Tough and affordable watches feature heavily in this month’s roundup as we take a closer look at Tudor’s recently released Pelagos 39 and Apple’s new Apple Watch Ultra. These two watches feature strong and light titanium cases and were made to survive harsh conditions. And continuing on the topic of rugged watches, we also feature Seiko’s hot Seiko 5 GMT watches, as well as Casio’s new full-metal GMB2100 G-Shock watches.
From around the Web, we have a sensational story about a Patek Philippe 1518 with questionable provenance. Was it really owned by the late King Farouk of Egypt? And featuring the best of independent watchmaking, we take a detailed look at Greubel Forsey’s new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture watch and visit Rexhep Rexhepi at his workshop in Geneva. Lastly, we have a guide to Patek Philippe’s most timeless Calatrava watches.
1. HANDS-ON: TUDOR PELAGOS 39 TITANIUM DIVE WATCH
One of the biggest watch releases of the past couple of weeks has to be Tudor’s new Pelagos 39. This is a smaller, thinner, and less complicated version of the brand’s 42mm hardcore diver’s watch. It’s 39mm-wide, just 11.8mm-thick, and measures a modest 47mm from one lug to the other. In many ways, it is the watch that fans of the Pelagos have always wanted. But it’s not perfect; it still has a titanium case, but water resistance has dropped from 500 meters to “just” 200 meters. Gone also is the larger Pelago’s excellent spring-loaded extension clasp. This makes do with a simpler foldover clasp with a T-fit mechanism. Find out our initial impressions of this watch in the link below.
2. HANDS-ON: THE APPLE WATCH ULTRA
Apple has an all-new watch and it’s called the Apple Watch Ultra. Announced alongside the new iPhones earlier this month, this is the tech giant’s take on a no-compromise, hardcore explorer’s watch. It has a larger, brighter display, a case made of titanium, a higher depth rating of 100 meters, and double the battery life of any earlier Apple Watch. And to get you ready for the outdoors, it has a dual-band GPS that can locate the wearer more precisely. If you should ever be in trouble, there’s a special siren function that can activate an 86-decibel loud siren that can be heard up to nearly 600 feet away. We were at the launch event, and here are our first impressions of this watch.
3. WATCH REVIEW: CERTINA DS ACTION DIVER TITANIUM
Certina is one of the best-kept secrets when it comes to affordable Swiss-made dive watches. Though it is one of the Swatch Group brands and its positioning is similar to that of its stablemates like Hamilton and Tissot, it remains poorly distributed around the world. This, however, can be a good thing, because if you want to stand out from the crowd with something that is really different, you might look for a Certina. And one of its more interesting recent releases is the Certain DS Action Diver Titanium, a 300m diver’s watch with a titanium case, vintage-inspired design cues, and a Powermatic 80 movement.
4. WATCH REVIEW: CASIO G-SHOCK GMB2100 IN FULL-METAL ON BRACELET
With its distinctive octagonal case and affordable price tag, the GA-2100 — better known simply as the “CasiOak” — has quickly become one of Casio’s most popular watches. Recently, the brand followed up on that success with the GA-B2100, which took the GA-2100 and added to it two hotly-requested features: Tough Solar and Bluetooth connectivity. And now, Casio is at it again with the GM-B2100, which takes the GA-B2100 and gives it a full metal case. Considering the number of owners who were already making this modification to their GA-B2100, this was a no-brainer move, and I look forward to seeing more interesting versions of this watch from Casio.
5. WATCH REVIEW: SEIKO 5 SPORTS GMT SSK005K1
Seiko has finally answered the prayers of all its fans who wanted an accessibly priced mechanical GMT watch. If there was anyone who could make a truly affordable GMT watch, it has to be Seiko right? Well, the Seiko 5 Sports GMT is here. It might not be a true GMT with an independent jumping hour hand, but at under $500, I think it’s hard to complain. Also, there’s little doubt this is a handsome piece, particularly to Seiko fans. It has strong SKX vibes and a highly legible dial. The 42.5mm case might be a tad big considering today’s tastes, but remember, this is supposed to be a hardy daily wearer. Find out why this watch has got Seiko fans all hot in the link below.