Straps

If you want to bring new life to an old watch, I recommend getting a new strap or bracelet for it. They really don’t cost much, and it can totally change the look of a watch. It can turn a dressy watch to casual and give a more sporty look. I recently replaced the strap on my Kinetic. The bracelet is nice, solid links, and as held up well, but it is a little heavy and has no micro adjustments. So, I went out and spent less than $10 on a crocodile style leather strap and viola:

The watch is much lighter now and looks even more expensive. Seeing how much of a change it made, I was thinking of getting this strap for one of my divers:

Looks like tire treads, costs about $10 on eBay, so pretty affordable.

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Another one to add to the wishlist.

I like this one:

It’s a Seiko 5 sports SNZ387J (Japan made model).  I love the clean looks, large markers and rotating bezel.  This one has does not have an integrated bracelet, so it can be swapped with something even more sporty.  Less than $100 on eBay.  It also comes in blue as well.

This is the SNZ389J.  About the same price ($2.00 more on average).

Both are clean, nice looking watches.

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Low cost alternative

Came across some Casio chronographs looking online and discovered the “Edifice” series.

This is an EF-503L-1A EF503L Casio Edifice Chronograph Watch, as seen on eBay. Going for about $80, and, of course, shipping from Singapore, but I may look in local stores to see what is around. There are white dial versions as well, but the white hands on black may be easier to read. Much better than $300 for the Zepplin with almost identical looks.

It also comes in a metal bracelet version, which is less expensive, for some reason:


EF-503D-1A EF503D 1A is less than $70. The watch looks pretty sharp on leather or metal and will save me about $3320, compared to an Omega.

I honestly have no problem wearing a Casio, I wore one for years in high school and had no problem with it, other than the plastic lug cracking off.

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Nice, but pricey

Chronographs are still haunting me. I love the look, but I don’t like how cluttered the dial gets. I like my Fossil chrono a lot, but my favorite is the very rich man watch, the Omega Speedmaster moon watch. Too bad it costs over $3000. I was looking at longislandwatch.com and saw this little beauty:


vs.

It’s still $299, but costs less than 1/10th the price of the Omega. It looks cool on leather, but I am sure a nice bracelet would be compliment it as well. The sub-dials are in a little different order, but I like the overall look. A quartz watch, but that’s ok. I expect it for all inexpensive chronographs. Oh well, just something to think about. For that kind of money, I could almost get my grail watch, the Seiko Alpinist.

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SKX033K Review

SKX033K

This is my first “Pepsi” style ‘Divers’ watch.  It is not a true diver, since it lacks:  More than 100m water resistance and unidirectional rotating bezel.  That being said, I am not a diver, and if I was, I have my Orange Bullet, that is a true diver.

Features:
Case: 39mm diameter, stainless steel, 100m water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down, Double Wave 100m water resistance stamp.
Crystal: Hardlex, flat.
Movement: Automatic, 7S26 Seiko in-house design.
Complications: Day of Week, Date.
Other: Folded Link, stainless steel bracelet, Bidirectional Rotating Bezel, Screw Down Crown, Luminous Hands and Markers.

This watch looks just amazing on the wrist.  Looks enough like a Submariner, without being a copy.  Fit and finish are typical Seiko, flawless.  It is thinner than my real diver, which is nice for day to day use.  The bracelet looks wonderful (but was a bear to remove a link).  It is folded links, but looks very nice.  It is thin, in a pleasing way.  I can even swap the bracelets between this and my Orange Bullet.  They both use 22mm lugs.  Luminescence is great, probably my second best.  One odd thing I noticed it was hard to see the applied Seiko marker on the dial.  The reason is that when they made the watch, the face of the marker is EXACTLY parallel to the face of the watch.   So when you see glare on the hardlex, you see glare on the silver marker.  To achieve this kind of precision on a mass made watch is remarkable.  So far, I love this watch, and it keeps great time as well (less than 10s/day).

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Got it…

Been busy, but I did get my latest watch, the “Pepsi” bezel Seiko.  I really really like this watch.  The watch even  better than I expected.  I almost never wear the same watch two days in a row, but this watch is an exception.  It is super comfortable on the wrist, the finish is great, overall a super watch.  I’ll write a full review when I get a chance.  I see why everyone has a version of the Submariner, they really do look and feel nice.

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So Close…


The good news is, my next watch is 2 blocks away, in a locked post office safe. The bad news is is that is it in a locked post office safe, 2 blocks away. So, come 7 A.M Monday morning, I will pick up this little beauty. I just knew they would try to deliver on a day we were not home. Oh well. Still looking forward to my Submariner/Sea Dweller style watch. Good thing is costs 1/50th the price, with an in house movement, from a watch company that has been making watches longer than Rolex.

