10 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Quartz Watch

why-buy-a-quartz-watch

Quartz watch is the most common watch type right now in the whole world. If you see someone wearing a watch, there’s a high chance that he/she might be wearing a quartz watch. But then again, should you get one for yourself?

So why should you buy a quartz watch? There are 10 good reasons why you should buy a quartz watch:

  1. It’s very accurate
  2. The most affordable watch type
  3. Easy to use
  4. Low maintenance needs
  5. Lightweight and thin
  6. Can be equipped with various functions
  7. Many movement innovations to choose from
  8. Used inside most fashion watches
  9. Generally more durable than automatic watch
  10. The best grab and go type of watch

1. High Accuracy

One of the main selling points of quartz watch a few decades ago when it was first invented was how accurate it is. Modern quartz watch has an accuracy of +/-10 seconds per month, which is much much more accurate than an automatic watch that can only attain +/-6 seconds per day at most.

The reason for this technical achievement lies with the electronic timekeeping consists of integrated circuit and an oscillating quartz crystal.

These components are not only accurate, but also can be manufactured with a good consistency so that each quartz watch will have almost exact accuracy like the other.

Without a doubt, not everyone do actually need such accuracy. I’ve been using automatic watches and its lower accuracy are not really that big of a deal to me as my watch will only lose or gain a few minutes every 1-2 weeks.

But if you’re someone that needs a perfect timekeeping for your work, then quartz watch is definitely the best option. And if +/-10 seconds per month are not good enough, there are plenty of other quartz watch options such as the Bulova Precisionist that delivers excellent accuracy. There’s also atomic clock synced watch that will reset the time to atomic clock every night – so that you can rest assured your watch is always correct (such as the Citizen Eco-Drive here).

2. Affordability

I don’t think I need to say much about quartz watch’s affordability. Considering as you can get a Timex for $20 off Amazon (some other Chinese brands can be had for even $10), there’s no question about how affordable a quartz watch is.

In comparison, automatic watch usually starts around $100, though you can get one for less than that by sacrificing build quality and material. The affordability of quartz watch is the major factor why many people can wear a watch nowadays. In the past, only the well-to-do can wear a watch (of automatic movement).

So how does quartz watch become so affordable? It’s all thanks to cheap materials and mass production.

If you notice, most of the cheaper watches are all made from plastics, which are very cheap. And this relates back to the use of quartz movement: as it’s a lightweight movement, even plastics can be used as the case for the watch (in comparison an automatic watch needs a steel case to house its heavy movement). The huge amount of plastics used in the watch drives the cost down.

In addition, these watches are often mass-produced using robots with less human intervention. This greatly speed up production and lowers costs. Not to mention they usually produced it in China or some other third-world country where labor cost is much cheaper than in the US.

But of course, you get what you paid for. A $20 Timex would not be something that can last for a lifetime. But it’s definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap, disposable watch that you will change with something else few years later.

3. Easy To Use

Another reason why you should get a quartz watch is how easy it is to use. Quartz watch is basically a very basic watch – just pop in a battery, set the time and you’re good to go.

This makes the watch a much easier one to be use compared to other types of watches that can be quite hard to be used. Automatic watch are not as easy as it involves some knowledge about the watch movement and there are some manual winding and power reserve that need to be considered. But with quartz watch, everything is so simple even kids can use it.

Of course, there are some quartz watches with extra functions that can be quite hard to be used (the G-Shock comes to mind) with its various display indicators, pushers and all.

But in general, the 3-hands analog type of quartz watch is fairly easy to be used and if you’re someone that just wants to know what time it is without all the technicalities, this is the perfect choice for you.

4. Low Maintenance Needs

The next reason why a quartz watch is a good buy is the low maintenance needs. Although some people say that quartz watch don’t need any maintenance, in truth it also needs some maintenance especially if you have a more expensive watch that you want to be able to last your lifetime.

But the service interval of a quartz watch is significantly lesser than an automatic watch. If an automatic watch requires a service every 3 to 5 years (depending on the manufacturer), a quartz watch will need one every 10 years or so.

The reason for this is that there are many moving parts in an automatic watch so much so it will degrade over time through the wear and tear of running the watch.

But for a quartz watch, the number of moving parts is small since it depends on electronic timekeeping and a motor to move the watch. This low number of moving parts also makes the watch easier to be serviced resulting in low service costs.

(read more about servicing a quartz watch in my previous post here)

5. Lightweight And Thin

why buy a quartz watch

Another great characteristics of quartz watch is how lightweight it is. Since the quartz movement only requires minimal parts, it has a much lower weight and thinner profile compared to automatic movement.

What entails is the watch using quartz movement can be made lightweight, especially if the manufacturer opts to use plastics for the case. This causes the watch to be very comfortable to be used and is suitable for all age and gender.

The same cannot be said of automatic watch as it’s usually much heavier and not everyone can wear it. I’m actually bemoaning the trend of bigger sized watches nowadays as it causes automatic watches to be heavier than ever. My Seiko Sumo for instance, has a 44 mm diameter case and a substantial weight. Sure enough, the heft makes wearing it feels real good but I found that it can be fatiguing to be worn for long time.

If you’re in the market for a watch that’s light, comfortable on the wrist and has thin stylish design, your best bet is a quartz watch.

6. Can Be Equipped With Various Functions

Thanks to its electronic circuit, quartz watch is a good choice if you want a watch with more functions in addition to the normal time-keeping.

There’s so many functions that can be added onto a quartz watch such as:

  • Chronograph (or stopwatch)
  • Alarm clock
  • LED back light
  • Timer
  • Other timezones
  • Barometer
  • and many others

Some watch manufacturers even went as far as incorporating calculator, radio, TV even computer into their watches! All of these culminates into the advent of smartwatches that’s popular currently. Frankly, the combination is endless and there’s so many options that you can choose from.

7. Many Movement Innovations To Choose From

One of the great things that quartz watch invention had brought us is the many innovations that stem from it. From it, there are many types of watch movements that was invented by using ideas from quartz watch.

For instance, there are solar and automatic-quartz watches that seek to add a self-generating power unit into the watch, so that the battery don’t need to be changed frequently. With solar watch, there are photo voltaic cells on its dial that will convert light into electricity and stored inside the watch.

With automatic-quartz watch, there is a self-winding rotor mechanism connected to a small dynamo that generates electricity as the watch moves following wrist motions. These are exciting innovations that seeks to improve upon the basic quartz watch.

In addition, there’s also the smartwatch, the very popular type of watch currently thanks to the likes of Apple watch, Samsung Gear and others. Do you know that smartwatch was also born out of the innovations done on quartz watch?

Initially, watchmakers started adding many functions into the watch. These functions are related to time and wrist watch usage such as chronograph, alarm clock, back light, etc.

Thanks to the vast improvement in semi-conductor, there’s more powerful chips being released with the same footprint that was utilized by watchmakers to add more functions into the watch such as calculator, TV and computer.

And with the boom of smartphones, smartwatches (or wearable) were shoved into the spotlight. Although it was initially designed as an extension of smartphones, there are smartwatches that can now be used independently much like a phone. This kind of innovation is only made possible from the invention of quartz watch 50 years ago.

8. Used Inside Most Fashion Watches

Thanks to its affordability and lightweight characteristics, quartz watch is the main type of watch movements to be used by designer houses for their fashion watch line up.

Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss and others are some fashion brands that have ventured into watchmaking. I personally prefer true watchmakers (such as Seiko, Tissot, Hamilton, etc.) as I like to buy into their wealth of histories and quality but these fashion brands do produce some nice designs that looks really good. Well, they are fashion brands after all so no surprises there.

One of the common thing with these fashion watches is it’s most likely using a quartz watch because its cheaper and has small footprint. The fashion watch can then be made into various dimensions based on the designers. With these fashion watches, there’s much more options of quartz watches to choose from in the market.

9. More Durable Than Automatic Watch

The next reason why you should buy a quartz watch is that of its durability. To be precise, I’m talking about the ability of the watch to be used daily and subjected to some impact or shocks due to sports activity for instance.

In a direct comparison, a quartz watch is more durable than automatic watch due to the lower number of parts inside it. Because of this, there’s less chance that something will screw up when the watch is being impacted.

But for an automatic watch, there is a higher probability there will be something wrong with the movement if the impact is high. There’s a lot of small moving parts that’s quite sensitive to sudden shock – so that’s a quartz watch is more suitable for sports.

But one common thing with these 2 watches is the quality of the watch (which also corresponds to its price) will dictate how durable it is. Although a quartz watch is generally durable and robust, don’t expect the same with a cheap $10 watch. The cheap watch will always use lesser quality material and I don’t think it will last as long as a $50 watch.

The same is also true with automatic watch – there are diver watches that can be used to dive up to hundreds of feet below sea level and these are much more durable than a cheap $50 watch. You will get what you paid for.

But for dollar to dollar comparison, there no question that a quartz watch will be able to last longer than the same priced automatic watch. So if durability is at the top of your list, then you should seriously consider quartz watch.

10. The Best Grab And Go Type Of Watch

Although I’m an automatic watch kind of guy, I still feel that no automatic watch can never beat quartz watch in terms of being easy to use – so called the grab and go type of watch.

With my automatics, I always have to check whether it’s moving or not (sign of depleted power reserve) or if the time is correct or not by comparing it with my smartphone. Even though some of my watches have extended power reserve, I still do this just to be sure. This is the habit that I’ve gotten after having my watches die on me only to have me realized it later on.

But with a quartz watch, there’s no need to do such things. As long as the watch is ticking, its time is always as accurate as you’d like it to be (it will only gain or lose 2 minutes every year after all). I can see that if my life is much more hectic than now, I’d wear quartz watches more often instead.

But within the realms of quartz watch, there is also the type of watch that I can say is the best grab & go type of watch and that is the solar watch. As solar watch converts light into electric, it’s basically self-sufficient without the need to change its battery frequently (you only need to change its capacitor every 10-years or so).

Just bask the watch under light and you’re good to go. In fact, modern solar watch can even work with indoor lights as long as it’s bright enough which makes it very easy charge it simply by wearing it and go on doing your normal lives. And since you’re basically recharging it daily, you can use any functions that the watch has (chronograph, back light, etc.) and don’t have to worry about depleting the battery.

With such a great technical and real-life advantages, I’d say that solar quartz watch is the best grab & go type of watch.

Related Questions

Do quartz watches need batteries? Quartz watches need batteries to run; the battery will supply electricity which will be used by the timekeeping mechanism of the watch. (if you want to learn more about how quartz watch works, read my previous post here).

Why are some quartz watches so expensive? Some quartz watches can be expensive due it having better materials used (precious metals such as gold for instance), gems, better craftsmanship and better movement.

Do quartz watches need servicing? Quartz watch also needs servicing to maintain its movement in perfect condition. (read my previous post here about servicing a quartz watch).

Do quartz watches need jewels? In general, quartz watches don’t require jewels as its moving parts is subjected to less stress than an automatic watch. But there are some quartz watches that utilize jewels in its movement and these watches are often of higher quality.

I hope this article about why buy a quartz watch is beneficial to you. Do let me know if there’re any questions or you have anything to add by commenting below.

Cheers!

Quartz Watches And Jewels – 3 Things That You Need To Know

Do quartz watches have jewels?

Quartz watch is one of the best innovation in the watch industry and is currently the norm in watches. I’ve recently read about how quartz watch seems to also have jewels in it, even though jewels are normally associated with automatic watches.

So do quartz watches have jewels? Some quartz watches do have jewels in its movement to reduce friction. These watches are generally of a higher quality than watches without jewels and are designed to last longer which subsequently making it costing more money.

The use of jewels in a quartz watch has its merits and advantages. But should you fork out more money for such watches remains to be seen and is based on what you expect from the watch. In addition, the number of jewels inside a watch is not an indicator of quality.

Why Are There Jewels In Quartz Watches?

So why are there jewels in quartz watches? Some quartz watches use jewels to reduce the friction in its movement and subsequently giving it a greater longevity.

Before that, we need to know how jewels came about and what are its uses in a watch.

Jewels are historically used in automatic watches as bearings to reduce the wear and tear in the many moving parts – there are typically 15 to 30 jewels inside an automatic watches (depending on the movement maker and complications).

Automatic watch parts are continuously moving at a high speed. Just imagine, a typical Seiko 4R36 movement is beating at 6 beats per second which can be seen from the sweeping seconds hand (it actually moves 6 times to make 1 second).

That means the whole gears and components that is attached to the second hand from the wheel balance are moving very as fast as the seconds hand. Without jewel as bearings, the steel to steel contact between the components and the casing will create a lot of friction, so much so the parts will be thinned from the friction. Such a watch will not even last for a month!

Thus jewel bearings came about. The jewels are used at places with high friction because its low and predictable friction coefficient improves watch accuracy and longevity. And that’s how automatic watches can last for decades.

And if you’re thinking that the jewels are precious gemstones, then you’re wrong. While it was gemstones years ago, all modern watches currently uses synthetic jewels as it’s much cheaper to produce as well as having more predictable material properties.

