This giveaway has ended. Congrats to our winner, German Lopez! Thanks to all who entered. Catch you on the next giveaway.

Thanks to Ballast for sponsoring this giveaway, and to you, my readers, for checking out this post and supporting the brands that make EG possible.


If you’re like me, you have a plain ol’ time teller on your wrist. But after wearing it for years, you’re probably getting tired of it. Totally understandable.

Do you prefer wearing great clothes and accessories instead of looking, dressing, and feeling like everyone else?

Looking for something with a bit more heft and substance?

As much as I champion the Lean Wardrobe and love the typical #menswear favorites, sometimes I find myself wanting something a bit different.

Especially when it comes to accessories.

Bracelets, rings, necklaces, and watches are the personal style cherries on top of an already great outfit.

And out of all those accessories, wristwatches are my favorite.

Why is the Ballast Trafalgar Automatic so cool?


Ballast is offering Effortless Gent readers 25% off! Use code “EffortlessGent” at checkout.


Ballast approached me to check out their newest model, The Trafalgar. While it’s clearly an interesting watch, here are three things that convinced me to add it to my rotation:

1. Setting the date and time using the bezel

If setting the date and time using your watch’s tiny crown has ever annoyed you or hurt the large fingers on your man hands, you’ll dig Ballast’s patented bezel control system.

You unscrew the Canteen lock that protects the setter button. You push the setter button once and turn the bezel to adjust the date. You push the setter once more and turn the same bezel to adjust the time.

No more annoying (and sometimes painful) crown adjustment to deal with. Just an easy, smooth experience using the rotating bezel. Perfect!

2. Nautical, military styling with bold, unique details

Ballast Canteen Lock

One of my favorite details: The Canteen lock

The first thing you notice about the Trafalgar is its looks.

The watch case’s side plate, inscribed with the British Royal Navy’s motto, “We come unseen”.

The sapphire crystal. The cutaway dial displaying the date. And the transparent case back displaying its movement.

The easy-to-read, luminous markers and hands. The Canteen lock’s positioning at 4 o’clock for more wrist comfort.

The substantial buffalo hide leather strap. The subtle rope-like inner ring inlay. And the stamped-out submarine on a stainless steel buckle.

At first glance, it’s a handsome-looking sport watch great for everyday use.

But the more time you spend with it, the more details you uncover. And the more interesting its story becomes.

3.) It’s automatic

While I’ve had my fair share of basic, battery-powered quartz watches, I’ve gradually gravitated towards automatic watches over the years.

The Trafalgar is powered by a Miyota 8215 — a fine, dependable, and accurate movement. It’s also used in other brands you may know, such as Citizen and Invicta.

Yes, automatic watches can sometimes be more expensive and require a bit of upkeep.

But, if you:

  • hate getting your battery changed every year, and…
  • prefer a watch powered by the natural movement of your wrist, and…
  • get a certain satisfaction from watching a smoothly-sweeping second hand instead of the tick, tick, tick of a quartz-powered one…

…an automatic movement is for you.

Trafalgar BL-3133-01 closeup

How To Win Your Own Ballast Trafalgar Watch

The folks at Ballast are sponsoring a nice little giveaway for Effortless Gent readers. I’ll be sending one lucky winner their very own Ballast Trafalgar.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment BELOW and tell me two things:
    1. your favorite Trafalgar model (see all three here) and
    2. what you like most about the watch
  2. Join the Effortless Gent community on Facebook
  3. In the EG Facebook community, copy your comment to the giveaway post. (You must have the comment in both places for a chance to win.)

That’s it! Then all you have to do is wait for us to pick a winner.

If you simply can’t wait, buy a Ballast Trafalgar of your very own today. Use code EffortlessGent at checkout for 25% off.

Good luck, gents!

