Studio Underd0g makes the world’s first ever watch with a dial made from eggplant

Sustainability, veganism and organic materials may be the way forward, but they’re still a foreign language to many of the larger players in the watch industry. But microbrand Studio Underd0g is displaying a more progressive mindset after making the world’s first ever watch with a dial made from eggplant skin. Just like a bespoke wristwatch, all dials will be subtly different in look, colour and texture as no two aubergines are exactly the same. The purple dial will also gradually evolve with age as part of its wrist-worn journey of organic discovery. While we though it hard to top the bold colours of their instantly funded Kickstarter hit covered by us here, the watermelon fresh chronograph now has a bright purple stablemate. If you enjoy the way a bronze case patinates over time, this watch will take it to the next level. Starting out as a smooth, carefully applied slice of aubergine skin, this will naturally age and wrinkle over time to develop its own unique texture. With its goldilocks 38.5mm diameter and svelte design, the Studio Underd0g chronograph range now has a strong fourth reference with the imperial blush of the purple sharpened by the light green that encircles…

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3 weeks ago

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey is a mystical titanium sculpture for your wrist

Hublot is no stranger to artistic collaborations – this is already their third one for 2021. At LVMH Watch Week, they presented another razor-sharp ceramic collaboration with Richard Orlinski, plus the diamond-studded “smiling flower” of Takashi Murakami. Now American street artist Shepard Fairey – best known for his Obama “Hope” poster – has collaborated on the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Shepard Fairey, a watch that doubles as a mandala-engraved sculpture dedicated to the cycle of life. This enigmatic piece of wrist art is based on the slender Classic Fusion range which, with a few exceptions, usually represents the more formal voice of Hublot. This time, Shepard Fairey takes us on a journey imbued by a feeling of shamanic crafts, like a talisman for the wrist to ward off evil spirits (pandemic ones?) and bring good fortune. Shepard Fairey is an artist bringing his politically influential art through everything from graphic design, painting, illustration and street art. Well known as the founder of the OBEY clothing company, it only seems fitting that he contributes to wrist-worn art, and what an introduction this titanium chronograph is. Far from the usual high-tech weapons of Hublot, Fairey brings with him a deeper sensibility with…

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3 weeks ago

Grand Seiko Snowflake versus White Birch: the battle between the classic and contender

Snowflake versus White BirchGrand Seiko has been around for over 60 years, but within the last decade the brand is slowly (yet exponentially) growing its presence throughout the watch community and the world. The brand is known by enthusiasts for their high-value craftsmanship, offering more black polished components than most Swiss brands – and at a fraction of the price. Their Zaratsu finishing method results in some of the most aesthetically pleasing cases and their nature-inspired dials immediately catch the eye. This year, the new 9SA5 powered SLGH005 White Birch has taken the watch world by storm, its textured white dial and dual impulse movement leading some to believe it will overthrow the renowned SBGA211 Snowflake as the iconic white-dialled design of the catalogue. With the debate hot and raging, I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring: Snowflake versus White Birch, the battle between the classic and the contender. To be clear, both are excellent watches neither of which you could go wrong with in your collection. So my breakdown will be a bit nit-picky, as well as subjective to my tastes and perspective. The dials While both watches have white dials, their textures and tones vary quite a bit –…

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3 weeks ago

INTRODUCING: The toughest new tools from Orient Watch offer in-house credibility and superb value

Orient WatchAround Christmas time when I dug into the archives of Orient Watch, the lesser known sister company in the Seiko family, our story resounded with our readers in a big way. Personally, since my early days of vintage obsession, through to a brief flirtation with a Mako diver, I have nurtured a secret love for the quirky nature and superb value of Orient. Like that holiday destination you don’t want anyone else to find (it’s in the South of France, that’s all I’m telling you), I have been persuaded to share more of their horological offerings with you, and what better way to start than their best new releases of 2021? M-Force AC0L Don’t be shy, here is a tough as nails alternative to other deep ocean dwellers, be that Tunas or Turtles, in a brand new version of the distinctive M-Force series. It’s a bullet-proof diver’s watch with a heritage that stretches back to its initial run from 1997-2002. Admittedly, it isn’t a 38mm svelte vintage dressy diver, but a pure tool that might look intimidating enough to be refused access to a respectable club. With a spot-on petrol blue fume dial, this 45mm diver is a colourful beast…

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3 weeks ago

MICRO MONDAYS: The Iridium Torpedo is a budget-friendly dive watch with monster specs

IRIDIUM TorpedoThe Iridium Torpedo arrives to offer a different take on the budget-friendly dive watch with monster specifications for minimum spending. With looks that stray closer to glamour than “tool watch”, it doesn’t shy away from being highly capable and seriously tough. The Torpedo is available with a black, blue, grey, or green dial, and the green is the variety I got to spend some time with. The sunburst texture is extreme, creating lush, undulating flashes between shades of teal and emerald, honing in on the aquatic themes of the watch in general. The applied diamond indices at the quarters are glamorous with their polished-steel surrounds complimenting the large handset, while the circular indices are stretched and pulled by the sapphire crystal’s distortion to create all manner of interesting shapes. The date window is nicely integrated with a steel frame and does well not to interrupt any symmetry on the 42mm dial. The bright orange seconds hand is attention-grabbing no matter which dial colour it appears over, and its length reaches far into the printed minute track for easy time-setting.  While it is an impressive thing to look at during the day, the Iridium Torpedo really comes alive when the lights…

