Sunday, October 30, 2016

Wearing the Flight today



Wearing the Flight today. I put it on a tan leather strap.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Reflections on Mechanicals and Automatics



Orient Mechanical Automatic movement (pic from OrientWatchsite.com)


Following up on my reflections on Quartz watches, now I move on to my reflections on automatics and mechanicals.

For whatever reason, and like a lot of people, my interest in watches was kickstarted by a quartz watch - and like many people out there. it is a Casio. That particular Casio, an Edifice EF-125, is still ticking on its original battery today, and aside from having to skip every 31st every once in a while, is a pretty solid and reliable watch. That watch got me thinking about other watches - namely, other even MORE reliable watches that require almost zero maintenance. Which was why I got the Edifice Solar EQS-500DB. And that watch alone should be enough, as it is virtually maintenance free - never needing battery changes for *AT LEAST* 10 years, never needing to set the time for at least the same amount of period, etc. The fact that it has a world time and chronograph is a bonus. But there was something unsatisfying about it. Yes, it was a good watch - and one of my first post I compared Casio Edifices to the Nissan GTR watches. But it was lacking some 'soul' for the lack of description - in automatics, and especially winding automatics - it having to have some attention to it made it so much more likeable.

So that in essence kicked off my search for automatics - one of my first, is the Ray Raven. I wore that watch and toyed with the bezel so often that the bezel had loosen up and was unidirectional by now.. and it developed a hunger for moar. Moar, like my Orient Wingman. Maoar, like my Orient Flight. Moar, like my Seiko 5s. Moar, leading up to my soon to be (budget allowing) choice for a new Bambino v4.

For another reason, its the thought of a micro-precision mechanical engine on your wrist ticking away. Or the sweep movement of an automatic/mechanical. On a quartz, the seconds hand always almost never aligns itself with the markers except for higher end watches. The EQS-500 does this well, but I could spot one or two places where it has gone off the slightest bits. Perhaps the ultimate for this is a SpringDrive by Seiko, but I probably won't be able to afford that comfortably.

And why Orient? Well I find that Orient sits very well in my budget bracket and fulfills 90% of my wants at the price I am able to afford. Like many, I like Seiko as well, but there something about Orient that ticks my checklists. So I foresee myself owning Japanese watches (and cars, for that matter) for the foreseeable future. Plus, I like that Orient logo.

So why do I like automatics and mechnicals so much now when its actually more practical (financially, and functionally) to have a cheap quartz? It's irrational.

Fourth Orient : Bambino FAC08003A or FAC08004D0 ?

This will be my dress watch. I'm torn between the two. So far I have a Seiko SNK 793K1 to serve the blue dial appetite so I am leaning on the Gray dialed FAC08004D0, and the tan leather strap I got for my Wingman seem to be 'my type' of leather band. So which one will it be?

Friday, October 21, 2016

This is my favorite watch so far this few months..


The Wingman with the tan leather strap is my favorite watch these months so far. I'm not kidding - the dial is easy to read from 5 miles away, the military-style PVD looks business, and it works. It's not the most expensive watch of the bunch, but it just works. Even with the poor lume, in low light conditions it was still easy to tell time from the big, contrast numbers. imagine this watch if Orient had actually put some decent lume in it! The leather strap is tan on the outside, but dark brown, almost black on the inside - which compliments the watch itself really well. This saw the most wrist time among the rest.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Reflecting on Quartz Watches




I've had some time on my hands recently and reflected on my Quartz watches - Both Casios and both Edifices.

See, even if the mechanical watches have 'soul', or a heart beat, and needs attention to wind it up, set time, etc.. the quartz just ticks on and on and on. In the case of both of my Edifices, they last almost a lifetime of the watch themselves. (There was one instance where my EF-125 stopped which I thought was the battery running out, but a bit of tapping and adjusting the hands it has gone on working since.)

This is because the EF-125 has a 10-year battery, on which it is still ticking on, and the EQS-500DB is solar.

It's easy to see why quartz watches are so popular with the general populace - especially with long life batteries or solar watches - they are basically set once and forget. In the case of my EQS-500DB, it is also perpetual.

