses drilled lug holes, which has been abandoned by Rolex on other models. This brings a vintage feel to the watch, which many Rolex purists like. 
  It also happens to be one of the least expensive Rolex’s, not suggesting it is inexpensive though. Rolex uses their automatic 3130 movement, an in-house movement. This is a big deal, you will be hard pressed to find a true Swiss in-house movement at this price point. Most watches using an in-house movement start many thousands of dollars higher. Circling back, what you get for your hard earned money is a true classic, original design, uncluttered dial, versatile, in-house movement, robust watch that can be handed down for generations to come!

Pros - Iconic, timeless, rugged, classy, in-house movement

Consideration - If you like a date window, spend the extra $$$ to get ref# 16610

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Strap: Stainless Steel
Lug Width: 20mm 
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance: 300m

October 18, 2009

Breitling Avenger Seawolf Review

Breitling Avenger Seawolf Watch Watch Review

  The Breitling Avenger Seawolf mens watch is a serious hunk of steel. The Seawolf is built off of the Avenger platform and comes in with a staggering water resistance of 3000M/10,000ft! If you need to go that deep, this watch will get your there. Visually the Avenger Seawolf seems to do everything right. Fitted with the Professional II bracelet, big dial, large Arabic numerals, red accent on seconds hand, HEV, and a date window a 3 o’clock. The most difficult decision about this watch is deciding on a dial color, black, blue, yellow, or gray. 
  It is powered by Breitling’s Cal 17, built off an ETA 2824-2. C.O.S.C. certified movement with a 42 hour power reserve. All of this is housed in 44mm case with double AR coated sapphire crystal.

Pros - Great design, built like a tank, fantastic bracelet

Consideration - The watch has a large presence on the wrist

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Lug Width: 22mm 
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: 4 choices
Bracelet: Stainless Steel 
Movement: Auto
Water Resistance:3000m

October 11, 2009

Tissot T-Touch Expert Review


   
Tissot T-Touch Expert Watch Review
  The Tissot T-Touch Expert mens watch is quite possibly one of the best “tool watches” made. This watch is pure function and manages to be aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Let’s start with the manly features of T-Touch Expert. The expert has a Barometer, Altimeter, Compass, Chronograph, Alarm, and Thermometer. As the name suggest simply touch the crystal at the 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 o’clock positions to operate any of these functions. My favorite feature of the T-Touch is the compass, when engaged the minute hand swings freely functioning as the directional hand. Rounding out this tactile watch there is a Perpetual Calendar, Luminous hands, LCD backlight, and 2nd time zone. It is powered by a quartz battery, these features could never happen with a mechanical watch. The model pictured is the 43mm stainless steel version, with bidirectional rotating bezel and scratch resistant sapphire crystal. 
  Watches And Reviews is heavily geared around mechanical watches. Sometimes there is a watch that is not mechanical and is still a head turner. This is one such watch! So many functions packed into this watch, yet it does not come across busy. Well thought out and easy to read. Most of all the T-Touch Expert does what it is meant to do, function.

Pros - Functional, legible, more options than you will probably ever user 

Consideration - Would prefer a 22mm lug width to aesthetically support the case

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
Lug Width: 20mm 
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black Kevlar
Bracelet: Stainless Steel 
Movement: Quartz
Water Resistance:100m

September 26, 2009

Panerai PAM 00000 Zero Review

Panerai PAM 00 Zero Watch Review

The Panerai PAM 00000 mens watch is better know simply as the “Zero”, it is considered by many to be the “true” base model. This very simple watch by Officine Panerai stands alone in the Luminor family with it’s brother PAM 05 sharing the official logo on the face. Notably missing from this piece is a seconds hand, date window, it also uses a manual movement. This simplicity makes it is base model and draws Panerai fans (Paneristi) in like moths to a fire. No need to get hung up on if keeps COSC standard time, with out the seconds hand you will never know. The watch has a solid case back hiding the hand wound ETA 6497 that Panerai has tweaked and calls OP X. The lume on Zero is painted, not to be confused with Panerai’s sandwich dials. The glow of this lume fully charged is a sight to be seen. Considered to be an entry level watch into Panerai from a price point, it is the purist that love this watch the most. Entry level does not mean cheap, this watch will set you back 4K+ new. 

Pros - Fantastically simple, logo, lume, beautiful high polish

Considerations - Price point & scratching up that high polish would be torture!

