Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Orient Bambino Version 4 Blue Dial Reference FAC08004D0 (Options: FAC08002F0 & FAC08003A0), A Must Have For Watch Lovers – A Review (plus Video)

I have been fascinated with the Orient Bambino for some time. It was just the last year that the interest started to bloom more vigorously. The launch of version 4 of the Bambino series was the trigger that made me decide to get one.

Orient launched the version 4 in the first half of 2016 herald the fourth iteration of the classic Bambino collection by Orient. It is the first Bambino model to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 type movement. It also has a number of changes from previous models.

The signature domed crystal is still there. However, unlike the previous models, the hour markers are rounded and diamond shaped. The hands are a lot thinner and the seconds hand has its tip painted red. It is also slightly larger, from the previous standard of 40.5 mm width on earlier versions to becoming 41.5 mm wide in this latest iteration. Concurrently, the lugs have also shifted wider to a more generic 22 mm from the previous 21 mm. Meanwhile, thickness is at 11.8 mm.

The version 4 is also the first Bambino to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 movement. This is a new movement that has upgraded features, such as hacking and hand-winding. More about this later in the review.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Titanium Lug Adapters for the Citizen Promaster Professional Diver Autozilla

After the rubber strap failures on my Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna (see: and Bell & Ross BR02-92 (see: I got really concerned with the rest of the other rubber strapped watches in my collection. When the rubber straps of those watches fail, it should not be difficult to find another strap (definitely not rubber!) as replace except for one watch. This watch is my Citizen Promaster Autozilla (see:

The Citizen Autozilla has a unique lug attachment to the rubber strap. This means, it is not possible to get third-party straps as replacement. However, there is a way to get around this – Titanium Lug Adapters. There are companies out there that specializes the manufacturing of lug adapters to the Citizen Autozilla. These adapters allow a standard strap to be fitted to the watch.

I was able to find one that is rather affordable from eBay. The item was from a merchant in USA and it is made in Japan. For USD60 (inclusive of USD5 for courier), I get the lugs as well as a free gift of a 24 mm Nato band strap. At the moment I don’t need to use it. In it goes into my parts drawers waiting for the day it will be called for duty.

Honestly buying third-party products as replacements for parts in my watch collection is not something normal to me. Generally, I prefer my watches to be stock, to give the authenticity to the collection. However, in this case, trying to get a replacement strap from Citizen may not be simple exercise since the Autozilla (the quart version is called the Ecozilla) are unique models. It stands to reason parts may not be well stocked and it could take months, if not longer, to get it (hopefully Citizen still have such a thing in stock!!). If Citizen can’t deliver, at least I already got a proxy in hand.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau DAAA004W or WZ0121DA (other options DAAA002T/WZ0131DA, DAAA003B/WZ0151DA & DAAA001W/WZ0141DA) – A Suave Timepiece, A Review (plus Video)

This is my first tonneau shaped wristwatch. The Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau with reference number DAAA004W (or WZ0121DA in Japan) has a vertical cross-section barrel shaped casing seldom used by watch manufacturers due to a number of reasons. It has the classical aura of a formal timepiece which I find very appealing. This particular model was released back in April 2014.

Age must be getting to me. During the start of my watch collection hobby I was keened on dive or sports watches. Formal or dress wristwatches were seldom in my radar. However, in recent times, my interest in dress watches started to grow and I have been shifting my focus towards that genre ever since.

The Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau is a stainless steel construction with polished and brushed surfaces. It has mirror finished top surface and a matte finished side. It has a curved sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflection coating protecting the dial and a flat crystal glass as a display case-back. The case-back panel is attached to the watch casing via four screws. The signed push-in crown is located at 3 o’clock and the watch comes with a power reserve complication. It is powered by an automatic engine that can be manually wound. The wristwatch is paired with a black matte calf leather strap with crocodile embossing and signed buckle.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Seiko Presage SSA303J1 (similar models SSA305J1, SSA306J1, SSA308J1 and SSA309J1) – Reliable, Durable & Sophisticated, A Review (plus Video)

The Presage line by Seiko is one of the few subsets of Seiko that has not gotten the same global adulation like the Grand Seiko, Prospex and Seiko 5 families. This was due to the fact that Presage was reserved for the Japanese domestic market. However, this unfortunate situation has been reversed with the sub-brand now being made available to the global market as well.

