Wednesday, February 25, 2015

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

[This review is a reprint of my review of my Zoo York watch.]

Checking Out a Graffiti-Inspired Watch with a New York Vibe Can bold New York City "whatchoolookinat?" bravado be captured in a watch design? If any brand can do it, the graffiti art inspired Zoo York brand can. Check out this bold yellow Zoo York Watch to see if they can do it!

Some cities have an attitude. New York is famous for having a certain swagger and a bold, in your face, attitude. The challenge for watch designers is to bring that attitude and personality to a timepiece. The Germans have their precision and the Swiss have their craftsmanship. Zoo York tries to capture a bit of "Yo, whatchoo lookin' at?" The brand itself was inspired by the graffiti art movement in the New York City area. Renowned designer Marc Ecko was one of the brand's founding figures. The subject of this review is one of my most recent watch purchases: a Zoo York casual watch with a black case and bracelet and yellow dial.

Style. The dominant feature of this watch is its bright yellow dial and bold black ZY Zoo York logo. The intertwined letters evoke the famed New York Yankees cap logo, but are unique in their shape and font. The watch also offers a strong flat black case and metal metal bracelet that brings a bit of machismo to the party. If you don't like the flamboyant yellow watch, Kohl's currently has a version of this Zoo York watch with a plain black dial and no logo. In that black stealth mode, it is a perfectly appropriate conservative watch for any business casual workplace. Personally, I prefer the bold yellow dial. I may never be skateboarder, but I can have a skate rat watch!

Size. This Zoo York watch illustrates that you can go bold in a watch design without going big. The case is a manageable 45 millimeters wide (including the crown) and 13 millimeters thick. It fits under the cuff with ease. The bracelet is a comfortable 20 millimeters wide. However, I had to remove several links for it to fit properly. Fortunately, it was an easy operation with the Android watch repair and resizing kit that I recently won on

Construction. This Zoo York watch has stainless steel caseback and what appears to be a base metal case. It is powered by a Japanese movement and the battery type is usefully marked on the caseback. The watch seems well constructed, but skateboarders should know that it is not ruggedized for sporting use.

Price. This Zoo York watch retails for up to $39.99 at Kohls. However, with all the Kohl's cash and other sale discounts offered by Kohl's, you can probably get the watch for a little less. Zoo York brand watches are also sold at J.C. Penney.
Quartz fashion watches can have fleeting time upon the shelf, but this one is demonstrative of the kinds of watches you may find with the Zoo York label. The Zoo York brand generally offers bold, creative, and youthful watch styles at an affordable price point. If you buy this watch, just be prepared for people to stare at it. This watch will be noticed. You won't have to challenge people with your best NYC "watchyoulookin'at?" They'll definitely be checking out your wrist watch!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Watch Review: Mens Folio Analog Quartz Watch from Kohls

It has been a while since I reviewed a cheap watch for this blog.  But, tonight, I'm reviewing an inexpensive "commodity quartz watch" from the Folio brand sold at Kohls.

This Folio brand analog watch has a reliable Japanese quartz movement encased in a flat-finished, gun metal gray, base metal case.  It has a matching bracelet.  The caseback is stainless steel.

The dial is the focal point of the design.  It has a dark gray center on a gun metal gray background that matches the watch case.  The hour positions are marked by gun metal gray engraved areas of the dial that act as subtle hour batons.  A semi-circular arc of light blue runs from one o'clock to six o'clock serving as a border between the gun metal gray periphery of the dial and the dark gray center.  The hands are black with a thin line of white lume.

The case is just under 2 inches in diameter (I'd guess approximately 48 millimeters) in diameter.  The bracelet reinfoces the solid, masculine, nature of the design by being a just under an inch wide (I'd guess 22 millimeters).

The watch is made by FMD, a major supplier of store brand watches.  This watch retails for around $30.  By shopping sales, using a Kohl's card, and using Kohl's rewards cash, you should be able to get it for less.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Watch Sighting: Bulova Marine Star at T.J. Maxx

At T.J. Maxx, I recently spotted this Bulova Marine Star in a rich gold hue with a dark dial and subdials.  It looks like an exclusive watch for the world's wealthiest.  But, at T.J. Maxx, this Bulova watch was relatively affordable at less than $200.

Bulova Marine Star Chronographs are beautiful and functional men's watches.  This one is a functional timepiece with a rich look.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Watches with Drive: The Ferrari Lap Timer Analog Quartz Watch

When it comes to driving thrills, nothing beats a Ferrari.  Even as a middle-aged man, my eyes light up like a 14-year-old boy when I see a Ferrari.  Driving, Parked. At a Car Dealer.  At a Car Show.  It doesn't matter.  When you look at a Ferrari, it looks back at you and it is sexy.

