Saturday, November 30, 2013

Where I Shop For Watches

I'm generally an old fashioned, brick and mortar, kind of guy when it comes to buying watches.  Most of my watches are bought on impulse when I am shopping for other things.  (O.K., O.K., I don't have much impulse control.)  Consequently, my watch boxes are filled with affordable watches that I think look cool.  Since I get my watches on impulse, they tend to come from the places I shop:  Kmart, Kohl's, Sears, Target, and Walmart.

An Inexpensive Precision by Gruen watch from Kohl's
Watches from Kohls.  Kohl's has been one of the places where I have consistently found good deals on mid-priced watches that range from $30 to $125.  They sell low priced brands like Precision by Gruen and Zoo York.  They have a great selection of watches from Armitron, Mark Ecko, and Relic.  They have an excellent selection of watches that hover just out of my price range from brands like Bulova, Citizen, and Seiko. 

A Structure Ana-Digital from Sears

Watches from Sears.  Another surprisingly cool place to shop for watches is Sears.  I find Sears is great for brands like Bulova, Caravelle, Elgin, Hamlin, and Structure.  They also have a great rewards program that works at Sears and Kmart.  If you buy tires or another auto repair over at their auto center, your likely to get enough rewards points to get a new watch for nearly nothing.  

Watches from Walmart.  Finally, you know that I get a lot of my watches from Walmart.  They are consistently the best place to buy no name watches and watches from Casio and Timex.  Over the last year, they have really built up a great selection of tasteful Timex watches.  I've pretty much picked over the supply of no name watches.  

A Very Nice Timex Military-Style Expedition at Walmart
 
Good luck and happy hunting this holiday season!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Watch Deals!

Black Friday is here and, if you can read this, you have already overslept!  But, you it looks like there are some great Black Friday deals on watches this year.   On Wednesday night, we visited a local Walmart and the excitement was palpable.  The store was ready!  One of the coolest watch merchandising displays that I've seen this year was this Walmart Christmas tree decorated with Atlanta Falcons watches!

Atlanta Falcons Tree
Our local Walmart has been particularly well stocked with very nice Timex products.  They have a variety of military-style Timex watches at attractive price points.  Many Timex Expedition watches can be found for as low as $32.  Our local Walmart had a nice Timex floor display as well.

The leading watch brands at our local Walmart seem to be Armitron, Casio, Elgin, Marc Ecko, and Timex.  They seem to be pretty well loaded with merchandise and associates were hustling to bring more to the floor in all categories.  This year Walmart was open starting Thursday (Thanksgiving) evening and the associates were going to get an extra Holiday pay differential.

Around the web, there are a wide variety of Black Friday through Cyber-Monday Deals.  Here are a couple that landed in my mail box:

  • Timex has 30 to 50% off through Cyber Monday using the coupon code "SAVE30" on Timex.com.  Standard shipping is $1!
  • Orient watches has 40% off watches at orientwatchusa.com using the coupon code "blackfriday".  You also get an Orient-brand towel and free standard shipping.  I've seen quite a few Orient watches on mywristwatch.net and they all look good.
  • If you are on the WorldofWatches.com mailing list, they have some good deals as well.
  • Diesel Timeframes offers - Shop Diesel Watches & Enjoy Free Overnight Shipping Thanksgiving Through Cyber Monday Only!
  • I also noticed that Kohls.com has some great deals including a Bulova Marine Star in Black Stainless Steel for only $99.  That's awesome!
  • My friends at ZuluTimeZone.com are also offering some great deals this year with especially good prices on Android and Insignum products.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Alternatives to the Television Watch Brands

Happy Thanksgiving!  By now you are probably finishing your turkey and getting ready for Christmas shopping.



If you are shopping for a watch this Holiday Season, it is easy to succumb to the lure of the television shopping networks and their non-stop infomercials about watches.  They are often fun to watch and you can find some truly great deals.  However, everyone knows about them.  Every watch collector has an Invicta or two or three.

