Wrist Watch Review https://wristwatchreview.com Unbiased Wrist Watch Reviews Since 2004 Fri, 13 Dec 2019 14:33:42 -0400 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://i1.wp.com/wristwatchreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/wwr-logo-square.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Wrist Watch Review https://wristwatchreview.com 32 32 Rewound App: Your iPod misses you https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/13/rewound-app-your-ipod-misses-you-2/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:39:28 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140228 Remember how great iPods were? You’d scroll through your music library with lightning speed thanks to the touch wheel. It’d click comfortably in your hand, helping you navigate with ease. Louis Anslow has an app to bring all that joy back.

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Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed – it’s the Undone Batman chronographs! https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/13/atomic-batteries-to-power-turbines-to-speed-its-the-undone-batman-chronographs/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140145 Undone is a watch brand that seemingly came out of nowhere a few years ago (at least as far as my own personal radar goes). They set a solid foundation with building up semi-custom watches for customers, and then they started scoring some rather interesting partnership deals. Recently, they had official Peanuts watches (which I almost got one for my oldest), and now, they hit me right in the cowl with a batarang. You see, they’ve got two watches now to help commemorate the 80th anniversary of my favorite superhero, Batman, appearing in the comics.

For this release (which I imagine is just the first, as they’ve got a three-year deal with Warner Bros) they’ve got two variants available – the “Caped Crusader” (which has the yellow accents and the early-90s Batsymbol) and the “Dark Knight” (with Wayne Enterprises branding and 2011-version batsymbol). Both of these are set into a new titanium cushion case (the first time Undone has used titanium, it seems). This takes its cues from their Urban series, though the titanium reduces weight by 25%, and they managed to shave 0.5mm off of the case height.

Design-wise, the watches are setting themselves into two different eras. The Caped Crusader features the bat symbol that I am the most familiar with (’89 Batman an Batman: The Animated Series) and is the one I doodle, whereas the Dark Knight goes with the logo that shows up now in the comics (as well as that Wayne Enterprises logo we know from the Christian Bale-era Batman movies). They’ve got very different color schemes, and I think that will, in large part, drive your decision. While the more practical me is drawn to the grey-on-grey of the Dark Knight (as well as it’s blue lume) it’s the kid in me that says the Caped Crusader with it’s bold yellow (and the luminous “Detect-a-scope”) just, well, feels like an unabashed homage to the Bat.

Both designs are currently available right now, featuring a quartz chronograph movement. Head on over to Undone, and lay claim to the version you prefer for just $359 – which is quite a nice price considering the titanium (and the licensing). I’ve not experienced Undone in person, but folks seem to be happy with their build quality. So, if you’ve gotten one before – or are ordering one now – do let us know in the comments (or drop us a line) (mailto:tips@wristwatchreview.com?subject=Undone) and let us know. Will you get a watch? We’ll find out – tune in to the same Bat-blog, same Bat-time. undone.com

2% of every Batman sale will go to support the heroic work of the Hope for Henry Foundation, who help seriously ill children and their families through difficult times. 

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Undone Caped Crusader / Undone Dark Knight
  • Price: $359
  • Who we think it might be for: For anyone who is a fan of Batman, of course
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? If it weren’t for my personal aversion to chronographs (I just don’t have a real use for them, even though I appreciate them from a technical perspective) it would be a temptation
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: If they ever make a ’66-era one, they really can use the spinning Batsymbol from the show either on the sundial, or on the rotor of an automatic

Tech Specs from Undone

  • Case:
    • 40mm (43mm including crown)
    • Grade II Titanium
    • 48mm lug-to-lug length
    • Height: 13.3mm
    • Exhibition caseback with 80th anniversary badge
  • Movement: Seiko VK64 Quartz Hybrid Chronograph
  • Crystal: Hardened Domed K1
  • WR: 50 meters
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What’s the big deal with watch blogs becoming retailers? https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/12/whats-the-big-deal-with-watch-blogs-becoming-retailers/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:17:23 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140219 You might be tempted to ask yourself that very question. You may ask it in Mr. Seinfeld’s voice. You may even justify it with the argument that, well, they’re just trying to make a buck, and that’s their right. And, yes, you’re correct, to an extent. But when those sites sell in the category they’re supposed to be providing unbiased reviews on, then we’ve got a problem, Houston. That, friends, is what we want to talk about today.

