Archive | Under $1000

CCCP Shchuka Watch Review

Posted on 21 July 2014 by Patrick Kansa

CCCP-Shchuka-13When you first start getting into watches, you find yourself swimming in the waters of familiar brands. Then you venture out into some deeper waters when you find the online forums, and you start running across a wide variety of brands, especially if you’re talking about older, second-hand watches. A large segment of those older watches (at least from when I was on that path) seem to revolve around watches coming from the former Soviet Union. They’ve got their ardent supporters, for sure, and now there’s a new brand playing in that pool. Today, we’ll take a look at the CCCP Shchuka. Continue Reading

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The TNT SEAHUNTER1 Combat Diver: Recycling a Rare Movement

Posted on 11 July 2014 by Patrick Kansa


While I don’t write on this class of watches all that much, I do love running across a watch brand that breathes new life into an older movement that might otherwise be headed for the bin. Then again, if you run across an signed (but older) Blancpain movement, odds are that it’s going to get used in some form. That’s exactly what TNT has done with their Seahunter1 Combat Diver. Continue Reading

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Lew & Huey Cerberus Prototype Review

Posted on 30 June 2014 by Patrick Kansa


We’re on a bit of a Lew & Huey streak here, coveringquite a few of their watches. We’ve also been fortunate to be in a unique position with the brand, being able to spend time with prototypes (and, eventually, the production version) of their watches. Given that, we’re able to give you a hands-on take on their latest project – the Lew & Huey Cerberus.
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Purpose Driven Watches With Smarts

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

BeFunky_Withings Active 03.jpg

A lot of smart watches I see try to be everything.  Email, facebook posts, texts, weather, and so on and so on.  They are not watches in a traditional sense, but rather wearable computers that display the time.  Today, I wanted to highlight two purpose driven watches that are more “connected” watches than a “do everything” wearable.  The HotBlack by and the Withings Activé are connected devices designed to do a single task, with the former connecting you to your favorite football (soccer) team and the latter tracking your daily fitness goals.  Interestingly, both watches are coming out of the UK. Continue Reading

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The Other Watch Company in Detroit

Posted on 24 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Detroit Watch Co 1701 01

Like that Clint Eastwood/Chrysler Commercial from the 2012 Superbowl, Detroit is not done yet.  Shinola has done a good job in marketing their American Made roots with their quartz driven watches, and now the Detroit Watch Company is offering automatic watches made in the Motor City, though of foreign sourced parts. Continue Reading

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The Lew & Huey Acionna, Take III

Posted on 23 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Lew Huey Acionna 11

If you think you have seen the Acionna by Lew & Huey on our pages already, you would be correct.  I wrote up the Kickstarter project for the site back when I was still a “friend of the site,”  and Patrick had a chance to spend a little time with a prototype.  Now that they are in production, the company sent over a pair of watches for a final hands-on review. Continue Reading

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The Padron Watch Co Hennepin, Going 3 for 3

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Padron Watch Hennepin 01

Kickstarter has been good for the Padron Watch Company, so they are back for their third (apparently) successful campaign on the site.  The Hennepin watch is a chose-your-own movement project, with options for Swiss quartz, or Chinese, Japanese or Swiss automatic movements in the watch.   In 2012, the hand wound Vuelta was launched, followed by the automatic Tessera in 2013.  Both these watches far exceeded the funding goal, and with the Padron Watch Co Hennepin hitting funding goals early, so it looks like this will be 3 for 3.

Padron Watch Hennepin 04

The previous two watches utilized Chinese movements, so the current project is offering some nice options.  The lowest priced option is a Rhonda 713 quartz, running from $175 to $215, depending on when you pledge.  The next step up includes a Chinese clone of the ETA 2824-2, the same movement that was used in the previous watch project, for $349.

For an extra $30, you can upgrade to a Miyota 9015 automatic movement.  Ten backers also have the option of obtaining the watch with an actual ETA 2824-2, for $589.  There are also a number of options for two watches, an automatic and quartz (dad and grad?) or two quartz or two automatics, or…  well, there are a few buying options.  A final upgrade lets you add a deployment clasp for $12 to the leather strap (worth it in my book).

Padron Watch Hennepin 05

What is common through the line is the basic watch look.  The watch is a 45mm lugless design, sitting tall, made of stainless steel with a sapphire crystal, superlume hands, and a 100M water resistant rating.  You have a choice of the brushed stainless finish or PVD coating.  The crown is rotated down to 4:00, and the sides of the case are grooved.

The automatics come with an exhibition caseback, and the quartz has a caseback that pays homage to the brutal Minnesota winter of 2013/14.  The watch is carrying over one bit of design DNA from the previous two watches, circles for chapter marks at 12, 3, 6, and 9.  There is another ring with dots for each hour, and a final ring with dots for each minute.  No numbers, no date, just dots and circles.

I think it works really well in the PVD, where the hours are orange dots, matching the color of the second hand.  The lighter colored dot used on the stainless model is too muted for me.  The circles and the ordinance points and for the minute are recessed but not painted.

Padron Watch Hennepin 03

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Padron Watch Co. Hennepin
  • Price: $175 – $589, depending on the movement
  • Who we think it might be for: Minimalists.
  • Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?:  Yes, especially the PVD.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I know it is in the DNA, but I don’t get the 4 circles.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch:  The black and orange color combo.

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Squale Dive Watches on Touch of Modern

Posted on 04 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Squale Tiger ToM 04

Touch of Modern, a web site that I like to browse and where we point readers from time to time is running a limited time sale of Swiss dive watches from Squale Watches.  The watches range from the basic diver, the Atmos (below), to a vintage Tiger (above) from the 70s/80s that has been rebuilt housing an ETA 2892 movement, new hands, new gaskets, and a new rubber strap.

Squale Atmos ToM 01

All the watches house Swiss automatic movements, either the ETA 2824-2, the Valjoux 7750 in the two chronographs offered, or the custom built Swiss movement in the Master Steel watch (below) with a 600M depth rating and power reserve indicator, along with a unique locking bi-directional bezel.

Prices range from $649 for the Atmos with 50oM of water resistance to $999 from the chronographs with screw down pushes are 200M of water resistance to $1,999.99 for the Master Steel, limited to a production of 600 pieces.  Check out their web site if you want more information on Squale Watches.  From some quick research, the ToM deal gives a discount of at least a couple $100 over internet retailers.  The sale ends at noon, Pacific, on Saturday, June 8, and less than 12 hours in there are already a few watches with fewer than 5 available.

Squale Mater Steel ToM 05

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