Monday, 21 October 2019

Monday October 21st, 2019 - Bench-warming (with a grinder), Channeling Charlize, Head to Toe Aches, & Recent Wristwatches

The last Saturday in September was also the day of the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final. I could care less. Which pretty much amounts to treason in this country.
I headed to the hardware store to get some supplies. I have an old bench that my wife wanted to throw out, but that I wanted to resurrect. It has seen better days.

I started on it and it became a bigger job than I had planned. The old nuts and bolts had been painted over and the metal frame showed heavy rust. This would take a while. Most of the wooden bench slats seemed to be in okay condition, but once I got started, I realised that water had done its work over the years and softened the timber. I'd already bought four new slats made of Tasmanian Oak. Looks like I'll be buying some more of them.

Once I got started with the socket wrenches, the true extent of its condition revealed itself. Lord knows how many coats of paint had been used on these bolts, and I think that the rust had gone to work on them at some point between coats of paint. They weren't gonna budge any time soon.
Time for Plan B. Time for the angle grinder.
Always have a back-up plan, kids.
I started off with grinding away the hex nuts, often getting them to a red-hot glow. Once they fell away, a little bit of tapping on the exposed bolts and they worked their way out of the frame and slats.

Rust never sleeps. Some parts of this frame have taken a beating. I'll remove as much surface rust as I can before I flood it with KillRust prior to painting.
I may even have a clue about what I'm doing!
I'm sure the KillRust won't help much. I'm hoping that it will merely slow down the rust process. 

Anyway, at the time of writing, I've ground back half of the frame parts back to as close to bare metal as I can. That should do, I hope. And it would appear that I may be able to only save a couple of the old wooden slats. Yes, I could replace them all with new ones, but I like the idea of leaving some of the original timber intact, as a link to the original bench itself.  The two arm-rests seem okay. Maybe I'll just salvage those. Either way, I'll finish the steel sanding preparations sometime over this weekend (12th-13th) and perhaps start painting the frame once that's done.

Watch-wise, I've worn the circa 1968 Seiko Skyliner this month. I'm not sure if I've said this here before, but there's a certain cachet to the phrase Made in Japan. Those of you old enough to remember will perhaps recall seeing those words printed or engraved on the underside of various electrical goods back in the '60s and '70s. The Japanese, from my understanding, take a certain high level of pride in the manufacture of their goods, and every curve or line in the design of a product is often imbued with design elements of other products.

If you look closely at this Grand Seiko 'Snowflake';
 Pic courtesy of | Grand Seiko Spring Drive - SGBA211

You will notice that the dial, as the name suggests, resembles a bank of snow. The hands look like blades and the overall design of the case has a beautiful symmetry and balance to it.
My wife has suggested that my daughter and I take a trip to Tokyo sometime in the next year or so. That would be cool, but I'm sure I'd have to increase my credit card limit because I know 100% that I'm gonna see vintage cameras and watches and my resistance will be tested. From what I gather, Japanese collectors look after their items and when they get rid of them, they are usually in very good condition. This is often reflected in the pricing, too.
And then there are the glasses. Spectacle makers in Japan are artisans, and the frames are often cut and finished by hand, resulting in almost one-of-a-kind glasses. 
Yep, I'd need deep pockets for a trip to Japan.

Switched over to the recently-arrived Seiko SARB033.

This watch was purchased as a replacement for my Omega Seamaster AquaTerra. I still have the Omega, but I'll be selling it soon. My main reason for getting rid of it is due to the lack of legibility of the dial in certain lighting conditions. I've found myself glancing at the watch while driving and, due to the glossy black dial, the hands can seem to disappear. This never bothered me too much in the past, but as I've gotten older, a couple of things have happened. Firstly, my eyesight has deteriorated in recent years, to the point where I now need glasses to see my watch clearly. Either that, or I need arms that are three feet long.
And secondly, my collection has grown a little, to the point where the Omega just wasn't getting much time on the wrist. So, I decided to move the AquaTerra along.
Once I'd made that decision, I felt that I'd still like to have a black-dialed dress watch and, Seiko being Seiko, there was no shortage of black-dialed dress watches to choose from in their repertoire. I saw this model during my trawls through eBay and filed it away for future reference.
And then, two things happened. One, this model became discontinued and prices on eBay began to slowly creep up.
And two, I re-watched Atomic Blonde (Dir: David Leitch, 2017) one night...

...and noticed something. The film, set in Berlin during the last days of the Cold War, gives us Charlize Theron as MI6 operative Lorraine Broughton, as she attempts to ferret out a mole in East Berlin. It's a great action film, featuring a stunningly choreographed fight scene in an apartment stairwell that's wonderfully shot on Steadicam.

What I noticed was her wristwatch. Something round, with a black dial, on a leather strap. It looked cool. Or maybe it looked cool because it was on ice-blonde Charlize Theron's wrist.

Whatever the reason, I thought it looked good paired with a crisp white shirt and waistcoat. I have a crisp white shirt and waistcoat, even though I don't have a mane of ice-blonde hair.
Her wristwatch, after a little digging, was a Carl F. Bucherer Manero ladies model. It's a nice, clean automatic watch with date.
Carl F. Bucherer is a brand that's been making recent in-roads into supplying watches for movies. Hamilton is another brand that has been doing so for years. You will find Hamilton on the wrists of a tonne of movie characters of the last two decades, from Will Smith in Men In Black in 1997, to Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar in 2014.
Bucherer, however, scored a big coup by fitting their watches to Keanu Reeves' wrist for the John Wick films in recent years.
This little battle will be interesting to see.

Anyway, I thought it was a nice looking watch, but I didn't want to shell out for a Bucherer, even though I have to say they make some beautiful watches, without a doubt.

So, I gave it all a little more thought before I snagged the Seiko off eBay.
As you may tell from this photo, the hands on the Omega (left) aren't as easy to see as those on the Seiko, on the right.
Both watches have faceted hands, but the Omega has a thin strip of SuperLuminova on the hour hand and just an arrow-tip of lume on the minute hand. The Seiko, however, has thin wedges of lume on both hands, thus making it easier for me to read the time at most angles and levels of lighting.
As much as I like the Omega, having gotten it while I was working at a watch dealer in 2006, if I can't read the time on it easily, then it has to go.
My one main cardinal rule about wristwatches- they must tell the time above all else.

For now, I can always change the Seiko's bracelet over to a black leather strap if I want it looking more like Charlize Theron's watch from the movie. Although, with Summer only a couple of months away, I think it wiser to leave it on its bracelet until the cooler months next year.

I've had bunions on both feet now for over ten years. This is where the big toe begins to tilt inwards towards the other toes, as the first knuckle of the big toe begins to swell. As some of you may recall me telling, I began working as a waiter at a pizza restaurant when I was a young teen back in 1979. Worked in hospitality for 22 years before moving in to retail for fifteen years. My current role in After-Sales for a wristwatch company is the first job I've had where I get to sit down as well as move around.
So, I think the time has well and truly come to get this bunion issue sorted out. I used to think that I developed these due to standing up for long periods in every job I've had, but it turns out that bunions are hereditary. My feet have been aching most nights now for over a decade, but I never got around to organising the operation to have the bunions worked on. One reason or another. The recovery time is around five weeks. I have enough leave time accrued and I have to get this done, regardless of the fact that once I return to work, there will be an absolute mountain of stuff to take care of.
My doctor wrote me a referral for x-rays last December and I'll finally go get them done this week. Then, I'll have a consultation with the podiatrist to ask questions about it all and after that, I'll go onto the public waiting list for the actual procedure. I may be waiting three months, I may be waiting a year. It will require a general anaesthetic and while I'm under, they'll break the big toe and then shave away some bone.
Yeah, I'll have to be under anaesthetic for all that. Maybe I should even get drunk beforehand. Sounds awful.
Anyway, over at the other end of my body, a root canal that I had done three years ago has been aching in recent weeks. Looks like I'll be visiting the endodontist soon. I'd better bring a wad of cash. To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of 'medical tourism', whereby I could go to Thailand or someplace and get my teeth worked on for a few grand, whereas it would cost me an arm and a leg to get it done here. I'm going to look into it at some point.

Anyway, enough about that. I'll get the ball rolling with it all by the time you read this.
We now return you to our regular feature.

I wore the Omega Railmaster at some point in late September;

My wrists are at that stupid mid-point between a watch feeling too tight or too loose. I'm pretty sure that I've 'lost condition' since I stopped going to the gym regularly a few years ago. Truth be told, though, my build was never anything to write home about. Time to get back into it so that I can achieve that 'Goldilocks effect' with some of my watches. The Railmaster wears a tad loose at the moment. If I remove even a half-link from the bracelet, it begins to feel a little too snug as the day wears on. Yes, it's a First World problem.

Had the foot X-rays done earlier this week. Spent longer in the waiting room than I did in the Radiology room. Next day, I tee'd up an appointment with my doctor to discuss the next step.

Wore the Omega Speedmaster earlier this month. This watch gets worn a little less as the warmer months approach because I find my watches get exposed to water more often.
The Speedmaster Professional is rated down to 50m, which basically means it's splash-proof. I know other owners of this model who will happily wear it in a pool, but I'd rather err on the side of caution, since I've had this watch for twelve years now and have yet to have it serviced. I daresay it's well overdue for some attention.
I'm tempted to take it to a watchmaker that I've heard about over the years. He happens to be a 25 minute drive from my house. Back in the days when I worked at the watch store, I used to send this watchmaker a lot of business whenever somebody would bring in a vintage watch, as I had heard from other watch collectors that he was pretty good. Might be time to find out for myself if that's true.

I recently had the Omega Seamaster 300 serviced. The watchmaker that I work with said a fellow that he trained was looking to make some extra money on the side and he'd be happy to service my watch at home.
The watch ran okay, but the seals around the crown made it very difficult to wind and set the watch. My main concern with this is that applying undue pressure on the crown will place undue pressure on the stem which attaches it to the movement. Over time, this may cause the stem to snap. You don't want that.
Anyway, this guy did the service and the crown is much, much smoother now. My watchmaker colleague checked the work afterwards and said the guy did a good job, but there was a part in the movement that looked worn out and should be replaced. He said he'd check through his bank of spare parts to see if he had it.
This was a few months ago now, and I basically began getting tired of waiting. I have an old Tudor Oyster Prince currently in pieces on his workbench. It's been like that for just over two years. Reason being, he's actually there to service the watches that come in on a daily basis, so any extra work for staff watches tend to take a long back-seat to the paid work.
Fair enough, that's what he and I are there for.

Although, I didn't relish the thought of this Omega sitting in pieces under a glass dome for extended periods of time, so I got onto eBay and cast out a lure, so to speak.
About a week later, I found a seller who had a slew of NOS (new old stock) parts for a range of vintage Omega calibres. A quick search through his inventory showed that he had what I needed. And he wasn't shy about charging. Between cost of part and postage, I shelled out around forty bucks. This price was actually around the same as what a parts website was selling it for, so in the end, I didn't feel that I got overly ripped off.

This friction spring helps the seconds hand move smoothly around the dial. It's a very, very small piece and I almost didn't want to take it out of the packaging to take this photo. If this thing fell onto the floor, I'd have a hard time finding it. I tip my hat to watchmakers. Sure, they use a magnifying loupe and have strong lighting, but they must have a level of patience that's beyond me.
So, I'll take this in to work some day soon and see if he has the time to fit it to the movement. Thing is, though, as we're now only about ten weeks away from Christmas, it's getting busy at work and I don't know if he'll have the time to do it.
Plan B is to take the watch to a nearby jeweller that I used to recommend to customers back in my watch selling days. Some collectors told me that he was very good.

I wore the Hamilton Khaki Automatic throughout the month.
I finally finished Graham Greene's classic, The Quiet American. I started reading it in early March. Then I went to Vietnam. Walked the same streets of Saigon that were mentioned in the book. Even had a drink (or two) at the Hotel Continental where Greene wrote much of the book in Room 214 in the early to mid 1950s.

I'll admit that I found the first 70 or 80 pages a little slow. After that, I finally got into the rhythm of the story and began to enjoy it.  The book was made into an okay movie back in 2004 by Phillip Noyce, starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.
The story concerns jaded middle-aged British journalist Thomas Fowler, who is stationed in Saigon reporting for his newspaper back in England on the collapse of French colonialism in the country, and young, naïve American aide worker Alden Pyle, who is most likely CIA. Between the two of them lies Phuong, a young Vietnamese woman who is Fowler's lover. Pyle, being young and naïve, is totally smitten by her upon first meeting and he soon tells Fowler that he's in love with her and would like to take her back to America and be married.
Fowler doesn't perceive Pyle to be a threat. Of course, things change as the novel progresses, and Fowler begins to see Pyle as more than just a pain in the ass that his name would suggest.
The book has some nicely written passages and phrases. I'd forgotten how good a writer Greene was, and I've come to respect him more as I've gotten older. Truth be told, I've only read four other books of his, even though I have another dozen of them on my bookshelves.

The first one I read intrigued me when I first heard about it in the late '80s.
It was called The Tenth Man. Green wrote it as a film treatment/manuscript while under contract with MGM Studios in 1944. It was unearthed from their archives around 1983 and published in novel, or rather, novella form soon afterwards. I recall reading a review of the book which gave a brief synopsis. The story is set in a prison in Occupied France during the War. Two of the men in one cell block both own pocket watches and each of them is adamant that their watch shows the correct time. Two other prisoners owned wristwatches, but one day, they were led out of their respective cells and were never seen again. A short time later, some of the remaining prisoners notice that a couple of the guards are wearing the wristwatches.
But this is not what the overall story is about.
The book is short, numbering 112 pages, but John Carey, writing in the Sunday Times back then, had this to say about it;
"A masterpiece - tapped out in the lean, sharp-eyed prose that film work taught Greene to perfect." 

I read it back when I was 21 and it was a beautifully paced book. The main character is a former lawyer who is now languishing in this prison. I don't know much about Greene beyond the fact that he was a heavy drinker, had worked in British Intelligence during the War (Kim Philby was his supervisor), reviewed films back in the 1930s, and was an atheist, despite becoming a Catholic in the 1920s.
The late biographer Norman Sherry wrote a staggering three-volume biography of Greene over the course of a decade, traveling to countries circled in red on a map given to him by the author, with instructions to visit those places and talk to (and not to talk to) certain people.
I have the first volume. It's over 800 pages.
That's gonna take me a while.

Okay, that was longer than I'd planned it to be. Time to wrap things up.
I also wore the Oris Diver Sixty-Five this month;

Man, I gotta get back into exercising. I've got forearms like Bart Simpson's. And my waistline is straining. I have to work towards a body like one that author Phillip Kerr described in his book, The Five Year Plan. The guy has just gotten out of jail and had the kind of build where "his jackets were now too tight and his pants were too loose."

Yeah. That would be cool.

Right. 10:28pm. All for now, and thanks for reading!

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Still Here, Still Busy - Part 3 | 8:00pm, Saturday, 28th September, 2019 - Car Headaches, Bad Books, & New (old) Watches

Took another stab at cleaning my desk. Time for a typecast, since it's been a while. I can't say that I'm overly happy with the photos throughout this post. The Windows Photo Editor's enhance feature seems to be playing up and I've been unable to lighten the pics. I've looked up various methods for fixing this, but nothing seems to be working. Guess I'll just have to wait for the next Windows 10 updates. 

I can download a Free Trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements and give that a bash! Which is what I did. So, I'll attemptto tidy up some photos here wherever possible.

And a close-up. I love the four different textures of the dial. Five if you include the applied numerals. Basically, the numbers at the hour markers aren't painted on or glued on. They're attached with thin metal prongs that are slotted into tiny holes drilled into the dial.

Car Trouble.
                     My wife and I took a drive out to a seaside town a few weekends ago. On the freeway coming home, I took the last major turn-off and heard a sharp snap, while at the same time seeing a small crack instantly appear along the lower edge of my wind-screen. Dammit, a stone chip.

I called a windscreen replacement company the following Monday on their 1300 number. I was hoping that it could be repaired rather than replaced.

Is the crack bigger than a five-cent coin?, she asked.

No, it's a little smaller than that, I replied. The crack was about 15mm in length, with a chip in the centre.

Whereabouts on the windscreen is it?

About ten centimetres from the lower edge and around 20 centimetres from the right-hand side edge.

So, it's on the driver's side of the windscreen? (Right-hand drive in Australia, folks.)

Yes, it is, I replied.

Oh, well then it'll have to be replaced if it's on the driver's side. That would be $295.oo.

I then decided to call on their regional repairer, which was located five minutes from home. This would be the place where they would send my car. The guy there had a look at the windscreen and he said they could fill in the crack with a resin. For $95 bucks.
Cool. I asked him if the crack might get worse if I hit a pot-hole or something and he said it might, in which case, he could offer me a six-month warranty on the work with the option of then replacing the windscreen for the $295.oo price minus the $95 that I would have already paid for the repair.
Sounded okay to me, so I booked it in for the following Friday morning. It would take about an hour.

The next day, on the morning drive in to work, the battery warning light came on. Driving home later that evening, I  noticed that my headlights didn't seems as bright as I thought they should be. As a precaution, I lowered the instrument/dashboard lighting and switched off the heater. My windscreen wipers also appeared to work a little more sluggishly than I thought.

I managed to get home and then called my mechanic the next morning to tee up dropping it in for repair. Was it the battery? Was it the alternator? I'd find out soon enough.
Driving it in to the workshop the following morning, the battery light was on and, whenever I'd drop into second gear to turn a corner, the steering would stiffen up and the power steering malfunction light would flicker briefly.
Man, I was gonna kill myself on a six-minute drive to the mechanic.

Got the car and myself there in one piece and they gave me a Jaguar(!) as a loaner. It was a model from about fifteen years ago and it drove lousy. Sluggish on take-off and it took a while to get up to speed. Nice enough once it cruised along, but took a while to get there.
And I'm no expert on cars.

Left work early that day because I wanted to be sure I had the car ready to take in for windscreen repair the next day.
The mechanics told me that it was the alternator. They reconditioned it and said it was as good as new.

DO YOU WANNA KEEP THIS CAR CRAP IN? It's pretty poorly written. Your heart and/or mind wasn't in it, really. Ahh, what the hell...leave it in. They can skip it if they get bored. God knows I did!

Anyway, I picked up two new watches recently.

Australia phased out one and two dollar notes in 1984 and 1988 respectively, and replaced them with coins. I have some small metal tins that I throw all of my loose change into. Over time, I take these coins to the bank and deposit them into my account. Like a ten year-old kid.  I have a small Whitman's Sampler tin which is probably the same size as an Altoids tin. This holds about fifty one dollar coins. 
I have another tin which holds about $240.oo in $2 coins, and another round tin that holds about eight-five bucks in 50c coins. 
Sure, it can probably take a year or so to save any meaningful amount, but it's a nice casual way of saving for the frivolities.

These coins pretty much paid for the two new watches. Well, that plus a small chunk of my recent tax return. 

First one to arrive was this late 1960s hand-wound Seiko Skyliner. 
At 37mm in diameter, it's a slightly larger than normal size for the era. Close inspection shows that the dial and hands are in very, very good condition. 
The winding crown does feel a tad small and, therefore, it's a little harder to grip with the finger-tips, but this is such a small concern that it's hardly worth mentioning. Once you get the hang of winding it, it's not an issue.  
I can't fault Seiko. The phrase "Made in Japan" has a certain cachet to it and it conjures up memories of 35mm Nikon film cameras from the 1970s and National Panasonic transistor radios of the 1960s.
This piece is as well put-together as anything coming out of comparable Swiss brands at the same time.

Whenever I finish a bottle of alcohol, I tend to soak the labels off them. I like to use them as bookmarks. Some of these are harder to remove than others. I place the bottles into hot water for about fifteen minutes and this works with some labels and not others. A guy at a nearby bottle shop (liquor store) suggested good old WD-40. I may give that a shot.

This Gin Lane 1751 label was coming off nicely as I gently peeled it away from the glass. Only problem was that I held on to the same section of the label during removal and managed to rub away the first couple of layers of paper.
Ahh, well. Looks like I may have to get another bottle of Gin Lane at some point.
I wore the Hamilton Khaki Automatic during this exercise. I keep thinking that this watch might look a little better with a couple of scuffs and scratches on it, to give it a lived-in kind of look, but I've yet to put a mark on it. No hurry, I suppose.

I'm still reading Graham Greene's The Quiet American, but I picked up a book of short stories called Paris Noir. 
You know, gang, life is too short. I decided some time ago that I would avoid bad movies and books wherever possible, because there's a tonne of good movies and books still unwatched and unread, and I ain't getting any younger.
I got as far as the first two stories before I added this book to the pile of stuff to go to the nearest Op Shop (Goodwill/Thrift Store).

Continuing with books, my first edition hardcover of John Le Carré's third book of the Karla Trilogy arrived in the mail this week. Smiley's People concludes George Smiley's intricate game of cat-and-mouse against his Russian counter-part. Smiley is a spymaster in British Intelligence and Karla is his Moriarty.

The first book in this series, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, was filmed as a highly acclaimed mini-series back in the early 1980s with Alec Guinness as Smiley and then remade as a movie with Gary Oldman in 2011 and it concerned Smiley being brought out of retirement to ferret out a mole in MI6.
It's as far removed from Bond as you can get. I bought Tinker, Tailor back in 1981 and got up to page 48 before I stopped reading it. I was too young for it, I think, and I found the pace slow. Of course, now I'm older and appreciate character development a little more, so I think I'll take another shot at it at some point. May even re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, while I'm at it. That was Le Carré's breakout novel back in 1963. A classic of the espionage fiction genre.
I'll keep an eye out for the hardback versions of the two other books in the trilogy, TTSS and The Honourable Schoolboy. 

The other watch that arrived recently was this Rado Golden Horse, which dates back to 1957.
I had a 1970s model at one point and I stupidly sold it. At the time, though, my rationale was that it looked very much like a Rolex DateJust model and I felt that, if I kept this Rado, I might never get around to getting a DateJust. Well, that was about ten years ago and I still don't have the DateJust.
Anyway, this one arrived and the seller's photos did not do this watch justice. It's in very clean cosmetic condition. Rado brought out a re-edition a couple of months ago and it's virtually identical, save for the colour of the dial. For this new model, they opted for a plum-red dial. Nice.
Picture below lifted from Fratello | Hot Take: Rado Golden Horse Collection

The watchmaker that I work with told me that Rado was a very popular brand throughout Asia in the '70s and he had good things to say about these watches. Rado was one of the smaller brands coming out of Switzerland and it was acquired by The Swatch Group at some point. I sold quite a few Rado watches back in my watch selling days. The brand did very well with its Integral range which had a very thin black ceramic case and integrated bracelet with gold accents.

This Golden Horse that I got does have a few stains on the chapter ring surrounding the dial, but this is nothing that can't be solved by an ultra-sonic cleanse. We have an ultra-sonic cleaner at work. It's basically a small tank that you fill with water and cleaning solvent. The tank then heats up the water. When you turn on the cleanse function, a tiny vibration is applied to the tank. This vibration dislodges any dirt that might build up on a watch case or jewellery. You only need to leave items in the tank for about thirty seconds. They come out looking sparkly clean.
I have read, though, that prolonged exposure to the tank while in operation can actually kill the nerves in your fingertips, thus reducing their sensitivity. We always use wooden tongs.
I've noticed over the years that dive watches tend to be really dirty when they come in for servicing. Build-up of grime in between the bracelet links and on the underside where the bracelet joins the case at the end-links and lugs.
It almost seems that the more water-resistant the watch, the less likely that it has actually been in water. I'm always careful with these filthy watches. It's all too easy to handle one and then inadvertently rub your eye and, before you know it, you risk some conjunctivitis or something.  

My wife got me this photo!

It's a reproduction, sure, but it's still nifty having his autograph on it. Judging by how he looks in this picture, I'd say it was taken in the mid-1940s.

Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart are my two favourite movie stars of the Old Hollywood era. My daughter's been binging on old movies in recent months and she's developed a liking for 1920s fashions, Lauren Bacall's eyes, Ingrid Bergman's nose, Katherine Hepburn's cheekbones, and black and white movies.
We watched Hitchcock's Notorious (1946) recently and I mentioned that I have a poster of the film somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and frame it. I got it back in the late 1980s and I'm sure it would be near impossible to replace.

And, just in time for my daughter's birthday, a couple of black leather straps arrived for the Oris. I put one onto the watch and it suits it nicely. It's got a crocodile pattern embossed on it. Gives it more of a 1930s flavour.

I presented the watch to her after dinner. She'd forgotten that I even had this watch. Good. It packed more of a surprise wallop that way. That was a couple of weeks ago and I'm happy to report that she hasn't taken the watch off since.

Anyway, that's another month down. This year has flown by, that's for sure. I trust you've been well, reader, and I'll see how I go before my next post.

Thanks for reading, and take care, all!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Still Here, Still Busy - Part 2 | 10:11pm, Thursday, 5th September, 2019 - My Kingdom for a Shirt Pocket!

The Oris Diver SixtyFive (40mm, blue & black dial) got a lot of wear in recent months. Here it is, back in May,  in a restaurant while I awaited some calamari. It was a lacklustre meal, to be honest. Lightly (actually, too, too lightly) grilled, it was an entire tube of squid with cuts half-way through it. If you think that doesn't make any sense, then neither did the taste. 
And it wasn't very hot. Barely warm, in fact. Just as well it was on the company dime.  I was having a quick dinner before a work function where there wouldn't be any food. It was gonna be a long night. And it was.

The Rolex Submariner also got its fair share on the wrist. I took this pic for my Instagram and then felt like adding some text to accompany it;

Ritts glanced at his left wrist. The mixture of perspiration and grime between the bracelet links had produced an oily residue that left a stain on his skin. 
He glanced at his watch on the table. He’d been at the safe-house since 4:00am and Al-Waleed never showed. Nothing more to do for now. He’d try again tomorrow. Ritts took a deep breath before letting a sigh hiss through his teeth. He then picked up the pressed rose that the inn-keeper’s daughter had given him when he first walked in. The inn-keeper himself, upon seeing Ritts in this disheveled state, reached under the bar and produced the bottle of single-malt. Ritts could have kissed him. After the second glass, he caught a brief whiff of his own body odor as he reached forward to put the rose back on the table. He needed a shower. A dead rose couldn’t disguise that fact. But he needed a drink first. ‘These people are beautiful’, he thought to himself as he dropped fifty Dirham on the table before he reached for his wristwatch.


In my previous post, I mentioned a jacket that my wife had found for me in a thrift store (in Australia, we call them Op Shops, which is short for 'Opportunity Shop') and I put an asterisk at the end of the sentence;

                   My wife is always on the lookout for clothes for me whenever she visits an Op Shop. I never tend to have the same kind of luck whenever I visit them.

Like I said, I put an asterisk at the end of that sentence, with the intention of elaborating a little on the subject. 
And then I forgot to elaborate on the subject. 
Anyway, here I go... 

You see, I have this theory about men and women, and the kind of stuff that they donate to thrift stores, and the methods and thinking behind their respective donation strategies (if any). 

Let's talk about something such as a tailored jacket. You know, corporate-style cut and design, in a sober colour, made from a nice wool. Women may buy said jacket and wear it for an entire season. They'll look after it, get it dry-cleaned when required and then they might take it to a thrift store as soon as they've had it for a couple of years or it's style or cut has gone out of season or fashion. 

Men will buy a cheaper type of tailored jacket and wear it to death. Guys will sweat in the jacket, drape it over the back of a chair, leave it on when they get behind the wheel, rub a wet paper napkin across the sleeve to remove some spilled sauce, toss it on the end of the bed when they get home from work, etc. 
Basically, a guy won't look after his jacket. He'll keep it too long, won't look after it properly and he won't get it dry-cleaned. The back of it will be creased and misshapen from being crushed and stretched between his back and the driver's seat, it'll have that sheen across the shoulder from where the seat-belt has rubbed against it over time and the armpits will smell. 
AND THEN he'll donate it to a thrift store, rebuking his other half's protestations with something like; "What? It's still in good nick (condition). Somebody's gonna get themselves a bargain."

My wife has here own take on this. I'll let her explain it 'cos she's better at it;

Okay so....a few extra things to add. Tee is right. Men - not having been bombarded with the cultural expectation of being 'fashionable' or the peer/vanity expectation of 'looking good', are less concerned with the shallower aspects of clothing -  care, original style, and price. 

For them, if they wore a garment only a little bit, they confer a value to it that means when they are finished with it, logically someone else might want it and get a few wears out if it. It's sweet, really.

And I suppose it demonstrates that men are all about the utilitarian aspect of clothing, that it's fit for purpose whereas women are generally more concerned with the superficial aspect; is it in style or, horrors, out of style?
After all, it is said that women dress for other women.

But I also believe that when it comes to Op Shops there are two types of men's clothing; the first, as identified by Teeritz - the thrashed and trashed beloved item, donated only because it no longer fits, but with a genuine desire to pass on to the next lucky wearer an excellent piece of clothing that will stand him in good stead.

The second type is the one I bring home for Tee. New or near new, often with tags still on, and the crispness of fabric that has never been against a warm body. Why? It was the present (gift) bought for a male by a female partner/friend/relative, that was just NOT to the recipient's taste. 
Too floral, too patterned, too tight, too 'extra'. Luckily, Tee does not mind a pattern and is on the thinner side. But the racks are full of such clothing - all showing the thwarted attempts and hopeful expectations of womenfolk to get their men to be fashionable. 
Hence my 'luck' at Op Shops. I should also add that I am never restricted by size as it's sooo often misjudged by Op Shop staff. So I look through all sizes and at all kinds of items. There are always size and style mix-ups. 
A cool head, a keen eye and patience are all you need.

Yep. Thanks, hon!

Staying on the subject of clothing, I've lately been having a pretty hard time finding decent shirts with a breast pocket on them.
All I want is a cotton business shirt, with  button cuffs, a sharp collar, and a pocket, and it should ideally be a slim-cut shirt, as these are better suited to my thin build.
I'm trying to avoid a repeat of what I wrote about five years ago (my God, was it that long ago?);

"Oh My God, I'm Wearing a Dad Shirt!" | A Lesson in Dressing for My Body Type

In recent weeks, I've visited numerous menswear stores with rows and rows of shirts and not a damn one of them has a pocket. Unless I go for an 'Easy Iron' (read poly-cotton blend), which I refuse to do, since I find that poly-cotton doesn't 'breathe' like cotton does.

Okay, so I prefer a shirt with a pocket. I always carry a pen, while I'm sure that 99% of men these days don't, because they have their precious mobile phones for jotting down notes with their thumbs and stuff like that. And, from what I've seen when somebody sends in a watch with a hand-written note, legible handwriting is becoming a rare thing these days.
It's a particular shame when the note has been written by somebody who explains that they bought the watch for their 40th Birthday TEN years ago. Did they dictate this note to their five year-old kid?
'Cos that's how the writing looks.
But I digress.
Aside from wanting a shirt pocket for carrying a pen, I also wear glasses and the pocket comes in handy for those times when they're not on my face. Am I the only man in the world who wears glasses? Has everybody gotten laser eye surgery?

At one store, I asked the salesman (who was probably my age or older); Why don't shirts have pockets these days?
His reply? "Because they don't look good. They break up the lines of the front of the shirt."
Okay, I get that, but shirt pockets have been around for as long as I can remember.
"And also, nobody smokes anymore, so they don't need pockets", he added. 
Man, he wasn't presenting me with a very convincing argument. I left him to his duties and got the hell out of there.
Aside from pockets, I have a few other stipulations;

1) - a sharp collar. Don't ask me to name the exact style. I read about them all the time, but I couldn't tell the difference between a Spread and an English Spread, etc.
If pressed, I'd say a Forward Point, as this is the most classic collar style in my view.
Basically, something like what you see in this pic.
And I'd prefer them to have those thin sheathes underneath where I can put in my own collar stays. You know, those little plastic surfboard-shaped thingies that keep the collars from curling.
I had a small jar filled with them, but I bought three pairs of stainless steel ones some time ago and my plan is to get three or four more of them and then get rid of all the plastic ones. The plastic ones get misshapen in the wash if you forget to remove them prior to throwing the shirt in the wash. The collars need to look sharp. They're the first part of a shirt that somebody will notice when you walk in the room.
2) - Narrow sleeves. I saw a lot of shirts labelled as 'Classic Cut' or 'Contemporary Fit' and they had very billowy sleeves.
The sleeve you see here could definitely do with being about 25% narrower. In my desperation to find a shirt with a pocket, I found three full-cotton shirts at a nearby store and they had interesting patterns, POCKETS, and were a decent fit. They were a Medium size and, in hindsight, I should have probably gone for a Small, but I think these were all that they had left at the time. They're a little roomy around the neck. I read on a website that your collar sizing should allow you to get two fingers between the shirt and your neck when the top button is fastened. I think these have a little more space in them than that. No matter. I'll get some decent wear out of them.
Or maybe some lucky fella will snag them at an Op Shop sometime soon!

