Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXIV

Q. Hello Gonzo! I noticed a couple of fine pieces and I am no watch enthusiast. I simply go by the looks but apart from that, I want to know why I should really buy one or all of these. I like the rectangular shapes only because I see not too many people wearing that kind of a thing on their respective wrist tops. Though I like the round variety and it appeals no less – still, I think, a diversion is sometimes, nice. I also noticed a disproportionate circular-to-rectangular rate in the market, which I think, makes it all the more exquisite. Especially, for the square movement!

Anyway, thanks for considering my question. I might sound a bit foolish sometimes but as I declared first – I’m no connoisseur.

A. One thing leads to another; your fascinations for looks brought you near to the innards as you want to know the other pleasures you buy with the Orient. But, just as you said you’re no connoisseur, like that, you must understand I’m no salesman either. You have made your pick and we’ll discuss a little on that; don’t expect any sweetening here. We’ll just correct the points where you went wrong.

Firstly, they are not rectangular. Three out of the five of your initial pick are what we call tonneau; a watch case that resembles the longitudinal cross section of a keg or barrel. The French way to say that is to-no whereas Southerners say ton-yo, the ton comes with a long ‘o’. Northwest says tahwn-o or tawn-oh. Make your pick. The rest are square.

Why, you might also ask.

For everything, there is a reason. Taking dubious privileges is not something that goes down well with the horological world. It makes you drip a mire of ignorance and play rhythms to questions that don’t match.

You must decide first if it’s a rectangular watch that you want or a rectangular movement. It’s not mandatory for both to be similar in shape. A round movement – like the ones you picked – sits very well within square and tonneau cases and yes, also within the real rectangular cases. The 46A- and 46B-40 drives many other Orient masterpieces and are created for the long haul. The latter holds 40 hours of power and beats at 21,600 bph. It sports day, date and 24 hours complications while the former is plain timekeeping. You need to wear them at least on alternate days, for 8 hours.

If you want my honest opinion, I have seen round watches sell 10 times to square, tonneau or rectangular ones. Certainly, it’s not the majority’s preference for you need extremely formal clothing to go with one. But that’s a sloth mind, lacking imagination. If you are creative, these are indeed the rare and genuinely interesting watches in the price range.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Newsletter : New Arrivals in Men’s and Women’s Watches

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We have some fantastic new arrivals at CreationWatches.com! The new arrivals range from a new brand (Kate Spade) to some great Fossil, Skagen, Michael Kors, Diesel, AX, Marc Jacobs, Seiko and Orient watches!

Check them out here: New Watches in stock at CreationWatches.com!

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New Arrivals

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Orient Monarch: Sovereign, Serene, Sombre

Orient is of incredible value for the not-so-deep pockets. Their solid build quality and reliable, in-house workhorse movements – all moulded into pleasing designs, the Orient Monarch are hard to argue against. You got three choices here and they are picked more often from the shortlisted. Pointing to the direction of affordable and well-built, mechanical classics inevitably bring a mention of the Monarch.

Orient does it exceptionally well. Dress pieces have been sort of a specialisation from the brand. Bambino, Bambino II, Railroad, Star and Classic…and we want to see where it leads to from the Monarch.

Early Fall 2015 saw the arrival of the Monarch. It’s unique in its assemblage of vintages.  Olden inspirations added up to create this one of the few manual winders in the current mechanical zone. Its domed mineral crystal slightly magnifies the components on the dial, making the dial look bigger than its actual size. Its exhibition case back shows elements not often seen on a watch at this price.

The stainless steel case houses an Orient Caliber 48C40 with Silver Sunray, white and black dials. They got no lume, but neither are they meant for the dark. It’s a great, modern-sized watch that looks good with its bubble-like shape. It sits on the wrist very well. It feels surprisingly smaller to the wearer because of the bulging shape occupying less surface are on the skin.

Immediately after the case details come the exaggerated ‘onion’ crown. The stem is within the small tube at its base. It gives a small protrusion the vintage pieces alike. For winding, you also get a much easier grip.

One of these Orient describes as an eggshell dial, which is silvery white with a discrete and subtle sunray finish. You don’t notice it immediately, but only after a close observation. Else, it appears just plain white, but not the flat- and plastic-type whiteness. It’s livelier than that.

The faces are ornate ones, enough to trigger a person’s soft spot to pull trigger on one. Orient achieved more with its subdued looks this time and brings back the classic style that’s ideal for making an entry to the dress domain. And you don’t get blue and bright Breguet hands all that often in the entry-level. They are the focal points of the watch-face.

Functional part aside, the power reserve indicator brings a nice balance to the dial. The 12 o’clock power reserve indicator is a well-executed set-up showing approximately 40 hours on a fully wound mainspring of the basic 48C40 driving the Monarch. But this 21 jewels, 21,600bph, hackable engine is wholly effective as a workhorse. It served the Orient pocket watches before, so that’s another exclusivity you may run after.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Does Presage make for the perfect wedding watch?

