Corguet Speedmaster Homage, 7/20/2021

Corguet Speedmaster Pro Inspired


Although I do have an authentic Speedmaster, I always admired the history and style of the Speedmaster Pro. They are amazing watches that command a wee bit of cash, so enter my old friends in China with Coregut. This is not a mechanical watch, but a quartz chronograph, which I think is a great movement for chronographs. In this case, it uses one of my favorite movements from Seiko.

Starting like I always do with the dial, this is an obvious homage to a Speedmaster Pro, with a matte black dial. However, there are few key differences. First off, the dial is smaller, with the tachymeter scale quite a bit wider than the real deal, this results in a smaller chapter ring, so there are shorter markings for the hours and minutes. The hour markers are luminous rectangles and the minutes/seconds markers are smaller ticks. At 12 o’clock is an additional two white dots. There are three sub-dials, at 3 O’clock is a 24 hour indicator, at 6 O’clock, running seconds, and at 9 O’clock, is the 60 minute accumulator. Each of the sub-dials has a concentric circle pattern. The hands are very narrow sticks, with the chronograph hand ending in an arrow. The minutes and chronograph hand extend all the way to the seconds markings, which I appreciate. The sub-dial hands are simple sticks as well, with no tail. There are minimal markings on the dial, just Coreguet Chronograph at 12 o’clock and some markings on the sub dials. Keeps the look surprisingly uncluttered for a chronograph. There is no date indicator.

Crystal, Case, and Bezel

The bezel is a bit wider than the real deal and is black with a silver printed tachymetre. The case is 40mm and wears pretty large for the relatively small size. The crown is screw down, but unsigned. The pushers are simple and well polished, but have no guards, so you can pretty quickly tell this is not an Omega. The top and sides of the case are brushed, and the edge of the bezel is polished. Lugs are 20mm and simply finished between the lugs. The movement is probably a Seiko Instruments 6T62 equivalent. It is a 1/5 of a second mechanoquartz, with fly-back hands. What does this mean? Instead of ticking quickly when the chronograph resets, it snaps back to the reset position, like a mechanical chronograph. The pushers have a great click.

The crystal is domed acrylic, which I appreciate. The Speedy Pro’s still have an acrylic crystal and I like acrylic crystals, since you can buff them out and they are very impact resistant.

Case Back and Bracelet

The case back is a simple screw down with no markings at all. The 20mm bracelet is a solid with solid end links, so no rattling. The deployant is double butterfly. It is an Oyster style bracelet, with polished center links and sides. It suits the watch well and has no rattles or squeaks. I have never been tempted to take it off this bracelet.

This is a just a really nice watch, with enough changes from the real deal so you could not consider this a fake. Case, bezel, dial, and bracelet are all different, but it takes styling cues from one of the most famous watches ever made. I am happy and this quartz watch gets a fair amount of wrist time and is in no way a watch box queen.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50m water resistance?
Back: Stainless Steel, screw down.
Crystal: Acrylic, domed
Movement: Battery Operated Quartz, 6T62 or similar, 1 hour, 1/5 second chronograph.
Complications: Date, 1/5 second 1 hour chronograph, 24 hour indicator.
Other: 20mm solid link bracelet, stainless steel.

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Corguet Railmaster Homage, 7/19/2021

Railmaster Homage

One watch I really love is the Omega Railmaster, however, Omega has the…ummm….gall to charge over $4K for a three handed steel watch! I have no problems with homage watches, so our friends over at Corguet, a Chinese manufacture, have a nice Railmaster homage that won’t break the bank.

The dial is a very close copy of the real Railmaster, with a vertical wood grain appearance in charcoal black. There are Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9. At the hours are luminous triangles. The minute chapter ring is printed in clear white. Other markings on the dial are Corguet at 12 o’clock, and 164ft 50m and Self-Winding at 6 o’clock. There is also a elongated cross pointing to the cardinal points. Lume is a dark tan under room lighting and glows yellow-green. The hands are simple sticks with plenty of lume with the seconds hand with a round luminous pip about 3/4 of the way up. There is no date. The design is clean, easy to read, what really drew me to this watch.

Crown and Crystal

The crown is screw down, deeply knurled, and easily winds the the watch, but is unsigned. The crystal is sapphire and flat, with no anti-reflective coating the sits slightly proud of the separate bezel. The case is a pleasing 40mm size and all brushed. The workmanship is very good on this Corguet, not Omega good, but up there with Seiko and Orient. The lugs are 20mm, so the watch is well balanced.

