Monday, September 27, 2010


Updated: 20 Sept 2011

I have some extra TAIKONAUT NATO straps available for sale. Never been used, still tagged and zip locked in their own TAIKONAUT zip lock wrappers.

Here is an article from the Prodigal Guide on NATO Straps and why they go well with everything, even vintage watches.

Look and see for yourself:
Rolex Submariner with Bond NATO Strap

NATO straps are made from straight woven nylon. Metal buckle and loop keeper ensures a good tight fit and rust resistant. The edges and holes of the NATO straps are heat sealed to ensure that it is free from frills and rough sharp edges.

Measuring : 280mm (11 Inches) in length
Wrist size : Approximately 5.5in to 9in wrists

Here are the pictures of the items. I've borrowed these pictures from the TAIKONAUT website. Interested parties can drop me an email at Cheers!
  • 1 x 20mm NATO James Bond Ultrasonic Weld Black+Grey - IP Black Keepers - PhP1300.00 - RESERVED
  •  1 x 22mm NATO James Bond Ultrasonic Weld Black+Grey - IP Black Keepers - PhP1400.00 - RESERVED
  •  1 x 22mm NATO James Bond Green and Red strips Divers Strap SS Keepers - PhP1200
  •  1 x 20mm NATO James Bond Black and Khaki strips Divers Strap SS Keepers - PhP1100.00 - RESERVED
  •  1 x 20mm NATO James Bond Blue and Green strips Divers Strap SS Keepers - PhP1100.00 - RESERVED
  •  1 x 20mm NATO James Bond Blue and Red strips Divers Strap SS Keepers - PhP1100.00 - RESERVED
  • 1 x 20mm NATO James Bond Green and Red strips Divers Strap SS Keepers - PhP1100.00 - RESERVED
  • 1 x 22mm NATO James Bond Black and Double Grey strips Divers Strap Brushed SS Keeper - PhP1200.00 - RESERVED
  •  1 x 24mm NATO James Bond Black and Khaki strips Divers Strap 24mm SS Keepers - PhP1300.00 -RESERVED

Goodbye Patek Philippe 5980R Nautilus

This watch looks amazing! But the price is also amazing. Amazingly expensive at approximately USD50k.

Thus I decided to take it off my bucketlist because I think that no matter how much I earn in the future, I cannot justify to myself the amount of money required to buy this watch. It's like wearing a small condo unit on my wrist. LOL.

After feeling this pang of guilt, I decided to revisit my bucket list and made the decision  to put only watches that my conscience could afford to buy, even if my wallet would still have the first say of course.

Thus I have to say goodbye to you 5980R. Maybe if I become the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi or something similar, then I might revisit this decision again.

But having removed the PP from the list, I managed to sneak in a couple of watches in
  • JLC Reverso Grande GMT
  • Glashutte Senator Navigator Automatic
  • Credor Spring Drive Moonphase GCLL997
  • Seiko SBDX011
4 for 1 trade looks good, especially when the cost for four the watches in total is only about 60% of the price of the PP.

Thank goodness for the ability to day dream.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I Love Seiko and Why You Could Like It Too

There was an interesting exchange of posts at PWC a couple of days back where I found myself involved in regarding Seiko.

from YeomanSeiko
It all began when a member posted a picture of Grand Seiko (GS) GMT SBGM001 which he was hunting for. When  informed that that particular GS model had already been discontinued and that the current GS models cost somewhere in the range of PhP200k, he was shocked and mentioned that "no matter how accurate the watch, the watch "pedigree" wont justify that price". He also wrote a follow up post, after being told about Seiko's history, that "Seiko is definitely filled with history and accomplishment, but it's still just a Seiko for me po".

It's not that the member had anything against Seiko (in fact he was on the hunt for one, and still is - good choice!), but it's undeniable that the use of the phrase "it's just Seiko" usually comes from someone not familiar with the brand and I felt that it would be nice if I (along with a couple of other forum members) could make him understand why Seiko is in fact comparable to its more recognizable swiss cousins. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a shouting match marred by name calling or anything, it was a nice civil short exchange of posts between a couple of watch collectors. I actually think he's one of the nicest guys in PWC.

But let's stay away from the personalities as this post was not meant to discuss the messengers but the message: The prevailing Seiko stereotype of being cheap and below par compared to swiss brands. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and there is nothing wrong with voicing them out, just the same way that I am now sharing my opinion about Seiko through this post.

To anyone that hasn't taken the time to know the Seiko brand, the stereotype is really understandable. This is especially true for us Filipinos who mostly see Seiko as that cheap watch you can get at any mall and even in "bargain" areas like Avenida. This is, in fact, partly true. Seiko is one of the most affordable watches in the market today. Most Seikos we see in malls would probably cost less than fashion watches like Guess, Tommy Hilfiger, Boss and Lacoste among others. But I would like to correct this, while most Seiko watches are indeed affordable, they are far from being cheap.

Now what do I mean by this? Let us first define cheap. According to trusty old Merriam Webster, cheap can mean 1) charging or obtainable at a low price 2) gained or done with little effort 3) of inferior quality or worth and 4) contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities.

Definition 1 in most cases is true. Most Seiko watches can be had for about PhP4-7k. Of course in absolute terms, that's still a lot of money, but in the world of watches, especially mechanical watches, that amount is actually a pittance. My fiancee and I actually have 2 entry level Seikos (the beloved BFS) that cost me only 10k in total. There aren't a lot of mechanical watches that can be bought at that price, moreso two  mechanical watches!

Now definition 2 is where I start to get worked up. Anyone who says Seiko is cheap in this sense should start reading about the brand because clearly they have been misinformed. For one, Seiko is probably one of only a handful watchmakers, in fact the only one I currently know (but there might be others of course, please feel free to share), that manufactures everything in-house. From the movement, to the glass, to the lume, down to the lube oil they use on their movement is made in-house. This can't be said for a lot of swiss watches who use ETA or Valjoux movements, among others, in their watches. Not even one of the best German hand-crafted watch, A. Lange & Sohne, can claim they make their own lume (they use Super Luminova). Now I'm not saying that the Seiko is better than ALS (I absolutely love but cannot afford you!) or any brand for that matter, I'm merely saying that Seiko watches are made with  a lot of effort since everything has to be made by the company in-house. 

Kintaro Hattori
Secondly, any one who has read about the history of Seiko would know that it's got a long history of watch making too. Seiko was started in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori, even as the first watch that was produced with the name Seiko came out in 1924. Just for comparison, Rolex started its operation in 1905 but the brand was only registered the in 1908. Omega was founded at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1848. IWC, another famous swiss brand, was founded in 1868. I guess what I want to illustrate is that Seiko's place in watch making history is comparable with that of its European cousins. Of course there are really those old watch companies like Breguet, which was founded in 1775. But what Im saying is that Seiko has been here for a long time too, and you can't stay in the business that long if you don't put effort in the development and manufacturing of your products.

And lastly on definition number 2, anyone who thinks that Seiko does not put as much effort on the development of it's watches and brand compared to its european cousins should look up who produced the first quartz watch, the more recent the spring drive movement, and how big Seiko became that there was a time it (together with Casio and Citizen) threatened the whole swiss watch industry.

Seiko Quartz Astron
The first quartz watch, though whose prototypes were first made by the CEH research laboratory in Switzerlad in 1962, was produced by Seiko in 1969 with the release of the Astron. Seiko became so big because after this development that it grew to such a size that it almost bought SSIH and ASUAG (the precursors of the swiss watch giant Swatch Group). Thankfully, Nicolas Hayek was able to save the swiss watch industry (read about it here).

Seiko Spring Drive
The Spring Drive is a recent invention of Seiko's creative powerhouse, the Seiko Epson team, that has brought mechanical watch making to another level by having unparalleled accuracy, extended power reserves, and a smooth continuous movement that is reflective of the true nature of time. With all these innovations and the effort Seiko puts into improving its product, Seiko might be well up there in number of patents develop by a watch company.

