2015-12-27

No 98 - Tudor Hydro 1200

What can I say about the Tudor Hydro 1200? It’s brutal and a goddamn beast that’s my best way of summarizing it. If I’m not mistaken I got this one from Claus the Dane at CT Watches in October 2011. I like Claus because he, as well as myself, goes for the funny dive watches and not the regular boring stuff. The Tudor was delivered to me with the white dial but came with an extra black dial that I had installed before even trying it on. I hate white dials. Unfortunately I only got it on the rubber and not the bracelet. I’ve never got to try the Hydro 1200 on the bracelet but from what I can tell by the pictures it looks really cool and comfortable. The rubber on the other hand… How thick can you make a rubber before it looks stupid? To me this is a good example of what's just about to cross the border of being too thick. The rubber was almost as thick as the actual watch itself. I'm guessing the Hydro 1200 is working best on its bracelet but as I haven’t tried it I can’t say for sure. It looks better on the bracelet anyhow.

Borrowed product picture of the Tudor Hydro 1200 on the bracelet.

The aesthetics is really something. I’ve never seen anything looking like the Hydro 1200. It got its own design for sure and it only delivers one message: “I’M A DIVE WATCH!”. What else could it be? I love the fat hour markers and the hands are one of a kind. The action of the bezel is so nice and smooth it makes you want to sit around all day just turning it. I really did love this watch. The only problem was its size. It’s at least 45mm wide without the crown. I had a really hard time selling mine and finally got rid of it in a trade but I lost at least $400.

#98 - The Tudor Hydro 1200. Here in its box.


Helium escape valve on the left side.

Look at the thickness of that rubber strap!

I think the watchmaker who changed the dial scratched the case back. Amateur!

If I would have been a professional diver the Tudor Hydro 1200 is a watch that I really would have liked to wear while working. I’m not sure at all if it's a good watch for diving but it sure as hell plays the part of looking like it. It’s a watch that never will go unnoticed and even if it might not go together with your everyday suit at work it would serve perfectly as the weekend watch for the beach with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. I paid about $2700 back in 2011 for a full set without the bracelet but with two dials and judging from the prices I see today they doesn’t seem to have changed very much. I actually found a brand new one with all the plastic and tags left and with the bracelet for $2300. That’s great! It even made me considering getting one while they haven’t become rare and expensive. I can only encourage all dive watch fanatics to try one if you haven’t already done so. It’s a must!  

Fishing for perch out on the Royal Djurgården in the middle of Stockholm city. This was the closest the watch got to water.

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

2015-12-20

No 97 - Luminox 3051

Luminox focus a lot on their advertising and are mainly addressing military and other kinds of tactical personnel. If you are a sucker for military watches, which I am, of course you will find their trailers cool. Somehow I knew from the start that Luminox was going to disappoint me. Just a gut feeling. But how could I know for sure if I didn’t give them a chance? It turned out I was right.

I found the 3051 in October 2011. It was sold described “As new”. I only wore the watch at home for a few hours. I didn’t like its appearance; it looked much better on the product pictures and I was really disappointed. Also I had a hard time accepting a 200M depth rating on a watch that neither had a screw on case back or a screw down crown. That just felt so wrong. The funny thing is that only a couple of days after I sold the watch the new owner contacted me saying the watch had fogged up during his bike ride to work. Hearing that just confirmed my suspicion of a bad construction design and it also proved that Luminox should put more effort in making quality watches rather than spending the cash on advertising. But I guess it’s necessary to have some flashy commercials if you’re going to be able to sell an overpriced shitty product. Everything can be sold with some good advertising.

#97 - The Luminox 3051 from the Navy Seal Colormark series.

Quartz movement, 44mm case width excl. crown, WR 200M (yeah right!), tritium tubes.

OK, perhaps I’m not completely fair when I say all Luminox watches are a piece of garbage. I was given the chance to try out their automatic Deep Dive watch for a couple of days and it actually made a much better impression on me compared to the plastic series. The only reason why I didn’t buy it was that it was just too big. Otherwise it was bad ass. Apart from the price tag which is ridiculous. 

I stated in the post about my Traser P6506 Commander that I would pick a Traser before a Luminox any day of the week. That statement still stands and now you know a little more about why.


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

2015-12-18

One year anniversary


I can’t believe it’s already been a year since I started writing. Actually everything began much much earlier than that with sorting all the pictures and putting together the chronological order of this large puzzle. 70 different watches have been presented during this year, or 126 if choose to count all the doublets, and it feels like I now have gotten over some sort of hunch. Looking at the list of watches to come I feel much more excited about them than about the watches I’ve already written about. I know I haven’t been 100% consistent when it comes to categorizing all the watches. Perhaps the two Breitling Seawolves should have been in the same post but to me it felt like two different watches and the thought of bunching them together in one post didn’t occur to me until later when I wrote my latest post about the Rolex Datejust 16030 only a couple of days ago. Originally I was planning on presenting the Datejust’s separate as well but somehow it just didn’t feel right. They belonged together somehow. But would it have made sense to bunch all the Seiko SKX diver’s into one post as well just because they basically are the same watch but with different colored dials? Their reference numbers aren’t the same and also to me they have felt like different watches so I have to answer no in that case. To be fair, the three 16030’s would also technically have different reference numbers when they have different dials but they are always referred to as the 16030 regardless which dial they are fitted with so that’s why I changed my mind and chose to keep them together. I have at least a couple of similar dilemmas coming up in the future and I haven’t really decided how to tackle them. I guess it’s going to depend on whether I have something interesting to say about each watch that will determine if it’s getting its own post or not.  I’m not sure you’re following me on this one but what I’m trying to say is that I’m aware of my inconsistency.

The fall has been all about being home with my son, playing in parks and preparing him for kindergarten. I’m still collecting new material but during the last six months I’ve only been flipping about two watches per month. I’m really looking forward to reach the present day instead of writing about watches I don’t have in my possession anymore. It’s sometimes really hard to remember everything correct. Sure, I can Google most of the technical details but I rather try to describe the watch as I remembered it. If I’m unsure about a fact I usually say so or choose to not mention it at all. Anyway, it will be much easier giving an accurate evaluation writing about something I’m actually holding in my hand. During the fall I have pretty much been wearing my Rolex Submariner 14060M every single day with the exception for a day or two when a new watch has arrived that has to be tested. 

#255 - The Rolex Submariner 14060M. A gift from my beautiful wife and therefore a given keeper.

I have an incoming watch that I have been looking forward to for so long and I’m so excited about receiving it. It usually pops up quite often on forums like Watchuseek so it’s not an uncommon watch it’s just that I’ve always missed them for different reasons whenever they have been for sale. Usually they have sold fast or the seller wouldn’t want to ship overseas. This time though I managed to convince the seller to put his trust in this humble Swedish watch enthusiast! Since it’s going to be a while until I can write about it here on the blog I might as well let you know that it’s a Korsbek Oceaneer. In my opinion it’s one of the coolest dive watches from a micro builder ever made. The minute hand must be the meanest looking ever. Perhaps not the most interesting watch among dive watch fans, I don’t know, but I have really been looking forward to try one and from what I have read about it it’s supposed to be really great. I’m sure it will be one of this year’s highlights.

Thank you for following the blog and stick around for more watches to read about. Feel free to contact me with questions!


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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

2015-12-14

No 96, 115 & 139 - Rolex Datejust 16030

It took me almost one hundred watches before I finally decided to give Rolex a try. I’d been a bit reluctant towards Rolex just because it just felt so common and boring. You see Rolex watches everywhere you look and wearing a Rolex doesn’t automatically make you a watch enthusiast. I mean, if I would see someone wearing a Datejust and I would walk by flashing my own Datejust while saying “Hey man, I like your watch”, the person would probably just have looked at me saying “Yeah right, nice, gotta go!” but if I would have been wearing let’s say a Doxa SUB I’m pretty sure the response would have been quite the opposite and we would have gone to the closet pub, have a couple of beers and become best friends. I’m not saying people wearing Rolex’s aren’t watch enthusiasts, many of them are of course, but it’s impossible to tell from by just looking at his or her wrist. I’ve given compliments to people with rare vintage Submariners or old Explorers, taking for granted they must be at least a little nerdy, and they would be like “What? You mean this old thing?”. I’ve always wanted to wear something that says “Hey, look at me, I really know my shit and have given my choice of watch some careful thought and I’m not just wearing this because it looks nice or tells the time”.

