The one biggest selling point of the Seiko SSC233 is its stylish orange-black dial. The orange markers just seems to burst out from the matte black dial.
It’s truly very trendy and stylish – assuming you’re one of those hip young guys of course LOL. I don’t think older adults would be interested with this kind of style
Though I could be wrong on this. Let me know if you’re already in the older range of age and still find this Seiko SSC233 stylish and desirable =)
Another thing that I like about the dial is how Seiko chose to use full numeral markers on it.
Sure, it makes the dial busier but you can’t deny that it makes the watch easier to read especially for those that have been used to normal clocks.
There is a date window at 4:30 location but I find it to be too small for my liking. Such a small window will be hard for anyone to read the date.
Lume is applied on the hands and markers but is not as good as any of the Seiko’s dive watches. But then again it’s to be expected from a casual watch like this.
3 Subdials with 60-min Chronograph
Being a chronograph, the Seiko SSC233 has an additional 3 subdials for this function.
The right subdial is used to show 24-hour time (more on that later on), while the bottom subdial is for the 60-min chronograph timekeeping.
The left subdial on the other hand is for the running seconds hand. This actually means the main seconds hand (the bigger one) is stationary during normal usage and is only used for chronograph function.
This is the same quartz chrono movement used in the gorgeous Seiko SSC017 which I found to not be as cutting edge as what I’d like.
What I mean is this setup is exactly the same as any automatic chronographs, with a separate running and chronograph seconds hand.
Being a quartz chrono, Seiko can easily use the main seconds hand for both function – easily done since it’s electronically controlled after all.
The left subdial is then free and can be used for hours counter of chronograph or even a power reserve indicator which is much more useful.
But alas, this is not a high-end quartz chronograph (like the Bulova Precisionist) so it’s actually passable.
Still, high-end or not, chronograph subdials do make for a more complicated and sophisticated which is just way cooler than normal watch =)
Has 24-Hour Time Display, But No GMT?
One thing that I need to highlight is that the right subdial is for 24-hour time display and it’s not for GMT or second time zone display.
It’s definitely a good addition as the 24-hour time display can show the current AM/PM that an analog watch lacks.
But still, I believe a GMT subdial where it can show a second timezone will be more useful especially to those that travel often.
What do you guys think? Is the 24-hour time display sufficient or a GMT watch is much more preferable? Leave your thoughts on this at the comments section so that we can discuss further.
Sleek Black PVD Case
Complementing the black-orange theme of the Seiko SSC233 dial is a stylish black PVD stainless steel casing. It’s the finishing touch on this beautiful and trendy watch.
The case is a bit on the big side with 45 mm diameter and 12 mm thick.
I’d think those with smaller wrists should think carefully as there is a big possibility the watch’s lug will hang off from your wrist (which is not a good sight. Think baggy clothes/pants and you’ll get what I mean).
On top of the watch is a Hardlex crystal, Seiko’s own enhanced mineral crystal. It’s supposed to have a higher impact resistance, but sadly the scratch resistance is not there.
My advice is to take good care of the watch and avoid any contact with hard surface (concrete, steel, etc.) as there is a good possibility that your hardlex will be scratched.
The watch also has a 100 m water resistance. While most owners of this watch will never swim with it, it’s still a good feature to have.
Well, better safe than sorry right?
One thing that’s a bit strange about this watch is it’s black nylon strap. The nylon strap which is hooked up to the 22 mm lug width is strangely out of place.
While the case and dial are immaculate, the nylon strap is a bit too cheap in comparison.
It’s be much better if Seiko can use a leather band with orange stitchings on the watch instead (which many owners of the Seiko SSC233 have done LOL!)
Seiko Solar Quartz Movement
One of the best features that the Seiko SSC233 has is its solar powered movement. Being a solar watch, this means there is no need to frequently change its battery.
This is because the watch will automatically convert any light (minimum strength is our house/office light) to electrical energy instantly!
The secret lies within the photo-voltaic cells underneath its black dial using the same mechanism as solar roofs.
Charging it is a breeze since we only need to wear it while exposing it to any light. A man-made light will require longer exposure time while a bright sunlight can easily charge the battery in a few minutes.
In my opinion, the combination of chronograph and solar watch is definitely a good thing.
Chronographs can squeeze the juice out of the battery of a normal quartz watch faster. But if the watch is a solar watch, this is not a problem since the battery is easily recharged.
Also, being a quartz watch mean a very accurate timepiece is at your disposal.
Accuracy wise, it has a +-15 seconds per month gain or lose time which is much more accurate than even the best and most expensive automatic watches.
This makes this watch very suitable for those that want an accurate and fuss free timepiece.
In my opinion, those who like a very stylish and trendy watch should get the Seiko SSC233. It’s definitely will attract lots of attention from people due to its great look and unique color combination.
Not to mention the chronograph function with subdials adds to the complexity and cool factor of the watch.
(Check out also the Seiko Monster, another watch which uses orange on its dial)
The Seiko SSC233 is also suitable for anyone that want a convenient watch and does not like to change its battery every couple of years. This solar watch will take care of the recharging immediately, without you guys even noticing.
Who Should Not Get It?
In my opinion, those with a smaller wrist will not find this Seiko SSC233 watch a good companion. The big 45 mm diameter is only suitable for bigger wrists.
Beautiful watch aside, I sincerely believe a good fitting watch to a wrist is an important part of our overall style which is why I don’t recommend it for those with small wrists.
Secondly, since the watch uses non-traditional orange color, it’s not a suitable watch for formal functions.
Seiko SSC233 is one of those watches that just grab your attention to it with its stylish orange-black dial. It’s also a cool watch, no thanks to the chronograph function.
Being a solar watch makes it a total convenience while reducing the work needed to change the battery. For a great all round watch with trendy look and without breaking your bank account, this is the watch you guys have to seriously consider.
I hope you guys like this Seiko SSC233 review. Let me know if you guys have any questions about it.
In today’s post, I’m going to write about Bulova Marine Star review, a beautiful chronograph watch with diver’s watch look. What’s special about this watch? Well, for a start, it’s designed nicely and looks great with modernstyling. Just look at that deep blue watch face… Hats off to Bulova’s design team for creating a very exquisite timepiece!
Marine Star 96B256 – Beautiful Oceanic Blue Dial
Since there is quite a number of Marine Star watches, I’ve chosen the most gorgeous of them all to review, the 96B256 model with blue metallic dial. The watch is a perfect combination of polished stainless steel case, “marine” blue dial with metallic sunburst effect, white markers/hand and orange accent on the smaller hands.
Despite the elegance of the watch, the Marine Star lineup is supposed to be the brand’s diver’s watch line – except that it’s not really a diver’s watch… More on that later on.. Let’s have a look at Bulova Marine Star review shall we.
