Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seiko 5 SNKL07K1 - It Is A Hardy Design And The Accuracy Is Surprisingly Good; A Review

Having going deep into the watch collection hobby, I realised that I don't have in my collection a model using the classic Seiko workhorse movement the 7S26 caliber. As I am only interested to have in my collection the caliber itself, I decided to search for a simple watch. I found it in the form of the Seiko 5 SNKL07K1.

The standard watch came with a stamped  steel bracelet. If you have been used to solid bracelets, the one that came with this watch was atrociously yukky. I quickly replayed it with a black Nato strap. More about this later. 

This is how the watch looks like straight from the box.
The watch is 38 mm wide with an 20 mm wide lug in an all stainless steel construction. The crown is a simple push-in located at the 3 o'clock position and like all Seiko 5, it comes with day and date functions. The hands are luminous silver tone and the marker are luminous as well. The dial is dark blue in colour.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Orient M-Force Diving Sports Automatic WV0021 - A Hardy, Value-For-Money Watch With Multiple Credentials; A Review

As a brand, Orient is not that well known outside the Western world. Unknown to a lot of people, this is one of the few brands in the world that has been making their own in-house movements for many years. Previously independent, the Orient Watch Company Ltd of Japan was established on 13 July 1950 and is now part of the Seiko Group. Nevertheless, Orient remains independent when it comes to design of their watches as well as their in-house movements.

The Orient M-Force Diving Sports Automatic watch that I got from Japan came with the reference number WV0021. It is also goes with a few other references such as SEL03001D or EL03001D, depending where in the world you source it from.  It has the following characteristics.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seiko 5 Sports Automatic SNZJ09K1 - A Very Capable Daily Use Watch

This Seiko is the piece that started my journey into the world of horology. I got it in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The suggested retail price was USD450. When I got it on 23 November 2010, I got it for SAR1,000 or MYR838.

This model is part of the Seiko 5 Sports series.

The dial is brown and the 3 hands plus the indexes are covered with Lumbrite, Seiko's proprietary luminous paint. It comes with a Day Date Display complication with with Arabic and English Options. The case size is about 42 mm wide.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Orient Mako XL CEM75001M - A Diving Watch Wannabe But Better Suited As A Workmen's Piece (Updated)

Way back in August 2011, I got myself an Orient Mako XL reference number CEM75001M. This is a Rolex Submariner homage but with more lively colour scheme. This watch was launched quite a number of years ago as a bigger brother to the very popular Mako dive watch.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Seiko Prospex SBDY001 Field Watch – A Unique But Overpriced Tool Watch, A Review

The Seiko SBDY001 Field Watch was launched by Seiko back in 2010. This is the first watch using the 4R35 movement that has hand winding and second hand stopping capabilities. The design Seiko decided on this Prospex model is that of a “field watch”. It was envisage that explorer scientists would be the primary users of this watch and it comes equipped with a magnifying glass that can be flipped open.

This watch is a JDM (Japan Domestic Model) unit but interestingly, I found it in Phuket, Thailand. It is very seldom you find Seiko Prospex models being sold outside Japan.

Protected by the black/yellow box synonymous with the Prospex series, the watch looks majestic in it. The plain dial and the black bezel in contrast to the stainless steel casing and bracelet give an aerodynamic feel to it. The red tipped second hand is a nice touch as it provides a point of focus on the watch.

This is a fair sized “field” watch in my view. With a diameter of 43 mm, almost everyone should be able to wear this watch. It was good that designers in Seiko decided against producing a watch larger than 43 mm which is the norm nowadays. Nevertheless, it is thick at 15 mm and the “fatness” does show.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Orient 300M Pro Saturation Diver SEL0200 - A Value For Money Diver With Excellent Build Quality

The Orient 300M Pro Saturation Diver SEL0200 is another professional diving watch that I own. Upfront I have to admit it that this watch is by far, the best professional diving watch currently available on the market in terms of capability and value-for-money.

The Pro Saturation Diver comes in a stainless steel case with beautifully polished sides and brushed lug tops. The case is large, measuring 45.4mm without the large signed screw down crown. With the crown, the case diameter is 50.4mm. Case thickness is hefty, at 16.9mm. Lug width is 22mm.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Seiko Prospex Landmaster Spring Drive SBDB005 – Shiny, Bright and Light as Snow

I have always coveted the Seiko Spring Drive technology. This technology uses a tri-synchro regulator to control and release the mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic energy generated by the mainspring. It replaces the escapement and, with its one-way motion, it is inherently more stable, durable and precise. Spring Drive is accurate to 1 second per day. As the movement has no escapement, all the motion within it is circular, in a single direction, allowing the hands to move constantly with a unique glide-motion. The new generation mainspring delivers more power, more smoothly and for longer. A special alloy, developed in-house by Seiko, generates increased power in addition to being durable and highly resistant to heat or corrosion. Spring Drive has a power reserve of 72 hours.

After a long wait and decision making, I decided to “spring” (no pun intended!) for a Seiko Landmaster Spring Drive SBDB005 under Seiko’s Prospex class of activity watches. Unfortunately, Prospex and Spring Drive watches are not part of the repertoire of the Malaysian Seiko authorised distributor. I have to source it elsewhere.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Orient Star GMT Watch Reference DJ00001B – Understated Classic

This is the flagship model from Orient Star which is equipped with the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) movement. For globetrotting executives the GMT function on this watch not only allows you to note two time zones but actually recognizes official times at up to three locations. When it was launched in 2012, I quickly acquired one.

The Orient Watch Company created the Orient Star sub-brand in 1951 for high-end watches the company will create. The mechanical watches under this sub-brand are features exquisite style and complications that sets it apart from the generic Orient Watch offerings.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist – A Very Refined Gentleman’s Sports Watch Classic (Updated with more photos)

Had the opportunity to visit Tokyo Japan for the first time earlier this year. Before making the trip, I was already planning to get at least one Japanese watch, a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) model, to commemorate my first trip to the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

I originally targeted a Grand Seiko but my eyes kept wondering towards the Alpinist. The green dial was too mesmerizing. Truth be told, this watch has always been in my radar screen for a long time. Fate would have it; I was able to get a very good discount, a 35% off the standard retail price from an Authorised Dealer in downtown Tokyo.

But before I start describing about the watch, a short history about this design is in order.

Seiko Japan released the first of five generations of Alpinist in 1961. The hand-winding Laurel Alpinist came on a leather strap, and was followed in 1963 by the Dauphine-hand Champion 850 Alpinist. Seiko then retired the model for 30 years, but it was revived in 1995 with the popular automatic/hand-winding 4S15 caliber version.

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