Luminox Colormark

Luminox Colormark 3067

Luminox, Dial

This watch has a special place in my collection. This rather beefy watch was my departed mother in law’s watch. Years ago, she knew I was a watch collector, so she asked my advice on what watch to get to be able to read in a dark theater. So she took my advice and bought a Luminox. This watch was always a conversation starter, a little old lady wearing a tactical watch. Sadly, she passed last year and I inherited the watch.

Luminox, Crown

The dial is dark black with Arabic numerals at the hours with a smaller 24 hour time markings as well.. The chapter ring has tritium gas tubes at the house and ticks at every minute. There is a small date window at 3 o’clock. I think they should of gone with a back background, but they went with white. The large Luminox logo is at he 12 o’clock position, with Swiss Quartz 200 METERS at 6 o’clock. The dial is surprisingly cluttered for a tool watch. The feature most people buy this watch for is the always on luminous tritium tubes. The hands, including the second hand have tubes and the pip on the bezel has one as well. They used to work better, but this watch is close to 10 years old, which is the half life of tritium. The bezel is 60 clicks, unidirectional and shockingly hard to turn.

The case is 44mm poly-carbonate and very light. The crystal is mineral crystal and quite scratched. My mother in law wore bracelets with the watch, with jewels which were much harder than the mineral glass. The case back has 4 screws that hold down the case back. The case is 200M meter water resistant. The movement is a Rhonda 515 HH6, which is a high torque entry level movement. It has poor accuracy for a quartz movement. When the battery is close to the end of life the movement looses minutes per day. For a +$300 watch it is a disappointing movement.

Luminox, Back

As it turns out, the poor time keeping was due to a low battery. I replaced the battery and the watch appears to be a better time keeper. I am still surprised a low battery will cause poor time keeping.

The overall look of the watch is that of a tool watch, thick, rugged case with a military look. The colormark is the oldest of the Luminox watches and is what put Luminox on the map. Personally, I would prefer a Marathon watch, but since this is such a sentimental piece for me, I would not dream of parting with it. Even with the scratched crystal, poor quality movement, and fading tritium tubes I would not trade it for the world.

Case: 44mm diameter, polycarbonate, 200m water resistance.
Back: polycarbonate, screwed down.
Crystal: Mineral Glass, flat.
Movement: Quartz, Rhonda
Complications: Rotating Bezel, Date
Other: Tritium Luminous Hands and markers

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Finally Back

Return and where I’ve been

For the last year I have not been able to update this site. I lost my mother in law and my father within 6 weeks of each other. My heart was just not into posting. This year we moved to a new house and sold our old home, so that was a whole adventure that was years in the making. In the meantime, I have been collecting quite a few new watches, either as gifts or as purchases.

For me to keep track and as a way to tease everyone, what’s on deck:

-Luminox – Inherited

-Vostok Kommandirski Gold

-Vostok Amphibian Green Wave

-Timex Charlie Brown

-Corguet Sterile Dial Submariner Green

-Casio F91W Green

-Casio F91W Black

-Green Quartz Submariner Homage

-Mondaine Swiss Railway Watch

So, I hope you all enjoy the watches soon to come. I know I miss photographing and writing about these amazing little machines.

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Where I’ve been

I was expecting to have at least 3 new watch posts up, but life had other plans.  About 3 months ago my mother in law died.  Six weeks later my father died.  Heavy stuff for a watch review blog, but I just wanted everyone to know I am alive and hope to have some reviews coming along when my heart gets back into it.  I have a Swatch Chronograph and 2 more Vostoks, one of them in an Amphibia.  Spoilers, the Amphibia is the best sub $80 watch I have ever bought.  Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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Vostok Komandirskie #211428 “Battle cruiser”

Vostok Komandirskie #211428 “Battle cruiser”

This is my first Vostok watch.  I have heard they are simple, reliable watches that come in hundreds of styles.  The Komandirskie (Commander) watch is a 17 jewel, hand wound watch.  Now that I have a Vostok, I understand why they are so collectable:  They are inexpensive and stylish with a certain retro charm to them. 