But quartz watches are different. It does not have much moving parts because the timekeeping is done by the IC and quartz crystal. The time is shown by using a motor that steps out every 1 second to move the seconds hand.

True enough, there’s much lesser moving parts in a quartz watch so much so most of the watchmakers only rely on plastic or steel as the bearing material and it has been working perfectly for years.

But there’s also a higher grade of quartz watches which uses jewels inside it. There’s still a few gears that transmit the movement to the hands and the use of jewels on these parts will increase the watch longevity. In short, a watch that uses jewels will last longer than a watch without jewels.

Should You Spend Extra To Buy A Jeweled Quartz Watch?

We already know that a quartz watch with jewels in it has greater longevity than a watch without jewels. But does that means we should be buying a jeweled watch? If that is so, then why is the industry’s norm is a non-jeweled watch?

So should you buy a quartz watch with jewels? Quartz watch with jewels cost more and worthwhile to be bought if the watch is an expensive watch from a high-end manufacturer.

The reasoning for this is because if you buy a high-end and expensive watch, you are most likely wanting for the watch to last longer so much so it can be part of your heirloom. The watch might also be adorned with diamonds or precious stones which means it can also be an investment vehicle.

With such watches, having jewels in it will be more beneficial and logical as the jewels will ensure the watch can be used for a long time. You certainly don’t want a beautiful and expensive watch to be given to your child but the movement cannot be used anymore right?

With quartz watch, we only need battery change for it to work flawlessly and a jeweled watch will ensure this is the case even after decades of use.

But if you’re thinking of buying a normal quartz watch for everyday use and at the lower end of the price range, then getting a jeweled watch is not recommended.

A jeweled watch will cost more and if you’re only treating it as a typical watch (which is disposable and can be change once its broken), then there’s no reason to have the extra longevity from the jewels.

Number of Jewels Is Not An Indicator Of Watch Quality

So are more jewels in a watch means it’s a better watch? A watch with a high number of jewels does not mean it’s higher quality than a watch with lower jewels. Typically, a jeweled quartz watch has 5 to 10 jewels in it, depending on the maker and complications (chronographs will of course have more jewels).

But it’s not necessarily the case for a watch with a higher jewel count to be of a high quality. Sometimes, some watchmakers could be putting a lot of jewels inside their movement even though it will not have any real impact on the watch performance or longevity.

After all, there’s only limited place of high friction that a jewel should be placed at. Anything more than that is just cosmetic and serves as cheap stunt for publicity purposes.

In any watch (automatic or quartz), the numbers of jewels is not that important. What’s more important in a watch is the movement design, material quality and craftsmanship on how the parts were assembled together.

Related Questions

What are watch jewels made of? The watch jewel material is made of synthetic sapphire/ruby or called crystalline aluminum oxide (corundum), invented by Auguste Verneuil in 1902.

How accurate are quartz watches? Quartz watch is very accurate with maximum deviation of +-10 seconds. This high accuracy is due to the use of electronic oscillator regulated by the high frequency vibrating quartz crystal. You can read more about why quartz watches are accurate in my previous post here.

I hope this article about jewels used in quartz watches is beneficial to you. Do let me know if you have any other questions.

Cheers!

All You Need To Know About Servicing A Quartz Watch

does-a-quartz-watch-need-servicing

Quartz watch is the de facto of watches nowadays. When I first got my quartz watch, I wondered if it needs to be serviced, just like its older brother (the automatic watch). I did some research to find out.

So does a quartz watch need servicing? Quartz watch does needs a service but it’s interval is long at 10-years or so. It also needs regular battery change around 1-2 years depending on the make. As it has much lesser moving parts, quartz watch does not require more frequent servicing like the automatic watch.

However, you might want to do some general service on it once in a while to make sure it’s running in an optimal condition (especially if the watch is very expensive and you want to keep it as a heirloom). In addition, some issues on the watch might require you to have to bring it to a watchmaker for a service or repair. Lastly, where should you send in your watch? Will you have to send in to the brand back (more expensive) or a third-party watchmaker (cheaper) will suffice?

Quartz Watch Is Generally Service-Free

In general, a quartz watch is service-free, as is they will need less frequent servicing than an ordinary automatic watch.

For an automatic watch, a 3 to 5 years service interval is generally recommended, though this will largely depend on the brand (for example, Rolex has a great 10-year service interval).

For a quartz watch, a 10-year service interval is generally acceptable (though you will need to check with the brand).

The reason for this is there’s much lesser moving components inside a quartz watch thanks to its electric driven timekeeping and motor.

A good quartz watch will be very robust and can run forever – as long as you’re not pushing it beyond its use limit (such as outdoor activities, sports, etc.)

There’s a lot of stories about how an old quartz watch still run perfectly with only some battery change. This demonstrates the robustness of these watches.

Typical Services Needed For Quartz Watchdoes a quartz watch need servicing

While it’s generally service-free, you should also expect some service to be done on your watch. Just like all moving items around us (car, motorcycle, etc.), a service is needed to keep the quartz watch running perfectly, especially if you intend to keep your watch for a long period of time.

Some of the things that you will need to do involves taking the watch apart, re-oiling it and cleaning it when necessary. You should also ensure your watchmaker will thoroughly check the movement for any sign of damages and replace the parts as required.

This will prevent the damage from spreading to other components which might cause the movement to be spoiled and require a total replacement later.

Once you’ve changed the battery, do conduct electrical tests on it to ensure it’s within specification.

Although the movement is usually the main concern during a service, you should also keep in mind about the exterior of the watch i.e case, bracelet, crystal, crown & bezel. Consider spending some bucks to re-polish these to keep it shining like new (very important if you want to sell the watch later on).

In some instances, you might need to replace it if it’s damaged such as crystal, bezel and bracelet/straps.

One last thing that I want to highlight is the importance of prompt battery change. If you found your watch dead due to its battery, always bring it to a watchmaker to swap the battery as soon as possible.

There’s no room for procrastination of the battery change because a dead battery will LEAK and cause all the gooey stuffs to go to your watch’s movement. At this point, a major service is required because you will need to take it all apart and clean it.

Repair For Any Damages Is Still Needed

Although you don’t need to service quartz watch for years, always remember that you still need to repair any damages on it.

For instance, if you notice anything amiss on the watch such as:

  1. Suddenly stopping even though you know there should be a lot of charge in the battery.
  2. Being very inaccurate e.g losing/gaining a lot of time. Quartz watch should be very accurate.
  3. Some functions don’t work e.g chronograph, calendar, second time zone, backlight
  4. Physical damages on the watch e.g hands falling apart, moisture ingress etc.

Any of these issues is a cause for concern and you will need to bring it to a watchmaker for repair. And yes, these issues will cause a lot more to rectify than just a normal service.

In addition, do be very particular about the moisture damage. If you notice some water vapor inside your watch, bring it to the watchmaker as soon as possible to have it cleaned and serviced.

Although watches are usually made of stainless steel, exposure to moisture all the time can still cause it to corrode. Cleaning and servicing it promptly will ensure this corrosion does not happen and prevent from costly repairs down the road.

As there’s usually a gasket issue with moisture ingress, you need to tell your watchmaker to change the gaskets and close the watch properly to avoid this from recurring in the future.

Should You Send Your Watch To The Brand Or A Third-Party Watchmaker?

does a quartz watch need servicingAnother question that is usually asked is should you bring your watch to the brand’s authorized watchmaker or a third-party watchmaker will do.

In my opinion, there’s a lot of things to consider in this matter, rather than just cost (third-party is much cheaper and take less time than authorized brand’s watchmaker). Do note that this also applies to routine battery swap.

If your watch is a normal quartz watch and not expensive, a third-party service will do. For battery change, you can even do it yourselves or have it done at the mall. It’s much cheaper and faster this way.

But if your watch is an expensive watch, with special movements (such as limited edition high-accuracy quartz movement), then it’s recommended to bring it to your brand’s watchmaker.

There’s a lot more at stake here and you don’t want to risk your watch with a guy that you are not sure what’s his capability is.

In addition, third-party watchmakers might not have the right tools to do the job, and in the process could cause physical damages to your watch.

Not to mention they don’t normally have the access to original parts like a brand has. This is very important if your watch needs some parts replacement.

Even for a battery change, I will still bring it to the brand because some high accuracy quartz watch needs special battery cells that you can’t find outside.

These watches usually uses high-vibration quartz crystal that uses a lot more electricity than normal and hence needs special battery cells or you will need to change it every so often.

Extra Precaution Is Needed For Dive Watches

Do note for a diving quartz watch, some extra precautions are needed. Dive watch typically have extra and special seals & gaskets to keep water from coming into the watch during diving. These seals and gaskets need to be able to hold water out even in high water pressure, some even up to hundreds of meters of water depth.

This means that even a normal battery change is a cause for concern and I recommend you to bring it to a watchmaker for it.

Don’t try to change the battery yourselves or have those guys at the mall as there’s a high possibility that you will not close the watch properly and disrupt its water pressure.

Once you’ve opened the watch (for battery change or service or repair), you will need to change the gaskets as needed and also do water resistance pressure test after you’ve closed it back.

These are the things that you will need a good watchmaker (either the brand’s or a third-party) to do for yourselves.

Related Questions

How long do quartz watches last : Quartz watch can last for a very long time (more than 10-20 years is usually normal). It has fewer moving parts which means that it needs minimal service and is more durable than an automatic/mechanical watch.

Do quartz watches need to be wound? : Quartz watch does not need to be wound because its run by electricity supplied by the battery cell inside it.

I hope this article already helped you to understand whether does a quartz watch need servicing or not. Do let me know if there’s any questions by commenting below.

Cheers!

Automatic Vs Quartz Movement – Which Watch Is The Right One For You?

Automatic Vs Quartz Movement

One of the most asked questions is about watch movements, specifically about automatic vs quartz movement.

Most people new to horology (or things about watches) usually were asking this question as they were selecting their first watch.

While to most people, a watch is just a watch, this is not necessarily true. There’s a lot of going on inside the small timekeeping device that we use and in most cases, a watch is not equal to another watch based on it’s design and function.

In fact, there’s about 20 types of watches out there! But for this article, I’m going to focus solely on the automatic vs quartz movement.

1.wearing watch

 

Which One Is Better? Automatic Or Quartz Movement?

I’d like to steer clear from stating which one is the better watch as I believe this varies from person to person. I’m owning both types of watches and I can say both have its strong and weak points.

While most people know that automatic watch is more expensive (hence can be perceived to be more exclusive) than quartz watches, there’s a lot more going on behind it rather than just the price.

As you’ll soon learn, a more expensive automatic watch is not necessarily the best for everyone as it will depends on your circumstances and intended use of the watch.

For example, if you’re a sporty guy and wears your watch to all of your outdoor activities, I highly recommend one of the sporty quartz watches (e.g Casio G-Shocks, etc) as it’s more durable than an automatic watch.

But if you’re not so active and would like to wear a watch for a formal event, then an automatic watch would serve you well.

Because of this, I’m going to list down the advantages and disadvantages of both automatic and quartz watch movements below so that you’ll have a better understanding and can choose the correct watch for you.

 

Automatic Vs Quartz Movement Comparison At A Glance:

Advantages Of Automatic Watches

 

Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches

 

Advantages Of Quartz Watches

 

Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches

 

Advantages Of Automatic Watches

2.Longines Automatic Watch

1- Unique Characteristics of Automatic Movement

The first thing that most people will realize about automatic watch is how it’s unique and not your normal watch.

Growing up, a clock or watch is something that I’ve usually seen around me. There were many clocks hanged on the wall around my house, and almost every adult near me wear a watch.

All of these clocks and watches have one thing in common: they run using batteries and as I soon learned, there was a quartz mechanism inside them that keep track of time.

I can say that this had shaped my perception of what a watch is – a typical electronic driven apparatus, just like everything around me.

It was not until I’ve grown into an adult that I was exposed to the world of automatic watches.

The more I learned about it, the more I’m fascinated about how tiny mechanical parts can actually move and keep time on its own, all without the need to use batteries.

For someone that was raised in the advent of electronic items, automatic watch is something that I’m very astonished and am very fond of.

I like how it’s different than the other electronic apparatus around us.

Not to mention my passion for anything mechanical does make it look more attractive to me.

For a start, just think about what’s lying in our home or office. Almost all of the useful gadgets that we use utilize some form of electronics such as TV, laptops, phones, cars, etc.

Which is why automatic watch is a very unique item in which it does something useful (tell time) without the need of any electronics inside it.

And such a novel property (it’s strange how times have changed. Prior to the 80s, the quartz watch WAS the novel item) just seem more attractive and pleasing to be used rather than the typical quartz watch nowadays.

2- Does Not Need A Battery To Function

3.manual movement

The next advantage of automatic watch is it does not need a battery to function.

Due to its mechanical nature free from electronics, automatic watch works by utilizing the movement of small parts in it to keep track of time.