The Presage line carries only mechanical powered watches. The design is more towards formal wear with a tinge of sportiness. From a price point of view, it is placed between the Premier and the Prospex lines. Some of the manufacturing technologies, materials as well as high-end mechanical movements that are hallmarks of the Grand Seiko and Credor lines can sometime be found in the Presage line while maintaining the price window. Items such as enamelling and polishing techniques, use of Sapphire crystals as well as derivatives of the best mechanical movements can be found in some models of Presage. This makes the Presage one of the most value-for-money timepieces to get if you want to collect some of the technologies and materials used by Seiko in their higher-end lines. The “J” code on the model reference for this watch is indicative of the manufacturing origin which is in Japan.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Seiko Prospex Titanium 200M Air Diver SBDC029 “Shogun” – A Balanced Design, A Review (plus video)

As you all know I am an active collector of the Prospex series of watch by Seiko. Tool watches built not for style but for professional tradesman to be used and abused. The genre within this series that I am follow closely is the mechanical diving watches (I do have some Spring Drive powered watches but I tend to lump these as being mechanical as well. I guess sooner or later I will have to look at solar powered as Seiko seems to be making a push towards building this technology into more of their newer offerings).

Strictly looking at Prospex watches in my collection with movements of 6R and above, I have the 300m Marinemaster SBDX001, the Spring Drive GMT SBDB011, the Transocean Chronograph SBEC001, the Transocean SBDC039, the 1000m Titanium Hi-Beat SBEX001, the 1000m Emperor Tuna SBDX011 and the Scuba Sumo SBDC003. The Shogun is a gap that has been missing in the collection for some time now.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Seiko 5 SNK805K2 Automatic Military Stainless Steel Watch with Olive Green Dial & Canvas Strap – A universal watch - Everyone can use it, A Review (plus Video)

My love affair with military watches with green dial continues. This time around, I caught the Seiko 5 SNK805K2 in the net. Got it via Amazon Prime. Interestingly, the watch has its origins in Malaysia! It travelled to the US, stayed there for a while and then took another long haul trip back where it was made. What a homecoming.

Since the Seiko 5 sub-brand was first launched back in 1963, it quickly made a name for itself as Seiko offer a selection of affordably priced watches with a combination of far bit of water resistance, automatic movement and day & date display in a single window. The SNK805K2 maintained the standards and is one of the most cost effective mechanical timepiece currently available in the market.

The movement is housed in a 37 mm diameter by 11 mm thick stainless steel case with a Hardlex crystal protecting the dial. The lugs are 18 mm wide. The case is bead-blasted for a matte finish. The small push-in crown is located at the 4 o’clock position and is partially sunk into the side walls of the watch casing. There is a sloping fixed bezel that is the same level at the Hardlex crystal. The screw-down display case-back is also protected by Hardlex crystal.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The ORIENT Automatic Military Collection CER2D009F (or ER2D009F) Olive Green Dial – An excellent starter watch for budding WIS, A Review (and Video)

As part of my continuing focus of collecting military themed watches with olive green dial, I was able to land the Orient CER2D009F into the collection. My trusted internet merchant, emailed me about the latest batch that just arrived at his store. The MSRP in Malaysia is RM418 (inclusive of 6% GST) but I got it for just RM295.

The CER2D009F is sized perfectly for my wrist. With a width of 41 mm (excluding crown) it has a thickness of just 11 mm. Its lug size is 22 mm which helps make it feel like a watch with smaller dimensions. Made out of stainless steel, the surface is polished including the solid screw-down case-back. The dial is protected by a flat piece of mineral crystal glass.

The watch is traditional in design with three hands, a date complication in an aperture located at the 3 o’clock position. The crown is also located at the same location.

There are 5 lines of text and graphics on the dial. The first three which includes the brand as well as the logo are located on the top half of the dial. The final two are on the bottom half where the fifth line is in small font with information about the production coding.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Citizen Promaster Titanium Diver NY0054-04L Blue Dial Watch – Very flexible in all situations, A Review (plus Video)

Best Bang For Your Buck”; is a colloquial terms that best sums up the Citizen Promaster NY0054. It is a pity that Citizen has stop producing this model for some time now. I have always harbor a wish to get my hands on one. Unfortunately, the thought of getting a used piece does not sit well with my collection philosophy.

