Friday, 17 February 2017

Friday 17/2/17 - Question For UK-based Typewriter Collectors, & This Week's (Dive) Wristwatches.

Ooh, but I'm starting this one late this week. Okay, I'll be brief. There's a fellow watch collector I know who's interested in getting himself a typewriter. I'll call him Horatio. It's as good a name as any. 
I offered Horatio a few suggestions and he seems to have taken a shine on 1950s Smith-Coronas and Olympia SM models. Both of these are rock-solid typers, in my view. 

Now, one thing I couldn't help Horatio with was a) where to perhaps buy one of these in the UK, and b) where to get a typewriter serviced in the UK later on down the track. 
So, I'm asking those of you out there who live in Blighty (or who may not live in Blighty, but may still have an answer) if you know the answers to these questions. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

Meanwhile, Horatio, here are the links to my write-ups on my own stable of these machines;





That should keep you busy for a while, heh, heh.

Wristwatch-wise, I wore the circa 1993, heavily modified Seiko 7002 last weekend while doing some (really bad) wood-work;



Monday, I switched over to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five as I commenced my second week as a full-timer in my job. I must say I'm still getting to bed too late in the evenings and then paying for it the next morning. 
Still, it's early days, and my aim is to settle in to a smoother night-time routine so that I can wake up a little sharper in the mornings. I have to say that my internal alarm clock works very well, as I find myself waking up without an alarm clock at either 6:45 or 7:00am. As a former night-owl who used to work in hospitality, I'm pretty impressed by this. 
At one of the last cafes that I worked at back in the early 1990s- finally got out of the industry in 2001-  a customer told me that she could tell I worked mainly in the evenings because I was so pale and had dark shadows under my eyes. 
It was an interesting time of my life, but I don't miss the hours. 


On Wednesday, I switched over to the recently serviced Omega Seamaster 300m. The timekeeping has been pretty good since I had the work done on this watch. It can feel a little snug on the wrist on warm days, but this is nothing that can't be solved by adding a half-link to the bracelet. 
If I can be bothered doing so. 
The design of this watch has dated somewhat, to be sure, but I admire this watch because it's been in production since 1993. Which is no mean feat. 

Yesterday, I felt like switching to another Omega dive watch, the Seamaster 300. Checking this watch right now.....I find that it has gained about 20 seconds over the last two days, which isn't bad. 

I may look into getting this one serviced sometime this year, but I think I'll have to suss out (check out) a few of the watch repairers that I've met over the years to see who's most likely to do good work without charging me an arm and a leg. 
I realise that watch servicing ain't cheap, but I don't want to pay through the nose.  

Okay, so that's this week done. Man, I'm tired!

Thanks for reading, gang, and have a great weekend!
 


Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday 10/2/17 - This Week's Wristwatches (Short Post...Hopefully)

I started full-time hours at my job on Monday, which is great. Of course, this means that I'm now getting home around seven pm, so my free time has shrunk considerably. Welcome back to The Rat Race, Tee. Been a while.
This is no drama. It just means that I'll have to make better use of my time when I'm not at work. So, this blog may take a back-seat for a while, or I may write shorter posts, or I may skip the odd Friday post here and there (tonight was touch & go). 
Anywhere, while I'm here, I best get started. It's already 9:05 pm. 


Started the week wearing the Omega Speedmaster Professional. I've noticed that I tend to wear my sports watches more during the summer months of the year. Usually on a bracelet, since this is the most water-resistant option. Mind you, this Speedmaster is only rated to 50 metres which is considered splash-proof, as far as I'm concerned. Sure, sure, I spoke to plenty of customers over the years who wore their 30 or fifty metre water-resistant watches in all manner of aquatic conditions, but, given what these things cost, I tend to err on the side of caution. I have rinsed this watch under a tap (faucet) on two occasions in the (my God!) ten years that I have had it. 

I was still wearing it on Wednesday. Here it is on a Folio Society edition of Graham Greene's The Quiet American, which I snagged for four bucks from an Op Shop. Somehow, I've managed to pick up five paperback copies of this book over the years, and I haven't read it yet! Now that I have it in hardback, I'll get rid of a couple of the paperbacks.
Also in this picture is an old Rolex catalogue that I got back in 1981 when I seriously began daydreaming about getting a Submariner. 
But that's another story.


Thursday morning, I switched over to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five. Later in the evening, I went along to my optometrist to pick up a pair of old frames that I had fitted with reading lenses. I keep a pair in my bag at work, just in case I need to do some up-close task, but I've recently found that a pair of reading glasses would be handy for when I read in bed. 
So, I dusted off a set of Silhouette frames that I got back around 1990 and had the long-distance lenses swapped out for near-vision ones. 

