Friday, October 23, 2015

Help support this blog!

From a career perspective, I have been a statistician since 1990. A financial analyst since 1994 and financial engineer since 2008. My love for horology only became full-bloom since 2010. On October 2013, I created this blog http://easternwatch.blogspot.com/ to write and document all the watches I own (and will own). I decided to operate this blog to share the beauty and wonders of watch collecting. 

At the moment the watches I bought to document on this blog is purely self funded. If anyone likes to contribute to help subsidize (even a little) of the purchase price of a new watch, it would really be a great help to me. I am currently averaging one (1) new watch a month. Since I started blogging, I have review 55 watches (@October 2015), an average of two (2) watches a month.

If you like to contribute some funds to help me in future purchases, you can contribute via the payment gateway provided by PayPal (see below):

Any contributions is appreciated!








Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Seiko Prospex 200m Diver SRP637 (or SRP637K or SRP637K1) Shrouded Black Monster (a.k.a. Monster Tuna) - A modern transformation of the original Monster to something bigger and stylish, A Review

I just love the metallic shrouds on high end Seiko dive watches. I have collected three shrouded diver examples from Seiko over the years; the SBDX011 ‘Emperor Tuna’, the SRP653 ‘Baby Tuna’ and the SUN019P1 'Vader-Tuna-Turtle' (although I got another shrouded watch from Seiko, the SBDC011 Fieldmaster is not a diver hence the reason I excluded it from the list). A few years ago, Seiko incorporated the shrouded concept to the Monster series with the launch of the SRP233, SRP234 and SRP236. However, what put me off from looking into that series further was the fact that the shroud was made out of plastic. Nevertheless, the price point and size were just nice to be able to be an affordable and wearable wristwatch to many people.


This year, Seiko answered the request by its legion of fans to come out with a new series of shrouded Monsters by introducing the SRP637, SRP639 and SRP641 series. This time around the shroud is made out of metal! What makes it even more special is that it has been upgraded to be under the Prospex series of professional tool watches.

I immediately made the necessary inquiries to get the best price possible from some of my trusted suppliers. However, the demand was so great that the initial consignment for Malaysia was sold out in a matter of weeks. As it was also the same time since the introduction of GST into the country, I was not willing to get a unit from my overseas suppliers as I was not comfortable yet with the new custom rules and procedures for imports. So, I waited for the supply to catch up with demand.

After a few months I finally got my hands on the Seiko SRP637. The watch is sizable. It comes with a diameter of 47.5 mm (excluding crown) and a lug-to-lug distance of 50 mm. Coupled with a thickness of 14 mm, the watch makes it presence obvious on one’s wrist.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Orient Automatic Flight - Aviation Type Pilot - CER2A003 (CER2A or ER2A series) Black Dial - Value for Money Pilot Watch, A Review

I bought a watch from Solar Time Sunway Pyramid over the weekend. It has been a few months since I indulged in acquiring a new watch. The watch that I got was the Orient Automatic Flight - Aviation Type Pilot - CER2A003.

Orient acknowledges that this is homage to the classic Pilot’s watch. Instead of being too stylish or try to put in their version of what constitute a Pilot’s watch, Orient’s version is a very simple watch. Apart from a date window, the watch has Arabic numerals and three hands. The dial has three scales; the outer scale has minute markers, the middle scale in the traditional Pilot’s watch numbering and the inner ring reads time on an hour scale.

If I was a pilot of yesteryear, the primary complication I need on a pilot watch would be either a countdown timer or a chronograph. This will allow a pilot (without the benefit of radio way-points and GPS satellite navigation) to accurately measure imaginary way-points in the sky by just using timing at specific speeds and direction. This particular complication is not provided by this model and as such, the only benefit it gives to a pilot is the legibility of the information. In this regard, this Orient model is very legible. Even in a dark environment the watch is legible. Luminescent material has been applied to every numeral on the outer ring including the primary markers, in addition to the hour and minute hands.

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Orient M-Force (or MForce) Collection - Varied but useful to a lot of users

A sub-brand of Orient that I have built a small collection with is the M-Force line. Currently I have three models (from L to R) the blue dial WV0021, the red dial WV0091E and the black dial DV01002B


Interestingly, all three models (they were produced one after the other) have different design philosophies. It is a very interesting study on the thought process within the design team in Orient. For a start, let us list out the major differences for these particular models.


WV0021 WV0091E DV01002B
Material Stainless steel Stainless steel Titanium
Size 46 mm 47 mm 47 mm
Movement (Caliber) 40N5A 40N5A 4075A
Power reserve indicator & location Yes, at 1 o'clock Yes, at 6 o'clock None
Crown location At 4 o'clock At 9 o'clock At 3 o'clock
Date window location At 9 o'clock At 3 o'clock At 3 o'clock
Primary markers Flat-top obelisk markers in two sizes Rectangle and round markers Flat-top obelisk and rectangle markers plus Arabic numerals

In my personal view, if there is a need to reduce or drop a complication for a newer model design, I would drop the date window. For me, I get more value out of the power reserve indicator than the date window. Let's face it, once you know the date, in the next 24 hours, that date would not change regardless of how many times you refer back to it. On the other hand, the power reserve indicator tells you how many hours left before the watch stops functioning - this is a more important information in my view. I was therefore surprised that Orient decided to drop the power reserve indicator on the DV01002B.

Despite the almost random changes in successive models, am important factor remains - all three models (including the latest M-Force which is not in my collection) are still in production. This means that the general idea of the many options available is to fulfill practically everyone needs and wants. For example, the WV0091E would be better suited for those that like to wear their wristwatch on their right hand. For those that don't like a weighty watch, the DV01002B would be a good choice due to its lightness.

From a manufacturing point of view, a very complicated stock balancing system would have to be incorporated to ensure the stocks are available based on the demand. Since Orient continues to sustain the manufacture of these models, the demand for all three models must be consistent and justifies the manufacturing lines.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Movement: The Miyota 8205/8215 automatic

The Miyota 8215 (and its other variants such as the 8205) is a Japanese automatic wristwatch movement that is used by many watch makers. Miyota is part of the Citizen group of companies.

The Miyota 8215 is a non-hacking twenty-one (21) jewel three-hand with date movement with a uni-directional winding system (left rotation) with an accuracy of -20 to +40 seconds per day, and a power reserve of over 40 hours. The diameter of the movement is 26 mm and the thickness is 5.67 mm. It beats at 21,600 BPH or 3 Hz (6 half-cycles per second).

Below are some technical information useful for the understanding of the movement.







My watches that uses the movement (or its variants) are:
  1. MWF-Gruppo Gamma LE Watch
  2. Citizen Promaster Autozilla 1000m Titanium Divers Watch NH6930-09F (NH6931-06E);
  3. Citizen NY0040 200m Promaster Diver; and
  4. Citizen Automatic NY602151E Divers' Watch 

I have not had any problems with the mechanism throughout the years. From a practical point of view, the accuracy is more then sufficient for normal timekeeping duties although some may argue its 'lack' of accuracy compared to other movements from Switzerland and Japan.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Comparison between various Seiko Prospex divers - Thickness, wearing comfort, etc.

I have decided to see which one of my Seiko Prospex automatic divers would win the best wearable watch for a typical gentleman, subject to certain constraints. The rules are: Each watch will be compared against a stated requirement and a score will be given. No watch shall share the same score in each section. The watch that collates the highest score wins.

The reference factors that a typical gentleman possesses are as follows:
  1. A good proportion of the time of a day is spent in the office, in a formal environment;
  2. The only common sporting activity would be some time on a treadmill or jogging;
  3. The common social event will be meeting up with friends in restaurants, parties, movie theaters and clubs; and
  4. Typical wrist circumference of 7 inches.  
The sections that we will compare the watches will be: (1) weight, (2) bulkiness, (3) comfortableness, and (4) wrist presence.
    The watches competing for this title are:


    Thursday, August 6, 2015

    Seiko Perspex Marinemaster 1000m Hi-Beat SBEX001G Titanium Limited Edition (or SBEX001) - A true showcase of Seiko’s 50th year in the dive watch field, A Review

    When Seiko introduced the Seiko Perspex Marinemaster 1000m Hi-Beat SBEX001G Titanium Limited Edition piece in March 2015 during Baselworld2015, I was mesmerized. A lot of innovative features were incorporated into this watch. Although its dimensions appear very formidable, I immediately got the 'have-to-have-it' feeling.


    Key specifications of the watch are as follows: The watch face has a diameter measuring 48.2 mm (excluding crown). The watch case has a thickness of 19.7 mm. Made out from a single piece of titanium block, access to the internals only via the front of the watch. The machinery is the top-of-the-line Hi-Beat movement from Seiko. Water rating at 1,000 meters without the need of a helium escape valve mechanism. More details about all these later.

