Thursday, February 27, 2020

Posts from Instagram @indiawatchblog

Follow Us on Instagram @indiawatchblog

Once again I truly apologise to all the readers for not posting anything in a long long time. To be honest, Bio and I both got really busy with work and never really got back to blogging.

The other day I was thinking why not move ahead with the times and share what we are up to via Instagram. Bio and I both have separate Instagram accounts where we routinely still post about watches, however I think it's about time we created an account for this blog as well.

So please follow us @indiawatchblog on Instagram and if you have any questions, you could always comment or DM us there.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Testing The Water Resistance Of My Watch

Back after perhaps the best vacation I've ever had - a week at the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. All credit goes to my wonderful fiancé who made this happen, including a stay at the Four Seasons Resort (exceptional service received). 'But, what has this got to do with watches' is probably what you all must be thinking. Well it so happened that the trip to Maui had quite a bit of activities that involved water. This included swimming, snorkelling, getting knocked about by surprising powerful waves at the beach and jumping into the water from rocks about 20ft high. It's the last one that I was a bit worried about doing with a watch on.

In order to learn more about this, I went on to one of the watch forums and asked if it was ok to wear a watch and jump into the water from a height. I got the usual sarcastic comments about worrying unnecessarily when it comes to getting a watch wet, but that's not what I was looking for. I wanted specially to know if it's ok to jump from a height into the water. I did get some pretty good and reassuring responses as well, so I decided to go for it. If you're still thinking I'm worrying too much, it's because the watch in question was my Panerai PAM005, not what you would call a cheap watch.

Enjoying the view from the pool

I chose the PAM because it came with a rubber strap, and something I could wear at a nice place as well (like the Four Seasons). I didn't want to carry more than one watch on the trip. The other option I had was the Submariner, but I have worn that on quite a few trips and wanted to give the Panerai some wrist time.

So, how did it do? Well, it passed with flying colours! Absolutely no issues whatsoever. There was no condensation, no spring bar coming lose (which was my biggest concern) after multiple jumps including somersaults, and even on a cloudy day it was very easy to tell the time underwater. All I had to remember to do was to rinse the watch with freshwater after taking a swim in the sea, so as to the wash the salt off.

time check underwater while snorkelling


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Panerai PAM005 - one year on

It's almost a year since I bought the PAM005 and I think it's a good time for a proper review. I've been wearing it very often over the past year and under various conditions, so let's see how it's been doing so far.

Before I begin, here are some quick specs for people who are still new to this watch:

Case: Polished Steel
Caseback: Solid
Crystal: 3.5mm Sapphire
Diameter: 44mm
Lug Width: 24mm
Thickness: 14.5mm

The PAM005 is a Luminor Marina, which means it has the famous Panerai crown guard and the small seconds indicator. This watch also comes with the OP (Officine Panerai) logo on the dial, which is something I quite like personally, while some may tend to disagree.

What I've liked:

Build Quality - really nice and feels tough. The polished stainless still case has picked up minor scratches that can be expected from normal wear, but the sapphire crystal is still scratch-less.

The Crown Guard - What? The crown guard? Yes, the way it opens and locks is so nice that I find myself fidgeting with it all the time.

Looks - Although a 44mm would seem pretty big for some people, it actually sits really well on the wrist, thanks to it's curved lugs. It really hugs the wrist and makes it very comfortable to wear. I have a 7 inch wrist and it seems to fit perfectly on it. I have also received a lot of compliments for it, which is always nice, since people generally don't notice a watch.

Timekeeping - The PAM005's movement is COSC certified, which means it should ideally maintain an accuracy within -4/+6 seconds a day. From my personal tests, it has been been keeping time well within those specs.

Lume - Bright, very easy to read at night and just looks awesome!

Versatility with Straps - Well, if you read about Panerai, you will surely come across the obsessions of straps that people develop soon after buying one. I can personally tell you it's very true. In fact, in one of my earlier posts, I've even mentioned that this was the very reason I started making straps. The PAM005, like most other Panerai watches look great in a wide variety of straps. The watch even comes with a small screwdriver which makes changing straps really easy (different Panerai models may have a different technique to change straps).

What I didn't like: Honestly, I don't have anything bad to say about it, so I will have to nitpick here:

Polished Case - Looks great, but scratches quite easily.

