No 264 - Longines HydroConquest Chronograph

I have never really been a fan of Longines. I had had a dress watch in the past and the only other model I had really cared for was their Legend Diver. The reason why I never had owned one of those was that I back in 2012 participated in a passaround which gave me the chance to try out the Legend Diver for a couple of days and I found it to be a polished dress diver which wasn’t something that appealed to me.

I’ve always thought that the HydroConquest series have been a little too boring so they were never something I had ever considered buying. A good entry watch perhaps for a non-watch nerd who wanted to buy their first real Swiss made watch but was looking in a more affordable category than Rolex and Omega but wanted something a little more exclusive than your regular Certina and Tissot watches. What made me buy this chronograph back in October 2015 was mainly three things. 1) The beautifully faded insert made it look really nice. 2) Being a quartz chronograph meant it was going to be more or less maintenance free and I wasn’t going to be surprised by a big service cost. 3) The reasonable price it was being sold to meant I wasn’t going to make a huge loss when I later was going to sell it. I was actually very happy and surprised by it and wore it quite much. The only thing I didn’t like about it was its polished center links. They had to go, so I handed it to a Longines AD who helped me out brushing the whole bracelet which gave it a much more tool-watch look. 

#264 - The Longines HydroConquest quartz chronograph, ref. L3.643.4.96.6

This watch was later sold to a good friend of mine who’d started to become more and more interested in watches and who wanted a decent first watch. A year later after he'd been wearing the HydroConquest he bought himself a Rolex SD 16600 and I helped him to sell the Longines. So I guess the Hydroconquest did its job well in dragging down another soul in the watch swamp. The prices for a used Hydroconquest are usually very reasonable. I think you get a lot of watch for what you spend and even though you perhaps don’t get the most exciting watch it is still a very good all-round watch that can be used for pretty much anything. 

On a 22mm croc leather. If I'm not mistaken the lug width was 21mm on this watch because I have a slight memory of having to squeeze it in.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted. 


No 263 - Citizen Navihawk

Citizen Navihawk. I can’t remember how or why I ended up with this watch. It’s nothing I’d usually look for so my best bet is that I accepted it as a means of payment in some other watch deal. The watch was cool though. Tons of features but I don’t think I even opened up the manual to learn about them. From reading the specifications you could tell that this watch could be a pretty nice travel companion using the atomic time keeping function that would automatically synchronize to all the different time zones around the world. 

#262 - The Citizen Navihawk, ref. JY8035-04E.

The watch itself looked pretty cool with its extremely busy dial and PVD treatment. It looked professional. It measured 48mm excl. crown but I don’t remember that the size bothered me, instead I remember it wore pretty nice for being that big. What I liked the most was the rubber that had the big NAVIHAWK print all over but I think Citizen should have fitted it with a better clasp than the cheap generic kind that you find on so many rubbers. I assume it’s a pilot’s watch but I have no clue how it compares to e.g. Breitling’s pilot series. Are Citizen doing their own thing? Are they copying Breitling? Are the features better/worse than Breitling’s? Should you even compare the two? I have no clue whatsoever. All in all it felt like a decent watch of good quality that could do a whole lot more than I figured out.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 262 - Omega Speedmaster

From one spacewatch to another. But this is not just any spacewatch. No, this happens to be the most well-known of them all. The first watch worn on the moon. There’s no doubt that the Omega Speedmaster has its own place in the watch history. If not the most iconic watch it’s at least the second most iconic watch after the Rolex Submariner. The Speedmaster have been around since 1957 and is still in production today with its classic look but there’s been tons and tons of various limited editions throughout the years. To me, this kind of super popular watch is not my thing. It’s just too common which makes it boring. Just like I grew tired of the Submariner I knew that a Speedmaster would eventually bore me just as much and also, even though the Speedmaster have been put through many tests that apparently qualified it for trips to space, I don’t consider it to be a toolwatch. And if it’s not a toolwatch, it’s not for me. So how did I end up with this one?

#262 - The Omega Speedmaster from 1984, ref. 145.022.

It all began with my friend Sebastian who started to look for a watch from his birth year and since we were born the same year, 1984, I automatically kept an eye out for him since I’m always on the lookout myself. I came across this Speedmaster and it was perfect for Sebastian so I got it for him. At this point I wasn’t nearly interested myself but a couple of years later when Sebastian asked me if I could help him to sell it I suddenly felt that the time was right to figure out what the Speedmaster was all about so I simply bought it myself.

Out in the park with my son.

I got it just as I went on my first parental leave in August 2015 and tried to wear it as much as I could. I really started to appreciate the look of it and I loved its presence on the wrist. It looked fantastic on the vintage 1171 bracelet compared to that new design of the bracelet I was used to see the Speedmaster being worn on all the time. But it was far from an ideal watch when playing in sand, mud or water the whole day. This watch first ended up with my dad because he had always wanted to try one but he quickly went back to his Submariner and the watch was eventually sold.

On my dad's wrist.

Conclusion. The Speedmaster is a great looking watch with a lot of significant history in the world of watches. Some consider it to be a toolwatch. I don’t. Anyhow, it was important for me to put this watch into my reference archive because of its great historical value. There are a couple of watches you simply have to go through if you’re a watch enthusiast and the Speedmaster is definitely one of them. Will I buy one again? Probably not.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 381 - Victorinox I.N.O.X. Sky High

If you have seen the videos of the I.N.O.X. you know that this is a true tool watch. For me it was impossible to ignore this timepiece even though I must admit I didn’t love it the first time I saw it. I actually discarded it as a rather ugly creation. But the more I learned about its features, all the tests it had to withstand during its development, this ugly duckling grew into a something beautiful I became to love. The I.N.O.X. is the definition of a tool watch. 

#381 - The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Sky High limited edition, ref: 241772.1

This is actually happens to be my third I.N.O.X. My two first were the classic black dialed version on the black rubber and I must admit it felt kind of weird to have polished details on a watch like that. I knew that obviously it was capable of taking a hit but I didn’t want to expose the glass ring to any unnecessary scratches if I didn’t have to. So when the titanium version was released with its gray bead-blasted finish it felt like a much better way to present the I.N.O.X. I was about to buy one of the Ti's but then suddenly the Carbon version came along and I immediately decided I wanted that one. But then I waited a little too long and when I finally came back into the I.N.O.X. mode again I discovered that the Sky High had been released and then it was love at first sight. I loved everything about it. Its looks, all the cool accessories and of course the whole space concept. The fact that it was limited also made it much more interesting than the others. 

Unfortunately it was impossible to find a used one, because the watch had just been released, so I had to find a good deal on a new one. I considered this watch as potential keeper material so I figured it was worth it to pay a little extra if it was as good as I hoped. The choice fell on Gnomon Watches who first of all had this watch to a very competitive price but also their service is outstanding. I love the feeling of ordering stuff from halfway around the world on a Friday to then get it delivered on Monday morning. Fantastic!

This watch was just as cool as I expected. But as soon as I got it I was thinking “hmm… I wonder how the Carbon version would have felt…” I know, I’m seriously damaged. Luckily my beer brewing buddy Billy got turned on by it so I sold it to him. We now have 33% of our brewing crew wearing I.N.O.X.’s and we will reach 44% as soon as I get a hold of the Carbon. And yes, of course I’m aiming for 100%!

The Naimakka paracord strap. Super comfortable to wear and really cool. Made from a special fibre used in the space industry that is eight times stronger than steel. How awesome is that?

Just so you know, all the pictures in this post were taken by Billy who is a much better photographer than I’ll ever be. So please don’t think that those kind of quality photos is something you’re going to get used to in the future because then I’d have to hire him. No, you’ll just have to cope with my crappy cellphone photos for upcoming posts ūüėä

I will be back with more posts about the Victorinox I.N.O.X.’s, trust me. I'm not done here. Perhaps I'll the write a little more about the watch's features and the whole concept around it the next time. I haven't really exposed any of the watches I've owned to the kind of test they deserve so perhaps it's time to get a little more creative? It's a tempting thought. I've really only got one complaint that I need to address, that to me is a quite crucial point, and that is the weak lume. Why? I just don't get it. I really hope future I.N.O.X. editions will have more and stronger lume.


© All pictures by @billybjorling unless noted.


No 385 - CWC 1980 Royal Navy Divers Reissue

It has been time to once more travel back from the past and return to the present! I just couldn't wait writing about this watch.

It was in the middle of May when CWC announced that they were making a reissue of their first automatic dive watch. I contacted them directly with a “sign me up!” and then the wait began. The first estimated delivery was July and I immediately put the watch as number one on my list of watches to buy. Then in the beginning of June, Jason Heaton wrote this great article for Hodinkee and nothing else except for this watch was interesting anymore. This was going to be my Exit watch.

But July was postponed to August and August became "sometime later this year". So I started to purchase other watches and fell back into my regular flipping pace, and then I started the Tactical Diver project and forgot about the reissue completely. Then last week I suddenly received an e-mail from CWC saying that the watch was arriving any day now and asking me if there was a certain serial number I would be interested in. Hell. Yeah.

My watch was sent on October the 17th and showed up yesterday on the 18th. Instead of heading home to my family directly after work I took a small detour and went down by the water, to sit down on a park bench, where I could open up the package in peace and quiet, while the sun was setting down in the sea. I was going to savor this moment.

The black CWC watch roll inside the tin can case together with the certificate.

#385 - The CWC 1980 Royal Navy Divers Reissue. Straight out of the box (Okay okay! I did set the hands to ten past ten because it looked better).

The watch was delivered in its regular tin can with the white paper cover (I wouldn’t want it any other way). The only new feature was a black leather watch roll inside the case that held the watch which was a nice touch. 

Jeez Louise! What a beauty! I sat starring at it for a while, feeling the clicks of the bezel, listening carefully to the sound of the movement being wound manually, and just forgot about time even though a was holding it my hands. Suddenly I noticed the daylight fading rapidly. "Oh no, Instagram!" I quickly put the watch on my wrist, snapped a few photos of it in the little light that was left before the sun had completely set, and then I hurried home.

Taken in the setting sun.

Many have asked me “£2000, was it really worth it?” and all I can say is that I’m super happy and love it so I guess for me it was.

I will continue to update this post with new pictures and thoughts as this watch will accompany me through my everyday life. I just felt I had to share this with you while it was fresh instead of trying to look back on this moment in two years. 

From yesterday.

Taken this morning while waiting for the bus.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.