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Friday, October 31, 2008


I am selling one of my DW5600C vintage G-Shock to fund the purchase of some camera gear. For more information about this watch, read here.
(Cell phone in photo not included of course!)
This piece is a Japan H, Module 901. All functions work as they should and the light is working. Watch condition is as follows:
There are scratches on the crystal, significant dings on the crystal too. This watch had seen time. Rate at about 80%. There are some light scratches on the caseback, the bezel screws are all present, and the case is clean. The strap and bezel are original and are in good condition surprisingly, with some light marks visible, keeper is present and intact.
Someone was selling the DW5600C on the watch forums at a crazy price of USD400 sometime ago.

I just want USD108 for this piece. You have to pay shipping. Let me know your location and your preferred shipping method to check how much more you gotta pay for shipping. I ship either by Singapore Post Registered Airmail (cheap but slow), or Fedex (fast but expensive).

I accept Paypal and I will bear the fees. If you don't have Paypal, I also take Western Union Money Transfer, but all fees will be borne by you.

Email me if you're interested. antonc108[at]gmail[dot]com

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There some really crazy G-Shock fans out there, you guys know yourself. Fess up! And among this group, some really die hard fans of the DW5600 styles. I personally like the classic DW5600C very much.
The DW5600C was produced from June 1987 to June 1996, it is one of the most iconic G-Shocks, and it is the last basic G-Shock with the screw back and full metal case. In other words, its built like a tank. In comparison, the contemporary version; denoted as DW5600E, uses black composite plastic instead for the case, and the steel back is secured on with 4 tiny screws. While it is still tough, its just no longer the same.

A yellow DW5600C, photo courtesy of Mike (OldHippie on watch forums), used with his kind permission.
The rarer DW5600B-3V (green) and blue DW5600B-2V (blue), photo courtesy of Wah (Wah_Wah_Wah on watch forums), used with his kind permission.

The DW5600C is most common in black resin, though it's also available in yellow, and the even rarer blue and dark green. And within the black version, there are the 'gold black' version, where everything is essentially the same except for the following cosmetic differences; buttons, screws and strap buckle are gold plated, and on the dial; instead of a silver color border, it has a yellow color border. Lastly, the words on the bezel are yellow instead of white.

The 'black gold' version DW-5600c-9CV, photo courtesy of Wah (Wah_Wah_Wah on watch forums), used with his kind permission.
The standard black version was worn by Keanu Reeves in the 1994 movie 'Speed', thus the watch was later referred to by G-Shock enthusiasts as the Speed model.
It is also known as the NASA model, because its worn by NASA astronauts and it is one of the four watches certified by NASA for space flight missions. The DW5600C on the wrist of astronaut Susan J. Helms, Expedition Two flight engineer, this is just one of the many pictures you can find of astronauts wearing the DW5600C.
Its well known among my watch enthusiast friends that I am a space watch fan, so I focused mainly on the standard black versions used by NASA. I can't see myself wearing the bright yellow version anyway, and the blue and green are too out of reach.

There are different versions of the watch just for the black version alone (this applies both on the standard black and the gold black), and this is what confuses some enthusiasts. The DW5600C is available in two modules; 691 and 901, and both were produced in two factory locations; Japan A and Japan H.

Module 691 were used from 1987 to the early 1990s and module 901 were used from 1990 onwards. The functions of both both modules are identical, though there are some differences. The three main differences between the two are as follows:
1)Module 901 has a slightly brighter light than module 691.
2)Model 691 uses the bigger CR2320 batteries where model 901 uses the smaller CR2016 batteries.
3)The module 691 will always have with mirror polished casebacks while module 901 will have casebacks with a 'milled ring' surface.
Compare them in the following two pictures.

Module 691, Japan H left, Japan A right.
Module 901, Japan A left, Japan H right.
As for factory locations, it appears that Japan A produced better quality. Regardless of module 691 or module 901, the DW5600Cs from Japan A always has a serial number on the caseback, whereas for Japan H, there are no serial numbers on the casebacks.

The lugs of the watch cases are different; Japan A is more refined with the sharp edges flattened and polished, but Japan H lugs remains sharp and unrefined.
And the case shape is different too; look at the sloops from the case down to the lugs, Japan A (left) has gentle and slopped steps, while Japan H (right) has crude and steep steps.
It would seems that Japan A pieces exist in lesser numbers and hence are more sought after by collectors. As for the modules; 901 were produced for only 4 years before Casio stopped making these watches, but the 901s appear more often. It could be that Casio increased production during the period they produced the 901s, or it could be that the 691s are just older and a normal user would probably just dump them after wearing for a few years, thus they got rarer.

