Score!!!

Went to the Fossil outlet store, and Tiffany spotted this beauty:

It’s a 12 hour quartz chronograph, with date.  It’s 42mm in diameter, so not too large, no larger than my Orange Bullet.  The overall fit and finish is excellent.  The bracelet is integrated, but uses solid links.  Lume is not great, but Seiko tends to spoil you.  The kicker is that it cost less then a slab of ribs 🙂

I’ll post a full review when I get a chance.

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Back to desiring a chronograph

The one watch I am lacking from my small, but growing, collection is a chronograph. I had an analog/digital Timex chronograph, but that crapped out after about a year. Not a good sign. I want to stick to Seiko but that means I have get another quartz watch. A decent automatic chronograph is well over $1,000. Tiffany reminded me that it is not that inconvenient, and I do have a lot of ‘spares’ to wear when the battery dies. So, without further ado, here are some chronographs that I like:

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SNN073

Clean, black face with a Tachymeter. 1/5 second tick with second and minute sub dials. The big date looks pretty cool as well. 40mm in diameter, so not too big and only 9mm thick. Only $83+ shipping on eBay.

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SNN079

Clean, black face with a Tachymeter, same watch as above with orange second and subdial hands. 1/5 second tick with second and minute sub dials. The big date looks pretty cool as well. 40mm in diameter, so not too big and only 9mm thick. Only $83+ shipping on eBay as well.

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SNN075P1

Blue face ace with a Tachymeter. I really like blue face/yellow second hand combos. 1/5 second tick with second and minute sub dials. The big date looks pretty cool as well. 40mm in diameter, so not too big and only 9mm thick. Agin $83+ shipping on eBay.

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SNN073

Clean, white face with a Tachymeter. 1/5 second tick with second and minute sub dials. The big date looks pretty cool as well. 40mm in diameter, so not too big and only 9mm thick. Only $83+ shipping on eBay..

All 4 of these watches are the same watch, with color variations, but I think they all look sharp. There is a green version as well, but it doesn’t really work for me.

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SNA487P

A very Omega Speedmaster looking Seiko.  Black face with the Tachymeter on the bezel.   Almost the exact same size as the Speedmaster as well.  This watch has the nice 7T62 movement with 1/5 second tick and alarm/second timezone. $244 on Chronograph.com.

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Admittedly, the Omega does look nicer, it should for $3200 MORE.

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I guess I don’t like many expensive watches.

Went for a walk at lunch today, finally some good weather. Went to a local jeweler and tried on some pricier timepieces. I think beyond $500 or so, you have a timepiece instead of a watch. Well, it is still a watch.

I tried on some Raymond Weils. Meh. Kinda nice looking, but there is no freaking way I am spending around a grand for a battery operated quartz watch. They end up having nearly zero collector’s value, and good luck getting it fixed in 20 years. Any mechanical watch can be repaired, within reason. Quartz, not so much. Quartz movements cost about $24 wholesale from ETA.

Tried on a Rolex Explorer II.

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I gotta tell ya, Rolex bracelets really bring the whole watch down. Cheap feeling and too light. Despite the sales woman’s reassurance, I know those center links are hollow. The body of the watch also had pretty darn sharp edges. Like I accidentally scratched myself sharp. (This is not a joke, it didn’t draw blood, but it was pretty startling when I put the watch on and it left an inch long scrape on my wrist.) Probably the style, I hope. Made the watch look a little (a lot) unfinished. I was wearing my trusty Orange Bullet, and the bracelet feels nicer and the case has all finished edges, unlike the Rolex. I am sure Rolex makes fine watches, but $4,000+ nice?

On the other hand, Omega’s are very impressive in person.  Very nicely finished with current, up to date styles, without looking too trendy, like TAG Heuer. Speaking of TAG, what’s up with the plastic parts on the exposed body of the watch?  It might look cool, but it really makes the watch look like a cheapie.

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2 watches, 1 birthday.

Turns out, in addition to my Seiko 5 Black, I am getting another watch:

This will be the next watch, another automatic. It is an Orvis Automatic Field Watch, a larger watch, but it should be easy to read. I think I will more or less retire my light faced Timex after getting this watch. My watch drawer is getting full! I should be getting it late this month, when it gets back in stock. This is actually a good sign, it is the only watch Orvis sells that is out of stock AND gets great reviews. Looking at the back, it almost looks like a prettier copy of a Seiko 7S26 movement. I’ll take a look when I actually receive the watch.

In the photo, the rotor, balance wheel, wheel holder and (visible) winding mechanism seem similar. When I get the watch I will do some detective work and see if it does indeed use the Seiko Magic Lever system, what the BPH is, does it hack/hand wind, etc. I am looking forward to wearing it.  I hope it is a copy of a Seiko movement, they are some of the most durable automatic movements ever made.

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How not to sell a $2150 watch.

I was looking at Baily Banks and Biddle *again* and looking at this watch:

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It’s a Breitling, SuperOcean in Coral. Pretty nice looking watch. The bezel turned well, with a little slop. Only 60 clicks, but acceptable. Oh, did I mention it costs well over $2,000? At the time, I was wearing this watch:

That’s my SKXA55K1 “Orange Bullet” The saleswoman held the watch up next to mine and mentioned that the Seiko had a richer looking orange face than the Breitling. Looking at it, I had to agree. The black, 120 click bezel on the Seiko stands out much better as well, another thing the saleswoman pointed out. I appreciate her honesty, but this is really not a good way to sell a $2150 watch! The Seiko costs well under $200.

