Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mens Watch Review: Stainless Steel Armitron with Leather Band

Every once in a while, a watch will strike me as being perfect. So it was with my most recent watch purchase a stainless steel Armitron with a leather band. With the catchy name like Model 20/4859GNSVBN, the watch had to beckon me by looking better than all the other men's watches at Kohl's in the Christmas of 2012. It looked better than any Timex, any Relic, any Citizen, any Seiko, any Caravelle, and almost any Bulova except the vaunted (and 10 times more expensive) Precisionist.

Armitron Stainless Steel Watch

Why was this Armitron so attractive? Besides being a shiny, gleaming, watch under department store glass, this Armitron combined the simple, manly, functional style of a military watch with the panache and flair of a showy high tech sport watch.  It also features an accurate Japanese quartz movement.

Watch Dimensions. This Stainless Steel Armitron has a military-style dial in a stunning silver-on-silver color scheme set into a solid-looking 43-millimeter diameter all stainless steel case. At 15 millimeters thick, the watch is robust without being monstrous or inconvenient at the office. The crown is thick and is circled by a grey rubber accent strip that makes pulling the crown and setting the watch a breeze.

 Armitron Model 20/4859GNSVBN

Watch Dial Style. The Arabic numerals denoting the hours are of a shiny silver-tone color that contrasts with the lighter silver-tone complexion of the dial. The sunray dial itself is subtly divided into four quarters that give the face a faceted look. When combined with the inner black circle with tiny 5-minute markings, the watch evokes the look of a rifle-scope crosshairs. Grey and white accents the perimeter of the dial (technically called the channel ring) of this watch. It's the angled upslope under the crystal from the watch face to the case. This perimeter area is also put to functional use with 24-hour markings for the hours and hash marks for the minutes.

My Stainless Steel Armitron Running Strong in 2024 with a new battery

Watch Pricing. Like all Armitron watches, my new wristwatch was affordable. Kohl's had it for $89.99, but offered considerable Christmas season sale discounts. However, the low price point manifests itself in one obvious drawback to this watch. The 18.5 centimeter brown leather band that came with the watch was a tad short for my wrist. I swapped the band for a diver-style rubber band from Timex. It fits well, has lots of room for expansion, and enhances the rugged look of the watch. I'd love it if watch companies offered a free or low cost watch band swaps with a watch purchase to ensure that any purchase fits well.

Overall, I really enjoy my new Armitron watch. It is a practical, readable, rugged and rich looking timepiece.

[While I can't find this Armitron for sale in 2024, there are lots of reasonably priced Armitron watches available on Amazon.]

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012!

Merry Christmas!  I hope that all readers have a wonderful holiday.  Soon this page will feature reviews of the new watches I got for Christmas!

In the meantime, I've been wondering about Santa Claus.  On Christmas Eve, Santa eluded air defenses all around the world and dropped off presents for all the good boys and girls.  How did he fly around the world so fast?  I think he may have some super high technology like this motorized sleigh at his disposal.  Here's a more detailed report on his techniques and technologies:  How Does Santa Elude Air Defenses Around the World?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas for Nerds: Nerd Watches

Do you have a nerd on your Christmas list?

If so, you can always get him a nerdy watch.  Nerd watches are big business.  There are even online discussion boards dedicated just to Nerd watches.  For example (back in 2012), you could visit the Pocket Calculator Show's now defunct Nerd Watch Message Board to learn all about vintage nerd watches.  They have the coolest collections of interesting and obscure digital watches.

As for me, I only have one genuine nerd watch.  It's a Casio Calculator watch.  These watches are dirt cheap at Walmart and make a great bonus gift or stocking stuffer at Christmas.  If you haven't read it yet, here's my review:

Wristwatch Review:  Casio Calculator and Calendar Watch

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Classics Are Back!

In these austere times, many of the elite watch makers have introduced classic versions of watches from earlier simpler eras.  According to Watch Time magazine, this is the Classical Revival.  But, you don't have to be rich and you don't have to be all Swiss to enjoy a watch with a classic design.

Here are some affordable watches that fit the classic label:

A Guide to the Affordable Men's  Watches of the Classical Revival

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Need a Watch Quick? Try Waltham Watches at CVS

On a recent visit to a CVS drugstore, I saw an end cap display of Waltham brand watches.  Some of them looked pretty good for the low price of $9.99.  They might make a good Christmas gift for a kid.  They'd also be just fine if you just need to tell time!

