Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT Reference SUN019P1 - The 'Vader-Tuna-Turtle' or "VaTT" for short is a runaway winner with a lot of possibilties, A Review

With the globalization on the Prospex series by Seiko earlier this year, a number of new releases were made. One of the most anticipated is the release of the diver model, the Kinetic GMT.

This model (the one I got is also referred to as the SUN019P1) was launched on March 27, 2014. It uses the same double case system as the renowned 1975 model. It is also available with a silicon strap and more colorful hands and markers (SUN021P1) or all black piece with a silicon strap and colorful hands and markers (SUN023P1).

This time, instead of getting it from the internet, I've decided to visit an Authorized Dealer of Seiko that I know. Within a short space of time, I got the watch, sized the bracelet and packed to bring back home.

As this model is under Seiko's professional watch series, the box that came with the watch is not the standard that one gets. I actually expected to get a box that is typical of the Prospex series i.e. in yellow. Instead, I got a big white box with the "SEIKO" brand printed in silver that is more towards the Ananta class.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Seiko Retro Classic Automatic Watch SNKM97K1 - Reinterpretation of an iconic design. Some shortcomings but made up in terms of cost and style, A Review

Recently, Seiko started to reproduce some of its vintage designs from its 1960s automatic collection for the current market. Powering the watches is the iconic 7S series automatic movements.

One particular model that was chosen for the reproduction (with some modern adjustments) has been given the name the Seiko Retro Classic Automatic Watch SNKM97K1 which has the retro-looking cushion shaped casing and a brilliant green dial. When I laid my eyes on it, I quickly fell in love.

Sourcing from my supplier from Kuching, http://citytime.my I was able to get one for just RM540. Retail price for this unit is RM675. After making the necessary payment and paperwork, the package was delivered on my desk well within 24 hours.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Seiko Prospex Limited Edition Landmonster SRP577K - A refreshing design, A Review

Seiko recently launched a limited edition Prospex Landmonster for the global market. Like most Landmonsters, it comes with a compass bezel with bi-directional movement. The only complication is a unique date window that shows five continuous dates instead of one. In fact, I must say that it got its design cues similar from an aircraft's instrument panel. Pity as Bell & Ross beat them to it already. Now Seiko will have to live with the speculation that they copied Bell & Ross.

I sourced this watch in one of the ADs in Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur. The list price is RM1,260 but you are able to get some discount from them. After doing the necessary paperwork, I walked out of the store with this box.

As you can see from the white sleeve box, the logo as well as the "LIMITED EDITION" banner is printed prominently on it.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

A short video on how the Seiko Marine Master Professional 1000m Automatic Diver SBDX011 looks on one's wrist

This is a short video on how the Seiko Marine Master Professional 1000m Automatic Diver SBDX011 looks on one's wrist. For complete writeup on this watch, please visit: http://easternwatch.blogspot.com/2013/12/seiko-marine-master-professional-1000m.html
 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Short video of the Seiko Prospex SBDC003 Scuba 200m Blue Sumo on my wrist

This is a short video on how the Seiko Prospex SBDC003 Scuba 200m Blue Sumo looks like on my wrist. For a complete review on this watch visit: Seiko Prospex SBDC003 Scuba 200m Blue Sumo - Although The Watch Is Not Perfect, It Can Stand On Its Own, A Review


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Short video on the Seiko SNM035 200m Diver Landmonster on my wrist

This is a short video on how the Seiko SNM035 200m Diver Landmonster looks like on my wrist. For a complete review on this watch visit: http://easternwatch.blogspot.com/2014/02/seiko-snm035-land-monster-dive-watch.html

Monday, July 21, 2014

Short Video on the Orient Mako II CEM75001M

This is a short video on how the Orient Mako II looks like on my wrist. For a complete review on this watch visit: Orient Mako II CEM75001M - A Diving Watch Wannabe But Better Suited As A Workmen's Piece



Friday, July 18, 2014

Short Video on the Seiko Landmaster Spring Drive SBDB005

This is a short video on how the Seiko Landmaster looks like on my wrist. For a complete review on this watch visit: Seiko Landmaster Spring Drive SBDB005 – Shiny, Bright and Light as Snow



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Short Video on the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist

This is a short video of the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist on my wrist. For the complete review visit: Seiko SARB017 Alpinist – A Very Refined Gentleman’s Sports Watch Classic



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Orient Diving Sports Automatic M-Force Titanium DV01002B - A capable watch on paper but lost a key DNA at the design stage, A Review

I have been following the Orient brand very closely for the last few years. Currently I have eight in my collection. The most prolific line under the Orient brand that I collect is the diver series.

