Ask Gonzo about Watches – XXXVII – How reliable is the calibre Y676?

Q. Dear Gonzo!

Of late I noticed you guys are stocking the J. Spring watches. There are some mechanical models that made me almost reach for my plastic but since I made a resolution not to go for making another impulse purchase, I’m writing to you. Also because I found out that the J. Spring watches use a calibre Y676; this is something alien to me. I haven’t found much information about this particular movement, so; would you mind giving us some lowdown on it? I have made quite a few purchases in the past from elsewhere and was disappointed to see most of my choices turning bad within sometime (between 2 months and two years); this time, I don’t want another heartbreak to follow.

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A. I intentionally keep the models out of the context this time. I’m confident that your fine sense of aesthetics is going to guide you in choosing what will suit you most and Gonzo doesn’t like to tell others how his/her watch should look like. However, with the movements (and a few other technicalities), there’s a certain degree of guidance I always try to provide; it’s my readers who have bestowed this certain right upon me. So, let’s go back a few steps in time and find out a movement that didn’t impress me much.

That’s to say, the 7s26B! I was (and still) NOT happy with it, despite its spot-on accuracy, which faded out gradually after coming out of the factory. Seiko realization about spending more time regulating a movement was a good thing, but this wasn’t built exactly to let you hammer a nail while you got the 7s26B movement on your wrist. It’s not to say the 7S26B underwent a meltdown every time under vibrations and impacts, but for a lot of times, it suddenly started running quicker. And that was running ahead by many minutes a day. Surely, not something that will keep an accuracy-freak exactly happy about it. Not even the fact that the problem used to get solved with a light tapping (once or twice) on your palm with its face down. It freed the spring and the problem used to get fixed; however, a movement is supposed to run fine all by its own and not through some kind of acrobatics – such as this one – how much ever mild it might be.

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With the 7s26A movement, this was not a problem, since there is granted much less space for the spring to play around and get stuck. With the 7s26B, that part is about halfway of the length of the pin, which is also not quite straight on the lower side. So, if the spring gets a little behind the middle of the stem, it will get stuck there. This is also partly because the stud and the regulator-pin system in the 7S26B resemble that of the Etachron (the mechanism most of the common ETA calibres have made their staple for years now. Agreed that it makes them much easier to adjust than traditional regulator systems (which is also a marked advantage of the 7S26B), but determining the amount of force necessary to shift the body of the hairspring enough to catch on the outside of the regulator pins is difficult at best. It’s enough to give you a fair share of headaches.

I dare not to reprobate Seiko openly in public this way, but it was important if we are to discuss the Y676 next. That’s to say, the Y676 has a safeguard designed into the regulator pin to avoid the sweep of the outermost portion of the hairspring from between the reg. Pins, which stops it from jumping out of place when a shock is delivered. If you notice the small perpendicular tips at the end of the reg pins, you’ll get what I’m trying to say. The pins – are therefore – at their fully widest rotation – and allow for the removal of the balance and hairspring from the balance bridge, if necessary.

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

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Technomarine Cruise Sport: The bold, vibrant, sea-bound beasts

It can’t be that the readers of our blog never heard of the name TechnoMarine. However, some might question its stand as a Swiss luxury watch, given it’s not been even two full decades since it took shape. French entrepreneur Franck Dubarry showed Geneva the launch of the Raft; the vacation souvenir chronograph sold in substantial numbers right in the first year itself! Later, they were seen embraced by limelight figures (Drake being one; in his song ‘Know yourself’, there’s a line – “I had a yellow TechnoMarine”. What he doesn’t sing about is the Swiss-made technical prowess in seamless motion along sharp, sleek lines. An example of effortless articulation with time moulded by thoroughly modern vibes! The Technomarine lets you experience a sophisticated flow that urges you to live wilder and deeper.


TechnoMarine is all about water-inspired elements! These timepieces encourage to change into a carefree attitude, infused with some pure, coastal-resort spirit. They come in different mixes of colours; often bright and all of a premium finish. The components are a physical representation of the concepts behind; they are sporty, innovative and get you enthusiastic about the world outdoors. Explore and experience a new fashion that is weaved around luxury!
Technomarine can be called distinctive. Some of them heavily incorporate organic elements; are dynamic in every aspect and are ideal for boating, diving and beach as much as in a busy, city life.


