A closer look

This week features the LCW-170M-1AER Solar, Radio Control model from Casio.  This is a very classy mid-range model from the Lineage series and one I’d call dress watch style.  Quite elegant and neatly sized at 39 mm wide by just 9 mm depth, this is a watch that caters for all wrists, from large to small.

LCW-170M-1AER - classy Solar & Radio Control from Casio

LCW-170M-1AER – classy Solar & Radio Control from Casio

This model features a Titanium case and bracelet so is light weight, the Titanium mostly has a brushed finish plus a polished bezel.   It’s also a quietly understated model even though it features Solar Power and Radio Control.

Note the quality brushed finish of the Titanium case sides

Note the quality brushed finish of the Titanium case sides

The watch is easily set up out of the box and here in the UK, I set my Home Time Zone to LON (London) then moving towards my south facing window, I used pushbutton C to receive a signal.  This was during the day at around 2pm and it managed to get the lock required and set the correct time, including our UK Summer Time adjustment in around 3 minutes.  This was very easy to manage.
The watch time out of the box was set to UTC, so when I synchronized it was nice to see it receive the signal and move the hands automatically 1 hour forward to the correct UK time.  Note you can easily check to see when it successfully received a signal, which is useful.

Note this model, which is still current, has World Times for 29 Time Zones so whilst for most of us should be fine, my new Citizen model has 40 Time Zones.

This model has 5 Alarms, Hourly Time Signal (selectable), World Time programmed to 2099, a Radio Time Signal check 6 times/day usually overnight (once signal success all other time checks are canceled), 60 minutes Stop Watch, Countdown Timer (1 minute to 100 minutes in 1 second intervals), LED night lighting, Battery Power indicator (full charge battery duration approx. 4 months). Power Save function after 60-70 minutes in the dark (second hand parks @12 – display is blank  – after 6 or 7 days all hands park @12 and most other functions such as Auto Receive stop, except for internal clock).

The watch has a Sapphire Crystal but no anti-reflection coating.  The rather finely detailed dial is off white in colour, the Hour and Minute hands are luminous, as is the infill rear overhang end of the centre seconds hand, but the dial markers are not.  However the luminous hands stand out clearly and are good for all night and in addition if you really need it this model features dial illumination by LED, which is very bright indeed, lighting the entire dial – so everything (maybe even the bedtime book!) is easily seen in the dark.

Decent luminous quality hands - Note the end of the Seconds hand.

Luminous hands – includes short end of Seconds hand (markers are not luminous).

The slightly sloping case sides have a quality brush finish from front to back under a narrow polished bezel.   This model has just 3 round push buttons.   As usual with Casio the lower left (B) pusher is the Mode, lower right (C) is what I call the “do something” pusher and the top right (A) pusher operates the light mainly, though does have additional functions.  As per usual for me I set the default view in the digital display to show Day and Date – this can be toggled using the (C) pusher.

The watch dimensions are really neat at just 39 mm diameter and a very slim 9 mm deep.  The bracelet like the case is Titanium, adjustable and full size is plenty big enough for large wrists.  With 20 mm Standard spring-bar fixings it also means that changing the bracelet for any reason is easy, sensible and affordable.  Bespoke Casio bands are not required.

Both have Module 5161, but the 170 is very slim and is all Titanium (no resin).

Similar function set, but the 170 is very slim in comparison to the WVA-470 and all Titanium, not resin hybrid.

The case back has a 4 screw flat back affair and the Water Resistance is stated as 5 Bar.

So overall this is a rather good watch and whilst it has Solar and Radio Control features, it’s also conservative yet dressy and can be worn anywhere.  The sensible size also means anyone can wear this and look good.

I show here the watch firstly in comparison to another similar function model from Casio and later against other current Solar and Radio Controlled watches and as you see it is very compact.

Neat case size & bracelet fitting - easily fits my 165/70 cm wrist.

Neat case size & bracelet fitting – easily fits my 165/70 cm wrist.

