Watch Review: Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley

Today I'm going to be offering my thoughts on the Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley, currently available to buy for 225 GMT. 

Some Specifications 

This robust Henley from Rotary features a 41.5mm case with a black dial and statement hands (signature paddles) and hour markers all encased with scratch resistant sapphire glass.

The GMT function is bi colour blue and red: a stunning eye-catching detail. Noted by some aficionados as the Pepsi Bezel. The Stainless Steel 3 link bracelet is secured with a deployment clasp. (More on that in a bit). It is water resistant to 100m.

What is GMT again? 

It stands for Greenwich Meantime. Many people use GMT watches to know their local time, and some other time zone that is usually not GMT.  Many GMT watches have a rotating 24 hour bezel such as this one. 

And GMT came from where? 

GMT was originally designed for travel. The origins stemmed from a collaboration between Rolex and the now dissolved Pan Am Airlines. Pan Am reportedly asked Rolex to make some watches for their pilots to tell differences in two different countries. 

What's the general vibe on this Rotary Gents Stainless Steel Red / Blue GMT Henley? 

I've spoken to people on the forums regarding this watch asking for some feedback. Which is always a dangerous thing  to do as I don't like to have any dissuasion from my instincts. General feel is that it's about right for the price point. 

Some dissatisfaction with the second hand not lining up exactly the way it should, but I've not found that to be honest. There's also been some price fluctuations between various resellers so some feel like they got their monies worth, others not. 

And my take on this watch? 

Personally I'm liking the way this watch feels on my wrist. The crown is big but doesn't dig into the back of my wrist. I think this is a perfectly functional watch to walk around the park, perhaps go traveling with. 

I wouldn't be precious with it, it's not got the beauty or guile of a Tag Heuer Aqua Racer. But it's a nice homage to say the Black Bay Tudor. (Even though the purists will tell you not to buy 'homage'). I'm not a purist, so I'm immune to such lofty pretension from hauteur’s looking to get a cushy gig at WatchTime.

I mentioned the bracelet earlier

Yes the deployment clasp is not the most fluid. I've got no problem with taking a couple of links out of the strap to get a better fit for my wrist, but the deployment clasp was a bit frustrating. 

 

TIMEX LAUNCH - Fairfield Contactless Payment Watch

This month sees the launch of the Fairfield Contactless Payment watch by fashion heritage watch brand TIMEX, Powered by bPay. It's new to the range for SS18 and a debut for TIMEX in the contactless genre. 

Founded in 1854, Timex Group is headquartered in Middlebury, Connecticut, with multiple operating units and over 4,000 employees worldwide. As one of the largest watch makers in the world, Timex Group companies produce watches under a number of well-known brands, including Timex, Guess, GC, Versace, Versus, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Nautica. Launched in 1950, Timex sells millions of watches each year worldwide.

For someone that is stationed south of the river, I'm forever back and forth to the city for meetings and press events. The introduction of a contactless strap actually appeals to me.  Though this is not the first collaboration of its sorts for bPay. In 2016 bPay and Lyle & Scott collaborated on a contactless jacket, inserting a contactless payment chip discretely hidden in the cuff of the right sleeve. Although at first glance, I can no longer see the jacket on their online store.

Of course it's not just designed to make life easier on the tube, you can also finally impress the cute girl behind the coffee counter by performing your 'Master Jedi wofty-hand trick'.

Aesthetically it's modern, with a 41mm case, which is very on trend at the moment. Even Montblanc are dialing their 1848 collections back to a 40mm casing for 2018. A lot of people I speak to have compared the look to a DW, but I'd say with the 3 sub-dials and white face it's more reminiscent of latest ADEXE London THEY timepiece. However, with the added bPay payment chip, TIMEX certainly has the upper hand in the utility department.

The bPay payment chip within the watch strap is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Users can conveniently add funds to their digital wallet ‘on the go’ using the mobile app, online through the bPay website, or set their account to top-up automatically when their balance falls below a pre-set level.

“bPay is designed to meet the needs of time-pressed shoppers who are increasingly looking for easy and convenient ways to pay for everyday goods and services. September marks the 10th anniversary of Barclaycard introducing contactless payments to the UK and our partnership with TIMEX represents another exciting way ‘touch and go’ technology can be simply and stylishly integrated into fashion and accessories.” - Tami Hargreaves, Director of Innovation and Partnerships at Barclaycard Mobile Payments

The new contactless straps will be available in black or brown, and also available to buy separately. 

RRP: £149.99 Available now on www.timex.co.uk and other fine retailers. 

Introducing the 30 Piece Limited Edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Night & Day Watch

“Luxury” is a term that is sometimes overused in the world of horology, yet if there is one timepiece that truly holds this meaning, it has to be the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Originally designed in 1931, the Reverso is a pure Art Deco watch. It was born in a period where design and functionality were combined, therefore the Reverso became an incredibly desired watch, which still stands today!