A personal preference is the TechnoMarine Cruise Sport line. The Cruise Sport makes for a pleasant, first-time meeting with TechnoMarine. After some intimate time with these watches, you will be proud you made it a part of your life. It also carries a bit of details, being the first project of TechnoMarine’s new CEO Vincent Perriard. The Cruise Sport was his first move in revitalizing the brand before implementing the future plans. The Ocean Addict was a clever ad campaign. TechnoMarine-s and their owners are to be found always in or around water but are not bound by the condition. They look different on the wrist – a rare quality among watches! It’s nicely curved; the round case flows to almost integrate itself with the wrist. It doesn’t look like as if it is sitting on a table. This curvy look changes the appearance of the technical-looking dials; balanced, well-mixed of symmetry and imbalance. The overall looks are pretty straight-forward, even when in bright colours and bolder designs.

The Technomarine Cruise Sport line comprises some of the most serious pieces in terms of stature and demeanour. Orange, blue and cyan doesn’t look that good in other watches. The colourful possibilities of the Technomarine Cruise Sport line are outstanding, as they also add a bit of a three-dimensional touch. All in all, a style that feels like having just enough going on; not gone overboard!

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

http://www.creationwatches.com/products/technomarine-watches-370/technomarine-jellyfish-cruise-collection-chronograph-tm-115111-mens-watch-9085.html
http://www.creationwatches.com/products/technomarine-watches-370/technomarine-dream-cruise-collection-chronograph-tm-115096-mens-watch-9084.html
http://www.creationwatches.com/products/technomarine-watches-370/technomarine-dream-cruise-collection-chronograph-tm-115092-mens-watch-9083.html
http://www.creationwatches.com/products/technomarine-watches-370/technomarine-monogram-cruise-collection-japanese-quartz-tm-115060-mens-watch-9082.html
http://www.creationwatches.com/products/technomarine-watches-370/technomarine-star-cruise-collection-chronograph-tm-115035-womens-watch-9081.html

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Newsletter : Seiko “Turtle” 200m Auto Diver watches on Sale – Additional discount code inside!


Use code TURTLE for additional 5% off!

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Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF-D1000: Ultimate Tool becomes Urban Sensation

Casio into diving? That’s true folks and I’m not afraid to call it the best of all digital diver-s that have hit the market till now! Maybe Gonzo would think otherwise but hey! Diving, to me is an outdoor sport altogether and in my humble opinion, the G-Shocks so far – despite being made every bit to withstand the harsh conditions brought upon by the Sun, sea and sand – didn’t fulfil completely the criteria for going down deep. On the land or up in the air, the other Casio G-Shocks are rated as the most perfect tools that leave nothing more to be desired, but impressive specs targeted for usage deep down under was what it lacked. Casio answers the call and my! It’s a pleasant reply.

The Frogman’s entry into the watch world was announced at Baselworld 2016 and it happens to be the coolest G-Shock to be released in a while. The GWF-D1000 Frogman diver is Casio’s premier G-Shock for serious diving; it has everything you have loved about a Casio G-Shock plus everything one might expect in a serious diving computer, built to cross the 500 feet barrier without any complaint. Or, to be a bit more specific, let’s call it neat-looking tool that covers every aspect of modern diving and not just the basic timing information.

But what I liked the most about the Casio G-Shock Frogman Atomic Triple Sensor GWF-D1000 is: It’s a timepiece that can be worn on a daily basis! It isn’t cheap and certainly not recognizable right away as a G Shock unlike its cousins, but there is no doubt that Casio has built the best digital dive computers for those who take water sports seriously and them whose jobs take them pretty much deep down. Those hovering in-between also give it a shot! You’ll like the shift from novelty watches to the exact kind of device that you wanted.

The G-Shock Frogman GWF-D1000 leaps out of the Casio production line a full 23 years later after the first Frogman showed its face, yet it secures a firm position in the Casio core collection. It has evolved, pulling in more specs, features and functionalities over time. The Tough Solar movement, the atomic time rectification for optimum accuracy, the DLC-coated steel – all intensify into this one single package!

Here, Casio’s three-sensor concept also comes into play. It measures temperature (showing 0.1oC increments), water-depth and finds out direction. One sensor dedicated for each function – that’s how it goes. No jumbling of data means there’s more accurate – near-perfect – readings! This compass; however, is different from those to be used on land – it has been optimized with an automatic horizontal-compensation system, for actual diving use requires tilts of up to certain degrees to get a proper compass reading if you want to follow a particular directional bearing. Here, you can reach 80o without even adjusting your arm!

