2015-08-31

No 74 – IWC Aquatimer ref. 3548

I remember this watch so well. It was back in April 2011 and up until then the Doxa 750t was the most expensive watch I had bought so far. This one was twice as much and it was a big step for me to take. I was so sure this was going to be my final purchase and that this was the watch I was going to keep forever. It just looked so perfect. I kept telling my girlfriend this over and over and she was just laughing saying “Yeah right!”.

#74 - The IWC Aquatimer ref. 3548.




The thing is I really did love this watch but what I didn’t notice at the time of purchase was there was some smudge across the polished hands. Indoors you didn’t notice it but as soon as you went outside it was the only thing I saw. And since details like that drive me insane I couldn’t stop looking at it. If that would have been the only problem I would of course have taken the watch to an IWC AD to get it removed but apart from that the movement was also loosing time. Like a lot of time. I was quite disappointed, especially since the seller had said it was running perfect. Those two things really bothered me and finally I couldn’t take it and I had to let the seller know that this wasn’t what I had been expecting. The seller immediately offered me to take it back (ironically this was the same seller who earlier had sold me an ORIS TT1 1000m diver which didn’t run well at all either) and since giving it a full service wasn’t an option for me at the time it was with mixed feelings that I returned it to him.


Looking back the IWC Aquatimer 3548 is one of my favorite designs of all time and I can’t say how long I would have kept it if it hadn’t had those two flaws. It was great to wear on the rubber and I think it would have been too heavy on the bracelet. Stronger lume would make it perfect. I’m still looking for a 3548 but in the blue and orange Cousteau edition. That one would definitely be a keeper. I would also love to one day try out the 3536. Unfortunately I must say that the latest Aquatimer’s that IWC have produced has not looked very interesting. Just weird.


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

2015-08-28

No 73 - Vostok Amphibia

I fell in love with the movie Life Aquatic when I saw it the first time with my mom at the cinema back in 2004. Both mom and I enjoy the black humor in Wes Anderson’s movies. Back then I never noticed the watch that Steve Zissou (played by Bill Murray) was wearing. I was more into the matching hats, track suits and sneakers and it wasn’t until I saw the movie again back in 2011 when I got that Abyss-moment once again; “Hey! What kind of watch is that?” The answer wasn’t many seconds away and just a couple of minutes later I’d identified the brand, the correct model, the correct dial configuration, found a seller that seemed trustworthy and rounded it all up by clicking home a matching rubber strap from eBay. BHAM!


#73 - The Vostok Amphibia.



What can I say about the quality of my Vostok? Well, for being a newly produced watch it probably had the worst finish I’ve ever seen and the automatic movement wasn’t very accurate either. I can’t say I was disappointed. I pretty much figured it wasn’t going to be a masterpiece when I placed my order and had no high expectations whatsoever.

Captain Steve Zissou played by Bill Murray.
(borrowed picture)

Probably the best close up of the watch in the movie.
(borrowed picture)

The conclusion of the Vostok Amphibia would be that it’s a cool watch but ONLY because it was seen Steve Zissou’s wrist in Life Aquatic. So if you’re a big fan of the movie and are looking for a cheap watch, go for it. If not, I wouldn’t say that the Vostok Amphibia is worth giving a try.


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

2015-08-21

Interlude - Watches #1-50

Fifty posts have now been published and wow, this is going way slower than I was expecting. I was hoping I could post every other day or at least every third day but the average is more like every sixth day since I started in November last year. Perhaps I should have realized that just becoming a father, having tons of work, keeping up with my personal life and at the same time planning big improvement projects for our home does not leave you with very much free time to do whatever you want :-)

Still there are many more watches to write about. I’ve only written about a fifth so far. The amount of watches being tried the last twelve months has dramatically decreased but I’m still in the game even though not as hardcore as I used to be. This of course is due to my son who I want to spend all my free time with but other hobbies such as fishing steal a lot of time as well. Also I don’t have the same need anymore to hunt for new objects. Believe it or not but one new keeper has been added to the collection making it a crazy total of four now. I know the desire for discovering and trying new watches will come back sooner or later and add more material to the archive.

