Wednesday, February 10, 2010 Serie MM watches

I saw this interesting watch today. It is from the company The company was founded in 1991 by Alexander Burhans. The brand started out as a German brand. However in 2003, it was integrated into fashiontime ag of Switzerland. stands for authentic and basic art.

The series I was looking at is the Serie MM. This series features a hand wind mechanism and very large case. The design of the watch is very simple. The dial is either black, silver, yellow or gold. The dial is void of any legend other than the signature. The hour index marker is applied.

The watches offers a basic 3 hand movement with the second displayed on a sub-dial at the 6 o'clock position. The unique aspect of the watch (or achilles heel) is the lug width. It is 23 mm, which makes you dependent on the brand for replacement strap.

The watches retail for about NTD 42,000 or USD1,310.

The series basic specifications:
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Case: 316L three part stainless steel, 46.5 mm diameter, 13 mm height, 23 mm lug width, display back. Case also offered in gold and PVD black.
Crystal: Domed sapphire crystal with AR coating
Water resistant: 5 ATM

Movement: Unitas 6498-1 hand wind movement with Cotes de Geneve decoration, rhodium plating and blue screws.

The watches in the collection.

MM101 and MM102.








For more information:

I will be away....

I will be away for 2 weeks starting tomorrow. As such there will not be as many blog entries. Everything should return to normal after the 24th. of February.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Casio G-Shock Green

Casio has launched the 'Green Earth' (as known in Taiwan) or Go Green Project (in USA) or Green Colours (in Japan) series of watches. The watches under this series will be available worldwide starting from this month and here in Taiwan, at the end of the month. The watches in the series are the G-5600GR-7, G-6900GR-3 and G-2300GR-3. This watches are to commemorate Earth Day's 40th Anniversary.

All the watches will feature environmentally friendly features. As such all the watches are fitted with the Tough Solar module. It will also come in a special packaging that is made of 100% recycled paper. The watches will also feature the Earth Day inspired colours, i.e. green. Even the back light will be Blue-Green.

The watches.




Photographs: Casio

TW Steel Renault Partnership

TW Steel has become the Official Timing Partner for the Renault F1 Team. In line with this association, TW Steel will be producing two Renault F1 Pilot watches and two Renault F1 CEO TECH watches. These watches will be presented to the public in the upcoming BASELWORLD 2010 to be held from the 18 to the 25th of March. I will try to bring updates on this.

TheTsunami is here

Just got news from Noah of Fuller Watch. The Tsunami is ready and delivery will start soon if not already on-going. I have to say that from the photographs, the final product looks great. Just to update, the basic specifications:

Function: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Case: 316L stainless steel cushion case, diameter 44 mm, lug width 22 mm (drilled lugs)
Movement: Seiko 6R15 calibre
Crystal: sapphire 5 mm thick, domed
Case back: stainless steel, thicker as compared to the original 6309 case back
Crown: screw-down
Water resistant: 333 M

The 6R15 calibre is a new calibre from Seiko. It has the following specifications:

Hand wind-able automatic
50 hours power reserve
23 jewels
21,600 A/h
Quick date adjustment
Accuracy 3-4 seconds a day

The watch.

I do like the bracelet.

The killer lume.

Photographs: Fuller Watch

For more information:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Panerai Radiomir 42 mm

One of the news that is of interest to me is the expansion of the watches in the Historic range by Panerai. There is a new Radiomir in the offering and it is in the guise of the Radiomir 42 mm. The watch is being offered in 3 different case material. The PAM 00337 in steel, PAM 00338 in Titanium and PAM 00336 in Pink Gold. Both PAM 00337 and PAM 00338 will be offered with black dial while the PAM 00336 will come with a brown dial.

The other differences are the movement that powers the watches and the hands. Both PAM 00337 and PAM 00338 will be powered by the new Panerai in-house calibre P.999/1 while the PAM 00336 will be powered by calibre P.999. PAM 00337 will be offered with steel hands while both PAM 00338 and PAM 00336 will have gold hands.

Basic specifications for all 3 watches:

Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Case: Steel, Titanium or Pink Gold, 42 mm diameter, screw-down crown
Crystal: Sapphire with AR coating
Water resistant: 10 ATM

All the watches will come with a display back where you can view the beautiful P.999 movement.

The watches.

PAM 00337, 100 pieces, USD 6,800

PAM 00338, 100 pieces, USD 7,500

PAM 00336 500 pieces, USD 15,300

The display back.

Now about the new P.999 movement from Panerai. This new movement was introduced by Panerai this year. The movement comes in 2 versions, the P.999 and P.999/1. The differences between the 2 movements are the regulator and the edge finish of the movement. The P.999 has a swan neck regulator and polished edges whilst the P.999/1 has a raquett adjustment and sand-blasted edge finish.

The movement is beautiful to look at as it has a balance wheel equipped with adjusting screws (something you don't see very often nowadays), and is protected by an Incabloc anti-shock device. The movement is individually numbered.

