Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review – Huge 80 Hours Power Reserve In An Automatic Watch

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review

As one of the older brands in the watch industry (around 160 years actually), Tissot is not shy of innovation. Their watches have always been to innovate and they have to in order to stay at the top of the swift changing modern world. This Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 is one such watches that Tissot equipped with their innovative Powermatic 80 movement. Having a huge 80 hours power reserve (when the average power reserve in automatic watches are just about 40 hours) is a huge plus. Let’s take a closer look at the details of the watch shall we.

 

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review

 

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Specification

Diameter: 39 mm
Thickness: 11.9 mm
Lug Width: 19 mm
Lug to Lug: 46 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Calfskin brown leather strap with butterfly clasp. Also comes in stainless steel bracelet version

Dial: White dial (versions with black and blue dials are also available)
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal
Markers: Numeral and index markers
Hands: Baton hands with lume

Movement: Powermatic 80.121 Swiss automatic self-wind movement with 23 jewels. Manual winding and hacking
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 80 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m or 660 feet
Other Features: Day and date indicator, exhibition caseback, 80 hours power reserve, Lume on markers and hands

Best Place To Buy: Amazon for $450

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review

 

Powermatic 80 = 80 Hours Power Reserve

A normal automatic watch will have around 40 to 50 hours of power reserve. For example, the Hamilton Khaki King with an ETA 2834-2 movement only has 38 hours (or 1 and a half day) – which is the standard for a low-middle range Swiss ETA movement. The Japanese fares better in this regard as the Seiko SARB033 with Seiko Cal. 6R15 has 50 hours power reserve (2 days).

Not enough power reserve is the main problem with an automatic watch. You don’t need a battery to own one but you need to wear it everyday to keep it running. It’s okay for those that only has one watch but for those with 2 or 3 watches? Some of your watches will have less wrist time and soon die which is not very convenient as you have to reset the day, date and time when you picked it up next 2 or 3 days. A possible solutions are either to manual wind or use a watch winder (I’ve written an article discussing that here).

But for then even manual winding feels too troublesome for some people. Watch winders can be expensive and not much people is willing to fork out some hundreds of dollars for a quality (and longer lasting) one. So automatic watch fans has been screaming at the watch manufacturers: We want more power reserve!

Some brands such as IWC and Panerai did released watches with huge power reserves (up to 8 days of power reserve) but these watches are far too expensive for normal people. Luckily Tissot and ETA heard our plea. They have developed the Powermatic 80 movement which comes with 80 hours power reserve or about 3 days plus 8 hours. Now you can just put your watch on the wardrobe on the evening of Friday after work and pick it up again on Monday morning for work without having to adjust the time, day and date again. Now isn’t that wonderful?

 

More Efficient Movement And Redesigned Mainspring Barrel

Tissot Powermatic 80 movement achieved this feat by improving efficiency of the moving parts. Come to think of it, this is basically the same thing that ETA did for Sistem51 movement that also has the long power reserve, about 90 hours. So it isn’t hard to make the conclusion that the Powermatic 80 and Sistem51 movements has the same ideas in terms of simplification of the process.

The Powermatic 80 is based on the common ETA 2824-2 movement which is used in many of Swatch Group’s low to middle range watches (like the Tissot Le Locle). Tissot states that Powermatic 80 has reduced friction in it by means of high performance synthetic material – which means some of the parts might be made from polymer or synthetic material and not traditional stainless steel. This reduces the weight significantly, making the parts lighter and increase efficiency. They also states that the mainspring barrel has been redesigned so that the mainspring can be lengthen and store more power.

One other thing that is changed in the reduction of vibrations per hour from the original 28800 in the ETA 2824-2 to 21600 vibrations per hour. This means a reduction of the beats per second of the movement from 8 beats to 6 beats which causes the sweeping second hand to not be as smooth as any common Swiss ETA movement found in many automatic watches. Frankly speaking, it’s really up to you yourselves to tell if you are okay with the reduced beats. Some people might not think it’s that much of a deal but for some, this could be a deal breaker. For those interested to get a Powermatic 80 watches because of the 80 hours power reserve, this is the major “drawback” that you need to know before you make the decision to buy it.

 


Above is a great video showing the differences between the smoothness of sweeping seconds hand of different beats. The right watch is the Seiko Lord Marvel with 36000 vibrations per hour (vbh) or 10 beats per second (bps). The left watches are (in order of appearance): Seiko Diver (6 bps), Tudor Rotor (8 bps) and Grand Seiko Hi-Beat (10 bps).

 

Tissot Powermatic 80 Accuracy

There is no official data by Tissot on the Powermatic 80 Accuracy but if the ETA 2824-2 is any indication, then the accuracy should be around +-15 seconds per day which is about consistent with many Swiss movements. But looking at many reviews on the internet regarding the watch’s accuracy, it can be found that most of them reported a much higher accuracy – some up to +-4 seconds per day which is just in the range of COSC Chronometer accuracy. I can’t attest to these numbers but one thing for sure, the accuracy will drop once the watch enters 2 days without any wrist action i.e the power reserve is depleted. It’s important to know that the accuracy will drop with reduce in power reserve as the watch will have less energy. Not to mention that it is regulated when it has the full power reserve. So to keep it accurate, remember to keep wearing it or just give it a bit manual wind every now and then.

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review

 

Sporty Dial With Big Bold Markers

The dial of the Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 is made of white dial with silver elements in the form of the markers and hands. There are also models with black and blue dials release by Tissot. The markers are big and bold, with numeral markers at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock which for sure will help greatly in telling the time. The big markers surely give some sporty vibe to the watch – this is after all Tissot’s PRC 200 sports watch. The hands are baton shaped hands which is characteristics of Tissot’s sports watch collection. On the 3 o’clock position is the day and date indicator with a silver frame which is quite nice detailing to have. The hands and markers have lume applied on them to aid in telling time in low light conditions.

Due to the bigger than usual markers, Tissot choose to keep the signatures as minimal as possible. On the watch face, only “Tissot”, “1853”, “Powermatic 80” and “Swiss Made” signatures are there and in small fonts nonetheless. This is a smart move by them to avoid overcrowding the dial with many elements. The outer edge of the dial is marked with minute markers.

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Review

 

Stainless Steel Case With Exhibition Caseback

The stainless steel case are 39 mm in diameter with 11.9 mm thick. Lug to lug width is 46 mm with an unusual lug/strap width of 19 mm. Overall the watch is modernly sized and will suit most men’s wrist. The case is highly polished and brushed at some parts which helped to give some elegance to the watch. The sides are straight, with some layered pattern that make the watch appear thicker than what it is. It’s actually a love it or hate it element. I actually kinda like the layered pattern on the watch’s side because it’s something different than what we normally have. But some people don’t like it at all and feel like it’s a bad design. Well, you’ve got to decide for yourselves whether you like it or not.

On the back we have exhibition caseback showing the Powermatic 80 movement. There is not much decoration on the movement except for the design of the rotor. Tissot has opted for a grey rotor with some wavy design on it. It contrasts nicely with the surrounding silver stainless steel of the case and movement parts which make it looks very nice.

The strap of the Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 is calfskin brown leather with butterfly clasp which suited the watch perfectly. There are also version with black leather strap and stainless steel bracelet released by Tissot.

 


  Watch this video to see the Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 closer.

 

Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 Pros And Cons

Advantages:
1- High 80 hours power reserve
2- Beautiful looking watch with sporty dial
3- Day and date indicator on the dial
4- Nice design of the rotor that can be seen from the exhibition caseback

Disadvantages:
1- Lower beats per second than other Swiss watches (at 6 beats per second)

 

Conclusion

The Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 is a very good looking wrist watch. It’s meant to be a sports wrist watch with the big markers but the white dial, polished stainless steel case and leather strap make it look dressier as well. The huge power reserve up to 80 hours is a great improvement over the normal 40 hours of ETA’s movement, if you don’t mind the not so smooth sweeping motion of the second hand. Overall, it is a good value for money coming from the Swiss watch making industry’s one of the most affordable but with high quality watches.

 

What Is the Price Of Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00?

The Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 MSRP is about $695. But you can always have it for way lesser than that at $450 on Amazon (which is roughly about 35% discount). Click on the link below to check out the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To Check The Best Price Of Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 T055.430.16.017.00 On Amazon<-

 

8 Common Problems With Automatic Watch And How To Solve It

8 Common Problems with Automatic watch

Problems With Your Automatic Watch? What’s The Cause And How To Solve It?

If you are unlucky, you might encounter some problems with your automatic or mechanical watches.

Depending on the severity, the steps to correct it will differ. Some of them can be severe that require a full service while some of the minor problems can be resolved by yourselves.

Here, I’ve listed some of the common problems with automatic watches, what causes these problems and how to solve them.

 

Table of Content (Click the subtitle to go directly to the section):

  1. Automatic Watch Stopped Working While Wearing It
  2. Automatic Watch Stopped Working After Taking It Off / Power Reserve Problem
  3. Automatic Watch Stopped Working After Dropping It
  4. Automatic Watch Running Slow Or Fast
  5. Fogging Inside Watch
  6. Minute Hand And Second Hand Not Perfectly Aligned
  7. Automatic Watch Not Winding
  8. Date/Day Display Don’t Change At The Right Time

 

Seiko SARB033 worn

As great as they are, automatic watches are not free of problems. By having some knowledge about what we should and shouldn’t do to it, we will be able to avoid costly repairs. (shown above is the gorgeous Seiko SARB033)

 

1- Automatic Watch Stopped Working While Wearing It

Ever having problem with your watch stopped working while wearing it? If its a quartz watch then most probably the battery is dead but automatic watches don’t have any battery and supposed to be powered by your movement right?

Well you are correct but there are some reasons why a watch can go dead. There are 3 common causes of why an automatic watch can stop working:

 

Cause 1 – Not Enough Power Reserve

Something that most people don’t know it the watch might not have enough power reserve even though you are wearing it regularly.

But aren’t automatic watches are recharged by wrist movement?

The reason is because you are not active enough to wind the mainspring fully.

Try this: take a watch with an exhibition caseback and shake it to see whether the self-winding rotor rotates or not. It is easy for the rotor to moves?

Some watches can have a very smooth rotor that rotates lively even with a slight movement. But some watches have rotor that requires more effort for it to rotate.

Due to this, just wearing your automatic watch to office might not be enough to wind it fully. Consider wearing your watch when you are jogging, swimming or going to gym (if your watch is a sports watch.

Don’t do this with a dress watch though. You don’t want to scratch that pretty thing lol).

Another method that I like and personally use is to manually wind your watch once a while. This will make sure the watch has full power reserve as just wearing it might not be able to recharge it fully.

Just be careful to not over-wind it or wind it too often as you might break the delicate parts inside.

 


A video showing how to wind an automatic watch. Shown in the video is the gorgeous Rolex Submariner

Cause 2 – Magnetic fields

Exposing your watch to strong magnets such as in speakers, fridges, etc will magnetized the steels inside your watch.

The result?

The small steel components inside your watch will tend to stick to each other or repelling each other (depending on the pole) and reducing accuracy of the watch (the watch will run slower or faster).

But for extreme case of magnetization, the watch will completely stop. Bring you watch to a watch maker to check for magnetization and then demagnetize the watch.

 

Cause 3 – Serious Problems With The Movement

If your watch still stops even though you wind it everyday and no magnetization is known, then there could be a serious issue with your watch’s movement. Bring the watch to a watch maker and let him check the watch for any problem and servicing.

If the watch is still under warranty, you can bring it to the seller for inspection or replacement. Bear in mind that full servicing can cost some money depending on the watch make and severity.

Popular and affordable movements such as Swatch ETA, Seiko and Orient movements are easier to be serviced by just about any competent watchmaker. Costs of parts are also cheaper for these.

But if you have a unique in-house movement by luxury or independent brands, then the official service center is the most recommended avenue. I certainly won’t trust my $10k Rolex on any normal watch shop…. you get what I mean right? =P

 

(Read also the 10 Best Affordable Automatic Watches Under $200 – who said that automatic watches need to be expensive?)

 

2- Automatic Watch Stopped Working After Taking It Off / Power Reserve Problem

You wear your watch for some time, then put it off and when you want to wear it back, it is dead? How could this happen?

The reasons for this to happen are exactly the same as the first problem above i.e lack of power reserve (you can refer above for its causes and solutions). Another thing to note is the power reserve of you watch.

 

Orient Star Retrograde

If you are paranoid about your watch’s power reserve, then get one with a power reserve indicator like this Orient Star Retrograde. As you can see, the top subdial displays its remaining power reserve which is really handy

 

Even though your watch’s movement might have 40 or 50 hours of power reserve, the watch might stop working even before that.

Why is this so?

One thing that we need to know is the power reserve of any automatic is the time for the watch to stop working after it’s been recharged to full capacity.

As I’ve stated above, usually, wearing it for a day (normal 10 to 12 hours on the wrist) will not be enough to charge the watch to full.

Not to mention most watches don’t have power reserve indicator which can be a huge help in telling the power reserve capacity at any moment.

In fact, most experience owners state that the remaining power reserve of the watch is about 2 or 3 times the last duration we wear it.

So for example, if I’m wearing my watch for 12 working hours today, it will tick for 24 to 36 hours after I put it down. 

 

What should we do then?