Now that my hairline is non-existent, compared to how I looked 26 years ago, I wouldn't wear these frames out and about, but they'll be just right for keeping on my bed-side table, ready for use.
I once tried to clean the lenses by using the steam wand of a coffee machine at a cafe where I worked the lunch shift back in '97. I held the frames a little too close to the wand and ended up discolouring them in spots. They've had a whitish tinge in sections now for the last twenty years, but I'm thinking of using a Cape Cod cloth gently on these areas to see if I can bring them back to their black lustre. I really hope I don't mess them up. Considering I just paid to have new lenses fitted. 
I try the old 'test in an inconspicuous area' method first. 


Didn't get as much done at work today as I would have liked. Too many interruptions to my workflow. No matter. Monday will be here before I know it. Still had the Diver Sixty Five on my wrist. 
Gotta make the most of this weekend. I have a few tasks I'd like to tackle. 

Anyway, gang, I hope you all have a safe and pleasant weekend. 

Thanks for reading!


Hmm, 9:35pm. Not bad.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday 3/2/17 & Saturday 4/2/17 - A Million Page-Views, My Job Goes Full-Time & This Week's Wristwatches.

Okay, it's getting late into Friday night and I don't know how long I'll last so here we go.

Saturday morning- Hmm, looks like I didn't last very long at all.  Right, so this blog of mine clocked up a million page-views earlier this week. 


 


However, I can't say I feel like it's a milestone because much of the traffic on this blog seems to come from Easter Bloc countries. The Teeritz Agenda is HUGE in Moldova, if the monthly stats are to be believed;

The traffic sources tend to come from obscure Russian sites that are to do with roof repairs (I think. My Russian's gotten rusty since The Cold War ended. JK) and there was a period about a year or so ago when I was getting a lot of traffic coming from some sleazy porn sites, which was odd, to say the least. 
Some of the traffic was coming through from some toxic, spam/virus-laden websites which seemed suspicious to me and I didn't click on the links to see what they were, just to be on the safe side. 

So, I have to say that it doesn't feel like I clocked up this milestone number of views based on the quality of my blog posts. In fact, there was a time where my post about the Dry Martini was getting four or five hundred hits a day. Were there really that many people out there wanting to know how I mixed a Martini? I think not. 
And for a long time now, my post for Ken Coghlan, about how to look for a decent wristwatch, has been the second-highest viewed post on this blog;


My true wristwatch-related posts, such as the Tissot and Railmaster reviews, seem to have gotten more genuine hits over the years. I say this because these two watches still generate a lot of interest on the internet and I think people are still chasing info on these particular watches. The How To Buy A Wristwatch posts scored high, probably due to the bland and generic titles of the posts. I would imagine that anybody who Googles the term 'how to buy a wristwatch' will land on my posts. 
Other posts have such obscure titles that it makes me wonder why they get so many hits, but I have to assume that these posts are the one being skated through by folks on their way to Russian roofing companies or porn sites. I don't know how all this internet stuff works, so I just assume that my site is a piggy-back location for nefarious web traffic. From memory, I think a few of you with your own blogs have experienced similar issues. 
My daily page-views usually number anywhere between five hundred to seven hundred, but they've been averaging around 1,200 to 1,500 hits for the past two or three weeks. 
And this is why I didn't pop the champagne when this blog reached a million hits. 
Basically, I think these numbers have been padded out artificially by crap. 
Shame, really, but nothing to sweat over. It's just a little ole' blog after all.


I briefly wore the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer earlier this week. The dial on this watch has some slight discolouration on it. This is something that I may try to correct at some point this year.It will be a fiddly and nerve-wracking process involving distilled water and lemon juice, but I've seen the results on the web and I figure it might be worth the risk. Worst-case scenario, I remove some of the lettering from the dial in the process. If that happens, I'll have to let Omega give the watch a full service and replace the dial. I'll let you all know how it goes.

A friend of mine got himself a 2008 model Porsche 911* recently. I caught up with him this week and he took me for a spin in it. 
"Don't try and impress me", I said as I strapped the seat-belt on, mentally scanning the car's interior to see where the airbags were located (the dashboard, the door). 
We took off sedately enough, but when my buddy got the car into a quiet residential street, he shifted
gears and put his foot down ever-so-slightly. 
I didn't glance at the speedo as I felt my body push noticeably back into my seat, but it felt like we went from 40kph to 80kph in the blink of an eye. 
My head spun slightly and the pressure in my eyeballs lifted a little as I felt the blood drain from my face. Is this what G force acceleration feels like to astronauts, I wondered?
The car slowed down seconds later, but I still felt dizzy for a few moments. As far as European high-performance sports cars go, I have always loved the 911. They look to me like a Volkswagen Beetle that's gone on a crash-diet. The DNA is clearly visible, especially considering that German designer Ferdinand Porsche designed the Beetle (in 1934) and his grandson, Ferdinand Alexander 'Butzi" Porsche designed the 911 in 1959 (as the successor to the gorgeous 356), although the car didn't go into production until 1963;

 <----picture courtesy of www.motortrend.com

A classic 1952 model Beetle, beautifully restored. There was a time when I was seriously considering one of these. Used to see plenty of them on the road back in the 1980s. Nowadays, they are a rare sight indeed.

picture courtesy of Kastner's garage.com--->

A 1971 Porsche 911. If I could ever justify spending more than fifteen grand on a car, I'd get something like this. But it would cost me around four times that much. At least.


Wore the freshly-serviced Omega Seamaster 300 Professional later in the week. It seems to be running nicely, although I haven't checked the timekeeping yet. The crown winds as smoothly as butter, making it feel like a new watch again. I'll have to give it a little more time on the wrist, to really put it through its paces.



Finished off the week with the Oris Diver Sixty-Five. I sat down with the General Manager on Friday morning. He has offered me a full-time role. I was doing thirty hours per week, but the workload has increased in recent months. I really like the job, but I was getting irked by the fact that some duties were not getting finished in time. For my liking, anyway. I normally plan a rough outline of my day while I'm on the train heading to work in the mornings, but these plans can often be thrown out of whack by some convoluted e-mail or phone call from a customer. This invariably ends up with my having to chase up a repair that was not part of my day's agenda. No big deal, because it usually just takes up five or ten minutes, but some customers can be a little pedantic, wanting daily updates as to the progress of their repairs, etc, and I just don't work that way. I tell them that their watch is being repaired as per schedule and is well within its repair turn-around time (four to eight weeks). If they begin to get unreasonable, I inform them that it is impossible for me to give them weekly updates due to the volume of repairs that we receive Australia-wide, and that their watch will be attended to in the order in which it was received. First in, first served. 
Because there is such a thing as being fair to everybody. 
Anyway, it's these little changes in plans that can tend to bug me a little, but I'm learning to deal with it better than I used to, having accepted the fact that plans can change in a heartbeat regardless of how carefully arranged the day might be.
The GM has always told me not to worry too much about these things, since all watches will be repaired in due course and that's the nature of the game. 
So, I spoke to the GM and I'll be commencing full-time hours next week. This may mean that these weekly updates may not be as regular as they have been. This blog has always been updated on a weekly basis (most of the time, anyway) and this was mainly due to the free time that I had while I was studying, out of work, or working part-time. 
A great deal of my day is spent in front of a computer and I've found in recent months that I'm less inclined to park myself in front of the laptop when I get home. Hence the reasons why these weekly posts have gotten shorter at times. 
Still, I'll see how I go. Also, I've thought more and more about the content of this blog in recent months and I feel that, if I don't have anything to interesting to report, it's better not to write anything at all some weeks. 
I'll be getting home later in the evenings than I have up till now, so I think I'll be spending some time thinking of how to best utilise my free time. I'd still like to give my writing a serious crack and I definitely need to make time for exercise. More importantly, family time is crucial.
We'll just see how it all goes. We live in interesting times, as the saying goes. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you're having a great weekend!

*Silver Porsche 911 picture courtesy of carfolio.com

Thanks again to wikipedia for the info on Ferdinand Porsche.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Friday 27/1/2017 - This Week's Wristwatches.


I grew up in the 1970s on a semi-steady diet of TV comedy, which included The Carol Burnett Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. This may explain why I like a gal with a sense of humour, a quick wit, and a sharp tongue. Thanks, Ms Tyler Moore. 

I busted out the new drill last weekend. Wore my modified, circa 1993 Seiko 7002 'beater'. 
For those unfamiliar with the term, a 'beater watch' is what you wear when performing any tasks where there's a higher likelihood of your watch getting damaged. I don't know when watch collectors first coined this term, but it's stuck. If contemplating getting one yourself, I would suggest getting something that's battery-operated rather than mechanical. That way, you can just pick it up and put it on your wrist without having to re-set the time or wind it up to get it running.
Now, you might say; "Why not just not wear a watch, Teeritz?"
What are you, nuts!?
This Seiko has gotten paint-stained, covered in soil and sawdust, and picked up a few scratches along the way, but has always performed flawlessly. 

