Deployment as replacement

Regular followers of my blog will know that I have thing for comfort regarding watches.  So often watches come with less than perfect straps and bracelets that whilst perhaps, and even this is debatable, are made to “look” good and compliment the model in question, but unfortunately simply do not fit  the wrist properly.  Or more accurately – they don’t fit or suit my or perhaps your wrist!

This is especially true of the “utility” watches I own and I quite often replace the supplied fittings.  Perhaps they are very thick or stiff leather, or heavy wavelike rubber more suited for wearing over neoprene wet suits or sometimes a plastic or textile poor quality affair that either becomes brittle or  unravels.  So I tend to replace these with a silicon rubber deployment strap.  These are fairly low cost, easily available and generally made to a similar standard and once fitted are very easy to use and extremely comfortable.  I tend to prefer a twin button release version with a safety overlap clasp as shown here.

Typical silicon/rubber deployment fold-over strap.

Typical silicon/rubber deployment fold-over strap.

The strap basically is made of silicon rubber and slightly tapers down from the lug ends to the deployment clasp.  There are around 14 slot holes across the strap that accept the spring bar and can be cut to fit the length required.  Note on the ends are supplied new spring bars protruding out from the lug fixing ends as you see above.

Deployment and fold-over safety clasp

Deployment and fold-over safety clasp

Now fitting these is by no means “rocket science” and is quite simple.

Note twin button release

Note twin button release

The straps come with two spring bars, obviously the right length, as you will have first checked the distance between the lugs (the strap width) and ordered for example, a 20mm deployment strap.  They are generally available as 18mm, 20mm, 22mm and 24mm, though it may be possible to get others outside this range, this tends to be the usual.

As you can see the strap fits to the deployment mechanism also with small spring bars and there are usually 3 alternative positions on the deployment fitting which allows you to adjust the strap for a more perfect fit once you’ve cut the strap to the approximate size required.

I usually remove the old strap and fit both the free ends of the new deployment to the watch using either the new spring bars or the old ones, whichever fits best – note sometimes the original watch fittings may be either too thin or too thick, so I prefer myself to use the new ones. Once you’ve fitted the strap it will of course, unless you have Neanderthal wrists, be far too big and loose.  Simply wrap your other hand around it and squeeze it to your wrist to see how it should look.  This will give you an idea how much to cut from both sides and to make sure the positioning of the flat metal work is against the centre of the inside of the wrist.  You then use your scissors and cut down the edge of the slotted holes in one side of the strap (take care not to run too close to the edge of the groove – you may cut into the hole itself).

If this is the first time you’ve attempted this, take less off than you think at first, because you can cut more off as you go along, trying it out on your wrist as you go.

Once you’ve cut one side check the other and cut it to size as required.  I’ll repeat that you should try to make sure that the deployment clasp is positioned more or less against the centre part of your wrist and not off to one side – this would not be comfortable at all.

Where to scissor cut the strap.

Where to scissor cut the strap.

Cut points - select a point to suit you on each side of the watch.

Cut points – select a point to suit you on each side of the watch.

It is important however to get the right end of the strap to the correct lugs on the watch.  Looking at the watch from the front with the 12 at the top, the top lugs should be fitted to the end of the strap which has the deployment swivel and button release mechanism – AS IMAGE ABOVE.

This can be seen in all the watches in the next image.

Look for the 12 o’clock position of each model shown here and note how the deployment swivel end fitting is attached to that lug side (note – these are shown for a left wrist watch wearer).

Examples of deployment fitted watches

Examples of deployment fitted watches

So as said, no rocket science here, but care should still be taken.  Always cut the strap, if this is the first time you’ve done this, a bit at a time.  Once youv’e done both ends, try it – if it’s still too big, decide which side is the one to cut a little more from and try again. You can always shorten a little more as you go – too much and you’ll end up buying another strap!  But if you’ve never tried a silicon rubber deployment strap, why not try it.  They’re available on Ebay for example and don’t break the bank.  Also with so many of what I call “utility” black faced, sports, divers style and military watches around, these suit them very well – but importantly once fitted these will also now be really comfortable to wear.  Note they are available in different colors, though black is the most common.  They also come in various textures, though for me I always seem to end up with the same one – with the parallel lines.