Last year, on 26 March 2013, Orient released an updated version of it famous M-Force series. For the first time, titanium was used as the based material for the watch. Up to that point I have in my collection two previous versions of the M-Force, the WV0091E as well as the model before that, the WV0021. It was obviously natural that I target to acquire this latest M-Force as well.

After more then a year, I finally got the opportunity to source for one. As usual, I got one of my main internet trader http://citytime.my to get me one. I was able to get it for RM1,100 compared to the retail price of RM1,750.

As usual, the review will first start from the point of receiving the package from the postal service.


I must say the service by Pos Malaysia is impressive. It is common to be more impressed with the international couriers but the service offered by Pos Malaysia from tracking to delivery speed is comparable.

In my case, http://citytime.my is in Kuching, Sarawak. Within 24 hours, before noon the next day, Pos Malaysia was able to get the package on my desk.

That is efficient.

One thing I like about http://citytime.my is their packaging. Although not elegant, the use of old newspapers, pieces of cardboard paper and the prodigious amount of tape ensures the package is secured and nothing, and I mean nothing would shake the content during transportation.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ORIENT Sports 200M Automatic CEM65006D MAKO - Looks cool and capable to take a lot of abuse, A Review

Since the mid-2000s, the Orient Mako has been the most popular Orient watch series. The Orient Mako is an absolute classic and can be attributed to being the watch that started it all for collectors and enthusiasts. However, due to the popularity of the model and the similarity of a different model by Orient, a lot of watch enthusiasts commonly mistaken one for the other. I will explain more about this later in the write-up.

I was able to obtain a new Orient Mako from my favorite local internet dealer, http://Citytime.my. For just RM460 (inclusive of courier charges), the watch started its journey to my table. Slightly over 24 hours later, the package was on my table. 


What I appreciate from this particular internet dealer is the quality of packaging. May not look professional but it is complete and protects the package throughout its journey.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Orient Star Somes WZ0201EL - The sublime shape and understated dial makes it a good companion for particular all occasions, A Review

I like watch dials that are simple. This Orient Star Somes WZ0201EL fits my requirement perfectly. Orient, in collaboration with the famous saddle maker Somes (http://www.somes.co.jp/) has created an excellent combination between mechanical watch perfection and superb leather strap under the ORIENT STAR premier branding.

This model have been discontinued by Orient. Nevertheless, there are still some old stocks still available. I used eBay to search for it and I was finally able to get it from a internet shop from Japan. After paying US$598.90 or RM1997.16 on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, I received this EMS package after a few days.  


Monday, May 26, 2014

Citizen Signature Grand Touring Automatic NB0070-57E - A lot of speculation on a watch with good vibes: A Review

The Citizen Signature Grand Touring Automatic NB0070-57E, an automatic watch by Citizen under the Signature series was introduced to the market in mid 2013. The Signature Collection by Citizen is a series of high quality watches similar to the Componola Collection (Japanese Domestic Model) but sold to North American and elsewhere.

This new model uses the Miyota 9010 movement, which is made exclusive for the Signature lineup. Although that is not unexpected for Citizen to do so, what is unexpected is the design cues used for the watch itself. For a start, it comes with a stainless steel housing which has the diameter of 44 mm and the thickness of 15 mm. Despite the dial and its fixed bezel being round, the main watch case is pillow shaped. The front of the timepiece is protected with a thick sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating. Coupled with its large crown protector with a patented system, the watch looks like a copy of a Panerai.

