If there’s one thing that’s kept me sane through six months of quarantine, social distancing, wearing masks, and working from home, it’s been fishing. Fly fishing, specifically. I’m lucky enough to have a lake just a few minutes from home that makes for a quick lunch break fishing session. While browsing around the internet, I stumbled upon the Casio Fishing Gear. It’s a digital watch that allegedly lets you know when the best times to fish are by using moon phase data. Like the other two watches on the list, these sub-$20 Casios are a dangerous impulse buy. A few clicks later, and the watch was on its way to my house. How could I not get a watch that lets me know what time to fish!?
The Fishing Timer pulls from inspiration from GSHOCK’s design language. It’s housed in a chunky resin case that has a bunch of different textures, levels, and even some fake screws. It’s not the coolest looking watch out there, but your options are limited if you’re looking for one with a fish indicator on the dial. I opted for the dark green model that has orange text highlights throughout. Despite being a 45.3mm case, it’s very light and wears pretty well on my 6.75” wrist. The star of the show is the entire top half of the dial. This is taken up by the fishing indicator – it displays the likelihood of a good time to fish at a scale of 1 to 5. Instead of just a lame number, the digital screen fills up with small fish icons. When they’re really biting, the screen flashes “FISH” repeatedly. This thing really wants you to hit the water. One of the most fun parts about the watch is that you can scroll through individual days and search hour by hour to see when the fish will be biting. Then, you can set an alarm for that day and date, ensuring that you’re ready to go when the watch says so. There’s also a moon phase display on the main dial and a little bar that fills up every ten minutes. Admittedly, I couldn’t find anything about this in the manual, but I’m assuming it’s to know when to change up your fishing spot. If it’s been 10 minutes with no bites, it’s time to move on. Additionally, the watch features a stop watch, timer, 3 alarms, a dual time display, backlight, and a 10 year battery. Available from Casio here.
There you have it. 3 fun Casios, all under thirty bucks. For the price of a nice nato strap, you could add an entire new watch to your collection instead. Do you guys have a favorite affordable digital watch? Make sure to let us know what it is and why you like it in the comments below.
Who says you can’t go home again? Breguet, the haute horlogerie timepiece manufacturer founded by the visionary 18th-century watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, has built much of its modern collection upon its namesake’s historical invention, the tourbillon. The newest of these timekeepers pays the most direct tribute yet to the founder and to the Parisian atelier where he created his early masterpieces — as well as displaying the 21st-Century technical and decorative mastery for which the manufacture has become renowned.
The Breguet Classique Double Tourbillon 5345 Quai de l’Horloge is unlike any other Breguet tourbillon watch that preceded it and yet in some sense a culmination of all of them. Its two-tourbillon movement, connected by a differential device and in spectacular full view behind a sapphire dial, rotates the entire plate in sequence with the passing hours, and its hand-finished array of components — 738 in all, including no fewer than 81 jewels — include mainplates and bridges in solid gold, a Breguet first. On the rear side of the manually wound Caliber 588N is the painstakingly applied micro-artistry that lends the model its name: a rendering of the “House on the Quai,” — the workshop on Paris’s Ile de la Cité where Abraham-Louis Breguet plied his trade back in the days when he was providing timepieces to clients like Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette — engraved across four golden bridges.
The watch’s round, 46-mm case is made of platinum, with the manufacture’s signature fluting on the sides, and topped with a box-type sapphire crystal. Underneath the glass is the main horological event: the entirely exposed mechanism of the sculpturally crafted movement, pivoting around its axis at the rate of one full turn every 12 hours. Driving this motion are two independent tourbillons, each completing a full rotation per minute. Interconnected by the differential, these regulating organs perform a double revolution, driving the tourbillon bar that serves as the hours hand — crafted in the classical style of blued Breguet hands. Both tourbillons beat independently from one another, each driven by its own barrel, but are coupled with a second pair of wheels that revolves in the central differential. This “double-entry mechanism” determines the average rate of the tourbillons, allowing for the rotating mainplate (made of gold) to orbit the dial twice a day, creating the illusion that the stationary “hour hand” is moving along with the traditional, centered minutes hand, telling the time on the classical blue Roman numerals around the dial’s periphery.
To create this mechanism, one of the most complex ever used in a Breguet watch, its engineers had to update the manual winding mechanism with the addition of independent wheel trains and to equip one of the two barrels with a friction bridle, similar to those used in self-winding calibers, which allows the spring to disengage once coiled until the second barrel is fully wound (for a power reserve of 50 hours). The torque-limited crown is designed to prevent excessive winding of the springs. In addition to the meticulous hand-guilloché on the back of the gold bridges, depicting the facade of 39 Quai de l’Horloge in Paris, the front view of the movement offers its own signature flourish: both barrel bridges are rounded and shaped into the hallmark Breguet “B.” All the parts are straight-grained, chamfered, and satin-brushed by hand, and the gold-etched building facade includes among its artisanal details a window through which the caliber’s wheels can be glimpsed. (Notably, the movement’s essential escapement parts are made from steel in this watch, as per historical tradition, rather than silicon, which is found in most modern Breguet watches.)
The Classique Double Tourbillon Quai de l’Horloge is mounted on a strap that is also a bit off the beaten path for über-traditional Breguet: a “stone”-colored natural slate strap with a rubber base, which fastens the timepiece to the wrist via a triple-folding clasp made of the same platinum as the case. Very limited in production, though not limited to a set number of pieces, the watch will retail for $631,000.
