Andrew O'Connor, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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15 best minute repeater watches

Long before the days of glowing indices and hands, telling the time in the dark was a complicated ordeal. Before clocks, sundials obviously were of no use. With the advent of clocks, if there was not enough light to see the time, lighting a flame was the only way to see.

That involved finding a source of flame, something to maintain the flame, and blowing it out when no longer necessary. This tedious task was solved by the idea of telling time with sound. Then, instead of chiming at regular intervals, what if the sound could be recalled on demand? Auditory time-telling was the wave of the future until the prominence of gas lighting and luminescent paint came into being.

A Short Guide to Chiming Watches and Repeaters

Minute repeaters have become a holy grail for many collectors, but there were chiming clocks before there was any sort of repeaters. 

Chiming clocks are clocks that chime the passing of time, usually every hour and sometimes at other intervals, such as every fifteen or thirty minutes. The first chiming clocks appeared in Italy in the 13th century. While many clocks for homes and watches with chiming functions have on-and-off abilities, they do not chime on command. 

Both Edward Barlow and Daniel Quare claimed the invention of the repeating watch before 1700, with the patent filing going in favor of Quare in 1687. However, Edward Barlow’s creation of the rack and snail striking system in 1676 has become the standard for repeating timepieces ever since.

If you imagine a grandfather clock, or even larger, a church clock, certainly the size of the bells and gongs in those clocks are much larger than anything that could fit in a watch. Early repeating watches had small bells in the case, but around 1800, the first wire gongs came into use. Because of their size, watchmakers could fit the repeating complication into much smaller watches. 

Most repeating watches before the 18th century were quarter repeaters, meaning they would repeat the hours and quarter hours. Around 1750, John Ellicot was the first to produce minute repeaters in somewhat large numbers. Minute repeaters chime hours, quarters, and minutes. 

In the 19th century, innovations by Abraham Louis Breguet made the minute repeater more common, but they were still very expensive, and reserved for the most prestigious clients. Around the same time, they also fell out of favor as industrial manufacturing made watchmaking more inexpensive, and gas lighting became widespread. 

Today, chiming watches are still coveted by collectors. Even though they do not serve the practical function they once did, they are still magnificent displays of watchmaking as a craft. 

Difficulty and expense of manufacturing make it so any chiming watch is quite expensive. While module-based complications can make them more affordable, they are still an order of magnitude more expensive compared to other complications. 

Listed below are fifteen modern repeating watches, displaying the best of what these brands have to offer and some of their best creativity alongside audible complications.

15 Best Minute Repeater Watches

1. Patek Philippe 5178G-001

Patek Philippe 5178G-001

The Patek Philippe 5178G was introduced at Baselworld 2017 and has been discontinued as of Watches and Wonders 2024. Any watch from Patek Philippe is unique, and any complicated watch from Patek Philippe is even more so. With chiming watches, Patek Philippe goes above and beyond in regard to finishing, making every aspect of the piece a considered work of art on its own. 

While the 40mm white gold case appears simple from the front, the slide pusher on the side of the watch reveals the minute repeater complication. What makes the 5178G even more special compared to other repeaters is the use of cathedral gongs in the calibre R 27 PS. 

Cathedral gongs are longer and more difficult to produce than standard gongs used in more conventional repeaters. As a result of the larger gongs, the sound is louder and more resonant. While in production, the retail price was set at 360,000 CHF, but today, prices are dictated by the secondary market. 

2. Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie (ref. 26395BC.OO.D321CR.01)

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie (ref. 26395BC.OO.D321CR.01)

The Supersonnerie developments from Audemars Piguet started with the RD1 Acoustic Research. The goal of these developments was to produce a minute repeater that not only was acoustically superior in terms of volume and sound quality but also to build a minute repeater that could meet the expectations of durability required for a modern watch. 

To achieve the improvements in sound, Audemars Piguet considers the case a resonant body, similar to an acoustic string instrument. There is space and channels within the case that allow sound to resonate, changing the timbre and the volume of the chimes. 

The gongs are also mounted to a separate resonating soundboard instead of being mounted to the main plate of the movement, as would be the case with a conventional repeater. Finally, the governor has been reworked to act as a shock absorber, making the repeating aspect of the movement much more durable.

The 41mm wide 18k white gold case of the Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie is water resistant to 20 meters, a notable achievement for a repeating watch. Inside is the hand-wound calibre 2953, which includes the Supersonnerie improvements mentioned. 

While the case may present plainly from the front, turning the watch to view from other angles reveals a timepiece that is incredibly architectural in design. The sculpted case and concave crystal make for a quite dynamic design. 

Audemars Piguet has moved away from publishing retail prices for many of its pieces and suggests making an appointment to express interest in this watch. Regardless of how one pursues this watch, the price may be best presented while sitting. 

3. Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Modern Breguet has little to do with the brand’s namesake, as it is now operated by the Swatch group. Still, they do make an effort to pay tribute to Breguet through pieces like the reference 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon. 

Part of its Tradition collection, the Breguet 7087 combines both a minute repeater and a 60-second tourbillon in a 44mm 18k gold case (either rose or white). While elements of the 7087 keep a traditional style expected from the oldest operating watch brand, the 7087 is a thoroughly modern piece. 

The 565DR uses a peripheral oscillating rotor to wind the automatic movement to its full 80 hours of power reserve, allowing for a full view of the back of the movement. 

The movement is finished and designed to recall Breguet’s early pocket watches, but the bridges are titanium. Numerous components are made of silicon, allowing for magnetic parts to be part of the movement!

The governor for the chime is a series of magnets designed to repel and attract each other at a consistent rate, allowing for the chime to be consistent use after use, and silent. The gongs are mounted on the dial side to the bezel of the watch, allowing for a more efficient transfer of the vibrations.

The hammers can be seen underneath, striking the gongs perpendicularly for efficiency. While looking very steampunk and modern, the transmission chain recalls Breguet’s original pocket watches. The Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is really a modern interpretation of Breguet’s innovations as if they asked, “What would Breguet make today if he was still around?”.

It is truly a fascinating watch that is a mechanical enthusiast’s dream. At the time of release in 2015, the Breguet 7087 retailed for 450,000 CHF. 

4. A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater (ref. 606.079)

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater (ref. 606.079)

The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater is the first minute repeater produced by the brand. Most minute repeaters are made of gold, and even some modern ones are made of other materials due to better resonance.

Interestingly, A. Lange & Söhne chose to release this watch in platinum, which is typically thought to sound dull as it is pretty dense and soft. Even if platinum is not ideal, the Richard Lange Minute Repeater shows off what A. Lange & Söhne does best, and that is finishing.

The dial and case are exquisitely finished, with distinct contrasts between brushed and polished surfaces on the case. Complicated watches can become quite large very quickly, but Lange managed to keep things restrained, with the timepiece measuring 39 mm wide and 9.7 mm thick. 

The hand-wound L122.1 movement is truly something to behold. Completely finished by hand, the hand-engraved elements and beautifully chamfered edges are second to none. The governor for the repeater is finely finished, with a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces.

While the repeater is the centerpiece, the governor may steal the show when viewed through the case back, as it spins rapidly when the repeater is engaged. Keeping with the prestige of the brand, the A Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater is priced upon request. 

5. Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon Platinum (ref. 6500T/000P-B100)

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon Platinum (ref. 6500T/000P-B100)

Vacheron Constantine’s announcement of the Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon in 2016 was a big accomplishment. The 2755 TMR movement inside was completely designed, developed, and produced by Vacheron Constantin.

While part of the Holy Trinity of watchmaking, it is not uncommon for any watch company to rely on outside resources to create a new movement. Vacheron was truly flexing their horological mite when releasing this watch.