How could the CITIZEN WATCH CO. JAPAN, the largest watch company in the world could have ended up producing a watch that has a lot of people accusing it of copying? I for one don't think the truth is that simple. With a huge amount of resources available to the group, it would be obvious that this issue would have been brought up prior to production. By virtue that it did go through production as designed, there must be compelling reasons to believe Citizen is confident the watch can stand on its own. As we go through a thorough review of the watch, I will try to unravel key points about the watch that are ornately unique to it alone.

I needed to source this watch from North America. Calling my agent in Japan was not successful as it is not sold in Japan. It was only through Amazon that I got to order one. Total investment was USD896.25 plus USD15.31 for handling. Approximately five days later the package was on my table.


The actual box is deep blue in colour and protected by two layers. The first is a simple sleeve devoid of any brand logo. The dimensions are 165 mm long x 125 mm wide x 125 mm tall.

The size and colour of the box represent a significant departure from other Citizen watches I've bought previously. As part of the Signature line, Citizen wants to position this as a premier line hence the effort to jazz up the overall presentation.

The colour blue represents both the sky and the sea, and is associated with open spaces, freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, inspiration, and sensitivity. Blue also represents meaning of depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, and faith.


Considered a highly corporate color, blue is often associated with intelligence, stability, unity, and conservatism.

By choosing the dark blue tone, Citizen is subtly telling everyone that it is royalty i.e. can be seen as elegant, rich, sophisticated and superior.

This subliminal message is seldom mentioned but it works especially on people because the watch industry itself has created a class system accepted by the vast majority. Many will covert a Rolex more instead of a Grand Seiko despite the fact that both have similar standards of manufacturing, quality and history (although this is arguable, what is important to note is that brand ranking plays a major part of the 'wow' factor that consumers want to see). Citizen understands this factor and actively works to improve the brand ranking by putting effort into every little thing to ensure customers' appreciation on their products continue to grow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Maranez Bangla Titanium Blue Dial No Date - A combo package that is a winner in my book; A Review


It all started when I was doing research on independent micro-brand watch companies around the world. I have experienced with some of them and all the offerings that I got the opportunity to get did not disappoint me one little bit. From the US, I am familiar with Deep Blue, Lum-Tec and Ocean7; from Singapore its Gruppo Gamma and from Luxembourg, Schroeder 1877. I then stumble on a micro-brand that hails from a country North of mine, Thailand.

This micro-brand is called Maranez Watches. Its website, http://www.maranez.com/ is very vague to its origins. Based on some reviews I found on the internet, it would appear that it is a company operating out of Phuket, Thailand based on the names of their watch collection that are main points of attraction in Phuket (Layan, Bangla & Rancha). However, this is still debatable as the address that was printed on the courier docket was from a Hong Kong office. Anyway, here is the contact detail of the company if anyone is interested: maranezwatches@gmail.com.

In 11 April 2014, there were only the Bangla and Rancha models available for sale. However, what got me interested was the fact that this company works with three different materials, stainless steel, brass and titanium. As it so happens my brother's birthday was coming up, I decided to order a Bangla in brass (for him) and a Bangla in titanium for myself. The price was just USD299 + USD50 via FedEx for the brass and USD349 + USD50 via FedEx for the titanium. More about the price later.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Seiko Prospex 300MM SBDX001 Marinemaster - In a league of its own, A Review

This is one of my grail watches. The Seiko Prospex 300MM SBDX001 Marinemaster as been touted as the most versatile dive watches that can rival the best the Swiss industry could muster. This watch is capable on land, sea and air in all situations such as casual or even formal functions.

This watch is the only Marinemaster watch that actually says "Marinemaster" on the watch. As this is a JDM (Japan Domestic Market) watch, you can only obtain it in Japan from official dealers. Nevertheless, if you cannot make it to Japan, you can still get one via online. For me, my source of JDM watches is www.higuchi-inc.com.