A simple post this time and perhaps a little bit simplistic for many, but you would be surprised at how many watch wearers have sold off watches as not suitable, when it was actually the strap and not the watch.

So if you’re lucky enough to get a new watch for Christmas and you discover that the strap or bracelet just isn’t right – don’t despair – maybe a change of strap might just solve the problem.  Anyway good luck. . . .!

Note – Not all watches can take standard replacement straps – some are special fittings or integral to the particular watch.  Check that a standard spring bar lug and strap fitting is possible before trying the above.

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Basically Traser

Whilst I referred to this watch in my Tritium comparison post recently I didn’t actually feature a proper review.  This I will remedy now.   The Traser “Classic Basic Black” watch as it is known or model T4102.240.A2.01 is a mid priced Tritium light source date watch from Swiss manufacturer Traser.  More accurately this is mb traser® H3 and is the company-owned watch brand of mb-microtec ag. Thanks to its research, the Swiss company mb-microtec ag has succeeded in manufacturing a self-activated light source (GTLS = gaseous tritium light sources) that is 100 times brighter than any previously available.  This is the technology it features in it’s range of watches.

Classic Basic Black from Traser

Classic Basic Black from Traser (shown here with replacement deployment strap)

First off – the specification –

Model T4102.240.A2.01 – 2011
Case stainless steel case.
40mm diameter and 10mm depth.
22mm steel expandable bracelet (leather strap version available).
Ronda 715 Quartz movement.
78g weight.
mb-microtec Illuminated dial features – 1-11 green tubes & 12 – orange tube.
h/m/s hands green tubed.
50m Water Resistance.

The case is clean and solid looking with slight brushed satin look apart from the thin top bezel which is polished and being thin it allows the dial to dominate the watch look.  It is in fact 35mm diameter and with the black dial background, large white numerals and white hands it is very clear to read.  In fact one of the most legible I’ve seen.  The date window is @3 and is set in a contrasting white background.  A centre seconds hand completes the internal features and all under a flat mineral crystal that is very clear.

High visibility dial of the Basic Black

High visibility dial of the Basic Black

So in the dial department I have nothing but praise for this model.  It is very legible in all lights, daylight, low light and as fitting for an mb-microtec tritium lit watch – it is especially excellent in total darkness.  The Tritium tubes glow bright with the individual hour markers in green, the 12 marker in orange and the hands in green all easily visible.  The seconds hand is just as bright and can easily be seen as it tracks around the dial in total darkness.  In my opinion it is probably the best by far of any luminous system.  Mb-microtec guarantee the light source for 10 years though I have the feeling that these will last considerably more than that before any degradation of light intensity.  My oldest mb-microtec illuminated watch is just 6 years old now and it is still as good today as when purchased.

So no complaints at all regarding the dial features, legibility and night use – this watch excels in all these departments.  Exterior wise it looks OK, clean steel lines, a slightly angular but not unattractive case shape with the good sized onion crown and with the deceptively large dial it is an easy watch to wear and own, no doubt of that.

Poor quality expandable bracelet

Poor quality expandable bracelet

However when we come to the steel elastic bracelet, this is another matter entirely.  This is a very poor affair, badly finished and very uncomfortable on the wrist – and certainly on mine.  As can be seen in the image here neither the finish nor the fit of this bracelet is the quality of the watch.  And this a real disappointment and so much so I replaced it with (as shown) a spare silicon deployment strap, which not only suits the watch much better, but is now comfortable to wear.  In fact the shape of the case back and the general size of the watch, coupled with my replaced strap, makes this one of the most comfortable watches I now own.

