Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year

To all readers who celebrate, a very HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR. May the year of the rabbit bring you and your family good health and wealth.

Bell & Ross

It is tough not to have Internet access. Anyway I finally got one of the watches I have always wanted. As I wrote earlier, I traded a number of my Casio G-Shock for this watch. It is a good trade as the G-shocks is going to a good home with a good friend. A big thank you to my friend.

I got the Bell and Ross BR01-92 Carbon in the trade. I always like the watch since it was launched in 2005/ 2006. I also like the story behind the brand. It comes with a number of straps. I also learnt something new as well. It seems the watch is from the early batch and it comes with the slimmer strap tip, 24/ 20 mm. The lug width is 24 mm but it tapers down to 20 mm. The later batches comes with the 24/24 mm strap. 

Of all the straps that I got, the interesting one is the green/ brown military type strap. I have never seen this strap before. It is original as confirmed by the local Bell&Ross AD. I do like it. It is the older 24/ 20 mm version. I also got 2 other leather straps, a 24/ 24 mm and a 24/ 20 mm black strap. Additionally, I got the 24/ 24 mm black rubber strap and the nylon strap. I also got 3 buckles with the trade, 2 PVD black buckle, 24 and 20 mm, including another stainless steel (brushed finish) 24 mm buckle. 

I am a happy. The watch, sorry for the poor photograph. You can see the green/ brown strap fitted to the watch. I will write more once I get back from my holiday.

Photographs from the owner. Note the wabi-sabi on the watch. It is has been his daily wear since he got it. And I have to say that it does not look as bad as the photograph. The PVD black coating seem to be quite robust.

You can see some dings on the 'bezel'. It is fitted on the 24/ 20 mm black strap.

Photographs: Jason

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The people at Jorg Hysek have something exciting up their sleeve. They will be launching the HD3 Slyde watch at the upcoming BaselWorld 2011.  They have released a video at their site and I have to say that it is just awesome. The watch looks to be very interesting.

The watch will feature a touch screen where the owner can generate a number of different screens with just a couple of taps or a flick across the screen.

The screens:



Photographs: Jorg Hysek

From the video, you can see the various functions like moon phase and chronograph. Evidently Jorg Hysek will be designing more screen interfaces for the watch that will be sold separately. So you can pick and choose exactly features and look that you desire. The watch is expected to go on sale sometime late 2011. I for one am looking forward to this watch. 

For more information:

Macro Watch Photography for Beginners

I picked up this e-book recently. It combines two of my hobbies, watch collecting and photography (which I am not good at, don't have the 'eye' but I digress). It is written by John B. Holbrook II. I understand that he is a freelance writer, photographer and watch enthusiast. I believe that his work has appeared in a number of watch and photography magazines. He also runs a number of watch sites.

I do hope I can improve my photography for the blog and at the same time, maybe focus more on photography. I do have a number of cameras and perhaps I should restart this hobby. Well, lets start with the book first. Good time to start reading the book as I will be on holiday.

The book is delivered as a pdf file and you can read it on the iPad. The book cost USD 30 and is available at the following site:

And for those who are into video reviews should check out his video on YouTube:

The book.

Photograph: John B. Holbrook, II image used with permission of the author

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Battery change

Yes another battery change entry. This time it is my DW-9900 Frogmans, more specifically the DW-9900BS-2DR Blue Sea Frogman and DW-9900MD-2T Mad Dog Expedition. Both these watches will be going to a new home soon. 

Firstly sorry for the arrangement of the photographs as I was changing the batteries of both the watches and taking photographs.

The pins that hold the straps in place. The pins are made of titanium. I normally arrange the pins according to its position so that it goes back to its proper place. 

A closer view of the pins.

The correct tool, a Philips screw driver.

The DW-9900MD with its bands removed. You will need to remove the bands as the tips of the bands sits on the case back. No 'cheating' on this watch.

The hole where the pins sits. There is a 'grinding' feel when you remove or install the pins. It is caused by the serrations on the pins rubbing on the side of the hole.

The hole on the bands. The tip of the pin sits inside the hole.

Another view of the band. 

The threaded portion of the pins screws into the case. You can see the thread in the photograph below.

The threads on the titanium case.

The case back ready to be removed. It has been unscrewed.

Inside the case back. You can see the piezoelectric speaker on the case back. Don't know what G39 means.

There is an instruction label stuck on the plastic plate. How cool is that. There is also instructions on battery change in the owner manual. We will get to that later.

When you remove the white plate, you will see the legend 'OPEN' on the LCD display. I will explain why this so later.

The inside of the white plastic plate. Note the metal strip at the left side of the plate.

The white plastic removed, revealing the black rubber protector. This rubber piece provides shock protection to the module. Remember that the nipple points towards the case back. Note the two gold springs at the 2 and 4 o'clock position. These two springs is 'shorted' out by the metal strip on the white plastic plate. When you remove the white plastic plate, the circuit is open and you have the 'OPEN' displayed on the LCD. The contacts for the speakers is the two metal tabs at the 6 o'clock position.