For me, I’ve always manual/hand-wind my auto watches before I use them. A few turns (15-20) is enough to start the movement and then I just wear it.

The key is to NOT only depend on the self-winding of the movement. As mentioned above, the rotor movement might not be sufficient especially if you’re working a desk job without many wrist movements.

In addition, this will keep the accuracy high as the watch has more juice in it.

What if I’ve tried that but it didn’t work!

Then there could be a bigger problem in the watch. Try to handwind it for 40-50 crown rotations and lay the watch down. This will make the mainspring full of power reserve.

Keep record of what elapsed hour the watch stops. If it’s less than the published power reserve for that movement, there could be a problem with the movement itself.

At this point, we should bring it to a watchmaker for him to have a look at it. Depending on the case, we might only need a servicing, cleaning, or a change of the mainspring.

CHIYODA Double Watch WinderCHIYODA Double Watch Winder

By the way, it might also be a good idea to invest in a  watch winder which is a great alternative for those that don’t want to have to reset or handwind their watches before they use it.

The watch winder functions by rotating the watch via a motor. Just place the watch inside the winder’s slot and plug it in.

It will then rotate the watch, and the self-winding rotor inside it to charge the power reserve.

The watch winder is a great way to ensure the power reserve is still full without us having to do anything. It also prevent from issues due to winding (which can happen to some ETA movements).

By the way, did I mention the watch winders can also be a nice storage box for your watches? =)

 

I like to also add that the Sistem51 movement by Swatch boasts a 90 hours power reserve. For those that don’t want to spend on a winder or just want a watch with great power reserve, you might want to check the Sistem51 watches.

 

3- Automatic Watch Stopped Working After Dropping It

This cause is easier to understand. You drop the watch, it get into a sudden impact and suddenly it goes dead. Well chances are your watch might have some internal damage in it.

The inside of an automatic or mechanical watch is made of hundreds of parts that work seamlessly to run the watch. These parts can be as small as 1 mm in thickness or diameter. Any sudden impact could put these parts out of place or worse, even break them.

The part that are more prone to impact damage is the balance wheel. The pivot/staff of the wheel balance is a very critical part because it holds the weight of the balance wheel which is continuously moving at a high speed.

 

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist Diashock

This Seiko SARB017 (or Alpinist) has a built in shock resistance system developed by Seiko – i.e Diashock – to protect its balance wheel jewel from severe impact damage. All good outdoor or diver’s watches should always have this to protect it from costly repairs

 

Most damages due to impact is because of broken wheel balance pivot and/or its jewel.

If your watch stopped working after dropping it, try hear if there is any sound in the watch to know whether your balance wheel is functioning or not.

If your watch has exhibition caseback, you can just confirm this by looking directly at the balance wheel to spot anything wrong with it. The only solution is to bring the watch to a watch maker for a repair.

Some shock protection system has been designed to protect automatic/mechanical watches from impact damage, specifically the jewel.

Incabloc (from Swiss), Diashock (Seiko) and Parashock (Citizen) are some of the shock protection systems that have been devised by watch companies. All of them have some sort of spring at the jewel pivot of the balance wheel to protect it from impact force.

If you are a rough person that tends to get his watches damaged this way, you might wanna check out those watches with a shock protection system in them.

 

balance-wheel

Balance wheel is the part inside an automatic watch which is most prone to impact damage

 

4- Automatic Watch Running Slow Or Fast

Automatic and mechanical watches will always run slow or fast after some time. The most accurate watches are the COSC certified chronometers that can have a -4 or +6 seconds per day accuracy.

Other watches can have a lesser accuracy than this and you have to check the official numbers by your watch manufacturer. But generally the accuracy values is within +/-25 seconds a day for a low end range of automatic watches.

If your watch have a lesser accuracy than this then this indicates a problem with your watch. There are 5 reasons why automatic watches will run slower or faster than acceptable accuracy:

 

Cause 1 – Not Enough Power Reserve

Accuracy of a movement is tracked at maximum power reserve, after a watch has been fully wound. If a watch is not fully wound (or power starved), then the accuracy will be slightly lesser than what your watch manufacturer advertised.

Try to at least wind it once a while for it to have a full power reserve. You will notice a difference with the accuracy compared to when the watch just relied on wrist movement.

 

Cause 2 – Temperature

Another important thing that most people don’t know is that your watch have different accuracy in different temperatures.

Too hot (more than 38 degrees Celsius) or too cold (less than 15 degrees Celsius) will affect the metal parts inside the watch. Steel will expand at high temperature while contracting when it’s too cold. Coldness can also affect the lubricants inside the watch.

Most of the times it’s the coldness that affect the accuracy since it will take a very high temperature to make a difference – not all of us live in scorching hot desert.

But coldness especially during winter can change how the watch behave. It will run slower a bit if exposed to cold weather and might have shorten power reserve. But the effect of coldness will not be apparent if you are wearing the watch though as our body temperature will heat the watch up.

 

Cause 3 – Position

Watch movements accuracy is highly affected by the balance wheel and escapement. These systems can be affected by the position of the watch due to gravity. Examples of watch positions is flat with dial/watch face looking up, dial down, vertical positions with different locations of crown.

As you can suggest, the dial up or down is basically when you put the watch on a table/closet after wearing it during the day. The vertical positions are during wearing the watch.

During each of these positions, the effect of gravity will cause the balance wheel to have a slight change in movement causing some inconsistency. Most watches are most accurate at one or two of these positions.

When you put the watch at other positions, the accuracy will suffer. This is the main reason why chronometer is highly sought after – they are designed and adjusted to be accurate for all positions.

My suggestion is to keep track of what position your watch is most accurate and what position it isn’t. You can use apps to help with this. Just search for watch accuracy in appstore/playstore.

Normally these apps will have you set the watch to accurate time in the beginning and then you can record the time at intervals and it will report the accuracy in seconds per day. By doing this, you will know what position your watch is most accurate and use it consciously.

 

Cause 4 – Magnetism

As stated above, magnetism of watch can greatly reduce accuracy. It’s highly recommended to avoid placing your watch next to any digital or electronic devices to avoid magnetism.

 

Case 5 – Due For Service

Just like a car, automatic and mechanical watches also need to be serviced after some time based on manufacturer’s recommendation. This is one of the biggest flaw of automatic watches versus quartz watches.

Because of the high number of moving parts inside it, automatic watches need to be serviced to keep the movement well oiled and also to adjust the balance wheel and escapement. Generally, 3 to 5 years are the normal service interval. Don’t skip this if you want to keep that watch as heirloom for your grandson =)

 

(Read also the 30 Best Automatic Watches Under $1,000)

 

5- Fogging Inside Watch

Some watches especially dive watches has screw down crown for added protection. The dial window and caseback is easily guarded from water ingress by gasket and seals.

Since the crown is used for manual winding and setting the time, it has a staff that is connected to the movement inside the watch. The small gap between the staff and the casing is the perfect place where water can get in.

Screw down crown solves this problem by screwing the crown into the case, and eliminating any possible gaps between them.

 

seiko-skx009-screw-down-crown

Shown above is the Seiko SKX009 with its crown unscrewed. Remember that screw down crowns MUST ALWAYS be screwed properly at all times even when storing the watch – except when using the crown of course.

 

But it has to be reminded that the screw down crown must always be screwed in tightly when you are using the watch for any activity especially swimming or diving. The crown must not be operated while underwater for, well.. the reason is obvious right.

It is also recommended to get your dive watch to be tested for water resistance after a few years. It is worried that the gasket and seals of the watch has already worn out.

If you are a serious diver, then it is very important to ensure your watch is always in perfect water resistance condition to avoid any unwanted problems.

 

6- Minute Hand And Second Hand Not Perfectly Aligned

A common issue with automatic watches is the minute hand and second hand are not perfectly aligned.

For example, when the second hand is at the 12 o’clock position, the minute hand is not perfectly on top of any minute marker.

 

Sumo SBDC003 hands not aligned

An example of how not setting the time correctly can cause the minute hand not sitting directly on the minute marker when the second hand is at 12 o’clock. By the way, there’s no problem with the watch and this can be fixed easily.

 

This is caused by improper setting of the time when first bringing the watch from stop.

To be honest, this does not mean there’s any problem with the watch. The watch is running fine but to people with a keen eye for detail, this is not acceptable.

Personally, I also don’t like this, but not because it doesn’t look nice. For me, a watch need to be easy to tell and having a non-perfectly aligned minute hand makes the time telling unusual and weird.

So what do I do to avoid this problem?

I’ll stop the second hand exactly at the 12 o’clock position and then move the minute hand to be perfectly on top of the minute marker.

While this is easy to do with a hacking movement, it’s a bit more difficult with a non-hacking movement (such as the 7S26 inside Seiko’s SKX watches).

For those movements, we need to be more precise as the second hand does not stop. So the moving of the minute hand need to be on-point when the second hand passes the 12 o’clock.

 

7- Automatic Watch Not Winding

If you feel there’s a problem with the hand-winding function, try to let the watch stop on its own.

Then pick it up and give it some hand-winding. The watch should start after a few turn of winding the crown. If it isn’t, this means there’s a problem with the movement and a visit to your watchmaker is need to resolve it.

 

8- Date/Day Display Don’t Change At The Right Time

A common issue that I’ve personally faced is the date and day indicator don’t change correctly.

I’m sure those using analog watches with either one of this feature will experience the date/day suddenly change around noon.

The only reason for this is incorrect setting of the day/date.

We need to remember that automatic watch is not like an electronic watch. It does not know the current time (i.e am or pm). Which is why the day/date will simply change once the hour hand completes 2 rotations (or 24 hours).

So what’s the correct way of setting the day and date display?

Below is the step by step guide on how I change my date/day display on my watches:

  1. When first picking up the watch, move the time until the hour hand is at 12:00. See if the day/date change or not.
  2. If the day/date change – means the watch just enters AM mode
  3. If the day/date does not change – means the watch just enters PM mode
  4. From there, you can set the time according to your current time.
  5. For example: if you move the hour hand to 12:00 > day/date change means the watch just enters AM mode > but you’re in the afternoon > move the hour hand a full rotation (12 hours) to enter PM mode > then set time and day/date.

 

[UPDATE]

Currently I don’t use the method above when setting my watches and prefer another method. Below are the steps of this method:

  1. Change the date and day to ONE day before the current day. E.g if today is May 15 Sunday, then we need to change the date to 14 and the day to Saturday.
  2. Move the time needle to 12:00 and notice the change in date/day window.
  3. If there is no change, that means the watch’s internal time is in PM mode. Another rotation of the watch will change it into AM time of the current day. We can adjust accordingly from here.
  4. If the day/date change, it means the watch just enter today’s time in AM mode. Again, we need to adjust the watch accordingly.


Watch the video about for the summary of the common problems with automatic watch

 

End Thoughts

Automatic/mechanical watches are a delicate piece of engineering and should always be treated delicately. Not to mention they cost way more than normal quartz watches. So I’d put them as the fancy sports car – expensive but have to be properly taken care off lol!

Thus, it is important for all automatic watch owners to know what can be done and what cannot be done to prevent from any unwanted and costly problems to their prized watches.

Do let me know if you need any assistance with the problems above. I’ll try my best to help you out.

 

 

I hope that you guys will find this post beneficial to you. Let me know if you have any comments or thoughts on this matter.

Don’t forget to share this article if you like it =)

Till next time. Cheers!

Isaac

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist Review – The Seiko With A Green Dial

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist Review

The Beautiful Watch With Green Dial – A Seiko Alpinist Review

Today’s review is about the Seiko SARB017 or better known as Seiko Alpinist is a very popular automatic wrist watch among Seiko fans and it’s not hard to understand why.

It has a very distinctive sunburst green and gold dial with unique design which won it many fans around the world.

The Alpinist model line has a long history as Seiko sport watches specifically designed for those going for hiking or camping in the mountain and woods. This particular model, the SARB017 continues that spirit in the modern generation.

Let’s get on with Seiko Alpinist review and get a closer look at this watch and to see why it has been a favorite among Seiko’s fans worldwide.

 

seiko-sarb017-alpinist-review

 

In A Hurry? >> Get The Seiko Alpinist SARB017 HERE

 

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist Specification

Diameter: 38 mm
Thickness: 12 mm
Case: Stainless steel (polished at sides/bezel and brushed on top of lugs)
Lug to Lug: 46 mm
Lug Width: 20 mm
Strap: Brown calf leather strap with pin buckle

Dial: Sunburst dark green dial with gold accents
Watch Crystal: Sapphire crystal
Hands: Gold hands with lume
Markers: Gold numeral markers with lume pips
Inner Bezel: Bi-directional rotating inner bezel with compass chapter ring

Movement: Seiko Caliber 6R15 Automatic self-wind movement
Movement Specification: 23 Jewels, 21,600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, Able to be manually wind, Hacking feature, Diashock absorber
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Accuracy: +25-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 200 m or 660 feet
Other Features: Date display at 3 o’clock, screw down caseback, screw down crown, Luminous hands and markers, compass chapter ring on inner bezel, Diashock absorber inside movement

Where To Buy: Amazon (Click link below to check its price on Amazon.com)

 

Seiko Alpinist SARB017Seiko Alpinist SARB017

Seiko Alpinist History

This Seiko SARB017 Alpinist wrist watch was designed with the Japanese mountain explorer in mind. In Japan, these mountain climbing gentlemen were called yama-otoko. They are explorers who would traveled between cities in Japan’s mountainous terrain.