P1050279

Onion crown, stainless case - clean lines

Onion crown, stainless case – clean lines

Quality wise regarding the steel finish, whilst it’s definitely not as good as the Traser Big Date, it is certainly OK.  I also note that it’s much lighter than the Big Date model at 76g (with my strap) against the rather heavy Big Date at 146g, though that’s good I think as you hardly know you are wearing it.  As for the elastic steel strap – I have to view that as a mistake.  I recommend the strap version.

Flat screw back in stainless

Flat screw back in stainless

Sorry I did not manage to get a picture of the dial in the dark – my skills with my little camera don’t seem up to the job.  Suffice to say that there are images on the mb-microtec, H3 Traser and other web sites which show that far more clearly than I can.

The traser H3 web site can be accessed here.

So overall I have to recommend this as a very good all round daily beater utility watch.  Superb clarity in day and night conditions, easy to wear, good size for small to large wrists and well priced too.  I would disregard the so called “elastic steel bracelet” as an aberration from Traser and purchase the leather version if possible.

Note – Personally I find the easily sourced silicon deployment straps I use on many of my watches are always a good replacement, though usually for replacing the more outlandish rubber diver’s straps favoured by some Makers.  In this case however, it was an absolute essential and saved the day as far as the Traser Basic Black was concerned.

It would be nice if Traser take note of customer feedback in this instance and ditch the “elastic” bracelet – let’s hope so.

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Another contender

Yet another model I’ve seen that I find attractive is the German producer Dievas (pronounced “D-Ah-Vas”) who have an interesting and very affordable range of quite decent quality timepieces.  Modern diver or utilitarian style I suppose you could call them and the one I feature here is under their “tactical” series – the Voyageur GMT.

The Voyager GMT Dievas

The Voyageur GMT Dievas

And whilst this has a larger case than I usually go for at 45mm, that is offset a little as it measures only 11mm depth, which means it’s not too bulky at all for my smallish wrist.  It’s a 3 piece case made from Grade A 316L stainless steel.  It is also hand finished which is rare these days in watches of this price range and has undergone the Dievas 6Steel treatment, known as Dievas 6Steel™ and as a consequence is very resilient to scratches and knocks.

You will note the large clear dial face clearly visible under a thick sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside and clear Arabic numerals on the hours.  White coated hour & minutes hands, plus a center sweep second, also in bright white and an almost forgotten date window @3, which I would have preferred much larger, seeing as everything else is so clear.  The hands are treated with Super-LumiNova for great low light clarity, which for me is a plus.  The 3rd hand which is GMT (or second time zone if preferred) is a sort of “floating” one, with only the tip being noticed initially.  It is there of course but is colored black as the dial background but the tip is a bright red edged arrow with a Super-lumiNova centre.  The pointer points very precisely to the outer 24hr perimeter track which is excellent, though the large red GMT lettering, whilst eye catching, for me perhaps is just a bit OTT.

"hidden" GMT pointer with red Super-LumiNova arrow tip.

“floating” GMT pointer with red Super-LumiNova arrow tip.

This model features the ETA 2893-2 automatic movement, which additionally has Côtes de Genève on the rotor and plates, incabloc shock protection and a 42 hours power reserve.  A large 7mm crown means easy adjustments and finally it comes fitted with a rather solid 24mm red stitched leather strap and steel buckle.  Personally, having a small to medium wrist, I’m not a great fan of heavy leather straps, so I might fit a silicon deployment replacement strap, but this is a personal thing.

As said this model caters for night time use, unlike so many others out there, which is to my mind, considering the utilitarian/divers style market, should be an essential requirement.  And it does so rather well as shown in the last image courtesy of the Dievas web site which shows a typical night/low light image.

Voyager low light view - note the GMT arrow.

Voyager low light view – note the GMT arrow.

