Joseph Lama, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Tag Heuer vs Longines

There is something uniquely striking in the history of Tag Heuer and Longines. They all started in the same small Swiss village, in small workshops, and with a great desire to make exquisite timepieces. More than a century later, these companies have become world-renowned brands, raking in billions of dollars in revenue and manufacturing watches so sophisticated they make the founders beam proudly from their graves.

Watches from Tag Heuer and Longines are versatile, bold, functional, and impeccably accurate. And most come with a modest price point. Take, for instance, the two watches we have reviewed in this article- the Tag Heuer Aquaracer and Longines HydroConquest.

They are excellent watches for beginner collectors. With a 300m water resistance, they are also highly functional for outdoor enthusiasts. Tag Heuer and Longines have invested heavily in technology and innovation in their timepieces. Longines timepieces, for instance, have been a common feature as a timer in all major sporting events around the globe.

Heuer timepieces have been trusted and incorporated as dashboard components by high-end automotive companies (such as Ferrari). This article offers a side-by-side comparison between the two watches to provide more insight and help you make an informed decision when purchasing.

Brief History

Longines Watches

Longines history is interesting. Its founders, led by Auguste Agassiz, set up a workshop in a small village, St-Imier, where they started creating their first timepiece. They had no running water, electricity, or any form of technology. Yet, since 1832 when the company began, Longines has maintained its position as one of the oldest continuously operated watchmaking companies in the world.

Auguste’s cousin, Francillon, was responsible for steering the company into the era of industrialization. He understood the importance of innovation. The competition from other equally renowned brands that set up shop during this time (Philippe Patek in 1839, A. Lange & Sohne in 1845, Omega in 1848, etc.) was a driving force.

He wanted to create timepieces that would stand the test of time, and be revolutionary, well-respected, and innovative. In 1867 they acquired the oldest registered trademark that is still in use today. With the adaptation of technology and the skills of well-experienced watchmakers, Longines produced excellent stopwatches, chronographs, and time-keeping accessories.

The Longines’ calibre 19.73N (in 1911) was among the first wrist chronograph watches. Longines timers and stopwatches have been featured in almost all major sporting events across the globe with impressive accuracy. These include skiing, horse racing, car rallies, the commonwealth games, formula 1 games, and cycling races.

Tag Heuer S.A. company began much later (in 1860) as Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG. It was also founded in the small Swiss village of St-Imier by Edouard Heuer. Heuer came from a family of watchmakers and enthusiasts. He received the first patent that covered a crown-operated, keyless winding system in 1869.

The company changed its name to Tag Heuer after TAG Group purchased a controlling stake in 1985. Edouard tapped into the established watch-making technologies and added his own innovation to create his first chronograph masterpiece that used an oscillating pinion in 1887. The oscillating pinion was a component that allowed the chronograph to stop and start instantly by the action of the push button.

In 1911 during the rapid industrialization, Heuer designed a timing instrument to be installed on the dashboard of vehicles and crafts. Stopwatches had to be precise and accurate- almost the hundredth of a second – to serve the needs of the military, sports, and industries. 

With time, Heuer developed timepieces that had a wonderful blend of technology and functionality. After the company was acquired by the TAG Group the watchmakers were tasked with developing the ‘Centigraph’ – a timing system used by Ferrari’s racing team in 1971. In 1999 LVMH acquired Tag Heuer and this marked the beginning of another era of pushing the boundaries in the manufacture of creative timepieces.

It would also be under the new ownership that the company would create its first luxury smartwatch – the Tag Heuer connected watch.  The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch was manufactured for sports enthusiasts. The Longines HydroConquest takes the Aquaracer heads-on to present an exciting war of wits, power, functionality, and technical capabilities. 

Style & Design

Both watches are large in dimension. The Longines HydroConquest has a 43mm case width and a thickness of 11.90 mm. The uni-directional rotating and rounded bezel is made of stainless steel and ceramic. The crystal is made of scratch-resistant sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. 

The HydroConquest watch is available in a large variety of individual preferences in terms of color and case sizes. These variances come in 4 different case sizes – the 39 mm, 43 mm, 44 mm, and 41 mm variants. Apart from the different case sizes, all other elements of the HydroConquest watches remain the same irrespective of the variant – including the designs of the strap and clasp.

You may get a steel clasp with the 41mm variant and a rubber strap with the 43mm variant. Since these straps are easily interchangeable, we shall not dwell much on this difference. This article explores the 43 mm variant. Although the watch looks big, it wears slightly bit smaller.

This is partly due to the design of the bezel and lugs. The lug width is 21 mm. Most luxury divers in the market have a sturdy appearance and are thicker than the HydroConquest. This makes the watch retain its functionality while still exuding elegance. It can fit nicely under a shirt cuff and on top of other attires.

The screw-down crown has elongated and highly-polished crown guards. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic watch has a 43mm diameter brush-polished stainless steel casing. It has a lug-to-lug dimension of 49.9mm and a thickness of 12.3mm. The case is enhanced with brush finishing on the top and sides alternated with polished chamfers.

The polygonal (12-sided) uni-directional bezel design of this watch gives it a bold look. Unlike the Longines HydroConquest, the Aquaracer has a smooth bezel with a fluted edge for better grip. The polygonal inserts are made of ceramic with a gloss finish that contrasts well with the white indexing.

The Tag Heuer Aquaracer traces its roots to the 844 reference watch of 1978 and the Tag Heuer 2000 that debuted in 1982. They share many design elements. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic watch has a screw-down crown with the company’s logo on its face.

There are elongated crown guards as well. The case back is engraved with a diving helmet and a 300 meters water-resistance indication. The crystal is flat with an integrated magnifier that prevents cyclops from protruding above the top plane of the crystal.

The Dial

Tag Heuer Carrera Red

The sunray blue dial color on the Longines is striking, and yet subdued enough to prevent light reflecting when looking at the watch. The hands are silver-polished with hour markers done in Arabic numerals and indexes. The hands are filled with Super-Luminova to allow for illumination and easy reading of the time in the dark. The dial can also be black.

The teeth on the bezel are more pronounced. This is a deliberate design aimed at helping divers in wetsuits turn the bezel easily. The blue feature on the bezel is a bit darker than the blue feature on the dial. The numerals and markers on the dial are huge.

They have 9, 12, and 6 markers with the slightly-lowered date window lying on the 3 o’clock marker. The lume is bright. There is a dot on the bezel that makes the watch a functional dive watch. The hands are silver polished.

The Tag Heuer Aquaracer watch dial features the trademark horizontal pattern design of the Aquaracer collection. The dial has octagonal markers filled with super-luminova. There are three faceted rectangular markers on the 12th, 3rd, and 9th o’clock positions. The other markers have an octagonal shape with the edges finished with polished steel.

The calendar sub-register is present at the 6th o’clock position. It has a rounded lens feature that adds depth to the dial. The sword-like hour and minute hands also contain super-luminova. There is a bi-tone super-luminova system that makes it easy to read the time in low light.

The dial has an effective anti-reflective treatment that helps you to see the details of the dial with clarity. The logo is embedded on the surface of the dial. There is a sunray finish on the texture of the dial and the light and color play makes this watch’s dial unique, with depth and high contrast. There is a luminescent triangle at the 12th o’clock mark.

The Strap

The Longines HydroConquest has a stainless steel strap. The buckle has a double safety folding clasp. The bracelet and the case are made of polished and brushed steel, adding versatility to the watch. You can wear the watch when going to the office or when doing your thing outdoors.

The clasp has an extension that allows you to extend the watch over your wetsuit or drysuit while diving.
The bands for the Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch are also made of stainless steel. It has a double-folding adjustable clasp.

The adjustable system that increases the watch’s size by up to 1.2 centimeters allows the wearer to have the watch on top of their diving suit. This also means that people with large wrists can also wear the watch comfortably. You can also remove the bracelet easily to add after-market straps.

Movements & Quality

Longines uses a patented self-winding calibre L888 mechanical movement. The movement is under the closed case back of the watch. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch has a calibre 5 (ETA 2824-2) automatic movement. This is the movement that powers all the watches in the Aquaracer collection. This calibre has 26 jewels.


The Longines HydroConquest is among the most affordable luxurious dive watches with prices starting at approximately $1,600. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch costs approximately $3,500.


Longines beats at an accuracy of 25,200 vibrations per minute and has a power reserve of 72 hours. Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 watch (WBP201B.BA0632) has a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per minute and a power reserve of 38 hours. It has an accuracy of 2 seconds variation in a day.

Water Resistance

The Longines HydroConquest is one of the most affordable luxury diving watches on the market today. At just 185g, this is the watch you would want to wear when deep diving. It has a water resistance of 300 meters.

The big screw-down crown enables the diver to wind the watch easily while submerged in the water. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch has a 300 meters water resistance capacity.

Brand Recognition

Both watch brands command reverence in the luxury watchmaking industry. However, Longines is a more recognized brand because of its rich history. They had been operating for over three decades before Tag Heuer became a company. Watch enthusiasts know that a lot can change within a decade in the luxury watchmaking industry. 

Tag Heuer has rebranded itself severally and formed strategic partnerships with amazing brands over the years (including LVMH). This rebranding, embracing technology, and ingenious marketing has catapulted the brand’s worth and recognition upwards.


The Tag Heuer Aquaracer professional 300 automatic 43 mm watch and Longines HydroConquest watches are bold timepieces. Their versatility allows you to wear the watches to any event, formal or informal. They are both great watches for the price points they demand and they are both functional to a hilt.

I would personally go for the Tag Heuer Aquaracer simply because I love the bold polygonal bezel and the depth of color the blue edition watch has on its dial. That said, I also think that the HydroConquest is a great contender here, and would still be mighty proud to have one on my wrist.

They are large watches and they have great lume that could come in handy while diving in the dark. It all boils down to personal preference. If you love rounded bezels go for the Longines. If you love bolder designs, your mind will certainly settle on the Tag Heuer Aquaracer.

Audemars Piguet vs Hublot

There are many similarities between the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Hublot Big Bang watches. The history of these watches is also interweaved, as we shall observe shortly in this review. You’d be forgiven to think they come from the same company. Both Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Hublot Big Bang are classic watches.

The Royal Oak is the elder of the two, having debuted in 1970 and the Big Bang in 2005. Both watches are conversational starters among watch enthusiasts. It is easy to see why; they have a commanding outlook with a design that makes the watches feel indestructible and flawlessly elegant. They have almost similar technical capabilities and both command a healthy price in the market. The Royal Oak is the favored watch among collectors – probably because it is a vintage timepiece.

What the Big Bang lacks in austerity is compensated by a stylish design and advanced technological capabilities meant to appeal to the modern watch lover. It also has a modest price to match. This article places the watches side by side to compare their design, style, technological capabilities, and other features to understand what makes them popular and help you make an informed choice.

Brief History

Two experienced watchmakers, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Piguet founded the company 147 years ago (in 1875) and incorporated it as Audemars Piguet in 1881 in Switzerland. The first wristwatch from this company was manufactured in 1892, after years of R&D. It was a first-minute repeater wristwatch that was sold to Louis Brandt.

This vintage Edward Piguet watch featured a calendar, split-seconds hands, a minute repeater, and a chronograph. The next generation of Audemars and Piguet to run the company took it through a period of continuous improvement, and adoption of new technology, and prepared the company to become a legacy and respected brand as a luxury watchmaker.

The Royal Oak watch that debuted in 1972 at the Baselworld was the most prominent watch from the Audemars Piguet collection. It was a classic masterpiece, different from the ones already on sale, and made with precision.

Carlo Crocco founded the Hublot watchmaking company in 1980. He was an avid watch lover, watchmaker, and watch collector. He brought his wealth of watch-making experience and exposure to Hublot. This ingenuity, coupled with a quick adaptation to technology enabled Hublot to create great masterpieces and gain the respect of the industry within a short period.

The Hublot Big Bang Unico (2005) was a testament to Hublot’s commitment to making contemporary timepieces without deviating too much from the traditional watch-making processes. It can be tough for watch lovers to choose between the Hublot Big Bang Unico and the Royal Oak Offshore chronograph. Let’s dive deeper to compare these watches to see their similarities and differences and learn more about what makes them become so revered in the luxury watch industry.

Style & design

Hublot Big Bang Unico

Hublot Big Bang Unico Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

The Big Bang Unico Titanium watch has a satin-finished and brush-polished grade 5 titanium case. The rounded bezel is held together by 6 H-shaped Titanium screws. Hublot uses grade 5 Titanium extensively when manufacturing its watches because it weighs less and is more resistant to corrosion than most metals. These qualities make it a popular choice in aeronautical and automotive industries to manufacture light aircraft and race cars. 

The watch is designed to be fun to wear (with its sporty look) without compromising on the integrity of the parts constituting the piece. The usage of Titanium makes the Unico watch wear lighter irrespective of its large size. When the metal is polished, it retains a bluish metallic sheen. The sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective treatment.  There are two chronograph sub-registers inside the watch – the date display at the 3 o’clock mark and the luminescent hour and hands markers.

The crown has a rubber mold with the company’s logo on the surface. The push buttons are rounded. Each button is held put by a push-button guard. These push buttons are polished to remove sharp edges (and other small details such as black grooves included) and resemble automotive piston rings. There are resin inserts on the flight and a resin gasket underneath the bezel. The remainder of the case (including the inner case that holds the movement system) is made of grade 5 Titanium.

Audemars Royal Oak Offshore 

Audemars Royal Oak Offshore

The Audemars Royal Oak Offshore watch has a ceramic case with a glare-proofed crystal, a titanium case back, and matching crown guards. These materials are lighter than steel and make the watch seem lighter despite its large size. All the ceramic parts are polished or satin to create nearly scratch-proof surfaces.

The AP Oak Offshore is a large watch with a diameter of 42mm, a case thickness of 14.21mm, and a lug-to-lug length of 54mm.  The rubber-clad titanium crown is locked into the case with screws. The AP logo is inscribed prominently on the surface. The pushers on either side of the crown are made of highly-polished ceramic material.

The dial

The Audemars Royal OO watch has a black dial with the iconic Audemars Mega Tapisserie pattern splashed across the surface. The hour markers have a coating of white gold. The black minute’s hand has a luminescent coating. 

This is a diving watch and the rotating inner bezel contains the diving scale. The bezel can either be black or silver. The black diving scale goes to 60 minutes. The outer bezel is octagonal and held in place by six hex screws. The date disc with a magnifying lens style lies below the dial, making it discreet but functional.

The Hublot Unico skeleton dial contains Arabic numerals and indexes that can be seen from every angle. The hands, numerals, and indexes are filled with super-luminova. The bezel frames a dial that includes two sapphires. The first sapphire sits over the dial. The silkscreen Hublot logo is located underneath the first sapphire. The second sapphire is where you find the indexes, Arabic numerals, and twin sub-registers.

There is a skeletonized date disc at the circumference of the dial. The Hublot Unico calibers are found on the base of the dial. You can see the chronograph with its column wheel, black-polished attenuate, and lateral clutch. The watch has a 60-minute chronograph register. The watch on its case back has the Big Bang inscriptions. It has a full balance bridge for shock resistance and a bi-directional winder with ceramic rotor bearings.

The strap and clasp

The Audemars Royal OO watch has a black natural rubber strap with a matte finish. There is a stainless steel buckle on the clasp. However, the 60mm span across the wrists makes comfort a bit difficult for larger wrists. The rubber option offers more room for the watch to wiggle. 

The Hublot Unico has black-lined natural rubber and a deployable Titanium buckle clasp. The Hublot Unico watch has a smart, cleverly hidden, one-click seat-belt buckle system for quick release of the strap. You can easily swap straps without the need to use a tool or go to a watchmaker by pressing this button and sticking the new strap back in.

The center actuator is the only thing that would make one know about this unobstructive system. This makes it easier for the wearer to get after-market straps. Every watch comes with a tough natural rubber strap. The leather strap is sporty-looking, thick, and nicely matches the case swell from the side and the case taper from the top.

The buckle has a twin trigger system that prevents the watch from popping open accidentally. The excess strap is tucked underneath the titanium clasp. This mechanism also eliminates the need to place minder loops to handle the excess strap. The Omega company also uses this innovative design to give their watches a sophisticated, smooth feel and look.

Movements & quality

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch (caliber 3126/3840) has a self-winding movement. There are 365 parts and 59 jewels powering this device. It uses the Dubois-Depraz chronograph module outsourced to FHH (The same company that makes parts for Omega, Breitling, and Patek Philippe). The cam-actuated push mechanism on this watch implies that you have to add a little effort when setting or resetting the watch.

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium watch uses the Unico 2 caliber movement. This is a column wheel movement technology that was developed and patented by the Hublot company. It also contains a dual horizontal coupling mechanism that can easily be seen on the dial.

This means that there is no jumper and the hour counter is controlled by the barrel, enhancing accuracy and reliability. The escapement wheel inside this watch is made from silicon. The silicon escapement is not visible on the watch. This escapement improves the efficiency of the watch and stalls service intervals.

Technical properties

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium Chronograph watch was designed to push the limits of horology. It is a unique watch with unique technical capabilities. Although it has borrowed much of its outer design from previous releases, the technical properties of the Hublot Unico are more advanced. 

For instance, the watch employs an oscillating double clutch system for movement. This double-clutch system allowed the watchmakers to create a chronograph system that was more reliable and consumed less energy. Unlike the single-clutch system, a double-clutch eliminated the risk of timing distortion by reducing the possibility of slipping.

The reduction of the possibility of slipping ensured there was no needle overlap, improved reliability, improved accuracy, and a better-attenuated start jump. They also added a column wheel and an escapement module that improved the watch’s efficiency. The components inside the escapement system (including the column wheel, balance wheel, and the assembly itself) can be removed from the watch as a single unit, making servicing the water faster and more accurate.

The tourbillon movement technology that powers the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watch is also revolutionary. The self-winding AP calibre 3126/3840 is automatically powered by the movement of your wrist. The original Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watch was designed by the legendary watchmaker Emmanuel Gueit.

The current (2021) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watch uses a self-winding fly-back calibre with inverted hour and small seconds counters. The hour counter is present at 12 o’clock while the seconds counter lies at the 6 o’clock mark. The 4404 calibre allows you to reset, start, or stop the chronograph with a single function. 


Both Hublot Big Bang Unico Chronograph and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph watches are designed for the high-end consumer.

The price of pre-owned pieces in the Hublot Big Bang series starts at $12,000. New pieces can demand up to 10 times more depending on the complexity and customization made. A pre-owned Hublot Big Bang Unico Chronograph watch costs northwards of $20,000.

A pre-owned Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph starts at approximately $16,000. Some timepieces command over $400,000 depending on the complexity and customization.


The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph has 21,600 rotations per minute with a power reserve of 50 hours. The Hublot Unico has 72 hours of power reserve. The Hublot has 28 800 revolutions per minute.

Water resistance

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watch has a water resistance capacity of up to 300m. The Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium watch has a water resistance of 10 ATM/100m. 

You can take either of these watches swimming or shallow diving without being concerned about damaging the piece. I would not advise bathing with the watches because the hot water may damage the watch’s integrity in the long run.


Do the Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium and AP Oak Offshore chronograph watches hold value?

Hublot BB Unico chronograph is a bold watch. Some people love the underlying air of crassness the watch eludes and others prefer a more subdued version. Irrespective of the preference, there is no doubt that this is a beloved watch.

It is an icon in the Big Bang series. So much so that Hublot created other watches following the BB Unico inspiration (including the latest 2021 edition) and using the same self-winding calibre. It holds value well and remains a treasured luxury timepiece by avid collectors.

The AP Oak Offshore chronograph is pricier than the Unico. It is also highly respected by watch lovers and collectors across the globe. It has a bold yet classic design and the tourbillon technology endeared the watch to many people. Its ability to compete with other classic watches in functionality, price, accuracy, and innovation has made this a well-sought-out timepiece.


There are many similarities between the AP Oak Offshore chronograph watch and the Hublot BB Unico watch. Both watches are first among equals, meshing technology and creativity perfectly to make timepieces that are functional, reliable, and great conversation starters. And they do all this without being ghastly crass about it. There is a level of free-spiritedness these watches exude. 

You can easily swap a leather strap on the BB or AP for a more sporty rubber version and enjoy the outdoors. Or you can swap the straps for a classic metal one and wear it with your favorite suit when doing official business. These are the kind of watches you will find on the wrists of your favorite celebrity or prominent business people. They are unassuming, yet they pack a ton of power and functionality. 

Despite their large size, both watches can fit flush on smaller wrists and their creative clasp system ensures that they stay put, even under intense wrist movement. You do not need to worry about damaging the watch when swimming as they both have a minimum of 10T water resistance capacity. The prices may vary and the AP takes the mantle here but irrespective of the watch you decide to buy between the two, you will always step out in style.

Richard Mille vs Hublot

Hublot and Richard Mille’s watches are synonymous with luxury. Both companies manufacture limited edition watches targeting the very apex of the consumer spectrum. Highly skilled craftsmanship, coupled with an ingenious marketing model made these watchmakers stand out from the rest despite being in the watchmaking business for less than half a century.

As a comparison base, Rolex and Seiko companies had been operating for almost 100 years before Hublot came into the picture in 1980, followed by Richard Mille 21 years later. Despite their relatively young status, Hublot and Richard Mille companies command a lot of deference in the watchmaking industry for their revolutionary timepieces.

And their price points match this. It is not surprising to find custom pieces from both companies selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars! You could easily pay off your mortgage by selling a limited edition Richard Mille or Hublot watch. But, between the two companies, which one makes the better watch? To get to the bottom of this, we have to place these watches side by side and analyze them to find out what makes them tick and which one is superior to the other.

Brief History of Richard Mille and Hublot

Rolex vs Hublot style difference

When Richard Mille went shopping for a watch that would blow his mind about two decades ago, nothing seemed appealing enough. Despite the allure and wave of luxurious watch brands sweeping the watch industry (think of Rolex Daytona, Patek Phillippe Aquanaut, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watches) during this period, Richard wanted a timepiece that would be a first among equals.

Having spent his whole life as a watchmaker and having stepped down from a management position at a watchmaking company, he was ready to dive into the industry without a life vest – literally. He partnered with Dominique Guenat, another renowned and experienced watchmaker, and launched the Horometric SA Company.

The company was tasked with the production of the Richard Mille watch brands. But there are some great Richard Mille alternatives out there in the market. With an Audemars Piguet partnership, the first watch from the company, the Tourbillon RM001, debuted at Basel world in 2001. The success of this watch led to the creation of other models, including the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson we shall explore in this article.

Hublot is also a fairly new company when compared to the likes of Rolex and Seiko. It was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. Crocco, an Italian, wanted to take advantage of the advanced Swiss watchmaking technology to create a masterpiece that would make a statement in the luxury watch industry. And he did just that.

The Hublot Big Bang watch series was the most popular and successful series. In 2009, Hublot released the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang which remains the best-selling watch from the company to date. It was a wonderful watch (still is) with revolutionary features that gave other luxury watches a run for their money. This article compares the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watch with the popular RM 038 Massa Flyback Chronograph model.

Why compare the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson with the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang?

Before we jump into the design and analysis of these watches, it is important to understand why we have chosen these specific models. Both are limited edition watches. Only 38 pieces of the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson and 77 pieces of the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watches were manufactured. Both pieces were released in 2011 and both received a lot of acclamation and deference from the industry. 

Design and style analysis

Hublot and Richard Mille watches have beautiful and stylish designs. We shall explore these features, similarities, and differences.

Case style and Dimensions

The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic casing. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is made of AZ91 material, an alloy of magnesium and Aluminum. Both materials are lightweight making the watch one of the lightest luxury watches in the world. Mille was inspired by the construction of fast cars and airplanes to use this lightweight alloy for the watch’s case.

The whitish color of the casing develops from treatment using the electro-plasma oxidation method. This creates a crystalline ceramic coating that improves the hardness of the case and protects the underlying alloy. It also protects the watch against corrosion and scratches. The case has 12 abrasion-resistant screws made of titanium and washers made of high-grade stainless steel.

Both Hublot and Richard Mille are large watches. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 57.3mm, and a thickness of 15.7mm. It has over 330 individual components enclosed in a stylish skeleton case. It comes in 3 versions; Gold ceramic, red gold diamonds, and tungsten.

The watch sits flush on the wrist because the lugs were designed to turn down at the edges. The RM038 case has a diameter of 39.7mm, a lug-to-lug length of 48mm, and a thickness of 12.8mm. The bottom plates of the case, the balancing cock, and the bridges are made of titanium (grade 5).


The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic bezel with 6 H-pattern, highly polished PVD (physical vapor deposit) Titanium Screws. RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a sapphire bezel with antiglare treatment. There are 12 spline abrasion-resistant screws on the bezel. These are grade 5 titanium screws and 316L quality stainless steel.

Dial and Crystal

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a black skeleton dial with a sapphire crystal. The crystal has undergone anti-reflective treatment that enables the watch to reflect light uniformly. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a transparent tonneau-shaped dial. This is a skeleton dial protected by an anti-glare-treated sapphire crystal. The bridges and hands are the luminescent skeletons and the minute hand is crafted in white carbon fiber.

Strap and Clasp

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has white-lined rubber straps. The clasp is made of micro-blasted black ceramic and a black-plated stainless steel deployant buckle. The seatbelt buckle has a one-click deployment system that allows you to remove and change straps without using special tools.

The stainless steel clasp has a twin-trigger system that holds the watch in place preventing accidental pop-ups. The strap goes under the clasp, effectively hiding the excess (protruding) strap and eliminating the need for a minder loop. The strap on the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch is made of natural-grade rubber with a folding clasp system. It is a white strap with a pin buckle clasp.

Water resistance

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang is safe to use underwater up to 100m or 10 ATM. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It has 2 nitrite O-ring seals that enhance this resistance.


Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a HUB44SQ caliber, self-winding chronograph Movement. It has a 42 hours reserve. The RM038 has a manual winding tourbillon movement. The Tourbillon movement was invented in 1795 by Breguet. It is a mechanism that rotates the balance wheel inside the watch, the escapement, and the balance spring to counter the gravitational force imposed on the wheel and spring.

The fast-rotating barrel inside the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson caliber provides a decrease in periodic internal mainspring adhesion. This produces a higher power reserve/regularity ratio and increases performance. The 20 degrees pressure angle provided by the third-wheel pinion and the central involute profile allows for compensation of variations in the going train and promotes effective rotary motion. This results in excellent torque transmission and ultimately enhances the watch’s performance.


The RM038 watch was designed for the golfer Bubba Watson. The inspiration behind this watch was to create a timepiece that was comfortable to wear, shock-resistant, and light. Bubba Watson wore this watch while playing golf to showcase how agile the watch was and applicable to any situation. Excluding the strap, the watch weighs 29 grams. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang weighs 15.84 ounces.

Power Reserve

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a 42-hour power reserve. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch has 48 hours of power reserve.

Which is the best watch: Richard Mille or Hublot?

Following the analysis and comparison we have done here, the ultimate question remains: What would you buy between a Hublot and Richard Mille? If all factors are kept constant, it all boils down to your tastes and preference. A Richard Mille’s watch is designed to make bold statements. It is designed to intrigue and prop the owner into a certain class and category.

Since most of these watches are limited editions, owning a Richard Mille watch speaks volumes about your social and financial status. A Hublot watch is also classy and offers great value for the money. They are certainly more affordable than Richard Mille watches but they do not command similar attention. That said, both Hublot and Richard Mille create wonderful watches. Both companies keep on innovating to dominate the luxury watchmaking segment.

Hublot and Richard Mille prices

The price of Richard Mille watch is approximately $60,000 to $1.3M. There are a lot of factors that come into play to determine this pricing. Some of them include the make of the watch, the watch edition, how complex the watch is, the material used, and the target clientele. Hublot prices are more moderate. You can pick a good Hublot from approximately $1,200. Price variation for Hublot also depends on the factors mentioned herein.


Is the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson still in production?

No. The RM038 watch was an experimental watch designed for the golfer. Only 38 pieces were manufactured. With the success of this watch, Richard Mille came up with the RM038-01 editions that had added functionalities (such as a g-sensor using the tourbillon mechanism), and only 50 pieces were manufactured.

Are Richard Mille watches good?

That depends on perspective. However, there is a reason why a Richard Mille watch commands such high figures among enthusiasts. You are likely to see these watches on the wrists of celebrities. The continued investment in research and innovation in the company enables the company to manufacture sensational yet highly functional and reliable timepieces.

Does Hublot have resale value?

Generally, most Hublot watches depreciate over time. However, there are some which hold their value and this depends on several factors;

The age of the watch – The older the watch is the more value it has to a vintage collector

The condition of the watch

Whether it is a limited edition or not – Hublot manufactures a lot of same-model watches in a year. This minimizes the possibility of these watches gaining value over time because they are readily available in the market

Design of the watch – Unless you own a uniquely designed Hublot (such as one with a gold case) your watch may not appreciate over time


Both Richard Mille and Hublot watches are elegant watches. A Richard Mille timepiece commands attention because people who can afford these watches (especially the limited edition ones) have a privileged social and financial standing in society. When a watch goes beyond the million-dollar mark and still sells out, you know the brand is respected and trusted.

Richard Mille has managed to keep their brand exclusive by releasing limited edition watches and employing ingenious marketing strategies. Noting that the two companies are less than half a century old, their achievement in the watchmaking industry is understated. They came to disrupt the industry with excellent timepieces that utilized innovative technology and carved a niche for themselves.

You will not be disappointed by any of the pieces you decide to buy from either company. If money is not a concern to you, I would advise you to go for a Richard Mille watch and get to share the sensation your favorite celebrity has when they are wearing a watch that could pay off your mortgage on their wrist.

Grand Seiko vs Seiko

You would be forgiven to think that Grand Seiko and Seiko are the same watches. Seiko is a popular brand but many people confuse it with the watch’s big brother – the Grand Seiko. Seiko watches have the reputation of being reliable, durable, and affordable. They are the watches to go for when looking for a quality and luxurious watch on a budget.

People who have been fortunate to come across both Grand Seiko and Seiko watches understand that although the two watches may look similar, there is a world of difference between them. The Grand Seiko came to cement Seiko’s place as a solid luxury watchmaker that commands the industry’s respect while still producing affordable watches. It is no shock then that the Grand Seiko is ten times more expensive than a normal Seiko (such as the Presage).

The lingering question here is: Why? What makes the Grand Seiko so unique? What is the difference between this watch and a Seiko watch you can grab off a street vendor for a few hundred bucks? This is what we seek to demystify here. Read on to learn the difference between the Grand Seiko and the Seiko watch so that you can make an informed decision the next time you think of buying a watch from the Seiko Company.

Seiko as a company – brief history

Before we compare the two watches, let us explore more about the company that manufactures these incredible watches. Seiko is among the oldest watchmaking companies in the world. The company traces its root to Tokyo, Japan, when Kintaro Hattori, a 21-year-old entrepreneur opened a shop selling watches in 1881. The company started producing and selling wall clocks before evolving into the production of pocket watches in 1895.

Kintaro was inspired to start the watchmaking company by the abandonment of the old ways of timekeeping in Japan. People needed a more reliable and accurate way of keeping time.
The pocket watches from Seiko paved the way for the production of the first wristwatch – the Seiko Laurel – in 1913. The first Seiko watch was produced in 1924 under the brand name ‘Seikosha’.

It was an instant hit and this was the watch that would shape the company’s heritage and establish dominance in the watchmaking industry. Over time, after a lot of improvements on the Seikosha watch, the first Grand Seiko model was manufactured in 1960. This was the company’s signature piece and it cemented Seiko’s place as a premium watchmaker.

Other models were released over the years, including Japan’s first wristwatch to have a stopwatch in 1964, and the first Japanese Diver’s watch in 1965. For over a century Seiko has continued to rebrand itself, adopting emerging technology to create fascinating timepieces that resonate with the masses. In 2017, Grand Seiko became an independent brand, setting itself apart from the company to mark its uniqueness and superiority as the best Seiko watch model.

As an independent brand, the Grand Seiko was able to penetrate other markets beyond Japan and establish itself as one of the best and among the most affordable luxury watches one can buy.
In the ensuing paragraphs, we shall compare the two watches deeply to understand what makes the Grand Seiko unique and more pricey than the Seiko watch.

Which watch should I go for – Seiko or grand Seiko?

Seiko creates watches that match almost every customer segment. Whether you can afford a Seiko or Grand Seiko, you will be proud to own either. The price point is what will eventually determine which watch you go for. But do not be fooled. There are distinct differences between a Seiko watch that you can purchase for several hundred dollars and a Grand Seiko that commands thousands of dollars.

Comparison of Grand Seiko and Seiko Movements

The Grand Seiko uses spring drive technology. The spring drive technology revolutionalized the watchmaking industry, placing Seiko on the same level as its competitors – The Swiss luxury watchmakers. This technology was invented by Yoshikazu Akahane, one of the world’s highly skilled watchmakers, in 1977. His main goal was to combine the best system from a quartz watch and a mechanical watch and create a unique product.

History tip: To understand how spring drive watches work, let’s quickly explore the evolution of watchmaking. The first batch of watches made in the mid-20th century were mechanical watches. These watches utilized a system where the movements inside worked through a distribution of stored energy via a gear train.

The main spring (located inside a barrel in the watch) was wound to coil tightly and then with the help of the barrel it could pass small releases of energy through the unwinding process. Despite the obvious advantage of not needing an external power source to keep this watch working, any disturbance to the oscillation (temperature, friction, etc) could make the watch gain or lose time easily.

In 1969, Seiko came up with the quartz-powered watch. This battery-powered device solved the limitations contained in mechanical watches. The quartz watches were more accurate than mechanical watches and they could be manufactured en masse easily. A simple quartz watch could outperform an expensive mechanical watch.

The spring drive technology idea came to tap into the super accuracy of the quartz watch with the endless power supply of the mechanical watch. 28 years later and with over 600 prototypes, the first batch of spring-drive watches was available for sale to the public in 2005.

Similar to mechanical watches, the spring drive is powered by the uncoiling of the mainspring that gradually releases energy. However, instead of the typical escapement, these watches have a revolutionary tri-synchro regulator component installed.

The tri-synchro regulator does 3 functions;

  • It helps to control the release of energy from the mainspring
  • It assists in the conversion of the mechanical power from the mainspring to electrical power energy to the quartz
  • It generates a magnetic force to act as a frictionless brake to ensure accuracy in timekeeping

The electrical charge generated in the glide wheel is sent to the quartz crystal to create a vibration and then sent back to the integrated circuit. Instead of the constant locking and unlocking mechanism found in a quartz watch, we get a quartz oscillation frequency. Free rotation of the glide wheel allows for the beautiful movement of the second hand. The hand seems as if it is floating.