 

seiko-sarb017-alpinist-review-yamaotoko-mountain-man

A Japanese art showcasing the yama-otoko

 

Seiko produced the Alpinist with them in mind. All Alpinist line of watches are designed to be used in rough environment, with high water resistance (you could get soaked in rain while hiking you know), lume on the hands and markers for visibility in night and some of them have compass bezel.

The first Alpinist was released in 1961, and 5 generations have followed it since then. The latest version is released in 2009 and featuring the SARB059 & SARB061. However, the most popular model is the SARB017 (the previous 5th gen – the one we are reviewing here) for a very simple reason – it has the unique green and gold dial.

This particular model was released in 2006 with a few other models. It’s been 10 years and the SARB017 is still going strong though. I believe it is here to stay just like the SKX007 and SKX009, though the company do have a history to stopping popular models.

There’s been some talks in watch forums about how Seiko is going to stop producing their beloved SARB line of watches (SARB033, SARB035, SARB065 etc.).

So if you like the Alpinist, make sure you get it as soon as possible before Seiko pulled the plug on it (for whatever damn reason….) >>CLICK HERE To Get Your Own Seiko Alpinist

 

Read this awesome story of the Seiko Alpinist line here

 

seiko-sarb017-alpinist-review

 

Gorgeous Green And Gold Dial

It’s hard to miss the green and gold dial of this gorgeous wrist watch. The green dial actually has a sunburst effect i.e the dial will reflect different lights if looked from different angles.

This effect can’t be seen from pictures though. You can watch the video below to see it for yourselves.

It’s not hard to make the link that Seiko chose green to reflect the greenery of the mountainous range of Japan, in line with the Alpinist concept.

Regardless whether this is the truth or not, we just can’t deny the green dial looks absolutely fantastic on the watch.

On top of the dial are numeral and index markers with gold in color which beautifully contrasts with the green dial.

There are some small lume pips on top of the markers. A calendar date display is located at the right, at 3 o’clock position. The hands are bulky and also in gold with lume generously applied on top of them.

One thing for certain about Seiko’s lume is they are good and this one is not an exception. The hour hand is uniquely designed with mercedes like pointer while the minute hand is sword shaped like.

I really like the design of the hands as they are truly unique and one of a kind. With the exquisite dial and hands, what I can say is the amount of detailing that Seiko put inside this watch is ridiculous.

One thing for sure is the design is more towards dress watch than a rugged utility watch the Alpinist line should represent. It is after all designed for mountainous expeditions right? So why does Seiko designed it to be so pretty?

This is one of the questions raised by Seiko enthusiasts. For me, it is a bit out of place for an utility sports watch to be so dressy but we have to remember not all the people buying the watch will actually go for a camping.

It’s the same like not all people buying that gorgeous two-tone Rolex Submariner will actually go scuba diving with it.

So Seiko designed a very beautiful watch but still make sure the watch can withstand the harsh environment of a mountain.

 

Watch this awesome youtube review by minitwatch to see the sunburst green dial and lume of the Seiko SARB017 in action=)

 

Solidly Built 38 mm Stainless Steel Case

The case of this Seiko Alpinist has a diameter of 38 mm excluding crown and about 41 mm including crown. It has a 46 mm length from lug to lug, with 20 mm lug width. The wrist watch is not too thick, at just over 12 mm in thickness.

A major complain is that the watch is too small and won’t fit in. But then we have to remember that this watch is a Japan Domestic Model (JDM) which is supposed to be sold exclusively in Japan.

So for sure the sizing will be based on average Japanese/Asian wrist size which is smaller than western people.

Personally for me, 38 mm should be fine for most people, unless you have a huge hand. This small diameter is what gives the watch a much more dressy look than a real tool watch. The lugs are curving down beautifully which is typical of the SARB line by Seiko.

It is intended to “hug” the wrist and giving a more comfortable feel while wearing it. The case is highly polished on the sides and the bezel (the bezel is empty) while perfectly brushed on top of the lugs. On the back of the case is the mountain logo engraved on the screw down caseback.

 

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The back of the watch. Notice the engraving of Alpinist mountain logo on it

 

Compass Chapter Ring On Inner Bezel

One tool that the Seiko SARB017 has is the compass chapter ring on its inner bezel which is put on the watch with such great detail.

The inner bezel ring is quite small (you have to really zoom in on the area just at the edge of the bezel) and is operated by rotating the second crown at 4 o’clock.

What is it used for? It’s used as a fast way to know the direction (north, east, south, west) of your location provided you can see the sun.

In the morning, we can know the direction by pointing our hour hand towards the sun. Then rotate the compass bezel until the South indicator (if you are in the northern hemisphere. If you are in the southern hemisphere use the North indicator) is between the hour hand and 12:00.

At that moment, the direction indicated on the compass ring is the correct direction.

On afternoon, just repeat the same process. But you will notice the hour hand is now at the right side of the watch (1pm to 6pm) instead of at the left during the morning (6pm to 11 pm). Just be reminded that this is just a rough indication of the direction.

Always bring a working compass with you for any mountainous expedition. For some great illustration, you can refer to this site here.

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist Review

The inner bezel of the Seiko Alpinist has a compass chapter ring which can be used by rotating the lower crown to find your direction (North, South) based on the sun location

 

Seiko Caliber 6R15 Movement With Diashock

Just like the SARB033 and SARB065 Cocktail Time, this watch also features the Seiko Cal. 6R15 automatic self-wind movement inside it. This movement is an ubiquitous movement in most of Seiko’s low to mid range of watches.

It has 23 jewels with 21,600 vibrations per hour which gives a 6 beats per second movement. It can be manually wind, hacking and has a 50 hours power reserve.

What I like about this movement is how robust and low maintenance it is. This same movement is used in many Seiko Prospex diving line – the kind of watch that will be used for lots of action in the sea. And that same movement is used in this watch.

That means you are getting a very tough movement in a normal watch which really gives you a peace of mind. The accuracy is within +25 /-15 seconds per day, which will improve once the watch is worn regularly.

Another added bonus on this watch that is not in other SARB line watches is the Diashock absorber. Being a watch to be used in rough environment, the diashock will provide addition absorber protection to the movement from falls, drops or any moderate impact.

It’s certainly very reassuring to have this feature in the watch that’s for sure.

 

seiko-sarb017-alpinist-review-bracelet


Seiko SARB017 Alpinist on stainless steel bracelet. You can buy this replacement bracelet that fit it from Seiyajapan.com (the bracelet is actually made for another Alpinist model, the SARB015. So it should fit in nicely with the SARB017)

 

Put The Alpinist On Bracelet Or Leather Strap?

Seiko Alpinist SARB017Seiko Alpinist SARB017

This wrist watch comes with a brown calf leather strap with alligator pattern and pin buckle out of the box.

But just like most low-middle range Seikos, the strap is just not up to the high standard of the watch itself.

Due to this, you can always see many people changed out the leather strap for stainless steel bracelets or higher quality leather straps.

 

 

seiko-sarb017-alpinist-review-4-black-leather

Also looks great on black leather strap!

 

Where To Get A Seiko SARB017?

Looking for Seiko SARB017 Alpinist for yourself? Unfortunately, as with most SARB watches, the Alpinist is not on sale in most Seiko boutiques.

You might be lucky to stumble upon one but why bother going the distance if we can easily get one from online stores?

The Alpinist is also on Amazon and they usually has the lowest price for Seiko watches. Click the link below to check the best deals of Seiko Alpinist on Amazon.

 

Seiko Alpinist SARB017Seiko Alpinist SARB017

 

Conclusion

The Seiko SARB017 Alpinist is a great looking watch with gorgeous sunburst green and gold dial. It’s just too beautiful to be called a sports watch – even though that’s what the Alpinist line should be about.

It also has a compass chapter ring and Diashock which make it perfect if you want to actually use it for your mountainous adventures.

Inside, we get a robust and well regarded 6R15 automatic self-winding movement in it. At is price, it is truly one of those Seikos that is well worth for money due to the high quality craftsmanship and detailing put on the watch by Seiko’s watchmakers.

 

Hope this Seiko Alpinist review helped clear some questions regarding the watch. Feel free to ask any question to me about this watch. I’ll be glad to help you guys out. Don’t forget to subscribe to my site.

Cheers!

Isaac

 

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review – Super Accurate Wrist Watch With Atomic Timekeeping

I have always been an automatic watch guy and don’t really like quartz watch in general. But this Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E really blows my mind. Although it’s a quartz wrist watch, it has a huge amount of functions that excite the techie spirit in me. It is solar powered, a chronograph, perpetual calendar and best of all it has radio controlled atomic timekeeping – all of these make this wrist watch a true feat of watch engineering.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E
Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Case: Titanium
Lug Width: 24 mm
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Bezel: Black bezel with Tachymeter scale

Dial: Black dial with textured pattern
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Markers: Index markers with lume
Hands: Dauphine hands with lume

Movement: Citizen Eco-Drive E650 quartz movement with analog display

Watch Functions: Solar powered light by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, Radio controlled atomic timekeeping (in US only), Perpetual calendar, Chronograph, Power reserve indicator, Alarm, Day & date function, 12 & 24 hour time, smooth movement of hands while operating its various functions

For detail information on the watch’s various functions, download the Citizen’s setting instructions here
Power Reserve: 270 days or 9 months

Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 feet
Accuracy: Very accurate thanks to quartz timekeeping. In addition, with its atomic clock syncing every day, it can be said to be as accurate as an atomic clock!

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Nice Design With Titanium Case For A Very Light Wrist Watch

The design of the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is quite nice to look at. Sure there is a lot going on the 42 mm diameter watch but that’s what to be expected from a chronograph.

You can see the 3 subdials on the face that have different functions to play (more on that later). But surprisingly the dial – as congested as it may be – is very well designed.

Citizen has tried to make the watch as symmetry as they could. The use of reflecting metals such as the marker linings, subdials and outer edge of dial is a very nice touch. The inner circle of the dial is textured and contains the solar panel of the watch.

The watch is 42 mm in diameter and is not too big for most guy’s wrist. It is quite thick at 13 mm. Most quartz watch has much thinner profile but this is not your ordinary quartz watch though, so those extra milimeters are totally justified.

The lug width is 24 mm which actually make the watch looks larger. In my opinion, a 22 mm lug width is enough for watch with this size.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

The material used for the case and bracelet of the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is titanium which is a premium material for watch making.

Titanium is an element that is widely used in aerospace industry. The reason? Titanium has almost the same strength of steel, but it has almost half of steel’s density or weight. This gives it a better strength to weight ratio than steel.

Using titanium as watch material will make the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch much lighter, just about 100 g.

Not only that, titanium also is highly resistant to corrosion such as sea water and your own sweat. It’s also an inert element and it’s hypoallergenic property is a great option to those that have allergy to steel.

A big difference with stainless steel is the appearance. Titanium has a matte finish while stainless steel is more shiny or polished. The reason why titanium is pricier than steel is due to the scarcity and difficulty in molding and welding the element.

For more info on titanium, you can read more on ablogtowatch.com and Wikipedia.com.

Packed With Functions!

The watch is truly a technical achievement. Here is the list of functions that the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch has:

1- Solar powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology
2- Radio controlled atomic timekeeping
3- Perpetual calendar
4- Chronograph
5- Power reserve indicator
6- Alarm
7- Day and date display
8- 12 and 24 hour time

Take a look at the list above. Those are very commendable list. There are a few things that is not there that I would love to have such as compass and watch light but then you can’t really have everything right?

What I really like is how these functions helped to make the watch truly independent and can work on its own. There is no need for the owner to even set the time/day/date or anything.

It’s like a smartwatch from Samsung or Apple but with the gorgeous design of an actual watch. Let’s have a look at how these functions work.


 Check out this useful video on how to use the watch’s various functions. Notice how beautiful the hands moves and glides on the dial when operating it. Citizen really knows how to impress people with this smooth hands =)

Citizen Eco-Drive Technology – No Need For A Battery Anymore

The Eco-Drive is a wonderful creation by Citizen. It uses a solar panel to convert light into electrical energy and store it inside a power cell. Not just that, the panel also can convert light from any source.

Sunlight is the best but you can still charge it by placing it beneath a table lamp or normal fluorescent light. The power cell also will last a lifetime of use so there is no need for replacement.

This technology is a step up from the quartz and automatic movement watches. It uses quartz for very high accuracy (up to only a few seconds per month.

A great improvement over automatic watches that is accurate to a few seconds in a day). But instead of a battery, it uses the best kind of renewable energy: light.

By placing the solar panel sublimely underneath the dial (which is a technical feat also!) and using a long lasting power cell, the watch can run literally forever.

The best part is the power cell that has 270 days (or 9 months) power reserve. Such huge amount of power reserve is a huge difference with 40 hours power reserve of automatic watches!

But one thing to note is that the recharging can take up to 210 hours for a table lamp (normal office light at the ceiling is too far to make a difference).

Citizen also said that the best source is sunlight, but even a sunny day will need 35 hours of direct exposure for it to charge to full capacity.

Luckily there is a power reserve indicator is situated at the top right subdial. I don’t think you need to bask yourselves in the sun for 35 hours straight.

Just charge it up under a table lamp whenever the power reserve drops to half and that should do the trick. Visit these sites for more information on Citizen’s Eco-Drive and E650 Movement recharging guide.

Radio Controlled Atomic Timekeeping

Another interesting and very useful function of this Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch is the atomic timekeeping.

In Denver, there is a radio tower at Fort Collins station that sends radio signal which contain the atomic time – which is the most accurate time on earth.

Appliances (like this wrist watch here) can tap into that signal and pick up the atomic time to reset their devices time accordingly to the atomic time.

One thing that you need to know is that this is not a GPS watch which means you have to set your own timezone (indicated in the bottom subdial).

The watch supports 5 timezones – 4 major timezone in US : Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific and London timezone. So if you are from other part of the world such as Europe, Asia (or even Alaska and Hawaii in US), the radio controlled atomic timekeeping will not work.

The watch can also be set to alternate time mode (A-TM) in the bottom mode subdial where you basically set the time yourselves. But then what’s the fun in that? =)

What the watch will do after getting the atomic time from the radio signal is to change the time into your actual timezone. The reception will be done automatically at 2am everyday or can be done manually.

Since this is a radio signal, you’ve gotta expect some restriction in usage. For example the radio signal won’t work if you are in a building, tunnel, basement etc. For best signal transmission, position the watch next to a window and it will catch it and adjust the time accordingly.

With this, you are using the most accurate watch on earth, more accurate than most watches! I’m not sure whether it is Citizen that first produced a radio controlled watch to sync with atomic time, but whoever created this is a genius.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Review

Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph With Tachymeter Scale

What would a high tech wrist watch be without a chronograph? The Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch also has one with a beautiful Tachymeter scale on its black bezel.

But to use this function is not as simple as other chronographs as the mode of the watch need to be changed to chronograph mode – it’s done by pulling the crown to first position and rotate the mode subdial (the bottom subdial) to “CHR” or chronograph.

The two pushers at the right 2 and 4 o’clock can then be used for the chronograph function. Top pusher will start and stop the chrono while bottom pusher will reset it.

The chrono will only measures up to 1 hour (or 59 min 59 seconds) and this is measured on the top right subdial. It’s way less than other chronographs which can go from 4 hours to even 24 hours of measurement.

It seems Citizen chose to reduce the chronograph measurement to save one subdial for other functions (which is cool with me as I don’t really think anyone would measure up to hours right?).

Tachymeter scale on the black bezel kinda gives the watch a cool look. The scale is used to measure speed of any object (works in kmh or mph) if you know the distance it traveled.

Start the chronograph when the object starts and stop it at the point you know the distance it traveled. This will gives you the speed. You can also check out my review of the Tissot Couturier Chronograph here as I’ve written about how to use the chronograph.

Alarm And Perpetual Calendar

This watch also has alarm and perpetual calendar. These two functions can also be found in automatic watches but it will cost a ton of money to own those watches.

Luckily with the latest quartz and electronic watch technology, these functions can easily be found at lower cost and affordable to average guys. The perpetual calendar is very useful as you don’t have to adjust the date at the end of each month.

The watch took into consideration the different days in a month as well as leap years, so there is no need to change the date up until 2100. Alarm function can be used by activating the alarm mode. The time for the alarm can then be set easily then. The alarm will set off for 15 seconds when time arrives.

Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E Watch Pros and Cons

Below are the summary of the pros and cons of the watch for your easy reference.

Advantages:

1- Syncronizes the watch with atomic time everyday making it the most accurate watch on the planet
2- Smooth and subtle moving hands while operating the watch
3- Eco-Drive technology ensures that no battery is needed
4- Power cell can last for 270 days or 9 months
5- Beautiful watch design incorporating all those indicators and subdials perfectly on the dial
6- Titanium casing makes the watch lighter than a stainless steel watch

Disadvantages:

1- Radio controlled atomic timekeeping only works in 5 timezones. If you are outside of US or London, then this watch is not for you
2- Chronograph only measures up to 1 hour
3- 24 mm lug width and bracelet make the watch appear much larger than it actually is

My Final Verdict?

The Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E is not an automatic that I loves but the techie side of me just scream with excitement when I see this watch.

It has a titanium body, great design, Eco-Drive solar powered, radio controlled to sync with atomic clock, alarm, chronograph and 24 hour time. Not to mention it has a whopping 9 months power reserve, perpetual calendar and reset the time automatically everyday.

These functions make this wrist watch to be fully independent of any human intervention – you can use it everyday and don’t need to worry about whether the time or day or date of it is correct.

Put the watch under your side lamp when you sleep is enough to charge it for a few weeks of use. Whether you are having it for yourselves or as a gift for someone else, I’m sure no man will not dislike having such a useful tool in his arsenal =)


If you are looking to buy the Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E, Amazon currently has a discount on it. This drops the price from its MSRP of $725. Click the link below to check out the best deal of this gorgeous wrist watch on Amazon.

Buy Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph AT4010-50E On Amazon

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review- A Rugged Military Mechanical Watch

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review

Welcome to the post on Hamilton Khaki Field review. True to its military wrist watch root, Hamilton has produced another watch identical to their military watches issued decades ago.

The Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 is a very rugged military watch by the brand. It’s also have a mechanical movement – meaning it cannot self-wind like automatic watches – which makes it a very rare watch nowadays. Let’s have a closer look at this little timepiece.

 

hamilton-khaki-field-officer-review-h69419363-2

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Specification (H69419363)

Diameter: 38 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Lug Width: 20 mm
Strap: Canvas strap with leather lining and pin buckle

Dial: Dark green dial with numeral markers
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal

Movement: ETA 2804-2 Mechanical hand-wind movement
Movement Features: 17 Jewels, 28800 vibrations per hour or 8 beats per second, 42 hours power reserve,

Water Resistance: 50 m or 165 feet
Features: Slim case with vintage looks, date display, lume on hands and markers

Best Place To Buy: Amazon 

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review

 

Simply Styled Military Wrist Watch

The one thing that you will notice when first laying your eyes on the Khaki Field Officer wrist watch is how simple the design is. The case is simply designed without any complicated curves. The dial/watch face is matte green in color with bold numerals as markers. There are also 24 hours markers in the inner dial.

On the outer edge of the dial we have some triangles next to the markers – apparently these triangles are filled with lume to provide some indication in low light environment. There is a date display at 3 o’clock for added functionality. Signatures on the dial are kept to a minimum with small fonts.

The hands are sword shaped hands that is neither slim nor bulky and filled with lume. The total look of the dial is very simple and not eye-catching at all. There is no reflecting elements at all – the stainless steel case is powder coated while the dial is matte.

The 20 mm strap is also made of canvas (with some leather lining for comfort) instead of leather. This is truly a down-to-earth and humble wrist watch with military styling.

 

Side by side comparison: Hamilton Khaki Field Officer on the left and Hamilton Khaki King on the right. Both are inspired by Hamilton’s vintage military watches but have diifferent styling concept – the Khaki King is more refined and beautiful while the Khaki Field is simpler

 

Hamilton Khaki King Vs Khaki Field

The Khaki Field Officer watch is very different than the Khaki King. Hamilton has chosen to make both military watches to cater for different tastes of their customers. For those that like a military watch with a beautiful shining watch face and case, you can choose the Hamilton Khaki King. It’s also has the exclusive look with its brown leather band and contrast stitching.

Meanwhile those that want a no frills military watch can go for the much simpler (and cheaper) Hamilton Khaki Field Officer. This watch is meant for those that love simplicity and just want a watch that can work. It’s also perfect for outdoor activities and sports as the watch is light and the simple look suited those activities well.

Just don’t go for any diving or swimming with it. It got a 50 m water resistance but most watch experts don’t think a water resistance rating like that can actually be used to go deep to 50 m. A splash of water here and there should be fine though.

 

Quality Swiss Wrist Watch At Low Price

Another thing that I really like about the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer wrist watch is the low price of it (around $260 online) with some quality materials. It can be said to be a full fledged Swiss watch, material wise. It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 38 mm and just about 9 mm thick.

It is very thin due to its mechanical movement (more about that later) which gives it a very nice slim look just like vintage military watches decades ago. The 38 mm diameter also adds to the exclusivity and will really suit most people’s wrist.

The watch also features a sapphire crystal which is just outstanding for a $260 watch. The sapphire dial window crystal is slightly domed and will provide good protection against any scratch to the watch.

The choice of a canvas strap is actually very suitable to the retro outdoor look of the watch. Some might not really like canvas straps and prefer leather but this is a watch that is meant to be used outdoor, in the jungle somewhere. A leather strap is really out of place in those places =)


You can watch this video to see the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer up close 

 

Mechanical Hand-Winding Movement of ETA 2804-2

The most special and interesting aspect of the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer is the mechanical hand-winding movement. What does it mean? It means the watch is not an automatic watch (you can “recharge” the watch by using it everyday).

Instead you have to hand-wind it manually to keep it running as it don’t have the self-winding mechanism. For more information, you can read my previous post on automatic and mechanical movement here.

The absence of self-winding mechanism made the watch thinner than other watches and give it the very sexy thin body. The reason why I feel that this watch is very special is that there are not much mechanical movement timepieces out there right now. It’s always automatic and quartz only. This gives the Hamilton Khaki Field a unique position in the eyes of watch lovers.

The movement features ETA Cal. 2804-2, which is based on ETA’s most common automatic movement – the Cal. 2824-2 (which is featured in Tissot Le Locle). This movement has 17 jewels and vibrates at 28800 per hour or 8 beats per second. It also has a good 42 hours power reserve. In order to hand-wind it, you just have to rotate the crown (positioned at 3 o’clock) upward to wind the mainspring.

Everyone should be very careful when hand-winding a mechanical watch. The winding must be done when not wearing the watch. The crown has to be turned while being gripped by the fingers at the side. Only rotating action can be applied on the crown – any other actions such as pushing up, down, or sides must not be done because it could damage the internal mechanism.

A huge disadvantage with the ETA 2804-2 mechanical movement is there is no slip spring. So theoretically you can actually break the mainspring by overwinding the watch. Luckily to break it is not an easy feat as you need to have a super strong grip and fingers. The key is to stop winding as soon as a resistance is felt when winding the watch.

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Advantages And Disadvantages

Pros:
1- A cheap mechanical watch with great quality by Hamilton
2- Sapphire crystal at this price is simply outstanding
3- A truly simple retro wrist watch – perfect for those who like understated watches and not eye-catching
4- Great for outdoor activities due to its small size and light weight.

 

Cons:
1- It is a mechanical hand-winding movement which means the watch has to be hand-wind everyday
2- ETA 2804-2 mechanical hand-wind movement does not have slip spring. There is a possibility of damaging the mainspring or gears inside the watch if you are not careful

Like This Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical? Buy It Cheapest From Amazon!

If you would like to buy the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 wrist watch, you can check out Amazon it.

Currently Amazon has a huge discount on this watch making it much cheaper from the MSRP of $395. Click the link below to check out the best prices of the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 from:

-> Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 on Amazon <-

 

Final Thoughts

So who is the watch is for? It is perfect for those looking a simple watch to be used for casual or outdoor activities. You don’t need a beautiful shining watch with leather strap while camping in the jungle right?

This Hamilton is sufficient enough to be used for outdoor activities. It is also light on the wrist. The mechanical movement is considered a step backward for some people but I feel that this adds to the choice of the watches nowadays. Some people (me included) will feel excited to have a mechanical watch, the original form of our watches today.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy this Hamilton Khaki Field review. If you have any other questions about this unique handwinding/mechanical watch, feel free to drop it at the comments section below.

Don’t forget to share this post on social media. That will really help me a lot. Subscribe to my site to be updated of future awesome posts. Till next time.

Cheers!

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch – How To Choose A Good One For You!

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch

When I was younger, I never really know what wrist watch I want. I just know that I need a watch to tell time (was just started working back then and need a watch to keep me punctual for all the meetings, etc). So I went to many shops and look around until I found a watch that I like. I picked sports watch, a Seiko 5 (because that’s the cheapest lol) but found myself to regret it. It’s a good buy and look beautiful but feels out of place to be wearing it to an office. A few years later, I found myself more knowledgeable on wrist watches and would like to help people on what they should consider when choosing a wrist watch so that you guys won’t make any mistakes that I’ve did. Now, let’s find a good watch for you shall we!

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch-tissot-lelocle

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch

1- Buy A Watch That You Like

First and foremost, buy a watch that you like! A watch will be something that you always keep around you day in day out. So it’s very important that you choose one that you like or otherwise you will regret buying it and just put it  inside your cabinet. Look in detail at the watch such particularly on these areas:

1- Dial color
2- Dial design (signatures, logos, etc)
3- Markers and hands shape
4- Exhibition casebacks or solid caseback engraving
5- Decoration on movement (for exhibition caseback)
6- Case construction and shape. Polished or brushed case?
7- Dial window crystal shape
8- Bezel design
9- Weight

These are the finer details in a watch. I’ve very easy to be rushed and overlooked these things when you first view a watch. But trust me, these are the things that you will dig in detail when you have BOUGHT the watch later on. Remember you have years left with your watch right? For sure you are gonna take it out one day and scrutinize it in detail. You might then think that you don’t actually like the hand shape because it’s too big or you find the case is not polished and don’t like that.

