Head turner

Been in Germany for a few weeks and managed to come away with another designer watch that for me is a neat dress idea.

The "Turn" by Rolf Cremer - drivers watch style and modern too.

The “Turn” by Rolf Cremer – drivers watch style and modern too.

A very modern take on the old “drivers” model idea where the wearer if driving a car for example, can see the time clearly without moving the wrist on the steering wheel.  The clever old idea of turning the watch face/dial by a few degrees makes all the difference.

With the “Turn” series from Rolf Cremer in such a large range of dial and strap color combinations, it really is a watch for the dress conscious amongst us and ideal for that night out. It’s also that little bit different and draws a few comments I can tell you.

It is also, owing to it’s neat dimensions, a true unisex model at just 25 mm wide, 7 mm depth and 35 mm lug to lug.  Perhaps seen as rather small for the more masculine, but as a dress watch under a shirt cuff, it works well.

Nothing extraordinary about the watch technically of course, though it comes with a nice leather strap, Titan tough glass and an amazing range of color combinations.

Just part of the range of "Turn" combinations.

Just part of the range of “Turn” combinations.

Quartz movement, basic analog time indication with center seconds hand and in various colors.  I like this particular combination 491816 (retails for 149.99 Euros) as it’s nice and clear to read, but there are plenty to choose from to suit your particular needs.  The leather straps are available as separate purchases should you wish to change the look.

I would have liked to have found this range of watches before Christmas as they will certainly make good and reasonable cost gift ideas for either sex and I’ll definitely keep a note of them for future reference.

Note that Rolf Cremer of Germany manufacture a wide range of other models and their web site may be of interest – HERE.

The Re-Run Nixon

Always on the lookout for that affordable, fashion conscious, interesting model at that special price.  A model that has that “something” about it that separates it from the rest.  I think I’ve found it in the shape of the Nixon – The Re-Run Leather.

Nixon Re-Run Leather watch

Nixon – The Re-Run Leather watch

It looks dead cool retro, yet it also looks “new” and that’s where it scores.  A sort of laid back old style that just oozes individuality and with the wonderful old hickory style leather strap it really does work for me.

Relatively simple with the basics displayed elegantly and clearly on the display screen, surrounded by a gold tone sleek and modern case design.

The standard layout display shows most of what you need to get by.
Front ABS buttons for display options such as Dual Time, Calendar, Alarm, Countdown Timer and Night light, its actually not badly specified and it has a Water Resistance of 30 m – and all under a hard Mineral Glass.

I have to admit that I like it and at an offer price I spotted currently of just £86.65 (less shipping) it has to be a cool find and a definite contender for that Christmas stocking.

Setting Day, Date, Months

I was asked the other day for advice on setting a friends mechanical automatic winding watch – specifically on when to set the days, dates and months as he found it sometimes tricky and difficult to get these parameters to move properly.

My own ideas on changing the complications have worked for me pretty well, with no mechanical issues resulting so I have to assume I’m doing it right – I passed this information to him and he suggested that maybe I should Post it on the web site – so here it is.

Take care adjusting complications - when NOT to do it!

Take care adjusting complications – when NOT to do it!

DO NOT change the Date between – 8.30pm and 02.00am.

DO NOT change the Day between – 11.30pm and 04.00am.

DO NOT change the Month between – 10.30pm and 00.00 (midnight).

This range of times to avoid should apply to most types of mechanical movements and even though this varies with movement Brands, hopefully I’ve allowed enough leeway to avoid any problems.

I tend to use the same no-go times for quartz triple date models too – get it wrong and sometimes they can be more problematic than mechanical!

Divers Marc & Apeks

Always on the lookout for affordable Divers watches, I was pleased to come across this offering from the German brand Marc & Sons.  They usually deal exclusively from their online shop and pride themselves on value for money with this direct approach.  Casting my eye over their range I liked this one as it manages to show a classic look with no frills, a good specification and good value too.

Marc & Sons Professional Diver, 300m MSD-033

Marc & Sons Professional Diver, 300m MSD-033

This is the Marc & Sons Professional Automatic Diver model 300 M MSD-033 in Stainless Steel.

Technical data
– Reference Number: MSD-033
– Case: 316L stainless steel
– Stainless steel bracelet
– Lug width: 22.0 mm
– Double safety clasp with engraved logo
– Screw down crown
– black ceramic bezel – 120 clicks
– Automatic Movement Miyota caliber 8215
– Date at 3:00 clock position
– Dial: black
– Luminous hands and hour markers
– Indexes with Superluminova
– Helium valve on 10:00 o’clock position
– Scratch resistant sapphire crystal
– Screwed stainless steel back with engraved logo
– Pressure tested to 30 ATM

Strong luminous hands and markers, give good clarity.

Strong luminous hands and markers, plus clearly defined datum bezel marker.

Dimensions
– Diameter of the case: 42.5 mm (excluding crown)
– Complete case: 42.5 x 50.0 mm
– Height of the watch: 13.5 mm
– Total length: 25.5 cm
– Weight: 205 grams

The Miyota 8215 movement I suppose is a real workhorse and one of the most robust on the market, albeit not as refined as the ETA 2824-2 and it is NOT hacking, but personally this omission doesn’t cause me a problem.  It’s still a good all round and solid performer and ideal for the Diver’s purpose.  The power reserve on the Miyota is better than the ETA at some 45hrs and accuracy wise it’s fine for the job.  I like the dial layout with the broad hands and combination of numerals, markers and color touches works just fine.  Also impressive is the Dot second hand, a feature I’ve always liked.  Look at the night image and the dial clarity is something else, very good with no distractions at all. Others should really take note!  A good 120 click single rotation black ceramic bezel with clear markings makes for a very practical watch and at 300 m Water resistance the Helium valve becomes a useful feature.

Screwed Stainless Steel back , 300m Water Resistance and decent bracelet, shows quality.

Screwed Stainless Steel back , 300m Water Resistance and decent (Breitling like) bracelet, shows quality.

The inclusion of a Sapphire crystal is a nice bonus and overall the build quality is pretty good, so in the end you get a decent amount for the very affordable price of around £183.00 and I’d certainly be happy with this as an addition to my little Diver’s collection.

So one to watch – Marc & Sons and one that I confess I knew little off, so pleasantly surprised and good to see a solid performer at such a good price.

Mind you . . . . . . .
These days I look for the best possible value in Divers watches (my favorite Diver is the Apeks 200 m which I reviewed back in December 2013).
However if you’re in the market for a deep water watch, this model will take some beating – with believe it or not, another Apeks – the 1000 m Professional Mens Divers model.

Bargain Diver! The Apeks 1000m Mens Diver.

Bargain Diver! The Apeks 1000m Mens Diver.

With a similar style to my older 200 m version this has a slightly heavier construction.  In fact it has a bit of the Seiko Monster look about it and comes with a Helium escape valve that opens when the internal pressure is 4.5 Bar +/- 1.5 Bar higher than the external pressure.   Also like the 200 m quartz powered and sports this time the Seiko-Epson VX42E date Quartz analogue movement.  It also sports one of the better bracelets around – a Breitling-like solid stainless steel affair of excellent quality.

Now OK this may not quite have the same quality as the Marc in absolute terms, but this has a custom built quality specifically engineered to meet practical criteria and is totally fit for purpose.  I have to think that for a sheer “value to purpose” ratio, there’s not much around to challenge it.

And once again this represents terrific value for money and available at the low price of £96.30 – and for that it just has to be a bargain!

Junkers Bauhaus classic

Well I’ve got it at last – the incentive being the Black Friday/Monday discount.  The Classic Junkers 6060M-5 Bauhaus.

Time, Date, Power Reserve and 24 hr sub-dial from Junkers.

Time, Date, Power Reserve and 24 hr sub-dial from Junkers.

Bauhaus bridging the gap between art and industry by combining crafts and fine arts, this model absolutely fits the bill for me.   The Bauhaus movement began in Germany in 1919 and was a style template for great things in all walks of life and a fusion of the practical and the aesthetic.

Here the concept is displayed in a rather stylish model and it has always attracted me and as I already love the Art Deco look, this suits my idea of what I want to wear.   With a Stainless Steel 40 mm diameter case and around 11/12 mm height with a cream colored elegant dial, under a proprietary domed Hesalite crystal, this looks rather good.

Personally I would have preferred the watch to be thinner, but saying that, it’s OK.  And this is not the first model I’ve had with Hesalite crystal which is actually quite good, glare free and extremely shatterproof, though conversely soft enough to scratch.  The upside is that any scratches you do pick up can easily be polished out (if not too deep).