Combining a tourbillon with a minute repeater is no small feat. While the hand-wound Geneva Seal certified movement and 18,000 bph beat rate point towards old-school watchmaking, the 58-hour power reserve, 44mm wide case, and 30 meters of water resistance are definitive indications of modern advancements. 

The dial features a hand-guilloché motif, and there is a power reserve indicator in the movement, seen through the case back. Another interesting detail is that Vacheron worked the Maltese cross into the design of the tourbillon cage. 

Available exclusively from Vacheron boutiques, the purchaser also receives a resonance boosting holder called “La Musique du Temps.”

6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (ref. 1313520)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (ref. 1313520)

Known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker for their history of supplying some of the best brands with movements and parts, Jaeger-LeCoultre is no stranger to high complications. Having produced over 200 different repeating calibers within their history, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon fits in with their tradition of creating finely crafted timepieces. 

The Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon was the thinnest minute repeater ever produced when it was launched in 2014. With the movement measuring 4.8mm thick and the case measuring 7.9mm thick, it may be surprising that the calibre 362 has a platinum peripheral rotor for automatic winding of the watch.

Additionally, the rotor is between the movement and the dial side of the watch, which can be seen through the dial cutouts that double as sound holes for the repeater. To further ensure the best sound possible, Jaeger LeCoultre utilized “trebouchet” hammers that allow the gong to be strong with the greatest force possible.

The gongs are mounted to the sapphire glass to improve acoustic volume. The 41mm case is made of white gold, chosen for the best quality of sound for a precious metal. At the time of release, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Tourbillon retails for 294,000 Euros. 

7. Blancpain Villeret Minute Repeater Automata White Gold (ref. 6033-1542-55)

Blancpain Villeret Minute Repeater Automata White Gold (ref. 6033-1542-55)

If watching the repeater hammers leaves you wanting, the Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Minute Repeater Automata will definitely add some excitement to the owners’ minute repeating enjoyment. Automata, broadly speaking, refers to mechanical objects that complete actions following a set list of instructions.

Minute repeaters themselves are automata. In watchmaking, they generally refer to objects that mimic lifelike movement for the sake of entertainment. During the late 1600s, watchmakers made watches that included moving figures, frequently depicting scenes of human pleasure.

This delighted wealthy clients but did not delight the ruling and religious bodies of Switzerland, resulting in them being banned. Watches found to have lewd scenes depicted were confiscated and destroyed. Erotic automata did not effectively exist until the rebirth of the mechanical watch industry after the quartz crisis.

With modern Blancpain being reborn from this period, they brought back this art form with their Villeret Minute Repeater Automata. Released in 1993, the caliber 332 utilizes cathedral gongs, and the “piece unique” indication on the dial refers to the scene on the back, as each scene is unique to each watch. 

Measuring 37.5mm wide and 10.3mm thick, the conservative front-facing appearance is reinforced by the case dimensions. It is also quite impressive to consider that they managed to fit both the repeater and the automata in a relatively thin case. This reference is still in the current Blancpain catalog and has a retail price of 278,100 USD. 

8. IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater (ref. IW544907)

IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater (ref. IW544907)

Minute repeaters are truly amazing feats of engineering and craft, but they almost exclusively carry lofty price tags with them. While the IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater is still pricey at 89,100 USD, it is definitely one of the more affordable minute repeaters when purchased new. 

The 44.2mm wide case is made of 18ct 5n red gold. The manual wound 98950 calibre is an IWC manufacture movement and stays with the Portugieser tradition of a large movement placed in a large case. 

Unfortunately, while the movement is beautifully finished, the showpieces of the minute repeater, the hammers, and the governor, are not on display through the case back. Even though the price tag is still large, compromises have to be made to keep the cost in check. 

If there is such a thing as a minute repeater on a budget, the IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater would be as close as one can get. Even with the complication not on full display, lucky owners still get to experience a luxurious case material and sonorous complication. 

9. Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater (ref. 458.HX.1170.HX.YOS)

Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater (ref. 458.HX.1170.HX.YOS)

High-end complications are often reserved for the best of what watchmakers have to offer, usually resulting in precious metals being used for the cases. While gold and platinum are undoubtedly luxurious, many modern collectors desire modern materials. 

The Hublot Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater was produced in a limited edition of 18 pieces, each in both black and white ceramic. This is the first minute repeater to be produced in a full ceramic case, bezel, and bracelet. Additionally, Hublot made the watch water-resistant to 30 meters, which is quite the feat of engineering considering the material and complications. 

At 43mm in diameter, this is definitely not a small watch but relatively restrained by Hublot standards. The MHUB801 manually wound caliber inside features an 80 power reserve, showing off Hublot’s ability to engineer movements with long power reserves, especially with complicated movements. 

The Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater retailed for 280,000 CHF, which looks reasonable considering the engineering needed to create this timepiece, compared to other watches on this list. If high-level complications and modern design are desired, this is definitely a watch to look at. 

10. Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime (ref. 522.

Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime (ref. 522.

Omega really impressed the watch world by releasing the Speedmaster Chrono Chime in 2022. Instead of the traditional chiming complication that somehow represents the current time, the Chrono Chime audibly represents the elapsed time of the chronograph.

The Calibre Omega 1932 was developed in partnership with Blancpain. While the repeating function is built like a traditional minute repeater, as mentioned previously, it chimes the elapsed time of the chronograph. 

It will chime a high tone for the elapsed minutes, two tones for the elapsed 10 seconds intervals, and a low chime for individual seconds. Additionally, the 15-minute chronograph is fully integrated into the movement and has a rattrapante function, allowing for the timing of two separate events. 

The watch itself is as luxurious as Omega gets. The 45mm wide case and 21mm wide bracelet are full 18k Sedna gold, Omega’s proprietary red gold alloy. The dial is blue aventurine “Grand Feu” enamel and features 18k red gold hands, markers, and sub-dials.

The presentation box includes a resonance plate in spruce to amplify the sound of the chimes. A numbered edition, but not limited, the Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime retails for 486,000 USD. 

11. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (ref. 103669)

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (ref. 103669)

The original Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater was released in 2016, with this updated version released in 2022. Bulgari set the record for the world’s thinnest minute repeater in production with this timepiece, with the movement measuring 3.12mm thin, and the case measuring 6.61mm

While not a sports watch, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is maybe one of the more sporty looking. The 40mm case is made of sandblasted titanium, and the blue strap is made from FKM rubber. While not suitable for water sports, the case does manage to maintain 30 meters of water resistance.

The blue dial features cutouts for the indices, which are done to amplify the repeater’s sound.  Additionally, titanium makes for a great minute repeater case, as it does not dampen the sound as much as precious metals.

While the case width seems moderate and the thinness is remarkable, Octo Finissimos have a bold presence on the wrist, wearing more like a large cuff bracelet than a traditional watch. At the time of its release in 2022, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater retailed at 195,000 Euros. 

12. Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater (ref. J031033200)

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater (ref. J031033200)

Jaquet Droz is likely the most famous watchmaker in regard to automata. Much tamer than Blancpain already mentioned, some of his most notable works are the three-doll automata. Consisting of the musician, the draftsman, and the writer, these mechanical wonders from the last half of the 1700s are still functioning today. 

Drawing on that tradition is the Bird Repeater. In addition to the minute repeater, the automata on the dial depict a scene of baby birds being fed by their parents. The small birds move, seemingly begging for food, while the two adult birds move to feed and protect the offspring. 

This particular reference is a limited edition of eight pieces. The 47mm wide red gold case houses the RMA88 movement, a hand-wound caliber featuring Jaquet Droz’s contemporary signature, and an offset dial.

The time-telling part of the dial is black onyx, with the background being hand-carved and painted mother of pearl, along with the birds being hand carved and painted as well. 

