Kurt Tiedemann, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Author: Kurt Tiedemann

Behold, the crème de la crème of Hamilton field watches. These timepieces are built to withstand the rigors of military life, exuding a rugged charm that appeals to those with a penchant for adventure. Hamilton’s field watches represent an impressive combination of precision engineering, style, and affordability in the luxury watch realm. 

From reliable movements to durable materials, these watches are designed to stand the test of time and provide accurate timekeeping in even the most demanding conditions. More than that, Hamilton’s Field Watches are more than just instruments for telling time – they’re a reflection of the rich military heritage that inspired their creation.

A Military Pursuit – About Hamilton’s Field Watches

Today, field watches are arguably Hamilton’s most popular line for adventurers, collectors, and watch enthusiasts alike. They boast a range of styles, from classic vintage designs to modern updates, all while maintaining their functional and durable appeal. Hamilton’s commitment to quality is evident in each watch, bolstered by the fact that these models are stunningly popular.

Time In The Field – A History of Hamilton’s Field Watch

Hamilton is a Swiss-American watch company founded in 1892 that has built a reputation for creating affordable luxury timepieces. In the early 1900s, the company was already supplying watches to the American military, proving them to be a trusted brand in the field watch market. 

However, during World War II, Hamilton cemented its place in history as the official timekeeper of the US Armed Forces. The iconic Khaki Field collection, characterized by its rugged and functional design, was born out of this partnership. If it’s good enough to keep the US Army on time, surely it’ll do the same for you.

The Best Hamilton Field Watches

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm Black Dial (ref. H69439931)


A reboot of its 1960s predecessor, the Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm Black Dial is a resilient, stylized timepiece, mostly thanks to its alluring matte stainless steel case. Its black dial is decorated with rounded, sans-serif numerals and luminescent hands, all serving the watch’s almost primal minimalism. Surprisingly, despite presenting both 12 and 24-hour indices on a 38mm unit, the face doesn’t seem cramped at all. 

Powered by the exclusively-manufactured H-50 movement, the reference H69439931 guarantees Swiss precision and military robustness, despite its easy-wearing appearance. A fitting addition is the NATO strap, which is a clear designation of the ‘in-the-field’ influence behind this piece.

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto 38mm (ref. H70455133)


A bracelet can either make or break a soldierly watch, either leading it too far into sporty territory or substantiating its strength. In the case of the H70455133, I’m pleased to confirm that it’s the latter. The polished stainless steel bracelet merges with the brushed case wonderfully to create a boldly unified field watch that’s as versatile as any sports watch in the same price bracket. 

A date window and seconds divisions form a compositional push-and-pull on the black dial, the highlight of which is a sharp, red-tipped seconds hand. With 80 hours of reserve juice, the H-10 movement provides all the power this watch needs to perform at the highest levels.

Hamilton Khaki Field Murph 38mm (ref. H70405730)


If you’ve ever seen the modern sci-fi classic, Interstellar, you’ll recognize this tribute to the character of Murph, played by Jessica Chastain. This limited edition watch centers around a deep black dial with green accents, creating a striking contrast against its brushed stainless steel case. 

Super-LumiNova cathedral hands manifest a sense of (practical) antiquity, providing a touch of character that batons simply can’t. Originally released as a 42mm piece with a black leather strap, I’m so pleased to see this in 38mm, as it makes this modern icon all the more approachable. If the Murph wasn’t one of your favorite field watches already, it very well might have just become one.

Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz 38mm (ref. H68411133)


The only ostensible difference between the reference H68411133 and its visual twin, the H70455133 (see number 2) is a Swiss-made quartz movement, which obviously isn’t an automatic caliber, but nonetheless, it guarantees precise timekeeping, ease of use, and shaves just over 2mm off of the watch’s thickness. 

Let’s be frank – only the most uptight among us still care about the ‘quartz war’. The rest of us are happy to wear quartz because we know that it works, and what matters, ultimately, is that it keeps time. With that being said, this reference is a must for wearers who prefer thinner, lighter timepieces on their wrists.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 42mm (ref. H69529933)


Hamilton’s Khaki Field Mechanical 42mm (ref. H69529933) is a larger version of the Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm, designed for those who prefer a more substantial ticker. In every way (aside from being a hair thicker), this is the same watch as the first entry on this list, but despite that, it feels sufficiently different, not only in terms of scale but also by way of composition; a bigger dial somehow feels more spherical due to the tunneling size of the indices that adorn it.

It’s an interesting visual quirk that I’ll credit Hamilton’s genius design team for. Lastly, it bears mentioning that, like its land-loving smaller brother, the 42mm is only water resistant up to 50 meters, a specification that shouldn’t concern anyone reading this list, given its focus.

Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto 40mm (ref. H64455533)


The Khaki Field King Auto 40mm (ref. H64455533) takes a slight compositional turn due to the crown guards that steer this model away from the purely circular form of previous entries. Military time is still displayed on the polished face, coupling a utilitarian feel with the everyday practicality of a day/date window at 12 o’clock. 

Another Swiss-made automatic caliber, the H-40, runs the show and is displayed behind an open caseback, an addition I’m an absolute sucker for. On a brown leather strap, the classy outdoor appeal of the Field King is fully realized for a staunchly competitive $675.

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto 38mm (ref. H70205830)


With a heritage spanning a hundred years in crafting military timepieces, the Khaki Field Titanium Automatic Auto is the quintessential multi-functional watch for contemporary go-getters. Its employment of lightweight materials sets it apart from many other timepieces, ensuring that it can withstand the demands of an active lifestyle. 

Boasting a 38mm case size, the watch prioritizes ease and versatility with an authentic, subtly multi-colored design that pays tribute to its roots in military history. This is a watch that is truly deserving of those who lead lives of adventure and excitement. Of particular allure is the detailed white outline on the hour numerals. A tasteful touch, to say the least…

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chrono 42mm (ref. H71616535)


If you’ve been reading this and wondering if a chrono will make an appearance, then your time has come! The Khaki Field Auto Chrono is replete with functionality honed around a field aesthetic and thus is a timepiece that’s truly fit for the challenges of the great outdoors. At 42mm, it exudes an air of confidence and capability that less hardy chronographs lack. 

Although there’s a lot going on on the dial, the placement and sizing of each element, with vertical sub-dials (as opposed to the more common horizontal allocation), affords the watch face an impressively commodious feel. The exclusive H-21 automatic calibre and the luxurious camel-brown leather strap are the dual cherries on top of this rather tasty chronographic cake.

Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz 40mm (ref. H68551733)


Another quartz movement, this time a slightly more dressy rendering, the reference H68551733 isn’t as rugged as its counterparts but certainly no less proficient. Towing the monochromatic line with aplomb, a simple trifecta of black, white, and silver defines the dial and its adornments, and perhaps this traditionalist design slant lends the watch a more versatile appeal. 

The exclusion of crown guards places the Field Quartz 40mm back in the familiar realms of the discoid (albeit a slightly elongated version of one due to the silhouette created by the lugs). All-in-all, the proportions and finish of this timepiece make it arguably the most adaptable watch on the list, offering infinite wearability for a cool $525.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm White Dial (ref. H69439511)


Although it stands in total visual opposition to its black dial cohort, the white dial variant is its mechanical duplicate. A classicist itch is scratched by the three-hand display, divided into seconds increments by triangular indexes with old radium color Super-LumiNova.

The clarity of the watch – the way that it celebrates itself in bright white on the wrist – makes it somewhat more enjoyable to wear than the black version, to my eye. This is further emphasized by the pairing of matte steel with an unwaxed leather strap, as these textures complement one another in a subtly tantalizing way.

Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto 42mm (ref. H70505833)


Taking it up a notch on the pricing scale, things get a touch more sophisticated with the Khaki Field Day Date Auto. With day and date windows carved into a glossy black dial and large Arabic numerals comfortably circling the edge of the watch face, this reference provides ample information at a glance. 

A detail worth noting on the case is the welcome disparity between the polished bezel and the brushed case. This ‘steel 2-ways’ finish grants the H70505833 a sense of depth in an altogether unaffected manner.

The superior H-30 movement can be ogled at through an open back for extra enjoyment, if only because it’s beautiful enough to warrant your attention. All things considered, Hamilton made worlds collide with great success here – I’d say this model is worth every one of the 945 dollars you’d be expected to pay for it.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm Bronze (ref. H69459530)


While at face value it may appear distinctly similar to a few other entries on this list, Hamilton’s Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze is a paradigm shift for the original soldier’s watch. It’s the brand’s first timepiece to feature a bronze case, making each watch a unique story that unfolds over time as the case develops a distinctly unique patina.

Like the blue steel of the finest Japanese blades, this bronze will eventually merge with ever-present natural elements – salt, moisture, and oxygen – to become a visual representation of your time spent wearing it. 

The hand-wound H-50 movement is complemented by a titanium case back and a soft brown leather NATO strap, imbuing the 38mm timepiece with what may be described as ‘desert chic’. For those who, like me, love watches that tell a memorable story, this model represents the chance to craft a tale from scratch in an indomitable style.

Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz 40mm Black PVD (ref. H68401735)


If Darth Vader wore a Hamilton, it would undoubtedly be this one. Well-sized, distinct, and altogether enticing, the dark side of the Khaki Field range offers a stylistic spin on a classic design that should attract those of you with a penchant for watches of the Stygian variety. 

As robust as any timepiece on this list, thanks to its PVD coating, the 40mm stainless steel case harbors an all-black dial, with the exceptions being small white markers at each hour, and a red-tipped seconds hand that emboldens the otherwise colorless face even further. Pinned onto a black rubber strap with detailed triangular cross-hatching and a leather underside, this model is as comfortable as it is constrained.

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Chrono 44mm (ref. H71706830)


Here’s one for the thick-wristed among us –  the H71706830 chronograph is the ultimate timepiece for less-than-conspicuous adventurer types who wear their outdoor exploits with pride. It’s not discrete by any measure, at 44mm across and 14mm thick, and a wide leather bund strap only adds to this timepiece’s impressive stature. 

Nonetheless, this isn’t a watch without finesse, which the detailed engraving on the caseback exemplifies in a manner befitting the military heritage of the brand. The sandblasted finish on the stainless steel case is also an appropriate touch. Of course, all of the usual suspects are present on the dial – SuperLuminova-coated raised numerals, perfectly legible sub-dials, and clean-cut indices skirting the edge of the face. There’s nothing new here, but every millimeter of this watch is honed to perfection.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm Black PVD (ref. H69409930)


Another black addition to the docket, this one’s a combination of the 40mm quartz entry (also black) and the standard Khaki Field, possessing the latter’s compact 38mm diameter, as well as its dial features and case design. Personally speaking, this is my preferred offering in black from Hamilton. 

As a fan of darker watches (a Casio geek of the highest order) and being somewhat slim-wristed, I feel like this watch was made for the outdoor version of myself. The old radium color lume, ever-present on these field watches, is best framed and backed by matte black, which creates the sense that it’s glowing even during daylight hours. It’s not an easy thing to create a modest black timepiece, and Hamilton has done that here, against all odds, for just $625.

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto 42mm Green Dial (ref. H70545560)


Green is a color readily associated with a multitude of things, but one wouldn’t have to stress the point in arguing that militaristic applications and designs may represent one half of a duopoly on the hue, the other side, of course, being verdant nature itself.

Hamilton’s employment of a dual-tone green face on this 42mm automatic watch, coupled with a clean stitched brown strap, cements this offering squarely in the military style and confirms that it’s not just a field watch for the outdoorsman but a piece of gear for the hard-weathered soldier in each of us. 

Of particular charm is Hamilton’s decision to mismatch hands and numerals, with the pointers being black, while indices and numbers are all-white. Powered by the H-10 movement, the confidence of the dial is reflected within the timepiece by a resilient and precise caliber. This is a watch that every collector should at least consider owning.

Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz 38mm Blue Dial (ref. H68201043)


Now discontinued, reference H68201043 can still be found with relative ease by even the least-intrepid buyers, and for many, it’s a watch worth the effort. Banded on a NATO strap with a distinct white line running through outlying blue, the stainless steel case and sapphire glass protect a blue dial that’s adorned with white details. 

Here again, we see the inclusion of a 48-hour ring of indices that represent military time, serving as a reminder of its heritage, despite the sporty blue appeal of this variant. Slim, light, and dependable, this is a piece that compliments a variety of outfits.

Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto 42mm Black PVD (ref. H70575733)


There are certain timepieces that exhibit quirks beyond their inherently conventional identities, and this 42mm black Khaki Field Titanium is one of them. The idiosyncrasy I’m referring to, to be precise, is the way in which the 3 o’clock date window literally chisels into the aforementioned numeral, rendering it either half of an eight or the remainder of a 3, while simultaneously offsetting the corresponding ’15’ on the internal 24-hour indices. 

This is a bold and curious design decision and perhaps not one I would’ve made myself, which is likely why I’m writing about watches rather than drawing them. Even so, there’s little to dislike here – the highly functional and hard-wearing titanium case is a thing of cold, hard wonder, and the black dial, divided at its most infinitesimal by micro-seconds, appears to fortify both the large numerals and smaller details, rather than overshadowing them. Finally, this is one of the only models with a lume-tipped seconds hand, and that’s very, very cool.

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding 38mm (ref. H69439933)


Hamilton’s Field Officer Handwinding is about as simple as it gets. Hearkening back to the old days, with the hand-wound H-50 movement providing a tactile timekeeping experience, the Field Officer is a watch for modest, tactile individuals. 

Its uncluttered black dial and crisp silver decorations do well to balance the fetching beige canvas strap, while a date window and 80-hour power reserve provide more than the necessary functionality for daily wearing.

Due to the finesse of the indices and numerals, this model is far more spacious than the entry-level khaki field (the first watch on this list, for example) and thus, is a timepiece that I prefer, if only for its honed minimalism.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 50mm Black PVD (ref. H69809730)


What better way to end this list than with the biggest, priciest, most imposing watch of the lot? As you may already have noticed, this 50mm statement watch is a supersized

iteration of the standard Khaki Field watches, proving that this range really does have something for every wrist. There’s no technical difference between this timepiece and its smaller namesake – it truly is just a matter of size. 

Even so, at 12.5mm thick, the H69809730 isn’t nearly as sizeable as it appears on paper, given that often (and surprisingly), the heft of a watch is determined by its thickness more than its width. Practically speaking, if this watch is for you, you already know it, and you should probably just go ahead a buy it already.

Fields of Joy

If nothing else, this collection is a testament to the timeless designs and refined durability of Hamilton’s iconic field watches. From hand-wound models to more modern automatic chronographs, these watches embody the spirit of adventure and militaristic functionality that has made Hamilton a beloved brand among enthusiasts. 

There is a timepiece here for every taste and occasion, so whether you’re a fan of vintage or modern aesthetics, I highly recommend adding one of these pieces to your collection.

best 38mm dive watches for men

Below is my humble list of the 20 Best 38mm dive watches for men. While bigger might seem better in certain situations, there’s something truly special about a smaller-sized dive watch that sits modestly on the wrist.

The 38mm size strikes a balance between classic and modern, making it the perfect choice for those who want a versatile timepiece that can go from the office to the ocean. Dive watches are designed to be rugged, reliable, and able to withstand the pressure of the deep blue sea, and the watches on this list are no exception.

From tried-and-true classics to innovative newcomers, I’ve scoured the market to bring you the best 38mm dive watches available today. Each watch has its own unique features and design, and I’ve taken care to select watches that not only perform well but also look great on the wrist. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a casual beachgoer, there’s a timepiece on this list that’s perfect for you.

About Dive Watches

Arguably the ideal combination of form and function, dive watches are built to withstand the rigors of underwater exploration, with features such as extreme water resistance, luminous dials, and unidirectional bezels for tracking elapsed time. But they aren’t just practical tools for underwater adventurers.

They have also become a beloved fashion statement for watch enthusiasts and style-savvy individuals alike. With their durable construction, sleek designs, and reliable movements, dive watches have earned a reputation as a versatile and timeless addition to any watch collection.

Whether you’re a professional diver or simply appreciate the aesthetics and craftsmanship of these timepieces, there’s no denying the allure of a well-made dive watch.

A History of Dive Watches

Dive watches have a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century when they were first developed as a tool for military divers. As diving became more popular, so did the demand for watches that could withstand the underwater environment. The first dive watches were bulky and featured simple but effective features such as luminescent dials and rotating bezels. 

As technology advanced, so did the look and functionality of these pieces. Today, they’re not only reliable underwater tools but also stylish accessories. From the iconic Rolex Submariner to the innovatively affordable Seiko Prospex, dive watches continue to evolve and remain an essential part of contemporary horology.

Should You Buy a 38mm Dive Watch?

If you’re in the market for a dive watch, the 38mm size is a great option for smaller wrists or those who prefer a more understated look. While the cost of these watches can vary depending on the brand and materials used, they are generally less expensive than larger models. 

However, it’s important to consider the features you need and whether a 38mm watch can provide them. If you require a more robust dive watch with additional functionalities, a larger size may be necessary. It’s also worth considering alternative options, such as vintage or pre-owned watches, which can offer great value for money. As with any watch purchase, it’s essential to do your research before putting any money down.

The Best 38mm Dive Watches for Men

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 38mm (ref. 5100 1140 NAOA)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 38mm (ref. 5100 1140 NAOA)

I’m excited by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 38mm – it’s a timepiece that perfectly balances a minimalist design ethos with a strong, unapologetic build. This isn’t easy to do, and it’s certainly not cheap.

This watch is a modern interpretation of the iconic Fifty Fathoms collection, which was designed for the French Navy in the 1950s. The Bathyscaphe 38mm boasts a stainless steel case featuring a unidirectional ceramic bezel soaked in blue (like the dial). The watch’s sapphire crystal glass is also anti-reflective and scratch-resistant, ensuring its longevity and clarity.

Blancpain’s Calibre 1150 movement runs the show, and with a power reserve of up to 100 hours, it ensures unparalleled precision and reliability. The movement is also equipped with a silicon hairspring, which enhances its accuracy and durability, making it resistant to magnetic fields and temperature changes.

Luminescent hour markers adorn the blue dial and edgy baton hands, making it easy to read in low-light conditions, while the date window at 4 o’clock adds a useful touch to the watch’s functionality. Given that it’s water-resistant up to 300 meters, you’ll likely never have to worry about taking this Bathyscaphe into the depths. 

This Blancpain is a must-have for watch enthusiasts who appreciate the perfect combination of a good tool and a fine finish. It’s an excellent investment for anyone looking to add a touch of sophistication and style to their collection.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 38mm (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 38mm (ref.

To say that Omega’s 38mm Aqua Terra has made a splash since its release would be both a terribly cheap pun and an absolute understatement. Its stainless steel case contains a tastefully sporty blue dial and a date window at 6 o’clock.

The dial is decorated with the brand’s signature teak pattern, which is inspired by the wooden decks of luxury sailboats, while sharp hands and triangular indexes are coated in Super-LumiNova, which, surrounded by polished steel, is attractive beyond its light-shedding characteristics.

The Omega Calibre 8800 movement powers the watch. It’s a workhorse movement and, as to be expected from Omega, will likely outlive you. The movement is also resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss, thanks to its anti-magnetic properties. The watch’s stainless steel, 3-link bracelet is seamlessly integrated with the case and features a secure and comfortable butterfly clasp that won’t pinch.

Given that the Aqua Terra is water-resistant up to 150 meters, it’s perfect for light water sports and basic diving. Ultimately, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 38mm is a must-have for watch enthusiasts who appreciate a watch that is subtle but edgy.

Breitling Superocean Heritage ‘57 (ref. A10340A71A1X1)

Breitling Superocean Heritage ‘57 (ref. A10340A71A1X1)

Breitling’s Superocean Heritage ‘57 is a modern dive watch that oozes vintage appeal. The 38mm stainless steel case is a nod to the coveted original 1957 model, with an updated all-white color scheme that makes the watch pop on the wrist.

A unidirectional rotating bezel made of scratch-resistant ceramic has a luminescent dot at the 12 o’clock position for enhanced visibility. The timepiece is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters, making it perfect for recreational diving.

Powered by the Breitling Caliber 10, a self-winding mechanical movement, the Superocean Heritage ‘57 has been certified as a chronometer by the COSC. The movement has a power reserve of 42 hours, so there’s no practical limit on dive times here. Although there’s no date function, I don’t miss it – the complex design of the quarterly indices and the otherwise bare nature of the watch make this omission a welcome one.

Overall, the Breitling Superocean Heritage ‘57 is a stylish and functional dive watch that is sure to turn heads with its pearlescent appeal. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants a high-performing tool with some style for just $4950.

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm (ref. C032.807.11.091.00)

Certina DS Action Diver 38mm (ref. C032.807.11.091.00)

The Certina DS Action Diver 38mm is a robust and reliable timepiece that certainly exceeded my expectations. It features a sturdy 316L stainless steel case and bezel, further reinforced by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on one side.

The gorgeous green dial is adorned with Super-LumiNova indexes and hands, ensuring excellent legibility in any lighting conditions. The watch is also water-resistant up to 300 meters, making it an ideal choice for professional divers who don’t necessarily want to spend a huge wad.

Powered by a high-quality automatic movement, the POWERMATIC 80.611, the DS Action Diver has an impressive 80-hour power reserve. The movement is protected by the brand’s patented DS Concept, which guarantees exceptional shock resistance and durability. The watch’s PVD coating not only adds to its aesthetic appeal but also provides extra protection against wear and tear. 

There’s a nifty diver extension on the buckle, allowing for a comfortable fit over any wetsuit. So whether you are a professional diver or simply an enthusiast, the Certina DS Action Diver 38mm is a joyful wear, particularly as it offers more than many of its high-end competitors for less than $1000.

Seiko Solar SNE573

Seiko Solar SNE573

What can you buy for $475? A one-way ticket to Europe? A used bicycle? Sure, you can buy these things. Or, you can purchase a piece of Japanese engineering that will last you the rest of your life. Perhaps you should buy the Seiko Solar SNE573, a sophisticated dive watch designed for those who want a piece of gear that just works, no questions asked.

This timepiece has a stainless steel case and bracelet with a deep black dial that features contrasting luminous hands and hour markers. Seiko’s solar-powered movement provides reliable accuracy and requires minimal maintenance, while the Hardlex crystal ensures durability and scratch-free wearing.

The SNE573 also has a unidirectional rotating bezel, allowing easy tracking of elapsed time during dives, and when paired with its 200-meter water resistance, this is a great budget choice for aquatic adventures. The elegant yet sporty design of this Seiko Solar diver makes it a versatile option that won’t look out of place anywhere.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze (ref. 01 733 7771 3155-07 8 19 15)

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze (ref. 01 733 7771 3155-07 8 19 15)

Granted, a bronze case demands quite a specific taste, but if you’re on the fence, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze will likely win you over. This timepiece’s case and strap are made entirely from bronze, a material that is not only aesthetically unique but also incredibly durable.

The dial features a gorgeous gradient blue hue, giving it a sense of depth and dimension that is hard to match – the pastel colors of the entire range are very in vogue at the moment. 

Super-LumiNova baton hands and geometrically-simple hour markers pull the otherwise flashy colored dial back into a ‘safe zone’, stylistically speaking. The watch is powered by the reliable Oris 733 automatic movement, with a power reserve of up to 38 hours, and is water resistant up to 100 meters, which is just enough for a spot of fun diving. 

I love the layout of this piece – every part compliments the bit next to it perfectly, leaving nothing unsaid in terms of design and proportions. With its vintage-inspired design and modern color scheme, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze is a must-have for any watch enthusiast looking to make a statement in a classy way.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76205530)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer (ref. H76205530)

Although this watch is designed to meet the demands of pilots, due to its strong emphasis on functionality and legibility (and a 100-meter water resistance rating), it just so happens to meet the demands of divers, too!

