I’ve always had an interest in gadgets, GPS, PDA, phones, you know, those small little electronic wonders. When it comes to electronic watches, I had my eyes on Casio’s Protek series for quite some time (they come with compass, temperature/barometer, and altimeter.) However, since I am cursed with a small wrist, wearing a Protek is akin to a 10 year old riding on Harley, it just wouldn’t work.
The G-Shock series, on the other hand, were just nice in size as well as durability, but a little lacking in electronic wizardry. I had a G-Shock more than 10 years ago and loved it, but now I am looking for something that can do more.
Then came the Riseman G-9200, the G-Shock that incorporate twin sensors, with the ability for temperature/barometer as well as altimeter measurements. The little gadget also runs on solar power, protected with 200M water resistance, packed electro-luminescent backlight, world time, countdown timer, stop watch, shock resistance. However, it doesn’t cook dinner for you.
I knew I was going to buy it the moment I read about it on the forums. I waited patiently until the international version is released (Japan version is GW-9200 with waveceptor) and called my regular watch shop. Collected this gem a couple of weeks ago and now I have my 2nd G-Shock (I messed up the first one after trying to change the lume battery myself.)
I am still struggling to remember how to operate all the functions, loving the altimeter as it even allows me to record and track my ascent to my KLCC office. The temperature function is pretty neat, and I can even “predict” weather (somewhat dubious accuracy) with the barometer. One other nifty feature is the auto EL function where I can set the back light to lit up whenever it is dark and the watch is tilted to my head.
Visually, I also like the bat-mobile look alike styling, very tough and purposeful. The case back has a little dragon engraved, symbolizing it’s oriental origin.
Nice right? Now my trusted Orange Monster and Nighthawk will be getting a little less wrist time to make way for the Riseman
Instead of being indulged in buying plenty of new cloths, shoes, and *ahem, handbags to greet Chinese New Year, I have decided to get myself something that lasts a bit longer: my very first automatic watch, the Seiko SKX781, affectionately dubbed the Orange Monster.
For the uninitiated, automatic watches do not run on battery. Instead, they harness the kinetic energy from the wearer’s movements to wind a spring that powers the watch. There is no battery and no electronic parts, this thing will practically survive a nuclear war. To some, only an automatic is considered a real watch, others are electronic gadgets that keeps time.
wine tasting session
I’ve always dread changing watch batteries (I have 3 watches that needs new battery as of now), the previous watch I bought was the beautiful and more civilized Citizen Nighthawk with Eco-Drive, a solar-powered contraption that still needs a battery that never needs to be changed. From full power, the Orange Monster will lasts about 42 hours without wearing before it stops, the Citizen, on the other hand, have a 6 month power reserve.
Orange Monster spotted in the wild
The Orange Monster is a dive watch and thus rated at 200M water resistance. It has beautiful bezel that clicks in a very sure and purposeful way to the counter clockwise direction. The screw-on crown is positioned at 4 o’clock to minimize hindrance to wrist movement especially while diving. I got the watch with bracelet instead of rubber strap as it matches the watch very well with the half matte and half polished finishing. The bracelet even has a quick extension for wearing over wet suit.
One of the most important thing about a dive watch is it’s visibility underwater. Doxa was the company that did a research and found that an orange dial serves best in this condition, and this watch uses the bright orange dial for the same purpose. The Orange Monster also spots one of the brightest lume of anything that I came across. It simply screams at you in darkness.
Orange Monster’s beautiful and very bright lume
For those who are interested, there is a very lengthy and excellent review on the movement of this watch at thePurists where this watch is dissembled and every minute detail explained. The 7s26 movement used in this watch includes day and date function that comes handy for people like me who sometimes tend to forget what day it is. The second hand moves at about 4 beats per second, I like the smoothness of an automatic over the 1 jump per second for digital watches when it comes to the motion.
The Orange Monster is a lot of watch for the price, a great value and certainly something I will keep for many years to come. It’s my first “Real” watch after all. 😀
My flickr Orange Monster set has a few more pictures on this baby.