The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater is a remarkable combination of engineering, creativity, and craftsmanship. Offering something unique to the brand, it would be a stand-out piece in any collection. The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater retails for 508,600 USD. 

13. F. P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine

F. P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine

Largely considered one of the best living watchmakers, Francois Paul Journe has created some of the best contemporary masterpieces in horology. While watches like the Chronometre Bleu get a great deal of attention from collectors, it does not come close to representing what the brand is capable of. 

The F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine contains a tourbillon with remontoir d’égalité, a minute repeater, sidereal hours and minutes, a 2nd timezone, a moon phase indicator, an annual calendar, an equation of time, a sunrise and sunset indication, a dead-beat second, and all settings are set via the crown. 

The last is particularly notable, as many complicated watches similar to the Astronomic Souveraine utilize pushers in the side of the case to adjust the complications. Additionally, to enhance the sound of the minute repeater, the 44mm wide case is made of stainless steel, chosen for its quality of sound compared to precious metals. 

The retail price of the F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine in 2019, upon original release, was 889,000 CHF. 

14. Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto

Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto

The focus on chiming watches in general at the beginning of the article comes into play with the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto. Released in two 300-piece limited editions in blue and green, the 41mm titanium-cased Bel Canto features a Sonnerie au Passage complication, meaning the watch chimes every hour at the top of the hour. 

Christopher Ward accomplished this by using their own jump-hour module on top of a Sellita SW200-1. The chiming components of the watch can be seen on the dial side of the watch, with the hammer at the bottom of the dial, and the gong running around the periphery. 

Priced at 3,595 USD on a strap or 3,975 USD on a bracelet, the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto offers a great entry point into mechanical chiming complications. It is definitely the most affordable watch on this list, and it may be even more mesmerizing to consider it is around the same price as a Tudor Black Bay. Since the original release, other dial colors have been released as part of Christopher Ward’s current collection. 

15. Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

Should the function of a minute repeater, along with many other complications, appear to be immediately practical, but durability and affordability are of concern, then the Breitling Aerospace Evo may fit the bill. 

The Aerospace was originally released in 1985 and features a mixed analog and digital display. The main time telling is done via the hours and minutes hands on the dial, while the additional functions are displayed via the digital screens.

While many may disregard this watch as it does run off of the Breitling Quartz Caliber 79, this SuperQuartz movement is thermocompensated, contains a 1/100th of a second chronograph, 4-year calendar, countdown timers, 2nd timezone, alarm, and minute repeater. The 43mm wide case is made of titanium and is water-resistant to 100 meters. It also has a unidirectional bezel to cover additional timing needs. 

For the right enthusiasts, the Breitling Aerospace Evo offers a great deal of value. While maybe not a mechanical marvel in the same way as some of the other watches featured, it does have its own charms and feats of engineering. The Aerospace Evo on a titanium bracelet currently retails for 4,450 USD. 


Chiming watches are truly mechanical wonders. Even though they have always been intended for the most affluent of clients, there are aspects that all watch enthusiasts can appreciate. The engineering and craftsmanship needed to execute a chiming watch well require watchmakers at the top of their craft. 

Fortunately, there are a few companies that occasionally come up with a way to make a chiming watch slightly more democratic in terms of pricing, allowing for a few more enthusiasts to appreciate the delight of chiming watches, even if they are redundant in modern society. 

best breitling pilot watches for the aviation enthusiasts

When watch enthusiasts think of pilot watches, many likely gravitate towards large, time-only watches styled after those famously used in World War II and built by German-speaking brands. While originally utilitarian, the stark look attracts many.

Pilot watches can also mean chronographs and slide rules, as timing events, calculating distances, and other necessary math were crucial aspects of a pilot’s job, especially before onboard computers. Possibly the most famous brand manufacturing such chronographs is Breitling. 

Breitling’s History and Creation of Pilot Watches

Breitling started in 1884 in Saint-Imier, Switzerland by Léon Breitling. In 1914, the business was passed on to his son Gaston. Gaston’s son Willy took over in 1935. Their early historical developments centered around the automobile and making improvements to the chronograph.

Adding a tachymeter, a second reset pusher, and creating one of the first wrist-worn chronographs were all developments made by Breitling between 1905 and 1934. In 1938, Breitling founded the “Huit Aviation” department, their own research and development arm aimed at meeting the needs of both civil and military pilots.

In 1940, Breitling unveiled the Chronomat, short for “chronograph-mathematique.” The slide-rule inner bezel allowed for a myriad of calculations. In 1952, Willy Breitling started adapting the Chronomat for aviation-specific use, including calculations for speed, distance traveled, fuel consumption, and ascent rate.

In partnership with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Navitimer was born, and became publicly available in 1956. In 1962, the Cosmonaute was developed. Geared towards space use, the 24-hour format and enlarged bezel were tailored to space flight.

Scott Carpenter successfully orbited the Earth with his custom watch, which was later made publicly available. Family control ended in 1979, as the remaining members had no interest in the business. Breitling was bought by Ernst Schneider of the Secure Company.

This era saw the beginning of quartz movements being used and the beginning of Breitling’s focus on “instruments for professionals.” The Chronomat model we are more familiar with today was released in 1984, and partnerships were made with various groups, including the “Frecce Tricolori” model.

In 2017, CVC Capital Partners purchased a major stake, and then in 2018, they purchased the remainder. In December 2022, a Swiss investment and private equity firm called Partners Group took over the company.

The Best Breitling Pilot Watches

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 (ref. AB0137211B1P1)

Originally, the Navitimer was 41mm wide. Modern Breitling, since the early 2000s, has been known for large sizes, and this specific Navitimer is no different. Measuring 46mm wide, 13.95mm thick, and 51.8mm lug to lug, the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 will not be missed while on the wrist.

The look has been modernized while staying close to the original Navitimer design and maintaining the original functions. Only water resistant to 30 meters, this Navitimer is strictly for aviation and dry land use. Inside is Breitling’s own B01 caliber.

A tri-register chronograph with date, the B01 has a 28,800 bph beat rate, with 47 jewels and a 70-hour power reserve. This modern column wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch has a track record of being reliable after years of refinement. The Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46 retails for $9400 on a leather strap. 

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair (ref. AB04451A1C1A1)

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair (ref. AB04451A1C1A1)

Inspired by the Ref. 765 AVI that was released in 1953, the Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair is geared towards modern pilots. The large dial and 46mm case size are to ensure easy legibility. The bezel is knurled, and the crown is oversized to allow easy use, even while wearing gloves. 

The addition of the red 24-hour hand adds extra functionality for the frequent traveler, allowing for the tracking of multiple time zones. Water resistant to 100 meters, it will withstand aquatic adventures too.  The Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT uses Breitling’s B04 calibre. Built upon the B01 movement, the B04 adds the GMT functionality.

The GMT function does add some thickness, but the watch is purposefully large, to begin with. The 46mm wide case measures 15.9mm thick, 51.5mm lug-to-lug, and has a 24mm wide lug width. The Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT, 46 Tribute to Vought F4U Corsair, retails for $11,100 on a steel bracelet. 

Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph (ref. AB01821A1C1X1)

Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph (ref. AB01821A1C1X1)

Intended to withstand the worst anyone could throw at it, the Avenger line is built to be a no-nonsense pilot watch. The bezel, crown, and pushers were all designed to be usable with gloves. The 45mm wide steel case is water resistant to 300 meters.

Not for the faint of heart, at 15.76mm thick and 55.7mm lug-to-lug, legibility and usability take precedence over a svelte stature.

The Avenger B01 Chronograph uses Breitling’s B01 movement, supplying the chronograph and date functions to the watch. This specific model is a limited edition of 500 pieces. The Breitling Avenger B01 Chronograph retails for $7500 on a textile and leather strap. 

