Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A sad day for the Swiss watchmaking industry

Swatch founder Mr. Nicolas Hayek, 82, has died of heart failure yesterday. Mr. Hayek was credited for saving the Swiss watchmaking industry by reorganising ASUAG and SSIH watch companies. He merged these companies and formed the Swatch group. Mr. Hayek became CEO and Chairman in 1986.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Malaysia Watch Forum

Bear with me as I am trying out the new blog editor. I am still trying to get the correct font and font size. Anyway, I just found this great site. It is a Malaysian watch forum. Cool. If you have the time lease check it out. It is filled with great discussions, deals and everything else horology related.

Check it out at:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tudor Heritage Chronograph

Well some good news. One of the hottest watches from Basel 2010 has finally hit the shops. It is the Tudor Heritage Chronograph. It is a reissue (used loosely) of a watch Tudor released in the 70s. As with most reissues, there are some minor improvements to the watch but still keeping to the essence of the original.

The new watch is larger, 42 mm as compared to 40 mm of the original. Other refinements include crown shoulder protector, knurled edge of the bezel and chronograph pushers. The crown is also knurled to provide positive grip.

The watch is available with either a black dial with grey sub-dials or grey dial with black sub-dials. Both watches will have orange highlights to further enhance readability and over all looks. The hour index, to me, is just awesome. It looks like it is floating, giving it a 3D effect.

The watch is powered by an ETA 2892 with a DD 2054 module as compared to the Valjoux 7734 movement of the original. It will come with a stainless steel (solid) bracelet as well as a black grey orange fabric strap. The watch is retailing for about USD 3,700 and is currently hitting the streets in Europe. I was told that it will hit Taiwan, at the earliest in August. I am sure this watch will move very very fast. Perhaps I should consider this watch to complete my collection instead of a tri-compax chronograph.

Photographs: Tudor

Basic specifications:

Reference number: 70330N
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (sub-dial at 3 o'clock), date (6 o'clock position), chronograph (45 minute totalizer at 9 o'clock)
Case: steel, 42 mm diameter, screw-down crown and pushers
Crystal: sapphire
Movement: ETA 2892 (with Dubois et Depraz 2054 module) automatic movement
Water resistant: 15 ATM

For more information:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tiffany Ladies Watch

It has been some time since I last reviewed a watch. This is a small review of a Tiffany & Co Ladies Diver watch. This is not my watch. It belongs to a good friend. The watch is from the 90s. It not known who makes this watch for Tiffany & Co.

Collection: unknown
Manufacturer: Tiffany & Co
Model: unknown

Basic specifications:
Functions: Hours, minutes,seconds and date
Case: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire (?)
Movement: ETA 956.412
Water resistant: 30 ATM


The case is a 3 part case, case, case back and bezel and is made of stainless steel. It has the MOD (Ministry of Defence, UK) style design case popular in the 80s and 90s. This case design has been seen on other brands including Sinn, Tag Heuer, Yema and Tutima. The case is well made and has a brushed finish. The case measures 33 mm across and is 8 mm thick. This includes the case back and bezel. The lug width is 16 mm.

There are four pieces that looks like 'case holders' at the 2, 4 8 and 10 o'clock position. These pieces are polished and is held in place by a screw each. They are decorative in nature.

The bezel (30 mm diameter) is polished and provides a nice contrast to the brushed case. The bezel is easy to use if you grip it at the correct position. The four case holder pieces tends to get in the way in turning the bezel. The bezel takes 60 clicks to complete a full circle.

The bezel insert has the usual diver markings, but the minute index is extended beyond the usual 15 or 20 minutes. Nice touch. The bezel has a luminous pip at the 12 o'clock position, but the luminosity is long gone.

The crown is at the 3 o'clock position. It measures 5.5 mm in diameter and 5 mm thick. It is very easy to use as the crown is very large. In fact the crown is rather large for the watch. The crown is protected by crown shoulder guard typical of a divers watch. The crown is unsigned and has a polish finish. The crown is screw down to provide the high water resistant rating.

The case back is off the screw back design. It is polish at the circumference and engine turned in the center. The case back is signed TIFFANY & CO and Swiss at one end. The rest of the markings includes the water resistant rating, which is 30 ATM, stainless steel and perhaps the model and serial number, model number L0710.

Inside the case back, we find that it is also signed T & Co in the center and at the top. The case is Swiss made as indicated and the movement use is also engraved to the case back. In this case it is fitted with the Tiffany & Co Caliber (ETA) 956.412.


The watch comes fitted with the 8 3/4 ligne ETA 956.412, 7 jewel quartz movement. This movement is a basic 3 hand movement with a date complication. The second hand is centrally mounted and the date display is at the 3 o'clock position. The date has a quick set function. The hand size for the movement is 70/120/20 and is powered by a 362 size battery. The crown has the usual 3 position setting, IN - normal position, 1 - date adjustment and 2 - for time adjustment.


