Watch Reviews

The Tudor Submariners For The French Marine Nationale: A MilSub You Can Afford

by on Mar.04, 2011, under Review

While there is no debate that the Rolex MilSub is a highly-coveted watch, the Milsub’s current market value might exceed the budgets of many of our readers. An alternative and far less costly option is the diving watches made by Tudor for the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Many of the watches were used by the Marine Nationale for over two decades, somewhat reminiscent of the long service times for many of the Type 20 chronographs.

Some of the most desirable Tudor Marine Nationale watches include the original decommission papers from the French Navy. Essentially, you’re getting a vintage Submariner with proven military history, but for a fraction of the cost. 

To see a particularly nice example of a Tudor Marine Nationale issued in 1975 and with papers showing that it was decommissioned in 1999, watch.com/asp/watches/buyitnow.asp?Where=(Ref%3D’rx0752′)&Step=1″ target=”_blank”>click here.


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The First Review of TAG Heuer’s Carrera Caliber 1887: "The Rightful Successor to the Carreras of 1964"

by on Mar.03, 2011, under Review

People have been waiting for the TAG Heuer Carrera featuring the new Caliber 1887 for a long, long time. It is, after all, expected to be a game changer for TAG, and offer a tremendous value in a relatively affordable chronograph (it’s a fully integrated – not modular – chronograph with column wheel and oscillating pinion).  Just last month, watch-news/victory-at-the-grand-prix-de-geneve” href=”http://us.tagheuer.com/en/watch-news/victory-at-the-grand-prix-de-geneve” target=”_blank”>it even won the “La Petite Aiguille” at the Geneva Grand Prix for the best watch under $5000. 

We showed you a prototype of this very watch all the way back in March at Basel.  Then, via our friends at Caliber 11, we showed you the slight modifications to the design of the coming Caliber 1887 Carrera in June.  Now we have the very first hands-on review of the Carrera Caliber 1887 published anywhere on the web, and it comes from one of the world’s best known TAG Heuer experts, Jeff Stein of OnTheDash.

So, what does a man who owns this many vintage Heuers think about the latest and greatest from TAG?  Some excerpts below:

A Modern Vintage watch

“The Carrera Calibre 1887 is a beautiful chronograph, taking the defining elements of the 1960s Carreras, and incorporating them into a state-of the-art chronograph. One by one, we see the key elements of the vintage Carreras transferred from the 1964 Carrera into the form factor required to house a modern movement.”

A Classic Heuer Design

“This chronograph looks as though it was drawn by the very same hand that drew the first Carreras, almost 50 years ago, and that is high praise indeed.”

In Regards To The Size

“But let me assure you — as someone who probably spends as much time as anyone wearing the Carreras from the 1960s — the geometry of the Cal 1887 is perfect, the proportions are right, the balance is there.

The Carrera 1887 As TAG’s Backbone

“I am confident that, just as Heuer had only begun when it introduced the Carrera in 1964, TAG Heuer has only just begun with the introduction of the Carrera Calibre 1887 in 2010. This is a perfect form factor, that will do well with the full range of finishes and complications.”

Jeff’s full review, including more details and photographs of his first 48 hours with the Carrera Calibre 1887 can be found here, at OnTheDash.com.  

The New TAG Heuer Carrera with Cal 1887 is presently available in some markets (Japan, UK) and should be stateside in the spring.  While no official retail price has been set, it is expected to be around $3500, one hell of of a price for a true column-wheel, integrated chronograph. 

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The Heuer Luftforsvaret: Essentially a Heuer Bundeswehr, Except Norwegian Instead of German

by on Mar.02, 2011, under Review

As the Heuer collecting community regains consciousness from the monstrously successful Bonhams Haslinger Collection auction on December 15 in London, we thought we would show you a Heuer that rarely comes up for sale: a Heuer chronograph issued to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The watch is essentially the same as the Heuer chronographs issued to the West German Air Force (Bundeswehr) except with no red “3H” (to note tritium as the luminescent) like those featured on the dial of many of the Bundeswehr watches and a different engraving on the caseback. These watches were seemingly issued to the Norwegian Air Force around 1978.

Vintage watch collectors continue to grow in their appreciation of the Heuer Bundeswehr and Luftforsvaret military chronographs because of these watches’ great aesthetics and their flyback Valjoux 230 movements. You can count us as fans. For more information on this Norwegian military Heuer, watch.com/asp/watches/buyitnow.asp?Where=(Ref%3D’rx0734′)&Step=1″ target=”_blank”>click here.

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HODINKEE Recommended Reading: A Look At The Chinese Watch Buyer (VIDEO)

by on Mar.01, 2011, under Review

watch01_G_20100930024405.jpg%3F__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION%3D1293487472588′,369,553);”>A Yellow Gold, Round Patek Philippe in Mint Condition = What The Chinese WantThe Chinese market is where the luxury watch industry is looking next.  Hong Kong is quickly becoming the watch capital of the world, and now a whopping 35% of Sotheby’s large clients are Chinese, up from only 8% in 2008.  In a quick profile of Chinese watch buyers, the Wall Street Journal reveals that they are looking for five traits:

  1. Yellow or Rose Golds (not white gold like us Americans and Europeans)
  2. Large(r) diameters above 40mm
  3. New Materials such as AP’s Forged Carbon
  4. Round cases instead of tonneau, tank, etc
  5. Mint condition

Now, as you can imagine, these are not what each Chinese watch buyer looks for, but rather high-level trends as dictated by Sotheby’s Vanessa Herrera.