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 (ref. AB01383B1G1P1)

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 (ref. AB01383B1G1P1)

To celebrate the discontinuation of the Boeing 747, Breitling released this special edition of 747 pieces. The color scheme used on the Navitimer 43 Boeing 747 is meant to recall the original colors used when the 747 was released in 1969. On the case back, “One of 747” and “The Original Jumbo Jet,” are engraved, again paying homage to the iconic Boeing airplane. 

Inside is the Breitling B01 movement, providing the chronograph and date functions. This 43mm wide watch measures 13.69mm thick, and 49mm lug-to-lug with 22mm lug spacing. The stainless steel case is water resistant to 30 meters. The Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747 retails for $9600 on a leather strap. 

Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 (ref. AB0119131C1P1)

Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 (ref. AB0119131C1P1)

The Aviator 8 collection is intended to be a simplified version of their pilot watches. While intended to be incredibly useful and practical, the Navitimer may be too busy and complicated looking for some. If that is so, the Aviator 8 collection is worth looking at. The Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 is 43mm wide, 13.97mm thick, 51.1mm lug-to-lug, and has 23mm lug spacing.

The steel case is 100 meters water resistant, and inside is the Breitling B01 movement. In addition to the chronograph and the date, there is a rotating 12-hour bezel that can be used to time additional events or to track an additional time zone. The Breitling Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 retails for $8300 on a steel bracelet. 

Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 43 (ref. A32397101A1X1)

Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 43 (ref. A32397101A1X1)

Again, the Avenger series is intended to be Breitling’s modern tool watch series. This Avenger Automatic GMT measures 43mm wide, 12.28mm thick, 52.6mm lug-to-lug, and has 22mm lug spacing. Inside is the Breitling 32 movement, which is based on the ETA 2892-2. 

This movement offers a 42-hour power reserve and an adjustable 24-hand in addition to the time and date. While largely intended as a pilot’s watch, the Avenger GMT could also be used as a diver with its 300 meters of water resistance, high contrast dial with lumed indices, and a lumed pip on the rotating bezel. The Breitling Avenger Automatic GMT 43 retails for $4300 on the leather strap with a tang buckle. 

Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute (ref. PB02301A1B1A1)

Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute (ref. PB02301A1B1A1)

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, the Cosmonaute was Breitling’s Navitimer adapted for space travel. The original was the first Swiss-made chronograph worn in space on May 24th, 1962, at the personal request of Scott Carpenter when he boarded the Mercury-Atlas 7.

The 24-hour format was used to differentiate between AM and PM, as the concept of day and night does not exist in outer space. The Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 is a modern re-issue of the original. Made in 362 pieces to mark the 60th anniversary of the original mission, this special edition features luxury updates, including a platinum bezel and sapphire caseback.

The 41mm steel case is 30 meters water resistant, and measures 13mm thick, 47mm lug-to-lug, and has a 22mm lug width. Inside is the B02 movement, which is the same as the B01, but modified to display 24-hour time. The Breitling Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 retails for $11,500 on the steel bracelet.

Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 (ref. A17315101B1X2)

Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 (ref. A17315101B1X2)

This version of the Aviator 8 is maybe one of the more fashion-oriented Breitling’s featured here. While still maintaining a clear legible dial and rotating bezel marking elapsed time, the tan lume and lack of additional marking on the bezel are less utilitarian and more vintage-inspired, recalling designs from the 1930s and 40s. 

The 41mm steel case of this Aviator 8 is water-resistant to 100 meters, measures 10.74mm thick, 48.7mm lug-to-lug, and has a 21mm lug spacing. Inside is the Breitling 17 movement, which is based on the ETA 2824-2. The movement has a 38-hour power reserve, a date function, and is chronometer-certified, keeping with Breitling’s tradition of chronometer watches. The Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic 41 retails for $4250 on a leather strap with a folding clasp.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 (ref. AB0139241C1P1)

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 (ref. AB0139241C1P1)

Much the same as the Navitimer 46 already mentioned, this 41mm version is closer to the original Navitimer, with a modern movement and case finishing. The smaller case size pairs down the dimensions, measuring 13.6mm thick, 47mm lug-to-lug, and has 22mm lugs. 

Additionally, the 41mm gets unique colorways that are different from the other sizes. Pictured here in blue with black sub-dials, it may be the most suitable for daily wear. The Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41 retails for $9200 on a leather strap.

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

The Breitling Aerospace was originally released in 1985 and was a groundbreaking multifunction watch at the time, including developments such as a thermo-compensated quartz movement, mixed analog and digital display, and a digital minute repeater. 

Today, the Breitling Aerospace continues to maintain the usability of the original. Equipped with the Breitling 79 Super-Quartz movement, it is based on the ETA 988.352 movement and has a battery life rated to 3 to 4 years. 

The 43mm titanium case measures 10.8mm thick, 52mm lug-to-lug, and has a 22mm lug width. The case is also rated 100 meters of water resistance. The Breitling Aerospace Evo retails for $4450 on a titanium bracelet. 

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (ref. AB0910371B1X1)

Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition (ref. AB0910371B1X1)

Vintage re-editions have their place. While some enthusiasts want something entirely new, some enjoy vintage watches’ look and feel. Vintage watches have their own problems, as they can be difficult to service and maintain because of their age.

This is where vintage re-editions come in, as they present many of the charms of a vintage watch with the reliability and durability of a modern watch. The Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition aims to match the original Navitimer as closely as possible. The dial text and printing present as if someone found a new-old-stock example.

The case was measured to replicate the exact dimensions of the original. Breitling even used a high-domed Plexiglas crystal instead of sapphire to heighten the vintage look. Inside is a modern B09 movement, a COSC-certified hound-wound version of Breitling’s B01 movement. 

The stainless steel case measures 41mm wide, 12.98mm thick, 48.7mm lug-to-lug, and has a 22mm lug width. Because of the Plexiglass crystal, the weight is notably lighter, weighing in at 75g on the strap. True to the original, the watch is rated to 30 meters of water resistance. The Breitling Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition retails at $9050 and is limited to 1959 units.

Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition(ref. AB0920131B1X1)

Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition(ref. AB0920131B1X1)

Breitling gave reference 765 the same treatment as reference 806 with the Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition. Limited to 1953 watches, this watch re-creates the reference 765, which served as the inspiration for Breitling’s current AVI collection. Here, Breitling went with a more aged look with the luminescent paint on the dial.

The stainless steel case has an external bidirectional bezel, is water resistant to 30 meters, and measures 41mm wide, 14.06mm thick, 48.7mm lug-to-lug, and has a 22mm lug width. Inside is the same hand-wound B09 movement as the 1959 Navitimer Re-Edition. 

The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition retails for $9050.

Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf (ref. A17319101I1X1)

Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf (ref. A17319101I1X1)

Maybe best suited for underwater duty with a staggering 3000 meters of water resistance, the bright yellow dial and large 45mm size of this Avenger 45 Seawolf should still be legible if reading in a cockpit. Like other Avenger watches, this watch is designed to be used as a tool, with the functions being easily utilized in a variety of environments.

The steel case measures 45mm wide, 18.39mm thick, 55.2mm lug-to-lug, and has a 22mm lug width. With those dimensions, this watch is not for the faint of heart, as the thickness is more than the strap widths on many dress watches. Inside is the Breitling 17 automatic movement. The Breitling Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf retails for $4350 on a leather strap with a tang buckle.

Breitling Emergency (ref. V76325221B1S1)

Breitling Emergency (ref. V76325221B1S1)

The Breitling Emergency is similar to the Aerospace Evo, with the Breitling 76 thermo-compensated quartz movement inside. In addition to the chronograph, 4-year calendar, countdown timer, and second timezone, a dual-frequency distress beacon can be used in emergencies. 

