Kids and Holidays?

This is what I call a kids and holidays watch – the Cannibal Compass CG146.03 from the Condor Group.

The Cannibal CG146.03 Compass model from Condor Group

The Cannibal CG146.03 Compass model from Condor Group

Inexpensive at under £20 and looks the part, expedition style and with a strap compass built on – and it’s not so small that adults can’t use it at 37mm diameter.  Has a modified expedition style velcro fast wrap strap (with compass fitted) which is perfectly adequate and all in all it doesn’t look too bad.

This is a quartz analog model instead of the usual cheap throwaway digital and it has a date window @3, center seconds hand in red and broad green infill Hour and Minute hands with matching numerals with 24hr markings too.  Water Resistance is OK at 50m (5ATM) and with a standalone strap button compass with cardinal marks + big red North pointer.  So if you’re up the creek without the proverbial, or lost (it happens to us older guys) then you can hopefully find an approximate heading that might just save your **s . . . . . 😉

The watch case is resin with a well marked bezel (non rotational) and a hand setting crown @3.

As I say, it’s just the thing for those Safari style holidays, where you may be somewhere that’s not the most secure, so a cheap watch like this maybe just the ticket.  If it gets wet – OK, if it gets lost – OK, no sweat and hardly any loss either.  Whether the button compass will manage the entire holiday is debatable as often these guys are pretty basic made.  I’ve had various button strap compasses over the years from Suunto, Silva, The Army Store and goodness knows who else and some are just fine and others not so fine, but as these cost so little, one is about as good as the other and probably depends on that particular unit or maybe the day of the week it was assembled!

But all that aside, here you get a cheap watch, that looks the part, seems to work just fine, Asian quartz no doubt and as accurate as you need.  If it works for the duration of the holiday, you’re in profit and if not, use the other one you gave to your boy!

It’s so good it’s a Sinn!

As the title says – it’s a Sinn to have a Divers watch this good.  This description applies of course to the Sinn SU1 and one from my “private” selection.

Sinn U1 Divers watch

Sinn U1 Divers watch

This is from a selected range of models I have being held in a solid rosewood display box, and where basically my “never to be sold on” watches reside.  It’s all too easy to sell on something you’ve maybe had for years for that new special model that you’ve just seen recently and have to have.  Such as the Autodromo Stradale I’ve just featured in the last Post.
But my “private” box is sacrosanct!  Indeed I have exactly 20 watches in this category, from dress, vintage, divers, military and antique – the true collectors bit shall we say and whilst not often too expensive, there is the odd exception and these ones could be viewed as investments too.

But the Sinn U1 is just one of those watches that’s ” just right” and whether it’s the form of the whole, or the balance of the hands to dial markers, that wonderful seconds hand or the general “look” of the watch – it is a superb piece of design work.

High quality goes without saying, what with “submarine” bead blasted non magnetic steel case, double anti-reflection coated sapphire crystal and fabulous luminous dial indices and hands in low light/darkness.  It is powered by the Sellita SW200-1 automatic 26 jewel hacking movement which is shock and magnetic resistant and with a 100bar (1000m) Water Resistance rating.  44mm x 14.3mm depth makes for a neat Divers watch compared to many.  The waterproofed leather strap on this model has double thick lug protector ends and a very high quality deployment buckle system with divers extension.

Not much in the way of negatives with the U1 – with the exception perhaps of the Date window @3 is a little small even with decent contrast, but everything else for me is just right and I’ve said it before, it’s often about “balance” and this watch has it in spades.

Funnily enough another model I like and for basically the same reasons is the Momentum Format 4 and although perhaps not in the same league, it also has that balance between appearance and fitness for purpose that I find so attractive.  But it’s the Sinn U1 that lives in my “selection” box.

At just over £1000 not a cheap model by any means, but it’s definitely one of those watches that once you own it – you keep it.

Autodromo Stradale

The most stylish and refreshingly “wow factor” model I’ve seen from this new Brand, which once again is inspired by the 1950’s Italian roadster racing cars and in this particular color combination is my favorite model.

The fabulous Autodromo Stradale

The fabulous Autodromo Stradale

Unlike the last model, the Monoposto which sported a Meca-Quartz hybrid design movement, this is a full mechanical automatic, the Miyota 9015, which I have always reckoned a very good movement indeed.  It has useful features such as – seconds hacking,  24 jewels,  quick date correction, second hand reset and good shock resistance.  I also prefer the styling of this model, though I personally love every model that Officine Autodromo have produced so far.  I understand the Brooklyn based Company was founded in 2010 and the first models launched in 2011 by designer (industrial) Bradley Price and there are some designers I reckon – and he is one of them.

