New Watch Alert: Swatch, Tudor, DOXA

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Swatch X MOMA The Starry Night By Vincent Van Gogh The Watch – $100

Swatch Vincent Van Gogh watch - new watch alert

Friends, Romans, countrymen! Lend me your ear! New watch alert! The Van Gogh-inspired plastic fantastic quartz-powered timepiece sets itself apart from Swatch’s strange descent into roll-your-own watches, where you drag an image around to create a bespoke version of an underlying design. The cool thing: this MOMA collab honoring Vinnie’s Starry Night isn’t an obvious homage. It’s a work of art in its own right . . .

Swatch X MOMA The Starry Night By Vincent Van Gogh The Watch - on wrist

Notice the way the dial design continues onto the case and band. The thick and lustrous “brush strokes” swirling across the face. To use art history terminology, that’s some cool sh*t.

The MOMA Swatch marks a return to the Swiss brand’s artsy fartsy collector roots. Unlike the recent Keith Haring Mickey Mouse mishegoss, Swatch’s MOMA series evokes the artists’ works without billboarding them. They’re an “in the know” fashion statement that can be appreciated by those who aren’t. The watches are also legible, practical and cheap. Right answer. 

Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer BLUE – $4150

Tudor Black Bay Bronze - new watch alert

New watch alert readers know that German retailer Bucherer makes a habit of commissioning blue dial versions of mainstream watches. The question here: why in the world would Tudor not sell its own blue dial Black Bay Bronze (aside from the word “black” in the model name)?

The sub-Rolex brand’s standard-issue slate gray dial Black Bay Bronze isn’t a patch on this version: a stunning timepiece suitable for work, rest or play. The kicker: buyers can acquire a BLUE for the same price as the 44mm gray watch. Otherwise . . .

Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer Blue caseback

The Bucherer Black Bay Bronze Bucherer BLUE is identical to its dour donor, complete with Tudor’s COSC Caliber MT5601 in-house automatic movement (developed with Breitling), anodized aluminum unidirectional bezel, a patina-in-the-making case, 200m water resistance, a five-year no-maintenance-required warranty and a dial that’s so easy to read it’s practically telepathic.

According to its originator, the Tudor Black Bay Bronze Bucherer BLUE is “a symbol of luxury in its most relaxed state.” I reckon that honor belongs to a mega yacht, but I’m calling it: new watch alert winner number two.

DOXA SUB 300 Carbon – $4k

DOXA SUB 300 Carbon - new watch alert

Watch enthusiasts greeted the return of the 1967 DOXA SUB 300 with open hearts and open wallets. The Truth About Watches was a little more circumspect, concluding that the $2490 DOXA SUB 300 Searambler is “Not a practical dive watch and plenty pricey, but if you like the design, you’ll love the watch.”

The even more financially challenging Carbon model fixes the practicality issue with 300m of water resistance (up from 100m). The new improved version is a COSC Certified Chronometer, promising -4 to +6 seconds per day accuracy. As for the pressure-resistant titanium (not carbon fiber) case . . .

DOXA SUB 300 Carbon parade

At 42.5mm, the cushion-shaped container makes the dial look less dinky than it does nestling in the steel cased SUB 300 Searambler. The real hero: the Carbon’s FKM faux rubber strap. “It is the softest, most pliable and comfortable rubber strap I’ve ever owned,” commentator Rice and Gravy asserts at watchuseek.com.

More than that, the Crayola strap is like the Dude’s rug in The Big Lebowski: it ties the horological room together. Though sure to offend traditionalists, the optimistically priced DOXA SUB 300 Carbon is a better watch and, IMHO, better looking than any of its predecessors. And you thought I was a hater.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Yea, the starry night watch is pretty cool. Like I said elsewhere, if you can’t make art, make a lot of money copying art.

  2. Did all the “impression(ist/ism)” puns already get stale elsewhere or are we just avoiding the low hanging fruit? As someone that actually wants watches to be legible, I applaud Swatch for using adequately contrasting hands and indices.

    Where is Black Bay, and why isn’t this called the Blue Bay?

  3. “And you thought I was a hater.”

    Let me step in for you. ~$4,000 is $3,000 too much for a dive watch. There is a proper role for a dive watch as a rugged beater watch, but both of these are a bit too cartoonish and expensive for their purpose and brands.

    The $990 on a bracelet Doxa Sub 200 is an attractive choice, but right now I would be quick to recommend the $595 Squale MTK-01.

    • “The $990 on a bracelet Doxa Sub 200 is an attractive choice, but right now I would be quick to recommend the $595 Squale MTK-01.”

      I like Squale watches. But 38mm is a bit small on my wrist for any watch – and particularly small for a dive watch with bezel. But an excellent suggestion for many, I am quite sure.

      I humbly submit the Glycine Combat Automatic diver. 42mm case, Sellita SW200 movement and water resistant to 200 meters. Available in a variety of colors and styles for under $500 – even under $400 from the right grey-market retailer.

      If you’re okay with quartz power, Raymond Weil has the very well built Tango with ETA calibre and 300-meter rating. This watch works in a variety of social situations – stopping just short of black tie affairs. Under $500 and sometimes just under $400.

  4. That Black Bay is a sweet alternative to the Explorer and a kick ass watch on its own. Bronze seems played, but this one looks great.

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