Tropical Dial 1665 ‘Double Red’ Rolex Sea-Dweller


There is nothing like the appeal of an honest, down-to-Earth, bare bones tool watch. I view the 1665 Sea-Dweller as a Red Sub turned up to 11. It’s a little more technical, a little more appealing to some for its lack of cyclops, and just a little more nuanced. The RMs, LVMH, and Bivers of…

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Tropical Dial ‘Thunderbird’ 1625 Rolex Datejust


No one knows precisely how the Turn-O-Graph bezel wound up on the wrists of the USAF Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds. Lore holds that one pilot previously bought one for himself on his wedding, and, after discovering how useful the rotating bezel was, the US government placed an order for his team. Others…

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Tropical 1016 Rolex Explorer


There are a handful of watches so desperately attractive and simultaneously difficult to attain that any number of players have been known to attempt to reproduce them with generic components and a liberal interpretation of intellectual property. These players will go unnamed save to say that one starts with M and ends in assena Lab.…

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Tropical Sigma Dial 3700J Patek Philippe Nautilus


Watch media, collectors, and enthusiasts often speak about the Nautilus as if it’s one thing. After all, we often write ‘the’ Nautilus, as opposed ‘a’ Nautilus. Simultaneous, we more often talk about Submariners, not the sub, because we acknowledge that sub is a broad church. But both are slow evolving objects, not static. Language often…

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Tropical, ‘Tulip’ 4-Line Dial 5512 Rolex Submariner


Unless you’ve spent your entire life studying vintage Rolex, you probably won’t have heard of a tulip dial. Even if you have, you probably won’t have seen one with four lines. Yes, we’re back in the realm of obscure Wilsdorf details again, but this one is even more anorak than most. Have you ever looked…

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Tropical Service Dial 6542 Rolex GMT-Master


I must admit to slightly enjoying antagonizing purists here; a closed mind is boring. This is a service dial, and that’s always less desirable, right? Well, not quite. The 6542 GMT-Master was created with radium dials and was famously recalled for its radioactivity. If one came in for service over the next decade, Rolex would…

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Tropical Mk2 Dial 1163 Heuer Autavia GMT


For all their motorsport ties and Ryan Gosling ad nonsense today, Heuer sure knew how to do a travel watch. And travel does suit the motorsport lifestyle, more than a simple chronograph. This Autavia would’ve been perfectly suited to time laps at Silverstone, fly to Monte Carlo, and time again while not loosing track of…

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Tropical Sigma Dial 3700 Patek Philippe Nautilus


This 3700’s dial is the only I’ve ever seen which is outrageous enough to make up for the fact that its case has ears. Now, far be it from me to criticize Genta’s pen and what today is an institution. But broadly speaking, I find every watch enthusiast is either a Nautilus or a Royal…

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Tropical 6265 Rolex Daytona


Tropical doesn’t always mean caramel. I find a lot of visual delight in the shade where dials are just starting to move off black, it’s subtlety. You’ll be used to seeing tropical subdials on the white dial 6265, often wildly so. But the black dials can also go brown, it’s just often not as dramatic…

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Tropical 7928 Tudor Submariner


Five years ago, I attended a small dinner with a group of collectors. They chose an exceptional restaurant, I attired appropriately. There, I was lightly chided, by a man in red trousers I will add, for wearing a 16808 with a suit. Now, I’d never claim to be an authority in anything remotely sartorial. But…

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