Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Wising everyone a very Happy New Year. May 2010 bring you and your family good health and wealth.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Sinn U1 Limited Edition?

The shop where my wife got my Sinn informed her that Sinn Taiwan has launched a limited/ special edition Sinn U1. It is called the Sinn U1 White Christmas. I suspect it is the Sinn U1W (white). Don't have much information on this as yet but will update once I find out more. I was told that the watch retail at just over USD 3,200. If it is the same Sinn U1W, then it is about USD1,000 more. Emmmmmm.......

Monday, December 28, 2009

Slowdown in postings...

I am currently away for a family vacation. There will be a slowdown in the number of postings.

How do they tell the date....

One of the readers of the blog asked me this question: Early military watches did not have the date, how do they tell the date? Well that question was an interesting question and set my mind thinking. How did they tell the date? Well, I did not have the answer, so the next best thing is to ask. So I did and the best solution was to post the question on the popular military watch forum. I got some pretty interesting answers.

The answers:

1. The wristwatch is used to coordinate short duration activities, those of a day or two, so no need for date.
2. Having a little light gauge metal (usually aluminum) calendar pages on his watch band, which attached via little tabs wrapped around the band.

Photograph: MWR

3. If the men in the field couldn't tell the day or date they wouldn't know how long they had been out there so it was easier to keep their morale up, hence no need for date function.
4. There are other things to worry about.

I have to say that the answers above are interesting but not conclusive. All in all, I too prefer watches without date. Why? I like the dial to be clean and simple. Maybe the answer could be as simple as that.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sinn U1 lemon....

So, I am finally a Sinn-er. My search for which Sinn to get came to a close. I got this watch from my wife for Christmas. Which watch? It is the Sinn U1 with a yellow dial. Model number 1010.011R. This is a limited Edition watch that was produced for a German Sinn distributor, Juwelier Roberto. There were 2 limited edition U1, Orange dial and Yellow dial, both a limited edition of 50 pieces.

She got this watch new from a Sinn retail shop here in Taiwan. I love the watch. The yellow reminds me of a lemon, hence Sinn U1 lemon.

The watch....

The serial number has been removed for privacy reasons. The limited edition number is in the 30s and it is an auspicious number for the Chinese.

I have changed the Sinn rubber strap to this rubber strap.

Look out for a review of the watch soon. I will be putting the watch through its paces during the family vacation.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Casio G-Shock, Taiwan specific

The following watches are currently being sold by Casio Taiwan. Stock are limited.

Casio X Mr. Cartoon G-Shock DW-6900MRC-8
Retail: NTD3,300
For more information:

Casio X Todd Jordan G-Shock DW-5600TOD-6
Retail: NTD 3,000
For more information:

Casio X Redman G-Shock AW591-RED-4A
Retail: NTD 3,500
For more information:

Casio New Release for next year

I am not to sure about the worldwide release of these G-Shock, but these will be available in Taiwan next year 1st quarter. I think the GA-100 is a brand new G-shock. Not much information on these as I was allowed to take photos but did not have time to read up about it. Should be able to find out more next week when I come back from a family vacation.

The GA-100-1A1DR

Different versions of the GA-100.

A blue Riseman.

A blue Gulfman. I suspect this belongs to the same collection as the above Riseman.

Some new DW-6900.

A green G-6900. I believe this belongs to the Green Earth Series.

This G-5600 is also from the 'Green Earth' series. I stand corrected on the series. I do know these watches will come with a special box.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Am I ready to be a Sinn-er?

The Sinn bug has bit me big time. Recently I went around looking at what is currently available in Taiwan. There were some interesting pieces and that makes choosing more difficult. I have basically narrowed it down to the Sinn Diving series of watches. Somehow, the Sinn 857 from the Instrument range is also interesting. The question is, if I need the water resistant rating of the Diving watch....

The Sinn 857 watch.

Photograph: Sinn

Anyway, it is either the U1 or U2. I have to decide between the basic U1 or U2 or one of those S or SDR watches. The difference being the Tegiment treatment, and is it applied only to the bezel or the entire watch and also if I like the all black watch. I also have to justify (to myself and better half) the price difference between the U1 and U2 and also the different versions U1 and U2.

The Sinn U1.

Photograph: Sinn

In my look and see session, I manage to confuse myself further. Why? Well I manage to find the following watches on sale in Taiwan. These are limited edition and limited production Sinn. I found out that I can get a Sinn U1 for about NTD 56,000 or USD 1,700. That price is still subject to a little bit of negotiation.

