For 2013, the aBlogtoWatch watch gift guide will take the form of an editor’s and contributor’s wish list. Some of the editorial team has gone ahead and chosen a few of the timepieces from last year that are really high on their list. These are mostly newer watches, but ones that should be available for purchase now. So for this holiday season you’ll get a good idea of what we’ve personally wanted, and we didn’t include crazy stuff that no one can get, even if they could afford it.
What you may find interesting is how often watches get put on the same list. We’ve made it possible for the same watch to appear as many times as people choose them. Often guides will have each person choosing separate items so that we can maximize the opportunity to discuss as many watches as possible. These lists are completely pure and you’ll get a good indication of what some of the most popular watches are going to be.
Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph Dark Side Of The Moon
The internal waiting list at Omega itself is about a year to buy the Dark Side Of The Moon black ceramic version of the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph. Hitting retailers at about the time we publish this post, it is going to be the hot Omega for a while. What is really impressive is that the ceramic case is polished to match the steel version of the watch in a fantastically satisfying manner. Sporty and modern, yet traditional and functional, the Dark Side Of The Moon is perhaps the most interesting member of the already interesting new Speedmaster collection with its in-house made Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph (reviewed here). Price is about $12,000.
Ressence Type 3
Our favorite Belgian watch makers Ressence, captured the hearts and minds of watch lovers around the world with his liquid-filled Type 3 timepiece. A crownless case made mostly of sapphire crystal looks like nothing else on the market, and delivers elegantly bold looks and marvelous (yet unique) legibility. This is really a watch lover’s watch and it is sure to be as rare as it is cool. Though it is unceremoniously expensive at $34,000. Though for that exact price I am not sure what else I would get.
Regardless of your ideas on the topic or if you care about such Formula One kind tactics and technology applied to your watch, the effective result is a watch that is super light and comfortable at a mere 90 grams. This was easily the lightest and most comfortable watch I’ve ever put on for an extended duration, and the lightest Linde Werdelin Limited Replica on record.Looking down in the dial, beyond the ceramic bezel, although the crisp and clear sapphire crystal, then further through the skeletonization of the dial, an individual can see that the LW07 three-hand movement especially made for Linde Werdelin by Concepto. There is not any date and this really works nicely, as the date wheel would distract from the perspective of the dial.The palms are standard of Linde Werdelin and are also skeletonized. This can rub some the wrong way as it can produce the watch harder to read, and that’s a legitimate complaint so far as legibility goes. This is actually exacerbated due to the fact that the hour and minutes hands don’t contrast much. They all have their suggestion filled with Super-LumiNova which works fine at night, although not sufficient to qualify as a fantastic night watch. Regions of the chapter ring suggesting five-minute increments have little applications of Super-LumiNova too, but like the palms, this helps just slightly at night.For me, these openings are minor, since the watch excels with its own light weight and distinctive modern design. The case back on this particular watch is not display, which at first bothered me somewhat as you is not able to see another side of this movement. However, because I wore it, two things became evident. First, the front facet is skeletonized enough which a transparent case back could perhaps become distracting with an opinion of the wearer’s wrist.
Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night
A little color can go a long way. Rolex has proved that time and time again, but with the GMT-Master II Day/Night they also showed-off a new feat of in-house developed technology. Several years ago the new Rolex GMT-Master II watch debuted with a ceramic black bezel. Now it comes in a perfectly dual-colored black and blue bezel. This is a single piece of ceramic that has two colors. Rolex uses a unique process to accomplish this, and was the first one to market with dual color ceramic parts. The Day/Night is a thematic homage to the famous red and blue Pepsi dial GMT-Master which Rolex may also release in the future once they are able to do the same with blue and red ceramic. Until then, this remains among the coolest new Rolex watches to own. Price is about $9,150.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser
Under different lighting angles, you get alternate colours and reflections, which makes the watch stand out and infinitely pleasant to check out. The feel is reminiscent a little of this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak which additionally uses this combination of brushed, satin, and polished finishing on its cases and bracelets to similar impact. “Another important facet of this Linde Werdelin Oktopus 2 Replica Oktopus BluMoon, similar to other Oktopus skies watches, is your unique Linde Werdelin style of showing the phases of the moon. Adding an in-house complication to a Concepto-based three-hand-and-date motion, LW changed the date wheel into a rotating sensible moon wheel. Considering that the dial is skeletonized, you will find well-placed openings between 2 and 3 o’clock and between 8 and 4 o’clock that allow one to read the current phase of the moon, in which our celestial company will probably be in 1, 2, 3, and 4 times, as well as where it has been.While it may seem at first to be a gimmick, understanding where the moon was will probably be in a week is actually useful advice for sailors wanting to night dive. The moon is easily one of your best “friends” for nighttime activities like diving. Possessing a full moon while diving can mean having the ability to orient yourself to the ship by sight when night diving as opposed to having to completely depend on the utilization of different communications and navigation devices (e.g., a compass), and of course the ability to quickly see different divers or your own anchor buoy line and ship when surfacing.
