April 29, 2009

Bell And Ross BR 02 Review

Bell And Ross BR 02 Watch
The Bell & Ross BR-02 Watch is available in many different options making the choice even more difficult if you are in the market for one of these bad boys. One of the great features of this dive watch is the internal rotating locking bezel, it locks when bezel crown is screwed down. The dial, hands, and helium release valve have nice orange accents. The watch comes on rubber strap and is provided with a nylon strap as well. The rubber strap is more comfortable than that of the strap on the BR-01/BR-03 series in my opinion.  The watch is 1000m WR and uses an ETA 2892 automatic movement.
Pros - Bell & Ross has been making a big splash in the watch market the couple years and watches like this will keep them relevant.
Consideration - No bracelet is offered if this is a desire.
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Automatic 
Power Reserver: 40 hours
Water Resistant: 1000m
Lug Width: 22mm

April 27, 2009

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic Review

JLC Master Compressor Diving Watch

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic (long enough name!) watch is a Swiss masterpiece. Among it’s many features is the depth gauge, power reserve indicator, date, and second time zone, and a beautiful in-house automatic Jaeger LeCoultre Caliber 979 movement. If you can afford this diver, you other watches will probably get very minimal wrist time. This definitely qualifies as the “Grail” watch for many divers.

Pros - It is a JLC (Jaeger LeCoultre), in-house movement, will not see this everyday on the street if ever, fantastic piece of art and watch craftsmanship.

Consideration - Size

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 46mm
Crown: Screw Down 
Bezel - Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Steel
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 48 hours
Water Resistant: 300m
Lug Width: 22mm

April 24, 2009

Seiko Orange Monster SKX781 Review

Seiko Orange Monster SKX781 Watch Review


The Seiko Orange Monster has a “cult” like following, do in part to the amount of watch you get for the money. The watch uses a Asian 7S26 automatic movement, again an automatic watch for less money (not comparable to Swiss other than it is an auto). It has a Day/Date function with a magnifying window, which some prefer. I like the simplicity of just the date, I usually know what day it is. It is water resistant to 200m and uses a Unidirectional rotating elapsed time bezel. It is well constructed and has great bracelet with a double locking clasp, diver’s extension, and solid end links (SEL).

Pros - A lot of watch for the money, for the price point it is well constructed, nice bracelet, and great lume.

Considerations - I am not a fan of Hardlex Mineral Crystal, the crystal will scratch much easier than Sapphire. I learned this lesson long ago, Sapphire or nothing for me.

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm 
Crown: Screw Down 
Bezel - Unidirectional
Crystal: Hardlex (Mineral)
Dial: Orange
Bracelet: Steel or Rubber
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 40 hours
Water Resistant: 200m
Lug Width: 20mm

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Review

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Watch


The Omega Planet Ocean watch has a much more contemporary feel to it than that of previous Seamaster’s . This watch has so many variations it would be hard to pick one, two different sizes (42mm/45.5mm), two different bezel colors (black/orange), and different hour marker options, bracelet or a couple different straps...Wow. Once you have decided this, you will have one heck of a dive watch. There is helium release valve at the 10 o’clock position and is water resistant to 600m (2000ft). The automatic movement is Omega’s caliber 2500 built of an ETA 2892-A2 with 27 jewels, co-axial escapement, power reserve 48 hours, and is a certified chronometer (C.O.S.C.). The bezel teeth are different on the 42mm vs 45.5mm, I prefer the larger teeth aesthetically and functionally on the 45.5mm version.

Pros - Great dive/tool watch, bracelet is very well constructed, easy to read, lots of options on design, C.O.S.C. certified

Considerations - The bracelet lacks a micro-adjustment. If you are in between links on sizing, you can not “fine tune” the bracelet to your fit liking.


Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm/45.5mm
Crown: Screw Down 
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: AR Coated Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Steel
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 48 hours
Water Resistant: 600m
Lug Width: 22mm

April 22, 2009

Kobold Soarway Diver Seal Review

Kobold Soarway Diver Seal Watch


The Kobold Soarway Diver SEAL is one of the most talked about Kobold watches. Known for it’s rugged and reliable features, this is also in part because the Seal uses two shock resistant systems INCABLOC and SAS. SAS acts as a back-up system that protects the movement against extremely strong shocks. It was designed with divers in mind with 3,300 feet of water resistance and a helium escape valve. The watch uses an automatic movement utilizing the ETA 2824-A2. Comes in a nice presentation box and is American made out of Pittsburgh, PA.
Pros - American made, tough, rugged, and meant to be worn!
Considerations - overall height 17.75mm
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm 
Bezel - Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Calfskin 
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 40 hours
Water Resistant: 3,300ft
Lug Width: 22mm

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Review

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Watch


The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Diver's stainless steel watch features a black dial, luminous hour markers, a sweep second, a date display at 5 o'clock, and a black 60-minute unidirectional bezel in a 45mm case on a black synthetic strap. The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Diver's watch also features an automatic in-house caliber 1315 movement, a 120 hour power reserve! The bezel is stunning and best seen in person to appreciate . This watch is water resistant to 300 meters.
Pros - The power reserve, a must see in person, in-house movement, rich history, did I mention the power reserve!
Considerations - When would you have time to wear your other watches! A must see in person.
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Synthetic
Movement: automatic 1315
Movement Jewels - 35
Power Reserver: 120 hours
Water Resistant: 300m
Lug Width: 22mm

April 21, 2009

Fortis IQ Art Edition LE Review

Fortis IQ Limited Edition Watch


The Fortis IQ has a dark green face to resemble a blackboard, the numerals are stylized to look like chalk marks. The watch is PVD coated and comes on a leather strap. This is very “out of the box” concept by Fortis who are no strangers to unique concept watches. This is a limited run of 999 total pieces and comes in around $1,500 MSRP, not bad for a limited run using an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement . 