This Hamilton exudes a bold and rugged aesthetic with a calf leather strap that complements the 38mm stainless steel case, and a black dial features cathedral hands and a faux patina that creates an altogether vintage aesthetic. Ample juice is provided by an accurate quartz movement, which guarantees precision timing for any individual, be they in the air or underwater.

The sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant, providing long-lasting durability, and overall, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer is a great choice for old souls with a middling budget. It sure doesn’t feel like a watch that costs less than $1000, and that is perhaps its greatest draw.

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 300

The Christopher Ward C60 is, for a fair price, a true diver’s watch that exudes quality craftsmanship and refined style. Featuring a modern, jet black dial, this watch is designed for frolicking in the depths, with a water resistance rating of 300 meters. Crafted with premium materials, including a marine-grade stainless steel case and sapphire crystal glass, the Trident Pro ensures that it can withstand the toughest underwater conditions. 

Powered by a Swiss-made automatic movement, this piece delivers spot-on timekeeping at all depths. Whether you’re a professional diver or simply enjoy a clean, sporty timepiece, the C60 Trident Pro 300 is an excellent choice for those seeking both style and function in a dive watch.

Yema Pearldiver (ref. YCL1-MRM)

Yema Pearldiver (ref. YCL1-MRM)

Ah, the Yema Pearldiver… what a wonderfully simple watch. This French-made piece is crafted with precision and panache and features a 38mm stainless steel case that’s water-resistant up to 300m. The black aluminum rotating bezel is just as minimal as the dial, which uses luminescent indices to add deft shapes of color to the landscape.

Meanwhile, the 3.5mm Hesalite Superdome sapphire crystal provides all the strength you’d need above the watch face. The Pearldiver also features a screw-down crown and caseback, adding an extra layer of protection for its YEMA2000 in-house caliber.

Overall, this is an excellent choice for any diver or watch enthusiast looking for a high-quality timepiece that can handle anything the ocean throws its way. Bonus points for being an independent manufacturer that’s competing with massive brands.

Squale Montauk 300 (ref. MTK-01)

Squale Montauk 300 (ref. MTK-01)

If you’re into vintage dive watches but find the Hamilton to lack a degree of masculinity, the Squale Montauk 300 is the watch for you. With its timeless design, this is a stark representation of the neo-vintage ethos. But don’t be fooled by its stylish exterior because beneath the surface lies an impressive array of technical features that make it a reliable and high-performing dive watch.

Crafted from premium materials, the Squale Montauk 300 boasts a water resistance of up to 300 meters – it’s not playing any games on or under the dial. It also features a unidirectional bezel and luminous markers for legibility in the gloomy, spooky innards of a sunken shipwreck.

But what really levels this watch up is its Swiss-made Sellita self-winding movement, which ensures absolute precision tick-tockery. Whether you’re exploring the depths of the ocean or simply fancying a vintage look that you can rely on, this Squale has got you covered.

Seiko Prospex SNE575

Seiko Prospex SNE575

Another entry from the land of the rising sun, Seiko’s Prospex SNE575, is a timepiece that showcases the brand’s commitment to high-performance dive watches. As much is made apparent by the presence of the PADI logo on the black dial. With a hardy stainless steel case and bracelet, this watch is built to withstand the rigors of diving to depths of up to 200 meters. 

Large, easy-to-read hour markers and bold hands keep legibility at a maximum while blithe bits of blue bring a touch of intrigue to the party. The bezel is unidirectional and has a prominent (and satisfying) click for precise timing.

Seiko’s reliable solar-powered movement keeps the show going without the need for a battery change, and a date display at 3 o’clock completes the functionality of this impressive timepiece. As it doesn’t feel dainty in the slightest, the SNE575 is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a rugged and weighty dive watch that screams ‘Japanese Design’.

Nivada Grenchen Broad Arrow Manual (ref. 86007M)

Nivada Grenchen Broad Arrow Manual (ref. 86007M)

With vintage looks wrapped around a movement that pretty much does it all, the Nivada Gretchen Broad Arrow is quite a piece of work. Due to its iconic “Broad Arrow” hands and antiquated aesthetic, this watch captures the essence of mid-century dive watches and throws in chronograph functionality for good measure. 

The 38mm stainless steel case is water-resistant up to 200 meters, a specification that is to be assumed from just looking at the sturdiness of the piece. A splash of red on the otherwise all-black dial adds to the instrument-leaning appearance of this tool watch in a subtle yet distinctive manner. 

Available with manually or automatically wound Sellita movements, the Broad Arrow can be as versatile as you need. Further customizations are available in terms of straps, but in all honesty, a basic black leather really makes this timepiece sing. If it ain’t broke…

Seiko SKX013

Seiko SKX013

If we’re talking about legends in the watch game, one would be remiss in not mentioning Seiko’s beloved SKX007. However, at 42mm, that’s a watch slightly too big for this list, but thankfully, there’s a miniature version – the Seiko SKX013.

With many of the same characteristics and build elements, the SKX013 features a stainless steel case, a black rotating bezel, and a black dial with large, easy-to-read hour markers and hands. There’s also day-date functionality on the face, a feature that is hard to find on a dive watch. The SKX013’s automatic movement is really what you’re paying for – a machine that will work for you without complaint for the rest of your life, as Seiko’s calibers are known to do.

With its compact size of 38mm, the SKX013 is perfect for those who prefer a smaller, more understated dive watch without sacrificing performance. Tried and tested design ideals also ensure your watch maintains a timeless appeal. This isn’t just the smart choice for someone with a small budget. It’s a smart choice, period.

Helson Shark Diver 38 Blasted Titanium (ref. SD38 TALBKOM)

The Helson Shark Diver is a masterful example of a robust, modern dive watch. Its build quality is apparent at only a glance, and of course, a titanium case speaks for itself in that regard. While the Diver 38 Blasted Titanium is available in multiple configurations, I find the simple black dial/black ceramic bezel option to be the most attractive – tradition meets power. 

Adorned with lume-filled markers and large, sharp hands, it’s as easy to read as a watch can be, and touches of color enhance this feature. Miyota’s 9015 Automatic movement runs the show here, so you can expect reliable Japanese precision at every tick. If you remain unconvinced, perhaps the 300-meter water resistance rating will tip the scales in favor of this underrated diver.

Armida A1 38mm (ref. 00061)

Relatively unknown among many enthusiasts, Armida is a dive watch specialist that manufactures its timepieces in Hong Kong, and their A1 model is a distillation of the modern dive watch in multiple ways. A stainless steel case, black dial, large lume patches, and vibrant additions of color are combined to make an altogether inoffensive watch.

The exclusion of a date window is a step away from distractions of any kind – this is a simple watch that does the difficult job of keeping time at 300 meters below sea level. The A1’s look is decidedly modern, with bold edges and a brushed finish that speaks to its tool-headed nature. The only gripe I have with this timepiece is its considerate thickness.

At 15.5mm, this will always feel slightly bigger than 38mm. The consolation, as many of you will know, is that thickness correlates with strength, thus proving the A1’s diver qualities. I’d say for $449, this is a watch worthy of the depths at which it is most comfortable.

Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

The Vaer D4 Solar Diver is, much like the Armida, an understated and simple timepiece. Its charm lies in its minimalism, without a doubt. There’s no date window – the dial is free from any such gregarious inclusions, to say the least.

The 38mm case is made from surgical-grade stainless steel, ensuring that it can survive the pressures and pleasures of underwater exploration, and the perpetual power of the sun juices the solar movement, filling a decent reserve to ensure that time is kept even in low-light conditions.

The watch features a unidirectional bezel with 120 clicks, providing precise timing capabilities, and the lume on the hands and markers is top-notch, making it easy to read the time even in the darkest environments.

The sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant, adding to the watch’s durability. The Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm is both functional and fashionable, and for those who like to fly under the radar, it offers a classically uncomplicated look. And at $399, you’re really getting some heft for your buck.

Maen Hudson 38 MK4 Midnight

Maen Hudson 38 MK4 Midnight

This needs to be said from the outset – the Hudson MK4 is a whole lot of watch for a relatively small cost. Much of the timepiece’s up-market appeal is due to its delightful sandblasted dial, a textural element that’s not often executed this flawlessly on entry-level watches.

What’s more, the depth created by the rehaut here adds a whole new level of dimensionality to the Hudson 38. There’s very little not to love about this watch – it’s clean, stylish, and very well-built. Smart design choices make this feel like the offspring of a Tudor x Seiko marriage, which no one can be offended by.

With a 38mm stainless steel case that offers up to 200 meters of water resistance beneath a domed sapphire crystal, you can rest assured that the Swiss-made Ronda R-150 movement will stay dry and ticking on time. Although there are multiple strap options, I’m a sucker for the integrated bracelet – strong, comfortable, and virtually seamless.

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 (ref. VS 241555.1)

Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 (ref. VS 241555.1)

Certainly, the most militaristic-looking watch on this list, the Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 is an acquired taste. With a water resistance rating of 500 meters, this watch is built to withstand the toughest underwater conditions, and it looks that way too.

A somewhat futuristic design is expressed by the unapologetically edgy bezel, which defines this masculine timepiece. A black striped dial features a round date window at the 3 o’clock position, and the Victorinox logo is proudly located at 12 o’clock inside a secondary dial ring that displays 24-hour indices. 

The standard Swiss-made quartz movement doesn’t break the mold but will definitely provide enough accuracy for most wearers. Set on a black rubber strap for maximum sportiness, the Dive Master 500 is a unique and functional watch that is a dependable and exciting piece of gear, especially on the right wrist.

Sinn 556i

Sinn 556i

Sinn describes their 556i as “an elegantly sporty watch”, and I can’t think of a more astute manner in which to illustrate the character of this timepiece. It’s clean, minimal, and, most importantly, in its element in both the open ocean and at company dinners.

The 38.5mm stainless steel case houses a reliable and accurate SW200-1 self-winding movement, with 28 jewels and a stop-second function for complete accuracy when setting the time. 

While it may not look like it, the 556i is waterproof and pressure-resistant up to 200 meters, and its simple, numeral-bereft black and white dial is easily legible at darker depths.

Also included is a high-quality stainless steel bracelet, making it an obvious everyday watch. If you’re a minimalist or are looking for a dive watch that doesn’t look like a dive watch, this is undoubtedly the one for you.

Timex Q Diver Inspired (ref. TW2V00100)

Timex Q Diver Inspired (ref. TW2V00100)

The Timex Q Diver Inspired is a charming, affordable ticker. It knows what it is and, more importantly, what it isn’t – it doesn’t claim to have a fancy movement or boast lofty specs that it can’t live up to. This timepiece is about looks, ease of use, and reliability.

With its California cool-inspired design, it exudes a breezy sensibility through its angular stainless steel case and simple black dial. 

The case is accented by a straightforward silver and black rotating bezel, and the face is granted some character by a red seconds hand, adding a sporty touch to the classic design. Luminous hands and markers make it easy to read in any lighting condition, and the comfortable, adjustable bracelet ensures a secure fit during any adventure. 

At 38mm, the case size is perfect for those who prefer a smaller and more streamlined dive watch, and the simple quartz movement makes this timepiece as uncomplicated inside as it appears outwardly.

Diving Into A Smaller Fit

If you take anything away from this list, it should be that there’s a wide world of 38mm dive watches out there and that, contrary to popular belief, smaller doesn’t always mean less. These watches are perfect for those who demand both style and functionality in their timepieces, whether you’re a seasoned diver or simply someone who loves the sporty look of a dive watch. 

From well-known brands like Seiko and Breitling to lesser-known but equally impressive options like Sinn and Yema, there is a piece for every taste and budget on this list. Choose the one that speaks to you – I guarantee it will be a worthy addition to your collection!

best Carbon fiber watches

As someone passionate about unique timepieces, it brings me great pleasure to shine a light on carbon fiber watches. These timepieces offer unmatched strength and durability and often exude a futuristic aesthetic that will make a lasting impression.

