Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Seiko S-wave automatic watch. Another rare series.

 The seiko S-wave series was what I think was Seiko's attempt at penetrating the funky hip style of young teenagers who like the designs of ala "Swatch". Released in 1997 in the Hong Kong Market it wasn'nt very popular and the later exported to South East Asia. The S-waves, being not so popular were soon discontinued and Seiko focused more on their best selling Seiko "5" series.

Well Fast Forward 15 years later, Collectors started to look for the S-wave series and of course its getting really hard to find. What makes this watch really good? especially among collectors? well here is the plus points :

1) Just another 7s26 movement? not really...the movement is a 7s36A not B not AO so its one of the very first few 7s26 movements

2) No "5" logo. but an "S-wave" hence not your ordinary seiko 5

3) Signed crown. Beautiful "S" symbol on the logo. Signed crowns are not available on any seiko 5 and rarely on other seiko's

4) Comfortable Solid link bracelets with Solid End Links.

There was quite a few S-waves made with different cases and dials shown in the picture below:

 Seiko S-wave family

Now as you can see this particular S-wave that I am reviewing is NOT in the picture above. So I am quite in the dark on which model or what the model number is. Would appreciate it so much if anyone could tell me the model number of it.

Nice Blue dial. No "5" Logo

 The S-wave "S" Signed crown and signature bracelet

 Solid end links and see through case back

Seiko Clasp

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ultra rare Casio MD-808 Titanium Diver Illuminator

Ahhh titanium, being in the aerospace and aviation industry I really like this wonder metal. Not only issit strong, but light as well. Used on watches and spectacles it gives ultimate comfort and sometimes you may even forget that you are wearing them.

The stunning Casio MD-808 Titanium illuminator Watch
Recently I was in the hunt for a good casio beater watch. Feeling nostalgic, I didn't just want any casio, I wanted a casio "illuminator" of the 90's. Now wait a minute, whats the difference with the casio illuminator of today? Well today casio uses LEDs for the illumination, although its bright, its usually not very even.

Marble style illuminator, 1/3 the weight of stainless steel
The old illuminator (very much like timex's indiglo) had a cyan colour light and had a " marble stone" like finish and evenly bright across the dial.

So when browsing for a casio on ebay, I stumbled across this good looking Casio Marlin MD-808 watch. The Marlins are usually watches made by casio specifically for sea men, water sports and divers. These watches usually have a Marlin fish logo engraved at the back. Other japanese watches also does this like a dolphin, wave or tsunami logos for the dive watches.

Casio Marlin Logo, Titanium, Serial no. and model number.
Now why do I say this watch is Ultra Rare? well prior to buying any watch I usually do a google search on it wanting to find out what other users think of the watch and when I did, all I found was a link back to the ebay listing that I was watching. If you came here looking for "MD-808" you would probrably find the ebay listing which I won.

Now why do I consider this watch very special? What I like about this watch is:

Watch case and design : The case styling is looks very much like a "Tag". Compared to a quartz tag I would rather get this casio because it has the illuminator funtion. Rated to 200m water resist, lightweight and made from titanium. Casio rarely used titanium for their analogue watches. You would usually find titanium on digital casio watches like the MR-G, Frogman G-shocks and Protrek Triple sensor watches and those are mostly digital. It is very light and comfortable to wear.

Dial : The dial is nice and clean with very nice hour markers that have silver borders. The hands are lumed (not required but just incase the battery runs out on the illuminator) The hour markers are not lumed.

Now no watch is perfect and this watch has its low points. I really wished that this watch had:

1) a bigger size, the small 37mm diameter is a bit small but still the same size as my swatch iron so i guess its okay.

2) a date window. I really wish it had at least a date window. I can live without a day window.

3) A better strap/bracelet. The original bracelet, has folded links and tapers down to a very small 16mm when the lug size is actually 20mm. I have modified it with a more macho 20mm rubber strap.

Titanium bracelet, wish it was solid and wider.
So this concludes my Casio titanium illuminator review. I'll let the pictures do the talking.


On the wrist

 Now I can see the time in the cinema. Yayyyy!! :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The little known Seiko 7S25 UFO

Mention the word 7S26 and immediately eceryon thinks about a seiko 5 and probrably some seiko divers automatic watches. When someone mentions a Seiko UFO, one is quick to imagine the Seiko 6139 Automatic Chronograph watches.

