Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gift Ideas for the Watch Collector

Do you have someone on your list who is a watch collector?  Is it tough to find a great gift for him?  Are the watches he likes hard to find?  Is it tough to guess his style?  Are the watches he collects out of your price range?  Does he scoff at consumer grade watches sold in stores?  Does he turn his nose up at the quartz watches that mere mortals wear?  Does he have so many watches that you are afraid of duplicating something he already has?  Well, worry no more!  I have three great gift ideas for the hard to shop for watch collector on your list.

Diplomat Watch Winder
1. A Watch Winder.  Automatic mechanical watches are generally wound while being worn by the wearer.  However, if you have a collection or you don't wear your automatic watch every day or every other day, they will eventually stop and need to be wound again.  However, you can get a watch winder that rotates the watches many times every hour or so.  This winds the watch so that it will keep the time accurately and be ready to wear.  Watch winders can vary widely in price.  I found mine used in a second hand shop for about $20.  But, new they can vary widely in price.  Upscale purchasers can even buy find watch winders in mahogany or other fine woods.



2. A Watch Box.  If your favorite watch collector has more quartz watches that automatics or conventionally wound manual watches in his collection, a nice watch box is a great gift and good way to protect a watch collection from scratches.  A watch box organizer answers the age old question:  How do you store your watches?





3. A Watch Repair Kit.   Finally a watch repair kit comes in handy for resizing watch bracelets, replacing watch straps, or changing batteries.  There are many varieties, but if you aren't going to a watchmaking school in Switzerland, almost any choice will do.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday Deals on Watches - 2016

Today we give thanks and enjoy Turkey Day.  Tomorrow is Black Friday and many stores are getting a jump on the holiday sales season.  I've did a quick look through my e-mail box and here are a few of the deals on watches.

Orient is offering 50% off your order and free shipping with code BF2016 through November 28, 2016.  The offer is good at www.orientwatchusa.com and excludes Mako USA II watches.



Timex.com is offering 20% off plus free shipping if you use the code BLACKFRIDAY20.  Some exclusions apply.  The offer expires at midnight on 11/27/2016 and excludes Timex Waterbury, Timex IQ+, and Timex Metropolitan+ watches.

Of course, Amazon is a Black Friday Machine.  They have tons of Black Friday deals.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas: Citizen Eco-Drive Watches

When you give a watch as a gift, you like for it to have some special characteristics that make it unique.  But, when you can't fly to some exclusive watch maker in Geneva for a timepiece, you can find yourself in a pickle.  On our more affordable middle class plane of existence, many people turn to respected watchmakers like Citizen.  The Citizen Eco-Drive watch is a special watch.  It's a watch that can liberate its wearer from the tedious chore of changing batteries.  The Citizen Eco-Drive line of watches has one of the most sophisticated solar power plants in the world of horology.  Once charged, a Citizen Eco-Drive watch can run for six months in the dark.



My first Citizen Eco-Drive was called "Drive by Citizen" or some such marketing thing.  I'm wearing it as I type.  I've had it for just over a year now and it is still going strong.  The leather band remains soft and supple and the styling is masculine and appropriate for any situation.  You can read my full review of the Drive by Citizen watch here.



My second Citizen Eco-Drive watch is this classic design that obviously draws inspiration from the vintage Citizen watches of the past.  It's a great watch to wear to the office and looks great with khakis.  There is nothing to indicate that this is a solar watch, but it can run for six months in a dark sock drawer.  You can read my complete review of this stainless steel Citizen Eco-Drive watch here.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Armitron Watches - Great Gifts for the Holidays

In the world of middle class timepieces, the Armitron watch brand isn't as popular as Timex or as prestigious as Seiko.  It doesn't have the air of exclusivity that surrounds new brands and internet micro brands.  But, Armitron consistently brings two things to the table:  nice watches and excellent prices.  Some Armitron timepieces simply look like a million bucks!  If you are looking for a gift for a man this Christmas, many Armitron watches are worth a close look!



Here are three affordable Armitron timepieces that I spotted at Walmart at clearance prices.  This first one is a great gold tone watch with a sophisticated striped dial design.  It's the kind of watch that would look at home on the wrist of any executive.  It's the kind of watch that people might strain their eyes to figure out what brand it is. 


