Watches in the Wild (Eve of the New Year, Volume 16)

Disclaimer: Out and about with the kids.  A Roadster for the road.

This is the sixteenth in a semi-regular digest of cool watches I happened to see this week.

Past posts in this series have been hashtagged to #watchesinthewild and you can click through for part 1part 2part 3part 4 , part 5part 6part 7part 8part 9part 10part 11part 12part 13, part 14, and part 15.

I fully expected to take this week off.  Both my kiddos are off from school and the original intention was to spend a week in Lake Tahoe in the snow.

However, a couple of fire drills at both my and my wife's work along with a deep rooted fear of vacation home wifi, meant that despite not having a full schedule, I do have to stick a bit nearer home than I normally would this year.  

Still, I treasure time with my girls and have spared no opportunity to indoctrinate them in the finer arts of watch spotting and watch ownership.  I might have dragged my 5 and 2 year old along on a couple of merry watch spotting trips.  Reliable restaurants, boardwalks with good views, everything is a game and an adventure for them.  And for me. Don't you judge me.

This is a diver and dive style heavy edition,  perhaps because of the rain here in Northern California.  Some really uncommon spots here today so I hope you enjoy.

Longines HydroConquest 

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Seen on a circa Christmas time walk on the wrist of a gentleman.

The line was launched in 2007 and then updated in 2018 and has, since then, been Longines flagship modern dive watch.  Not that anyone knows Longines for their modern divers.

You see, I feel like this is an excellent diver that frankly suffers from anonymity of design. I don't know that there's anything particularly Longines about it aside from the long lug to lug (41mm diameter and 50mm lug to lug)

It's your bog standard modern diver (I think there's a bit of Tag Heuer in the digits and a tiny bit of Tudor in the not-quite-a-snowflake hands).  The bracelet is comfortable but cheaply made. The applied circular markers AND lumed applied numerals are probably just the unfortunate product of design by committee.

Yet the ingredients for an excellent watch are there.  Ceramic bezel, 30 bar, and just 12mm high.  On the wrist, it is very comfortable with a nice low center of gravity and I even like the dramatically angled crown guards.

I think this is a line that Longines should relaunch in the near future.  There's some real potential here for the brand to inject some Longines design pizzazz and have its next Spirit Zulu Time level hit.

Tutima M2 Seven Seas 40mm "Black"

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Seen about a week ago.  This watch was so confusing to me that I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Who makes a traditional looking integrated h link bracelet diver with a ceramic bezel?  My mind initial went to Sinn and Muhle Glashutte but couldn't find anything close to the watch in my mind. Tutima was a possibility but I only know of them as having brightly colored steel bezel divers.

I was resigned to it being a mystery, until I saw @PeterKotsa  's excellent video and the pieces suddenly slotted into place. 

https://youtu.be/1DE7YuSVWO4 

This is an absolutely killer looking watch in the metal, a rare integrated bracelet diver.  I love so much about this watch, from the inky black dial to the date placement to shape of the hour markers.  

The only thing I might complain about is the shape of those hands.  They're a little off the shelf and a super unique looking diver watch deserves something a little different in the handset (like the spear hands of the Saxon One).

I honestly really jazzed to try this one on in person now.  

Hublot Big Bang Aero "Black Magic" Chronograph 

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Seen at a Korean restaurant.  Over kimchi pajeon, I made a bet with my tablemate over what sort of watch this was.  Loser pays the bill.

He is thought it was some sort of G-shock, noting the blacked out case.  I, of course, identified it as a Hublot.  Hublot straps are super unique with two screws affixing the strap to the integrated lugs.

Of course, I walked over to ask and settle the bet. Point, set, match.

Far from the stereotype of a Hublot owner, the wearer in question was a pure gentleman and we had a friendly chat about all the desserts I was going to order on my friend's tab.  We even exchanged watches (I wore my JLC Master Geographic) and I tried his own for a minute.

It was definitely large on the wrist (44mm and. 55mm plus lug to lug) but remarkably comfortable given the rubber strap and ceramic case.  It was tall, of course (~14mmish or so) but the strap curves down beautifully to hug the wrist. 

If you've not tried a Hublot on before, I'd strongly suggest you take a look some time.  The aesthetic surely isn't for everyone but it's a nicely made watch.  You might find something you like.