Sometimes, it is more fun to give a truly unusual watch from a brand that is not so commonplace.  If you want to leave some of the more common brands behind, my newest article lays out a few alternatives to the TV watch brands:


Alternatives to the Television Infomercial Watch Brands

One very cool watch brand is AVI-8.  They make watches inspired by aviation history.  This is the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane.  Inspired by the fighter planes that saved the United Kingdom from Hitler's Luftwaffe, this Hurricane watch captures the colors of the original aircraft.  It features a aircraft silhouette on the front and a line drawing of the famed fighter on the back.  The complete AVI-8 line of watches has just been brought to Amazon.com where they are priced very reasonably with many priced under $100.



AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Watch
Watches can't be more different in personality than AVI-8 and Modify.  This alternative watch takes you from the stiff upper lip of the indomitable British pilots to the relentless techno beats of Atlanta night clubs.  Modify watches have interchangeable faces and straps.  You can mix and match until you perfectly match your wardrobe.  They bring a young, fresh, vibe to the world of horology!

A Modify Watch

From the night clubs of America it's another big leap to the precise designs of Germany's Insignum brand.  As American supplies dwindle, the Insignum mix of German design and Asian sourcing is sure to become rare.  Insignums like this Insignum Campus are still available at ZuluTimeZone.com.
Insignum Campus

Finally, if you demand uncompromising performance from your watch, you might want to check out NFW watches at ZuluTimeZone.com.



Sample watches provided courtesy of AVI-8, Modify, and ZuluTimeZone.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Zoo York Watches for Christmas

The final watch on my list represents the letter Z.  It's a Zoo York watch from Kohl's.  Zoo York is an interesting watch brand because it offers bold watches inspired by the New York City graffiti art movement.  Younger collectors may be drawn to Zoo York because of their bold graphical style and low price tags.  I like the bright yellow dial and contrasting black band of my Zoo York watch.  You can read a complete review of this watch here:

Wristwatch Review:  Zoo York Casual Watch Black Band and Yellow Dial

A Zoo York Watch from Kohl's.
The Zoo York line of watches is available for around $30 per watch at Kohl's.  They look like the perfect watch for the skateboarder on your list.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wenger Swiss Military Watches for Christmas

We skipped right over V to get to one of the coolest watches in my collection:  The Wenger Swiss Military Grenadier Quartz Watch.

Wenger Swiss Military Watch
For most people, the Swiss Military is synonymous with little red pocket knives.  However, I remember visiting Switzerland as a young child in the 1970s.  The train stations were filled with men in camouflage carrying very large assault rifles.  It was the real Swiss Army. 

Swiss Army on the March ( Fcb981 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons )

Now, the Wenger Swiss Military Grenadier is one of the few "Swiss Made" watches in my collection.  It was a cool birthday gift and it is also a reminder of a train ride through Switzerland long, long, ago.  If you think Wenger Swiss Military Watches might make a great gift, read my full review of mine here:

Wristwatch Review:  Wenger Swiss Military Grenadier Quartz Watch




Monday, November 25, 2013

Unlisted by Kenneth Cole Watches for Christmas

Earlier this year, I stumbled across an interesting watch at Ross.  It was an Unlisted by Kenneth Cole diver style watch.  It caught my eye because of the protected crown feature.  It also had a comfortable rubber strap.   Now, it represents the U in my watch collection.  If you would like to read a complete review of this U watch, you should click here:

Wristwatch Review:  Unlisted by Kenneth Cole Men's Rubber Strap Analog Watch

Unlisted by Kenneth Cole
This Unlisted watch is all about fashion.  It's not a true dive watch, but it looks cool.  It makes a perfectly appropriate business casual watch.  It would make an affordable Christmas gift.  While this model appears to be discontinued, there are lots of interesting Unlisted by Kenneth Cole watches on Amazon.  Here are some that I thought were the coolest:





Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thre3 Watches for Christmas

If you are on a super tight budget or just want to give an inexpensive watch as a stocking stuffer, you might check out the Thre3 brand watches at Kmart.  Thre3 is a brand of the U.S. Polo Association and they look classier than their low price tag might suggest.

