Watch repair kits have proliferated onto the scene in recent years, allowing home enthusiasts and wannabe watchmakers access to whole new world of tinkering opportunity. But with so many options, the question remains, what is the best watch repair kit for you?
But before diving into some watch kits, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself whether you really need a fully fledged kit, or whether you really just need one or two pieces first and then start building your own kit.
This is generally the first question you should be asking yourself. Are you really just trying to fix the problem you have now, or do you actually want to have that 18+ piece kit handy in case of future emergencies. You might be better off in the long run by slowly building your high quality, bespoke kit if right now you really just want to remove a link or two from your bracelet.
Also, before embarking on a mad scientist type experiment with an expensive watch, ask yourself how much do you care about the watch you are DIY repairing. It will hurt a lot less if your repairs to a $50 Casio don’t got as planned than botching up that antique Rolex Submariner that’s stopped ticking.
The pros and cons of each option are listed below:
Watch repair kits
Many pieces in one kit
cheaper than buying individually
Generally lower quality
Best for light users
NEED to buy each Tool
Generally higher quality
Best for everyday or heavy use
Heck, if you just want to change the battery once every couple of years, you’re most likely better off financially (and with less headache) just going to your local jeweler and have them change it for you. But, you most likely wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t want to get your hands dirty and start tinkering with your watch collection.
An important point here, as just like jailbreaking your iPhone, opening up your watch will most likely result in voiding your manufacturers warranty. You’ve been warned! Now, with that out of the way, let’s get to the kits.
Your budget, short and long term requirements should dictate the quality of kit and how many tools you realistically need. The following tools are common in good quality kits:
We’ve chosen the following 3 watch repair kits based on price, quality and user reviews:
Ohuhu Professional 147 PCS Watch Kit
- Adjustable case opener
- 18x adjustable case opener pins
- Watch case opener knife
- Stainless steel tweezer
- Spring bar tool (& 2 spare tips)
- 108x watch strap spring pins
- Link remover (incl 3 spare pins and 2 spare gold pins)
- Watch case holder (10-45mm)
- 3x screwdrivers
- Carry Case
This 141 piece entry level kit is great for those that are making their first foray into watch repairing and want a kit with all of the essentials.
EzTool Professional Watch Repair Kit
- Extra large (up to 58mm) 3-point jaxa case wrench opener
- Watch link remover tool
- 3x pin-punch
- Spring bar removal tool
- Band holder
- 5x screwdrivers
- Case pry
- Carry case
Large watch cases and handy 41 page illustrated guide makes it easy to hit the ground running and make repairs straight away.
Stago Deluxe Watch Repair Tool Kit
- Adjustable case opener (up to 38mm)
- 18x adjustable case opener pins
- 3 in 1 screwdriver
- 4x mini pliers
- 90x Watch Strap Spring Pins
- Small Hammer
- Watch Case Knife
- Watch case Holder
- Watch Band Link Remover (incl 3 extra pins)
- 3x Slotted Screwdrivers
- Carry case
This sturdy 141 piece tool kit offers all the tools you could want as a novice watch repairer in a nicely designed carry bag.
Got some other kit/tool suggestions for tinkering with your watch collection? We’d love to hear your choices in the comments below. Happy repairing!
Gates is also well known for his many philanthropic endeavors. In fact, one of the primary reasons he is no longer the richest man in the world is because he has chosen to give away a substantial part of his fortune. He, along with Warren Buffet, also influenced many other mega-rich celebrities and entrepreneurs to donate at least half of their wealth through “the Giving Pledge”. Well played Mr Gates.
Given Mr Gates’ wealth, you’d possibly expect him to be sporting a super exclusive Rolex, Omega or similar. But no, fitting with Mr Gates’ rather conservative lifestyle, he opts to wear what he calls a “$10 watch”. This $10 watch is actually a Casio Illuminator W214H-1AV, and whilst it is certainly an inexpensive watch, you may have to pay a little more than the $10 quoted by Bill (check Amazon for current price).
Check out the video below by Politico where when asked whether the watch he is wearing is similar to a medical watch he is currently speaking about, Bill responds with “no, this is a $10 watch.”Casio Illuminator W214H-1AV is a digital watch with a 45 mm plastic case and silicon band. The Japanese manufactured Casio is water resistant to 50m and has quartz based movement. Digital features include 3 countdown dials, stopwatch and alarm. For a cheaper watch, it’s certainly well built and durable. Given many ultra-rich decide to show off their wealth with flashy, expensive watches, it’s refreshing that all fans of Bill Gates can “be like Bill” with a very affordable Casio.
This is a homage watch to the much more expensive and iconic Rolex Submariner and is a very practical watch for those on a budget, but still expect to get wet from time to time and want a durable watch that won’t break under the stresses of an active lifestyle. Whilst more than $10, few would argue that this watch is out of character with Bill’s preference for functionality over glamour. An affordable watch for the most active keyboard warriors, this would be our choice when emulating the style and philosophy of a man worth 90+ Billion.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a popular US sitcom that spices up the regular “cop-show” format with easy watching humor led by Andy Sandberg’s character Jake Peralta. Jake’s good, but often naive intentions land him and his precinct in difficult, and humorous, situations. The show has received praise (and awards) for the way they blend current social issues into the story line, such as the Captain Holt’s sexuality.
Terry Crews plays Terry Jeffords, a Detective Sergeant with a hard-ass appearance, but has recently become well acquainted with his softer side after being taken off field duty following the birth of his twin daughters. Terry has an annoying habit of referring to himself in the third person, but this gentle giant makes up for it with his leadership and support of his team through thick and thin.Terry wears a Luminox Navy Seal Colormark throughout the series. Given his bulky, muscular stature, and need to be ready for whatever life as a cop throws at him, the Luminox Navy Seal is a solid choice. With Swiss quartz movement, this watch features a black dial, black unidirectional bezel with white contrasting bezel markers, white hour markers and date displayed at 3 o’clock. The 200m water resistance is rather expected given the “Navy Seal” model, and whilst I can’t recall an episode where Terry needs to hunt any criminals underwater, he can if duty calls!
I need to eat 10,000 calories a day to maintain muscle mass!
Terry Jeffords, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Check out some of Terry’s finer moments in the mashup below:
Elvis Presly (@elvis) was a much loved American singer and actor. The “King of Rock and Roll” has been credited by Rolling Stone as ‘single-handedly changed the course of music and culture in the mid-1950s’ . His voice, presence, dancing, clothing and sleek good looks allowed him to reach heights no artist had before him.
Given his impeccable style, it’s not surprising that Elvis held a strong appreciation for watches, boasting an impressive collection, and often using watches as a vehicle for appreciation. There are numerous witness accounts of him giving away watches as presents.
Whilst not an exhaustive list, the below gives you a good overview of the types of watches Elvis adored.
This watch made headlines in 2018 when it sold at auction for $1.8 Milliion – a record for an Omega watch. The watch was a gift to Elvis from his record company, RCA Records, for selling 75 million records. The story goes that Elvis swapped this watch to the seller’s uncle after the uncle expressed admiration for the King’s Tiffany Omega. Elvis, being the generous soul he was, offered to swap it for the uncle’s diamond studded Hamilton.
The watch is an 18K white gold Omega with 44 round cut diamonds on the bezel, Tiffany & Co stamped on the dial, 33mm case and is powered by a manual caliber 510 movement. Engraved on the back is “To Elvis, 75 Million Records, RCA Victor, 12-25-60.”
It was not out of pure chivalry that Elvis swapped his Tiffany Omega for a Hamilton. He was really quite fond of the asymmetrical design. Most notably wearing a Hamilton Ventura in the 1961 film, Blue Hawaii. Elvis reportedly owned several Hamilton’s and even gave some away as presents.
Hamilton watches have a polarizing history – you either love the design, or you don’t. The early success of the Ventura has been largely attributed to it being the first battery powered watch that the public was able to afford and the futuristic design by Richard Arbib. Hamilton re-released the Ventura in 2017 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the initial 1957 release. The new Classic Ventura features a case with dimensions 32.3mm x 50.3mm, quartz movement and a leather strap. Given the relative affordability of the Hamilton Ventura, this watch is within reach for most Elvis fans.Check out the Hamilton Ventura on Amazon
Elvis was clearly an Omega fan, with the Omega Constellation also featuring prominently during the years he served for the US Army. He was stationed in Germany with friend, and fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Charlie Hodge from 1958 to 1960. Charlie often praised and commented Presley on the watch, leading to Presley eventually giving the watch to Charlie as a present. The watch was auctioned in 2012, fetching $52,500.The watch itself is an Omega Constellation with a black face, “sniper” dial with gold dauphine hands, and gold capping showing the date at 3 o’clock with raised indices and a stainless steel caseback. Movement is controlled by a Cal. 504 manual winding chronometer.