Waltham Watch

Monday, November 26, 2012

Relic Sawyer - Perfect for Victory at Sea

My Relic Sawyer Wristwatch looks like something issued by the Navy.  It's sleek, grey, and purposeful -- like a battleship.  The numerals on the bezel are darkened and the face is grey with white baton markers at hourly intervals.  They seem purposeful and warlike.  Even the sub-dials look like nautical instruments.  This Relic watch looks so much like something off of a battleship that I recently took it to a battleship.  I stopped by the U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The U.S.S. North Carolina in Wilmington, N.C.
The Battleship itself is moored just across the Cape Fear River from Wilmington, North Carolina.  It's a lot of fun to find and view on google maps.  For tips on finding the U.S.S. North Carolina and hunting for other battleships, check out my article:

The Battleship and Watch Both Look Sleek

While the Relic Sawyer isn't any kind of official Navy watch, it sure looks like it could be.  However, it's far more affordable than any kind of mil-spec hardware that's designed for extreme conditions.

Ready for Adventure!
Of course, when you strap on this watch, you can't listen to some namby-pamby, snooty public radio, symphony.  You have to listen to something truly awesome.  I recommend the Victory at Sea Soundtrack:

Plus, if you are going to wear a watch that looks like it belongs on a battleship, you should learn something about battleships and there is no better starting point than the best documentary series ever made:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Just Get Him a Timex Already!

Stop agonizing!  You can just get him a Timex.  They make plenty of perfectly respectable watches and they don't break the budget!  I love my Weekender!  It's easy to read.  It has the date.  It lights up at night with a simple press of the crown.  It's only about $35 or so.  It makes a great stocking stuffer watch.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stocking Stuffer Watches for Men!

Braving the Black Friday Crowds this year?  Need to pick up some stocking stuffer gifts for less than $30? 

Check out this article for watches that might be perfect this Christmas:

Taken by Elf - GNU Free Documentation License

Friday, November 16, 2012

Could a Good Watch Save a General's Career?

"Oh my, look at the time ladies!  I've got a war to fight!"
                                                                - Not Actually Said by General Patton

Here's a tactic for generals in trouble:  when surrounded by bimbos, glance at your watch, politely excuse yourself, and retreat!

If you need a good wristwatch to help defend yourself against bimbos, read:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Still the One: My Caravelle Diver-Style Watch

As Thanksgiving and Black Friday approach, I've been thinking a lot about which watch is my favorite and which watch makes the perfect holiday gift.  If I could only pick one watch, I'd have to go with my Caravelle.  It's got that diver-style look that everyone craves and it's backed by a respectable name - Bulova.  While it isn't an Omega, it's still the watch that I wear when I want to feel like James Bond for a Day.

Caravelle by Bulova Diver-Style watch

Since the holidays are almost here, I'll soon be sharing some of my articles on the best watches for various price ranges.

[2024 Update:  The Caravelle watches available today have changed alot since 2012.  I suspect that the rise of the omnipresent Smartphone has hurt the watch market a bit.  But, there always seems to be room for watches that bring a sense of style and identity to the wrist.  Lately, Caravelle has had some interesting new offerings.  I like the looks of this Retro Caravelle diver-style model on Amazon.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Men's Watches at Target

If you are looking for fashionable design and good looks in a man's watch, you can go to Switzerland or you can go to your local Target store.  This Mossimo watch looks much like one of the Diesel watches featured here recently.
Mossimo Big Numbers Watch
This Mossimo watch looks great with "hex nuts" securing the bezel to the case.  However, the sub-dials are decorative and not functional.

Of course, you can get the real thing direct right here:
DIESEL Mr. Daddy

DIESEL Mr. Daddy

When one watch just won't do, wear four. With two parts analog, one part digital, and one part chronograph, this mega-oversized watch may be easy to read, but it's not easy to take your eyes off of it. Case Size: 65 MM X 57 MMMovement: Ana-Digi - FL137AX Water Resistant: 3 ATMPackaging Ships in a Diesel Watch BoxWarranty 2 Year International WarrantyOrigin Imported

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Visiting the Watch Department at Kohl's

Kohl's is one of my favorite places to shop for watches.  Over the years, I've gotten some of my favorite watches from Kohl's.  If you haven't visited lately, you don't know what you are missing. [As of 2024, the Kohl's watch department is pretty much gone.]

One of the coolest watches that I ever found at Kohl's is this Relic Moonphase watch.  It's amazing to have moon phase features that you'd normally find on a expensive European watch on a quartz watch that costs less than $100.
A Relic Moonphase Watch from Kohl's

I found my best diver-style watch at Kohl's!
Caravelle by Bulova from Kohl's
 This Relic Sawyer looks slightly nautical in battleship grey.