Glashutte 70s panorama date (grey dial)

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TV dial ho!  Seen on a gentleman in a Gore-tex rain slicker walking out of a coffee shop.  The mix of hip 70s Berliner and Pacific Northwest stunned me into silence and I sadly missed any opportunity to have a real conversation about this amazing watch.

I find myself lacking words to describe how this watch looked to me.

The grey of the dial is an incredible chameleon.  When surrounded by wood, it takes on the warm brown tones.  With metal, it's shiny and cold.  Only under the soft light of a stormy sky does the grey itself pop.

I love the big date and the sharks teeth hour markers. I think the bracelet even has that awesome tool-less micro adjust system from the SeaQ.  

I've never once had a desire to try this watch but I suddenly feel the primal urge to call my AD and see if he has this guy in stock.

Keep your Panomatics and SeaQs.  My heart is taken.

Panerai Luminor due (grey dial)

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The 38mm version, seen on the wrist of a lady doing some holiday shopping.

I have such intensely mixed feelings on this watch.  On the one hand, I like that Panerai continues to make watches with its signature design DNA in more and more varied sizes and form factors.  On the other hand, did we really need that locking crown mechanism on something with 30m of WR?  For all those folks complaining about the Seiko 5 SRPD053 copying the form factor of the much more depth capable SKX009, this should give you the hives.

Still, I complimented the watch (and I do like it) and she thanked me and said it was a gift from her husband.  On pointing him out, I saw that he had a 44mm Luminor 8 Day on his wrist.  Well that explains that. 

Okay Panerai, we need to talk.  I actually really like the Due.  It's slim and unmistakable and 100% the sort of watch you should be making to expand the brand beyond your core audience.  But the form over function stuff bugs me.  I would get this not having 300m of WR.  I get that you're making tradeoffs on height and weight.  But 30m isn't even trying to be a sports watch while also looking like a sports watch.

We have to be better than that.

Orient star diver green with gilt markers

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Seen on a gentleman's wrist while walking to Christmas Day service.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Orient.  Even after all the love they have gotten from the watch content making community (Seiko before the fall amirite?), they're still broadly underrated as a watch maker.  

The Orient Star Diver line is absolutely one of attractive, super value packed dive watches that has just enough design quirks for me to not really want to bother digging in deeper after having tried it on once.

The powdery sunburst green face is beautiful and the gold hands and markers make it festively Brazilian (or Green Bay Packers?).  The aluminum bezel is bright and true to color.  The case is rounded, simple and well finished.

I did mention a downside of course.  I don't love the placement of the power reserve and find the hands oddly confusing to read because of the slightly too long counterbalance (they look like safety scissors to me).  The bracelet is....fine.  And at 44mm x 51mm x 14mm, it's just too big.

But for your $500ish, it's hard to complain about any of this.  It's a clean, capable and well designed.  It's just not super interesting to me.

Still, I am glad that I have seen these out in the wild.  They deserve more air time than they've gotten.

What cool watches did you see this week?

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awesome watches

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I see lots of watches on wrists whenever I'm at the airport.  But, I have no idea what any of them are!  They could be Patek's for all I know, but mostly they just look like fashion watches to me.  And it occurs to me that the vast majority of wrist watches sold today must be fashion watches.  You're walking around the mall and there's an Armani Exchange watch in a display case, and you know that Armani is a big Italian brand, and there's this cool looking watch with the Armani name on it... why wouldn't you buy it, right?  I mean, I personally have owned way more Kenneth Cole Reaction watches than anything else over the course of my life!

Saw something that looked sort of like this on the wrist of one of my distant relatives that you call "auntie" at dim sum yesterday.

Franck Muller Vanguard Automatic White Dial Ladies Watch V32SCATFO(5NNR) -  Watches, Vanguard - Jomashop

But, it definitely wasn't a Franck Muller.  It was probably an Armani Echange!  Nonetheless, it looked really nice!

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I recently returned from an eight-day Caribbean cruise sailing out of Ft Lauderdale. 2013 was the last time I was on a cruise (and a year before being bitten by the watch bug) so I didn't realize until getting on how good cruises are for watch spotting. Not to mention they were selling Cartier, Hublot, Panerai, and a few other brands on the cruise, I spotted more Rolex than I'd ever seen in one place besides in a Las Vegas casino. Multiple pre-ceramic steel Daytonas (black dials), classic two-tone Subs, at least two Yacht Master IIs, a couple of yellow-gold Presidents 36mm, and multiple Datejusts. Also what I believe was a rose gold AP Royal Oak although I didn't get close enough to make the case size or reference.

