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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4 hours ago

RECOMMENDED READING: Watchspotting on Masterchef Australia Season 11, in India?

Ok, this one is truly curious. For some utterly unknowable reason, Masterchef Australia, very much like cricket, is monstrously popular in India. It’s not that that the show doesn’t have its charms. Every single Aussie on the planet has, at one point of another, been drawn into a series of Masterchef. If they say they’ve never liked it, they’re lying. For me, the flavour lasted for more than one season. The first three or so was a daily addiction, and for this brief moment in history, I was five per cent more interested than usual in cooking. This was over a decade ago, and all I have to remember this phase by is a long-expired packet of cumin somewhere in the back of my pantry. Anyway, I digress… India is an emerging luxury watch market (at least it was before COVID-19, who knows what will emerge on the other side of this thing) and some eagle-eyed spotters at Ethos Watches have done a pretty bang up job at putting together an updated list of what the judges are currently wearing on a regular basis. This caught my attention for the obvious reasons – watchspotting generally always has my attention, but…

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10 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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Good morning, London! Time and Tide Watches opens first international office in the UK, to be run by former GQ Australia Editor, Mike Christensen

Well, it’s taken six years, but today a dream comes true. I am thrilled beyond measure to announce that former GQ Australia Editor, and recent Geneva Watch Days collaborator, Mike Christensen is joining the team as European Editor – Time+Tide is coming to London! The London-based role vanquishes the tyranny of distance and sees Time+Tide move closer to the very heart of watchmaking. Why the UK? Why now? We’re humbled – and I must admit, surprised, as it’s happened totally organically – to say that our UK-based readers are in steep ascent year on year. In 2018, UK readers consumed 650,500 sessions. In 2019, that number nearly doubled to 1.1m. In 2020, UK readers comprise around 10 per cent of Time+Tide’s total traffic, making them the third largest group after Australia and the USA. Meet Mike Mike, a Brit himself, is widely known and respected in the watch industry, and in the broader style and luxury space. Through his stint at GQ, he was a fellow Baselworld and SIHH road-warrior. I have many, many memories of slumping with Mike in the media lounges of the Swiss-based fairs, battling brutal jetlag with bottle after bottle of warm beer. It never worked,…

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INTRODUCING: The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Gold Titanium Tantalum redefines the luxury diver

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Gold Titanium TantalumOmega’s lines between utility and luxury are ever-blurring, and increasingly confusing to people who like to categorise watches into strict genres and tropes. The truth is, the centuries-old Swiss powerhouse is constantly proving that you can have high-performance, high-specification and high-flex wristwatches without spending anywhere near as much as the competition. More to the point: if you want one, you can actually walk into a boutique and buy one. The Seamaster Diver 300M Chronograph Gold Titanium Tantalum is just the latest piece of evidence that Omega’s momentum isn’t stopping anytime soon. The overall impression of the watch is far from shy. As much as Omega tends to keep one classy step ahead of the word ‘gaudy’, this tri-metal beast certainly comes close. The embossed and stippled surface of the Sedna gold bezel is positively glitzy, creating an intense texture that not only adds a tactile satisfaction but also plays with the light in a rather glamorous way. The ring of tantalum, which forms the scalloped bezel, is certainly one of the most distinctive grey-toned metals in existence — the nearly pastel-blue tones neatly tying the case together with the navy blue wave dial, which extends the watch’s wrist presence all…

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INTRODUCING: The Grand Seiko SBGW264, a classic dress watch in 18k gold with a hypnotic tapisserie dial

Grand Seiko SBGW264I’m a vintage diver enthusiast, embracing smaller diameters, but still with a predilection for tough tools, even — don’t tell anyone — with a bespoke shirt and a suit. Grand Seiko have single-handedly restored my faith in dress watches in 2020, with their Elegance series having several new references in what is a superb case. The Grand Seiko SBGW264 is another case (and dial) in point, and for me just another sign that the dress watch is alive and well, and speaks the Japanese language. The exquisite case shape in the Grand Seiko Elegance line has a language all of its own, a Japanese dictum that tells us that there is a golden ratio of case design between a circle and a cushion. This comes together with a Goldilocks-like 39mm size, and the typical Seiko language of strong sides embracing a polished bezel. Yet, in the Elegance series we have a more gentle flow of line, which accentuates the dial shape and remains delicate with an 11.6mm thickness. When paired with 18k rose gold on a crocodile strap, the lines of the SBGW264 become even more pronounced, yet warmer, with the unmatchable glow of Zaratsu-polished gold. But, let’s face it, the…

