Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cortina Watch Exhibition Taiwan

I really need to get out more. Cortina Watch is having a watch exhibition here in Taipei. The 2010 Cortina Watch Fair is being held at the upmarket BellaVita Mall here in Xinyi Taipei. The exhibition will run from the 19 of November till the 28th. There are 16 brands on exhibit with about 300 items on exhibition. The brands are:

Audemars Piguet
Harry Winston
Roger Dubuis
Baume & Mercier
Bell & Ross
Glashutte Original
Jacquet Droz
Ulysse Nardin

I might make it there today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MKII Black Friday Exclusive

MKII will be having its one day Black Friday Exclusive this Friday. For one day only, collectors will be able to purchase the Paradive Type I-A1, non date at a 15 % discount. The Paradive is inspired by the watch issued to the US Special Forces and CIA maritime units from the 60s, 70s and 80s. These watches were not available commercially. So this is an opportunity for you to get the modern interpretation of the issued watch.

The basic specification:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and 12-hour GMT
Case: bead-blasted 316L stainless steel, 41.25 mm diameter, 15.50 mm thick
Crystal: double dome sapphire crystal
Movement: Automatic ETA2836-2 (Elabore grade, Rhodium plated)
Water resistant: 30 ATM

For more information:

Photograph: MKII

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IWC Pilot Watch

I was looking at some Japanese watch magazine when I spotted this watch from IWC. It looks interesting. However I could not find any information on the watch. It has the reference IW3255 which is the basic reference for the IWC MK XVI Pilot watch.

The watch. All the photographs are from the Japanese watch magazine.

I believe it shares the same specifications as the Mk XVI. The watch case looks like it is the same as the Mk XVI. So it measures 39 mm in diameter and 11.5 mm thick. It is fitted with a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 6 ATM. It retail for about USD 6,000.

Here you can see the difference and similarities between this watch and the MK XVI.

A closer view of the front and back of the watch. The difference is the dial, hands and case back. From what I gather, it is a limited edition for Japan and it limited to 350 pieces. I do not know if the 350 pieces is for the version with the leather strap or includes the version with the metal bracelet.

The case back is engraved with 'Tribute to Japan' and in the center there is a map of Japan. It is also serialised. The dial is marked Mk XVI. This is not the first 'Tribute to Japan' watch IWC has made. There were others. It is just that I cannot find any information on this watch. 

The watch looks like a cross between the Mk XVI and the vintage Mk IX. Actually IWC has produced watches under the Mk range with this type of dial and hands in the Mk XV Spitfire for the British market and the Mk XII special edition produced for the Asian market.

So anyone with information about this watch? Care to share?

Maratac Pilot Automatic

I just received this today. A very nice looking watch. I will be posting a review on this watch soon. Thank you Riley of Watchshock in assisting me to get the watch. It comes with a mil  series 22 mm black strap.

The watch on my hand. It is a 46 mm watch. Look at the 9 mm diamond crown.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Swatch Spare Corner

Here is a review of the Swatch Spare Corner from Swatch Fall Winter 2010 collection:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

G-Shock battery change

Here is a link to an article by Sjors on how to change a battery on a G-Shock. The steps shown here is more detail as compared to the ones I have posted. Also there is a link to a video by Sjors. For those who do not know Sjors, he is one of if not the biggest collector of G-Shock in the world. You can read about him and his G-Shocks here:

Thank you Sjors for the brilliant article and video.

Swatch Black Rebel

I finally got the Black Rebel watch from Swatch. It was not difficult as there are many Swatch dealers here in Taiwan. I was told that this model is one of the most popular watches from the True Colours Collection. Here is a small review of the watch.

Collection: True Colours
Model Number: SUOB702
Manufacturer: Swatch

Basic specifications:
Function: Hour, minutes, seconds, day and date
Case: Polycarbonate (plastic?), diameter 41 mm, height 10 mm, lug width 20 mm, lug to lug 47 mm
Movement: ETA quartz
Crystal: Acrylic
Water resistance: 3 ATM
Retail: USD 65


The watch is a one-piece design. It is made of either polycarbonate or plastic. The case is well made and well finished. You can’t see the seams of the mold on the case. The case has a matte finish. 

The case lugs have lughole to push out the strap pins. As with most Swatch watches, the lugs have two tabs. The case has two access points, the top and a battery access on the case back. The battery access hole is slightly raised at the edges. This does not affect the wear comfort of the watch.