Once the work was done, I switched back to the Omega Planet Ocean;


However, later that afternoon, I thought I'd take a break from dive watches and swapped over to the Omega AquaTerra;


As nice as this watch is on a bracelet, I think I'll soon hunt around for a glossy black leather strap for it, just to dress it up a tad and make it more, uh, 'Winter-appropriate'. Although, it does look sharp on steel, I have to say. However, it's very close to the look of my Omega Railmaster, considering that both of these watches share the same case and bracelet designs, dimensions and virtually identical movements.

I've been thinking of giving this mid 1950s hand-wound Omega Seamaster a bit of a spruce-up. I got it off eBay about ten years ago for a steal ($127.ooAUD). Mind you, if I want to get it into decent running and cosmetic condition, I may have to sink some dough into it. I bought a set of hands for it five years ago, when these kinds of spare parts were easy to come by. Problem is, I didn't get a second hand for it. Now, I'm scouring the web trying to hunt one down. patience is key. The dial on this watch is pretty shot, but I read of a process that involves a mixture of distilled water and lemon juice which is meant to work wonders. I've seen before-and-after photos and, if I can convince my watchmaker to replace the hands, I'll take the dial home for a couple of days and try this cleansing treatment. 

Speaking of my watchmaker, he serviced my 1999 Omega Seamaster 300m last week and suggested I wear it a little, in order to help distribute the freshly-applied lubricants throughout the movement. Who was I to argue?


It was quite warm on Thursday when I put this watch on. I briefly thought about adding a half-link to the bracelet, but I couldn't be bothered. Too many other, more important things to deal with at the moment.
I'll wear it to work next week. I'll be interested to see what the timing machine at work says about the way this thing is running now. Hopefully, I won't let another seventeen years go by before its next service. 
It's held up rather well over the years. Although, despite wearing it solidly for the first six years that I had it, as my collection began to grow, this watch got relegated to the watch box more and more, as I found myself wearing other pieces a little more frequently than this one. Certainly, its design has dated since it was first produced in 1993, but it is still in production today, despite the various little tweaks that Omega have made to it over the years. Either way, this watch has become a modern classic for the Omega brand. 
Mind you, it got quite a bit of help from being the Pierce Brosnan Bond watch during his tenure as OO7. 

This morning, I switched over to the Oris Diver Sixty-Five. I had planned to go into town to catch up with a friend of mine, but I tried calling him and he didn't answer, so I figured it best not to go in, on the off-chance that he's busy with customers, etc. He buys and sells pre-owned wristwatches, and he credits (or blames) me with getting him hooked on wristwatches when he was a teenager. He's only twenty-three now, but he sure has come a long way. 
I'll catch up with him next week.


This Olympia SF is a great machine. I'd forgotten how nice it was to type on. 
Anyway, gang, that's all for now. Gonna try listing some things on eBay, in an effort to continue the de-clutter around here. I'm also gonna try finishing this epic post about our European trip a few months ago. That should keep me busy.
I hope you all have a safe and pleasant weekend, and thanks for reading!

 

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Friday 20/1/17 & Saturday 21/1/17 - Happy Birthday, Mr Grant, Reversing Wheels & This Week's Wristwatches.


FRIDAY EVENING
                                 Man, I'm tired tonight. Had a lousy night's sleep last night as it rained for hours. 
Meanwhile, at work today, I had about fifteen repairs to write quotes for. Between answering e-mails and phone calls, I managed to get three of them written by the time the whistle blew. 
No matter. I'm sure it'll all be waiting for me on Monday morning. 
I slipped the Omega Speedmaster Professional onto my wrist last weekend;


I couldn't find the name of the photographer who took the photos of A.A.Gill that I used in my post a few weeks ago. However, after I finished reading Gill's biography, Pour Me; A Life, I now knew that it was a fellow named Tom Craig.

So, let me give proper attribution to Mr Craig for the photos that I used in that post, along with this picture here, which I found in an article that I read a few weeks ago, but couldn't recall the title of;

VOGUE.co.uk | Tom Craig Remembers AA Gill in Pictures

It was a nice article. Gill had a penchant for wearing different hats when on assignment with Craig.  I can understand that. 
While fedoras have gone out of fashion in recent years, I still see guys wearing them occasionally. And of course, y'all know that I wear my ones whenever it looks like rain's a' gonna come. 
Except this morning. I didn't take my hat. And my head got drenched as I walked from my car to the train station, only to learn that the trains would be delayed due to overnight rains.