This watch has a 44 millimeter case and a 165-feet of water resistance.  It looks like the bracelet and case have an alternating gold tone and stainless motif.  It's a little more obvious in the pictures for the watch on Amazon below. 



This next model is a basic dress watch for the office with an expansion band.  My pictures don't do it justice, but it covers the basics and it's much less expensive than similar watches from competing brands.  For a young man on his way up, this watch would definitely suffice.


While this watch is priced low as a Walmart clearance item, it's not tremendously expensive on Amazon.com.



Finally, we come to the common digital watch from Armitron.  While many consumers are looking for a Casio G-Shock or Timex Ironman watch, this Armitron is a great alternative.  It has large readable numbers for the time and the date front and center.  It also has 330 feet of water resistance.

You can find the watch for a good price at Walmart or online at Amazon.com.  These watches represent a good value.  Plus, they are perfectly priced to be great gifts or stocking stuffers over the holiday.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wristwatch Review: Diesel Machinus Quartz Watch

This is the Diesel watch that my wonderful wife gave me for my birthday.  It's the Diesel Machinus model DZ7359. 


Diesel Watch Design


If you work for a multi-national corporation, this watch has a very cool design feature:  four subdials to keep time in four different time zones.  Now, you can coordinate with the UK, the US East Coast, the US West Coast, and Mumbai, India.  You pick the time zones and set the clocks independently.

A bridge in Mumbai, India


The Machinus has an interesting dial design that incorporates instrument panel and "carbon fiber" looks into a cohesive and modern design.  If you are looking for that distinctive big dial diesel look, you'll find it in this watch.  It has a 55 millimeter diameter case that is 14 millimeter thick case.  It's all secured by a robust 26 millimeter wide leather band.



Diesel Watch Leather Strap


The genuine leather band for this watch is one of the strong points.  It is thick and robust.  It is properly sized for the bulk of the watch.  It has a rich, weathered, look to it and the patina of a comfortable pair of favorite shoes.


Setting the Time on the Diesel Machinus


One thing you'll notice is that for subdials 1 and 3, there are crowns that stick out where the leather strap and case meet.  Those are used for setting the dials at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock positions respectively.


Despite the odd placement of the crowns, they don't get in the way.  The subdials at 9 and 3 o'clock are set electronically by a button underneath each that advances the hours as needed.


Drawbacks to the Diesel Machinus

Any watch with unusual design features is sure to generate opinions.  In my opinion, the only real drawback to this watch is that the subdials are small and not easy to read.  I'd like to see this watch with slightly larger hands and more lume.  Basically, I love the sub-dials, but I don't have the eyes to read them well any more.  I can read them, but I do have to stop and focus on them.


Overall, the Diesel Machinus has been a great addition to my watch collection.  The multiple subdial design allows me to know the time where my far-flung co-workers live.  The style is a great blend of traditional and contemporary features.  It's an interesting and unusual timepiece that is sure to start conversation.  If you are looking for a gift for a watch collector, this is a great one.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Curren Watches - A Cheap Alternative to the Prestige Watch Brands

Looking for an inexpensive, but bad ass looking, watch?  Check out this Curren brand watch being sold by Tonnier on Amazon.



It's sleek, black, and it has a panoramic date window!  While it isn't recommended for swimming or bathing, it offers 3 ATM of water resistance and a non-rotating bezel.  It's also a nice size with the case coming in at 45 millimeters in diameter and 11 millimeters thick.  The bracelet is stainless steel and the Amazon advertisement claims the watch is too.  But, at the very low offering price, I'm not completely sure.  I do think this would be a totally great bang around watch.  It has that stealthy, commando, frogman, timepiece look that would make any wearer proud.


Intrigued by the label on the dial, I also researched the Curren brand.  They have a watch store at www.currenwatches.com.  It's a pretty cool site.  They have dozens of men's and women's watches for less than $20 each.  If you are looking for inexpensive, but stylish, alternatives to the more prestigious brands, it's hard to beat some of their watches.