The first site that we saw move majorly in that direction is Hodinkee. I’ve met and conversed with a number of the folks who work there, so I’ve got nothing against the site personally – they’re doing their thing. But what we’ve got here, at it’s very core, is a question of integrity. Let’s flip it around to something a bit more innocuous, such as fruits. Let’s say you’ve got a site that reviews all the fruits out there, different varieties, and the like. But then you decide, well, you’re going to start selling apples. You now have a vested interest (whether you realize it or not) to start promoting apples to the detriment of, say, oranges and grapes.

The brands Hodinkee will claim to be unbiased about

Now, perhaps the crew over at Hodinkee have much stronger moral compasses than we might think. There’s going to be someone at the top, however, who’s watching the numbers coming along, and their will be direction coming down – maybe subtle, maybe not – that’s going to focus on the things -and the brands – that they’re selling. And make no mistake – once a site has leapt from simply accepting advertising dollars, and become a retail outlet, they are very much looking to protect those margins (which is why you see things like wildly low numbers in these special “limited editions”).

Now, you might be ready to argue that these are paragons of virtue, and that there is NO WAY that something like this would happen. If so, they’re better people than I. As it is, the relationship between reviewer and brand is a fine line to walk – you need to be able to tell the truth about what you see, and remain independent from the brand reps, while still maintaining that relationship. That’s the sort of thing that is the very reason that no one who is writing content for this site has anything to do with advertising. And why we don’t accept sponsored posts (well, we would, but no one has bitten on our $100,000 fee for those. I think the price makes the point).

You might also be asking “Well, why talk about this now?” And yes, Hodinkee has been on this road for quite some time now. It was the combination of two things – Fratello (a site we respect, the very ones behind “Speedy Tuesday”) getting into the AD game (with Frederique Constant, another brand we respect), along with the kerfuffle that has erupted around the new LE Leica camera that was launched at the big H. And you know, there may well be other sites out there doing this as well, that I’m not even aware of. Thing is, Hodinkee and Fratello are two large, well-respected sites (WatchPro covered the Fratello news here, and followed up with an interview with Robert-Jan Broer). We decided it was time to take a stand and call this out – because if we don’t say anything, it will become something that we all just accept.

When that happens, then the independent reviews that we all rely on to make judgements on things we won’t see in person before we buy become utterly worthless. For you to be able to trust a review, you need to trust that the person writing it has no financial interest in what they’re writing about. That’s why we’ve got the guidelines we have for editorial content (both here, and at Knapsack). I get it, we’re not doing investigated journalism that’s going to winning the Pulitzer. But I still see that we have a responsibility to provide you, dear reader, with our honest opinion. Do we have our own favorite brands, movements, and colors? Sure! Will those influence our review? Quite likely, but not to the point that we’re worried about jeopardizing our sweet, sweet wholesaler pricing.

Am I saying that all review sites need to cut themselves off at the knees? By no means! Sure, we are super enthusiastic about what we write about, and are fortunate to see the wide variety of watches that we see. But, at the end of the day, it’s something that is work – the photography, the writing, the editing, etc. And for that, most folks expect to be compensated. That’s why most media outlets you visit will have ads (and why your favorite magazines, if you have any anymore, feature advertising) – those help fund the operation of the site. We just keep things totally separate between editorial and advertising.

