Thursday, July 19, 2018

Seiko Prospex JDM Baby Marinemaster 200 Meter Diver SBDC061 (similar to SBDC063 or SPB077/SPB079) - Similar to a Seiko Sumo, A Review (plus Video)

My trip to Japan in June 2018 has been very memorable. I visited for the first time, Fukuoka, capital of Fukuoka Prefecture that sits on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island. To commemorate the occasion, I decided to get myself a Japanese watch. Inside the Yodobashi Camera superstore in Hakata, Fukuoka City, I found a Seiko that was launched in Baselworld 2018.

The watch is the Seiko Prospex JDM Diver SBDC061. This watch has the International reference SPB077 when sold outside Japan. Similar to SBDC063 (or SPB079), the watch has been dubbed 'Baby Marinemaster' by Seikonistas. I got the watch on 19 June 2018 for just YEN82,633 after taking into consideration store discounts.

The SBDC061 is the more affordable modern reinterpretation of the famous Seiko 6159-7001 diver. The reference 6159-7001  diver was the first Seiko Professional diver (where the PROSPEX line was born) first released 50 years ago in 1968. The 6159-7001 was the first Seiko diver to bear the marking “Professional” on the dial. Seiko did also issue a much closer reinterpretation of the Seiko 6159-7001, the SBEX007 (internationally known as the SLA025) but that particular model is a limited edition and the specifications (as well as the price!) is very high-end.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Seiko Presage Chronograph SRQ025J1 (similar to SARK011) - It has that formal ambiance and sophistication that not many watches have in its price range, A Review (plus Video)

I finally snared a 8R48 powered Presage!

There are 7 Presage watches in my collection currently. All automatic with either the 4R series or 6R series automatic movements. The SRQ025J1 will be the first chronograph Presage in the collection. Not easy getting this as the local distributor in Malaysia, Thong Sia, tend to not bring watches deemed 'too expensive' for local consumers. Even if they do bring such watches, the numbers imported are usually not more than a handful.

The chronograph Presage came to prominence back in 2016 when Seiko launched the limited edition SRQ019 and SRQ021 in honour of the 60th anniversary of Seiko’s first automatic mechanical watch in 1956. The SRQ019 has a white a grand feu enamel dial while the SRQ021 has a black Urushi lacquer dial. By virtue of their special dials and limited edition run, these watches were priced at a premium which was too rich for my taste. Luckily, a year later, Seiko decided to produce a standard production run of chronograph Presage in the form of the SRQ025J1.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

SEIKO Prospex Fieldmaster LOWERCASE SBEP001 "Digi Tuna" (similar to SBEP003, SBEP005, SBEP007 & SBEP009) - A Good Start by Seiko to Make a New Niche for Itself, A Review (plus Video)

Seiko is synonymous with the tuna-styled dive watches. It has become a genre on itself and a lot of people (especially professional divers) can vouch for their reliability and effectiveness to handle the extreme of situations. There have never been a fully digital Tuna before but this year, Seiko decided to spring five models under the new SBEP nomenclature.

Made in collaboration with the Japanese design consultants LOWERCASE, Seiko is able to bring something fresh and exciting to an otherwise  bland tuna styling that have not gone through much changes for decades. Lead my Mr. Yuki Kajiwara, creative director of LOWERCASE, the SBEP series amalgamate two important considerations by professional users - damage proof construction (the Tuna casing) and clear visual (digital display). This is not a breakthrough in concept though. There are other brands that already fulfilled this market space, for example Casio Protrek Frogman, but for Seikonstas, this is the first for Seiko.

The SBEP001 is also classified as a Fieldmaster. This nomenclature signifies the watch has been geared specifically for land explorers and adventurers. The ability to withstand 200 meters of water pressure also points to its flexibility to be used for recreational diving as well.

Since this is the first of the SBEP series, I decided to get the SBEP001 to grace the collection.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

EVANT Decodiver Fume Black Limited Production Dive Watch (similar to Decodiver Fume Sky Blue) - A Flexible Watch that can be Worn in the Sea as well as in the Boardroom, A Review (plus Video)


Evant is a relatively new brand in the world of watchmaking. It was introduced to the world in 2017 with the launch of the Tropic Diver. I was rather smitten by the design and I decided to get a piece to see for myself. The Evant Tropic Diver Fume Blue was a handsome watch (see my review on that watch here) and I was quite pleased with the first product from a startup. When Evant launched the marine bronze version of the watch, the Evant Tropic Diver Bronze Finale, I took possession of that one as well (see my review on that watch here). For that piece Evant was able to bring together the simplicity of design, the use of exotic material and rich colours into a singular package that screams value beyond the level it was sold at.

This year, after remaining silent for since the last product launching, Evant presents a new series to the market - The Decodiver.

Similar to the Tropic Diver, the Decodiver incorporates a lot of vintage dive watches genre in its overall design. The slab surfaces and short lug styling is reminiscent to the diver watches of the 1970s. Very minimalist with just the three hands and the unidirectional timing bezel as the only complications on the watch.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Grand Seiko Watch Display Stands

A watch shop I frequent go had an extensive renovation recently. After the project was completed, they had a few display stands they wanted to get rid off. I took them instead for free. Both are branded Grand Seiko.

One is a solid metal Grand Seiko watch stand with the brand on a gold painted plate. This style is suited for both bracelet and strap watches.


The other is watch rest with the brand printed in gold paint. This style is suited for strap watches.


I don't think Grand Seiko sells these things on the open market. Quite happy to get them actually.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Orient FDD03003Y0 Monarch Mechanical Watch (similar to: FDD03001W0 & FDD03002B0) - A Delightfully Cheap and Impressive Dress Watch, A Review (plus Video)

I have been eyeing the Orient Monarch series of watches for a number of years. Introduced in late 2015, the vintage-inspired watch was an addition to Orient's already extensive dress watch repertoire.  However, there is a slight twist in that it is powered by a mechanical winding only engine. Coupled with a domed crystal, old font markings and power reserve indicator, the watch has that old-school appeal reminiscent of the dress watches of the pre-war era.

Unfortunately, the pricing in Malaysia is rather too rich when compared to prices from internet merchants. The MSRP in Malaysia is RM1,350.00 (with GST). The best discount I could find was RM945.00. Instead,  I was able to get via Amazon.com an example for just USD193.12 (or RM 814.31) inclusive of courier and import taxes. Aramex is the courier used.

There are three examples in the Monarch line; the white dial reference FDD03003Y0, the black dial reference FDD03002B0 and the gold plated casing reference FDD03001W0. Out of the three, my favourite is the white dial and stainless steel casing FDD03003Y0. This is the example that I bought through Amazon.com.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Casio G-Shock GW-M5610BC-1JF JDM Multi Band 6 with Bracelet - A Cornerstone for Any Collector, A Review (plus Video)

Casio produces a number of G-Shock watches only for sale to the Japanese domestic market (JDM). This list of JDM G-Shocks focuses on the 5000-series such as the common DW-5600 and the GW-M5610 models.

I currently have only one G-Shock in the collection (although I listed two on this blog, the G5600-1DR is technically my son's). That is the extra-large GX-56BB-1DR which has some drawbacks due primarily to its size. Although it is a serious tool watch, it does not have the flexibility like its smaller brother, the 5600 series. Its brute bulk is its call to fame.

I need to get a 5600 series model into the collection to experience the additional flexibility of the much smaller and practical classic G-Shock. After doing my research, I decided to get one with a composite bracelet instead of the traditional resin band (like my son's). This particular model I chose has the same style of display like the big brother i.e. a reverse display - white display with black background.

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