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

August 12, 2011

G-Shock King GX56-1A Review

G-Shock King GX56-1A Watch Review
  G-Shock went with the old theory of “go big or go home”, go big they did! The so called King of All G’s is the GX56 and GXW-56 series. Quick clarity of the difference between the GX and GXW, GXW is atomic and GX is not. The watch is massive, large and in charge, monstrous, you gotta love it! It is a puny 55.5mm x 53.6mm x 17.5mm and is likely the toughest and most shock resistant watch on the market. 
  The GX56-1A screams masculinity, with it’s crisp hard resin case lines. This version is mainly black with accented areas of red. These include the four pushers, writing on strap, Shock Absorber on dial, resin around case back, and the newest shock resistant material Alpha Gel visible on the dial edges. Like all G-Shocks there are more features than you likely would every use, nice to have should you need them. Tough Solar Power is fantastic feature, not only do you not have to worry about not changing batteries, on a full charge the GX56-1A will run 11 months w/o further exposure to light. Impressive and convenient! Those familiar with G-Shocks will know most the standard features. Some quick notable features are 200m of water resistance, full auto EL backlight with afterglow, mud resistant, battery life indicator, world timer, 4 alarms, and of course shock resistant. Lastly, adding to the overall mean and stealth factor is the negative display. W&R has had this watch for well over a year now and find this to be one the easier to read negative displays. The watch has been worn without worry of what may happen to it, needless to say it has been abused. You would hardly know with only some minor wear marks, which is pretty amazing. 

Pros - Tough, mud resistant, 11 month power reserve, manly

Consideration - Can you handle the size?

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

August 9, 2011

Blancpain Leman Grande Date Flyback Chronograph Review

Blancpain Leman Grande Date Flyback Chronograph Watch Review
  The Blancpain Leman Grande Date Flyback Chronograph ref 2885F-11B30B-53B is a new favorite for W&R. A cleaned up and more simplistic layout compared to it’s direct variant, the Flyback Chronograph ref # 2885F-1130-53B. First, let's review what a flyback function, since often there is some confusion on what a flyback complication actually does. Flyback is in reference to using the chronograph function, specifically the pushers. With a standard chronograph function the two pushers are pushed 4 total separate times to start, stop, reset, and start again. A flyback function differs in that the pusher can be pressed to start and with another single push the chronograph stops, resets, and begins again. This effectively eliminates 2 additional pushes with the common chronograph. Very cool. Originally geared for pilots to quickly stop timing and immediately reset without loss of time. For the die hard chronograph fans, a flyback complication is a grail watch.
  The brilliant black dial is set into a brushed stainless steel case, further complimented by a rubber lined alligator strap. As the name suggest, a grande date is located at the 6 o’clock position. Blancpain’s use of only two subdials was great choice, adding to the overall clean, uncluttered dial. Keeping the Grande Date Flyback Chronograph Powered is Blancpain's automatic 69F8 movement. An exhibition sapphire case back exposes the 69F8 that is made up of 382 components, including 42 jewels. A classic for years to come.

Pros - Flyback, in-house movement, exhibition case back, beautifully crafted 

Consideration - A little on the small side now a days, 42mm might be the sweet spot

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 40mm
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Strap: Black Alligator
Movement: 69F8 
Power Reserve: 38 hrs
Water Resistant: 100m
Lug Width: 22mm