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Orange is The New Black

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on April 20, 2012 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Orange straps seem to be de rigueur in the watch world lately, either that or I am noticing them everywhere I look because I have a notion fixed in my head that I need an orange strap in my life. Here is just a few to whet your appetite matched to the musings in my head. First up is the Timex Intelligent Quartz T2N707 which looks fantastic and at around £130 is not out of the way in price terms. However, I have just got the Timez T2N700 which has all the same functions as the above Timex but dressed in a Bell & Ross vintage style of black face and beige leather strap. The two watches do the same thing.

Next up we have the evergreen Omega Planet Ocean, a stylish, timeless beauty, a grail watch for many and certainly the car salesman's watch of choice. A few years ago out with my pal RVW, I was offered one of these at a bargain price and I passed it by (a bargain is only a bargain if you have the money in the first place, I didn't and I missed a real investment opportunity at the least). I have two thoughts on this watch, the first it is too expensive for me just now, £2700 in standard guise or £3700 with the liquid metal bezel and secondly, actually I would like the black face and black bezel with an orange strap. I have never seen this combination anywhere, so if anyone has please point me at it. Gibbs from NCIS wears a Planet Ocean on an orange bezel, maybe that is where I got to thinking about the whole orange strap thing. Yep that's it, my wife fancies Gibbs, I felt threatened by this and realised I have to get me an orange watch strap to compete! Phew I'm glad I at least understand the psychology of this whim now!

Here we have a new offering from Hamilton which I have showcased here.  This is a quartz with a mixed analogue and digital display ala Breitling Aerospace and to be honest there is nothing I don't like about it. Some watch aficionados can be a bit snobby about "high end" quartz  watches but  I just don't have that mind set and a Breitling Aerospace has long been on my want list. This Hamilton tempts me because it is a half price Aerospace in groovy colours. However, at £980 it is not a watch to buy on a whim.

Last but not least is the Suunto Core which I looked at here. This is a watch for the outdoor kinda guy, or girl and it is feature rich with a barometer and altimeter just for starters. It is  currently around the £235 mark which for me is  a great price but nonetheless expensive enough to make me think long and hard and it is a 50mm case which is a big boy and I have in truth got small wrists. Not one to mail order on then, I need to try one of these on first. I like it a lot, my wife likes it a lot, but it is a big big boy. My wife said "Who cares that it is huge at 50mm, it has a storm warning alert!"  That one comment has put this just about at the top of this list but clearly we need to do more research.

Anyone else fancy a black and orange and know of a sexy model that we should look at?

Timex IQ Fly-Back Chronograph - Watch Collection 16

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on April 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (4)

The Vintage Watch

The Timex T Series™ Racing collection traditionally takes its design cues from a racing motif. The design platform has evolved but continues to deliver a bold and masculine design motif. The Timex T-Series™Fly-back Chronograph with Intelligent Quartz™ technology advances the design aesthetic of this collection and features a fly-back chronograph movement and second time zone. The model I have wanted for such a long time and finally have here is the T2N700 version with a black face and case and a beige vintage leather strap. A cross then between an automobile racing chronograph and a vintage aviator!

In truth the watch got off to a false start with the first releases having an incorrectly printed face and the numerals off the bottom hand running 1, 3, 6, 8, 9 instead of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 as they should. I had to wait a while for this to be corrected and  the new batch released for sale. I finally saw an example of the correct face on the Christopher Ward Forum so immediately went hunting on the Internet. First Class Watches.co.uk came up trumps with a great price and I was able to phone them to check on the face design before placing my order. I ordered it on Saturday and the watch arrived Wednesday after the Easter Bank Holiday Monday so first class service guys!

I have already written about my fondness for this vintage look when I looked at this watch along with a Bell & Ross 123 Vintage Heritage, A Christopher Ward C8 Vintage and a Steinhart Vintage Chrono. To put this in perspective, the Timex comes in at around £124, a third of the price of a CWL C8 and a lot lot less than the almost £2000 Bell & Ross. So having it on the wrist what do I think? Well at over £100 many would regard it as an expensive watch and in that market it doesn't disappoint, good quality, good looks and great featues and I am nothing short of delighted with it.

However, is the quality up there with The Steinharts or the Christopher Wards or the Bell & Ross? Simply put - no. The pushers are a tad cheap looking, The glass is mineral not crystal, the strap is chunky and acceptable but not in the same class as a Bell and Ross or a Christopher Ward. That said the strap does fit my wrist straight out of the box, which is more than can be said for a Christopher Ward C8 which comes on standard straps which are just frankly too big! The movement is quartz and not an automatic but to me that means the cheaper movement allows more investment in the glass and case and strap and from that view point the quality isn't there.

Put simply you do get what you pay for but as with most goods the more you pay the less you get for your extra money. To explain, the Christopher Ward at 4 times the price is not 4 times better, but being great value is perhaps three times better. The Steinhart at 8 times the price is also only 3 times better and the Bell & Ross at 16 times the price is probably only 5 times better. An  arbitrary scale plucked from the top of my head but you get the idea. The less you pay the more you get for your money but none of us chooses the cheapest every time and especially not if you are a watch geek!

In summary for the money I can't fault it at all and it will get a lot of wrist time!


  • IQ™ Fly-back chronograph movement
  • INDIGLO® night-light
  • Second time zone
  • Date feature
  • Stainless steel case
  • Genuine leather strap
  • 100 meter water resistance
  • Case size: 43mm
  • Lug size: 20mm
  • Mineral glass

Timex Donald Duck - Watch Collection No 1

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on October 19, 2010 at 3:05 AM Comments comments (2)

The Root of the passion for watches.

Timex Donald Duck

My very first watch was a Timex with "Donald Duck" written on the face which was white with blue lettering and numbers. It was a birthday present from my Auntie Vera and Uncle Henry, given to me in 1966 and although I no longer wear it, I still have it in my watch collection - cherished for being my first ever watch!

I wont claim that this is the watch that kick started my passion for and interest in watches, its significance and value to igniting that particular spark is small. I think that spark was ignited later in my life in my late twenties but more of that later in the collection. Perhaps though a small seed was sown with this watch though clearly its value lies in its sentimental worth, more than in its significance to my Journey Through Time.

Do you have your first ever watch?