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch - Seiko SARB065

Pictured above is the Seiko SARB065 (Cocktail Time) featuring a beautiful sunburst dial with silver hands and markers. It is important to buy a watch that you won’t feel tired looking at – after all this is the thing that will be by your side everyday =)

 

These kind of things will pop up in future (trust me I’ve been through that). So it’s better if you look these things in detail before you actually buy it. Look at the watch all around and feel it before you pull the trigger. If the watch is not available at your local store (such as these Seiko JDM versions: SARB033 and SARB065 Cocktail Time), internet reviews are very helpful for you to look at it in detail.

Bottom line is you’ve got to look at your watch in detail and like all of them before buying. Doing so will avoid the cost of heartache in future.

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch-oversize-watch

Not sure about you but I really don’t like the trend of oversize watch nowadays. Why would anyone wear a very big wrist watch on their hand? I hope this trend will die out soon…

 

2- Watch Size To Suit Your Wrist

Another important aspect is the size of your watch. Never ever buy a watch bigger than your wrist and always wear one that fits your wrist. It’s a trend nowadays to have a very big watch, watches up to 46 mm in diameter (excluding crown). It’s fine to buy a big watch, if and only if it can fit on top of your wrist comfortably without any overhang.

Overhang means the watch is much bigger than your wrist and an obviously large gap can clearly be seen between your watch lug and your wrist. This shows that the watch is way bigger and frankly speaking, not a good fit and shows bad taste irrespective of how expensive your watch is.

A good rule of thumb is to use a watch with diameter between 38 to 40 mm for those with a small wrist. For those with bigger wrist, a bigger watch is usable (and might fit them better) such as 42 to 44 mm. A 46 mm diameter watch is in the market but I guess only the biggest of guys can pull it off. If in doubt, just opt for a bit smaller diameter and you won’t go wrong. Oversize watch trend nowadays are very disturbing.. It’s just ughhh…

 

3- Choose A Suitable Strap For Your Watch

Straps are also a very important factor to consider. There are a few strap options such as:

  • Steel bracelet
  • Leather strap
  • Rubber strap
  • Nato strap

Steel bracelet is the heaviest of them all while Nato and rubber is the lightest. But leather is the best looking and looks elegant. The straps will come in many colors and design and you should always pick one that complements your watch the best. A black watch will goes well with a black strap – that’s the most traditional combination. Pick one that you like the most. Matching colors of watch and strap is the safe bet.

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch Victorinox Swiss Army deployment clasp

Leather strap with deployment butterfly clasp on the Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chrono

 

Leather strap comes in two options: deployment butterfly clasp and traditional pin buckle. I prefer the deployment butterfly clasp with leather band as it will protect the band from usage unlike the traditional pin buckle. I don’t really like the steel bracelet as I feel it’s not as elegant as leather strap. One good thing about the bracelet is the minor adjustment though. Unlike the holes in other straps (leather, Nato, rubber) which is about 8 mm apart, the minor adjustment holes allows you to adjust up to 4 mm. This will give you a better fit for sure. Not to mention the steel bracelet is just indestructible and will last as long as your watch. Your leather and rubber bands might not last that long.

Some watches will come with options to get a steel bracelet or a leather/rubber band with the bracelet version retailing for a higher price. So which one to buy? My recommendation is to get the bracelet version. Even though it is pricier, you will get an original bracelet of that watch with any engravings. As mentioned earlier, the bracelet will last forever while that leather/rubber band will have to be replaced after a year or so. Not to mention you can always buy an aftermarket leather/rubber/Nato straps for a reasonable price easily. So it makes total sense to get the bracelet version and change it later on with any other straps you like.

 

4- Functionality Of The Watch

Watch originally is just a tool invented to tell time. But modern wrist watches have been innovated to have lots more tools on it. A few most useful functions a wrist watch can offer you are:

  1. day feature
  2. date feature
  3. chronograph or stopwatch
  4. scales such as telemeter (get distance from sound), tachymeter (get speed of objects)
  5. aviator watch
  6. water resistant watch
  7. lume on hands and markers to show time in dark
  8. rotating bezel – showing either minutes or world time

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch-tissot-couturier-chronograph

Tissot Couturier watch with chronograph/stopwatch function. There are two extra “pushers” at the 2 and 4 o’clock position to operate the chronograph. The subdials are used to record the minutes and hours of the stopwatch (the Tissot Couturier can only record up to 6 hours of time)

 

These various functions are called complications in automatic watches. It’s very handy for sure. But the catch is not all of these features will be in any one watch. Most watch will have only two or three of them only. So I suggest you think hard about what functionality you need in your wrist watch.

Suppose you are a diver, then you will need a diver watch. You will need a watch with a high water resistance, lume to let you tell the time in dark and a unidirectional rotating bezel to time your dive. If you are not a diver and will use your watch to go to office, then you can make do without any of these features. You might want the day and date feature to help you remember what is today’s date. I’ll really come in handy!

 

6 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Wrist Watch-skx007

Seiko SKX007 is a respected diver watch. It has all the compulsory functions of a diver watch such as big markers and hands, great lume and unidirectional rotating bezel. As an added bonus, it also has the day and date function.

All in all, think hard about the functionality of the watch that you need. A watch is not just to tell time (unless it is a dress watch) and it can be more than that. My pick is the lume, day and date features. I love to be able to tell time in the dark and the showing of today’s day/date. I don’t really need a stopwatch/chronograph as don’t have the need for that.

 

5- Different Watches For Different Occasions

Another important factor is to pick different watches for different occasions. This generally means to only use a dress watch with events that require you to wear a tux or suits. Save your diver or aviator watches for a more casual events. I just don’t look that good if you wear your bulky diver or complex aviator with chronograph subdials while wearing a tux. It just don’t. For this my best suggestion is to buy a minimum of 2 watches: one dress watch and another watch for more casual activities.

For some suggestion on a dress watch, check out the very cheap automatic dress watch Orient Bambino or the other mid-range watches like Seiko SARB033 or SARB065. Tissot Visodate and Le Locle are also good choices for you to choose.

 

rolex-submariner-16613-10000-main

Pictured above is the Rolex Submariner Two Tone – which costs nearly $10k. Not everyone can afford this pinnacle of diver watch. 

 

6- Buy Within Your Budget

Last but not least, always buy a watch within your budget. I totally oppose to buying a very expensive watch on credit just to impress people. If you really want to impress those girls at your office, you can just buy a knock-off Rolex – not much people can tell an authentic Rolex from the fakes.

Buy something that you totally are comfortable of buying and won’t break your bank. A watch is just a tool, and not something that might put you and your future in danger. Many people buy things just to impress other people, when in actuality those people are not really that impressed with those things. You are better off with saving those money for more watches in future =)

 

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I hope this post will help you guys especially those buying their first wrist watch to decide on what you want to buy. If you got any questions or anything, just drop them in the comments section below. I’ll be sure to answer your queries. Till next time then. Cheers!

Seiko SKX009 Diver’s Automatic Men’s Watch Review – The SKX007 With Pepsi Bezel

Seiko SKX009 Diver's Automatic Watch Review

Today I’m going to write about Seiko SKX009 review, an automatic dive men’s wrist watch. As most of you already know the Seiko SKX is a series of affordable dive watch by the brand.

This SKX009 is a twin brother to the Seiko SKX007, featuring a refreshing blue dial and blue/red pepsi bezel. Both have the same movement and build, but with different designs.

And both are equally famous with the diving community and automatic watch lovers for being an affordable diver automatic watch. Without further ado, let’s get on to the Seiko SKX009 review.

Seiko SKX009 Diver's Automatic Watch Review

 

Update: I’ve recently featured the Seiko SKX009 in my list of the top 10 automatic watches under $200. You guys can check the article HERE.

 

Seiko SKX009 Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Case: Stainless steel case (polished and brushed)
Lug Width: 22 mm
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet or rubber band

Dial: Dark blue dial
Dial Window: Hardlex crystal
Markers: Circles and fat index markers
Hands: Sword shaped hands
Bezel: Unidirectional diving bezel with blue and red pepsi design colors

Movement: Seiko Caliber 7S26 automatic self-widn movement with 21 Jewels
Movement Features: 41 hours power reserve, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second, non-hacking and cannot be manual wind
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 660 feet or 200 m
Other Features: Luminous markers and hands, Date and day display, Certified as ISO 6425 Diver’s Watch, Screw down crown

Best Place To Buy:

Amazon For SKX009K (Made in Malaysia) at $250

Ebay For SKX009J (Made in Japan) for $300- 350

 

Seiko SKX009 – The Affordable Automatic Diver Watch

SKX009 is one of Seiko’s range of affordable automatic dive watch. It’s in the same category as Seiko SKX007 and Orient’s Ray and Mako. The Japanese really knows how to make a great automatic watch, at fraction the price of what the Swiss offers.

The watch is solidly constructed using stainless steel case with polished sides and brushed on top of the lug. The sides are rounded and there is no sharp edges for maximum comfort while using the watch for diving.

The crown is fixed at 4 o’clock position (usually crown is positioned at 3 o’clock) for the same reason. This is one of the design aspects of Seiko’s diver watch that I really like. Your wrist is free to flex in any motion while wearing this watch.

The dial is dark blue and features markers with circles and index shapes. The markers are very big and slapped with generous lume to give maximum legibility in low light environment.

The hands are also big and have lume as well. Both of these are very important for any diver watch as divers need to be able to read their diving time underwater which is quite dark.

The bezel is an unidirectional diving bezel with minute markers. It has the blue and red color scheme which is dubbed the “pepsi bezel” (because blue and red are pepsi’s colors). On the dial also is the day and date features which are awesome to have.

I totally love these features and totally recommend everyone to find an automatic watch with these functions. It will really be helpful to you guys especially during working. Not sure what day and date it is when signing that report? Just have a glance at your watch then. No need to take out your smartphone or asking around =)

 

Seiko SKX009 Diver's Automatic Watch Review

 

An ISO 6425 Certified Diver Watch

On the back of the SKX009 is a stainless steel caseback with tsunami engraving which marks that this watch is a Seiko dive watch. The watch has a screw down crown (you have to screw it first before you can change the time, day and date) to help deter any water ingress while diving.

The water resistance is up to 200 m or 660 feet and the watch is an ISO certified diving watch. It has complied with all the requirements in the ISO 6425 (international standard for diving watch) such as:

  • Minimium 100 m or 330 feet water resistance
  • Water tightness in all aspects (dial window, caseback and crown)
  • Overpressured up to 200 kPa
  • Unidirectional bezel to time dive duration
  • Legibility under dark fro time, bezel, and running second hand. For this, a very good lume is needed
  • Magnetic resistance
  • Shock resistance
  • Resistance to salty water

Now there are lots more requirements for the dive watch certification. You can read it all here)

When a watch has passed all these requirements, it can be certified by ISO as a diver watch. Then and only then the watch can be marked with the word DIVER’S WATCH XXX M or DIVER’S XXX M (with XXX to be replaced with the water resistance value in meter).

This special marking is to separate certified dive watch from a non-certified ISO dive watch (for example the Orient Mako, Orient Ray and Seiko 5 SNZH53).

But bear in mind these watches can also do the job, i.e has sufficient water resistant. But if you are a diving frequently, nothing beats than having an ISO certified diver’s watch for peace of mind =)

 

Seiko Caliber 7S26 Automatic Self Wind Movement

This diver watch is equipped with Seiko’s workhorse movement, the Cal. 7S26. It is an automatic self winding movement with 21 Jewels. It beats at 6 beats per second, which is just about the minimum beats of modern automatic watches.

The sweeping second hand is still good to look at with this 6 bps but not as smooth as the Swiss for sure. But this has an advantage because with a lesser number of beats, the movement lifespan is longer because of lesser wear and tear. This approach is perfect for a movement that is intended to be a workhorse, and not a fancy dress watch.

The movement has a good 41 hours power reserve. The bad things about this movement is the absence of hacking and manual winding features. I’m not really disturbed not being able to hack/stop my second hand when adjusting the time, but not being able to manual wind my watches is a very serious flaw to me.

As someone that rotates his watches, I would like to keep all of them running so that I won’t have to adjust the time/day/date when I want to use them. As stated in my post here, there are two ways to keep a watch running: manual wind or watch winder.

Without the ability to manual wind, one has to use it everyday or put it in a watch winder. But then these winders can cost a bit too and I think it is a bit funny to put a $200 watch on a winder.

Btw, this issue with manual winding is just with me though. I prefer to keep my watches running all the time just for the sake of convenience (to have to adjust the date and day plus am/pm is a pain really).

I’m not sure is it the same with you guys. Don’t let my insistance for convenience sway your opinion about this watch as it is still a very good watch (minus the non-manual winding which is a deal breaker for me).

The twin brothers of Seiko’s affordable dive watches: SKX009 (top) and SKX007 (bottom). The SKX007 looks just like any other dive watch with its black dial and bezel while the SKX009 is one of a kind watch with its blue/red pepsi bezel

 

Seiko SKX009 Vs Seiko SKX007

Now let’s go to the comparison between these two brothers: Seiko SKX007 vs SKX009. Like I’ve said before, they are both essentially the same. They have the same case, same movement, and dial design.

