Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic

Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic

By: Michael Penate

Timex has been ruthless this year, with releases pulling in collectors from all walks of life and even commanding prices well above retail on the secondary market. Folks at the brand must really have a pulse on what's going on in today's watch enthusiast market, and we're lucky to have so much variety from a historically affordable brand. One of those individuals is the brand’s design director Giorgio Galli, who combined ideal, luxurious traits into a Timex with classic design and what appears to be a level of quality slightly above what we'd expect. Here's a quick look at the Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic.

Initially, it feels like this is the watch the Timex Marlin reissue could have been. We see a significantly larger 41mm case, brushed and polished surfaces, and a playful, layered case architecture that is completely outside of Timex's design wheelhouse. Combined with a large, textured crown the case almost immediately presents tasteful luxury, which is not a trait I look for in a Timex—but I'm very happy to see it. We also get a beefy rubber strap with a quick-release function and a clean silver dial featuring a cut-out that reveals a functional movement jewel.

Timex Giorgio Galli S1 Specs:

  • 41mm Diameter x 11mm Thickness
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • K1 Hardened IGN/A3 Crystal
  • Synthetic Rubber Strap
  • 50m Water Resistance
  • Miyota 9039
  • Price: $450 USD

Speaking of the movement, it's a Miyota 9039 and I'm excited to see Timex being a little more transparent about the mechanical movements they're working with these days. Whenever I wear my Timex Marlin, I'm always afraid of the movement exploding and blowing a hole in my wrist—it just doesn't feel solid. Needless to say, I hope Timex continues to fit their watches with reliable movements across the product lines. The Miyota 9039 is visible through the watch's display caseback and delivers 42 hours of power reserve.

The Timex Timex Giorgio Galli S1 is now available on the official Timex website. Learn more here.

Photos: Timex Group USA


Laco Aachen 42 Review: Blaue Stunde

A Brief Introduction to Flieger Watches

When it comes to military watches, provenance can take a bit of a tricky turn rather quickly. From WWI trench watches that might have been used to time horrific mustard gas attacks to the Vostok Amphibia that helped Soviet submariners keep the iron curtain shut for decades, wristwatches have long been used as crucial tools in the waging of war. Dive watches, field watches, and of course the pilot’s watch were all borne from times of military necessity and are among the most popular types of watches used today. The watch I’m reviewing today, the Laco Aachen Blaue Stunde 42, is based on a B-Uhr or Flieger watch that would have been used by the German Luftwaffe in WWII.

The modern Flieger watch type is based on the Beobachtungsuhr (observation watch), or B-Uhr, from the Second World War. During the war, only five manufacturers were granted a license to provide these timepieces to the Luftwaffe: Lange & Sohne, Stowa, Wempe, IWC (interestingly also a manufacturer of “dirty dozen” watches for the Allies, in a horological example of Swiss neutrality), and of course, Laco. These watches were designed for maximum legibility to read while wearing goggles up in the ear and ease of use to allow the watches to be set to coordinate attacks whilst wearing gloves mid-flight, with a huge, high contrast dial and large onion-shaped crown.

The modern iterations of these Flieger watches, including the Aachen, continue to riff off this original design with very little variation. All five brands continue to make watches today, and with the exception of Lange, continue to make pilot’s watches. Of all the references from these original makers, the Laco Aachen is the most affordable, with an MSRP of $410 in the United States.

Case and Strap

In fact, in a world where many brands are taking vintage models and scaling them up (for instance, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical takes an old 34mm field reference and ups it to 38mm and the Certina DS PH200M scales a 40mm diver reference from 1967 up to a bit beyond 42mm), the Laco Aachen 42, as is the case with most pilot’s watches, actually scales down from the 50-55mm case widths of original WWII-era pilot watches to a much more manageable 42mm. This is still quite large for some, but the short, curved lugs keep the lug-to-lug distance at a fairly reasonable 50mm and the overall case shape hugs the wrist quite nicely.

The case height is just under 12mm, which is quite reasonable and proportional given the diameter. The whole Laco Aachen case is bead blasted, and the oversized push-down onion crown makes setting and winding the watch very easy. There is a display caseback that shows the Laco 21 movement (basically a Miyota 821A with a skeletonized rotor) which is a welcomed touch. The watch is water resistant up to 5ATM, or 50 metres, which is good enough for everyday wear but probably not for swimming or any sort of immersion.

The watch is fairly light for its size, coming in under 90 grams on the included NATO strap. The  Laco Aachen 42 Blaue Stunde was very comfortable on my 7.5” wrist. Lug width is 20mm, and there’s enough room between the case and the spring bars to accommodate most strap thicknesses. The included grey NATO strap even features a nicely signed buckle, which is another lovely little touch from Laco.

Movement

The Miyota Cal. 821A is a basic automatic, hand-winding movement that beats at 21600 bph. It sports a 42-hour power reserve and is “accurate” within -20 to +40 seconds per day, which is a pretty wide range. The movement also has a quickset date function which is unused in this model, creating a “ghost” second crown position. It also doesn’t offer hacking (the ability to stop the seconds hand when the crown is pulled all the way out for setting).

Hacking was considered quite a critical function for pilot watches as it allowed pilots to synchronize their watches to coordinate attacks; clearly, then, this particular pilot watch is meant more for everyday convenience with the automatic movement than for coordinating bombing runs, which is fair enough given its likely use. For historical functionality it would have been nice to see a hand-wound, hacking movement used here instead, but the automatic movement probably lends itself to broader appeal.

Dial and Hands

My particular model is the Aachen Blau, with a lovely sunburst blue Type B dial. The Type B dial sports large minute markers and smaller hour markers on a separate inner track. The stubby sword-shaped hours hand is just long enough to reach the inner track, whereas the much longer minutes sword hand reaches out to the minute indices along the diameter of the dial.

The hands and markers are all coated with white C3 Superluminova; particularly notable is the baton seconds hand which is painted with Superluminova from the centre all the way down its length. The counterweight on the seconds hand and the edges of the other hands are painted in a matte black. The dial is large, bright, and extremely legible in all lighting conditions with the high contrast between the blue dial and white markers and the fairly generous application of lume throughout.

Conclusion: Great Value

It seems important to me to remember that the progenitors of this watch were put to horrific use in the Second World War, and in a way the far more casual application of this piece is a bit unnerving given the history. But overall, I do like the Aachen Blaue Stunde 42. It looks and feels great on the wrist, has a good feature set for affordable everyday wear, and doesn’t take itself as seriously as one might assume one would get from the term Beobachtungsuhr.

