Tag Archives: quartz

Torgoen Kingfisher is Back; Big, Blue & Swiss Powered

Torgoen are bringing back one of their popular models, the striking Kingfisher. Vivid blue, with a Swiss quartz movement inside the 44mm case. Big imposing watch for a not unreasonable £217.

Here’s the PR word from Torgoen;

Like many of the Torgoen watches, the T10 is inspired by the clean look of altimeters and other cockpit instruments, which are ergonomically designed to facilitate reading both in daylight or in the dark, with large digits and bold hands, this sturdy yet elegant watch leaves quite an impression. It is guaranteed to draw compliments.

The movement is manufactured by Ronda, a renowned movement manufacturer, in Switzerland. With a 44mm diameter, solid high grade stainless steel case and and a Silicon strap with heavy duty solid stainless steel buckle, this elegant watch has a notable presence.

Movement: Ronda 515S.2
The movement of the watch was designed and made by Ronda, a prominent Swiss movement manufacturer. Ronda’s movements can be found in many of the world’s most famous brands and are considered to be highly reliable and robust.

The 515S.2 incorporates torques which are meant to withstand the heavy hands of the T10 Series watches. Specifications: 29.4mm in size, battery life of 24 months, 3 hands and a calendar, powerful stepping motor, repairable metal parts, power saving mechanism with pulled out stem (which reduces power consumption of approximately 70%) and one jewel.

Cheap Watches: What’s Your Price Limit?

By that we mean how little will you spend for an everyday quartz watch that tells the time and looks half decent?

We say about £20. There are some basic Casio models that retail for around £15 and of course Amazon and Ali Express are packed with 15 quid watches with oddball names and basic packaging.

But Time Products in the UK, who sell Accurist and Sekonda, have an even cheaper brand called Limit in their portfolio. It’s an old Swiss brand, famously the maker of good automatics and mechanical models back in the 50s and 60s, but then like many Swiss brands, the quartz attack from Japan in the 80s finished them off.

We love this Limit digital with its Wire Guard logo and chunky design. Yep, it’s £30 but watch out for regular Limit deals and offers online.  Nice digital display plus a backlight button for checking the time if you wake up in the night.

Let’s be honest a water resistance of 100m at this price level is pretty fair. Most fashion watches have just 50m, some less. The orange digital model at the top of ther page has a reasonable spec and we think it looks kinda sporty too.

You can’t really fault this red digital, with an alarm, stop watch and a plastic strap. So yeah you can swim in it. £25 is alright we think and although we aren’t saying disposable watches are a good thing, you ain’t gonna shed a tear when the strap splits and that’s the end of the watch.

It’s easy to get snobby about watches, but if you work in a rough job and your watch gets damaged, or you want to buy a teenager a watch and you just know they will hammer it to destruction, then brands like Limit offer the working person a chance to buy something with a guarantee that looks modern, and tells the time, for the sort of money that MPs spend on coffee n a vegan snack bar.

Limit watches start at about £20 RRP. More here.

Timex American Documents: MadeWorn Remix

Timex has a new collab model in its American Documents range, which has been produced by MadeWorn

It has a real vintage, Speed Shop or Vice Grip Garage feel to it – hey there’s an idea, VGG watches, rescued as dead Timex, Hamilton or Bulova models and refurbished with new or salvaged parts.

Anyhoo, we digress. The MadeWorn Docs model has a parchment sort of dial, kinda ying and yang colours too. That represents day plus night says Timex but we prefer to think of it as a more Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance vibe.

The whole watch is a hand-crafted, aged product, even the leather strap has a patina. The watch box too. So you get that unique, one-off flavour for a cool 800 bucks or so – plus UK import duty, VAT, shipping etc.

Verdict; we want to see more collab stuff from Timex, like a Bear Grylls Indigo Adventurer, or maybe a Roland Sands of Time watch – yeah, see what we did there?

More at Timex UK, who don’t retail the MadeWorn special by the way, but do have some very nice new Timex watches like the original American Documents model, the Navi Automatic, or the retro 80 digital models.

 

Storm Styro Offers Shifting Dial Colours

Storm London has a range of new models in for summer, including the Styro quartz models. These feature photochromic crystals, so the dial coliur shifts and changes, depending on the light.

Inside the big 45mm watches you get a Miyota movement and there’s a Milanese mesh bracelet, plus a gold coloured version if silver mesh isn’t your thing.

We have tried Storm watches in the past and they are very well built for fashion watches, although they can be a pain when it comes to battery swap time – difficult to remove the casebacks.

The range starts at 90 quid. More here.

Go Deep Or Go Home, Says Seiko

How deep? Well, 1000m to be exact which is venturing into `Let’s raise a shipwreck this weekend’ territory but this is still a technical tour de force worth showing off in your Seiko collection.

