Monday, February 28, 2011

Watch photography

If you notice of late, I have been posting photographs that I have taken of my watch collection. I am trying to improve on my watch photography. I am not a professional but an amateur still learning the ropes. I have been asked what gear I am using. Basically I use to use my Point and Shoot camera but of late I have resurrected my DSLR. 

The gear:


Nikon D300


Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60 mm 1:2.8D (main lens)
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18 - 200 mm 1:3.5 - 5.6 G ED

I am going to change the last lens to either one of the following:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18 - 70 mm 1:3.5 - 4.5 G ED as it has a shorter focus distance or
Nikon AF Nikkor 35 - 70 mm 1:3.3 - 4.5 as this lens has a 'macro' focus range

Light box

Locally sourced very cheap light box. 

Light source

2 Panasonic Table lamp with twin-tube white light


Manfrotto 190PROB with 488 RC2 head


Mac OS X iPhoto

Getting better I think

My latest attempt. Perhaps better background.

Nite MX10-201.

P6500 Type 6.

SandY 184A.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I am currently photographing my watch collection, well actually trying to learn how to take better photographs of my watches or watches in general. One of the things I tried today was to see if I could capture the heart beat of the watch, i.e. bph (beats per hour). 

Most watches today beats at one of the following bph (A/h):

18,000 A/h (2.5Hz)
21,600 A/h (3 Hz) 
28,800 A/h (4 Hz)

and some, like the Zenith;

36,000 A/h (5 Hz)

So basically, if we were to break it down to beats per second (bps), 

18,000 A/h = 5 bps (tick tock tick tock tick)
21,600 A/h = 6 bps (tick tock tick tock tick tock)
28,800 A/h = 8 bps and so on. 

I was wondering if I could capture this with my camera. Set the camera to shutter priority and set it to 1 second. Mount it on a tripod and set the self-timer (to reduce vibrations).

The following is the results:

ETA 2801 - 28,800 A/h, so 8 bps. In the photograph below, you can see the sweep second hand moves 8 times in the 1 second block (as indicated by the two markers).

ETA 2750 - 21,600 A/h, so 6 half tick (a half tick is the first tick, the tock is the second half tick in a normal tick tock). You can see the sweep second move 6 times between the markers.

ETA2824 - 28,800A/h. Again 8 bps. The photograph below shows that the sweep second hand moves 8 times.

How cool is that. Now what can you use this information for? Well I can only think of the case where you want to buy the IWC Big Pilot 5002 and want to check if the watch is the 5002 with the 18,000 bph movement or the transitional pieces with the 5002 case and dial but with the newer 5004 movement that beats at 21,600. Of course the easier way is to bring it to a watchmaker and have it checked on a timing machine. 

And there you have it, another piece of useful (or useless) information. :)

More attempts at watch photography

A learning process. Thank you for the digital camera. Can't imagine doing this on film camera.

Another try at black and white.

The Hamilton and Benrus.

The Tutima boys.

One of my favourite watch the IWC Mk XV. Still trying to remove the reflection on the crystal.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Panerai PAM00371

As my collection is drawing to a close, I ask myself what would I look for in my next watch. I want to get a watch with a tri-compax (Mickey Mouse) dial layout. I know that there are many fine watches out there with this design like the Omega Moon watch, the Rolex Daytona or even the Zenith Chronograph. 

Given a choice, I would really like to get a Panerai with the Zenith movement, but these watches are rare and very hard to find. Anyway, the next best complication that I like is that of the GMT or dual time function. I do know that Panerai offers the PAM00321 Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic 44 mm, and I do like the watch. It would be nice if they offered it in a 1950 Submersible case. 

And this year, Panerai has made that dream come true in the PAM00371 Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio 47 mm. This watch has all that I like in a Panerai. Limited edition (500 units), 47 mm (the new 44 mm according to many), GMT complication, Power Reserve on the back (which is great as I don't like it on the dial), in-house movement and all these in a Submersible 1950 case. 

Of course the chances of me getting one lies somewhere between zero and naught as the watch retails for USD 11,900, a tad out of my league. Even if it is, I am sure all the 500 pieces are already spoken for. 

More about the watch:

Movement: Automatic mechanical, Panerai P.9001 calibre, 13¾ lignes, 7.9 mm thick

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds (9 o'clock), date 3 o'clock), second time zone, power reserve indicator on the back, seconds reset, calculation of immersion time

Case: Diameter 47 mm, brushed titanium

Bezel: Brushed titanium with polished edges, anti-clockwise unidirectional rotating bezel with graduated scale for calculating the time of immersion and ratchet click at minute intervals

Device protecting the crown: Brushed titanium

Crystal: Sapphire, formed of corundum, 2.9 mm thick with Anti-reflective coating, back with see-through sapphire crystal

Water-resistance: 30 ATM

The watch.

Photographs: Panerai

Panerai have been issuing the Regatta model since 2000, all limited edition. The past models:

2000: PAM00081 Luminor Automatic Montecarlo 2000 (200 pieces)

2001: PAM00107 Luminor Marina Regatta 2001 (500 pieces)

2002: PAM00156 Luminor GMT Regatta 2002 (300 pieces)

2003: PAM00168 Luminor Chrono Regatta 2003 (399 pieces). I have seen this watch and it is beautiful. 

2004: PAM00199 Luminor Submersible Regatta 2004 (500 pieces). Another pieces I have seen.

2005: PAM00222 Luminor Power Reserve Regatta 2005 (500 pieces)

2006: PAM00253 Luminor 1950 Flyback Regatta 2006 (500 pieces)

2007: PAM00286 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante (500 pieces). Starting this year, the year designation has been dropped.

2008: PAM00308 Luminor Regatta Chronograph (500 pieces) 

2009: PAM00332 Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante (500 pieces)

2010: PAM00343 Radiomir Regatta one/eighth second (500 pieces). First time the Radiomir is used. 

Photographs: Panerai

Roskopf Pocket watch

My dad gave me this pocket watch a number of years ago. Sadly it has been sitting in my drawer for a long time. Today I decided to take it out as I am currently photographing my entire collection. 

It is an interesting pocket watch. Sadly I cannot find much information on the watch. Anyone with any information on the watch please drop me a line. I really appreciate it.

I am not even sure of the pocket watch is original as most of the same watch on the Internet has a red logo where as mine has a black logo. Some of the pocket watches have the logo at the 9 o'clock position, i.e. the movement is rotated anti-clockwise by 90 degrees. At least it is still running. I am currently timing the watch.

Thus far I have established the watch as the Roskopf Geneva 1896 Switzerland Expo pocket watch. And that is it. Yes there is a lot of history on Roskopf, here:

but nothing really on the watch that I have.

The pocket watch. The chain is not original to the watch.

The case back.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My attempt at watch photography

Please be gentle but please do give your comments on my first attempt at 'professional' watch photograph. Well here goes nothing:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have been asked why some comments are deleted and why some do not appear at all after every blog entry. Well basically, I will delete any comments that links to fake watches as we do not support fake watches. Also anything that is not watch related will also be deleted. Finally I will let any comments that links to products that is watch related, like straps, replacement bezel (for Casio watches) etc once. If it appears more than once I will delete the comment as well. If you want to advertise, please drop me an email and we will move from there. 

I do hope you understand and I would like to say that I appreciate comments, so keep them coming. 

Thank you.

'Ralph' is in the house....

Finally it has arrived. After a long wait, The Attacker is finally in the house. I somehow remember some Panerai collector (Paneristi) calling it 'Ralph'. So, Ralph is finally in the house. I am a happy guy. 

I have to say that the guys at TheWatchBoys, especially Kurt, deserve a big THANK YOU for re-issuing The Attacker. For those who are worried about shipping, let me assure you that TheWatchBoys pack it well. Just look at the photographs below.

The un-boxing.

The Attacker is made of resin and it is well made. Yes, it is made in China, but what is not. It is very comical with its bobble head. It is 7 inches tall and I do like the detailing. It spots a full vintage wet suit and leather straps and re-breathing gear. I assume the wristwatch, depth gauge and compass would all be made by Panerai

The Flottiglia MAS shield.

The watch and compass. Note the very recognisable locking mechanism on the watch.

The Depth Gauge.

It has a fixed base and has the 'Flottiglia MAS' crest on it. The Decima Flottiglia MAS was an Italian commando frogman unit of the Italian Navy during the Second World War. Decima Flottiflia MAS stands for Decima Flottiglia Mezzi d'ASsalto or La Decima or X MAS (10th Assault Vehicle Flotilla). MAS is also a reference for the light torpedo boats used by the commando during the war. 

Anyway, no photograph of Ralph is complete without the watches. And here they are, left to right: PAM0003B, PAM00111H and PAM00183J.

The watches from left to right: PAM183J, PAM00111H AND PAM00003B.

And of course a photograph of my favourite boys of action.