Someone asked about how he should pick out the perfect watch for his wedding ensemble – not as the man in his own marriage ceremony but on his side. There’s a doubt that he wants to clear up. So, let’s break some misconceptions today.

I have seen North and East Indian marriage ceremonies and I’ve witnessed what extravagant display of riches could mean. But there is a lot of bad information out there about pairing one of the most important accessories (other two being glasses and the pen) a man can ever have and certainly, a Diesel is not for the wedding unless you are one of the teen attendees. At that age, just anything goes.

Owning truckloads of money doesn’t mean you should spend mindlessly on a watch. You do not own a watch to show your wealth, but your good taste, a fine, balanced judgment and an appreciation for value. Presage’s origin and existence, both proves it is a fine balance between money, making and matter.

If that’s getting too complicated, let’s get down straightaway to what your perfect choice should be. This will definitely make you miss the thrills of an elite game but will fetch you more time to go shopping for the other goods. But you must also know why I’m suggesting you this particular name. Without that much lowdown, wearing a Presage is simply posing for class.

The Urushi Presage is all about a long-lasting beauty and performance rooted firmly in the Japanese tradition and offers the very highest levels of reliability and durability over time, even generations. And above all, you get a true luxury at an affordable price.

For the kind of wedding outfits popular in the aforementioned regions, the Presage makes the perfect choice. It is an example of fine mechanical watch making from Japan and some of them are exclusive; say, with enamel dials. It’s the century-old traditions Seiko puts into the Presage, now developed and refined further with the latest technologies. They are as good as some of the Grand Seiko-s.

Your perfect watch is one of the fine examples of Japanese artistry built with the most exclusive, traditional Japanese craftsmanship. The pure, deep black of the Urushi lacquer on the dial brings its deep black lustre, which will get better with the passing years. Hand-painted and polished, it is something exclusive that’s not available all the time. If you like the multiple needles look, the Presage gives you a great chance to fulfil your fantasies.

If black is not quite your choice, then you may also check out this white dialled version. This won’t have the lacquering, but it certainly looks much grander than the black in my eyes.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXIII

Q.

Dear Gonzo!

You can make out from the name this being my second mail to you. The last time and I must say here you have my hearty thanks for the priming-up session that introduced me to watch buying. I’m enjoying your choice, or suggestion – whichever way you might look at it – and now, saved previously from an imminent fall, I want to take the leap to Swiss.

Easier said than done! They boggle my mind. Get me started. What does it take to be recognized as a Swiss-made watch, say, at a single glance? I want that kind of a Swiss. Pardon my childishness, but I’ve been through some other watch guides and found them too lengthy and complex to enjoy. What will be the best Swiss for me within a grand? I do not go hunting or trekking or paragliding or flying, but I’m a bit of a social creature (perhaps a bit too-much) with the club being my fixed home on weekends since a year or so. Play, fight, drink, dance and sing are all that we do. Yes, eat and bathe (and the rest) too. I hold a 9 to 5 job where I go straight from the club on Monday mornings.

A.

You got all that the Suisse world of horology has to offer! Any Swiss you buy – even Parmigiani Fleurier – is built to withstand that much of annoyance (not to me; to the watch). However, if you are playing polo, baseball or kick-boxing, then you really need to pick carefully.

Strange as it might sound, the affordable range of Swiss watches handle all that much better than the classier Patek-s and Longines! But wait, you wanted to have a discussion about what Swiss is. We don’t need to go all that deep into the 16th century, the scarcity of jewels and the goldsmiths turning to watchmakers and flocking in to Genève; here, we will see just the current Swiss Made laws. You must note here that many of the vintage Swiss watches sometimes do not comply with them. For example, they often have just ‘Swiss’ on the dial and not ‘Swiss Made’. That’s perfectly alright. So are Suisse, Produit Suisse, Fabriqué en Suisse and Qualité Suisse. It is dubious when a new product bears those marks. That’s because the current Swiss laws (Ordonnance réglant l’utilisation du nom Suisse pour les montres) only allow the regional watchmakers to label their timepieces as Swiss Made. To get that mark, a very stringent set of rules and regulations are need to be met. But apart from those, to be a Swiss-Made, an entire movement must be built (with at least 50% of its components manufactured in Switzerland), encased and finally inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland. However, if a Swiss-Made movement is cased outside Switzerland; the watch is labelled ‘Swiss Movt.’ only and not Swiss Made.

To answer your other question, check out the Hamilton Ventura Chrono Quartz or the Hamilton Khaki ETO Chronograph. But then again, that’s just me and I simply shared my opinion.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Newsletter : Clearance Sale on 100 Watches with up to 85% off – Free Worldwide Shipping

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This month’s clearance sale is on with an additional 10% off on 100 selected watches. With Free Worldwide shipping and Free DHL Express 2-4 days delivery to most countries! We have some real beauties in there with the best prices in the world!

Use discount code CLEAR for an additional discount of 10% on these watches.

Clearance sale on 50 watches with up to 85% off!

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Clearance sale on 100 Watches

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Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXII

Q. Gonzo!

It’s been a while I’ve been following your posts. No, not that I just passed by them leisurely; I too drool an outcome. But as I presume, this is just one of those queries that will end up in your mailbox-Trash after being answered and I don’t regret that. You help me with my transition choice and you’ll forever have my gratitude.

Something I must tell you here. I’m totally a battery-quartz guy so far with my newly acquired knowledge on the higher-end quartz mechanisms (solar and kinetic; spring-drive et al) which makes the choice harder. The world-time is a feature that fascinates me!

However, I’m not looking to buy any of those for the time being; I guess I need to read a bit more before I turn to you again. My real concern this time is a plain, Swiss mechanical piece; something that doesn’t blow a fanfare for someone entering into a wholly different world. I also need to stay within a thousand dollars. So, I can do without a classy one, if needed.

Hope my question is a pertinent one, so expecting reply.

A.

There’s a Tissot review you’ll find here. If that doesn’t do, I suggest you Hamilton. You get an American style built with Swiss precision. It’s a bit of the American railroads history and bit about the memories of the U.S. troops in World War II.

Hamilton is a part of the Swatch Group now; its funds, facilities and merchandising are Swatch’s headaches. The Hamilton craftsmen; therefore, devote solely to the art of watch-making, minus any distraction. Moreover, it’s an esteemed and well-known Swiss name that doesn’t kill your wallet. Max, it scratches; sometimes a little deep but you can bear with that much pain.

The kind that will suit you perfectly – as far as I could make out – is the Khaki Aviation. They are clean, uncomplicated and relatively inexpensive. The H76665835 is a fine example; it’s a relatively lightweight and compact automatic watch. There are a few more of this kind in different sizes, colours, movements and sub-designs; however, please check them yourself and see if you like one.

The one I mentioned is particularly like-able for its automatic movement, brushed finish, black dial………and – a v-e-e-e-r-y casual-looking Olive/Green leather strap. There’s a clear sapphire case-back showing the gears inside, hard-at-work! The surprise is, in every way it exceeds the expectations one might have towards a budget Swiss and it’s also unusual and casual – with an almost steam-punk vibe – and the heavy-thread stitching plays a large part in that. It makes a statement without being gaudy or cumbersome, so go the whole hog and take pride in this automatic!

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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HAMILTON JAZZMASTER AUTO-CHRONO: RELIABILITY AND SOPHISTICATION MASTERFULLY PACKED INTO ONE

Why the Jazzmaster, again? Haven’t there been some extensive discussions on the series previously? Sure, but not on this particular model, which is – let’s just call it incredible! No; not because of the latest innovations in watch-making finding their way into it. It is for the improvisations this time on the proven design of its primary version. Modernity is held as a king in this particular model, evident from its contemporary shaping and the dial design, all exhibiting a confidence that only true quality can impart.

It’s a pleasant surprise the way its gray sunburst dial catches the light. The blue hands stand out with an enhanced tonal vibrancy against it while the silver sub-dials shine in a terrific manner, exceeding all expectations. A great parity in the colour scheme results from the black strap with gray stitch. The buckle is standard and Hamilton-signed, which is great for a quick put-on or take-off.

This one, too, relies on the same JazzMaster formula, complete with signature ornate lugs, elegant, luxurious dials and Swiss mechanical movements. It shows how the classic turns modern without deviating from its dress-chrono path a bit. So far, it is one of the most handsome offerings in the entire dress/sports category; all brands included and packs in quite a lot of wrist presence without compromising on wearing comfort. It feels special.

The monochromatic colouring makes it simultaneously cool, classy and retro, reminding of the jazz clubs of the ‘60s. Its excellent symmetry comes from the light changes in the set patterns, which is most evident from the flared-down date window. It integrates beautifully with the rest of the additions to the dial; with the chronograph counters and the small seconds-hand. It keeps this JazzMaster from turning too flashy but still carries a pleasant shine.

Turn it over and there’s the 27-jewel ETA 7753 movement gleaming through the glass. It is the classic 3-6-9 layout version of the 7750 and is considered one among the best chrono movements that are used in contemporary mass-produced watches.  The chronograph function uses the 30 minutes (at 3’o clock dial) and hour-measure counters (at 9’o clock) while to count the seconds, it uses the large seconds-hand at the centre. It doesn’t conflict with the small sub-seconds at the bottom.

