The Best Watches for Car Enthusiasts

Do you want to know more about the best racing watches for car enthusiasts? You’ve come to the right place.

Even for those with little interest in motorsport, there is something undeniably alluring about a great car that makes it hard not to let your eyes linger as it passes you by. It’s the way the contours of the design look just right, the way the purr of the engine invites you to imagine the rush of speed as you put your foot down. For those who are passionate about cars, the combination of first-class engineering and elegant looks make models such as the early Porches, Bentleys or Maseratis close to irresistible.

The Geckota C-05 Chronograph - Image Credit: Geckota

Little wonder then that true car enthusiasts try to reflect these combined features of engineering and design in other elements of their lives. One of the most obvious places to do this is on their wrist.

Watches and cars have enjoyed a long and cherished history together every since Malcolm Campbell broke the land speed record wearing a Rolex Oyster nearly 100 years ago. Just as diving watches and pilot’s watches have become recognised styles in their own right, so racing watches are one of the most popular types of watch, and make the perfect timepiece for the car enthusiast who wants to bring a little of their passion for motorsports into their everyday style.

What defines a racing watch?

While there are no set rules for exactly what makes a racing watch, a number of features are common enough to be seen as defining. So if you’re looking to buy a racing watch, these are the features to look out for.

Chronograph and Tachymeter

Motorsports are all about timing, so it makes sense that watches for racing drivers have traditionally featured components that make this easier. Cue the chronograph and the tachymeter.

A chronograph is a separate stopwatch feature within the dial that allows a driver to take lap times. Racing chronograph watches often feature more than one of these extra dials, so a driver can compare lap times.

The tachymeter on the Geckota C-01 Chronograph - Image Credit: Geckota

A tachymeter is a separate bezel around the dial, inscribed with a scale that allows a driver to calculate distance/time ratios.

It’s worth noting that not all watches in the racing category will have these two features. These days it’s increasingly common for watches to take their inspiration from the motorsports genre, without including all the more technical features. The Geckota C-03 Automatic Racing Watch (featured below) is a good example of this.

High Contrast Dial

Legible dials are essential in motorsports - Image Credit: Geckota

If you’re travelling at high speed and need to keep your attention on the track, it helps if you can read your timepiece in the blink of an eye. So your typical race car watch will have a high contrast dial with easy to read figures. Don’t just take our word for it: Here’s Andy McKenna talking about the watch collection of a racing driver. As he says: “one of the most important aspects from a driver's perspective is the ability to quickly scan the various dials on a car's dashboard for required information quickly and easily.”

Racing Straps

Pick up a racing strap, like this grey Dartford Leather - Image Credit: Geckota

Finally, if you’re aiming for a truly authentic race car watch, then pay attention to the strap as well. Typical racing watch straps would have been perforated leather or rubber. That’s not always the case these days, and you can find attractive racing watch straps in other materials as well. You can browse a range of great racing watch straps and other sports watch straps here.

Seven of The Best Motor Racing Watches for Car Enthusiasts

So – what are the best watches for those who love the life on the open road? We’ve selected seven of our top picks to help you narrow your choice a little.

The Rolex Daytona

They don't get more iconic than the Rolex Daytona (especially the Paul Newman...) - Image Credit: Geckota

Let’s start with the classic. Following the aforementioned breaking of the land speed record by Malcolm Campbell, Rolex laid it on thick in their marketing that he was wearing their Oyster model at the time. (Incidentally, Campbell insisted on paying for the watch himself as a matter of pride. Today’s influencers could have learned a thing or two.) Anyway, Rolex continued to nurture the association with motorsports, and finally released the Daytona (named after the coastal town in Florida where the first motor races were held) in 1963. It has been considered one of the classic racing chronographs watches ever since.

Find out more.

The Geckota C-04 VK64 Space Age Racing Chronograph

Just as the best cars have always looked to the future for inspiration, so this watch draws on a space-age design language to create a stylish and impressive addition to the Geckota racing watch range. Sitting in a 40mm case, the multi-layered dial is easy to read while the ceramic, tachymeter bezel adds a touch of quality not often seen at this price point. This is a great watch for those who love the clarity and functionality of a racing watch and bold, imaginative design.

Find out more.

TAG Heuer Monaco

Probably the brand of watch that are most synonymous with motorsports, TAG Heuer engineered the dashboard timers such as the Monte Carlo that became essential equipment for the early race and rally cars. Of all its racing watch models, perhaps the most iconic is the Monaco, made famous after being worn by Steve McQueen while starring in the 1971 classic, Le Mans. This watch features an unmistakeable square case and dial, with square chronograph timers helping complete the model’s bold design. This was the first racing chronograph watch to feature the Chromatic Calibre 11, unique at the time for its automatic chronograph movement. Still as striking today as it was when worn by McQueen, the Monaco set the standard for racing watches that pushed the boundaries of design.

Find out more.

Geckota Racing C-03 Automatic Watch

If you are looking for exquisitely designed yet affordable racing watches, this flagship model is worth considering. While this is not a chronograph watch with the tachymeter bezel, the style is so heavily influenced by the motorsports design language that it is instantly recognisable as a racing watch. High-end features such as automatic movement and the fully lumed ceramic bezel insert immediately lend a touch of class, while the refined design features such as the slimline hands and understated dial make this the perfect watch for those who like the classic look. Completing the racing watch style, the watch is set off by a comfortable leather, or perforated sailcloth strap.

Find out more.

Geckota Racing C-03 Scott McKenna Limited Edition

As an adaption to the classic C-03 model above, this limited-edition racing watch was created in partnership with the British racing driver Scott Mckenna, a previous winner of the Ginetta Races. It takes the classic features of the standard C-03 model such as the ceramic bezel and specially designed hands, and brings in a bold design language inspired by Scott’s own distinctive style. Read more about Scott’s story here. Only 27 editions of this model have been made, so don’t miss your chance to get your hands on a piece of Geckota history.