Exhibition back view of the Miyota 9015 Automatic

Exhibition back view of the Miyota 9015 Automatic

The Stradale is a really stylish and beautifully finished model with Sapphire Crystal and is a neat size at 40mm diameter by only 10.8mm depth.   The “floating” appearance of the K1 glass numerals disc gives the dial a subtle “depth” and clarity.   And the slightly eccentric vintage position of the wire attached lugs being low on the case, give the watch a real stand out look on the wrist and coupled with the 18mm padded leather strap is just perfect.

Best described by simply seeing it’s picture.

It’s really nice to see a watch a million miles away from the macho, high tech look of the ubiquitous “military” style shock this and shock that, which seem to dominate the market today.  I know as I have plenty of them!  But this – is something rather special.

Wow!  I think I MUST have one!   (at around $75o (£550) – it’s a lovely thing) . . . .  😉

September’s rotation

I often go through phases where I wear, in rotation, maybe three different watches over a one month period and on the 1st of the next month I select another three models and wear them, again in rotation.  Perhaps in daytime or night or perhaps depending on what I’m doing at any particular time.
This month (September 14) I have this trio and basically as of now and the next few weeks I’m doing all sorts of outdoor things,  so this selection reflects this.  It’s also an excuse to Post some pictures of some of my watches, which otherwise will just be between me and – well me . . . .

An outdoor selection from Casio and Timex.

An outdoor selection from Casio and Timex.

These three are coincidentally all digital, which is just the way it turned out and from left to right they are –

The Casio SE-1200WH is a neat, flat (just over 12mm) model with enough features on it to suit me.  For once the buckle resin strap is flexible and comfortable and the model functions are pretty standard Casio fare.  In saying that, this model has a 10 year battery life and World Time, plus a small digital dial at top left mimicking an analogue clock face with hours, minutes and seconds.  Back lit with a VERY simple and effective light it is ideal for night use.  I like the fact that the dial in normal view gives a lot of information – Time including seconds, the Day, the Month and the Date and it shows the world time/normal time selected on the little world map, just as a reminder of where you are!  It’s neat, it’s light weight and it has never put a foot or wrong in the years I’ve owned it and if I remember it was very inexpensive too.
Notethe strap shown has 2 x keepers not one as standard which I added some time ago as a personal preference.

The Casio PRW-3000T is next up and one of my very favorite models from this maker.  This one came direct from Japan as soon as it appeared, so impressed I was with it.  For me it is a true improvement of many of the ones preceding it as it has taken advantage of the smaller v3 Sensor set and actually reduced the watch size as a result.   So a full ABC watch at sensible dimensions and a joy to wear, plus being all Titanium (case and bracelet) is amazingly light weight and as  many of you know Ti is also incredibly comfortable to wear as it very quickly adapts to your temperature.  The bracelet is VERY high quality Ti and really well finished and the digital display could not be bettered in my opinion.  Terrific function set as you would expect from this model and the normal dial view is as shown.  The Day and Date (press top left pusher and it alternates to Month and Date) the time in h/m and seconds, am and pm indicator, the battery state at the foot, confirmation of the Radio signal (yes this is Radio Controlled AND Solar powered) .  A 2nd push of the top left pusher shows the Barometric trend.  So the top display area can show three different situations by selection – I like it as shown as at my age it’s nice to know what day it is!  The back light illuminates the entire face and one of the best I’ve seen, so absolutely ideal for night use again.
Barometric Pressure, a full 3d Digital Compass (using Barometric pressure) and Altimeter, plus the usual chronograph, Timer and Alarms etc make this a very comprehensive model indeed, great for outdoors and very unobtrusive too.

The Timex Expedition  T49976 Shock is a real all rounder with an ideal display showing the Day of the week, Date and Month and Time in h/m and seconds, am/pm indicator plus a seconds running dial.  Excellent Indiglo back light means it’s great at night and it’s easy to find, being the only pusher on the front of the case.  Incidentally the pushers are large and textured and perhaps the best I’ve used, bar none, even shrouded as they effectively are.  Super simple Mode and Adjust function changes as usual with Timex (superior in my opinion to Casio).  The Chronograph features over large digits which are a delight to read and there is Timer plus a good few Alarms and all in this is a MOST practical watch.  Water Resistant to 100m and battery powered.  Fitted here is a Zuludiver black IP stainless steel fittings Camouflage Nato strap, which suits it perfectly (no complaints re. the Timex standard strap though, this is just my preference here).  This Timex and the Casio SE-1200 are very similar in overall function and in practicality, which is why I like them I guess – not overdone and very affordable.

So this is my September trio and actually if I didn’t have collectors mania, I could manage fine with these and no others.  But a pretty neat bunch for starters as I hope to feature my “rotation Trio” each month as a new Post topic. and OK these guys were featured not that long ago, but these are really what was to hand, so there we are.