“.. with dive-look details.” This means the Marine Star watches are not real diver’s watch, just a look-a-like. A real bummer to be honest but the watch sure looks damn good!
Bulova Marine Star Specification (96B256)
Diameter: 43 mm Thickness: 13 mm Lug Width:22 mm Case: Stainless steel case Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Dial:Blue metallic sunburst dial Watch Crystal: Mineral crystal Hands: Sword hands Markers: Index markers with lume Inner Dial:Rotating inner bezel with minute markings Subdials: Running second hand (bottom), 1/10th second chronograph (right), 60-min chronograph measurement (left)
Movement: Bulova Quartz chronograph movement Movement Features: 1/10th second chronograph function Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month Power Reserve: 2-3 years
Water Resistance:100 m / 330 feet Other Features: 1/10th second chronograph, Date window, Rotating outer ring for dive measurement
Bulova Marine Star Manual:Click Here For Manual (Source-Bulova Website)
This Marine Star is packed with diver’s watch look details. It has big index markers and sword hands for optimum visibility. On top of them, lume are applied exhaustively for usage in low light situations.
The biggest attraction is of course the marine blue dial, applied with a metallic sunburst effect on the watch face. I like blue, and I’m really smitten by this watch’s dial color. It just looks totally gorgeous!
The usage of white markers/hands and the orange accents (on the subdial hands, main seconds hand tip, date) really complement the blue dial beautifully. It’s like a work of arts!
Around the outer ring of the dial are minute markings that is can used to track diving time. This outer ring can be rotated by using the crown at top left (10 o’clock) position. I kinda like this outer ring design as it gives more dial area to wonder at that luxurious blue watch face. Not to mention the outer chapter ring is sloped from the dial to the crystal giving a nice 3-D effect.
It’s a really good looking watch. The oceanic blue metallic dial is very befitting of the “Marine Star” line up. The polished stainless steel case also make it more stylish
The 96B256 is a chronographversion of the Marine Star watches (there are also the normal watch version). It has 3 extra subdials: running second hand (bottom), 1/10th second chronograph (right) and 60-min chronograph measurement (left).
It really looks gorgeous and symmetry, save for the date window at bottom right (which is a great addition to function btw). Usage of the blue and white colors are just nicely done. With some orange colors sprinkled on it, the dial design looks perfect. It looks sleek, very sharp and modern.
No Minute Markings On The 60-Minute Subdial
The only thing that I’m not satisfied with the dial is the left subdial (60-min chronograph measurement). The markings on the subdial are for every 5 minutes which is not appropriate. I really wonder how can we actually figure out for certain how many minutes has the chronograph run since the markings are every 5 minutes? It should have a marker at every minute.
No minute markings on the 60-min chronograph subdial (9 o’clock position). A bad decision that reduces the practicality of the chronograph
I believe this is done for aesthetic reasons as putting a marking at each minute will make it look busier. Bulova also wants to make the 60-min subdial to be symmetry with the 1/10th seconds (both only have minimal markings on them). I concede it look great too.
But then what good does it do if we cannot accurately know how many minutes has passed with the chronograph? The minutes are the MOST important measurement. Most people only run their chronographs for a few minutes at a time. To not able to tell it accurately is a real flaw to a chronograph watch.
Finely Crafted Case
The polished stainless steel case really just make the Marine Star looks great. The 43 mmdiameter case is not too big nor too small, a good size for many men’s wrist. It has a thickness of 13 mm which is just average for a chronograph. The lug width is 22 mm and attached to a stainless steel bracelet.
Bulova certainly put lots of effort on the case. The case is crafted in such a way that it looks being cut by laser. The bezel sides are textured – there is no indication of cutting corners here. Just like the Bulova Precisionist, the brand really knows how to design a good case. Just like the dial, the stainless steel case also looks elegant and sharp.
No Screw Down Crown/Pusher
The first thing that I noticed is missing from this “diver’s watch” is the screw down crown and pushers. That’s when I figured out that this is not a real diver’s watch.
The thing is, the crown plus the 3 pushers/knobs are 4 highly critical area for water ingress into the watch. Not having screw down protection on all 4 of them is not that good for sure.
Since it has 100 m water resistance, I think we can use it for swimming (I’ve had a non-screw down watch too and used it for swimming for many times. No issue at all). But to use this watch for deeper dives? Nope. I don’t think that a wise thing to do.
Only Mineral Crystal?
Another thing I’m having trouble understanding is the mineral crystal that it has. Mineral crystal is not as scratch and impact resistant as sapphire (read this post on differences between watch crystal types).
But then Bulova listed this at $425 MSRP – perplexing since watches at that price point should always have sapphire instead of the much cheaper mineral crystal. Other brands (even the Swiss) would throw a sapphire for anything above $400.
Fortunately, this watch is also selling on Amazon for a much cheaper $220. If you guys want to buy the Marine Star, I’d suggest to get it from Amazon for cheaper and more sensibly price for the watch.
Bulova’s Quartz Movement – Chronograph With 1/10th Second
Inside the Bulova Marine Star is a quartz movement with chronograph. By using a quartz movement, Bulova is able to keep the profile of the watch thinner while also keeping the costs down.
Automatic chronographs are much more expensive with the cheapest ETA chronograph movement can be had at more than $500, but will it comes with lesser function and thicker profile.
In my opinion, a quartz chronograph is the way to go especially if you are limited on budget. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m still leaning heavily of automatic movements as I believe they are more sophisticated, have character and I just love those mechanical moving parts.
Quartz chronographs are the better choice in my honest opinion. More functions, more accurate and much cheaper than their automatic counterpart
But for chronographs, I’d prefer a quartz movement because it’s much more functional and can be designed to have lots of functions. And of of course it’s more friendly to our wallet =)
Just take a look at the Bulova Precisionist. It has a 1/1000th second chronograph with very beautiful gliding seconds hand action. Mind you, these are the kind of things can never be replicated by an automatic watch (only to my knowledge.. if there are automatic chronographs that can achieve those feats, I’m sure it will cost a bomb).
Another advantage of quartz movement is how accurate it is. A +-15 seconds per month accuracy is fairly typical for a quartz while an automatic can gain or lose that much in a day. The power reserve of this quartz is around 2-3 years, though it relies on how heavy the chronograph is being used.
Who Is The Bulova Marine Star For?
If you love blue, then this Marine Star 96B256 is the watch to get. It has that beautiful blue sunburst dial that’s very lovely to look at. Plus, the white and orange colors of the subdials/markers works beautifully with the blue dial for a gorgeous look on the dial.
If you love chronograph with modern style, this is the perfect watch for you. Its strength lies in the beautifully designed dial and detail case shape that’s just gonna attract attention of those that laid eyes on it =)
Who Should Not Get This Watch?
