2014-12-30

No 4, 18, 35, 101, 102, 159, 184, 198 & 243 - Seiko SKX007

Instead of making nine separate posts with all the SKX007's I have owned I figured I'd bunch them up all together in one presentation to speed things up but also because I don't want to make you bored.

Why does one purchase nine watches of the same model? Well, the SKX007 is quite an extraordinary watch. It costs close to nothing compared to what you get. A used one is easily found for a $100 and for that you will get a watch with an automatic movement (a true work horse), that has a screw down crown, incredible lume and that is water resistant to 200m. Apart from that it has a unique look with its crown positioned at 4 o'clock and an overall cool divers look to it. There are not many watches that can compare to the SKX007 in this price range and I know I’m not alone with that statement.

Product image of the Seiko SKX007.

After lurking around on different watch forums I quickly realized that this watch was something everyone either owned or had owned. Very few made any negative comments, it was rather the opposite and people wrote mainly good things about it. I bought my first one in May 2009 on the Swedish eBay called Tradera.

#4. My first SKX007. Bought in May 2009. Crappy flash picture.

#18. My second one bought in December 2009.

#35. The third one. Bought in April 2010. Here on a president bracelet.

Also, what makes the SKX007 so unique is the vast range of interchangeable parts available to modify your watch. There are a lot of parts for Seikos in general but the assortment for the SKX-series is probably the largest.

#101. A vintage modified SKX007 with faded insert and soy sauce hands on a fully brushed jubilee bracelet. This was the fourth one bought in October 2011.

#102. Also from October 2011 and yet another vintage mod. This time performed on a SKX007J (Japanese version). Insert and hands were taken from a SKX011J. Insert was faded and the hands and dial went a round with the old soy sauce. All geared up for fishing with a flask, a SOG knife and a Lucky 13 wobbler! Number five was a badass.

There have been a lot of late nights modifying SKX’s. It seems like I can never get tired of it. So many variations to be made! Unfortunately I haven’t really learned how to do it myself and I’ve almost always have had help from my good friend Magnus who isn’t a trained watchmaker but he is a true engineer. If there is a problem he finds a solution. While I’ve been a little reluctant when it comes to picking things apart which I know nothing about, in this case movements, he pick stuff apart and at the same time he is learning how all the parts are working together. I've always felt safe handing over my watches in the hands of Magnus.
 
#159. January 2013. It began with just an easy fade of the insert on number six.

Then the dial, hands and chapter ring were replaced. Got too messy with the Type 2 dial. Didn’t work very well together. Lack of balance.

We finally came up with this one in March the same year. The blue dial was taken from a SKX009, the original chapter ring was put back, the 6105 hands were kept and we added a brushed steel insert. I think this mod is probably one of the best we ever made. It actually does look like a real Seiko that could have been produced and not a modified one. 
 


I brought this version of the watch to Rome, Italy, in June 2013 on my honeymoon (among other watches of course!). Here seen in the roof top lounge at Hotel Boscolo Exedra.
 
The SKX’s comes in some different variations which all look pretty much the same except for color deviations. But there are the J-versions, e.g. the SKX007J, where the J stands for Japan, which usually are a little more expensive and has an extra line on the dial that says 21 jewels. The movement, the 7S26, is the same in all the SKX divers I think except for that they have been assembled in different factories.
 
#184. The seventh one was a quick catch and release of a SKX007J in July 2013.

When it comes to purchasing parts I’ve mostly ordered from 10watches (now called Dagaz) and Yobokies. Some parts have also been acquired from different eBay sellers but eBay can be really difficult sometimes. There is so much shit circulating out there. When purchasing so called aftermarket parts you have to watch out. If something is called aftermarket and has the Seiko logo on it, that is the same thing as fake.
 
#198. Bought in November 2013. A SKX007 on an oyster bracelet that was modified with the hands and dial from an Orange Monster. Also the insert was changed to a brushed steel insert and fitted into a Murphy bezel. Here tested for water resistance in the bath tub.

Later turned it into a Snowflake mod…

 
…and then quickly changed it into a new outfit before it was forgotten for some time...


...until July 2014 when Magnus picked it up for a little facelift.

It was fitted with an aftermarket (fake) 6105 dial that Magnus re-lumed. I think it looked kind of cool with its retro look. Something for Seiko to pick up for an upcoming vintage series?

 
The re-lumed dial glowed strong, nice and blue!


My ninth one was a Japanese version on a flat vent Z22 rubber. Good stuff! A classic look.

 
#243 - A day at the office in January 2015.

To sum it all up I must say that the SKX007 is probably the perfect entry level watch for all rookies. There's really no reason not to own one. It will always come to use sooner or later. But beware! This one will get everyone hooked and lead you right down into the watch addiction swamp until you’re neck deep and it's too late to get out.  


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

2014-12-25

No 3 - Victorinox Infantry Vintage Day/Date

I have always had a thing for Victorinox. To me Victorinox is associated with quality. I guess it is because everyone tried to copy their folding knives and no one could compare with their standard. When I discovered Victorinox also made watches I immediately expected them to be built well. The first model I fell in love with was the Dive Master 500. It came in a PVD version and was called "Black Ice". I lived in Uppsala at the time, a small university town an hour away from the capital, and took the train to Stockholm one evening after school to visit the only store who carried Victorinox in their assortment.

Unfortunately they only had a blue faced Dive Master in stock, no Black Ice. But my eye caught something else. The Vintage Infantry Day/Date. "Wow! A military watch!". It was love at first sight. Who cared it cost a little over $700? Who cared it had a push/pull crown, was wearing huge with its 44mm and had a quartz movement with a second hand that was totally off the markers? It looked so good and I was going to keep this watch my whole life anyway! Yeah right...

Product image of the Victorinox Infantry Day/Date ref. 241291
I actually kept this watch for at least six months. I tried selling it but quickly realized I wasn't going to get back nowhere near what I paid for it. It was a cool watch though and I still think the quality felt really good. But I was a poor student who wanted new watches and I couldn't afford keeping it if I wanted to buy something new. It had to go. I'm ashamed to say that I gave it away for $200. I wasn't that much of a businessman back then. I could actually consider buying one again if I find a used one for $200 and then make up for the loss.




Tucked away in its box right before I sold it. 

A walk in Stockholm on a spring day in April in 2009.

Chilling out in Zürich in mid June 2009.

UPDATE - April 29th 2016.

I recently came home after spending a weekend i New York visiting one of my best friends. Only a couple of days before I left I found out that Ashford were selling out this exact model for only $200. So I asked my friend if he could get one for me and he ordered it straight away. Ever since I sold it back in 2009 I've regretted it and every now and then I've checked to see if there's been any used ones for sale but without any luck. But now finally it is back! And even though it's not the original one I purchased I'm going to pretend it is and instead of adding it as the next number in my chronological order it is going back as #3. Done! The new story is that it was never sold and has been a part of my collection since 2009.

I had actually prepared a nice suede strap from Hirsh for it, to replace the steel bracelet, which I brought with me to New York. I was 100% sure that the space between the lugs was 22mm. Imagine my frustration when the lug space turned out to be 23mm. It was impossible for me to wear the watch with that 1mm spacing between the case and the strap with the springbar visible. Uh uh, ain't happening!

When I came home I started to look around for nice leather straps and that's when I came across MJ Leather. I contacted Micke and asked him if he happened to have any 23mm straps in stock. He didn't but he offered to have one custom made for me. The final result turned out to be fantastic. 23-20mm at the buckle. Beautiful red leather which is going to age super nice. Fantastic craftmanship! Couldn't be happier with the strap.

With the new strap from MJ Leather.




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

2014-12-23

No 2 - Jacques LeMans Liverpool

I know, I know. "What was he thinking?" you are asking yourselves. Well, I don't know for sure. To my defence I can say that my knowledge regarding watches at this moment in time was at an all time low. All I wanted was something that looked good and didn't tick as loud as my Omega.


Product image.

At the time I bought it in 2006 it cost around $250. I was a quartz chronograph but I can't remember I ever used the chrono. The fact that it actually had a screw down crown and was water resistant to 20BAR, which actually are some good features, was something I never even considered at the time of purchase. To me it just looked nice. It measured 42mm without crown and wore quite large. This was also a watch I later passed on to my sister.


Me and mom in Ft. Lauderdale, November 2006.


Me and mom @ Fridays.
 
Roaming the streets of Uppsala on my bike in the summer of 2006.


 
I would never recommend a Jacques LeMans to anyone. There are many watches out there in the same price range that gives you so much more watch for the money spent. Avoid!


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

2014-12-22

No 1 - Omega Seamaster quartz

This is the watch I consider to be my first. I got it from my dad. He claims that it was the first quartz model Omega sold in Sweden when he bought it in the mid 70's. If this information is correct or not I'm not sure of. Anyway, I wore this watch a lot from 2005 - 2007. During this time I think I had to change the battery at least three or four times and also the movement ticked really loud. When I started to study economics in the fall of 2006, the library was all quiet except for my watch that echoed down the hallway. It measured 35mm without crown and 20mm between the lugs. It was a nice dresswatch that went pretty much unnoticed.
 
Wristshot on black/yellow nato.


 

 
 
I later passed it on to my younger sister who still wears it sometimes but here are some pictures from moments when it was worn by me.


Pike fishing in May 2005.

An important moment in march 2007. Later this evening I met the woman who six years later became my wife.

During a gig at O'Learys in Uppsala in June 2007.
 
Drinking beer after the gig with Daniel, one of my best friends.

These vintage Omega quartz watches are pretty easy to come across today for a rather low amount on eBay. If I were to pick one up again I'd prefer a mechanical or an automatic version in solid gold as a dress watch.


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

2014-12-18

Welcome - An introduction

So, this is were it all starts. My passion for watches began back some time in the early 90's  when dad gave me my first Swatch Scuba. It was so cool with so many colors. I couldn't wear it for very long though since my arm got all red and started itching just after a couple of days. It turned out I had an allergy to nickel and since the battery was located directly on the caseback it was in direct contact with the skin and made it impossible for me to wear.

(picture borrowed from watchpapst.de)

Me back in the days. My guess is 1992. The Scuba on the wrist.
Dressed for success! Me and my oldest friend Martin - my #1 wingman. Both wearing our Scuba's.

Instead I got a watch from GUL that had a colorful velcro. I don't remember how many velcros I consumed during the years I wore it but it was a lot. I never took the watch off my wrist and they quickly started to smell really bad.

My GUL on velcro. Pretty banged up.

When I started high school my dad let me borrow his Rolex GMT Master II 16710. I knew what a Rolex was since dad had worn several when I was growing up but to me it was just a watch. I stopped wearing it after I got tired of everyone asking me about it. "Is it really a Rolex? Is it fake or real? How much does it cost?" etc. Instead I dug out an Omega Seamaster quartz from his drawers. Small and discreet. Not very eye catching. No one said a word. I really liked it and enjoyed it for several years. This was the watch that really opened up my eyes for the world of watches and that's why my number one post in the countdown is going to be about this particular watch.

For some reason dive watches has become my biggest passion. I have always loved the seas and life under water has interested me for as long as I can remember. The majority of the watches reviewed will therefore mainly be divers. I'm also fascinated by the fact that a watch is not only a time showing piece but is also used as an actual tool or instrument in many professions. I am what you might refer to as a so called "desk diver" and my watches rarley get to witness any action except for the occasional fishing trips now and then. When it comes down to movements it actually isn't that big of a deal for me. Of course a mechanical or an automatic movement feels more genuine and "alive" but I'm totally fine with quartz movements. What does it for me is the overall look and if the watch fulfills the purpose it was designed for.

Collecting has never been a part of my hobby. I've been searching for something else during my quest. Partly it has been about the hunt; to find that certain object, and partly it has been about curiosity. I have to try everything! There's actually only two watches I've bought during the last five years that I can call my keepers. Some people do not understand my way of reasoning like this. The thing is I can't own stuff that I don't use. To have things lying around for no good gives me anxiety. I also have never been in to watch flipping to somehow earn any money. It’s been purely a hobby and hobbies tend to cost more money than they generate. Instead it had brought me a lot of joy. I’ve never been interested in expensive watches. I’ve owned a couple of Rolex's but nothing very fancy. I'm a simple man. Jeans and t-shirt. Meat and potatoes. And of course, one good looking durable watch that works in every single situation! Perhaps a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 will be a good birthday present from myself when I turn fifty? Only twenty years left!

Let the countdown begin!


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