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Li Wang

Monta

Meet us at Windup NYC

The Everest and Monta teams are headed to New York City this week for Worn & Wound’s Windup Watch Fair. The watch event takes place at Chelsea Market Friday, Nov. 2-Sunday, Nov. 4, so be sure to stop by our booth and say hello if you live in the area or are visiting. As many of you know, Worn & Wound has been not only a huge supporter of Monta and Everest, they have really fostered the growth of watch culture in general, especially taking the lead in celebrating the virtues of more affordable brands.

The event is described as “the first and only watch fair of its kind, and the largest in the United States; designed to bring watches, brands and fans together in a fun, approachable and engaging environment.” It’s free to attend and we proudly suggest that it’s an excellent opportunity to see our watches, the Triumph, Oceanking and Skyquest in person. People tell us that you can best appreciate the level of finishing when you look at our watches live.

The Windup Pop Up Fair is the precursor to the event. Photo by Wound & Wound

Here’s the video of the San Francisco Windup event which took place earlier. Don’t miss the shot of our booths!

Gear Outerwear

Chore jackets? Functionality and fashion

We have been covering more style issues here because after all watches are accessories. Oras many watch guys think of it as the other way around: clothing are the accessories for watches. How many of decide on what watch we’re wearing first?

The chore coat is one of our favorite pieces. It has its roots in work wear, which as a fashion off shoot created legions of men who try to look rugged but probably have never put in an honest day of manual labor in their entire life. These flannel shirt and Red Wing boot-wearing urbanites have embraced the chore coat, which is a great item alone on the fact that they have many useful pockets.

According the style blog The Idle Man, a chore jacket originated in the late 1800s, and “used to be a French worker jacket. Worn as a workman jacket as the French labourer attire, this workwear canvas jacket usually came in blue and symbolised everyone, which has carried on to be the icon of the French workforce today.” Sounds good to us. But really the chore coat is just incredibly practical and can be worn over a T-shirt or underneath a heavier coat as temperatures drop.

Wear it with your favorite leather strap equipped tool watch and you’re ready to tackle your day.

You can’t bring up workwear and not bring up Carhartt, a pioneer in work apparel. Their Michigan Chore Coat is water-repellent and handsome. We dig the navy version in “Dearborn” canvas.

Everlane makes great basics and simple versions of staples. Their take on the chore jacket is affordable and elegant. Grab a few T-shirts while on their site and you’ve got your casual weekend looked nailed down.

Best Made Co. is an excellent destination for manly items like axes and toolboxes. So naturally a Panama Cloth Chore Jacket is right up their alley. Theirs is made with Japanese cotton and has plenty of useful pockets.

Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko: How Do Their Watches Compare?

For a lot of people, brand recognition is a priority when it comes to strapping a watch on their wrist. They want to been seen wearing a baller watch. We’ll admit, that’s why we love our Rolex watches. Even models that aren’t a Submariner or Datejust are recognized by non-watch people vaguely as a nice watch that is relatively expensive.

So, where does that leave Grand Seiko, the higher end line by Japanese giant Seiko?

Its devotees are very devoted, let’s just say. Its detractors are just as opinionated. Those that love Grand Seiko note the samurai sword case polishing technique, zaratsu, and carefully considered details. Those that aren’t fond of Grand Seiko point out its conservative design and brand name that casual observers will equate with cheap watches sold at malls.

Those details

One thing is for certain. Those stock images that Grand Seiko (and Seiko) provide to dealers are terrible. You have to see these watches in real life to even judge them properly. Our visit to the Seiko boutique on Madison Avenue gave an appreciation of how Grand Seiko watches look and feel. The finishing is remarkable and when you see the various models in one place, it’s easier to appreciate the consistency of the design language that permeates the entire line. The superb polishing on those sharp hands standout in particular.

Since Grand Seiko became its own brand, the dials have changed. There is less writing. While there are some who say the new dials look too sparse or are unbalanced, our general opinion is not too strong either way. It’s more a matter of preference.

