Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wristwatch Review: Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph

For Christmas, I received this Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph watch as a gift.  It's a great looking watch and my wife got a great sale price on it online from

The Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph Quartz Watch Under Christmas Lights

Citizen Watch Design.  The Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph has a silver-tone stainless steel case and bracelet with deployment clasp.  The design uses contrasting flat and shiny finishes to add interest.  The dial is white and very readable.  The case diameter is a manly 46 millimeters and the watch is 12 millimeters thick.  The watch is hefty, but I don't find it overly heavy at 5.6 ounces.  This watch is dressy enough to wear to an office and look quite respectable.

Citizen Chronograph Function.  This watch is actually very useful as a stopwatch. The third hand that is traditionally a second hand on most watches is a stop watch hand on this chronometer.  The sweeping second hand is confined to the subdial located at 6 o'clock.  The subdial at 3 o'clock provides the hour on the 24-hour clock.  The sub-dial at 9 o'clock provides elapsed minutes up to 60 on the stopwatch.  While some watches try to take care of all the chronograph functions with subdials, this Citizen uses a big hand that allows you to see what you are doing when you use it as a stopwatch.

My Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph has a vintage Kodak moment
Citizen Watch Construction.  With 100 meters of water resistance, a mineral crystal, and stainless steel case, I feel that this watch is solidly constructed and certainly up to all the uses I would find for it.  For example, fried green tomatoes are no match for this solid Citizen.

My Citizen Stainless Steel Chronograph with Fried Green Tomatoes
The only drawback to this watch is that it isn't an Eco-drive model.  However, it is a great looking quartz timepiece and it is attractively priced.  Overall, I really like this Citizen watch for being rugged, readable, and good looking.  It's my definite go-to watch for daily wear.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Watch Quest: Watches that Look like a Panerai

Panerai is a well-respected name among serious watch collectors.  The "Charger" rectangular shape of their military watches gives their watches a unique look.  Panerai was founded in 1860 and became the official watch supplier for the Italian Navy around 1900.  They supplied watches to elite Italian frogman units during World War 2.  By 1970, the Italian Navy moved on to other watch suppliers and the firm began its shift into the civilian market.  According to Watch Magazine - Montre24, Panerai's popularity was boosted when actor and director Sylvester Stallone took a liking to the brand.

Panerai Marina Militare

The two main models of Panerai are the Luminor (above) and the Radiomir (below).

Panerai Radiomir

The Quest for a Poor Man's Panerai

Unfortunately, this is another brand that can be quite expensive for mere mortals.  But, there are several brands that provide more affordable alternatives to the Panerai.  Instead of funding criminals and buying counterfeit merchandise, there are plenty of watches that pay homage to Panerai and successfully evoke the shape and the look.

A Nixon Watch that Looks Panerai

We can start our quest for a poor man's Panerai with the Nixon brand of watches.  The Nixon "Charger" watch comes it at a far more affordable $300 to 400 price point. This is the Nixon Charger GMT.  It has a stainless steel case that subtly evokes the Panerai shape.  It has a Swiss Quartz movement.

Nixon Charger GMT

If the $300 to $400 price of the Nixon watch remains daunting, there are other less expensive alternatives that are still well known and respected brands.

A Pagani Design Watch that Looks like a Panerai

This Pagani Design 1767 watch successfully evokes the Panerai case shape and dial.  It's an automatic watch with a Chinese movement that provides a 24 hour power reserve.  It also offers 200 meters of water resistance.  Best of all, it comes in at a sub-$200 price point.  You can find the Pagani Design 1767 here on Amazon.

Pagani Design 1767 Watch

Cheap Watches that Look like a Panerai

Finally, there are extremely low cost watches that evoke the Panerai look.  Over the years, I've found several watches from Mossimo or Merona at Target department stores that have the Panerai shape.

A Watch from Target evokes Panerai

Unfortunately, when I bought one of these Target watches, it was a total fail.  The crown came off in my hand.  Still, a quick look out on Amazon shows these inexpensive Techvilla Men's watches at an almost irresistible price.  As watch departments have dwindled, it may be hard to find these watches in 2024.

In this era of the internet, people of all economic and social standing can see the watches of people with wealth and taste. Sometimes this can be a curse.  But, there is no need to succumb to envy.  While we might not be able to afford watches as a status symbol, we can emulate the watches we like as a style symbol. It's simply a matter of persistence and creativity.

[The price and link to the Nixon watch was updated and the Pagani Design watch was discovered and added in February of 2024.]

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wristwatch Review: Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 Dress Watch

I don't venture into the world of automatic dress watches from Switzerland very often on this blog.  Quite simply, many of the prestige brands have price tags that make them unattainable to me or at least very reckless purchases.  However, that doesn't mean that all Swiss watches are off limits.  One brand that still offers watches that middle class people can aspire to own is Tissot.  I received a Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 automatic dress watch as a gift about a year and a half ago. 

Tissot Classic Carson Powermatic 80 Automatic Dress Watch

Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 Specifications

This Tissot is a classic Swiss-made dress watch with a 40 millimeter diameter case that is 9.6 millimeters thick.  The watch is protected by a sapphire crystal for scratch resistance.  The case is made from 316L stainless steel and the watch is water resistant to 30 meters or 100 feet.

