Watches in the Wild (Take Me Out To The Ballpark, Volume 34)

Disclaimer: Today's watch!

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

Past posts in this series have been hashtagged to #watchesinthewild.

As always, my general policy is that I never ask for wrist shots (because approaching strangers and distant acquaintances to talk about watches is already weird enough) so all pictures below are sourced from the internet. People are mostly cool, I try not to annoy them.

First a small update to the three people who actually read this column!  My watch spotting is going to go in the tank very shortly.

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You see, my third kid is due to be born any day now and while I love each and every one of you, I intend to take an extended watch spotting paternity leave over much of the summer.  While sleep is for the weak, I want to spend time with the new kiddo in my life and watches will just have to butt out for a while.  So if I happen to drop off without mentioning anything....well, now you know.  Not that most of you care.

Still, I intend to do it for as long as I can and so we press on, post Windup, invigorated with the hope that we might see some cool stuff.

I find that my watch spotting is incredibly streaky.  I'll go for weeks seeing nothing but Garmins, Apple watches and G-Shocks (a very distant third at that).  Sometimes I'm spoilt for choice (helllllooooo Windup).

Right now, I'm feeling it.  For your pleasure, a Ryan Gosling special, some divers  (neo vintage classics and modern mid range), and a metric ton of Seikos at the ballpark.

Omega 2264

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Seen at a lighting store while ordering some lights for a vanity.  I complimented it and received a thank you but no other real conversation.

I have remarked often on my love for this era of Omega dive watches.  The movements and specs are fundamentally modern, the presence on the wrist is big but diver appropriate, and the look....well, how can you not love the call back to the 1960s and 70s, Mil-Spec Seamasters?  Even if you're not a big fan of the Helium Escape Valve, the scalloped bezel, sword hands, and lyre lugs are just a chef's kiss.  

The Brosnan Bond Seamaster 300 might be more celebrated but I think these are the best designed Omega dive watches of the past four decades.  It is a neovintage masterpiece.

I also love that they made it a point to introduce these in quartz (hence the 2264 designation not the 2254).  The quartz version is less than 12mm high, and the 41mm diameter, 48mm lug to lug.  It's pretty much as well sized as a diver can be.  There's even an independently jumping hour hand, a major advantage over the mechanical.  

In many respects, this is one of the most accessible luxury divers I can think of.  Grab and go quartz with a storied brand, comfortable on most wrists and tough enough to stand up to most anything.

Omega, when are you re-releasing this with a modern Co-Axial movement?  It would be a super mega hit.

Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber 7 Twin Time in Black

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Seen at a birthday party.  Mentioned to him that it was a super cool watch, but no response.  The plight of the watch nerd.

I've tried a number of variations of this watch over the years, mostly at ADs, and I've mostly come to the decision  that is an exceptionally sized (41mm x 47mm x 12.5mm) GADA travel watch that  probably just cost a bit too much at retail (~$4,000 or so).  T  The black dial version of this is probably guilty of being a touch too bland but some of the more interesting dials (the sunburst grey with concentric circles or the bright blue with the bicolor rehaut) are actually pretty fantastic.  The GMT is a caller style (I think SW330 based) and is chronometer spec.  It honestly does look very good on the wrist.  

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So an overpriced luxury watch.  What else is new?  But, out of curiosity, I decided to look at  these on Ebay and Chrono24 just to get a sense of what street price might be. I am seeing them used in rather good condition from reputable sellers as low as $800.  $800!  

And while $800 isn't exactly chump change, for the finish, design, and complication it screams massive deal to me.  Like, I could envision this being someone's devil may care travel watch with enough robustness to survive most environments and enough class to walk into a nice restaurant with, all the while having depreciated enough that damage or theft aren't a major concern.

Cool stuff.

Oris Aquis Oceanic Blue w/ Tungsten bezel

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Seen at the playground.  Seen while walking my kid to the restroom so no conversation.  Definitely not a waiting to chat moment.

