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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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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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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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

Orient Day Date CEV0J002B

Orient Day Date CEV0J002B


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.Facebooktwittermailby feather

Seiko Alpinist SARB017

Seiko Alpinist SARB017
The Grail.  For every watch collector, there is a ‘grail’ watch.  The one watch you have wanted for years, but could never justify the expense.  Some collectors shoot so high, they will never own that Rolex or Bell&Ross.  Me, I fell in love with the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist.  By no means a ‘luxury timepiece’, but still significantly higher priced than what most people would pay for a watch.  In this case, a little under $400.  For years I pined for this watch.  What made me pull the trigger?  Well, to be honest, I just left a job I spent 10 years at.  If I stayed on till later in the year I would of received an anniversary watch, but I know it was just a quartz watch.  Nothing I would pick for myself.  So this is a reward for finding a new position (that I really like so far) and actually having enough wherewithal to actually go through the whole process of changing jobs.  Enough of me, on to the watch.


The dial.  The dial of this watch is what really makes it.  A sunburst emerald green shifts in color with different lighting. In all my years of watch collecting, I don’t think I have ever encountered another emerald green dial.  The markers are gold plated, Arabic at the even hours, triangles at the odd hours.  Very easy to see.  The minutes chapter ring is white with 1/6 of a second tic marks, with luminous pips on each hour.  The outer chapter ring is a compass that is turned with the crown at the 4 o’clock position.  It turns easily and north is marker with a red arrow.  A gold pated Seiko is at noon, and Automatic Diashock 23 Jewels 20BAR is at the six o’clock position.  The date is displayed at the traditional 3 o’clock position and has a black background with white Arabic numbers.  The dial is not cluttered at all and has a field or military air to it.  The hands are cathedral style, very traditional and have a healthy coating of luminous material.  This watch has very good lume and appears to have a high grade of lumibrite, that glows for at least 4 hours.  It rivals my Seiko Diver’s and Omega.

left_side right_side

The crystal, bezel, and case.  The crystal is sapphire and flat with anti-reflective coating.  As you can see in the photo above, it is almost invisible in some light.  The bezel is a high polished stainless steel and is chamfered to 45 degrees.  The crystal is about the thickest sapphire I have ever seen.  This is probably due to the 20 bar water resistance rating.  That’s right, it is a sport watch that you could swim and dive with.  The case is a classic ‘oyster’ style with down turned lugs.  The fit and finish are nothing less than amazing.  The crown is at the 3 0’clock position and is signed, deeply, with an S.  It is a screwdown and threads and unthreads easily.  The crown at 4 o’clock turns the compass bezel.  Both crowns have deep teeth and are easy to turn.  There are no hard edges and the polish is about the best I have ever seen.  All stainless steel, of course.  Even on leather, the watch feels quite substantial, and feels like a diver’s watch.  The lugs are 20mm, so a lot of options when it comes to straps and bracelets.

A word on the included band.  I have to agree with other reviewers, it is pretty awful and I just don’t understand what Seiko was thinking.  I replaced it immediately with the calf skin strap seen in the photos.  I also added a deployment as well.  You can get it on a oyster style bracelet, but I like the look of leather.

backCase back and movement.  The case back is solid, as with every Japan domestic model Seiko I have encountered so far.  The center is embossed with the Alpinist logo with 3 mountains.  The watch is Made in Japan and is the first Alpinist made in July of 2014.  It has a 0001 serial number.  The case is this and heavily built and the watch wears much larger than the 38mm diameter would lead you to believe.  The movement is Seiko’s mid grade 6R15 with 50 hour power reserve.  Considering it only has one spring barrel, that is a lot of power reserve.  Right now it is running about -4 seconds a day, which is acceptable for any mechanical watch that is not chronometer rated.  The movement also hacks and hand winds.  It has 23 jewels, anti-magnetic, and has Seiko’s Diashock protection.