Tissot Powermatic 80 Movement

The watch features a transparent caseback that reveals the innovative Tissot Powermatic 80 movement.  This 23 jewel movement has a generous 80 hour power reserve.  That lets this watch sit out on the dresser for a few nights rather than in a watch winder.  Both the rotor and caseback of this Tissot watch are nicely etched.

Tissot Powermatic 80 movement

Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 Leather Strap

The Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 has a leather strap that certainly feels better than the leather straps of less expensive watches from brands like Timex and Armitron.  However, it does not feel as soft as some luxury watch buyers might like.  It's a no nonsense real leather watch strap with a simple buckle.

Overall, I highly recommend this watch as an entry into the world of Swiss automatic watches.  While this isn't the watch for exploring the deep sea or climbing Mount Everest, it simply looks great in everyday life.  It's a great watch for special occasions, more formal office environments, and for looking the part in an upscale business casual environment. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Watch Sighting: Timex Briarwood Terrace at Walmart

I recently found a loose Timex watch in the watch display carousel at Walmart.  Since it was just laying there, I decided to try it on.  It turned out to be the new Timex Briarwood Terrace.  This watch is just one of the watches in the Timex Main Street collection.

This watch is exactly why you can never count Timex out.  It is truly an affordable classic.  It fit my wrist beautifully.  It had a contemporary dial size (40 mm), a comfortable watch thickness (10 mm), and a classic retro modern look that is simply timeless.  The stainless steel case and bracelet seem solid and substantial for a watch in this price range.  While this watch is marketed as a unisex timepiece, I think this Timex looks like the kind of watch a NASA engineer might have worn in the 1960s while working on the Apollo project.

This watch dial itself is sparse and readable like a school house clock.  You could call it minimalist.  In fact, the European brand, Mondaine, makes a line of watches that mimics the simplicity of Swiss railroad station clocks.  Timex doesn't need to be pretentious about it.  It's just a simple watch.

I was impressed that the bracelet for the Timex Briarwood Terrace is substantial and has a real clasp.  It closed securely and it fit my wrist perfectly.  The bracelet is 20 mm wide at the lugs.  It seems much more substantial than the expansion bands on nearby Easy Reader watches.  This Briarwood Terrace watch didn't have a date window and it didn't have a backlighting system for night time wear.  However, I'll gladly trade those features for an affordable watch with a more substantial bracelet and a good clasp.

Unfortunately, I encountered this watch during the height of the holiday season and had to pass.  However, I've definitely bookmarked this watch in my memory.  This is one Timex that I may well see again.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Watch After Midnight

Talk radio personality Neal Boortz once declared, "Nothing good happens after midnight!"

Timex Elevated Classic in Atlanta before Midnight

The former WSB morning radio host is right.  Of course, he was talking about everything from drunk driving crashes to muggings and murders.  In a big city like Atlanta there is always bad news happening on the streets sometime after midnight.  When it comes to crime avoidance, there are a number of tricks that anyone can use to minimize their risk.  One of my favorite tricks is to wear a humble watch, a plain tee-shirt, nondescript jeans, and average tennis shoes.  There is a time and a place to wear a statement watch and show the world your social status.  That time and place is not a big American city at night time.  That's why I typically reach for a Timex before going out at night.

Timex Weekender with Tachymeter markings

The Advantages of a Timex Watch

Watches like my Timex Elevated Classic and my Timex Weekender are easy to read at night and they have Timex Indiglo lighting so that I can always know the time.  At less than $60, these watches don't attract unwanted attention and they don't make me look like a more attractive target for criminals.  When you need a watch that tells time, looks good, but isn't ostentatious, a good Timex fits the bill perfectly.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Completing Wristwatch Projects for the New Year

Happy New Year!  The beginning of each New Year is filled with aspirations, hopes, dreams, and resolutions for the year ahead.  We all intend to go to the gym, watch our diets, and undertake a multitude of projects to better ourselves.  Watch collectors are no different.  This is the year that we will take on some projects to improve our collections, get our watches organized, get all of our watches functioning, and wear more of the watches from the back of our watch boxes.  But, this year is different.  This year we will get all our watch projects done and more!

Are you still with me?  I'm not trying to be cheesy.  We have the technology to make our collections better.  Here are a few things that can help you complete your watch collection projects this year.

1. Watch Repair Kit.  Every year, we say we're going to take a link out of the watch that is too big, replace our own watch batteries, or change a broken watch strap.  These tasks aren't that hard.  You would have done them a long time ago if you had the tools.  So, this year, why not get a watch repair kit?

2. Watch Case Press.  Of course, once you do get the watch repair tools, you are going to be dangerous.  I've found that some case backs come right off and then NEVER go back onto a watch.  For some reason, this always happens with my favorite Relic brand watches.  But, this year, I am going to get a watch case press!

3. Watch Batteries.  You've got a lot of watches.  Unless you are a man of wealth and means, that means you are going to need some batteries.  There's no reason to go broke buying watch batteries at the drugstore.  Once you see the prices of watch batteries on Amazon, you'll know where to go!

4. Watch Box.  If all that mechanical stuff is too ambitious, you can at least get your watch collection organized.  All you need is a dedicated space for your watches.  Buy yourself a watch storage box.  You'll be glad you did.

5. Watch Winder.  If you do have a large collection of fine automatic watches from Switzerland, I've got no business telling you how to live.  What's your secret?  But, if you are like me and you just have a few automatics, get yourself a watch winder.  They keep your watches wound and ready to go.  Plus, they are a really cool way to display your favorite watches.