Alba AL-4005X "Manta Ray" Diver’s 200m review

AL4005_resize

Watch History

  • Date acquired: Apr 2nd 2007
  • Production Date: Sep 2005
  • Source: A small quaint watch store in Penang
  • Price paid: MYR280 (USD85)
  • Status: In production

Background

It’s a diver’s watch. It’s big. It’s blue. It’s very affordable.

It’s a very interesting offering from Alba, Seiko’s sub-company specializing in lower end quartz and automatic timepieces at down-to-earth prices.

What is it? It’s the Alba AL-4005X and when I first saw it at my watchmaker’s store back in 2005, I was intrigued by Alba’s surprising foray into dive watches based on Seiko’s highly successful entry level, 7s26 caliber.


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Originally posted 2008-04-05 17:29:14.

The little known Seiko 7s26-0020 200m diver

7s26-0020-7 (WinCE)

A couple of years ago, someone proudly posted his proud acquisition on SCWF – a strange looking 7s26-0020 diver’s watch that none of the forum members had ever seen. Nobody was able to identify the odd model from Seiko and a few suggested that it may be a fake Seiko watch.

I scrutinized the photos carefully and couldn’t put my finger on it. Appearance-wise, it looked like the garden variety SKX173 model for North America – except that there were differences enough to suggest that it wasn’t a SKX173 at all. The second hand was indisputably borrowed from the SKX007K model as the lumed dot (or some call it “meatball”) was on the opposite end of the hand. It was as though this model was a “Franken Seiko”, i.e. cobbled out of parts from different Seiko models.

Forum members nevertheless congratulated the owner for his strange find. This watch was never seen again on the forum nor was it discussed after that. It was largely forgotten. Until recently. :-)


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Originally posted 2008-12-29 19:26:00.

Seiko Sky Professional SBDR005 review

SBDR005J (WinCE)

 

Watch History

  • Date acquired: Oct 16th 2003
  • Production Date: Oct 2001
  • Source: Emotus Time Culture, Suria KLCC
  • Price paid: MYR1,400 (USD418)
  • Status: Discontinued

 

Background

The Sky Professional is a sub-range of the Seiko Prospex line of watches that are meant for the Japan Domestic Market (JDM). As the name suggests, the Sky Pro was designed with aviators and pilots in mind. Apart from having a world time capability, alarm and 100-hour chronograph, they are also equipped with a rotating analog E6B flight computer or slide rule.


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Originally posted 2007-12-22 16:37:26.

Seiko SBDX005 Professional 600m review

SBDX005-08

Watch Details

  • Type: Professional diver’s watch, automatic
  • Production year: 2000 (limited to 1,000 units)
  • Retail price: JPY300,000
  • Status: Discontinued

 

Background

The SBDX005 was the last 600m automatic dive watch that Seiko produced. Limited to just 1,000 pieces it represents a tribute to the classic 6159-7010 shrouded diver that was made between 1975 and 1978. Some say that its sheer rarity puts its desirability well above above its predecessor, the 6159-7010.

Released in in the year 2000, this watch is part of Seiko’s Prospex line of professional diver’s watches and is marketed as the Historical Collection The Year 2000 with only 1,000 pieces to be shared amongst serious diver’s watch collectors worldwide. Before getting to know the SBDX005, it would be beneficial to understand its ancestry so that we can appreciate this phenomenal industrial grade diver’s watch.


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Originally posted 2008-03-18 22:08:14.

Chrono Wars: Citizen Cal 2100 vs Seiko 7L22

 

AV0031-59E dial (WinCE) 6961773_o (WinCE)

 

Being an owner of both the Citizen Promaster Eco Drive E2100 and Seiko Sportura 7L22 Kinetic chronograph, I thought a comparison between these two distinct yet similarly featured movements would make an interesting subject. :-)

Why am I comparing these two movements? Well, for starters they are both quartz-controlled watches with unique, mechanically actuated chronograph functions. These two hybrid calibers are also mainstream calibers  and both companies have manufactured numerous models based on them.

The most glaring difference between the Cal 2100 and the 7L22 is that the former is solar powered while the latter is a motion powered movement.

Let’s examine the merits and demerits of both animals. :-)


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Originally posted 2008-08-05 23:04:04.

Citizen Nighthawk BJ7017-50ET review

  BJ7010-59E_L (WinCE)

 

Watch History

  • Date acquired: Nov 26 2005
  • Production date: Aug 2005
  • Source: Capital Mall, eBay
  • Price paid: USD147 (w/o shipping)
  • Status: In production

 

Background

Having a plethora Seiko watches by late 2005, I thought of trying out a Citizen watch for a change. The Citizen Nighthawk had garnered a cult following in SCWF and received a mixed bag of responses. Some liked its undeniably classic and unique looks. Others shunned it because it was quartz controlled, too large or the dial looked too busy and distracting. For some, it was a love-at-first-sight kind of timepiece while for others like me, it was an acquired taste.


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Originally posted 2007-12-30 10:55:54.

Seiko SKX031K “Submariner” review

skx031k

Watch History

  • Date acquired: July 23rd 2004
  • Production Date:  Nov 2003
  • Source: Chun Cheong Watch & Pen Store, Sungei Wang Plaza
  • Price paid: MYR400 (approximately USD115)
  • Status: In production

    Background

    Pop quiz folks – what resembles a Rolex Submariner watch, says “SEIKO” on the dial, has a screw-in crown and costs a fraction of the price of the watch that it pays homage to?

    No prizes for guessing, it’s none other than the Seiko SKX031K – Seiko’s timeless tribute to the Rolex Submariner. The SKX031K has been around for over a decade (it debuted in 1996 with the introduction of the 7s26 automatic caliber) and sales of this model appears to be still going strong despite its age in the market.


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    Originally posted 2008-10-17 07:46:00.