Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Seiko SKX779 "Black Monster" on Di-Modell Chronissimo Strap

You might recall a fairly recent post where I showed off my new Black Monster. I finally broke down and got one because it was pretty cheap, but was only available on the rubber strap. The strap is ok, but I started thinking it would be nice to get the factory bracelet for it (which I have on my Orange Monster.) Well, if you glanced at the photos here, I obviously didn't. I decided something a little more original was in order. This is a Di-Modell Chronissimo strap, 20mm at the lugs, and it is the "short" version. All I can say is if this is the short one, you' have to have wrists bigger that my ankles to need the "long" version. My wrist is about 6 3/4" and I have this strap on the second-to-smallest hole. The nice thing about this strap is while it's 20mm where it attaches to the lugs the total width of the strap is closer to 24mm. It does taper from the lugs to the ends, but has a wide buckle and an extra leather "flap" behind the buckle that keeps everything looking suitably bulky. This strap is a good match for the Monsters because it is a very chunky watch with lugs that are perhaps a bit too narrow. If you've ever seen a Monster on a NATO or regular leather strap (where the lug width is the widest portion of the strap) you know what I mean. Even the standard bracelet and rubber strap are wider than the lugs on the Monster. I can imagine this strap being too much on many 20mm-lugged watches, but on the Black Monster I think it looks fantastic.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Casio G-Shock DW-5600EH-7 Eric Haze

Today I'm wearing a new watch, a Casio G-Shock DW-5600EH-7. This is a brand new model designed by artist Eric Haze. He has had two G-Shock collaborations in the past and also designed the "G-Shock 25th Anniversary" logo. As you can see this watch is relatively simple and very clean. It's a classic 5600 in all white with a red and silver "racing stripe" on the face. It also has red and black "HAZE" tags on the strap and the same tag in the EL backlight. I think it's a very unique, sporty design and I enjoyed wearing it today. I don't know how limited these will be, but they seem to be available on eBay right now at a good discount off their $130 list price. $130 is a bit steep if you ask me, but for less than $100 I think it's a decent deal for fans of G-Shocks, graffiti or streetwear.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Automatic Diver 2200.50.00

I won't bore you by repeating info that can be found elsewhere. I don't know why I was drawn to this watch exactly. It was certainly my first watch that I consider to be very expensive. It was in fall of 2004 that my girlfriend (now my wife) bought me my first new Hamilton that I mark as the beginning of my serious interest in watches. In the following year I amassed a handful of watches: more Hamiltons, Seikos, Orients, etc. But I recall seeing photos of the new-for-2005 Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean and I immediately wanted one. I had liked the previous Seamasters, and I've always been a James Bond fan so I was definitely aware of them. I think the Planet Ocean represented a fresh, modern design but still incorporated classic elements from Omega's history, like from the Seamaster 300 and Broad Arrow Speedmaster. So, I realized I wanted one but the price - oh, the price! - every car I had owned before 2004 had cost less than the list price of the Planet Ocean. Of course, those nine cars combined also cost less than the car I bought in 2004, but I digress. Fortunately, discounts can be found on Omega watches, especially if you're willing to travel to the Caribbean or order over the internet. By the time I went on my second trip to the Caribbean in September 2005 I was prepared to purchase a Planet Ocean if the price was right. Unfortunately, even with a good deal of haggling, the best price I could find was several hundred more than I wanted to pay. It was close, but I certainly did not have to purchase the watch right away, so I came home from vacation with no new Omega, nor any other watches. (I also recall on that trip seeing a Seamaster Railmaster XXL Chronometer on display and being very drawn to that as well. It's very attractive and I think I would very much like to have one someday.) Fortunately, my waiting paid off as a major internet retailer had a sale a few weeks later that took a large percentage off their already discounted prices and I jumped on the offer without hesitation. I wore my new Planet Ocean for a couple months after I received before I felt like I was really tempting fate wearing such an expensive watch on a daily basis. I put it in my watch case and wore it from time to time, especially on special occasions, if suitable. Now, with this blog project, I haven't worn my Omega since before I began, which was March 3rd of this year. Putting it on today it was no less impressive than the first time I wore it. It's a fantastic watch and while I think I might find similar (either in price, style or "prestige") watches in my collection someday, I don't know that my fondness for my Planet Ocean will ever diminish.