These watches are easily availably on Ebay in various conditions, most looks beaten but occasionally a good condition one will appear. Missing strap keepers are common and it seems that the bezel succumb to resin rot more easily than the straps. One thing to note is that condition of the bezel and strap are not important because you can easily purchase a brand new original bezel and strap from Casio or on Ebay (sometimes they are sold with lug screws, springbars and gasket too). In fact many were sold on Ebay without bezel or even strap. What is important is that the watch works, the light is still working, and the four lug screws securing the bezel are intact, because these lug screws can be hard to source.

I hope these information will be useful to fellow enthusiasts.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


A good looking mechanical pilot chronograph watch for only USD300/- new? Yes, its possible if you forget the Swiss and German brands with four figure price tags and go Russian instead. Poljot is known to make lookalikes of many famous Swiss and German watches and this one looks just like Fortis' awarding winning Flieger Chronograph.

In fact, many of Poljot's Aviator series watches resemble models from Fortis' Flieger line. So much so that Fortis took Poljot to court, with the results of the lawsuit being an injunction prohibiting Poljot from selling their Aviator line of watches in Switzerland and Germany.
Of course, we are not comparing the USD300/- Poljot to the Fortis Flieger (retail USD2050/- street USD1400), but we'll just take a look at an example of what a Poljot's Aviator watch got to offer.

The watch came with a rather nice leather box. This actually varies from seller to seller and you don't always get the box, but who needs the box anyway?
The dial is very legible with a military look. The indexes are marked with arabic numbers in both hours and five minutes/seconds increments. The chronograph hands are in red, while the normal hands are in white. The size of the hands are very well balanced and suits the dial very well. In addition to being very functional, it is also very attractive. Well, who designed it in the first place? :D
The original Poljot strap (not shown) doesn't look very promising. I switched it to a Di Modell Chronissimo immediately. I feel that the Chronissimo strap enhances the look of many pilot watches and chronographs.
The crown is big enough for a handwind watch and its signed with the letter A, which probably refers to 'Aviator'. The chronograph buttons felt tactile enough even with gloved hands.
The watch is powered by the Poljot 3133 movement. The 3133 movement is based on the Swiss Valjoux 7734 movement and in fact its made with Swiss tooling. In the 1970s the Russians bought the machine and tooling over from the Swiss and made modifications to it, raising its thickness from 7mm to 7.35mm, adding 6 jewels to the original 17, and increasing the beat rate from 18000 bpm to 21600 bpm.

It is a very reliable movement that was eventually used for space flight missions. Although its rated for a power reserve of 42 hours, I am getting over 60 hours actually, which is pretty common. Accuracy is constant and very good, I am getting about +15 secs a day for this watch.

The watch came with both glass display back and steel back options. Mine came with both, here's the glass case back showing the P3133 movement; raw, unrefined, undecorated, but reliable and tough like a soldier.
With the steel case back, the water resistant is 50 meters instead of 30 meters. Oh yeah, Poljot often made 999 pieces of each model.
Lume is not something the Russian watches are good in. The application isn't very good nor consistent and the glow is weak. It also does not last long. I never had high expectations for Russian lume in the first place so I'm not really disappointed. This watch comes with white lume paint, there is another version with green lume paint, though both glows green however.
Here's a wrist shot of it on my 6.5" to 6.75" wrist. The case size is 39mm without crown, but actually wears bigger because its all dial and bezel-less. Someone with large wrists can always boost its size with a BUND strap if desired.
Here are the specs:
Case size 39mm without crown, 44mm with crown
Lug to lug 46mm
Lug size 20mm
Dial size 35mm wears big coz its all dial.
Case height (thickness) 12.5mm
Water Resistant 30meters with glass display back, 50 meters with metal case back
Mineral glass crystal
Sandblast stainless steel case with a pearly finish
In my humble opinion, this is an ideal watch for those in service. How many active servicemen wear expensive USD2000/- Swiss watches out there in the field?

Russian watch prices had been raising crazily in recent years, so I find these are really good buys before prices soar further.

Thanx for the read!


Received an invitation from The Hour Glass for the launching of the Sinn U Black on 3 October 2008 at Paulaner Brauhäus, Millenia Walk, Singapore.

This is cool! Fans of Sinn had been awaiting for the official launch for months. It had been a mystery on how the final looks of the watch would be, despite some controversy regarding the looks of the prototype photos that appeared on the watch forums.

I certainly hope to attend if I can make it that day and get some pictures if possible. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008


Like many WISes, I had always been fascinated by watch movements. Its amazing how these tiny parts work together to keep time. As a photography enthusiast, I am even more attracted by the intricate details presented in micro scale. Probably one of the reasons why watches with display back sells well.

Take a look at this cufflinks from Vintage watch movements were converted into cufflinks and other accessories.

Jules Jurgensen.
Lucien Piccard.
These are also available as necklaces, rings, tie clips and tie tags. The necklaces and rings would probably please the wife or girlfriend. Buying a ring version for the spouse gives one excuses to buy a matching set of cufflinks for yourself! :D

Necklace pendant made from a vintage Waltham pocket watch movement.
Ring made from an Anton Schild vintage movement.
Elgin movement made into a tie clip.
Waltham vintage movement made into a tie tag.
These nostalgic little trinkets will definitely made great gifts for any watch aficionados.

As a clumsy person who frequently break things, I was wondering if I can use such delicate artpieces. Since I am contemplating to buy a pair someday, I thought I ask the designer herself. Ricky Wolbrom replied that there is no glue used in her work, instead she used two-part industrial clear epoxy, the same formula used in steel work and the airline industry for bonding, one probably gotta use a hammer before weakening the bond.

She also assured me that the movements were savaged from non working time pieces that no longer serves their original purposes. Every piece is handmade, with many hours of work put behind each piece.

Above photographs used with permission from

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Space enthusiasts, watch enthusiasts and space watch enthusiasts must watch this video.

Astronaut Don Pettit's Omega X33 watch broke while on orbit. The video shows how he fixed it while in space. See how the screws and parts float around at zero gravity while he does the repair, notice how the tools were affixed with Velcro to keep them in place, and how the free floating parts had to be taped to prevent floating and lost of stuff.

This is just amazing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Ever bought a watch that comes with a foreign language day wheel that you can't read? When I bought my first Sinn, I personally have a problem reading the German days of the week. It was Tuesday and the watch shows DIE! Then I remember when I was looking around for Lemania 5100 watches, I chanced upon a watch photo with the word SEX in the watch's day window. I kept wondering why was that until I later learned it was the Portuguese abbreviation for Friday.

Seiko 5 watch with Portuguese day wheel; photo courtesy of Mike (OldHippie1968 on watch forums), used with his kind permission.
Seiko movements are especially known to come with bilingual day wheels, the common being English with Spanish, and of course Japanese Kanji, targeted at their own Japanese market, and even Arabic. Oris is known to be very Thai friendly and many interesting Chinese watches are also showing up in enthusiasts' collections. Thus I made a list below for quick reference and I hope to add to the list.

Please inform me if you know more and correct me if there's anything wrong below. Thanx in advance.


الأحد or يوم الأحد - Sunday
الإثنين or يوم الإثنين - Monday
الثُّلَاثاء or يوم الثُّلَاثاء -Tuesday
الأَرْبعاء or يوم الأَرْبعاء - Wednesday
الخَمِيس or يوم الخَمِيس - Thursday
الجُمْعَة or يوم الجُمْعَة - Friday
السَّبْت or يوم السَّبْت - Saturday


or 星期日 or 礼拜日 or 周日 or 星期天 or 礼拜天 - Sunday
or 星期一 or 礼拜一 or 周一 - Monday
or 星期二 or 礼拜二 or 周二 - Tuesday
or 星期三 or 礼拜三 or 周三 - Wednesday
or 星期四 or 礼拜四 or 周四 - Thursday
or 星期五 or 礼拜五 or 周五 - Friday
or 星期六 or 礼拜六 or 周六 - Saturday


MA or Maandag - Monday
DI or Dinsdag - Tuesday
WO or Woensdag - Wednesday
DO or Donderdag - Thursday
VR or Vrijdag - Friday
ZA or Zaterdag - Saturday
ZO or Zondag - Sunday


SUN or Sunnuntai - Sunday
MAA or Maanantai - Monday
TII or Tiistai - Tuesday
KES or Keskiviikko - Wednesday
TOR or Torstai - Thursday
PER or Perjantai - Friday
LAU or Lauantai - Saturday


DIM or Dimanche - Sunday
LUN or Lundi - Monday
MAR or Mardi - Tuesday
MER or Mercredi - Wednesday
JEU or Jeudi - Thursday
VEN or Vendredi - Friday
SAM or Samedi - Saturday