Bracelets are good enough for a watch in the $5,000 range. Not on par with Rolex’s newer bracelets, but not many brands in any range match up well with Rolex bracelets of today.

The movements

Grand Seiko watches come in Spring Drive (in short, an automatic movement with electronic regulation) that produces a very smooth seconds hand movement and accuracy that is better that COSC. Spring Drive watches move very gracefully. The downside is that cases housing Spring Drive movements are on the thicker side.

Our favorite, and everyone else’s (it seems), is the Snowflake model, which has a dial texture that evokes freshly fallen snow. Our team had a chance to handle this watch. It wears well at 41mm and is very sublime with a titanium case.

GS, as it’s abbreviated, also offers Hi-Beat (a 36,000 BPH automatic that allows for greater accuracy with its higher  beats per hour count) and regular old automatic movement watches (including a manual wind model).

Their quartz line is one of the best in the industry, offering 10 seconds (plus or minus) accuracy over a whole year. The 9F quartz movements use crystals that are grown by Grand Seiko themselves, which is pretty much all you need to know.

So is it worth adding a Grand Seiko to your collection? If you want something recognizable (by non-watch collectors) then definitely skip GS. But if you collect for personal satisfaction, Grand Seiko is definitely worth investigating (in person, if possible). The quartz models start at $2,300 retail and it’s great way to get a taste of what Grand Seiko is all about. It’s also an excellent brand to have in your rotation when you don’t want to be perceived as wearing something expensive.

Our friends at Worn & Wound are visiting the Grand Seiko factory and will have plenty of excellent coverage on their site

 

Rolex

Shortage of steel Rolex sport watches? The secondhand market may be your best bet

It’s source of frustration for many Rolex enthusiasts that you can’t walk into an authorized dealer and simply purchase a steel Submariner, GMT, Sea-Dweller and, of course, Daytona. Nothing is going to change anytime soon. Rolex controls its supply and this scarcity of new steel sports watches is creating stronger demand. We all want what we can’t have.

However, the you can get certain steel sport Rolex watches on the second-hand market. Oftentimes, the prices are above standard retail, but that is what the marketplace is dictating. We browsed the online pre-owned listings of Govberg Jewelers (based in Philadelphia) and discovered that you could get your hands on Hulk (green ceramic Submariner) or Daytona if you are willing to pony up for the asking price. The advantage of buying from an authorized dealer, such as Govberg or Tourneau, is a guarantee of authenticity and the fact that their in-house watchmakers have inspected and insured these used pieces are running well.

While there are quite a few reputable dealers selling used Rolex sport models, we’re highlight three from the same dealer to provide a comparison of the pricing differences between different used steel sport Rolex watches.

Three examples

We love the Hulk and Govberg has one listed for $12,950, and itretails for $9,050. That’s around a $4K difference. The value of any object is dictated simply by how much someone is willing to pay for it. And if you want a green ceramic Submariner, this one is available.

Photo by Govberg

In contrast Govberg also has a black ceramic GMT Master-II listed for $9,450, which is closer to the retail price. Of course it’s not a new watch, but if you are after this particular model, the price to obtain one is lower because it’s not as hard to get as other steel sport models. This is a solid find as the black color scheme will go well with everything you wear and the green GMT hand offers just enough of a pop of color.

Photo by Govberg

And, finally, we have the black ceramic Daytona, which retails for $12,400. Govberg has their pre-owned one listed at $19,450. Anyone reading this understands that this markup is at the same time absurd and yet not absurd at all given the demand for this model. Rolex ADs say if you get on the waiting list for this model (or its while dial version) is five years. Five years? And even that’s not guaranteed. So if you want to rock the latest incarnation of the Daytona, you better get ready to pay.