The Aachen Blaue Stunde also comes in a 39mm variant, and Laco produces dozens of what they call “basic” pilot watches in a wide variety of configurations and colourways all in the $400-$700 price range. Laco also offers more authentic Flieger watches that start around $1000 and go all the way up past the $4000 mark for those looking for a more genuine B-Uhr experience.
 

Featured Insights
 :

• 42mm x 11.75mm x 50mm
• 20mm Lug Width
• Laco Caliber 21 (Miyota 821A w/ Skeletonized Rotor
• Type B Flieger Dial in Blue Sunburst
• CS Superluminova
• Bead blased case finish
• Sapphire Crystal
• Exhibition caseback (w/ Sapphire Crystal)
• MSRP: Approx. $410 USD

In Their Own Words: Rossling and the Hydromatic

In Their Own Words: Rossling and The Hydromatic C.01

In Partnership with Karim Elgarhy (Co-Founder of Rossling)

Like most watch guys, my dad got my brothers and me into watches. My dad was a huge watch lover; one of my earliest memories was trying on his giant (well, it seemed giant to me at the time) Seiko 6319-5040. I also still vividly remember his first Rolex. It was a second-hand gold Datejust and it always inspired awe in me.

With some of my earliest memories tied to watches, it's not surprising then that when my brothers and I had the opportunity to start our own watch brand we jumped on it. Fast forward to 2013 and we launched our first Rossling watch on Kickstarter. By today's standards in horology that first piece was a "fashion" watch with a few twists, but it got a lot of media coverage and our tweed straps were a big hit.

After that release, our first automatic was next in 2014. It was a 9mm thick, Bauhaus-style dress watch with a Miyota 9015. To date, my brothers and I have launched 6 Rossling timepieces, but they've all been dress watches. For 2019 we knew it was time to try something new.

Enter: The Hydromatic C.01

We’ve always loved sports watches, but the prospect of our first diver had been a tough nut to crack. We honestly spent many years mulling over it and trying to work out the finer details. If Rossling did a diver, it needed to be done right. We didn't want to cut corners. We didn't want it to feel like a "diver-style" watch. We wanted it to be an efficient dive watch - something you could rely on and trust for whatever adventures you took it on.

Around this time we started making contact with manufacturing partners in Germany. Through many conversations and getting to know each other, my brothers and I started to understand and get a feel for German watchmaking culture. There's a strong sense of doing things objectively right in German horology. There's a strong sense of quality, precision, and over-engineering parts and processes (plus two of us are engineers by trade, so this deeply resonated with us).

It clicked then that our new diver needed to be made in Germany. It was the only way to get it right. And thus the Hydromatic was born.

The diver is manufactured in Pforzheim, Germany, which is an honor for us because it's the heart of German Horology. They've been making watches there since the 1700s. The craftspeople there are experienced and working with them was a no-brainer.

You can see the German influence in the design and engineering of the watch. It is no-nonsense, very efficient, and very effective. There's no fluff on the Hydromatic; everything has a purpose. The crystal, for example, has a pronounced box shape with a strong dome. While this adds to the visual appeal, it serves a crucial function first and foremost. It allows us to have a thicker crystal which allowed us to have a strong WR (200m) while also limiting distortion to the very edge of the dome. The Hydromatic dial also is very balanced, which (to my brothers and I at least) gives it a very aesthetically pleasing design.

One of the most important facets for us was ensuring the Hydromatic fit into the ISO/DIN spec. This basically means that the diver fits into the objective standards for product reliability as set by the International Organization for Standardization and Deutsches Institut für Normung. We're happy to confirm that the Hydromatic is fully compliant with ISO/DIN. However, watches will not be individually certified. It's honestly just too expensive, which would mean that we'd have to end up charging watch folks more. That's just not something we want to do. We want people to be able to afford and enjoy this diver.

The Rossling Hydromatic will feature the 2824-2 (or possibly the SW200-1). We would have loved to utilize a German movement as well. But as of yet, there aren't any commercially available options.

The Hydromatic is a monumental milestone for my brothers and me. So far the feedback has been really great and the watch resonates pretty strongly with the watchfam. Plus, at $399 during our Kickstarter campaign, it’s an insane value.

Check out the Kickstarter page - it’s currently live and the campaign ends on November 26th, 2019. This will be your only chance to get the Hydromatic for the preorder price of $399. Afterward, it’ll be retailing at $599.

We really hope you enjoyed reading the story behind this really special watch and a huge thank you to all our die-hard fans who’ve helped my brothers and I get this far.

Rossling Hydromatic Specs

  • Designed and made in Germany
  • SW200-1 / ETA 2824-2 Movement
  • 200m Water Resistance
  • ISO 6425 / DIN 8306 Compliant
  • 42mm x 51.5mm x 12.7mm (14.9mm with crystal)
  • Domed, box sapphire crystal with AR Coating
  • Screw down crown
  • Ceramic Bezel (120-click unidirectional)
  • Super-Luminova
  • Pre-order price $399 / Retail price $599

Rossling & Co.
Hydromatic Kickstarter


Over The Long Haul: The Casio G-Shock Mudmaster (GG-1000-1A5)

Over The Long Haul:
The Casio G-Shock Mudmaster (GG-1000-1A5)

by Baird Brown

In this hobby, it’s a rare occasion to see photos or articles about watches that aren’t pristine or new. It’s also very rare to meet someone who likes watches but has kept it to a minimum of 2 or 3 pieces. Almost every photo that rolls across our Instagram contains a watch in pristine condition; works of art meant to be adored by collectors and enthusiasts. Most of the serious collectors wouldn’t dream of taking a watch anywhere but a local Gala, and like the fancy cars they drive, their watches spend most of the time in a watch box or stored away for safe keeping until the day comes that their value is so great that it’s time to move on to someone else. They’re show pieces that see the lid of a box more than the world.

Personally, I like stories about watches that are worn, sometimes for years, and have the wear and tear to prove it. I like stories about watches that have only had one owner. I like stories about watches that are used for their intended purpose. I believe that watches can be so much more than the sum of their parts. I like to believe that they can convey the soul of the wearer and sometimes even carry their story on long after their time.

I’ve known my friend, Nathan, for the better part of ten years, and for about the last six, he’s been an avid mountain biker, pillar of the biking community in our area, and all-around good dude. We met while working at a Sears Auto Center back in the days when that existed. I was still sporting Invictas back then and thinking I was the Boss Hogg of the local watch community. We bonded over our love of motorsport, our hatred of Sears, existentialism, and, of course, watches. So, many years later when his girlfriend asked me for gift idea (in the form of  a watch) that he could wear while mountain biking, I, like most people, responded with, “G-Shock.” And thus, he acquired the Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5, and like the Yeti Bike (not the company that makes coolers and “tumblers”) he rides, it’s a tool that can take the punishment it’s given and keep giving back. Sometimes in more ways than expected.

