Sunday, June 23, 2024

Wristwatch Review: Ed Hardy Singles Men's Metal Black and Gold Analog Quartz Watch

This Ed Hardy watch was an interesting find at Burlington.  It came in a fancy cardboard box with some of Ed Hardy's famed tattoo designs.  Now, it's a watch that makes me wonder.  It features a rich, but plain-looking dial is devoid of any of the art that made Ed Hardy famous.  It just has his signature rendered at 6 o'clock.


Watch Features

This watch has a gold tone to it and features three gold trimmed non-functional subdials.  Despite the existence of pusher buttons, the subdials are purely decorative.  However, the gold trimmed subdials and hands give this watch a rich, purposeful, look.  I should note that, despite my references to gold, no actual gold is used in this timepiece.  The Amazon descriptions of this watch refer to "brushed gold."

Watch Dimensions

This is a big manly, man, watch. The dial itself is 38mm and the case is 46mm in diameter. The watch is 12mm thick and the watch bracelet is a manly 24mm wide.  It sits large on the wrist, but not quite a big as a big Diesel watch.


Watch Construction

The construction of this watch is solid.  The only drawback: the wide metal bracelet seems a little lighter than expected and it feels a little  cheap.  I have to remind myself this is a $20 to $30 watch with the construction of a typical quartz watch that is cheaply available in discount stores like Burlington or Ross.


Watch Style

Still, this watch is eye-catching and dramatically designed.  It looks good for an inexpensive watch.  It's demands attention.  Yet, it is understated by the standards of an Ed Hardy collection watch.  It's an unabashedly macho watch.



Overall

I can't really make up my mind about this watch. On the one hand, it's inexpensive and has non-functional subdials. On the other hand, it is bold and shiny!!! For $20-$25, you really can't go wrong. There are a few other Ed Hardy models that I like better.  If you'd like to get this Ed Hardy watch and make up your own mind, you can find it here on Amazon.


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Watch Deal Alert: Skagen Men's Signatur Minimalist Watch on Amazon

With all the talk around minimalist watches, you might want to check out this deal on Amazon for 45% off of a Skagen Signatur watch.  There are many styles but the 45% off deal applies to this one with a leather strap.  


An American brand founded by a Danish business couple, Skagen is named after the northernmost town in Denmark. Skagen has been creating and selling watches with a strong Danish minimalist design ethos since 1992.  In 2012, it was bought by Fossil watches, but the designs remain to true to their Scandinavian roots.

If you check each option available for Skagen Men's Signatur Minimalist watch on Amazon, you'll also find this gray dial Signatur watch with cherry wood leather strap for 50% off.

Skagen Men's Signatur Minimalist Watch with Cherry Wood Leather Strap

With a Skagen watch, you'll get a good quality brand, a leader in minimalist watches, and a very reasonable price point.  They are definitely worth a look.


Friday, June 21, 2024

TGIF: How Important is the Box for your watch?

Over the years, I've gotten watches in all kinds of boxes and packaging.  Most watches come in some sort of cardboard or plastic box.  Some watches have come in big plastic boxes with clamps and clasps worthy of carrying a nuclear detonator.  I've also gotten inexpensive watches that were merely bundled in plastic bubble wrap.  My question is simple:  

how important is the watch box?

The cardboard presentation box that came with an inexpensive Izod watch

When there is no box, but the watch comes in bubble wrap, do you think less of the brand?  I have to admit that I do.  This was the packaging for my $5 YouYouPifa watch from China.  Of course, the super low price tag was also a clue that this wasn't really the substantive watch that one might wear to work.  

Nothing but plastic wrap doesn't make a good first impression

On the other hand, bulky watch packaging takes up way too much space. How big does the box have to be when a watch only costs $50. There has to be some kind of  balance.  Overall, I like it when there is at least some packaging to protect a wristwatch purchase.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Watch Wearing Wednesday: Bulova Marine Star Tachymeter Watch

Apparently, I've never shared this Bulova Marine Star from my collection on this blog. The second hand on this watch stays stationary at 12 o'clock until you activate the stopwatch feature.  It's pretty cool.

