Fratello On Air returns with a fresh new episode! 2023 still has a month left in the tank, but we're ready to declare our favorite watches thus far. You'll hear about a wide variety of pieces this week at different price points and why they made the list. Enjoy the ride! Yes, we're in the final stretch of 2023 and that means it's time to look back upon the year. We do know that there will still be new releases to come, but that's ok. Plenty has crossed our keyboards and wrists over the past 11 months. Our favorite watches make the airwaves this week along with the normal banter that starts the show. Handgelenks Kontrolle Before discussing our favorite watches of 2023, we take some time to recount last week's adventures in London. Both Mike and Balazs were in the big city for the last Time4APint session of the year. It was a great time with even better people and watches! There were even some boutique visits before Balazs returned to Germany. Of course, we discuss sneakers, but not for too long this time! Regarding the Handgelenks Kontrolle, Mike is wearing his vintage Universal Geneve Polerouter. Balazs has the fresh new Certina DS Super PH1000M, an amazing diver at an even more amazing price. Be on the lookout for his upcoming hands-on review! Our favorite watches of 2023 For the main topic of our favorite watches of 2023, we each attempt to name three pieces. I say, "attempt," because both of us unknowingly chose the same watch for one of our picks! We discuss the following pieces: H.Moser & Cie Streamliner Small Seconds Blue Enamel Bvlgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Ming LW.01 Grand Seiko SBGW305, a watch that both of us chose without conferring beforehand! The Zenith Chronomaster Original Black and the Zenith Defy Revival Shadow Fratello × Nivada Grenchen Racing Chronograph, a watch that Balazs helped design We'd love to hear your favorite releases so far for 2023 in the comments section below. As always, we thank you for listening and if you have any ideas for future episodes, feel free to let us know!
Today's episode of Fratello Talks is all about accessories. And no, we're not talking about wallets, scarves, and pinkie rings, don't worry. Have a listen as your host, Fratello managing editor Nacho, editor Daan, and shop manager Laurits discuss the watch accessories we can't live without. Despite the somewhat hyperbolic titles, these are all accessories that we truly use just about every single day. Most watch enthusiasts are affected by the same challenges: storage, transport, and strap changes. So, rather unsurprisingly, all three of the guys are rather aligned in their picks. However, there are some twists in the individually chosen accessories to suit their needs.
Welcome to another episode of Fratello On Air! This week, we're excited because we're recording from the same room and we're in London. In fact, we're in the Square Mile! Today, we're talking about vintage Excelsior Park watches, movements, and the related brands that used the movements. Enjoy this vintage deep cut! Together again! Balazs has made the voyage from the continent over to Blighty and we've decided to record an episode before heading off to the year's last Time4APint get-together. We've been looking forward to this evening for a while and we promised to each bring watches that relate to a certain theme. Well, that common thread is Excelsior Park and we've brought along a number of related watches. Handgelenks Kontrolle Before getting to the main topic, we hit upon a little news. Both of us are sporting the Adidas Homer Simpson Stan Smith editions and mention how comfy they are on the city streets. We also bring up a well-written article about the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox by Charlie Dunne of Wind Vintage. As far as the Handgelenks Kontrolle, Balazs is wearing his new go-to watch, the Ming 17.09. Mike has brought along his treasured Patek Philippe Calatrava 570. Excelsior Park and friends Next, we get to the main topic around Excelsior Park. We've assembled roughly 15 watches for the night's gathering and we run through them all to some degree. Excelsior Park was a watchmaker and movement maker and created the EP4/40 line of manual wind chronograph movements. We happen to think that they're some of the smoothest and sweetest operators ever. We've brought along Excelsior Park branded watches, Gallet, Sinn, and Zenith pieces that all used similar cases, dials, and movements. A collection of similarly styled Gallet watches has come along for the ride, but they use Valjoux calibers because Excelsior Park had gone defunct. Finally, there's the big Excelsior Park Monte Carlo, a strange '80s concoction that simply uses the once-famous name. For good measure, Balazs has brought along a couple of Angelus pieces. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. As always, thanks for listening, and feel free to share ideas for future shows!
Welcome, Fratelli, to Fratello Talks. This week, your host, Nacho, is joined by Gerard and Daan. Together, the three take to the topic of G-Shock watches. The great equalizers, the trusty go-to's, and the watch that every collector should own at least one of. But if you're reading this, you're deep enough down the horological rabbit hole (unless they're genuinely not your thing, which is also OK) that you probably have at least one.
Fratello On Air returns and this week, we discuss the wide world of case back engravings. Whether they relate to military-issued pieces or special occasions, there's a lot to potentially learn from these inscriptions. We hope you enjoy this episode and feel free to comment below about your thoughts on these adornments. Case back engravings are a wide subject. They cover some of life's most special moments and achievements. Or, they can give us clues about a watch's origin and story. Whatever the case, they're not always to everyone's liking. We talk about our likes and dislikes around these markings while sharing plenty of other side tales. But first... Handgelenks Kontrolle No matter what our friends on the Spirit of Time Podcast say, the Handglenks Kontrolle is firmly back on European soil. Mike is wearing one of the first vintage chronographs that joined his collection, the Croton Skymaster. It's making a return to the wrist because it features a case back inscription related to the original owner's 21st birthday. Balazs is also on theme with his Angelus 215 L.E. Chronograph. Here, the L.E. means Légi Er which stands for the Hungarian Air Force. So, yes, we are supporting case back inscriptions. Case back markings Once we hit the main topic related to case back markings, we spend time on issued military pieces. Balazs even explains how it has helped to piece together the history of certain models from his favorite brand, Angelus. Mike brings up a special family heirloom Rolex that he covered earlier this year along with a recent engraved purchase. We also discussed whether or not we would have a watch engraved. It's a back-and-forth conversation that allows us to bring up a number of related subjects. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. As always, if you have any ideas for future show topics, feel free to let us know.
Thank you for tuning in to this week's episode of Fratello Talks. You join RJ, Timo, and your host Nacho, who are going to be covering a rather broad topic. That's right, this week it's all about watches in cinema. In this episode we'll cover anything from memorable sightings, to examples of marketing gone too far. How much can brands get away with when it comes to blatant product placement? And does it actually have its desired effect? We also cover movie-themed watches and touch upon some of our favorites featured on film.
After a three-week hiatus, Fratello On Air is back with a new episode. This week, we're talking about our collections, what we are currently wearing, and what's on our radar. As always, it's a recording with plenty of diverse topics. We invite you to kick back and enjoy the show. We've been on the road for the past several weeks and we apologize for the lack of new episodes. However, we're back and talking about our collections. That's a large topic, so we're focusing on what we've purchased recently, what we're wearing more than ever, and where we're looking to bring in new pieces. But first... Handgelenks Kontrolle I won't kid you, we kick off our episode with about 15 minutes of random chatter. After all, we haven't spoken in quite some time! Ultimately, we decided to bring back the Handgelenks Kontrolle in favor of the Kettle Kite. Balazs kicks things off with his Omega 2451 from 1949 with its 27CHRO. This is a fantastic chronograph with loads of radium that has acted upon the dial. Mike, on the other hand, is wearing his blue Ming 17.09 on a Jean Roussea Alcantara strap. The state of our collections We move on to our collections and spend some time talking about why both of us have slowed down our purchases. We've become more selective on what should enter the fold. If we consider recent interests, we've gone in slightly different directions. Balazs has been wearing larger, more modern watches. Mike continues his return to the 36mm and below realm. As far as future interests, Balazs still has a Submariner 5513 or 14060 on his mind along with the Grand Seiko 44GS. As far as future additions, Mike will continue to focus on the '40s and '50s while seeing what randomly comes his way. We hope you enjoyed our return to the airwaves. As always, if you have future ideas for the show, feel free to let us know!