Well here come the weird looking Seiko SNW011 which is based on the 7S25 movement (also found on the Seiko "Samurai's". The 7S25 is actually just like the common 7S26 but with only a date window with no day.

True enough its weird design is either a "like it" or "hate it" affair but I think THIS watch truly deserves the nickname "UFO" and the other one should be "UFO Chrono".

I think this wacth is rather rare and I was quite close to grabbing it but was stopped when my friend said..."what an ugly watch!!"

Anyways here is my verdict on the watch :

Case : Stainless Steel, The case is huge measuring up to 44mm with a see through case back

Dial and hands : Dial is simple and white with date only only window...hands...ughhhh could be better. Lume is good too.

Braclet : Braclet is a nice butterfly clasp type with solid links and solid end links. NICE!!! :)

Big diameter with fat hands

UFO design...where is the landing pods and ramp?

Date only window

Solid end links....nice
Overall : The design is weird...but I guess its a more dress type than sporty watch. Anyways let the pictures decide. Like it or hate it its up to you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Retro Seiko TV Dial Automatic Watch 6319-5201

Recently I have been doing some read up on seiko watches only recently was interested in some vintage seiko's. Apparently seiko made some stunning and amazing movements back in the 1970's like the brilliant 6138 manual wind automatic chronograph movement. Looking for my very first vintage seiko I decided to go for a simple automatic movement.

Browsing the options available at ebay, I stumbled upon a very nice looking Seiko 5 TV Dial 6319 watch. Now usually I really dont favour square watches but this one looked very pleasing to my eyes. I can imagine wearing this as a dress watch and an everyday office watch.

calibre Seiko 6319
Seiko – Made in Japan
Movement type:
Mechanical - automatic
Oscillator frequency:
21 600 vibrations per hour
Number of stones bearing:
21 jewels
Display time:
3 hands
Caliber function:
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Day, Date
Stainless Steel

According to my friend (another WIS) it kinda looked like a King Seiko :). The age of this watch is predicted to be about 35 years old made in 1977!!! (Now thats older than me)

This watch was posted to me from Bulgaria and now its safe al the way in its new home in Malaysia :)

Case : Square case measuring about 41mm lug to lug and 38mm side to side. Its almost the same size as my Seiko 10 bar diver (just a few mm short). Its thinner too and just nice for a dress watch. The crown is small and tuck away under the casing. No manual wind so a small crown works. Lug size is 20mm so Nato's and leather straps might be good for it. The watch case says "water resistant" but I dont think I will bring it even for a shower.

Dial : The dont make them like they used to. The dial is white with a hint of 3 tone pattern. Hour markers are embossed steel with lume tips. Embossed Steel "Seiko","5" logo and an embossed steel border around the day/date display make a very exquisite look :). The crystal is arcryllic and probrably replaced (but if it wasn't....damn!!!). The hands are simple and nice with lume. There is virtually no more lume and I guess getting it relumed would be good.

The bracelet : What I like best about the bracelet is the end links that tapers and fits nicely with the watch. It tapers down to a very small 15mm and it has folded links. Most vintage watches all have folded links but it follows the shape of your wrists very nicely.

Conclusion :

This watch is a testament that Seiko made some very robust and interesting watches even waaayyyyy before I was born. The fact that this watch is running strong and fine after 35 years still amazes me.

There are many other TV seiko TV dial watches on ebay, browse for one and grab one while you still can. remember you are not just buying a watch, you are getting HISTORY... :)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

White Watches for Fossil

Most WIS or Watch Idiot Savants or (Watch Geeks) are men but that does not mean that women should be left out. There are some really nice looking womens watches out there and I must admit that I have come across some womens watches with some stunning designs that I just wish were a little bigger in sive so that I could wear them :P
Today I will be reviewing two womens watches from fossil (bought by my sister and my maid). The first one a jewel featured stainless steel chronograph.
The Strap.
The watch is which with a rubber/silicone strap that I must say is really nice for a rubber strap. The strap feels durable and fossil did a nice touch adding lines and gear like patterns on the strap to make it look very "premium". One nice feature of Fossil straps is that it comes with a small knob which makes the changing of straps effortless without the need of any tools.
The Watch
This quartz powered watch has a stainless steel case and decorated with some jewels (i dont think they are diamonds haha). The movement is a standard chronograph movement which has a split time function which I think is much better than any citizen or casio quartz chronograph where the second puch only resets the stop watch. The watch is rated at 100 meters water resist.
Nothing else to add, the pictures below will tell the rest. Damage Less than USD 70.00 :)
Nice Strap

Elegent dial with chronograph

The second watch is a White fossil disc watch ala "jumping hour" design. This watch has a very high unique factor in which there are no second, minute or hour hands but only discs. You read the time by reading the numbers aligned near the red line. pretty cool :)

The rest is pretty much the same quartz powered stainless steel case with 50m water resist. The rubber strap is flat and plain. The watch dial is also halved by the "disc" window and the other by a small "Fossil logo" This watch is definitely cool and unique and is sure a head turner.

