Parnis Datejust Homage

Parnis Datejust

Overview

Oh Parnis, why must you tempt me? After working on a bunch of retro gaming repairs, I decided to treat myself to something real nice. In this case, a Parnis Datejust homage, with rhodium dial.

On Wrist

Just sit back and look at it for a while. A perfect balance of simplicity and elegance. If I ever have a spare 10 grand laying around, I will buy the real deal. The dial is a rhodium grey sunburst and just stunning. The markers are lume filled rectangles, applied, with the exception of noon, which is now an inverted triangle. To be honest, I prefer this to the ‘real’ Datejust, which is a crown. I prefer to know in the dark where the heck 12 o’clock is at a glance. The hands are slightly tapered stick, which extend most of the length of the markers. The lume is white in daylight and glow green in the dark and glows very well for a dress watch. The chapter ring is printed on the dial in arabic numerals. The dial markings are all printed white and the printing is limited to Parnis and Automatic Water Resistant 21 Jewels, in unobtrusive size. There is a white background date at 3 O’clock.

Bezel and Crown

The bezel is fluted and very well finished. It catches the light, just enough, to catch the light and not be too blingy. The crystal is sapphire and flat with a decent, 2.5x cyclops magnifier for the date. The case is stainless steel a beautifully polished on top and sides. The case finishing is very good, I mean, could pass for real at a glance, good. The watch is heavy. The case back is screw down and unmarked. The crown is signed with P and unscrews easily. The case is rated 50M water resistance, which is not bad, considered the real deal is 100M. No way you are diving in either of these watches. The crown is a little small to hand wind with, but this is keeping with original.

Parnis
Deployant

The bracelet, wow. Parnis outdid themselves this time. The watch is jubilee style, solid, with solid end links. The links are held with screws, not pins, and makes adjustment a breeze. The center of the links are polished, the top side is brushed, with the sides are polished. Just fantastic and solid, with NO RATTLES. The deployant is a two button style, which, again, I prefer to the real deal. It is cast, not stamped and have beautiful cotes de geneve. A nice touch. There are 3 micro adjustment holes. The deployant is also stamped with Parnis in script and well executed.

Case Back

The movement was a matter of choice for me, I went with the Japanese Miyota 8215 automatic movement. There was an option for a Chinese movement, but I wanted to try a Miyota anyway. The movement is 21 jewels, hand winds, but does not hack, 21,600 BPH.. I have not opened the case yet, but I see the slight Miyota stutter, so I am sure this is the correct movement. The accuracy is excellent so far, within a few seconds a day. The automatic rotor is uni-directional, but seems to have no problem winding quickly.

Chillin’

This is my first Parnis branded homage and I have to say I am really impressed. The finishes are impeccable, the bracelet is worth half the price I paid for the watch, and everything is just well balanced and executed. In a way, they fixed some of the issues with the real deal, including the 12 o’clock marking, two button deployant style, and reduced the markings on the dial. Rolex dials are just too verbose. The Datejust is one of my favorite Rolex watches simply because of how versatile they are. They are dressy enough to wear with a suit, but casual enough to wear with shorts or a polo shirt (as long as you go with white gold.) The size is just right, not too big, but it still has wrist presence. When I save up some more, I have my eye on an Omega homage from Parnis. 🙂 For the ~$110 I paid, I could not be happier with this watch.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.

Back: Stainless Steel, Screw Down

Crystal: Sapphire, Flat, with cyclops magnifier

Movement: Automatic, Miyota 8215, Made in Japan, 21,600 BPH, can hand wind

Complications: Date

Other: Luminous Hands and Markers

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Submariner Vintage Homage

Submariner Vintage Homage

Vintage Dial and Bezel

Thanks everyone for still visiting this site, I do appreciate the positive comments.

Now, off to a review. I would love to be able to get my hands on a vintage Rolex Submariner, something that Sean Connery as James Bond would of worn, but the prices and availability just aren’t there. Luckily, our friends over in China are making a homage watches that follow pretty closely to the real deal.

Dial Detail

I went with a sterile dial submariner, with domed acrylic crystal. Starting with the dial, it is simplicity. Classic Triangle at Noon, rectangles at 3,6, and 9, and circles everywhere else. They are filled with a pale yellow lume. The hands are classic Mercedes hands, filled with yellow lume as well. The lume is, well, okay. Probably similar to 60’s era lume, it works for a short while, but I am no faulting the watch with this. I really enjoy the sterile dial. I wish Rolex would offer a sterile/reduced verbiage dials. The dial is a satin black. The bezel is coin edge, with no detent, with a lume pip at noon. This keeps with the actual, vintage design. It turns smoothly and the printing is clean on the aluminum insert.