Movement and Bracelet

The movement is visible through the transparent case back. The case back is steel and screw down. I went with a Seagull movement again on this watch, the ST16 beating along at 21,600BPH. It is accurate, with less stutter than the Miyota, and hacks. Finishing is plain, but to be expected for a workhorse movement. It’s no Co-Axial escapement Omega, but it gets the job done. Power reserve is very good at 45 hours or so. The bracelet the watch came on is excellent. It has solid end links, with all solid links. The top has an identical brushing to the case, polished on the sides. Even with the traditional friction pins, the bracelet is very quiet, with no rattles and moves well with the wrist. It only tapers a millimeter from 20 to 19 at the butterfly deployant.

The overall quality of the watch is excellent, I would say not quite as good as Parnis, but pretty darn good. I wish they did an anti-reflective coating on the crystal, but that is one of only two complaints. The other is I wish the Chinese makers like Parnis, Corguet, heck, even Seagull, would get better luminous material. The glow never is bright enough or glows long enough compared to Super Luminova (Swiss) or LumiBrite (Seiko). Even a humble Seiko 5 outshines every Chinese watch I have bought.

That all being said, I really like this watch and it is a way for me to enjoy a Railmaster without taking out a home equity loan. I know the Omega has an amazing movement, but, guys, come on, it a three handed steel watch, with no date. If they just dropped a ETA 2842 with no crazy anti magnetic, that no one cares about, and release it for ~$1,000, I would be wearing an Omega, not a Corguet right now.

Case: 40mm diameter, stainless steel, 50M water resistance.

Back: Stainless Steel Display, Screw Down

Crystal: Sapphire, Flat

Movement: Automatic, Seagull ST16, 21,600 BPH, can hand wind and hack

Complications: None

Other: Luminous Hands and Markers, solid end link bracelet

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Seagull Chronograph, 7/16/2021

Seagull Chronograph


Another day, another watch review. This watch is an interesting watch for me, it is a, well, second grail watch for me. My first is my Seiko Alpinist, but this was a pretty close second. For those who are not familiar, Seagull is a Chinese watch manufacture, which began in 1963. I do own quite a few Made in China watches, but those are generally homage, this, however, is an unabashedly Chinese watch. I held out buying this watch until a sapphire crystal was available, but as you can see, I do have this beauty on my wrist and in my watchbox.

Like my other reviews, let’s begin with the dial. It is a beautiful golden color, with a bead blasted appearance. The left sub dial is running seconds, the right is the 30 minute chronograph accumulator. These both have super fine concentric circles. The markers are gold plated and applied to the dial. Much like the Alpinist, the even hours have Arabic numerals, the odds are triangle markers. The 9 and 3 O’clock are omitted to make room for the the sub dials. The markings on the dial are minimalist, with a Chinese red star and 21 zuan (jewels) at 12 o’clock, and Made In China at the 6 o’clock, in Chinese.

There are luminous pups at every hour and a printed minute ring with 1/5 second markers. All the hands and blued steel, with luminous material on the hours, minute, and tail of the chronograph hand. The lume, well, kinda sucks on this watch, especially compared with my Alpinist. The hours and minutes hand are simple sticks. The sub dial hands have a slight baton with spade shaped tails. The chronograph hand with tipped in red, which matches the red star on the dial. The tail has a star as well and add wonderful symmetry to the dial. The overall look is very clean and had surprisingly good quality fit and finish.

The crystal protecting the dial is domed sapphire, with anti-reflective coatings. The bezel is a separate component and is a highly polished. The watch case is stainless steel and polished impeccably, and is just the right size at 40mm diameter. The lugs are 20mm and have a slight downward curve. Again, the space between the lugs is polished. I really appreciate this, as this was intended to be worn on leather or fabric. The crown is signed with a star and does not screw down. This is a hand wound watch and the large, easy to grasp crown is a nice touch. The pushers are well polished as are the tubes. They are easy to press and have a satisfying click.