SON or Sonntag - Sunday
MON or Montag - Monday
DIE or Dienstag- Tuesday
MIT or Mittwoch - Wednesday
DON or Donnerstag - Thursday
FRE or Freitag - Friday
SAM or Samstag - Saturday


रवि or रविवार - Sunday
सोम or सोमवार - Monday
मंगल or मंगलवार - Tuesday
बुध or बुधवार - Wednesday
गुरू or गुरुवार - ThursDay
शुक्र or शुक्रवार - Friday
शनि or शनिवार - Saturday


DOM or Domenica - Sunday
LUN or Lunedì - Monday
MAR or Martedì - Tuesday
MER or Mercoledì - Wednesday
GIO or Giovedì - Thursday
VEN or Venerdì - Friday
SAB or Sabato - Saturday


or 日曜日 or にちようび - Sunday
or 月曜日 or げつようび - Monday
or 火曜日 or かようび - Tuesday
or 水曜日 or すいようび - Wednesday
or 木曜日 or もくようび - Thursday
or 金曜日 or きんようび - Friday
or 土曜日 or どようび - Saturday


DOM or Domingo - Sunday
SEG or Segunda-feira - Monday
TER or Terça-feira - Tuesday
QUA or Quarta-feira - Wednesday
QUI or Quinta-feira - Thursday
SEX or Sexta-feira - Friday
SAB or Sábado - Saturday


I - Monday
II - Tuesday
III - Wednesday
IV - Thursday
V - Friday
VI - Saturday
VII or Red Square - Sunday


ВСК or Воскресенье - Sunday
ПНД or Понедельник - Monday
ВТР or Вторник - Tuesday
or Среда- Wednesday
ЧТВ or Четверг - Thursday
or Пятница - Friday
СБТ or Суббота - Saturday


DOM or Domingo - Sunday
LUN or Lunes - Monday
MAR or Martes - Tuesday
MIE or Miércoles - Wednesday
JUE or Jueves - Thursday
VIE or Viernes - Friday
SAB or Sábado - Saturday


อา or วันอาทิตย์ - Sunday
จั or วันจันทร์ - Monday
อั or วันอังคาร - Tuesday
พุ or วันพุธ - Wednesday
พฤ or วันพฤหัสบดี - Thursday
ศุ or วันศุกร์ - Friday
or วันเสาร์ - Saturday

*Added on 13 September 2008:

Some folks might have difficulty reading the non-Latin alphabetical characters due to web browser incompatibility, so I added this picture for Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Russian and Thai.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Vostok Amphibian. Its gaining like 1 hour a day? Is the anti-magnetic word for real in the first place?
I guess it got magnetized by my radio set (which runs on Lithium-ion batteries), I think I slept with my wrist right next to the radio. Is it possible that it got magnetized this way?
This is not the only watch that got affected, the next night I worn my plastic watch Timex Ironman Datalink and slept in the same position, so I guess my wrist remains there for at least a few hours before I moved in my sleep. I awoke at 7am but the watch shows 8am.

I reset it and being battery powered, its alright now. But the Amphibian might need a trip to the watchmaker to get it demagnetized. Simple enough job though I just need to find time to make the trip...

Sunday, August 24, 2008


If you're looking for a budget Unitas 6497 powered flieger/pilot watch, especially a 'nine-eater', then you probably might had already heard or looked at brands like Ollech & Wajs, Trias, Jurgen & Gallai, or Kienzle to name a few. The problem is the really budget ones like the Trias are not nice enough and the really nice ones like Jurgen & Gallai or Kienzle can't really be considered budget watches. Anyway at the same price range people probably look at the more interesting Debaufre watches instead.

Enter the Altanus Unitas Flieger. It has the same style of nine eater dial like those offered by Jurgen & Gallai and Kienzle, cathedral hands and strong lume. The price is just right. However these seems to be rare and it seems really hard to find new pieces, though they sometimes pops up pre-owned on the various sales forums. Having no luck at the sales forums, I thought I should check out the original seller's Ebay store.

So while trying to procure a piece from the Swiss Ebay seller uhren_baron, who's the source of these Altanus watches, I discovered he's got another brand to offer. The Oscar.
It seems identical to the Altanus and the seller told me its from the same factory.
Comes with a display back. The Unitas 6497 movement is undecorated.
Lume is pretty good, I think it's Super Luminova.
The mineral crystal is slightly domed, the stainless steel case size is about 40mm excluding crown and lug to lug distance is about 48mm. The watch also wears flat at about 10mm height at the thickness part.
Needless to say I am happy with this purchase. I paid about CHF250 shipped back in December 2007. Thus far I had not see another similar piece, though I seen many other Oscar watches on the Unitas movement.

Till date, I think the Altanus is still the best bang for buck Unitas Flieger watch. There are some Altanus owners who are bothered by the 'anus' word on the dial, so the Oscar might be a better option if one could find another one from the Ebay seller. Though the sales forums might be more practical, since I had not seen either watches in uhren_baron's Ebay store for sometime.

*Update on 31 August 2008: I was informed by Chris (Ray Knight on WUS forums) that this watch was being sold on Ottofrei as a kit recently, though when he last checked it was no longer available.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


James (Riker) requested for some Debaufre Nav B and Davidsen Marina Militare size comparison pics. So here's some quick and dirty pics of the watches.

Nav B 48mm, Marina Militare 47mm.
Nav B's flatter, MM's thicker.
The MM's a pseudo vintage diver watch, while the Nav B's a pseudo vintage pilot watch.
Many guys had concerns if these watches would be too big for their wrists. I have puny 6.5"-6.75" wrists and I don't care and wear them. Yes it might seems like I am wearing alarm clocks on my wrist but I think it just takes getting used to. Ultimately all that matters is that I enjoy my watches. :)

Friday, August 8, 2008


If you have one of those Ebay Marina Militare watches that comes with those flimsy glassbacks, you might one day encounter the same problem as I did. Basically these glass windows are just glued to the glassback's metal frame and very often, they were poorly done. There's no real form of sealing at all. Even those higher quality glassbacks from the custom Pamhom makers will eventually deteriorate, as my friend Chris Moy had experienced with his Pamhom watch.

Water got into the watch via the gap between the glass and the glassback's metal frame, take a look at these pictures of my old Ebay Marina Militare.
My problem came really fast because the glassback came with uneven gluing and you can see bubbles within the silicon. Water got into the watch during hand washing within just a few days of wear. As you would had knew, moisture would wreck havoc in any watch.
I decided to fix it myself and solved the problem, and was better than it was new after the operation. There are no more bubbles within the silicone and it looked perfect.
Anyway here's how I fixed the problem. Don't worry, its an easy fix. You will need the following:
1. Hot glue stick.
2. Lighter or some form of heater.
3. Cooking stove in your kitchen.
4. Old metal plate or baking tray which you no longer use.
5. Razor blade.
6. Pliers to grip the heated metal glassback frame (I use my Leatherman multitool).
7. Gloves to protect your hands, do not use materials that will melt with heat, eg: rubber.
8. About 20 minutes.

Here are the steps:
1. Remove the piece of glass from the glassback metal frame, just peel it off.
2. Remove the old glue residues from the frame, make sure it's clean.
3. Heat the glue stick and gingerly apply it to the metal frame at the location where the glass will eventually sit and let it dry. Ensure you cover the whole perimeter with hot glue. Do not apply excessively but it is perfectly alright to be messy because you can never make it look neat, which bring us to the next step.
4. Place the glassback metal frame on the baking tray bottom up (with the screw threads down).
5. Place the baking tray on your stove and turn on the fire. The baking tray will prevent the glassback metal frame from blackening, we just want the heat to transfer there so as to melt the hotglue.
6. Heat it till you see the hot glue melt into liquid form. Here's where the hot glue will even out smoothly and that is why its alright to be messy in step 3.
7. Turn off the stove and remove the metal frame from the tray with your pliers (unless you wanna burn your fingers)
8. Place it bottom up (with the screw threads down) on a flat surface (not your expensive tabletop, but some surface which heat will not cause damage).
9. Now place the glass into its original position on the metal frame and press it down, some hot glue will ooze out and that is fine. Protect your fingers from the hot metal frame by wearing gloves.
10. Allow it to cool down naturally.
11. Using the razor blade, carefully trim off the excess hot glue and it's done!

I really hope I can provide some pictures of the process for this tutorial instead of just words. But I already sold my old Marina Militare and I don't want to use my brand new Davidsen glassback for it since it never gave me problems, yet.

Disclaimer: Try this at your own risk, I am not responsible if you mess up your watch, injure yourself or damage your properties. It worked for me and I hope it will work for you too. :D

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Its a happy day! I just read that I had won PMWF's latest quarter of photography contest and my photo placed first position. I entered this recent pic of my new Marina Militare watch and thanx to the support of PMWF members, it was well received. :)

Thanx for the read!