Category Archives: Japanese Watches

Orient Star His `n’ Hers Set

Seiko owned Orient has launched a His & Hers matched pair of watches, which some people like. Makes a nice wedding anniversary gift and all that jazz. Branded as STAR models, they feature a little skeleton – or open heart – type window in the dial.

Here’s the press info;

ORIENT STAR is launching three men’s and three ladies’ Classic Semi Skeleton models from the Classic Collection, with new designs that create a fresh, modern look.

The dials of the Classic Semi Skeleton models from the Classic Collection feature a window affording a partial view of the movement, and their designs evoke a level of sophistication unique to mechanical watches. While the colouring and details of previous models focused on traditional styling, these latest additions provide something different, with fresh designs creating a modern look.

The concept for the new model designs is “gentle sunlight”, and the dial colours are inspired by the gentle light of the sun shining upon water, plants, and forests. Beautiful shades of champagne gold, forest green, pale aqua, and pearl grey reflect feelings of gentleness
and happiness found in everyday life and natural scenery. (Yeah, crazy talk isn’t it? They just mean pastel shades – ed)

Although there is a difference between the men’s and ladies’ models in featuring ORIENT STAR’s (yep, we hate the capitals SHOUTY THING too – Ed) signature power reserve indicator or not, there are other common features besides the gentle colours. Both models share the same classically curved dial featuring stylish embossed
index markers, delicate roman numerals, and spade shaped hands.

The men’s and ladies’ models are designed to complement each other, sharing the same attractive classic-modern case shape with an elegant profile viewed from its side by gently domed mineral glass crystals, accented by rhinestone set in the crown. A sophisticated leather strap with a French turned edge finish completes the attractive design of these everyday fashion pieces.

The fresh new matching design, high-quality mechanical movements and accessible price point make them particularly appealing additions to the ORIENT STAR collection.

Orient isn’t officially imported into the UK so we are guessing that this set will retail at about £400, or £250 just for the gents model. But you may need to add on VAT na dimport duty to that.

VERDICT; Stick to Seiko or Citizen open heart classic watches, much better value.

New G-SHOCK GWG is a Tough Mudder Special

The Tough Mudder events have been popular for a decade or so and for some, it’s the ultimate fitness test. You obviously need a super durable watch to get you through all that slime, jogging across boggy moors or scaling greasy poles etc.

Casio are on the case with their new GWG Mudmaster, which is a great name for an event that’s like Tough Mudder, but doesn’t infringe copyright. Just saying.

Here is the blurb from Casio;

Introducing the GWG-2000, the latest addition to the Master of G land series, which have a shock and mud resistant structure, designed for use in the harshest environments.

With the integration of a Carbon Core Guard these are now slimmer, lighter but much stronger than previous series, while the lugs, shock absorbers and internal casing are now integrated with carbon fibers which can be seen within each component creating a texture that is unique to every watch.

The GWG-2000 also has a super strong solid steel bezel and crown, built to absorb extreme impacts as well as a built-in Compass, Altimeter, Barometer and Thermometer – perfect for getting you out of trouble in dangerous environments.

With unbeatable mud resistance and patented gasket design, nothing can get inside the watch, keeping this versatile piece of equipment working when you need it most. Available in classic military green, the GWG-2000 is built to go beyond!

AIR PRESSURE FEATURE

One thing we like about this watch is the air pressure sensor. The weather changes quickly in the UK so if you are a keen hiker, mountain biker etc then knowing that a low pressure front is moving in is a handy feature.

It has a sapphire crystal, plus a countdown button, so you can time your own PBs on particular sections of road, trail, or scaling rock faces – whatever SAS style malarkey you fancy doing.

At £699 this is an expensive tool watch, but it’s arguably one that will last you for a decade or more, even if you bash it about a bit. Got solar power so the cell should be viable for about 10-12 years before it needs replacing.

VERDICT: You have to be a G-SHOCK fan to pay this much for a Mudmaster. There are solar powered, multi-function watches that compete on SOME of the spec, for a lot less cash. The Luminox Navy Seal is a good example, which sells online at about £250. Timex Ironman is another choice at just over 50 quid.

More on the G-SHOCK Mudmaster here.

