Why I Bought It: Kurono By Hajime Asaoka Anniversary Green Mori – Good News, It’s Relatively Affordable; Bad News, It’s Hard To Get

Often with incoming pieces GaryG resists the temptation to wear a watch until he has had the chance to photograph it in pristine condition, but in the spirit of fun he chucked out the principle of restraint and slapped his new Hajime Asaoka Kurono Anniversary Green Mori right on his wrist. When you read Gary’s story and see his photos you will know why.

Sarpaneva x Moomin: Stepan Sarpaneva Celebrates 75 Years Of Moomin With This Scandinavian Fantasy For The Wrist

The Moomin universe was created by the late Swedish-speaking Finn Tove Jansson. It comprises a microcosm of Jansson’s fairytale version of Scandinavia thrown in a blender with Roald Dahl and a sprinkling of J.R.R. Tolkien. And that’s all present in the Sarpaneva x Moomin watch honoring the 75th anniversary of Jansson’s highly successful book, ‘The Moomins and the Great Flood.’ This watch has a secret, though. Find it here!

Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO In ‘Tenet,’ The First Action Spectacle In Theaters Post COVID-19 Lockdowns

‘Tenet’ is not the first time Hamilton has collaborated with wristwatches on a Christopher Nolan movie; the first was The Murph created for ‘Interstellar’ back in 2014. And like ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Tenet’ uses time as one of its main themes, running like a gold thread through the complicated plot. Elizabeth Doerr takes a look at the Navy Khaki BeLOWZERO models that Hamilton created as a prop and as a limited edition release.

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation

Five Vintage-Style Diver’s Watches To “Seas” The Day From Blancpain, Seiko, Longines, Oris, And Tudor

With summer in full swing, let’s dive back through time to have a closer look at some 2018 vintage-style diver’s watches. With their robustness and air of discovery and adventure, diver’s watches leave a striking impression on the wrist – whether on dry land or in the water.

In addition to these diver’s watches’ distinctive looks, they also boast unique technical characteristics according to the Diver’s International Organization for Standardization (ISO) rating and offer additional functions or features that can be crucial underwater, including high legibility, unidirectional bezel, antireflective crystal, and Super-LumiNova-enhanced hands and markers.

In the case of deeper diving watches, helium escape valves also play a role (see Deeper, Further, Faster: Why Do Some Dive Watches Have Helium Escape Valves?).

On top of that, most good diver’s watches feature interchangeable or expandable bracelets for use over wetsuits.

Offering such high functionality and sporty/casual style, it is no surprise that this genre offers some of the most sought-after timepieces, proven by the plethora of dive watches coming to the market both now and in the recent past.

Today, there is only one genre capable of topping the popular diver’s watch, and that’s the vintage-style diver’s watch. Marrying yesteryear’s styles with today’s state-of-the-art technical elements, a vintage-style diver’s watch is a perfect choice for all kinds of summer activities, all while remaining a classy companion for nights out.

Once again in 2018, many brands have combed their archives and reissued their most popular models from the past. Here are five recently released heritage timepieces with origins in the 1950s and 1960s, the golden period of the genre, to wear all summer long!

While their looks are decidedly vintage, their quality attributes are resolutely contemporary.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s: retro style at its best

Most of today’s vintage diver’s watches hark back to the 1905s and 1960s, for it was during these two decades that the watch category was initially invented and further developed.

Blancpain introduced its Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch to the public in 1954, a timepiece intended for professional use, and later the civilian spinoff Bathyscaphe. A staple in the time-honored Swiss manufacture’s collection, it has constantly been improved ever since.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s

Proof of the evolution of this collection is one of its latest additions, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s. As its name implies, this model with weekday and date indications has its origin in the 1970s – a fact, it proudly shows it off with a faithful design in more generous proportions.

Like the watches of that period in time, it boasts a bold minute scale and chunky rectangular hour indexes, all staged on a wonderfully retro-style, intense gray dial with a graduated effect that gets darker from the center outward.

Whereas the original featured a tonneau-shaped case, this new watch is housed in a round Bathyscaphe case water resistant to 300 meters. A ceramic bezel features indexes filled with the Swatch Group’s proprietary Liquidmetal, claiming  long-lasting, crystal-clear legibility.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s

De rigeur for Blancpain, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s is powered by a cutting-edge movement: automatic Caliber 1315 DD with a silicon balance. Three spring barrels allow for a more-than-comfortable power reserve of 120 hours, and a sapphire crystal back allows full appreciation of the movement.

For more information, please visit www.blancpain.com.