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159 Responses

  1. Jonathan H Lin on

    I like the 02 model with the dark brown band the best…also I’ve never heard of a bezel-control before that’s pretty awesome and unique, a conversation starter for sure

  2. Martin Andrae on

    I really like the attention to detail that these guys put in to this watch. From the smooth wheel that displays the date to the fact that the strap has a quick-relese bar, a feature that is missing in a lot of watches. That combined with the strong navy theme that they managed to follow trough with in all the subtle details of the watch. I believe this to be an unique conversation starter because of it’s rich and deep story!

    I think the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR is the best for me because the silver body is best suited for my cold undertone.

    I really dig the watch and would love to add it to my collection.


  3. Peter Aldby on

    I love the functional design cues taken from military equipment, from the stenciled fonts to the colors and materials. It provides a purposeful look and the attention to detail really gives it an extra level och elegance. It is an absolutely stunning watch and I would be proud to wear it. My personal favorite is the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR with it’s rose gold case!

    And with that, I cross my fingers and hope I win!

  4. Wastenott on

    I like the nautical queues on the Trafalgar BL-3133-01…the combination of the SS case and rose gold bezel insert and canteen crown is classic and really sells the aesthetic. The exposed date wheel, the logo at 9:00 and the stenciled markers at 6 and 12 are all great. All in all a solid looking watch with great attention to detail. I have nothing like that in my collection so fingers crossed!

  5. Louly McButter on

    It’s like asking me to pick between children. I guess the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR … it just screams classiness.

  6. Brett McD on

    They all look great. The BL-3133-02 is my favorite. I wasn’t aware they had Buffalo in Italy, but it really like the band.

  7. Seán Martin on

    BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR. The black metal will age so beautifully and I like the copper-color of the numbers!

  8. Darla Peduzzi on

    I really like the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR. It is “timeless” fashionwise and looks amazing. My husband would LOVE it!

  9. German Lopez on

    This was a tough choice, i was battling between the BL-3133-03 and the BL-3133-01. I love the black case of the 03 but not so much all that Rose gold on it. So the winner for me is the 01 because of the subtle Rose gold touches.

  10. Alex Zenk on

    BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR would be my favorite model. I like the color combinations used, and this watch would suit my taste in clothing very well.

  11. Nathaniel Percell on

    Tough choice. I think BL-3133-02 is probably my favorite, with 01 really close. I love the nautical styling and all the attention to detail really makes it stand out.

  12. Dan on

    I like the BL-3133-02 the best. It has the nicest color scheme of the three. I also really love the bezel location, it’s much less in-the-way down at the 4 o’clock location.

  13. Jason Donnell on

    I’m partial to the Trafalgar (the -01 model) myself. Automatic movement sounds like a great feature!

  14. Chukwukere Ekeh on

    The BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR would be my choice. The black and rose gold dial is just my vibe. This would be my first automatic watch and I like the army/sporty feel attached with it.

  15. Khoa Tran on

    The BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR is my favorite. The color contrast is very clear, and it would go well with other leather items I already own.

  16. Shawn Bell on

    It’s a hard choice between the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR and the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR. I love 02’s dark band but I prefer the matte black back and rose gold detailing of 03. I will have to say that BL-3133-03 is my favourite.

  17. Gene King on

    I think the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR is my favorite with it’s black case. My favorite aspect of this watch is the date & time adjustment bezel. Brilliant craftsmanship!

  18. Todd on

    BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR is probably my favorite with the distinct colors. I have to save the adjustment bezel is the best feature. My fingers get sore adjusting the other watches in my collection

  19. Neil Jones on

    I’d probably go with the BL-3133-01 over the BL-3133-03. I like ‘brightness’ the stainless steel and rose gold case bring to the party.

  20. Jon on

    My favorite is that BL-3133-01. I like the medium brown strap and the silver house. Also, love the automatic movement.

  21. Donovan Schmidt on

    I think the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR has a great rugged look to it. With the different colors of this watch, it will go with many different styles of clothing. If I had to describe this watch in one word….Brilliant!

  22. Cory Waldroup on

    My favorite model is the BL-3133-01. I most admire the silver housing and the stark contrast created by the overall color scheme. From first glance you can tell this is a carefully designed machine. Once you look closely it reveals itself as a truly beautiful timepiece.

  23. Alex Campana on

    The BL-3133-01 would be the one for me because it has both silver and gold, which makes it versatile, but it has more silver than the 02, which fits my personal style better.

  24. Matt on

    I like the 02 model best, with the darker wristband and the copper highlights on the face. Darker, elegant, maybe a little mysterious? I tend to dress in darker shades so that one would compliment my look best!

  25. Jordan on

    BL-3133-03 for its rich but muted colouring compared to the 01. For the Trafalgar model in general, that bezel control system is definitely the number one selling feature.

  26. Juan Garcia on

    BL-3133-03 it’s my favorite one. It has that “something” you can´t put into words. Its style, its combination of colors, its size. You can even sense its perfection just by dreaming about owning it.

  27. Emily T on

    I love the Trafalgar “03”, the color scheme is beautiful and rich, and will complement my brother and his navy suit!

  28. John-Michael Rogers on

    The BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR. The rich, warmth of the earthy leather. The subtle shine of the copper face. The smooth sweep of the automatic movement. It blends and pops simultaneously. It’s more than just a time piece — it’s a statement piece.

  29. Bill on

    I prefer the BL-3133-03 the best. With the dark case and rich colored face, its a perfect subdued style.

  30. Jeffisarobot on

    BL-3129-08 VALIANT because of its color combination (gold/black) which seems very modern and on trend.

  31. Luke A. Duke on

    I love the trafalgar 03 best because how the two tone strap matches the gold tone and black of the face and accents, very consistent in that design and classy without being gaudy at all.

  32. Dan from Wisconsin on

    Definitely the 02, because it reminds me of a watch I used to have when I first went to college (that I’ve since lost). I remember timing my classes to that watch and how it felt when I’d see 2:00 p.m. (the time when most of my class days ended that first year). It’s also a wonderful piece of equipment and I think I’d be proud to show it off to friends and co-workers.

  33. Nathan James on

    BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR because i think the two colours of black and gold just look a bit more refined and would be more versatile compared to the other two with the white on them.

  34. Mike Dewes on

    I like the 03 the best. The colours look great on this watch and the strap is perfect for it. My favourite part is how it shows the day of the month.

  35. theponyhalf~ on

    My favourite style is the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR. I love these watches because they are substantial, solid, and stylish

  36. Ross Hatley on

    While many high-caliber watches today push glitzy to the point of gaudy, the BL-3133-03 Trafalgar maintains the classic aesthetic of a sailing watch. The black lugs and leather strap serve without clamoring for attention, allowing the rose gold finish to highlight the hands, bezel, and dial that give value to the wearer and substantial style to the case.

  37. Laurie W on

    My favourite is the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR with the rose gold bezel and hands and I love the fact that the watch is automatic.

  38. Scott on

    BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR is my favorite. The darker band, subtle colors and multiple functions(luminous, water resistant) make it a classic piece for use in most of life’s situations and align more with my style.

  39. Douglas Houston on

    I like the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR, love gold and black look. I also like that the watch is automatic.

  40. David E. on

    BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR is my choice. I’m more of a silver tone guy. I love the attention to detail and the subtle things that most people won’t pick up on! The submarine cutout in the band buckle is awesome. What’s not to love about a Japanese automatic movement too. Not to mention a sapphire crystal at a reasonable price!

  41. David Schaeffer on

    BL-3129-02 VALIANT I love the white face of this watch in comparison to the other’s. A lot of outfits will come together because of this so please let me have it!

  42. Jack Daggett on

    I like the BK-3133-02 Trafalgar for the rose gold case coloring and the relatively sedate and classic lines.

  43. Jon DeLange on

    The BL-3133-01 Is my favorite. I especially like the interplay between dressy/sport silver/gold/leather colors and textures.

  44. David Courtney on

    BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR, just beautiful, little bit steam punk, but still very classy. Thats what I love about it.