And the source of the movement comes from the mainspring inside it.

This mainspring stores potential energy and is gradually releasing it, thus moving the gears it’s connected to get the watch running.

Initially, mechanical watch needs to be manually wound, that is tightening the mainspring need to be done manually (kinda like spring loaded car toys) to keep it tightened and full of potential energy.

Then, the watch evolved by an addition of weighted rotor on its back that will move around whenever the owner’s wrist is moving.

The rotor is connected to the mainspring and any movement of the rotor will tightened the mainspring.

The ability to “automatically” tightened the mainspring is the reason why automatic watch is called “automatic”.

So if you don’t prefer surprises when your watch drop dead suddenly due to dead battery, then the automatic watch can be a good option for you.

3- Sweeping Second Hand


Above video: Comparison of second hands for quartz and automatic watches

Another thing that makes automatic watch unique is its sweeping second hand which is courtesy of its fast-beating mechanical timekeeping mechanism.

Unlike a quartz movement that mostly “tick” at every second, all automatic watch has this fluid and beautiful sweep to its second hand – which is very beautiful to look at.

One thing that I want to note here is that not all automatic watches are the same. Some of the cheapest/entry-level automatic watches only has 6 beats per second movement, which means its second hand actually is moving as fast as 6 times per second and thus creating the sweeping action.

Most Swiss watches, however, has an 8 beats per second movement which while seems faster on figure but it does not have any appreciable aesthetic advantage to a human eye.

But there’s also the hi-beat movements (with 16 beats per second and higher) that gives a very fluid sweeping second hand action but these watches come at much higher prices. True enough, you get what you paid for, especially in the world of watches =)


Above video: A good comparison between watches with different second hand beat rate

Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches

1- More Expensive Than Quartz Watch

I bet you’ve seen this one coming. Automatic watch is notoriously more expensive than quartz watch and this can be attributed to the higher part count in it compared to the relatively easy to construct quartz movement.

Not only that, most automatic watch uses stainless steel for most of the mechanical parts including its casing, though Swatch Sistem51 is one of the major brands that released an automatic in plastic casing.

In comparison, the cheapest quartz watch can be made almost entirely by cheap plastic and mass production, making it inexpensive to make.

But still, there’s a lot of choices for inexpensive automatic watches out there (see my list of the great automatic watches under $200) that you can choose from.

For anyone new to automatic watch, I strongly recommend to test the waters first with these inexpensive automatics before you commit your hard earned money with more expensive ones.

2- Low Power Reserve

While automatic watch doesn’t need battery to function, the power reserve capacity in its mainspring is still limited – 36 hours to 50 hours kind of limited.

And frankly, this is one of the biggest drawbacks with automatic watch that many people are not aware of.

The troublesome is not in the low power reserve itself, it’s actually in the need to reset the time, day and date every time you pick the watch up to be used after it drops dead.

While it’s a very cool item that runs on mechanical parts, the lack of power reserve can make it a bit annoying especially if you’re someone who have many watches and plan to wear a different one every day.

4.Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80There do, however, some watchmakers that produced movements that can last longer such as the Powermatic 80 from ETA (such as the Tissot PRC200 here) that can lasts up to 80 hours with full power reserve.

But what if your automatic watch only has the typical 38-50 hours power reserve?

My advice is don’t change your watch every day and instead wears it for a few days before changing to another one.

That way, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of time spent on resetting the watch from everyday to once every few days.

Trust me, this is one of my best practices that really changed my life for the better when dealing with many watches =)

3- Much Lower Accuracy

Automatic watch has much lower accuracy compared to quartz watch – there I’ve said it. 10 to 25 seconds gain or loss time per day is the norm for automatic watch. In comparison, quartz watch only gain or lose that much time in a month!

While on paper the difference is very big, there’s NOT much issue in terms of practical day-to-day use.

Speaking from my personal experience, most automatic watches will deviate maximum a few minutes in a week in which you’ll only have to adjust the time on weekly basis – which to me is not that big of a deal.

But if you’re really stricken for accuracy, there’s also the Chronometer, a type of automatic watch that’s designed, tested and certified to only deviate maximum 6 seconds per day.

Considered as the best in terms of accuracy, the Chronometer is usually sold at higher prices compared to normal automatic watches due to the higher quality materials used and the additional cost to get it tested and certified.

4- Typically Bigger and Heavier

5.Tissot Couturier Automatic ChronographWhat do you get when the inside of the watch contains actual metal? A heavy piece of steel. And that’s the case with automatic watch.

Compared to quartz watch, the inside of automatic watch is more complicated and full of mechanical parts which are mostly made of metal.

Not only that, some automatic watches with functions like chronographs (or stop watch) will need to be bigger to fit in all the extra parts in the movement.

For example, a chronograph watch (such as the Victorinox Infantry Vintage ) with ETA Valjoux 7750 movement has a huge 15 mm thickness!

You can surely imagine how big and heavy the watch will be! In comparison, as quartz watch uses electronics, it’s more compact in size resulting in a smaller and lighter watch.

5- Need To Be Serviced Once Every Few Years

6.watch service repair

Another thing that many people don’t really know is that automatic watch needs to be serviced once every few years.

While it does not need a battery, the components and oils inside it still need to be maintained, just like any other mechanical items such as cars.

In terms of the maintenance interval, it really depends on the manufacturer standard and will vary from one brand to the other.

I personally use 5 years interval for my watches as I’m rotating them after a few days. If you’re using the same automatic watch every day, then the wear and tear will be greater and you might want to increase your maintenance interval in this case.

Where to get it serviced? You can either service it at the authorized service center of the brand (costlier and longer time) or get it done at your local watchmaker that you trust (cheaper and faster).

 

Advantages Of Quartz Watches

7.Movado Museum

1- It Just Works!

Coming into quartz watch, the first and finest quality of it is it just works. After more than 40 years in production, quartz watch right now is in a mature stage.

I mean, you could get a very cheap $1 quartz watch from Alibaba or anywhere, popped in a battery and it will just work! (though the durability and longevity of such cheap watch is in question).

With automatic movement, there’s still a chance that something will be a problem – you could accidentally magnetize it, or dropped it too hard until its internal parts are messed up etc.

Not to say that quartz watch doesn’t have such problems but it will take a lot more to mess up a quartz watch compared to an automatic.

2- Much Cheaper To Buy

Another great advantage of quartz watch is it’s very affordable. You can get a very cheap China-Made watch for just a few bucks.

Heck, almost all the watches and clocks that we see around us are quartz-based watches.

While the automatic watch is more labor and parts intensive, quartz watch has been mass produced for years right now.

Parts and labour are very cheap per unit of quartz watch making it very affordable for everyone.

3- Very Accurate

8.How Does Quartz Watch Work diagram
In terms of accuracy, quartz watch tramples over the automatic watch with its highly accurate movement.

Quartz watch will only gain or lose a few seconds in a month – a very respectable figure and much better than automatic movement. With this kind of accuracy, chances are you only need to adjust its time whenever you’re changing the battery.

How can it achieve such feat? Thanks to the quartz mineral that vibrates at 32768 Hz (or 32768 times in a second). An electronic chip inside the watch then uses this vibration signal to determine 1 second.

This is one of the reason why quartz watch is so accurate – that is even if the quartz mineral is off by a few vibrations per second, it’s still not that significant to make the timekeeping inaccurate.

Another factor is the precision in mass manufacturing of the quartz and electronic chips. The advancement in industrial technology make it possible to churn out the exact same quartzs and chips, just like what the watchmaker designed it originally.

The high accuracy of quartz watch is one of the main selling points of quartz watch when it was invented in the 70s that almost swept all automatic watch brands out of business.

In that time, the inaccuracies and vast inconsistency between each automatic watches make syncing time between people hard to be done.

Just imagine how the society back then had to function when almost all of them had watches/clocks that showed different time.

Nowadays it’s expected that everyone complies to any scheduled time – all thanks to the advancement in watches that we’ve had right now.

4- Slim And Light

While automatic watch need to be bulky to house its numerous parts (especially the automatic rotor that take almost a few milimeters, quartz watch can be made in a very thin and small footprint, often found on women’s watch.

I mean, these kind of small watches are impossible to be made with the current automatic watch technology.

While the higher end watches can have somewhat smaller casing, entry-level automatic watches are still quite bulky.

So if you’re after a sleek and thin watch, quartz movement is the one for you.

10.movado ultra thin

5- Can Have Multiple Functions

One of the things that make quartz watch a very good tool to own is it can have multiple functions inside it.

For example, chronographs, second time-zone, GMT, and alarm are the functions that you can get on a still affordable quartz watch.

Thinking to get the same functions on an automatic?

It can be downright impossible as such automatic watch will cost millions to own – and you can’t even use it everyday!

Seriously, this is one of the main reasons why I will never say that any watch (automatic or quartz, or solar etc.) is THE best watch to own.

I’m a firm believer that everyone has different needs based on his/her circumstances and preferences.

So if your work or hobby revolves around having a watch that can do a lot of things (stopwatch, alarm, checking another time-zone, etc.) than just showing time, then a multi-functional quartz watch is the best for you.

But if you don’t really care about these functions (because you already have your mobile phone, for example), then automatic watch might still be a great choice.

In the end, the choice of what watch to use should be based on your needs as well as personal preference.

 

Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches

1- Need Battery To Operate

Ever had your watch died on you because of dead battery? I have. And yes it’s not a really pleasant feeling.

Imagine that you’re very busy to prepare for the day and suddenly you notice that your watch is showing the wrong time.

Upon closer inspection, you found out that it’s not ticking and you’ve suffered another case of dead battery.

While quartz watch is good and all, it’s still an electronic item and runs on electric energy which is supplied by a small battery cell inside it.

While it does not cost too much to change the battery, the trouble of having your quartz watch suddenly die on you is no joke either.

Fortunately, some watches have a built-in function to show low-battery life through a 2-second skipping second hand.

What will happen when the battery is low is the usually 1-second ticking of the hand will be changed to 2-seconds ticking.

This is an indication to its owner that the battery is low and you ought to get it changed as soon as possible.

In addition, most quartz watches with digital display do have battery level indicator which really makes it much easier.

Don’t even want to change your battery? You can also opt for a solar watch (recharged by exposure to light) and kinetic watch (recharged by wrist movement).

Both are some of the advancement in the vanilla quartz watch currently available in the market right now.

2- Generally Considered Less Exclusive And Less Aesthetically Pleasing Than Automatic Watch

From a purely technical point of view, quartz watch triumphs over automatic watch. It’s cheaper, more accurate, lighter and can have multiple functions.

But if we’re looking from an aesthetic lens, things are not really that straight forward, and often, automatic watch is generally considered to be more pleasing than a quartz.

I love checking out watches either in shops or online, and usually the best looking watches will have automatic movement in it.

Quartz watches are more widely used with very small watches and also utility/sporty type of watches which uses its superior compact and multi-functional characteristics.

But when it comes to beautiful dressy watches, most of the watch that I’ve seen (at least for men’s watches) have automatic movement in it.

I can only theorize that since automatic watch was threaten by the rapid rise of quartz watch, automatic watchmakers need to differentiate their product and brought it to a higher-class segment to stay afloat.

The way they did this is by designing their watches to be beautiful timepieces, something that can entice people to pay more and overlook its technical disadvantages.


Watch this video to know the summary of this post 

 

Conclusion: So Which One Should You Pick? Automatic Or Quartz Movement?

I hope this short summary of automatic vs quartz movement will be beneficial and open your eyes on the advantages and disadvantages of both types of movements.

From this, you can make a comparison on what you need and want, rather than just following blindly what other people say or recommend.

One thing to keep in mind is there is no one watch that fits all (though I think a bracelet stainless steel watch is very close to that..).

Which is why it’s generally acceptable to own few watches so that you’ll have the perfect watch for the situation.

And if you’re in a tight spot and can’t decide on which watch to buy, drop me a comment and I’ll help you out =)

Thanks for reading and Cheers!

Isaac.

Hamilton Ventura Review – The Iconic Elvis Watch

Hamilton Ventura Review

In this post I’m going to write about a very iconic watch in rock and roll – the Hamilton Ventura aka the Elvis watch.

It’s not only iconic due to its shield-shaped or V-shaped case, but the fact that the King of Rock and Roll even worn one cemented its status as a one-of-a-kind watch.

 

The Iconic Ventura Watch Worned By Elvis

Elvis Presly worn the Ventura in many appearances, but most notably in his 1961 movie “Blue Hawaai”.

The King was known to be an avid watch collector, but I believe the Hamilton Ventura is one timepiece that fits him perfectly.

 

Blue Hawaii Hamilton Ventura Elvis

Elvis wearing the original Hamilton Ventura in the 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii”

 

Just look at the watch – it’s totally unusualy with the shield-shaped case. Elvis, with his over the top concert outfit and fashion sense, was clearly the rightful owner at the watch.

It just seemed that Hamilton designed the watch specifically for him!