Carbon fiber, a material originally developed for use in aerospace and motorsports, has become a welcome fixture in watchmaking, and the results are truly remarkable. With its exceptional lightweight properties, resistance to scratches and dings, and distinct textured appearance, carbon fiber is the perfect material for creating watches that are as tough as they are stylish.

I scoured the watch market for this article to bring you the 20 best carbon fiber watches across all brands. From luxury names like Breitling and Hublot to affordable options like Casio and Luminox, there is a carbon fiber watch for every taste and budget. Now get ready to discover some of the most innovative and stunning timepieces on the market today.

Carbon Fiber – What’s All The Fuss About?

Carbon fiber, a composite material made of carbon fibers and resin, offers a ground-breaking coupling of lightness and strength. This makes carbon fiber watches perfect for active lifestyles, as they can withstand rigorous use without weighing down the wrist. In comparison to stainless steel or other materials, carbon fiber’s most significant advantage is its strength-to-weight ratio. 

However, it’s important to note that these watches may be more susceptible to cracking or damage from sudden impacts compared to traditional metals. So, while they offer a unique and futuristic aesthetic, carbon fiber watches may not be the best choice for those looking for a watch that can withstand brute force like steel can.

A History of Carbon Fiber Watches

Carbon fiber was first developed in the 1960s for aerospace applications and later found its way into motorsports – light rockets and light cars. Makes sense, right? However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that carbon fiber started to make an appearance in the watch industry, a point at which it was mainly used for luxury watches due to its high cost. 

As technology improved and production costs decreased, carbon fiber watches became more accessible to the mass market. And as we’ll soon see, the use of carbon fiber in watchmaking continues to evolve, with new techniques and designs constantly emerging to push the boundaries of what is possible.

The Best Carbon Fiber Watches

Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster (GWR-B1000-1A1)

Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster (GWR-B1000-1A1)

Unveiled at Baselworld 2019, this Gravitymaster is the latest addition to the GWR-B1000 collection, boasting a decidedly ‘Casio’ design. Its 46mm fiber-reinforced carbon Monocoque resin case is lighter than its predecessors, making it a solid wrist accessory for the hard-handed. 

The watch’s rugged carbon bezel and antireflective sapphire crystal add to its durability, allowing it to withstand the toughest environments. At the same time, the 200-meter waterproof rating ensures it can go into the depths with you.

Powered by a state-of-the-art solar cell, the Gravitymaster features a battery level indicator at noon, while the handy Multi-band 6 radioreceptor and Bluetooth link function enable seamless connectivity. With over 300 world cities programmed into its world-time function, you’ll always be in sync while on the go.

Other features of this beat of a watch include a Flight log function, a daily alarm, and a Super Illuminator LED light that keeps the timepiece visible in low-light conditions. The phone finder function is a bonus, making it easy to locate your misplaced device. And oh yeah, it’s hard as all hell to break this thing, so do your worst.

Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon (ref. 241859)

Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon (ref. 241859)

The advent of carbon technology has revolutionized the watch industry, but the high costs associated with its development can be prohibitive for the average consumer. Fortunately, there are now more affordable options available that offer the same durability and style as their pricier counterparts.

The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon watch is a prime example, with a sturdy design combining form and function. The watch underwent rigorous testing to ensure its robustness, withstanding the weight of a massive 64-tonne tank without a scratch.

Unsurprisingly, the brand claims it can survive even the harshest conditions, including deep-sea dives up to 200 meters and being tossed around in a washing machine set to scorching temperatures.

The Sellita SW-200 movement runs the show, boasting 38 hours of power reserve, so the I.N.O.X. Carbon is a reliable ticker in that regard. The movement is visible through a titanium exhibition caseback with sapphire crystal, while SuperLuminova markers and hands make it highly legible in any lighting conditions. 

The watch’s radial outer minutes track adds a unique touch and comes with a special package that includes an exclusive Spartan PS knife and protective bumper. These add-ons should give you an idea of the paradigm this watch was made to exist within.

At $1150, it offers incredible value for its price point. So, whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or simply searching for a reliable and stylish watch, this timepiece is a very alluring choice.

Luminox Original Navy SEAL (ref. XS.3001.F)

Luminox Original Navy SEAL (ref. XS.3001.F)

If you’re looking for something that was literally made to be battered, look no further than the Luminox Original Navy SEAL Dive Watch. This piece boasts an ultra-durable carbon fiber case, a protected crown, and a unidirectional rotating bezel, making it perfect for use on land, in the air, or even underwater, with a water resistance of up to 200 meters.

But what sets this watch apart is its “Always Visible” feature, which provides a constant glow for up to 25 years, so you can tell the time no matter the lighting conditions. Powered by Swiss Quartz movement and featuring hardened mineral crystal glass, this watch is built to last and comes with a sturdy rubber strap for added comfort. At just 50g, it’s light and comfortable on the wrist, making it the perfect companion for any outdoor escapade.

Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph (ref. CBG2016.FT6143)

Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph (ref. CBG2016.FT6143)

TAG Heuer’s Carrera is an iconic racing chronograph that has adorned the wrists of champions for decades. The brand took a bold step by transforming the classic timepiece into a carbon masterpiece, elevating its aesthetic with an open-worked dial that offers a unique perspective of the movement from both the front and back, thanks to its titanium exhibition caseback.

Crafted with a carbon-fiber case, bezel, and lugs, the watch is powered by the calibre HEUER02 automatic movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve and a column-wheel operated chronograph complication. 

Water-resistant to 100 meters and 45mm in diameter, the watch is fitted with a sporty rubber composite strap that secures with a titanium folding clasp. Although it comes in at a relatively lofty $7,800, the Carrera Carbon Chronograph is worth the cost for its perfect fusion of technical excellence and style alone.

Panerai Submersible Carbotech (ref. PAM01616)

Panerai Submersible Carbotech (ref. PAM01616)

Panerai’s diving watches have a rich history in high-pressure situations, having long been utilized by the Italian Navy, a testament to their superior quality. The Submersible Carbotech is a modern take on their classic timepieces, exhibiting a decidedly ‘Panerai’ design with a durable carbon fiber case that can withstand depths up to 300 meters.

As per usual, the oversized half-circle crown guard on the side of the watch adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring the watch remains sealed and secure. One of the most striking features of this Submersible watch is the stunning blue lume applied generously on the hour markers, hands, and bezel.

During the day, the blue color pops against the dark background of the watch, while at night, it transforms into a soothing green that illuminates the timepiece, making it easy to read in any lighting conditions. The juice behind the watch is provided by the P.9010 automatic calibre, containing 31 jewels and a power reserve of up to 3 days.

The Submersible Carbotech is an excellent choice for divers who appreciate a reliable and beautiful timepiece, our non-divers who simply love a wedge of Panerai. Its carbon fiber case and blue lume are just a few of the features that make this one stand out from the rest, a true testament to Panerai’s commitment to stylistic non-conformity.

Oris Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition (ref. 01 674 7725 8784-Set 42454FCTB)

Oris Williams Valtteri Bottas Limited Edition (ref. 01 674 7725 8784-Set 42454FCTB)

Collaborating with Williams Racing, Oris designed a remarkable sports watch that screams performance. This timepiece is crafted using carbon fiber and titanium, providing unparalleled durability and undeniable elegance to its wearer. Plated with a black DLC coating, the 44mm case exudes power, strength, and flair.

Additionally, the watch is waterproof up to 100m, making it a solid accessory for both the race track and swimming pool. The carbon fiber dial is protected by sapphire glass, which is coated with an anti-reflective finish to provide a clear view of its intricate design. Bold hour markers and italicized minute markers are inspired by the race track, an ideal aesthetic for the adrenaline junkies among us.

Featuring three subdials, this piece provides the wearer with an accurate chronograph measurement that can be utilized to keep track of their performance. The Oris 674 calibre powers the watch, equipped with an ETA 7750 base, capable of producing 28,800 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 48 hours.

Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl (ref. 822.70.011.20)

Doxa Sub 300 Carbon Whitepearl (ref. 822.70.011.20)

Dive enthusiasts and watch aficionados, rejoice! Doxa’s magnificent iteration of their iconic Sub 300 collection is available in forged carbon (as if regular carbon isn’t cool enough). The Sub 300 Carbon COSC is a remarkable timepiece that maintains the design of the original, featuring Doxa’s signature barrel-shaped 42.5mm case, just lighter and more durable than ever.

The patented Doxa unidirectional-rotating bezel is also made of forged carbon and features the US Navy no-decompression dive table, a very useful addition for underwater explorers.

A dome-shaped sapphire crystal glass treated with an anti-reflective coating offers a perfectly legible dial sporting a three-hand timekeeping system, in addition to hour indices and a date window at the three o’clock position.

The heartbeat of this watch is provided by the ever-reliable self-winding ETA 2824 calibre, which beats at a frequency of 28,800vph and offers a 38-hour power reserve. It’s also COSC-certified, ensuring impeccable performance and flawless precision.

Finally, the timepiece is finished off with a black rubber strap and a safety folding clasp in PVD-coated stainless steel, which completes the cycle of a strength-inspired design.

Breitling Endurance Pro (ref. X82310A41B1S1)

Breitling Endurance Pro (ref. X82310A41B1S1)

Breitling’s mastery of the Britelite material has produced yet another spectacular timepiece, the Endurance Pro. This robust and reliable quartz watch boasts an array of captivating colors to match the wearer’s personality and style. It is an ideal first (or second) carbon fiber watch for your collection.

At 44mm watch, it verges on the larger side of the wearability spectrum but is by no means a ‘big watch’. It has a water resistance of 100 meters, thanks to the twin gaskets in the push-down crown that provide a double layer of security against moisture and water.

The thermo-compensated Breitling 82 calibre ensures highly precise timekeeping and enhanced shock resistance. A chronograph, calendar complication, and compass bezel make this watch invaluable for outdoor expeditions.

Furthermore, the pulsation scale on the inner bezel matches the color of the strap, as well as the details on the lugs, and I’m not mad at the orange, despite how unashamedly orange it is. Priced at a reasonable $3,000, the Breitling Endurance Pro is an undeniably sporty watch that will provide a splash of intrigue to any collection.

Bamford Carbon B347 – ‘Navy’

Bamford Carbon B347 - ‘Navy’

The Bamford B347 is a masterfully modest creation with an automatic mono-pusher chronograph that should leave most enthusiasts breathless. Encased in a sleek and stylish 41.5mm black forged carbon fiber case, the watch is powered by a high-performance Sellita SW510 automatic movement containing 27 jewels and an impressive 62-hour power reserve. 

The bi-compax configuration of the movement and the single push-button located at the 2 o’clock position trigger the start-stop-reset function, allowing for precise timekeeping and ultimate ease of use.

The B347 doesn’t skimp on features either, with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a date function at 6 o’clock, and a 60-second counter in the center, with hours, minutes, and small seconds at the 9 o’clock position. It also features a self-winding mechanism with ball bearings, which is as durable as most people would ever need. 

A black-coated steel caseback and 100m water resistance make it an ideal choice for those who aren’t splash-averse, while the 22mm lug width ensures it sits comfortably on the wrist.

Overall, the Bamford B347 is an exceptional timepiece, crafted to the highest standards of quality and precision, and arguably the greatest surprise on this list. Whether you’re a watch aficionado or a casual wearer, you must admit that this thing rocks.

Titoni Seascoper 600 CarbonTech

Titoni Seascoper 600 CarbonTech

Titoni’s Seascoper 600 CarbonTech is a fantastic update to their classic dive watch range. Boasting a carbon construction that’s incredibly strong and highly resistant to scratches, it is both practical and undeniably fashionable.

