December 19, 2011

Romain Jerome Titanic DNA OXY III Black Review

Romain Jerome Titanic DNA OXY III Black Review
  Romain Jerome has actually done something where many brands have fallen short, an actual original concept! Can you believe it? Romain Jerome has gone from a relatively unknown brand and exploded on the scene with it’s series of DNA watches. Reminiscent of      when Bell & Ross hit the scene with it’s Instrument series and never looked back. What does Romain Jerome and DNA have in common? They are actually creating themed watches built around a subject and then using aspects of that subject in the watch itself. 
  Enter the Titanic DNA OXY III Black (ref. T.OXY3.BBBB.00) using actual coal salvaged from the titanic on the dial. The bezel uses steel from the Titanic and is put through process to rapidly oxidize, giving the watch a uniquely refined rusted look. The fact that the watch uses material risen from the most famous and tragic ship wrecks in history evokes a lot of different emotions and opinions. W&R is all for thought provoking and watch conversation starters. Another way to remember and talk about a piece of history, not to be forgotten. To think some people believe watches only tell time, many tell a story and what a story it is. The hour and minute hands are deeply inspired by the Titanic’s anchor. This is the black Titanic DNA version and is W&R favorite color combination for the Titanic series. Between the all black and the oxidized bezel, it adds to the overall darkness that surrounds the Titanic’s tragic history. The watch is 46mm, a reasonable size and not overtly in your face. Small seconds are located the increasingly more popular 9 o’clock position. A C22RJ51 Concepto by Jacquet automatic movement the Titanic OXY III Black, with a 42 hour power reserve. If you are looking for something different, check out Romain Jerome and slap some DNA on your wrist!

Pros - Original, bezel, movement, nicely finished

Consideration - Would have preferred higher water resistance or is that just irony?

Case: PVD Stainless Steel 
Case Diameter: 46mm
Case Back: Solid 
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black Titanic Coal
Bracelet: Black Rubber
Movement: C22RJ51
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Water Resistant: 50m

November 26, 2011

Rado D-Star Black Ceramic Review

Rado D-Star Black Ceramic Watch Review
  Rado modernizes the iconic Diastar with a new look called the D-Star. The case has been redesigned, with a more “toned” down oval case. Still unmistakably Rado and still plenty of Diastar DNA in this new modern D-Star rendition.  
  Black is the “it factor” currently and Rado jumps in the game of this hot trend with black ceramic. One of the major downsides to PVD or black watches are the inevitable scratches. When a watch done in PVD gets scratched the stainless steel is visible, with no good way to repair the scratch. Bracelets usually take the brunt of this and it is not pretty. Not with this D-Star, taking full of advantage of highly scratch resistant ceramic the D-Star Black Ceramic (ref. 658.0609.3.016) will look amazing for many years! The dial has a raised wave pattern, adding a good, subtle visual contrast. The hands and indices used on this D-Star are more reminiscent of that found on a dive watch. They are bold, wider, with plenty of luminescent. There will likely be people on either side of the fence as it does tend to take away a bit from the dressiness of the watch. W&R is on the “it looks awesome” side of the fence! In full disclosure, it should be noted that W&R is always a sucker for lume or dive watches in general. A ETA 2824-2 automatic movement powers this black beauty, visible through the sapphire case back. 
  The Rado D-Star Black Ceramic is available in Large (L) or Extra Large (XL) sizes. There is no shortage of different styles or dial designs to choose from in the new D-Star line up. Rado has always offered a decent value for their watches, keeping the pricing very reasonable for most offerings. If you are in the market for something new and different, the Black Ceramic would certainly fit the bill. 

