Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Feedback

  • Country

    United Kingdom

Always"watching" last won the day on September 15 2016

Always"watching" had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

2,130 Awesome


About Always"watching"

  • Rank
  • Birthday 01/01/55

Profile Information

  • Location
    Newhaven in Sussex
  • Interests
    I have many interests, but being disabled, I follow them from home or from not more than three or four miles away. I have many interests ranging from watches (of course) to many other forms of antique and art.

Recent Profile Visitors

5,793 profile views
  1. The other day, I tested a couple of lumed watches from my collection - a Seiko (Daini) 5 Actus and dive-style Timex - both from about the late 1960s, believing that they would probably have radioluminescent lume. Neither watch bears the markers on the dial for either promethium or titanium lume, and the Seiko watch has the letter, R, placed as a suffix to the model number at the bottom of the dial, which I thought would relate to radium. I also suspected that the Timex model might be using radium-based lume, partly because it's date of manufacture could be further back into the early 1960s. In both cases, exposure to light produced a vivid green luminescence when the watch was placed in darkness, but also in both cases, this brightness soon faded to nothing. I realised that both of these watches were almost certainly using non-ionising lume, powered only by light, and this set me thinking. In the case of the Seiko Actus, I have discovered that the company did use the suffix "R AD" on the dial after the model number, whereas my watch merely hasd, R. In general, when the history of lume on watches is provided, photoluminescent lume is only discussed as it relates to modern products such as Super-Luminova that give a decent long-lasting luminescence without recourse to ionising radiation. In fact, the history of photoluminescent phosphor-based lume goes back a long way - with Albert and Bob Schwitzer being major pioneers in the mid-1930s, producing the first fluorescent photoluminescent paint which they marketed as Day-Glo. I do not propose to give a history or chemistry lesson here about photoluminescent lume, but I am beginning to wonder just how many old watches are thought of as being radioluminescent when they were/are perfectly safe and without any worrying radioactive material in the composition of the lume. The use of radium in lume first dates to about 1910 and continued until some time after World War Two, as we know. It has been stated that Seiko stopped using radium immediately post-War, but this appears to be overly optimistic, and Seiko models with the "R AD" mark are known dating to the 1960s. This whole question interests me greatly as I have researched and written about the history of watch lume in the past. I would appreciate any enlightenment from members who have more information about the use of photoluminescent lume on older watches, and a more definitive timeline for the use of different varieties of lume by SEIKO would also be interesting. This is my version of the Seiko Actus - model 7010-8019R printed at the bottom of the dial and with lumed hands and tiny lume dots at back of hour markers (pic from i.ebayimg.com):
  2. Orient watches

    Toddy is not wrong... Orient is one of those somewhat hidden gems, hiding behind the huge presence of Seiko, and the watches are well priced and well made.
  3. Battle of the Crocs: Lacoste, and its Watches

    I agree with you dear niveketak about the lack of details provided about the calibers of movements used in Lacoste watches. This was not an ommission by myself but a general lack of info online.
  4. Battle of the Crocs: Lacoste, and its Watches

    Topic finally submitted: 15 August 2017 I do apologise to members for having to put up with the "hide and reveal" process while this topic was under construction. I have to say that although I am quite pleased with the final version as submitted, I can tell you that the constant writing, editing, adding to and revision of this very difficult topic drove me to distraction and almost led me to think about whether it is all worth while. Fortunately, all the generous feedback I have received for previous work keeps me going when the research and writing gets hard.
  5. Which one to go for

    In my mind, before taking a look at these two models, I had hoped that the Longines would be rather different and rather more beautiful than the Seiko. However, as it is, I am not sure which I like best, but given an even choice between the two, I would take the "outsiders" choice and go for the Longines.
  6. No Italian Count: PierCarlo d'Alessio

