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About Always"watching"

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  • Birthday 01/01/1955

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  1. I spotted a stainless steel analogue Pulsar watch today in a charity shop that dated from the early days of the Seiko-Pulsar period, and on examination I was surprised to see that the dial was marked with an "R" for radium lume. I did not buy the watch as it was a bit pricey and had no battery such that I could guarantee it was in working order. I also remembered that I have a nearly identical example, but with a gold plated alloy case, at home, so I got that out and had a look. My own watch bears the "T" mark for tritium lume and the caseback bears an inscription with the date 18.8.83. I reckon that the charity shop watch may have been made during the first tranche of watches from Pulsar under the Seiko umbrella - Seiko took over Pulsar in 1979 and the the first all-quartz line of watches from the brand came out in 1981. Also on the dial of the charity shop watch was the designation, "Taiwan," again something of a surprise, with my own watch having "Japan" as the designated country of origin. It seems that Seiko was still using radium lume on some products right up until about 1980, well past the advent of tritium lume. This watch, probably dating to the early 1980s, is very similar to both my own example and that from the charity shop - same branding on the dial and back, same hands, date window, and screw-down back, and a similar but not identical tonneau case. Also note that on this watch the lume designation on the dial is an "R" for radium (pic from sebuahblog.com; watch being sold through Etsy): I am quite interested in the history of Pulsar watches, both prior to and after the acquisition of the brand by Seiko. I wonder if there is a watch buff on the Forum who knows how to date Pulsar watches from their serial numbers or other data on the dials or backs of Pulsar watches from the Seiko period up to the present - please feel free to post any info on this thread.
  2. Welcome indeed, Druid. What a great introduction - if only more new members would properly introduce themselves. If you are a "nutter" in having PTSD, then I must be completely gone in the head with my DID - thanks for sharing that, by the way, and I hope you gain as much as I have, psychologically, from being a member of this friendly and informative forum.
  3. It's not only watch straps that can disintegrate like this - there was recently a spate of newly purchased shoes, the souls of which perished after a short time. Rubber and certain plastics are far from being immortal, and in fact, I always remove the foam cushioning in watch packaging, especially if the watch is to be kept in its box for any length of time, because when the foam decays, it can attack the surface of the watch/strap.
  4. I do like the watch but when compared to the hand-wind models from Luch we have come to know, this premium version with auto movement seems a bit pricey, at least on first look. I would be interested to know your view, Steve @WRENCH.
  5. Thanks @bridgeman, always nice to see interesting or just plain nice pocket watches on the Forum, with the relevant information, extending to a date provided by stdape.
  6. Very useful, @Nigelp Nigel. I am especially grateful for the info on the caseback whereby an estimate of the date can be ascertained - it will help me date a couple of Oris watches I have in my collection. The movement in your watch seems to be quite small; it might also appear in ladies' models perhaps?
  7. A strange post is this, dear Ashraf @Ashraf Sami. Pictures would be nice, especially if they are clearly captioned to show the two watches. Off-hand, I have not heard of Otay Watch Company, nor Golden State, so do please enlighten me. Of course, you might yourself be seeking additional information about these watches, so all in all, some good pictures would be helpful.
  8. The other day, I purchased a non-runner hand-wind ladies' wristwatch marked, “Talisman,” in script on the dial, above the word, “ANTIMAGNETIC.” The watch has a plated alloy case with gold highlights, plain and gold plated stainless steel bracelet and a push-on steel back. On opening the watch, a thin metal holder with fold-over lugs positions the simple no-jewel movement. Interestingly, the movement is stamped on the backplate with “UNADJUSTED / PREMIER / PRECISION LTD” and also, “HONG KONG / JAPANESE PARTS.” Date-wise I feel that the watch is probably from the mid-1970s through to the mid-1980s. I looked for other, related, Talisman watches online and it seems that my example, in gents' or ladies' form with some