This model has star at the twelve o’clock position and a cruiser along the bottom of the dial.  From the outside to the center, the color fades from light blue to white.  The printing is very clear.  There are hour markers at 1,2,5,7,9,10, and 11.  There is no chapter ring, but there are minute markers all around.  I do appreciate the lack of words on dial, just Commander and Made in Russia.  The hour and minute hands are simple batons, with lume.  They are a nice length, with the hour hand about 2/3rd the length of the minutes hand.  The second hand is blood red and extends all the way to the minutes/seconds marks.  The date window is at 3 o’clock, with clear black printing on a white dial.  There are 2 lume pips at 12 and 6, and single pip at 9 o’clock.  The lume is pretty weak, but not as useless as I have read online.  Overall, it is a clean, well laid out dial.  Easy to read, but attractive.

The case is chrome plated brass, with a stainless steel back.  The back is held in place with some sort of spring, not screw down.  The case back has a well stamped Russian coat of arms.  The case is well sized at just shy of 39mm and is fairly thin at 12mn, with the domed crystal.  The crystal is made of mineral glass and emulates the high domed acrylic crystals of the past.  The lugs are 18mm.  There is a rotating bezel, but it is not marked and there are no detents.  The crown, 3 o’clock, is screw down and is very wobbly when winding, but this is to be expected.  This was actually done on purpose to prevent excessive side loading on the stem.  It does screw down easily.  Water resistance is rated at 20m, but this may be a dynamic rating, as opposed to the static rating on most watches.  The owner’s manual says you can swim with it, which would be unheard of on a normal 20m watch.  I don’t think I will test that claim.

The movement is the in house Vostok 2414A, hand wound mechanical.  The watch has 17 jewels, so it is fully jeweled for a non-automatic, and beats at a relaxed, very Russian, 19,800 BPH, 5.5 BPS.  Not quite as smooth as the Seiko 21,600, but noticeably smoother than the 18,000 BPH of traditional watches.  The relatively low beats will allow the movement to run for 10 years without service.  Accuracy is surprisingly good on my example, +/- just a few seconds a day. The watch is rated at 36 hour power reserve, but I wind it every morning, so I have not tested this.  Winding is quick, just about 5 or 6 turns.  The movement is not hacking, no surprise here.  The pseudo hacking trick of applying backwards pressure to the crown works, but I don’t want to push it.  From what I have read, it is a very old design, but works very well.  The date function is semi-quick set. You have to rotate between 8 and midnight to advance the date.  The date does change instantly at midnight. 

The ‘leather’ band that comes with it is just terrible.  I swapped it out after 3 minutes with a calfskin with deployant.  I did my homework and bought the band 4 minutes after I bought the watch on eBay, they arrived on the same day.  On the wrist, the watch is very comfortable and thin enough to easily hide under your cuff. 

I have been wearing this watch for almost a week straight, and I still smile when I look at it.  It is the finest watch in my collection?  Far from it.  Did they create a fun, practical to wear watch?  You better believe it.   For less than $40 shipped, I have a mechanical watch, with an in house movement and a rich history behind it.  If you are looking for a practical, reliable, reasonably sized and priced watch, you will love Vostok. 

Case: 39mm diameter, chrome plated brass.
Back: Stainless Steel, wire spring retention.
Crystal:  Mineral Glass, domed.
Movement: Hand wind mechanical, Vostok 2414a, 17 jewel, 19,800 BPH, 36 hour power reserve.
Complications: Screw down crown, date.
Other: Luminous Hands and markers.