Should one find themselves in an emergency situation far away from conventional communication, the distress beacon can be accessed by unscrewing and pulling the crown on the bottom lug, releasing the antenna. Once activated, emergency responders will be able to pinpoint your location and provide assistance. 

The DLC-Coated titanium case is water resistant to 50 meters and has a bi-directional external bezel. The case measures 51mm in diameter, 21.6mm thick, 65.5mm lug-to-lug, and has a 26mm lug width. The battery life of the Breitling 76 movement is rated at 2-3 years. 

The Breitling Emergency retails for $18,760 in titanium on a rubber strap. Additionally, should you activate the emergency beacon in a non-emergency situation, there is a very, very, large fine. 

Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission (ref. V13375101C1X1)

Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission (ref. V13375101C1X1)

The “super” part of the title of this watch is not to be taken lightly, as it likely refers to the bold 48mm wide case dimension of the watch. Made in DLC-coated titanium with a blue dial and strap, these aspects will provide some much-needed visual and physical levity to the timepiece. 

The Super Avenger Chronograph 48 uses the Breitling 13 movement, which is based on the Valjoux 7750. In addition to the large case diameter, the case measures 17.73mm thick, 59mm lug-to-lug, has a 24mm lug width, and is rated to 300 meters of water resistance.

The titanium will lessen the weight, but this watch is definitely about presence. The Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission retails for $6400 on a leather strap with a tang buckle. 


Breitling’s history has been devoted to building purpose-oriented timepieces that are still attractive objects of horology. Even today, while some watches are quite large, their size and design are still oriented toward utility. Breitling’s aviator timepieces are aimed at those who are both technically and adventurously minded and are in need of a timing companion for their excursions.

Seiko Metronome Watches

Metronomes are an essential tool for musicians. Playing in time is one of the fundamental skills necessary to be successful in performing almost any style of music, let alone getting called to perform with others. 

To practice this, musicians often rely on metronomes to provide a steady pulse to practice to, and illuminate their mistakes. Because of this, metronomes are sometimes referred to as one of the great equalizers in the field of music. 

Metronomes function by making a noise at a steady rate, which is set by the user. For example, if practicing a piece performed at 140 bpm (beats per minute), the user would set their metronome to that pace and attempt to perform the passage at that pace. Depending on what needs to be addressed and the user’s goal, they may slow or speed up the metronome.

Conventional metronomes you may have seen on a relative’s piano required a mainspring to be wound, and a counterweight would be used to adjust the tempo. More modern ones are digital devices that are pocket-sized and easily fit in instrument cases. With that, there are great apps for smartphones today that are powerful metronomes with extensive tools that aid musicians in their practice routines.

For watch enthusiasts, there are some overlaps between watches and metronome devices. Patek Philippe made a metronome pocket watch around 1880. Cadenzia Palmer also made one that was much more mass-market, and examples can still be found today. However, to the best of my knowledge and research, there has not been an analog display wrist-worn metronome watch until the Seiko Metronome watches released in 2022.

About Seiko Metronome Watches

Seiko Watch Company actually does not produce these watches. Seiko Instruments is responsible for the manufacturing of the Seiko Metronome watches, along with a myriad of technology products. Seiko Instruments has a long history of making metronomes, including conventional mechanical metronomes. 

For the watchmaking component, one may think that Seiko Instruments may be out of bounds making a watch and that they may rely on Seiko Timepieces for that portion. While there probably is some overlap, Seiko Instruments makes clocks in various sizes and with numerous functions, meaning there is plenty of know-how within Seiko Instruments to pull off this impressive watch. 

The Seiko Metronome watches are obviously a unique proposition in the watch world, given the quirky set of complications. For musicians, they propose a handy set of tools to be worn on the wrist. Punctuality for rehearsals and concert call times is essential. 

A metronome, as already described, is a valuable practice tool. Given its ability to mark tempos from 40 bpm to 304 bpm, it allows for a wide variety of practice speeds, in addition to noting smaller note values at slower tempos. 

For example, you could set the metronome at 240 bpm to mark eight notes and 120 bpm. There is also a tuning pitch function, sounding an audible pitch that can be set to A or Bb. You can also adjust the pitch of the A to 440 Hz, 442 Hz, or 443 Hz. 

In-Depth Guide to Seiko Metronome Watches

To cover the more conventional aspects of the Seiko Metronome watches, here are the technical aspects of these unique timepieces.

Case Dimensions

The Seiko Metronome watches measure 36.5mm wide, 39mm lug-to-lug, 10mm thick, and have 18mm lugs. The compact dimensions make them suitable for a wide audience and a number of situations. 

With the design being mostly the dial, it will fill space on the wrist more so than the case dimensions may suggest. The case is rated for daily-use water resistance, which means it can only handle daily hand washing and being caught in a rain storm while on the wrist. 

Model Variations

There are two main dial designs split between two lines: the standard line and the casual line. The standard line has more markings for the metronome, offering more accurate measurements of tempos. The casual line has more colorful dials and fewer metronome markings. Below are the various models separated by product lines. 

Standard Line

SMW002A: White dial, rose gold case, white strap

SMW005A: Turquoise dial, gold case, beige strap

SMW006A: White dial, steel case, black strap

SMW003A: Silver dial, gold case, brown strap

SMW004A: Blue dial, black case, blue strap

SMW001A: Black dial, gold case, brown strap

Casual Line

SMW004B: White and blue dial, steel case, blue strap

SMW001B: White and black dial, steel case, black strap

SMW002B: Pink and white dial, gold case, white strap

SMW003B: Purple and white dial, gold case, white strap

All of the various models come with calf leather straps. There are also special editions with different straps to change the overall look and formality of the watch. 


With the various functions of this watch, it is likely best to look at the owner’s manual to fully understand how to utilize the watch. That being said, here is a brief overview of how to operate the various functions.  The pusher at the lower left side of the watch (8 o’clock) is the function button.

Each press cycles between the different functions. Assuming one is starting in the time-telling mode, a single press puts the watch into metronome mode. Both hands will move to 12 o’clock, and the minute hand will start oscillating back and forth to indicate the desired tempo. 

The hour hand will move to the indicated tempo. The upper left pusher (10 o’clock) controls the audible click for the metronome, and the pushers on the right-hand side of the case (2 o’clock and 4 o’clock) control the tempo. 

The next mode is the pitch mode, with the two pushers on the right-hand side of the case used to cycle through the different pitches. 

To set the time, a long press on the 10 o’clock pusher starts the time setting mode, with the two pushers on the right side of the case used to adjust the time. Another press of the 10 o’clock pusher sets the time, and the watch will begin to run. 


Inside the Seiko Metronome watch is the quartz caliber PA50, which runs on a standard CR 2016 battery that is rated for 2 years. The movement is rated to an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds a month. 

On the Seiko Instrument Japan website, there is a brief explanation of the two specially designed motors for the hands, allowing them to move in both directions for the metronome functions. It is clear that some clever engineering was involved in creating this watch. 

Seiko Metronome Watches Pricing & Availability

Even though the Seiko Metronome Watches have proven popular amongst watch enthusiasts, their availability is limited to the Japanese market. Platforms such as eBay will facilitate global powers being in touch with Japanese dealers, but these platforms may charge a premium above the 26,400 JPY retail price (about 180 USD at the time of writing). 

In addition to the limited market availability, they seem to sell out quite quickly, but with the promise of more being available. With patience, securing a Seiko Metronome Watch should not be too difficult. 

Should You Buy a Seiko Metronome Watch?

As with almost any watch, if it is affordable and interesting, there is no reason why someone should not buy one! With its fun design and complications, it will likely provide some levity to one’s watch collection. 