When I first discovered the Freak watch years ago I was a bit weirded out by the “freakish” design. It wasn’t that the Freak looked bad to me, but rather that it simply looked so different I didn’t understand what it was trying to do. The Freak was only strange because it was so radically different. Years later after a lot more watch education, the Freak started to grow on me, starting with an understanding of the innovative use of silicon, complex design, and legibility despite its highly unorthodox face. I became a Freak lover, but it didn’t happen overnight. The Freak Cruiser is the most advanced “non tourbillon” Freak which means it is worlds more refined than the original. No doubt the watch is a statement, but it is a statement I want to make. Price is a dream-worthy $87,500. This is a “wish list” after all right?
Tudor Heritage Black Bay
The Black Bay offers an excellent mix of distinctive vintage styling, Rolex build quality, and an easily serviced and reliable movement. The rosy-red bezel, gilt dial, and snowflake hour hand add a bit of flare to the basic Sub ethos that made Tudor and Rolex Subs the legends they are today. I like that the Tudor respects the core elements of the Sub backstory but has made the Black Bay their own. Price is $3,500.
Obviously, having it around the tool would produce the case difficult to waterproof. The black dongle has two electrodes that connect together with the instrument at two vulnerable metal hinges that are used to control the Linde Werdelin Reef. I found the Linde Werdelin Reef charges relatively fast in about two to three hours. Once fully charged, the instrument lasted for the entire time that I was on holiday and also for my six dives, which were probably five-and-a-half hours, complete. The battery indication of the instrument was about 1/4 charge staying when I was done.Like many other digital dive computers, the Linde Werdelin Reef is water-activated. This means is that after turned on, the device will automatically trigger and begin logging a brand new dive just when submerged. On soil or on ship, the display you see has current time and indication of battery level, the current temperature, the percent of oxygen from the atmosphere, and the maximum operating depth (MOD) for the supposed gas mix you’re using. At the base of the screen, the three buttons can be used to perform additional installation, view the compass display, or review a log in your dives.Pressing the installation option is utilized to correct the monitor’s settings. As an example, one can set the current date, time, and year, in addition to personalize the pc to the owner, select color pallets, components, and some of the information shown on each screen. Other more intriguing settings are related to diving, like water kind, dive-mode, safety stop, the O2 level of the combination you’re planning to dive with, the altimeter level where you’re diving (0 inches to sea level), and a planner for the next dives – that is mostly allowing you to specify surface intervals, average depth, and no-stop moment.
Aside from a feature set including Bremont’s first flyback chronograph and a GMT complication, the Codebreaker serves as a tribute to Bletchley Park, home to Britain’s WWII code-breaking force. Bletchley Park had a profound impact on the outcome of WWII and thanks to great minds like Alan Turing and successfully decrypted code from the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Each Bremont Codebreaker incorporates actual artifacts from Bletchley Park, such as the serial number which is taken from a punch card used to process information during the war. Furthermore, the Codebreaker’s winding rotor incorporates metal from an actual German Enigma machine and the crown is capped with a pine insert taken from the floor of Bletchley Park’s famed Hut 6. The mere fact that a watch like the Codebreaker even exists is wild and it may be the absolute coolest way to own a piece of WWII history. Price is $18,500.