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HotWatchChick69

I see lots of watches on wrists whenever I'm at the airport.  But, I have no idea what any of them are!  They could be Patek's for all I know, but mostly they just look like fashion watches to me.  And it occurs to me that the vast majority of wrist watches sold today must be fashion watches.  You're walking around the mall and there's an Armani Exchange watch in a display case, and you know that Armani is a big Italian brand, and there's this cool looking watch with the Armani name on it... why wouldn't you buy it, right?  I mean, I personally have owned way more Kenneth Cole Reaction watches than anything else over the course of my life!

Saw something that looked sort of like this on the wrist of one of my distant relatives that you call "auntie" at dim sum yesterday.

Franck Muller Vanguard Automatic White Dial Ladies Watch V32SCATFO(5NNR) -  Watches, Vanguard - Jomashop

But, it definitely wasn't a Franck Muller.  It was probably an Armani Echange!  Nonetheless, it looked really nice!

Totally.  But sometimes you get lucky! I've never seen a Franck Muller in the wild so that would be a serious spot if true.  Onr of my aunties had what I was convinced was a fauxtinaed homage of an 80s Panthere de Cartier.  It was the real deal.  More on that one next week!

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Rolexahoma

I recently returned from an eight-day Caribbean cruise sailing out of Ft Lauderdale. 2013 was the last time I was on a cruise (and a year before being bitten by the watch bug) so I didn't realize until getting on how good cruises are for watch spotting. Not to mention they were selling Cartier, Hublot, Panerai, and a few other brands on the cruise, I spotted more Rolex than I'd ever seen in one place besides in a Las Vegas casino. Multiple pre-ceramic steel Daytonas (black dials), classic two-tone Subs, at least two Yacht Master IIs, a couple of yellow-gold Presidents 36mm, and multiple Datejusts. Also what I believe was a rose gold AP Royal Oak although I didn't get close enough to make the case size or reference.

Love these spots!  There's definitely a vacation watch style and you captured it!

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We have had an uncharacteristic cold snap for the last week. All of those extra jackets and coats really interfered with my watch identification game. Who am I kidding? I don't have game and they were probably all smart watches anyway.

The only confirmed sighting is a watch that I gave to my daughter. She cannot wear her fitness tracker in school (I guess that they are afraid someone will use the internet to cheat) so I gave her an old mechanical watch. Of course, I did.

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This is a Zvezda (meaning "star"), a 15 jewel watch made at the Third State Watch Factory in the 1950's. It was based on a Lip movement. It is small, but legible. It remains to be seen how much wear it will actually get, but she did humor me for a while.

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Aurelian

We have had an uncharacteristic cold snap for the last week. All of those extra jackets and coats really interfered with my watch identification game. Who am I kidding? I don't have game and they were probably all smart watches anyway.

The only confirmed sighting is a watch that I gave to my daughter. She cannot wear her fitness tracker in school (I guess that they are afraid someone will use the internet to cheat) so I gave her an old mechanical watch. Of course, I did.

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This is a Zvezda (meaning "star"), a 15 jewel watch made at the Third State Watch Factory in the 1950's. It was based on a Lip movement. It is small, but legible. It remains to be seen how much wear it will actually get, but she did humor me for a while.

Well, it's the thought that counts.  I bought my Then 4 year old this.

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It has lived at the bottom of a drawer for the past 7months.

I do love those old Lip movement watches.  Such an interesting story of technology transfers.

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I love how you found a way to monetise your superpower 😅 I feel for your table mate since I would have totally lost the bet as well.

I did see a bunch of MoonSwatches at some point during the last few days. It was people leaving the Swatch store but I'll book that as a W, some were wearing them 😄. Looks like they made a push before Christmas to get some stock in

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MegaBob

I love how you found a way to monetise your superpower 😅 I feel for your table mate since I would have totally lost the bet as well.

I did see a bunch of MoonSwatches at some point during the last few days. It was people leaving the Swatch store but I'll book that as a W, some were wearing them 😄. Looks like they made a push before Christmas to get some stock in

It wouldn't be 2022 if I didn't find a way to turn a minor hobby into a side hustle 😁😁😁.

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Walked into a few boutiques while window browsing, and one of the unexpected surprises was at Cartier for their skeletonized de Santos. 

