July 29, 2011

Breitling SuperOcean GMT Review

New 2011 Breitling SuperOcean GMT Watch Review
  Breitling introduces one of the latest versions in SuperOcean series for 2011. This is the SuperOcean GMT with a new manageable size for Breitling, coming in at 41mm. Breitling fans will notice quickly that the dial uses similarly styled numerals and indices as the Seawolf.  The "blockier" indices and numerals make the dial less busy, a good choice with added GMT complication. The black dial has a textured circular pattern that encompasses the hour markers, creating a nice subtle contrast. A date window at 3 o'clock is outlined in white. The white outline is a good aesthetic touch, helping to balance the 9 o'clock marker. The bidirectional bezel has the appropriate 24 hour counter that is used in conjunction with the red GMT hand. An automatic movement powers the SuperOcean GMT, Breitling calls a B32. Impressively, the SuperOcean GMT has a water resistance of 500m compared to the rest of the GMT watch marketplace. The watch is offered on the beautiful Professional II bracelet or a rubber strap, W&R highly recommends getting the bracelet initially. You can always get a strap later for less than the bracelet cost. It is pretty penny to buy the bracelet after the purchase and will likely pay more. This is one of the few must have bracelets, gorgeous. 
  The SuperOcean GMT makes for a solid day to day, whether business or pleasure. The watch hits a home run from a functionality, size, and design standpoint. If you are in the market for a GMT, this Breitling SuperOcean GMT is worthy of serious consideration. 

Pros - New design 2011, practical, GMT, Pro II bracelet

Consideration - Would like the dial to be about 2mm larger to open it up a little more

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 41mm
Lug Width: N/A 
Bezel: Bidirectional
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Pro II
Movement: Breitling 32
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Water Resistance: 500m

July 24, 2011

Seiko Sportura Alarm Chronograph Review

Seiko Sportura Alarm Chronograph Watch Review
  The Seiko Sportura Alarm Chronograph has a new look for 2011 and what a look it is! Seiko has really stepped up there designs and caliber of watches in recent years. The Ananta is a perfect example of this, one of Seiko’s “luxury” watches. With the new Sportura Alarm Chronograph, you get a new look and feel at very manageable price point comparatively to the Ananta line up. Pictured above is the SNAE69, with black case, and yellow seconds on yellow stitched black leather. Also available are the SNAE69, with red seconds on mesh, and the SNAE65 with red seconds on red stitched black leather. 
  The case is extremely crisp and sharp, with each cut and curve. The lugs are pronounced and gracefully angled to better fit the wrist. The dial is easily read for a chronograph, including uniquely designed numerals. Three subdials are nicely set into the dial, giving good sense of depth, with the alarm subdial located at the 6 o’clock position. This version of the Sportura Alarm Chronograph is accented with yellow, from the yellow seconds hands to the yellow stitch in the sporty black leather strap. Sticking with the racing theme there is a fixed tachymeter bezel. Not sure anybody ever really uses this feature or knows how to for that matter, but it looks cool. The Sportura line comes in around the $500 mark. 
  Few if any watches can be found at this price point with an alarm chronograph and AR coated sapphire crystal. Seiko has seemingly delivered another very well executed watch at an extremely attractive price point.
Pros - Reliable 7T62 movement, alarm, design, sapphire crystal, price

Consideration - The hour hand does not seem to fit the overall design of the this watch.

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: N/A
Bezel: Tachymeter
Strap: Black Leather 
Lug Width: N/A 
Crystal: Sapphire
Movement: 7T62
Power Reserve: N/A
Water Resistance: 100m

July 16, 2011

Zenith Captain Grande Date Moonphase Review

Zenith Captain Grande Date Moonphase Watch Review
  The Zenith Captain Grande Date Moonphase (ref. 03.2140.691/02.C498), what’s a moonphase real intended purpose besides looking great? Sailers used the stars to navigate, hence “Captain”. The Captain Grande Date Moonphase reflects stages of the moon. These stages are the new moon, full moon, first quarter, and last quarter. Today’s real world use, not so much, still a very cool factor complication. The watch itself is obviously classic in design, though, a bit modern without the use of gold or yellow for the moon or stars. 
  The dial is very well done with multiple guilloche patterns, from the center of the dial, to the ray pattern in the two subdials. The moonphase subdial is located at 6 o’clock, with the small seconds located at 9 o’clock. A grand date display is located in a non-traditional location at 1:30 position. Great choice on this location, the dial would have looked awkward if the grand date was located at 3 o’clock or 12 o’clock. The hands and applied indices compliment each other harmoniously. Zenith’s gorgeous automatic Elite 691 is visible through the sapphire case back, fitted with 27 jewels, and a 50 hour power reserve. A brown alligator strap lined with rubber protection rounds out this 11mm thick watch. The fit/finish is impeccable, with gleaming high polish throughout the watch case. 
  The Zenith Captain Grande Date Moonphase is very reasonably priced for a luxury watch considering the complications and movement. Current retail for the Captain Grande Date Moonphase is $5,800 USD at the time of this review. 

