Malaysia Watch Forum celebrates 2nd Anniversary with a GTG

Malaysia Watch Forum recently celebrated their 2nd Anniversary with a GTG. A total of 21 enthusiastic members attended the event held at Hotel Equatorial in Kuala Lumpur. Below are some highlights from the night and more pictures can be found on this Malaysia Watch Forum thread.

IMG_0516-group shot

Group picture of the attendees

IMG_0507-Table Shot

Table shot of the members’ precious timepieces

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Meeting with renowned Independent Watch Maker, Peter Speake-Marin

On Monday, 13th December, Abel (fellow Malaysia Watch Forum member) and I had the good fortune to meet with renowned independent watch maker, Peter Speake-Marin (Thanks to Abel for making the arrangement). The meeting took place at Khronos Unique Horlogerie Boutique (Adorn Floor, Starhill Gallery). Khronos, which is part of Luxury Concepts, is representing the Speake-Marin brand in Malaysia.

Despite his extremely tight schedule (He was due to fly off later that evening) Peter was really kind to share his passion for watchmaking and his insights into the watchmaking industry. He also took the time to walk us through some of the very unique and exclusive timepieces that he had brought for “A Journey Through Time IV”.

We also learnt that one of his latest creations, the Marine 2 “Thalassa” received the YTL Spirit of Classical Art Award during the event finale. A big congratulations to Peter Speake-Marin.

Below are some photos taken during the meeting. I’m afraid the pictures really don’t do justice to the Speake-Marin timepieces, each of which are truly unique pieces of art.

Left to Right: Abel, Peter Speake-Marin and Danny (Thanks to Mr. Yin Wai Leong, Retail Manager of Khronos Unique Horlogerie boutique for snapping this picture for us)

Variation of the Marin 1 with laser cutout of the dial.

Maki-e Panda dial by Japanese master, Musyu Yamazaki. Part of Peter Speake-Marin Art Series Collection
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Watch Review: Prometheus Recon 5 – a modern interpretation of the pilot watch

Background

Prometheus Watch Company, a boutique manufacturer based in Portugal, was founded by Carlos Carvalho in 2008. Mr. Carvalho is a watch enthusiast who decided to turn his passion into a business venture, much to our delight. In Greek mythology Prometheus was the Titan who brought mankind out of the stone age by stealing fire from the Greek Gods and giving it to us mortals. Similarly Prometheus, the watch company, has used its diligence and ingenuity to design, engineer and build Swiss made watches of uncompromising quality and made it available to the market at very affordable price levels. Mr. Carvalho has brought Swiss made watches out of the realms of the Horological Gods and placed them within reach of us everyday watch enthusiasts.

Prometheus watches are made in the Swiss Jura mountains, the traditional home of the Swiss watch making industry. Being based in Portugal, Mr. Carvalho uses the internet to communicate with his Swiss suppliers and manufacturers. He also utilizes web based forum technology to constantly communicate with his customers, soliciting valuable input and feedback to improve on Prometheus’s product offering. In fact the successful Ocean Diver collection is a direct result of a design competition sponsored by Prometheus on Watchuseek Forum. It is this unique blend of savvy internet marketing and fiery passion that has differentiated Mr. Carvalho’s Prometheus brand from the many other small independent watch brands which have sprung up in the past few years. Prometheus watches are truly designed by collectors for collectors.

Prometheus Recon 5

The Recon 5 is the latest collection from Prometheus. It is described as a modern interpretation of the ever popular fliegeruhr or pilot watch. True to its aviator roots, the name Recon 5 was chosen to pay tribute to the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron of the US Air Force.

A close up of the watch emphasizing the clean look of the dial.

The Recon 5 is a modern pilot watch, clearly inspired by aviation history. It has a minimalist dial design, one which emphasizes legibility. Reflecting the trend in large sized watches, the Recon 5 measures 44mm in diameter without crown. The large diamond sized crown easily adds another 6mm to its dimensions. As the Recon 5 is a manual wind watch, the oversized crown is a real plus in facilitating watch winding by hand.

Watch specifications (Taken from Prometheus Web Site):

  1. Case diameter: 44 mm
  2. Case height: 10.5 mm
  3. Super Luminous dial and hands
  4. 2 Years Warranty
  5. Sapphire Crystal on dial and case back
  6. Swiss Made
  7. Brown Leather Strap

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Seiko 200m Diver SKX007 – Random Pictures

Seiko 200m Diver SKX007

Seiko 200m Diver SKX007

Seiko 200m Diver SKX007

Seiko 200m Diver SKX007

Seiko 200m Diver SKX007

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Malaysia Watch Forum celebrates their 1st Anniversary

Malaysia Watch Forum, a website for Malaysian watch enthusiasts, recently celebrated their 1st year with an anniversary GTG. The event was attended by 13 forum members. A few dedicated members actually made their way from Penang and Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to join the fun. Below are some photos of taken during the GTG. More photos can have been posted up on the forum and also on Chiewata’s flickr album.

Malaysia Watch Forum GTG - Group Photo

Malaysia Watch Forum GTG – Group Photo

Malaysia Watch Forum GTG - Table Shot

Malaysia Watch Forum GTG – Table Shot

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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-axial caliber 8500 – A watch review

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-axial Caliber 8500

Background

Omega first introduced the co-axial escapement into their serially produced watch movements back in 1999 with the launch of the caliber 2500. The first generation of co-axial caliber was actually adapted from ETA’s workhorse 2892 caliber with specific modifications done to replace the traditional Swiss lever escapement with the co-axial escapement invented by master watchmaker Dr. George Daniels. While the caliber 2500 was revolutionary in its time, Omega faced criticism for having used the widely available ETA movement.

In response Omega launched its effort to develop a brand new in-house caliber incorporating the co-axial escapement. The payoff came in 2007 with the launch of caliber 8500 in the Hour Vision line of watches. Caliber 8500 is the first member of a new family of automatic movements specially designed by Omega to house the co-axial escapement. In its celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Co-Axial escapement, Omega described the significance of the Caliber 8500 as follows: “For the first time, the company built the entire movement around the Co-Axial Escapement and every one of its 202 parts was developed and produced in-house specifically for the new calibre.”

2 years after the launch of the Hour Vision watches, the new Seamaster Aqua Terra from Omega was announced in February 2009. The latest incarnation of the Aqua Terra line not only sports a brand new look and dial but ticking inside is Omega’s in-house co-axial caliber 8500.

Overview of the watch

The Aqua Terra is a chronometer grade self winding 3 hand watch featuring hour, minute and central seconds with date feature.

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Sinn Ultimate U-A sighted in Kuala Lumpur

Source

The Sinn Ultimate U-A has finally reached Malaysian shores. This Hour Glass exclusive edition is limited to 200 pieces worldwide. Since it’s official announcement last year it’s been the Ultimate U model that many Sinn fans have been anxiously waiting for.

The Sinn Ultimate U-A is the largest watch in the Sinn’s best selling U diver series, with a case diameter of 47mm. It was created and made specially by Sinn for the Hour Glass to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations in Singapore. While the details on the exclusive arrangement is not available it is hoped that the Ultimate U model will not enter into serial production and thus maintaining the exclusivity of this particular model.

Here are some quick and dirty pics which were taken yesterday. The relatively poor phone cam quality is regrettable and do not do justice to the watch. You have to see it and feel it in person to truly appreciate this piece of rugged timepiece which may well be the Ultimate tool/diver watch.


Sinn Ultimate U-A compared to PAM000. 47mm case versus 44mm. Note that in this shot the Sinn is elevated from the table due to the rubber strap’s relative lack of flexibility, while the PAM is lying flat on the table, hence the wide angle lens made the Sinn look larger than it actually is compared to the PAM.


Another side by side comparison. The relative proportions of both watches are more realistically shown here.


Close up shot. Note the stealthy Submarine logo which reflects the submarine steel used in the watch casing. Note that red fonts are used in the date window, with the exception of the number 30 which is in white to commemorate the Hour Glass’s 30th anniversary.


Another close up shot.

Technical Data (taken from the press release)
Model Ultimate U- A (U212) – The Hour Glass limited edition 200 pieces worldwide

Case:
– Large size 47 mm with a bigger crown
– Backcase engraved with “Ultimate U-A and The Hour Glass Limited Edition 200”
– Bezel with minute division snapping at different intervals
– According to technical demands of diver’s norm DIN 8306
– Submarine steel with TEGIMENT technology, pearl-polished, seawater resistant
– Unremovable diver’s rotating bezel hardened to 1,500 HV
– Screw-down crown
– Sapphire crystal, anti-reflective on inside
– Water resistant according to DIN 8310
– Pressure resistant up to 100 bar ( = 1,000m water depth)
– Safe below atmospheric pressure

Dial:
– Special dial embossed with the outline of a submarine
– White markers Indices with white long-luminous special paint
– Red date display at 3 o’clock, white date display on 30th of each month

Hands:
– White and red hands application with long-luminous special paint

Movement:
– Mechanical movement (ETA 2892-A2) with self-winding mechanism
– 21 jewels and 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour
– Anti-magnetic according to DIN 8309
– Shock resistance according to DIN 8308

Functions:
– Hours, minutes, sweep seconds with stop-seconds
– Date at 3 o’clock
– Hardened diver’s rotating bezel with luminous triangle
– Inactive luminous hands and indices + 12
– Date in dial aperture
2 Straps: Silicone rubber strap plus bonus leather strap

Guarantee: 2 years

Resources:

  1. Press Release on Watchprosite
  2. Sinn SEA Timepieces Library
  3. Official Announcement on Sinn Club South East Asia
  4. More pics on Watchprosite
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IWC gets voted as winner of Reader’s Choice Award for Best Watch line in Luxist.com Reader survey

As reported on Ablogtoread.com, IWC recently won an informal reader poll of luxury watch brands conducted at Luxist.com.

IWC was voted top luxury watch brand, beating 3 other luxury Swiss brands and one top German make, namely Rolex, Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Sohne & Jeager-LeCoutre.

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Orient Star 300m Professional Diver sighted at Sungei Wang Plaza

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Orient Star 300m Professional Diver at a local watch shop in Sungei Wang Plaza. As far as I know this is a JDM model, meant for Japanese Domestic Market. Ever since I acquired the export version with the orange dial, I’ve been on the hunt for the black dial version.

It’s a pity that this black dial version came with a gold plated bezel. Otherwise I would have snapped it up in an instant.

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Sinn’s Tegiment and Damasko’s Ice hardening

Sinn’s tegiment process is a form of case hardening using gas carburizing technology. (Refer to here and here for more details). It is well known in metallurgy that steel can be surface hardened by the addition of carbon to the steel surface, a process called carburization. However the traditional carburization process when executed on stainless steel, reduces the chromium content which compromises the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.

Sinn 756 UTC Diapal

Sinn is believed to use a more modern process in which the metal surface is first activated and carburization is done at a low enough temperature so that chromium content of SS is not lost through chromium carbide formation. This process allows Sinn tegimented watches to achieve surface hardness up to 4 times that of the steel core (1200 Vickers) without compromising on the corrosion resistance of the underlying SS. However the hardened surface is extremely thin ranging from 10micron to 50 microns. That leaves the case core beneath the hardened surface still remaining at the relative softness of the SS316L.

While the tegiment process makes the surface more resistant to light scratches, the watch is still not imprevious to hard knocks or dents. When a surface force is applied which exceeds the hardness of SS316L, the steel core will give way and a deep scratch will still occur despite the hardened surface. This is also commonly called the egg shell effect, because egg shells while being resistant to light scratches will still crack under pressure.

On the other hand, Damasko uses a different process called ice hardening in which the whole watch case structure is hardened, instead of just the surface of the watch case. The ice hardening process normally involves heating the steel to its normalising temperature and quenching quickly to a sub zero temperature. Ice hardening changes the crystal structure of the steel itself, thereby hardening the whole watch case, albeit to a lower hardness of approx 800 Vickers. By hardening the whole case, the ice hardening process, in theory, eliminates the egg shell effect exhibited by tegimented watch cases. It is hard to say how ice hardened watch cases perform in the real world because Damasko watches are not the easiest to come by.

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