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Watches

Hands-On: Isotope GMT 0º Watch

British-based Isotope has been around since 2016, and the GMT 0º is the brand’s third and latest offering. I’ve known about the brand peripherally, but this new model was the first I got to handle in the metal. Everyone knows I love a unique or interesting dial, but I also understand mechanical watches with those adjectives tend to carry serious price tags. With a price under $1,000, the Isotope GMT 0º is at least worth a look for anyone like me with a soft spot for the offbeat.
First, a note about the two prototypes you see here. I received two review units, one in blue and one in white. Off the bat, brand founder José Miranda let me know that there were a couple of imperfections in the prototypes, mainly that the date dot on the blue dial model needs to be brighter, and the lumed GMT “Lacrima” pointer on the white dial model isn’t perfect. Fortunately (and ironically), the date dot on the white dial model is correct, and the lume on the blue dial GMT pointer is correct, so I’ll show..

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Watches

Hands-On: Bulova Grammy Awards 98A241 Automatic Watch

As a sponsor and the official watchmaker of the Grammy awards, Bulova also happens to have some watches dedicated to the important music awards institution. At first, Bulova was modifying some of its existing products with Grammy award labeling (hands-on with the Bulova Precisionist Special Grammy Edition watch here), but more recently, the importance of the relationship with The Grammys prompted Bulova to create an entirely unique wristwatch product for the event. Today, I go hands-on with the reference 98A241 Bulova Grammy watch.
Grammy watches are important not just for their commercial value but also because Bulova supplies many of them to the Grammy Awards in order to hand out to winners. Watches are some of the most popular items given as rewards to accomplished people, so it makes sense that Bulova wants Grammy Award winners to wear a Grammy watch.
Advertising Message
Given the connection with the world of music, the Grammys watch has both references to musical instruments an..

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Watches

Hands-On: Moritz Grossmann Power Reserve Watch In Black Steel

My first proper hands-on experience with the small, hugely dedicated German manufacture Moritz Grossmann happened to come with the Moritz Grossmann Power Reserve in black steel, an objectively impressive luxury watch with some subjectively annoying nuances – there was a lot to take in.
From afar, i.e., through photos and passing hands-on moments at trade shows, I have long admired Moritz Grossmann’s dedication to watchmaking. As I unpacked the Power Reserve in black steel, I found a small but comprehensive booklet that comes with every watch, explaining the history and, more importantly, the values and current crafts and craftspeople of the company. After eight years in this business, I think I can distinguish words written by someone in a marketing office in perfect isolation from where watchmaking actually happens from words written by a small team that actively carries the same flag. The latter displays unity in effort and values. My impression, although I am yet to visit, is of th..

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Watches

Hands-On: UNDONE Arabian Nights Watch

The UNDONE Arabian Nights is one of the latest limited-edition watches from Hong Kong-based UNDONE. It is very lovely and quite affordable, given the level of distinctiveness. The watch features a 40mm-wide bronze metal case, along with a dial crafted from a unique piece of Lapis Lazuli natural stone. On top of the face is a novel hour-indicator dial design that is an interpretation of the classic “California Dial.” These feature a dial that is split between Roman numeral hour markers on the top, and “Arabic” numeral hour markers on the bottom. UNDONE has created a “double-Arabic” dial for the Arabian Nights watch.
That is sort of amusing and the kind of slightly nerdy humor I’ve come to appreciate from UNDONE. I actually think it is quite creative to include both letter- and number-style Arabic numerals on the same dial. In Arabic (as in some other languages), numbers can be represented as certain letters of the alphabet, or as the more universal number system, we are more accustomed..

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Watches

Hands-On: Objest Swiss Automatic Watch

Objest watches began as the Objest design studio by Jared Mankelow in England. The idea was that Objest would be an all-purpose industrial design firm, given that Mr. Mankelow has worked with a number of major consumer electronics firms around the world. Objest watches would be a product division, whereby the firm would produce watches. Why watches?
That is a very good question. I’ve found over the years that watches — as an industrial design product category — have the ability to attract the attention of a broad spectrum of design professionals. It isn’t that many of these people set out to make waves in the wristwatch industry, but rather that watches themselves as design projects are apparently like catnip for engineering-savvy creative souls. Jared of Objest describes some of this emotion by suggesting that watches are particularly difficult to get right and that’s their inherent challenge — as well as the extremely broad “angles” of approach that people can take when designing a ..