Damage : only under USD 50.00 (whoa)

Unique Disc Dial

Nice onthe wrists

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Seiko SKX031 Black "Submariner"

The seiko black submariner.

This is a very good watch, and I can't seem to get enough if it. I am so crazy about this watch that I bought both variants and now I have the black SKX031J as well. The "J" in the model number indicates that it is the Japan Domestic Market model. You can tell if your Seiko Submariner is the "Japan" model by looking at a few things. 

Dial: It should have the markings "made in Japan" around the 7 o'clock position. The dial also has the markings "21 jewels" below the "Water 10 bar Resist".

Caseback: The caseback should also have "japan" engraved below the serial number.

Day/date window: The day should be indicated with english and arabic language while other are english and spanish. To be honest I really dont know why a japan watch would have an arabic day option.

Below are pictures of the black sub.

Since everything else is the same, you can read the review here :

Side by side

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

GOING RETRO: Nikon FE Film SLR Camera Review

"They dont make things like they used to" ahhh how many times have we heard people say such remarks. Up to a certain extent its mainly true. Consumer products now are designed to last for no more than two years. Well, in my latest trend setting movement of "GOING RETRO" I have yet again to take another step back in the past and went bought a Nikon FE Film SLR camera.

Old and new "Nikon" Font

No batteries required, No autofocus, no beeps or LCD displays and of course no memory cards!!! This particular Nikon FE is actually older than I am. It rolled out of the factory way back in 1978 and now 34 years later it lands in my hands. Even though it has minor signs of aging, the camera still works flawlessly after all these years.

Why go back to film???

Truth be told, I actually started photography with film, back in 1995. I played around with my teachers nikon FM10. What I missed the most about film photography is the semi-circular focusing screen that you would use to help with focus. With film there is relatively no digital noise and as a photographer one can really appreciate the fundamentals of photography by taking my time and making sure everything is just right before I click the shutter. After all, one can't just simply fire away and delete the pictures like on a digital camera. Going back to film, I can fully utilize "full frame" photography which would be much more expensive to go for digital full frame.

The camera...

This little baby was built tough and robust, most of the components are made from metal. You can feel the weight but its still marginally compact when compared to a DSLR. The beauty about getting a nikon Film SLR is that the lens mount has never changed for nikon. I can happily attach my digital nikon AF-D lens to my film camera and vice versa. So even though I am venturing into a film SLR, I can still make use of my current collection of nikon lens (just as long as the lens has an aperture ring)
Brilliant!!! so now I have two nikon bodies and bunch of lenses that I can mix and match.

Tough and robust

Operation and controls...

For someone that is just getting back into film the nikon FE is a friendly camera. Load a film (I would recommend ASA 200), Crank the frame advance lever and you are good to go. The nikon FE was one of the first few to have an Aperture Priority mode (Auto) so instead of setting the shutter speed your self and adjusting the aperture to get the right exposure, all you hade to do was to set it in "Auto" select the aperture on the lens and the camera will determine the correct shutter speed (dont forget to set the film speed). Wait a minute...doesn't "auto" mode require a power source? yup it does but only the "metering" part. If you are a seasoned photographer or use an external light meter then you can go full manual mode. The built in meter uses 2 LR44 batteries (laser pointer batts)

Film advance lever, shutter release and shutter speed dial

Other interesting features...

The shutter speed can be varied from 8 seconds to 1/1000th of a second, there is a Bulb mode, M90 flash sync mode and it can sync with an external flash up to 1/125th of a second. A Depth of Field preview button to check your composition and even a little mirror so that you can see what aperture you are on without taking your eye of from the viewfinder.

Metering scale to the left, aperture window at top and the lovely semi circular focusing aid in the middle

What I like best...

Even though this camera was made in 1978, it is compatible with nikon lens and flashgun made today. I hook it up with a nikkor 50mm f1.8D and even with an SB-800 flashgun and everything works flawlessly. Well done nikon.

Processing film...

