worn&wound 2013 Retrospective

Articles | Featured | Guides | 12.30.2013

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Wow, 2013 is over and it’s been a fantastic year for worn&wound! We’ve more than tripled our readership, made various improvements to the site all around and, most importantly, acquired several new and extremely talented writers! We’ve kept true to our focus on news and reviews of affordable and well-designed wrist watches, while also expanding our coverage of watch culture as a whole, style and random curiosities that caught our eye.

We also designed, manufactured and released several new (and great) American-made watch accessories, available in our store at shop.wornandwound.com. This is a big part of the w&w picture, and we have many cool new products planned for 2014, so keep an eye out.

The articles selected for this retrospective only scrape the surface of all of the pieces published this year, but we think they give you a good taste of 2013. It’s always been our goal to highlight watches that may go overlooked to give them the exposure they deserve. We think the value of watches is not just in the price tag and brand name associated, but in the relationship you form with them. A watch that perfectly suits your style and personality, whether $50, $5,000 or $50,000, has a worth that far surpasses its price tag. We hope that this core philosophy has come through in the many articles we’ve created since w&w began.

Please let us know in the comments what you want to see more of in 2014. Are there topics we’re missing you want covered?  Are there specific watches you want us to review?  Oh yeah, and Happy New Year!

January 2013:

Autodromo Monoposto Review

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The Autodromo Monoposto is the kind of watch that can’t help but illicit strong reactions from people. It doesn’t look quite like any watch you’ve seen before, yet doesn’t betray what a watch should be. Inspired by the single seat racecars of the early 20th century (monoposto being Italian for single-seat), the Monoposto melds automotive history with elements of classic watch design, to make something altogether unique and exciting. It’s as much a car-watch for watch people as a watch for car people. On the surface, you have an elegant case and dial design that border on dress, yet have a distinctly technical component that touches on the vehicular inspirations. And of course, there is the bold and potentially polarizing red line on the domed crystal that refers to the tape or paint mechanics would put on tachometers to inform drivers of their engine’s limit. continue reading…

Watches on the Screen: Jaws

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If you read this blog, you most likely take part in the sport of watch-spotting. You know: watching a movie or TV show and you are spending as much time looking at the wrists of the actors as you are paying attention to the story. Then there is that moment of triumph when you finally recognize the piece and you can proudly announce it to those watching the show with you (who will all, naturally, give you an odd look or perhaps roll their eyes). That is what this post (and subsequent) is about: a movie (or television show) and a standout watch that makes an appearance. And where better to start than with one of the biggest watch-spotting mysteries of all time. continue reading…

February 2013:

Maranez Layan Hands-On

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It’s always exciting to find a deal on a watch, and I think we’ve struck upon a particularly good one. You’ve likely never heard of Maranez watches before, neither had we until a week or so ago, but we quickly realized that this was a brand worth taking a closer look at. Their website is sparse, and doesn’t reveal a whole lot about the brand. Just pictures of the watches they sell and some basic relevant details. Initially, it might not garner much trust, but one glance at the watches and you’ll likely think “those are pretty nice looking”…and then you’ll see the prices and say “holy #$!*@”. Well, Maranez was kind enough to send over a couple of models for us to play with and see if they were worth the low prices they set, or perhaps much more. continue reading…

A Look at Seiko’s Early Divers

Seiko 6217-8001 by Chris Moy

photo by Chris Moy

When you are talking about vintage divers there are certain names that regularly come up. Rolex, Panerai, Omega, to name just a few of the common Swiss brands in regards to these vintage watches. There is another name, one that has a cult-like following in regards to these older divers, and it’s not Swiss but rather Japanese: Seiko. Here is a brief look at the first dozen years of Seiko diver development. continue reading…

March 2013: 

