Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Precision by Gruen Men's Dress Watch

In the world of cheap watches, there are a few gems.  One of those gems has to be a Precision by Gruen quartz dress watch that I found at Kohls several months ago.  It's a men's dress watch with a Japanese quartz movement, a date window, a brown leather strap, and a gold colored case.  It retails for less than $30. Ordinarily there wouldn't be much more to write.  However, this watch has one feature that makes it special:  a domed crystal.  That feature combined with a well executed vintage look makes this watch look much more expensive than it actually is.

Precision by Gruen with Domed Crystal
Construction.  This watch has a stainless steel caseback and base metal bezel or case.  At this price point, you won't find much information about the materials used. 

While Precision by Gruen was once a great name in American watches, today It is made in Asia by M.Z. Berger.  However, the company knows a thing or two about making watches.   I highly recommend this one.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Nautica Aviation-style Chronogragh Watch

A new job calls for a new watch.  That's my story and that's why I've stuck a new Nautica watch on my wrist.  If I remember correctly, this watch was about $80 at T.J. Maxx and I haven't seen one quite like it on Amazon.  I believe this may be a chrono classic and it is a quartz watch.

Watch Design.  This Nautica has a cool style that harmoniously  brings together many classic watch design elements. First it has the vintage stainless steel look of a 1960s James Bond watch.  The case and bezel are neither highly polished nor flat.  Instead, the watch has an experienced classic look. 
Second, the watch has some aspects of a dive watch.  The time and date are set via a screw down crown.     The non-rotating bezel has numbers and markings that subtly evoke a dive watch. 
Third, beneath the crystal, a white triangle at 12 o'clock deftly pays homage to the classic aviator watches that have been so popular in recent years.  The aviator-style is backed up by simple numerals denoting each hour.

Watch Functions.  This Nautica has a lot of functionality built in.  There are three subdials to present information.  At 3 o'clock, the subdial provides the 24 hour time to the nearest hour.  At 6 o'clock, another subdial presents the elapsed seconds once the chronograph function is started.  Finally, at 9 o'clock, a final subdial records the elapsed minutes.  To complete the complications,  a canted date window between 4 and 5 o'clock provides the date.  I wish that the bezel rotated, but it is rather thin and streamlined.

Watch Construction.   Nautica may be a fashion brand, but they also make pretty solid watches.  This Nautica is water resistant to 100 meters.

Overall, I highly recommend this Nautica.  It's a stylish watch that has the looks I like!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Organizing Watches: Some must go!

The time has come to get my watches organized.  I'm starting a new job.  My work dress code will be a little more formal.  It even looks like I'll be wearing a suit and tie more often.  I'm excited.  I'll be taking my game to a new level.  But, not every watch in my collection will be appropriate and wearable to my new office.  I've got to make some cuts.

I've placed about a dozen of my watches in a shoe box destined for Goodwill.  Some of the choices are obvious.  But, the conversations are difficult. 

Merona with decorative subdials you have to go.  I'm just not keen on non-functional subdials.  Casual observers won't know the subdials don't work.  But, I know.  It bugs me.  It's not going to work out.

Cherokee pocket watch.  The 1880s are over.  I'd look ridiculous trying to wear a quartz pocket watch.

Walmart no-name ana-digitals, you look great.  But, if I put a battery in you. I know you will beep at all the wrong times.
Pembrooke dress watch.  You look great.  But, you have a tiny dial.  People would wonder why I was wearing a "boyfriend" watch.  You need to live somewhere else.

I know it will be difficult for some of these watches.  But, you aren't getting worn now.  It will be more fair to you in the long run to find a new home where you can be worn.  Plus, you'll be helping a good cause.

At least, quartz watches don't cry.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Shark Watches for Shark Week!

It's here!  This is the one week of American television programming that has teeth.  It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.   It's only natural for this blog to celebrate Shark week with sharks and Shark watches.

As a brand, Shark was established in 1997. The official home for Shark brand watches can be found at the parent company Freestyle.  Shark watches are affordable and attractively styled.  I think these digital watches would mostly appeal to kids and teens.

A Juvenile Sandbar Shark - By NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I first encountered a real shark as a student in a Marine Biology summer school class in North Florida.  Our class was fishing with a large seine net just off the beach.  I was stationed just outside the middle of the net.  I saw a gray blur inside the net speeding towards me.  Then I noticed a hole in the net right near my feet.  The blur was a juvenile shark and he shot through the hole, zig-zagged through my legs, and disappeared into the vast Atlantic Ocean.  My shark was probably all of 2 feet long.  To this day, I can remember his fins brushing against my legs.

Perhaps the shark I encountered grew into a huge predator and roamed the seas for years?  Sharks can live for 20 to 30 years in the wild.  As the apex predator, once my shark got big, there would be little for him to fear in the sea.

A Great White Shark - Terry Goss [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

While sharks feature multiple rows of sharp teeth, Shark watches feature a wide variety of styles.