© Jorge Royan /, via Wikimedia Commons

A Ferrari is always exciting!  There is no other way to say it.  It is the car of every man's dreams.
Ferrari F430 Spyder By Valder137 [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The interior of a dream Ferrari is usually red and black.  It's sensual and passionate and screams ....FAST!

Ferrari F430 Interior Photo By Rdsmith4 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Of course, a Ferrari is out of reach for most of us.  It's the car of hyper successful executives, professional athletes, and movie stars.  But, when I recently spotted a Ferrari watch at T.J. Maxx, I was excited.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to deviate from our shopping mission, but it certainly intrigued me.  It had the Ferrari look!

Ferrari Lap Time Analog Watch at T.J. Maxx

That's because it is a bona fide Ferrari-brand watch.  Perhaps even more thrilling:  Ferrari watches are much more affordable than Ferrari cars.  A Ferrari watch can be fit into nearly any budget.  I believe T.J. Maxx wanted a around $160 for their Ferrari watch. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Watches of Adventure

If you believe the movies and television, adventure can be expressed in terms of fashion.  For example, who can forget characters like Indiana Jones who enshrined the fedora, leather jacket, and bull whip in our collective consciousness.

Photo by Gary Stewart Gary2880 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
But, what does adventure look like in a watch?  Many watches have an adventurous bent.  For example, dive watches certainly evoke all sorts of undersea adventures.  But, when you think of Indiana Jones-style, 1930s pulp, adventure style, you think of a vintage-look dial and a leather band.

You might also think about a field watch.  They have a rugged military look about them.  Today that 1930's look lives on in adventurous timepieces like the AVI-8 Flyboy, Hamilton Khaki, and Seiko Adventurer.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Insignum Subwave Dive Watch

Examining a Dive Watch from Germany's Insignum Brand 

[This is a reprint of my review of the Insignum Subwave Dive Watch.  Insignum arrived on American shores a couple of years ago, but then withdrew from our market.  It's too bad because they made nice watches.  You can still find some Insignum models clearance priced at]  

Diving is a serious endeavor and demands a serious watch. The new Insignum Subwave Dive Watch might fit the bill for divers and other adventurers. Dive watches have always represented adventure to me. Real dive watches are built to take pressure and they have a rotating bezel to help a diver keep track of his remaining air supply. These watches are the watches of real and fictional heroes like Jacques Cousteau and James Bond. Divers are functional manly, action-oriented, watches. That's why I was excited to receive the new Insignum Subwave Dive Watch in Black, Red, and Steel. Just looking at the timepiece evokes images of exotic locales and underwater adventures. When you put it on, you feel ready for any adventure.

Style. Form follows function on a dive watch and this Insignum is no exception. Each watch in the Insignum Subwave series has the look, feel, and functionality of a classic diver with a large contemporary dial and case size. It has the uni-directional rotating bezel and a magnifier (called a cyclops) over the date window. The bezel follows traditional dive watch conventions with tick marks for the first 15 minutes, then a red sector for the next 30 minutes, and is black for the last 15 minutes of the hour. My aging eyes appreciate the assistance of the 2x magnification, but it is only helpful when you look at the date window directly from above. At night, luminous hands and luminous dot and stick markers make it easy to read the watch in low light conditions. The red and black bezel rotates with satisfying clicks. The watch looks and feels like quality with details like a small "i" on the crown and an etched caseback.

Size. I was a little concerned about the size of the Insignum Subwave, but I'm a big guy and I found the watch well proportioned and comfortable. The watch is a generous 48 millimeters in diameter and a hearty 13.5 millimeters thick. It is a bit heavier than the thinner watches that I normally wear. However, the edges of the watch are smooth and the band doesn't dig into my wrist or forearm anywhere. The Subwave is substantial watch, but comfortable and not overly heavy or overly thick. Under the sea, the large size should make the watch easy to read in all conditions and the bezel can be manipulated with gloved hands. On land, the watch fits under the cuff of a long-sleeved shirt and looks great at the office.

Construction. The insignum Subwave is built to look and be tough. 316L stainless steel is used for the case and the broad 26 millimeter wide bracelet. The push-button dual deployant clasp has a safety latch to keep the watch solidly on your wrist. The watch has a tough sapphire-coated glass crystal. Thanks to a screw-down crown, tight manufacturing tolerances, high quality materials, and strict quality control, the Insignum Subwave is water resistant up to 200 meters. This degree of water resistance allows the watch to be worn for recreational swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Price. Insignum combines German design and quality control with global sourcing to bring premium watches to market at affordable prices. This allows the Insignum Subwave in Black, Red, and Steel to sell for $248 at There are a number of color combinations for the Subwave starting at sale price as low as $198. [ZuluTimeZone has been clearing out their inventory of Insignum watches.  They probably don't have any Subwaves, but they have the rest of their inventory priced to move!  You can get a great looking Insignum for less than $80!]

