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.

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