This first part of this month’s roundup is mostly about more affordable watches. We begin with Shinola’s new Mechanic watches, which are the brand’s first watches with hand-wound movements. Then, we take a closer look at Timex’s newest collaboration watch — the Timex x Pan Am Day-Date. We also have a vintage-inspired Tissot in the form of the Telemeter 1938 series. And we feature not one, but two affordable watches with titanium cases.
From around the Web, we take an in-depth look at Grand Seiko’s awe-inspiring Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon watch. This is the Grand Seiko’s most complicated watch yet, and it’s a real showcase of the brand’s technical expertise. Next, we have a story about high-value vintage watch dealers. These are the people you turn to if you are looking for an obscure pre-Daytona Rolex chronograph or a Patek 1518 or 2499. Finally, seeing that Patek recently announced the new Nautilus Ref. 5811, we thought it would be good to take a trip down memory and learn about the history of the Nautilus.
1. HANDS-ON DEBUT: SHINOLA MECHANIC WATCHES
Shinola makes some very charming watches, and the brand has grown quickly over the past couple of years. Initially, its collection was made up of mostly quartz watches. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s no escaping the fact that watch enthusiasts mostly prefer mechanical watches. Naturally, the brand expanded its collection with more mechanical models. And now, the collection of mechanical watches is getting larger, still, with the addition of the new Mechanic watches. These feature cushion-shaped cases that come in a very contemporary 39mm size and colorful dials that have a strong retro vibe. Furthermore, what’s notable about the Mechanic is that these are Shinola’s first hand-wound watches.
2. HANDS-ON: TIMEX X PAN AM DAY-DATE WATCH
Timex has been on a roll with its collaborations, and the latest sees it tie up with a historic institution of American air travel: Pan Am. There are two watches in this collection, but the one we are interested in is the Day-Date model. It comes in a 42mm stainless steel case and features a bright blue dial that’s inspired by pilot’s watches. The hour markers are large and there’s a conspicuous triangle marker at 12 o’clock. The day-date complication is arguably a little incongruous but there’s no doubting its practicality. Rounding it all off is the iconic Pan Am logo at 6 o’clock. For well under $200, this is one of those watches that’s genuinely fun and affordable.
3. ACTUALLY AFFORDABLE: TITANIUM WATCHES
A case can be made for titanium being the ideal material for making a watch. Not only is it extremely strong and light, but it’s also highly resistant to corrosion and hypoallergenic. The only downsides are that it’s hard to work with, and the material can’t be polished to the same extent as stainless steel. These challenges mean that titanium watches are often pricier than their stainless steel counterparts. That said, there are still bargains to be found if you know what to look for. In this edition of Actually Affordable, we take a look at two titanium watches that can be had for under $500.
4. WATCH REVIEW: TISSOT TELEMETER 1938 SERIES
Tissot is no stranger to watches with vintage-inspired designs. The über popular Heritage Visodate was, after all, one of the pioneers of this trend. That said, the new Telemeter 1938 Chronograph that you see here could be their best vintage-inspired watch yet. Just look at that case and dial. Apart from the classic lines of the case, the watch also has the most retro-looking coin-edged crown and lozenge-shaped pushers. But mostly, it’s that dial with that telemeter track and those old-looking typefaces. My only complaint is that it comes in a 42mm-wide case. Imagine this in a 38 or 39mm case — that would be perfect.
5. PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5811 WATCH DEBUTS AS THE WHITE GOLD 5811/1G-001
When Patek Philippe confirmed that it would be discontinuing the Nautilus Ref. 5711, the community was awash with all sorts of conjectures and speculation. What would the successor look like? How different would it be? Well, we finally have the answer. And, quite expectedly, the new Nautilus looks very similar to the model it replaces. If you weren’t into watches or Patek, you’d probably think they were the same watch. Anyhow, the new Nautilus Ref. 5811 comes in a larger 41mm case and, for now, is only available in white gold. There are some changes to the case construction, and it also gets a new clasp. Find out more about the new Nautilus in the link below.