The movement is a 12 ligne movement and has 19 jewels. It beats at 21,600 A/h and has a power reserve of 60 hours (single barrel). The movement has 154 individual components. It is a basic 3 hand movement with the second display via a sub-dial at the 9 o'clock position.

The movements.



Photographs: Panerai

For more information:

Hankering for a Rolex...

My love affair with Rolex has always been on and off. There are times where I think that I would like to get one and yet there are times that I feel why should I. I have a Rolex, a GMT Master from 1964 that my dad handed down to me. This watch is in great condition as it goes back to Rolex for a service once every 5 years, regardless if it is worn or not. I recently had it serviced and it is now officially 'retired'.

I guess my need to get one stem from the fact that as the years go by, parts are becoming more and more difficult to get. I know that there are some people who like to keep their Rolex in its 'as is' condition. That is why the Rolex that I have, has been 'retired'. So I need to get a more current or 'modern' Rolex that I can use on a daily basis without having to worry if I could get a replacement acrylic crystal or the Pepsi bezel insert if it get scratched or damaged.

So the question is which Rolex should I get, if I do get one. I guess it has always been either the Submariner or the Sea-Dweller. Or perhaps the new Sea-Dweller Deepsea. The question is do I really the depth rating of the Deepsea? Would I be happy with the Submariner?

So I did a little research and look see. I don't really like the cyclops on the Submariner Date, reference 16610, so it is down to the non-date version. I have ruled out the Sea-Dweller as I don't really like the new Deepsea and the old Sea-Dweller, although is available, comes with a premium. Sigh.

The non-date version of the Submariner would the the choice I guess. So I found out that the current model is reference 14060M. It looks good and is an interesting watch, if I decided to 'dive' in and get one. However, I decided to read and research more about the Submariner. I also had a look around at the shops here in Taiwan. This is were it all went wrong (or right).

I found out that the current model, reference 14060M was introduced in 1999. Prior to that, it was the model reference 14060. The difference being the movement used. The 14060 is powered by Rolex calibre 3000, while the 14060M is powered by Rolex calibre 3130. I also found out that the popular non-date Submariner is the model reference 5513, which was produced between 1962 to 1990. This watch is fitted with the Rolex calibre 1520 or 1530.

Herein lies the problem. Do I get the current model with the COSC certification and 'SUPERLATIVE CHRONOMETER OFFICIALLY CERTIFIED' on the dial or do I get a pre-loved one without the above markings on the dial? Or worst, do I look around and hunt for a 5513? I like a simple and clean dial, so I think the 14060 would be the one to get. However, I was told that there are 14060M without the COSC certification and writings on the dial but with the newer 3130 movement. True enough, I found a pre-loved K series non-date Submariner. This Submariner is from 2001, reference 14060M.

Well all this are conjectures at the moment. The plus point of this exercise is that I am learning more about the brand and in particular the Submariner. So will I get the watch? Only time will tell. To complicate the matter, there could be a new Submariner this year.

Note, the 5513 is rated to 660 ft. water resistant, while the 14060/ 14060M is rated to 1,000 ft.

The watch in question.

Photograph: Rolex catalogue

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Guess Steel Ladies Watch

This is my wife's watch. If you have been following my blog, you would already know the watch. It is the one where I blundered the battery change. Anyway, I don't remember how old is this watch and a search of the Internet has not provided any clues.

Guess Steel Ladies watch
Model number: I85401L1

Technical specification:

Function: Hours and minutes
Case: Stainless steel, 21.5 x 32.5 mm, 6 mm thick, lug width 16 mm
Movement: Seiko Cal. VX50E, 6 x 8 ligne quartz movement
Crystal: Sapphire (?)
Water Resistant: ?


The case is made of 2 parts, the main body and the case back. The entire case, case back included, is made of stainless steel. The case has a polished finish and the finish is pretty good. The case is also well made. There are no sharp edges at all on the case. The case is curved along the horizontal and it has a 'step down' at the back. The back of the case is straight and not curved. It would be nice if the case back has a brushed finish. At least the scratches would not be so visible.

The case back is a snap back case back. There is a tongue at the 1 o'clock position (looking at the case back) to facilitate removal of the case back. The case back is signed GUESS and below it STEEL to indicate it comes from the STEEL series of watches. Below that is what I believe to be the model number. Around it, at 12 o'clock, we find the legend 'Japanese Mov't' and at the 6 o'clock position 'Water Resistant'. Around that we find two circles and inside the circle we have the Guess website and Guess Inc. The engraving/ etching is fair. If you look at the photographs, you will see that part of the engraving/ etching is not consistent in depth.

On the inside of the case back we find the following information; Callanen International, China Case, D and the number 27. Callanen International is a subsidiary of Timex Corp. They have an agreement with Guess to manufacture watches for Guess. I suspect the case is also made in China.

The crown is a simple stainless steel crown. It is polished. The crown measures 2.5 mm in diameter and is 2 mm thick. It is completely void of any serration. It is smooth all round. It is difficult for me to use the crown, but I guess it is OK for the ladies since I have not heard any complaints from the wife. There is a slight gap between the crown and the case and this facilitates pulling of the crown to set the time. The crown is unsigned.

