Select Page

Author: Cameron Martel

Invicta Specialty Mechanical Hands-On Review

Invicta’s reputation is as polarizing as it gets in the watch world. I make a point of not being interested in popular opinion when assessing a brand as I’d rather see their watches hands-on and form my own opinion. It was in that spirit that I plopped down $80 to purchase this specialty and give it a fair shake

Given its low price, many will find the Specialty attractive, and there’s no denying that the Skeleton dial is atypical compared to the usual $80 watch. After several mixed experiences with similar watches from other brands, I was genuinely curious to see how the ultra-affordable Specialty would be.

Read More

Orient Monarch Mechanical Hands-On Review

As of the time of this review, the MSRP of the Monarch is $335 (though I bought this one off of Amazon for $160). The Monarch is a classy dress watch that is rather conservatively styled (once you look past the serif hour markers). This model comes with a leather strap, stainless steel buckle, and an exhibition caseback.

Like the Bambino, which I still maintain is the best automatic watch you can buy for under $250, the Monarch hits that sweet spot where what it brings to the table greatly exceeds what it costs to eat there. You won’t find another quality mechanical – let alone with a power reserve complication – at this price point until you start looking at no-name Chinese-manufactured movements.

Read More

Stowa Marine Klassik 40 Roman White

The Marine Klassik is one of Stowa’s best-selling timepieces, and for good reason. A semi-customizable watch, the Marine Klassik 40 gives its owners choice with respect to which movement powers it. The base model, coming in at roughly $650 USD, is powered by an ETA 2824-2; opting to upgrade introduces both the top-finish ETA 2824-2 (+$130), a limited-edition model with an ETA 2892, or a hand-wound ETA 2804-2 (+300). All versions are made by hand and come with fine finishing- traits Stowa is known for.

Read More

DuFa Aalto Regulator Hands-On Review

Those looking for historical horological significance will likely overlook DuFa. Deutsche Uhrenfrabrik – aka, DuFa – is a brand that has flown underneath the radar, as they compete in a sea microbrands and Kickstarter success stories. In today’s environment, it’s difficult to differentiate yourself and there are a lot of up and coming indie brands out there. But DuFa stands out, and so do their watches.

Take, for example, the Aalto Regulator I have here. The German roots of its style are undeniable – clean shapes, a bold face, and minimal distractions – and the mechanical heartbeat, care of the Miyota 8217 automatic ticking within, is found in hundreds of watch models the world over. A blend of sophisticated style and practical engineering- very German.

Read More

Hands-On With the James McCabe Heritage Retrograde

Six weeks back I received an e-mail from Drew Meyer, who represents several watch brands. Among them is James McCabe, a highly-stylized microbrand that is doing what brands like Lucien Piccard should have done. Not long after that e-mail, the Heritage Retrograde arrived at my doorstep – courtesy of Drew – and it has commanded my interest ever since.

As the photos within this review will undoubtedly show, the Heritage Retrograde – a sub-$300 quartz casual watch – is among the most excellently styled (and stylized) watches I have come across in a good long time (if not ever). The real question is: is it a good watch? I suppose you’ll have to read on to find out.

Read More