What do you mean, you only collect Swiss watches? Come on, Seiko are true watchmakers, and clockmakers too. It’s all they do and they do it with typical Japanese shokunin elan, always aiming for perfection in terms of craft and excellence.

That’s especially true of the Prospex line we think, so here’s the word from Seiko;

In 1986, Seiko launched a diver’s watch that set a new standard. It combined Seiko’s legendary 1975 design with the 1,000 meter water resistance required for saturation diving with a quartz movement that delivered an accuracy that no mechanical diver’s watch could match. At the time, and still today, it was recognized as one of Seiko’s most important diver’s watches. Today, 35 years on, this classic Seiko Diver’s watch is re-born with new design features and upgraded professional diver’s watch specifications. This is a watch that truly lives up to the promise of the Prospex name. It will be available in July 2021 as a limited edition of 1,200 at selected Seiko Boutiques and retail partners worldwide.

This new watch inherits all the important design features and innovations which made both the 1975 mechanical and the 1986 quartz original so greatly trusted by the professional diving community. It has the 1,000m water resistance and helium resistance that saturation diving requires and incorporates the unique one-piece titanium case with its outer protector structure that makes its shock resistance so exceptional. It also has the accordion-style strap that ensures that the watch remains tight on the wrist at every depth. The outer protector is made of zirconia ceramic, which is seven times harder than steel, further enhancing its resistance to shock. The strap is now of high grade, strong yet flexible silicone.

As a new safety and design feature, the crown is marked with a vivid yellow “Lock” sign and an arrow to indicate the rotating direction. The winding stem is also in yellow so that the wearer can immediately notice if the crown is unlocked. The white hour markers stand out against the dark dial so that they are easy to read at depth.

The watch is equipped with Seiko’s tried and trusted quartz Caliber 7C46 which delivers a high level of torque so that it can move the powerful hands that are wide, robust and Lumibrite-coated for maximum legibility. It also delivers a reassuringly long battery life of 5 years.

The watch is a limited edition of 1200 pieces and it retails for around 2700 euros, or £2400.

Verdict: Invest in a used Grand Seiko instead, better chance of making money in the long run and arguably a more wearable watch.

New Quartz GS GMT Is a Bridge Too Far – See What We Did There?

Grand Seiko has a new 9F86 quartz GMT creation that adds a new dimension, so the Japanese watchmaker says, with three variants available in June. Prices start at 4450 euros – ouch.

Maybe invest in a pre-owned Grand Seiko automatic instead? Prices are rising rapidly on the pre-owned market and we think they will go higher as more collectors fall out of love with Rolex waiting lists.

Anyway, here is the word from GS on their new model;

The case is simple in design but, with its muscular shape and sharp, Zaratsu polished surfaces, it presents a powerful sports aspect. The dial has gold color details and it is offered as a limited edition of 2,021 to mark the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s foundation. Two other versions with red and blue accents join the main Grand Seiko collection.

A design perfect for both sport and daily use.

All three new creations are all quintessentially Grand Seiko in every way, combining the highest level of precision and durability with supreme legibility and the quiet yet instantly recognizable brilliance that is the Grand Seiko hallmark.

The case ridges are sharp and crisp. The bezels are ceramic and so are almost impervious to scratches. Every detail is fashioned to enhance the legibility of the time and the precision that Caliber 9F86 delivers.

The two-tone dial ring allows the night and day hours indicated by the GMT hand of matching color to be read instantly. Legibility at night is ensured by the use of two colors of LumiBrite: green for the hour hand, minute hand and indexes, and blue for the GMT hand. The ceramic bezel allows the time to be read instantly and accurately in the GMT 24 hour format.

The hour hand is independently adjustable so that the precision is maintained even when adjusting the time to a second time zone. A date with an instant change mechanism, a sapphire crystal, 20 bar water resistance and magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m complete the specifications. Even with this high functionality, the case diameter is a modest 40mm, making the watch perfect for sport and daily use.

The blue creation features a deep blue dial and bezel to match the bright blue color accents of the dial. All three watches will be available in June 2021 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retail stores worldwide.

Vintage Quartz Watches, Yea or No Way?

There are some early quartz watches that fetch incredible prices. If you have an original Bulova Accurton, a Seiko Astron from the late 60s or a Casio calculator watch from the early 80s, then you’ll be happy to know that values are rising.

Of course these are ground-breaking watches of their time, and deserve respect from collectors. Seiko, more than any brand, revolutionised watch sales with their cheaper quartz watches. They were still expensive mond you, I recall buying a basic black Casio digital for £20 back in the early 80s – which was almost half a week’s wages – because the Seiko digital was too fancy at £29.99.