Sinn 103 St Flieger Chronograph Review

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The Sinn Flieger 103 line is a staple of the brand’s collection, and features a number of models with broad variation in design, complication and finishing. The 103 St we’re reviewing is arguably the most simple and classically designed of them all, with base Valjoux 7750 movement, polished case and acrylic crystal.Other 103 models expand on the line’s core design to include titanium cases, GMT functionality, sapphire crystal and, of course, Sinn’s signature technologies such as DIAPAL (lubricant free escapement) and Ar-Dehumidifying which prevents moisture from building within the watch case as it ages. Even the 103 Classic, modeled after the original 103 A of the 1960’s now features proprietary technology. These more sophisticated enhancements have become a calling card for Sinn since the brand was sold in 1994 from Helmut Sinn, its founder, to Lothar Schmidt. For a complete list of in-house technologies, please see Sinn’s website. continue reading…

An Interview with Helmut Sinn

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Watches from Sinn have been the embodiment of German aviator chronographs for decades – functional, of high quality and with exceptional readability. This doesn’t come by chance. Ultimately the wristwatches sold since 1961 unambiguously carry the genes of those on-board clocks with which the company founder, Helmut Sinn, was already equipping for the German Air Force in the sixties. At that time, he won a bid against the established watchmaker Junghans with his on-board clocks. The cockpit clocks were, and are, to be found in jet fighters like the Starfighter, Alpha, Jet, Tornado, and Eurofighter among others. continue reading…

April 2013:

Tissot Luxury Automatic Powermatic 80 Review

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Tissot is a brand that hardly needs any introduction. They’ve existed for 160 years and are available globally. They have large ad campaigns, famous brand ambassadors and just about everything else you’d expect from a large watch brand. And large they truly are, as they are part of the mega Swatch group. But despite their scale, their heritage and their Swiss Made credentials, they manage to keep prices in the accessible range. And not just for their most basic line, but for some very interesting mechanical watches including chronographs, COSC grade movements and today’s topic, an 80-hour power reserve. continue reading…

Introducing the Nomos Ahoi

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Nomos has officially announced the launch of their newest model, the Ahoi, a sporty watch that gracefully and cleverly incorporates robust case design and 200 meter water resistance into their classic minimalist aesthetic. This marks a significant addition to the Nomos line, as the Ahoi includes many firsts and is sure to excite anyone who has been waiting for a more versatile, sporty offering from the brand. continue reading…

May 2013:

Archimede Pilot 42H Bronze Review

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The Archimede Pilot 42 Bronze offers a pretty clear value proposition. Archimede is a leading brand in the genre of classic pilot watches, offering very affordable, German-manufactured pieces with quality build, sober design and excellent execution. And with the 42, they offer something completely unique, as no other classically styled bronze pilots exist on the market, at least as far as we can tell. continue reading…

Heartbeat by Kwanghun Hyun

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Sometimes, something so cool comes to our attention that even though it’s not a watch, we have to show it to you. Well, this is one of those situations, kind of. You see, what we are about to discuss isn’t a watch, but its most fundamental function is powered by one. Introducing the Heartbeat cameras by Kwanghun Hyun, a series of beautiful handmade cameras that utilize watch movements for their timing mechanisms. continue reading…

June 2013:

Hamilton Intra-Matic Review

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Once one of the great American watch brands, Hamilton is now owned and operated by the Swiss Swatch group. Being a brand with such a distinct and rich history,Swatch has preserved the underlying aesthetic spirit and heritage of the brand by continually drawing upon their own archives for new products. These re-issues tend to stay very faithful to their original counterparts, with case and dial designs only having minor changes, but materials and movements being upgraded to today’s standards. continue reading…

The Steinhart Racetimer: Vintage Chrono Done Right

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Man, when Steinhart hits it out of the park, they send it straight out of the galaxy. Recently, they unveiled their premium line of in-house movements, which are highly decorated Unitas 6497 bases with many new and beautiful components. That was really cool and surprising, but there’s something about their newRacetimer chronographs that just has me floored. Sure, it’s just another Valjoux 7750 chronograph (nothing wrong with that), but they nailed the vintage-racing chrono look. continue reading…

July 2013:

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For those of us that love watches, Glashütte has special meaning. This small town in Germany contains a few of the greatest watch brands currently in operation, brands that seem to achieve horological feats that other brands worldwide can’t quite compete with. On one hand, you have a brand like A. Lange & Sohnemaking some of the most epically complicated, finished and expensive luxury watches, and on the other you have Nomos, who make the most accessibly priced watches with manufacture movements. And while these brands, and one or two others, might get the most attention of those in Glashutte, there are several others there that also go above and beyond to create exceptional timepieces. One brand that we here at worn&wound have always enjoyed, but seems to go under the radar, is Nautische Instrumente Mühle-Glashütte… more commonly referred to as just Mühle. continue reading…

Watches and Magnetization

Magnetized Seiko by Robmks

Throughout their development and history wristwatches have evolved to keep up with the needs of the wearers. Wheather that be for diving (water resistance; lume), travelers (dual time zones) or pilots (slide rule) the maufactures have provided timepieces with specific applications to assist certain professions and even protect the watch from potential exposure that may cause the watch harm. One of these elements, that perhaps many of us do not think about, is magnetism. continue reading…

August 2013:

March LA.B AM3 Review

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Based is LA and Biarritz, France, March LA.B has set out to create watches that mix the ambiance and style of 60’s and 70’s luxury with contemporary manufacturing and remarkable detailing. A quick look at their instagram will give you a better sense of this, as they mix photos of their watches with classic cars, a still from a Bond flick (Connery era, of course) and the odd Helmut Newton photograph. continue reading…

A Peek Inside the Padron Watch Company

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The Padron Watch Company is a start-up operation in an office building located at the edge between a light industrial area and a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN.

Leo Padron is a friendly energetic, passionate guy. He’s well-informed and more than willing to talk watches as soon as you walk in the door of his atelier. In fact, when I visited him last week I’d barely introduced myself before he launched into discussing the array of watch parts spread across his bench. continue reading…

September 2013:

Horween Leather: A Watch Nerd’s Primer

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Let’s face it, most watch nerds love leather. A leather strap can drastically change the look of a watch, and most of us have more straps than we do watches. In recent years we’ve been treated to a number of options, and not just from the big boys like Hirsch and Di-Modell, but also from small artisans creating beautiful custom straps from all sorts of hides. With all these choices, however, there’s bound to be some confusion, especially when some of these non-OEM straps cost upwards of $200. So a light bulb went off in my head; let’s give our readers a small primer clearing up some of the confusion by taking a look at one of the best leather tanneries in the world, Chicago’s Horween Leather Company, with a focus on two different types of leather that have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years: Chromexcel and shell Cordovan. continue reading…

Watch Modding 101

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Watch modding (modification) has become a subculture within the watch collectors’ world with a small but strong contingent of individuals making parts.

Love the case of the Seiko SKX779 “Monster” but hate the dial? No problem. You can order an aftermarket dial with a Sinn look. Would you like a new Submariner-homage but don’t like Mercedes hands? For a mere fraction of grabbing Rolex’s ubiquitous diver you can create your own sub-lookalike for under $300 with sword hands. continue reading…

Time Spec: A Primer on Military Watches

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From the beginning of its existence, the watch has been an information tool, giving its wearer some piece of intelligence that he wouldn’t have on his own. Perhaps nowhere is that truer or better realized than in the military watch.

Almost as long as watches have existed, governments and militaries have been buying and issuing timepieces to be used in nearly every military scenario imaginable. Strictly utilitarian, these watches have served as functional instruments, designed to give their wearers specific and accurate information in environments not often encountered by civilian watches. continue reading…

October 2013:

Halios Tropik B Review

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In the world of micro-brand dive watches, originality is often hard to find. Sure, on the pricier end of the scale one can find companies like UTS making unique and reliable divers. On the lower end, however, most boutique brands offer watches that, while certainly affordable and well made, lack a certain creative spark. If not outright homages, many implement tried and true design elements or use off-the-shelf cases, resulting in timepieces that cannibalize one another and already existing popular models. continue reading…