Quality, style, and build of Seiko Vs Grand Seiko

When you place the Seiko watch and the Grand Seiko watches side by side, you will notice several craftsmanship differences. The Seiko watch was designed to be an incredibly accurate yet affordable timepiece but it has nothing over the Grand Seiko. The casing does not have the luxurious look or feel of the Grand Seiko. We shall explore these structural differences between the two watches briefly in the preceding paragraphs.

Grand Seiko watch parts are handmade

There is a certain level of sophistication that comes with creating a product by hand versus using a machine. Seiko watches may be reliable but the company does not put much effort (or money) into designing these watches. And the price point reflects this. You can pick a Seiko watch for approximately $500 from a street vendor.

Grand Seiko world watches demand a higher price point (with some selling for over $15,000 a piece). Why the huge price variation? Many components of the Grand Seiko watches are made by hand. Japanese watchmakers have an unrivaled reputation for being legends in their business.

It is not uncommon to find a person working on a single watch component for over a decade. Combine several experts, each with a ton of knowledge and understanding of how a particular component works, and what you get in the end is a masterpiece. The devotion that goes into making every component of a Grand Seiko watch is astonishing.

The Grand Seiko case and bracelets are well-polished

In some instances, both Seiko watch models are made from stainless steel. The difference is that the Grand Seiko watch is made from a higher-quality stainless steel material. In other cases (such as in the creation of custom pieces) higher-quality materials – such as titanium and platinum- are used.

Although stainless steel is the standard material used by almost every watchmaker to design cases, you can instantly tell there is a big difference in the quality of the material used on a Seiko and a Grand Seiko.

when you place the watches side by side. The Grand Seiko SBGA211 watch, for instance, has a high-intensity titanium case. It has a diameter of 41mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 49mm, and a thickness of 12.5mm. The back of the watch is made of a see-through, screw-back case with dual-curved sapphire glass and an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface.

This titanium case is highly polished to deliver a mirror-like finish and to create beautiful, sharply defined edges. For comparison, the Seiko SARY 147 has a diameter of 38.3mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 43.6mm, and a thickness of 11.2mm. It is a mechanical watch with a stainless steel case and a beautiful texture. The second timer is painted blue, unlike in the Grand Seiko watch where the blue color is heated into the second timer.

The movement of the timer on the Grand Seiko is also incredibly smooth, thanks to the spring drive technology. Seiko has a logo and elongated diamond markers polished to a mirror shine and mounted to a pale blue sunray dial. The date enclosure also gets a polished metal frame.

The Grand Seiko’s markers are rectangular and they are polished to the hilt. The date marker also gets a polished metal frame. The logo is engraved on the surface of the dial and the words GS are well-polished and sit squarely above the engraved name.

Accuracy comparison between Grand Seiko and Seiko

The spring-drive technology in the Grand Seiko watches gave fair warning to the watchmaking industry that Seiko was here to stay. The company was constantly evolving. The spring drive movements have over 500 parts depending on the watch’s caliber and specifications. The combination of mechanical and quartz technology makes the spring-drive watch one of the most accurate watches in the world.

The Grand Seiko SBGA011 titanium-case watch that debuted in 2005 uses a 9R65 movement that has a plus/minus 1 second per day with a 72 hours power reserve. Continued modification and development have seen these watches record better results over time.

For instance, the SLGA001 (2020) Grand Seiko watch with 9RA5 movement has a 120 hours power reserve with an accuracy of plus/minus 0.5 seconds per day. The Seiko SARY147 watch has an average deviation of minus 15 seconds to plus 30 seconds per day. The movement is reliable and easy to service.

The snow-white face of the SBGA211G Grand Seiko watch

The SBGA211G is among the best diving watches from the Grand Seiko line. It has a bright white dial and polished clock hands. Unlike most watches, the white dial on the Grand Seiko watch is not painted. The brilliant color is made of a special silver plating process that creates snow white texture.

A long and complex process is involved in the creation of the stunning snowflake dial. After silver plating, machining, drilling, and printing the letters follow. The logo and indexes are set by hand by a highly skilled watchmaker.

Watch band types

You have unlimited options when it comes to watch band types for both Seiko watches. You can have both clasp and strap bands on your Seiko watches. The width of the wristband in SBGA211G Grand Seiko is 20mm thick and 193mm long. The clasp type is a three-fold clasp design with a push button release.
Seiko watches have 3 band choices; a metallic band, a silicone band, or a polyethylene band.

Although none of these bands gives you a luxurious feel, they are practical and can easily be replaced when they get damaged. The metallic band is a standard stainless steel band. It is not polished and it features a simple three-fold push-to-release button. The different band parts have not been treated to withstand rust.

Water resistance of the Seiko watches

The degree of water resistance of your Seiko watch is indicated by markings on the back of the case. A watch’s water resistance is not permanently guaranteed because it can be affected by factors such as deformation, age, and damaged parts. That said, Seiko watches still give an incredible performance underwater. Seiko SARY147, for instance, has a 5 bar (50m) water resistance rating. While diving, follow these instructions;

  • Ensure that you wear the watch within the water depth specified on the dial. If you dive deeper than the recommended depth, water may seep into the watch
  • Do not operate the buttons or the crown underwater as this may create spaces for water to seep into the watch
  • Avoid rocks or hard surfaces that may damage the watch underwater
  • After diving, rinse the watch with fresh water and then wipe it thoroughly dry. While rinsing the watch do not pour running water directly from a faucet. Rather soak the watch in a container and wash it clean before drying it.

You may notice that the rotating bezel of your Seiko diving watch becomes tougher to rotate while underwater. This is not a malfunction. It is the pressure of the water working against the watch’s movement.

Most watches are not designed to withstand warm water, and Seiko watches are no exception. They may withstand an occasional shower but continued exposure will certainly damage them in the long run. And this applies to dive watches too. There is no such thing as a waterproof watch.

Other top features

To achieve a top-notch distortion-free design, Grand Seiko uses a concept called Zaratsu. This is a combination of the hairline and mirror-like finishes on the hardy titanium shell. This ensures that there are no distortions and light and shadow reflect evenly on the surface of this watch. The markers also undergo Zaratsu polishing which makes them crisp, distortion-free, and stunning to look at.

To emphasize the level of craftsmanship that goes into these watches, a Seiko watchmaker needs about 5 years of Zaratsu training before they can work on watch cases that will eventually be sold to the final customer. The indexes and hands are diamond-cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the numbers behind a Seiko watch stand for?

The numbers behind a Seiko watch are used to date the watch. You can tell when your watch was manufactured from the serial numbers you see on the back of your watch. The dating format is as follows;

The first number indicates the last digit of the year your watch was manufactured
The second number indicates the month the watch was manufactured
The last 4 numbers are special production numbers that are unique to every watch. You can use these numbers to get any production information about any watch.