It so happens that a particular internet merchant that I used before suddenly listed a NOS piece. The price listed was way above the original price but since this would silence the ‘ache’ that I have, I decided to get it anyhow. It was listed at RM929 (MSRP was at RM2,750)

Citizen’s Promaster series is the brand’s high-tech range of sports watches. The family of dive watches under this line is designed specifically for professionals. The NY0054 is a model well suited for normal scuba divers right down to a depth of 200 meters. It was made to a tolerance that is in compliant to the ISO6425 dive watch standards.

Monday, October 10, 2016

SEIKO 5 Military Sports Automatic Watch SRP621K1 Olive Green Dial & Strap (similar to SRP623K1, SRP625K1 & SRP635K1) – A Handsome Value for Money Watch, A Review (plus Video)

I have been slowing building up my olive green military style collection for the last few years. This is one genre that is seldom highlighted in watch forums. At the moment I have three in this category. The SRP621K1 will be the fourth.

This particular example is part for the Seiko 5 range of products by Seiko. Made out of 316L stainless steel, the case material has a satin finish to give it the dark silvery gray. Round shaped, it measures 44 mm (without crown) across. Lug width is 22 mm while the lug-to-lug length is 51 mm. The watch has a height of 12 mm.

The dial is protected with a flat Hardlex crystal glass. The same material is also used for the display case-back. The watch comes standard with a vintage-style crown located at the 3 o’clock position. The crown is a simple push-down system with three positions (winding; adjusting date & day; and adjusting time). The watch is paired with an olive green nylon strap with a simple buckle clasp and two thin wire bands for the strap lead. The strap has a sufficient length for a wrist circumference of 210 mm. The lugs have a straight-through pin holes which facilitate easy strap changes. Overall weight of the watch stands at 86 grams.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

SEIKO Prospex Marinemaster Professional Spring Drive SBDB011 GMT – A Good Tool Watch With Some Quality Control Issues, A Review (plus Video)

You have guessed by now that I am a dive watch freak. One of my favorite dive watch brands is the Seiko Prospex series. Under this series, I have watches with water rating either at 200 meters, 300 meters or 1,000 meters. However, I do not have in the collection a Seiko Prospex diver with an intermediate water rating of 600 meters. Currently, Seiko has two sub-models with 600 meters water rating; the SBDB011 and the SBDB013. Both this sub-models uses the innovative Spring Drive movement by Seiko.

I decided to go for the SBDB011 to complete the set as it has a number of extras that the SBDB013 do not have. The first is the all-titanium construction including bracelet and second is the GMT complication. With this piece in hand, I would just about complete my collection of bracelet Prospex Marinemaster divers (there are still a few more to go but slowly but surely). Picking the winner is the simplest act, what came next was much harder.

The SBDB011 is a fully made in Japan (or JDM) model. It is the replacement model for the SBDB001 which was first launched back in 2005. Launched on 8 August 2015, the SBDB011 has a number of improvements over its predecessor. The new changes will be highlighted later in the review.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Seiko Prospex SBEC001 TRANSOCEAN 200 meter Chronograph Diver (similar to SBEC002 and SBEC003) - A Boardroom Quality Tool Watch, A Review (plus Videos)

Earlier this year, Seiko announced a series of new watches under the Prospex line. A new sub-line of Prospex called the Transocean Series was created by Seiko to bridge the quality gap between the more tool-like Prospex line and the more refined Grand Seiko line.

I was fortunate enough to be able to grab the SBDC039 when I visited Japan in June of this year. I was actually very impressed with the finishing quality of the watch. Read the full review of that watch here: SEIKO Transocean SBDC039 Dive Watch - A Chic Executive Watch With Elegance Yet Capable Of Extreme Adventure, A Review. Since I have written about the philosophy behind the new Transocean Series, I will dispense from it up again in this review. If you want to know more, read my review on the SBDC039.

About the same time, Seiko announced a new model under this sub-line which would incorporate a new mechanical chronograph movement with the designation 8R49. The SBEC001 (as well as the SBEC002 and SBEC003) was expected to be released on 8 July 2016.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Seiko 5 Sports Military Automatic Green SSA299K1 (Equivalent to SSA293K1, SSA295K1 and SSA297K1) - A very good beater watch, A Review (plus Videos)

One of my sub-collection focus is military watches that are not specifically diver or pilot watches. I currently have two under this sub-category (Seiko 5 Sport 100M SNZG09K1 & Seiko 5 SRP145K1). This latest one, The Seiko 5 Sports SSA299K1 will be the third in the sub-collection.

For this particular purchase, I decided to try a new dealer located in the center of Kuala Lumpur, on Jalan Raja Laut. Perniagaan Jam May May ( prices looks rather good relative to other stores that I have been going to. For the SSA299K1, the shop quoted RM644 (plus GST it would be RM682.64). The next closest was from at RM780 net.

This model has a case size of 44 mm excluding crown (with crown is it 47 mm). It has a thickness of 13 mm and its lug width is 22 mm. Lug-to-lug distance is approximately 52 mm. Made out of 316L stainless steel with cloth strap, the watch weighs in at 90 gm. Protected by Hardlex crystal glass in the front as well as the display case-back. The front glass diameter is 38 mm.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

OMG Moment: Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna SBDX011 Catastrophic Rubber Strap Disintegration Incident – Strap Replacement / Alternatives

On Sunday, I took out my Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna SBDX011 ( from storage to wear it. I wanted to take it out for a hike at a park in Putrajaya. I got this watch directly from Japan in December of 2013.

As usual, I would take some customary wrist shots as a memento of the occasion. Suddenly, I felt the watch going limp on my wrist. It was a good thing that my other hand was free and I quickly, without thinking, caught the watch. It dawned on me that the strap has failed and the watch was just about to take a one meter fall straight down to my car park’s concrete floor. A definite #OMG moment for me and I broke into a cold sweat.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Parnis 60mm Brown Leather Crown Jumbo Pilot Auto SS Watch Reference PI58 – Cheap homage to the FL23883 standard, A Review (plus Video)

A few months ago in June 2016, I ordered two pilot watches from Parnis ( Unfortunately, one of them, the Jumbo Pilot was not working (please refer to this link on the review of the other Parnis pilot watch; Parnis Black Dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer). After sending the watch back to Parnis, I received a new example which was working (more about the problems later).

This particular model conforms to the original specification of pilot watches under the German 'B-Uhr' Watch (or Observation watch) standard FL23883 of the WW2 era which calls for a watch that is 55 mm wide (excluding crown; with crown it would go to 60 mm) with a large crown. Under the A-dial format, it should also have a black dial with white Arabic numerals (all numerical markers filled with luminous material) and flame-blued sword hands also covered in luminous material. The designs also featured a unique triangle mark at the 12 o’clock position designed for ease of orientation in any condition. The movement must be capable of stopping the central seconds hand by pulling the crown. The watch should also come with a very long double-riveted leather strap.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Casio Edifice EFA-100 - A beater-watch, A Review

This Casio Edifice EFA-100 was bought in 1999 for my wife on the birth of our first child. It has a ana-digital interface with allows you to keep track of two time zones rather easily. An all stainless steel construction with bracelet, it has daily alarm setting and calendar programmed until the year 2039.

Made out of stainless steel, it is 37 mm wide and 47 mm long. It case height is 12.5 mm. the lug width is 18 mm. Total weigh is approximately 148 gm. The larger part of the watch face is allocated to the analogue portion while the digital part of the watch is located in two small windows at the bottom.

The crown to adjust the analogue hands are located at 3 o'clock while the two pushers to adjust the digital part of the watch is located at left side of the casing. 

The dial is protected by mineral glass.

The odd shaped casing do create some problems in the long run. Opening the case-back over the years to replace the batteries requires one to be extremely careful handling the rubber seals. However, as the rubber seal ages, over time, it has to be replaced. However, you may not be able to find spare parts due to the uniqueness of the casing. Despite having a 100 meter water rating, it is best not to chance it.

Overall, a simple watch to have as a daily beater-watch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Seiko’s Grand Seiko SBGA011 Spring Drive “Snowflake” – The epitome of a classic dress watch, A Review (and Videos)

My love affair with Seiko’s top-end line, Grand Seiko continues. This time I was able to grab a classic Grand Seiko, the “Snowflake” with the reference SBGA011. Like a lot of my watch purchases, it was not planned. I happened to drop in one of my favorite shop to ask about something else when my trusted salesperson informed me a consignment of two Snowflakes to his shop. Within 24 hours I decided to get one.

All Grand Seikos are made at the Shinshu Watch Studio and located in the city of Shiojiri, neighboring Suwa and Lake Suwa in a mountainous region of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. This location is almost the center of the country where the weather is slightly different from the typical coastal areas of Japan. Here, the humidity level is lower which causes winter snow fall to be very light and airy. This allows the wind to sculpt the snow into beautiful patterns not seen elsewhere in Japan.

In recognition of the locality that supported the studio’s operations, the designers and artisans of the Shinshu Watch Studio decided to create a dial which resembled this light snow fall pattern. Hence, the SBGA011 Grand Seiko Snowflake was born. It uses a unique 6 step process to replicate the snowfall in the dial. While the most complex dial in the Grand Seiko line takes 12 steps to complete, this Snowflake still counts as one of the most intricate dials in the family. Moreover, using titanium to make it as light as a snowflake, and blue accents to contribute a cold feel reinforces the Snowflake theme.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Seiko Kinetic Watch Official Wireless Charger YT02A – Practical, yet expansive; A Review

I have been experimenting charging my Seiko kinetic watches wirelessly for about a year now. Using a Braun electric toothbrush charger I was able to transfer some power to the watch with a bit of ‘trial-and-error’. Unfortunately, the amount of times I had to find the correct alignment between the watch and charger for the transfer of energy to work plus the wasted time when it was not actually charging was getting to me. In the end I gave up and decided to get a real Seiko Kinetic Charger.

Friday, July 8, 2016

SEIKO Presage SARX019 Enamel Dress Watch - Simple and Elegant, A Review (plus Video)

After searching for an enamel-dial SEIKO in Tokyo, I finally found one in Narita Airport Terminal One South Wing. The MSRP was YEN80,000 but I got it for YEN72,000 (not a good discount but can't complain much).

The SARX019 is a dress watch with three hands and a date window. It is made out of 316L stainless steel and paired with a crocodile leather strap with folding clasps. The watch is part of Seiko's Presage line and is a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) piece. This wristwatch is one of the most difficult pieces to find as it is always sold out. The sole reason behind its popularity is its beautiful enamel white dial at a very unbelievable price point.

The enamel dial is the singular point of interest for the watch. Made by baking, the cast iron based enamel dial is smooth without any hint of imperfection. Easier said than done, such perfection requires a very tedious baking process. Generally, having this material would jack up the price considerably. However, Seiko is still able to price this watch one tenth of a Swiss made equivalent.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

SEIKO Prospex Transocean SBDC039 Dive Watch - A Chic Executive Watch With Elegance Yet Capable Of Extreme Adventure, A Review (and Video)

I did not come back empty handed when I went for a short business trip to Tokyo, Japan. I went with a purpose to get my hands on any SEIKO Presage watch with a white enamel dial. Within the small window of personal time, I was able to go to my favourite watch shop, BIC Camera in the Shibuya shopping district. Unfortunately, none of the models that I want was available.

Instead I focused on the Prospex series. One line of dive watch I am interested in was the Transocean series. This is a new class created earlier this year to fulfill a certain gap not filled by any existing model under the Perspex line. This gap is especially glaring under the diver class genre.

I bet you are wondering what gap I am alluding to. Well, it's the gap between the professional diver and the professional executive. One of the common feedback which SEIKO gets from its legion of enthusiasts (I too took the opportunity to give a similar feedback) is offering a dive watch that would look equally at ease in a boardroom as it is on a diving platform on the stern of an ocean going boat.

The Prospex class has always been a tool watch but in recent years the demand has been growing from the non-diving community. Quality and brand awareness has made the SEIKO Prospex series a collectable timepiece. The reputation has grown beyond the traditional Japanese and Asian markets as the collection becomes more assessable all over the world. This achievement can also be accorded to the growth of Seiko's distribution channels. The explosion in numbers of Prospex enthusiasts (especially after 2014 when SEIKO decided to globalise the Prospex segment which was until that moment was a JDM exclusive offering from SEIKO) has introduced a number of challenges to the brand.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Parnis Black dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer Watch Handmade Leather Strap (Product Code: NEW-304) – The quality and usability is commendable despite it being a cheap watch, A Review (and Video) - Updated (16 June 2016)

For the last couple of months I have been affected by the pilot watch bug. I love the size and the simplicity of a pilot watch. For a good timepiece under this genre, the price is rather high. So, I’ve decided to find a rather cheap alternative from Parnis, a Chinese brand. After going through its vast catalogue of watches, instead of just getting one, I’ve decided to get two.

For this review, I will be focusing on the Parnis Black dial Big Pilot Power Reserve Chronometer (Product Code: NEW-304).

This is a rather large with a case diameter of 47 mm (without crown). Its lug-to-lug length is approximately 55 mm while its thickness is 15.5 mm. The case is made out of brushed 316L stainless steel polished fixed bezel and a display case-back.

The large diamond shaped crown is located at 3 o’clock and is a screw-down. There is a image of a fish on the top of the crown. The black dial has two scales; the outer one is a minute scale with markers while the inner is an hour scale with Arabic numerals. There are two sub-dials located on a top-bottom alignment where the power reserve indicator (North) and seconds indicator (South) are housed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Orient M-Force Model Reference SEL07002B0 (or EL07002B or WV0151EL) “Delta” or “Beast II” – Supersized beater watch, A Review (and Video)

Since the first Orient M-Force was launched back in 1997, I have been following this line very closely. In fact, the last three renditions are part of my collection (the SEL03, the SEL06 and the DV02).

When Orient launched the Titanium M Force (DV02) series back in March 2013, watch collectors complained loudly about the decision of eliminating the power reserve indicator which has been part of all M-Force models. It would appear that Orient listened and in May 2014, the SEL07 series were introduced that included a power reserves indicator as standard.

It took two years before I got the change to get my hands on one of the SEL07 models. I finally chose the SEL07002B0, the model with the black dial and bezel.

Like all M-Force by Orient, this watch is ISO-compliant on three fronts. This watch is certified internationally to be compliant to ISO 6425 i.e. diver’s watch standard. It is also compliant to the ISO 764 standard for anti-magnetic watches as well as compliant to the ISO 1413 standard for shock-resistant watches.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Seiko 5 Sports "Helmet" SSA283K1 - Re-crafted from an icon, A Review (Video)

The Seiko “Helmets” of the 1970s were a series of watches that have a unique case design that lent its nickname. Built tall with long sloping sides, it has some semblance to the German World War Two M1935 steel helmet. It is also sometimes known as the “Vader” of the Star Wars fame.

Recently, Seiko re-crafted a series of new models with similar line to the 1970s “Helmet” models. This set is placed in the Seiko 5 Sports line and has the designation of “SSA”. There are 5 models to choose from; SSA281, SSA283, SSA284, SSA285, SSA287 and SSA289. The first three models come with bracelets while the last three modes come with patterned NATO canvas straps.

My choice is the SSA283K1. The “K1” designation means that it is made in Malaysia. As highlighted earlier, this watch comes with the “SSA” nomenclature. Based on Seiko’s coding system, this watch is deemed to be “Enhanced” and is typical under Seiko’s Superior line of watches. However, the same nomenclature is also accorded to models under the Seiko 5 Sports series. Typical Seiko 5 with the newer 4R movements are usually referred with the “SRP” nomenclature.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Athaya Vintage AV001R:Type B Limited Edition Automatic Pilot Watch - A True Pilot Watch of an Bygone Era, A Review

My first love has always been dive watches. In my collection, the bulk of the watches comes from that particular genre (Click the following links for the list: & However, in the last year or so, my interest has started to shift towards pilot watches.

As you know, I bought a watch from Athaya Vintage last year, the Athaya Vintage AV002 Lamafa Diver Watch. I was quite impressed with the watch, especially the price. A few months ago, Athaya Vintage announced a plan to relaunch its first offering, the AV001R Pilot watch subject to possible design changes. Subsequently, Athaya Vintage conducted a market survey and the majority of those surveyed wanted something similar apart from a better movement, better luminous paint and real heat-treated blue hands.

This latest incarnation has been given the reference AV001R. The additional "R" in the reference denotes a 're-issue' from the original model. This time around only 60 pieces will be made (original AV001 was 100 unites).