Then comes the limited edition Sinn Tempus Limited Edition of 250 pieces. Of course this watch is pre-loved, but still in good condition. I would rate it about 90 to 93%, because the white index markings on the bezel has some missing paint. The watch was listed at NTD 80,000 or USD 2,400. The price is before discount.

Then I found the Sinn Tempus U Black. I understand it is a limited run of 399 pieces. Together with this watch was the recently sold out limited production Sinn U1 W (white). I did not manage to check out the prices for these watches as I ran out of time. Maybe sometime next week as I will be away for a family vacation until mid next week.

The Sinn U1 W.

Photograph: watchbuys

The Sinn U1 Tempus (left) and Sinn U Black (right).

Photograph: watchinghorology

Anyway, I am more inclined towards the U2. But I have yet to find any being sold here in Taiwan. Most of the shops I been too have the U1 but not the U2. More so the Sinn U2S. Well I am not in a hurry. I think I am ready to be a Sinn-er, it is just the question of which watch.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Just to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

MD-703 bezel..

While I was taking the photographs for the review of the Casio MD-703, I notice that the bezel would not rotate smoothly. I decided to see if I could do something about it. So I removed the bezel retainer on the MD-703. Then I remove the bezel by prying it out. Well I found out why it would not rotate smoothly. It was full of gunk. I shall not post pictures of how bad it was. I had all the parts cleaned and these are photographs after the parts have been cleaned. It is also the assembly of the bezel.

This is the ratchet mechanism. It is just a thin steel plate with 3 cut-outs that has been bent upwards. Simple but works. I guess 1 would be enough but I guess having 3, gives it more strength. The simple design also prevents the bezel from turning the wrong way and thus the uni-direction rotation of the bezel.

Another view.

The plate is held in place by the 2 locating pins. The design is very good in that the pins are Murphy proof. There is no way to install the plate in the wrong location.

This is the bezel. It has been cleaned. If you notice, the bezel has a groove. This groove sits in the bezel retainer. This prevents the bezel from accidentally popping off. If you see, the bezel is well made.

A closer view of the cut-out.

The underside of the bezel. Note the notches. There are 60 (I did not count) of these notches. These are the notches that will align with the metal foot of the ratchet mechanism. The feet will fall into these notches and keep it in position and at the same time prevent it from rotating the wrong way.

Don't forget to lubricate the gasket/ o-ring inside the bezel. The all ensure that the bezel rotates smoothly. Actually, the gasket also provides some friction or feel to the bezel movement. I could not find a replacement gasket so there are some horizontal movement of the bezel (some play). This is due to the gasket wearing out over the years. This watch is 20+ years old.

The bezel retainer. It is held to the main body or case by 8 screws, 2 at each mounting point.

The underside of the bezel retainer.

The main watch case. Here you can see the alignment hole for the ratchet plate and also the mounting hole for the bezel retainer.

A closer view. If you look closely, you can see the groove where the o-ring sits.

The other side. You can see the other alignment hole for the ratchet plate. You can also see the thickness of the crystal.

The ratchet plate is installed.

The other side.

The bezel is installed. You will need a press to push the bezel as it is very tight. Since I do not have a press, it was putting the watch upside down on a wooden stool and pushing it down with my weight. Don't forget to use a cloth to prevent damage to the bezel insert or use one of the flat pack stool made by that Scandinavian furniture company. Use the pine wood version as it is rather soft.

The final product. Now it rotates smoothly and clicks in place with resounding gusto. Now, where is that other MD-703.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Casio MD-703-1AV

This is a small review of my Casio MD-703-1AV. This watch belongs to the same series as the MD-703S-7AV that I reviewed earlier. I have always like the watch and was very lucky to get this black dial version.

MD Series 200 M Water Resist
Launched: 1/5/1988
MRSP: USD 169.95

Technical specification:

Function: Hours, minutes, seconds, day and date
Case: Titanium Ion coated, 44 mm diameter, 12.5 mm thick, lug width 22 mm
Movement: Casio Module 394 quartz
Crystal: Mineral Glass, no AR coating
Water Resistant: 20 ATM


The case is made of 3 parts, the bezel retainer, the main body and the case back. The bezel retainer and main body is made of Titanium which is Ion Plated (early form of PVD?) and the case back is Stainless Steel. The design of the case is unique as there are no lugs for the strap. With the straps removed, the watch head just a round piece of metal. The case and bezel retainer are well made. You will be hard pressed to find any tool marks on the case.