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Bezel: Polished
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Leather
Movement: Manual OP X
Power Reserver: 56 hours
Water Resistant: 300m
Lug Width: 24mm

September 13, 2009

Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M Review

Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M Watch Review

The Omega Seamaster Ploprof mens watch has landed! This robust diver was originally released in the 70’s and now has been reborn in 2009. Still holding true to the original with some modern updating. Where did the name come from? The name PloProf derives from the French term PLOngeur PROFessionnel (Professional Diver). Obviously this is a very distinctive watch, especially the orange pusher at the 2 o’clock position. This pusher allows the wearer to safely rotate the bezel in either direction and lock it into position to avoid accidental movement. 
This new version will take you 4000ft under, with the help of the HEV located at the 4 o’clock position. Under the hood it is powered by Omega’s new calibre 8500, which has been given great reviews. It is offered on either a mesh bracelet or a rubber strap. Omega has one of the best mesh bracelets on the market, no brainer which one I would chose if I was in the market for this beast. The Ploprof case diameter is 55mm! This the largest watch in the Omega line up and has received a lot of attention in the watch world.

Pros - Great representation of the original, while adding modern touches, 8500 movement, extremely unique design.

Considerations - A beastly size, with a price to match

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 55mm
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: SS or Rubber
Lug Width: 24mm
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserve: 60hrs 
Water Resistant: 1200m

September 8, 2009

Omega Seamaster Professional Review

Omega Seamaster Professional Watch Review

The Omega Seamaster Pro / Professional (212.30.41.20.01.002) mens watch has been 007 Mr. James Bond’s watch of choice for the last few movies. This has no doubt brought added interest to this series from Omega. The good news is despite being in the “limelight” the watch is solid and not selling only because of Bond. The Seamaster is equipped with a HEV for all us “desk divers” with a water resistance of 1000ft for those who actually dive. The face has a very nice wave pattern with “Seamaster” colored red for an added touch of contrast. The Seamaster Pro is a chronometer, powered by the Omega 2500 Co-Axial movement. The face is protected by sapphire crystal and has a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The date wheel being black with white numerals, this flows nicely with the dial. Many companies go with a white wheel against a black face, which is not as aesthetically pleasing. Comes on a nice bracelet or rubber strap if you prefer.

Pros - Versatile watch, very accurate movement, nice fit and finish.

Considerations - If looking for something different, this might not be the watch.

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 41mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Stainless Steel
Lug Width: 20mm
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserve: 48 hrs 
Water Resistant: 300m

September 6, 2009

Luminox Tactical Navy SEAL Dive Review

Luminox Tactical Navy SEAL Watch Review
Luminox is not the typical brand that W&R does reviews on. It has a special place and deserves some acknowledgement. Luminox is an American success story. Luminox is known for its “Luminox Light Technology”, this is tritium gas filled tubes. Unlike Superluminova, it always glows 24/7! In 1994 Luminox was called upon by the US Navy SEALs to make an even tougher watch that could with stand their training and missions. 
A few generations later emerges the Luminox Tactical Navy SEAL Dive watch. This version now comes in a lightweight tactical version. The case, bezel, case back, and strap are black giving a nice stealth like appearance. The case and bezel are made of reinforced PC carbon fiber. This watch has a Swiss Quartz movement, mineral crystal, and comes on a black polyurethane strap.  

Pros - Tough watch, good enough for the US Navy SEALs!

Considerations - Mineral crystal scratches easily.

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Mineral
Dial: Black
Strap: Rubber
Lug Width: 24mm
Movement: Quartz 
Water Resistant: 100m

August 4, 2009

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Automatic Review

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Automatic Watch Review

The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind mens watch is one of my favorites by Hamilton, especially in this dial color (ivory). This time I want to jump right to the automatic movement first. The X-Wind uses a Valjoux 7750, this is amazing considering a price point under $1,500 (that’s before any discounts!). For those of you that enjoy knowing what is under the hood will appreciate this value. I can think of one particular watch which uses a Valjoux 7750, it has been slightly modified and retails for around $6,800! Getting back on track the ivory colored dial adds a real sense of class to this very versatile watch. There is a nice contrast between the brown leather strap accented with white stitching against the dial. Some of the many features include small black indices on outer dial, brushed stainless steel turning ruler black with black numbers/indices, analog day and date at the 9 o'clock position, polished stainless steel crowns and pushers, display back, and sapphire crystal. 

Pros - A lot of watch for money, nice size, display back, and versatile.

Considerations - This version is only offered on a leather strap.

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Ivory
Strap: Leather
Lug Width: 22mm
Movement: Automatic 
Water Resistant: 100m