Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hamilton Time Player

This is a new novelty from Hamilton. The Time Player is a very unique watch, not the fact that it can tell the time in 4 timezones, but the fact that the individual timezones can move about in the watch. Just have a look at the watch below. The does remind me of the sliding puzzle I had when I was a child.

It is pretty cool. To move the individual timezone, you have to remove the 'H' piece on the upper left and the rest of the pieces can move about the longitude or latitude. The orange counter is for the local time and is colour coded to the 'HAMILTON' counter. The green counter is for New York, the red, for Tokyo and lastly yellow for Dubai. 

To set the time, you will have to move the counter (which you want to set) to the center of the watch. You can use any of the 4 crown to adjust the time. Once it is set, you can set the time for the other counters (by placing it in the center). The center piece, look at the photograph below, has a lever in the center to facilitate removal of the piece.

Look at the set of photographs below and you can see how the individual counter move about the watch.

A closer view of the central piece.

Photographs: Hamilton

I think it is a cool watch. However the fact that the other timezones are fixed, is a bit of a bummer. The watch is big coming in at 48 by 42 mm. It is good that the case is made of titanium, for stainless steel would render the watch pretty heavy.

The basic specifications:

Functions: hours and minutes, 4 timezone
Case: titanium, 48 x 42 mm
Movement: quartz E 01.701
Crystal: sapphire
Water resistant: 5 ATM

The watch is a limited edition watch and is available exclusively at Hamilton Labs. For more information:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bell & Ross BR01 Radar

Bell & Ross will be exhibiting the much awaited BR01 Radar watch from August 30 to September 04 at Colette, 213, rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris. Collectors will have a chance to purchase one of the 10 watches available for sale. The watches will be the first 10 watches from a limited edition run of 500 pieces.

This is a unique watch as instead of having hands to tell time, it uses discs to tell time. The seconds is displayed by the central green 'hand', the minutes by the red 'hands' and hours by the yellow 'hands'. The cross-hair is etched into the crystal and helps to give the overall look of a radar. 

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds
Movement: ETA 2892 automatic
Case: PVD Black 46 mm diameter
Crystal: sapphire
Water resistant: 10ATM

The watch.

 I suspect you get this patch when you buy the watch.

Photographs: Bell & Ross

Panerai PAM 00168 Luminor Chrono Reggata 2003

Finally got my Internet again. The problem is that the ADSL in the house is built into the house and who ever design the system fail to take into account how hot summer in Taiwan can get. Combine this with poor cooling and ventilation, the ADSL shuts down when it gets too hot. Anyway, with summer over and the weather cooling down, this should not be a problem (I hope). 

Anyway, the past week has indeed been a very interesting one. I will start with this watch. I had the pleasure of seeing and handling this watch from Panerai. Sadly I forgot to bring my camera with me. The Panerai Luminor Chrono Reggata 2003 Special Edition. Let me say from the onset that this watch is just awesome. 

The case back is engraved with the Laureus Award May 2003. You can see how the two parts of the bracelet is held together.

Photograph: Panerai

The watch was launched in 2003 as part of the Special Edition collection from Panerai. It is to celebrate the Laureus Regatta for that year. The watch is not the normal 44 mm that we are used to. This watch comes in at a petite 40 mm. It has a titanium case (brushed) and fitted with a polished stainless steel bezel. The watch is powered by an ETA 7753 based OP XII calibre. So the watch has the nice tri-compax design that I like. 

The unique aspect of the watch is the colour of the dial and the orange/ yellow colour of the  Arabic hour index and hands. Even in bright daylight, you can see how luminous the indexes and hands are. Photographs does not do it justice.

This watch which I had a look at, has not been worn by the owner. He bought the watch and it has been kept in the box. It is just great. The watch comes with the Panerai bracelet which itself is unique as it is made of titanium and steel. Each link is made of two parts, a brushed titanium base, overlapped with a polished steel link and screwed together. I really like the bracelet (even though early bracelets had issues with the screws that hold the parts together coming apart).