Note – My wrist size is around 165/170 mm so I had to reduce the bracelet size (5 links removed) which can be done using that simple blue plastic pin pusher gadget from Ebay, that I’ve had for years .   A word of advice – The secret to this type of bracelet is to remember that within each link there is a tiny split collar or collet, through which the link pin passes – don’t lose it!   It is very important as this split collar grips the pin and the link securely in the bracelet.  Remember for every pin there is a tiny split collar and as they’re only maybe 2 or 3 mm long – easy to lose!

To remove a link – (if you are right handed) lay the bracelet into the receiving area of the pin pusher then (make sure you line it up properly) turn the screw handle clockwise with your right hand to push the pin out of the link in the direction of the marked arrow, as far as the pusher will allow.  Then keeping a firm (left hand) grip on the bracelet with finger and thumb over the area of the pin, use pliers (right hand) and pull the pin all the way out – note it will be stiff and that’s because you have to overcome that little split collar which is gripping the pin.   Still holding the bracelet firmly and once the pin is removed, lay the pin safely down and lower the bracelet to the table and gently ease the link apart.  The small collar will probably (or it might stay) drop to the table.  It’s usually retained by the lower part of the link in your left hand and part of the pin hole which is enlarged to take it.

Don’t lose it!

For without the collars the link pins will simply fall through the bracelet, not retained and the bracelet links wont link.

Basic tools for bracelet reduction - had the old Ebay pin pusher (blue) for years without issue.

Basic tools for bracelet reduction – the old Ebay pin pusher (blue) has been a great performer for years.

To put the pin/link in again – replace the collar into its enlarged hole, bring the bracelet links together, locate the pin to the hole (with the arrow as before) and tap gently with a small hammer, making sure the two link parts are pressed together to ensure a straight continuous hole for the pin to go into.

I have resized literally hundreds of bracelets using this method and with this same cheapo tool and never had an issue.   I have never lost a Casio split collar yet, though I admit the first time I did it, it was a close thing and I was lucky to spot it.  Once you know – it’s easy, but as always take care . . . .

I would also warn you that many Watch Retailers/High Street repairers have NOT a clue how to manage this and know nothing of any collar – you have been warned!
I have an older Post which gives some idea of what to do, with images – HERE.  There is also a Video on You Tube I have seen which might be helpful.

As I have said before – standard spring bar bracelet/strap fixings mean you can use alternatives.  I have a 20 mm wide silicon deployment strap which I fit as an alternative depending on my mood.  In fact I have a collection of 20 mm width deployments in various colours, which can totally change the look of the watch and I do find it useful at times to do just that.

So that’s the Casio LCW-170 – 1.  It looks much better in real life than those insipid images on most retailer web sites and in comparison to similar function models, it does look a class act and well worth the relatively modest price.

Addendum – update.

Decided to try an alternative strap to the supplied bracelet.  Used a 20 mm silicon strap, but without the locking deployment that comes with the silicon strap.  Instead I replaced it with the original Casio deployment from the original bracelet, so I still have the signed Casio logo on the finished ensemble.  As usual I personally find the silicon arrangement more comfortable than the supplied original bracelet. But so nice to see that it’s possible without much work. – images follow.

Silicon strap replacement using original Casio deployment buckle

Silicon strap replacement using original Casio deployment buckle

Casio logo original deployment on silicon strap replacement.

Casio logo original deployment on silicon strap replacement.

Replacement silicon strap on the wrist - is very neat

Replacement silicon strap on the wrist – is neat and very comfortable.

Radio Times

A small collection of Solar and Radio Control models all featuring similar functions with the exception of the far left Citizen Satellite model.  Whilst it receives a Radio signal too, it’s from a satellite orbiting the Earth and not a ground based transmitter.  I just love a Radio group photo as they all show the exact same time!

And the time is - the same on every darned one!

And the time is – the same on every darned one – Exactly!

