There are a lot of kickstarter watch projects where the creator has a dream of designing a watch, and then connects with a manufacturer in China to produce the watch. Well, element watches adds a twist to that formula, in that the watch manufacturer back in China is owned by the designer’s father. The Orbital by element watch is the company’s second bite at the kickstarter apple, and in my opinion it is a more attractive watch than the (unsuccessful) first project.
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.
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. touchofmodern.com
Today I want to point you two watch offerings from Momentum Watch Company, the Torpedo and the Steelix, that are what you might consider budget buys. Momentum makes a number of watches, including some diver offerings, which is where the Torpedo sits, which the Steelix is more of a Field watch. Both watches have a 44mm diameter brushed stainless steel case with the crown at 4:00. The watches contain a Japanese quartz movement, have anti-glare coated mineral crystals and are depth rated to 200 feet.
Victorinox, yes the Victorinox that makes the ubiquitous Swiss Army Knife, has been in the watch business for a while. While a number of their watch offerings have been attractive, I rarely see something from them that makes me want to buy one. Well, I think they found their sweet spot, at least when it comes to what I like in a sports watch. A limited edition, Swiss automatic chronograph dive watch, and a serious dive watch at that.
Ocean 7 was nice enough to ship out their LM-8 Professional Deep Diver watch for a review, and I was able to spend a few days with it. The first thing you notice when you take it out of the box is that this watch is substantial, which is to be expected for a watch rated to 2,000 meters. OK, it is more than substantial, it is heavy. And big. There is a possibility that I have held heavier wrist watches (I am sure there are some beasts out there that I have not seen as well), but if I have, it was not by much.
A new Kickstarter campaign is starting from Zelos, offering a 100M water resistant diver with a couple of unique twists (project page). Common to the line is an internally rotating bezel, which I am seeing on a few higher end dive watches, but not in this price and feature range yet. What is most unique in a relatively inexpensive watch like this is the choice of a bronze case as an alternative to the 316 stainless that is also offered. Fitting for the materials of choice, the watch is named the Helmsman.
Welcome to the WWR Gift Guide, our annual run-down of some of our favorite watches. Today let’s look at the famed Orange Monster AKA Seiko SKX781 Automatic Dive Watch. This is my absolute favorite beginning collector’s watch and, at about $200, it is very reasonably priced.
No sub $200 watch holds so much cachet and rapt attention as the Orange Monster. It is hefty, colorful, beefy, and cool. It is extremely solid, extremely reliable, and water resistant to 200 meters. Why is the Orange Monster so popular? It’s inexpensive, it’s fun, and it’s a Seiko. It’s a beater, but it’s a beater that will get you compliments.
I must admit – I had not heard of Tempest Watches prior to their Viking being relaunched. In reading through some of what they went through getting this watch to market, they really did get put through the wringer with some supply chain issues. While other brands may have just thrown it all on the fire and walked away, Tempest persevered, made the necessary changes, and now have a watch ready for order.