August 31, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
One of the biggest new releases in the past month has got to be Seiko’s new Seiko 5 Sports Collection. Designed to win over a younger and new generation of watch lovers, it has an all-new look and edgy vibe. New watches aside, we also explore topics on watch collecting. Specifically, how has the hobby changed and is it still fun to be a watch collector in today’s environment.
From around the web, we have two articles that discuss the natural escapement. This was an escapement developed by Breguet in the late 1700s and uses two wheels to overcome the problem of dodgy lubrication. Unlike today, over 200 years ago, animal fat was a primary source of lubrication in watches. There’s also an in-depth look at how good counterfeit Rolex watches have become. Honestly, it’s quite alarming, and it’s enough to make you think twice about buying from anyone other than an authorized dealer.
In the grand scheme of things, watch collecting is still an incredible niche hobby. It has certainly grown in the past decade or so, but the community is still relatively small. Especially when you compare it with, shall we say, more “established” forms of collecting like art, wine, and cars. A lot has changed in the past decade. We now have more avenues for consuming watch information and also more ways in which we can connect with other like-minded watch-lovers. As a long-time watch collector, Ariel shares his experience and views on how the hobby has changed since he got started 20 years ago.
Certina is one brand that I think has been horribly neglected by watch lovers. I don’t know why that is because Certina is part of the Swatch Group ― only the largest watch conglomerate in the world. At any rate, Certina has been putting out some really sweet watches recently, and the DS PH200M is one that I think deserves more attention. It may be a vintage-inspired dive watch but it is one that has been very well executed. It’s well-sized, looks great, boasts great history, and it comes with a Swatch Group Powermatic 80 movement. Best of all, however, is that it costs well under $1,000, even when purchased with an elegant steel mesh bracelet.
We need to talk about tool watches. If we agree that a tool watch is a watch that can be used to aid in tasks, then it should follow that it should be relatively affordable. You don’t buy a diamond-encrusted gold hammer to put nails on the wall, so why would anyone wear a platinum diver to go fishing for mussels? Granted, this example is a bit extreme but you get my drift. The fact is watch brands should stop trying to kid themselves and their customers that their watches are essential equipment to getting things done. Those days are long gone, and the sooner brands embrace that, the better.
One of the biggest new releases in August has got to be Seiko’s all-new Seiko 5 Sports Watch collection. Five key attributes guided the design of these watches: a self-winding movement, day/date complication, usable water resistance for sports, recessed crown at 4 o’clock, and a durable strap or bracelet. Even at a glance, it’s obvious that these watches were designed for the younger generation. They are hip, contemporary, a little edgy, and fashionable. I’m certainly quite fond of them. More importantly, it will be interesting to see if these watches can introduce the love of watches to a wider audience.
The Breitling Premier collection is the brand’s take on the super-popular genre of the vintage-inspired genre. One could argue that the Navitimer is the same, but the Navitimer’s vintage looks come from the fact that its core design hasn’t changed all that much throughout its history. The Premier collection, on the other hand, is more contemporary but draws inspiration from watches of the past. The B01 Chronograph, in particular, is a favorite of mine. Furthermore, Breitling remains to be one of the few brands who has developed their own in-house self-winding chronograph movement. That has to count for something if you are a movement snob.