Geneva Watch Days is happening now, but let’s take a look back at some of the best stories from the past month. We begin with a story about GMT watches. Some argue that the GMT complication is the most useful, and it would be hard to disagree. If you are looking for a GMT watch, we found two exceptionally thoughtful and accessible designs. Speaking of affordable watches, we also take a closer look at Tissot’s new 35mm and 40mm PRX watches with green dials. We also have the CASIO A159WAD-1D, which is probably the world’s most affordable factory diamond-set watch.
From around the Web, we give you some tips on how to spot a fake dial on a vintage Rolex Datejust. We also talk a little about the hobby of watch-collecting, the watch industry, and how recent trends and developments have left one collector feeling jaded about watches. And finally, we have a story about the rising occurrence of watch thefts and how it has altered the wearing habits of some collectors.
1. ACTUALLY AFFORDABLE: BOTTOM-DOLLAR GMT WATCHES
In our highly interconnected world, a watch that can show the time in multiple time zones is one of the most useful things we can have on our wrists. This explains why GMT watches are so popular. Unfortunately, the cost of such watches — particularly mechanical ones — remains relatively high. However, if we were willing to bend the rules a bit, there is an affordable option. The new Seiko 5 Sports GMT is easily one of the most affordable mechanical GMT watches that you can find today. It might be not a true GMT with an independently adjustable hour hand, but there’s still a lot to like about it. And then there’s the trusty Casio World Time AE1200, which has to be one of the world’s most affordable world-time watches.
2. HANDS-ON: JAEGER-LECOULTRE POLARIS PERPETUAL CALENDAR WATCH
When Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Polaris in 2018, we knew it was only going to be a matter of time before we get more complex versions. The early three-hand models had so much dial real estate that it was obvious Jaeger-LeCoultre would do more to take advantage of it. And now, we know exactly what happens when you take a Polaris and cram as much as you can onto the dial because they recently released the Polaris Perpetual Calendar watch. With four sub-dials, this watch is symmetrical, harmonious, and tells a lot of information. And with a water resistance rating of 100 meters, this watch is, in many ways, easily one of the best perpetual calendar sports watches you can buy and wear every day.
3. HANDS-ON: TISSOT PRX GREEN DIAL WATCHES 35MM VS. 40MM MODELS
We all know watches with blue dials are immensely popular, but could green be the next hot color? Tissot seems to think so because it recently added new models with green dials to the very successful PRX collection. Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll know that the PRX series has been a massive success for Tissot. Mostly, it’s the integrated bracelet, which, when combined with the case design, gives it a look that is reminiscent of a watch from Le Brassus. Hit the link below to have a closer look at the new 35mm and 40mm versions of the Tissot PRX with green dials.
4. CASIO A159WAD-1D WATCH REVIEW: SHOULD YOU BUY THE CHEAPEST-EVER DIAMOND-SET WATCH?
There’s something oddly refreshing about wearing a watch that costs less than a meal at a fancy steakhouse. I think it’s largely because we don’t have to babysit it. There’s no need to worry about getting mugged (a big problem, these days) and there’s no need to watch out for door knobs or tables. Furthermore, an affordable watch doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unattractive or uninteresting. The Casio A159WAD-1D is proof of that. It has a charming retro look and, most incredibly, features two natural diamonds above and below its digital display. You read that right, these are natural diamonds — not synthetic ones. To find out more about the watch and its diamonds, you know what to do.
5. HANDS-ON: BULOVA ARCHIVE RE-EDITION PARKING METER CHRONOGRAPH WATCH
Bulova is, of course, one of the most storied brands in American watchmaking. It is also an expert at vintage reissues — the Devil Diver and Lunar Pilot are two fine examples. The brand’s latest vintage reissue is the Archive Re-Edition Parking Meter Chronograph, which is based on the reference 1008-6W chronograph from 1973. If you can’t see it, it’s called the Parking Meter because the outline of the subdials resembles a parking meter. Look closely and you’ll realize that this isn’t an exact reissue. The subdial at 12 o’clock is a 24-hour indicator that hints at the movement within. Yes, it may have a quartz movement, but if you can look past that, I think this is a very charming vintage-inspired watch.
1. FEAR OF THEFT HAS SOME WATCH FANS LEAVING THEIR BEST AT HOME
Watch theft is increasing around the world. We see it almost every day on social media. London is particularly hard-hit. The London Metropolitan Police reported 67 cases between May 31 and June 27 this year, an increase of around 60% in the previous four weeks’ total. One incident stood out: A machete-wielding thief on a moped forced a couple wearing a Patek Philippe and an Audemars Piguet to surrender their watches. This has forced watch lovers to take measures. Many are leaving their most prized possessions at home and will only wear more affordable watches to avoid drawing unwanted attention.
Source: The New York Times
2. IN-DEPTH: HOW TO SPOT A FAKE DIAL IN A VINTAGE ROLEX DATEJUST
A vintage Datejust — particularly a reference 16xx — with its moderate case size, classic Datejust looks, and robust movement make it one of the most timeless watches you can buy. It was in production for nearly two decades too, which means supply is rather plentiful. However, like any watch purchase, one has to be wary about buying fakes or an example that came with replica parts. Obviously, you are encouraged to buy from a trusted source. But if you are looking for a specific example that’s hard to find, you might have to look elsewhere. And if you do, this article gives you some handy tips on how to spot one with a fake dial.
3. FROM THE EDITOR: HERE’S WHY I AM DONE BUYING ANY MORE WATCHES. MOST LIKELY FOREVER.
There’s no question that the hobby of watch collecting has been a little crazy and intense, especially during the past couple of years. Fueled by a combination of increasing numbers of people getting into watches, excess cash because of cryptocurrency, a booming stock market, and questionable practices at many authorized dealers, many popular watches have become unobtainable in retail. Worse still is seeing many of these same watches turning up online marketplaces and at greatly inflated prices. It’s enough to sap the fun out of this hobby and make some enthusiasts give up altogether.
Source: Watch C0llecting Lifestyle
4. TALKING JACOB & CO. WATCHES WITH SANTA LAURA
If you spend any amount of time on Instagram gawking at watches, you’ll likely come across the collection of Santa Laura. It’s an impressive one not only because of the sheer quantity but also because of its quality. Sure, you’ll see a couple of hype watches, but by and large, the collection is largely comprised of eclectic watches by independent watchmakers. And one independent brand that features heavily in his collection is Jacob & Co. The company gets a lot of flak for its outlandish watches, but if you take a step back and try to understand them better, you’ll see why some collectors find them so appealing.
5. UP CLOSE: FRANC VILA FVF1 C2 TOURBILLON SUPERLIGERO
FVF is short for “Franc Vila Founder,” and it is the second act of Spanish watch designer Franc Vila. The original Franc Vila brand was founded in 2005 and quickly became one of the hottest independent watch brands. But boom turned to bust and Mr. Vila was kicked out of the brand he founded not long after its 10th anniversary. In 2018, Mr. Vila decided to make a comeback and the FVF1 C2 Tourbillon in its first watch. As is the case with most watches by independent watchmakers, the FVF1 looks like nothing else. It’s an original look and an original design. It also has an eclectic mix of complications. There’s a roller day indicator and day/night display, but no date. Hit the link below for a closer look at this very interesting watch.
Source: Watches by SJX