TimeFactors Speedbird III (PRS-22) Hands-On

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Sit back, pour yourself a drop of your favourite and have a think…

If someone told you that you could get a proper Flieger from a boutique maker, numbered case and dial, in-house design, screwed-in crown tube (none of this pressed-in stuff), 80,000 A/m soft-iron inner case and a top-grade ETA 2824-2 movement, what would you guess the price tag would read?  £3,000?  Maybe a snip at £2,000? continue reading…

November 2013:

Christopher Ward C900 Worldtimer Review

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Around this time every year, we have the chance to show you Christopher Ward’s newest mechanical creation in collaboration with Johannes Jahnke. First was their C9 Jump Hour, then came their C900 Monopusher chronograph. Continuing this series is the new C900 Worldtimer, which takes a different approach to a multi-timezone watch and has a very unique and sculptural dial. These watches are particularly notable, especially given our general philosophy at worn&wound, as they tend to challenge what is generally perceived as possible in this price range. By creating bespoke mechanical complications, even if based off of ebauches, and maintaing prices well under $5k, they seem to be doing what so many larger brands cant or wont do. continue reading…

A Visit to Damasko

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There is a mystery, an even enigma about some watchmakers. They are, by necessity, a solitary profession. I, Jonathan Bordell of Page & Cooper, have been a Damasko watch dealer for some time now, and have been thrilled with all of their amazing watches, but even I knew less than I wanted to know and had a hunger to find out more. continue reading…

December 2013:

Affordable Vintage: Hamilton Valjoux 7730 Chronographs

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These vintage Swiss-made chronographs from a storied American brand combine great looks and quality mechanics at an affordable price.

2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the Heuer Carrera, an iconic racing chronograph from a classic Swiss brand. Although the Carrera’s looks have never really gone out of style, anniversary celebrations throughout the year have rekindled collectors’ interest in early versions of the watch, and record prices are being paid for the best examples. While it might be hard for the average collector to justify spending a month’s salary or more on an original Heuer Carrera, the interesting details of the watch industry in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s make it possible for collectors on almost any budget to afford a Heuer-made chronograph…with another brand’s name on it. Today, we’ll look at a pair of such watches from American watch company Hamilton. continue reading…

Laco Watch Company – A Brand Highlight with a Family Perspective

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Sometime around 1992, when I was in the seventh grade, my father presented me with the gift of a new watch. I had started in a new school, entering into a new phase of adolescence, pressed with the task of making new friends and fitting in. The watch was nothing extravagant, a simple Victorinox Swiss Army watch, grey plastic case with the classic white dial, luminous hands, enameled red bezel and a canvas strap with a leather buckle. Despite its quotidian standard, it was mine, and receiving it felt somewhat like a rite of passage, like the old-timey schoolboy who wears trousers for the first time, at last too mature for knee-socks and britches. It was also a considerable step up from the rubber Casio I had been wearing, with the sallow, miniature incandescent lightbulb inside — the 80’s had ended, after all. continue reading…

Waxed Cotton: A Living Fabric

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Cotton wouldn’t be most people’s first choice today for outerwear during a heavy downpour, but for the longest time – before the advent of waterproof synthetics – cotton was just that. But this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill Hanes t-shirt cotton. No, this cotton was thick and heavy and specially treated with oils and waxes that resulted in a water-resistant cloth that kept the elements out and its wearer dry. continue reading…

  • http://www.teeritz.blogspot.com.au teeritz

    Guys, you’ve done a sterling job this year. I love the fact that you showcase smaller and/or less expensive brands. There are plenty of watch blogs/websites that rave on about $25,000+ wristwatches, but feel free to apply a Louisville Slugger repeatedly to my skull if I ever spend THAT much on a wristwatch. Of course, my wife will have beaten you to it. Worn&Wound is one of the first sites that I added a link to on my own blog because I liked the variety of watches that you write about, especially when you cover vintage pieces. You’d be surprised how few blogs talk about vintage watches other than Submariners, Calatravas and Monacos, so well done to W&W for writing about vintage Seiko divers, for example.
    And that is perhaps the only change I’d make to your site-more coverage of vintage watches, from dress to sport and everything in between.
    Other than that, keep doing what you’re doing and here’s to an even bigger year ahead for you in 2014.
    Cheers, gang, thanks and have a great New Year!

