22nd July 2021
At last I got round to Posting a quick review of the Feice FM202 Automatic watch, which I saw some time ago now, but finally decided that the old maxim in this collecting game – “if you like it – get it” – was the way to go – and I bought it. The look for me, says a bit of Jaquet Droz with a touch of Bauhaus thrown in for good measure and as I like both styles, then that was it – I had to have one.
Now OK, it appears I maybe started from a real high such as Jaquet Droz, lowered my sights to Bauhaus and finally come to rest with this model, which I suppose is a mix of styles and incorporating a Chinese interpretation of what after all are real Classics. And I’ve no issue with this – after all, we all get inspired by something and I’m happily pleased at how subtly they’ve managed to produce an interesting Classical influenced look, at a good price and at pretty decent quality too.
The watch business is just so Universal today and no longer the preserve of the famous once upon a time watch brands producers. Indeed there are so many parts within watches that come from the East (and all over the World now) it’s difficult to decide just what is “made in wherever” – crazy phrase, but you get my meaning. Watch production today is so much a Universal business, the locations and even the Brands are becoming blurred and for the wearer, that’s a good thing. And, of course, there are still the highest quality super watches for those who can afford them, but us lesser mortals can get a timepiece that isn’t “cheap” anymore, but decent quality that will see us out – and that’s good enough for me.
12th July 2021
Still getting to grips with this new themed web site and having to re-arrange lots of categories and so on, otherwise they don’t appear properly. It seems I have 2 x Soapbax categories – one is of any Post described as such and the other is the official Soapbox Page (found on the right menu, scroll down to SOAPBOX). The page one is where I rant on about any gripes and moans I have re’ watch related stuff.
Still trawling through a few Draft Posts that never saw the light of day and will pick out a few, update them, if suitable and probably Post them soon. As to Auctions – I looked at some recently but couldn’t find either the models or the prices that made it worth my while. But I HAVE decided that I’ll reduce my own collection by a considerable number, thus making way for a more positive look at affording anything that really attracts my attention.
I did update a Page Soapbox item, re’ so called Tough watches and Tough guys parallels – which actually brought back memories of a past life of nearly 50 years ago. And as I’m sort of confined to the house re’ health issues currently, it’s started me off looking for old photographs of better times – hectic and dangerous certainly – but great memories all the same! And I can also recall the watches I wore during those years – don’t have most of them now, though I do have an inkling I might, just might have one of them in a box somewhere. But I’ve got the time to have a look and who knows what will turn up.
8th July 2021
Couldn’t get hold of my proper camera, so took the photographs of the CigaDesign Skeleton, using my old iPad, held one handed, ordinary house/daylight from the office window, which haven’t turned out too bad. Looking at Auctions again over the next week or so, in an attempt to maybe find something interesting and affordable. Also been trawling around my old display boxes and found a few odds and sods watches, that I must have bought for some reason or other. First thing to say is that they are working!
3rd July 2021
Funny what you find in cupboards – which is where I found my one and only skeleton watch. The CIGADesign in Sunset Red – so I hope to Post it soon, once I can find my camera. I know my Wife had it the other day, as she was photographing a Pine Martin (we call him Marty) who visited our bird table earlier in the week. He’s been coming a few years now, but only for the day, or at most two, then he’s off.
28th June 2021
Been revising the layout on this new themed web site.
Moved the image library further down the right hand menu and moved up relevant information, such as Watch data, instructions, serial numbers and do on. This should make it easier to find stuff. On the Serial numbers page, this now refers to web links and on-site tables. I have also tidied up many of the page layouts, by removing sub-pages and incorporating into the main page body. This reduces clutter – so each item is NOT headlined as before but will be within the relevant subject somewhere.
The easiest way to find anything now is by using the “search” function – you might be surprised at what turns up!
26th June 2021
Updated an older Post today, simply as with this new search facility on the new web site, I found a Post that still had relevance today. It is regarding the Casio Lineage series, which are still around and that in itself is a testament to the fact, Casio got it right, first time. So good in fact, that it must be a new product Manager’s nightmare – I mean how honestly do you top that? It does exactly what it says on the tin – period!
So I updated it, so that folks today can check it out, because it’s worth it and it’s not expensive at all – for what it is – a Classic. Just strap it on and forget it and it won’t let you down.
I also found out with some amazement, that I’ve done over 400 Posts or over 500,000 words since I started the site and I also found 30 odd drafts, still waiting to be finished – ideas that for one reason or another never progressed. I’ll be checking these out over the next few weeks to see what can be completed or updated and finally Posted.
19th June 2021
Been going through my watch links – for Retro and Vintage and in the process of amending and updating these. Many have disappeared over the past 2 years and it requires a fair bit of effort to find any ‘live’ links now. As and when I find any, I will Post them together probably under a new Page – yet to be titled.
30th May 2021
Well it had to happen – and you could hardly NOT notice but my web site look has changed totally.
The Theme I used for the last good number of years was eventually obsolete, so I bit the bullet and changed to the one you see now. Actually it is a really good upgrade as the theme allows many more of my site Posts and Data to be seen and accessed in a much easier way.
In fact I’m so impressed I’ve discovered stuff I’d forgotten about years ago and have found some interesting reads myself – and I wrote them!
This is the first day, so no doubt I’ll find a few features that could be useful, as the days progress as I am finding my way, as indeed any viewers left after this horrendous year, may also be doing.
If you use the “SEARCH” function you’ll be amazed at the number of “finds” you will pick up. I tried it myself and was pleasantly surprised. For example typing in Casio returned some 140 articles, with each page showing around 10 per view and it was actually a nice way to randomly spend a half hour or so reading through them. You’ll should find some stuff you’ve probably not seen before, that might take your interest for a while. So happy hunting.
I hope to Post new stuff more regularly now and the new site gives me a bit of incentive to do so.
March 2021(updated 20th)
At last after some operations and other health issues, I have more time to devote to the web site. One section I have definitely been remiss on, is the Ladies section and have already added two new Posts – A vintage LeCoultre and an elegant Rado “diamonds” Automatic – both of which in their own way quite rare and definitely desirable. There are some other vintage models (my Wife collects these days) which I hope to Post in the not too distant future.
I’ve also added under normal Posts (including the above) a Seiko Gents Sports 5 Limited edition, that I recently acquired for my Diver watch collection. I would also note that most of the recent purchases are via watch auctions, which have proliferated under the Pandemic months – Prices are interesting as some Auctions, not the specialist ones, can be rather naive on pricing – high and low, so there are certainly some interesting bargains to be had.
As to Smart watches – well I’ve decided that this is an area that simply does not stack up for me. So, unfortunately, no more reviews of this stuff. The basic core issues I have with this so called wearable tech, are still (1) ludicrous battery life, (2) the reliability, which is spectacularly awful in so many of them (the quality control on many, appears to be you, the buyer and not the Maker) and (3) the actual usefulness of the functions is really debatable ( I mean – do you really need to know this stuff?) and many of these functions are quite inaccurate, which to me defeats the entire concept flawed and ends up a bit pointless. A fad in other words and not a very good one.
I do know of many people who have them and I equally know of too many people who no longer use them – they are in the drawer, or in the trash ( including me – but have learnt my lesson and will stick to what I know).
29th November 2020
Had a comment the other day that reminded me of the true value of the mechanical automatic watch. I say this in the context of all these modern approaches to timekeeping and a lot more besides. Everything seems to be linked to something else, controlled by something else, which says to me that “control” is no longer with me, the user – at all. Young folk don’t wear watches now, they “wear” iPhones and Android devices. They have cameras built in to their homes for security? and for control – yes that word again, control – Control of their house, lights, cookers, phones, heating – lifestyle even. Third party unknowns actually control everything they do, monitors everything they do or sometimes even predict what they might do – and record it, save it, use it – for marketing, for security, for CONTROL – OF you, not FOR you.
Worryingly too, what happens when actors get involved who are not your friends, not there for your benefit, but for your downfall. Computer viruses, systems suddenly down, no understanding of how to sort things out or even progress that bank transfer – ends up in limbo, unable to access funds, or know if you HAVE any funds, cut off in the middle of whatever you are trying to do – nothing works! The house suddenly doesn’t work, dark and dead – the voice activated systems don’t reply – just silence. You can’t get into the car because the garage door won’t open and even if you had the foresight to install a side door with a mechanical key, the car won’t start – ‘cos it’s got that Car Makers service GPS system in it . . . . and it’s dead too.
Of course GPS is gone and you got rid of your old street/country maps years ago, so where are you anyway?
I mean, do you even know how to change an electrical plug? In fact CAN you change one – it might be a sealed unit today. Where is that screwdriver – in fact what on earth IS a screwdriver?
Yes Sir – it’s an inter-connected control-freak world today – and it could disappear instantly, but at least I know the time – because my mechanical self-winding Automatic watch shows me the time.
Because it relies on me – just me and I control it without even thinking.
Surely a lesson for us all . . . . .
11th August 2020 (updated 23rd)
Well, it had to happen. A change in my collection habit as I look forward to disposing the bulk of my watch collection. In the first instance I’m selling around 50 of them, the proceeds of which will I hope finance the start of a new collection of purely vintage watches. My concentration now on mechanical movement watches.
I hope to move on most of my quartz and solar powered models, including some of my early and actually quite rare today, digitals with compasses or other specialist timers.
However, a few of my favourite divers ( I do like Divers) and other models that have a particular interest for me, will stay, as indeed will my high end models of any genre.
But the clear out should allow me to invest in my vintage and more high end, more expensive classic models – should be fun.
24th April 2020
With the changed lifestyles we are all forced into, owing to Covid-19, suffice to say that auctions are not quite what they used to be at present. However, not to be outdone, the online auctions ate springing up and from antiques to watches to furniture – in fact you name it – they are really getting their act together. And very successfully too. The Longines I just posted is the result of one of those online auctions, watches being especially easy to navigate, being small with decent images and descriptions, condition reports, it’s a reasonably safe option. If something was really amiss then the responsible auctioneer as always would come to an agreement. But like everything else, buyer beware still holds true, though maybe never intended as is, when considering online.
Online of course also relies heavily on your Internet connection. Have you a decent broadband? Does it crash out every so often? And that can be a real problem. I’ve had to contend with a less than ideal broadband, here in the country and only recently have the opportunity to switch to a fibre system, though of course, this virus thing has delayed even that. But hopefully before the end of the year I’ll be up and running with a decent speed connection – then of course online auctions will definitely be something I’ll try even more. My Wife will be pleased since as she loves antiques (even me!).
19th April 2020
Like most of us, I’m distancing and staying close to home and wondering when this situation will ease up. The difficulty with this Covid-19 is, it is an aggressive fast infection rate disease and is likely to be with us, as Flu (but much, much worse) for the foreseeable future, possibly indefinitely. Like mot, I’m already sick fed up with the mass of opinionated rubbish from “experts” who waffle on with so-called guesstimates of what they think is the best way forwards – when basically none of them have clue. Then there are the bottom feeding journalists many of whom have been shown to be less than intelligent, but who ask the same questions over and over. ” Can you tells us the date for this or the test rate for that” trying to pin the policy makers in Government to commit to them, so they can beat them over the head, if these don’t materialise. It is PATHETIC.
The fact is, everyone from experts to laymen alike, are in the dark. This is a new Virus and yes it has been coming (or something similar) for years and the World, I have to say, are still ill prepared for something of this magnitude. Maybe it was needed and if not too severe (in relative terms) then perhaps Heath Authorities can at last put measures in place and have proper strategies for coping with similar future events.
Let’s hope so.
7th March 2010
Posted a short bit about everyday watches. The ones that manage your everyday life without thinking about it. I basically have two models I wear alternatively. There are lots of others out there and I was going to have look at what was available in the “recreational” or “Diver” style models. Started with a couple then realised there were many, so I’ll probably manage a few more Posts on the same subject. Of course we all have different requirements, but I’ll concentrate on my personal tastes. Basically, tough, easy read, luminous, good Water resistance, preferred Date AND Day display, sensible size, no gimmicks and a standard strap/bracelet fit. Price obviously will come into consideration and that’s about it.
What I found already is the fact that many of the older, no longer made models, are actually more suited to me and my everyday requirements than many of the current offerings. It makes me wonder if some of today’s Manufacturers have forgotten the basics. I’ll no doubt get more of an understanding on that as I go. But could be interesting and I’m looking forward to it.
Addendum 08/03/2020 – Must be an age related thing, but I discovered another Citizen Pro-Master Diver, which had been stuck in the wrong place in the house (also found out after investigation, it has been worn for some time by a very close relative!) Didn’t tell me though . . . . and being forgetful these days and just having written this latest Post – well, let’s say it will feature next time! However, I have to tell you, it’s not my favourite watch, as it has too many tiny niggles that personally annoy me – The Post says it all.
3rd March 2020
I’ve been looking through my watch collection with a view to moving some of them on. To Auction probably. And Checking some of the details against some of my Posts I found some small mistakes here and there and have just been correcting them as I go.
On checking the Seiko Orange Monster Diver I noted I’d posted the model code incorrectly – so changed it.
Also added some battery changing advice for the St Moritz Momentum Diver, basically as the battery had died. Removed the screw back to be faced with a sticker saying “do not remove this sticker”, which was more or less telling me to send the watch back to the Momentum folk to replace. Well that’s a non-starter.
The warning however, was obviously well intended, so I took note and examined the thing much more carefully. The 2025 battery was under the full size sticker, so it had to come off. My careful examination though showed up why they said don’t remove.
There are 2 x metal contacts that the sticker does NOT cover, small cut outs allow the contacts to touch the watch back, once in place, and the 3rd was a very small gold spring which stuck up, through a very small hole in the sticker. Once I saw these and noted their positions, then it was safe to remove the sticker and replace the battery.
Once done, I replaced the sticker exactly as it was, making sure the small contacts were clear and the gold spring protruded from the sticker, screwed on the back and the job was done.
So, if anyone meets the same problem, I’ve explained the procedure at the end of the Momentum Post.
19th February 2020
At last managed to Post something, after months of health issues. Also I missed a great conventional vintage purchase recently – it got out of hand and became a bidding war – I decided to look at my pet hate – Smart Watches. I say “hate” and this is really not accurate. I just could not get my head round the poor battery performance of the things and as fitness and work outs are something I left behind many years ago, the genre never seemed to float my boat!
BUT, as with all things, I like to check things out, just in case something new comes along that might change my mind. And whilst I have found a nice little Smart Watch that I can actually use which has a reasonable battery life (in today’s terms that is), I have to admit to not yet being totally convinced that these tings are here to stay. (but neither am I!). . . . .
I’ve managed to Post a relatively brief description of the Huawei GT2 (42mm), which is a very sensibly sized model, which is very well made and from a user point of view, seems to do the job. I find it intuitive to use AND I can read it, as the graphics are very, very good and the display is probably the best I’ve found.
In fact the display is nothing short of amazing when you consider the small size and that old bugbear, clarity. The Huawei manages this feat so well, I have to take my hat off to them. Goodness, I remember when dot matrix was the very latest in digital – but against the Huawei, that old technology looks positively stone-age!
Even more so when you consider the size!
Anyway, I’m wearing this watch at the moment as my “daily” and have to say it’s doing just great.
I can tell the time, the day and the date, at a glance (the whole point of a watch) and check if I’m still alive ( OK you might think this flippant – but not so at my age! ). It’s comfortable to wear, doesn’t look like some monster diver watch and is easy to forget about – and that’s always a good indicator that something is just right.
But unlike my serious watch collection, I’m not really tempted to get another one – this one is just fine. Huawei!
6th October 2019
Apologies for the long delay to activity on the site. This was and still is due to illness (multiple joint arthritis + complications) and has made the last year difficult. to say the least.
Compounded in the last month because of computer troubles. I use Windows 10 and the sheer number of so called Updates has stopped me on many occasions from actually using the PC, as it seems to take over. Then if the Update is interrupted, which in my case is often, as our Internet here is so poor, it has frequent drop outs and is erratic, this results in the Update freezing the computer.
Well the last episode ended up with a black screen and nothing I could do would restart it – it was totally dead. In the end I had to take it to a computer specialist, who confirmed they also could not get it started. Going deeper they found the drive completely corrupted, so apart from my lost data (restore points were gone) and the fact that the last back-up I did was a couple of years ago, even with a new PC, this would have been virtually useless.
So these good folk, wiped the drive and using a partition not previously used (sensible approach) they installed a new Windows 10 operating system and I got it back just the other day. Interesting to note that despite all these so called Updates (sometimes 4 a week), the new Windows 10 version 1903 is far superior to what ever I had, updates or not!
Anyway I managed to re-install everything, as fortunately I still had most of the programme registration keys (in a notebook) and as most of my personal files and suchlike, I have always kept on USB drives, my PC is now more or less back (much better actually) to what I had before.
However, the moral of this story – is in regards to these stupid and far too frequent Microsoft Updates for Windows 10 (could they not get it right in the first place, I ask myself?)
So I determined NOT to repeat the mistakes of the past. I would STOP all Updates from now on. Plus the fact, I like my “new” re-worked PC, which cost me just about £60 and which is so much cheaper than forking out for a new one, but that is almost exactly what I have now – a brand new computer and so much better than the old ‘updated to death’ previous incarnation.
I soon found out that attempting to stop Updates is tricky, as MS have lots of little traps. Especially if you’ve gone into ‘settings’ where they provide those seemingly helpful options on how you can control Updates. They appear to take your instructions, but then after a delay, ignore them, or whenever you reboot or restart, or within few months – they will get back to Updating again without your consent.
Incidentally, to note the problems with Windows 10 updates you just have to trawl the ‘net’ and see just how many complaints there are – it’s incredible!
Anyway, I’ve worked my way around their intrusive policy (I hope) and so far, no Updates . . . . and long may it continue!
But as always – Watch this Space!
ps – If anyone wants the method I used (it’s quite simple really), which I got from somewhere on the ‘net’ (I can’t recall where) – just drop me an email and to – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’ll send the instructions by return. BUT – no guarantees and you use it at your own risk! (However it’s pretty straight forward and you can change it back easily).
4th January 2011
You may note a slight change in the web site today – This is because I have removed all adverts from it (costs extra, but worth it) as these were becoming really intrusive.
Cold weather – As the temperatures have been dropping around here to the minus – a word of caution if storing quartz powered watches somewhere really cold. A friend of mine recently was at a private showing where he and other collectors were showing off their current quartz acquisitions and he forgot about his nice little collection of 1970’s digital models. He’d left them in his car boot (trunk). A couple of weeks passed and he realized he’d misplaced them and his Wife reminded him of the trip to the convention and said “Are they not still in the car, Dear”.
And they were! Out of the 12 models he had, 9 had blank digital faces staring at him, when he found them in the car. Temperatures had been below 4 degrees for a week or two and the batteries simply died! Once back in his house with his normal house heating on, 6 recovered, but the remainder had to be replaced (the batteries I mean), which was tricky. Some of those old 1970’s complication models are a bitch to set up, so I hope he had some instructions, otherwise he was not going to be happy.
Anyway, I spoke to him yesterday and he has them all running again, so good on him. BUT beware the cold . . . .
14th December 2018
As my old Casio 1170 triple sensor model display died today owing to battery failure, I took the opportunity of replacing the batteries. In the process I was also persuaded to show a few images of the insides, the batteries and the location of the “reset” display/module function. It has to be completed to ensure the correct running of the watch. Images really do show what’s what, rather then lengthy text.
Changing the batteries was quite straight forward , but note that afterwards the display may still be blank. To correct this, a reset is required and one of the images shows the position of the terminations to be shorted out (for a couple of seconds only). The display than jumps into life and your normal adjustments can be made.
Whilst doing this I realized and not for the first time, that this is one super (and quite rare) watch, really well put together, great display that’s clear and full of good data. It was a joy to work on and made me realize why I bought it in the first place. I just don’t think they make ’em like this anymore!
Then a friend called in, saw what I was doing and suggested I might post it up front, as he knows a couple of guys with variants of this model and they might be interested – so here it is.
I’ll Post it as the first page until January, when it will revert to it’s old position on the site.
4th November 2018
Hey 2 x Posts on 3 days! – must be a record for me or the weather is crap outside – whatever it’s nice to Post again regardless.
In addition to Swatch I recently had a look at Timex (one of my favorite affordable watch brands), especially their digital range, which to me represent perhaps the best value of all digitals. I prefer them from a practical viewpoint over Casio basically as their user interface or actual watch function operations are easier and more logical, for me. Often Casio have buttons that are tricky to find in the dark and some quirks on up and down when compared to side buttons – ie. the button at the top moves the digits down and vice versa (unless they’ve sorted that out – it just seems so illogical to me). I also believe the digital displays on Timex are way better then anything else on the market.
Anyway Posted some info on the Timex Ironman Transit – at under £50 – it’s a bargain!
2nd November 2018
At last between health problems I have managed to Post a new watch – which is my annual foray into the world of Swatch watches.
Had a good look round and settled this time on a model called “Nightspeed” which is a neat plastic cased chronograph in blue black colorway and to me really looks the business.
Good size and good looks, easy on the wrist and at around £80 represents a decent buy today. It is also very easy to read and has a Date window and chrono. Quartz movement by Swatch is always decent – this is a 4 jewel one and a quick change battery hatch at the rear, with the type inscribed on the back so you know what battery to get. Can’t be bad.
Had a bit of a problem posting as WordPress in my absence seem to have updated the editing system and I’m too old to learn new tricks – but after a bit of fiddling – got there in the end.
Posting will be sporadic over the coming Winter unfortunately as I could be in and out of hospital, but hopefully I’ll Post as and when I can.
27th August 2018
Sorry not to have been Posting over the past few months, but health issues have intervened to make that difficult to manage. Hope to re-start things over the next few weeks and maybe check out some of the dead links that may well have appeared since the beginning of the year.
One of the issues with web links is the fact they can go out of date or are deleted and no longer relevant. If you don’t check them out every so often it means your own web site goes out of date too. Everything needs refreshing as they say – including me! If only it was as easy as clicking a mouse . . . . . 😉
Anyway bear with me and we’ll see how I manage over the next few weeks, though I’m heartened by the overall visitor numbers which are still very healthy despite the absence of new Posts. It seems that the overall content of the site has enough to interest folks all over the world – which is rather pleasing for me to know.
So as always “Watch (this) Space . . . .
14th May 2018
As I am checking out some Auction stuff over this month, I hope to acquire some new models (to me) assuming the silly estimate game is not taken to extremes. I have my eye on a couple of models, both of which have caught my interest basically as to their look, complications and overall condition. Both quite expensive in their day, but as neither model is part of the peculiar Auction House perception of what they consider collectible, I might manage to get one or the other at a “sensible” price. We shall see . . . . .
I also have been looking at the so called “Smart Watch” market and whilst I see improvements, it seems that battery life is still the main obstacle. I still cannot get into this mindset that you have to charge your watch every few days when any old automatic or Quartz watch can be worn and forgotten.
There are some models however that are watches Plus – that is conventional watches with added “smart” features and to my mind this is the way to go. The emphasis on a timekeeper on the wrist with a few extra smart features that may be useful and don’t drain the battery to the same extent.
But that’s early days and as things changes quickly technology wise, I’ll stick to the current time conventions. In my collection I can pick out almost any model, manual wind mechanical, Automatic mechanical, Quartz (3 to 8 years before changing batteries) – stick it on my wrist and basically forget about it. It does it’s job quietly and efficiently and I never have to remind myself to find a charger or electrical socket. Easy isn’t it?
7th February 2018
Been in Europe over Xmas and New Year and as always I check out a few of the watches that are around the Zone. Happened across one brand that I have owned before, but moved it on for various reasons. This model however is shall I say, simpler. Simpler in operation and simpler in looks – and that’s why it’s now a keeper for me. I can easily read it and as it’s quartz I don’t have to bother with changing dates and summer times and so on – I just wear it. And it is a nice watch to wear too.
I feature it in my latest Post – the Meistersinger Neo Q
9th November 2017
The first two models from the 1970’s I have posted are the Tressa Lux Crystal and the Hudson Instalite. Both are NOS and available currently and for me are typical of the period. The Tressa is a model produced and marketed towards the East and in competition of the likes of Sicura, with which it has similarities and the Hudson is perhaps more an example of a hastily invented stopgap product during a difficult yet innovative period for the Swiss Watch Industry. It certainly made good use of mechanical movements which were suddenly threatened with extinction with the introduction of the Quartz revolution.
Of course as we know, the fascination we have with all things mechanical is in our genes. Just to see and marvel at the mechanical intricacy and complications of those tiny moving parts . . . Well in those terms Quartz is just plain boring!
6th November 2017
A few months ago I happened across a mate of mine that I had not seen nor heard from for nearly 50 years. We both served in the Forces and met in Cyprus and once in contact so many memories flooded back I was nostalgia ridden for weeks afterwards. And this event started off my current kick with all things ’70’s and prompted me to share some of the watches I have from that period, just for fun. And they all work perfectly and I make a point to wear them all at some time for a few days at least.
The 1970’s of course was a fraught period for the Swiss Watch Industry with the flooding on the market with cheap, accurate Quartz models from the Far East. (mostly Seiko I have to say, though clever boys that they are they also make the Grand Seikos, which are very, very good mechanical automatic models too . . .). Anyway not to be outdone quite a few Swiss Brands hastily started producing so called “digital” models, which may not have been as we now understand”digital” to be, but instead using their traditional mechanical movements in what was a very clever and innovative way. Known as “jump” watches today, these cleverly used the Date Wheel principle, but with Minutes and Hours wheels instead.
Many survived and even some NOS ones too and not only mine, but I include a few others just for fun. (if I can get started that is . . . . .)
23rd September 2017
Well it had to happen! Every year someone asks why I don’t do the odd video. Maybe showing a watch, handling one and chatting about it in front of camera and so on. Maybe showing fitting a strap or battery and so on. Now whilst I do these things off camera, I’m not too sure about going “live” so to speak. And I hesitate for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my voice is not the best broadcast quality and as a person today, I am shall I say, somewhat irreverent, or somewhat pessimistic and downright caustic at times. Which is one of the reasons I treat Email with such caution too – I often write and re-write an email many times before sending. If I don’t the email invariably sounds or reads in a way that either causes offense, arguments or downright anger – and all because the reader doesn’t see my tongue in cheek or humorous sarcasm.
Goodness- far from distancing myself from voice presentations, I seem to have just given some very good reasons for doing them! But that still doesn’t mean I think it a good idea – ‘cos I don’t.
But the idea does have some merit IF one can overcome the technical challenges. Now I have tried before to set up a little camera (for my own amusement) and holding a watch out in front of me, point to various features on the watch and chat about them. The first problem is trying to keep the watch in the middle of the image, or frame, as my video chums would say. I find when I should move it to the left, I move it to the right – isn’t that annoying?
Then there’s the focus thing and the reflections off the glass or crystal dial and if you go all professional and write a script, how do you read it AND keep the darned watch in the frame again, because your notes are just above or to the side of the “shot” (I’m getting into the vernacular now!).
And then there’s the obvious question – do I want to bother?
Anyway to cut a long and boring story short – the other day a friend popped in with a pair of – (and I know this is silly) “spy” glasses. That is a pair of spectacles with a built in camera with which he demonstrated that I could use this for doing watch chats. Just stick ’em on yer face, he said and switch them on – job done!
Well I sit here at the moment with these things on the desk in front of me and OK I secretly had a go with them, but already I’ve run into a problem. I wear bi-focals, which I know are awful things (just try using a screwdriver on a high shelf!) as to see anything close, you have to tilt your head way back and squint through the lower half of the lens – it IS A PAIN! Anyway undaunted I stuck ’em on as my friend suggested, held a watch in front of me, switched them on and chatted about the watch for a minute or two.
On checking the video, which was not bad actually, it was pretty obvious that where the camera glasses pointed was NOT the same as where I was squinting though my bi-focals at all! My video comprised a commentary all about a watch, whilst my camera was looking at my computer keyboard!
