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5 Watches We’re Obsessing Over Now

A snowflake Seiko, a vintage Longines, an unbranded Panerai and more.


As watch lovers and writers at Gear Patrol, we spend our afternoons pitching, researching and writing stories, poring over the new timepieces coming in and out of our office, and hunting for deals on used and vintage pieces online. When a new watch comes across our radar, one that particularly resonates with our tastes, we can’t help but obsess over it. And not just obsess over them — we talk about them, debate their relevance, orate on their greatness and rail on their faults. So, here’s a taste of that: five timepieces are watch-loving staff can’t seem to shake, right this second.

Seiko Presage SARX055

Earlier this fall, I tried on a Grand Seiko “Snowflake” while sitting in a room full of Seiko designers and engineers. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish they’d put this dial on a cheaper watch.” Just last month, Seiko did exactly that, and my god the result is glorious. First, there’s that dial — it’s pocked with seemingly random etchings that give it the look of freshly-fallen snow or a crisp sheet of washi paper. If that weren’t enough, the case and bracelet are made of titanium. The result is light, hard and hypoallergenic. However, the watch isn’t perfect. At 40.8mm, it’s slightly big for my tastes, but rest assured if it were 38mm I’d break my self-imposed $500 budget and buy one right now. — Andrew Connor, Associate Staff Writer

Buy Now: $1,039

Nonnative X Seiko Chronograph

Our love of Seiko watches at Gear Patrol is no secret (see the above) — they’re well-made watches that offer great value. As such, I’ve had my eye on this limited edition collaboration with Japanese brand Nonnative for a while now. the Chronograph model’s 39mm case is given the matte black treatment and the seconds hand has been lengthened. It comes with black and khaki Nato straps and is a limited run of 500 pieces. The design is tasteful, the watch is functional, the collab is rare — what more do you need? — John Zeintek, Assosiate Staff Writer

Buy Now: $599

Longines Legend Diver Ref. 7494

Had I lived during the halcyon days of the mid-century, this is the watch I would have worn. More than a half-century later, it’s just as handsome as mid-century design is enduring. There’s a new reissue that’s a fantastic value proposition for a new timepiece but I’ve got my search alerts trained on a gently owned first version, scratches and all. What I love about the Longines Legend is that it goes against my antipathy towards internal bezels, which feel weirdly clinical to me. On the Legend Diver, though, it works beautifully. The spacing of markers and the just-chunky-enough handsets throw off the right amount of Franco-nautical vibes without getting in their own way. If you prefer yours more vintage-y then look for the original (ref. 7042). The way these pieces patina are wonderful. — Eric Yang, Editor in Chief

See Listings: Here

Panerai PAM 721 Radiomir 3-Days Acciaio

I haven’t really had that much time to obsess over the 721 since it’s only been officially announced for a week or so, but I’ve made up for it with the quantity of obsession. Simply put, this watch is very, very rad. The chief reason for its radness is its fairly unflinching recreation of the ref. 3646 that the Italian Navy wore in the ’30s. Fascism aside, it’s a brilliantly simple watch: no seconds hand, manual winding 3-day movement, domed sapphire crystal (but with an included acrylic crystal to swap on for authentic scratching). But the best thing about the 721 has got to be the unsigned dial. I would like to be friends with every single person who’s paying $10,000 for a watch with no logo … provided they don’t try to invade Albania. — Henry Phillips, Photography Manager

Buy Now: $9,800


The IWC Mark XVIII is a classically-inspired pilot’s watch. This style of watch is simple and extremely legible by nature, and the IWC holds true to this. The Mark 18 has white numerals and indices printed against a matte black dial for high-contrast clarity. It doesn’t have special decorations, polished metal, and, at 40mm, it’s not very big. Yet, there is something truly elegant about how all its elements come together. I admire the bold numerals and the long seconds hand that just sweeps along the dial with such confidence. No one can do a pilot watch better than IWC, and being one of IWC’s more affordable offerings, it’s actually obtainable. — Hunter Kelley, Design Apprentice

Buy Now: $3,950

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