Kurt Tiedemann, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Author: Kurt Tiedemann

Best Square Watches That You Can buy

I’ll start by stating the obvious – square and rectangular watches are a totally different ballgame from the ubiquitous round-faced watch. Despite performing essentially the same function, they look and feel nothing like their round, oval, or tonneau-shaped counterparts. Indeed, there’s something rather edgy about a quadrilateral watch (no pun intended). 

Any watch fanatic can rattle off a few square models that define the style in some way – we’ve all seen a Cartier – but for many, the true depths of the right-angled multiverse have yet to be explored. To remedy this, I’ve put together a list of our favorite square watches going into 2024. Fair warning – this may change everything you know about yourself and the watches you think you love.

Squaring The Circle – A Brief History of Square Watches

From the very start, watchmakers have predominantly opted for circular dials. The reason for this is quite simple – the internal mechanisms of watches involve round gears with central pivots that rotate the hands in a complete 360° motion.

So, circles. Furthermore, a circular dial can easily be divided into the main unit-spacings, which we use to measure time, 12 and 24.  There once was a general reticence to commit to a square dial, given the extra finesse required to maintain the balance of the hour markers.

The good news is that horologists (and the people who pay their bills) can afford to be more inquisitive these days, and as such, buyers have a wealth of exciting angular watches to choose from.

Embrace The Way You Feel – Should You Buy a Square Watch?

When it comes to square and rectangular watches, most horology enthusiasts have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. Let’s face it; they’re not for everyone. In a world still dominated by round timepieces, a square watch is a risk both stylistically and culturally.

But as the saying goes, no risk, no reward, and if you’re into these types of watches, you know just how rewarding they can be. Rectangular watches, in particular, exude a regal and almost aristocratic vibe that simply cannot be matched by a round face.

The iconic Tank shape bears testament to that simple truth. Furthermore, in a time when most people have small collections of watches rather than one trusty timekeeper, more and more collectors find a great deal of excitement in including a square watch in their otherwise round-faced troupe.

1. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver (ref. BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB)

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver (ref. BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB)

If you’re after a watch that’s just as at home in the water as it is on land, look no further. The Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver is equal parts handsome and technical. Inspired by aviation themes, as all of their watches are, the BR03 is the latest in the company’s line of underwater watches. It’s a refreshing change from the previous, somewhat impractical BR02 iteration, as it performs in all the ways that an aesthetically-driven diver should.

Its rugged construction and easy-to-read face make it an excellent choice for serious divers and casual swimmers alike. Let’s get technical for a second. The BR03 is water resistant up to 300m and is in compliance with ISO 6425 and NIHS standards. Simply put, it’s a fully-qualified companion tool for even the most challenging dives.

The mechanical movement operates on a cold-resistant Bell & Ross caliber BR-CAL 302, which provides a healthy 38-hour power reserve, making it a perfect watch for anyone looking for a hard-wearing timepiece with a minimalist slant. The BR03 holds its own against any watch in its class, and at just $3,990, you’ll be taking up diving in no time.

2. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date (ref. 1-37-02-08-02-61)

Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date (ref. 1-37-02-08-02-61)

The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is something truly special – a stunning timepiece that captures the essence of understated design icons from the 1970s. The 40mm square stainless steel case has distinctive angular lines where it matters and softened curves where it counts.

These design elements give the watch an authentic neo-vintage character, and the dark blue dial – the result of an elaborate galvanization process – features rhodium-plated indexes and hands coated with Super-LumiNova®, which serve the retrograded feel well.

The watch is powered by an automatic in-house movement, Calibre 37-02, and the beauty of this movement alone explains the watch’s $13,400 price tag. If the amazing functionality of the watch isn’t justification enough – the Seventies Chronograph boasts a stop-second, flyback, 30-minute display, numeric 12-hour display, Panorama Date, and power reserve indication.

That’s a whole lot of watch. It also comes with an intriguingly blue Louisiana alligator leather strap that lends some extra depth to the dial. Honestly, it’s different, but that’s what makes it great.

3. TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CBL2111.FC6453)

TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CBL2111.FC6453)

The Monaco has been around the block a few times, and for good reason. It shot to fame as Steve McQueen’s wrist candy in Le Mans and contained the world’s first mass-produced automatic chronograph movement, the Calibre 11. Now, the latest iteration of the Monaco has arrived, and it’s ditched some of its predecessor’s fatuous vintage quirks for more practical features.

The updated version sees the crown moved from the left-hand side to the right-hand side of the case, which is just more sensible if you think about it. It’s also got a water resistance of 100 meters and a reliable in-house movement (the HEUER02). So, buyers no longer need to worry about historically finicky gears and low-grade shock resistance issues. This is a modern watch with a modern brain and a 60’s heart.

The face cuts a room in half – some love it, and some hate it. But no matter what corner your taste may force your emotions into, there’s no denying that the design and legibility of the dial are impeccable. Classic, yet progressive. Simple, yet complex. It’s a reminder that iconic watches rarely go out of style.  And for a cool $7100, you can get your hands on a truly distinguished piece of history.

4. Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. WSSA0018)

Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. WSSA0018)

At first sight, the Santos appears distinct from previous versions. Although it maintains its definitive, square-shaped case, the latest design has been softened with more curves. The large model is 39.8mm x 47.5mm, which wears like a 42mm round watch. As is to be expected, the Santos is an effortlessly stylish timepiece designed for showing (people) as much as telling (the time).

In all truth, even the smallest version of this watch wears like one that costs far more than $7450. The large model adds to this sense of value, given that it’s altogether more watch. The Santos’ mechanical movement (calibre 1847 MC) is automatic winding and is housed within a surprisingly hard-wearing steel case. Legibility is key – the silvered opaline dial is a breeze to read, with blue sword-shaped hands splitting hours and minutes effortlessly.

The watch has two interchangeable bracelets: a steel bracelet with Cartier’s ‘SmartLink’ adjustment system and a calfskin bracelet with a steel folding buckle. I love it on either, and in fact, I’m consistently surprised by the stylistic versatility these two fairly simple straps grant the wearer.

5. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Small Seconds (ref. Q3988482)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Small Seconds (ref. Q3988482)

I’ll just say what everyone is thinking – why spend $11,700 on one watch when you can have two? Each of the two dials of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface is a work of art in its own right, and the fact that one watch can host both is mind-blowing.

This one-of-a-kind timepiece is primarily a nod to the original Reverso watch, born in 1931. Over the years, it has undergone countless iterations while remaining true to its identity. The trapezoidal indexes and Dauphine hands are an homage to the original design, implemented with a modern twist that gives the watch a fresh and exciting look. 

Of course, each dial can display a different time zone, as well as boast a handy day/night indicator. As if it wasn’t classy enough already, the Duoface’s strap was custom-designed by the legendary Argentinian bootmaker Casa Fagliano, one of the most highly-revered artisans on the planet.

The Reverso Tribute Duoface is a true masterpiece, built to speak to those who value class and bespoke craftsmanship over all else. Its true allure lies in the fact that even among other Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, it’s a bit of a black sheep. I love it for that reason alone.

6. Cartier Tank Must XL (ref. WSTA0040)

Cartier Tank Must XL (ref. WSTA0040)

It’s no secret that Cartier’s Tank has been a favorite timepiece for world leaders and royals for decades. However, the allure of a Cartier goes far beyond just how it looks, despite what many think. Like the Santos, Cartier’s Tank Must is steeped in historical intrigue and was first designed by Louis Cartier in 1917. This watch has seen things.

How curious it is then that the Cartier Tank should come to represent the very opposite of the military aesthetic, it was initially designed to emulate; it’s now arguably the most definitive dress watch ever created. 

Under the hood, the Tank Must XL houses a robust and reliable mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cartier’s own Calibre 1847 MC. Encased in durable steel hides a beaded crown set with the brand’s signature spinel, which adds a unique flavor to the watch, as does the silvered dial, beautifully accented by blued-steel hands that not-so-subtly contrast the black-grained calfskin strap.

At 41mm x 31mm and only 8.4mm thick, the XL Tank is about as slender as a watch can get in this price bracket, and what’s more, a date function and a timeless design make the $4200 you’d pay for it an absolute bargain.

7. Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 (ref.421)

Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 (ref.421)

Nomos’ Tetra Neomatik 39 represents perhaps the peak of what Nomos does better than anyone else, in my humble opinion – the trimming of every gram of fat off of their timepieces to create designs that are unembellished in almost every way.

A true testament to the crossroads between Bauhaus’s solemnity and Art Deco’s gregariousness, the Tetra Neomatik is certainly the odd one out in Nomos’ collection. Despite this, it’s remained popular for over 30 years as a left-field dress watch of exceptional quality. 

Although it comes in different sizes, I think the 39 is the boldest, with a diagonal diameter of 46mm and a dial that could probably be read from space. The Tetra’s angled and double-stepped lugs fit effortlessly under a cuff, and the caseback contains a round sapphire crystal through which one can view the delightful in-house Neomatik DUW 300 Calibre.

The ultra-thin movement means that the height of the watch is a meager 7.3mm, making the fact that it’s a limited-edition timepiece a hard pill to swallow. I’d recommend this wholeheartedly for those willing to spend $3860 on something a bit different.

8. Hublot Square Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic (ref. 821.NM.0170.RX)

Hublot Square Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic (ref. 821.NM.0170.RX)

Full disclosure – I’ve never been much of a fan of Hublot. It’s probably my dainty wrists or the fact that their watches are often a bit ‘louder’ than I like mine to be. However, the Hublot Square Bang collection is a new take on the iconic Big Bang design, with a square-shaped case that is…strangely comfortable.

Despite some obvious similarities with the Cartier Santos, the Square Bang has a unique personality – the 43mm-wide titanium and ceramic case is very Hublot in all the best ways and yet, not Hublot at all. It’s proud and strong and detailed and familiar but somewhat subtle at the same time.

My only gripe is the face’s legibility – it’s a slightly more difficult watch to read than the Neomatik, or the Santos, for example. That said, if you’re a fan of interesting materials and bold designs, this is certainly one to consider. You’d better be sure, though – at $24,100, this isn’t a watch you can afford not to like!

9. Oris Rectangular (ref. 01 561 7783 4065-07 5 19 17)

Oris Rectangular (ref. 01 561 7783 4065-07 5 19 17)

This may sound crazy, but I think that the Oris Rectangular is a watch that everyone should own at some point. If you’re even slightly rectangular-curious or looking for an understated, charming watch with a unique flare and workhorse Swiss movement with a date function, all for the ridiculous price of $1950, this is it. The Rectangular was recently reintroduced by Oris and has subtle design updates, revised dial options, and more leather strap choices.

Still, there’s nothing outwardly fancy going on here. A stainless steel case and integrated straps, with steps on the case flanks and tapering lug tips, create a relaxed and natural fit on the wrist. The marine blue dial and the numerals that adorn it echo Art Deco designs, bolstered by rail tracks around the outer edge and an inner rectangle that emboldens the case silhouette.

The face is legible yet discreet, and the hands move reliably, thanks to the Oris Calibre 561, which is visible through the open back of the watch. The Rectangular measures 25.5 mm across and 38 mm lug to lug, making it a highly accessible piece and a great option for those interested in non-round watches with a reasonable price tag.

10. Bell & Ross BR-X5 (ref. BRX5R-BL-ST/SST)

Bell & Ross BR-X5 (ref. BRX5R-BL-ST/SST)

The Bell & Ross BR-X5 is the newest and coolest addition to the BR 05 collection. It’s sporty, technical, and modish all at once. The large date window and power reserve indicator are welcome additions (improvements, even) that display the watch’s intricacies. If it looks like a powerhouse, that’s because it is.

For the $7400 you have to pay to play with this tool, you get a whole lot of machinery – the impressive BR-CAL.323 Calibre movement, designed by Kenissi, Tudor’s off-shoot movement manufacturer, provides exceptional precision, while the multi-component case design means the watch is sleek and lightweight but also ridiculously durable. 

In a strange and wonderful way, it’s the watch’s inconsistencies that make it so attractive. Its unique architectonic look makes it perfect for those who enjoy fast machines in stark urban environments. But there’s also a subtlety to the design, perhaps best manifested in the bracelet, that contrasts the civic feel of the rest of the BR-X5. Whatever you think of it, though, the machine-meets-architecture aesthetic of the BR-X5 is an undeniable hallmark of the Bell & Ross ethos.

11. Certina DS Podium Square (ref. C0255101605700)

Certina DS Podium Square (ref. C0255101605700)

Rounded corners and an altogether softer profile make this Certina less striking than previous entries but make no mistake; the DS Podium Square is an altogether likable timepiece, devoid of any specific stylistic flourishes that define more bespoke models.

This is a good thing for the risk-averse buyer as it means you get the feel of a well-built square watch without too much financial outlay. The stainless steel case measures 38.3mm in diameter and 9.9mm in thickness, making it a comfortable fit for most wrist sizes, while the black dial with mixed indexes and feuille-shaped hands is easy to read and places the watch in an undoubtedly ‘classic’ design class.

Despite its low price tag, the Podium Square is powered by a precise and reliable quartz movement that will keep accurate time for years to come. With its sleek and sophisticated design, this Certina is a reliable choice for anyone needing a high-quality timepiece at a price point of around $500.

12. Longines Dolce Vita (ref. L5.767.4.73.9)

Longines Dolce Vita (ref. L5.767.4.73.9)

Similar to the Oris Rectangular, the Longines Dolce Vita makes its strongest impression with a subtle design, a feature that is enhanced by a new two-tone sector dial inspired once again by vintage designs from the 1920s Art Deco period.

The stainless steel case measures 28.20 x 47.00mm with a thickness of 10.30mm, which means it’s small but not that small. I would personally prefer a slightly thinner case, but to be fair, this doesn’t feel like it’s 10mm thick when on the wrist. The sector dial is really the pièce de résistance here, with its centered matte silver finish, black crosshair, and vertically brushed finish on the outer section.

The hour markers, apart from the ones at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, connect the railroad minute track to the center crosshair section of the dial, creating full cohesion on the watch’s face. Beneath the dial, the automatic, exclusive mechanical L592 caliber movement ticks away. For $1750, this watch competes squarely with the Oris Rectangular and offers a slightly different look for what it’s worth.

13. Seiko ‘Tank’ SWR052P1

Seiko ‘Tank’ SWR052P1

Don’t freak out – Seiko has released its own homage to the iconic Cartier Tank, and in true Seiko fashion, the two watches look strikingly similar. The SWR052P1, otherwise known as the Seiko Tank, features a plain face with large Roman numerals encased in a slightly chunky gold-plated stainless-steel case.

The watch’s leather band resembles crocodile skin, although it doesn’t feel like crocodile skin. What do you expect for $230? Of note here is Seiko’s signature mineral crystal, which is known to be extremely durable and, therefore, a great base for the quartz movement. I’d love to see this watch with a solar-powered feature, like many of Seiko’s other timepieces, but there’s certainly still a lot of practical beauty here for the price.

14. Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000D-1

Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000D-1

Casio’s Full Metal GMW-B5000D-1 G-Shock is about as tough as watches come. Descended from some of the most hard-wearing timepieces in the industry, the GMW-B5000D-1 centers around an LCD screen, which features ‘Tough Solar’ technology and a brick motif that draws in light for miniature solar cells.

The watch has ‘atomic clock accuracy’ (which, if nothing else, sounds very cool), and the watch’s functions can be accessed through a smartphone app, allowing the wearer to set alarms and display reminders on the watch screen with ease. 

Rated for 200 meters of water resistance and surprisingly comfortable on the wrist despite being heavier than other versions, this is not a timepiece for slender arms. I’d say if you wear anything smaller than 42mm, move along now and thank me later. Ironically, only one element may deter ardent Casio fans from buying this watch – its case.

A full-metal case presents certain wear-and-tear issues that affect the watch’s aesthetic over time differently than Casio’s iconic plastic housing. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little character, and for approximately $500, you can’t really go wrong.

