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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Graham Chronofighter - GALLERY

This one is called the Graham Chronofighter Oversize Diver Tech Seal Scarab... now say that 5 times fast!






Now there is no denying the absolute COOL FACTOR of this watch. In fact, it is off the charts cool, but would I wear it? I truly do not know.... would you?

Pictures courtesy of Canwatchco.ca

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ball Pilot GMT + Scotch Brite Pad + Polywatch + Elbow Grease = Happy WIS

I recently acquired a Ball Aviator GMT, which was a watch I had my eye on since Basel 2014. When I finally received it, I was slightly disappointed with all the polished bits and even more disappointed with the anti-reflective coating on the top of the crystal. While I understand its purpose and I agree with many of my fellow WIS, it is cool to look at, but ONLY when it is clean!

Unfortunately, it never stays that way. The minute there is dust, a print or anything on the crystal it shows right away. It is also difficult to wipe clean, without leaving streaks. Not to mention, it is highly and easily prone to scratches and once scratched, that is all you see. I find it ludicrous to put a weak film on top of a scratch resistant surface. A poster on one of the forums likened it to putting cheap plating on a ceramic bezel.

After trying to live with the "blingyness" and the ever dirty crystal for a week, I decided to do something about it. I broke out the following tools:

The scotch was to calm my nerves, the Polywatch was to rub off the AR Film on the crystal and the Scotch Brite was to brush the shiny bits on the bracelet. I was not sure of the Polywatch would affect the bezel and I was going to try and avoid removing the polish on the beveled edges on the center links, so that they will go with the polished lugs on the watch head.

Here is what the watch looked like pre-modification:



I started with the bracelet and I have to say, it was MUCH easier to do than I anticipated. The fine brushed marks that were now on the top of the center links matched perfectly with the original finish on the rest of the bracelet. My confidence was soaring! Once I had this done, I moved on to the crystal. This was much more difficult, as I was unsure how much Polywatch I had left in the tiny tube and I did not want to run one with the job half done.

Luckily, I had enough and after a solid 30 minutes of polishing the AR film was removed. I can honestly say, I am 1000% happier with my Ball Aviator GMT now. So glad I sent through with it and did not just give up and sell it. Here are the results:



If I would have had the courage to have tried this brush technique on my Ball Airborne, I would likely still have it. I just do not understand the appeal of shiny bits on a sports / tool watch, but this is just my opinion, of course. Others my like it and they are entitled to their opinions. 

For some Ball Watch fun, here are a couple of lume shots for you:


After all, this is the #1 factor for owning a Ball Watch! I love them tubes and now I love my Pilot GMT!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

BASEL 2015 - N.O.A Evo

For N.O.A, the onward march of time is about far more than just units of measurement. It is an opportunity to draw upon the past, to live the present moment and to look to the future by evolving towards ever more daring and luminous horizons. The brand is an inspired dreamer that constantly innovates in presenting the new face of its Evolution: Evo. The watch takes the signature N.O.A three-dimensional effects to new limits by introducing a ceramic rotating bezel underscoring the architectural two-part case construction. Further enhancing these depths effects, the dial is also composed of several layers, with a lower part rimmed by a minute track and date display, while the inner bezel ring creates a multi-level impression with numerals and hour-markers that appear to be literally bursting out of the watch. At its heart beats an automatic movement that may be admired through the sapphire caseback.

Mechanical automatic N.O.A. A2824 calibre on an ETA 2824 base movement, 25 jewels

Hours, minutes, seconds, date

316L steel with black PVD treatment, two-part construction, 44 mm Black ceramic rotating bezel Anti-reflective sapphire crystal Sapphire back Water-resistant to 100 metres (100 bar / 330 ft)

Black, twin-layered construction Hands and applied hour-markers enhanced with Superluminova Black inner bezel ring with raised numerals and hour-markers Date window at 3 o’clock

Black rubber with personalised buckle


BASEL 2015 - Eterna Royal KonTiki GMT

A legendary watch and longtime star of the Eterna collections, the KonTiki returns with a brand-new heart. And what a heart! The first of 88 possible variations of the new Calibre 39 by Eterna – a Manufacture movement based on an ultra-rational construction and capable of generating interpretations ranging from a two-hand manually-wound version through to an automatic chronograph. And all that in chronometer-precision quality! Three screws are enough to secure any and all of the modules or sub-assemblies, themselves composed of a limited number of parts. The first variation of this refined mechanism features a dual-time display elegantly staged on a dial by means of a red pointer sweeping around a light-and-dark-shaded ring corresponding to nighttime and daytime hours. The robust and sporty new case of the Royal KonTiki borrows its sandblasted curved grooves from the 1970s models, while proudly sporting a curvaceous case that is unmistakably its own.

