Friday, January 28, 2011

Casio G-Shock X Adult Swim X Aqua Teen Hunger Force DW6900AS-8

This is my first watch purchase of the new year. I only found out it existed a couple weeks ago, and I'm a big fan of ATHF, so I had to seek it out. Fortunately I found it for a great deal less than the $200 list price, so if you're interested in one I suggest you shop around, be patient and watch eBay. The Casio press release has some good info about the watch, and it looks like the designers were able to produce exactly the watch they imagined. Functionally, it's the same as the rest of the 6900-style G-Shocks (all mine are linked from this post) but it's the design and little details that set this one apart. The pink face (with ATHF logo and understated "NUMBER ONE IN THE HOOD" text at the bottom) stands out against the light grey case and band. Everybody, including Casio, call it "white" or "matte white" but it really is a very light grey. I suppose I should have taken some photos of it against a white background to prove it. My pics seem to make it look white as well. The band is printed with light blue geometric icons representing Master Shake, Meatwad and Frylock and the caseback carries the ATHF logo. The mooninite Ignignokt's face is replicated in the Indiglo backlight. Ignignokt's face is also on the box along with the design from the band, as you can see below. Overall, a really good looking watch with a number of unique details. I'm very happy with it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WeWOOD DATE beige/brown

Today I'm wearing my WeWOOD DATE watch for the first time. Not since the Tissot Rockwatch has a watch's material been such a focal point. (Surprisingly, it appears Tissot is manufacturing new Rockwatches although they have no mention of them on the Tissot site.) Unlike the Rockwatch, however, the WeWOOD DATE has an underlying message of conservation and environmental responsibility. Not only is WeWOOD using natural materials in their watches, in some cases wood scraps that would otherwise be industrial waste, but for each watch sold they plant a tree through American Forests. The watch itself has some unique qualities. Because it's made from wood, it's very light and it's actually easy to forget you're wearing it. You would want to remember before swimming or otherwise exposing it to water though. WeWOOD claims its watches are "splash-proof", but they carry no official water resistance rating, and they also caution that the wood can swell when exposed to water (although it should return to normal size when dried.) I would err on the side of caution and just not get it wet. The various woodgrains give it a unique look and feel, and no two watches are exactly alike. It also has a nice warmth that you don't find in watches made from more traditional materials. While the watch is made in China, it does contain a Miyota quartz movement that seems to be very accurate. I have no doubt that it should provide many years of worry-free timekeeping. The bracelet has six links that are removable and is easily resizeable using a small screwdriver. It should fit all but the very largest of wrists. The case is close to 40mm wide and the bracelet is about 25mm wide and untapered with a stainless steel clasp. While it's smaller than many of my watches it's a good size and should get noticed. I find this particular color combination to be very attractive, with the various wood grains providing a nice contrast. I'm also interested in the CRONO model, especially in ebony wood, although it probably has the least obvious grain pattern of the woods they use. My only complaints about the watch are the lack of a rotating bezel and the flat, uncoated crystal. The bezel looks like it should move, with a serrated pattern around the edge and minute markings, but it is definitely fixed. I suppose I wouldn't mind if it was smooth or otherwise didn't look like it should work. A domed or coated crystal would not only cut down on reflections and make the dial more legible, but would also give the watch a little more upscale look. I also find it a bit puzzling or amusing that this model is called DATE yet doesn't have one. These are minor quibbles, however, and I'm very happy with the watch overall. WeWOOD's message is certainly one everybody can get behind, and I think they have a style and color combination of watch suitable for everybody as well.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Casio G-Shock GA-100-1A1DR "Velocity Indicator"

Here is one of a handful of new G-Shocks I got for Christmas. It's a fairly new model which debuted about a year ago. Casio says the design was inspired by the DW-5900 and GW-500, but I can also see a lot of recent Frogman in it. The size is very close to a Frogman, in both width and thickness. It also seems to share the case and external dimensions with the GA-110 series and the forthcoming GD-100 series. It seems that these watches should appeal to the same buyer as the Frogmen, but at a much lower price point than the new Frogmen. I've also found in the last year or so that G-Shock popularity has grown, G-Shock retailers have become more exclusive (no more G-Shocks at JCPenney as far as I know, now they're at Macy's) and many of the steep discounts that used to be available have all but disappeared. But I digress. Back to this watch, the design is a bit of a contradiction: the "stealthed" bezel and matte black dial tend to disguise the fact that it is quite busy, and are also offset by the bright white hands. I didn't even know until reading the manual yesterday (while trying to set it for the first time) that this watch has a 1/1000 second stopwatch as well as a speed measurement from 0 to 1998 kph. The speed measurement is rather clever, you set a distance that you wish to measure, and then, using the stopwatch, start and stop the timing. Speed is displayed using the three upper dials as well as the lower left display if the speed exceeds 1226 kph, which is Mach 1. As you can also see in the last picture below, the dial illumination is provided by a single yellow LED. That, combined with the inverted LCDs makes the digital displays a bit difficult to read in low light, but the analog hands are always quite legible. Overall, I really like the watch for its combination of size and functionality as well as originality.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hamilton Mechanical Officer

Let's start the year off BIG. 44mm to be exact, but it seems even bigger thanks to the dial that stretches to the edges of the case, big numbers and oversized crown. It's my Hamilton Mechanical Officer H69619533, part of the Khaki Field collection. This one is not self-winding, and uses the ETA (née Unitas) 6497 with an approximately 40-hour power reserve. A unique twist is instead of a full display back, this has only a small porthole over the balance which adds to the industrial look of the caseback. The dial is dominated by the oversized 12 and 6 and small seconds at 9. The little dash of red on the seconds dial does keep the dial from looking a bit drab. The strap is heavy with two rows of holes for the double buckle, a functional touch on such a wide strap. Most of these I've seen have been sold with a large "Bund"-style pad behind the watch, but when I found this one on sale (and most I've seen for sale lately) they omit the pad. Looks like it's probably just a change in the model since it's shown sans pad on Hamilton's site as well. On such a large watch it seems like overkill anyway, I prefer Bund straps on smaller watches that need some bulking up. Shortly after I bought this I also found the matching bracelet on eBay, so after a bit of hemming and hawing, I picked it up (seen here on the Officer Auto Chrono.)

My watch buying has slowed down considerably in the last couple of years, but I still have a number of new ones that I will feature here. As I'm sure many of you have noticed, prices for even lower-end Swiss timepieces (not cheap per se, but the more reasonable offerings from Hamilton, Victorinox and various others) have in many cases doubled in the past few years. I still keep an eye out for good deals when I can, but I find it hard to spend $500-600 on a watch that three years ago could be bought easily for $250. The thought crosses my mind occasionally to thin out my collection, especially since I could sell most of my watches for more than I paid for them, but if I wanted to replace them with something equivalent it will cost more as well. For now I think I'll hold onto them.

I hope everybody had enjoyable holidays and I look forward to bringing more watches to the blog on a regular (if not daily) basis. Happy New Year!