With the exception of the included band, the watch is nothing less than amazing.  I have worn it almost every day and quality wise, I would say it rivals my Omega.  It exceeds the Omega for water resistance and the lume is just hair better as well.  The accuracy out of the box is excellent and everything about it screams quality and attention to detail.  It is easy to get lost just staring at the green dial.  It can be worn with a suit or a t-shirt, so a great everyday wear watch.  It has a style that only borrows the oyster case, but little else.  Everything else is all Seiko style.  I really love this watch and I feel like it was money well spent.

Case: 38mm diameter, stainless steel, 20 Bar water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal:  Sapphire, flat, anti-reflective coating.
Movement: Automatic,  6R15,  Seiko in house design, Japan Made.  Hacks, hand winds, 50 hour reserve.  21600 BPH.
Complications:  Date, compass bezel.
Other: Luminous Hands and markers.Facebooktwittermailby feather

Orient FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern

Orient Watch Review FFD0F004W0 Vintage Modern


For my birthday I wanted a dress watch with a complication that I have not had before. In this case, I really wanted a dress watch with a power reserve indicator. I ended up getting an Orient FFD0F004W0 automatic watch with power reserve. It has all the styling of a classic watch, but with modern sizing and proportions. It also has the modern touches, which I will visit below.


Let us start with the dial.  It is a richly textured champagne colored dial.  The center, which is just a touch wider than the hour hand radius, is a woven texture.  The area between the woven center and the chapter ring is concentric rings. Beneath the power reserve indicator it looks like tiny curtain bunting. The hour markers are applied trapezoids with a brushed top and polished sides. They stand out very well from the dial. The 12 o’clock indicator has two markers. The chapter ring used traditional Arabic numbers for every five minutes, and simple ticks for the minute markers. It is very reticent of a pocket watch I have as well. At the three o’clock position is the date indicator, ringed in brushed chrome. The date wheel is white with black numbering. The power reserve indicator is located between the eleven and one o’clock position. It can show up to forty hours of reserve. This is a new complication for my collection, it shows how many hours of wind are left on the mainspring. I have found it to be fairly accurate, the watch usually goes 42 hours on a full wind.

The hands are dauphin shaped and blued. The hour and minute hands have luminous material, but the markers on the dial do not. The second hand is a simple, blued stick hand and is a nice length that extends all the way to the chapter ring. The power reserve indicator hand is also dauphin and blued steel. The dial of the watch is relatively free of verbiage. Just below the center of the dial is the Orient twin lion logo with e ORIENT AUTOMATIC and the two crystals indicating a sapphire crystal. In tiny print at the bottom of the dial is Japan Mov’t FDOF-CO-A. Overall, the dial is well proportioned with proper length hands and easy to see markers. The luminous material is the typical, next to useless Orient lume. I really don’t know why Seiko does not give Orient a couple of cans of Lumibrite to do Orient’s dials. Even the cheapest Seiko 5’s have much better luminous material. It is my only complaint with Orient watches. That being said, this is a dress watch and it is great in that respect. I would say the fit and finish of the dial and hands can go toe to toe with anything from Switzerland.


The crystal is flat sapphire, with anti-reflective coating. The bezel is brushed steel, sloping away from the crystal. The top and side of the case is brushed, but there are polished accents on the bezel, lugs and case of the watch. The case is a modern, 40mm in diameter. The crown is at the traditional 9 o’clock position and unsigned. It does not wind the watch, only sets time. The first position is the quick set date, the second is for setting the time. The lugs are 22mm and well proportioned to the watch. The inside of the lugs is highly polished. The overall case fit and finish is excellent.


The back of the watch is screw down, display type glass. The display back reveals a beautifully finished movement with cotes de geneve, or in this case, Tokyo stripes. This is the only modern watch I have that has a decorated finish, and I am very glad they put a display back on. The rotor is etched and filled in with color, Orient Japan Twenty-One Jewels 46N45 and even has the Orient two lion logo. The movement is very accurate, with less than 5 seconds a day gained or lost. It does not hand wind or hack, but it does include the power reserve indicator. All of my Orient watches keep excellent time. I believe they must adjust them better at the factory than their Seiko counterparts. The case is all stainless steel and 50M water resistance. Good enough for day to day, but I would not swim with it on. I would not recommend swimming with a dress watch on. T


Continuing on with the overall quality of the watch is the leather band. It is a genuine leather band, crocodile pattern, 22mm at the lugs and tapers 20mm. The watch came with a factory two button deployant clasp, a great touch class for a watch in this price range. The deployant has a high polish, stainless steel, and marked Orient. It works flawlessly and is very comfortable. I am sure it will extend the life of the leather band and it just looks cool when you take it off.