Now this is the hard part, its hard enough to find places that sell film rolls of your desired speed, its even harder to find places that can process and develop them. Lucky enough for me there are a few places nearby my house and work place that can do this for me.It might be hard but its sure worth it when you look back at the photos develop and your hard work.

Rolled up and ready to be developed


Going back to film requires a lot of patience and you may find that sometimes you learn the hard way. Everything must be set up properly before you press the shutter, from film speed, shutter speed and aperture. I once emptied an entire roll not realizing that I had mistakenly set the shutter speed to 1/1000 and in the end, all the frames were pitch black :( oh well lesson learnt.

I know some of you generation y geration whiners are mere laughing at the fact of going back to film when digital is soooo much easier but give it a shot and who knows you might actually like it an dappreciate the "art" of photography.

Retro is the way to go.......

See some more pictures captures with the nikon FE here :!/media/set/?set=a.10151058001628746.455251.632673745&type=3

Monday, July 2, 2012

Citizen AT0-660 Eco-Drive Titanium Chronograph Review

Ahh.. Titanium, the space age wonder material. Its super strong, high temperature resistance and yet super lightweight. I was bedazzled by how light a titanium watch was when I first got my hands on a Seiko Titanium chrono SNA139P watch. After using for more than 4 years I decided to let it go because I worried about the battery running out. (replacing batteries meant that I the case had to be opened and thus affecting the water resistance). Realizing the problems of quartz battery powered watches I knew that my next titanium chrono must not have this same problem.

My old Seiko Military Titanium Chrono 200m

Searching for my next Titanium watch it had to have the following criteria :

- Case made from Titanium. Preferred a rubber or leather strap as titanium bracelets tend to scratch too easily
- 200m water resist as I ride my bike in all weather conditions
- Solar powered as this would solve the battery replacement issue. (and appeal to my environmentalist side)
- Chronograph, as long as it was solar powered, why have some extra features right?
- Simple military chrono design with arabic numerals

Searching all over the net I stumbled across the Citizen AT0-660. Design wise it looked similar to my old seiko Ti chrono and of course it was an Eco-Drive :). Searching high and low around town in Pertama, Money River, and other places in KL I was dissapointed to find out that this model was never made for the SEA region. Arrrghhh!!!! No other choice but had to resort to ebay. After ordering and mailing it to my sister who was in Dublin en route back to KL. My watch was on its way...thanx sis :)

The watch came is a minimalistic box and printed on the bottom of the box read "made from recycled materials" Way to go Citizen...doing its little part is saving the earth. The watch came with a black nylon strap. I opted for this strap option instead of the titanium braclet becasue in my past experience titanium braclets scratched far too easily and I would swap out the nylon strap for a leather on later anyways. After inspecting the watch I noticed that the second hand was moving in 2 second intervals indication low power reserve. So off it sat beside my window to charge it up.

 "Eco" Friendly box

The watch...
First of all the watch is big... but not too ridiculously big. At 44mm (not including crown) its just a tad bigger than my Seiko "SPORK". Thickness is just nice. The crystal is a flat surface mineral type and is about half a milimeter higher than the bezel. No rotating bezel or markings like "tachymeter" on the bezel just clean matte titanium finish. The crown is screw down type and well protected. The chronograph pushers nice and big. The lug size is 22m so its very nice to change straps with a variety of rubber, nato, zulu and leather straps. Please dont use a steel bracelet on this watch as it would defeat the purpose, people choose titanium for its lightweight properties.
 The watch beside the window with its black nylon strap Big dial, easy to read. 

The dial, hands and lume...
The dial is nice classic and a no nonsense design. Big hour markers with arabic numerals on 12,3,6 and 9 with silver linings give it an elegant touch. I guess my only beef with the design is that second sub dial actually cuts the number "6" making it look a bit deformed. The date window is rather small and I wished it was lined with silver instead of white. The chrono minutes sub dial, 24 hr sub dial are nicely placed and do not interfere with reading of the time thank to the big hour and minute hands. Lume for this watch is excellent nice and bright initially and lasts all through the night until it was time to wake up. One thing that I really liked is that the lume is Blue/Cyan in colour which is a frech change from the usual luminous green.

 Nice blue lume for a change.

 There were two main things that made me worry when I got the watch, the nylon strap and its large mineral glass area with no sort of protection.

1) The glass problem was fixed by applying a "screen protector" now I dont have to worry about scrating the face.