Pros - New design, ceramic

Consideration - You either love it or you don’t

Case: Black Ceramic
Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Back: Exhibition
Bezel: Ceramic 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Black Ceramic
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Power Reserve: 38 hrs 
Water Resistant: 100m

November 18, 2011

Anonimo Carbon Diver Review

Anonimo Carbon Diver Watch Review
  Anonimo joins a growing trend with the use of carbon fiber. The limited edition Carbon Diver uses carbon fiber for the dial and more noticeably on the bezel as well. Carbon fiber is just plain cool, not sure why, but it marries quite well with watches if used wisely. Anonimo did a nice job with Carbon Diver and it’s use of carbon fiber.
  This watch based off of the Anonimo Sailor Diver, only a few subtle alterations beyond the obvious. The use of carbon fiber on the bezel gives the watch a very playful, sporty look, further complimented by an orange stitch Kodiak leather strap. Besides carbon fiber being a very strong and light material, it’s woven pattern is perfect for giving watch dials a subtle textured looked. Anonimo uses four large Arabic numbers that jump off the dial for easy reading. There is a small date window tucked away at the 3:30 location. Imagine this watch without a date window. W&R would have liked to seen that, granted most people want to have the date displayed on their watch. The Carbon Diver is powered by a Sellita SW200, Anonimo calls 01.0, with a 40 hour power reserve. 
  There are a number of nice things about this watch, limited edition, use of carbon fiber, price point, versatile and in general Anonimo does a nice job with the fit and finish. This watch would make a great sporty addition for that watch collection. 

Pros - Carbon fiber, limited edition, lower price point for Anonimo

Consideration - W&R believes dives watches should have rotating bezels

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42 mm
Dial: Carbon Fiber 
Bezel: Carbon Fiber
Crystal: Sapphire
Power Reserve: 40hrs
Movement: Sellita SW200
Strap: Kodiak Leather
Lug Width: 22 mm 
Water Resistance: 300m

November 6, 2011

Victorinox Swiss Army Original Review

Victorinox Swiss Army Original Watch Review

  Victorinox Swiss Army has released a new look for the Original in the Fall of 2011. This is a pumped up version of the original Original of the same name. Confused yet? Victorinox increased the case size to 40mm from 37mm. W&R would have liked to seen this at 42mm or better. With the lower profile bezel, the watch wears smaller to begin with. This version is navy gray, visually appealing with the case, bezel, brushed dial, and NATO strap all done in the navy gray scheme. The dial is pleasantly simple, with the markers having a sandwich dial look, though, it is not a true sandwich dial. A date wheel in navy gray with white writing would finished this watch of nicely, but at a sub $300 price point that would have likely been a stretch. The Original is water resistant to 100m and has a screw in crown.
  This latest version of the Original is offered in four variants, navy gray, black, khaki green, and beige. The khaki green version is very sharp as well, would be a nice watch to mix it up a bit. There is definitely value with the Original and a watch you can have some fun with. 

Pros - Larger size, updated look, good value

Consideration - Only offered on a NATO strap, lume

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Bezel: Unidirectional
Crystal: Mineral
Dial: Navy Gray
Strap: NATO
Lug Width: 20mm
Movement: Quartz
Water Resistant: 100m

October 17, 2011

Omega Planet Ocean Titanium LiquidMetal Review

Omega Planet Ocean Titanium LiquidMetal Watch Review

  The Seamaster Planet Ocean has quickly become a favorite dive watch amongst Omega enthusiast and the average watch guy over the years. Continuing on this success comes the Planet Ocean Titanium LiquidMetal, with Omega’s highly touted in-house co-axial Caliber 8500 movement (reference number  
  Omega made a lot of nice new changes, while managing to leaving the overall design unmistakably a Planet Ocean. The two biggest changes are the use of titanium for the case and utilizing Omega’s own in-house movement. True in-house movements are highly regarded and come with a premium price. For example, many watch brands use the very popular Swiss ETA movements, supplied from the Swatch Group. A watch using an ETA or an altered ETA movement would not be considered an in-house movement because another manufacturer is supplying it. Opposed to making and assembling the movement completely “in-house”. The titanium case is a good choice for those looking for a large dive watch without the added weight of steel. The case back uses sapphire crystal to view the the beautifully done 39 jewel Caliber 8500. A deep navy blue is used for the dial and bezel. The bezel consist of the newest technology in the watch industry, ceramic and liquid metal for the hour markers. The bezel alone makes the watch, simply gorgeous. 
  The only thing a little mind boggling about the Titanium LiquidMetal is the use of a black date wheel. Why not use navy to match the dial? Maybe to keep the cost down from having to manufacturer a matching date wheel? Though, at an MSRP of $8200 W&R would hope that is not the reason. Overall, the watch is very well executed. Now truly taking aim at its biggest competitor the Rolex Submariner, from price point to in-house movement.