The only difference are the dial color and bezel color. The dial and bezel of SKX007 is matte black. Seiko SKX009 has a dark blue dial with a distinct blue/red pepsi bezel.

The difference is in the colors and that’s that. But this has actually divided quite a large number of people. “Which is better? SKX007 or SKX009” is a common question in many watch forums all over the world and people are divided about this.

Some people like the matte black of SKX007 because it exudes elegance. Black after all is mysterious and sharp color. It’s a very traditional color for a watch.

But others (including me) loves the SKX009 more. I think the pepsi bezel is unique and refreshing, something new to all the blacks and silvers of the common watch nowadays. The dark blue dial is so subtle but complements the blue color portion of the bezel perfectly.

For being a unique kind of watch, I give my vote to the SKX009. But that’s just my opinion. I would love to hear what you guys think and which one is your favorite. Please drop your comments below ya.

 

Seiko SKX009 Diver's Automatic Watch Review

 

Seiko SKX009 Advantages And Disadvantages

Below are the summary of the pros and cons of this Seiko dive watch:

 

Pros:

1- Cheap and affordable automatic diver watch
2- Robust and solid craftsmanship which is perfect for a beater watch – the watch you actually going to take deep into the ocean instead of those Rolexes or Omegas
3- Blue dial and pepsi bezel give the watch a unique identity and easily identifiable
4- 7S26 movement by Seiko is the tried and tested workhorse automatic movement that has been known to be able to run flawlessly years after years without any service
5- Date and day features are very convenient for its owner
6- Good case design with round shape and edges will make wearing the watch a very comfortable experience
7- Generous lume application and excellent lume brightness will really help you telling the time in low light condition

 

Cons:

1- Not able to manual wind the watch is a big minus for those that have many watches in his stable
2- Hardlex crystal is not so scratch resistant as Sapphire and will attract lots of scratches. Fortunately its very shatter proof.
3- As usual, Seiko’s strap for their low-end models will disappoints. The bracelet is flimsy while the rubber band is too stiff

 

Seiko SKX009 For Sale? Where To Buy SKX009?

It is actually quite hard to get a hold of a Seiko in our local watch shop. It seems these Seiko authorized dealers only have the higher end Seikos but none of the lower to mid range watches.

But thankfully for the internet nowadays as we have access to various sellers to get our watches. Amazon and Ebay are huge sites for us to buy these watches from. Just make sure you buy from a trusted sellers.

Something that I have to say about the watch is that there are two versions generally available: SKX009J which is the Made in Japan and SKX009K which is the Made in Malaysia.

 


The Urban Gentry did a very helpful side by side comparison between these two versions. Follow him on youtube for more of his awesome videos

 

Seiko SKX009J vs SKX009K Comparison

Both of these versions are just about the same at a glance. But looking at them closely you will find out that there are subtle differences. (credit to The Urban Gentry for these comparisons)

1- J version has a darker blue on the bezel while K version is like normal blue color.
2- J version has extra signatures on the dial: 21 Jewels, Made In Japan.
3- The polishing and brushing of the case and lug is sharper and cleaner in the J version.
4- Bezel action is also firmer in the J version
5- Caseback is almost same except there is a “Japan” word engraved for the J version
6- K version has better screw down crown

 

Seiko SKX009 Diver's Automatic Watch Review

Seiko SKX009J – the Made In Japan version. Notice the additional signatures on the dial: “21 Jewels” and “MADE IN JAPAN”

 

Price? The K version is the widely available at around $200 to $250. J version is harder to get and can cost you $300. I’ve also encountered some people selling for $400!

The J version is highly sought after because everyone knows the Japanese always keep their best products to themselves. I’m not really sure about any difference in quality of the movement between the J and K versions, but it is safe to assume the J version is built with slightly more detail (the polishing and brushing of the case is the proof of that).

But then the price of a J version can be double than the K which is totally absurd. My advice? Buy the J version directly from Japan when you visit the country or have a friend buy it for you. Otherwise, just content with the K version as the extra $100-200 is better to be used for another watch =)

 

Conclusion

Seiko SKX009 is a variation of the much loved SKX007 dive watch but with major aesthetic change. It has a deep blue dial with pepsi bezel – making it starkly different than hundreds of dive watch out there. For those of you wanting to be different but also a great value for money watch, then this is it

Hope you guys like my Seiko SKX009 review. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop it down at the comments section below. Till next time.

Cheers!
Isaac

 

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Loves The Seiko SKX009? Get It From Amazon And Ebay!

As mentioned above, there are two version of this watch – the J (made in Japan) and K version (made in Malaysia). The K version can be found easily on internet but Amazon almost always has the cheapest price. Below are the links if you want to check out those items:

->Click Here To Check Out The Seiko SKX009K On Amazon<-

On the other hand, SKX009J is quite obscure and hard to find. There is a listing on Ebay for $330. (You can check it out here). As I’ve stated earlier, the Made in Japan version is more expensive. Personally I don’t think it’s worth it but if you got the money and really wants the highest quality, then go for it.

 

You might also want to check out these affordable dive watches:

1 – Seiko SKX007
2 – Seiko 5 Sports SNZH53
3 – Orient Mako
4 – Orient Mako 2
5 – Orient Ray

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements : Which Is The Right One For You?

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements Infographic

 

In recent times, the advent of smartwatches have brought new attention to the watch world. But prior to these new technology-filled watches, watches were divided into only 2 major categories: automatic and quartz.

Well, that’s quite a summary because as I’ve written before, watches can even be divided into 20 types.

While that list consists of all things that made up a watch (movement, style and function), the majority of people only relate to what type of movement a watch has, and for that, the automatic and quartz movements are the most commonly used and known.

For simplicity, I’ve grouped the automatic and mechanical movements together because they are basically the same, with the difference of the self-winding capability of the automatic movement.

So are you ready to know about the difference between these the automatic and quartz watches? Let’s find out!

 

Differences Between Automatic And Quartz Watches

(I’ve written some detail posts about automatic watches and how automatic watches work. You can have a read of those posts by clicking the links for the detail stuffs)

 

Automatic and quartz watches differs by the way it keeps time. What this means is how the movement mechanism inside it, or in other words, how it track one second.

To turn the clock through the seconds, minutes and hours is very simple and can easily be achieved by gears.

But how to make sure the second hand on the watch dial/face moves precisely one second and corresponds exactly to one second in real world?

This is where automatic and quartz watch differs. Automatic watches uses mechanical parts (balance wheel and escapement set to be precise) to keep track of time while quartz watches uses quartz crystal oscillation which is powered by electricity.

Automatic Watch = Mechanical Parts, Quartz Watch= Electricity Driven

Automatic watch has been around for more than a century. So as you can guess, there’s no electricity back then. How do the watches at that time function then?

It’s due to the use of springs. Inside all automatic watch, there’s a mainspring that is wound tightly to contain potential energy. This spring is then released slowly (by un-wounding itself) to move the gears inside the watch.

 

Advantage of Automatic movement

An example of an automatic/mechanical movement. You can see how it’s actually consisted of  many small parts inside it and run entirely by kinetic and potential energy

 

The timekeeping is controlled by the wheel balance and escapement that ensures the watch speed is not too slow or too fast.

 

(Read my detailed explanation on how automatic watch works for more info)

 

Quartz watch on the other hand was invented in the 1960s. It uses a quartz crystal that vibrates swiftly when subjected to electric current to keep track of time.

The integrated circuit in the watch then detects the frequency of the vibration and then consequently assign the motor to move one second based on the vibration.

The usage of high frequency quartz crystal ensures the higher accuracy of the watch (+-15 seconds deviation per month) as compared to the older automatic watch (+- 15 seconds per day).

 

advantage Quartz movement

Above is an example of a quartz movement. It’s much smaller than its automatic counterpart which contributed to its lightweight and slim profile

 

Surely, the newer quartz watch movement has higher accuracy (well, that’s the main reason why it’s being invented in the first place) but this does not mean automatic watch is not without any advantage.

 

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements

If you’re new to the world of watches, or just want to buy one for yourselves or as a gift, I believe it’s fairly important for you to know the pros and cons of both automatic and quartz watches.

That way, you can make a better decision on what type of watch you REALLY need to get, as opposed to buying based on marketing campaign or word of mouth.

In this section, I’ve listed out the advantages and disadvantages of both automatic and quartz watch movements so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect from both.

 

Automatic Watch Movement
Advantage Disadvantage
Does Not Need A Battery To Function Lower Accuracy
Sweeping Second Hand More Expensive Than Quartz
Unique Characteristics of Automatic Movement Typically Bigger and Heavier
Different Than The Digital World Around Us Most Automatic Watches Have Low Power Reserve
Generally More Beautiful Than Quartz Watch
Quartz Watch Movement
Advantage Disadvantage
Much Cheaper To Get Need Battery To Operate
Very Accurate Ticking Second Hand
Slim And Light

 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches

Let’s see the detail explanation for the pros and cons of an automatic watch.

Advantages Of Automatic Watches:

 

1- Does Not Need A Battery To Function

Automatic watches are self-winding and does not need a battery to run like quartz watch. The mainspring (equal to battery) in automatic watches is recharged by the movement of our wrist while wearing it.

The trick is in the rotating semi-circular rotor at the back of the watch. As the watch moves (either while strapped to our wrist or while being shaken) the rotor will freely rotates.

Subsequently, this tighten the mainspring further, increases it’s potential energy and power reserve.

In addition, we can also manually wind the watch by rotating the crown.

As someone who had used a quartz watch before, I know how inconvenient it is to suddenly realized your watch was dead without any warning whatsoever.

It’s more frustrating when you’re in a busy day working to catch that deadline or important meeting. A dead watch can totally jeopardize this by giving a wrong time to us. Totally troublesome!

With an automatic watch, this is no longer a problem as the power reserve is replenished with your every use.

Just make sure to give a good manual wind every now and then to keep the power reserve at full. No more surprises of a dead watch =)

 


An excellent video showing the difference in the second hands of quartz watch (left) and automatic watch (right)

 

2- Sweeping Second Hand

One thing that automatic watch has that is hard to be replicated in a quartz watch is the sweeping second hand.

This is the unique characteristic of the automatic movement, by virtue of the balance wheel and escapement set.

The quick movement of these parts causes the fluid and smooth movement of the second hand as compared to the jerky tick-tick action of quartz’s second hand.

The sweeping action is actually not that different from the tick-tick action. It’s just that the second hand moves at a high rate, up from 6 beats per second (meaning in one second the hand “jumps” 6 times).

Because of this, the second hand appears to be moving smoothly though if you look at it closely, you’ll notice the minute movements.

There are also automatic watches that have 8 beats per second and even higher than that. The higher beats per second movement will gives a much smoother second hand action as it’s moving at a faster rate.

This cannot be seen in a normal quartz watch due to design. Should a quartz watch make this feature (which is possible), the battery will deplete quickly because of the amount of electricity needed.

I should also add that in recent times, there are also quartz watches that have been designed to reproduce the same sweeping second hand such as the Bulova Precisionist that has a 16 beats per second sweeping second hand.

It’s possible for a quartz watch to have this feature but it’s definitely a rarity and not common.

 

A battle of sweeping second hand between a Rolex Datejust (automatic watch, left) and Bulova Precisionist (quartz, right). The Bulova is a quartz with a special movement that can produce the sweeping second hand and have an amazing accuracy – at a few seconds per YEAR

 

3- Unique Characteristics Of Automatic Watches

Another advantage of the unique characteristics of an automatic watch. First of all, it is a heritage brought by century old of innovation.

Out of touch with recent technological advancements? Perhaps. But no one can deny how these little mechanical watches have a huge attraction to it for being what it is – an elegant timepiece brought to life by no more than moving pieces of steels.

The mechanical things inside this watch is something that is very different and refreshing. Not to mention that most of automatic watches are assembled by hand (with the exception of mass produced Swatch Sistem51 and Sistem51 Irony).

This is very different that quartz watches that are mostly assembled by robots.

Seiko SARB033, one of the most gorgeous automatic watch I’ve ever seen. Seen to the right is the exhibition caseback showing its Seiko 6R15 movement caliber.

 

Some automatic watches also has an exhibition caseback (such as these Seiko SARB033 and Hamilton Khaki King) which shows the beautiful mechanical parts moving around.

It’s totally beautiful and magnificent to look at. You will always wonder how the watchmaker actually make those tiny parts and assemble them together into a fully functioning watch. This is definitely not available even it the highest end of quartz watches =p

victorinox-infantry-vintage2-2

Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph is one example of how an automatic watch is able to be a stopwatch. Without a doubt, a quartz watch can be a better stopwatch but the mechanical precision and detail needed to make an automatic chronograph is simply stunning.

 

One more unique characteristic of automatic watches is the complications. It is basically extra functions the watch can perform such as showing day/date, moon watch, chronograph/stop watch, perpetual calendar, even chiming the time.

With every extra thing the watch can perform besides just showing time the more complex the mechanism will be – thus the name “complication”.

A quartz watch can easily achieve all of these for sure but the electronics of it just don’t have the same awesomeness as this.