variation, was something of a staple item, for the Talisman brand at that time. An identical Talisman wristwatch to my own (Pics from i.ebayimg.com): A search on Mikrolisk revealed that a few watch companies registered the name “Talisman” at various times, and taking the closest in dates to my own watch, I concluded that the most likely contender for the production/manufacture of my Talisman was Artax Watch Ltd., a company that I had never heard of until looking up my watch, so I decided to research Artax as best I could, and here are my results. The first thing I noticed when looking at Mikrolisk was that Artax Watch Ltd. was responsible for a plethora of brand names/name marks – presumably used on watches and clocks from Artex Watch – between 1973 and 1989. It may be pedantic, but I am going to list all these names together with their year of registration where the brand is known to be registered, because it might clear up a number of queries regarding unknown watch brands on pieces bought be readers. So, here goes, in alphabetic order as they are listed on Mikrolisk: Accord Aphamia Aris, 1976 Arrow, 1976 Artax, 1986 Artax Watch Ltd, 1986 Bierina, 1976 Camex, 1981 Cetikon, 1974 Chris Claire Absolu, 1989 Cimex, 1980 Coseikor Gillex, 1981 Jebely, 1989 Jodeak, 1973 Jzafirop, 1984 Kadgar, 1982 Kamex, 1981 Kartal, 1976 Kendy, 1976 Kervil, 1979 Liza, 1976 Peak, 1976 Pik, 1976 Platon, 1976 Powmatic, 1976 Python, 1976 Royal Ace, 1973 Sasco, 1976 Suki, 1975 Talisman, 1976 Tayato, 1976 The Tiger Line, Tora, Weginal, 1973 Winchester, 1987 Xamex, 1983 An initial search for useful literature concerning Artax Watch Ltd. provided an article entitled, “Welschenrohrer Uhrenmuseum Stellt Lokale Uhrenfirmer Artax Vor” printed in Solothurner Zeitung on 7 May 2013. The occasion of this article was a special Artax exhibition at the Welschenrohr watch museum celebrating 40 years of Artax, the “premium” Artax “Manjaz” brand and the recent move of the Artax headquarters from Oensingen to Welschenrohr. From this article we can provide a few details about the history of Artax, as follows: Artax Watch Ltd. was founded by Hubert Fluri in 1973, and even in 2013, aged 84, Hubert was engaged with the company he founded and always available to represent it. At some stage in the life of the company many years prior to 2013, firm relations were established with China, and Artax became heavily involved with the export of Swiss watches to the Far East. Just prior to the opening of the Artax exhibition, a delegation of 60 Artax customers from China arrived in Welschenrohr, where they could visit the watch museum and the Artax company's new premises. Afterwards, they went to Baselworld watch fair. Relevant perhaps is the fact that the curator of the Welschenrohr Uhrenmuseum at the time of the Artax exhibition in 2013 was Andreas Fluri – likely to be a relation of Hubert Fluri of Artax Watch Ltd.. The reason for the relocation by Artax HQ to Welschenrohr was the close co-operation with the futuristic studio, Manfred Uebelhart AG, which also relocated its production. The idea was that Artax and Uebelhart AG would work under one roof, the former Donada watch factory. In terms of production, by 2013 Artax was offering its watches to approximately 600 outlets in China. Having now obtained some information about Artax and its founder, I did more research and discovered a potted biography of Hubert Fluri, which further illuminates the Artax story. This profile, which I have borrowed as is, can be found on fashionbi.com and is most useful: “Profile Hubert Fluri, the founder of Artax Watch Ltd., was born in 1929 in Herbetswil. He went to primary und district school in Balsthal where his parents lived since 1936. At the age of 17 he studied at a language school in Saint Gingolph at Lake Léman to improve his French. A vocational education of commerce for 3 years followed. Later, he worked another 3 years in Geneva in a company that, among others, also published annual chronicles on Swiss watch industry. His interest in watches was thus awakened. A sojourn at Swiss Mercantil School in London helped upgrade his English knowledge. In 1953 Hubert Fluri joined Technos watch company in Welschenrohr and was active at the sales department. In 1964 the director Josef Gunzinger and Hubert Fluri traveled across the North Pole to Japan. From then on Mr. Fluri undertook his numerous business trips to the Far East, such as Hongkong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos etc. During the Cultural Revolution Hubert Fluri spent some time with a Swiss delegation in China where he experienced how the folk demonstrated and jubilated with Mao's little red booklet in the hand. In Cambodia he urged a customer to leave the country