Now lets move on to definition 3 - contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities. Anyone who says Seiko is cheap and means it in this way is absolutely nuts. For one, Seiko only uses in-house movements, from its cheapest watch up to its luxury Credor line. I count use of in-house movement to be a redeeming quality in any watch. Also, anyone who has worn a Seiko would almost always say that they can't believe that the build and function of the Seiko could be had at such an affordable price. Of course, there are things you can always pick on for example, the inner surface of the BFS looks like it was scratched by a mother hen searching for worms. But remembering it only costs me PhP5k and thinking about its other redeeming qualities (water resistant up to 10bar, nice big solid case, beautiful hands and dial, day/date etc) surely they can't say that the entry level BFS is contemptible. 

Scratched Inside of the Lugs
from on OnTimeGabe of WUS

Seiko SNKF09K1 BFS
from on OnTimeGabe of WUS

Going up the price range is where Seiko really shows and flexes its "fine, lofty, and redeeming qualities"-muscles. The Grand Seiko is a mechanical watch phenom with reported accuracies of -3/+3s per day and some even say that Seiko is too conservative with these figures. With respect to build quality, take a look at the pictures from this post and you be the judge. Look at the finishing on this dial, it doesn't look as if anything was out of place and it looks very refined.

Quality finish on the GS 50th Anniversary LE
from Claude of TimeZone
Don't even get me started on the redeeming qualities of Seiko's Prospex series of dive watches. IMHO, this series has some of the best dive functional no-nonsense watches ever built. Just scan the web and you will find hundreds of reviews raving about Seiko diver's watches.

And of course, Credor. Seikos cream of the crop, cherry on top line of watches. I haven't seen one in the metal but based on the pictures I've seen over the web, the watches in this Seiko line is all-class and refinement. I especially like the SD moonphase. Wow, that one definitely is on my bucket list.

Now, let's take a side step and take a look at pricing. Pricing unfortunately is a double-edged sword. The same affordable pricing that makes Seiko one of the most desirable watch brands because you get more bang-for-the-buck, is probably also the main reason why it is stereotyped as being cheap. Yes, entry level Seikos are affordable, but if you have read my post, you will have notice by now that I always say most Seikos are affordable. I say this because some are actually not. The SBDX001 Marinemaster 300m is priced at around PhP100k while some modern Seiko Tuna can go as high as PhP180k. The Grand Seikos are priced at almost Rolex-like price range of PhP200k And the Credor can go for about half a million pesos (even more for some models). So the next time you see someone wearing a Seiko, have a good look at it as it might be worth a sedan on that person's wrist.

Seiko SNR017
Credor GCLL997
from samklee of SCWF
Now that being said, all the reviews I've read of these high end Seikos always say the same thing. That the materials, build, and quality of the movement and finish are comparable to what you would expect from signicantly more expensive swiss watches. So, in that respect, it's still bang for the buck.

Going back to the guy from PWC, he is now in the hunt for a Seiko Starfish. He might not be going after the GS any more, but at least now he knows more about the brand and in the end that is what I believe all watch enthusiasts should aim for when  pulling the trigger on a watch purchase.

Anyway, this post is too long and I probably need to stop lest I be known as a Seiko zealot. I will end this post by saying that just like any other guy, I would love to have my favorite Rolexes, JLCs, IWCs etc of the famed and rightully recognized world of swiss watches. But I would like to have my favorite Seikos too. It's time we start appreciating Seiko for what it really is, and stop stereotyping the brand as "just a Seiko" for reasons which are unfortunately baseless, misinformed, and sometimes plain wrong.

These folks, are the reasons why I love my Seiko and why I think you could like it too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sly, Arnie and a Filipino!

What does Sylvester Stallone, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and one Filipino watch collector have in common? No, it's not that all three have herculean physique, but that may be true as well as I haven't really seen the Filipino in person. But the watch-aholic answer is that all three are proud owners of PAM 341 more famously known as the Egiziano.

Sly with his PAM 341
Sly with PAM 341

Governator with his PAM 341 
Arnold with PAM 341

Wrist shot of fellow Filipino with his 341
Filipino with 341

From the photo that I found at PWC, it is quite obvious that this beautiful limited (to 500pcs) watch is HUGE. It's got a 60mm brushed titanium case and it's powered by an in-house made Panerai P.2002/7 calibre. Just look at the size of that watch relative to the wrist! It even looks big on Sly's wrist. And we're talking about Rambo/Rocky here. Good thing it's titanium, which is lighter than steel.