A while back we met up and got to talking about the Casio and his mountain biking in general. We sat down over some drinks while I fumbled with the watch that was covered in marks and flecks of dirt and mud. The Casio Mudmaster is a big watch and made to withstand the elements while also protecting the timing module from the repeated shock of a jackhammer. It’s much larger than your run of the mill G-Shocks, measuring at a whopping 56.2mm across, 55.3mm lug-to-lug, and 17.3mm tall; plus it comes with a steeper price tag (MSRP $320 | but under $200 on Amazon*). But it stands up to abuse much better than say, the Seiko SNK805 that made the rounds on the trails the first couple of times before it started gaining hours a day and had to come my way for repair. That watch was subsequently put on desk duty indefinitely.

Like the Yeti SP5C Bike, the Casio is made for extreme conditions and abuse. It takes its name from the Mud Resist system of gaskets in the pipes that keep mud and dust out of the watch. While mundane to some, this feature would be paramount to someone who might be on a trail during or after a rain. If you’re not going over the bars, you’ll be hauling your bike at some point, loading into your Honda Element, or making repairs to it. All these things are typically avoided by people in the watch community while wearing a watch. You’re going to encounter dirt or mud in this sport, and Lord knows you might want to sell a watch down the road which is nearly impossible if it’s beaten all to hell.

Like most G-Shocks, the Mudmaster comes will all the standard features, a stopwatch feature, 5 alarms (with snooze!) and 31 world times. This particular model also comes with two sensors built into it, one for the temperature, and one for a compass, both of which can be used by someone in the wilderness if you lose your way or stray away from a trail that might not be contained in a park. Maybe I’m stretching a bit there. Maybe even the extreme sports guys wouldn’t use these features, but they’re there and fun to use in daily life.

The funny thing about this watch, is that Casio doesn’t advertise the temperature selection on its wheel of functions. In fact, you probably wouldn’t know it even read the temperature if you didn’t read the instructions. We didn’t. I learned about it on the website. The twin sensors do come at a cost. The watch has not one, but two batteries, and neither of them are solar. This isn’t out of character for a G-Shock, but the Tough Solar tech does show up in G-Shocks at this price range. However, it’s left out of a watch that is marketed to spend its life outside and will force you to change them roughly every 2 years.

As I sat at a table with my friend and his watch in hand, I couldn’t help but fixate on the size of the case. The Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5 definitely has a wrist presence and dwarfs almost all of the common G-Shocks that I’ve ever seen. His wrist is smaller than mine, probably by an inch, and it looks big on me. It’s almost silly when you’re sitting around drinking beer, but when the helmet and gloves go on, it looks right at home. I couldn’t find the specs on the crystal, but the bulky bezel does help protect it from the beating of limbs or rocks that might meet its surface. The crystal on this watch had a few marks on it signifying its service to the wearer and it wears them like a badge of honor. The same can be said for the clasp. Its shiny surface looked as though it had been run across a belt sander on more than one occasion.

After a few drinks, Nathan tells me a story that was hard to believe. Once, while having just finished a spirited run at 25 mph downhill, he noticed that the watch was missing. Where it was, only the forest knew, and it was now too dark to look for it. Weeks passed and he wrote it off as a loss. Returning the same trail with his trusty Blue Heeler, Rocky, they stopped midway near some water to let the dog fill up. It’s a muddy and somewhat swampy part of the trail and it hadn’t been made any better by the rain. Nathan sat on a rock while waiting for Rocky to finish up and spotted something nearby. To his delighted surprise, it was the Mudmaster, up to its eyeballs in crud and still ticking away. How it came off, I don’t know, and didn’t ask. For most normal watches this story would have ended with a trip to the watchmaker or even to a retailer for a new purchase. It’s a testament to the build quality of these watches.

For all the toughness of the Mudmaster GG-1000-1A5, it’s not without a weakness. I asked him about nighttime use, and he told me that it’s poor. Contrary to Casio’s website and press information about the watch, the LED backlight isn’t very good. In fact, it’s nothing like Timex’s Indiglo, and very weakly lights the dial. Another factor that plays into its poor legibility is that this particular Mudmaster uses a negative display for the digital readout. The other versions do not. It’s hard to use any of the functions during the day much less the night. The LED light doesn’t illuminate these very well.

Unfortunately, it’s a little bit of a drag on the function of the watch, even if it looks really cool. I actually prefer a negative display, but it has its drawbacks especially when on a smaller display. The watch does have Neo-Brite luminous hands and markers, so at least the watch will tell time and maybe you can read it if nothing else. Then he tells me he doesn’t ever wear it at night anyway. Then again, who does?


Nearing the end of the conversation I asked him if he still wears the watch to his rides. He gritted his teeth in one of those uncomfortable smiles and says that technology has caught up to his needs. He added a new watch to the collection to sit next to the old Seiko SNK805 and the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster. It’s an Apple watch. One of the new ones with the high-water resistance and all the heart monitors and performance monitors that someone who would ride to try to better themselves would need to pay attention to.

We had a good laugh about it, and he ended up telling me that he still wears the Casio when they maintain trails. Nathan is a board member for the local off-road bicycle association in my part of Tennessee and part of his job is helping to maintain local trails from wear and erosion. They also work with local governments to create new trails. The Apple watch does a lot of things, but slinging rocks and earth isn’t one of them. The Casio is the only choice. For its quirks and flaws, it does one thing better than others. The record (and the case) shows that it took the blows. Furthermore, it will continue to take the blows in the foreseeable future and give many years of good service even if you lose it next to a lake and your dog finds it weeks later.

We finished with a conversation of comparison between the watch community and the local biking community. We talked about how it’s unlike any communities we’ve been a part of, where the passion guides us and brings us to great like minded people who share that passion and can even give us insight into parts of it that we, ourselves, may have not discovered. We talked about how the watch, or the bike, is not only a tool for our passion, but also gives us a sense of pride, brings us together, or even carries the souls of us for many years to come. Defines us. And will someday hold the stories of a time gone by. As many of our readers know, I like watches for particular uses. I like watches that can be worn daily, take the blows, and keep going. Will you pass down that G-Shock? Probably not. But the stories it can tell might be worth more than the products it’s made of. And that’s what I like about this Casio Mudmaster.

This Casio G-Shock Mudmaster (ref. GG-1000-1A5) is available on Amazon for under around $200 (approx 50% off MSRP)*


TBWS Amazon Watch Picks! (10/31/19): The Best Sub-$100 Quartz Chrono?

