2017-03-22

No 248 - Le Jour Chronograph

“I feel the need, the need for speed.” You know how it is being a watch maniac constantly looking on peoples wrists. Tom Cruise’s black chronograph sure doesn’t go unnoticed in the classic Top Gun from 1986; one of his best movies ever.  After a quick research you learn that it probably is an Orfina Porsche Design chronograph with the Lemania 5100 movement. You also learn that there are tons of watches from different manufactures from the very same era that pretty much look the same and that the prices can vary a lot. I’m not really sure which the true original is but have been assuming it’s the Heuer Pasadena that all the others derive from (read more here) but I'm not sure at all. The newer ones are usually equipped with the Valjoux 7750 movement instead of the Lemania and are often cheaper. The used Orfina's you find are usually quite expensive and are also very often quite worn. I would of course have preferred the real deal from the start but I felt there was so much to learn about all the different models that I barely had begun to scratch the surface. I instead decided to go for one of the cheaper versions just to quickly get that Maverick vibe going.

#248 - The Le Jour chronograph. Not entirely sure about the correct reference.



I found my Le Jour head only to a decent price but in the need of service because its 7750 movement had a loose rotor and wouldn’t self-wind. After the service it was fine though and worked perfectly. I quickly realized that one of the hardest parts when you purchase one of those old PVD military style chronographs is to source a good bracelet for it. Usually all used watches are sold on some ugly leather bund strap (I can't stand them!). I searched forever and ever after a suitable vintage bracelet but finally settled for an oyster type bracelet from Hadley Roma that seemed to be of a rather decent quality. I had plans on making the bracelet look a little more vintage to match the worn surface of the watch case but instead I switched it for a Bonetto Cinturini 295 rubber which also gave a good vintage feel to it. 

With the Bonetto Cinturini 295 rubber.


OK. So maybe I didn't became as cool as Maverick with my Le Jour but it really opened up my eyes for chronographs even more just like the Tutima and the Tudor's did and I can honestly say that my venturing among the 80's and 90's Lemania and 7750 chronos is far from over.


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

2017-03-19

No 247 - Glycine Airman no.1

I thought it was really exciting when Glycine announced the re-issue of their first Airman. Being 36mm I knew it would be too small for me but it looked so nice and perfect it had to be given a chance anyway. It wasn’t that pricey but I didn’t want to get a new one when I knew it wasn’t going to stay. Lucky for me my flipping-buddy Björn got a hold of a fairly new one quite soon after the release which I took over when he was done. I mostly wore it on a nato but he also gave me a flex bracelet which enhanced the vintage feeling and made it look quite cool. I also tried it on the Strapcode shark mesh which I had used for my Squale 50atm and Eterna Super Kon-Tiki but it was a little too thick and gave the impression of the watch being smaller than it actually was. I loved it for being a purist version which I still think is the best and most logical way to display time.

#247 - The Glycine Airman no.1, ref 3944.

On the shark mesh from Strapcode.



Sadly Glycine has disappointed me every year since this release. I guess being bought by Invicta says it all. We’re talking about a company with a never ending catalogue of hideous creations taking over a legendary brand with several beloved classic timepieces and what happens? That’s right, they produce even more hideous creations and turn good things to shit. Truly a sad story. I think that was the main reason why I decided to let Glycine go. I didn’t like the classic Glycine models to be associated with the new trashy ones. I’ve had the same problem with Doxa and I’m not entirely over that whole situation as well but to Doxa’s defense I think they have done a better job of preserving their heritage than Glycine ended up doing.  




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

2017-03-13

No 246 - Seiko 6309-7548 Hybrid

Being a huge fan of Seiko this specific mod was unavoidable. Since the quartz movement from the 7548 happens to fit perfectly inside the watch case of the classic cushion cased 6309, this matchup should in theory create the perfect watch because to many Seiko fans this is the best of both worlds; one of our favorite quartz movements inside one of our most beloved watch cases. The only question was: am I going to find an already modified watch or find two donation watches and carry out the procedure myself?