Relic Watch at Kohl's


The Fossil Decker

If you like the look of bronze, Fossil might have the watch for you.  The Fossil Outlet store had the watch for me.  It's called the Fossil Decker and it has a the rich bronze look that you'd associated with fine nautical instruments.  It also has chronometer functions and tachymeter markings on the bezel.  It's a cool looking watch.  Here's my complete review:

The Fossil Decker

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Square Gauntlet Watch by Mossimo

Here's an interesting looking square watch from Mossimo at Target.  The strap is a wide gauntlet-style construct.
Mossimo Square Watch
Here's an inexpensive Round on Square Watch from Dr.


This women's watch is from Skagen:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sears is a good place for watch hardware!

As the holiday's approach, it will be time to start shopping for Christmas gifts.  While there are plenty of places to shop for watches online, if you prefer brick'n'mortar experiences, I've found lots of cool watches at an unlikely place:  Sears.

Photo by Gars129 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking to expand your personal watch collection or get a gift for a man, you'll find watches that appeal to all ages.  Younger watch afficionadoes might like this watch:

A Structure Watch from Sears

A more fashion forward man might like a square watch that looks a bit like a Bell & Ross:

If mechanical mechanisms and bronze would be more appealing, this Elgin quartz/mechanical watch might be a more dressy alternative:

Finally, if you are shopping for a more business-oriented man, you can't go well with a basic Bulova watch like this one:

All in all, it's a pretty amazing variety of watches to find in one basic department store.  Plus, Sears/Kmart Rewards program is an awesome way to save money.  If you have car repairs or buy tires at a Sears Auto Center, there's a good chance that you'll be able to save big money on a nice watch.

[In 2024, it saddens me that Sears is essentially gone. Only 10 stores remain in the US mainland and 1 in Puerto Rico.  They still sell some interesting watches online through vendors at]

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wristwatch Review: The Fossil Ansel Retro-Style Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Band

From the classic-style of Mad Men to the latest iteration of James Bond, retro-style remains popular today.  There was nothing wrong with the watches of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.  They were functional and well-designed.  That's why the Fossil Ansel (Model FS4671) never goes out of style.

[In 2024, I'm reworking this post to include my review of the Fossil Ansel that first appeared on Yahoo Voices in 2015.]

Mid-Century Modern Style in a Twenty-first Century Package

If you want a vintage mid-century modern look on the outside and a twenty-first century quartz movement on the inside, check out this review of the Fossil Ansel.  It's got a vintage look in a convenient modern watch.

A Fossil Ansel Watch

The simplicity of a vintage watch design never goes out of style. When you get down to basics, the essential purpose of a watch is to tell time. However, truly vintage watches have their disadvantages. They require winding or maintenance. They may be too valuable to absorb damage. They may show excessive wear and tear from years of use. In addition, the size and dimensions of a classic watch may not match contemporary notions about the size of a watch. Fortunately, there are many contemporary watches with retro styling cues. One such watch is the Fossil Ansel (Model FS4671). I found mine at the Fossil Outlet Store at the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, Georgia.

As much as I love my classic Timex Mercury, the Fossil Ansel makes a great stand-in for a vintage watch for everyday wear. Since it has a quartz movement, I don't have to wind it or spend a few minutes figuring out how to set the date properly. It has a 22-millimeter wide stainless steel band and a perfectly-sized 41-millimeter diameter case. The dimensions just look right on my wrist today. However, other than size, the Fossil looks like a vintage watch in every significant way. For example, it features a bright silver sunray face and a domed crystal. The hours are marked by translucent blue batons and the minutes are noted by simple hashmarks at the edge of the dial. A small date window lies just inboard of the three o'clock marker.

The band was initially too large for my 7 1/2 inch wrists so two links had to be removed. Fortunately, that was done for free at the Fossil Outlet store It's proven to be a comfortable band and is secured by a sturdy foldover clasp with push button. The only drawback thus far is that the clasp was easily scratched while performing office work. After typing for just a couple of hours in a typical office cube, the clasp was was quite scuffed up. However, most Fossil Ansel watches come with a black leather band and may be able to withstand workday wear a little better.

Overall, the Fossil FS4671 Ansel watch has the has looks of a vintage watch from the 1950s or 1960s and the size and heft of a more contemporary watch. It's a no nonsense watch that combines form and function. Overall, I recommend the Fossil Ansel if you want a vintage mid-century modern look on the outside and a twenty-first century quartz movement.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Watches of Presidential Candidates

Blah-Blah-Blah-Blah-Blah.  The first Presidential debate is running along.  Americans face an important choice in November.  It's a choice that is beyond the scope of this blog.  But, as my mind wanders, I wonder what kind of watches the candidates wear.

According to a blog called Spudland, Mitt Romney has been photographed wearing a non-descript but functional Nixon "Private" watch.
By Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Romney's watch is devoid of subdials and expensive-looking flourishes. Here is another Nixon-brand watch. 