The rubber protector. 

The module. We can now see the battery. The watches are powered by the CR2016 type battery.

The locking tab. You can also see the AC (all clear) point. 

The module (2016), another view. 

The pins/ screws on the DW-9900BS-2DR.

The other set of screws.

Again you can see the threaded part of the titanium case.

The case back with the Frogman logo.

I do like the case back. In fact I do like the watch.

The case back of the Blue Sea Froggie. 

A closer view of the instructions.

The same 'OPEN' on the LCD. 

Oh, before I forget, the module 2016 has a low battery indicator on the LCD. You can see it here. When the low battery icon flashes, the back light, alarm and the mode beep do not work. You cannot even use the dive time function (just in case the battery dies when you are diving).

The battery removed. The battery holder is almost standard across the G-Shock range.

The locking tab. You can see the two 'fingers' that holds the tab in place. You can also see the two springs on the module.

The new battery inserted. Remember to use a non-metallic tweezers for this.

The tab in locked position.

After doing the AC (all clear), the watch shows the factory setting. It still shows open as I have not installed the white plastic plate.

Most important, do not forget to give the rubber gasket its silicon bath.

The white plate installed. 

The case back installed.

Installing the bands. 

Time and date reset to current time and date. We are all done.

Oh before I forget, this is how you unlock the battery holder locking tab. Just insert the tip of the tweezers behind the locking tab (there is a gap) and just lightly pry it open.

And there you have it, how to change the battery on a DW-9900 Frogman.

Anyway here is what is in the owners manual.

Battery change warning:

Always leave battery replacement up to the dealer where you bought the watch or to an authorized Casio distributor. Be sure to show the following information to the person replacing the battery.

Battery change procedure:

Open and remove the back cover. Opening the back cover causes the message OPEN to appear on the display. If CLOSE appears on the display when you open the back cover, replace the back cover. Wait for a few minutes and try again.

Remove the battery holder.
Remove the old battery and load a new one.
Replace the battery holder.
Touch the AC contact and battery (+) side with metallic tweezers.
Close the back cover. The message WAIT appears on the display about 20 seconds after you perform the AC (all clear) operation in step 5 of the above procedure, indicating that the watch is performing an internal self check for data errors. Note that the OPEN message remains on the display during the internal self check procedure, even after you close the back cover.

Interesting right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tissot PR50 Atollo Diver

I got this watch as a gift. It was included with the Breitling Aerospace that I got recently. I was pleasantly surprise to receive it. However I know very little about the watch. It is the Tissot PR50 Atollo Quartz Diver Watch. The watch is well used and it shows. The bezel can't even rotate. So I decided to clean the watch up and perhaps use it. What I do know is that the watch comes in black, white and blue dial.

The bezel. You can see that it is pretty worn. From what I have seen, the triangle at the 12 o'clock position should be luminous. It is no longer. I stand corrected on this. In fact most of the markings are worn out.

The underside of the bezel. Lots of gunk and DNA. The bezel is held in place by the spring clip. You can just see it. Even the notches is filled with DNA. :)

The watch with the bezel removed. More love and DNA. The dial and hands are luminous or use to be. It looks like it could have had some water damage. You can just see the metal spring clip that makes the bezel uni-directional. The metal tabs, 3 off is a bit bent.

Another view of the watch. The crown is unsigned. It is of the push pull design. The watch is water resistant to 5 ATM. 

The original bracelet. Again lots of love and gunk. It is signed with the Tissot logo. The bracelet kind of remind me of old Rolex bracelet from the 50s and 60s.

This is the mystery, Swiss Pack instead of Tissot. Anyone? All the Tissot PR50 Atollo that I have seen on the Internet is signed Swiss Pack.

The bracelet with the diver extension. How cool is that. 

The clasp. The clasp is very thin but well made. It has been used and it shows. It is a bit loose.

The case back again. I am guessing the model number is J185/285K. The watch case and case back is stainless steel and the crystal is sapphire.

I removed the bracelet for cleaning. 

The case back. The case back is of the snap back design. The case back has been cleaned.

The front of the watch, now clean. you can see the groove where the clip sits. The is a hole at the 10:30 o'clock position. This is the anchor point for the metal clip.

The metal clip. You can see the three tabs that prevent the bezel from turning anti-clockwise. I will work on correcting the tabs later. Basically I just need to adjust it as it is bent outwards.

The bezel and the locking clip.

The bezel now clean. You can see that it is a bit worn. 

The metal clip in the bezel. I also lubricated the inside of the bezel with silicon grease.

The clip is position, ready to receive the bezel.

The bezel fitted and now it can rotate freely. I might send the watch out to my friendly neighbourhood watch guy to do some ultrasonic cleaning and perhaps a service. Maybe even to replace the dial and hands. We will see how it goes.

Overall a cool watch.