Thursday, January 12, 2017

Seiko 5 Sports Men Automatic Watch SRPA89K1 Green Carbon Dial Limited Edition (Similar to SRPA87K1, SRPA91K1 & SRPA93K1) – An outdoors timepiece. The use of carbon fibre is refreshing but Seiko must look into the pricing issue as it starts to sit uncomfortably with consumers, A Review (plus Video)

I love watches with green in them. I was drawn to that colour as far as I can remember. Without fail, I will always used green in all my art projects when I was in school. Up to this point, I have collected 10 watches in green. This Seiko 5 Sports SRPA89K1 will be 11th green watch.

This watch is the latest in a series of limited edition Seiko 5 Sports watches issued by Seiko. It is important to note that “limited edition” in this context is more like a limited production run. Seiko does not set a limit in the number of production but instead limit the production window in its factories. Since no official word from the brand about this particular series, it is extremely difficult to gauge how many examples will be out there. Hence, the best advice for budding collectors is not to buy it due to the ‘limited edition’ classification but purely on whether it appeals to you.

This watch appeals to me because of a few factors. The first is the turtle shaped casing. Compared to the traditional round casing, a turtle shaped casing sits better on a wrist. The angle of the casing to the wrist has a natural incline that facilitate it from snagging into shirt cuffs. It also effortlessly reduce the size effect as our eyes automatically focuses on the smaller dial compared to the bigger floor plate of the casing itself. The second is the symmetrical dial design. The watch has a date complication. Instead of putting anywhere else, the Seiko designers placed the date aperture at the 6 o’clock position. This makes the displays on the dial symmetrical and pleasing to the eye. The third is the carbon fibre weave pattern on the dial. Made from carbon fibre, the pattern on the dial has a 3D look with a sense of depth and glossiness. The fourth is the short downward curving lugs. It has the tendency to make the large watch sits better on the wrist when compared to standard straight lugs. If you have a wrist circumference of 6.5 inches, a typical watch of this size with standard lugs will have an overhang over your wrist. However, the overhang is minimised by the shorter and curved lugs. Combined with the two-toned Nato strap, the watch looks visually refreshing.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Seiko Presage SARW025 (or SPB041J1) – A great design, with reliable and efficient movement and nice finishing, this watch has the recipe of success written all over it, A Review (Plus Video)

The Seiko Presage SARW025 was launched in time for the 60th anniversary of Seiko’s first ever automatic mechanical movement. This dress watch is a JDM model with the reference SARW025 (Japan market reference) or SPB041J1 (international market reference).

I am fortunate that I was able to source the watch here in Malaysia. The MSRP here is RM4,144.60 (inclusive of GST). However, I was able to get it for RM2,950. After comparing with internet merchants and taking into consideration the current volatility in foreign exchange rates, it was actually a good deal (MSRP in Japan YEN97,200 (with tax) or RM3,700; MSRP in Europe EUR900 (without tax) or RM4,208 @22 December 2016).

If anyone is wondering why I am getting this watch, it is because of it formal nature, the dial colour as well as the movement. As highlighted in my earlier postings, I am drawn to formal or dress watches after years of coveting dive and sport watches. I am also into white dial watches. Also, I don’t have in my collection a watch with the 6R27 movement.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Orient Bambino Version 4 Blue Dial Reference FAC08004D0 (Options: FAC08002F0 & FAC08003A0), A Must Have For Watch Lovers – A Review (plus Video)

I have been fascinated with the Orient Bambino for some time. It was just the last year that the interest started to bloom more vigorously. The launch of version 4 of the Bambino series was the trigger that made me decide to get one.

Orient launched the version 4 in the first half of 2016 herald the fourth iteration of the classic Bambino collection by Orient. It is the first Bambino model to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 type movement. It also has a number of changes from previous models.

The signature domed crystal is still there. However, unlike the previous models, the hour markers are rounded and diamond shaped. The hands are a lot thinner and the seconds hand has its tip painted red. It is also slightly larger, from the previous standard of 40.5 mm width on earlier versions to becoming 41.5 mm wide in this latest iteration. Concurrently, the lugs have also shifted wider to a more generic 22 mm from the previous 21 mm. Meanwhile, thickness is at 11.8 mm.

