2015-02-27

No 30 – Ocean7 G-1 GMT

I didn’t remember this but when I looked through my archive I discovered that I found this watch from a seller in Denmark in mid February 2010. I don’t remember much about the watch either but if I’m not mistaken it was a 300m diver that measured 42mm excl. crown and that there was an ETA movement inside. I think the clasp on the bracelet might have been broken and that’s why I wore it on a nato strap. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take any good pictures. Instead I took three pictures when all the hands were located at the same place. Nice! Not.
 
#30 – The Ocean7 G-1 GMT on an army green nato.
 
 
All hands clustered up together.
 
I traded this one away for a Seiko SBDA005 and I actually think I got a little bit of cash on the side. That deal would not happen today! Impossible. This was my last Ocean7. I had my eyes on their LM-7 for a while but never bought one.


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

2015-02-25

No 29, 33, 43 & 57 – Marcello C Nettuno 3

I first came in contact with Marcello C while visiting the old MKII Watches website. The Nettuno was a popular model to modify and MKII had a lot of parts like dials and hands that fitted them. I found my first Nettuno from a watch contact living close by in Stockholm. This was in the beginning of February 2010 and I bought it with the intention to modify it with MKII parts but when I got it I thought it looked pretty good as it was so I skipped the modifying plans. It had the classic submariner look with the black dial and black bezel insert. Regarding the quality there was nothing to complain about. The size was nice, 40mm excl. crown, and the bracelet was comfortable. The movement inside was a standard ETA 2428-2 which kept time perfectly and it was water resistant to 300m.
 
#29 – My first Nettuno 3.
 
On an Italian nato. (picture taken with very old cellphone)

The second one I bought was found on the German eBay. It had a silver sunburst dial and silver bezel insert and had more of a Yacht Master look to it. The clean look was very easy to match with all types of clothing and different types of straps.
#33 – The Nettuno on an icy balcony.

Wristshot at home in my lounge wear.
 
In late May 2010 my wife and I booked a spontaneous trip to Rhodes for the first week in June. I had no suitable vacation watch to bring and needed something fast. I started searching for a used Marcello C Tridente, the big brother to the Nettuno, but all I found was a blue dialed Nettuno which I settled for. It was also located in Germany and with some express delivery it made it up to Sweden just in time for our trip. I used the watch during the whole week and it worked well in all situations. Sold it soon after we came home. Its job was done and its employment was over. 
#43 – Nice sunburst dial. Looked great in the sun.
 

Working on a tan.
 
 
Found another silver dialed version in the end of October the same year. It was priced so low I couldn’t keep my hands away. I bought it just because I had to but quickly flipped it away for the same price. I was done with Marcello C.
#57 – Wristshot on the balcony of the second silver dialed Nettuno.

 
 
These watches were fun to play around with in the beginning of my exploring-everything-phase. We are talking about good quality watches priced around $300 for a used one. Regarding the design it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It looks like a Submariner without being a 100% knock off. To me back in 2010 Marcello C felt like a real brand and they gave me an impression of being a serious watch manufacturer. I haven’t checked out any of their news during the last four years so I’m not sure if that still is the case. 

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

2015-02-23

No 27 - Oris TT1 Diver 1000m

I remember when I found this one in the end of January 2010. It was for sale as a full set at $800 and located close to my residence back then. Bought it and went to pick it up. The watch was delivered to me on the black original rubber so I went by an authorized dealer for ORIS on my way home to have them change it to the titanium bracelet. They wanted $60 to make the change and at the same time shorten it for me by removing one link piece. I kindly denied their generous offer and slowly backed out of the store. What a rip off! I went to another watch store close by and they helped me out for $10. Thank you!
 
Product image of the ORIS TT1 Diver 1000m.
 
It only took one day to realize that the movement had seen better days. It was losing time. Several minutes per day. I contacted the seller and asked him if he was aware of the problem. It wasn’t something he’d mentioned in his for sale add. He offered me to take it back and to give me a refund which I was grateful he did. I really wasn’t planning to hand it over for a full service the first thing I was going to do. So I went back with the watch and got my money back. The seller insisted on making a deduction for the strap replacement and I told him it was fine as long as he didn’t demand to take it to an authorized ORIS dealership and gave him $10 for the inconvenience. I felt it was worth a total loss of $20 to get rid of trouble. 
 
#27 - One of the older versions with the ISO 2281 marking on the dial.

The case back shows the ref. 633-7541.

A dull wristshot under a kitchen lamp.
 
It was a short friendship but it gave me enough time to evaluate the model. Even though the watch was quite large, 44mm excl. crown, it felt OK to wear due to the titanium but for me it was too big. As a pure diver’s watch, fine, but not as an everyday wearer.


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

2015-02-20

No 24 & 277 - Marathon TSAR

Last time I told you about my trade when I gave away a SAR for a TSAR. Well well, that might have been a stupid trade but at the time I wanted the TSAR and what did a loss of a couple of bucks matter?

