Sunday, November 29, 2015

Watch Collecting: The Most Essential Watches for Men

How to Build Your Watch Collection 

There is one place every man can express his personal sense of style: the wrist watch. If you are building a watch collection, you don't need a hundred watches. A half-dozen watches should suffice to cover most occasions. This article covers the watches you need. 

(This article is reprinted from my Yahoo Contributors Network Content, but it stands the test of time.)

What kind of watches should a man have in his collection? It's an old question. There is one place every man can express his personal sense of style: the wrist watch. I have been collecting watches for years. I now have nearly hundred watches in my collection. In truth, that is far to many watches for any mere mortal, but I enjoy wearing a different watch almost every day. There are only a few types of watch that are essential for any man.

Types of Watches. If you are building a watch collection, you don't need a hundred watches. A half-dozen watches should suffice to cover most occasions. All you really need is a nice dress watch, a business casual watch, a fashion watch or two, a sport watch, and a "bang around" watch. A watch in each of these categories would cover you for job interviews, office work, evenings out, sporting occasions, and hard manual labor. From this foundation, you could build out your collection to match specific suits or specific manly pursuits.

Dress Watches. Do you have a nice watch that you wear to job interviews, black-tie functions, funerals, and church? You probably should get something that is functional, well-made, under-stated and fits under the cuff of a dress shirt. When it comes to dress watches, brand matters. You don't want something that will make you look cheap in your best suit. It would be great to wear a Rolex Perpetual Oyster Datejust. The 36 millimeter dial is the perfect size and it looks sharp. But, in the real middle class world, brands like Pulsar, Seiko, and Bulova have some great choices in a $100 to $250 range. In my collection, I have two Pulsars, a Bulova, and a Seiko that fit the bill. The key is to look competent, understated, and professional. A job interview or funeral isn't the place for a big honking watch with a 57 millimeter diameter case.

A Simple Bulova dress watch like this one is perfect for the workplace

Business Casual Watch. Once you've got the job, you can probably switch to business casual attire. You can wear all kinds of watches to the office and that is part of the fun of having a big watch collection. However, some watches just look great with khakis and a collared shirt. For business casual wear, I like watches with leather straps. My AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane has an interesting multipurpose dial in dark green and a rich brown leather strap. Similarly I have a Fossil Decker watch with chronometer markings, a stainless steel case with a vintage bronze tone, and a brown leather strap. Both of these watches have a rich, professional, look and don't break the bank. You can express yourself with a business casual watch, but I generally don't get too radical.

Fashion Watch. For fun with radical watch design, I'd look for exciting watches to wear to social events. A big watch from a brand like Diesel or Invicta would totally work when you want to draw attention in a crowd. The Diesel Men's Advanced Black Watch has a big 52 millimeter diameter case and an bold urban feel.  The Diesel Deadeye is another great choice. The Invicta Stainless Steel Grand Diver gives you the look of a traditional dive watch in a big 49 millimeter case. Each of these watches is an affordable accessory that gets noticed.

The Diesel Deadeye Fashion Watch

Sport Watch. If you try to get out and get some exercise, then you'll want a watch that supports your sports goals. For example, if you are a runner or a swimmer, you may want something like digital Timex Ironman Traditional 30-Lap Strap Watch. If you are into rugged sports like paintball or rock climbing, a trendy analog or digital Casio G Shock may provide the armor you need for tough impacts.  The Casio Tough Solar Ana-Digital Watch is a lower cost alternative to the G Shock that will stand up to outdoor activities as well.

A Casio Tough Solar

"Bang Around Watch." Finally, everyone has manual labor to do from time to time. It doesn't make any sense to mow your lawn, paint your house, or fix your car while wearing an expensive watch. There are lots of inexpensive watches for less than $50 that keep perfectly good time and aren't a big loss if they get scratched or damaged. Timex makes plenty of good bang around watches.