shortly before the Red Khmer took over the power. The future of this person and his family were thus rescued. With the assistance of Lap Heng entrepreneur in Hongkong Mr. Fluri initiated the production of cases and dials in Taiwan. Those were the years of significance. In 1973 Hubert Fluri decided to establish his own company – Artax Watch Ltd. Artax was named after Artaxerxes, a great Persian king and military leader. For decades various brands were registered and watches were produced by Artax. Poland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, USA and the South America were the key markets. The rapid development of the Chinese market in recent years motivates Artax to set its focus on Manjaz, a brand especially conceived for the Asian Continent.” This profile, quoted above, also indicates that Artax Watch Ltd. went from having a number of different brands being produced and exported to various parts of the world to having just a single brand – Manjaz, complete with its own logo. I am not absolutely sure when the Manjaz brand was actually first used on watches by Artax, but believe that its formal launch is a fairly recent event. Company information is that the brainchild of Manjaz was Dominick Fluri, back in the later 19th century and grandfather of Hubert Fluri, who had hoped to create a Manjaz watch brand but did not live to see this fulfilled. Thus, there is therefore no unbroken timeline for the Manjaz brand from before recent times. What is clear is that Manjaz became the vital and sole brand for Artax, and although it is intent on strengthening its position in Western markets, the prime market is China, and Asia generally. It is not clear just how much manufacturing of watches goes on at Manjaz; the brand is listed as Manjaz Uhrenmaufaktur AG, apparently taking on its own identity rather than being purely an Artax brand, and has recently relocated to Nidau, still in Switzerland. There is still some confusion in my mind about the present up-to-date situation with regard to the relationship between Artax and Manjaz, and I cannot tell if Artax Watch Ltd. itself is still around. Manjaz Engineer Series Travel Watch with stainless steel 41mm case and sapphire crystal back and front. Powered by an automatic ETA 2893 movement and with a water resistance of 5 ATM. Leather strap with steel pin buckle or stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp (pic source on photos): I have not studied the Manjaz watches in sufficient detail to ascertain their overall quality and value for money, but I will say that Artax/Manjaz considers the watches to be “premium” products. The range, which is set at 250 to 5,000 Swiss francs includes quartz and automatic timepieces and chronographs, and the watches are designated as Swiss-made, and have Swiss movements. Some of the models currently on sale have a definite flavour of the Chinese taste in watches, and Manjaz follows previous Artax policy of focusing on exports. The Manjaz headquarters at Welschenrohr, at the foot of the Jura mountains in Switzerland, in 2015 - The brand headquarters has apparently since moved to Nidau (pic from swisstime.ch), and the Manjaz brand mark and logo (pic from 3.bp.blogspot.com): Returning to my own Talisman wristwatch, I still have no direct evidence that it is a product of Artax Watch Ltd., partly because I am unsure as to the quality of Artax watches in the period when my watch was made. Perhaps Hubert Fluri covered all bases in the period when my watch was made, from cheap to more premium watches, and my own Talisman watch is hardly a paragon of horology. My feeling is that Hubert Fluri was somewhat brave to launch a Swiss-based watch company in 1973, just when the Quartz Crisis was about to strike. However, He seems to have avoided catastrophe for his new company, Artax, probably because of his connections abroad which enabled him to successfully trade watches and export (as well as possibly import for resale) his way out of trouble. In particular, his links to Hong Kong and Taiwan will have enabled Artax to take advantage of cheap Far Eastern manufacture of dials, cases, and perhaps movements. As for the Swiss content of my Talisman, I have a feeling it never went near a Swiss manufacturer and is essentially a low-cost trade product from the Far East, perhaps being branded and sold through Artax Watch Ltd.. A gents' Talisman wristwatch with date feature and 1J hand-wind movement - this model clearly related to my own (pics from i.ebayimg.com): NOTE: I have taken a look online to see if some of the other registered Artax brand names appear in the form of extant watches but with almost no success. The cheaper the watches, the more likely it is that they have vanished without trace.