This Junkers Bauhaus version comes with a modified Citizen 9132, 26 Jewel Automatic movement,

Citizen 9132 Automatic with +40 hours reserve

Citizen 9132 Automatic with +40 hours reserve

beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour with Date aperture @3 and a decent Power Reserve of over 40 hours.  An ultra smooth running center sweep Seconds hand in black and a 24 hr sub-dial featured @6 with a Date aperture @3, plus a Power Reserve indicator @12.  The Date is adjusted by the center crown and features hacking (the watch stops whilst the crown is out to the second position) so accurate time setting is easy.  Dot markers at 3, 6 and 9, are green luminescent, as is the infill area on the small Logo @12.  The fine gold colored stick Hour and Minute hands are also luminous filled.  Overall the dial is as Classic as you can get.  The modified Citizen movement is a good choice in my opinion and in my experience can be remarkably accurate.  Some reports indicate the rotor can be noisy, but this particular movement is no better or worse than my other automatics.  This model features an exhibition back through which you can see the silver textured rotor movement and gives that little bit of added interest.

Chunky look accentuated by the Hesalite crystal.

Chunky look accentuated by the Hesalite crystal.

The watch appears to have a close resemblance to the Max Bill series that I also like n that it shares the elegant yet simple dial layout which is uncluttered and practical.  The 20 mm strap is slightly thinner than my previous Junkers and is good quality, though it’s a close run thing regarding the holes available and my 170 mm wrist.  As I like to wear my watches snug to the wrist I might yet punch another hole.

Wearing the watch –
Even with original strap this watch is comfortable (at 40 mm diameter it’s just about the ideal dimension for a watch in my opinion).  The watch being rather chunky also looks a little larger than it really is once on the wrist.  Due mostly to the height of the case and also owing to the quite thick and rounded Hesalite crystal, easily 2 mm above the case (my wife thought it rather like the icing on top of a cake).   However I like the general look of the watch and pleased to see that the large Logo which is prominent on many Junkers, is replaced with the name only plus a smaller Junkers logo as a marker @12, which is very unobtrusive.

Junkers 6060-5 Bauhaus automatic

Junkers 6060-5 Bauhaus automatic

Luminosity –
With green luminous paint applied just to the Logo @12 and the dot markers @3, 6 and 9 plus the infill on the very slim hands you would be forgiven thinking the watch was not so good at night.  And you could not be more wrong.  I found I could still read the time in darkness some 5 hours later and this was managed without artifice.  Watch sitting under my bedside light table while I got ready for bed – perhaps 10 minutes?   In other words in a very normal situation.  I was very impressed.

Automatic in use –
As an automatic mechanical model the Citizen 9132 is very efficient and doesn’t take much wrist movement to wind it.  Basically as soon as you put it on – it starts.  If it’s been off the wrist for some time however it’s always a good thing to give it a wind or two with the crown to get it fully running.

Just to go back to the quietness of this movement –
I’m pleased to say that I don’t hear it at all on the wrist and only when pressed against my ear and I also don’t feel the rotor moving in normal wear.  The movement itself via the exhibition back actually looks quite refined and not as utilitarian as they sometimes show.

So any down sides?
I suppose if I was picky I’d have to say I would like the watch to be thinner – I mean it looks as if it should be thinner, but it is chunky.  In some images it looks really elegant – until you turn it sideways.   Now I know it’s a silly point, but it really should be . . . . saying that I still like it and I have no real complaints at all and I’m very glad I have it. 🙂

Accuracy – I’ll report on this after a few days against my Radio Control watches, though it appears so far to be very good indeed and as expected.

Accuracy report –
As I guessed with the Miyota 9132 movement, it lives up to expectations for a movement that came out as an alternative to the Swiss ETA 2824 calibres.  The Miyota 9100 series was introduced as an affordable alternative a while ago and as the Swiss maker ETA policy was to cease supplying movements/arts to all and sundry, somebody had to fill the vacuum  – and very successfully too.  As for time keeping this Junkers Miyota movement manages between 3 and 5 seconds (fast) per day and that’s straight out of the box.  Unsure whether Pointec (Junkers Agency) have time adjusted it at all, but I’d say it’s easily as good practically as the old ETA 2824 and certainly in this limited complication.

Can’t help but think ETA made a bit of a misjudgment ( could even be suicidal) with this Policy, as it was inevitable that the Asian/Japanese brands would step up to the plate and produce not only a movement to rival ETA, but at a fraction of the cost.  In my view the customer benefits tremendously, certainly on new models.  My sympathies go out to pre-owned collectors and existing owners regarding the cost of repair and replacement parts for original ETA movements.

Quote –
Competition is always a good thing.  It forces us to do our best.  A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.

Nancy Pearcey

How true . . . . . . . . . . . . .   🙂