H. Moser & Cie Nomad Dual Time
Besides the 2 pushers on the best utilized to mount and unmount the tool onto the watch, there are just four buttons used to turn on and cycle through attributes on the Linde Werdelin Reef. There’s only on the left side located on the top that’s used to turn off and on the instrument, in addition to a rear button (when shifting from one display to the previous). The ones on the long bottom portion of this rectangular-shaped tool are utilised to move down and up through the various pages (both the leftmost and rightmost buttons), and the one in the middle is used for picking or confirming choices. There are no markers on the Linde Werdelin Reef instance, other than the engraved Linde Werdelin logo, however after using it in one dip, it becomes pretty normal. Also, when switched on, there are indications on the screen, e.g., Up and Down arrows, and Input for the bottom buttons.The overall functionality of these buttons is not difficult to understand, and I completed the first two dives without moving through the PDF manual that comes with the instrument, it’s worth mentioning that on property without gloves, I really do find the buttons really hard to press. That is no doubt a result of the high-quality construction meant to enable the buttons to be usable submerged in the 300-meter maximum depth it is made for. From the water, the experience is much better and simpler. The best way I could describe it is like the encounter as pressing a very stiff chronograph pusher that is 5 to 10 times bigger than many typical chronographs. Pressing the button is difficult at first, but once beyond the essential pressure stage, it clicks satisfyingly using a default option sound verifying that the input signal was received.Charging the instrument is done via standard Micro USB type B connector, however rather of having any type of connector directly on the instrument itself, the Linde Werdelin Reef includes a black plastic bracket that you can use and which unlocks a USB connector.
Hey, a fella can dream, right? The H. Moser & Cie Nomad Dual Time, just look at it. Achingly pretty, the Nomad Dual Time boasts H. Moser’s first in-house automatic movement, the HMC 346, which allows for a standard time display, am/pm indication and a second timezone display. Exceedingly rare and beautifully finished and with a second timezone display, you’ll be finding any excuse to travel. Given the $46,500 price tag, this one is little more than a dream, but can you blame me?
Bringing me back to reality is the Halios Tropik, the latest diver from one of the better known and respected micro-brands. At 41 x 14mm, the Tropik is a bit smaller than previous models like the Laguna and Bluering. The bronze version has already begun shipping and the steel version, with either a blue or a black dial and bezel, also began shipping this past month. Available directly from Halios for $650, the Tropik sports a Miyota 9015 movement, a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 300m. I’ve got my eye on a blue one and I’m just hoping that I don’t have to wait until Christmas to get it on my wrist.
The very first generation Founders view was, in its heart, a GMT watch with the aim of being a solid time-zone jumper. They then followed it up with the GMT Biformeter along with the 3-Timer, with the 3-Timer carrying the notion of a GMT watch to the next level with the addition of a complication to get another time zone. Linde Werdelin considers this 2006-2009 era their “First Generation” and also the performance of these early pieces finds its way into the new lineup. The “Second Generation” watched the launch of the Spido and Oktopus pieces, with a focus on diving and skiing usefulness, both passions of their company’s founders.So where does the Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 GMT match to the lineup as the “Third Generation?” Maintaining its position as a GMT watch, it preserves that performance with some interesting changes. To begin with, the instance is redesigned to improve legibility and includes a nicely recessed bezel that seamlessly blends into the case to allow more of this 36mm dial opening to be seen. In terms of dimensions, the 44mm broad, 46mm long, and 15mm thick case is right based on previous models. The hands are skeletonized with exactly what Linde Werdelin calls for the “Trigon” routine, and the lume utilized on the dial hails from precisely the exact same formula used on the Oktopus Frogman which actually has origins in watches used in Danish military diving units. Not ones to overlook their GMT legacy, it also offers a second time-zone complication exhibited digitally by means of a window at 3 o’clock, along with a day/night index at 12 o’clock and an AM/PM indicator at 6 o’clock. No matter your preference when it comes to their watches, it’s not difficult to imagine there are buyers for the 192 bits, and then a few.
Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph ’57
The first generation Founders watch was, in its heart, a GMT watch with the intention of becoming a solid time-zone jumper. They then followed it up using the GMT Biformeter along with the 3-Timer, with the 3-Timer taking the notion of a GMT watch to the next level by adding a complication to get a third time zone. Linde Werdelin Norge Replica believes this 2006-2009 age their “First Generation” and also the functionality of those ancient pieces finds its way to the new line. The “Second Generation” watched the release of this Spido and Oktopus pieces, with a focus on skiing and diving utility, both passions of their company’s founders.So where does the Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 GMT match to the line since the “Third Generation?” Maintaining its position as a GMT watch, it preserves that performance with a few interesting changes. First, the instance is redesigned to increase legibility and features a well recessed bezel that seamlessly blends into the situation to allow more of the 36mm dial opening to be viewed. Concerning size, the 44mm broad, 46mm long, and 15mm thick case is right in line with previous versions. The palms are skeletonized with exactly what Linde Werdelin calls the “Trigon” pattern, and the lume utilized on the dial hails from precisely the same formula used on the Oktopus Frogman which actually has roots in watches used in Danish military diving components. Speaking of diving, the watches are water resistant to 100m each.The Linde Werdelin LW 10-24 GMT can be obtained in two variants, one in an 18k rose gold outside case and the other using a 3DTP outer scenario, each home a domed sapphire crystal. Not ones to overlook their GMT legacy, in addition, it features a 2nd time-zone complication displayed digitally via a window at 3 o’clock, along with a day/night index at 12 o’clock and an AM/PM index at 6 o’clock. Overkill for some, but this really is really a Linde Werdelin, after all. No matter your taste in regards to their watches, it’s not hard to imagine there are buyers for the 192 pieces, and then a few.
