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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...