I can't tell if Oris is uncommon where I live or if I'm just not great at identifying them.  I only identified this one because I was scrolling through the Oris website for nice pictures of the Holstein special edition and spotted this one as a matter of course.

I suspect a large part of my indifference towards Oris stems from an indifference towards dive watches and Oris is most renowned for its Aquis and Diver 65 lines.  And I'm definitely on the record as feeling the Aquis is a bit bulbous for my tastes.

But in the sun, in the sub 40mm size, it honestly looked rather stunning.  The teal fume dial pops in the sunlight and the grey bezel looks almost steel metallic.  I'd honestly liken it to Grand Seiko's Zaratsu black polishing.  In some lights, it looks almost black....in others almost white.  Whatever Aquis did to color that bezel, they should consider rolling out more broadly.  It's just that good looking.

I should try getting this on the wrist at some point.  It might provoke some reevaluation of my Oris feelings.

Seiko 5 SNXS73K1

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Seiko 5 SSK005

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Seiko SZSB012

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All seen within five minutes of each other at a baseball game at Oracle Park.  No conversations.

Given how ubiquitous Seiko's are in the world, I am always surprised that I don't see more of them out there (relative to Citizens or Casios).  Then I go a week where I see nothing but Seikos.  It's vexing to say the least.

Still, despite lumping them together, I find each individually interesting.

The Seiko 5 SNXS73K1 is a cheap and cheerful Datejust analogue with the Seiko 5 shield logo (my personal favorite among the Seiko 5 logos).  It's not a fancy watch by any means but in many respects, I view it as the last of an old breed.  This is Seiko as disruptive cost leader, providing something more reliable than its Swiss counterparts at a fraction of the cost and fussiness.  It might have been as disruptive as the quartz revolution itself. I'm not mad about Seiko's relentless march upmarket.  They've always been undervalued relative to what they provide and, in the era of the smartwatch, I believe it is the only strategy that makes sense long term (watches as luxury items of various degrees versus watches as functional items).  But I am a bit nostalgic for the old days where Seiko was taking it to the Swiss every day of the week.

The SSK005 follows in this glorious tradition.  We're a spoiled bunch, us watch folks.  A year ago, we were dancing when we could find an automatic GMT for sub $1000.  I remember looking.  I think the closest I got was the Mean Hudson, which had a Soprod Movement for just under $1000.  Island watch released the Republic GMT with the SW330 at $900 and there is no doubt, at the time that it was designed, it was going to be a tremendous value for money relative to the competition.

Except in June of last year, Seiko released the Seiko 5 GMT, a sexy caller GMT with classic SKX proportions and a price tag (sub $500) that crushed the competition.  Today, we have the audacity to declare the Seiko 5 GMT as a "mediocre value" because Seiko did Seiko things and released it with a pressed clasp and a Hardlex crystal.  How quickly we forget the state of affairs just a year ago.  I think the SSK series is the most consequential watch release of the decade.

Of course, it would not be a balanced article if I didn't mention a completely insane pricing decision by Seiko as well.  The SZSB012  is a pretty competent watch with a Hardlex Crystal and a 4R movement.  Retail price?  $550.  Which, if you're counting, is more than the Seiko Cocktail Series, the Style 60s series, the Monster, the Turtle, and the aforementioned Seiko 5 SSK AUTOMATIC GMT.  And for what?  I guess it looks like a SARB033?

Seiko, I love you sometimes you make me want to scream.

What cool watches did you see this week?

I saw: None! I work in a barren medical wasteland!

I did the may 4th thing of course and rocked my Oris stormtrooper today.

At a shiny 43mm it鈥檚 too big and heavy for bird wrist me , but so rife with Easter eggs everyone who gets a look at it loves it, and I dig the quirk.

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BTW, never heard of tungsten bezel Oris, googling that next.

Congrats on new kid! I鈥檓 glad I鈥檓 not you at the moment! I remember this challenging time well.

Hopefully we get a final edition WITW from hospital bedside of the ob/gyn, residents and nurses watches before you go dark for a while!

Stay strong my friend 鉂わ笍

Slow spotting this week.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Day/Date (90鈥檚)

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I couldn鈥檛 tell what this was from afar and had to ask. The dial has a really nice depth with different textures and the 5-link bracelet was in great splarkly shape. At 39mm wide by ~14mm thick I would鈥檝e thought the proportions WAY off but this large gentleman with a very large wrist pulled it off and it looked great.

The aviation and field watch theme that most of Hamilton watches currently carry don鈥檛 really tickle anything for me personally but I can appreciate their build quality and American watch making history. This particular Jazzmaster stood out because of the dial texture. Not sure when they DC鈥檇 this, but these older models are better for it.

Aside: Good luck with the new kiddo. I know you鈥檝e done this all before, a few times, but hope all is well with the new one and mom.

While I wouldn鈥檛 say I鈥檝e really enjoyed the first 4mo with mine, the few smiles and giggles and attempts and grunting conversation do make it all worth it somehow. I don鈥檛 really have any advice as my training wheels are still on, but do get some rest on your hiatus and we鈥檒l await your next update whenever it comes.

Fieldwalker

I saw: None! I work in a barren medical wasteland!

I did the may 4th thing of course and rocked my Oris stormtrooper today.

At a shiny 43mm it鈥檚 too big and heavy for bird wrist me , but so rife with Easter eggs everyone who gets a look at it loves it, and I dig the quirk.

Image

BTW, never heard of tungsten bezel Oris, googling that next.

Congrats on new kid! I鈥檓 glad I鈥檓 not you at the moment! I remember this challenging time well.

Hopefully we get a final edition WITW from hospital bedside of the ob/gyn, residents and nurses watches before you go dark for a while!

Stay strong my friend 鉂わ笍

Dude, that's a pretty hilarious watch. I love the details, though I think they missed an opportunity to make the hour hand a Star Destroyer and the minute hand the Executor.

Yeah....we are going to see on watch spotting from the hospital bed. Gonna be busy!

valleykilmers

Slow spotting this week.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Day/Date (90鈥檚)

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I couldn鈥檛 tell what this was from afar and had to ask. The dial has a really nice depth with different textures and the 5-link bracelet was in great splarkly shape. At 39mm wide by ~14mm thick I would鈥檝e thought the proportions WAY off but this large gentleman with a very large wrist pulled it off and it looked great.

The aviation and field watch theme that most of Hamilton watches currently carry don鈥檛 really tickle anything for me personally but I can appreciate their build quality and American watch making history. This particular Jazzmaster stood out because of the dial texture. Not sure when they DC鈥檇 this, but these older models are better for it.

Aside: Good luck with the new kiddo. I know you鈥檝e done this all before, a few times, but hope all is well with the new one and mom.

While I wouldn鈥檛 say I鈥檝e really enjoyed the first 4mo with mine, the few smiles and giggles and attempts and grunting conversation do make it all worth it somehow. I don鈥檛 really have any advice as my training wheels are still on, but do get some rest on your hiatus and we鈥檒l await your next update whenever it comes.

You know what the worst thing about being a first time parent is?

Hope.

Hope they're going to sleep (and by proxy YOU will be able to sleep). Hope they're going to eat. Hope that they won't injure themselves.

And this being my third time I can safely say, I have no hope. There will be no sleep. But eventually the wonderful memories will overwhelm torture-by-sleep-deprivation ones.

I'm pretty sure humans evolved to have amnesia right after having kids...because if we remembered it too well, we'd all stop after one.

As for watches, I think the non military, non pilot Hamilton's suffer from a lot of anonymity. For example, the Jazzmaster line is currently headlined by a Daytona homage (a very good looking one, but it's not amazingly brand building) and I think there are so many opportunities to explore Hamilton's history. Love the Chrono you spotted for example.

I spotted one!! I spotted鈥.

On the wrist on an aquinted of mine in a store. Came close enough to see his Planet Ocean 600

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Edge168n

You know what the worst thing about being a first time parent is?

Hope.

Hope they're going to sleep (and by proxy YOU will be able to sleep). Hope they're going to eat. Hope that they won't injure themselves.

And this being my third time I can safely say, I have no hope. There will be no sleep. But eventually the wonderful memories will overwhelm torture-by-sleep-deprivation ones.

I'm pretty sure humans evolved to have amnesia right after having kids...because if we remembered it too well, we'd all stop after one.

As for watches, I think the non military, non pilot Hamilton's suffer from a lot of anonymity. For example, the Jazzmaster line is currently headlined by a Daytona homage (a very good looking one, but it's not amazingly brand building) and I think there are so many opportunities to explore Hamilton's history. Love the Chrono you spotted for example.

YES! You have lowered expectations, we had none. We thought we read enough and talked to enough people but, as it turns out, absolutely no one knows what they're doing with kids, our pediatrician included. I'm not at the amnesia stage but if I had $1 for every time I've heard that I'd have 2 Parmigiani's by now.

Cheers to future amnesia and better-than-expected months to come for you.

YourIntruder

I spotted one!! I spotted鈥.

On the wrist on an aquinted of mine in a store. Came close enough to see his Planet Ocean 600

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Awesome spot! I kinda like how the Planet Ocean aesthetics have remained so consistent over the years. It is an icon.

I am starting to understand how you鈥檙e able to spot watches. You have the major advantages of a) living in the Bay Area, and b) you work in PE.

I went out to dinner with my sister in Palo Alto, at this restaurant called Bird Dog. It was like a parody of an haute cuisine restaurant. Like straight out of this:

https://youtu.be/CAWZMssP3gM

As a result, saw this on the wrist of a gentleman sitting at the table next to us.

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He was wearing a nice sweater over his slim fit dress shirt. Silver hair. Stentorian. Come on! You know precisely the type I鈥檓 talking about!

Saw this on the wrist of a late 20鈥檚 young man, beginning to plump up from perhaps too many cocktails imbibed during business lunches. I鈥檓 guessing he was a Duke lacrosse player, come I-banker, who then decided to come out to Silicon Valley.

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That is one big, thick watch!!!

HotWatchChick69

I am starting to understand how you鈥檙e able to spot watches. You have the major advantages of a) living in the Bay Area, and b) you work in PE.

I went out to dinner with my sister in Palo Alto, at this restaurant called Bird Dog. It was like a parody of an haute cuisine restaurant. Like straight out of this:

https://youtu.be/CAWZMssP3gM

As a result, saw this on the wrist of a gentleman sitting at the table next to us.

Image

He was wearing a nice sweater over his slim fit dress shirt. Silver hair. Stentorian. Come on! You know precisely the type I鈥檓 talking about!

Saw this on the wrist of a late 20鈥檚 young man, beginning to plump up from perhaps too many cocktails imbibed during business lunches. I鈥檓 guessing he was a Duke lacrosse player, come I-banker, who then decided to come out to Silicon Valley.

Image

That is one big, thick watch!!!

LOL. For my money, Bird Dog is one of those restaurants that I am vaguely embarrassed that I enjoy. It is incredibly pretentious and also very tasty. I generally have to find the greasiest cheeseburger or cheapest bowl of noodles I can the day afterwards in order to restore balance to the Force.

Working in a modestly client facing role in finance does mean a lot of low key watch spotting. But frankly? It's mostly Rolexes and Omegas and not super interesting ones at that! Great watches to own and wear (mostly) but they do feel like a bit of a uniform.

But there are only so many times I can say " I saw seven Submariners, five Datejusts with fluted bezels, and eight ceramic Seamasters." I mostly only relate those spots when I hear a cool story.

It makes my day when I'm in a meeting and someone wears something absolutely bonkers (like a quartz Tuna or a Big Pilot on a small wrist or a Tudor Heritage Chrono or some old vintage watch. Doesn't happen much though!

HotWatchChick69

I am starting to understand how you鈥檙e able to spot watches. You have the major advantages of a) living in the Bay Area, and b) you work in PE.

I went out to dinner with my sister in Palo Alto, at this restaurant called Bird Dog. It was like a parody of an haute cuisine restaurant. Like straight out of this:

https://youtu.be/CAWZMssP3gM

As a result, saw this on the wrist of a gentleman sitting at the table next to us.

Image

He was wearing a nice sweater over his slim fit dress shirt. Silver hair. Stentorian. Come on! You know precisely the type I鈥檓 talking about!

Saw this on the wrist of a late 20鈥檚 young man, beginning to plump up from perhaps too many cocktails imbibed during business lunches. I鈥檓 guessing he was a Duke lacrosse player, come I-banker, who then decided to come out to Silicon Valley.

Image

That is one big, thick watch!!!

Nice watch spotting... But even better human spotting!

This might be the start of a new series for "Humans in the Wild, +/- watches" 馃榾

Edge168n

Awesome spot! I kinda like how the Planet Ocean aesthetics have remained so consistent over the years. It is an icon.

It really is. Have to test the 39mm some day.

Fieldwalker

Nice watch spotting... But even better human spotting!

This might be the start of a new series for "Humans in the Wild, +/- watches" 馃榾

Ha!

Dude, that reminds me! I saw this on the wrist of a camp counselor...

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SHE was wearing this, while belaying everyone up a rock climbing wall. We went to a church camping retreat up in the mountains, and a bunch of families went to a little climbing activity. The counselor had this on her wrist!!! I mean, how cool is this watch, right? It's an indication of how watches really are becoming cool again, now that they're pure jewelry and fashion statement, as opposed to being actually useful! When the young and hip wear watches, that's how you know they're catching on!

I, personally, did not climb. My 9 year-old did. As well as a bunch of other church members. So, my daughter then said, "How come you don't want to climb? Are you scared???" And I then told her, "Honey, what you don't know about me is that once upon a time, I used to do a ton of rock climbing, and I could used to regularly do 5.11d's. Like, see that overhang? That sort of stuff I could easily do." Her response? "Yeah... and then you got fat."

HotWatchChick69

Ha!

Dude, that reminds me! I saw this on the wrist of a camp counselor...

Image

SHE was wearing this, while belaying everyone up a rock climbing wall. We went to a church camping retreat up in the mountains, and a bunch of families went to a little climbing activity. The counselor had this on her wrist!!! I mean, how cool is this watch, right? It's an indication of how watches really are becoming cool again, now that they're pure jewelry and fashion statement, as opposed to being actually useful! When the young and hip wear watches, that's how you know they're catching on!

I, personally, did not climb. My 9 year-old did. As well as a bunch of other church members. So, my daughter then said, "How come you don't want to climb? Are you scared???" And I then told her, "Honey, what you don't know about me is that once upon a time, I used to do a ton of rock climbing, and I could used to regularly do 5.11d's. Like, see that overhang? That sort of stuff I could easily do." Her response? "Yeah... and then you got fat."

馃槀馃ぃ馃槀馃槀

Love the no filter kid talk, can鈥檛 wait till my 11 year old tells me how much I suck at swimming, despite still being a pretty good swimmer.

Already my skill at Japanese is described as completely unintelligible. Wifey is kinder.

Cool seeing a young person with a not Apple Watch, that鈥檚 a rare sighting for sure!

While not my thing this weekend, I was a team player and watched the coronation. While none of the participating royals wore watches, it seemed a good event for spotting. I couldn鈥檛 really pause or zoom in at the many I did see, but I swore I saw a trumpeter wearing a rose gold Daytona. Spotted zero smart watches at the event

The Kentucky derby was also a good watch spotting event. Half of the watches were smart watches, half were not. Longines was one of the ad placements.