Not only that, the Ventura that Elvis owned was also one of the world’s first electric watch. Apart from the extraordinary fashion sense, the watch is also a historical landmark from horological point of view.

 

The 1957 Hamilton Ventura – An Electric Watch

Around the 50s, the world tried to invent a new type of watch to replace the not-so-accurate mechanical watch. One of the first invention was the electric watch, first emerged as a prototype in 1952.

But it was only until 1957 that Hamilton produced the first electric watch produced for the masses, the Hamilton Electric 500.

Hamilton then decided to put the same movement into the Ventura, released in the same year.

 

Hamilton Ventura 1957

The original Hamilton Ventura, released in 1957, is one of the first electric watches in the world

 

The early electric watch still uses the balance wheel set-up as seen in traditional mechanical watch (read my article here to learn more about how mechanical watch works), but instead of a mainspring, it used battery and electromagnets as power source.

While it had the benefit of longer use since the watch don’t need to be winded to recharge its power reserve (like the traditional mechanical watch), the usage of balance wheel as timekeeping device meant the electric watch was not really more accurate than its mechanical sibling.

It was not until 10 years later the tuning fork movement (by Bulova) and the superb quartz movement (by Seiko) that mankind finally made a significant breakthrough in horological accuracy.

But without a doubt, the Ventura and Hamilton’s other electric watch did made a huge impact on the watch world. It was the first watch to be powered by electric / battery cell and was the foundation of other electric watches were built upon.

And the Ventura, with the shield-shaped case remain one of the most iconic and stylish watch ever made.

Enough with the introduction. Let’s get into the Hamilton Ventura review shall we.

 

Hamilton Ventura Quartz Specification (H24411732)
Diameter 31 mm (side to side)
Thickness 11 mm
Lug Width 18 mm
Case Shield-shaped stainless Steel case
Strap Black leather strap
Watch Crystal Mineral crystal
Dial Black analog dial
Hands Silver hands
Markers Index markers
Style Casual
Movement ETA Caliber F05.111 Quartz movement
Water Resistance 50 m
Best Place To Buy Amazon

 

Black Dial Design – Closest Similarity To The Original 1957 Ventura

Over the years, Hamilton had released various Ventura watches such as the Elvis80 (released in 2015 to commemorate Elvis’ 80th birthday) and XXL (with bigger size) versions, but this particular model (model No. H24411732) is the one with the closest resemblance to the 1957 version that Elvis worn albeit in silver stainless steel vs. the gold case in the original.

This watch has the pitch black dial underneath the clean silver stainless steel hands and markers providing a handsome contrast dial.

 

Hamilton Ventura Quartz

 

Is it a bit monotonous ? Yes I agree but I there’s something about the cleanliness of the dial and the overall design of the watch that makes it very unique.

While the other iterations of the current Ventura (such as the Elvis80 watches) have open dial design, this particular model looks sharper. Sometimes, less is more and that’s definitely true for both this and the original Venturas.

After all, when you got a very unique case, the dial is best to be left as simple as possible to not make the watch too “busy” with lots of elements.

 

Hamilton Ventura Dial

 

Also, it’s actually better in terms of practicality as the V-case doesn’t provide much dial real estate. A simpler design is preferred to ensure best legibility of the time.

Besides the small dots as index markers, there’s also the Hamilton signature and the triangular pattern at the middle. Unmistakably, the pattern is a nod to the coil symbol – to commemorate the original 1957 Ventura with the moving coil electric movement.

Very simple and yet very handsome. The Hamilton Ventura’s dial is not as eye-popping as other watches but it’s the perfect companion to the V-shaped case.

 

Highly Polished Stainless Steel Shield-Shaped Case

The most attractive element of the Ventura is of course the unique shield-shaped or V-shaped case. It’s almost identical to the original 1957 version with the exception of a slight change in the crown.

The case has a v-shape with the 9 o’clock positioned at the bottom of the V. The 9 o’clock to the 3 o’clock is the shorter side of the watch at 31 mm.

The longer side of the watch (or the top of the shield/V) is at the 3 o’clock side and purposefully made to be perpendicular to the wrist. At the ends are the “wings” that extends out from the watch’s main body to the strap.

 

Hamilton Ventura Side

 

While the shield-shaped case is the one that stands out the most, the wings are also my favorite bit on the watch. Besides having a practical purpose to hold the strap pins, it amplifies the Ventura’s unique look.

A truly remarkable design in my opinion. It’s truly befitting Elvis with his outlandish fashion choices.

Without a doubt, expect a lot of eyes glancing on this timepiece because it’s definitely an eye-catcher =)

By the way, Hamilton also released a smaller version of the watch intended for the ladies. It is about 24 mm at the shorter side with model no. H24211732. Do check it out if you want to get a complement watch for your other half.

 

Mineral Crystal On Top Of The Ventura…. No Sapphire?

One of the dissappointment with the watch is the absence of sapphire crystal on top of it. The Hamilton Ventura on has mineral crystal on it, which is not really scratch resistant.

What’s perplexing is the high price of the watch (at around $800 to $900 MSRP, but is much lower when bought online i.e Amazon, Ebay etc.) warrants a sapphire crystal on it.

 

Hamilton Ventura side 2

 

Sapphire crystal is the de-facto crystal used on any expensive watches, and at the price point of the Ventura, it’s unthinkable to not have it on the watch.

A cost cutting measures from Hamilton? That’s seems to be the case since the higher range of the Ventura model features sapphire on top of it.

 

ETA Caliber F05.111 Quartz Movement

Powering the Hamilton Ventura is the quartz movement from ETA, the F05.111 caliber. Nothing much can be said about the quartz movement except that it keeps perfect time and can last for 2 to 3 years before needing a battery change.

For automatic movement lovers, all hope is not lost as Hamilton do produce the Ventura with it. Check out their website to look at the Ventura Auto, Elvis80 Auto and XXL Auto model lines. To my knowledge, these higher priced Venturas do have sapphire crystal on top of it =P

 

Hamilton Ventura back

 

Hamilton Ventura Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very unique, yet handsome and fashionable shield-shaped case
  • The closest resemblence to the Ventura watch worn by Elvis in the 60s
  • Accurate Swiss quartz movement
  • 50 m water resistance

Cons:

  • Not the best bang for buck watch in the market
  • No sapphire crystal on it


Watch this unboxing video of the Ventura to take a closer look at the watch

 

Who Is This Hamilton Ventura Watch For?

If you’re looking for something funky, very fashionable and out of ordinary, the Hamilton Ventura is one of the best watches you can get.

It’s distinctly designed shield-shaped case will easily turn all eyes over the watch. Not to mention it does look handsome even with this unorthodox case shape for a watch.

In addition, the Ventura’s assosiation with Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, that owned this watch do make it a very attractive watch to be owned by the King’s fans.

The edgy design, fits perfectly with Elvis, and that’s something a fan would love to be a part of.

 

Where To Buy Hamilton Ventura?

If you love the Hamilton Ventura, consider getting the watch from online retailers such as Amazon. It has the best price with steep discounts compared to the high MSRP of the watch at around $800-$900.

On Amazon though, the watch usually retails around the $500-$600 region which is much more make sense to me. Click the link below to check out its latest price.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

As beautiful and handsome as it is, the Hamilton Ventura is a bit too expensive for a watch. At its price, we are getting a quartz watch with mineral crystal which is a bit too high in my opinion, even by Swiss watch standard.

At the price point of $500-$600 (from online retailers), we should be getting an automatic movement WITH sapphire crystal. Not to mention that this is a “Hamilton” and not the other more expensive/exclusive Swiss brands.

While it does win in terms of aesthetic, this Hamilton Ventura is not really the best watch in terms of value proposition.

If you’re looking to get the best value for your hard-earned money, consider the watches in these 2 lists of the best automatic watches of under $1000 to $200 and under $200.

 

Final Thoughts

The Hamilton Ventura is without a doubt an eye-cacthing watch. With it’s distinctive shield-shaped case, it looks very edgy and handsome – perfect for those looking for a fashionable timepiece.

In addition, it’s original version had been worn by Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll previously. That, in itself, is enough to put this watch on a different level than the rest.

While the watch is certainly good looking, I find the features to be quite on the lower side, considering the price range that Hamilton is asking for it.

Even at the gray online retailers, the watch is still too expensive with the quartz engine and mineral crystal.

Otherwise, this is definitely a fashionable timepiece that any Elvis or non-Elvis fans would love to wear =)

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Hamilton Ventura review. What do you think about the watch? Let me know in the comments below if you think the watch is something you’d like to own or not.

I’d love to hear what you think about it =)

Cheers!
Isaac.

Bulova Accutron II Review 96A155 Alpha – A Homage To The Famous 1960s Spaceview Watch

Bulova Accutron II Review 96A155 Alpha

 

Hi guys! Today I’m writing about the Bulova Accutron II review, specifically the 96A155 Alpha model.

It’s actually as a homage to the famous 1960s Bulova Accutron Spaceview watches that featured an open dial showing its tuning fork movement.

 

Bulova Accutron II 96A155

 

Bulova Accutron – The First Electronic Watch

During the 1960s, automatic and mechanical watches are the only option. It’s a great little timepiece but with one (major) flaw: it’s not keeping time accurately.

The most accurate automatic watch, the chronometers, can be too expensive for most people.

Soon enough, watchmakers and engineers tried to create a new type of movement that has a better accuracy.

The quartz movement was the answer to this, but before that, the tuning fork movement, the accutron, by Bulova emerged first.

The accutron movement uses electromagnetic to create vibration in the tuning fork. This vibration is the source of the timekeeping, like how the vibration of quartz crystal to a quartz watch works.

The result is a more accurate watch than an automatic (at about 1 minute or 60 seconds per month).

Another unique feature of it? It’s totally fluid sweeping second hand movement that bested even the highest beat automatic watch.

Only the spring drive movement by Seiko, produced some 40 years after that, beat the accutron in the fluidity of sweeping second hand.

The movement also produced a distinctive humming sound due to the vibration of the fork.

Since the accutron used an integrated circuit to run its timekeeping, it’s considered as the first electronic watch in the world.

The development of the accutron marked the beginning of modern watchmaking history and is a crucial turning point in horological world.

This newer Accutron II does not use this tuning fork movement but insted uses Bulova’s Precisionist movement which is based on quartz.

But of course, it’s not a normal quartz – it’s a high frequency quartz with very fluid sweeping second hand.

It’s definitely gorgeous and a homage to the original accutron movement.

Bulova did released a re-issue of the Accutron Spaceview with the tuning fork movement in 2010 to commemorate its 50 years anniversary.

 

Bulova Accutron Spaceview 2010 reissue

The Bulova Accutron Spaceview watch reissued in 2010 can costs up to $5,000!

 

It’s not sold officially now but you guys can check out eBay for re-sellers of the watch.

But be warned the new reissued watch can costs about $4,000 to $5,000 due to them needing to reverse engineer and research how to make the tuning fork movement again.

At that high price, I think a vintage Spaceview (easily around $300-$400) is a much better deal LOL!

 

The Original 1960s Accutron Spaceview

 

Bulova Accutron Spaceview 1960s

1960 Bulova Accutron Spaceview

 

If you notice, the Accutron II also borrows some design cue from the Accutron Spaceview released in the 1960s with the open dial.

The Spaceview is legendary in its own right due to its futuristic look that shows the tuning fork, wire coil, capacitors and wires making it look very cool.

It’s also quite artistic in the way Bulova arranged the movement to make sure it’s still presentable and likeable.

On the other hand, the newer Accutron II, although looks similar from the first look, it’s nowhere near the wonderful spaceview.

The dial is semi-open and only shows it wire coil at the top. Well, can’t blame them as the internal workings of a quartz watch is not very presentable and neat to look at.

But the intention to create a homage is clearly seen from the design.

 

That’s it about the introduction to Bulova Accutron. Let’s check out the detail review of the Accutron II shall we!

 

Bulova Accutron II 96A155 “Alpha” Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Black leather strap
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Semi-open aperture dial with green and gold background
Hands: Dauphine hands
Markers: Circular index markers
Style: Casual

Movement: Bulova Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Quartz movement BA101.10 with 262 kHz frequency
Battery: 2-3 years
Accuracy: +-10 seconds per year

Water Resistance: 30 m
Other Features: Sweeping second hand @ 16 beats per second

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Spaceview Inspired Dial

As mentioned earlier, the dial of this Bulova Accutron II Alpha is taken from Bulova’s Spaceview model, popular in the 60s.

While the Spaceview has a full open dial showing its tuning fork movement, the newer Accutron II watch only has a semi-open aperture showing its wire coil at the left side of the watch.

This is due to the quartz movement that I believe is not really that great to look at, so Bulova chose to cover the movement with a dial.

The dial is gold in color at the center and has two shades of green around it and was designed as such to capture the iconic look of the original spaceview.

The dial features dauphine shaped hands with circular index markers. The top marker at 12 o’clock uses the beautiful Bulova tuning fork logo that I really like.

The second hand’s tail tip also uses this logo. There is also a signature “Bulova Accutron II” printed direcly on the watch crystal.