The watch is not heavy and is very comfortable when worn. Even with the metal bracelet, it does not feel heavy. This even with the steel parts attached to the watch. The watch basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date (quick set button at 10 o'clock), chronograph
Case: titanium, 40 mm diameter
Movement: OP XII automatic, COSC
Crystal: sapphire, 2.5 mm thick
Water resistant: 10 ATM

Photographs of the beautiful dial and indexes.

The dial looks like it is black but it is actually blue. The hour index at the 12 o'clock position is larger as compared to the rest of the indexes. The hands are also rendered in blue. Indeed a beautiful watch. 

Photographs: owner

Saturday, August 21, 2010

IWC Big Pilot Limited Edition Watches

I have always liked the pilot watches from IWC. More so the Big Pilot. However, after the recent standardisation exercise by IWC on the pilot range, the Big Pilot (ref 5004) did not sing to me. I did not like the 'cut-off' numbers. I preferred the older Big Pilot, shown in the photograph below.

Photograph: borrowed shamelessly from the Internet

This is the 'new' Big Pilot. Note the 'cut-off' hour index at 2 and 4 o'clock.

Photograph: IWC

Anyway, IWC has released two Limited Edition Big Pilots. The first is a Boutique only (Las Vegas) IWC Big Pilot. The watch will feature a blue-theme as the indexes,  hour, minutes and seconds hands included, will be rendered in blue (luminous). The watch will carry the same reference 5004 as the standard Big Pilot. It is the same size as the standard Big Pilot and will be powered by the same movement, IWC calibre 5111. I understand it will be a limited edition run of only 50 pieces and will be available towards the end of the year. 

Photograph: blog.perpetuelle

The second watch is the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar. This watch is a limited edition watch and will be a run of 250 pieces. The watch will feature the following functions; hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve (7 days), day, date, month, year and moon phase. It will be powered by IWC Calibre 51613. The watch will be available in the 4th quarter of this year. The watch will be rendered with yellow-orange highlights.

Photograph: blog.perpetuelle

The unique aspect of both watches is the fact that IWC has decided to have these watches engraved with a unique limited edition numbering system. All the Blue Big Pilots will be numbered One of 50, while the Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar will carry One of 250. This is a departure from the norm of numbering limited edition watches with serial numbering of 1 of 50, 2 of 50 and so on. 

I can understand (I suspect) why this is done. It could be that certain numbers are not very popular in certain cultures, like the number 4 to the Chinese and maybe number 13 to other people. Number 8 is popular with the Chinese as is combinations of 3, 6 and 8. I guess by numbering the watches as one of 50, IWC remove the possibility of certain watches not selling or slow to move. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tudor Chrono Heritage

This is Taiwan specific news. A Little bird told me that the watch will be in the stores in September. There is not official price as yet, but it should be around NTD 125,000. Will bring more news when I have any.

The watch.

Photograph: Tudor

Bovet Boutique Taiwan

It is indeed cool to see a stand alone boutique. This one is from Bovet. The boutique is located in Tienmou in Taipei City. 

The boutique. The Chinese characters above the entrance is the Chinese name for the company (which has a long history in China). It is Bo Wei (pinyin). It is a bit different from the one you see on the Bovet website (in About Bovet, History tab) which is written and read right to left.

For more information about Bovet:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Panerai PAM00072

I have always like the watch but never got it. I guess this would make a good watch to 'close' my collection of watches. It has the 'tri-compax' dial design that I seek. Looks like I have to start saving for this watch. The watch was only produced for 3 years, between 2000 and 2002 (C, D and E). I know that there is the PAM 00074 which is basically the same watch but with leather strap. We will see what happens. I am guessing I will only get the watch next year.

The watch.

Photograph: shamelessly borrowed from the Internet.

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph
Case: titanium, 40 mm (bezel: stainless steel), lug width 22 mm
Movement: Calibre OP IV (based on the Zenith El Primero)
Water resistant: 10 ATM

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tudor 94110

Remember my Tudor 94110 Snowflake? Well I got a picture of the watch before it had its service. Let me tell you that the watch has had a hard life and it has had its fair share of beatings. For those who are squeamish, please do not look. 

The watch before it was serviced.

