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I've rediscovered the new wave of Japanese watches (BIG photos)!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Peter Kim, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    I've gone crazy in the last month and bought 3 watches. Thought I'd keep only one, but each possesses unique qualities so I've kept them all.

    In a previous life, I enjoyed my Omega Speedmaster and Rolex GMT Master II. But with two kids...

    So imagine my surprise at finding a better quality of non-auto/digital watches from Casio & Seiko. They are much more innovative and well-built than what I recalled from my childhood many years ago. Plus, all 3 were 1/3 of the cost of any of my Swiss automatics.

    Also, the styling is much more chic than the calculator watches from my halcyon years.

    Seiko SNL017P
    [​IMG]

    Casio Atomic Tough Solar G-Shock GW1200BA-1AV
    [​IMG]

    Nike Lance 4 (learned that this is Seiko movement)
    [​IMG]

    So after my love of watches dulled for the last 10 years, I've gone crazy all over again. I know the watch cognoscenti will disapprove of any watch that isn't automatic and Swiss, but I'm impressed with the technology and construction of these models.

    The SNL017P has Seiko's Kinetic movement, sapphire crystal, and see-through case back...all for around $370. Surprised me with the impressive built quality.

    The Casio G-Shock is an array of tech marvels. From syncing automatically with the atomic time at Fort Collins (4x/day) to its solar power to the cool led that lights up whenever you lift your wrist, it's the ultimate geek watch. $229 @ Costco.

    The Lance 4 isn't the same caliber as the other two, but I like the design and the solid titanium case. It does have a thermometer, altimeter, and compass...all for $80 at Neiman Marcus.

    I wear the Seiko more than the others, but it's fun to have this variety for whatever activity without anxiety over damage.

    I'm going to investigate more Seikos, particularly the autos. In my research, I've heard so much about the Seiko diving watches (Black/Orange Monster). In fact I'm impressed with the entire range of Seiko's autos...didn't even realize that Japanese watches came in any flavor other than quartz.

    What are some other cool watches you like?
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I've had an all-digital version of the Casio watch you showed for several months, and it's great. Love the always-perfect timekeeping. I paid less than a hundred bucks for it. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Very nice and frankly much more readable than mine. Yours appears to be solar powered too, so no batteries.

    These are really solid timepieces. Plus, I'm syncing all my other watches, mechanical or otherwise to my Casio.

    I've found that I don't even need to position my Casio near a window or align it a certain way in order to grab the radio signal. The receptor is sensitive enough that it'll calibrate while I'm sleeping and wearing the watch.
     
  4. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Please educate my bumpkin brain, isn't any battery powered watch an automatic watch?

    I'm partial to Citizen's titanium case'd Eco-drives myself.
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    That's really good, Peter! Where do you live?
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I've wanted a nice Tag Heuer for years just cant pull the trigger on a $1300-$2500 hunk of jewelry )

    Also tried finding one of these in the US, but no dice:
    http://www.wristdreams.com/archives/000666.html

    Kobold has some slick looking watches too, but they are more expensive than the Tags.
    http://www.koboldwatch.com/

    For now tho, I just use the clock built in to my cel, its hell being a fat guy when the best looking watches either dont fit your wrist or look damn small. Fortunately I'm down 135 pounds and looking to treat myself, one of these days will get something really nice.

    Sam
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Lance's going-to-a-nice-place watch. [​IMG] (though mine has an iridescent blue face).

    Otherwise I use my Casio G-Shock black digital watch bought in 1997 and still going strong.

    And I still have my Swatch watch [​IMG] from the early 90s, a simple black w/plain white face analog design, but don't wear it anymore.
     
  9. mylan

    mylan Screenwriter

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    I've really wanted a Rolex or a Tag but my P.O.S. Seiko just won't break, i've been wearing it for 22 Years
    [​IMG] got to give it props, Seiko makes a damn fine timepiece!
     
  10. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    That's my experience too. My Casio G-Shock calibrates/updates with no problem while I'm wearing it while I'm sleeping. And I'm nowhere near Fort Collins, CO either -- I'm in Ohio. It's the all digital face from WallyWorld approx $70.

    I'd NEVER go back to a non-Atomic watch. But then before I had one of those, I'd call the US Naval Observatory to set my watch at least once a week.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    The Offical U.S. Time

    (once the clock itself is going, hitting refresh once or twice increases its accuracy)
     
  12. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Cool. My watch is within a second of it.
     
  13. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Robert, I live in Minnesota. Not within the optimal radius to grab the signal from Fort Collins (outside of the 600 mile radius in which signal reception is greatest, but well within the 2000 mile radius). And when I 1st bought the G-Shock, I seemed to have problems catching a signal regularly.

    But whatever gremlins I had at the beginning are now gone. The G-Shock shows calibration every night, the last one usually at 4:04 am.

    Garrett - while the name sounds misleading, automatics are not battery-powered watches. The 'automatic' nomenclature is derived from the idea that the watch is powered by the motion of your wrist. Unlike 'mechanical' watches, where the wearer needs to wind the watch regularly.

    Battery powered watches are normally referred to as quartz movements. Motion independent.

    I'm not entirely sure, but I believe the Seiko Kinetic is a hybrid of the quartz and automatic movement. My watch has a caliber comprised of 8 jewels. The motion generated by me is then stored/powers the quartz.
     
  14. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Old school watch guy here. On my wrist, the Swiss Army Excursion.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Yes Peter, that's my understanding of the Seiko Kinetic as well. Wrist movements power a tiny generator which charges the battery. Another interesting techy feature of my G-Shock watch is that if you leave it undisturbed in the dark for awhile, the display will go blank, saving energy. Expose it to light, and the display wakes up.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I got a titanium Wenger Alpine last year that I really like. Its lightweight,looks good and it wasn't that expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Good to hear that wristwatches have not become relics. I still believe a watch, any watch makes a positive statement. When I was a young turk out of college, I was simply and emphatically told, wear a watch to your interviews.

    Sam, looking forward to what you ultimately decide. While I have a thinner wrist, I'm seeing a greater prevalence of giant watches.

    But the G-Shock you've pointed out seems like it should fit the bill. In fact, it looks as though it has already garnered 'otaku' status.

    Look at this website for a bunch of crazy, otaku watch fans:

    WatchesUseek - G-Shock forum

    The link I provided is a long thread on the Casio MRG-7100BJ. Although oddly, there is a lot of talk about Volkswagens.

    Also, there appears to be a couple of reputable dealers of Japan-only Casio's & Seiko's. Do a search on WatchesUseek's Casio forum for 'Higuchi'.

    The actual website for this vendor is:

    Higuchi

    I also like Chronograph.com along with its forum.

    Good luck! BTW...wow on the MRG-7100BJ! I've got the 1st MRG, but this one is eyepopping. Sapphire crystal on a G?!!
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Well, I really want a TAG. I might go for one of the F1 series but I know I wouldnt be happy with it.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...welry&v=glance

    Of the 500 TAG watches, I like both the old style and new style Aquaracer automatic chrononos:

    Old:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...welry&v=glance

    New:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...welry&v=glance

    If I could get the old stle Automatic in black (not sure such a beast even exists) for under $1k I would probably save up and treat myself to it.

    Here's the old one, in black, with quart movement, non automatic:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...welry&v=glance

    The new one is $1300 tho, and it just grates on me to think about spending over $1k on a piece of jewelry, geek that I am. =)

    I bet they did make such a model, I just havent found it yet.

    Sam
     
  19. BrianW

    BrianW Screenwriter

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    I never thought I could fall in love with a watch until I discovered Yes Watches. The one I have (the Solstice model, but with a new moonrise/moonset module - they did a custom for me [​IMG]) is (imho) prettier than the current models, but it's most similar to the Kundalini models.

    If you're an astronomy geek, then a Yes watch may be for you.

    I really like the solar-powered G-Shock series. I don't think of myself as a watch collector, but one of those would be really nice to have.
     
  20. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I really like those YES watches! [​IMG]
     

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