    Just finished editing this topic for your delectation, so added this quick post to place it in "just finished" Forum mode. Hope you enjoyed it.
  7. In the world of those watch brands that seemingly have no traceable origins, or company behind their production, one with a particularly fancy name has to be, PierCarlo d'Alessio. Apparently, there are products other than watches bearing the name, but watches seem to be the most frequently encountered. The name conjures up an image of some Italian aristocrat - perhaps a sword swishing aristocratic hero from 19th century romantic fiction, and indeed, the watches are usually branded not only with the name but also a suitably elaborate coat of arms. Unfortunately for us, the watches branded PierCarlo d'Alessio come from further East than Continental Europe - far further in fact - as they appear to be Chinese in origin. Most of the branded PierCarlo d'Alessio watches are quartz and they include simple timepieces as well as chronographs. There is at least one mechanical model still just about available, and the model still shown online has a Chinese automatic movement and features a two register calendar plus a day/night indicator. It would be convenient if we could label all the PierCarlo d'Alessio watches as being cheap Chinese rubbish but that would be a trifle unfair. The chronograph I myself purchased for just over a fiver, almost new, is admittedly not the greatest watch I have ever seen, but then it was retailed by Readers' Digest as a sort of promotional item, and was not intended to be an expensive item. My confidence in the watch did take a knock though when the stem of the crown pulled out of the watch, but then the watch is pre-owned so I don't know how the previous owner treated it. The format of the movement in my chronograph is of a type associated with the Japanese, and it has the usual three registers (seconds, minutes and 24 hours) plus date window at 4 o'clock. The crystal is mineral glass, the stated WR is 30 metres, and the strap is leather. In fact, the strap is one of the nicer elements of the watch, with attractive stitching and a quality feel. Unfortunately, the case really lets the side down because it is made of a type of plated metal that looks and somehow feels cheap. This is my own model by PierCarlo d'Alessio with 40mm case, not including crown (pic from thumbs.worthpoint.com): Although my own chronograph isn't up to all that much much, and is evidently made very much down to a price, two PierCarlod'Alessio chronographs are still available that are somewhat better. One of them is a substantial watch with the same basic specifications as my own but with a more interesting dial and bezel, as well as a higher spec Japanese quartz chronograph movement by SIIO. This watch also has a rotating bezel and domed mineral glass crystal although, given that the bezel has the brand name stamped into it, I can't imagine why one would want it to rotate. A white dial version of this watch was also made. Chunky PierCarlo d'Alessio chronograph mentioned above with Japanese SIIO movement measuring down to a tenth of a second (pic from images.bidorbuy.co.za): Pic from cesuridomana.ro): The second quartz chronograph of note is my favourite by far, and is square with a stainless steel case. The movement is probably Japanese, and is clearly the same as in my own PierCarlo d'Alessio chronograph, with a chronograph measuring down to 1 second and having a 24 hour register. The case size is 35mm, which for me would be ideal, though others might find that a bit small. The strap is black leather. Rather nice stainless steel cased quartz chronograph by PierCarlo d'Alessio with one-second three register chronograph and date feature - the movement probably Japanese and similar to that in my own chronograph (pics from ebayimages.rswhost.com): Finally, we go back to the mechanical model, with its calendar dial and pseudo moonphase indicator. I presume that the movement is a cheap generic Chinese example, and it may prove to be more a hand-wind model than truly automatic. it is quite thick in profile and has a stainless steel buckle and leather strap. There is some evidence that this watch has a stainless steel case, but I cannot be absolutely sure. What I can say is that I have found this watch still available new or NOS online for about a tenner and I must admit that I was tempted to get one. However, because I cannot be sure of the specs with regard to the case, and with the added costs of delivery, I have resisted. Automatic PierCarlo d'Alessio watch mentioned in the text (pics from cesuridomana.ro): I have no idea as yet who is responsible for the PierCarlo d'Alessio brand and I am not actually certain that the brand is still operational. The watches still available are usually pre-owned and do seem to date from some time ago as models, and it may be that the period around 2005-2010 was the high point of PierCarlo d'Alessio watches. If anyone knows better, I would be interested to know more. I am not going to recommend PierCarlo d'Alessio watches to members of the Watch Forum as either collectibles or wearers. These watches are clearly in the "no name" category and were probably grossly overpriced by some retailers when they were launched. Essentially, they now enter my Chinese Cheapy category but with the caveat that not all the PierCarlo d'Alessio watches are cheap and nasty. For me though, a huge problem is the invisibility of who made or produced these watches, with no company showing some responsibility for the product, and I would never be able buy a new PierCarlo d'Alessio watch for a decent sum of money feeling any sort of confidence that this had been a genuinely worthwhile purchase. It would have to be a collector's punt on a cheap watch, pre-owned or NOS, largely to see just how it had been put together. And that is, in my view, rather a sad reflection... PierCarlo d'Alessio quartz watch with 34mm case and more simple branding on the dial (pic from images.okr.ro);
  8. Looking for a Blumo any help on where

    It's getting pretty mad out there in Seiko world, but what a lovely watch that is, Mr Levity. I love those simple steel Seikos.
  9. The last one in.

    Thanks for the information about changing date guys. I think it is so easy to go ahead and change the date on an old watch, only to find that one has damaged the date mechanism or movement. If only we had a table showing what watches have what date setting systems...
  10. The last one in.

    Interesting Poljot Rob, aesthetically speaking, and very distinctive. The cone shaped buttons and the heavy wide plain gold bezel are difficult to love although the dial is more conventional in approach. I must admit that of the two watches, the Seagull is a thing of beauty. Nevertheless, I do rather like the boldness of the Poljot, as it makes its own direct statement of style.
  11. Miyota 9015/90S5: opinions.

    Mixed messages as far as I can make out when these movements are compared with Swiss equivalents. It does seem though that there is nothing basically problematic with either the 90S5 or the 9015, and now, in 2017, we should begin to find out how well these two Japanese movements have fared in long-term use.
  12. Looking for a Blumo any help on where

    I must be getting older than I thought. What is a "Blumo" and what is a "sarb"?
  13. Pics please. Thomas Russell is a good company to have a watch by, so don't get rid of your heirloom without a fight. The "Breguet balance" you mention refers more specifically to the type of hairspring used in the balance, and the Breguet hairspring is also referred to as an overcoil spring, the reason being that instead of the spring being at the same level across its surface, from centre to outermost coil, the final coil is actually upraised and reduced in curvature, producing a high degree of accuracy. The original overcoil idea by Breguet was, and still is, being reworked and modernized, as shown by the 2010 US patent drawing below, where the spring is made of silicon. Most early springs were made of tempered and blued steel, while most modern Breguet hairsprings are made from Nivarox. US patent drawing of Breguet Overcoil balance spring. This patent, from 2010, is for a silicon spring (pic from patentimages.storage.googleapis.com): When it comes to repairing the balance of your Russell pocket watch, the problem is that these springs cannot generally be had to order, and finding a suitable example, taken from another old watch, will be difficult. With regard to previous attempts to clean and get your watch working using oil, I do know that movements can sometimes be ruined by such cack-handed methods. However, at least pocket watches have more generously sized movements than most wristwatches, so perhaps being less prone to ruination, and hopefully, your watch can be salvaged and turned into a "wearer."
  14. Sportsman and similar

    Dear Dave - and may I congratulate you on your user name - welcome to the Forum. I have been looking at the models or model ranges that you mention, and I would suggest that these watches - not always branded with the model names you mention - are all aesthetically related and fall into a category that I would call "collectors' staples." This basic style of Seiko mechanical watch is certainly well-represented in Britain and, I suspect, all other Seiko export markets. The watches are decent quality, date to the early and mid-1960s, and represent the beginnings of effective competition from Japan against the then dominant Swiss watch industry. Today, they tend to be an inexpensive way into collecting vintage mechanical watches, and they are often still in working order, whether as hand-wind or mechanical models.
  15. Biggy new in

    Thanks for that link, dear niveketak, Not many details given by Amazon but judging by when it first appeared on Amazon, it is a relatively new model.