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!!!!