Mechanical automatic Eterna 3945 movement on 39 base calibre, 28 jewels, 28,800 vib/h, Spherodrive ball bearing-mounted spring barrel, 68-hour power reserve

Hours, minutes, seconds, date, dual time, day/night indication

Satin-finish and polished steel, 42.30 mm Black PVD-treated crown guard and screws Scratch-resistant anti-glare sapphire crystal Water-resistant to 100 metres (10 bar / 330 ft)

Black Luminescent hands Bracelet/strap Black rubber with pin buckle


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Delma Blue Shark L.E. - REVIEW

In my quest to find the ULTIMATE ├╝ber-dive watch I have owned several 3000m divers. From a pair of Breitling Seawolfs, to the great value Deep Blue DepthMaster, to the venerable Ball Deequest and Aquadive BS300, it is apparent that the pinnacle of dive watch supremacy is the 3000m+ diver. It is while researching these watches that I stumbled onto the Delma Blue Shark, as I had never previously heard of it previously.

One of my absolute favorite things about this hobby is stumbling onto new watches I MUST acquire… and I did! Now let me pre-face this review by saying that this particular 3000m diver is unlike any of the others in many ways. In fact, it takes quite a bit to surprise me in the watch world and this one has surprised me more than once!

The first thing you notice when you receive the Blue Shark is the incredible packaging. It is reminiscent of a Panerai watch presentation box, which is saying quite a bit! You expect this when buying a watch in the 5 figures, but not when purchasing a Delma. I was quite impressed. In the packaging came all the tools necessary to size the watch and swap out the bracelet for the supplied rubber (silicone) strap.

Once you get passed the presentation you are immediately struck by the heft of this timepiece. At 300+ grams, it is by far one of the heaviest watches I have ever owned, but due to the thickness of the bracelet and the incredibly over-engineered clasp, it is very well balanced. I am grateful for the latter attribute, fore without it, this watch would flop around my wrist like a fish out of water.

Sizing this behemoth was quite simple, using the tools provided, but somewhat surprising. I had “assumed” each screw on either side of the bracelet was part of one whole bar. Well, this is not the case! Each side is independent and the threads for the screws are near the head and not the tip. I have never seen this in any other watch before. It is quite novel and the added security is really reassuring. Should one side ever get loose; there is no risk of bracelet coming apart.

I chose the non-plated steel bezel version and I was a little reticent of my decision. That is until I saw it in person! It is much, much nicer live and in living color. The top of the bezel is not an insert, as I first thought and it is not aluminum, it is solid stainless steel and the top ring is actually a step up from the polished teeth that help with the grip. I am very pleased with my choice and so much prefer it to the black, which could easily get scuffed. The lume on the bezel is superb.

The dial is a black carbon fiber pattern, which does not look as busy as I expected it to be. Of course, the pictures you see on-line are close-ups, so the watches are 300-400% larger than they really are. This pattern is much more sublet in real-life. All of the markers, as well as the surround around the date are applied and reflect ever so nicely. The quality of the dial and applied indices remind me of an Omega Planet Ocean, which is high praise considering the disparity in price. Having owned 4 Planet Oceans myself, I can sincerely attest to this.

The hands look like others we have seen before on the original Zodiac Super Seawolf, but upon closer inspection, you will find a greater surface area for lume on the Delma’s hands. They are basically a variation of a winning formula and in my opinion, an improvement. Another neat feature on the dial is the anodized orange flange, which adds further depth to the overall dial. All of this is underneath a thick, domed sapphire crystal, which is treated underneath with an anti-reflective coating.

As you can imagine the case back and crown are both screwed-down and have beautiful engraving. If I had to pick on something, it would have to be the crown. I feel it is does not afford enough “grip” and its polished surface make is somewhat slippery to adjust.  This is such a minor design flaw, since its ETA 2824 movement will so rarely need adjusting. So how often will you be resetting this watch, once a month? Twelve times a year? No big deal really.

The aforementioned ETA movement has been performing flawlessly and gaining a consistent 6 sec/day while worn 24/7. Yes, I have worn this bad boy to bed, though maybe I should not, as I almost knocked out my cat the other day. Poor micro-dude, mind you, he did see it coming due to the incredible lume or did he see it like a deer in headlights “Oh… pretty lights… thwack”… lol…

THE CLASP! Almost forgot to bring this up. I know I mentioned how overbuilt it is above, but this must be discussed in more detail! It is made of thick, solid stainless steel and instead of friction holding the flip-lock in place, there are two bearing detents built into the steel. What you get when you flip it closed is pleasurable click. It is extremely precise, refined and so impressive.

Because of its design, when opened, I find it a tad small for my giant paws, but I can still manage to squeeze in there. While this may sound like a problem, it is not. Due to the weight and size of this behemoth, if the opening was much larger, I would fear dropping it. As it is, I must wiggle it offer. I am thankful for this. Speaking of behemoth, it can also be used as a dive weight, to help divers get to the bottom.

As another famous dive watch blogger recently said, when going for a super, high-performance, deep diver such as this, some things must be compromised. Weight and size being two of those compromises. All that being said, it remains a very comfortable watch to wear and it does get a lot of attention for its contrasting colors and size. I thoroughly enjoy wearing it.

If you are in the market for something completely different and you want super specifications to go along with it, then you may have just found your next deep diver. For many more pictures, click on the link below to see my initial impressions post. 

Delma Blue Shark L.E. - 1st Impressions