Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alternatives to the Television Infomercial Watch Brands

Unusual Watch Brands that Make for Unique Collections 

Since some watch brands are constantly being advertised via infomercial, some of the novelty and exclusivity of owning a fine timepiece has been diminished. Here are some unique alternatives to the watch brands constantly seen on TV shopping networks. 

[This article is reprinted from the now defunct Yahoo Contributors Network, but it is still relevant today!]

If you like watches, then you've undoubtedly watched some of the home shopping television shows dedicated to selling watches. Brands like Invicta, Sturhling Original, Android, and Renato have become household names by making it possible for middle class consumers to afford sophisticated timepieces with mechanical movements, European design features, and a combination of Asian and Swiss components. However, since these brands are constantly being advertised via infomercial, some of the novelty and exclusivity of owning a fine timepiece has been diminished.

Just as Rolex owners might be plagued by questions about the authenticity of their watches, the owner of a television brand watch might be questioned about the ubiquitous "easy pay" arrangements of the home shopping channels. Plus, it seems that almost everyone who is into watches has at least one Invicta now. As cool as these TV brand watches are, the human drive to be unique has some collectors looking to find watches that few others own. Since there are literally hundreds of watch brands, words like unique, exclusive, rare, and exotic are not necessarily synonymous with expensive. Here are some alternatives to the television watch brands:

AVI-8 Watches.

When a watch is going to be strapped to your wrist all day, it will catch your eye and capture moments of attention throughout your day. Inspired by the great Hawker aircraft of British aviation history, AVI-8 brand watches will capture your eyes and ignite daydreams. With collections like Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Hunter, Hawker Harrier II, Lancaster Bomber and Flyboy your imagination will soar with every glance at your wrist. Many of these aviation inspired watches have features inspired aircraft features like the bubble turrets of the famed Lancaster bomber. ($270 and up,

AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Chronograph

Diesel watches.

If you want to zig when everyone else is zagging, you can go big with a Diesel watch. Diesel is the king of big watches. The case diameter of a Diesel watch usually ranges from 58 to 65 millimeters. But, Flava-Flav alarm clock dimensions aside, Diesel watches are readable, sharp looking, timepieces with a variety of innovative case designs. These watches will be noticed. ($70 and up,

A Big Diesel Watch

Insignum watches.

German design and quality control meets with Asian sourcing and premium Japanese movements to bring a fine line of innovative premium watches to market at affordable price points. Styles range from traditional dive watches like the Insignum Subwave to bold designs like the Insignum Activa and Campus models. Unfortunately, Insignum watches has withdrawn from North America.  The watches are becoming rare in the United States as the company focuses on Europe. If you snatch one up while supplies last, it's unlikely that your neighbors will find one without traveling to Europe. This guarantees that you'll have a unique timepiece for many years to come. (

My Insignum Dive Watch

Modify watches. 

In the eighties, Swatch watches came on the scene with all kinds of cool color combinations and unusual faces. At one point, they became the horological equivalent of beanie babies. Today, Modify watches has a similarly hip and affordable option for casual watch collectors. They make colorful watch bands and interchangeable watch face modules. Collectors can mix and match these fun watches to suit their mood and make a statement. You can even build your watch collection on-line to get the straps and faces that fit your sense of style. (Watch Faces from $20, Watch Straps from $10,

My Modify Watch

NFW watches. 

If you are looking for a square watch, but don't want a Bell & Ross imitator, NFW builds very tough, waterproof, watches in their own unique style. Even the round-faced watches from this small, uncompromising, watch company convey strength and quality. ($279 to $479,

Orient watches. 

 In a world full of Asian-sourced watches that intimate quasi-European origins, Orient watches proudly proclaims their Asian heritage. They have built a quality brand that delivers a wide variety of well-designed watches that can go toe-to-toe with long established names in the watch business. Orient also covers the full spectrum of fashion needs from the Diver to Dress watch. ($205 and up,

These are but a few of the different watch brands that you'll find with a little searching. When it comes to watch collecting, it is still very possible to follow your own road. You can find a unique watch that perfectly expresses your sense of style. When it comes to holiday gift giving, you can also find a watch that is unique, unusual, and shows that you spent a little time and thought in finding the perfect watch for the recipient.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Watch Sighting: Guess Rigor Silicone Sports Watch

I recently saw this beautiful Guess diver-style watch at my local Belk department store.  With it's rose-gold tone case and eye-catching bezel, it looked like a winner.  But, further research has shown me that this watch has some good performance features like 100 meters of water resistance.

