The “Paradox” concept

What is the Paradox concept?
Well firstly you have to understand the word – Paradox.
According to the definition – it’s something that exhibits inexplicable or contradictory aspects –

Enter the Paradox PX.3001/L1

Paradox PX.3001/L1 Swiss Ronda 1062

A highly individual and stylistic Swiss Made watch which just oozes class.  Styled by the vision of the founder of Paradox Watch Company, Francois Boegli, who being fascinated by the new architectural style of glass and steel rails emulating the great sheets of glass and steel buildings of the modern city today.
The Paradox Model PX.3001/L1 features the basic elements of his design – heavy sheets of glass held in place in this case with IPG steel plates which sandwich a rectangular steel case within which resides a Swiss Quartz Ronda 1062 movement.  The sheer thickness of glass can be seen from the spectacular side view which gives the watch an amazing look of solidity.  In the image below you can see the two sheets of glass, the case body between and the steel holding plates at either end – quite a fascinating piece.

Glass & steel architectural concept

The wide black 24mm full leather strap with it’s 2 button monogrammed deployment butterfly buckle  is fitted close to the body with black screws and perfectly match the watch concept.

The dial is a neat combination of black patterns, the vertical ones at each side breaking up the dullness by clever use of any light striking the face.  The hands are silver but with luminous infills which are actually very effective and the hours represented by the 12 and the 6 plus index lines applied in silver/chrome.  I found the very thick  plate mineral crystal to be surprisingly non reflective considering the silvering.  Only the “Paradox” logo is on the dial face plus a small “Swiss Made” at the foot.

The case dimensions including the ends of the strap just as it curves away from the case is a 45mm and the width without the small crown is just 25mm and a perfect size even for small wrists.  The overall depth is just 9mm and very neatly done when you consider the glass sheets on the face and the bottom each measure around 2.5mm thickness.  So the movement case body is only 4mm thick – hence the Ronda Slimtech movement.  The case sides are highly polished black and the base shows the inscription Paradox and Swiss Made – Patented, shining through the thick glass base plate.  Minimalist and precise in it’s look – this is one very smart watch.

Note – There are a few watches around with visible screw heads as a sort of fashion thing – please note these are not.  The screws on this model are very much part of the watch assembly – just make sure they are tight! They are very easy to lose.

The Ronda Slimtech 1062 movement has a battery life (theoretical) of around 6 years (No.321) and has a specified accuracy of -10/+20 secs per month which is pretty good.  Water resistance is 30m and it carries a 2yr International Guarantee.  Included in the purchase is a very solid polished black and heavy perspex square case that almost looks like a modern office block – wonderful!

Finally – I was lucky enough to get this superb quality watch for a great price – Now that’s what I call another “Paradox”.

Note In fact I lost two of the screws on this very watch – I contacted the manufacturer Montres Boegli SA in Geneve directly by email and they sent me replacements by post at no charge – I cannot praise them enough – this is service of the highest standard.

Bocca addendum

In my post of February 2nd – HERE – I mentioned that I preferred deployment silicon rubber straps and I promised to source one to fit in the Boccia place of the supplied buckle version.  Well this is it –

 

Alternative deployment silicon from Thai Craft

Great fit, very flexible and a very good fold over locking two button deployment – I think it looks well – from Thai Craft.

Quartz – todays’ bargain.

Whilst as a collector I have a preference for mechanical watches (to see a watch movement in operation I find utterly fascinating) I have to admit that as many other folks I tend to wear a Quartz digital watch for everyday use.  And for good reason I suppose as apart from accuracy, they are much more resilient when it comes to physical abuse of modern living such as sports like swimming or golf etc.

But the range of cheap Quartz watches is nothing short of amazing – here are some –

Cheap as chips - quartz selection

Just a selection of Quartz watches that demonstrate the fabulous choice of amazingly low priced models available today in the market.

Note that in the image I have highlighted Casio who are in the forefront of this extraordinary treasure trove of affordable watches.  I make no excuse for that as they and others offer such a wide variety of different styles and features and at such incredible prices.
In this montage here I’ve also included a couple from Sekonda, the British manufacturer who topped the UK sales for brand in 1998 and still up there and also there’s a  Swatch watch in there who produce some wonderful “cult” design watches at affordable prices too.
Probably it’s these manufacturers we have to thank for giving and that’s almost the right word – giving us the opportunity to own, what is an often taken for granted marvel of miniature electronics.  There is no doubt that the Quartz revolution has given us so much.

There are of course many more around but just scratching the surface it is evident that the days of the cheap watch are very much with us – and I don’t mean cheap as poor – very much to the contrary.  These watches are tremendous value, they do what they say on the box, their reliability is amazing and the range is unreal – there must be virtually something for everyone.