Seiko Prospex & Presage Ginza Editions

Seiko has released two new models that pay homage to the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo.

The Ginza district in central Tokyo has a special importance for Seiko. It was where the company’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, opened a shop selling and repairing clocks and watches in1881, when he was just 21 years old and, today, Ginza is still where the company is located.

In celebration of Seiko’s 140th anniversary and its long association with Ginza, two limited editions are introduced into the Prospex and Presage collections which capture both the classic and modern faces of Ginza.

Both creations have dial patterns that echo the district’s traditional cobblestone streets but are in a blue-gray tone that also evokes the contemporary feel of the many modern and architecturally interesting buildings which define Ginza today. Heritage and modernity. History and progress. These two creations capture the essential characteristics of today’s Seiko.

PROSPEX GINZA

The Prospex limited edition is based on the modern re-interpretation of the 1959 Alpinist watch introduced earlier this year.

The intricate pattern of the dial incorporates two different sunray patterns which, as the viewing angle changes, create ever-changing impressions that capture the texture and feel of Ginza’s cobblestones. The seconds hand pays homage to the district’s history with Komparu, a traditional Japanese color named after Komparu Street, where Ginza’s nightlife was once centered. This blue color with a soft green tone was first used in the middle Meiji era (1868 – 1912), instantly found favor among the many geishas who lived there and then gradually became a popular color among the public.

The watch is powered by Caliber 6R35, which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. The glass is a curved sapphire crystal that is resistant to scratches and the watch is water resistant to20 bar. It is offered as limited edition of 3,500 and will be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

RRP is 750 euros.

PRESAGE

The Presage creation features the same cobblestone-inspired dial pattern and Komparu color seconds hand, but the watch has the distinguished aspect of the recently released “Style60’s” design series inspired by the 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph.

The box-shaped glass, sharp hands and faceted indexes are inherited directly from the Crown Chronograph and create a retro feel that matches perfectly with the classic dial pattern. The opening at the 9 o’clock position allows the wearer to see and enjoy the beating of the escapement and the 24 hour sub-dial above it offers a different and useful way to tell the time.

This Presage watch is offered as a limited edition of 4,000 and will also be available in Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in October 2021.

The RRP is 590 euros and it shows how Seiko is gradually `price walking’ its customer base up to a higher level. Is the Presage on par with a Hamilton Khaki? Yes, it is, but when you come to sell either model you struggle to get £200 back online, or at a watch shop.

VERDICT:

Buy a classic green dial Seiko Alpinist instead, or a trad Prospex dive watch. Both will hold their value better in the long run.

Citizen Updates `82 Promaster Dive Models

Citizen has updated the Promaster Dive range, here’s the word;

The legendary divers watch. Reinterpreted. The updated design is inspired from the original 1982 Citizen Professional Diver timepiece, now reinvented for the Citizen Dive Collection.

Featuring a bold blue camo print dial with luminous hands and markers and date display. This ISO compliant timepiece achieves a bold look with a Super Titanium™ case with sandblast finish and a blue silicone strap.

Additional features include one-way rotating elapsed-time bezel, screw-back case, screw-down crown, water resistance to 200 metres and wet suit strap extender, meaning this watch is perfect to accompany you on any diving adventure.

Price is £399 in the UK, the watch features a mineral, not sapphire crystal. More here.

New Casio G-Shock GM2100 Colours

Casio has added some new colour options to its GM 2100 range, which retail at £199 in the UK.

That’s a chunk of money for a quartz digital watch, but Casio are legendary for their tough steel cases, water resistance and longevity. I’ve had customers in my old shop come in after 5 years for a battery change – and they havene’t bothered to do the pull-the-crown out thing when the watch has been launguishing in a drawer.

Red is  bold choice, you don’t see many red dial watches. But there are grey, green and blue too.

With the usual alarm functions, plus calendar, this makes a great tool watch, plus 200m depth resistance means you will not worry when swimming etc on holiday. Yeah we did just insinuate you could go on holiday.

Sorry, poor joke there.

More at the Casio site here.

Who Can Build Your Next MOD Watch?

That is a very good question, because not everyone wants to build their own watch or invest in a nicely kitted out workbench to accomplish the task. Fact is, some Bergeon tools, case press, blower, head loupe, cleaning ether, screwdrivers,  vice, clamps, tweezers, polishing cloths etc can easily add up to over £1000 worth. Yes, you can cheap out, but guess what, those tools will soon scratch your watches.

