Watches inspired by the 1920s — 5 watch designs from the '20s that still roar from the wrist

watches of the 1920sWhether you’re a history buff, or just have a big budget for your costume parties, owning a historic timepiece can be a truly special experience. To identify with such an antiquated time period doesn’t just fulfil a niche curiosity in the old, but it connects us directly to a time of great innovation and exploration — aspects of watchmaking that still separate the great masters of horology to this day. As we begin the 2020s, 100 years since the decade that saw the wristwatch soar in popularity, we are celebrating by taking a look at some of the best watches of the 1920s that sum up that era, both new and antique. Rolex Oyster As quintessential as the mighty Submariner is today, its spirit is undoubtedly passed down from its parent — the original Rolex Oyster. Though similar technology had been implemented with pocket watches, Rolex were the first to use a hermetically sealed case and screw-down crown in a wristwatch in the late 1920s. Knowing that marketing was just as important as innovating, Rolex strapped an Oyster to the wrist of Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel. What happened next is the stuff of…

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5 hours ago

5 of the best watches released in 2020 under $3k, including Grand Seiko, Bulgari and Monta

This has been a bountiful year for the horologically inclined, and full of surprises. We have gone shopping with the virtual Time+Tide gold credit card, and found what we think might be five of the best watches under $3kUSD in 2020. It is an eclectic selection, from established microbrands to tough divers and a flyweight re-edition from Bulgari. The choices are diverse, if not easy to make. A fool might suggest to double your budget and take two home, but play your cards right and your budget might stretch further than you think. Grand Seiko SBGP005   Yes, the first watch here has got a quartz movement, and I’m very happy to admit it is also my debut as a quartz fan, as a Grand Seiko quartz movement is something very special. But what we notice first is, of course, the Japanese mastery of case finishing and dial details. The term “Luxury Quartz”, coined by Nick Kenyon in our story on the SBGP005 here, might still be contradictory to some, but is spot-on for this vision in dark blue and steel that punches way above its weight. The case is the classic strong-sided design we know well, giving us that…

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The 5 best Longines watches released in 2020 (in a very good year)

best Longines watchesThis year has been a big one for Longines — for a couple of reasons. They have continued down the purist pathway of vintage reissues through their Heritage collection, as well as continuing to build their other enthusiast-favourite families such as the Record and HydroConquest collections. But the biggest news from Longines in 2020 was the launch of the Spirit collection, an event that certainly doesn’t happen every year at the Saint-Imier based manufacture. For Longines, the Spirit collection represents the meeting of past and future for the first thorough and meaningful way, blending their important history as instrument suppliers to the pioneers of aviation with more contemporary design cues and modern watchmaking technology.  Longines HydroConquest Green  The HydroConquest collection is Longines’ approach to a no-nonsense, robustly built and affordable dive watch. We’ve seen it expressed in a range of forms, from on a steel bracelet to a full black ceramic case, but this year we got the same approachable design and functionality in khaki green. This particular shade of muted, almost military, green has been increasingly popular in recent years, offering a quenching tonic against the never-ending procession of black and blue dive watches. At 41mm it is a feasible…

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Money to burn: 4 crazy watch accessories for jaded billionaires (don't even bother looking)

As Woody Allen famously said, “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.” More specifically, it can help you cultivate a magnificent watch collection. But what does the rich man do when he has scratched his horological itch until it’s red-raw? When he’s become jaded with the tedious rigmarole of snapping up grail watches and minute-repeater tourbillions? He starts to focus on his crazy watch accessories instead … The coffee table of horological dreams Pedro Costa is a Colombian designer who believes that size matters. He takes classic watch designs and scales them up into pieces of furniture. His range of coffee tables has included the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Hublot Big Bang Diamonds (which got the seal of approval from Jean-Claude Biver no less), Rolex Daytona and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore among others. Understandably, this supersizing process is extremely labour-intensive. Costa uses machinery to cut and mould the watch case, which contains a hybrid electro-mechanical movement by British clockmaker Sinclair Harding. The rest of the components are finished by hand, with each coffee table taking up to six months to complete. While these unique pieces have been commissioned by brands, Costa also accepts private commissions. The price…

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2 weeks ago

From Bruno Mars to Jay-Z: celebrities' most staggering acts of watch-giving generosity

Random acts of kindness are all very well. But at Time+Tide, we prefer our gestures of mind-blowing generosity to come in a horological format. From rock stars to comedians and actors to athletes, the moral of this story is simple: work hard, amass your fortune then spread the love by upgrading the wrists of mankind, one watch at a time. Bruno Mars plays Santa In 2019, Bruno Mars revealed on Instagram that he’d given his bandmates a Christmas present to remember. “My boys continue to show the world what time it is,” he wrote in the Instagram caption. “And a band that sings together blings together! #AudeMARS” Each of the eight members of his band, The Hooligans, received an Audemars Piguet Extra-Thin ‘Jumbo’ Royal Oak Ref. 15202 in gold. The full retail price for the watch at the time: US$55,400. As if that wasn’t a nice enough festive gesture, the watches were personalised with specially made custom boxes that read: “Audemars Piguet: Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour Edition”. Merry Christmas indeed. Why you really want to be friends with Jay-Z If you’re hip-hop’s first billionaire, standard party invites don’t cut the mustard. So when it came to inviting VIPs…