For a plain tell the time watch these are around £10 – £25 and with day date window £20 – £30.  For chronograph functions £15 – £40 is possible and you can find multi-functions £40 – £90.  Of course the sky’s the limit but it is amazing what you can get for not a lot of money.

So often when considering a new watch we end up setting out sites on that “expensive” new watch, whether it be a “mid range” or indeed a “high end” model, we each cut our cloth to suit.  However it is very evident and no more so when I seek a pre-owned vintage or high end mechanical classic watch that many folk simply don’t look after their watches at all!  Slung in a drawer somewhere along with keys, pens, paper clips and goodness knows what else, they often end up with badly scratched cases (in many instances these were gold for goodness sake), scratched glass, hands knocked off and often with dampness into the dial and movements – it’s a wonder they bought a decent watch in the first place for all the care they’ve taken over them.

So this wonderful diversity of really low priced watches should be an absolute winner – if they get scratched or damaged – who cares? – at these prices simply get another one.

And one thing is absolutely certain – Quartz – is the bargain of today and there’s an awful lot of them!

Seriously Casio

One of my friends on returning from a holiday brought me little watch as a present just for fun and thought this might amuse me.  On opening the box I was not only amused, but actually rather impressed.
The watch is the little Casio Poptone Chronograph model LDF-50-1EF and one of the cutest contemporary watches I’ve seen for a long time that isn’t silly design over functionality.  Dimensions wise it could be called Unisex, though it’s short strap will limit it to the smaller wrist.

Casio Poptone LDF-50 1EF

First off it is really neat and looks good with it’s black and chromed metal composite case with a clear digital display on the front and a stainless steel back plate.  The watch sides are finished in a highly polished chrome which sets off the black surround of the digital display very nicely.  On the face there are 4  front facing “quadrant” keys just below the display and these though looking quite funky being in pretty colors are also a very well designed and functional size.  But did I say neat? – well no apologies here as neat it certainly is.

The Poptone on the wrist

In fact the whole watch may be neat but it has some serious features, such as a decent Water Resistance of 5Bar (50m), a Dual Time display, Daily Alarm + Hourly Chime if required, and a 100th/sec stopwatch – all features that are each excellent and useful, without any silly gimmickry stuff.
In normal mode it directly reads, month, day, date, hours and seconds, am/pm indicator, which alarm indicator is set – all of which are clearly seen.   It has moving graphics running bottom left of the screen showing a continuous 10 second countdown, which may or may not be useful.  It does however have a very good EL (Electro-Luminescence) back-light feature at the touch of the front pad entitled “light”.  (note the tiny figure 3 bottom right of the display – this is the back light duration in seconds) – it has two options either 1½ or 3 secs and I much prefer 3 secs to allow enough time to read it.

The strap is a resin rubber material and is proportional to the watch, being just the right thickness and has a simple buckle fitting.  The strap is actually quite short – OK for my small wrist, but for a large wrist could be a problem.  However I also note it seems to fit to small but standard style spring bars, so a replacement strap may be possible.  The watch is very light and at  just 23mm wide and around 40mm lug to lug sits well on the wrist and barely noticeable.  It has a thickness of 11mm at the middle of the watch as the front display is curved.  This model version is the most unobtrusive of  the range – I think there are 5 in total with alternative and somewhat brighter color combination’s.

The watch movement is accurate to around +/-20 seconds per month and is powered by a CR1216 Lithium battery and you can expect around 3 years life with sensible use of the back light feature.

This has to be winner from Casio in my opinion and at an incredible £20.00 (UK) is an absolute bargain.  . . . . Seriously. . . .

Any downsides?
Well if being picky – maybe the alarm is a tad quiet for me (but I’m slightly deaf – so maybe an age thing!).

UPDATE – 15th February 2011 – I’ve worn this watch for a week now day and night – I thought as the buttons were on top they might operate by mistake.  Well no worries on that score – they work only when you want them to.

UPDATE – 20th November 2012 – Watch is still a fabulous little item – keeping excellent time (as it should being quartz) – incredibly easy to wear as you forget it’s there and I’m wearing it all this week.  I note it’s still available, though the colors I’ve seen are a bit garish currently and they seem to be pushing it as a ladies watch.  When I bought this there was no gents/ladies classification attributed to it, though I did note above on the article, that the strap is quite short.  That said however it fits me perfectly!

Boccia Chrono

Sometimes you come across a watch or in this case a complete range of watches that for some reason strikes a chord.  And as I am quite a collector of Titanium watches it was of considerable interest that I chanced upon the Boccia range (pronounced Boschia).