On the gold portion of the dial, we can see a tuning fork logo at the lower left side with the engraving “BA101.10” which is the model no. for the quartz Ultra High Frequency (UHF) movement that this watch has (more on that later on).

Even though the dial is an “imitation” of the original spaceview, I feel that it’s still a good looking dial.

The open dial serves no purpose as we can’t see anything on the movement (save for the coil) but the way Bulova designed it makes it looks great.

 

Bulova Accutron II 96A155 sides

 

The various circles at the center of the dial serves no purpose but is a nice little touch on a dial that’s very unique and different than any modern watches out there.

 

Unique Shield-Shaped Case

Accompanying the unique dial is a unique case with a shield shape that’s remisniscent of the original accutron spaceview.

The case of this Bulova Accutron II is a good 42 mm diameter with 12 mm thickness. With this moderate sizing, almost all wrist sizes can pull this one off perfectly.

This is unlike the Bulova Precisionist that’s very huge and only bigger wrists can wear it without looking awkward. The case is made from stainless steel and made impeccably well.

You can see how the case is designed to have that many surfaces with different finishes (which actually reminds me of the Seiko SARB033 btw).

The detail that has been put into the making of the case shows that Bulova is serious in this watch.

 

Bulova Accutron II on hand

The shield case of the Bulova Accutron II is not so pronounced, but is a nice touch and something that is hard to find nowadays

 

Well, the Accutron name is legendary to the company after all, so this much of effort is understandable.

On top of the case is a mineral crystal watch that’s quite a let down, in my opinion.

Mineral crystal is good and can get the job done i.e protect the inner watch from dust, accidental impact and most importantly water.

But it’s not a scratch resistant material, despite all those badly written description on online stores.

Only sapphire crystal is fully scratch resistant and all the other crystals are susceptible to scratches.

Thus, the only way to ensure your new watch look pristine for years is to take good care of it and avoid scratching the crystal with any hard surfaces (steel, concrete, etc.).

Hairline scratches will always be there no matter how well you take care of it, but at least there is no deep scratches.

Another interesting design on this watch is the recessed signed crown that’s hidden when you look at the watch from the top.

It’s actually at the right side of the watch and Bulova has made it very well hidden. The crown is a nod to the original accutron that had a hidden crown located on its caseback.

 

Bulova Accutron II side

The crown of the Bulova Accutron II is sublimely hidden inside the case – simply because there’s no need to use the crown regularly!

 

It’s been said that Bulova chose to hide the crown in the original accutron because it’s tuning fork movement is more accurate than an automatic watch and does not need to be reset regularly.

A nice marketing ploy if you ask me, but there’s truth in there. And with the UHF movement inside this Bulova Accutron II that has +-10 seconds per year accuracy, there is definitely no need to even touch the crown for years!

 

Bulova’s Ultra High Frequency Quartz Movement

The main attraction of the Bulova Accutron II watch (apart from its look, of course) is the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) quartz movement inside it.

The Cal. BA101.10 by Bulova runs at 262kHz frequency, which is about 8 times more than the normal 32kHz frequency of normal quartz watch.

This movement is the stripped down version of the Precisionist movement found in Bulova Precisionist just so that it can fit into the more normal size of this watch.

 

What’s so good about this UHF movement?

 

For a start, it is widely known that the way to increase accuracy in any watch (be it automatic or quartz) is to increase the frequency of the vibrating timekeeping element.

By doing that, the deviation of error is significantly reduced and we will get a more accurate watch. This UHF movement also uses a three prong quartz that’s revolutionary in a way.

The new design enables the high frequency vibration of the quartz crystal without taking a toll on its battery life.

As a result, the UHF has a great +-10 seconds per year accuracy, way above the +-15 seconds per month accuracy on normal quartz watch.

Furthermore, the movement is also able to sweep its second hand instead of the normal one-second ticks on other quartz watches.

Bulova miraculously achieved this feat by an ingenious movement design. Normal quartz watches restrict its second hand to one tick per second in order to lengthen its battery life.

On the other hand, this Bulova Accutron II sweeps its second hand 16 times in a second, accomplishing a very fluid action that can rival even the highest beat automatic watch.

In a way, this is the company’s way of paying tribute to its legendary tuning fork movement that also has sweeping second hand.

 


Watch the video above to see how fluid the sweeping second hand on this Bulova Accutron II

 

As comparison, normal automatic watch has 6 beats (low to middle range Seiko and Orient) and 8 beats (most Swiss and western watches) per second.

10 beats per second is already classified as hi-beat autos and costs thousands of dollars.

As you can imagine, a 16 beats per second automatic watch will has an astronomical price tag (in fact, this Chopard L.U.C 8HF Power Control watch with 16 beats retail at a staggering $18,870!)

Even though this UHF movement is not as novel or unique as their tuning fork movement, it’s a great accomplishment in the world of watches.

For once, there is a mass produced watch that can keep up with atomic clock in terms of accuracy. All the other high precision quartz watches are always out of reach for normal folks.

We have Bulova to thank for this amazing piece of timekeeping at an affordable price.

 

Who Is The Bulova Accutron II Alpha For?

The Bulova Accutron II is the best for those that want an updated timepiece of the original Accutron watch.

Sure, it does not have the unique tuning fork movement, but its great design and aesthethic covers for that nicely.

In addition, the UHF movement, though is a quartz, has a sweeping second hand that’s a great tribute to the original watch.

If you’re one who dislike inaccurate watch, then this watch is just perfect for you. Its movement has an accuracy of +- 10 seconds per year, something that no normal quartz can achieve.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

Despite its unique and cool look, the Bulova Accutron II is a casual watch that’s not meant for formal events.

For that, you’ll need a dress watch (such as this amazing Seiko SARB033) to go with that tux. I just can’t imagine how that green and gold dial can ever be used in a formal event LOL!

Also, even though the movement is rugged and reliable (as with most quartz watches), it’s not a suitable one for outdoor activities.

The mineral crystal can scratch easily, and it’s just too flashy to bring into the woods. It’s low water resistance of 30 m does not instill confidence to use it for swimming.

Diving is definitely out of its scope. For outdoor activities, I’d recommend a good field watch such as this Seiko SNK809 that’s very affordable (so that if you break it, you can always buy another one LOL!). For water activities, a diver’s watch such as the classic SKX007 is a nice candidate.

 

(Click HERE to read my list of the best automatic diver’s watch under $500)

 

Bulova Accutron II Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Magnificent sweeping second hand
  2. The iconic Accutron Spaceview watch design in a contemporary package
  3. Ultra High Frequency quartz movement gives a very accurate timekeeping – you don’t need to reset the watch in a few years
  4. High quality craftsmanship with beautiful case fit and finish

 

Cons:

  1. Mineral crystal is not scratch resistant
  2. Quite low water resistance with 30 m only

 

Like The Bulova Accutron II Alpha? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like the Bulova Accutron II Alpha, get it cheapest on Amazon! Click the link below to check out the watch.

->Click Here To Check Out The Bulova Accutron II 96A155 Alpha on Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Bulova Accutron II Alpha is really a solid watch with deep history behind it. It’s design is a homage to the legendary Accutron Spaceview watch in the 60s, with some changes that make it a watch on its own.

Its Ultra High Frequency quartz movement is one of its kind, delivering high precision timekeeping that’s usually associated with more expensive watches.

Lastly, the magnificent sweeping second hand is so good to look at. At 16 beats per second, the sweeping action is even more fluid than most automatic watches in existence.

The Bulova Accutron II Alpha is indeed a truly cool watch that any Bulova collector should get.

 

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What do you guys think about this Bulova Accutron II review? Do you guys like it and want it for your collection?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below =)

Till next time. Cheers!
Isaac

10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017

10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017 feature pic

10 Best Solar Watches Under $200 in 2017

 

I’ve always like solar watch because I feel it is an upgrade over the normal quartz watch.

Quartz watch is great in terms of accuracy but its reliance on battery sometimes caused inconvenience, especially when we find our watches suddenly out of juice (which I’m sure that had happened to you guys too LOL!).

Solar powered watch seek to solve this issue once and for all with the use of watch battery that can be recharged by solar – the most abundant and easily harvested renewable energy.

Not just sunlight, current technology of solar watch also enables it to be recharged by any light as long as its bright enough. For example, even our office or home light are sufficient for recharging.

With a huge power reserve of at least 4 months without any recharging, solar watch nowadays are much better built and designed for those that want a fuss-free watch.

In this article, I seek to list the 10 best solar watches under $200 in 2017 to make it easy for those wanting a good solar watch but don’t want to spend a fortune on it.

 

A bit of disclaimer: I’ve only listed analog watches here. While gathering information for this list, I’ve encountered lots of great solar watches, digital and analog alike.

But then I feel that combining both types (digital and analog) of watches inside one list will make things more difficult to compare.

I mean, there is no where an analog watch can compete with an LED backlight, chronograph, timer  and alarm features than even the cheapest Casio G-Shock has.

Which is why I seek to only put out the best analog solar watches under $200 in this list instead.

Why not digital watches?

For a start, I’m an analog guy through and through. I like how the dial is not digital – something foreign than the usual computer, smartphone and television screens that we have today.

Analog watch also looks more dressy and casual. Thus, it makes perfect sense to me to write about the things that I love =)

Secondly, this site started out by reviewing and comparing analog automatic watches, and I’m sure most of my readers would love to read a list about analog watches instead of digital watches.

That being said, I’ll surely try to do a list on solar digital watches too as I feel this segment has its own fans. (though I really hope I have the time to do so..)

Well, here is the 10 best solar watches under $200 in 2017 (summary of each watches are written below):

  1. Citizen BM8180-03E
  2. Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A
  3. Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1
  4. Seiko SSC233
  5. Citizen BM8475-26E
  6. Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L
  7. Citizen AT0200-05E
  8. Seiko SNE325
  9. Citizen BM8240-03E
  10. Citizen AW1361-10H

 

1 – Citizen BM8180-03E – Simplistic Military Solar Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 37 mm diameter, 9 mm thick
Style: Military
Water Resistance: 100 m

One of the most popular solar watches around, and for good reasons. The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E is among the cheapest in this list and usually can be had for less than $100 on Amazon.

And you’ll be in a total surprise of what that $100 can give you.

The BM8180-03E is a real sleek military watch with black dial, easy to read numeral markers (which have full lume mind you) and polished stainless steel case.

It’s also quite small at 37 mm diameter and 9 mm thick, which will be a good fit for those that want a light and easy to wear beater watch.

Citizen also coupled it with a green canvas strap that does keep the watch light and perfect for outdoor activities.

Even if the watch looks rugged with the canvas strap and all, I can sense that it has the making of a handsome casual/dress watch – no thanks to the high quality stainless steel case.

Just strapped it with a leather strap on the 18 mm lugs and you’re good to go. A black leather strap will look absolutely gorgeous with the black face.

And with its 100 m water resistance, this watch surely does not disappoint in protecting it from any moisture.

For a good looking and simply styled beater watch for everyday use, this Citizen BM8180-03E should be in your list.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E

2 – Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A – Solar Atomic Watch

Brand: Casio Wave Ceptor
Size: 43 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Hybrid analog + digital
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A watch is a great tool watch with multiple functions, and at a really affordable price of less than $200.

I like the hybrid digital + analog display that looks unique and also cool at the same time.

It has a touch of futuristic look on it while at the same time having the traditional 3 hands analog watch. Definitely a cool watch!

The case is a combination of plastic resin and stainless steel which makes it much lighter than an all steel case, at the expense of looking a bit cheap.

But I must say the resin-steel combination case is one of the main factors that drive down the price below $200.. So no complains on this regard lol!

The digital dial is not just for show – the Wave Ceptor watch is very functional and supports 9 different features which are solar powered, radio-controlled atomic timekeeping, LED light, alarm, chronograph, countdown timer, power reserve indicator, full perpetual calendar and world time display.

The radio-controlled atomic timekeeping is it’s best feature in my opinion. With this, the watch will automatically reset its time every early morning to the Atomic Time through radio signals.

This means the Casio Wave Ceptor is always accurate at any time.

It does has a constrain though. The atomic timekeeping can only be used in 3 continents (North America, Europe and China/Japan) as only these areas have the radio signals that the watch is attuned for.

With a killer list of specification with good looks, it’s very hard not to like the Casio Wave Ceptor (especially at its great price).

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Casio Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A

3 – Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 – The Handsome Multi-Function Watch

Brand: Casio Edifice
Size: 44 mm diameter, 13 mm thick
Style: Sports
Water Resistance: 100 m

Casio has proven to be a good watchmaker that marries technology, functionality and beauty in their pieces.

And this Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 watch is just the perfect example of that.

The watch is a good looking watch with silver stainless steel theme. It’s dial is every bit complicated but it’s just neatly designed that it looks great!

Not sure if it’s just me or the male genetics inside me, but I feel that a complicated but well placed dial like this Edifice watch looks really cool.

And that silver stainless steel theme just makes it sweeter to look at.

Sure, it will take a bit of time to be accustomed to what the various subdials do, but trust me, it’s not that hard to decipher.

The subdials are used to show a different time zone, chronograph mode and the current day.

There are 4 modes in total: normal timekeeping, chronograph, world time and alarm.

It will take some time to fully master these modes but that’s all part of the challenge of owning a functional analog watch.

The world time mode and GMT features of it make the Edifice watch a really great sports watch for those that travel often.

Not to mention it’s solar powered so there is no concern at all for hectic traveler that his/her watch might stop working without any notice.

And that’s one of the key benefits of solar watches: reliable quartz accuracy and convenience =)

 

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1

4 – Seiko SSC233 – The Stylish Orange Black Chronograph

Brand: Seiko Solar
Size: 45 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Sports chronograph
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Seiko SSC233 is one good looking watch for sure, thanks to the orange markings/hand on the black dial and the extra chronograph subdials.

As with the Casio Edifice above, the complexity of the extra subdials make the watch to has a cool factor.

And using the high contrast orange over black dial just makes the watch a total eye-catcher.

What I love about the dial is how the unconventional orange color is used perfectly here and just seems to pop-out off the watch.

So much so if you don’t like people to compliment the watch you’re wearing, then this is not the watch for you.

This is definitely a watch that people are going to comment on LOL!

Complementing its dial is a black PVD case that works in harmony for that sleek style.

It does has a nylon strap that make the watch look more casual but again, straps are changeable and can be easily swapped out on the 22 mm lugs.

The Seiko SSC233 not only rely on its good looks. It has a fully functioning chronograph which can measure up to 60 minutes (though I’d like it if it can measure more).

And let’s not forget about the solar feature here. Since chronograph uses more battery, usually people will try not to use (or play?) with it too much to avoid draining the battery.

But with a solar watch, you can use the chronograph function as much as you can! Just make sure to charge the watch sufficiently and it’s set to go.

The combo of solar powered and chronograph is one of the best watch combination around.

Lastly, it also has a good 100 m water resistance for protection against any unwanted water ingress.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Seiko SSC233

5 – Citizen BM8475-26E – The Black-Orange Solar Military Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 42 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Military
Water Resistance: 100 m

Another watch with a trendy black orange dial is the Citizen BM8475-26E. But unlike the Seiko SSC233 above, this Citizen is a normal military watch without any extra complication.

So if you guys like a black orange watch but with a simple dial design, then this Citizen is the perfect choice.

While the Seiko SSC233 looks damn cool with those chronograph subdials, this Citizen BM8475-26E is more simple and is recommended for those than don’t want a complicated watch.

The explorer style dial markers with big 3,6, 9 and 12 numerals makes the watch very legible and easy to tell time.

But what’s astounding about it is the full lume on its markers and hands that is just so good to look at, which is even on par with the lume on diver’s watches.

This Citizen BM8475-26E also has day date window at the right side of the dial which makes it very functional.

I’ve always feel that a watch with day date display is the best watch for everyday use as you can easily know the day and date with just a flick of your wrist.

It surely trumps the use of smartphones – no need to bring out your phone from your pocket or anything lol!

Like the Seiko SSC233 above, this watch also has a black PVD case that complements the black dial perfectly.

Having a 100 m water resistance also means it’s well protected though I’d personally take precautions to not expose it too long with water as it does not have a screw down crown.

Citizen also made the perfect choice of using a leather strap on the watch instead of a nylon like some of the other affordable watches in this list.

The brown leather strap just makes the watch look more handsome, and truthfully, the best strap to go with the black-orange dial.

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen BM8475-26E

6 – Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L – The Blue Solar Dive Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster
Size: 42 mm diameter, 12 mm thick
Style: Dive
Water Resistance: 200 m

This is the only dive watch that made it into this list is the Citizen Promaster Diver model no. BN0151-09L.

From a glance, it’s a good looking dive watch with enchanting blue dial on top of a stainless steel case.

It’s built with rugged and purpose in mind: the case and unidirectional rotating bezel looks tough and manly with a big crown for ease of use.

With such huge and bulky case/bezel, there is no question that the watch can take a beatings here and there.

The hands and markers are classic dive watch design – over-sized and very legible.

I really like how the 3, 6, 9 and 12 markers are designed with a trapezoid like shape.

It shows that Citizen is not a lazy watchmaker that just use the same design on all of their watches.

These little design elements means they put some effort to make sure their watches are unique and have character.

As per any dive watch, this Citizen BN0151-09L is full of blue lume on it that helps in telling time in dark areas.

In addition that, the watch is also ISO 6425 diver’s watch compliant for a truly assuring underwater performance.

It also has a 200 m water resistance which mean it’s good for all water activities except for saturation dives.

For a good looking solar diver’s watch with great specification, the Citizen BN0151-09L is a good choice.

*Note: The Citizen BN0151-09L price fluctuates depending on its availability in the market. It’s under $200 at the point of writing this list and that’s the price that you guys should look for. A bit of patience can save some money which can be better utilized for a great strap imho. As someone used to say to me, buying watches online is a waiting game =)

 

Click Here To Read My Full Review Of The Citizen Promaster Diver BN0151-09L

7 – Citizen AT0200-05E – The Solar Military Chronograph Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 41 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Military chronograph
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Citizen Eco-Drive AT0200-05E can be said to be an upgrade over the Citizen BM8180-03E as both of them share the same look.

Appearance wise, this watch looks much busier and more complex than the Citizen BM8180-03E.

But that’s not all. There is quite a big difference between the two watches’ specification.

This AT0200-05E has an additional chronograph complication, 24-hour time display and a bigger case size making it a real upgrade over the former Citizen.

The chronograph feature is something that’s really useful and totally worth the extra dollars paid on this watch.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, chronograph subdials will make the watch look much cooler than a normal simple dial, and that’s totally the case here.

And the solar + chronograph combo is totally great just like the Seiko SSC223 above.

The owner of this watch can use its chronograph as much as he/she likes without needing to worry about draining the battery =)

Apart from the chronograph, the watch also has a dedicated 24-hour time display which is a great way to help in telling the AM/PM at any point of time.

Strapped with a green canvas, it looks really befitting for a military watch.

A great looking watch, chronograph and solar powered – all of this for less than $200!

8 – Seiko SNE325 – Elegant Black Solar Watch

Brand: Seiko Solar
Size: 41 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Dress
Water Resistance: 100 m

The Seiko SNE325 is a good looking watch with a very unique look – the whole thing is almost black!

I can say that this is the first watch that I’ve encountered that is black on its entire watch face, case and strap.

The dial, hands, markers, case and band are all in shades of black/gray which make the watch a real eye-catcher.

The dial is textured with layers of black and lends to the majestic look of the watch.

But one common complain about the watch is it can be a bit hard to tell time with an all-black dial.

The hands and markers can only be seen if some light is present. Otherwise, the whole watch will be totally dark and telling time is almost impossible.

Because of this, I recommend you guys to only use this watch in the morning/afternoon and swap with a different watch during the night unless you’ll be in a well lit area.

As much as the watch is gorgeous, the primary purpose of using is to tell time.

And for me, it does not make any sense to wear this Seiko SNE325 in a dark condition and I can’t even see it.

Notwithstanding that, the Seiko SNE325 is a truly unique and elegant dress watch that will surely turn heads around.

For a one-of-a-kind watch powered by solar, the SNE325 is definitely something to consider.

9 – Citizen BM8240-03E – The Classic Solar Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 36 mm diameter, 9 mm thick
Style: Dress
Water Resistance: 30 m

While all the other watches in this list is geared towards military, chronograph and other futuristic look, the Citizen BM8240-03E is the only one that has the simple classic dress watch design.

The watch is as unassuming as it can be – 36 mm diameter, simple black dial, normal 3 hands, day date display – and yet the simplicity is its greatest strength.

The smaller diameter is a breath of fresh air in a world where larger watch is the norm.

With its small 36 mm diameter, this is the watch that’s perfect for those with smaller wrists.

The simple black face with stainless steel case just exudes class and style even for such a low priced watch.

I can bet that the Citizen BM8240-03E will cost at least double if a Swiss markings is on that stylish dial =)

Its markers are a bit unique. From a glance, it looks like having an all index markers.

But close inspection will reveal the 4, 8 and 12 markers to have a real slim font that makes it blend in with the other index markers.

These kind of unique design at this price point is very much welcomed as it will give the watch its own character.

Not to mention the watch also has day date display which are very useful for those that want to use it everyday.

Click the link below to check out the best deals of Citizen BM8240-03E on Amazon.

10 – Citizen AW1361-10H – The Solar Aviator Watch

Brand: Citizen Eco-Drive
Size: 45 mm diameter, 11 mm thick
Style: Aviator
Water Resistance: 100 m

Citizen’s take on the famous flieger/aviator style watch with their added spin on the styling.

From a glance, the aviator watch looks just like a normal B-Uhr type B watches.

But look closely and you’ll find that the Citizen AW1361-10H has a colorful dial instead of the normal black – white B-Uhr watches

It might not bode well with purists but I find this colorful flieger to be very unique and gives an added spin to the famous watch.

The watch is big – at 45 mm diameter it is on the upper side of watch size and is not recommended for those with smaller wrists.

Aside from the colorful dial, this watch also has a unique date display window.

Instead of a normal date display, Citizen used a window that shows 3 date at the same time with an arrow to indicate the current date.

Truthfully, I don’t really think such design is better practically. But this date display is very different from the normal ones and is one of the things that set this watch apart from others.

Plus, the convenience of using a solar powered watch makes it a total bargain at its less than its $200 price tag.

The Citizen AW1361-10H is definitely a real treat for those looking for a good aviator watch with solar technology.

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I hope you guys enjoy this list on the top 10 solar watches that can be had for less than $200 in 2017.

Let me know your thoughts about this list (any pieces that I’ve missed, any watch that should not be here, etc. etc.). I’ll definitely take these into account for the updated list next year.

Don’t forget to write your feedback on this article =)

Till next time then. Cheers!
Isaac

Casio Edifice Review (EQS500DB-1A1) – The Multi-Function Watch

Casio Edifice Review (EQS500DB-1A1)

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about Casio Edifice Review, specifically the model no. EQS500DB-1A1 which retails on Amazon at less than $200.

What’s great about it is it’s really good looking and fully packed with functions that other watches in this price range don’t even try to include.

I’ve written about another Casio watch, the Wave Ceptor WVAM640D-1A previously and it seems the brand really likes to make good value for money watches.

And while this Casio Edifice is more expensive than the Wave Ceptor, the price hike is justifiable with full stainless steel case (the Wave Ceptor case is a hybrid of plastic resin – stainless steel) and better looking overall.

 

Casio Edifice front dial

 

Edifice – Casio’s Stylish And Technologically Advanced Watch

The Edifice line up of watches is not as well known as their G-Shock line up which is very popular for its unique plastic resin design.

While G-Shock is more towards outdoor type of watch, the Edifice is designed for casual or everyday use by men.

This is visible from their very different case – the G-Shock with rugged plastic resin case and the Edifice with polished stainless steel and more stylish look.

But specification wise, the Edifice is the same as G-Shock with its numerous functionalities that makes them both such a good value for money.

 

That’s it for the introduction. Let’s go to the in-depth Casio Edifice review.

 

Casio Edifice Watch EQS500DB-1A1 Specification

Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Stainless steel case
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Black-Gray dial
Subdials: Right subdial (day, current mode, 1/100 second chronograph); Upper left subdial (24-hour time display); Lower left subdial (second timezone, chronograph second and minute marking)
Hands: White hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Casio Movement Module 5123 – Quartz solar watch with 5 independent motors
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Solar powered, World time display, 1/100 second chronograph, Alarm, Day date display, 24-hour time display, Full calendar until 2099

Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 Manual: Click Here to download the manual (Module 5123)

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $250

Sophisticated And Stylish Dial

Casio Edifice dial

The first thing that anyone will notice about the Casio Edifice is how sophisticated and busy the dial is.

And Casio seems to have decent experience as even though the dial is busy, it still looks pleasing and cool!

This is obtained by careful color selection and placement of elements on top of the dial.

As you guys can see, the dial is flooded with lots of information. The fixed bezel is black with minute markings on it.

The outer edge of the dial is scribbled with timezone indicators (which we will touch later on) and there are index markers on it.

The hour markers are white with green lume on top of it and there is a date window at 4.30 o’clock.

 

Casio Edifice lume

 

An interesting bit about the date and day function is it’s pre-programmed up to 2099 to include all leap-years. There is no need to adjust the date at the end of February.

While the outer dial is busy with numbers, the inner dial is busy with 3 subdials.

There are right subdial (for day, current mode & 1/100 second chronograph), upper left subdial (24-hour time display) and lower left subdial (second timezone, chronograph second & minute marking).

By using gray color as the background for the dial and white/silver as the markers and frames of subdial, the watch is able to create a nice contrast so much so there is no issue in telling time even with this busy layout.

Sophisticated, manly and stylish – this is the perfect look for a casual trendy watch =)

 

Polished Stainless Steel Case For A Sleek Look

Casio Edifice sides

 

Accompanying the stylish dial of the Casio Edifice is a highly polished stainless steel case which exudes quality and looks really sleek.

It’s not so big, at just 44 mm diameter and 13 mm thick though a guys with smaller wrist size should do well to avoid this watch.

I think apart from a good looking watch, the fit of the watch to the wrist is also an important factor to determine whether the watch will look good on the wearer or not.

Just like how distasteful an oversized clothes on a small body look, that’s how a big watch will look on a small wrist.

The watch case is also built differently than other watches. If you guys can notice, there are 4 crowns/pushers for this watch, each serving different functions.

Casio opted to position the 4 pushers at diagonal locations thus creating a unique case. Each pushers also has their own guards.

 

Casio Edifice side

 

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal that’s sadly is not scratch resistant. Mineral crystal scratches easily and any watch with this type of crystal should be looked after carefully to avoid ugly scratches.

 

(Click here to read more about types of watch crystals)

 

The watch uses a 22 mm width stainless steel bracelet that is a nice complement to the stainless steel case.

To top it off, the Casio Edifice also has a 100 m water resistance as an additional protection from any unintentional water ingress.

 

Solar Powered Watch Movement For Total Convenience

One of the major selling point of this Casio Edifice is the Tough Solar technology by Casio that makes it a great solar watch.

What is a solar watch?

Solar watch is a quartz watch that can recharge its battery by converting any light into electricity. It’s able does this by a photo-voltaic cells underneath its dial.

Early solar watches had ugly solar cells stamped directly on their dial. But with technology advancement, these cells are now cleverly placed underneath the dial itself.

So now nobody will know a watch is a solar watch until they look at the specification list.

Performance wise, the Casio Edifice has the same accuracy as a normal quartz i.e +-15 seconds per month.

It also has 6 months power reserve which can be easily recharged by simply wearing or exposing the watch to any light.

 

Casio Edifice recharging guide

Table above gives a guide on the recharging time required for the Casio Edifice. Level 1 is the highest power reserve level.

 

When the power reserve is almost depleted, the seconds hand will change to only skip every 2 seconds.

This is an indicator to let the owner know that the battery is almost dead and you should bring the watch out underneath the open sky LOL!

This ability to recharge itself effortlessly is what makes solar watches a great watch for its convenience. No more manual winding (automatic watch) or changing batteries (quartz watch) =)

4 Major Functions Of The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1

There are 4 major functions (or modes) that the Casio Edifice has. The functions can simply be selected by a push of a button.

In addition, there are 5 independent motors inside the watch that moves the various hands to according to the function selected which is very nice to look at.

 

Casio Edifice modes (1)

By pushing the lower left pusher, we can cycle through the 4 main functions of the Casio Edifice

 

Now, let’s see the 4 major functions of Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1:

 

1- Timekeeping Mode

Casio Edifice timekeeping mode

Above diagram shows the functions of the Casio Edifice dial in the normal timekeeping mode

 

The default mode of the watch is timekeeping mode which is basically a normal watch. The 3 main hands will show the current time while the upper left subdial will show the 24-hour time.

Meanwhile, the lower left subdial will show another timezone (or called World Time) which need to be set up earlier. The right subdial is used to show the current day.

 

2- Chronograph / Stopwatch Mode

The second mode is the chronograph mode that uses the main seconds hand (1/10 second), the lower left subdial (minutes and 1 second) and right subdial (1/100 second).

Quite special is how casio chose to make the main seconds hand showing the 1/10 seconds – this makes the hand spinning very fast up to 30 seconds or so.

 

Casio Edifice chronograph mode

During chronograph mode, the dial of the Casio Edifice will change its usage for the stopwatch function

 

This chronograph is also very accurate as it can measure up to 1/100 second (i.e 3.29 seconds) which is usually reserved for electronic/digital chronographs.

The only flaw that I can see is the time measurement has a limit of 24 minutes that is very short compared to other chronographs.

 

3- World Time

Next, the Casio Edifice watch can show the current world time around the world. This can be done by selecting the intended time zone (as denoted by the cities at outer edge of the dial).

Up to 29 timezones can be selected and the watch will automatically calculate the time.

In order for this to work precisely, the home time (current location) must be set correctly as the watch use this info to calculate the time at other zones.

 

4- Alarm

Well, I don’t think I need to explain much about this function right?

 

As with any multi-function watch, there is a steep learning curve to learn all its functions. Thus, it’s important to read the user manual to learn how to use it effectively.

 

(Download the Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 manual by clicking here)


Watch the video above to see the Casio Edifice in action

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Casio Edifice on hand

If you want a cool looking watch with sophisticated and busy dial, then this Casio Edifice is definitely for you. It’s busy dial is tastefully designed and just look so sleek and gorgeous.

It’s definitely an eye-catching watch for sure.

Anyone that wants a watch that’s very different than a normal watch should also consider it seriously.

It has a long specification list, and when compared to its more affordable price, one can’t help to think how good value for money the Casio Edifice watch is.

With a quite big dimension, it has a nice wrist presence and looks very masculine too =)

Who Should Not Get It?

Anyone wanting a true dress watch for formal functions might need to look elsewhere since the watch is more suited for casual/everyday use.

The watch is just too “techy” for any formal functions. Check out the Seiko SARB033, Hamilton Jazzmaster and Tissot Visodate for dress watch alternatives that has killer look while still being affordable.

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Stylish and sophisticated dial
  2. Chronograph can measure accurately up to 1/100 seconds
  3. Multitude of functions at an affordable price
  4. Polished stainless steel gives it a very nice look
  5. Solar powered for a very convenient watch

 

Cons:

  1. As with any multi-function watch, there is a steep learning curve to learn all its functions
  2. Very short chronograph time measurement limit (24 minutes)

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Casio Edifice, consider getting it at Amazon for a great discount over its MSRP of $250. Click the link below to check out the best prices for the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

Casio Edifice is one of the less known secrets from the Japanese watchmaker. While its brother, the G-Shock watches are more popular, the Edifice watches are lesser known even though it’s specification and design is on par with G-Shock’s.

This EQS500DB-1A1 model especially is an example of how good value for money an Edifice watch can be.

Solar powered, world time, chronograph and alarm are some of the major features that will surely be an useful tool to its owners.

All in all, the Casio Edifice EQS500DB-1A1 is a handsome watch with a great specification in it.

 

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I hope you guys like this Casio Edifice review. Let me know if you guys have any comments or questions regarding the watch.

I’d love to hear your opinions =)

Till next time. Cheers!
Isaac

Citizen BM8475-26E Review – The Black-Orange Solar Military Watch

Citizen BM8475-26E Review

 

Hi All! In this post today, I’m going to write about Citizen BM8475-26E review, a black-orange themed watch that’s also solar powered.

The watch has a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that’s just pop up from it. It’s truly is stunning to look at and in my opinion, a great casual/everyday watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E black orange dial

 

The solar powered feature also makes it a convenient tool as its owner does not need to change the battery every 1-2 years or so. It’s the perfect combination of automatic and quartz watches.

Last but not least, the good 100 m water resistance means the watch is well protected from any accidental water ingress that might happen.

Well, that should be enough for an introduction. Let’s go through the Citizen BM8475-26E review and look at the watch closer.

 

Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E Watch Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 22 mm
Case: Black PVD stainless steel
Strap: Brown leather strap with pin buckle
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Orange Black dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Explorer style markers

Movement: Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +-20 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 6 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Lume on markers and hands, Day date display

Citizen BM8475-26E Manual: Click Here to download the user manual

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $235

Stylish Black Dial With Orange Markers & Hands

The dial is one of the things that first draw attention to the Citizen BM8475-26E. It’s a black matte dial with orange hands and markers that just burst out due to their high contrast.

It’s really trendy at the current time as more strong colors are becoming the norm with men’s fashion.

Black, silver and blue have always been my favorite color in a watch but orange seems nice too, no thanks to this watch =)

The whole dial is understated and look very simple. I love the fact that Citizen chose to use explorer style dial (the 3, 6, 9 & 12 numerals) as opposed to normal full numerals or index.

In my opinion, explorer dial has a cleaner look that’s not too busy and yet still easy to read thanks to the big numeral markings.

 

Very Useful Day and Date Display

Another bit that I love about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the inclusion of day and date window displays. These 2 are just a must have for anyone wanting a watch to be used everyday.

Sure, some people complained that these (particularly the day) wrecks the watch’s symmetry and disturb it’s design which I totally agree, if that is a dress watch.

But if the watch in question is intended for everyday use, the functionality of day/date can’t be questioned.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E dial

 

It’s totally very useful as you don’t have to look around if you need to know what day/date today is.

Just a flick of your wrist will do and I can’t say how much time have I saved by doing this everyday

(sidenote: I think my ability to remember day & date worsens as I age LOL!).

Which is why I’d say these features are very useful for any watch that’s meant to be used everyday for work.

 

Full Lume On The Dial

Another interesting element about the Citizen BM8475-26E is the full lume on the dial which is totally awesome considering its fairly affordable price.

The semi-skeleton sword hands and explorer markers both have lumes on top of it which is really really beautiful to look at.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E lume

Just look at the lume shot of this Citizen BM8475-26E. Ain’t the full lume gorgeous? =)

 

I’m a huge fan of lumes and seeing a well-lumed watch just makes my heart excite with joy =)

The lume also will help with telling time in the dark such as during bedtime or even in movies (my favorite usage).

Sleek Black PVD Stainless Steel Case

Complementing the black dial of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a black PVD stainless steel case with 42 mm diameter and 11 mm thick.

Being a non-polished case, it’s definitely helps to build up the watch’s theme as an understated handsome watch that’s not going to draw attention by being very shiny and all.

The case is simply constructed with the shape of a normal watch. The only extraordinary thing about the case is the big and tall crown with patterns on it for easy to operate.

Truthfully, I’m not a fan of the big crown as it seems to stand out and jeopardize the whole sleek look of the watch.

In my opinion, a smaller and “more normal” crown is better and will fit in with the whole design of the watch.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E sides

 

100 M Water Resistance

The watch also has a 100 m water resistance that’s important for a military styled watch such as this. I mean, there is no telling what we will encounter (rain, splashes of water etc.).

Thus a good water resistance is definitely needed to protect it and I feel 100 m is about the minimum that a watch should has.

 

A Not So Scratch Resistant Mineral Crystal

On top of the Citizen BM8475-26E is a mineral crystal that’s protecting it from any damages. But I need to warn you guys the mineral crystal is NOT scratch resistant at all.

I feel I need to emphasize this since most online watch retailers seems to promote mineral crystal as scratch resistant which is far from the truth.

The only watch crystal material that’s scratch resistant is sapphire, and it’s very unlikely for a watchmaker to use those for a watch at this price range.

 

So what should we do?

 

Keep a good care of our watches of course. Try not to bang it against any hard surfaces such as concrete, stonewall, steel, etc.

Even putting your watch in a pocket full of keys or coins could cause some ugly scratches.

Thus, it’s very important to treat our watches as sensibly as possible to avoid it from getting scratches, or worse, some nick on the surface.

 

(Trust me on this. I’d wish anyone gave me this advice when I first bought my watches. For more information about types of watch crystals, read my introduction to watch crystals here) 

 

Convenient Solar Powered Watch

The most important feature of the Citizen BM8475-26E is the solar powered watch which makes it a convenient watch to own.

It’s powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive E011 movement, one of the movement in the famous Eco-Drive solar watch family.

So how does these solar watch works?

Solar watches have a solar cell (or photo-voltaic cell) underneath their dial that can convert light (any light, not just sunlight) into electrical energy.

This electrical energy is then stored in a rechargeable battery. From there, the mechanism of a solar watch is the same as any quartz watch.

As you can conclude, the advantage of a solar watch is there is no need to replace the battery every 1-2 years like a normal conventional quartz watch.

The watch will recharge its own battery as long as you can expose it to lights long enough.

 

Citizen BM8475-26E recharging guide

Above table is a rough guideline on how long it takes to charge the Citizen BM8475-26E at different lighting condition

 

There is also an overcharge protection system – so you guys don’t have to worry about exposing it to too much light LOL!

Citizen estimates the rechargeable battery will only need to be changed every 10 years, though there are cases the battery seems to have longer life than that.

Well, it’s much better than having to change the battery every 1-2 years right?

 

(Click here to download the Citizen BM8475-26E user manual)

 

Citizen BM8475-26E Vs Seiko SSC233

 

Seiko SSC233

Seiko SSC233, another black-orange watch from a different Japanese manufacturer

 

I’ve recently reviewed the Seiko SSC233 another black-orange watch and feel compelled to see how both of these two great solar watches stack up to each other.

As you can see, even though both watches have similar black-orange style, they are both massively different.

For a start, the Seiko SSC233 is bigger at 45 mm diameter compared to 42 mm diameter of the Citizen BM8475-26E.

The Seiko also has a chronograph and 24-hour time display whereas the Citizen is a normal three-hands analog watch.

This additional feature in the Seiko warrants a higher price (around $150-$170) than the $120-$130 of the Citizen (prices on Amazon).

They are both the same in the solar powered movement and water resistance (100 m).

So which is the better watch? Honestly, I believe it depends on what kind of watch you want.

Specification wise, the Seiko is far better since it has a chronograph and 24-hour time display but this comes at an extra cost.

In the end, it depends whether you guys want a chrono or just a normal watch.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated look, the Seiko is the one for you but if you want a sleek and understated watch, the Citizen is more suitable.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

In my opinion, anyone seeking a simple and understated watch should go with the Citizen BM8475-26E.

It also very easy to read the time and looks trendy and stylish with the orange markers/hands.

The usage of Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar powered movement makes the watch a real easy to use. Just set the time once and you can wear it for a long time until the battery died.

This is very different than those conventional battery type of watches that need frequent battery replacement.

Having a day and date display make it a great everyday watch, especially for work.

Who Should Not Get It?

If you guys are looking for something extraordinary, then this Citizen BM8475-26E might not be the one for you. It’s a bit too simple and might turn off those than want a more eye-catching piece.

 


Watch the video above to see the Citizen Eco-Drive BM8475-26E closer

 

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Simple and handsome black-orange themed dial
  2. Solar powered for total convenience
  3. Day and date feature make the watch very useful
  4. 100 m water resistance
  5. Full lume on the hands and markers

 

Cons:

  1. Can be too simple for some

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Citizen BM8475-26E, you can buy it cheapest on Amazon. Instead of the MSRP price of $235, the watch can be had for less than $150 on Amazon! Click the link below to check out the Citizen BM8475-26E on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To See The Best Deals Of Citizen BM8475-26E On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Citizen BM8475-26E is a simple watch with black-orange themed. But in it’s simplicity lies its greatest strength. It’s truly stunning and makes for a great watch than can be used everyday.

Not just content with a good look, the watch also uses solar movement that’s definitely an upgrade over the normal quartz. With an easily rechargeable battery, the watch will continue to run effortlessly.

For a simple everyday watch that’s also very convenient, this Citizen BM8475-26E is the one to have.

 

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I hope you guys like this Citizen BM8475-26E review. Let me know if you guys have any questions about it.

And don’t forget to drop your comments below =)

Cheers!
Isaac

Casio Wave Ceptor Review (WVAM640D-1A) – The Most Affordable Solar Atomic Watch

Casio Wave Ceptor Review (WVAM640D-1A)

 

Hi guys. Today I’m writing about the Casio Wave Ceptor review, a very affordable solar AND radio-controlled atomic watch – all for less than $160!

Yep you read that right.

This solar watch that’s also can keep resetting itself to atomic time is much cheaper than other “normal” watches out there.

I was very surprised at first but then knowing how Casio usually dishes out great watches at low prices, this could definitely be the real thing.

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital watch (kinda like the Tissot T-Touch series).

 

casio wave ceptor watch front

 

The analog is used to show the normal hour, minute and seconds while the digital display is used for other informations such as day, date, power reserve and others.

Let not get ahead of ourselves and go to the Casio Wave Ceptor review shall we.

 

Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Specification (WVAM640D-1A)

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Lug Width: 23 mm
Case: Plastic resin and stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal

Dial: Hybrid analog + digital dial
Hands: Sword hands with lume
Markers: Index markers with lume

Movement: Casio Movement 5161
Movement Features: Solar powered quartz movement
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month
Power Reserve: 4 months

Water Resistance: 100 m
Other Features: Radio-controlled atomic watch, World time, Solar/light powered, LED light, Lume, Alarm, 1/100 second chronograph up to 1-hour, Countdown timer, Power reserve indicator, Calendar

Casio Wave Ceptor Manual: Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161

Best Place To Buy: Amazon, MSRP is $160

Hybrid Analog and Digital Dial

The dial of the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a hybrid of analog and digital, giving it a really unique look. The analog 3 hands shows the normal hours, minutes and seconds.

The digital display at the bottom of the watch is used to show day and date as well as its other numerous functions (which I’ll go in depth later on in this review).

The dial is black in color with circular pattern on it that makes it nice to look at.

The hands are slim sword hands while the markers are index type. Both hands and markers are lumed for visibility in the dark.

 

casio wave ceptor watch (2)

 

What I like about the look is how it’s so functional, while still keeping the analog display to tell time.

I know that digital watches are very popular and useful, but those digital displays have already conquered the world around us.

Just look at our smartphone, computer, display on the train station, television, etc. All of them are filled with digital displays.

Which is why I cherished an analog watch (such as this Casio Wave Ceptor watch) as it’s giving a more traditional non-digital look.

Perhaps its fatigue from looking at all those digital things but an analog watch is definitely a must for me.

Not only that, it’s also looks better and more versatile than a normal digital watch.

 

Plastic Resin and Stainless Steel Case

One of the thing that you guys should know about this Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the case is not fully stainless steel. It’s actually a plastic resin case with stainless steel plated on top of it.

I’m not really sure why this is done but I believe it’s to reduce cost.

Performance wise, it’s lighter than normal stainless steel watches and I don’t think we need to worry much about the plastic case since Casio’s G-shock also use the same construction material with great feedback from owners

But in terms of aesthetics, I believe some people might be put off by this.

From the outside, the stainless steel case covers about 60% or so of the surface while the plastic can be seen from the sides, back and top of lug.

 

casio wave ceptor watch side

As you can see, the case of this Casio Wave Ceptor is a combination of plastic resin and stainless steel

 

Though this is the case, it’s not too obvious since the plastic is gray in color and blend well with the silver stainless steel case.

But again, those that are strictly metal watch type of guy might be put off by this.

Thus, I recommend you guys to think deeply whether this type of case is acceptable to you to avoid buyer’s remorse =)

 

Average Size With Good Water Resistance

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a size of 43 mm diameter and 12 mm thickness, an average size by today’s standard. It’s also hooked up with a stainless steel bracelet (no plastic on this one guys!).

One drawback with the stainless steel bracelet is it cannot be changed like normal watches. It’s screwed to the case, unlike using spring bars and lugs like normal watches.

So sadly, no Nato or leather straps for this watch.

On top of the watch is a mineral crystal which is not a good scratch resistant crystal.

My own experience with this type of crystal urges me to be very cautious while using the watch without banging it or whatsoever. Even putting the watch in your pocket might cause some scratches.

But in my opinion, it’s logical for Casio to use it since this watch is meant to be at the lower price range. I can’t see they use any premium material when the watch will be selling less than $200.

Putting that aside, the watch also has a good 100 m water resistance rating that’s surely more than enough for most people.

I don’t recommend anyone to use it for any water activity (swimming, scuba diving, etc) since the three pushers of the watch are all possible points for water ingress.

If you want a watch for water related activities, a diver’s watch is the one that you need.

 

(Click here to check out my top 10 automatic dive watches under $500)

 

Radio-Controlled Atomic Timekeeping

One of the best feature that this Casio Wave Ceptor watch has is its radio-controlled atomic timekeeping.

In short, this means the watch will be able to pick up radio signals which has the current atomic time. Then, the watch will automatically adjust the time according to the atomic time and the current timezone.

 

(Read my introduction to atomic watch for more information about the most accurate watch on earth) 

 

There are 29 timezones to choose from corresponding to all over the world. But sadly, the radio frequency supported is only limited to only 6 radio stations.

Thus, if you are outside of the range (namely Eastern Europe and some parts of Asia), I’d say this watch is not the best for you.

 

Above figures show the approximate radio signal coverage that the Casio Wave Ceptor can use for its atomic timekeeping function

 

Though be warned that the setting of the watch to your timezone can be a bit confusing.

Please refer to Casio Wave Ceptor manual which can be downloaded below. The manual has helpful step-by-step figures to explain the setting process.

 

(Click here to download the manual from Casio’s website. Module no. is 5161)

 

The synchronization will be done automatically from 12:00 am to 5:00 am daily. Make sure the watch is located near to windows to ensure it can pick up the signal effortlessly.

Also, being in a concrete jungle or mountains will severely affect the signal reach. Luckily the watch also has manual sync function so that its owners can sync whenever they are at a clear area.

What I like the most about this function is it will keep the watch super accurate. The Casio quartz movement has a normal +-15 seconds per month accuracy which is good enough for use.

But having this synchronization with atomic time DAILY will make the watch as accurate as an atomic watch itself! For those that want a perfectly accurate watch, then this one is the watch that you have to consider.

 

Casio’s Tough Solar Movement

Powering the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is none other than the clean energy, solar. Like Citizen’s Eco-Drive, Casio also has their own solar watch brand i.e Tough Solar.

I’ve written at length on how solar watches are a step up from the normal “boring ol'” quartz watches.

Since it’s powered by solar/sun or any light for the matter, owners don’t have to change the battery every few years.

The Casio Wave Ceptor will recharge it’s battery by converting lights into electrical energy and it seems the minimum battery life for these watches is 10 years.

That’s a lot longer than the normal 1-2 years of battery capacity for a normal quartz.

Not only that, solar watches are very easy to be charged. Just wear them under bright sunlight for a few minutes and the watch is good to go.

But normal fluorescent indoor lights will take longer to charge it. Thus, you might need to take this into consideration especially when you are working night shifts will little exposure to sunlight.

 

Casio Wave Ceptor recharging table

Charging the Casio Wave Ceptor is very easy, especially if you’re always exposed to light (sunlight, indoor lights, etc) all day long – which is most of us do!

 

7 Other Useful Features

Besides those two functions above, the Casio Wave Ceptor watch has a multitude of other features. Well, it’s actually a digital watch after all so this is to be expected.

Among some of the features worth mentioning are:

  1. LED light
  2. Alarm (up to 5 alarms can be set)
  3. Chronograph/stopwatch
  4. Countdown timer
  5. Power reserve indicator
  6. Full calendar
  7. World time feature (can check the time at other timezones)

 

Casio wave ceptor LED light

The Casio Wave Ceptor also has an LED light which is very useful to tell time in the dark

Casio Wave Ceptor Problems

Perhaps one of the most common problems with the Casio Wave Ceptor watch is the atomic time synchronization.

Firstly, the home time is a bit difficult to set (which is why you must always have a copy of the manual) and we need to change it every single time when we’re at a different place for travel.

Next, the sync with radio signal is not as smooth as it depends heavily on the current location, presence of obstruction (tall buildings, mountains, etc) and where the watch sits during the night.

And lastly, some areas are not covered under the atomic time radio signal so do make sure your location is within the covered areas.

 

Who Is This Watch For?

Those who want a real convenient watch should go for this Casio Wave Ceptor watch. It’s solar powered, meaning the battery will not have to be replaced for years.

The atomic timekeeping will keep it as accurate as ever. Heck, if the synchronization happens every night, the accuracy of the watch will never be more than one second at any point of time! Now that’s a very accurate watch.

The digital display also makes the watch look more unique. It’s giving a lot of information without looking too complicated.

 

Who Should Not Get It?

In my opinion, those that want a more better built watch should not get this. The plastic resin is great and also lightweight but nothing beats a full metal watch.

There’s just too much difference in the feel of the watch due to this. Thus if you are already used to full metal watch, then the Casio Wave Ceptor watch might be a bit odd to you.

I also feel anyone that don’t reside in one of the radio signal areas should not buy this watch. I mean what’s the purpose of buying a radio-controlled watch if you can’t even get the watch to sync?

 


Watch the video above to see the Casio Wave Ceptor up close

 

Casio Wave Ceptor Watch Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Radio-controlled atomic timekeeping for a very accurate watch
  2. A unique and cool hybrid digital and analog watch design
  3. Digital display is very functional as it will give lots of information
  4. More convenient as the battery does not need to be changed as frequent as normal quartz watches
  5. Solar watch is a cool and cutting edge technology

Cons:

  1. Can be quite complicated to learn about its functions, especially to set the timezones
  2. Does not has a full stainless steel case
  3. Atomic time radio signals are not covering the entire earth. Some areas will not be able to use the radio-controlled atomic time setting function.

 

Like This Watch? Buy It Cheapest On Amazon!

If you like this Casio Wave Ceptor watch, get it cheapest on Amazon. It’s MSRP is around $160 while you can have it cheaper online. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check Out The Casio Wave Ceptor (WVAM640D-1A) On Amazon<-

Final Thoughts

The Casio Wave Ceptor watch is a good piece of technology timepiece – solar and atomic timekeeping – all in a very affordable price.

I can say Casio really pushed the boundary on how low a good watch can cost us. It’s really that such watches are available for us at such a great price.

All in all, this is a watch that I’m sure most of you guys will like for its aesthetics, great technical specs and affordable price.

 

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I hope you guys like this Casio Wave Ceptor review and find it’s beneficial. Let me know if there is any questions or comments on this watch.

I’ll be very happy to get your feedback on it =)

Regards,
Isaac.