But I’m working on it – as I speak the Spy glasses are now perched right on the very end of my nose and as low as I can get ’em, in an attempt to sort out that line of sight issue – though I still have to wonder – is it all worth it?
I’ll let you know. 😉
1st September 2017
NEWS – NEWS –
Read Auction News for an interesting development regarding Buyer’s Fees at Sothebys Auction House.
23rd August 2017
Way back in 2014 I was gifted a cheap Infantry model military style watch. It cost my friend around £14, so shows how he values our friendship!!! But OK I’m not complaining 😉 as it’s the thought that counts and for £14 it actually has been a surprisingly good value piece.
I spotted it had stopped, so changed the small battery (it has two) and it’s running again – I report briefly on it HERE.
Looking at a few auctions again and hopefully might manage to grab some bargains, though these are increasingly rare to find. The prices being asked by the Auction Houses are becoming silly in many cases – I hope they do NOT reach their inflated reserves. A watch is a watch and OK if in pristine condition (and I talk of vintage here) than a premium is worth paying. But most of the models being offered are in “years of wear” condition, faded dials, corroded hands and movements etc etc – you know the score – and yet I see these for mega money in estimate – come on – get real!
Anyway hope to Post soon and who knows, I might have a new model or two to discuss.
9th August 2017
Updated web address to http://watchspace.co.uk (watchspace.wordpress.com) will refer automatically.
Email changed to email@example.com
Basically just a tidying up of a few things for 2017 (albeit a bit late).
20th April 2017
Two watches coming soon on separate Posts. One is an 18ct Gold model 1920’s (ladies) in superb condition and the other a more modern (2008) Gents Edox dress watch, a brand I have long admired.
However, I’m particularly pleased with the 1920’s model as it is unusual but also “of it’s time” with the bonus of a VERY similar model featured in “Wristwatches – a Handbook and Price guide” by Gisbert L Brunner & Christian Pfeiffer-Belli 2009 6th Edition. This book features an anonymous Swiss version 1920 Ladies watch which has a very close resemblance dial layout and case shape to my named and branded model.
The second watch features a hi-grade Peseux source ETA 7001 movement (17 jewel incabloc, non-hacking 42hr reserve manual) which was used in quite a number of the better known brands, such as Blancpain (7002 chrono version), Omega (Cal 651) and others. I bought this Edox basically as it exudes class and is a very stylish model indeed and a worthy addition to my modern collection.
As soon as I lay my hands on these, I’ll start preparing a Post for each.
1st April 2017
Apart from my latest Post featuring a vintage rectangular Blancpain from 1945, I also have a Post coming up of a watch a friend of mine was sporting the other day. I was so taken with it and wanting to brighten my mood I decided to get one for myself. Colourful, rather extravagant and a bit of fun, it fits well with my old codgers idea of showing a bit of style. Like my (even my Wife likes it) brightly coloured tie I sometimes wear with the Wallace & Grommet images on it, or my bang up to date 27 Country EU tie with the full Union Jack lining on the reverse!
Needless to say the watch is simply a time keeper quartz with a centre second hand, nothing special in that, but an eye catcher in any event.
24th March 2017
Been around the Auctions again and this time quite successfully. Managed 5 acquisitions this time and will probably share a couple of them on a Post soon, just for interest.
Both are gents models – one is what I call modern vintage quartz and the other true vintage 17j manual wind. Both are top names. The first bought because I liked the look of it as an everyday watch, being in stainless steel, strapped and a nice size. The other was missing from my collection and filled the gap, so to speak, as it was an early model from the 1940’s and in a surprisingly rare to find rectangular case. The same dial & case model is featured by image in my old copy of Richard E. Gilbert * Tom Engle * Cooksey Shugart’s “Complete Price Guide to Watches No 30. which is one of the very few references I’ve seen to this Brand case shape. The only slight model difference being in the lug style, but obviously the same watch type.
Anyway once I’ve checked them out fully I’ll Post some images.
16th February 2017
Posted another Auction find – this time for the Ladies. Not often do you find complication Date watches for ladies (this from Movado) and even rarer to find one where the complications actually work as they should. This one works exactly as it should and only required a little tweaking of one of the adjuster levers inside to make it perfect. This model features a 3 letter Day window which is nice and I’m always amazed that the maker manages to get it all in, especially in a very small ladies model such as this.
Anyway, it was an excellent purchase for a watch that’s worth considerably more than I paid. I also have a bonus in that my Wife says she can read the Day easily as the letters are really big compared to the overall size of the watch. So good news all round – she likes it!
8th February 2017
So am I happy with my recent Auction purchases? Well overall I have to say yes, though in saying this, the model I thought was probably the best one, turns out not to be so. The one I thought wasn’t perhaps the best of buys, turned out in the end to be a very good buy. So this fact, fortunately for me, evened out things nicely and saying all this shows that when you buy remotely at an Auction, even condition reports and so on are no substitute for actually being there and holding the item in your hand before you bid.
So my revised Post of the Longines will flag up an issue that occurs quite often – explanation on the Post.
6th February 2017 (already?)
Posted my first Auction buy of the year – the Gents 1947-50 Longines with images. Though sometimes with close ups you wonder why you bought the watch in the first place! And you may find my revised Post a little more interesting in that regard after checking the watch more closely.
I have photographed another two I bought and they will follow as and when I manage to get round to it. They are a rather rare Movado Ladies Day and Date complication calendar watch and a gents Lord Elgin bargain (as they can be).
And that’s a fair point I thought about as I type this, the fact that if you want a decent value pre-owned Vintage watch, you’ll find it difficult to better a Longines. There are still a good few around at very decent low prices and for that you get quality, quality, quality and a certain style that vintage Longines seem to manage effortlessly. Though don’t forget condition whatever you do.
And Elgins of course can also be very good buys and certainly value for money, though on occasion this Brand had some very odd styles – but find one you like and you could just grab yourself a bargain. I know I did.
Hope to Post more modern stuff soon as and when I can and if I have the time – and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it – Time.
As always – Watch (this) Space . . .
27th January 2017
Well at last I’m out and about again and already active in the Auction scene having just purchased some vintage watches. Some nice examples at sensible prices of near 70 year old watches that caught my eye. A gents Longines, a Lord Elgin articulated and a rather neat and a relatively rare Movado Ladies model with full Calendar, Day and Date. As soon as I have them sorted out and photographed I’ll post here. I did in fact get quite a few watches, either individually or in job lots, so it’ll be interesting to see which turn out good or not so good.
11th October 2016
Not posted for a while owing to all sorts of hospital visits and other annoying things, but did manage to check out an Auction the other day and got myself a nice dress designer model from 1999 at a very affordable price. Not a masterpiece by any means, but a nice new model I can wear on holiday (yes a holiday beckons) when I might just be dressed in an up-market and sophisticated manner – which is unusual for me these days! James Bond I may not be today, but I can still wear a Dinner Suit with the best! (a tux to my USA friends).
This little watch will look good I’m sure and will blend into the usual mass of Cartiers I seem to see at these events – and they won’t have a clue what this one is – but they’ll wonder!
I hope to be in France and quite a bit of Europe over the next few months, whilst we can, before being finally regarded as traitors by the top table Members and bureaucrats of the EU – and asked for and/or queuing up on Passport checks or Visa at the airports.
They don’t get it yet do they! When the Brits say we’re leaving – we are leaving. Out of the Union which sadly has distorted out of all recognition over the last twenty years – some would say hijacked. And as for trade? Well we’ve been trading very successfully for a long, long time before the EU and I expect we’ll manage just dandy once out!
There! – I’m saying no more on the subject.
28th August 2016
It’s that time again for the odd Watch Auction and I’m interested in a few models. Hopefully I’ll Post the odd one under Auctions if they turn out to be interesting. You never know I may even be successful for once, though I’m more circumspect these days and maybe a little more discerning in my choices. Of course my Wife has a say these days as she’s really got interested in Ladies models over the past few years, so goodness knows what she’ll have me bidding on. However in saying that, the last one (Gruen) we got was a classic and a very good buy indeed.
Managed at last to Post the Bushnell Neo Ion GPS Golf watch and share some details and impressions with you in my latest Post. I’m not done yet as they say and whilst I might not Post as much as I would like, as and when I’m able, I will. Funny enough the acquisition of this new Golf Watch and a present of new clubs has given me some incentive to get up and go – as best I can that is – and I have to say it’s made a difference. And not only physically but mentally too – perhaps one has revitalized the other – anyway whatever, it has to be good!
I think the issues of recovery and recuperation takes a toll one one, mentally as much as anything – confined to house, not keen on going out and generally becoming rather introverted and depressed can really dull a person down. But no more (for now at any rate) and whilst I’m feeling more alert to the world around me – I’ll make the best of it.
Actually the break from watches has maybe done some good, as there are a number of models around that have appeared since I sort of lost interest. And that means maybe a few new subjects to Post on in the near future. I’m looking forward to it . . . . . . . . .
7th August 2016
Been trying to get back into an outdoor and fresh air Golf habit again after my in-house confinement and subsequent recuperations over the last few years, so it’s very apt that I hope to feature a Golf GPS watch model that I treated myself to, more of an incentive than anything else and to update my old Garmin model (one of the early generation models at the time). The model I got myself is the Bushnell Neo Ion model GPS Golf Watch as it seemed to meet my requirements and was at a sensible price in comparison to others. I like the fact it uses one of the best Golf Course Data Sets around, it has a nice intuitive web site where downloading, updating and synchronizing is as easy as it gets. (when you’re my age that means a lot!). In fact it stores over 35,000 Golf Courses, but importantly for me it also stores the data for a small local and private course here that many others don’t feature – and that is impressive!
So rather than being stuck in the house with the computer as I have been for too many years, you will find me (as long as I can) out on the course, playing what I hope will soon be precision golf with my precision GPS data Set on my wrist. 😉
Wow is this the life or what!
The Bushnell Neo Ion GPS model should be featured soon – golf permitting!
7th July 2016
Well it looks as if the end of my time dabbling on the Web and my website is on the horizon, which is a pity as I’ve enjoyed it immensely. But time’s getting on, as indeed I am and this continual problem with Internet broadband speed is making it hard to Post, plan and manage articles and updates – and other considerations and priorities are taking over anyway. So I’m in two minds whether I can keep the site running as I would like, or indeed if I even want to.
After having that nasty accident 12 months ago I have not “bounced” back as I thought I might.
It also takes a very substantial amount of computer time, my eyesight is struggling and sitting for long periods typing on the computer is becoming a bit of a chore.
And funnily enough, if I’m being honest, over the past 12 months I haven’t missed it too much. As I say other priorities, other avenues and other things to get on with.
So as ever, Watch this Space (now you see it – now you don’t – maybe).
4th July 2016
Must be why they call “sod’s Law” – today the Internet download speed was checked at 3.9Mb/s – I mean that is superfast for this area! Of course I’m not ready to post anything as I’ve been involved in other things not related to the Web, as it’s been so poor as to be waste of my time – until today – damn it!
Oh well, my fault for not preparing something for that eventuality and as I say – that’s life and “sod’s law” rules.
So on to another hobbyhorse of mine – junk phone calls!
Just checked our phone log for the last 4 weeks. Guess what? 85% exactly were “junk” calls and just 15% were legitimate calls. Fortunately we have the trueCall system and we didn’t actually get any of the junk stuff at all – it was all blocked by the trueCall unit. The only calls that were routed through to us and rang our phone were the legitimate calls and we received every one of those perfectly.
What is frightening of course is the % of junk we seem to receive these days – it is appalling and far too high!
Fortunately the trueCall unit is a marvel and works perfectly. If you haven’t got one and are plagued by junk, then I heartily recommend it. It is simply a small unit that connects in-line with your phone (land-line – not cell) – takes just a few seconds to fit – you can set it up via the instructions or even easier via their web site. You can also synch it with the web site and check your call history and set your security parameters. Sounds scary but isn’t. You can block all sorts of numbers or pre-fixes, overseas junk, unavailable calls, silent calls, recorded calls – in fact you can control just about every aspect of who or what can call you. Only legitimate calls or private calls will ring your phone, the rest will not make it past the trueCall unit and they will never ring your phone, it’s all handled by the trueCall unit in the background – you’ll never even know about it. You can of course see the history of all the calls junk and good on the web site.
Cost wise it’s around £100 for the unit and a subscription for the Internet link site around £15 per year. I’d say that’s very cheap and tremendous value considering that horrendous % of junk I get!
I’ll get back to Posting soon if this web speed stays for a few days, so as ever – watch this space . . . .
13th June 2016
Still subjected to very poor Internet access speeds, so Posting is tricky. Also over the past few weeks I’ve had additional and continual health issues, so not much time to devote to the site. However I’m still around and hope to start Posting again in the near future.
I did note in the last couple of Auctions I looked at, the prices were down in general and surprisingly so for vintage watches. It appears watch buying is better at the moment than it has been for quite some time. So a good time to buy if you’re in the market though this time I passed on a couple, which in retrospect I should have pursued more seriously, as the end prices were in both cases well under what I would have been prepared to bid. But as I wasn’t too fussed about it, maybe my heart wasn’t in it after all – so in a positive sense, I saved money.
Been selling off some stuff recently too and managed to do rather well in the process – so now just waiting for the right watch to come along and I’ll be well set.
The “stuff” I was selling off had nothing to do with watches, but rather some pre-owned hardly used golf equipment and I used an offshoot of Ebay (and much better in my opinion) called “GumTree” and sold everything within 5 days of Posting, so well pleased. No auction or offers of any of that stuff. The prices asked were the prices I got and the Postings were free, so you can’t get much better than that!
The Buyers contact you (within GumTree initially) and you then arrange a meet – that is, face to face and cash only – it really could not be better. Not that GumTree is good for everything. Watches for example don’t seem to fare too well, basically as there are now are far too many semi/quasi/Dealers appearing (they shouldn’t be there) and it’s become a bit too mainstream Ebay’ish for me. But for stuff like lawnmowers, Golf clubs or golf carts and general household equipment and so on, it a great and “local” way to move things along. Stuff you no longer have any use for, becomes a nice buy for someone else and they can get best use of it.
If only buying and selling watches was that easy. For watches sometimes the best way is through “members” auctions, though usually for high end watches – so I rarely get involved. I’ve dipped my toe in on occasion, but invariably you need serious money – and the sale of my golf equipment is definitely not in the same ball game!
20th May 2016
At last a window of opportunity with my broadband connection at nearly 2.5Mb/s (how pathetic is that!) which is however a big improvement on a couple of hours ago – but will it last I ask?
Well of course it won’t but in the “window” I managed to Post. Just the one – I mean let’s not go mad!
16th May 2016
Sorry for the lack of Posts – this has been and is being caused by the poor Internet broadband connections here. Utterly appalling over the past few weeks and is driving me crazy! Definitely attributable to the Provider’s inadequate server and bandwidth allowances which is running at below 0.6Mb/s download, 0.1Mb/s upload and often zero – it is intermittent too. And there was I (silly boy) some weeks ago thinking it was all sorted!
Fat chance of that it seems and more phone calls and complaints – and so it goes on . . . . and on . . . .
I’ll Post when I can . . . .
30th April 2016
Watch auctions this month feature quite a diverse range of models, both vintage and modern and Estimates in the main seem reasonable. However not an easy thing to second guess, though I fancy vintage will do considerably better then modern – in my experience almost always the case. In fact I’d go further and say that if you are in the market for a new watch, check out the modern watch auctions as it’s definitely a buyer’s market today.
22nd April 2016
I find it amazing the number of suspect watches that appear these days on Ebay, even though that organization has a fairly comprehensive set of policies to prevent this happening. In fact I think if anything they are on the increase. You would also think that it was the more expensive models that are the targets for fakers and I suppose that is generally true. But what of the Frankens, that is the watches that for whatever reason are done, tired out, damaged, corroded and goodness knows what else, then brought to life again with added parts and so on, often from any other old model that happens to fit.
Funny enough I don’t have a problem with what I loosely term a true Franken, where the watch in question is restored with the correct Brand parts, but not of that model. Or sometimes re-cased, like old pocket watch movements fitted into watch cases, some of which are actually made new for purpose. I always think of the Russian ones where the end result is often something pretty special – not truly Omega or whatever the top brand was, but a clever concoction put together with some skill I have to say, that actually works rather well. The correct Brand movement (albeit a pocket watch calibre), a specially made non-Brand case complete with lettering etc. Not fakes, nor replicas even though are obviously not correct – but are certainly a case of re-cycling – and that’s a good thing, right?
On the other end are the clapped out watches, such as Seiko 5’s for instance that seem to come out of India. An attractive watch once in the 1970/80s perhaps and usually an old one, a vintage one, basically because it’s done, finished, corroded or whatever. These guys find an old and often still going Seiko movement, old case, re-dial (badly usually and often printed poorly) without applied markers, maybe re-hand, fix up the old bracelet if handy, or certainly a Seiko one and then post it on Ebay as a Seiko 5. Which it might have been, though no guarantee of that of course, but it is guaranteed to be a bit of an illegitimate dog!
However in general the prices are often below say £20 or £30 UK – perhaps $10-$15 USA (probably too much), but at least they’re not trying to steal £150 from you. So in all honesty (maybe not the best word to use) you should be aware or at least suspect these re-constituted old clapped out models, bodged around a bit (like old banger cars from a dodgy car dealer). In many cases they are what they say they are too, which is the odd part of it all, but the constituent and mostly unrelated parts are cobbled together to make the whole.
Even more bizarre is the fact I know a guy who collects them – he loves them and his stock is quite comprehensive. He also probably knows more about these watches (and the genuine ones) than most and I know he has one or two that he himself has re-constructed from half a dozen of these “dogs”, to produce the correct model! Amazing but true and the final results are actually worth money!
Of course where he actively seeks these oddities out from across the Internet, I try to avoid them and if unsuccessful (yes I get caught out), I always have the pleasure of passing them on to him – but hopefully not too often!
Note – the image here is one I bought from bay recently – for my own small “Indian” collection (I know is this perverse or what?). I have 5 others from Indian & Singaporean sources of various “Brands” and maybe I’m getting senile, but I rather like them. They all work quite well and perhaps I like them because more often than not, they’re produced by guys trying to make a living by recycling something that almost everyone uses – and what better than a watch.
The signs –
Seiko never print their dials.
The printing K to O gap in the logo is wrong.
The hands are something else – but I like them!
The Day & Date window has been cut out from the dial plate (better than many).
The good signs –
The dial is clear and readable.
The Day & Date reads and works fine.
Love the hands wherever they come from.
The lume works.
The auto movement (Seiko) keeps reasonable time.
A recycled timepiece that works pretty well – and there are thousands of them in India, where the low cost market is huge.
13th April 2016
Well at long last I seem to have the Internet issues solved. Had a upgrade router supplied by my Internet Provider (my old one was VERY old), though that in itself did nothing at first. Contacted the IP folk again and this time at their end they fiddled around and “matched their server line settings to the router” or some such. They indicated that over the next 24 – 48 hrs, the router would start to improve. And I am delighted it did and to report that my Internet Download speed is now up to it’s maximum at just below 4Mb/s – and yes I know that’s pretty poor by any standard today, but that’s the result of rural locations here in the UK and old copper phone line limitations. But I’m a happy guy and can manage the Internet much better – I can even watch a News video for goodness sake – isn’t that a novelty!
And as it happens on the way back from town I noticed a Cell-tower – a NEW cell-tower, that had suddenly sprouted up at the edge of a wooded area about 3/4 mile away from here. Now as we never bother trying the mobile phone as we have never ever had a signal here, I thought ooooh – I’ll give it a try. Could not believe it but I did actually get a signal – 2 bars I know isn’t great but Hey! is this progress or what?
So here we are, Internet is up and running, my mobile might, just might, be able to make calls – goodness I’ll have to go and lie down!
Anyway enough of that and back to the watches.
Managed another strap conversion on a Casio Lineage model, but this time using the original deployment mechanism from the original bracelet supplied. This allows me to fit my favorite silicon strap but with the original Casio deployment with logo, so it looks perfectly matched. I tend to do this more and more, as I invariably find metal bracelets (even Titanium ones as this was) slightly sharp on my wrist and tricky to get just the right tightness as the adjustments are sometimes not the best. Anyway I Post a couple of images of the result.
3rd April 2016
Looks as if I can manage uploads (0.36Mb/s) even though very, very slow, though the viewing of pages is almost impossible as downloads are now 0 to around 0.120Mb/s. I’ll be complaining loud and clear come Monday! So I’m basically working on some Post updates, off-line at the moment and on a new “expectations” series. This shows some of the previous models bought for the expectations of what these could do and how I fared. I still have most of them and these will be featured, one per Post in the series. They are all affordable and some still current, which says something too.
1st April 2016
Might be a few delays in Posting as this crap Internet service has reached new lows. With a download speed of 0.002 Mb/s today it is impossible to manage the site or indeed to view any web site. Coupled to the fact that here we also have no Cell phone coverage. We are in what is euphemistically called a dead area – Duh – tell us something we don’t know!
I mean for goodness sake we live on an island – the UK and it’s not exactly the arse end of civilization, so why can’t the government of the day get it’s collective finger out and live up to their broadband promises? Decent coverage UK wide? – come on – who are they kidding! Utterly pathetic . . . .!
30th March 2016
In my next/latest Post I’m having a look at those ubiquitous Day and Date models – I say ubiquitous as they are much more common than realized and really provide the wearer with what most of us want. To know the Time, the Day and the Date – at a glance. The Month is not really a must have, as if you’ve forgotten what month you’re in, then you’ve maybe got more problems than you realize! It’s interesting to note that the old Automatics are king when it comes to the Day Date function, though recently are facing a strong challenge from the likes of Casio with their Lineage models. What I admire about Casio is the fact that despite the technological advances and OK the fact some of their latest models are monsters again (far too big in my opinion) they never forget the basics and what sells watches again and again. And there are a few out there that are just about as good as it gets and at affordable prices.
I hope to review one such model soon, where they have produced a model that’s only around 40 mm diameter, just about 9 mm thick (thin by today’s standards), Solar, Radio Controlled, World Time, Alarms, Stopwatch, Timer, Dual Time – you name it, but all within an easy read simple ana/digi display. Basically a “get & forget” model that does about everything you could reasonably want without sacrificing a sensible size. – and this has to be good.
24th March 2016
Been toying with the idea of a “problems” page, where any surprising issues or genuine disappointments arise with quality watch models. You know the sort of thing. You buy an expensive and well regarded model only to find annoying problems that simply should not be there. The issues should be itemized and the action or inaction of the retailer or the brand Maker should also be explained and laid open to view.
Any submissions for this Page would of course be moderated for suitability and would reflect only genuine issues and/or grievances. So I may trial a Page and see what materializes. If nothing else it could be useful for prospective buyers when making a buying decision.
23rd march 2016
Had a look at the rationale of one of the top makers who includes quartz models in their range – seems to be a way perhaps to attract folks wanting the brand, but unable to afford the top brand mechanical premium prices – but is it? The problem when you consider the true costs of a quartz controlled module, is how to justify that hefty price. It may be cheaper, but how much depends on the brand, the marketing and the target customer category and the market position of the particular maker. In my short look it seems that Cartier offer a good compromise, but others such as Patek Philippe maybe less so.
I mean how many thousands of pounds would you pay for a quartz watch?
Well I might consider a fair amount if it was offering an array of special functions maybe, something technologically up there, perhaps with space age ground breaking stuff. But for a model that OK has classic looks and style, yet with only basic time and maybe a date window, I am not at all sure. After all even my latest Citizen GPS model is well under the thousand pound mark and as far as quartz movements go it is pretty hard to beat, big name or not.
Anyway the Post was started simply because a friend asked about a particular brand, which to his surprise had a quartz movement. And it got me to thinking . . . . .
Note – There are a good few of the top makers who include quartz in their ranges. Some offer good value, some maybe less so. As ever, you takes your pick!
21st March 2016
As I’ve revised the article Post on my new Citizen GPS model I’ve pinned it to the front page for a few days this week. It will then revert to it’s old spot and if you need to check it out it will be an older Post position – just scroll down to January 12th for it. The latest Post otherwise is the little snippet on Smart watches, which I do every few months to see where we’re at so to speak. Unfortunately nothing much to report as it’s more of the same, the battery life issue being the big problem.
That’s apart from the whole concept, which I personally believe is somewhat flawed and is basically about location. Wrist versus pocket if you see my point, but that’s just my opinion.
It’s big business and big money is being thrown at it – so as ever “Watch (this) Space. . . . .
19th March 2016
Every few months I have a look see at what the “Smart Watch” scene is offering and so far and once again, it’s been a rather disappointing exercise. No real advances in battery life from anyone and that for me is the BIG issue. Some reasonable improvements in style it has to be said, but usually at the expense of the big battery problem – so a bit of “catch 22” I’m afraid. And whilst there are quite an increasing number of players in this game now, most pundits still look to Apple to come up with something special in the version 2 series.
However in my humble opinion – don’t hold your breath. I think there’s an awful long way to go and I even have my doubts as to the direction of travel. I have the feeling that the whole idea (which I think silly at the moment) may change.
Classic watch makers may really start to add “smart” modules with simple message/email/bluetooth capabilities, with very small screen indicators, thus allowing real battery longevity. Perhaps that’s the way forward as some of the functions suggested seem more gratuitous than practical. A case of technology for technologies sake?
I for one will be very interested to see where we’re at come this time next year, though I doubt I can hold my breath till then!
12th March 2016
Had my new Citizen CC3005-85E for a few days now and have to say I am most impressed with it. The ease of use and the simple clarity of the dial make this a superb watch to wear and use. I also like the fact the dial normal view (only view actually) shows the Time, the Date and the Day and there are no distractions. I’ve also discovered that even on a day like today (white/grey cloud and dull) if I check the Power Generation function, the dial registers MAX, which means there is sufficient light to charge the watch effectively. Great news for those of us that don’t live in a permanently sunny climate!
All positives to report on this model and when you consider the functional capabilities and the technology applied, it represents true value for money, in comparison to any other of this type.
I have revised and updated my original review and will Post it as a new review later in the week.
11th March 2016
I’ve updated my original review of the Citizen 3005-85E as a result of actually owning one now, though I may rehash the entire review at a later date. Suffice to say there’s actually not much more to say as the watch is so simple in operation and the existing updated review more or less says it all. I have to admit to a liking for the Citizen models and ever since my first multi-dial in the 1970’s have been a bit of a fan of Citizen and their innovations over the years.
To have the CC3005-85E, the AT CB0020-09E and the JY0005-50E Skyhawk A-T in the same shot is quite a “powerhouse” image and illustrates the Citizen family look. I have to say it’s pretty impressive.
Which brings me to a subject that truly rankles with me. The fact that these great watches once purchased and then say offered as pre-owned, Auction or Ebay sales and even in some cases with guarantees still running, can command such pathetically poor prices. It’s scandalous in my opinion and very often if looking for such a model there are unbelievable bargains to be had. No compensation for the seller of course, but for the buyer – Xmas has truly come early.
I think this is such a tragedy as these watch models are terrific value, even at the retail price, let alone a knock down silly Ebay or Auction price. Pre-owned prices really don’t reflect the true value at all, not be a long chalk!
But that’s the way of it unfortunately, but the up side, and there is one, if you’re the owner of one of these models, then keep it, wear it and enjoy it. They are true modern day classics and my ones will eventually be available from my estate no doubt – and some lucky b*****d will get himself a bloody great bargain! 😦 🙂
8th March 2016
The latest technological marvel from Citizen arrived yesterday on schedule and it doesn’t disappoint! Isn’t it just great when the anticipation is matched by that statement? And opening the package gave me more pleasure than many new purchases have done for quite a while.
So I’ve included it briefly as an introduction in my latest Post, publishing THURSDAY coming, with a follow up Review once I have used it for a week or so. But the signs are good that there will be very few negatives on what I’ve already discovered and I’m looking forward to playing with it and wearing it too. Is this fun or what?
As always – Watch this Space.
