To some, the new Casio G-Shock Rangeman (ref. GPR-B1000-1 / 1B) line of adventure watches may look like a glorified steam engine trying to compete with sleek and glossy bullet trains.
Looking at our stats, I see that demand for recommendations regarding diving watches is a seasonal thing with most visitors coming in summer and then gradually declining till Christmas only to start growing again in early January. “Pilots” are different animals: I have an impression that people are always interested in “aviators” regardless of the time of season. So, for your reading pleasure, a choice of fifteen timekeepers from under $200 to more than $10,000 as priced by online retailers that I find worthy of being considered while shopping for your new (or maybe your very first!) pilot’s watch this year.
In 2017, Doxa has released several “anniversary” timekeepers that celebrate the brand’s first semicentennial in the business of making professional diving tools. While the blackfaced Sharkhunter and the silver-faced Searambler attracted their fair share of attention from collectors and, um, more normal enthusiasts alike, it was the Sub 300 “Black Lung” Limited-Edition automatic diver that broke the brand’s own sales record with the whole bunch being pre-ordered during the first 24 hours after registration officially commenced.
With this gorgeous Khaki Navy Scuba Automatic H82305931, Hamilton not simply expands its line of diving companions. It finally offers a model that is not just “different” from the rest of the crowd, but -unlike their last year’s Navy Frogman- can be worn by a casual person without attracting weird glances from persons who “just don’t get it.”
Already released as the Japanese Domestic Market (ah, that legendary ‘JDM’ abbreviation that’s been rice-rocket freaks’ and watch aficionados’ darling for so many decades!) models, the 2017 limited-edition Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design (available at the time of writing as refs. SBEE001 & SBEE002) is an almost perfect re-issue of the model from the 1980s that had a great potential, but for some reason failed to become an icon of industrial design. I can only welcome the Japanese brand’s decision to give the collection a second chance, even as only a limited-edition model.
Unveiled at the Baselworld 2017, the Montblanc TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph UTC Ceramic (ref. 116101) is a nice (if a bit overpriced to my taste) addition to their line of popular sporty chronographs. While some of the main selling points of this new TimeWalker -like, say, the choice of the movement, as well as the combination of materials- look more “acceptable” to yours truly rather than even mildly “exciting,” we at WorldWatchReview.com would still recommend getting one of these oversized pieces of, um, time-measuring opulence if the price is not a problem.
The 2017 Breitling for Bentley Supersports B55 Connected (ref. EB552022-BF47-285S) offers you the same list of amenities as their earlier “hybrid” smartwatches but in a styling that is so loved by thousands of Bentley fans. Reassuringly overpriced and deliciously archaic, it will feature one of the lowest “value for money” ratios in their whole product range, yet it’s not the mythical “value” that allows Breitling to continue being one of the brands for those who love deadly planes and fast cars.
Coming soon to a store near you, the new Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Carbon (refs. 241776 & 241777) military-style collection offers you a decent Swiss made movement neatly packed into a feather-light carbon-fiber body. Despite being somewhat overpriced, the I.N.O.X. Carbon still gives you tons of style and comfort in return for that hard-earned cash.
The 2017 Broadway Day Date Automatic (refs. H43515735 & H43515135), Hamilton’s recent attempt at grabbing their share of the growing “affordable dress watch” market, offers a nice blend of the interesting exterior, good build quality, and one of the best “long-play” mass-produced automatic movements that you can get in the sub-$1k price range.
With its new PRO TREK PRG-600 “outdoor” world-timer, Casio delivers a stylish, surprisingly tastefully designed product. Primarily targeting people who lead an active lifestyle and do need a time-measuring device that would do a good job during a hiking expedition, it will also look great with a pair of blue jeans and a t-shirt in a safe co-working environment. Although inevitably having limitations of its own, the PRG-600-1ER gives you a great combination of good build quality, reasonable price, and an almost overwhelming list of functions that would make an owner of a Swiss-made analog/digital timekeeper drool. The only thing that spoils the fun is the “cased in Thailand” inscription on its machine-brushed back.
Introduced to celebrate the brand’s tenth anniversary, the 2016 Deep Blue Master 2000 10 Year Anniversary collection is currently offered in a choice of three color schemes including two versions in black and blue that feature a combination of white and orange accents. The version in black and orange (ref. M2KILBLKORGBLKORG,) which is reviewed in this article, is the most interesting -or at least the most striking- among them. Delivering an impressive level of legibility in all lighting scenarios that I can imagine and combining good build quality of the case and bracelet with the dependability of a time-proven Swiss-made movement, it may be a bit expensive compared to their earlier models of similar design, but still offers good value for money if you can afford one.
The 2016 Alpina Startimer Pilot chronograph (refs. AL-725B4S6, AL-725GR4S6 & AL-725N4S6) is available in three colors of its laconic, extremely sober dial and two colors of the genuine (*sigh*) leather strap. It is a bit expensive, many people may (and probably will) call it boring, and it is not a match to majors like IWC and Omega in terms of mojo and perceived value, yet the combination of a highly ergonomic design, reliable mechanism, and an acceptable price make it a nice everyday watch for a person who can afford one.
Recently bought by a Chinese investment holding company, Eterna keeps on churning out great (while a bit overpriced) time measuring devices that also happen to be elegant accessories. Far from being “groundbreaking,” their 2016 Super Kontiki Chronograph (refs. 77126.96.36.1992 & 77188.8.131.528) collection is now available not only in the brand’s numerous stores around the world but also at some online retailers albeit at very small discounts.
The 2016 limited-edition Frederique Constant Peking to Paris (ref. FC-303WBRP5B6) may not be revolutionary or groundbreaking in any meaning of the words, but it is still an interesting (albeit a tad overpriced) timekeeper for a person interested in a nice three-hander with a just a grain of sportiness to it. While the “limited edition” part may be a bit gimmicky (in a sense that you can’t seriously expect a piece limited to almost 2900 units to become a rarity in any foreseeable future,) all the rest is legit: it is an expertly designed, solidly built piece that is powered by a robust mechanism.
In less than two months, Christopher Ward will start selling the 2016 C8 UTC Worldtimer. Styled as an “aviator” and featuring an appealing combination of a robust Swiss-made movement with their new distinctive approach to design, the new timekeeper is well worth the serious chunk of cash that the watchmaker plans to charge for it.