So pretty good on legibility at night, though with GMT arrow pointer clearly but the outer track not being lumed, you have to remember to x2 the visible numerals – in other words, this one is reading just after 9 hours.  I particularly like the second hand clarity as shown and hope it’s really that good in reality.

In conclusion a nice watch and a worthy contender for my collection and definitely a wearing watch, not just for the cabinet.

Good points? – The watch dimensions, the case finish and the dial clarity – can’t really fault it – excellent.

Bad points? – Well perhaps the date indicator could be larger especially as the Dievas philosophy is legibility and since the rest has excelled in that department.  And for me the strap is too heavy, but here I’m being very picky.

Overall – it is a fine watch at the end of the day – and this one is affordable and I’m sorely tempted!     Again!   😉

Ones I would like. . . 1

Trouble with watch collecting is that all too often I see new, or perhaps older models I may be unfamiliar with, that for some reason or other suddenly become objects of desire – that is – I want one!   And there are quite a few, so over the next occasional posts I’ll feature some of them.  Who knows they may interest some other folks as well – maybe even decide a Christmas present or two at the same time. . . 😉

The first one is from a Manufacturer I really like – the Swiss company – Xemex – a young company founded in 1996 by designer Ruedi Kulling, that continually designs in my opinion simply stunning watches  –

This particular one is a wonderful timepiece with two rather clever features.  First is the typical Xemex extraordinary articulated lug arrangement that allows it to fit even the smallest wrist and second, an amazingly large clear face virtually the diameter of the watch.  Dimensions wise it’s really deceptive at only 40mm wide but dominated by the dial, so it looks really impressive on the wrist, without the bulk.

Xemex Piccadilly “Hours”

Xemex Piccadilly “Hours”

The watch is also very well made and the design is such that chunky, angular, but rounded and solid, are all terms that can equally describe this lovely model and in fact their entire range.   This one is from the Piccadilly series and is known as the “Hours” model.  It is slightly quirky (which I like) in that it looks just like any standard chronograph with side pushers, but these actually control the oddly large secondary “hour” sub dial.  The single pointer in fact records hours (I suppose this could be called an “hours” chrono) – so no spinning seconds whizzing round or minutes – countdown or elapsed time style.  But actually simply recording hours and maybe half hours is very useful for those parking meters or meetings that are forever running over time, or perhaps checking when your plane is going to land.  One quick glance and you know the score.

Very clear white edged skeletal hands for hours and minute regular time against the black dial background and the wonderful Xemex red sweep seconds centre hand, white dot markers and a date window @3, plus that thin front bezel allows great dial visibility.  A solid screw down logo’d crown and a sapphire crystal completes the description looks wise.  Internally this is a high quality Swiss Xemex modified ETA Valjous 7750 movement, which is visible through an exhibition back.

Now if my own XE5000 model is anything to go by, this will be one very accurate, smooth and dependable watch.

Butterfly clasp Xemex rubber strap compliments the whole ensemble and this is definitely one watch I intend at some point – to get myself or perhaps an Xmas present could be coaxed? from family. . .

There are a good few other models from true chronographs to Big Date and GMT etc. so quite a range to tempt.  They all have one thing in common – perfect fit, a sort of “elegance with power” look and very high quality throughout.

I don’t think I need any more convincing – this will be the next one. . . . I’m sure or I would be if I had the money!  It’s a little bit more expensive than most of my picks. so I may have to wait. . . .

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24 + 1 equals Duo

Well it had to happen as in fact I said, in a post some time ago when reviewing some of the One Handed watches currently available.  My favorite was at that time and still is the Botta series – and if you recall I reviewed the Botta 24 Uno in September 2011, and whilst I liked it very much, the Botta model I decided on had to have something a little extra –

The Botta Duo 24 Black – and here it is –

Botta 24 Duo

Botta 24 Duo

As you see this is a Dual One-Hand watch so to speak, which I know sounds a little bit odd, but bear with me because you might just be surprised.  I know I was after taking a more careful look at it.

Basically what it does is show both local time and the time at one additional Time Zone – but – and here’s the clever part – it uses just ONE hand in each case.  It’s what I personally call “minimalistic clever”.  So maybe minimalist but it’s actually showing remarkable detail as well.  And to me that is clever!

Whilst I used the minimalist description, it is more accurately a watch designed more in the German “Bauhaus tradition”.  This means it is produced in a radically simplified form but with the watchwords (sorry!) of rationality, functionality and not least – artistry.  A wonderful concept.

Botta Duo 24 - both hands set to local time

Botta Duo 24 – both hands set to local time

As you see here the dial is very clear with the large yellow main hand pointing as it does to the main outer and upper level track.  This track is divided into 5 minute segments and covers 12 hours as a regular watch.  Using this outer ring the first revolution will reach at first the 12 noon and after 12 hours it’s the 12 midnight.

However for the second time zone or GMT setting which is your choice of course, it is the lower level or inner 24 hr numerical ring that is used and with a rather neat secondary pointer hand.  Here in this level of the dial, note the clever use of the darkened lower half of the face.  This denotes day time and night time.  So using and reading the 24hr ring it means that from 9am in the morning (left) till 6pm in the evening (right) is in effect a really intuitive graphical illustration of your day but spread out in front of you.  Later of course and after 6pm we travel clockwise into the darkened lower half of the dial, through the evening then into the night and midnight, then move up once again towards daylight and 9am at the left side.

Interesting concept and as an example try and visualize the watch face as a man standing looking out to sea and at the horizon of the sea.

Graphic representation of time and dial

Graphic representation of time and dial

Just as the sun rises in the east or the left side of the horizon, which is also 6am, the sun then rises in the sky till at midday it is overhead or at the 12 position – noon.  It then progresses through the afternoon till evening, which we’ll call 6pm or the right horizontal position, then midnight at the foot of the dial – numbered “0” – not 24 and as it should be (there is no 24hr in Military time).  Also note that in the 24hr dial as I’ll call it, the graduations are in 10 minute intervals, not 5 minutes, and this is so clever and all about clarity.  As you know the closer to the center, the graduations would normally be smaller and more difficult to read – so here they simply keep the same graduations in the available space – but these are now 10 minutes instead of five – it’s quite brilliant and so simple.

Another feature of the two shades of the upper and lower halves of the dial – you can immediately see if the Second Time Zone is in the dark or in the daylight – so you can phone that business contact or your good lady back home, knowing you’re not going to wake him or her up at some ungodly hour!

Note the darker shade of the bottom half of the dial

Note the darker shade of the bottom half of the dial

When at home and not traveling abroad, what I do is to set both hands to my local time.  For example – I have the main hands set to 6pm and I have the secondary 24hr hand set to 18hrs, so I know it’s the afternoon/evening and not early morning.  And being used to reading two hands anyway (hour and minute on my usual watch), but here I see immediately if it’s evening or morning. (usually of course looking outside would tell you that! – but here in Scotland over the past few weeks it’s very difficult to tell the difference!).

This modified Swiss Ronda 515.24H has an unusual quirk when setting the 24 or second time zone hand.  This is set by pulling out the crown to the first stage, then rotate the crown anticlockwise to set the 24 hr hand to a time approximately  minutes ahead of the desired time.  Push back the crown to it’s original position.  Now after pushing the crown back in, it takes the movement exactly 5 minutes to compensate for the degree of play in the hands.  It then displays the correct time after that five minutes.  I assume this is because the outer scale is 5 minute graduations and the inner 24hr one 10 minutes and this compensates for the difference.

Clean press fit stainless back

Clean press fit stainless back

Flat sapphire glass, stainless steel slim case

Flat sapphire glass, stainless steel slim case

The watch details are –

Diameter – 40mm, Depth only 7.5mm. Weight 43 g, 3 ATM Water Resistant, Calf Nappa strap with stainless steel buckle, Made in Germany.