Moving to the back of the watch reveals even more beauty, the Seagull ST1901. This a column wheel, vertical clutch chronograph. What does this mean? The chronograph is fully integrated into the movement, not as a separate module. The movement is just gorgeous. All the bridges have Cotes de Geveve with finely polished edges. All of the screws are blued and the brass wheels are all polished as well. This is a 21 jewel hand wound 30 minute chronograph with a 45 hour power reserve. The movement winds quickly and the chronograph has no stutter, which is to expected with a column wheel watch. Accuracy is very good, my only complaint is that it does not hack. It beats at a typical 21,600 BPH. From what I have read, it is a derivative of a Poljot 3133, which has the exact same features and specs. Even under a loupe, the finish is great, no corners cut. They are proud to make this watch and it shows. The case back is screw down and a full display back. The only English markings are 1963 and Plan B. I can see made in China, I am sure the other marking say something like stainless steel and what the water resistance is. In this case, 50M.

I am truly impressed with this watch. The watch came on a genuine leather band and came with a NATO strap as well. I ended up putting it on a waxed fabric cotton strap. The fit and finish are as good as watched costing 10x as much. It is honestly Chinese and in no way an homage, it really shows what China can do if they really care about making a watch. As a second grail, I could not be happier and it shares a watch box lot just inches away from my Omega.

Case: 40mm diameter, 316L stainless, 50M water resistance.

Back: Stainless display back, screw down

Crystal: Domed sapphire with anti-reflective coatings

Movement: Seagull ST1901, 21,600 BPH, hand wind, 30 minute chronograph

Complications: 1/6 second chronograph with 30 minute jump accumulator

Other: Luminous hands and markers, decorated movement.

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Parnis Flieger Pilot’s Watch

Watch Dial

Another day, another watch review. On a roll here. This time is a sterile dial Parnis Flieger or Pilot’s watch. A pilots watch is designed for easy visibility at a glance and share common features. I wanted the cleanest possible design, in this case, a sterile dial with no brand marks or even a country of manufacture.

The dial is a deep matte black with printed markings. The 12 o’clock is a trigangle with two dots. There is no separate chapter ring, but there are larger rectangles at the hours, with smaller at every minute. The hands are clean batons, with plenty of lume, the seconds hand is a simple stick. All the markings on the dial are luminous material, and it works quite well. There is no date.

Dial and Crown

The crystal is flat sapphire, there does not appear to be anti-reflective coating, but I have not had much problems with glare. The bezel is polished stainless steel, as is the top and back of the watch case. The case sides are brushed well. The overall size of the case is 42mm and wears on a small wrist. The lugs are 22mm and even the space between is polished, which I appreciate, since this watch lives on a leather strap, as do almost all flieger watches. Nice to see polished steel instead of poorly finsished steel. The crown is large and easy to grasp. The movement winds smoothly.

Movement and Case back

Speaking of the movement, I went with a Seagull ST16 movement instead of a Miyota. I usually stick it Miyota, but I wanted to try out a Seagull. There is very little seconds hand stutter. The movement hand winds and hacks and beats along at 21,600 BPH. Power reserve is quoted at 30hours, but I am seeing closer to 40 hours. The movement is visible throught the glass case back and is decently finished. The case back is screw down and is also polished. Markings are minimal, Sapphire Crystal, Water Resistance (30M), Stainless Steel.

Finally, the watch came on a thick genuine leather band. The buckle is brushed and unmarked. Simple, but works well with the overall look of the watch.

I am very happy with this watch, it was not a huge outlay and I love how easy it is to read a glance. If you want a great watch for less than $70, this one may fit your bill.

Case: 42mm diameter, stainless steel, 30M water resistance.

Back: Stainless Steel, Screw Down

Crystal: Sapphire, Flat

Movement: Automatic, Seagull ST16, 21,600 BPH, can hand wind and hack

Complications: None

Other: Luminous Hands and Markers

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Timex Weekender, Pac-Man, 7/14/2021

Pac-Man Being Chased by Pinky

Timex Pac-Man watch.

I almost never make an impulse buy with a watch and rarely buy quartz watches as well, but how could I refuse this combination of retro gaming with an analog watch?

Pac Fun

How could you say no? I am glad I snapped this up as quickly as I did, it was sold out in about 2 days! This is a Timex Weekender. All Weekenders share a very similar case and design.

The dial is just fantastic, with a Pac-Man maze clearly printed on the dial with all 4 ghost monsters, Inky, Pinky, Blinky, and Clyde. The hour markers are power pellets and the minute markers are regular dots. The hour markers use a 1980’s font, nice touch Timex. The hour and minute hands are simple sticks with luminous material. Then there is the second hand, with Pac-Man himself moving around the dial. The watch dial is Indiglo, Timex’s electroluminecent material, so when you press the crown in, it illuminates the maze and Arabic hour marks đŸ™‚ There is no date, but I don’t think any weekenders have a date feature

Typical Weekender

The rest of the watch is pretty typical Timex weekender, with one exception I will get into later. The crystal is mineral glass and flat, with no separate bezel. The case is base metal, probably brass, with a stainless steel back. The crown is small, at the 3 O’clock position, and does not screw down. This is also typical, you don’t need to use the crown much on a quartz watch. The lugs are a standard 20mm, which ever other Men’s weekender has had for 20+ years. The curve down, so even at 38mm, the round case wears pretty small. As I alluded to before, the case back is not a typical weekender. Etched in is TIMEX with Pac-Man, two blue ghost monsters, and two sets of ghost eyes, and finally the Pac-Man logo. So much went into this humble watch. The other boring stuff is on the back as well, Model M904, Stainless Back, Water Resistant to 30M and the typical CR2016 battery. It does have a serial number, which is also atypical of a Timex. The band is a very flexible genuine leather in a glossy black. At 20mm, super easy to replace when the day comes. The movement is a Timex, goodness know the number, I am sure they crank out tens of millions out of Philippines like they have for the last 35+ years.

Unhappy Ghost Monsters
Signed Buckle

As you can tell, I am very happy with this impulse buy. It is fun, practical, and affordable. I just wish I bought 2 of them, so I could keep one minty. For a watch that uses so many off the shelf components, it still feels special and I have zero regrets.

Case: 38mm diameter, base metal, 30M water resistance.
Back: Stainless Steel, snap on.
Crystal: Mineral Glass, flat.
Movement: Quartz, Timex calibre currently unknown.
Complications: None
Other: Indiglo, press in crown activated.

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Vostok Amphibian, 7/16/2021

Site is coming back alive, I have a huge backlog of watch reviews, so be prepared đŸ™‚

This is my second Vostok, an Amphibian in this case. I went with the a subtle green wave, I love green watches. The overall design is very clean, with an uncluttered dial. There are Arabic markers at the cardinal points with luminous pips at every hour. There is no chapter ring, but there are minute markers. The hands are very simple, a stick minute hand with an arrow hour hand with a bright white seconds hand. The luminous material is okay, better than other Vostoks, but it’s not a Seiko. There is some writing on the dial with a stylized Amphibian at 12 O’clock, with a 31 Jewels, Automatic, 200M, in Russian. There is a small Made in Russia at 6 O’clock. It is a plain, white printing, very sharp keeps the overall look clean an uncluttered.

The bezel rotates, but is bidirectional. There is a comically poor luminous marker at 12 o’clock. Finally, there is a date window at 4:30, which again, keeps the dial simple and clean. The date is black printing on a white date wheel.

Case and Crown

The case is stainless steel with a high polish on the top and sides of the watch and around 41mm across. The crown is large, screw down, and easy to grasp. It has the classic wobbly Vostok, which has a purpose, it prevents strain on the winding stem. This combination results in a 200M water resistance. The crystal is acrylic, thick, and domed.

The lugs are 22mm. The watch came on a folded metal bracelet, which is not horrible, but I put the watch on leather. The 22mm is handy, since I can share with my Seiko Diver’s.

The movement is an inhouse Vostok, 31 jewel automatic, ticking at 5.5Hz. The movement hand winds, but does not hack. Accuracy wise, it seems decent enough, holds within a few seconds a day, with a 40ish hour power reserve. The automatic winding is very efficient and quiet.

Case Back

The case back is a solid steel with all the typical markings, in Russian. Model, water resistance, and materials. It is a retainer clip design that is tried and true and adds to the water resistance.

I really enjoy this watch, the design is understated and clean. The watch wears well on a small wrist. It is a real step up the the Commandirski Vostoks, but you do pay more to get more. I like automatic watches and I appreciate not having to hand wind every day. If you are looking for a collectable, affordable, quality, fun, 200M diver’s watch, this is the way to go.

Case: 41mm diameter, stainless steel, 200M WR.
Back: Stainless Steel, wire spring retention.
Crystal:  Acrylic, domed.
Movement: Automatic with hand wind mechanical, Vostok 2416b, 31 jewel, 19,800 BPH, 40 hour power reserve.
Complications: Screw down crown, date.
Other: Luminous Hands and markers, rotating bezel.

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