The TSAR is the most affordable watch in Marathon’s Search and Rescue line and some might find the TSAR even toolier and more of a multi-purpose watch with its tritium tubes and reliable quartz movement but I find the dial a little too busy which makes it loose legibility compared to the SAR. The TSAR, SAR and GSAR are all based on the same case and measure approx. 41mm wide excl. crown, 14mm thick and 20mm between the lugs. But since they are based on the same case they also share the same problem - the crown. Just a few millimeters shorter would have made the whole watch much more wearable without losing any grip.

#24 – The Marathon TSAR. Quartz movement and with tritium tubes.




I had mine for six months (quite some time for being me!) and kept it in the drawer and used it only for occasions where a beater was suitable. The TSAR is currently being used by NASA which is pretty cool and I could absolutely go for another one someday. Used ones sometimes pop up for around $300 which they are worth for sure.


Update - January 18th 2016

I recently received another TSAR in a trade. What a great watch. Really! It was a newer one sold in 2014 with the EOL movement and the new tubes glowed so bright. A perfect beater. Let it go though because I needed some extra cash for a watch that was being sent for a full service. 

#277 - My second TSAR.

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

2015-02-18

No 23, 78, 183 & 199 - Marathon SAR

I got my first Marathon SAR as a part trade when I sold my Sinn U1. I was totally hooked the first time I saw it. At the time in 2010 Marathon didn’t have a webstore and you could only find them used since they had only been issued to the US Army. “A watch built for war must be able to withstand anything!” was how I reasoned and I just had to have one. Apart from that I loved the design. The clean look with a matte dial and ladder hands made it very legible.  It looked like a beefy Submariner and not like it had been on steroids. A perfect 300m diver! There was one thing I hated it about it though - the fitting of the bracelet. I’m not saying I’m a genius but I do know how to change a bracelet without any proper watchmaker tools but this was insane.

I lost the first one in a stupid trade. I had of course discovered the TSAR – the quartz version with tritium tubes – during my learning-everything-about-Marathon phase. “Wow! Luminous tubes that glows for 25 years and never needs charging? Gotta have it now!” So I put up a want-to-trade add saying I had a SAR and was looking for a TSAR. It didn’t take many minutes before someone answered and offered me a trade. I took it without any hesitation. Stupid! I didn’t know then that the TSAR was much cheaper and much easier to acquire. But I learned from my mistake and moved on.
#23 – The first one of my four Marathon SAR's. Issued in 2003.


Bracelet kit. Sold separately.

I bought my second one in May 2011. This one was issued in 2006 and had more patina on hands than my first one and also had some battle scars on the bezel. Kept it over the summer and then passed it on to a close watch colleague.
#78 – Number two. Issued in 2006. Here on original rubber.


Beautiful profile. Look at those lines!

A sunny wrist shot.


Two years later in August 2013 it was time for another one and I got my hands on another piece issued in 2006. I bought it with the intention that the Marathon SAR must be the best tool watch ever made. But I was wrong. The large and deep knurled crown might be designed for easy maneuvering but it is not gentle on your wrist. Dammit! It had to go.

#183 – Another one issued in 2006. Taken during lunch at work.


Chilling in the sun with beer.


Gone fishing!

Later the same year in November a thought entered my mind. “Wait! Perhaps the SAR actually is the best tool watch? What if you just have to do some changes…” Perhaps there was a solution to the wrist problem? What if you flip the watch 180° so that the crown becomes positioned at 9 o’clock like an Omega ploprof and then just change the date wheel? Wouldn’t that do the trick? Of course it does! So I tracked down a SAR issued in 2004 and took the watch to Magnus and told him we needed to get to work. Mission accomplished. The perfect tool watch was born.

#199 – The inverted Marathon SAR. Issued in 2004 and converted to the perfect tool watch.



This modification got some attention for sure and when someone asks me if something is for sale, as you know, I’m not hesitating to sell since I always have something else in my sight. So, the inverted SAR was soon gone.
The Marathon SAR has become one of my overall favorites of all time. I have developed some sort of love/hate relationship for it. When I have one I think it’s a little too thick and that the large crown is bothering me and when I don’t have one I think it is one of the best looking watches ever made and that I need one because it’s the best beater out there. The bracelet is probably my absolute favorite. Even though it is sort of oyster looking it still has its own design which I love. It is solid but still very flexible and wearable.

For now no SAR is in my collection. All I can say is that if you come across a used one for a reasonable price, do not hesitate, just buy it! You won’t be disappointed by the quality. 


UPDATE - October 31st 2015.

OK, so my inverted SAR was put out for sale in July this year by the same person who bought it from me. I was on vacation in France but I contacted the seller right away and said "Hey, let me have it back. I'll pay you half now and half when I get home. Just don't sell it to anyone else." I couldn't stand the thought of someone else having my beautiful inverted SAR. I came home, picked it up, wore it for a couple of weeks and just as before I wasn't 100% sure it was right for me. So I let my friend Björn have it and the moment it leaves me I can feel it's the wrong decision. Luckily I receive it back as a part trade with Björn a couple of weeks later. Yes, I realize all this back and forth business is crazy but I there and then made a promise to make it one of my few keepers. So I had it flipped back and fitted with a black date wheel and now it looks stunning. The idea about the inverted SAR is genious but I just felt I wanted it the regular way and now it feels so right.

The return of watch #199. Here on a 20mm bond nato.

On a genuine 20mm Isofrane.

Working from home.

Back to normal except for the black date wheel.

UPDATE - December 20th 2015.

This is getting out of hand. I've decided to let the SAR go. It needs to make way for new watches. As I've stated previously: If it's not being used I have to let it go. I hate to see it just lying there in the drawer. I'd love to say that the SAR chapter is hereby closed but I know it isn't. It'll never be over. Never.


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

2015-02-13

No 22 - Sinn U1

Damn I like Sinn! I’ve had far too few over the years. I’m not sure it’s the design that has got me hooked. It’s the technology, unique solutions and cool material that fascinates me. Sinn's watches feels more like proper tool watches than anything else from any other manufacturer. Here we are talking about instruments that actually have been designed for extreme professions where requirements on the equipment are extreme. Jeez! It sounds like I’m getting paid by Sinn for writing this (I wish!). But the truth is that these are the kind of features that really gets me going.

The U1 was the first Sinn model I discovered. What strikes you at once when you have a look at the U1 are the hands. Some people like them and some people don’t. I don’t like them. They don’t mess up the legibility or anything they just look weird. But I like the rest of the design and especially the extra hardened u-boat steel and the 1000m depth rating. Also the price feels reasonable. Or at least it did a couple of years ago. I think the price has increased quite a lot the last years but I can be wrong.

Product image of the Sinn U1. (borrowed from Sinnwatches.de)

I came across a used one without the bracelet in January 2010 and bought it immediately. I might have been a little hasty because it turned out the watch came with a rubber band that had been shortened and it was way too tight for my wrist. So I bought a couple of 22mm nato straps to achieve some tooliness. Well, that didn’t work out at all. The U1 is not designed to be put on a nato and has a sharp edge between the lugs towards the case back. It wore high and didn’t feel good at all. Putting it on a zulu looks ridiculous. My watch still had the ETA 2824-2 movement inside. The U1's manufactured today are equipped with Selitta movements.

#22 – Sinn U1. (pictures taken by previous owner)
(pictures taken by previous owner)

I was really disappointed that I couldn’t wear the U1 properly and instead of searching for a new rubber or a bracelet I put it out for sale saying I could take a Marathon SAR as a part trade. I got a fish on the hook and sold the U1 and got a Marathon SAR as a part trade.

I’ve only had one other Sinn apart from the U1 one but there are so many more models that I want to try. I’ve lately been looking out for an 856 UTC, an EZM3 or a U1 SDR. I will most certain pick one up in the near future.
 
 
 © All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.

2015-02-10

No 21, 26 & 58 - Seiko SBDA001

The Seiko SBDA001, also known as “The Samurai”. Not only the nickname is one of the coolest but the design is also unique with its sharp angular case. The titanium Samurai's have lately become one of Seiko’s most sought after model. When I first started flipping watches in 2009 I was offered Samurai's as part trades. It felt like no one wanted them. It popped up used ones everywhere for just a couple of hundred bucks. First I thought they looked horrible, just as ugly as an Orange Monster, but I quickly changed my opinion. About the Samurai that is. Not about the Orange Monster. The Orange Monster is still the ugliest Seiko diver which I have never owned and never will.

The steel Samurai is quite ugly I think. At least when you compare it to the titanium version. The steel version also lacks crown guards which the titanium one has. Why? A diver's watch should have crown guards. I have never had the chance to score a blue one, the SBDA003, to a good price and it is still on my wanted list. Today the prices are ridiculous compared to just a couple of years ago. What I like most about the Samurai is the matte dial, the big swords hands and big index’s which has a crazy lume and the shape of the case. The 7s35 movement is nothing special compared to the 7s26 except that it has some extra jewels I think.

#21 – My first one.  Bought in October 2009.

Made in August 2004.

#26 – On a black nato strap. Bought in November 2010.


Lume shot.

The third one I got my hands on was a real steal. I found it on the Swedish eBay; Tradera. I was doing my regular searches and found nothing of interest. I then went through a list of all used watches being listed and found an auction called “Sekio”. It was of a SBDA001 on bracelet complete with box and papers. All in great condition. No bidders so far. I put down a fair bid and thought to myself that even if other people will find this auction I might still win it and I won’t feel like I have done a bad deal. I ended up winning it for $150 and made a really nice bargain.

#58 – One of my best bargains. Fullset.
Wristshot on the balcony.
From the last year of production. Made in April 2008.


I usually lose a little money when doing my watch deals and I’m perfectly fine with that as long as there are no ridiculous amounts going to waste. That would be plain stupidity. Of course I always try to get back the amount I’ve spent on a watch when selling it but I hate waiting and prefer a quick sell so that is the reason why I’m never break even. But hey, hobbies cost money! But regarding the last Samurai I had I actually got to double up my money which was fun for change.

The titanium Samurai’s are cool watches. Especially the blue SBDA003 and I think I need to have one before I give up on this addiction. I can only pray that it also one day turns up in a misspelled auction =)


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