Find out more.

Bremont MKII Jaguar Racing Chronograph Watch

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Take a look at the Bremont #jaguar range in store today. Inspired by the iconic Jaguar D-Type this new addition to the range is limited to only 300 pieces. The blue dialled bi-compax chronograph has brushed nickel sub-dials and a Tachymeter dial ring with its chronometer rated movement housed in a 43mm satin finished three-piece Trip-Tick® case. The large exhibition sapphire case back shows the beautifully finished mechanical BE-50AE movement and the very intricate Jaguar steering wheel inspired rotor. The watch crown has the original Dunlop tyre tread etched into it and the heritage Jaguar logo finished beautifully in enamel on its end. Ian Callum, Jaguar's Director of Design has signed each leather wallet packaging for this exclusive model. . . . #jaguar #jaguars #jag #jaguarcars #british #britishmade #madeinbritain #bremont #luxury #luxurywatch #luxurywatches #leatherwatch #uk #britishwatchmaking #tachymeter #dunlop #bremontwatches #bremontjaguar #bremontwatch #thbaker #timepiece #weekend #menswatch #mensgiftideas #mensfashion #mensaccessories #gentswatch #cambridge #wristwatch

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With watches and cars so naturally aligned, it makes sense that numerous partnerships have evolved between brands. One such instance of this is the collaboration between Bremont and Jaguar for this simple but stylish racing watch. Coming in all black, or contrasting black and white dial designs, the model is reminiscent of some classic Jaguar styling, with the hour markers purposefully based on the figures on the E-type instruments. The Jaguar logo sits just below the centre on the dial, meaning there’s no mistake that this is a watch for the serious car enthusiast.

Find out more.

Geckota C-01 Gen 2 Racing Chronograph Watch

Finally, for those car enthusiasts for whom only the classic representation of the genre will do, this racing chronograph watch ticks all the boxes, from its baton hands all the way to the perforated leather strap. The 42mm case, high contrast dial and curved edge sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating help this fill the race watch criteria of being easy to read. Another of the more affordable racing watches in this list, the C-01 Gen 2 is powered by Miyota 6S21 movement technology and is water-resistant to 100m.

Find out more.

You’ll find more racing watches for sale over at the Geckota store.

Save 20% on All Geckota Watches Today!

Start 2020 with a special offer that will only be available throughout our January Sales...

Throughout our January sales you can save 20% on all Geckota Watches when you spend £50+ on straps, here's all you need to know!

How it works:

  1. Add £50+ worth of straps into your cart
  2. Add your desired Geckota watch to your cart
  3. Enter code 'GECKOTA' at checkout to save 20% on the chosen Geckota Watch

*Please be aware that watches currently on sale and watch gift sets are not included in this offer

We know the importance of choosing the perfect watch, so here's an insight into some of the Geckota collections...

Geckota G-02 40mm Diver's Watch

Our G-02 is available in 3 colours & offered on a premium solid-ended Beads of Rice metal strap. With a case diameter of 40mm, and water resistant up to 200m, this watch is a solid choice for those looking for a vintage styled diver.

Geckota C-04 Space Age Racing Chronograph

For those looking for a racing chronograph with a unique style, the C-04 offers a space age design blended into its racing DNA. This watch is available in 3 colour variations, and is a choice of either our Slim Warrington metal strap, or fitted to our Racing Sailcloth strap.

Geckota C-01 Gen 2 Racing Chronograph

An alternative racing chronograph collection is the C-01 Gen 2. This watch builds on the success of the original C-01 range, featuring bold, highly contrasted dials, a fully polished case and a refined vintage focused design language.

Geckota K-01 Pilot Watch

The K-01 is one of our largest collections, featuring both A Type and B Type styles, with a total of 8 dial variations. The K-01 has been precisely created to pay the utmost respect to historical flieger designs of past centuries, and comes fitted to our Winstone leather strap which is pact with character.

Terms and conditions

This is a limited time offer. Minimum spend applies. It excludes our watch gift sets and any watch which is currently on sale. Applying the discount code will reduce the total price of the Geckota watch by 20%. If the promotion has been applied and you wish to return any item from the order then the discounted items must also be returned. This offer cannot be applied in conjunction with any other offer/discount code. Please note this offer is only available on Geckota Watches.

Videographer’s Notebook #2 – Basic Colour Correction & Grading

Basic Colour Correction & Grading

Colour Correction & Colour Grading play a huge role within video post-production. During this stage we are able to bring out the colours and definition of our footage. We will delve into the basics of Colour Correction & Grading this will give you an insight into our workflow during post-production process.

I am by no means an expect in this area, as there is so much to learn and with the ever-developing technological advances within colour grading software. Learning it all would be an impressive feat.

Using a Flat Picture Profile

As you can see from the image below the right side looks very flat, not much contrast and desaturated. This is because we are using a "Flat Picture Profile" in this instance we have opted for the Cine4 picture profile. (Sony A7iii Cine4 picture profile)

By Using a flatter picture profile we have a lot more creative freedom, allowing for a higher amount of dynamic range. Giving us more details within the shadows and highlights.

Therefore allowing for greater freedom when colour correcting/grading. Looking at the below image we can see the raw footage alongside three very different types of styles. Being able to manipulate the colours in the footage is a great advantage of using a flat picture profile.

Basic Colour Correction Tools - Premier Pro

Adobe Premier Pro is a very powerful video editor. Built into the software you have the ability to control various tools that will guide you through the colour correction process.

We use the Lumetri Colour tool to correct & grade our footage. If you are familiar with such programmes as Adobe Lightroom this tool will look very familiar. Typical tools such as exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows are present within lumetri colour.

More advance tools are available once you become more comfortable.

