Sunday, December 18, 2016

Watch Enthusiasts of India GTG - Mumbai

A watch GTG is always great - like minded people meet up and talk about stuff that most people normally react to as "why do you need more than one watch?" Oh and there was booze and good food, so that's as good an excuse to attend.

Some of you may have read my earlier post on an earlier GTG for us watch enthusiasts in India, if not, you can check it out here.

This time we are in Mumbai, the financial capital of India and also the city I reside in :)

December is a great time to visit Mumbai as the weather tends to get pretty pleasant (at least when compared to the summers here).The date was 17th December, and after a lot of searching around we managed to find a restaurant that was willing to give us a private dining area big enough for 15-20 people. We were 15 of us in total, so this worked out great. While most of the WISes that attended this event were from Mumbai, we did have a few who could join us from other cities as well.

The official time for the GTG was set at 7pm, but that didn't stop some of us from starting quite a bit early. A few of the attendees planned a tour of different watch shops and ADs all over the city. I unfortunately had a few chores to take care of, so I couldn't join them.

At around 5:30pm I met up with a fellow watch enthusiast from Delhi for a couple of beers. He was wearing a very cool Speedy that I had seen pics of earlier and couldn't wait to try on.

The traffic in this city can get quite bad, especially on a Saturday evening, so we called for a cab and headed to the venue. Coincidently, we all reached at the same time which meant no waiting around, the GTG was ON!

Before I start, a quick disclaimer: there wasn't too much light in the private dining room at the venue. We asked the manager if he could arrange for some more lights but were told that there was another event happening and they were using up all the spotlights . So the pics aren't the best, but thankfully this time I had a better phone camera.

One by one the watch boxes were set on the table and soon we had more watches in the room than comments on a Rolex vs Omega thread (it's funny if you are on a watch forum)!

We had, Seiko, Rolex, Omega, Grand Seiko, Universal Geneve, IWC, Panerai, Longines, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Orient, H2O, Laco, HMT, Casio, many more interesting brands....oh and an Apple Watch.

OK, enough talk, time for some pics...

A pleasant surprise, a fellow WUS member put his gorgeous vintage Longines on a strap made by me.

It looked great! Yay!
moving on..

This G-Shock was my fav watch from the GTG:

Someone brought along a small UV light and we all went crazy trying to charge the lume on our watches. And because of the dim light, the lume really showed.

As you can probably tell, I did not get the time to try on all the watches :(

Some of the guys brought along some stuff to giveaway (SWAG time), these included watch straps, books and even some awesome personalised mugs (courtesy Reggie - WUS member RejiTJoseph).

Seriously, so awesome!

A big thanks to Karan and Abhishek (WUS members phoenix844884 and Sunn27 respectively) for taking the initiative to make this GTG happen. We all had a fantastic time! Until next time, this is Crazyfingers signing out.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The IWC 3714-45 Portugieser Chronograph - An In Depth Review

Some of you may have read in my earlier post that I was gifted an IWC Portugieser Chronograph by my fiancé as an engagement gift. I wrote a post about it with a short review, however, I've had this watch on my wrist for the last two months and I feel I can write a more comprehensive review on it now. So here goes...

Quick history on IWC and the Portugieser Chronograph
IWC, which is short for International Watch Company, is a luxury watch company located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. The brand is very well known and respected in the watch collector community and even among the 'regular people'. Although known more for their Big Pilot watches, the Portuguese or as it is now called the Portugieser collection is also very popular.

The 3714 Portugieser Chronograph collection comes in a few different colour options, the most popular being the ref# IW371446 and IW371445. The IW371446 comes with the same dial as the IW371445, but has blue hands, numbers and strap. In this review I'm of course going to be discussing the IW371445.

The box
The watch was actually shipped to my finance's apartment from Philadelphia, so it had styrofoam, around the actual box, therefore I'm not sure if that's a part of the original packaging. I'm going to be talking about the black IWC box that contained the watch.  Like the 3714, the box seems elegant, with just IWC Schaffhausen written on the top. Once opened, you of course see the gorgeous time piece inside. You also have the documents and the warranty card that one can normally expect to find, these are under the panel that's holding the watch. I think the box could have been nicer for a luxury watch like this. The one that came with the Panerai was much better in my opinion.

Design and build
The watch has a 40.9mm diameter, which seems larger due to the thin bezel, but doesn't look oversized at all on my 7 inch wrist. Everything about this watch seems simple and yet so elegant. The dial has a silvery white colour which changes it's shade slightly depending upon the light. There are two sub dials, the bottom dial is for the running seconds and the top dial counts the minutes when the chronograph (stop watch) is activated. If you look closely, each of these dials have their own beautifully engraved pattern.

Perhaps my favourite part about this watch is the numerals and the hands. The combination of gold with a bit of blue just works! Though they're made of rose gold, you'd be forgiven to think it's yellow gold, as like the dial, the colour varies depending upon the light. The blue also shifts between blue and black. Because of this, I love just staring at the watch and moving my wrist to try and catch the light at different angles.

