The History and Development of the Rolex GMT Master II

The modern Steel Sports Rolex is one of the most desirable and difficult to obtain watches in 2021. Playing on the psychology of people who, when told they can’t have something, makes them want it more, Rolex restrict the amount of steel sports watches that are available for sale, fuelling ever growing waiting lists from authorised dealers. This results in an increased demand, which then develops in ever growing waiting lists. Arguably the watch that has the most attention for being subject to this vicious circle of lowering supply to increase demand is the Rolex GMT Master II. With its loud and vivid (for Rolex) colour schemes, and iconic design with a cult following, it's one of the most recognisable Rolex models of all time.

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Published on Saturday 27th of November 2021

Aquanaut by Patek Philippe

When the Aquanaut watch was launched, back in 1997, it created a tremendous amount o interest because of its unexpected design and younger modern look. The Aquanaut timepiece started off with only two models, with a run of only 1000 pieces of each design. The stainless model 5060A and the 18ct yellow gold model 5060J were the two watches that created this interest in the beginning. The main difference on the Aquanaut styling was the introduction of a rubber strap to their watch range, which was a first for Patek Philippe.

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Published on Thursday 25th of November 2021

Daily Watch Care

As they are the only technical instrument that we wear directly on our bodies, wristwatches have a unique and emotional bond with us. Therefore, it is important that we give our watches a little regular TLC to help keep them in pristine condition.

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Published on Monday 22nd of November 2021

The History and Development of the Rolex Datejust

A lot of attention is given to the professional watch range. It would sometimes seem that the whole world paying attention to every update or new addition to the Submariner range or GMT Master II etc, but one collection that is often overlooked is also one of the best-selling, most successful watch models ever made, the humble Rolex Datejust.

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Published on Saturday 20th of November 2021

Watch Winders, What are they and do I need one?

A watch winder is a box (small or large) that inside has a place for your watch and gently rotates so that the watches movement is wound and running ensuring that all the wheels, springs and levers are kept lubricated so that the watch runs as it should

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Published on Tuesday 16th of November 2021

The Rolex Submariner Range

For many people, when you think of a Rolex watch, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 126610, (or simply the Rolex Submariner as it is almost exclusively referred to), is what you will think of. The clean and classic design has remained virtually unchanged since its release in 1954. It is widely considered the staple of the modern tool watch, and is said to be ‘the reference point among divers watches’ by Rolex themselves.

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Published on Sunday 14th of November 2021

The History and Development of the Omega Seamaster

Of all the many quality watches made by the high-end watchmaker Omega, the best known is the ‘Seamaster’ series. Seamasters are the longest running watch model made by Omega, having been in production since 1948, and have been made in manual winding, automatic and quartz (battery) versions. The name Seamaster stems from the fact that the watch design was based on watches made by Omega for the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

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Published on Wednesday 10th of November 2021

The History and Development of the Rolex Yacht Master II

The Rolex Yacht-Master sits well in the Rolex Professional Watch line up. A watch with all the capabilities as the truly rugged working watches like the Rolex Submariner, or the Rolex Sea-Dweller, but with more of a luxury feel, and a more affluent target market than some of the other watches in the range. In 2007, 15 years after the birth of the Rolex Yacht-Master, Rolex announced it would be making a new watch that would share the Yacht-Master name, the Yacht-Master II. At first glance it looked like this watch would be the missing link between the luxurious Yacht-Master, and the bulkier function orientated watches that it shares a catalogue with.

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Published on Saturday 6th of November 2021

Rolex Chromalight vs Superluminova

An integral component to a Rolex watch is how well it works in little or no light. Look at any Rolex divers watch for instance; if it didn’t glow in the dark it would be useless as a dive watch. A diver depends on how legible that watch is in murky waters. The same goes for watches worn for other adventures, such as mountaineering or cave exploring. A big selling point of the first Explorer watch was its ability to tell the time in the dark.