2) The nylon strap has been reported to become stinky after a short duration of use. So instead wearing it with the nylon strap. I replaced the strap with a nice tough looking leather strap a la "timex" expedition type strap. I further modified this strap by replacing the standard buckle with a "butterfly" deployment clasp...Perfect!!!

 Thick rugged leather strap with butterfly deployment clasp.

I love this watch, the big size, the light weight, and combined with the leather strap, this watch will follow me to my jamming sessions (im a drummer so its either this watch or my G-shock, bracelets are a no-no for drummers). Also suitable for casual outings and the office it doesn't seem out of place anywhere I go. The fact that this watch is not available in the S.E.A. region makes me love it even more because of the unique factor. Lastly this watch also for the "environmentalist" in me and doing my small part in "going green"!!!!!

Rugged look.

Big but not too big on the wrist.

Size comparison to the Seiko 10 Bar...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Orient Mako "Pepsi" Classic Review

This was the time when my watch crazy hobby just started to take off. I already had a Seiko Orange Monster but the monster was like all tool and tough watch, so its not very dressy and suitable for formal occasions. I was in the market for diver watch (not that I go diving anyways just wanted the assurance of a 200m rated watch :P). I wanted something that was classic and elegant but would not burn a hole too deep in my pocket. I heard about the Orient Mako and apparently there are three variants, The classic Mako, The Mako Ray, and the Mako XL. Initially I was interested in the Mako XL for its size but the very poor lume deterred me. The Mako Ray is newer but didn't have arabic numerals (6,9,12). The Mako classic was the one for me but apparently its getting harder to find.

The Orient Mako Pepsi

On a business trip down south to Johor, I finally saw a Mako Classic "Pepsi" sitting nicely in the display cabinet of a watch shop. At first I was actually looking for a Blue Mako since many have commended how nice and mesmerizing the blue dial is. The Pepsi one had the same nice blue dial only with a different bezel. Putting it on my wrist and looking at it I was immediatley under its spell with the blue dial glowing in my eyes and just like that I told the shop keeper...."I'll take it"

I like the idea of being unique (not having the same watch as the other guy), so when I realized that the Pepsi Mako usually came on rubber starp and not on bracelet I just had to have it. (some other guy must have bought a black or other color mako previously but wanted it on rubber)

The watch...
Simple Packaging

This watch is all is all quality...quality you can see and feel. Orient really got it right with this one. With its under 200 dollar (USD) tag and quality finish you really get a bang for your buck. The automatic movement is quite accurate and very easy to start up and wind thanks to its quarter-circle rotor disc. Orient uses in-house movement not borrowed movements like some swiss brands using ETA movements.

The dial and lume

Two toned Blue dial. Lume shot in total darkness.

Gorgeous blue metallic dial that reflects a two tone blue colour depending on how the light hits it. Aviator style arabic numerals with silver linings. Nice no nonsense hour and minute hands sword like with silver linings. The second hand has a nice red tip (too bad its not lumed). The day/date display is white with silver borders (nice). Lume is bright enough(not radioactive bright) and lasts while I sleep so that I can tell the time at 6:30 a.m.

Bezel, Crown and Pushers...

Signed Crown...elegant

The bezel is uni-directional with 60 clicks and aligns properly at 12 o'clock and every other miniute marker. Some complain that the numbers on the bezel should be bigger. Orient addressed this by making the Orient Ray bezel having bigger numbers. The pusher that you see on top of the crown is for quick day change.(I really wished that it was a quick date change since that can be useful for 30th to 1st day of the month changes) It has a screw down lock so that you wont accidentally change the day. The Mako XL does not have a lock. The crown is a screw down type, well guarded and SIGNED!!! with the orient lions logo. This very nice and elegant since even some other more expensive brands only have plain crowns.

The bracelet...

I like the bracelet. No nonsense, oyster style with brushed finish, polished sides and solid links. The only downside is that the end links are folded. (Solid end links would have been perfect). The clasp has a safety and machined with the Orient logo.

Solid links and machined clasp


This is 'The' watch that put orient on the map. Classic looks and I like the fact that even with the "Submariner" ish looks its a completely different watch with quick day pushers, arabic numerals and nice hands. If you wish to grab one, the Classic Makos are getting more and more rare replaced by the Mako ray. The Mako Ray has rectangular hour markers, large numbered bezel, fancier bracelet and some say brighter lume. If you happen to find a classic Mako do take the time and try it on your wrist.

A nice watch at the office breakfast table