Whilst the King’s Omega Constellation probably won’t be coming up for auction again anytime soon, Omega still makes the Constellation if you share similar tastes to Elvis and want to own one yourself.
Elvis was a true watch aficionado with tastes ranging through all price points. On the more exclusive end was his collection of Rolex’s, including the Rolex Submariner “Big Crown” worn in the 1962 movie Girls, Girls, Girls. There’s numerous scenes in the movie where he proudly sports the Rolex Submariner 6538 “Big Crown”, as shown in the image above. Coincidentally, this watch became famous for being the watch that Sean Connery wore in the first Bond film, Dr No, which also came out in 1962. It’s fitting that such a revered pop icon chose to wear a watch that would also go on to become an icon in its own right.
As the nickname suggests, the watch features an over sized winding crown without any crown guards. Controlled by Rolex’s Calibre 1030 movement, the early Submariner’s dial focuses on simplicity, as they don’t have day or date functions as these only came in later models (1960 onwards).We aren’t sure what happened to Elvis’s Submariner. Given how popular the “Big Crown” is with watch collectors anyway, adding certified Elvis ownership would certainly have this watch fetching big money at auctions – perhaps even rivaling the $1.8M of the Tiffany Omega. If you want your own Girls, Girls, Girls watch, you can always invest in a modern Rolex Submariner, or for something more affordable, a Casio MDV106-1A is a solid, practical option.
Scuba diving is testament to mankind’s ingenuity in overcoming natural barriers, and dive watches are one of the best examples this. Combining precise engineering and looks into an accessory for an activity that humans shouldn’t really be doing is why dive watches have a soft spot in our hearts here at WKOW.
So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a dive watch for that 2019 holiday, or potentially saving for that special splurge or even ‘holy grail’ timepiece, this guide will definitely point you in the right direction without getting your feet wet.
The main functions of a high-quality dive watch is to allow scuba divers to keep a record on the dive time, under pressure by using a rotating (or analog) bezel that allows the wearer to pre-select a period of time up to 60 minutes. This allows the wearer to understand their dive time, and then calculate maximum dive time before hazardous gases build up in their blood system. Diving is by its a nature a risky sport, so the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether your dive watch is going to give way mid-dive, leaving you more vulnerable than is necessary. This is where technical specifications and user reviews come into play.
The robustness will be tested underwater. Yes, you’ve got additional pressure from water above, but watches also get banged around a lot whilst diving. This can be from rocks, coral, your own tank/gear and even fine sea particles such as sand and seaweed can play havoc to the durability of a dive watch.
This one is pretty obvious, but it’s also important to be realistic with exactly how much water resistance you really need. ie If you’ll mostly be using it snorkelling, buying a 500m water resistant watch is most likely overkill.
We all love a sexy design, but don’t just base important gear decision on looks. Instead, make sure it has the features you’re going to use the most. This doesn’t mean you need to go for the highest-price model simply because it has the most features. If you aren’t going to use the feature, you’re basically adding extra expense for no benefit.
I’m a certified diver and personally prefer a simple design when I’m diving because I don’t want to be wasting my dive time playing around with features, dials and buttons. This is time I can spend hanging out with my dorsal appendaged friends. That said, we’ve included a range of watches for different budgets, styles, preferences and dive levels (ie newly certified has different requirements than a pro diver) in the round up of our 7 favorite dive watches below:
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
These Padi licensed Seiko models are water resistant up to 200 meters (656 ft), made of stainless steel and the overall look is quite appealing with a smaller form factor than some of the more bulkier dive watches on the market.
The crystal is made out of a Seiko proprietary hardened mineral crystal called “Hardlex”. This material is more impact resistant, but slightly less scratch resistant than sapphire crystal. The Lumibrite on hands and indexes allows for easy dial reading for at least 4 hours once fully charged by a light source.
The word Prospex implies professional specifications and these watches don’t disappoint the budget conscious diver that also needs precise engineering. With a lower price point, you’d be forgiven for splurging a little more on that new Go Pro you’ve been eyeing…
This is the best dive watch in our list for the budget conscious or recently certified divers that don’t want to fork out loads on their first dive watch.
Where this model really departs from its predecessors is the technology and associated attention to detail. They’ve removed the satin aluminium inserts from the unidirectional rotating bezel and replaced with scratch resistant ceramic inserts. And, perhaps the biggest improvement to design is the use of liquid metal, rather than traditional casting and subsequent machining. This produces a very precise, strong and corrosion resistant timepiece.
