Author: Aldridge W. Abernathy

Review: SOKI Field Watch

This SOKI Field Watch is styled after military field watches. Originally required to synchronize ballistics with infantry movements, field watches provided minimal, easy-to-read dials; with emphasis on no-frills, sans-serif fonts and few if any additional complications were employed to emphasize readability. SOKI’s version of the field watch is an adequate representation of such a watch … not great buy not horrible either.

Lacking any definitive model number or name (as far as I can tell) I will simply refer to this as the SOKI Field Watch. You can find it online by searching on “SOKI Military Watch”. I prefer “Field” over “Military” as it’s more specific to the style. Anyway … I digress …

Conclusion & Rating

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Cons

It’s hard to say that you don’t get your money’s worth when purchasing a watch for $5 and the SOKI Field Watch is no different. It didn’t knock me over with it’s style or durable construction but it is a nice watch for the money. It’s not that there is anything particularly wrong with this watch as much as there isn’t anything particularly spectacular with it either. In general, I really like the utilitarian look of field watches. I think, however that these SOKI Field Watches photographed more convincingly than they delivered in person. But this really is a personal preference. If you can’t stop looking at them then you will probably like these more than me.

If I have any specific complaints about the construction, it would be that the watch bands are a little chintzy in the leather department and there is something about the edge of the case, where it meets the crystal that makes it resemble a powder coated, yet durable mint tin.

Pros

Oddly enough however, while the band material is a bit of a downer, the design of the band, and in particular the buckle, are some of my favorite features of this watch. I love the double-pin buckle, and while the metal that the buckle is made of is what I have come to expect from cheap Chinese watches, the double-pin makes it more sturdy feeling when buckling it. I also love the look of the double row of rectangular holes down the length of the band.

I’m not a particular guy and subtle details can get lost on me. I only need a watch to do two things, however, and I judge it primarily on those things …

  1. Keep accurate time.I have not had to , after a month’s time reset the time on the SOKI Field Watch. Being a quartz movement I expect to not have to reset the time very often, and so far the SOKI Field Watch has delivered without fail.
  2. Look and feel great. Although the SOKI Field Watch fulfills the promise that it looks like a field watch, I was kind of expecting and hoping for more. More rugged, more … in the trenches.

Recommendation

Would I recommend this to a friend? I think if you were really taken with the design then this would be an OK purchase. The case actually feels well made and the dial is easy to read. If you were “so-so” on the design then I would recommend that you keep looking. There are several nice, cheap Chinese field watches available. The SOKI W035 is an under $5 watch that looks like it might have more promise. I will have to try this one sometime soon!

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SOKI W035

Interested in further “deets”? Feel free to continue reading to get additional thoughts and feedback of my experience with the SOKI Field Watch.

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Review: Valia 8272-2

The Valia 8272-2 was among the first shipment of cheap Chinese watches I received. It has since become something of my “go-to” watch as it goes with more of my wardrobe that any of my other watches. I am a hoodie, cargo shorts and Sketchers kind of guy and this wristwatch is the perfect level of casual for me.

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Conclusion & Rating

Cons

The biggest beef I have with this watch is the dial design. While it definitely has the “cool” factor, the problem is that I can sometimes lose the second, minute and hour hands in the cross-over detail. Perhaps it’s just me but the crossing pattern is so pronounced it diverts a bit from the readability. It’s not like you can’t find the hands though. I just need to re-adjust my eyes and there they are.

Another issue I have is that it’s billed as a leather and canvas strap. I don’t know whether the leather is genuine or not but the canvas does not appear to be actual canvas as much as a sort of batting or a thin, almost Styrofoam-like material veneered with a canvas texture. Not a huge issue but noticeable in my mind.

Pros

As I mentioned before, this watch, in the colors I have chosen has become my daily go-to as it goes with almost everything I own. I wouldn’t wear it to a funeral or a wedding or anything but it seems to be the universal “casual watch”.

I love the case on this watch as well; perhaps my favorite thing in fact. I love that it’s not a plated, shiny chrome case. It has a more metallic, flat finish to it which I really like.

I’m not a particular guy and the subtle details can get lost on me. I only need a watch to do two things, however, and I judge it primarily on those things …

  1. Keep accurate time. I have not had to, after two month’s time reset the time on the Valia 8272-2. That, for me qualifies as accurate time.
  2. Look and feel great. The Valia 8272-2 pulls through. It’s comfortable and casual and goes with everything in my closet.

Recommendation

Would I recommend this to a friend? Definitely. It’s cool looking, durable (so far) and at $4.87USD is a great value for the money.

Interested in further “deets”? Feel free to continue reading to get additional thoughts and feedback of my experience with the Valia 8272-2.

(more…)

Watch of The Day – June 11, 2016

I packed up my teenage daughters today and we went on a short road trip to visit my sister who lives near the beach here … here, where I live.

I was rocking flea market fashion wearing gray camouflage cargo shorts, a black/grey sweatshirt, plain black baseball cap and of course my dollar store sunglasses. Wrapping up the ensemble was a black banded Geneve W5583 quartz “fauxnograph“. This wristwatch was a bit of a surprise for me. It initially struck me as a near duplicate of the Yazole 271 and while it’s arguably very similar looking, I was surprised at how much different it “wore” on my wrist. Partly due to the watch but I was particularly surprised at how comfortable the strap was.