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Published on Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

The History and Development of the Rolex Daytona

Rolex in the 1950s had been busy working hard to cement the brand as a maker of watches for professionals, with the Rolex Submariner released in 1954, targeting professional divers. Rolex also partnered with Pan American Airways a year later to produce the Rolex GMT, the epitome of pilots watches, and worked to meet the needs of the scientific community working around electromagnetic fields, when Rolex introduced the Milgauss in 1956. Despite the relative success of these models, Rolex set their sights even higher and aimed for the stars. When US president Kennedy gave his speech in 1962 promising to put man on the moon, Rolex saw an opportunity to complete the set, and add astronauts to the list of professions they catered for.

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Published on Saturday 30th of October 2021

Roger W. Smith OBE – Watchmaker

Roger Smith was born in 1970, in Bolton, near Manchester, England. From a very early age was interested in machinery rather than the normal subjects at school. He showed more of a practical side at school than an academic side and at the age of 16, after advice from his father, he enrolled in the Manchester School of Horology. On the first day he was hooked and progressed so well he received the British Horology Institute’s Bronze medal for obtaining the highest mark of the year, also finishing the top his class.

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Published on Wednesday 27th of October 2021

The History and Development of the Omega Planet Ocean

Omega produce a number of watch styles under the umbrella ‘Seamaster’ range. A variety of styles from solid sports watches to slimmer, elegant dress watches. One of the more specific, distinct ranges has been the ‘Planet Ocean’.

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Published on Sunday 24th of October 2021

British Made Watch Brands

Great Britain has always been heavily involved in the invention and development of timepieces from the very first days dating back over two hundred years. Starting with Robert Hooke’s balance spring from 1664 and Thomas Mudge’s lever escapement from 1755, then all the way to John Harwood’s automatic winding mechanism from 1924 and George Daniels coaxial escapement being the latest improvement.

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Published on Thursday 21st of October 2021

The History and Development of Rolex Explorer II

Ever since Rolex made their first waterproof watch in 1927, they have been making watches for specific groups of professionals and sports people. From the Rolex Submariner, made to be used by professional divers, to the GMT Master II made for transatlantic airline pilots, to the Rolex Daytona for race-car drivers, it's safe to say that Rolex caters for very specific needs to sell watches to the masses. One of the more unknown professions that Rolex caters to however is with their Explorer range. Now it's pretty obvious that their watches are made to be used by, well, explorers. Whilst this is true, many people just think of the 1953 Everest climb by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, where Norgay famously wore a Rolex Oyster Perpetual on his wrist that would eventually be branded the Explorer. But almost 20 years after that, Rolex released another watch to complement the Explorer, the Rolex Explorer II. Whereas the Rolex Explorer was created for people climbing to the top of some of the highest peaks on earth, the Explorer II was created for people going under them, cavers. As is obvious, a caver (or spelunker) is someone who explores caves, thus presenting a whole different set of criteria for Rolex to cater for when compared with the standard Explorer.

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Published on Saturday 16th of October 2021

Omega and James Bond

One of the most significant aspects in the history of the Seamaster has been its connection with fictional super spy James Bond. Up until 1993 Bond actors Connery, Lazenby, Moore and Dalton wore a Rolex Submariner. In 1995, with a new actor in the role, Pierce Brosnan, and a new film in the pipeline, Goldeneye, Bond producers decided they wanted a new ‘Euro’ look for the character. One of the prime movers in this switchover was Lindy Hemming, who was in charge of costume and wardrobe for the film. She felt the appearance of the Omega Seamaster Diver 300m had the look of a watch that would be worn by a rogue spy who also had to ‘dress up’ from time to time

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Published on Friday 15th of October 2021

John Harwood (Watchmaker)

John Harwood was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in July 1893. During World War 1 he served as an armoury staff sergeant and showed his technical skills in developing an automatic pistol and an impact-turning screwdriver.

