Watch band ideas

Even though we have decided to not buy anything permanent this month, Christmas is coming and I wanted to got some ideas down for watch bands that I like:

For my 22mm divers (Orange bullet, Pepsi, and Full Lume compass):


This is something different, a mesh bracelet.  About $19+8 shipping on eBay.  They look pretty comfortable and rugged at the same time.  I’ll have to try one on in the store, though.


Nothing too out of the ordinary on this one, it is a ‘super oyster’ bracelet by Seiko.  It has all solid links and would make a great replacement for the cheap, folded link bracelet for my Pepsi watch or look great on my Orange Bullet.  $29.99+8 shipping on eBay.


A bold, orange NATO strap for my Orange bullet.  $9.99+3 shipping on eBay.   Comes in many colors as well.  I already have a black one, but I like bold orange as well.  It would also work with the cream faced compass Seiko.

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First real watch repair

With my vintage Timex, it was starting, stopping, and not keeping good time.  So, I opened it up and did a little basic repair.  I used lighter fluid (napthha) to clean the balance pivots and the lever pivots.  Then I used a tiny amount of mineral oil to oil the pivots.   Although this is not ideal, it is just a pin lever watch.  Worst case, I would have to clean more pivots and oil with some real watch oil, but I am cheap. This watch was less than $15, so it was not worth it and I always wanted to try do some real repairs.

The results?

The watch does not stop anymore and keeps better time than ever.  Now I feel more confident wearing it when I need reliable timekeeper.

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Sad day for fine watch lovers.

It looks like Bailey Banks & Biddle is going out of business after 175 years.  They were always very helpful, but with the downturn of the economy, I can understand why they were struggling.  Even high end stores falter.  I shall miss browsing their nice selection.  Even at 50% off, it is still way out of my price range.

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Watch investigating

Took a look inside of my little Timex and I had a couple of things confirmed:


The movement is very clean, and untouched since it was made almost 40 years ago.  It also has not seen the loving touch of watch oil in all those years, either.  This probably explains why I have seen some random stopping, mostly off the wrist.  It was also running a little slow, so I bumped the balance adjustment just a hair faster.  This watch also has no jewels and is a pin lever watch, which is what I expected.  Timex did (and does) make fully jeweled watches, but not this inexpensive version.  I would guess this watch was $9.95 new, which is about $35 now.  So, Timex still makes watches at the same price point.  How did I know this watch was never serviced?  Just look at the inside of the case back:

timex_casebackThis is where a watchmaker would of marked the last service date.  All we see here is CASE, GREAT BRITAIN TIMEX with a stamped 8P70.  This almost certainly means it was made in August, 1970, in plant “P” or maybe P means PM, night shift.  I have read, back in the 50’s through 70’s, the watches were designed in the USA, the cases were made in England or Germany, and the movements came from Hong Kong.  Even now, I am pretty sure Timex is still structured this way.  Designed in the USA, movements made in Germany or China, cased in China.  They were one of the first “globalized’ companies.  You can also see on the case back scrapes from the automatic winding rotor.  Not a huge deal and pretty common on this age/quality movement.  Overall, the watch is still running OK.  I always carry my cell phone, just in case it dies on me during the day.

As a bonus, take look at this site, detailing the heyday of Timex.

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Watch review, Vintage Timex 4144

Vintage Timex Model 4144




This is my first vintage watch for myself.  I picked it up at a local antique store.  It has some nice, vintage charm, starting with the size, just 34mm diameter.  The 3270 on the dial indicates it is caliber 32 from 1970.  When I got it, it had a funky Speidel Twist-o-Flex band and 4 decades of crud.  After about an hour of work and a new band, it really cleaned up nice.  It stopped a few times during the first day, but has settled in nicely, keeping very good time for a pin lever watch.  I think the lubricants were just a little gummy and needed a little human body warmth to get back to normal.  The quality and workmanship is very good for a bargain watch.  It hand winds and ’self-winds’ with a satisfying rattle.  The second hand sweeps at a relaxed 18,000 BPH, which is normal for a watch of this era.  The crystal is a high domed acrylic, which scratches up pretty easily, but also cleans up nicely as well.   Overall, a nice, easy to live with watch.

Case: 34mm, base metal, gold plated, water resistant, dust resistant.
Back: Stainless Steel, snap on, Timex makers mark, water resistance and dust resistance marks.
Crystal: Acrylic, domed.
Movement: Automatic, 3270, 18,000 BPH.
Complications: Date.
Other: Leather band, aftermarket.  17mm lugs.

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Watch Revitalization

So, I picked up this little guy Friday:


The crystal is a little scratched, but no cracks, and the bracelet is not to my liking.  Also, there is about 40 years of someone’s DNA on there that is not mine.  So, off the bracelet goes:


Ahh, yes, almost 4 decades of filth.  Poor watch, at least most of the plating is intact. Still, eww.

Cleaned that off:


Using nothing more than water and cotton swabs, I was able to get the gunk off.  Now, the crystal:


I taped off the bezel and used a polishing cloth and CD cleaner to buff out the scratches.  It worked just okay, so I switched to a silver polish instead, and it worked much faster.


Here it is on Saturday morning.  Case and crystal polished and with a Fossil leather band I had.  Although the band was 18mm, the lugs are 17mm, but it still fit.  It works much better than I thought it would.  It surprised my wife as well.


It turned out better than I expected.  It is a pleasing, simple, watch.  It is a common watch, but I love the angular numbers.  It looks like IZ, not 12.  So far, it is keeping decent time on the wrist, not so much in the drawer, but that’s ok.  Here is a parting shot of the radial pattern on the dial:


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New Wishlist.

It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas or unexpected money, so here is a list of a bunch of watches that I like.  All are newer designs.

Here is a trio of watches that I like, The Orient CEX0P001B (Black), CEX0P002D (Blue), and the CEX0P003W (White). They are all the same watch, except for the color. The clean, simple, styling is very nice, with a power reserve indicator. Price is $169 from long island watch, cheaper on eBay, if it can be found. 39mm diameter, probably my favorite diameter watch.

Two more Orients of similar style, with a simpler chapter ring, but it also has a power reserve. CEX0R001B is the black one, CEX0R001D, is the blue one. There is also a white version, but I don’t like how it looks in white. $179 on long island watch. 42mm diameter, so it is a larger watch.




Another trio of Orient’s. This one reminds me of the Omega Railmaster or classic seamaster, with the inclusion of a large day window. CEV09001D (Blue),CEV09002B(Clack),CEV09002W(White). $149 on long island watch for the metal bracelet, $135 for leather., cheaper on eBay, less than $100 on Amazon. No power reserve, but the large day of the week makes it a more practical watch. 38mm diameter, nice size for everyday use.


Getting a little wilder here, here are three Orient Slide-rule watches, the CEM5Z00AW (White), CEM5Z008B (Black),CEM5Z009D (blue). It has a nice chronograph/pilots watch look, but it is an automatic. I love the day of the week indicator located just above the 6 o’clock position. Nice Sseamaster looking bracelet and a price tag of $165 does not hurt. 41mm diameter, so it is not too large (smaller than several of my watches, in fact.)

Here is another pair of unique Orient’s. What makes these different is the titanium case and bracelet. Again, it has a slide-rule, but a more conventional day/data feature. CEM58002D (Blue), CEM58003k(Gray). At 44mm, they may be a little large, but should be very light. A little over $100 on ebay.



Here are three Seiko’s to add to the wishlist. Simple, easy to read design combined with a reasonable 38mm diameter case. They are the SRP013K1 (Cream) SRP015K1 (Black with yellow accents, brown band), SRP017K1 (Black with red accents, black band.) It has the new 4R16 movement, which is a decorated version of the 7S26 with one more jewel. All three have a display back to show off the finished movement. About $170 on eBay, almost $250 elsewhere.

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Too cool

Spotted this one on eBay recently:

CEX0P002D0CEX0P002DIt’s an Orient CEX0P002, automatic with power reserve indicator.  It has a nice, classic look, 39mm across (not too big) and even comes on a nice leather strap with a signed deployant clasp!  It has a tachymeter scale as the chapter ring, which is a little pointless, but I think it adds to the overall look.  Prices seem to range from $100 to $150 on eBay, which is quite a spread.  It also comes in black or white,  with a brown leather strap.

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