For the full report from the WSJ, watches-make-china-tick/” href=”http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2010/10/11/what-kinds-of-watches-make-china-tick/” target=”_blank”>click here. Be sure to watch the video below for further information on what the Chinese are looking for these days.  The question now becomes, which brands will pay attention?

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The Rolex Explorer For A.C. Milan: Commemorating Milan’s 2007 Championships

by on Feb.28, 2011, under Review

If you like footy and watches then this is it. Your chance to grab a Rolex and a small piece of history.

If you know Hodinkee, you know that we have a particular fondness for the Rolex Explorer. In fact, we have profiled quite a few over the past few years including:

That’s a lot of Explorers, but here is one more.

Continue reading “The Rolex Explorer For A.C. Milan: Commemorating Milan’s 2007 Championships” »

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The Zenith El Primero Goes Tourbillon: Vintage Inspired Case + Cutting Edge Caliber

by on Feb.27, 2011, under Review

Much better looking than a TV. At 44mm these are a big ole chunk on the wrist, giving all you weight lovers something to sink you to the bottom of the pool with.

Since the departure of Thierry Nataf from Zenith watches in mid-2009, we’ve seen more classical, traditional looking designs.  Some of them, like watches.com/en/#/collection/flow/3/8/62″ href=”http://zenithwatches.com/en/#/collection/flow/3/8/62″ target=”_blank”>the Striking 1/10th Chronograph, are downright awesome both aesthetically, calling upon the looks of the Reference A 386 from 1969, and mechanically, offering the El Primero chronograph with a seconds hand that is capable of displaying a tenth of a second. 
Continue reading “The Zenith El Primero Goes Tourbillon: Vintage Inspired Case + Cutting Edge Caliber” »

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An Original Bell & Ross Chronograph, Manufactured by SINN, With Box And Papers

by on Feb.26, 2011, under Review

This bad boy reminds me of a few gauges in an airplane…a commander to be exact.

Some young brands have succeeded in building very loyal followings, and very quickly at that.  Bremont is one of them (see their forum watches.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3″ href=”http://forum.atgvintagewatches.com/forumdisplay.php?f=3″ target=”_blank”>here), and Bell & Ross is another.  Their forum at BR-AVO.com is a veritable hotbed of activity related to this 20 year old French brand. 

Continue reading “An Original Bell & Ross Chronograph, Manufactured by SINN, With Box And Papers” »

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The Jaquet Droz SW Chrono: A Rubberized, Sporty Departure From The JD Norm

by on Feb.24, 2011, under Review

This is definitely something new from Jaquet Droz.  Most of the items you’ll find from the brand named after a man who was best known for automotons are, well, something different.  The last time we featured a Jaquet Droz, it was a $341,000 rube goldberg with the sole purpose of writing the time in pencil.

Most of JD’s current production models tend to look like watches.com/JaquetDroz_Reserve.html” href=”http://professionalwatches.com/JaquetDroz_Reserve.html” target=”_blank”>this, which if you’re into regulaters and figure 8′s, is a pretty snazzy looking design.  That’s why the SW Chrono (pictured above) is such a surprise.  It is a fairly simple looking chronograph, featuring a JD in-house caliber movement, and incredible legibility.  Accents are rubberized and the case is stainless steel.  No word on pricing yet, but the Jaquet Droz SW Chronograph is in stores now.

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HODINKEE Holiday Giveaway: The Watch Calendar 2011

by on Jan.02, 2011, under Review

This is one enormous calendarIt’s the holiday season and we wouldn’t be who we are if we didn’t at least give something away before xmas day.  And, what we’re giving away is pretty special.  It is the watch Calendar 2011.  If you are at all involved with the vintage watch world, you’ve likely heard about it.  It is the first ever professionally styled, photographed, and produced calendar featuring high-end watches.  The thing is, something like this could very easily go down a pretty unappealing road, either by choosing gaudy timepieces covered in diamonds, or by simply using, well, naked girls.

Luckily, those behind the watch Calendar 2011 seem to have great taste in both categories.  You’ll see Paul Newman Daytonas, Patek 2499′s, and everything in between.  You won’t see anything from Jacob & Co., or anything we ourselves wouldn’t wear (which is saying a lot). 

The calendar is beautifully photographed and printed in enormous format.  It really is a striking calendar.  If you want to see just how big it is, click the thumbnail above and notice that the actual Submariner is about the same size as the Subs in the calendar, making it just about life-size. 

This particular calendar was generously donated by watch.de/” href=”http://www.colognewatch.de/” target=”_blank”>Cologne watch Center.

For a chance to win this beautiful 2011 watch Calendar, you must:

  • Like HODINKEE on Facebook
  • Follow HODINKEE on Twitter
  • Leave A Comment Below With A Working Email Address

The winner will be announced Friday.  This contest is open to everyone, all over the world.

Enjoy!

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The Zenith Christophe Colomb Live And On The Wrist (VIDEO)

by on Nov.18, 2010, under Review

Earlier this week we showed you Zenith’s new “double bubble” Christophe Colomb wristwatch that features an escapement on gimbals, much like a marine chronometer. 

Continue reading “The Zenith Christophe Colomb Live And On The Wrist (VIDEO)” »

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