My Bulova Marine Star Tachymeter Watch

I've had this Bulova for a few years.  I wore it to work regularly and then tucked it away for a long while.  I just replaced the battery for the first time.  I was a little worried that I might not have gotten the battery in securely, but so far it is running well and keeping time like a champ.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Sharp Watch Shoutout: AddiesDive Automatic Dive Watch with Suede Leather Band

 I learned of a new watch brand out on the WatchFreeks Forum, it's called AddiesDive and the watch world is going bonkers over their 1000 meter water resistance dive watch and its amazingly low price point.  Looking beyond that exercise in watch machismo, I found lots of great looking watches under the AddiesDive brand store on Amazon.  The one I thought looked best was an automatic dive watch with an attractive suede leather strap.  This one offers 200 meters of water resistance, an NH35A automatic movement, and a great dive watch look.

 

AddiesDive Automatic Dive Watch with Suede Leather Band

If you are interested in a great looking value priced watch, you can find this watch here on Amazon.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Wristwatch Review: Steve Madden Analog Sport Watch

Steve Madden is an American fashion designer who got his start manufacturing and selling his own shoes in New York City. A few months ago, I came across Steve Madden watch at a Nordstrom Rack brick-n-mortar store. The watch had an interesting blue design with blue numerals and markers, blue hands, and a blue strap. It was also priced to move at $30 or less.

A Steve Madden Quartz Sports Watch from Nordstrom Rack

WATCH CONSTRUCTION

The watch has a stainless steel caseback, a black base metal case, and a blue silicone strap. Lettering on the dial seems to be a shiny blue foil.  The fundamentals of the watch are pretty decent.

WATCH DIMENSIONS

The watch is a comfortable size with a 45mm diameter case that is about 10mm thick.  The lugs are approximately 22mm and the watch strap tapers a little to about 20mm.  I found the watch to be appropriately size with plenty of strap loops to allow for adjustment.


The Silicone Strap of a Steve Madden Watch

The watch sits well on the wrist and doesn't stand too tall.  It's a fairly low key watch that is good for banging around on the weekend.  It might be a little too casual for most professional workplaces.

The profile of this Steve Madden Quartz Sport Watch

OVERALL IMPRESSION

One thing for sure, this watch goes well with blue.  It's comfortable for casual wear and it is easy enough to read since the blue watch hands do contrast against the black background.  However, the foil outline for markers and the fairly dark hands and dial don't make it the easiest of watches to read.  You can read it, but it's not instantly readable like a watch with white markers and some degree of lume.  At $25-$30, this watch is a pretty good deal.  I've seen Steve Madden watches at a variety of outlets including Burlington. I wear this watch fairly often since it is comfortable. Overall, I'd rate this Steve Madden watch as a pretty good deal.

A closeup of the dial of a Steve Madden watch


Friday, June 14, 2024

TGIF: The Higher Quality Offerings of Armitron

Uncommon Watches from Armitron

Sometimes when you visit the official website of a watch company, you uncover some treasures that you haven't heard much about.  Armitron is one company that has higher quality watches offered on their website.  Collectors will find them more interesting than the Armitron watches found in discount stores.

Armitron Watch Categories

If you are used to seeing Armitron watches as discount timepieces at retailers like Walmart and Burlington, you'll see a nicer side of the Armitron line-up online at their website.  Armitron has six categories of timepiece listed on there: Timeless, Iconic, Specialty, Conscious, Active, and Smart.  The Conscious category has watches made out of recycled ocean plastics.  

The Armitron Reef is made using sustainable materials like recycled ocean plastics.

In the Timeless category, you'll find watches in classic styles including Tankers, Rolex-stye Datejust, Divers, and regular dress watches.  Amazingly, they have names like Grant, Charles, Ross (Rachel is a corresponding women's watch), Ridgemont, Lloyd, and  Miles. If you are used to model numbers that are random letters and numbers, named watches are quite a good change!


Armitron Rachel and Ross Dress Watches for Men & Women (Armitron website)

In the Iconic category, you'll find some of the most famous Armitron retro digital watches like the Griffy and Rogue.  

The Armitron Rogue Digital Watch

Specialty watches have a nice variety of mechanical skeleton watches. Finally, the Active watches include all sorts of practical digital watches for active sports and fitness. Right now, Armitron doesn't have any Smart watches listed on the site.

I thought I had covered Armitron well in Watches A to Z, but I just scratched the surface.  If you are interested in these watches, all you have to do is visit Armitron.com.



Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Watch Wearing Wednesday: Grenen Men's Black Stainless Steel Watch

Revived with a new battery, I've been wearing my Grenen stainless steel watch again. It's a great modern design with a thin sleek case and a stainless steel mesh band.

Grenen Black Stainless Steel Watch with Mesh Band

While Grenen watches have faded from the scene, it's parent brand Skagen still makes similar watches.  Many people are getting into minimalism and minimalist watches today, but Skagen has been into simple designs for a long time.

A close up of a Grenen by Skagen watch dial

I first reviewed this watch here back in 2016.  The watch continues to be a great alternative to big clunky watches and brings a cool form and great functionality to your wrist.  It's definitely a watch you can wear all day.






Monday, June 10, 2024

Watches A to Z: Caravelle

Caravelle is a watch brand introduced by Bulova back in 1962.  It's purpose was to offer quality Bulova-designed timepieces with jeweled movements at lower, more accessible, price points. This is a good thing because I'm a big fan of more accessible price points.    

A Vintage Manual Wind Caravelle Watch - Joe Haupt from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Caravelle website says that Caravelle watches are inspired by vintage designs. This is also a good thing because I like vintage designs. It's also a sign that Caravelle watches might be a little more interesting than usual to watch collectors. For a dose of vintage and classic, I like this Caravelle by Bulova Open Aperture Automatic on Amazon.

Caravelle Open Aperture Automatic

A quick look at the men's Caravelle section of the Bulova website reveals plenty of interesting watches.  On Amazon, I found this Caravelle retro quartz watch and it's a beauty.

Caravelle Retro Quartz Watch (Amazon.photo)


Caravelle Watches in my Collection

One of the first watches I added to my collection was a Caravelle stainless steel diver-style watch.  It was one of the coolest watches. Sears stores used to have an abundant supply of Caravelle watches. Unfortunately, the rubber strap deteriorated and I was unable to find a nice replacement strap.  If I still have this watch, I may have to restart my search for a replacement strap.

Caravelle by Bulova Diver Style Watch

Recently, I've added a new Caravelle watch to my collection.  This one has a cool blacked-out look with green batons for marking the hours.  This watch is also a good value proposition with a unique look at a low price point.  You can find this Caravelle by Bulova Sport Quartz (Model 45B155) on Amazon.

A New Caravelle Watch

In this era of rampant inflation, Caravelle is a brand that you can use to stretch your watch buying budget and add interesting watches from a storied watch company.



Sunday, June 9, 2024

Wristwatch Review: Bulova Marine Star (Model C937355)

The website for the Bulova Marine Star line of watches invites wearers "to live and play in maritime watches that feature bold accents, iconic patterns, and innovative materials inspired by the sea."  I was thrilled to come across this well-used Marine Star example (below) a few years ago and add it to my collection.  However, finding the specific details of this watch require a little detective work.

Bulova Marine Star (Model C937355)

WHAT BULOVA IS THIS?

Of course, reviewing a watch of unknown age and unknown price might be a bit of a challenge.  According to the caseback, this is a Bulova Marine Star Model C937355. This model has been discontinued for awhile, but the very similar Model 98C71 is still available at Walmart.com.  The C937355 still comes up in searches of ebay and similar sites from time to time.  

This vintage Bulova Marine Star catches everyone's eyes.

Fortunately, the internet has enough information to allow a closer look at this Bulova Marine Star.

HOW OLD IS THIS BULOVA?

This very useful article on Wikihow reveals how to date a Bulova Watch.  The "A7" code on the caseback reveals that the watch was manufactured in 2007.

WATCH FEATURES

This Bulova offers a genuine leather band, 100 meters of water resistance, a stainless steel case, and a uni-directional rotating bezel. This Bulova has the famed tuning fork logo on the dial at 12 o'clock, on the crown, on the caseback, and on the buckle. At age 17, the watch also offers natural wear, patina, and weathering in all the right places.

This leather on this Bulova has weathered perfectly

The watch batons on this Bulova stand out individually with gold-toned trim and a helpful amount of lume for low light conditions.

The Baton details and hands of this Bulova Marine Star are striking


WATCH DIMENSIONS

The dimensions of this dress watch are on the slightly small side.  The case is about 38mm in diameter and 9mm thick.  The watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

I enjoy this watch.  I like the quality details of this watch. I love that I found it for $20 or so at a thrift store. It is even more fun now that I've uncovered some of this watch's history.  Like this writer, this Bulova watch is well on it's way to becoming vintage or antique or something.

