In the New Year, this list appeared: six models of watches that I would love to add to my set in the New Year, guided by not only personal tastes, but also rational reasons.
Six watch models that I would like to add to my set in 2023: Astron’s technologically advanced GPS watch, Citizen’s proven diver, Seiko’s legendary Tuna, Casio’s practical office watch, Russia’s Lightning, and the unusual Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador.
1. Tech watch: Seiko Astron SSJ003J1
Astron was the name of the world's first mass-produced quartz watch, which Seiko launched in 1969. In general, with this model, the quartz revolution began, which turned the watch world upside down. Now the legendary name is one of the older lines of Seiko - high-tech watches with GPS time correction.
Not all tech watches are practical. The correct manufacturability, in my opinion, is the one that is useful to the owner of the watch in real life. In my opinion, the epitome of proper, sensible manufacturability is the Seiko Astron SSJ2021J003 introduced in 1. Here's what they have:
- GPS-correction - the watch sets the exact time, date and time zone according to GPS satellites, automatically or at the touch of a button. That is, your Seiko shows time with the accuracy of atomic clocks (error - 1 second in 100 years). And when you arrive in another country, the clock will automatically adjust to the new time zone.
- Solar panel that does not need to be changed. In combination with GPS and a perpetual calendar, this means that the watch does not require any worries from the owner. That is, none at all - neither to set the time, nor to translate the date, nor to change the battery.
- Ceramic bezel that won't scratch. Theoretically, it can be split, but office watches are much more likely to collect a web of scratches than to receive a hard blow.
GPS, ceramics, solar panels are useful things, but not new. New to this Astron is the size. Usually GPS watches are quite large. But this time, Seiko engineers managed to fit the GPS module into a small case with a diameter of 39 mm and a thickness of only 11 mm. That's great: it is convenient to wear such a watch under a long sleeve, it is comfortable to wear for people with thin wrists.
In general, if I had to leave only one item on the wishlist, I would leave the Seiko Astron SSJ003J1. They are damn perfect!
2. Personally tested: Citizen NY0140-80E
After spending some time with this watch, I can honestly say that it deserves a place in the set. They are strong, elegant and feel very high quality - a kind of "tank in a tailcoat."
The Citizen NY0140-80E looks good: it gleams with applied, polished, complex hour markers, massive hands, clear edges of the polished case. The discs with the date and day of the week are painted in the color of the dial and do not look like a foreign spot.
The diver feels great in the hands. Readability is beyond praise, bright and long glow of the phosphor, a unidirectional bezel with clear clicks, a cast bracelet with uniform gaps, a sapphire with anti-glare, a pleasant rustle when translating the date create the impression of a high-quality, durable item. I will especially note the convenient location of the crown “at 8 o’clock” – it does not rest against the wrist, no matter what you do.
ISO 6425 diving certification means high water resistance, anti-shock and anti-magnetic properties. That is, it is not a killable watch (but indestructibility does not apply to polishing). In addition, the NY0140-80E has many references to the rich and interesting history of Citizen sports watches - Parawater, Aqualand, Promaster Marine. It's nice to know this and wear a watch with a background.
To summarize: this is a universal watch. They will survive diving and hiking. They look interesting: festive due to the game of polishing on the indexes and hands, but not flashy thanks to the black dial. The design is combined with sportswear and smart casual. In general, a true diving watch that will feel great in urban use.
3. Legend: "Tuna" Seiko Prospex S23629J1
Professional divers breathe helium at depth. Helium easily penetrates even into diver's watches and squeezes out glasses when surfacing. In the 1960s, many watch companies began to address this problem. To create watches for professional divers, Rolex, Doxa and Omega decided to build a helium valve into the watch, through which the gas would escape from the watch. And Seiko figured out how to do without it. This is how Tuna appeared: the world's first watch with a titanium monocoque case, the world's first watch with the WR 600, and so on. In total, they became the first in the world in 23 points, and the solutions applied in them were protected by 20 patents.
Most diver's watches are inspired in one way or another by the design of the Rolex Submariner, which makes Seiko's original design all the more valuable. The hallmark of Tuna is a protective casing that covers the bezel from accidental shift on both sides. For its characteristic appearance, the watch is also called Tuna Can - "canned tuna". Probably, there is no watch lover who does not know this model.
The watch is surprisingly comfortable: the crown "at 4 o'clock" does not rest against the wrist, and the contrast diver's dial is easy to read. And, although the tuna body is usually huge, it sits well even on a thin hand - because it has no temples. Here, for example, is the 48mm "Tuna" on my wrist with a girth of 16,5 cm - at the limit, but it sits the same.
In the legendary case, watches of different lines are produced, up to Seiko's flagship diver - the titanium Marinemaster 1000 with a hand-assembled mechanical caliber. Personally, I like the steel quartz Prospex S23629J1 with a 5-year battery, but you can pick up a "tuna" budget - or, conversely, more serious and more expensive.
4. Rational choice: Casio Lineage LCW-M100TSE-1A
The Casio Lineage line is certainly less known than the hyped Casio Edifice, with which they compete in price and positioning. Meanwhile, the older Lineage models should be looked at as an excellent "workhorse": compared to the Edifice, these are more comfortable, functional and discreet office watches.
My favorite is the Casio Lineage LCW-M100TSE-1A D/A. There are almost all useful functions on board: two times, a perpetual calendar, a timer, a stopwatch, alarm clocks. Unlike many comparable Edifice turnouts, all this works through a digital display: it is more convenient to manage and read readings. There is also backlighting, a solar battery and radio correction, which will work both in the west and in the Far East.
Water resistance - sufficient for everyday use WR 50, glass - sapphire. And yet, unlike the Edifice, the watch is made of titanium - a “warm” and light metal, very pleasant for the hand (there are also steel models, they are cheaper and heavier).
The watch is small (40 mm in diameter, slightly more than 9 mm thick) and discreet: perfect for casual and office style, more or less appropriate with sports. In general, there are no special restrictions on compatibility. I do not think that these Lineages will give bright emotions - but they are not conceived for this. But they will become comfortable, useful and versatile watches for every day. And that's why I consider the LCW-M100TSE-1A one of the best options for rational watch selection.
5. Russian watch: Lightning Tribute1984 0060101
In Russia, Vostok, Molniya and Raketa have their own production of calibers. If you choose among them, you can pay attention to the Chelyabinsk "Lightning": they are in the "golden mean" in terms of price, and the "freshest" in terms of time - they announced the resumption of watch production based on their own calibers in 2018.
"Lightning" is equipped with a mechanical caliber 3603 with manual winding (there are models on Japanese quartz, but, as for me, it is not interesting to take them). Passport characteristics are not outstanding, but not bad either: power reserve - 41 hours, accuracy - from -15 to +40 seconds per day (for comparison, the maximum error of the famous Swiss machine ETA-2824 Standard is from -30 to +30 seconds). 3603 is well known back in Soviet times: it was launched in Chelyabinsk in 1984. For a watch mechanism, this is not age - for example, the mentioned ETA-2824 has been made since 1982.
Molniya has several collections on caliber 3603. All of these are large and, as a rule, bright watches. The design of the models is significantly different, and you can choose the option to your taste. For example, I like Tribute 1984 0060101. The dial with several types of guilloche, elegant hands and applied numbers look elegant. And thanks to the strict black color, the model turned out to be quite versatile. "Lightning" is not the best watch for every day (for this - to Casio Lineage). On the other hand, it can easily become an “emotional” watch, a favorite of the weekend, and a Russian pearl of the set.
6. Something out of the ordinary: Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador 3101.1ASR
Cuervo y Sobrinos watches are made in Switzerland, but their style comes from Cuba. The Cuervo y Sobrinos watch shop opened in Havana in the 19th century. At one time, Einstein, Churchill, Hemingway visited it: pre-revolutionary Havana was a fashionable and rich city, lived slowly and tastefully. In modern CyS, the Cuban concept of “slow time” that came from those times is visible: the ability to appreciate the moment and enjoy life.
The Historiador Asturias 3101.1ASR is your entry ticket to the CyS fan club, a relatively affordable automatic three-handler. It is made simply and elegantly: light hands and marks polished in a mirror, "sun rays" on the dial, a complex elegant clasp, a decorated mechanism, refined outlines of a polished case. The water resistance is enough to wash your hands, and the power reserve and accuracy are enough to use the watch every day. But this, in general, does not matter. CyS is not about practicality, but about beauty and emotions.
Whether CyS is appropriate in the office, everyone will decide for himself. They will likely lose value faster once purchased than the more common Longines or Omega. You definitely won’t swim with them - neither in the pool, nor in the Caribbean Sea. But they are nice to hold in your hands, and they are beautiful. They look unusual, and they show the refined taste of the owner.
And yes, a humidor is a gift for a watch with a Cuban history - a box for storing [Cuban] cigars.