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.


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.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Orient Flight ER2A001B0 PVD Review

So, I went ahead and bought it. Orients were going for crazy discounts. I just went ahead and bought the Orient Flight PVD. This makes my third PVD Orient, this one is by accident, mainly because it was the only stock available left. Or.. maybe it was my subconsciousness urging me all along *twilight zone music* and I have a real thing for PVD black watches.
Either way, I now have THREE black cased, black dialed pilot watches from Orient.

My Initial Impressions
On to my thoughts - firstly when holding up the watch in my hands, it had the quality feel to it, compared to the Orient Wingman, it feels much better built somehow.

So the dial - I can see why some people are nitpicking about the dial. While the dial follows the traditional pilot's watch format - large minute marking on the outside and small hour marking on the inside ring, this is one Orient that I feel could be better without that logo. I like the logo, but I don't think it fits here. Similarly the italics "Automatic" and "Water Resist" don't need to be on the dial. I feel that if they had the word Orient and just 100m on the dial, but the logo on the crown would've made for a much more visually uncluttered look. I don't mind the date window though.

The dial takes some getting used to: perhaps it is as designed, I am able to read down to the exact minutes (e.g. 48minutes and half), but am unable to get the hour at a glance and have to stare at it longer. Usually on a 'normal' watch, I usually read like "3:45ish" when the minute sits between 45 and 50. In the case where this is totally intended, this works VERY WELL.

The hands are white and reach the arabic markers exactly, like a pilot's watch should. (The Wingman fell short in this area). The lume isn't as bright as on the Ray Raven's, but it works well enough given that its white lume instead of the green stuff. (The Wingman also fell short in this area, in fact lume was extremely poor.)

The case is PVD coated, and it seems the PVD coating is nicely applied here. Surprisingly it wears quite a bit smaller than the Wingman. The Wingman had a more traditional case style, with crown guard, so that could give it the illusion of it being larger, but the Flight actually wears very, very well on my 6.5inch wrist - much better than the Wingman did. The caseback is solid compared to the Wingman's and therefore gives it the better-quality impression, which it is. Water resistance is up to 100M.

The crown isn't signed. As I've mentioned above, I felt that the logo could be better used on the crown and left off the dial for less dial clutter.

Leather Strap
 The leather strap on the other hand.... while less squeaky than the Wingman's - for whatever reason it feels and bends (and squeaks) like compressed foam... I actually preferred the squeaky Wingman's leather strap to this one. It's a very odd texture to it. But maybe it's just me. Anyway, not a big deal, fixable with a new strap. The buckle is signed, and also brushed PVD black.

This is a nice watch. And quite I'm happy with it. Obviously I have a few things I want to nitpick about it, but for this price? No contest. And with the discount I get for it at sale price? No brainer. Orient continues to make very nice watches with their own in-house movements for such incredible prices.

I am toying with the idea to swap the Wingman's dial onto this case and make use of these hands, as I quite prefer the Wingman-style dial, but it's just an idea. I am not going to take these watches apart unless I come across parts somehow so it's just a dream for now.

(I also posted this review on

Friday, September 2, 2016

Another Deployant Buckle for my Orient 'Wingman' CER2D001B..

Behold, PVD deployant buckle for my Orient Wingman on its lovely tan leather strap.

Yes, another one in my possession. I know I touched about the deployant buckle I got for my Seiko but that was because I ordered this PVD one around the same time and it has just arrived. Again, not much advantage for it over the conventional buckle, but - and again - style points. :)

About the Wingman - the more I wear it the more I love it: Very visible, no-nonsense military-pilot-style dial, with nice big numerals with a no-nonsense PVD case. About its only flaw is its lume, weak. The good thing though, its large dial, hands and numbers were so big and contrast that even in low light you could make out the time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

So Casio EF-125D-7AV Bracelet Broke After 7 Years..

My Casio EF-125D-7AV's bracelet broke. Luckily, it was a spring bar that broke and fell into pieces, and doubly luckily, it was not on my wrist when it did. A simple fix. However, the 7 years of hard use has not been kind to the bracelet and spring bars.

Yes, the EF-125D-7AV is by no means a watch meant to last the eons, especially the folded metal bracelet construction, but it does worry me a bit since it has the integrated bracelet which isn't changeable when the time comes, the bracelet has gotten very loose from stretching and rattly over the years.

The watch may have stopped once in the past but that was probably due to accidental bumping of the crown. It's almost been 7 years to this day and the 10-year battery has kept ticking non-stop, with essentially zero maintenance. That is pretty darn amazing. Also, I have dropped it once to a tile floor from arm height, standing up. Dented the case a bit, but no other damages.

If you didn't know, the EF-125D was my first 'proper' watch I got for myself, back in late 2008. It is the watch that got me into watches.