It was bit of a dismal day, a cold drizzle pretty much all afternoon. As such it didn’t endure crazy summer heat nor sweaty wrists or anything. And although we walked along the beach and it’s possible that a random rain drop or two may have found its way onto the crystal, nothing happened that would have tested its “water resistance”. All in all however I was quite pleased and look forward to another day with my Geneve W5583.

 

Question : What are jewels and does the number make a difference?

Jewels in a watch certainly sound exotic and prestigious. I mean .. diamonds, rubies and sapphires. It makes your watch sound like a pirate’s treasure chest! The more jewels the better!! Right?

If you’re expecting this …

pirate_treasure_rubies

Don’t … Jewels found in watch movements are used as bearings to prevent certain contact points within the mechanism from wearing down during the course of operation. Hard jewels (diamond, ruby and sapphires) are commonly used because they are the hardest material available. Primarily these days, on quality movements you will see synthetic, man-made rubies used; diamonds are too expensive and sapphires are presumably not as hard. Although through casual internet surfing I am seeing quite a bit of sapphire out there as well.

The jewels we are actually talking about are so small, and the fact that they are man-made would suggest that the rubies used in watch movements are to naturally occurring rubies what cubic zirconia is to a diamond.

But they do seem to pack a lot of influence … Watch manufacturers seem to boast about the number of jewels they possess … Presumably 10 jewels is better than 7 and 17 is better than 10 and 27 is better than 17 … etc etc… also not true.

According to this much more literately written article on A Blog To Watch, in the days before automation, setting these tiny little jewels was so complicated that you only used as many as you needed. Therefore the number of jewels present in a movement was an indicator of the complication of the movement itself (more moving parts) and amount of effort and attention and thus the quality of the movement itself. These days, however, with the advent of synthetic rubies, tools and automation, setting jewels is not as difficult or as expensive as it used to be. Manufacturers may sometimes pack more jewels into their watches than is necessary in an effort to project a higher level of quality than is really present.

So the number of jewels required really depends on the requirements of the movement. The more complications and moving parts, presumably the move jewels are necessary. So if you find a watch that does no more than tell the time yet boasts “27 jewels” … it probably represents more marketing than functionality.

 

 

 

Question : What is an ETA Movement?

This had me confused for a long time because ETA sounds like an acronym for something, so I assumed it must refer to some sort of certification or certification body or something. It’s actually a little less complicated then that and yet so much more.

For those with a short attention span (my hand is raised) the oversimplified explanation is that ETA is a manufacturer of movements, but not just A manufacturer of movements; it’s the largest, most powerful and influential manufacturer and supplier of Swiss movements in the industry. According to Wikipedia, ETA maintains a virtual monopoly over the Swiss movement and as such is heavily regulated by the Swiss government.

A Blog To Watch has detailed a 3 page history on how ETA came to be. It was a long but not uninteresting journey. If you’re one for details I highly recommend the read. If not, then at least hit up page 3 and check out “ETA Today”. It’s good information to know if you’re going to be interested in watches.

For More information

Watch of the Day – June 9, 2016

Livin’ Large bee-atches!! Your know you’re a real baller when you are wearing a watch that’s bigger than your wrist!! The V6 Super Speed V0270 measures in at my wrist’s maximum capacity of 49mm (I know … I have little girl wrists).

If my day is as large as my watch it should be a good one.

Panerai Homage Watches …

Update 06/14/2016

After nearly a week of waiting to see any movement in the package tracking all of a sudden it appears that it’s in town waiting to be delivered! I am expecting to receive these today!!

 

Update 06/07/2016

Less than 24 hours later my watches have shipped!! Gearbest even included a photo of the package to the tracking information! The package is unimpressive but it’s nice to know that something is coming. Hope it gets here in one piece! Well … two … I ordered two watches so I am hoping for two pieces …

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Initial Post 06/06/2016

I was never a big fan of the Panerai “cushion” styled timepieces until I began to read up on the Parnis for a small paragraph I wrote on homage watches, and they started to grow on me. After only a couple of days of looking at them I just had to have one!!

Of course,  I can’t afford a $150 Parnis anymore than I can afford an authentic $7000 Panerai but I found a pair of Megir watches on Gearbest.com that shared very similar design queues. I don’t think they were attempting to hide the similarities, on the contrary I think it’s exactly what they were shooting for. Regardless, lucky me,  they also came in under my $25 “really cheap watch” price guideline … win/win …  so I bought the pair! The Megir 3009 on the left (below) and the Megir 3778 on the right (below). I think that they look fantastic. I have concerns over the quality of the straps as I have been disappointed by several straps so far but if the mechanism is well built and worth it I may drop another $15-$20 and get some nicer straps.

 

I placed the order on June 7th and they shipped the next day!!! Now I am sit here refreshing the shipping tracking information as if expecting an Indiana Jones travel sequence to appear on the screen so that I can follow the ever progressing movement of my pair of Megir watches …

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I will post photos and first impressions when they arrive! Holy crap … I can’t wait!!