Reviews, Smartwatch, Under $500

Taking a Look at the MOTA SmartWatch G2

Posted on 29 August 2014


Everywhere you look, smart watches are cropping up. The incoming Android-powered watches (and the long-rumored iWatch) of course take the lion’s share of the attention. While those high-tech devices are attention-grabbers, for sure, to focus only on them ignores a whole other slice of the smart watch segment. Today, we’ll be taking a look at one of those, the MOTA SmartWatch G2. Continue Reading

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New Models, Over $1000

The GoS Bifrost Dresses Up

Posted on 28 August 2014


I have long been a fan of the creations coming from Gustafsson and Sjögren (aka GoS) Watches, with the inclusion of damascus-process steel. They pair the amazing patterns they fold into the steel with treatments that introduce colors evocative of different scenes, to great effect. While many dress watches tend to go for a look that will not attract undue attention, the GoS Bifrost instead has a stunning dial that invites commentary. Continue Reading

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Over $1000, Reviews

Looking For A French Connection – The G.Gagnebin & Cie Karaktero Review

Posted on 27 August 2014



While I’ve had a few languages represented by the watches that cross my desk, I’ve never had one with French on it come in for a closer look. When you add in the fact that watches with brown dials are far from common, then you know we are in for a rather rare treat in todays review of the G.Gagnebin & Cie Karaktero. Continue Reading

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The Garmin Fenix 2 Brings The Running Watch Into A Dystopian Future

Posted on 27 August 2014


You’re in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It’s crawling toward you… how do you train yourself to outrun it? I like to think you’d probably want a $400 Fenix 2 from Garmin.
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A Few Interesting Sales Over at ToM

Posted on 26 August 2014

Refined-Hardware-Gatsby (20)

It has been a bit since I brought you word of some intriguing sales over at Touch of Modern, and there are two interesting ones live now, one from a brand we’ve reviewed here previously.  So, let’s see what some of the sales over at ToM are. Continue Reading

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Under $500

Matthew Humphries Design MHD02, Vintage Looks, Vintage Size

Posted on 26 August 2014

Mathew Humpries Design MHD02 01

My exposure to new watch brands frequently comes not from traditional watch industry sources, but rather from the world of design and gadgets, especially through other web sites that curate cool new items.  When I saw the Matthew Humphries Design MHD02, it really resonated with me.  The design is clean, bold, and readable with just a dash of color.  I wish it were a tad bigger, but then I would be really tempted to buy one for myself. Continue Reading

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Crowd Funded, Under $500

Twigs Woodwear Natural Time, For the Treehuggers

Posted on 25 August 2014

Twigs Woodwear Natural Time 01

What makes a watch cheap, and what makes it inexpensive?  In both cases, the watch itself has to be sold at a low price point, but the former only has that going for it, while the latter offers something else, a deign, a point of interest, some reason to like the watch other than the price.  The Twigs Woodwear Natural Time is an inexpensive watch, not necessarily a cheap one.  At $50 or less, it hits a low price point, but it offers something back in the way of the materials of construction.

Twigs Woodwear Natural Time 03

I like it when wood is integrated into a watch design in a smart way.  I have seen some unattractive wood designs that are too chunky, where the material choice does not make sense for the design.  With the Twigs Woodwear Natural Time, the designers have built a standard case out of ebony wood which does a good job of featuring the product, without going out of way to club you over the head with it.  The watch utilizes ebony wood in three case sizes, 36, 40 and 45mm, so you have your pick of a style that suits your wrist.  As of this writing, the project is nearly at the funding goal of $15,000, with early bird deals on the small medium and large sizes still available at $30, $40 and $50 , respectively.

Twigs Woodwear Natural Time 02

This is a watch under $50, so don’t expect a lot of bells and whistles.  It is a simple 3-hander, with a Swiss quartz movement and mineral glass.  It is “splash” water resistant, so no swimming (or showering), and it is offered on two different leather or one cloth strap.  The company is selling other products, including a bamboo watch on their web site and wood sunglasses.  In addition to being a variation someone could introduce into their own rotation, I could also see this watch as a gift for a young adult or teen who does not currently wear a watch, as a way to get them to think about a wrist watch as an option in their life.

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Twigs Woodwear Natural Time
  • Price: $50 or less
  • Who we think it might be for: Someone looking for a different look in a fashion watch.
  • Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?:  At this price, it is not going to be an amazing product, but I think it would be fun for the right peson.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Offer other finishes/woods.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch:  I like how the wood was used.

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Historical Horology

Historical Horology: The First Rolex Certified Chronometer

Posted on 24 August 2014


If you spend any amount of time looking at the dial of a Rolex, you’ll notice the wording that shows up. Look at another one from a different lineup, and you’ll see the same words appearing – certified chronometer. Far from being a bunch of marketing fluff, this is something Rolex rather prides themselves on, and made the decision from early on that all of their watches would carry this certification. As with all things, it had to start somewhere, and that’s what we’re talking about today – the first Rolex Certified Chonometer. Continue Reading

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