A hard life indeed. But it does testify to the robust nature and design of the watch. So the items that were replaced:

The crown
The stem tube
New spring bars
New crystal
The winding rotor (due corrosion)
The 'rehaut', the metal piece between the crystal and the dial
The hack mechanism (balance stop lever)
The balance pivot
The minute wheel
The pallet lever
The barrel (yes the barrel and the spring inside)
The barrel bridge
The hands
The bezel insert

The watch now. 

HKTDC Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair

Just to update, the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair will be held from September 6 to 10 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. For more information:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Aristo 3H59H Watch

So what watch did I get? Well I got the Aristo 3H59H watch. This watch is part of a 6 watch collection under Aristo B-Uhren in XL-format. The collection consist of 3 watches in each reference, A or H. The reference A is the automatic version, powered by the ETA 2824-2 movement, while the reference H is powered by the ETA 2801-2 hand wind movement. 

A bit about Aristo. Aristo was founded in 1907 by Julius Epple in Pforzheim, Germany. The family held the company for 3 generations until 1998 when it was sold Hansjorg Vollmer. The company is now known as Aristo Vollmer GMBH.

The watches in the collection are as follows:

Reference 3H57 A or H, Beobachter
Reference 3H58 A or H, Pilot
Reference 3H59 A or H, Navigator

The watches, left to right, 3H57, 3H58 and 3H59.

All the watches share the same basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds
Case: stainless steel, 43 mm diameter, 11 mm thick, 22 mm lug width
Crystal: sapphire
Water resistant: 5 ATM
Price: Reference A: USD 700, Reference H: USD 630

I got the watch at a very good price, NIB (new in box). I like the watch. While it may have the hour angle indication type dial, it is not a true hour angle indication watch. The hour hand completes a rotation in 12 hours as compared to a real hour angle indication watch which does it in 24 hours.

The watch.

The 'hour angle' indication dial. The inner dial is marked in degrees instead of the normal hour markers.

The most distinguishable feature, the really huge crown. It measures 9 mm in diameter and 5.5 mm thick.

The sweep second hand is actually light yellow in colour. The hour and minute hands are luminous as are all the markers.

The movement. Although the brochure states that the reference H is powered by the ETA 2801-2, this watch is fitted with an ETA 2804-2.

The movement is unsigned.

The pilot design strap.

The watch again.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More watches from Praesto

Looks like the guys at Praesto have been busy. They will be introducing a number of watches in the coming months. Lets have a look at what they will be offering. In the last quarter of this year, they will be coming out with their first dive watch. 

The dive watch will be called Dive Hard. It looks interesting. I like the orange highlights on the watch. I also like the look of the watch as it looks very industrial, strong and bold. The watch will have the following basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date (at 6 o'clock)
Case: 316L stainless steel, 45 mm diameter, 24 mm lug width
Movement: automatic ETA 2824-2
Crystal: sapphire (double AR coating)
Water resistant: 30 ATM
Price: USD 499

The watch (mock up).

The other watch they are working on is a dual time watch. This project will result in the Praesto GMT watch. This watch will be available in 3 different dial colours, orange, black and blue. Instead of just having the 24 hour markers, Praesto have decided to include names of cities in the 24 hour zones. So technically the watch is not a GMT watch but a World Time watch. 

It is important to note that the picture of the watch below is still WIP (work in progress) and that the cities associated to the time zones may not be correct. It is a depiction of what the watch will look like. 

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date and second time zone
Case: 316L PVD stainless steel, 45 mm diameter, 24 mm lug width
Movement: Shanghai Calibre RK4D automatic
Crystal: sapphire (double AR coating)
Water resistant: 10 ATM
Price: USD 250

Just a bit about the movement. The movement is Chinese (I believe by Shanghai Watch Corp) and has 35 jewels, with a power reserve of 42 hours. It is an automatic movement. 

The watch (mock-up).

Photographs: Praesto

For more information:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Glycine Galore

Well not really, but of late I seem to see lots of the brand. Today for example, I was offered a choice between these two model. Both belongs to the Combat Collection from Glycine. The first is the Combat 6 manual and the second is the Combat 6 automatic. Both Combat 6 watches comes with the Arabic numeral hour markers and the Index hour markers. That makes it 4 watches. This on top of the earlier Incursore Black Jack Small Second. 

