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.

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Watch Review, Valgine Pocket Watch

Valgine Pocket Watch


Overview:

I am not usually tempted by pocket watches, but recently I picked up a modern watch for my younger brother, so my interest was piqued.  So, on my last visit to my local antique store, I looked through the vintage bin.  When I opened up this little beauty of a watch, I was amazed at the condition.  I am not sure of the exact age, but, it is Swiss Made, Valgine, 17 jewels, Incabloc, and the dial is just flawless.


The front of the watch has a charming fisherman engraving  and is in very good condition.  The is no wear through visible on the plating and the embossing is deep and high quality.  The front cover pops open perfectly when the pendant is pressed.  If this watch was used, I don’t think was a daily wear watch. The inside of the front dial cover has a well executed tool pattern, a real one, not the stamped versions seen in modern, cheap pocket watches.  The dial is pure white with black roman numeral markers for 1 through 12 and small, red, Arabic markers for 13 through 24 hours.  The hands are very elegant and expertly cut.  The seconds hand is at the 6 o’clock position.  The crystal appears to be acrylic and has no scratches at all.


The rear of the watch has a floral pattern, and is expertly engraved as well.  Again, there is no wear through on the plating that is visible without a jeweler’s loupe.


The watch also came on a nice quality chain and traditional fob, not a belt clip.  A little dandy, but I am sure in a suit, you can pull it off.  The watch is about 44mm in diameter, so not too large, and smaller than what a lot of people wear on their wrists now!

The movement is a 17 jewel, Swiss made movement, shock protected, 18,000 bph,  and keeps excellent time.  The power reserve seems good as well, well over 32 hours.  I would guess that the watch was made in the 60, by how little wear there is.  I don’t think I will wear it much, but I am still glad I acquired this watch.  I have not been able to find out much about this brand, I assume they were one of the thousands of companies wiped out in the quartz revolution.

 

Case: 44mm diameter, gold plated.
Back: gold plated, snap back style.
Crystal: Acrylic, domed.
Movement: 17 jewel Swiss, Incabloc shock protection, 18,000 BPH.
Complications: Small seconds.
Other:   On 12″ watch chain, with fob.

 

 

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2 More Vintage Watches

I’ve done it again and picked up two more vintage watches.

First off, we have a Timex, from 1979:

It’s a nice, funky automatic.  It has a nice, over-sized Day and Date, with quickset.

Secondly, I picked up a Seiko Bell-Matic from 1970!

This is my first Bell-Matic, which is basically a wrist alarm clock, complete with bell.  They were Seiko’s top of the line watches in the early 70’s  (except for King and Grand Seiko.)

This one took a lot of work to look half way decent.  The dial was detached from the main plate of the watch, and the crystal was almost opaque.

I’ll write up full reviews when I get a chance, but I think they were both excellent finds.

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Watch Review: Omega Speedmaster 3211.30.00

Omega Speedmaster Ref. 3211.30.00 Watch Review.

Around a week ago, I received an amazing e-mail. I had won an Omega Speedmaster, in silver in a sweepstakes from Lussori Jewellery. At first, I had my doubts, but I called, and it is all legit. Exactly one week later, I received it via UPS.

Presentation:



The watch comes in a heavy, leather wrapped box with an embossed Omega logo. This box is inside of a simple, white cardboard outer box, with Omega logo embossed on it. The leather box is lined with white satin and contains the watch, user’s manual, and certification cards for the warranty, COSC certification, and features of the watch. The manual is large, but a little disappointing. The English section is 44 pages long and covers the full range of Omega watches, not just the Speedmaster, so you have to sift through all the different movements to find the one that applies to yours. This type of manual is typical of mid tier watches, and it really surprised me that a watch in this price point would have similar. A typical Seiko manual is about 20 pages long and is specific to if the watch is an automatic, kinetic, or quartz. Overall, the presentation is very nice but not outstanding.