SIMILAR WATCHES

If you'd like a similar watch model, you might search for the 98C71.  I've seen it listed on the Walmart.com website.


The Similar Bulova Marine Star 98C71 on Walmart.com


Friday, June 7, 2024

TGIF: Opening Up My Structure Instrument Panel Watch

 If at first you don't succeed, get a different tool . . .

My Structure Instrument Panel Watch after being shucked like an oyster

I will always love my humble Structure Instrument Panel Watch for letting me save about $3975 over the price of a Bell & Ross.  Here it is before getting a new NATO strap.  That savings is why I named this brand one of my Top 7 Off-brand / Store Brand Commodity Quartz Watches.

Structure Instrument Panel Watch

P.S. Don't be crazy about that knife.  If your hand slips (and it likely will), you could potentially cut yourself really bad.  Find a better tool.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Watch Wearing Wednesday: Brigada Minimalist Watch for Men

Here's an interesting watch!  The Amazon listing for it is quite a mouthful.  Here goes!  It's the  BRIGADA Men's Watches Cool Black Blue Business Casual Waterproof Quartz Analog Wrist Watch for Men.  I just like to call it the Brigada Minimalist Watch for Men.

The Brigada Minimalist Watch has a thin case.

In these evening shots, you can see that the watch has a generously-sized dial with roman numerals in a gold-tone that is perfect for catching the last rays of a slowly setting summer sun.  The strap is of synthetic leather that looks good and gets the job done.  In looks, this quartz watch compares favorably to other minimalist watches from bands like MVMT.

The dial of this BRIGADA is simple and delivers the time.

Sometimes, I find it difficult to justify minimalist designs that cost a lot of money.  This BRIGADA is cheap. I think it compares favorably to watches that cost between $50 and $125.  But, this watch actually costs much, much, less.  Incredibly, as of 2024, this watch was less than $20.  It is much, much, better than the $5 Youyoupifa watch I ordered from China many years ago.

Brigada Men's Quartz Watch

I've posted about the Brigada brand before and recently reviewed one of their watches.  I think this watch fully delivers on the promise of low cost watches.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The $100 Watch Collection: 5 Watches for a Total of $100

Watch collecting doesn't have to be cost prohibitive.  You can easily build a starter watch collection of several watches for less than $100.  With a little smart shopping online, you can easily find great watches for under $25 apiece.  For this post, I put together a five watch collection for $100 on Amazon.  It includes a dive watch, a minimalist business casual watch, an outdoorsman's watch, a tanker-style dress watch, and a traditional dress watch.

The great thing about this collection is that I actually own all of these watches and I can attest to them all actually being pretty decent watches.  While prices do fluctuate, you should be able to build this collection for approximately $100 total as of June 2024.

1. Casio Black Resin Dive Watch (MRW-200H-1BV) - At approximately $22 on Amazon or at your local Walmart, Casio MRW-200H offers a uni-directional rotating bezel, 100-meters of water resistance, and classic dive watch markings.  It's a legible, readable, watch that makes a great daily wear beater.  You can find a variety of number and bezel marking colors on these watches. 

Casio Black Resin Dive Watch

2. Brigada Men's Watches Cool Black Blue Business Casual (Brigada Minimalist) - For about $17, Brigada brings a great minimalist watch to the market place. It looks great on the wrist and feels very comfortable.  The company offers several varieties that give you some options about whether you want numerals or just markers for the hours.

Brigada Minimalist Watch

3. Casio Forester (FT-500WC-5BVCF) - This is a small watch that's built for the hiker.  For about $22, the Forester gives you a tough lightweight watch with a cloth strap that's perfect for hot summer days.  It's another beater watch that can take abuse. I love the sense of adventure that comes with the Forester name and it brings back many memories of late night dog walking in Florida and all the nocturnal creatures I used to encounter with one of the best dogs we ever had.  I think this one is the ultimate beater watch.

Casio Forester

4. Armitron Men's Genuine Crystal Accented Leather Strap Watch (Armitron Tank) - The rectangular shape of a tanker-style dress watch is an unusual sight these days.  I found one on special for only $20 on Amazon.

