12 Apr 2014

Complete watch set for under £1000: The Swiss collection

Updated 16 April 2014

I recently wrote a post on getting your complete watch set for under £1000. I focussed on the Japanese brands and selected four models which I felt were really good, packed with loads of features (maybe apart from the dress watch). However, this made me wonder whether I would be able to come up with a similar collection of nice Swiss watches comprising of the three major styles of watches, namely i) Diver, ii) Aviator & iii) Dress watches and of course, one Banger watch which you can wear everyday.

There were some great deals around and Amazon UK seems to offer the maximum choices with some amazing discounts. So here is my Swiss watch collection:

1. Diver: Wenger Aquagraph

The Aquagraph retails at £340.00 but is available on Amazon UK for only £272.00

This quartz diver watch from Wenger (better known for their Swiss Army knives), is water resistant to 1000m, yes you read right - not 100m  or 200m or even 300m but upto 1000m. Though I am not sure how many dive to those depths but it is nice to know that you have a watch which can.

Here are the main features and specs:

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Case Diameter: 43 millimetres
  • Case Thickness: 15.00

2. Aviator: Victorinox SAF Airboss Mach 1 V.25091

RRP: £320.13 (No discounts when I last checked).

This aviator style automatic watch is from Victorinox, the owner of the famous Swiss Army knives but now making fabulous watches as well. It is an automatic watch with a black dial.
Features and specifications:
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Stainless Steel Case with a leather strap
  • Water Resistant to 100 metres
  • Case Diameter 41 millimetres
  • Case Thickness 12 millimetres

By now, we have used up more than half of our budget (a total of £660.13) which leaves us with only £339.87 for the dress and banger watches. So I am going to cheat a bit and go with the discounted prices. So, taking the Amazon discounted prices, we have spent a total of £592.13 which leaves us with £407.87 for the 2 other watches (much better).

3. Dress Watch: Tissot Visodate T0194301605101

RRP: £650.00 but now available at only £373.24 on Amazon UK.

This is an automatic watch from my favourite Swiss watch brand. It is one of the oldest in the World as well. A nice classic design with their old logo.

Specifications and features:

  • Sapphire crystal with antireflective coating.
  • 42mm Case Diameter
  • Water resistant to 30 meters.
  • Case Diameter 42 millimetres
  • Case Thickness 12 millimetres
  • Leather strap with deployment push button clasp with buckle (which is a big deal)

If we were to go by the retail price, we have exceeded the budget (total of £1310.13). Even if we take the discounted prices we only have £34.63 which is not enough to buy a decent watch. Fact: Swiss watches are costly.

However, is it possible to buy a Swiss made watch for £34 and less. The answer is a big "Yes!".
Swatch Once Again  retails for only £32.

Swatch Watch Again (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license: Khalid Mahmood)

This nice and simple medium sized (Case : Ø 34mm T : 8.75mm) Swatch watch is made of plastic. It is a quartz watch with day and date and is water resistant to 30m.

Who says you cannot have a complete set of good Swiss watches for less than £1000.

NOTE: Prices are correct as of 12 April, 2014.

9 Apr 2014

Good news for eBay UK private sellers

EBay UK has just announced some great news for private sellers using their services. From the 13th of May onwards, the sellers will be allowed upto get 20 free listings a month in any category except for Motors. This will apply to both fixed price and auction formats.

That's not all, the sellers will be allowed to schedule 20 of their listings (meaning you can choose how long the auction runs and the end date and time as well) for free.

1 Apr 2014

Complete watch set for under £1000: The Japanese collection

I know it is the 1st of April but I am not joking. Read on.

I was in a watch forum recently and according to one of the members, "you need to spend at least £1000 for a good watch". Well, I have to disagree. It all depends on what you mean by a "good watch".

Majority of watch users have only one watch which they wear all the time. Now-a-days, most people do not even own a watch and rely on their mobile phones to tell time.

Then there are the watch collectors who have several watches - I happen to be one of them. However, I am not a watch snob and do not look down on people who wear electronic watches or quartz watches. I do not even think that mechanical or automatic watches, no matter how technical or iconic, are "superior".

However, I do believe that some watches are better suited for certain functions as compared to others. I can't recall who said it but it went like this: "You should have a different watch for each occasion" and I agree with this statement.

Given below are the four main categories of watches and the ideal characteristics:

1. Diver: Good visibility, tough, should be water proof to at least 200m and normally featuring a uni-directional rotatable bezel.
2. Aviator: Large face, good lume, day / date and multiple time zones, designed to withstand extremes of temperature and g forces and preferably with chronograph function. Usually have prominent and large crowns.
3. Dress: To wear to the office and on formal occasions with a suit. Slim to fit under the shirt cuffs. Normally minimalist design with leather straps.
4. The Banger/ Sports watch. Tough watch for everyday wear, usually with chronograph function which you wear when you are engaged in extreme sports, dancing in the night club or gaming at home.