But even if it might seem to require the strength of Rocky and the Terminator just to strap it up, who says you have to be Rambo or Conan the Barbarian to own an Egiziano? Though I won't ever own a watch like the Egiziano (can't afford it and wrist can't handle it as well), I'm gald that there is at least one Juan Dela Cruz that owns this LE PAM.

Go kabayan!

The Average Filipino Size

Before you start thinking of anything else, this post will only be discussing wrist sizes! Sorry to disappoint some of the readers who might be thinking of rather more erogenous parts, but I won't be covering that part of the Filipino physiology.

One of the biggest consideration in choosing a watch is whether it would look nice on one's wrist. With sizes ranging from, but not limited to, small like the Hamilton GG-W-113 (34mm) to big like the Panerai Officine Egiziano (60mm case), I have seen collectors wear watches that IMHO looks like it was built for their wrists, or on the extreme end, looks like it was a lady's watch or more often looks like a wall clock worn on the wrist.

Of course to each his own. But I'm digressing.

The best way to measure your wrist size is to get a string or strip of paper, wrap it around your wrist and mark where the end of the string meets the rest of ts length. Straighten the string out and measure from the end to the marked point. That will be your wrist size.

After a quick short survey at PWC, I found that the average Filipino wrist size is 6.69in*. 64% of all the respondents however had 6.5in wrists. The smallest posted wrist was 6.25in and the biggest was 7.7in.

I guess it is safe to say that 6.5-6.7in would be the average male* Filipino wrist size. I myself have a 6.5in wrist and I'm glad to know that I'm just average.

Here is a wrist shot of a 44mm watch on my 6.5in wrist. A couple of years ago this may seem absurd and too big. But with the current fad (is it here to stay? I don't know) of big watches, I think it looks great!
Steinhart 44mm Nav. B-Uhr II Automatic

With a wrist size similar to mine, I've found that Filipinos generally wear 38-44mm watches. But the popularity of Panerai most collectors even wear 47mm watches and in once case a 60mm watch!

The next time you visit a forum especially those based in the US and read someone saying that 42-47mm watches might be too big for your 6.5in wrist, remember that most Filipinos have the same sized wrist and that these watches work with our wrists great based on what Ive seen. Of course don't just take my word for it, go to your nearest AD and try it on!

*For some reason, only males responded to the survey.

Friday, September 17, 2010

My Grail Watch #5: IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of its aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here

IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph

My love affair with the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph began late last year when I walked into the IWC boutique in GB5 looking for a Portofino Chronograph. The sales lady told me then that the Portofino Chrono was not available but there was a Pilot Chrono that was previously spoken for but became available because the buyer backed out.

Initially I was hesitant to try it on because it looked thick (14.7mm)  and massive (42mm). But try it on I did and oh boy, was I in love. The seemingly large case sat perfectly on my wrist and the black croc strap hugged my wrist as if not wanting to let go. The utilitarian look of the dial was brilliantly laid out, and availability of the day and date functions, sandwiched by the words IWC Shaffhausen, made it ideal for everyday use. Even though it is undeniably a tool watch, its black face, manageable size, and oh that wonderful black leather strap will make it at home in any function requiring a dress watch.

All-in-all the main reasons why I love the IWC Pilot Chrono include:
  • Being made by IWC, it's definitley got authentic pilot DNA and history. It even has the soft iron inner case that IWC uses for all its pilot watches.
  • Good flexible size. Big at 42mm, but because of today's big watch standard, can still be used as a dress watch.
  • Everything you need in a daily beater: Day and Date, and even a stop clock in case you need it (I probably don't but it makes for a cool conversation piece)
  • I agree that the BP is closer to the original pilot watch, and that the double chronograph has got the more technically complicated timers, but there is something about the lay out of this watch that sings to me. IMHO, the dial looks perfectly balanced and the standard that all Pilot Chronographs will be measured against.
If there was one "chink" to the armor of this fligheuer is that it's movement is not made in-house. That said the 79320 movement, a modified and decorated Valjoux 7750, is not a push over. This automatic movement has got 25 jewels and beats at 28,800 bph with reserve power of 44 hours. The use of the Valjoux movement is also, I would presume, one of the main reasons why the price of the Pilot's Chronograph is a manageable USD4,400. After discount this watch can be had for roughly about USD4000.

