Monday, December 29, 2014

Rado Original Diastar Diver Automatic Model R12639023 - Not too big and can be used for active lifestyles as well as formal functions, A Review (updated with comments from a reader)

Rado..... This is one brand that has never been in my list of "must-have". However, from a technological point of view, I have been following this brand very closely. The way Rado has been able to use exotic materials for its watch designs intrigues me.

Of all the Rado designs available, I like the turtle-shaped watch casing the best. This style is under the Original Diastar line of watches. When I stumbled upon the Model R12639023, I was blown away. It has most of my favorite watch designs namely an internal bezel, sapphire crystal and (of course) the turtle-shaped watch casing. It is only at this point that I realised how difficult it was to source for this particular model.

Although Rado is part of the Swatch Group and has a formal presence in Kuala Lumpur with a few boutiques and a number of authorised dealers across the city, none carries the complete range of current models. After going to various Rado authorised dealers, it dawned on me this particular model is unique and not easily available. I was tempted to source it via the internet. As this would be my first Rado, I was hesitant to search the internet as I would prefer to review it physically first before making the plunge to buy. Moreover, if I do decide to get it from the internet, it would have to come from an internet merchant that I not had any experience with. It was only after I spoke to a resourceful salesman from AWG Fine Watches in Mid Valley that he was able to source one for me via the Swatch Group at a cost matching the internet price!

This is very interesting. It implies that we can bargain and get a price similar to what internet merchants are selling. The notion that brick-and-mortar shops cannot offer prices like internet merchants due to fixed costs is not necessarily true.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Disney Parks Authentics Gears Link Mickey Mouse Watch Automatic - It is practical, robust and looks really good on the wrist, A Review [UPDATED]

I recently came back from a very enjoyable holiday at Disney World Orlando, Florida. One of my goals for the trip is to get a Disney watch as a memento of trip. At one of the parks, at Epcot, I found this watch, the Disney Parks Authentics Gears Link Mickey Mouse automatic watch.

The listed price was USD200 but I got a 20% discount by virtue of one of many deals available to guests at the park.

The watch comes with a very nice tin box painted with the image of Mickey Mouse. It opens from a lid at the top with no hinges.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Short video on how a Hamilton Officer Field Khaki watch would like on a wrist

Here is a short video on how a Hamilton Officer Field Khaki watch would like on a wrist. For more on this watch, please visit: Hamilton khaki Field Officer Auto H70615733 - An Unassuming Yet Strong Character, A Review




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Monday, August 4, 2014

Short Video on the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 - how it would look like on your wrist

This is a short video on how the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 would look like on a wrist. For a full write-up visit: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 - A Grail Watch To Own, A Review



Monday, July 28, 2014

Short video on how the Ingersoll Mickey Mouse 30's Collection Watch looks on a wrist and the movements on the dial

This is a short video on how the Ingersoll Mickey Mouse 30's Collection watch would look on a wrist plus the turn of the second's sub-dial. For more information visit: Ingersoll Mickey Mouse 30’s Collection Watch – So Cute And Full Of Magic & Wonder



Friday, July 25, 2014

Short video on how a Bell & Ross 02 dive watch would look on a wrist plus the sweep of the second hand

This is a short video on how a Bell & Ross 02 dive watch would look on a wrist plus the sweep of the second hand. For more information visit: Bell & Ross BR02-92 Pro Dial Diver Watch - A French Connection

Monday, July 21, 2014

Short Video on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 39 mm Reference 214270 on a wrist

This is a short video of how the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 39 mm Reference 214270 watch looks on my wrist. For a complete review visit: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer 39 mm Reference 214270 – An Improved Incarnation Of A Classic


Monday, July 14, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Short Video on Victorinox Dive Master 500 Black Ice Mechanical

This is a short video on how the Victorinox Dive Master 500 Black Ice Mechanical looks like on my wrist. For a complete review on this watch visit: Victorinox Dive Master 500 Black Ice Mechanical - A Well Balanced Dive Watch Design



Monday, June 23, 2014

My Watch Collection Rules: How I Classify My Collection – Material Type (Part 3)


In Part 1[1] of a series of articles regarding watch collection rules, I mentioned the importance of following your own set of rules for this hobby. The first that I follow is to categorize my collection to movement types. In Part 2[2], I mentioned about category types. In this third installment of the series, I shall explain another rule that I follow: material types.

Under this rule I have five categories: (1) Stainless steel; (2) Titanium; (3) Precious metals – Platinum, Silver; (4) Other base metals – bronze, brass, Aluminum; and (5) Plastic watches. I only collect watches made out these materials. 

I generally do not buy watches with precious gems imbedded profusely on them. My only exception is when gems are used as indexes on the dial.

Some of my stainless steel watches are coated black. I can still accept them subject to them being the only model available. If there is a choice between stainless steel or coated, I will choose stainless steel.

If you notice, gold is excluded from the list. It is a personal choice that I don’t collect gold watches.
 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Watch Collection Rules: How I Classify My Collection – Category Type (Part 2)


In Part 1[1] of a series of articles regarding watch collection rules, I mentioned the importance of following your own set of rules for this hobby. In this second installment of the series, I shall explain another rule that I follow: category types.

I classify watches into six categories: (1) dress watches; (2) diving watches; (3) sports watches; (4) chronograph watches; (5) dual time watches; and (6) specialty watches. Do note that this is my own classification. You may want to follow the more commonly accepted definitions or you may want to create your own. Below are some examples of watches classified in their respective categories as I defined them.

Dress watches
Diving watches
Sports watches
Chronograph watches
Dual time watches
Specialty watches

For me a dress watch is defined as a watch that does not have any other purpose than to adorn your wrist for formal functions. It is elegant and not built primarily to withstand high impact activities. Generally a thin watch with permanent bezel; either in bracelet or leather straps will qualify under this category. 

A diving watch is much easier to categorize. Watch manufacturers would design their respective divers to fulfill the ISO6425 divers’ watch compliant requirements. 

A chronograph watch is also easier to categorize. As its name suggest, a watch with a chronograph function will automatically comply with the definition of this sub-group. 

However, if a watch has additional complications that are unique, it should fall into the specialty watch grouping instead. This rule also applies to dual time watches. Any extra functionalities and it should fall into the specialty watch grouping as well. Examples of what can be classified as a specialty watch are watches with stop watch capabilities, compass orientation, altitude indication, temperature measurements, among others. 

A trickier grouping is what I would define as a sports watch. These are watches primarily designed to withstand high impact activities. In this case, commonly defined military watches and pilot watches are included in this group. However, watches defined by most but comes with a compass reference bezel should be classified as a specialty watch. Reason; such a complication is unique.

Should you follow my way of categorization? No, you don’t have to. It is your choice to create your own definitions. It is important that you do so as it will create an identity to your collection.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My Watch Collection Rules: How I Classify My Collection – Movement Type (Part 1)

To be a watch collector, you must have a system or philosophy to rule how your collection grows. Otherwise, you can easy fall into the category of a ‘hoarder’! For me, there are a number of rules that I follow. In the first part of a series of articles regarding this, I shall explain the first rule that I follow: types of movements.

Generally there are only two major types of movements currently available now; pure mechanical or natural powered and electrical powered. What I meant by this rule is that watches can be either in the first or second grouping depending on the motive power for timekeeping. For example, a winding watch would be in the first category whereas a battery powered watch would be in the second category. Another set of examples, solar powered watch would be in the second category but a sundial watch is definitely in the first category.


The picture shows a sundial watch that requires the sun as well as the correct North-South alignment to work. Made as a decorative piece with very little practical value.

Personally, I like mechanical watches much more than electrically powered ones. In my collection, although the bulk is mechanical, I do have some electrical examples. I do know of other collectors that have a completely different focus i.e. purely mechanical or purely electrical or a range of both in their personal collections.

An important consideration is personal preference. There is a strong tendency to try to replicate well known collectors by virtue of information available on them. However, those collections reflect the personality of the individual owners. By copying, you may end up with a collection that does not suit your personality. Imagine the time and money wasted.

An important question that you want to ask yourself is this: what do I truly appreciate in a watch? If you can answer this question, you are on the right path to be successful in this hobby.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ocean7 LM-8 Professional Deep Diver - With a Swiss movement and a ceramic bezel, this diver rocks, A Review


Ocean7 Watch Company is a small micro-brand American company operating from Coral Springs, Florida. It is creation of owner Mitchell Feig. He has created a transparent operation which means he keep close, even personal, connections with the people who have bought, and will eventually buy, his watches. From the beginning, Ocean7 started building not only watches, but watch collectors. Daily, one can find Mitch conversing with owners, collectors, and soon-to-be both on the Ocean7 forum and the Watchuseek Ocean7 forum. This is how Mitch gets input and advice from his customers.

OCEAN7 design objective is to create beautiful watches that are tough and functional. Use of new case materials, hardening concepts, and construction methods also endears the brand to its growing legion of enthusiasts. Apart from stainless steel, the company has used ceramic and titanium. The best thing of all is the price point which is sometimes unbelievably low.

I am what you would like to call a fan of the brand. I already own the Airnautic Early Bird and the LM3 V2 1250m Dive Watch. I got my eyes on three more before Ocean7 announced the launch of the LM8 late 2013. Now there are four that I have to prioritize. I decided to go for the LM8 first. I shall explain why later.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Suunto t3d Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Training Watch - If Suunto can work on using better materials to protect the watch face as well as the strap, this watch can be a winner, A Review

After getting my Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Trainer Watch (see:Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Trainer Watch (Black Panda) - Many Unique Function For A Watch, A Review) from my wife for my birthday, I decided to get one for her too since she is also very active in the gym.

This time, Suunto t3d appears to be a better option as it can also link to a foot pod for running or a cycle pod for cycling. This gives the watch a lot more optionality in tracking training performance.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Apple iPod Nano - A Joy to have but There are Better Options Available in the Market, A Review

This iPod Nano is strictly not a watch. However, it can act and look like a typical wristwatch due to its adaptability. Coupled with the excellent functionality, this iPod Nano can be considered the "Swiss Army Watch" of the 21st century.

There are 18 different dial design for the iPod Nano. From analogue to digital, there are enough choices for most people.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tissot Seastar II T55.8.483.11 - A Refine Watch, A Review

In February 2011, I was in Switzerland. While there, I got a couple of watches. One of them is this Tissot Seastar II for my wife. Although defined as a gentleman's watch, its diameter size of just 36 mm makes it more "feminine" than "masculine".


It is an all stainless steel construction. With a white dial, it has markers with gold plating, including the hands. It has say and date functions situated at the 3 o'clock position. Apart from the brand "TISSOT 1853" at the North of the dial, the South has "AUTOMATIC 25 JEWELS SWISS MADE". All along the perimeter of the dial are micro-markers in 0.2 second intervals.


Friday, February 14, 2014

OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial - A Great Tool Watch That Can Take A Beating, A Review

This OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Reference 2208.50.00 was a gift to my wife back in 2010. I bought it to commemorate her obtaining an open water diving certification. This watch has the "600 M" stamp that denotes its capability to operate down to a depth of 600 meters. A very serious tool watch.

OMEGA launched the Planet Ocean line in 2005. This model, with its scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, features a black dial with a date window at the 3 o’clock position. The orange unidirectional rotating divers’ bezel is mounted on a 45.5 mm stainless steel case on a stainless steel bracelet. To put it in perspective the diving capability of this watch, the 600 metres is equivalent to 2000 feet or 60 bar. The Co-Axial calibre 2500 is at the heart of this certified chronometer.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520 - A Grail Watch To Own, A Review

People do say, once you own a Rolex watch, you become life-long fan of the brand and its mystique. After getting my first Rolex back in 2010 (Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller), I started to explore the history behind the brand and the various models available.

 


DSSD Milgauss GV Explorer 1 DaytonaSubmariner ND (TBA) Yacht-Master II (TBA)
TBA – To Be Acquired; excludes same model with different dials i.e. I would not go for another Milgauss (white or black) as I already have the green.

My preference for Rolex has always been the sports model. To be more specific, sports model without the cyclops eye. Honestly, the cyclops eye is ugly in my view. Rolex should keep the crystal on their watches flat.

As a result of my personal choice, there are only six sports model currently sold by Rolex to fulfill my requirements. These are listed in the table above.

Four years since my first Rolex, I have added my fourth, the Daytona into the collection.With this purchase I have another two more models to go before I complete my personal collection of Rolex sports model minus cyclops eye.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Invicta 8926 Pro Diver Automatic Watch - A Weird Hommage Wannabe, A Review

This is the first Invicta that I own. I bought it on October 4, 2011 for US$73.83 (US$84.82 with postage) from Amazon. At that time I just started into watch collecting and when I saw it on Amazon and such a price, I just immediately put in an order.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ocean7 Airnautic Early Bird - The "Pepsi" Bezel Makes It Striking, A Review

An interesting watch design that I have always been interested in is the 24 hour watch concept. For every 24 hours, the hour hand only moves one rotation around the dial. Reading the dial becomes a unique experience.

Originally I was looking the Glycine brand which has a few models using the 24 hour watch concept. However, the price was too much for me so I decided put this pursuit on the back burner.

When I got my LM3 from Ocean7 (see here for the review of that particular watch), I noticed that Ocean7 also has a watch with such a concept. The best thing of all is that it is cheap and designed as a diver as well, two of my primary criteria when trolling for watches.

After aggregating the necessary funds to make the purchase, I made the order via its website http://www.ocean7watchco.com/store/ and before long, the watch was in my hands.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

OCEAN7 LM3 V2 1250m Dive Watch - Can Be Used In Formal As Well As Sporty Settings, A Review

My first experience with the Ocean7 brand. I was intrigued by their designs especially on dive watches. The price and the specifications on the watches also seems value-for-money. I took a chance and chose the LM3 V2. After making the necessary purchase via their website, I waited patiently for the watch to arrive.

I did not have to wait for long. In a few days, the watch was on my table. The watch box was very nice. It has the watch, mail bracelet, and some stickers. I read from other reviewers that they got temporary tattoos instead of stickers.

Since I got an option for either the rubber strap or the mail bracelet (or Milanese bracelet) , I chose the letter. After making the adjustments, I put it on my wrist.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Suunto T1c Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Trainer Watch (Black Panda) - Many Unique Function For A Watch, A Review

I got this watch, the Suunto T1c Black Panda from my wife on our wedding anniversary in August 2009. I love it. Whether I'm hitting the gym to work off that extra holiday weight, or going for my daily run, every bit of information helps. With the Comfort Belt to accurately and conveniently monitor my real-time or average heart rate, I now know how to get the most out of each session.


With the T1c, I can also monitor how many calories I've burning in real time, or view my workout summary for the last two months to see how many I've already worked off.

As highlighted earlier, this watch comes with a  Comfort Belt or a heartbeat monitor band that you strap around  your torso near your heart. It will be able to generate a universal signal that can be read by most, if not all, training machines that have  a heartbeat monitor. It is also waterproof (should be, otherwise the sweat will kill it!). 

To control the computer in the watch, there is 5 different buttons for various functions. Like a Casio Protrek, you need a thick manual to learn how to navigate and get the best of the watch.

An interesting fact about this watch is the battery change. With just the use of a coin, you can change the battery without the need to open the whole back-case.

Although the back is stainless steel, the whole watch is plastic. With the vigours of any sport activities, very high chance of getting scratches on the watch. However, there is a magic chemical sold that can help you to easily polish of the scratch from the plastic. Cost around RM25 per tube. I've tried it and it worked!



The only problem that I had with it was with the strap. It doesn't last long. after 1 1/2 years, the rubber strap will disintegrate. Changed mine twice already.


Pros:

1) A lot of features. With the T1c you can calculate heart rate, average heart rate, calories burned, time spent at your peak workout heart rate, lap times, weekly workout statistics, and monthly workout statistics. Among these features, my favorite is average heart rate calculation. It allows you to know how hard you are working your heart over an entire workout.

2) Stylish. I chose the black model, which using gray numbering. It is a nice looking watch, giving a high tech appearance. Aside from the heart rate monitoring and calorie counting features, the watch also displays time, date, and has an alarm.

3) Comfort. The T1c utilizes a heart rate monitor band that you wrap around your torso. The band has a couple of contact points that will go approximately over the pectoral muscles. The actual transmitter is to be centered directly over sternum. The band is soft and adjustable, and after a few minutes of wearing it, you won't remember that you have it on.

4) Cheap. The T1c is at a price point that makes it value for money.

Cons:

1) Transmitter radius. The user guide that comes with the T1c lists the transmission range for the belt at 30 feet. The problem though, is that the radius of the range is limited. The watch will only pick up the transmission if it is being held in front of the transmitter. Imagine a 45 degree angle beginning at the center of your chest and expanding outward. So long as you keep the watch within the 45 degree area, it will receive data from the belt. However, if you move the watch to the side of your body, the watch loses the signal. This is important for several reasons. Depending on the type of exercise you do, this largely negates some of the features of the watch. For instance, if you are pedaling a recumbent bike and have your hands on the side handgrips that are near your hips, your watch will be receiving no information. Sure, you can lift your hand up to your chest whenever you feel like it to see what your current heart rate is, but this will skew your average heart rate and the number of calories burned, since the watch will only calculate the heart rate and calories for those few seconds that you hold the watch directly in front of your chest. So long as you are doing an exercise where your watch is within the 45 degree area projecting from your chest, you're fine, but there are a lot of exercises where this is not possible.

2) Acrylic screen. When doing active workouts, the chances of the watch getting hit is very high. Unfortunately, the acrylic screens is not strong enough to protect it from scratches. Nevertheless, you can polish it with a chemical but this means thinning the screen even more.

3) Plastic body. Similar to the screen, it can be scratched easily.

4) Rubber strap. The quality of the strap is poor. Every 1 1/2 years I have to change mine as it practically disintegrate on the watch. I would recommend if Suunto was to replace it with a canvas strap. That should eliminate this problem.


Overall, this watch can do things that no other watch can do at that price point and that in itself deserves a thumbs-up despite the problems highlighted.

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