However, you do not have to spend a fortune to have a decent collection of "good quality" watches and in-fact you can have a collection comprising of the 4 types of watches for less than £1000/ I suggest that you do not go for the latest or limited edition models. Some online stores including Amazon offer great deals (sometimes as much as 50% off). Let us look at a selection of some Japanese watches.

1. Diver: Seiko Men's SSC019P1 V175 

 RRP: £279 and just £186.99 on Amazon UK

  • Case Diameter: 47mm
  • Chronograph
  • Solar powered
  • Hardlex crystal
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet
  • 200m water resistant (divers certified)
  • Pepsi (red and blue) bezel
2. Aviator: Citizen Red Arrows Chronograph CA0080-03E 
RRP: £199

  • Chronograph
  • Solar powered (Eco-drive) with Power Reserve Indicator
  • Mineral Crystal
  • Stainless Steel case with rotating Inner Ring
  • 100 m water resistant
  • Atomic Timekeeping.
  • Case size: 43 mm
3. Dress: Orient Cosmos ET0K003W 
RRP: £112.26 (On Amazon UK)

  • Self-winding, 21 jewels, Mechanical Automatic Movement
  • Power Reserve: Approximately 40 hours
  • Mineral crystal
  • Stainless steel case
  • 50m Water resistant
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel with alligator leather band
  • Case size: 40 mm
I love the design of this watch. Their automatic movement is made in-house.

Now, that's a total of approximately: £590 (So if you have a budget of £1000, this leaves you with £410 to spend on the Banger).

4. The Banger:  Casio Solar Chrono GW-3500BB-1ADR
It retails at £290 but you can get it for only £181.50 on Amazon UK. This is an "Aviator watch" according to Casio.

Just check out some of the amazing features:

  • Shock Resistant (The G Shock is afterall the World's toughest watch)
  • Solar Power (no need to change batteries)
  • Stopwatch and Countdown Timer
  • Water Resistant 200 m (meaning that you can use this as a diving watch as well).
  • World Time and Multi Band 6 Radio Controlled - allows this watch to pick up six different time calibration signals around the globe and ensures that the exact time is displayed across Europe, The United States, Japan and China.
One thing I did not like was the case diameter. It is huge - at 50 mm. Better stay away if you have a small wrist. Shop around for other G-shocks with smaller diameters.

So supposing you bought all 4 watches at the retail prices, you have now spent a total of around £880 which still leaves you £120 to spend on other gadgets. You will have saved more if you had shopped around a bit. So why would you spend £1000 on just one watch?

NOTE: Prices are correct as of 1st April, 2014.

19 Mar 2014

Moto 360 - The smart watch is here.

Motorola has announced the launch of the Moto 360 watch powered by Android Wear. It will be available in summer this year.

The watch features a round face and is made with "premium materials" (not sure what that means) available in a number of styles. It responds to your voice, for example, users say “Ok Google” to ask questions to search and to start other functions including scheduling an appointment, sending a text, setting an alarm or taking notes.

I am really looking forward to trying it out. Dick Tracy's watch has become a reality.

3 Mar 2014

The Nokia X family

Looks like one of my wishes has finally come true. Though it sounds impossible, Nokia has finally come out with Android powered phones. Don't get me wrong. I love my Nokia Lumia 900 and the Windows operating system. However, the fact that several popular apps including Instagram, Vine, etc are not available for the Lumia 900 has left me quite disappointed. As I have discovered, not having the Candy Crush Saga app can influence the choice of mobile phone for a number of people.

Apparently the apps are available for the newer Lumia phones powered by Windows 8 OS but not for the Lumia 900 and apparently the OS in the Lumia 900 cannot be upgraded to Windows 8 (the current version is Windows Phone 7.8) because "Windows Phone has been re-coded from the ground up for Version 8".

My contract runs out in a couple of months and I have been thinking of a suitable replacement. My budget is a maximum of £200 and
I have a few candidates in mind, namely the Nexus 5 and the Moto G. However, the new Nokia XL which is priced at €109 is a strong contender.

All three of the new phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Dual Core processor and are Dual SIM. Several third-party apps comes preinstalled, including BBM, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Viber, Vine and Twitter.

Other extra features in all phones include HERE Maps with turn-by-turn navigation and offline maps are included, Nokia MixRadio, Microsoft OneDrive with 7GB of free storage space and Skype with a month’s free calls to international landlines in selected markets.

The Nokia X is the entry level phone, with 4-inch IPS LCD screen, 512MB RAM and a 3-megapixel camera.

The Nokia X+ has similar specs to the Nokia X but has 768MB RAM and a 4GB MicroSD card is included in the box. Both the Nokia X and Nokia X+ are available in green, black, white, yellow, cyan and red.

The Nokia XL has a 5-inch screen, 768MB RAM,MicroSD card. It has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. It is available in green, black, white, yellow, cyan and orange.


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