November 27, 2010

Cartier Santos 100 XL Review

Cartier Santos 100 XL Watch Review

  Cartier is a well branded name and their classic designs are highly recognizable. The Cartier Santos 100 XL self winding automatic is no different. It was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Santos de Cartier watch and what a beauty it is. One of the  advantage of Santos 100 XL is the larger size. It fits in quite well with the recent larger watch trends. Even though it is only 38mm wide, it comes in at 51mm lug to lug. These dimensions still make it very comfortable to wear, while managing to not be “in your face” while on the wrist. This can not be said about some other brands “larger” watch offerings.
  The Santos 100 XL has a brushed case with a fixed bezel. Eight screws accent the bezel, further adding to the sporty nature of the Santos. The sword style hands flow nicely with roman numerals hour indicators. A crown is sometimes overlooked, not the case with the Santos. It has an amazing octagonal crown with Faceted Spinal that is a must see in person. The crown design is one of the best design features. 

Pros - Larger design, classic Cartier, top notch fit & finish

Consideration - Price point

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 38mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Silver
Strap: Black Alligator 
Lug Width: 22mm
Movmt: Caliber 049
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Water Resistant: 100m

November 21, 2010

Breitling Airwolf Raven Review

Breitling Airwolf Raven Watch Review

  W&R always been a big fan of the Airwolf, being a non-dorky multi-functioning tool watch. Now enter the Breitling Airwolf Raven (ref A78364), with a new intimidating look. The biggest aesthetic change over the standard Airwolf model is the black rubber bezel and the subtle touch of black molded rubber integrated into the pushers. The dial has a nice depth, with the vertical pinstripe texturing. The Airwolf Raven of course still has the bidirectional bezel, with slide rule for calculations. 
  All digital operations are accessible through the crown and activated via the pushers. Simply turn the crown to put on desired function, pull crown out to adjust settings. Some of the functions include: chronograph, countdown, GMT, UTC, digital perpetual calendar, and EOL (end of life) indicator for the battery. 
  A few final points that should not be overlooked. This Airwolf Raven is equipped with NVG (night vision goggles) back-lighting system, making it compatible with night vision goggle reading. That is cool! The caseback has the turbine shaped construction, acting as a resonance chamber for the alarms and other function indications. Lastly, the watch is powered by Breitling’s very well know SuperQuartz thermo-compensated Caliber 78. It is COSC certified and is extremely accurate, not to lose more than -15 seconds per year.

Pros - Top notch fit/finish, easy to use functions, SuperQuartz Caliber 78

Consideration - Dial is busy as to be expected with all the functions

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43.5mm
Lug Width: 22mm 
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Ocean Racer 
Movement: 78 (B78)
Water Resistance: 50m

November 6, 2010

Mido Ocean Star Captain IV Review

Mido Ocean Star Captain IV Watch Review

  What is this? A quality Swiss diving watch under 1K? That’s right! Mido does it again with the Ocean Star Captain IV. This Ocean Star has a day/date complication with one of Mido’s go to movement an ETA 2836-2, viewable through the transparent caseback. This version is shown in blue, it is also offered in black. The dial has a blue wave pattern and the blue is continued into bezel. There is a red seconds hand adding a good visual contrast to the watch. The minute and hour hands have a unique style, helping to separate the watch a bit from masses. 
  The Ocean Star Captain IV is not over designed, a refreshing change compared to many other brands. It is a relatively straight forward dive watch, with a screw down crown, and a depth rating of 200m. Mido continues to put out affordable quality Swiss time pieces in a watch world where seemingly the prices keep climbing. A quick search of internet forums continually shows owners singing praises of Mido. From value to the overall quality of the timepieces.  

Pros - Versatile daily watch, sporty, value

Consideration - Relatively common looking in overall appearance.

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42.5mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: SS or Rubber
Movmt: ETA 2836-2
Power Reserver: 38 hrs
Water Resistant: 200M
Lug Width: 22mm