Being a modern take on the 1979 original, the 600 CarbonTech features a 42mm carbon case enclosing a striking black dial with bright white markers and a date window placed at three o’clock. The rotating bezel features a ceramic inlay with dashes of color that take the whole watch into exciting visual territory.

At the same time, the chronometer calibre T10, a COSC-certified movement with a 72-hour power reserve, ticks away under a display caseback designed to resemble a porthole. 

Rated water-resistant up to 600m (deeper than you’ll ever go, that is), the watch comes with either a rubber or eco-friendly textile strap made entirely from recycled ocean plastic as part of the brand’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact.

Zenith Defy 21 Carbon Fiber (ref. 10.9000.9004/96.R921)

Zenith Defy 21 Carbon Fiber (ref. 10.9000.9004/96.R921)

Zenith’s Defy El Primero 21 1/100th, aside from being a bit of a mouthful to say, is a watch that wears its mechanical nature on its sleeve. Or on its face, more aptly. With a 44mm carbon fiber case and a skeletonized dial, it offers a mesmerizing view of the 293 parts of the El Primero 21 movement.

The watch is water-resistant up to 100m. Its open-heart dial features several chronograph sub-dials and a central chronograph hand that completes a full rotation for every passing second, showcasing 1/100th of a second accuracy.

The movement operates at 36,000 vibrations per hour (5Hz) and boasts a power reserve of up to 50 hours, all moving seamlessly behind an exhibition-style caseback which provides additional protection while also giving you an unparalleled view of the watch’s intricate inner workings, which you’re definitely going to want to look at every single day.

Cartier Santos 100 Carbon Watch (ref. CRWSSA0006)

Cartier Santos 100 Carbon Watch (ref. CRWSSA0006)

Cartier’s timeless Santos, as some of you may know, is also available with a Carbon case – quite a contrasting pairing of style and material, indeed. Its elegant yet sporty design is the perfect alternative to the more traditional Cartier models.

First introduced in 2009, the Santos 100 in black carbon was only available for three years before fading into relative obscurity. However, in 2021, Cartier announced that it would bring the Santos 100 Carbon back to life with a new in-house movement and a revamped bezel. 

Unlike the previous model with a brushed titanium bezel, this one features a stainless steel bezel and a case made entirely of Amorphous Diamond-like Carbon (ADLC), which offers significantly increased scratch resistance. The watch is available in the larger Santos case, measuring 51.1mm x 41.3mm, and of course, features the classic Cartier blue synthetic spinel on the crown.

A black dial, which replaces the usual white, gives the timepiece a dark and brooding character, contracted by the bold white Roman numerals that adorn its edges. Perhaps the most significant upgrade Cartier made to this release is the inclusion of their 1847MC movement. Running at 4Hz, the 1847MC offers a 42-hour power reserve, showcasing Cartier’s commitment to developing their in-house movements.

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbone Forge (ref. BRX1-CE-CF-BLACK)

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbone Forge (ref. BRX1-CE-CF-BLACK)

Bell & Ross’s BR-X1 Carbone Forgé has a unique and irregular surface on its forged carbon case, crafted by subjecting countless pieces of carbon fiber to extreme heat and pressure, and is complemented by ceramic and rubber additions on the side.

These ensure that the sides of the watch remain scratch-free, while the chronograph function’s ceramic and rubber start-stop and reset buttons are fixed to the corners of the case, offering a clever and solid design solution.

The Carbone Forgé’s movement, the BR-CAL.313, is a Dubois Depraz chronograph (and date) module. The visible gears, date disc, screws, and X-shaped skeletonized bridges make for a busy-looking dial, and the massive hands and chronograph minute counter are of considerable weight.

Yet, the base ETA movement handles it all with remarkable torque. The see-through dial and skeletonized top plate of the movement lend the watch a highly technical appearance that perfectly matches the forged carbon case.

The timepiece comes fitted with a wide and thick rubber strap that feels soft and flexible, unlike many other rubber straps that tend to be uncomfortable (on my wrist, at least), and the black PVD steel buckle matches the color and aesthetics of the watch.

Still, if I’m honest, it may not be the best choice in terms of durability. Nonetheless, the attention to detail, mixture of materials, and fantastic proportions of the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbone Forgé make it a flagship product that comes at a price of $23,000.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition (ref. 81060-41-3071-1CX)

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition (ref. 81060-41-3071-1CX)

The latest addition to the Laureato Absolute Chronograph series is nothing short of stunning. The Aston Martin F1 Edition flaunts a state-of-the-art 44mm case crafted from a blend of titanium powder and carbon elements extracted from two F1 race cars used during the 2021 season.

This revolutionary approach in the watch industry results in a material that surpasses steel in terms of ductility while providing every piece with a unique visual identity that simply cannot be replicated.

The watch’s dial boasts a stunning sunray “Aston Martin Racing Green” hue, coupled with cross-hatching details that take inspiration from the iconic ‘AM’ badge of 1921. Open-worked hands add a touch of sportiness, while the seconds hands feature a splash of lime that mirrors the design of the Aston Martin F1 car.

Under the hood, the watch is powered by Girard-Perregaux’s self-winding chronograph movement, which drives two counters, small seconds, and a date display. The movement offers impeccable accuracy, a comfortable power reserve, and smooth pusher activation.

As a bonus, for the first time in a Laureato Absolute Chronograph, the watch’s rear is fitted with a sapphire crystal pane, allowing wearers to admire the automatic manufacture movement of the Calibre GP03300-1058.

Ulysse Nardin Freak X (ref. 2303-270.1/CARB)

Ulysse Nardin Freak X (ref. 2303-270.1/CARB)

The Freak X Carbonium by Ulysse Nardin is certainly an acquired taste. Breaking away from the traditional concept of a dial and hands, this watch introduces a new design where the movement itself rotates to indicate the time. The signature oscillator with a large diameter powers the flying carrousel that spins around its own axis.

This unique feature makes it a must-have for watch enthusiasts who crave innovation and creativity in their timepieces. The 43mm aeronautic-grade Carbonium side parts of the Freak X add to its versatility and daily use qualities, making it light, eco-friendly, and good-looking.

At the same time, the sapphire crystal showcases the self-winding UN-230 Manufacture Movement, highlighting its exceptional craftsmanship, which carries through to the lovely veal leather strap featuring clean white stitches.

Being one of the most extensive and diverse manufacturing movements in the watch industry, the Freak X’s insides consist of 405 parts and a power reserve of 72 hours.

The balance wheel, escapement wheel, balance spring, and anchor are all made of silicium, a cutting-edge material that contributes to the lightness of the whole build. Ultimately, this is a watch that not only tells time but also tells a story of creativity, passion, and technical brilliance.

Franck Muller Vanguard Carbone Grande Date (ref. V 45 CC GD SQT CARBONE NR (NR) CARB BLK BLK)

Franck Muller Vanguard Carbone Grande Date (ref. V 45 CC GD SQT CARBONE NR (NR) CARB BLK BLK)

Franck Muller’s Vanguard Carbone Grand Date undoubtedly exudes practical prowess and aesthetic finesse. This watch is a masterpiece of engineering and art, combining the cutting-edge technology of carbon fiber with the precision of automatic movement.

The 44 x 53.70 mm case is made entirely out of carbon, resulting in an incredibly lightweight watch with a black crocodile skin bracelet that complements the case, creating an understated yet striking appearance. A transparent dial provides a clear view of the intricate FM700 movement, which has a power reserve of 46 hours and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

The folding clasp made of titanium ensures a secure fit, and the watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters, although I imagine you wouldn’t be swimming with this on. In fact, it’s a fairly specific look that lends itself best to a smart-casual look, in my estimation, being a watch that undoubtedly makes a bold statement on the wrist.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf Black Carbon (ref. 416.YT.1120.VR)

Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf Black Carbon (ref. 416.YT.1120.VR)

The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf Black Carbon is an oddly specific thing unless you’re very into golf… and watches. Developed in partnership with one of the world’s best golfers, Dustin Johnson, it features a unique complication that allows golfers to keep score while playing. 

With just a press of a button, the player can add a stroke or advance to the next hole. The watch also features a running total of the 18-hole score and a reset function for the next game, so you can play without having to carry a pencil around.

But the Unico Golf is not just about functionality. The 45mm case is made of a lightweight, durable composite of fiberglass, aluminum, and carbon fiber called Texalium. The skeletonized movement is visible through the case, allowing you to appreciate its intricate workings (as you should).

A matte black dial is adorned with rhodium-plated hour markers and features luminous hands and markers. With its one-off design and uniquely practical application, this Hublot is the perfect watch for any avid golfer looking for a stylish way to keep track of their game.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic Carbon (ref. 103072)

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic Carbon (ref. 103072)

The battle for the thinnest watch raged on in 2018, with Piaget and Bvlgari breaking records in quick succession. However, Bvlgari ultimately triumphed with its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, the thinnest automatic tourbillon watch, at just 3.95mm thick.

Subsequently, the brand turned its attention to the matter of weight, introducing a carbon fiber version of only 48 grams, making it the thinnest, lightest automatic carbon watch on earth. 

The timepiece features layers of carbon that play with its original shape, resulting in a visually bold design that some will love and others will hate. Although it remains largely the same as the 2018 model, with a 1.95mm thin movement featuring a flying tourbillon and peripheral rotor, the thickness has increased slightly to 5.38mm due to the new material and the addition of a sapphire crystal covering the caseback.

The movement remains skeletonized for both visual appeal and to save space inside the case, which we should all be happy about because it’s a stunner. Finally, this slender wonder is limited to 50 pieces, making it a rare and exclusive addition to any collection, so good luck getting your hands on one!

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (ref. 26400AU.OO.A002CA.01)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (ref. 26400AU.OO.A002CA.01)

Audemars Piguet has almost always been at the forefront of the watchmaking industry, pioneering the use of new and innovative materials. One such example is the now-discontinued forged carbon Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph, one of my all-time favorite Royal Oak Offshore timepieces.

A black ‘Méga Tapisserie’ dial with applied white gold batons and luminescent white gold hands features three chronograph registers and a date aperture that blends seamlessly with everything else. Furthermore, the black tachymetric scale flange adds to the overall stealthy aesthetic of the 44 mm case, which is made from forged carbon and features a black ceramic bezel, crown, and pushers. 

The pushers are made of titanium and have rectangular, slightly rounded black ceramic caps, all protected by sandblasted titanium guards. To pull it all together, there’s a black rubber strap, connected via satin-brushed titanium plots, which ‘dresses down’ the watch in an attractively modest manner.

Audemars Piguet’s calibre 3126/3840, a remarkable movement composed of 365 parts and 59 jewels, offers a power reserve of 55 hours when fully wound and is visible through the titanium display case back. This timepiece is a true delight on the wrist, boasting an expectedly comfortable fit despite its size.

The lightness of the forged carbon case and its all-black appearance make it a wearable and desirable accessory for any collector. If you can find one, and have some money lying around, don’t hesitate to make it yours. The sticker price of $36,900 may seem steep, but it is worth every cent.

Richard Mille RM35-03

Richard Mille RM35-03

Closing off the list, the RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal watch is a true marvel of horology. It introduces the patented “butterfly rotor” winding mechanism that empowers wearers to take direct control over the automatic movement’s winding, adjusting it to suit their lifestyles and athletic endeavors.

The skeletonized movement displays hours, minutes, and seconds, with a power reserve of approximately 55 hours, and the function selector, located at 2 o’clock, makes it easy to switch between winding, neutral, and hand-setting modes with a simple push.

The case of the RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal watch is made of two exclusive materials, Carbon TPT, and Quartz TPT, which create a remarkable striated surface. These materials are composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by repeatedly dividing carbon fibers or silica threads.

Impregnated with resin and woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers, there’s no comparative case or material in the horological world. Go ahead, try to find one.

Ultimately, the RM 35-03 Automatic Rafael Nadal watch is the epitome of luxury and innovation. It’s certainly a must-have timepiece for watch enthusiasts who appreciate exceptional design, craftsmanship, and performance, and its mind-blowing price reflects that.