Not that I dive, but if I did, I think I would appreciate the large markers and broad hands on the Seiko as opposed to the Arabic numbers and narrow hands of the Breitling.  I also don’t think many people would wear a $2000 watch for diving.

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Initial Impressions of my latest watch.

 

Seiko SNKE03J1 Black

All Black PVD Seiko 5 automatic
General Comments:

This is my fourth automatic watch.  This is another watch bought by Tiffany, the greatest wife in the world, for my 34th birthday. It sparkles on the wrist and looks very handsome, but not dressy. It is a Made in Japan Seiko 5, my first. The fit and finish are excellent all around. The blood red second hand really stands out. Although there is not much luminescent material, the large, silver markers against a black face allow for easy reading in poor lighting. The lume that is there is nice, Noon, 3, 6, and 9 have different sized markers, making it easy to read. The black day/date window is surrounded by a silver bezel, also a nice touch.  The PVD process really creates a black finish that does not come across well in photos.  It looks nothing like paint, it looks like black steel.

Features:
Case: 37mm diameter, stainless steel, 50m water resistance, PVD Black.

Back: Hardlex exhibition back, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Automatic, 7S26B, Seiko in-house design. No handwind or hacking. Made in Japan.

Complications: Day of week, Date
Other: Luminous hands and markers, Lumibrite.

As stated before, this is a mechanical watch, and as such will never require batteries. Initial accuracy is about +6 seconds/day. The Japanese made 7S26 seems to be better regulated at the factory.

I have only had the watch 3 days, so these are just initial impressions.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Feeling a little sick today, but I did get a great Birthday Gift, a new watch!  (I just love watches, always have, probably always will.)

It’s an all black Seiko 5.  It is my first PVD watch, which is a surface coating technology which allows metal watches (or anything else metal) to be coated black.

It is very nice on the wrist, heavy, but not too heavy.

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Rich man watches that I like

I do really appreciate watches that most can afford, however, I do occasionally venture to the dark side and look at watches in the $1,000+ range. It is still my belief that you really experience diminishing returns over $500 or so, but I still like these watches:

Omega Speedmaster Pro

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I tried on this bad boy at a Baily, Banks, and Biddle. It is the classic moon watch. It went to the moon and looks stunning on Earth. Easy to read and not too large, only 42mm. If I ever come into some real money, this will be on my short list.

Omega Planet Ocean:

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I tried on this one as well. Very bold and orange. The saleswoman was actually pretty knowledgeable about watches. She asked me if I knew why the watch was orange? I told her it is because it is the last color that disappears in low light when diving. I wasn’t wearing my Orange Bullet that day. This is a pretty nice looking watch, but the Arabic numerals are a little pointless. Fit and finish were nice, but not crazy nice. The bezel is a lot easier to turn than the regular Omega Seamaster.

Seiko Marine Master

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Ah, another Seiko. Have not had a chance to see this on in real life. It is the Marine Master. It is available in conventional automatic or the revolutionary Spring Drive. I like the classic look of the automatic. The unique thing is that is a single piece case. There is no screw on back, thus eliminating a leak path. The rugged looks and classic Seiko diver’s design are what appeal to me.

I’ll add more when I get a chance. Any rich man (or woman) watches are out there that you like?

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Sedentary lifestyle revealed in wrist watches

I have seen quite a few complaints on automatic watches online pertaining to the watch stopping at inopportune times.  The owners often admit they live a sedentary lifestyle.  I was wondering, how sedentary do you have to be to not wind your automatic watch? 
I did a little research and my automatic watches, which use a Seiko 7S26 movement, take about 3200 swings to fully wind.  This sounds like a lot, but for every stride you take, it swings the watch 2 times, so you have to walk 1,600 steps a day to keep it fully wound.  1,600 steps is really not a heck of a lot. Anything below 5,000 and you are considered sedentary.  So, we are talking about less than half of this.  An average person takes 2,000 steps to cover a mile.  So, if your automatic watch stops, you are walking less than 4/5 of a mile a day.  Also remember, you don’t need to walk to wind an automatic watch.  Just moving your arm around winds it as well.  So not only are you not walking, you are not even moving your arm around while you are sitting. 
Now, why would watch companies design a watch that stops occasionally?  Well, turns out nearly all of our ‘modern’ automatics were designed in the 1950’s.  The modern movements are just refinements of older designs.   I would venture a guess people in the 1950’s walked and moved around more than people in the ’00s.  So, yet another example of how Americans have degraded into useless couch potatoes/cube dwellers.  You can’t even move your arm enough to keep a watch wound.

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Durability

I was talking to a co-worker during a training session, and I noticed he was wearing a Seiko 5 (Automatic Watch) which was well worn.  He told me it was 10 years old now, and still works great with no servicing.  His previous watch was a Seiko 5 which he wore for 20 YEARS with no service.  He just got sick of the styling and gave it away.  Think about that.  Something that costs less than $100 lasting 20 years with no maintenance.  We are not talking about something sitting on a shelf here.  This is something strapped to your arm, with endless shocks, exposure to temperature extremes, and water.  Yet, this humble, little watch lasted 20 years with no complaint, and as far as we know, it is still ticking away somewhere.  I wish they could make everything that well.

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