Crown and Domed Crystal

The case is correct size at 39.5mm stainless steel. The crystal is domed acrylic, also period correct 🙂

The top of the case is brushed, the sides are polished and finished very well. The crown is large and easy to unscrew and wind. The crown stem has at least two gaskets! The crown guards are properly sized and don’t overhand the crown. The case back is screw down and unmarked. The lugs are drilled through and make for an easy band replacement.

Folded Link Bracelet

The bracelet the watch came on was too modern for my tastes. I have had this watch on a Bond NATO strap, which looks great, but I wanted something more legit. I put the watch on a folded link, oyster style bracelet. Up until the late 70’s, submariner bracelets were folded links! The big advantage is that the bracelet is now properly weighted to the watch. I can see the original watch was designed to work is thinner, folded link bracelets, not the modern solid bracelet. The balance is just perfect now at it all is period correct.

Case Back

The movement is some sort of Chinese automatic. It is a direct seconds, looks like 21 jewels and even hacks! The accuracy is excellent and the automatic winding is quiet and bi directional. I’ll have to open up the watch again to figure out what’s in there. All I know is that is works and was pretty well finished, simple, but the movement was clean. It is a 21,600 BPH movement, which is to be expected.

I am very happy with the watch, now that I have it on the correct bracelet. If you want to wear a piece of history, without breaking the bank, and don’t mind homage watches, this is a lot of the watch for the money, if you can still find it. I picked it up late 2019 for around $50+$15 bracelet.

Case: 39.5mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M(?) water resistance. Gasket stem.

Back: Stainless Steel, Screw Down

Crystal: Domed Acrylic

Movement: Automatic, Made in China

Complications: Rotating bezel

Other: Luminous Hands and Markers

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Sterile Dial “The Hulk”

The Hulk

Rolex Hulk Homage

For years I have admired the Rolex 11661LV, aka The Hulk. However, I really don’t admire the +$17,000 price tag! It’s an amazing watch, and I have tried it on, but there is no way I could spring that much for a watch. What to do? Well, I went with a sterile dial homage. Maybe, someday I can have the real deal, but for now, I’ll enjoy this watch for what it is.

The dial is a fantastic green radial starburst with applied markers. The hands are classic Mercedes style, with a high polish. Like the real deal, the lume on the hands glows blue and the markers glow green. The performance is the of the lume is okay, nothing to write home about. The date wheel is white with black text and has the appropriate font. The bezel is very nice, with a ceramic insert and a lume pip at noon. It is a unidirectional, with 120 clicks. My biggest complaint, as with the real deal, is the is not a lot to grip to turn the bezel. The dial is completely sterile.

Where this homage really shines is the crystal. It is a sapphire crystal, flat, with a very good cyclops magnifier, at least 2.5x.

The case and movement: The case is well made and polished. The crows screws down easily and winds smoothly. The movement is some sort of Chinese special. It does hack and hand wind and beats at 21,600 BPH. Accuracy has been good so far +/-10 seconds a day. The date changes instantly at midnight. The case back is screw down, with no markings. I have not opened this watch up, so I am not sure exactly what is inside.

The bracelet it cam on looked nice, with screwed links, solid end links, and a diver’s extension. Unfortunately the quality was only skin deep, the deployant cracked on one side in the first few days and the diver’s extension was always slipping. I replaced the bracelet with a shark mesh, which was a total nightmare to resize, but it looks fantastic. Much like the real deal, I wish they used 22mm lugs, not 20 on a 40mm diameter case.

Overall, I am happy with the watch, I picked it up for around $50 before Covid-19 hit. The case and quality are quite good, except for the faulty bracelet. Hey, until I can afford the real deal, this will be ‘good enough’ and it not a fake.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.
Back: stainless steel, screw down.
Crystal: Sapphire, flat, with cyclops magnifier.
Movement: Automatic, Made in China
Complications: Rotating Bezel, Date
Other: Luminous Hands and markers

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Coming Soon!

Vostok Amphibia 200M

Since I have a bit of extra time, I can start reviewing my large backlog of watches. Something to cheer everyone up when we are sheltered at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Charlie Brown
Vintage Rolex Homage
Rolex Hulk Homage
Casio Silver Tone
Olevs Quartz Rolex Homage
Casio F91-W Green
Vostok Kommandirski Gold

And many more are coming, including 2 Poljot alarm, a Seiko Bell-Matic (when it comes back from repair) and others! It has been too long.

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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.  Facebooktwittermailby feather

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.Facebooktwittermailby feather

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.Facebooktwittermailby feather