The below image shows before any corrections have been made.
Lumetri Colour - No Corrections

Lumetri Colour - No Corrections

As you can see below with only a few slight adjustments we are able to really bring out the details and colour within this footage. This is very basic colour correction. I would suggest testing each value to see how far you can push your footage and if it doesn't work out reset and go again.

Lumetri Colour - Colour Corrected

Lumetri Colour - Colour Corrected

Top Tip When Colour Correcting – Using Lumetri Scopes 

This can be a lifesaver especially at the start of  the colour correction process. When colour correcting, I use the Lumetri Scopes. As seen below we have wave forms which will visually change in real-time as we adjust the values.

Now when colour correcting, it can be quite easy to overdo it. Many times have I overexposed the image blowing out the highlights or crushing the blacks. leading to lost information/details.

This is where the waveforms come in. As you can see from both examples below we have a range from 0-100 (0 being the blackest point of the image and 100 being the whitest).

The rule you want to follow is to never go below 0 or above 100, by following this rule you will not lose crucial information. By going over 100 we lose detail in the highlights and vice versa going below 0 we lose detail in the shadows.

So always try to keep within this range refer to the second image for a good example.

Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes (Lost Details)

Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes (Lost Details)

Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes

Premier Pro - Lumetri Scopes

Finally, try not to get overwhelmed when colour correcting. Don't forget you can always reset and try again. shooting with a flat profile only makes this process easier.

Introducing the R-01 Rectangular Dress Watch- Perfect for Women!

Geckota R-01 Range

Coming soon is the R-01 in 3 different styles. They are all of a rectangular shape but differ in casing colours as well as face designs, one having a more vintage twist.

R-01 Rectangular Dress Watch

As a woman working for Geckota, I am excited for the upcoming release of the R-01 range of watches. Being a smaller, slimmer more delicate watch, its angular case possesses a more modern look, as watches are mostly circular. Circular watches have been predominantly more popular due to the effectiveness and practicality of the shape.

The R-01 Rectangular Dress Watch and The W-02 Vintage Mechanical Chronograph Dress Watch

Rectangular watches offer a slightly different appearance to your style. The first rectangular watch became popular in the 1920s to 1930s during the art deco period. A popular rectangular watch is the Cartier Tank, first introduced in 1917 but is still part of the Cartier line up to this day.

The R-01 design is extremely versatile. They can be worn in casual settings as well as more formal occasions, adding a twist to your outfit. This is another appealing factor to me, making it a great everyday watch.

R-01 Rectangular Dress Watch

The R-01 Design Language

Each collection has a different design language, ensuring there is something for everyone! These styles include sporty, vintage, and dress styles, with a large variety of dial and case colours.

Each piece has slight differences that give the watch a whole different look all while maintaining the ranges simplicity; ensuring they are appealing to many wrists. Alongside the femininity of versions such as the Mother of Pearl Dress dial, options such as the Olive Green Dress dial is a more masculine choice.

R-01 Rectangular Dress Watch

Night Black

The Geckota R-01 Night Black is distinctively different from the other two in the collection, this is due to the polished black casing. The watch case being completely black gives the watch a modern and sporty appearance. Paired with some silver jewellery this watch would be a great fashion statement.

R-01 Night Black Rectangular Watch

There are three dial options, Black, Grey and Green. For someone who prefers less striking designs, the solely black watch would be a great choice, but for those who may feel this may be overpowering, a splash of colour may be the better choice for you. The green and grey dial would be ideal for a person who wears more neutral or pastel colours.

Rectangular Dress Watch

The second range of R-01’s is the Dress version which has the largest selection of colours and case finishing's. My personal favourite is the silver case with either the black or mother of pearl dial. I feel as though these designs would match perfectly with any outfit or jewellery!

The distinctive feature of this watch would be the raised roman numerals which adds depth, and additionally compliment the sword hands. To switch up the look of your watch you can change the colour of your strap, a classic example would be the Chedworth suede strap in grey matched with the green dial…  However there are no rules!

Vintage Style Watch

Lastly, we have the Rectangular Vintage Style collection, as the name suggests, this is a more vintage take on the R-01 design.  This style is available with strong dial colours which emphasises the vintage elements of the watch, especially with the green and gold combination! The Vintage style dress watch mixes up the R-01 range with its Arabic numerals, playing on timeless designs.

The most feminine of the vintage watches in my opinion would be either the rose gold casing with white dial or the gold case models with the black dial. This is because the colours are more versatile for matching different outfits. However the whole of the R-01 collection is unisex. Although this watch is a smaller design, it’s long rectangular case sits perfectly on the wrist despite your wrist size.

To explore the collection further, click here!

The 3D Artist’s Notebook #2 – Modelling a Watch

3D Modelling a Geckota Watch

The use of 3D rendering is very useful when it comes to creating listings for upcoming Geckota watches. This is because we do not have to wait to be hands-on with the watch. I can create the watch in Cinema 4D and output photo-realistic renders to achieve the same results as if we had the watch. The example I will use throughout this post is the Geckota W-02 Vintage Mechanical Chronograph Racing Watch.

There are 4 main steps that go into producing a final image. The modelling, the texturing, the positioning and the lighting. In this post I will be talking about the modelling.

The Setup

The entire process begins with 2D, to-scale technical drawings. These files are vital to be able to be accurate during modelling. You can almost think of it like using tracing paper on top of an image you want to replicate. To set this up in my software of choice, Cinema 4D, I simply apply the technical drawings to the background of my 'top' perspective view port. It is also very important that the technical drawing has been positioned correctly so that it is to scale. The method I use is the lug-width measurement, for the W-02 Racing Chrono it is 18mm. So once this measurement is positioned correctly the rest of the drawing will be to scale.

Modelling

Once aligned I then move onto the modelling. This part can take the longest especially when aiming for photo-realistic results. This is because the case is a very polished metal so if the model itself has some badly positioned polygons it will be very obvious when you go to render the watch and see all the warped reflections and surfaces. This process is hard to describe in a few sentences and is something you have to tackle with a practical mindset, you have a specific set of 'primative' shapes and using Cinema 4D's tools and how do you take those shapes and turn them into what you want to render. The tools are an important aspect of this process. The functions and modifiers I use the most often are Extrude, Boole, Symmetry, Loop cut, Bevel, Weld and Subdivision Surface. I will re-visit these later in the post.

I begin modelling the watch with multiple cylinders, it varies slightly watch to watch but the overall concept is to treat it like layers. The caseback, the main core of the case and the bezel. It's far more efficient to have these a 3 seperate objects to begin with rather than trying to create it all from one cylinder, although that is another method.

Segments/Polygons

It's important to understand rotation segments which includes the topic of polygons and the amount of them in the scene. Typically, the more polygons you use the higher detail and more complex you are able to make the model, but this also means the scene has far more to process, slowing down render times and overall performance of the scene. In an industry like game design you would want to use as few polygons as possible to use the least amount of performance. However, in product rendering we do not have this issue. Although, It's always nice to keep in mind how many polygons you are using as it is possible to have too many and bog down the scene unnecessarily.

Rotation segments are a similar concept, the more you have the easier and more detailed you can make the lugs, but too many and it just becomes too complex for its own good.

The lugs are usually the most intricate and difficult things to model when it comes to watches. This is due to their angles and complex shape. The best way to tackle this is to have a technical drawing or photo side-on to be able to model from. Although, there are situations in the early stages of design where we do not have access to this. Therefore, it just comes down to trial and error.

In our case, a 3D printer plays an important role in this design as we can print it out physically. This allows us to be able to put on straps and our wrist to determine the positioning and design of the lugs, to make sure it wears well. However, in this situation it is the same case as the previous workshop watch models. This means we were able to take a photo side-on and can use this to determine the lugs.

Tools and Modifiers

Within Cinema 4D you can make the most of all the functions when creating your model. These are equivalent to tools in something like Photoshop for example, the pen tool. A common theme through 3D modelling is that there is usually multiple ways of achieving the same outcome, but the modifiers job is to make it easier. A great example of this is this is the Bevel function.

Bevel

The term 'bevel' may be familiar to you, so the tool is somewhat self-explanatory. A bevel is a sloping surface or edge and in the 3D workspace it is perfect for getting a precise rounded edge on your models. The other way of getting this result would be to manually create the edges/cuts and to position them yourself to get the same effect. However, this is inefficient and hard to get 100% accurate. When using the bevel tool you can select how many subdivisions you want to be created and how much of a rounded edge there should be, it's a very fast, reliable way to produce a smooth rounded edge.

Loop/Path cut

This tool is probably my most used tool when modelling. This is used to create a new edge (a new cut in the model) to be able to model from. The main thing that makes the loop cut stand out from just a simple point to point knife cut is that it takes the rest of the model in to consideration, the best example is on a cylinder. This cut calculates the other faces around it and works out it can create a perfect 'loop' cut. This is very useful when wanting to create accurate edges and cuts to extrude from. It also comes in useful when using subdivision surface.

Extrude

If you are somewhat familiar with 3D programs, extrude is probably the first tool that comes to mind. It is a function on pretty much every 3D software there is, as it's vital for modelling. Combining loop cuts and extruding means you can extend the polygons in the way you want. In my example here, this is a method on making a very basic bezel shape for a watch.

Subdivision Surface

This is one of the most important modifiers for photo-realism and I use this on almost every model I create. This modifier calculates the current polygons and smooths them out. Slightly smoothing the edges and changing the way light effects the model. As you can tell by the examples below it massively improves the realism of the model. It gives the angles some depth rather than a pixel perfect edge to edge. This allows the light to bounce off realistically creating rim lights and realistic shadows. Combining subdivision surface with loop cuts gives you a lot of control on how sharp you want the edges to do be.

Summary

As with most things, I feel modelling does come down to 'practice makes perfect'. The more experience you have the more efficient you become and your knowledge will allow you to use multiple methods to create models. You can make the most of the tools I've gone through and so much more to be able to create diverse shapes and detailed models.

Stay tuned for the upcoming 3D Artist's Notebook to learn more about the other steps for creating a photo-realistic listing image.

What Are The Most Popular Men’s Watches?

From adventure watches to pilot watches, we’ve got it covered.

Choosing a new watch is never easy – the sheer range of style and models can be overwhelming even to an experienced collector. The guide below makes the process a little less daunting, with an introduction to some of the most popular styles and models of men’s watches available.

Adventure Watches

Whatever your taste for adventure, it’s essential to have a watch that won’t let you down along the way. Whether you’re looking to navigate your way down a little-travelled trail, get lost in woodlands with just a backpack and a good pair of shoes, or travel to new lands, a reliable adventure watch is a must-have.

The best adventure watches are sturdy, lightweight and finely tuned with specifications to help you make the most of your time outdoors. With this in mind, here are some of our most popular men’s adventure watches.

 The Geckota E-01 ETA/Ronda Sports Watch

A deliberate blend of the hard-wearing practicality required from an outdoors watch and the modern style of a 'daily wearer', this watch will make the perfect companion for any adventure.

Enclosed within the popular and versatile proportions of a 36.5 mm case, the domed crystal sapphire front adds subtle interest to the dark tones of the vertically brushed dial, while the gently angled crown guards give added protection on top of the watch's 100m water-resistant capabilities. Functionality and aesthetics blend throughout the entire design; the elongated lugs mean the watch sits comfortably on the wrist and the Superluminova dial allows for legibility in all conditions, while the slimline hour markers add a touch of classic watch design style.

Find out more here!