But if you want a real chronograph diver’s watch, then sadly this is not for you. Its lack in markings of the 60-min subdial measurement make it not a great or functional chronograph to use. Without screw down crowns and pushers, it’s not a really dependable diver’s watch either.
Some might disagree with me by saying a screw down is not needed for water resistance. That’s true as seals and gaskets can be placed around the crown/pusher stems inside the watch to avoid water ingress. But how long can this last? A screw down is the best solution for good and reliable water resistant watch – the one that diver’s need the most.
For the best chronograph watches, check out my compilation here
For a good diver’s watch, I’d suggest to check out the Seiko SKX007/SKX009and SRP777 Turtle, two great diver’s watch with affordable price tags. The Seiko Monster is also a good choice, though it has an aggressive look that might not be everyone’s preference.
Below are the summary of pros and cons about this watch. Disclaimer: this is based solely on my opinion. If you guys disagree with me, kindly leave your comments down below. Let’s have a nice discussion about this =)
Beautiful metallic sunburst blue dial
Great chronograph with 1/10th seconds measurement
Sleek and elegant watch perfect for sports or casual use
Accurate quartz movement
Mineral crystal can be easily scratched and not shatter-proof
No screw down crown and pushers
Not a “serious” diver’s watch
60-min chronograph measurement subdial only has markings at 5-min intervals
Want To Buy The Marine Star? Get It Cheapest On Amazon!
The MSRP of this Bulova Marine Star is about $425 (from Bulova’s website) but we can always get it cheapest from Amazon. Amazon currently lists this 96B256 model for just about $220, almost 50% less than the MSRP. Amazon also has other models of the Bulova Marine Star watches on the site that you can see. Click the link below to check it out!
Bulova has created a really beautiful watch in the Marine Star 96B256. It’s metallic blue sunburst dial gives the oceanic look to it, complementing the “Marine Star” name of the line up of watches. Having a diver’s watch and chronograph elements make the watch looks more busy, but elegant and modernly styled. As I’ve mentioned above, if you like blue, then this is the watch to get =)
I hope you guys enjoyed this article on Bulova Marine Star review. If you have any comments or feedback, just let me know.
Leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to subscribe =)
In today’s post, I’m going to do a Seiko SSC017 review – a watch that’s popular among Seiko fans because of its cheap price, high amount of features and quality.
It’s also one of Seiko solar dive watch, a great combination of Seiko’s own solar technology with its dive watch technology (such as the SKX007 fame).
So what do we get from the SSC017? In summary this is an ISO complied fully functioning dive watch, huge 200 m water resistance, accurate quartz chronograph movement, solar powered (very convenient as it take out the disadvantage of having to change a quartz watch battery), super bright LumiBrite lumes, 5 beats per second sweeping chronograph seconds hand.
And most important of all the cool sporty dive/chronograph watch look that it has!
Without any delay, let’s look at the Seiko SSC017 review, another great value for money Seiko solar dive watch.
Seiko SSC017 Solar Dive Watch Specification
Diameter: 43 mm Thickness:13 mm Lug Width: 20 mm Case: Stainless steel case Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with dive extension
Dial:Black dial Watch Crystal:Hardlex crystal Hands:Arrow hands with lume Markers:Circle markers with lume Bezel: Unidirectional rotating dive bezel with minute markings (black and blue colors) Subdials: Running second hand (left), 24-hour time (right), 60-min chronograph measurement (bottom)
Movement: Seiko Caliber V175 – Solar quartz movement Movement Features: Solar powered, Chronograph function with 1/5 second increment, 6-month power reserve Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per month Power Reserve: 6 months (for a maximum of 1-hour chronograph used everyday)
Water Resistance: 200 m / 660 feet Other Features: Date feature, Chronograph, Dive bezel, LumiBrite luminous material on markers and hands, Solar powered quartz movement, Meeting ISO Standards for dive watches, Screw down crown and pushers, Energy depletion warning
The dial of the SSC017 is a cool looking watch face with black background color. Due to its chronograph function, the dial is a bit busy with 3 additional subdials: running second hand (left), 24-hour time (right) and 60-min chronograph measurement (bottom).
On top of that, it also has the typical dive watch dial: big bulky hands and circle index markers – both filled with Seiko’s famed LumiBrite lume.
With the amount the lume is applied, I’m quite sure the luminiscent will be able to hold on for quite some time. The 24-hour time inside the right subdial is very convenient which I really love.
There is also a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock markers, but it’s too small in my opinion. Using a black background for the date window also make it kinda blend in with the black dial and thus making it harder to look at.
The main seconds hands stem are blue in color which is a very nice detail to complement the blue bezel. Blue hand is also used at the bottom subdial for minutes measurement.
At the edge of the dial are minute markings with 5 fine increments between them for the 1/5 second chronograph measurement.
Looking carefully, you are going to notice that the dial consists of two layers: the upper layer is the outer edge until the markers and a lower layer for most of the dial. Quite a nice touch there Seiko!
All in all, this is a very cool looking watch. Well, it sure is. It combines the two most cool looking watch designs – dive and chronograph – giving us a a great combination of both.
200m Water Resistant Case
The casing of this Seiko SSC017 is made of stainless steel with polished finishing.
Unlike the higher grade SARB lines, the case of this watch is straight, without any beautiful curves and cuttings. The sides feel down from the bezel straight to the bottom plate and is highly polished.
It has a diameter of 43 mm with 13 mm thickness. Not a small watch by any means but still very wearable.
It’s quite thick for a quartz watch but since it’s a chronograph with Solar and 200 m water resistance, I would say the thickness is just about right.
Lug width is 20 mm and it comes with a polished and brushed stainless steel bracelet out of the box. Seiko doesn’t skip out on the bracelet as it has a dive extension located near to the clasp.
This extension will lengthen the bracelet’s length and normally used by divers to wear the watch above their wet suit. Not bad eh for a $200 watch?
Another great thing about it is the 200 m water resistance rating which is assuring. Not to mention it also qualifies with ISO 6425 dive watch requirements making it a great choice for divers.
The crown and chronograph pushers are all screw down type, so it’s best not to use those underwater.
The diving bezel has a black and blue colors which is a very nice design. I’ve seen other models of this having different bezel color (green, red, etc) but somehow I like the blue one the most (which is why I’m reviewing the SSC017 lol).
It seems that I’m not along in this regard as Amazon shows the blue variation is the most popular among other Seiko solar dive watches.
Seiko Solar Quartz Chronograph Movement V175
Inside the Seiko SSC017 is the V175 movement, a Seiko Solar quartz chronograph. What I love the most about this movement is the solar bit – there is no need to change the battery like normal quartz.
And of course the quartz movement comes with a very high accuracy ( +- 15 seconds per month) compared to an automatic watch (read this article for more comparison between quartz and automatic).
