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Sunday, September 22, 2019 5:13:49 AM


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The Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze is currently at the top of my want read: obsession list for watches. It may have been a Cub Scouts popcorn prize.

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I cannot find any evidence this watch ever existed. But for me, at 10, it seemed the coolest watch in the world.

I remember going on vacation shortly after getting it and staring at it in the dark as it ticked away the hours through Ohio and Virginia and onward to North Carolina. I also have no idea what happened to it. We choose a watch that is pleasing to look at, that is well-made, that fulfills a function — telling the time — or several: timing a dive, measuring halves in soccer matches, illustrating moon phases, reminding you of the day of the week and date.

Watches marry elements of design and engineering and reliably hug your wrist. They are sensible, they are romantic, they require maintenance and care to last.

They can be passed along to a loved one in the next generation, or several generations later. A perpetual piece of you. Playing the Name Game: Watch Models on My List In my first post charting this recent renewed obsession , I shared a lot of the sources I turned to when learning about watches and formulating the list of certain watch types I wanted to explore and, eventually, acquire.

Mainly by scouting out models with a bit of brand cache, reliable workings and styles I figured would keep me engaged for years to come. Interestingly, Quora suggested a post by user Lee Majors that aligns pretty well with my own opinions at present.

The clouds are pretty enough to appreciate, I guess. They make me appreciate the beauty here on the ground all the more. Another model that caught my eye early on was this Signatur on a maroon leather strap.

I dig the military vibe of this chrono on black stainless steel with a 42 mm green face and gold seconds and chronograph hands. The matte black surplus sold out on the Nixon site in the weeks I bookmarked it, but never fear, Nixon, like comparable brands at this enthusiast level, offers many variations — 13 listed on its site for the chrono, and a couple dozen for the non-chrono.

I could go for that. I found the green-face matte black surplus still available here. So I really got into researching various watches they made as a nice, weekend beater or even daily wearer. Interestingly, Victorinox is now unveiling an automatic version. What I like about the Tissot Visodate is its clean, vintage-inspired lines.

Nothing fancy here, just a reliable, dressy watch with a day-date complication and an ETA engine with 25 jewels and hour power reserve, beating at an ubiquitous but desired 28, beats per hour 4 Hz, about 8 times a second.

What stands out to me is the asymmetrical dial with roman numeral hours, understated Arabic minute markers and small seconds.

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The silver and gold on the dial really pops, and I love the smaller, inner dial background that looks like folded, fan-style paper and adds depth to the whole piece. Hamilton is a brand with U.

And the steel bracelet packs enough style to be versatile as a weekend or work watch. A lot of features for that price.

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But I love the value that is packed into the divers from Oris. The features are there — meters of water resistance more than a desk diver will ever need, and actually used by weekend divers , SuperLuminova on the indices and bezel, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, screw-in crown with guards, ceramic bezel, adjustable clasp… what more could you really want?

Granted, the movement is a Sellita , essentially the generic version of the same caliber we saw in the Tissot and Hamilton, at least the equivalent and in some circles, considered better. But to me, gorgeous and functional and certainly, with careful maintenance, a pleasure to work and play with for years to come.

I had to check out Breitling for its popularity and for its heritage.

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I grew used to seeing ads and celebrity endorsements over the last decade, most usually with its decked-out pilots models. So I went more understated with this sturdy-looking, brushed steel case, unnumbered indices, small date and big, 44 mm blue face.

At a price that, as noted earlier, hurts just enough, maybe, to be worth it. Tudor has long been known as the little sister or brother of Rolex, whose founder Hans Wilsdorf launched the brand as a more attainable option for customers after the same heritage and quality.

They seem to be going about things the right way, since their reintroduction to the U.

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A few years after that re-entry, they launched three cornerstone brands — Pelagos, Black Bay and Ranger. And each exudes reliable quality, features and design options that, I think, present Tudor as the more agile and modern line when compared to big sibling Rolex.

A couple weeks back I had the opportunity to visit an authorized dealer near me and hold both a submariner and a Black Bay in my hands and the differences, to me, were negligible. Same gorgeous blend of style and craftsmanship. And for how much longer?

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So, my instinct — albeit, after months of reading and researching and the recent hands-on proof — is to jump at a model that speaks to me so strongly. The bronze edition of the Black Bay features a case that is alloyed to patina — develop a strong, even, outer layer of aging that reflects the atmosphere and habits of its wearer, telling its own unique story.

I love the aged leather strap it comes with, as well as the Nato fabric straps — which take their inspiration from the parachutes of the French navy Tudor supplied in the s. All the other vintage cues are there — snowflake hands, domed face and crystal, big crown, the flaring lugs — with enough new to make it stand out — the Arabic 3, 6, 9; the shield at 12 and rose on the crown; that in-house movement beating at 28, and with 70 hours power reserve.

Matching their family love for aviation and automobiles, they produce a lot of cool, vintage-inspired pilot and racing watches. The blend of color on the dial — gold and black and red — paired with the stainless steel body and vintage leather strap tick all the boxes for me, as does the get it?

Maybe not. And my favorite brand is probably Nomos. And their Autobahn Neomatik just gets my blood pumping.

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