The Marinemaster uses a Seiko in-house 26 jewel calibre 8L35 self-winding movement that is the base movement for the higher end 9S55 calibre Grand Seiko. With manual wind and hacking second mechanisms, 28,800 vph, 50 hours power reserve, it is unadjusted, rhodium plated and has an accuracy rating by Seiko of +15 ~ -10 seconds per day. The 8L35 is one of Seiko's best automatic movements. Accuracy easily matches certified chronometer levels, and often exceeds them.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

CITIZEN Promaster Eco-Drive AQUALAND Titanium Divers Watch JV0055-51E - It sits well on the wrist and is a very capable little dive computer. With its unique shape, it is an excellent conversation starter, A Review

I have yet to have a dive computer as part of my watch collection. Although there are a number of brands offering such a product, I decided to get the Citizen JV0055-51E as it offers a number of firsts for me. Apart from fulfilling my requirement of having a dive computer wristwatch, it is also uses the Eco-Drive technology which is uniquely Citizen. The use of titanium as the base material for the watch was also a reason behind this choice. Coupled with the unique case design, I was sold to this model.

Sourcing this watch was a major undertaking. The current retail price in Malaysia as listed by www.bodying.my is RM6,170.00. This is a price that I would not be willing to get.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ORIENT 21 Jewels Diamond Cut Crystal Automatic - Very retro looking dress watch, A Review

For my third time of buying a watch via eBay I decided to aim to get a vintage Orient (see the vintage Citizen and Seiko 5 that I got earlier). I was intrigued by this particular Orient because of the unique crystal glass it uses. More about this later.

The watch that I got has a reference "IT469702-6A CU". It is estimated to be a late 1970s watch. This watch was shipped from India. Below is the package that I received.


As this is a used watch, it did not come with a watch box, instruction manual or guarantee. The watch was packed in Styrofoam plus a short printed note about the seller (see below). I must say the packaging does its job well even if it looks fragile.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Seiko Prospex Fieldmaster SBDC011 - An Attention Grabber and Gives you Confidence to Seize the Day, A Review

Seiko Prospex is one of the many themes in my collection.With the Marinemaster and Landmaster already part of the collection, my focus was concentrated to acquire the Fieldmaster. In this case it is the Seiko SBDC011.

The Fieldmaster SBDC011 is one beautiful watch in my opinion. Designed with the Seiko Tuna Can body as inspiration, this watch has all the right balance.

After making the order via my favorite Japanese dealer, Mr Katsu-san of Higuchi-Inc.com, it arrived promptly.

After taking the watch box from the airfreight container, you would immediately notice that the box is different from the typical yellow colour display box common under the Perspex series of watches from Seiko. Instead of a square box, it is rectangle.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Seiko 5 6309-8910 - My first vintage Seiko and the first Caliber 6309A in my Collection, A Review

This is my second watch purchase from eBay. A vintage Seiko 5 6309-8910 square face model. Based on the serial number on the case-back, it is November 1973 production piece.

This watch was from a seller in the UK. I placed a bid for GBP25 and on 5 January 2014 I was informed that I won the bid. It was sent by tracked international post. The postage was inclusive of the final price.


I got the package through normal mail. The watch is wrapped in a normal envelope. I was initially apprehensive that it could be damaged due to the lack of a study box.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seiko SNM035 "Land Monster" Dive Watch - Macho Good Looks by a Real Tool Watch, A Review

Two years ago, in February 2012, I decided to get the Seiko SNM035 "Land Monster" via Amazon. I got attracted by the twin crown at the 2 and 4 o'clock positions as well as the map function on an internal bezel.

I got to say that I am not a serious amateur diver, but many of us can appreciate a highly functional instrument like the Seiko SNM035 Land Monster. This watch looks more like a tool than a fashion accessory, and to me, that's its appeal.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Casio PROTREK Adventure Titanium Triple Sensor Ver. 3 PRW 3000 T7, A Continuation of the Super Tough DNA of a Casio Protrek, yet Capable of Doing More by Virtue of its Smaller Electronics and More Contemporary Design, A Review

It has been a long time since I bought myself a digital watch. The last time it happened was back in August 2009 when I got my Suunto Heart Rate Monitor watch. If I recall, my purpose of buying that watch was to fulfill a need - to track my heart rate as I prepare myself for my first marathon.