For musicians who are also watch enthusiasts, a Seiko Metronome Watch will probably be a frequently worn and used watch in their collection. While apps may be more immediately useful, watch enthusiasts know that there is something charming about a more analog wrist-worn experience.


It is always exciting when a watch company releases a unique product, and Seiko Instruments definitely did so here. While its intended use is only immediately practical to a relatively small audience, watch enthusiasts, in general, will likely enjoy interacting with the metronome function. 

Seiko Instruments did a great job of designing an attractive watch while incorporating the indications needed for the metronome and tuner functions. If one is willing to do the extra leg work of locating one, the affordable price makes them attainable to a wide audience.

king seiko vs grand seiko

To most modern watch collectors, Grand Seiko has become a household name. Operating as the high-end arm of Seiko’s many brands, Grand Seiko is well known for making high-quality watches with remarkable movement and case finishing. 

Additionally, their Spring Drive technology provides the old-world charm of mechanical watchmaking with the benefits of higher accuracy of quartz technology. While Credor operates at a higher price tier than Grand Seiko, there is another high-end brand in the Seiko stable below Grand Seiko: King Seiko. 

About King Seiko Watches

King Seiko was launched alongside Grand Seiko in the 1960s. Grand Seiko was founded in the Nagano Prefecture and was always intended to be the best of what the Seiko brand could offer. 

King Seiko was founded in Kameido, Tokyo, and was intended to create high-quality and accurate timepieces with more mass market intentions. With that, given both brand’s desire for quality, advances made in movement and case technology were shared by both brands, allowing them to mutually benefit and flourish. 

The mechanical side of Daini Seikosha’s factory (where King Seikos were made) was closed in the 1970s due to the rise of quartz watches. With that, there was no need for two high-end mechanical watch brands. Grand Seiko even went into developing high-end, high-accuracy quartz watches in addition to their existing mechanical watches.

It was not until some limited editions in 2021 and a full permanent collection in 2022 that the King Seiko brand became part of the Seiko catalog once again. 

About Grand Seiko Watches

Also introduced in the 1960s, Grand Seiko’s factory was focused on the Nagano Prefecture. With the aim of creating the best timepieces possible, the positive reputation of Grand Seiko watches grew quickly. 

The Self-Dater model was produced in 1964 and aimed to provide a suitable daily companion that looked great with everything from daily attire to formal wear. Early developments focused on water resistance, power reserve, and accuracy. 

Through the 1970s, they continued to develop high-beat and automatic winding movements, continuing the quest for accuracy and everyday usability. 

Where King Seiko left off, Grand Seiko continued onwards, releasing their first quartz-powered watch in 1988, which had a rated accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per year! With quartz being the preferred time-keeping technology of the market at that time, Grand Seiko continued to develop quartz technology. 

When mechanical watches started to come back into favor with collectors in the 1990s, Grand Seiko sought to create their interpretation of the ideal daily timepiece. Offering a newly designed automatic movement, their 9S5 series was released in 1998. 

Grand Seiko continued developing mechanical watch technology by offering longer power reserves, complications, and increased accuracy. 2004 saw the release of the first Spring Drive caliber, combining both mechanical and quartz technologies. 

To this day, Grand Seiko continues to develop new movements and watches, reinforcing the original vision of creating the best timepieces possible. 

King Seiko vs Grand Seiko: Which Is The Right One For You?

If you’re looking at vintage examples from the 1960s onwards, picking between the two is more of a matter of personal preference than one being better than the other. 

While some Grand Seiko models are definitely more high-end than some King Seiko models, the accuracy and reliability of vintage pieces are always more variable than modern pieces from well-respected brands. 

When it comes to modern examples, it really is a matter of preference and budget. King Seiko’s current offerings seem to focus on offering a high-quality case, bracelet, and dial finishing but using the 6R series of mechanical movements from Seiko, which can be seen in watches costing less than the King Seiko’s lower price limit. 

For not much more money, the entry-level quartz-powered offerings from Grand Seiko could be considered. While still high-quality watchmaking, picking a quartz watch versus a mechanical watch is a matter of preference as opposed to one being better than the other. 

To get into Grand Seiko mechanical and Spring Drive offerings, the cost will be more than even the most expensive King Seiko currently offered (the SJE095 at $3,829). The Grand Seiko SBGR257 retails for $4,100. The few hundred dollars difference will buy a higher quality movement, but one could argue that the design and detail of the SJE095 are more ornate, justifying the closeness in price. 

Besides overall price, here are a few things to consider.

Brand Recognition

With Grand Seiko being a more well-established brand in recent times, the GS brand definitely gets the nod here. While King Seiko watches are still high quality, it is more of a modern reinterpretation of a dormant Seiko sub-brand. 

Seiko watch enthusiasts will be familiar with the King Seiko brand, but the general public will be less likely to know the King Seiko brand, let alone Grand Seiko. If brand recognition is important and you are considering these two brands, go with Grand Seiko. 

Model Variety

With modern King Seiko being a relatively new offering by Seiko, the Grand Seiko catalog currently offers greater variety. With varying styles (dress, casual, sport, GMTs, dive watches, chronographs, ladies’ pieces, etc.), Grand Seiko likely has a watch that will appease almost any potential buyer. 

King Seiko’s offerings, while very attractive, are currently very limited. I hope King Seiko continues to flourish and expand its catalog. Even then, I can imagine that they continue to offer watches in a similar style, whereas Grand Seiko has managed to venture into more diverse model ranges. 

Build Quality & Finishing

Both product families are manufactured by Seiko and are at the higher end of the product lineup. That means that they will be of high quality and will likely last generations with proper care. 

King Seiko’s biggest value proposition is their level of case and bracelet finishing. While not quite on the level of Grand Seiko, they definitely punch above their price, competing with other brands that cost multiple times more than King Seiko’s retail price. 

Where Grand Seiko is much better, and it is reflected in the prices, is their level of finishing overall. The hands, dials, and indices are expertly mirror-polished. The case edges are crisp, with contrasting sections beautifully executed. Additionally, movement decoration is done to a high standard, again competing beyond their typical price range. 


As already mentioned, the King Seiko line of products currently uses 6R and 6L movements. While entirely capable and reliable, they are well-made and decently finished mass market movements. Durable, accurate, and reliable, they will undoubtedly get the job done.

Grand Seiko movements, however, are very well decorated and finished. They are still designed to be incredibly reliable and accurate, and they also are beautiful to look at. Even their quartz movements are beautifully finished and designed to be fully serviceable by a watchmaker. Regardless of the timepiece’s price, Grand Seiko delivers an expertly finished movement. 

Pricing & Availability

This might be a point of consideration that is less straightforward than the other factors potential buyers usually look at. King Seiko is priced at roughly half of Grand Seiko’s mechanical offerings but fairly close to their entry-level quartz offerings. On price alone, that can be a difficult decision to make.

Availability may make the decision easier though. Seiko corporate has taken large steps towards making Grand Seiko widely available as a global luxury brand in recent years. Because of that, Grand Seiko is available in almost every large metropolitan area around the world, making them available to purchase in most markets.

King Seiko, on the other hand, is still not as widely distributed as Grand Seiko. In the United States, a King Seiko purchase, especially in person, takes some searching and effort. The lack of convenience may be a turn-off for some, but the hunt and the need to be “in-the-know” may make the decision easy for other collectors. 

Resale Value

Because of the leaps and bounds Grand Seiko has made as a brand toward global notoriety, resale value has solidified. Still, Grand Seiko does not retain its value as well as other blue-chip brands. 

An avid collector base for vintage King Seiko definitely aids the brand, but the value of modern King Seiko pieces still varies widely. Neither watch will be worth zero, and careful research and patience will aid in ensuring one gets a good deal. If turning a profit is the goal for either brand, it is best to look elsewhere. 