However, unlike others, the crown has only two positions, not three. When pushed in, it allows hand-winding; pulled out, it sets the time. To adjust the date, press the small inset button on the case at 10’o clock. It will advance one step at a time.

But putting everything aside, the new Jazzmaster is an incredible watch in person and the slightly domed sapphire crystal is a big reason behind. It’s not very often you come across glass that blends so smoothly into the bezel!

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Newsletter : Popular Orient Automatic Watches back in stock!

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This week we have some extremely popular Orient and Seiko watches back in stock after a long time. There are some real gems out there including some fantastic Orient automatic watches.

Check them out here: Back in Stock – after a long time!

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Back in stock watches
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Precise notes on the Precisionist – II

How ethical is it to conceal the true nature of quartz and give it a smooth sweep that’s smoother than that of a mechanical? The problem with Gonzo is, he takes things in their literal senses at times and a simple joke turned into a tantrum in no time. The Bulova Precisionist is one of the Gonzo favs and this is what the team admires: If Gonzo is heart and soul for something, he will fight tooth and nail for it. Not just watches, but everything. Someday, I’ll tell you about other instances where the warrior side of Gonzo shows up and here I wish to change an age-old adage:  Women hath no fury like the Gonzo scorned! For now, let’s focus precisely on the Precisionist.

Here, I must admit that masking the quartz nature of a watch, whether ethical or non-ethical, for sure, looks damn pretty good. Gonzo calls that a logical improvement and the rest of the team didn’t quite oppose his thought. For secretly, all of us want the seconds-hand in a watch to go around in smooth sweeps rather than single ticks – that too not lining up with the markers! With the sweep, such frustrations go down to zero and additionally, you get to enjoy an increased accuracy. In the case of Precisionist, the smoothness is beyond the sweep of a mechanical.

While Gonzo is ga-ga over the sweep, I’m sold on the Precisionist’s function and versatility. The 1/1000th-second analog chronograph function makes me drool over it; also, the way it operates. Here, you got to press the button at 8 first to send the seconds-hand back to the origin. This ensures a correct reading of the elapsed time. But the real fun is where 1/10th and the 1/100th-hands kick in spinning wildly. Worry not, the hands will reset by themselves at the lapse of 30 seconds to conserve energy. The movement calculates internally with a computer rather than showing it real-time on an active stopwatch. Pause the function and all the hands related to the chronograph function jump into the right places; the elapsed time is shown with incredible precision! It is not something very common and this feature makes the Precisionist a chronograph watch that is a step above the rest.

That said, the Precisionist also has a design that comes out successful among the oversized, über-masculine watches and is probably the best among a handful. I don’t expect it to appeal to them with hots for understated designs (with such an extreme look, the idea of a classic and versatile casual watch definitely goes out of the window), but people with even medium-sized wrists – indulge fully; it’s not going to look out of proportion.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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The Seiko SNAB71: The Flight Master is famous by its nickname

A very beautiful watch! It’s tough not to step on the gas while cruising through the labyrinthine praise highway in this vehicle. It’s a fantastic, top notch quartz movement inside and its face is bordered with a filigree of numbers in two rows, the lower one turning. That gets done almost any calculation related to travelling. That one is its ‘Flight-‘thing and makes it half a pilot’s watch! The three-zone time tracking and a professional chronograph function comprise the other half.

The chronograph is bit different from the way we mostly know it in semi-pro watches and sometimes, even in some professional watches i.e. 1-second counts. Here, Seiko gives you 1/5th. Every second is covered in 5 ticks, just like a mechanical. It’s outstandingly responsive (thanks to the big plate on the pusher) – perhaps – a bit too much. You might have to check following any considerably large bump or knock. Mine has had a couple of instances so far; thankfully, it survived all the nastiness (sewage water and mud; rock under turbid water and some leeches) without a single blemish! It applies even to the leather strap! It paid off feeding the band with leather nourishing cream for three days.

Note: For best results, create a layer of the cream by dipping both sides of the strap into the container till the steel buckles. Pick up and leave it like that for overnight in room temperature. Rub it off the next morning. If you can do it once a week, it’s all the better.

Either the steel doesn’t catch the skin oil or I exude it less and it got to be one. The official feel depends a lot on it and it’s good that it doesn’t need a wipe every day.  Unless the finely crafted details have everything clean over and around them, it wouldn’t have been half as extraordinary as it is.

The dial layout – to me – has the ease and beauty of a mechanical chronograph. The top mini-dial is the minute-register for the chronograph and the seconds sub-dial is at 9’o clock. The lower dial either denotes a second time zone or tracks time for the alarm to ring, which is sharp, sustaining and pleasantly loud. Whether it can wake you up or not is an individual thing. During the daytime, it can be heard clear and loud. You do it by unscrewing and pulling out the 3’o clock crown and also set the second time zone; the other one works the EB-6 rule. The battery is supposed to run for three years with moderate use of the functions.

