Vintage gold watches

I recently bought a vintage gold Avia Incabloc watch for not much money at all and I have been more than surprised by how I feel about it.

It is quite small and very thin, at least in comparison to my deep Black Bay Red, but there is something about the gold dial, gold hands, gold markers and case that makes it pop when on the wrist.

My son tried it on and it looks amazing on him. He owns a Black Bay 58, which he loves, but even he was taken by this and more specifically by the colouring and the way it made him feel.

There has been much talk about two tone watches which I admit to not liking, but I am starting to appreciate the overuse of gold in a watch, and more specifically in a vintage piece that is smaller than most current offerings. I learnt something new with this spur of the moment purchase.

Saving the ocean. Really?

Watches have been linked to the ocean forever. From the marine chronometers invented by John Harrison in the 1700s to the first ever waterproof watch case, the Oyster, from Rolex in 1926.

And now with so many issues floating to the surface surrounding our seas many of the big watch houses are starting to take action and lend a helping hand to the charities and causes desperately trying to save our oceans from climate change and pollution. Whether they’re incorporating recycled materials into the watches or donating proceeds of sales to organisations who are leading the charge in conservation and protection of marine life and their habitats… More here.

There is quite a bit of hyperbole and watch journalism in the above article, and it kind of annoys me.

It’s good that brands are recognising the problems in our oceans, but they are also producing products out of metal, plastic and many other materials that add to the problem. A trendy box doesn’t quite cut it for me.

So you missed out on the Q Timex reissue…

Don’t worry about it. In the case of a Timex it really does not matter too much. I had the Q Timex added to my bag online, twice, and took it out again. When I eventually decided to buy one for £159 it was already out of stock, and it still is a few days later.

There is one on eBay UK which is currently at £100 over retail and it still has two days to run. These things will sell for a decent profit if that is your thing, but if you simply want the watch because of what it is you will likely not need to wait long.

This is not a stainless steel Submariner or a GMT Master. It is a Timex. It is a relatively simple quartz watch and Timex is a huge company. It has no need to enhance the perception of the brand with scarcity because it doesn’t run in that part of the market. It will make more watches and we will be able to buy them for the retail price in the relatively near future.

Just sit back, check out the impending reviews of this watch and when its available make your purchase- don’t give your money to flippers like the guy on eBay. You will still enjoy what you have bought.

How a product ages defines its timeless appeal

The worn devices have evoked strong feelings of nostalgia from those who’ve seen the photos. Hu explains that images of the same products in perfect condition don’t elicit the same emotions. It’s the wear and tear that connects people with their memories of the devices… More here.

I find it interesting how the images in the above article are defined as emotional and indeed nostalgic, and I guess there are emotions attached to a well-used piece of tech that has served an individual well.

There is, however, surely no comparison to how a well-made watch ages. The image above highlights this- that Apple Watch does not look well-loved or in any way improved, it simply looks broken. The Rolex below simply looks beautiful.

Retro is great, but…

Since we have a huge passion in classic rock music, we curated the ‘Rock for Vintage’ collection. Every detail in our watch is a nod to the features of classic music instruments. The original microphone featured a case design, juke music box featured a dial design and classic speaker featured a case back design at its core, equipped with a reputable Japanese automatic watch movement. Besides, we also offer interchangeable Italian calf leather strap and Milanese strap for you to choose… More here.

The Rock for Vintage collection from Lecronos looks splendid in the marketing snaps (Kickstarter) and the watches are certainly original, but a part of me cannot help thinking that they may be a little over the top when on the wrist. It is so easy to buy a watch that looks great from a distance and to then regret it as soon as you put it on.

The Bronze Blue Angels’ (above) seems to be a little more subdued, but even then I am not convinced it wouldn’t look a little too much when out and about. The balance is so difficult to achieve and it seems that only the likes of Seiko and above manage it well.

Checking the date with no date window

This may look and sound like a ridiculous idea and I get that, but I have recently moved to a Black Bay Heritage and I do find that not having the date easily to hand can be a problem.

A problem? OK, it’s a first world problem that is not exactly life changing and I do find that checking the date on my iPhone is, for some reason, quite annoying.

Sometimes you just want to glance and get information which is one of the reasons I bought the Black Bay. The highly readable dial is perfect for quick time checking, but alas no date.

Is a calendar ring a crazy idea? It seems logical because where else can you put the date if you do not have a date window? It may look a little silly when viewed closely, but from a practice point of view at least there is some merit to the idea. Am I wrong?

How overpriced is this watch?

Compact, yet robust in build, the Marine Grade Stainless steel case at a stately yet wearable 43mm diameter, with beautifully crafted piston-like pushers and the slight lines of a pumpkin style crown create a shape that is traditional yet unique in its own take on the definition of classic watchmaking.

With the Earnshaw brand stamped boldly in middle of case-back, the see-through case back gives a close look at the carefully customized rotor of the famed 25 jewel Sellita – SW 500 movement.

The Thomas Earnshaw ES-0033 is £3,250.

Judging if a watch is overpriced or if it represents good value can often cause lots of division and a variety of opinions. However, in the case of the ES-0033 I suspect 99.999% of people who understand watches will say that it is grossly overpriced.

This video gives you an idea of what it looks like in real life and remarkably it actually looks less appealing the more you look at it. The SW500 movement can be found in much cheaper watches from better brands, you can buy a Tudor Black Bay and have +£500 left over and you can also get a very good Omega for the same price. Is this overpriced? Of course it is, without any doubt at all.

Your watch impresses literally no-one

Firstly, let’s not delude ourselves: your timepiece is going to impress more men than women. That’s a given. Unless, of course, it’s awful. If that’s the case, you’ll be slaying precisely no one — and also, how did you find your way to Time+Tide? However, there are a few ways you can maximise your chances of making an impression on the fairer sex with your choice of wristwear, at least a little… More here.

The article above is a bit silly if I am honest, but it does highlight the biggest myth about watches. Many people buy a watch because they believe it impresses others (the majority maybe?) and this applies to big and cheap sports watches as much as it does to Rolex and other luxury brands.

The problem is that 99.9% of people have no idea what watch you are wearing and 99% of those people really do not care. The vast majority do not know a tick from a sweep and even if they notice it, they will not know that one is quartz and that one is mechanical. There literally is no point in trying to impress people with a watch because all you will be doing is spending money, potentially a lot of it, for the wrong reasons and it will be wasted anyway.

Just buy a watch because you like it. That’s the only reason you need.

Seiko – is there better value under £500?

I have spent considerable time researching, buying and wearing watches that some perceive to be ‘budget’ and no matter how many I try I always come back to Seiko.

In this area of the market we have Bulova, Tissot, Citizen, Casio and countless others. Slightly below in terms of price we have Timex, Accurist, Boss, Lorus, Swatch, Sekonda and so it goes on. And then there are all the fashion brands such as Armani, Guess and the like to supplement watches you should avoid from Daniel Wellington, Storm and Wenger.

It is a very crowded market which is no doubt dominated by purchaser who will buy a watch depending on the colour of the face (yes it’s a dial) or if they like the strap, but for those who understand watched and who do not want to spend £1,000’s there is Seiko.

There is competition in this area, however, and they certainly deserve consideration; Citizen makes watches that will literally run and run and run, they are deadly accurate and to say they do what it says on the tin is an understatement. The lack of character though is ever present for me and I never feel like a modern Citizen watch has true character. They tend to feel factory made in every single part.

Bulova has a wonderful history and lots of original designs to lean back on, but in my experience the newer incarnations of classic watches from the range don’t quite cut it in terms of quality and a feel of longevity.

The G-Shock is what it is and almost beyond criticism. Some of the models are just brilliant in terms of design, but alas the majority follow the same formula with minor tweaks year after year. I love a good G-Shock on my wrist, but would like to see Casio maybe try something different in the case shapes etc.

And then there is Seiko. No matter how much I think about it, if it is a Seiko chances are that it will be of brilliant quality and represent excellent value in comparison to the competition. Add to this a long history and re-inventions of classic timepieces in a way that is true to the originals and you have quality, character, originality and value which is all you can ask from any brand, let alone one selling watches from less than £100.

When I look at the SRP line I see a near perfect vintage recreation (ignore the chapter ring!) and one which ticks every single box with a massive pen. The larger Prospex watches have a character all of their own and even the lower-end quartz watches feel substantial and much more expensive than they actually are.

As it happens I was looking at some Grand Seiko watches at the weekend and next to Rolex I could immediately feel the competitive quality at a lower price point through a selection of watches that arguably offer more originality and a better finish than the big ‘R’. The fact that they do not hold their value is worth noting, but if you want to buy a luxury watch that you will wear for many years it is hard to argue with a Grand Seiko purchase.

I continue to consider the value of watch brands and I continue to believe that no one beats Seiko…