To mark the 85th anniversary of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso collection, The Watch Gallery and Jaeger-LeCoultre have collaborated to create the exclusive Grande Reverso Night & Day Q380848L. There are only 30 pieces available in this limited series, which makes wearing this particular Reverso even more special. It is such an elegant watch with a stunning blue lacquered dial and blue alligator strap, which represents the colour of The Watch Gallery brand.

When looking for a timepiece, I believe it should enhance your own personality and style. As I am a big fan of a well tailored suit, I usually pick a fine dress watch to match. However I feel sometimes a watch does not need to be only an addition to an outfit, but an accessory that really stands out. Priced at over £8000, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Night & Day would be at the luxury end of my watch collection, but it really does epitomise quality. With so much history, it is a watch to aspire to have. While originally created for sportsmen, the Reverso took on classic deigns of the Art Deco period and rapidly adorned the wrists of trendsetters over the years.

I love the design of the watch, but the iconic reversal aspect is particularly important to look at. Jaeger-LeCoultre created its swivelling case to design a watch that polo players could wear, without having to worry that the glass on the front of their watches would be ruined during play. Whilst that is definitely something I don’t have to worry about, it started numerous possibilities that have not become boring even after all this time! The design did not only encapsulate perfectly the era's obsession with Art Deco, it also created a personal touch due to the undecorated back. Very often the Reverso would be engraved by clients, and I can really see this appeal.

While the face is hidden, it looks like the perfect accessory for any man that appreciates style and fashion. I enjoy finding hidden gems in life, whether that is a travel destination, menswear or interior design brand. That is why I especially like the reverse feature. It is a hidden gem, as well as a conversation piece. I feel I could wear the exclusive Reverso for numerous occasions, to pair with so many different styles. It is obvious when a suit is of high quality, and I think navy blue is a colour that most people can pull off well. It helps that the distinctive blue colour of the watch highlights the Reverso’s understated luxury. I have been really impressed by this stunning timepiece, so if you can get your hands on one, I would really go for it…it really is a wearable investment!

Since the 1st February the Reverso Night & Day has been exclusively available by The Watch Gallery. You can also check out the Watch Gallery’s stores at One Hyde Park, Selfridges, Covent Garden, House of Hanover, Westfield and online at http://www.thewatchgallery.com

This post was created for Jaeger LeCoultre in Collaboration with The Watch Gallery, monetary compensation was provided.

Kartel Watches | The New Collection

Before I get onto talking about watches, let's talk about Christmas and New Years! I mean seriously why does Christmas seem to fly by in a flash. I say that because I've had such a great time and finally a few days where I just relaxed with family and friends without thinking about work, blogging, Instagram or twitter much at all - a rare occurrence for me! I hope you all have also had an amazing Christmas, eating and drinking an obscene amount of food and drink. Now it's the day after Boxing Day and I'm back, refreshed and raring to make the most of 2016 whilst looking at my plan of attack for 2017. 

This shoot was taken during a cold winter morning around St Paul's in London, styled and photographed by the incredible Ella H - with thanks to singer Seljan Nasibli for putting up with me during this shoot!

Today I started browsing online to spend my Christmas present money as I just couldn't face the crowds of Oxford Street or any of the major shopping centres like Bluewater or Westfield. If like me, you are looking to purchase a new watch, take a look at Kartel watches. The watch faces are very classic, simple and uncluttered in design yet with incredible style and very trend focused.

In the first look, shown above, I'm wearing the Kartel KT-HUME 40MM-CVSB-R, but that sounds more like a Starwars robot, so here are a few more friendly details about the watch. As with all Kartel watches, they are totally affordable with this watch retailing at £75.00. The watch strap is black woven nylon which matches nicely with the black watch face, whilst the watch trim is in silver which gives a nice clean contrast to the style. I would wear this watch with anything monochrome, black ripped jeans, leather jackets and white t-shirts.

Moving on to my second watch, which is at a slightly higher price point at £85 - but what you'll get for that extra tenner is a leather strap and a functional watch with small date detail on the watch face. Is is quite similar in look to the first, although rather than silver dials and rim we have a rose gold design. When styling this watch, I would wear it with greys, navy blues and autuminal colours.

Finally you have the premium Kartel fashion watch at £110 featuring an incredible hand woven, genuine Harris Tweed strap. Totally unique and I love how they have used a dark green Harris Tweed yet kept the watch face plain white, rather than showcasing the watch face - this time the watch strap takes centre stage. Clean and crisp, I would wear this watch with a outdoors style, Im thinking quilted jackets, dark leather boots or knitted jumpers.

 

SHOP MY 3 KARTEL WATCHES IN THIS POST

Photography by Ella H

Badass yet Gentlemanly Watches by Diesel

Scroll through the range of Diesel watches as I have done and one thing will be clear...these watches are some of the boldest, badass watches around. There are some great bold designs, in true Diesel style, they are not holding anything back however Diesel have also used some classic, timeless touches in their collection. Their collection of watches are truly industrial, robust, durable and stylish - the kind of watch that Robocop would wear! The biggest badass of all robots...(discuss!).

Every single watch that Diesel has designed has something uniquely bold on it, from the watch face, the numbering, the colour scheme or the watch strap and you are guaranteed not to find these type of watches anywhere else. It's a chance for all gentlemen out there to look at their fun side and own something truly different.

The Diesel watches range from around £150 upwards (although you can find a few for cheaper) so they are firmly in the mid-range of watch prices where there is a lot of competition. Luckily for Diesel, they have got a collection of watches where you can find true value at every angle. Whilst other brands keep things simple and classic, Diesel put themselves out there and demand to be different. If I compare like for like priced watches, Diesel tend to be for the more rugged gent someone who dares to be different and doesn't just follow the crowd.

Only the brave which is synonymous Diesel quote has never been so prevalent than when etched on the back of these watches. These watches are designed to showcase the mechanical functions in a super cool design but don't just take my word for it; head down to your nearest Diesel store and check them out for yourself. 

I've chosen this vibrant blue watch face design as I haven't got anything like it in my personal watch collection and what is the point in always choosing the same styles. Looking closer into this particular watch and there are lots of tiny Diesel branded touches, a signature of their quality. If you would like to get a realistic representation of the size of the watch it is 49x54mm with a thickness of 13mm. The casing and watch strap are stainless steel in a brushed metal finish and the movement of the all important dials are quartz/chrono. Finally this watch is also water resistant up to 10 ATM and comes with a two year guarantee. 

SHOP MY DIESEL WATCH PICKS

Photos by Holly Harwood

A Sartorial Gift this Christmas For Him or Her | Henry Watches

If you head over to my Instagram @HawkinsAndShepherd and watch my current story, you'll see the unboxing of this Henry Watches hamper including some of my favourite things like a Terry's chocolate orange and of course a Henry Watch. Affordable, everyday watches seem to be taking a major slice of the consumer watch market right now and Henry Watches are right in the middle of this trend, offering a huge variety of stylish watches.

This is my first Henry watch and as a little watch aficionado I was interested to finally get it on my wrist and give it a road test. Firstly the rose-gold and black design really stands out and suits my fashion style, which is pretty much anything monochrome so the rose-gold in the watch really offers a sartorial punch. The black leather strap in this design is soft and comfortable whereas the watch face is detailed yet not cluttered in a very classical design. 

On all watches, they offer an engraving service for an extra £10, which adds an extra personalised touch when buying a gift this Christmas, something I know I would love. Henry Watches also sell a variety of different designs for him or her so if you want to dress up and accessorise your his & hers Christmas jumpers, why not get matching personalised watches?!

Henry Watches is a London born brand who gathered their inspiration from a market stall in Notting Hill. They found a vintage watch beautifully styled in a classic and traditional design, stamped with 'Henry, August 1965' on the back of the watch. Today's take on this traditional watch incorporates modern cutting-edge technology, so expect your watch to last. Henry Watches perfectly balance modern styles with classical, long-established touches.

SHOP HENRY WATCHES

An Honest Look at Modern Watchmaking | Brathwait Watches

I believe that a good timepiece can truly show someones personality and lifestyle. I am a big fan of fashion, dress watches because they are versatile enough to look incredible with a well tailored suit just as well as a casual edgier look, say with a leather jacket. I have recently been wearing watches by Brathwait, which shows that a watch completes any outfit and more importantly, it doesn't have to be too expensive. I like a classic wristwatch to have a simple face paired with a leather strap and I think that it's best for a timepiece to generally be more simplistic which epitomises quality without having anything to prove.

Welcome to a new era in watchmaking, welcome to Brathwait watches, a brand dedicated to selling genuine quality at a great price. Brathwait define their watches as simple, achievable and luxury. They looked deep into the manufacturing process, doing away with short-cuts and cheap solutions, focusing on only using quality materials and workmanship that high-end designers use.

So how are they able to sell at a great price? Well. Basically. By being honest, not greedy and selling a product for a value of what it is actually worth rather than perceived worth. A value that I'm a major admirer of and one of the main reasons why I started Hawkins & Shepherd shirt makers. So many brands out there are relying on quality branding and marketing rather than a quality product that is worth the money you spend on it. I personality would rather spend money on product rather than brand, which is why I love Brathwait watches and their philosophy. 

I love how Brathwait watches highlight the actual costs of all the individual pieces that make up a watch, in an open and honest approach and that is very very welcome.

The inspiration for Brathwait came from an epic man of the same name, Richard Brathwait, the world’s first true gentleman and a poet from London. He changed the world in 1631 upon publishing “The Complete Guide to the English Gentleman.”

He who practiced Brathwait’s code of conduct and etiquette attracted the respect of royalty. As a token of their appreciation to the Brathwait legacy, their wristwatches have been created as a symbol of the modern man who practices the heritage of the Gentleman.

This is a watch that I'll have and enjoy wearing for a very long time, especially as you can also just purchase extra straps in different designs and colours and simply clip on and clip off in seconds.

 

SHOP THEIR COLLECTION

Photography by Rebecca Spencer