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

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Some pictures of my G Shock collection which I originally posted at WUS Casio G Shock forum a few weeks ago. I bought the Gulfman as a birthday gift for my brother this year, at the same time I bought myself a Mudman too.
The Gulfman.
The Gulfman's caseback, looks like a turtle with some weapons? A Ninja-turtle?
The Mudman.
The Mudman caseback, a mole wearing Oakleys and driving wheels?
First generation Frogman, DW6300.
DW6900, popular watch with NASA astronauts.
DW5900, another popular watch with NASA astronauts.
DW5600C (vintage), certified for space flight by NASA.
DW5600E (contemporary), certified for space flight by NASA.
Another photo of the DW5600E.
And here's a group photo. And yeah, I got 7 DW5600s, for the C version, I have both modules 691 and 901 and both examples of both modules from factory locations both Japan A and Japan H. For the E version, one is Casio Thailand, another is Casio Malaysia.
Last photo.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Received notification yesterday that I got an incoming CCCP Vostok Komandirskie Tank! I am rather excited about it because it is By Order of the Ministry of Defense of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic. 3AKA3 MO CCCP!


Here is a great site about military watches and this particular article is about the highly sought after Sinn EZM1 and its relation to German GSG9 and ZUZ Special Forces.


I done this Debaufre Nav B Photo Review sometime ago and it was posted at Watchuseek Debaufre forum on 6 February 2008 too. I am posting the full review here too.

In November 2007, Debaufre and collaborated to rise funds for Marine Toys For Tots Foundation and Debaufre would be donating any production watch to's raffle winner. Read about it here.

Anyway I was fortunate to have won the raffle and I chose the Debaufre Nav B watch for my prize. I am very drawn to the Nav B but I was skeptical about it fitting my wrist since my wrist size is only about 6.5" to 6.75" (more on that later) and the Nav B is a big watch at 48mm (excluding crown). I was torn between it and the Triton, especially since I am a fan of pilot watches and already had quite a few pilot watches, I was actually lacking watches in the diver department. I eventually decided to give it a try anyway, and at the same time I also read about Captain Dale 'Snort' Snortglass receiving the Nav B too, so I guess that was a little push to get me off the fence.

I was then contacted by Debaufre and arrangements were made to have the watch shipped to me. At this point I must say I really appreciate the good customer service from Debaufre. First they were very flexible in the shipping method, and then when the package was seized by my local customs for tax valuation, Debaufre extended their full assistance in providing the necessary documents for customs to release the watch, even when its on a Sunday, (its Monday over here for me). Thus I was able to receive it in time on Christmas Eve. Thank you, Jon and Elsa. When I got home from the Customs office I eagerly opened the package.

Shipping box.

Open it.


Coming soon.

The box and an invoice with greetings from Elsa, noticed she drew a flower there, how nice.

I like the outer sleeve box, which has a cut out window that shows the emblem on the actual box.

There is a piece of foam on the watch, I took a deep breath and blew it away.

A simple manual, warranty card, and paper tag.

The watch.

The basic specs of the watch from the Debaufre website:
* Stainless steel case
* Diameter 48 mm, including crown 53 mm, 13.8mm thick.
* See-thru case back with blue screws and a special "Cote de Geneve" engraving
* 3 ATM
* Sapphire crystal
* Black dial, and sub dial
* Figures with Super LumiNova
* Leatherstrap 22 mm with thorn buckle with screws.
* Unitas 6497 hand wind movement with 17 jewels
* Nickel plated with blue screws
* "Cote de Geneve" design
* 17 jewels

I have owned the watch for more than a month and its time to do a review about it. The sapphire crystal is domed and the inner side is AR coated. One of the first thing I noticed when I got this watch is the blue sheen on the crystal. The hour, minute and second hands size ratio is good in relation to each other. The hands are blued too, which is a nice touch and it is very attractive in the daylight. Personally I like the minute and second hands to touch the track markings and its great that the Nav B does so. Overall, the watch is designed for legibility and indeed legibility is superb. However due to the blued area of the hands, the lume doesn't extend all the way to the tip of the hand. So when the watch is read in dark condition, the hands appeared shortened, see lume pic below.

Here's the lume shot. I like to wear it to the movies because the lume is good and the dial is big.

Nice big crown that is very easy to wind. The diamond shape works really well and provides a much better grip as compared to flat or even onion shaped crowns. This is one plus factor that I really like about this watch, especially since it has a hand winding movement.

See the thick domed sapphire crystal and the finishing of the case. One thing you can't miss is the heave of this watch, its heavy, the case looks tough and its nicely finished. The lugs curve and slope gently to fit the wrist.

What we have here is a Swiss Unitas 6497 movement, decorated with blued screws and "Cote de Geneve". The finishing is very attractive and pleasing to the eye. I think its rhodium coated. Due to the size of the watch, the whole movement can be seen underneath the glass display case back. Power reserve is about 48 hours and accuracy out of the box is about + 30 sec a day, but I must say I checked the accuracy during the first few days of getting the watch. I have not check again to see if accuracy had improved with use yet.

The Pam Pre-V styled buckle, nicely finished, uses screws too.

The leather strap is 5mm thick throughout and doesn't tapers, which is good. The quality is top rate, feels like leather from an expensive luxury handbag. The texture is attractive, feels firm and smells nice. It is a little stiff initially but breaks in easily within a few days. And once its broken in, its flexible and comfortable. It is obvious that this strap is going to last a long time. This is the best stock strap I had owed thus far.

There is this metal keeper sewn into the strap, I think its great because I find it hard to insert the strap into the fixed leather keeper and most of the time I will just use the metal keeper and the movable leather keeper. It is secure enough and I think it could act as a substitute for either one of the leather keepers when they eventually breaks. The rivets and the metal keeper are mirror finished, I wish they are not, which will be more consistent with the rest of the watch's metal parts.

The 48mm watch on my current 6.5" wrist. Not too bad I guess, but I gotta wear it on my right wrist so that the big crown won't dig into the back of my hand.

All in all, a really wonderful watch that is well designed and made.

Thanx for the read!

By the way this last photo above was a photo election winner too.


This is a recent article on The NASA Timex Datalink Watches which I wrote and posted at Watchuseek NASA and Space Topics forum. I am posting it here on my blog as well.

Well we're all familiar with this article at about watches used in space and that the Timex Ironman Datalink is one of the four NASA certified watches for space missions. Being the space watch enthusiast that I am, I done some searches on the NASA website, which found me many photos of astronauts wearing Timex Datalink watches. It seems that the Ironman version is not the only nor the first version used. I think it was rather the non Ironman versions were ones first used instead.

Cosmonaut Yuri P. Gidzenko, Expedition One Soyuz commander on ISS wearing the 69931 (refer to Timex 1998 catalog below):

Astronaut Daniel T. Barry on STS-96 wearing the 69931 and the 78041/78047 (refer to Timex 1998 catalog below):

Astronaut James H. Newman on STS-88 wearing the 70502/70518 (refer to Timex 1996 catalog below):

And Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, Expedition 14, on the ISS wearing the 69721/69737 (refer to Timex 1998 catalog below):

Cosmonaut Sergei K. Krikalev, Expedition One, on ISS wearing the 78041/78047 (refer to Timex 1998 catalog below):

Curious to know more, I sent an email to the Timex Museum and Ms Cathy Conti replied:

Dear Anton,

We have two Timex Data Link watches on display at Timexpo: The Timex Museum that have been into space with US Astronaut Dr Daniel T. Barry.

The first watch from 1994 - model 70302, was worn by Dr Barry onboard the STS-72 Endeavour in 1996. The second watch from 1998 - model 69931, was worn onboard the STS-96 Discovery in 1999.

I have attached photos of the two watches on display and their information from the 1996 (model 70302) and 1998 (model 69931)catalogs.

Regards, Cat Timexpo: The Timex Museum

She also attached two catalog pictures, and two pictures of the flown watches on display at her museum.

Timex 1996 Catalog

Timex 1998 catalog

And here are Dr Daniel T. Barry's flown Timex watches on display at the Timex Museum; the model 70302 from 1994, worn onboard the STS-72 Endeavour in 1996:

And the model 69931 from 1998, worn onboard the STS-96 Discovery in 1999:

Here's the watch in action:

More (non flight pics):

I can't find pics of astronauts wearing 70302 though, there seems to be less photographs of earlier missions. But I did found something else interesting regarding the Timex Datalinks on the crew logs that gave us an insight of how important these watches were to the astronauts then.

From Expedition One January Crew Log:

"We have been working with the Timex software. Many thanks to the folks who got this up to us. It seems we each have a different version of the datalink watch, and of course, the software is different with each. Yuri and Sergei are able to load up a day's worth of alarms, but Shep has the Datalink 150, and this has a 5 alarm limit. So 2/3 of the crew are now happy."

"Missed a whole comm. pass over White Sands . We need to get the timex watches working so we don't overlook these calls."

"As 5A is now delayed, we would like to request the "timex" watch software if it is available on the ground-a file that can be uplinked to us. This will help us manage our day as we can load comm. passes into the watches."

From Expedition One February and March Crew Log

"We copy the request from Houston on the timex watches. We will keep using the ones we have onboard-there are some workarounds we can apply that will help the limited "alarm" situation. We don't request any more watches be sent up on 5A, but thanks to all the crew equipment folks for asking. As a heads-up to Exp 2, any plans to use the timex download capability should include more laptop IR transmitters. We have 1 onboard, but more will be required if the next crew wants to fully use this capability."

If you read the last sentence, hey, they even got a piece of the model 69940 laptop adaptor on board (refer to 1998 catalog), and they wanted more. (They refer to it as laptop IR (infared red?) transmitters.)

Hope this is helpful to fellow enthusiasts.

For more pictures, take a look at my Timex Datalink watch collection, along with other digital watches.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I recently bidded on a vintage Citizen Automatic Chronograph from the 1970s. Its running on the Citizen 8110 movement so it's a Flyback chronograph.

These vintage chronographs are extremely good deals because you pay small money for very good movements. A Swiss equivalent of a Flyback chronograph would probably cost 20 times as much, conservatively. The more common ones are the Citizen Bullhead chronographs, which are always on Ebay. I guess they are in abundance because collectors prefer the larger Seiko Bullheads instead of the smaller Citizens.

So this piece caught my eye (seller's pic) because it looks really like those German pilot watches. Think in the lines of Tutima, Bell & Ross, Sinn, etc. It is also less common, compared to the Bullheads. I won the bid and so the watch arrives today.

However when I put it on my wrist and press down the snap on clasp, the crystal popped off. I was seated and the crystal landed on the coffee table in front of me. The sub-second hand at 6 O clock dial also went missing. I looked high and low, but couldn't find the sub-second hand.

It seems that the friction fit ring around the crystal had already worn off and when I examined the inner rotating bezel attached to the crystal, there are brown stains underneath. I am not sure but maybe its dried glue. I fear that the crystal is attached to the watch via those glue.

It's a real pity, cause the watch is really nice and is in good condition cosmetically. Although I think the case had been refurbished to a mirror polished surface. I think it should be a brushed surface originally. In fact I had been thinking of sending it to Jakub for a bead blasting job, but now I guess I should scrap the plan.

I have notified the Ebay seller about the problem, it seems that he is willing to work out a solution with me. I hope he will make things right. I will post again on the outcome later.

Whatever it is, I guess it seems likely that more cost would have to be incurred. Oh well...