Forgotten the prices now, without looking them up when I got them, but I know the dearest is on the far left and the cheapest in on the far right.  But they all have pretty much the same accuracy. The Citizen Satellite model however has the most accurate quartz movement, out of the box, without any synchronization, but give them light (yes they are all Solar Powered) and automatically pick up a signal every day – they all read the same time – precisely.

In fact you could set your watch by them!  🙂

Note the smallest watch in the group is the light dial Casio LCW-170 at just over 39 mm diameter.  It is also the slimmest at around 9 mm depth.

Don’t ask which one I prefer because I like them all.  They each do exactly what they’re supposed to do and do it very well.  I have no issues with any of them and they are proudly what I call – my Estate models – that is they will be here long after I’ve gone and no doubt someone else will have the pleasure of owning and wearing them.

But just not yet!

Expectations 1

Sometimes in your “must have, must wear” watch collecting you come across models that for all sorts of reasons catch your eye, then you buy.   Not on impulse you understand but more in the expectation that what you see will work as you wish and do everything you hoped they’d do.

My “Expectations” series reflects on some of the models I bought in the past that I still have and that performed exactly as I hoped and wanted and in most cases did considerably more than that – they excelled.  Also the models shown here are relatively inexpensive and could be considered low to mid-priced at the time of purchase, depending on your income perceptions of course.
I haven’t listed prices as some may not be current, but you can of course just Google them and you’ll probably get a fair indication.

I Post them in no particular order (just as they came to hand out the display case), they are all “as new and perfect”, though some may have alternative bracelets or straps, but that’s just me – needless to say I still have the originals.

Expectations 1 – the first one out the case is this digital Casio Protrek PRG-270B-3 (ABC) – Textile strapped, 100 m Water Resistant model weighing at just 62 gms.Ashampoo_Snap_2016.04.03_12h56m15s_001_

Solar power – World Time – Chronograph – Stopwatch – Timers (5) including 24hr – Altimeter – Barometer – Compass

So why this one?   Well it does everything it’s supposed to do and does it well.  It’s very easy to use and doesn’t require constant referral to any instructions.  It is uses the standard Casio control set up (Mode lower left, Adjust upper left and so on) and once you know the sequence, it’s easy.  It’s also one of the easiest to read with one of the best contrast digital displays I’ve found.  The textile strap fits my 165/70 wrist perfectly as it swings 90º from the case and it’s pretty decent quality.  The 3 sector default display is set as I like it as – (top down) Month and Date, Main Time and Seconds.  You can of course set it as default to other views depending on your preferences.

My old review is – https://watchspace.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/my-casio-3000-replacement/ – and says it all really.

Expectations (2) will feature a Casio twin sensor, though only the one sensor was of interest to me, but I liked the look of it – hope to Post it soon (Internet access permitting . . . .)

Classic Radio from Casio

There’s no doubt that watches are becoming very sophisticated and with many functions that the old mechanical models can’t match.  Though one of the issues some folks have is that these new-fangled quartz/solar models are somewhat removed from more traditional models. (think of ‘G’ Shocks and ABC models).

However that is actually not the case as the two models featured here illustrate.

Casio LCW-170TD-7AER Titanium Radio Control

Casio LCW-170TD-7AER
Titanium Radio Control

First is the Casio LCW-M170TD-7AER which looks pretty classic to anyone’s eye.  But it is one of these highly technical models that we take as the “norm” these days.  This one though is Analog with an Hour and Minute hand, centre seconds hand plus a small digital window that can show different functions, but can be set simply as the Day and the Date, which let’s face it, is about the most any of us actually use.

The technical functions are Solar power, so no battery required – it also has Radio Control, so it always reads the correct time with Atomic Clock accuracy.  It also sports World Time, so it can correct itself in 29 Time Zones throughout the world.  It is a smart watch no doubt and despite the technology it’s easy to use.

