A New Watch Blog in Town

Recently I’ve been asked to contribute to a new blog from the folks at European Watch Company. European Watch Company has been a premier watch dealer for over twenty years and while they’re getting into the content game a little late I’m excited they did. The blog is called The Collective and will feature all kinds of great watch content with a unique approach that only EWC can provide as well as some insanely great watches. I highly recommend checking out their dealer website as well as their blog.

My first article at The Collective

While I’ll still be contributing my own content to Mainplate & Bridge my output will likely reduce a bit as I contribute to The Collective. Thanks to everyone who has read Mainplate & Bridge and follows my Instagram I hope your support follows me over to The Collective! Here is a link to my author page at The Collective.

Thanks, David Klint

Going Back to the Future With the Hamilton PSR

Hamilton recently announced the return of the Hamilton Pulsar in the form of the Hamilton PSR. The Hamilton Pulsar, released in 1970 was the world’s first digital watch. The watch was revolutionary and was Hamilton’s view of the future. At the time of its introduction, America was fresh off winning the space race and computers were becoming a beacon of optimism for all the improvements the future had in store. Hamilton described the watch as “a solid-state wrist computer programmed to tell time.” Not as a digital watch, a wrist computer. The watch quickly became a star and was worn by icons like Jack Nicholson, Joe Frazier, and Gianni Agnelli. President Nixon’s daughters bought him one from Tiffany & Co as a Christmas gift. Let that sink in, this digital watch that looks like it’s straight out of the Jetsons was retailed by Tiffany & Co. Can you imagine a watch like this sold at Tiffany now? No way. This gives you an idea of how influential the watch was at that time. Fifty years later the timing of reintroduction in the form of the Hamilton PSR is perfect.

Hamilton PSR image from Hamilton

The PSR is going to appeal to those who remember the original first hand and feel nostalgic for it the same way they do a vintage mechanical watch. It oozes with charm and nostalgia not often found in a digital watch. But millennials, like myself who weren’t around for the original, will identify with the spirit of this watch. This watch takes me back to a time when I was obsessed with technology. In the 90s we had a similar optimism around the future of technology. The internet, PDAs, and cellphones were all improving at a rapid pace. The PSR reminds us that we can’t help but innovate and that the future is bright. Though now it’s a vintage-inspired piece, the retro-futuristic vibe is still front and center. Its got a quirky and fun design that would look right at home in the cockpit of a concept car from the 70s. It simultaneously looks forward while reminding us of simpler technology that didn’t impose itself on our daily lives. I love watches in part because they don’t notify me of anything. They sit on your wrist quietly working, ready to be called to service. This watch has all the same charm as a vintage Speedmaster but in a more affordable package.

Assembling the Hamilton PSR

The Hamilton PSR is an almost perfect replica of the original model from the 70s’. Sans a few technological updates—an updated display that contains both LED and OLED—this watch takes you back to the future in a way that would make Doc Brown beam with pride. Hamilton is releasing it in two models the stainless steel and stainless steel with yellow gold PVD. The stainless steel will be regular production and cost $745 and the yellow gold PVD will be limited to 1,970 pieces and cost $995. This watch is aimed right at the enthusiast community and though the original was discontinued after a couple of years the market is ripe for the reintroduction. In sticking with the theme I quote Marty McFly “I Guess You Guys Aren’t Ready For That Yet. But Your Kids Are Gonna Love It.”

Find out more at Hamiltonwatch.com

Entry Points | Roue TPS

Roue watches guiding principle is to bring the great designs of the past into the modern era. They look at designs from brands like Porsche and Braun in the ’60s and ’70s for inspiration and you can see that in their watches. The brand also focuses on making their watches affordable. For less than a used Apple Watch–$290 USD–you get a reliable chronograph that oozes 60’s racing coolness. Roue has 5 watch models all under $300 but the one I’m focusing on today is the TPS–named for its Tachymetere & Pulsations scale on the dial.

