MKII Watches Hands-On

MKII Watches Hands-On

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

A while ago I met with the legendary Bill Yao. To some of you that name instantly evokes respect and attention, and for many of you that name is new. I will let Bill give you his total history but he is considered one of the finer watch modifiers in the US. He was one of the guys that would take a watch you already had and do things like change the dial, hands, bezel, lume, etc... Helping people to achieve their "dream look." Then Bill started MKII watches - his own brand that offers ready built watches, as well as ones with a number of customization options in the spirit of what Mr. Yao is most known for.

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

Here are just some images of the many different watches that MKII (MkII) offers. Each is very classic in look and feel, and reminds you of military or professional watches that you might know and love. An exciting new model this year is the MKII Kingston, which is a series of homage watches to early Rolex Submariners. Collectors will know exactly what MKII is going for.

Is MKII just another homage watch maker? No. In addition to Bill Yao having a great eye and passion for detail, he does a lot of things uniquely. The look and feel of his watches is very impressive, and he loves what he does. Parts are done well, and the timepieces even carry surprisingly fair prices.

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

Right now MKII has a few main watch lines, and each has a number of different variations, as well as customization options. Thus, there are many, many combinations of MKII watches to choose from. Bill has been wise to offer both pre-built models for those guys who aren't too interested in delving deep into customization options, but still offering his traditional services to those many customers who rely on his work.

MKII is based in the US, but uses Swiss mechanical movements. As such, you can throw MKII into the list of high-quality, indy American watch makers. While MKII has have some of their own unique designs, they are masters at the homage watch. Really wanted that XXXX Rolex from the 1960s, but either can't afford or find one? More likely than not MKII has you covered. Also, you can get homage pieces that have the looks you like from classics, without elements you don't, and of course you got a totally modern watch. While I get the craze behind vintage watch collecting, personally I like new stuff. It is gonna last longer, and you don't have to put up wit things like old crystals and movements that need expensive restoration.

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

MKII Watches Hands On   hands on

Aside from the good looks and high-quality of MKII watches, the prices are really fair. Most of the prices I have seen are under $1000, and almost everything is under $2000. Most of the people who buy MKII watches these days are serious watch snob collectors who are extremely picky with what they buy. MKII is busy enough with these guys to not have to branch out to much, but you really shouldn't miss MKII for some great looking watches that you can literally "make your own." Check out their website to see all the stuff they offer, and I will try to get some hands-on action soon.



MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
Alarm ChronographKHS Striker MKII C1 luminous Nato strap date Easy to Read
$244.67
Time Remaining: 4d 22h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $244.67
Buy It Now
MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
Omega Speedmaster MKII vintage chronograph This is the original not the re ed
$1,950.00
Time Remaining: 5d 18h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $1,950.00
Buy It Now
MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
KHS Tactical Watch Commander Titanium H3Military Watch+KHS SHIRT FOR FREE
$790.00
Time Remaining: 6d 4h 57m
Buy It Now for only: $790.00
Buy It Now
MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
KHS Tactical Watch Black Striker MKII Alarm Chronograph C1 luminous Nato
$244.67
Time Remaining: 9d 21h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $244.67
Buy It Now
MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
KHS Striker MKII Alarm Chronograph C1 luminous Multiple Time Zone Stopwatch
$244.67
Time Remaining: 10d 1h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $244.67
Buy It Now
MKII Watches Hands On   hands on
MKII Quad 10 Automatic Pilot Watch bill yao
$975.00
Time Remaining: 14d 17h 17m
Buy It Now for only: $975.00
Buy It Now




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12 comments
roy boyd
roy boyd

Own several rolexes, including vintage red sub, seadweller and daytona. Got my paradive last week. Thus far, I have no desire to wear anything but the paradive. Great watch!

Dave Campos
Dave Campos

MKII has unmatched quality for the price. Waits are long, but considering the value you get per dollar spent, a small price to pay. I have three of Bill's watches and am still amazed at the attention to detail. They stack up well against the luxury brands.

C Potters
C Potters

The watches are 1st rate: many owners (including myself) have extensive watch collections of other brands, including the "best of he best". Bill's watches have become the daily wearers, with Pateks, Rolexes, Omegas and Vacherons seeing a lot less daylight.

Wait times are long, especially for custom orders, but no longer than any custom item that is made to a very high spec (guns, knives, guitars and automotive are most closely related, and the wait times are about the same). But be prepared to wait. Really.

Communication is better than some custom shops, with updates on the Kingston going out to the community at large about once ever 2 weeks for the last 6 months. Individual communications or updates are on an as-needed basis (which means hardly ever)
as his small shop devotes its time to building watches.

My $0.02: If you want an up-close and personal experience with a watch, buy yourself an MkII. If you want an up-close and personal experience with a watch-maker, do NOT buy yourself an MkII. Bill is passionate about watches, less so people, so hand-holders need not apply. BTW, I'm totally biased: I have 2 MkII's now with another two on order

ASRSPR
ASRSPR

VIP Watch Club's commentary is admirably astute; I should think that the Kingston should remind all of us of a Rolex Submariner.

As for the article, it behooves Mr. Adams to mention that while Mk II is indeed famous for the excellence and degree of customization of its products, the Kingston is very nearly a year late and not yet shipped to any of its paid-deposit customers. As much as Bill Yao is synonymous with excellent quality and superb value, he is also well known for the utter unreliability of his release schedule and lack of communications with customers.

VIP Watch Club
VIP Watch Club

It's not a bad looking watch but definitely not my favorite.

It reminds me of the Rolex Submariner

BIG CHRONO
BIG CHRONO

MKII, & Bill Yao are well respected, established legends for tricking out watches a la bespoke
custom clothes & shoes. They remond me of that
Rolex makeover firm, but without the stigmas
from Rolex proper, & other radical purists.

John
John

Thanks for reviewing this brand. I hadnt heard of them but an now seriously considering the GMT.

Stuart
Stuart

In response to my comment it looks like it is 200m as evidenced by the picture of the caseback

Stuart
Stuart

Any idea on the depth ratings on any of these, specifically the seafighter? Couldn't find the info on their website.

Kris C.
Kris C.

Yeah, these are nice. I've wanted a SeaFighter model for a while now, but there is no bracelet option. I love that bracelet with the pin extensions prodruding a bit. Very unique take on a classic look.
If/when they make that an option for the SeaFighter, It'll be mine. As it is, with the custom options I chose on thier site, I built one for like $850, so even with the inevitable surcharge the bracelet would incur, this piece would be a steal.

admin
admin

I am sure Bill will be happy to hear that. Thanks!

admin
admin

You have to understand that suppliers are a pain, and timing is really tough. So I understand the timing issues (although they are unfortunate). Bill should however focus more on customer service and communication if that is an issue, or have someone do it.

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