Category: Hands-On Reviews

Hands-On – Bremont Supermarine S302 GMT Dive Watch – Gen II with 24-hour Bezel New For 2023

Bremont S302 GMT

Editor’s Note: Allen here. I’ve worn a 40mm Bremont S301 for many years now, and it is not only my favorite Bremont but one of my favorite watches of all time. A Sub-killer, I’ve called it. When Davide Cerrato took over for Bremont he said that one of his challenges was finding a watch that would jump to mind when one heard the word “Bremont.” Arguably, he was right that by the early 2020s no single watch jumped to mind. I immediately thought “put the 40mm divers at the center of the brand.” I’ve argued that the 40mm models are already early classics of the 21st century. If this release tells us anything about the bigger picture for Bremont, perhaps it is that Davide’s ability to anchor a brand with iconic models is coming into play. I hope so, as I’d love to watch Bremont capitalize on the classic lines of these 40mm divers.

Hands On – The Panerai PAM01347 & 01348 Radiomir 8 Giorni

Panerai Radiomir PAM01347 PAM01348

And lastly – if redundantly – wearing the PAM01347 and 01348 in an entirely elegant experience. I can’t stress enough how fine these watches feel to wear. Which isn’t at all what most people have been saying about these models, which are crafted to appear as if they’ve been through decades of hard use. Panerai simply can’t make a watch that’s not finished exquisitely, and that finishing along with brave treatments and unique historical designs simply adds up to elegance.

Hands-On – Tudor Black Bay 54

In March of 2023, Tudor released the Black Bay 54 at the Watches & Wonders tradeshow. I’ve seen this feeding frenzy before with the Baselworld 2018 release of the Black Bay 58. Another Black Bay. Should I care? Curiosity manifested and I asked my local Rolex/Tudor AD to let me know when they got one in (even if it’s already allocated).

Hands On – The Panerai PAM01467 Luminor BiTempo Titanium DLC New York Limited Edition

Panerai PAM01467 Luminor BiTempo Titanium DLC new York Limited Edition

The ultimate strength of the 44mm Luminor, however, is its ability to take on vastly different treatments and always look great. It’s a design that Panerai has long steered in many directions, from fully polished steel time-only models with softened retro colorways to carbon Luminors with pops of primary colors across complicated chronographs. With the limited edition model in hand here, the 44mm Luminor has been given a chic grayed-out treatment to celebrate the opening of Panerai’s new flagship store in Manhattan. With a nod to the Big Apple area code, there are 212 examples for sale of the PAM01467.

Hands On – The Panerai PAM914

PAM914 Panerai

Panerai releasing the PAM914 is like the Rolling Stones playing “Satisfaction.” It was just an undeniably dead-center kind of watch, the one you might have sent out to space to represent Panerai to aliens. It’s the Panerai that didn’t have some feature you wished was or wasn’t there. Here’s why this watch is the perfect Panera.

Hands-On – Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph

Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph 42mm Swiss Watch

I think it’s fair to say that any watch which replicates another instrument is a kind of gimmick. Dashboard watches come immediately to mind, as do more specific gauges like altimeters and speedometers, and even digital recreations of vintage video game consoles, and so on. Rarely do I find these gimmicks interesting or original, but the Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph is an exception to my general disregard for such timepieces.

Hands-On – Bremont Broadsword Recon 40mm Limited Edition Military Watch

Bremont Broadsword Recon Dirty Dozen Watch

One of the problems I often have with two-piece watch cases this thick is that the sides can be super boring or, as the kids say, “slab sided.” The 40mm Broadsword case is 11.9mm tall, which is the exact same height as Tudor’s Black Bay 58, a watch I don’t buy precisely because the thing is so “slab-sided.” (The new BB54 is better, I hear, but I digress.) The Broadsword case is simply not slab-sided. It’s actually quite elegant and interesting.

Hands-On – Nodus Sector GMT Watch

nodus sector gmt

The Sector GMT features a twenty-four-hour hand and scale in a clearly delineated sector on the dial. That scale is raised by a step and I was delighted by the legibility of the second time zone. This is in sharp contrast to the more common long GMT hand stretching to the bezel. I finally understood the sector design advantage. The chapter ring subtly breaks up the six AM/PM with a light blue that matches the GMT hand. It’s a remarkably legible design.

Hands-On – Nodus Sector Deep 39mm Left-Hand Drive (LHD) Dive Watch

nodus sector deep dive watch 39mm

I feel lost these days considering a dive watch costing $575. Seiko had been my benchmark; alas, no longer. As the 2020s roll on, Seiko divers have gone up in cost, if not quality, while random Chinese brands are making better Seikos for $179 than Seiko makes for $900. Now in the $500-range, we’ve got Bulova, Timex, Lorier, Vaer, Vero, Yema, Benrus, Vero, Boldr, Unimatic, Raven, and, yes, Nodus to choose from, among many others. At one time when suggesting a cheap diver, all you had to say was. “Just get an SKX007,” and now I feel like you need to lay out a massive road map and begin plotting a course through late capitalism itself.

Hands-On – Moser Endeavor 42mm Perpetual Calendar Tantalum & Steel With Blue Fume Dial

Moser Perpetual Calendar Endeavor 42mm Tantalum Steel

I can’t think of another serious watch brand—Swiss, nonetheless—of which one can genuinely—that is, without Irony—say: Fucking brilliant, mate…really taking the piss. And it is certainly elevating my foul mood to be awash in thoughts of Moser on this shit morning. This is what I turn to watches for, exactly. I aspire to be as unlike the inhabitants of Hollywood as possible. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool East Coast Aesthete, high-minded and always a little angry at the world for not being as smart as I think I am. I enjoy the illusion that I am an independent thinker, and so when I see something like this Moser Perpetual Calendar awaiting judgment on my desk, I smile knowing that this watch is not going to insult my intelligence, and that it may even challenge it.