And, speaking of guys who look cool in hats, it was Cary Grant's birthday this week (18th). He and Bogart are my two favourite actors of the Old Hollywood era because they both epitomised the notion of what movie stars were all about back then. 
I've written about Grant before. Born in 1904, he had a smooth physical grace, honed from his early years traveling with an acrobatic troupe as Archie Leach from Bristol, before later heading over to the US and re-inventing himself as Cary Grant at the age of twenty-six. His film career in the late 1930s and early '40s produced a string of movies that were very successful and a great number of them are considered classics

(SATURDAY EVENING)

Grant retired from making movies in 1966, at the age of 62, after co-starring in Walk, Don't Run. His then-wife, actress Dyan Cannon, gave birth to their only child, a daughter that same year and he took great pleasure in being a doting father.
Hollywood continued to try to lure him out of retirement throughout the '60s and '70s, but he was content to remain out of the spotlight. He took up a position on the board of directors at Faberge and regularly attended meetings and traveled around the world on company business.
In his final years, he would travel the country, putting on a show called A Conversation with Cary Grant, where clips from his films would be screened and he would answer audience questions. I'd have killed to have sat in one of those audiences.
Cary Grant suffered a major stroke one afternoon in late 1986, while rehearsing for one of these Q & A evenings. He was rushed to hospital after slipping into a coma and died later that night. He was 82.
For my money, there has never been another actor like him. Not Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair, not Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal, and not George Clooney in the Ocean's Eleven trilogy.
Grant was smooth, sharp, funny and intelligent, but he never looked as though he was working it. And therein lay the difference.

I switched over to the Omega Planet Ocean on Tuesday;


Got home from work, threw my shirt into the wash, changed into more casual duds, then mixed up a slightly exotic gin & tonic;
- 90ml of Bombay Sapphire, over ice.
- a dash of lemon juice
- a dash (or three) of Angostura Bitters
-  three slices of cucumber
- topped up with Capi Tonic Water.

A couple of months ago, I took my Omega Seamaster Professional in to work. The watchmaker told me that he'd service it when he got the chance.
He popped it open not long ago and told me that the reversing wheel had worn out, similar to this part on the right (Picture courtesy of Archer Watches);

I purchased the Seamaster back in 1999 and have never had it serviced. Shame on me.
I, of all people, should practice what I preach. Any mechanical wristwatch ought to get serviced every three to five years. You can sometimes stretch this out to six or seven years, but generally, five year service intervals will ensure that you don't cause unnecessary wear to certain parts of the movement. At five years, you're having preventative surgery performed on your watch. Maintenance rather than repair. Of course, oils will dry out and some cogs will wear down and these require replacement in order to keep a watch running smoothly for another five or six years.

Anyway, the watchmaker gave it a complete service and told me not to let it go so long before its next service.
This watch is perhaps the most significant one in my collection. Not because of its Bond connection, but because it's the watch I had on when both of my children were born. When my son took his first breath of air in December 2000, the nurse looked up at the clock on the wall and stated; "Time of birth, 10:55am."
I looked at the dial of this Omega Seamaster Professional 300m clipped around my wrist and thought to myself; "Ten fifty-SIX am."

Okay, time to call it a day. I'm still slowly writing the post about our trip to Europe last September. It's taking longer than I thought it would, but I'll get there.

Thanks for reading, gang, and have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Friday 13/1/2017 - This Week's Wristwatch



I wore the Seiko 7002 last weekend for some handyman duties. 
Which took longer than I thought they would. Still not completed, either. Ahh, well. Tomorrow's another weekend. 

I'm liking the way this Tower Chieftain III writes. Very snappy.
Which is good because it means I can sell my Smith-Corona Skyriter. The one with the short carriage return lever.  That drives me nuts. 
I have a few typers that don't see much action, but I'm not sure if I want to move them along or not. 
Something to think about some other time. 

The Oris Diver Sixty-Five stayed on my wrist all week. Think I just might switch to something else for the weekend.
 

 Speaking of weekends, have yourselves a good one, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

My Most-Worn Wristwatches of 2016

Time for my third annual review of which wristwatches I wore the most throughout last year.
Looking back, it would appear that dive watches got the most wear. I can't say I was as adventurous throughout 2016 as I have been in past years. Having returned to work back in February, after a long hiatus, I think I found myself changing watches less and less as I spent my time getting back into a work routine and learning the ropes at the new job. There were days when changing my wristwatch felt like an unnecessary chore.
As for the overseas holiday back in September/October, I just took one watch with me, figuring that I would have plenty else to see and do during the trip, and sitting there deciding on what watch to wear was a minor headache that I didn't need. 
The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously, as General George S. Patton once said. Having only one wristwatch meant only one option. 