The Importance of Being Light As A Feather

From sporty chronographs to elegant dress watches, there is truly a carbon fiber timepiece for every style and taste. Not only are these watches tough as nails, but they also push the boundaries of watch aesthetics with unique textures and designs. Most importantly, they’re lighter than any other watch variant out there, which makes wearing them an absolute breeze. 

As the use of carbon fiber in watchmaking continues to evolve, we can only imagine what innovations the future holds. But for now, let’s just be happy that we get to have this space-age material on our wrists in the first place!

Rolex Bluesy ultimate guide

No, ’Bluesy’ isn’t the street name of a character on the Sopranos. Instead, Bluesy is the nickname used for any Submariner references made by Rolex with a blue dial, blue bezel, and a two-tone Oystersteel case/strap. It’s not an official term coined by Rolex, but it has been around for almost as long as the watch has and is, therefore, a firm fixture in collector vocabulary. 

The Bluesy nickname is straightforward and less cliché than some others given to Rolex variations (I’m looking at you, Starbucks, and Batman). It’s not only a catchy moniker but one which accurately describes the main visual characteristics of the watch.

About The Rolex Bluesy

Although we don’t like to talk about it much anymore, one can’t ignore the lasting influence of the 1980s. To be more specific, one can’t help but notice that two-tone Rolexes came into the spotlight during the 80s. Wall Street-influenced style did a number on us in that department.

However, despite the questionable fashion choices of the era, it was a wild time to be alive, and the Bluesy reflects that in all of its multicolored splendor. It could be due to this ‘cultural capture’ that blue Submariners have been popular among collectors for decades.

There are 4 distinct versions of the Bluesy, which we’ll look at in more detail in a minute. Among the most iconic of these is the 116613LB, an era-defining watch that’s hard to fault. 

In 2020, Rolex released the successor to this classic, which features cutting-edge craftsmanship and innovations that some believe surpass the original. Is it possible for Rolex to further refine such a beloved watch? Let’s take a closer look at the Bluesy line to find out where the differences lie.

So Many Bluesy Models, So Little Time

Here’s a breakdown of the Bluesy models released by the Swiss firm since the early ‘80s, each of which is slightly different from the rest, as you’d expect.

1. 16803 (1983-1988)

16803 (1983-1988)

The very first of its line, and the watch that inspired the nickname that now defines this family of Submariners, the 16803, was in production for just over 5 years and met much fanfare during the 1980s. Arguably the largest difference between this and other models, other than the movement, is the size and flatness of the case.

While I quite like this build, it doesn’t quite have the attitude of other versions. The 1680 Submariners are considered transitional models as they remained in production for a relatively short period but inspired several design improvements.

This generation of Submariner watches was the first to feature sapphire crystals, improved the water resistance rating to 300 meters, and used caliber 3035 movements. The 16803 has a 40mm Oyster case made of steel with a yellow gold winding crown and a yellow gold unidirectional rotating bezel fitted with an anodized aluminum bezel insert.

The dial features many yellow-gold details, including lume-filled index surrounds and Mercedes-style hands. Some early models of the 16803 were equipped with a “nipple dial,” which had raised gold hour markers like those on the all-gold version of the ref. 1680. Like most Rolesor Rolex watches, the ref. 16803 Submariner’s Oyster bracelet includes yellow gold center links flanked by stainless steel outer links.

2. 16613 (1989-2010)

16613 (1989-2010)

The 16613 incorporated white-filled indices on the dial and began what would herald in Rolex’s march towards a more contoured case, which contracts with the slightly ‘flat’ feel of the 16803. Furthermore, the blue of this model is decidedly more vivid than the previous model’s, which makes the model stand out.

While this lends the watch a slightly more luxurious feel, it certainly doesn’t detract from its utilitarian build. This newer model features a two-tone 40mm Oyster case, an aluminum bezel, and a two-tone Oyster bracelet.

However, the Submariner 16613 is powered by the caliber 3135 automatic movement, a significant difference from the previous model. Although the 16613 was in production for about 20 years, it underwent many enhancements and updates throughout its run.

For instance, Rolex replaced tritium with Luminova as the luminescent material in the late 1990s, introduced solid end-link bracelets in 2000, and phased out lug holes a few years later. In the early 2000s, Rolex began engraving the watches’ serial numbers and “ROLEX ROLEX ROLEX” on the rehaut and laser etching a micro crown on the crystal to deter counterfeiting.

As a result, a mid-2000s ref. 16613 will look and feel distinct from a late 1980s Submariner ref. 16613, despite being the same model.

3. 116613LB (2009-2020)

116613LB (2009-2020)

Although this may be the most popular Bluesy model, given the immense growth in the luxury watch market between 2010 and 2020, the 116613LB isn’t the most recent iteration of this famous blue beast. More ‘active’ in its finishing than the preceding model, the 116613LB underwent significant changes compared to its predecessor. 

Although the official case measurement remains the same, the “Super Case” silhouette is beefier and more robust, thanks to the larger crown guards and fatter lugs. The two-tone bracelet is somewhat improved, with solid 18k yellow gold center links and a completely redesigned durable clasp, which certainly adds to the watch’s heft.

This version features a larger bezel insert made of Rolex’s patented ceramic alloy, Cerachrom, offering excellent resistance to scratching and fading. The dial has also been given the supersize treatment, with larger lume plots and broader Mercedes-style hands.

Earlier versions of the Bluesy ref. 116613 featured the flat blue dial to match the blue shade of the Cerachrom bezel. However, Rolex revived the popular sunburst blue dial in 2013, and the flat one was phased out.

The Submariner ref. 116613 continues to run on the Caliber 3135, which underwent some key improvements over the years, such as achieving an accuracy rating of -2/+2 seconds per day, twice the requirement set out by COSC chronometer standards in 2015.

It’s worth noting that early iterations of this model were available with diamond hour markers, which is not the case with the sunburst blue dial version.

4. 126613LB (2020-)

126613LB (2020-)

While very similar to the 116613LB, Rolex’s newest Bluesy has two distinctly effective differences from all of its ancestors; a 41mm case and white text. By switching from the gold text they had used for decades to the white text they employ now, Rolex made the legibility of this watch (and other Sub models) easier by orders of magnitude. 

The slightly larger case and more refined lugs return to the classic proportions of earlier Submariners. This reference also boasts an updated automatic movement, the Caliber 3235, featuring a Chronergy escapement and patents and providing an improved power reserve of about 70 hours.

The yellow gold and steel cases and bracelets, unidirectional rotating Cerachrom bezels marked to 60 minutes, and a date window at 3 o’clock with a magnified Cyclops lens remain consistent with earlier versions.

Like its predecessors, the 126613 can withstand water pressure up to 1,000 feet (300 meters). Its hour markers and Mercedes-style hands are generously coated with Chromalight lume, optimizing legibility in low-light conditions.

Bluesy Reborn – The Submariner ref. 126613LB

Objectively, the 126613LB doesn’t offer any functional advantage over its all-steel counterparts. However, I would be a fool to dispute the simple fact that in the 21st century, most wristwatches, particularly those from Rolex, primarily serve luxury purposes. 

The two-tone Submariner with the blue dial embraces this luxury mission aptly by conveying warmth and prestige more effectively than the cold, clinical stainless-steel divers. At 41 millimeters, this generation of Subs remains just as sturdy as its ancestors.

The ceramic bezel, in a gorgeous marine blue with embedded dive markings in an 18-karat gold bezel, is a thing of beauty. Unlike other less boisterous models, the blue and gold combination has proven staying power. Even in the 1970s, dealers were known to conjure up custom two-tone Submariners for customers via a more liberal Rolex parts department.

From there, the two-tone Sub evolved into a staple, particularly in blue, befitting its nautical heritage. One small but significant change that aligns the new Submariner with modern times is the switch to white text on the dial.

It adds a fresh and contemporary feel while boldly contrasting the dark sunburst blue dial background and matching the bright Chromalite on the hands and indexes. Although it may feel indulgent, I prefer to think of it as a projection of confidence. 

The band of gold running down the center of the links is unmistakable from across the room, while the solid gold crown confirms the watch’s triple-protected impenetrability and continues that vault-like feel throughout the timepiece.

It’s a totem for your sense of self-worth, and if you’re wearing one of these, you’re bound to feel like a million dollars. Let’s have a closer look at the specific features of the Bluesy, seeing as we’re geeking out on the model already. Here’s a brief rundown of the main focal points of the watch;


To use the word ‘impressive’ alone to describe Bluesy’s case may be an understatement. After all, we should bear in mind that the Submariner case redefined the modern dive watch aesthetic almost singlehandedly. That’s more than impressive.

It’s awe-inspiring. Boasting a 41mm diameter and 12.7mm thickness, this luxury diver’s watch fits snugly on almost any wrist. With a lug-to-lug measurement of 48.1mm and a 21mm lug width, it is similar in size to other Submariner models and a breeze to wear.

Crafted primarily from Oystersteel, the Rolex Bluesy is built to last. This patented 904L stainless steel blend (aka Oystersteel) is ultra-tough and resistant to scratches, impacts, and corrosion. Its finely polished case and satin-finished lug hoods give it a subtly sophisticated look despite its sporty origins.

Fashioned partly from luxurious yellow gold, the two-tone gold and silver exterior also features a unidirectional rotating bezel and screw-down crown. The bezel’s blue ceramic insert, marked with a matching gold elapsed time scale, has a bottle cap-like groove that provides a better grip for divers, even when wearing gloves. 

At the noon position, a luminous pip glows bright in the dark, ensuring improved visibility in low-light conditions. The bezel’s 120 clicks and lack of back play make tracking time underwater a breeze.

The yellow gold crown delicately emblazoned with Rolex’s iconic crown emblem, is protected by Oystersteel crown guards that allow for easy grasping and turning. Additionally, the watch’s Triplock waterproofness system and solid Oystersteel screw-down caseback offer impressive water resistance up to 300m (1000ft).


The Bluesy’s dial is arguably the main attraction of the watch. It is, after all, the reason behind this Submariner’s nickname. A striking royal blue metallic sunburst finish perfectly complements its blue bezel, and the iconic Submariner design is apparent in its geometric indices and bold hands, all encased in gold. 

Furthermore, Bluesy’s hands and indices are equipped with Chromalight, a cutting-edge technology that enhances clarity and visibility in any lighting condition, even in deep, dark, scary waters. The face features a date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker.

Printed in white for maximum contrast and legibility, the brand’s signature and the Submariner title, depth rating, and Superlative Chronometer certification adorn the dial at 12 and 6, respectively.

Protecting the stunning dial of the Rolex Bluesy is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire glass, known for its remarkable durability and sleek appearance. With a mineral hardness rating of “9” on the Mohs scale, this crystal is almost impervious to scratches and can only be damaged by diamonds. 

To minimize reflections, Rolex has added anti-reflective coatings to Bluesy’s sapphire crystal, making it easier to view from different angles. Additionally, a convenient cyclops lens, a feature that is now synonymous with Rolex date variations, magnifies the date display for easy reading.


The Rolex Calibre 3235, a step up from the 3135, is now a household name in the watch industry and a favorite among WOSTEP-certified watchmakers. This chronometer movement has earned its reputation, boasting an impressive accuracy of -2/+2 seconds per day, certified by COSC.

With an approximate power reserve of 70 hours, the 3235 provides plenty of power to keep itself ticking on time. After almost three decades as the flagship movement of Rolex, the Calibre 3135 began to be phased out around 2015 in favor of this modified version.

Thus, 126613LBs purchased before then will contain a 3135, being the last models to feature this legendary movement. However, that doesn’t mean other models with the 3135 weren’t still being shipped to ADs during the transition period.


The Rolex Bluesy flaunts a yellow Rolesor bracelet incorporating Oystersteel outer and yellow gold center links. This bracelet exudes a remarkable level of sophistication while providing wearers with the utmost comfort and durability. The Rolex Glidelock system and Oysterlock folding safety clasp keep the bracelet fastened and secure on your wrist, regardless of whether you’re exploring the deep blue seas or running errands in the city.

