Back from vacation.

Went down to the Great Smoky Mountains region in Tennessee.  A lot of driving and we did get some shopping in.  I was able to check out a few watches while I was there.

Went to an Orvis store.  Their main business is outdoor stuff, but they also have a decent selection of watches:

orvis_watch

It is a 30 minute mechanical chronograph, handwind.  It worked well and is a nice size, looks like 40mm or so across.  The band is not my favorite, but that can be easily changed.  Looks like 20mm lugs.  Their collection of quartz watches was nice as well, and the quality seems pretty comparable to good fashion watches like Fossil.

Speaking of Fossil, checked out their outlet store.  Very large selection, as always.    I was wearing my Orange watch on an orange band, this was what the salesperson was wearing:

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He was very impressed with mine:

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He said he went diving in that Fossil watch.  I looked at him like he was a little crazy.  A 10atm, non diver’s rated watch is just asking for trouble.  I was tempted by a few, but I realize I wear my current Fossil so little.

Finally, saw some Native American designed bands, pretty neat styles, but they just weren’t me:

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These are Navajo and Zuni bands, respectively.  Navajo use whole stones and set around them, the Zuni shape and set their stones in intricate patterns.  Both are sterling silver.  I did get a ring, Zuni made.

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I do like switching out my wedding ring.  Hey, no matter what I wear, I am still married.

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Changing tastes

Went through my list of watches that I ‘want’ and realized some really don’t appeal to me a much now.  I like a few new ones, as you can see below, and I want to pick more bands/bracelets as opposed to collecting more watches.

New watches that I like:

Seiko SNZF17K1 5 sprots.

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The SNZF17K1. A Seiko 5 sports. Overall, very similar looking to the Sumo and the Marniemaster. The second hand is different along with the bezel. It is not a true diver, just 100M water resistance. On a solid, steel bracelet, it is a little over 150. On rubber, it is about $120. I love the hands on this one.

Next up:

Orient CEM58003K Titanium Military Slide Rule Automatic

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Orient CEM58003K Titanium Military Slide Rule Automatic, a very intersting looking watch. It would be a unique addition to my collection. It is titanium, has a slide rule, and a gray face.  None of my current watches have this.  Not too large, just 40mm, and I am sure it is super light, being made of titanium.  I like the face it is an automatic with day and date as well.  Simple, clean hands on a nice face.  Available from a domestic seller on eBay, $120, shipped.

Now something a little dressier:

Orient CFD00001U Power Reserve Automatic Watch

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Orient CFD00001U Power Reserve Automatic Watch, a very interesting looking watch. Funky, almost retro, brown sunburst face with gold hands. What makes this unique is that is has a power reserve, which I don’t have any yet. The price can’t be beat, $80 shipped.

Finally, we have:

Orient CEX0P001B

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The Orient CEX0P001B. Everyone wants a Rolex, just I don’t want to pay for one. This one is very similar to a blue Submariner I really like. It has a solid bracelet and a just a great look to it overall. About $100 shipped on eBay.

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Complications and accessories, The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent

Ah, complications. What are they and what do they do?

Well, in the watch world, complications are anything beyond the telling the time of day. This can include a second hand, since you really don’t need one. Some complications are great, almost needed, others just add to the expense of the watch. Here is what I think are Good, Bad, and Indifferent complications.

Good:

A seconds hand. So common now, it is almost not considered a complication.

Day of the month. Really useful, I use it almost every day.

Day of the week. Since getting a Seiko 5, it can be hard to live without this one. I use it often as well.

Luminous material or back lighting (quartz). Very handy in poor lighting. Both accomplish the same thing. You really get used to it. My nicest watch is also a daytime only watch, since it has no luminous materials. Still love it, still can’t read it in the dark.

Water resistance. We all get our watches wet. It just happens.

Shock resistance. We don’t live in a perfect world and our watches do suffer from shocks. In the days before shock resistance, it was pretty easy to damage a watch.

Automatic winding. Saves you the trouble of having to hand wind your watch. Some automatics are so efficient they don’t even include hand winding.

Screw Down Crown. A necessity on Diver’s watches, a little silly on daily wearers

Bad:

Helium Release valves. A show of hands here, anyone here do saturation diving? How many people know what saturation diving is without looking it up? Well, it is diving at depths greater than 100 feet and use a helium/oxygen mix AND requires decompression. If you need it, great, otherwise, it is just another crown to dig into your arm.

Elaborate crown guards. There seems to be a cottage industry now of huge, almost baroque crown guards. On an normal watch, it adds a little extra protection in case of a scrape against a wall. Some of the fancier crown guards I am sure would fail AFTER you snapped your hand from your wrist. At this point, whether your watch was running or not is moot.

Tourbillons.  You see them on expensive ‘timepieces’.  What is it supposed to do?  Negate the effects of gravity on the accuracy of mechanical watches.   The problem is, tourbillons were only mildly effective on pocket watches and are pointless on wristwatches.  Why?  Because, unless you are dead or disabled, the orientation of your wristwatch changes all day long.  Even in pocket watches  , the effect was so minor to the point of being undetectable.  It is a way to add a lot of money to the cost of a watch.  Just get an open heart watch to see the balance wheel from the front.

Indifferent:

Sapphire crystals.  They are very scratch resistant and have less glare, but in most  cases mineral glass or acrylic is just fine.  In some cases, especially where shock in involved, they are even preferred.

Chronograph functions.  If you like or need to time things, great, otherwise it just clutters up the face of your watch.

Radio timing.  This allows your watch to sync up with atomic time.  Great if you are anal retentive and live somewhere with good reception.  Are you that strapped for time you need to know what time it is to the nearest 0.00001 second?

Rotating Bezels.  Personally, I really like and use mine.  They can be used to track time, golf scores, even tell what direction you are facing.  I have seen them some done really well and some really badly.  Personal taste on this one.

Display backs.  I like them, but they are really pointless, unless you want to show someone the movement of your watch or are bored in a meeting.

1000m+ water resistance.  There is not a human on Earth who has free dived to 1000M.  Just a selling point.  Doesn’t hurt the watch, so it is indifferent instead of bad.

That’s it for now.  Feel free to add your own.

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A wonderful, watch filled birthday.

Got lots of fun watch related toys for my birthday.

First off is a Modena brand silicone band for my Orange Bullet:

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The bold orange really compliments the orange face of the watch, it is a pretty close match.  It is very comfortable to wear and is very soft silicone rubber.  It also has a deployant clasp, which makes it very easy to get on and off.  This is my second Modena rubber watch band, and they are very nice for the money.  Italian made and I have not had any trouble with them so far.

Secondly, we have another Modena item, a butterfly deployant clasp adaptor:

deployant

What is it? It is a device which replaces the traditional buckle on a watch. You will often see it on expensive ‘timepieces’ It allows for easier removals and reduces the wear that comes from stretching and bending the leather when putting watch on and taking it off. Pretty cool, now that I am getting used to it’s operation.

Finally, we have this piece of leather:

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It’s a really nice real leather band, rally type with large breathing holes.  It is very thick, but surprisingly flexible.  The white stitching matches the watch face well and really compliments the watch.  The buckle, interestingly, matches the look of the watch like it was made for it:

buckle
The angles reflect the same design as the watch lugs. I am very happy with this band.
I have to thank my family for accepting my watch collecting and giving me these things, even if they don’t understand what half of them do. It is a really fun hobby so far and I love watch bands. They change the whole look of a watch without breaking the bank.

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