This particular version is Titanium cased, which I prefer for a couple or three reasons.   It is not shiny (apart from the top bezel, which annoys me slightly), it is a brushed finish and it is incredibly light at around 77 gms.  Unlike stainless steel polished cases this one does not show scratches and I’ve found over the years with other Ti watches, the Titanium takes on a lovely overall smooth finish which is rather pleasing.

The electronic Module used in this model is the 5161 and it is used in a few Casio RC models.  Not quite in the same league as my GPS Citizen CC3005-85E Solar, but it works very well and has a good reputation.  Whilst Solar Powered and as everyone says – you don’t need a battery, it actually does have one.  It’s a CTL920 rechargeable capacitor/battery, so don’t be tempted to fit a standard battery with similar dimensions!
That’s not to say that if it gave up the ghost for whatever reason (rare indeed) you can’t change them, because you can and they are available from a good few battery suppliers.  Although Casio say you should contact them for replacement, this is perhaps precautionary and for those who have no wish to delve into the back of a watch or maybe have sausages for fingers, rather than any technical reason.

This model has a neat size of almost 40 mm diameter and just 9 mm depth so is slim on the wrist.  The crystal is Sapphire so won’t scratch easily, though it doesn’t have anti-reflection coatings applied, which I would prefer to see as the almost white dial may not be as matte as would like.  However on balance the hands have decent infill luminous properties and I have no great issues with reading the dial in most light situations.

This model has a relatively modest Water Resistance at 50 m, so wet days, helping your wife do the washing up and showers are OK as indeed is the odd swim – just don’t start snorkeling.

Overall I like this watch, its color scheme makes it dressy rather than sporty, so looks good for evening wear.  It’s also in my “get it & forget it” category and very, very easy to live with.
Full review – coming soon . . . .

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Casio LCW-M180D-7AER

Casio LCW-M180D-7AER

The second model I’m featuring is the LCW-M180D-7AER from Casio, which sports the same Module 5161 so technically the same, but this one is in Stainless Steel and whilst is has the light color dial it is configured slightly differently.  Numbers 12 and 6 are represented by Roman Numerals and all numerals, markers and hands are in Gold tone against an off white coloured dial background.

Whilst this might look quite rich or upmarket I always find with gold color hands, clarity is often an issue and in poor light I personally find them hard to make out.  The luminous infill of the hands is similar though perhaps a little narrow, but I would judge night vision should be acceptable.
The case however has a slightly different profile, Stainless Steel with a quite shiny finish, so may be too easy to show scratches.  The bracelet is also in stainless steel and in a more pleasing link pattern than the LCW170.  Note the Water Resistance is unchanged at 50 m.

Being Stainless Steel this model is some 40 gms heavier at 118 gms, though if it’s an issue you could lighten it considerably by easily changing to silicon or a leather strap as both models have a 20mm standard spring-bar fitting.

As I said the operating Module is the same as are the functions, so it’s a personal choice on looks more than anything else.  Both models are available in alternative versions such as black dial and positive or negative digital displays.

For me personally, although I do like the look of the 180 and the fact is I’m looking for a light coloured dial anyway, I still have the feeling that I’d live more comfortably with the 170 Titanium version.  Firstly owing to the finish and the light weight and secondly the dial has simple markers and a better hand contrast v the slightly lighter background. As readers of this site well know by now, clarity is a personal issue of mine and that Gold color just doesn’t quite do it for me.

So there you have it.  Two models, same Module, same amazing functions, yet cosmetically different enough to attract different buyers with different preferences.  Both very Classic in their overall appearance and both functionally very good.

These can be bought for between £180 and £230 here in UK and Europe, the case material being the major difference (Titanium being more expensive) and for that money the functions are pretty spectacular, yet refined.  (I also like the fact that both models are not resin/metal hybrids this time, though that said Casio hybrids are great value for money).

But these two are certainly not any old Day Date models and already are best sellers and I expect them to be so for quite some time yet.