#246 - The Seiko 6309-7549 Hybrid.
  
Having different 6309’s and 7548’s in a steady rotation of course eventually led me into finding two pieces that were a good match. Breaking up two perfect watches felt like a shame but when I at one point had two mediocre examples it opened up for the perfect opportunity. Watch #242 and #245 where sacrificed and together they created watch #246; the so-called Hybrid. Watch #242 was a 6309-7040 which was all original and looked fantastic but its movement was completely run down and beyond repair. Watch #245 was a 7548-700B that had some aftermarket parts and its dial had already been relumed so I really didn’t feel any anxiety over disassembling any of them. My friend Magnus helped me out with the mounting and new lume and everything worked out fine. I played around with it on different straps and was quite happy with it. It sure was a great looking beater.

Magnus during the making.

Wrist shot in the sun.

With an extremely faded aftermarket insert.

The texture of the dial was looked like a grainy paper.

In theory this should have made the perfect watch according to my preferences but somehow it didn’t. As most of the modifications I’ve made they are fun in the beginning but then eventually they tend to become boring. Eventually the 7548 was put back together and serviced and kept for quite a long time while the 6309 was given a new a movement and then sold.

With a bleached insert from a 7548-700F.


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

2017-02-24

No 241 - Breitling Colt

This is a perfect example of watch that shouldn’t have been bought. I knew from the start that this was a terrible decision. I really have a hard time with dive watches being 38mm so what were the odds that I would have gotten along with this one? 38mm just feel and look way too small. It’s a perfect size for a dress watch but for a dive watch with a bezel, uh uh. I just went for this one without thinking clearly just because the black matte dial looked so bloody cool, the condition was great, it was a full set and the price was ridiculously low (like $550 or something). So, once again I was tricked by beauty but even though I knew this was a given failure, I reasoned it was worth giving it a chance since I was confident to at least get my money back fairly easy.

#241 - The Breitling Colt, ref. A57035.


So, did it work out? Of course not. It had this cool military style dial that I liked and the indexes and hands had started to turn beige so it looked really sweet but the size was all wrong. Also, I hate that Pro-I bracelet. It might be comfortable but damn it’s ugly. I was hoping it could have done well on a rubber or a nato but still it felt like a ladies dive watch. The Mrs didn’t want it either, so I flipped it and just as expected I got my money back. Being a quartz watch it would have made a perfect vacation watch for her to have lying around in the closet but she decided to pass on that offer. I can't blame her.

Wrist shot in weak kitchen light.

Full set.

So what did I learn from this mistake? No more 38mm dive watches period. The fun thing is that if this one would have been 40-41mm then it could have candidate as a possible favorite. I mean look at it, it sure is beautiful. So close but no cigar.
 


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

2017-02-21

No 240 - Dagaz Cav-1 Type 2

This watch made by Dagaz was impossible for me to resist when I learned about it. One of my favorite watch cases, favorite dial, lots of lume and an incredibly cool engraved caseback. The only detail I didn’t like was the Miyota movement so I knew from the start that this would just be a catch and release. I was lucky to find a used one on Watchuseek that hadn’t already been sold. The first batch had just sold out at Dagaz and the new ones were in the making so it was actually quite hard to get a hold of them for a while when the demand at the time was higher than the availability.

#240 - The Dagaz Cav-1 Type 2.

 Type 2 dial. Ladder hands. Lumed bezel. Yummy!

You can never go wrong with lug holes!

40mm case excl. crown. Bead blasted finish.

"Get to the chopper!"

I had only had MKII’s homage to the old Benrus diver (the Blackwater) prior to the Dagaz and I must say that they held an overall higher quality. The Dagaz was a nice watch but I can’t avoid comparing it with the MKII and then the Blackwater takes the win. The only thing the Dagaz did better was the lume and the nice looking caseback. So, if you’re looking to buy a Benrus homage my suggestion would be not to look any further than the Blackwater from MKII.

The complete kit.

The best feature of the watch.


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