TPS Caseback with Porsche 910 embossed. Image from Roue Watches

Made as a tribute to the Porsche 910, the car that won the Nürburgring 1000-kilometer race in 1967. The watch is a love letter to the car that provided Porsche with a pivotal win after almost a decade of trying. In case there is any confusion around this the Porsche 910 is embossed on the caseback. The TPS comes in three variants the TPS one with a black dial, TPS two with a vertically brushed panda dial, and the TPS 3 with a “grizzled blue” dial. Each version is numbered and limited to 1000 pieces.

Roue TPS Three. Image from Roue Watches

The use of color on the TPS is what first caught my attention. I love watches that thoughtfully use funky colors and all three of these watches use color really well. The TPS one looks like a Braun calculator and a 60’s Heuer had a baby. A design combination that I didn’t realize would resonate with me so much. My favorite, however, is the TPS three. The combination of the “grizzled blue” and yellow hands and accents is a look I don’t think I’ve seen on a watch before. It’s still very much a 60’s stye racing watch but in a new and unique way. To drive home the racing vibe each watch comes with a racing-style leather strap. All models also come with a silicone strap and a watch roll pouch. This is a nice touch at any price point but at this price point, it’s insanely generous. It’s also something more up market watch brands should take note of. Can you imagine a Rolex Daytona 116519LN also coming with a racing leather strap!

Roue TPS Two. Image from Roue Watches

Powering the watch is the Seiko VK63 Meca-Quartz movement. This is a reliable hybrid quartz watch with a mechanical chronograph. A hybrid movement gives you the accuracy and affordability of a quartz watch while still giving you the romance and feel of a mechanical chronograph. I obviously wish this was a purely mechanical watch but that would increase the price significantly. I wouldn’t be surprised if Roue releases a mechanical version in the future but part of the appeal of this watch is that it offers so much bang for your buck. You’re getting a well-designed unique looking chronograph, two beautiful easy to change straps, a watch roll, and a reliable movement you don’t have to worry about. This is one of the best looking chronographs released in the last couple of years the fact that it’s only $290 make it a no brainer.

Case: 316L steel
Crystal: Double Dome K1 mineral glass
Diameter: 40mm
Lug width: 20mm
Water-Resistant: 50m
Movement: Seiko caliber VK63 chronograph hybrid meca-quartz movement
Limited Edition: 1000 pieces per model

The New Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze

Blue Bezel variant Image from Rado

Introducing the Rado Captian Cook Bronze, three new additions to the already popular Rado Captain Cook automatic watch line. The main difference between this watch and the existing automatic is Rado’s use of bronze. But of course, the “Master of Materials” couldn’t use just any bronze, they’re using a special mixture of bronze called aluminum bronze or CuAl. This type of bronze uses aluminum as the main alloying metal as apposed to copper and tin in standard bronze. This makes the case metal especially resistance to discoloration and oxidation, or patina to us watch nerds. This is either good or bad news depending on who you talk to as part of the appeal of bronze is the unique look and speed it ages with. As someone that’s always been slightly concerned about how fast a standard bronze watch would go from cool patina to unusable crown and bezel, I find it comforting. As for the choice to go bronze, in general, I love it, I wish more watches were bronze. Something about the metal has always struck me as the more rugged lovable working man’s gold. Beautiful and warm in glow yet unpretentious and tough. I think it’s an especially romantic material for a dive watch because of it’s connection to other maritime tools. The bezel is ceramic and comes in three colors green, blue, and brown which all match the watches dial. I’m a sucker for an odd bezel or dial colorway, which explains my love of Zodiac, and I really like the brown watch in this line-up. The brown and bronze complement each other perfectly and also make the watch look right at home on the brown leather strap. This brings me to my only gripe with the watch, the leather strap. But it’s not what you think, I don’t mind a dive watch on a leather strap. I have a 16610 that I throw on a nice leather strap from time to time. Its that it doesn’t also come with a rubber strap. As this model is mostly an aesthetic update added to the Cook automatic watch line it is still a fully capable tool watch with a screw-down crown and 300m water resistance. With a capable tool watch, I want to know that with a simple strap change I can be beach ready! Yes I could just buy one aftermarket and I know it’s a trivial thing to complain about but half of talking about watches is complaining about or rejoicing over tiny details. Overall I think it’s a great addition from Rado and love the way they implemented the use of bronze. The watch will be available in April online and from Rado retailers at $2,410. 

