Best Value Watch In the World

Image of Casio MRW-200H the Best Value Watch in the World

In the fight to claim the right to the title “Best Value Watch in the World” a watch is going find itself up against some very stiff competition.  Firstly the watch is going to have to be very far into the ‘low cost’ end of the price spectrum.  A watch that costs more than a … Read more Best Value Watch In the World

Vintage Rolex Submariner – 1980 Submariner 16800

Vintage Rolex Submariner – Accurate, Resilient and Very Cool

Vintage Rolex Submariner 16800The desire for a new watch is perfectly understandable; folks like new stuff!  It’s just the way it is. Whether or not it is the right way to go when dropping $7K on a watch is ultimately only something the person buying the watch can make a judgement on.  What is certain however is that it is not the only option.  In my work as a watchmaker I routinely service Vintage Rolex watches and I am constantly struck by just how functional and resilient these pieces are.

Rolex Submariner Evolution 

The ubiquitous  Submariner has been through an interesting evolution in terms of both movement and subtle styling on the case.  The transition to high beat (28,800 vph) was fundamental in terms of its power pack improvement and the 3135 movement which as I write this in September 2019 still powers the latest models is a very business like engine.  The 3035 movement is also highly functional and the 1500 movements still hold their own very nicely.

Rolex Submariner Styling

So, with the internal technology then there is a compelling argument that this  evolution has seen steady and demonstrable improvement.  The criteria for measuring this is reasonably objective and hence contention is low on this issue.  However, when we consider the concurrent evolution in case design the same lack of contention is missing.  There is no raging agreement that Rolex has got the styling of its current submariner range case ‘right’.  Such judgements are of course much more subjective and with Rolex stoking demand by constricting the pipeline to the Authorised Dealers effective analysis of sales based on true ‘consumer taste’ is tricky.  There is a feeling that the modern watches are in demand because they are hard to get not because of some fabulous intrinsic design triumph.

This dissatisfaction with the modern styling is something quite commonly voiced and the look of a watch is of course very important.  There is a feeling maybe that the design of the earlier models, the Rolex 16610, Rolex 16613 (probably the best vintage Rolex in my view of them all)  The answer to all this aggravating nonsense with waiting lists to me seems pretty obvious  … do not buy new!

The answer to all this aggravating nonsense with waiting lists to me seems pretty obvious  … do not buy new!

Buying a vintage piece is in the current climate not a bad option at all.

Vintage Rolex Submariner 16800

This article compliments the video I made for my YouTube channel on this watch.  So if you would like a really good look at this vintage Rolex in action then take a look ….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRq87jJ0BuU

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Vintage Rolex

The advantages and disadvantages of buying a vintage Rolex are …

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Vostok Amphibian – Watchmaker Review

The Vostok Amphibian Crucible  – War in The USSR

In the late 1920s, long before the first Vostok Amphibian was created, whilst America was criminalising alcohol and western girls bobbed their hair, in the east Joseph Stalin was creating strategic plans for the embryonic Soviet Union.  He had realised that the great nation that he led did not have the capacity to create wristwatches for its people.  At this time ‘five year plans’ were order of the day, but how were the comrades ever going to complete these plans if they couldn’t even tell the time of day?  Stalin was not about to become dependent on other nations to provide these vitally important tools so he initiated a strategic plan to create a Soviet capacity for the creation of watches; tool watches for the comrades!

These watches should tell good time and be tough.   The creation of several production facilities followed quickly on the heels of Stalin’s directives.  The First Moscow watch Factory (FMWF) was created with help from a surprising source, the Dueber-Hampden Watch Factory in Canton, Ohio, USA.  The Soviets spotted the opportunity that the sale of this asset presented and a delegation snapped up the factories assets, 21 of its talented staff and took the lot back to Moscow to start the Soviet dream of being self reliant on timepiece production.  A second factory was soon also created which was brilliantly named The Second Moscow Watch Factory (SMWF) and it was this factory that was several decades downstream to produce the first Vostok Amphibians.  But not in Moscow, Hilter’s advancing forces in the Autumn of 1941 caused the evacuation of the SMWF to a place called Christopol, out of range of the german guns.

Designing an Iconic Dive Watch in Peace –  Vostok Amphibian in Christopol

So the context of the creation of a facility for the production of a Soviet Dive Watch was turbulent and forged in the fire of war.  Watch production requires calm and peace.  It is no accident that the Swiss are neutral in world conflicts.  As the Russians know to their cost it is not possible to design and fabricate a delicate flyback chronograph mechanism with mortars landing in the front yard.  It would be some time until they would get around to the Amphibian

Once in Christopol production settled back down and a couple of decades after the end of WWII there was perceived a need for a new dive watch for the Soviet Navy.  In 1967 the Vostok Amphibian production began to fill this need.  It was, and is, a watch with several design features that suited it when to performing in the harsh high pressure under water environment.  In the review that follows we put those features to the test.

Vostok Amphibian – Watchmaker Review – The Video

You can see me actually conduct the testing of the Amphibian in this video which I recorded for my YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECTiOUt7jxw

How I Evaluated the Vostok Amphibian

Model Used for Evaluation: 

Vostok Amphibian (Radio Room Dial) – Case 110 – Movement 2415  – Reference 110750

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Get this watch .   In the US:  https://amzn.to/2KPQGh6     In the UK: https://amzn.to/2FkUJyL

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This review takes my standard format for reviewing a watch.  As with all of my watch reviews I use the following categorisation to break down the inherent complexity of the review.

  • Engineering – Features and Quality  (Pretty Objective)
  • Aesthetics   (Prone to be subjective)
  • Value for Money (Pretty Objective)

Engineering – Features and Quality

  • Movement
  • Keyless Works
  • Case and Bezel
  • Crystal
  • Dial and Hands
  • Bracelet
  • Lume
  • Water Resistance

The  Movement – Vostok 2415

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G-Shock Carbon Core Guard by Casio – Watchmaker Review

Bumping Into The G-Shock Carbon Core Guard

Like a lot of good things in life this review of a Casio G-Shock Carbon Core Guard Watch was the result of an opportunity seized rather than outcome of any careful planning.  It all started on a recent trip to London during which my daughter announced an urgent need for Puma training shoes which could apparently be best procured from the Puma store on Carnaby Street.  When we arrived there I was delighted to see that right next door was a bright little shop which, as made clear to all the world from the sign above its very clean window, was dedicated to the sale of Casio G-Shock watches.  My daughter and her mum when off to peruse the offerings by Puma and I scuttled into the Casio G-Shock shop like a kid into a sweet shop.

Now quartz watches are not normally my thing and the watches that were lit up around the store were all pretty funky quartz watches and thus quite different to my area of specialization which is mechanical watches (particularly automatic wristwatches and vintage pocket watches).

Casio G-Shock Carbon Core Guard – Watchmaker Review : The Video

I decided, for the record (and for my YouTube channel), to make a video of this work and much of what is contained within this article you can also see in detail by watching this.

Reference of Watch under Test

The exact model of the watch tested in this review was …

CASIO G-SHOCK CARBON CORE GUARD – GA 2000 1A9ER

Check Latest Price

You can checkout the latest price of this watch at both my UK Amazon Store and my US Amazon Store 

The Review Method

As always for this to be a genuinely helpful review I was determined that it should be as scientific and dispassionate as possible.  The plan I came up with was a simple one.  Firstly, as soon as I took it out of the box, I would test the watch’s waterproofing to 50 meters in the pressure testing tank.  After that I would do a detailed inspection of the watch. Finally using the information gathered and in knowledge of the attractive price tag I would judge its value  for money.

I used my normal scoring system with the following criteria which were to be scored as follows.

Scoring system

The watch would judged in three main categories, both scored from 0 to 10

  • Build Quality (Engineering Standard – Reasonably Objective)
  • Looks (Aesthetics – Not quite so Objective!)
  • Value for Money – (dependent completely on the findings of the first two categories)

Strengths and Weaknesses

I also do a quick run through what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of the watch

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