This level of engineering finds its way throughout the entire watch, including the movement system. Powered by the Omega 8500 caliber Co-Axial based automatic movement which has been widely regarded as a robust and precise movement system. This is a true competitor and alternative to the Rolex Submariner.
One of the main drawbacks of the new Planet Ocean’s technology is that they are a few millimeters thicker. This has left some enthusiasts shaking their head as one of the Seamaster’s long running standout traits has been its slim, elegant design. This Omega has been known to actually feel thicker than it is.
The bold design with broad arrow hands and gloss dials, works effortlessly with the well proportioned, precise engineering contained within this iconic and practical Omega that James Bond still wears to this day. This is definitely one to consider if you have the budget and want a stylish, practical and superbly engineered dive watch.
Swiss made with automatic hand movement, this Tudor has been gaining in popularity with divers since the Pelagos’ rebirth in 2012. Because it is made of titanium, it is lighter than its stainless steel counterparts, which is a great feature if you plan on this watch being your everyday “desk diver” too. The titanium case and bracelet have a brushed finished, which makes it stand out from a traditionally high-polished finish of a stainless steel and tends to hide scratches very well.
Not sure what titanium in watches is all about? Read our article on Stainless Steel vs Titanium as a primer.
In 2015, Tudor introduced its own revamped movement system, the MT56 12 with a 70 hour power reserve. The saphire crystal is completely flat, eliminating any distortion that a raised crystal provides, which is a handy underwater feature. The build quality can be felt and heard in the click of the bezel as you move it.
The Tudor Pelagos is much more than a “cheaper” version of its big brother, Rolex. The titanium build provides a sophisticated , lightweight alternative to a Submariner or Planet Ocean and is very worthy of at least adding to your diver shortlist. At least try and check out the brilliant deep blue version as we’ve found it to be very striking, whilst remaining elegant for those dinner occasions.
There are two main versions of the Submariner; with and without a date plus magnifier. The non-date version costs about $1,000 less and is arguably the more popular of the two. It was also the original as the date version only came in later.
Featuring a 40mm wide case crafted from a single block of a corrosive-resistant 904L steel, and a turning bezel made from Cerachom (a type of ceramic) which makes it extremely resistant to scratching, fading and corrosion. The movement is controlled by the in-house Rolex Calibre 3130. An important visual and functional feature is the winding crown, which closes much like a submarine latch.
This video shows the beauty of the Submariner close up in all its beauty:
The Submariner isn’t just renowned by divers (incl Navy Seals), or for precise engineering. It redefined what it meant to own a prestige timepiece. You certainly do pay a premium for the Rolex brand, but in return, you know you’re getting an incredibly engineered watch that will last for many years and is universally loved and admired. Indeed, a significant factor for many in purchasing this watch is for the status, announcing to the world that you’ve made it. Don’t let this fool you though, the Submariner is a serious dive watch and definitely worth considering.
The 41 mm case features alternating polished and brushed stainless steel, bringing a casual elegance to this watch. The biggest change in recent years has been the addition of the ceramic bezel. Similar to Rolex’s Submariner and Omega’s Planet Ocean, the ceramic rotating bezel allows this TAG to take an absolute beating without scratching, fading or corroding. This is a massive feature for a dive watch given that it’s very common to bang your hands on all sorts of rocks, corals, sand and other general underwater hazards whilst diving.
But, the Aquaracer is considerably more affordable than a Submariner or Planet Ocean, making it a great entry-level dive watch for collectors and wearers.
The Aquaracer uses a rubber strap and comes in both chronograph (three-counter calibre 16) and automatic (Calibre 5) models. The chronograph models are generally around $1,000 more than the automatic models. Both models are quality, durable diving watches.
Check out this detailed review on the Aquaracer below – FWIW, I don’t think this diver deserves any hate!
What I like a lot about the Aquaracer is that it doesn’t try and be a Submariner clone. It is bold and unique in its own right. Go elsewhere for a Submariner clone. Choose a Tag Heuer Aquaracer if you want an extremely durable Swiss-engineered dive watch that has many of the features that rival its more expensive counterparts.
The 49mm case is the largest in our roundup of favorite watches for 2019, so it’s mainly worn by men and you’d definitely want to put it on your wrist before buying. Other notable features are the ceramic unidirectional bezel which is great for resisting scratches and bumps, anti-reflective sapphire window and a date window at 6 O’clock. Aesthetically, the subtle waves behind the dial give it a smooth look against black face and the luminous indicators work well at night.