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2 weeks ago

5 heavy-duty dive watches from a range of price points that don't monster the wrist – all sub-40mm

sub-40mm Technical DiversMany of us are re-evaluating our preferred size of watches, as the trend is ever-increasing (or should that be shrinking?) towards 36-40mm watches for men, with vintage vibes. In my case, it’s a matter of practicality. My wrist is on the slender side and I wear a shirt most days, so a 45mm wrist chunk is not going to work. The increasing range of options is a godsend for many of us.  But have diminishing sizes hit all categories? Let’s say we’re looking for a tough, no-nonsense modern tool watch that can take a beating. In other words, a diver. The editor threw down the gauntlet with the seemingly unattainable goal of a full-on technical 300-metre ISO-spec diver being a key pre-requisite at a size of less than 40mm. The bonus round was to find five without vintage cues or cream-coloured lume. Modern in style, please. Surely this is an impossible quest? Seek and you shall find, I say.  1. Oris Aquis Date – the bestseller  What can we say, the Aquis Date from Oris in Hölstein, Switzerland has been a resounding success, and has transformed into what is now a considerable range. The Aquis has, for many, made Oris…

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4 weeks ago

6 watches that show the best and the breadth of modern Hublot, all from the (open) Sydney Boutique

Hublot fathers day giftsWhile it pains us as Victorians to write this, for we remain in the dark depths of our second lockdown, the Sydney Hublot boutique is open for business. And with Father’s Day just a few days away, it had us thinking we should loudly remind you of that fact, and then go virtually shopping for six of the best watches currently in stock. The challenge for this list was – like all the different dads out there – about showing diversity, which was in fact, not as difficult as it once was.  The brand may have re-entered the world with the Big Bang, and one setting, which was full on, all the time. But now it’s different. There is light and shade. And there is the chance once again to gratuitously showing Andrew’s favourite bracelet of the year, the Hublot Big Bang Integral in King Gold. Hublot Big Bang Integral in King Gold  The Hublot Big Bang Integral in King Gold was launched at the LVMH watch fair in Dubai earlier this year to resounding praise for its bracelet that is as innovative as it is spectacular. As the name suggests, the bracelet integrates perfectly with the case of the…

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4 weeks ago

6 things you may not know about Grand Seiko – Part 2

During my visit to the Grand Seiko “Nature of Time” exhibition, in my home town of New York City, I was fortunate to learn some lesser-known facts that have whet my appetite for the brand even more. Here is Part 2. If you missed Part 1, be sure to check it out here. 4. How the hands are blued Many brands will chemically dye watch parts blue, or blue them in batches via an oven-like machine that can lack consistency. This is the reason why the craftsmen at Grand Seiko will only heat-blue the hands one hand at a time. Aside from independents, the vast majority of brands blue them in batches, whether it be 20 hands at a time or possibly more. This can lead to a high defective rate. When the specialist at Grand Seiko is blueing the hand, this is what they do all day. They stare at second hands or even smaller power reserve hands. There’s no timer. They have to tell completely by their trained eye that it’s the perfect shade of blue. Only then will they take it off the heat. With this time-consuming method, the consistency is more perfect. The blue is matching every…

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4 weeks ago

6 things you may not know about Grand Seiko – Part 1

While Grand Seiko has more and more collectors and watch buyers on their radar, with a community of fans growing each day, there is always more to discover when it comes to this esteemed Japanese watch manufacturer. While visiting the Nature of Time Exhibition, going through each of its eight stations and speaking with staff along the way, I was continually taken aback by the facts and tidbits I was learning. While I consider myself quite knowledgeable on the brand, I discovered just how much more there was to learn about their watches and those who craft and assemble them. Here are six things I think will be new and interesting, even to the most devoted Grand Seiko fans. 1. What makes a Grand Seiko a Grand Seiko? The design principles underpinning the brand can be boiled down to four categories/principles: accuracy, durability, legibility, and beauty. Accuracy First and foremost on the list is accuracy. Grand Seiko is not going to make a movement that does not excel in its level of precision. We see this not only in the revolutionary spring drive movements that are accurate within a second per day, but also in their traditional mechanical movements that…

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4 weeks ago

Father's Day gifts for six different types of dads

Father’s Day – a 24-hour span when dads across the country are celebrated for their patriarchal guidance and then receive dreary presents like jocks, socks, gift vouchers and the best bottle of Penfolds that can be had for 20 bucks. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? And, for most men, that’s what it’s like. But, for the dad who happens to be a watch enthusiast, things can be different – you can actually buy your old man something he’ll like. Trouble is, just as every father is not the same, every horological aficionado differs, too. That’s why we’ve devised this handy list, and everything you see below can be bought right here, at the Time+Tide store. Rugged dad There’s a certain type of dad who likes to slide into those carpe diems with maximum gusto, to take it to the limit each and every day and get out amongst it. You know the ones – up at the a**crack of dawn and owns a 4WD jacked up with off-road tyres and covered with amusing and often offensive stickers. A barbecue-ruling, Bonds singlet-wearing jack-of-all-trades type, the kind of guy who would rather camp under the stars than stay in any six-star hotel. If…

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1 month ago