Module 5161 – Casioqw5161LCWM170

Favorites

Favorites – one of those words that can mean so many things to so many people, is also a term that has the sometimes fascinating and equally annoying habit of changing.  And that my friends can also be an expensive change, especially it is has been a “bought” favorite, such as in a watch collection.

I have two favorites at the moment and both are at the upper end of watchmaking.   The first one, and you may find this odd, is a Ladies model and whilst I’m not much into decorated watches myself – if I were, then this might well tempt me greatly.  Correction – it tempts me anyway!

The Ladies Chronograph Large Date

The Ladies Chronograph Large Date

This is the Ladies Chronograph Large Date (3626-2954-58A) with a white mother-of-jewel dial to showcase an unusual articulated twin chronograph display sub-dials in the lower segment dial.  The sub pointers are in red Gold.  The upper segment has a full dial @12 in Roman Numerals. Segments are delineated by the wave of brilliant-cut-set diamonds with 17 graduated diamonds in each side.  All set against the white colored Mother-of-Pearl dial within which also sits the twin half moon double Date Window @6 plus a center seconds hand.
Chronograph functions are operated by the two right hand pushers.  The surrounding bezel is fully complimented by a series of 40 matched gems and the complete ensemble is created within a decent size 18ct Red Gold 38.6 mm wide case with a white Ostrich leather strap.

The case features an exhibition back via which you can view Blancpain’s in-house mechanical self-winding movement – Calibre 26F8G, which is made up of 495 parts including the rather splendid petal-created oscillating weight.  It also has a Power Reserve of 40 hours and is Water-Resistant to 30 meters.

I often see blinged up diamond encrusted Rolex models on many a wrist at all the best functions, but this is something rather special and I for one would be very pleased to wear it myself, Ladies or not!  I simply don’t care – I like it!

My next favorite is from another slightly lesser “name” brand, though is probably more popular by way of price point.  This is the Cartier Ronde Croisier model.  This is a Gents watch this time and is what is referred to as elegant casual, which pretty much sums it up and it is certainly more affordable perhaps than the Blancpain.

Cartier Ronde Croisier

Cartier Ronde Croisier

No bling or decoration on this one and for Cartier it’s also a nice departure from their standard Ronde style and results in a more modern refreshing look and yet managed with style.

Unusually for a Time and Date only watch it sports skeleton hands, a feature usually only associated with multi-dial models to prevent the sub-dials being obstructed.  Even the center seconds hand has a skeleton circle tip as opposed to a spot.  Not being filled in of course means no luminosity here.  The outer bezel has a Diver look but is fixed.  Basically this adds presence and balance so that overall the watch is very clear to read and looks “right”.

I like the fact this model is really slim at just 9.7 mm and yet is 42mm wide with short lugs, which means small wrists are easily catered for and the watch sits flat on the wrist.  The steel bezel is ADLC coated with inlaid 15/30/45 & 60 numerals and is matte black smooth material.  The movement is the Cartier Calibre 1874 MC Automatic beating at 4Hz, which has a Power Reserve of around 42 hrs.  It also has a decent 100 metres Water Resistance and a black calfskin leather canvas look strap.

The cabuchon insert crown is classic and overall the watch oozes class and certainly has that classic Cartier elegance set within a modern look (so that’s two Cartier models I really like – the other being the Cartier Solo in quartz).

So two favorites – a Blancpain for the Ladies that I reckon I’d love to wear if I had £20,000 to spare and a Cartier that I’d definitely wear at around £3300 can’t be bad.

Says it all really . . . . .  but I have GOT to start saving – I really have . . .

🙂

My “active” 6 for 2016

Daily Beaters for 2016

During 2016 there are 6 models I’m wearing in rotation, week in week out.   These are from my “Active Group”that for me are both comfortable, useful and practical.  I have various categories in my watch collection, from vintage to Vintage big names, to Classic dress and Milestone models and so on.  But this question is about watches I wear on a day to day basis and they’re all models that for me are “keepers”.