Pros - Caliber 8500, LiquidMetal, first titanium Planet Ocean

Considerations - This new price point might take a bit of time to get used to

Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 45.5mm
Bezel: Unidirectional 
Crystal: AR Sapphire
Dial: Blue
Bracelet: Rubber or Titanium
Movement: Co-Axial 8500
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Water Resistant: 600m
Lug Width: 22mm

October 10, 2011

Oakley Gearbox Watch Review

Oakley Gearbox Watch Review
  With a watch name like Gearbox, the watch better be big and bold. Oakley did just that, a big, bold watch, that looks as great as the name sounds.
  The Oakley Gearbox (ref 10-064) is not for the faint of heart, it projects pure masculinity. This is W&R favorite white dialed watch in recent time. Many watch brands now a days ruin perfectly good designs by tagging the watches up with their brand name/logo all over the place or super sized on the dial. Not this time, Oakley nailed the overall design of dial by doing just the opposite. A big beautiful dial left virtually pristine except for a same colored logo hiding subtly at the 4:30 position. Well done. The dial evokes an almost ivory white color, with bold 3D looking indices and numerals. From the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock the hour markers are all raised. Where as from 7 o’clock to the 11 o’clock hour marker they are “inverted”. Then there is the in your face crown on the unconventional left side of the Gearbox. The crisp machined corners of the case and the oversized crown work very well together. The crown is also inspired by that of a gear, fitting for a watch called Gearbox. This serious watch is secured to the wrist by a special black rubber strap, with a stainless steel buckle. It should be noted at this price point Oakley could have easily cut corners and gone with mineral crystal. To the casual watch consumer who wants the Gearbox because it’s Oakley or cool, one should know that Oakley used sapphire crystal. All those scratches you have on your watches won’t happen with the Gearbox. Sapphire is extremely scratch resistant and matched by none. Once you go sapphire, it is very difficult to ever go back. Sapphire crystal is a must in W&R opinion, especially on daily wear watch.
  This is by far W&R favorite watch series by Oakley to date. Current available Gearbox variants are the white 10-064, black & tan 10-063, and the stealth black & red 10-062. Oakley also has a very cool Gearbox Special Edition in titanium, with black carbon fiber dial 10-042. If you are in the market of a unique well built watch, check out the Gearbox.

Pros - Unique, sapphire crystal, aesthetics, durability

Consideration - Obvious by now, the watch is large

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 46.8mm
Case Back: Solid
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: White
Bracelet: Black Rubber
Movement: Quartz
Power Reserve: 60 months 
Strap Width: 26mm
Water Resistant: 100m

October 1, 2011

Doxa Sub 750T GMT Professional Review

Doxa Sub 750T GMT Professional Watch Review
  Doxa has released the 750T in a GMT version. This is the Doxa Sub 750T GMT Professional, other available versions are the Sharkhunter, Caribbean, and Divingstar. All four version are limited to 1000 pieces each. 
  Somewhat unique for a dive a watch is the GMT complication. The 750T GMT then furthering separates it’s self from other GMT divers by displaying three times zones, opposed to the standard second timezone only. The ability to tell a third timezone is achieved by the use of a 24 hour internal rotating bezel. An oversized skeleton hand is used for the GMT hour complication, very cool. The internal bezel is rotated by a screw down crown located at the 2 o’clock position. Powering the watch and GMT hour hand is the trusted ETA 2893-2 automatic movement. A white date window is displayed at the 3 o’clock position, would have preferred the use of a black date wheel here instead. The rice style bracelet has that great retro vibe about it and goes nicely with the overall aesthetics of the Sub 750T GMT Professional. It is a good sized watch for a 21mm bracelet, most watches at this size move up a 22mm bracelet. The bracelet of course comes with a divers extension. If you are in the market for a dive watch steeped in history the Doxa 750T GMT is worth looking into. It has a lot of value at this price point and all the versions are Limited Edition.