The markings that you can find on the case back: # 036 which I suspect is the case mold number (I stand corrected on this), ‘Patented Water-Resistant’ in the middle of the case back. Below this you find the ETA logo, indicating the movement powering the watch, the SWATCH logo, Swiss Made below that and V8. I don’t know what V8 signifies. You then find the battery information. This is great, as you know what battery to get if you want to replace the battery yourself. The watch is fitted with the 390 type or SR1130SW.

The crown is made from stainless steel and is the only part of the watch that is not black. It would be great if it were also black. That would make the entire watch stealth like. The crown is not of the screw-down design. It measures 4.5 mm in diameter and 2 mm thin. It is unsigned. Although the size of the crown is small, it is easy to use. There is a notch on the case back that makes it a pleasure to use and operate. It pulls out to adjust the time, day and date.


This watch comes fitted with an ETA quartz, 3 hands with day and date movement. I cannot verify what movement it is as it does not have a display back and I cannot open the watch to see. Well I could but that would ‘damage’ the watch. All I can say is that the accuracy for this watch should be good, as good as any quartz movement should be. The movement should be very reliable as it is made by ETA. The movement 'hacks' as all quartz movement does. The movement has quick day and date setting capabilities.


I have to say that I love the dial. The dial has a 'sun burst' design and it originates from the center of the dial. This sun burst design makes it easier to tell the time. Is has a reflective surface and contrast well against the matte black hands. The dial is black in colour.

It has a window at the 3 o’clock position, one for the day and the other the date. The day and date display is black on black. It can be difficult to read the day and date. You need to look at the watch straight on to read the day and date.

The hour index is of the baton type and it is matte black. It is ‘easy’ to see as it contrast well against the sun burst black dial. There are no minute markings between the hour indexes.
There are very little marking on the dial. You find the Swatch signature at the 12 o’clock position and Swiss below that. The only other legend is below the 6 o’clock index, where you find Swatch and AG 2010.


The hands are of the stick design. The hands are rendered in black but it has a polished finish. This makes it ‘stand out’ against the black sun burst dial. The hands are well made and well finished.

The minute hand extends beyond the hour hand. This makes telling the time easy. The hands, except for the second hand, is luminous. It is filled with black luminous material called Glow Glow black. It is not very bright and does not last very long. You can just make it out on the photograph below.


This watch is fitted with a acrylic crystal. The crystal is domed and it extends about 3 mm above the watchcase. This makes it prone to chipping and scratching. However you can polish the crystal. The crystal lacks any AR coating, which is great as it makes reading the watch under very bright light easier.


The strap I believe is made of silicon. It is very soft and very comfortable. However it does pick up dust and dirt very very easily. You can see this in the photographs.

The strap is 20 mm at the lugs and flares out to 24 mm. This makes it flush against the case and provides an appealing look. It then tapers down to 19 mm. The strap measures 80 mm on the buckle side and 115 mm on the other side.

The strap is ribbed on the underside. This makes it a comfortable wear as the ribbing provides cooling between the strap and your skin. The strap comes with a single floating strap keeper.

The strap is signed on one side with Swatch near the lug attachment point and ‘25/0’ on the buckle side near the buckle. As with all Swatch watches, the design of the strap (and lugs) makes it difficult to use independent straps.

The buckle is made of the same material as the case. It has a matte finish and is well made. It is of the double loop design. It signed Swatch on the top of the buckle and has the numbers 10, 05, 4 and 15 at the corners. I have no idea what the number signifies.


This watch offers great value for money. It comes with a movement from a reliable manufacture. The design is fresh. It is light and not very thick. It does stand out as it is very stealthy and that is the very reason for buying the watch. Telling the time is not as difficult as I thought it would be. It is easy to use and operate. It has day and date function, something you don’t find in watches at this price range. It is comfortable. What more can you ask for.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jam Home Made Secret Mickey Watch Type 2

Jam Home Made has released its second watch. Again it features Mickey Mouse on the dial. The Secret Mickey Watch Type 2 is based on the popular classic military design. The watch is all black (PVD I believe). The unique aspect of the watch is the eyes of Mickey which changes on a weekly cycle.

The watch is powered by a Citizen sourced mechanical movement. It is water resistant to 10 ATM and is issued with the military NATO type strap. It has the following functions; hours, minutes, seconds and date. The watch, reference JAM 07030 is available via rumors stores in Japan. It is expected to retail for about USD 350.

For more information:

The watch.

The NATO type strap. It is signed.

The watch dial. You can see the different expression Mickey display on a weekly basis. 