Both Combat 6 share some of the same basic specification:

Basic Specifications:

Case: stainless steel, 43 mm diameter, 22 mm lug width
Crystal: dome mineral top and flat mineral back
Water resistant: 5 ATM

The Combat 6 manual, reference 3894

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds
Case: 9.7 mm thick
Movement: hand wind ETA 2801-2

The Combat 6 automatic, reference 3890

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Case: 10.8 mm thick
Movement: automatic ETA 2824-2

I like the Combat 6 automatic because I like that it is automatic. I even like the fact that the date window is placed nearer to the centre, in-line with the 24-hour markers (on the model with the Index hour markers). Don't like the date on the version with the Arabic numeral hour marker (not balance).

As such, if I were get the watch, it would be the Combat 6 manual, the one with the Arabic numerals.

The watches, Combat 6 manual.

Reference: 3894.10AT-LB9

Reference: 3894.19-LB9

Combat 6 automatic.

Reference: 3890.19AT-LB6

Reference: 3890.19-1

Photographs: Glycine

For more information:

Anyway, I have asked the shop to check if they have the following watches:

The Combat Sub, reference 3863.19AT N-D9.

Or who knows if I am lucky, the Airman MLV.

Photographs: Glycine

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Military Ceramic Watch

This is a cool watch. I like it. Actually I have always liked Bell & Ross watches. I especially like the square watches from them, the BR 01 series. Anyway we are looking at the BR 03-02 watch. The difference between the BR 01 and 03, is the size. The BR 01 comes in at 46 mm and the 03 at 42 mm.

The BR 03-92 Military Ceramic watch is unique as the watch comes in a very unique colour. The watch is a monochromatic, olive drab colour with a case made entirely of ceramic. How cool is that. The dial is black but the hands and hour markers are coated with luminous material. Even the colour of the luminous material complements the colour of the case. The watch will come with a rubber strap or the ultra-resistant synthetic fabric strap. If I get the watch, I will go with the fabric strap.

But why use Ceramic? Well there are a few reasons:

1. Unscrathable
2. Weight saving
3. Comfort as it is hypoallergenic

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Case: ceramic, 42 mm diameter
Crystal: sapphire with AR coating
Movement: automatic ETA 2892 caliber
Water resistant: 10 ATM

The watch should be in stores as you read this.

The watch.

Photograph: Bell & Ross

For more information:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Military watches

Here is a cool link to watches worn by the military (US). Mostly Casio and a focus on G-Shocks. I see mostly DW-6600 and DW-6900. I guess because these watches have one of the biggest displays in the G-Shock range.

Thanks to mygshock.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Panerai PAM00366

Panerai will launching a special edition watch for Chinese watch enthusiasts. The watch, a Luminor Marina (44 mm) will have the reference number PAM00366. The watch will feature the character 'FU' at the 6 o'clock position instead of the number '6'. 

The watch will not be of the sandwich dial design as the cut-out for the 'FU' would be difficult to achieve. The Chinese Character 'FU' was chosen, which by the way means 'good fortune', 'luck' or 'happiness', because in ancient Chinese writings, 'FU' is explained in five aspects: longevity, prosperity, health, virtue and well-ended life. Additionally, the Chinese people have been putting decorations of 'FU' on their front doors, especially during the Chinese New Year. However, the Chinese would put the character upside down (to generate good Fung Shui). I don't think this practice would go well on the watch dial.

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds (sub-dial at 9 o'clock)
Case: 316L stainless steel, 44 mm diameter
Movement: Panerai OP II
Crystal: sapphire
Water resistant: 30 ATM
Reference: PAM00366

The watch will be available from Panerai boutiques in Shanghai and Beijing from mid-August (and some selected dealers) and later the watch will be available in Panerai boutiques in Greater China like Hong Kong.

The watch.

Photograph: Panerai

Monday, August 09, 2010

Glycine Incursore Black Jack Small Second

I was offered this watch recently. It is the Glycine Incursore Black Jack Small Second. This watch was introduced in 2008 and is the second release of the Black Jack series after the successful launch in Basel 2007. 

The Incursore range of watches is named after the elite Italian divers from World War 2. The Incursore (raiders or commando) were the guys that rode the SLC (short distance submarines), where they would approach enemy ships and plant explosives on the hull of those ships.