I’ve spent the most of the summer in the south of France with my wife and son and what a fantastic summer it has been. Blue skies and sunshine every day for a month. I brought a Seiko 7548 with me that I gave a lot of love before we left. It got re-lumed and was given new gaskets, crown and battery. It also passed the pressure test which felt good because I didn’t have to hesitate to bring it down in the deep when I got to try scuba diving for the first time. It’s kind of crazy that a guy like me, who loves everything about the sea and is obsessed with dive watches, hasn’t done anything else than snorkeling at the surface this whole time. Getting into all the cool gear and descending to the bottom surrounded by jellyfish, squid and different types of fish was one about the best things I’ve ever done. Scuba diving is definitely an interest I will pick up. And when I pick something up for real I go all in. Like crazy all in.

Post dive picture. Just outside the coast of Cap Ferrat, France, July 2015.

#245 – The Seiko 7548 quartz diver. The fourth one of a total of five when this was written. More about the 7548's to come.
 
I hope you have enjoyed what I have published so far and that you will continue to check back every once in a while to see what’s new. Thank you for all the nice feedback you've given me. Please contact me if you have any questions or if you just want to say hi. But now let’s go for another fifty posts!


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

2015-08-06

No 72 – MKII Stingray

MKII made three different types of the Stingray. The type 50, 60 and the 70 (which referes to decades) came in some various versions. I think I had the 50 MOD2C which for example had Arabic numbers on the dial. As all MKII watches it was very well built and the ETA 2824-2 movement was very accurate. I remember in particularly though that the crown was sharp dug into the wrist which wasn't pleasant at all.


Product image of the MKII Stingray. The same version I had.

I actually never took a picture of this watch but I browsed through some old forum threads and became very happy when I stumbled upon a picture of my old Stingray that the owner after me had taken just a couple of days after I sold it to him.

Here it is! #72 - My old Stingray on a green nato strap but on the wrist of the new owner. Thank you Richard V!

There aren’t that many watches that I haven’t taken a picture of but the funny thing is that I also forgot to capture the Helson Skindiver. Yes, that’s correct, it means that two homages of the famous vintage Blancpain Fifty Fathoms has been in my possession without me taking a picture of it. I really do love the look of the old BP FF, it's a true icon, and wish I one day could own the real deal.

As this is being written there is a new Stingray project from MKII going on called Stingray II. Not a very creative title perhaps but it will probably sell as usual.


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

2015-08-02

No 71 & 75 – Seiko SKX011J


The same watch as the SKX007 and the SKX009 except that it’s orange and made in Japan. I bought my first one in the end of March 2011 and kept it unmodified and put on a 22mm shark mesh instead of its stock V-vented Z-22 rubber. I hate the V-vent. Unfortunately I never took a photo of this watch before I sold it.

Product image of the SKX011J. #71 was never photographed.

My friend Magnus also bought one for himself when I got mine but he went on to modify it of course. He replaced the gold hands with black SKX-hands, replaced the insert with a brushed steel insert from Yobokies and put it on an all brushed jubilee bracelet. No advance stuff but those three changes made it look like another watch. I loved it and persuaded him to sell it to me.

#75 - The SKX011J. Modified with new hands and bezel insert.





I wore it on the jubilee but also on a flat vent Z-22 rubber. The flat vent I love.

One more modification was made before I decided to go on and sell it. There was a slight color deviation between the lume on the hands and the hour markers on the dial. Stuff like that drives me crazy. So the hands had to be switched out and Magnus replaced them with a set of regular polished SKX-hands. I also tried to fit it on a Yobokies president bracelet. That piece of shit was really thick, rigid and uncomfortable. The original Seiko president bracelet is much looser and has a more vintage feel to it without being too thin and delicate.

New hands and bracelet.


Wrist shot at work.



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