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Everything you need to know about luxury watches

The introduction of radium into the world of watches

The luminous property of the element radium was already known long before it was used in clocks, watches and other instruments. Pierre and Marie Curie discovered radium in 1898 and Marie also discovered that radioactive radiation could make materials glow.

 

panerai radium watch

William Hammer was the first person to combine radium, zinc sulfide and glue into a luminous paint. Dr Sabin Arnold Von Sochocky developed the first commercial luminous paint. This paint named ‘Undark’ was a mixture of zinc sulfide and various forms of radioactive radium. It was marketed in 1917 by the Radium Luminous Material Corporation. The name was later changed to 'United States Radium Corporation'.

The army was the first and also the largest customer of radium-lit products. By the end of World War I, the United States was producing over four million watches with illuminated dials for military use. The non-military market soon followed. Numerous novelties flooded the market in the years after the world war. Not only watches and other instruments but also fishing bait, crucifixes, light switches and countless other applications. By 1970 it was estimated that there were more than ten million clocks and watches in circulation with radium-lit dials. Today, 90% of all watches have luminous hands or dial.

Discover our selection of luxury watches with luminous hands here.
  1. Galactic 32 Sleek Edition
    Galactic 32 Sleek Edition
    €7,540.00 Now Only €4,990.00

4 Reasons why men wear a watch

Asked this question to a watch enthousiast will probably get you talking for the next hour. Everybody has their own reasons why men wear a watch. Here are some very strong arguments for every man

reasons why men wear a watch

1. Multifunctional

Where women often have multiple options when it comes to wearing jewelry, it is limited for men. Many men only wear a watch, because this is often the only accessory that is right for them. Fortunately, there are many different types of watches. You can, for example, wear one that is specifically designed for sports, for work or simply to make an impression. The watch is therefore suitable for several situations.

2. Piece of Art

Every luxury watch brand pays a lot of attention to the design, the main characteristics and the materials of their timepieces. It’s important to create the perfect watch that everyone can enjoy for generations.

3. Distinctive

A watch can also distinct you from other people. As discussed, each watch can have its own purpose and each has its own design. For most people it is more than just an article that only indicates the time. They really see the watch as a part of their human being. Often, the type of watch says something about someone's appearance and the type of person..

4. Collection

A fourth reason why watches can be so popular is because it’s a good collector's item. Where women often collect shoes, earrings or handbags, a man can decide to start collecting watches. Since so many different types exist, it is quite a challenge to collect as many unique and special watches as possible.

Vintage inspired watches – Reissues are trending

Vintage inspired watches are hot. The prices of vintage watches are rising quickly, and most brands want to jump on the hype. Sadly, most vintage inspired watches look nothing like their grandfathers. Today, we are going to focus on 3 popular, modern watches that were inspired on vintage.

 

vintage inspired watches

Tudor Black Bay 58

The Black Bay 58 was a huge hit at Baselworld 2018. The release was a bit overshadowed by the release of the Tudor Pepsi, but it still was a big win.  The 58 is based on Tudor Submariners from the fifties. this can be seen in the smaller case, the gild dial and the rivet bracelet.

-- Find your Tudor Watch on Timepiece Bank --

Breitling Navitimer 806

The Breitling navitimer reissue based on the 806 was just released this year at Baselworld. Brietling did their best to make it look as much as possible like the original, and it worked!

-- Find your Breitling Watch on Timepiece Bank --

Omega Trilogy collection

This collection was introduced at Baselworld 2018, and was sold out in a hartbeat. It features three watches: a ... Seamaster, Railmaster and Speedmaster  All 3 models were based on their ‘parents’ from 1957

-- Find your Omega Watch on Timepiece Bank --

5 things you didn’t know about Rolex

Rolex is one of the most well known and most respected brands in the world. Even if you don’t know anything about watches, you have heard of Rolex.

 

5 things you didn't know about Rolex

1: The name Rolex means... nothing.

Hans Wilsforf wanted a name that could be pronounced in every country and language. Looks like he succeeded, because it’s impossible to butcher the name Rolex. You think that’s a stupid motivation? Have you ever heard an American pronounce ‘Jaeger Le-Coultre’?

2: Rolex is 114 years old

Rolex was founded in 1905, which is relatively young, compared to it’s competitors. Blancpain, for example, is from 1735.

3: Rolex wanted to send the Daytona to the moon.

Rolex lost the space battle to Omega. The Daytona was first named ‘cosmograph’. This is actually pretty ironic: The Omega Speedmaster was designed to be a race watch, but ended up being a moonwatch, and the Rolex Daytona was designed to be a moonwatch, but ended up being a race watch. Nevertheless, both ended up in a good place.

4:The most expensive Rolex sold for €15.500.000

The most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction was the original Paul Newman Daytona. It was also the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction. The watch belonged to legendary actor and playboy Paul Newman, and had a major influence on today’s vintage market.

5: Rolex makes their own gold

To ensure the best quality of gold, Rolex has its own foundry inhouse. Rolex is actually the only watch brand in the world that makes its own gold.

Discover our selection of Rolex Watches
  1. Submariner Date 40
    Submariner Date 40
    €14,890.00
  2. Daytona
    Daytona
    €35,750.00
  3. Daytona 40
    Daytona 40
    €31,500.00
  4. Submariner Date 40
    Submariner Date 40
    €23,250.00

Bauhaus Watches, What About Them?

Bauhaus might be a name or concept that you have heard before. If not, don’t be frightened. Bauhaus does not refer to a brand or certain model, nor is it a complication or function. Bauhaus is an ideology.

 

nomos bauhaus watch

What Is Bauhaus?

In everyday life, the word Bauhaus means one of two things.

For the first one, Bauhaus is identified as a German school (not literally a school, but a way of thought) of architecture and applied arts. The school was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. It focused on experimental principles of functionalism and truth to materials. In short, it means that every unnecessary part should be cut of, keeping a very clean, minimalist and highly functional final product. At this time, Bauhaus had nothing to do with watches. It mainly focused on the design of buildings, tables, chairs…

Secondly, Bauhaus is the name of the largest DIY store chain in Europe with over 250 stores in 19 countries. The fact that they employ 35.000 people is impressive, but not relevant to today’s story.

Bauhaus In Watchmaking

Let us skip the DIY stores and let’s go back to watchmaking. Every watch manufacturer who uses the Bauhaus train of thought in their watches, interprets and executes this concept differently.

Bauhaus watches basically mean keeping the basic and functionality by stripping down the design to its basics.

This does not mean that the design has to be flat and boring. It simply means that an object should be functional without dead weight or without bells and whistles (looking at you, perpetual calendar dive watches).

Since Bauhaus was born in Germany, it’s not weird to find mainly German brands focusing on this design. The first Bauhaus watchbands you might think of might be Nomos, the most famous example.

Often, new microbrands use Bauhaus as an excuse to make simple and low effort watches. Source a basic and thin watchcase, a white dial and a simple quartz movement from China, et voila. Brands like these usually don’t live very long. Some brands make a lazy design and mark it ‘Bauhaus’, while in fact Bauhaus is the opposite of an easy and lazy watch design.

Nomos is one of the few brands who make Bauhaus watches that is worth mentioning. The German brands follows the minimalistic rules without compromising on the watchmaking part. They jump out with impressive in-house movements, without charging astronomical prices. They are also one of the few brands who offer different complication, while still following the same train of thought. If you are into watches and want to explore the Bauhaus style, Nomos is definitely worth checking out.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Oris

"Even though Oris has existed since 1904, they have climbed to the top in the last few years. Their line of dive watches made them a mainstream brand in a very short period. How can a brand go fairly unnoticed for about 100 years, and still manage to rise to the top? Today we are going to dive in the history of Oris."

Oris

Oris Left The Swatchgroup

In 1969, Oris was one of the top 10 best-selling watch brands in the world. This made them interesting for investors. Oris was taken over by the General Watch Company (which is today known as the Swatch Group) in 1970. However, during the quartz crisis, the brand took a big hit. Sales were horribly low, and the brand was on the edge of bankruptcy. In 1982, Swatch group decided to shut Oris down, but general manager Rolf Portman and head of marketing Ulrich W. Herzog bought the brand back from the Swatch group. A few months later in 1982, Oris SA was founded. They have been independent ever since. While many brands want to be bought by a larger group in a crisis, Oris fought for independence.

Oris Suffers From ‘Quartz-PTSD’

Like stated in the first tab, Oris got almost taken down by the quartz crisis. Instead of following the quartz-hype, they did the opposite. Oris made quartz watches during their Swatch group-days, but ever since their independence, they stay far away from quartz.
Today, Oris is one of the few brands who is over a century old and is still fullyindependent and fully mechanical.

Oris HQ Is Still In The Same Village As When It Was Founded

When Oris was founded in 1904 by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian, both men decided to start in the Swiss town Hölstein. Watch factory Lohner & Co recently closed down, and the two men took office in the old factory.
In its first year, Oris had 67 employees. Oris opened more assembly plants and factories over the years. By 1911, Oris was he largest employer in Hölstein. They even had to build houses and apartments for their staff, since they were getting too big for the small Swiss village.