And if you are wondering whether the watch has any power reserve, the answer is yes. But unlike normal 40 hours power reserve of an automatic, this watch has 6 months power reserve that’s absolutely terrific.
And to charge it back again is very simple. Just use the watch outdoor under bright sun and it will charge automatically. It can also be charged by exposing to normal light but it’s not as effective though.
Table showing the recharge time required for different light intensity (lamp, sunlight, cloudy). For full info, read the Seiko SSC017 Manual here.
If the power reserve goes very low, the seconds running hand (left subdial) will start to move at 2-seconds interval and the chronograph can’t be used.
It’s meant to conserve power and also let the users know about the low power reserve. By then, what we have to do is just to expose it to bright sunlight for just a few hours for a full charge. Voila! It couldn’t be easier!
1/5 Seconds Chronograph
We know that quartz movement has that tick-tock seconds hand action right? Well the Seiko SSC017 watch is also the same with the running seconds hand at the left subdial.
But the great thing is the chronograph seconds hand (the bigger blue hand) is a moving at a 1/5 second rate which means it’s actually sweeping with 5 beats per second.
Now that’s a great thing that I really like. Firstly, it will be more accurate than a normal 1-second increment chronograph.
Secondly, it’s just look much better! Granted the beat per second count is still fairly low but it’s still a sweeping seconds hand =)
Operating the chronograph is fairly easy. Top pusher is used to start/pause the stopwatch while the bottom pusher is for resetting it. The chronograph will record only up to 1-hour measurement.
It’s a bit low, frankly speaking, but most normal watch users will not have to measure time more than that. If you need to measure more than 1-hour due to work, hobby etc, then you need to find different chronographs for that.
One improvement that I think Seiko should implement is to make the chronograph seconds hand the running seconds hand too. By doing this, they can free up the left subdial for maybe 6-hour time measurement subdial.
Of course in doing so, they need to have a different pusher to change the mode from normal watch to chronograph watch.
And while at that, make the running seconds hand has a sweeping motion with 8 beats per second – which will definitely cut the power reserve.
But since it is solar powered, there is no problem with recharging. I’m definitely okay with just barely a month of power reserve, as long as I can have that beautiful sweeping seconds hand. Hope somebody from Seiko will read this =P
So who should get this watch? Solar powered for a long lasting and easy recharging, chronograph for time measurement, accurate quartz movement, sweeping chronograph seconds hand, 200m water resistance.
And a cool looking dive and chronograph watch. If you tick yes for all of that then this is the perfect watch for you.
This Watch Is NOT For……
It’s not for those looking at normal watches. As mentioned earlier, the SSC017 is a combination of dive and chronograph watch.
But it does not have the full feature of both (due to size constraint etc.). For a start, it does not have a tachymeter scale normally found in chronos. So if you watn a full fledge chronograph, then this might not be what you’re looking for.
(Read my article here on the best chronograph watches as alternative to the SSC017.)
Pros And Cons
1- Cool looking dive watch with black and blue colors
2- Bright LumiBrite lume on the markers and hands
3- 1/5 seconds increment chronograph gives a beautiful sweeping hand motion
4- Solar powered giving it high power reserve and easy recharging
5- Huge 200m water resistance rating
6- Accurate quartz movement
1- Not a full fledged chronograph
Where To Buy Seiko SSC017? What’s Its Best Price?
So where to buy this cool Seiko solar dive watch? Currently Amazon has the best price for this Seiko SSC017. It’s listed on the website for way less than its MSRP of $425. Click the link below to check it out on Amazon.
What’s left to say about this amazing watch? I, for one, really love its very cool look of dive and chronograph watch combination.
The solar powered movement is another huge plus to this watch as there is no need for any battery change or anything. Having a sturdy base with 200 m water resistance rating also makes it a very robust watch.
Overall, the Seiko SSC017 is a perfect for your casual and sports events. And I won’t even be surprised if anyone wears this to office.
I can imagine it looks great with suits too. At its current price range, this could just be the most value for money watch ever with its long list of features.
Hope you guys love this Seiko SSC017 review. If you have any questions or comments regarding this Seiko solar dive watch, feel free to drop it down below. Till next time.
Hello there! Today’s post is going to be about Tissot Quickster review. This Quickster model lineup by the Swiss brand is designed to be a modern sports watch. While the PRS 516 models are more towards motor sports, the Quickster is designed with general sports in mind. In today’s post, I’m going to cover the Quickster Chronograph (T0954173605700) model.
In essence, it’s a really good looking watch. I just love how they combine the orange accent into the black dial/case/leather strap. It’s very handsome, and with the chronograph subdials give it a more complicated look that’s very cool. No doubt it will be a great watch for casual weekend outings. It’s also not as expensive as other Swiss watches (it’s a quartz btw) so that’s definitely a plus factor.
Without further ado, let’s get on to the Tissot Quickster review shall we.
Tissot managed to create a very good looking sports watch with this timepiece. The overall theme color of the watch is black with orange and white/silver colors sprinkled around the watch.
As this watch is a chronograph (or a stopwatch. You can read my post here on what is chronograph watch all about), the dial is naturally busy with 3 subdials to show the stopwatch measurements.
First subdial at the top right is for 10 hours stopwatch measurement while the top left subdial is for minutes stopwatch measurement. The bottom subdial is the running seconds hand – that means the main seconds hand is not always moving and used solely for the chronograph. That’s the biggest flaw I can see with this watch: it has substandard quartz chronograph movement (which I’m gonna discuss at the lower section of this post).
Nevertheless, the subdials are neatly placed and designed with minimalist white markings. And do you notice how the font of those markings (subdial, tachymeter scale on the bezel ring) are so well put and fine to look at? It’s a modern font and really complement the theme of a modern sports watch here.
Orange Accent On The Dial And Strap
A very nice touch on the design of this watch is the use of orange colors with the index hour markers. Honestly, I don’t know that black and orange can get along so well like this. Seriously, the orange markers really pop up and bring the watch dial to a whole new level. And it definitely make it much more sporty.
In addition, this Tissot Quickster also uses orange stitching on the leather strap to give it a very nice contrasting. The hands of the watch are normal bar hands with lume (as with all Tissot’s sports watch models). The end of the main seconds hand has a “T” shape – another trademark design of some sort by the brand.
At the 4 o’clock position, a date window has replaced the index marker. It’s somewhat destroy the symmetry of the watch but added a function that’s very beneficial. I definitely prefer a watch with date (and day) functions as it make the watch more functional.
All in all, Tissot has managed to make this Quickster model a very handsome sports watch. I love its symmetry and orange accent on an overall black watch. The chronograph subdials are designed not to make the dial too busy, but still give it a cool complex look.
