Junkers Worldtime – disappoints

As I like luminous watches and also have a fascination for Worldtimer features this Junkers model looked of interest.  This is the very new Junkers 6892-5 GMT Worldtimer Chronograph, which manages to have that Classic look about it, but perhaps a little more modern than many in the Junkers range.  It also seems to promise some sort of travel practicality that might be useful to me as I still travel quite a bit these days.  This particular model unfortunately is not mechanical but does feature the highly accurate Swiss ETA G10-962, 4 jewel Quartz movement, which I can more or less set and forget.

Junkers 6892-5 Worldtimer, Date Chronograph.

Junkers 6892-5 Worldtimer, Date Chronograph. GMT sub-dial with Time Zones index.

The satin finished Stainless Steel case is well sized at 42 mm diameter (45 mm including crown) x 12 mm height, with a cream dial and a decent Water Resistance of 10 ATM or 100 m and comes across as a practical dress watch in function and looks.

However I do have to question the rather grand “Wordtimer” sobriquet, as the watch basically shows a time zone index (time zones as + 1, + 2 etc.) inscribed on the GMT sub-dial.  Incidentally this information is duplicated on the watch back, so other than a piece of time zone data, it has no mechanical function whatsoever.  So unless I’m missing something there is actually no Worldtime “function” as such at all, which is rather disappointing.  Unlike many other Worldtimers there isn’t a complication feature for example, to move the hands instantly to another time zone using a pusher.  Indeed you would be forgiven for making the mistake that the “Red” colored upper right pusher had some special function, but it doesn’t – apart from the usual start/stop chronograph function and a hands reset feature.

The Chronograph function is quite decent to 60 minutes, split time and so on, and is started and stopped by the top “Red” colored pusher, though why this is colored Red I have absolutely no idea. . . . . .

So overall whilst a nice Date and Chronograph watch it is not to my mind a proper World Timer.

Junkers with alternative deployment strap - Note RED pusher?

Junkers with alternative deployment strap – Note RED pusher?

The next feature that’s highlighted in the blurb is the luminous aspect of the cream colored dial face.   Indeed it advertises two forms of luminous ability.   Firstly the broad luminous and elegantly shaped Hour and Minute hands are SuperLuminova coated and secondly the entire dial surface is also coated in Superluminova, which according to the advertising should give this model outstanding readability in total darkness.   Note the numerals/indices are made of contrasting black Anthracite.

However knowing the rather lackluster luminous quality of previous Junkers watches (I have three older models) I’m curious to see if it does in fact live up to the luminous potential.

So as usual I performed my usual at home practical test – which is – Just before retiring I set the watch on my bedside table and shoot off the the bathroom for a wash and get ready for bed (I know this is mundane, yes? but that’s life!).  This perhaps takes around 10 minutes and during this time the watch is sitting under and facing dial up towards my bedside table lamp.  So the luminous dial is being charged (not super-charged as some folks do using a bright torch – I don’t normally carry around a torch for this purpose!!) for a decent time.  And sure enough when lights out, the entire watch face is lit up brightly and the hands are silhouetted with good dark contrast against it and you can read the time perfectly.  Really impressive and so far so good and the time was 01:30am.  Similar to the image shown here.  Sorry I was not about to start taking photos of this watch when I was trying fitfully to sleep (my shoulder injuries still keeping me from getting a decent night’s sleep!), but this is after about the same time in my office earlier in the evening under my desk lamp.

Total dial luminance feature - OK for 1.5 hrs - but after that - forget it.

Total dial luminance feature – OK for 1.5 hrs – but after that – unreadable, too faint and no Hand contrast.

On the practical test at 02:40 in the morning, the dial still had some luminescence, but the Hands contrast was much reduced and whilst I could just make out the time, it wasn’t that easy.  However at 03:45 I could not make out the time at all, the hands effectively having the same tone as the, by now very faint, dial background and was impossible to tell the time.

So the effective night use is about 1½ hours and after that it’s unreadable.  The problem is that the hands are not black, but thinly black edged and have an infill, which by the way I understand are supposed to be luminous (though I don’t see the point) but which are in fact NOT luminous.  So if after a night out you leave the bright lights inside to walk out in the dark to your car, the watch is fine and you’ll see it OK as your talking minutes here, not 2 hours.  But as an all night job, forget it.
The watch seems to me to have two issues Junkers need to address – 1) either make the hands decently luminous against a normal dial or 2) make the hands solid black against the luminous dial and here Junkers have managed neither.  And of course as a true Worldtimer this for me doesn’t deliver.

I do wish when Brands promote a luminous quality as a selling feature, they would do it properly and the said lume works for a decent period of time. Under 2 hours is not, in my opinion, good enough today.

I attach some real photos of the Worldtimer for you that show the watch as it is, rather than web page style images, which can be so misleading.

Note this watch came with a very good quality leather strap and buckle, but which as with so many of these is perhaps made for large people and certainly not my average 170 mm wrist.  On the last hole it is still too big and as a consequence does not tighten effectively on the wrist.   Unless you start punching holes in it, which I’d rather dot do, better to replace it with either a shorter more flexible one or even a silicon deployment strap, the latter of which as I have fitted in the images.  The watch will then fit properly against the wrist and the strap is then, as it should be, unobtrusive and neat.

So OK, a nice watch, Date Chronograph with center seconds hand, a GMT subsidiary dial with some City Zone time marking around it and that’s about it.  The “Worldtime” and the much vaunted luminous features both not at all as expected and ultimately a disappointing model.  In short, had the luminous feature come up to scratch and the World Time function been a mechanical complication that moved the Hour hand to a selected Time Zone for example, then this would have been a really good buy.

As it is, it didn’t and it wasn’t . . . . . . .




Infantry value?

Once again I delve into the world of really cheap watches with this second model of the Infantry brand I’ve acquired.  The last one was given to me by a friend a year ago (I featured it in August 14) and has proved OK and hasn’t let me down, is accurate and actually looks pretty good.  My pal doesn’t often give gifts, but at $12 he wasn’t killing himself!  LOL . . . .

Infantry Model IN-044 - clear display Day & Date.

Infantry Model IN-044 – clear display Day & Date.

It will be interesting to see if this one which I’ve found recently is as satisfying – and on first impressions I’d say it looks not too bad. A bit lightweight, with a coated metal case but offered at a price of just £14.24 including FREE delivery to the UK from Hong Kong, it might be a bargain.

The Maker’s description says – IN.044 model Infantry Day/Date Quartz Nite Luminous with nylon strap, images are as shown.  With a round 40 mm x 11 mm matte black colour resin case, good sized crown @3, luminous Arabic numerals, Hour, Minute and centre Seconds plus a 24 hr dial set and a good sized Day/Date window @3, the watch has very much a classic look.
Note the Day & Date feature has a quick set Crown adjustment on the first pull out click point.  The crystal is flat, described as anti-scratch glass, which it might or might not be?  It is however very clear and with little reflection. The crown action seems VERY light, so I have to assume the Quartz movement is a very small one sitting, looking lost in a large case.

Good size at 40 mm diameter and just 11 mm thickness makes for a neat watch.

Good size at 40 mm diameter and just 11 mm thickness makes for a neat watch.

Note the dial markers are on a second level to the numerals and there is a white arrow datum mark within the dial@12.

The screwed back however, isn’t – it looks like it is with the indents for a tool suggesting it’s screwed, but it’s a simple and rather flimsy “snap” back actually, hence the Water Resistance of just 3ATM – and after unsnapping that back – I definitely would not go near water!  On close inspection, the indents are too shallow for any back removal tool anyway.

NoteI only discovered this recently and after a few years that this was a snap back and a poor one at that, when the battery gave out.

Conversely a nice OK quality 22 mm wide nylon fabric strap is supplied and it has a solid and signed steel pin buckle completes the look, which overall is quite pleasing.
The movement is listed as a precision Japanese Quartz and appears to be a generic Seiko/Epson or lookalike type, but these day they rarely have issues, and it seems accurate enough.

Stainless screw back - 3ATM Water Resistance - note the spelling of model?

Stainless “screw” back? – Don’t be fooled! – it’s actually a rather poor snap back and at 3atm Water Resistance – no swimming please!

So overall I’m OK with this watch, and although cheap made, it works as it should.  In reality it looks better than it is, but without gimmicks and for value it’s OK.

Quality wise, the back is flimsy and the “snap” is weak, so water resistance is a joke.  The Luminous quality – a feature that many cheaper watches often don’t manage too well, is par for the course – in other words, it’s not too good.
That said though (and I tried this last night) it does manage some luminescence for just on 3 hours in total darkness, but any longer and it falls off to nothing.

So how I do rate it?
Well it’s VERY cheap, but it looks OK and it works.  It’s Quartz, so is reasonably accurate, the Day and Date operate as they should – and at £14.00 is about as cheap as you can get.  It’s a pity the watch back is so crap, but at the end of the day – you get what your pay for (mind you I got this one for nothing, didn’t I)  😉