    Since its introduction back in March 2015, I have been patiently waiting for Seiko to commence delivery. The watch is finally available for purchase. Unfortunately, there is a catch to this watch. For all its infinite wisdom, Seiko decided to make it a limited edition piece with a production run of just 700 specimens. This means the price would be a premium and very scarce to find.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    Athaya Vintage AV002 Lamafa Diver Watch - A homage with an iconic DNA, A Review

    The famous Seiko 6105 divers of the 1970 - 1977 (two important years in my life; the year I was born and the year I entered formal schooling) was one of the most iconic dive watches the world have had the chance to behold. It was built for a purpose without any irrelevant bells and whistles. This made it one of the most cost effective dive watches around. A legend was born.


    Personally, I love the asymmetrical cushion-shaped casing and the simplicity of the dial. Would I get one? Without a doubt but here's my dilemma: since the watch is no longer in production for such a long time, trying to find a NOS piece is next to impossible (I am not into used watches). The thought of searching and getting a pre-loved watch would give me too much stress and headache. As such, I have resigned to the fact that such a piece will never come to my possession.

    Nevertheless, I am open to homages. A number of people frown on this because of the assumption that it is 'difficult' to differentiate between homages and replicas. In my view, it is not difficult to tell the difference.  A replica in the context of horology is a watch made in exact imitation of something valuable or important with the intention to deceive or defraud. To me, if a brand makes a watch that “pays respect” to another watch by using elements of its design or style without stealing any intellectual property rights, it is fine with me. This is where Athaya Vintage comes into the picture.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    Seiko Prospex Automatic Diver 200m ‘Baby Tuna’ 4R36 Blue Special Edition Ref SRP653K1- A Worthy Model to Celebrate 50 Years of Seiko Dive Watches, A Review


    I just got my hands on the latest Seiko ‘Baby Tuna’ reference SRP653K1. Part of the Prospex (Professional Specification) series, this watch was designed and made to a higher standard than the normal Seiko manufacturing process which, in itself, is already of high quality.

    By now, you would have known that I love dive watches. Seiko is one watch brand that amazes me with its design and innovation in dive watches. Since its first dive watch released to the world in 1965 - the famous 6217 diver automatic 150m watch - Seiko was able to build on this momentum, year after year. In my collection of Seiko watches, I have 10 with depth rating of 200m or more. Although some of them are not strictly designed as divers, the ability to withstand such depths is testament to the design specification that Seiko insist they have. Looking at my own collection, I have the entry level Pepsi SKX009 and Monster SKX779 as well as the professional dive watches such as the Sumo SBDC003 and VaTT SUN019P1; right up to the high-end Emperor Tuna SBDX011 and Marinemaster SBDX001. This latest acquisition would nicely complement this group.

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Seiko Retro Classic Automatic Watch SNKN45K1 - Visually Pleasing, A Review

    Last year I got myself a Seiko SNKM97K1under the Company's retro classic reproduction series. The SNKM97K1 has the vintage cushion case which I like. After that launch, Seiko introduced another reproduction, the SNKN45K1. This particular watch has the 'turtle' case with hidden lugs. I also like this design.

    I got the opportunity to get one. Although I would assume that I could have gotten it cheaper if I have gone via the net, with the recent introduction of GST in Malaysia, I am not sure how Customs will treat the package and assess the value. To be safe, I decided to go to a normal brick-and-mortar shop. The investment was RM665 (SRP RM888 GST included). I though this was higher than the internet price but after actually going through the various internet merchants, the actual amount I paid was RM5 cheaper than the best offered (inclusive of courier fees). Very surprising to note.

    The watch is a black ion plated stainless steel case and perforated leather calfskin strap with red underlay. A sizable watch with 44 mm diameter face (excluding crown) and 12.8 mm thick. It has a day and date window located at the 3 o'clock position. The dial is protected by Seiko's proprietary Hardlex artificial crystal. The crystal is slightly domed. The display case-back also uses the Hardlex crystal.

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    The Grand Seiko SBGE001 Spring Drive GMT – A Beautiful Watch in All Aspects, A Review


    Another week of so will be 1 April 2015. It is also April Fools Day as well as the birth date of my first child. For avid watch collectors in Malaysia, it is also a day when the country formally introduces the Goods and Services Tax of GST. When I was looking it up, I was surprised to note that Malaysia is one of six countries in the world that have yet to introduce GST. As it is, by 1 April 2015, all watch purchases will come with an additional GST charge of 6%.

    So, in view of this additional cost in funding my WIS addiction, I did what every WIS would do. Get another piece before the tax free window closes! The piece that would forever remind me of this momentous occasion is a watch brand that I have yet to get into the collection – The Grand Seiko SBGE001 Spring Drive GMT.
     