Black PVD Coated Case
To complement the black dial, the Quickster uses a black PVD coated stainless steel case which is just gorgeous and elegant to look at. There is nothing special with the case: straight sides and moderately sized lugs; but I love how the black PVD make the case so refined and great to look at.
It’s in 42 mm diameter, which is a good size that can fit most men’s wrist comfortably. It’s also quite thin at 11 mm thick – which is not surprising since it’s a quartz movement. An ETA automatic chronograph movement will take more than 13 mm thickness though (such as this Tissot Couturier Chronograph).
The lug to lug distance is about 47.5 mm and lug width is 20 mm. On the top is an aluminum ring bezel that is marked with tachymeter scale. For those that don’t know about it, tachymeter scale is used with the chronograph to quickly calculate the distance of any object. Read this post to know how it works (plus some other cool chronograph functions available).
A Mediocre Quartz Chronograph Movement
Inside the watch is a quartz chronograph movement ETA 610.211 (ETA is a movement company inside the Swatch Watch Group – the same parent group of Tissot). The usage of a quartz movement has helped to push down the price of chronographs as a Swiss automatic chronograph will costs at least $500.
Quartz is a good movement for sure. It’s cheap, allows for thinner profile and best of all, it’s very accurate often times up to a few seconds a month whereas the typical automatic watch will have that kind of accuracy in a day. For in-depth comparison of automatic vs quartz movement, read this post.
To operate the chronograph is very simple. Just push the top right pusher to start the time measurement and push it again when you want to stop the time. The main seconds hand will measure the seconds while the top left and top right will measure the minutes and hours respectively.
Sadly the ETA 610.211 quartz chronograph movement in this Tissot Quickster is mediocre compared to what we can get for the same price with other brands. For a start, the main seconds hand is use solely for chronograph function while the bottom subdial is for running seconds.
Now this is typical for most automatic chronographs since it’s the limitation of the mechanical movement but a quartz watch can easily be made such that the main seconds hand is running and can also be used for chronograph function. At least for $310 that’s what I would expect.
Another main gripe about the chronograph is how it does not sweep and moves with a normal tick-tock motion. Again, it’s something normal for quartz watches since it’s done to ensure the battery last long but for a $310, Tissot can always make a higher grade movement that have sweeping second hand while also maintaining normal 2-3 years of battery life.
With all of this, I would say the chronograph movement is mediocre and not good value for money.
So who should get this Tissot Quickster? I think it’s perfect for people who want to wear a very stylish watch as a casual watch during weekends. It’s very well designed. Not too busy and looks cool to be worn.
Who Should NOT Get The Quickster?
For a start, those that expect a great chronograph movement should not get this watch. It’s very handsome for sure, but it’s movement is quite lacking. I sincerely believe for the same price, one can always get a watch with better chronograph function. For some alternatives to the Quickster……
The Other Alternatives…
1- Bulova Precisionist 96B175
The best bang for buck (at least as chronograph watch movement is concerned) is definitely the Bulova Precisionist. With a cutting edge quartz movement that’s super accurate (up to 10 seconds a YEAR), this watch just oozes of great technology.
It’s seconds hand has beautiful sweeping action (it can act as running seconds hand and also chronograph hand) but still can maintain the normal 2-3 years battery life. Not to mention it can also measure up to 1/1000th of a second – that’s something a digital stopwatch can do.
With a very distinctive look, it’s a about the best chronograph watch that money can buy.
It might not look as elegant as the Quickster but it surely is quite cool. On top of the watch is a slide rule that can be used for so many manual calculations such as multiplication, division, square roots, etc. It also has compass ring, tachymeter and many conversion scales. A very tool/utility watch indeed.
The main second hand only functions for chronograph but I like how it has a nice sweeping action to it. Not to mention it also has split time function, a great tool for when we want to time a race or such events. It even has an alarm that can also be used to set a second time zone!
If you need a chronograph that’s not just look cool but also have all the tools that a pilot uses (even more!), this would be the perfect choice for you.
1- Handsomely stylish modern watch that looks stunning
2- Great build quality – as expected from a Swiss brand
3- A cheaper option for a Swiss watch
1- Mediocre quartz chronograph movement
2- No sweeping seconds hand for chronograph function
Want to get your hand on this stylish watch? Get it from Amazon!
Tissot Quickster Price And Where To Buy It
Wanting to get this stylish watch? Then Amazon has the best offer for it. It’s MSRP is around $495 but can be had for just way lesser than that on Amazon. Click the link below to check out the watch on Amazon.
Tissot Quickster is a very stylish watch from the Swiss brand. It really looks cool with the chronograph subdials and two extra pushers at the right side. Tissot made a great job to make the dial not so busy, thus creating an elegant sporty look for the watch. The usage of orange and white on a total black watch is another great decision by the design team.
My only dissatisfaction is with the basic chronograph movement that it has. It functions just like an automatic movement despite being a quartz – and quartz chronographs can be very very advanced and much better than this. Considering the price, I feel that Tissot can use a better quartz chrono movement to make it more valuable for money.
Hope you guys love this Tissot Quickster review. For any questions or comments, drop it at the section below. Till next time.
Cool looking chronograph watch are popular but what are the best chronograph watches for men? This post will list down 5 of the best chronograph watches for men I’ve reviewed on this site. Now let’s get on with it shall we.
1- Bulova Precisionist 96B175 – Tough And Rugged 1/1000th Second Chronograph
I have to say this Bulova Precisionist is technically the best chronograph watch with analog display. The watch looks totally rugged with its big dimension and distinct styling. The watch construction is highly detail, and I’ve never seen any other watch case that has been put so much effort in designing and crafting such as this watch.
Its run by Bulova Precisionist movement, a cutting edge quartz movement from the legendary watch maker. For a start, this quartz watch is very accurate up to 10 second per year whereas normal quartz watch is only accurate up to 10 second per month. The 262kHz on the dial signifies the very high vibration rate of the quartz movement (262144 cycles per second) that is 8 times more than normal quartz watch. It also features a smooth sweeping seconds hand, a feat that Bulova achieves by their own patented movement.
The chronograph function is sort of extraordinary. First, the chronograph seconds hand and running seconds hand is the same that is the big seconds hand. This is only exclusive with quartz watch though. Automatic watch chronograph cannot do this and need two different seconds hand for both function. This is one of the reason why I personally favor quartz chronograph over automatics.
It’s able to measure up to 1/1000th second which is just outstanding. To put in context, the Bulova Precisionist enables you to measure time until 57.845 second – that’s something you can only do with digital watch. And did I mention it looks great with the very smooth sweeping seconds hand? For a tough and rugged watch that’s also a very accurate chrono, this is the best option for you.
Another quartz chronograph on the list. This time its this popular aviation watch from Seiko. The Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 is very popular because of the cool technical look of it. It has lots (and I really mean LOTS) of scale on the watch. It has rotary slide rule (useful for various simple mathematical calculations such as multiplication, division, even square roots), compass ring, tachymeter, conversion scale (weights, length, volume) and a few others. Seiko was able to incorporate those utility scales into a good looking and cool watch.
The chronograph has split time function, which means it can pause the display while still recording the time measurement. For instance, we can stop the chronograph display (the time measurement is still continuing in background), take our sweet time to jot down the time display somewhere and then by one click, the display will catch up to the actual time measurement. Very useful for racing events that involves many laps.
This FlightMaster SNA411 is a very utility and tool like aviation watch. If you need a chronograph that’s not just look cool but also have all the tools that a pilot uses, this would be the perfect choice for you.
3- Citizen Eco-Drive Perpetual AT4010-50E – Automatic Sync To Atomic Time
Citizen is very famous for their Eco-Drive quartz movement that boasts up to 9 months of power reserve and can be charged by light. This watch is no different except that it has 4 additional features: automatic synchronization to atomic time, perpetual calendar, chronograph and alarm
Every night at 2 am, this watch will try to get radio signals and automatically sync its time to atomic time. Considering the accuracy of a typical quartz watch is about 10 second per month, this watch definitely has the best accuracy of any watch at any time because it syncs every day! Just to be clear, it only works in the 4 major timezones in US (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific) plus London timezone only.
Besides that, it also has perpetual calendar (meaning we don’t need to change the date to suit leap years), fully functioning chronograph and even alarm clock! Encased in titanium made the watch much lighter than normal stainless steel and perfect for those that has allergy to normal steel. Wanting a state-of-the-art watch powered by solar and always accurate? Then this is the watch for you. Who says only smartwatches can be a technology gadget?
Let’s move on to the Swiss chronograph watches for men. Tissot has created this amazingly sleek chronograph that looks really elegant. Just compare its look to the other chronographs listed above and you will get what I mean. Tissot also produces many super cool sporty chronograph watches (such as their MotoGP limited edition watches) but they never forget their root and still continue producing elegant Swiss automatics for their fans.
The face of this watch is pitch black, contrasted by the signatures, markers and hands on the dial. It looks absolutely stunning on a black leather strap, and look quite formidable with its 43 mm diameter and thick lugs. The chronograph automatic movement is made by Swiss ETA featuring their C01.211 movement. For a quality Swiss chronograph watch, that is still affordable, this is it.
5- Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph 241526 – Military Chronograph From Swiss
Last but not least is another Swiss chronograph watch but this time with military/field watch styling. The Victorinox Swiss Army (or VSA) Infantry Chronograph has a very good looking military style design with gunmetal PVD case for that rugged look. Coupled with luxuriously applied lume on the dial, this is a full fledged handsome field watch.
This watch is powered by ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement – a legendary chrono movement in Swiss watch making history. One unique feature is the telemeter scale on it (it seems that Victorinox is hell-bent to create a real military watch with this feature). For a more adventure type of chronograph with automatic movement and made with Victorinox’s Swiss high quality craftsmanship, it can’t get better than this.
Now, you might realised that in this list I’ve listed many quartz chronographs right? But this is supposed to be an automatic watches blog for men? Well, the truth is it’s very difficult to find an automatic chronograph watch that is affordable. Swiss automatic chronographs mostly retails more than $500. Some Chinese watchmakers do produce automatic chronos for cheaper prices but I’d steer clear of them until a clear quality record has been established and verified. Fact is, automatic chronograph movements are very complicated and hence very expensive. Quartz chronographs on the other hand will cost much less and has more features- the Seiko FlightMaster SNA411is a good example of how cheap a high quality quartz chronograph can be.
Another thing to remember is using the chronograph function will use up lots of juice of your watch regardless quartz or automatic. So keep this in mind when you want to watch that little seconds hand glide =)
I hope you guys find this list of best chronograph watches for men useful. If you have any questions, feel free to put it inside the comments section below. Till next time.
What is chronograph? If you run a quick google search, you are going to run into 2 results. The first is shooting or ballistic chronograph – basically is used to measure the velocity of a bullet fired by a gun. Now that’s not what this blog is all about though =p. This a blog about watches and this post is actually about chronograph watch.
Now what is chronograph watch? To summarize, it’s basically a stopwatch function that’s added to a normal watch. With a normal stopwatch, you are only going to get a device to measure time, but a chronograph is a wrist watch that has that function added to it.
These are stopwatches (analog and digital versions)
And these are chronograph watches (analog and digital versions). Now, can you tell the differences between stopwatch and chronograph watch?
Stopwatch is more likely to be used for situations when accurate timing is needed such as sporting events or lab experiments. They are designed to be easy to grip and easy to use. They are also cheap because of the simple mechanism inside it, making them a popular go to device to measure time.
Chronograph watches on the other hand are not as cheap. We are after all paying for the price of the watch with an added “complication” of stopwatch. This makes chronograph watch to be sold at a higher price than normal watches or stopwatches. But the advantage of chronograph watch is it’s a 2-in-1 device: you can wear the watch and measure any time without bringing a separate stopwatch. This is one of the reason why chronograph watches are popular. They usually have that busy dial with many subdials and just look very cool for a casual wear. Besides unlike a normal watch, you can “play” with the chronograph whenever you are feeling bored =)
What Does Chronograph Watch Do?
So what does chronograph watch do? Very simple – to measure time. Just push the start button and it will start to measure time. We can pause it, stop it or reset the display for the next measurement. That’s the basic of what a chronograph can do. But most people don’t know that there are a few types of chronograph watch function that are very useful too. Let’s take a look at what these functions are:
To measure speed of a moving object (racing cars, motorcycles, Usain Bolt?), tachymeter scale can be used
The first widely used chronograph watch function is tachymeter. If you have a chronograph, chances are tachymeter scale is on it. It’s a scale which is usually printed on the bezel to let users know the speed of a moving object if they know the distance it traveled. A simple example is with F1 race. Suppose you know the length of a straight portion of the track. Use the chronograph to record the time it took for the car to traveled that track and using the tachymeter scale printed on it, you can know what’s the speed of the car. For more detail info, read this guide at Wikipedia.com
Telemeter scale is used to measure distance between the user to an event (artillery fire, lightning, etc)
A less popular scale is telemeter. It’s a scale to help users calculate distance between him/her and an event that can be seen and heard. Start the chronograph when the event is seen, then stop it when you can hear the sound. Light travels super fast, while sound travels slower at around 3 seconds in 1 km. So an event’s (such as artillery fire, fireworks, thunder etc.) distance can be known by using this scale.
A video of split time chronograph. The leader and follower seconds hand are only with automatic chronographs. Quartz chronograph are more simpler (and technologically superior) and require only one seconds hand.