I rate them basically as they are each Practical, Affordable and each does what it’s supposed to do – very well.

First I have the Breitling Aerospace 1999 model.

Breitling Aerospace Minute Repeater late1990's vintage

Breitling Aerospace Minute Repeater late 1990’s vintage

It’s relatively small (in comparison with todays models) has absolute clarity, a great set of hidden functions, Titanium cased and in as good condition as bought, albeit a little smoother.  Terrific timekeeper without RC, needs a battery change only every 5 to 7 years, so no solar.  It is however the most “on the wrist” watch of my entire collection.  Interestingly though it’s an Ana/Digi model, which you might think was and is the preserve of the Japan big three (Citizen, Casio and Seiko), in functionality it’s better than most of them – in other words Breitling got it right.
NoteMy old review can be seen HERE

Second and third models are together as they appear at first glance to be from the same family.

Citizen CC3005-85E Satellite and the Citizen AT

Citizen CC3005-85E Satellite and the Citizen AT CB0020-09E

On the left is the Citizen CC3005-85E and on the right the Citizen AT CB0020-09E .  They are both understated with classic analog dials.  However in function they differ considerably.

The AT has just a few functions, displays the Time and the Date, uses Eco-Drive and Radio Control and has the best travel World Time function I know – and it’s so easy to use.  As usual with RC, sit the watch on the windowsill at night and it will update the time by receiving time signal from the nearest transmitter.  For World Time simply pull out the crown turn to the city, push in the crown – job done.

Facially the two models look very alike, but the CC3005-85E is thicker and heavier at 144 gms (after bracelet resizing) against the AT at just 94 gms (rubber strap).  Function wise it also has Eco-Drive but no Radio Control – instead it has GPS Satellite control.  The default glance on the dial shows the Time, the Date and the Day.

Rather than use ground based Radio Transmitters, it uses satellites for Time control based on location.  Oddly however whilst the AT seeks a time signal automatically, the CC3005 does not – this has to be a push button operation as and when you remember to do it.
For basic Time Control however it is phenomenally fast!  In the house I stood next to the window, pressed and released the lower push button (A) for a second or two – the second hand moves to indicate rx/time and then flicked to OK and almost instantly back to the corrected time.  Total time was maybe 4 seconds!   So this is much, much faster than Radio Control.  Also with the cc150 movement at just +/- 5 secs per month, even without time signals it is the more accurate model.
Full Satellite link you can really forget about once you’re set to your locality and basically use only when you travel – arrive at your location, press and release the lower button (A) for around 4 seconds this time, the second hand indicates rx/gps and will seek the satellites.  Best to direct it towards the sky and within a short period the watch is updated with your new Zone local time.

Another point to note is that with such as simple dial set up and ease of use, it is quite amazing that such technology is hidden beneath such an unobtrusive exterior.

Note My reviews are shown HERE and HERE – Note 2 –   Updated the CC3005-85E Citizen 10th March 2016.

My fourth choice is a real power function watch – and arguably the best ABC model today.

Tissot Solar Touch ABC model

Tissot Solar Touch ABC Pro model – arguably the best ABC today

The Tissot Solar Touch Professional.  An ABC watch that manages to out do most of the Japanese versions at their own game.  26 different functions hidden under the guise of a deceptively easy to read simple, simple dial.  The normal at a glance view is Time, Day, Date, Month, and Year.  Select a function however and the display instantly alters to show the selected data exclusively (I don’t know of another that does this) such as Digital Compass or Altitude or Barometric Pressure, or a Timer or Chronograph or Alarm.  It is also a remarkable time keeper without RC and when checked against my RC clock each week I see little difference.  So no Radio Control but like the Breitling this is compensated by a superb movement.
Note – My previous review is shown HERE

My fifth model is the very practical Diver – the Apeks 200 m Day and Date in stainless steel.