This watch definitely makes a statement, and whilst it may not have the same branding appeal as a Rolex or Omega, it is definitely a great piece of diving gear if you prefer slightly larger timepieces that won’t weigh you down. We’ve seen some good deals on these men’s models too, so don’t be afraid to shop around.
The simple, practical design with a stainless steel case and silicone strap performs very well under low light conditions, with bold, luminous hands, hour markers and graduations on the unidirectional stainless steel bezel. Bezel rotation is met with solid, deep clicks – something that is often missing in less expensive dive watches. The date function features a magnified display for easy reading.
This should be on your radar if you want a practical dive watch rated to 500m, but aren’t prepared to fork out thousands more for brand or prestige appeal. It is a very good piece for the price and worthy of consideration.
What’s your favorite dive watch to consider for 2019? Feel like we’ve left out some worthy tool watches? Let us know in the comments below. Happy diving!
The very popular and talented actor Kit Harington has displayed his style by wearing Jaeger LeCoultre Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch Q1338421.
Christopher Catesby Harington, famously known to the world as Kit Harington, is an English actor from London. Kit graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London in 2008. His career had a fantabulous beginning through the smash hit television series, Game of Thrones in 2011. His name may be Kit Harington, but almost everyone knows him as Jon Snow, the role that he portrays in the show.
Jon Snow is a fictional character with a powerful story line. Game of Thrones continues to receive near universal appreciation and highly positive reviews because of its thrilling, entertaining and tense plot line.
One of my favorite Jon Snow scenes is below – this “King of the North” speech drives shivers up my spine and almost makes me want to to pick up a sword and join the Night’s Watch myself!
Ever since its premiered, GOT has had a successful run with each of its seasons providing unique and captivating story twists. Kit Harington has received many accolades for his performance in the series. The show has also helped him to earn critical acclaim and a massive fan base across the world. He is the proud recipient of the Gold Derby TV awards for Best Drama Supporting Actor for his performance in Game of Thrones. He became one of the highest paid actors in a television series in 2017. He has also featured in several films – you can find more about Kit Harington at IMDB.
Looks aside, this watch packs a strong feature set to provide serious performance. It is water resistant up to 50 meters, and very light weight at just 1.1 lbs. The Swiss made watch flaunts a 43-hour power reserve. It is stylish and sleek with a case diameter of 41mm, case thickness of 7.5 mm and bandwidth of 18 mm. The watch has an automatic movement and ialso contains a deployment buckle.
Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Automatic Stainless Steel Mens Watch Q1338421 comes with an ultra sleek design combined with an aesthetically pleasing appearance that captures the attention of admirers. It’s authentically elegant, with high-quality alligator patterned leather for the strap, silver sunray dial, fixed stainless steel bezel, and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal make the watch worth considering even if you’re not the Prince of Dragonstone.
Selena Gomez is a famous singer, actress, role model and one of the most inspiring celebrities I’ve seen perform live. Her style is a unique mix of sexy, sporty, chic and sweet. Her fighting spirit is as tough as the CASIO G-Shock Watch she wore in the song “Hands to Myself” and the elegant classy spirit is reflected in the Rolex Day-Date II Oyster 41mm.
Selena is inspired by the work she does as a UNICEF campaign she does to raise money for children and inspires everyone to be beautiful on the inside and the outside every day of their life.
Selena Gomez wears a CASIO Black G-Shock S Series Women’s Resin Watch GMDS6900-1 in her third chart topping hit “Hands to Myself” from her second studio album Revival, where she comes out with a badass, gothic, sexy vibe wearing some sexy lingerie and smokey eyes. The whole ensemble represents the sporty, sexy and sensual side of Selena, and plays on playful and vivid imaginations. The song features Selena as a stalker to a famous Hollywood actor, enacting her desires and fantasies. In the music video, Selena breaks into the house after checking the watch, that contrasts beautifully with the lace that looks like a tattoo on her skin. Check out the video for yourself:
The watch complements and contrasts the sexy black lingerie by Giorgio Armani and adds to the finesse of Selena’s style in the music video.
We love the understated smouldering look that she sports in the video and the concept that she represents in the video resonates with every woman’s fantasies on celebrity crushes.
Check out Selena Gomez for more details on her work.