Welcome to our re-occurring series where we highlight our favorite watches currently available on Amazon. Below you’ll find prices, thumbnails, and reasons why we think you’ll love these watches. Please note that this page features Amazon Affiliate Links where we earn from qualifying purchases. Links are marked below as such.

*(paid link)

Citizen Titanium Radio Controlled Perpetual Chronograph | Eco-Drive AT4010-50E*

Was $750.00 NOW $347.00
(Save 54% off MSRP)

For under $400, this Citizen Chrono is packing a whole bunch of bang for your buck. Titanium, atomic-time, eco-drive, sapphire crystal, perpetual calendar… I was honestly super surprised when I saw the price. Check out the listing for all the details. It’s pretty wild.*

Dimensions:
42mm x 48mm x 13mm

Seiko SND367PC Chronograph*

Was $150.00 NOW $97.00
(Save 36% off MSRP)

THIS… I have never seen this Seiko Chrono before, but I’m absolutely in love with it. At the given price point, it’s not going to be the most outstanding quality in the world. But the oveall presentation of this Seiko is what I would call a strap monster. I’m seriously considering grabbing this just so I can have fun with straps. Don’t even get me started on the size – 38mm? . Take a look and let me know your thoughts – am I crazy for falling in love with this watch?*

Dimensions:
40mm x 47mm x 10mm

Frederique Constant Men’s Slim Line Gold-Tone (automatic) | FC-306MC4S35*

Was $2,595.00 NOW $767.00
(Save 71% off MSRP)

If you’ve become disillusioned as hell in the whole hunt for a dress watch, allow me to help. Frederique Constant often gets overlooked in the watchfam (for a multitude of reasons, none of which are merited), and that’s a huge disservice. Take this watch for an example – there’s such an incredible amount of detail here that it’s something I’m honestly surprised is available for just under $800 bucks. But honestly there’s no way you can appreciate the detail from this image. Check out the video in the product listing and you’ll see what I mean.*

Dimensions:
39mm x ? x 8mm

Citizen Blue Angels Stainless Steel | Eco-Drive AT8020-54L*

Was $695.00 NOW $303.00
(Save 57% off MSRP)

There are a few versions of the Citizen Blue Angels Chrono out there. But this one stands out because on the bracelet it’s actually quite dressy. So if you’re issue with the BA Citizen product line is that they were too sporty, then this would be the model you should check out. While you’re in there, check out the detailing on the 12 and 6 subregisters… they look like little dials on a plane. Eat your heart our Bell and Ross.*

Dimensions:
43mm x 50mm x 12.5mm

Seiko Classic Stainless Steel Chronograph | SNDC31*

Was $270.00 NOW $104.00
(Save 62% off MSRP)

A parchment color dial, classic font, and properly sized dimensions make this watch incredibly interesting. The 1/20 sec counter with 12 hour totalizer make it quite functional as well. There’s a really solid wristshot in the listing*, which gives you a good idea what how this will wear. Ideally, this is for someone who wants something classic with an old-world vibe but that they can also count on for reliability.

Dimensions:
38mm x 46mm x 10.5mm

Orient Classic Chronograph | FTV01005W

Was $330.00 NOW $131.00
(Save 61% off MSRP)

So this one’s a bit of a mystery! In my normal hunting of cool/less then normal watches around the internet, I stumbled upon this Orient Chronograph FTV01005W. There isn’t a lot of info out there, but apparently its sapphire with a screw down crown… and that date! The dial also has a lot going on in terms of texture and balance. Needless to say, this is another one that I’m thinking about buying so I can get more hands on time with it. What do you guys think?*

Dimensions:
41.5mm x ?mm x 11.5mm


Dan Henry 1970 Review: With Great Value Comes Great Pre-Owned Markups

Dan Henry 1970 Review: With Great Value Comes Great Pre-Owned Markups

By: Aggressive Timing Habits

The Dan Henry 1970 is a compressor-style automatic watch that comes in two colours (grey and orange) and two sizes (40mm and 44mm). The eponymous owner is a Brazilian collector with over 1,500 watches and counting, and the brand’s philosophy is to give buyers the opportunity to combine iconic vintage looks with modern durability all at affordable prices. To help achieve that end, most of the brand’s watches (and indeed everything to date other than the 1970) feature quartz or mecha-quartz movements which provide reliability and cost savings, perfectly suiting the Dan Henry ethos.

All of Dan Henry’s pieces are Limited Editions, produced in the same quantity as whatever year the edition is named after; however, as Dan Henry’s only diver and only automatic piece, all but one variant of the 1970 is currently sold out with one, the 40mm orange, often asking significant markups above retail in the secondary market. This review will focus on that particular model and will briefly cover the markup situation since this seems to be happening more often with limited editions and super popular pieces.

Case & Packaging: Thoughtful touches

In the box, you get the watch on an OEM tropic-style strap and a solid canvas and leather three-watch roll. As far as the watch itself, it measures 40mm across and about 46mm lug to lug, with a thickness of just under 15mm and a lug width of 22mm. The thickness and lug width are shared with the 44mm version, which make this watch feel proportionally a bit thicker; however, the domed mineral glass crystal makes up some of this thickness. Overall, with its short, slightly sloping lugs, the watch hugs the wrist nicely and should fit a variety of wrist sizes.

The case surfaces are mostly brushed with a few polished details, such as the chamfering at the lugs, that adds some refinement to the look. The dual crowns are quite large and have a nice cross-hatched design, offering easy functionality and a simple yet effective look. The crown at 2 rotates the internal bezel and the crown at 4 sets the time. The screw down stainless steel caseback is probably my favourite part of the watch, with a stamped graphic of an octopus wearing an old dive helmet (DH calls it a “Scaphtopus”) that is nicely detailed and quite deep.

Strap & Dial: True to form

The tropic-style rubber strap is a little stiff at first but quite comfortable with a little wear; it would have been nice to include quick release straps to make up for the lack of drilled lugs here, but regular spring bars tend to be a bit sturdier and are easier to replace. The dial is a nice matte black with a nicely framed white date window at 3, rectangular vintage lume indices and hands, and an orange chapter ring and seconds hand (featuring a little rectangular lume plot near the end).

All this is surrounded by a nicely angled compressor-style internal dive bezel with metallic applied indices, a lumed triangle at twelve, and numerals every ten minutes. The Dan Henry logo and the two-liner description are evenly balanced and simple. The overall effect is clean, visually interesting, and reminiscent of many old school divers without specifically recalling any single well-known reference.