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

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CONSTELLATION: For the starry cluster

Astronomy says constellation is a term that refers singularly to a cluster of stars. They move around the space quite consistently and therefore, their movements are predictable.

So Omega thought of naming their range of luxurious ladies’ chronometers accordingly and it’s also true that the name Constellation has been used previously by the brand to name their previous precision watches of the highest levels. It has occurred since the early ‘50s and the philosophy of combining sumptuous, elegant and refined cases and dials with ultra-precise, high-end movements stays intact!

Omega opted for the Cupola – a roof in the form of a dome – of the Geneva Observatory at first as their symbol for this line. This is also where Omega broke its previous records in 1951 for precision in every category – one of their greatest chronometric achievements.

How accurate is the Constellation? A standard Constellation (watch no.25699737) from its first owner (bought on August 25th 1969) was sent to Omega in 2005 for its normal service. This was followed by a COSC recertification upon request from the owner. Even after 36 years (October 25th, 2005), the watch passed the COSC chronometer tests.

The calibre 1021 is another example of the Constellation’s accuracy. This self-winding movement gave a 0 error rating showing a variation of 0.00 after 15 days of COSC testing in five positions and at varying temperatures. The certificate was marked Especially Good Result.

The Constellation line started with the Century in 1948 – it was a limited edition, self-winding chronometer wristwatch. It was launched to celebrate Omega’s 100thanniversary but not intended to start the series later on. But it was received enthusiastically by the buyers, making Omega decide on producing it for the mass.

The Constellation is available in both steel and gold whereas for Constellation Deluxe, it’s only gold with applied gold indexes and for Constellation Grand Luxe, it is gold and platinum. Some just have a star on the dial to denote the line.

Next came the Constellation Calendar, further expanding the line. These also had three different levels of finishes to choose from and the Constellation was advertised – “For the man who already has a watch”! It’s an allusion that can mean a million things. Constellation was so much more!

In its form, the Constellation retained it almost unchanged until 1964. The C-case watches then came out (the form of the case resembled two interlocked Cs) and were incorporated to the first ladies’ Constellation in 1967. Since then, much diversification occurred in the Constellation form, the most significant being the Integral line launched two years later. Consistent and flowing, it later inspired many other brands to use it as one of their main features in luxury sports watches.

The Constellation Manhattan came out in 1982 and introduced the four claws holding the sapphire crystal and ensuring a high water resistance, which has now become the design standard for the Constellation line. So are the half-moon facets on the lugs, the integrated hinged bracelet and carved indexes on the bezel.

Over the years, the Constellation has found place on the wrists of celebrities, the most notable, perhaps, being Mikhail Gorbachev. And HEY! James Bond wore the Omega too!

 

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

 

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Citizen Caliber F900: A bit more push over the edge

Part- II

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Let me finish this one off! I was quite astonished to see people still stuck in the past, considering GPS-watches good enough only for adjusting to a time-zone that you’ve selected manually. Nay, my friend; the F900 is tad brainier than that! It is able to update and shift to the time-zone that you are already into. That can be anywhere in the world; the F900 will be synching to GPS signals, but you don’t need to select the time zone here! This gives the 2015 version of the Citizen F100 the competitor’s edge; the Eco-Drive, Satellite Wave F900 – the Caliber F900 – is a movement that is finally able to determine its position on the planet without human interference and that too pretty fast! Might we just expect it evolving in the future, being able to read positions in the time/space continuum? We also might expect connectivity between those watches, so that you don’t leave even a single member of your group alone and out in the cold.

You must check on the full functionality here prior lusting towards the two, new sub-dials. These made possible throwing in a host of new functions. At default mode, they’ll show you persistently two time zones real-time. While it’s not going to benefit everyone (except, might be; when they are travelling) but we are facing increasing number of people every day with international connections! Going digital shrunk the world! And the Flyer (or Flieger, whatever you might say) class benefits the most!

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How about going technical for a bit? The F900 comes with the traditional function selector; a 1/20th-second chronograph – all the stuff professionals need. You already read about them so no point repeating. However, the increased durability is also a technical upgrade; the further hardening of the titanium (now it’s called Super Titanium, with a hardness of 2,200 on the Vickers scale) has given the case a brighter lustre and a resulting thickness of 13.1mm. This exceeds the F100’s dimensions by a full 1mm. Increased scratch resistance will keep the shine intact for at least a decade and a half.