Anyway, I am still out on if I would get the watch. The price I was offered is good (very good), but I am not sure if the package is complete. The watch is a limited edition run of 350 pieces and comes in a nice box with 2 straps. At the time I saw the watch, the box was missing but I was assured that it was available. The watch is new and not pre-loved.

The watch, reference 3878, is large, 46 mm in diameter and has a PVD coated stainless steel case. Basically the watch is rendered in black and white with red highlights. The second hand (sub-dial at 6 o'clock) and the number 21 (of the 24 hour hour track on the outer ring) is rendered in red. So are the minute index markers between 20 and 21. The rotor is engraved with the Black Jack decoration. Date display is at the 6 o'clock position.

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Case: PVD Black stainless steel case, 46 mm diameter, 11 mm thick, 24 mm lug width
Crystal: sapphire
Movement: ETA 2895 automatic
Water resistant: 10 ATM
Limited Edition: 350 pieces
Retail: USD 2,780

The watch.

Photograph: Glycine

For more information:

Who knows, maybe I will get it after all.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Ulysse Nardin (Taiwan Specific)

Good news for collectors of Ulysse Nardin watches here in Taiwan. The boutique is now open. The boutique is located at Lane 178, Zhong Cheng Road, Section 2, Tienmou. Looks interesting.

On a side note, there is another watch shop beside the Ulysse Nardin Boutique. The shops sells a number of brands. The brands available includes Glashutte Original, Omega, AP, VC and JLC (among others). I suspect the Ulysse Nardin Boutique and this shop share the same owners.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A secondary collection

One of the joys (or not) of collecting Panerai watches is the secondary and tertiary collection that you end up with. What you ask is the secondary and tertiary collection you? Well the strap is the secondary and the buckle is the third. I am guilty of having a secondary strap collection. I don't have the third (yet).

Most of my straps are from the following brands (I have yet to 'graduate' to those specialist straps made by enthusiasts and others) Morellato, Banda, Louis Rine and local brands (made in Taiwan, China etc). You can see the straps below. 

The straps. These are for the Luminor Marina, so the straps have a 24 mm width. 

These are for the Radiomir, so they are 26 mm wide.

These are the original straps. The one on the left is for the Luminor and the right for the Radiomir.

First a bit about how I use my straps. I do not use the original straps that come with the watches. I usually change the strap to a 'local' strap. This applies to the buckle as well. Even if I use the original strap, the original buckle is not used. For example the buckle on the original strap for the Radiomir is not original. This does not apply to the Luminor strap as the buckle is the type that is sewn into the strap. That is the reason why some of the straps above do not have buckles.

Anyway I picked this strap the other day at one of my local hunts here in Taiwan. I got it pretty cheap. I was told by the shop that the strap is original Panerai but the buckle is not. I suspect that the strap may not be original because of the price.

The strap is of the de-stressed type or finish. I like it. The strap measures 75 mm on the buckle side and 125 mm on the other. It is 26 mm wide, so it is fitted on the Radiomir.

The strap has white stitching and makes me like it a lot. It is very soft and supple. The strap is very comfortable when worn.

The de-stressed finish. It looks like it has been around for a long time.

It has all the 'necessary' Panerai markings. Maybe it is original. It is marked 'Officine Panerai' and "Italy'.

The Panerai logo at the tip of the strap.

On the buckle side, it is signed 'Officine Panerai' and 'cucito a mano' or hand stitched or hand made? Near the buckle, there is the legend 'COH'. Original or not, I like it.

Two strap keeper, one fixed and the other floating.

Now on to the buckle. The buckle is not original. The buckle is made by WotanCraft Atelier. This company is based in Taiwan and the owner/ maker (he also makes straps) is a Panerai collector. The buckle you see here is based on the Pre-Vendome design buckle. Etched on the buckle is the 1950 Flottiglia X M.A.S. Special Forces marking.

The buckle is made from 316L stainless steel and is highly polished. It is held in place by a screw. The buckle is well made. On the back of the buckle, you find his signature and the material used to make the buckle.

I find the strap and buckle combination nice. It is comfortable and the de-stressed leather gives it a worn-in feel. 

For more information about WotanCraft: