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.

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.

Dial
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.

Hands
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.)


Case
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.


Summary
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 WatchUSeek.com)

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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Seiko 5 SNK793K1 - on crocodile strap with deployant buckle


Beautiful.

Gorgeous.
Seiko 5 SNK793K1 - on crocodile strap with deployant buckle.

  Yup, I went out and bought another Seiko 5. The SNK793K1 Blue Dial. I also got a deployant buckle for it, because why not. Well it turns out how wrong I was.

  I've discovered that a deployant buckle for a strap isn't exactly advantageous in any way AT ALL. Firstly, there's the cost of getting the thing in the first place. Then, the darn thing, when folded up, takes up at least 4-5 milimeters inside of your wrist, so an OK fitting strap becomes terribly tight fitting, or, if you use a looser slot, it ended up still too loose. Lastly, you'd still have to slot the end of the strap to the loop in the end. So you've just saved ZERO steps, while adding another (when clipping them together, gotta do one side before the other) so therefore in my honest opinon - deployant buckles are a complete waste of time and money. They do look cool though. So style points for that..

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bitten by the watch bug

So here's how it happens. First you buy a watch, without knowing too much about watches.. your first watch. It's  quartz. You think, well that is gonna be my last watch, after all, humans only have two wrists, and you really only need one watch to tell the time. In fact these days it's not really a need as a smart phone could do that... but you accept it as a form of jewelry,for men. (Or woman, if you're a woman.)

Some time passed.. and then you look online at other watches.. some of them have nicer features.. then you buy one that you liked... like solar ability for example, or chronograph complications.. and you know, as an alternate watch, for other occasions. You justify it by saying, it's to save the tear and wear on your other watch..

Then even more time passed. By now of course, you're learning a great deal about watches.. watches to avoid, and watches that are highly recommended. You buy an automatic. Or two. And then a manual winder. And maybe a vintage, or two. You get the popular models and understand fully why they are highly acclaimed. You obsess over watches worn by characters in movies, shows and even documentaries. You begin to initiate watch talk to people. There are at least 5 watch-telated items on your bookmark or eBay watch list. You even try taking things apart and putting them together again.

And then, lo and behold, you are actually thinking of spending over $1000 on a watch soon. Your start looking for your "grail watch".

Congratulations, the final stage of the infection is complete....

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seiko 5 SNKK71

Stock photo


Yes, just joined to the Seiko camp by buying one, brand new. I got a SNKK71 for myself recently because I am bitten by the watch bug. The Seiko 5 series has the 7s26 movement with 21 Jewels, which is a very affordable and reliable workhorse movement. The SNKK71 has a black satin finished dial, and raised indices which are actually very beautiful and not captured by the pictures on the internet.


The caseback is hardlex and allows anyone to look into the 7S26 - which is nice, because this is the first time I owned a watch with a transparent caseback. And actually, even if they say it isn't decorated, the movement is finished in such a way that it still has some nice shiny bits to look at and admire.


I did not bother to get the bracelet adjusted, and immediately removed the bracelet and fit it with a leather strap as shown in my very poorly taken photo (sorry, this was taken at night, with room lighting:

Marvelous.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bad picture


Yea I feel like a douche. Last post, I had the Orient Wingman on and looked like it has a huge overhang off my wrist. That's because I had the watch strap resting on top of the desk, and it was pushed upwards a slightly. And add the magnifying effect of my smartphone wide-angle(ish) camera, the watch looks like a huge clock on my wrist, and further made huge with the illusive wide dial of the Wingman. Add to that I was trying to get an angle without reflections. Which I assure isn't the case. The watch actually fits quite well on my 6.5++ inch wrist when all is said, the camera wide lens is the main culprit, followed by the slightly loose strap.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Leather Strap for my Orient 'Wingman' CER2D001B


Got a new tan leather strap for my Orient 'Wingman' today.

The 'Wingman' gives a very clear and very readable dial, this version with the PVD so it remains readable in bright conditions. You could read the time from a mile away. And many times I have found people trying to read the time off my wrist as a result. Either that, or they are admiraing the Orient 'Wingman' CER2D001B.

The stealthily designed date window lines up with the white line at the 3 O'Clock, so it is not apparent at first glance but is there when you look closer, which is a nice touch.

Is there more nice touches? Yeah. Many in fact, but one stood out that I just found out : when you adjust the time, as you push the crown back after setting the time, the minute falls back to EXACTLY where it is supposed to be accordingly to the seconds hand! E.g. if the seconds hand is at the 30 position, the minute hands falls to halfway between the minute markers!

How about that for nice touches?



Specifications

*Self-winding movement
*21600/hour vibrations
*Date indicator
*Stainless steel case
*Mineral crystal glass
*Water resistant
*Diameter 41mm  (by my own measurements: 43mm)
*Lug width 22mm