Watch worth £25k stolen

A man and a woman asked to see a Patek Philippe watch with a blue crocodile strap, and left after they were told they could not pay in cash. Staff later realised they had taken the watch with them without paying, Hampshire Constabulary said… More here.

They didn’t even need to steal it in the traditional sense. They just walked out with it. Suspect one of the employees will get a poor performance review this year;)

New Eco-Drives from Citizen

Citizen recently unveiled a trio of Eco-Drive divers through the Brycen range, and what makes these three stand out from most of Citizen’s current catalog is that they take on more of a neo-vintage aesthetic than most. At first glance, I’d say the watches look like ‘70s-inspired divers, featuring a mix of bold colors, classic design cues, and, of course, Citizen’s Eco-Drive tech. I’m a fan of when Citizen keeps it simple, and I think they’ve done that here… More here.

Amazing value, great design, unrivalled reliability.

Spot the difference

A colleague at work bought a new watch for £13. It is the one on the left in the above photo.

The one on the right costs £2,780 and to anyone who does not like watches a purchase of the more expensive one must seem crazy.

It is at times like this when I do wonder about the folly of making such a purchase because in many regards they are the same.

I don’t wear a watch to impress others, but the fact is that 99% of people would not be able to tell the difference when they see either on someone’s wrist.

The finishing on the Tudor will be much finer, but how many people can actually see that without a magnifier of some kind?

The movements inside are night and day, and of course the Tudor one will last for many years with an occasional service whereas the other one may last for two years at most. Even if that were the case, however, you could buy 214 of the cheaper watch and get 428 years of time telling for the same money, and that’s without the need to pay for expensive servicing.

So, as I said it is at moments like this that I question the sanity of buying such an expensive watch and if the feeling it gives me is really worth the financial cost.


And on the subject of expensive watches, how about a $70,000 G-Shock? Read on…

The Full Metal gold watch is solid stainless steel with ion gold-colored plating, and the general consensus at the office was that this was an enormously entertaining watch (several people ended up buying one and they seem to be having just as much fun with them as they were the days they bought them). However, this watch naturally led to a lot of speculation around the water cooler about how much more fun a real solid gold version of the G-Shock would be, and while we all knew about the Dream Project, nobody had any notion in particular that Casio would ever go so far as to produce one. Well, how wrong we were… More here.

The Seiko U.S. Limited Edition Alpinist

Today, we have something really exciting to announce in the HODINKEE Shop – a watch that we think longtime enthusiasts, those new to watch collecting, and outdoor types alike will love. From Seiko, we have a brand new limited edition take on what many consider to be the the Japanese watchmaker’s original sports watch, the Alpinist. It’s perfectly sized, extremely stylish, and it has been made especially for the U.S. market. Oh, and it’s priced at just $600… More here.

$600 could be a worthy investment long term. US only though.

Behind the dial

While in these respects Tudor and Rolex movements diverge, both companies test their prototypes the same way. In a lab just a few metres from Tudor’s conceptors, designs are put through their paces using identical processes and equipment to the sister brand – indeed, many of the machines here bear the Rolex logo. The common goal of the machinery is to artificially age prototypes and see how they fare. So, there’s a device that rapidly twists the winding stem, another that repeatedly sets the date and one that pushes and pulls the crown – some of these simulating up to 27 years of use. Elsewhere on the premises, there’s a room shared by Tudor and Rolex where prototype watches are subjected to shocks – dropped from heights, smashed with hammers – to make sure they can survive even the most careless owner. The only time Tudor uses its own dedicated equipment is to test unique functions, such as the alarm on the Tudor Heritage Advisor… More here.

Always good to see what justifies the cost of the better timepieces.

The Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Tough

The design is simplicity itself: a steel case with monocoque construction (the movement’s inserted on the dial side) 42mm in diameter, and 10.75mm thick; the exterior of the case is clad in Duratect, which is Citizen’s proprietary titanium alloy and which is about 5 times more scratch resistant than standard stainless steels. The crystal is synthetic sapphire. The case exudes solidity; the screw-down crown is protected by crown guards; water resistance is 200 meters and resistance to magnetism is 4800 A/m (amperes per meter). The rechargeable cell inside the watch is a potential point of concern if you’re looking for a timepiece that will run indefinitely without any need for a watchmaker’s attention, but the manual for the Eco-Drive Tough says, bluntly, that “the energy cell should last for the life of the watch,” which given its simple and robust construction, should be a boringly long time… More here.

That’s a lot of watch for not a huge amount of money. Lovely clean design.

Tudor Black Bay GMT thoughts. Too good for me?

A grail watch that is so good it just doesn’t feel right

For many years I have wanted a Tudor Black Bay Heritage. It has always been the watch I look at and consider to be ‘the one’. I cannot explain why, but the cliche of ‘it needs to speak to you’ is 100% true in the case of watches and the invisible emotions that can make you love or hate a watch are completely real.

When I found myself in a position to finally get my grail I made some enquiries with regards to the red Heritage and was advised by my authorised deal that he had none. I was ready to check elsewhere, they are readily available, but he mentioned that he had just received a Black Bay GMT. That made me stop in my tracks.