Here, we arrive at the point of asking: With so much happening with the F900, is there going to be any taker for the F100 or the F150? You bet! Not everyone likes a complex dial and this is where the former two calibres win. There are distinct takers for clean dials; while you can wear one of the F100-s with your suit, you cannot do the same with the F900.

Enough said! Out of the 3,000 pieces, only 1,300 left Japan for the global consumers. Hurry, for stocks are not going to last forever.

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

 

 

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Newsletter : Mid-Year Clearance Sale is now on – Up to 70% off!


Clearance Sale

This month’s clearance sale is on with an additional 10% off on 200 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 200 watches with up to 70% off!

 

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Citizen Caliber F900: A bit more push over the edge

Part- I

Folks,

Let me apologise first about disappearing without a notice; about the long absence from the MAW blog. Life hasn’t been easy for the past few days and it reminded there are more things in the heaven and earth than watches alone. However, on the brighter side, this French leave allowed a comeback with a renewed, much more intensified zeal.

With much pleasure, I happened to notice the F900 calibre finally made way into the CW roster. I’m not sure if it’s the effect of the Mars retrograde ending (His number is 9), but one thing you probably can’t deny is it is more than just a mere coincidence. Let’s celebrate the renewed flight of Lord Mars with the instruments that are considered essential when we – the mere mortals – want to spread our wings towards our respective destinations.

Down to the very basics, the F900 is Citizen’s 2015 follow-up to the very impressive F100 and F150 (you can read about them here and here) from 2014. To the usual buyer, it comes as the Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave, with added functionalities and a marginal increase in thickness. However, if limited editions interest you, delay no more; these also offer some amount of durability upgrade. That’s enough to make a normal buyer pull the trigger on this impressive, great-looking GPS watch but oh, Mr. Gonzo is hard to please!

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Why I say this is upon mentioning the Satellite Wave Promaster Navihawk GPS, our man went whole hog about the battle of the Jap heavyweights – Citizen and Seiko! It seems arguments are what Mr. G lives for but it really drives the daylights off us – the CW crew. We absolutely do not mind them locking horns (that benefits us watch lovers) but please, we hate equally locking horns with Gonzo! Simply because there’s no way we can prove him wrong. Who, with a sensible mind would want to – Take arms against a sea of troubles? So, we decided, it’s better to let him speak while we enrich ourselves with his preachings about the most dominant of forces in the sophisticated GPS watch market. For to be fair, Seiko’s Astron looks bit old compared to Citizen’s Satellite Wave watches and that’s not only due to added features alone but for a movement that’s authentically GPS-controlled.

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So, before I get started on what exactly Gonzo thinks about the Citizen Satellite Wave, I would like to mention its very thin profile; this makes the F900 powered Citizen-s the thinnest among all light-powered GPS satellite-synchronization watches in the world. Also, the breakneck signal reception speed is something that’s unique to Citizen and Citizen only!

“But Citizen doesn’t call it GPS; let’s be clear about that first.” – Gonzo blurted out.  “It won’t tell you where you are at; it just tells you which time zone you are at! Unless you get your basics right, it’s not worth talking about something that’s super-fine and so highly efficient.

Aye, aye, Sir! Would you grant us sometime to update ourselves? For us mortals do not exactly run on the Calibre F900.

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

 

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Mt. Fuji is now a World Heritage Site! Seiko pays their tribute

Moral of the story: Get into the heritage diver scene without breaking the bank. This stylish, well-built automatic with sporty vintage looks is a great way to go.

There’s a common point I share with Gonzo. We both love Seiko-s, though not all the models. Gonzo’s preferences run towards the classier kind while mine is about sportiness. Yes, preference of calibres match more often than never; Seiko makes movements that range from ‘very good’ to ‘par excellence’ and here I follow Mr. W.G most of the times.

So what I thought to be the perfect watches for the weekends by the nearest seaside didn’t go down well with Gonzo. Except the above one! He thinks a proper ‘Diver; is must for such outings. Beach rigors like volleyballs and beach-cricket or any similar other games are handled well by them and even if you do not travel deep into the waters.

I agree it needs to be well made, nicely detailed et al; an automatic movement here – again, we both agreed – would look fantastic! Even if there is water seepage, it doesn’t burn out mechanical parts the way it burns/short-circuits pcb-s. Printed circuit boards; not polychlorinated biphenyl! The latter is a class of very stable chlorinated organic chemicals that dangerously pollute the environment.