Oris Was Once Owned By A Member Of The LeCoultre Family

Oris was not part from the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand, but Oris was once owned by an important LeCoultre family member. After Oris’ founder Georges Christian died in 1927, Jacques-David LeCoultre bought Oris and became President of the board of directors. Jacques David was the Grandson of Antoine LeCoultre, the person who founded the watchband LeCoultre&Cie in 1866. It is unknown how long Jacques-David owned Oris Jacques-David LeCoultre was an important member of the LeCoultre family. Jacques-David was responsible for the merger of his family’s company LeCoultre with the brand of Edmont Jaeger. The result is a brand you might have heard of: Jaeger LeCoultre

Everything You Need To Know About World Time Watches

Imagine this: it’s 12MP and you almost have to board your flight from Hong Kong to London. You also need to call your office in New York to give them an update on your latest meeting, and you can’t forget to return a call from a client in Sidney. You also just remember that you still have to call your mom in LA to wish her a happy birthday. Who can you call and who will be asleep?

Does this problem sound familiar to you? Probably not.

On the other hand, diving 500 meters deep and racing F1 cars doesn’t sound familiar either, but that hasn’t stopped you from buying a dive watch and chronograph either, hasn’t it?

World time watches are some of the most interesting, yet underrated complications out there. Most of us have heard about this complication, but very few actually know how it works. World timers are a more ‘exclusive’ complication, but they aren’t reserved for +€100k watches anymore. There are some amazing and interesting variations of this complication at every price point.
Luxury watch Breitling

Is A World Just a Fancy GMT?

No, it’s much more. A GMT function allows you to track one (or two if you have a rotating bezel) extra time zones next to your regular time.

A world time offers you much more. With a world time, you can track 24 time zones in 24 different cities. You can see what time it is in every city on your dial. Do you travel between time zones? By the press of a button, all the cities and hour markers reconfigure and realign to the correct time, all mechanical. Because they are so much more complicated than a GMT function, most world time models cost more than the average GMT watch.

Since they are more expensive than a GMT, and because very few people actually need to track more than three time zones at once, few brands offer a world time complication in their catalogue, while the GMT is a widely offered complication.

Next to being an incredibly complex and interesting complication, world time watches usually feature some of the most beautiful designs. These watches have a big ring fitted with the names of different cities around this ring. Every brand choses their own cities they want to highlight. Many models are also fitted a map of the world, giving this an incredibly interesting dial. Busy yet organised, full but easily readable.

Vintage Versus New

The world time complication was invented in the 1930’s by Louis Cottier, an independent watchmaker.

The new complication quickly caught on and got adapted by brands like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, two brands whose modern world timers are still considered as the best available.

Since a few years, many other brands have entered the world of world time watches. Before, the world time was often seen on the most exclusive and expensive models a brand had to offer. Only the top brands offered them, mostly in precious metals. Since a few years, brands like NomosOmegaBreitling and IWC are offering their own models in stainless steel. This takes the world time from the mid 5 figure/low six figure price range to the mid four figure price range. A difference that opens world timers up to a completely new audience. Vacheron Constantin also offers an Overseas Worldtimer in stainless steel, making it much more accessible than his gold and platinum brothers.



The Adventurous History Of The NATO-Strap

The NATO strap might be one of the best and most affordable accessories you can buy for your watch. For just a few euros, you can add a pop of color to your timepiece, or you can just change the style completely.

The last few years, many mainstream brands are starting to offer brand new watches on their own NATO straps, because they are just starting to realize what a huge market a simple piece of nylon holds. However, the NATO strap was not invented with you sipping mimosas by the side of the pool in mind. The NATO strap has a very rich and interesting military background.

The Military History Of The NATO

You might think that the NATO strap was made for and by the NATO, but you would be wrong. NATO straps were developed by the British Ministry of Defense in 1973. These straps were developed exclusively for the British military. So where does the name come from? NATO does not refer to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it refers to ‘NATO Stock Number’.

The military has a standardized list for material, items and supplies. Every piece of equipment gets a unique NSN (NATO stock number). If you were in the British military in the early seventies, you had to ask for ‘NSN G1089’ to get a military NATO strap. Soldiers referred to the strap as a ‘G10’. The term NATO strap came much later.

The ministry of defense wanted to develop a strap that was scientifically cheaper and easier to produce than a steel bracelet. It also had to be universal, so it could be used on any watch, and yet it had to have more advantages than rubber or steel. Nylon was chosen because it checked all he boxes. For the first few years, the only strap available was 20mm and in the color ‘Admiralty Grey’. 

A few years later, the British military regiments started making their own straps in the colors of their own regimental colors, including color combinations and stripes. This was a fun and unique way of showing to which regiment you belonged.