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3 weeks ago

The Bamford London GMT Popeye Limited Edition is way better than spinach

Bamford London GMT Popeye Limited EditionIt’s fair to say that most people hate spinach. Generally with good reason too. But if there was ever anyone to convince you that eating spinach was a good idea, it would be the one and only Popeye. He’s a character who loves his pipe nearly as much as he loves his leafy greens and, for the second time in recent years, is gracing the dial of a watch in the Bamford London GMT Popeye Limited Edition. The first time Popeye and Bamford collaborated was for the 90th anniversary of the American sailor’s earliest public appearance way back in 1929, producing another nautically themed limited edition of 50 pieces that also used the Bamford GMT as a template. This year we get another edition, this time with a black coating over the 40mm stainless-steel case with Popeye now running across the dial. Just like the first edition, this second Bamford London GMT Popeye Limited Edition uses Popeyes arms as the hour and minute hands, with a white and red GMT hand cutting a contrasting line over the dial. The Bamford GMT is a watch we are familiar with at Time+Tide after launching our own limited edition watch at the end…

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3 weeks ago

INTRODUCING: The knockout dazzle of the KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 Rainbow

KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 RainbowPolarising did you say? Well, this is like nothing else, I’m back and forth between love and, well, indifference is not a word. Right now, I’m very much in the LOVE camp, and still trying to work out what the hell the KITH for G-Shock GM-6900 Rainbow looks like. A burnished heat shield from a re-entry heat shield fallen off a Space Shuttle? Gold plating gone chemically wrong? A petrified oil slick? I don’t care, I want it anyway. On the wrist, this is a conversation stopper like no other wristwatch (save perhaps a domed MB&F), but at a knockout price. This is not the first, but the third collaboration with KITH, the New York-based streetwear chain and eponymous clothing label, and it’s based on the nineties classic GM-6900. But here, on its discretely elegant, logoed KITH resin strap (it even comes with another one), all the stops have been pulled out for the iconic case. Personally, I’d say this is the first time I’ve felt a real pang of desire for the rather bulbous case of the GM, too, I felt the last collab from Hodinkee was a bit too muted (I didn’t say boring). For their 10th anniversary…

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3 weeks ago

The Pepsi challenge: 5 alternatives to the Rolex GMT-Master II at a range of prices

Rolex GMT-Master II PepsiAs we have touched on before in our story here, the Rolex GMT-Master II Ref.126710 BLRO does actually live up to the hype. And while I would love to have one in my own watchbox, the two major hurdles of availability and cost can feel rather insurmountable. So how about the alternatives? Yes, there are some very good ones out there with their own takes on what is practically a separate watch genre. So let’s pop open a few different looking cans of Pepsi and have a taste of the sweet stuff with some fresh alternatives to the GMT-Master II. The original You might find it hyped, ubiquitous and topped by a prohibitively long waiting list.  But still, the GMT-Master II Ref.126710 BLRO is for many a proper grail watch and epitomises the Crown’s catalogue of sports watches. Within the confines of a sleek, comfortable 40mm case in the warmth of 904L steel alloy, the comfort is sublime. It will take you all of five seconds with it on your wrist to appreciate Rolex’s unique brand of horological evolution. This story, however, is about finding an alternative to this, no matter how (very, very) comfortable it sits on your wrist,…

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3 weeks ago

INTRODUCING: Elvis was a Sith Lord in a parallel universe and he wore the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton

Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 SkeletonFirst impressions: a stealth black UFO. perhaps? And then a red pulsating zig-zag that I feel like illustrating with a comic book “ZAP!”. This is my introduction to the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton. Fresh from being inspired by the vintage purity of the Intra-Matic chronograph we recently covered here, I was not expecting this dark futuristic visage from the Hamilton brand. Anyone conversant with watches past a certain age instantly equates the Hamilton Ventura with Elvis Presley. This, however is not a vintage reissue of his quirky triangular wristwatch from 1957 that was the first-ever battery-powered watch. Pretty damn far from it, in fact. The Elvis Aaron Presley wearing this was not born in the US of A, but in a parallel universe, on The Death Star. Yes, this is the watch worn by Elvis the Sith Lord, a wristworn dynamic sweep of a soft alien shape – no easy circles or rectangles here, son.  In order to wrap your head around it and make sense of it, you have to consider the visual references of ’50s American design. Because the basic shape, one suspects, is informed by that world of chrome tailfins and UFO-shaped diners. Theorising aside, it’s a…

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3 weeks ago

5 of the best watches with quick-change strap systems including Vacheron, Omega and Apple

“My name is Thor, and I am a strapaholic.” It’s only a matter of time before I get pulled into some kind of intervention with friends, family and a psychiatrist. I’m surely not the only watch lover who likes to swap my watch straps on a regular basis. But many brands seem to be stuck in the strap-tech stone-age and still rely on the fiddly spring bar that hardly offers a user-friendly way to change straps.  What if we coul just click’em all off and on at our leisure, changing a strap to match up that outfit in 10 seconds flat? Thankfully this vision of the future is, in fact, already upon us with some forward-thinking brands leading the way. Now excuse me while I crawl under the sofa to find that missing spring bar… Omega Seamaster Diver 300m Americas Cup Chronograph For those of you that think the standard Seamaster Diver 300M is a tad vanilla-flavoured, the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M America’s Cup Chronograph offers a brand new look in a fresh oceanic blue pepped up by flashes of red, notably for the countdown indicator at 3 o’clock. The watch introduces a slew of new upgrades we can only…

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3 weeks ago