And hey, if a site wants to go ahead and design a watch of their own, I say go ahead and go for it – make it something that is unique to your site, and is something that makes sense for your readers (say, like the forum-edition watches that pop up now and again). Other sites do interesting things with their logos, like our pals over at Two Broke Watch Snobs are doing over at their TeeSpring storefront. These are totally fine paths, and are going to be abundantly evident that you’re supporting your passion with other ephemera that a reader can pick up to help support what you’re doing. Or hey, even Patreon subscriptions – those help creators keep on creating as well.

At the end of the day, we just want to call out that if there’s even a whiff of Payola creeping into where you read your reviews – in whatever arena it’s in – your Spideysense better start tingling. Don’t be afraid to ask those questions! I’d invite you to hold those properties accountable – reach out to them (you can do that quite easily with us) – and if you’re not satisfied, vote with your eyes. By that, I mean stop going to that site. If they’re not responding to calls to accountability and transparency, and then readership drops off, smart editorial teams will put two and two together.

At the end of the day, what you do with your time – and where you consume your news and reviews from – is something only you can decide for yourself. We’ve obviously got our opinions, and have spilled some of them out here. We’ve become too accustomed to partisan news sources across a variety of topics, and tend to look for those that reinforce our own viewpoints. We can – and should – expect better. Truly neutral impartiality will be nigh-impossible to find – but it’s something we should all look for, and use as a measuring stick for those outlets we consume. For our part, we know we ourselves are not perfect here at WWR, but we will do our best to hold ourselves to that standard. That’s what you deserve, and your trust in us demands.

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Want a discount on a Christopher Ward Trident? https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/12/want-a-discount-on-a-christopher-ward-trident/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 14:15:31 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140217 Well, then today (and the next five days) are your lucky day. From now, through midnight on December 16th, you can net 15% off any Trident with the code Gift15. christopherward.com

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Shinola is honoring art and architecture https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/12/shinola-is-honoring-art-and-architecture/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140106 In what we’ve written about here, we’ve showcased watches that are influenced by – or even designed by – artists and architects. One of my favorite brands has dipped their pen into that inkwell now, with new limited-edition clocks and a watch.

Clocks are a relatively new area for the brand, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to experience both the wall-mounted version as well as the desktop version (which I wrote about here) . While those took the well-understood Runwell look and supersized it, here, things have gone in a different direction.

Sure, you’ve got the same case (and presumably movement) in use, but you’ve got a much different look to the handset and dial. How did they come up with these designs? I mean, Robert Mapplethorpe was known as a photographer, primarily. As it turns out, these are from unpublished sketches that Mapplethorpe had done at some point, which were then writ large onto these clocks.

The clocks themselves are the larger wall-mounted 14″ versions, though they do have stands available should you want to have it on a shelf somewhere. There are three versions (here, here, and here) of the clock, and each run $600 directly from the brand. Detailed specs are listed down below.

Now, not everyone wants a clock, or has a need for one (though I find these to be particularly handsome, and it looks like they’ve got a lot more colors now available in the main Runwell design). If you want a watch, and are a fan of architecture, then the Shinola Canfield Yamaski would be of interest to you.

Minoru Yamasaki is a world-renown architect, and some of his work also calls Detroit home. In fact, it’s his McGregor Memorial Conference Center that is cited as an influence in the design of this watch, which is part of Shinola’s American Greats series. Starting with the 38mm Canfield design (which we reviewed here in chrongraph guise), you’ve got a crisp and clean dial, along with a handset that – to me – looks like skyscrapers spinning around the arbor.

The Shinola Canfield Yamaki is a limited-edition watch (only 350 pieces are being made) and as such, commands a premium. In this case, $1,000 is the the pricetag attached to this piece honoring the architect. Perhaps best-suited for fans of Detroit’s buildings, I think it’s still a rather sharp-looking piece, even if you’ve never laid eyes upon a Yamaski design.