Pros - GMT complication, 3 timezones, ETA 2893-2

Consideration - The bracelet is either love it or hate it

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44.7mm
Case Back: Solid
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Orange
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA 2893-2
Power Reserve: 42 hrs 
Lug Width: 21mm  
Water Resistant: 750m

September 10, 2011

Longines Legend Diver Review

Longines Legend Diver Watch Review

  From the Longines Heritage Collection comes the Legend Diver L3.674.4.56.3 and what beautiful diver it is. The Legend Diver is a modern vintage throwback to the 60’s. It might not be the most popular watch in Longines lineup, but it is one of their best.
  Immediately, demanding and fighting for your visual attention is the classic diver domed crystal. A black lacquered dial is paired nicely with vintage style patina lume. A fantastic subtle touch that adds to the Legend’s vintage appeal. However, the dial does have one big miss, it is lacking heavily in the lume department as a whole. Otherwise, Longines pulled this watch off masterfully, with great attention to detail as to be expected. There are two screw down crowns located at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. The 2 o’clock crown is used to operate the rotating internal bezel. The watch comes equipped with a nylon strap, this is either a love or hate it decision. If you happen to be on the other side of the fence with the nylon strap, it can easily be swapped out to something more to your liking. Powering the Legend is Longines automatic caliber L633, built off of an ETA 2824-2. Overall, between the design, domed sapphire crystal, and price point, the Legend Diver is a clear winner. 

Pros - Domed sapphire crystal, vintage appeal, 300m 
Considerations - Lacks a date complication

Case Diameter: 42mm
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Internal
Dial: Black 
Crystal: Sapphire
Strap: Nylon
Movement: L633/2824-2Power Reserve: 38 hrs
Water Resistant: 300M
Lug Width: 21mm

August 28, 2011

Nixon Black Rubber Player Review

Nixon Black Rubber Player Watch Review
  The Nixon Player watch has two great things, the name and style. The Player is a mix of retro, contemporary, and a dash of bling. This is the Nixon Black Rubber Player (A139000), ready for a good night of clubbing. 
  The dial is jet black with two tone hands, silver hour and minute, with a gold seconds hand. Nixon is prominently displayed at the 12 o’clock position, in a nice non-busy font. Located at the 6 o’clock position is a single small shiny diamond, fitting for a watch called Player. Protecting the dial is domed mineral crystal, standard at this price point. The Nixon Player is 45mm wide, this is on the larger side, but it will tend to wear smaller. The rubber surrounding the Player’s case is a seamless transition into the rubber strap, creating great uniformity to the overall look of the Player. The Rubber Player is available in multiple colors, including black, gray (gun), orange, blue, matte black/surplus, purple, pink, and white. If you are in the market for fun affordable watch to hit the nightlife with, the Nixon Rubber Player might be just the right watch for you.
Pros - Fun watch, crisp dial, rubber

Consideration - No lume

Case: Rubber
Case Diameter: 45mm
Case Back: Solid
Crystal: Mineral
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Rubber
Clasp: Buckle
Movement: Quartz
Power Reserve: N/A
Crown: Double Gasket 
Water Resistant: 100m

G-Shock GXW-56E Atomic King Review

G-Shock GXW-56E Black And Blue Atomic King Review
  When G-Shock released the GXW-56E Black & Blue King, they seemed to disappear as quickly as they had arrived. Is the GXW-56E-1JF (full ref #) truly a limited edition? Certainly seems this way, a few arrived in US and quickly disappeared. Even Stranger was the fact that the watch was being sold for $90 on few different sites. First, no G-Shock King even comes close to being sub $100. Secondly, an atomic version will always drive a steeper premium. Especially, in the United States where atomic Kings typically do not get released. 
  The watch itself is awesome, W&R was lucky enough to snag one before they disappeared. Aesthetically, the black and blue works very well, almost a stealthy look in person. The “G-Shock” on the bezel is an electric blue, the side pusher along with the case back are a deep navy blue, and the visible Alpha Gel is a metallic blue. The functions of the GXW-56E are the same as other GX56 models except for one major feature, this Black & Blue King is atomic. All Kings are GX or GXW, the “W” denotes that the watch is atomic. What is an atomic watch? It is a watch that receives low frequency radio signals nightly that synchronize it with that regions closest atomic clock. For example, in the US it syncs with the atomic clock located in Colorado. Atomic watches are the most accurate watches do to this nightly synchronization. 
  Below is a picture of W&R King after a successful sync with the atomic clock:

GET - refers to the last date of a successful sync
8-18 - the date of successful sync
1:04 - the time of successful sync

If you are in the market for a King of All G’s, this is great choice if you can find one. The blue colors used by Casio G-Shock are seemingly well thought out. They compliment the watch well in very subtle, but noticeable way. 