5th March 2016
In anticipation of my newest modern watch – certainly technology wise, I’ve been rummaging though my display boxes. Basically to see which models I can part with to finance my latest purchase and my newly running obsession with 1970 – 1995 digitals and to sort of clear the air a bit and move on models that somehow don’t get any wrist time.
Trouble is, this very action is difficult to say the least. I mean I got every watch I own for a reason, but sometimes that reason sort of diminishes over time. You forget why you got it in the first place – until you take it out of the display box and strap it on!
Big mistake that strapping it on business. Because all of a sudden, the reason for having bought it all comes flooding back and you think – wow! This is a really nice watch and it suits me so well . . . . .
Which is what happened on my latest Post . . . . . . . and yes I’m still wearing it . . . . .
4th March 2016
Well I can confirm my modern Holy Grail watch arrives on Monday and I can’t wait. I featured it earlier expecting it to be here some time ago, but this was screwed up somewhere along the line and there were stock issues etc etc. This time it’s definitely on it’s way and I’ll be able to do a proper review here with hopefully decent and real images of it in my hand.
The thing about this model is the fact it is so simple in operation, to the user. It also has a simple clear analog display and could not be more unobtrusive with no over-complications or dial clutter. It has no Chronograph or Timer or Countdown or Alarms – in other words it is not a complication digital or Ana/digi style multi-function model. No Sir!
What it does bring to the table is clarity (day or night) and total accuracy always, anywhere and any time. It always shows your current Time/ Zone, it never needs a battery and it has a Power Reserve that’s truly astonishing. If you decide not to wear it (can’t imagine why) chuck it in a drawer – take it out 7 years later – it starts up within seconds at your current Time, Day and Date – because that is the sole summation of the functions.
This watch tells you what over 90% of the population want – Time Day and Date. What I call the essential 3. In fact I’d probably call it the “Easy3” – super simple, super clever, super smooth, super classic – a case of Get it – Set it (press button A) – Forget it.
As I say I can’t wait!
2nd March 2016
Well I never! After managing to get hold of my Phone/Internet provider, then a rejection of my fault complaint by OpenReach (the Service folk for phone UK lines). This was resurrected by my Provider who kept in touch with me (this is a plus). OpenReach accepted fault outside my premises and promised to fix within 3 days. In the event it was sorted by the next morning and later that day even the Internet broadband picked up! Brilliant!
My provider even phoned me again to make sure all was OK – Wow! Nothing but good things to say about them and I am feeling much better with life!
So now things can move on. Another Citizen vintage model is on it’s way, also a real vintage Bulova in perfect condition and closely followed by possibly one of the best “get and forget – stick it on the wrist and that’s it – I’ll never need another kind of watch” – currently on the planet – and I’ll maybe even have it by the weekend!
Well if only life was that simple. Because there’s always another model that you just have to have – it’s like a drug, an obsession, a wow I love the look of that! type of thing.
Goodness I HAVE to get rid of some of my older watches – I really do – ‘cos I need the cash to get more of ’em . . . . you see I’m hooked!
27th February 2016
Is it me or when things go wrong they really go wrong!
For 2 days now we have had NO phone – that is our land-line has gone down – not surprising I suppose when the broadband is also crap at the moment. More than likely this is the result of the continual rain we’ve had over the past months. The fun starts now though in trying to get the darned thing fixed. We don’t have mobile coverage here (and never will despite government assurances) as we are what’s known as “rural” – in other words nobody gives a damn, despite the fact we’re only 5 miles from the nearest town.
The Internet and line rental folks, who I have to report this fault to, say the repair people (OpenReach, they are called here in the UK) will need a contact number so they can phone me to arrange a day and time! How I ask? When my phone-line is no more and mobiles don’t work here? After a bit of wrangling they agreed to give my email to the repairers, so I might, just might manage to receive an email on my VERY slow Internet broadband connection – unless of course it too dies on me, which would be no great surprise. And as they constantly remind me, if I’m not at home when they have arranged to call, then I will be charged an exorbitant Call Out fee . . . .
You know I can really do without this . . . . .
Note – Of some interest to some might be my new blog for those of us who these days are really pissed at what’s going on around us – HERE (latest Post refers to Trump(USA) and also to the UK/EU Brexit) (UK) – and where I let off steam . . . . .
19th February 2016
Big hitch at the moment as the broadband connection here is appalling! All this rain, flooding and now freezing weather has taken a toll on Internet access in this area. Download speed around 1Mbs/s and Upload speed at this moment is Zero. Also a lot of Jitter and goodness knows what else, so updating the web site is very difficult and as I write, text is about all I can manage and even then may not upload at all and I’ll have to try a few times just for that. It is easier to forget all about it for a few days to avoid high blood pressure!
So as ever Watch (this) Space . . . . . . .
14th February 2016
Posting some stuff related to some of the newest additions to my Digital collection covering the period 1970 to 1990 in this and the coming week or so. Note that where I have an instruction manual or printed copy I am now adding this in to the Post as a linked .PDF file, so some folks may find this useful if they are missing a manual.
Actually I have quite few of these, even though I may no longer have the related watch model and I hope to perhaps include a new Page, where I can list them as a .PDF files Manual resource.
12th February 2016
Posted the first of my Golden Age of digital watches from the big three – Citizen, Casio and Seiko. The first is the Citizen D100 Surfer with Memo, a slightly unusual version of this series that I was really pleased to get. However I’d be even more pleased if I could find an Instruction Manual for it, even though the functions are pretty easy to access and use.
So anyone out there with one of these?
4th February 2016
Been looking at my older digital models recently and increasing my collection, particularly regarding models that appeared in what I call the ‘formative’ years. For me that’s the mid 1970’s to around the mid 1980’s when the big three Japanese makers such as Citizen, Casio and Seiko really started pushing the boundaries of what you could squeeze into a watch.
It was in the technology of the ‘module’ and the amazing digital displays, where it was most obvious to the buyer. Indeed some of the displays from those days in my view are far more interesting and clearer to actually read than many current efforts. From compasses to windsurfing to yacht racing and all sorts of other timing matters, there’s hardly an area of interest not catered for in those days and probably a watch model for every discipline.
Now into my thing about old digital ‘pushing the boundaries’ models, when in the 1970 1990 period the Japanese big three – Citizen, Seiko and Casio produced some of the most fascinating digital watch displays ever seen, my collection is now growing steadily.
The sheer variety of dial design is in itself probably a subject for a book, such is the diversity of eye data transmission, for that’s surely what it is. To enable the wearer, the reader of the data, an ease of viewing the data shown coupled with an intuitive control of that information and all in a simple readable and understandable context. Not an easy task and yet this is an aspect of watch design that is surely worthy of awards.
These days and certainly in Basle Expos each year many awards are given for weird and wonderful ‘design’ triumphs, many of which in my opinion have little true merit. Some incredible method is used to tell the time and not conventional and incredible computations or movement mechanics are used to facilitate the functions. Now Ok this is great, but often they are not that easy to read or understand.
The heyday though of designed digital watch displays coupled with the rapid technological breakthroughs in electronics and miniaturization are something special. Probably we’ll never see their like again, so it’s to these designers and watchmakers that I dedicate a small art of my collection.
And what’s more – they look good too!
The design of the displays though is something else and is possibly the most important aspects of watch design when talking ‘complications’ and let’s face it the watch technology at that time was nothing if not complicated – and my hat’s off to the designers of the time – great job!
So all that said, I’m on the lookout for those unusual (and rare now) models with those fascinating displays, though condition is a serious consideration. Many of the resin cased models of the time took a serious battering and suffered as a result, so condition is all as they say, both externally and in the module function. Above all they have to work as to replace modules now is virtually impossible, which is a rarity all on it’s own.
To start me off I’ve already bought a few at good prices and when they are in my hands, I’ll Post some information on them – hopefully I won’t be disappointed.
30th January 2016
Updated the Ladies bit of my site now calling itself the “Ladies Section” and the latest there is a small local survey I carried out called “What do Ladies wear” – Watches that is). Not definitive by any means of course but interesting all the same.
12th January 2016
It had to happen and I just pulled the trigger on what is almost an upgrade to my favorite Citizen travel watch. This one however has the advantage of GPS functionality, where it automatically logs in to your geographical location and so updates your local time. And it manages to do this without a large increase in size or an over-complicated dial set, as it is as easy to use as my old AT model. And unlike previous GPS models it manages to do away with that Attesa style case which always niggled me and replaced it with a nice round conventional case that fits the wrist so much better. I titled the Post “the best gets better” and that more or less sums it up.
Not in my sweaty hands yet, but it’s on it’s way. Can’t wait . . . . .
31st December 2015
Well my last Post for 2015 and as I’ve just returned from Germany I feature a neat dress fashion designer watch from Rolf Cremer. The “Turn” is a modern throwback of the “drivers” style watch with a slanted offset dial to allow easy reading whilst driving. I spotted in it Cologne and liked it so much I got one, wore it in the evening as a small modern dress watch that has a different look and I like it. Nothing technically clever about it at all, but it does what it says on the box and it looks neat and just right for the purpose.
Of course no trip to Germany usually results in such a small purchase such as this, especially so as I also visited Basel in Switzerland. I can tell you, for me, it’s very difficult to walk away from that particular city without a purchase or two, but more of that next year (2016).
As always “watch this space” and Happy New Year to all . . . . . . . .
18th December 2015
Christmas markets and a change of scene for me as I often do over this period, so not much in the way of web Posts and so on for a while. However as always I’ll be looking at watches in Germany and Switzerland to see if I can tempt myself with a new model that maybe takes my fancy – price depending on course! What I do like about checking out models in Europe compared to the UK is the sheer range and choice of what’s on offer with watches I’ve rarely heard of and which appear to be of excellent quality. Models that are never ever seen in the UK as the outlets simple don’t exist and often never appearing in any of the usual UK web sources either and I find it fascinating. There’s nothing better for me trawling through a few of the German retailers for example and coming across new and often rather exciting models.
So much better than the usual “bling” offerings I so often see in the UK High Street. Maybe it’s because their High Streets are more interesting too with more independents compared to the ubiquitous “chains” we are so used to here. In fact and lets face it, their High Streets and towns are also more interesting – well for me at any rate.
I love the architecture and I love their opening hours – get a coffee or breakfast early on the way to work in a coffee house or cafe or Hotel – (not that I work these days) because they are all open early for that reason – unlike here where nothing is open until maybe 9am or even later. The shops are also open later in the evening to catch everyone coming from work – so much more sensible.
I’ll be trawling through quite a few antique shops too, another of my interests and I’m sure I’ll catch a few of them before they break for the festive period. Again their wares are much more interesting and dare I say “genuine” than so much of the so called “collectibles junk” that seems to clutter the shops here. And IF they’re open (UK) – another of my bugbears when looking at so called antique shops in this country.
How often do you find they are closed with no reason or perhaps have a telephone number taped to the door, to phone IF you are interested? How pathetic is that and how unprofessional too? Perhaps they are too lazy or unwilling to pay the cost of a little lighting or heating when manning the shop, and then forever bemoaning the fact that “business is poor”.
Is it any wonder?
Well for me “over there” is so much better than being over here at this time of the year (and often other times too if being entirely honest), so that’s the plan, as it was last year and it won’t be long before I’m happily sipping my warming Glühwein (red wine, cinnamon stick, sugar, oranges and cloves) and enjoying good things and with interesting places to go and do – Oh what a change that will be!
I’ll not think about my return – not yet awhile anyway!
Happy Christmas & Happy New year to all. 🙂
7th December 2015
Looks like at long last I’m going to have to manage a bit of polishing on some of the pre-owned watches I have. Ones that had some scratching on the case and (my Wife) have decided to roll up the sleeves and get to it. However before I start in earnest I’ll be trying out my methods on an older watch case, just to be on the safe side. Should it go pear shaped, then no worries. If and when I get started in the New year, I’ll post the results with images on a Post. The watches are not gold or gold plated, but stainless steel, so theoretically it should not be too much trouble.
Famous last words!
6th December 2015
Seems to me there are quite a few “affordables” appearing here and there, or I just happen to be finding them. In my latest Post I feature the Marc & Sons Professional 300m Diver MSD-033 – no frills, decent quality and a great price. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there are great bargains to be had in the “Divers” category. They are usually solid built, have great Water Resistance (as you would expect), great night readability, you won’t break the bank to get your hands on one – and there’s lots of choice. In fact getting a Diver is one of the easiest and almost always the most rewarding of purchases you can do for a Christmas present – I kid you not!
I bought two Divers watches (both Apeks 200m Pro models) last year for family and both recipients said the same thing when they opened the box – Wow!
3rd December 2015
My last note was about the Android triple date Ambassador dress watch I like and the fact they’re highly unlikely ever to make another. Being on a Junkers kick at the moment I spotted the Graf Zeppelin range from Germany and specifically the model 7038-1 LZ129 Hindenburgh, which features the same Swiss Ronda 706B movement. More a budget choice than the Android, but the dial has a similar layout (less business months, but includes week numbers) which is not surprising of course, and even without the Android elegant hands or color scheme, it still looks pretty good.
Being from the Junkers stable I had the feeling without seeing this close up in my hand, that using the retro Hesalite crystal again, as my Junkers 6060-5 Bauhaus, would perhaps mean it will stand proud from the case and could be thicker than expected. So I was puzzled to read from a few different sources that the watch thickness quoted anywhere from 10 mm to 12 mm.
Don’t you really hate this silly inaccuracy?
It means you could either be very happy or very pissed when the watch arrives in the mail – a chunky watch or a sleek watch – I mean come on . . . ! Measure the darned thing!
My Android Ambassador is just over 10 mm thick including its slim profile slightly domed crystal, which looks great. I would not be so pleased if I found on opening my mail the Zeppelin had what could be an obtrusively proud retro crystal or whatever on top, which to my mind rather spoils the elegance of the piece. Shame . . . . and unless I see one in my hand – or see a decent side view, I’m undecided whether to purchase. This is a poor sales incentive – right? I mean I like the style but why should I have this unknown aspect hanging over my purchase?
I could of course just order one, open the box, check it from the side and if not for me – repack and return, but I never like doing that. It’s a waste of my time, the watch travels again, so more chance of damage – when all the seller has to do is either measure the thing and say “as measured”, or show a side view. . . . rocket science it ain’t!
It is a fact that many sellers do not give correct dimensions for the watches they sell. Often caused as they don’t actually stock, but drop-ship or place orders from the supplier on sale confirmation, so they either use the suppliers information or even check out other sellers of the same watch for their data – which may be wrong . . . I find it really annoying. I think it should be a mandatory and maybe even legal requirement for all sellers. “As measured” dimensions.
What do you think?
Images by the way are from Haydn Welch Jewellers in Taunton, Somerset, England. TEL 01823 254020 and although they don’t give the dimension, they do stock and a call would answer any queries. However all their images are excellent and include the side view I want – good on them! It IS a retro crystal style, it does stand proud, but it is actually OK – so maybe I’ll give them a call. 😉
1st December 2015
I was changing my wearing watch this week as I tend to do every 2 weeks or so and came across one of my favorite models, the Android. I think it being 1st December and checking on-line to see what “business week” it was, I remembered that the Android Ambassador should tell me that on the dial. And of course it did and correctly at that – week 49 for Europe at any rate. On looking at this model again I realized just why I bought it a few years ago – it is without doubt a classically beautiful watch and an absolute delight to wear. The color tones of the cleverly designed dial do it for me in a way that most modern dress watches simply don’t.
I changed the strap from a black silicon deployment one to the leather strap I removed from my latest Junkers. It didn’t seem to suit the Junkers, but it absolutely comes alive on the Ambassador. The color is ideal and the buckle is a perfect match for the polished case of the Android. Mind you as with quite a few of these Junkers straps, I had to regrettably punch a new hole to fit me, as these are obviously made for large German Wrists!
I wrote Android a year or so back asking if they intended producing any more of this model, and whilst they indicated no, I had the feeling the staff who answered hardly realized they had made this one! I’m sure if they offered this one again it would be a sure fire winner. It certainly is for me and in wearing it, it’s tempered my latest Junkers disappointment.
As to the Auction I recently looked at – well the prices for the models I was interested in were actually pretty good and mostly around estimate, but for some reason I hung back and didn’t bid. Maybe this was because whilst the watches were of interest and featured some pretty good current models at good prices, I decided instead to keep my powder dry for something a little more special, seeing Christmas was approaching.
What I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll know when I see it. Check out my old Post on the Ambassador HERE.
For those who like the budget range of watches from AstroAvia (I’ve got two myself) I’ve included a web link to their Instructions/Manuals page – see under Watch Data & Instructions.
I’ve also added a page called Watch offers I’ve seen . . . With links to recent watch offers of either pre-owned/and/or/Vintage models for sale. The link will either work or it won’t depending on whether the watch is sold or not. . . .simple . . . . .
30th November 2015
Well a bit of a disappointment after all, the “Worldtimer” Junkers 6892-5, which I recently got in, which is a shame as it could have been so much better in my opinion. I think in future I’ll stick to their mechanical range and probably get the more classic Junkers automatic model 6060-5 Bauhaus after all, which is one I’ve always hankered after anyway and I’m pretty sure it won’t disappoint.
I note they still have quite a few models with the large Logo on the dial, a feature I find annoying and confusing when reading the time in low light. Fortunately the 6060-5 Bauhaus does not have the large logo, simply Junkers text @9 which is unobtrusive as it should be.
However another issue I have with them (and on a surprising number of models) at the moment is their choice of leather straps – they just don’t do it for me. Made ti fit large wrists and not sufficient holes for the buckle means they tend to stand proud and away from the strap – not making for a comfortable fit or look at all. And this has been noticed not just be me, but others on review. I don’t understand the reasons why either, as my current Junkers mechanical – the Tante JU52 has the most superb leather strap, with two layers of leather at the watch end, but thinning down to just one flexible layer towards the double tang buckle that sits perfectly flat – and is perfect. You can read my Post on it HERE.
Anyway moving on – I’m interested this month in some watch auctions and hope to manage a report on one or two of those later. I might (for once) be successful in having a winning bid, as there are a few models I have an interest in – but as with all auctions – who knows how they will go?
18th November 2015
OK this week I’m looking at another new model and not one costing less that £15! Even though that Infantry model proved a bargain and worth much more IMO.
I was also looking at one of my favorite affordable Brands – Junkers – just to see what was new and also to remind myself on a few of their current models I’ve always had a liking for. There was a choice actually of two, one an established Classic model I’ve always thought I should have a newer chronograph model with a similar Classical look.
Which model I decide on will be in the Post and which incidentally is being “posted” to me as I write. Hopefully it won’t be too long arriving and as it’s on approval I hope I don’t have to send it back.
Also seen a few models at Auctions coming up that are of real interest to me, so this month could be an expensive one, IF I bid and IF I’m lucky – as you never know in these things. Sometimes you’re the only one actually interested though more often than not, you don’t even get a look in! I’ll let you know and IF I do manage to snag one, it’ll be Posted with pictures as usual.
As ever Watch this Space . . . . . .
5th November 2015
Pushed the boat out this month as I’ve actually gone and bought a new watch, though careful with my cash at the moment this one costs just £14.24 – an odd sum I know and especially when you consider this included the cost of shipping from Hong Kong to here in the UK. Now this is the kind of watch purchase I like – no hassle, no worries, no financial recriminations and dare I say – fun!
Unlike a few of my older purchases when I worried about the thing during the posting phase, was the packaging good enough, did the watch suffer from being too cold or wet or whatever. Might it be stolen or perhaps lost in the post, left stuck down a crack in the delivery van or ended up at the wrong address! Was it insured for enough and would the b*****ds pay if the worst should happen?
Well no worries here and it did arrive safely and on time despite, the fog across the country for the last week. In fact the package was worth more than the contents! Oh yes, this is the way to go!
I hope to feature it soon as soon as my little camera sorts itself out.
23rd October 2015
Well it never rains but pours – an expression which is very apt at the moment. My internet system is virtually unusable with large percentage “packet losses” all over the place. This means that posting anything is virtually impossible. Obviously faults somewhere either at the transmission end or line problems, but as usual trying to get even a response from my Internet Provider is the first hurdle to overcome. So far no response at all, which is par for the course. In the meantime I’m hoping it will correct itself, but I’m not too optimistic!
So until the Internet/broadband picks up there will be little in the way of posting at all.
As ever – watch this space . . . . .
11th October 2015
Slight change to the web site – The A to Z of Watch Brands has had to be removed as I simply don’t have the time to progress all the data, but never fear I have instead provided a link to my friends at ABlogToWatch, who have a great list, many of which also have articles featured at some time on their web site. I’ll leave the few I managed to do as these obviously are indicative of my personal take on the watch models, but with over 500 Brands around, enough is enough!
Still progressing slowly and recovering from the injuries I sustained during my fall and I’m more positive now than before. Things do appear to be moving in the right direction and for a guy of my age this is encouraging indeed. Might even start to look at new stuff for my collection soon and maybe visit a few of the watch auctions too.
6th October 2015
Seems that Smart watches are here to stay and I’ve featured the Vector Luna briefly this week, which for me represents a more sensible approach than the often “pack it all in” style of most of the others. Featuring fairly basic functions with connection to all main Cellphone systems with message notifications, calendar and fitness data and so on and connecting with one main phone Stream controller, it manages a whopping 30 days + of battery life. It also has Water Resistance of up to 50 metres and within a stainless case it’s as rugged as you could wish for and at a price that’s not unreasonable.
A case of less is more in fact, with functions that are sensible and practical. Let’s face it for more functionality I would use my phone anyway, as regardless of which Smart watch you have, it’s easier to read and use than any mini screen watch device anyway. But for a quick notification and basic functions, this is absolutely ideal and without having to charge the darned thing every few days, it’s both easy to use and very practical.
Perhaps others should take note.
28th September 2015
Well back in action albeit sporadically as after the Op things are slow (and painful still) with what appears some additional complications (I know I quite like complications watch wise, but this is ridiculous). So bear with me and I’ll post as I can when I can. Had a look again at the Timex Intelligent Yacht Timer model which certainly seems to have come of age – a nicely balanced model with good Yacht race features and decent clarity – not an easy feat. They have managed to get rid of that thin handed cluttered look at last which is good news all round in my opinion. The next post is a British Designer Nick Munro who has managed a neat little watch which is both individual and neither minimalist or silly (so many so called designer models feature something odd, like another interpretation of time or so minimalist that reading the time is nigh impossible). The 12:19 range however is both smart and different.
Haven’t managed to get round the Auctions yet, though I hope to feature a couple of models for sale in Auction soon. See if we guess the price . . . . .
9th September 2015
As with any of these operations, progress seems to take a few slow steps forward, then one or two nasty backward ones, which is the case at the moment. One of the problems is that the NHS (our Health Service) tend to use arm slings of a generic nature (cheap) which don’t specifically address the particular injury. In my case a standard sling causes me intense nerve pain owing to the position of the sling. So I’ve managed to source a sling, at my expense, which is specifically for Rotator Cuff injuries and hoping this will help over the next week until I see the Surgeon again, who will then after some examination, be able to set out the physio possible assuming he’s happy with the operation outcome.
Here’s hoping . . . .
3rd September 2015
Had the operation a few weeks ago and even though this was a keyhole operation the subsequent pain since has been nothing short of horrendous. The damage was extensive it transpires, the Rotator Cuff detached, torn ligaments, detached bicep top and severely torn lower, plus a considerable amount of soft tissue damage through the entire shoulder area. The operation took over 3 hours and then on Morphine drip, Codeine and so on. Unfortunately I can’t take such medication without severe side effects, hallucinations and goodness knows what else, so my pain medication has been severely restricted and therefore not the most effective over the last few weeks. However here I am and at LAST there seems to be some relief and a certain improvement slowly taking place.
Next week I’m due for an assessment at the Physiotherapy department and that’s all it will be I assure you – it’s still far too sore to contemplate exercises at this stage, especially with the bicep damage, which is hindering recovery, which incidentally will take easily the next 6 or 8 months. Another concern is owing to my age these things take longer, which is a real downer, when time is not the most plentiful and a year out seems and is an age for me. I have many things I want to do before it all catches up with me anyway and this is a bit of a set back.
But positive thinking can achieve great results so – onwards and upwards!
I’ll be away for a week or so yet from the computer, but hopefully will be adding stuff after that.
Can’t wait . . . . .
6th August 2015
Might be quieter again over the next week as I’m off to hospital soon for an operation to repair the torn ligaments in my shoulder – with a check on the bicep once when they’re in there. Lots of nerve damage so I don’t know how successful they’re going to be on this, but I’m hoping for the best.
As my last Post I was asked my opinion on a Casio Gulfmaster model I don’t own myself. This from a friend who also doesn’t have one, but is thinking about it, so really just an opinion gleaned from the watch and module details and also from various articles. Not my idea of an ideal Post and certainly not intended as a review, but as I was about to Post regarding my Rangemaster I thought I’d incorporate an opinion, even a relatively uninformed one would answer his question. He has smaller wrist than I do, so why he’s considering such a large watch is beyond me, though as always functionality over sense perhaps has grabbed his attention. It happens to us all!
The day Casio and others produce a watch with alphabet (abc) and beyond functions within a neat 45 mm x 45 mm case, will be the day I really settle down with a watch that will see me out! I can then sell on my large collection of sports and function models and concentrate on my vintage masterpiece models, which was my first love anyway. But until then no doubt I’ll still buy that latest all singing and dancing model that promises so much . . . . it’s addictive!
24th July 2015
My injury is proving a pain in more ways than one. It’s worse than thought and the bicep is wrecked which is causing me most of the trouble and I had a Magnetic resonance scan two days ago, which was supposed not to be painful but was (figure that out), I’m now waiting for the results to see what they have found. I just hope they scanned the right area, though it seems pretty clear the bicep is the culprit. A complicated muscle this and can cause real problems if detached or torn, so I wait anxiously for some result.
All that said explains why I’ve been a bit quiet over the past wee while, which will continue I’m afraid for a bit longer yet. I did however visit an Auction the other day, but without success as far as purchasing was concerned, though interesting to see the price trends as usual. I’ll report on that as soon as I am able.
12th July 2015
Well if you’ve never fallen off a ladder, totally dislocated your shoulder, torn the muscles, rotator cuff, bicep and so on, then you have never had the experience of such intense pain you wouldn’t think possible! Not only are the muscles and tendons screwed up, but the intense nerve pain added in to the mix is something to behold. Can’t move the arm forward, or to the side and heaven forbid even thinking about moving it upwards! The medical advice such as it is suggests that in the first few weeks pain will be an issue – and that my friends is what I call an understatement!
Agony is what I call it and lying down doesn’t help, it actually hinders! So then you never get to sleep, so you’re tired out, being sick is not uncommon and the other end can be annoying as you continually trot off to the smallest room. That’s what pain does to you when it’s bad and over the last nearly 3 weeks that’s exactly how it’s been – and today? well it’s not over yet shall I say.
So after all this griping I’m basically saying that the web site will be somewhat slow as typing is really painful, though funnily enough typing at about knee level is much much easier! I’m told it could take at least 8 or 12 weeks and more realistically about a year before things are back to normal, bar any unforeseen issues!
I can believe it!
What with the Casio models I’ve recently Posted I wonder if I would be better just collecting them. Casio watches are such a progressive force in the industry, you could certainly have a great collection of “firsts” as their grasp of technology watch wise is second to none and each year they seem to come up with something new. Interesting that they’ve never really had a go at this new “smart” watch fad, though they have token “bluetooth” connected models around, it’s obvious they’ve not seriously addressed the idea so far – well publicly that is. I suppose in one way as the “smart” revolution is tied so closely to cellphones, they feel maybe it’s out-with their remit, in that they have to connect to non Casio products and technologies.
But whatever, I can’t help feeling that because they are so influential watch wise and such a technological innovative giant – I just can’t see them sitting doing nothing . . . . .
8th July 2015
Another couple of Casio digital compass models featuring soon. A sensor compass model from back in the early 1990’s and the other a slightly later model with more sensor capabilities, both of which are quite rare. The first not exactly pristine as the exterior case text colors have long since gone, but that said and more importantly all it’s modular functions work perfectly and the compass is as good any any.
However the latter sensor model is in very good condition and obviously hardly ever been used. Here the exterior is in great condition and the internal module set is again pretty much perfect.
It features the module 1170 which was common to a few other models at the time (ATC1000 and ATC1100 to name two) and fortunately I have the instructions in English.
It’s a bit of a conversation piece if someone spots you wearing it and it is one of those models that you like to wear as it looks so good!
The functions work exactly as specified and as accurate as any today and even though sensors have reduced in size, this watch is not as large as first looks might indicate – it’s actually neater than you might think and sits on my average wrist easily. Produced of course in the days when watches were not as “fashion” large as the equivalent models are today, it makes me wonder why we can’t return to sizing like this as I’m sure these would be more attractive to a wider audience.
However it certainly is becoming more noticeable that watches of this period, especially Casio, Seiko, Citizen and others in the technology forefront of those days, are becoming more difficult to find, especially in decent condition.
4th July 2015
Posted my picks for a Triple Sensor ABC model plus a Twin Sensor model, both Casio , as the best value available in this category, for price and performance and indeed build quality. It is noticeable over the past few years that Casio resin and plastic case constructions are in a class of their own. Other Brands who emulate Casio styles are simply not in the same league and this is so obvious today. It seems to me that steel cases are under threat as the material of choice when in comes to watch design, and in so many aspects. Color, texture, weight, hardness and durability to name a few properties, plus the “shock” protection features offered with almost all Casio models as part of the whole philosophy, shows why this Company is so important in the Industry.
I also think it’s a short hop to “smart” technology for Casio, though I fancy the short hop may turn out to be a giant leap and maybe just what the so called “smart” watch technology needs – if indeed it’s needed at all. Casio have so far been reluctant to gimmick their way into the Smart watch market and have thought long and hard about just what they want to offer.
However, decision made they have now taken the plunge and will apparently compete directly with Apple when they bring out the Casio Smart watch in 2016. According to Casio it will be a “watch that tries to be smart” as opposed to a smart device. Well I for one will be very interested and there’s no doubt that I and many others will prefer to buy their watch “smart or otherwise” from a Brand that’s synonymous with innovation milestones from their first day of operation.
29th June 2015
Added Casio link to MyGShock.com – where over 1500 Casio watch Modules instruction data is held. Very useful for those older Casio models.
26th June 2015
Temporarily removed my Page – A to Z – as I’m unable, owing to my recent injury, plus ongoing health related time constraints, to add to this list as it’s simply too arduous at the moment. I’ll possibly get back to the task of adding to the list at a later date.
In the meantime I’m adding some Posts with reference to Casio Digital Compass models which have become an interest of mine over the past few years.
Never thought I’d say this but the true vintage watch market has recently taken a back seat for me, as prices are becoming unrealistic and often for quite poor condition models. Seems to me that the words “bargains” and “vintage” are definitely not synonymous today (not even close) so my interests are moving away to other areas. Vintage models are of course not forgotten but I will be VERY picky on what I consider in the future.
23rd June 2015 UPDATE
Well at long last I’ve managed to replace my stolen Casio 3000 ABC model. It disappeared in Africa a while ago and after using the Tissot Solar ABC for a while I sort of wanted to get back to that old tried and trusted Casio Digital style. The Casio Pro Trek PRG270B-3 model variation was the one I picked and I could not be more pleased with my choice. I’ve featured it in my latest Post.
I’ve also been looking out some of the older Casio and now regarded as rarity Sensor models, specifically those early ones with a Digital Compass, just to see how they fare against the more current range. And I have to say they have managed to stand the test of over 20 years remarkably well. Hats off to Casio.
UPDATE – As I fell off a ladder whilst on a roof required ambulance/hospital admission – battered and bruised, very painful etc. etc. Still to reach recovery stage with physio etc. Severe dislocation of my right shoulder means typing almost impossible at present – so Posts may be delayed somewhat!
7th June 2015
I’m about to have a look at ABC watches as I do every year or so, just to see what’s available at the moment. What is noticeable is the wide variation in the price of these things. From around £40 to well above £500.
With there being only a limited number of suitable electronic Sensors around and from few actual suppliers, why such Price differences in the end product? Are you in fact getting any kind of value for money or are you, in the case of the more pricey models, paying over the odds for the name and/or over-rated gimmicks?
I’ll have a look at a few of them and make up my own mind.
May have to be later rather than sooner as I have an injury at present that makes typing difficult . . . . . . .
UPDATE – I fell off a ladder/hospital admission/recovery/physio etc. Posts may be delayed somewhat!
2nd June 2015
If there’s one word/phrase I hate, assuming there is such a term in the English language, these days it’s “wearables” as it’s just so “naff” . . . ! And here I’m using good old fashioned British slang – meaning uncool or tacky.
Now OK, I wear a watch but in my mind I am not sporting a “wearable” – I am (watch my lips) wearing a watch! My watch is my everyday companion that tells me at a glance – the Time and perhaps some other useful data that I might need from time to time.
Let’s face it “wearable” could mean a ring or a bracelet or a brooch (heaven forbid) or a necklace, or a hairpiece (the mind boggles!) or indeed a pullover, or shirt, trouser, socks – blah, blah, blah!
I am a watch collector – NOT a “wearables” collector and this is where it’s doubly annoying in that many web sites and even magazines refer to watches as indeed “wearables”. They often come under that title too in amongst, gloves and hats, for goodness sake.
The humble watch instead of being lauded for what it is, becomes just one of a whole plethora of junk clothing from the fashionable to the mundane.
Next you’ll be able to buy your “wearable” or actually your watch in this case, from a haberdashery or a draper or a “fashion” clothes shop. Oh I’m wearing today my “wearable” from Jaeger – it’s a Gyrotourbillon – only cost around £300,000 – what a snip!
“Ooh”, my friend coos, “do you think I should get one too?”
Sorry about the rant – but I ask you . . . . ?
But as with everything “modern” today, I suppose I’ll just have to grin and “wear” it!
15th May 2015
Been looking through my collection again and seeing what I can move on. And on the question of where do I sell them, I’ve decided that the majority of Auctions are becoming much too expensive, what will all the frees payable to the Auction House. To my mind today these are now becoming both excessive and inflationary and the item on auction suffers, the end price being far above what it should be.
I’ve also decided that Ebay as a selling market is also becoming difficult and not because of inflated fees, but more as regards the mindset of the buyers that are attracted. The items invariably are not being vested with anywhere near their true or market value at all. In other words your typical Ebay buyer simply wants something for nothing – and it seems to be right across the board.
Well that’s my opinion, which I have to say has altered dramatically over the past few years. A great and generally fair minded marketplace seems now to have been replaced with flea market mentality, which in my opinion is vary sad.
So I’m having a go at another on-line Auction system and I’ll report on how it goes. I’ll not name this yet in case it all goes pear shape, but I’ll be interested as my first sale will be a modern watch (albeit discontinued), but it’s a good solid model in perfect as new pristine condition and I know in my own mind what it is worth.
As always – watch(this)space.
5th May 2015
Added a new Page – Snippets & Things – or things I’ve noted here and there about watch models or anything watch related actually. It may be about battery changes, or strap or bracelet fittings and basically lists brief notes of things to watch out for, or oddities that might be worth knowing. You may find these interesting or helpful or not but I add them here anyway – you never know it might help someone along the way. 😉
27th April 2015
Interesting new Golf GPS watch – the Tom Tom is one of the new breed of golf GPS models that actually looks something like a watch. Great to wear and has a Time/Date/Month display (default) run time of around 60 days apparently, so can be used as your daily beater. Of course should you play a round of golf, then charging is essential afterwards as GPS display is a different matter. If you happen to play occasional or recreational golf two or three times a week/month, this could be your ideal watch. I check it out in my latest Post. However before you buy I would check on the Tom Tom Golf web site to ensure that the courses you are likely to play are included in the database on the watch. I say this as the list is something like 4000 Golf Courses shorter than the Garmin equivalent and I’m unsure how easy or otherwise it is to add courses to your unit, if at all. Over to Tom Tom. (update – apparently TT will add a course download for you on application).
But it looks good!
20th April 2015
It’s nice when you have an older vintage model identified and so it was with my ladies Bulova Cocktail model of 1928. Love the fact it is in original condition too which is always a bonus.
What I also like about these old advertisements is that often they indicate the retail price. Here it’s shown as $37.50 which reflected a good quality watch from Bulova at that time and in today’s money this model would cost approximately $500 – such is inflation!
However I have the good folks at mybulova.com forum for the additional information on this model, which I greatly appreciate. In fact I would recommend anyone who has an interest in vintage watches and perhaps collects them even in a small way, to find and join any of these specialist Forums. It can be very rewarding and also good fun, speaking with like minded enthusiasts.
4th April 2015
Been trawling though my old Posts and Pages trying to correct the odd spelling and general mistakes, such as “of” instead of “on”, or “form” instead of “from”, plus the odd grammatical cock ups here and there. Much of the trouble is caused as I write more or less as I speak and of course these two functions are actually not the same at all. What you get away with speaking, you often can’t when writing. Also being a two finger and thumb typist of more years than I care to mention (even though my typing speed is actually pretty impressive), I do manage a few repetitive errors, where my finger or fingers are way ahead of my mind (not difficult) and I get letters out or order. Now in Windows I could program a word correction automatically, but as I’m trying hard NOT to make the errors in the first place, that in itself will not cure my two fingered dyslexia.
One thing is certain however and that is you don’t have to try and decipher my handwriting! Sadly my handwriting which once was very, very good, today with the advent of computers and keyboards, my written efforts are now not dissimilar to my doctor’s.
I say this as he made out a note for the Pharmacist the other day and she was unable to read it, nor could I, and when we took it back to the Doctor, neither could he! You see, he has for the last few year, inputed all patient data and consultation notes straight on to his little office computer, even in the middle of a consultation and you’re in mid explanation of why your leg won’t go that far or whatever, and I invariably find myself speaking to his back as he’s turned half away from me, hunched over the keys and nodding as I speak!
But I digress and draw your attention to the nice little Bulova vintage 1970 Golden Clipper J model I bought just the other day. Really pleased with this one and love having it on the wrist, as I think it looks brilliant. Being a bright stainless oval shaped case, decent size and with that quite unique vertical reading Day and Date display on the gray dial background, plus a red sweep seconds hand just blows me away. It also seem to be ageless and certainly doesn’t look 45 years old. Also so far it keeps remarkably good time with the 5AP Automatic Bulova Swiss movement.
It’s also slightly different this year in that I’m looking at more retro 1970’s models, as opposed to my usual vintage 1920-40 period. Maybe it’s the fact they are often larger and as one of my basic “musts” is that I must wear all my watches and many of the smaller early vintage models don’t fit with today’s look, and I’m definitely not wearing them as often as I used to.
But I’m enjoying myself more this year maybe because as I’m liking wearing the retro 1960-1980 models, so perhaps an unconscious feel of my heyday years coming to the fore in a sort of nostalgia rush.
Whatever it is – I’m sure I’ll be picking up some more that catch my eye before this year’s out. So as ever – Watch this Space.
3rd April 2015
The Classic mistake?
The trouble with watches that become classic icons is there is nothing much the manufacturer can do to upgrade it, without losing that very thing that made it a classic in the first place. Take the case of the subject of my recent Post and the Citizen SkyHawk.
The upgrades basically moved the data bezels, from the outside to inside the dial and add an extra crown to rotate them. The basic dial layout hasn’t changed and as said before, how can you improve on a classic anyway and tinkering with the bezel arrangement just hasn’t worked – at least for me. Their problem is of course is that one of the major attractions of the classic Citizen Skyhawk series WAS that amazing bezel set up and dial combination – it was just so right.
Also the fact the older model I have for example is still currently available and at half the price of the new one, makes no sense to my mind. So neither financially or aesthetically the new upgraded model for me is just not a consideration.
So I said the successful Classic watch is a conundrum of its own making – a model that is just so good in the first place – it must me a Brand marketing nightmare. OK and great for initial sales, but then what to do? It’s not as if it was a tin of beans, where you could possibly say – here’s our “new” beans with a “new” tastier recipe.
And in the case of the Skyhawk it’s as familiar as a Coca Cola bottle and I’m afraid, tough and hard luck, but you’ve gone and made yourself a Classic!
And another thing – (off topic I know – but . . .)(and it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious!)
Another classic mistake is to listen to the UK election rubbish on television! Sorry just had to mention this crap.
Made the mistake of listening to part of the televised fiasco of our so called party “leaders” performing in their multi-squabble debate. And a squabble it was, as it always is, ending up with two or more of them shouting over each other. And the so called controlling presenter/referee (some nonentity token woman I’ve never heard of) quite unable to actually control anything.
How did I think it went? Short answer – A complete waste of time with more purile comments being thrown about than you get at a drunks convention!
That’s why, in my opinion you should NEVER have these silly and misguided televised affairs with any opposing politicians, as it always, always, always ends up as a slanging match. It frankly does them no favors, though does show their collective failure as reasoned public speakers, and who show more often a complete lack of factual data in their rants!
Frankly on the showing last night I wouldn’t vote for any one of them. But if they are going to do this again (and fervently I hope not) then ONE AT A TIME PLEASE! Say your piece, then SHUT IT!
Goodness – like a bad kindergarten!
31st March 2015
OFF subject I know – but I’ve been fiddling around with other stuff as opposed to watches today, because last week I switched on my “Brennan JB7” high fidelity computer unit to listen to some of my CD collection. The Brennan JB7 is an amazing unit about the size of a hardback book and basically is a hard drive computer masking as a hi-fi system – and very clever it is too as I say built basically as it’s a computer engineer’s approach to Hi-fi and something really different. At the moment it holds my entire CD classical and Jazz collection from my old CD’s plus burned ones and transfers of old LP vinyl records. That’s quite a few thousand tracks and it can hold many, many thousands. So no fiddling around with this kit, just click the remote, select an album or track and go. It has a couple of Hi-fi speakers and that’s it.
But this is not why I’m mentioning them – the Wireless Headphones are however . . .
The reason I bought the Brennan a year or so ago is that I converted the best of my stuff over the last few years to digital files and eventually cleared out my old LP records collection.
However I like to listen to these as much with headphones as speakers and my old phones were only just up to TV speech standard and pretty useless for any kind of music. The frequency response was just not up to it and the ear speaker design neither, so I used some of the cash from my last auction Watch sell off to finance a new set of headphones, which are specifically for high fidelity use.
There are a few of these on the market and the best cost a considerable amount, but as I used to have a set of Sennheiser stethoscope type ear buds years ago, which were extraordinary for their time, I thought of them and so trawled around to see firstly if they were still in business and secondly see if they had what might do the job.
Well they’re still going strong and yes they had the very thing I wanted. After reading the specification I bought myself a set of RS185 digital Wireless Headphones and boy, what a difference these make to classical music listening. First off they are one of the few phones around that have full control of both ears which is a boon for me as I have some frequency loss these days on one side (a consequence of answering the phone with the same ear, for years).
These phones are a vast improvement as they use uncompressed digital inputs with manual levels and balance controls and the sound quality is brilliant. Now I’m not trying to sell these to anyone and I’ve no connection with the good folks at Sennheiser, but if asked I’d certainly recommend them. I got them at a 30% reduction and they’re still not cheap! but they are great quality and designed for purpose. None of your “Jack of all trades” stuff this – but specifically made for high end listening and I like that – and as they say, you get what you pay for.
So my comments are a little off subject, but thought I’d mention them in passing, as they are so good and an explanation of sorts why I’m a little slow in Posting new Watch related stuff.
The main reason of course is that I’m no machine and don’t have to work to deadlines – I Post when I can and/or when the mood takes me. 😉
29th March 2015
SUPER link – for those with Citizen vintage Ana/Dig/Temp models – here is a rather obscure but excellent web site that might just solve some of your problems – HERE
I liked this site so much that it’s given me an idea for a Page feature as opposed to the usual Link page – perhaps titled “SUPER Link” and where the linked web site or page is really something special and unique, like the one above. I’ll probably start by adding the above site link on on the new page and see what other ones pop up when trawling.
28th March 2015
All of a sudden it seems I’m into color! Whilst I have a large collection of watches, the fact is many of them have black straps. And as I just recently went all zazzy (just made this word up) and bought my first Swatch watch which had a bright green strap, that I’ve since changed for another even brighter green deployment strap, I rather like it. I do have a few colors around of course – a Citizen Diver with a red/orange deployment silicon strap which looks great, plus a couple of dress watches with green, maroon and even white straps too. But these are few and far between. The Swatch however is a little different in that the watch dial itself is color co-ordinated, having a green sub-dial within the main dial and I rather like this concept.
Indeed my latest Post shows the Timex Yacht Racer in all it’s Technicolor glory and I really like the look of it. Not color just for color’s sake, but also as a practical method for separating functions, and without making the dial cluttered, which is an art in itself. But color it is and lots of it! I’ve an Orange Monster Diver where the dial is bright orange and I used to have a couple of others, though whilst there was color within the dial, this was more limited to numerals and hands. Now yesterday I wore the bright green strap Swatch and today wore a bright red strap Diver and on both days have had comments from folks I met during the day. And I rather liked that sort of subtle notoriety feeling!
A bit like the guy who always wears a colorful bow tie or maybe a highly gaudy colored conventional tie. As an example we have a TV personality in the antiques business who always wears highly colorful reading glasses which you guessed it, match his tie – and he definitely stand oust and is recognized as an individual and a person of style.
Maybe that’s what I need these days, just to cheer myself up – a bit of style. And what better way to do it, than use my watch passion and start wearing high color models or at the least high color strapped watches, just to be different.
And let’s face it living where I do in this northern island, it’s not too colorful at any time. Today for example it’s raining, dull, gray and exceedingly cold and everything is basically in monochrome and I feel the same – or I would do, but I’m wearing my bright green strap watch today – and I feel great!
25th March 2015
Seems that I’ve found a new vocation. Retro fitting “standard” straps in place of those annoying built in bespoke strap arrangements that so many models seem to come with these days. Sometimes it’s Casio where depending on the model it can be really tricky or in this latest case, Swatch, which in the event was relatively easy, though not entirely necessary as the standard strap was OK, but I like to have the option, should it break for example. Anyway it was fun doing and it was actually very successful so I’m very pleased with myself, but it does beg the question as to why so many of these modern watches come with the obligatory proprietary strap that ties you to the Brand.
And OK I can understand their point of view that it’s an added value after-sales money spinner, so good on them. But the customer downside is usually two-fold – first up is the fact that many, if not most of them simply do not fit snuggly to a medium size wrist, and secondly it’s often difficult to find an original replacement if the strap breaks after a few years, as it’s long gone as an accessory and if you do, at a sensible price.
And it should be – it’s just a strap for goodness sake, not the watch. How often have I seen some built-in strap/bracelet models thrown away, just because the strap breaks. The watch is fine, but is assumed redundant. Though for some this is a good “break” as sometimes all it needs is a craft knife and/or a bit of DIY and you’ve got yourself a bargain!
So every time I see a new model, I can’t help but look at the strap and see if it can be easily replaced. And if not, then I certainly consider not buying the watch. But of course in practice this is difficult, as the watch in question might be just the thing I’m looking for – so the strap will be the cross I bear – maybe. Because if I can change it myself and relatively easily and at low cost – I surely will.
OK I know it’s an obsession, but what the heck – I’m retired!
22nd March 2015
My latest Post features a model (Rip Curl Atom) that I suppose is and should be the core of my web site – and that’s affordable watches. And when you look around today, there has never been a better array of choices in this area, watches that don’t have to cost silly money. OK the major Watch Fairs tend to trumpet the amazing complications and technological mechanical masterpieces of the Watchmakers trade, but for me around 95% or more of this is actually what could be considered almost obscene posturing, is entirely wasted on most folks.
But in the remaining 5% of announcements, if indeed any are announced, there are often many really good entry level watches being produced by top makers, that simply are never noticed. And many of these models are maybe £4000 or considerably lower – maybe not quite low enough to be considered affordable by everybody, but pretty close for a growing number of watch wearers today. And yet we never even hear of them – and to my mind this is a real shame. Instead we are bombarded by hype and gloss about headline models at £35,000+ or whatever. Now small numbers of these of course will be bought by wealthy individuals, but rarely worn if at all and probably out of the vault on the odd occasion to give vicarious pleasure to the owner. But as in any business it is the entry levels that drive the profits as the true user market (that’s us folks!) is in the millions, not the tens.
These days I often look at entry level models of most of the classic Watchmakers, where you can be very surprised at the genuine value for money you can achieve. In recent years for example Cartier has been very successful in the entry level business and I certainly see more Cartier on wrists that ever before. And there are others too, so it may be I’ll be looking at these in some future Posts just to see what you and I can not only aspire to, but if we look carefully – you never know what gems you could actually own.
20th March 2015
Well I thought I’d never succumb to the popular Swatch revolution, but here this year in 2015 I have! I say this as I sort of missed out on the Swatch phenomenon as I was out of the Country as they say, mostly middle and Far East and at that time utterly entranced by the other revolution – the one that caused so much damage to the Swiss watch industry and Swatch to be born in the first place – the rise of the Quartz.
I was an avid follower of the high tech dial sets of Citizen and the ana/digi scene and hardly even aware of the Swatch watch at all. Even when I returned to the UK I just never took to this “second watch” concept (where the term S watch came from) as I already had the latest technology Seiko and Citizen and I wasn’t really a collector, simply an enthusiastic user. Also owing to the now non-existent home camera market had bought my first SLR camera – a Petriflex, which did everything and was the latest thing in camera technology. A day in Singapore usually meant spending cash on all sorts of goodies that you simply didn’t see back in the UK and not a lot of cash at that.
But things tend to come around and this year I have got myself my first Swatch watch, though not the minimalist plastic case original mechanical movement Swatch, but one of their Irony series. In other words this is a more classic style watch but with the Swatch treatment. A steel cased Chronometer ETA Quartz with a slightly quirky dial set and a color scheme, without compromising legibility and all on a bright Green rubber strap and buckle. As soon as I’ve got my camera out (not the Petriflex I’m afraid – I sold it years ago and doubled my money) and taken a few images, I’ll feature it on my next Post.
I don’t know if you noticed the update on the latest Auction page, regarding the Tissot pre-owned model. Well it went for above the top estimate at a Hammer price of £150. Add to that the Buyers Premium and VAT of 24% and it was nearer £190. Still not a bad price at all for a pretty solid and high quality performer that you won’t see again. The Buyer actually did pretty well out of it in my opinion, though I personally didn’t bid, as I’ve committed myself to other things this year already and don’t want distractions. All too easy to give in to temptation and hemorrhage cash when trying to save up for something special.
But I am made of sterner stuff! I am . . . . . nice watch though . . . . . . 😉
16th March 2015
After re-assessing my collection storage ideas with the use of the neat little 12 watch holder aluminum (though we say aluminium) cases, I’ve decided to stack them vertically as these take up no space at all. The other reason of course is that I’ve spent the last week or so doing a major de-clutter (clear out) of my office/den. And boy was it worth it! It really looks ordered and very smart – can’t find anything yet of course, as I was so used to the clutter, but I’ve labeled boxes and everything is in logical order. Whether my mind is as logical I doubt, but we’ll see how it goes over the rest of the year.
And so to Auctions. Yes it’s that time again and I’m looking at a few options – do I bid or not – on a couple of times I’ve spotted that may or may not be any good. On one I’m risking an away bid as I have not seen the item in my hand, rather a condition report basis from the Auction House, though the other is too expensive to risk that and I’ll be going there in person to check it out. A point you have to be wary of, is if you’ve seen the item, bid, bought and got, then when it arrives, its obvious someone else has been fiddling with it since you checked it out and it’s now damaged. What do you do?
Being second hand or pre-owned goods here in the UK the Sale of Goods act does not apply, so you are in the hands of the Auction House initially and have to hope on their good offices. But in reality in any Auction you are actually making a contract with the Seller of the goods, not the Auction House. So a bit of a gray area when it comes to “responsibility for damage” if an item is damaged or tampered with, within the Auction House. The Item is given and in trust to the Auction House, so they must and usually do assume a fair responsibility.
The best advice as I see it is to check the item every so often right up to the minute of purchase, as to it’s condition – it’s probably the only way to be sure.
Not being a legal sort of person, I’m probably only seeing this from a simple lay person/buyers point of view, but as usual “Buyer beware” – seems as good a maxim as any.
12th March 2015
Funny how you get a liking for a particular watch Brand and I’m referring to the straps used by this one. The Bruno Söhnle models I already have in my collection have favored quite soft high quality Calf leather straps and these suit me very well, as I like the softer feel. So it was a surprise that my latest Bruno model came with a much harder composition stiff leather. The other point was that, and this a personal thing, in this instance the strap color wasn’t the best match for the watch case. And as this model features a wonderful watch case with superb fluting around it’s circumference, something you don’t see too often today, it seemed a natural choice for me to replace the original strap for a favorite Rosario soft leather strap and in a wonderful red with contrasting stitching.
Now the Bruno really looks great, the rich maroon/red color of the strap setting off the gold and stainless polished case to perfection, in my opinion. And being much softer is much more comfortable and has the additional benefit of allowing the watch to lie much flatter against the wrist, so a win win all round.
It happens surprisingly often in that the original Brand strap sometimes doesn’t quite hit the mark, so never be frightened to consider changing it for one you really like. It can often make a surprising and sometimes amazing change for the better for the entire look of the ensemble, and you can also gain in both wrist fit and overall comfort.
One of the reasons why I always champion the standard lug/strap fixing spring bars, and not the integrated strap/bracelet affairs that so many modern models seem to have.
And what of the Bruno Sonate I have just acquired? Well it’s a lovely model that you don’t see often round these parts, and now with it’s fabulous color co-ordinated Rosario – I’m a very happy man!
8th March 2015
My comment today is not watch related at all, but is about Firefox, my so called all singing and dancing web browser. Maybe 10 versions ago it was indeed the best thing since sliced bread, but it seems with every passing upgrade/version it either slows down, doesn’t load everything it should, or both, and generally is becoming the proverbial pain in the a**. I have already stopped using it to book flight tickets (British Airways for example) as it doesn’t fully load the page – this effectively stops you accepting their terms and it doesn’t progress. Use IE instead and it flies through and everything is dandy – so seems to be another Firefox issue.
I was told by Firefox to use the reset function – oh yeah! Look carefully at that before you even touch a key as it gets rid on almost everything you’d set yourself – factory setting indeed! A waste of time and what I call a “shotgun” approach to their increasing (they must be aware!) problems.
Anyway got fed up with their “BS” and the browser hesitation and non loading etc. and took a chance and not wanting to revert to the malware magnet IE, I swapped to Opera. And what a brilliant choice that was – great browser, fast, easy to use, has a Speed Dial that’s quicker to use than Firefox’s effort and it loads everything, no problems at all. It works great on all the sites I visit including my Bank site, it’s far better on BBC News and even super better on my email programs, as it pops up scripts that Firefox didn’t even know were there – which are not advertising, but part of the actual thing you’re reading. You are and always were supposed to see these, but Firefox never did!
What a difference to my web browsing – I have all the add ons (translation, Currency etc) I need – so I won’t be going back to Firefox – that’s history!
So if anyone out there is having problems with Firefox, why not give Opera a try – I did and haven’t regretted it . . .
2nd March 2015
Was asked the other day about which watch I used or recommended for traveling. I had just returned form a trip to Europe and still wearing my Citizen AT which is mostly the one I use. It does everything I need, easy change Time Zone, always on time (RC) and no battery to worry about(Eco-Drive) and great luminous qualities. So in my Post reply I could do no less that share my own experiences with two models I’ve shown here before and no doubt again. There’s the Citizen above and also my Timex Expedition model that for me is not only a great travel model, but also the best “military” watch I’ve ever had. Of course it’s a personal choice, but over the last few years and even currently I’ve not seen anything to change my opinion.
However I’ve said it before and still reckon that a good quality analog Divers watch is as good as any for travel. The fact that there may be so called requirements for models to “do” certain things is to my mind a bit of a fallacy and in the case of the modern practical watch, it should be a pre-requisite that you can read the time easily day or night, have good water resistance, be easy to use without referral to instruction booklets and have standard interchangeable straps. These should be the basics and yet how many models do I see that fail miserably on one or more of these points.
Dress watches however are another thing altogether and I hope to Post a feature on another one of those in the near future. It’s German, very elegant and one of my absolute favorites.
27th February 2015
Added some information about Magnetic Declination under Tech info page, which those with compass watches may find useful.
The main Post features a bit about bezels and how to read ’em, though I know most of us who have watches with those Slide Rule bezels, basically just read the time and maybe do the odd Timer bit (for the parking meter) and the bezel never moves – ever!
But this Post is basically for those who have the bezel but no info on how to use them. Not everyone today has that kind of familiarity with Slide Rules that perhaps the older generation may have had. Even I with an old dog eared bus pass have to admit that it’s something that, whilst I did use one many, many years ago and in fact, still have a straight one in a neat leather folder in my tool case, it’s not something that I am familiar with at all.
I did know many of my peers at the time, did use them constantly and were very skilled and quick I may say, in using them. Today however Log tables and Slide Rules tend to be very much from the past, overtaken hugely by electronics and portable gizmos of all sorts. But I Posted this just in case someone out there bought a slide rule bezel watch recently and wants to know what on earth those nice little text heavy bezels actually do.
Have fun . . .
23rd February 2015
Posted article about the Eterna-Matic I picked up the other day at an Antique fair. Great watch at a good price and this reminds me that there are Auctions coming up and I’m looking at a few models, though more for interests sake that serious intent, though you never know! One thing I do know after coming into some “sold off” funds, it doesn’t take long to spend it! Also on the back of my latest vintage find I have had a look at the current offerings from Eterna and there’s certainly one there I like(I like a few actually), so will Post it soon.
20th February 2015
I mentioned Auctions the other day and having sold on a few models myself over the past weeks, I’m now at last in a position to finance the purchase of a couple of models I’ve been looking at recently. This is the great thing about having a pretty large watch collection. Once you’ve done with having a watch for a certain time, maybe not wearing it enough or just deciding that actually it just didn’t do it for you, you can have a trawl through the collection and decide what’s got to go. Hopefully you won’t lose money, but whatever the result, it always frees up some cash that you know will be put to good use! 😉
So as a result of this latest round of selling I managed to acquire a decent cash reserve and already bought the Citizen Skyhawk I was on about in a recent Post, which I’ll feature in an upcoming Post and I’ve another German model on it’s way too. I should also manage to get that Cartier model I’ve always thought great value, though I’m checking out prices at the moment before taking the plunge.
I’m also reviewing (actually replacing completely) my storage and display “system” (I say this advisedly) which comprises the many assorted boxes, cabinets and various drawers here and there that at the moment hold my watch collections. This is both fun and surprisingly therapeutic, as it was all getting out of hand. It was becoming really difficult to remember where half the watches were and that’s indicative of an untidy mind! So a big clear out over the next month, which has of course already started in part by my latest selling spree, which I’m sure will be repeated over the coming weeks. So with a bit of luck I’ll have more cash available for this year’s purchases and I have quite a few models in mind, as if I wouldn’t!
I’m looking forward to it, though I’m not too sure my Wife is, as she sees other uses for my cash – as always!
So a busy time coming up and within a shortish time I should also have a newly sorted, well structured collection, with no rummaging involved. Though now I think on it, I need a place for all the straps and bracelets, batteries, links, spring bars and so on. Then there’s my watch tools, which although I’m not in any way a watch maker or repairer, have certainly accumulated over the years and there are lots of original watch boxes and papers and instruction books and . . . Yikes! This might take longer than anticipated . . . .
16th February 2015
Took out my Seiko 1986 AGS watch for a run over the past few days and realized that with the original capacitor it simply wasn’t up to the task with normal wear and wrist movement. So as I already had the replacement Seiko recommended Capacitor ready in my spares box, I unscrewed the back, Rotor and capacitor protection top plate and gasket and did the necessary, which wasn’t difficult to manage. Once replaced I waggled the watch a few times and to my surprise the difference in operation was remarkable. Within a few waggles the second hand ticked each second as it should – remember the original only managed that even vigorous movement after an hour or more!
Now wearing the watch in a normal fashion means that the charge level is rising fast and once fully charged should last over 30 days and probably over 60. I think Seiko promised something like 90 days, but we’ll wait and see. Anyway I’m wearing it constantly over the next full week and once done I’ll stick it in the display box and check it again in a month – I’ll post the result and on the promise so far, I’ll be very surprised if it’s not still ticking away fine.
See it HERE. – in a month’s time.
I’ve been in London for the past week and had a trawl around the watch Dealers, even in Burlington Arcade! I noted here that second hand models are suffering really badly from the “London premium” – usually the result of greed plain and simple, but this year compounded by the increased rents levied by the recent new owners, so much so that many an established shop, who have been there for many, many years are being forced to up sticks and move. The new Arcade Owners, seems to me, are in very great danger of ruining what was the preserve of the top 10% earner clientele. Firstly as those forced to move are quite rightly taking their client base with them and secondly the new landlord is apparently moving in lesser quality corporate brand stores, seemingly at in-house rents or even rent free I’m told.
From a business point of view, certainly to my simplistic way of thinking, this is nothing short of disastrous and seems a sure sure way to lose that valued client base and also ruin the Burlington’s reputation that took a long, long time to build.
But as I say the London so called “specialist” mark up on pre-owned watches is something to behold – and why I won’t (can’t) entertain their business. I pride myself these days of having a good guesstimate of pre-owned models reasonably accurately and in watches I might consider a top retail price of say £1800, the London take is more like £2800 to £3500 and a total nonsense in my opinion.
Better value by far is to be found in the Portobello Road (surprisingly I know!) though perhaps more often in selected Antiques Centres around the Town. Now OK I have to accept these are still maybe top estimate, but it is London after all and I can live with that. But the Arcade, Regent Street and Bond Street areas – forget it, these are non starters and better value would be to leave your wallet on the Tube! At least someone would benefit who might actually need it.
The thing is I don’t find this greed inspired mark up in the rest of Europe, well not often, though there are exceptions as I know, but in the main, they are much fairer and there is always a wider choice of model, so for me Europe it is, plus maybe the odd UK Auction.
6th February 2015
Well the Auction results were more or less as I predicted. One model having added value being a Bo Bonfils designed Georg Jenson and no longer available, managed with 2 competing bidders to reach almost twice the top estimate. The other Universal model had some condition issues which held the price low, again as suggested, though never as certain when condition issues are present. Depends very much on the buyer, whether they are in the trade and able to perhaps resolve the problems or not.
It is however becoming more difficult finding vintage or even just older models today that are in great condition. It seems to be the modern way that nobody takes care of stuff they own. How often do you see old watches that look as if they’ve been in a drawer full of nails for years, in a shed and in damp conditions? It both amazes and disappoints me I have to say, so to find really top class condition watches is becoming a rare event. And if you do find such an item, it can certainly carry a premium price, often far in excess of it’s true value and often inflated by the very fact of what’s available out there. In other words, find another one . . .
Tricky business this watch collecting.
2nd February 2015
Check out my Auction News page – there are a couple of models being auctioned worth noting this month and whilst the details of the watch models from the Auction House are perhaps a little parse, I’ve included details that I suspect are relevant to these models. This is something I try to do before bidding, especially if I can’t be there in person to physically handle the watches myself – you simply have to go on what you know or think you know regarding the models in question. Always tricky of course and assumptions are inevitably made based on your own experience, such as it is . . . 😉
The real trick in auction of course is to know certain facts that really should affect the value and maybe hope that there aren’t too many other bidders who also know these facts – IF correct of course! Once or twice over the years I recall spotting the odd “gem” at Provincial auctions and grabbing a great bargain, but these days with so many TV programs about antiques, vintage and collectibles, the chances of that happening again is becoming more remote by the day! But you live in hope!
Have a couple of watches coming my way soon, though both delayed unfortunately for all sorts of reasons, though I hope to Post a review of the first one before too long (if it arrives!). This today is another issue, in that the Post these days seems to be at times quite unreliable, certainly between Countries. Last year we lost one purchase and this was via a well known Courier Company. The item was tracked to the UK depot in the south of England – then nothing! A search revealed that not only was the item gone, but the so called tracking paperwork was nonsense. I suspect somewhere in that depot there are security issues, which they never revealed to either the sender or indeed myself the receiver. And that’s bad!
I know that because of that particular instance a friend of mine who collects very expensive timepieces always uses personal couriers now, who physically take the item on the plane in their hand luggage and deliver to his door. And yes it costs, but the watches he buys tend to cost many, many thousands, Insurance is a waste of time as you can never replace some of these items and a price worth paying. Needless to say he’s never lost a package since!
One annoying thing I note is that some Sellers, certainly watch shops, actually say who they are on the package which is utter madness. A small package from a “Watches for U” or some such shop is a dead giveaway and a temptation to many in the postal chain. Plain packaging is definitely the name of the game.
Any that said I’m looking forward to my new arrivals and hope they manage to get here soon . . . . fingers crossed!
28th January 2015
As I said I’m selling on 12 watches to make space and hopefully some readies so I can get a few watches I’ve been after recently. Of course I won’t get enough and will still have an outlay I’m sure, but what hobby doesn’t cost money? The trick is to make it small money! The problem is that most of the models I’m moving on are what you would call modern and that invariably means you won’t make a lot on them if at all in some cases. But they have to go. Next time I’ll be parting with a few vintage models and these should realize in a couple of instance at least – some serious money, so all is not lost and these will actually guarantee a rather decent profit. Of course that said I am certainly not in this collecting game to make money, far from it. Rather I love the feeling of ownership or in the case of some vintage models, custodianship. And these ones I may or may not pass on or move on at Auction to gibe someone else the pleasure for a while.
Interestingly if you have what I may call a modern watch, that is no longer manufactured, this is the preferred time to sell it on. Because then it can be priced or offered at a price you consider best value and not reflective of any retail value when purchased as that fact is irrelevant. I have in the past done this on quite a few occasions and often both surprised delighted at the price paid. Put it this way I would never have paid such a price when I bought it – but that’s the wonderful thing about vintage or antique sales – you just never know how many buyers are out there or indeed their buying motivations.
Anyway suffice to say that on this occasion I have already purchased two new models I’ve been interested in – in anticipation of a decent sale. Fingers crossed! 😉
23rd January 2015
Just posted a review of a super, what I thought would be an out of reach, model – the Dietrich OTC- A02. A model that has such a fascinating design result that it should easily cost at least twice what they are asking if not more. Check it out if you’ve not heard of it and see if you agree with me.
Also will be doing a few review updates of watches I have worn and owned for a few months, reporting if they’ve lived up to expectations or otherwise. I’m doing this as each year in the first month or two I sell on models that either didn’t make it to my wrist often enough, or older models I need to move on, to give more room for new stuff that have somehow and inexplicably found their way to my wish list. 😉
I’m selling on 10 models this month, a few privately and others to auction somewhere as my wish list has really become urgent! In fact I’ve already bought 3 models and they are on their way as I write. Not the sensible way to do it of course, but when it comes to watches, being sensible is something that deserted me some years ago!
6th January 2015
Been away for a while in Germany and Austria (Vienna for New Year) and visited a few of my favorite Watch shops whilst there. This obviously has reacquainted me with German watches, which have always been an interest but which to my shame I admit to overlooking somewhat over the past few years. I hope to correct that omission in some Posts this year and I’m sure I’ll feature a few of my favorites old and new.
The first one is the wonderful and current Junkers JU52, so reminiscent of the Junkers aircraft with it’s corrugated paneling which is so evocative of those times. In fact I always look enviously at those silver travel cases in airports where the odd corrugated one passes you by. And so the dial on the JU52 says it all for me and makes a good looking watch great and as a bonus it’s not expensive either, which is why it always sits in my “favorite to wear” box.
In fact sitting in a Cafe in Nurnberg just the other day I was fascinated to see so many unusual (to the UK market) and delightful looking watches on the wrists of the patrons. I was you could say in watch heaven, there were so many different and interesting styles and models and such a contrast to the rather dull and boring mass market stuff I see every day here in the UK. Oh and I almost forgot, not a G or S Shock anywhere! No not one!
So looking forward to some new and interesting stuff in 2015. As always – Watch this Space. . . . . . . .
19th December 2014
Well this month I’ll be doing a round robin visit of friends and family, so will be away from the computer and this web site for a wee while. However it does give me the opportunity to wear many of my favorite vintage watches and other models that may not be seen in public too often. So what to take with me on these visits – always a difficult choice, but half the fun is in the decision process. Do I wear the vintage Patek, IWC, Blancpain or Omega, or some of the unusual and not so well known models such as my early Moser or perhaps – oh the list gets larger the more boxes I open and then there are the really old pre 1900 collection – though care has to be taken in wearing them, if at all . . . .. Indeed one of the problems for me is that my philosophy of collection means that I have to wear all the watches I collect and for the early pieces I’m afraid that is not easy – and for a few quite impossible.
But I can only carry so many and with care of course, so I’m sure I’ll get the number down to maybe 6 watches and delight myself wearing them over the festive period.
Now some would say – get a life for goodness sake!
But hey! I’m happy.
So Happy Christmas and a Great New Year to all and let’s hope for peace everywhere . . . . .
12th December 2014
Featuring a few “Gift Ideas”at this time of year of watch models I like the look of and which I think represent good value and also one or two pre-owned watches that catch my eye – again that I think are good value considering their condition and quality against their original retail price. There are certainly bargains to be had in the pre-owned market, so many in fact that pressure must be on High Street sellers to look at their pricing policies and not simply display sparkly and glittering items with perhaps somewhat over-optimistic prices to match. Inquiries they may get of course but with Internet prices, the second hand and auction markets, these items may just stay there.
When did you last buy a watch in the High Street? And I don’t mean the cut price older models of Argos, but new models. The last one I bought was a Michel Herbelin Gold dress watch and that was many, many years ago – and even that was because they had the model I was looking for still in stock, unsold and I simply could not get it anywhere else! Now surely that’s not a good situation for the family Jeweller unless they’re also Internet traders. There are a few of these around and I know they do very well.
10th December 2014
Just goes to show with the results of the Auctions page that the old maxim “buyer beware” is as relevant as ever when looking at General Auctions, where the odd watch or watch section appears. Two out of three withdrawn as the originality was in doubt – and both alleged classic Brands – Vacheron Constantin and the other a Jaeger-leCoultre. Fortunately the culprits were found before the auction started, either by punters who spotted them and/or the auction staff. Either way an awkward situation was prevented.
The problem with some of these “suspect” models that appear from time to time is that they could look genuine but perhaps the dial is not quite right. And this could be because it was redone or as they say refinished at some point and perhaps not very well, so there lies the first clue. get in the back amongst the movement and things should be much clearer. However today many of the replica watches can be deceiving even to those who have a reasonable knowledge of watches. Delve deeper and clues eventually appear and there are other indicators such as the watch style, the perceived date, the movement/case numbering and so on, so all is not lost. But – and it is a big “but” – a private buyer with some or perhaps not too much knowledge can sometimes but themselves a pup.
All part of the learning process and hopefully after a time you’ll be confident with your bidding, though I’m always wary of blind bidding – ie. where you impulse bid a watch you spot on an online auction without physically seeing it close. I have done it and been successful with a good result – but (there’s that “but” again) I wouldn’t recommend it – no sir!
4th December 2014
Busy at auctions here and there over the next few weeks and hoping to increase my vintage collection with some class items – IF I can afford them.
This will mean the selling on of quite a few of my present watches to finance the deals, which although sad, means the quality as opposed to the quantity of my collection will increase. However it can be a bit of a minefield especially if visiting General Auctions and not Specialist Auctions, which are two totally different animals I can tell you.
In General Auctions often you have to contend with quality issues such as spoiled dials, poor condition and storage issues, damage, fakes and frankens and simply badly treated models. So if I come up short regarding suitable items, I’ll also be looking at some of my favorite vintage Dealers where the prices might be that bit higher, but the watch will have been looked at, checked out and perhaps serviced and lubricated and on occasion guaranteed.
Perhaps a better investment unless you really do know what you’re doing . . . And as always – Buyer beware!
28th November 2014
Checking out some models for my “The Elegant Watch” Post and it’s really becoming much more difficult to single out models that warrant the title these days. I have managed two actually, though the second one will feature in a usual Post as it has more going for it than just elegance. I hope to post these over the next few days.
Auction are coming up soon and it will be interesting to see how the 2 x Lots I selected will fare. Will they reach, make or surpass their estimates remains to be seen and I will Post the results on each one at the foot of their respective paragraph as an addendum – called Result.
Been fiddling around with my watch collection recently and have been looking at changing a few straps for new or different color options. Amazing how a new or different strap can change the personality of a particular watch, often from that’s nice to a Wow! In fact you can really alter a display box to something special, which makes me all the more mad about these digital models that incorporate a silly unchangeable band, bracelet or strap – it’s so . . .annoying! I mean how often have you changed that old military watch into something really impressive by the addition of the simple NATO? It’s a bit like a masterpiece painting on the wall – get the frame wrong and it’s a dog! Wrong color, wrong width, wrong texture and so on. (you see I still can’t let it go, this strap stuff – but that said – that’s it – no more about it – well at least until 2015).
24th November 2014
Been letting off some steam lately, as you do when you get to my age. I’ve had a go at silly built in bracelets on all these new digital watch models, where if it breaks or wears out, you are forced to replace it with the bespoke one even when it’s overpriced or worse bin the watch if it’s now obsolete. I’ve also had a tongue in cheek look at those watch models (well one recently – I did a few before in a previous couple of Posts) that sort of re-invent the way of telling or showing the time – as if we needed that in this fast and time precious age. All my own opinions of course and as we all have different views and ideas, you can take from these what you like, but I thought I’d air some of mine anyway!
Had my Gerald Genta watch away for a complete service and it’s ticking away very smoothly now with it’s Omega 980 Automatic Alarm movement (it was anyway but now properly lubricated and adjusted) and interested to hear that the experienced Omega technician hadn’t seen this movement for some years. Seems to prove the premise that folks don’t service their mechanical models regularly as they should, for it was one of Omegas best. To find out more about Omega movements I can do no better then point you to HERE where there are lots of Omega movement data and information as put together by a great Dutch Omega collector.
The instructions for my Omega 980 Alarm calibre can be found in my Watch Data & Instructions page.
19th November 2014
Added a potential sales watch under my Auction page – this is for a Chronoswiss Grand Lunar Gents in Stainless Steel. Try and guess the Hammer Price. I’ll print the Price once the auction has taken place.
18th November 2014
Added a new Page series titled “My best Value Watches 2014” and these will be listed as separate sub-pages featuring watch models I consider Best Value. This will cover Divers, Military, Everyday models, Solar, ABC or Compass models and so on. I hope to show a 1st and 2nd choice in each category though that’s not always possible. I’ve started with Divers models or more accurately “recreational Divers” watches more often than not, for those into scuba or snorkeling or just general swimming. I have considered 2 categories – Quartz and Mechanical – and of the 3 watches featured I actually own two of them – so from a practical on the wrist viewpoint I can certainly vouch for them.
Hopefully I can add more watch types as I go for the next few weeks and months and note, whilst the page may be called 2014, this doesn’t mean the models concerned are 2014 or current models. In the Divers case all three watches have been around a while. Which does make the point that not all new and current models are any better than previous ones and often it’s quite the opposite. So if you find that watch that suits you and your lifestyle – hang on to it! That’s why my old Breitling gets the most wrist time of anything I own!
16th November 2014
The latest Post deals with that odd subject – the Military style watch and it’s a subject I come back to and review every 6 months or so, basically just to see that’s now on the market and how this descriptive term is currently applied. I tend to shy away from the really expensive models as my own feeling is that a “military” style watch should be a daily beater, everyday, in your face, and on your wrist tough guy watch that you throw on and off, like your socks. It should be able to take the ups and downs of your life, scratches, bumps and knocks when your out and about doing those everyday physical chores like cutting that hedge, trimming or felling those trees and bushes, messing about on your boat, climbing, hunting, shooting and fishing sort of things. Fixing the car engine, replacing the engine or gearbox, building that wall or house extension – or heaven forbid, taking someone out at 500 yards in some God forsaken place your Country has stuck you in!
In other words it’s that everyday indispensable watch that goes where you go, that tells you the time plus a few other things you need to know. The fact that you can do all this with a watch that costs around £50 has to be one of today’s wonders. So good value price, reliable, practical, easy to wear and use, tough, easy to read day and night and with functions you can use – says it all really.
I’ve picked out 2 or 3 that might just do it for you with more to look at in the coming Posts in my rough every 6 month/annual look see.
14th November 2014
You may remember the Piaget 18ct gents watch I was looking at in the last Auction entry (October Auction News Post) which had an estimate of £800 – £1000 which I considered a “come and buy me” estimate. Well it sold for £1500 which in my opinion was very, very good value – someone got themselves a bargain! 😉
Personally still struggling with this damned virus which has really taken hold and got me down – so maybe another week? before I’m back to my old self.
I have however added a Post to my Commentary page – re’ over priced vintage digital models – Oh yes – just don’t get me started!
8th November 1014
Had a bit of a bug over the last week or so which has prevented me from Posting though I seem to be recovering now. Hopefully I’ll be online again over the weekend.
1st November 2014
This month I’m hoping to update the following pages – Watch serial Numbers (tables), Watch Serial Numbers (links) and added a new Watch Data and Instructions, which I hope will be clearer. However even updating can be very confusing so you may have to bear with me if there are some glitches along the way. I’ve tried to make separate, Serial Numbers info and Instructions info and also hope to include any watch instruction booklets I have (if I can copy them) of models which may not have instruction data currently available. These will be jpeg images and hopefully of a size that can be read easily.
17th October 2014
Swatch watches have always been somewhat under the radar personally for years, though obviously I knew of them as fashion statements and worn often by personalities, but as they were so obviously plastic affairs, I never took much notice. I also did know from the odd auction I visited that some models attracted reasonable cash, which I admit did surprise me. So it was with some anticipation I decided to have look at what was currently around from them, though understanding fully that I’d sort of missed the boat and so behind the times you might ask where I’ve been all those years! But nevertheless and slow as I am these days I was quite pleased and surprised by the models I found as they were really quite stylish and once I got past the plastic cases, also sported rather good quality movements inside. So I’ll probably keep an eye out from now on regarding new stuff coming out and who knows I might, just might get myself one.
I have also been on the soapbox again regarding the so called smartwatch, specifically because of an article I spotted which drew into question the demise of, or certainly the probability of a dire effect to, the Swiss Watch Industry because of the Applewatch, recently announced. I was particularly piqued by the first sentence regarding the watch model it compared the Apple to, which was the Tissot Solar Expert T-Touch (which I have just acquired) as it suggested it (Tissot) was overpriced against the Apple and then wittered on about what the Apple could do, blah, blah and blah! especially when we all know smartwatches are actually rather dumb, not smart at all.
Suffice to say I have only one real comment to make and that is my Tissot will be working just fine without the daily assistance of an electrical power injection, probably longer than I’ll be on this planet. As it is entirely independent of all external sources, bar one – Solar – the power of the sun! No need for other sources of power, batteries Lithium or otherwise, satellites, Atomic Clocks, close proximity I-phone connections & Bluetooth or Radio Signals and as long as the old sun keeps itself in the sky – then I’m a very happy bunny.
Now maybe it’s just me but I call that smart and it even says so on the back of my watch – isn’t that clever?
12th October 2014
Just had to mention the enormous difference between the Infantry model reviewed previously and the Aeromatic Cubic. In one the price was incredibly low and the other incredibly high in my opinion and yet the quality was probably about the same for both. And we are talking about a serious difference – at under $10 to just under $400, especially as the one I prefer by a long way and I have to say surprisingly, was the Infantry model. Build quality was reasonable, design not at all bad, the digital display works just fine and the analog OK too – if picky I’d want a decent Lume, but other than that – a terrific bargain of a watch. The Aeromatic however, for me certainly is overpriced and on the low side of average, which is a shame as some of their models over the years have been pretty good within their price point. However what this has done is to make me check future models much more carefully and if this is an example of their product progress, then it seems to me they’ll have to seriously look again at their price/quality ratio.
Posted a bit about my favorite quartz models, a title bestowed on just two models and noted that they have not been toppled from their position by any new models coming along. Could the Tissot T-Touch Solar join them? It’s a maybe at the moment and I’ll see how it performs over the next 6 months of wear before any decision is made. It won’t be an easy decision either as it has to face up to two very good watches. And it’s got to be practical for me as a daily beater too – and I’m nothing if not picky!
8th October 2014
Managed to Post some stuff on my latest acquisition, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar ABC watch I’ve been waiting for. And quite a watch it is too and as far from the Casio style as it’s possible to be – indeed a real Swiss take on the whole concept. In fact with some 26 functions and the “Active” sapphire crystal being the main operation it is best seen than described, the analog hand/pointers being a case of miniature step motor technology at it’s best and all within a reasonable sized model that manages to look like a watch! Yes some others out there – don’t! It’s been on my wrist since it arrived so you could say I like it – a lot. Apart from the ABC stuff which happen to be very well thought out, the surprise for me was that it is a great “travelers” watch with it’s digital dual time being easily “Swapped” for analog, rather like the Citizen model I tend to use for this as it was so easy to manage (and remember). So this was a surprise and a bonus for me.
Hope to do a video on the watch – but this may take me a while as video technology and moi are not the most acquainted I have to say – but we’ll see. As they say – “watch this space”.
30th September 2014
Back from my web break and whilst away I talked myself into “pulling the trigger” on what’s going to be my new “beater” watch for 2014/15, which is a model I’ve lusted over ever since it’s announcement last year. What I call the ABC watch with style and which I hope to review once I know how it all works. There are obviously other reviews and so on, but having one yourself in your hands or “on the wrist” is quite different to a third hand description, however good the reviewer. I did think about doing a video, but never having tried it, it could be easier just to take photographs and write. But – in saying this I am tempted to give it a try over the next week to see if I can manage it and who knows . . .
Also I thought I might do an “after a year or so” review of a Timex Expedition model, which has gone through a fair bit of wrist wear travel around the world – just to see how it’s holding up. Though I have to say up front, that for value for money and function, it is pretty darned good, has no problems, no issues and looks as good as new.
For both these reviews you’ll have to wait a week maybe to get myself sorted out now I’m back in action as “breaks” are not always holidays I assure you!
13th September 2014
Having a break from the web for a couple of weeks, so a bit of a lull for a bit. Posted some brief info on what I call a holiday watch (Cannibal compass) and if I was actually going on holiday I might well wear one of these. It’s cheap, looks the part and the little button compass just might come in handy and all without breaking the bank. But I’m not, instead having some treatment that will keep me off the PC for a little while and then hopefully a few days rest to recover. That’s life I’m afraid when you get to that age when bits start to fall off or stop working all together. But hope to return soon.
4th September 2014
Just featured a model from Autodromo which happens to be one the nicest models I’ve seen for a long time. For a while I thought that really cool, elegant and fun pieces were a thing of the past, but the Stradale model has proved me wrong. It is actually a delight to see and specification wise is pretty darned good too. With the Miyota 9015 automatic movement you have a very accurate and dependable watch that should last a lifetime. Sapphire crystal and a fixed K1 glass floating numeral disc, give the dial a superb depth and clarity which is really good. The watch dimensions are just 40mm diameter and under 11mm depth, so a very neat fit. It does however stand quite proud on the wrist due to the vintage style wire lugs attachment low on the case, again a little bit different. I like the choice of the 9015 movement though, being hacking and bi-directional auto winding with a quick set day change, balance shaft shock mounting and a decent accuracy specification. Now there may be a few out there who say that an ETA 2824-2 would be the better choice, but ETA availability is now an issue and the Miyota alternative seems to have an excellent record. I’m not one to be stuck on Swiss for Swiss sake and there other Brands around today that make great product – so as I say, for me – a good choice. And for a Brand such as Autodromo to pick the Miyota when they’ve also used Meca-Quartz hydrids in previous models, I have every confidence that they know what they’re doing.
Next I featured what I consider a “classic”, the Sinn U1 which is the very epitome of what a divers watch should look like. A wonderful balance of appearance and function, this is a great watch and what I call “a keeper” – in other words once you have one – you keep it!
28th August 2014
Since I Posted about my “camouflage choice” I’ve received a few questions about this Indiglo back light system, which is of course the Patented system Timex use on many of their range of watches. I have to say the camouflage model is one of the best I’ve seen and better than my Combi models. It seems to work better on digital displays than analog and I’m guessing it depends on the color contrast of the hands, whereas the digital numerals are usually black.
Indiglo is a nightlight system that Timex patented way back in 1988 and is basically a very thin layer within the dial which is coated with compounds in a sandwich twin electrode method that become luminescent when a high voltage is applied across the electrodes. Pushing the appropriate button applies the voltage and the dial “lights up”. The system suffers the same issues as others in that it requires a large voltage to excite the materials to reach luminance and with only the small battery as power source this requires the use of a transformer within the watch case to up the voltage to something like 100v. So it is important NOT to keep using it when not absolutely needed as it is a considerable drain on the battery. It should be noted that when the watch battery is getting weak over time, the Indiglo will probably stop working and I understand Timex also have a low volt cut off feature which switches off the light function in that event, to save the battery. I also have to assume that things have changed somewhat since the 1988 patent came out and improvements made, but certainly on the Timex DG 120-5 model, the night light works just great.
I have one of the first (1998) Timex Expedition models, where recently the Indiglo packed up and either displays just a series of numbers or a well lit but blank face, which is really odd, even though I replaced the battery. I would guess if the transformer had packed up, there would be no light, so goodness knows what’s happened. But the watch is pretty old now and I somehow doubt that I’ll get it fixed, as the cost would probably be more than the price of watch in the first place.
27th August 2014
I knew something would turn up and today it’s “camouflage” – that is I’m looking for my ideal camouflage model and little did I know it would turn up as a battle between Casio and Timex, but it did. Though in the event not for long as there was for me at any rate, a clear winner. The reason it ended up between these two brands is simply that in the practical, shock protected watch world there’s really only two protagonists and it’s those two. But two very different outfits with, it seems to me being on the outside, two very different agendas. One is forging ahead with new this and new that, more functions than you can shake a stick at, or know what to do with and the other, slowly but surely, producing subtle product changes with a philosophy that seems to encompass steady improvements and maybe a narrower target market. In the event – “slow and steady” in regards my own requirements won the day by some considerable margin.
And I like subtle anyway, so for me a win, win situation AND it’s got the best night light I’ve seen for years.
22nd August 2014
It Looks as if I’ve got myself into a position where I sort of pick a watch every month of a particular type. This month it is the turn of the Combo watch – ie: one that feature both analog and digital displays and the winner this time is the Casio GA-1000 1AER which is actually a bit of a throwback. Not having Solar power and NOT having Radio Control, yet in some ways a relief too.
With Radio Control you invariably have to take your watch off at night, stick it on the windowsill and hopefully pointing the right end of it towards the transmitter (if you know where it is) and if Solar powered and if you normally wear it under your cuff (as you do in colder countries), it eventually loses charge, so a spell “off wrist” and sitting it in the window for a few days to charge it up again will be required.
This model though is old school and has an approximate battery life of around 2 years. It also has 2 x batteries which it needs I would guess as it has this somewhat overkill Neon illuminator, which must eat battery power IF you use it. Fortunately the luminous quality of the analog hands good enough, so I see little point in using the Neon bit it at all. That’s the good thing about good luminous hands – fiddle around in the bathroom getting ready for bed and the analog bits will shine all night – no problem.
BUT – remember this is one very thick deep watch (16.9mm) and is a fair old lump on anyone’s wrist – not at it’s best with a dress shirt and tuxedo then . . . .
So what’s for next month than? Perhaps a mechanical model or military or dress or smart or – well something will turn up I’m sure . . .
20th August 2014
This week I’m searching for a combo model (one with analog and digital displays) that will hopefully interest me and at the same time increase my collection of modern watches. I’ve always loved the concept of the combo as it manages to impart much more data that an analog or a digital piece alone. Both together seems to me to be the best of both worlds, though technology will no doubt change our perception of wrist data in the years to come.
The advent of “smart” watches is the prelude to greater things, being at present a gimmick to a certain extent, a stepping stone if you will and nowhere near the eventual goal I’m sure. But for me the fact that a combo watch gives you that “quick glance” eye contact, where you can instantly register the time, is difficult to manage with a purely digital display and is a requirement I think I may always want. Perhaps it’s an age thing and the young of today may view that “quick glance” in a different light – who knows. There is no doubt however the combo watch is a model that’s very popular and for very good reason. But to find one that is the most suitable for me is not as easy as it sounds, but fortunately also fun. Watch this space for the best – in my opinion 😉
17th August 2014
Well my old pal has done it again. He was recently away somewhere on his travels and dropped this Infantry watch off as a holiday gift. Cheap as chips but surprisingly once on my wrist I actually rather like it – and I don’t really like large watches – so what’s the catch? Now my friend NEVER spends more than £20 on a holiday present and he even saved money as he only spent £14 – I reimbursed him with a couple of pints down the pub after opening the box! In my opinion it was well worth it too! Perhaps I’m getting cheaper in my old age or is that pessimism?
This of course is not helping my goal of upgrading my watch collection and acquiring a better class of product – not one bit! But I can’t fail to be rather impressed! I mean £14 – I ask you!
6th August 2014
as I had mentioned my old favorite Casio DW5600E the other day I decided to feature a Post about my strap change to this watch. I much prefer the silicon deployment style as they are invariability more comfortable than most Casio straps and bracelets and they are quicker to get on and off. Fitting it took about 20 minutes including a coffee and using just a very few basic tools and the result is as good as I’d hoped. For those interested the DW5600 series of Casio G-Shocks models are some of the best models Casio have ever made in my opinion. The function set is both basic today but perfectly practical – Time, Day, Date, Month, Year, Alarm, Stopwatch chrono, Countdown Timer, 12/24hr, excellent EL back light, 200m Water resistance and tough as old boots PLUS it can fit the smaller wrist as it is NOT too big. Plus with my strap conversion it fits even better and even smaller wrists with comfort too. The strap conversion cost is about £7 here in the UK. This model uses the CR battery series with about 2 years before a change is required.
4th August 2014
This week it’s back to a classic mechanical Swiss made aviation style watch, the Torgoen T30304, one of my favorites I have to say. Nicely specified watch which is a nice size for me, classic in looks and with the orange Superluminova highlights the clarity of this model is outstanding. It also has a more or less conventional strap which is another big plus in my book. I’ve featured it here, as sometimes I tire of the glut of digital models, especially if there are not many new or innovative ones around (and there isn’t at the moment) and too many of which are difficult to read and have molded custom bracelets that once broken (and they do frequently) are difficult and pricey to replace. That said I am still as always on the lookout for that digital model that manages to meet my requirements. These are relatively simple – round case, clear good size digits, back lit for night use and conventional strap fitting to standard lugs and NOT a macho over-sized lump on the wrist.
Not too much to ask for you would think and yet quite a difficult item to find. But you never know what’s around the corner . . . . . .
15th July 2014
Latest Post features a couple of non mainstream Makers, Infantry and LAD and interesting models they are too. The Infantry more or less does what many of the popular Casio models offer and at silly prices and the LAD GPS model could be something else, depending on the overall quality. If it lives up to it’s specification, then for £92 (Amazon UK pricing) it could frankly be a winner. Offering perhaps somewhat more than a Garmin Forerunner and maybe even pushing the Garmin Fenix – which is serious money. My problem is whether to spend just under £100 on an unknown to check it’s capabilities, because that’s actually quite serious money to me!
12th July 2014
Added a vintage Longines to the Ladies Vintage page – another model I bought at some auction some years ago. It has a “copper” dial and is sometimes worn subtly with whatever color scheme my wife is wearing at the time. It’s from 1939 (75 years ago!) and works as good now as it was when new – a fact I never fail to be impressed by these quality Swiss mechanical movements that just go on and on . . . let’s face it, there’s not many things these days that can aspire to such longevity. Now that’s true value for money . . .
And Oh Oh – I’m ranting again. This time over the over-population of watch dials and the overload of data fighting for dial space. I mean I’ve probably bought half a dozen of the Citizen pilot style watches over the years, fascinated at first with macho look and the incredible data on the dial, yet discarding them and selling them on once I realize I don’t use 90% of the data displayed. Also as I’ve got older, squinting at the tiny writing without spectacles is a real pain in the proverbial.
There! – rant over . . . . .
10th July 2014
Well I’m back now after a bit of personal time plus a small holiday to get myself sorted out and started Posting again this morning with a bit of style. Cartier – always a brand to aspire to owing as it says so much about quality, style and elegance – and expense of course. However for me many of their models are so familiar in shape that one becomes almost dismissive of them, so to find one that is “of today” and looking really good on the wrist I just had to feature the Calibre de Cartier W7100039 as my latest “inspirational” model – or the one I just have to have . . . .!
And as usual time will tell – so watch this space – my £7000 saving regime has already started!
15th June 2014
Away from the computer for a while owing to family issues and will be unable to post until early next month, so the site will be as is until I get back to it – so apologies for those of you who visit every so often, but that’s life as they say and priority wise, family comes first.
29th May 2014
Posted an article about the amazing world of the Fitbit Flex Activity Monitor wrist band, which is one very smart “watch”. It seems to me to be far more useful than the so called “smart” watches that are appearing with rude frequency, most of which simply are an extension of your arm – not being able to reach your cell phone supposedly. Basically a lazy addition to our already sedentary and unfit lifestyles. The Fitbit on the other hand is at the other end of the spectrum, being in essence a health monitor and allowing you to gently moderate your life to perhaps one which is somewhat better for you – it counts the calories you expend, checks you distance and keeps records of the number of steps you take, stairs you climb, sleep patterns and believe it or not, and why not – it also tells you the time (otherwise it would not be featured here of course).
A neat little gadget no doubt about it and maybe, as I’m putting on the pounds a bit myself, something I should perhaps look into more closely – perhaps I could get one and check myself out – for there’s everything to gain and for once a decision that could be viewed as “smart”.
12th May 2014
Had a look at Orient watches this week and whilst I’ve always liked them, especially their mechanical range and they have a great new range of models to choose from, difficulty in obtaining the latest models means they are not too easy to get your hands on.
And further on that subject I recently bought a Casio watch direct from Japan, so I’ve listed the process from start to finish on my next Post. Hopefully it should help anyone thinking of doing the same thing and whilst this is from Japan to UK, it does give an idea of what to expect from a decent Japan internet Dealer.
5th may 2014
Re’ computer problems – these unfortunately appear to be major and I might be offline for a time – I use my PC for graphic manipulation work and it’s memory system has just about expired! Never fantastic at the best of times, it has decided to give up the ghost – so looks like a new system and all the angst that entails! Apologies in advance for delays that will be inevitable and unavoidable.
4th May 2014
Having real problems with my computer at the moment, so Posting may be interrupted until things sort themselves out – sorry for any inconvenience.
30th April 2014
Looking this week at the newer version of my old trusty Promaster Navihawk model and whilst disappointed with some, quite impressed with others – so a bit of a mixed bag. There are however quite a range of versions around, so perhaps I will find a new one to suit me after all.
25th April 2014
Looking at a couple of very different but the same G Shock styles (there are around 192 from Casio). One is urban street “cred” or even military and the other an almost polar opposite and I’ll be Posting one after another in my next Posts. And sticking with Casio there is yet another G Shock I noticed that doesn’t seem to be featured many places, yet has a pretty hefty feature set so I hope to have that looked at sooner rather than later. It’s of interest to me as I’m looking at ABC watches again, now that some additional advances are in place.
I also updated the Auction page and “Watch of the week” – the models in question were a pre-owned Frederique Constant and an Android Ambassador.
17th April 2014
Had to revise my Auction News page as it caused a possible problem. I tend to feature watches in upcoming Auctions that interest me, but by highlighting them prior to the Auction, it also alerts other collectors to potentially bid against me on the same item! This certainly is NOT what I want! So for all future Auction News Posts, if you don’t mind, I’ll post in retrospect only – after the auction is finished! 😉
16th April 2014
My latest Post is a commentary I suppose about GPS enabled navigation watches – or the lack of to be more accurate. After lengthy investigation on my part I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps this concept is a step too far or maybe could be more the prerogative of the Smart watch. The main problem is the amount of data required and the display of that data. Data accuracy has to be upgraded by some way before reliance can be a reality and visual mapping has to be considered, as without it, data alone seems to fall short of the ideal.
My conclusion was a hand held unit as at the moment it definitely offers the best compromise – in fact it actually does pretty well . . . .
3rd April 2014
Added a few watches to the Auction News page where I note watches of interest in Auctions around the UK. If I remember where I saw them I’ll say, if not you’ll have to look for them. After any watch featured has sold I’ll try and note the selling hammer price in a future Post. My A to Z page is coming along slowly but surely and it’s very interesting to check out what is available from brands that we may not see or hear about too often – there is a huge choice out there and great to see.
My Bargain basement Page will feature any models I currently see offered for sale, either because they’re obsolete and being sold off, or simply currently discounted for whatever reason – BUT – they must offer good value for money and NOT just simply cheap watches.
31st March 2014
New feature page “Bargain basement” – where I feature watch models being offered or discounted at amazing prices that offer really good value for money. These will mostly be limited duration, old stock or obsolete or just a good bargains on the day – who knows? Bargains like these can often turn out to be a great find, a daily beater perhaps that might last out that forthcoming holiday or often lasting a lifetime.
I’ve picked up a few in my time and usually been luck,y with one or two still with me as good as new and working well – in fact probably half my collection 😉 LOL!
29th March 2014
Today’s wrist shot 29th march – features the Momentum Format 4 200m Diver model from St Moritz. One of the most surprising watches in terms of quality, build and function for the price, that I’ve had the good fortune to find recently. I did a feature Post on it recently just after o bought it and my brief article in the Today’s Wrist Shot more or less confirms what an excellent find it was. It does show that you can get amazing value with quality today if you’re prepared to have a but of a search around, especially amongst the non mainstream makers – you might just be surprised – I know I was.
Coming up next Post -a sight diversion as I’ve been asked to comment on a Golf Aid Watch from Garmin – the Garmin Approach S3. I caution now that my comments are not the usual watch detail stuff, but very definitely an opinion from an old Golfer!
Also – NEW – the start of a new Page called A to Z Watch brands, where I hope to introduce some new selected brands (from A to Z eventually . .!) that you may never have heard of. just by way of introduction. Unlikely to be a complete list as A) I don’t have the time and B) I like to be reasonably selective if I can and will probably only feature watches I think I might like personally. The first Brand is Aerowatch of Switzerland – and I for one am well impressed!
28th March 2014
Well it had to happen. I was asked the other day why I didn’t have a Rolex in my collection. Don’t you like Rolex?
Well the answer is somewhat more complicated than that and in fact is both Yes and No. I actually DO own a vintage Rolex, but a modern one? Well that’s another question . . . . .
My Post “Why the “Sub” is not for me” comes out tomorrow.
27th March 2014
It’s encouraging to see that the Smart Watch scene is beginning at last to recognize that Smart Watches must actually look like a watch. Not some square plastic rectangular and usually oversize block on the wrist. The latest models coming are promised to be like watches, with a round format and in fact rather like – err – a watch! What features they will actually have is open to question however and I hope they don’t go mad and make them so complicated that they are difficult to use. Like many things intuitive is the name of the game – if not easy to use it will simply not BE used.
Something akin to the Smart golf GPS enabled golf assistant watches that are around at the moment. Too much data and too many controls and they are frankly a waste of time. I say this as a friend asked me to comment on his (and mine as it happens) Garmin Approach S3 Golf wrist unit which I’ve used on and off for the past year myself – so I feature it on my next Post, though not in too much detail, but more in what it can do for you and your game. And as I’ve said before – get the basics right and your more than half way there.
In the meantime I’ve posted an introduction bit on a couple of “fit for function” models, one of which is incidentally Golf and the other Aviation, though whether really any good depends on proper hands on experience. Other than my intro’ on the golfing watch, for my golf improvement I’ll stick to the Garmin and leave the other one to – the high flyers amongst you.
24th March 2014
Check out “commentary” for the latest information on the Motorola Smart Watch 360 – it’s on it’s way . . . .!
19th March 2014
Going to be away from my desk for a 2 or 3 days – so the site will be a a bit quiet until I get back to it. The current Post is the one I should have done first – my plan was to do Timex followed by Casio, but in the event I’ve managed them the other way round – but no harm done. That’s the trouble with getting older – sometimes things get missed here and there, then oops! but also being older makes you calmer I suppose and OK it might not be as I wished, but hey – nobody’s perfect!
To compound matters further I’ve just got myself a new smart phone (no not an iPad – lugging one of them around is not my idea pf progress!) and so far this smart phone seems to be a lot smarter than me or I’m getting slow!
Regarding iPads and so on, a friend of mine just got himself one of those (he’s 84yrs old) and he seems to love it – but I checked out some web site that more or less set itself up as the “what you need to know about iPads – the basics”. Well they’d lost me in the first paragraph with references to things that I’d never heard of to start with – so this smart phone will have to do.
Now if I could just get a signal . . . . . and another thing – where’s all this FREE wi-fi stuff? Every time I scan to find one it’s padlocked – needs a password and costs money! What’s that all about? Progress my A***!
AND – it appears that Motorola are very close to introducing their Smart watch Moto G (360) This will hopefully answer the doubts that I and many others have voiced over the past year or so, re’ the so called “smart” watches that frankly are not so smart at all. Big clumsy and of dubious use in practical terms, the initial looks of the Moto 360 certainly appears to address these criticisms and seems very impressive – but watch this space. Hope to have more info as and when things move on.
18th March 2014
In a Post – actually on the “Watch of the Week” page, I’ve highlighted the Casio WVA-470DE-1AVEF again for quite solid reasons. I’ve also added a series of pages in “Tech info” that relate to issues I’ve noted here and there. In the first “Special Report” page I have duplicated a brief instructional note (which is also in the “Watch of the Week” page) with a couple of images of the Casio “pin and collar” bracelet – as it’s often an issue for folks not familiar with this system. All too easy to shorten the thing to fit your wrist, then blame Casio for being unable to re-assemble it, when the simple fact is, you have lost the “collar” that’s hidden inside the bracelet link and which actually is the very thing that grips the link pin. Without it the pins simply fall out – and that’s the end of your bracelet!
That said, it’s not difficult – but take care!
The new “Special report” (sub pages under Tech info) will be infrequent I suppose, but will feature any issues I note regarding any “technical” aspect of watches I come across, or been flagged up by others. Items that I might regard as knowledge shared is knowledge gained as it were.
14th March 2014
Just before I post my “get and forget” Timex review, I’ve posted a short feature on the Pulsar Scrolling models. I found these when I recently bought my own non scrolling Pulsar and because I’ve been so pleased with my purchase, I thought these might be worth a look. At first I wasn’t aware they were scrolling displays at all, then on closer inspection they are indeed just that. Pretty decent too I have to say and for those of us with failing eyesight these could be a welcome option, as long as you can manage to wear them – as they are pretty large!
But the displays are surprisingly easy to read, though as always I advise caution with any digital display model. Try and get one in your hand and check it out in daylight and indoors, make sure you can see it OK. Failing that of course if bought from a reputable Dealer on the internet, then check their Return policy as then you can check it out at home and if it’s a no no, then you can always return it for a refund – no harm done. And again – as always – check their terms carefully.
12th March 2014
One of the problems with watch brands that have a huge variety and selection of models is deciding which one is worthy of your interest. With Citizen, Seiko, Casio and Timex their collective range is massive, though as I said before much of their production have sort of “corporate” looks. A Timex invariably does not look like a Casio, which doesn’t look like a Seiko and so on, but that brand look is both good and bad.
If you don’t care for the corporate style of one brand, then you look to the alternative brands, but that can be a mistake, as in just a few cases a model comes along that conversely could be from any one of these Makers, as it is what I would term a classic functions watch. In other words, they get the basics right – and these basic points are pretty universal.
Form, function and fit (3 x F’s) and not too much of one over the other, moderate, unstated and yet ticks all the basic requirements of a “beater”. And that’s what 99% of the population want – a daily beater, no more no less. A no fuss get it and forget it watch . . . .
Taking a look at Timex this month, I show two models that for simple functionality manage to fit the bill. Not perhaps everyone’s choice of course, but they make sense to me and at very reasonable cost (well under £100 in the UK) and I feature them as my March ideal “get it and forget it” watches for everyday use.
8th March 2014
I’m posting soon about Stealth – that is the secret world of not being seen, about blending in. But all too often it means in my watch world, that you might also be unable to see your watch, because it’s dark with dark hands and dark numbers – and really stupid!
But all is not lost as there are some who describe their watch models Stealthy and it has color all over it – they obviously know something we don’t. The art of camouflage perhaps, where in the dead of night – black is not the best color to wear. Better with the black area broken up to alter the outline as this makes it more difficult to distinguish. And radar won’t find you either!
Trouble is one of the Stealth models has a great big RED button on it! Perhaps this is sold with a red pullover? or better still a red and black pullover – yes that’s it. It’s probably sent to you in a plain brown package and inside there’s a nice gray box, then the watch itself. Black case, gray dial, gray strap and this one size fits all RED pullover! Ah yes I’m getting the hang of this now – oh yes!
From the above you can guess I’m not a great fan of “stealth” watches, though it is surprising how many there are. Trouble is I find myself smiling when I see them and I can imagine certain models on my wrist!
Silly isn’t it . . . . . 😉
7th March 2014
Re-posted from Commentary –
Don’t know about you, but I’ve just about had it up to here with all the hype about Smart Watches, when they all look like a square bar of soap propped up on top of your wrist. I simply don’t see a watch – I see a box and being an old pessimist at heart, hardly see the point of linking via Blootooth or whatever to your Smart Phone in your pocket. I mean come on, your arm can stretch that far surely!
Maybe it’s just that technology for technology’s sake – you know, we can do it, so why don’t we do it. Not – do we NEED to do it?
Anyway whatever I think is probably old hat and this stuff is a’marchin’ on, as they say. I mean even texting and heaven forbid, tweeting? is like a parallel universe to me! So I decided to try and use common sense and see through all this gobbledegook and try and find a Smart watch that was a . . .watch.
And I found one – Posting before the end of the week.
5th March 14
Wrist size – always a contentious and sometime “macho” topic. I’ve got big wrist ‘cos I’m a big guy and you’ve got tiny wrists ‘cos you’re a wimp!
Well it might surprise some folks but the World average wrist size is only 6.5″ or 165mm, so perhaps NOT as big as some thought. It hasn’t really changed since the beginning of the century, yet watches have increased from anywhere around 30mm to 45mm and beyond. So what’s in proportion and why do we need such large oversize watches when the movements inside are often so small? What should the watch/wrist size ratio be and what’s the ideal?
I also wonder why when buying a new strapped watch with the standard strap length – I often find myself on the very first hole (and my wrists are slightly OVER the World average). I have even had to sometimes punch in another hole – so what’s that about? Seem to me that larger watches have longer straps – Why? Even more peculiar is the fact that such a high percentage of watches and straps etc. are made in Countries where the average wrist size is MUCH smaller!
It’s a funny world!
Anyway my Post later this week talks about Wrist size and watch size – it’s called “Wrist matters” and how you can find your ideal “fit”.
1st March 14
Wow – 1st of March already – it doesn’t seem possible but here we are already into the third month of a new year. Well so far I’ve been to an auction and bought on impulse and luckily very pleased with the result and I’ve also pulled the trigger on an acetate cased new watch from the Briston Watch Company. There’s something about French watches that always impresses me – perhaps it’s style and elegance, panache or the sheer joy and freedom of expression. Whatever it is – I’ve bought it, got it and love it!
My take on it – coming soon . . . . . .
27th February 14
Posted a feature about straps – where I show my preference for the super cheap and super practical Velcro Fast Wrap strap. Better and faster than a NATO and every bit as secure, fits a any wrist and you can swap watches with your brother even though his wrists are twice as large as yours – and it still fits perfectly and exactly to your comfort every time. If you decide to sell on the watch, as long as you’ve kept the original it was supplied with, then the buyer gets a great deal – your watch PLUS an unused original strap or bracelet. It’s a win, win situation all round.
24th February 14
Since my foray into Lorus and Pulsar (of Seiko ownership) it’s become quite obvious there are varying degrees of quality between the two. The more expensive is Pulsar and though still low price point as a brand, is after purchasing one of each is obviously the better quality. I purchased an Analogue/Digital model of each and the difference was noticeable. Firstly and most obviously was the digital LCD matrix display quality. Here the pulsar was much brighter and appeared to use a different fluorescent display altogether. The Lorus in comparison was fainter and not so easy to read, though in saying this it was still probably acceptable against many other watches out there. But not quite good enough for me personally.
Other small points were also noticeable, where instead of chrome edged numerals and/or hands which promote reflections in most cases, Pulsar avoided this practice mostly and therefore clarity again was improved.
Now these differences were not always much and indeed some were just the same, but overall I came away with the impression that where I’m sure to have a Pulsar in my collection, it’s doubtful Lorus will have the same attraction. BUT I always keep the door open as you never know what little gems might slip in under the radar, so I’ll still keep a weather eye on Lorus just in case.
An Auction story coming up soon, where I went to a Watch Auction and came away with something other than my intended target – and – spent rather more than expected. But risk aside, I’m pretty pleased.
21st February 14
I hope to start posting an series of occasional Auction News posts where I have a look at the odd Auction/item I find of interest where watches are being sold. Amazing bargains can be had, though sometimes prices can shock as well as delight and the old maxim still applies – Buyer beware!
Now I’m not an auction expert by any means, though I’ve been to quite a few in my time and not just dealing in watches, but antiques mostly. If you’ve never been, then perhaps you should try it and go along to one in person and see what it’s all about.
With the prevalence of Auction programs on the TV today (especially antique or more accurately bric-a-brac and junk) more and more people are visiting auctions. And one of the main problems of course is that this new audience of auction goers, after watching this media stuff on the television and certainly in general auctions, think they can get anything for nothing. (a bit like Ebay these days). Also today with internet access to many of them, items are now being displayed and available to a worldwide audience.
Many long standing auction punters really don’t like this, as bargains are consequently much harder to find and this is indeed true, but not impossible. As a result many general auctions are being swamped and cluttered with wannabee “traders” and “experts” and I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to those, basically as item quality is decreasing and so now prefer “specialist” auctions instead.
Most specialist auctions don’t fortunately fall into what is frankly an overdone antique/junk/house clearance family day out media show. Here you find those in attendance usually have a genuine Collector or Dealer interest in the items for sale and like any specialist auction, here you find the “levels” of what’s really valuable or rare high quality, items that are a lower level yet still very desirable. Here you see the top Collector, the medium Collector and the “entry level” guy starting out on the first rung of the ladder.
It can be fascinating and rewarding and if cautious (my middle name) then you can put together a nice collection which ideally is self financing – with a bit of luck!
19th February 14
Coming up a review of the St Moritz Corporation of Canada designed Momentum Format 4. Tough, looks great, Swiss analogue and digital displays, World Timer (59 cities plus user defined), Chronograph, Timers, Alarms etc. AND 200m Water Resistance – all in a super lightweight matte Titanium case. Looks like I might have found my new tough daily beater!
18th February 14
Note I have put an update to the Lorus, Pulsar – Choices 14th Feb Post – showing the watch in real photographs on my wrist and against a Fossil. No question it is a remarkably good matrix display and a stunner of a watch to look at and handle. Very big watch for me with my small wrist, but I have a possible remedy for that by trying out a different strap just to see if it helps. Not that it feels very big on, but I like watches to hug the wrist as much as possible, so if I have an alternative 26mm strap, it might just try it out.
However regardless of the strap outcome, this is definitely the largest watch I’ll ever get, but it really IS a stunning piece of work. I will definitely do an in depth Post of this model once I’ve played around with it for a while – perhaps in a week or two.
17th February 14
Whilst I’ve been looking at other non-mainstream brands, this has prompted me to look at what’s on offer if you don’t happen to like “G”, “Shock”, “Tough” or “Expedition” described models. And while I’m on about it I often wonder why they seem to be PU, Resin or Plastic covered cases, when in many instances the cases are actually stainless steel, which seems already plenty “tough” to me. Though some are actually plastic cased and no steel at all underneath. Of course the reason for the plastic coverall on the case is basically shock protection, just as a bumper on the front of a car absorbs the shock of impact, so the theory is that the same should apply to the watch covering.
And I’m sure it does.
If you’re worried about scratches and scuffs, then that’s another matter, as whilst PU and the new plastics are indeed resilient, they do mark up just like most conventional case materials if subjected to some sorts of abuse. The internals can be protected independently inside tolerably well even without additional shock protection on the outside case, but the addition of this protection can sometimes go over the top with comic book results. The flat angular squares panel look however is a favorite among cartoonists and boys magazine writers and transferred to a watch gives it that macho, “tougho” look.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not against them (in fact I own some) but there are folks out there who are looking for a standard looking watch, perhaps with more subtle shock protection, that’s NOT part of an action man kit. And if the first alternative I’ve found seems rather big, even masculine perhaps with it’s divers credentials, in reality it’s actually quite a neat size and weighs barely 90g. And it sits within a fairly stable price point which is also reasonably affordable. The second option I found is actually almost in a class of it’s own – quietly shock proof and classic too.
So if your tolerance for the fashion black, “G” style is waning, maybe you should have a look around – check out my alternatives for starters. . . . . and if you like them, there are others about!
The Post in question will appear on 19th February.
14th February 2014
With the prevalence of the big 4 in “daily beater” or everyday “man in the street” watchmaking, it’s difficult to get past Casio, Timex, Citizen and Seiko. The sheer range of models and styles they produce is almost overwhelming and it seems that they have every base covered. They somehow manage to “fit” our need in watches owing to their almost limitless model variations, to cater for virtually any taste.
So over the next few posts I want to explore what else there is around in the same market place ie. the “daily beater, the “man in the street” – the “everyday” watch that your normal punter or working guy can actually afford.
What I have found is that it’s not so easy, such is their grip on the watch scene. Collectively they produce really quite brilliant watches, of pretty decent quality, using amazing technological innovations in quartz and digital, that frankly very few can match. Also the prices can be really low considering the features offered, though recently it’s I note a larger percentage of models are rising above that low price bracket. Indeed some of the recent offerings are well into the mid range and higher price points. Perhaps their collective aspirations are rising and their target market is slowly shifting upwards and if so, there are surely opportunities for others to fill the slight crack or gap in the market. With the huge market in parts it is easier for those without the technological capabilities today to simply to buy wholesale what they need, so they can compete.
So it’s these guys I’m looking at to see if they can offer decent alternatives to the big 4 collective. If priced right, a simple 2 year guarantee will suffice and if the watch model goes wonky, a straight replacement will solve that issue, so no real after sales/technical support to really worry about. These days especially in quartz and digital watches, the “on the wrist” turnover is quite short and I often see another new watch on the wrist within a couple of years. It’s a buy, use and throw away society today and that’s a fact.
So I start with only a short tentative hop from Seiko, as they own both the first two brands I’m checking out – Lorus and Pulsar. Hopefully they benefit from the technology and fit this to their own designs, that just maybe don’t have that corporate look. Should be interesting.
11th February 2014
I suppose one of the things I like about collecting watches is the fact that it needn’t cost too much money as a hobby. I obviously buy watches that I like to own and wear, but as time goes on you find that a model may not be getting the wrist time it deserves – and I move it on. Off to the auction or private sale and hopefully, because the watches I keep are in the best condition, they manage to get a fair price. It is however, swings and roundabouts as they say and on some you lose a bit and on others you gain a bit, so it balances out. Obviously watches I’ve bought new fair worse than those I’ve picked up at auction, which is why I have a mix of new, old and vintage . And often the vintage models when sold manage to keep my finances on a level keel as they sometimes surprise me with the sales value.
I have just recently sold off around a dozen or so watches, mostly vintage from my early days of collecting. These were not particularly upmarket models of their period (1906 – 2005) such as Vertex, Gruen, a couple of trench models, Zenith, Marvin and a few generic 9ct models and their condition was as I bought them, so average, but all in full working condition I have to say. But I was agreeably surprised with the auction as it managed just over £2500. This was about 40% higher than my estimates, so I was well pleased.
What it does show is that my watch buying philosophy appears to be working. I had the pleasure of owing these mostly vintage models for many, many years and turned a handsome profit as well. This extra cash compensated for the odd loss that in all likelihood I make when selling on more modern pieces – so it all evens out pretty well. And there’s not many hobbies where you can say that. I should also say that I’m not in it for the money, but just the fun of owning and wearing some wonderful watches that I like.
Indeed a friend I know, also a collector and a pretty aggressive one at that and a collector of very much more exotic models and way out of my league, in 2012 spent over £150,000 on various watch models, he just had to have. He told me just the other week that his “watch account” he keeps for all his acquisitions over the years, at the end of 2013 was sitting with a credit balance of £12,546. And he doesn’t need the money or indeed the investment! However I perhaps wonder at his finances, as I know he travels to Berlin and Lyon and goodness knows where on his watch hunts and I wonder if he takes all this travel into consideration? Maybe he does and I’m just being devil’s advocate, but the last time I traveled by air, plus hotels – it was darned expensive!
But a word of caution if you are thinking this watch collecting game is a great investment opportunity. It’s not, or more accurately it could be, but like any investment – it’s never certain. To illustrate this a colleague of my watch collecting friend had a vintage Patek Philippe, which years ago cost him the better part of £26,000. He sold this at an auction with a too low reserve and only managed £21,500 less auction costs . He was NOT a happy bunny. ;-(
Fortunately I don’t really have that problem, as I firstly can’t afford that sort of outlay and secondly I would have put a reserve on that PP! – and probably for more than I paid for it.
So I’ll just keep plodding along in the way I do, though I am slowly upping my game and selecting better watches as I go – but cautious and very aware of that bottom line – or my bottom line. A few hundred either way – and I’m happy.
In fact – I might feature this as a Post – a sort of buy and sell chronicle – mmm I’ll have to think on this – it could be a neat series of articles . . . . or not . . . .
7th February 2014
Todays Post post features my Aeromatic “Observers” model and the fiddle I had with the overly stiff leather strap – with only one fixed keeper. If in doubt, change it – is usually the best solution. So I did.
I have posted also my first “Commentary” page, where I chat about everything and anything associated with watches and the various aspects of these fascinating little items. The first commentary is about luminous stuff prompted by the rather disappointing night view of the Aeromatic. It’s not bad, but there again it’s not that good either!
Domain and web address address – Note that now you can now type http://www.watchspace.co.uk and it will point here. It is s till hosted by wordpress, but a direct link now exists.
4th February 2014
Seeing as I am in reasonable health at this moment in time, I’m trying to post or page every 2 or 3 days, though as I’ve discovered already without a gaggle of “staff” writers (and did I tell you I’m retired!) it’s really difficult to maintain. So it might end up as a few flurries of activity, then quiet for a period – we shall see . . . .
Putting up a couple of new Pages called “Commentary” and “Soapbox”. As described, one will be a general commentary on watches and the watch scene, from my perhaps simplistic viewpoint and the other may be a bit of a rant of opinion on things I find bizarre. How successful these will be depends to a great extent as to my mood on a particular day and whether the pills are taking effect or not. :-O
One thing I have noticed whilst writing watchspace since 2009, is that I’m gradually becoming more cynical. And my somewhat ironic and often caustic sense of humour is slowly, but surely, leaking it’s way on to the page. Maybe it’s an age thing, or too many watch auctions, or antique auctions with “the Wife” and the inevitable stress this can generate – but it’s very odd!
My last Post perhaps shows this slightly odd sense of ironic humour – The Watchmakers Art – in my choice at the end. Not meant as a criticism or even poking fun in any way to the amazing and wonderful creations of the masters of watchmaking shown on the Post, but rather a “bring me down to earth” statement – and “end this flight of fancy” – as there’s no way I could ever afford these wonderful creations – so only dreams for me.
On my budget I’ll content myself with Mickey – but he’s pretty good – isn’t he?
2nd February 2014
Look as if I’ve got a new buzz word for this month – “balance” and what models have or have not – got it. I could have posted a retrospective on all the Classic models that have “balance” but restricted myself to just one, to illustrate the point. There are others of course but the Citizen JQ8250-52E sums it up pretty well. With the current penchant of data overload and color ideas it seems to me the Manufacturers are sometimes a little over the top. They perhaps are missing the fact that the wearer has to be able firstly, tell the time and then be able to not only see, but use, all the amazing functions of their new watch.
Instruction booklets are now larger and not solely because of multi-language requirements and when you see guys on planes with their web print-out .pdf manual, trying to figure out how to use the World Time feature – it doesn’t bode well. The User’s requirements are sort of being lost – like “ease of use”, too many colors, dials, displays, buttons and pushers (which one do I press?) small print and probably dial reflection too – it ain’t easy.
My conclusion is simple really – if you do see a “Classic”, ie; a “balance” between data, clarity, function and practicality – don’t faff about – just buy it!
30th January 2014
My latest Post once again makes the point about overly large Casio G-Shock models and features a retrospective on the GW2500B-1A, which in my opinion was perhaps one of, if not the best models Casio produced in the last 10 years. Certainly the best Ana-Digi display I’ve seen, managing to avoid the problem of “dial clutter” of too much data badly presented. It also managed to get all the functions within a reduced case size of under 47mm width, whereas the latest Aviator G-Shocks are back to 50mm and bigger. The exception to this is the new ABC model – PRW3000 Triple Sensor which has commendably a similar sized case and which actually is thinner too. It can be done! so come on Casio!
27th January 2014
- I’m posting a new series of articles featuring Independent Watchmakers around the world which may be interesting, as their designs are anything but mainstream and often feature the most amazing technology. Improved and/or different methods of the art of timekeeping is often a theme of these “artists”, many of whom worked for some of the greatest Watch manufacturers in the world, before setting off on their own. Don’t expect mainstream prices, as being hand made timepieces they tend to cost what they cost.
Personally if I could manage? to own a few of these, then my collection would change overnight from a hundred or so of varying quality to maybe 6. Think of it – no more my overloaded set of display boxes and drawers full of what are mostly affordable watch varieties, but distilled down to one beautifully crafted display box, with just 6 incredible timepieces. Wow! – now would that be something!
And Yes I tried the European Lottery on Friday – not a dammed thing!
- NEW – A new page entitled “My watch of the week” starts tomorrow and will feature any watch model that catches my eye and if I know of a current Seller, then I’ll show a LINK to the site.
Back to reality – the last Post was about the “G” shock models that allegedly are the toughest models around. In practice I’m decidedly undecided about that, but as a marketing campaign initiated by Casio, you’ve got to admire it and I suppose 70 million owners (not including Timex Shock series) says something. So what do I know?
- On the subject of Divers Watches. There are a lot of these about and if you’re in the market looking for a solid and mostly dependable watch – you really can’t go wrong – AND at great prices at the moment. Many are what you could call “Private” label often using generic Asian origin models, nevertheless are great value and certainly the ones I’ve tried – are every bit as good as the mainstream. Most are powered by Seiko or Miyota quartz movements and give good reliability in general. Apeks, Poseidon, Momentum, for example are all available for probably under £100 somewhere – in fact my own Apeks 200m model I consider perhaps the best value Diver today. You also have more mainstreams such as Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Invicta – in fact there are many and most offer models that are very affordable.
Personally I look for at least 200m Depth Rating, must have a screw down crown, must have a uni-directional bezel, preferably large numerals or indices and hands, preferably a day or better still a day and date (after all you wear this as a daily beater – we don’t all dive these days), preferably a sensible size case, must have Superluminova or Lumibrite as minimum requirement, and a decent strap. And as I say it is very possible to get all these features for around £85- 150 – now that can’t be bad.
I think “Divers” are the most underrated watches today and represent terrific value. In fact I’m so pleased with the ones I have (3), I’m seriously contemplating a collection – oh yes!
24th January 2014
Serial number data Links to Gruen and Benrus brand watches, added today – both are web links. Today’s Post features a short word on the new Casio Protrek PRW3000 series and it’s non-arrival on these shores (UK). No information as to when it may appear here either. This model is Solar, RC and features the v3 ABC modules and as a result of that, is smaller in diameter than it’s predecessor, which has to be a good thing. Whether it’s accurate for serious trekkers and mountaineers is questionable I suppose, but certainly worth a look – IF you see one!
20th January 214
Added new LINK to the Collectors Weekly. This is the largest database of current watches for sale on Ebay – a very useful resource indeed and really useful if you’re seeking that special watch model.
My next Post is an Update on my favorite Divers model after one month ownership. Was my £70 spend justified?
18th January 2014
Just added a LINK to a Digital Watch information site – Under Technical info – This is a privately site called “Magical Digitals” and has a wealth of information on LED and LCD models. Auctions and Sales are also available directly via this site. Note the site is by default in German, though some English is used and online translation can be used if required. Fascinating subject I find and useful too.
17th January 2014
New series of Posts started today, showing “elegant” watches – or my interpretation of that description and my intention is to feature 4 models, perhaps each fortnight. The Watch Gallery I hope to change each fortnight basically to give a different look to the site. Remember you can see a full screen slide show of these watches by clicking on any image in the gallery. A new link was added under Links – Watch Dealer List – CityWatches.co.uk.
14th January 2014
This latest post features my ULTIMATE watch – the F.P. Journe Quantieme Perpetuel Watch. It simply has and says everything I want from a watch and at the moment I can’t conceive on anything taking it’s place. The tragedy of course is that I’ll never in all probability own one as the price is outwith my means (by some way, I have to say!) and being part of a limited production, the rush to get it if one did come up for sale would be pretty cut throat. So I’ll just have to dream and soldier on with everyday life and maybe pick up the odd watch that I may find attractive and fascinating at the time. I will of course check out the auctions just in case my Quantieme perpetual sneaked through at a low estimate – Oh yeah? – Dream on . . . ..!
12th January 2014
Note – I have added a Watch Gallery to the right of the main post. This shows watches featured over the years on my site. There are usually 12 images featured and this will change every week for a new set. A full screen slide show can be accessed by simply clicking on any image.
My last post was about Triple Date Calendar watches and note how rare it is to be able to find one at an affordable cost today. Plenty vintage ones around though even these, if in good condition, can set you back a fair amount. I have to admit to being very pleased to have 2 quartz Triple Date Calendar models that didn’t break the bank. The first one, the Dugena has the Miyota Cal.6P80 Moonphase & Triple Date Calendar display and the second is the Android Ambassador Swiss 11 model with the Swiss Ronda Cal.706B Date, Date, Moon & Calendar 5 jewel movement. Both are excellent watches and surprisingly, the Android is my the favorite of the two, mostly owing to the clarity of the really excellent watch face. The quality of the dial is quite special for a watch that somehow I managed to obtain for under £100 some years ago. I note that it doesn’t now appear on the Android current list, which is a great shame. It’s fair to say I’ve seen some current quartz Triple Date Calendar models of various brands that are considerably more expensive and not actually in the same league, in quality or looks. So I consider myself fortunate indeed that I’m a member of what I call the “Triple Club” and still have my car!
7th January 2014
The last Post was about clarity or the lack of it and OK I write it as it’s a sort of bugbear with me, but sparked off by a friend of mine who was always buying models he could not see properly. But getting back to my stuff – I wore an old CasioAW180 that I’ve had for donkey’s years and that got me to thinking just what was around today from that Brand. From £1000 to £19 their models all seem to be very fit for purpose and rarely let you down. So a quick look at what I could find and liked and a silly “montage of models” featured or chatted about over the past year. Well, it’s different – and I had the software so I’m using it!
4th January 2014
Wow! another year gone by and into 2014 already – how “time” flies!
Realized the other day I was again wearing my trusty little Citizen day/date model, which I’m rotating with my latest Apeks and Monster Diver and thought I’d see if it was still around. Imaging my surprise to find that not only was it basically still available from the odd source, but it had been updated as well. So the first Post for 2014 is called “Citizen Value”, as when I think about it, this is exactly what this watch model represents. And it’s not often you can say that about any product these days, so if didn’t get that special present over Christmas and you’re looking for something to cheer you up – you could do worse than check it out. In fact I liked the new model so much I’m tempted! Again!
18th December 2013
Well I think I maybe found for me the “watch of the year” and that is the Apeks Mens Professional Diver. A non-mainstream manufactured 200m Divers watch that ticks all the boxes for me. Quality, size, function and last but not least – price! At under £70 it is amazing value for a 200m rated watch in the classic analogue style. I liked it so much I’ve treated myself to it as a Christmas present! I’m going to wrap it up again, just so I can have the added fun of unwrapping it on the day – again!
My second place runner up as best watch of the year, has to be that super Casio World Time Digital model AE-1200WH, that I featured in the November 18th. post “Holiday watch”. All that technology within a smart, sleek and “easy on the wrist” package you’ll ever see and all for £17, it’s amazing.
Now these watches may not even be the latest, but for me they are, because it’s the first time I’ve personally come across them – and it makes me wonder – What’s 2014 going to turn up? I can’t wait!
13th December 2013
Pruning the collection time (I always do at the year end) on around a dozen or so vintage and non-vintage models, basically to make way for new collecting priorities. Higher grade is the answer and for vintage models these are invariably more expensive. I also have been looking at more modern watches that I want to wear, for whatever reason. I seem to have started this already with what I call my “fad” box. This is a display box with my latest craze and most of which I’ll probably move on within a couple of years at most, and some considerably sooner. The odd one or two will stay as keepers, but the rest will, whilst initially fun to try out, own and wear, will eventually, as the novelty wears off, be moved on to new owners. Sometimes at a loss and sometimes at good gains, but that’s not too important, as I consider whatever I spend on them as the cost of my hobby.
Some models you “think” will be great until you actually get them on the wrist and wear them on a day to day basis, only to find out the things you “don’t” like about them, or those little niggles you didn’t see before buying them. Then of course, out they go, to be replaced with the next holy grail . . . . and there’s always one of them around – always!
8th December 2013
Latest post features another “Variety” pictorial collage of some of the more unusual watches that are available. As before I’ve selected models that I consider “affordable” or watches that ordinary folks buy and wear. Prices can range from those amazing bargains from £25, rising on occasion to around £800. Models over £1500 won’t feature too often though if they do, probably because I like them so much, then I’ll say so on the description.
But it does surprise me the number of great priced models there actually are, considering their quality, that you can buy these days, without breaking the bank.
Long may it continue!
4th December 2013
Latest post shows my Orange Monster Seiko SKX Divers model and my impressions of it. My other diver is on it’s way, though delayed (Citizen) so I hope to post a comparison of two competing brands managing the same remit.
Just a note on the luminous quality of the Seiko Monster. My 5am luminous image doesn’t really do it justice and would suggest the dial markers had uneven brightness. This is not the case, but the result of my poor photography! The dial markers and hands in fact were all even brightness, so reading the time was very easy. I would add that the watch had been subject to artificial light only prior to darkness, so it performed doubly well. Had it been exposed to full daylight for any length of time it would presumably have been even better.
30th November 2013
Another month gone by and with Christmas coming up, maybe a watch coming along as a present for someone? Well there’s never been a better time as the discounts are all over the place, though I seem to see more “fashion” watches being touted than anything else. Not that this is a bad thing, as it seems to me that the Fashion House brands are aggressively pursuing new ideas, new designs and in many cases, better quality than ever before. In fact some of these models are now on a par with the “named” brands and better priced too, as many of the traditional brands and certainly those embracing quartz being more cost aware today, are often using non-in-house movements, from common sources.
Traditional watch manufacturers will have to get their act together to compete with these brash “newcomers”, as the trend seems to favor what I call “short term” models. Those that are maybe worn for special events and some only for a year at most! Watches that match the fashion of the day are in and that old LeCoultre, IWS classic or Rolex, only held in reserve for those really special days, hence my recent posts have been on standard Quartz models.
Watches that won’t break the bank are the order of the day and the number of folk I meet, who have no interest whatsoever in such a mundane item as a watch – that thing so many nowadays don’t have on their wrist, is astonishing. Seems the only people who are serious about watch buying, could well be collectors or semi-collectors and to take a case in point, in my own circle of friends only one now has any interest in watches at all. And even he has only two really top quality models and he’s had these for more years than I care to mention, but does have a drawer full of those ever changing “design” and “fashion” watches, which he wears in rotation, on a daily basis, just for fun.
Trouble is, even though I collect and have collected watches for years I’m finding myself falling into the same trap and could easily see my “traditional” collection models slowly disappearing, to be replaced with modern, new, colorful and brash newcomers – try them and wear them for a few months – then move on . . . . .
Times are changing . . . .
20th November 2013
Anyone interested in Digital Watches, LED’s Digital LCD’s, Sensors, Databanks, Manuals and Catalogs and the like should visit The Digital Watch Library – you can find the link under “Watch Links” sub menu. It’s a unique and very interesting web site full of images and information, data and so on about the wonderful retro world of that digital age of watches.
18th November 2013
Been looking for a new holiday watch and thought that Casio, being one of those brands that so often come up with the “ideal” watch might just turn up something special and inexpensive. And my faith in them was very well justified indeed with the lovely World Time, Alarm retro style AE-1200WH-1AVEF. In fact I liked it so much that I bought two, one for me and one for my wife! Priced at a silly £17 each when you consider the technology built in to it, is nothing short of amazing! Holiday watch? Not by a long chalk – this is serious stuff, great value and it’s not been off my wrist all week.
I post an overview today.
10th November 2013
Just been checking out some new watches (well to me they’re new) I found over the last week or two. The 3 models selected are all from PoinTtec in Germany. The Zeppelin and Maximillian models which feature in this case either Swiss or German movements and have a certain style that I find refreshing today. I like their relatively simple dials, quality of build and their overall style when compared with so many of the offerings around at the moment. I also like, that in no way, are these “minimalist”, which in my mind is a long abused term often related to models which are both difficult to read and boring. I hope, like me, you find all three of these, just that little bit different and maybe, who knows, with Christmas fast approaching and definitely on the horizon – perhaps a little gift in the offing?
As you can probably tell – I’m hoping my wife reads this!
27th October 2013
I’m on about Kinetic watches in my latest post as I’ve realized they’ve sort of come of age in the last few years. My only knowledge of them was a wee bit out of date with my old Seiko AGS 1988 model, which I dug out for the post, just to remind me how it worked. And it did, though I admit it took a bit of persuading and after about 10 minutes of constant waggling around, it reluctantly started again, albeit in 2 second jumps. I seem to recall that unless you’re out walking a lot, it can sometimes never get out of that 2 second – “low power” position. It takes around 800 rotations to reach full charge and even then it’s 3 days maximum. Well as this post shows – things have moved on since then – and how! In fact I like them so much that I am looking for an Auto Relay non-chrono model in a strap version – and so far NOT easy to find!
But today of course here in the UK, is a day for checking out your watch collection. Because as of 2am last night, the clocks here went back 1 hour – Summer Time officially over (I can’t recall seeing much sun!). Of course this really only affects the quartz watches as my mechanical ones, apart from a very special few are not running anyway. I have 4 that I keep running most of the time. A 1940’s Vacheron Constantin, a 1930’s Patek Philippe, a 1950’s Jaeger Le-Coultre and a Jaquet Droz, the latter having complications that are really tricky to set, so simply adjusting the hour on that one is about as much as I can handle these days!
Speaking of Vacheron Constantin – I just missed out on a beauty (again!) I recently spotted at an auction – darn! Saw it late and could not get to the auction – checked it out online, but my broadband was so poor that day – not a chance of bidding in time – isn’t that just the thing!
Oh well – another day . . . . .
I’m thinking of changing the text on posts where I find an issue or concern regarding any particular watch model – to me at any rate. I’ll put any possible issues I have in italics, which allows you to quickly find those bits I have concerns about of any particular model. My opinion of course and you take it or leave it as you wish – your prerogative!
10th October 2013
Done Red and Green and today I’m featuring Blue, but not any old blue version. This is the International Watch Company (IWC) Silver/Blue Portuguese and as I was really checking out dress watches rather than everyday models, this one really fits the bill. Color-wise it is subtle and not just a blast of modern “look at me” high color in an otherwise drab outfit, or that “independent thinker” style with the classic Dinner Suit, then “BANG” “Whadya think of my watch?” Which I confess was the starting point for my exercise in colored watch posts.
It is still valid of course as my recent “Touch of Red” post indicates, and indeed I’ll do some more of these, but this one is something special. Subtle, Elegant and Classic!
7th October 2013
Well so much for Animations and Automatons etc. on this blog at least. Instead I decided to start another blog featuring Art Forms. It covers Art, Art animations, Art music, Art performance, Art Deco, Art Nouveau and so on, from paintings to sculpture to glassware to ceramics. It can be found here
This week I look at “color” – that is color in watches. Today I’m highlighting and showing RED and it toys with the idea that you are what you wear, or your watch shows maybe how you wish to be viewed? Maybe a little bit “out there” or “I’m a free thinker” or independent minded – whatever. But wrist watch color certainly can show an aspect of psychology I hadn’t really thought much about before, but I’ll certainly be having a look in future posts. It could be interesting.
24th August 2013
Something different today – and I hope to add more over the next few weeks. This is about time animation or Automatons, where timepieces are a fusion of Time Keeping and Art .
Probably my absolute favorites is this one from Jaquet Droz – and they really don’t come any better than this.
Whilst it was going to be here I decided to get maximum exposure and post it.
It is also featured in my new page “The Art of Time” which can be accessed as usual from the left pane list.
19th August 2013
Long overdue I got myself a Seiko 5 as you should if serious, as it’s a classic daily beater automatic from one of the largest watch companies in the world. There are dozens of variations on this watch, but all have the core values in common (the 5 requirements – so legend goes). The most important for me is the fact that it’s a mechanical automatic movement, a very dependable and surprisingly accurate (with adjuster) mass produced item renowned for longevity. I know that my father-in-law had one in a drawer for many years amongst other old watches (he’d gone digital in recent times, hence the drawer), but when he passed away a while back I found it, took it out of the drawer and before it was on my wrist it was ticking away, no problem at all. Had to fiddle around with the day and date settings (I’d forgotten the crown pull clicked) and it was non-hacking and so on, but a remarkable watch nevertheless. It ended up with one of my nephews, hence my quest recently to actually get myself one, just for me.
So a brief post on that for now and a link to a guy who knows a bit about dodgy 5’s, having had experience of the knock off variety. A sign of the times I’m afraid and unfortunately any seriously “good” watch models out there, have their “rep” following. But it doesn’t make it any easier for us who really want to own something genuinely special.
15th August 2013
Well so much for the auctions! Went in person and examined some of the watches that interested me, but most of them were in pretty awful condition. Is it me of do folks simply not look after their watches these days. Each one looked as if it had been chucked in a box full of nails! Then shaken up a few times to really get those scratches nice and deep! Not one was worth the ridiculous estimates the Auction House applied, especially when you consider they charge an additional 25% “premium” on the sale + VAT.
However one did shine and the estimate was silly “low” and the House obviously didn’t know a pig from a diamond, but the bidders certainly knew their stuff and it soon rocketed way above my means. Which was a real shame, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. So no new watch post owing to that visit, but another auction and another day – who knows?
