March Mania marches on! When we started the competition, we had 96 watches. Now we’re at the stage when the last 16 will be scythed in half to leave just eight still standing. At that point, the writers will have just one watch remaining each. So today, for the very last time, the watches that started in the preliminaries together will go head-to-head for the division champion crown. Where will your votes fall?

We’re at the business end of the groups now. Gerard and RJ both have just two watches left. We need you to pick your favorite in this quick-fire round. Tomorrow we will have the last two competitors from Mike and Tomas’s groups before Ben and Bert step into the fray on Wednesday. Then, the quarter-finals commence on Thursday, so you’ve not got long to register your opinion. Go hard or go home. It’s time for the gloves to come off and to leave it all on the ice…

Log in to your Fratello account and drop us a comment. Who did you vote for and why? What’s your prediction for the later rounds? Who knows? You decide!

Gerard’s final two:

(1) Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 (2006) vs. Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 (1978) (2)

Omega Speedmaster Professional 3570.50 (2006)

The Speedmaster is the victor once again. Unfortunately for its opponent in the previous round, it was a little imbalanced and the Speedy was always the firm favorite to move onwards. It’s a shame as the Sinn is a great watch, and it’s unfortunate that the brand was not better represented in the competition. That said, the 142 did the German brand proud and fought bravely. It was, however, no match for the 3570.50. Now the Speedy is up against a powerful foe, and is by no means guaranteed another easy win. It took 79% of the voting against the Sinn, but I’d be shocked to see either participant in this round claim victory with such a margin…

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 (1978)

This was another match-up where the voting in the previous round was a little surprising but positive. I had predicted the Nautilus to win, but not by such a close margin of voting. Just 57% of you voted for the Patek in this round. Some of the common themes in the comments were a disdain for the hype behind the Nautilus. That translated into what I believe to be some spite votes! I voted for the Defy Classic as I genuinely love the angular case. It’s on my (ever-growing) list.

My prediction for this round is for the Omega to move onwards by a narrow margin. I think that it’s the stronger candidate overall, and the amount of comments lambasting the hype train was surprising. My predictions have frequently been wrong though, so who knows!

March Mania: Sweet Sixteen — Gerard — (1) V (2)


RJ’s final two:

(3) Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500ST Vs. Grand Seiko SLGH003 (4)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15500ST

If at the start of the competition, you’d told me that RJ’s final two would not include one Speedmaster, I’d have laughed at you. I mean, we all expected at least one in the last two, didn’t we? But here we are with a match-up of the Grand Seiko SLGH003 vs. the AP 15500.

The AP 15500 knocked out RJ’s beloved Speedmaster Apollo XI Moonshine (securing 64% of the votes on the way), the watch he secretly admitted he wanted to win the whole thing. Well, it is not to be. Instead, we have an exciting match-up indeed: exquisite Japanese craftsmanship vs. timeless classicism. There’s a reason that the 15500 is a grail watch for many people. Its combination of comfort and confidence is hard to match. With that in mind, will it be enough to win?

Grand Seiko SLGH003.059

Grand Seiko SLGH003

The King is dead! Long live the King! In all honesty, I don’t think anyone expected this, but here we are. One of the favorites, if not the favorite, to win the competition is down and out. This may have been one of the closest and most interesting match-ups of the competition so far. Most people expected the Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321 to win here, but the Grand Seiko SLGH003 had other ideas, taking 51% of the votes. It was undoubtedly a close and tense fight, but an enjoyable one nonetheless. I was taken by how strongly people felt about the two competitors and were very vocal in the comments.

It does please me that we will now be certain of a new champion, and the 321 will not win a second competition in a row. The SLGH003, is a very worthy competitor, though, and cemented its place in Fratello history, making a solid case to be RJ’s last champion for the head-to-head rounds. What say you, Fratelli?

My prediction is that the Grand Seiko ekes through in a very close fight. What do you think? Get voting, and let’s find out which of these warriors will make it through to be RJ’s March Mania champion!

March Mania: Sweet Sixteen — RJ — (3) V (4)


Fratello March Mania Hamilton Banner

Win the Hamilton Intra-Matic Chrono by participating!

So now it’s over to you! We want your votes, but we also want to hear your thoughts. Better still, by sharing them with us, you’ll put yourself in the running to win either a LIC leather watch strap or (drum roll, please) the HAMILTON INTRA-MATIC AUTO CHRONO. Yes, that’s right, as Karina detailed in her previous post, we will be giving away one of Hamilton’s most popular models for one lucky commenter. How do you win? Comment on the March Mania tournament as often as you can, engaging with other readers, helping to create a happy community atmosphere. The best contribution will be handsomely rewarded, so what are you waiting for? Let your voice be heard!

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