    This time around I got this piece by negotiating with an authorized dealer, AWG in Kuala Lumpur. I was able to get a price that is even better than the internet merchants such as Higuchi and Seiya (more about this later). As the watch is not in stock, the shop needs to make an order and by agreeing to a price at this point, I guess they are willing to give a lot away from the difference between merchant price and retail price. After three weeks of waiting, the watch was delivered.

    Since this is the first time I have a Grand Seiko (let’s call it GS for short) in the collection, I would like to spend some time on the packaging.

    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    Just created my FB page

    I have just created my Facebook page. The link is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Watchhobby/1551181425151198.

    Do visit and 'like' the page!


    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Charging a SEIKO Kinetic using a Braun tootbrush induction charger


    I have two Seiko Kinetic watches that I seldom wear (Seiko Kinetic SKA475P1 and Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN019P1). Letting the energy deplete completely in the capacitor could weaken it in the long run. Hence, it is best practice to always keep it charged.

    Unfortunately, this is the bane of Seiko Kinetics. Without the owner wearing the watch, it will not get charged.

    Seiko does have a dedicated charger. However, this charger is only sold to its dealers (in Malaysia that is). Nevertheless, it can be found on eBay although at a very exorbitant price. This got me thinking of another way to get the same result.

    Actually there are a lot of threads in watch forums about this issue. One of the suggestion was to substitute the Seiko induction charger with another less expensive alternative. The Braun toothbrush induction charger was a prime candidate.

    I got one at a shop and immediately started experimenting on my Seiko Kinetic.


    Sunday, January 25, 2015

    Seiko 5 Sports 50th Anniversary SSA171J1 "Unicorn" - Unique design and a dependable workhorse, A Review

    This is my first purchase for 2015. Although the 50th anniversary of the first Seiko 5 was two years ago, I always wanted to have a memento of the occasion.

    Been searching high-and-low for this watch for sometime now and while searching for it on eBay, got a listing from a merchant called Zippy-Watch for USD213.46 (RM735.01). Base out of Singapore, this price is inclusive of the courier charges.

    When this watch came out, it caught a number of Seiko aficionados by surprise. Characterized by its crown at the 12 o’clock position, it shares some DNA with the famous limited edition Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk (minus the spring drive movement, chronograph mechanism, GMT complication and price).

    It comes in a number of permutations relating to the colour on the casing, bracelet and dial. The particular model that I chose, the SSA171J1 has a two-tone bracelet with black dial.  Personally, I would have gone for the SSA167J1, with the black dial and clear brushed stainless steel casing and bracelet, but that particular model is all sold out.

    Monday, January 19, 2015

    The watches added into the collection throughout 2014


    This is a short video of the watches that joined the collection in 2014.

    video

    1. Gruppo Gamma - MWF LE Watch
    2. Citizen 7 Automatic Day/Date 21 Jewels
    3. Casio PROTREK PRW 3000 T7
    4. Seiko 5 6309-8910
    5. CITIZEN Promaster Aqualand JV0055-51E
    6. Orient 21J Diamond Cut Crystal Glass
    7. ORIENT 200M CEM65006D MAKO
    8. Citizen Grand Touring NB0070-57Es
    9. Seiko Retro Classic Watch SNKM97K1
    10. Seiko Prospex LE Landmonster SRP577K
    11. Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN019P1
    12. Maranez Bangla Titanium Blue Dial No Date





    Monday, January 5, 2015

    My watch collection rules: The methodology I use as a collector

    A lot of you may be wondering what is the methodology I use to manage my watch collection. It is not purely eclectic in nature (In the initial stages it was. The exuberance of being new to the hobby). There are a number of rules I follow. These are:

    Movement Type (Part 1)

    Generally there are only two major types of movements currently available now; pure mechanical or natural powered and electrical powered. Personally, I like mechanical watches much more than electrically powered ones. In my collection, although the bulk is mechanical, I do have some electrical examples. I do have some electrical examples because of certain technologies they posses. For example, Seiko's Kinetic technology or Citizen's Eco-drive technology. Click on the title to see the full explanation. 

    Category Type (Part 2)

    I classify watches into six categories: (1) dress watches; (2) diving watches; (3) sports watches; (4) chronograph watches; (5) dual time watches; and (6) specialty watches. Do note that this is my own classification. You may want to follow the more commonly accepted definitions or you may want to create your own.
    Click on the title to see the full explanation. 

    Material Type (Part 3)

    Under this rule I have five categories: (1) Stainless steel; (2) Titanium; (3) Precious metals – Platinum, Silver; (4) Other base metals – bronze, brass, Aluminum; and (5) Plastic watches. I only collect watches made out these materials. Click on the title to see the full explanation. 

     

       
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