A G-Shock knows nothing of ostentation. It doesn’t care about the distinction of its wearer. It’s remarkably unfussy. There’s something about a G-Shock that goes against the core principles of purist watch obsessives: It works off a small circuit board, it’s made from tech-forward materials, and it was born in 1983, centuries after the era when the first watchmakers started writing the history of the mechanical timepiece.
And yet, the G-Shock GA2100 1-A-1 is perhaps the single G-Shock that’s most likely to convert people who don’t generally embrace the line of rugged watches.. And it does that all for £99.00. Historically, Casio has indulged in the frequent introduction of new G-Shock models. Since Kikuo Ibe introduced the hard-wearing watch to the world, the range of models has grown dramatically, with certain models spawning sub-followings within the larger G-Shock world, but the GA2100 1-A-1 has found popularity with folks beyond the typical G-Shock fanbase.
So how does this sub-£100 watch manage to charm like the best of them? To start, it’s the thinnest G-Shock currently in production. The case is 11.8mm tall, and even more, it wraps around the wrist in a way that makes it feel even thinner. Its plastic case is practically weightless if you’re used to wearing an even a modestly proportioned 316L case. By design, the strap is angled down so that there’s little room at any point between the 48.5mm case and the watch. There’s something else notable about the case, and that’s the Carbon Core Guard tech that’s incorporated. The case is constructed with a thin layer of carbon fiber in order to bolster its strength so the overall amount of material used in the case can be decreased, without sacrificing any sort of material strength. The Carbon Core Guard doesn’t change the feeling on the wrist, but it does inspire a sense of confidence that the watch would be fine even if it were run over by a car. There’s a reason why G-Shocks are often worn by military and law enforcement personnel.
Redditors and watch forums have also noticed something else about the case: Its octagonal bezel has similar dimensions to a popular but much more expensive watch whose name rhymes with “loyal bloke.” It wouldn’t surprise me if this design quirk has significantly contributed to the decreased stocks of the GA2100 1-A-1 online — the watch sells out regularly every time Casio has it in stock. There’s a sharp hint of comedy in the way these watches are in no way at all similar, but they’re tied together by a series of 8 congruent 135-degree angles — which has led to the GA-2100 being dubbed the “CasiOak” in online watch forums. (The bumpers on the side of the case have a little bit of the Nautilus about them, too, although that feature goes all the way back to the very first G-Shock, the DW-5000, from 1983).
With the GA2100 1-A-1, you get a series of complications like a perpetual calendar, chronograph, chiming alarm, world timer, and great lume to boot. Oh yeah, it also runs well within COSC specs. And servicing costs? Don’t even worry about it. You can take it off, throw it at a brick wall, and it will run just the same.
And what’s more, it’s still very much an analog piece in that it features a traditional dial layout. Casio, king of digital timekeeping, is still fighting the good fight when it comes to keeping analog alive with the GA2100 1-A-1. Sort of. There is a digital display on the southeast quadrant of the dial, and that’s where you can cycle through all the aforementioned functions. And of course, it lights up by pressing the clearly labeled “light” button at 2 o’clock. There’s even an analog day indicator at 9 o’clock.
This variant of the GA-2100 flies under the radar with a stealthed-out aesthetic featuring greyed hands against a dial that looks like it was 3D printed. The indices have enough dimensionality that it isn’t too difficult to tell the time, but if a decision was made to go with the ana-digi design, then it’s surprising to forego things that would make it easier to tell the time. But don’t worry, this is a G-Shock after all, and you can still display the time on the digital screen.
What makes the GA-2100 extremely compelling is that even among the G-Shock ranks, £99 is still the first stop on the way in (if you’re looking at list prices — we’ve seen this watch listed by re-sellers at triple list). It’s not only an affordable G-Shock, but it’s also the most affordable one in the entire range at £99, and that includes purely digital and ana-digi models.
