Just posted the first review for the Geckota K-01 44mm Pilots watch from WatchGecko but also created the pages for the other forthcoming reviews so you can see what will be up and coming over the next few weeks. In case you're wondering, all the watches reviewed will have been those that I've bought myself, so don't expect this section to be continuously added to after the initial flurry of activity though I do have a couple more on my shopping list from Watchgecko/Geckota ;-)
Decided to start a new section specifically for watch reviews - mostly for Micro Brands as I generally find these more interesting than mainstream brands. These will be started in the coming few days and can be found in the section entitled (obviously enough perhaps) Watch Reviews! Offerings from Geckota & Zelos will be on published in the next few days with more to follow.
Ever since Multiblitz stopped trading I've had a fairly regular request for spare parts, especially modelling lamps and flash tubes, which I only have personal spares, but have occasionally put my surplus on eBay. However, although I don't know of any UK suppliers, I thought I'd add a link to Studioflash in Germany who seem to have most variants available. I've not personally used this company, so can't say from experience how they perform, but the website is professional and well laid out and this will be my first port of call should I need to look for replacement flash tubes.
As I stated a few weeks ago, I've always wanted a bronze cased watch - thought it would be interesting to see how it changes over time with the case slowly gaining a layer of oxidisation.
The case on the left is how the finish has changed after only a few weeks and I really like the character (if that's the right word) it seems to have gained - certainly looking older. A few more images can be found within the Watches Gallery page. Will perhaps add a few more in six months!
Confirming my thoughts about Zelos providing great service - not only did they provide a return courier label for the faulty watch, but refunded the second duty and admin fees. Will definitely buy from them again!
As for the watch, after only a week it has changed appearance considerably as surface patination begins to show on the case - I'll be posting an "out of the box" & how it looks now picture in a few weeks. Then perhaps after 6 & 12 months to show how its character has developed over time.
I've always fancied a Bronzed cased watch - these are usually always dive watches, but very few have a 'no date' option. So when I saw the Zelos Swordfish it was just perfect, especially with its vibrant teal blue sunburst dial, so an order was placed and the watch delivered from Singapore. Unfortunately it was faulty, so I sent an email to Zelos and in less than a week I was wearing a replacement - such great service. Only downside was I got charged another set of import fees and courier admin/handling charge :-( Just spent the afternoon on the www.gov.uk site looking at how to claim back the charge for the first item I'll be returning, hmmm, this looks way too complicated to be worth the effort and of course I won't be able to get the courier admin fees back anyway!
Look forward to see how the bronze case ages and patinates over the coming months. Some more pictures in the watch gallery, along with the newly arrived AVI-8, P-51 Mustang limited edition watch, which is so different from most other pilot style watches I've seen!
Below is a before and after picture of the watch, so a big thankyou to Roberto Facchini of C & F Dial Restoration in Norfolk for all their work, I'm so pleased with the result and hope to get many years of use out of my restored 48 year old watch.
I'll be adding a few more pictures to the Watches gallery from differing angles as the case has also been sensitively 'freshened up' but without I hope making it look to polished.
I ordered a watch from Aragon in Florida and on Wednesday (5th) I got an email to say it had been dispatched and was due for delivery on Friday (7th)! Well I thought that was a bit of a joke, but come Friday morning I was wearing this rather superb Aragon Divers watch.
Now not a watch I'd normally go for, very big and chunky, but it was flagged up to me as superb value and from a micro-brand that had been in business since 1991, so obviously doing something right - yes, I chose the orange version which looks superb, is beautifully made and was extremely well packaged/presented. Will add more pictures in due course to the Product/Watches Gallery, but I really am pleased with both the watch and service from Aragon.
OK so this Chinese watch arrived this morning (7th), which is brilliant considering it was only ordered on the 1st of the month all the way from China. Now based on the recent reviews both on here and on YouTube I was expecting a Miyota movement with a Hardlex crystal, but it is actually the Seiko movement and whilst I would have been more than happy with the Miyota, I do like the second hand 'hacking' facility of the Seiko. As to the crystal, I've no definitive way of testing other than the 'waterdrop' test, but to be honest I'm not too sure that's really a good guide, but I'm really not that fussed, but I suspect this is indeed a sapphire glass. The faceted bezel adds a nice distinctive touch to the watch as it catches the light beautifully, as indeed does that wonderful sunburst dial. The watch has a classic and classy look on the wrist and would suit a variety of dress situations. Physically it sits well on my rather skinny wrist and looks rather classy and understated at the same. Any issues, well the day, doesn't quite line-up in the centre of the display window, but it's perfectly visible, the strap is pretty much what I expected but the butterfly clasp is much better - mine is the press button type and really secure, but it is new and only time will tell. On the GearBest site it states it is fitted with an 18mm strap, but it's 20, so given the variations; in movements, crystals, strap clasps, you are taking a bit of a punt, regarding what you'll actually get, but I have to say that I would find any of the various iterations perfectly acceptable given the price - oh I didn't mention the price, well they go up and down like the proverbial yoyo, but this was £33 delivered, which is utterly astonishing. Comes with all the usual returns and warranties, but lets be honest about this, if this dies it will probably end up in the bin! Up until this point I only own two brands of watch, Omega and Citizen, but I'm going to be more than happy to add this to my collection. Just be interesting to see how well it fares over time, my oldest watch is 48 years old and is still going strong and keeps great time! I'll take some 'proper' photographs later, but here are a few phone snaps.
More watch pictures can be found in My Watch Gallery.
For over thirty years I've had an old Seamaster Chronograph sitting forlornly & forgotten in a draw and whilst doing a tidy-up it re-surfaced so I decided I ought to get it serviced and in use once again. The only trouble was that it had suffered a case of dial fade (and not in a good way) with the wonderful vibrant blue main section of the dial going grey around the sub-dials. Also I never did treat it very well and the glass (or crystal as they call it) was very scratched & the case was a bit battered, all of which was the reason it got put away in the first place! So I started looking at restoration as well as servicing - now for the avid watch collectors, they insist that everything should be as original as possible, so both dial restoration and case refinishing are absolute no, no's - but I want to wear it again so decided to go ahead and send it away to be 'done'! Couple of before images below and as you can see it's a bit of a state, so will be interested to see how it looks after some TLC.
While I was researching the what, how & who to get the restoration done by, it also re-kindled my interest in wrist watches, now I've always been a fan of Omega's, certainly in preference to like likes of Rolex and some of the more ostentatious marques so during this 'research process' I must confess that I ended up with two new (well 40 & 46 year old) Omega's which I just really liked the look of. Just had the 46 year old one serviced and it keeps time as accurately, as my new quartz watches, indeed as does the 40 year old un-serviced one, not too bad at all for vintage wind-up watches - we're talking about a few seconds a month! Some pictures of these can be seen in the Product Gallery, but here's a taster.
The first is an Omega Genève MD 136.0049 with a Caliber 613 manual wind movement dated 1972 and the second is a Seamaster MD 166.0203 with a Caliber 1010 automatic movement from 1978.
Born in 1956 (so getting on a bit now) I'm married and have two wonderful children we all live in Devon in the South West of England - on the Cornish border.