Movement: Reliable NH35

Powering the watch is the stalwart Seiko NH35 with its 40+ hour power reserve, hand winding, and hacking. It’s an altogether appropriate movement for this watch. Though the winding action on an NH35 always feels a bit too light for comfort, it performs solidly and exactly as expected. I’m definitely not a mechanical watch snob, but where a mechaquartz seems just fine for the chronos, I’m glad Dan Henry went with an automatic for the diver to get that sweeping second on this simple three-hander. Indeed, the familiar 21,600 bph sweep of the NH35 is pretty smooth with just a little bit of grit that really befits the idea of a vintage throwback tool watch. It’s nothing fancy, but it just works!

Value Proposition: Great at retail, but beware of markups!

Therein lies what is, to me, the crux of this watch: it’s nothing fancy, but it just works. It’s a great modern interpretation of a vintage form factor and design language, made to fit a specific, accessible price point. It's a watch designed by a deeply knowledgeable collector who knows exactly how to drive home exactly the right feel; there’s style without needless luxury, function without sacrificing too much form, and relatively few compromises all of which are easy to live with for a $270 watch. But what about when secondary market prices are pushing $400 or even higher? To me, anyway, the answer is a resounding no.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong, I love this watch and it’s an incredible value at its price point. Honestly, even at a modest markup it wouldn’t be a terrible deal at all for huge fans of the look; it offers a lot of character and capability in a comfortable and attractive package. Beyond this, however, the cost-cutting measures start to show: lume plots that aren’t quite cut out or applied perfectly, applied numerals finished a little too roughly, case tolerances that feel just the teeeensiest bit off, dimensions that just seem that little bit distorted given that the lug width and case height are the same as the 44mm version (that caseback, though, is absolutely perfect - never change, awesome caseback).

Of course, Dan Henry never expected to sell the watch for $400, so it’s just an awesome $270 watch; the rest is just driven up by hype. Fortunately, the other three models seem to be available for much more reasonable prices (and as of this writing, the 44mm grey is still available at retail and from website photos, anyway, looks to be in better proportion as long as your wrist can carry a 44mm watch), and Dan Henry keeps putting out fantastic new models at a pretty regular clip. If you find yourself aching to pay $400 or more for this watch, don’t.

Alternatives to the Dan Henry 1970

So, what should one pick up instead of a marked-up Dan Henry 1970? Again, any of the other size/colour combos of this watch would be highly worthy alternatives, and for the same sub-$300 price point something like an SKX013 (paid link)* certainly make sense (you can also check out the TBWS Community Review for the SKX013). If you’ve got $400 and are looking for a great vintage-inspired diver, you can’t go wrong with a Lorier Neptune for a pure dive watch or a Hydra for more of an everyday piece. With the 1970 however, as they’ve done with their other releases, Dan Henry has delivered a great value package at a very nice retail price - but buyer beware if you’re thinking about paying too much more!


Watch Shopping on the Disney Fantasy

Watch Shopping on the Disney Fantasy

By: Kaz Mirza

As many of you know, I'm no stranger to Disney Cruises. It's something my wife and I try and do annually. Obviously watch buying is huge on these things because of duty-free pricing on many of the cruise ports of calls/destinations. I've honestly never really given it much thought. Even with duty-free everything is still usually out of my price range. So when we go on these Disney Cruises, watches aren't even on my radar.

However on this last cruise we were aboard the Disney Fantasy, and this time it was a bit different. Remember when I said all the duty-free watch buying took place on dry land? Well, the Disney Fantasy itself actually has duty-free shopping on-board. And yes - that includes watches (some serious watches also). Here's a list of the watch brands that are available for duty-free pricing on the Disney Fantasy.

  • Bulgari
  • Hublot
  • Omega
  • Tag Heuer
  • Breitling
  • Tudor
  • Tissot
  • Citizen
  • Invicta

Since I wasn't really expecting any watch action this trip, I didn't have my TBWS camera. So all the photos I took were from my phone (apologies for the quality). I thought it would be fun to share with the TBWS family what the watch shopping experience looks like on the Disney Fantasy.

Bulgari us split off in it's own boutique while the other watch brands are included within "White Caps," the onboard duty free AD for many luxury products (perfumes, jewelry, bags, and (obviously) watches).

White caps was where I first realized there were watches on board. I happened upon it surrenditiously. As you walk down one of the main halls on Deck 3, you see White Caps, then there is a small door just to the side that leads directly into the AD.

Here's a quick video I took for everyone's reference of what the Watch AD space looks like within White Caps on the Disney Fantasy.

Below I'll group photos by the AD table they were taken at. Hope everyone enjoys the journey! Maybe next time I'll actually be able to buy a watch.

Omega Table

Breitling Table

I was super impressed with that Super Ocean Heritage II. Also, apparently Kylo Ren wears a Breitling - who knew?

Tag Heuer Table

Totally smitten with how comfortable the Link is - didn't expect to like it as much as I did.

Hublot Table

Honestly didn't spend too much time at the Hublot table, but my wife liked the two tone model, so I snapped a photo of it.

Tudor Table

They surprisingly had a couple BB GMTs in the case. None where on a bracelet, but the rep there said you could order a bracelet from Tudor for approx. $800.

Tissot Table

Naturally given my reprobate status as a "broke watch snob," I gravitated towards the Tissot pieces. I finally got to spend time with the Seastar with the Powermatic 80 and ceramic bezel. While I recognize it's honestly a fantastic watch and would be a welcomed addition to any thoughtful collection, I decided after trying it on that it just wasn't for me. I didn't feel that connection. It may have also been because I tried on the blue Seastar while wearing my Blumo - and that's just hard to compete with in my opinion.

Citizen and Invicta Table

The Citizen and Invicta displays were  combined in the same table, which is interesting because both brands have partnerships with Disney to produce watches for different properties the media giant owns i.e. Marvel as well as Mickey and his friends.

Bulgari Boutique

Unlike the brands mentioned above, Bulgari actually had a duty-free boutique presence on the Disney Fantasy. I tried on some Octo pieces, however I wasn't allowed to take photos within the actual boutique itself. But I was able to snap a couple pics outside in the public area before anyone noticed.

So, Did I Buy Anything?

The watch I came closest to pulling the trigger on was probably the Tissot Seastar (since I had the opportunity to purchase it for an unbelievable price). But in the end I didn't end up buying a watch. Do I regret it? Nope. Do I still really wish that I was able to take advantage of the duty-free watch purchase opportunity? Yup. There's something just fun about the idea of buying a watch while on vacation. And even though I wasn't able to do it this time around, I'm hopeful next time I will.