Pros - Moonphase, classic, fit/finish

Consideration - Traditionalist might miss the gold/yellow moon or stars

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Silver
Bezel: Fixed
Strap: Brown Alligator
Movement: Elite 691
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Water Resistant: 30M
Lug Width: 18mm

July 8, 2011

Movado SE Extreme Texalium Review

Movado SE Extreme Texalium Watch Review

  Movado introduces the newest version of the SE Extreme in 2011, the SE Extreme Texalium. What is Texalium? Texalium is highly reflective, aluminized, woven glass fiber. Movado has been putting out some really nice designs and this one might be W&R favorite. The texalium is used on all sides of the watch, boldly standing out against the rest of the watch done with a PVD matte black finish. The dial has the unmistakable Museum layout, with nice red writing, visually contrasting the stark black dial at 6 o’clock. Sometimes the crown seems to be an after thought in the watch industry, not the case with the SE Extreme Texalium. The crown is appropriately sized, capped with black carbon fiber. Great added touch by Movado. An automatic ETA 2824-2 movement powers this beauty, with a 40 hour power reserve. The movement can be seen through the exhibition case back, along with the rotor bearing a red “M”. A black rubber strap, with deployant buckle holds this sporty 44mm watch secure to the wrist.
  The design and visual contrast of the black PVD against the shiny woven pattern of the texalium is very well done. New materials are constantly being introduced into the watch industry, texalium looks to be one of the better ones. Price is just north of 2K before any type of discount. The SE Extreme Texalium is very good value at this price point.

Pros - Texalium, ETA 2824-2, larger case, new look from Movado

Consideration - Only offered on a rubber strap

Case: Stainless Steel PVD
Case Diameter: 44mm
Bezel: Fixed 
Case Back: Exhibition
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Rubber
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Power Reserve: 40
Water Resistant: 30m

July 4, 2011

Oris TT3 Chronograph Black Review

Oris TT3 Chronograph Black Watch Review
  Not the typical watch seen by Oris up until now. Stealth is a hot trend and Oris did it right. The TT3 Chronograph Black is not “blacked out” for sake of trying to fit in, it is blacked out because Oris nailed it on the lesser talked about TT3 series. This TT3 is a perfect watch if you are looking for a stealthy, versatile, with a nice fit/finish. Likely, you will be the only one you know who owns one and will have no shortage of compliments on this bad boy.
  You can see hints of the TT1, the biggest difference being the TT3’s case shape. Besides shape, the case is made up of multi-piece titanium, done in PVD. The top outer ring has a tachymeter scale. Does anyone every use this feature on their watch? Moving on, the dial is no doubt the show stopper done in black carbon fiber. Like most watches, better appreciated in person. The TT3 Chronograph Black has 3 subdials, continues seconds, 30 minute, and a 12 hour counter. The continues seconds blends in with dial and is found at the 9 o’clock position. There is a date window tucked away inside the 6 o’clock subdial, keeping the watch face less busy. SuperLuminova BGW9 is used on the hands and indices. BGW9 lume glows in blue, a perfect choice by Oris for this watch. Powering the TT3 Chronograph is the Oris 674, based off of the trusted ETA 7750. The signature red rotor winds the watch to a 42 hour power reserve. 
  There is really not much to dislike like about the TT3, except the integrated strap. W&R much prefers watches you can change straps out on to something else. The integrated straps pretty much guarantees you will be enjoy this beauty on the Oris black rubber strap only. Other than this one point, the watch is a solid winner. 

Pros - Carbon fiber dial, well executed design, nice proportions

Consideration - Integrated strap

Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 44.5mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Bezel: Fixed
Dial: Black Carbon Fiber
Strap: Rubber
Movmt: Oris 674
Base Movmt: Valjoux 7750 
Power Reserve: 42 hrs 
Water Resistant: 100m

July 1, 2011

Bremont BC SOLO Aviation Review

Bremont BC SOLO Aviation Watch Review
  London based Bremont, started their young, successful brand with aviation styled watches. They continue moving forward on this success with the BC-SOLO. Sometimes simplicity is bliss, the BC-SOLO is just that. 
  Bremont uses their Trip-Tick three-piece case construction and Bremont’s hardened 2000 vickers case technology as one would expect. The dial is vast inside the 43mm case, with basic indices and a date window. The dial is matte black and has luminous numerals done in a also done in a simplistic basic font. Basic is good on this watch, it is designed to be read at a glance. The BC-SOLO has the standard aviation styled 12 o'clock marker highlighted in red, with a matching circular marker on the seconds hand. W&R favorite aspect of this watch is the slightly oversized crown, adding just enough masculinity to the watch. The exhibition case back reveals the modified automatic BE-36AE chronometer movement. The black leather strap, with white stitching is a perfect choice for this watch. If you have not had a chance to try on Bremont leather strap, it is worth checking out. Unlike some brands, the leather is substantial and thick. Reminiscent of high quality custom strap, well done Bremont. 
  It seems as though Bremont has done it again, "it" being another well designed aviation watch. What Bremont does right is not over thinking their dial designs/layouts. Simplicity is bliss and so is the BC-SOLO. Ever heard "less is more"?

Pros - Simplicity, Very well thought out, exhibition case back, lugs

Consideration - Would have preferred a longer minute hand, it’s on the shorter side

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
HRV: No 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bezel: Fixed
Strap: Leather
Movement: BE-36AE
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Water Resistant: 100M
Lug Width: 22mm