Sad to say, the original buyer of the watch called back that same evening and the dream that was the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph will have to wait.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For Sale: Pre-Owned Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens

For sale is my favorite all-around lens, the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens. This lens is an extremely fast lens, with a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8 across the focal length. It's also got IS (image stabilizer) that is able to provide an equivalent effect of a 3 f-stops gain in shutter speed for hand-held photography. I can hand hold this camera up to 1/5s w/o any camera shake. The lens has an extremely fast and near silent USM (ultrasonic) AF drive including full-time manual focusing. Because of this it does not  to rotate during focusing, making it ideal for using polarizers. Build quality is superb, probably 2nd only to L lenses.

Here is what the lens looks like. It's got a huge opening at 77mm 
(images borrowed from

IMHO, this is the ideal all around lens, especially for travelling. At 17mm, this lens is ideal for wide landscape shots but can zoom in up to 55mm, the perfect portrait lens. Ideal if you only want to carry a single FAST lens for your landscapes, group shots, and portraits.

Photozone highly recommends this lens and says that this lens is clearly a level up from other Canon standard zooms. Read the full review here.

MSRP for this camera is about PhP45k-54k (USD1000-1200). I'm selling mine for PhP38k.(USD850)  As a bonus, I will include a 77mm UV filter, a 77mm circular polarizer and the Canon lens hood, all of which I currently use with this lens, for free.

This is a bargain and it's rare to find this lens at this price. Only reason I's selling is I'm upgrading to a full frame camera body.

You may contact me at for any inquiries, or you may leave a comment in this post as well. I will accept paypal payments for local and international buyers or cash on delivery for Metro Manila buyers.

Here are some of m images taken with this lens and my Canon EOS 350D.
Pearl Farm - Parola Bar La Union Fading Away Filipina - Palawena The Unique Beauty of the FiIipina

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seiko Reverse - The Watch That Runs Backwards

As I was browsing through the Philippine Watch Club forum, one of the topics caught my eye. It read: esreveR 0407-9036 sreviD okieS. At first I thought it was an attack on the forum, a sort of virus that garbled words up. Curiousity got the better of me though and I proceeded to open it. It was a post by one of the Seiko moderators and the picture in his post immediately caught my eye. Borrowing from rcajayon of PWC, Im posting the picture here.

See something different?

See it? See the positions of the numbers 9 and 3?

Yes this watch runs backward. In reverse, couterclockwise.

Here is the link to the original post of rcagayon regarding his unique Seiko Reverse. See how it works, who made it and even see a video of how the hands turn back time!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Favorite Seiko Vintage Watch: Seiko 6138-0040 Bullhead

I'll take a side step from my list of favorite watches, which are basically watches that are still in production, and instead write about my favorite Seiko vintage watch: the Seiko 6138-0040 Bullhead.

from Isthmus of WUS' "How to Buy a Seiko Bullhead Guide"
The Seiko Bullheads were produced during the 70s and are available in two versions: a reddish brown version with gold sub-registers and a black version with steely blue sub-registers. Additionally  the brown bullheads also come in “SpeedTimer” variants which are JDM only. There are two versions of the brown bullhead SpeedTimer. One is marked "Seiko SpeedTimer" at the top of the dial; while the other is marked "Seiko 5Sports SpeedTimer" at the top of the dial. International release Bullheads had the standard "Chronograph Automatic" markings. No black dialed "speedtimer" version was ever produced by Seiko.

I personally prefer the brown Bullhead version. IMHO, it has a more vintage feel and is the eye-catcher between the two variants. I guess I'm also influenced by the fact that I'm also eyeing an Omega Speedy, and I think the black Bullhead looks similar to the Speedy.

The Seiko Bullheads are powered by the Seiko's 6138 movement. Bullheads do not have a second hand. and as a result when the chronometer is not being used, only the hour and minute hands move and everything else is at zero. The movement is automatic, but can be hand wound.

