October 2011

I picked up my second JOA Homage model recently. It is a PAM249 homage model, the black dial California dial 47mm Radiomir. I’m a big fan of the JOA Homages as they are very well done and have great dials and lume, quality cases and crystals, and can be fitted with great ETA movements. This one is no exception, and comes exactly as advertised.

As you can see above, the 47mm Radiomir Homage features a black Cali-style dial with blued steel hands. Lume is fantastic, though unfortunately I did not capture a shot. The dial also has the words “Swiss Made” on it, not sure if the dial really is Swiss made, but it is very well made and has great detail under a 5x loupe.

Watch features a slightly domed Sapphire Crystal, without front AR coating. I think there might be AR coating on the inside as it appears to have some degree of AR. Crown is an unmarked crown, not a Brevet-marked crown.

Back is solid and without any markings. I kind of like having the solid caseback on this model as it feels a bit nicer on the wrist, and gives a bit more sense of strength to the case. The stock Unitas movement in the back isn’t anything especially pretty anyway!

The case is fully polished, and slightly thicker and has a higher bezel than the original. Not something I am too concerned with as I am not trying to pretend… just like the style of the watch and enjoy the large, clean dial.

Finally, the wrist shot. I think the 47mm sits nicely on my wrist, but there are many that feel it too large. To each his own, I say.. otherwise we’d all look like lemmings and carry iPhones. Better every one have their own sense of style and preference!

Color me a Doxa fan, but recently, much of the re-issue pieces are absolutely atrocious. However, this Shark Ceramica line is absolutely outstanding, and the XL limited edition model even more so. The watch is a limited edition of 1200 pieces, and features a Shark Motif on the dial. The style of the watch case more closely resembles an Omega Seamaster to me than a Doxa however. The ceramic bezel and gigantic 46.5mm case diameter really make a showstopper out of this watch!!

The watch was announced in March, and was only mentioned on the Asia site and appears to be an Asia model. I’m not familiar with how the Doxa brand is marketed in Asia, as it does seem to have significantly more models available there than they do in the USA.

The watch comes in all black as well as an orange and black version as you can see. The basic specs are as follows:

Movement: ETA 2824
Outer Case Diameter: 46.50mm
Crystal Diameter: 35.00mm
Thickness: 14.27mm
Details: Black Ceramic Bezel Ring Insert, Worldwide Limited to 1200 pcs., with Certificate
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire
Case: Stainless Steel
Buckle: Stainless Steel Pushers folded buckle
Water Resistant: 300M

Overall an outstanding watch from Doxa that has some design cues taken from Omega’s Seamaster and perhaps a little bit of Oris thrown in there as well. I would really like to own one of these!

With just 12 pieces to go around, this is a timepiece for the truly entitled (that’s not me). An absolutely stunning masterpiece, like all Urwerk timepieces. If only I had the money….

With its orbiting satellites and arrow-shaped time-indicating torpedoes, the UR-110 ZrN Torpedo is a truly stellar timepiece. Its radiance has been maximized thanks to a coating of Zirconium Nitride on the bezel, which provides the distinctive pale gold hue that gives rise to the “Champagne Supernova” nickname.

Zirconium Nitride is a high-performance ceramic machine tool coating, commonly used for industrial parts and aerospace components. While only a few microns thick, it is extremely hard (2,000 Vickers) and provides superb scratch, wear and corrosion resistance, while exhibiting excellent lubricity and ductility.

The UR-110 ZrN Torpedo is an Édition Spéciale of just 12 pieces, each distinguished by a red satellite hour numeral. Available exclusively from Chronopassion (Paris), Marcus (London), The Hour Glass (Singapore) and Westime (Los Angeles).

Model: UR-110 ZrN Torpedo

Case: Titanium with bezel in 316L sandblasted stainless steel treated with *Zirconium Nitride (ZrN); caseback in titanium; surface finishes micro-sandblasted

Movement: calibre UR 9.01 self-winding, unidirectional winding rotor coupled to twin turbines

Indications: Revolving satellite complication with rotating hour/minute modules mounted on planetary gears. Control board: day/night indicator, “oil change” indicator and running seconds

Dimensions: 47mm x 51mm x 16mm

*Please note that ZrN (Zirconium Nitride) is an industrial treatment that can result in variations in and the colour/hue on the bezel and between individual models.

Undoubtedly a very cool shot and very talented individuals.

“A spectacular flight above the Lake Lucerne, at the heart of Switzerland, featured a gathering of the essential components of the Breitling “fleet”, with the seven L-39C Albatros planes composing the fabulous Breitling Jet Team (the world’s largest civilian aerobatics team flying on jets); the Breitling Super Constellation (one of the world’s last three flightworthy “Super Connies”); the pair of orange Boeing Stearman biplanes carrying the Breitling Wingwalkers performing acrobatic figures in mid-air; and the four colourful Pitt Special S2As of the Breitling Angels flight headed by the MX2 flown by international aerobatics ace Nigel Lamb.”

I haven’t been a Seiko guy in the past, but they have been growing on me over the past year. I decided that I would enter the world of Seiko by purchasing one of the SPB001J1 automatics from the Premier line. I actually ended up purchasing two of these watches and gave one to my father-in-law for Father’s day.

The watch features a very nicely crafted 42mm stainless steel case. The bracelet is also very nicely made and has faceted edges on it, creating a very unique look. Crown is push-down, dial has a nice pattern to it, but no lume at all. The lugs are also faceted on the case and have fake screws on the sides to simulate a slightly industrial look to it.

The side of the case has ribs on it, giving the watch an additional level of detail and sophistication. Given the modest cost of this Seiko Premier, it is a fantastic value.

The watch features Seiko in-house 6R20 movement, which, were it any other brand with an in-house movement, would be substantially more expensive. Street price on these watches is around $650 which would be unheard of if it were a Swiss made watch with an in-house movement. These watches are made in Japan, and the complications on this movement are Power Reserve indicator, day, date and time. There is an exhibiition caseback showcasing the Seiko movement. While on the basic side in terms of movement finishing, it is still nice to see it.

Unfortunately I did not take a photo of the back, but I did get a closer-up shot of the dial, showing the detail. The Seiko logo is applied, which is nice, and while the detail and finish are okay on the dial, they are not outstanding. The dial is very nice, but I feel like some of the Swiss watches of a similar pricepoint have a slightly better execution. The finish on the the surfaces of the dial is a machine finish, and somehow doesn’t work for me 100%.

And finally the wrist shot. The 42mm dial suits my wrists very well I think, and also looks very good on on my 6.75″ wrists and also looks great on my father-in-law’s 8″ wrists as well. Overall, a great alternative for someone looking for a $1000 MRSP watch, who is tired of the usual Swiss fare. Pros include an in-house movement with proven Seiko reliability and great size and casework. I would recommend this watch and continue to be happy with my own purchase.