Sunday, March 31, 2013

Multi-complications: The April Fools' Story

Casio Sport Multi-Functions SGW400H-1B

All my friends know I love mechanical watches. I wear mostly a hand-winding or automatic watch. So when one sunny day, I told few friends that I bought a watch with world time, day-date, month and year, with perpetual calendar, and fly-back chronograph movement; all start to question, "Jaeger?" "Patek?" "Vacheron?""How much?" Wait for a second, I am not that rich. I cannot afford a luxurious multicomplication watch!  What I have, is just a RM200 affordable Casio Multi-Function sport watch. This watch is mean for when you are doing vigorous exercise like a game of badminton or outdoor activities. 

I would say it is love at first sight. I see a tough, rugged, sporty and complicated watch. The protruding twin sensors, make it looks so sophisicated. A watch fits for a Navy seal or Mr. MAcGyver. When I hold it in my hand, it is light-weighted. Its resin band gives quite a comfortable and intimate soft touching feel.... Caressing her body.... Hold, hold... how comes sounded so much like a romance story..... the push buttons reveal so many function of the watch. Hahahaaaaaaaaaa it also glows in the dark with its EL backlight

Its case back is made of stainless steel and can withstand the punishment of our acidic and corrosive sweat.... The case back is screwed in using 4 tiny screws.

This is by far, the thickest watch manual I ever encountered. 99% of the time, I never look beyond the cover page..... hahahaaaaaaaaaaaa we just try an error and learn from our mistake. I have to say this is truly an awesome ana-digital watch. Casio has established itself as a leading digital watch company.

Technical specs of the Casio 5176 from Casio's homepage:

High quality sports looks, back by a rich feature set, define the new SGW400 Twin Sensor from Casio. The watch takes and displays barometric pressure readings, which are then converted into Altitude measurements based on International Standard Atmospheric Values. A built-in thermo sensor gives reliable temperature readings. Combing these sensors with a rugged case design, ana-digi display and a host of additional features makes this watch tough to beat.

  Measuring range: -700 to 10,000m (-2,300 to 32,800ft) without reference altitude 
  Measuring unit: 5m (20ft) 
  Others: Reference altitude setting
  Display range: 260 to 1,100 hPa (7.65 to 32.45 inHg) 
  Display unit: 1 hPa (0.05 inHg) 
  Barometric pressure differential pointer
  Display range: -10 to 60 C (14 to 140 F) 
  Display unit: 0.1 C (0.2 F)
*100M Water Resistant
*Low Temperature Resistant (-10 C / 14 F)
*EL Backlight with Afterglow
*5 Daily alarms
*Hourly time signal
*World Time 
  31 times zones (48 cities), city code display, daylight saving on/off
*1/100 second stopwatch 
  Measuring capacity: 23:59'59.99" 
  Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
*Countdown Timer 
  Measuring unit: 1 second 
  Countdown range: 1 minute to 24 hours (1-minute increments and 1-hour increments)
*Full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
*12/24 hour formats
*Button operation tone on/off
*Accuracy: +/- 30 seconds per month
*Battery: CR2016
*Approx. Battery Life: 2 Years
*Module: 5176
*Size of case/total weight: 50.8 x 51.9 x 14.9mm / 59g 

Alfred Dunhill

Dunhill~ The power of Advertisement; A childhood dream came true.....

When I mention the word Dunhill, my guess is 90% of people will think about cigarettes. For me, Dunhill is "Style.... Quality..... Excellence...." That my friends, is the aftermath of million dollars advertising campaign and branding strategy. You have to give Dunhill marketing department full credits for so successfully branding Dunhill as an up-scaled living standard. 
During the 1980's,1990's and possible early 2000's, most governments have banned tobacco conglomerates from advertising their cigarettes on television or mainstream media. Most tobacco brands were very innovative in their approach to overcome this obstacle. Hence comes "Salem High Country", "Malboro cowboy or Malboro Motorsport", "Camel Trophy", "Peter Stuyvesant Travel".... Alfred Dunhill instead of promoting its tobacco products, concentrated on its luxurious goods like menwear, leather goods, lighters, pens and fine watches. Here is a Dunhill ad from 1986.....

 Gosh... during my teenage year, my young heart yelling "I want all those....." Dunhill watch, wallet, and belt with gold big D buckle, all is in my Wishlist.... too bad, Santa or my Mother God fairy is never kind to me..... I manage to google some Dunhill watch advertisements here....

This watch was presented to me as a gift by my watchmaker friend. This Dunhill watch sat inside his work bench for N number of years. Must be the time when the dinosaurs still rules the earth.... It is a leftover from his predecessor's era. Maybe the rightful owner brought the watch for servicing or replacing of battery.... and had never went back to collect the watch. No one really knows what happened... Dunhill watch is never cheap. I believe this model is among the earliest batch that was sell here. I estimated the watch to be from mid 1980's. Back then a watch like this was retailing for RM2000 plus. I do have a memory of an elephant when it comes to watches. 

This is a classic Dunhill dress watch with two tones (stainless steel and gold plated). I believe intially the watch came with stainless steel bracelet; and pretty much likes the one below..... The gold plating are nicely done. Even after 20-30 years the gold plated parts are still shining. Notice the crown is different. Mine should be an aftermarket replacement. The original crown is not round but with curved edges, it is called spinel crown. The original crown is gold plated and the gold worn off with age.  

The glass is made of mineral crystal. There are some scratches here and there on the case, but the simplicity design is way stunning. The white dial with black roman numerals and the black hands are in perfect condition. I believe this is the first batch as this dial does not have the word "Swiss" at 6 o'clock position. This watch uses the high grade ETA Quartz movement and there isn't any chop of Dunhill on the movement either. Could it be a fake? Nope certainly not, because during that era, the fakes were much simple and usually employ Japanese movement. 

