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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.

Friday, July 8, 2016

SEIKO Presage SARX019 Enamel Dress Watch - Simple and Elegant, A Review (plus Video)

After searching for an enamel-dial SEIKO in Tokyo, I finally found one in Narita Airport Terminal One South Wing. The MSRP was YEN80,000 but I got it for YEN72,000 (not a good discount but can't complain much).

The SARX019 is a dress watch with three hands and a date window. It is made out of 316L stainless steel and paired with a crocodile leather strap with folding clasps. The watch is part of Seiko's Presage line and is a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) piece. This wristwatch is one of the most difficult pieces to find as it is always sold out. The sole reason behind its popularity is its beautiful enamel white dial at a very unbelievable price point.

The enamel dial is the singular point of interest for the watch. Made by baking, the cast iron based enamel dial is smooth without any hint of imperfection. Easier said than done, such perfection requires a very tedious baking process. Generally, having this material would jack up the price considerably. However, Seiko is still able to price this watch one tenth of a Swiss made equivalent.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

SEIKO Transocean SBDC039 Dive Watch - A Chic Executive Watch With Elegance Yet Capable Of Extreme Adventure, A Review (and Video)

I did not come back empty handed when I went for a short business trip to Tokyo, Japan. I went with a purpose to get my hands on any SEIKO Presage watch with a white enamel dial. Within the small window of personal time, I was able to go to my favourite watch shop, BIC Camera in the Shibuya shopping district. Unfortunately, none of the models that I want was available.

Instead I focused on the Prospex series. One line of dive watch I am interested in was the Transocean series. This is a new class created earlier this year to fulfill a certain gap not filled by any existing model under the Perspex line. This gap is especially glaring under the diver class genre.

I bet you are wondering what gap I am alluding to. Well, it's the gap between the professional diver and the professional executive. One of the common feedback which SEIKO gets from its legion of enthusiasts (I too took the opportunity to give a similar feedback) is offering a dive watch that would look equally at ease in a boardroom as it is on a diving platform on the stern of an ocean going boat.

The Prospex class has always been a tool watch but in recent years the demand has been growing from the non-diving community. Quality and brand awareness has made the SEIKO Prospex series a collectable timepiece. The reputation has grown beyond the traditional Japanese and Asian markets as the collection becomes more assessable all over the world. This achievement can also be accorded to the growth of Seiko's distribution channels. The explosion in numbers of Prospex enthusiasts (especially after 2014 when SEIKO decided to globalise the Prospex segment which was until that moment was a JDM exclusive offering from SEIKO) has introduced a number of challenges to the brand.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Parnis Black dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer Watch Handmade Leather Strap (Product Code: NEW-304) – The quality and usability is commendable despite it being a cheap watch, A Review (and Video) - Updated (16 June 2016)

For the last couple of months I have been affected by the pilot watch bug. I love the size and the simplicity of a pilot watch. For a good timepiece under this genre, the price is rather high. So, I’ve decided to find a rather cheap alternative from Parnis, a Chinese brand. After going through its vast catalogue of watches, instead of just getting one, I’ve decided to get two.

For this review, I will be focusing on the Parnis Black dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer (Product Code: NEW-304).

This is a rather large with a case diameter of 47 mm (without crown). Its lug-to-lug length is approximately 55 mm while its thickness is 15.5 mm. The case is made out of brushed 316L stainless steel polished fixed bezel and a display case-back.

The large diamond shaped crown is located at 3 o’clock and is a screw-down. There is a image of a fish on the top of the crown. The black dial has two scales; the outer one is a minute scale with markers while the inner is an hour scale with Arabic numerals. There are two sub-dials located on a top-bottom alignment where the power reserve indicator (North) and seconds indicator (South) are housed.

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