Boccia Titanium Chronograph Cal.05.11

I don’t know about you but I have found that many of these “designer” watches often use too much chrome in their dials, with numerals and hands not being the easiest to read – too much ” bling” I suppose, a fashion I personally dislike.  In the Boccia range there are indeed some like that but fortunately not all.

For in amongst this range I spotted the B3777-02 Chronograph model which definitely bucks the trend of their other watches.

First off I like this one as it has that nicely sculpted dark Titanium colored case with matching chronograph buttons and a rather neat and clear dial arrangement.  The numeral/markers are both large and very white applied and the hands are similarly done, which contrasts well against the dark dial face.  The hour and minute hands are also well proportioned and broad which aids clarity.  The chronograph sub-dials are positioned vertically between 12 and 6 and are colored in a medium gray, which is OK and doesn’t detract – a little different from the normal white or silver.  A center seconds stopwatch hand in white, plus a contrasting date window @3 and an inner seconds chapter index completes the dial set up.

Clear hands and numerals makes for clarity

Luminous infill hands and painted numerals, large as they are I would only class adequate in the dark.

Overall however and looks wise this watch from my perspective has a lot going for it.

The crystal is a flat mineral glass and coupled with a narrow top case profile on the wide case, the watch appears larger than it actually is – though not a small watch at 47mm diameter including the protected crown (without crown is around 43mm)and is quite clear to read even without an anti-reflect coating which I usually prefer on this watch type.  The overall dial design and colorway has a great deal to do with this clarity which in this case is good design and to be recommended.  Depth of the watch is very neat at 10mm.

Titanium screw down back with watch data

The movement appears to be a Japanese Citizen Miyota Cal. OS 11 Quartz Chronograph (60 minutes) and it functions well and is accurate to around +/-20secs month so is quite acceptable.   There is also a chronograph reset function used if the 1/1 second hand doesn’t return to the O position after the chronograph has been reset or after a battery change.

The watch power is a Silver Oxide SR9 27W battery or equivalent.
The watch is marked on the screw down Titanium back as 10bar (100ft) water resistance.  I understand all Boccia Chronographs are 10bar.

Build quality appears excellent, the all Titanium case is well finished and the rubber strap is of good quality – Note this watch can also take a standard leather strap as an alternative as the case features standard lugs and pins.  A point I’ve made before and I’m really pleased to see it here.  In fact thinking further on this, a good Nato strap would suit this model very well if rubber is not your thing.  I’ll post an update when I fit one later this month for comparison. (see addendum below)

So what do we know about Boccia watches?

It is marketed from the United States importers Universal Watch Company (NOT to be confused with the UWC of Geneve fame) who have their headquarters in Las Vegas.  Watches are said to have either good quality Japanese or sometimes Swiss movements in their range of products and I’m assuming this one is Japanese with the Cal. OS11 description.  I’ve not unscrewed the back as I’ve no wish to compromise the water resistance – I’ll check it out when it eventually needs a battery.  With no data that I can find as to manufacture location I would surmise the watches are built and produced in the Orient somewhere and nothing wrong with that, though I note that their design team is actually European.

  • Marina Sechi from Italy
  • Minuca Casadavell from Spain
  • Michael Qvortrup from Denmark

I quote the above data from one of their outlets and I can see certainly see the European  influence in the finished designs.

So a marriage of European and Orient – and hopefully taking the best from both.  If this is an example of  East West collaboration then I’ll certainly look out for more of them and especially if this model is a precursor of things to come.  They are also reasonably priced for what appears to me to be a decent mid range quality product.

So overall a nice Chronograph in Titanium for a fair bit under £200 and complete with a 2 year International Guarantee and instruction booklet which includes a list of Wordwide Service Centers.

Not much to complain about though perhaps the luminous quality could be improved if I was being picky.

But nevertheless the Boccia Titanium’s are now on my watch list . . . . .

Addendum – I mentioned that I thought this watch might suit a Nato strap – Well I was wrong – it doesn’t.
The reason is that as this watch is quite large lug to lug the Nato strap quite doesn’t sit the watch snug against my smallish wrist (170mm).  Regarding the supplied strap which for a buckle version is really very good, I confess with rubber straps a preference to a deployment or fold-over clasp to buckle, so as an alternative I’m in the process of buying a third party 22mm silicon rubber strap with a fold-over clasp and I’ll let you know on an update feature once it arrives and I try it out.
Actually as I write I’m wearing it with the supplied buckle strap and whilst ii is comfortable it has a pronounced curve just at the lugs and if being picky it can’t quite sit against my smallish wrist perhaps as I would like, so the alternative one should be an interesting trial.

See Bocca Addendum – post dated 18th February 2011