Saturday, August 31, 2013

Buckle Review IV

This has to be one of the most interesting buckle strap combination that I have ever reviewed. The buckle is made of Goldfield Curled Spot which I believe comes from goldfields of Western Australia. The burls forms on the sides of hardwood trees, in this case the eucalyptus trees. The burls have a light brown colouring and fantastic grain pattern. You can see this on the buckle. have decided not to trim the edges of the burl and the buckle has a unique look to it. I can only think of one strap that will match the buckle, and it is from D8Bworld. The combination is just made for each other. 

The buckle, matched with a Damask steel bolt from Maddog and strap from D8Bworld. 

The buckle is interesting indeed. 

The grain on the buckle is just beautiful. I like it. The buckle measures 24 mm (strap attachment). As with other buckles from, it is well made with a beautiful finish. 

The tapering on the back. 

Closer view of the back of the buckle. I like the grain. 

The unique 'unfinish' top edge of the buckle. It does add character to the buckle. 

The D8Bworld strap. The floating keeper, the stitching finish in the shape of a flame. Why? Read on...

Hand made strap, in dark burgundy. Well made strap indeed. 

Now you can understand why I said the buckle matches the strap to a T. The strap is the Wu Xing Fire strap. Wu Xing is of course the Five Elements in Chinese and describe the state in nature. Fire is of course the second element in Wu Xing. The other elements are wood, earth, metal and water (in that sequence). 

Wu Xing Fire marked on the strap. 

The cut of the strap is in the shape of flames. 

My Strap Test Dummy fitted out with the strap and buckle. 

One would expect the strap and buckle combination to be uncomfortable. On the contrary, it is pretty comfortable and the buckle does not 'cut' my wrist at all. The curve of the buckle flows with the curve of the thumb. 

For more information:


It does look like it (black and white photos), but is is not....

Pulsar G10 long hand version. 

Lots of wabi...


I like simple watches and these watches are as the name sake, simple. Simplify watches from Simplify Watches USA. All the watches are quartz powered (Miyota nonetheless) and all cost USD 200. They have a range of watches that will suit just about every ones taste. The models are classified simply as The 100 and the range extends to The 1400. Simple....

A sample of their watches... and yes, it does come in other colours. 

The 200.

The 300.

The 500.

The 600.

The 700.

The 1200.

Photographs: Simplify Watches USA.

For more information:

Friday, August 30, 2013


It is not often that I get to report on watches made for ladies. So when I get the opportunity, it is nice. Christopher Ward has updated their Emily range of watches for ladies by introducing two new colours and changes to the dial and strap.

The two new colours introduced is a subtle midnight blue and a restrained neutral nude tone. This couple with the new restrained Art Deco dial (with only the XII and VI markers remaining) makes the new watches very feminine and sophisticated. I have to say that I do like the soft pearlescent dial. 

Even the signature Emily double-tour strap has had a makeover. The new strap will feature a sateen outer backed by a soft leather inner with eight holes to enable it to fit the smallest of wrist. 

The Emily will still be powered by the robust and reliable Ronda 751 movement. The Emily is expected to retail around USD 270 and is now available for preorder for a September delivery. 

For more information:

The Emily...

Midnight Blue.

Neutral Nude.

Photographs: Christopher Ward

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Photography... a learning process

Now that I have decided the Nikon to be the camera that I will be using to take watch photographs, it is time I start learning how to use it properly. Experiment with all the settings and setup. 

This is the latest experiment. The subject is the Marathon JSAR or Jumbo SAR (Search And Rescue) or LGP (Le Grande Plongeur). This watch was issued in 2007. It has been modified from quartz powered to running an automatic movement. 

The Marathon JSAR.

A massive watch at 47 mm diameter, 55 mm lug to lug and 17 mm thick. 

Knurled screw down crown. Large and easy to use. 

Lug holes..... :)

I like this watch.

Basically it is all dial. 

Some black and white attempts....

Shot with Nikon D300, 60 mm micro lens. 

Long term test.... Gunny 74

One of the straps I always wanted to get and try is from an Indonesian strap maker called Peter Gunny of Gunny Straps. About a year ago, I got 2 straps from him. I decided that I will do a long term test on the straps I got from him. 

I got this particular strap from Gunny, the popular Gunny 74 (officially called 74 Serie). The one I got is standard length with screw in buckle and the 'long' tail. There are other options.

The reason it is called the 74. 

The strap, signed. 

First impressions, great strap. Did not disappoint. Excellent workmanship, great stitching. Soft with a whiff of leather. The strap is not water resistant. 

So how did the strap fare a year on? 

Well I had the strap mounted on my PAM00003 (most of the time which says a lot since that is my first PAM). The watch has been in rotation and was worn both indoors and outdoors.

The strap, a year on, mounted on my PAM00003.

The long end of the strap measures 130 mm and comes with 5 round holes. The holes are 12 mm apart. As you can see, the strap has developed a patina, greenish yellowish hue. It makes the strap look more vintage or older than what it actually is.

The buckle end of the strap. It measures 75 mm (buckle not included). If you notice, there is a missing strap keeper. The strap comes with a fixed and a floating strap keeper. I removed the floating one as the fixed is sufficient. On an 8 inch wrist, you will be on the second hole from the tip.

The strap comes with a 'long' or pointed tip. This makes the strap 10 to 12 mm longer. You can opt for the normal short tip. The markings or blemish you see on the tip makes the strap looks vintage. 

You can see the greenish hue near and around the box stitch. Here you can also opt for the straight stitch (parallel to the edge) or the crooked, like the original strap. Mine comes with the crooked stitching.

The famous number 74. Basically it is the numbering or catalogue referencing by the Panerai museum in Florence. All the markings are there to give the strap a vintage look much like the original. 

I opted for the screw type buckle. You can opt for the sewn in type if you want. The buckle has a brushed finish. Well made with a nice finish.

The fixed keeper. Love the raw edge. Nice thickness. The loop is large enough for easy insertion of the strap tail.

The loop at the lugs. Solid and robust. It does give you confidence the strap will not break.

The triple sandwich design. Raw edge, no distressing.  The straps are about 5 mm thick, yet still soft and supply. Comfortable on the wrist. 

Not sure what the marking are, internal number system I guess. 

The stitching is nice and is strong. No breaks after a year. 

Box stitching? The signature slowly disappearing.... The bonding is also good, no signs of excess glue. 

I like the stitching at the buckle, the ones that goes over the side of the strap. Helps to hold the buckle (and keeper) in place. 

Beautiful construction. 

The buckle and the screw that holds it and the tang in place. 

I love the way the strap is ageing. The patina is lovely as is the strap. One of the most comfortable strap I have. 

Even after a year, the hole is still about the same. Not much stretching or elongation. I believe it is due to the triple sandwich construction and the use of good leather. 

How the strap sits in the buckle. Not much in terms of edge rubbing (against the buckle). There is also no 'cut' marks on the strap. The buckle is well made with no sharp edges. The screw/ bolt is also of the correct length. There is notch or cut-out for the tang to sit in. 

The strap tail.... I like.

For more information: