Seiko Prospex LX SNR031 – $6k
Seiko. Seiko Prospex. Grand Seiko. Makes sense, right? Good movements with durable cases and dials; better movements with fancier cases and elegant dials; best movements with immaculate cases and perfect dials. Cheap, not-so-cheap, expensive. New watch alert! If you think a $6k Prospex dive watch fits this brand matrix it’s time to stop taking the blue pill. The catchily named LX SNR031 is a Grand Seiko in all but name, and quite the babe it is too . . .
The blacked-out 44.8mm diver is a member of the Seiko Spring Drive team, built inside a case that offers “nearly doubled hardness” of normal titanium. With 300m water resistance, saturation divers need apply. Sure, the gi-normous, glove-friendly crown sticks out like a Pornhub protrusion. And the black-on-black bezel markers display a dearth of underwater street cred [sic]. But the LX SNR031 is a perfectly proportioned Prospex prospect – even for the power reserve indicator averse. But six grand for a Seiko? Two words: Volkswagen Phaeton. Three more: cheapest video ever.
New watch alert! Or is it? This blank-faced bracelet is brought to you by Korean-American fashion designer Yoon Ahn under her Ambush brand. It’s meant to evoke and parody Casio’s A168WG-9EF Vintage Retro Gold Digital Dial Stainless Steel Unisex Watch. Just as the faux gold Casio wanders on the line between tacky and ironic, the Ambush version . . . wanders on the line between tacky and ironic. Aside from the obvious disparity in function sets, the big difference between the two is price.
You can buy the Casio on Amazon for $60.79. The Ambush runs $655. Huh? Without obvious branding, you can round down the number of people who’ll get the fashion joke to zero. Mind you, someone’s laughing. The 26mm Ambush bracelet is sold out. “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” reality TV star and fashion guru Rachel Zoe pronounced. I have a few ideas about the nature of an Ambush bracelet buyer, but discretion is the better part of valor. For once.
Sinn U1-T DS LE – $2850
On the other side of the value equation, $2850’s not a lot of scratch for a scratched dial Sinn UT-1 DS. The über-legible Sinn offers a U-boatload of tool watch technology for the money. The case, bezel, bracelet and locking clasp are all made of corrosion resistant tegimented steel – the same hardened material Germany’s six stealthy submarines depend on to not sink (unless ordered to do so). Panerai-shunning Kampfschwimmers will be pleased to know the UT-1 is water resistant to 1000m. Best of all . . .
“No two dials are alike,” Sinn promises. “The result created through the machining process cannot be repeated,” they add in computer-translated German, in case you’re worried about running into another UTR-1 DS owner. More intriguing: “While the dial appears grey from afar, up close it becomes more evident that the base material can change color depending upon the angle of the light.” At 44.8mm, the UT-1 DS catches a lot of light. But it ain’t light, tipping scales at well over four ounces. A small burden to bear for a pre-scratched scratch-proof watch? We report, you deride.