Reading the date and other lettering are certainly not your thing if you wear fat glasses; to normal vision people, they come precise and pristine.

Three days are enough to learn all the operations. The manual gives it clear and simple.

So, where’s the third time-zone? It’s simple; just remember how many hours it is ahead or behind the second time zone. That’s all!

 

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXI : Never tickle a ‘Seikopath’

Q. Hey Gonzo!

I recently stumbled upon MAW and going through all your posts and answers to queries (I appreciate and sometimes…I’m impressed by the wit), I draw an entirely personal conclusion. I guess it’s high time you come up with a digest. That’s to say – Why isn’t there a recommendation for the best in your every price segment? You come up with Seiko-s all the time, almost condemning all other brands. Do you mind sharing what would change your mind about it?

I happen to travel between Japan and (…….) a lot, chiefly business trips. No, I got nothing whatsoever to do with watch-trading; I’m just an ardent follower of true horological wonders that are not just technical. My Japan trips got me into the habit; couldn’t make it till now to the Swiss Alps though. But one day…Yep! That too!

A.

True! It’s as clear as calling an old pile of weather-beaten stone ‘home’. For much of it will sound absurd. It is a misfortune to suffer from the periodic ‘Best-bug’ bite, so here I insist this purely psychosomatic development to be taken care of. Worry not, each of us team members are now busy making their own lists; you go through them and pick 5. We’re happy to provide the assistance.

While they stay busy, we’ll talk ‘bout something else.

Somehow, something doesn’t sound too correct in your excessively judgmental personality. The point you raised is something we have been arguing over months. We ran through the simple to the exotic; tried finding out if aromatic watches really exist. That would really make them expensive. But hobbyists are about writing cheques for bad advice. “That’s money well-spent” – if you ask them.

It can be very hard to rouse Gonzo. I’m even unaware if it’s a Grand Seiko that you wear or is it the Premier that you adore? Maybe, a Sportura? Or, could it be an Astron?

Oops! Sorry. You did mention about feeling nauseated at the mention of the brand. But you know what, there’s one brand whose repute grew from producing respectable watches that are not just automatic, at unbelievably low prices. There’s nothing that’s cheap-digital about it; the high-end Grand Seiko (one that I mentioned a little while back) line probes the brand’s mechanical prowess.

But hey! Did you check out Suunto? But you got to be an outdoorsman for that; Japan has plenty of skiing arrangements and that should make them most desirable to you. You may also show a Jap friend that Swiss digitals are tough competitions to the Jap digital industry.

Don’t think you’ll be out of luck. The few things at play (the movement, size, influences and inspirations; features and general designs, accents etc.) are as far from garish as possible. It’s a pretty good choice well under $500.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

 

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Expensive watch wearing….revisited

Some of you who are kind enough to bear through the rumblings every week or twice often hold a grudge against Gonzo that he is averse to the use of plastics, circuit boards and batteries! True. If they belong to irresponsible, disposable watches.

Else, he values them for almost the same reasons you value them for. This is not just a fine-art domain. Crude (in its good sense) or brutal art is also a part of it. But it should be well-designed and functional; better, if it’s a tool by itself. Though the mechanical watches are a timeless celebration – if I may be so grandiose – for Gonzo, he’s not blind to a digital/electronic ingenuity that triggers (you read it right; it’s triggers, not tickles) his fancy. All of us here at CW admire the fine mechanisms to capture time by means of gears set against one another and we agree upon it being a remarkable feat never to grow obsolete.

However, unless there were battery-powered watches, picture-perfect precision would have been marginally more accurate. We agree and admire electronic horology too.

Wait! Does that mean spot on accuracy is not attained even by the finest of mechanicals?

A mechanical watch can be 99.999% accurate. The cost of acquiring jumps those many times.

Back to defending Gonzo – okay, you might be thinking “why”? It’s not defending; just that his inclinations to the classic and robust sides of horology were wrongly interpreted by a few (identities not to be disclosed, so please don’t ask) as he is trying to disturb the trends from pushing forward.

Gonzo laughed the allegations away. Responsibilities, too; for the time being! This evening, he goes out for a round in the town. His weekends start bit early. I’m just trying to tally the different sets of logic.

The first one is that low prices affect craftsmanship, durability, design – and needless saying – materials. An ironic counterargument or a reverse version of fine horology that throws the doors ajar for conspicuous consumption for the cheap quartz to become a person’s emblem! That’s to save money? Guess there are better ways to show that humbleness borne out of fiscal responsibility and sensibility. People get way more cheap, fleeting and wasteful through different means.