King Seiko vs Grand Seiko: Best Models Comparison

Below are a few comparisons of similar aesthetic models between the two brands. The price differences between the King Seiko and Grand Seiko pieces shown here are quite large, but a closer look at the below models will hopefully assist in deciding which is the best for you. 

King Seiko SPB279 vs Grand Seiko SBGA211

The SPB279 is part of the collection that relaunched the King Seiko brand. Measuring 37mm wide, 12.1mm thick, 43.6mm lug to lug, and with a 19mm lug width, the dimensions are wearable for a wide range of wrist sizes and preferable for those who prefer smaller watches. 

Inside is the 6R31 movement, which is rated to -15/+25 seconds a day, with 24 jewels and a 70-hour power reserve. The silver dial with a textured 12 o’clock marker is covered with a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. The case is rated to 100 meters of water resistance. The SPB279 retails for 1700 USD.

The SBGA211, also known as “The Snowflake”, has become a signature model for Grand Seiko. The 41mm wide high-intensity titanium case measures 49mm lug to lug, 12.5mm thick, and has 20mm lugs. 

The real star of the show is the white textured dial, reminiscent of the snow covered mountains outside the Grand Seiko studio in Nagano, Japan. The sapphire display caseback shows off the 9R65 spring drive movement, which is rated to +/- 1 second per day and has a 72-hour power reserve. The SBGA211 retails for 6,200 USD. 

King Seiko SPB279Grand Seiko SBGA211
Case Size37mm41mm
MaterialsStainless SteelTitanium
Water Resistance100m100m
MovementAutomatic, 6R31Spring Drive, 9R65
StrapStainless Steel BraceletTitanium Bracelet
Additional FeaturesTextured 12 o’clock hour marker.Power reserve indicator, smooth seconds sweep.

King Seiko SJE087 vs Grand Seiko SBGW295

The SJE087 is King Seiko’s modern recreation of the original KSK model introduced in 1961. Enlarged to more modern dimensions, the 38.1mm wide case measures 44.7mm lug to lug and 11.4mm thick. With these dimensions, the case will still be very wearable while having a more modern presence than the original KSK. Inside is the 6L35 movement, with a 45-hour power reserve and date function. 

The stainless steel case is 50 meters water resistant, which is enough for most daily activities. The watch comes with a premium brown crocodile strap. The champagne dial has gold indices and is covered by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. The SJE087 retails for $3,300. 

The SBGW295G is similar to the SJE087 in that it is a modern recreation of the first Grand Seiko watch from 1960. Part of Seiko’s 110th watchmaking anniversary, this premium model has a titanium case and hands and indices made of pure gold on top of an “Urushi” black lacquer dial. 

Utilizing the manually wound 9S64 movement, it has a 72-hour power reserve and is rated to +5/-3 seconds per day. Measuring 38mm wide, 45.7mm lug to lug, and 10.9mm thick, the dimensions are similar to the SJE087. Rated to only nominal water resistance, this is a true, albeit modern, dress watch. The SBGW295G retails for 13,800 USD.

King Seiko SJE087Grand Seiko SBGW295G
Case Size38.1mm38mm
MaterialsStainless SteelTitanium
Water Resistance50mSplash Resistant
MovementAutomatic 6L35Manual 9S64
Additional Features (1-2 unique features for each watch)Date feature, special case backSolid gold hands and indices.

King Seiko SPB365 vs Grand Seiko SLGA021

The King Seiko SPB365 is King Seiko’s special edition for the 110th anniversary of Seiko watchmaking. Utilizing the same case shape and movement as the SPB279, the SPB365 has a dial that is inspired by the turtle shells of the turtles native to Kameido (the birthplace of King Seiko). In addition to the steel bracelet, a sustainable calf leather strap is also included. The special dial carries a small premium, with the SPB365 retailing at 1800 USD.

SLGA021 is part of Grand Seiko’s newer Evolution 9 collection. Featuring a bolder and modern case and bracelet design, the Evolution 9 watches feel slightly more sporty than previous similarly-styled Grand Seiko watches. The main feature of the SLGA021 is the textured blue dial, designed to recall the waves of Lake Suwa. 

Inside is the 9RA2 Spring Drive movement, which has a 5-day power reserve, power reserve indicator, and date functions and is rated to +/- 0.5 seconds a day. The 40mm wide stainless steel case measures 47.9mm lug to lug and 11.8mm thick, with a 22mm lug spacing. With 100 meters of water resistance, the SLGA021 will withstand daily wear and light aquatic adventures with ease. The SLGA021 retails for $9,100. 

King Seiko SPB365Grand Seiko SLGA021
Case Size37mm40mm
MaterialsStainless SteelStainless Steel
Water Resistance100m100m
MovementAutomatic 6R31Spring Drive 9RA2
StrapStainless SteelStainless Steel
Additional Features (1-2 unique features for each watch)Special limited edition, 1800 pieces. Special dial, additional strap.Textured blue dial, 5-day power reserve.


While the models featured here are similar aesthetically, the price difference between them, I think, is the ultimate purchasing determination. If you have the budget for either, the deciding factor will ultimately be down to specifications and features. 

If you want the best movement, case, and dial finishing Seiko Corporation has to offer, then it will be without a doubt, Grand Seiko. If you prefer a slightly smaller case, then King Seiko may be the way to go, as their case dimensions are usually slightly smaller than Grand Seiko’s. 

For me personally, there are instances that I would pick the King Seiko over the Grand Seiko because of case size and dial options. In other instances, it is a no-brainer, as Grand Seiko does offer superior quality, with the associated costs. 

With the original intention of King Seiko being between the regular Seiko line and Grand Seiko, I think they have succeeded in that, and it is priced appropriately. Both offer collectors a great deal to appreciate and a watch they can enjoy for many years to come. 

Watch Modding 101

Watch collecting can be very exciting when first getting involved. Whether it is the notion that a great timepiece will boost your self-esteem and motivation to move upward in life, a fascination with mechanical engineering, and/or an interest in industrial design, there is a large amount of knowledge to gain and a seemingly endless supply of new products to keep one’s interest.

After some time, and depending on one’s inclinations, you may find yourself wanting something else. Do you find yourself thinking a product is close to perfect except for one or two aspects? Has a brand created combinations of products that are not quite what you want? 

Are you someone inclined towards tinkering with objects in an attempt to improve them or simply make them more unique? If the answer is yes to any of those (or all), watch modding may be for you.

What is Watch Modding?

Watch modding entails taking an existing watch and other parts, whether aftermarket or sourced from the original manufacturer (OEM), and putting them together to create a unique combination. 

Swapping straps and bracelets could be considered a straightforward and low-risk modification, but watch modding usually entails more drastic alterations, even if they are as simple as swapping a strap. 

Easy modifications include swapping bezels and bezel inserts and changing cases on G-Shocks. Watch modding also includes switching hands, dials, and case parts to the point that modders often assemble complete watches from existing components.

While the line between building a watch and modding a watch may get blurry at times, if one is designing new parts for a timepiece that they want to create, then I would say you have entered product design and manufacturing and are no longer simply modding a watch. 

Best Watches to Mod

While some suppliers make parts to modify high-end watches, it is best to leave those to experienced modders, watchmakers, and those with a stomach strong enough to endure a mistake should something go wrong. For those getting started and less than iron stomachs, there are plenty of options for modifying watches. 

G-Shocks are definitely some of the easiest and best watches to mod. With many retailers providing watch modding parts to swap cases and straps, it is possible to create many unique looks with very simple tools, often supplied with these watch mod kits. 

Additionally, to change a case and strap on a G-Shock, you never have to take the module apart, meaning all its water resistance remains intact. There are dial and screen swaps that can be done, but those are slightly more advanced. 

