Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. 

Yet another year has passed and this year has been an eventful year. This year has seen my collection change the most. I moved from a multi brand collection to one that is single brand focused. Don't know if this is the right move though. The collection nearly changed today as well, a 'big bang' that did not happened. Perhaps for the better. 

I don't see my collection changing in the coming year as I (perhaps) think it is where I want it to be. There could be an addition or two, but I think that will be the most. I do seem (at the moment) to tire of the hunt for new or even pre-loved pieces. I don't seem to want to 'play' anymore. Don't know why. Perhaps I need some time out. 

I will be selling my military watch collection and I will be reducing my Casio G-Shock collection. It is time to find them a better home. The independents will stay.

There was a time (in the past week or so) that I thought and almost changed the entire collection (current) to a different brand and a huge reduction in the number of watches. That did not happen but who is to say that it won't happen next year. 

Anyway, have a Happy New Year and may the coming year bring you health, wealth and whatever else you wish for. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fossil Russell Leather Watch

This is an interesting model from the Fossil 2011/ 2012 line up. It is the Fossil Russell Leather Watch, reference J1339. I like the watch because of the brown textured dial and the brown worn look of the supplied leather strap. The hands and hour markers are rendered in the now popular faux patina colour (ecru?). 

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds
Case: 316L stainless steel, IP Black, sanitized, 47 x 47 mm, 12 mm thick, 22 mm lug width
Movement: quartz
Water resistant: 5 ATM 
Price: USD 125

For more information:

The watch.

There is a black dial version, reference J1338, but I prefer the brown dial version.

Photographs: Fossil

Smiths Everest

Timefactors have released a new watch under the Smiths name. The new watch, PRS-25 is a tribute to the Smiths watch that went up to the top of Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. 

The new watch is different from the one that went up in 1953 (Smiths Deluxe I believe), a modern representation of the original perhaps. The watch was design from scratch and I have to say that I like the design. 

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes and seconds
Case: 316L stainless steel, 40 mm diameter, 14.5 mm thick
Crystal: high dome acrylic
Movement: Miyota 9015 automatic caliber
Water resistant: 10 ATM
Price: USD 350

For more information:

The watch.

Nice high dome crystal.

I like the fact that it comes with the holes on the lugs to facilitate the bracelet removal.

The quality shows even on the bracelet which tapers from 22 mm at the lugs to 20 mm at the clasp.

The beautiful case back. 

The Miyota 9015 movement. Not sure if the rotor will have the Smiths signature. Some information on the movement:

  • 11 1/2 ligne
  • 3.9 mm thick
  • 3 hands with date
  • 28,800 a/h
  • 24 jewels
  • Automatic and hand wind (not sure about hacking)

Best of all is the lume. SuperLuminova C3 was used on the dial and hands. 

Photographs: Timefactors

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This is a link to a very interesting article and in fact a well researched article on the impact of Radium used on vintage watches to the user. 

The watch used in the experiment is a vintage military IWC watch.

Thank you to the authors of the article.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Independents

I do like these new small independent watch companies. Why you ask. Well, I find their product offering interesting. Their service can be pretty good (sometimes and not all) and they are out to please (but not overboard or financially unreasonable). I like them as much as I like watches from the 'big boys'. 

Some of their product can be innovative and bold. Just look at Magrette with their Regattare Bronze Vintage. A fraction of the cost of what the establish players are offering. OK, I do appreciate that there is the attached cost of after sales service, multiple point of sales, advertising and so on. But still....

I also like the fact that some of these owners have gone and revived old names, like Smith, Precista, Stowa, Tornek Rayville among others. You can now get a modern version of an old name. How cool is that.

Some of the brands do offer what I think are real tool watches that I do not worry about using, like the SAR watches from Marathon. Built like tanks (and looks like them as well). 

There are some concerns as well. Longevity is a main concern. After sales service is another. Some independent brands have become a victim of their own success, having demand for their watches way outstripping supply. Some can take a year or two before you actually see the product. 

Of course these brands can overcome the issue of after sales service by using stock standard movement like the ETA2824, Miyota movements or even Selita movements which any competent watch maker should be able to service. 

Anyway, these are some of the watches that I have from the independent boys. I like them and wear them in rotation. 

The mechanical boys, from left, top to bottom, Maratac Pilot watch, MKII Stingray (very popular but no longer in production), Marathon JSAR (modified), Precista PRS-5 (from Timefactors), Magrette Regattare Bronze and the Marathon SAR.

The quartz boys, from left, Trintec Zulu-05 GMT and Precista PRS-10.

I guess everyone had to start somewhere. The big boys were small and independent once. 

Some Panerai history

And some awesome photographs of vintage Panerai, click on the link below. As a bonus, you can even download a 2012 calendar of the vintage Panerai watches. 

Other interesting articles on Jake's Blog which is Panerai related.

Thank you Jake for all the hard work.

Ice Watch

I just realised that the second biggest brand in my collection is Ice Watch. At the moment (?) there are 6 watches in the collection. 

From left, Classic Solid Gray, Classic Solid Black, The Tron Blue Limited Edition, Hoot Japan Special Edition, Blue Bird Japan Special Edition and Knuckle Bear Limited Edition watch. 

Have to say that I do like Ice Watch but to have 6 of them? There seems to be something about Ice Watch and Japan as 5 out of the 6 were purchased in Japan. And they are not even a Japanese brand. Emmmm.......

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bronze Patina (Week 5)

Sorry for the delay in this post. Caught up with Christmas celebrations. Anyway, after a week in the cold, I don't really see much difference. I can understand why some people opt to speed up the progress of the patina. 

On to the photographs.

Some discolouration along the bezel edges.

Spots and blotches on the lugs.

Little or no progress. Lots more nicks and dents. Developing more wabi than patina. :)

Some darkening on the inside of the left lug.

Darkening of the 'top' of the lugs where it contacts with the surface. You see this on all the lugs.

More spots and lines on the lugs. 

Some snow? Not really, just dust. 

Discolouration around the crown due to contact with the finger when I wind or adjust the watch.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


So what was the Jason that I got? 

A clue.....

Yes, it is the G-001ST Stussy X Casio G-Shock collaboration limited edition watch. I was indeed lucky to able to locate one in Sapporo. Did not know that there was a Stussy store in Sapporo. I like that it is 'all' black.

More soon.


I finally got the display box for the S.L.C. Maiale. Got the box in one of those 100 Yen places. Now the 'pig' is in a display.

The S.L.C. "Maiale". 

The extra decals goes at the side. 

The display. I actually thought of painting the base sand colour, but decided against it. 

The cover removed. I am still thinking about doing the cables for the rudder. Perhaps I will do it. Just have to decide to do or not. Once decided, to use thread or the old fashion method of heating the 'frame' that holds the parts and pieces and 'pulling' to make the 'threads'. 

The display.

What's next? Well, still Panerai related. The next project is the Amerigo Vespucci. The ship is on the back of the PAM00082 Luminor Marina Militare Vespucci, a Special Edition 300 pieces for year 2000.

The PAM00082. Only in my dreams.

The case back with the ship Amerigo Vespucci.

Photographs: Panerai

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wishing all my readers, supporters, family and friends a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 23, 2011


Got myself a Jason (finally). But not any Jason (G-001). More soon......

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ice Watch

Picked up some Ice Watch watches today. These are special edition and limited edition Japan Ice Watch watches. The watches we (yes, the family) got are these, from left, Knuckle Bear X Ice Watch Watch + Figure Collaboration Set, TimeRoller X PansonWorks X Ice Watch Hoot watch and TimeRoller X  PansonWorks X Ice Watch Blue Bird watch.

The Knuckle Bear X Ice Watch Watch + Figure Collaboration Set is a limited edition 200 piece watch set. It comes with a Knuckle Bear figurine. I believe it is to celebrate Touma 10th Anniversary. Touma is the Japanese character designer who created Knuckle Bear. 

The ad for the set.

Photograph: Ice Watch Japan

The second watch is the TimeRoller X PansonWorks X Ice Watch Hoot watch. This is a special edition Japan only model. Hoot of course refers to the owl. What makes the watch special is the fact that the Shimafukurou or Blakiston's Fish Owl can only be found in Hokkaido, we got this watch in Hokkaido and the owl is on the face of the watch.

The last watch that we got is the TimeRoller X PansonWorks X Ice Watch Blue Bird watch. Again this is a Japan special edition. However I have no information on this watch.

Emmmm Japan and Ice Watch.........

How I love Japan

Only in Japan (well, so far in my travels) where you can see watches like Rolex, Omega, Tudor, Breitling, TAG Heuer and other 'high end' brands being sold next to computers, white goods and cameras. 

But this takes some beating. Pre-loved Rolex, Omega and Tudor being sold together with Casio, Seiko, and some local Japanese brands. You gotta love Japan.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New strap

I got this strap with one of the Mook (Magazine book) I buy every month. The strap is a collaboration between Japanese strap maker Bambi and the Mook publisher, Power Watch.

Bambi is well known in Japan, having seen their products all over Sapporo and Tokyo (only 2 Japanese cities that I have been). They are famous for their leather strap made from Matsusaka cow hide. 

The strap is a fabric strap in gray of the popular NATO design.

The collaboration between Bambi and Power Watch.

The back of the box. Easy to open.

The strap. 

Polished hardware. Well made. The buckle is not sewn in. 

The heat sealed holes. 

Even the stitching is good.

Sadly not made in Japan. :)

The watch it is currently fitted on. I think it looks good. The Tudor was originally fitted with the 'Bond' design NATO strap.

If you want to know more about Bambi straps (website is in Japanese):