Once I tallied up the numbers, I was a little surprised by the results. I think 2016 flew by. Starting a new job and taking a major trip were the obvious main highlights of the year and I think my watches took somewhat of a back-seat to everything else that went on during the year. 
Still, they all performed as they should.
Anyway, here they are, in order of most-worn to least-worn. Please excuse the quality of the photos. It was an overcast day and the sunlight kept disappearing behind clouds.


 1- Omega Seamaster 300 - Model No 165.0024 
Calibre 552 from circa 1967 (WatchCo Build Edition)

I wore this classic Seamaster throughout 21 weeks of last year. I 'changed the shoes' on this watch a few times, alternating it between a black NATO strap, brown leather, and two different stainless steel bracelets. 
In the end, it stayed on a recently acquired Omega Speedmaster 1498 bracelet. On a very warm day recently, I noticed the fit of this bracelet was far tighter than I prefer. Your wrist can tend to swell up slightly in warmer climates. The trick is to find that half-way point between too loose and too tight. If Goldilocks wore a dive watch, it would drive her nuts. 
A couple of days ago, I sat down with the tools and had a shot at adding a half-link from another Omega bracelet, in an effort to get a looser fit. Half an hour of trial and error and it now has a more comfortable fit on the wrist. 

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4X8EF8cbQfE/WBQzHfNr9EI/AAAAAAAAIWQ/va1C2gu2YRIslaD_LKYZjTjvg9HZY7KfwCEw/s1600/PA272884.JPG
 Here's how it looked on a ten Euro leather strap with minimal stitch. These types of straps have been very popular over the last few years. Plain leather, with waxed cotton threading on the spring-bar ends that attach to the watch. This strap has raw edges rather than burnished ones, which means that it will age beautifully as time rolls by. It suited this watch nicely, I must add. The Seamaster 300 is one of the very few designs (in my humble opinion) that can accommodate any kind of strap or bracelet and still look sharp. The same can be said of the Rolex Submariner and the Omega Speedmaster Chronograph. 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1oV6aSEZKl4/V7brCbFpVjI/AAAAAAAAIO8/MBSE2OmYHygvcUXOP0L7OzYu1h6LCqbCQCEw/s1600/P8131601.JPG
And here it is on a $25 no-name bracelet with straight end-links, to give the watch a vintage look. I wore it on this bracelet until the Omega one came along.

 2- Sinn 103 St Sa Chronograph 
Calibre Valjoux 7750, 2009 model

This next watch was worn throughout sixteen weeks of the year and it's what I brought to Europe for the holiday last September. I thought I'd wear something that was highly legible, robust and water-resistant. And slightly bad-ass. 
The Sinn 103 served me well. Easy to read, accurate, and with a little bit of heft on the wrist. Although in retrospect, I think I should have worn a simpler watch. Just something that told the time, since I didn't really have a need for a chronograph. Looking at wristwatches on the streets of Paris and Rome, I noticed a predominance of colored plastic Casio digital watches on the younger men. Quite a few of them also wore Daniel Wellington watches on colorful NATO straps. Not a fan of this brand. I find their designs rather uninspired, being lifted from other, more established brands. The older men tended to wear Rolex Submariners and DateJusts mainly. Always good to see. Every other guy who didn't wear a watch seemed to have an iPhone firmly clutched in his hand, ready to check the time at a moment's notice. Not cool.

3- Omega Speedmaster Professional - Model No. 3570.50.00 Calibre 1861, 2007 model

Fifteen weeks of the year saw me reach for this classic chronograph. The entire NASA/ moon landing/ astronaut association is so firmly and deeply woven into the history and mystique of this watch, but this has never been a draw-card for me. Nope, the Speedmaster Professional appeals to me simply because its just a beautiful example of mid-Sixties chronograph design. The kind that is no longer made.

TAG Heuer no longer makes the exquisite Carrera chronograph like this anymore. They have brought out a few re-editions in the last twenty years, and they were very close in look and dimensions to this 1960s Reference 2447 NT model here. Their current Carrera models, however, are Carreras in name only. This picture comes from the very well researched and beautifully photographed website; 


Universal Geneve made some incredible chronos back in the day, the Tri-Compax models being one of their most famous;

While you can see certain design similarities between this watch and the Omega Speedmaster, this UG chrono more than holds its own, and there are plenty of watch collectors out there to prove it, making these watches highly sought-after in recent years. 