15. Seiko Recraft SNKP23

Seiko Recraft SNKP23

If the terms ‘retro-modern’, ‘vintage-inspired’, and ‘funky design’ connect with you, the Seiko Recraft SNKP23 might just be your next watch, and if you’re on the fence, I’d say spend the $275 and see how you feel when this strange beauty hits your wrist! Almost square or nearly rectangular, this pillow-shaped timepiece is certainly an acquired taste. 

An appealing combination of brushed and polished elements speaks to the attention to detail in the build, and the automatic Seiko 7S26C caliber movement, a machine that will run for decades without a service, powers the hands and day-date window that decorate the striking blue sunburst dial.

I’ll say this much – if you can embrace the look of this thing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much more expensive it feels than expected. The watch offers a water resistance of 50 meters, so it can handle splashes but is not suitable for diving or even brisk swimming, for that matter. No bother – there’s plenty of time to wear it out of the water.

16. Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady (ref. H32251735)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady (ref. H32251735)

The Square Lady (surely a play on ‘fair lady’) is bolder than many women’s watches. Sure, it’s elegant and sophisticated. Yes, it’s a standard timekeeper in its category in many ways – a 29mm stainless steel case housing a black dial abutted by a black leather strap is all very typical.

However, there’s something about this watch that feels more masculine – more upright – than the usual ladies’ watch fodder. Perhaps it’s the weight of the case or its angular design. Whatever it is, it’s different, and I like it. Under the hood, the watch is powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement, which is water resistant up to 50 meters. Basically, it’s reliable anywhere except in a very, very deep bath.

Technicalities aside, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady watch is a great option for women who seek to stand out with a watch that won’t break the bank. Its classic design, combined with the high level of craftsmanship that one can expect from Hamilton, makes it a smart choice for a first, second, or third square watch.

17. A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (ref. 703.048)

A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (ref. 703.048)

I think it goes without saying that A. Lange & Söhne’s Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is a truly special watch. Introduced in July 2021, It has one of Lange’s most complex, detailed, and elegant cases, measuring 29.5mm wide, 39.2mm long, and 10.3mm thick, and is equipped with the world’s first hacking tourbillon, which the company patented in 2008.

Each of the 30 pieces is handmade by Lange’s team of skilled engravers and enamellers, and it’s only the seventh timepiece to benefit from the lavish treatment of Lange’s limited edition Handwerkskunst models, which showcase exceptional finishings and decorative techniques. 

The matte grey dial with a highly symmetric layout features the oversized date, the power reserve indicator, the running seconds, and the tourbillon. It’s bewildering to think that so much was fitted so comfortably on one small dial. This is one of the most exclusive watches on this list, and it’s not hard to tell why – if you’ve got $370,000 lying around, you just may be able to get this masterpiece around your wrist. 

18. H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp S (ref. 5324-­0201)

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp S (ref. 5324-­0201)

H. Moser & Cie. caused a stir in the smartwatch market in 2016 with their Swiss Alp Watch launch, a concept so crazy that it’s genius. This fully mechanical Swiss-made model boasts a contemporary design while remaining true to the tradition of mechanical watchmaking. The brand’s message is clear: prioritize traditional watchmaking values and aim to make an instrument for measuring time rather than consuming it. I’m all for it.

The Swiss Alp Watch S, a recent addition to their collection, features a rectangular case with soft, rounded corners and a crystal with curved edges for a modern touch. A deep, midnight blue fumé makes the dial pop, as does the refined black alligator strap. The hand-wound HMC 324 caliber movement drives the hands, bringing together traditional components with more contemporary elements.

What I love the most about this watch is that H. Moser & Cie. has blended classic with sexy, retaining a sense of humor and a subtly provocative character. Overall, the Swiss Alp S is an excellent choice for those who appreciate traditional watchmaking values and modern, tech-centric design. Bear in mind that it’s limited to 50 pieces and will run you roughly $25,000, so you’ll have to work to find one!

19. Patek Philippe Gondolo 8-Day (ref. 5200G-010)

Patek Philippe Gondolo 8-Day (ref. 5200G-010)

You may have heard that Patek Philippe recently released a new reference in their Gondolo collection, the ref. 5200G, which is sure to become a classic. This model is once again inspired by Art Deco design, evident in its rectangular white gold case with double-ridged sides.

The movement of the ref. 5200G is an 8-Day manually wound caliber with an instantaneous day and date indication, similar to the highly collectible ref. 5100 ‘Manta Ray’, which was introduced in 2000, although at $59,400, this one is cheaper than its predecessor. 

The calendar mechanism uses up roughly two days of the power reserve, which is impressive considering the movement has an additional day and date indicator. There’s no chance of running out of juice, though, as the Gondolo also features an 8-day power reserve indicator and a small seconds hand integrated into the date circle.

Dauphine-style hands up the aesthetic ante even more, and it goes without saying that the Gondola 8-Day is a stunningly impressive timepiece that upholds the reputation of Patek’s commitment to craftsmanship and elegance.

20. Piaget Emperador Power Reserve White Gold (ref. G0A33069)

Piaget Emperador Power Reserve White Gold (ref. G0A33069)

I’m not the biggest Piaget fan, but even I’d admit that the regal air of the aptly-named Emperador had me floored the first time I saw it. If this isn’t a luxurious watch, then nothing is. With a case diameter of 30mm in width and 41mm in length, the Emperador makes just enough of an impression in size to attract the right eye.

Its metallic silver face is the foundation of distinct hour markers, a square seconds window, and a power reserve indicator. All of this is encased by a polished semi-domed edged 18kt White Gold bezel and powered by Piaget’s caliber 551P, an automatic movement with a 42-hour reserve.

This watch’s secret power is that while most people wouldn’t give it a second look, discerning insiders will realize in an instant just how special the Emperador is. That kind of inconspicuousness comes at a price, though – $23,800. Is it worth it? I say yes—every penny.

It’s Hip To Be Square

Square watches offer a unique and often bold statement on the wrist, and there are various great options to choose from in 2024. From the classic elegance of the Cartier Santos to the modern edge of the Bell & Ross BR-X5, there’s a square watch for every style and taste. It’s important to consider the size and dimensions of each watch as well before making a purchase. 

Remember – while square watches may not be as popular as their round counterparts, they offer a distinctive and eye-catching look that can make a great addition to any watch collection. So, consider adding a square watch to your collection this year if you’re a seasoned watch enthusiast or just looking to mix up your style.

Best Rolex Sky Dweller Models

A generally-accepted trope in the watch world is that Rolex is an innovator. Every time Rolex releases an all-new timepiece, you can rest assured that there will be something uniquely pioneering about that watch. The Sky-Dweller is no exception. In fact, this watch may be Rolex’s most understated flex of the century. 

Defined by its technical ingenuity while still holistically representative of the Rolex style, the Sky-Dweller is at once the Swiss giant’s most complicated movement (next to the Yachtmaster II) and one of its most elegant. Regardless of whether you’re a Rolex person or not, I would assert that by the end of this article, you’ll be, at the very least, moderately fascinated with the idea of a Sky-Dweller on your wrist.

Built For Travel – The Story Of The Sky-Dweller

The Sky-Dweller is a watch that, in many ways, defies categorization. It combines practicality with luxurious design and (insane) mechanical complexity. Yet, it feels somewhat understated, devoid of the extra pushers or bezel-mania that Rolex’s more complex movements usually exhibit. Initially released in 2012, the Sky-Dweller was Rolex’s first all-new watch drop since the Yachtmaster was unveiled 20 years earlier, in 1992. 

Originally only available in precious metals, the newbie was far less accessible than many would have liked, with a price tag representing a breakthrough movement and the 18k gold that encased it. However, in 2017, taking pity on the little man, Rolex introduced two new, mostly-steel versions of the Sky-Dweller, making for a more affordable and practical daily wearer.

Hidden In Plain Sight – A Masterpiece Unraveled

As if one isn’t enough, the Sky-Dweller’s 9001 movement boasts a combination of two complications: a dual-time zone (or GMT function) and an annual calendar. The GMT function allows the wearer to display two different time zones simultaneously on the same watch.