Setting The Time - Not something that bothers me, but may bother others, so I am mentioning it. If you want to be accurate, you will have to wait for when the minutes is in multiples of five, like 5, 10, fifteen. This is because it has no individual minute markers. Also the movement doesn't allow for the seconds hand to be hacked (stopped) when you pull the crown out.

Also a tip when you set the time: I was a bit unsure as to how to push the crown back after setting the time. I constantly found myself accidentally rotating the crown a bit while pushing it in, which in turn would move the minute hand slightly and I would have to wait again for another 5 minutes to set the time (only if you are picky bout setting the time accurately). I then wondered if I could just use the crown guard to push the crown down while locking it. It worked great, but some fellow Panerai owners told me it could lead to unnecessary pressure on the crown. So I went straight to the source - I contacted Panerai regarding this. To my surprise, they actually got back to me within a day and told me the right way to do it - do not use the crown guard to push the crown back in. Instead use two fingers on either side of the crown guard to gently push the crown in. This takes a bit of practice but it works like a charm and the minute hand doesn't move when done correctly.

Overall I'm really loving the watch. It pairs really well with whatever you may wear, especially with the ease of changing the strap. I have not got the chance to take it swimming yet, but I plan to do so very soon on an upcoming trip. I have got it wet in the rain though and of course it had no issues whatsoever. For those looking to buy the PAM005, it definitely gets a thumbs up from me, although since Panerai has discontinued this particular model, it may be a little hard to find.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A trip to the local watchmaker

Last year I was introduced to a local watchmaker by a fellow watch enthusiast when I was looking to get a couple of my watches serviced. Thankfully he is located about 10 mins walking from my office, so I decided to pay him a visit. I always thought I would write a post on him, but never got around to doing it, so finally here it goes...

Mr. Murali belongs to a generation of watchmakers and that is quite evident with some of the tools you can see that belonged to his father. The first time I spoke with him I knew he was very experienced and soon I was proved right. Turns out he has worked with a lot of watch companies including Omega.

The workspace itself is really tiny, somewhere around 6ft by 4ft (by my estimate) but don't let that deter you. He is experienced in servicing simple mechanical movements to minute repeaters - that's right, he even works on minute repeaters.

There is watch making stuff and spare parts everywhere! On the table, the shelves, the floor, needless to say, he makes the best possible use of the available space and it's amazing to see a mix of old and modern tools.

If you love talking about watches and different movements, you've come to the right place. On so many occasions I've dropped in to for something small, like a battery change, that would normally taken maybe 5 mins but ended up staying for 30 mins or more conversing about something interesting.

Some of his clients even sell their watches through him so it's always good to ask him. I've seen some really nice vintage and new watches for sale and it's really hard to control the temptation to buy something. Even if I don't buy, it's always fun to try them out.

busy workbench

cool vintage Seamaster

another beautiful vintage in for service - a Movado moonphase

Servicing costs are extremely reasonable, especially when compared with the authorised service centres. He also believes in using only original parts if something needs to be replaced during service. His years of working in this industry has resulted in him acquiring a lot of useful contacts who can help him procure these spare parts.

If you're looking for him, a quick google search for 'Murali Watch Centre' will give you his address and contact information.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Need To Get In Touch With Us? - Here Is How You Can Do That

Over the years, there have been quite a few visitors on this blog who've had questions regarding watches, servicing, custom duties, sales, etc, and try to get in touch trough the comments section. Although this seems OK, the only way Bio or I can respond is by replying to the question in the comment section and hope that person would visit again to see it.

I guess we can agree it's not too practical. So, from now on, if someone would like to get in touch with us, we suggest you to post a comment with your email and send it to us. We WON'T publish your comment and instead directly reply to you via email.

This way you can be sure to receive a reply (spam comments will obviously be ignored) and you don't have to worry about your email showing up for everyone to see.

It's always a pleasure hearing from you wonderful folks and thank you for visiting India Watch Blog :)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Watch Enthusiasts of India GTG - Pune

Back again from another GTG or get-together, and this time it was in the charming city of Pune. Like the previous GTGs, this was organised by the Watch Enthusiasts of India (WEI) and the date was set for the 18th of March 2017. The watches I chose to bring along for this GTG were:
  • Rolex Submariner 14060M
  • IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW3714-45
  • Panerai PAM005

Pune is about a 3-4 hour drive from Mumbai (sometimes more if the traffic is bad) and is connected by the lovely Mumbai-Pune Expressway which can get very scenic during the rainy season. I along with three other members, Aravind, Pattabhi and Santanu, set off at 11 AM. Here I would like to thank Aravind for driving us all in his car.