While we're on the topic of the hands, the attention given by IWC doesn't stop there. Both the minute and the hour hands are curved at certain angles so as to minimise parallax. The minute hand is curved downwards at the tip and the hour hand curved very slightly upwards.

The applied numerals and markers display quality and craftsmanship that you would normally expect to see on much more expensive watches. The chrono pushers have a great 'push' to them and like the rest of the watch seem very sturdy and well built.

All this neatly sits in a stainless steel case with a WR of 30 meters, which is good enough to handle the any light showers and splashes you may encounter.

The solid caseback may not appeal to a lot of people but it doesn't bother me at all. The front of the watch is so mesmerising that it makes up for it.

Unlike some of the more expensive IWCs the 3714 does not have an IWC in-house movement. What it does have is a heavily modified ETA 7750 movement which is a very robust machine.

Time keeping
From what I've read, IWC doesn't follow the COSC or Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres standards for it movements and in fact has a stricter tolerance when it comes to time keeping - they do not accept their watches to run slow.

I've been doing my own time testing on it and found my watch to gain under 3 seconds a day on average, which is very good.

Leather strap
The 3714-45 comes on a 20mm black croc leather tapered strap. The short strap is attached to the 6 hour end and the long strap is at the 12 hour end. I think I read somewhere that IWC follows this for a lot of it's watches. While it looks fantastic, I do have a complaint. The padding inside the strap is too stiff at the short end. This makes the strap sit a bit raised at one end on my wrist. I have tried bending it around my wrist with some force but it just won't curve.

It's by no mean bad, but something that could have been better. I've contacted IWC about this and still waiting for a reply. Hopefully there is a way to soften it.

Overall thoughts
The Portugieser Chronograph had been on my wish list for a long time. And sometimes when that happens, you are a bit worried that the image in your head may be too good to be true, and that the watch may not appeal to you when you put it on your wrist. Sure, I had seen it at a dealer before, but it was wrapped in plastic and I never really got to wear it properly. Once I did finally get my hands on it, all that worry disappeared. The watch really impressed me and I can see clearly why it is so popular. For me, it is the perfect dress watch.

isn't it?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Incoming - the perfect dress watch!

Bio and I had a conference to attend in Washington DC, so I thought I'll extend my trip and meet my fiancé, who is currently working in Chicago. I reached the US a few days earlier and as excited I was to meet her, I was also excited for something engagement gift.

When we got engaged, my fiancé told me that since I had spent on the ring she too wanted to get something nice for me, and she knows how much I love watches. I really didn't want her to spend too much money on anything and thought maybe I can get something later, but she had other plans. It seems that over the years, she had actually been listening to me while I had been blabbering on about watches and she knew how much I liked a particular watch. This watch in my mind is the perfect dress watch, and something I didn't think I could afford for a while.

So when she decided to get me something nice, she couldn't have done it better and got me the stunning IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714-45!

Through a very helpful member on Watchuseek, we got in touch with Jon from Govberg Jewellers who was very nice to deal with and gave us an excellent deal (much better than what I was getting in India). The watch was shipped from Philadelphia and arrived in perfect condition.

It's been a few weeks and so far I couldn't be happier. The build quality and finish is top notch, something I would expect from much more expensive watches. The watch comes on a black croc strap with a deployment buckle. I have't really used the chronograph function to time anything, but I fiddle around with it every now and then. I constantly find myself staring at and admiring the heck out of it. The blue hands change colour beautifully depending on how it reflects the light.

Another thing I wanted to add is that both Bio and I are fans of the show House Of Cards, and it so happens that Kevin Spacey's character Frank Underwood wears this particular model in a few episodes (great choice, I must say). Also, since I was in DC, I just had to take this wrist shot :)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Some straps I made and a trip to Hong Kong

My strap making journey continues and I have since my last post, worked on a few more :

I soon realised that I was out of leather and needed to up my game, basically needed to get some better quality tools. Thankfully I had a work trip to Hong Kong and there are quite a few nice leather craft shops I could find there. Here are the tools I picked up:

I also picked up some more leather, a couple of straps for the PAM and a buckle. Bio too picked up leather nato for his Omega and a strap changing tool (since the regular one doesn't work on the Seamaster).  We also came across a LOT of watch stores for new and pre-owned watches. HK seriously is an amazing place for watch lovers.

Nato wrist shot

Wrists hot from the hotel

Nato love for the Omega and Panerai


more straps!
some watch browsing

never seen so many PAMs together

Here are two more straps I made after I came back. I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

A couple of straps I made

So as some of you may have read in my earlier post, I have recently developed a keen interest in strap making and my first attempt made me realise quite a few things, including getting better leather. I searched online and managed to source some Italian leather in tan/mustard colour. Here are a couple of straps I made with it.

1) 24mm, double layered with saddle stitching all around the edges. This one has a single floating keeper. I wear my PAM005 on it :)

2) 20mm, single layer with minimalistic double loop stitching at the ends and a tiny bit of saddle stitching at the end of the long strap. For this one, I made two keepers, one fixed and one floating.