I have two Thre3 brand watches and like both of them.  The first one I bought was this sporty Ana-digital Watch.  I don't even bother with the digital functions.  It's just that the watch itself has an almost perfect racing watch look.

Wristwatch Review:  Thre3 by US Polo Association Men's Ana-Digital Watch

Thre3 Ana-Digital Watch
The second Thre3 brand watch was a straight forward analog affair with very readable markings and a slightly racy look. 

Thre3 Analog Sport Watch
While these watches only cost $20 to $30, they look far better than their low price tag would suggest.  If you are looking for an extra stocking stuffer gift this Christmas or just need a watch to fit within your gift buying budget, Thre3 brand watches might be a good addition to your shopping list.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Timex Watches for Christmas!

In my collection, T stands proudly for Timex!  I love my Timex watches.  They are affordable and they look good.  The Timex watches at my local Walmart have never looked better.


Timex is all over the trend towards military style watches.  They have several military watches that simply look great.  My favorite is this "Vintage Metal" Timex.  It looks like something right out of World War II.  Of course, if we would have had Indiglo technology in the 40s fascism would have been defeated far sooner. 
Timex Expedition - Military Style
If you have a fitness fanatic on your gift list this year, the Timex Ironman line of watches might make the perfect gift.  They look good and have all the stopwatch timer functions that you could ever want. 



Timex makes watches that simply work.  They are readable, practical, and well designed.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Structure Watches for Christmas

S sometimes stands for Structure.  Brick and mortar stores still hold interesting watch finds.  For example, I really like the Structure brand watches that I find at Sears.  They only cost around $30 and they look really good.  In terms of design, Structure brand watches are usually on trend.

Here are five of my favorite watches from Structure:

Structure Military Style Watch
 
Structure Ana-Digital Tachymeter-Style Watch

Structure Instrument Panel-Style Watch
If you've been longing for a real Bell & Ross Instrument Panel Style watch, this Structure watch can satisfy your appetite.

Structure Vintage Style Watch

Structure High Tech Style Watch
These Structure band watches are nice looking and priced right.  They make great stocking stuffers!



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seiko Watches for Christmas

S is for Seiko.  Some of the best and most meaningful watches in my personal collection are from Seiko.  The Japanese giant makes accurate, reliable, and stylish watches.  Seiko watches make wonderful Christmas gifts due to the companies reputation for quality and value.

I received this Seiko Watch  over 20 years ago to commemorate my graduation from the University of Florida.  It's still one of the best watches in my collection.


If you'd like to take the plunge and get a loved one a Seiko this Christmas, this Seiko Automatic Dive Watch might be the perfect gift:


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Relic Watches for Christmas

Relic is one of my favorite watch brands.  This Fossil brand consistently delivers high quality quartz watches at affordable prices.  Relic brand watches have all the style and functionality of more expensive watch brands.  But, they cost from $50 to $125 where a more expensive watch brand would easily cost from $100 to $300.

This Relic "Detroit" was a little over $50, but it has a dark mysterious look that I like a lot.
Relic "Detroit" Watch

Christmas shoppers will find that Relic watches can fit many different personal styles.  If you want to give a more proper dress watch, this stainless steel multi-function watch is perfect.  It even has a complication that shows the sun or moon depending on the time of day. 


This Relic "Brady" watch (below) looks like a million bucks, but is quite reasonably price.  With rich rose gold tones, it has the dignity of a much more expensive gift.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nautica Watches for Christmas

N doesn't stand for Nautica in my watch collection. I don't own a Nautica watch.  But, I've had a change to look closely at a couple of Nautica models.  One of my co-workers has a two Nautica watches and they look great.  The dial is big, but not overly bulky and the materials used simply look good and seem very durable.

I like the Nautica shown below because it has nautical flags to mark each position of the clock.  To me, a nautical theme really fits the Nautica brand and makes the watch look very distinctive.  I would own one of these watches in an instant.  But, unfortunately, I don't want to be a watch copycat.  I won't own a Nautica until I go work somewhere else!