Pros - Atomic, limited, mud resistant, 11 month power reserve, manly

Consideration - Price has been driven up by limited availability if you can find one

Case: Black Resin
Case Diameter: 55.5mm
Bezel: Fixed 
Crystal: Mineral
Dial: Black/Blue
Strap: Black Resin
Movement: Quartz
Strap Width: 32mm
Power Reserve: 11 months
Water Resistant: 200m

August 23, 2011

Citizen Promaster Diver Review

Citizen Promaster Diver Watch Review
  The Citizen Promaster Diver (BN0085-01E) is a beefed up version of the Professional Diver reviewed below. The Promaster is a more classically designed dive watch compared to the Professional Diver. Jumping full steam ahead in the “go big or go home” watch trend, this Promaster comes in at 47mm. It may have been a better choice to go around the 44-45mm range, going this large will likely decrease potential buyers. 
  A sun ray pattern is used on the dial in conjunction with the Eco-Drive solar powered movement. Blue accents are used sparingly throughout the dial, less is more works good here. W&R really likes the style of the hands used. Though, the minute hand is a bit to short for the dial. The indices have decent lume and work very well with the dial & hands. There is a date window located at the 3 o’clock position. Here it might have been a better option to eliminate the cropped hour marker. Instead, use a larger date window and no hour marker as it would no longer be needed. Would have worked better aesthetically and functionally. On a very positive note, Citizen went with a 120 click vs a 60 click bezel. The bezel has a nice crisp feel while rotating for a watch a this price point. The 60 on the bezel itself is lumed well, the rest of the bezel is free of lume. An integrated rubber strap with buckle round out the overall appearance. If you are looking for a large dive watch at an affordable price point, this 300m Promaster is worth considering. 

Pros - Eco-Drive, 300m, 120 click bezel

Consideration - Size, short lugs will limit other strap options

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 47mm
Crystal: Mineral
Bezel: Unidirectional
Strap: Black Rubber
Lug Width: 23mm
Power Reserve: 180 Days
Movmt: Eco-Drive
Water Resistance: 300m

August 14, 2011

Glycine Incursore II "California" Dial Review

Glycine Incursore II "California" Dial Watch Review
  Glycine launched a new round of Incursore’s at the more manageable size of 44mm. This was a wise decision, there is a larger market of buyers at the 44mm size vs 46mm. This should be very beneficial for Glycine as the Incursore lineup has been very successful. The word incursore translates to “intruder”, a cool name never hurts!
  The Incursore II “California” dial (ref 3901.19L) is quite the looker for those looking to mix it up a bit with a not so common dial layout. A California dial is one that has roman numerals on the upper half and arabic on the bottom half of the dial. A Californian dial tends to be more of a love/hate relationship, either you like it or it rubs you wrong on some level. The hands match up well to roman numerals, as does the seconds hand. Keeping the seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position gives the dial a less busy look, opposed to if it had been at 9 o’clock like some other Incursore offerings. Powering this masculine watch is an ETA 6498-1, manual wind movement, with a 46 hour power reserve. The dial is protected by AR coated domed mineral crystal and mineral crystal is also used for the see through case back. This is the only real sticky point W&R, the better option here would have been sapphire crystal. Outside of the crystal, the Glycine Incursore II “California” dial is very nicely done and W&R is very pleased to see more offerings from Glycine at 44mm. 

Pros - California dial, big crown, affordable Swiss manual wind movement

Consideration - AR coated domed mineral crystal

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: AR Mineral
Dial: Black
Strap: Leather
Power Reserve: 46 hours 
Lug Width: 22mm
Movement: ETA 6498 
Water Resistant: 100m