Monday, March 28, 2011

Casio G-Shock GX56-1A

Today I'm wearing one of the watches I mentioned in my post about the DGK GX56. It's the GX56-1A and aside from having a more subdued appearance, it's exactly the same watch. The GX56 is defintely one of my favorite newer G-Shock designs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magico 20001-11 Carbon Fiber Automatic Diver

This is a cheap watch. It cost me under $50 brand new, including shipping, and even came with a watch winder. It's made from Chinese parts, almost certainly assembled in China, and is from a manufacturer I had never heard of before.

And it's fantastic.

The first thing you notice about this watch when you pick it up is the weight. I wish I had a scale handy, but I'd say it's something like seven or eight ounces. And solid. The chunky links of the 24mm bracelet are tight and the double-butterfly clasp locks securely, even without a push button mechanism. The case is 46mm wide with broad sides and fancy lugs that integrate well with the bracelet (but would make fitting a strap a bit difficult.) It has a water resistance rating of 200m and a unidirectional bezel, so it would be suitable for diving. The bezel is reasonably tight, although I know some people want them to be downright difficult to turn. This one is tight enough that it won't be accidentally turned by something and there's very little slop in the mechanism. The oversized crown has grooves in it that remind me of gun barrel rifling, with just a slight twist to assist in gripping it. The whole face is kind of similar to a Seiko Monster, although the hour markers are much smaller and lume not as great. The real carbon fiber dial is very attractive and adds some depth to what would otherwise be rather plain. The movement is a 25 jewel Miyota 8215 workhorse and keeps excellent time, as good as many Swiss watches costing ten or twenty times as much. Magico is one of the many brands of The SWI Group, and while I can't go so far as to recommend all their watches, or even all their Magico-branded watches, this particular model is a great buy, even at twice what I paid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Citizen BL9000-59F Minute Repeater

Once again, my old pictures look better than my new ones, so I'm using those. I am wearing my Citizen BL9000-59F today, although it took a few hours on the windowsill to bring it back to life this morning, as well as tracking down the manual online and figuring out how to set the time and date. My watch storage cabinet doesn't get any direct sunlight, and this being an Eco-Drive (Citizen's fancy name for their solar-charged battery-powered quartz watches) it needs at least a little sun to keep running. This is possibly the only watch I own that has such a complicated setting routine, involving setting the hands to their default positions, then setting the main dial time, subdial time (making sure the AM/PM indicator is closest to the bottom,) then the year (represented as number of years since the last leap year, in this case, 3,) month and day. That all being said, it would be a non-issue if I wore the watch daily, or even monthly, but I probably haven't worn it in close to a year. I have a friend who rotates one of these along with a few other watches and he seems to never have an issue with needing to charge his watch and reset everything. Really, it's a great watch. The Citizen Calibre 9000 is an amazing piece of technology. First off, it's probably the only way a non-millionaire can possess a minute repeater. A quick glance at Google Shopping shows prices of non-Citizen minute repeaters range from $20,000 to $750,000. Even some more expensive Citizen minute repeaters run into the thousands of dollars. For those unfamiliar (as I was before I had this watch) a minute repeater tells the time through a series of tones. In the case of the Calibre 9000, it works as follows: "Press and hold the button at the 2 o'clock position until it starts to chime. First you will hear one long tone for each hour, then each quarter hour have a quick double chime, then each minute will have single short tones. For example, if the time is 2:48, you will hear two long chimes for the hour, then 3 quick double chimes to indicate 45 minutes (three 15 minute periods), bringing the time to 2:45, then 3 quick chimes for 3 minutes past the last quarter hour, indicating 48 minutes after 2." It also has a perpetual calendar that should keep the proper date through the year 2100, two daily alarms (one for the main time and one for the inset or "local" time) and an AM/PM indicator. Build quality is excellent, as is expected from Citizen. The front of the case and bracelet is highly polished with the exception of the bracelet center links which are brushed. The mineral glass crystal is slightly domed which does a good job of cutting down on reflections even without an anti-reflective coating. I find the dial quite attractive, although I could understand if some find it to busy. I think the color scheme of black, white and chrome with the orange accents works well, although I've seen other Calibre 9000 watches with more subdued dials that are also very nice. The case is 42mm in diameter ad 14mm thick and feels quite substantial but not overly large. The bracelet also feels very well built and is comfortable. Like many of my watches, I regret not giving this one more wrist time. It would make a great travel watch since it has the two time zones, alarm and would easily coordinate with dress clothes or casual clothes and everything in between.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pirelli P-Zero Tempo Automatic Chronograph

I'm wearing this Pirelli P-Zero chronograph today. I haven't worn it in a while and just realized I never posted about it. I got it a couple years ago and it is very similar to my non-chronograph Pirelli automatic. The main difference (other than it being a chronograph with a Valjoux 7750 movement) is the genuine alligator strap, which I think really dresses it up and complements the Euro look. I took some new pictures today, but then I found these older photos (which are actually better) so I decided to post them. The photos of the packaging and tags are because I was selling an identical watch at the time. I believe these were being discontinued when I bought them because I paid a small portion of the MSRP shown. It's a high quality, solid watch with a unique design and I'm extremely pleased with it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Casio G-Shock GW6900B-1

DW6900 + solar + atomic = pretty awesome. This one is shiny black with orange accents and a mirror/orange LCD that lights up amber. Also comes in other colors. Superb.