Scrolling through another Submariner or another Royal Oak won’t get boring. I bet you’re here because you’re looking for a watch that makes you sit up and say “oh hello?”, like when you first heard about Paranoid Android or started watching the German TV show Dark. Either way, these watches are for you. Save the most excitement for the end.
Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385
My favorite purchase with a little thought isn’t because I can get more value or enjoy a better product: it’s the smug factor. For example, the owner of this Zenith Chronomaster Revival will not only pay less than his friend who owns a Rolex Daytona, but not only will they get a better watch, they can look at the Daytona, chuckle to themselves and Say, “That’s cute.”
That’s because this Zenith is part of the El Primero collection. That doesn’t mean it was confiscated as part of a raid on the former South American dictator, but because it contained the El Primero movement, the world’s first integrated automatic chronograph – unless the Japanese beat Get them, and they’re probably done. Yeah, I’m also not sure I understand the Swiss sense of humor.
Anyway, while we all know the most popular version of the El Primero (aka the round version), it was actually this boxy style that came out first. The El Primero ad (geddit?) for El Primero features the A384 with a white dial and black sub-dials, leading up to the look of the 70s Royal Oak, which was famous before the 70s even started. luxury cheap watches
This smoked version of the A385 follows suit, continuing the family of watches that most people forget. Round subdials with colorful, overlapping subdials get all the glory, and this one just gets left by the wayside. But you and I, we’re fans of the underdog, especially when a lot is owed to it.
It can be said to be powerful. It is thinner than the competition, the beat is smoother, faster, and it has more power reserve. If NASA had made its own chronograph instead of opting for the Speedmaster, it might have ended up with something overly engineered like this.
The best part? Your buddy and his Daytona, he wouldn’t even have it if it wasn’t for this. The El Primero was the movement that powered the reimagined Daytona in 1988, without which its proportions and price would not have been possible. You’re welcome, Rolex.
When you think about it, the key to a good watch is performance. Quality, accuracy and price. It doesn’t matter whether the company that made it started calibrating sundials for Tutankhamun or is based on the top of the highest mountain in Switzerland. If it can solve those three things, then it’s a winner.
It is a great irony that many of the watches that actually do this are often overlooked. Take Grand Seiko’s SBGP001 as an example. It is manufactured to the highest standards of one of the most respected watch brands outside of Switzerland.
The quality of this thing really cannot be overstated. Don’t let the simple exterior fool you. Those long, continuous curves on each side of the case were a major challenge in the manufacturing process. The hands and hour markers are polished like the mirrors of a space telescope. Printing is so sharp that it makes a laser printer look like an inkjet printer. replica swiss watches
And that accuracy! Ten seconds per year. This is unheard of in mechanical watchmaking as this is literally a block of quartz. Suddenly, the price sounds expensive, but let’s not let those thoughts fly just yet, because the caliber 9F85 is not a market stall movement.
We think of quartz as a little piece of plastic that gets thrown away when they wear out rather than being repaired, but that has less to do with the mechanics and more to do with the effort that went into making them. Both FP Journe and Patek Philippe showed that quartz watches can be high-end, and Grand Seiko is right there with them. This is a movement designed to be adjusted and serviced for a lifetime, if not longer. Too bad you can’t see it, because it’s also a watcher.
Nomos Tangente No. 139
As far as Swiss watchmaking is concerned, combining quality with favorable prices is actually an oxymoron. This goes against the ethos of an industry where very old, very expensive Swiss watchmakers build every movement from the lost treasures of Atlantis and lubricate it with the tears of the dodo bird.
Really, watchmaking hasn’t been like this for almost 200 years, manufacturers continued to move forward with the most traditional methods and they borne the cost along with it. Unless you’re willing to sacrifice your house for a watch, it’s best to put that idea behind you.
The reality today is that humans and machines work closely together to create watches of high tolerance, quality and volume, and Germany’s Nomos is no exception. What makes Nomos different is that they have embraced the modernity of watchmaking to some extent, which allows them to sell quality watches at extremely low prices.
In 1999, a small film called Star Wars pioneered a new method of digital shooting, paving the way for making filmmaking more accessible to more people. It allows artists to spend more time thinking about their art. In watchmaking, modernity has the same effect, allowing Nomos to focus on the details that make a luxury watch unique.
Oaks and Junior Almanac
I’m saving the ultimate thinking lover’s watch for last because this one is fantastic. Designed by the ultimate brain-coffin watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin, this seemingly junky watch has one incredible USP: it’s an annual calendar.
Let us review the background of cheap Patek Philippe again. These guys managed to use more parts than their perpetual calendars. Oechslin banged his head against the wall until he could figure out adding an annual calendar complication to a basic time-and-date movement that required only three extra parts.
The unusual array of bullet holes is the display needed to achieve this feat, to check all dates except the end of February. The date is the larger display around the outer rim, and in two sub-dials, if you can even call them that, the top is your month and the bottom is your date. It takes a little getting used to, but everything is there, not only that, but everything is set from two positions on the crown. No need to hunt for cocktail sticks to press any silly hidden pushers.
Imagine being able to think like that, turning the extra 250 parts used by Patek Philippe into three. That’s some Rain Man stuff, an ability to think in numbers and three-dimensional space better than any algorithm. After all, aren’t the watches of the most thinking enthusiasts the most wounding?
What’s your favorite thinking buff review replica watches?