The dial is matte black. I like the dial. It is easy to read. This coming from a guy who has both long and short sightedness. The hour index is typical diver design with round hour markers, except for the 12, 6 and 9 o'clock position. The 12 o'clock is marked by a triangle while the 6 and 9 o'clock has the baton markers. There is no markers at the 3 o'clock position as the date display is there.

I especially like the 'railroad track' minute index marks. It is finished in silver as is the Tiffany & Co signature at the 12 o'clock position, the rectangle around the date window (to make the date stand out) and the Swiss Made at the 6 o'clock position. The dial is simple and clean.


The hands are well made and is polished. From what I can see, the finish is even throughout the hands. The hands, again typical of a diver watch design has adopted the Mercedes hands. I like this design as it is easy to differentiate the hour hand from the minute. The hour hand has the 'Mercedes logo'. I like the fact that the minute hands extend and touches the minute marker. It makes telling the time easier.

All the hands are luminous (lume long gone). I like the fact that the second hand is luminous via a dot. This is helpful to indicate (while diving) that the watch is still working. The second hand falls exactly on the index marks. As you can see from the photographs, there are some luminous material missing from the minute hand. I told the owner that this is an easy repair and most good watch maker can fill the luminous material.

Also from the photographs, you can see that corrosion has started to 'eat' the edges of the hands. This is very clear on the seconds hand. I told the owner that the watch is in need of a service and to check if it still water resistant. I did lubricate the gasket (o-ring) when I removed the case back.


I believe that the crystal is sapphire. It does not seem to have any anti-reflection coating.


I was informed that the watch originally came with leather strap. It has since been replaced by a generic black nylon strap.

I find the watch an interesting watch. I tried to find out more on the Internet, but there were none. It is a nice watch and will look even better once the owner sends it in for a service.

IWC Boutique Taipei

The other day when I was at Taipei 101 getting the Omega strap for the X-33, I also went to the IWC Boutique. I was there to check out straps for my IWC mark XV. I could not decide between the original strap for the XV or the one for the XV Spitfire. So the boutique told me that they will bring both in and let me decide.

Both the straps were there and I had a look. The difference between the two straps? Well, the original XV strap is black leather with black stitching. The leather is softer (?). The XV Spitfire strap is also black leather but the stitching is white and the leather seems 'harder'. I finally chose the XV Spitfire as I like the white stitching. It provides contrast and matches the watch dial which is black with white Arabic numeral hour index.

What I like about the straps is that they comes with the spring bars. I guess it has to come with the spring bars as the strap is curved at the attachment point. Well what is the difference between other curved end leather straps? Well, the spring bars are curved as well.

The leather strap is well made and is only signed on 'hole' side of the strap. The overall finish and quality is typical IWC, very good. It comes with two strap keepers, one fixed and the other floating. The best thing about the strap is that it can be fitted with the deployment buckle or the pin buckle.

The only thing I don't like about the XV straps, both the original and the Spitfire is that it tapers down to 16 mm from 19 mm. I find it a bit thin. I would love it if it did not taper down and is 19 mm width throughout. Maybe an after market strap. We will have to see.

Anyway the model number for the XV Spitfire strap is IWA14598. This is the standard version, measuring 72 mm on the buckle side and 115 mm on the other (fits my 7.5 inch wrist, with 3 holes to spare). They do have a longer strap. It is about USD 100.

While I was there, I got side tracked and had a look at the watches in the IWC collection. I have to say that I do like IWC watches but was very very attracted by the IWC Vintage Collection, more so the very very beautiful IWC Aquatimer Automatic. This watch which comes in at 44 mm is just awesome. It is fitted with the IWC manufacture Calibre 80111 which features the Pellaton winding system.

Photograph: IWC

For more information:

What makes it more desirable to me is that it is mirrors the original Aquatimer (1967) with a number of improvements. It is also issued with the 'Tropic' type rubber strap. It is only depth rated to 12 ATM, but I am happy with that. I do like the dual crown design of the watch.

Anyway, I left it at that, like the watch but don't think I will get it. It is retailing for about NTD 250,000 (USD 7,800), which I think is great value. It does come with an in-house movement coupled with the great IWC quality and great history. The hunt for the tri-compax watch goes on.

I have say that the overall experience at the boutique has been great. In fact it is one of the better experience that I have had in a watch boutique. The people there are just great.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Watch Shopping in Taipei (sort of...) Part 2

Here are more links to sites in Taiwan (not only Taipei) to buy watches. I have not visited some of these places as they are not in Taipei. Some are selling pre-loved and some are selling new. For those selling new watches, I don't think that they are selling on-line but more to promote and educate.

Well here goes:

This site sells new watches:

So does this one.

Pre-loved watches. I believe this shop is not in Taipei.