It’s not to say everyone wearing a one-time-use/throwaway watch is a spendthrift in some other manner. Those who are not and still wearing cheap, plastic toys may be doing so because either fund is insufficient, or knowledge is not up to the mark or just a case of bad taste.

That’s quite a bit of a running around! Also, I got no desire to dabble in the high-minded ethics of the horological world and its economics and a watch-buyer’s rights. I would love to continue this argument, but all that running around makes me aware that I’m feeling a sudden craving for some yogurt and juicy red meat!

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Newsletter : Seiko Prospex “Baby Tuna” Diver’s 200m Watch on Sale – $255 only with Free Worldwide Shipping!

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This week we have on sale one of the recent hits from Seiko – The Seiko “Baby Tuna” 200m Automatic Diver’s SRP641K1.

Available only for the next 5 days or while stocks last for an uSRP641K1 MEDnbeatable price of US $255 with Free Worldwide Shipping!

This new Baby Tuna is a part of Seiko’s international Prospex releases. The shroud is different here – it is hardened composite material and the movement – a self-winding Seiko 4R36. It has both hack and manual winding features and the hardened mineral on top is a Hardlex crystal. It is still the best for shatter resistance while the Lumibrite lume takes a minute in the sunlight to charge and glow brightly for the next 15 minutes.

Get it here: Seiko Prospex “Baby Tuna” Automatic Diver’s 200M SRP641K1

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Inside the Recraft: Views on a missed point

Sometimes, Gonzo is hard to be understood. No, rather, his doings! Once he had tried to ride his motorcycle backwards; it was a blunder! Fortunately, his posts – while sometimes atrocious – are far less harmful. Praising a timepiece without nearing technical details doesn’t bring bruises and heartbreaks so painfully as in real life. Only that a reader must bear with it, not Gonzo; unlike his m’cycle stunt! There, it involved Gonzo and one of the interested observers.

There might be questions arising why I’m so much after the movement, but those who have known the venerable 7S26 need no answer. Those who don’t, Google it around a bit and then come back and read the rest of this post. But then, you have already known it; this post will just uncover some personal viewpoints.

Every bit of whatever Gonzo spoke about the last time is true; yet, it’s the movement I find the only, truly and worthy retro piece in the whole Seiko Recraft Automatic ensemble. Seiko gives us a puzzle to solve; this is how I solve it.

The movement under discussion is a 21 jewel mechanism. Numerous Seiko models run on it, over many decades, for many decades. Both entry-level and mid-tier Seiko-s have time to time got a touch of the 7S26; though older 7S26 movements are found to be bit rattlier and short of grace, they still ended up being a lot of people’s favourite Seiko calibre. Its genius workhorse predecessor, the 6309, also earned the fame for being incredibly durable and efficient. It’s the same ingenious engineering that creates the 7S26 and in the Recraft, experiencing the version of the 7S26 is a revelation.

It might not be too much to guess if Seiko threw some special regulations to the 7S26. It is more solid, more reliable than ever! Absolutely a rock-solid built. Its strictly-industrial finish doesn’t stop you from truly enjoying a gaze at it through the clear case-back.

Fluidity is its main theme this time. From the sweep to the day/date function, all are remarkably fluid and easy! The Seiko ingenuity is preferred for a lot of reasons; this is one. Maintaining superior quality while keeping things cheap and cheery – it’s the concept the Seiko Recraft is built upon. If this is going to be your first automatic watch, its in-house movement will make you fall for the higher ones above.

There are expensive watches. There are more expensive watches. There are more and more complicated watches, some of them not even mass-produced. But it all comes down to the amount of heritage that goes into the execution.

It makes some of the Recraft-s too precious to be beaters, for their distinct, too individualistic designs. But they are versatile and appreciated everywhere. You are never to worry about it.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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Seiko Recraft: Infectious, compulsive, old-school vibes

The retro-themed Recraft series is comparatively newer; it was introduced only last fall. Seiko seemed to have remained enthusiastic all through; their response to the Recraft stimuli shows. The amount of appreciation it gained come as quite a bit of a surprise in an age when awful sizes and decorations are more in demand. The Recraft is how Seiko embraces vintage aesthetic of the ‘60s and ‘70s (keeping the Grand Seiko aside) and has turned many of the first-time watch buyers into full-fledged obsessive fan-boys.

It also proves something else. Seiko is not a brand confined within the watch-nerd circuits.

The excitement of wearing the Seiko Recraft on one of your wrists is impossible to jot down; everyone will interpret it in his own way and none will be the same. Rhapsodic – and that’s no rhetoric – for all the nostalgia it induces! Seiko broke out at a crucial point of time when they got almost synonymous to Kinetic; the old mechanical flame was relit.

Note: The Recraft does have its Kinetic versions, but that’s another story. This time we focus on models that are automatic.