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Published on Tuesday 12th of October 2021

An Overview of Breitling

The Breitling watch company (officially known as ‘Breitling SA’) are based in the city of Grenchen, Switzerland, and have been making luxury watches since 1884. Founded by Leon Breitling in the nearby town of Saint-Imier, the company was passed to Leons son, Gaston, in 1914, upon Leon’s death. The company remained in the ownership of the Breitling family until 1979. The company is now owned by CVC Capital Partners.

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Published on Friday 8th of October 2021

British School of Watchmaking – Manchester

Horology is the study of the measurement of time and this can be learnt at the British School of Watchmaking in Sale, Manchester.Nick Towndrow and Gordon Bryan set up the school, in 2004, after seeing there was a shortage of watchmakers in the UK to service the increasing number of complex mechanical watches out there.

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Published on Wednesday 6th of October 2021

One Watch is Not Enough – James Bond Watches

All good spy movies come with their quota of fancy gizmos and gadgets to assist our hero in his mission. The James Bond movie franchise stands head and shoulders above all others in this genre. Each Bond film brings new input from Q Branch to ensure success in the field. The cars, the aircraft and the weaponry have all become synonymous with Bond and made him the legendary figure that he is. The most iconic piece of his customized equipment has always been his wristwatch. Each Bond, each film, has been accompanied by a new model, all of which have passed into movie folklore. All of these watches, (and many of the watches worn by Bonds foes) have their uniqueness, and are certainly worthy of discussion.

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Published on Tuesday 28th of September 2021

Using your watch in water.

Many watches are able to be used in water but do we understand what type of water we can use our watches in? Then to add to the confusion, some watches are referred to being waterproof whilst some say water resistant, what is the difference? Well waterproof means that it is 100% sealed and water cannot get in to the mechanism in anyway; whereas water resistant means that the watch is able to resist the penetration of water to some degree. Many watches now have ATM engraved on the back and this refers to the pressure a watch can withstand, it may seem a little strange but ATM stands for atmosphere. 1 atmosphere is the normal atmospheric pressure a watch would be under when static at sea level and the pressure goes up (as does the rating) depending how much pressure the watch can be put under before it may break.

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Published on Tuesday 21st of September 2021

History and Development of Rolex Air King

During and immediately after World War II, Rolex made a line of watches commemorating the brave efforts of the British Royal Air Force by creating a line of ‘Air’ watches for the pilots arriving home once the war was over. The line of watches consisted of four models: The Air-Lion with a round dial in a rounded square shaped case, the Air-Tiger, with a sub seconds hand at 6 o’clock, the Air-Giant with a larger case often seen in gold, and the Air-King with the largest case size of the four at 34mm, a large watch in its day. As the other models in the Air range were eventually discontinued, the Air-King, launched in 1945, would be the only one of the four to go on to still be made today.

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Published on Saturday 11th of September 2021

Updated Breitling Box Review

We recently received one of the updated Breitling Boxes, and although these were introduced in 2020 they are an optional swap when purchasing your Breitling watch from any main dealer, and this would appear to be why we are receiving watches with the alternative and more traditional Breitling box.

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Published on Monday 6th of September 2021

Rolex Submariner Date 'Starbucks' History

In 1953, Rolex started production of a new watch, after a man by the name of René-Paul Jeanneret, who sat on the board of directors at Rolex, came up with the idea to make a divers watch. The sleek yet sporty design used the Oyster case technology to make an everyday watch that had a rotating bezel, allowing divers to keep track of how much time had passed. The watch was unveiled at the Basel Watch Fair in 1954, and today is regarded as the staple of the modern tool watch. It is said to be ‘the reference among divers' watches’ by Rolex themselves.

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Published on Sunday 5th of September 2021

Rolex Swing Tags

If you have recently been looking to buy a Rolex watch, (or you are already the owner of one) you may have noticed that the swing tags (also known as hang tags) that come with Rolex watches have changed colour over the past few years. Up until 2015, Rolex swing tags were red in colour. Since 2015 these tags have changed colour and are now green. What do these tags actually mean? Why have they changed colour?

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Published on Wednesday 1st of September 2021

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