OT: Phosphor Watches - E Ink Displays



#16

Has anyone seen one of these watches or owns one? How well do they work and is the display decent?

http://www.phosphorwatches.com

Thanks,

Gerry


#17

E-ink is cool, but these watches probably have the build quality of Seiko/Casio junk or worse. I wouldn't be seen wearing one.

Call me when they use 316 stainless, the watchband segments are not pressed sheet metal (i.e, has real forged links) and when they have scratch-free sapphire crystals.

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA

Edited: 4 Jan 2010, 3:34 p.m.


#18

Quote:
...but these watches probably have the build quality of Seiko/Casio junk or worse. I wouldn't be seen wearing one.

Bite your tongue, Bill! ;-)

I still wear a 1981 Seiko H357 5030 Duodisplay. More practical in many ways than the typical Rolex, and much less attractive to thieves and street robbers.

In fairness, though, I doubt that modern Seiko quality is equal to early 1980's Seiko quality. In fact, my repairman said as much in the early 1990's.

-- KS


#19

Hi Karl,

>>>More practical in many ways than the typical Rolex

How? You always have to baby Seikos so they don't scratch.
Their stainless steel is much softer/dentable, and their crystals scratch easily (some more expensive models do have sapphire crystal, but fairly rare.

My Rolex sub I've had since 1992 looks almost new and I went thru 3 Seikos in 5 years before that.

>>> much less attractive to thieves and street robbers.

I generally don't go into bad areas, don't use public transit, etc. When I travel I can have a firearm reasonably handy. In California, it's legal to drive with an unloaded shotgun/rifle, and a handgun can be transported locked in case (but readily opened quickly with practice).

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA

Edited: 5 Jan 2010, 4:16 a.m.


#20

Buy a Rolex and get a hand gun free! :D


#21

Hello!

Quote:
Buy a Rolex and get a hand gun free!

:-) But honestly, I find the idea of killing a man to protect a stupid watch quite irritating. Especially a Rolex, 95 percent of which are fakes and the other 5 percent being worn by people one does not really want to be associated with (at least in my part of the world).

But yes, these seem to be the subtle cultural differences that still exist in the twentyfirst century.

Greetings, max

#22

Quote:
I still wear a 1981 Seiko H357 5030 Duodisplay. More practical in many ways than the typical Rolex, and much less attractive to thieves and street robbers.

In fairness, though, I doubt that modern Seiko quality is equal to early 1980's Seiko quality. In fact, my repairman said as much in the early 1990's.


I've been meaning to get a Seiko digital since 1982. They finally came out with the one I wanted, so I bought it. Solid brushed stainless steel case and bracelet, sapphire crystal, solar, atomic, LCD digital:

http://www.gmtplusnine.com/2008/11/11/sbpg001-and-sbpg003-seiko-spirit-power-design-project-digital-watch/

#23

Hello all!

Now were talking, off topic of course, but still, why not.

Rolex is probably one of the best mass produced watches on the market. Not much one can add to that, other than comparing them to Seiko mid to low cost is apples and oranges.

Upto the 70's Seikos were beautifully engineered in a very Swiss way. Production was then switched to a mass produced stamped method in which the mechanism parts were stamped robotically, therefore requiring softer metals for the stamping process as opposed to a milling process.

Seiko still uses these methods on their lower end range but the high end is every bit comparable to the best Swiss mass produced.

It is like any company that has a range of value products. Rolex was very smart in it's marketing. It made no lower quality watch called a Rolex, they were called Tudor, in affect an ETA movement in a Rolex case.

Don't want to get into a Rolex history versus Seiko but Seiko is the only watch company that make ALL it's watch parts from screws to lubricants to crystals, balance springs and etc.

Both the history of Seiko and Rolex require books but here are some Seikos from what I consider the height of their company during the 60's and EARLY 70's prior to the shift by the entire worlds watch industry to cheaper methods of production of mechanical or digital watches.

Just a short note about the cost of Seiko in the 60's when they became known as a 'cheap' watch, which should apply to the cost and not the manufacture. The watch was priced in Japan for the Japanese market. In the early 60's the watch at 25 USD was three months salary to a resident of Japan and yet was chump change to an American at the local base PX store at Haneda or Fukuoka.

In short I think the vintage Seiko (60's and early 70's)is extremely underated and good value for collection. Just a note, at the moment, I have 250 Swiss watches, over 150 are now fully restored, the rest are rainy day projects for retirement and all are considered part of the pension plan. They are all complicated movements and are considedered collectable. Here are just the Seikos:

Presmatic 33 jewel qutomatic chronometer with Swiss certification, instantaneous day and date change at midnight, fully adjusted to positions and temperatures, fully stainless steel. A beautiful movement and the high end of Seiko in 1966 fully comparable to any Rolex of the time for production values.

World timer from 1964, 17 jewel automatic with world time indication from 24 hour hand.

Navitimer 1969

Navitimer 1969

Version one of Navitimer 1968

Diving watch, 6105, a cult watch to Seiko collectors with 21 jewel automatic movement. If you have seen Apocolypse now Martin Sheen is wearing one of these. It cost 25 USd at the Px and was the number one unofficial grunt watch during the Vietnam war with the same specs as a Rolex diving watch of the same era selling for 400 USd.

The next production version of the 150M diving watch:

Similar watch to the above modified by me with the orange hands and 12 hour ring for timezones:

The smallest automatic 30 minute and 12 hour display chronograph in the world in 1974 when it was manufactured. It also has a dual display at the 6 for the chronograph, a feature only reproduced today by Patek Phillipe with bot the 30 minute and 12 hour display on the same register. Also a single zero setting function with instant timing (flyback), a function found on very expensive Swiss chronographs of the time:

One of the first automtic alarm watches in the world,

2 weeks after Zenith and Hamilton Buren anounced the automatic Chronograph Seiko came out with theirs and it included a quick set day and date! This is the 12 counter version called a Bullhead.

Even the quartz versions can be high end. Here is a military RAF issue quartz driven analogue chronograph. The first analogue chronograph watch made anywhere and with 15 jewels. A feat only Jaeger LeCoutre matched 5 years later:

A civilian version with day and date:

Just a few of my Seikos but my collection includes mostly Swiss complicated movements:



Edited: 5 Jan 2010, 12:46 p.m.


#24

Geoff- Are we a compulsive group or what?

I bought a few Seiko Kinetic watches when they came out, but ended up only wearing one... a Titanium Sports 100. Glow-in-the-dark face, day-date, water resistant, and no battery. I've worn the same watch for about ten years now. Not a scratch on the crystal. I have a doctor friend down the hall who wears the same watch. For about 10 years also..... It was about $350 when I bought it. I gave one of my other Kinetic watches to my son, who loves it. Still have a couple in the drawer, but I never seem to want to vary...

My watch does a battle scar. I was playing with a new camera flash a couple of years ago and flashed the watch, which of course, glowed brightly. On the second flash, I managed to vaporize some of the paint from the hands... I had the crystal cleaned (after an embarrasing explanation to the watchmaker who hadn't actually seen anyone do this before) but it still has a bit of a dark "cloud" on the face. Gives it character....

#25

Geoff,

Thanks for defending Seiko, and in a very knowledgeable way.
For those of us who cannot afford a multi-thousand dollar Rolex, they make a pretty good watch. I first heard of the brand in the late 60's, when a man my father built a dock for gave one to my dad. He told my dad it cost only $15 in Japan, and he could get as many as he wanted (He was an airline pilot with PanAm).

My current watch is a military-style Kinetic. I always wore automatics until this one, because I do not like having a battery-dependent watch. Now I have quartz accuracy in an automatic!

I have an old Bell-Matic that was given to me as a gift in 1975. Unfortunately the alarm-setting stem keeps breaking, rendering it useless.

Now a question for you: what defines "higher end" for Seiko? I mean, how do you tell? Price alone? I see many brand new Seiko quarts models that go for around $100 on eB**. My Kinetic had a "list price" of about $350, if memory serves, but we got it for less than $200 at a "factory outlet".


#26

Quote:
Now a question for you: what defines "higher end" for Seiko? I mean, how do you tell? Price alone? I see many brand new Seiko quarts models that go for around $100 on eB**. My Kinetic had a "list price" of about $350, if memory serves, but we got it for less than $200 at a "factory outlet".

Better Seikos sometimes have sapphire crystals.
The bands on the higher end ones seem more substantive.
The $250+ up "dive watches" are pretty good and are better than the 'dressy' watches - the cases seem harder and less likely to ding/scratch.

Seikos come in different grades and have categories/subbrands for premium watches - Lassale, etc. I think one of the higher lines is Grand Seiko. In fact some there are very very expensive "Spring drive" Seikos w/'continuous motion' movement - a mechanical freewheeling movent with quartz regulation: no "ticks", timing is regulated by drag. These are expen$ive.

And for those Eurosocialists assailing this capitalist pig for owning a Rolex, I will gladly note that they do increase in value even as you wear them. I paid under $1K for my Rolex sub, used, in 1993. Today I can get $3200+ out of it anytime I want. Yeah, every 5 years it takes $150 for upkeep. I'd be in the hole for a dozen $200 Seikos at this point; they just don't hold up (various 'dive models' excepted). [My biggest mistake in the 1990s was not buying more of these, and more guns, which have rocketed in value.]

Back to theme/topic:

These e-Ink watches with appropriate programming, a good case + crystal, and some capacitor sensing interface could make a good calc watch. The keyboard could be smaller and "dynamic": fewer keys displayed, depending on mode. During numeric entry just numbers could show until F key or operator key hit, etc. That way things wouldn't be too crowded. There's certainly enough compute power in this watch module to do a decent RPN sci cal...

Bill Wiese

San Jose CA

Edited: 5 Jan 2010, 6:25 p.m.


#27

Quote:
... I paid under $1K for my Rolex sub, used, in 1993.

I have a friend who bought a brand new Submariner for under $200 in 1971!
#28

Quote:
And for those Eurosocialists assailing this capitalist pig for owning a Rolex, I will gladly note that they do increase in value even as you wear them. I paid under $1K for my Rolex sub, used, in 1993. Today I can get $3200+ out of it anytime I want.

There is a regular half page ad in one of our (Australian) big newspapers from a company that buys used collectible watches, mostly Rolex, but some Seiko and other exotic brands too I think. They show photos and have these mouth wateringly high prices next to them that are "minimum for any condition" or something like that.

Quote:
These e-Ink watches with appropriate programming, a good case + crystal, and some capacitor sensing interface could make a good calc watch. The keyboard could be smaller and "dynamic": fewer keys displayed, depending on mode. During numeric entry just numbers could show until F key or operator key hit, etc. That way things wouldn't be too crowded. There's certainly enough compute power in this watch module to do a decent RPN sci cal...

Calc watches are hard. A usable keyboard just takes up so much room. You could do it with a full touch screen interface, but then you can't see the display as you type. Always compromises...

Dave.

#29

Quote:

And for those Eurosocialists assailing this capitalist pig for owning a Rolex, ...


Touche !!

#30

Quote:
Now a question for you: what defines "higher end" for Seiko? I mean, how do you tell? Price alone? I see many brand new Seiko quarts models that go for around $100 on eB**. My Kinetic had a "list price" of about $350, if memory serves, but we got it for less than $200 at a "factory outlet".

As Bill notes, I think Geoff is talking about the "Grand Seiko" line, which are stunning and are priced accordingly (Rolex, but not Patek Phillipe, territory).

I have the watch collecting bug as well. My collection is very modest compared to Geoff's, though. My other compulsion is fountain pens...

Edited: 6 Jan 2010, 12:06 a.m.


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