For those looking for watches from Shinola that are closer to the affordable end of the spectrum, keep your eyes peeled, as I’ve got two hands-on reviewed from the brand currently in the works. shinola.com

SHINOLA x MAPPLETHORPE RUNWELL WALL CLOCKS SPECIFICATIONS

  • Clock Case: Powder Coated Matte Black
  • Dials: Matte Black and Gray (two versions) and Matte Black and Red, with Raised Dot Indexes
  • Hands: Hour and Minute- Semi Gloss White
  • Stand: Black Lacquered American Oak
  • Size: 14”
  • Built in Detroit

Shinola Canfield Yamasaki Specifications

CASE BACK PLATESignature Iconic Caseback Plate with Laser-Etched Serial Number
CASE SIZE38mm
CASE THICKNESS11mm
MOVEMENTArgonite 715
MOVEMENT TYPEThree Hand No Date
DIAL COLOR DETAILBlack
BAND MATERIALLeather Strap
STRAP TYPEQuick Release
STRAP LENGTH115mm x 75mm
STRAP WIDTH18mm
STRAP COLOR DETAILBlack
CASE MATERIALStainless Steel
CASE PLATINGStainless Steel
CASE FINISHPolished
TOP RING PLATINGStainless Steel
TOP RING FINISHPolished
CROWN PLATINGStainless Steel
CROWN FINISHPolished
CROWN CONSTRUCTIONPush-down
BUCKLE SIZE18mm
BUCKLE PLATINGStainless Steel
DEPTH RATINGATM
CRYSTALDouble-domed Sapphire
BATTERY LIFEEOL Technology
WARRANTYClick here to view warranty information on page 24
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You want to make like Sly Stallone, and go over the top with your gift giving? https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/11/you-want-to-make-like-sly-stallone-and-go-over-the-top-with-your-gift-giving/ Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140165 Sure, this time of year, you’re going to have all sorts of gift guides popping up (and, as a matter of fact, we’ve published more than a few). Or, you might just be looking for interesting reviews of new watches (again, we’ve got those). But for those for whom the reading of things is best left to assistants, well, then point them at this offering we just became aware of.

As you can tell from the photo up at the top, what’s on offer here is the sublimely superb F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu (really, read up on the watch – there’s some wonderful stuff hiding under that deceptively simple blue dial). But, you say, JUST a watch is simply not enough? Not even one with a pedigree like this? Well, hold my beer, fam – Paddle8 is ready to just recklessly rearrange your guano.

Image courtesy of TheJourneGuy

You see, along with this watch, they’re also bundling in a tour of the very place your watch was built – the F.P. Journe Manufacture. You’ll need to arrange your own travel and lodging accommodations, but once you’re there, you’ve got a whole day in what is sure to be much like the Willy Wonka movie (the original, not the Depp remake), at least in my fever dream imagining.

If you’re not in the grasp of the dreams, and you’ve got access to the funds, a simple payment of just $60,000 will get you all set up for an amazing watch. Sure, it’s with a premium, but it’s just not anyone who gets to visit the manufacture. And if that’s you, well, write us up a visit report, eh? paddle8.com

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Hands on with the Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/11/hands-on-with-the-phoibos-eagle-ray-gmt/ Wed, 11 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140061 I have done several reviews now for Phoibos and not a one of them have disappointed me. Phoibos recently contacted me about reviewing their new Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT. I was really interested in this one since – aside it being their newest – it lowers the entry point for the brand. Let’s see what you get for the money!

The Dial

I am very partial to blue dials, so this is straight-up eye candy to me. The face on this Phoibos Eagle Ray transitions from blue to black and really looks sharp. The only real contrasting color on this is the red GMT hand and text. You get three time zones on this GMT (the main hour hand, GMT hour hand, and the inner rotating bezel each cover a time zone). All these hands are mounted to a SWISS RONDA 515-24H quartz movement. Protecting all of this is a double-domed Sapphire crystal with 3 layers of anti-reflective under coating. All of this comes together to make a pretty sharp looking time piece.