Close study of the dial shows that this watch keeps track of the day, date, and 24 hour time.  It also hits all the right modern tones with a carbon-fiber pattern dial and a comfortable silicone strap.  The model pictured below is similar, but lacks numerals on the bezel.

This watch caught my eye while I was Christmas shopping at an actual mall.  However, this similar model can also come right to your house courtesy of Amazon:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Watches to Celebrate the Daytona 500

On Sunday, February 21st, NASCAR runs the 2016 Daytona 500.  It's the first and biggest race of the NASCAR season and it's where racing history is made.  To celebrate the big day, we're rolling out some of the cool racing watches I found on Amazon.

The View from the Stands at the 2015 Daytona 500 - By Nascarking (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
If the yellow caution flag is flying, remember these watches are just a click away.

Tissot NASCAR watch.  

Tissot has long been the official timekeeper of NASCAR and they've got plenty of watches with serious credentials.  The Tissot Men's PR50 is the company's official NASCAR watch.

This next watch isn't the "official" NASCAR watch. However, this Tissot Men's Chrono looks great! It's everything that I would imagine a racing watch would be!

Danica Patrick Watch.  

NASCAR has recently kicked open the doors for women drivers with Danica Patrick leading the way.

Danica Patrick - Photo By Nascarking (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Danica has worked closely with Tissot for sometime now and her ladies watch is simply awesome!

Dale Earnhart Jr. Watch. 

Of course some women folks are actually more into Dale Jr. than Danica.

Dale Jr. Photo By U.S. National Guard. The work gives no specific photo credit. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But, that's o.k. because us gentlemen can look just like Dale Jr in the watch department with his official watch. It's a pretty good looking watch at a decent price.

Gentlemen Start Your Mice!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Best Way To Protect An Expensive Watch

Once upon a time in a faraway land to the north, one executive stayed at the house of another executive for an extended period of time.  To repay his host, the guest executive decided he would mow the lawn.

Rolex Photo by By hypo.physe ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I saw him.  He was pushing a mower while wearing dress slacks, penny-loafers, and a monogrammed collared shirt.  He was also wearing an office-worthy dress watch.  He looked ridiculous.  There are simply some things you don't do while wearing nice clothes, nice shoes, and a nice watch.

The Casio Forester is a Great Watch for Yard Work
The best way to protect your most valuable watch is by doing your dirty work while wearing your least valuable watch.  It makes sense.  I generally wear dedicated dog walking shoes when I take my hound for a stroll.  When you are going to be swinging a hammer, bumping into things, lifting things, tossing things, and generally doing physical work, it makes sense to wear an inexpensive watch that is made to take punishment.  For a cheap bang around watch, I like the Casio Forester.  However, the Casio G-Shock is also the perfect watch for those kinds of hard knocks.

For me, I generally wear a bang around watch when walking the dog, doing chores, or going about day to day tasks.  My nicer watches are reserved for work, dining out, or formal ocassions.  My favorite bang around watch is typically a Timex Expedition of some type.  However, I often wear my Casio Tough Solar watch for rugged situations.

I also find myself wearing my Citizen Eco-drive on a regular basis since it is comfortable and never needs batteries.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Watches to Celebrate Super Bowl 50

Now I feel old.  I remember the NFL Super Bowl from when I was first learning Roman numerals!  You know Roman numerals like IX, X, XI, XII, etc.  It seemed like the Pittsburgh Steelers almost always won during my formative years.  This year, the NFL shirked it's responsibility for teaching kids the Roman number 50.  It's 'L' and it had little appeal for marketing gurus.

This year, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will face off in the Super Bowl.  It promises to be an interesting match up because an old guard quarterback in the twilight of his career will face an up and coming quarterback who will be the face of the future NFL.  It's Peyton Manning versus Cam Newton.

Peyton Manning - Photo by Jeffrey Beall (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

No matter which team you root for, there is a wristwatch available to show your support for your team.

I've owned a couple of Game Time watches in the past and I've always found them to be pretty decent timepieces. If you are looking to celebrate your team, these are great watches! 

If you order a watch today (2/3/2016), you might even get it in time for the big game with two-day shipping!