At first glance, the watch may look masculine, especially on pictures available on various websites. But we don’t think these do the watch justice as you can’t fully appreciate the beautiful glitter effect embedded into the black that pairs well with the silver buckle and makes it look feminine. This beauty is gorgeous on the outside and tough on the inside. Just like Selena Gomez.
So you’ve decided to buy a luxury watch (or maybe even just a really nice watch, like an Omega). You’ve immediately got a problem. That problem is that the watch market is absolutely flooded with counterfeits. When you’re spending pocket change on a cheap timepiece, getting burned by a fake Timex isn’t such a big deal. When you’re instead spending several large denominations on a classy, pricey watch, you’re going to feel a deep ache in your wallet when you end up with a cheaply made clone.
So how do you buy a nice watch, something that’s going to set you back by more money than you’re comfortable just throwing away, without getting ripped off? Is the guy at the pawn shop giving you a deal that’s too good to be true? Is there any reason to believe that street vendor is offering the genuine article? Obviously, common sense plays a part, but there are a few general ideas to keep in mind when you’re evaluating a prospective purchase. While following these tips by no means guarantees that you’ll go home with a quality Rolex or Omega, they at least increase your odds of passing up an obvious scam.
It’s difficult to know how heavy a good watch should feel if you’ve never handled one. By comparison, though, a well-made, high-end watch will be heavy compared not just to less expensive watches, but particularly compared to copies of the same timepiece. Counterfeits are cheaply made of cheap materials. What those cheap materials have in common is that they weigh less. When comparing a copy to the genuine article, a real timepiece will be heavy. It will feel solid. A cheaply made counterfeit will break in normal use (and sometimes even when sitting unused). Counterfeits will often feel flimsy and light.
Again, it’s difficult to know what the watch should be made of if you’ve never seen or handled the genuine article. Don’t buy a Rolex from a guy on the sidewalk if you’ve never looked at or felt the real thing. How difficult is it, after all, to stop by your jeweler and handle some examples of the watch you’re interested in buying? Armed with a good feel for how such a watch is made, examine your prospective purchase and see how it is built. Is it stainless steel or gold where it should be? Are plastics and lesser metals substituted to produce a cheaper overall product?
Little details like engravings are one of the hardest things to get right because they require extremely fine attention to nuance. Counterfeits typically will omit those details, or get them wrong outright. Sometimes this is because the watch has been produced quickly and cheaply. Other times it is because the counterfeiter lacks the precision equipment used by the genuine manufacturer. Examine your prospective purchase with an eye for these small touches. Are the proper brand engravings in the right places? Do they look clean and sharp? A well made watch will not just exhibit good fit and finish; it will also have engravings that are properly executed and exactly positioned.
Not all watches produce sound, obviously, but a mechanical or self-winding watch definitely will. You should be able to hear these mechanisms. The sound of the watch should be clear, distinct, and regular. The expression, “like clockwork” exists for a reason. If your watch sounds irregular, if the sound of the movement is not crisp and clear, there’s a problem. A cheap counterfeit may sound weak or muffled. Some counterfeits produce no sound at all because they contain a powered quartz movement, rather than the self-winding or mechanical movement expected.
Does your watch come with documentation? Real high-end watches come with paperwork. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, certificates of authenticity. Now anyone can produce a document that proclaims a watch authentic, but examine the document carefully. Does the paperwork contain a serial number? Does that serial number match the one on your watch? Does the paperwork itself appear to have been printed professionally? Cheaply photocopied documentation, sometimes reproduced from the genuine article, will be included with fakes.
The issue of pricing is complicated. Genuine high-end watches are genuinely expensive, but pricing is also a method of establishing value from a marketing perspective. It may be possible to secure a high-end watch for less than the retail price you’d pay at, say, a jewelry store. This is not, in itself, an indication you are buying a fake. If the price is too low, however — if the deal simply is too good to be true — there are only two explanations. One is that the watch is genuine, but stolen. The other and far more common reason is that the watch is fake and cost nothing near the asking price to produce. You aren’t going to buy a $10,000 Rolex for $300 bucks unless the watch is fake — or unless it’s hotter than the deal.
On real watches, space is at a premium. Everything has a purpose. There is no room on a high-end watch for pushers that do nothing. Counterfeit watches may have features that are purely cosmetic — features the manufacturer of the fake was too cheap, or too poorly skilled, to reproduce. In those cases the counterfeiter simply crafts something that looks right but does nothing. This is a clear indication that the watch you’re examining is not real.