Is Seiko better than Rolex?

Both Rolex and Seiko are great names in the watchmaking spectrum. It would be hard to narrow down and offer an opinion on which one is better because each watch is unique. Rolex is synonymous with luxury and you will find that the price point agrees. Seiko watches are more affordable, but this does not mean that they are inferior to Rolex watches in terms of craftsmanship.

It all boils down to your taste and how much you are willing to spend on a good masterpiece. Both brands have a great history that goes back to over a century. They pride themselves on creating excellent timepieces. Rolex is from a Swiss company while Grand Seiko is from a Japanese company.

What are the different Grand Seiko collections?

We have 3 unique Grand Seiko collections namely;

The heritage collection (such as the 44GS and 62GS watches)
The sport collection (such as the SLGA015 and SBGH293 watches)
The elegance collection (such as the SBGY013 and SBGW263 watches)

Do Grand Seikos hold value?

Yes, if the latest craze is anything to go by. They are excellent timepieces that offer a lot of value for the money. Other luxurious watches offering similar value command mind-boggling prices. Watch enthusiasts who appreciate the value of the Grand Seiko can vouch for the longevity of the company and the watches. The Grand Seikos can only get better with time.


Seiko and Grand Seiko watches are excellent pieces manufactured by highly skilled craftsmen. No matter what you choose between the two pieces accuracy and reliability are guaranteed. Seiko watches are valuable to people seeking a good timepiece on a budget. They will deliver as required and having paid a few hundred dollars for the watch, you would certainly get value for your money.

Grand Seikos on the other hand belongs to the caliber of people seeking a certain level of luxury and sophistication without breaking the bank. Sure, they are approximately 10 (or more) times more expensive than standard Seiko watches but they are way more affordable than other watches at their level (such as Rolex and Patek Phillipe).

The design of the Grand Seiko is meant to dazzle, and it does that perfectly. This is a watch you will enjoy wearing to whatever occasion you wish. The Grand Seiko is powered by a spring drive system, as opposed to the quartz system powering the Seiko watches. This is what makes the Grand Seiko truly the ‘Grand’ of the two watches. Irrespective of what you decide to go for, you will not be disappointed. However, if you are looking for a true classic and are willing to spend extra, the Grand Seiko is the watch to buy.

Patek Philippe vs Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe are known to be the most luxurious watch brands in the world. These companies have a rich history – The Vacheron Constantin company is the oldest watchmaking company in the world (in continuous operation) while the Patek Philippe company is the oldest family-owned watchmaker in Geneva that is still operating today.

Timepieces from both companies have found abode place in some of the most prestigious wrists and homes in the world. They have been worn by kings, royals, celebrities, presidents, and billionaires who could afford the price point they command. It does not matter which brand you choose between the two. You are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime.

And the price you will pay to own a vintage Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watch cements this adage of the two companies being the most luxurious and expensive brands in the world. In 2019, the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 watch made history as the most expensive watch ever sold at an auction at $31 million.

The Vacheron Kalista (a 1979 custom masterpiece that featured 118 emerald-cut diamonds) sold for $11 million. The creativity, innovation, and man-hours that go into making Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watches are, inarguably, over the top. Patek Phillipe and Vacheron Constantin’s watches are appealing and special. This article places these watches head to head to compare features and functionality and offers insights into the watch that offers the best value for money.

Brief History

Patek Phillipe

Patek Philippe Store

Founded in 1839 by Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek, Patek Philippe is the oldest family-owned independent watchmaking company in Geneva. When the company began operations, its driving force was to create timepieces of utmost precision and accuracy without losing aesthetic value.

And they have achieved this perfectly over the years through consistent innovations that have earned the company numerous awards – including the 1844 award for keyless winding and hand-setting system.

In 1863 they made the first Swiss wristwatch for Hungarian countess Koscowicz. From this achievement, the company would later gain over 100 patents during its continuous 183 years of watchmaking. The notable patents and awards include;

  • Patent for time-zone watches in 1959
  • An award for the tourbillon movement that achieved the world timekeeping precision record for a mechanical watch at the Geneva Observatory in 1962 (The record is still unbeaten)
  • Patent for ultra-thin automatic caliber 240 in 1977
  • Patent for a secular perpetual calendar watch with retrograde date indication in 1986
  • Patent for Annual Calendar mechanism technology in 1966

These patents solidified the company’s prestigious position on the totem pole of the watchmaking industry. Patek Phillipe’s clientele range from dignitaries, millionaires, celebrities, royalty, and top business executives.

Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin watches

Vacheron Constantin has over 250 years of continuous watchmaking history. The company was established in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron and remains one of the most progressive and recognizable luxury watch brands. The company was passed down to generations of the Vacheron family until 1810 when Jacques-Barthelemy became the head of the company.

Jacques wanted to expand the business across the globe (before then they were exporting to Italy and France) and he brought in a strategic partner, Francois Constantin to help make this a reality. The company changed its name to Vacheron and Constantin. Francois Constantin was an ingenious businessman who took the business to America and other parts of the globe.

In 1887 the company became a joint-stock company after the death of Francois, Jacques, and other heirs who had taken over the helm of running the company. It would change hands several times with the latest ownership belonging to Richemont International – a successful and large Swiss watch manufacturing company.

Why compare the Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 and The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watches?

This article compares two classic watches in the same category – the Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 and the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch. The harmony Chronograph 3300 caliber watch was the counter to the widely popular Patek Philippe 5170G-010 timepiece. Both companies spared no expense in the design and manufacture of these watches.

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch was released at BaselWorld in 2010. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 was released in 2015 at the SIH show to commemorate the 260th anniversary of the Vacheron Constantin brand. They manufactured a limited run of 260 pieces.


A Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch costs north of $87,000. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch costs approximately $74,000. Custom pieces from either company can run into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars depending on complexity, design, and the number of manpower spent. Most parts are assembled by hand by watchmakers with a wealth of experience in making luxury watches.

This is what makes these watches pricey. It is unheard of to find an original Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin watch going for less than $10,000. According to, the most affordable Patek Philippe watch is the Aquanaut edition (with 5167A reference) which retails at $21,650. The most affordable Vacheron Constantin watch is the steel version of the FiftySix Edition watch (which debuted in 2018 at the SIHH) and retails at $11,700.

Design and Style

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch is meticulous and elegantly designed. The watch targeted the modern and contemporary clientele. It has a clean, simple design without the extra fluff and additions found in many luxury watches that debuted within this timeframe. It is a large watch but can still be worn with a suit or official attire comfortably.

The case has smooth, clean, and polished edges. The bezel is not exaggerated either, with the company choosing to stick to the simple polished outlook rather than the winding bezel you find in other luxury watches (such as the SBGA211G Grand Seiko diving watch). The Patek 5170G watch is made of white gold metal (also known as grey gold in the industry) and comes with either a black or white dial.

Both dials are also clean, without fluff, but nothing is boring about them. It does not have lots of inscriptions or added features. The black dial has well-polished Breguet Arabic numerous that allow for easy reading. The beautiful leaf-style hands are also simple, and functional, and may seem understated.