Pros - Price point, likely to be the only one in your city (maybe state) to own one, good value.

Considerations - PVD is always a concern to me, looks great but the durability is still out for debate.

Case: PVD Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Case Thickness: 12.5mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Dark Green
Bracelet: Leather
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 40 hours
Water Resistant: 200M
Lug Width: 20mm

April 20, 2009

Rolex Milgauss Review

Rolex Milgauss Watch 
The Rolex Milgauss is a special watch designed to be resistant to a magnetic flux density of 1,000 gauss (1000=Mille, and thats why the watch is named Milgauss) this means it will continue to keep precision time in highly magnetic environments. It is has a very unique seconds hand that is similar to a lightning bolt. The watch case, bezel, and center links are high polish. Utilizing Rolex’s 3131 caliber in-house movement and is C.O.S.C. certified. A very unique and classy timepiece, I believe a must have for any Rolex collector. 


Pro’s - Rolex watches are work horses that will last a lifetime and this one is no different, in-house movement, C.O.S.C., unique piece that you will not see very often out in the wild.
Considerations - No date
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Bezel: Polished
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black or White
Bracelet: Oyster
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 44 hours
Water Resistant: 100m (330ft)
Lug Width: 20mm

April 19, 2009

Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500M Diver Review

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Watch
The Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500M Calibre Diver mens watch is one of Tag’s latest releases, taking some similarities from the SLR. This dive watch features is a water resistance of of 500m, with a helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position, and a brushed stainless steel case. Powered by Tag Heuer’s Calibre 5 automatic movement, that is built of off an ETA 2836-2, with a 42 hour power reserve. The Aquaracer 500M is also available in quartz for those who do not prefer automatic movements or want a less expensive version. Completely different in design for Tag is the date window located at the 9 o’clock position, rather than the more traditional 3-4 o’clock positioning. It also has a cyclops date magnifier, similar to the one Rolex uses. Uniquely, the bezel has a hard rubber circular pattern. There are five stainless steel numerals and six screws encompassing the bezel, adding further depth to 500M’s overall appearance. The bezel with it’s circular pattern compliments the vertical pattern throughout the dial.
  Online pictures really do not do the Tag Heuer 500M much justice, this is one of those watches that is much better seen in person. It has the usual Tag Heuer quality you would expect, with a fresh design.

Pros - Aggressive lines, water resistance, price point.

Consideration -  Location of date window.

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Steel or Rubber
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 500m
Lug Width: N/A

Oris Chronograph Prodiver Review

Oris Prodiver Watch


Out of the gate this watch is a MONSTER, coming in at a tiny 51mm! This is Oris’s largest watch in the collection currently and would be for most other companies as well. The Prodiver has the Oris RSS (Rotation Safety System) along with a helium escape valve, watch rated to 1000M WR. The current safety for setting the timer on most dive watch bezels is it only rotated counterclockwise. this way, if you bump it, you only think you have less time and come to the surface sooner than expected. With the Prodiver you pull the ring up, turn it to the desired time then push the ring down. This locks it into place, eliminating the worry of unknown tank time. 

Pros - Simply put, this is pure manliness!

Consideration - Size

Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 51mm
Bezel: N/A
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: N/A
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: N/A
Water Resistant: 1000m
Lug Width: N/A

Breitling Navitimer 125th Anniversary Review

Breitling Navitimer 125th Anniversary Watch
The Breitling Navitimer 125th Anniversary chronograph watch is available in six different versions. It may be ordered in a stainless steel or in 18kt rose gold, with dials available in black, bronze or silver. Case features a convex sapphire crystal with antireflective coating and the trademark slide-ruler on its rotating bezel. The watch is an automatic featuring Breitling’s B26 caliber, based of the ETA 2892-A2 and is C.OS.C. certified. The anniversary model lacks the small seconds sub-dial and has a date window at the 6 o’clock position.

Pros - This watch will get attention, the bracelet alone sets it apart, C.O.S.C. certified, limited edition, utilizing Breitling’s new movement.

Consideration - water resistance 

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Air Racer
Movement: Automatic
Power Reserver: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 30m
Lug Width: 22mm

Panerai PAM 111 Luminor Marina Review

Panerai PAM 111 Watch 
The PAM 111 is a “Base or Historic” model and is one of more "affordable" Panerai's, making it one of their more popular models. Panerai is known for their sandwich dials and great lume amongst other great qualities. A sandwich dial is a multi-layer dial. The top disc is black with indices cut outs, while the bottom disc is lumed. Very cool indeed. The PAM111 does includes a second hand at the 9 o’clock position (qualifying for Chronometer Certification C.O.S.C.) and lacks a date function. Utilizing Panerai’s OP XI movement based of the ETA 6497/2 hand-wind movement. The movement has a 56 hour power reserve, 17 jewels, and 21,600 BPH. The watch is fully polished made of 316L steel, this watch is beautiful.

Pro’s -  The unique design of Panerai and limited runs separates them from the “pack”. Fantastic lume and a crown guard that not only is aesthetically pleasing but does what it is suppose to do. The ability to change the strap quickly is a big plus that most Panerai owners take full advantage of, it is easy, fun, and gives the watch a completely different look depending on the mood that day. 

Consideration - not offered on a bracelet if that is a desire, pricey for base movement

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