The Case

If you are planning on traveling to some nice tropical destination to dive, this watch can do that job. The case is made from 316l stainless steel and has an impressive water resistance of 1000ft. That’s fine for any recreational diving you plan to do. Case size is 41mm in diameter and 10.5mm thick. Not too big, or too small. The case uses both brushed and polished finishes, and has two screw down crowns (one for the time/date, and the other for the rotating inner bezel). As with all the Phoibos watches I have reviewed, the build quality was excellent.

The Strap

Phoibos uses what they call a black tropical rubber strap on this Eagle Ray. The strap fits comfortably and unlike silicon straps, this does not collect lint. It’s a nice look and pairs well with this watch.

The Lume

Lume is fanastic on this Phoibos Eagle Ray. They lume up everything on this watch. Only thing not lumed is the date. They use 12 layers of Super-LumiNova BGW9 on the hands, indices and bezel. That makes this pretty good looking in the dark.

If you are new to the whole watch collecting thing and want to start with a nice watch for the budget, then this might be good for you. It’s a GMT for travel, with a case that can handle all of your dives, and it can dress up too. For a price of only $200 this is a good intro to the watch world. If you like what you see, go check it out at phoiboswatch.com.

Review Summary

  • Make and model:  Phoibos Eagle Ray GMT
  • Price:  $200 USD
  • Who’s it for? Travelers and new watch collectors.
  • Would I wear it? For the looks, yes. Cause its quartz, no.
  • What I’d change: Go automatic.
  • The best things about it: Build quality and looks.

Tech Specs from Phoibos

  • Dial:Blue to Black
  • Caliber No.: SWISS RONDA 515-24H
  • Case: 316L Stainless steel
  • Band: 20mmwidth Black Tropical Rubber Strap
  • Glass:Double Domed Sapphire crystal with 3 layers anti reflective under coating
  • Water resistance: 300M(1000ft) suitable for Swimming & Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
  • Case size: Diameter 41.0mm.  Thickness 10.5mm.  47mm lug to lug
  • Bezel:120-click bi-directional bezel
  • Crown:Screw-Down crown
  • Lume: 12 layers Super-LumiNova BGW9 on hands, indices and bezel marking
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RGM announces a new GMT, the Model 500-GMT-RS https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/10/rgm-announces-a-new-gmt-the-model-500-gmt-rs/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:55:11 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140140 RGM is one of the only active watchmakers in America. Nestled in an old bank building in Pennsylvania’s Amish Country, Roland and his team have been building beautiful watches, one at a time, for years.

Now they’ve announced the Model 500-GMT-RS, a bidirectional GMT with special styling based on the bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs’ unique creations.

From the release:

The Model 500-GMT-RS is the first RGM with a bi-directional-turning GMT bezel. The watch is designed as a sport watch that is also ideal for travel when using the 24-hour GMT hand and bezel. To help ensure the durability, the watch has two case-back gaskets, a 2mm thick sapphire crystal, and a high-quality screw-down crown.

Bicycle frame builder Richard Sachs and Roland Murphy have a passion for handcrafting and making very special products for their clients, often creating bespoke pieces of art. They can be described as traditionalists who believe in providing customer service and building the right product for each individual.

The watch isn’t much more than a standard GMT – you pull the crown out to the second position to snap the hour hand forward and back – but Roland and team have added a bidirectional bezel to make it easier to set a third timezone. The piece runs a RGM-ETA 2893-2 GMT automatic movement in a 41mm. It’s beautifully finished by the team in Pennsylvania and is one of RGM’s bolder pieces.

It’s limited to 50 pieces and costs $4,750 – not too shabby for an American-made watch.

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A quick Skagen roundup https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/10/a-quick-skagen-roundup/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140072 Skagen is a brand that I’ve gotten more familiar with over the last year. I’ve had one of their watches in my collection for almost 12 years now (my wedding watch), and have spent time with several of their newer releases this year. For today, we’re going to blast through a handful of other offerings we’ve not covered as of yet, as they present some interesting options.

