2016-02-29

No 130 - Citizen Aqualand AL0004-03E

So this is the Aqualand I got together with the Tissot Seastar in that package deal. Instead of a digital display for the depth meter, like on the classic Aqualand, this one has an analog hand showing the depth. Bought it just for fun, two tones are always nice, but I never had any intentions to use it. I just wanted to check it out. I’ve seen the same model in PVD with gold details and also one with a full lume dial. It still seems to be a pretty popular model among all the different Aqualand’s. It definitely is a beater and most of the used ones you see for sale are usually pretty banged up. If I had to choose between this one and the classic Aqualand I’d go for the two toned JP2004-07E which in my opinion is a cooler watch.

#130 - The Citizen Aqualand AL0004-03E.



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

2016-02-27

No 129 - Tissot Seastar 660

I remember the first time I saw a Tissot Seastar diver. It was the last of April, quite a special day when you come from the university town of Uppsala, and I have no idea of what year it was. I just remember I saw this guy hanging around with our crowd among thousands of drunk students and he was wearing a big dive watch on a black rubber strap that I didn't recognized. It turned out to be a Tissot. I thought it looked quite cool and I didn’t even know back then that Tissot made that kind of watches. I mostly associated them with dress watches. Several years later back in 2012 I came across a for sale ad from a person selling a whole bunch of dive watches. Among them were a Citizen Aqualand with an analog depth meter and this Tissot Seastar. The dial of the Tissot was a little worn around the edges but the watch was in an overall decent condition so the guy gave me a good price if I agreed to buy both of them which I did. I later did some research about the Seastar's and discovered that the one I had seen earlier on that guy’s wrist had been a 300m automatic version (The Seastar 1000) while the one I’d just bought was the 200m quartz version (The Seastar 660). 

Back at work a colleague of mine, who also had an interest in watches (just not as severe as my obsession), really liked the Tissot and I let him have it for the same price I'd paid for it. He still wears it today and have had it serviced with a new dial. I had it for such a short time that I never took a picture of it but I asked him the other day if I could take a photo of it for my blog which he was totally fine with. Thank you Pontus!

#129 - The Tissot Seastar 660.


I used to keep an eye open for a used Seastar 300m. I think they’re quite cool but the greenish lume makes me a little sick. It’s not likely I would pick one up today unless it’s a true catch. I recently saw one with a blue dial which was quite cheap but it was too much of a wreck for me wanting to fix it.


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

2016-02-23

No 128 & 148 - Limes Endurance 1tausend

So where do I begin? The 1tausend seriously was a superb watch. I almost want to use the word masterpiece. Especially in comparison to what you pay for a used one. The quality is outstanding and my best memory is how the end links fit against the watch case with such precision. I haven’t seen anything like it from any other watch maker before. True engineering art by the German case manufacturer Ickler! The bracelet was also fantastic and super comfortable with a slim butterfly clasp. The whole deal with the 1tausend is that it was supposed to be the slimmest 1000m diver there was when it was created. I don’t know if they succeeded but they sure managed to create a fantastic watch. I loved wearing it and I’m seriously considering if this perhaps wasn’t THE perfect beater. At least it's a top contender for sure! Super well built, great size (41,5mm excl. crown, 12,5mm thick), great lume and a classic look that draws inspiration from a Submariner but that has its own elements that creates a unique appearance.

I bought my first one in late April 2012. It was out for $820but I got it for $700. It was a full set in super condition and had the Sellita SW200 movement inside. It’s always easy being afterwise but I can do nothing but to regret this sale.

#128 - The Limes Endurance 1tausend. Made in Germany.



Due to the thin case it was even possible to wear it on a zulu strap.


Then in October the same year I stumbled upon another one. This one was without any box or papers and therefore a bit cheaper. I paid about $590 for it. The watch was still in great condition which really made this deal a true bang for the buck. There was probably no other reason for selling it except that I got bored of having a second one and that I needed cash for my next object.

#148 - My second 1tausend photographed with a shitty cellphone at work.

Limes still makes dive watches and they recently launched their new Endurance II which is an upgraded version of the old 1tausend. From just a quick glance at it it seems like the bracelet, hand set and bezel inserted have received a new look. I haven’t tried anything else from Limes but I wouldn’t mind doing so. From what I can tell it seems like they are doing their own thing.


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

2016-02-18

No 127 & 234 - Doxa SUB 1200T Professional

OK, so it’s in the middle of April 2012 and I’m on my way home from Chicago. Someone might remember the story from the post about the Doxa 750T; when I was waiting every day for a week for a Doxa 600T to arrive, which turned out to be lost at the Fedex hub in Memphis and instead of being delivered to my hotel it showed up at the seller’s house who’d by mistake got it in return. I was furious when I understood what had happened and when I realized I was going to fly home empty handed. Back at the O’Hare airport, waiting for our delayed flight, I spent what felt like hours walking back and forth in that endless boring white corridor (I think it was terminal 5). I’m usually in a bad mood when travelling and adding the fact that I’d missed out on a watch I really wanted and a delayed flight, to my already bad mood, must have turned me into an awful travel companion. My wife must have hated me. But somewhere in that depressing hallway I finally managed to get a hold of a decent Wi-Fi connection and when I found this 1200T Professional for sale I didn’t care about the off proportions (or any other reasons why I actually didn't like the 1200T). I just wanted an orange faced Doxa. To my great luck it was located in Stockholm and I even managed to arrange that I could buy it just a couple of hours after we'd landed. The fact that I had a watch waiting for me at home made the return flight bearable. If that’s not a sign of a serious addiction I don’t know what is.

#127 - The Doxa SUB 1200T Professional.



Wore way too high on a heavy duty zulu.

But worked just fine on a blue regular nato.


Having a beer in the sun.

The 1200T is a great looking watch but as I’ve mentioned before in my other Doxa posts, the thickness of the 1200T makes it a little too high and it doesn’t sit as good on the wrist as the 600T or the 1000T. Another detail I’ve discovered I don’t like is the design of the crown (a flaw it shares with the 1000T). The crown on the 600T though is perfect. Just how it’s supposed to look. I kept my first 1200T for about two months before I sold it. It was a full set in great condition.

#234 - The second 1200T Pro.



A yellowish tone in sun.

Chorizo moules with the 1200T on the wrist at Piren, Stockholm, in early September 2014.

On the Doxa hershey rubber.

Beautiful off the wrist.

But terrible on the wrist. Look at the crazy fit! What were they thinking?

I bought my second one just because I’d gotten an idea about how good a Doxa would look on their hershey rubber. This was back in September 2014. I found a 1200T for sale in Sweden and ordered the strap from United States. Talk about a downer when it was mounted and done. It looked so good on the pictures I’d seen but on the wrist it was horrible. A totally worthless fit. At least on my wrist, which isn’t that skinny, but for this rubber to look alright you should have quite a wide wrist to get rid of the otherwise large gap that appears between the wrist and the rubber. My second 1200T was also a full set (it even had the CD) but this time it took just one month before I gave it up. The 1200T’s and I were officially done after this.


UPDATE - April 1st 2016.

Came across these photos today of the Doxa NUMA 1200T Professional which I wore for a week in November 2012 in a so called "Passaround" where a couple of forum members chip in an equal share to finance a watch that everyone get's to try for a limited time which then is given to one of the participants in a raffle. Loved the all white hands. Cool watch.

NUMA - National Underwater Marine Agency.



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

2016-02-16

No 126 - Sinn 356 Flieger

I think this one is the best chronograph Sinn has ever produced in their Flieger chronograph series. The basic version with the non-see through caseback and the domed plexi crystal. It shouldn’t be fancy. It should be rough, durable and functional. I loved mine. The size was perfect. 38,5mm excl. crown. Perhaps a little too thick but nothing that really bothered me. I had an older version with the Valjoux 7750 movement which today I think has been replaced by the Sellita SW500. Nothing negative about the 356 that I can come to think of. Don’t remember why I sold mine. I even lost money on it from what I can see so I was probably in a hurry to buy something else.

#126 - The Sinn 356 Flieger.



Besides the 356 I don’t have much love for Sinn's other Flieger models but they have some other chronographs like the 142 and 144 that I recently added to my watches-to-buy-list. I’ve never really liked chronographs in general but lately I’ve been going crazy learning about the old PVD chronos from brands like Heuer, Orfina and Porsche Design. That's some good stuff!


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

2016-02-14

No 123 - Rolex Datejust 16233

Quite a story behind this watch. Once again it was mid-February 2012 (a lot of watches came and went during that month apparently). One wet night out with some watch friends we were a couple of guys that ended up at an old Chinese restaurant for cheap Vodka shots. One of the guys lived next door and when I mentioned I had got the hots for gold and might be interested in buying a two tone Rolex he left and came back a couple of minutes later with a Rolex Datejust 16233 from 1990 and a Rolex GMT Master II 16713 from 1999. The GMT was a so called “Rootbeer” and I’d only seen pictures of them before and really hadn’t given them much attention. But now when it suddenly was sitting on my wrist it just blew me away and I felt just like Clint Eastwood. What a goddamn watch! It was beautiful. Both watches were full sets but the GMT was twice as expensive as the Datejust. The Datejust was also very nice with its blue dial but it wasn’t as spectacular as the GMT. The Datejust set came with two additional dials; one deep blue with gold stick index and one silver/grey dial with gold roman index. I really wanted the GMT but I couldn’t afford it so I went for the Datejust. I just didn’t want to leave empty handed.

Except for a quite large scratch in the sapphire it was in beautiful condition. The jubilee hardly had any stretch to it and the overall condition of the watch was terrific. I loved it and it was bling! But I couldn’t get that damn Rootbeer out of my head so I ended up selling the 16233 to save up funds for the GMT instead. It wasn’t exactly super easy to sell but I finally sold it to a man in his fifties who was about to leave for a cruise in the Caribbean together with his wife. I bet he fit in perfectly among the clientele on that ship!

#123 - The Rolex Datejust ref. 16233.






Two and a half year later I had a Datejust 16013 with a gold linen dial that I wasn’t very fond of. I kept searching for a more unusual dial for it and then suddenly I came to think of my old 16233 which had come with the two spare dials. I’d never cared for them and when I sold the watch back in 2012 I still let them be a part of the set instead of keeping them. I figured that the grey dial with gold roman indexes might look pretty cool in the 16013 so I wrote the guy an e-mail to see if he still had the watch and if he by any chance could part with one of the dials. He answered back saying he still had it and that I could have the dial if I wanted it, no problem. So he sent it to me and I upgraded the 16013 (more about that one later). A couple of days later I received an e-mail from the guy asking me if I would be interested in buying the watch because he hadn’t used it at all since he returned from the cruise. I figured his intention might be two earn a buck or two but before I even asked him about the price he offered me to take it back for the same price he’d paid for it and he also offered to deduct what I’d paid him for the dial I’d already bought. I didn’t even want another Datejust but how could I pass on a deal like that? I could easliy sell it for a lot more but then I came to think of my dad who wanted to buy a watch for my mom whose sixtieth birthday was coming up and what could be better than a Rolex? Said and done, I bought it back. 

Later the same week I was working from home. I was on standby because my wife was super pregnant. An advice-note showed up in the mail saying I had a package to pick up at the post office. I snuck out in the afternoon to go get it. Once back on the bus on my way home again, sitting with the package in my lap thinking about maybe to pick up some food while I was already out, this old man with a huge keychain with hundreds of keys walks up to me and stares right into my eyes and says “You should hurry home son.” He spoke with such authority that instead of asking why I needed to hurry I just nodded and answered “I will” and when I got off at the next stop he put his head out the bus doors and shouted “Hurry! Run!” When I got home it turned out my wife was in labor and we had to rush to the hospital. While getting everything together waiting for the cab to show up I tore the package open just to make sure the watch was inside and that I hadn’t been ripped off. The familiar scratch in the sapphire greeted me and I quickly put it on the wrist before we hurried off thinking I could inspect it closer later.

I'm not a believer or in any way religious but the event on the bus that day really made me think twice about that.

A wrist shot from the morning my son was born.

This watch is now very special to me because it’s the one I wore when I got to hold my son in my arms for the first time and for a while I felt like maybe I should have kept it for him instead but I already had plans made for his watch (more about that one later as well) and also I had promised my dad he could have it. But before he handed it over to my mom I had the watched serviced and the old sapphire was replaced. I also had it upgraded with a diamond dial from a newer ref. 116233 which made it a perfect mom’s watch. She absolutely loved it and it feels good it’s staying in the family.

After the upgrade before it was given to my mom.

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

2016-02-11

No 122 - Seiko SNM011

From an aesthetic point of view I’ve never been a fan of the steel Samurai. I think it’s the lack of crown guards that mainly bothers me but also the hands and the waffle patterned dial looks kind of out of place. Not to mention the PCL bracelet (had it brushed of course!). Or maybe I’m just so passionate about the titanium version that I think all the details that separates them looks weird? Could be. Two details that I liked though were the PVD bezel and crown and that was enough for me as a watch nerd to convince myself it had to be tried. It was already a kind of collectible when I found it for sale back in February 2012. I knew it was going to be easy to sell. Bought it cheap, sold it cheap. No risk. On the bracelet it weighed way too much. I hate to wear watches too tight and I remember the crown kept crashing into my wrist all the time just like with a Marathon. A day spent together was enough to realize that the titanium version is so much better in every single area.

#122 - The Seiko SNM011. The steel Samurai.



Manufactured in July 2006.


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

2016-02-09

No 121 - Bell & Ross Type Demineur

Back in 2008 I made a couple of trips to London to visit my girlfriend (who five years later became my wife) who was studying her final year in law school. I’d started to buy watch magazines every now and then and it usually was when I was flying somewhere because the airports always had a wide selection to choose from. I remember one time on the plane on one of those trips to London when I came across an ad for a Bell & Ross watch with a square case looking like an instrument from an airplane and thought it was really cool. A couple of pages later I was met by another ad of a cool watch looking like some sort of pressure gauge which turned out to be the Manometro from Giuliano Mazzuoli. Luckily both brands were located at the same AD in London. I don’t remember the name of the store but I remember it was located somewhere near SOHO and after some research it looks like it could have been the store Frost of London. The name doesn’t sound familiar at all but judging from the location and the line of brands they carry it must be that store. I went to visit the store just to discover the watches were way more expensive than I would have been willing to pay up at that time in my life. I came home with some catalogues though and that’s where I first saw the Bell & Ross Professional series; Type Demineur, Type Marine and the Hydromax.  I of course first fell in love with the Hydromax. “Wow! How the hell can a watch be water resistant to 11100m? That’s so insane!” Then I learned about the oil-filled watch case which seemed like a cool feature in theory but that perhaps was going to be too much trouble at such a small thing as a battery change. Time went on and I eventually forgot about my Bell & Ross plans and it wasn’t until four years later in mid-February 2012 when a Type Demineur showed up for sale out of nowhere. It didn’t matter that it only came with the rubber and velcro and not the bracelet. I wanted it anyway and I bought it.

Product picture of the Type Demineur. The French Bomb Squad watch. (borrowed picture)

#121 - The Bell & Ross Type Demineur.



Initially I just loved it. Perfect size of 39mm. Super legible. Quartz movement. The only downside was the lack of the bracelet. The original rubber wasn’t super comfortable. It was too rigid and the folding clasp was bulky. I never even tried it on the velcro strap. Not my style. The tight space between the watch case and the spring bars made it limited to the use of nato or zulu straps and a rubber strap couldn't be too thick either. No, not having the bracelet was a huge minus. Especially since it had my favorite design I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted it. So after about a month I finally decided to let it go.

In the last month or so I’ve seen two used Demineur’s for sale on the bracelet but the price seems to have doubled up since I sold mine. I would definitely buy one again if I find one the bracelet to a good price. The latest watches from Bell & Ross haven't done it for me. The only exception might be something out of their Vintage series like the BR 123 GMT which I think is kind of nice.


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

2016-02-07

No 120 - Seiko SKA511

My one and only watch from the Sportura series; The Seiko SKA511. The Kinetic movement is a hybrid between an automatic and a quartz watch. Easily explained the movement has a rotor like an automatic watch which is generating power and charges a battery when it’s being wound up. I’ve never liked the Kinetic’s mainly because of the button placed at 2 o’clock. This is the power reserve button that lets you know how much energy is stored in the battery. The SKA511, a.k.a. The Lightsaber which I’ve read a few times it’s being called (the name doesn’t seem to have stuck though), was actually the first Kinetic dive watch I thought was good looking enough to be worth trying out and I found a cheap one on eBay in late February 2012. I remember it being quite large. It must have measured around 43-45mm and the lugs were quite long too. It didn’t fit my wrist very good at all. It had a nice feature though; the long diver extension clasp. It made the bracelet big enough for me to slip it over my cast after my skiing accident which was very handy!

#120 - The Seiko SKA511.



Wrist shot with the cast.

I sold the SKA511 quite quickly and I never thought of buying another Kinetic again until last year when I discovered the SUN021, which is far from great looking, but like before, it was good looking enough for me to be willing to give it a try. More on that one later but I can tell you that I should have learnt from this mistake. For some reason the majority of the Kinetic’s doesn’t speak to me and frankly I find almost all of them to be a bunch of ugly misfits.  


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

2016-02-05

No 119 & 151 - Seiko SARB072

My first purchase of a new watch from Japan was the SARB072 and I got it from Higuchi INC in mid February 2012. The watch got caught up in the Swedish customs of course but the value was misread and I was charged a ridiculous amount of VAT. Such a worthless feeling when you’re standing there happy at the post office and you’re greeted with “You know there is a toll fee that you must pay?” and you’re like “Yes yes, I know, just give me the package!” but then all of a sudden you’re told to pay almost the same amount as you’ve already paid for the watch in the first place. “What the f**k?! Are you serious? How is it that I have to pay that much?” Then when you get the reply of someone saying “I’m sorry Sir but I'm just doing my job. If you're not pleased you can call the Swedish customs and file a complaint”. So what do you do? Well you clench your fists in your pocket trying to stop yourself from choking the poor cashier to death and then you pay up and walk away. The Swedish customs customer service gave me such a hassle. It was no walk in the park convincing them that they were the ones who had made a mistake. Jeeezzz…

Back to the watch! The SARB072 is just an incredible and beautiful watch. Simple and elegant.  Perhaps not very stealthy since it has got a rose gold coating and it sure doesn’t go unnoticed. Even though the Seiko leather it was delivered on isn’t of the highest quality it still was decent and it looked very classy and worked very well with the watch. I loved wearing this watch! It looked great with whatever I wore and I just loved taking photos of it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the 6r15 movement was amazing and kept time well within COSC. I only sold it because I had got a taste for gold. But I wanted real gold! 

#119 - The Seiko SARB072.







Bought my second one used in late October 2012. I was about to leave for vacation in Ft. Lauderdale and I only had a couple of dive watches in my drawer at the moment. I wanted something a little dressier for dinners and other non-beach activities. This one popped up for sale two weeks or so before we left and I decided it was good enough to bring with me. Had a superb looking honey colored lizard strap lying around which I put it on and I think it made the watch look even better.
 
#151 - My second SARB072 on the honey lizard strap.





By the pool in Ft. Lauderdale.

Having a Shock Top beer.

There are so many nice dress watches in the SARB-series. The SARB072 is just one among them. I just came to think of a watch that I haven’t had yet but that is a must-have; the SARB030. I’ve totally forgot about it. That might just be the perfect dress watch in that price range! I searched for one for about two years and then gave up. I want one. I need one. I got to have one. NOW!


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