Friday, November 8, 2013

Premier Kinetic Energy

Amazing & Interesting: Save time on Battery Changing & Winding, indicate time till 2100, Perpetual! Another innovation by the Japanese Giant, SEIKO. Just like self-winding mechanical watch, it uses movement of the user's hand. Well, It goes a step further by converting human kinetic energy into electrical energy to work the watch Without a Battery! Macho looking with Rose Gold, trust is Tone, for the Markers & Crown. Stainless steel case & bracelet. Rather shallow at 100m water resistant. Will give it a serious look.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Many professional & business owner friends of mine who're in their 30s have a love for Ball watch. Such prompted me to take another look at this American brand that emphasised very strongly on its Accuracy.

Mr Webb C. Ball, USA Railway Officer, founded this brand in 1891, with the importance of railway accuracy in mind. Is it totally American made or with certain parts imported from elsewhere?

1 of its latest collections, Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne, is impressive! 42 mm width, 13.85 mm in thickness, is good size, compare to another brand's 18mm thickness! It has Ceramic lunminous unidirectional rotating bezel, 5000Gs Shock Resistance, 4800A/m Anti-Magnetic, Micro Gas Lights, 120m Water Proof, & Automatic Chronometer Certified. Hi-Tech isn't?


Friday, October 11, 2013

Retirement Watch

Casually, Retire means no need to work any longer. Time to enjoy. Locally, the official retirement age is at the average of 60. 

A watch's job is to tell time. When a watch is to retire depends on the owner? It may be depending on its condition rather. Look at those show dog, race horse, artist, beauty queen etc.

Often the owner put the watch aside (retire) not coz it isn't working any more but he found a newer or nicer piece. Patek's philosophy is to pass the watch on to the next generation. Hmmm!

I've an interesting issue now: in an earlier blog A Teacher's GP, I disclosed that I bought a almost 70 years old GP for dedication to my former teacher. certainly the online oversea seller conned & cheated me! Although the seller offered full refund provided I ship the watch back, I rejected it! What if the tricky he claims he didn't receive it. Just take it as a lesson learn for online purchase!

On his advt it said Working, 1940s, Gold-Filled, & Refurnished Dial. it took a long 5 weeks to reach me. At the first winding, there's kind of Emptiness. It worked for a day only. I put is aside for a few days coz I wore other watches. When I tried to wind it again, only the hour & minute hands moved but not the second hand! It's not functioning! Contacted the seller, he remarked that if it could work for a day, it should be easy to fix!

Checked with local GP's agent. She told me vintage watch will be sent to Swiss for overhaul. It'll take a few months & cost $2000! Can't afford! A young but reliable repairman refused to even just Service it. Claiming that it's In-House Movement. An old hand took on the job by servicing it but he gave no warranty & no accuracy assured!

Now the watch can be wound but when i wear it, there's a slowness of 15 mins or so! Interestingly if it's just put there, it works well! But when it reaches 6 or 6.30, it'll stop! Now I'm wearing it, & it's about 30 mins slow! Any advice?

The old hand said the watch has many very worn out parts & rust! He blamed it that those previous owners didn't maintain it! Hmmm. Just like humans, when you get old, very old, some illness come along.

All other vintage watches of mine are working well. 

My feeling for this GP is that, it 's work for a few decades already including survived WW II. Shouldn't it be retired? Should I still find some repairmen to get it fixed? Unlikely I'll sell it for parts. Uncertainty! Any advice? (A friend rushed his 90 something years old bed-ridden dad to A & E for he got breathing problem. The doctor said you want us to try our best or just leave it as it's)!

Happy Watching. 11/10/13, 6.15pm. (GP 5.25pm)!

Friday, September 20, 2013

What! Watch!

This page is dedicated to Watch Designers whose designs could make one's head turns, eyes grow bigger, & exclaims What a Watch! Picture speaks louder! 

This page will be updated regularly. Happy Watching, 20/9/13, 6.25pm.  

5.10pm, 21/9/13

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hi 5 USA Watch

Ball, Hamilton & Vulcain are the 3 most popular American watches in the modern day watch market 'monopolised' by the Swiss. 2 lesser known brands are Waltham & Elgin. 5 of them have rich history & heritage. In this issue will not talk about USA Fashion Brands eg Coach. Fossil, Kenneth Cole etc.

The 1st American brand is Waltham, 1850. Also known as American Watch Co. Fom 1850 to 1957, it produced about 40 million high quality watches & clocks etc. Abraham Lincoln owned one. Ford cars used its speedometers. MIT began work on the Apollo navigation system with Waltham. Astronaut David Scott used a Swiss made Waltham when his Omega was damaged. Although impressive history, Waltham suffered bankruptcy fate & changed hands a few times. In around mid-50s, Waltham Watch Co set up a 'branch' in Switzerland. Now Waltham watches in the USA market belonged to another group that Made in China. So only Swiss made Waltham has that originality. 
Here's a fantastic Vintage Waltham with Second Sub-Dial Full Stainless Steel, Hand-Wind, with Speidel Stretch Band. Probably from the 50s.  

Premier is an attractive word! But what really attracted me to add this is the total design, full gold filled, including the Speidel Stretch Band. Hand-Wind. 26/9/13, 8.48pm.

Vulcain, 1858, created the 1st alarm complication for watch. Till now its Cricket Alarm Watch is still in very popular demand & command a hefty price. Another plus point is, Vulcain gives American President her watch, thus gained the name of The President's Watch. Well, Swiss movement are involved. If you wish to be the next President of your club, community or country, wear a Vulcain. Haha! There's this urge in me to wear one because I was the Founder President of S'pore first registered angling club, & President of a college's alumni. 
A Gold-Filled Vintage Vulcain Classic, Hand-Wind. It'll give me the choice to fix the Colour of the Band.

Elgin, 1864, also known as National Watch Co. Lord & Lady Elgin is the Premier range which have beautiful Art-Deco models. Only Vintage Elgin is worth your collection. As mentioned in her note, due to change of owners many times, new Elgin has no relation or connection with the old. 

Ball, 1891, is a hot favourite among Young Professionals or Businessmen. This might be due to its Macho looks. Unfortunately I ain't a Ball fan. Haha!

Hamilton, 1892, in her note it stated it's America Finest Watch & comparable to Patek etc! One of its very famous & iconic model is Ventura which have relation with the late Elvis! 
Full Gold-Filled Vintage Classic Hamilton, Hand-Wind.

Pocket Watch if you like then you'll love Elgin, Waltham & Hamilton. They've beautiful Pocket Watches. 

For a change from Swiss or Japanese Brand, go for an American! Don't Cry For Me Argentina!

Happy Watching, 17/9/13, 8.45pm.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Teacher's Girard Perregaux

Mr Chua, my sec 1 Science Teacher cum Disciplinary Master of Beatty, nickname Bull Dog, was a no nonsense short & stout man with a stern look & a body builder/weightlifter kind of body. Pupils feared much when he conducted public canning!

Well, one day he came in to the class with a rare smiling face! He happily showed the class his new Stainless Steel Mesh Round or Cushion shaped Girard Perregaux watch! That's my 1st time hearing such brand. What a long & difficult to pronounce word! 

Although, at least in this part of the world, GP has yet to enjoy that kind of glory of the Big 4 & Rolex, it's Very Grand History & Technicality. Her Vintage 1945/1960, Ferrari & BMW , Sea Hawk, & the Cat's Eye range are Well Respected & Much Sought After. Not forgetting the Signature Tourbillon with 3 Gold Bridge & Jewellery Studded Pocket Watches!

In 1854, the couple, Constant Girard & Marie Perregaux, acquired Jean Francois Bautte's factory. Two years later, GP was officially formed. In 1880, 1st Wrist Watch created by GP was for German Emperor Wilhelm I. Tourbillon with 3 Gold Bridge created in 1867 was banned from taking part in the 1901 Universal Exhibition in Paris, reason was it's Too Good! In 1970, it launched Switzerland's 1st Industrial Production of Quartz Wrist Watch.

Some years ago, I'd the privilege to visit the Girard Perregaux 220th Anniversary Exhibition in Singapore. Worth it really! 

Interestingly even after visited such a rare, historical & grand expo, I didn't have that kind of desire to collect GP watches. Whenever I come across this brand, it'll remind me of that teacher Mr Chua, though 4 decades had passed. Recently by chance I was attracted to this Vintage Girard Perregaux 1945 Black Dial Gold Filled. The Seller did a good job to give this Hand-Winding, Anti-Magnetic, WW II period watch a New Life. Frankly it's within my budget & I bought and Dedicated it to him, Mr Chua, my Science Teacher. Well there's a famous Chinese Saying: One Day As Your Teacher, Whole Life As Your Father. Moreover locally Teacher's Day is in September, so such purchase & dedication blend well.  

Happy Watching. Friday, 13th Sept 2013, 12.36pm.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twin Watch

It's an art to fake, clone, copy or replica a product to look like the Real One! Care whether be it a bag, dress, jewellery or watch, lots of skill & capital costs are involved. 

Hong Kong is still the no. 1 maker of 'Rolex'. Thailand makes many very Hi-End timepieces affordable. Recall Lady Gaga's remark when she toured Bangkok, Where to find a Fake Rolex? In 2009, I saw small amount of fake watches in Bejing's Fake Goods Superstore, the quality was Poor! Last year mass market of fake items especially Rolex amazed me, but lousy quality. 

I'm not a patron of Replicas, just admire the hard work & production/marketing costs the manufacturers put in. LOOK AT the following Photos carefully & identify the popular brands & models. Some China & Hong Kong pieces prefer not to put in the brand. The selling price of the following is only not more than 1% of the original piece! Aren't you tempted? 

Happy Watching. 11/9/13, 3.30pm

Monday, September 9, 2013

Watch The Big Women!

Recently an int'l watch journal's editor picked his choice of the latest Top 15 women watches. Nowadays ladies are not necessary bigger in sizes, hands or wrists but their watches are! Perhaps it's the watchmaker who tries to create that Big Watch Women!

1. A.Lange & Sohne Saxonia.   2. Blancpain 50 Fathoms.   3. Breguet Heritage Phase de Lune.   4. Bulgari Bulgari 2.   5. Cartier Crash.   6. Chopard Happy Sports Medium Auto.   7. Glashutte Org Pavonina.   8. Hermes Arceau Le Temps Suspendu.   9. Hublot Blue Sapphire.   10. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface.   11. Omega Ladymatic.   12. Panerai Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso.   13. Piaget Altiplano.   13. Rolex Day Date.   15. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Lady.

37, 42mm dial size for a lady! Many models become unisex. Well, one might think that she borrows her man's timepiece! 

Next to the size. most of the New Women Watch comes in Leather Strap. Other than Breguet, Cartier, Glashutte & Omega, I find others are too Manly or Macho. 

Happy Watching. 9/9/13, 7.08pm.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Watch, HandBags & Shoes

It's common & normal for lady to have various handbags & shoes for various activities, such as Work, Play, Formal Function, etc. Moreover she's to match with the clothes & blend with the fashion. Most interesting if she likes a particular brand, usually she'll have a series of it!

My client converted the store room of her semi-D house to put her bags & shoes. All the famous brands in Orchard Road is there! Another lady client displays her handbags in an open rack at the rest area on an upper level of her 3 1/2 storey terrace house! 

There goes the same as watches. It's weird, perhaps rude, to wear your gold or jewellery studded watch to a funeral. The formal watch circle always recommend that one should have a Work, Dress or Formal Function, Sport, & Casual Watch.

If you're a Diver, so your Work Watch is also your Sport piece. Well for the suited lady or gentleman, a Dress Watch will double as Work item. It's unwise to wear your rose gold or ruby studded watch to the pool or flea market.

As the saying goes: What you wear Reflect the Real You! One needs not be a Star or Super Rich to Dress Right. From cloth to shoes, if you choose to wear anyhow, the crowd will know that you don't even know basic!

Happy Watching. 1/9/13, 7.10pm. 

Watch Investment Fund!

So Serious WATCH INVESTMENT FUND! I prefer to buy the Real Thing & Appreciate It. If anyone likes what I own, he or she can have it at my price. Also can donate some to charities for their fund raising.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Charity Watch

Bid A Watch & Help The Needy organised by a local magazine is interesting! Why not you get your fav watch & at the same time help some people? 
I wish to do my part too. Any organisation who's Raising Fund for a Good Cause, please contact me. I'm more than willing to Donate A Watch or 2!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Russian Watches

These few days seen many hundreds of Russian Watches, new & old! Their designs especially the old ones are unique, aircraft, war ship, red star etc. Well, even their 2 Top Brands, the materials used & finishings are below standard! Now I give up the idea to have one Russian Watch. Hope in the future they'll improve. 

Happy Watching. 22/8/13, 6.45pm.

24/8/13, 4.45pm:   I've a special liking for the following famous Russians & related:

1.   Yuri Gagarin - 1st human, cosmonaut, to the outer space. 12/4/1961.

2.   Politicians - Mikhail Gorbachev, & Vladimir Putin.

3.   Boxer - Ivan Drago acted by Dolph Lundgren, in Sylvester Stallone's film Rocky IV. 1985.

4.   Bears, Roulette, Winter Wears & Ladies. 

5.   Sports especially Water events & Ballad. 

Note:   I'm not a communist.

6/9/13, 5.30pm
With determination I trust I can find some good Russian Watches. YES! Found the following 2 of the 3 Top Russian Brands:

 MOLNIJA Pocket Watch Wolves:   Vintage 18 Jewels. I need a Pocket Watch because due to my job quite often I give Talk. It seems rude if I've to look at the watch often while speaking thus a pocket watch is perfect. Timing is always important in Talk. I recalled I was only given 12 mins to speak at Hilton/Conrad's
GM Convention! I put the wristwatch on the rostrum. The back of this 50mm piece has Wolves craving. So well done. Isn't it Beautiful?    

Much earlier on I'd scouted for Pocket Watches. Failed. They're either too costly, ugly or simply don't suit what I wanted. I'm very pleased with this new found.

VOSTOK KOMANDIRSKIE Navy Military Marine Ship Watch:   Brand New. It comes with box, instruction note & warranty certificate in few languages. 40mm, Anti-Shock & 17 Jewels.. Like Rolex it has Lock-Crown. Nice Back Picture looks like Bird maybe Eagle. The Red Star & War Ship are Unique.

Hope will enjoy both of them. On the look out for the final Top Brand of Russian Watches.

Happy Watching! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jaeger LeCoultre

If you feel that this watch is so Old-Fashioned, Tiny (21 x 38mm), & to the extent of Out of Place in this modern big watch era, I'm not at all upset but Very Glad indeed! My objective or goal is achieved. Surely Vintage, hopefully Antique.

This's a Pre-1950 (probably), Gold Filled (not as good as solid gold but better than gold plated), 17 Jewels Mechanical Jaeger LeCoultre, affectionately called JLC. Look at it carefully, a 60 over years old watch comes with Sub-Seconds at 6! Very Advance Technology in those days! In that era, watch must be small & thin (elegant & beauty). Tank model was believed to be transformed from such.

Let's find out what made JLC so Special & Honourable together with PP, VC, AP, they're International Recognised as the Big 4! Haha, in Chinese term, 4 Heavenly Kings.

