Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Alpina Pilot Automatic Startimer 44 mm Reference AL-525B4S6 Limited Edition of 8888 pieces (#2000) – Sold at a price point that belies its provenance, A Review (plus Video)

The pilot watch is a theme that I have been quietly drawn to. This time, I’ve decided to look at the Alpina Startimer series as good candidate for my collection. I did find one I like and it’s the basic three hand plus date model. The Startimer Reference AL-525B4S6 was the choice I made with a limited production run of just 8,888 examples. The particular unit I got was numbered 2,000.

I think my taste has changed. Usually I get excited with dive watches. However, as the years rolled by, I am attracted to simpler and more formal styles of watches. A pilot watch is one of the new found interests to me. I find it more flexible when it comes to usage especially within a formal event.

Alpina Watches was established 1883, making them one of the oldest brands currently in production. Founded by Gottlieb Hauser, Alpina made watches in both Switzerland and Glashütte. In 1938, Alpina introduced durable sport watches with the “Alpina 4” concept, a set of standards that includes anti-shock, waterproof, anti-magnetic and a stainless steel case. In 2002, Alpina was bought by the founders of Frederique Constant. They have several themed ranges, but the most numerous is their line of pilot watches.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Apple iWatch 42 mm Stainless Steel Series 2 - A sophisticated smart watch, A Review (plus Video)

I recently bought for my wife the latest version 2 Apple iWatch. When I went to the Machine shop to look at the watch, I was very surprised by the sheer number of options available. Instead of going for the cheapest, I’ve decided to look at the options with the following specifications: stainless steel, sapphire crystal, more than 40 mm in size, water proof and comes with a metal bracelet.



The option that fits the criteria is the 42 mm stainless steel Series 2 version as shown below. The watch comes in a rather large watch box that only includes a thin basic manual, the charging plug as well as the wireless charging cable.



Once paired with an iPhone (in this case an iPhone 6 Plus), a lot of the functionality of the watch becomes accessible.



The Milanese bracelet has a magnetic clasp that allows infinite adjustment options without the need to take out any of the links. Really like this concept. Although the watch is for my wife, I can still wear it without any need to readjust anything. If you have the rubber strap option, similar flexibility is possible. However, rubber strap has a finite lifespan and a replacement rubber strap by Apple is really expensive.

There are a lot of write-us about the functionality on the web I will not go through them in this particular review. Do Google them if required.



Overall, I do like the watch. Below is the video of the watch on my wrist.



Photo Gallery

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

An OMG Moment - Rubber Strap Failure of my Bell & Ross BR02-92 Pro-Dial Dive Watch, Advice (Updated)

Back in October 2013, I purchased my Bell & Ross BR02-92 Pro-Dial Dive Watch that comes standard with a rubber strap (for more on the watch, please refer here: Bell & Ross BR02-92 Pro Dial Diver Watch - A French Connection).


There were a lot of complaints from owners about the poor quality of the rubber strap which generally don't seem to last for more than a year. A simple Google search on the subject would give you a list of postings from disgruntled owners. I did take note and I have been careful when wearing it for the last two years.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Uhrenbeweger (or Watch Winder) by Beco Technic, A Review

I got this watch winder as a free gift from my AD recently. This was the exact model of my previous watch winder that I bought that is not working anymore (the motherboard got fried - too expensive to repair).


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Blake Watch Roll Reference Item 305628 by Wolf - Accessories, Review

Recently I got a gift from my watch dealer a traveling watch storage system made by the Wolf company. This particular storage system is called The Blake Watch Roll which consist of a leather encased tube that can fit approximately three watches.


It is approximately 20.3 mm long with a diameter of 8.3 mm with purple suede lining. The tube is opened using a snap button. The inner role is where you put your watches.

Friday, June 3, 2016

AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Automatic Pilot Watch AV-4017-02 – A Cheap Mechanical Pilot Watch, A Review (plus videos)

The Specification

UK-based AVI-8 Watches is a fashion watch stylist in my view. In a short period of time they have managed to roll out an extensive line of timepieces; a manufacturing strategy not adopted by any ‘serious’ watchmaker but you will see being done by fashion houses such as Fossil, Daniel-Wellington and others.

I don’t usually cover these brands as I find the inputs they have on their products are generally minimal. They may be the original designers, but the manufacturing process is totally contracted out to OEM manufacturers typically in China. However, I made an exception for the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Automatic Pilot Watch with the reference AV-4017-02 because of a few unique features.
The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane AV-4017-02 is a mechanical timepiece with a pilot watch design. Made out of 316L stainless steel, the watch is 44 mm wide and 14 mm thick. Its lug width is 22 mm.

Monday, May 16, 2016

BALL Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT Reference DG2016A-SC-BK - Well protected as a tank and a real bright spark in the dark, A Review

This is my first BALL watch. Although I know about this brand, I was introduced to it only lately by a friend of mine that have a lot of knowledge about BALL watches. From a historical perspective, BALL Watch Company is impressive. 


Brand History

BALL Watch Company SA is an American watch company based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It was founded in 1891 by Webster Clay Ball (also known as Webb C. Ball) in Cleveland, Ohio, and is directly linked to the American railroad history.

After a tragic train collision in 1891 in Kipton, Ohio, due to timing issues, Mr. Ball was appointed by Lake Shore Lines, a train company to help revamp the railroad system, incorporating accurate timing as a cornerstone that keeps things moving without any mishap. He set up the “RR Standard” (“RR” for Rail Road) to assure a high accuracy and perfect reading to all railroad employees. He also created the BALL Time Service, an after-sale service to which every employee of the rails had to bring his watch every two weeks to make sure the accuracy and reliability of the watch was optimal. Some of the key criteria for a watch to obtain the “RR Standard” certification are as follows; no lid on the dial; size 18 or 16 (44.86mm or 43.17mm); plain white dial, bold black hands and Arabic numbers; minimum of 17 jewels; adjusted to at least 5 positions; adjusted to temperature 40 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit; and accuracy with a gain or loss of maximum 30 seconds a week, among others.

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