Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why Do People Buy Luxury Watch Brands?

Years ago, I used to scoff at people who bought luxury watches.  My brother-in-law would wear a Tag Heuer and make fun of my humble Timex or Casio.  I'd ask him what time it was, he'd tell me, and I'd look at my watch and say, "Same here!"

It was fun at the time.  But, as I have gotten more and more into watch collecting, I can appreciate fine luxury watches.  Especially when they are worn by someone who appreciates them not just as a display of wealth but for their art, materials, design, and history.  For example, when you look at a Constantin Vacheron watch you see art and a heritage that goes back to 1755.  Check out this triple complication pocket watch from Vacheron Constantin. It dates back to 1901 and it is a piece of art.

By shakko (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
When a company has been building a reputation for quality, design, and craftsmanship for many decades or even centuries, they take on a quality that transcends marketing departments and MBAs.  They have an essence that is important and yet intangible.  I've tried to put a finger on those intangibles here -

So, while I can't afford a Rolex or an Audemars Piguet, I can appreciate them and I can dream.  That's why I'll write about them from time to time.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cheap Dive Watch Review: Casio MRW200H Neo-Display Dive Watch

Everyone wants a bad ass commando-style dive watch.  Everyone wants the kind of watch that has a case, strap, and bezel in midnight black and high visibility numbers. But, real commando watch capabilities often come with a high price tag.  Of course, if you aren't a real commando, you don't have to pay that high price.  You can just buy a watch that looks cool.  When it comes to cool for the price, it's hard to beat this Casio:

Casio MRW200H Neo-Display Dive Watch

Yup, I finally broke down and bought the Casio MRW200H Diver-Style watch that I've been lusting after on my trips to Walmart and Target.  It's pretty awesome for a watch that costs less than $25. You can read my complete review of this watch here.  If you'd like to buy a watch like this, Amazon has plenty of varieties here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Favorite Timex Watches for Everyday Wear

When it comes to watches, I have lots of slightly dressy watches for the office.  They have interesting designs and they tend to catch the eye.  They lend interest to my work day and sometimes get noticed by co-workers.  But, when I come home, they come off and take positions on top of my dresser.

I don't want to get them nicked up and battered.  Sometimes, they've gotten uncomfortable over the course of a workday.  When I get home I invariably reach for a bang around watch and--9 times out of 10--I reach for a Timex.  They are inexpensive, comfortable, rugged, and stylish.  At least, I like the way that they look.

Here are four of my very favorite "bang-around" Timex watches:

1. The Timex Expedition Core Resin.  Do you love those exotic commando dive watches that can handle 300 meters of depth and excel on raids in low light conditions?  Me too.  Do you $1500 to blow on a watch?  Me neither.  Are you a commando?  Me neither.  But, the Timex Expedition Rugged Core Analog Field Watch / T49831 / lets me daydream. This watch isn't perfect. The bezel doesn't turn and it is only water resistant to 50 meters. But, this watch looks totally cool.  It also has Indiglo lighting for those low-light adventures.

2. Timex Expedition Vintage Metal.  Of course, sometimes I want to be a bit more low key.  The Timex Men's T49891 Expedition Metal Field Brown Leather Strap Watch pays homage to the average G.I. It looks like it could have liberated Europe. But, it also looks great with my "Crocodile Hunter" shirt.

3.  Timex Weekender.  When it's time for a watch that is a little less intense, I like to wear my Timex Men's T2N637KW Weekender Sport Brown Leather Strap Watch . It's a great looking watch that is very comfortable and very easy to read.  I think it would go very well with a house in the Hamptons or on Cape Cod.

4.  Timex Elevated Classic.  When it comes to the perfect balance of form, function, and readability, I really like the Timex Men's T2N695 Elevated Classics Dress Sport Collection Black Leather Strap Watch.  The leather band is a tad wider than the one on the Weekender, too.

If you'd like to check out the most recent selection of Timex Men's watches on Amazon, check out this watch link.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dream Watch Profile: The Rolex Air King

One of my friends has a high end stereo. He is willing to delay gratification until he can afford the finest components. Then, he plans to keep those components for the rest of his life. He's a regular middle class guy. He isn't rich. He doesn't buy things often, but when he does, he buys the best that he can. It's an approach that some watch collectors take. Instead of having a hodge-podge of 90 watches, they have a collection of just a few high end timepieces.  From time to time, I think it would be nice just to have a few high end Rolex watches.

Rolex Submariners - Photo by Eternalsleeper at en.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, this approach of saving for a long time and buying carefully can allow middle class people to own some of the finest products. But, when it comes to high end watch brands, many brands have priced their products well beyond the buying capacity of middle class people. I thought that was the case for Rolex. But, I was recently surprised to discover a Rolex model that a middle class person might aspire to own. It's the Rolex Air King.

Rolex Air King - Photo by thnchiba ( [CC-BY-2.1-jp (], via Wikimedia Commons

At nearly $5000 [nearly $10,000 in 2024], the Air King isn't cheap. The Rolex Air King also isn't engineered to meet some artificial price point in the marketplace. While the Air King is the entry level Rolex, it's not an afterthought derived in a marketing department. This is a watch that is an integral part of Rolex history. According to an article by Joseph Lavender on the blog Jake's Rolex World called “The Complete History of the RolexAir-King,” the Air King was first made in 1945 to honor the bravery of RAF pilots and airmen. Thus, the timepiece is connected to the long heritage of the Rolex brand.

While these watches aren't in my price range, they are within the range of my dreams.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Casio Forester - Time for a New Battery

My Casio Forester finally gave up the ghost.  It needs a new battery.  That could be a problem because I found the battery on my last one difficult to change.  You can read about that in my Casio Forester review:

Casio Forester (Model FT500WV-1BV)
Fortunately, the Casio Forester watch is quite inexpensive and after two and half years I can probably just get a new one.  Plus, the crystal on mine has a minor scuff.

Casio Forester (Back Plate)
This watch has been a good one for all sorts of little adventures from the swamps of Florida to walking our dog along a wooded path. I highly recommend it. I just wish I could change the battery smoothly.