 

(Check out these long list of the 30 best automatic watches under $1,000 to $200 that you’ll absolutely love)

 

4- Different Than The Digital World Around Us

Another advantage that automatic watch has is how it’s totally different than the current digital world that we’re living in.

Almost all parts of our lives are in digital: our computers where you read this blog, our smartphones where adults stare almost 3 hours everyday, our cars, television, etc.

Basically everything around us is in digital format, one way or the other.

Thus, the mechanical parts of automatic watch is a breath of fresh air as it does not depend on any digital or electronics to run with.

Personally, I feel that my automatic watch gives me a good place to de-stress after hours of working on my computer. Sometimes, you just need something different to prevent accumulating stresses from our everyday lives.

And if you’re afraid of any apocalypse scenario where no digital/electric stuffs work anymore, the automatic watch might be a good backup – just in case =)

 

5- Generally More Beautiful Than Quartz Watch

Just look at the most beautiful watch and you’ll surely notice that most (if not all) are automatic.

I’m not really sure why this is so but if I’m going to take a guess, I believe it has to do with the manufacturing process of automatic watches itself.

For lower priced automatic watches, it’s possible that the manufacturing will involves mass production.

But for higher grade timepieces with superior movements, it’s almost certain that it will be assembled by hand.

Since its cost is higher due to the hand assembly, it’s only logical for the design, ornamental and aesthetic of the watch to be of a high level so that the company can market it for a higher price.

Sure, there’s also beautiful watches with quartz movements, especially the ladies’ watches because of the need to keep it small.

But if we’re talking about men’s watches, dressy automatic watches with beautiful dials are the norm.

And if you’re thinking of using a watch to complete your style, an automatic might just be what you need.

 

(Read also the 10 Best Automatic Watches Under $200)

 

Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches:

We’ve looked into the advantages of automatic watches. I would be lying if I say that automatic watches don’t have any disadvantages – it do!

Here are some cons that came to my mind:

 

1- Lower Accuracy

Even the most accurate automatic watch with COSC Chronometer are only 4-5 seconds accurate per day.

This means that it will gain or lose 4-5 seconds per day. And this is only at the more expensive automatic watches. Normal automatic watches are can actually have 15-20 seconds accuracy per day.

Before you go into panic mode, these numbers might seem a bit too much but it’s still 99.977% accurate considering we have 86,400 seconds in a day, which is very outstanding for something that’s made of moving steel parts.

It’s definitely much inferior to quartz watches that can be a few seconds accurate in a month.

I’ve made it a habit to reconfirm my watch’s time with my smartphone every morning or before I strap it on.

I also need to add that automatic watch is NOT my main timekeeping device. For that, I have my trusted smartphone which is always right beside me (who doesn’t??).

For me, the watch is used to for it’s convenience to tell time and I personally don’t really care if it’s off by a few seconds or minutes.

 

2- More Expensive Than Quartz

Due to its high amount of minuscule parts, the costs of it can be substantially higher than an equivalent quartz watch which have lower part counts.

Not only that, some automatic movements can only be assembled manually by human leading to high labor costs.

This could be due to differing movement caliber and the design of the watch itself. You just can’t automate large number of different products at the same time.

Because of these factors, a good automatic watch is usually more than $100 in price, though there are some minimalist designs that is more affordable.

By the way, I have to add that Swatch was able to make a simple movement that can be assembled by robots which is the Sistem51 movement.

They are able to do this by using a simplified movement with only 51 part count. A significant improvement as the number of parts in a normal automatic watch usually is more than a hundred.

If other manufacturers can increase their production line automation level, we might be able to see drop in the price. Let’s hope for that shall we =)

 

3- Typically Bigger And Heavier Watch

Automatic watches typically is bulkier and heavier compared to quartz watches. This is due to those stainless steel parts used in it.

For a quick comparison, an automatic watch uses gears to move the energy from its mainspring to the timekeeping device.

On the other hand, a quartz watch uses a small battery (instead of the mainspring which is larger) and some small wires instead of the gears.

In addition, it also depends on the complexity of the movement: automatic watches with complex complications such as chronograph will be much bigger than a normal three-hands auto watch.

But some people actually prefer a heavy watch because it feels more solid and can withstand more punishment.

It gives a bit of a manly feeling with that heavy piece of steel strapped on your watch. If you also feel the same way, do let me know in the comments section below! =)

From my own experience, the first few months of wearing the watch will put some stress on your hand because of the added weight.

But after a few weeks, you will get accustomed to it and might even started missing it when not wearing the watch.

 

4- Most Automatic Watches Have Low Power Reserve

Even though we can recharge automatic watch by simply wearing it, it also has its own power reserve to keep it running.

If the power reserve is used up, the watch will stop working until we give it a good shake or manual wind it.

A common problem with most automatic watches is the low power reserve – I’m talking about 38 to 40 hours equal to less than 2 days.

This is only a problem for those that have more than one watch in their collection. Surely, he/she will like to wear different watches depending on the occasion, or just want to rotate wearing it.

And in just less than 2 days, the watch is dead and you need to restart and adjust the time again.

If you’re wearing your automatic watch everyday, this is not a problem for you.

There are two ways if you want to keep the watch running even without any wrist time: manual winding and watch winder. Check out my post (click the link) to find out more about these two methods.

By the way, I have to add that some companies do make automatic watches with a higher power reserve.

For example, Seiko’s 6R15 movement has 50 hours (slightly more than 2 days) while ETA’s Powermatic 80 has an outstanding 80 hours!

Best part of all, both movements can be had in the low-middle range of prices! Check out some of my reviews in this site to find out more about it.

 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches

We’ve seen the pros and cons of automatic watch. Now let’s see what does quartz watch has in store for us.

 

Advantages Of Quartz Watches:

1- Much Cheaper To Get

One of quartz watch biggest advantage over automatic watches is the much cheaper price.

Easy to manufacture due to lower part counts and not to mention widespread automation makes it very affordable.

A $10 quartz watch is very easy to get, though of course the quality is another different matter. On the other hand, a $10 automatic watch is near impossible to get LOL!

Without a doubt, if you’re just looking for a nice watch for your kids as their first watch, then a quartz is the perfect choice.

 

 

2- Very Accurate

Another great thing about quartz watches is its high accuracy. Due to the high frequency oscillation of the quartz crystal, quart watch retain a much higher accuracy than its automatic counterpart.

The normal standard for its accuracy is +-10 seconds per month, with more expensive quartz watches can be to the tune of +-10 seconds per YEAR (such as this Bulova Precisionist).

It’s totally on a different level than automatic watch in terms of accuracy. If you are looking for a no hassle watch that will show the exact time at any moment, than a quartz could be the perfect choice for you.

And unlike automatic watch, you don’t even have to reset the watch at all (except for when you change the battery of course).

 

3- Slim And Light

Another good advantage of quartz watch is how it’s much lighter than a typical automatic watch.

Well, this is not surprising since the watch is made from small number of components and don’t take up much space as compared to the automatic watch.

Try to pry open a quartz watch and you’ll see how small the components are. Do the same with an automatic watch and you’ll notice how starkly different these two are built.

Not to mention most automatic watch’s case is made of steel – another factor for its weight.

Quartz watch on the other hand, can be made from plastics which also reduces the weight of the watch.

Thinking of buying the first watch for your kid? I’d suggest stick to the quartz watch since it’s less straining on the wrist.

 

Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches:

Now, let’s see what are the cons of quartz watch.

 

1- Need Battery To Operate

Unlike automatic watches, quartz watches need battery to operate. This is one of the main disadvantage of it for a few reasons.

One, the battery will need to be replaced every few years or so. This might be a nuisance for some to do this.

Not only that, most watches don’t have a power indicator to know when your battery might die.

It can be totally unpredictable and depending on when, it can disrupt your day totally. Just imagine you are changing to go to work and wear your watch.

While in commute you check your watch and see that it’s still early so you take a detour to a local cafe for some coffee and sandwich.

When you arrived at your office, your colleagues asked why you were late. In turns out your watch is already dead and you don’t know it…. (it’s a true story that happened to me btw lol..)

Another thing that we need to be wary of is when using complications such as chronograph that can sap the battery faster.

Fortunately the Japanese released this and produced some inventions such as kinetic watch and solar watch.

Seiko has produced its Kinetic watches that can recharge your watch by the movement of your wrist while wearing it.  Meanwhile Citizen is famous with its Ecodrive solar watches that are powered by light.

The beauty of these watches are the battery can lasts for months after one full recharge. This makes them a very useful watch especially for those that don’t like the hassle of changing batteries but still want a quartz watch for its accuracy.

 

(Read here to check out the 10 Best Solar Watches Under $200)

 

2- Ticking Second Hand

Another thing that make quartz watch a bit lesser valued is the ticking second hand. It can be annoyingly loud or quiet, depending on the quality of the quartz watch movement.

Personally, I feel that this is an area that automatic watches really triumphed over quartz watches.

The sweeping second hand is just better to look at compared to these ticking hand.

Of course, there are some watch manufacturer that managed to produced a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand that does not reduce its battery life significantly.

But such watches (such as the Bulova Precisionist) are rare and can command a hefty price tag due to this feature.

 

Bottom Line

Technical and functionality wise, quartz is definitely a step up from the legacy automatic movement.

It features a more accurate timekeeping that’s much superior. In addition, the cost to produce these quartz watches is low and very affordable to everyone.

Wait…

Does this means automatic watch is useless in this age?

Like all questions, it depends..

If you’re one that need a cheap, accurate and no frills watch, the quartz might be the best watch for your.

But if you don’t really mind about the accuracy of the watch since you already carry your smartphone around (like me and literally everybody that I know), then the automatic watch can be an option.

Looking to up your style? What’s better than that good looking automatic watch. It can even be a conversation starter with fellow watch fans.

Irregardless of which, I believe that there’s no right or wrong in this debate. Don’t be swayed by what people tell you about which watch is better to buy. Do your own research and make your own mind yourselves.

Or you just ask for my opinion on what’s the best watch for your situation. I’ll be glad to help =)

 

 

If you have any thoughts about the differences between automatic and quartz watches, please write your comments below. I would love to hear what you guys think.

Till next time then. Ciao!

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Review – Latest Addition To Swatch’s Automatic Watch Family

sistem51-irony-earth-yis400-1

After the success of their Sistem51 automatic watches 3 years ago that sparked lots of buzz in the watch industry, Swatch recently followed up with its latest line, Sistem51 Irony which is basically their Sistem51 automatic movement in a stainless steel case. Just released in September 2016, it is undoubtedly Swatch’s response to those that like the idea of Swatch’s simple and cheaper automatic movement (with 90 hours power reserve!) but don’t really prefer the plastic case and colorful dial/watch face in the original Sistem51. Let’s look what’s the Sistem51 Irony all about and how it’s holding up with the original Sistem51.

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Review - Latest Addition To Swatch's Automatic Watch Family

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Specification

Diameter: 42 mm
Thickness: 13.8 mm
Lug To Lug: 50 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet / leather strap / rubber strap

Movement: Sistem51 Automatic self-wind movement
Power Reserve: 90 Hours

Water Resistance: 3 bar/ 30 m/ 100 feet
Other Features: Date display, Lume on hands (for some model only)

Who Is It For: Those looking for a cheaper automatic watch and might be turned off by the plastic case of the original Sistem51

Price: Less than $200

 

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Review - Latest Addition To Swatch's Automatic Watch Family

The Sistem51 Irony is enclosed in a stainless steel case featuring a more traditional looking dial – unlike the usual colorful looking watch that Swatch if famous for

Sistem51 Irony – Sistem51 Movement In A Stainless Steel Case

The Sistem51 Irony is a crossover of two Swatch’s lines of watches: Sistem51 and Irony lines. The Sistem51 is the automatic watch by Swatch with revolutionary movement (we will discuss this more below). The Irony line on the other hand is the typical Swatch quartz watch but with a stainless steel case.

The result of this is the Sistem51 Irony – the unique Sistem51 automatic movement inside a stainless steel case and more reserved dial design. While the original Sistem51 is housed in typical Swatch plastic casing, the Sistem51 Irony will undoubtedly cater to those that want a more mature automatic watch, something that can be worn to work or social events: those places where a typical colorful Swatch won’t fit in. With this watch, Swatch has blurred the lines between their typical funky looking watches with full fledged watches.

sutt400-sistem-incognito

In comparison, the original Swatch Sistem51 is made of colorful dials and straps. Pictured above is the Sistem51 Incognito

 

A More Elegant Dial

For their newest line, Swatch has released 7 variations of the Sistem51 Irony though I’m sure more will come as what happened with the Sistem51. The dials are more reserved, and uses “normal” colors on a watch such as silver, white, blue and black. The dial design also is not as funky looking as the original Sistem51. Swatch also uses metallic dial to get that gorgeous sunburst effect on some of them.

On the dial is the typical 3 hands with a date indicator at 3 o’clock. The markings are mostly numeral, except for two models that have index markings. It is much reserved and Swatch only used one tone of color on the dial, unlike Sistem51 with lots of bright colors.

In short, the Sistem51 Irony is a toned down Swatch watch. It looks just like any normal watch but you can still sense some Swatch styling DNA in them.