If you'd like to purchase a Nautica watch for a loved one this Christmas, check out the Amazon deal below.  That price appears to be about $100 less than the typical prestigious department store price.  Wow!  I found a great deal!

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mossimo Watches for Christmas

In my humble watch collection, M sometimes stands for Mossimo. Mossimo makes lots of watches for the American department store Target. Mossimo watches are trendy and affordable. They usually cost between $20 and $30.

If they have a drawback, I'd say that many Mossimo watches are derivative in their styling and take styling cues from bolder iconic watch brands like Audemars Piguet, Bell & Ross, and Diesel.


Mossimo watches are a great way to get some style on your wrist.  They'd make a great stocking stuffer gift this Christmas. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Modify Watches for Christmas

M is for Modify.  If you are looking for something with a fresh, youthful, approach to timekeeping, you might try Modify watches.  The company makes inexpensive square watches with interchangeable faces and rubber bands.  You can combine your watch components into the perfect watch to fit your mood and fashion sense.



These watches are "dope."  In 1987, these watches would have been called "fresh."  Before that, they would have been called "killer."  No matter what you call them, Modify watches are a novel and an interesting way bring younger people into the watch collecting hobby. 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Marc Ecko Watches for Christmas

In my collection, M sometimes stands for Marc Ecko watches.  Marc Ecko got his start as a graffiti artist in the New York City area.  He was also one of the founders of Zoo York.  He brings his design genius to watches with the Marc Ecko brand in collaboration with Timex.  The result is a reliable watch with an exciting urban design.  Many Marc Ecko watches feature a Rhino motif to bring attention to one of Africa's most endangered species.


I recently saw this Marc Ecko watch at a T.J. Maxx store for $49.  This one features an interesting design approach to sub-dials.


You can find Marc Ecko watches at several retailers including Walmart and Kohls.  I find that the ones at Kohl's are a little more refined than the "blingy" ones at Walmart. I've selected a few Marc Ecko watches from Amazon.com that I think demonstrate his sense of style.



Friday, November 15, 2013

Lorus Watches for Christmas

In my collection, L is for Lorus.  If you are looking for something a little different, you might try a Lorus watch.  Lorus is a Seiko brand that it marketed in Canada, Europe, and the Pacific.  You can expect Seiko quality movements in a wide variety of designs.  Lorus watches are also available at reasonable price points.


Here are a few higher end Lorus watches that would make great Christmas gifts:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kenneth Cole Watches for Men

When it comes to my collection watches, K is for Kenneth as in Kenneth Cole!  I have one Kenneth Cole watch and it looks great!  It has a rectangular face and functional subdials.  It also has enough lume to be readable.


Here's a cool Kenneth Cole watch that you can see through -

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Invicta Watches for Christmas

If you are looking for a nice watch to give this Christmas, I might just stand for Invicta!  Invicta watches are literally everywhere.  The watches are sold through television infomercials, Home Shopping Network, department stores like Kohl's, outlets like T.J. Maxx, and online retailers like ZuluTimeZone.com

Surprisingly, I only have two Invicta watches in my own collection.  Here's the one I like best:
It's called the Invicta 1460 Vintage Collection Riveted Black Dial watch. That name is a bit of a mouthful.  I think I'd call it Cobra!  If you'd like to buy an Invicta watch like this one, here is the link:



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Insignum Watches for Christmas

In my collection, "I" stands for Insignum.  If you are looking for something a little different from the watches that are so commonly advertised in late night infomercials, you might see if you can find a watch from Germany's Insignum brand. 
An Insignum watch would make an unusual and unexpected Christmas Gift for the watch enthusiast.  Unfortunately, supplies of Insignum watches in the U.S. are dwindling.
 
The company makes a number of attractive sport and dive models.  For example, the Insignum Activa 3-Eye'd Black Blue Sports Chronograph shown below is waterproof to 100 meters and shows the day and date.

 
Insignum Activa

Insignum watches are offered in a wide variety of colors such as shown in this orange Campus Date, Day, Chronograph watch.  These watches can be as bold as you want to be.

