Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's finally here....

I did not expect the strap to arrive on the day I left for the CNY holiday but I am glad it did. The strap is the Museum Limited Edition strap from Di Stefano Straps. I have to say this is one of the nicest looking strap I have. 

From what I read, these straps were made as part of the straps commissioned by the Italian Navy Museum to replace the old and worn out straps on the watches and equipment in their museum. The one I got is the washed tobacco colour, 24 mm width, 130/85 mm length. 

I will write more about the strap when I review it. But for now, the strap. 

The strap, very very nice and thick.

The buckle end.


The buckle, also signed.

The other end of the strap.

There were some leather left in the holes. 

Beautiful stitching and great overall quality.

I love the untreated edge.

The watch that got the strap? The PAM00390.

With the new strap.

So what did I get?

This.... and am loving it. The sad part? Some more watches have to be culled. I am trying to cut the collection to 18 (important) watches.

The dial (skull) it not luminous unlike Airborne 1.

I like the 'worn' effect. The watch is currently fitted on the rubber strap. The package (mine anyway) came with the leather strap, rubber and canvas strap. 

The buckle. 

Patina (Week 10)

The pictures speak for themselves, I think. I believe the progress of the patina will slow down a bit as I am back in Taiwan, where the temperature is 14 degrees and it is not hot and humid. Can't wait for the Taiwan summer where it is hot and humid. 

Anyway the photographs...

Overall the watch has gotten darker and darker.

You can see more and more spots and streaks developing. I like.

The 'reddish' tint on the bezel is almost all gone. 

Another view of the spots and streaks.

The dark spot between the case back and the case is growing. Muahahahahaha.... 

Patina developing on the lugs. 

The case. I am liking it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

OT Not my usual yellow thing but...

I have to say that it is cute. I was cleaning out the house when I stumbled on the little critter. At 1 inch in size, it is very small and cute. 

Like I said in the title, not my usual yellow stuff but it is OK as it has a yellow body.

Look at those teeth. 

Actually I don't really know what it is for.

Back in the fold.....

As much as I wanted to resist, it was not to be. I have always like the brand, but bad experience had left me with a bad after taste. I actually swore off the brand but on this trip I saw a watch from the brand that I never expected to see, or even the opportunity to own it. 

The teaser.....

Limited edition of 999 pieces, and a good deal later.....

Who Owns What (Updated)

The last time I did this was in 2009. I guess it is a good time to see who owns what.


Glashutte Original
Jaquet Droz
Leon Hatot
Union Glashutte
Calvin Klein
Flik Flak

Joint Venture
Tiffany and Co


Vacheron Constantin
A. Lange and Sohne
Roger Dubuis
IWC Schaffhausen
Officine Panerai
Baume and Mercier
Van Cleef and Arpels

Joint Venture
Ralph Laurent Watch and Jewelry


TAG Heuer
Louis Vuitton


Girard Perregaux
YvesSaint Laurent


Q and Q


Grand Seiko








Hip Hop


L. Leroy

Franck Muller Group

Franck Muller
Pierre Kunz
European Company Watch
Martin Braun
Pierre Michael Golay

Joint Venture
Backes and Strauss

And there you have it, the latest of who owns what. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Had a small GTG (Get ToGether) with a couple of friends yesterday. It was a great meeting, learning from them and seeing some watches I have not seen before. 

Watches on the table. 

The watches that I have not seen before but were glad to see, the Ennebi, the DeepSea, the Damasko and the PAM00219. I have to say that I am pretty impressed with the DeepSea, having a great presence as with the Ennebi. It is a large watch but very light since it has a titanium case. 

As for the PAM00219, well, I like the watch. It is a Destro after all. What else it there to say.

The Damasko? Well small as it is, it feels quality all over. It feels tough, although it does not look it. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

IWC Year of the Pilot

I like the IWC pilot watches, have always liked them and always will. I liked them so much that I had two in my collection, the Mk. XV and Mk. XV Spitfire Special Edition. Sadly I gave them up as they were 'small' on my wrist, being 38 mm in diameter.

This year, 2012, is the year of the pilot watches. If I remember correctly, the last time IWC 'redid' their pilot watches, it was 2006. It was the year IWC decided to streamline and standardise the pilot watches. Again, this year, IWC have decided to streamline the collection and update the line. You can read more about the watches here:

There are a couple of watches in the new line-up that caught my eye:

The new Mk. XVII, reference 3265. The watch has grown, now it is 41 mm in diameter (2 mm larger). I like the new size and I also like the fact that IWC did not enlarge the date font size to cope with the new size. I like the direction taken in enlarging the date window to show the date before and future and making it look like the dial of an altimeter.

The case back.

The new Big Pilot. I love the Big Pilot watch, more so the reference 5002 which came out in 2002. The reference 5004 came out in 2006 and now we have the reference 5009. I am not too sure what are the major difference between the reference 5004 and the 5009, but one of the thing I read is that IWC have improved on the winding stem design to prevent or reduce the likelihood of stripping the threads. I will update on this once I learn more.

The new Big Pilot Top Gun, reference 5019. A real big watch at 48 mm (2 mm larger than the BP) with the new zirconium oxide case. I like this watch. I especially like the seconds hand with the red aircraft silhouette.

The case back with the TOP GUN logo.

The new Big Pilot Top Gun Mirama. I am still out on this model. Have to see it in real life. I do find the dial design interesting as it is reminiscent of the B-dial of the B-Uhr watches on the 40s. 

The case back with the more discrete Top Gun logo.

Photographs: IWC

I am sure IWC will do well with the new updated Pilot collection. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Patina (Week 9)

It is interesting to see the development of the patina on the watch after just a few days back home. Looks like the temperature, humidity and overall environment have an impact on the watch. 

The difference in average temperature is about 10 degrees (Celsius) and it is more humid. Also, I believe the overall temperature difference during the day (sunny in the day and heavy rain in the evening) have an impact on the watch.

Overall the case is now darker. The darkening of the case was more noticeable in the past 3 days.

The 'reddish' patina is all but gone, I believe due to the darkening of the case.

More spots, also darker spots.

The dark spot at the bottom of the case getting bigger and bigger. The growth was accelerated by the local environment.

I like the direction the patina is developing. 

Again the case. Darker and darker. I believe the increase in usage also help in making the case darker and darker.

I will be home for about a week. I can't wait to see how the patina will develop over the week. 

Rolex Explorer II

I had a chance to 'molest' the Rolex Explorer II reference 216570 white dial over the Chinese New Year. I had the opportunity to look at the watch, both the black dial and white dial earlier but perhaps because I was on the streamlining phase, I was not really interested. 

Now that the streamlining is over, and I have to chance to really look at the watch, I have to say that I do like the watch. I like the fact that it 42 mm in size and it has the new maxi dial and hands. I do prefer the white dial although some may prefer the the black dial with the 'floating' hands. 

There are other reasons I like the watch, for example the case is still much like the older watch and is similar with the older Rolex case design. I like the fact that the bracelet does not have the polished center link of the GMT Master II Ceramic. I like the GMT Master II Ceramic but I wished that the case was 42 mm instead of 40 mm as it does make the lugs looks a bit 'thick' and the watch 'squat'. 

The Explorer II reference 216570.

The GMT Master II reference 116710LN.

Photographs: Rolex

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Will be away

I will be away for the Chinese New Year but I hope to continue posting. Anyway, wishing all my readers, friends and family a 


Panerai to expand

News from SIHH 2012:

GENEVA--Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA's Officine Panerai brand will invest heavily in new boutiques and production in the next year, its chief executive said Wednesday.
The brand, which typically sells watches for about EUR16,000, will add another 15 boutiques by the end of March 2013 to the 33 it already has.
"We are changing our distribution, reducing wholesale and increasing the retail because we are confident retail will be a part of our future," Angelo Bonati told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview at the Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie show in Geneva.
"The new boutiques will improve our sales for sure, but they will also improve our image. Image is more important than sales, especially at the beginning because image produces sales."
Bonati declined to reveal what the current balance was between retail and wholesale revenue for Panerai, but said selling through its own branded boutiques is more profitable.
Four of the new boutiques will be in Asia--in Bangkok, Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong--with one in Sao Paolo, Brazil. There will also be four more set up in the Middle East and three in North America, with the location of the remainder still to be decided.
"If you don't have your own retail in Asia you are nothing," said Bonati.
The company will also start building a factory in Neuchatel, Switzerland, in March, which will enable it to increase production and improve efficiencies.
Panerai will be recruiting extra staff for the new factory, which is likely to replace an existing plant in the city when it opens at the end of 2013. The company employs 130 people in production, but this could be increased to 300, Bonati said.
Richemont doesn't release sales results by brand, but Bonati said 2011 had been one of the best years for Panerai.
He said he still expected sales growth in 2012, but declined to give figures. "Europe is weak, the U.S. is weak, but Asia is still strong," he said.
News: Courtesy of WSJ.
Wonder what happen to the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Boutique? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ted Su Dive Strap

I got this strap the other day but due to the excitement of SIHH 2012, it never got posted. To set things right, here it is. 

I got this strap pre-loved but still in good condition. Hence the time taken for it to get to me. You have to remember that I am in Taiwan where the strap is made by Ted Su. I have to say that it is one of the most 'butch' strap that I have. The strap itself is made of fabric (?), but it is the buckle that makes the strap. It is one awesome work of engineering. 

The strap. 

The buckle. Very well made and I love the brushed finish. 

Ted has a background in Engineering and is a machinist by trade and it shows in the buckle.

I can only think of one watch in my collection that deserves the strap, the PAM00243. It is the most 'butch' watch I have in my collection. It is currently fitted with a strap from Wotancraft.

Not anymore. 

I have to say that it matches the watch well. I would fit this strap on the larger and 'tougher' watches or even instruments in the Panerai range like the PAM00193. But it already comes with it's own buckle like the one Ted produces.

For more information: