Monday, August 8, 2022

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SKX Sports Style Blue Dial SSK003K1 (similar to SSK001K1 and SSK005K1) - Not a Progeny of the SKX, A Review (plus Video)

When news came out a few months ago about the possibility of Seiko introducing a new movement with a GMT complication for its entry level Seiko 5 Sports line, there was genuine excitement in the air. The concept of a GMT is not unique in the watch world but to have a new automatic GMT movement designed specifically for an affordable range series is unprecedented. Current GMT movements are in a price range generally higher than a typical Seiko 5 Sports. Ability to introduce a GMT complication in a cheaper movement opens a whole lot of possibilities.

Moreover, to make the deal even sweeter, Seiko decided to incorporate its famous SKX diver series (c. 1996 - 2019) design philosophy in the new SSK series. Due to Seiko's new product classification guide, the new SSK does not have some of the key specifications loved by SKX's legion of fans. This break away from the iconic SKX could influence your views regarding the SSK.

Of course I will have to acquire one for the collection. Of the three available, I decided to choose the blue dial version, the SSK003K1. I made my order through my trusted dealer and he delivered.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph Blue Dial Reference T137.427.11.041.00 (similar to White Dial T137.427.11.011.00) - Pressed All The Right Buttons, A Review (plus Video)

When Tissot announced the launch of the Chronograph PRX in March 2022, I was elated. I already got the PRX automatic and it worth the investment. Adding a mechanical chronograph function in the PRX line is just icing to the cake. I really want to get one. After making a few inquiries in Kuala Lumpur, I was told that the model will be released to dealers in August at a MSRP of RM7,400.

As it happens, I was scheduled to go for a trip to UK in mid-June. Tissot announced that the model will be released in the UK around the same time. Although I wasn’t hoping to find one, luck was with me on this. I found one in a UK jewellery chain in Dundee (actually, it’s branch in Inverness got one so they had it shipped to the Dundee branch for me). After a few days I finally got my hands on one. 

Do note that the price I paid for this watch is higher than the list price in Kuala Lumpur after taking into consideration foreign exchange conversion from GBP to RM. Nevertheless, I am willing to pay the premium just to have the experience dealing with a Scottish jeweler for the very first time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Citizen Series 8 - 831- Automatic NB6010-81E Cal. 9051 (similar to NB6010-81L & NB6012-18L) - A Wholesome Design, A Review (plus Video)

I have not been closely following Citizen unlike the other major Japanese watchmaker as their offering of mechanical watches are rather limited. Nevertheless, 2021 has become a promising start for the brand as a number of mechanical watches was introduced to the market including new movements.

The realization that avid watch collectors (predominantly) are into mechanical timepieces is starting to dawn on Citizen. Although there is a vast majority of users into the practicality of quartz controlled timepieces, these group seldom buy watches as often as the hardcore avid watch collectors.

Better late then never. The skillset that is part of the Citizen Watch Group is more than sufficient to come out with spectacular watches and sophisticated mechanical movements to wet the appetite of the market.

The latest offering by Citizen is the Series 8, a set of new models clustered in a few subgroupings.

I have decided to get one of the the 831 mechanical series to the collection.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Oris ChronOris Date Black Dial 39 mm Reference 01 733 7737 4054-07 5 19 45 - A Well Proportioned Watch, A Review (plus Video)

My first Oris. I have thought that it would be the one of the 'Sixty Five's but instead the ChronOris Date has the honour to be the first in the collection.

As of May 2022, Oris' website does not list any ChronOris Date as it is deemed as a 'Previous Collection' series (it also implies that Oris no longer producing them). Not a lot of write-up about the watch but what is available has a lot of favourable things to say about it.
A common misconception that stems from the name is the lack of a "chronograph" complication in the watch despite implying it in its model name. Moreover, as a reinterpretation of one of Oris' classic design of the 1970s, the ChronOris Date have so many differences that one wonders what was the brand actually trying to achieve. Anyway, more about it later.

In reality, there are only two dial design with a number of bracelet and strap options. I decided to get the black dial version with distressed leather strap for the collection. The reference for this combination is the 01 733 7737 4054-07 5 19 45. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Seiko 5 Sports Flieger SRPH29K1 (similar to SRPH21K1, SRPH23K1, SRPH25K1, SRPH27K1, SRPH31K1 and SRPH33K1) - A Beater Watch, A Review (plus Video)

The Seiko 5 Sports line was first launched in 1963 under the original name of Seiko Sportmatic 5. It was  Seiko's first automatic day/date watch and famously known for its reliability and ownership cost. Over the years, many models were churned out from many of Seiko's overseas factories that Seiko could not compile the list of models available on its website. To take back control, in 2019, Seiko centralised the design of Seiko 5 Sports by launching the Seiko 5 Sports Collection series. This time around, Seiko's main website kept track on the models launched. 

I got the SRPD85K1 to commemorate this event for the Seiko 5 Sports Collection in 2019. Since then, I got another piece, the SRPG29K1 which happens to be an infantry inspired design. Around the same time in late 2021, Seiko issued out a new pilot watch series codename 'Flieger'. Of the options available, I chose the SRPH29K1 as it has my favorite colour, green. This time around, I got the watch from another vendor in Mid Valley, City Chain.