The watch overview:
Now, off to the actual watch review. The Omega Speedmaster is an automatic, 1/8 second, 12 hour chronograph and chronometer. The case is a nicely sized 40mm. Large, but not huge, and well suited to average to smaller wrists. If you want gigantic (over 44mm) look at the Seamaster watches from Omega. It is all stainless steel with all perfectly finished surfaces and edges. The crown is signed with an the Greek letter Omega. It is a little small and surprisingly hard to manually wind due to the crown guards. The pushers work perfectly and have a satisfying click. The top pusher starts and stops the chronograph. The lower resets the chronograph with a flyback action, meaning the hands instantly return to zero when pressed in a snapping motion.

The Movement:

The movement is a refined version of a Valjoux 7750 movement with rhodium plating and a heavier winding rotor. The 7750 is a very well regarded, robust movement. This movement has 25 jewels. The 7750 was originally released in 1972, so it has a long track record. I am very happy I received the watch with this movement, I have heard some of the more recent movements have some issues. Give me tried and true any day. The movement is COSC certified, so it should keep within +6/-4 seconds a day. So far, the watch is running at +3 a day.

The Dial


The dial of the watch is a dull silvery, titanium look. There are sub dials at 6, 9, and 12 O’clock.

The 9 O’clock sub dial is for the small running seconds hand. The dial at 12 is the minutes accumulator and the one at 6 is for hours. The minute accumulator is a jump style, it does not move until the minute rolls over. The hour accumulator advances constantly when in use. I think one of my favourite features is watching the minute hand jump. There are applied markers at 2,3,4,5,7,8,10,and 11 O’clock. The markers have a small amount of luminescent material that works well. There are marks printed at for every second and ¼ of a second. There are also Arabic markings every 5 minutes. The hour and minute hands are pointed stick types with a generous amount of lume. The chronograph hand ends is an arrow, also with lume. The luminescent material works very well. Not quite a diver’s watch, the Super Luminova glows evenly for hours and is more than usable. The dial, overall, is not that cluttered, despite all of the information displayed.

The bezel and crystal:

The bezel has a tachymetre scale, black against brushed steel. It compliments the dial and bracelet well. A tachymetre is used when you want to see how many units per hour. Pass a mile marker, start the stopwatch, pass another mile marker, stop. Then, you can simply read miles per hour (or any unit per hour, you just need to have 2 points of reference.) The crystal is sapphire and lightly domes with anti-reflective material on the inside of the crystal. This is my first sapphire crystal and I am looking forward to seeing how scratch resistant it really is. Sapphire is very hard, second only to diamond and carbide. It is very clear looking, but not amazingly better than hardlex (mineral glass).

The bracelet:

The bracelet is very nicely made, with solid links. It is a combination of brushed and polished stainless steel. Pins and sleeves are used for the pivots. The end links are solid, and should be on a watch in this price range. The clasp is signed with Omega Speedmaster and is has two release buttons, but no safety clasp. Of all things, I think the clasp is the most disappointing part of the watch. The steel they use scratches VERY easily. After my first day of wear, it was already showing marks. Even my $100 Seikos look almost a good as new 3 or 4 years later. Another gripe is there are only two micro adjustment holes. Again, most of my ‘lower end’ watches have at least 4, and up to 8 adjustment holes for a perfect fit. I had to remove two links to get a good fit. This does not bode well for men with larger wrists. I am sure Omega will sell you extra links, so be prepared if you have paws for hands.

Conclusion:

This is truly a well made time piece. Everything is put together very well and it feels more solid than a Rolex or other watch in this price point. In case you were wondering, it retails for $2850. It is not something I would purchased for myself, but as a prize it is pretty amazing. Compared to other timepieces in this category, it stands up very well. A solid movement from a company known for chronographs. I have always loved the Speedmaster line, and I am proud to have one in my collection.

Case: 40mm, stainless steel.

Back: Stainless, deeply embossed with Hippocampus 100M 330FT .

Crystal: Sapphire with a light dome, anti-reflective coating on inside.

Movement: Omega 1164 Self-winding chronograph, chronometer movement with rhodium-plated finish based on Valjoux 7750.

Complications: Chronograph, chronometer, date, luminous markers on dial, small seconds.

Other: Currently on original stainless steel bracelet, with solid end links.

