Remembering Russell Crowe's watch collection, and why it's still our greatest video to this day

Editor’s note: To stay at the top of your game for decades takes more than luck. More than skill. More than talent. It takes perseverance, and it takes an ultimate commitment to your craft. When Russell Crowe sat down with GQ a couple of weeks ago to deconstruct his most popular characters, it reminded us of the time he met with us to talk watches. Within a couple of lines, he’s in absolutely top form: “If you get the responsibility to tell someone’s story, and if it’s true, you’ve gotta bust your balls for it.”  The occasion of our meeting was not exactly a joyous one. His impending divorce meant dividing up his estate, and a veritable sack of watches was on the chopping block. But Russell relished the opportunity. He spoke about each watch with incredible charisma. His mellifluous baritone flitted from stories about his movies, to random airport purchases, to even more mundane details. And yet, throughout, you find yourself gripped. Hanging on every word. We want to share this great memory with you in as much detail as possible. So please find on this post, the backstory, the video and the sales results for all his watches. The GQ video, which is equally amazing,…

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9 hours ago

IN DEPTH: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Vs. Seiko Prospex SPB147J – the battle of gilty pleasures

Tudor Black Bay 58 Vs. Seiko Prospex SPB147If a watch has become synonymous with the One Watch Collection, a quintessential vintage diver, or the perfect Sub reissue Rolex never released, it’s the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. In fact, care of the recent navy blue update, it’s currently as viral as the AD waiting lists are long. Personally, I love vintage tool watches, and especially the quiet bling that a warm touch of gold brings to the party. But can we find alternatives in the same perfect 38-40mm size from another big box brand? Yes, we can — from Seiko, well known for their brilliant vintage reissues, but also for being large. Ergonomically superb they may be, but with the different tastes of the Asian and US markets (in HK the BB58 is being marketed as a ladies’ watch), still predominantly large chunks of 42-44mm steel. This changed with the recent release of the 40.5mm SPB143-147 and SPB149 Vintage Diver Re-creation trio. Still on the chubby side height-wise, but at a third of the price of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, is the SPB147J the gilt champ? The fighters enter the arena … A duel of cases The comfort prize is won by the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, by simple…

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10 hours ago

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: This one goes out to the watches that got away

Is there any question that lights up a watch lover more than this one: What is the watch that got away? The answer is always interesting. Always! And it can plumb the very depths of emotion. You will likely see a visible wince, followed by regret, anger and recriminations flashing across the storyteller’s face as he or she relives the episode as they talk about it. As part of our editorial meeting on Monday, the question was floated to the whole team. James’ face was racked with pain as he relived passing on a 16520 Daytona. “While I was at uni, a mate offered me a mint Zenith Daytona Ref.16520 W-Series ‘Patrizzi’ dial with full box papers for $8000 AUD,” James sighed. “I had about enough money in my bank account to afford a 24-piece bucket of Colonel Sanders’ finest, so I had to pass on the Rolex. Seeing as a good one now goes for about the same as a 10 per cent deposit on a house, I’m more than slightly emotional about the missed opportunity.” There were howls from the rest of us that cackled over our laptop speakers. Zoom mini-screens showed all of us bent over with…

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HANDS-ON: The Rado Captain Cook Bronze is going to stay golden, care of its copper alloy

Rado Captain Cook bronzeTo even the most casual Time+Tide reader, the Rado Captain Cook is likely to be a known quantity. A strong, stainless steel, vintage-inspired design, backed up by a reliable modern movement in a range of sizes … all true, but that’s no longer the extent of it. For the first time, we can now add three Rado Captain Cook bronze references to the collection. Named after the British explorer who achieved the first recorded European contact with the east coast of Australia, the Rado Captain Cook was first produced from 1962 until 1968. This was a legitimate dive watch that capitalised on a golden age of underwater exploration, when scuba diving became popular with the public at large, and watchmakers rushed to put watches on the wrists of this new breed of submerged shopper. The instantly recognisable design was revived in recent years, and the collection has enjoyed strong success as a fresh and eye-catching offering from the brand. The exciting addition of the Rado Captain Cook Bronze marks a tangent within the collection that gives a totally new look and feel to a well-established part of the brand’s stable. The bronze produces an attractively warm tone in the 42mm case,…

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This is why I didn't trade my entire collection for my grail, a Patek Philippe 5066 Aquanaut

Patek 5066 AquanautAlmost two years ago I had the opportunity to acquire a watch that was on my grail list – the Patek Philippe 5066 Aquanaut. The deal Not having an unlimited source of funds to blow on a beautiful watch, the transaction necessitated that I not part with one of my watches, but rather all of the watches in my collection (in addition to a few thousand dollars). Like a fantasy football trade, to get one of the best of the best it meant I needed to let go of some pretty well-known brands and watches to get close to their asking price.  The Aquanaut The 5066 really resonates with me for its discreet yet haute design that proudly displays its beautifully finished movement via an exhibition caseback. Being 36mm in diameter, with a less integrated rubber strap that was more flexible for my smaller wrist, it was a watch from Patek Philippe I felt could be a safe daily wearer, especially as the watch was over 100m water resistant (provided one routinely checked and maintained its gaskets). In the moment, to make this deal happen, I was prepared to part with four watches that were the most valuable in my…

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RECOMMENDED READING: Apple sold nearly 10 million more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry in 2019