Seiko SBEP003 ("Digi Tuna") Review: Field Testing the Fieldmaster

Seiko SBEP003 ("Digi Tuna") Review: Field Testing the Fieldmaster

By Greg Bedrosian

In the world of rugged digital watches the Casio G-Shock reigns supreme. It’s the undisputed champ. The variety of G-Shocks is mind blowing. But what if you’re not on-board? I happen to be in that camp. I don’t have any discontent with G-Shocks. There is just a disconnect. I’ve never been able to find a G-Shock that was a great match for me.

Enter the Seiko SBEP003 Fieldmaster, the “Digi Tuna”. It’s technically a JDM (Japanese Domestic Model). Well, sort of. I’ve seen the SBEP003 briefly on the Seiko USA website and some other US online retailer sites as well. I grew intrigued about this oddity and had to know more.

I was sitting at my desk at the office when I received an alert from our home doorbell cam. I swiped and saw my wife signing for a package. I played it cool and waited. It was the longest thirty minutes in recent history. I casually texted her, “Who was at the door?”

She replied, “Some package came for you from Japan”. Silent fist pump. The TBWS mothership had hooked it up!

The Case:

Let the dimensions fool you. It’s OK. Yes, on a spec sheet the 49.5mm case would be a turn-off to most. Me included! I was like, “OK... maybe they balanced it with a super low height and a short lug to lug.” Nope, it’s 14.3mm tall and the lug to lug is 49.5mm. How do they make this formula work for anyone besides Aaron Judge?

The answer was easy. The market was right for the “Digi-Tuna” to be aesthetically accepted. Wearable technology is everywhere. Many common pieces of wearable technology (don’t call it a smart watch) are similar in size such as your average Suunto or Garmin. People who are into wearable technology are really into it. They tend to wear them to the office and out to dinner, not just on their daily jog. A big hunk of plastic on the wrist is not an uncommon sight anymore. To be accepted alongside the Suuntos and Garmins, the watch has to have “the look”.


The most distinguishing feature of the Seiko SBEP003 “Digi-Tuna” is the shroud that surrounds the case and the bezel. The shape turns the watch into a flat cylinder, like a can of tuna fish, hence the nickname “tuna”. The shroud is made of the same resin as the rest of the case. That gives it a satin black finish that is almost flat. That’s important. The black color helps the watch seem smaller than it actually is. The white version, reference SBEP011 will appear larger than the black models.

Despite being almost 50mm, the Seiko Digi-Tuna weighs only 80g. If you’re used to a steel mechanical watch on a steel bracelet, you could easily forget that you’re wearing it. The weight also plays into the size being deceptive.

The Dial and Bezel:

Seiko used Japanese design firm Lowercase as design consultants. That was an ironic partnership because there is not a single lowercase letter on the entire watch. I’m not sure if it was Seiko’s or Lowercase’s decision, but one of my favorite elements is that space is economized on the top side of the watch.

The dial of the SBEP003 packs a lot of information. Between the digital display and the bezel insert lies the solar panel. Casio G-Shocks that are solar powered hide the panel similarly. However, the circular panel on the SBEP003 blends perfectly into the Seiko.


Information on the digital display is on overload. When in main time-telling mode you get: the time, a second time zone, the day, the date, the seconds, the sound indicator, the battery reserve, the stopwatch if running, and the minutes along the outside of the dial. It’s a lot, but it’s still easy to read the time at a glance. There are a few complaints about needing to “tap” the face to get the backlight to operate, but I had no issues with it.

This was my first friction bezel. I was apprehensive at first, but it was secure. There is definitely an art to rotating it easily. You have to apply pressure at the just the right angle. The pip is the only lumed part of the watch.

The blue and red “Pepsi” colored bezel insert is a slightly different shade than SKXs and Turtles that you’re used to. Think a little darker, like Tudor’s “Burgundy and Blue”. The actual bezel itself is only 43mm in diameter. That gives you an idea of how much the shroud adds. What if the shroud wasn’t there? Would you feel the same way about the watch? I think that it would be a little less special.

The Movement:

The Digital-Tuna is powered by the Seiko caliber S802. The solar portion that keeps it charged is the Seiko V147. There is no battery to change. The SBEP003 can keep running for five months when fully charged. There is also a power save mode that will allow the watch to go into hibernation when not in use. This will extend the charge to 20 months. A little tap will wake it up. Battery replacement has to be done by Seiko. Luckily the batteries in these movements can last 60-70 years.


There are no jewels to count or decorative “Geneve finishing” displayed through the case back. For the Seiko SBEP003 it’s all digital and the function is what counts. I’m a duathlete. A Duathlon is like a Triathlon without the swimming component. (Run / Bike / Run) I always train with a watch. I also spend a large amount of my time in the summer in the water. How does this watch’s functionality perform form in each of these elements?

· Running:

My sister-in-law uses an entry-level Garmin for endurance running. It tracks her pace and alerts her to speed up or slow down. I like to be a little less connected. Time is still a good lead and lag indicator of how you are doing. The Seiko SBEP003 has every stopwatch feature that you need running. I never recalled specific laps or broke out a split, but the functionality is available. Elapsed time was good enough for me.

The best part of running with the Seiko SBEP003 was the weight, or lack thereof. If you are used to running with a mechanical watch, you know that at some point the weight of the watch will start pulling on your arm like a brick. As you sweat it only gets worse as it slides around. Not with the Digi-Tuna.

· Cycling:

I’ve spent the majority of time cycling with a traditional dive watch. My routine on early morning rides is to pick a 45-50 minute route to be back home by 6:00am to shower and get ready for work. With a traditional dive watch, I use the bezel to measure elapsed time and the hour and minute hands to let me know when I need to be home.

With the Seiko SBEP003 it was a bit of an adjustment switching to the stopwatch feature. I could measure elapsed time more accurately. I could also measure lips and “splits” if I wanted to run after finishing my cycling routine. The problem that I had was the minute hashmarks around the outside disappear with the stopwatch feature and make the bezel useless. The actual time also shrinks to such a small size that it’s nearly impossible to read at 18.5mph.

· Swimming:

I don’t do any competitive swimming. However, I do spend a lot of time in the water. Despite being rated for 20BAR, the SBEP003 does not meet the ISO 6425 standard to be a dive watch. I don’t really care, there is more than enough water resistance for pool and beach activities. The worst thing that could happen to me with the bidirectional bezel is saying, “Kids! Five more minutes and you have to get out of the pool!”, and it turning into an idle threat because I mistakenly added more time.

I was confident and secure with it at the beach. Buried in the sand or paddle boarding in on the surf, the SBEP003 was right at home in the ocean. I never held back. Seiko should call it the “Oceanmaster”.

