Watch disappointment and excitement.

Finally got my belated Orvis watch birthday present. From the moment I saw it, I didn’t like it. The face of it was huge and an ugly shade of brown. The movement was an ugly Chinese Seagull movement, nothing like what was shown on the website. I still don’t know how a movement can have 20 jewels. Every other watch movement has an odd number of jewels, i.e. 17, 21, 23 are common. Why is it usually a odd number? Because jewels are used in two situations: For pivots for gears and rotating parts (paired to together) and on the lever which interfaces with the escapement, this usually uses 3 jewels, usually called pallet stones. They must forgo the 3rd pallet stone on the lever.

Here is what the movement really looks like:

Ok finishing and some fake tool marks. It did hack and hand wind, which was nice. It looked like 21,600 or 18,000 BPH and it was a little jerky. My Seikos are much more consistent moving the second hand around the dial. Needless to say, we are returning the watch. For the amount of money, it was pretty poor quality. The case finishing was poor (between the lugs was poorly finished) and the leather strap, well, sucked. Felt like plastic and was almost impossible to bend. But, there is a silver lining. For about the same money (well, a little less, actually) I am getting another Seiko!

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The SKX033.  One of my favorites.  A “Pepsi” bezel with a coin edge.  Not a true diver, but I like the smaller case and Submariner styling.  The hour markers are huge and should glow like a typical Seiko.   I actually tried on a SKX031 in the store (black bezel) and was very impressed.  Seiko really does spoil you with quality vs. money.  All in house movements, nearly a century of watchmaking, and Japanese quality control.  You can’t ask for much more.   So in a week or two I should be wearing my new ‘033.

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CH-2365 Red Speedway Review

 

CH-2365 Fossil Red Speedway

Fossil red faced 12 hour chronograph, 3 sub dials.
General Comments:

This is my first analog quartz chronograph. We went out browsing at
an outlet mall to get out of the house and Tiffany spotted this watch.
I have been wanting a chronograph, as it is the only type of watch
really lacking in my collection. I believe it was a mis-price, since
they didn’t have a tag on it. From what I have seen, it was $95
originally, I got it for less than a quarter of that!

Features:
Case: 42mm diameter, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless steel, screw down.
Crystal: Mineral Glass, Domed.
Movement: Battery driven quartz chronograph, Caliber OS10. Hacks when crown pulled, quick set date.
Complications: Date, elapsed seconds, minutes and hours, up to 12 hours, conventional seconds on lowest sub dial.

Other: Luminous hands and markers, luminova?

This is a very nicely made watch, at any cost. The bracelet is 20mm
all round with a 2 button deployant clasp with safety fliplock. All
surfaces are finished well. The face of the watch is unique and easy
to read. The face is surprisingly uncluttered. The metal used on the
face has starburst finishing. The chronograph pushers have a
satisfying click when pressed. Overall steal of a watch with only a
few shortcomings: The luminous material used is adequate but nothing
more. The bracelet squeaks a little, but my Seiko 5’s do a little as
well. Lastly, it is a quartz watch, which means the occasional
battery. For what I paid, I can’t complain. Overall, an excellent
watch that looks amazing on the wrist, and I really wanted a red watch.

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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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