  • http://URL ivan

    guys,

    it was nothing short of wonderful hanging out with you in the year 2013.

    your reviews are beautiful for all the meticulous detail you put into them.

    watches i’d like to see reviewed:
    seiko sarb17
    uts 1000 v2

    cheers

  • http://URL Henry

    Love the reviews on micro brands keep up the good work!

    Also maybe a strap review section would be nice as well!

  • http://URL Josh

    It’s been a fun year. The reviews have been great and the articles that have branched out have been interesting. Great job!

    One thing I’d like to see is an easier way of accessing past articles that are not reviews. Maybe I’m missing it, but once an article drops from the front page, I haven’t be able to figure out how to find it again without doing a Google search.

  • http://URL Austin

    Cheers to the best watch website of 2013! It so refreshing to us 99%’er enthusiasts to have a resource that speaks to us. Thanks to the team, and especially Zach for his personal and lengthy response to an email I sent about a decision between watches I was considering. I’m happy to say I pulled the trigger on a Sinn 203 Ti AR thanks in part to W&W’s great reviews and insight. All the best in 2014 – keep it coming!

  • http://URLwearinteractive.com Li Wang

    It has been a great year for W&W and for watch collectors. It’s amazing the breadth of styles and price ranges that are available for the consumer. Good thing I am so picky, or else I’d be broke.

  • http://URL Karl

    Thanks for all the articles. I always look forward to reading everything that you post. The photography is amazing and almost always significantly better than the pictures used by the manufacturers themselves!
    I also really like the ‘primers’ on watch subjects, such as on Bauhaus design and cordovan leather.

  • http://www.steveearnhart.com Bald Steve

    Great job this year! If not for this site, I wouldn’t know about either Triwa or Autodromo. Now I have the Triwa Havana and the Autodromo Prototipo in my rotation. Thanks for all the fantastic content. I’ll be a daily reader in 2014!

  • http://URL Thomas

    Keep up the great work in 2014, fellas.

  • http://URL Ferdinand

    Indeed keep up the good work! I really loved the articles about affordable vintage watches, especially the recent Poor Man’s Heuer round-up. Would like to see more of those, if possible. Maybe something about other affordable chronographs like those Chronographe Suisse ones or Russian ones (Sturmanskis)?

  • http://URL Neverok

    Well done W&W for probably the most interesting, innovative and forward thinking watch site on the internet at the moment. I have thoroughly enjoyed your site all year and look forward to 2014 and would like to wish you all a very peaceful and prosperous New Year!

    All the best

    Matt

  • http://URL David

    My daily watch read! You guys are great, keep up all the excellent material. I love the consistent format you use for every review, and it is so thorough. Top notch photography as well. Happy New Year!

  • http://a Gene

    MORE CHRISTOPHER WARD REVIEWS PLEASE!

  • http://URL Kevin M

    Congratulations. Best watch site on the Web period. Stay focused on your founding principles. No one else is doing what you are.

  • http://www.makarawatches.com Nadim Elgarhy

    Congrats on an awesome year of blogging about watches. W&W remains my favorite watch site of all time. Keep up the great work, and I’m definitely looking forward to 2014!

    Happy new year Zach & all!

  • http://URL Stanley C.

    This site is a great find for those bitten with the watch bug. It’s becoming a daily visit for me.

    Perhaps you guys can get a chance at reviewing the new Lum-Tec Cobalts? I think the new case material (cobalt chrome) and new lumed sandwich dials would be great points of interest for a review, and I would love to get an in depth look from a seasoned watch reviewer.

    Happy 2014!

  • http://URL Dalton

    Thanks for all the stelar articles, this remains my favorite website on the Internet :)
    Picked up my first mechanical watch thanks to this site; the Gavox 346.5