8th July 2013
Added some modern Hamilton Watch Serial numbers and model data as a link.
I’ll be at an auction this week and checking out some estate items and included in this sale are some classic watches – so who knows I might be successful as I’m bidding on certainly 2 and perhaps 3 depending on price. I have a suspicion though that a couple of the estimates are “come and buy me” temptations by the auction house – or put it this way – if I manage to procure either one of the first two for anywhere near estimate, I’ll be utterly delighted (and surprised). But stranger things have happened at auctions and you never know, you just never know.
However – IF I’m lucky enough to get any of them (and that’s anything but certain) I’ll post them here in a future post.
1st May 2013
Sorted out some of the links – adding a Watch Restoration link for UK users. Added a second Battery Cross Reference chart (Maxell) in Tech Info page, always handy.
10th April 2013
It’s a funny old business being a watch collector as it covers so many different types of the breed. Some collect watches from the same maker and often the same model over the years, others specialize in chronographs, or vintage or alarm models, models with particular functions or features. Some collect “milestone” models that mean something in the development of the timepiece and others are more general and collect designer brands and so on and so forth. Many start with lesser models and then progress to the classic and expensive “collectors” holy grails and the watch collection usually lessens in number but rises in quality or specialization.
I’m in a sort of transition period (in other words I’m all over the place!!) – I have a box of 1970 – 1980 LCD and LED watches, Vintage watches from 1850 to 1930, specials such as Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin, Omegas and vintage Rolex, then designer watches, some milestone models, Electric ones, 24hr and single hand ones – you could say eclectic! And I have a cabinet of “rotational” models – like my latest ultra thin dress watch for example. I’ll try it for a time and if I find I wear it often, then it moves to a more permanent box – if however I find I don’t wear it, then it gets “flipped” or sold on – sometimes at a small profit, sometimes at a loss – that’s the cost of my hobby! You win some, you lose some. Overall my hobby just about breaks even, over the long term, which is why I suppose my Wife puts up with it . .!
Lately though I’m starting to find that I need the space and I need the time for other things, so I’m rationalizing and downsizing – re-assessing what I want. Also specializing – which means less purchases and a more specific approach in what I really want in my “smaller” higher quality collection in 2014/5 – this is my goal. It will inevitably be more expensive, but the models will definitely not be of the “flip” variety, for my ultimate goal is to positively love wearing each and every one of them.
Well – that’s the plan!
NOTE – I have tidied up the Serial Numbers page – it was confusing so now comprises 2 pages – one with links and the other with sub-pages. I hope it’s clearer.
8th April 2013
My last post featured 3 day/date analogue watches, have the functions which in my opinion are probably the most useful in a watch, especially for daily use. Analogue hands and a nice day and date window are all you really need and the three models I feature manage that and at reasonable cost – all under £50.00 in the UK. The day/date daily model I tend to use myself is the Citizen Eco-Drive 180 (BM8180-54E) which I picked up in 2008 and I notice still at the same price and available today, so it must be a good seller – a little more expensive than the ones featured at around £100, but a worth while purchase. It features good lume and never needs a battery – you simply wear it and forget it.
However if I’m absolutely honest my real daily watch hasn’t changed in 15 years and despite the watches I collect, wear and try out, I doubt I’ll change any time soon. The one I wear mostly is my 1999 Breitling Aerospace Titanium. It is one of the clearest of all watches to read with analogue hands and also has a digital display, which I set to Day and Date permanently. Whilst is has other features like chronograph, alarm, timers and dual time etc. let’s be very clear, they’re rarely used – and I use like most folks if being honest, the Time, Day and Date.
The only other feature I think is useful on a watch in truth would be an Alarm and I’ll be looking at models with this feature in a future post. Now you might be thinking this is where the digital watch will score highly? but – you could be wrong . . . .
4th April 2013
Well yet another Fossil comes my way and I’m once again – impressed. This is the “Decker” (quartz) and whilst not the very latest, it is one of the best in my opinion. Great build quality, perfect size, very compact on the wrist and has to be one of the best models around, from anybody, for dial clarity. I’ve posted a review of it and can see me wearing this very often as it’s one of “those” watches. You know the thing – you get a new watch and for all sorts of reasons you find yourself wearing it, again and again – it just suits you. I love it when that happens – and the Decker certainly suits me . . . .
1st April 2013
Posted a new acquisition under Vintage gents I picked up at auction recently. This is a “Rolex” Tudor cushion case model in 9ct gold dated around 1947 which is in original condition with a fair amount of wear and dirt associated with a model of this age. It is however keeping fantastic time with it’s very nice 17 jewel Tudor signed ETA Swiss movement and whilst I would dearly love to clean it up a bit, it makes you wonder . . . . do I or don’t I?
31st March 2013
Well so much for changing! I tried a good number of new themes and really quite disappointed with them all – none could actually match my requirements better than this one – SO – I’ll leave well alone for now!
Clocks went forward an hour last night and as usual I’ve spent most of the day altering clocks and watches! I note the more modern digital models are very much easier to manage this, than the older models, though in some cases it’s “find the Instruction book” – if still around. I think as one gets older this task becomes very much more difficult. Let’s face it, the new Induction cooker we got recently is hard enough and the Microwave – well that’s another story!
30th March 2013
CHANGING THE SITE LOOK – maybe!
After doing a bit of housekeeping on the site, I’ve decided to investigate changing the site look after a year of this particular theme. Mostly to accommodate more picture interest and maybe have an easier reference to archival posts. All the usual information should still be within the site as before and hopefully the new set up will allow me to manage things more imaginatively than before.
The thing with WordPress site themes is that you never know until you actually activate the new one – as to how it’ll turn out in reality and I have already had a few disasters. So bear with me if a few odd themes may suddenly appear – it IS the same site – I assure you, but it might go through a few odd looks. However if they don’t work out, then I might revert back to this one!
28th March 2013
Been revising my site today as my LINKS, owing to the fact these were on permanent display regardless of page viewed, were in effect inadvertently giving false statistics in regards site popularity. I have now altered the LINKS to the left side bar and these are not directly visible unless the LINKS title is clicked. Being indirect links now, I’m hoping this will prevent the appearance of multiple linking or confusion. But of course not being a computer nerd and getting on in years – who knows! Here’s hoping. . .
I’m at a few auctions again this week and maybe, just maybe might find some watches at sensible prices – but it’s getting tougher out there. The ones I’m trying for are vintage, so – watch this space . . .
23rd March 2013
Thought I might have some new models to post but I didn’t manage to get the ones I bid on at yet another auction (some silly pricing around) but did manage the other week to get myself another Timex. And NO it’s not another compass, but it IS a class act. From 1998 this is a Timex Expedition model that scores very highly with me and will certainly look good in my fast expanding Timex collection. Trying to find out the actual model derivation for this one, but so far unsuccessful, though maybe I’ll know fairly soon. I don’t need instructions as once you’ve played with the settings on one of these they’re all pretty much the same.
15th March 2013
Well my recent fascination for digital compass watches is over at last. I’ve posted my last for a while at least and maybe now I’ll get back to my real passion, which is mechanical timepieces, be they spring powered or battery quartz. And OK I have to admit that between those options Ill always prefer pure mechanical, though in today’s modern world and from a practical modern viewpoint quartz makes sense on a day to day basis.
What’s brought this to mind is that recently I’ve been to quite a few auctions and been bidding on (unsuccessfully) some of my favorites such as Jaeger Le Coultre, Gubelin, Omega and others from the 1800’s to the late 1980’s and realized that these are really what gets me excited. These are the ones that give me the greatest thrill and of course they’re all purely mechanical and wonderful and still operating dare I say, like clockwork! often after many, many years.
So for me it’s back to basics – and like many collectors before me I intend from now on to concentrate and specialize more – perhaps in certain manufacturers or specific model series and so on. Try and acquire the models that really give me the greatest thrill of ownership.
In so doing I’ll definitely thin out my present stuff and move on those models that don’t mean as much to me as they should – in other words – it’s time to really tidy up my collection properly!
The trouble is I’ve heard it all before! 😉
22nd February 2013
Not often I find in my stuff, “fashion” watches, but that’s what I thought I had when The Fossil Machine arrived. But surprised myself to find that it was in fact a very good watch – could be Military or Dress, sensible size, Analogue/Digital and with, to top it all, a permanent and large Matrix Display that was reasonably legible too. So I checked up on Fossil and found a watch manufacturer managing to “out” itself and now producing models that have that little bit extra, slightly different to the mainstream, reasonably priced and looking good as well.
Showed off the FS4628 in the latest post and gave a brief review of my experiences to date with what is a pretty attractive model. It’s also quite nice to have a solid stainless steel watch on my wrist instead of the light weight resin/polymers that have graced it for the last few weeks. Very impressed with the build quality and figuration of the steel case decoration and the luminescent Matrix display, such a change from the more mundane black on grey LCDs. I’ll certainly check out a few more Fossil models and look forward to checking out their own manufactured series later in the year.
Next up however is a very quick review of a pseudo Military watch that’s been around for a couple of years I suppose, but new to me – and here was I thinking they built cars! I leave that with you to ponder . . .
17th February 2013
Noticed the other day that my writing style is becoming more “rambling” which is maybe the polite way of saying it, or “long winded” was how a friend described it 😦 And this may well be so as I get older I also repeat myself and that by the way according to my wife! Now I’m not upset by this (another benefit of old age) and in fact I gladly take it on board and I will try and tidy up my writing as a consequence.
Age of course is perhaps one of the problems, in that these days I tend to write as I think and as I go along – and looking at what I’ve just done – just now – maybe my friends have a point! I’m displaying what is known as “mental punctuation” and why I often put in a – (dash), because it’s not a comma or semi-colon or full stop or even in sequence! It’s a mental “pause” really so a dash seems to suit.
Well there you are – you know I think I’m getting worse!
But seriously a little more precise and tidy maybe is the way to go and try and read it though before posting could be a help. Now is that a sentence or what?
14th February 2013
Well my digital quest is over and I’ve surprised myself by picking a model that I felt sure would be second best. It just shows that until you actually get a watch ON your wrist and use it, you just never can tell. My preferred model actually beats the other contender hands down and in almost every department and that was and is a complete surprise. For functions and functionality, display, strap fitting, ease of use and overall practicality it means that my Digital choice for this year anyway (or until something special appears) is the TIMEX.
These two digital watches were low priced (about the same) and are fantastic value for money and either one a good choice, though for my particular needs the Timex came out on top. It was also fun looking at them all – I might just do it again some time!
12th February 2013
Still on my Digital kick at the moment and keeping to my “small is better” approach today’s Post features another sensibly sized multi-function watch from Timex. This the T427619J Expedition Compass Chronograph which has surprised me as a pretty decent model for the money. As it has managed to include a Digital Compass sensor within it and kept the overall size down, it does show that it CAN be done. So it presupposes the possibility therefore that I should be able to source a Digital Multi-function watch without Compass, at an even more compact size – and – importantly be large enough, clear enough (remember this is a digital display) and “outdoor” enough to look the part today.
And I have found one – and – in my opinion within it’s own range, probably the epitome of a particular and rather popular series – an Icon in fact, which hopefully will be the feature of my next Post.
8th February 2013
Posted the latest regarding my update requirements for a digital well specified and low cost watch, which meets my requirements for SIZE, CLARITY and to feature a VIBRATION alarm.
The Timex T49854J was found to be the most suitable of all I checked out. At prices from $35 to £45 this watch represents excellent value. The digital display is one of the clearest I have yet come across (other should take note), very easy to read even at distance and in most lighting situations too. Size wise it’s about as big as I personally think any watch should be, before it looks silly on the wrist or heaven forbid, the wearer looks silly. It’s compact enough to still manage a sweater or perhaps even a shirt to cover it, it is very light and has a standard 22mm strap fitting to conventional watch lugs – and that IS a most sensible feature.
I can’t tell you the number of complaints I see from irate owners of those outdoor and special adventure style watches, ABC’s and so on, that are utterly frustrated with the hassle of replacing their “special” straps and bracelets and usually at over-inflated prices, IF in fact they can get them at all!
I suppose the odd issue that some may have with this Timex is the Instructions – whilst OK for the most part, they don’t actually refer to the major feature of the watch – the VIBRATION ALARM. The instructions don’t specifically refer to how to set the Vibration option. It’s obliquely referred to as “options”, though in fairness it’s not rocket science and is fairly intuitive how to set the vibration option anyway. But it is an annoying omission and for those not into reading instructions or unfamiliar with digital settings in general, I’ve written a quick “run-through” of how it can be set in the Post, which may be helpful.
But overall and as to this new watch – I am VERY pleased with it. It does what it says, very well. It looks good. It sits nicely on the wrist. It’s comfortable. It’s clear to read. And it was very well priced. I like it!
7th February 2013
My last few posts have been prompted by a search for a Digital Compass watch with less than over-size dimensions, though in truth my quest was simply to update and replace two old Casio digital models I have had for years. I suppose as these were Casio, “multifunction” comes to mind as a sort of norm and so the quest for a sensible sized replacement with a few added functions started. However I got sidetracked a little owing to the Digital Compass thing, which I confess was not my original intention or requirement at all, but that’s the way things go sometimes – you get carried away by the moment.
So back to basics and a return to my first idea, which was to update my two old Casio models for something new. Now whilst I recognize that most Quartz “multifunction” watches are digital anyway, regardless of what the dial indicates, I still have the same 2 basic requirements. CLARITY and SIZE. It must be easy to read and clear in most lighting (whether digital or analogue display). And ideally something under 43mm x 14mm would be my preference. 45mm would be the absolute maximum diameter ONLY if the case depth is less than 13mm.
So no long winded deliberations and pros & cons of lots of different models this time – but simply a review and conclusion regarding the one that I have decided upon after it drops in my mailbox later this week.
28th January 2013
Got my Digital Compass watch the other day and I’m pretty pleased with it. I’ve calibrated it and found it to be reasonably accurate, though most Digital Compasses can be influenced greatly in how you calibrate, how you hold it and location. Readability was a concern for me as a good few of these feature poor contrast LCD or Matrix displays, which in daylight are nigh impossible to see clearly. This model however being bright LED had no such problem (whether the battery will last is another matter). However this is a very solid quality PVD Stainless Steel watch with Time, Day, Date & Month, Dual Time, luminous analogue hands plus center seconds AND a bright LED Digital Compass on demand.
Says it all really.
25th January 2013
After all the work involved in checking out these function watches it is inevitable that I found a few more than bargained for, which I have not posted. Mostly as these were digital only and still some of them far too big. However I have made a decision and have purchased one of the 3 contenders. My requirement altered slightly function wise I suppose as I went along, but size still was the major consideration. I’ll reveal which one I picked once it’s here and I’ve managed to run it through it’s paces. Then I’ll post my review and see if I or you think it a worthwhile choice after all. As I’ve said before you never really know until you actually wear and use a watch – so watch this space . . .
22nd January 2013
Well at long last I’ve completed my sojourn into the world of smaller and more compact analogue/digi Compass watches AND reached a conclusion – I think! I mean yesterday when I wrote the last Part I was all for getting hold of a Tissot T-touch, yet today when posting it and re-reading it I thought – Do I really need an Altimeter and a Thermometer or even a Weather Trend (OK that might be useful) in addition to my digital compass? And I confess this morning I thought – NO I don’t need all that paraphernalia at all – be honest – a good watch and a good compass – end of story!
Trouble is just writing this now – I’m thinking I’d quite like a Weather Trend indication, very handy – but to get one with a Barometer it would of course probably have the Altimeter too – Ohhhhh!
OK I’m going to probably get myself the Tissot . . . . .or the Pathfinder . . . . and you know I quite like the Wenger . . . . . . . .
20th January 2013
Well this latest run of posts has really caused me some thought. Here was I thinking lets see if I can get a small enough watch to wear without looking like geek, that managed to include lots of Casio style functions. But I seem to be fixating on ones that have not only analogue hands etc. but perhaps a Digital Compass as the main requirement. I’m questioning whether I actually want all the extra functions at all? I thought I did, but the longer my investigation goes on, the less sure I am of just what I want. What started as a Post with at most Parts 1 and 2, is definitely going to be at least 5 . .!
That’s the trouble being a Watch Collector – we change our minds . . . often!
17th January 2013
Well, just completed Part 1 of looking at analogue and ana-digi Compass watches of the right size for my smallish 170mm wrist and so far quite pleased with the models found already. Part 2 hopefully will turn up more and I’ll also be looking in more depth to this Altitude, Compass and Pressure business. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but more information on the subject can only help and I hope I’m not too old to learn a bit.
16th January 2013
Whilst looking to update by present Casio watches I discovered that one of my gripes was very evident in some of the Casio models I checked out. And that is SIZE! The more functions – the bigger the watch. And as I struggle to wear anything over 45mm this is a major headache for me, especially when I really fancy a Digital Compass function on my new watch. Also I don’t want digital only displays – so often difficult to read, so Ana-Digi is the name of the game. Do they exist – small, easy to read + lots of functionality . . . my search is on. . .
13th January 2013
Well after my last Casio post I realized that the only two models I have are pretty old and whilst perfectly fine, perhaps are not to my mind the definitive Casio I want today. The two I have were basically bought as holiday watches and are in fact essentially the same model. OK they have World Time, Chronograph, Stopwatch, timers and memo facilities and so on, but today that’s almost basic Casio specification and whilst I have owned a high end spec Oceanus Manta (which I moved sold as it was too reflective to read for me), this time I’m looking for the latest spec Casio, IF it meets my requirements, the very first of which is – it must NOT be too large! Could be tricky. . . .
3rd January 2013
Start of a New Year with a vintage purchase – the 1960’s Movado Kingmatic Sub Sea Automatic – a favorite manufacturer and a very nice example it is. Marked with a gold plate “Plaque G 40” microns, the case as you would expect is very good indeed with no wear whatsoever and this model’s face is a complete delight – and – unusual. Great start to the year!
23rd December 2012
I have UPDATED the Botta Duo 24 Black post – please click HERE for updated data at the end of the article.
22nd December 2012
Latest post prompted by a friend who asked me where I got my straps from and could he get one like that fitted to his latest sports chronograph. Checked it out and as it had standard spring bar and lugs arrangements I said OK. However not being the handiest of people I had to fit it for him! So I thought this was maybe a good thing to post as there could be others out there with the same problem. OK I know it’s simple stuff, but HEY! we’re not all good with our hands. And my friend – he’s a Doctor. . .
With rather good watches too. . . . 😉
20th December 2012
As I had not properly reviewed the Traser Basic Black model I’ve posted it today. You will note that I don’t have much praise for the much vaunted “elastic” Steel bracelet as I found it to be a complete disaster. Poor quality steel finish, already marked and easily marked – my bracelet was straight out the box and already it showed quality issues. The expansion part then trapped the skin on your wrist no matter how you twisted and turned the thing around.
So I did the sensible thing and binned it.
Replaced it with a standard silicon deployment bracelet which fitted perfectly and comfortably. Something Traser should have done from the outset. This must be a first for me – as it’s not often I slate anything – but that “elastic” thing was awful!
18th December 2012
Got a little carried away yesterday as my last post referred to a “I wish for” watch, that frankly was out of my “affordability” range unfortunately. A problem these days when looking at good mechanical movement watches as opposed to quartz ones. And unfortunately so many of the affordable mechanical watches out there with both Swiss or German sounding names are in fact bought in Asian movements. Whilst some are OK, that just about sums it up, they are just OK but when paying many hundreds of £’s for these, it makes you think. There are however a few around and the trick is in finding them. One of the reasons why I tend to go for pre-owned and not new models. There is also the added benefit of an older model having been “tested” by time as it were and many web sites and reviews will exist, often by users or owners and not just reviewers.
So apologies for the last slightly expensive model and to that end I have just posted tonight, one that is more suitable as a daily beater and affordable too.
17th December 2012
Current post is a sort of “wish I could have one of those” posts, where I’ve featured a watch or two that I’ve seen recently, that I would really like to own. They may be current watches or older ones that I like for all sorts of reasons. These are modern watches though, not vintage as I know exactly what I want in the pre’ 1950′ back to the turn of the century anyway. But I have a thing for modern ones at the moment, just as I have a love of the ana-digitals too and it’s juts nice to trawl and find one or two that interest me, just before Christmas. You never know one of them might be used as a hint for the odd present? OK, doubtful I know, but you can but dream. . .
6th December 2012
Have some problems with WordPress (still unresolved I think) where it is impossible to post images and text in the order you want. All over the place with no formatting at all – disaster. Apparently it is a compatibility issue with Firefox browser at the WordPress end. However I also tried Internet Explorer and it was just the same. They indicated that Google’s Chrome is OK – so downloaded that and managed to post perfectly with that. How they managed to cause issues with the two most popular browsers on the planet is bizarre – but it happens I suppose. Anyway panic over as long as Chrome works!
As promised I have now posted the Citizen Retro Ana-Digi JU0010-50E which I’m wearing at the moment – I like it.
30th November 2012
Picked up a couple of Ana-Digi watches to start off my new collection, the first of which is a Q&Q offering (most unusual “transitional” watch) and is on today’s post. The other is a modern “retro” on a similar theme that’s coming my way as I write – so it will appear here soon. Further to my Ebay outing I’ve managed to sell on around £1000 of kit, so this gives me a cash head-start to other acquisitions! 😉 Watch this space. . . .
23rd November 2012
Well it had to happen – I’ve done a post on my old experiences with and my current observations on the vintage Ana-digital and digital scene. The 60′, the 70’s and the 80’s really had something to offer. And now for my sins as a collector of more “traditional” watches – I’ve sort of gone (well part of my collection has) sort of “digital”. . . . . 😉
22nd November 2012
In the process of selling off some of my collection and already disposed of20 with a few more to go. Need to get these away to make room for and to help finance my latest interests. A couple of high end and rare vintage perfect condition watches and also a number of 70’s digital models that have caught my eye. Something new for me I admit, though I did own a fair number of these in those times (50’s – 70’s) but as these things happen they’ve all gone – you know how it is – you’re young and who cares about watches – they come, they go – what’s the big deal? Of course these same watches are now collectors items and worth a lot more – especially if in great condition – DUH! but hey that’s life.
21st November 2012
Selling a few watch models on Ebay at the moment which should be interesting. Junkers, Boccia, Seiko and Citizen basically to clear some space for a sort of new direction for my watch collections. Whilst I have a love of vintage watches and to this end I’m in the process of upgrading, as it were, many of my older models, I’m finding now I’m on the lookout for models from the ’50’s to ’70’s and even modern ones if they meet my criteria. As this current post shows, I have a penchant for Tritium light source models, but have always hankered for this feature, but NOT exclusively on military styled watches, but non-military too – which until just recently have been really quite difficult to find.
Within the next week or two I’ll have a new Tritium source model coming in that should meet the specification pretty well and am really looking forward to it’s arrival. So I’ll have a couple or three military models of varying price AND certainly one non-military one too. A similar situation on the RC (Radio Controlled) front with a few different models to compare. I also seem to be taking a liking to watches from the 60’s and 70’s that just appeal as to there style and feature set, some being amazing strides in how watches are perceived – milestones as it were, even though many of those never “made it”, but so interesting and owning them is fun. These may not be expensive either (I hope so anyway), but great fun to examine, play with and collect, display and of course wear!
Anyway, a clear out is always a good thing and keeps my hobby fresh and alive. . . .
16th November 2012
3 x watches coming soon- all pre-owned so should be interesting. Not current models but condition wise they are all very good indeed. The makes are Maurice Lacroix, Movado and Elgin in order of age – newest to oldest.
15th November 2012
I have now listed a couple of watches on Ebay. I have also added a SEARCH box to the blog – on the left hand pane of the screen. This should prove useful for everybody and it had been asked for by some. I can vouch for it’s usefulness as I’ve already used it 6 times myself!!
I also have a pre-owned Maurice Lacroix watch that I found attractive recently – I hope to review it in my next post.
14th November 2012
Well it looks like I’m going to be selling off some of my watches, so that I can concentrate on acquiring selected new models that have taken my fancy. I simply don’t have the room in my display cabinet for any additional ones without clearing some space. So over the next week or so I’m hoping to put some up on the Ebay auction site – modern ones perhaps with some with and most vintage ones without reserves. All watches are working well and in fairly good condition. Modern ones will come where possible with box and paperwork if I have them. Vintage models will come with straps and some of the modern ones with Silicon deployments – permanently cut to 170mm. These can easily be replaced as these models will be conventional spring bar lug arrangements, so strap, bracelet or deployments are possible. Details will be given with all offers.
29th October 2012
Important day as British Summer Time ended on Sunday at 2am – so lots of watches to adjust. Took the opportunity to post (almost re-post actually) some information on my lovely Dugena Moonphase as it seemed apt in the light of the time change etc. Doesn’t seem to be made today, this model, which is a great shame as it’s just so elegant. One of the nicest cases I’ve seen for a while and the 6P80 Quartz movement has proved a really good time keeper – almost makes my RC models overkill. Anyway I have recently managed to get myself a One Handed watch which I hope to review in the not too distant future – should be interesting I hope.
13th September 2012
Yet another Review style post with reference to watches I’m interested in as opposed to actually owning – though this could change as there are a few here that I could maybe end up spending my holiday money on! I do however have a few models more or less winging their way to my collection or will be that is, once I clear the decks and move on some of the older ones I have.
9th September 2012
Latest post is a slight deviation for me in that I didn’t this time feature watches from my collection (past or present), but instead “spotlighted” and mini reviewed if you will, some models that simply took my attention recently. Now whilst I am more traditionalist by collecting the more “classic” watches, I do find myself having a growing fascination for the more innovative models that are around today. Now whether I would ever own some of these creations I would have said was debatable at best, but after this first post as I said at the end – out of the 3 reviewed, I could see myself owning and wearing 2 of them!
Isn’t it strange how “time” changes ones perceptions!
If the post is of interest and the idea of perhaps having a regular dedicated page/feature towards “cool” watches or “interesting” models (mostly affordable – though maybe not always possible), then feel free to let me know.
6th September 2012
Revamped the site theme from the Andreas 09 to a new one I noted – called Sunspot. Still gives me the image options and also the textual stuff such as pages etc. All the previous data is available as before and the images are perhaps more contrasty with the darker background color. Note – left clicking on most images should open up a larger view in a separate window.
- Added a new watch, the Omega Constellation Quartz Chronograph – a neat 35mm diameter stainless case with a solid gold roman numeral bezel on top. Great dress watch from 1987.
- Updated some of the Serial Number pages as a few of the links had disappeared – hopefully these are now OK.
- Added a Technical innovations with dates list – to assist dating your mechanical watch (under Tech Info).
- Added List of Early European Watch Manufacturers (under Tech info).
- Added a link to the British Museum – showing a neat mechanical watch VIDEO (under Watch Data).
Hope you like the new theme – but as always – you can always let me know different.
Note – Watch Sales
In the process of thinning out my watch collection, specifically from models featured here on my site. This is to “clear the decks” for a new influx of models I hope to obtain over the next few months.
Should there be any specific model of interest you – and IF these are available to sell, please contact me.
Simply contact me via the “Leave a reply & Comments” box at the foot of this page with your contact details and I’ll get back to you.
27th May 2012
Managing a small revamp of the site, with the addition of a Vintage Ladies page and this “News” page – just to keep things up to date as I can. I also hope to update the Vintage Gents page, with some additional watches from my collection.
Post wise I’ve just added the German made Laco “Squad” Quartz version military style watch which I rather like, especially with the replacement of the supplied rubber strap. So often the “divers” style straps have those large corrugations near the watch, which flatten out towards the buckle and the strap pin holes and which tend to hold the watch away from the wrist. Not being a diver and not wearing the watch on top of a neoprene wet suit, I much prefer to use a closer fitting strap – hence the neat Silicon deployment one shown on the post. Have to say it is a very neat watch at 40mm diameter (at the bezel) which reduces down towards the back to around 38mm at the screwed back. A sweet watch indeed.