Welcome to the 43rd episode of Fratello Talks. Today, we are feeling retrospective, so we decided to look back at some highlights released throughout this year so far. You join RJ, Lex, and Nacho, who will run through what, to them, are the best watches of 2023. Each has been tasked with picking their five favorites from the year. They kept these picks to themselves, but as you’ll see, there was no overlap. But before we check out their highlights of the year so far, it’s time for a wrist check.
It's time to crank up your Bluetooth speaker, whip out your AirPods, or put your headphones on! A fresh episode of Fratello Talks is here. This week, Daan and Laurits join your host, Nacho, to chat about wearing classically-sized watches. That's right! We're talking 36mm maximum and a minimum of 32mm, with a sweet spot of 34mm. These numbers read a bit on the smaller side, but once upon a time, 34mm was the standard. Anything bigger would be considered "jumbo" or "oversized." Today, the standard has shifted upwards, with 36–38mm being a reasonable size for a watch and 39–42mm covering the lion's share of all releases we see hit the market today. So, is 34mm a bold choice? A return to form? Or simply a welcome breath of fresh air in a world dominated by larger timepieces? Tune in to find out!
Welcome to this week's episode of Fratello Talks. Today, Lex, Morgan, and Nacho discuss the Tudor Pelagos FXD. They have all four models, from the original Marine Nationale version from 2021 to the latest USN model. Even the two carbon-cased Alinghi Red Bull Racing models are present. So, if you want to know more about how these guys feel about a watch that has dominated Tudor's lineup of releases this year, make sure to tune in!
Welcome to another episode of Fratello On Air where we discuss our recent picks of the best watches under €5,000. We apologize for the late publishing of this week's episode, but travel is back in season. Get ready for another candid episode with our usual pre-topic banter! Recently, Balazs and I contributed to a running topic on Fratello about the best watches under €5,000. Articles like this always generate a fair amount of feedback which we greatly appreciate. We discuss our picks, some of the feedback, and how the industry has changed. In particular, some of our favorite brands are now priced out of this all-important spending cap. Still, there are some fantastic new and used watches out there. Kettle Kite This week, we are coming to you from the Big Apple and the Big Smoke! Before getting to the kettle kite and our main topic of watches under €5,000, we talk about a recent Longines meetup in London. We also discuss how important face-to-face gatherings are to keep interest alive in vintage watches. Balazs is currently in the USA and will be for the next week. He's wearing his faithful G-Shock (similar to, but not exactly the model above). Mike is wearing a watch he has in for review, the Ollech & Wajs OW M-110 AS. It's a great watch that we will feature soon enough on the site. Our picks under €5,000 Next, we come to the main topic of our favorite watches under €5,000. Mike published his article first and chose pieces from Seiko, Breitling, Nomos, and Breguet. Balazs came with his article a couple of weeks later and chose entries from Grand Seiko, Ming, and Omega. He also threw in various vintage chronograph options. We discuss why we chose these models along with some of the comments we received. Finally, we discuss how brands like Omega and Rolex no longer play in this market if we are looking at retail prices. A lot has changed within the past several years indeed! As always, thank you for listening! If you have any ideas for future shows, please feel free to let us know!
Welcome, one and all, to this week's episode of Fratello Talks. Today, RJ, Morgan, and your host Nacho gather around the mics to discuss gold and two-tone watches. Each has a different level of experience and many opinions regarding the topic. RJ is a bit of a gold-watch connoisseur, owning more than a couple of 18K heavy hitters. Nacho has dabbled in gold but has never dared to go two-tone (yet). And Morgan has not yet owned a watch with precious metal at all. However, he certainly seems ready to enter the world of gold and two-tone watches.
Welcome to another episode of Fratello On Air. This week, we have a discussion about time-only watches from the '40s and '50s. It's a subject that Balazs knows well and Mike is keen to pick his brain on the subject. This is a slightly different topic for us, so don't expect the usual brands to surface. We hope you enjoy it. Time-only watches from the '40s and '50s are a fascinating subject. These pieces came before the '60s models that we so frequently discuss and catalog in our articles. The post-war decades are filled with absolute gems, but the scholarship is often lacking. This is especially true when it comes to certain smaller brands. We'll cover a number of aspects regarding this period and what to consider if you're thinking about wading into this very deep pool of amazing timepieces. Kettle Kite Before the Kettle Kite, we mention a recent vintage show in London and meeting up with friends. Then it's onto our episode-appropriate wristwear. Mike is wearing a new pickup from the aforementioned show. It's an IWC Cal 89 reference 309, a time-only steel watch that resembles a Patek Philippe Calatrava. Balazs is sporting his Omega CK 2657, a steel watch with a bumper automatic and a fine dose of patina. Time-only watches from the '40s and '50s Next, we hit our main topic on time-only watches from the '40s and '50s. Here, Balazs's knowledge is on display along with Mike's curiosity. We mention brands such as Omega, Longines, Eterna, Cyma, Tavannes, and more. We talk about redials, how to treat these watches, and even pricing. Research on these watches can be scarce, but forums, Instagram, and watch friends are there to help. It's a show that covers a lot of ground and possibly opens the door for a new avenue of collecting. As always, thanks for listening! If you have ideas for future topics, please feel free to share them with us!
This week on Fratello Talks, RJ, Lex, and Nacho discuss their parallel passions beyond watches. Because, believe it or not, it’s not just watches that these guys spend every waking hour of their lives on. However, the approach and nature of their passions are no different. It has been an ongoing discussion here at HQ, so today we share with you our parallel passions (or PPs, as Lex so elegantly put it).
Welcome to another episode of Fratello On Air. This time, we talk about replacements for three of the most popular watches in existence: the Submariner, Speedmaster, and Calatrava. These watches aren't one-for-one options but are either meant to give off similar feelings or serve a similar purpose. Enjoy the ride! Sometimes, it's difficult to justify spending so much money on a watch. Pieces like the Rolex Submariner, Omega Speedmaster, and Patek Philippe Calatrava are pricey selections indeed. In this episode, we offer up some alternatives and talk about why we think they would work. There are some surprising choices here, so feel free to give us your thoughts on suitable replacements in the comments section. Kettle Kite Yes folks, before we get onto the main topic of finding a Submariner pro-tem, we have a chat. We must warn you that the first 12 minutes or so contain a lot of shoe content. Then, we mention the recent Certina DS-7, a watch that Mike reviewed in a recent post. As far as the Kettle Kite, Mike is wearing his vintage Hamilton Military Chronograph as he celebrates two months of living in England. Balazs is sporting his Grand Seiko 5646-7010 with a Hi-Beat movement. Replacements for the Calatrava and more Now, it's time for the main event. Essentially, both of us offer an alternative to a much-beloved, dare I say, iconic model. In order, we present the following options. Rolex Submariner: Squale Sub-39 Rado Captain Cook 42mm in Stainless Steel with a black dial Omega Speedmaster Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph Longines Avigation Chrono Patek Philippe Calatrava IWC Cal. 89 Grand Seiko SBGW253 That's all for now folks! As always, thank you for listening and if you have any show ideas, feel free to let us know.
In this episode of Fratello Talks, the team (Lex, Nacho, and RJ) talks about Japanese watchmaking. From Citizen to Grand Seiko, we talk about the craftsmanship in Japanese watches, the Zaratsu polishing method, the movements, and what we've seen during our visits to Japan. Japanese watchmaking is or has become synonymous with quality.
Fratello On Air returns with an admittedly noisy episode. Our apologies, but the show must go on! This week, it's a lighter show as we discuss our recent whereabouts (watches included) and hit upon some new releases. Enjoy the show and the clattering of plates, glassware, and cutlery. Yes, Balazs is on the move again and this time he's competing with a cacophony within the Detroit Lufthansa lounge. Again, we apologize for the ruckus and the audio quality. Mike is within the cozy confines of his London abode. This week, we discuss some new releases and recent activities. We hope you take pleasure in this off-the-cuff episode! Kettle Kite Before we tackle our primary subject, we engage in some banter. Balazs has spent a week in the heart of rock 'n' roll, aka Cleveland, visiting some friends. We briefly discuss his travels. Mike mentions his trip to World Time UK, which was held on September 23rd at Heathrow Airport. It was a great event with over forty brands including Doxa, Aquastar, Farer, Formex, Studio Underdog, Ollech & Wajs, and Isotope. We take a moment to discuss the recent Doxa Sub 300β Sharkhunter now that Mike has seen it in person. As far as what we are wearing, Balazs is rocking his faithful GShock. Mike is wearing his Rolex Submariner 5513 Maxi Dial. Finally, Mike mentions a recent trip to the Swatch boutique in Covent Garden, London. No SwatchPains were in stock, but they did have nine of the MoonSwatch models available. New Releases As far as the main subject, we discuss some new releases. First, there's the new Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3. It's a nice enough-looking watch, but the pricing strikes us as incredibly high. Then, we mention the Bulova Oceanographer GMT, a piece that Balazs seems to love. Finally, there's the Benrus Ultra Deep, a 36.5mm retro diver with a super compressor-style case. As always, we appreciate you tuning in to the show. We'll be back next week hopefully with less background noise!
Lex, RJ, and Laurits discuss the Blancpain x Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms that was introduced on September 7th and went on sale two days later. We are not all a fan of the watch, especially when compared to the successful MoonSwatch. Here at Fratello, the opinions are very mixed on the Blancpain x Swatch release.
Fratello On Air returns and while we planned to discuss yacht timers, we never got there! It's a fun episode where we discuss Andrew Grima Omega watches, Doxa, the new Tudor FXD, and the SwatchPain. We got a bit carried on some of the subjects, but we think you'll enjoy our talks about some interesting brands and details. Enjoy and, yes, we will come back to regatta watches soon! Before recording today's episode, we were a bit concerned about having a good topic for the show. Well, we needn't have worried because we actually had to cut ourselves off after more than an hour! It's a great show where talk about the Andrew Grima era at Omega and our continuing love for the Doxa 300 limited editions from back in 2017. Then, we move on to the new black Tudor FXD and the rest of the brand's lineup. Finally, we end the show with a bit more on the SwatchPain. Kettle Kite Before getting into the Kettle Kite, Mike discusses a recent visit to a Time4APint get-together in London. Once again, the watches that made their way to the event were fantastic and surprising. Mike mentioned a Longines 30ch, the Vernal Pulsations, and more. The watch that really surprised him, however, was an Omega DeVille that was inspired by Andrew Grima designs. The watch was originally part of the Time in Style series from the early '70s and it was a stunning throwback. We discuss Andrew Grima and reference a great article that shows some of the history of this influential English designer. At the event, Mike wore his Doxa 300 Black Lung and remarked how it was a big hit. It shows how well these limited models have stood the test of time. As far as wristwear, Balazs is sporting his lovely Eterna 852 Jumbo. It's a watch with a neat inscription on the case back related to a Swiss steel firm. Mike then moves on to a watch that sets up the main topic on the Tudor FXD. He's wearing his Tudor Heritage Chrono from 2010 and he recalls the scene when this watch was first released. Tudor FXD and more SwatchPain Next, we discuss the new Tudor FXD and our thoughts on the watch. We like it, but neither of us is convinced that we could live with the fixed lugs on a daily basis. It then prompts a discussion on Tudor overall and what we'd choose from their current lineup if we had to walk away with one model. Finally, we return to the SwatchPain. We hadn't realized that three models have a date while the remaining two do not. Plus, Balazs is considering buying one and putting it through its paces for a month without switching out for another watch. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. As always, please let us know if you have an idea for a future show.
This week’s episode of Fratello Talks is about new watches always being better than their previous versions — but are they really? Laurits, Lex, and RJ discuss whether this applies to all watches that come out and whether things like better accuracy, greater antimagnetic properties, and so on are that important to buyers. But before we get into it, you know what time it is… It’s time for a wrist check.