More info can be seen on this You Tube video;




Rolex began production of their legendary Cosmograph models in around 1960. This particular Cosmograph Daytona on the left dates back to 1975.

Picture courtesy of;

A couple of years ago, I was given a similar model on loan for about a week. It was just a tad loose on my wrist, and I was nervous as hell when I wore it, but there was no way that I was going to mess with bracelet adjustment on this watch. Not at the prices that these things go for these days. 
It did have a certain something about it, though, and I could easily understand the mania that these older models create among Rolex aficionados. 
Here I am, being very, very careful with the 1970 Reference 6265/0;


Of course, Rolex still manufactures the Daytona chronograph these days, but in my view, it is far removed from the models on which it's based. It is also the most widely sought-after new watch on the luxury Swiss watch market. Somebody posted on a wristwatch forum recently that they were on a five year waiting list for a current model. 
Madness. Absolute madness.

 4- Rolex Submariner - Model No. 5513/0 
Calibre 1520, 1982 model
   
If you're a regular reader of this blog, then you may have read of my long, albeit passive, hunt for one of these watches;
The Rolex Submariner 5513 - A 40 Year Chase Comes To An End

The 1982 model 5513 was the last of the Submariners with plain white Tritium dots for the hour markers. Mine is very similar to the model that Roger Moore wore in his Bond debut, Live And Let Die in 1973.
Vintage Submariners will always be pricey, but this was perhaps the only watch that I've ever really wanted. It just took me four decades and numerous other watches (thus forming a collection) to get there. I only wore this watch throughout 11 weeks of the year, though. It is in dire need of servicing and I'm treating it with kid gloves until that happens.

I was swapping the bracelet over to a NATO strap on the watch one day when the crystal and bezel fell away from the case.
When I regained consciousness, I carefully put it all back together and put the watch back in my watch box. I've worn the watch gingerly at times, but only around the house. I would hate to wear this watch out and about and then glance at it only to find that the bezel or crystal have fallen off. I have already been to Rolex HQ to get a quote for a service. Obviously, the bezel insert and crystal will need to be replaced. The bezel itself is fine, but the aluminium insert - for the uninitiated, that's the black ring with the numbers on it- is an after-market part. Something that the seller didn't disclose to me prior to the sale. In fact, the photos that he sent me showed a genuine Rolex Submariner bezel on the watch. No matter. For what it's worth, I long ago sent him an e-mail outlining his underhandedness. I felt a little better afterwards. Besides, I'm too happy with the rest of the watch, anyway.

For me, the main criteria was that the hands and dial markers matched. Over time, the original white hue of the luminous Tritium compound on the hands and hour dot markers can fade to a shade of cream. If these are exposed to moisture, they take on a cheesy shade of pale yellow. 

Thankfully, the dial and hands on my watch have only faded to cream, and they match each other nicely. Previous owners of these watches would opt to have new hands fitted during servicing, in the interests of night-time legibility, but luckily, this one was kept original. As a result, it is in very nice, original condition. 
Once I get it serviced, I'll feel more confident in wearing it a little more often. 
Can't wait. 

5- Omega Railmaster Co-Axial - Model No. 2504.52.00 
Calibre 2403, 2009 model

 Image result
I'm getting lazy here. This is a photo from back in June.
The 36.2mm Raily was worn through ten weeks of the year. This watch is a personal favourite of mine. Simple, clear layout, 150m water-resistance- which is more than most folks need- and a perfect size for my 6.5 inch wrist.
The first Railmaster model was introduced back in 1957. There are rumours (or hopes) that Omega will unveil a 60th anniversary model at this year's BaselWorld Watch Fair in March.
Personally, I hope not. I think they got it right when they made this model and something tells me that, if they produce a new version, they'll jazz it up too much. Whereas this mid-Noughties re-issue stuck fairly close to the look of the 1950s original...

The dial markers and numerals are coated with SuperLuminova compound. It's also used on the cut-out sections of the hands. In the dark, this thing glows nicely. 


...there is speculation that Omega will use a faux aged lume on a sandwich dial* (to give it a vintage look) and that they'll use applied steel numerals instead of luminous ones. Basically, it might look like the current Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial, minus the rotating dive bezel;

To be sure, this here is a nice watch. If I didn't already have a couple of Omega dive watches, I'd have seriously considered one of these.



<-----*Oh yeah, a sandwich dial-
            Just quickly, the hour markers are cut out of the metal disc used for the dial. Then, another disc, coated with faux-aged SuperLuminova, is placed underneath it, sandwich-style. It gives the entire dial a three dimensional look. The use of applied steel (or possibly white gold) numerals further adds to this look. It definitely makes for an intricately put-together watch dial, and no doubt drives up the price. As I said, a smart looking watch, but I don't want to see a new iteration of the Railmaster borrow too heavily from another design.
Anyway, no matter. I got my one and I'm very happy with it.