The Strap:

Oh how I love a good Seiko fanned (accordion) silicone strap. It should be noted that not all Seiko straps of this design are created equal. The one that comes on the SKX is junk. The ones what come on the Samurai and Baby Marine Master are fantastic. The black 22mm strap that comes with the Seiko SBEP003 is equally awesome, maybe better.


The strap is 132mm + 77mm in length. That puts the tail right up to the fan on my 6.75” wrist. The big difference is the black buckle and the silicone keeper. Both the Samurai and Baby Marine Master have an oversized buckle with a metal keeper. I have to add an additional rubber keeper on both. The SBEP003’s larger rubber keeper works better in its standalone stock form. I have yet to encounter someone that thinks this silicone strap isn’t comfortable. There are two negatives with the strap. The first is that the fanned portion makes it difficult to sleeve under a cuff. The other is that black silicone straps can be lint magnets. I’ve scrubbed a lot of sunscreen off of this one using a little dish soap with ease.

Final Thoughts:

Is it easy to tell time? Yes.

Could I #watchfast it? Yes.

When it comes down to the features, the Seiko SBEP003 Fieldmaster could be your diver / driver / flyer all in one. It has a rotating bezel and 20 BAR water resistance. There is a complicated stopwatch timing feature. And just for a little icing on the cake, you can easily jump between multiple time zones with the push of one button. No flyer vs caller GMT debate here. This is a grab and go watch in the truest form.

If I had to pick one “Apocalypse Watch”, the Seiko SBEP003 would be it. More realistically, if I was going to donate watches to a village in a third world country I would also pick the Digi-Tuna. In either scenario I’d feel confident that the watch would continually work for decades without needing repairs or battery replacements.


The Seiko SNJ027 “Arnie” reissue might have gotten all the press this year. Unlike the Arnie, you don’t have to yell, ”Get to-da chopp-aah!”, every time you leave the grocery store. That is something your significant other will definitely appreciate.

Like most Seikos, there are a few design choices that make me scratch my head, but overall it’s a solid choice. The Digi-Tuna is a sleeper piece for the enthusiast who wants to diversify their collection with the added security of a familiar Seiko “Pepsi” bezel. Pick-up a Digi-Tuna from Amazon if you can and put it through something rugged -- you’ll feel better for doing it.


Citizen Promaster NY009 ‘Fugu’ Limited Edition

Citizen Promaster NY009 ‘Fugu’ Limited Edition

By Michael Penate

Citizen has announced a new collection of limited edition divers this summer. And if you're familiar with the approach they took with the NY008 Asia Limited Series, you can probably guess a few of the release details before reading on. In total, there are six variants that make up this regional release and we're happy to report that they all come in at under $500. Unfortunately, snagging one in the States will probably be difficult—but not impossible. In the meantime, let's check out some of the specifics surrounding the new Citizen Promaster NY009 ‘Fugu’ Limited Edition watches.

Much like the coveted NY0040-09EE, these new 'Fugu' series watches deliver a sporty, affordable timepiece experience with the kind of quality Citizen is known for. Again, I often wonder how serious the competition would get if these watches were readily available in the States and duking it out with Seiko's SKX series directly. In terms of aesthetics, Citizen has also delivered a variety of color options by mixing things up with the vibrant aluminum bezels. My guess is that the green model—with its "Hulk" style dial and bezel—will be the toughest to get. It's limited to 1,989 pieces (the Promaster was introduced in 1989) and only available in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. What a stunner.

Citizen Promaster NY009 ‘Fugu’ Limited Edition Specifications

  • Case and Bracelet Construction: Stainless steel
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Crystal: Mineral
  • Movement: Miyota 8203A
  • Crown: Screw-down
  • Price: $360 - $480

Inside the watches, we get Citizen's cool Miyota 8203A movement with 45 hours of power reserve and a 3Hz operating rate. It's cheap, in-house, and perfectly acceptable for watches in this price bracket. Remember, these movements don't hack—just like the 7S26 from Seiko. Overall, the Citizen Promaster NY009 ‘Fugu’ Limited Edition watches bring a serious degree of variety to the market and I'm sure USA consumers would eat them up if they were available here. From two-tone to a plain black dial/bezel version—it's all here. Let's just hope that Citizen keeps experimenting with new iterations that might be easier to get. Aside from the green version, these models are limited to 2,000 pieces and sold exclusively in South East Asian countries.

Photos: Citizen 


Lorier Hydra Review: Calling Off My Search For A Vintage-Inspired Diver?

Lorier Hydra Review: Calling Off My Search For A Vintage-Inspired Diver?

by Baird Brown

If anyone actually takes the time to read the blurb at the bottom of this watch review next to my ugly mug, it clearly states that I’m in love with dive watches from the 60s-70s era. There’s just something about the character of those watches. They just seem to ooze the mature but playful sex appeal of the era. Thoughts of dock shoes, above-the-knee shorts, and Captain’s hats while knocking back a fifth of rum surrounded by bikini-clad women come to mind. But they also harken to a time when brands like Rolex had not yet really gone “luxury” and could be worn under James Bond’s expensive suit AND on his wrist as he swam around looking for Dr. No.

The watches of those times were instruments to be worn all the time, during any activity, and if you sit up at night hunting the forums and auction sites for vintage divers, they look like they’ve been through the ringer because of that. The boutique brand market is absolutely inundated with vintage inspired models that want to harken back to that time. That’s good for people like me who can’t drop four figures on a vintage name brand, and believe me, when I heard I was getting a Lorier Hydra, I had to really take a deep breath and try to muster all of the strength I had to try to remain objective. When you crack the seal on the box and get your first look at this watch, you realize that being objective is going to be the challenge here.

I first heard about Lorier Watches listening to the Worn & Wound podcast back in February. Yes, I like those guys too, but their voices sometimes put me to sleep. This episode didn’t. It featured Lorenzo and Lauren Ortega who told their story about being teachers with just a few watches in their collection that they loved and leaned on for any activity until one of their Omega watches got flooded. Long story short, they decided to make watches for themselves. Inspired by watches like the Omega Seamaster CK2913 and the Seiko SKX013, they set out to make a watch that could be worn every day, for any activity, and subsequently, grow old with you. Their story was inspiring, and I was interested in their product before I ever actually saw one. If you can find that episode, I encourage you to take a listen. Also, they were nice enough to send both the Black and the Royal Blue versions of the Hydra for my review, so this is a two for one deal.