From pristine white to luminous emerald green, from the extremely gentlemanly to the impressively bold – but the true experience is when there’s one on the wrist! Over the months as you let it grow on you, the tenability of your anticipation starts showing. Seiko hits many a sweet spots with the Recraft and you start appreciating it fully for not just being a reissue. It’s neither a re-imagined copy of any previous model tucked in the lab corner. The Seiko Recrafts are totally new creations and embodies the true, vintage mechanical spirit and a great deal of fun. That makes it troublesome to be objective about the Recraft; there’s virtually nothing to dislike about it. Pricing, precision or privileges, it fills all the cups equally, right up to the brim! The truly mechanical Recraft with its unexpected style makes for both an incredible bargain and a fabulous wrist presence. It proves well-beyond satisfying in several ways.

Simple, yet dramatic! Simplicity has both its own attraction and charisma; the first thing you’ll notice about the Seiko Recraft Automatic watches is their dramatic dials. The 40mm dials (with case, it is 3mm more) exude a pure ‘60s vibe. It holds for all sorts of white/gold/silver combos as much as the modernist gold-tone (full) or the gorgeous dark shades often giving out psychedelic ripples on the dials against sunlight. The seconds-hands are often strikingly coloured, vivid and vibrant! The classic inner seconds track imparts each of the models a bold look. The quality of the satin brush finish, contrasted with polished surfaces brings them a more substantial feel.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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GPS Time Correction: Who does it best?

Each of the big three Jap watch-giants (Citizen, Seiko & Casio) offers something or the other that directly connects to GPS satellites to make your perception of time as accurate as possible. They sync to the GPS signal to tell you the correct time. But, the way each of them work is different; are very different in designs and come with their respective pluses and minuses.
 We are here to see how far the Atessa Titanium can go in the run for excellence against Astron and the G-Shock GPW1000. The latter is a mix of every possible feature into an impressive, albeit rather large wrist-wear, including the traditional atomic clock radio signal technology. This works along with the GPS. Not just telling you the time-zone, it automatically adjusts to DST (daylight saving time).

That’s too much of technology unless you are a meteorologist, a naval commander, a pilot or some similar kind of a professional. This is where both Seiko Astron and the Citizen Atessa F100 win!

Citizen is done with their atomic time control technology; now it’s time for GPS. Citizen was fiddling with the idea for quite some time until they got at it properly. It’s been a couple of years more after that. Citizen has improved and sharpened their innovations further, but this is kind of the first real high-end facelift the Atessa got. The 2014 Citizen releases had this GPS watch (it syncs with global positioning satellites to adjust and maintain correct time, irrespective of wherever you are on and above the surface (land and water). Hitting right upon an excellent mix is pretty rare; the Citizen Eco-Drive F100 Satellite Wave Air GPS World Time blends functionality with design flawlessly. The Eco-Drive Satellite Wave F100 – as it’s known in the circles – is a fruit of a chain of tests and imaginations that started in 2011. The original Satellite Wave then got more practical (2013) and became the Satellite Wave-Air and in 2014, they are all the way interesting! The Satellite Wave F100 comes in a relatively thin (and therefore, very light) DLC titanium case and bracelet of the same material. It’s chunkier than the Seiko Astron (released 2012), which primarily appeals to them with a sophisticated bent of mind. The Astron is able to indicate the time zone but not adjust for DST like Casio. The Astron is much larger across but less thick than the Satellite Wave F100. Depending on whether you are sporty or sophisticated, both make for impressive travel wears. Or, a daily beater if wearing a piece of technology is what you like! With Citizen, you get the fastest!

Citizen’s speed of receiving a signal outruns both Seiko and Casio; three seconds to connect and update, anywhere on the globe, under the open sky! It matches the Atessa’s sharply tooled, knife-sculpted look!

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

i. http://www.creationwatches.com/products/seiko-japan-82/seiko-astron-high-intensity-titanium-sbxa003-sast003-3978.html

ii. http://www.creationwatches.com/products/casio-g-shock-57/casio-g-shock-gravitymaster-atomic-gps-hybrid-wave-ceptor-gpw-1000-2ajf-6385.html

iii. http://www.creationwatches.com/products/citizen-eco-drive-53/citizen-eco-drive-f100-satellite-wave-air-gps-world-time-cc2006-53e-mens-watch-8460.html

 

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Newsletter: Clearance Sale on Watches

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This month’s clearance sale is on with an additional 10% off (on top of existing discounts of up to 75%) on 50 selected watches. With Free Worldwide shipping and Free DHL Express 2-4 days delivery to most countries!

Use discount code CLEAR for an additional discount of 10% on these watches.

Get them here while stocks last: Clearance sale on 50 watches with up to 85% off!