The annual calendar function ensures that the watch automatically adjusts to the correct date for all 30 and 31-day months. This is displayed beneath scratch-resistant sapphire as a red-fill in a small window on the relative hour marker. Design genius, pure and simple. 

Practically speaking, this means you’ll only have to make one manual date adjustment per year. Additionally, the Sky-Dweller’s Ring Command Bezel, first introduced in the Yachtmaster II, adds a wonderfully discreet layer of functionality to the watch.

All of these details create a timepiece that is both practical and luxurious, suitable for world travelers, business professionals, and watch enthusiasts alike. With all that said, let’s have a closer look at the various iterations of the Sky-Dweller.

The Best Rolex Sky-Dwellers

1. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 (Bright Blue)

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 (Bright Blue)

The entry-level model for the Sky-Dweller is most commonly spotted with a glimmering blue dial and a case crafted from a Rolex’s own Rolesor – a fusion of Oystersteel and 18k white gold (bezel, hands, and hour markers). The result is a clinically classic aesthetic and a much lighter watch than the full-gold models, which are less resilient against daily wear and tear than steel, a factor that should be cherished on a watch this precious. 

The ref. 326934 is available on the standard Oyster bracelet or a jubilee, with the option of a black or white dial, ideal for those who prefer a monochromatic display, such as myself. Speaking of personal preference, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the inverted red triangle above the GMT dial looks by far most attractive when set against the blue face.

2. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326933 (Bright Black)

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326933 (Bright Black)

One of the luxury upgrades to reference 326934 sees yellow gold replacing white gold for the polarising two-tone, ‘Money Never Sleeps’ case finish. With black, white, and champagne dial color options, this one may surprisingly be the most exciting of the Sky-Dweller variations.

The watch’s bezel, winding crown, hands, hour markers, and center links of the bracelet are made of solid 18k yellow gold, bolstering the visual resemblance to the Datejust. It should be said that despite its 42mm diameter, the sloped and fluted bezel gives the watch a lower profile on the wrist, which is somehow more seamless on this two-tone reference.

Finally, the jubilee bracelet adds an understated touch of finesse, complimenting the fluting of the bezel sublimely in its patterning. However, if a jubilee strap isn’t your thing, you’re in luck – the 326933 is available on an Oyster strap, as well as with champagne and white dial options.

3. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326935 (Slate)

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326935 (Slate)

You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that the 326935 was ostensibly released to showcase the beauty of Everose gold, which offers a slightly different hue and luster than traditional rose gold. The metal provides a modern versatility that Rolex has embraced and integrated into their more recent offerings – it’s precious enough to be taken seriously but unusual enough not to feel too stern. 

The Slate dial is likely the most legible of all the colors on offer for the Sky-Dweller, except the more standard (and less exciting) black variant, which is useful at any rate. With this being said, you do have the option to choose a chocolate or white dial for your 326935 should the slate be too easy to read.

The full Everose Sky-Dweller on an Oyster bracelet, featuring a slate dial, retails at $49,350, which is just enough to make your jaw tighten, but not so much that you’d say ‘never happening’. Especially if the rose gold look is your thing.

4. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938 (Champagne)

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326938 (Champagne)

The first full yellow gold Rolex Sky-Dweller on this list, ref. 326938 is an iconic piece in the collection. As on the aforementioned models, the latest update has replaced alternatives of more complex numerals with riveting luminous batons, enhancing the watch’s visual clarity and legibility in low-light conditions. Honestly, I think the lume looks best up against all of this gold. It just…dances. 

Unsurprisingly, the 326938 serves as an anchor for the collection, alongside the immensely popular 326934. You can’t argue with an all-gold-watch, and with the beloved champagne dial, this one really shines, figuratively and literally. However, if Champagne doesn’t suit, this reference is also available with a bright black or intense white dial. Don’t say Rolex isn’t good to you.

5. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939

Released in 2012, the reference 326939 was part of the first trio of Sky-Dweller watches in solid 18k gold. Unlike its siblings, this model is constructed entirely from 18k white gold, giving it a more understated look with all the heft. It features a matching gold Oyster bracelet and was in production until 2018.

When it first came out, Rolex had secured no less than 11 patents relating to the movement of this, their newest watch, so to release it with anything less than a full body of precious metal would have been a disservice to the R&D department, at the very least. 

A notable visual difference between this and later references is the Roman or Arabic numeral variations, as well as the fact that only two dial colors – black and white – are available. It’s a bit more ‘mature’ at face value, thanks to the more commonly found Roman numeral versions, so bear that in mind before buying.

6. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326139

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326139

The reference 326139 shares the same solid 18k white gold case and dial options as the aforementioned 326939 but features a classic leather strap instead of an Oyster bracelet, making this an altogether more casual affair. The leather strap comes with a gold fold-over clasp which adds a touch of weight (and class), and is secured to the case with lug hoods that extend under the bezel to fill the gap between the case and the strap’s edge. 

This touch actually creates the pleasant illusion that the watch sits a bit lower on the wrist. Little things matter, and on a large-wearing 42mm reference, every micrometer counts! As with the 326939, this piece is most commonly available with either Roman or Arabic numerals on a white or black face, although chocolate and gold faces have also been spotted in the wild.

7. Rolex Sky-Dweller 326138

Rolex Sky-Dweller 326138

Rolex’s earliest solid 18k yellow gold iteration of the Sky-Dweller, reference 326138, comes with a leather strap as opposed to the expected yellow gold bracelet. It’s also available in an Everose gold variation, offering a left-of-center alternative for the more adventurous color-blockers among us. 

Like other leather and rubber Oysterflex strap models, this version benefits from lug hoods that merge case and strap seamlessly, creating a more integrated look. If you’re into complicated numerals, you can have them on this reference, but I’d stick with the plain baton indices as they gel so much better with the month display windows.

First Class, Everywhere, All The Time

Let’s call a spade a spade – the Sky-Dweller isn’t an everyman’s watch. It’s somewhat pricey, very complex, and uniquely bold. Furthermore, it’s not a watch without its negatives – a 14 mm thick timepiece will be cause for concern on most wrists, and due to its lug width, it certainly wears slightly larger than 42mm. However, I’m hyper-aware (as you should be) that the concerns of the slim-wristed are largely irrelevant when it comes to the Sky-Dweller. 

To those of you on whom this watch sits comfortably, I say congratulations, particularly if you’re a frequent traveler who can take advantage of its myriad functionalities. If, on top of that, you’re a geek for complicated movements, then there are very few timepieces that are more interesting or exciting than the Sky-Dweller.

Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions

In the ever-evolving realm of horology, a trend has been ticking its way into the spotlight – the monthly watch subscription. Is this the path to horological nirvana or just a cleverly designed wristwear carousel? In this exposé, I’ll unravel the mysteries surrounding this new trend.

Imagine a world where, every month, a box arrives at your doorstep, harboring a new and (sometimes) exciting watch. These subscription programs promise not just timekeeping but an ongoing affair with novel timekeepers.

But are they worth the investment? Are these subscriptions the horological equivalent of a treasure chest or merely a glitzy gimmick? Read on as I unveil the five best contenders in the watch subscription sector today.

Delivering Time To Your Door – About Monthly Watch Subscriptions

The allure of monthly watch subscriptions has emerged as a captivating and convenient way to satiate one’s passion for timepieces. This contemporary phenomenon took its first tentative steps into the watch world not too long ago, but it has since gained traction among enthusiasts and collectors alike.

The notion of receiving a fresh watch every month, like clockwork, began to pique the interest of watch aficionados around the early 2010s. The idea spread like wildfire, gaining momentum through social media, watch forums, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Watch enthusiasts, both seasoned and newcomers, were captivated by the prospect of expanding their collections without an arduous hunt or hefty price tags.

But how do these monthly watch subscriptions actually work? Allow me to demystify the mechanism behind it all. Typically, a variety of tiers or packages, each tailored to different preferences and budgets, are offered by each service. Once you’ve chosen your subscription level, you enter the horological arena, ready to embrace the element of surprise.

