Record setting Rolex sells for 1.2 Million

I was reading some watch news this week and stumbled across this Gem, normally I wouldn’t post this, but I couldn’t help but be enamored with this beautiful watch. Sold at Christie’s which is renowned for some high dollar watches and jewelry sales, this Rolex has set the record at 1.2 million. It is a 1949 Oyster Perpetual Rolex made by Marguerite Koch with a cloisonné’ dial featuring a ship at sea, and it is totally swell. Continue reading

The Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial

omega-seamaster-300-master-coaxial-comparison

It seems as though everyone making watches these days, especially the ones on the cutting edge of technology, are looking to the past for design inspiration, and I like it! Vintage-inspired pieces were all the rage at this year’s Baselworld, and from one of my favorite watchmakers came the remake of an absolutely iconic divers watch. Omega introduced the new Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial, based on the original Seamaster 300 from 1957. It has a 41mm case, sapphire crystal and exhibition back, and the distinctive broad-arrow hour hand. It is also water-resistant to 300m, hence the name. Continue reading

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner- The Original Bond Watch

sub and scotch.jpgEven though I have written a lot about Rolex, I have been putting this post off for a long while. Writing about the Submariner can be a bit of a cliché, being that nearly everyone has written something about it. Now, it isn’t that it’s worth writing about, but I want to avoid adding to the noise and write something worthy of a great watch. So being the swell blogger I am, it is my duty -when I finally broach the subject- to do it justice. Continue reading

Timekeeping 101: How to Read a Bezel

Rolex 3185 Movement .jpgI have written a lot about watches, it is something I enjoy. I spend a serious amount of time reading about, looking at and playing with watches. I am always on looking at what is called “watch porn”, the same way one might go to Motor Trend or Hemmings to check out the motor in the latest corvette, I go to International Watch or Hodinkee to see the inner workings of the calibre 9001 in the Rolex Skydweller-oooh, aaah check out that Ssaros gear system!, look at those perlage’ bridges!

So with all of this writing about watches I’ve addressed a few tool watches as well, and I thought I should really do a How-to on using the bezels and complications of some of these watches. Well, the great guys at Gearpatrol have already done it for me. I found this recently, and thought it the perfect tutorial for How to be Swell readers. So I am sharing it here for all of you. If you want to read the original check it out here. I also suggest that you go visit the site and browse around, it is a great resource for all sorts of things from food and drink to watches, clothing, outdoor gear and personal care, they write about everything. So here it is the best guide to deciphering those cool looking rings courtesy of Gearpatrol.com: Continue reading

The Calibre de Cartier Diver

Calibre-de-Cartier-Diver-dialFor a long time Cartier has been over looked as a serious watchmaker. Although they are a top tier jewelery design house (my personal favorite at that), and have been making fantastic watches since the wristwatch was created, for many years their name was far from the lips of those discussing haute horology. That is certainly changing as of late, Carole Forestier-Kaspi is leading the Cartier’s watchmaking department into a new era. Every year they have been coming up with new and innovative complications and creating modern, wearable watches with fine in-house calibres. The latest masterpiece is the Calibre de Cartier Diver, an ISO-certified dive watch powered by the in-house 1904 MC calibre. Continue reading

Merry Christmas from How To Be Swell

Merry Christmas all you swell readers. My wish for you is to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoying your favorite holiday festivities. I love Christmas, and being a hopeless romantic I am always nostalgic for my favorite sights and sounds of the season. One of my favorite images this time of year is the big city shopping districts all decked out for Christmas, like those immortalized in movies like Miracle on 34th street, Christmas Story, and more recently, Elf.  You can imagine holiday shoppers bustling about carrying packages with large bows for that special someone, and Santa on the street corner ringing bells for the Salvation Army so those less fortunate can enjoy the Holiday as well.

Harry Winston Store in NYC

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The Baume et Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar

Clifton Complete Calendar  Blue DialWhat an absolutely beautiful watch from what is quickly becoming one of the best brands around. It is no secret that I am a huge Baume Mercier fan. They have been doing absolutely everything right lately, from design and craftsmanship to marketing and service. They really are growing into a powerful brand on the level with a number of the luxury makers out there, and at a better value than many. So, it will come as no surprise that I am going to rave about their new Clifton Complete Calendar.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller

sky-dweller_326939_bs_0001_840x107013242183957712ZwyI have admittedly been on a Rolex kick for some time now, but frankly they offer a lot to talk about. This particular piece also happens to be one to dream about. New for Rolex is the moderately complicated Sky-Dweller, I have heard about this one for a little while and had the opportunity to play with one recently, and it is fascinating. The properly titled Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller is Rolex’s new flagship watch. I am not sure of the origin of the name Sky-Dweller, but it definitely sits above most of their line up. With a completely new calibre 9001 movement, the Sky dweller does more than your average watch. Continue reading

Top Ten Car themed Watches

I love top ten lists, they are fun aren’t they? Your top ten best concerts you saw, the top ten cd’s you would want on a desert island, the top ten watches of historical significance, they are all fun to compile and to talk about huh? Well as the weather has been warming and Basil show is going on my mind wanders to my favorite things; cars and spring drives, and of course watches. So, how about another list! the top ten automotive themed watches. Now this isn’t a serious list or comparison of the merits of all of these watches. No, this is merely a list of ten watches(in no preferential order) I believe have done a great job of capturing the theme of speed.

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Midwest Diamond & Watch Company-Minneapolis

MinneapolislI was in Minneapolis a few weeks back listening to a speaker at a gemology event. I had some spare time before the event started so I took a stroll through downtown. I ended up in the US Bank Plaza (nice building) on a quest to look at some jewelry or watches, or whatever else I could find to play with while I was there. Continue reading