Photo by Govberg

 

Omega

Moonwatch mood: A look around at what’s out there in Speedmaster land

With the release of “First Man,” the Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling, the interest in Omega Speedmaster watches is hitting mainstream culture. There’s always a place for the Lemania-driven, hand wound chronograph in any collection. The 42mm sizing and Hesalite crystal (shatterproof for space, of course) can be deal breakers for some collectors, but Moonwatch fans are an enthusiastic group who can argue in favor of what is the most recognized sport watch behind the Rolex Submariner.

Ryan Gosling in “First Man” photo by Universal Studios

So if you want join in the #SpeedyTuesday Instagram fun, started by Fratello Watches, here are few options to currently online to help you join the club.

Photo by Lunar Oyster

1999 NOS Omega Speedmaster ref. 3572.50 Hesalite Sandwich: Here we have a new old stock Hesalite sandwich, which has an acrylic display caseback in addition the standard acrylic on top. The movement (without a rotor being manual wind) is a looker. This example is great for the collector that wants an older model without the hassle of having to worry about its condition.

$5,500 at LunarOyster.com

Photo by Watch Vault NYC

Photo by Watch Vault NYC

1992 Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Display Back 3592.50: Watch Vault NYC is an online dealer that always has a large selection of pre-owned Speedmasters (Pro and automatic models as well). The version has the display caseback too as well as tritium lume (for prominent patina) and a hand-decorated gilt movement.

$5,299 at WatchVaultNYC.com

Photo by HQ Milton

2009 Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50.00 with card: If you are looking for a modern watch at a lower price point, this example at venerable San Francisco-based dealer HQ Milton fits the bill. There’s something perfect about a standard Speedy Pro model in great condition.

$3,250 at HQMilton.com

Boots Danner Gear Red Wing Wolverine

Fall Boots: The watch guy’s faithful companion

For tool watch aficionados, the concept that the watch on their wrist is rooted in functionality may or may not be true rationale behind their love of watches meant to do something. Form following function oftentimes creates beautiful objects. And let’s face it, most tool watch guys are not deep diving or going space. OK, so maybe they will go on a hike. Nevertheless those highly functional watches look good and give them an aura of being adventurous.

The same can be said for rugged boots. Most dudes will seek a boot that will keep their feet warm and dry through a Nor’easter, but, again, rarely are these urban adventurers really needing something to keep them safe on a construction site or a trek up Everest. To coin a term from ’80s skateboarding culture, a lot of us are “poseurs.” But that’s more than OK. We can have our own adventures heading into our temperature controlled offices and homes.

So if you rock an Explorer II, you can track time with your team in Asia and look good in fall boots. Pair everything with some selvedge denim and you’ve completed the urban adventurer look. These of three classics to make this a reality this fall and winter. And like our esteemed watches, these boots can be “serviced,” meaning resoled and reconditioned. And, yes, they do take on a patina that’s uniquely based on where your life takes you.

Red Wing Heritage 6-inch Moc Toe: If you’re not sure where to start, this is the standard Red Wing work boot that will get you through the cold weather months. Pair them with some proper boot socks, such as Wigwams, and make sure you break them in gradually. Once they’ve conformed to your foot shape, these boots will become your go-to winter shoe choice. $289.99 at RedWingHeritage.com

Wolverine 1,000 Mile Cap Toe: Another classic, the cap toe version of Wolverine’s 1,000 Mile boot is just slightly dressier, so it’s a good choice for guys who may need to be booted and suited. The Horweeen leather (from the tannery in Chicago) and Vibram rubber sole is a tried-and-true combination for withstanding years of hard use. $400 at Wolverine.com

Danner Mountain Light: If the hiking boot style suits you, Danner has created the perfect one-piece leather, waterproof hiking boot. It’s an example of where a design meant entirely for practical purposes has yielded an object of beauty. According to Danner, “Every single pair is built by hand in Portland, Oregon, with full-grain leather, Vibram Kletterlift outsoles, and waterproof GORE-TEX liners.” $300 at Danner.com