Anyway, the passive search continues, but it looks like I may end up going through one of these websites that does semi tailor-made shirts.

This Oris watch has gotten some regular wear lately. It's a model from circa 1995, based on an Oris watch that was first done in the late 1930s.
The Big Crown series was designed primarily for pilots, so that they could set the time and wind the watch while wearing gloves, hence the oversized winding crown.
The date consists of 31 numbers arranged counter-clockwise around the outer edge of the dial and that little crescent clicks over to each date at around midnight. Oris still makes a Big Crown model today and it's perhaps one of their more well-known pieces.
I tried it on a bracelet recently, but i have to say that it's a watch better suited to a strap. Give it  that vintage vibe.
This model is 36mm in diameter. I had originally bought the smaller 33mm model, but as soon as I tried it on, I knew that it was just too small, even for my school-girly wrist. My daughter saw it and said that she liked the 'aesthetic' of it. So, at the time of writing, it's being serviced and with a little luck, it should be ready in time for her 17th birthday in the third week of September.
So I suppose that's one more piece that will be leaving my collection. Which is good, as I continue to slowly whittle it down to a set of watches that get worn more often.

Another piece that will go soon is this one;

It's an early to mid 1970s (I think) Camy Club-Star. A nice hand-wound watch that was given to me by a watch forum member some years ago because he knew I liked vintage watches. He said I could have it for nothing, on the proviso that I don't sell it to make a profit on it.
That was a lovely gesture on his part and I wore the watch quite a bit over the years. It has a nice silver dial, with gold-plated hands and hour markers. I very nice colour combo.
However, in the interests of moving watches along, in order to replace them with those that I really want, this one is gonna go soon.
I speak to a guy from time to time who works at a jewellery store interstate and he too has an interest in vintage watches. He's sent me a couple of old watches to have serviced. I told him that I had a watch that I don't wear much anymore and I thought he may be interested in it. He said he'd be happy to take it off my hands.
So, in the interests of paying it forward, good karma, and just doing something nice for somebody, I'll be sending it off to him soon. No charge, as per the gentleman's agreement that was made when I first received the watch.
At some point, though, I'd like to get something with a similar silver-and-gold colouring, but that's a daydream for another day. For now, let's just get some watches out the door first and we'll see where we're at when the dust settles. Have to say, though, that this Camy runs quite nicely. Winds nice and smooth and keeps fairly good time, though I'm sure it could do with a service.
Still, it's a nice piece. I hope he likes it.

My Bond hardcovers collection is progressing nicely.

They're all reprints, with the exception of the last two titles, The Man With The Golden Gun and Octopussy. These were Fleming's last two Bond novels and, as such, they were printed in large quantities, which makes them reasonably easier to find.
The ones I'm missing are Live And Let Die, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker and Dr No, but those titles, while nice, don't have the classic cover art by Richard Chopping.
So, I don't think I'll lose any sleep over not having them. Pictured in the frame also is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, which saw some wear through May. I tend to get more wear out of this watch in Summer.
Here's hoping for a hot one this year.

Okay, I think I'll stop here for now. I added more, to this post, but it threatened to become a long one.

I'll start the next post this weekend and see where it leads me.

Hope you've all been well, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Still Here, Just Busy & Uninspired - Part 1 | 6:07pm, Sunday July 14th, 2019

Haven't posted since late April. Work has been busy and I've felt less inclined to get on the computer to write something in long-form after spending all day in front of a computer.

Anyway, here I be and it's been a busy couple of months. Quick recap, and I'll intersperse a few pics of the watches that I wore. 'Cos that's how I roll;

It was time to begin selling some stuff on eBay. First cab off the rank was the Seiko 7002. It sold, but the winning bidder soon contacted me to say that a personal emergency had come up and he/she wouldn't be able to pay for the item. No problem. I offered it to the next highest bidder, but got no reply from them. So, back up for auction it went. It ended up selling for about twenty bucks less than the original sale, but that didn't matter. I wasn't planning on retiring on the funds from this sale. I just wanted to sell the watch. So, that's one down.

Went to the doctor for a routine blood test last month. I got tested a few years ago and was found to have a low white blood-cell count. Was referred to a haematologist who told me that I probably had nothing to worry about, as he received four or five patients a week with low white cell counts and it was nothing to concern myself with. Apparently, it's common with people of African descent.
Was there something that my Mother never told me?
He took a sample and told me that I'd get a call a few days later if any abnormalities were found.
I never got the call.

This time around, the cell count was not the issue, but my cholesterol level was at 4.8, which I was told is considered towards the higher end of the spectrum.
"No fried food, no processed meats, that means not salami, prosciutto, eat less meat, no cheese, do you eat a lot of cheese?", the doctor asked me. She was a new one that I hadn't dealt with before. Had an accent that was a mix of French and Spanish. Turns our her Mother was Spanish and her Father was Brazilian.
"Oh, and cut out salt and sugar", she added.
Christ, what does that leave me to eat, I wondered. Celery!?
She took my blood pressure. One-twenty over seventy. Nothing to worry about there. Then she checked my height; five-ten and a half.
"You're the same height as I am", she stated.
I looked down at her feet.
"Yeah, but I'm not wearing my heels today", I answered.

I wore the Omega Speedmaster sometime in May. That's a Nique jacket in the photo. My wife is always on the lookout for clothes for me whenever she visits a thrift store. I never tend to have the same kind of luck whenever I visit the thrifts.* This one's a grey wool with surgeon's cuffs (the buttons can be undone) and it's a nice warm jacket to wear in the office when the air conditioning - an ongoing saga - tends to cool the room down a little too aggressively on colder days. I think the thermostat has a mind of its own and is trying to freeze us all to death.

The doctor then arranged for me to have an ECG test. Man, I just wanted to get my blood test results. And a 'flu shot, if possible. Five minutes later, I'm in the Pathology room next door to her office. I remove my shirt and the doctor walks in and quickly gives me a 'flu shut before I lie down on the examination table and the nurse shaves little squares of hair off my chest. 
Man, I hope this is part of the procedure, I thought to myself. Well, I didn't really, but it plays better that way.
The nurse attached the adhesives to my chest and under my left ribs and then hooked up the electrodes, or whatever the kids are calling those things these days.
I lay there for a few minutes, wondering how late for work I was gonna be. I told them that I had the blood test and would be coming in about half an hour later than usual, but this ECG test would throw a small spanner into the works. No major drama.
The ECG test over, I put my shirt back on, and a few minutes later, the doctor came in and took a look over the print-out of the ECG results.
A slight heart murmur showed on the print-out at one point. But it's not anything major. She told me to make another blood test appointment for a month later, to see if my cholesterol level drops.
All good. I thanked her for her time, headed out to reception, paid for the (long) consultation and then got into my car and headed to work.

I got myself a new hat in May. This one is an Akubra 'Hampton' in what they call 'Carbon Grey'. It's a trilby design, which means it has a narrower brim. This one measures 48mm. My other two fedoras have 64mm brims which, coupled with my narrow shoulders, give the slight impression of them being oversized for my build. Although, that's never really bothered me. This new trilby has more of a 'circa 1960/ Mad Men / Blues Brothers' kind of vibe, and it has come in very handy on rainy days this winter so far. I wore the Omega Railmaster quite a bit throughout May and June.

Work has been very busy in recent months. So much so that the watchmaker has gone in on a couple of weekends here and there to deal with the backlog of repairs. As such, this has meant that I got busier when it came to finalising these completed repairs and booking them out, updating the database, taking photos, processing invoices and shipping them out. No problem, as long as I wasn't distracted by other stuff going on in the office.

Been on a slight buying spree on eBay lately. Having sold a couple of my lower-end watches, I figured I could spend some of the earnings on other stuff. Things like watch straps, short charging cables for my phone, etc.

One extravagance, though, was this Nikon EM 35mm SLR camera. Some of you may recall that I already had one of these a while ago, but ended up selling it for some reason. I think it was shortly after I got myself an Olympus OM2n and felt that I'd be using that camera more than this one.
However, there's something appealing about using an automatic camera and so, I began reading a few reviews of the EM and then I hit eBay. Picked up the body of this one for around thirty-seven bucks - which I thought was a steal - and then a 50mm prime lens a week later for just under eighty dollars. I also got some of these decorative fairy lights that you thread into an empty bottle to make a soft lamp.
I loaded up the camera with some 125 ASA Ilford black & white film and I'm gonna try to become a better photographer. I plan to jot down shutter speed and aperture info prior to taking a photo, in an effort to get a better grip on taking decent pictures. Modern batteries no longer use mercury oxide in them and these old film cameras can tend to give a slightly incorrect shutter speed reading as a result. From what I've read - and please correct me if I'm wrong - you need to compensate for this by altering the shutter speed or aperture setting prior to taking the shot.
Anyway, only one true way for me to find out. Unless I Google the information, that is.

I wore the circa 1996 Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Small Seconds in May. I love how the dial has four different textures on it. Along with the date numerals along the outer edge, the sub-seconds dial, and the hour numerals, there's a lot going on with this dial and yet it's clearly legible. 

Okay, y'all, that's the first catch-up installment done.  I'll work on another one this coming week.
I hope you've all been well, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Sunday, April 28th, 2019 - Goodnight Bond Girls | Bondian Rhapsody & Recent Wristwatches

Hey all, I've been back from my recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City and I'm slowly working on a post about that. 
In the meantime, I've been busy back at work. Repairs kept coming in while I was away and then the watchmaker went on annual leave. 
I got back to a mountain of e-mails and completed repairs to send out and then, once the watchmaker got back from his trip, he hit the ground running and churned out more completed repairs. 
Needless to say, it's been hella busy at work for the past month. There were a few days when I felt absolutely swamped, but the only way out, is through, as they say, so I just buckled myself in to my office chair and plowed on. 
Still not out of the woods yet, but I have things back under some modicum of control. 

Recent weeks have seen the passing of two ladies who appeared in a couple of early Connery Bond films. 
Tania Mallet was an English model who starred as Tilly Masterson in Goldfinger in 1964. She first appears in the film behind the wheel of the newly-released Ford Mustang convertible, following Auric Goldfinger's Rolls-Royce Phantom III down a long and winding road through the Swiss Alps. Bond is also shadowing Goldfinger's car and Tilly is seen as a hindrance to his mission, as she has intentions of killing Goldfinger to avenge the death of her sister, Jill, who was memorably dispatched by henchman Oddjob early in the film. 
It's a short role that she has in the movie, but a memorable one. 
In 2009, Octane, a car magazine, decided to recreate this chase in the Swiss Alps, and staged a photo-shoot featuring the Bond Aston Martin DB5, the Mustang convertible and Rolls-Royce. For this endeavour, they enlisted the services of 67 year old Tania Mallet, reenacting some frames as they appeared in the original film. Pretty cool. 

Black & white photo above, courtesy of Vanity
Colour photo here, along with the rest of the shoot,  courtesy of | Octane magazine

A week after Mallet's passing, we learned of the death of another actress from Goldfinger, Nadja Regin, who appears in the classic pre-credits sequence as a night-club dancer attempting to distract Bond while a thug approaches them from behind. It's a slightly improbable scene, but it's a Bond film, after all. 

Regin also appeared in From Russia, With Love the year before, as the girlfriend of Bond's contact in Istanbul, Kerim Bey. 

Continuing with Bond news, we finally got an announcement this week about the next OO7 adventure, currently known only as 'Bond 25'. All we know of the plot is that Bond is enjoying a retirement in Jamaica - presumably with Madeleine Swann, his love interest from his last outing SPECTRE -  when he is contacted by his CIA buddy Felix Leiter and asked to assist in rescuing a kidnapped scientist. 
Meanwhile, the villain, to be played by Rami Malek, fresh from his Oscar-winning turn as Freddie Mercury in last year's Bohemian Rhapsody, has access to some terrifying new weapon. 

I got a little bit peeved when I read this. My own Bond script, that I've been working on sporadically for years now, has a similar story-line involving a scientist and a terrifying new weapon. 
Remember that post I wrote ages ago about the advice my old boss at the movie bookstore once gave me?; If you have an idea for a movie, start writing because there's somebody out there with the same idea and they're already sitting down at a computer and writing it." 
Ahh, well, let's wait and see. Not much to do until April 2020 when the movie is released. 
I hope it makes up for SPECTRE.

And one more bit of Bond news, I snagged a 1st edition hardback copy of Fleming's last OO7 novel, The Man With The Golden Gun. This is one of the titles that featured Richard Chopping's evocative artwork.
Published in 1965, this story sees our man Bond recovering from being brainwashed by the Russians and given a last chance by his boss M to redeem himself by going after Paco 'Pistols' Scaramanga, a master assassin.
Basically, it's nothing like the film, which I consider a low-point in the series.

I also have a reprint copy of From Russia, With Love incoming. I bought one some years ago and it turned out to have a facsimile of the original cover art.
The eBay Seller buried this information in the long-winded listing and I didn't see it before I tapped on "Buy It Now". Basically, the dust-jacket of that book was a 'high quality reproduction of the original'. Let's not beat around the bush here. It was a friggin' colour photocopy.
So, I think I'll be listing it on eBay soon, with a low 'Buy It Now' price, but I will clearly mention that the dust-jacket is not original.

On the wristwatch front, I took the Camy Club-Star hand-wound and the Oris Diver Sixty-Five on the trip to Vietnam. It was very hot in Ho Chi Minh City during our stay. I wore the Oris for the most part, but switched to the Camy for some of the evenings when my wife and I went out to grab a drink. 

On the third morning, though, I put the Camy on my wrist and went down to the buffet for breakfast. Afterwards, we headed out as the weather began to warm up. 
After about half an hour in the heat, I looked at the watch and noticed that the crystal (the glass) looked a little hazy. 
Sure enough, it appeared that some condensation had formed inside the watch. This can happen if you take a watch from a cool climate (the bed-side table in our hotel room) into a warm climate (outside in Saigon in March) in a short space of time. The watch heats up too quickly and condensation forms on the inside of the crystal. Mind you, this will usually happen to a watch that is not water-proof.
The haze faded as the morning wore on. Later in the day, I decided to switch to the Oris, for peace of mind. 

I didn't buy anything of note while away. I thought I'd perhaps get a new Hamilton Khaki Field watch if I saw a certain model that I'd been casually contemplating for over a year. I already have a Hamilton Khaki Officers Mechanical that I bought back in 2010;

But in recent years, as I've come to acknowledge that my wrists can only take watches up to a certain size, my tastes have shifted back towards smaller watches that are better suited to me. 

So, this Hamilton would be going and it would be replaced by a smaller version. Alas, I didn't find what I was looking for in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, so once we got back, I spent another week thinking it over before deciding on the Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic, in the 40mm size;

Sure, it still has a slight, over-sized feel to it, but it certainly sits better on my wrist than the 44mm model up above. 
Hamilton supplied watches to the US military in WWII right through to the Vietnam conflict, so this is a brand that has more military watch history and credibility than some others that make the claim. 
I opted for the model which has a beige/off-white lume on the hands and dial. This gives the watch a lived-in look. The suede strap is beige as well and while I'm not a huge fan of it, it actually suits the watch very well and I can easily replace it with an after-market one at some point. At the time of writing, the watch has had a few strap changes already in the two weeks since I got it and it's currently wearing a black, minimal-stitch leather band of questionable quality. 

I may leave it on this strap to really wear it in. This particular model houses the H10 Calibre movement. It's been used in a few other Swatch Group brands. Its main claim to fame is the power reserve. Fully wound, this watch is meant to last 80 hours. That's a whole weekend, folks, and then some!
To test it out, I gave it forty or fifty winds by hand on a Saturday morning and then I put the watch in my desk drawer.
On the Tuesday a few days later, I decided to wear the watch to work and sure enough, it was still running. That was already around 70 hours. 
Most automatic watches in this price range will have a power reserve of around 38 to 42 hours. 
As I say, 80 hours is a whole weekend, making this an ideal Mon-Fri wristwatch. Take it off on Friday night after work and it'll still be ticking on Monday morning. With a sapphire crystal and 100 metres water-resistance, it's a nice bang-for-buck watch. If it has any short-comings, it would be the lack of anti-reflective coating on the crystal (as evidenced in the photos) and the luminous compound on the dial and hands which doesn't last all night long.
But that's okay. In this price range, there's a lot to love about it.

In other watch news, I've reached a point where I want to clear out watches that don't get much time on the wrist. The large Hamilton watch mentioned above is currently on eBay with a few hours left to go. By the time you read this, it will have sold to a happy new owner, since that watch is in very, very good condition.
I have a few other pieces that I'm gonna shift, and those listings should be well underway as you read this.

One of them is the Dan Henry Compressor 1970 that I bought on a whim in 2017. It's a very well-made watch, but I found that whenever I wore it, I'd be wishing that I'd worn something else.
As such, it spent more time in the watch box that it should have. I think I wore it five or six times at the most, and even then, it was safely tucked under a shirt cuff. As a result, it has not a mark on it and should make its new owner very happy. If it sells, that is.
Another one set to go is the Seiko 7002 that I bought some time ago and then had modified by a watchmaker.

This watch became the 'beater', the watch that I'd wear for handyman duties and gardening. It served me well, but since I already have another Seiko dive watch that could be used in its place, I see no point in holding on to this one.
I bought a couple of different dials for this watch and mixed & matched them over the years. I'll include those parts with the watch when I sell it. Somebody will get themselves a nice watch to wear or a special little project if they decide to modify the watch further.

That's the beauty of these Seiko dive watches. There are a few sellers that specialise in after-market parts for them, and you can customise these watches to your heart's content. The trap, of course, is that you can buy one of these watches reasonably cheaply and then spend a few hundred dollars on parts and watchmaker's labour to change them up to how you want. Still, some of the results can be pretty cool.

There are other watches that I'd like to shift, but this will require a little more thought.
I had a Seiko Samurai dive watch that I got about ten years ago for $450.oo. I sold it three years ago for $950.oo. Nice little profit, without a doubt. I see them now selling on eBay for close to two grand.
You just never quite know what's going to climb in value and what's not, when it comes to wristwatches. Taking aside your juggernaut brands like Rolex, it's hard to tell if demand for a particular model from a particular brand will increase as the years roll on. Still, I've learned not to look back. Once it's sold, it's sold.

I'll also be reviewing my cameras and fountain pens, and then later my typewriters. Now, I'm not going all Marie Kondo here. I'm not getting rid of this stuff because it doesn't 'spark joy'. I'm getting rid of it to free up space, in both my home and my mind.
There are some items in each of these collections that seldom see the light of day, and I'd rather end up with a tighter collection that gets regular use. A collection that bears the marks and wear of having been handled and used as intended.

Is it true that Albert Einstein had a closet full of brown plaid jackets because, as he put it, he didn't want to waste thinking time and energy on deciding what to wear each morning?
Makes perfect sense to me. 
Anyway, that's where I'm at for the moment. Hope you're all well, and thanks for reading!