3- Split Time Chronograph
The third chronograph watch function is split time. Unlike the first two functions above, it is built into the chronograph movement itself. It’s used to help record any event that is happening continuously. For example suppose you want to time an F1 race with many laps. You can start the chronograph when the race starts. When your driver completes one lap, you can stop the display of the chronograph. At this moment, the chronograph is still running in background but only the display is frozen to give you some time to write the timing somewhere. Push the pusher again and the display will catches to the actual time.
A video showing flyback chronograph in action. Notice how the seconds hand “fly back” to the zero starting position
Flyback is a type of chronograph that rapidly reset the stopwatch to zero. Whenever you started the stopwatch, you can push the flyback pusher and reset the time to zero and the time will restart again. It allows quick reset of the watch for the next measurements to start. The name “flyback” comes from how the chronograph hands swiftly fly to zero when this function is used.
How To Use Chronograph Watches?
Chronograph function is controlled by “pushers“, knobs at the side of the watches that are not crown. Typically there are two types of pushers:
1- Start/pause/stop Pusher
This pusher will start and pause/stop the time. Normally it’s located at the top right (2 o’clock) position
2- Reset Pusher
Bottom right pusher is usually dedicated to reset the time to zero
To use a chronograph is very simple. Push the start pusher to start the time. If you want to pause, push it again. Pushing it again will allow the timing to continue from that point. To reset, simply push the reset button.
By the way, these pushers are the most common configuration of a chronograph. Certain higher end chronographs will have different movements and different pusher layout. It’s best to read the manual of the watch to avoid damaging it.
Chronograph movement is more complicated than normal watch movement. In mechanical watch term, chronograph function is one of the “complications” that a watch could have. Some other complications are day, date, moon phase, perpetual calendar, alarm clock and many more.
It’s difficult enough to keep track of time in automatic watch, not to mention having to squeeze in chronograph movements too. Flyback and split time functions are more difficult to be made. Just think of how complicated the watch has to be in order to make a split time chronograph like the video above. Not to mention it needs to record the time too. These complexity and extra craftsmanship makes an automatic chronograph much more expensive. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find a Swiss automatic chronograph for less than $500.
Quartz chronograph movement is much easier to be made, because well, they are quartz/electronic movement. The timekeeping aspect is done by quartz crystal (read this article I’ve written about how quartz watch works for more insight on this aspect) but most of the watch functions is controlled by microchips.
In fact, even a humble Casio watch can have many functions in addition to chronograph (alarm, perpetual calendar, etc.). Analog quartz watch (the one with the clock hands and markers) is more complicated because some gears need to be included to move the hands. But overall quartz chronograph movement is more easier to be made and thus will cost much much cheaper than an automatic chronograph movement.
Bulova Precisionist – An example of how great a quartz chronograph watch can be. It has an unbelivable 1/1000th second time measurement (so you can measure up to 0.001 second – e.g 50.017 second)
Another important thing to remember is that using the chronograph function will use up lots of juice of your watch regardless quartz or automatic. For automatic watch, I don’t think this will be a big problem as you can always wear it or manual wind it. But a quartz watch using battery will be very affected by this.
I hope you guys enjoyed and learnt what is chronograph watch all about. If you have any questions, feel free to put it inside the comments section below. Till next time.
A Full Aviation Watch – The Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 Review
Fancy a full aviation watch complete with chronograph and various scales and measurements? Then you might want to look at this Seiko FlightMaster SNA411.
A bit of disclaimer: this is not an automatic but a quartz watch. I’m not really a quartz guy and prefer automatic movement (if you don’t really know what’s the difference between this two, you can read my post on the comparison of automatic/mechanical vs quartz movement here).
But an automatic chronograph will be quite expensive and usually retails for more than $400-$500. The SNA411 on the other hand can be gotten at much lesser than which is a very good bargain for such an amazing tool/utility watch.
Best affordable chronograph and aviation watch? That claim might not be too far off. Without further ado, let’s take a look at this Seiko Flightmaster SNA411 review.
Diameter:42 mm Thickness: 13 mm Lug Width: 21 mm Case:Stainless steel Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Dial:Black chronograph dial with aviation scales on the edge Dial Window: Domed Seiko’s Hardlex crystal Subdials: 3 subdials showing moving seconds hand (left), Minute counter for chronograph (top) and Alarm or second timezone clock (bottom) Bezel:Bi-directional rotating bezel with rotary slide rule
Movement: Seiko Quartz movement with split time chronograph Water Resistance: 200 m or 660 feet Other Features:Split , Screw down crown and pushers, Alarm, Luminous markers and hands, Second timezone clock subdial, Date display, Rotary slide rule for various calculations
Best Place To Buy: Amazon (Click The Link Below To Check Its Price)
The dial of the Seiko FlightMaster Watch SNA411 is a very busy dial. At first glance I can’t even see where is the markers and hands lol! But this is the face of an aviation/flight watch.
Outer edge of the black dial is full of scales of rotary slide rule that can be used for many calculations important for a pilot (I’ve explained a little bit about this below).
Being a chronograph also made the dial busier. The 3 subdials definitely take lots of space at the center of the dial until there is no free space at all.
The top subdial is for minute counter of the chronograph while the left subdial is for showing the running seconds hand.
The main second hand (with the popping yellow color which is something that I really like) is only moving when using the chronograph.
The bottom subdial is for showing the alarm (this watch actually has one!). It can also be used to set for a different time zone which is truly useful during traveling.
The bezel is black in color and has many scales on it for the rotary slide rule. It can be rotated both ways (clockwise and anti-clockwise) and is quite thick which made the watch appear smaller than it is.
The hands are normal hands with lume applied on top of them.
The markers are very small – just some small dots on the dial which are also applied with lume. Unless you are new to analog watch, this will not be a problem.
But if you are a first watch user or currently wears a digital watch, then you might have problem to tell the time because of the small markers.
Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 really has a very distinct dial design which you will either love it or hate it. It’s super busy and will turn off lots of people.
But for those that know how useful those small markings on the bezel and dial are for a pilot, they will surely appreciate what the Seiko SNA411 can do and might love this watch.
Stainless Steel Case With 200 M Water Resistance
The Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 is encased in a 42 mm diameter stainless steel case with 13 mm thickness. It has a 20 mm lug width which is fitted with stainless steel bracelet.
It is totally sturdy and solid – typical for any Seiko watch. The Hardlex crystal has a slight dome to it that is a very nice detail.
One thing that really astound me is the water resistance of the watch – it is 200 m water resistant! It’s not even a diver watch and yet it has a very high water resistance.
To achieve this, Seiko uses screw down on the watch’s crown and pushers. It does not really make any sense to give an aviation watch a 200 m water resistance rating but who cares right?