This watch, I am almost tempted to call it a timepiece, is a wonderfully balanced piece. No corners were cut. Everything from the finish of the case, to the sapphire crystal, to the high finishing of the movement just screams quality. I recently visited a jewelry store that sells Hamilton watches. This Orient had features that watches that cost five to ten times as much didn’t have, like a deployant clasp on the band and a well decorated movement. Even the finish of the watch dial is better on the Orient. Overall, I am very very happy with this watch. It is handsome, modern, and will look just as good in 30 years as it does now. If you are in the market for a dress watch, check it out. There are other color combinations and dials, black, white, and some come on a steel bracelet. For the price point, less than $400, you really can’t beat it.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel with display crystal, screw down.
Crystal:  Sapphire, flat, anti-reflective coating.
Movement: Automatic,  46N45,  Orient In house design and manufacture, Japan Made, decorated .
Complications:  Date, power reserve.
Other: Genuine Leather band, with two button deployant, Luminous Hands.


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Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige Flieger/Pilot’s

Review Seiko 5 SNK803 Beige


For years I have wanted this watch.  It was almost my first automatic watch, it lost out to my green military style 5.  It is a Flieger or pilot style watch.  It is a wonderfully clean design and has been made by many manufactures for many years.  This Seiko example, the SNK803 has been in production for many years and uses the (now classic) 7S26 movement.  My newest watch in my collection is about the most factory fresh models I haver ever worn.  It was made in September of 2013, and now on my wrist as of December 2013, so less than three months since it left the factory in Malaysia.  Interestingly, it is a 7S26C, not sure what has been updated, but the movement seems well finished and decorated for an entry level movement.  But, let’s start with the outside. The dial for this watch is beige/cream colored with stark, black printing.  The printing is Seiko perfect, with no flaws visible, even under a loupe.  The Seiko and 5 shield are applied.  What makes a pilot’s style watch unique is the emphasis on minutes instead of hours, instead of hours, like standard military watches.  The hour makers are contained inside of a clean circle.  The minutes are printed at 5 minute intervals, and have tick marks for every minute.  There is no chapter ring.  The 0 minute mark is a triangle.   As you can see, the hands are Flieger extended diamonds and the second hand has a red tip and a large, luminous tail.  The hands are filled with luminous material and show up well in all lighting conditions.  There is the classic Seiko 5 day and date window.  My only complaint is that, while there are luminous pips on every hour, there is no indication of what ‘up’ is on the watch in total darkness.  A small complaint, and not unique, as several of my watches have the same issue.  The bezel holding the flat, hardlex crystal matches the body of the watch well.  The crystal has very little glare and is typical of a watch in this price point.  Overall, a very clean, classic design.


The case of the watch is bead blasted stainless steel.  The small, unsigned crown is at the 3:48 position, which is typical of most Seiko 5’s.  Since the movement can not be hand wound or hacked, the small crown is not a big deal and is slightly recessed.  The offset crown and the little projection make is very comfortable to wear and it never digs into your wrist.  The lugs are 18mm and slightly turned down.  The case is only about 37.5mm in diameter, so modern small for men, but good for those of us with smaller wrists, including women.  My wife tried this watch on, and it looked perfectly acceptable.  It is only 10.5 mm high, so it hides well under long sleeves.  The watch wears well is is fairly light on the nylon strap.