The Advantages

Some people dislike the fact that a NATO strap runs under the case, but this actually is a well thought out feature that has many advantages. Because the nylon runs under the case, metal can’t touch the wearer’s skin. This provides stability, and makes it possible to strap your watch very tightly without putting much pressure on the spring bars.

With a normal strap, you lose your watch if just one of two spring bars break. With a NATO, the watch will still stay in place even if you break a spring bar. Breaking spring bars might not be the biggest threat for everyday use, but soldiers wear their watches while crawling through the mud, over their wetsuit while diving or over their jacket while jumping out of an airplane. This makes the risk of losing a spring bar much bigger.

The design of the NATO strap also makes it also possible to have a much longer strap than needed without experiencing much inconvenience. You just loop the remaining part under one of the hoops and problem solved. With an extra-long strap, you can easily strap your favorite strap over your jacket, wetsuit, or even your spacesuit. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin wore their Speedmasters over their spacesuits, so why shouldn’t you put yours over your ski jacket? This is not possible with a steel or rubber strap. 

Modern NATO straps

NATO straps are not just for the military anymore, and have become pretty common.

Brands like Omega, IWC and Hamilton make their own premium NATO straps, and some models, like the IWC Pilot Spitfire, Omega Speedmaster Ultraman and Omega Seamaster 300 ‘Spectre’ are offered on an OED NATO strap. Omega also has a wide variety of NATO straps that they offer on their website.

Will A Mesh Strap Save You From A Shark Attack?

The history behind this strap is actually a rather spectacular story. It's designed to survive shark attacks. Let me explain before you burst into laughing:


We are of course not talking about a bloodthirsty Jaws-type shark, but small, playful sharks. Sharks often confuse divers, surfers or swimmers for their natural preys like seals. There are many records of sharks taking a small bite, realizing they are wrong, and then fleeing away after they realized they won’t be eating seal for dinner. These types of bites aren’t uncommon, but neither are they deadly. They are however powerful enough to damage a rubber strap, or they can break a link of a steel bracelet. The interwoven steel wires of the mesh strap make it a lot more robust, and extremely hard to cut.

This is of course just marketing, since it’s impossible to find a single diver whose watch and/or arm was saved due to a mesh strap. Most story’s usually end in one of two different ways: either with some buses and a cool story to tell your friends in a bar, or in the hospital with your arm completely ripped off.

This does not mean that mesh isn’t a great option if you love diving or doing outdoor activities. Rubber and nylon straps can get accidentally cut or damaged without the wearer noticing. Rubber straps can also get brittle over time by getting too much exposure to salt water and sunlight. It’s also almost impossible to notice scratches on mesh, since the wires are so thin. (Take that, Rolex polished center links)

So a short recap: will a mesh strap keep you and your watch safe from the jaws of Jaws? Probably not.

Is mesh an excellent and very comfortable option on your watch in active conditions? Absolutely!



Mistakes new watch guys make

Everyone was once new to watches. Even the biggest collectors were once at the point of getting their first watch.

I like to compare sports watches with cars: A Land rover Defender is a beast, no one can deny this. It can drive through almost any condition, and it’s hard to tame.  But if you forget to change your oil, your offroad beast can be killed by something as small as carelessness.  Same goes with watches. The Omega Speedmaster has been to the moon, and the Rolex Sea-dweller can go as deep as 3900 meter, but it’s really easy to damage your watch if you don’t handle it with the right care. 

1: make sure the crown on your dive watch is always screwed down.

This might sound obvious, but you have no idea how many watches get send for a repair with water damage. Once water gets in your watch and you don’t fix is as soon as possible, your movement will start to rust. 

2: After swimming, wash your watch with fresh water

Salt from the sea and chlorine from the pool can get in your bezel. It won’t destroy your watch, but it makes it easier for dirt to build up in your bracelet and bezel. This makes it easier for your bezel to get jammed up, and it can be solved with a little water. 

3: don’t change your date between 9PM and 3AM.

In short: it’s really bad for the gears of your watch. If you do want to change the date, change the time to 6:30, set your date and set your time back right. Boing it once won’t destroy your watch, but doing it for years puts extra stress on the gears, resulting in a more expensive maintenance. Better safe than sorry.

4: don’t change the time backwards.

With most watches, turning the hands backwards when changing the time can also be really bad for your gears. This problem is solved with some modern watches, but once again; better safe than sorry.

5: Check the waterproofing of your watch every few years.

It’s important to check your watch on waterproofness every few years. Rubber gaskets can dry up and lose strength, letting water in. What’s the point of having a dive watch if your rubber gaskets don’t keep the water out? Getting your gaskets changed is relatively inexpensive.