Quick Facts Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date 70s
Case: 43 x 14.25 mm, stainless steel, water resistance to 300 meters
Movement: automatic Blancpain Caliber 1315DD with 120-hour power reserve, silicon balance
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, weekday
Limitation: 500 pieces
Price: 11,900 Swiss francs

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight: authenticity as good as it gets

There is one brand name we would hardly be able to leave out in a list of diver’s watches in general and vintage-style diver’s watches in particular because it almost serves as a symbol for both: Tudor.

Rolex’s little sibling has established a noble tradition of breathing new life into its icons from the past and wrapping them up in a more contemporary technical package. Also, with a more accessible price tag than the regal big sibling brand, Tudor has very successfully ridden the nostalgia wave in the past years.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight

Among the brand’s many debuts this year, enthusiasts agree that the Black Bay Fifty-Eight stands out. The “Fifty-Eight” in its name stands for the year in which Tudor launched its very first diver’s watch – Reference 7924, dubbed the “Big Crown.”

Cutting-edge at the time of its introduction, the timepiece offered a then-groundbreaking water resistance of 200 meters and paved the way for future models with signature elements such as the aforementioned big crown and the much-loved snowflake hands.

As part of the legendary Black Bay line, its overall style stays pretty faithful to the line’s roots. Incredibly, Tudor has significantly reduced both the diameter of the case, from 41 to 39 mm, and its height, from 15 down to 11.9 mm.

Tudor Heritage Bla

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight in the dark

While some may think this is “only” a few millimeters, smaller proportions are a big plus for those with smaller wrists. And the scaled-down size stays loyal to the proportions of the original, imbuing the timepiece with both elegance and historical legitimacy. And that smaller size sure helps increase comfort.

Friends of this brand will love the matte black aluminum bezel with pink gold-colored numerals and markings and the signature red triangle marker. The same rings true for the slightly domed black dial and the likewise domed sapphire crystal protecting it.

The watch, which is available on a brown vintage-style leather strap, a newly designed riveted steel bracelet, or a black fabric strap, is equipped with new C.O.S.C.-certified automatic manufacture Caliber MT5402 with a power reserve of 70 hours.

For more information, please visit www.tudorwatch.com.

Quick Facts Tudor Heritage Black Bay Fifty-Eight
Case: 39 x 11.9 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber MT5402 with 70-hour power reserve, silicon hairspring, C.O.S.C. certified
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: $3,575

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation (Reference SPB077): retro revival

The Japanese watch giant once again draws upon its many years of experience in the discipline of diver’s watches and reboots a limited Prospex timepiece from 1968 in a new generation.

Seiko introduced its first diver’s watch in 1965, and several years ago the brand began paying tribute to some of its historic flagship models from the past with new editions that capture the original spirit while offering Seiko’s latest advancements. Most of these are limited editions, which makes them even more sought after in the Prospex fan community.

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation

This year, a diver’s timepiece from 1968 is in the spotlight. At its original introduction it offered an imposing pressure resistance of 30 bar, a one-piece case structure, a screw-down crown, and a unidirectional rotating bezel.

As “Modern Re-interpretation” in the name implies, this new Seiko Prospex updates the signature looks to suit the demands of today’s customers, who often ask for slimmer styles.

Water resistant to 200 meters, the stainless steel case of the 1968 Automatic Diver measuring 44 mm in diameter and 13.1 mm in height is protected by Seiko’s super-hard coating. Despite its bold design, it wraps comfortably around the wrist.

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation

Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation

Designed (like the original) as a one-piece construction, the case houses Caliber 6R15, an automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve that can resist magnetic fields to 4,800 A/m in intensity.

On this new version, which is not limited, the bezel is slightly thinner and the hands are smaller so as not to disturb the harmony of the Prospex’s original signature look.

For more information, please go to www.seikowatches.com.

Quick Facts Seiko Prospex The 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation (Reference SPB077)
Case: 44 x 13.1 mm, stainless steel with super-hard coating, water resistance 200 meters
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber 6R15 with 50-hour power reserve, magnetic resistance 4,800 A/m
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: €1,100 / $1,050

Longines Legend Diver: a perennial favorite

A staple in this Swiss watchmaker’s Heritage line, the Longines Legend Diver is the latest interpretation of the brand’s first diver’s watch, which premiered in the 1960s. Upholding the spirit of that bygone era, many elements of the original Legend Diver have been preserved such as the domed crystal and the bidirectional internally rotating diver’s bezel.

Longines Legend Diver

Longines Legend Diver

Resolutely new is the black PVD coating on the stainless steel case, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I do like it. Black is always beautiful on any watch, and combined with a sturdy rubber strap that looks like a filigree mesh strap the result is even better.

The understated and readily readable dial coated with Super-LumiNova, remains pretty much the same as in previous editions, with its internal rotating bezel surrounding the instrument-style dial. Another winning feature is the date indication matching the overall color scheme with its black background.