6- Omega Seamaster AquaTerra Co-Axial - Model No. 2504.50.00
Calibre 2500, 2005 model

Another recycled photo. Sorry, folks. 
I was surprised to find that this watch made it into this year's list. I suppose that it's such an understated design that even I forgot that I'd worn it so much. 
This is a smart watch. Like the Railmaster, this watch measures 36.2mm in diameter and has the same level of water-resistance. It could actually work extremely well if you're a one-watch-guy. Sadly, I'm not. However, whenever I wear this watch, I'm reminded of how sharp it looks. The hands only have a thin strip of Luminova in them, which can make it tricky to read in the dark, but the hands are faceted, which means they do tend to catch the light from virtually any angle. 

If anything, it is perhaps hard to read sometimes if viewed front-on. This depends on the ambient lighting, of course, but I have found that the hands will sometimes disappear against the glossy black dial. It can be easier to read if tilted at an angle. Especially when I'm driving and I give the watch a quick glance for the time. 
Its glossy black dial contrasts wonderfully with the steel hands and markers. It does, though, bear enough design similarities (same case, crown, crystal and bracelet) to the Railmaster to almost make it redundant in my collection. I say almost because I took the bracelet off it not long ago and put a cheap calf leather strap on it which had a lizard-skin print embossed on it. This changed the entire look of the watch. 


Not a great photo, since it doesn't show the strap in its true light, but a glossy black strap does dress this watch up quite a bit. So, I think I'll hit eBay for a 19mm black lizard-skin strap at some point. 

7- Oris Diver Sixty-Five, Model No. 733 7707 4035
Calibre SW200-1, 2016 model

I am already formulating ideas for a proper review of this watch, so I'll keep it short here. The Oris Diver Sixty-Five was released at the BaselWorld Watch Fair in 2015 and it was one of the surprise sleeper hits of the year. Borrowing heavily from its archive, Oris created a modern version of one of its distinctive designs of the mid-1960s, beefing the size up to 40mm from what I assume would have been 36mm back in the day. This 2015 release had a glossy black dial which contrasted nicely with the sci-fi font of the numerals. The hands were a sober picket-fence style, and they placed a date window at the six o'clock edge of the dial. 




Later in 2015, Oris brought out another version with what they called a "Deauville Blue" dial (pic on left courtesy of Topper Jewellers). 
 It is of a lighter shade of blue than I am used to seeing on dive watches, with a soft, light grey disc at its centre. 



 Half-way through 2016 saw the release of another dial colour variation. This was done with not much fanfare from Oris. As soon as I saw this watch in the flesh (or 'in the metal', as watch collectors say), I was hooked. 


Glossy cyan blue outer edge, glossy black disc in the centre. Unlike any other dive watch I have. Forty millimetres in diameter (like my Submariner!), 100m of water-resistance, and a raised and curved sapphire crystal, which gives the watch even more of a vintage vibe. 
Truth be told, my tastes lean more towards vintage watches rather than modern. 
The bracelet design is borrowed/stolen from the riveted bracelet designs of 1950s Rolex models, and it perfectly suits this watch. I wore this Oris for seven straight weeks after I got it. Managed to prise it off my wrist on Christmas Day, to give some other watch a run. 
Oris is a tricky brand. Just when I think I've seen everything it has to offer, it surprises me with something like this watch.

And that's 2016's wristwatches. Others were worn to a lesser extent. My Seiko 7002 was my go-to watch whenever I picked up a screwdriver, paintbrush or mowed the lawns. 
The Longines Expeditions Polaires Francaises got a bit of wear too, once I swapped it over to a nicer strap. Again, this is a watch that would look great with lizard-skin. 
I sold off my Oris Miles Tonneau automatic to a very grateful buyer, so at least that will get some wear. I had originally intended to give it to my son when he's older, but he seems to prefer dive watches. Besides, there's no shortage of dress watches for him to choose from. 
This year will have more to do with maintenance of some pieces. My Seamaster 300m was purchased in 1999 and has never been serviced. That's well overdue.
Firstly, the Submariner. Once that one's done, I'll review what needs to be attended to next. Although, I can see that there may be one or two watches still to shift along, since they don't get worn much at all. 
I'm trying to distill the collection down a little wherever possible. 
Because, if they're not being worn, then they're just taking up space. 

Thanks for reading!