 

Sistem51 Inside A Stainless Steel Case

Another step up from the Sistem51 is the stainless steel case. The case is brushed or polished depending on the models (the rubber strap is brushed while the leather and bracelet versions are polished). It is 42 mm in diameter with 13.8 mm thickness. Lug to lug width is 50 mm. All in all, it’s not too big for a guy’s wrist though a lady could have some problem putting it on.

Something that I don’t like with the case is how it’s not so detailed unlike cases for other watch brands such as Tissots, Bulovas, Hamiltons, Seikos and Orients just to name a few. The case lacks any contour and detail – it’s constructed in a very simple way that is not that exciting to see. I understand that Swatch has to make it very simple to cut costs but a bit of detail on the case’s craftsmanship certainly wouldn’t hurt.

A terrific video showing the latest Sistem51 Irony side by side with the original Sistem51. Inside the video is the Sistem51 Irony Earth (silver dial with brown leather strap), Sistem51 Irony Arrow (black dial with black rubber strap) and Sistem51 Arlequin (silver dial with white rubber strap).

Comes With 3 Strap Options: Rubber, Leather And Stainless Steel Bracelet

Sistem51 Irony comes with 3 strap options, and no, you won’t be able to buy that colorful funky looking strap Swatch is well known about. The straps are traditional in color: rubber in black while leather in brown and black.

One thing to note is that the strap is secured to the watch by Swatch’s typical 3 tangs lugs. This means that you can’t change the strap with an aftermarket strap and have to order it from Swatch. Fortunately the removal of the strap is not so difficult. This video shows how easy it is (in fact the removal and putting it back is much easier than normal watch).

Of all 3 strap options, I like the leather straps the most as it looks quite good with the watch. It’s also have the best look. The rubber strap is too sporty, while the SS bracelet looks cheap to be honest.

 

Sistem51 Automatic Movement – An Innovative Swiss Movement

I’ve written about the Sistem51 automatic movement before (you can read the whole review here) but I would like to say it again that it is the cheapest Swiss automatic around.

The movement is designed by ETA, Swatch Group’s movement manufacturer and comprises of just 51 parts. All of those are grouped into 5 modules. This simplifications (normal automatic movement has more than 100 parts) is done so that the assembly of the watch can be done by machines.

This cut back the time and manpower needed to manufacture the watch, and thus reduces the cost (yay!). A typical Swiss automatic is more than $300 and the Sistem51 retails for less than $150 while the Sistem51 Irony is less than $200. That’s a huge reduction in cost!

 

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Review - Latest Addition To Swatch's Automatic Watch Family

Sistem51 Irony still maintains the exhibition caseback featuring the beautiful rotor and movement design. The rotor will rotate freely even under slight movement showing a pretty pattern while it spun.

 

A Huge 90 hours Power Reserve

Another selling point of the Sistem51 movement is the huge 90 hours power reserve which totally blows most automatic watches out there. To have such a power reserve is just too good to be true. Normal automatic watches will have 40 hours or 1 and a half day before you need to wind or wear it again.

The 90 hours power reserve means the watch can stand idle for almost 4 days! That’s double than what a normal watch can give. Not to mention that it can be manually wind, which means you don’t have to use a watch winder to keep it running.

 

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Release Date And Price

The Sistem51 Irony was released last month, September 2016. The price varies depending on the models (the stainless steel will cost the most, followed by the leather version while the rubber strap will be the cheapest). But it will be less than $200 for sure.

 

Where To Buy Swatch Sistem51 Irony?

As of now, I can’t find any online retailers that stock this watch. There’s none on Amazon or Ebay currently. It’s not surprising actually as the watch is still fresh out of the oven. The only way to get your hand on the Sistem51 Irony is by visiting your local Swatch store. You can also buy it online by visiting Swatch official website.

 

Swatch Sistem51 Irony Review - Latest Addition To Swatch's Automatic Watch Family

 

So, Is The Swatch Sistem51 Irony Worth It?

The original Sistem51 is an automatic in true Swatch fashion: colorful, fun looking watch. It’s a really good second watch for when you hang out with your friends, go on vacation etc. The charm is in the automatic movement that Swatch claims can go up to 20 years without needing any service. That means it’s battery free and you can use it hassle free for the next 20 years.

But this Sistem51 Irony is a bit more than that. It has the same movement but the case is designed to be like a normal watch. It’s cheap for an automatic watch and has a great looking dial but I feel the quality of the steel case is not up to other automatic watch standard.

Maybe it’s done on purpose to maintain that Swatch look but I feel a better case design with some curves here is much needed. To this, I would totally recommend that you visit your nearest Swatch store to check out the watch and make your own opinion yourselves.

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Hope you enjoyed my post on the Swatch Sistem51 Irony. Feel free to put your comments down below. I would love to hear what you think about this new Swatch. Till then. Cheers!

Orient Ray Review – Comparison Between Two Orient Dive Watches : Ray Vs Mako

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review-comparison-between-two-orients-ray-vs-mako

In this post, i’m going to write about Orient Ray review. After the success of their Mako automatic dive watch, Orient follow up to that with their Ray automatic dive watch line which is basically a redesign of the Mako. Both of these are hugely popular among Orient’s fans – you can see many debate of Mako Vs Ray in watch forums with no conclusion.

Both are actually the same watch (movement and casing are the same) but with major difference in their design. We are going to cover the differences between the Ray vs Mako, but before that, let’s have go through Orient Ray review.

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Review

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Specification

Diameter: 41.5mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Lug to Lug Width: 46mm
Lug Width: 22mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Rubber strap or steel bracelet options

Dial: Varies (Black/orange matte dial, Blue metallic dial)
Dial Window: Mineral crystal
Hands: Sword shape hands with lume
Markers: Combination of circle and index markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock
with lume
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel with coin edge. 60 clicks

Movement: Orient Caliber 46943
Movement Features: 21 jewels, 21,600 vibrations per hour (6 beats per second), non-hacking, no manual winding feature
Accuracy: +-10 to 15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Water Resistance: 200 m
Other Features: Day and date display, screw down crown with Orient engraving, screw down pusher (at 2 o’clcok position) to set day display

Best Place To Buy:

Orient Orange Ray EM6500AM – Amazon at $140
Orient Ray Black PVD EM65007B – Amazon at $300
Orient Black Ray EM65008B – Ebay at $270
Orient Blue Ray EM6500CD – Ebay at $320

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review

Dive Watch With Rolex Submariner Look

The Orient Ray is a beautiful looking watch that has all the classic submariner look – big markers, big hands, and big bezel with minute markings. All about this watch is to make it look like a true dive watch. It is one of the striking difference with the Mako.

The Orient Ray has a 41.5 mm diameter which is perfect for most guy’s wrist. It has a 46 mm lug to lug width, not too long and should stay right your wrist. A bit thick at 13 mm but that’s to be expected for any dive watch. Overall, the watch is designed with perfect proportion and not too big which I really like.

There are 3 variation of the dial: black matte, orange matter and blue metallic dials. All three are actually the same as the Mako with the exception of the blue metallic – the Mako has a matte blue dial variation. On the dial are the Orient logo, “Automatic, “Water Resist” and “200m” signatures. Just like the Mako, Orient chooses to keep the signatures on the Ray to minimum.

The markers of the Orient Ray is a combination of circle markers and index markers at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. The markers are big and easy to read which is one of the main features that a dive watch should have.

It’s a standard design of many dive watches nowadays which have taken the cue from Rolex Submariner. Lume are generously applied on the markers to give extra visibility in low light condition.

orient-ray-automatic-dive-watch-review-3

The hands of the Orient Ray are sword shaped hands with lume applied on it too. The hands are big and bold, which will give ample of space to put lots of lume on it. The second hand is silver stainless steel. Lume is applied on the tip with red linings. There are also silver borders around the day and date display. These are the details that Orient have put on the Ray which I really like about.

The watch has an 60-clicks unidirectional rotating bezel. The low click count of the bezel is something that does not go well with some people, but you have to remember that this watch is a low end mechanical piece and it will have some flaws so that Orient can keep the price down.

On top of the bezel is minute markers which is bigger than what you can see on the Mako. Legibility is an important aspect of any dive watch. Truly, the Orient Ray is more of a dive watch than its older brother Mako.

Orient Ray With Date Change Pusher For An Unsymmetrical Design

Just like the Mako, Ray also has the pusher at 2 o’clock to change the date. This is due to the old movement that it has though (the new Mako II and Ray II has an updated Cal. F6922 movement that eliminates the pusher). It’s a disadvantage of the movement of course, but the pusher gives the Ray a unique unsymmetrical design that no other watch has.

Water resistance wise, the Orient Ray can go up to 200 m water resistance. The pusher and crown has screw down, which helped to achieve that water resistance. But it has to be noted that the Orient Ray (and also the Mako) is not an ISO certified dive watch.

Even Orient advises that the watch to be used only for skin diving i.e only for snorkeling etc and definitely for deep dives. For a cheap ISO certified dive watch, I would recommend that you check out Seiko SKX007, a tried and tested dive watch that is very popular with divers around the world.

Watch this awesome review of the Orient Ray to have a closer look at the watch

Orient Cal. 46943 Movement

Like the Mako, the Ray is powered by the Cal. 46943 which is a very trusted movement. It has been used for a long time in most of Orient’s affordable automatic watches.

The Cal. 46943 has 21 jewels and vibrates at 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second. It also has a 40 hours power reserve. Accuracy wise, it is accurate up to +-10-15 seconds per day. It is non-hacking (the second hand will not stop when you want to set the time) and cannot be manually wind.

Not being able to hack the movement is not a big deal for me. But to not being able to manual wind is something else. I really prefer a watch that can be manually wind to keep it running so that I don’t have to reset the time when the watch drop dead when I’m not wearing them.

Not being able to manually wind the watch will leave me with no choice but to use a watch winder, which something that I would only reserve for my most expensive watch and definitely not for the Orient Ray.

Different Dial Colors To Suit Your Taste

Just like the Mako, the Ray also is produced with 3 different dial colors: Black, Blue and Orange. The pepsi bezel of the Mako line is not reproduced in the Ray though. Instead Orient released a black PVD case version of the Ray (which really looks cool!). Check out these 4 variation of the Orient Ray below:

Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch Advantages And Disadvantages

Below are the pros and cons of the Orient Ray Automatic Dive Watch:

Pros:

1- A beautiful dive watch with traditional looks
2- Day and date displays are very useful features
3- Unsymmetrical design due to the pusher at 2 o’clock makes the watch looks very different than other diver’s watch (e.g Seiko SKX007, Invicta Pro Diver, Rolex Submariner, etc)
4- Orient Cal. 46943 movement has been used for decades and has a very good track record as a beater movement with good accuracy and robust performance
5- Affordable price makes it a very good first watch for those starting out with automatic watches

Cons:

1- Mineral crystal dial window scratches easily and not as durable as sapphire
2- Non-hacking and no manual winding movement movement
3- Not an ISO certified dive watch

Orient Ray Vs. Mako

I’ve summarized the difference between the Orient Ray and Mako below for your easy reference. As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Ray and Mako are basically the same watch (case, movement). What sets them apart are the dial design and bezel.

Orient Ray looks more sporty with the dial and bezel of a traditional dive watch. The Mako has a dressier look with the numeral markers and small minute markings on the bezel.

Orient Ray (left) side by side with its older brother, the Orient Mako (right)

 

CRITERIA ORIENT RAY ORIENT MAKO
Case: Same (diameter, thickness, etc) Same (diameter, thickness, etc)
Markers Circles and index markers which give more sporty vibe and true to traditional dive watch Index and numeral markers – make the watch dressier and more unique
Lume More lume applied on the circle markers giving better lume Less lume applied
Hands Double layer hour hand design. Lume on tip of second hand Normal sword shape hands
Bezel Bigger minute markings on bezel Smaller minute markings on bezel
Momement Same (Cal. 46943 Movement) Same (Cal. 46943 Movement)

 

I can’t say the same for you but for me, I like the Mako more. The design of the Ray is just like any other dive watch out and there is no sense of character in them, to be honest. The Mako is a bit different and stylish. Again, this is just my opinion. Feel free to state your preference of the two in the comment section below. I would love to hear what you guys think =)

Conclusion

Orient Ray automatic dive watch is a beautiful and affordable dive watch by the Japanese watchmaker. It has the traditional dive watch look and a unique unsymmetrical design. It’s not an ISO certified dive watch, but then let’s be honest: how many of us actually deep dive? If you are only desk diving (like me lol), then this is one the watch that you have to check out.

I hope you guys enjoy this Orient ray review and comparison with Mako. If there’s any question, feel free to drop it down below. Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac

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Looking To Buy The Orient Ray?

The Ray is a bit hard to be found as it’s an old model. Orient seems to favor the newer (and pricier) Ray II models currently. Fortunately Amazon and Ebay have them in their listings. Below, I’ve listed the cheapest sellers on Amazon and Ebay for the variations of the Orient Ray. Simply click the links below to go to the sellers page:

Orient Orange Ray EM6500AM – Amazon at $140
Orient Ray Black PVD EM65007B – Amazon at $300
Orient Black Ray EM65008B – Ebay at $270
Orient Blue Ray EM6500CD – Ebay at $320

You might also want to check out these affordable diver watches:

1 – Orient Mako
2- Orient Mako 2
3- Seiko SKX007
4- Seiko SKX009
5 – Seiko 5 Sports SNZH53