 

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Site coming back to life

Getting back into the swing of my watch collecting, I discovered I have 2 watches I have not reviewed since getting my grail watch, the Seiko Alpinist, the SARB017.  It is a fine watch, but recently the watch collecting itch is coming back.  I have always loved watches, and that will never change.  As an interesting side effect of my other hobby, retro video game repair and manufacturing new controllers, I have fun money to collect some new pieces. 

In the coming weeks, expect three new reviews, in addition to the Parnis Marina Militare I just posted.  The next review will be for simple, very affordable Seiko 5.  In the mail, I am expecting my first Vostok Komanderski (Commander), a very retro looking 17 jewel hand winding watch.  I liked the first Vostok so much, I picked up another gold plated watch as well.

I am also doing a general cleanup of the pages, deleting old wish lists, fixing missing images, etc.Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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Marina Militare

When is a Panerai not a  Panerai?  When it is a Parnis Marina Militare.

More than a year ago, I purchased a Parnis Marina Militare 42mm, with power reserve, automatic watch.  I purchased this model specifically because it has the round style crown guard, as opposed to the hard angle version that is currently available.  I am sure this is due to copyright infringement, but I really wanted the older style homage.  

This is a great homage to a great styled watch, that is totally overpriced.  This is the 42mm model, with power reserve.  Ironically, Panerai does not make a model like this, but they really should.  The case is very well finished, all brushed.  The lug width is 24mm and is the perfect size for this diameter watch.  The watch does not use a spring pin, but a solid bar that is released with a button.  This is a nice touch, and exactly how it is done on the real deal.  The bezel has a high polish and tapers nicely into the domed crystal.  The crystal is domed mineral glass with decent magnifier for the date.  The magnifier is on the inside of the glass, which I did not expect.  

The dial of the watch is a deep black.  The hour and minute hands are simple, pointed sticks, with lume.  The seconds sub-dial is at the nine o’clock position and has a baton style hand.  The second hand sweeps very smoothly and I suspect this a 28,800 BPH watch.  The power reserve indicator is at the 5 o’clock position and has the same style hand as the seconds hand.   It indicates from 0 to 40 hours, and in real world use, the watch has about 41 hours reserve.  There are Arabic numbers at 12 and 6, with stick markers at the hour positions.  They are luminescent.  The lume is pretty good for a Chinese made watch, on par with something like a Fossil or fashion watch.

The movement appears to be a Seagull automatic, I have not bothered to open the case to check.  Power reserve is excellent at 41 hours, and the watch is surprisingly accurate.  I have been able to wear it for a week without adjustment!  The watch is also an automatic and hand-winds.  On the left side of the watch is what looks like a helium escape valve, but what it actually is is the quickset date function!

The back of the watch is a solid, stainless steel back, marked with Marina Militare, Stainless Steel, 300M.  I don’t doubt the stainless, but I am little dubious about the 300 meters.  Other than some rain and hand-washing, I have not really tested this claim.  If I do intend to swim, I always switch to my Seiko Diver’s.  

The band is an after market, hand stitched leather.  The original was black, but did not compliment the watch well.  It is actually a decent band, but I like this look better.  On steel, I think the watch would be too heavy.

I am very happy with the watch.  It has been very accurate, easy to read, and a good daily wear watch.  The size is not too large and the weight of the watch is just right.  The watch is a close as you can get to a replica, without being an actual fake.  Panerai does not make a model with this combination, (42mm, automatic, with power reserve indicator) so it is in a grey area of the law.  I do want to pick up another Parnis, maybe a Milligaus homage.

Case: 42mm diameter, stainless steel, 300m claimed water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal:  Mineral Glass, with magnifier.
Movement: Automatic,  Seagull, ST2555, 28,800 BPH, 40 hour power reserve.
Complications:  Power Reserve, locking crown guard.
Other: Luminous Hands and markers.Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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How not to open a watch

 

Whatever you do, don’t open a watch like this. They are delicate machines; hammering into one, jammed up against a door frame, makes a watch collector cry.
The proper tools cost about $10 to $15 on eBay or Amazon.Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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Watch of The Day

This is a feed of my instagram photos of my watch of the day.