As is this one.

And this.

This is in Taipei.

The usual mantra applies, buy the seller not the product and known what you want to buy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

DW-6900A Vice Eyes Battery Change

One of the joys of having quartz watches is the battery change. It gives (to me anyway) a reason to open and look at the guts of the watch. This time it is the turn of the DW-6900A-2DR. This watch is part of the Vice Eye series. It is powered by the Module 1289, thus having the CR2016 battery.

The battery change is pretty much straight forward as with other Casio G-Shocks. However, on the DW-6900, we have to be careful as the strap ends actually sits on the edge of the case back. The correct way is to remove the straps and remove the case back. We can get away with 'pushing' the straps away from the case back. There are two precautions when doing this. The first is not the 'push' the straps too far back so that you don't damage the straps. The second and most important is that when you are sliding the case back from the case, careful not to dislodge the spring contact (you will see the spring later).

As you can see from the photograph below, the edges of the straps sits on the case back.

Remove the 4 screws from the edge of the case back. Carefully remove the screws and slide the case back off the case. You need to lift the case back a bit as it sits inside the lip (black) at the edge of the case.

The case back removed. You will note that sometimes the gasket (o-ring) follows the case back. Make sure you check before you place the case back on the table so that you don't damage the gasket. Don't forget to lubricate the gasket before you put it back on the case (not case back).

The circular (darker) piece is where the spring contacts to generate the alarm and chime sound.

You can now see the battery and note the spring contact. Remove the rubber spacer from the module.

The rubber spacer. You can clean it if you want. Don't forget the orientation of the rubber spacer. The 'nipples' faces the case back.

With the rubber spacer removed, you can now see the module and the battery.

Unlatch the battery holder and remove the battery. I use a plastic tweezers for this. Just slide the battery out.

The battery removed.

The reverse process. Slide the battery into the battery holder. Careful when you slide the battery in as you do not want to damage the lower contacts. If you feel some resistance to the battery sliding in, it may due to the edge of the battery getting caught to the lower contact. Check and position the battery such that the edge of the battery is over the lower contact.

Don't forget to reset the module. I just use a metal tweezers and a screwdriver. The tweezers to the reset and the metal screwdriver touching the tweezers and the 'AC' point. A closer view of the spring contact.

The rest is just the opposite of the above process.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Omega X-33 Strap

After looking at pictures of astronauts wearing their Omega X-33 with the Coramide Kevlar strap, I decided to look into getting one for myself. So a visit to the Omega boutique was in order. I went there a couple of days ago and found out that they did carry and had stock of the strap. They only had the one for the pin buckle and not for the deployment buckle. So I asked if they could bring it in for me.

Got a call from them on Monday and was informed that the strap was in the boutique. Went there today and had a look. I have to say that I was surprised with the strap, more so its lightness. The part number of the strap is 98000006. This is for the standard length. There is another for larger wrist, part number being 98000006L.

The strap did not come with a buckle, so I had to order one. Omega did not have any in stock and was informed that it will take about 2 months to get it in. Actually I do not know what is the original buckle for the strap, so I went with the recommendation on the Ofrei's website. Buckle part number 9451-1803. I had my friendly neighbourhood watchmaker fit a generic buckle (temporary).

I like the chequered design of the strap. This, I believe, criss-cross ply orientation of the kevlar material. Anyway, the strap has 2 ridges along the length of the strap. The width at the lug attachment is 20 mm and tapers down to 18 mm at the buckle. It measures 115 mm on the hole side and 75 mm on the buckle side.

The inside of the strap is rubber lined. I stand corrected on this. The inside of the strap is marked as follows; both straps are signed. The buckle side has the the size of the strap, 20 and 'IAD' stamped on the inside. On the other side, we find the strap part number and the number 52. I have no idea what the number signifies.

I find the strap very light and very supple. It is very comfortable and when worn with the X-33, you tend to forget that you are wearing a watch. Yes, it is that light and comfortable. It is well made and the finish is good. The slots for the spring bars are well formed as is the end fittings. I like the strap so much, that I am considering getting another for the Seamaster.

The strap comes with two strap keepers, one fixed and another floating. As can be seen in the photographs, the finish is nice.

The strap on the X-33. I like that there is no gap between the strap and the watch case.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prometheus Watch Fathers Day Promotion

It has been a busy week with just about everyone in the house coming down with the flu bug and such. The weather here is Taiwan is playing havoc. Anyway, some good news from the nice people at Prometheus Watch. In conjunction with the upcoming Fathers Day, they are offering a 5% discount on their watches. All you have to do is to visit their website and use the coupon code FATHERSDAY2010 and you get the discount. It is that easy.


Some of the watches that Prometheus Watch offers:

The Recon 5.

Ocean diver GMT.

Ocean diver Chronograph.

Photographs: Prometheus