We mentioned Bolex and Rolox before. Typographical error are sometimes deliberate and sometimes “honest” mistakes. Broken spellings are not at all uncommon among counterfeiters, who often don’t understand the language they are reproducing. (Deliberately creating a lookalike watch with an almost-but-not-quite name is one way to work around laws against counterfeiting. You aren’t counterfeiting Omegas if your company’s brand is Trimega, after all, but you’re hoping someone will be fooled nonetheless.) Unintended typos are a dead giveaway. It’s doubtful that the nice folks at Patek Philippe will misspell their company’s name.
A high-end watch will be manufactured to stand the test of time. They will be well-made and durable. This extends to the logos included on the watch. Are they simply glued on? Or are they pressed into the watch with an eye for quality? How accurately are the logos pressed or stamped? They will never be crooked. If the logo on your watch is muddy, held on with adhesive, crooked, or otherwise detracts from the quality of the watch, the timepiece is counterfeit.
Sapphire is used as a watch crystal because it is strong and beautiful. It is the second strongest jewel on the Mohs mineral hardness scale (after diamond, it is ranked “9,” tying with rubies). Prized for its aesthetics as well as its durability, a fine watch typically has a sapphire crystal rather than one made of Plexiglas or ordinary glass (in watch parlance, “mineral glass”). Some crystals are synthetic sapphire (the result of using high temperatures to crystalize aluminum oxide). Others are composites, such as mineral glass with synthetic sapphire coating. Mineral glass and synthetic sapphires aren’t tinted. Real sapphire crystals have a very specific tint to them.
Complications are any feature on the watch that does not include the time. This includes things like the date window as well as any of the other fancy features a watch might include, such moon phase and so on. When shopping for a name-brand, high-end watch, familiarize yourself with the complications offered. Does your prospective purchase have all of the correct complications in the correct locations? The Rolex Datejust, for example, has exactly one complication at the 3 o’clock. A seller trying to pass off a counterfeit might not know that. The copy might have other complications that should not be on the watch, or the watch might be lacking the complication it is supposed to have.
The band is often overlooked by shoppers who are focused on the watch itself. A counterfeit might be close to perfect, cosmetically, until you examine the band. That inspection might point to something very much amiss. Take a look at the band compared to what the genuine manufacturer offers. Is the logo correct? Is the name right? Are these in the right places? Does anything look “off” or otherwise cheap? A well-made counterfeit might almost pass muster until the counterfeiter “cheaps out” on the band, assuming that any band that looks vaguely correct is good enough.
This is an important factor because the serial number traces back to the manufacturer. Do all of the serial numbers, inside and out, match? Do they match the certificate of authenticity? Even if all these numbers match each other, are the numbers plausibly interpretable as serial numbers for that specific manufacturer? How are the serial numbers placed on the watch? Genuine Rolexes have serial numbers that are engraved, not acid-etched, as acid-etching is much cheaper. Does the seller offer more than one of the same watch? Check to make sure the serial numbers on each watch are not identical. Counterfeiters frequently don’t bother to vary the numbers from watch to watch, producing instead identical copies.
A fine watchmaker would never release a watch that has fingerprints inside the casing or on the engine. A counterfeiter is much less meticulous. If you see evidence of fingerprints inside the watch, this means the watch is either counterfeit or has been tampered with. Either way, you don’t want to risk paying premium watch prices for something that exhibits this level of disregard for the product.
Check the winding crown. Is it functional? Is it in the right place? If it should have a logo, does it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you are probably dealing with a counterfeit. Especially if the watch has a simple quartz movement instead of the mechanical mechanism it is supposed to have, the winding crown won’t function as it is supposed to.
This may be the best indicator of a possible counterfeit, regardless of the condition of the watch itself. High-end watches typically will be offered by legitimate, reputable sellers who can afford the cost of buying and selling premium timepieces. Where, exactly, are you buying your watch? The fellow at the flea market probably isn’t offering a genuine Audemars Piguet, even if the price is on par with what you would expect to pay. (We’ve already discussed the fact that an astonishingly low price probably points to a fake.) Sketchy Internet sellers, especially those already known for purveying fakes, should be avoided at all costs, and not just because you can’t handle the watch ahead of time. The pictures they show you could be of a perfectly genuine watch, for which a fake is substituted when your order ships.