So a nice watch and concept with the 2 hands for two times, but is it a winner?  Well so far I’m finding it very, very good.

A slight reservation, though personal is that the dial graduations are very small so if you wear glasses, then you’ll need them!   But that said having a separate hand for the 24hr reading is so clever and does improve on the sub-dial found on other 24hr watches if reading accuracy is needed.

Anyway it’s in my collection now – perhaps as an oddity or an unusual model of it’s time and it’s certainly a talking point.  Botta – you’ve got to “hand” it to them – they are pretty unique!

UPDATE 23rd December 2012

Having had and worn the watch for a while now I am surprisingly finding it very easy to read – at a glance you can immediately assess the time and rather accurately too if you look more closely.  So it scores highly in that department, which I confess was a concern, but now laid to rest conclusively.
I had a slight niggle due to the shape of the case.  Even although the back is quite tight against the wrist, the front/face of the watch including the crown is held away from the wrist.  Basically owing to the back diameter being smaller at 30mm that the front, therefore making the watch top heavy and I found it moved around my wrist.  If the back was 40mm as the front, then it would tend to stay where it was. 

So – I decided to change the leather strap to a silicon deployment variety – to see if this would improve things – and it worked a treat! – The watch is now held flat against the wrist as it should be and doesn’t travel around the wrist.  The deployment strap can be adjusted so much more accurately than pre-cut holes in a leather strap.  And it actually looks good to.  I’ll post an image as soon as I can.

Botta with silicon deployment strap replacement

Botta with silicon deployment strap replacement

Overall however I am very happy with the watch – in fact even more so now the strap issue is resolved!  Just needs a date window now to be pretty much perfect!

Note – The watch movement is a modified version of the Ronda 515.24H.

UPDATE January 2105

Well as with all my watches – if I don’t wear ’em I move them on and that’s the case with the Botta one handed 24 Duo.  Great watch but I simply haven’t worn it for months and months – and that’s no good at all.  Despite being a one off a kind of model that’s as beautifully designed as it is made, I’ve taken it to Auction.  It also might be that as I get older I’m gravitating towards the more conventional dials and hand layouts (my eyesight is not as good as it once was) and it’s too much trouble to read it ( my brain’s slowing down too! ).  Though as I said in the review it’s actually very easy – but no longer for me AND I can’t see the dial at night – and luminous night reading is becoming an essential for me today. 
So we’ll see what t brings and it could be interesting as it rarely see in an action – so as ever – Watch this space!

ps – I still have my Botta Argos which is conventional dialed and it won’t be going anywhere but my wrist!

Retro Ana-Digi Classic

Many years ago I remember owning a watch similar to this one – It too was a Citizen and I thought at the time it was the best thing out and here it is again.

Citizen JG2012-50E

Citizen JG2012-50E

I got it at a time when Digital watches and more particularly Ana-Digi watches were appearing for the very first time.  Exciting too as they were trying to incorporate all sorts of exotic functions that the analogue only watches struggled to match. Day and date and months first, then countdown timers, chronographs, dual time indication and this one even had a thermometer – not that this was terribly practical, but in those days you just had to have it as it was so wonderfully way out!

Slim at 9mm with gold tone satin finish.

Slim at 9mm with gold tone satin finish.

Neat base metal back & push button controls

Neat base metal back & push button controls

So what are the specifications of this watch – First the official name – Citizen Ana-digi Thermometer Digital Dual Time Vintage JG2012-50E.

Main Features are an Analog + Digital display, Chronograph ( up to 24 hours), 1/100 sec,  Alarm, Dual-time zone, Thermometer, Auto-calendar (to year 2099), LED back light, Battery life: 2 – 2.5 years, Water resistant, Dimensions: 42 x 34 x 8 mm and the weight is 72g, so a nice light wear on the wrist.

So pretty comprehensive, though I have an issue with the back light, which is a tiny light in the right top corner of the day/month display and which is totally ineffective at the dark, as it doesn’t illuminate the digits properly at all – in fact much like the original one I had all those years ago.