Timex Classic Dress Watch (Model T2P383)

Once you have a basic watch collection in place, it can serve you for years or you can expand it over time. While some may think that cell phones tell time just fine, they are really missing out. Men have never had more choices in affordable wrist wear.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cool Kickstarter Watch Project: Chronoquatic Sub Sonar Automatic Watches

My friends over at the Chronoquatic Watch Dept. turned me on to another cool Kickstarter watch project.  They are raising funds for a series of automatic dive watches called the Chronoquatic Sub Sonar.  So far, these watches look really good!
Chronoquatic SS395 - Solid Steel Sub Sonar  (Photo courtesy of Chronoquatic Watch Dept.)
The Chronoquatic plan is ambitious, but very achievable.  They plan to release 4 models with three different bezels.  They are all classic diver-style watches.  Most will have 39.5 mm diameter cases and 10 Atmosphere (100 meter) water resistance.  However, some models will have 45 mm diameter cases at 30 Atmosphere (300 meter) water resistance.  The movement will be a "Japanese, Caliber Seiko NH35A, hacking system and 41 hours Power Reserve."   The price points look reasonable and delivery is planned for April 2016.

If you simply like the look of a classic dive watch or you want a hard-core dive watch, one of the Chronoquatic Sub Sonar watches will fit your needs and your budget.  This is a chance to get a classic watch with solid components at a very nice price point.  The project site is worth checking out for the pictures and technical drawings alone.  Without further ado, check out this project -

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Complete Review of my Walmart Casio Edifice

I noticed that I had a dead link on one of my most popular posts: The Casio Edifice from Walmart.  This oversight has been corrected and I have updated the post with my complete review.

Plus, I've actually found this watch model on Amazon so anyone can buy it easily without having to hunt in holiday crowds at the Big Box!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Clearance Casio Solar Watch

I saw an interesting Casio at my local Walmart last week.  It was solar-powered with a canvas strap and it had a macho, military, look.  It also offered 100 meter water resistance.  Best of all, it was clearance priced for $30.

Casio Solar Watch
 Usually, clearance prices mean you'll have to change the battery sooner.  But, with a totally analog solar powered watch, that  shouldn't be a problem.  With my watch box full and my wallet empty, I left this watch for someone else to enjoy.  I can always get it off of Amazon for around the same price!

Interesting that the Casio at Walmart is upside down on a Timex display tray.  Perhaps, it was sending out a distress signal?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Wristwatch Review: Nautica NST700 Dive-style Fashion Chronograph Watch

One of the newer watches in my collection is an excellent Nautica chronograph watch.  It's called the NST700 and it's marketed as a casual fashion watch.  However, the beauty of this watch is not just skin deep!

Watch Design.  This may be a "fashion" watch, but this Nautica has a sporty, manly, fashion to it.  It has a black non-rotating bezel with diver-style markings.  The bezel has orange in the "short air" fifteen minute danger zone.  The 24.1 millimeter stainless steel bracelet fits perfectly without needing further adjustments.  The 45 millimeter diameter case is 13.2 millimeters thick which puts this watch in a really nice zone for comfortable daily wear.  The dial is black and everything else is silver stainless steel.  While I like the black and orange motif, Nautica NST 700 watches are available on Amazon in a variety of color schemes.

Watch Features.  The coolest thing about this watch is that it actually works as a stopwatch.  The large second hand is stationary at 12 o'clock.  But, when you push the top button, it starts making its way around the dial as a second hand.  Push the top button again and it stops.  The bottom button resets the stopwatch hand back to 12 o'clock when held down.  It's very cool!  If I suspect the waiter is going to be a little slow, the stop watch is just the thing to confirm my suspicions and tip accordingly!


Watch Construction.  While the NST700 is not technically a dive watch, it has a screw-down crown.  The watch is water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet).  That's enough to allow swimming and snorkeling, but not diving.  It also is enough for typing, driving along in my automobile, and watching football games.    If this Nautical watch needs to prove its metal, it has a stainless steel case, bezel, and band.  It even has a mineral crystal.  Overall, it's tough enough!

This Nautica goes by the catchy model number N16656G.  On Amazon it gets solid 5-star reviews and everyone likes the look.  I like it very much and heartily recommend it!