You see, the GMT is not easy to find at all which is evidenced by this snippet taken from a watch forum discussing the availability in London last August-

So far:

John Lewis Oxford Street – Long Waiting List
Ernest Jones – Cheapside – 70 people waiting
Goldsmiths – Victoria – 200 people waiting
Watches of Switzerland – Regent St – 120 people waiting

Will update information as when I know more…

This has not changed much at all and to this day many people have been waiting for a long time to get their hands on one. So I asked him to keep it aside and I popped into the store the next day. £2,780 later it was mine.

A huge amount of money for a watch, but the picture is much bigger and far deeper when it comes to this particular watch. I shall try to explain why this amount of money makes perfect sense-

1/ It is a Tudor Black Bay. Try to buy a second-hand Black Bay and you will pay close to the original asking price so it is hard to lose money if you keep it in decent condition.

2/ The GMT is scarce and they are regularly changing hands for between £3,000 and £3,500 and in some cases even higher.

3/ The Rolex GMT Master II is £6,850. Yes, it is in some ways a very different watch, but in others the similarities are stark.

4/ It is an asset which holds its price in a way almost all other products fail to do. If troubling times come, I have +£2,500 to sell at any point. Potentially I will have a lot more once a few years have passed.

There was logically no reason to turn down the GMT even though when I sat in the jewellers with it on my wrist I was not overcome. It was not speaking to me as I expected it to.

I bought it anyway.

A strange thing happened over the next few days and especially so on the first wear. I was paranoid of getting any scratch or mark on it, presumably because of points 2 and 3 above, and so I was being extra careful with resting my arm on the desk etc. It took 30 minutes for me to pull out a second watch from my bag and replace this one in a safe place so that it did not gain any mark.

What was more strange, however, was how I felt wearing a watch that is worth approximately £3,000. It felt overwhelming in a small way. I didn’t feel like someone who should be wearing such an expensive watch. It’s not me and I simply did not feel worthy because it felt so out of place on my arm.

I am not a Rolex guy. Never have been and I never will be. There are many reasons for this; the designs feel as though they have been put together for other people to see and not for the wearer to enjoy. The Submariner is wonderful, but now so generic that everyone who gets into watches owns one. When people reach a certain financial position in life that they want to stamp they buy a Rolex. They don’t look for something different, they go for a Rolex because it is the safe choice.

The Pepsi icon. Rotary has tried to copy it, but failed in a big way. As have many other brands..

For all of the greatness of Rolex, and there is much, the designs feel as though they are aimed at people at least a generation ahead of me and maybe more. Look at the GMT Master II and compare it to the Black Bay GMT- the Master II comes over as far too decorative whereas the Bay feels somehow younger and cooler.

Anyway, I digress. I wore the Black Bay GMT the next day and it managed to get more wrist time than in the previous 24 hours, and the sense of ‘not good enough to wear it’ started to dissipate. But then another feeling clouded my thoughts. The red and blue bezel, which is made up of two perfectly matched subtle colours, pops in the subtlest of ways. It is not noticeable most of the time, but now and again I appreciate the colour scheme used on GMT. The white snowflake hands work perfectly with the grey(?) dial and the GMT hand of course makes sense in red. However, the sense of silver, red and blue all together can come over as too cautious. It is hard to put into words, but it is perfectly possible that I am truly smitten with the Black Bay Heritage and the gold hands and markers. It will sound silly to those of you who don’t have an interest in watches, but when you see something that fits the way you are, it is hard to move to the opposite.

The lack of a date window on the Heritage helps a lot as does the full red bezel and the gold of course, and it is these little things that make it feel special to me. It makes it feel just more special than the GMT. I cannot of course criticise the GMT for this because it is a true tool watch with a brilliantly intuitive movement and it makes no apologies for that. It should be perfect for me because it ticks every box, but the Heritage feels just a little more perfect.

Overall though I am left with the feeling that a £3,000 watch is too much for me. Do I not feel worthy to wear an expensive watch? Does it feel like a risk carrying something like this with me every day? I don’t know, but it makes me feel uncomfortable and somewhat guilty deep down. It feels arrogant and unnecessary which is bizarre because I have always wanted a watch like this. My iPhone cost £1,000 and I don’t have any guilt about carrying that around so why is a watch a problem?

I don’t know why it is, but I suspect that I will end up wearing a £300 Seiko again and will continue to ‘look up’ to watches like the Black Bay GMT. Something about not being able to attain an object makes it seem more special to me than when I have it on my wrist, and it is kind of a disappointing feeling.

If you have no such worries, however, get this watch. It is wonderful and probably the best value watch on the market today when compared to its peers.

Wena Pro by Sony

Turn your favourite watch into a smart watch, all of the latest smart features are incorporated into the smart wena strap, giving you the perfect balance of style and convenience. Leave your bulky wallet behind thank to the contactless payment system built into the wristband. Get notifications on smartphone calls, apps and texts, all with an optional vibration mode. Monitoring your health has never been easier. Just wear your Wena wrist pro and check steps walked, calories burned, track sleep and more from a dedicated application.

Wena wrist Pro combines the beauty of analogue timepieces with the convenience of technology. Add your favourite watch face to the wena pro to create a personalised smartwatch that’s literally like no other or choose a face from the extensive wena lineup. The wena wrist pro smart strap is compatible with 18mm, 20mm and 22mm watch faces so you can truly make it your own… More here.

A good idea and I’m pleased to see a real company like Sony trying this approach. My main concern would be the quality of the fitness tracking, but time will tell.