The Lorier Hydra's 39mm Case

This case flies out of the box with vintage proportions screaming loudly like King Ghidorah rising from his icy tomb! Personally, when I’m looking for vintage watches, the 39mm width and 48mm lug-to-lug size are perfect. They aren’t big by any means but aren’t so small that the watch appears dainty or fragile. The height of the case is 12mm, not including the crystal. We’ll get to that beautiful crystal later, but if you count the crystal, the height goes up to 15mm. I found that while the watch case itself would fit under a shirt, the crystal usually did not. This watch isn’t going to hide unless you’re wearing something significantly big for your arm. Surfaces are brushed on all sides, securing the idea that this is a watch to be used every day. The brushing is fine and well done with nice crisp edges. To keep the watch from looking slab sided, there is a beautiful polished edged that runs from lug to lug on each side. This acts as a light catcher and gives the case a slimmer look than it actually has. Without this, I think the watch might look a little bloated given that the case back is a little thick.


The defining feature of this watch that will immediately catch your attention is the domed plexiglass crystal that melts over the flat bezel like a warm blanket. I said I was going to try to be objective, but I’m telling you this, if you love old acrylic crystals (or Hesalite crystals on Omega watches) this is just going to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sure, it can be scratched within hours of owning it, but it can also be buffed out. It gives the dial a deep look, but distorts at almost all angles. This does force you to look directly at the watch most of the time, as it’s going to be nearly impossible to read the face if you’re not looking at it straight on. With that said, I still love this crystal. Water rolls off it like the Hall of Doom rising from Slaughter Swamp, and the way it plays with the light is something that you just can’t get from a flat sapphire or mineral crystal. It just wouldn’t work here.

Sitting just underneath the crystal is the flat, coin edged acrylic bezel that is made to look like an old Bakelite. The coin edge is sharp, and the edges are crisp, however, they aren’t very deep, nor is the bezel very tall. Also, usually when someone tells you that the 120 clicks are sharp and responsive and there is virtually no play in the bezel at all, you get pretty excited. This time, it kind of works against it if you have rough calloused fingertips. I found it hard to grip and turn at times. The big crown was somewhat the same way, but without those cumbersome shoulder guards, it’s easy to get a good grip. These are clearly first world problems, and if we’re being honest, I know of some $1000 watches that have loose, junky bezels. Not this one.

The Dial: Black and Royal Blue

Both the black and the Royal blue dials are finished in a high gloss that, along with the look of the crystal, give it an almost enamel look. At this price range, I’m sure it’s not, but it definitely looks similar to some of the older dive watches I have in my collection. It’s almost like the dial or the paint isn’t perfectly flat causing the reflections to roll across it like rolling hills. The minute track and logo are both finished in a gilt color, as are the hands while the indices are white.


You know where this is going. Is there any red lettering on the dial designating the depth rating of 200m? You’re dang right there is! It’s the vintage dial trifecta! Instead of numbers, the indices are elongated and lumed in Superluminova BGW9 which glows a beautiful blue color instead of the normal green. The lume on the watch isn’t bad at all. It’s even on the hands and dial and lasts for a good amount of time. Sadly, the markers on the bezel are also lumed but they barely show. Unless you have it under direct light, you’ll probably never notice them. The hands are brushed in the same gilt color as the minute track and are highly reminiscent of Omega Seamasters and are even similar to old Rado Captain Cooks. The arrow hour hand sits nicely between the elongated markers, while the dauphine minute hand reaches all the way to the track. Finally, the white second hand hearkens to Seiko SKX watches and shows up nicely against the black or the blue.

The Bracelet

Sitting between the long, elegant, and flat cut lugs is an all brushed bracelet that is definitely unique in this class. While it has an oyster look, look closer. The links are flat on the outside and fully articulating, so like the treads on a tank, they will wrap themselves around any shape. It’s actually pretty neat, especially if you have that wrist bone that has trouble with bracelets. The bracelet tapers from 20mm to 16mm, which is, in my opinion, ideal and gives the watch a touch of dressiness. Again, this wants to be your only watch for every occasion, and details like that help tremendously.

The links are screw in and the lugs are drilled making bracelet adjustments or strap changes easy for anyone. Lorier is even nice enough to throw in a screwdriver with the watch. The bracelet gives the watch a lot of character for watches in this price range and is extremely well built and comfortable. And while I like the bracelet a lot, I felt a little like it was from a different decade than the rest of the watch. Almost as though it was from a 1980s Seiko rather than a 1960s-70s Seamaster.

Seiko NH35A

Powering the watch is the Seiko NH35A which has become the movement of choice for watches like this and for good reason. It hacks, hand winds, and will provide good service for years to come. With that said, sometimes they can be a little inconsistent. The specs for the NH35 state that they can run anywhere from -20 to +40 a day and be considered “in spec.” Since I had two watches, I compared them both on the timegrapher and against a Bulova UHF. The black watch ran, on average, -2 seconds a day which is incredible. I was very pleased to see this. The blue watch, however, was running wild. It was averaging +35 a day. I don’t know if Lorier has any hand in the regulation of these watches, and it may even be something that isn’t quite feasible at this price, but it may be something worth looking at in the future. The blue watch also had signs of being worn before I got it, whereas the black watch was fresh and new, so it could have had something to do with that.

Final Thoughts on the Lorier Hydra

Lorier has really worked hard to hit all the marks people look for in a vintage inspired watch. The size is perfect, the features look great, and it’s a versatile watch that will serve you on many occasions in your life. Whether it’s a wedding or a whisky filled boat trip, the Lorier will work. It’s definitely not going to appeal to people who don’t have interest in vintage (or vintage-inspired) pieces or are looking for something to show off how big of a “wealth enthusiast” they are. Plus the plexiglass is going to be a turnoff to anyone who is afraid to wear their watches for fear of blemish. But this watch isn’t made for them. It’s made for people who want a great daily watch that takes them back to a time when you only had ONE watch and did everything with it. Lorier prices the Hydra at $399.00 and that’s a little more than offerings like the Dan Henry 1970 or the Spinnaker Bradner. Both of those watches come in at under $300 and offer the same NH35 power.

However, the Lorier looks and feels like it should cost the extra $100. It has the feel of the old Rolex big crown that graced the wrist of Sean Connery during the early Bond films. It oozes with the romance of diving in the 1950s. To me, it legitimately feels like that great vintage you finally score after months and months of research and hunting. This is a watch that will look great in ten years rather than just look used. Sure, it’s more than the Dan Henry and the Spinnaker, but there’s so much more here.

There’s a soul in this watch. It’s not just an homage, or a throwback. It’s the best parts of watches that all of us love in an affordable package. I might go so far as to say this is a more affordable alternative to the new Baltic Aquascaphe. I really tried to keep my head objective in this one, but I won’t lie, this was a watch that was hard to stick back in the box and send back home. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these watches and I’m excited to see what Lorier comes out with in the future. Until then, I’ll just have to keep scouring the forums and eBay for vintage divers that will now have a harder time living up to my expectations.