NYC Windup Watch Fair 2022 & My Next Watch?

The story NOBODY asked for... but maybe some will appreciate:

Quick warning - novel-length post follows - but some nice pictures...

Once upon a time, I came down with the affliction that caused me to start collecting watches.  For the most part, I never really tried on a watch before I purchased it.  Many were purchased from a previous owner online, and besides, it wasn't like many of the micro and independent brands that I've gravitated to have a boutique I could go to.  So part of my hunt always included watching as many videos about a given watch as I could - I know which reviewers have a similar-sized wrist as mine - so I can try to get a sense of what will work for me.  So far, that's mostly served me well. 

But for months - MONTHS I tell you - I've been excited about the chance to go to the NYC Windup Watch Fair (or as my college-age son chided, "Watch Con") where I could see so many brands/watches that I've had my eye on  - IN THE METAL.... ALL IN ONE PLACE.  This made me more giddy than I should really admit (especially to non-watch folk. 馃榾)  I arranged to finish work a little early so I could have some time on the first day (Friday) to hit the show.

I chose which watch to wear (after all, I was going to the Watchcrunch meet up after - thanks @Max).  I selected my Ming 17.09 - It's one of the nicest from my collection, and I feel like it's the most interesting/least-likely-others-have-seen-in-person watch... My wrist appropriately attired, I excitedly headed from Brooklyn into the city. 

(BTW, my Ming mostly stayed in my pocket during the fair since I was always trying out the wares.)

When I got there I'm sure I had a big dumb grin on my face as I scanned the room.  The phrase "kid in a candy store" felt about right.   I had a couple of hours to hit my mental list of brands/watches that I most wanted to see.  In the end, I made it to almost all the ones I set out to visit, and a few others I discovered along the way.  Something I didn't count on was getting to meet some of the people behind brands I admire.  And what I did count on, and actually got to do was TRY. ON. WATCHES.   

I'm not going to take you, dear reader, through every watch that landed upon my greedy wrist.  For that may try the patience of even the nerdiest of watch nerds.  I enjoyed so many watches that day, and may someday add some of them to my collection. But what I WOULD like to share (and record for my own benefit) are the ones that most set my heart aflame - the short list of beauties that are most likely to be a near(ish)-future purchase.  Any maybe you, oh nerdy watch nerds, can weigh in.

In no particular order:

Oris Aquis 41.5mm - Cherry or NY Harbor LE

I've had my eye on an Aquis for a while - I like the modern-feeling design, and elevated feel... but this was one I could never quite wrap my head around how it might wear/feel on my wrist.  Those in the know are always saying that the dimensions are deceiving.  I've been particularly drawn to the embossed bezel look of a few models.  I went looking for the green MOP limited New York Harbor edition - love the connection to my city, and the green is unlike anything in my collection. They didn't have one, but I tried on the cherry - which quite surprised me with how much I liked it!  The deep red is almost black until the light hits it, and it comes alive!  The 41.5mm fits me wonderfully as you can see in the picture.  As cool as I find their new in-house movements - these two have an SW200-based movement - I'm ok with the less fancy movement when they look and feel this good. I now know I need an Aquis in my life. :)

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf - Ceramic Case - 40mm

I've been charmed by Zodiac.  They have such a clear design language.  I love the retro vibes with modern construction.  Love the history of the brand and the updated take on their back catalogue.  Like how they've had fun with color (like the lime green with sherbet orange diver).  But this black ceramic-cased Sea Wolf (which I believe they announced at the show) was coooool.  The feel of the material, the very particular color/shine of the black ceramic case (that this picture is not doing justice).  The stealthy vibe with the subtle, dark-blue sunburst dial - along with that grey minute track and the applied markers.  So good. Certainly don't have anything with a ceramic case yet.  This could fit into my life (and collection).

