Monday, April 25, 2011

Seiko SNDA67 Chronograph

As you may have noticed, I don't have many analog quartz watches. (I'll admit, after looking through my previous blog posts, I do have more than I realized.) They simply don't hold the same appeal for me as mechanical watches. Occasionally, I do find one that is hard to resist. Today I'm wearing one such watch, a Seiko SNDA67 chronograph. I was mainly drawn to this by its functional looks, very reminiscent of some Sinn/Bell & Ross dials as well as other military-style watches. It's highly legible with thick hands and big hour and minute markers. The chronograph function measures to 1/20 of a second which is a nice feature (and watching the 1/20 sec. hand spin through its 20 clicks once a second is temporarily entertaining.) The case is a good size, about 44mm diameter, but lower profile than most of my automatic chronographs. Overall finish is excellent, typical of Seiko, and while the bracelet isn't up to that of a Seiko Monster, it's still nicer than many. The crystal is Hardlex, Seiko's proprietary hardened mineral crystal, so it should be pretty resistant to scratches. The crystal doesn't have any anti-reflective coating, so glare could be a factor depending on the scenario. This watch has an MSRP of $295, but is readily available for less than half that. It's definitely a solid package at a nice price.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Casio G-Shock GLS-5600V-1

Today I'm wearing my GLS-5600V-1, which is part of the G-Shock G-LIDE line. This one is relatively subdued, but does have the bright pink dial and text which makes it a nice accessory if you're already wearing some bright pink (and a totally pink watch would just be too much.) You can see it is very similar to a regular 5600, but it has a totally different module. This one also has the glossy black case, and unique to the G-LIDE line, a wide fabric strap with a combination of velcro and a plastic latch to keep it on your wrist. The G-LIDE line is said to be surf-inspired, but it seems like it would be suitable for any sort of action sports. Sjors has a good article about this watch on his site. I really like this watch and wearing it today makes me want to pick up the green version.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BMW M Power Watch

Looking back through my recent posts, it strikes me that I do have a rather eclectic collection of watches. The watch I'm wearing today fits right in. It's a BMW M Power watch which was made by Tourneau and sold through BMW dealers. I would not normally go for such a "boutique" type watch (even the Pirelli watches aren't such blatant promotional items) but I had a few good reasons to buy this one. First, in January of 2010 I bought this 2003 BMW M3 convertible. I decided I wanted a fun weekend car, and after narrowing my choices to this or a slightly older Porsche Carrera cabriolet, I decided on the BMW. This is also one of the reasons I stopped buying so many watches and didn't make any new Watch-A-Day posts last year. Second, I had a chance to see this watch in person and found it to be much more substantial and higher quality than I expected. And finally, I found this one brand new and cheap on eBay, so I couldn't pass it up. It's a really nice watch, very solid, and substantial at 45mm wide with a bracelet that tapers from 27mm at the lugs to 21mm at the clasp. The polished bezel and center links add some flash, but overall it still looks very functional. It has a Swiss movement (Ronda, I believe) that includes an alarm. The button at 4 o'clock is to turn the alarm on or off and change the alarm time (by holding the button down.) The dial is legible with some nice details, like the subtle grooved pattern in the subdials and center circle and big date at 6 o'clock. The 9 o'clock subdial is for the alarm, while the 3 o'clock is seconds. Since this is not a chronograph, there is no tachymeter, however the bezel is one-way with 60 clicks. There is an M Power Chronograph but it's more expensive than this one, and I don't think it's that much nicer. If you're a BMW owner, or even a fan, and you can find this watch for $100 or less, I'd say it's an excellent buy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Zodiac Oceanaire ZO8000 Swiss Automatic Diver

It's been so long since I've worn this watch that I forgot it had a bracelet. I think I came very close to buying the rubber strap version a while ago, but bought this brand new one secondhand from a WUS forumer who thought it was too big for him. It certainly is big: 45mm across with 24mm lugs, and the weight to match. At the time of release (about 5 years ago) these were pretty popular among watch geeks. I believe the main reason was that while it was a diver's watch, it had a unique design (while plenty of other watches in this price range were copy of something else.) Also, they seemed to be a little difficult to find since Zodiac didn't have many retailers (probably still doesn't) and initially nobody had these online. It's a great looking watch, as you can see in my pics, as well as here and here. The overall package feels very high quality, as it should in a "Swiss Made" watch, and I've found the timekeeping to be excellent as well. Unlike many Swiss automatic watches, this does not use an ETA movement, but a Claro-Semag CL-888. There has been some minor controversy over this movement and the "Swiss Made" label, but it sounds like it follows a manufacturing process similar to other more well known Swiss movements. They're still making some versions of this watch and the price hasn't really gone down, although occasionally you will see them on sale via eBay or Zodiac's own store. I've been to a few Fossil (owners of Zodiac) outlets and while they've had other Zodiacs, I've never seen this or any other automatic Zodiac there. If I saw another version for the right price I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.