Saturday, 5 March 2016

TUDOR PELAGOS REF:25500TN

Some of you might have noticed that this is my 2nd post on the Pelagos.
The 1st is way back in November 2012.
That was when I am still considered a noob in the blogosphere and what was written are just initial impressions.
After helping a friend refinish his Pelagos, it is only right that he allowed me to test it for a week.
Gave me a better perspective of overall experience regarding the watch.


The Pelagos the 1st watch from the House of Rolex/Tudor that is made entirely in Titanium sans the clasp.
Good choice in my opinion.
Watch is light, easy to wear.
42mm size is almost the standard nowadays.
Powered by a tried and tested 2824 modified by Tudor, timekeeping is accurate and service and parts are not an issue.


As a dive watch, legibility is awesome.
There is even lume inside the matte ceramic bezel, something even big brother Rolex have not done yet.
Bezel clicks reassuringly and confidently.
Almost no play.


The clasp is where I truly believe Tudor knocks it out of the park.
It features a clever spring loaded clasp that will allow the clasp to fit well when the wrist expands in girth during hot days and contract during cold days. Absolutely fabulous and really practical piece of engineering.


The bracelet is reminiscent of the Rolec Oyster bracelet.
But with the bracelet being made from titanium, it's lightweight, comfortable and precise.


Being a dive watch rated to 500m, I guess a Helium Escape Valve is inevitable.
Placed on the case side at 9 o'clock.


Titanium is known as a pretty tough material to work with.
That is why I admire every curve, every bevel.
Done with precision.
I would not expect less.


The crown is big enough for a firm grip.
The crownguards are also nicely done.


After wearing it for a week, I feel that Tudor really created a value for money proper dive watch.
I cannot find fault with it even if I wanted to.
Many WIS friends consider this the Rolex SeaDweller that never was.
Good news if you ask me.
If this watch is slapped with a Rolex Logo, it would be priced at a higher level.
Today, when friends ask me what watch should they buy with a mid range budget, my answer is look at the Tudor Pelagos.
I can only wish I started with one...

Now the Pelagos have been updated with Tudor's own Manafacture movement.
So those people that used to complain about Tudor using generic off the shelf movements?
Time to put the money where your mouth is?

Either way, in house movement or not, the Tudor Pelagos is a watch I would recommend for 1st time watch buyers looking for a practical, robust and reliable watch for everyday use.

With the rate Tudor is going, I won't be known as Rolex's little brother for long.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

TUDOR PELAGOS REFINISHING

Again, apologies for not updating as much as I'd like to.
Life just catches up.
Less time and resources... cough cough *money* cough cough for watches...
But, a friend did purchase a pre-owned Tudor Pelagos but it was well worn...
I offered to refinish it for him and he gladly trusted me to it.
Nice of him to let me "test" my skills.



1st of all, these are all that's needed for a refinishing job.
Bracelet removal tool, a screw driver and a scouring pad.
I choose 3M branded ones.
You also need some masking tape to cover up places that you don't want to scour...



I started off with the caseback...
So I removed the bracelet to make the job easier.
Since the caseback has it's own grooves, you have to scour it according to the grooves...
Some scratches are kinda deep.
I could get them off by scouring more but i guess it's good enough.




After that, I moved on to the bracelets.
Again, just use the scour pad and using slight pressure, move it from one end to the other.
Rinse and repeat.
Do not scour it using back and forth motion.
It won't look good.




Before and after pictures.




How do you think I did?
My friend was pretty happy.
Not bad I reckon...

I will proceed with the review of this watch soon.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

COOL CLOCKS SEEN DURING TRIP TO OSAKA/NAGOYA, JAPAN

During my recent trip to Japan, besides scouting the watches available there... I also saw some cool clocks that I would like to share.


This one is pretty cool...
It uses liquid and a myriad of tubes to tell the time.
It was awesome just looking at this one work.
When I was there, a gentleman was servicing this clock.
I have utmost respect for him and did not want to disturb him doing his work.
I would love to take a pic of him but unfortunately I did not...
This clock is located in Nagoya's Sakae Subway Station.
I believe this clock is very old... just for the record, using liquid to tell time was done here before HYT... lol


This clock while also using liquid but most likely electronically controlled by pumps and a clever computer.
As the minutes pass, the display will change and water will spout out of the respective places to make out the time in arabic numbers.
Cool...
This one is located at the Kanazawa Main Station.
Just walk out the main door... walk abit and you will see it.


This clock is quite nicely done.
The checkered background design with alternating spaces for vegetation and tiles.
This one is located in one of the main buildings around Tennoji area.
I did not take note of the retail building's name.

Well, plenty more cool stuff in Japan... well... It's Japan!!
I would be disappointed if it's not cool...

