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About Lancman

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    17 Jewel
  1. New arrival – from the stone age.

    It's an addiction, I tell you. Still, I can think of a lot worse things to be addicted to.
  2. New arrival – from the stone age.

    You can use your UK account. I have bought stuff from three different Amazon sites without a problem. Sometimes the item ends up being sent from Amazon UK anyway.
  3. New arrival – from the stone age.

    Thanks, see my reply to Canon Man above.
  4. New arrival – from the stone age.

    There certainly are some bargains to be had on Amazon but you have to get lucky and be looking in the right place at the right time. Prices go up and down faster than you can blink sometimes.
  5. New arrival – from the stone age.

    Thanks, it's my own concoction which I call SuperLancmanova. Basically just some luminous powder from ebay mixed with acrylic varnish.
  6. My latest acquisition, from Amazon Italy. To give the watch its full title, it’s a Swiss Military Hanowa Challenge Black Carbon 6-4309.17.003. Phew! Despite Amazon and several other retailers claiming that the case is made from stainless steel, the name Black Carbon does actually give a hint to the fact that it is made from carbon composite. Actually, Black Carbon is a strange name choice since the only part of the watch that is truly black is the crown. The case is more dark grey and even that is mixed with areas of light grey to create an unusual marbling effect. The end result is that the case and bezel look like they have been carved from grey marble or slate (hence the title). A bit different (which I like) but very difficult to photograph (which I don’t). In these photos the surface looks quite rough, whereas in fact it isn't. The finish is matt rather than polished, but is perfectly smooth to the touch. The strap is silicone rubber with a canvas insert, with the ends shaped to match the contours of the case. Nice and comfortable, but only one keeper for some strange reason. This hasn't proved an issue so far, but we shall see. The use of carbon has kept the weight down to 75g, but it’s nowhere near as light as a Luminox (also carbon), probably because of the rather chunky stainless case back. Bezel is 60 click unidirectional with a nice positive action and good grip, but there is a bit of slop. Dial is a dark blue-grey colour and the numbers are applied rather than just printed. Movement is the ubiquitous Ronda 515 quartz. Crystal is plain old mineral glass. Lume is OK, it’s there and it lasts all night but it isn't particularly bright, especially the hour markers. Naturally I couldn't resist adding lume to that bezel, but that has just emphasized the slightly lacklustre lume on the dial and hands, so I will probably have to re-lume those as well now. Doh! Overall I'm pretty pleased with it. Not perfect and not everyones cup of tea I'm sure, but it's a bit different without going OTT and I like that. Given the specs it's certainly not good value at the RRP of around £230 (no surprise there), but at £40 delivered I think I got a good deal.
  7. Saturday watch parade

    I took advantage of the recent Ebay 20% off promotion to try my first watch with a meca-quartz movement (Seiko VK67) and I'm liking it a lot. Surprisingly nice watch all round as well. Only niggle is that central chrono seconds hand - it's a hair off true vertical.
  8. Home-Build MK2 Finished

    Very nice job sir! I've done a few watch mods and always fancied doing one from scratch. This has inspired me to investigate further. Would you mind sharing where you got the various components from?
  9. Just Pick a Cheapy

    Oh dear, where to begin. It's been a busy year on the cheapy front for me, mostly to feed my growing addiction to tinkering and re-luming. Do I really have to choose just one? As the £1 Eaglemoss watches have already been mentioned, I'll go with the 57p Gearbest Special with it's DIY printed dial as the cheapest: However, I'm not too confident about it's long term viability, so perhaps I should go with this £7 chronograph instead, much better build quality; On the other hand, that nifty Naviforce really comes into it's own after dark... ...and I couldn't possibly forget the mighty Munsters... Then again, there's always......too many more to mention, so I'd better stop there. Sorry, can't choose just one, you'll have to pick it yourself.
  10. Wearing my latest arrival again today. It's got to be my favorite, hasn't it? I mean, who knew I had my own watch brand.
  11. I first came across Lancaster watches 2-3 years ago and I freely admit that they caught my eye purely because of the name. My family name is Lancaster and I thought it would be cool to have at least one watch in my collection with my name on it. Lancaster is an Italian brand with very limited availability in the UK and at the time they were almost impossible to obtain locally, were rather expensive and the designs were far too ‘Italian’ (i.e. ) for my conservative tastes, so I gave up on the idea. Fast forward to last week, when I stumbled across them again whilst browsing the net. This time round they had introduced some new models with more conventional styling, the prices had come down considerably and they were available from Amazon. Bit of a no-brainer then. Whilst waiting for delivery I wanted to research the brand further, but soon discovered that our very own Honour had (not surprisingly) already been there, done that and written a very informative article about them HERE. So it arrived yesterday... Nothing special about the packaging, but decent enough; cardboard box/outer sleeve and a faux leather pillow. There was a warranty card but no instructions. It's an Apollo series model with a 38mm dia. case and a Miyota quartz chronograph movement. They do a larger 44mm version but this size suits my skinny wrists better. The case appears to be well made from brushed steel with beveled and polished corners, which is a nice touch. At only 100m water resistance I wasn't expecting a screw down crown, so it was a pleasant surprise to find that it is. I also like the hexagonal shape and the engraved Logo on the end. Note also that the leather strap is custom made and shaped to fit the contours of the watch. The only downside to this is that the watch won't lay flat on it's back and has to be laid down on it's side. Speaking of the back, it's screw-down and nicely engraved as well. This is where I met my first disappointment; note the scratch on the bottom left lug. This was clearly made by a case opening tool, either when the watch was assembled, or by someone opening the back after manufacture. Not good either way. Inside is a Miyota FS20 movement which is a 1 hour chronograph with running seconds on the 6 o'clock subdial and central chrono seconds. I really like the dial, it's nicely made and the subdials are discrete but still easy enough to read. The crystal is mineral glass and slightly convex. This has one serious drawback as it catches every reflection and you have to keep moving the watch about to get a clear view of the face. It also makes it bl**dy difficult to get a decent photograph. Why do some makers fit convex crystals? Do they have any advantages over flat ones? The hands and hour markers are lumed. It just about lasts all night, but it is rather weak. This is another pet peeve of mine - if you are going to apply lume, why use something mediocre that is only going to disappoint? It's not like decent luminous compounds aren't cheaply and readily available. I would post a comparison photo with a cheap watch I re-lumed myself, but Imgur has just gone down and is not accepting uploads. So there it is, a nice watch, but far from perfect and had I paid the current asking price of £160+ it would have gone straight back. As it is, I only paid a fraction of that (pricing error maybe) so on balance I still think I got a bargain and it will probably be a keeper. I just hope nothing goes wrong with it because the lack of a UK service centre means it would have to be sent back to Italy at my expense.
  12. A Search for Identity: Lancaster Watches

    I realize I'm a bit late to the party, but many thanks for another interesting article. I have only just discovered it having recently acquired a Lancaster watch from Amazon. Overall quite pleased with it and will do a mini review shortly.
  13. Whatever happened to.........

    I think the reason you can't find them for sale any more is because they were discontinued by Bulova. That's why Argos were selling off remaining stocks at a knockdown price. Still have mine and still loving that smoooth seconds hand!
  14. Heads up - Cheapest watch ever?

    I was going to use photo paper but the only stuff I had to hand was quite thick and I thought I might run into clearance issues with the hands. I tried printing on ordinary 80gsm copier paper with a colour laser and the result looked good enough for a trial run. I was inspired by an interesting article about DIY watch dials I found HERE. That's also where I found the image. I envy your ability to use Coreldraw to design your own dials. I tried to master a similar program once, but found the learning curve too steep for me. I guess it helps if you are using it on a daily basis rather than once in a blue moon.
  15. Heads up - Cheapest watch ever?

    Well the deal is back on at Gearbest, this time for the blue one (you have to scroll down the page a bit). In the meantime, yes I did get fed up with looking at the fake sub-dials, and yes I did have at it with some nail varnish remover. Not surprisingly, it wasn't just the sub-dials that came off but everything else as well, so I was left with a blank aluminium dial. However, I decided to see this as an opportunity rather than a setback, so I scoured the 'net for a suitable replacement dial image, downloaded it, re-sized and sterilized it, then printed it off and stuck it to the dial. This is the result: Though it doesn't show up in the photo, it's dark blue in the center, fading to black at the rim and actually looks quite nice. I also discovered that the crystal has a slight brown tint to it for some reason, so at certain angles the face takes on a slightly antique look, which is cool. Only time will tell how long it lasts before the colour starts to fade, but then I can always just print off another one. Only problem is, this has now got me thinking about all sorts of other possibilities...... The colour fade shows up a bit better in this shot:

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