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.
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 …
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.
Ruby Jewel Bearing
Ruby and Sapphire Jewel Bearings
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.
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.
ETA Mechanical Movement
ETA Quartz Movement
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
I squeaked by on the strength of my Yazole 298 yesterday but Tuesday is full-on project warfare with meetings, explanations and everyone wanting you to describe what you’ve been doing for the past week … Some times it’s easier to simply not be found, but I don’t want to waste a vacation day avoiding accountability …
… it’s time to consider blending in. Be there without being there … a khaki shirt and camouflage cargo shorts will help me to meld in so completely with the cube environment no one will know I was even in the meeting until it’s over and too late to ask questions!! Therefore I will be relying on my XINew Military watch in order to make sure I don’t arrive early and am able to sneak out undetected in a timely manner .
Covert operations are about to begin in T-minus 30 minutes-ish
Something special planned for the weekend? My trophy wife has assembled a “honey-do” list for me, so it’s hard labor this weekend. Air conditioners, landscaping, fixing light fixtures, disposing of lawn mowers and grills!! Uggg … I want to go back to bed. I need some extra support to get through the day. I have just the thing!! My Accutime BAT9225WM bat signal watch will get me though my first Honey-do day of the weekend (it’s shaping up to be a chore-filled couple of days).
The sheer magnificence of the dazzling yellow Bat Signal will likely attract several neighborhood goombah’s who just want to be near it. They will fumble over themselves to do all the heavy lifting of the AC units and the lawn mowers, like I was a mid-twenties supermodel who was into middle-aged, thick-necked Italians.
Broadcasting the Signal
Once the Bat-beam fades from their eyes, however and they are left staring at me … a nearing 50 year old, partially Swedish dude … I’ll probably get my ass kicked and then they will leave … small price to pay for getting out of chores though!!
End of Day Report
Holy cow! My honey-do list nearly killed me, but my Accutime BAT9225WM pulled me through the fray. OK … no thick-necked Italian “Goombah’s” bailed me out, clearly there was a pasta and/or pizza festival going on somewhere … but I didn’t get my ass kicked either (not literally) so there’s a plus! The watch performed as well as could be expected in an obviously deserted neighborhood. The work got done … and I’m probably gonna have sex tonight … thank you Batman!!
I think I am going to just sleep through tomorrow … yeah … the whole day (except for Game of Thrones – gonna wake up for that).
Yazole is a “brand” that you’ll see on many watches in the cheap Chinese watch universe. I have found their designs to be a mixed bag of like ’em / don’t like ’em. The Yazole 271 falls into the “like ’em” category for me. While the white face and brown leather band fit in well in a casual business environment, the black dial and leather band can successfully accessorize a day at the track. And I got one of each.
My Yazole 271’s in glorious white and black. So cheap, so beautiful I had to get both!
Conclusion & Rating
I dinged the Yazole 271 a couple of stars because while it was understood that the sub-dials would not function, they could have looked a little less pasted on. They aren’t horrible, but it doesn’t take a particularly thorough inspection to see how obviously “faux” they are. That combined with the overall quality which is a bit “chintzy”. As noted in my review of the Valia 8601-1 the metal used in the manufacture of the case of the Yazole 271 is rather lightweight and the whole watch lacks “heft”. That lack of substance is also reflected in the straps. They start out stiff and … not uncomfortable … but not comfortable either. It’s not that they make the watch a chore to wear, but they are relatively thin and feel cheap. Perhaps they will wear in over time. I had considered new bands for the pair of watches I purchased, but I am not sure that I can justify a $15 leather band on a $3 watch. Not yet anyway.
That being said, it measures up quite well to my two most important criteria …
- Keep accurate time – The Yazole 271 keeps time as well as you would expect.I don’t check back to an atomic clock every hour or anything but after a couple of weeks I have not had to reset the time on either watch. So that’s accurate enough.
- Look and Feel Great – While the sub-dials won’t fool anyone who stops for a close look, how often does that happen? I have worn it to work several times [Watch of the Day – 06/01/2016] and while I was not actually stopped in the hallway by anyone to admire my timepiece, I would have been happy to show it to anyone if they had. It’s a very attractive watch and while I would not recommend paying more than $5 for one, you don’t have to, as it’s easily attained for $2 – $3.
In my opinion, this is an attractive watch and it is VERY budget friendly. At $3 you get far more than you pay for. I can comfortably recommend it with a couple of caveats …
- Price under $5. Don’t pay more than $5 . There are better made watches in the $5 – $10 price range. Even a few under $5.
- You are willing to maintain it or accept the fact that it will not likely survive much punishment.
Interested in further “deets”? Feel free to continue reading to get additional thoughts and feedback of my experience with the Yazole 271.
Woke up feeling extra-cas (casual) this morning. And you know what that feeling means? Yep you guessed it … call out sick from work!!
Instead, I leaned on one of my work horse watches. One of my wife’s favorites (and mine), the Valia 8272-2. One of the first cheap Chinese watches I ever bought, this canvas clad beauty goes with almost everything in my closet.
While I probably prefer, aesthetically speaking, the more formal watches, the Valia 8272-2 suits my style of dress more than anything else. This goes with everything not-polyester. Jeans, cargo-shorts, tee-shirts and hoodies are my “go-to” fashion fair and this baby runs stride for stride with all of it.
End of Day Report
So the sun concludes it’s time here in North America by dipping softly below the horizon. It moves on to brighten a new day over the watch manufacturers in China, beginning production on more watches for me to buy!! Thank you sun!
It was another two thumbs up day for the Valia 8272-2. It performed above reproach for yet another busy and hard day of software development. And if you spend any amount of time on a computer keyboard you know the kind of workout a watch can get!!
Have a great evening … I gotta get busy picking out my watch for tomorrow … now … what have I got that goes with a bright orange Speedo … hmmmm …