Every month, a meticulously selected timepiece, often curated by experts, makes its way to your doorstep. The anticipation is part of the thrill – you might receive a vintage-inspired piece one month, a rugged diver’s watch the next, or perhaps an elegant dress watch. The element of surprise and the diversity in styles help keep your collection fresh and exciting, which is part of the appeal for many subscribers.

Most subscriptions also allow you to wear the watch for the month, experiencing its nuances and appreciating its craftsmanship. At the end of the month, you can choose to keep the watch (usually at a discounted price), return it, or swap it for another. In other words, you’ve got the joy of wearing interesting watches without any of the hassle or commitment associated with buying them.

In a world where time is of the essence and horological exploration knows no bounds, monthly watch subscriptions offer an alluring blend of convenience, variety, and adventure. Whether you’re wearing a Patek or a Swatch, the concept alone should get your senses tingling.

5 Best Monthly Watch Subscriptions

Although there are now many more watch subscription services than there were even just 5 years ago, the cream rises to the top, and as such, there are only a few worth mentioning. Here are the top 5, by my estimations!

1. Watch Gang: Horological Equity

Company History: Founded in 2016 by Matthew Gallagher, Billy Harvill, and Robert Taylor, Watch Gang set out to democratize the world of watch collecting. With a mission to provide affordable access to an ever-growing collection of timepieces, they’ve made quite a splash in the horological community.

How It Operates: Watch Gang offers three subscription tiers: Original, Black, and Platinum. Each tier promises a monthly watch delivery, but the excitement lies in the element of surprise. Subscribers could receive anything from micro-brand pieces to well-known names like Seiko and Citizen. The thrill? The value of the watch received often exceeds the subscription cost.

What Watches You Can Get: The selection varies widely, from divers to dress watches, with a penchant for emphasizing both classic and contemporary styles. Watch Gang even features their exclusive ‘Wheel of Watches’, where subscribers can spin to win luxury watches or other enticing prizes.

Cost: The Original tier starts at $49 per month, the Black tier at $99, and the Platinum tier at $299.

2. Eleven James: The Luxury Collection

Company History: Eleven James was born in 2013 and founded by Randy Brandoff. It caters to the horologically inclined who seek to elevate their watch game with a touch of luxury.

How It Operates: Eleven James offers four membership plans: Enthusiast, Aficionado, Connoisseur, and Virtuoso. Each plan provides access to an exclusive collection of luxury watches for a set duration. Subscribers can swap their timepieces periodically, ensuring they always have one that suits the occasion.

What Watches You Can Get: Eleven James focuses on high-end luxury watches, including brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. Expect a curated selection of iconic timepieces.

Cost: Membership fees range from $149 to $1,999 per month, depending on the plan and the watches you desire.

3. Wrist Mafia: The Newcomers

Company History: Wrist Mafia is a relative newcomer, founded in 2019. However, its founder, Brandon Ladd, is no stranger to the world of horology, having a rich background in luxury watches.

How It Operates: Wrist Mafia stands out for its dedication to delivering high-quality, handpicked watches. Subscribers can choose from three tiers: Standard, Premium, and Platinum. Each tier provides a monthly delivery of carefully curated timepieces that are sure to please.

What Watches You Can Get: Wrist Mafia prides itself on offering watches from renowned brands like Rolex, Omega, and TAG Heuer, along with other luxury and micro-brand selections.

Cost: Subscription plans range from $129 to $299 per month, depending on the tier you select.

4. Breitling Select: On-Brand Brilliance

Company History: Breitling Select is a premium subscription service introduced by the iconic Swiss watchmaker Breitling. With a history dating back to 1884, Breitling is renowned for its aviation-inspired timepieces.

How It Operates: Breitling Select offers a unique opportunity to experience the brand’s exceptional watches. Subscribers receive a different Breitling watch each month. It’s a chance to explore the brand’s extensive range and discover which Breitling model best suits your style.

What Watches You Can Get: With Breitling Select, you can expect to receive a variety of Breitling watches, from their iconic Navitimer to the Aviator 8 and more.

Cost: Membership fees start at $129 per month, making it an attractive option for those looking to dive into the world of luxury Swiss watches without making a massive financial commitment.

5. Monthly Watch Box: The Horological Curator

Company History: Monthly Watch Box has been serving the watch community since 2014. Founded by Ben Adams, this service aims to provide both watch novices and connoisseurs with a curated monthly dose of horological excitement.

How It Operates: Monthly Watch Box offers three subscription tiers: Standard, Pro, and Platinum. Subscribers receive a watch each month, and the best part is that they get to choose from a selection of options, ensuring a personalized experience.

What Watches You Can Get: The selection includes a mix of styles and brands, ranging from classic dress watches to rugged divers and even some micro-brand surprises.

Cost: Subscription plans start at $39.95 per month, making it an accessible option for those on a budget who still want to enjoy a regular dose of wristwatch variety.

These five monthly watch subscription services cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences, from affordable variety to high-end luxury. Whether you’re looking to expand your collection, try out luxury timepieces, or simply enjoy the thrill of a monthly surprise, there’s a subscription that suits your horological journey. So, which one will adorn your wrist next? The choice is yours, and the adventure awaits.

Are Monthly Watch Subscriptions Worth It?

Monthly watch subscriptions come with their own set of pros and cons, making them a worthwhile endeavor for some while leaving others with a raised eyebrow.

The Pros

Variety, Variety, Variety: One of the most significant advantages is the sheer variety you get to experience. From tool watches to timeless classics and everything in between, these subscriptions offer a diverse range of timepieces that can keep your collection fresh and exciting.

Affordable Access to Luxury: Services like Breitling Select and Eleven James allow you to enjoy luxury watches without the eye-watering price tags. It’s a fantastic way to explore high-end brands without committing to a significant purchase.

Curated Selections: Many subscriptions are curated by horological experts who handpick watches for their subscribers. This means you’re likely to discover hidden gems and under-the-radar brands you might not have encountered otherwise.

The Cons

Lack of Ownership: Perhaps the most significant drawback is that you don’t actually own the watches you receive in most cases. This can be a deal-breaker for collectors who want to build a lasting, physical collection. However, many of the services offer a buy-out option, so you don’t necessarily have to send the watch back every time!

Subscription Costs: While some subscriptions are budget-friendly, others can be quite pricey. For some, the monthly cost might add up to more than they’d typically spend on a watch.

Limited Control: You might receive watches that don’t align with your taste or style. If you’re someone who prefers to carefully curate your collection, the element of surprise might not be appealing. In short, it really sucks having your bubble of anticipation burst by a watch you dislike.

Condition and Authenticity: There’s always a slight risk when it comes to the state and authenticity of the watches received. While reputable services take great care in this regard, others are less pragmatic.

In essence, whether a monthly watch subscription is worth it depends on your individual preferences and goals as a collector. If you crave variety and enjoy the thrill of trying out different watches without the commitment of ownership, these subscriptions can be a delightful journey. 

However, if you’re a die-hard collector who values ownership, control over your acquisitions, and the long-term investment potential of a timepiece, you might find these services less appealing.

Ultimately, it’s all about striking a balance between your passion for horology and your personal collecting philosophy. So, are monthly watch subscriptions worth it? The answer lies in the ticking heart of your own horological desires.


As we draw the final seconds of this guide, it’s abundantly clear that the question of whether monthly watch subscriptions are worth it hinges on the individual collector’s heartbeat. 

For those who savor the excitement of an ever-changing wrist companion and the opportunity to sample an array of styles and brands, these subscriptions offer a tantalizing experience. It’s a journey through time and style, a monthly adventure that keeps the wrist-wear flame burning bright.

However, for the steadfast collectors who cherish ownership, control, and long-term investment potential, the allure of these subscriptions may pale in comparison to the satisfaction of building a personal collection.

Whether you find your horological haven in a monthly surprise or a carefully curated collection, remember that in the world of watches, time is truly on your side. So, my fellow watch aficionados, the choice is yours, and your wrist remains the canvas of your horological journey.

The Ultimate Guide to Watch Water Resistance

It’s safe to say that whether you’re a seasoned collector who knows a tourbillon from a tachymeter or a curious novice dipping your toes into the world of timepieces, one factor defines every one of us – the water resistance of your watch.

In this guide, I’ll take you into the varied depths of watch water resistance, deciphering the cryptic codes of bars, meters, and atmospheres that grace the spec sheet of almost every watch ever made. From the humble drizzles to the abyssal depths, I’ll unravel the enigmatic language of water resistance ratings.

As we make our way through this guide, you’ll unearth the secrets behind ensuring your watch meets every drop of water with panache and, in doing so, will come to understand why and how a timepiece stays dry against all odds. So, fasten your straps and join me in exploring the depths of horological durability – where precision meets the unpredictable waters of life.

Built For Pressure – About Watch Water Resistance

For those of you who can, cast your minds back to the early 1920s, a pivotal epoch when watchmaking wizards conjured the first water-resistant timepieces. These groundbreaking tickers defied the drenching forces of nature, gifting us a new realm of durability and propelling the practical application of watches to new heights.

Imagine the audacity it took to craft a watch that remained unaffected by splashes and showers, a concept that would evolve into the meticulously calibrated depth ratings we encounter today. 

The pioneers were Swiss, naturally, paving the path for a sea change in watchmaking standards. Fast forward through the tides of time, and we find ourselves dealing with an altogether more complex rendering of water resistance, creating and buying watches capable of far more than withstanding a spot of rain.

So, let’s dive into the origins of watch water resistance and how it transformed our wrist companions into formidable aquatic companions.

Dryness in The Depths – Why Is Watch Water Resistance Important?

For every aficionado, understanding the nuances of varying water resistance levels isn’t just a whimsical dalliance; it’s a compass guiding you through a sea of potential mishaps. If I had a dollar for every time a friend took their 30m-proofed watch into adverse water-sport conditions, I’d have about 7 dollars.

Ideas of pressure and depth tend to be a tad misleading at face value – if it says 50m, you should be able to take it down to 50m, right? If only it were that simple. 

Water resistance is about counteracting the outside pressures that seek to force water into your wonderfully dry watch case, and thus, it’s a very important factor for any timepiece.

Knowing your watch’s aquatic acumen isn’t just about flaunting knowledge; it’s about making informed choices. Choosing the right timepiece for the right adventure, be it a daring dive or a drizzly afternoon, is an ode to preservation. The wrist deserves nothing less than a companion tailored to its aquatic ambitions.

In this horological journey, clarity on bars, meters, and atmospheres isn’t mere numerical trivia – it’s the fortress protecting your precious investment from a watery grave. So don’t just skim these waters; delve deep. Equip yourself with the wisdom to match your watch to the environment, ensuring your cherished timepiece doesn’t suffer a soggy, sad fate.

Water Resistance At A Glance

To keep you afloat amidst the sea of specifications, here’s a handy table that sums up the depths your timepiece might be able to handle. Remember, these numbers aren’t just digits; they’re specific directives to ensure that your watch is never in troubled waters unless that’s what it’s built for. Dive in wisely!

Remember, fellow enthusiasts, water resistance isn’t just about bragging rights—it’s about matching your watch’s capabilities to your aquatic escapades. So consult this table before buying that new Omega and taking it to the islands for some salt and sand.

Watch Water Resistance: In-Depth Guide

Brace yourselves, fellow horology explorers, as we navigate the aquatic labyrinth of bars, meters, and atmospheres to ensure your beloved timepiece stays afloat in style.

3 Bar (30m / 100ft / 3 ATM)

Only the most gentle drizzles and accidental splashes will concede to this level of resistance. Think of it as your watch’s umbrella against unexpected weather tantrums. A 3 bar rating is usually found on dress watches and more elegant timepieces, which are suitable for everyday wear but not necessarily the type of ticker that you’d take into the water with you. Have you ever seen a dress Calatrava on a surfer’s wrist?

5 Bar (50m / 165ft / 5 ATM)

Slightly bolder, the 50m rating welcomes impromptu rain dances and quick hand washes. However, snorkeling enthusiasts beware – this isn’t yet your ideal aquatic partner. Found in an array of watches, from sports to fashion, this level of resistance will enable everyday escapades, albeit with caution, near open bodies of water.

10 Bar (100m / 330ft / 10 ATM)

Meet the adventurous soul of water resistance. Ideal for swimming and snorkeling, 100m stalwarts often grace sports watches with their protective prowess. But the abyss remains off-limits. Consider a watch with this level of resistance a reliable companion for onshore activities and more vanilla splashes in the shallows. As a rule of thumb, you can take a 100m-rated watch down just as deep as a single breath hold allows.

20 Bar (200m / 660ft / 20 ATM)

This is the business end of water resistance, where most entry-level dive watches and sports watches shine in aqueous situations. With hearty resistance, a watch with this resistance will make a splash among scuba aficionados and water sports enthusiasts. Perfect for recreational diving and heavy water sports, with a rating of 200m, it’s likely you’ll never worry about a leak.

30 Bar (300m / 990ft / 30 ATM) & More

Behold, the conquerors of oceanic depths! Preferred by professional divers and aquatic adventurers, these watches defy the crushing pressures that exist at the most challenging depths. Beyond the sea, they exhibit a rugged charm fit for audacious souls, defined by tool-centric builds and ultra-durable materials. If you’ve got 300m or more on your watch face, you’re likely very serious about diving.

So, as you don your chosen wrist companion, ensure its aquatic aspirations match those of your adventures. With this guide in mind, you’re equipped to navigate the waves and make a splash without compromising your cherished timepiece.

What Is The Highest Watch Water Resistance?

Prepare to be amazed as we plunge into the depths of the watch world’s ultimate aquatic marvel – the Rolex Deepsea Challenge. With a water resistance rating that plunges to a staggering 11,000 meters, this timekeeping titan raises the bar beyond imagination. Indeed, it raises it well beyond human capability – no one would ever live to tell the tale of an adventure down to 12,000 meters. 

Their Rolex would, though. A wrist-worn vessel of exploration, the Deepsea Challenge boasts a pressure-defying design that can withstand the crushing forces of the earth’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench.

But Rolex isn’t the only player in this watery arena. Brands like Omega and Seiko have also made efforts to conquer the abyss, crafting watches that challenge the very notion of water resistance. Omega’s Seamaster Ploprof, with its 1,200-meter resistance, showcases Swiss engineering prowess, while Seiko’s Prospex Marinemaster holds its ground with remarkable depth ratings.

In a world where the depths remain a tantalizing (if not downright scary) frontier, these watches not only celebrate human ingenuity but also highlight the indomitable spirit of horology. So, whether you’re scaling the oceans or simply reveling in some awe-inspiring engineering, these watches prove that the depths of human ambition are as limitless as the sea itself.

How To Maintain Your Watch Water Resistance

If you’ve made it this far into the article, it’s important to you to ensure your cherished timepieces remain water-resistant fortresses. What you now know is that certain depth ratings correspond with certain activities. What you may not know yet is that there are ways to maintain the effectiveness of your watch’s water resistance.

Regular Servicing

Much like a ship requires maintenance before a voyage, your watch yearns for periodic servicing. Entrust your timepiece to a skilled (and licensed) watchmaker for sealing inspections, gasket replacements, and pressure tests. A well-maintained seal ensures your watch’s resistance remains as steadfast as possible.

The Wrist Ritual – Proper Crown Handling

The crown is your watch’s gateway to precise timekeeping, but it’s also any ticker’s greatest vulnerability when water is concerned. Whenever you’re not altering the time or date, ensure the crown is tightly pushed in. Think of it as securing hatches on a ship; a loose crown exposes your watch’s mechanisms to unwelcome moisture.

Rinse and Pat Dry

After frolicking in aquatic escapades, give your watch a gentle rinse with fresh water. But remember, no high-pressure hoses; we’re not launching torpedoes. Once bathed, pat your watch dry with a soft cloth. An ocean of caution: Never use a hairdryer or direct sunlight—they’re treacherous impediments to the longevity of your timepiece’s water resistance.

Avoid Extreme Shifts

Imagine subjecting your watch to Arctic chills and then plunging into a thermal spring—quite the stress test! Avoid exposing your watch to extreme temperature changes, as sudden shifts can compromise its seals, which contract and expand under varying pressures, just like everything else. Whether you’re braving blizzards or basking in sun rays, gradual transitions are pivotal for the safety of your watch.

Straps and Sealing

A watch is only as water-resistant as its weakest link, and that includes straps. Ensure the strap or bracelet is properly attached and doesn’t compromise the case’s seals. Rubber, silicone, and NATO straps are reliable shipmates when sailing the waters, more than metal bracelets.

With these maritime rules in your horological arsenal, you’ll be the captain of a shipshape timekeeper. As you explore beneath the waves, remember that maintaining your watch’s water resistance is akin to steering through life’s unpredictable tides – do it responsibly and with panache.


As we lower the anchor on this horological expedition, remember that understanding watch water resistance is more than deciphering numbers – it’s a voyage of preserving precision in the face of aqueous challenges. So, next time you’re caught in a rainstorm or contemplating a dive, let this guide be your compass. 

With knowledge as your first mate, your timepiece will not only weather the waters but triumphantly navigate them. May your watches stay ever-resilient and your journeys, both on land and beneath the waves, be punctuated by the unwavering reliability of a well-chosen, water-ready timepiece.

Top Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand

Much more than just a utilitarian tool for tracking seconds, the sweeping second hand embodies the heartbeat of precision engineering, a dance of micro-mechanics that separates exceptional timepieces from the ordinary. In this curated journey through the timekeeping cosmos, I present to you 15 watches that trump the rest in terms of the fluidity of their second hands. 

From the realm of accessible elegance to the pinnacle of opulent craftsmanship, this list spans the entire spectrum, showcasing the allure of time’s uninterrupted flow.

Join me as I traverse brands and budgets, offering a glimpse into the meticulous artistry behind each timepiece’s design, the intricate technical prowess driving their movements, and the investment they demand.

Smooth Operator – About Watches with Sweeping Second Hands

Venture back in the annals of horological history, and you’ll find that watches with sweeping second hands have always been more than just timekeepers; they’re symbols of precision. Born from the relentless pursuit of accuracy, they’ve delighted for generations. 

The concept isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s a declaration of technical virtuosity. A standard second hand moves with a disconcerting tick-tock, but a sweeping second hand glides effortlessly, mimicking the seamless passage of time itself.

The technology behind this fluidity involves a dance between balance wheels, escapements, and intricate gear trains. Each beat, every click, is a manifestation of the watchmaker’s quest to capture the very rhythm of existence. Choosing a watch with a sweeping second hand isn’t merely about telling time; it’s about owning a piece of horological excellence. 

It’s a statement of appreciation for craftsmanship, a nod to the watchmaker’s quest for precision, and a delightful reminder that time, indeed, waits for no one.

What To Look For in Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand?

These timepieces bring an air of sophistication and buckets of precision to your wrist, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. If you’re seeking that smooth, continuous motion, then it’s time to school yourself on what to look for in these captivating tickers.

Type of Movement: The Soul Within

At the heart of every watch lies its movement, the intricate mechanism that orchestrates every motion on the dial. When exploring watches with sweeping second hands, delve into the realm of mechanical movements. 

The automatic variety, driven by the kinetic energy of your wrist’s motion, delivers that enchanting sweep. If traditionalism tickles your fancy, manual winding movements are equally charming and readily available, as we’ll soon discuss.

Beat Rate: The Rhythmic Tempo

Picture a metronome keeping tempo with the universe. This is the beat rate, often expressed in beats per hour (BPH) or hertz (Hz). The higher the beat rate, the smoother the sweep. Aim for a watch with a beat rate above 28,800 BPH (4 Hz) for a truly mesmerizing glide.

Power Reserve: The Gift That Keeps Giving

Every watch needs fuel, referred to in the world of horology as the ‘power reserve’. This is the duration a watch can run without winding or movement. A substantial power reserve ensures your watch’s movement continues uninterrupted for as long as you need it. 

Seek timepieces with power reserves of at least 40 hours, especially if you’re not one to keep the watch on your wrist day and night.

Understanding these factors is like deciphering the nuances of a masterful concerto. You’re not merely acquiring a watch; you’re investing in an experience, a connection to the pulsating heart of time. 

Remember, whether you’re seeking affordable elegance or super luxury, these considerations will steer you toward the perfect sweep, ensuring your wrist becomes the stage for horology’s most captivating performance.

The Best Watches with a Sweeping Second Hand

With that said, here’s a list of the 15 best watches with a sweeping second hand you can get today:

1. Timex Marlin Hand-Wound California Dial (ref. TW2U96700)

The Timex Marlin Hand-Wound California Dial offers a delightful blend of vintage charm, modern style, and a mechanical core that is worth far more than it costs. Its sweeping second-hand glides effortlessly across the distinctive white California dial, which combines Roman and Arabic numerals for a unique, contemporary touch. 

With a 34mm stainless steel case and a hand-wound movement, this timepiece captures the essence of classic watchmaking. Perfect for enthusiasts seeking an affordable entry into the world of sweeping second hands – for just $209, you can grab one of these from Timex’s online store right now.

2. Yema Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Panda (ref. YMHF1580-BA)

Yema’s Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Panda boasts a racing-inspired design that’s hard to ignore, particularly if you’re a fan of vintage racers (and can’t afford a Paul Newman Daytona). Featuring Seiko’s VK64 meca-quartz movement (that’s a mechanical/quartz hybrid), it combines the precision of quartz with the satisfying mechanical feel of a chronograph pusher and runs at just under 38,000 Hz. 

The contrasting black and white subdials on the panda dial enhance legibility, while the 39mm stainless steel case is uniquely sporty – some interesting decisions regarding geometry were made on this watch. An excellent choice for those who crave the thrill of the racetrack on their wrist, the $369 price tag makes this Yema hard to beat in terms of value. Word of advice – get the strap instead of the bracelet. It’s cheaper and better looking!

3. Brew 8-Bit Brew Chronograph

For the gamers and nostalgia-seekers among us, the square-cased, 8-bit Brew Chronograph brings a playful twist to modern watches, least of all because of its colorway and shape. Its retro digital font and vibrant, fluorescent hues evoke memories of classic video games from the ’80s and ‘90s. 

This meca-quartz chronograph offers functionality as well, with its 24-hour and 60-minute sub-dials, powered by the same Japanese movement as the aforementioned Yema but packaged in an altogether different style. 

The 42mm stainless steel case ensures a modern presence, while the sweeping second hand adds a touch of fluidity (and contrast) to this pixelated delight. If you’re a gamer who literally wants to wear your interests on your sleeve, this $395 chronograph will do just the trick.

4. Bulova Lunar Pilot (ref. 98K112)

The Bulova Lunar Pilot pays homage to history as it replicates the watch worn by astronaut Dave Scott during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission. Its sweeping second hand glides smoothly over the lunar-inspired subdial, capturing the spirit and endlessness of space exploration. 

The 45mm stainless steel case adds a rugged touch without veering too far from tradition, while Bulova’s own proprietary high-frequency quartz movement allows for a sweeping chronograph hand and a running second hand. A must-have for space enthusiasts and history buffs alike, this Bulova sits comfortably between luxury and budget watches at just $700, and indeed, it feels like it’s worth exactly as much as you’ll pay for it.

5. NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

The NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 38 Night offers a refreshing take on minimalism. Its sleek design is accompanied by the charming sweep of the second hand, lending a sense of quiet sophistication to the watch that will further endear it to lovers of understated excellence. The 38mm stainless steel case is paired with a simple, dark dial for a versatile look, suitable for almost every occasion.

With its in-house Alpha manual movement, the Club Campus only needs to be wound every two days, which gives an old favorite – the hands-on manual watch – an altogether modern feel. There’s nothing about this timepiece I dislike, and I’d guess that you’ll have a hard time finding another timepiece this close to perfect for a meager $1500.