Apeks 200m Diver

Apeks 200m Diver

Unobtrusive, very easy to read day or night, very tough and highly water resistant, very neat and compact so doesn’t look as if I’ve just emerged from the sea and taken off my wet suit, tanks and goggles.  It is one of those models that looks good in any situation.  Can’t say more as it’s just a great watch and does it’s job.
Note – My previous review shown HERE

Sixth and final model is the so, so practical and versatile Timex Expedition T49976.

Timex T49776 Aalrm Chronograph

Timex T49976 Alarm Chronograph S-Shock

This is a model Timex managed to get dead right.  Everything is as it should be and just perfect at it’s job. Very easy and so intuitive to operate, it is a triumph of function and value for money and in my opinion beats most Casio equivalents.
Note – My previous review shown HERE

Note that some of these models have been around a while, yet are still currently available.  To me this shows that some watch models are just “right”, totally “fit for purpose” and within their class, improvement is not an option.

So for 2016 I am very pleased with my “beaters” and my question has to be – What will turn up for next year and will they be any better?

Here are some extra images of the Tissot and my new Satellite Citizen too –

GPS Citizen - uses Satellites for Time and Zone indication

GPS Satellite Citizen – uses Satellites for Time and Zone indication

Citizen AT known also as Perpetual Calendar model - with Radio Control

Citizen AT known also as Perpetual Calendar model – with Radio Control

Solar ABC function "touch" screen Tissot Pro model

Solar ABC function “touch” screen Tissot Pro model

These taken today (11th March 2016) and show the Citizen  CC3005-85E against my Citizen Skyhawk – very similar dimensions and both fitted with alternative Silicon deployment straps.  The CB0020-09E AT model has the original bespoke strap without standard spring bars unlike the other two.

The Citizen powerhouse selection

The Citizen selection – CB0020-09E, CC3005-85E and JY0005-50E Skyhawk

Note the change of strap to silicon reduces the weight of the CC3005-85E from 144 gms to 101 gms and it feels much lighter on the wrist and is actually a good fit (24mm Strap width).

Citizen CC3005-85E with silicon deployment strap alternative (22mm)

Citizen CC3005-85E with silicon deployment strap alternative (24mm) – Note – the top left lug is simply reflecting a gold colored lampshade on my desk.

Great luminous qualities on a super simple dial.

Great luminous qualities on a super simple dial.

Citizen cc3005-85E with silicon deployment strap

Citizen cc3005-85E with silicon deployment strap

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I have not included any of the “collectors” specials I might have – no Cartier or Jaeger LeCoultre or Omega, or IWC or Genta or Muller or Vacheron or Patek or Breguet or some gems I have from before 1900, because generally these are display pieces – perhaps worn on very special occasions (and sometimes never), because that’s not what my web site is about frankly.

But the models featured here are all affordable, practical and useful, and in the case of the latest Citizen CC3005-85E a culmination of many years of research and technology.  The result of which is a device that “simply” provides the basics and displays the Time – wherever you are!

As to the rest of course there are countless different watch models, catering for every sort of taste and price range.  So that said I Post this as just my own take on it all, a small section of my watches – what I call my “active” group of what I’m wearing, for this year anyway.
These are the ones that for the moment it all basically comes down to, and that’s after the many hundreds of watches I’ve bought, owned and sold on over the years.

D060 Windsurfer 89 vintage

It’s always nice to get another old Citizen, especially one that’s in great condition as this Gold Series D060 Windsurfer happens to be.  This one is from 1989, made in Japan, in solid stainless steel and in a neat size at 39 mm x 39 mm and just 10 mm depth.  Once again “windsurfer” in basic form it has to be said, even though it does feature an Auto-Chronograph and countdown function, has Timers and can read time groups such as 5 minutes, 3 minutes and so on with countdown function it’s not quite up there with the latest specialist watches today.