In reality, I am not an anti-digital watch-hater that only appreciate mechanical watches. Far from the contrary, I love gadgets and the Casio Protrek series have been on my "must-have" list for a long time. The ability of a watch to locate accurately North has been one of my theme for my watch collection. Currently. I have six watches that could do that (using time and sun). The collage of the collection is provided below.

You will note that all are Seikos. Although I would like to have a watch that could do the same from another brand, the various Casio Protrek models that weree on offer were too big and garish for my liking.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seiko SKX779K1 200m Black Monster - A Must Have For Any Serious Collector, A Review

The SKX779K or commonly known as the “Black Monster” by Seiko watch collectors around the world is a total departure from the classic Seiko diver lineage when it was first launched back in the year 2000. It became an instant hit with watch collectors around the world.

It is hard to pinpoint what is the attraction on this watch. Some say its the looks, while others say it is about the price. Whatever it is, the overall package is what makes this diver a sought after piece.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Parnis 44mm White Dial Swan Neck Hand Winding Watch - My first Chinese watch, A Review


Bank in October 2011, I happened to find information about Parnis, a brand from China. I was surprised to see the price quoted on the watches. So, on 28 October 2011 I made an order for the Parnis 44mm White Dial Swan Neck Hand Winding watch. Priced at USD85 + USD20 for postage, I got the watch within a week. My first Chinese watch.

The watch did not come with a display box. It was just bubble-wrapped in a normal brown envelop.  I was apprehensive at first but after taking it out of the packaging, the watch looks much better than it look in photos. Most importantly, it still works after going through the post as it did.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Citizen 7 Eagle Automatic Day/Date 21 Jewel Vintage - Value for Money, A Review

Vintage watches are usually not my thing. I like new and modern designs. However, I made an exception for this particular specimen. With a reference "4-286740 KT 60600988 GN-4-S Japan" this Citizen is though to have been manufactured in the 1970s.

How I got the watch is also interesting. This is the first time I used eBay to make an acquisition. Although I have been a member of eBay since 2005, I never have gotten the fear of facing problems when making purchases. After getting through this barrier, I decided to get something small first. The Citizen 7 was the first that caught my eye.

The seller was from United Kingdom and I was able to get it for just GBP25 all in (or RM141.71) on 3 January 2014. After waiting for two weeks, I got the package as pictured below.




Thursday, January 30, 2014

Solvil et Titus 06-1107-004 - A Practical Watch But One With No Soul, A Review

My wife and kids bought this watch for me many years ago. To me, this was the first time that I've heard about the brand. After a short internet search I got the following:



 "The brand Solvil et Titus was born in 1887 when Paul Ditisheim (1868-1945), an extremely prominent figure in the Swiss watch industry of his time, named one of the initial models he created. Solvil, an abbreviation of Sonvilier, is the Jura village in which a factory for making watch components stood and Titus was a highly talented and skilled Roman Emperor of the first century.

The well-known watchmaker and inventor was extremely successful in researching and manufacturing chronometers, which hold records for precision as deemed by the prestigious international trials carried out by the Royal Observatories of Kew-Teddington and Neuch√Ętel. His products ranged greatly from navigational-purposed watches to chronometers with automatic display of sunrise and sunset time to the minute each day; from watches with perpetual calendars to ones that could strike and incorporated chimes, from chronometers with equations of time to many others with many complicated features.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Seiko Brightz Starwars Yoda LE SDGC013 - A Noticeable Watch, A Review

In 2012, in conjunction to the 35th anniversary of the Star Wars, Seiko, in collaboration with Lucas Film issued six limited edition models. Launched on October 12th, 2012, the models come in various form from mechanical to quartz/analog/radio control and quartz/active matrix EPD/radio control variants.

I got a thing with anything green and the Yoda version (SDGC013) was my obvious first choice. As the whole series is a limited edition production run, the price is high. The list price for this particular model is YEN136,500 yen or RM4,282 (@ 16 January 2014).