President Obama has been seen wearing a Jorg-Gray 6500 watch that was given to him by his Secret Service detail.

 This enlargement is grainy, but it's a simple black chronometer watch with subdials and a secret service logo.

If you'd like a Jorg-Gray 6500 watch just like the one worn by President Obama, you can get it right here:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Structure Military-style Watch from Sears

A couple of months ago, I got a really cool watch at Sears. It's a Structure Military-style Watch and costs about $30-$35. A classic military dial looks just and diver-style non-rotating bezel makes for a perfect look. It also has a silicone band that is super comfortable and looks like leather.
Check out my full review here -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Timex Expedition - Digital

I spotted these new digital Timex Expedition watches at Target last week.  I hadn't seen this style of Timex digital watch.  I particularly like the models with a bright numerals on a black LCD background.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Structure Men's Diver-Style Watch

Structure is one of my favorite inexpensive watch brands.  Their watches sell at Sears for $30 to $35 or so.  Made by MZ Berger, Structure watches are a definite step up from the $10 to $20 watches that MZ Berger makes for retailers like Walmart.  Structure watches are always up to date in their styling and look good on the wrist.  One of my latest Structure watches is a very cool diver-style watch.  It looks like it would be a great watch for a diver, a surfer, a preppy, or a rapper.  You can read a complete review here:

Structure Diver Style Watch
The best place to buy Structure brand watches is at Sears.  You should note that fashion quartz watches at this price point don't actually have names.  I've tried to describe the watch as best I can, but you'll have to hunt!  Have fun!

Here's a cool Structure watch at a good price:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Big Bad Diesel Watches

Have you seen the big watches that hip-hop artists wear?  Some folks are wearing watches that seem as big as Flav-a-flav's alarm clock.  The Diesel watches have cases that measure a big honkin' 67 millimeters by 59.5 millimeters.  That's Huge!

Diesel Black Out:  DZ1460
The Diesel White Out is equally striking.  It draws you eye in no matter where you see it.

Diesel White Out DZ1461
These watches are a little too big for my taste, but if you like big watches and you cannot lie, these might be the watches for you.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Unlisted Watch by Kenneth Cole

I found a great looking quartz watch at Ross last week.  It has a black plastic bezel, classic diver's watch style, and protection for it's crown.  The brand is called "Unlisted by Kenneth Cole."  Regularly priced around $30, the watch I found was only $15. 
Unlisted by Kenneth Cole

Here is an Unlisted by Kenneth Cole watch without the protected crown:

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Octagonal Watch from Structure

Structure is one of my favorite inexpensive watch brands.  A staple at Sears, they consistently deliver attractively styled watches for $30 to $35.  Here's one that I found in an Octagonal Shape:

Structure Octagon

This watch reminds me of the $285,000 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch that I have had to repeatedly postpone buying.  I've also passed on this watch until I can find a proper boat to go with it.

By the way, if I've just prevented you from paying 10,000 times too much for an octagonal watch, I'll take a commission!  Otherwise, you can always buy a pre-owned Audemars Royal Oak.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "50th Anniversary" Watch


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Watches for Preppies!

Preppy Watches like Lacoste, Izod, Timex, and Daniel Wellington

Remember preppies?  Some might think they are a throwback to the 80s, but their style never really went out of fashion.  Instead, it grew up and became part of America's business casual wardrobe.  Today, the preppy look isn't confined to snooty prep schools or Ivy League college campuses, you are quite likely to see the Lacoste crocodile logo in the cube next to yours in a corporate office tower. 

A Lacoste Shirt

Wristwatches for Preppies

Watches are an important part of the preppy look.  They can be simple traditional automatics with a leather band or colorful watches with iconic graphics. I recently saw lots of Lacoste watches at my local Macy's store. You might also consider Daniel Wellington watches.

A Daniel Wellington Watch on Amazon

[That was in 2012, but I bought a LaCoste watch in 2023. I have also found Daniel Wellington watches online at a variety of outlets. You can read my review of the LaCoste Club Watch here.]

Lacoste Wristwatches

However, you can find lots of nice preppy watches at far lower price points.  For example, the Timex Weekender is always an appropriate choice and looks much classier than it's low price tag.

Timex Weekender Watch

However, preppy looks are attainable with even less expensive watch bargains from US Polo Association.

US Polo Association Watch

In 2024, I've been finding lots of great looking Izod watches on sale at Burlington stores.  If you look around a bit, you won't see many popped collars on golf shirts, but there are still some great preppy watches being offered by Nautica, US Polo, Timex, Izod, Lacoste, Daniel Wellington, and Tommy Hilfiger!

[Our favorite 80s preppy bad guys have all aged tremendously, but you can still find plenty of US Polo Assn watches here on Amazon and in stores.]