  9. The list of new dive watches just keeps on growing, stimulated primarily by the continued proliferation of small and even micro brands as well as the enduring popularity of the classic style of dive watch. This short topic concerns one of the latest additions to the dive watch list, the Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer 1000m Pro Diver, which actually hails as an offshoot or co-brand of Aquacy – itself a small US-based watch company with its own eponymously branded dive watch. Given the immediately apparent similarity in style between the Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer and the Rolex Submariner and Sea Dweller models, comparisons have been made, especially in terms the specifications of the Sea Dweller as against the Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer. I am not going to enter the problematic subject of comparisons with Rolex here, partly because this particular style of watch has been used and abused over many years by many watch companies both large and small, and I consider that today's use of this style is now in a state that could be called “copyright expired.” So, taking the Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer on its own merits, what does it have to offer? (Pic from microbrandwatchworld.com) (Pic from massdrop-S3.imgix.net) (Above five pics from relojesasequibles.files.wordpress.com) The bulk of the Oceaneva is constructed of brushed 316L stainless steel and the watch has a 42mm X 14.8mm thick case. It has a 7mm wide X 4.5mm signed, gear-edged, machined steel crown, with sculptural crown guard, and a diver extension equipped bracelet tapering from just under 22mm to 20mm, using an Omega design for the clasp and milled links. There is no facility for micro-adjustments on the bracelet clasp, but half links are available from Oceaneva free of charge and are apparently now to be included with every watch. The clasp exterior is engraved with the Oceaneva trident logo, as is the crown and dial, and a brick design that matches the bracelet links. The watch has a helium valve at the 9 o'clock position and a screw-down crown that is branded and also bears watch information. The 120-click unilateral rotating bezel is in polished stainless steel with a thick, high quality polished ceramic inlay that bears the engraved and Superluminova BGW9 lume-filled indices. The watch has a domed 4.8mm thick domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal well-sealed with a 1.4mm X .45mm I-ring, and the dial edge features an angled steel rehaut bearing black lettering with “HELIUM ESCAPE VALVE” on the top part and “LIMITED EDITION” on the lower portion. The indices on the dial are raised and BGW9 lumed and the watch has “Mercedes” main hands (presumably named after the small hand which terminates in a Mercedes auto emblem shape) and a “lollipop” sweep hand. A small date window is in the 3 o'clock position. The dial also bears the stated water resistance, rated at 3,300 feet. (Three pics above from zaltek.co.uk) The Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer 1000m Pro Diver is powered by the popular Swiss-made, 26J, 28,800 bph, automatic and hacking Sellita SW200-1 movement which has a power reserve of about 38 hours. The watch is being produced as a limited run of 1000 pieces and each watch is numbered. There are ten different dial and bezel colourways available, including versions with a black, blue or white mother of pearl dial. Note that to allay any fear that the two colourways with gold highlights will not fare well in salt water, I can tell you that these are double plated with 48-hour gold plate, designed to last for many years. The Oceaneva is being produced as a limited run of 1000 watches and each watch is numbered. There are ten dial and bezel colourways available, including watches with black,white, or blue mother of pearl dials, and to allay the fear that the two colourways with gold highlights will not fare well in salt water, I can tell you that these are double plated with 48-hour gold plate, designed to last for many years. Note that the watch comes with an alternative rubber strap and a strap removal tool (see pic below). The Oceaneva Deep marine Explorer 1000m Pro Diver is fresh out of the starting gate and so we have no long-term evidence on which to base a full judgement. However, from online comments and limited review material, it is clear that this watch is well-made, well-detailed and a sturdy piece of kit. At the moment, Oceaneva are selling the model at between US$904 and US$999, depending on colourway, apparently in a sale saving some US$100-120 on the usual retail price. My feeling is that this still represents a reasonable deal, in spite of the spoiler of a sudden initial hike in prices taking the watch out of the bargain category. In corroboration of these remarks, I see that the latest issue of GQ Magazine gives the price range of the Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer as $549-$799, well below the current price range stated by Oceaneva. (Pic from Imgrum at scontent.cdninstagram.com)
  10. Deary me... I have been trying so hard to be a fan of Bremont watches, with limited success, and this has scuppered the chances of advancement in this regard, at least for the time being.
  11. I wasn't expecting such a display of interesting GMT watches that one can purchase, and some of them are really nice. Staring with Roger's Rolex, I must admit that my choice of Rolex GMT watch would have to be the Explorer II - a masterpiece in my view (pic from chronexttime.imgix.net) Leaving aside Rolex, I do like the Mido shown by Caller, and that white dial Orient. In the Seiko camp, I like the model shown by WRENCH, and may I say that I also really like the Sportura you already have, dear Eski.
  12. I just wondered, dear Caller, whether in today's global market one can't just send off to an online retailer based in Europe and get the Citizen that is meant for sale in Europe only. Am I missing something here?
  13. Welcome to the Forum, and may I say that after some time on here, you may need to change your username because by then you should have acquired a body of knowledge and experience relating to watches.
  14. "Newmark" - there's a blast from the past in terms of branding. I have had a couple of Newmark watches from a previous era when the firm was responsible for inexpensive mechanical watches. I believe that Louis Newmark started producing watches after receiving a government grant in 1947, but I don't know when the form was wound up. The new Newmark watches (nothing to do with the original Newmark brand), subject of this thread, are not what one would call "adventurous" in design but then sometimes only a classically styled automatic dive watch will do.
  15. Interesting thread this and good to have the spotlight shone on Mappin & Webb - a brand that I have looked at but wasn't inspired enough to write about at the time, though nothing to do with the quality of the watches. The summary history of Mappin & Webb watches given on the following web address (mentioned above by Nigel) is useful: vintage-watches-collection.com/watches/mappin-webb
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