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 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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