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 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 , part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11, part 12, part 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.
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"
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.
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
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)
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)
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
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?