The search for a Rolex began one day back in 2011 at my parent’s house when I discovered a box for a Rolex Datejust 16030. It had the outer and the inner box and contained the books, the certificate, a jubilee bracelet and some other various parts but the actual watch was missing. I started looking through some old photographs and could see my dad wearing something that looked like a two-tone 16013 Datejust on some sort of leather strap. I asked my dad about it and he told me he’d bought the watch back in 1982 and that he a couple of years later changed the dial, crown and glass ring to gold and put it on an ostrich strap instead of the jubilee. When I asked him what happened to it he said “Remember that break-in in Spain we had when you were young?”. I remembered it indeed. This must have been around 1988 or something. We’d been on the beach the whole day and when we came home I ran up the stairs and got greeted by this hole in the wall where the front door usually used to hang. The thieves had of course taken everything of value including the watch but that wasn’t anything I remembered. All I could remember was me worrying about that my G.I. JOE figures, which I wasn’t allowed to bring to the beach, wasn’t among the stolen items. Fortunately Snake Eyes and the rest of the guys were fine and the incident didn’t bother me as much as it must have bothered my parents.

I finally had found a good reason to buy a Rolex. I decided to find a Datejust from 1982 to match the box but when I came across one from 1984 I figured it might be funnier to have a watch from my birth year. The certificate wouldn’t match the watch anyway. I actually got to throw in my MKII Sea Fighter in the deal as a part trade and didn’t have to put up with much money in between. The watch came on a quite stretchy jubilee (which I later got cheated on for $50 but that’s another story) and had a faded blue/purple dial. The watch head was in great condition and seemed to be unpolished. I had all the remaining parts left in the box to be fitted in the watch so that it would look just like it did when my dad bought his watch back in 1982. It turned out great! Up until then I really hadn’t understood what the thing was about the Datejust. To me it had been just a small dress watch. Boy had I been wrong! The Datejust must be one of the most versatile sports watches ever built. It doesn’t feel or look small on the wrist at all. It works in every occasion and is easily matched with all types of clothing. It also has a huge variety of dials to choose from which makes it easy to avoid it become boring. 

I wore the watch for about two weeks before I did what I knew had to be done. Hand it over to my dad. By doing that I saved myself from accidentally selling it due to temporary delirium (which have caused me selling too many watches that I should have kept) and I also made him very happy. He’s been wearing it every day since he got it in September 2011. I’ve managed to borrow it sometimes but he always wants it back fast.

#96 - The Rolex Datejust 16030. My first Rolex. Here with the blue/purple dial.


After the change to the spare parts from the watch that got stolen.




On a hotel bed in Ft. Lauderdale watching USA's Formula 1 Grand Prix back in November 2012.

A quick try at my parent's house.

My second 16030 was a full set from 1988. It had a white dial with roman index that I didn’t like at all but it also came with a black stick dial so the white one was replaced at once. Looking back at the pictures I think the white dial was much nicer. This one was a little beat up and had been polished more than once. The lugs felt quite thin and round. Didn’t stay with me very long.

#115 - The second 16030.

After the change to the black stick dial.

The third one was awesome. For real. It was close to NOS and also a full set and from ’88 as well. It was really beautiful and the steel grey dial was amazing. It looked so different depending on the light. It would have made an excellent keeper and I sold it way to cheap. 

#139 - The third and last so far of the 16030's.






Conclusion. The Datejust really opened up my eyes for Rolex. Now I love the brand. There are few others who have contributed with that much history to the world of watches. The Datejust also made me appreciate smaller watches. 36mm is a great size. The new Datejust II feels so weird with its 41mm. Some things should never change. The size of the Datejust (and that goes for the Day-Date as well) is one of them. It’s perfect.


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