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

OMEGA SPEEDMASTER PROFESSIONAL X-33 SKYWALKER

I was always intrigued by the popularity of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch.
But that Speedmaster design, look and overall aesthetics did not really appeal to me.
Yes it's iconic.
Yes it's one of the watches that's in serial production for the longest time.
Yes it's still the only watch being certified by NASA for all Space Flight Missions.
But the "feel" just wasn't there for me.

The watch that I am featuring now is a same cup of tea served in a different flavour.



This is the Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33 Skywalker.

Whereas the Original Speedmaster Moonwatch comes in stainless steel, the X-33 is in grade 2 titanium.

Moonwatch powered by a mechanical manual chronograph movement and the X-33 is on an analog digital multifunction thermocompensated quartz module.

The moonwatch being certified by NASA, the X-33 is certified by ESA (European Space Agency)



One of the lessons I have learned in my days of watch collecting is always try the watch before you buy.
When this watch was announced, one little detail in the spec sheet kept me away.
Case Size - 45mm
That one little detail makes it absent in my "to get" list.
Until a chance meeting with the watch in the Penang Omega Boutique.
They have the Limited Edition Solar Impulse version on display which is the same watch but comes in a nato strap and more funky colour combo.
First thing that strikes me is this watch definitely does not feel like a 45mm wide watch.
But that is the only short encounter I have with the watch until I am back home.
That short encounter was enough for me as I just can't seem to get it off my mind for weeks (one of the signs that I really want the watch)



So I did what I have to do.
Called up my local AD to inquire about the stock availability and price.
I have decided that I want the regular version of the X-33 that comes with a titanium bracelet.
They unfortunately did not have one in stock locally but managed to source one piece from another branch and agreed to bring it in for me to view.
Worried that I might not buy the watch upon viewing due to unforeseen circumstances, I mentioned to my AD that the chances are 50/50 of me purchasing it.
They were ok and cool about it.
Just for the record, normally they would need a confirm sale along with a deposit before transferring any watches in.
So their willingness to do this for me is one of the reasons for my continued patronage.



Once the watch arrived and I got the call, I immediately went there to give the watch a more thorough test drive.
And my earlier feeling is confirmed... this does not wear like a 45mm watch (more on that later)
So, long story short. I bought it.
And it's my 1st purchase of the year 2015...

As I mentioned earlier, the X-33 is powered by an analog digital multifunction quartz module which Omega calls Caliber 5619.
The list of functions is as follows:-

UTC Time (Universal Coordinated Time)
2 Separate Timezones
3 Separate Alarms
Chronograph
Timer
Mission Elapsed Time (MET)
3 Separate Phase Elapsed Time (PET)
Perpetual Calendar
Battery End of Life (EOL) Indicator
Backlight
Ultra Power Saving mode

Pretty impressive no?
The picture above shows the digital display... erm... displaying UTC time. It also shows the day of the year.



This is when it's displaying the 1st Timezone which will be used as Hometime and the analog hands will follow the time shown in this timezone.
The 2nd Timezone can be shown at the background in digital form, just scroll the functions by pressing the crown while the analog hands still maintaining the at the 1st Timezone/Hometime.

One of my favourite functions is the ultra power saving mode.
When the crown is pulled. All the analog hands are parked at 12 (see the top 2 pictures), digital display is switched off but timekeeping still goes on in the background without interruptions.
Once the crown is pushed back in, all functions and hands of the watch will be automatically move to show the current time.
Call me a kid but there is a satisfaction when looking at the analog hands zipping back and forth... lol



Grade 2 titanium is the material of choice for this watch.
Lightweight, less shiny with the matte brushed finish... exactly what a tool watch should be.
Wait, let me rephrase that... the old moonwatch is a tool... this X-33 is an instrument.
This watch is a proper instrument with well thought out functions.
Omega stated that the caliber 5619 is developed under an ESA patent license based on an invention by Astronaut Jean Francois Clervoy.
Not that it means anything to us non aerospace industry mortals but I guess it's a big deal if this watch is to be tested and certified, they have to do it in a proper way.



The watch is controlled by a whopping 4 pushers.
2 on each side and push/pull crown.
Another initial worry is that to set the watch's multiple functions will be complex but again, it was proved otherwise.
A short read of the manual and I am all good to go.
Talk about good design and interfaces.

You can also notice a gap at the caseback.
That gap is intentional as it allows the piezoelectric speakers alarm beeps to be amplified... it works... the alarm is loud.


Caseback is also titanium.
Fastened by 8 screws.
All engravings are clean and precise.
Love the Speedmaster logo there.
Below this 1st caseback is the said piezoelectric speaker, then a second caseback before you can see the battery.
Water resistance is rated at a lowly 3ATM.
A slight disappointment there.
Would have preferred 10ATM.
A friend of mine with the older generation X-33 tested his watch up to 6ATM... it was rated the same at 3ATM...
He assured me it's nothing to be worried about.


Case finishing and construction is top notch.
Lug design is identical to those found in the original moonwatch.
A design that pays homage to the moonwatch perhaps?


Another design homage to the moonwatch is the marker at 12... lifted straight from the original.
The bezel insert is matte black/grey ceramic.
Bi-directional and clicks abit on the loose side.


Bracelet and clasp is also fabricated in titanium.
Nothing much to complain here.
There is only 1 level of micro adjustment and its enough.
Comfortable on the wrist and gets the job done.


Extremely comfortable on the wrist.
Featherweight.
The 45mm case size? I suspect Omega measured the case including the "wings" on the left side of the case and also the crownguard.
I measured the bezel end to end, it measure between 41-42mm max.
That's why the watch does not wear like a 45mm watch.

After a couple of weeks, I am thoroughly happy with the watch.
Perfect grab and go watch.
Highly technical but also easy to operate.


This is also a watch that 9/10 people will miss on their radar... simply because it serves a niche market.
A friend has said that this watch is created for a purpose and not for the mass market appeal... It's not a moonwatch nor is it trying to be.
Current rrp is at RM18,600... and as you all might know, Omega fiercely controls the discounts.
Yes... I can sense some jaws dropping.
That amount for a quartz watch?

Once you look past the watch part and start treating it as a piece of functional instrument made for a specific role in mind... then it makes the price slightly easier to swallow.

But I still get the occasional "why?" once in awhile from friends.
My answer?
If you see someone wearing an X-33, he is either in the aerospace industry, aeronautics industry or a WIS...
You guys know for sure where I belong within the 3...

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK & ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE SIDE BY SIDE

After acquiring a pair of Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Offshore.
I was thinking maybe a side by side comparison to see how both these watches stack against each other.


Having recently converted the Royal Oak Offshore to bracelet, the comparison is more closer to the intended purpose...



Size wise, the Royal Oak Offshore comes in at 42mm while the Royal Oak is at 41mm.
Only 1mm difference between them but with the extended crownguards... it looks bigger... but only slightly.



The difference in thickness is more apparent.
With the Royal Oak coming in at less than 1cm thick and the Royal Oak Offshore closer to 1.6cm thick.
Totally different feel here.
Once is thin, refined, understated.
The other is tall, chunky and "in your face"




General feelings on bracelet finishing also comes in different.
The Royal Oak feels sharp, precise and clean.
Meanwhile the Royal Oak Offshore feels rounded with soft curves.
This does not mean that the quality is different, just the "feel"




On the watch head, both watches are similar in looks.
The thin Royal Oak looks more refined... understated even.
Finishing is top notch with sharp angles and beautifully brushed surfaces.
While the Royal Oak Offshore with the thicker watch means thicker bezel and visible gaskets.
Finishing is of the same standard.




On the wrist, both wears vastly different.
The Royal Oak wears slim. Understated. Oozing with class and quality.
The Offshore on the other hand wears with a commanding presence. Big, bold and brash.

Both watches are excellent timepieces in their own right.
The Royal Oak currently carries a retail price in the mid rm50,000 while the Offshore comes in at the higher end of rm80,000.
Prices are due to be adjusted comes 1st Sept 2015.

The Royal Oak and the Royal Oak Offshore are both well made, well finished, features an iconic design, manufactured by a powerhouse brand and priced in the premium luxury segment.

Of the two, if I were to choose only one, it would be the Royal Oak.
For me, it's more comfortable to wear, more of an all rounder and costs less.
Of course, different strokes for different folks.
Both still have a place in my collection for the time being.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE SAFARI STRAP TO BRACELET CHANGE

Well, living in a hot and humid country like Malaysia, sweat is a common problem when wearing watches.
Personally, I am not a fan of watches on straps...
Sometimes it can't be helped with watches like Panerai... but for everything else, I would preferably pair it with a bracelet.


With the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Safari that I got, it only comes with a hornback alligator strap.
So, I need to get a bracelet for it.
If you guys are wondering, yes... the price is steep for a bracelet... enough to get a mid range luxury automatic watch...

1st things 1st... I will need flat head screwdriver, toothpicks, the bracelet and the watch itself.


Remove the screws in both sides with the flat head screwdriver.


After removing the screws from both sides, use the toothpick to push out the pin inside.


After pushing out the pin, this is what everything looks like.
A pin in the middle with 2 screws on either side keeping the pin in place.
I think this is a better way rather than using a whole screw pin.
Make sure you don't drop the screws or it'll be difficult to find if you have carpeted floors.


Aligned the bracelet properly and push back the pin.


After pushing the pin in, start tightening the screws back.


After finishing both sides.
Voila... watch is now on bracelet.


The watch on bracelet...
1st thing that strikes me is... damn the watch is heavy...
I mean the watch head is pretty heavy and chunky by itself.
With the bracelet? More so...


Feels totally different on the wrist.
Huge wrist presence.
Maybe I should try on rubber strap?
Let's see how the bracelet holds up.