The GA2100 1-A-1 doesn’t ask you for much and it returns more than you’ve put in. It does have its flaws, of course, legibility being chief among them — but it does what it needs to do with a bit of flair and personality. It isn’t good at everything, but it comes through when it counts. That’s about all you can ask of a watch, at any price.
Get ready for another well-priced watch that Timex will not be able to keep in stock. Riding on the success of the Q Timex watches, the Timex M79 Automatic ref. TW2U29500 takes the popular retro sports watch case and the dial of the retro-redo quartz watch, and makes something new that includes a mechanical movement. Did you catch that irony? A new mechanical watch design, based on a vintage quartz watch. The times we live in…
Price is also a factor that Timex can boast about. While not the cheapest mechanical watch around, for the money there is a huge appeal in this under $300 drive-style watch that imagines itself as the Rolex GMT-Master II Batman of yesterday (not that there was one). The Timex M79 Automatic is a product borne of today’s watch collector culture, for today’s watch collector culture. The combination of features in this timepiece is like an assortment of timepiece enthusiast memes on social media. Vintage dive-style watch? Check. Inexpensive mechanical automatic? Check. Rolex inspired looks? Double-check. Steel case with integrated lugs and tapering bracelet? Check.
While the Q Timex case was 38mm-wide, the M79 Automatic goes up to a slightly more today-appropriate 40mm-wide in steel. The case design still looks great and, to be honest, with the thickness of the movement there is no way anyone would have wanted this watch to be narrower, else it look disproportionate.
Love it or hate it, over the dial is an acrylic crystal — which adds to the vintage aesthetic (even though Timex is very clear the M79 Automatic is an original, modern design). The case has just 50 meters of water resistant, but no one was really confusing this for a serious diver’s watch. For daily wear and durability, 50 meters is just fine.
The dial design is attractive with good use of colors and textures. The Timex “T” that sits in the hour hand reminds you that Rolex hands are meaningfully distinct. The calendar windows even use matching black discs rather than harshly contrasting white ones. This is a really nice touch at this price point. I would, however, have liked to see the M79 automatic reference TW2U29500 pair a blue-colored (even a lighter shade of blue) seconds hand (versus red) given the blue and black colors on the unidirectional rotating bezel (aluminum bezel insert). With the red hand, I can’t help but feel that Timex unnecessarily added a color to the mix. Watches can struggle when they try to make use of more than three colors on the dial. That said, the four-color design on the M79 Automatic does offer a pleasant sportiness to it which I think enough people will enjoy.
To many couples, the idea of a “his-and-hers” watch duo is appealing. The idea is to have sets of watches from the same brand and collection which are offered in equally appealing men’s and women’s variants. Thus, there is typically a larger and more masculinized “his” version, as well as typically a smaller and possibly more decorative “hers” version of the same model watch. His-and-hers watch sets are common enough, but finding ones that look just as good on both people is a bit more challenging. Below, we round up many of the most classic and appealing his and hers watches for couples that further demonstrate the importance and power of truly versatile watch designs.
A quick note on same-sex couples who may be similarly interested in matching, yet distinct timepieces. The situation for these couples is actually less challenging, as in many instances the choice will be not a watch model that has good-looking versions in various sizes, but rather watches which are mostly the same but with material, color, or other cosmetic differences. Same-sex couples looking for matching watches thus may have an easier time, though specific such recommendations are outside the scope of this article.
For me, a success in a his-and-hers watch combo is each piece being the only watch you really need, and the Rolex Datejust and Lady-Datejust absolutely fit that bill. It is even easy to imagine a couple unintentionally ending up with matching Rolex Datejust watches. The quintessential everyday men’s Rolex gifted at birthdays, weddings, and, yes, retirements, the Rolex Datejust is an enduring men’s icon. However, just as ubiquitous is the Rolex Lady-Datejust which successfully feminizes the “grandpa” image that the Datejust can be saddled with. No, it’s not the most youthful piece, so it might not appeal to younger couples, and the price matches the Rolex reputation. We currently have this exact his & hers set available to be won HERE.
Cartier Santos Galbee for her; Cartier Santos 100 for him. The Cartier Santos comes with a great history as the first pilot watch ever created and one of the earliest wristwatches for men ever. Though it began as a men’s watch, it later developed a strong feminine appeal as well. The smaller, 34.8mm-by-26.2mm Cartier Santos Galbee is a good size for women and comes in a “two-tone” steel and gold case with a quartz movement... For guys, the 41mm-wide Cartier Santos 100 with the automatic Cartier 1847 MC movement comes in all steel, a two-tone model that would match best with the Galbee, and a black carbon model as the most macho and sporty option. We currently have this exact his & hers set available to be won HERE.
Hublot Big Bang
Hublot will always offer a bold choice for a man or a woman. The Hublot Big Bang Unico 45, as its name suggests, is 45mm wide and requires some degree of bravado from the wearer — or will perhaps supply you with some. Shown above is the Big Bang Unico 45 Black Magic version that is in a ceramic case, with a skeletonized dial, and Hublot’s HUB1242 UNICO Manufacture movement. Available in a range of pastel color options, Hublot’s Big Bang Linen is 41mm wide and includes the HUB4300 automatic chronograph movement with precious stones on the bezel.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The quintessential steel sports watch by Patek Philippe, the Nautilus is a contender for top power-couple watch. Recently celebrating its 40th birthday, the Nautilus (along with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak) takes the self-assured luxury of a steel sports watch that costs as much as one made in precious metals and offers an everyday wear with, love it or hate it, top-tier brand recognition and quality. In recent times, Patek has doubled down on its classic designs that veer to the traditional side, but the Gerald Genta-designed Nautilus has remained a perennially popular watch with broad appeal.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
The Patek Philippe Nautilus vs. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak debate has been litigated and relitigated for years because, like all great timeless debates, there really isn’t a clear winner and both are legends in the world of steel luxury sport watches. The Royal Oak really has emerged as a more mainstream timepiece that you’ll see worn by celebrities, in pop-culture, and on the wrists of uber-wealthy teenage scions on Instagram. Still, the Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak is an icon that comes in at 37mm (ref. 15450ST.OO.1256ST.01) or 41mm (ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.04) options that share an automatic caliber 3120 movement with a solid 60-hour power reserve. It’s far from being an original choice at this point, but it is the original non-round steel luxury sports watch that is nothing short of refined and cool as a his-and-hers option.
If you’re just getting into watches, you don’t have to spend a lot to have a diverse and interesting collection to choose from. Here are some of the best affordable watches, that will still turn heads among your watch friends.
You could easily argue that any Swatch on this list would be a good shout (with the possible exception of the curiously priced Flymagic), but the Sistem51 takes the crown because it is not just a great model from a world-famous, incredibly credible brand, but also because it is mechanically interesting. It is pretty darn hard to get any kind of technical conversation starter at around $300, with the best of the rest capable of dividing aesthetic opinion. With an automatic movement, optically dazzling “mystery rotor” and a raft of colourful, engaging styles, the Sistem51 collection is hard to beat.
Q Timex Reissue 38mm
Reissues tend to go one of two ways. They are either a massive success or a crashing failure. Chalk this one up in the former column. Here, Timex has nailed the design. Employing enough restraint to let the original style speak to a modern audience was a smart move. This update benefits from modern-day manufacturing and is a joyous time capsule of a watch at a little under $400.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-B100
A couple of years ago, Casio dropped their biggest, most bad-ass Mudmaster the world had ever seen. It retailed for about $1500. It was popular and it was super-functional. And so it is no surprise that the Japanese powerhouse decided to follow it up with a new iteration for 2019. What is surprising, however, is exactly how amazing that follow-up turned out to be. With the addition of Bluetooth technology and the refinement of several aesthetic elements (curved crystal, much-improved light, and carbon fibre case components) you would have expected the GG-B100 to retail close to $2000. It doesn’t. It’s priced at less than half its predecessor’s retail. Astounding.
Marathon ‘GPM’ General Purpose Mechanical
For the huntsman in your life. Marathon makes cool, ultra-functional (very small) wristwatches for the kind of guy who likes Cerakoted tactical equipment and camouflaged pyjamas. Don’t lie, you know someone like that (and it’s okay if it’s you). Luckily for utility belt-wearing woodsmen, there is a watch to suit their needs. The mechanical GPM is a rugged treat at less than $1000.
Baltic has built a pretty nice reputation for itself over the last couple of years, but the brand’s best model is far and away the Aquascaphe. A classic diver that looks like it could have tumbled through a time portal to the ’70s, the Aquascaphe comes in a couple of hundred bucks below four figures and offers vintage styling and solid mechanical performance for all who choose this up-and-coming micro as their daily wear. And don’t sleep on the tasty “beads of rice” bracelet. It’s a winner and a nice value boost for the price.
Seiko Prospex SRPC35K1
Classic Seiko divers have a ripe collectors market, and this model — a modern fan favourite — is a steal at around $1000. A “baby Turtle” case, solid link bracelet, and high-performance lume for the price makes this one to watch. Furthermore, owning one of these babies buys you entry into one of the largest and most passionate collector networks going.
Hamilton Khaki King
Hamilton is always a good bet for a solid mechanical watch with a decent power reserve for around a thousand dollars. The Khaki King series gives about as much as one could expect for the price tag, with the added benefit of a worldwide retailer and servicing network that will keep this one ticking for years to come.
Omega Speedmaster Reduced
An odd choice, purely because it is a discontinued model only available on the pre-loved market. There are plenty of excellent examples of this odd, undersized series (available for around $2500) that never quite grabbed the market like the Speedmaster Professional upon which it is based. A base ETA movement with a Dubois Dépraz chronograph module, this dainty and oft-forgotten Speedmaster relative has some vintage kudos that shouldn’t be overlooked.
NOMOS Glashütte Club Campus 36mm
The entry-level Club model caused a storm when it was released a couple of years back and it remains a solid choice for fans of German watchmaking looking to get something in-house on their wrists for significantly less than five grand (the Club Campus retails around $3000). Wearable and classic with a youthful bent, the surprisingly versatile 36mm Club is a winner on all fronts. Available with either a closed case back (which can be engraved) or a sapphire display window showing off the famous Alpha calibre.
This industrialised school project is one of the only enterprises of its kind in the world. The advantage? You, the customer, get a proprietary chronograph that has the look and feel of something four times the price (the current asking prices start at CHF 1399). Fans of the Audemars Piguet concept series should check this out. Although limited production means this model is unlikely to hang around for long, the privately owned training college conducting this build is hopeful that the success of this model will lead to future projects in a similar vein.
Habring2 Erwin Watch
At a shade under $9000 this may seem like a pricey watch to include on a list of models that offer a lot of bang for your buck, but the whole point of the list is identifying pieces that leave you shaking your head at the value proposition rather than simply affordable models. This quaint Austrian maker can offer an in-house dead-beat seconds movement for less than five figures (the A11S), and it’s wrapped up in one of the slickest, most wearable skins you’re likely to see. The model with rose gold markers is particularly handsome, and like very few models in its price bracket.
Spot the ball is a popular prize game that a lot of competitions use to pick a winner. It’s as simple as the name, all you must do is spot the ball but… there is no ball. Confused? Not to worry, because we will be explaining it all for you.
What happens first?
We are given a selection of photos that have been taken at football matches, and they are given directly to us. Meaning there are no images online or in the news, showing where the ball is and giving the game away. The perfect shot is then selected, normally an action shot with more than one player and one that will still give a rough idea of where the ball COULD be. This is so that when it comes to the judging process, our judges can usually spot the ball by following the players’ eye line or by their body language. It’s easy enough to participate as no football knowledge is necessary, as we are a watch competition, we don’t expect everyone who enters to be football experts. Although it isn’t always as straight forward, as sometimes the players’ eyes may be shut, or they may be looking elsewhere which can throw you off.
Will the winning spot be exactly where the ball was?
We have a team that has some of the best photo editing equipment, so once the picture is picked, we then have the ball removed. We make sure to leave no trace of the ball, otherwise, I’m sure a few eagle-eyed players would be able to make out where the ball was. Some competitions are not fussed about leaving some traces of where the ball was, as they will use a completely different location as the winning spot. In theory, the winning ball location could be on the opposite side of the picture from the real location. However, this would be very misleading and unfair. Rest assured, here at Watchlotto, the winning spot will be chosen by 4 individuals with a handful of football knowledge. You can check out who we have used previously to judge our competitions HERE and if you’re a football fan, I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
How do I play?
All you must do is decide where you think the ball is, based on some of the hints the picture will give you. You should take your time and pay attention to everything in the picture that may help you pick the winning spot! The judges will come in and inspect every part of the picture to help them decide where they place the winning marker, so you should too. A lot of people tend to place multiple markers on the picture to increase their chances of winning. You can watch our previous judging videos HERE which may give you a better understanding, as they will go into depth about why they have decided to choose that particular spot.
Once the competition has closed and all entries have been made, we will then have 4 football professionals come into the office and individually choose where they think the ball is. We then get them together and they are able to discuss between them why they have chosen that particular spot. All four judges will then decide the winning spot, taking all judges individual markers into consideration. Whoever guesses closest to the judges coordinates wins! The winning spot may not be exactly where the ball previously was, but with our judge’s knowledge, it is never far off. If you are still unsure on how to play, you can check out our walkthrough HERE.
Once we have the winning coordinates, we will contact the player and let them then know that they have won and can discuss the delivery of their brand-new watch. Each player chooses either one watch to play for or they may have played for multiple different watches. During our call with the winner, we will let them know which watch they have won and how long they have before they’ve got their new watch in their hands! We have multiple different watches available to play for including Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Hublot and many more!
Would you like to win a watch? All you have to do is play and who knows, we could be seeing you very soon…
The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss is designed to withstand magnetic fields of up to 1000 gauss - hence the name MILgauss, MILLE being the French word for 1000. The watch features a metal shield inside the case which surrounds & protect the movement. The shield is made of ferromagnetic alloys selected by Rolex to protect the movement from magnetic fields. Green Sapphire Crystal: the dial is protected by a unique highly scratch-resistant & fade-proof light green colored sapphire crystal.
The 10-day power reserve movement finds its way in the barrel-shaped Hublot.
Hublot is certainly most known for its luxury sports watches with shaped cases, a fusion of material and integrated straps. There is, however, another collection at Hublot that we somehow tend to overlook, a collection of shaped watches, with a barrel-like case, the Spirit Of Big Bang. Part of the 2020 novelties presented in Dubai, Hublot introduced its 10-day power reserve movement in this collection with the Spirit Of Big Bang Meca-10.
This combination is a first for Hublot. Indeed, for the first time the Spirit Of Big Bang, a collection that is gaining importance at Hublot, is receiving the popular Meca-10 manufacture calibre. Why only now…? Well, since the Spirit Of Big Bang has a shaped case, encasing the Meca-10 movement required some important adaptations on the movement to make it shaped just like the case of this watch.
Behind this watch lies the wish of Hublot to have harmony between cases and movements, meaning that the mechanics should follow the same lines as the cases – a requirement that is enhanced by the fact that Hublot’s mechanical movements are almost always visible through transparent dials and casebacks. The main idea was to take the Meca-10 movement of the Big Bang collection and to adapt it to the barrel shape of the Spirit Of Big Bang. What could seem simple was, in fact, quite a complex task and watchmakers were “tasked with revising the whole construction of the movement so that it would fit in the new space available as efficiently as possible from a technical aspect“. The usual round main-plate is replaced by bridges with a fixed length on either side of a ring that serves as a base for the movement.
