Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Seiko Prospex SBEC001 TRANSOCEAN 200 meter Chronograph Diver (similar to SBEC002 and SBEC003) - A Boardroom Quality Tool Watch, A Review (plus Videos)

Earlier this year, Seiko announced a series of new watches under the Prospex line. A new sub-line of Prospex called the Transocean Series was created by Seiko to bridge the quality gap between the more tool-like Prospex line and the more refined Grand Seiko line.

I was fortunate enough to be able to grab the SBDC039 when I visited Japan in June of this year. I was actually very impressed with the finishing quality of the watch. Read the full review of that watch here: SEIKO Transocean SBDC039 Dive Watch - A Chic Executive Watch With Elegance Yet Capable Of Extreme Adventure, A Review. Since I have written about the philosophy behind the new Transocean Series, I will dispense from it up again in this review. If you want to know more, read my review on the SBDC039.

About the same time, Seiko announced a new model under this sub-line which would incorporate a new mechanical chronograph movement with the designation 8R49. The SBEC001 (as well as the SBEC002 and SBEC003) was expected to be released on 8 July 2016.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Seiko 5 Sports Military Automatic Green SSA299K1 (Equivalent to SSA293K1, SSA295K1 and SSA297K1) - A very good beater watch, A Review (plus Videos)

One of my sub-collection focus is military watches that are not specifically diver or pilot watches. I currently have two under this sub-category (Seiko 5 Sport 100M SNZG09K1 & Seiko 5 SRP145K1). This latest one, The Seiko 5 Sports SSA299K1 will be the third in the sub-collection.

For this particular purchase, I decided to try a new dealer located in the center of Kuala Lumpur, on Jalan Raja Laut. Perniagaan Jam May May ( prices looks rather good relative to other stores that I have been going to. For the SSA299K1, the shop quoted RM644 (plus GST it would be RM682.64). The next closest was from at RM780 net.

This model has a case size of 44 mm excluding crown (with crown is it 47 mm). It has a thickness of 13 mm and its lug width is 22 mm. Lug-to-lug distance is approximately 52 mm. Made out of 316L stainless steel with cloth strap, the watch weighs in at 90 gm. Protected by Hardlex crystal glass in the front as well as the display case-back. The front glass diameter is 38 mm.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

OMG Moment: Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna SBDX011 Catastrophic Rubber Strap Disintegration Incident – Strap Replacement / Alternatives

On Sunday, I took out my Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna SBDX011 ( from storage to wear it. I wanted to take it out for a hike at a park in Putrajaya. I got this watch directly from Japan in December of 2013.

As usual, I would take some customary wrist shots as a memento of the occasion. Suddenly, I felt the watch going limp on my wrist. It was a good thing that my other hand was free and I quickly, without thinking, caught the watch. It dawned on me that the strap has failed and the watch was just about to take a one meter fall straight down to my car park’s concrete floor. A definite #OMG moment for me and I broke into a cold sweat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Parnis 60mm Brown Leather Crown Jumbo Pilot Auto SS Watch Reference PI58 – Cheap homage to the FL23883 standard, A Review (plus Video)

A few months ago in June 2016, I ordered two pilot watches from Parnis ( Unfortunately, one of them, the Jumbo Pilot was not working (please refer to this link on the review of the other Parnis pilot watch; Parnis Black Dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer). After sending the watch back to Parnis, I received a new example which was working (more about the problems later).

This particular model conforms to the original specification of pilot watches under the German 'B-Uhr' Watch (or Observation watch) standard FL23883 of the WW2 era which calls for a watch that is 55 mm wide (excluding crown; with crown it would go to 60 mm) with a large crown. Under the A-dial format, it should also have a black dial with white Arabic numerals (all numerical markers filled with luminous material) and flame-blued sword hands also covered in luminous material. The designs also featured a unique triangle mark at the 12 o’clock position designed for ease of orientation in any condition. The movement must be capable of stopping the central seconds hand by pulling the crown. The watch should also come with a very long double-riveted leather strap.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Casio Edifice EFA-100 - A beater-watch, A Review

This Casio Edifice EFA-100 was bought in 1999 for my wife on the birth of our first child. It has a ana-digital interface with allows you to keep track of two time zones rather easily. An all stainless steel construction with bracelet, it has daily alarm setting and calendar programmed until the year 2039.

Made out of stainless steel, it is 37 mm wide and 47 mm long. It case height is 12.5 mm. the lug width is 18 mm. Total weigh is approximately 148 gm. The larger part of the watch face is allocated to the analogue portion while the digital part of the watch is located in two small windows at the bottom.

The crown to adjust the analogue hands are located at 3 o'clock while the two pushers to adjust the digital part of the watch is located at left side of the casing. 

The dial is protected by mineral glass.

The odd shaped casing do create some problems in the long run. Opening the case-back over the years to replace the batteries requires one to be extremely careful handling the rubber seals. However, as the rubber seal ages, over time, it has to be replaced. However, you may not be able to find spare parts due to the uniqueness of the casing. Despite having a 100 meter water rating, it is best not to chance it.

Overall, a simple watch to have as a daily beater-watch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Seiko’s Grand Seiko SBGA011 Spring Drive “Snowflake” – The epitome of a classic dress watch, A Review (and Videos)

My love affair with Seiko’s top-end line, Grand Seiko continues. This time I was able to grab a classic Grand Seiko, the “Snowflake” with the reference SBGA011. Like a lot of my watch purchases, it was not planned. I happened to drop in one of my favorite shop to ask about something else when my trusted salesperson informed me a consignment of two Snowflakes to his shop. Within 24 hours I decided to get one.

All Grand Seikos are made at the Shinshu Watch Studio and located in the city of Shiojiri, neighboring Suwa and Lake Suwa in a mountainous region of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. This location is almost the center of the country where the weather is slightly different from the typical coastal areas of Japan. Here, the humidity level is lower which causes winter snow fall to be very light and airy. This allows the wind to sculpt the snow into beautiful patterns not seen elsewhere in Japan.

In recognition of the locality that supported the studio’s operations, the designers and artisans of the Shinshu Watch Studio decided to create a dial which resembled this light snow fall pattern. Hence, the SBGA011 Grand Seiko Snowflake was born. It uses a unique 6 step process to replicate the snowfall in the dial. While the most complex dial in the Grand Seiko line takes 12 steps to complete, this Snowflake still counts as one of the most intricate dials in the family. Moreover, using titanium to make it as light as a snowflake, and blue accents to contribute a cold feel reinforces the Snowflake theme.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Seiko Kinetic Watch Official Wireless Charger YT02A – Practical, yet expansive; A Review

I have been experimenting charging my Seiko kinetic watches wirelessly for about a year now. Using a Braun electric toothbrush charger I was able to transfer some power to the watch with a bit of ‘trial-and-error’. Unfortunately, the amount of times I had to find the correct alignment between the watch and charger for the transfer of energy to work plus the wasted time when it was not actually charging was getting to me. In the end I gave up and decided to get a real Seiko Kinetic Charger.

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