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The Controversial Ginault – on the wrist, and what’s really going on here

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Ginault came on the scene in 2011, making a decent, but not amazing, sterile dive watch. The Base Module 1 watch had a sterile dial, an engraved case back, and while the Ginault company logo had yet to evolve to what it is today, it wasn’t entirely dissimilar. This is the story of the Ginault Ocean Rover 181070GSLN.

Review: Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2599.80.00 Chrono Diver

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I’m a bad watch reviewer. Not only am I not updating this site often enough, I’ve been hiding my gems under a bushel, offering up junk like crapola GMTs and monkey-brained divers. Why? Because the watches I love I can’t really review and the watches I review I can’t really love. So I’m torn, WWR fans. Torn.

I present for your inspection the Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2225.80.00 2599.80.00 Chrono Diver. Every collector chases a dream early on in his career – and often that dream doesn’t jibe with what he or she really wants. You could dig Seikos and then see an Ebel that knocks your socks off. You could love Rolex and then see an Omega that you must have. This watch is my early collector’s grail watch and I am happy to report that it is getting so much wrist time that I think I need to brush it down with rubbing alcohol because it is getting wrist stink.

Review – Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00

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Writing about the Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00 is like trying to write about a classic muscle car. Words fail you and you fall back on cliche – classic, understated, collectable, impressive. It’s because of this that I took so long to start writing about my own Reduced – or Automatic, if you will – and why it’s one of the most important timepieces in horology.

The Speedmaster Professional is the moon watch, the one work by Buzz Aldrin on the first moon walk. The Speedmaster Reduced Automatic is the post-moon watch. It is a beautiful reduction of everything we love about the Pro with none of the manual winding hassle. With a stark black face and beautiful white baton hands, the Reduced allows you to own a piece of history while making the leap into a new era.

A Vintage Curiosity – The Lanco-Fon

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Today, I’d like to bring your attention to a rather interesting bit of vintage timekeeping – the Lanco-Fon.  Of all places, I first ran across this one

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while perusing an online auction site.  And in fact, I had a hard time finding any more information about the watch outside of that site, as it appears that the company is no longer in production.

From what I found on SomeTimeAgo.com, the Langendorf company started in 1842, and became the largest clock factory in the world near the end of the 19th century.  From what I can tell, the Lanco-Fon model came into existence in the 1950’s, and production of the Langendorf lines ended in 1973, after being acquired by the Omega-Tissot group in 1971.

Review – Tauchmeister 1937 Diver

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Ah, Aeromatic 1912. You enthrall us all with your magical timepieces. Many an eBay newbie has been drawn to your bold lines and unusual styling, as well they should. You’re taking chances, I suppose, and the only thing folks can say bad about you is that you’re not really a German watch.

That said, please welcome the Tauchmeister 1937 – Diver Craft 1000M Helium-Safe GMT Retrograde. Wow, that was a mouthful.

A diver, to be sure. A big diver—46mm with a 270 mm strap. It has a Citizen GP01 quartz movement and a unique, if unfortunately designed, retrograde GMT hand.

But what lies behind that handsome diver logo and bold orange? Nothing we haven’t seen before and won’t see again.

Reactor Fall Out: A serious chunk of stainless steel

Reactor was kind enough to give me a Fall Out for evaluation. This is a watch ready for harsh treatment. Reactor mills a billet of stainless steel and embeds a first rate Japanese movement under a heavy duty, domed crystal. The bracelet is attached with machined rods of steel with hex head screws. This thing is better made than a Russian tank.

What Is An Oulm?

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I’m not sure what it might be – but in terms of today’s post, we’ll say it’s defined as a cheap watch (take that however you want it).  In this post, I’ve popped in 

A “Factory Custom” – The Martin Braun EOS

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While searching for more interesting mechanical watches to bring to your attention,  I came across this number from Martin Braun – the EOS 42B.  If you look closely at the watch, you’ll notice another pair of hands crossing in an “x” formation in the lower half.  Whatever could they be?

Surprisingly, they are indicators of both sunrise and sunset times – custom set to the owner’s city or location (hence the “factory custom” moniker I’ve bestowed upon it).  While moonphase watches, and their brethren, have been aesthetically interesting to me, I’ve never been much interested in the functionality.  This, however, is a whole different ballgame.   Even the origin of the model’s name gives you some sense of where the designer is coming from, as Eos is the Greek goddess of the Dawn.

What Would Ron Swanson Wear?

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If you’re like me (and have seen Parks and Recreation), you’re a fan of Ron Swanson as portrayed by Nick Offerman.  He’s a no-nonsense, man’s man sort of a guy.  So, it only makes sense to see what sort of a watch that guy wears, no?

The Tissot Seastar 1000 my new go-to entry level diver

In the pantheon of watches there are a few that stand out. Looking for your first automatic watch? Pick up a Seiko Orange Monster. Looking for a piece with a little history? The Omega Speedmaster is your man. Looking for an entry-level Swiss diver that won’t break the bank? Tissot’s Seastar has always had you covered.

The latest version of the Seastar is an interesting catch. A few years ago – circa 2010 – the pieces were all black with bold hands and a more staid case style. Now Tissot, a Swatch Group brand, has turned the Seastar into a chunkier diver with massive bar hands and case that looks like a steel sandwich.

The $695 Seastar 1000 contains a Powermatic 80/ETA C07.111 movement with an eighty hour power reserve which means the watch contains a massive mainspring that keeps things going for most of three days without winding. The Seastar is also water resistant to 1000 feet thanks to a huge screw down crown and thick casing. The new model has an exhibition back where you can see the rotor spinning over and balance wheel. The watch also has a ceramic bezel, a fairly top-of-the-line feature in an entry level watch.

Tissot has a long and interesting history. Best known for their high-tech T-Touch watches which had touchable crystals, allowing you to activate a compass, barometer, or altimeter with a single tap, the mechanical pieces have always seemed like an afterthought. The company also produces the classic Tissot Le Locle as well as a chronograph that I absolutely loved, the T-Navigator, but that has been discontinued. The Seastar, then, is one of the few mechanical pieces they sell and at sub-$1,000 prices you’re basically getting a Swiss watch with solid power reserve and great looks.

Watch folks I’ve talked to over the past few months see a distinct upturn in the Swiss watch market. Their belief that the Apple Watch is driving sales of mechanical watches seems to be coming true, even if it means cheaper fashion watches are being decimated. Tissot sits in that sweet spot between luxury and fashion, a spot that also contains Tag Heuer and Longines. Ultimately this is an entry level watch for the beginning collector but it’s a beautiful and beefy piece and worth a look.

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