As for the case, I haven't yet got the exact case height and diameter of the Bullhead but they look to be quite thick. The lug width is 20mm and the original bracelet is a folded steel fishbone style. I think it would look good on a strap too.

For a watch that is older than I am, I definitely think that the Seiko Bullhead still looks current and one vintage watch I wouldn't mind getting my hands on. Listings in ebay are priced between USD200-300, but buyers should beware that there are a lot of frankens listed out there. Though I'm itching to get my hands on a brown Bullhead, I haven't seen any yet that are worth buying as there seems to be always something missing or wrong about the Bullehads in ebay. I'm not in too much of a hurry though, if this watch has been available for the past 3 decades, I'm sure a couple of years won't matter that much.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Beware of Buying Stolen Watches

The other day a PWC member informed the forum that one of his friends got victimized by the "Dugo-Dugong Gang". I just wanted to share it here just in case anyone who visits my blog comes across a suspicious looking watch. The post, copied from the forum, goes:

"...A colleague and good friend of mine from UST Hospital just became a victim of "dugo-dugo" gang...he lost 4 watches, namely an AP ROO Safari themes on hornback strap "E" series; an AP ROO all steel navy ; a Pam 170 submersible Ti bracelet and an RXW MM 20. Just in case any of these are offered to you ( obviously to be offered with no box and papers and this will be a wild goose chase on our part ) , kindly text or call +63 9178489669 (Ging)...thanks everyone..."

Here are the watches and serial numbers as provided by Dr Ging F:

1. AP ROO safari themes ref #26020ST.00.DNRCR.01
2. AP ROO blue face (navy) all steel "D" series (ref number not provided)
3. Panerai Pam 170 submersible with Ti bracelet F 138/300
4. RXW MM 20 (serial number not provided)

Remember that buying a stolen item makes the buyer an accessory to the crime, so if you come across a boxless/paperless AP, PAM or RXW, please err on the side of caution and check the seller and maybe give the number above a call.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Watch Photography - The Closest I'll Ever Get to Most Watches

Collecting watches is such a visual and emotional treat that I cannot deny the enjoyment I get from looking at other people's watches. I like it so much that I thought it must also be enjoyable for other people to see my watches.

Here is a link to all the photos I have taken of my precious ones. Well at least those I've cared to process and publish.
dale iranon - View my 'Horology' set on Flickriver

Thanks for looking!

My Grail Watch #4: Seiko Marinemaster Professional 300m

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of the it's aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion  for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here


Seiko Marinemaster Professional 300m

Seiko Marinemaster Professional 300m
lifted from by Reficul_X of WUS review at
The Seiko Marinemaster Professional 300m, or Seiko SBDX001, is another model from the Japanese watch giant Seiko that I really like (others being the Seiko BFS and Grand Seiko GMT).

I've read and seen a fair number write-ups, reviews, pictures, and videos  of this watch and here are a couple of things that really attract me to it.

  • I like the way the bezel, the chapter ring, and the domed glass make the dial look 3D.  Of course people would say of course its 3D, its a real object! Duh! But what I mean to say is because of the design of each of the elements, there is a certain depth to the dial that I really like, it makes the watch look bigger and more interesting IMHO.
  • I like the off-white, almost golden color of the hands, the hour markers and the bezel numbers. They look like really good candidates for a nice golden patina in a few years time.
  • I like that it looks similar enough to the Rolex Sub that comparisons are unavoidable, but at the same time it's bigger in a tougher bad-ass looking way that it also draws comparison to the another watch with a cult following, Doxa.
  • I like the exclusivity of the watch, it being a Japanese Domestic Model (JDM), meaning that there probably aren't a lot of it in the wild. But I can imagine what a pain it would be to have it serviced.
  • And of course I like that it's got an in-house movement, the same Automatic 8L35 used in Grand Seiko models. Enough said!
This is definitely one watch I'd love to have and make a proper review on. It's currently priced at about USD2,200-2,400 and can be bought locally in Japan or online stores that sell JDM models. This is definitely on my shortlist and one that I would have no problems buying if only I had the funds to buy it. Sadly the Pinoy Watch Idiot is also a Poor Watch Idiot.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ceramet from AP

I just read from a link in PWC about AP's new material called ceramet. It's a composite made up of ceramic and metal and based on the article looks like cross between titanium and tantalum.

