Under $500

Home Under $500 Page 3

TRIWA’s ‘Sort of Black’ Flips it Around


TRIWA (Transforming the Industry of Watches) is a Scandinavian watch company more aligned with the fashion of watches than the intricacies of the mechanics.  They sell in fashion boutiques and follow the fashion calendar, with two releases a year.  For the Spring collection, they have taken their existing Sort of Black Watch (all black with a bit of gold on the hands) and reversed the color scheme, producing a gold watch with a bit of black on the hands, in both a 3-hander and chronograph version.

Casio makes a rainbow connection with Kith


The G-Shock 6900 is a streetwear icon these days and the company is partnering with some cool companies. This latest collaboration, with fashion company Kith, brings some solid styling to this G-Shock workhorse.

CCCP Shchuka Watch Review

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.

Trintec Goes on Sale on ToM, Flying Off The Shelf


Trintec ToM 01With the holiday season in full swing, the holiday deals are coming fast and furious.  While Touch of Modern (join here for free if you are not a member) does sales all the time, we are seeing more watches right now, and it seems like a good idea to pass the opportunities on to you, our dear readers.  Starting today, Trintec goes on sale at the site, with discounts of 37% on several of their quartz and automatic watches.

A romp in the woods with Konifer’s rings and watches

Lume, but not much of it

As part of our expanded focus beyond watches, Canadian firm Konifer sent us a woodsy review bundle: the Sequoia Maple watch and the KT001 ring. Even though they are from the same company, I think they will appeal to very different buyers. The watch is very taste-specific, but the ring could easily have broad appeal.

The watch is all Paul Bunyan. It’s the watch he would make: the case, caseback, dial, bezel, and bracelet are all cut from maple. It has a no-name quartz timekeeper, with a tiny date window at 3:00. Metal accents do work that wood cannot, like the clasp and crown, and add some glint to the bezel and dial. It’s also Bunyan-sized at 50 mm across and 60 mm lug-to-lug.

The Sequoia Maple looming over the author’s 7″ wrist

If you are a woodsy giant of a man (or woman) this could be your watch, too. I’m sure Mr. Bunyan wouldn’t mind sharing. My wife called it masculine and I know a few people with a thing for wood who would love this. And I could see myself enjoying the lightweight package—if it was much smaller. For people who can pull off a larger watch—or don’t care about conventional wrist/watch ratios—this is an interesting piece.

The maple is nicely finished with a clear sealant and everything is solid wood—no hollow end links here. The all wood construction does lead to some compromises; for example the narrow 13 mm lug configuration avoids the end link dilemma but makes it hard to replace the 25 mm maple Oyster-style bracelet.

The quality of the metal bits is mixed. The signed crown has sharp diamond knurling and the signed clasp clicks into place reassuringly, but they are the standouts among the brightwork. The other metal is shiny, but it looks thin (and not in a good way).

With the Konifer logo doing double duty at 12:00 the dial is mostly balanced, although I feel sorry for the date window floating lonely on the dial; it should be closer to the edge. It’s also too small to give any white space around the numerals, so the numbers often look cramped. And the tiny, forlorn date window looks especially absurd on such a massive watch. The second hand ticks along with no noticeable bounce, but it doesn’t always line up with the indices. The hour and minute hands are decently lumed, but there isn’t a lot of real estate to work with on the slender stick hands, so it’s pretty weak light.

Lume, but not much of it

The tiny, lost date window

Ultimately, all this is probably academic because for most the watch is just too big to be wearable. If it were a more discrete size and Konifer fixed some of the quality issues (mainly index alignment and date window size and location) I could see myself picking one up for the novelty of an all-wood watch.

The ring, however, is on another level quality-wise. It could also appeal to a wider variety of people, unlike the huge watch. It’s beautifully polished Hawaiian Koa wood and tungsten; the finish gives it a refined look.

The wood has a vibrant luster befitting a piece of jewelry. Unlike the watch, the wood ring has plenty of heft thanks to the tungsten frame. It would make a fine wedding band or fashion accessory, whether you’re marrying a giant woodsman or an average deskman. koniferwatch.com

Konifer Sequoia Maple

  • Price: $180CAD (~$132USD)
  • Who is it for: Paul Bunyan.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Too big for me.
  • If I could make a design suggestion, it would be: Date window size and location; case size.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The novelty of a well-made wooden case and bracelet.

Tech Specs

  • Case size: 50 mm x 13.5 mm; 60 mm lug-to-lug
  • Dial width: 36 mm
  • Lug width: 13 mm
  • Case material: Maple
  • Crystal: flat, unspecified type
  • Crown: 6 mm x 3 mm, signed, diamond knurling
  • Strap: 25 mm maple Oyster-style bracelet
  • Movement: Quartz; three-hand with date
  • Warranty: 5 years

Konifer KT001

  • Price: $150CAD (~$111USD)
  • Who is it for: Seeking a stylish alternative ring.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I were in the market for a ring.
  • What spoke to me the most about this ring: The luster of the wood is remarkable.

Tech Specs

  • Ring dimensions: 8 mm wide x 2 mm thick
  • Sizes: Half sizes, 6–12
  • Material: Hawaiian Koa wood and tungsten

Taking a dark look at the Fossil Blue FB-01

No, no, that doesn’t portend anything bad, necessarily, for the watch – just a play on the darker finish that this Fossil Blue FB-01 loaner came with (per the brand, it’s called “Smoke”). I first wrote about the Fossil Blue in early September (which you can see here), and we subsequently got to spend some time with one.

The TokyoFlash Kisai Sequence – as Cryptic as You Want To Be


While some of the offerings from TokyoFlash have been exercises in relearning to tell time, some of their more recent releases have been much easier to read. Their latest, the TokyoFlash Kisai Sequence, is definitely in that easier-to-read camp.

74 Watch Straps Custom Strap Review



When it comes to changing the look of your watch, there is no simpler modification that can be done than to change the strap out that came with your watch. We have reviewed quite a few different straps here, running the gamut from simple Nylon NATO straps, to affordable leather and canvas, and all the way up to the higher end of custom-made leather straps. That’s where our latest strap in for review hails from – the custom end of the spectrum. Let’s have a look at what is in store for you when you order a custom strap from 74 Watch Straps.

Getting tweedy with the Vario Eclipse


Wait, Vario?  Aren’t they the watch strap company?  Well, yeah, they are – but now they’re also dipping their toes into the world of creating a watch – the Vario Eclipse.

Going smaller with the Orient Bambino SS

The Orient Bambino.  This is a watch many of you are no doubt familiar with, as it’s been quite a darling of the affordable segment.  Mechanical, good design – it’s easy to see why it would be popular.  While we’ve written about Orient here at WWR in the past, I’ve never actually seen one in person.  Which means I was always appreciating things from afar, or simply from the photos, which as we all know, doesn’t always tell the complete story.  Well, aside from our words and photos here, that is.  Regardless, with the latest release of the Orient Bambino SS, we (and I) get our first hands-on taste.