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MICRO MONDAYS: Galvin – a female-founded Australian microbrand producing classic, curved crystal designs

When life gave Finnish-born watchmaker of more than 10 years, Susan Galvin lemons, she made a refreshing glass of lemonade, donned a watchmakers coat, and began work on a company that is now ready to share the fruits of her labours. Galvin was made redundant due to a restructure back in March, and to make matters even more challenging, it happened while she was on maternity leave. For many this would have been a debilitating blow, but Galvin opted out of lockdown on the couch watching Netflix, and instead founded her own watch company, designed her first timepiece and raised more than $100,000 in the process. Called the Alku, the inaugural offering from the Galvin Watch Company looks like it could be a compelling entry-level watch, so let’s take a closer look. The case Galvin has clearly employed the full gamut of her expertise working for some of the biggest watchmakers in the game, because the case of the Alku presents as an understated and timeless design. Crafted from stainless steel, the rounded case measures in at a demure 38.65mm across, 12.45mm thick and 44.59mm lug to lug. The case is handsomely polished on all surfaces, and features some nice…

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HANDS-ON: The Hublot Meca-10 movement makes a move into the Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic

A dark brooding presence on the wrist is causing infatuation today, with a vast power reserve and the unexpected lightness of high-tech ceramic. The new Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Meca-10 Black Magic is a futuristic tonneau-shaped timepiece that surprises and assures you in equal measure, with its lightweight tank-like solidity and industrial fascination. A winning case for ceramics This is Hublot’s debut of their cutting-edge Meca-10 movement in the sharp contemporary shape of the Spirit of Big Bang series, with this being the darkest, almost menacing, version, Black Magic. The tonneau shape is not svelte at 45mm, with a 14.5mm thickness, but with the always surprising lightness of ceramic, coupled with the embrace of Hublot’s wide, soft rubber strap, it sits more comfortably on the wrist than should be allowed, for such a futuristic weapon of a watch. They say black is slimming, but that is relative, as this is an imposing presence on the wrist. Imposing, but with visible intelligence, too, care of the micro-engineering of the Meca-10 movement. The smooth surface of the ceramic and the intricate details of the watch means that, like me, you will find yourself taking it off the wrist for no other…

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INTRODUCING: The Glashütte Original Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 might be the most stunning tourbillon of the year

In a year of great horological heights, Glashütte Original is once again pushing for the summit with the Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 limited edition. This comes after a succession of eye-catching 2020 releases, featuring some of the best dials in the business, and fascinating top tier versions of their vintage perfect diver SeaQ, which made me desire a diamond set bezel for the first time. With the Alfred Helwig Tourbillon,  Glashütte Original seem to have toned it down to the quiet elegance of traditional German haute horlogerie, but this time the movement is the star. Turn the watch around with a loupe in hand, a good single malt, and prepare to be quietly impressed by understated German elegance competing with the best of Glashütte. The 25 pieces in this limited edition series marks the 1ooth year anniversary of the invention of the Flying Tourbillon by Glashütte master watchmaker Alfred Helwig in 1920. The large rear opening of the rear sapphire caseback reveals the serene elegance of the diagonally striped ¾ plate covering the movement, but this time instead of making us want more visible detail, it forms the stage on which the star performer needs no visual distraction – the…

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Why big men look "stunning" in small watches, starring the Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, the 'King' Lebron James and Audemars Piguet

The conversation kicked off with a comment by watch collector and dealer Eric Ku in the most recent Watch & Chill episode (skip to the timecode in the description). “I was obsessively watching this show Ballers… with the Rock. In this last season, [he] was wearing the purple Frosted Gold Royal Oak chrono. I distinctly remember him wearing it in multiple episodes. It was kind of interesting…” Michael Friedman, Head of Complications of Audemars Piguet, continued: “I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but… he’s a known Audemars Piguet lover and friend of the company. Someone I’d love to meet. A great guy, always really great energy. And those big wtches look small on him.” View this post on Instagram Quiz time: Which celebrity wore this repeatedly in a popular TV Series? Answer in a site post dropping today… Tell us Live and spectacular on our wrist in January 2019 at what was the end of an era ⚓️ A post shared by Time+Tide (@timetidewatches) on Sep 26, 2020 at 4:50pm PDT However, you’d hardly call the 41mm Royal Oak Frosted Gold Selfwinding Chronograph with purple dial (ref #26331BC.GG.1224BC.01) a ‘big watch’. And certainly, on the Rock, it looks…

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