Geckota G-01 Vintage Style Automatic Diver’s Watch

Drawing proudly and heavily on the ‘new wave’ style of the 60s, this watch is for the adventurer who’s not afraid to show a little panache. Not only do its contrasting curved edges and sharp, angular features look great, but the watch is as tough as well, water-resistant to 300m.

The fully polished, 42mm case leaves plenty of room for the stylish design features to shine through, with a fume style dial and vertically brushed finish setting off the robust hands and dial markers. Subtler features, such as the gently rounded, continuous case, and the gold insignia on the screw-down crown give this watch a touch of class that intrepid explorers of yesteryear would have been proud of. As with all Geckota watches, comfort is a major consideration in the design of the G-01 achieved here with the addition of a genuine ostrich leg leather strap.

Find out more here!

Pilots’ Watches

If there’s one profession that needs their timepiece to be accurate, reliable, and resistant to extreme changes on pressure and temperature, it’s pilots. Little wonder that pilots’ watches have become so popular beyond this very niche industry, as educated buyers know this is a style of watch that just won’t let you down. It helps that pilots like to look good too.

Geckota K-01 A Type - 40mm

Elegance, precision and timeless style combine in this stunning interpretation of the pilot’s watch. Meticulous attention to detail has been paid to ensure this model accurately represents the classic Flieger designs of the early 20th century, with the chamfered sword hands among the striking features.

The logo engraved into the screw-down crown offers another hint of classic aviation aesthetic, while modern touches such as the SuperLuminova infill on the hands for low light visibility incorporate a modern touch. This watch comes in three carefully considered dial options – blue, grey and black – all set off by a strap of handmade German leather.

Find out more here!

Geckota G-02 GMT Swiss Quartz

The archetypal pilot’s watch, this model is suave, understated and built to withstand the most challenging conditions, while still managing to be the perfect complement to smart casual attire.

The 316L, stainless steel case has a sturdy 13.5mm thickness, helping it stay water-resistant to an impressive 200m, while the larger than average 40mm diameter gives the model a robust feel. Subtler design touches behind the sapphire glass mean this watch retains a sophisticated look, with the applied indexes of the dial setting off three different colour pallet options: white eggshell, textured black with an aluminium blue insert, or textured black with aluminium grey insert.

Find out more here!

Laco ‘Leipzig’ 42

The Laco brand has a long history making pilot’s watches, and this model is one of their classic designs. Featuring a clear dial with Superluminova hands and with automatic movement, this hardwearing number makes a great choice if you’re looking to add a little understated elegance to your style.

Find out more here!

Diving Watches

Timepiece enthusiasts have a lot to thank the dive watch for. Advances in technology that allowed watches to operate underwater also helped make the wristwatch a viable product for the consumer market, as the increased durability enabled them to replace the pocket watch. That was in the 1920s and the technology has been advancing ever since. As a minimum, a modern dive watch can withstand water pressure of 100m, has a face that stays visible in total darkness and is resistant to magnetic, chemical and other potential shocks. All of which makes them even more desirable to the connoisseur looking for faultless performance from a watch.

G-02 ETA-2824 40mm Diver's Watch

Vintage design features with a twist and some technological expertise come together to make this a unique and attractive watch that stands out from the crowd.

The first of many features to catch the eye is the sunburst bezel, created by coating a sunken dial plate with epoxy resin. The finely etched figures, as well as the contrast in colour to the main dial gives the watch a striking elegance. The technology behind the watch is also of the highest quality, with a Swiss-made ETA 2824-2 movement system, and a water resistance of up to 200m. The whole piece is set off by a bold and robust ‘beads of rice’ metal strap.

Find out more here!

Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial

One of the original dive watch manufacturers, Omega started making watches for underwater professionals in the 1950s, and have been refining their ranges ever since. This latest expression is resistant to 300m and features a dark dial with lighter indexes and big hands and numbers to make it easily visible in a variety of lighting conditions - both above and below water.

Find out more here!

Racing Watches

In motor racing, every millisecond counts, accuracy is everything, and style and performance go hand in hand. Little wonder then, that the sport has inspired watchmakers for decades. The technical specifications of any good racing watch will include a chronograph – a stopwatch – and a tachymeter, to calculate time and distance ratios, with both often accurate to tenths or hundredths of a second. Technology aside, racing watches will often have more colour and design than other styles, reflecting the exhilarating nature of the sport and making these models a must for the man who’s not afraid to show a little flair.

Geckota C-O4 VK64 Space Age Racing Chronograph Watch

This model takes the bold colour and design associated with the typical racing watch and gives it the ‘Geckota touch’, incorporating elements of space-age design, including vibrant green accents, a futuristic dial and a beautiful ceramic bezel – a rare feature at this price point. The result is a watch that’s ideal for the man who loves to show their creative side.

Find out more here!

Geckota C-01 Gen 2 Racing Chronograph Watch

The updated version of our original C-01 model, this watch gives a fresh face to the much-loved design language of its predecessor, with a high contrast dial and a classic, retro feel, all the way down to the perforated strap.

As with the original design, careful consideration has gone into ensuring the multi-layered dial does not feel cluttered, with the sub-dials sitting neatly at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, allowing features such as the polished finish and classical baton hands to take centre stage.

Find out more here!

Dress Watches

When the occasion demands you look your best, there’s no better compliment to a stylish outfit than a classic dress watch. Men’s dress watches come in a wide array of styles, though all are designed with a single purpose – to elevate your look and provide the perfect accessory for the man who know how to dress their best.

Geckota W-01 Vintage Jumping Hour Automatic Dress Watch

Taking its design cues from the classic dress and pocket watches while incorporating a touch of modern style too, this elegant model offers something rather special at an affordable price point.

