Friday 26 May 2017

Friday 26/5/2017 - Bond Fan In Mourning.

At around 10:45pm (AEST) on Tuesday evening, I crawled into bed and did a quick check of the web on my iPod Touch. I tapped the tile for the BBC News app. A few seconds later;
"Oh no! No!...Roger Moore died", I exclaimed. 

Regular readers of this blog may know that I became a Bond fan as a kid in the mid '70s when  I went to see a Live And Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun double-bill on a summer's Sunday afternoon with my dad and my brother. 
I thought this English secret agent was super-cool, with his nifty gadgets (loved his Rolex wristwatch), snappy one-liners and exotic missions. I took it all very seriously.
As I got older, I watched Moore in his earlier roles in the 1960s TV series The Saint and his later show, The Persuaders, which co-starred Tony Curtis. 
And, due to his success as Bond, Moore made a slew of other films throughout the '70s and '80s, such as Gold!, Shout At The Devil, That Lucky Touch, The Wild Geese, Crossplot, Escape To Athena, and The Cannonball Run (in which he played a fellow named Seymour Goldfarb Jr who thinks he's Roger Moore). 

I really liked Moore as Simon Templar, the gentleman adventurer/thief who stole from the rich and got caught up in various adventures. He drove a cool car (a Volvo P1800) and had a sharp hairstyle. He never killed anyone and I don't think he ever kissed anybody either. He was The Saint, after all. 

As I caught up with the Connery Bond films and read the Ian Fleming novels, I soon began to realise that Roger Moore's take on 007 was a lot more light-hearted than the earlier films and the books. But this was the 1970s. The era of the Carry On movies, Dick Emery and Benny Hill. His Bond was the one that the era demanded. 
But I took my Bonds seriously, remember? Sean Connery became the Bond that I liked because his was closer to the books.

However, I will always have a soft-spot for Mr Moore. He was always an amusing talk-show guest. And the last few days have shown a host of celebrities and fellow actors who have had nice things to say about him. 

This story here has gone viral in recent days;

My mother liked him, too. She referred to him as 'the man who throws punches' before she learned his name and pronounced it 'Rodge Maw' in her Italian accented English.

Roger Moore was born in August 1927 and died earlier this week after a short battle with cancer. 

I feel as though a part of my own personal history is gone. Inevitable, I guess. Nobody lives forever, after all, but I feel a certain 'hollowness' this week. A hero of mine has died.

Moore played Bond lighter than I would have liked as I got older, but he kept the Bond film franchise cranking for over a decade. In lesser hands, the franchise might have fizzled out sometime around 1980. Also, I can recall numerous moments from my teen years when I would make a comment with a raised eyebrow and an innocent expression. It would appear that Mr Moore had a greater effect on me than I thought.
Moore was the Bond that I first saw on-screen. The poster for Live And Let Die hangs on my lounge room wall, a perfect example of guns, girls, car chases and Bond's cool demeanour. And, as I mentioned, he was a great talk-show guest, never taking himself or his industry too seriously.

And so, I raise a glass to Roger Moore. 
Thank-you for services rendered, Sir. Your work and your very being has brought me much pleasure. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday 19 May 2017

Friday 19/5/2017 - Back To The Movies, RIP Chris Cornell (dammit!) & This Week's Wristwatches.

I was still wearing the Tudor hand-wound, on an expanding bracelet, last weekend. I must admit that I do like this look. Reminds me of the men of my Dad's generation. Uncles and family friends that I knew when I was a kid back in the '70s. There's a certain simplicity and ingenuity in the design of these bracelets. Perhaps the most famous brand would be Speidel, but there was a time back in the 1950s and '60s when other brands such as Kingsway and Jacobi-Bender Champion made these.
Once adjusted to your wrist size, they are very comfortable. The Speidel one up above was an absolute dog to adjust, and I think a might have lost some of the microscopic hooks that hold the links together when I last re-sized the bracelet. No matter. I've got two more of them coming from eBay.

Can't remember the last movie I saw at the cinema. Oh, wait a sec, yes I can. It was La La Land, sometime back in February. I had planned to catch a few more movies, but life got in the way.
Went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II last weekend. The cinema that we saw it in was very, very small. Twelve rows, but they still managed to charge us full price for the tickets. The dogs. 
I wore a blast from the past, the Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical;

Is it just me, or do modern movie tickets look crappy to you, too? Thermal-printed tickets mean that, if you wanted to keep it as a memento, you'd wind up with a little blank piece of paper in a few months. 

The film was good. Chris Pratt is carving out a nice career for himself. I read rumours that he could be playing Indiana Jones in a reboot which, personally, I would rather see than Harrison Ford don the fedora again at his age. The last Indy movie, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2008) wasn't bad, but Spielberg and Co really did wait a little too long after Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in 1989. 

Okay, maybe I'm running out of steam this week. Or maybe that third glass of red just kicked in.  

Switched over to the Omega Seamaster 300 mid-week;

Switched back to the Tudor for work today. I dressed a little sharper, in a never-ending battle against Casual Fridays;

Later in the day, I asked the watchmaker about the clicking sound that my watch makes whenever it's wound. I thought there might be a chipped cog somewhere to do with the winding mechanism or crown. He opened up the case-back and had a look inside.  He then told me that he'd take a crack at repairing it early next week. Said he had a bunch of parts for this movement (ETA Cal. 1080) and could get it working smoother. So, there I was, without a watch on my wrist and beginning to feel antsy. 

"Never let them see you bleed...
...Always have an escape route."

