All posts in “Seiko”

Breitling’s Avenger Hurricane 45 watch uses dense composites to stay light


According to horological legend the first luxury watch made of steel – the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak caused great consternation when it launched in 1972. Up until then there were timekeepers – small, cheap watches like Timex and Seiko – and expensive pieces that you handed out at retirements from brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. To build a luxury watch in steel was an outrage but eventually steel surpassed watches made of precious metals.

Just wait until those steel naysayers hear about a luxury watch made of plastic.

The ultralight Avenger Hurricane 45 chronograph is the latest watch to use Breitling’s Breitlight polymer, essentially a scratch-proof amalgam that is lighter than titanium and stronger than steel. The watch itself contains a manufacture (read “custom”) chronograph movement and comes on a rubberized canvas strap. All of this means that this is one of the strongest and lightest watches you’ll ever wear.

The 45mm piece feels almost evanescent, especially when compared to similarly sized steel chronographs. While I didn’t run this thing over with a truck the polymer was scratch resistant and very comfortable and, because its made of plastic, it’s nice for folks with allergies to metal on the skin. It was a comfortable wear – not heavy at all – and the 45mm face was comfortable to wear and looked smaller than it was.

Why would you want a plastic watch? Breitling has taken pains to explain that this isn’t just a hunk of plastic squeezed into a mold and filled with a movement. This is a specialty material, one made to order by Breitling and produced in very small quantities. There are two other models that use the material, a 24-hour chronograph and the Colt Skyracer, a three hand model. Considering the last big material change in watches came when Chanel and others started using ceramic, plastic isn’t that much of a stretch.

How much is the pleasure of owning a one-of-a-kind plastic watch? Try $8,390, a price that reflects the manufacture movement, the chronograph certification (each Breitling is officially certified for accuracy, a fairly meaningless thing in a world of smartwatches but is still important when it comes to mechanicals), and the ultra light case. It just goes to show you that the definition of luxury changes every few years – or decades – and that todays timekeeper is tomorrows luxury item.

The Avenger Hurricane 45 is shipping now.

The MWW Iconik 3 is an inexpensive automatic watch for military fans


Manchester Watch Works aka MWW makes small batch watches that are sometimes homages to historic timepieces and are sometimes entirely new design. This model, the Iconik 3 – the third in the Iconik line – is based on the Blancpain TR-900, a military spec diver’s watch used by navies worldwide in the 1960s. These waterproof workhorses are sought after collectables and the Iconik 3 gives you the opportunity to feel like a French combat diver without having to attach explosives to an enemy submarine in the Aegean

The piece has a Seiko NE15 automatic movement with 24 jewels and a 50 hour power reserve – the same movement used in Seiko’s other divers. It also has a bead-blasted steel case and a “tropical” tan dial with Superluminova markers and hands. Finally, they strap it to a green nylon band with leather backing.

The Iconik 3 is part of a limited 100 run.

Why is this cool? Because at $460 you get a 200-meter diver for not much money and with plenty of history. There are more watches like this out there – I found similar divers out there from between $41 from Invicta to $500 or so for an older Marathon SAR or Orsa – but this one is unique in its styling, its design, and its history. In short it lets you feel like James Bond’s assassin friend Jaques without breaking the bank.

If Steve Jobs was still alive he’d totally be wearing this 3-decade-old watch

You just can’t beat a classic. 

Japanese manufacturer Seiko recently announced plans to re-release a version of its vintage 1980s Chariot model timepiece. That just so happens to be the same watch that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is pictured wearing in an iconic 1984 Norman Seeff photograph, which later graced the cover of Time Magazine

And let’s be totally real here: If Jobs were still alive today he’d likely prefer this three-decade-old wrist watch to the current Apple Watch. Why? It’s all about simplicity. 

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity,” Jobs observed in a 1998 interview with Business Week. “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

But this one can remind you to drink water, so...

But this one can remind you to drink water, so…

Image: LILI SAMS/MASHABLE

By that metric, the Chariot is leaps and bounds ahead of the Apple Watch — which, by all accounts, has yet to move any mountains. Unless you count all the lithium mined for the watches’ batteries, that is. 

After all, what’s simpler than a watch that refuses to do anything other than tell the time? 

So how to get your hands on one of these ¥20,000 ($177) beauties? First, act fast. According to The Verge, Seiko plans to sell only 2,282 of them starting March 10. Of those, 1,982 will have the original white face. Also (and here’s where it gets tricky) the company is only selling them in Japan. 

Considering that Jobs was reportedly obsessed with the country, however, we don’t think that would’ve stopped him were he still alive today.