The controls or push buttons are fine to use, the top left one is the Mode function which cycles through each of the watch main functions, Time, Date, Alarm, Dual Time and stopwatch as indicated in the lower left window.  Once selected that particular feature will be displayed.  Also to adjust or set any of these, once you have your selection, press the top right button for 2 seconds and the appropriate function flashes and can be adjusted using the bottom right button – really very simple.  And the bottom left button is the back light, though not the most effective.

The analogue dials are actually very clear to read, which I thought might be a concern, but the color contrast of the dial works well – as does the seconds dial at the right.  I tend to use the watch set to date as this shows the time with continuous seconds on the analogue dials and the day and date in the digital window on the right, so the essential data on a first glance.

The lower digital window on the right in normal or date mode always shows the temperature.  While the watch is off the wrist it is surprisingly accurate against the thermometer I have here in my office.  On the wrist of course as with most of these watch temperature sensors, it will indicate more or less body temperature.

On the wrist - slim, sleek, light and looks the part.

On the wrist – slim, sleek, light and looks the part.

Buy Hey! when I got my first original model of this, who cared!  It was new and exciting and yet another function on your wrist. Of course  to come was the calculator, then the memo functions and goodness knows what else, but this one for me was the first.  And the first of many. . . .!

Since getting this it is amazing how many folks have commented when on my wrist.  Some remember it from years ago, like myself, reminding them of the ’70’s and those days where everything was happening “man”.  Others just admire it’s slimness and the sleek retro look and I have to admit – it is a very nice watch to wear.  It seems to me that Citizen created a clever and neat watch here to show as clearly as possible many different functions – perhaps a lesson to those watch makers today who so often create something that can be cluttered and over fussy and difficult to read.

It does go to show that you can’t beat a great design and this in my opinion – is a classic.

User Manual for the JG series – CitizenJGretro

The obscure “Voken”

It seems that Citizen is a very widely tentacled Company and this vintage Voken is perhaps proof of this fact.  Indeed a true Japanese (Tokyo) watch, very simple Japanese movement and a typical 1970/80’s style.  This one is a manual wind, no date, just the time and is in prime condition and has one of the smoothest “sweep” seconds hands I’ve seen in a long time – AND it keeps remarkable time for such a modestly priced watch.

Voken - another Citizen offshoot?

Voken – another Citizen offshoot?

I have seen Voken brand watches before and they seem quite rare today.  They don’t seem to have any particular allegiance to brand movements as I’ve seen Russian USSR movements made by Raketa or Slava and nothing wrong in that as these are pretty strong units in their own right.  I’ve also seen the odd one from Hong Kong (they had a presence there I understand) with Chinese internals.  Made usually for the home and Chinese market it comes as no surprise to see Chinese text along with Russian and also quite often in English.  This particular movement is neither USSR nor Chinese, but seems to be a complete Japanese made item – perhaps a classic in it’s own right.  Miyota I guess.

Blue strap suits this Voken perfectly!

Blue strap suits this Voken perfectly!

When I got this some years ago, it had the most awful brownish, muddy and rough textured strap fitted and looked very dull indeed.  Which is a real shame as the watch actually looks pretty good.  The dial is well made, good hour markers and a cool bluey/violet/purply almost fluorescent colored face.  Nicely shaped clear crystal, resin screw back and a smart shaped case mean it’s worth getting decent strap for it I think.  So keeping with the ethos of the cheap watch I fitted this smart complimentary colored one with matching gold buckle.  I think the color does the whole shebang some justice – so much so that I’m wearing this for the week.

Japanese simplicity = surprisingly accurate watch!

Japanese simplicity = surprisingly accurate watch!

So OK – a cheap, simple little Japanese watch it may be – but in amongst all the wonderful timepieces out there – I really like it. . . . (sad isn’t it?)  😉

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