On that note, I must say my little "project" or "experiment" here is due to change. I have run out of watches (although I do have one incoming, which I'm sure you don't find surprising.) So, moving forward, I'm not sure if I will be posting daily, nor do I think I will always be posting pictures and articles of my own watches. I think you'll probably see any of my new watches photographed and profiled here, and I will also take photos and do some quick write-ups of watches I have worn before but have either been modified or fitted with different straps for different looks. To everybody who has read my blog I thank you, whether you started at the beginning or jumped in mid-stream. If you haven't read everything, please feel free to go back and read the old posts to see what you missed. Thanks again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Timex Helix T_S

Today I'm wearing my most "beaterific" watch, my Timex Helix T_S. While yesterday's main feature was the analog/digital display, today's is the thermometer. I suppose the "T" in the name stands for "thermometer" and perhaps the "S" stands for sport. The temperature is constantly displayed by a bar at the top and can also be selected to display numerically instead of the date. It's similar in design to yesterday's Helix, with this one always reminding me of a space alien in a futuristic gas mask. This is the other watch I wear when I probably shouldn't be wearing a watch at all. Most of the signs of abuse you see on this one came from landscaping, carpentry and deck staining. Takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. Not bad for a truly cheap watch.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Timex Helix A/D Anadigi

Today I'm wearing one of my remaining Timex Helix watches. I originally bought four of these (two styles and two colors of each style) but I think I gave one away and one other has a broken strap. A replacement strap might be impossible to find, and if I do it will probably cost as much as I paid for the watch originally. So I'm left with this watch and another Helix that you'll see next week. I was definitely drawn to the outer-space looks of this one, as well as the closeout price (something like $10.) Upon further inspection it has some pretty neat features, like rotating pushbutton crowns for selecting functions ans setting the time. Even the digital time is set in a conventional manner: you pull out the crown and rotate to change the date or time depending on what mode you are in. These see quite a bit of use doing things I wouldn't even subject a G-Shock to, like painting or staining or very muddy or dirty home and garden tasks. It's probably why one of the straps broke so quickly and definitely why this one has scuffs, scratches and paint all over it. Fortunately it take a common watch cell which it has embossed on the outside of the caseback. If only some of the manufacturers of my other quartz watches were so considerate, I'd probably have another dozen running watches right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vostok Amphibia

I just got this Vostok Amphibia yesterday. It's my second Vostok in my current collection, although I did have another non military-style watch that I sold because I couldn't warm up to it. This one is interesting to me for a number of reasons. First, unlike a majority of Vostoks, it's an automatic. Second, it's a different model than my other Vostok, but still made originally for the military (in this case, for divers) and shares the same DNA as the Komandirskie. Finally, I bought this particular version of the Amphibia because it is the same watch worn by Bill Murray in the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. It's a very solidly built watch and feels very similar to the Komandirskie, although thicker and heavier, partially due to the increased size of the automatic movement. It came with the bracelet you see in the photographs, and it is the worst bracelet ever. Feel free to look through my blog at every other watch on a bracelet and know that this is by far the worst. It is almost impossible to remove the so-called "removable" link pins without mangling the link or pin or both. Fortunately the bracelet is made of such terrible quality metal that straightening the link or "sort of" straightening a pin is pretty easy with only pressure from some fingers or pliers. To make a long story short, I managed to remove a link from each side and get it back together, and a couple hours after I took the photos you see here I swapped the bracelet for a leather strap. It is infinitely better (I don't need to tell you about the strap, any strap would be infinitely better) and I will never use that bracelet again. I was very tempted to throw it away, but the collector in me stopped that idea in its tracks. I also have on order an 18mm rubber diver's strap (similar to what Steve Zissou wore) and will switch it to that when it arrives.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fossil Quartz

Today I'm wearing this Fossil. My only Fossil, now that I think about it. I've certainly seen others that I've liked over the years, but not enough to buy one. I got this as a Christmas gift from my parents in either 1991 or 1992. If I recall correctly, it came on a combination leather and fabric strap similar to these. The original strap deteriorated after wearing it for many years and I recently replaced it with this crocodile grain leather strap that matches the dial very well. The case originally had a antiqued finish but it too deteriorated over time (the finish, not the case.) I cleaned it up a few years back and got a nice shine out of the brass, but since then it has picked up a bit of a patina. It's still quite attractive, in my opinion. I probably don't need to explain why it's not running, right? It will, and I will find the right cell for it, but who knows when. Regardless, enjoy the pics, including those of the unique original packaging at the bottom of the page.