The case back is a hardlex, display type showing the brand new 7S26C.  It seems a little better finished than the A and B version, and apparently, there are some other improvements as well.  It is a very tried and true design, a direct descent of the Seiko 5’s of 50 years ago!  It lacks hacking or hand-winding, but, if you are a classic 5 fan, they are part of the charm.  The watch winds quickly via your body motions.  This particular movement seems well adjusted from the factory, I have worn it more than a week and have not had to adjust the time yet, so it must be less than 5 seconds a day of variation.  As with every Seiko, it is all stainless steel.  No base metal here.


Last, but not least is the nylon, two ring, strap.  It is very heavy nylon with two steel keepers.  One is fixed, the other floats.  The buckle is signed Seiko and it, and the keepers are all bead blasted to match the finish of the watch.  It is comfortable to wear and should last for many years.



Probably the most remarkable thing about this watch is the price, less than $60, shipped, from Amazon.  At this price point, it is just a remarkable deal to get a Seiko Automatic for about the same price (actually, less than) a Timex or Fossil, or other fashion watch brands.  Seiko, unlike many others, is a true watch manufacture, with all in house movements and more than 100 years of watch making experience.   As you can see above, even the presentation box is nice quality.  No cheap, plastic box, but a good quality box and pillow. Try getting that with a $60 Timex.

This watch happens to be a replacement for my departed Timex field watch.  After its fourth battery change, the quartz module decided to strip some gears and not work any more.    It will be interesting to see what this watch looks like after 15 years of service, with no battery changes to wreck the seals and warp the movement.

Overall, this watch is a fantastic deal, looks great, and is a must buy for pilot watch lovers.  It comes in black, blue, and green as well, so if you want more of an authentic Flieger, Type B look, the black one matches up pretty well.  I am very pleasantly surprised by the accuracy so far, and I have already put it though its paces.  Shovelling snow with it on, going sledding, and doing ordinary daily activities without missing a beat.  If you need a practical watch that will far outlast the Chinese made specials, look no further than a Seiko 5.


Case: 37.5mm diameter, stainless steel, 30m water resistance.
Back: Hardlex exhibition back, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Automatic, 7S26C, Seiko in-house design. No handwind or hacking.
Complications: Day of week, Date
Other: Luminous hands and markers, Lumibrite.

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Seiko 5 Sports SRP273K1


This is a very unique watch, insomuch that it was paid for by you, the readers of! The small ads you see on the side and bottom of the page generated enough cash to fund the purchase of this watch, so, a big Thank You, to all you kind followers out there. Now, off to the watch.

This is a Seiko 5 Sports, a SRP273K1. This watch is my second with Seiko’s new line-up of entry level automatic movements, the 24 jewel 4R36A. While the 7S26/36 is a solid movement, it lacks hand winding and hacking, both of which the 4R35/36 provide. The 4R35 has date only, the 36 has day and date. While what is on the inside is important, it is what is on the outside that you notice.

The dial of this watch is deep black, with lime green markings. The contrast is very deep and makes the watch very easy to read. The hour markers are Arabic numerals, with the 12 and 6 O’clock markers larger for easier time telling. All hour markers have a luminous dot between the marker and the chapter ring. The chapter ring has a lot going on. There is a 24 hours scale, in addition to second markings, and finally, 1/6 of a second markings to match with the long seconds hand. The dial is quite verbose, with Seiko, the 5 shield, Sports, Automatic 24 jewels, 100M and a box around the day and date window.

The hour and minute hands are large, Skelettform, filled with luminous material. They are, thankfully, appropriately long. The hour hand extends to the hour makers, and the minute hand extends all the way to the chapter ring. The seconds hand is a simple stick with a large, circular, luminous tail. It also extends to the chapter ring. That is one thing I really like about Seiko watches, nearly all of them have correctly proportioned hands to the dial. For the day and date, the day of the week dial is black, and the day dial is white. This is a nice touch, since there is no hour maker at the 3 O’clock position.  The hands are well filled with LumiBrite and glow for several hours, even exposed to just indoor lighting.  Not as well as my Diver’s, but good enough for most people.


