Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Flipper is back...

I was walking around at one of the malls here in Bangkok when I spotted this. 

I found it very interesting but did not know anything about it. Actually I saw this watch in a small article in a Japanese watch magazine. But I did not pay heed to it. After seeing the real thing, I got interested. This is what I found out. 

The watches is called Fortis Colours. You can see more about it here:

There is a video showing the watches in zero gravity during a parabolic flight experiment. Cool....

Anyway there are two sets available for the Fortis colours:

Reference 9.989

and reference 9.988

Photographs: Fortis

Evidently this is a reissue of the watches that Fortis issued in 1967 which became a cult watch known as the Flipper. 

Photograph: Fortis

The original Flipper watch was quartz powered and water resistant to 200M. The original became a cult watch as was seen on the wrist of such stars as Ron Wood (Rolling Stones), Leonard Bernstein and even James Bond... ok Roger Moore. 

Fast forward to 2012/2013. The Fortis Colour watch. The 10 colour set is priced at about USD 700 while the 3 colour (or lack off) is priced at about USD 300. I would go with the 10 colour set. I understand the Fortis Colour was release to celebrate Fortis 100th Anniversary. 

The Fortis Colour watch features a quartz movement (module) and is water resistant to 10 ATM (as opposed to 20 ATM of the Flipper). It is fitted with a mineral crystal and has the date complications. 

The Fortis Colour strap comes with a stainless steel deployment buckle and the strap is made of silicon. The straps comes with a 60 minute uni direction rotating bezel. 

The Fortis Colour features an easy change system. You simply push the watch module to release it. Choose the colour of the strap according to your mood or even coordinate it with your clothes, reinsert the module and you have a new watch. My main worry is the durability of the easy change system. 

I have to say that it is an interesting set or collection.....

Natural environment...

My PAM00024C in its natural environment. Well it is no Eilean but it will have to do.....

The river in the background is the Chao Phraya River.

Rolex, 3,261 of them...

Well, not really. Spotted this book when I was visiting one of the fine bookstores here in Bangkok. Awesome book with lots of photographs. I was told that there are some discrepancies within the book, but I figure for the price and the number of photographs inside, it is worth it. Would have picked it up not for the fact that I am only transiting in Bangkok.

The book is Rolex: 3,261 wristwatches. It is a hardcover book, 256 pages and published by Schiffer Publishing. The author is Kesaharu Imai. The ISBN is 978-0764333804. 

The book. 

The back cover.

Inside... some of the pages...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Panerai Boutique Bangkok

Since I am in Bangkok, I thought I drop by the Panerai Boutique in Bangkok. The last time I was in Bangkok, it was being renovated. Anyway, I think the boutique, although smaller, is much friendlier and warmer. 

The usual suspects could be found in the shop, but it was interesting to see that this watch was in stock, the PAM00504 Radiomir Composite 47mm. Tried it on for size. Have to say that it is a nice watch with the P.3000 in-house movement. I like it. Maybe as much as the PAM00504 I tried earlier in Taipei. 

Had a look at the PAM00292 Radiomir Black Seal 45mm just for comparison. :) Sorry, no photograph. 

Since I was there (and since I saw a PAM00372 in the wild), I thought I give it another try. See if it sing to me. Sadly, it did not..... :(

The PAM00372.

The PAM00372 in the wild. 

Panerai Boutique Taipei

I was there recently to pick up some things for a good friend. Interesting visit as I did not expect to see the level of stock available or even some of the pieces available (PAM000372, PAM00422....). Good news to some, bad for others? Anyway, I did manage to see these two watches and I have to say that they are nice. 

PAM00505 Radiomir Black Seal Composite 45mm. This comes fitted with the  in-house P.9000 caliber. Never expected to see this watch. I have to say that I like it. It looks smaller then the equivalent 45mm Radiomir in the PAM00183 or even the PAM00210. It is very light. 

The other watch is the PAM00498. It is the second edition 'FU' that comes in the 1950 case and P.9000 automatic caliber. 

Not sure if these watches are still there, but if you are in Taipei and if you are interested, just give them a visit....

Lume shot...

Panerai PAM00024C. This is what 12 year old tritium looks like in the dark. Not sure why the dial is blue while the bezel is green. 

Interview with Angelo Bonati

No, I did not interview him... :) but an interesting interview nonetheless....

My take on the interview? After collecting Panerai since 1999, I seem to see the sea..... 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yet another blog

Another watch related photography blog. This is blog is more specific to a particular brand of watches. The name says it all. Nice Photography and articles....

Another blog

A good friend linked me this blog recently. Yet another awesome blog with nice articles and beautiful photography. Another blog to learn from.


Magrette Regattare Bronze review

Yet another pictorial review. This time it is the turn of the Magrette Reggattare Bronze watch from Magrette Watch Company in Auckland, New Zealand. 

First up, I am sure most of you will know the controversy related to the watch. Yes, the case is not actually bronze but brass. Musical instrument grade brass actually and Magrette was not the only victim in this sad but true story. 

However I must say that my experience in this whole event was great and that the owners of Magrette has been very upfront about the issue and how the matter was finally resolved. 

Anyway, on with the review. 

The Magrette Regattare Bronze. We shall call it such, although the case it not bronze. Who knows, one day it might become a collectible. The case design is very familiar as it does look like the design of an Italian/Swiss watch company design. However, all similarities ends there. :)

The case is well made, as you can see from the photographs below. The watch is pretty heavy, but comfortable on the wrist. I like it. The case is 43mm across and 46.5mm with the crown. Lug width is 24mm, so you have lots of straps to play with. Lug to lug is 53mm and the watch is 16mm thick. This is due to the domed sapphire crystal.

You can see the patina starting to show. It is very slow, I suspect due to the Taiwan weather (and lack of wrist time).

The case is well made and has a matte finish. The curved lugs makes wearing the watch easy on smaller wrist and is very comfortable. 

A closer view of the case and the patina that is forming. It is (I believe) a three piece case design.

The straps are held by screws. You will need two flat head screwdrivers to undo the strap screws. 

The watch features a screw down crown made of stainless steel. The crown is easy to use and comes in at 6.5mm in diameter and is 3mm thick. The crown is signed with the Magrette logo. The crown is polished.

The crown has a 3 positions, although the watch does not have the date complication that the movement offers. 

The case back is made of stainless steel. The choice of stainless steel is a good one in case there are people who are allergic to the brass used. Same goes to the crown. 

The case back has a display window, but you can't see the movement. Magrette has chosen to put in a piece of Kauri wood instead. It is a nice, a touch of history and a piece of New Zealand. The watch is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and it is serialised on the wood. You will also find the Magrette logo in the center of the wood. 

You will find the following on the case back: Auckland, New Zealand, Regattare Bronze, Self Winding Movement, 5 ATM. The case back has a polished finish. While the choice of stainless steel is great as case back material, would (in the long term) the watch suffer from dissimilar metal corrosion? 

The dial is brown in colour and is very 'clean'. The watch is a simple 2 hand watch telling just the time. I like such dials as it makes reading time easy. The hour markers are marked 12, 03, 06 and 09 at the 4 major quadrant (ala another Italian brand) while the rest have simple bars. 

At the 12 o'clock position, you find the brand name and at 6, the model with BRONZE rendered in red.  Nice touch. Around the outside of the hour markers you have the 24 hour indication. It is small enough not to be distracting.

The hands (simple 2 hand watch) is bronze/ brass/ gilt. (?) What ever it is, it is nice against the brown background of the dial. 

The are no minute markers on the dial, so the length of the hands is moot (sufficient long to differentiate the minute and hour hands). The dial and hands are well made. The lume of the watch is not that great (hour markers are luminous). However the hands are pretty bright. 

A close up view of the dial and the hands. The printing on the dial is great and you can see the hands are well made. Passion is in the details and here you can see it. Magrette has chosen to cap off the top of the center pinion. Nice touch.

Another view.

 The crystal is sapphire with AR coating on the inside. The crystal is slightly domed, which I like.

The watch in its full glory.

The watch is powered by a Miyota sourced automatic movement. It is a 21 jewel offering a 45 hours power reserve. It is hand wind capable but non hacking (well can't verify as there is no seconds hand and I am already half deaf). 

The watch is rated water resistant to 5 ATM.


This strap came as a replacement or extra as part of the resolution of bronze/ brass case. It comes fitted with a brass buckle. The strap, as with other Magrette straps, is very well made and very comfortable. 

It is signed with the Magrette logo. 

The bronze/ brass buckle. 

Already starting to patina. As with the case, the patina is rather slow. 

I do like the strap. It is very comfortable. 

The watch was originally fitted with this brown strap with a stainless steel sewn in buckle. This was later replaced with the strap shown above. 

Extra straps that comes with the package. All the leather straps are well made and very comfortable.

The Magrette signature red on the inside of the black strap. 

Rubber strap. Well made and also very comfortable.

Overall I have to say that I like the watch. It is well made and a very comfortable as a daily wear watch. It would have been better if the case material was bronze and not brass. 

However it is not getting enough wrist time and I have decided that it deserves better. The watch will be going to a better home where it will be loved and used. Only selling it because it is going to a good friend. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Suunto battery change

I did a battery change on the Suunto T3 about 2 years ago. Looks like that is how long the battery will last in the watch (without use). Not sure how long it will last with use. Here is the link to the last battery change. 

Here are some updated photographs of the process. The process would be the same. Just remember to check that the battery works and the light works before you close up. Oh, yes, and also do not forget to lubricate all gaskets.