The Ambassador – from Android

A surprisingly excellent model from those folks at Android USA – the Ambassador 11 Swiss complication watch (Triple Date Calendar model)

Ambassador 11 Swiss moonphase – Triple Date Calendar model

Not in the “way out” style I associate Android with at all, this is a rather elegant polished stainless steel cased Ambassador model, which features as it’s power source the excellent Swiss Ronda 5 jewel 706.B. This model has displays for – month, date, day, moon phase, in addition to the hour, minute and center seconds hands.  This particular dial also shows an index for week numbers of the year, so will appeal to businessmen as a very smart and useful dress watch.
The dial is silver/white and the hands a very good contrasting blue steel, including the seconds hand, so despite all the complications it is an easy watch to read.  The month indicator has a curve pointer at the end which is colored yellow.

Having such complications it is important as to when you change them you make sure that you manage this task at the correct time so as not to damage the mechanics of the movement.  Often the watch instructions are not as detailed as the movement instructions and I prefer to use the latter when it comes to settings.

Whilst the instructions that come with the Android are OK, a slightly more detailed set is available from Ronda on their own very good web site.
For example to change any calendar functions it should not really be done between 11.30pm and 05.30am as automatic changes are usually in progress at these times.  The initial setting of the moon phase also requires a bit of concentration and as with my other moon phase models – my advice is – Don’t lose the instructions! or better still download a copy of the Ronda ones and keep it on your computer.

Elegant clarity on the wrist

Basically moon phase functions are initially set (and done only once) by selecting the day of the last full moon, then set the date pusher to that date.  Then using the crown set your current situation and that’s it done.  For other settings the watch has some quick change pushers for the week and the date.  The pusher @2 moves the Month and Week Number and the lower pusher @5 changes the date.

The hour, minute, day and date hands and markers are infilled with luminous material and look pretty good in low light. Of course as with many of these, they will tend to fade after an hour or so, but they’re reasonable.  In daylight and for basic clarity this model excels as the dial layout is really well thought out and exceptionally clear to read.  It is certainly in my opinion a very smart looking model without being flashy – in fact a true “dress” watch that seems to fit it’s purpose very well.

At 42mm diameter and 12mm height this is a nice modern watch size (ex crown).  In fact to find such a nice watch at this size in the Android stable is quite a find, as all too often many models in their range tend (for gents) to be over-sized for me.

Now with such a busy dial face you could be forgiven if thinking that it might be cluttered and in fact nothing could be further from reality.  Everything is well spaced and lettered cleverly to be highly visible.  Note that the hour numerals are applied blue painted and stand out from the other black printed texts – quite a subtle arrangement.  I also note that the Android logo is neatly managed in a non bold typeface which says all it needs to say but is both neat and unobtrusive.

The case is a solid chunk of highly polished stainless steel and Water Resistant to 100m which is nice to see in a dress watch of this type.  The crystal is a slightly domed convex hardened mineral glass.  The complication pushers are on the right side of the case either side of the crown and virtually hidden.  The 22mm wide strap is good quality, if rather stiff, Croco embossed Italian leather fitted to quick release lug pins and with a matching polished steel Android logo buckle I have to say seems to compliment the watch very well.  However as with a few of my watches I changed the strap for a Silicon deployment style and it looks really good fitted.

Overall I’m very pleased with this addition to my Android collection (I knew the first one wouldn’t be the last!) and I can see me wearing this quite often as one of my favorite dress watches.

Any negatives?  Well. . . no actually. . . it is what it is – a very nice watch indeed. I love it!

Update January 2013 –

Well this model has lived up to my expectations big time.  It has not yet had to adjust or correct the time which shows the quality of the Ronda movement.  No issues at all as this watch has functioned perfectly since I bought it.  I’ve since been looking for another Triple Date Calendar watch and found nothing in this price bracket that even approaches at it terms of looks or quality.  It’s just a pity it’s not available now as I think Android had themselves a real winner here and maybe didn’t realize it.  Maybe I should tell them!

Movado class

A new addition to my collection is this very tidy two tone (pre-owned) Movado.  Maybe a ladies model or perhaps unisex, as it’s perfect for my relatively small wrist and as I like it so much – I’m afraid my wife will miss out on this one!  Not much data on this one but dated perhaps to around 2000 though quite possibly earlier and model name unknown, but is signed MOVADO logo on the face and a sub reference to the ESQ range on the back.  14kt Gold filled rotating bezel atop a stainless steel polished and slim case, this watch has real presence.

Movado 13 jewel quartz

It had a colored leather strap when I bought it, but I decided to fit in it’s place this nice Hadley 12kt gold filled expandable bracelet with contrasting black enamel panels which seemed to be crying out to meet up with this little gem of a watch.  And they do seem to get on very well together.

I’ve always admired Movado watches and this is my first one and OK it’s quartz and not mechanical, but I really don’t mind as it’s the style of this one that so attracted me to it.  Well defined blue steel hands against an unusual and delicate eggshell blue face with Roman numerals at 12. 3, 6 and 9, then gold applied chapter markers leading outwards to very neat minute index numerals  in 5 minute intervals plus single minute markers in black.  I like too the red 60, 15, 30 and 45 marks – beautifully set out dial with the MOVADO logo @ center 12 and a discrete “Swiss Made” at the foot.  A contrasting white colored seconds sub-dial @6 with a gold colored hand completes the dial detail.

