It’s more upscale than my DI-500, with mechanical 9015 movement, included bracelet & strap, ceramic bezel and much fancier dial. For all of that, the price is incredible.
They have black, dark blue, bright blue, orange, yellow and white dial versions, all with attention to contrast and legibility. For example, the white dial version has black-edged hands and markers – nice!
The bright blue is called ‘Hydra Hat’ after a piece of dive equipment, and it’s lovely. And tempting. The black dial is the only one sporting a few color highlights, which is the only complaint I can muster.
I think the other colors would also have benefited from a bit of color pop here and there. Ahh well.
Nice saturated orange.
Me? I just ordered the white dial. I think it’ll be versatile, legible and a delight to own, and Scurfa seem to hold value very well in case the 41mm / 165g is too large or heavy for me.
By way of comparison, I’ve been debating the new Seiko SNE569:
38mm, sapphire, solar quartz movement, unknown bezel (aluminum or possibly plastic, definitely not ceramic.) MSRP is around 550USD, with eBay price of $450. The bracelet has folded end links, and that plus the cheaper bezel are my main annoyances. Great watch, so-so value.
Scurfa – the watches and the values both continue to impress me. Can’t wait for mine to get here!
This is a watch that probably has a small audience – it’s quartz, with asymmetric day/date, which most WIS find less appealing. It’s got a bit of the high-legibility look of the ‘old man retirement watch’ e.g. Timex Easy Reader:
Secondly, I actually like day/date and like how this looks on the dial. Seiko managed to just not clip the ornate ‘3’. Lovely!
Also, I like solar powered quartz. Accurate, eco friendly, it’ll have the correct time if left idle for a week or a month. Lastly, I love 38 by 9.5mm size. Super wearable.
This is arguable, but I think it’s also a Seiko version on the Tank Must SolarBeat, where Cartier carefully hid the photovoltaics inside the Roman numerals:
The bad news – as plus9time explains, this watch bears no Seiko reference number and isn’t shown on their site:
These models are produced for customers directly and are not for sale via the Seiko websites. The models have Seiko branding on the dial and case back and sometimes have Seiko style model numbers, but some models may not publicise the model number or provide the company’s own model number. Often these models are produced as a limited edition with a set number of units and other times retailers may offer the unit for presale and then once a number of orders have been received the model will then be ordered from Seiko and produced to match the demand.
In this case, the vendor is ‘Japanese shopping club LightUp.’ The collaboration is to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the product page is here. (In Japanese, though Chrome does OK translating it.)
You can only get this watch in Japan. LightUp only delivers to Japan. What’s more, since Seiko won’t sell it to you, I don’t know if stalwarts like Seiya or Higuchi can get it for you either.
I begged a favor from family and they came through – the person living there will order and cross-ship it to me here. I hope it’ll be worth the expense (~$480) and hassle. Something about that dial and font, man, I couldn’t resist. Leave a comment if you order one and let people know how you did it!
The family wasn’t able, as LightUp was apparently difficult to order from. Seiya was happy to buy and ship one:
Hello from Tokyo,
Thank you for your inquiry.
This model is sold at limited stores so I would purchase it at the below shop if the estimate is acceptable.
45,000 Yen -Seiko Solar 783 Yen -- Domestic shipping fee 3000 Yen-- Shipping fee 3600 My commission 8% 1833 Yen -- PayPal commission 3.5%
54216 << Yen US$491
I’ve had it a few weeks now and will try and post about it. It’s as hoped – low key, super wearable and I really enjoy wearing it.
I like restraint in watch design – clarity, legibility, smaller cases that wear more comfortably. I also value accurate timekeeping. There have been some recent releases that hit that intersection nicely, so why not share in case others are interested?
Seems to be selling for about $1800 with availability in September 2021. At nearly 2k, that’s edging into Grand Seiko quartz prices; quite a big step up from the more mature models with radio control. For example, the Seiko SBTM313:
or the SBTM305, with a dial closer to that of the Astron:
Solar powered, similar in size and style, but radio set (5 band) versus GPS. Sakura has them for just under $450. 1/4th the price!
From the competition, Citizen has multiple offerings. I like the Attesa line, in particular the CB1120s:
That’s the reference CB1120-50F, a 37mm titanium beauty, also available with baton markers and/or white dial for about $450.
That’s the AT6070-57L. Nice, and I like the day-date for everyday. Maybe 600$.
I bought the CB1120-50F above and have had it about six months; it’s stellar. Best radio reception I’ve ever seen, beautifully made and just a wonderful, zero-attention watch. It’s easy to recommend. The SBTM series is a pretty direct competitor and I find the green-dial 313 rather attractive.
At 500 bucks, you’re talking expensive quartz, with competition rampant including the Apple Watch. The 2k for the Astron is mighty hard to swallow, given the super niche differences in usefulness – the difference is being able to get time sync in places without radio reception. Australia/NZ, polar areas, South America. If you live there, probably worth it. If you live in Europe, North America, UK or Japan, why bother? Radio sync, in my experience with maybe 15 watches, gets you within 0.5 seconds and sometimes closer – as mentioned the Attesa is best-ever and dead synced to NTP, radio and GPS references.
I should also note that the CB1120s have non-standard lugs, meaning you’re basically stuck with the bracelet, which is usually a thing I consider a deal breaker; in this case I loved the watch so much I bought one anyway.
On an unrelated note, I wrote this post on my iPad, not too bad as an authoring experience so I should be able to post more often.
Watchsmith is an application that seeks to give you complete control over the appearance and utility of your Apple Watch.
First, it provides a wide array of complications. Each of these is completely customizable, with controls for things like font, color, hand type and location1. The initial set is just over 50 unique complications, with dozens more planned down the road. My goal is to provide a complication for just about every use and let you make it look just how you want. In the absence of 3rd-party watch faces, this is the closest I can get to making my own watch faces.
Insta-download. Yeah, I got a v5 Apple Watch a week or so ago and wow how they gotten better since the launch version I bought when they first came out. Anyway, Watchsmith looks quite clever and promising, and its free to try out.
I used to covet the Omega Planet Ocean, in the orange-accent model:
The Omega, ref 184.108.40.206.01.001, is $6,450 USD. It’s lovely. This Christophe Ward, ref C60-42ADD3-T0BB0-B0, is $1,680. It has a lot to recommend it, but lets start with pictures. All of these are from their press release.
Looks good on a bracelet, doesn’t it?
Up close, the applied markers and three-dimensional hands look beautiful. This thing looks, in a word, luxurious.
I’ve owned CW’s (three maybe?) so as expected the lume is first rate.
Yep. I want one.
So, now that we’ve blitzed the pictures, some information for the rational part of your brain:
42mm diameter, 15.4mm thick, 49.3mm lug to lug. 22mm lugs.
77g in weight for just the watch, 133g on full 21cm bracelet
Grade 2 titanium case and bracelet
Water resistant to 1000m (exceptional for a watch with a display casebook)
Zirconia ceramic bezel
SuperLumiNova X1 GL C1
Anti-reflective-coated sapphire crystal
Sandblasted and polished hands
The movement is the Sellita SW220, a close copy of the ETA 2836 day-date:
38 hour power reserve
COSC chronometer certified, -4/+6 seconds per day.
Hacking and handwinding
There are versions in black too if the orange is too bold for ya:
CW has done several iterations of their logo and its placement, which is of no interest to me. The hands are their most recent and I’m more fond of the minute than the hour. Legible day and night.
At 42mm by 49mm, its Pelagos sized and a lot less expensive. The bracelet even has an on-wrist length adjustment, like the Pelagos.
I’m liking it. I’m talking to Christopher Ward to see if I can review and maybe buy one.
Way back in 2012 (or was it 2011?) I exchanged a few emails with Leo Padron about starting his own watch company. At the time, he was restoring vintage watches and had the urge to start his own brand. He’d found my “Design and make your own watch” page and I wrote a blog post about him as well (lost due to Confluence’s shitty export code).
This month, he emailed me with an interesting update. He’s at Drop now and designed a field watch, the Felix.
Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel with bead blasted finish
Crown: Screw-down crown located at 16H.
Crystal: Double Dome Sapphire Crystal with Antireflective coating Movement: Sellita SW-200 Automatic Movement 26 Jewels 28,800 BPH 39 Hour Power Reserve Hack lever Made in Switzerland
Band: 20mm brown leather band (with add-on canvas band)
Warranty: 2 Year International Warranty
MSRP: $349 ($299 preorder)
That’s a decent MSRP, and very good to excellent IMHO at the $300 preorder price. I quite like the rounded shape for comfort, and at 39mm this should wear like a dream. It’s got enough design in it to not be boring or me-too as well. Good lume, well sized hands, and a delightful ring of color on the offset crown too.
On the minus side, I’ve never been a fan of the 13 to 24 numbering on a dial, though that’s a pretty small complaint.