Ultimately, I found the Insignum Subwave Dive watch to be an impressive watch that doesn't have to stay in your shoes at the beach. It is suitable for all sorts of aquatic and terrestrial adventures.

Insignum watches

Note:  My friends over at ZuluTimeZone provided me with this Insignum Subwave watch. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Jack Spade Watches at T.J. Maxx

A few nights ago, my wife and I went to our local T.J. Maxx to get a couple of pillows. Whenever we visit, I have to check out the watch section. I don't always buy a watch, but it is an interesting place to get a glimpse at brands that I don't normally see.  On this outing, I saw several interesting watches from Jack Spade.

I thought Jack Spade might be an adventurer or fashion designer.  But, Jack Spade is actually the menswear arm of the famous Kate Spade fashion house.  The brand offers many interesting watch designs.  Jack Spade watches have Swiss quartz movements and solid designs.  For $59, this watch is a bargain.

This chronograph diver-style watch is also a great by at just under $70.  It has the classic look that you expect of a dive watch.

For comparisons sake you can see the same watches here on  Obviously the amount you can save at T.J. Maxx on these watches is considerable.  Of course, inventory at T.J. Maxx is hit-and-miss.  They typically sell close-out and overstock from other retailers.

[As I revisit this post in 2024, I see that Jack Spade watches have disappeared from the Kate Spade line up.  It looks like they really did clear them out.  If you were able to get one, you might have a bit of a collectors item.]

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day Watch and Timepiece Specials

Valentine's Day is right around the corner.  If you are shopping for gift, you might consider a nice wristwatch. There are thousands of watches to choose from and a timepiece is always a stylish, personal, and appropriate gift.

 As an Amazon affiliate, I just learned of some great offers from Amazon for this Valentine's Day.  Amazon has great deals on lots of watches for Valentine's Day. Until February 11, 2015, you can get 50 to 70 percent off of selected styles.

If the box isn't important or you are simply shopping for yourself, Amazon is currently offering deep discounts on open box watches until February 7, 2015.

If nothing else, the holiday is a great excuse to shop.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Introducing GEN Bamboo Watches - Environmentally Conscious Timepieces

Twitter is a great place to learn about new watch brands.  Today, I'm proud to announce a new watch brand that I recently discovered:  GEN Bamboo.  They incorporate fashion and style in "Earth-friendly" watches.  They also have a coupon code for $5 off for the first 20 readers who buy from their website:  Just enter "WATCHDUDE" when you checkout!

In my opinion, your choice of watch makes a statement.  A timepiece provides a window into your aesthetic preferences and values.  It's easy to find a watch if you value technology, power, and prestige.  However, if you value the environment, natural resources, and sustainable manufacturing methods, your timepiece choices have always been limited.  But now, that has changed.  GEN Bamboo offers a timepiece that uses a renewable natural resource:  bamboo.

Bamboo Forest - By annieo76 (Flickr profile) (Original webpage:[1] Website publisher: Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

GEN Bamboo watches are made of stainless steel, zinc alloy, and sustainable bamboo.  The bamboo in GEN Bamboo watches comes from a managed forest in China.  Any trees harvested are replaced.  Since bamboo grows like grass, it grows back within 5 years.  The use of bamboo also makes a GEN Bamboo watch light and comfortable.

GEN Bamboo makes a watch called "The Gentleman" and comes in a black model and a silver model.  Both models currently retail for $85.  I like the looks of the black version best due to the wonderful contrast between the black case and the natural light tone of bamboo.

GEN Bamboo Watch "The Gentleman" in Silver
Each watch has a reliable Japanese PC32 movement with a date function.  For stylish looks, the watch has non-functional sub-dials and buttons.  Each watch has its own unique wood grain and even the subtle scent of bamboo.

Bamboo is a rugged material.  It's used in flooring, counters, and cutting boards.  GEN Bamboo watches are protected with a hardened mineral glass crystal to protect against scratches.  They are also water resistant to 3 atmospheres.

GEN Bamboo Watch "The Gentleman" in Silver

With a 43 millimeter diameter case that measures 10 millimeters thick, the GEN Bamboo Gentleman fits comfortably on any wrist.  The watch bracelet is also adjustable.

The GEN Bamboo company was founded by corporate refugees.  They are committed to a philosophy of GENtleness and GENerosity.  They donate a percentage of their profits to The National Park Foundation and The National Park Trust.  Each watch has  a one year warranty with free returns.  GEN Bamboo Watches is a company that prides itself on GENuine customer care.  They are definitely worth checking out! 

There website is and don't forget to enter "WATCHDUDE" when you checkout!