Stylish Movado with Hadley bracelet

Topped off with a 14kt gold filled unidirectional milled bezel marked in 12 graduations and a @12 center datum gives the watch a nice solidity and contrasting two tone color scheme against the rest of the very finely made stainless steel casing.  The flat sapphire crystal is virtually reflection free, though I’m not aware of an anti-reflect coating.

That solid look makes it appear in the images like a much larger watch – in fact the dimensions are neat at 32mm diameter (ex crown) and a slim 7mm depth.

The movement is a high end Swiss quartz 13 jewel with a 1.55v lithium battery as the power source and good for 3 years at least.  Stainless steel back with the ESQ logo, Water Resistant and model/serial numbers completes the details of this watch.

Thought about another strap and have a high quality camel leather one in brown which seems to match nicely, but I have to confess I love the Hadley bracelet on it and whilst I’m not normally a fan of expandable ones, this one looks great and is really comfortable – so it might just stay as it is.

In fact I am absolutely delighted with this purchase and I’m sure it will be one of the “dress” watches in my collection that I’ll never tire of wearing – and that’s surely a very good recommendation for  any watch.

I will have to do a little bit of research on this watch however as i know very little about it.  What model is it?  What year of production and what price would it have retailed for?

As usual, anyone out there who has definite model information – I would be very grateful to hear from you. . . .

Update –The ESQ or Esquire range was launched as a subsidiary by Movado in 1995, but unable to find much reference to the early model names.

“Elixir” – time from Android

You may have noticed that some recent posts have featured the ” modern” watch as opposed to the Classics or Vintage variety.  And that’s simply because looking over my collection the other day I thought it needed livening up.

This one is from Android and the model is “Elixir” – its got both style and color . . . .

Elixir AD256

A model with a little style or color or just that “something” to lift it from the mundane.  So a new watch collection box has been born and already is filling up.  I call it my “Modern” box or perhaps “Designer watches with function”, or maybe just “unusual watches” – whatever and anyway it’s fun seeing just what’s around.

This Android watch is really well constructed and very solid (134gms on my wrist) with a brushed satin finish 40mm diameter stainless steel case with a slightly recessed knurled crown with the Brand logo.  Data on the stainless steel base states 100m Water Resistance and the model No AD256.

Clear blue & big date too

This is a “big date” watch which is located @12 on the amazingly deep blue face.  The date has black numbers against a white background and is easy to read.  Broad flat silver edged hour and minute hands have an eggshell colored luminous infill and the bright yellow center seconds hand show up in excellent contrast.  The face is colored an opalescent deep blue and has an outer border colored to match the dial and marked with white numbers at two hour intervals, with dot markers in between.  Note the outer border and numerals are marked just under or actually on the crystal, not the dial face – not a problem as long as the crystal stays intact – but lose the crystal and you lose the numerals, though in this case it seems one strong crystal!
The glass in question is slightly domed and hardened mineral crystal, the watch is powered by a Japanese Quartz movement and the watch is matched to a stainless steel solid, very solid link satin finished button deployment bracelet.  As usual the bracelet is adjusted by removing links though I note the absence of a micro-adjustment on this one, which whilst not essential I’ve always found useful.

The brand Android was founded (according to their USA web site) in 1991 by Wing Liang and whilst I am unfamiliar with the name I am  impressed by the individuality, colors and the wide range available in some of the Android collections.  I also think it fair to say that once you’ve seen an Android watch it’s brand style has a certain look and is easily recognizable – it has a definite personality and one that I felt I should explore.  However that said, some work well and others less so – a personal choice obviously.

With such a range variety I took a little time before deciding but managed to pick one up for a very, very good price – perhaps from last year’s range – anyway I thought would dip my toe into the world of Android at a modest outlay just to test the waters as it were.

That these are quite futuristic looking timepieces there is absolutely no doubt and they seem to manage a combination of traditional values of watch making with modern day living.

Wing Liang is quoted as saying, ‘When I design a watch I am inspired by everything around me, from a sci-fi movie to music, from a car to a toaster”.  “The most difficult task is to create a simplistic design that differs from other brands, I believe that less can be more”.

I tend to take these attributed but marketing influenced quotes with a pinch of salt, but that last bit does say it for me.  The watches don’t just imply simplicity but are surprisingly logical in a way that’s clean and modern and without being bland – the watches have a freshness of character that I think brings something that’s both exciting and a little bit different – and just that bit out of the mainstream to be really interesting.

On this showing so far it probably won’t be my last Android – so it looks as if I’ll have to get a bigger “modern” box after all. . . .and another point is that I actually “like” wearing it – and that says it all for me. . .

Update – April 2013

Well as with all of my modern collection, I review how they have worn (on the wrist) every year.  I had toyed with the idea of selling this one on as I had not worn it too often.  However Last week I took it out for a spin and have to admit – I love it!  It is SUCH a nice watch to wear and it looks really stunning – vindicating my initial purchase after all.  So no ideas this year at any rate of moving this sweet model on . . . .In fact I’m wearing it tonight!