The silver stamped, multi-layered guilloche dial sits behind a double-domed, acrylic crystal glass, all perfectly set off by a handmade strap of Spanish leather. And while the watch undoubtedly looks great, functionality is a talking point too, with the jumping hour hand a rare and pleasing touch.

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Junghans Max Bill Automatic Watch

This watch blends simplicity and style with its iconic slimline design and comes at an affordable price point too. Subtle and sophisticated.

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Geckota W-02 Vintage Mechanical Chronograph Dress Watch

Inspired by the refined, understated style of 1940s chronographs, this watch brings a touch of class to any occasion. Design cues are rooted in vintage aesthetic, with a silver stamped grain dial and slimline, gold-coloured hour markers.

Vintage design permeates the functionality of this watch too, with the operation based on a hand-wound mechanical chronograph. This watch comes in three different options, each subtly offering a different take on this classic style.

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Digital Watches

While for the more traditional timepiece enthusiasts only the classic style of an analogue watch face will do, some brands have made the step to digital, and done so with aplomb. Digital does offer some desirable features too, with options such as stopwatches and even wifi built in to some. With smartwatches now the new technology on the scene, digital watches are also starting to have something of a classic air to them as well.

Timex Command Shock 54mm Resin Strap Watch

If durability and functionality are the essential criteria for your watch, then this watch ticks the boxes. Shockproof and water-resistant to 100m, it’s perfect for both everyday use and outdoor adventure.

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GShock DW-9052-1V Digital Military Watch

Don’t be fooled by the affordable price tag – this digital watch is known as the military ‘standard issue’ for a reason, as its shockproof and water-resistant case put it up there with some of the G-Shock brand’s most resilient models.

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Smart Watches

It would have been inconceivable to the first watchmakers that a version of their creation would one day exist that could monitor the wearer’s heart rate, obey commands and pay for their coffee, but that’s exactly what the next generation of watch technology can do. This style of watch might not be what you have in mind when you set out looking for a timepiece definitive to your sense of style, but you can’t deny the sophistication of the technology.

Apple Watch 5

The standard-bearer for smartwatches, and still the go-to if you are an iPhone user, the latest model of the Apple Watch incorporates an ‘always on’ display and 36-hour battery life, while its high end features link seamlessly with your device.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch

The four-day battery life and attractive, sporty design make this watch a favourite among Android users, and while it does not have as many apps available as some other models, it covers everything that most users would want.

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Military Watches

It goes without saying that military watches must be tough, hard-wearing and functional, but there’s something about that rugged military style that’s aesthetically appealing too. Watchmakers of all brands certainly think so, and a military range is common to almost all major players on the market, with the term used to describe everything from a reliable and understated pilot’s watch, to an all-action dive watch with the capability to perform under the toughest conditions.

Geckota E-01 Gen 2 Exploration

A rugged yet stylish addition to the Geckota range, this watch is perfect for anyone who wants to look great whether in the outdoors or on the town.

The robust case, quick-dry nylon strap and double-domed sapphire crystal glass give this a more rugged appearance than the first edition, while the neat proportions mean that this watch still makes an ideal daily wearer. The fixed bezel with 24-hour timescale means that the bold dial face can be read in any light conditions.

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Geckota B-Type Pilots Watch - 40mm

An iconic design that captures the timeless elegance of aviation-style. The bold clear face is set off perfectly by the handmade German leather strap.

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High Complication Watches

This is where the craft of watchmaking finds its highest expression, with design, functionality and imagination all combining into a single dial. Some of the greatest minds in horology have dedicated their lives to these masterful creations, with watches that combine everything from moon phase complication to perpetual calendars making these among the most desired possessions of watch collectors everywhere.

Geckota T-01 Hand-Wound Tourbillon

For the discerning collector, this hand-wound, tourbillon watch offers a modern take on this classic art form, with a multi-level stamped guilloche dial with large, heat blued hands and a bold stainless steel case.

The intricate dial sits behind a gently domed, sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating, giving both interest and maximum legibility to the display. As befits a watch of this superior quality, the strap is genuine handmade Italian leather.

Find out more here!

Our watches

Here at Geckota, our vision is to provide high-quality and versatile watches to like-minded people who would share our enthusiasm for exceptional materials at honest and considered prices. Why not have a browse of our collection, or get in touch to find out more about our watches. Discover the full collection here!

Product Images and White Background Removal – Photographer’s Notebook #4

How To Produce The Perfect White Background Product Image

Why do we show our products against a white background?

Being an online store, having good quality images of the products is crucial because it determines the customers decision process, which is ultimately whether to purchase the product or not. It is also the only way they will get a sense of what they are buying, which makes it very important to have images that represent the product accurately.

 

Our product listings contain two types of photography, lifestyle and product-only. In most cases, product-only images would be the first photo you would see on the site, lifestyle shots afterwards.  Having both style of images allows the individual to see the product in detail as well as what it would like like in life situations, such as wrist shots or the product sitting amongst other objects.

 

It is essential to have high quality product-only images with the white backgrounds as it provides many benefits. The product can be seen clearly making it stand out with no distractions meaning the focus is purely on the product. A solid white background also provides consistency across the whole site.

 

What software do we use?

With many software options out there with the ability to remove backgrounds of images, Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 was the best choice for us. For a more in depth description of equipment we use for photography, click here. 

Step By Step

  • Set up your camera ensuring the battery is of full charge and has an appropriate lens for the product you are photographing. Our go-to lens for smaller product photography such as watches and straps is the Sigma 105mm, an extremely sharp lens, especially for the price!
  • Attach the camera to a tripod
  • Set camera settings and put the self timer on.
  • Placing the product on a white, flat surface (table) or you can use portable studio tents/boxes that are designed for photographing product images. These help eliminate any outside factors that may reflect onto your subject matter.
  • Position the product emphasising important features.
  • Adjusting the camera position using the tripods features.
  • Positioning of the light boxes
  • Take photo/photos. Here at Geckota we do not use flash photography, but we do use a technique called focus stacking which helps us achieve the sharpest possible image.  We will be discussing this further in a future blog, so stay tuned!
  • Upload to Photoshop.
  • Remove the background of the image.
  • Retouching of the image including dust removal and other minor changes.