The case is a pleasingly modern 39.5mm in diameter, stainless steel.  It actually wears larger than 39.5mm.  The top and bezel are brushed, the sides are polished.  The crystal is Hardlex and flat.  Glare is rarely a problem with Seiko’s Hardlex, even with flat crystals.  The bezel makes the watch wear bigger than it actually is.  The crown is unsigned, but very large and easy to wind.  This is important since you can hand wind this watch.  I think my largest complaint with my Omega is that is is pretty hard to wind, especially compared to this Seiko, which cost a twentieth the price.  The lugs are 20mm and are drilled through, to make for easy band changes.


The case back is an exhibition, Hardlex and polished stainless steel.  It shows the latest entry level automatic movement from Seiko, the 4R36.  It is simply, but well finished with laser sharp markings.  It appears to have a bit more polished parts and finer finishing on the bridges, as compared to the 7S26/36.  The 24 jewel movement keeps good time with a 40+ hour power reserve when fully wound.  Hacking and hand winding are standard now.  This particular watch is running a little fast, about 20 seconds a day, but I am sure it will settle down after a few more months.  Seiko tends to set the timing a little fast from the factory since they know when the movement breaks in, it will slow down a little.  In this view, you can see the large, deeply knurled crown as well.



Finally, we have the 3 ring, Zulu, nylon band.  The rings and buckle are stainless steel and highly polished.  The buckle is signed Seiko.  The green stripe perfectly matches the green markers and hands of the watch.  The black matches the dial.  It is also the thickest nylon band I have ever seen.  Seriously, it makes makes every after market band I have seen look like a joke.  It is 20mm the whole length.

This watch is a great sports watch, true to its name.  It is easy to read in all lighting conditions, and is a nice, modern size without being overwhelming for smaller wrists.  The watch feels like a quality piece, with the small touches like the band being perfectly matched to the dial of the watch.  The movement upgrade from the previous generation of Seiko 5 Sports is very welcome, and did not significantly increase the price of the watches with this new line of movements.  It has received a lot of wrist time over the past few months and pairs well with casual clothing.  A dress watch, this is not.  See this review for it’s dressier brother.  I am very happy wearing this watch and recommend it to anyone looking for a field/military style watch.

Case: 39.5 mm diameter, 13mm thick, Stainless Steel.  100M water resistance.
Back:  Hardlex display, screw down.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: SEIKO 4R36, 24 jewel automatic,  hand winds and hacks.
Complications: Day, Date
Other:  On Seiko Zulu nylon heavy duty strap.

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Timex Blue Vintage

Review Timex Blue Dial Vintage


As part of my expanding vintage watch collection, I have added a Timex hand-wound watch watch.  Not sure what year, but it looks like it is from the early to mid 1970’s.  If I ever open up the watch, I will update this review.   It has a very clean look, with a simple case, identical to my Mickey Mouse watch, which is also from the early 70’s.  . The dial is a deep blue with a hint on purple.  There are block Arabic numerals at the hours, with no chapter ring or minute markers.  The dial is simply marked TIMEX, nothing more.  The hands are stark white sticks and are very easy to see against the dial. The case is 34mm diameter without and 36mm diameter with the crown, and wears quite small.  It is chrome plated over base metal.  This watch would be considered a ‘mid-size’ now.   The lugs are 18mm. Movement wise, it is an ordinary 22 movement hand wound only, no date. The watch starts instantly when wound and has good power reserve and accuracy.


The crown is unsigned, which is to be expected.  This watch was probably worn very little, there is no brassing on the chrome plate for the crown, showing it was rarely wound.  The crystal is domed acrylic and was in perfect shape when I purchased the watch, another indicator that the watch was worn little.  Blue_Dial_Back

The case back is a simple, snap on type, stainless steel.  Simply marked TIMEX, CRM PL BASE METAL BEZEL, STAINLESS STEEL BACK.  The watch came on its original, plastic band, very clean.  If this watch was worn more that 50 times before me, I would be shocked.  I put is on a nylon Zulu band, which I think compliments the dial well and makes it wear a little bigger.  The original plastic band was unwearable, at least to me.

I am very happy with this watch, super simple and easy to read.  My only complaints would be no date and no luminous material on the dial.



Case: 34mm, base metal with chrome plating.


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 Zulu nylon band.

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