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Watch Review: Vintage Timex Square Faced

Vintage Timex Square Faced

Last, but not least, is a watch I picked up a few weeks ago, and I have finally gotten a chance to review.  This is a squarish faced Timex, of unknown vintage.  I am sure if I opened up the case, I would see a manufacture date, but if a watch is running well, I don’t mess with them.

The dial is a rounded square with simple, chrome plated stick markers.  The case is base metal with a stainless steel back.  The hands are also simple sticks, and there is no luminous material.   The look is retro, yet modern.

The watch came on a truly horrible plastic strap, which I replaced with a metal band.  The movement is a new one for me.  It has a semi-quick set date, which I have not seen on a Timex yet.  The automatic movement also can be hand wound, but does not hack.  It looks like it has a Timex 32 movement, which puts it at the top end of the Timex pin lever movements.

Overall, I really like this watch.  It is simple, elegant, and even has a quick set date.  At $5, you really can’t go wrong.

Features:
Case: 34mm,  chrome plated base metal, square, water reistant.
Back: Stainless Steel, snap on, claims water resistant.
Crystal: Acrylic, flat.
Movement: Timex 32 18,000 BPH movement, pin lever.
Complications: Date, with quick set.
Other: Stainless after market bracelet.

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Waltham Vintage Hi-beat

Watch review Waltham Vintage, High Beat.

I picked this one up on impulse, along with a quartz Seiko.  It is a surprisingly clean watch, with a 8 bps movement (28,800 BPH) that keeps great time.  I have not even polished the crystal.  Just removed some dirt and put it on a metal bracelet.

The dial is a silver, radial sunburst with Arabic markers at 12 and 6.  At the 3 o’clock position is the date.  The applied  hour markers are stick and appear to be rhodium plated, like the Arabic markers, with a luminous dot.  The minute markers are simple, printed black markers.  The hands are simple sticks, with Tritium paint luminous material.  Overall, the dial design is understated simplicity.  The Waltham name is accented with a stylized W, which pops against the dial. The crown is signed with a large W and has all of the original plating.  The crown is also pleasantly over-sized and easy to wind.

The case is base metal, with a high polished, chrome plated finish.  It is a smaller, 34mn diameter case, with 17mm lugs.  The case back is stainless.  The chrome plate has no wear through.  The crystal is a lightly domed acrylic, with no cracks and very little scratching.

The movement is a 7 jewel, high beat movement at 28,800 BPH.   I opened up the back of the watch and the movement is spotless with no signs of water or dust.  It is keeping very accurate time, as to be expected with a high beat.  The power reserve looks to be about 40 hours as well, so no need for servicing soon.

This is my second Waltham watch, and I am very pleased with it.  It is a shame they went out of business, the styles and quality are excellent, from all the pieces I have handled so far.  I put it on a Jubilee style metal bracelet, which works well with the watch.  I don’t think it was worn all that much by the original owner, since the plating is in excellent shape and the movement is performing flawlessly.

Features:
Case: 34mm,  chrome plated base metal, water reistant.
Back: Stainless Steel, snap on, claims water, shock, and dust resistant.
Crystal: Acrylic, domes.
Movement: Waltham Hi-beat 28,800 BPH movement, 7 jewels.
Complications: Date.
Other: Stainless after market jubilee style .  17 mm lugs.

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Watch Review, Seiko SQ Quartz, 1990

This is one of my latest finds (which was free, since I am a ‘good’ customer) is a Seiko Quartz watch from 1990.  It was in pretty sorry shape when I got it:

Pretty sad looking for a watch which probably cost about $100 new, just 20 years ago!  Well, here is where Brasso and some hard work come into play!

After about 10 minutes of polishing and cleaning, this is the result.  There are still a few scratches, and there are a few small cracks, but now it is a usable watch again.  It also has a stainless steel case, so it is a perfect replacement for my base metal Timex beater. The case is all stainless steel with a flat crystal.

It will be a beater, but what a beater.  Super clean design for the face and hands, with Day and Date, and best of all, it is a Seiko.  I put it on a Timex expedition, leather band.

Features:
Case: 39mm, stainless steel, water resistant.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw on, Seiko serial number made August, 1990.
Crystal: Acrylic, flat.
Movement: Battery operated quartz, SQ series 5Y23, made in Japan, Seiko in house movement.
Complications: Day and Date.
Other: Leather band, aftermarket.  18mm lugs.

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Dave’s Home for Wayward Wristwatches


Picked up two new-to-me watches, one is a fine, high beat Waltham, hand wound watch:

It is a surprisingly clean watch, with a 8 bps movement (28,800 BPH) that keeps great time.  I have not even polished the crystal.  Just removed some dirt and put it on a metal bracelet.

My second find (which was free, since I am a ‘good’ customer) is a Seiko Quartz watch from 1990.  It was in pretty sorry shape when I got it:

Pretty sad looking for a watch which probably cost about $100 new, just 20 years ago!  Well, here is where Brasso and some hard work come into play!

After about 10 minutes of polishing and cleaning, this is the result.  There are still a few scratches, and there are a few small cracks, but now it is a usable watch again.  It also has a stainless steel case, so it is a perfect replacement for my base metal Timex beater.  It will be a beater, but what a beater.  Super clean design for the face and hands, with Day and Date, and best of all, it is a Seiko.

In case you were wondering, “Home for Wayward Wristwatches” was not my idea, I have to thank Ricky Lee on the Poor Man’s Watch Forum.  He did inspire me to rescue some really trashed watches.

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Watch Review: Timex Mickey Mouse, Vintage 1971

Timex Mickey Mouse, Vintage 1971

A few weeks ago, I was thinking, what am I really missing in my collection?  Two watches sprung to mind, a small seconds watch and a Mickey Mouse watch.  As fate would have it, my most recent visit to my favorite antique store (my secret) yielded both!  What we have here is a Timex Mickey Mouse watch from 1971.  Before 1971, they were sold as Ingersol watches, but for just one year, they were sold as Timex watches.   Bradley bought the rights after that, so this is a pretty unique piece.  I found it on the original strap as well!

The watch itself is a wonderful, classic Mickey Mouse watch.  The Mickey Mouse image is what most people think about when they think of him, drawn in the style of the 1950’s through 1970’s .  The colors/printing is a perfect shape.  The dial is a pearl looking metallic finish with simple, Arabic markers.  The bottom of the dial is marked Walt Disney Productions.  The hour and minute hands are Mickey’s arms, obviously.  They end is large, cartoon hands, which are surprisingly easy to read.  All the printing and cutting is done very well.  The seconds hand is a simple, chrome plated stick and works well, by not distracting from the overall motif.  I like how the watch is whimsical, but still practical, since the hour markers are printed in front of, not behind Mickey.  The minute markers are simple lines.

The case is base metal with a thick chrome plating.  The plating is in very good shape, with only a few, small dings.  The crown is unsigned, but still has most of the original chrome plating.  The case back is stainless steel and has the typical markings of an early 70’s Timex.  It has 18mm lugs, which makes it easy to find bands for it.  The movement is an unremarkable Timex 22, hand wind only, with no date.  A dirt simple, but reliable pin lever movement.  Accuracy is about +/- 30 seconds a day.  Nothing wonderful, but very typical of this vintage and quality of watch.  With Mickey’s cartoon hands, you really don’t mind being a minute off.

Overall, I really love this watch.  It was found in all original condition and in great shape.  I was tempted to sell this watch, but I really like wearing it.  I removed the original band (and saved it for posterity/resale) and replaced it with a carbon fiber band.  It looks surprisingly good on such a modern material and it makes the black printing really pop on the dial.  I know this watch is worth 4 to 8 times more than I paid for it, but, for now, it is a keeper and helps round out my collection perfectly.

Features:

Case: 36mm, base metal with chrome plating.

Back: Stainless, Marked Water Resistant, Resistant, Chrome plate over base metal.

Crystal: Acrylic with a light dome.

Movement: Hand winding only, Timex no-jewel pin lever escapement. Caliber 22, 18000 BPH.

Complications: None.

Other: Currently on carbon fiber band.

20130721_232529_resized

Inside of case, showing 11 B 71.  Made in 1971 in Great Britain.

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