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.
Category: STRUCTURAL – Top Story
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Indeed, there is a bonafide luxury revival going on, a kind of fuck it moment born of what I won’t speculate too broadly, but I haven’t seen anything like it since the 1980s. Whatever down-to-earth aesthetic we had up until the 1980s was tossed aside as the hippies became yuppies, tax reforms favored the rich, and people like the previous president of the USA became (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) tastemakers. Maybe today’s glitz is his fault. Yes, I know he wears a Vacheron, but have you seen his toilet?
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.
If you’re browsing hands-on reviews and considering this watch, I hope you’ll side with me in declaring this Oris 473 as decidedly not following a trend, but Going It’s Own Way, as the Oris creed dictates.
The reference 4073 is effectively a second generation descendant of early Calatrava-style wrist watches from Vacheron Constantin. The first generation began to appear in the 1930s as the company began to work with Jaeger LeCoultre base movements in order to serially produce more modern wrist watches for a changing market. Those earlier references that predate the 4073 include the 2871 and a few models that are not clearly specified by reference numbers. The 4073 began production sometime in the early to mid 1940s.
The reference 4217 is effectively a second generation descendant of early Calatrava-style wrist watches from Vacheron Constantin. The first generation began to appear in the 1930s as the company began to work with Jaeger LeCoultre base movements in order to serially produce more modern wrist watches for a changing market. Those earlier references that predate the 4217 include the 2871 and a few models that are not clearly specified by reference numbers. The 4217 began production sometime in the early to mid 1940s.
What this watch represents to me is a kind of proof that Zodiac is not f’ing around. They’re serious, and they’re making serious dive watches for really competitive prices, and they’re also styled after and reminiscent of one of the most important dive watches in history. I can’t see why Zodiac shouldn’t be fully absolved of whatever sins they may or may not have committed to so greatly offend the horological intelligentsia.
So how does one come to decide which of the many recreations of mil-spec field watches to get? Unless you’re a connoisseur of some specific model or era—which would seem to lead one to vintage anyways—I had found it quite daunting to know where to begin.
The movements in the Fury models I tested ran well within COSC specifications (-4 to +6 sec/day). Bremont tests in-house using its own H1 chronometer protocols, which differ from COSC in that the movements are tested inside the watch they’ll ship in. This is conceivably a better standard, as the actual context of the movement is being tested as well, not to mention there’s no need for regulation after installation into the case as there is with COSC. The crown and setting of the watch felt as good as you would hope for in the price point. This is definitely a quality timepiece.
Like many watches from Patek Philippe (and countless other brands), the original models from the 20th century are just so much mellower and understated than their modern counterparts, but I didn’t expect to have such a strong feeling of understatement and class from a Nautilus – perhaps because the trends have elevated this model to a thing of bling. What this tells me is that even during the disco years, Patek was driven by the same understatement that gave us the Calatrava and countless other gorgeous studies in classic design over the 20th century.