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Watches

Hands-on Debut: Marathon White Arctic Edition GSAR Watch

Today, Canada-based professional-use watchmaker Marathon debuts one of its most highly-anticipated timepieces in a while. This is the white-dialed “Arctic Edition” of the famed GSAR (General Search And Rescue) watch, also known as the Marathon Arctic Edition Large Diver’s Automatic. This is only the third modern watch Marathon has produced with a white-colored dial, and aBlogtoWatch debuted all of them. The new Arctic Edition GSAR is available either as the reference WW194006-00-01-3-001-0040 on a strap, or as the reference WW194006-00-01-001-0001 on the matching steel bracelet (as reviewed).
White-dialed Marathon watches began in the 36mm-wide MSAR collection in 2019 with a quartz movement-based watch (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here), and then later in 2020 with the also 36mm-wide automatic movement-powered Marathon Arctic MSAR diver’s watch (aBlogtoWatch hands-on here). The GSAR watch is very similar, but it has a 41mm-wide case; the proportions on both models is excellent, but this 41m..

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Watches

Hands-On: Casio G-Shock GMWB5000RD-4 Red Metal Watch

Today, I go hands-on with the “red metal” version of the popular Casio G-Shock GMWB5000 watch collection known as the GMWB5000RD-4 (aBlogtoWatch debut with more product info). This is among the latest aesthetic variations of the popular “full metal” G-Shock collection that aBlogtoWatch originally debuted in 2018. The GMWB5000 watches were initially so popular that they were selling for over list price on eBay for a few months. Buying a GMWB5000 at a retailer proved very challenging, and G-Shock fans finally got a taste of what Rolex buyers have been complaining about for years.
Casio added a number of interesting variants to theGMWB5000 collection, including this titanium model, and of course a full 18k-gold variant with a price of $70,000. If that seems high, then don’t worry, because the standard steel version of the GMWB5000 costs an affordable $600. That might be more than some people are used to spending on a G-Shock, but this watch is certainly worth the fair asking price.
Adver..

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Watches

Hands-On: Orient Star 200m Diver RE-AU0307E Watch

Where I am in the United States, the Orient Star reference RE-AU307E Japanese diver’s style watch can authentically be considered exotic. To my knowledge, you can’t buy one in any store in town, and as far as I know, the United States Orient Watches distributor carries little to no of the more elevated “Orient Star” products. If you want one, you first need to learn about it, and then either travel to Asia (which hasn’t been possible for much of the world for a while) or one of the other small number of places that sell these watches, or happen to know about it and find it online.
The watch is very cool and a good value, meaning it will make a lot of enthusiasts happy. That said, there is a sort of antiquated comedy to purchasing this watch that is, for some people, part of the charm. For example, I can’t actually tell you what the retail price is. The Orient Star website certainly lists the RE-AU307E watch, but without a price. Some Google searching for the watch leads to a low of $6..

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Watches

Hands-On: Nivada Grenchen Antarctic

If you’ve been following the vintage watch market, even peripherally, it’s been impossible to ignore the skyrocketing prices. Sure, there’s always been a market for vintage pieces from the big Swiss brands — Rolex, Omega, Zenith, etc. — but as those watches became more and more unattainable, savvy collectors looked to the darker, dustier corners of the vintage market to unearth some underrated beauties from the past. Among those gems are watches from the multitudinous victims of the quartz crisis — brands that made quality automatic and manual-wind watches but were unable to compete when inexpensive, accurate quartz watches began dominating the market. Yet, even those gems from long-extinct brands were rapidly mined with prices soaring as these historic pieces were unearthed and rediscovered by the vintage market.
Capitalizing on the renewed interest in vintage (and vintage-inspired) watches, some of these long-defunct brands, such as Nivada Grenchen, have been resurrected and begun t..

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Watches

Hands-On: Doxa SUB 200 C-Graph Watch

Most Doxa fans think of the Doxa SUB 300 timepiece collection (aBlogtoWatch review) when thinking about designs from the famed historic diver’s watch brand. One of its newer styles is the SUB 200 collection, which comes in a three-hand Doxa SUB 200 variant (aBlogtoWatch review here), and now this SUB 200 C-Graph (chronograph) variant which aBlogtoWatch debuted back in 2020 here. Doxa has had other chronograph models in the recent past including the SUB 300T-Graph, and the SUB 200 T-Graph, which each have design details that are carried over to the SUB 200 C-Graph.
Doxa produces each of its SUB 200 and SUB 200 C-Graph watches with (currently) six dial color variants and either on a color-matching rubber strap or this “beads of rice” matching steel bracelet. This particular SUB 200 C-Graph model is the reference 798.10.241.10, which is the SUB 200 C-Graph with the metal bracelet and the Aquamarine-colored dial. It is very bright and friendly, and a color that I think will be popular wit..