Not long ago I reviewed the Overboard, a 1000m overbuilt dive watch that can go deeper than you’d ever take it. At the same time I received the Overboard I also took delivery of the Bradner, a casual-wear moderately sized automatic watch that carries a 150m / 500ft water resistance rating. Not bad.
I like the Bradner’s casual style and wrist presence. Let’s take a closer look.
Here’s an automatic from James McCabe with the same case and similar aesthetics as the Heritage Retrograde. While the dial loses a few complications, the watch itself gains a Miyota automatic that is nicely decorated and shown off via a mineral exhibition caseback.
Despite an entry-level movement, the Heritage Automatic is a solid watch to consider if you’re wanting something distinctly styled and still 100% watch. If you want to add an inexpensive automatic to your collection, and you want that watch to be something special, well, you’ll want to keep reading…
I’ve been checking out a lot of dive watches lately as research for an upcoming dive watch article, so when Spinnaker reached out to us and asked if we wanted to review one, the timing couldn’t have been better. I received the Overboard early August and have given it plenty of wrist time since.
Compared to some of the other divers I’ve been wearing lately (the Scurfa Diver One and Hamilton Navy Sub Auto, for example), the Overboard is bigger and heavier at 46mm. The Overboard boasts 300m of water resistance, a sapphire-coated mineral crystal, and a helium escape valve.
Avi-8 is one of my favorite little/big watch brands because of how on-point their watches are thematically. Avi-8 embodies the aviation watch in fun and sometimes over the top ways. Their latest – the Flyboy Centenary edition – is a great example of that.
Both the 1960s and 1980s versions are fitted with three color schemes. Here I’ve got the blue dial 1960s (model AV-4060-02), which I think is the best looking. Let’s take a closer look.
Votum as a brand has an interesting legacy that spans the course of over five decades, and its new iteration promises to retain the personality and quality the brand has historically been known for. When they reached out to me approximately two months ago about reviewing one of their pieces, I was eager to accept.
I have talked about Hamilton watches quite a lot on WYCA over the years because their mid-range price point puts them right in the upper-end of affordable for most people. “Watch people” might spend north of $1,500 on a watch without hesitation, but for most that’s simply a bit too much. $500 or $600, though? That’s more manageable.
Priced on the grey market in the $490 – $525 range, the Sub Auto is an affordable Swiss-made dive watch with an ETA 2824-2 in it. This is my favorite price range to shop in, and so I definitely appreciated a chance to assess the Sub Auto hands-on. Let’s check it out.
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.
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.
Justin Ng, owner of Gem by Carati and frequent WYCA benefactor, got in touch and asked if I was ready to check out another limited edition Hamilton. Who could say no to a line like that?
He sent me over the newish Intra-Matic 68, a limited-edition auto chrono powered by Hamilton’s H-31 automatic. Only 1968 of these were built, and of those, only 20 made their way to Canada. With that in mind, let’s check out this modern take on a vintage greatest hit.
In 2010, Seiko released the SARB065 Cocktail Time. A classic watch, and one that will enjoy decades of relevance, is a hard design to pen. Of course, the Cocktail Time is among those that get it right.
In my hands, I have the SARB065, aka the “Cocktail Time Cool”. Before I move on to the updated Presage Cocktail Time next month, I wanted to get hands-on with the aging SARB065 so that I had an accurate basis for comparison when I get hands-on with the new one.
The Freelancer collection, released in 2007, is one of their mainstay lineups. With an MSRP just north of $3,000, the Freelancer Chronograph is more expensive than other chrono’s I’ve tested from Swiss brands.
In any case, as always, I was more than happy to get this chronograph around my wrist. Let’s check it out.
Check out this modular/interchangeable watch from Egard! On my wrist is the Vader, which is the name of the collection of parts used to build the watch as opposed to that of the watch itself. The dial is named the Dillishaw, and the other components (case, bezel, strap/bracelet) are given no name at all, so Vader it is (rolls off the tongue easier than Dillishaw).
The Commander II is quite typical of an entry-level luxury watch from a Swatch-group manufacturer: it’s an automatic, made with upper-end materials, priced in the $600 range in the grey market ($1,000ish MSRP – like most of the Hamilton’s and Tissot’s of a similar caliber I’ve reviewed).
In any case, I was excited to get some hands-on time with the Mido Commander II (in gold, of course).
The Multifort Day/Date I have here is my first hands-on experience with Mido; it’s also one of the better-looking versions of the Multifort collection (though all of them are attractive). I prefer clean, purposeful design, and the gold/white dial/brown leather combination I have here is well-styled by such definition.
This watch scratches all the right aesthetic itches.