-Q (Desmond Llewellyn) The World Is Not Enough (Dir: Michael Apted, 1999) 

However, I learned a long, long time ago to always have an escape route, a Plan B, a back-up plan. Sure, here I am, working for a wristwatch brand, but it's not like I can just grab something out of our stock and just put it on my wrist.

So I made my way to the car-park and grabbed my 'Q Branch' kit out of the glove-box of my car. Aside from the nail clippers, head-ache tablets, USB stick, Burt's Bees lip balm, BIC lighter, sugar sachets, Swiss Card, Band-Aids, etc, etc, there is also a mechanical wristwatch on a Waterborne NATO strap;

This was a moment-of-weakness eBay purchase from a few years ago. It's a Trident (yes, a bullshit brand that some guy came up with), a 1950s Rolex Submariner 'homage'- and I'm being very generous with that term- that is flimsy and cheap-assed in so many ways that I would use up the rest of the internet describing everything that's wrong with it.
But, it does have a Swiss ETA movement in it. And I just needed it to keep ticking for the next two and a half hours or so until I got home.

It would do. Not nicely, but it would do;

I was extremely disheartened to hear of the death of singer/songwriter Chris Cornell yesterday, and it was heartbreaking to learn earlier today that he had taken his own life.
I didn't know much about him beyond his work with Soundgarden and his fantastic title song for Daniel Craig's first Bond film Casino Royale in 2006. It wasn't long after that that I got hold of his album Carry On and developed an appreciation for his razor-sharp voice.
I thought 2016 had been a bastard-coated bastard with bastard creme filling* and I'd hate to think that this year will bring us more misery as the Grim Reaper takes away more talent.

Cornell was only 52 and tributes have flooded the news and social media in the past day or so and, aside from a prolific body of work and a respected place in rock history, he leaves behind a wife and three children.

I'll leave you all with this clip off YouTube, of his acoustic rendition of Prince's song Nothing Compares 2 U. 
It showcases his wonderful voice and further demonstrates just what the world of music has lost this week.

Thanks for reading.

* that term came from a fellow member on a wristwatch forum that I frequent. Funny, funny line.

Friday 12 May 2017

Friday 12/5/2017 - This Week's Wristwatches

Short post this week, methinks. I have been feeling a little tired over the last two weeks, so I think tonight's post will be brief. 

My wife recently got herself a laptop computer, which was great news because it meant we could finally get rid of the Dell desktop that she'd been using for almost ten years. I spent a couple of hours saving worthwhile files, docs and photos before taking a panel off the casing of the hard drive. 

I once read in an issue of Popular Mechanics about the most effective method for wiping a computer hard drive;

I wore the Oris Diver SixtyFive. And gloves. I have found that the drill bit can sometimes catch on some portion of the steel, turning the drive into a swinging, sharp-edged block of metal. To avoid this, it is advisable to don a pair of work gloves and then hold the hard drive down hard.

Sometime next week, I think I'll take the Submariner 5513 in to Rolex to get a quote for a service. In the meantime, I'll decide on which organ or limb to sell in order to pay for the service.
I called them the other day to ask about what the service work would entail, since I think the watch may have some issues that might have been overlooked (doubtful) the first time I took it in to get quoted about 18 months ago. 
The crystal appears to have a slight warp along one edge and I'm not sure as to whether or not I should have it replaced. Some members on a watch forum had mentioned that the crystal on my watch may have been a non-genuine aftermarket one. Wouldn't surprise me. The seller turned out to be an ass when I e-mailed him a few weeks later with some questions regarding originality of some parts of the watch. 
I got into a heated back-and-forth e-mail chain with him;  

ME: Are the crystal and bezel insert original?
SELLER: You wouldn't expect to buy a vintage car and still find the original tyres on it, would you?

This song-and-dance went on for a couple of days before it dawned on me that perhaps there was an issue with semantics going on here. I wrote another reply to the seller, stating that by 'original', I was meaning 'genuine', whereas I think he thought I meant 'original' as in the same crystal that was fitted to the watch back in 1982 when it was manufactured. 
Once we got that sorted out, he was adamant that the bezel insert was a genuine Rolex part, but I was 100% certain that it wasn't. I had wanted one of these watches for four decades, as regular readers of this blog may recall, and I had well and truly done my research prior to purchasing. 
Those of you who aren't aware of my obsession with this particular wristwatch should maybe put the kettle on and read this. See you in a few days;

Anyway, I will get the bezel situation sorted out. What irks me the most about it all is this. Here is a picture that the seller sent me of the watch I was buying;

See that triangle on the bezel with the luminous dot? See the little metal frame around the luminous dot? Good! 
Now, here's the watch that I received;

No metallic frame around the dot, and the dot is a smaller size than the one in the seller's picture. 
Now, the seller did offer me a refund, once I'd voiced my frustration, but all I ever wanted was some honesty about the product prior to the transaction and/or maybe an apology for deceiving me once he had been caught out afterwards. 
Instead, what I got was an e-mail response in which the seller said; "Send it back if you're not happy. I don't have one of these in stock at the moment and could easily sell it." 
Attaboy, think about your own concerns, right to the end!

Got home from work this evening and switched over to this;

The hand-wound Tudor Oyster, which I have put onto a Speidel  expanding bracelet to really Sixties it up a little more!

Okay, the minute hand is about to roll on to the thirty-minute mark of the dial, and the hour hand is sitting between nine and ten. 
Think I'll call it a day with this week's post. 

I'll see how I go next week. These posts might just get a little shorter. I still want to write about the Rome leg of our trip last year, but the Paris post really took some work. 
We'll see how I go. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!