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The most interesting part to me was being able to see the mainspring being wound up in the barrel (also cutaway) as you hand-wound the crown. 

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That 70’s Panorama Date… oh boy. I love the videos and pictures so I’m sure it’s amazing in person. 
 

This was seen on a gentleman at work this week… at least I think. 

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Distinctive case shape, alligator leather that looked integrated.. pretty sure it was a FM Vanguard. Not to my taste but like a slow motion train accident, I couldn’t look away. The gentleman in question has the personality of a troll with chronic back pain so I avoided asking questions for now… but if seen again I just might have to. 

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lens.of.ben

Walked into a few boutiques while window browsing, and one of the unexpected surprises was at Cartier for their skeletonized de Santos. 

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The most interesting part to me was being able to see the mainspring being wound up in the barrel (also cutaway) as you hand-wound the crown. 

I do love that skeletonized Santos, particularly the way the use the numerals as structural support.  I think I'd probably never buy one (who wants to look at my pale watch wrist anyway) but I do like it when Cartier stretches it's movement talents.

Great spot!

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valleykilmers

That 70’s Panorama Date… oh boy. I love the videos and pictures so I’m sure it’s amazing in person. 
 

This was seen on a gentleman at work this week… at least I think. 

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Distinctive case shape, alligator leather that looked integrated.. pretty sure it was a FM Vanguard. Not to my taste but like a slow motion train accident, I couldn’t look away. The gentleman in question has the personality of a troll with chronic back pain so I avoided asking questions for now… but if seen again I just might have to. 

Oh man....that Franck Muller is.... something.  I'm generally pretty tolerant of other people's watches but Franck Muller always seems to hit me the wrong way.  My buddy once thought my Roadster was a FM because of the tonneau shape...I was not pleased.

That 70’s Panorama Date… oh boy. I love the videos and pictures so I’m sure it’s amazing in person.  

I've seen so many videos and felt kinda.meh about it.  And then in person.....I don't even really like square watches!  Ive got to get this one on wrist at some point, just to see if I can pull it off.

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Brilliant.  Your true calling as a watch journalist is waiting; you’re better than most already.  
Having a too many divers in my collection, this edition of WITW is for me 😃

100% agree - 30m sport watches make me eye roll uncontrollably, so having the over the top crown virginity belt is even more painful.  

That Longines diver - ouch.  Such an oddball collection of design elements and asymmetry. 😬

Tutima?  Total unicorn sighting. I can’t fathom one seeing IRL.  That said, their designs do nothing for me.  Like you perhaps I could re assess that perspective in person.  

And asking us to consider giving Hublot a shot - bold😳.  I enjoy my Hublot dislike from afar, and might ruin it if I’m too close.  No thanks 😉

Thanks, enjoyed reading! 👍

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Fieldwalker

Brilliant.  Your true calling as a watch journalist is waiting; you’re better than most already.  
Having a too many divers in my collection, this edition of WITW is for me 😃

100% agree - 30m sport watches make me eye roll uncontrollably, so having the over the top crown virginity belt is even more painful.  

That Longines diver - ouch.  Such an oddball collection of design elements and asymmetry. 😬

Tutima?  Total unicorn sighting. I can’t fathom one seeing IRL.  That said, their designs do nothing for me.  Like you perhaps I could re assess that perspective in person.  

And asking us to consider giving Hublot a shot - bold😳.  I enjoy my Hublot dislike from afar, and might ruin it if I’m too close.  No thanks 😉

Thanks, enjoyed reading! 👍

Your true calling as a watch journalist is waiting; you’re better than most already.  

What a nasty thing to say.  You take that back! 😂🤣😂🤣😂

I actually am always surprised at the constraints that watch journalists operate under. I can't imagine how it feels to need to criticize a large advertising sponsor.

Not making money from this gives me freedom to not worry about pissing off anyone.

That Longines diver - ouch. Such an oddball collection of design elements and asymmetry.

I don't hate it.  I don't love it, mind you, but I think Longines has super talented designers that could do more with what is an uber competent dive watch.  The pieces are there, they just need to clean it up, you know?

And asking us to consider giving Hublot a shot - bold😳. I enjoy my Hublot dislike from afar, and might ruin it if I’m too close. No thanks 😉

You might prove yourself to be a deviant like me that occasionally wonders if he should just pull the trigger on a Classic Fusion and post a picture of it everyday on the WRUW just to troll the rest of you.  And also enjoy it! 😁😉