Armitron Tank Watch

5. MASTOP Men's Analog Quartz Roman Numeral Watch (SKMEI Dress) - Finally, this classic dress watch has the SKMEI label on the dial.  For only $17, this watch looks great and is a comfortable dress watch for daily wear.  I've had a similar dress watch from SKMEI and have reviewed it here.  You can find different dial colors.  But, the watch is attractive and functional.  Here is my review of a review of a similar SKMEI watch.

SKMEI Dress Watch

This small investment in five wristwatches is just a starting point.  They also serve as a baseline for watch purchases in your future.  These low cost watches are a challenge to the more prestigious brands to bring something demonstrably better to the market.






Monday, June 3, 2024

Sharp Watch Shoutout: Citizen Men's Eco-drive Avion Weekender Watch

If you are looking for a sporty, casual, watch with a sense of style and history, check out the Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Avion Weekender Watch.  It comes in two color combinations, but the one with a khaki nylon strap is a currently a great deal on Amazon.  It also gives the watch a purposeful, but casual, look that is perfect for summer.

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Avion Weekender Watch

The compass design on the bezel and just outside the minute track are what give this watch a sense of exploration and expeditionary purpose.  The military-style arrowhead at 12 o'clock and other field watch markings further that sense of adventure.  The eco-drive power for this watch will help owners avoid annual battery swaps and make this watch hassle-free for many years.

If this watch interests you, it's available here on Amazon:  Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Avion Weekender Watch.






Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Watch Dude Blog Hits 1,000,000

Wow! Thank you! We finally hit 1,000,000 page views at The Watch Dude Blog. I want to thank each and every visitor to this blog. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and I hope you found some helpful watch reviews, some good deals, and other cool content. It's been a long journey since my first post way back on July 30, 2011. This blog is the result of thirteen years of on (and off) blogging about affordable wristwatches. 


What's Next for The Watch Dude?

I'm not stopping. I've got plenty of posts in the pipeline. Lately, I've been finding some excellent deals on inexpensive watches on Amazon, at InvictaStores.com, and in traditional brick-n-mortar stores like Burlington, Ross, Nordstrom Rack, and Walmart.  I'm also on the lookout for some attainable dream watches.  I keep an eye on brands like Bulova and Tissot.  But, brands like Nivada Grenchen and LIV Watches are also making their way into my advertising feeds and junk emails.  I can dream and one day I might pull the trigger on a nice watch that is a bit of stretch.

The Watch Dude Available on Other Social Media

I'm also expanding the reach of this blog on social media.  I've recently rejoined watchfreeks.com and you can follow me on X (TheWatchDude@the_watch_dude).  These communities give me a chance to see your collections and give me great ideas for future purchases.  In the future, I may even dip my toes into an X channel or a Youtube channel.  

This would be a good time to note that I'm not the only watch dude on these interwebs.  On Instagram, there is an account for thewatch_dude (https://www.instagram.com/thewatch_dude/) and he posts some very cool watch photos. 

The time is getting late, but I just wanted to let you know I appreciate the views and support.  Keep on collecting!

Watch Strap Review: BisonStrap 20mm Sporty Nylon Watch Band, Military Watch Strap

I recently purchased an Armitron watch that was nice, but just a tad too snug on my wrist.  Since the metal bracelet wasn't adjustable and links were readily available, I opted to replace the original metal bracelet with an aftermarket watch strap.  I selected the BISONSTRAP Sport Nylon Watch Band, Military Watch Strap for Men from Amazon.  The new strap arrived very quickly and came with the strap, a spring bar tool, and two extra spring bars.

The BisonStrap Watch Strap Kit and my Armitron Watch

It was very easy to install the new watch strap using the enclosed spring bar tool.  It probably tool a total of 5 minutes.  I think the result was an instant improvement in looks and comfort.

My Armitron Quartz Watch with New Strap Installed

The BisonStrap comes in 10 buckle and color combinations. It comes in 18mm, 20mm, and 22mm widths.  I chose the blue watch strap with silver buckle.  The strap has blue threads on black nylon and matches well to the dial.

The nylon fabric and leather eyelet reinforcement on the Bison Strap Nylon Watch Band

The buckle of this Bison Strap also matches the flat stainless of the watch case.  I'm not sure I could have found a better watch strap to match this watch.  It'll be interesting to see how it holds up over the summer, but for less than $15, this watch strap looks like a winner.


The Buckle on my BisonStrap watch band replacement