You don’t need to buy an expensive watch. There are plenty of perfectly serviceable watches at lower prices. Once you have experienced a quality, name-brand watch, however, you will have trouble turning back. Premium watches are compelling in a way that few personal accessories are. They are constant companions, worn on your wrist and awaiting your gaze throughout the day and into the night. A watch is probably the accessory you will use most once you don it. This makes it unique among the pantheon of gadgets and gear that human beings choose to carry with them.
In modern society, each of us has a smartphone in our pockets. It can be argued that wristwatches are an affectation, unnecessary to modern life. But what is personal style if not affected? There is a joy, a genuine enjoyment, that can be taken in a quality timepiece. The feel of a high-end watch, the fit and finish, the pleasure it gives when one reads its face… these are abstract benefits, yes. To the discerning watch owner, however, they are also undeniable. For those who wear watches, choosing finally to buy a high-end timepiece is the inevitable — and inevitably correct — choice.
Not only does a police officer’s watch need to be durable and waterproof, it needs to be comfortable and very easy to read, quickly.
After consulting with some friends of mine who are cops, one watch in particular kept coming up as a particular favorite. Enter Luminox’s Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series.
When the United States’ Department of The Navy was looking for a new watch to outfit their special warfighters, they turned to Luminox to create a watch that was durable, comfortable, light weight, and – most importantly – able to be read easily in any condition, including under water and in low light.
Luminox answered the call with their Navy Seal Colormark 3050 Series, a watch famous for using tritium inserts, instead of phosphorescent inserts. The difference being tritium is a radioactive isotope that slowly decays over time.
As the tritium decays, it releases electrons that interact with the phosphorus coating of the inserts, exciting them on a molecular level and causing a bright luminescence.
This enables the watch to be easily read in a number of circumstances including under water and in total darkness. And the luminescence of the watch is not predicated on it “charging” in the sunlight, absorbing natural radiation to re-release, because it has its own radiation source.
The watch also has other features that a police officer may find useful, such as an easy to spot date display at the 3 o’clock position and large Arabic numerals for easy reading, and a unidirectional rotating bezel.
The Luminox Navy Seal Colormark has a protected winding crown and runs on a quartz movement – so it does require a battery to operate the engine of the watch.
It is waterproof to 200 meters (660 feet, 20 BAR) so it is safe for swimming and diving despite the screw-on case back (which is sealed with durable gaskets. The case of the watch is a unique carbon compound that is 44mm in diameter, making it both light and durable.
The watch’s strap is a thick silicone rubber – comfortable strap for the wearer that can also stand up to some abuse. The crystal is a tough mineral compound to strike a balance between durability and affordability.
Not a big fan of the Luminox Navy Seal Colormark? We’ve included 4 other options in our article Best Watches for Law Enforcement Officers.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian born actor, writer, body builder, and politician. He is most famous for his roles in the Terminator series, in which he played the titular Terminator, a machine sent back in time to kill the leader of a human uprising.
Arnold is known around the world for achieving his goal of being the greatest body builder in history. While this may seem to be a subjective title, Arnold definitely has some achievements here to his credit: He still holds the record for being the youngest person to ever win the Mr. Olympia title – first achieving the title in 1970 at the age of 23. He won Mr. Olympia another 5 times in a row after that, and then again in 1980 when his entry was a last minute surprise with only two months of training for the event.
Added to his already impressive resume, Schwarzenegger ran for – and won – the governor’s race in California, officially making him an accomplished politician. He was the chief executive of the state of California for 8 years.
Arnold is a watch fanatic and avid watch collector. His favorite seems to be his Panerai Luminor, which is frequently photographed wearing. The Panerai Luminor features a stainless steel case with a black croco-embossed genuine leather strap.
The watch itself is 44 millimeters in diameter and 15.5 millimeters thick. The case back is stainless steel and features the engraved Panerai logo to certify authenticity.
The face of the watch is marked with Arabic numerals. The dial is black which helps the luminescent hands and hour ticks to stand out during low light use. The Luminor features two complications: The date at the 3 o’clock position, and a second counting sub-dial at the 9 o’clock position.
The crystal is sapphire with a specialized coating to cut down on glare. Being sapphire, the face is also scratch resistant. A unique feature of Panerai watches, the crown itself is protected by a unique lever. This makes the watch easy to identify and adds a certain elegance to it.
The watch runs on an automatic C.O.S.C. tested engine developed by Panerai and is water resistant to 30 BAR, or 300 Meters / 1,000 Feet. The Luminor is suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and amateur diving. Coming in at a price of $5,197.01, this watch is not for everyone. But it is worth every penny for those that do buy it.