The reason I got the watch from City Chain was because of their membership point scheme which which offered the best discount after taking into consideration the joining coupon as well as the birthday coupon offered to members.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Alba Active Automatic Green Dial Day Date Y676-X043GRSR (or AL4249X1) - Visually Strong, A Review (plus Video)

My first Alba watch! I always wanted to get one for the collection but I was patiently waiting for an automatic model to be available before taking the plunge. Although there were a number of automatic models being launched by the brand, Alba does not have a well spread AD network in Malaysia. 

I have always loved dive watches. When I saw the Active AL42 series by Alba, I decided to get one as the first of its name in the collection. However, only City Chain store has it in one of its branch in Mid Valley (they are the AD for the brand but for Mid Valley, they don't carry the automatic models). So I had to order. After a few days, what I ordered arrived and I went to pick it up.

I took the AL4249X1, the emerald green dial version with silicone strap. I could have taken the bracelet version but I decided to get the rubber strap instead.

The History of Alba

Alba is a Japanese watch brand launched in 1979. It is a brand owned by the Seiko Watch Corporation and caters for the younger customers with modern styling at a very reasonable price. As such, Alba is often associated with fashion watches. The word 'Alba' translates to 'dawn' in Italian and Spanish. 

Friday, April 8, 2022

King Seiko Collection SPB287J1 Red Dial (similar to SPB279J1, SPB281J1, SPB283J1 and SPB285J1) - Comfortable and Perfect, A Review (plus Video)

King Seiko is a sub-brand of Seiko that was famous in the 1960s and 1970s. Back than, it competed against its sister brand Grand Seiko. The group felt that some healthy competition between its sub-brands was a good motivator for innovation. Unfortunately, the quartz revolution in the 1970s forced Seiko to shelf the King Seiko and Grand Seiko sub-brands. After a couple of decades have passed, the group re-launched the Grand Seiko in 1998. Surprisingly, King Seiko was not revived as well.   

In 2000, a one-off release of a King Seiko was made. The SCVN001 was part of the Seiko Historical Collection of that year. However, after reviewing marketing data, it was decided not to continue with the King Seiko line but instead focus on developing the Grand Seiko line which was just re-launched in 1998. 

Twenty years later, on 8 December 2020, Seiko announced the second official recreation of the King Seiko line. This time, the SJE083J1 (please refer to this link to read the review) was released which I was lucky enough to get one. This particular model was a limited edition piece and does cost a lot.

In 2022, Seiko finally released a series of standard models under the King Seiko line that are more affordable. This series have five models to choose from and I decided to get the SPB287J1 for the collection.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Orient Mechanical Revival Watch World Map Diver Forest Green Dial RA-AA0E02E (similar to RA-AA0E03L, RA-AA0E01S and RA-AA0E04Y) - A Modern Vintage, A Review (plus Video)

To commemorate the Orient's 70th anniversary, the Revival Collection has been created which offers modern reinterpretations of iconic Orient watch models from the brand’s past. At this moment, Orient has the King Diver, SK Diver, and the Retro Future Camera models issued under this collection. The latest offering is the World Map Diver.

In 1969 the first Orient Map Dial World Diver was created. The watch featured an eye-catching multi-colored world map and a 24-hour time display.

In February 2021, Orient launched the World Map Diver to honour the 1969 iconic design under the Revival collection. There are four models to choose from and I chose the green dial RA-AA0E02E for the collection.

To be honest, I wanted the limited edition RA-AA0E04Y model as this is as close to the original in design. Unfortunately, all were sold out before I could get my hands on one.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Grand Seiko Sport Collection Automatic GMT SBGM247G (similar to SBGM245G) - The Right Size, A Review (plus Video)

I love GMT watches. The practicality of that specific complication is very useful to me especially when travelling (which I do a lot). At last count, I have 19 analogue GMT watches in the collection. Out of those, three are from Grand Seiko and all powered by Spring Drive movements (SBGC201, SBGE033 and SBGE001).  

When Grand Seiko announced a few months ago that they are planning to launch a GMT powered by a traditional automatic movement, I became interested. I was intrigue to know what kind of design philosophy that Grand Seiko will use as an inspiration for this new timepiece. Will it be similar to the previous Spring Drive models or will it be totally different?

Thankfully, the design for the SBGM247G (for ease of reference, in this review we shall just call this watch the SBGM247 minus the 'G') is different than what came previously. Surprisingly, the size is more representative of the Heritage Collection i.e. in the 40-ish mm width range instead of the typical 44-ish mm range of the Sport Collection. A lot of Grand Seiko owners have commented that the current batch of models under the Sport Collection is a tad to big. It is good to know that Grand Seiko took note of the comments and acted upon it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition SRQ035J1 (or SBEC007 and similar to SRQ037J1 or SBEC009) - The Leather Strap Combo is Best, A Review (plus Video)

On 29 September 2021, Seiko issued a press release introducing the Speedtimer Series consisting of six models. A limited edition automatic, a standard automatic and four solar quartz timepieces. I was most interested in the limited edition automatic as it has my favorite dial colour, white.

As usual, my trusty vendor at the Seiko Boutique in Mid Valley messaged me that a few units have been made available at the shop. After making the necessary booking, it took me another week before I can picked it up from the store. As I imagined, the watch was impressive in the flesh. It has the heft and looks imposing without much effort.

The SRQ035J1 is a limited edition timepiece. Only 1,000 units will be produced. Although it come standard with a bracelet, the watch box also included an additional leather strap. 

The Speedtimer series was created in honour of the innovations Seiko did back in 1969 when the first Speedtimer was released. Strictly speaking, it is not a homage to a vintage design as the genesis of this new edition was in fact a stopwatch. 


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