Pune, here we come

On reaching Pune we were warmly greeted by Manish and after quickly checking into our hotel, we were off for lunch. Before heading to the restaurant, we made a quick pitstop to meet and pickup Karan (founder, WEI).

Thankfully Manish had already chosen a nice place for lunch called East Street. Although the GTG was scheduled for the evening, the six of us were already talking and checking out each other's watches. After a few beers and some good food, I had to take leave and head back to my room as I had some work to do. Meanwhile the rest of the gang went to have a look at some watches.

Always great to start a GTG weekend with beer :)
Finally, it was time for the main event and once again, the very helpful members in Pune had selected a nice place called Carnival and reserved a few tables in one section of the venue that gave us some privacy. Apart from the six of us, we were joined by Nikhil, Pankaj, Reggie and Shashank. It was great to finally meet Nikhil and Pankaj in person and like I mentioned in the previous GTG post, it felt like we all already knew each other.

As with every GTG, everyone is waiting for the watches to be laid on the table and it is always amusing to see reactions from other non-WIS people around when that happens. Time for the wrist shots:

Manish's Zenith

Nik's Speedmaster's box - the biggest watch box I've seen

wish every watch came with goodies like these

Can never go wrong with a Speedy in any collection

Manish's stunning Hamilton PanEurop

Karan's titanium Tudor Pelagos - didn't want to take this off my wrist

Never seen this lovely Orient before (Manish's)

Probably my favourite Longines at the moment

All in the family - from left to right: the Black Bay, Pelagos and Submariner

Checking out the lume on the Pelagos

Some Seiko action

Some more Seiko action. Notice despite the big dial size, these Seikos seemed fine on my wrist  :)

Nik's Omega Planet Ocean

I've said it before, my fav Tissot!

And the most unique dial of the GTG award goes to this Klokers KLOK-01
And this is when my phone ran low on power, so unfortunately couldn't take a lot of pictures.

There were easily over a 100 watches, 50 of which belonged to Pattabhi alone! A few people came over to our table and asked if we were selling them and left with confused looks when we told them we are just passionate about watches and like collecting them.

After some more beers and dinner, it was time to call it a night but some of us decided to meet for brunch the next day.

At noon, I checked out from my hotel and headed to Little Italy, which as the name suggests is an Italian restaurant. It was me, Karan, Manish, Shashank and Sameer - another member from Pune who was unable to make it for the GTG the previous night. Once again, there was a good mix of watches, beer and delicious food.

The PAM 005 on my handmade strap :)

Loved this vintage Seiko chronograph (Karan's)

Couldn't get over how stunning the dial looked on this Seiko (Sameer's)

A group shot of my collection at the GTG
After brunch, we bid farewell to each other and Manish and Shashank very generously offered to drive me to the bus station (Aravind had to leave early in the morning, so I decided to take a bus back to Mumbai). At this point I would normally say that I had a great GTG, the best so far and end this post, but little did I know there was more to come.

Onboard the bus, there was an elderly gentleman sitting next to me and I noticed a Baume & Mercier auto chronograph on his wrist. I didn't say anything at first because I wasn't sure of he was a watch enthusiast or not, but soon we got talking and he told me that he used to work for the German car brand BMW and just retired a few months ago. He also told me that he had noticed the watch I had on my wrist (Panerai 005) and as you've probably guessed by know, was indeed a watch enthusiast. He told me about his collection, which included brands like Rolex, Omega, Longines, Cartier, Chopard and even Vacheron Constantin and Patek Phillipe! The whole journey we spoke at length about cars and watches and before I knew it, I was back in Mumbai and at my stop. While departing we both shook hands and hope to meet again sometime in the future.

So yes, now I can say it, it was a fantastic GTG and wonderful weekend. A big thank you to Manish and all the Pune members for making this happen and planning the best GTG experience I've had.

To read about the previous GTGs, click on the links below: