June 19, 2011

Bremont Supermarine 500 Review

Bremont Supermarine 500 Watch Review

  Bremont has been very successful with their aviation style watches and is looking to capture that same success in the dive watch niche. Enter the Bremont Supermarine 500 (ref S500/BK-GN). How does a company improve upon all the offerings currently available in the over crowded dive watch world? Bremont was able to this with the Supermarine 500 by capturing both the tool and elegance in one design. 
  Bremont is becoming well known for there hardened cases. This case is more than 6 times harder than standard steel at 2000 vickers, making that much more scratch resistant. The lugs on the Supermarine are the show stealer. One look of the side profile and you know you are looking at something special. Flowing and curving, with uninhibited beautiful elegance. The black dial is clean, with green C5 SuperLuminova for easy reading.Notice the rubber strap pattern is continued through the middle of dial. It is these types of attention to details that make this watch special. Becoming more and more common with dive watches is the use of a sapphire bezel. This was a perfect choice made by Bremont, truly complimenting the over all aesthetics of the Supermarine. As the name "Supermarine 500" suggest, it is rated to 500m of water resistance. Do in part by some serious engineering on behalf of Bremont's own Trip-Tick three-piece case construction and helium release valve. Thick double sided AR coated sapphire crystal protects the dial of this 43mm dive watch. Powering the Supermarine is Bremont's modified version of an automatic ETA 2836. Bremont calls this automatic chronometer movement the BE-36AE, with an estimated 38 hour power reserve. As if this all was not enough, the watch is also engineered to be anti-magnetic and shock resistant. Lastly, a uniquely designed crown protector adds the final touch to this well thought watch, with the crown location located at the 2 o’clock position. 
  No doubt the Supermarine 500m will be a staple in Bermont's line up for many years to come. The Rolex Submariner has been wildly successful for many reasons, one being it is very versatile. Bremont has pulled off the versatile factor as well by creating a watch that works well in everyday life, whether it be in a suit, cut off shorts & tank top, or diving into the depths of the deep blue. Yes, Bremont hit a home run not only with the design of the Supermarine, but in function as well. Something that seems increasing harder and harder to find these days.

Pros - Unique design, versatile, COSC, anti-magnetic, shock resistant

Consideration - Would like to have see more pronounced hands for a dive watch

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
HRV: Yes 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bezel: Unidirectional
Strap: Rubber
Movement: BE-36AE
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Water Resistant: 500M
Lug Width: 22mm

June 15, 2011

Nixon 51-30 Tide Review

Nixon 51-30 Tide Watch Review

  Nixon is sometimes called a “fashion” brand, maybe unfairly.  Since when did being in style and making aesthetically pleasing watches become a bad thing? The Nixon 51-30 Tide watch is certainly a serious watch at 51.25mm and 300m of water resistance. 
  There is something very pleasing about a large white dial, against the stark contrast of the black hour markers. The dial has a unique feature where it lets the wearer know if the tide is high or low. A fast adjust button located at 8 o’clock allows for easy setting of the tide, displayed in the subdial at 4 o’clock. The crown is flipped from it’s usual position and is operated from the 9 o’clock location. The 51-30 is a large watch, no doubt. But do to the smaller bezel profile, this Tide will wear a bit smaller. The same can not be said about the 25mm wide stainless steel bracket! A double locking bracelet clasp will help ensure the 51-30 stays secured on the wrist. 
  W&R are not big fans of mineral crystal, which this Nixon uses to protect the dial face. Mineral crystal will scratch over time and with a such a large watch, it will likely be sooner than later. Sapphire crystal would be the answer here, though, sapphire would add cost to the watch. Overall, the 51-30 Tide has very clean lines and looks fantastic in the white dial. For the money, it is a good value and offers a unique tide telling feature.

Pros - Clean lines, tide feature, double locking bracelet

Consideration - Mineral crystal

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 51.25mm
Case Back: Solid
Crystal: Mineral
Dial: White
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Clasp: Double Locking
Movement: Quartz
Power Reserve: N/A 
Lug Width: 25mm 
Water Resistant: 300m

June 12, 2011

Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Review

Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback Watch Review

  Zenith finally gets more “toolish” in the El Primero line up, with the new Stratos Flyback Chronograph. Simply put, this watch is a knock out. Drawing much of the Stratos design details from Zenith’s historical “Rainbow” series and it is the closest version to date. 
  What is a Flyback? A flyback function is very cool if you have not had the opportunity to play with one. Unlike a conventional chronograph, the flyback function allows you to start with a single button push, then stop, reset, and start immediately with another single push. Conversely, with a standard chronograph you typically start with a button push, stop with a button push, reset with a button push, and finally start again with another single button push. With a flyback it is 2 button pushes vs 4 button pushes on a standard chronograph to start, stop, reset, and start again. 
  The El Primero Stratos has a black dial, with three black overlapping chronograph subdials. The date window is done in black font, with a white wheel, located at the 6 o’clock position. The white date wheel compliments the dial by blending nicely as a hour marker. Giving the Stratos it’s masculine appearance is the ceramic dive bezel. The bezel has a slight slope inward, drawing your eyes into the dial. Most bezels (unless internal) either slope outward towards the case or are flat. Though, this watch does have a dive bezel, the watch is still only water resistant to 100m. Remember, there are lots of other variables (example: impact) that factor into water resistance besides actual water depth. 
  The movement is the very well respected El Primero, specifically 405B. It beats at an impressive 36,000 beats per hour, with an estimated 50 hour power reserve. This automatic movement goes further using 31 jewels, decorated rotor done in a “Cotes de Geneve” pattern, and is enjoyed through the see through sapphire case back. The beefier size, movement, and the history combined, makes the Stratos a hard watch not to like.

Pros - El Primero 405 B, history, flyback chronograph, timeless

Consideration - Be cautious in water at only 100m WR, even though it has a dive bezel

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45.5mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bezel: Black Ceramic
Strap: Black Alligator
Movement: El Primero 405B
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Water Resistant: 100M
Lug Width: 22mm???

June 4, 2011

Breitling Bentley GT Racing Ice Review

Breitling Bentley GT Racing Ice Watch Review

  At Basel 2011, Breitling released the new eye popping Breitling Bentley GT Racing Ice. The watch is vibrant, lively, and unmistakably Breitling. They wisely went with the more versatile compact Bentley size, coming in at 45mm. Still not small by any means, but certainly a lot more appealing to the masses. 
  Breitling is using their own exclusive color called livery for the dial and matching strap. The Bentley line up is very distinctive, this all white Bentley GT Racing Ice takes it to whole new level. The sterile livery dial and matching livery rubber strap look amazing together. It has the standard Bentley chronograph functions and pushers. The bezel is nicely done with a knurled finish, adding a nice textural contrast. The bezel is used to operate the variable tachometer, when used in conjunction with the chronograph enables the user to measure speed or elapsed time. There are two versions of this watch, Bentley GT Ice and Bentley GT Racing Ice. The Racing version has the more attractive finish in W&R opinion. The upper surface have a brushed satin finish, the sides and pushers are high polished. The non-Racing version is high polish throughout. Breitling is using their automatic 13B (modified ETA Valjoux 7750) caliber COSC certified movement, with a 42 hour power reserve. The movement supplies power for the chronograph functions, day/date display, hour, minute, and seconds hands. 
  The watch is very distinctive and no doubt a conversation starter. The Breitling Bentley GT Racing Ice also offers an excellent change of pace to any watch collection. Highly doubtful there is an all white watch in the collection, unless it is a G-Shock! 

Pros - Distinctive, solid movement, COSC, more versatile Bentley size

Consideration - Will the expensive all white strap begin to show wear/dirt quickly?

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bezel: bidirectional 
Strap: Rubber
Movement: Caliber 13B
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 100M