Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Seiko 7T59 - Analogue perfection in a quartz chronograph

(All photos - Sony DSC-F717)
This movement type (the 7T59) was only produced between 1991 and 1993. I have no idea what the production quantity was, but although it was encased in a variety of styles, it must have been one of Seiko's lowest outputs.

The technology is incredible. As far as I can determine - and I certainly welcome corrections - this is the only quartz analogue chronograph to (a) have nine hands and (b) give timing to 100th. of a second. No other analogue has that capability.

So for the technology alone, this movement became a "must have" for me.

I was not leaning towards one particular style - there are a variety to be had, but as the watch is pretty rare on the "for sale" sites, one takes what one can get!
So when this one popped up - in France - I was very enthusiastic because I really liked the combination of very dark gunmetal finish to the stainless-steel case and bracelet coupled with the gold-tone highlights. To my eyes it makes a very attractive combination - not overly utilitarian yet still with slight "dressy" characteristics.
The watch is not pristine - far from it.

This has been used as a regular wrist-band at some stage in it's past life, evidenced by the small ding on the bezel at the 6:30 point and some similar wounds on the case-back.
At least the crystal is clear of any gouges or major scratches - there are some fine scratches on it but nothing that is significant.

The bracelet is the tell-tale to the fact that this watch was a favourite. There is wear on the section that would sit under the wrist and make contact with desks and tables and bench-tops etc. For me, this just adds to the patina and provides some personality to the watch.

This is so comfortable to wear - I hardly know it's on my wrist - and the time-keeping is very accurate.

I love it and, when I don't wear it, the 7T59 holds pride of place on my shelf.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Citizen Eco-drive "Alterna"

A very utilitarian watch - the rotating bezel (uni-directional) with the large numbers indicating time remaining before your oxygen depletes; the very dark gunmetal finish to the stainless-steel case and solid-link bracelet; black dial with stainless-steel bars indicating the hours; the screw-down crown protected by the buttresses north and south........all make for what one would think is a big hefty time machine best used by Navy SEAL's or Abrams tank commanders or oil-rig workers.

But looks can be deceiving because although this watch is no dress watch, it is a not an obese chunk of steel either.
The display area of the dial is 30mm in diameter, the overall diameter of the face is 38mm and the crown adds another 4mm. Thickness? A mere 11mm.

The Alterna is a very comfortable watch to wear and I find it so easy to read, with the lighter coloured hands contrasting nicely against the black Eco-drive solar panel which makes up the majority of the dial-face.
And the ease is the same in the dark, with the hour and minute hands sporting green luminous material, as do the hour indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12.

I have two Eco-drives, this and another which is a gold-tone, dressy watch. This one is by far my most favoured of the two.

A Citizen "Eagle" from 1972

This 21-jewel automatic features a silvery-white dial, day/date display at the 3 o'clock position and a with silver hour indices.

The stainless-steel case and signed bracelet are original and in very nice condition and the overall presentation makes for a nice dress-watch - very appropriate for business or evening wear.
The Citizen "Eagle" keeps excellent time and is a watch that I wear occasionally to the office.