The next best entry point into watch modding is Seiko watch mods. The most popular is the SKX line, but with the discontinuation of the ISO-Certified SKX models, other options have come up. The new Seiko 5 line is a popular option, as are other affordable Seiko dive watches. 

Additionally, companies make aftermarket watch modding parts and supply genuine Seiko movements that make assembling a unique watch possible. Want a 38mm SKX-style GMT with a black and gold case? It is possible with aftermarket parts. This is truly a space to let creativity run wild.

If cost is no object, it is possible to mod Swiss luxury watches. If your wallet and nerves can stomach it, there are a myriad of aftermarket dials, bezels, and hands for major Swiss brands. Anything that is not reversible will likely hurt the resale value, but if you must have the most unique watch in the room, this may be the way to go. 

How to Mod Your Watch

If you are convinced at this rate that modding watches is for you, here are some ways to get started:

Pay Someone Else

If you want a unique watch but do not have the time or patience to do it yourself, numerous professional watch modders will create your idea for a fee.  A stroll through watch modding communities online will reveal other watch modders who will happily create a custom Seiko for you.

There are others for high-end Swiss brands, but they feel more akin to brands on their own than modifiers considering the costs associated with those timepieces. That being said, if watch modding appeals to you, paying someone else is likely out of the question. 

Gather The Right Tools

After you have decided that modding is an endeavor you wish to pursue, picking up some essential watchmaking tools would be the next step. Plenty of affordable watch mod kits available from Amazon and eBay are enough to remove case backs and bezels. Looking for one with a small air blower pump will be beneficial should you want to swap dials and hands.

With that, should you wish to get involved with changing dials and hands, you will want to pick up a movement holder, dial holder/pad, and hand removal tool. There are additional covers to protect the dial from scratches while removing the hands. While not required, many have found purchasing a watch bench mat very helpful. 

If you want to swap crystals (for example, changing a watch with a mineral crystal to a sapphire one), you will need a watch crystal press. If possible, look for a press that allows for uniform pressure on the crystal, and avoid those that use a lever to press the crystal into place. 

A cleaning putty is viewed as a requirement by many. It will be extremely useful in cleaning up any excess oil, along with pesky dust and fingerprint marks. 

Parts You Can Modify

There are tons of watch modding parts available, each with its own difficulty and risk. Below are some of the most common watch modifications based on their difficulty level:

Bracelet and Strap 

The easiest part of a watch to modify, as all you need is a strap-changing tool to release the spring bar from the case. Changing the strap/bracelet will alter the look and wearing experience of a watch. 

With many suppliers offering straps and bracelets that are much higher quality than the original offerings on many Seikos and G-Shocks, upgraded straps and bracelets are viewed as a necessary first step by many watch modders.


Changing rotating bezels can be quite simple, as the only tools required are a bezel removal tool and something to press the new bezel in place. 

The increased difficulty comes from making sure the bezel insert is aligned (should you purchase a bezel and insert separately) and the bezel spring is correctly installed. With some careful reading and double-checking, swapping bezels should be reasonably simple. 


Did your watch come with a closed caseback, but you wish it had a display caseback? Many part suppliers provide aftermarket casebacks with mineral and sapphire crystals. A caseback removal tool that works with your watch (some require special tools) is all that is needed. 

Care is required to ensure dust and debris do not get into the watch during this process, as it can cause damage to the movement and prevent it from working correctly. Additionally, make sure any necessary gaskets are in place to ensure proper water resistance. 

Case, Crystal, and Crown

Should you wish for a different style of case, many mod suppliers offer cases that fit bracelets designed for specific models but in different shapes and finishes. 

Ranging from homages to famous watch designs and various PVD finishes, a new case will drastically change the look of a watch. It requires removing all other watch modding parts (caseback, crown/stem, movement, and dial), so it can be a bit more involved. 

Changing the crystal is similar in difficulty, as it also requires the removal of all other parts. Additionally, if you want to change the case, you will most likely have to install a new crystal. Some suppliers do offer cases with crystals already installed. 

Changing the crown is slightly more simple but still requires the removal of the caseback, along with engaging with the movement to release the winding stem from the movement.

Again, similar to the case back, there are gaskets in place for the crystal and crown. These gaskets must be lubricated and installed to ensure your watch has the proper water resistance. 

Dial, Hands, and Movement

To change the dial, you will have to remove the caseback, winding crown and stem, and movement from the watch. Once you remove the movement and dial as a single unit, you must remove the hands and then the dial. Considering the multiple steps and risks of damaging parts, extra care and attention should be paid to these modifications. 

This process will also require several special tools not always found in a simple watch mod kit. As mentioned earlier, dial protectors can be purchased to help ensure your modifications are a success. 

Once the dial is removed, securing the dial to the movement will require a small amount of carefully applied adhesive and aligning the dial feet to the correct points on the dial. For popular Seiko watch mods, there are specific dials for specific movements. 

Some suppliers make dials with multiple sets of dial feet, meaning the end user needs to remove the excess dial feet for their specific use case. While the dial is removed, this is also an opportune time to change a date wheel, should that be desired. 

If you would like to perform a movement swap, assuming all of the parts are compatible, the same removal and dial application steps are involved. With affordable dual-time movements now available, this is currently a very popular modification. 

Again, there are specific dials for specific movements; however, some are easily modified to work with the newer affordable GMT movements that have come to market recently. 

Where to Purchase Watch Modding Parts

If you now have ideas of the watch you want to create, here are some other websites with watch modding parts and resources to assist in your watch modding journey and ensure that it is a success. 

Additionally, each website has its own unique offerings. Assuming you pick for the same model/movement (i.e. NH35 and SKX007), parts for the same model and movement should be interchangeable, so you can pick and choose from various dealers to create your ideal watch. 


Namoki is truly a one-stop shop for watch modding parts, with a plethora of options, including complete watch mod kits that give you everything you need to begin your watch modding journey. 

Additionally, they have numerous resources to assist with any questions you may have. Their kits may be an ideal place to start, but they offer the ability for you to assemble your own custom watch from their catalog of parts and tools. 

Lucius Atelier

Lucius Atelier is very similar to Namoki in terms of watch modding parts but with slightly different offerings and more premium options such as meteorite and gemstone dials. They also offer a customization service, allowing you to pick your desired parts, and their watch modders will assemble them for you. 

Crystal Times/ Seiko Mods

The name of the website depends on your geographic location, but both offer the same extensive catalog of parts. Additionally, they have a configurator on their website if you would like to get an idea of what your finished watch will look like once it is assembled. As the name suggests, Seiko Mods is also one of the top options if you want to create the best and most unique Seiko watch mods.

DLW Watches

With some distinctive dial and hand choices, and an easy way to order custom configurations, DLW Watches is a great place to look for Seiko watch modding parts, as well as aftermarket parts for Orient watches. Their handcrafted dial series will surely elevate the look of your project.

Watch & Style

Watch & Style’s standout offering is a large selection of watch modding parts for the SKX013. Should you be looking for options for cases, bezels, and crowns for your perfect SKX013 mod, Watch & Style is a good place to look. Additionally, they offer a myriad of watch modding parts for other popular Seiko models. 


Watch collecting can be a very in-depth and overwhelming hobby to engage with, especially with discussions often centering on fluctuating values and perceived hierarchies of brands. 

For those looking for an escape from that, many turn to watch modding. While it can be equally as overwhelming and in-depth, the community surrounding modding is typically more welcoming and supportive. 

Additionally, it offers a way to engage with the watch-collecting hobby that is much more affordable (assuming one is sticking with affordable watches) and creates something unique instead of simply buying a watch from a retailer. Modding offers an opportunity to have a better understanding of how watches are made and function and to create a form of self-expression in the process. 

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