No 228 - Seiko SBBN019

This badboy was already sold out long ago when I first discovered it. I don’t know what the thing is with the white shroud that makes it so attractive. I mean, it’s basically a SBBN013 but with a shroud that happens to be white, that’s it! Is that so special? OK, it had lume in the first twenty markings in the bezel insert but except for that it's the same watch. The nickname, Beluga or White Dolphin (I've also seen it mentioned as the Storm Trooper), might have been an equally large factor as the white shroud to boost the hype. It sure gives it an extra touch of being rare. But actually it is quite rare since only 300 pieces were made and with Seiko measures that’s quite few. Anyhow, it is mysterious and has good potential of becoming a legend.

Product picture of the SBBN019 together with a Beluga. (borrowed from Seiko)

I found mine back in June 2014. That it was being located in Germany was a nice surprise since you usually find these gems in either Japan or in the US and rarely within the European Union. It was far from being a bargain but I happily paid and just prayed that it would arrive fast and safe. It sure didn’t disappoint me when I unboxed it. It was just as good as I expected it to be and just like any other Tuna it was big but still wore amazingly well. I loved to wear this watch. It sure didn’t go anywhere unnoticed.

#228 - The Seiko SBBN019.

No 123/300.

Always nice to have a full set!

Just like so many times before I lost a lot of money when I tried to sell this watch within Sweden. But the in the spring of 2015, when I was selling a Sinn 856 UTC, I was offered to take it back as a trade which I gladly did and when I later sold it for the second time I managed to recover the lost I made the first time.

Waiting for the bus.

A Friday evening on the balcony.

Take away breakfast from Petite France (my favorite) on an August morning.

Being a big fan of the Tuna-series this one qualifies as one of my favorites. It actually was my favorite until I got my hands on the SSBS018 but that's another story.

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


No 227 - Eterna Super KonTiki 1973

The Super KonTiki is easily one of my favorites and would probably make it on to my top ten-list (which I will put together as soon as we reach present day). This version was the limited edition reissue based on the dive watch from 1973 (hence limited to 1973 pieces) and is perhaps most known as the watch that was issued to the IDF. I’d been looking for a used one for so long but they rarely showed up and when they did they were located in the US (as they always are!) and the pricing was ridiculous. Then suddenly in May 2014 it popped up on my local forum and of course I sat there with no cash and all my money tied up in watches. I tried to get the seller interested in a trade but without any luck. I thought it would be gone in an instant but apparently it wasn’t that sought after on the Swedish market and I was lucky enough to have a whole month to sell of some stuff and later in mid-June when I had scraped the cash together I finally got it.

#227 - The Eterna Super KonTiki 1973 limited edition from the Heritage series, ref. 1973.41.41.1230.

To me the Super KonTiki is one of those true dive watch icons just like the Doxa SUB or the Omega Ploprof 600. I thought it was going to wear big with its 44mm but it felt smaller and was actually great to wear. Looking at it made me smile. I loved the shark mesh but I was afraid that the belt buckle clasp would get caught in something which would cause it to open, and I didn’t want to experience what a drop to the ground would do to a heavy watch like that. So I bought a new shark mesh with a polished butterfly clasp for it from Strapcode, just like I did for my blue Squale 50atm, and it turned out fantastic. I later picked up a 22mm Isofrane rubber and that really became a smash hit. It looked awesome and I ended up wearing it on the Isofrane most of the time. Just by looking at it I would easily classify it as a 1000m watch and it is quite disappointing when you learn it is only rated to 200m. With a case like that I was sure it must be able to withstand greater depths than that.

With the new mesh and clasp.

At a wedding. Didn't really fit under the shirt.

I kept it for about a month and a half and when I sold it in late July I was lucky enough to find someone just like me who also was looking for one within Sweden and who also happened to appreciate the replacement mesh with the butterfly clasp and the Isofrane rubber. So for once I could pass it on without losing a bunch of money. Since I sold it there has only been a few times when I have seen this model for sale and every time I have been sitting there with my finger on the trigger ready to pull it. It really is a fantastic watch and I could easily see myself owning one again.

A picture of the full set right before it was sold.

One detail worth mentioning a little extra was the accuracy of the movement. I never had to set the time except for once when I received it. Then it kept on ticking spot on +/- 0 seconds/day during the whole time I had it. Pretty amazing for a regular non-COSC certified ETA 2824-2!

Out pike fishing in the end of June 2014.

Watches approved for fishing!

Last year Eterna released a couple of new Super KonTiki’s but with SW200 movements (instead of ETA) and a new dial design. Not a very successful design in my opinion. They all looked boring. I prefer the limited version and the original look.

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


No 226 - TNT Challenger ONE

Oh my god! What a disaster story this poor watch has gone through. It all began in August 2013 when twenty-five guys on the Swedish watch forum Klocksnack chose to be a part of developing an official watch for the forums one year anniversary. The manufacturer, TNT Watches (Torsten Nagengast Timelime), and design had already been chosen by the board members of the forum so it was only a matter of a few details that the participants could discuss and influence.

We were running a separate thread dedicated to the watch alone and were all following the progress with a genuine interest. In mid-September we got the first renders of the watch and we all felt it looked promising. Everybody was praising the unique look and you could feel the excitement. In November the patience among the participants started to run short because nothing was happening but in the end of the month we finally got to see pictures of an actual prototype and everybody got a little less tense. We were all hoping that the final product would at least show up before Christmas. But that didn’t happen. 

The first render of our customized Challenger ONE with the Klocksnack logo. (borrowed from TNT Watches)

The new scheduled time for delivery was set to February 2014 which was later postponed to late March because of a delay of parts due to the Chinese New Year. By this point the disappointment had reach its pinnacle and the conversation had gone out of hand. No one cared about the watch anymore and was instead more focused on who to blame. The guy in our group responsible for all communications with the manufacturer did all he could do speed up the process and finally, sometime in mid-May, he heard from Torsten who announced that all the twenty-five watches had been assembled and were soon ready to ship. It took until the 12th of June for the watches to arrive and when we all thought the nightmare was over it had only just begun… 

#226 - The TNT Challenger ONE. Custom made for the Swedish watch forum Klocksnack.

It wasn’t long after everybody had received their watches when people started to notice certain flaws regarding details and finish. Misaligned inserts and movements that weren’t working properly were just a few things to be mentioned. It was a disaster. This Torsten guy must have been in such a panic that he totally forgot about quality control. Everyone was disappointed and wanted to return their watch to be corrected. I honestly didn’t care anymore and never returned mine. The watch had since long been written off and the loss was accepted and forgotten.

Before writing this piece I thought it might be fun just to have a quick look at it. I then discovered that one screw was actually missing from the caseback and another one was quite damaged. Seriously, what the hell? I have never been wearing mine for more than a couple of hours so I really don’t know how well the movement is keeping time. Let’s say I just wouldn't be surprised if it didn't. One of my friends even told me that his rotor came off.

Say what?

This watch bothers me quite a bit since I never use it which goes against my number one rule; if I don’t use it, it has to go. But this watch can never be sold. It would mean having to put up with quite the harassment from the other twenty-four owners for the rest of my life. I could even consider putting it up for auction and donate everything to charity. Because it has nothing to do with selling because I need the money in any way, it’s only because I can’t stand owning watches that don’t come to any use. I should of course have realized this before I accepted to participate but too much excitement can really cloud your judgement and make it hard to think rationally. Now it’s only going to sit there in its box and rot away forever and ever.

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


No 225 - Rolex Yacht-Master 16622

I used to think the Yacht-Master was one of the weirdest watches Rolex ever came up with. It was so shiny and so round. No edges. I really didn’t understand it. It was ugly. I felt it was only addressing old men.

But in May 2014 all that changed. I was about to turn thirty and was putting together a playlist for an upcoming party. During the spring I’d been listening to a lot of 80’s soft rock like Hall & Oates, Toto, Bryan Adams, the solo albums by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, Doobie Brothers and similar bands like that. When putting together that list I came across a playlist called “Yacht Rock” and all my favorite songs just happened to be on that list. I had never heard the term before but I instantly pictured myself sitting on a big yacht in Miami, sunglasses on, hearing Don singing in the background about the Boys of Summer, a cocktail in my hand and a Yacht-Master dangling on my wrist. It all felt so right.

"Excuse me! Please repeat that last part! A Yacht-Master? Seriously?" Yes ladies and gentlemen, a Yacht-Master was what I saw in my vision and right there and then my mind had gone from hating it to loving it and I just had to have one.

#225 - The Rolex Yacht-Master, ref. 16622.

I got a hold of a full set from 2005 in an excellent condition. It was delivered with its original platinum dial, but Rolex had just announced their new upgraded version, the 116622 which had an incredible blue dial, and I managed to get a hold of a new blue dial for my watch. With the blue dial installed it just became so damn good! I loved it. I practically felt like a yacht owner just by wearing it.

With the new dial just installed.

But I knew the love wasn’t going to last forever. I knew that toolwatches is what turns me on and what I like the most and to me the Yacht-Master was the complete opposite from being a toolwatch. Perhaps if I was a rich yacht owner it could serve as a perfect beater but unfortunately I’m not. Not yet. But then I'll probably go for a solid gold version with MOP-dial.

Out having lunch with my wife, June 2014.

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


No 224 - TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500 quartz

It was early summer in 2014 and vacation was coming up. My wife was five months pregnant so we decided to do something easy and relaxing and ended up going to the Greek island Crete. My plan was to bring my new blue Squale along but it was so polished without any marks at all and since I didn’t wanted to risk scratching it I saw that as the perfect excuse to find myself an appropriate vacation watch; a classic sign of the watch junkie syndrome.

The range of suitable used tool divers was of course scarce just because I was in a hurry finding one. But then there was this watch that kept popping up every once in a while that I first had discarded as a candidate, but as we got closer and closer to departure it seemed like it was going to be my only option so I finally decided to get it.

The watch was a blue TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500 quartz. I had had the automatic version in the past which made an unexpectedly good impression on me. Being cheaper because of the quartz movement, and having the rubber strap instead of the bracelet were actually two things a saw as advantages and made me like this watch even more than the automatic version. Details like the tapestry dial and the rubber inlay in the bezel really made this watch stand out. The rubber was both comfortable and good looking and even if it would never work as my everyday office watch it really did a great job as a vacation/beach/pool/sports watch. Just perfect!

#224 - The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500, ref. WAJ1112.

Resting on a can of Greek beer.

Resting on a bottle of Desperados. Flashbacks to my younger days!

Relaxing in the sun with some inspiring reading material.

Found this guy lurking down in some shallow waters.

The Aquaracer got to explore the Mediterranean Sea for a week and got to go on a diving trip checking out old planes from WWII lying on the ocean floor. But what it did best was acting as my beer buddy during the stay. It could handle its liquor pretty good and never lost track of time even if I did sometimes. The Aquaracer 500 once more proved it was a worthy watch that deserves better credit than they are sometimes given. 

Goodbye my summer love!

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