Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Seiko Marine Master Professional 1000m Automatic Diver SBDX011 - The Best Of Japan, A Review

Seiko has a number of notable offerings, Their professional watch series is one of the, if not the best, in the world. Under the Prospex sub-brand, these are purpose built tool watches.

In the last few days of 2013, I finally achieved one of my grails, the Seiko Marine Master Professional 1000m Automatic Diver SBDX011. Commonly known as the Tuna or Emperor Tuna or Darth Tuna or Hockey Puck, this is the flagship of the entire Seiko automatic divers' line.

Unfortunately, this watch is only available in Japan. But not to worry, my good supplier, Mr Katsu-san of www.higuchi-inc.com is ever ready to deliver. After just a few days, the familiar looking EMS box from Japan Post was on my desk.

Not a lot has been written about the SBDX011 even though it was released way back in April 2009. The reason is that it was destined only for the Japanese domestic market. Although Japanese horologists would provide the necessary write-up on this model, language barrier as well as the unavailability of the watch to be reviewed in depth outside Japan exacerbates the poor coverage on this model.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Casio G-Shock G5600-1DR - A Day-To-Day Soldier, A Review

I recently bought for my son a Casio G-Shock G5600-1DR for his day-to-day use. This is the 4th generation basic G-Shock, produced 30 years after the first G-Shock came out of the production line back in 1983.

This model has, like all newer Tough Solar models, has a Power Save function. This function goes to sleep mode when the watch isn't used for some time during daytime. In Power Save mode, the watch can work in the background for about 11 to 12 months.

Like all G-Shock, the watch has the following functions:
  • Shock resistant
  • Solar powered
  • Water resistant 20 ATM
  • Dual time
  • 1/100-second stopwatch
  • Countdown timer (Countdown range: 100 Hour)
  • Daily alarms 5 independent daily alarms
  • Hourly time signal
  • Battery power indicator
  • Power Saving
  • Auto-calendar
  • 12/24-hour format
  • Electro-luminescent backlight
  • Module: 2597
  • 48.9 X 43.0 X 13.7 mm
  • Weight: 52.0 g
I tried it and I actually quite like it. It has a nice size that is universal. Not too big and not too small. As I am getting a bit old and starting to have problems focusing on small stuff (need bifocals!), the large digits on the LCD is large enough to not give me problems.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Seiko Prospex SBDC003 Scuba 200m Blue Sumo - Although The Watch Is Not Perfect, It Can Stand On Its Own, A Review

This model was first launched in 2007. Back then, the design philosophy was very tool-like. This new design is a new development of the Seiko diving watch line where styling also becomes a design criteria. A new caliber has also been earmarked for use with this new model.

Codename "Sumo", it is one of the desirable watches that came out of the Seiko stable. When I got the opportunity to get it via my trusted Japanese supplier Katsu-san, I immediately ordered one and it promptly landed on my table.

The blue dial is what attracts me. Its ocean blue color is very consistent with the purpose of the watch and offers great readability. I loved the classic simplicity of the dial design. The markers are slightly raised with gives a 3 dimensional feel to it.

One of the striking visual cues on the watch is the relatively large width of the bezel. The additional space available on the bezel allows larger than normal Arabic numerals to be etched on it. The bezel is uni-directional with a lumed pip at the 0/60 minute position. It has a 120-click movement to complete one rotation.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Citizen Promaster Autozilla 1000m Titanium Divers Watch NH6930-09F (NH6931-06E) - Pure, Unadulterated Dive Watch, A Review

A grail watch in my view, the Citizen Promaster Autozilla 1000m Titanium Divers Watch NH6930-09F (NH6931-06E) is the epitome of design and manufacturing prowess of Citizen. The ability to design a watch that can take on an extreme environment, in this case, water pressure of 1,000 meters using titanium should be acknowledge. In this case, Citizen uses a proprietary alloy of titanium that has gone through a process called "Duratec".

There are two reference for this watch. One for Asia and the other is for North America and Europe. The NH6930 is an Asian market designation and the model with this designation has English and Japanese for the day wheel. Meanwhile, the NH6931 designation has English and Spanish for the day wheel.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Citizen NY0040 200m Promaster Diver - The Perfect Diving Tool For The Scuba Hobbyist, A Review

It is very seldom that you get to come across a dive watch from Citizen that is pure mechanical. The Citizen auto scuba diver watch with yellow luminous dial NY0040-09WB Promaster is just one such rare gem. The suggested retail price was RM1,260 but I was able to get it via the internet for just RM499.

It has a dive rating of 200m and comes with a rubber strap.

Interestingly, the screw down crown is set on the left at the 8 o'clock position of the stainless steel case. Does this imply that this watch should only be worn on the right hand? Actually no. In this position, the crown is not only protected against hits and smashes, it also does not poke into the back of the hand. This is very important since the crown is a huge one.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Seiko 5 Sports SKZ211J1 Atlas/Landshark - A Good Tool Watch, A Review

Nicknamed “Atlas” by a majority of watch enthusiasts, the black SKZ211K with yellow hands is another watch that calls to me. Also known as “Landshark”, this model is under the Seiko 5 brand. The Atlas is built tough. The polished case is die cast from a solid piece of stainless steel.

I was made to understand that this is Seiko's first 200 meter water resistant Seiko 5 Sports watch when it was launched back in 2005. Its dimensions are impressive. The diameter of the watch case is 42 mm without crown (46.5 mm with compass crown) with a lug-to-lug length of 48.5 mm and a thickness of 14 mm. Lug width is 22 mm and uses a bracelet with a width of 20 mm, tapering to 18mm at the clasp. The Oyster inspired bracelet links are solid with highly polished sides and matte brushed links with a dab of polished center link strips.

Like all Seiko 5s, the watch comes with a day and date window set at the 3 o'clock position. The model that I have is a JDM version (Japanese Domestic Model). The "Made In Japan" is prominently printed at the bottom of the dial.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Citizen NY2300-09G 200m Diver - Good Value-for-money wristwatch That Should Give Years Of Trouble Free Service, A Review

Citizen is one of the biggest watch manufacturers in the world. The brand has been associated much with solar technology and there is seldom any mentioned about their mechanical engined watches. One model under their army of watches in their portfolio is this small and humble NY2300-09G 200m Diver. I got this watch a number of years ago.

The NY2300 is a classic looking diver whose bezel is along the lines of a “Pepsi” type. Not a true sense of the word "Pepsi" as the red color is only along one third of the bezel while the rest is blue.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Orient MForce Diver WV0091E - A Refresh On The M-Force Series, A Review

My second M-Force after my M-Force Diving Sports WV0021 (Click here to see the review on that watch) is the WV0091E. This new M-Force has a very different design philosophy from the predecessor. Nevertheless, this rendition continues the tradition of an authentic diver’s watch that features a smart and rugged design, water resistance to 200 meters for use in scuba diving, shock absorption enabled by a special structure, and ISO compliance.

An obvious design change is the relocation of the crown from 4 o'clock in the previous M-Force to the 9 o'clock position. The date window has also been moved to the 3 o'clock position from the 9 o'clock position. Power reserve indicator is now at the 6 o'clock position from the previous one o'clock position.

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