Maen Manhattan 37 - Integrated Bracelet - 37mm

This is not one I went looking for.  I feel like I've heard of Maen, a brand based out of Sweden, on the interwebs.  If I had a picture in my head for them, it was vintage-y divers? But I passed them and stopped to talk, and look, and saw their latest.  A watch that's not even available yet - a take on an integrated bracelet watch with more than a bit of Genta inspiration, but feeling like it's own thing to me.  It had this beautiful cote de Geneve pattern on the dial that played with the light in ways I've not seen on a dial before. And I just loved how the rectangle-ish watch felt on my wrist - feeling much nicer than the $600ish pre-order price would indicate. I like the blue (but blue is maybe over-represented in my collection), and they have a copper/bronze feeling dial that also caught my eye. I don't have an integrated bracelet watch yet.  Will this be the first (and maybe a bit more left field than the Tissot PRX)?

AnOrdain Model 1 - Fume Enamel Dial - 38mm

I don't remember where I first came across these guys - I'm pretty sure it wasn't YouTube (which is where I mostly learn about brands to explore).  It was one of the first independent brands I fell in love with from afar.  Long before Teddy started talking them up.  If you don't know them... they're a Scottish company specializing in hand-enameled dials.  The rich colors of the dial, like their Parisian Blue was striking and just plain cool (to say nothing of their custom handset, and old-school font for the numerals - I really love a good font).  And then they made these fume dials with a kind of shine and sparkle, a depth and shimmer that I'd not see anywhere else... I was mesmerized!  Seeing one in person they are even more spectacular!  I wanted that fume blue - it felt the most vibrant of the bunch... or maybe the grey, more understated...

But then there is the plum... Teddy (Baldassarre) has been showing that one on his channel a bunch.  

They're all beautiful, but the fume plum is living rent-free in my mind and heart!  I've been on the wait-list to get one for a while.  I was talking with one of the guys from AnOrdain who was telling me that the enameling process for these fume dials is so complex, with so many things that can go wrong, that they end up rejecting at least 50% of the dials they make (compared to 80-90% acceptance rate on the regular enamel dials).  They can only make so many, so fast. I'll wait... longingly.

Serica 5303 Dive Watch - 39mm

The earlier field-style watch from this French brand, the 4512, had caught my eye.  But then they came out with the 5303 Diver. The moment I saw pictures of this one, I was captivated. It's not quite like anything else I've seen.  It feels kind of retro-cool, but also sleek and modern.  Tool like, but also sophisticated.  Rugged AND refined. That two-tone black and steel bezel, the dial, the proportions, the lollypop markers and the unique end-links on the mesh bracelet... be still my heart. And then I saw it in person... I didn't realize the dial was enameled - so the black (or white, or dark blue, but I settled on the black) had a luster that just doesn't translate to pictures.  The 120 click bezel turned so smoothly... you could feel the click, but it was almost quiet and very subtle. All the little details came together into this stunning package. I'll admit that getting good at fastening the mesh band will likely require a bit of a learning curve, but oh how it feels and looks on the wrist!  39mm was perfect, and only 12.2mm thick makes it pretty compact for a diver. And for just over $1000 it's not inexpensive, but not the most expensive on this list either - and feels worth every penny and more in my estimation.  Will this be next?

Hanhart 417 ES 1954 - 39mm

I wanted to see this one for myself. It looked good in videos (and apparently Steve McQueen loved the very rare original). This one displays an effortlessly cool demeanor (the watch - and Steve for that matter). It's so much better in person. Simple and beautiful. Purposeful and yet oh-so-stylish.  How did this beguile me?  Let me count the ways: The numerals (that six!), the combination of the matte-black dial with the crisp white printing and shiny steel, the fluted, bi-directional bezel that was smooth as buttah to turn (not like the friction bezel on my Vostok at all), the pop of red on the timing bezel, the 100m water resistance(!!) with extra shock protection and anti-magnetic properties, the supple yet textured strap with those curved lugs - oh my!  I was worried that the 13.3mm hight would feel too chunky - but I didn't think so at all.  Several mm go to the high-domed crystal so if felt more svelte than I expected.  They also make a 42mm which looked good on me, but I loved the smaller size (which actually matches that 1950s original).  It's back-ordered but more are coming.  My one mechanical chrono in the current collection is an ST-1901 that I adore.  This, however, would be a step up for sure and add a touch of Steve McQueen-level cool to my wrist :)

Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope - Silver Dial - 40mm

I've admired Junghans as I learned about them in the past.  I think that's the right word, "admired."  The Bauhaus Max Bill watches tickle my brain with their form-meet-function minimalist design.  I was intellectually interested in seeing them in the metal.  But this one... with the dial that has just a hint of shiny silver depending on the light kind of surprised me!  It's 40mm, and ALL dial.  It feels dressy but the opposite of bling-y (with just the tiniest bit of sparkle off the dial).  And that dial!  So clean, with the beautiful Bauhaus numerals just works!  I wouldn't have thought this one would land on my short list... but here it is.  So clean I don't know what else to say about it.  But I might have actually said, "Wow!"out loud when I put it on. I might need some Bauhaus in my collection.

Baltic MR01 - 36mm

Last one.  I know this one is a little bit polarizing.  The 36mm size, the Chinese micro-rotor movement, the offset sub seconds register are not to everyone's liking.  But I just LOVED the design when it first came out - from the polished leaf hands to the textured dial, to the shiny, oh-so-delicious Breguet-style numerals. One of the main reasons I didn't get all that close to purchase before was because I wasn't sure which color I liked best!  The salmon/copper was often in the lead - I love the look of salmon dials, but don't have one yet - and this coppery one looked great. Then I'd see the blue - which made the silver numerals just shine in contrast and made it a bit more casual.  Then something about the silver... in which the polished silver numerals and hands did NOT seem to get lost - in fact popped - on the textured silver background was like some kind of magic trick!  But that coppery salmon dial!  And around and around.  So now I could see for myself - maybe that would help?  Liked them all... but maybe the salmon floated to the top - particularly on the beads of rice they now have as an option. Digging the classic sizing, loving the look, and more attainable price than others on this list. But it would be a long wait to get it in hand as demand has outstripped supply it seems. The next delivery isn't until June of next year.

You made it?  What do you think?

I can't believe you're still reading!  Thanks for coming along!  I saw lots I liked at the fair, that I may yet buy someday (Shout out to the amazing people and watches from Studio Underd0g, Formex, Oak & Oscar, Lorrier, Brew, Monta, Furlan Marri, Christopher Ward, Fears, and Farer - and many more) but these are what made the not-so-short "will this be next?" list.

So now I ask you, dear watch nerd, what do you think of my picks?  Which would you pick for my next?  For yours? Why am I wrong? What did I get right? Did you see anything (in person or on the socials) from NY Windup Watch Fair that captured your interest? And anything else you want to add - Cuz it's always fun to hear from fellow watch nerds!

Righton,Thanks for sharing!! Kid in a candy store for sure.

Cheers! 聽Great to meet ya, nice photos 馃憤. The Baltic on bracelet looks dope

I like your picks, but would mix up models. I had not seen the Oris Payoon previously, and the toxic green dial was just wow. Why they heck could they not make it in a 40? 43.5? 聽Ugh. Missed opportunity.

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The AnOrdain table was great, but since I already own one, I am not about waiting two years to get a new one, however their purple dial is fire. BUT, right next to their table was Paulin. The Neo B was a great surprise:

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I also was nicely surprised by Baltic, but not the MR01. I ended up buying the Bi-Compex. Loved it in person, it is just okay to own so far.聽

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I was glad to get my hands on Autodromo. This one was very nice in person:

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Ditto for Furlan Marri's new release:

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My second favorite watch of the fair was the Fears Brunswick 40:

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And finally my fav, hands down, not really a close competition, short of the same watch in the other colors:

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Could have kept reading a while longer. Thanks for the write up.

Max

Cheers! 聽Great to meet ya, nice photos 馃憤. The Baltic on bracelet looks dope

It was good to meet you also!聽

As for the Baltic, It's possible I may have ordered that one... To arrive middle of next year 馃槢.聽

MinnKonaMike

Righton,Thanks for sharing!! Kid in a candy store for sure.

Then my next thought was, "where do I start?" 馃榿

AllTheWatches

I like your picks, but would mix up models. I had not seen the Oris Payoon previously, and the toxic green dial was just wow. Why they heck could they not make it in a 40? 43.5? 聽Ugh. Missed opportunity.