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What makes a Seiko a Seiko

As you can probably tell, I am a big Seiko fan, however, I do own a Timex and a Fossil as well. Today I was wearing my Fossil Speedway chronograph, and I was wondering, are my Seiko’s really that much better? What makes a Seiko a Seiko? So, let’s compare 2 watches:

Fossil Speedway Red:

Seiko SNK615K1

Both watches have integrated bracelets, both have a metallic face. The original retail for the Fossil was $95, the Seiko about $125, but usually about $75 online. So, they are in the same price point.

Bracelet:

The bracelets on both watches are folded links, the Fossil is a little more squeaky. The gaps are smaller on the Seiko and it tends to pinch less. The Seiko is brushed all around, the Fossil has a polished center. The Fossil does use round pins, which I like. The Seiko uses flat pins and is a little harder to adjust.

Clasp:

The clasp on the Fossil is friction lock and pushbutton, the Seiko is just a two pushbutton design. The being said, the Seiko deployant is smoothly polished and the edges rounded. This makes pinching much less probable. The Fossil is bead blasted with hard edges. The deployant on the Seiko always lines up perfectly. On the Fossil, it seems to get skewed when closing and a little fiddling is needed. Both clasps are signed. The Seiko has 3 fine adjustment holes (making it the width of one link. The Fossil only has two, spaced closely together. It is easy to get the Seiko to a perfect fit, no so much on the Fossil.

Head of the Watch:

This is the most important part, the actual watch. Both watches have a “Racer” design which tapers into the bracelet.

-Bezel The Seiko has a finely polished and machined bezel. It appears to be screw down and can be replaced. The Fossil does not have a bezel and makes the watch look a little less expensive. The crystal may only be accessed by removing the movement.

-Face and Hands. Both watches have similar hand designs, strait to a rounded taper on the Seiko and strait to a point on the Fossil. The Seiko has more luminous material and finer finishing on the hands. The second hand on the Seiko is tipped with luminous material and stands out well. The Fossil second hand ends in a triangular point, no luminous material. The printing on both watches is precise. The Seiko and 5 are applied markings, the Fossil Speedway is just printed. Both watches have starburst radiating machining. Seiko did a neat thing made a matte band to print on the minute markings. The Fossil has well defined sub dials and a two layer face. The hour markers are large and well defined on both watches, but, again the Seiko has more finishing. The center of the hour markers is filled with luminous material. The Fossil has a square section applied to the markers.

-Crystal Both use mineral glass. The Fossil is domed, the Seiko flat. The Fossil seems to smudge a lot, not sure why. Time will tell who has the stronger crystal.

-Crown and Stem Unsigned on both watches. The date quickset function is much sharper on the Seiko. Another odd thing about the Fossil, when the crown is turned to adjust the time, when you turn clockwise, the hands move counter clockwise. The Seiko clockwise=clockwise seems more intuitive. The Fossil’s crown is larger and easier to use. The Seiko’s crown is at 4 o’clock and recessed, making is much less likely to dig into your wrist.

-Case back Screw down on both. Fossil is stainless with simple markings. The Seiko is a ‘display’ back, stainless steel and hardlex glass. This is common on mechanical watches to display the movement.

-Case The Seiko really shines in this area. All of the edges are nicely polished and well machined. The are also many more curves and cuts on the Seiko. The Fossil has several hard edges which do tend to pinch.

-Movement Hard to compare these two. Not really a fair comparison. The Fossil is a battery operated quartz, the Seiko an automatically wound mechanical movement. The Fossil is more accurate, but will need a battery change every few years. Seiko is known for movements that last almost forever.

Conclusion:

Both watches are a great value for the money. The overall finish of the Seiko seems better than the Fossil. Seiko also has over 100 years of watch making behind them as well. To be fair, I should compare a Seiko chronograph to this Fossil, but I honestly think the Fossil would fare poorly. Seiko chronographs have more features (alarm, dual time zone, 1/5 second tick or better) and are usually made in Japan. For what I picked up the Fossil for, it was a steal, and I really do enjoy the watch. The Fossil really has impressed me with the overall quality and value, The face design is unique and I am sure it will have good collectors value as well. All of my Seikos are a joy to wear. This particular watch is very comfortable to wear and keeps excellent time.  I can see why Seiko is one of the largest watch makers in the world.  For the money, they are almost impossible to beat.  Even at this price point, the Seiko is finished impeccably.  Every machined surface is perfectly cut and polished and makes ‘fashion’ watches look pretty cheap in comparison.

Feel free to let me know what your impressions are of Seiko and Fossil watches.

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