Bright, versatile and unique – that’s what it needs to be. Affordable too; but that doesn’t mean you won’t grieve its loss. The Mt. Fuji Special Editions – a Seiko limited edition release in the Seiko5 range – fits from every aspect.

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The story behind is the 2013 naming of Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage Site and bringing it under the list of 1,000 unique cities, buildings, monuments and natural wonders around the world. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization handled the whole affair and Seiko, as a tribute to this distinction of cultural importance made some among the Seiko 5 family bear the words Mt. Fuji as a World Heritage along the ring around the display caseback.

Let’s hear why Gonzo went after his model. It’s a dive watch that’s not too expensive yet looks nice and rugged. It has one of the latest watch movements (the 4R36) with hacking, hand-winding and a sane number (24) of jewels with specified jobs; not just mere settings. It can store a couple of days of power when fully wound and a tighter mainspring helps to retain accuracy. But otherwise also, the accuracy seems to be pretty good, as testing shows (in different positions).

The other Mt. Fuji models differ quite a bit from this one apart from the handful of design elements deliberately thrown into every model. The blue colour and the prominent bezels are the first to get noticed. The white-pearlescent textured dials create a background that brightens the blue, plus lumed hands at night gives it quite an uber-earthly (if not unearthly) look from above the Hardlex crystal.

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

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Newsletter : You can’t miss this Father’s Day Sale on Watches

There are busy dads and lazy dads, fun dads and grumpy dads, golf dads and football dads, but they all have one thing in common: they are the best dads in the world and yea, no matter how many watches they already have, they won’t mind one more. Every watch is gift wrapped with love.
shop now

Use Coupon Code DADDY while checking out for an additional discount of 5%.

shop nowStuhrling Original ConcorsoStuhrling Original Concorso Swiss Quartz Chronograph 665B.02

shop nowCitizen Eco DriveCitizen Eco Drive AW1184-05E Men’s Watch

shop nowCitizen Eco Drive ChronographCitizen Eco Drive Chronograph CA0370-54A Men’s Watch!

shop nowOrient Classic Automatic BlackOrient Classic Automatic Black Dial Leather Strap EV0U001B

shop nowFossil Grant Chronograph BlackFossil Grant Chronograph Black and Blue Dial Blue Leather FS5061

shop nowHamilton Khaki Pilot PremiumHamilton Khaki Pilot Premium Automatic H64715885

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Smart or Simple – Who wins the game?

This again happens to be another futile attempt at covering the occasional – now a bit old – dire warnings of modern electronics sucking out the lifeblood off watch-crafting as we mostly know it today. If that’s a little hard to understand, it is the chewed-dry remnants of the smart versus classic watches debate.

The bemusement credits belong to the watch-enthusiast press. Tales of premonitions always sell, so making the usual watch industry face an approaching terrible crisis (at least fictitiously; through creative threats) coming from smart watches is all about networked information. There’s no denying the potential of smart watches to offer up everything from the usual and extending into more exotic data (like biometrics); it would be foolish to deny these certainly remarkable pieces of technology. They are a separate class with no clashes with the watches the way we know them. The collapse of the current watch-making concepts for smart watches are here – is absurd! Maybe a couple of hundred years from now, when we all are gone and none to mourn the demise!

It has been a mistaken assumption that smart watches will soon drive out the mechanicals from business. Did we look at the products the way they serve their purpose? They could never be same –like your clothes! You don’t wear gym or trekking outfit to weddings and award ceremonies; if you still want to look tech-savvy, there are quite a few marvellous complications to choose from the mechanical and quartz domains.

To be honest, this prediction on the forthcoming demise provokes conversation than imposing a serious opinion.  The smart watch’s technical advantage is an evolution from the multifunctional quartz and sometimes, mechanical watches. Digital watches (sometimes sensor-enabled) can provide more than time, date, month and year including world time, temperature, barometric pressure and compass. Stopwatch, alarms, countdown timers…the list is pretty long! The advent of quartz timekeeping, despite precipitating a crisis in traditional watch- making norms, but the industry learnt from it. Niche alternatives will always be at the low-end of luxury; a flat-out plutocratic statement! At the high-end, only arts and artists exist, far beyond the comprehension of programmed machines building components or assembling parts.