The Meca-10 Calibre HUB1233 found in this new watch is, other than its new shape, equal in terms of specifications. As such, it has an extra-long power reserve of 10 days, thanks to its parallel twin barrel. Since we’re talking hand-wound calibre, Hublot’s idea was to make the power reserve indicator the central piece of this watch. The indicator is also unusual, two racks sliding on a line between 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock with an innovative new rack and pinion, whilst the opening at 3 o’clock shows the number of days left on the power reserve. It is an entertaining and high-performance display. The movement is, as often with Hublot, skeletonized to reveal most of the technical parts.
The Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Meca-10 is, for the rest, faithful to the codes of this collection. The case is large, at 45mm across and 14.45mm in thickness. It retains the signature 6 H-shaped screws on the bezel and the sandwich construction of the dial with black contrasting element in the middle and lateral “ears”. The watch is worn on a structured rubber strap with folding buckle matching the case.
Price and availability
The Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Meca-10 will be available in 3 versions:
Titanium – 614.NX.1170.RX – EUR 22,700
King Gold – 614.OX.1180.RX – EUR 43,500
Black Ceramic – 614.CI.1170.RX – EUR 26,900
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This year is shaping up to be the year of the watch industry trade show. As brands begin to diversify away from the traditional stalwarts like Baselworld and SIHH, more groups are beginning to host their own shows as well.
The first of these for the year comes courtesy of LVMH, which is displaying its entire brand lineup in Dubai from January 13–15. As part of this massive exhibition, Zenith has announced several new additions to its model lineup including a pair of limited-edition variants of the cutting-edge Defy 21 series. Both of these new models, the Defy 21 Land Rover Edition and the Defy 21 Carl Cox, take full advantage of Zenith’s broad range of partnerships to deliver distinctive limited run styles.
The Defy 21 Land Rover Edition takes its inspiration from the legendary capability and ruggedness of the Land Rover Defender off-roader, offering a masculine and monochrome take on the basic Defy 21 chronograph design. The main case is crafted from bead-blasted titanium for a lightweight, durable and extremely matte finish, while the matching deep gray of the dial keeps the overall package cohesive and stealthy. The Defy 21 Land Rover Edition uses Zenith’s dual escapement El Primero 9004 automatic chronograph movement, allowing for 1/100 of a second chronograph precision alongside a 50 hour power reserve, certified chronometer accuracy, and the Defy 21’s first ever linear power reserve display proudly rendered in white and orange at 12 o’clock. This unique design is paired with a unique “Adventure” strap in gray rubber, along with an additional gray fabric strap with titanium deployant clasp. Limited to 250 units, the Defy 21 Land rover Edition is priced at $14,278.
As the latest installment in Zenith’s “Friends of the Brand” series, the Defy 21 Carl Cox celebrates the legendary DJ and electronic music producer of the same name with a distinctive lightweight take on the Defy 21 formula. Every element of the case, pushers, crown and deployant buckle are rendered in forged carbon, which imbues the modernist design with an additional jolt of high-tech durability, weight savings and eye-catching style. The dial of the Defy 21 Carl Cox, appropriately for a watch celebrating a dance music producer, centers around the idea of displaying the “beat”. The main dial is completely skeletonized, leaving only the black subdials at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock behind while the beating heart of the El Primero 9004 automatic movement is exposed. Playful splashes of red in the power reserve indicator, central chrono seconds hand, subdial hands, and on the 9 o’clock subdial itself inject further life into the mix. The musical inspiration continues further in this 9 o’clock running seconds disk, which takes the shape of a tiny vinyl record complete with label. The Defy 21 Carl Cox utilizes the same El Primero 9004 automatic chronograph movement as its Land Rover Edition stablemate. This avant-garde package is paired with a bright red Cordura-effect strap with lumed contrast stitching. The Defy 21 Carl Cox is limited to 200 pieces, and will be priced at $20,030.
Both of these new limited-edition Defy 21 models are only part of a major series of announcements from Zenith at LVMH Watch Week — Dubai 2020. For more information on these new models, visit the brand’s website.