  45. luci on

    The BL-3133-01 Is my favorite because I help my husband pack for business trips. This would simplify packing and dressing because one watch will cover the different metals he wears-cufflinks, belt buckles, eyeglass frames, which wedding ring to wear (he has both plat and yellow gold) It is a very classy design- with a little edge

  46. Dave Declemij on

    I’ll have to agree with kelly. 3133-03 have a beautiful darker brown face than the 3133-01. The brown strap matches it nicely as opposed to the grey one of 3133-02.

    The model itself is very steam-punky as david courtney said. It has a rugged, mariner look. It’s something I’d wear hiking, camping or a holiday in a cabin by the lake, or drinking Courvoisiet in a hunting club (if I was part of one).

    I’d buy one, but I need to save up for a suit 🙂

  47. Brian s on

    BL-3129-08 Valiant. This is a gorgeous watch face, so much so I don’t even care about the band. Loving the green and clean face

  48. Richard Carleton on

    Trafalger BL-3133-03 is my favorite. All three are beautiful but with so much going on on the face the single color is a tab easier to not only read, but to see all the great .details. I also like the oversized adjusting knob.

  49. J D on

    I like the BL-3133-03 because the copper color accents the black face so well and the saddle tan band goes perfectly.

  50. eric on

    Seriously? I have to have a favorite? If I had to choose it would be the Trafalger BL-3133-01. Like the contrast between the metal colors and the band is great. Great for taking corporate casual up a few notches.

  51. Gord Hay on

    My favorite is the BL-3129-02 Valiant because of it’s simplicity. Would work perfect with any suit

  52. marylynnhayes on

    My favorite is the BL-3133-02 Trafalgar. I like the crisp look of the dial and the color of the wrist band.

  53. Anders on

    Like so many others I actually like the Trafalgar the best, more precisely the “03” version. I like the more understated contrast, compared to the other Trafalgar’s, and the overall retro, rugged, military look.

    I’v been looking for this kind of old military style watch to complement my more “nice” watch, but I never thought to look outside Switzerland. If I don’t win I might have to consider these watches anyhow.

  54. Justtobe Ornottobe Renier on

    The combination of the different coloured metals & leather to create an amazing looking time piece…

  55. sbdrumz on

    My favorite is the BL-3133-01. I still look for versatility in my accessories, and this one looks like it could serve well in so many settings. And I still love the classic white on black face, too.

  56. Stan Oster on

    My favourite model is the BL-3133-01. I like that the way you can adjust the date and time with the bezel, as well the applied markers on the black dial.

  57. Jared Mintz on

    BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR for sure. I enjoy the monochromatic look, as opposed to the other two Trafalgar models. Also, it looks like it could take a beating and keep on ticking. It’s got a blue collar feel to it

  58. cole5234 on

    My favourite is the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR, I love watches and love about a dozen that I wear depending on my wardrobe

  59. grandma 1 on


  60. nate on

    I favour the Trafalger BL-3133-03 because the solid color
    case and sial offer the most versatility. I can wear this with any number of
    looks ranging from casual to the laid back (but not t shirt) boardroom. I am in
    the creative field-I do branding, logos and packaging design for craft brewers
    and distillers. I have to project both my creativity and business acumen to a
    wide audience so I always have to look sharp and relatable to clients ranging
    from “lumberjack? brewers to escapees from Silicon Valley engaged a
    different sort of start up.The BL-3133-03 would certainly project that I know
    design and what looks great.

  61. eileen on

    My favorite is the Trafalger BL-3133-01. Like the combination of metals, the band the textures on the face and that it is an automatic. No batteries, no winding and keeping it going is a great excuse to wear it every day.

  62. Lindacarol on

    I like the Trafalger BL-3133-02. Like the metals, like the band, but what I really like is the sapphire crystal and the automatic movement. This is at a good price point for th quality your are getting.

  63. Grace s. on

    I like the Trafalgary BL 3133-02. I like the color of the strap and excellence of the quality of the watch

  64. unitedrepublic on

    Tough call, they all look great! But I’d go with the BL-3133-03 TRAFALGAR, the brown band and rose gold look best on my skin tone.

