Monday, March 12, 2018

Swiss is the magic word.... Blansacar Swiss???

Blansacar CEO Series

This watch belongs to my brother-in-laws. It just happenstance that I helped him to get the watch repaired and serviced. He had sent the watch to numerous shops for repairs..... but after a few day it would stop running. So over a conversation during Chinese New Year, I offered him to send it for an overhauling services. 

It is a Blansacar CEO Series that he bought many years ago. It is a homage to the Rolex President. Knowing that this watch is running on a super reliable work horse of ETA 2834-2, I really cannot foresee any major issue with the watch apart from needing some cleaning and re-oiling and possible some worn parts changing.....

I started researching into the brand Blansacar many years ago as its dial stated Chronometer. From my old research through internet search and conversation with watch retailers and salespersons, I found that this brand originally is based in Batu Caves area, Malaysia. But the brand has always emphasized on its Swiss DNA. Lately, I have seen the newer batch of Blansacar stated Swiss Made on its dial.  

You need to comply with stringent requirements before being able to proclaim yourself "Swiss Made". These include the movement needs to be Swiss, the watch is cased in Switzerland and the manufacturer carries out final inspection in Switzerland. However, "Swiss Made" is often improperly used by foreign manufacturers to merely indicate that the movement is of Swiss origin.

Here is the Blansacar's fairy tales from its website.....Blansacar was founded in 1991 in the "watch making metropolis" of La Chaux-de-Fonds, by Mr. Michaël Vrolixs. Mr Vrolixs is the fourth generation of watchmakers family.

Blansacar claims to be an independent Swiss watch manufacturer. From what I see, its main market is in South East Asia, Asia and China. It uses the 5 Stars logo that shaped a Pentagon in the middle. Its Chinese name is "5 Stars General" or 五星上将, which sounded super elegant......

This watch has a 36mm diameter and with a thickness of 13mm. The case is said to make of 316L Stainless steel and is coated with white gold. It has a synthetic diamonds rim and sapphire crystal.

Its white dial is decorated with synthetic diamond hour markers. Below the Blansacar logo and wording, the word "SWISS" is in huge fonts. What is interesting is the wording above the 6 o'clock marker..... it is stated "Professional Chronometer", followed by another line "25 Jewels Automatic". Is it a real chronometer, fully certified???

 Like Rolex, the crown is a screw in and locked type. The crown is signed with the 5 Stars logo.

The watch is accompanied by the President style bracelet. It is of solid link and is made of stainless steel.

The Clasp is signed also with the 5 Stars logo. 

At the inner clasp Blansacar is also signed.

Another nice feature of this watch is the see-through case back with crystal glass.

For those that love to gamble, there are two groups of number, you can put bet on. 2834 and 8231. I believe the 8231 is the model number for this watch. 2834 stands for the ETA movement it used.

Blansacar has been proud of ETA movement it used. The rotor of the movement is signed Blansacar. and the movement used is plated in gold colour. 

Swiss has been associated with fine watches and precision movement for centuries. So when it stated Swiss, the watch is viewed as of higher grade and can fetch a higher selling price............. I won't be surprise if Asian businessmen start setting up manufacturing plants in Switzerland........ With globalization, contract manufacturing and migration of workers..... I start wonder how many percent are truly Swiss????????

Thursday, March 1, 2018

New Year. New Touch: Rolex 16233 Aftermarket rim

Customizing a Rolex: Beautification or Spoliation? 

Today marked the 15th day of the Chinese New Year 2018.... It is a closure for the celebration season; ending the festive with the Lantern Festival. Happy Chap Gor Meh everyone...... 

This Chap Gor Meh I am wearing my Rolex 16233 Mother of Pearl with a new clothes. Here is a post from February 2013....

Late November last year, my watchmaker friend showed me a used Rolex aftermarket rim that someone traded in. It is a 18K gold rim with diamonds and 4 rectangle rubies. The rim is in a very sorry state. My watchmaker offered me the rim for a thousand Ringgit. It is a bargain as new aftermarket rim is about RM 3000. But the rim needs some works to reinstate to its formal glory. 

To restore a diamond bezel is a professional jeweler's job; is a delicate hand job that need a lot of passion and expertise. We had to send the rim to Hong Kong. We were expecting the rim to return home before Chinese New Year.

During festive season, everything goes hair-wired..... We were experiencing a delay even with DHL, the best courier service in the country. The rim only arrived on the 5th day of the Chinese New Year. My friend wechatting me the photo of the restored rim. It looks brand new. 

This is a rim from the late 1980's or early 1990's; During the time, the quality of the gold, genuine diamonds and natural rubies used are of better quality than present. Ironically, the repair bill is a painful RM700.....

Below are the photos of the watch after replacing the aftermarket rim.....

I know a lot of Purists like everything original and untouched. They probably think that the watch is ugly after the aftermarket rim. I am pretty liberal.... Is okay to be different as long as you are comfortable with it. 

As of today, I am enjoying my watch and I am enjoying my family time........... Ready to set up the Lanterns and making wishes for more watches, abundance wealth, evergreen health and a HAPPY HAPPY FAMILY!!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ninja Turtle: Seiko Prospex SRPC49K

Black Turtle aka Ninja Turtle

Is that time of the year again..... Wishing everyone A very Prosperous New Year with abundance happiness!  Suppose to put up this post on the first day of Chinese New Year...... Hahahahaaaaaaaa lazy bone....

Ahem.... see what watch arrived during this festive time. I ordered this in December 2018 and only arrived days before Chinese New Year. Alamak... blew my tight budget; broke again....

My black turtle came somewhat late. Everyone posted their turtle in their blogs, on their facebook and almost everywhere..... But I am certain that I am the first in my town and first in my state. I usually do not fancy watch with PVD coating casing. Maybe was traumatized by scene of old black watch peeling off their paint. 

However when I learned Seiko is going to launch the black turtle, I just could not resist this black beauty. This was the advertisement that cast a love spell on me....... Prior to this, I already have the SRP775 and the Seiko Turtle PADI SRPA21. I just picked up the SRPA21 during Christmas 2017. 

Well this is labelled as Limited Edition, but Seiko never specify how many are there..... Anyhow this is still a gorgeous 45mm diver whether it's limited or non-limited. 

Most Japanese Ninjas wear black attirese. The stainless steel case is PVD coated with a mix of matt and gloss finishes. Matt finishing on the anterior and mirror finishing on the sides and posterior.  This watch also has a matching monochromatic black bezel.

The bezel is uni-directional. I think the bezel insert is kind of dull with its grey and black colour scheme. Another feature that this Ninja stands up among all the other turtle is its dial. 

The dial is classic Seiko diver, with the Suwa sword at 12 and the Prospex logo above the six. What differentiate this dial than the rest is in its colour. Seiko used a more retro creamy orange Rumiburaito (Lumibrite) paint on its hour indices. The orange colour minute hand is evocative and down right sexy. 

The glass is a hardlex mineral crystal.... Maybe is time for Seiko upgrading its drivers's glasses to anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal. 

Turtle case are pretty robust. The thickness is about 47mm. This watch due to its strap, it is weighting only 109gm. Personally, I felt the case is a little bit rubberized from the PVD coating. 

The new silicone strap of Seiko is very comfortable in wearing. It is soft, super flexible and not heaty after long hour of wear. But I think it is collecting white dust easily. The strap has a black metal keeper with Seiko engraved on its. The stainless steel buckle also has a matching PVD coating and is signed with Seiko. 

This watch also has a matched black beauty screw down and lock crown. This ensure the watch can withstand water pressure until 200m depth. 

Oh ya, this watch is also anti-magnetic. 

This watch has the day and date function at its 3 o'clock position. 

The back case is a screw down chunk of stainless steel. At the centre of it is a very beautiful engraving of tsunami wave. Limited Edition is stated at the case back. 

This diver is powered by Seiko 4R36 movement that has 24 jewels. 4R36 can be handwind and with hacking function. This movement is beating at 21,600 bpm and has a power reserve of 41 hours. 

Wrapping up this post with a new resolution for this Chinese New Year..... "Think of it; and GET IT DONE!!!"

P.S. Wonder whether Seiko will come up with a sexy red female Ninja????