This means you can just wear this watch when swimming or scuba diving without the need to change to your diver watch. How cool is that? But of course for very deep dives I would recommend an ISO 6425 certified diver watch for your own safety =p
The SNA411 on a plain brown leather strap will shift all attention to the watch itself
One thing that you will notice is how the stainless steel bracelet seems not matching well with the watch. The thing is the watch dial is very busy with lots of things on it.
It’s actually much better to suit a busy dial watch like the SNA411 with a simpler strap to dressit down. Straps like Nato strap, rubber strap or leather strap (plain leather, not the alligator printed ones) will work wonderful with the watch.
In my opinion the stainless steel bracelet is not a good companion to the SNA411. Fortunately a replacement strap is very easy to find nowadays. Just go to any online stores (Amazon, Ebay etc) and you can find many sellers selling these straps at very affordable price.
It also looks good in this brown Nato strap right?
What is an aviation watch without a chronograph? An incomplete aviation watch. This Seiko FlightMaster watch has a chronograph to complement its duty as a fully functional tool and utility watch for a pilot.
The two pushers at the right side (top right and bottom right) are used to operate the chronograph. The top pusher is used to start and pause the chronograph while the bottom pusher can be used to reset it.
This watch also has split time function which is very useful for any sporting events.
What is split time chronograph?
It basically is used to help people to record time of events that is happening continuously like to record time of laps done in a racing event.
The top pusher will be used to start the time. Then at the moment when you want to record the time, push the bottom pusher.
This will not stop the time but just merely stop the seconds hand at that location so you can take your time to manually record the time on paper. The chronograph actually is still running in background.
Pushing the bottom pusher again will make the seconds hand to catch up to the time. I doubt most of SNA411’s owners will use this in their daily life but one thing for sure the sweeping motion of the seconds hand catching up to the time is very beautiful.
Watch this great review of the Seiko FlightMaster SNA411 for hands-on look on it. The split time chronograph function is also explained and demonstrated in this video (though the reviewer mistakenly call it fly-back)
Rotary Slide Rule? What Is That?
Before the creation of electronic calculator, slide rule is the most widely used tool in mathematics, science and engineering for making quick calculations.
It was invented in 17th century and comprises two logarithmic scales. One of these scales can be moved or slide – hence the name slide rule. It is used for various calculations such as:
A typical slide rule popularly before the invention of digital calculator
It becomes obsolete after the creation of electronic calculator which is why most people don’t know about it except for old folks that used it during their youth (I also only know about it when researching for the slide rule on this watch lol!).
Aviation watches recreate this slide rule to assist pilots make complicated calculations using their watches. I think it’s much more easier to use compared having to punch in a calculator when flying thousands of feet above ground right =p.
A slide rule on aviation watches is named rotary slide rule because its circle in shape (compared to normal slide rule that is bar in shape like normal ruler).
A diagram showing the various scales on a typical Seiko watch with rotary slide rule
The rotary slide rule on the Seiko SNA411 is more elaborate than other normal slide rules due to many scales on it. As a result, you can use the SNA411 for many calculations.
It also uses its bidirectional rotating bezel as the sliding rule (some watches has a rotating inner bezel at the outer edge of the dial – like the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist).
On top of the SNA411 bezel, there are:
Utility bearing compass scale
The outer dial has two other scales namely:
How To Use Rotary Slide Rule?
By rotating the bezel, various navigational calculations can be made (in addition to normal slide rule calculations listed above) such as:
Calculate time, speed and distance (unit on the watch is mph but interchangeable with kph)
Fuel consumption rate per hour
Fuel quantity required for a length of flight
Remaining time of flight based on fuel consumption rate and fuel in tank
Climbing altitude, rate and time
Distance – nautical mile, statute mile and kilometer
Volume (fuel capacity) – US gallon, Imperial gallon and liter
Weight – kg, pound
Speed – mph, kph
Direction (North, South, East, West)
Above is a great video showing how to do multiplication and division using the Seiko Flightmaster SNA411.
It’s totally easy when you know the “rules” to do these calculations. One tips that I need to tell you is that the decimal place (how many 000s after the number) is not really clear from the dial unlike digital calculator.
So you got to already roughly know the answer beforehand. You can read this awesome manual on Seiko’s rotary slide rule (CLICK HERE to Download) for examples of doing these calculations.
Keep in mind these calculations are only approximate and not as accurate as any calculator. It is intended only to ease the calculation process and not for really exact values. For that a calculator is better as it is more accurate.
In case you don’t know what logarithmic scale is, you can read on this wiki page here for more info.
An easy way to tell a logarithmic scale is the reducing space between the numbers (10 to 20 to 30 and so on). The scale on the watch starts with 10 btw.
Utility Compass Ring
Another great feature that the Seiko SNA411 has is the utility compass ring scale. By using this ring, we can know roughly the directions (North, South, East, West) from our location.
Simply point the hour hand to the sun direction. Then rotate the bezel until the South indicator sits between the hour hand/sun and the 12 o’clock marker. The direction on the bezel (N,S,E,W) is the direction from where you are standing.
This is for when you are located in Northern hemisphere. For those in Southern hemisphere use the North indicator instead of the South indicator.
Quartz Movement From The Creator Of Quartz Watches
The Seiko SNA411 uses quartz movement. I’m not really a fan of quartz actually (that’s why the name of this website is AutomaticWatchesForMen.com.
But as stated above, automatic chronograph watches are typically much more expensive. At just $200, there is no way we can find a fully functioning chronograph aviation watch.
Which is why I had to make an exception to this Seiko Flightmaster SNA411 – it’s so darn cheap and have all the bells and whistles in an aviation watch.
Even the poster boy of aviation watch, the great Breitling Navitimer does not have every function that the SNA411 can offer! Now that is very good for money (the Navitimer retails for upwards of $5000 btw).
The Seiko SNA411 runs on battery, which will require replacement after a few years (depends on how often you use the chronograph).
This is one of the major disadvantage of quartz watches in my opinion.
But with a very beautiful and most complete aviation watch you can find, the SNA411 is a very good choice for those starting out and would like to own their first aviation watch – before you move on to the more expensive brands =p
Where To Buy Seiko FlightMaster Watch? Get It On Amazon!
Looking to buy Seiko FlightMaster watch SNA411? Look no further than Amazon. Amazon currently lists the watch at a low prices. Click the link below to check out this watch on Amazon.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
chronograph or stopwatch
scales such as telemeter (get distance from sound), tachymeter (get speed of objects)
water resistant watch
lume on hands and markers to show time in dark
rotating bezel – showing either minutes or world time
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!
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.
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 =)
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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
Does Not Need A Battery To Function
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
Much Cheaper To Get
Need Battery To Operate
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 =)