Should You Buy A Rolex Bluesy?

If you’re considering purchasing one of these icons, there are a few factors to take into consideration before heading to the watch store. 

Firstly, the cost of this piece is far greater than its price, particularly if you’re looking for a daily wearer or just a single luxury watch to add to an otherwise modest collection. You have to acknowledge that this isn’t a humble watch, nor should we expect it to be. 

The Bluesy is decidedly thematic in its design, representing a kind of nautical luxury that demands attention while refusing humility in all forms. The Bluesy speaks for the boldest aspects of one’s character and, thus, should be treated accordingly. 

This isn’t a watch that you wear with joggers while picking up a coffee order down the road. This is a watch that belongs under the cuff of a good suit or on the wrist of an arm that’s caressing the railing of a cruising Sunseeker.

Understand that the true cost of the Bluesy means you’re paying the price for something that will likely alter your lifestyle. If you’re not ok with that, you should look for a timepiece that’s a bit less adventurous in its design.

Secondly, the price is obviously also a factor to consider – the Bluesy ref. 16613, for example, will set you back a clean $15,900. That’s not a figure to be scoffed at, and thus, one has to be very sure that they’re willing and able to throw down that kind of cash for a single ticker.

If you ask me, I’d say that the decision of whether to go with a Bluesy or not essentially comes down to two things, assuming you have the money to spend – taste and attitude. It goes without saying that if you hate the color blue or are not a fan of the two-tone look, which many aren’t, then this watch ain’t for you.

 Alternatively, if you’re into the look but lack the confidence that this watch demands of its owner, I would advise purchasing something a bit more humble. If, however, you’re the master of your reality – an engaged and engaging individual with a commanding character – then there are few watches that you deserve to give yourself more than the Bluesy.

Alternatives To The Rolex Bluesy

This is undoubtedly a covetable timepiece, but its price tag (and the state of the Rolex after-market) can make it an unattainable dream for many. Fear not, for there are several stylish and reliable alternatives to the Bluesy that won’t break the bank. While Rolex may be the ultimate benchmark, other high-performing diver’s watches are available at more affordable prices.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M (ref.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M (ref.

Omega makes perhaps the strongest contender when it comes to timepieces that can give the iconic Submariner a run for its money. The Seamaster Diver 300m Co-Axial Master Chronometer is a sturdy yet luxurious dive watch that, much like the Sub, is a definite fixture in the watch world. 

Crafted from a stainless steel and gold blend, it boasts a 42mm case, topped with a gold unidirectional rotating bezel featuring a blue scratch-resistant ceramic insert with the Ceragold dive scale.

The watch is powered by the impressive Omega Calibre 8800, a self-winding movement with a co-axial escapement and a 55-hour power reserve. It’s a bit sharper in its outward appearance than the Bluesy, but indeed no less impressive.

Longines Hydroconquest (ref. L3.781.3.96.7)

Longines Hydroconquest (ref. L3.781.3.96.7)

The HydroConquest Automatic is perfect for those who love the general look of the Bluesy and want a reliable and respected mid-range timepiece. It features a solid blue ceramic bezel, luminous hour markers, and large Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12. 

The watch is powered by a Longines caliber L888 movement, which contains 21 jewels, beats at 25,200 vph, and has a 72-hour power reserve. These are all impressive numbers for a relatively modest $2025 watch. Even more surprising is the water-resistant rating of up to 300m/1000ft, which is on par with Rolex’s own Submariners, making the watch a practical competitor as well as a visual one.

Bulova Marine Star (ref. 98B334)

Part of Bulova’s Marine Star Collection, the 98B334 reference is an entry-level diver for those who are after something with a bit of attitude that won’t break the bank. With a sharp, cool two-tone case and bracelet and a sleek blue dial with a handy date window at three o’clock, the Marine Star gives off a decidedly sporty vibe. 

To make matters more interesting, an open-heart dial and seconds sub-dial grant this piece an air of complexity that punches above its price bracket. Plus, it’s got a durable flat mineral crystal, reliable quartz movement, and can handle water depths up to 100 meters. At 43mm in diameter, it’s a bit bigger than the Bluesy, but for only $360, what’s an extra 2 millimeters?


The Rolex Bluesy Submariner Date isn’t only an iconic watch for the sake of watch culture – it’s a true masterpiece that exudes exceptional style and incomparable reliability. Its release heralded an entirely new era of horological style. 

With its trend-setting design and timeless charm, it created a new visual standard for the luxury diver, being virtually indestructible while still able to turn heads at cocktail parties and company dinners. 

There’s nothing to fault here – a timepiece this great only comes around once every few decades, so thank your lucky stars if you were there to witness its release, and I’ll thank mine that I’m here to appreciate its indelible impact.

15 Watches with mechanical alarm

Mechanical watches with alarm functions used to be all the rage in, say, the 1950s. But over the years, they understandably took a back seat to modern gimmicks, such as the smartphone or the digital alarm clock. For this reason, mechanical alarm watches seem to have fallen out of favor with watch enthusiasts and manufacturers alike. 

In my eyes (rose-tinted though they may be), this is a great shame. Not only is the on-wrist alarm feature useful in everyday life, but these watches also grant the wearer an element of style and hold a degree of historical gravitas that the iPhone inherently lacks.

Alarms Before The Snooze Button

The first mechanical wristwatch with an alarm function was introduced by Swiss watchmaker Eterna in 1914, thanks to a patent filed in 1908. Unfortunately, the watch didn’t do very well, and pocket watches remained the preferred timekeepers du jour.

It wasn’t until 1947 that the alarm watch gained popularity with the release of the Vulcain Cricket, a hand-wound timepiece with two barrels that emitted a chirping chime. 

The Cricket’s acclaim was inevitably boosted by its association with several US Presidents, including Eisenhower, Truman, Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson. It was even marketed as ‘The President’s Watch’. From Truman onwards, mechanical alarm watches found their place in the world amongst collectors and casual wearers alike.

Mechanical Alarms in The Age of The Smartphone

If, like me, you’re an analog kid meandering through a digital world, then the simple joy of a physical chime is worth far more than all the smartphone apps money can buy. As bespoke market sectors continue to serve discerning buyers, we’re seeing an interesting trend towards more tangible items (the vinyl resurgence is a strong example of this, as is the revival of interest in classic cars). 

This is no different for watches – as more buyers become aware of the allure of owning something that tells a story, utilitarian traits are no longer the determining factors behind many purchases. 

Enter the mechanical alarm watch. Do you need a mechanical alarm on your wrist? No. Does wearing one tie you into a rich and meaningful network of creators and appreciators spanning generations? Hell yeah, it does.

The Best Watches With a Mechanical Alarm

Patek Philippe Grand Complications (ref. 5520P-001)

Patek Philippe Grand Complications (ref. 5520P-001)

The Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5520P is pretty much what it says on the box – a luxury travel watch with some fairly lofty complications, one of which is an alarm that uses a musical hammer-and-gong-style chiming mechanism instead of the typical vibrating, buzzing sound.

It’s a continuation of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time collection with the definitive addition of the alarm complication. On the face lie two 12-hour-format time zones and a date dial, all presented in a fairly modest manner, despite the watch’s somewhat exuberant name. With an ergonomic and logical design, the alarm time is set in five-minute increments using a couple of digital windows under 12 o’clock.

A small circular window indicates AM or PM, and a bell-shaped window shows if the alarm function is on or off. The watch also has two more distinct AM/PM indicators on the dial, one for each time zone – a subtly nifty feature for the frequent travelers among us.

Driven by an automatic movement that includes high-performance proprietary components, it’s safe to say you’re getting exactly the quality you’d expect from Patek. The case is 42.2mm-wide and 11.6mm-thick, made of solid 950 platinum. In other words, it’s as sturdy as they come.

The alarm chimes are impressively loud, thanks to the gongs being attached directly to the case to create an overall audio reverberation system. This work of sheer genius from Patek will set you back a cool $226,800.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox (Q9038670)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Memovox (Q9038670)

Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates the 50th anniversary of its iconic Polaris watch with the release of 1000 units that is a modern take on the original 1968 design, a watch that I would do almost anything to own. The limited edition Polaris Memovox’s defining characteristic is its pointed circularity – a design that is somehow sharp and rounded at the same time, thanks to elongated baton hands and an inner-dial indicator for the alarm function. 

The black face has a vintage feel with vanilla-colored markers, which are filled with faux-aged lume that makes this whole thing look extra yummy. Retaining the classic three-crown set-up, the inner rotating bezel, and the original Polaris alarm function (duh), this edition features new elements such as a three-finish black dial and a mix of complications.

The alarm has a classic report – what I would refer to as the ‘old school bedside alarm’ sound and is the ideal balance between charming and, well, alarming. With a 42mm stainless steel case and a thickness of 15.9mm, this isn’t the smallest watch, so if you’re a stickler for size, bear that in mind. With that being said, though, it’s not nearly as thick as its predecessors, and a very minimal case and bezel serve to lessen this issue even further.

The in-house Caliber 956 movement is specially assembled in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s complications workshop to ensure the highest standards of distinction. All-in-all, this Polaris Memovox release proves that this iconic line just gets better with time.

Vulcain Nautical Trophy (100107.024VT)

Vulcain Nautical Trophy (100107.024VT)

The Vulcain Nautical Cricket is a legendary watch introduced in 1961 as a true diver’s instrument. Designed with the help of diver Hannes Keller, who held the record for the deepest dive at the time, the watch had an alarm complication and decompression tables built right into the dial, features that may be a tad busy for some while absolutely essential for others. 

Today’s Nautical Trophy was released as a special edition watch in 2011 and exudes a slightly-updated 60’s charm; a clous-de-Paris bezel visibly differentiates this piece from the original at face value. The dial’s outer ring is dedicated to conventional time-telling duties, with a simple 3, 6, and 9 configuration, while on the interior of the dial, the decompression table takes precedence. Legibility is a bit of an issue at first, but once you get used to the details, it’s a breeze. 

The 42mm steel case is slightly elevated on the wrist thanks to the triple-caseback, but it’s worth the extra height. The Nautical Cricket is a great piece of mechanical tech to behold, and although I long for an open caseback through which to view Vulcain’s impressive caliber V-10 movement, I’ll take the working alarm function as a handsome trade-off.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition (01 910 7745 4084-Set LS)

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition (01 910 7745 4084-Set LS)

Oris is a company known for its robust and functional watches, and their limited-edition Big Crown ProPilot Alarm is no exception. This model features a mechanical 12-hour alarm function, indicated by a vibrant, yellow-tipped central hand that points at an inner ring to show when the alarm will go off, similar to the Memovox mentioned above. 

The alarm can be set in 10-minute increments via the crown that lies between 3 and 4 o’clock, while the watch also includes a rotating date function displayed through a circular aperture in the dial. At 44mm and boasting 2 oversized crowns and a knurled bezel, this is certainly the most masculine watch on the list thus far.

With that being said, there’s nothing particularly confrontational about the ProPilot. Limited to just 250 pieces, this big boy comes on a dark brown crocodile leather strap with Oris’ signature airplane seatbelt-style clasp and has a sapphire crystal on the dial side.

Oris’s own Calibre 910 movement powers the watch and includes automatic winding, central hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as the aforementioned ring-date function, which is a very satisfying addition by any measure.

Tudor Heritage Advisor (79620T)

Tudor Heritage Advisor (79620T)

The Tudor Heritage Advisor pays homage to its 1957 predecessor while incorporating tastefully modern design elements that are very… Tudor. The 42mm satin-brushed and polished titanium case sits on either a cognac-colored alligator leather strap or a steel bracelet with a folding clasp.