Insignum Campus
While I love the more creative Insignum designs, I was also drawn to their classic diver style watches.  For example, this Insignum Subwave is a fantastic looking watch.  With 200 meter water resistance and a screw down crown, it has the fortitude for any underwater mission.


Insignum Subwave

Since I didn't have a real dive watch, when ZuluTimeZone.com offered me a chance at a  Subwave I jumped at it.  The Subwave is a 48 mm diameter watch so it brings a little heft to the wrist.

Unfortunately, Insignum watches are now in short supply here in America.  If you'd like to buy an Insignum watches, your best online source is ZuluTimeZone.com.  Since these watches are becoming rather rare here, you may find yourself with a rather exclusive timepiece.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Hamlin Watches for Christmas

As my parade of Christmas watch ideas continues, H is for Hamlin.  Hamlin is another fine American brand that has been revived to sell contemporary watches. However, the current Hamlin brand does retain some design continuity with antique Hamlin watches. My Hamlin Ultra Thin Men's watch with mesh bracelet looks like something from the 1930s.

Hamlin Ultra Thin Stainless Steel Dress Watch

I got a great deal on my Hamlin watch from Sears.  [2024 Note - Ah, Sears.  Sometimes we miss what you once were.]

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gruen Watches for Christmas

In my collection, G is often for Gruen II.  Gruen was another fine name in American watches.  They manufactured watches from the 1890s through the 1950s.  Ebay has lots of vintage Gruen watches at a variety of price points.  These vintage watches could make memorable and meaningful gifts.

Like the Elgin name, the Gruen name has been revived by MZ Berger.  While these new Gruen's are certainly less desirable from a collector's perspective.  You could still find some nice contemporary watches from these new Gruen collections. But don't be fooled into thinking that new Gruen watches are valuable because of the Gruen name.  At Kohl's I purchased a "Precision by Gruen Watch" for about $23.  It came with a really cheap nylon band, but looks very nice with this replacement bracelet. 

Precision by Gruen

I have also bought a Gruen II watch at Sears.  It's an attractive looking quartz watch for about $35.  It was a little too large for me, but I was easily able to resize it using the Android watch repair kit that I won from a contest on one of my favorite watch forums.


These new Gruen watches would be perfectly reasonable gifts if you are shopping in the under $50 price range.  They'd be great stocking stuffers.  My Gruen II watch also came in an attractive box.  That's always a nice plus for Christmas shoppers.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gametime Watches for Christmas

If you have a sports fan on your shopping list, G might stand for Gametime.  I enjoy my Gametime Team Watch every year for college football season. 

Gametime Agent Series Watch

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fossil Watches for Christmas

F is for Fossil in my collection.  If you want to see a lot of great watches in one place, find out if there is a Fossil Outlet at your nearest outlet mall.  You'll find lots of great watches at reasonable prices.  Fossil watches make great Christmas gifts.  I have two really cool Fossil watches in my collection.  The first is a classic retro design call the Fossil Ansel.  It looks like a watch from 70s with more contemporary dimensions.


Fossil Ansel
My second Fossil watch is the Fossil Decker.  It looks like a vintage bronze watch that is fit for a sea captain.  It's a classic look.  It makes a great gift because it has a rich character. 

Fossil Decker

Here's another attractive variant of the Fossil Decker:

Here's the Fossil Ansel:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Elgin Watches for Christmas

Elgin was once one of the finest American watch companies.   For over 100 years, Elgin made pocket watches and later wristwatches.   If you are seeking a special gift for someone that will appreciate a fine antique, a genuine Elgin watch would make a rare and special gift.  You can always find plenty of Elgin watches on ebay in various conditions.  Of course, buying an antique watch can be a perilous endeavor.  For more information on Elgin's try Elginwatches.org


The Elgin name has been revived by MZ Berger.  However, modern Elgin watches have no relation to the original company.  But, MZ Berger does make stylish, affordable, watches that can make appealing gifts.  I bought this modern day Elgin at Sears and it is one of the most attractive and unusual watches in my collection.


Here is a similar design for a great price!