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  • Writer's picturePhilip Dashiell

my top-7 wrist-list for 2019

Wrist shot showing the re-issued Bulova, Oceanographer, Devil Diver 666, paired with custom-made, beaded bracelet, by Beads By Gonzo
Bulova, Oceanographer, Devil Diver 666 Re-Issue

As we inch every so closely to Christmas, and my daughter continues to add new things to her Christmas wish list daily, it got me to thinking about the timepieces I will have on my own wrist list for 2019? Pictured atop, is the number 1 timepiece I had on my must-have list for 2018, The Bulova, Oceanographer, Devil Diver 666, Re-Issue, and it did not disappoint. So what timepieces do I have as my current, top-7 most desired pieces to add to my collection in 2019? Why top 7, because I actually don't have 10 timepieces on my current wrist-list, but my list had more than 5, so there you have it. Keep in mind, this list is subject to change, and probably will, based on something else that will inevitably catch my eye, or a Vito Corleone watch deal that comes my way, that is too good to refuse.

In no particular ranking order, my top-7, must-have timepieces, to add to my collection for 2019, from left to right, top to bottom, are: Bulova Lunar Pilot, Alsta Nautoscaph II, Spinnaker Tessei Titanium, NTH Devilray Turquoise, Straton Syncro Black, TSAO Baltimore Torsk Diver, and Zelos Swordfish. Two things immediately stand-out to me from my list; One, most of the timepieces are from micro-brands, with only Bulova representing the major brands, and two, most are vintage-inspired, which is further indication that retro, vintage, recraft, and special offerings will continue to be a popular trend in the world of watches for 2019.

The Bulova Lunar Pilot, yeah I know, I'm really late to the party on this one, but it's just a very cool timepiece, and a true nod to days gone by. And the backstory, on how the original Bulova Lunar Pilot watch, got to take the ride in space, is a classic.

Ever since watching Jaws, after having grown an affinity for timepieces, I always wanted to know what kind of watch Richard Dreyfuss' character, Hooper, was wearing throughout the movie. I always assumed it was some kind of vintage Seiko, or perhaps a Doxa, but after doing some research, it is actually an Alsta Nautoscaph. Definitely an obscure dive watch brand by today's standards, and possibly mid-1970's standards too. I thought, perhaps the Alsta may very well be my first ever vintage watch purchase. Well low an behold, the brand recently had a revival, and there is a newer, updated version of the classic Alsta, dubbed the Nautoscaph II. At this point, not sure I'm totally committed to plunking down the funds for the current asking price of the new piece, or perhaps just splurge a bit, and find an original, fully reconditioned timepiece; decisions, decisions.

If you have yet to be introduced to the Spinnaker line of timepieces, what are you waiting for. Most of their offerings, are in the sub $300 range, and their pieces really showcase a lot of design thought, attention to detail, and high-grade materials. The Tessei, is dubbed as their first ever "Swiss Made" timepiece, and will be offered in bronze, powered by a Sellita, SW-200 movement. However, they have already released a Titanium version, powered by a Miyota movement, and I happen to favor the looks of the Titanium piece over the bronze. Another rock solid effort by Spinnaker.

NTH is a brand that I was introduced to at the District Time watch event, held in Washington, DC a few weeks ago, through one of their distributors, Watch Gauge. I was drawn to the Devilray timepiece because of the vintage-influenced, cushioned case, and overall Doxa homage look, with the Turquoise dial being a refreshing departure from the standard diver's dial color. High-grade materials and exceptional build quality, are the cornerstone of each NTH timepiece.

The Straton Syncro Black is another vintage-inspired timepiece, but this cushioned-case beauty is shrouded in the frame of a racing chronograph, as opposed to a dive watch. I've spied the Straton timepieces from afar, lurking online mainly, but this is another brand that I got the opportunity to see up close, and in-person, at the recent District Time event, and I was completely impressed! The Straton Syncro has familiar yet unique styling, offering a completely different take on the three-hole racing strap.

Next on my wrist-list is the TSAO Baltimore, Torsk Diver, another robust diver that will be offered in Bronze and Stainless Steel variations. I absolutely fell in love with TSAO Baltimore's initial Kickstarter project, the Limited Edition, which was TSAO's interpretation of the hallowed, nautically-themed, deck watch. Fit-and-finish on the TSAO Baltimore is exceptional, and the Torsk should prove to be another hit. As an example of the dedication to quality and attention to detail by TSAO, the initial, finished case designs did not meet their QC approval, so the decision was made to tweak the case design, unfortunately pushing the release date of the Torsk, out to sometime in early 2019. So the finished design will differ slightly from the model pictured, but will definitely be worth the wait.

Lastly, for now, is the Zelos Swordfish. I haven't had any hands-on experience with this brand, but I like what I've seen through forum posts, and owner feedback. The Swordfish model is offered with either a Seiko or ETA automatic movement, with the Seiko automatic movement being at a significant cost saving, compared to the Swiss ETA automatic model. Meteorite dials are offered as an option as well, which may put a true exotic dial material, within reach of many watch collectors for the first time.

Well, that concludes my top-7, wrist-list for 2019. I'm sure a few more timepieces will catch my eye early on in 2019, and I'll eventually have a true top-10 list rounded-out. I'd love to hear what timepieces everyone else has on their wrist-lists for 2019, happy watch hunting!

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