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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Before or after the review, be sure to checkout curiousMan's photo collection of this watch under the microscope.
Kenneth Cole Automatic KC3925 Photos by curiousMan | Photobucket
Keep in mind, almost anything will look rather ugly under this level of magnification, don't be dissuaded.

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Ok, where to begin. I, like presumably many others, became attracted to the look of a skeletonized mechanical watches. Generally one should expect to pay many hundreds for a decent grade skeleton watch, however I believe I've stumbled upon the best deal for one of these watches ever. In researching this, many people recommended to each other the SeaGull watches from china, the Armitron from wallgreens (or was it wallmart), and even the Stuhrling watches. The cheapest you can find a Seagull or Armitron for is around $130 at the time im writing this, with most Seagulls going for even more like $230. One of these other watches could have worked out, but for one I wasn't too into the their style and look. Also I read some comments that leads me to believe the low end Stuhrlings, aren't very reliable/durable. True or not, I found an even more affordable ($100) skeleton watch, the Kenneth Cole New York, KC3925.

Now one of the issues when looking for an affordable watch, is getting something decent, that's not produced in the cheapest of china's factories (Hangzhou, Shandong and Qingdao), or a low grade reject from a better factory. Being a fashion brand company, none of the Kenneth Cole websites, or press releases included information as to where their movement came from. This is where I stumbled upon an accidental or intended, lie. The watch came with a tag that specifically said it has a Japanese movement, which generally conjures up images of relatively decent quality and workmanship. Well in truth, the watches is pretty much entirely Chinese, but not cheap Chinese... I was able to visually identify the movement since the watch is just so open. If you look at this one vs the Seagull M182SK, you can notice that they have the same identical movement. As a side note, I contacted the Geneva Watch Group (producers of the watch), who at first also claimed it had a Japanese or Swiss movement (some of their watches apparently do), and later admitted they were wrong and I was right once I submitted some basic visual evidence.

So now I had this KCNY watch, with Chinese 21-Jewel Seagull movement. What does that mean for me (or you) the owner? Seagull, like many companies, decided to copy some of the technological advances of their competitors. This means, the watch is actually competitive on a technological level with other low cost mechanicals. The movement features the Seiko "Magic Fingers" bi-directional automatic winder (a metal weight in the back of the watch that winds the watch with wrist movements), it features the Miyota "Drive Train", which I believe is an advancement of the gears multiplication function to improve spring power reserve (approx 40 hr), making the watch more efficient. The watch can be optionally manually wound (when you first get the watch, give it 20-40 winds), and has whats called hacking, which is a function that stopped the seconds hand from moving while your setting the watch. Something to note about the hacking however, is that it hacks the third wheel and not the fourth. An expert hearing this, will immediately think less of the watch however, as hacking the third and not the fourth wheel does have some drawbacks. Namely, the seconds hand will jump forwards aprox 5 sec when pushing back in the crown or pulling it out IF and ONLY IF you don't let the balance wheel stop moving before pushing the crown back in. After you push the crown in, you should give it a few quick turns to get the balance wheel moving again. So long as you do that, its perfect. (hacking by the way comes from I believe WW1, because the military wanted to be able to set their clocks more exactly)

What else? Well the watch band is something a true watch expert would ask about as well. This bracelet style watch band is stainless steel (as is the rest of the watch), and features a dual button clasp. Its quite comfortable, and doesn't pull hairs despite having plenty on my arms. The only real draw back is that it does rattle a bit, and make some noise. The watch uses the standard band attachments, which does make it easy to replace if desired. The top and bottom of the watch are mineral crystal, which hasn't scratched on me after a few weeks of wearing consistently, although the bracelet definitely has scratches as one should expect. The watch also comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Normally I'm wary of limited warranties, however in my contact with Geneva Watch Group, I specifically asked if my watch stopped working in 10 to 20 years, would that be covered or not (since some would call that natural wear), and the gentleman responded that it would in fact be covered, and if necessary the watch replaced (considering the movement might not be available any more). Other parts of the watch, like the crystal, and the band, can be replaced at minor cost with sending it in. If you do get scratches on the mineral crystal, you'll need a .5 micron diamond polishing paste (about 5 bucks +shipping at amazon). Also ticking, this watch is almost entirely silent unless you put it up to your ear in a quiet room. I cannot stand wall clock ticking, so I found this to be a huge relief.

Summery:
Buy it! If your looking for an entry level mechanical watch, this is the one. For a beginning enthusiast, this watch is perfect because of the skeletonization but still readable dial (not always the case on these watches), the technological features, and the fact that it costs under $100 on Amazon and other web vendors (MSRP $170 so a great deal). Seagull, despite having what id call a poorly chosen company name, actually produces very high quality products and produces about 1/4 of all watches world wide now from what I read. Also as you can see in the pictures in the next post or two, the grade of the movement put in these watches is AAA. Also its important to note that these watches are not anywhere as exact as a quart watch. I found that while the watch didn't vary much at all (which is considered very very good), it WAS 25 sec fast to begin with. This watch as well as most mechanicals, can be adjusted by taking of the case back, and pushing a tiny lever. The finest I was able to get the watch with a dozen adjustments was 10sec fast, which really is plenty enough. Being 1 minute fast a week is actually very decent. That being said don't leave the case back open for any prolonged period of time, as dust will sneak in, and being such an open design is bound upset those who like things looking clean and perfect. I can see some dust (some from me, some from the manufacture) in my watch, and this is quite normal. Most watches are not so open, and thus most people would never notice some slight imperfections such as a few bits of dust deep in their watches bowels, but with this one you will. One last side note, the Kenneth Cole New York logo on the front of the watch is actually on a thin glass behind the dial, which makes it far less noticeable, and the watches hands cover it up at times during the day.

Addendum:
If your new to mechanical watch, and this is your first watch, and your going to open up the case to adjust the time rate, there is a method for removing the case back that I was told, and that works great! What you do is first open up the clasp by removing one of the spring pins (place pin in a safe place!), you make a duck tape ball (some duct tape is better then others as some leaves residue), and you push the ball into the caseback, and turn. The friction/glue from the duct tape will allow you unscrew the case back, and screw it back on. Just be careful screwing back on the case, as it will probably take a few tries to get it lined up just right. Thank you Skywatch for the tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
watchback.jpg

Above you can see how to adjust your watch. Most watches have a Plus and Minus symbol showing, but this watch doesn't. DO NOT MOVE THE LARGE LEVER only the small one, otherwise the beats will become uneven, and you'll end up posting in the help threads >.>
Also you can notice the specks of dust on the mini lever, which comes from the tooth pick I used. Don't use a metal object to move the lever, as the fine balance spring directly below the lever is sensitive to magnetism (although not as sensitive as older vintage mechnicals).

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That's a nice looking skeleton! It looks like a fun watch! It's hard to argue with the price. Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes the price, but also lifetime warranty!
It IS a fun watch, and quite fun to show off to others.
I still can't believe how often people ask me this, when I say it uses mechanical energy:
"you mean this doesn't have a battery?!"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In case anyone doubts this is the Seagull M182SK movement, check out this picture below compared to the stock one.
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Even the poor engraving is the same. The backs are the same too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sure you can find lots of ultra cheap watches on ebay for example, made from the ultra cheap factories. I remember reading about one guy who had a Winner watch. He did some sort of 5-10 foot jump and when he landed the basic g-forces had broken his watch so it stopped working. His view however was that at that price, he could just keep replacing it over and over. What I personally hate about a lot of the cheap Winner watches (besides the name) is that they often include a spot for a nonexistant sub dial, or a sub dial that doesn't work and is just for looks. Talk about cheap.

So are you looking for a throw away watch that isn't worth anything now, and wont be worth anything later, or are you looking for a quality product you can rely on, that comes with lifetime warranty, that has technological advantages, and that your kids or grand kids would love to see and have? The choice is yours!
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Just want to report in that I still have yet to see one scratch on the crystal. I'm starting to think that its actually hardened mineral crystal, which is even better. This company isn't that good at marketing apparently, but it's still an amazing product.
 

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I've got one of these that I wore daily for nearly 6 years. Was my first automatic watch. It's definitely well worn, chip in the crystal, lots of scratches on the bracelet, etc. It still keeps pretty good time, probably gaining 5-8 minutes a week when i quit wearing it back in the spring.

I've gotten the modding bug, and was curious if there are parts (dials, hands) available for the seagul movement? I'd love to keep this watch in usable shape given it was my first automatic, but i'd definitely want to change the dial and hands if i were to do so as my taste has changed significantly. forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask this question, i'm pretty new here.
 
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