Like the name suggest, this particular model commemorates the character Yoda in the movie. This character is associated with the colour green. There is an engraving on the side of the case using the Star Wars universe "Aurebesh" language with the name of the character. Apart from that, a motif of the character is painted on the transparent case-back of the watch.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Arbutus Propeller AR0055BB Automatic Watch - A Nice And Cheap Watch To Have With Many "Complications", A Review

The watch company Arbutus New York has a very interesting history. It started as a Western brand. After having spent almost thirty years studying and working as an apprentice in a watch factory in Shanghai, Albert Reed, along with his brother, founded the watch company, Arbutus, in the early 1980's. Mr Reed decided to name the company after his hometown in Canada. In New York, Reed and his brother imported all the watches mechanics, assembled and sold the timepieces in the U.S. In 1992, Mr Reed decided to retire.

The company Target Inc collaborated with Bomass Ltd to purchase Arbutus and start marketing Arbutus timepieces to Asian countries. In effect, Arbutus has become an Asian watch brand headquartered in Hong Kong.

I was first introduced to the brand back in December 2011 when I saw it on Bodying.my. I was intrigued by the number of complications as well as the low price point for the watch. I immediately made an order on 28 December 2011 for RM675.99 (all in).


Monday, January 20, 2014

Seiko Kinetic SKA475P1 - A Comfortable Watch, A Review

My first Seiko Kinetic that was bought for me by my wife for my 28th birthday (early 1990s) met a horrible death. Due to catastrophic failure of a gasket, seawater got in and fried the electronics. Below is the crown of the said watch. This watch has a reference code of 5M43-0C80.

Due to the age, Seiko could not repair the watch as per original.


The water rating was set at 5 Bar or 50 meters. Above is a picture of the destroyed watch with the dial crusted with salt deposits.



Recently, Seiko informed me that they have a movement that is of the same type that is similar to the shape of the original crown. Due to the effects of the saltwater, even the dial was destroyed. Instead, they suggest a transplant of the Seiko Kinetic SKA475P1 casing to my original bracelet. Above is a picture of the model which Seiko suggested I transplant.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

MWF-Gruppo Gamma LE Watch - A Well Made Hommage To A Classic, A Review

The Malaysia Watch Forum or MWF has completed the second watch project. Made by Gruppo Gamma*, a limited run of just 50 watches was delivered to proud owners last Saturday, 11 January 2014, in conjunction to the 5th Anniversary GTG/annual dinner held in the Angus House restaurant in Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur. I was lucky enough to be one of them.

*Gruppo Gamma is a boutique watchmaker based in Singapore. They a dedicated to modernizing the design of tool watches issued to Italian Navy commandos in the middle of the 20th century. 

When I got the watch, I received this very functional watch box or travel pouch. The skull and rose is the logo of Gruppo Gamma (the red hat is only incorporated during the Christmas season).


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Seiko 5 Sports FC Barcelona SRP303K1 - A Legendary Pedigree For Both Watch And Club , A Review

One of many ways to teach the concept of responsibility is to play a game where give a group of people something precious or fragile (sometime both) and see how they manage that item for a period of time. Some of the well know learning games which a lot of people know is with the use of an egg.

In my case, I was trying to proof a point with my second daughter on this concept of responsibility and the item I chose for this life lesson is a mechanical watch. The first thing that came to mind is a Seiko 5. It has all the hallmark of an excellent mechanical watch for a first timer and it is built to last. At that particular time (2012) this particular model was just launched. Since my daughter was small then, a canvas Noto-like strap that comes standard was a good start. 


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Seiko SKX009K1 Automatic Professional Diver 200M - A Good Cheap Watch, A Review

I bought my first Seiko diver's watch; Seiko SKX009K1 Automatic Professional Diver 200M in July 2011 for RM499. Suggested retail price for the watch is RM3,500. Below are some photos of the watch.


It comes with the Seiko automatic movement 7S26. It has luminous hands and hour markers. The body is stainless steel case with blue and red screened Uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel. Seiko's special Hardlex crystal comes standard. Rubber strap with a 20 mm width. It has day and date indicator at 3 o’clock position.

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