On both of these new models the fine vertical brushing gives a markedly different look depending on the light, and the concentric circles of the seconds subdial breaks up the sparseness. Although the Brunswick Midas and Salmon share the same 38mm cushion case and distinctive handset, they both feature a new set of hour markers. These indices go through a process of CNC machining, diamond polishing and sand-blasting before the particular finish is applied, and the typeface itself is a creation of Lee Yuen-Rapati (Instagram’s OneHourWatch) after spending time studying the Fears watch archives. Also present just outside those applied indices are very small versions of the Fears ‘pipette which has become an identifying symbol for the brand.
One new aspect of the updated Midas model is the inclusion of a solid case back. The hand-wound ETA 7001 is not a bad movement to look at through a display back, especially when finished with Côtes de Genève and a golden ‘pipette’, but Fears has taken on owner feedback to offer this model with a solid caseback which is more comfortable to some.
Patek Philippe is not all about high-end chronographs, perpetual calendars, and repeaters; the brand also offers many complicated timepieces that have plenty of everyday utility. We present a few of them here, in this feature from the WatchTime archives.
1. SECOND TIME ZONE: CALATRAVA PILOT TRAVEL TIME REFERENCE 5524G
Whether for a winter vacation in Canada or a business trip to Japan, a well-thought-out time-zone function is very useful in our mobile era, when people cross time zones almost as often as their grandparents crossed the street. The time-zone indicator is even more useful when it’s complemented by additional displays, such as a day-night indicator or a date display. This is offered by the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, which debuted in 2015. From a functional point of view, this watch adds another practical feature: not only is there an alternately blue and white day-night indicator for home time, there’s also an identical day-night display for local time, i.e., wherever in the world the wearer happens to be at the moment. The date is shown by a hand on a large subdial, which gives the face an attractive, symmetrical look. Finely decorated self-winding manufacture Caliber 324 S C FUS and a handsome 42-mm gold case lend a luxurious aura to this sportily designed pilots’ watch. ($47,630)
If you want to keep an eye on the time in several surfing regions or at various business locations, you need a watch that can simultaneously show the time in more than one time zone. Most such timepieces show the hour in the Earth’s 24 standard (full-hour) time zones. A good example is Patek Philippe’s world-time watch, which debuted in 1937 and has been released over the decades in numerous stylistic variations. The newest model comes with a 38.5-mm white- or rose-gold case. Individually shaped and boldly angular hands rotate above the dial, which is elaborately guilloché-embellished and anthracite colored near the center. This latest incarnation preserves the simplicity of time setting: the traveler brings the desired time zone to the top of the dial by pressing the push-piece at the 10. Meanwhile, the 24-hour ring and the openwork hour hand jump along to stay in synchrony so all of the times are correct after the user has set the watch for a new time zone. The central hour and minutes hands can be repositioned by pulling the crown outward and turning it: this causes only the 24-hour ring to turn along with the hands because the desired reference location should logically remain unchanged. As an aid to orientation, the nighttime hours from 6 pm to 6 am are printed against a black background on the hour ring. The functions are controlled by automatic Caliber 240 HU, for which the suffix “HU” stands for heure universelle, i.e., universal time. ($47,630)
3. ANNUAL CALENDAR: REFERENCE 5396G
Patek Philippe celebrated the 20th anniversary of its invention by debuting two variations of annual calendar Reference 5396 in 2016. This complication is only 20 years old because it was developed several decades after the premiere of its big brother, the perpetual calendar. The mechanism takes into account the various lengths of 11 months throughout the year, but requires manual correction on the last evening of February. Patek Philippe provides the usual indicators for the date, the day of the week, and the month, along with a moon-phase display and a 24-hour indicator that share a subdial at 6. This 38.5- mm watch is available in white gold with a gray dial or in rose gold with a silvery white face. Each variation encases self-winding manufacture Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303. ($47,970)
4. CHRONOGRAPH: REFERENCE 5170R
If, rather than tallying the duration of your own marathon runs, you prefer to time a journey by rail or by car, then the inclusion of a chronograph function in an elegant watch like this one is the right combination for you. With the debut in 2009 of hand-wound Caliber CH 29- 535 PS, Patek Philippe launched its first manufacture, serially produced chronograph movement without other additional functions. This caliber premiered in a ladies’ watch, followed one year later by its debut in yellow-gold Reference 5170J for men. The latter was subsequently augmented by white-gold versions. Rose-gold variations with black or classical silver-colored dials followed in 2016. Each model has a sleekly styled 39.4-mm-diameter case and a face with subdials positioned just south of the dial’s equator. Alongside these “simple” chronographs, Patek Philippe also offers chronograph watches with a split-seconds function, annual calendar, perpetual calendar, second time zone, and world-time indicator. ($81,080)
The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Skin Divers are Now Available at the Windup Watch Shop
Words by Windup Watch Shop
When asked who created the first modern dive watches, usually one or two watch brands come to mind. Brands we’re all very familiar with, whose watches have become, in more sense than one, standards for what a dive watch is. Though back in the ‘50s, when they first created these iconic watches, they sought to make functional tool watches for diving professionals and enthusiasts, these days their watches are status symbols first. While still highly capable, with price tags approaching or north of $10k, one could argue the spirit of the originals has been lost. Luckily, Zodiac is an outlier, having created one of the very first dive watches in 1953 with the Sea Wolf, and continuing to this day to keep that legacy alive with functional, affordable watches.
Today, we’re bringing the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin models into the Windup Watch Shop. The closest watches, visually, to the original, these 39mm, 200m divers have vintage charm, but fully-modern specs. All feature steel bezels with milled out and sometimes paint filled numbers, and dials with the distinctive triangular Sea Wolf markers. Powered by Swiss-made STP 1-11 automatic movements, which are quite nicely decorated, they are also reliable, accurate timekeepers. Starting at $1,095, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin divers are a great way to get genuine vintage-diver provenance in a modern sports watch.