SBXA003_LRG.jpg (600×730)

From a different angle, some might question about wearing what fits your lifestyle. And there’s the answer! Every person in this world has a different lifestyle. So traditional watches shall also adorn the wrist of some like the smart watch will – to another crowd! If utility had been the only deciding factor, we wouldn’t have Lamborghini’s, Jaguars and Maserati-s or that Harley shining on the pavement. Combat boots would drive out John Lobb from business! That would be incredibly disruptive and destructive, my gut feeling says.

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

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Why Grand Seiko mechanicals are honoured as timeless luxury? – Gonzo explains, Santo writes

[Part: III]

So we return to the topic again. Gonzo went on about the 46 years of experience backing up Seiko’s production quartz watches. He started on the finer details a bit and was about to raise his praises about the greatness of the movements (his ‘hots’ for the 9F showed), when suddenly, there was a knock. Gonzo could be frustratingly silent if his mood goes off; instead, a few suggested articles guided the way. The 9F rates at +10 seconds per year (at worst) and +05 seconds per year (at best). It also hosts other technical improvements. Aimed towards simplicity, reliability and accuracy, they often rate a +03 seconds for some! Even, +4/-2 seconds, although not in large numbers – which means: They are as good as the GS mechanicals and vice versa.

Here, things really came to a halt. Stalemate!

Gonzo, in the meantime, recovered with aid from more-than-moderate, finely ground chocolate dust sprinkled upon strong and frothy dark coffee and a couple decent smoke. But this time, he forced through several online information about movement designs, which clearly demonstrate the Grand Seiko’s dualistic nature.

A GS never uses silicon components but brings new, innovative twists with traditional materials that surpass competitions. So pallet forks and escape wheels – while fully steel – are MEMS manufacturing offering a superior precision. They are lightweight due to their fine skeletonising.

The hairsprings and mainsprings are made from Seiko’s custom metallic alloys created only for this purpose. The SPRON has enhanced properties than its competitors.

These two great technological improvements brought in the third – the legendary Hi-Beat was born. Seiko used special oil-retaining grooves inside to reduce increased wear and tear. High frequency escapements are more prone towards it; so the advancement followed. The 9S5 and 9S6 lines of movements, specially.

SBGR053_LRG.jpg (600×720)

Grand Seiko still goes about the traditional watch polishing, assembly and adjustment methods, where every part of a Grand Seiko is taken care of individually. Master watchmakers applying the zaratsu technique – it’s said – is quite a sight to see!

That’s the historical Japanese sword polishing ways applied to add the polish. Once only a togishi-art, it adorns every surface of the Grand Seiko, all hand polished to extremely fine finishes to its assembly.

Or, take adjustments and testing! There’s an additional 6th position – which is one more than the COSC standards and best compensates for the effects of gravity! It takes 17 days for a GS to complete all. JLC and a few elites in its own rank only go through that pain!

SBGT035_LRG.jpg (600×720)

Note: Here, we just took a simplified view of a bunch of impressively tight constructions and tolerance levels. Spreadsheets might reveal the real wonders in long lists of technical achievements, but to understand the Grand Seiko, first, appreciate its human elements. It doesn’t go into every other watch.

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

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Why Grand Seiko mechanicals are honoured as timeless luxury? – Gonzo explains, Santo writes

[Part: II]

The GS magic doesn’t let you go wrong.

The last time we spoke about how accuracy surfaces as one of the deciding factors. We’ll today shift to a considerable chunk that earns its right to brag with owning the Grand Seiko solely by this factor.

It is easy buying just any GS; at random, if there is sufficient money. Wealth doesn’t need any knowledge of movements; neither of material and overall built quality. Just a good aesthetic and design does that.  You end up with a watch that you really don’t understand.

Note: Those are Gonzo’s words. Even the ones underneath! I can never, ever be so rude.

The specs are all very impressive, though. But you need some understanding of numbers on spreadsheets to begin that. You need to understand them a bit to catch the real soul of GS to adequately explain later. When others admire your object of admiration (or the whole of you admiring it), the nature of specifics follow an unusual, elegant route. It lets tradition fuse to technology and I’m not sure whether ‘seamless’ fits here. It’s far beyond that. The GS movements cannot be replicated and that adds to their heritage. Advancing the technology of movements at the same time keeps it growing.

Note: Questions might arise if anything such as a best GS exists? Someone asked it and Gonzo replies to it with his typical Gonzo-like rudeness:

  • Compared to what? I’ll consider a movement to be the deciding factor that eloquently expresses this philosophy. The ‘spring drive’ – in my personal opinion – is a revolutionary movement that takes the Grand Seiko to its highest form.

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Well, Gonzo, aren’t you deliberately missing out on the other aspects, which are now almost synonymous with Grand Seiko? The integration of varying finishes and the flawless assembly – aren’t they exceedingly unique and high-tech? A GS is not just about a ‘tri-synchro regulator’ getting rid of the need for batteries and outrunning the larger chunk of the quartz accuracy market with its ‘mainspring-dependency’. The spring drive might allow true watch collectors enjoy fully the beauty of ‘high-tech traditional’ amidst a sea of remarkably refined and supremely advanced quartz and mechanical movements, but luxury – at least to me – is not that deep. Neither are my pockets. A ‘Presage’ might be a better choice for me (and a lot among us) as a fine mechanical than I settling for GS quartz!

But it’s also true if deep pockets were essential to own a subject (that’s right; not object) of pride, Gonzo wouldn’t have his watch-drobe.

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  • It’s just a matter of time before you lay your hands on it. A Grand Seiko is completely the opposite of general understanding of quartz. They are among the best ever made and from them who fathered quartz movements. Don’t confuse others between Presage and the GS.”

Note: There’s still lot more things that Gonzo went about but to hear the entire story, you gotta wait a bit more.

 

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

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Why Grand Seiko mechanicals are honoured as timeless luxury? – Gonzo explains, Santo writes

[Part: I]

When it’s about picking out the single most inconsistent but truly luxury watch sub-brand, it’s the strong opinions that conclude the topic. While not entirely obsessed, I’m sure that Gonzo is fascinated with Grand Seiko. “ – Some among others will always hold a doubt on it equating the GS with Swiss and German variations of luxury but the master GS watchmakers don’t mind that.”

But that doesn’t really answer the question. Why Grand Seiko? And the reasons behind the real appreciation! A huge number of other watch collectors also love the GS. Their considering factors are often different but a few of them match. Its history, its movements and its craftsmanship are the common deciding factors in all GS freaks!

While it’s not compulsory to mug up Seiko’s past if you’re to wear one, knowing something that you use always helps to use it with respect and love. That makes for something that lasts and stays pristine.

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This so-called newcomer in the luxury watch world created as much controversy all the way back in 1960 as it is raising today. Seiko was not a major player those days within the luxury sector despite their successes and awards. They were trying hard to get a prominent and permanent position in the high-end watch market. Seiko appointed Suwa – one of their major divisions – to produce the first GS. The original model didn’t take much time towards becoming one of the absolute best wristwatch lines that are today available worldwide. At that time, GS was just a model.

The Grand Seiko was immensely successful. So much that it warranted an expansion! The later models added and introduced newer features, movements and materials; now it’s a complete collection on its own!

Seiko ranked 144 in the Neuchatel wristwatch movement and chronometer testing in 1964. The Neuchatel observatory rated watches and ranked them accordingly, making it possible to see who made the most accurate pieces. It was a mediocre score, so they came up within the top ten by 1967. They advanced largely in high-frequency calibres but the next year, the Neuchatel chronometer trials were abruptly put to an end. It made Seiko go for the Geneva competition and achieved its mission to come up within the top 5 most accurate mechanical wristwatch movements in the world.

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GS could compete with anyone. This surely makes for one of the confidence-factors. The next one is tradition; it plays a crucial part behind GS becoming a phenomenon today.

Tradition shows both in the movement and in design. But any day – to be fair – accuracy wins (now, don’t start pitting quartz against mechanicals) and it’s the same factor that makes the GS a darling. Potential accuracy ratings show the worst Grand Seiko better timed than the majority of other big names out there. For lovers of convenience, this one fits.

Note: There’s lot more things that Gonzo went about but to hear the long story, you gotta wait a bit.

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

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Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXVI

Q. Why, Gonzo; are you so hell bent on Jap luxury than Swiss? Seiko, to be specific!

A. Because of my love for Jap luxury and that love has too many justified reasons borne out of many things present and in-sync with each other.

I know I don’t owe you an apology for I know I had been polite.

I’m unaware of the length of attention that you usually hold; might it be any longer, I give you something to keep you occupied for some time.

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I guess you’re aware of the Lexus LS400 from Toyota. The mother-ship launched this gleaming vessel to somewhat terrify the European automotive industry. It soon became the justifiable alternative to European luxury at a much better value. Ask any U.S. individual about the power of Lexus (as a brand) these days.

