Since the holidays are now upon us, Blake and I decided to put together a post of what we wish we might find under the proverbial tree. After putting together various guides with suggestions of what watch related products to buy the various people in your lives we figured: Hey! What do we actually want? So, we put together a short list of the things we’ve been ruminating on that we didn’t include in our other guides.
A vintage/used (circa 90’s) Raketa Kopernik. This bizarre handwound watch caught my attention sometime ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. Is it the nicest watch I’ve ever seen? Not at all, but I love oversized circular hands, meant to represent the sun and moon, that create an eclipse once every hour. I am fan of watches that don’t necessarily fit into any category, and this strange celestially inspired time-piece is quite unlike anything else I’ve seen. These can be had on Ebay in various conditions, usually for under $100 before shipping.
A Vintage Seiko Bullhead 6138-0040 Automatic Chronograph in blue. Sometimes the expression “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” rings incredibly true, and I think it perfectly describes the appeal of the Seiko Bullhead. First, it’s a bullhead, meaning the crown and chrono-pushers are at 12. While there were other brands with bullheads in ‘60s and ‘70s (such as this funky Omega) the only one currently in production, to my knowledge, is by Lüm-Tec. Then there is the bizarre and bulbous 44mm case design that is actually angled, so the top half of the watch is thicker than the bottom. Not to mention the lugless body, the pillow shaped sub-dials, the 6 o’clock day/date, the yellow 60-sec register, and the lack of a seconds hand… it’s all very different and very cool. Here is a great post about how to buy one on WUS. These range on Ebay from $200 – $800, and I once saw one in high-end vintage shop for $1800.
Double Watch Winder from Brookstone. As my watch collection grows, I find myself alternating what I wear more and more often. What ends up happening is that I wont wear some watches for 3-4 days at a time, which is long enough for my automatics to die. Not only is it annoying to have to reset the dates (especially day dates) and the time, it isn’t great for the movements. As such, watch winders are an inevitable purchase. That being said, winders can be crazy expensive and terribly ugly, making this surprisingly minimal double winder for $150 all the more appealing.
PhotoJojo Pocket Pod. I take a lot of pictures of watches these days, and nothing annoys me more than when I think a picture is sharp, but it actually is very slightly blurry. Not only is it disappointing, it means you either have to try to reshoot exactly or move on without the shot you like. Sure, I use a tri-pod for certain shots, but I like the flexibility of shooting hand-held. So, this genius little device allows you to stabilize your camera with tension provided by your own body. Basically, it attaches to the camera, then to your shoe or belt, and the tension prevents your hands from wavering. Kind of brilliant, especially for $24
Vintager French Canvas strap. I buy a lot of straps, as I enjoy getting as much versatility out of my watches as possible, as well as having some control over the look and feel of each watch. Finding the right set of straps for a watch can really make it unique to you and work best with your style. This strap made from 1950’s French ammo pouches is not only gorgeous and handmade, it’s basically one of a kind. Each one is made to order with your choice of stitching, from what I imagine is a limited stock of material. For $175 with a spring bar buckle, it costs more than a few of my watches, but I am sure you are getting a great product for the price. I mean, just look at this gallery.
I don’t tend to lust after many vintage watches, and I often struggle to find divers that I’d like to add to my collection. However, this 1969 Fortis Marinemaster sticks out to me on so many levels. I love the multi-colored decompression gauge in beautiful, and very retro orange and yellow. I also really like the bold shape of the case and the balance the two crowns provide to the overall aesthetic of the piece. Throw in the Fortis custom ETA 2783 automatic movement, and I’m sold. Maybe I’ll get lucky and my entire family will have pooled together to get me a piece like this. Fingers crossed.
I’m a huge fan of my Seiko SNDA65, and really love the look of Zach’s two SNK’s. The fact that they offer an automatic movement at such an affordable price is also really nice. Unfortunately however, their 37mm diameter is just too small for my wrist. That’s where the Seiko SNZG15K1 comes in. Combining the looks of the SNK and SNDA65, with an automatic movement in a more robust 42 mm case, the SNZG is a steal at just over $100. Adding the SNZG to my collection would also give me a nice pilot alternative to my beastly 46 mm Maratac.
I love building my collection of watch straps almost as much as I enjoy collecting watches. They add so much versatility to your collection. One thing that is missing from my strap collection is a really nice hand made leather piece. In searching the web for a manufacturer, I’ve come across Red 12 straps. All of Red 12′s pieces are hand made by Zack, the owner and operator, using old-world methods and tools. The look of these straps is just outstanding and the craftsmanship is immediately apparent from Red 12’s website. I happen to really like this pre-made brown leather piece, but there are a range of really outstanding straps to choose from. You can also request a custom piece. Premade straps are in the neighborhood of $150.
So, its getting really cold out here in Brooklyn. It’s around this time of year that I am constantly wearing gloves to prevent my hands from falling off. However, this makes it really hard to use my phone when I’m walking around outside. How am I supposed to answer all of those super important worn&wound emails on the go if my hands are about as functional as two turkey legs?! Ah, but there’s a solution to this problem. There are number of glove manufacturers that make winter gloves that have conductive tips for operating touch screen smart phones, and few (if any) are as simple and attractive as these Muji Touchscreen Gloves. Unfortunately they’re sold out from Muji, but maybe someone who really wants to get me something awesome this year will find a pair on ebay. They retail for $25.