I particularly like the story where the AP CEO Philippe Merk hacked away at his prototype ceramet watch with a butter knife to show its scratch resistant properties. I can totally imagine Steve Jobs doing something like that during one of his product launchings.

Here's a picture I lifted from Paul Boutros of Timezone

By the way, I originally saw this news from PWC. Thanks to Plasticman!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Favorite Watches #3: Seiko BFS

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of the it's aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion  for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here.


Seiko BFS

Seiko SNKF07K and SNKF05K BFS
Seiko SNKF07K and SNKF05K BFS
I love the Seiko BFS. I already have two models, and if I see the other two, I'll get them as well.

Here is a link to a BFS review I wrote posted at PWC.

Get Big! Get Freaky! Get Seiko BFS!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2 Days After Impact

Last night a couple of hours after sharing the little incident my watch encountered with another watch, my short thread received a couple of feedback from PWCers that made me feel better about the incident. I really like one of the comments made and with the permission of Plasticman, I would like to share this with everyone else who comes across this blog.

I do also like some battle scars as sometimes it reminds me of what happened to the watch. Brings back some good and bad memories.

I also think that the first ding or scratch is really harder to get over. The 2nd or 3rd and so on will be easier to take since you are probably used to it getting banged up. As long as it is not that bad, we can usually live with it until we send it on for service.

I do follow a rule, if I can't stand the ding or scratch, then I usually get it fixed. I believe that we should enjoy wearing our watches and if the ding or scratch is not really giving us the pleasure of wearing our watch. Then I think we need to get it fixed.

Now I have to look for someone capable of repairing the watch :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Grail Watch #2: Rolex Explorer II (white dial)

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of the it's aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion  for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here


Rolex Explorer II (white dial)

borrowed from
There was this article shared by one of the respected members of PWC on why the Rolex Explorer II is one of only two Rolex models worth spending cash on (along with the Explorer). While I don't believe that the other Rolex models are not worth buying, I personally do agree with the writer's reasons for why the Explorer II is a watch worth owning.

In a nut-shell, the Explorer II for me has the following likeable attributes:
  • In-house movement
  • Clean and elegant white dial
  • Has a splash of color and additional functionality with the red GMT hand
  • The easy to read stainless steel bezel with Arabic numerals 1-24
  • The all SS brushed look that screams tool watch, but since its a Rollie and it has a white face, it can also be worn as a dress watch.
The Explorer II is powered by the in-house cal. 3185, which allows for the independent movement of the 24hr hand. This makes setting of a second time zone convenient and easy. As I frequently find myself getting assigned to other parts of the world, it's great to have this feature on a watch. And the movement, being in-house is definitely a plus in my book.

The white dial is also the other thing I love about this Rolex. It just looks so elegant and effervescent. It also makes the Explorer II the only watch apart from the white dial Daytona, the only Rolex Oyster Professional  watch  that comes with a white dial.

Now even if I didn't get to travel that much, the 24 hour hand also has its use, be it aesthetic only. I really love how the red 24 hour hand contrasts against the white and the blacks of the dial. That small thin line just provides a splash of color to the dial which makes it young and fun without detracting from the elegance of the white dial. Rolex really hit the mark with this one.

I also love how Rolex went for an engraved brushed stainless steel bezel on this watch. Because of the great contrast, the engraved and black Arabic numerals can easily be read from the stainless steel bezel. The bezel though is fixed, so a third time zone cannot be set with this watch. But this doesn't take away anything from the watch. If I wanted a third time zone, then the GMT IIc would be the one for me.

Another thing unique to this watch vs the GMT (forgive the comparison but I end up naturally comparing them because of their GMT capabilities) is the all brushed stainless steel Oyster lock bracelet. I like the all brushed look since it's like a badge that says the Explorer II is a no fuzz, no blling, tool watch. That being said, because of the whte dial and the very manageable 40mm size of the watch, there would be no trouble for the Explorer II doubling as a dress watch.

