Thursday, September 20, 2018

Seiko Sport Automatic Infantry SRPC85 (similar to SRPC87 & SRPC89) - More Fashion Than Action, A Review (plus Videos)

The Infantry Watch or military watch (also called a Field watch) is one of my favourite collection theme genre. Unlike dive watches, military watches, especially for the infantry corp is more versatile. With its much smaller dimensions, it can be used in many more instances such as formal or office wear.

My ideal infantry watch must have a symmetrical dial with minimal disruption to the various markers. One major gripe I have with a lot of infantry watch models available today is the location of the date and day aperture(s). Most often, it replaces a luminous hour marker which disrupt the visual presentation in daylight as well as nighttime. As such, a simple analogue 3-hand infantry without any other complications is sufficient for me.

However, when I saw the SRPC85, I got interested despite it having a date aperture. The placement of the date aperture at 6 o'clock gives it a different feeling while making the dial more symmetrical.

I got the watch from AWG in Midvalley Megamall for RM820. The MSRP in Kuala Lumpur is RM1,165.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Seiko 5 Sports "Bottlecap" SRPC61 (similar to SRPC63, SRPC65 & SRPC67) - A Refreshing Design, A Review (plus Videos)

I can't remember whether I have said this thing before but I am annoyed with Seiko's public relation strategy on the Seiko 5 range, specifically the lack of a define promotional plan for all the new offerings. Followers are forced to actively look at watch forums or third party blog postings to get a whiff of new stuff coming out of Seiko's factories.

This is one instance that I was caught off-guard. I caught a glimpse of the watch in a shop display stand and I was immediately smitten by it. I didn't even know Seiko has such a model ready for shipment and yet it is already delivered to its dealers (in Malaysia definitely, can't say for sure other parts of the world though).

Anyway, Seiko, if you are reading this, please come out with a formal process of announcing to your legion of fans new offerings with all the necessary information package like stock photos, specification sheets and product description at the very least. If you can do it for your Prospex and Presage, you can do it for your Seiko 5.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

ORIENT "President" Classic Automatic Sapphire Watch EV0J003B - A homage most regal, A Review (plus Video)

A famous Roman soldier called Marcus Aurelius (121AD - 180AD) was accredited to have said, "To refrain from imitation is the best revenge". Unfortunately, in the world of horology, making a homage is rather common and reflects a strong respect to iconic designs that appears evergreen throughout the ages. Although Orient is one of the few watch manufacturers in the world with the complete production capabilities including in-house movements, it did not stop the brand from creating homages. Of the homages created, one stands out. The Rolex Day-Date, also known as the "President" is a fitting iconic piece for a homage and Orient nailed it perfectly.

There are eight models with different tones and colours for the dial, watch casing and bracelet as part of Orient's homage to the Rolex "President". I chose the reference EV0J003B with clean stainless steel casing and bracelet with black dial. Bought it from Amazon for USD339.00 plus USD25.00 for courier which totals to RM1,582.62. A discount was given by the retailer in the form of a shipping refund of RM108.70 and an item refund of RM43.48. Overall, the net total cost was just RM1,430.44. Below was the email that I received.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Seiko Criteria Automatic SRPC73K1 "Submersible" (similar to SRPC69K1, SRPC71K1, SRPC75K1 & SRPC77K1) - Stylish yet basic, A Review (with Videos)

The Seiko Criteria line has never caught my attention until now. The range has traditionally been viewed as having a flashy yet sporty styling. Powered by quartz technology (battery and solar), the line's most common complication is the chronograph function.

For 2018, Seiko decided to add a simpler design to Criteria's repertoire. Powered with a basic automatic movement, the three handed timepieces come only with day and date complications as well as a display case-back. Importantly, the glass is sapphire crystal for the extra touch of quality.

When I saw it for the first time, I did a quick search on the internet about this particular line but nothing came up. The only information I was able to get is the reference number of the 5 timepieces that makes up this particular series under the Criteria line. Out of the five, I find the SRPC73K1 to be the most catching of the lot and I immediately took possession of one.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Seiko Prospex SLA025J1 (or SBEX007) Hi-Beat 300 Meter Limited Edition Dive Watch - A new love affair, A Review (plus Video)

In 2017, Seiko re-issued its iconic dive watch, the 62MAS in the form of the SLA017 (or SBDX019). This year the brand celebrates the 50th anniversary of another icon, the first hi-beat dive watch, the Seiko 1968 Reference 6159-7001. This original watch was very significant in many ways. In that year, Seiko released a diver that had doubled its dive rating, drastically increased legibility and timing precision, added an automatic movement, and offered an innovative and unique design. It wasn’t the first Seiko diver, but it was definitely the most consequential, and helped lay the groundwork for many future iconic models from the brand.

When it was presented at Baselworld 2018, I was very excited and it immediately joined my 'must have' list. I started to put my name down on a number of waiting lists managed by friendly Seiko authorised dealers. Since this is a limited edition model with only 1,500 units, demand is expected to be fierce and to hedge my bets, I got on a few waiting lists. The first that calls me will get my business.

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.

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