A few years back, I remember interviewing Jean-Claude Biver and asking how he thought smartwatches would impact the traditional watch industry. Biver insisted the innovation was positive, saying that he believed smartwatches “will bring the attention of young people back to the wrist”. In other words, they would persuade a new generation to start wearing watches once again. Well, smartwatches certainly seem to have stimulated something. This piece from Business Insider reports that Apple shipped 31 million watches last year compared with the estimated 21.1 million shipped by the entire Swiss watch industry put together. That’s an astounding feat of leapfrogging by Apple. We reviewed the Series 5 model here. “Analogue wristwatches remain popular among older consumers,” says Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’ executive director, in the article. “But younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerised wristwear.” Three key facts from the story about Apple outselling the Swiss Watch Industry There is an established preference among younger consumers for smartwatches instead of traditional Swiss timepieces from the likes of Tag Heuer, Swatch, and Tissot. With its numerous health-related features, the Apple Watch has helped blur the lines between traditional wristwatches and health-specific wristwear such as Fitbits. This represented growth of…

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The watches, and wild watch stories, of Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson has led a truly crazy life. We don’t have time to go into it all here: the horrific childhood, the dizzying ascent, the pet tigers, the rape conviction, the coke habit, the comeback(s), the ear biting, the tragic death of his daughter, the facial tattoos …  Let’s just say that Tyson hasn’t pulled any punches in the life-experience department. His watches overall have not been as wild, but several of the stories surrounding them have a familiar ring. In January 2000, for example, the Mike Tyson circus arrived in London. “Iron Mike” was there to fight the British heavyweight champ Julius Francis. But in the lead-up to the bout, Tyson decided to head out for a spot of retail therapy. Flanked by his six bodyguards and the boxing promoter Frank Warren, Tyson entered Graff Diamonds on Old Bond Street where he launched into a epic spending spree. Tyson selected a diamond watch with a sapphire dial, an emerald and diamond bracelet and two pocketwatches (one of which was a pornographic automaton of a couple having sex). All went smoothly, until the store manager deigned to enquire who would be footing the £426,000 bill. Tyson shrugged off the demand and…

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IN-DEPTH: What is Credor and why should I care about it? Plus 7 of the best models

For those outside of Japan, the Credor brand is quite an enigma. The two well known facts are likely that Credor is tied to the Seiko Corporation in some way. And that Credor watches sell at a dizzying range of price points. Beyond that is quite the mystery, so we have done some digging on your behalf.  What does the name mean and when was it founded? The name Credor comes from the French “Créte d’Or”, meaning “the ultimate of the gold” and it was founded in 1974. The name gives away that Credor watches were originally crafted only in precious metals, and by dedicated master craftsmen upholding values of Japanese aesthetics, delicacy and beauty.   Today, however, the brand incorporates stainless steel in its collections, but they are nonetheless still crafted to a high and premium standard. Ultimately, Credor timepieces combine Seiko’s traditional craftsmanship with contemporary and high-end technology, leveraging more than 100 years of watchmaking know-how between the Seiko brands. The Credor name and “Golden Peak” logo was eventually put on the dial instead of the Seiko logo mark beginning in 1980. The logo is meant to embody a mountain, which represents the peak or top of watchmaking.…

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HANDS-ON: The Seiko SPB151J and Seiko SPB153J are modern Apocalypse Now reissues, and they're ready for 2020

Seiko SPB151J and Seiko SPB153JLast year, Seiko fans around the world had a collective skipping of heartbeats when the Japanese firm announced the release of the SLA033. This was no normal Seiko dive watch. As its full name suggests, the Seiko Diver’s Re-Creation Limited Edition SLA033, is a watch inspired by one of the most iconic Seiko dive watches of all time — the 6105. The 6105 was forever embroidered in the fabric of popular culture when it was worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. The model was favoured by real American G.Is in combat, which made the placement all that more authentic. This year, Seiko have announced the release of the Seiko SPB151J and Seiko SPB153J, two new references based on the classic 6105 wristwatch. But what is different — and what will be most exciting for enthusiasts about these two — is they won’t be produced in limited numbers. A watch from humble beginnings, the 6105 was launched into the stratosphere when it found its way onto the wrist of Martin Sheen as he starred as Captain Willard in blockbuster film Apocalypse Now. Ever since, it has been one of the most sought-after historical Seiko references, with examples in good condition commanding…

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INTRODUCING: The Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Original is a bulletproof diver with a brutal point of difference

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon OriginalJust when you thought it was safe to go in the water with your diver of choice, there’s yet another iteration to consider, and it lurks not only in the deep, but in our marketplace, where you can buy it as of today… Dive watches are perhaps the best served category of watches in the market in terms of sheer variety. But there always seems to be new contenders from known and unknown brands. One collection that is not new by any stretch, but a little more under the sonar than usual is the Engineer Hydrocarbon from the Ball Watch Company. Featuring a 40mm steel case that sits a proud 14.55mm tall, this watch packs in just about everything you could want in a dive watch. Offering a guaranteed water resistance of 200m, it also features 80,000A/m of antimagnetic resistance and 7500Gs of shock resistance. Basically, bulletproof. On top of that, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Original also has an inbuilt hairspring anti-shock system SpringLOCK, and another anti-shock system protecting the regulator called SpringSEAL. The final piece of the armour that protects this watch against unwanted ingress is the swivelling crown protector that locks in place, making it one of the…

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