Saturday, 24 January 2015

Patek 3700 vs AP Royal Oak 15202 ... Patek Philippe Audemars Piguet Battle of the Jumbos! [The Sequel]

My first headsup between the AP and PP Jumbo, just a couple of posts down actually, is here LINK and from there I had posted a pic on instagram LINK and it was shared on my facebook too and Gerald, the boss at GR Luxury, was kind enough to offer letting me put the 3700 against the AP as i had mentioned that it might win in a head to head and so we come to a... 3 way high end steel sports watch GANG BANG! ;)


From left to right then: Vintage PP 3700, AP 15202, PP 5711 and a nod once again to 
Gerald Genta who is the designer responsible for both the Nautilus and Royal Oak
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 before we do a blow by blow... let's have a better look at the beautiful 3700... 
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some wonderful lines and nice brushed and polished finishes and bevelled finishes
on the case and bezel
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solid case! monocoque baby so lesser places for water to get in...
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Showdown time! Patek 3700 vs AP 15202... who is the king? 
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Timetapestry's Assessment [AP RO vs PP Nautilus 3700]: 
  • State of zen like calm: Both do not have the seconds hand needed and are better for it.
  • Case and bracelet: Both are wonderful! the different finishes and the design coming together perfectly.
  • Lume: Tritium has aged nicely on this Nautilus piece but there may be degradation in future with vintage tritium indices and a potential for it to flake off. This is true of all tritium applied lume. The newer lume used on the AP should be a type of superluminova and should maintain for a long time and i believe should not patina with age.
  • Price: This comes into the equation. As stated the RO is lows 20s in Sing Dollars and the for the Patek you are looking at high 40s or low 50s. basically costs double the AP and in this reviewer's eyes it's not twice the watch the AP is :) 
  • Aesthetics: Patek 3700 with it's distinct horizontal lines. these original dials did not have gradient dials as the 5711(darker on the ends of the dial and brighter in the middle) Nice old school font on the Patek. I prefer the AP dial with the date wheel the same color as the dial color. 
  • Movement: they essentially have the same base movement with just different ways of doing it up and making it their own.
  • What I said in my earlier vs battle holds true for the patek 3700 too of course. it will last and last well for a long long time to come.
  • And the winner? 15202 for me(please note no right or wrong but for me I just love the Royal Oak more!)
How about old vs new? The Patek Phillippe Nautilus 3700 vs 5711? Game On!

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Timetapestry's Assessment [PP 3700/1A vs PP 5711/1A] looking at the differences: 
  • State of zen like calm: 3700 without the seconds hand wins. Patek just has to drop the seconds hand in the next anniversary piece
  • Dial? both are good for different reasons. The older one has a more old school and very matte-ish look and looks the same which way you turn it. the new one is uhm... newer and shinier somewhat and looks different at different angles. it is a gradient dial as noted earlier vs non-gradient on the 3700
  • Print: Old school vs new style fonts. the positioning of the text on the dial is lower in the 3700 and is better for it. 
  • Lume: Tritium point as noted above is the same 
  • Indices & hands: Slim vs fatter... I prefer slim
  • Case: case has been upsized a little in the 5711. 42 to 43mm thereabouts and slightly thicker with the clear back 3 part construction. both are still sleek refined steel watches though and sit very flat on the wrist.
  • Price: 5711 is low 30s in SGD and 3700 is in the 40s or low 50s
  • And no winner here for me personally... i want a modern Nautilus with more of the 3700 cues (and a positive from the 15202) mashed up together perhaps :) wants:  [1] slimmer indices & hands [2] lower positioning of the text on the dial [3] date wheel same color as the dial similar to the 15202 [4] keep the gradient dial of the 5711 and the current case is fine. I like seeing the movement :) [5] No seconds hand for me
Monocoque Case and single deployant clasp and a fliplock on the clasp
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vs Sapphire case back and double deployant with flip lock too
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both are gorgeous in their own ways...
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and after it all i am left wondering... how do i afford me one of these? :) anyways if u be keen to pick this piece up it is for sale at gr luxury. let them know you saw it through this blog and get a slightly better price on it ;) cheers, raph 

“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” 
Patek's wonderful ad slogan... I'd be happy looking after this one for sure :)
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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Swatch Sistem51 2015 New Models and a Singapore Swatch Club Event :)

Fresh from my sistem51 review LINK couple of weeks back, let's take a look at the 2015 new sistem51 models! I will most likely be getting one of 'em and have narrowed down to 2 definite maybes. Let's have a look


Sistem Pink SUTR401 ~ one of the potential buys! fun and bright colors 
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Sistem Green SUTG400 - another interesting piece, green with orange accents and markers
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Sistem Cream SUTM400 - this looks good too and i like the look of the movement... 
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Sistem Class SUTS402 - movement side same as the blue piece from 2014(one i own) with a dial change
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Sistem Chic SUTB402 - dial change for the black piece from 2014
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it's cool to have more models to choose from for folks to land a design they like. May take some time for these pieces to come to Singapore though... when i know you will know if u readeth the blog :)

The 2015 material with me cause I decided to attend a cool swatch club event. It was great meeting the fine team at Swatch and a putting faces to names :) kudos to the team for a fun event! Thanks to Charles, Michelle, Bronza, Alex, Audrey (& sorry if I missed out some as I didn't get introduced to all) for hosting us. 


Venue for event at Orchard Gateway outlet 
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Charles welcoming us and introducing the new 2015 collections
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Gran Turismo range with some fun pieces with speedometers on the dial. to have
 a closer look at these 2015 ranges, check out this post from watch insider LINK 
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Spring Breeze - the display setups are cool
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my pet and me - this range had a lot of cute pieces
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Chinese New Year Piece - I love the goat! :)
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the piece with the nice box it comes in
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Valentine's Day watch set for the young lovers out there :-* note the multiple keepers
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Some games where winners take home a swatch from the new collection.. Alas I gave it a go at
 one of the games but it was not to be mine... Better luck next time :) 

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Good meeting some other swatch club members Melvin and Evangeline(hope I spelt your names right :) at this event and that's it for this short post and looking forward to my next Sistem51 Swatch purchase in 2015! Cheers, Raph

Some better pics of the displays thanks to Bronza! cheers

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

Seiko SBDX012 and the Marine Master 300m / MM300 range [ 6215-7000, 6159-7000, SBDX001, SBDX003 ]


Seiko announced a new limited edition 50th anniversary diver watch in Sep 2014 and from the press release on Seiko's site LINK, it will be available from 23 Jan 2015. Price is noted at 280,000Yen + tax or about US$2,350 and S$3,150 IF you can get your hands on oneSeiko dealers in Japan will likely have very low numbers allocated so it will be hard to find one for sure as 1,000 pieces will be snapped up very quickly or has already been fully allocated. Price wise the regular SBDX001 retails for 250,000Yen or about S$2,800 but can be obtained at a discount and can be purchased new for about S$2-2.3k range plus or minus or about 15-30% discount off retail[range is wide coz all sorts of sellers are out there selling to folks outside of Japan]. The SBDX012 will definitely have zero discount.

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before going any further though... A HAPPY NEW YEAR! [non-MM300 Seiko diver 6309 8110 doing
the wishing below. i don't normally buy the local papers but got it just for this shot ;) ]
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ok onto the SBDX012... this is most likely gonna sell out immediately...

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Comes with bracelet and urethane strap with gold buckle
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same monocoque case as other MM300s
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and the non-regulated, lightly decorated 8L35 movement as it's beating heart
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The earlier SBDX003(released in 2000, limited edition of 500 pieces) retailed for less on launch at 200,000yen
~ US$1,900 then but price has doubled since to about US$4k now
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Note this SBDX012 and SBDX003 are just cosmetic changes to the non-limited edition, regular production model SBDX001, which has standard white accents.

Difference from SBDX001 to SBDX003 [side by side comparo here LINK]

  • Gold accents for the hour marker, hands and lettering in SBDX003
  • No bracelet for SBDX003
  • 2 line text on SBDX003
Difference from SBDX003 to SBDX012
  • Gold print for the bezel font is true to the origin pieces - From Seiko's site, translated by google "the character on the bezel is subjected to a golden finish by anodic oxidation treatment of laser...  By the electrolytic treatment anodized material, a surface treatment for generating the artificial oxide film. Color is born by the refractive index of the light..." 
  • Bracelet included
  • 4 line text on the SBDX012
  • red light marker on the seconds hand
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from left to right 6215-7000, 6159-7000, sbdx003(Limited edition 500 pieces), sbdx001 
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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]
the vintages are very rare birds in good condition... 6215 7000, 6159 7000, sbdx003

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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]
Casebacks of the 6215 7000, 6159 7000, sbdx003

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[image credit: aceivan on sgroc ]

Pros and Cons of the MM300 series

Pros 

  • Great looking(to me) sporty dive watch at approximately 44mm * 15mm [50mm lug to lug], cool styled case with brushed and polished surfaces and a nice dial and hand design. 
  • Strong lume - may matter if you're diving with it and not so much if you ain't
  • High quality movement, the 8L35 which is an un-decorated Grand Seiko movement calibre 9s55, beating inside which means it should be highly accurate. As noted, the movement is un-decorated and that won't matter as you won't be seeing it. Has decent 50 hour power reserve, quick set date, movement hacks and is an automatic with manual wind. Accuracy per Seiko : Average daily rate +15 seconds to -10 seconds
  • Monocoque case ~ better water resistance
  • Unidirectional bezel moves smoothly, 120 clicks all the way round. 
Cons
  • Crown is similar to lower end Seikos and owners have had cross-treading issues in the past where one may screw it in when it isn't aligned and strip the thread in doing so. Not as robust as it should be and not sure if the SBDX012 addresses this. No logo on the crown means it's a bit on the plain side.
  • Bracelet has been noted to be one of it's weak points. A bit light and flimsy-ish when paired with a heavy body. Clasp isn't that great as well compared against new clasps eg Tudor's clasps but it does have a ratcheting divers extension. Fit at the lugs has been an issue for some as well. 
  • Bezel coating(which is some paint acrylic or lacquer thing) will scratch and the only option is to replace the whole bezel which will be costly. quote some years back was around us$300+ for the bezel which is just too much to pay. There may be aftermarket options though which will cost maybe half of that... maybe.
  • Top heavy watch (Weight 210-ish gms with bracelet) and rather narrow lugs so it may move abouts on the wrist or not be comfortable worn for long. Lug width is 20mm and should be 22mm. hmm can 2mm make so much difference? u betcha :)
  • Non-regulated movement and folks have reported weak to high levels of accuracy. Why, why would you not regulate the movement? 
  • Japan Domestic Model(JDM) means there may be limited servicing options other than sending it back to Japan and I have heard the Seiko authorised agents Thong Sia has not been keen on helping out at times. if they do help to send it back then the cost(per a local owner) could be about S$600 for a full service(a few years back) which is >25% of the purchase price new and maybe 35% of the price pre-owned? that is a lot to pay relative to the price of the watch...
  • Thick case and sits pretty high on the wrist so prone to being knocked around. Also may not fit under shirt cuffs.
  • Brand association with cheap quartz watches... folks not in the know disrespectin the mighty Seiko brand! this is for noobs and not folks who know watches and that Seiko can make fantastic mechanical watches at different price points above the US$1k / US$5k marks and even higher.
  • Lume is applied by hand and some folks have had dials with uneven lume or found it not to be applied consistently.
  • Non-sapphire crystal. it's hardlex and is not as resistant to scratches as sapphire but it's pretty hardy so this is a minor niggle.
Hmm noting all these pros and cons, especially the potential high cost of servicing/refurbishing, I will skip over the SBDX012 at whatever high after market price it will go for and maybe target a MM300 used and in decent condition for about S$1.6-1.7k range or get new for S$2k... oh well, we'll see what the year brings ;) ending off with some Seiko diver history below from Seiko site and well wishes to you for a great year ahead with many, many, many fine new watches! Cheers, Raph


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