Naturally, that Casio went to the bin decades ago, just like all the digital watches I bought in the 1980s and the quartz watches I bought in the 1990s too. But recently I have bought a few old quartz models, generally the Lanco, Timex and Seiko SQ models, plus a brand new, big 43mm Pulsar I liked just because it had a groovy teal coloured chronograph.

Apart from Seiko SQ50/100 models, I always suggest people avoid the older quartz watches because they aren’t so reliable, or so easy to revive from their comatose state when people leave them in drawers and the batteries split open, then leak that green oxide shit all over the place.

I did buy a running Lanco from the early 70s, which has the Tissot 7067 movement in it, last year. This actually went OK after a little clean of the contacts and a new Renata 301 battery inside. But the time-setting malarkey on this watch is franly a bit silly.

You pull the crown out and it moves the hour hand, like many older Omega quartz watches by the way. But there is no second pull-out position to move the minute hand.

I googled the problem and found that you have to hold the crown down for 5 seconds, then release, then tap it again to make the minute hand twirl around.

Nope. No joy. The most likely cause is that the stepper  motor isn’t engaging with the gear wheel to make that magic happen, but considering the Lanco is probably worth under £75 at auction, I cannot be bothered taking it apart.

SPARES PROBLEMS

Another annoyance with this Lance is the usual Tissot/Omega/Lanco tension ring holding the crytal in, and it is a front-loader diassembly routine. So crystal off, hands off, crown n stem out etc and then release the movement. I will be blunt, I hate that obtuse thinking by the Tissot/Lanco group. Timex did the same thing for decades.

Basically it was a ploy to create work for their authorised repair network by making life difficult for the amateur watch fettler. The more you mess with old crystals held in by thin rings of metal, the more likely you are to scratch dials or break the tension rings or hands.

So yep, messing with old quartz watches is a good way to end up hunting for rare spare crystals, hands and tension rings too. All these delicate parts often rust into position after 50 years, or simply get brittle and begin to crumble away.

My solution to the hand-setting problem was to disconnect the battery and wait until exactly 2.41pm to re-fit and slide the connector tab across it, since that was where the minute hand had stopped at.

So I have a running Lanco quartz, kinda nice looking, new battery in place and a neat sort of Tiger’s Eye effect on the dial as well. Like many old watches, it isn’t perfect and it will probably never be worth more than £100 even if I live to be 90. By that time everyone will have a chip inserted in their arm that tells the time, reads your bad thoughts and automatically emails the Solyent Green factory when your fridge is out of vegan ping meals.

Enjoy your watches I say, it’s later than you think.

Croque Monsieur? Non, Je Suis Achete le Chronographe

The Monsieur Ranomo (Panda) Quartz has a handy 20% off its list price of $199.00. Just use “take20” at checkout for 20% off all purchases says the brand. If, like us, you haven’t heard of the make, here’s the spec on this motorsports themed chronograph.

Monsieur Ranomo Series feat. Vintage Racing Chronograph. It has taken the 60s & 70s inspiration inspired from the likes of the Rolex Daytona to the Zenith El Primero, we decided to craft a panda and reverse panda with a racing tradition.

Key Specifications

–  Case Diameter: 38 mm Case
–  Thickness: 10 mm
–  Band Material: Genuine Italian Leather Band
–  Band Width: 20 mm
–  Total Weight: 40 g (Miyota 0S21)
–  Case Material: 316L
–  Back Plate: Sapphire Crystal Exhibition Back
–  Buckle: Standard Brushed Buckle
–  Buckle Material: Stainless Steel
–  Dial Window Material: K1 Domed Sapphire Coated
–  Display: Chronograph
–  Movement: Japanese Miyota 0S21
–  Date Function: Yes (*Only For Miyota 0S21)
–  Seconds Function: Yes
–  Water Resistant: 5 ATM / 50 Meters

What’s included in the order:

1x Watch box

1x Brown leather case

1x Watch + strap

Timex Q 1978 is Pure Starsky & Hutch

Timex is reviving the 1970s in fine style with the Q 1978 quartz model. Featuring the handy coin-operated battery cover on the caseback, this baby has that tonneau case design that denoted the 70s for many watch fans.

You get a 37mm case diameter plus a vintage style acrylic crystal too, which may not be super resistant to scratches, but it is a piece of cake to replace it with the right watch tool and new high dome crystal. It’s a functional watch with a day/date feature and silver coloured dial, plus a retro style plain black leather strap. We love what Timex are doing in terms of tapping into its rich heritage right now and a gold plated case version of this 1978 model would be a welcome addition we rekcon.

There is a little Starsky & Hutch style video to promote the watch which retails at £155 in the UK. Just slightly too pricey for us and may we suggest a Seiko 5 for £100 or therabouts, or an Accurist retro racer at £129 as alternative choices?