The inscriptions on the black dial (including the Patek Philippe signature at the 12 o’clock mark) are white, which increases the watch’s contrast. There is a Lancet-style counterweighted seconds mark for the chronograph. Each of the sub-registers features a miniature, railroad-style, white-printed track. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has an ivory, bone-white dial with blue numbers and golden hands.

There is a ridged section underneath the tip of the lugs. The mid-case curves inwards at this point, making the watch look thinner than it is. The crown has a slash cut that makes it easy to tune the watch. It also has a coaxial mono-pusher in-built button. The hour and minute hands are rose-gold.

The hour-hand has an apple-head style while the minute-hand has a spear-shaped design. The counterweighted seconds-hand is blue and the chronograph section has a 45 minutes sub-dial. The chapter rings are red-gold and the hour markings are blue. There is a pulsation scale on the dial.


The Patek Philippe 5170G-010 watch measures 39.4mm in diameter (not inclusive of the crown) and is 11mm thick. There is a 21mm spacing between the lugs. This is pretty thin for a chronograph watch. This thickness means that the watch can fit under your cuff easily while resting flush on your wrist. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has a 42mm case (not including the crown) with a square rounded look unique to this model.

It has a distance of 51.6mm from lug to lug and is 13mm thick. It is a broad watch with a lug spacing of 24mm. Although it is a big watch, its unique design makes it seem less overbearing when worn on small wrists. The overall design of the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 was inspired by the model manufactured by the company in 1928.

The 1928 mono-pusher chronograph timepiece featured a bi-compax layout with poire-shaped hands, a pulsimeter scale on the white dial, and a shape that slightly resembles that of the Harmony chronograph (with the rounded white dial and square bezel). The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has a cushion-shaped, curved caseband with a circular dial enclosed inside a squarish bezel.

The single pusher on the crown was purely a design element. It was meant to give the watch a more sophisticated look, feel, and functionality. Placing all functionalities on a single element (the crown) made the watch more complex but elevated Vacheron Constantin’s company status as an innovative luxury watchmaking company. They added a power-reserve indicator at the base of the watch and painted the hour markers blue.

Straps and clasp

When you turn the watch underneath you can see the patented Patek Philippe de riguer pull-tabs spring bars. These tabs make it easier to remove both sides of the straps from the case to allow for deeper cleaning between the lugs. It also allows for easy changing of straps without the risk of damaging the watch by scratching when using a screwdriver.

The medium rectangular scale alligator leather straps have a single-fold grey gold clasp with the logo inscribed on the surface of the clasp. This clasp is beautifully polished and has a Calatrava cross to add panache to the mechanism. The Calatrava cross is also present on the crown. The two vintage-inspired chronograph pushes (for setting and resetting the watch) on the casing are also perfectly polished.

The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 has matte dark brown alligator leather straps with a monotone stitch on the underside and a sheer-sided construction that shows you the layers of leather making the watch. The clasp is a single-fold, highly polished mechanism with a Maltese cross logo on the inner section.

The straps can also be brown alligator leather accompanied by a pink-gold single-fold clasp. The spring bars that hold the Harmony in position are slightly curved. Despite the watch’s seemingly large size, this small (but innovative) feature makes it much more comfortable for the wearer.


The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch features an in-house movement (CH 29-535 PS caliber). The CH 29-535 PS caliber was an improvement of the previous movement technology on most Patek Philippe watches and features modern and better chronographic movements with a 65-hour power reserve.

The wheels have self-adjusting hammers, 33 jewels with 269 components, and a patented Patek Gyromax balance. This balance adjusts for isochronism, heat, and cold. All the levers inside the watch are satin-finished and fully visible. Every screw has been black-polished with its slot and circumference chamfered to a clean and neat edge. The watch makes 28,800 revolutions per hour.

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch is a mono-pusher chronograph. You can make it stop, start, or reset using the same button (located at the crown position). The 3300 caliber movement is manually-wound with a spectacular finish seen through the back sapphire case back.
Underneath, the watch has 252 parts including 35 jewels enclosed in an engraved half-bridge balance structure with Breguet to help it keep time.

It has a column wheel lateral clutch mono-pusher featuring a brass polished Maltese cross. The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch has 65 hours of power reserve. The power spent is observed from the subdial at the 6 o’clock mark. It makes 21600 revolutions per hour. The screws are black polished, satin 8 steel levers with beveled, chamfered bridge edges, and mirrored glass on top.

The balance cock with golden Fleurisanne engraving is the only decorative highlight inside this watch. This gives the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch an old vintage, yet impeccable look. A column wheel controls the chronograph functions, effectively eliminating the jerking of the watch’s seconds hand when you start the watch.

The cone-shaped gear between the crown and the winding pinion allows for the smooth winding of the watch. You still have to push it in or pull it out with some force. This design was and it prevents unwanted and accidental winding or unwinding by the slightest touch of the crown.

Water resistance

Neither The Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 nor Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G watch is designed for diving. Both have a 30m water resistance capacity. This gives the two watches decent exposure to rain, splashes, and shields against damage if they accidentally fall into the water. However, do not wear any of these watches when diving or swimming.

Extra features and information

Because of the highly intricate and complicated mechanisms of the two watches, it is recommended that any mechanical service or repair be done at the factory or designated repair centers. Patek Philippe Company encourages their clients to contact them when they want to service their watch. They have serviced their watches in-house or through regulated agents since the company’s inception.

When you have spent close to $100,000 on a timepiece, you will be hesitant to take it to a watch repair shop that opened recently around your block. These watches need to be handled by trained personnel with the tools and expertise to deal with such delicate pieces.


Does Vacheron Constantin hold value?

The watches we have looked at here command more than $70,000 apiece. The price has not fluctuated since the watches debuted. Only 260 pieces of the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph watches were manufactured and sold out. This makes it extremely difficult to access an original Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 watch (unless in the second-hand market). The rarity pushes the prices through the roof.

The Patek Philippe Chronograph 5170G-010 watch is also a rare watch and a beautiful piece to own. The older and rare a watch is, the higher the resale value. Watches from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe companies hold their value well compared to watches from other luxury companies. Watch enthusiasts and collectors pay a premium to own these watches because they know they can flip them for a profit in the future.


As pioneers in the luxury watchmaking industry, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin companies have come a long way and have created legendary timepieces. Consistent innovations (such as the in-house CH 29-535 PS caliber for Patek Philippe and the mono-pusher chronographic mechanism of the Vacheron Harmony watch ), adaptation to technology, and great marketing have made watches from these companies irresistible to the avid watch collector.

The Patek Philippe 5710G-010 and the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Cal.3300 are among the most popular luxury timepieces ever manufactured across every spectrum. The same goes for the Patek Philippe nautilus and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas watch. Whichever watch you buy, you are guaranteed to get value for money.

They are elegant and rare. Patek Philippe makes less than 50,000 watches per year and only 260 pieces of the Vacheron Harmony watch were manufactured to celebrate the company’s 260th anniversary. This keeps the value of these watches high and makes them perfect conversational pieces and possible investments with an almost guaranteed higher ROI.

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