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Feature: Rolex Daytona vs Zenith El Primero
The Daytona comes up a lot on this channel, and for obvious reasons: it's one of the best-known watches ever made, from perhaps the best-known watchmaker in the world. It's also the last Rolex to ever use a movement that hails from outside of the Rolex family—the calibre 4030, based on Zenith's El Primero 400. That was in the Daytona 16520, the model that gave us this new, sleek and oh-so popular shape. 1988 it came out, and it's become very collectible since Rolex discontinued the calibre 4030 in favour of the in-house 4130. Why then, should you want one when you can quite simply walk into a shop now and buy an El Primero straight from Zenith for a fraction of the price?
Review: The Affordable A. Lange & Söhne
The German brand A. Lange & Söhne is—while not Swiss—one of the very best watchmakers in the world. The styling is immediately recognisable, stark and crisp, and the movements have a certain quality to them that makes them distinctly German. Of course, the price that comes attached to a watch like this Richard Lange edition is well into the £30,000 territory—but what if you could have one for a quarter of the price? Welcome to the next best thing: the Glashütte Original Senator Panorama Date.
Feature: How Does A Tourbillon Work?
In a cake made of watch parts, the tourbillon is surely the cherry. It's revered, it's worshipped, it's—wait a second, what actually is a tourbillon, and why should I want one? Here to answer that question are a couple of watches from two of the oldest and best watchmakers in the world: Breguet and Blancpain.
Feature: Patek Philippe vs Omega
Let's get straight to it—the Patek Philippe 5170P in my right hand is worth almost 20 times as much as the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch in my left. With the Omega clocking an RRP of just over £4,000, that places the 5170P at a whopping £73,000. While some of that cost gets you a platinum case and diamonds on the dial, it's safe to say that most of it is spent on the bit you don't often get to see—the calibre CH 29-535 PS movement. But with the Omega carrying a similar hand-wound manual chronograph calibre 1863 movement for a fraction of the price, what are you really getting when you spend all that extra money?
Review: Panerai Mare Nostrum PAM00008
You could be forgiven for thinking the watch I'm holding right now is a fake. After all, it says 'Panerai' on it, yet looks nothing like the Radiomir or Luminor shapes the brand has become famous for. I can assure you, however, that this is a legitimate Panerai model, and not just any Panerai model—the Panerai Mare Nostrum is one of the most mysterious Panerai has ever made.
Feature: Rolex GMT-Master Old vs New
When Hans Wilsdorf first set out to build a watch company in 1905, he set himself a goal: to make the world's best watch. Early Rolex promotional material boasted the number of ways Wilsdorf's watches were tested in, the amount of accuracy records they'd beaten, their waterproof, dust proof and anti-magnetic capabilities—anything and everything. Of the GMT-Master, Rolex promotional material declares, 'If you were flying the Concorde tomorrow, you'd wear a Rolex.' With both supersonic passenger jets and mechanical wristwatches obsolete, can the modern Rolex GMT-Master collection still live up to Wilsdorf's goal of being the best?
Feature: How Does A Mechanical Movement Work?
In a universe of chaos, time seeks to bring order. It's a manmade concept, completely contrary to the randomness of nature, yet we as a species have sought to perfect it for millennia. Today we have digital, atomic solutions to finding ever more accurate ways of keeping an even beat, but before the electronic age, mechanical was king. Reliable, precise and without a volt or amp to be seen, the mechanical watch is both a historical wonder and modern treasure. But how, exactly, does it work? We'll find out with some help from the Breguet 7027 Tradition.
Review: Panerai Radiomir PAM00685 & PAM00687
In 1936, dive gauge manufacturer Officine Panerai and watchmaker Rolex joined forces to build a watch at the request of the Italian Royal Navy. Intended for use during covert, night-time dives, Panerai's expertise gave what was essentially a complete watch from Rolex that extra level of functionality: a glowing dial. With numerals that shone clear and legible at a consistent and unfaltering rate, the Panerai watch was unstoppable. There was just one tiny problem with it, however—that glowing dial was deadly.
Review: TAG Heuer Monaco
1969 was the year Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon; when Jimi Hendrix performed to a mud-soaked crowd at an overflowing Woodstock; when the needle-like supersonic Concorde took its maiden flight. It was also the year Jack Heuer started to look for investors for the TAG Heuer brand, then known as just Heuer. Something truly special was needed, something that would make the headlines in such an eventful year. That something was the Monaco.
Review: Rolex Submariner vs Tudor Black Bay
The Rolex Submariner needs no introduction. It's the design people sketch if asked to draw a watch. It's made by the most valuable watch brand in the world. Today, a non-date Submariner retails at £5,450, not an inconsiderable amount. But there's something else that catches the eye, something very similar: the Tudor Heritage Black Bay. At £2,630, it's less than half the price of the Rolex. It also, since 2016, has a manufacturer movement. The question is: is it better than a Rolex Submariner?
Review: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 6263
With Paul Newman's Daytona recently selling for $17.8 million, it's hard to believe that anything with the words 'Rolex', 'Daytona' and 'vintage' in it could possibly be anything other than a sought-after collector's item. It may surprise you, however, to learn that the vintage Rolex Daytona was actually one of the most unpopular ranges Rolex has ever made.
Review: Patek Philippe 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
We all identify Patek Philippe as a brand of tradition, reserve and sturdy Swiss conservatism, known for ignoring the trend for—well, just about everything, really. Patek Philippe sticks to what it knows, and you'll like it, thank you very much. It's a position the brand has earned, and one you'd not likely see it give up, so when the 5524G Calatrava Pilot Travel Time was announced the eve of Baselworld 2015, we were all left a little bemused. Has Patek Philippe actually–dare I say it—got it wrong?
Review: Rolex GMT-Master II 116758 SA
Before we even begin, let's get one thing clear about this particular Rolex GMT-Master II: it's not going to please everybody. It probably won't even please the majority. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this watch will only please a small handful of people in the entire world. There's no two ways about it—this watch demands ... a very particular kind of palate to enjoy, or even not find completely repulsive. But here's the thing—this just might be one of the most impressive watches Rolex has ever made.
Feature: Omega Seamaster Old vs New
While the Seamaster had been in Omega's catalogue since 1948, the oldest in the current collection, it wasn't until 1957—four years after Rolex debuted its Submariner—that Omega fashioned the Seamaster into a dedicated diver's watch. Since then, it's become one of the world's most famous models, competing against Rolex to conquer the deep and worn by James Bond to add another movie death to Sean Bean's repertoire. It's been a long, long journey for the Seamaster, fraught with difficulties, but it survived. Just. Was it worth it?
Review: Panerai Radiomir Egiziano PAM00341
You may have noticed the trend for larger watches growing in recent years. Case sizes have been expanding from 40mm to 45, 50 and even 55mm. These watches are coming from brands like Hublot, Audemars Piguet, Panerai, and here's the biggest of the lot: the Panerai Radiomir Egiziano 341 at a whopping 60mm. Only this watch is different to the others; this watch set standards in size before it was cool. Way, way before.
Review: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak vs Patek Philippe Nautilus
We've talked before about the wave of quartz watches that hit the west in the 1970s, but it's in the aftermath that things really get interesting. With established watch brands crumbling left, right and centre, unable to compete with the prices of their eastern counterparts, the mechanical watch industry was forced to pivot, to realign its business objectives into something that would keep it alive. What followed was a move so bold and so risky it should never have worked. What resulted was the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
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