Like the Athaya Vintage AV002 Lamafa Diver Watch which is a close homage to the famous Seiko 6105 diver watch, the AV001R is also a homage of the classic German-style pilot watch (or known as 'flieger') produced by Laco and Stowa until the end of World War 2. For short history lesson on the B-Uhr watches, go to the end of this posting for more information.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Orient Star Retro Future Car Concept Automatic Power Reserve Blue Chapter Ring Skeleton Watch YFHAB001D - A square watch, bit pricey but wears comfortably, A Review

Under the premium line of Orient Star, there is a sub-line of watches called the Retro Future Series that is unique that set it aside from other lines under the Orient brand. Orient designers incorporate 1950′s industrial motifs, combining past and future into contemporary timepieces. This allowed the watches under this series to be designed outside the contemporary norm of a ‘typical’ wristwatch. Hence, the word “Retro” in the name that gives an insight to the philosophy behind the series.

Unfortunately, this freedom of design does produce some examples that do not conform to everyone’s taste. Nevertheless, this is the sort of reaction which the series was meant to get, a form of anti-establishment of a rebellious nature. What makes it more interesting is that it comes from a watchmaker from Japan, a country well-known for conformity.

Of all the Retro Future models available, I prefer the “Car Concept”. The most obvious aspect of this watch is its square shaped casing. The square-like shape is characteristic of 1950s design cars. Some other unique classic car-inspired designs on this model include the steering wheel-like skeleton eye, the speedometer-like seconds sub-dial, the automatic gear gauge-like power reserve indicator and the stainless steel band that recalls the textures of a whitewall Goodyear tire.

The model which I required is the blue chapter-ring version (there are two other versions available, red and black). Both the casing and the bracelet are made out of stainless steel with parts of it with either polished or brushed surfacing. The width of the watch, excluding crown, is 42 mm and its lug-to-lug width is 54 mm. Coupled with the height of the watch at 14 mm, this watch does have an obvious wrist presence. Its bracelet design, although standard in dimension to fit into the lug width of 22 mm, is unique enough to increase the wrist presence even more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Grand Seiko GMT Green Dial Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGE033 (SBGE033G) - An excellent timepiece, A Review and Video

My first watch purchase for 2016 is this Grand Seiko GMT Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGE033 which has a beautiful green dial. This watch was specially made in honour of the 55th anniversary of the Grand Seiko, the most famous premier line for the Seiko Watch Company.

Grand Seiko quietly released this sporty new GMT watch, the SBGE033 without the fanfare it had with the 62GS Historical Collection back in 2015. This subtle marketing strategy is very common with  Seiko. The Company believes it is unnecessary to promote an excellent product. The product will naturally promote itself, if it was designed and made to impress by its sheer effectiveness and quality.

I believe this is one of the only few sporty watches under the Grand Seiko line of watches (excluding dive watches). Granted there are a lot of GMT Grand Seikos but this is the only one with a contrasting chapter ring colour compared to the dial (white on green). It also has luminous hands and markers which are not seen before on its GMT watches.

Apart from the GMT hand, there are two other additional complications such as a date function in an aperture at 3 o'clock and power reserve indicator located near the 7 o'clock position.

It is powered by the in-house 9R66 caliber, the GMT version of the Seiko's Spring Drive Technology 9R65 movement. More about this later.

The case is made of stainless steel. With a 41 mm diameter case, the surface has been given a special hand finishing technique known as Zaratsu. Only 500 examples of this watch were made.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Seiko Prospex SRP773 Turtle Diver - A beautiful case; Similar to the SRP775, SRP777 and SRP779, A Review

I have been following the progress of Seiko dive watches for some time now. I have in my collection quite a number of Seiko divers (you can view them here: However, it is one model of Seiko diver that I have not been able to get, the 6105, or more affectionately known as the "Turtle Diver".

Granted, it is still possible to get one in the secondary market but I try to keep my collection from pre-owned pieces. However, I am still open to homage pieces. For the 6309/6105, I got a homage by Athaya Vintage, the AV002 Lamafa.

For the last two years, Seiko have started to reissue (more like reinterpret) some of its classic models for the modern collector. This is very exciting for collectors such as myself as it gives me an opportunity to get watches that are no longer in production (Here are some of them which I was able to collect - SBEX001G, SNKN45K1 and SNKM79K1).

In November 2015, Seiko announced a modern reinterpretation of the classic turtle divers of the 1960s and 1970s. The reissue is more akin to the original 6309 than the 6105. More about it later.

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