The version 4 is also the first Bambino to use the new automatic in-house Orient Caliber F67 movement. This is a new movement that has upgraded features, such as hacking and hand-winding. More about this later in the review.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Titanium Lug Adapters for the Citizen Promaster Professional Diver Autozilla

After the rubber strap failures on my Seiko Prospex Emperor Tuna (see: and Bell & Ross BR02-92 (see: I got really concerned with the rest of the other rubber strapped watches in my collection. When the rubber straps of those watches fail, it should not be difficult to find another strap (definitely not rubber!) as replace except for one watch. This watch is my Citizen Promaster Autozilla (see:

The Citizen Autozilla has a unique lug attachment to the rubber strap. This means, it is not possible to get third-party straps as replacement. However, there is a way to get around this – Titanium Lug Adapters. There are companies out there that specializes the manufacturing of lug adapters to the Citizen Autozilla. These adapters allow a standard strap to be fitted to the watch.

I was able to find one that is rather affordable from eBay. The item was from a merchant in USA and it is made in Japan. For USD60 (inclusive of USD5 for courier), I get the lugs as well as a free gift of a 24 mm Nato band strap. At the moment I don’t need to use it. In it goes into my parts drawers waiting for the day it will be called for duty.

Honestly buying third-party products as replacements for parts in my watch collection is not something normal to me. Generally, I prefer my watches to be stock, to give the authenticity to the collection. However, in this case, trying to get a replacement strap from Citizen may not be simple exercise since the Autozilla (the quart version is called the Ecozilla) are unique models. It stands to reason parts may not be well stocked and it could take months, if not longer, to get it (hopefully Citizen still have such a thing in stock!!). If Citizen can’t deliver, at least I already got a proxy in hand.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau DAAA004W or WZ0121DA (other options DAAA002T/WZ0131DA, DAAA003B/WZ0151DA & DAAA001W/WZ0141DA) – A Suave Timepiece, A Review (plus Video)

This is my first tonneau shaped wristwatch. The Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau with reference number DAAA004W (or WZ0121DA in Japan) has a vertical cross-section barrel shaped casing seldom used by watch manufacturers due to a number of reasons. It has the classical aura of a formal timepiece which I find very appealing. This particular model was released back in April 2014.

Age must be getting to me. During the start of my watch collection hobby I was keened on dive or sports watches. Formal or dress wristwatches were seldom in my radar. However, in recent times, my interest in dress watches started to grow and I have been shifting my focus towards that genre ever since.

The Orient Star Open Heart Tonneau is a stainless steel construction with polished and brushed surfaces. It has mirror finished top surface and a matte finished side. It has a curved sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflection coating protecting the dial and a flat crystal glass as a display case-back. The case-back panel is attached to the watch casing via four screws. The signed push-in crown is located at 3 o’clock and the watch comes with a power reserve complication. It is powered by an automatic engine that can be manually wound. The wristwatch is paired with a black matte calf leather strap with crocodile embossing and signed buckle.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Seiko Presage SSA303J1 (similar models SSA305J1, SSA306J1, SSA308J1 and SSA309J1) – Reliable, Durable & Sophisticated, A Review (plus Video)

The Presage line by Seiko is one of the few subsets of Seiko that has not gotten the same global adulation like the Grand Seiko, Prospex and Seiko 5 families. This was due to the fact that Presage was reserved for the Japanese domestic market. However, this unfortunate situation has been reversed with the sub-brand now being made available to the global market as well.

The Presage line carries only mechanical powered watches. The design is more towards formal wear with a tinge of sportiness. From a price point of view, it is placed between the Premier and the Prospex lines. Some of the manufacturing technologies, materials as well as high-end mechanical movements that are hallmarks of the Grand Seiko and Credor lines can sometime be found in the Presage line while maintaining the price window. Items such as enamelling and polishing techniques, use of Sapphire crystals as well as derivatives of the best mechanical movements can be found in some models of Presage. This makes the Presage one of the most value-for-money timepieces to get if you want to collect some of the technologies and materials used by Seiko in their higher-end lines. The “J” code on the model reference for this watch is indicative of the manufacturing origin which is in Japan.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Seiko Prospex Titanium 200M Air Diver SBDC029 “Shogun” – A Balanced Design, A Review (plus video)

As you all know I am an active collector of the Prospex series of watch by Seiko. Tool watches built not for style but for professional tradesman to be used and abused. The genre within this series that I am follow closely is the mechanical diving watches (I do have some Spring Drive powered watches but I tend to lump these as being mechanical as well. I guess sooner or later I will have to look at solar powered as Seiko seems to be making a push towards building this technology into more of their newer offerings).

Strictly looking at Prospex watches in my collection with movements of 6R and above, I have the 300m Marinemaster SBDX001, the Spring Drive GMT SBDB011, the Transocean Chronograph SBEC001, the Transocean SBDC039, the 1000m Titanium Hi-Beat SBEX001, the 1000m Emperor Tuna SBDX011 and the Scuba Sumo SBDC003. The Shogun is a gap that has been missing in the collection for some time now.

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