Notice the word "Swiss" at 6 o'clock position from a later model above. A watch is considered Swiss whose movement is encased in Switzerland and whose final control by the manufacturer takes place in Switzerland. 

This watch is water resistant with a snap in case back. I love this watch mainly it has the iconic design of Dunhill watches of the 1980's. The watch is thin and light due to the fact that it is a quartz watch. Most serious watch collectors think there is little value in collecting battery operated watches and at best even with solid gold case, it is just precious metal only. I have to admit I am a bit stereotyping when it is a quartz watch too. However Quartz basically revolutionalized the watch industry, therefore, the importance of quartz watch cannot be neglected. So when I am wearing this one... am I stylish? full of great quality? am I excellence in any sense??? Hahahaaaaaaa you must be kidding me!

Revised higher resolution photos

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Work in Progress

Attention!!! Work in Progress!! Coming Soon....

Initially, I want to name this post as "Temporarily out of service!" On second thought, this may be more appropriate. 
My sincere apologies to all my readers.... I have been very slow in posting Watchopenia lately. There are two main reasons for this.
1) Economy recession:

 Either you are out of this planet or you are a wealthy fella, most average citizen would feel the pinch of the economy down-turned. Personally, I am badly hit. Barely surviving for the time being and struggling to make a descent living. Therefore, where do I got extra cash to buy new watches or restoring old watches? I am also running out of mood to updating this blog..... Life is stressful! "I'll be back!" That is the positive attitude, I will sort out all the mess in life and get on with business. Watchopenia will continue updating from time to time. I would devote my time to make it better and more frequent. 

2) I am a bit tired of my blog photos' quality. I am trying to learn how to take better and clearer pictures for my readers. I need to acquire a better camera with a professional lens. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax??? Noooooooo no no... No Leica please! I know it is good, but I cannot afford it at all....... 

 Also a photographic white box like the one below.

Hmmmm maybe setting up a tiny photo studio too..... When there is a dream, there is hope and there is always possible......

Seiko 5 Sports 7S36

Seiko 5 Sports 100m Diver Automatic SNZF25J1... Wrong Edition!!!

Seiko 5 is the entry level mechanical/automatic watch. Asian watch lovers at a stage or another would definitely have a Seiko 5. During my childhood, Seiko 5 is considered by many as good watches. It built its reputation on cheap prizing, and reliability (acceptable precision and considerable problems free). Another great marketing strategy; unlike Ford Model T, Seiko 5 comes in huge variety of case, bracelet and dial design. 

I need to confess, I have quite a number of Seiko 5..... Most , if not all of  the Seiko 5 available in South East Asia is what I called K series. For instance this watch, if you are going to buy it in Malaysia and Singapore, you would probably get this model number SNZF25K1. So what is the fuss between J and K? K is designated for watches produced or assembled outside Japan. Seiko 5 usually is assembled in Malaysia, Singapore and China. J stands for Made in Japan edition and is usually for Japan domestic market. You got to hate the Japanese, they usually keep the best for their own countrymen. 
From the appearance, the K and the J look alike and without much different. I can tell you for sure, the J finishing is far more superior than the K series. 

This watch was bought from a Japanese shop in Singapore. What caught my eyes is the combination of red coca cola bezel and the white dial. On the white dial is the highly luminous dots and hands. At the bottom of the dial for the J series it has "Made in Japan" written-ed  Why I declared it as a wrong edition. This is because I have seen this watch before. It usually comes equipped with silver hands to match its dials and silver dots. However this watch comes with a set of black hands. The first photo below is what a normal SNZF25J1 should look like....

This watch uses the 23 jewels 7S36-03C0 movement. The case, the crown and the bracelet is all stainless steel. The case is 38mm excluding the crown and it is with a see through back case. The front is using Seiko Hardlex Crystal. The crown is a simple push in type. For a diver watch, I would expect a minimum standard of screw in crown. The bracelet is pretty impressive; it is a stainless steel with  folded double push buttons signed buckle. On personal note, this watch looks somewhat like Rolex Submariner.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thong Sia Limited Edition Seiko

Seiko Presage – SSA011J

I am not a watch dealer. I have no association with Thong Sia Ptd Ltd or Seiko. This is a limited edition Seiko Presage that Thong Sia Group presented to its selected dealers during year ends as a gift of appreciation. It is also a commemorative souvenir in conjunction with Seiko 130th anniversary. How did I get hold of this? I basically bet for it.

Kind of disappointed as this is not a newly designed watch. It is just a normal Seiko Presage SSA011J with a custom caseback or should I say an engraved case back.

Thong Sia has put in the effort of packing the watch inside customized watch box and with a lovely little note.  

For me, an ideal corporate gift should have something visible on the surface. It should easily draw attention and make whoever wearing the watch, proud of the company he or she is associated with. One good example is the Rolex Coca Cola....

Seiko Presage uses 4R37 movement that features hack and handwind as well as a 24 hour sub-dial at the 11 o’clock position. This hand cannot be set independently. It can however tell you whether you are in AM or PM time when your are setting the time. The automatic day calendar 4R37 movement is used in Seiko Presage line and Seiko 5 Superior line. Personally I see the 24 jewels 4R37 as an upgraded movement that replacing the good old 7S26 (21 jewels automatic movement that used so rampantly in Seiko 5 series) and 7S36 (23 jewels automatic movement that is powering the Seiko 5 Superior and Seiko 5 Sports).