Although the case back says that it is water resistant and there is a rubber seal on the case back, I suspect the water resistant rating for this watch is 3 ATM at best.


The watch is powered by Seiko Cal. VX50E quartz movement. The movement is made by Seiko Epson. The movement is made in Japan. It is a basic 2 hand movement with a single position adjustment. The movement has no jewels. The movement has a 5 year battery life.


The dial is unique. It has a crystal as the 12 o'clock hour index. There are 3 other hour index markers and they are at the 3, 6 and 9 o'clock position. The dial is matte black and very minimalist. The only markings are the Guess signature at the 12 o'clock position and Steel at the 6 o'clock position.

Because the dial is void of any hour and minute markings (except mentioned above), it makes time setting difficult. The dial is also void of any luminous markings. Some say that this could be a problem as it would be difficult to tell the time at night. But in this day and age, how far can we be from a light source.


The hands on this watch are also made of stainless steel (I suspect). The hands are polished and the finish and build is good. The hour and minute hand is well differentiated by length. Both hands are not luminous. There is no second hand. It would be nice to have as we can know immediately if the watch has stop working.


I suspect the crystal fitted is made of sapphire, but I stand corrected on this. The crystal lacks any AR coating. The crystal sticks out a bit from the case and this could be a problem if the crystal is not sapphire. It would be prone to scratches. The crystal is curved and follows the contour of the case.


The strap is made of leather. It is matte black on top and brown on the inside. The strap measures 75 mm on the buckle side and 112 mm on the other side. The strap is very soft and very comfortable when worn, so I was told. The strap is well made and you can feel the quality.

The strap is signed Guess on the buckle side and Genuine Leather on the other. As you can see from the photographs, the backing material has already developed cracks.

The buckle is made of stainless steel and as with the rest of the watch, it is polished on the outside. The inside is brushed. The buckle is signed Guess. The buckle feels well made.


This is a nice watch. It looks elegant and would not be out of place in a formal event. The polished finish and the crystal on the dial gives it some 'bling'. Well my wife likes the watch. It is not too expensive and I think it is value for money.

From a time long long ago...

I know that this entry is total OT, but I have to post it. It is on my other blog, but I had to post it here as well. So bear with me....

This is a shop we found in Yingge. Yingge is a town about 30 minutes South of Taipei. It is popular for its pottery and ceramics. One of the really cool shops we found in Yingge was this shop selling things from the past. The items he sells are not vintage items but replica of items from years gone past. The shop offers sweets which we use to eat when we were small (that would be the 70s and 80s). However the items that interest me most was the collection of tin plate toys.

The shop.

This is of the things we got for the kids. We (wife and I) use to play with this when we were kids. It is called 'Tai Kong Qi Qiu' or space balloon (the Chinese characters on the packaging is in simplified Chinese).

Basically there is a sticky stuff in the tube. You put some of this stuff on one end of the straw and gently blow through the other end. The end result? Look at the photograph below.

Back to more important stuff. The tin clockwork toys. The toys are replica of the original. They do have some original ones that were produced between the 60s and 80s, but these were very expensive.

The tin toys.

More toys.

I ended up buying two of the robots. The first one is a clockwork tin toy. This toy, a robot, is based on the popular Robby the Robot from the Forbidden Planet movie.

But before we go further, these toys are not really for the kids. They do not meet any of the current safety requirements for toys. These toys are made to look like the toys that were sold in the 60s and 70s. They can have sharp edges, be very noisy and the paint can chip off. As can be seen in the photograph below, this is not a toy.

OK, on with the toys. I got the red version. I know that it comes in other colours. The toy stands about 9 inches tall. When you wind it up, flick the 'On' lever and it will start moving, wobbling to be more accurate. It comes with a winding key. It fits into a cutout on the right hand side of the robot's body. There is an 'ON/ OFF' lever on the chest of the robot.

The robot in a box.

You can see the 'ON/ OFF' lever on the right of the silver rectangular box on his chest.

The robot.

The clockwork winding pin.

The winding key.

The other robot. I have always wanted one when I first saw it a long time ago. Sadly, I could not afford it. So when I saw the robot, I had to get it. It is the Mr. D Cell Black and Red Space Walk Man. It so happen the version the shop had for sale was the Christmas version. There are many versions of the robot.

This robot is powered by 2 D-cell batteries that sits in the back of the robot. The 'ON/ OFF' switch sits at the back as well.

This robot stands 12 inches tall. It is based on a Japanese robot from the 50s. It belongs (original one) to the Rotate-O-Matic series. Basically, when you switch it on, it walks a few steps, it's body will rotate (3 times) and machine guns will pop out of its chest. Once he completes the three turns, he starts walking again. The process repeats it self. How cool is that.

The robot walking. There is a light on top of his head.

The chest about to open.

And the body turns, machine guns blazing (lights flashing).

A very happy man indeed. Life simple pleasures.