So, with the EQS-500DB, you get:

- Water resistance up to 100m
- Reliable and toughness to abuse
- world time, 1/100 chronograph, alarm, 24 hour indicator
- solar, never needing a battery change so often
- being a quartz, the time is always spot on
- perpetual calendar so you never need to set for months that skip the 31st or leap years
- essentially almost needing no service

...and all for about the same price as my Orient automatics that only just tell the time.

In essence, these two are essential to my time keeping for all my other watches - I set all my automatics to the Quartz watches (and sometimes my phone, if I could even be bothered to turn its screen on).

So if you're rational, all you need is just this one watch.


But, and this is irrational, because I like my automatics. It's like a little engine ticking away on my wrist. It's like jewellery and fine machinery combined into one. It's precision engineering. And it's a joy to watch the movement do its thing in a transparent caseback. Quartz itself is an engineering marvel in its own right when it first came out.. it's too good for its own good.

Oh well. Quartz is important - but don't let the mechanicals become obsolete (or become high-end curiosities only for the rich). I hope the likes of Seiko and Orient keep producing affordable, reliable, mechanical little spring driven engines for our wrists and I hope people keep buying them.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Blue-dialed Seiko 5 SNK793K1 Review





It's time for a review of my Seiko 5 SNK793. If you love blue dials, this model has a very nice dark-blue dial with a sunburst effect in the middle section. Being a Seiko 5, this has the following features standard;

- Automatic 7s26 movement, 21 Jewels
- Day/Date
- Some lume
- Hardlex crystal
- Display caseback
- Basic water resistance


Having a width of 36mm in diameter, the case has a big polished bezel around the extremely nice blue dial. The sides of the case and its lugs is brushed metal.

The hour and minute hands are a sword-style, in polished metal with lume. The seconds hand is a very thin and painted white, and along with the white day/date wheel, and this white goes very well with the blue dial.

The crown is located on the 4 o'clock of the dial. Pulling out once changes the day and date by turning it clockwise or counter-clockwise. Being a Seiko5, the crown is unsigned, and far too small. I also find that because it is so recessed into the case, even pulling it out to change the time while the watch is on the wrist is hard to do. It would be easier to take off the watch and set the date and time from there.
I put a dark brownish-purple croc leather strap on it with a deployant clasp, and this made the blue dial watch look so much more casual. I think it would also look great with a tan strap as well. In fact - this would look great with almost any kind of strap.

It's very easy to see why this model is so popular. Did I mention the nice soothing blue dial?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Watchmakers in Miri

In my backwater home town a.k.a "city", there are quite a number of watchmakers. I will list the ones I visit most in no particular order, and I will cover more as I come across more. They are sometimes so obscure that people can miss them entirely as they passed by. Now with the help of Google Street View I am making this list in the hopes that I will provide them with some business, as I would not like to see these niche professions die out:




Chang Cheng Watchmaker

 Owned by a young watchmaker, selling a variety of Orients, many types of Quartz watches, and is able to repair and service most mechanical watches. Many types of genuine leather straps could be found here.





Hock Eng Watch and Radio Dealers

An old watchmaker with a limp, who is able to repair most mechanical and Quartz watches. I have seen some vintage watches being sold here, and many more varieties of older and Quartz watches to be found. Many types of genuine leather straps could be found here.



Soon Heng Watch Dealers

Middle aged watchmaker, LOTS of vintage watches could be found here, watchmaker is able to repair and service all types of mechanical and quartz watches. Many types of genuine leather straps could be found here.






Hong Hin Watch Dealer

Over in China street, a watch dealer selling mostly Quartz nowadays but also some mechanical watches, and services include straps and accessories and the usual battery/bracelet resizing.





Kiong Hing Watch Dealer
Also in China street, a watch dealer selling mostly Quartz nowadays but also some mechanical watches, and services include straps and accessories and the usual battery/bracelet resizing. The watch dealers along China Street are all strangely similarly outfitted - as if they are all interior designed by the same designer, or are all the same owners within the family, or both.




Soon Hing Watch Dealer


Still along China street, a watch dealer selling mostly Quartz nowadays but also some mechanical watches, and services include straps and accessories and the usual battery/bracelet resizing. The watch dealers along China Street are all strangely similarly outfitted - as if they are all interior designed by the same designer, or are all the same owners within the family, or both.