White Background Removal:

  1. Add layer mask to your image.

2. Be selected on the layer mask attached to your image.

3. Select the Pen Tool. There are many different tools in Photoshop to remove the backgrounds of images. The most common being The Pen Tool, The Lasso Tool, The Magic Wand. However in most instances using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and Pen Tool are our preferred methods. The Pen tool allows you to create the perfect curve and The Polygonal  Lasso Tool allows you to be more precise with your selection.

4. Point and click (outlining) around the image being as precise as you can. Tip: Trace slightly inside the image  to ensure no white is included in the selection. 

5. Join up the Selection so the whole image is selected, then right click and select  'Make Selection', then click 'Ok'.

6. Select the Brush Tool with 100% hardness on a black colour picker. Begin to brush away the background until all white is removed  (you can make the brush larger for certainty) as well as brushing around areas you want to keep. Repeat the selection steps to remove other white areas.

7. Now the background has been completely removed!

Is The PT5000 A Good Watch Movement?

You may have seen the Geckota G-02 Divers is now available using the PT5000 watch movement. With this new option on the site, we thought it would be worth running through the movement with you all and explaining why it is an interesting new option.

The PT5000 comes from the Chinese movement manufacturers H.K. Precision Technology (HKPT) and is a new addition to their offerings.

The PT5000 movement - Image Credit: Geckota

The movement is automatic with the ability to be hand-wound. Smooth seconds hand fans will be pleased as the watch beats at 28,800 VPH. The movement comes in with 25 jewels, 25.6mm in diameter and a height of 4.6mm. The benefit of this size is that it can fit in a variety of case sizes making it very appealing to brands.

Watch movement enthusiasts will recognise those stats as being very similar to the ETA 2824-2 and the Sellita SW200. Much like the Sellita, the PT5000 is a clone of the ETA 2824 watch movement.

The origins of a classic

The PT5000 movement - Image Credit: Geckota

HK Precision Technology has been smart and (just like Sellita has been doing with the SW200 for years) has created this new movement based on an already proven ETA formula. The ETA’s movement design isn’t protected by any sort of patent due to the age of the design, hence all of the clones available.

The ETA 2824 is commonly known as the benchmark for an entry-level swiss-made movement. You’ll more than likely have experienced this design from many brands including Tudor, Hamilton, Sinn, Stowa and more. There is a reason the movement is commonly referred to as a workhorse in the industry...

The ETA movement ticks a lot of boxes. It's a well designed, robust movement that is easy to source spares for. It will keep on ticking for years and years without any fault. 9/10 trusted watchmakers will have no problem confidently working on the movement, for that added reassurance. You really get a lot for your money - and that’s not even considering the reputation it carries.

However, it’s not all positive for the ETA 2824. The company is owned by Swiss giants Swatch Group which means the ETA’s time existing outside of the group is rapidly running out. Swatch Group know they’re onto a winner with the 2824 so naturally, they want to keep the good stuff to themselves.

This is where companies like Sellita and HKPT come in. This tightening of supply has created the possibility for other companies to clone the design and meet the demand Swatch Group have left in their tracks.

The top of its class

The PT5000 movement - Image Credit: Geckota

With the design being so easy to copy the quality of many copies out there is varied. There are as many (if not more) poor examples of clones that exist than good examples. This is where the PT5000 stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Chinese made movements have a generalisation associated with them that they’re ‘poor quality’ and ‘unreliable’. HKPT were determined to challenge this perception so took their highest grade version of the PT5000 to Glashutte in Germany to have its accuracy reviewed by the Chronometer Observatory. (This couldn’t be completed at COSC as they only test Swiss movements).

"According to the China Horologe Association, the standard set by the Chronometer Observatory at Glashutte is the world's most rigid. The observatory has seven testing categories, and only allows a mechanical watch a deviation ranging from minus 3.8 seconds to plus 5.8 seconds within a day" - ChinaDaily.com

Since then the movement has become China’s first watch movement to reach chronometer certification. Read more about this here.

So in our eyes, the PT5000 has proved itself as a fantastic alternative to the ETA aligning well with our beliefs and aims with the Geckota range.

Check out the G-02 Diver using the PT5000 here.

Advice for Lighting in Watch Photography – Photographer’s Notebook #3

Lighting within the World of Watch Photography - Part One

Photographing watches is a huge hobby for a lot of people, and many watch collectors fall into watch photography to capture their favourite pieces or collections. The rise of social media has created a place for collectors all over the world to be a part of a like minded community, and a place to share images of their own collections.

The Tudor Black Bay 58 fitted to the Sennon NATO watch strap.

Tudor Black Bay 58 fitted to the Sennen NATO from WatchGecko - Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects in photography to get right in any image. Sometimes you have no choice but to embrace terrible light conditions. Whether you’re in a room filled with warmer tungsten light, or out and about in winter time when light is extremely dull, rest assured there are ways to tackle challenging lighting! Although some of which may take a bit of practicing…

The Geckota G-01 Rust Dial watch fitted to the Ostrich Leg leather watch strap.

Geckota G-01 Rust Dial - Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/10 sec.

So, where to begin? The camera’s main settings that will alter lighting in your image are the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. Your camera’s white balance can also be used to remove any incorrect colouring or temperatures that may be created by the lighting in the environment.

Exposure

When experimenting with lighting you want to ensure that you do not overexpose or underexpose your image. Overexposure is when too much light is let in during exposure, resulting in the image being too bright. Below I've used an example of an overexposed image for reference.

Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/4, Shutter Speed: ⅓ sec.