First up, we’ve got the $125 Skagen Sketchable. For the dial and case, these present as fairly standard (read: clean and crisp) design for the brand, with a difference that’s noticeable once you take a closer look. The indices, numerals, “lume strip” on the hands, and even the logo all look to be hand-drawn. On the included brown leather strap, even the “stitching” is drawn in. The kit itself also comes along with a blank white strap – and a marker – for you to create your own artwork. So, go ahead, and indulge your inner Keith Haring (you can practice on the box first) and make that strap your own. The Skagen Sketchable is available in both 38mm and 45mm diameter.

Next up, we’ve got the $135 Skagen Melbye. This one is very much a classic sort of a three-hander profile, with some cues (the textured dial and crenelated bezel) hailing from higher-end brands. Worth noting is that the Melbye is a 45mm case, and the strap (integrated into the lugs) is labelled as not changeable. I’m sure an enterprising tinkerer could figure it out, but you’ll want to make sure you’re picking the strap you want on this model.

Third in line we’ve got two watches. By that, mean the $155 Skagen Aaron Kulor Pairs. While we often will look for watches that come in multiple sizes (like the Sketchable up above) to build a his-and-hers combination. Here, you’ve got both watches coming right along in a single package, one in 41mm guise, and the other in 36mm. This is a pretty classic minimal Scandinavian style from the brand, here presented in a washed blue that is used on the dial, case, and silicone strap.

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got the Skagen Finn Juhl. Actually, to be fair, these are two watches are well. You’ve got the “standard” one which comes in a blue dial set into a 40mm steel case on a interchangeable mesh strap. That one runs $125, while you can go in a much more limited edition direction (and brown hues) with the $395 limited edition version that features a Papua New Guinea teak wood dial, and is limited to 334 pieces. Both feature what has a very 60s vibe to the dial design with the polished pips and handset shape.

And there, you’ve got a quick rundown on some of the more recent offerings coming from Skagen. Most are handily at the $150-and-under mark, with that one LE going higher-end for the brand. And of course, should none of those work for you, they’ve got plenty of other options in the offing as well (say, like a smartwatch), and likely can meet your style. skagen.com

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The Projects Watches Ode to Delaunay is a painting for your wrist https://wristwatchreview.com/2019/12/09/the-projects-watches-ode-to-delaunay-is-a-painting-for-your-wrist/ Mon, 09 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000 https://wristwatchreview.com/?p=140046 Projects Watches are certainly no stranger to bringing in unconventional designers to create watches. In particular, they seem to have an affinity for architects. Their latest has an architect at the helm, who took inspiration from a painting, leading us to the Project Watches Ode to Delaunay.

Moshe Safdie

The architect in question is Moshe Safdie, and the painting he drew inspiration from is Robert Delaunay’s 1938 creation, Rythme n°1. What at first seems to be a busy, chaotic mess reveals itself as layers of colorful, concentric circles in motion (due to more circles in the form of rotating discs).

Telling the time on the piece looks fairly straightforward, as there are cutouts in the dials that reveal where you are. For the hours, those are clean numerals, and for the minutes, you’ve got some tick marks. That makes determining the exact time a little trickier, but you should be able to tell where things fall by its position.

Coming in at $185 the Projects Watches Ode to Delaunay is one of the more expensive pieces we’ve seen from the company. From discussions, though, it sounds like there are some tricky bits in the manufacturing of the dials and getting colors aligned, and I’m sure that played into a bit. Still, for someone who loves color and art (even if they don’t know Safdie or Delaunay), this looks to be a piece that will delight. projectswatches.com

Tech Specs from Projects Watches

  • 40mm in diameter / 9.5mm thickness
  • Black IP Stainless Steel Case
  • Black Leather Strap
  • 3 ATM
  • Miyota Quartz Movement
  • MSRP $185
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