This month’s round-up is a bit of a dive watch bonanza. We begin with Rolex’s newest Deepsea Sea-Dweller Ref. 126660 and Seiko’s Prospex SPB077 and SPB079 watches. Next, we take an in-depth look at a favorite among watch lovers buying their first luxury Swiss-made dive watch, the Oris Aquis Date. Dive watches aside, we also investigate the watch retail scene and explain why certain watch models, like the Rolex Daytona and Patek Philippe Nautilus, are next to impossible to buy from stores.
From around the web, we have a behind the scenes look at how Audemars Piguet makes the dials and cases of its iconic Royal Oak watches. We also have a story about the new Bangalore Watch Company and how it aims to revive the watchmaking industry in India. Last but not least, we have a feature on chronographs—what’s the difference between integrated and modular chronographs and is one really better than the other?
1. ROLEX DEEPSEA SEA-DWELLER 126660 ‘BLACK DIAL’ WATCH HANDS-ON
This year, Rolex introduced a new version of its deepest diver, the Deepsea Sea-Dweller. The new ref. 126660 Deepsea comes in either a black dial or a ‘D-Blue’ graduated blue dial and features a slightly redesigned case and a wider bracelet. It also gets Rolex’s newest Caliber 3235, which features the patented Chronergy escapement. This results in a more harmonious-looking watch and fixes some of the problems of the model that it replaces—namely that it looks too top heavy and that its bracelet never really seemed to match its case. Here’s a closer look at the new black dial version of Rolex’s newest Deepsea Sea-Dweller 126660.
2. SEIKO PROSPEX SPB077 & SPB079 DIVE WATCHES HANDS-ON
If you ask me, the best new dive watch for 2018 has got to be the Seiko SLA025 Hi-Beat 300m, which is a thoughtful reissue of Seiko’s vintage diver, the ref. 6159-7001. That classic case shape, gilt dial, and modern high beat movement make for an irresistible combination. Unfortunately, it is limited to 1,500 pieces and it is also quite pricey. The next best thing could very well be the Seiko Prospex SPB077 and SPB079. Unlike the SLA025, these aren’t outright reissues of the old ref. 6159-7001. Instead, they are meant to be modern reinterpretations of that classic Seiko diver. More importantly, they are considerably more affordable.
3. ORIS AQUIS DATE BLUE DIAL WATCH REVIEW
The Oris Aquis Date has been a longtime favorite among watch lovers looking to get their first serious Swiss dive watch. It really has a lot going for it. It has a distinctive, masculine look; it is extremely well-made; it has a robust mechanical movement; plus it is made by Oris, a well-regarded brand that has built a reputation for making very good watches at reasonable prices over the last few years. Here, we take an in-depth look at the latest Aquis Date diver, which was released just last year as part of a larger refresh of the Aquis collection.
4. WHY SOME WATCHES FROM ROLEX, PATEK PHILIPPE & OTHERS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AT RETAIL
The latest version of the stainless steel Rolex Daytona is available with a black or white dial and comes with a black ceramic bezel. It has been out for two years now but I have never seen it in a store, not in my country and not when I’m abroad. I’m almost beginning to believe Rolex doesn’t actually sell the watch. The same goes for the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 and also the discontinued Panerai Luminor Base Logo (PAM 000). I have never seen these watches in stores before. Why is that? Why are these watches next to impossible to find in retail settings? Answers in the link below.
5. AVOID BUYING THESE TYPES OF WATCHES
Since I write about watches, friends often ask me what watches they should buy. It really depends. It depends on a lot of things: your own tastes, your lifestyle, and your preferences for certain brands are just some of the factors that determine what kind of watches you like and should buy. That said, I find it easier to advise friends on the kind of watches that they should avoid buying. Read this article if you want to avoid making an expensive mistake.
6. APPLE WATCH EDITION SERIES 3: IS THE CERAMIC CASE WORTH IT?
When Apple first launched the Apple Watch, the luxury versions came in gold. Those watches were, to me and a lot of other folks, ostentatious and perhaps unnecessary. Now, the luxury versions of the Apple Watch come in much more practical ceramic. Ceramic is arguably one of the most important materials in modern watchmaking as it is so strong and hard that it is virtually scratch-proof. It is, however, very brittle, but that’s a story for another day. So how does the Apple Watch Edition Series 3 and its ceramic case hold up and is it worth getting one?