Ho Hing Watch Dealer


Still along China street, a watch dealer selling mostly Quartz nowadays but also some mechanical watches, and services include straps and accessories and the usual battery/bracelet resizing. The watch dealers along China Street are all strangely similarly outfitted - as if they are all interior designed by the same designer, or are all the same owners within the family, or both.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Casio Edifice EQS-500DB-1A2 Wrist Shot

I've been neglecting this one for quite a while. I've put it on a brown leather strap I have lying around and it does look pretty good like this.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's a Seiko 5 Kinda Day


Lovely blue dialed Seiko 5 SNK793K1

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Trifecta of PVD Orients




Here are my three Orients. And here's how they compare with each other -

Orient 'Flight' ER2A001B0 PVD

Build quality of all three are generally good, but the case that 'feels' most solid, to me at least, for reasons that don't understand myself is the Orient Flight. Perhaps it's the brushed finished followed by the PVD, and the feel of its crown, it feels just so much better. The screw-down caseback is solid as well, which helps it in its solidity in feel. The Flight also feels better on the wrist than the other two. It is marginal, as in the other two aren't bad, but this one feels the best, and has the best size on my 6.5 inch wrist. It wears smaller than its size too. Of all three, the Flight feels the best on the wrist, and to adjust. Too bad it can't handwind, I would totally handwind it often.

The lume when compared to the other two, sits in the middle between the Wingman and the Ray Raven. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it is legible in the darkness. Surprisingly, after a while in the darkness, the dial numerals are quite hard to make out especially when the watch is sat on the bedside table and I have just woken up with blurry eyes trying to make out what time it is - I can't make out the double digits on the dial and even the triangle, and it took a while to really focus on the triangle to get the bearing of which is where. In this respect, unfortunately the dotted lume on the Ray and the clearly marked 3, 6 and 9 lines on the Wingman made it easier to orient (pun not intended! heh) the time, even with the extremely weak lume of the Wingman. The Ray is clearly the winner in legibility in the dark, followed by the Wingman (surprisingly).

As mentioned before, the black leather strap that came with it was thick, and feels pretty comfortable on the wrist, but it feels too much like compressed foam to me. I've yet to change them to something nicer.

Orient 'Wingman' CER2D001B PVD
Best dial of the bunch, in terms of legibility in lit conditions for time of day. Just one glance and you'd be able to tell the time, even from very far away. The worst part is the very poor lume - the numbers and markers barely glow at all, and the hands had lume that were so thin it looked cracked when glowing. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't legible in the darkness - due to the markers at 3,6,9 and the triangle at 12, if I woke up in the middle of the night, I still am able to get the orientation right and read the time off the faintest glow it could master.

The screw-down caseback was polished but not solid with logo laser etched. Price considered, it wasn't bad - but nothing to write much about. The crown isn't screwed in so therefore only 30M at best water resistance. The crystal seems to be of a cheaper variety as well compared to the other two - it seems a bit less clear and has a tiny amount of fogginess to it. Not too much to be noticeable, but I think its there. Emphasis on I think.

The original leather strap that came with it was not too bad either, all things considered. I've changed that to a tan strap with a PVD deployant buckle. It looks badass this way, even though the deployant actually doesn't save any time putting it on, like I had originally thought.


Orient 'Ray Raven' CEM65007B PVD 

The Ray Raven had the best lume of the bunch and night time legibility. By far. Because each lume is a dot, glowing intensely green and a trapezoid 12 o'clock marker, with bright hands the watch was most legible in the darkness, even after some time had passed and the lumes had weakened. The screw down caseback is not solid but looks to be laser etched. Of course, the best part of this watch is the rotating bezel.

The case is polished and its PVD is excellent. The PVD on the bracelet that came with it however, seemed lacking. Anyway, problem solved as I've changed it to a silicone strap for water adventures. Naturally the 200M resistance gives complete confidence near water, this is one watch where I use water to clean it.

The Ray wears smallest. The crown wasn't as nice to the touch as on the Flight.


Nitpicks

It's just my opinion, but I think the Orient font and logo should be the same size as on the Ray for the Flight and Wingman. They were just a tad too large. That said, they could have the option to not use the italics for the "Automatic" and "Water Resist" fonts, and in this case with the Flight, moved the logo to the crown, for a cleaner dial like all "Type B" Aviator watches.