Watches in the Wild (Watching Watches on Holiday, Volume 13)

Disclaimer: The Direnzo DRZ04 was my watch this week (pictured here on the plane), an all around fabulous travel and vacation watch.  Integrated lugs are for holidays.

This is the twelfth 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 9, part 10, part 11, and part 12.

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.

I am settling back at home after a couple of weeks of travel, capped off with a much needed trip to Maui with the family.  We did nothing except go to the pool, then the beach and, exhausting that, walk up and down the Kaanapali boardwalk every day.  It was the best kind of boring.

Fortunately for your intrepid correspondent, people wear their coolest watches on vacation!  There's a lot to cover so I imagine this selection of holiday watches will continue next week.

Cartier Santos Dumont, Small (two tone)

Up Close: Cartier Santos-Dumont XL Hand-Wind | SJX Watches

Seen at a dinner party on the wrist of a lady.  No conversation on the watch was had because it simply wasn't that sort of dinner party.

Because this is a safe space, I feel okay with telling all of you that I am a mechanical watch snob.  I love the sweep of a mechanical movement.

"But @Edge168n , you own a Spring Drive.  How does this fit in with your completely arbitrary and unjustified prejudice."

Ah, I have a response!  I believe in the beautiful union between man and machine.  I don't service the machine, I POWER it.  The barrel of a mainspring defies obsolescence, versus the metal alkaline batteries that are quickly falling out of style and decaying.  A spring drive is the perfection of the mechanical movement not a technologically backwards quartz!  

Of course, if you ever needed evidence of how stupid and arbitrary this distinction in my brain is, look at how freely I suggest and buy quartz watches for others!  And now my lizard brain looks at this Santos Dumont and is wondering just how tasty of a morsel it could be. 

The Santos Dumont is one of those watches that knows precisely what it is.  The mechanical version has a low and unimpressive power reserve.   The brightly polished bezel will scratch if you dare look at it.  There's no water proofing to speak of. 

However, the Santos Dumont possesses one superpower, there is no situation where you could wear it and feel underdressed (at least in a modern context).  Despite it's sporting roots, this would look good at a wedding, a deal closing, or an embassy dinner.  It's an absolute killer of a watch that punches well above its weight.

Last I checked, @Ichibunz owns one of these and I do occasionally think about whether one of these or the special editions (copper dial with arabics) might fit in my collection. 

CRW2SA0025 | Santos-Dumont XL | Cartier | Review

As of yet, I find myself having relatively little use for a rectangular dress watch but ask me tomorrow and I might change my mind.

Tisell Bauhaus

Tisell Bauhaus] Got my first automatic watch delivered on the same day I  got my first intern job! : r/Watches

Seen on the wrist of a friend at a coffee hour.

The Tisell is much more a Nomos Tangente clomage than it is homage (in the way of Frederique Constant etc) save for the center seconds and date instead of a small second.  And normally clones don't really do it for me but there's a story here.

I initially mistook it for it a Tangente and asked about it, to which he sheepishly mentioned that it was an homage.  Said friend is a graduate student (with two kiddos no less) and noted that he loved the Nomos look but 1) didn't have the spare dosh to buy one on a whim and 2) wanted to get one on his graduation, where he felt it could be a milestone watch.  The Tisell was to tide him over until he saved up for the original.  How could one be cross with that?

And I think this is, perhaps, where clomages like Pagani, Tisell, and San Martin are their best.  It's like a demo version of a video game.  Sometimes getting a taste is enough to want the real thing.

At any rate, the Tisell is actually a lovely if unoriginal watch. Not the match of Nomos in feel or finishing but at the price it would be surprising if it were. However, it definitely gives a bit of a taste of Nomos in a slim and svelte package (38mm diameter and 10mm high).  On balance, I think I like the small seconds more vs the center seconds and date but good design is good design.

I think the only real complaint I'd have is the mediocre stock strap in a croc print.  With a grey suede strap, it would be absolutely killer.  I think I have a Christmas gift idea!

Citizen Skyhawk Titanium

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T Eco-Drive Black Titanium Watch | CITIZEN

Seen on the wrist of a gentleman right in front of me in church.  I believe it is the same model at @nytime has, with the orange accents on the bezel.  It was off the stock bracelet and instead on a fabric and leather strap of some sort that I didn't recognize.

I have tried on this watch just once with a couple of thoughts.

1. It's a big boy.  45mm diameter and 15mm height.  I don't have a small wrist (7.25in/18.5cm) and it just dwarfed me.

2. The dial is exceptionally busy but in a way that allows me to ignore half the information I don't need, which is pretty good design.

3.  It's actually rather light. Quartz movements and titanium man.

Forget fliegers, this is the epitome of a pilots watch to me.  UTC, GMT, Perpetual Calendar, Atomic Time, and perhaps even a coffee maker (though I have not confirmed it).  I love the more modernized sword hands (a bit of skeleton, but not too much skeleton) and the mostly black color scheme with pops of orange.  I kinda love it all.

This might convince me to overcome my blah feelings towards quartz watches...if it weren't so incredibly large.

Breitling Chronomat in Cobra Yellow

A colorful dial is always a treat.  The yellow stitching on the strap is a nice touch.

Seen while in line at the airport on the wrist of a gentleman.  I correctly identified this as a Chronomat but had to ask about the specific model.  Apparently, this Chronomat is a limited edition model, celebrating the aerobatics demonstration team of the Italian Air Force, the Frecce Tricolori.  

Apparently, said gentleman is a great fan of aerobatics and spent much of his time (now retired) traveling the world to see high level aerobatic demonstrations.  I can only hope I'm that cool when I retire.

After complaining in the comments to @MegaBob and @Aurelian for the past couple of weeks about not seeing any Breitlings, they seem to come out of the woodwork (more to come next week).  I guess that's the benefit of travel!  New sights, new watches.

There's something pleasantly anachronistic  about this era of the Chronomat.  It might be the aggressively raised tabbed bezel or the gigantic size but I always have imagined that if General Flagg from GI Joe were to wear a watch, this would be it.

It's an absolutely cool as hell watch to be clear but I have two personal problems with it.  

First, 44mm diameter x 54mm lug to lug x 17mm in height makes  my Roadster XL look petite.  I have tried on cousins to this Chronomat and it is not within my ability to pull it off.

Second, I am not a man who counts yellow among his clothing choices or color palate.  Should my eldest daughter grow up with enough of a wrist to sport this watch, it would match her wardrobe completely.

Seiko SARB033

Seiko Mechanical SARB033 Wrist Watch Review - WatchReviewBlog

Seen on the wrist of a gentleman while strolling on a boardwalk in Maui.  When I saw it, I might have been shouting at my girls to slow down and, upon seeing this watch, might have forgotten my volume control and also bellowed "SARB033!"  I got a thumbs up.  Flawless victory.

Have you ever had a moment where you literally can't remember that you owned a watch once?  This is me and the SARB033.  I've owned so many black dial Seikos over the years that they all blend into one another for me.

Two matters make this worse.  

1. Ever since it was discontinued, the 033 has become a folk legend in the watch community, a sign of how Seiko doesn't care about collectors anymore (they never did, but that doesn't mean they don't make good watches) and a mythical lost era of Seiko being the value watch king (I guess?  Seiko had a massive grey market problem that's now being resolved so I think true pricing is somewhat higher than what it was from 2008-2016).  Anyway, I feel like I see this watch constantly which makes me feel like I owned it even if I didn't.

2. I am absolutely terrible at taking and saving photos of my watches.

At any rate, I did eventually find a sales receipt as evidence that I did own this watch about 6 years ago (this is the sort of crazy watch collector I am.  I don't have a picture but I have traceable financial evidence!)

A good thing too, I have many opinions about this watch.  Not the least, it is beautifully sized (38mm diameter x 44mm lug to lug x 11mm height)  and beautifully spec'd.  It's flexible, attractive and worthy of any watch collector looking for a flexible watch for office and weekend.

It's not all roses of course.  The bracelet, as I recall, is terrible with poorly fitting endlinks and jangly even by Seiko standards links. The dial is anonymous without those specific quality markets that 

Recent pricing, at around $500, is silly.  At $250, it punches well with anything outside of AliExpress.   At $500, buy a Hamilton Intramatic or a Tissot gentleman or hell even a cocktail time for the visual interest. Times change and the competition has advanced.   

In the terms of @mjosamannen's poll, is it a legend? Yes.  But overrated? Also yes.

Rolex Ceramic Sea Dweller

Sea-Dweller 126600 a week on the wrist | WatchUSeek Watch Forums

Seen in Lahaina at a smoothie stand on the wrist of a gentleman.  I originally mistook this for a ceramic submariner (they all look alike to me) but noticed the helium escape valve and red text.  There is no ceramic Submariner which has red text ergo....

I offered my compliments to the owner who claimed, quite indignantly, that it was a submariner. This happens to me entirely more often than I would like, though the preponderance of incidents seem happen with Rolex owners.  I didn't have the heart to correct him but even from a distance, I can tell the difference between a submariner with a 13mm height and a 18mm tall Sea Dweller with a helium escape valve.

The most perplexing aspect of the entire incident is that Sea Dwellers are rare, much rarer than submariners.  So how did this guy, who can't be bothered to learn the proper name of his watch, get a Sea Dweller instead?  Did he buy it off the grey market and just not look at the listing?  Or did he get it from his authorized dealer?  If so, how did he get allocated a Sea Dweller instead of the clearly easier to get Submariner (from an AD who failed to correct him on the name)?  I have so many questions.

Anyway, I get the point of this watch (super capable dive watch hooray?). But it does, fundamentally, look like a submariner that could use a bit of a diet.  Contrast to the original Pelagos which genuinely looks different from the BB58 from the markers to the handset.

Ultimately, I find this watch very good but very frustrating.  Another Rolex missed opportunity.

Pasha De Cartier(41mm three hander)

Review - The 2020 Pasha de Cartier Stainless Steel 41mm (Specs & Price)

Seen strolling down the beach in Ka'anapali.  This is an unspeakably cool watch, especially when seen walking down the beach.

I won't go into the history of the Pasha or anything like that.  I only know it tangentially and it frankly doesn't interest me all that much.  Some rich guy commissioned a watch in the 40s and then Cartier relaunched it in 1985 with great fanfare and a new Gerald Genta design.  I do regard it as one of the most unique of the Genta descended designs but one infused with strong Cartier DNA.

The dial is a stunning starburst guilloche, with old timey sword hands.  The lugs are absolutely bizarre, with a quick change but fully proprietary strap change system.  They have a, as far as I can tell, completely unique crown system with a fully screw on and off swing out outer crown over a push pull inner crown.  It's utterly whacky and utterly unique.

Frankly, the only design choice i don't realize agree with is that 4:30 date window.....I don't understand why manufacturers do this.  Still, with an inhouse movement and a completely unique design, the Pasha doesn't get nearly enough love from watch dorks.

I offered a quick comment to the wearer but I don't think he heard me...but if you're on here, your watch is so cool!

What cool watches did you see this week?

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I don't know about "legend", but "classic" for sure 😊 Man, you see a lot of watches. Wanna se my watchspoting for the last little while?

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Interesting right 🤢? But did actually tackle some poor guy at the gym to the ground before cross examining him about his watch and letting him get back his biceps curls or whatever. But he wasn't a watchnerd even though I was suuure about it. Vintage handwind Certina on a bund strap?!?! He had it from his grandpa, strap and all...

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Also, my quartz watches are also powered by my movement. The movement to work and afford batteries, the movement to go buy batteries and the movement of changing batteries 😜 How 'bout that?

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mjosamannen

I don't know about "legend", but "classic" for sure 😊 Man, you see a lot of watches. Wanna se my watchspoting for the last little while?

Image
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Interesting right 🤢? But did actually tackle some poor guy at the gym to the ground before cross examining him about his watch and letting him get back his biceps curls or whatever. But he wasn't a watchnerd even though I was suuure about it. Vintage handwind Certina on a bund strap?!?! He had it from his grandpa, strap and all...

But did actually tackle some poor guy at the gym to the ground before cross examining him about his watch and letting him get back his biceps curls or whatever. But he wasn't a watchnerd even though I was suuure about it. Vintage handwind Certina on a bund strap?!?! He had it from his grandpa, strap and all... 

I have been known to do this in the past.  Vintage certina though!  That's an awesome spot right there!

I might have tackled the dude below the knees.

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TAG Heuer Autavia Men's Black Watch - CBE2110 for sale online | eBay

On the wrist of a lawyer that I know. I asked him what it was and he took it off and handed it to me. It was beautiful, but both too large and thick for me. He is a tall fellow and it fit him well. I have to say that I was really impressed handling it. I will say that it was not an "under the cuff" kind of watch and he had cuffs. He told me that he was not a watch guy, "he only had five or six." He is a watch guy.

I saw a police detective with what I took to be one of these:

Men's Citizen CTO Blue Dial Steel 42mm Watch BM7410-51L

I didn't get to ask him because we were both busy. There are many blue watches, but for some reason the blue that Citizen uses is distinctive. I am about 70% confident in this one.

I have no idea how JC id's as many watches as he does. I am not shy, but I don't have more than one or two non-smart watch chances in a week.

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Aurelian
TAG Heuer Autavia Men's Black Watch - CBE2110 for sale online | eBay

On the wrist of a lawyer that I know. I asked him what it was and he took it off and handed it to me. It was beautiful, but both too large and thick for me. He is a tall fellow and it fit him well. I have to say that I was really impressed handling it. I will say that it was not an "under the cuff" kind of watch and he had cuffs. He told me that he was not a watch guy, "he only had five or six." He is a watch guy.

I saw a police detective with what I took to be one of these:

Men's Citizen CTO Blue Dial Steel 42mm Watch BM7410-51L

I didn't get to ask him because we were both busy. There are many blue watches, but for some reason the blue that Citizen uses is distinctive. I am about 70% confident in this one.

I have no idea how JC id's as many watches as he does. I am not shy, but I don't have more than one or two non-smart watch chances in a week.

Love that Autavia story.  With that watch and that collection, he's definitely a watch guy.

And a lovely stunner from Citizen too.  That's a very good looking and distinctive blue.

I have no idea how JC id's as many watches as he does. I am not shy, but I don't have more than one or two non-smart watch chances in a week.

It's a combination of things I suspect.  

1) I live in and travel to big cities a lot.  

2) I do spend a lot of time in social situations with relatively large numbers of people (including business.meetings, networking dinners etc.)

3) I am a bit bold and a bit stupid.  It works for me.

And I enjoy sharing with you guys!

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I only wear my santos when I drink tea with my pinky up and when I feel special… which is hardy… 😉 love your watch adventures, its a great read especially when I’m stuck at home sick with Covid again.. 🥴

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Ichibunz

I only wear my santos when I drink tea with my pinky up and when I feel special… which is hardy… 😉 love your watch adventures, its a great read especially when I’m stuck at home sick with Covid again.. 🥴

Darn, that sucks!  Feel better!

The Santos is 100% an upraised pinky watch.

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Edge168n

Darn, that sucks!  Feel better!

The Santos is 100% an upraised pinky watch.

Thanks…the worst thing is I have been on watch research and it not a good thing 😂..

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Ichibunz

Thanks…the worst thing is I have been on watch research and it not a good thing 😂..

I feel like I need an SOTC from you, stat!  I can't keep up with your collection!

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Edge168n

But did actually tackle some poor guy at the gym to the ground before cross examining him about his watch and letting him get back his biceps curls or whatever. But he wasn't a watchnerd even though I was suuure about it. Vintage handwind Certina on a bund strap?!?! He had it from his grandpa, strap and all... 

I have been known to do this in the past.  Vintage certina though!  That's an awesome spot right there!

I might have tackled the dude below the knees.

He was smaller than me, so it didn't take much effort or technique 🤭

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Edge168n

I feel like I need an SOTC from you, stat!  I can't keep up with your collection!

I hate to admit that I need another 10-12 watchbox 😖…

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Ichibunz

I hate to admit that I need another 10-12 watchbox 😖…

Fill that COVID quarantine time with watch photography and writing!  

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Funny you mention all of a sudden spotting Breitling. I went to Lost Wages this past weekend and one of the Pai Gow dealers was sporting a blue dial Navitimer on that funky stainless bracelet. I couldn't quite tell what year range but it had an applied Breitling wings logo. While I've seen homages to the Navitimer out there, no one is trying to replicate that bracelet so I knew it was the real-deal. 

Also spotted on the plane ride over: a couple sporting pre-ceramic black-dial Daytona (male) and DJ 41 with black dial and diamond markers (female), several classic two-tone DJs including the Lady DJs in the casino and a Cartier Santos small (on a lady in the airport leaving sans wages).

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Rolexahoma

Funny you mention all of a sudden spotting Breitling. I went to Lost Wages this past weekend and one of the Pai Gow dealers was sporting a blue dial Navitimer on that funky stainless bracelet. I couldn't quite tell what year range but it had an applied Breitling wings logo. While I've seen homages to the Navitimer out there, no one is trying to replicate that bracelet so I knew it was the real-deal. 

Also spotted on the plane ride over: a couple sporting pre-ceramic black-dial Daytona (male) and DJ 41 with black dial and diamond markers (female), several classic two-tone DJs including the Lady DJs in the casino and a Cartier Santos small (on a lady in the airport leaving sans wages).

Great watch spotting! 

Vegas is one of those towns where there are just so many great watches all over the place.  I've never bought a watch there but I'm told the pawn shops are legendary.

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Edge168n

Great watch spotting! 

Vegas is one of those towns where there are just so many great watches all over the place.  I've never bought a watch there but I'm told the pawn shops are legendary.

Vegas is a dangerous place (for your 💸 ) on so many levels. Last year while there I tried on the ADLC Santos and didn't manage to walk away without it. 😜