Underexposure is the polar opposite of overexposure. The outcome will mean your image looks too dark as not enough light was let in during exposure.

Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec.

There is a lot of creative freedom in photography, so although these rules of exposure in photography exist, I have also met many who experiment with exposure to create unique artwork. Never be afraid to think outside the box or experiment with photography. Creativity and unique styles is what keeps the world of photography alive!

If you’re wondering if your image’s exposure is right just make sure the image looks natural and correctly represents the subject matter. Strong use of shadows, complemented by lighter areas which maintain their colour and details means you’re doing it right!

The Omega Speedmaster fitted to the Geckota Kington Short leather watch strap.

Omega Speedmaster fitted to the Kington Short Leather Strap - Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma 105mm, ISO: 100, Aperture: f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec.

Artificial Light

Artificial lighting is hard to avoid in this day and age, from tungsten to fluorescent lights, it’s everywhere! On many occasions I have found that artificial light has either been my best friend or my worst enemy...

Tungsten refers to lights from lamps and ceiling bulbs that emit a warmer temperature, with yellow and red tones. Personally this is my least favourite light source to shoot with, especially for watches. It can change the natural colours of the subject matter, and additionally make it trickier to edit afterwards.

Warm Tungsten Lights - Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 400, Aperture: f/1.8, Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec.

Fluorescent and strobe lights usually produce a cooler temperature, which additionally can create difficulties when photographing. Certain lights can also cause interference where the light will flicker and appear differently in each image. This is due to the lights frequency, where the light source changes in intensity or colour. To avoid this interference you can set your shutter speed accordingly to the bulbs current. For example, if the bulb is 50hz then try setting your shutter speed to 1/50 sec, ensuring that the lights current cycle is fully caught. If possible, you can also try introducing other light sources, such as natural light, to reduce the flicker.

Cooler Fluorescent Lights

One major advantage with artificial light is that it can give you a lot more control. At Geckota I use three Interfit soft boxes in the studio. Each soft box is fitted with daylight bulbs which have three settings, allowing me to choose how bright I want them. Additionally, I’m able to move the lights and direct them wherever necessary.

The use of daylight bulbs means that colours in images are more accurate. Certain details of watches can be a nightmare to light properly. A domed crystal or interesting dial texture can easily affect the colour or look of a watch completely through the camera lens compared to how it looks in the flesh.

Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 400, Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec.

Natural Light

We all love a bit of natural light, there’s no doubt about that, but it can be very unpredictable and unreliable. For me, the positives of natural light out way any negatives. Natural light provides a one directional source of light which is realistic and gives images a more organic look, rather than unusually lit or edited. Most photographers prefer overcast days where the light is a lot softer. Shooting in direct sunlight makes it easy to overexpose an image, which is why I try to just avoid it!

A photogrph of the Omega Speedmaster fitted to the white Flyboard strap from Geckota on wrist.

Image Credit - Geckota - Camera: Canon EOS 700D, Lens: Sigma Art Prime 50mm, ISO: 200, Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec.

Diffusers and Reflectors

Diffusers are used to help spread light in photography. They enable you to get softer lighting, avoiding harsh, direct light. In the images below I have taken the same photo, the left without a diffuser, the right with.

2 images of the Geckota G-01. The right image features a strong directional light, whereas the image on the left has been diffused with a diffuser.

Geckota G-02 - Image Credit - Geckota

Diffusers are a lifesaver within watch photography! Not only do they produce a soft light, but they are great to use for polished and reflective surfaces. I often use a diffuser to light the case and lugs, and of course, for flectos. If you are already an avid watch photographer you may have heard of the term flecto, if not then don't worry, I'll go into that a little more in a minute!

In the images above the strap on the right has been lit with a diffuser, and the light across the lugs is less defined, creating a gradient of light compared to the harsh lines on the left image. This has additionally helped reflect the polished hands making them stand out against the dial.

Although it certainly has it's advantages, every watch is different so you'll want to experiment with what works best! Another thing to consider here is the lighting on the crystal. The right image is a lot softer than the left which, I feel, draws away from the depth of the watch.

The Geckota W-02 watch photography set up. A mirror is used on the left to bounce light, and lighting from the right is diffused by a diffuser.

Geckota W-02 - Image Credit - Geckota

Reflectors are perfect to use when you want to bounce light onto a certain area without having to use an extra light source. I often use a small mirror to help do this, too.

Top tip: paper also works well as a reflector/diffuser. Maybe even get yourself a mix of white, grey and black card to practice with!

So, what is a flecto?

The term flecto refers to the light on the crystal of a watch. Personally, I love the use of flectos, especially as they add a subtle bit of depth to the watch. I avoid having a flecto across the whole dial as it can dilute colours or take away important shadows.

Below are two examples of how a flecto can be used to create two different looks. The left image is created with a diffuser giving it a soft gradient of light. The right image is without a diffuser and has a much stronger look. Each of these work well, so it's completely up to you on which style you prefer or what represents the watches details best!

2 images of the Geckota E-01 Gen 2 showing different styles of flecto within watch photography.

Geckota E-01 Gen 2 - Image Credit - Geckota

Hopefully part one has been a useful insight to help get you started in watch photography. If you are wondering more about lighting then keep your eyes peeled for 'Lighting within the World of Watch Photography - Part Two'. We'll continue to talk more about flash, continuous lighting, placement, techniques, and lighting styles!

ジェニュインレザー(本革)D – バックル ストラップ

Geckota 社ではステンレススチール製のデプロイメントバックル(D - バックル)のデザイン・制作に取り組んできましたが、この度、新商品Edwyn(エドウィン)レンジとGreenwood(グリーンウッド)レンジの完成・販売に至りました。 D - バックルはハイエンドモデルのウォッチの替えベルトとしてとても人気のあるバックルです。

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