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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

SBGR073_LRG.jpg (600×720)

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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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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©2016 RSPL | Singapore | United States

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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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©2016 RSPL | Singapore | United States

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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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