Image

The AnOrdain table was great, but since I already own one, I am not about waiting two years to get a new one, however their purple dial is fire. BUT, right next to their table was Paulin. The Neo B was a great surprise:

Image

I also was nicely surprised by Baltic, but not the MR01. I ended up buying the Bi-Compex. Loved it in person, it is just okay to own so far.聽

Image

I was glad to get my hands on Autodromo. This one was very nice in person:

Image

Ditto for Furlan Marri's new release:

Image

My second favorite watch of the fair was the Fears Brunswick 40:

Image

And finally my fav, hands down, not really a close competition, short of the same watch in the other colors:

Image

We have some overlap in taste. I really likes the new chronos from Farer. That salmon, and the purpleish one caught my eye.聽

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And the new Fears sports models

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Autodromo was one brand that I wanted to check out, but didn't make it to.聽

Missed Paulin all together... But that Neo B looks sweet.聽

And Furlan Marri is making some beautiful stuff at an amazing price point聽

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As for Baltic, I've had the three hander and the bicompax in my sights for a while.聽

Thanks for sharing!聽

Uncle_Tall

We have some overlap in taste. I really likes the new chronos from Farer. That salmon, and the purpleish one caught my eye.聽

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And the new Fears sports models

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Autodromo was one brand that I wanted to check out, but didn't make it to.聽

Missed Paulin all together... But that Neo B looks sweet.聽

And Furlan Marri is making some beautiful stuff at an amazing price point聽

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As for Baltic, I've had the three hander and the bicompax in my sights for a while.聽

Thanks for sharing!聽

Right on! The purple Farer was great, but I could not get over the salmon dial. I originally shared in my post that I went with the intention on coming home with that Fears in Salmon, but the Farer made me keep the credit card in pocket. Also, seeing their new sports watch took some of the luster away from the original Brunswick. 聽Worn and Wound was selling the Paulin right up until it sold out yesterday. I am upset at my cheap @ss for waiting for a coupon code. 聽

Ahhhhh noooooooo!!! Every time I click and read a thread I want every freaking watch I see鈥. 馃樀鈥嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉he MAEN and AnOrdain 馃い

also love my Oris btw鈥

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Ichibunz

Ahhhhh noooooooo!!! Every time I click and read a thread I want every freaking watch I see鈥. 馃樀鈥嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉煒碘嶐煉he MAEN and AnOrdain 馃い

also love my Oris btw鈥

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I know! So many nice things! And that was just the "short" list.聽

That Oris is beautiful! How do you wear it? Is it an everyday kind of piece for you? I like how it's kind of a "classy diver" that COULD be rugged, but looks refined. (and not like every other diver out there)聽

AllTheWatches

I like your picks, but would mix up models. I had not seen the Oris Payoon previously, and the toxic green dial was just wow. Why they heck could they not make it in a 40? 43.5? 聽Ugh. Missed opportunity.

Image

The AnOrdain table was great, but since I already own one, I am not about waiting two years to get a new one, however their purple dial is fire. BUT, right next to their table was Paulin. The Neo B was a great surprise:

Image

I also was nicely surprised by Baltic, but not the MR01. I ended up buying the Bi-Compex. Loved it in person, it is just okay to own so far.聽

Image

I was glad to get my hands on Autodromo. This one was very nice in person:

Image

Ditto for Furlan Marri's new release:

Image

My second favorite watch of the fair was the Fears Brunswick 40:

Image

And finally my fav, hands down, not really a close competition, short of the same watch in the other colors:

Image

What's the Farer you have there? This is the first time I ever see one like that.

Uncle_Tall

I know! So many nice things! And that was just the "short" list.聽

That Oris is beautiful! How do you wear it? Is it an everyday kind of piece for you? I like how it's kind of a "classy diver" that COULD be rugged, but looks refined. (and not like every other diver out there)聽

I prefer the Oris on the bracelet but the strap is very comfortable..

lphuberdeau

Could have kept reading a while longer. Thanks for the write up.

Thanks! That comment really made my day! Cheers to you!聽

Bill_Martin

What's the Farer you have there? This is the first time I ever see one like that.

I think those chronographs were announced at the show - so not available yet, or on their site.聽

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But so very nice!聽

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