Note: Click on any pics below to view full-sized version (1024px).

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Some days ago I mentioned here that I had been busy buying stuff both horology and photograph related. Well the horology stuff was a project watch which had arrived a couple of days ago. EMS shipping from Hong Kong to Singapore only took one day.

This project watch was a response to my dissatisfaction over my previous bad experiences with those Ebay Marina Militares, which should be considered expensive for the low quality they offered. They looked good on pictures, (see pic to the left and right below), but I was actually spending money buying pain.
Water got it easily, the display glassback popped off once, there were cosmetic flaws on the dial, the lume wasn't satisfactory and the movement was dead within a month. Even the replacement from the seller had MORE problems.

So the solution was to get a custom made one of much higher quality. I got it from a custom watch maker known as Davidsen, based in Hong Kong. With Davidsen I can order the watch to my specifications, which are as follows:

47mm stainless steel case based on the 1950 design
26mm lug width, 57mm lug to lug
Brushed finishing, polished bezel
Sterile lever guard
Sterile case back (with extra glass display back, courtesy of Davidsen)
30meters water resistance tested

Sandwich with Super Luminova
Sub second dial at 9 o' clock
Marina Militare text on dial, big font, RXW style (Unfortunately Davidsen's not removing the LSWISSL words for me)

Gold with Super Luminova

High domed sapphire
Anti Reflective Coating on the underside

Swiss Unitas 6497 17 jewels hand winding

Leather. I asked for brown, Davidsen sent me a brown plus a black, and both with nice buckles. I was pleasantly surprised.

And here I have it; my custom Marina Militare watch. Pics below, (not to confuse with the above two pictures of the Ebay watch mentioned earlier). I put it on the Red12 strap which Old Skool Zack custom made for me. It had been sitting in the drawer for months and now I can finally use it. Yes!

Someday I will find a way to get rid of the LSWISSL words. The blue sheen on the crystal is from the AR coat.

The lume is great, it is something those Ebay Marina Militares cannot match, it is also one of the reasons enthusiasts turn to custom makers like Davidsen and JOA.

Night lume shot.

The sterile case back. Davidsen forgot to send the glass back, but promised to send it.

Custom Red12 strap on Strap Culture buckle. There is a pirate decal on the buckle, a skull with two crossed cutlass. I like the contrast, since 'Marina Militare' would mean the Navy in Italian. A pirate strap on a navy watch.

Side profile.

Unattached glassback which Davidsen sent shortly after.

Thanx to Zack and Rodrigo for the help provided all this while. Thanx for the read!


Anonymous said...

I just ordered a custom from Chris (RAY KNIGHT on WUS), unbranded, 44mm, sandwich dial with seconds dial, black hands, ceramic black PVD coating, doomed AR coated front sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal caseback, decorated soprod ETA 6497 swiss movement ($395) (rhodium plated and modified with CTG bridges, pearlage on base plates, polished gear set, flame blued screws) and a rubber and a leather strap.

We're waiting on the black ceramic PVD case and buckle (2 to 3 weeks).

He is working on the movement (tuned in 6 positions to within +/- 3 seconds/day), the Tritec Orange color markers and the C3 yellow/green lum.

This costs more than twice the cost of a Davidsen, but I thought it was worth it and exactly what I wanted.

Chris is very easy to talk to and will do what it takes to please you.

See his work on WUS.

Rick (RGRAY on WUS)

ANTON C said...

Hey Rick, thanx a lot for this info. Its always good to know more alternatives! I appreciate it very much.

A decorated movement is great! Those Ebay pseudo decorated Chinese movements just cannot compare, the blued screws actually turn rusty on mine! I had to resort to blue marker pens to touch them up.

Yours sounds like some kickass specs!


Anonymous said...

I like the Red 12 straps anh Zack is about 50 miles away.

I plan on going down and seeing him about a strap for my watch.

Another one to consider is Gregs straps.

I like his Crazy Horse II with a pvd buckle.

ANTON C said...

Oh I love the strap Zack made for me. It looks rough and tough but its actually the softest strap I have! And Zack treated it specially with additives to deal with the hot and humid south east Asia weather.

ANTON C said...

Cool! I just received email from Davidsen that he sent my glass back!

ANTON C said...


I received the glass back from Davidsen. Looks great, will post a pic update later.

Anonymous said...

This 47mm MM is a fantastic looking watch & perfectly matched to the RED12 strap. Both Davidsen & Old School (Zack) are gifted craftsmen.

Thanks for taking the time to put this blog together & posting great pics Anton.

Looking forward to seeing pics of the MM with the see through caseback.

James (Riker on WUS)

ANTON C said...

Thanx Rick for the information.

DAVIDSEN said...

Dear Anton,

Good to hear that you got my see through case back.Pls be re assured
that my see though case back been made Water reisit structure too.
Your photos of my watch are
professionally taken.I am very
impressed with these pictures indeed.

I am delighted to hear that you are happy with the watch i made for you.Hope to serve you soon.

ANTON C said...

Great to have you here Davidsen!

Thanx for making a nice watch and for your compliments.

Will definitely contact you again if I want another Pamhom.

patrick82700 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patrick82700 said...

Hi Anton

I'm a french fan of Marina Militare replica (tribute sounds better....).
I' m interresting on those leader work like Ray Knight or Davidsen realization.
I order on chinese ebay model, but i'm a little deseapointed about lume dial/hand and precision movement.
After reading your blog, and post on WUS, i 'm realy falling in love on Ray and Davidsen work, but i don't know how to contact them.
Can you help me ?

Thank a lot for your patience and your kindness

Best regards from France


patrick82700 said...

Hi sorry for my stupid question, i haven't seen that the email of Davidsen was upside.....
Apologise for this sterile post.

ANTON C said...

Its no problem Patrick, don't worry. :)

Anonymous said...

what dimensions are the straps? 24mm ?

ANTON C said...

Hi, as mentioned in the article, its 26mm lug width. :)

Anonymous said...

Bro, How is the build of this watch?
Is the crown lever tight?
I'm very interested in getting a davidsen MM but would like to have more feedbacks on the build from past customers..

Edward said...

That is quite possibly the sexiest Custom Pan homage I've seen. Everything about it is perfect, from the sterile dial, gold hands, strap color, stitching, etc. The Skull and crossed swords is the finishing touch on a truly one of a kind timepiece. Cheers to you Anton C.

Watch fan from the "Evil Empire" that is the United States.

PS. Would love to see some pics with the timepiece on your wrist...

ANTON C said...

Thanx Edward,

For straps, please check out

Best regards,


synchro said...

Hi there

The pictures look fantastic... Do you mind detailing more about the quality of the watch ? How is the waterproofing holding up ? Does the steel tarnish rapidly etc ... ?

Terence said...

Great review, Anton.

Need some assistance. I tried to contact Davidsen via email (, but the email bounced. Got his contact from:

Can Anton or someone else pls provide his email? I've left him a message at this blog, but he has yet to contact me.


ANTON C said...

Hi Terence,

Thanx. Thats the email of Davidsen I had too. I am afraid I don't have any other.

Terence said...

No worries, Anton. How is your homage from Davidsen - is it still running well?

I got a quote of $550 from JOA (Jorell), hoping Davidsen will contact me soon.

ANTON C said...

Yes, running like new, everything good after a year and half of irregular use. :)

NormanF said...

I think its a heresy to use a glass case back with a Luminor.... but I see no such issue with a Radiomir.

lala said...

ho. just wondering if the watch mm you bought here from davisen in 2008 is still working to this day(2010)?

any problems so far?


ANTON C said...

Still going strong!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

do you sell it?

Sudhir Das said...

thanks for sharing

Marina Militare watches can be customized

hope to see more posts related to
Parnis Watches

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