Citizen D060 Windsurfer - 1989 vintage

Citizen D060 Windsurfer – 1989 vintage

It doesn’t have such things as tide data, wave heights, swell or wind direction or indeed speeds.  Nor does it have water and air temperatures and so on.  This sort of data is reserved for models from the likes of Rip Curl, Nixon, Vestal, Freestyle, Casio and Electric to name a few.  But this was early days and an attempt to manage some of the timing requirements of a new developing sport.

P1030147

Great display, even after nearly 30 years.

Functions are – Time, Day and Date and Month, dial light, Alarm, Signal beep, Timer 1 (which is also the Auto-Chronograph) Timer 2 and Stopwatch with Split, Memo and Lap timing. The display sections basically can provide group timings as countdown visuals for various periods.  It also features a rotating 2 way bezel and a decent 100 m Water Resistance.   Once again it’s one of those multi dial display models that always impresses and shows how clever Citizen was in producing displays that managed to show intuitively and clearly.  The splitting up of display sections allows different timings to be read easily.  This model also has quite an involved Chrono-Countdown function which initially requires checking out the instructions – unfortunately I only have the Quick Set reference sheet and could benefit from a full instruction manual to fully understand the functions properly.
Note – As the D060 features a single line display – the Day, Date and Month are viewed by toggling the lower right push button – the Day features on the top right display (where the seconds are showing in the image) – whilst pressed the Date indicator under the Time shows.  (the D120 model shows the Date/Day and Month above the Time as it features a dual line display).

Other brands have tried, mostly unsuccessfully, with either Digital, Ana-Digi or Analog only, to multi-read various timing data easily and found it tricky to manage without making the dials cluttered and unreadable.  As a result only few analog and analog/digitals managed this feat as well as Citizen at the time.  And there’s no doubt that digital, handled properly, as in this D060 here is a really good example of this art.P1030145
I particularly like the way color is used within the displays to effectively highlight different timing data with good clarity.P1030149

Overall this is a really good looking watch and is sure to produce plenty of comment when worn on a sleeveless wrist (poser time!).

Mostly I guess because it’s that bit different from today’s models and specifically as this one scores highly being virtually New Old Stock condition, externally, internally and in functionality.

For me these old stainless steel bodies Citizens seem preferable to the resin bodied models that were really staring to flood the market in those days.  Each competing for top spot to the new customers who loved the idea of complication models covering all sorts of sports and pastimes.

Citizen however stayed mostly with steel cased models whereas their competitor Casio opted for the resin cases pushing the plastics technology to unprecedented levels, even to this day.  Though that said the last Post illustrates that Casio too could produce stunning stainless cased models too, like the Pentagraph – another personal favorite.

I attach the .pdf Instruction Manual for this model – CitizenD060Windsurfer

NOTE 1 – For all you true “Windsurfers” out there I have to say that the vintage “surfer” watch, like the above Citizen have to be regarded as – vintage watch collectors pieces.  And if you take the sport seriously (and I know a couple of guys who are obsessed and seem to travel the world for a decent wave!), then you’ll have to have the proper watch kit.

So for you I can only recommend you follow the link as the writers appear to have a good idea as to what is required.  My favorite is at the foot of this page however – but that’s just me . . . .

http://hubpages.com/style/5-Best-Mens-Tide-Watches-for-Surfing-Reviews

NOTE 2 – There are a few of these on offer on the Web, but beware of over-inflated prices.  I’ve seen these from £350 to £500! which is excessive.
Remember most are pre-owned and whilst some may indicate New Old Stock, the strap is rarely original and sometimes there are so called shop movement damage – I find this debatable especially if there are scratches. . . . .

So my advice – take care and don’t get carried away – expect to pay up to around £150 and look carefully at all images and check/ask questions to ensure module/display segments are all working properly.

As ever – Buyer beware! 

Just a final note – If you are really into Windsurfing and you feel the need for a Windsurfing watch, I would suggest a look at the Rip Curl Trestles Pro Tide model.  It seems to have everything you need and more and costs only around £150 – I link to a video showing the features – HERE

Just bear in mind the only surfing I do is on the Internet!  So what do I know!  😉