6. Longines Ultra‑Chron (ref. L2.836.4.52.6)

Journey into the realm of vintage-inspired sophistication, and you’ll encounter the water-friendly Longines Ultra-Chron, a stunning rehashing of their 1968 diver. This timepiece is reminiscent of an era when people were still interested in defining the boundaries of style in horology. Imagine a deep black dial that still radiates as if glowing somehow, providing the perfect backdrop, which the sweeping second hand glides over gracefully. 

Encased in a 43mm stainless steel case, the watch marries classic design with contemporary sensibilities. Underneath this façade lies Longines’ own L836 automatic movement, which provides the hands with 36,000 VPH and a 52-hour power reserve. 

Beyond its function as a timekeeping instrument, the Ultra-Chron acts as an homage to enduring design and the craftsmanship that once defined horology. It stands as a bridge between the past and the present, a chance to wear history on your wrist, and a testament that true elegance remains timeless across generations. At $3600, it’s not cheap, but true class never is…

7. Seiko Prospex LX SNR025

Due to its compass bezel, which is imposing, to say the least, this Seiko Prospex’s marine-inspired design is not made for the minimalists among us. This professional diver’s watch features a bold 44.8mm titanium case, an offset crown, and a strongly-coloured dial. Most notable about the LX SNR025 is the fact that it’s one of very few Seiko watches to contain a Spring Drive movement. 

These are usually reserved for the higher-end Grand Seiko watches, only occasionally finding a place in venerable models of the ‘lesser’ Seiko brand. Needless to say, the movement provides an unparalleled sweep on the second hand, as well as ultra-accurate timing across the board. Throw in a date window, 200m water resistance, and a decidedly tool-centric design, and you’ve got yourself a watch worthy of any adventure you’ll take it on. The only question is, “Are you really going to spend $5000 on a Seiko?”

8. Panerai Luminor 8 Days Power Reserve (ref. PAM00795)

Simple. Stylish. Iconic. Anyone worth their salt in terms of watch-geekery would know this Panerai Luminor from a mile away, thanks to the brand’s incomparable design silhouette. The iconic crown protector and cushion-shaped case lend a robust yet approachable character to this timepiece. At 44mm in diameter, the PAM00795 is most comfortable on larger wrists, flaunting a clean, utterly legible dial with distinctive lume accents and a couple of sub-dials (seconds and a power reserve). 

The hand-wound mechanical movement does what it says on the box, offering a staggering 8 days of power reserve, which is a crazy amount considering the fine mechanics that make this watch tick. With its blend of Italian design and horological excellence, this watch captures attention effortlessly, and thanks to its 300m water-resistance and incremental seconds sweep, it guarantees both style and substance for a cool $8500.

9. Oris Propilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

The Oris Propilot X Calibre 115 redefines modern aviation-inspired watches. With an intricate, skeletonized dial that exhibits the working parts in all their complexity, the Propilot X offers a more tech-headed aesthetic to those who are into that kind of thing. Encased in a 44mm titanium case, the calibre 115 movement offers 10 days of power when fully wound, making the competition look a bit ridiculous, in all honesty. 

This innovative timepiece combines horological craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics and is truly a statement piece for aviation enthusiasts and connoisseurs of fine engineering. At $8800 it’s not cheap but with its high-end finish and envelope-pushing mechanics, it’s certainly worth every penny.

10. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA019

If this were my favorite watch on this list, I would be hesitant to say so. But it is. Grand Seiko’s SLGA019, with its proprietary Spring Drive movement, most successfully captures the essence of the uninterrupted sweep out of all the watches on this list. Why? 

Well, because Seiko invented a hybrid movement, the Spring Drive, that can get closer to true fluidity than any other mass-produced movement on the planet, thanks to its inimitable fusion of mechanical and quartz technologies. It truly is a sight to behold. 

The 40mm high-intensity titanium case is a fitting home for such a precious invention – strong, easy on the eyes, and polished to perfection. The Evolution 9’s textured dial, meant to emulate the gently rippling waters of Japan’s Lake Suwa, adds the right amount of panache to an otherwise pared-back timepiece. There’s nothing not to love here except perhaps the price point – for $10,400, you’ll be hard-pressed not to consider what iconic Swiss options you could get instead.

11. Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385 (ref. 03.A384.400/385.M385)

The Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A385 pays homage to a historic design and is, simply put, pure cool. The sweeping second hand adds a touch of dynamism to the gradient brown dial, reminiscent of the original A385. Encased in a 37mm stainless steel case, this timepiece houses the legendary El Primero automatic movement known for its high-frequency (38,000 BPH) accuracy.

A fusion of vintage aesthetics and cutting-edge technology is unquestionably what defines this as a watch worth owning and in such a wearable size, the new A385 makes itself very appealing. Not for everyone due to its shape and color, this $9000 masterpiece certainly turns heads, for mostly the right reasons!

12. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback (ref. 5200 0130 NABA)

The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback embodies the spirit of exploration and unfussy elegance. Unconventional design cues surround the sweeping second hand, which gracefully glides over a black dial that perhaps alludes to the hue of the world at the watch’s 300m underwater breaking point. 

The 43.6mm ceramic case houses the flyback chronograph movement, a quirky complication that commands 3 sub-dials and an offset date window. A versatile companion for adventurers both above and below the surface, the Bathyscape is equal parts basic and complex. It’s a unique dive watch that hosts flyback capabilities and a smooth second hand against the backdrop of a holistically demure design. If it performs like a $19,000 watch, it certainly doesn’t look like one.

13. Hublot Big Bang MP-11 Power Reserve 14 Days 3D Carbon (ref. 911.QD.0123.RX)

Hublot’s Big Bang MP-11 looks like a watch made for the set of Blade Runner or Alien. It’s 45mm of all-black, 3D carbon fiber wrapped around a movement so unique it nearly defies logic. Internally, Hublot’s HUB9011 manual-winding skeleton movement hosts coupled barrels that rotate to show the date and power reserve on the dial. This needs to be seen to be fully understood, trust me. 

The sweeping second hand complements the multi-layered, skeletonized face, showcasing the intricate mechanics that lie below it. A fusion of avant-garde design and technical prowess, the Big Bang MP-11 is a great timepiece for big-wristed people with a penchant for the unusual. Oh, and for people who can afford to spend $85,000 on a watch that they’ll likely not wear every day.

14. Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5811/1G-001)

Few watches are as iconic as Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, which is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of ultimate luxury and elegance in all horology. Not to be outdone in standards of luxury mechanics, the Nautilus has a second hand that glides smoother than silk, adding a refined touch and confidently calm character to the porthole-inspired ticker. 

Crafted from 18k white gold, the 40mm case houses the self-winding 26330 SC movement, which is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and unwavering accuracy. With a stunning blue dial and intricate details, this timepiece epitomizes Patek Philippe’s legacy of watchmaking excellence, and despite its $158,000 price tag, it’s a watch that everyone should endeavor to wear at least once.

15. Richard Mille RM 65-01 Split-Seconds Chronograph

There’s so much one could write about the feature-rich, intensely (over) engineered Richard Mille RM 65-01 Split-Seconds Chronograph. A masterpiece of haute horlogerie, this unfathomably expensive ticker has a sweeping second hand that complements the multi-layered dial, showcasing a complex split-second chronograph mechanism. 

Encased in a 44.5mm titanium and Carbon TPT case that has RM’s signature shape, it combines lightweight materials with exceptional durability to deliver a complex structure that sits comfortably on even the daintiest of wrists. 

A true blend of innovation and craftsmanship, the RM 65-01 is a timepiece unlike any other. Pushers, sub-dials, and hidden details make this $750,000 watch an endlessly playful and altogether unrivaled accessory that, unfortunately, very few people will have the opportunity to experience.

Fluidity in Motion – Finessing the Second

From the affordable marvels that capture the essence of yesteryears to the super luxury tickers that redefine time itself, these watches unravel the mystery of the sweeping second hand. 

Remember, whether your heart beats to the rhythm of vintage charm or the pulse of cutting-edge innovation, a watch with a sweeping second hand is a portal to the realm where time is both a measure and an object. I’m partial to the minimalist iterations of this ‘objectified time’, but I can totally see why some of you would get giddy about the more complex pieces on this list – because they’re downright awesome.

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