Perhaps, what you call hell bent is my perception of Seiko as a range of products that serve almost every purpose like the Lexus. From pilgrimage to the promenades and for everything in between! Only handfuls are aware of the allure of Japanese luxury, which is also virtually limitless. It is one of the most important watch brands over the planet.

I guess by luxury here you point towards mechanical watches, for which, Seiko, in its early days, was less on style. Quite a few of these watches exemplify technical excellence and innovations, based on its tradition of constant improvements. Even the Seiko subsidiary brands like Orient score higher than some of its European counterparts and competitors.

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It is not possible to list here Seiko’s accomplishments and technologies; neither I’m a tech geek. But there are tech geeks who might help you out. You just need to Google a bit. Ask them about the Grand Seiko, the  Presage and its other lines of impressive, very successful, luxury watches (the Brightz are also good ones); the high luxury Credor, Phoenix and Galante. These are essentially the JDM and not like anything that you see as Seiko in a shopping mall. They are incredible and very hard to find outside Japan. They meet (and sometimes beat) European luxury horology standards and are at par with Swiss, German, French and English craftsmanship. But, they are meant for the crowd; the proletariat, working class. Even the very high-end ones; which led me to believe Seiko fits into the echelon of true watch manufacturer. I won’t be surprised even if it’s the higher echelon.

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Must be, for Seiko makes all movements, dials, bracelets and cases on their own. It’s the same with hairsprings, mainsprings, gears and the rest. And some of Seiko components – sometimes the entire movement – finds place inside Swiss watches, which owe their 50% of magnificence to Seiko. TAG and Invicta, for example.

Moral of the story: Hand-assembled watches with manufactured-movements as good as European watches (if not better) must not cost tens of thousands of dollars. Extremely reliable, durable and very accurate luxury comes for a lot less than that. Still, if you want to go for Swiss, consider the Tissot T-Race Automatic Chronograph.

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

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Ask Gonzo ’bout watches – XXXV

Again, it’s Gonzo! Sorry guys, I mean no ‘j’ business, but this whole AGAW session gives our friend a trip that lasts for at least a few hours post answering buyer/reader queries. We enjoy his (sometimes) thoroughly interesting replies and (occasional) columns but not the trip he takes on us. The only way to keep him calm is letting him answer another query while we get busy balancing supplies versus demands.

– Santo

Q. Dear Gonzo,

I come to you in pursuit of a respectable piece, say – a world timer; if you want me to be specific. Not that it is necessary, but it certainly enhances the appearance and the concept appeals to me. I am in touch with foreign professionals and it is going to be useful. I have three in mind: a Citizen Eco-Drive Atomic Radio Controlled World Time, an Orient Automatic Multi Year Calendar World Time and a Seiko Alarm Chronograph World Time. However, before taking a leap, I welcome and appreciate any thought or other recommendations in case I have missed something more interesting.

A. All right, you appreciate analogue and I appreciate that you appreciate them. But I’m not sure if you checked out the GMT watches, so we’ll talk about them later.

Sure, you can’t get the one that Cottier built with his own hands but there are plenty that track 24 (that’s the least) time zones simultaneously. You move the chapter ring (or the seconds-hand); the hour and minute hands will automatically jump ahead or behind local time to show the corresponding time in that specific zone.  Or, it could be a rotating, 24-hour, inner chapter ring turning once a day to show the time automatically in other time zones. You chose those of the first kind and they are excellent choices.

However, for a more vibrant choice, you may consider this Orient Automatic Multi Year Calendar World Time while for a classier image; it’s the Citizen Eco-Drive Radio Controlled World Time. The Citizen Eco Drive Men’s Chronograph World Time and the Citizen Titanium Promaster Radio Controlled World Time give you a sporty geek image and needless saying they got some very clever mechanism.

However, all are easily readable and looks apart, differs only in technology and complexity. Yes, cost too, but within reasonable limits.

Now, the GMT watches. It is a dual-time tracking system and if you click on the link, you’ll find some info on them. These are a relatively cheaper alternative to true world time watches and are currently very popular. Some are laudably minimalist in their designs, which you might like. These are for the times when you need nothing unnecessary, nothing cluttered or over-thought. Some are dressier and that field is pretty broad to be covered within this limited space.

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

 

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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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©2016 RSPL | Singapore | United States

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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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