Longines Legend Diver

Longines Legend Diver

Also, the Legend Diver’s water resistance to 30 bar is pretty convincing.

For more information please visit www.longines.com. 

Quick Facts Longines Legend Diver
Case: 42 x 12.7 mm, stainless steel, water resistance 300 meters
Movement: automatic Caliber L888.2 based on ETA A31.L01, power reserve 64 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: €2,360

Oris Sixty-Five Diver: old school to the core

One of the most successful reissues on the diver’s market in recent years, the Sixty-Five Divers bears its year of origin in its name. And it resurfaced again at Baselworld 2018. And what a gorgeous new interpretation!

For the first time, the Sixty-Five Diver is available in a two-tone version combining bronze and rose gold accents. This mix, inspired by traditional bronze diving equipment, further accents its expressive appearance and unique charisma.

Oris Sixty-Five Diver

Oris Sixty-Five Diver

New this year are two executions, one in 40 mm and the other in a new, smaller 36 mm case for those who prefer smaller sizes.

The cases, equipped with screw-down case backs and crowns, are fabricated from stainless steel, while the uni-directional bezels feature bronze outer turning top rings and aluminum inlays with 60-minute demarcations.

The dials, slightly domed and boasting indices and hands with warm gold-tone hues, are nearly identical except for the placement of the date indication. The 36 mm edition’s date is placed at 3 o’clock as a reference to the historical model, while the 40 mm edition’s date remains at 6 o’clock.

Oris Sixty-Five Diver

Oris Sixty-Five Diver in 40 mm

The bubble-curved sapphire crystals with AR coating additionally underscore the overall winning vintage look. The anti-reflective coating on the inside of the crystals reduce glare and increase legibility underwater, one of the most important requirements a diver’s watch has to fulfill.

For more information, please go to www.oris.ch/en/watch/oris-divers-sixty-five.

Quick Facts Oris Sixty-Five Divers
Case: 40 or 36 mm, stainless steel and bronze, water resistance 100 meters
Movement: automatic Oris Caliber 773 (based on Sellita SW 200-1), power reserve 38 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: $2,000 for the 40 mm version, $1,975 for the 36 mm version

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Nomos Glashütte Ahoi Atlantik: Setting Sail As A Great Summer Watch

Nomos Glashütte is synonymous with casual fun, and the Saxon company has not disappointed with its Ahoi Atlantik, an awesome summer dive watch with a dark blue dial. And check out these lively original photos while you’re waiting to get into the pool!

Swiss Newcomer Norqain Introduces (Relatively) Affordable Independence 20 With Upmarket Movement

Sabine Zwettler likes the flair of Norqain, a young, innovative brand bringing a fresh impulse by respecting the traditional values of the industry in general and Swiss codes in particular. She finds reading the time on this brand-new watch’s unusual green dial with its charming scratches a real pleasure. What do you think?

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79230B on fabric strap

5 Tool Watches I’d Buy If I Didn’t Want to Spring For A Rolex Submariner – Reprise

If John Keil was to recommend a brand-new functional diver’s watch to a friend who was looking to spend within a certain price range, these would be his suggestions. Or, more specifically, here is what he would purchase himself in a variety of price categories.

Book Review: ‘Retro Watches’ By Josh Sims And Mitch Greenblatt

Very, very rarely does Elizabeth Doerr see a watch book where everything fits together in the way a book should: engaging, well-written text; very obviously carefully copyedited; great paper quality; good, clear, pleasing-to-the-eye design; super photography, and an engaging subject matter. And she’s happy to report it does here. ‘Retro Watches’ by Josh Sims and Mitch Greenblatt is a must-read for those interested in affordable, design-focused watches of a quirky bygone era.

Meet The Spaceman: A Popular Fashion Watch Of the 1960s And 1970s That Was Almost Forgotten In A Drawer

Launched in 1969, the Catena/Zeno Spaceman is special thanks to its funky design as well as its its fiberglass and chrome case. The Spaceman’s blend of ovals, curves, and straight lines was just right for that groovy time in fashion, touching a nerve in a hip watch-buying public. It was a polarizing watch: people generally either hated it or loved it at first sight, and remains so today. Here is the brief history of this fun vintage watch.

Bohematic Graphic Sutnar: Czech Watchmaking By Design

The Bohematic Graphic Sutnar is an homage to Ladislav Sutnar, the most significant artistic figure in Czechoslovakia’s interwar period of modernism. Sutnar was chosen as the historical figure to launch this brand-new micro brand and its first line. However, the Graphic Sutnar watch bears not only the name of the world-renowned artist, but also his unique font for the numerals. Find out what all that means right here!