So here is a short list of some handy builders, who can sort the dream dive watch job out for you.

TEMPUS MODS

Tempus offer custom buolds, mainly Seiko dive watches naturally, but they do some Casio stuff too. They also do repairs, like re-lumes, polishing, custom casebacks etc. So you can refurb something that you inherited maybe.

They are UK based by the way.

SEIKOMODS

Cheshire based Seikomods really have the off-the-shelf concept sorted. You can mix n match cases, bezels and dials to your hearts content. Then they ship it out. But wait, they are about to launch a Configurator, which will let customers choose from a wish list and then have Seikomods build it in-house.

More here.

CS WATCHES

Some lovely SKX and SNK Mods on this site. We love the 37mm SNK model, (see above) with its orange hand and clean black dial. No prices that we could see, but you can enquire via email.

The 42mm Explorer, with its clean dial is another winner for us.

More here.

 

Hey Watch Modders: How Does A Turquoise Stone Dial Sound?

Lucas Atelier has launched a turquoise dial option for SKX MOD builders. If you love creating your own dive watches, then this offers a genuinely unique, some might say Japanese market, look for a decent price of $88.

There’s a date window option too by the way.

It’s a slice of turquoise stone by the way – not just fancy spray paint. Yep, we love that attention to detail.

More here at the Lucas Atelier site.

 

Namoki Mods Offers Seiko 5 SRPE Extras

Those watch enthusiasts at Namoki Mods have been creating new parts for the MOD watch community. There are a stack of SRPE parts for Seiko 5 model with the 4pm crown position, which is great for keen Modders.

The gold coloured fluted bezel could add  a little Rolex Oyster class, matched with a gold coloured S embossed crown maybe? Or a chapter ring in Sunburst Navy, or black with orange markers at $26?

Namoki ships to the UK too by the way, with checkout prices including import duties and taxes due.

 

G-Shock Octagon Gets New Colour Options

There is a lot to be said for the Casio G-SHock Octagon watch range. Affordable, multi-function, 200m depth resistance, old school watch hands on the dial and relatively slim profile too. Not everyone wants a big Gameboy sized watch on their wrist.

So Navy, White and a kind of washed out beige are the new colours.

Hmm, we still prefer this one in Camo green or plain Black. The new colour choices retail at £99 by the way, which is slightly less than some of the existing colours.

More here. 

Seiko Has Embraced The Cult of Watch Modding

And yeah, that’s a good thing we say at Northern Watch Co magazine, because for all the perfection and art of Grand Seiko, and the unbeatable value of a cooking Seiko 5 model, you need more to survive in the modern world where every jackass with money wants an AP Royal Oak or a Rolex Daytona.

You can never be that Swiss Tony fashionista brand, so what do you do? Embrace the fanboi base you have; innovate, learn, adapt and bend like the tree.

Hats off then to Seiko for recognising that MOD means remixing the elements of a brand, or a model line, to make your fave watch. By asking its fanbase for inspiration, Seiko shows that it has a keen interest in what its buyers want to see. That is a refreshing change from the Swiss brand ethos of `take it or leave it.’

Here’s the word from Seiko;

Seiko is proud to announce the winning Seiko 5 Sports watch from the CUSTOM WATCH BEATMAKER campaign.

Participants created their original Seiko 5 Sports watch by selecting and combining five watch parts on the website and voted on their favourite models. Each watch was paired with one of 32 original pieces of music created by eight up-and-coming artists who share the same value as the brand’s concept ‘‘Show Your Style.’’

The campaign ran from October 2020 to January 2021, and the winning watch with the most ‘‘likes’’ was selected from over 48,000 original designs and won about 8,500,000 votes out of the 16,000,000 total votes worldwide.

This watch incorporates a gold colour dial combined with a bezel with red and blue accents, adding a fresh timepiece to the Seiko 5 Sports collection. It will be available as a limited edition of 2,021 on selected Seiko Boutique Online websites in August 2021.

The great thing is that this will inspire more Modders out there to create gold dial Seiko watches, and tribute watches using the NH35/36 movement.