All these make the Rolex Explorer II one of my favorite watches. And unlike the other watches in my "fave" list, this watch costs (MSRP) a manageable USD5,000.00. (PhP250k) Of course after discounts, this watch can probably had for about PhP230k. If I were to buy one, I'd probably be buy a 2nd hand watch since there are so many out in the open which are in really good condition.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bam! When Two Watches Collide

Just a few hours earlier today, as I was on my way towards Souk Wakif here in Doha by foot. I stopped for a mere 3 seconds to look at a store front. I was wearing my Steinhart Nav. B-Uhr II 44mm Automatic this evening since I havent been able to wear it for a couple of days now. A guy in a hurry passes beside me and BAM! I knew it, our watches collided and I know that my Steinhart just got its first ding. Two actually, one at a quarter of a way past 3o'clock the other at 3:30.

Even before I am able to complete my review or at least complete taking pictures for the review.

The guy didn't even slow down for me to see what watch he was wearing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Grail Watch #1: IWC Big Pilot

2 years ago or so, one of my friends Gary showed me an IWC Portuguese Chronograph and I was in awe of the it's aesthetics and being a mechanical engineer, was more in awe of the makings and windings of the watch. This started in me a passion  for looking and reading, not necessarily owning, watches, and the rest as they say is history.

After one Seiko and one Steinhart automatic, both of which I really love, I still have in my head a list of what I believe would make my own perfect collection. This list is not necessarily in order...

Read complete list of my favorite watches here.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch

Borrowed from Bill of
IWC describes the Big Pilot in the following manner:

Since 2002, the Big Pilot’s Watch has been IWC’s flagship. Its IWC-manufactured 51111 calibre – one of the largest automatic movements in the world – contains all the features that have proved their worth in the long history of IWC mechanical watches. Within no time at all, the automatic movement generates a power reserve of 8.5 days, but only runs for 7 days before being mechanically stopped by an ingenious little train in the power reserve.This eliminates the fall-off in torque that occurs as the mainspring winds down, which could lead to loss of amplitude in the balance and unacceptable inaccuracies in the rate.

To me, the Big Pilot is one of my top favorite watches simply because of the following:
  • Its history and DNA as a Pilot Watch
  • Its in-house movement
  • Its elegant, and simple design
  • Its wrist presence
In terms of history and pilot watch DNA, nothing more could be asked of the Big Pilot. During the 1940s, IWC (along with A. Lange & Söhne, Laco, Wempe and STOWA) was one of the makers of the original pilot watch. This makes the Big Pilot a direct descendant of the original pilot watch, and though it has been redesigned and re-sized there is no doubt that this watch has got the DNA of the original pilot watch.

One of the modifications made by IWC is powering the Big Pilot with the  in-house 5111 calibre movement. This big baby can power the Big Pilot up to up to 8.5 days (only which 7 days are used as described above). Having an in-house movement to me is what separates manufacturers from just being a watch brand. This means that the watch was designed and built ground up and not just merely assembled from a myriad of parts.

In terms of design the Big Pilot is the epitome of understated wrist presence, if there is such a thing. Understated in that the watch's design is elegant and simple , with the dial only adorned by the power reserve indicator at the 3 o'clock position, and a date window at the 6 o'clock position. The texts IWC Shaffhausen can be found at the 12 o'clock position just below the double dotted triangle, and  automatic written at the 6 o'clock position just above the date window. In terms of wrist presence, I have had the chance to wear the Big Pilot twice already and it is such a looker and cannot be missed. But even with the massive 46.2mm, I am surprised that this beast of a watch feels so comfortable on my 6.5" wrist.

I don't know if I will able to afford a watch that retails at USD13,500 at ADs, though after discounts this watch can be had for roughly USD10-USD11k, but nonetheless it remains one of my dream watches and THE pilot watch I would like to get.

Getting Yeng a BFS too

Here are some pics of the newly acquired black dialed SNKF07K BFS for my fiancee, Yeng. I changed the bracelet to a brown Pam style leather strap and it looks good. Of course had to try it on to make sure at least one of us, likes it :D

Image Image

Wrist shots

Thanks for looking!


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