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Clearance Sale! Click for details!

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©2016 RSPL | Singapore | United States

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Cost: From a vegan perspective

“Hamesha itnie kimti ghadiya kaheko lagaata?” – “Why do you put on such costly watches every time?”

Things are not much different in India. Here, too, the craft of watch-making comes under siege at times. Stepping into the battleground thus created is a matter of choice; to defend it; plain, cold logic is enough. Their question, de-fabricated, is – “What makes your watch so costly?”

Now, I never, ever claim to wear costly watches. Cost is relative; to a $50 watch wearer (A), $500 (C) might seem absurd; to someone wearing a $10,000 piece (B), a watch priced $500 will seem dirt-cheap. The truth here is: Both A and B are unable to perceive the finer sides of C! Clearly, there are many bones (read: features, functions and materials) to pick within the C bracket, which shall make understanding the problem easier.

Another dilemma that needs to be cleared no later: I’m NOT a VEGAN; neither VEGETARIAN! An absolutely harmless and unbiased explanation, that’s what I mean. I don’t intend to look down upon or promote societies that value wealth as the only pinnacle of success either. Displaying wealth through ownership of expensive items might just prove that you are rich but not necessarily your seriousness about what you own or how important you consider it to be. You need to understand your thing first, like with everything else.

What raises my eyebrows (I repeat, eye-brows; not blood pressure) is arguments are often held between two entirely different contexts. Clearly, the Chinese-make quartz a dozen a dollar doesn’t even equate to a $500 Seiko, Citizen or Orient, but still the question! Then again, that’s not the real problem. The real problem is just mentioning Swiss justifies it all! Even to the $50-user! Anything other than that very word triggers ignorant and simplistic arguments, ridiculing your internal clockwork and later, for an expensive fix.

Worse is facing a laughter from someone who pays twice (sometimes even more) as much for an inferior product and mocks the substantial. But that’s another story and draws us into a debate with philosophical thoughts that don’t exactly give us too many scopes to celebrate.

People with a socialistic bent of mind have been the most ardent in explaining the absurdity of such expensive watches when the majority of the people live in poverty. I want to draw their attention to them who are richer than I am. And them.

Okay, so back to cost. We narrowly escaped an argument about how one gets his money and the ways he will spend it.  Debating on the merits and demerits of the costly timekeeping devices is more encouraging and shall leave any corrupt ideas behind.

But not today. We are out of space and time due to all those high-minded societal arguments. But I guess there are many who place value on a well-made timepiece, with picks that are not overt, blatant display of riches. Hope to see them around. Soon.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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A spectacular watch? – Gonzo gives his two cents

There was a time when I didn’t own even a single timepiece. Then came the time when, looking from the middle-age plane, I didn’t own a watch that’s worth mentioning. I’m thankful those phases are over; yet, without those phases, I wouldn’t have become the WG as you know me today. I learnt from my past mistakes and unlike the former times, even if I have the budget, those realisations do not allow me to invest my money into something that would hold no true meaning to me in the days ahead. I guess it applies to all who have wasted their resources in the past upon things of little to no value and turned them into discerning buyers. It takes something pretty spectacular to make us buy something.

I can already hear the question coming – “What do you consider as spectacular?” But instead of defining that very word, let me explain with examples.
Let’s take the Seiko Premier. The series starts with the plain Kinetic and ends with the Kinetic Spring Direct Drive. It’s a vast arena where your selection can go horribly misguided, especially if you haven’t stepped out of the battery-powered quartz domain yet. Fear not, for picking out something that’s charmingly appropriate is easier than you think. You can get some pretty amazing stuff from the Premier range without diving for the Grand Seiko and Ananta. The Premier, with all the hyperbole removed, brings some of the best watches for which, you don’t need to break the bank (or rob your boss); attracts a lot of wows and people who really know how to spot a good timepiece shall definitely give you an affirming nod, if not the really loud applauses. The reason behind? Firstly, it’s a Seiko; next, they invented the mecha-quartz concept. Is that spectacular enough? You bet it is. Whether you were entirely into the usual quartz watches or mechanicals, the Kinetic makes you step into the right direction to start your new journey into the horological domain.

However, things start to get tough defining the term to them who are averse to quartz in its every form. Here, mechanical stays the only choice – but wait – what do we call spectacular in the mechanical domain – a manually-winded watch or an automatic?

IMHO, the beauty of manually-winding watches is perceived only by the blessed lot who doesn’t flee when it comes to face commitments. It becomes a fitting metaphor; whereas for an automatic, the first criterion of being spectacular is an in-house movement. In the affordable domain, nothing – and just nothing – beats Orient in this regard and though both the types (manual and automatic) have their own merits, a manual winding watch actually makes you take the interaction higher. That’s how I would like to define ‘Spectacular’!

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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