The Omega Speedmaster ’57 is one of the latest iterations of the Speedmaster line, and when I saw it in person, I was taken. I’d started to be drawn more to the Speedmaster line this year in general. At the same time, I’ve started to be drawn more to white-dialed watches – which meant that the Speedmaster that everyone knows and loves wasn’t quite my cup of tea. That was, until Omega changed the cup. Upon the arrival of the co-axial Speedmaster ’57, with its bright white dial and dual-register layout, and I became a fan. While the one I reviewed here came in yellow gold, I think I’d more likely opt for a different model. That said, I’d have a very hard time choosing between the steel model with blue dial ($9,000) and the titanium version with a white dial ($11,400). The Speedmaster has been one of the most popular sport watches since its walk on the moon, and this latest version manages to be simultaneously familiar and refreshingly different. This particular model pulls together some great elements from others in its lineup, meaning you can recognize where the watch came from, while still rocking a more modern feeling design. And hey, even if you’re a traditionalist and go for the black dial, you’re still getting some great design and history, paired up with an excellent movement. Priced from $8,000 – $30,000.
Michelsen Arctic Explorer
As I mentioned with the Speedmaster ’57, white-dialed watches have really grabbed my attention. Pair that with my favorite complication (a GMT indicator), and you’re running into a pretty narrow field. While the Rolex Explorer II is a good choice, I ran across the Arctic Explorer from Icelandic brand Michelsen. While the comparisons between the two pieces are inevitable, the Arctic Explorer really stands on its own. For one, it was put through some extreme testing in an Antarctic expedition in a trek to the South Pole – not exactly a forgiving environment. To survive in that, amongst other modifications, the ETA 2893-A2 (Elaboré grade) has special oils to resist the cold temperatures. While the model you and I have access to won’t have those improvements, it’s still a great watch, from both a technical perspective as well as a aesthetic one. Comparisons to the Explorer II are inevitable, and while I think they’re similar (and I did almost put the Explorer II in this list), I think this one stands on its own, not as an homage, but a new watch with some inspirations from the Rolex. Priced at $1,950.
Magrette is one of those brands that I became instantly familiar with when I first started writing about watches, and their cushion-cased designs have just clicked for me. For all of their lineup I’ve written about, though, I’ve always kept an eye on the two higher-end pieces they have in their lineup. My favorite of the two would be the Moko. To get the Moko, they start off with their very familiar case and build (what looks to be) a Moana. However, rather than the Miyota movements we’re familiar with, this one carries an ETA 2824-2. Before that assembly occurs though, Andrew Biggs picks up his engraving pen, and creates an amazing piece of art. Utilizing a Manaia mask (which repeats), the case takes on the feel of a Maori tribal tattoo – and becomes something amazing. Hand-engraving truly is an art, and Mr. Biggs has really helped to elevate this Magrette. As there are only 10 pieces worldwide (plus the upgraded movement and hand engraving), pricing comes in at a level we’re not used to with Magrette: $4,485. From what I see in the pictures, though, it would be worth it.
Christopher Ward C60 Trident GMT
I’ve long been a fan of what Christopher Ward has been producing, and to me, their C60 Trident design is one of the best in their more affordable lines. Back when I reviewed the C60, I was really taken by the overall styling, fit and finish, and the multi-color lume. Now, with the addition of the GMT complication, you’ve got (in my estimation) one great bargain, both in terms of price and utility. While there are a handful of dial and bezel colors available in the other C60 models, the GMT comes only with a black dial, and your choice of white or orange indices, with my favorite being the one with the white indices. There are also a variety of strap choices (leather, nylon, or bracelet), but my favorite (which also was on my earlier review model) is the black/maroon/olive NATO – just a classic combination to go with this watch. That also makes it rather simple for swapping in other straps, which of course is another way to freshen up a watch you’ve had for some time. At an asking price of $845, this is also quite an affordable piece of kit… more »