Friday, November 19, 2010

Christopher Ward C70 Brooklands watch

Christopher Ward UK will be launching the limited edition C70 Brooklands watch soon. The C70 Brooklands is part of the C70 Grand Prix series of watches that celebrates the original six races that is now known as Formula 1. The other watches in the series are the Grand Epreuve (France), Rosso Corso (Italy), Cunningham Stripe (USA), Ascari (Belgium) and Silver Arrows (Germany).

A bit of history. Brooklands was a purposely built racing circuit in Weybridge, near Surrey, England. It was opened in 1907. During the First World War, it was used by the War Office. Racing resumed in 1920. This continued until the onset of World War 2. It is one of the very few circuits with banking corners. The bankings were as high as 30 feet in some places. The C70 Brooklands celebrates this great circuit.

I wanted to visit Brooklands when I was in England. Why? Well two of my favourite things are in Brooklands, motor sport and aviation. However time and the British weather conspired against me. On the plus side, I did get to meet with the man behind the name. Yes, I was fortunate enough to meet with Mr. Christopher Ward. 

Back to the watch. The watch is a beautiful watch. I have not seen the watch myself, but based on the watches that I have seen from Christopher Ward, I do not doubt it will be well built. The green colour of the dial represent the chassis colour of the nation's racing colour, in this case, British Racing Green. The watch is being produced in a limited run of only 200 pieces and each watch will be serialised. 

The basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph
Case: stainless steel, 42 mm diameter, 10.7 mm thick
Crystal: sapphire
Movement: ETA 251.232 COSC quartz
Water resistant: 10 ATM
Price: USD 680

The movement fitted in the watch offers a centrally mounted minute indicator for the chronograph. This makes reading the chronograph easier. The movement has been awarded the C.O.S.C. certification. It is thermo-compensated and the hour hand can be independently adjusted. It has 27 jewels, something that is not common in todays quartz movements. 

The watch.

The beautiful case back. 

Photographs: Christopher Ward

For more information:

C70 Brooklands

My job....

My day job, not really. :) Remember the Tiffany & Co watch I reviewed sometime ago? The link:

My friend asked if I could help him out with the watch. If you read the review, you would know that there were some luminous material missing from the minute hand. Evidently more material has fallen off and is now floating in the watch. He asked if I could remove it. I told him I will try. 

The watch. If you look closely you can see the luminous material on the crystal between the 12 and 1 o'clock hour marker.

A closer view. It is best to remove the material. This is to prevent it making its way to the mechanism where it can cause damage.

The tools. I forgot to show the tweezers. 

Remove the case back. If you notice, the crown is pulled out. I do this to stop the second hand from moving. 

Next step is to remove the battery (not in the photograph), battery holder and the movement holder. Please do not touch the battery and battery holder with your fingers. 

The movement ready to be removed. If you look closely, you can see an 'arrow' at the 10 o'clock position. This arrow shows the 'button' that you need to push to disengage the winding stem from the movement. Remember not to push to hard.

The winding crown. Don't forget to lubricate the gasket on the winding stem (if there is one). 

The movement and dial out of the watch. Use the blower to blow off any dust that maybe be there on the dial. You can see where the luminous material is missing on the minute hand. I told my friend to send the watch to my friendly watch repair guy so that he can reapply the luminous material. I don't have the expertise to do the reapplication.

The broken off luminous material. Use the blower to blow it out. Check to ensure that it is really gone and not stuck somewhere else.

The watch ready to be put together again. Again, don't forget to lubricate the gasket.

The watch all done. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of the dial side. 

Another view of the movement. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pulsar G10 review

The review of the long hand version can be found here:


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Panerai PAM00386

Here is a teaser from Panerai. We will probably see the watch launched at next years SIHH. It is the PAM00386, Luminor Marina Automatic Composite 1950 3 days 44 MM. The watch continues where the PAM00339 the Panerai Radiomir Composite left off. I am sure the watch will be sold out even before it hit the stores. The specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (sub-dial at 9 o'clock), date
Case: composite 44 mm diameter
Dial: sandwich brown with Arabic numerals and luminous hour markers
Movement: Panerai calibre P.9000
Crystal: sapphire with AR coating, display back with smoked sapphire crystal
Water resistant: 30 ATM
Strap: aged leather strap and a second strap
Collection: Contemporary

The watch.

The beautiful case back.

Photographs: Panerai

Looks like it will an exciting SIHH 2011 for Panerai what with this watch and the new P.3000 movement. Time to start saving.