 

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Orient Day Date CEV0J002B

Orient Day Date CEV0J002B

day_date_dial

I had my birthday a couple months ago and received a watch. It was not quite me, so I went ahead and bought this one instead. For years I really admired Orient’s homage watches. Sadly, since Seiko now controls Orient, they politely told them to stop producing the Rolex homage watches. This is good and bad. Orient produces some really unique, mechanical watches and I am glad their in house design team is up to the task of producing their own designs. The down side is Orient made a damn good homage watch that could pass for the real deal and in some ways surpassed what they were an homage to. Invicta makes homage watches, but they really stick to the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster lines. In the sub $300 range, there are not too many Datejust or Day-Date homages with sapphire crystals and solid build quality. So, I finally snapped up this watch before they run out of stock.

The dial of the watch is a black sunburst, which is a pattern I have not seen before. The hour markers are sapphire, and are at all hours except for the twelve and three o’clock position. They do look like diamonds and are set into gold, applied markers. The minute chapter ring is a simple affair, printed in gold on the dial. The full day of the week window is located between the eleven and one o’clock markers. The date is at the tradition three o’clock position. Both day and date wheels are white, with black printing. The dial is not verbose, which I like. I hate when the dial of a watch is printed like a novel. There is the Orient name with dual lion logo at twelve o’clock; at the six o’clock is Automatic SAPPHIRE 100m in muted gold printing. The hands are simple, gold plated sticks. I wish all three were a little longer, but they are still very visible against the dark dial. The reason this watch is not a fake or slavish homage is the fact the combination of black dial, diamond markers, jubilee bracelet, day-date was never done by Rolex.

side_view

The crystal is sapphire and flat. There is a cyclops magnifier over the date. It looks to be about a 2.5x magnification. The bezel is gold plated and fluted. Not quite as sharp as the real thing, but very well done.

dd_back

The case is oyster style and very close to the original. It is a small, for modern standards, 36mm. Thankfully the case is also thin, at 11mm, it slides easily under long sleeves. The top of the case is brushed, the sides are very highly polished. The crown is gold plated, deeply knurled, and screw down. There are no crown guards. The threading on the screw down feature is very well done. All of the screw down Orient watches I own share this feature. The case back is solid stainless steel and laser etched with Orient, movement and case name, stainless steel, and 100m water resistance. The case back is screw down and has imitation Rolex style case back grooves, but also has the traditional 6 notch indentations for opening the case back. The movement is an Orient in-house design, automatic, with quick set date and semi-quick set day. It keeps excellent time and has over 40 hours of power reserve.

bracelet

The bracelet is very very high quality, solid link jubilee style. Most jubilee bracelets I have encountered are folded links in the center, this has solid links everywhere except the end links. The center of the jubilee is gold plated. The steel is brushed on top, polished on the sides, identical to the case. It is very comfortable to wear and does not rattle or squeak. The deployant is a two button design with no safety. The clasp is embossed with the Orient name and twin lion logo. There are only two adjustment holes, but with the small links, it really does not matter. It defiantly has a better bracelet than most older Rolex watches.

I am very happy I was able to acquire this model before it disappears forever. It cuts very close to the original, but is not a fake. The build quality is amazing and it feels a lot more expensive than it is. If you can find this model, or one of the other combinations, grab it while you can. For Rolex lover’s out there who don’t want to pay for the style, this is the way to go.

Features:
Case: 36mm x 11mm, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down, Orient makers mark, water resistance and serial number.
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, with magnifier.
Movement: Automatic,  Orient in-house design and manufacture.
Complications: Full Day of Week, Date.
Other: Solid link bracelet. Sapphire markers.Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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Watch of the day.

image

Watch of the day.  Orient day date homage on jubilee bracelet.Facebooktwitterredditmailby feather

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