Full Specs 

MovementSelf-Winding ETA C07; hour, minute and running seconds; date; 80-hour power reserve

Case42mm 12.5 mm thick brushed CuAl bronze, water-resistant to 300m with titanium caseback 

StrapLeather with bronze buckle

MSRP – $2,410 

A Watch Built for Two

I recently became aware of the concept of a shared watch. In reading HODINKEE’s “The Watch I Wore Most in 2019” Jason Heaton, Editor-at-Large, talked about his Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe LE for HODINKEE. The sentence that caught my eye was: “Since then, it’s been on my wrist weekly and when I’m not wearing it, Gishani does, which I guess makes this the watch WE wore most in 2019.” He shares the watch with his wife, if he wasn’t wearing it she was. I had never thought of this before. A watch that I could share with my wife! I love watches, I love my wife, what a natural fit. Another reason I find this concept so appealing is from an heirloom perspective. I also have a young daughter who I plan on passing down my watches and love of watches to. Getting a watch passed down to her from me I’m sure will be nice, but how cool would it be to get passed down a watch that you can remember BOTH parents wearing regularly? A watch that you identify with both mom and dad. It’s hard to think of another type of heirloom that can be shared in this way. Because watches are built to last much longer than our other daily accoutrement, we live with them, they show the marks of their lives as they age just like we do. Even as a couple without kids there is something watch nerd romantic about sharing a watch. The concept of the shared watch instantly resonated with me, and it’s something I would love to see more. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought this was the perfect time to further explore the concept. To help with picking your own shared watch, here are some watches I think can easily fill this role.

Grand Seiko Heritage Spring Edition SBGA413

There is so much to love about this watch. It is an American exclusive watch so you can only get it stateside. It’s a part of Grand Seiko’s seasons’ collection of four watches each representing a season of the year. This watch represents spring. The first thing that drew me to this watch and what sets it apart as my favorite Spring Drive model is the gorgeous subtle textured pink dial. It almost looks like cotton candy but the pink is much more subdued than that. I’ve seen pictures where it almost looks off white. Moving to the case its varying brushed and polished surfaces play with the light well and allow the watch to transition from formal to causal easily. The case and bracelet are titanium making the watch durable but lightweight and comfortable. 40mm in diameter can be a little on the large side for someone with smaller wrists, but the lightness of the titanium and 12.8mm thickness make this wearable by a wide range of wrist sizes. Inside, the watch is powered by the famous 9R65 Spring Drive movement. Hands down my favorite modern watch movement because it is just that, a truly modern mechanical watch movement. The movement utilizes an electromagnetic escapement that is regulated by a quartz oscillator, no batteries required. This use of a quartz oscillator allows Spring drive watches to have a truly fluid sweeping seconds hand that adds a level of elegance that other mechanical watches without the Spring Drive movement can’t match. In short, this watch is gorgeous, durable, comfortable, mechanically innovative and perfect to share.

Nomos Orion 33 Duo

I picked the Orion 33 Duo from Nomos but there is a case to be made for Nomos being a shared watch brand. The clean German design and sweet spot case sizes ensure that every piece in their catalog is well suited for a wide range of styles and wrist sizes. The Orion 33 Duo is as its name suggests 33mm in diameter and thanks to an in house manual winding movement is a svelte 7.6mm in thickness. On the smaller side, this piece is the definition of understated elegance. With just two hands and dress watch proportions, you could easily pair it with formal wear. But that’s limiting the watch, it has a pinch of sporty design elements that, with a quick strap change, allow it to be pretty casual. As a bonus, Nomos offers free case back engraving upon purchase so you can add to the sentimental feel of the watch you’ll be sharing. Speaking of purchase this watch is a great value proposition at $1,600.

Any Rolex Daytona

A timeless classic and icon, there isn’t much to be said about the Rolex Daytona that hasn’t been said already. But here goes. The Daytona design and proportions make it the best Rolex sports watch for all wrist sizes. The Daytona looks just as good on Victoria Beckham’s slender wrist as it does on Sylvester Stallone’s not so slender wrist. The Daytona is the most refined of the Rolex sports watches, but it’s still a capable tool. Like a beautiful sports car, it’s a piece of art but it’s also ready to perform at a moment’s notice. It’s this combination that makes it a perfect watch to share. On top of all that, this is one of the most iconic watch models of all time. The most expensive sports watch ever sold was a Rolex Daytona, Paul Newman’s personal Paul Newman Daytona. A testament to its popularity, there are currently wait lists years long to obtain a brand new one at retail. While the wait lists are not ideal, the Daytona still maintains the same lines and proportions of Daytonas past meaning any Daytona reference will make for a great shared watch.

Omega Constellation

I think this is a watch you either love or hate. It has a polarizing design that’s made even more polarizing by the fact that it’s very different from the original Constellation watches introduced in the ’50s. While it’s very popular in the Asian market, this is a watch that would set you apart in the western world. Not your usual luxury sport design, this piece has a very 90s look to it. A study in contrasts, I’m also not sure if I would call this a dress watch or a sports watch but I love that about it. It’s a left of center watch that has no need to follow the crowd. Sure you could have picked a Datejust, but that’s the default. You don’t do default. Probably the biggest factor in this being a great watch to share is that you can have your pick of the litter with a staggering amount of configurations. With the gents and ladies collections combined, you can select from over six hundred different configurations of this watch. If you like the general design then there is most certainly a model configured exactly how you would like. I have heard complaints about watches having large amounts of configurations and while I like the purity of just a handful of versions, it’s also nice to get exactly what you’re looking for. Especially with a watch that needs to align with two peoples’, distinct tastes. Being able to look through six hundred and nineteen models to find the one that resonates with you both is a huge selling point. While there are a number of aesthetic configurations there are also different movements in the constellation line. The one you select will depend on budget and preference but I would recommend selecting one with the Master Chronometer movement. This is Omega’s marquee movement and one of the best watch movements in production. It’s incredibly accurate and robust. Great watch movement, hundreds of configurations, rich history, definitively sharable.

Rolex Datejust

When I first thought of this concept and what watch I would pick for my wife and I to share, the Rolex Datejust was the watch that immediately came to mind. When a lot of people think of a watch in general it’s the watch that comes to mind. The Datejust design has changed very little over the years because it hasn’t had to. It’s a legitimate classic and a pillar of the Rolex line. It has some serious history behind it as it was the first automatic watch to have an automatically changing date and has been worn by some of the most powerful people to walk this earth. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Roger Federer, and Sylvia Earle are all icons who have famously worn the Datejust. Like the Constellation it has a lot of configurations unlike the Constellation you can change core elements of how the watch looks. Fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet is the classic combo and while it works in a casual setting, it is one of the more dressy configurations. Or you can go smooth bezel with an oyster bracelet and get a watch that’s down right sporty. If you have the means you can get it in solid gold on a president bracelet with a full diamond bezel. No other watch in Rolex’s catalog allows for this level of customization. A watch that will go great with a cocktail dress or tux that can also be worn to the beach and with a little care will easily outlive you. The Datejust might be the epitome of shareable watch.

This is a small selection that I hope gets people thinking about picking a watch to share. Keep in mind though, the watch that inspired this story, a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, is very different than any of the watches I picked. Ultimately it’s up to you and your partner to decide on a watch that you both love and want to share with each other. Here’s to finding excuses to buy another watch.