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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I would've posted this in the Seiko/Phils thread, but man that thing is long.

Anyway, in a little more than a week from today, I'm going to be leaving on a trip to the Philippines for about two weeks. A few days in Manila (Makati), a few more in Cebu (Mactan), and a few more in Makati before coming back home. At first, I was thinking of bringing a Pelican case with a few different pieces to rotate throught during the trip. But then, doing a little more "what to pack/what to leave at home" research, I got a little apprehensive about getting jacked if I walked around too blingified. So I know that this forum has a fair percentage of travelers, divers (doing some snorkeling in Cebu) and Pinoys, so I thought I would open up the internal debate for some input and discussion.

What watch or watches should I bring with me? Here are the options (all Seikos, hence posting it in SCO):

1.) SKX007, stock Jubilee
2.) SKX781 (OM), stock bracelet
3.) SHC039 (7N36), Super Jubliee
4.) SLT009 (8F56/GMT, white dial), stock bracelet
5.) SBDC001 (black Sumo), stock bracelet

My original plan was to wear the GMT on the flights (JFK-ICN-MNL), switch to the Sumo while in-country, and use the OM on the water (My Pelican case has room for two). Now, I'm leaning strongly towards just leaving all the autos at home, flying with the GMT and wearing it everyday, as the case is only ~40mm with the crown and not as obtrusive as the divers, and taking the quartz diver only if the GMT won't stand up the the rigors of snorkeling (I would appreciate some advice on that one).

About me: Born and raised in NYC, I feel that I am savvy about living and staying safe in urban environments. Both parents are from the Philippines, and both are relatively tall. Combine that with an American diet, and I come in at ~5'9" and 200 lbs. That's pretty burly by Filipino standards; at least that's how I felt last time I was there in '93. We'll be visiting family while in Manila and in Cebu, and staying in hotels the whole time, where I assume there will be a safe available if I feel sketchy about leaving anything in the room. I don't want to go looking for trouble by wearing a watch that screams, "rob me", but I also don't want to feel like I'm blowing the security issue out of proportion because of the sob stories I read online.

So, what would y'all do? Bring 'em all? Only one? Buy an Timex and leave all the good stuff at home?

Thanks in advance. Let me know if any of you want a barrel man.
 

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I would suggest you wear the GMT for most of the trip, take the OM for playing in the water and use the spare slot in the pelican case for the cool watch you will buy while you are there!
 

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Whenever I go on vacation out of the country (Burma most recently) I bring my beater, which in this case is a Casio Pathfinder. Not only can I check world time, I can also look up sunset/sunrise times which comes in pretty useful during a vacation.

If you don't have or want to bring a digital watch, then I'd suggest the GMT. Enjoy the vacation and don't worry about which watch to bring and wear!
 

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Here's what I would do:

Bring only one watch. I travelled parts of SE Asia with three watches once, and I found it kind of annoying after a while. They weren't precious at all. I had them in my backpack. I was overstrained, too much to choose from. Also, I felt somehow rediculous bringing three watches to regions where some people suffer poverty and starvation (though I knew it wasn't my fault).
You could/I would just bring one of the watches (any of them would do the job, I'd choose a diver I guess) plus a rubber/nato strap, so you could change when you feel like you need some variety...
Enjoy the trip, we expect to see some photos afterwards :-!

Best,
Sebastian
 

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SHC039

Take the most reliable watch, set it to Greenwich, and calculate mentally the hour difference.

Leave your other other watches at home safe.
 

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Just take one watch and forget about carrying multiple watchesthat might arouse the suspicion or sticky fingers of third parties. Forget about which watch to wear for what situation and enjoy your trip. besides, if you take no watches with you, it might be easier to come back with a few.
 

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Just take the GMT watch. They are made for travelling between timezones, and if you're like me you don't do that very often.

Try and pick up some vintage Seiko goodness while you're over there. You'll be injecting money into the economy! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good suggestions all. I think the one-watch solution is the right one. I do have a Nike Oregon digital, but oddly a bracelet is more comfy than a plastic strap in heat & humidity. Right now, I'm leaning towards the GMT. Anyone have experience diving with 100m rated watches? I'll be snorkeling, and taking a resort dive intro course.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
 

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Just don't dive down to 100m!
 

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Take no more than 2. Or take the GMT and use the opportunity to pick up a new one for the water activities. When traveling by air, think less is more.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ooh - wear the GMT, and pick up a 399 (maybe a 401; I've got a soft spot for Pepsi bezels) while I'm there. Now that's a very interesting idea, indeed.
 

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Ooh - wear the GMT, and pick up a 399 (maybe a 401; I've got a soft spot for Pepsi bezels) while I'm there. Now that's a very interesting idea, indeed.
That's what I would do. When you have to go though security at airports, etc, carrying stuff like watches is no fun. You have to keep 'e, with you in your carryon at all times.

The GMT will satisfy your traveling time tracking needs nicely and will leave extra space available in your carry on for that new pickupb-);-)
 

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Hi there fliplock, I'm from the Philippines and I suggest that you bring your OM with you. You're going on a vacation and I think the OM is perfect for that!|>

Do not use the GMT as you’re daily watch here. I know it’s against the census in this thread but I feel that it’s too “blingy” and would probably attract attention the most. <|

Goodluck on finding a 401 as I am also searching for one (with no luck). If you see one here, send me a message so I can also buy one.;-) The 399 on the other hand is very easy to source. Got mine a couple of weeks ago for $125 on a rubber strap complete with papers.
 

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I'd just bring one nice all-around watch and leave it at that. Besides, like everyone else has mentioned, you may be bringing something back with you. :-!
 

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Hi there fliplock, I'm from the Philippines and I suggest that you bring your OM with you. You're going on a vacation and I think the OM is perfect for that!|>

Do not use the GMT as you’re daily watch here. I know it’s against the census in this thread but I feel that it’s too “blingy” and would probably attract attention the most. <|

Goodluck on finding a 401 as I am also searching for one (with no luck). If you see one here, send me a message so I can also buy one.;-) The 399 on the other hand is very easy to source. Got mine a couple of weeks ago for $125 on a rubber strap complete with papers.
Good point about personal safety. There are parts of the world that certain watches/jewelry may attract the wrong kind of attention upon yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good point about personal safety. There are parts of the world that certain watches/jewelry may attract the wrong kind of attention upon yourself.
And therein lies the conundrum. One man's bling is another man's blah.

The Sumo and SHC039 have framed indices; the GMT's indices are entirely silver, with a white face and red GMT hand. The SHC039's dial is a deep navy blue with a subtle guilloche pattern, which, combined with the framed indices and a Sapphlex crystal, classes up the face of the watch quite a bit. The Monster's dial is orange, and doesn't exactly fade into the background of one's wardrobe. The most pedestrian dial of the bunch probably belongs to the 007.

All of the divers have 40mm+ cases, even the quartz one. The GMT's case is barely 38 without the crown, and on my 6.75 wrist, does not look oversized at all.

The Monster, GMT, and SHC039 have engraved steel bezels; the numbers on the Sumo's insert are so big you can read them from across the street. Again, the 007's bezel insert is probably the most "plain".

All of the cases, bezels, and bracelets have the factory finishes, which means a combination of satin and polished for all the divers, and all-polished for the GMT. The GMT and SHC039 probably get the nod for having the most wear and tear on the exterior.

Functionally, the GMT wins simply because I'm travelling across time zones (and in this case, the date line - I wonder if that will mess with the perpetual calendar at all) and being able to change the hour or GMT hand without disrupting the minute hand is pretty cool. My only quibble was swimming with it when I have a nice cadre of divers to choose from; I think for what I'm planning, the 100m rating ought to be plenty.

Like I said in the original post, I'm used to city life, and I'm older and wiser than I was in '93, so no late-night forays into questionable parts of town. FWIW, both of my parents are Filipino, so apart from being on the tall and broad side, I'm not going to stick out as much as a lot of American tourists would. Of course, that will change as soon as I open my mouth to say something, but it probably affords me a little more "camouflage" if someone's looking for a mark in a crowd.

At least I have a few more days to debate. And good company to debate with - I know if I posed this question to Mrs. Fliplock, she'd default to the 007 so we'd match (she is bringing her SKX013).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm back!

Actually I've been back for a while, but I haven't had the opportunity to post until now.

So, the trip was awesome. Saw lots of extended family in Manila and Cebu City, got to do some snorkeling in a wildlife refuge off Mactan Island, and strolled through more malls in Makati that I thought the population could support. Seriously, there were signs inside one mall telling me how to get to the next mall. Crazy.

Anyway, on to more appropriate conversation.

I brought the SLT009 as my only watch for the trip. I acquired it not long before the trip and really did not have a chance to wear it before I left, so i was looking forward to getting to know it over the couple of weeks that I would be away.

I didn't really get a chance to play with the watch until the first leg of the flight, and I immediately noticed that the hour and GMT hands lagged about half an hour behind the minute hand - that is, they wouldn't hit the appropriate hour marker until the minute hand was at half past. No amount of wiggling and fiddling would get them to behave, so I figured I would have it looked at if I happened upon a watch repair place during the trip, which happened to be when I was at the Greenhills Shopping Center.

Now, I know that talking about replica watches is verboten on the boards, so all I am going to say about the offerings at Greenhills is this: Damn.

Anyway, I dropped the watch off with a guy, did my shopping, and came back about an hour later to find the hour and GMT hands lining up fine, but the second hand was now skipping in 5-second intervals. The guy told me that it was because my battery was running down and would I like him to replace it...? Well, if he had known anything about thte 8f56 inside the case he would've known that that's not the low battery indicator (which is 2-second intervals), but that the Perpetual Calendar info was wiped out and needed to be reset. I wasn't about to talk him through _that_ process, so I figured I would find a cheap caseback opener somewhere and do it myself. At least the hands were lining up and it was keeping time.

So, my casual search for a caseback opener was in vain, but a Seiko ad in the paper (which adertised a free "watch check-up", no less) told me that there was an AD in the Glorietta mall, which was a 15 minute walk from our hotel. So, off I go to see if they could be so kind as to reset the Perp Cal info...

The store was empty when I came in, save for one sour-looking, frog-faced woman at the counter and a surly fellow picking at the back of a crusty dive watch. I explained what had happened and presented her with the watch. She eyed me, a bit suspciously, took the watch out back, and came back 5 minutes later and told me to come back in 2 weeks and it would be ready.

TWO WEEKS? WTF?

I told her that surely this repair would not take that long and besides, I would no longer be in the country by then, so is there any way it could be done while I waited?

No, she said. It needed a new battery, and the movement had to be cleaned.

New battery? Movement needs cleaning? Are you kidding me? Why?

She shows me the watch, which now has stopped entirely. WTF? It was working when I handed it to you 5 minutes ago...

Fine. Let me borrow your caseback opener and a paperclip and I'll just do this myself.

Sorry, she says, but we don't loan out tools.

OK, well, then can you just open the caseback for me?

Sorry, but you've had your free inspection, any labor will be at the rate of...

At that point, I had had it. I told her to give me the watch back, announced loudly my dissatisfaction with their level of customer service (a few people had entered in the interim) and left.

A few days later, I picked up a 399 at the Mall of Asia (don't remember the name of the store, but they're the only Seiko dealer in the Mall of Asia, and there was one more in the case...).

Fast forward to the end of the trip. I get home, open up the caseback, and there was a PIECE OF TAPE between the battery and the contact. A F*CKING PIECE OF TAPE!

Now, I would've expected this Mickey Mouse crap from the guy at Greenhills, but an AD? Listed as a Service Center on Seiko's website?

Weaksauce.

Long story short, I reset the info myself and all is well with the watch. I have since decided that the overall case size of te SLT009 is a little small for my tastes and so the watch has passed on to Mrs. Fliplock, where it complements her SKX013 very nicely.

Anyway, some closing thoughts:

1.) All of my concerns about personal safety were totally overblown. I could've walked all over the city with any watch I own and people probably wouldn't have given it a second glance. Blame that on guidebooks recommended to me by my parents, who apparently did not take the time to read them and warn me that they were a little too alarmist for balikbayans.

2.) 399's are hard to find. Not a 401 to be seen anywhere. And all of those cushion-cased 630x's on the 'Bay that come from the Philippines? They're in someone's bottom drawer, 'cause they sure aren't in the display cases.

3.) The AD in Glorietta SUCKS! They should be ashamed of themselves for perpetrating scams like that. And they would've gotten away with it if a non-WIS had brought that watch in.

4.) I still wanted a GMT for traveling, though, and recently found an SBCJ005 Pipin on the 'Bay. GMT, ISO rated, and Titanium to boot! The best of both worlds, although the hour and GMT hands on this one are about 15 minutes behind the minute hand. Is this a thing with 8f movements, or is it just me?
 
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