The bezel held to the body by 8 screws. The screws holds the 'bezel retainer' to the body at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock position. This design has a drawback as the bezel cannot be rotated easily due to the retainer lugs. The bezel lugs also acts as the lugs to attach the strap.

The bezel is well made and has a brushed finish. The bezel insert is black and has all the necessary minute markings. Unfortunately, the bezel does not have any luminous markings, even at the 12 o'clock position. This is a drawback in the design. The bezel rotates anti-clockwise as any diver watch would. It takes 60 clicks to a full turn of the bezel.

The case back is a screw back and is polished. The markings on the case back are: Casio, Module Number, Model Number, Stainless Steel and Water Resistant around the center. In the center is the serial number and Japan K. The serial number has been removed for privacy reasons.

The crown is the screw down type crown and is large and easy to use. The crown measures 5 mm in diameter and is 4 mm thick. It has deep serration that helps to provide positive grip. The crown has 2 position adjustment. The first, for the date and day and the second for the time. The crown is unsigned. Crown shoulder protectors are provided.

From the photographs, you can see a lot of 'wabi' and pitting corrosion on the body of the watch. The watch was well used and well 'loved'. I like the 'wabi' on the watch.


The watch is powered by Casio Module 394. This is a basic 3 hand movement with day and date display. The day and date is displayed at the 3 o'clock position. As with any quartz watches, it 'hacks' when the crown is pulled to time setting position.

The movement has the quick day date adjustment function. Adjustment for the day and date, clockwise for date and anti-clockwise for the day. The day alternates between English and Spanish during adjustment. The date changes at 1 o'clock while the day changes at 2.


As can be seen from the photographs, this is a big watch. However, the dial itself is small compared to the overall size of the watch. The dial measures 28 mm in diameter. The dial is matte black. It is a simple dial with circular and rectangular hour markers. The rectangular markers are at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock position. The rest have the circular markers.

The dial has a day and date window at the 3 o'clock position. The day date display is black on white background. It would be nice if it was the other way around.

The dial is signed 'CASIO' at the 12 o'clock position and just below that is the legend 'QUARTZ'. Above the 6 o'clock marker we find the water resistant rating of the watch, 'WATER RESIST' and '200 M'. Below the 6 o'clock marker we find the following legend '111A1-936 JAPAN A'.

The all important question in a diver watch, how is the luminosity on this watch. The watch has lost some of it's luminesce and at max it will last about 1 hour. From the photographs, you can see that some of the markers have already deteriorated.


The hands on this watch is shaped like 'arrows' and it suits the overall design of the watch. The hands are polished and is filled with luminous material. Even the second hand has the luminous material. This is important in a diver watch as it shows the diver that the watch is still working.

The hour and minute hands are easy to differentiate as they are of different design. The minute hand does not reach the minute markers, which is on the 'rehaut'. If there were minute markers on the dial itself, the hand would reach it, but that would, in my opinion, spoil the beautiful dial. Reading the time off the watch is easy.


The original crystal that came with the watch was badly scratched. This even with the fact that the crystal is positioned about 2 mm lower as compared to the bezel. I had the crystal replaced. The new crystal measures 2 mm thick, as was the old one. I was told the replacement crystal is not original Casio but generic crystal cut to the exact specifications of the original. There is no anti-reflection coating on the crystal.


This watch no longer has it's original band. It is currently fitted with the Casio AMW 320 Series Black Resin Band. This original replacement band (for this watch) has the typical anti-slip ridges along the edge of the band. The band is slightly wider then the DW-5600E band. It is smooth on the outside. Internal markings: 200 F2 on both bands. There is no indication of where the strap was made, however it did say made in Japan on the little plastic bag that came with the strap.

The buckle is of stainless steel and is made in Japan. The buckle is 'polished' and is well made. The buckle has a little lip at the tang rest.


From the photographs, you can see that the watch is big. However the watch itself is not heavy to wear and is very comfortable. The lack of a proper lugs makes the strap fall in-place around even the smallest of wrist (lug to lug only measures 32 mm). It is a beautiful watch and is well made. As earlier stated, I find the 'wabi' gives it additional character. It is a piece that will not be out of place among more expensive divers. It is one of my favourite watch in my collection.