It can also be put on an additional black silk jacquard strap (made by a 150-year-old Swiss family business, no less). The case metal was chosen and treated specifically to enhance the sound of the alarm, a detail that is beautifully fitting for a mechanical alarm watch. A cognac brown dial boasts a variety of textures, including opaline, circular-grained, sunburst satin finishes, and sandblasted elements.

Dauphine hands, beveled hour indices, and a central red hand for the alarm function are inspired by the vintage aesthetic and, indeed, grant this watch a certain haughtiness that is altogether fitting of the style. Tudor’s Caliber 2892 movement powers the Heritage Advisor and incorporates an in-house-developed module with an ETA base movement.

The alarm function can be activated and turned off with the pusher at 8 o’clock, while the crown at 2 o’clock sets the alarm time via the red hand and the outer minute track. The other crown at 4 o’clock sets the time and date. Retailing for $6,000 on leather and $6,225 on steel, it’s a fairly-priced watch by any measure. Despite being overshadowed by other members of the Heritage series, the Heritage Advisor is one of the most attractive timepieces in the range.

Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 (5547TI/Y1/9ZU)

Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 (5547TI/Y1/9ZU)

Breguet’s Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 offers a sophisticated alarm function within a maritime-themed design that pays tribute to the brand’s founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet. Introduced in 2019, the watch comes in a 40mm titanium case and possesses a sunburst slate grey dial with an array of displays.

Some might even say too many displays – an alarm subdial at 3 o’clock, a 24-hour subdial at 9 o’clock, an alarm activation aperture at 12 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator for the alarm between the IX and XII Roman numerals. It’s a lot, frankly. 

However, if a complex dial excites you, as it does many, then this is right up your street. The watch gets its juice from the self-winding 519F/1 caliber, which features two separate barrels to provide energy to the main movement and the alarm mechanism, respectively.

The alarm function is easily activated using a pushbutton and has a high-pitched tone. Priced at $28,600, the Alarme Musicale 5547 represents great value for money in terms of technicality and build quality if you find this kind of facade appealing.

Richard Mille RM 62-01

Richard Mille RM 62-01

Hold on to your wallets; this one is pricey. Richard Mille and Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) launched the RM 62-01 Tourbillon Vibrating Alarm watch in 2019. In true Mille fashion, it was the most complex watch the firm had ever created at the time – one designed with a focus on the traveler, with an alarm function intended to be discreet and exclusive, transmitted purely by vibrations that only the wearer could perceive.

This makes the watch uniquely intriguing, as to benefit from the complex alarm function, the wearer has to be wearing the watch. Perhaps more interestingly, the vibrating alarm was designed not to affect the movement, which was obviously a significant concern. Thus, a solid gold offset weight was used to transmit the vibration, inspired by the vibrating function of earlier mobile phones, which is a strange dichotomy in its own right.

It took extensive research and development to fit 816 parts, 2 barrels, 7 hands, 11 displays, and a tourbillon cage into the limited volume of the watch case; a watch constructor needed five years to create the timepiece. Patience truly is a virtue.

Being a Richard Mille watch, after all, the RM 62-01 is limited to 30 pieces, each one going for $1,225,000. It embodies the paradox of being supremely easy to use while being a complicated watch, an accomplishment that evidently commands a hefty sum.

Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater Titanium (403.NM.0123.RX)

Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater Titanium (403.NM.0123.RX)

Hublot’s limited edition Big Bang Alarm Repeater watch came out in 2015 and notably combines the functionality of a mechanical alarm with a minute repeater, resulting in a more elegant sound than traditional alarm watches.

The timepiece features a gong and hammer system and a semi-transparent dial made from several colored layers of sapphire crystal, which is very representative of the Hublot vibe – proudly complex and stylistically bold. Furthermore, the off-center dial places this piece in its own camp among Hublot’s releases, adding an extra element of individuality to the watch.

The manually-wound movement was designed and produced by Chronode and is almost exclusive to Hublot, with only a small number of Cyrus watches also able to use the movement. It features a silicon escapement system, 72-hour power reserve, time with a 24-hour indicator, a 24-hour dial to set the alarm time, and an on/off switch for the alarm complication.

The case is that of the Big Bang 45 (which is no stranger to those familiar with Hublot), which has a unique pusher design and a matte black ceramic bezel. Limited to 250 pieces, the Big Bang Alarm Repeater is priced at $56,300.

Vulcain 50s Presidents (210150.276LF)

Vulcain 50s Presidents (210150.276LF)

Vulcain’s first alarm complication on a wristwatch in 1947, and the models that followed, have been worn by almost every US president since Truman. But, these paradigmatic watches have also spurred many horological innovations over the years.

The movements for these are still almost entirely in-house and beautifully finished, enclosed in resplendently branded vintage-style cases. The company’s newest take on the Cricket exhibits a striking silver dial with beveled hour markers and classic dauphine hands.

A polished stainless steel case sits at 42mm, slightly larger than what one would expect from a watch inspired by the mid-century style. However, the purposeful addition of a cambered sapphire crystal maintains the vintage look perfectly.

Inside the Cricket is the V-11, a manual movement manufactured by Vulcain, which has two barrels, a 42-hour power reserve, and a new ‘Exactomatic’ system that improves regulation of amplitude and reduces wear, resulting in increased accuracy.

The movement is expertly finished, with beveling and dressage throughout, and the crown and ratchet wheels have an exotic, almost Aztec-like design. With this immutable wearability and timeless design for $5,200, can you really afford not to buy it?

Panerai Radiomir GMT/Alarm (PAM00098)

Panerai Radiomir GMT/Alarm (PAM00098)

This Panerai is a suave timepiece that just oozes style and functionality. That is, a very specific style and a very reliable set of functions. Produced in 2008, this watch features a robust steel case with a diameter of 42mm, paired with a handsome brown leather strap; it’s perfect for everyday wear.

Like many on this list, the watch has no better use than keeping frequent travelers on schedule. And boy, does it do that in style, with its soft square case and stark black face. If there’s one thing Panerai knows, it’s how to turn a head. Legibility was clearly a priority when designing the watch, as the dial remains uncluttered despite having a date window and GMT window.

That’s right – GMT window, not dial. Bold Arabic numerals and luminous hands further add to this dynamic. The Radiomir is equipped with an automatic movement with a generous power reserve of 47 hours and 31 sparkling jewels, ensuring optimal performance.

The buckle clasp adds an extra layer of security and style to the already stunning leather strap. And with a water resistance of 30 meters, this watch is well suited for everyday wear, marrying both style and functionality in a way that only Panerai knows how.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Alarm (Q183T770)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Alarm (Q183T770)

As with a few other watches on the list, this JLC is a limited edition. Specifically, it’s a run of 1500 units, made in partnership with the United States Navy Seals, and you can bet that it lives up to the label granted to it by the special forces.

A 44mm titanium case and a ridiculously scratch-resistant ceramic bezel provide ample framework for a deafeningly black face with contrasting white indices and Arabic numerals at 6, 9, and 12. There’s a double-sealed date window at 3 o’clock, and of course, the center of the dial represents the alarm function, with a rotating arrow marker indicating the current alarm time setting.

It almost goes without saying that this is a hefty watch – its 300-meter water resistance requires only as much; therefore, the Master Compressor isn’t recommended for those with a more slender disposition.

The inner workings are impressively detailed, though; laser-welded hairspring, 45-hour power reserve, and ceramic winding rotor bearings are a few of the components wrapped up in the automatic JLC caliber 956. This is a serious watch, for serious people, with serious wrists.

Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral Dual Time (670-88/213)

Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral Dual Time (670-88/213)

The Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral Dual Time stands out due to its advanced execution of multiple impressive features, all represented on a very ‘Jetson-esque’ dial. That’s right – I just referenced a cartoon. A big date complication is accessed through the left-hand crown, which can wind both forwards and backward.

It also allows the user to access a second time zone with the push of a button without even taking the watch off. As if that’s not impressive enough, a 24-hour alarm function can be set once and forgotten, much like its digital counterparts, and the countdown timer display helps the user to know whether the alarm is set for AM or PM. 

Finally, the watch has a cathedral gong that sounds for its alarm, providing a rich, clean sound that is undeniably unique to this model. The Ulysse Nardin calibre UN-67, which has over 400 parts, ensures that the watch is intuitive to use, so, despite any initial trepidation regarding its complex dial, you can rest assured that you won’t need an instruction manual for this one.

Fortis B-42 Flieger Chronograph Alarm (657.10.170)

Fortis B-42 Flieger Chronograph Alarm (657.10.170)

Introducing the Fortis B-42 Flieger (Flyer) Chronograph Alarm, the perfect combination of sporty and elegant, or at least, the military representation of these things. The dial is minimalistic and impressive, embossed and blued with hour numerals that stand out and are provided with index bars and tritium.

Steel skeleton hands with small luminous elements add to the watch’s ultra-functional design. Brushed stainless steel makes up most of the case, which is waterproof up to 200m, while the rest consists of sapphire crystal with anti-glare treatment (on both sides). 

The transparent caseback provides a clear view of the decorated movement and rotor parts, which are made according to historical style. The watch is equipped with a self-winding chronograph movement with an alarm function, developed by the renowned watch artist Paul Gerber and based on the ETA movement Valjoux 7750.

With a COSC-certified chronometer, 32 jewels, and precision regulation, this watch is as accurate as it gets for the money. The B-42 Flieger Chronograph Alarm comes with a reptile leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, both with a tang-type buckle or folding clasp, respectively.

Oris Artelier Alarm (01 908 7607 4091-Set LS)

Oris Artelier Alarm (01 908 7607 4091-Set LS)

What I love most about this timepiece is the subtlety of its immodesty – a well-polished stainless steel case, well-machined index hour markers, a silver and grey guilloche dial, luminous hands, and detailed Arabic numerals ringing the central alarm dial.

To the layman, this is a basic timepiece, but to someone who knows what it takes to make a watch like this, it’s a gem. At 42.5mm in diameter, it’s an easy-wearing piece on most wrists and, in fact, wears rather small despite being just over 14mm thick.

The caseback is transparent, and the dial lies underneath anti-reflective sapphire. It’s about as easy to read as a watch gets, and with the Oris Caliber 908 humming along at 28,800 vph, it’s also about as accurate as a watch in this price bracket can be.

Although there’s little to write home about in terms of complications (unless your parents are horologists), the alarm is audibly pleasant, and the movement is reliable. Slap it on a brown crocodile leather strap with a push-button deployment buckle, and you’ve got just about all you need, replete with class and decorum.

Omega Seamaster Memomatic (166.071)

Omega Seamaster Memomatic (166.071)

Released in 1971, this Omega is every bit as weird as it is intriguing. At the time of its debut, it was the only watch with an alarm that could be set to the minute, which is a feat deserving of your respect, at the very least.

It’s got a slight ‘racing’ quality to it, which it earns as a result of the very red seconds hand and the alarm arrow, but the main sense one gets from this design is that it’s rather artsy. The brushing of the stainless steel on this wide-bezel case (let alone its unique oval shape) is far from your average stylistic choice.

Coupled with the varying colors of the dial, this makes for a very unique Omega, a Swiss watch that looks more similar to Seiko’s Bell-Matic than any other. The automatic caliber 960 runs the show here, offering an alarm function and a quick-set date – a simple but effective movement that, as you might expect from the brand, is as accurate as you’d ever need it to be for daily wear.

There’s nothing outwardly special about the Seamaster Memomatic. It’s simply a watch so particular in how it looks that it will surely catch the eye of those who love its aesthetic.

Wake Up to The Mechanical Alarm Watch

Looking at the watches on this list, I see one distinct through-line. No, it’s not the fact that they all have an alarm. I see that these watches represent a unique and storied period of innovation and creativity that gave rise to an entire paradigm of interest in the horological world.

These are pieces so specific in their function that they demand attention, regardless of where or not they’re the pinnacle of technological advancement. They’re worth your time because they’ve taken up so much of our predecessors’ time; it’s that simple. 

With that being said, if I’m pushing for any sub-set of watches to make a strong comeback, it’s undoubtedly the mechanical alarm.

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