  65. linn on

    THe Trafalger BL 3133-02 would be my choice.I think the band coordinates really well with the tone of the watch case and face color. Il Like the black edging and stitching. And having minihands I never thought about what a pain it must be for my husband to dink around setting it and winding it. The automatic movement is another plus. No more running to the overpriced jeweled to get a new battery installed at in opportune times.

  66. Seth Winton on

    I like the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR the best. I like this one best because, as a man who loves the outdoors, I feel like I could walk out of an Eddie Bauer catalog wearing this watch and then into a Polo Ralph Lauren catalog and not look out of place. A beautiful and versatile watch with a nice contrast between the dark band and light case.

  67. Sparkle Dust on

    I like the BL-3133-02 Trafalger the best. The band, the face, the case all work together great and it is versatile.

  68. Sheila Ritter on

    I like the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR the most because I like the white stiching on the band and the copper face with the silver arms.

  69. Drew Anderson on

    BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR. I’ve found that a base of stainless works best with my wardrobe, and this has that plus some nice accents. Big but not clunky, classic design.

  70. Johannes on

    BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR. I love the bronze bezel, it softens the stainless and makes the watch more interesting. The buffalo strap with stitching is rugged and looks great with the watch. This watch would be the perfect accessory to all my casual outfits. Thanks for a chance to win, Barron.

  71. Ruy M. on

    My favorite watch is model BL-3133-01. I like the manly, bold look of the Ballast TRAFALGAR watches and think one would look great on my husband.

  72. Deb Philippon on

    I prefer the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR. I like the contrast between the rose gold and the dark face.

  73. Eugene Walter on

    Overall I like the Trafalgar in black and gold the best silver/stainless mixed with gold always seemed wierd to me so the third models color scheme seems more together. The ballast has an interesting face design but I’m just not liking the plastic band.

  74. Miguel Suarez on

    All three have a combination of silver/gold and black/brown that make them easy to wear, but my favorite is the BL-3133-02. Canteen in line with the model. Good watch machinery for the price.

  75. Char on

    I am so in love with all of these watches. The black 3133-02 is just what my father would enjoy wearing. Thank you so much for the cool face designs. The plastic bands are also pretty nifty. Thank you so much for this!

  76. Travis Richards on

    BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR
    There’s something about the silver colored face with the rose gold base and that rose gold rope-looking detail on the inside that makes it all come together a little better than the other ones, in my opinion. Seems like the different colored metals would make it a little more versatile to match with other jewelry.

  77. Eric Callender on

    BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR
    Ditto what Travis Richards said. I like the silver facing with the gold highlights. I also like the strong masculine look of all three of these watches and their large amount of visual interest.

  78. Sutton Roberts on

    I really love the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR.
    I really love the detail on the strap and I also love the silver details around the watch.


    I’m partial to the BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR, but the BL-3133-02 is a close second for me. The military inspired styling is great! It’s noticeable enough to stand out, but subtle enough to show that the design was well thought out and purposeful. My preference comes down to the color contrast on the face and the band.

  80. George Platona on

    I really like the BL-3133-02 TRAFALGAR model because the colors are darker and it’s very stylish. It’s perfect for my wardrobe.

  81. Chris Reeves on

    BL-3133-03 TRAFALGARL is by far my favorite. I love how the bronze and the black contrast each other. Just like a tie and a suit does. The simplicity in the design make it an absolute must have. Let’s not forget the mechanics and not having to change a batter or recharge(Apple Watch). This is a watch that looks tough but has class at the same time!

  82. Daniel Warne on

    BL-3133-01 TRAFALGAR They all look excellent, but I really like the contrast between rose gold, brushed chrome and leather in this model

  83. Caius Chew on

    BL-3133-01, it’s a clean cut elegant watch that I think can be dressed up and down. Being the only watch in my arsenal it has to be able to cover all my outfits.

  84. Natalia on

    BL-3129-02 VALIANT
    There is just something about the silver color that is so attracting….
    I simply felt drawn to it..