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SOTC - 2023

635 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  orpheo
So... I've been trying to round out my collection. I have given up the notion of 'one of each' in lieu of 'one of what I like'. I discovered that what I like falls in three categories.

1) pilot-style watches (specifically, the B-Uhr style)
2) chronographs
3) haute horology/complications

I wish I could afford the real haute horology watches and grande complications, so I have had to find something as 'high' as possible within the budget. But, without further ado, the pics! I'll give you some overview photos first and then I'll give some closeups and background info.

Plant Flower Flowerpot Purple Houseplant

Plant Flowerpot Houseplant Textile Purple

Automotive tire Flowerpot Eyewear Shelf Pottery

Some folk have a watch box: I have a watch tower.

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Level 1. These are some of the most special watches I have. I'll go from left to right, top row first, then bottom row, so pay attention ;) I'll try 'n give some basic specs per watch.

*Zenith El Primero Stratos Flyback. I got this watch last year. I discovered that this is one of my favorites. It's got so much going for it. It's a 47mm behemoth, wears extremely comfortable and looks just kickass.
*Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec. Perhaps the fanciest of what I own. I love the stepped dials, the blue GMT hand, the unique chronograph layout. This watch is just amazing and I love it.My wife's favorite by the way. 43mm.
*Bell&Ross 126 Flyback GMT. It says it all in the title: it's a center minute chrono hand Flyback with a GMT. It's got all the **** I like, in a fairly classy 43mm package. It's an ETA movement with an DD module.
*Longines Admiral GMT Chronograph. This one I managed to snag for next to nothing. I got it so cheap it's almost an insult. Had to tidy up a tiny bit of brushing. It's got a 43mm case with a Valjoux 7754. Office GMT, for the purists, not a travel GMT.
*Ball Railroad Moonlight Special Limited Edition. Hurrah, another 43mm! But now with a triple date moonphase chrono, with tritium tubes! I always wanted a triple date moonphase chrono and now I have it.
* Sinn EZM10 Testaf. My watch-collecting journey has seen three phases: 2009-2011. 2013. 2020-current. This Sinn is what launched the third phase of collecting. It's what got me into the center chrono minute hand-thing, and cemented my love for pilot's designs. 44mm at its most narrow, 46mm at its widest (yes, the case is asymmetrical).
* Tutima M2. This watch is the Tutima-version of what Sinn has done with the EZM10 (or more specifically, the SZ01 movement). This is (was?) my favorite to wear on vacations, trips, holidays, etc. It's so robust and comfortable but butt-ugly imho. The case is 46mm wide and instead of a ticking chrono minute hand, this one slides. Was a bit different!
* Damasko DC82 Si. I wanted to complete the trio of German Center Minute Chrono's (based on the Lemania 5100), by getting the Tutima. The Damasko came first. This watch, however, is unique. It is the first (and as far as I know the only one) featuring a full silicon system on the inside. I've written about this one before. A very respectable 43mm!
* Omega Speedmaster HB Sia. This was my first forray into the chrono+GMT design, and it's got so many things I hate, until I strap it on. 44mm at its widest, but the bezel diameter is "just' 40mm so it wears a lot smaller than the specs might suggest.
* Citizen Limited Edition CC4015-86L. My wife gave me this watch as my engagement gift. I gave her a ring, I gave her a watch. It seems that this watch is truly limited, because when I tried to look for it again when a friend of mine wanted this one, I couldn't find a single one for sale. Aventurine dial, lightweight titanium, satellite GPS linking, eco-drive. I just need to add an extra link to the bracelet. I don't wear this watch enough I feel, but I also want to keep it nice and pretty. My wife isn't that fond of this one after almost two years. She prefers the Zenith and the Montblanc, by quite a margin. 43mm small.

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Second level! Left to right,top row to bottom row.
* Hamilton Railroad Chronograph. I got me a Tissot V8 Automatic Chrono, a 45mm behemoth, a while ago, and I loved that size so much! It cemented my liking for bigger than 45mm chronos, and even better, this one is 46.5mm! I got it secondhand and I polished the entire case and bracelet myself. This watch's lume is horrible, but keeps really good time. Loving it!
* Hamilton Converter Chrono. This 45.3mm tank has lume for days, wears like a tank, and has a silicon balance spring in a day/date version of the 7750. This piece is my poor man's Navitimer. Oh, and Hamilton says this movement is also chronometer certified. Really? OK. Fine by me!
* Hamilton Khaki Pilot. This is the second version of this watch I got in because the first one ran 5 minutes PER HOUR too fast! Returned it, and got another one. This version is the new version with Hamilton's H31 movement instead of the 2836. 46 millimeters, because that's the way I roll. The lume isn't super bright but lasts a whole night.
* Hamilton Pioneer Chronograph. This is a 42 millimeter baby-size automatic anti-magnetic chrono, with a vintage onion-style crown and pushers, coin edge bezel and cathedral hands. I. Love. This Watch, so much.
* TC9 Bronze chrono. This is my only bronze cased chronograph and I got it for dirt cheap. I wanted a cream or green dial bronze chrono, and this one, especially for the price, hit just right. It's got a Seagull movement, with a column wheel and blued screws. It keeps time well, it looks decent enough with its applied indices, but my wife hates the color combination.
* Laco B-Uhr 55mm replica. I always wanted this watch for as long as I know of B-Uhr watches. It's the version with the sterile dial, automatic movement and see-through caseback. Took me a while to find THIS model. There are more versions, with the smaller movement inside of it, but this one has the calibre A07.111, which is 36.6mm wide compared to the ETA2824's 25.6mm width, filling out the case a lot better. Honestly, I wear this watch perhaps one day a month and it's always too big but I love this piece so much.
* Laco B-uhr 45mm replica. Also an automatic. I got this watch in 2013 and man, I loved this watch. I wore it always, everywhere. But on September 4, 2020, the watch had an accident. I the crown got stuck behind the strap of my bag, and I told my ex 'don't pull! My watch is stuck!'. She didn't listen, and pulled so hard on my bag that a) the strap of the bag broke and b) the watch was pulled along, pummeling towards the ground. Now, it's a relic of time's past. I should have it fixed and it can be fixed. It can still run, but I'm choosing not to. The watch moved a bit when I was loading up this watch tower and that made the rotor move a little bit, causing the watch to start running again. I know it can work again, I just feel like I should let sleeping dogs lie?
* Tissot V8 Automatic Chrono. Normally this 45mm beast comes on leather but I managed to find an original Tissot bracelet that fits perfectly for less than 100 euro's. The watch itself was my 'Deal of the Year': 300 euro's. I don't think that I can think of a better deal, can I? MoonSwatch, eat your heart out. Same price, but this one is an automatic chrono, in steel. Byebye!
* Oris Prodiver Chrono. I have been eyeing this watch since 2018. Ironically enough, it was either this one, or a Damasko back then! I got this one after I got the Damasko DC82. I don't love this watch but my wife does. I hate the screw-down pushers and the sheer insanity of the rotating bezel, but it looks, unique, to say the least, so I'm keeping it. There are days when this watch just feels right. The 51 millimeter width is measured over the bezel, the case itself is "just" 47 millimeters. Runs on a Sellita SW500.
* Oris Prodiver Date. If the Prodiver Chrono is my wink to the Daytona (applied indices, lume, screwdown pushers, ceramic bezel), than this one is my take on the Submariner (ceramic insert, rotating bezel, lume and lots of it), but both in titanium, and in a normal size: 49 millimeters. OK, granted: the case is just 45: the bezel is just huge. That's why this watch wears so small (from my point of view anyway). Runs on a Sellita SW200. I have very fond memories of the days I wore this watch and I doubt I'll let go. Yes, that STUPID bezel frustrates me a lot, but I love the austere look of the Orises. I don't think they're ostentacious, even though they bloody friggin are! That dial, the applied polished indices, the polished and brushed parts of the case. Gosh, this is not a tool-watch anymore, this is a workhorse.

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Third level! Left to right, top to bottom.

*Citizen AV0020-55H Ecodrive. This is what I got at the end of my watch collecting spree in 2010. I had a Seiko Kinetic Chrono as well during that era, but its lume was abysmal. I needed to see the time in the dark for my work, and this watch was a homerun for me. I have worn this in the USA, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, Switzerland, Croatia, and god nows where else. It still runs great, even though the capacitor can't seem to hold the charge as well as it used to. I can still charge it completely, though, so I've got that going for me, which is nice? The watch is +- 45 millimeters and now you understand why I gravitate towards larger watches! Been wearing this for more than 10 years and this is what has helped shape the visuals/style and sizing I like.
*Seiko quartz chrono. Gosh, this one is old. It's 21 years old at this point, and I wore this from 2002 till I got the Citizen. This is my first watch. I used to destroy watches when I was younger, and I felt that I needed to get something that could last me years. So it did. I could try to swap the battery but honestly, I'll never wear it. Ever again. Why? No reason, other than it's 39mm, so it's tiny, I don't like the look, the silly faux rivets in the bezel annoy me, and it's just not my cuppa tea.
*Seiko 6309-8220. You can only see it in this photo on its side, but in the overview pic you can see it better. I dug this up from my dad's garbage box and then it hit us: this is the watch that his father gave him when he was 18! It doesn't have a bracelet or strap, it doesn't run, but I can hear the rotor spin, and most importantly: it lacks a crown and crown stem. I fear knowing its repair cost, and I think that one day I will have it repaired. But that day is not today.
*Sportivnie watch. I got this one in my first purchasing spree, around 2009. This one is just 32mm, it's a handwinder and I rarely wear it anymore. Why? No reason. The strap is not original, of course. I have polished the plexi crystal myself because it was all scratched up. The case appears to be a chrome-plated brass case because I can see the plating wearing off in certain spots. I don't think that's out of the ordinary for the time period?
*Sisu Bravado A1. This is the big one. 55 millimeters, all steel, with a full steel bracelet and a milled clasp. This watch weighs... ONE POUND. Literally. And then the funny thing is that it sports an ETA 2824 movement! It's like a huge T-Rex, with tiny hands, or a huge American chopper with a 30 bhp engine. Just funny. I wore this watch a lot after I got it in during my second phase of collecting. I couldn't find or afford the Laco 55mm, so I got this instead. The super-short lugs help make this watch wear... fine. The lug to lug is just 52 millimeters, shorter than the Zenith which is 54 millimeters! The only reason this watch is no longer in rotation is because the crown is broken. The threaded part on this watch is totally stripped and I think that's an issue of this brand in general because I got this one as a (free) replacement because the first version I got, also had its threads strip.

That's all folks :)
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Nice. It's great you know what you like. You don't need one of every type.
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