Remarks on JLC by 3 famous local watch dealers:   1) its Master Movement/Calibre is so good that it's ordered by some other very high end brands & sold for much more monies. 2) IT should be the pick & not Rolex. 3) if your business deal is above $100k, you must wear a JLC. if it's below then a Rolex will do.

Last year at JLC Boutique, the manager showed me a simple stainless steel Reverso, costed S$9k+. She assured that Service or Repair can be done even for the Oldest Vintage piece! 

Their comments & assurance, & the following research moved me to put JLC to be one of my humble collections. Actually some years ago I was already very impressed by its Reverso. A watch that can be flipped over, originally meant for protecting the case when you do sports, eg Polo!

Collaboration between 2 families of genius watchmakers, Edmond JAEGER & Antoine LECOULTRE including his son Elie saw the birth of JLC in 1937. 

Well, long before the partnership, Antoine & Elie LeCoultre with French roots were already very established watchmaker. LeCoultre & Cie was founded in 1866. In 1903, Edmond Jaeger, a Paris-based watchmaker to the French Navy, challenged the LeCoultre about his Ultra Thin Movement.  Of course the LeCoultre took up the challenge. Two Chinese sayings best explained their Battle that turned into Friendship. 'No Fight, No Knowing Each Other' & 'Hero Respects Hero'!

Grandes Complications (Perpetual Calendar, Chronograph & Minute Repeater) were produced in mid-1890. 1902 & for the next 3 decades, LeCoultre produced most of the movement blanks for PP. 1904 for the next 15 years, movements made exclusive to Cartier. 'Galaxy' - an upmarket mysterious dial diamond watch was a collaboration with VC for the American market.

From 1932 to 1985, LeCoultre brand was meant for the North America market. After that JLC label was used. Recent Happening: 2004 - Gyrotourbillon. 2006 - Reverso Grande Complication. 2009 - Hybris Mechanical a Grande Sonnerse with 26 Complications, world most complicated wristwatch (maybe record already broken). 2013 - A Watch to Honour Antoine LeCoultre, 180 years Anniversary! Hundreds of Inventions & Over a Thousand Calibres to its name!

Currently JLC is very active in supporting many Social & Community events worldwide. 1st picture showed Singapore Celebrity Fann Wong's participation of a Charity Auction. Next one showed JLC support of Old Chinese Films.

In addition to Mechanical Watches, JLC also make Quartz pieces. Presently, they've 8 main watch lines: Reverso, Master, Duometre, Rendezvous, Master Extreme, Amvox, Hybris Mechnica, Extraordinary; & a clock: Atmos.

I'm happy with my finding, I'm happy with my Jaeger LeCoultre. 

Happy Watching, 16/8/13, 3.30pm.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

2nd Chance Watches

A large advt of Mido watch inspired me to talk about the 60s to the 80s. The golden era of Affordable watches. Quartz Culture & Strong Competition changed the Watch Scene later.

In those days, Popular & Economical Swiss Brands were Bulova, Cyma, Enicar, Eterna-Matic, Favre Leuba, Mido, Pagol, Rado, Tissot, Titoni, & Titus. Slowly their market share were taken over especially when consumers are richer. Also some new brands were born. 

Rado, Tissot & Mido are Lucky. Now they belonged to the Swatch Group. Cyma is now under a Hong Kong based holdings firm. Bulova, a subsidiary of Citizen. Titus belonged to a HK based Company. Eterna-Matic now a subsidiary of China Haidian. Enicar believed to be with the Swiss. Favre Leuba is with the Titan Industries. Most Unfortunate must be Pagol, the Coconut Tree brand, reliable information about it is Totally Unavailable. Many watch dealers, new & second hand shops, told me it Closed Shop!

Old Bulova, Eterna-Matic, Favre Leuba & Enicar watches can be found in second hand watch shops. Well if you're a Vintage Watch Collector, will you be keen in them?

Happy Watching, 10/8/13, 10.30pm