Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jaeger LeCoultre vintage watch with P480 movement

Today's my day and I wanted to feature something old (though I am not that old :) ). Here's on a favorite of mine. A highlight of the Dr. Strange movie that starred Benedict Cumberbatch was the obvious promotion of one watch brand that stood out from among what was shown as his collection of high end watches. This was a Jaeger LeCoultre (JLC) that was repeatedly shown until the end of the movie and surely sparking interest among those not yet in the know about this brand.

The watch face is quite simple but at the same time unique. There is an obvious patina derived from age (This is a 70-year old watch.) and likely moisture. The sub second functions very well and the gold hands are emphasized.
This is an old watch, manufactured ca. 1948 when its caliber P480 movement was introduced.
Here's another angle showing the domed glass and crown.
Side view showing the crown
Watch back with the serial number
The heart and soul of a watch will always be the movement. I dared not to open the back but got this from the seller. This is a caliber 480 movement with 17 jewels and a f = 18,000 A/h. Not bad for a watch from the late 1940s/early 1950s.
Here's a variation of the watch in pink gold. I learned a lot from the link including the following technical details (with the obvious exceptions being the part of the 18ct pink gold):
Technical details
[M] Jaeger-LeCoultre manually wound calibre P480 movement, lever escapement, 17 jewels, compensation balance, 18,000 BPH, shock absorber [D] silvered, raised pink Arabic and dot numerals and sword-shaped hands, engine-turned subsidiary seconds, outer minute track  [C] 18ct pink gold two-piece case with polished finish, chamfered bezel, splayed lugs, snap-on 18ct pink gold case back [S] case, dial and movement signed
Diameter excluding winding crown: 30mm
Length including lugs: 37mm
Depth to centre of crystal: 8mm
Strap width/lug gauge: 16mm
Here's the watch on my wrist:

I have timed it thrice, each after a full wind. The first one clocked just over 48 hours, the second time it clocked at around 46.5 hours and the third one, recently, at 48.7 hours. By comparison, I have timed my moon watch to an average of 50 hours (also at full wind). This means the movement is still in tip-top condition and quite efficiently running. Not at all bad for a 69-year old watch. 
I am very thankful for today when I celebrate my 46th year. I always pray for good health not just for myself but for loved ones. Add to that my wishes for people to have a peace and love in their lives. May God bless us all!
10/27/2018 - Recently timed the watch lasting 49 hours and 10 minutes. Not at all bad for a 70-year old piece.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

IWC vintage watch

I'm still quite new with collecting watches but I am aware of the luxury brands. I must admit that my "want" list would include the well known brands but I cannot afford the Patek Philippes, Rolexes, Hublots, Panerais and others that will set you back hundreds of thousands of pesos. That money is better invested elsewhere. Still, so far I am able to acquire some really good pieces to my collection.

The watch has simple features including the baton hands and the absence of a second hand. There is also no date or day feature. I like the rectangular shape with the rounded corners. The linen dial adds some elegance to this vintage dress watch.
Close up showing the 'Swiss' mark
Side view showing the crown and the famous fish emblem
Another view of the watch
Elegant buckle
The back looks quite plain...
Unless or until you notice the serial number of the watch.
The watch reminded me of my old Seiko quartz that I had worn when I was in high school.

I have timed this watch 2 times with the first one reaching 48 hours on a full wind and the second about 46.5 hours. The model is a Ref. 2583 and supposedly with a caliber 89 movement (18,000 bph). This model came out sometime 1980 so this is a 37 year old watch.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Farewell to a National Artist

We have had our share of meeting (or rubbing elbows with) well known artists. Some of them are friends or acquaintances. But perhaps the most frequent that we saw was a National Artist who recently passed away. Napoleon Abueva is a National Artist for Sculpture. He is famous for many of his creations that include the Himlayang Pilipino's iconic statue and the crucifix atop the UP Chapel's main altar. He also has versions of the UP's oblation as well as many other works spread around the campus.

We remember him though as a fellow parishioner at the church where we hear Mass on Sundays. Abueva, I believe and observed, was humble, low key, and not the rock star type of artist. He was practically inconspicuous during the 9:00 am Masses that he attended at the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Antipolo. Perhaps people did not recognize him or unaware of this accomplished person among us? Perhaps he preferred this, too.

We often sat near (at times shared the same bench) him, his wife and their two assistants. The latter always greeted us and were sweet with our daughter who liked singing during Mass. He often just sat through the Mass and probably said his prayers or meditated in silence. When it was time to greet each other peace, he would often gesture to those around them with a nod while also acknowledging those who greeted him.

We knew he was already weak though he could still walk with assistance and didn't need a wheelchair for those times we saw him in church. Recently, we have been attending Mass at the chapel near my in-laws' home in Novaliches and so was not aware of his condition until the news came out about his passing.

Paalam po at nawa'y makapagpahinga kayo sa kanlungan ng Panginoon. May your works continue to inspire people.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


They say its better to eat peanuts instead of junk food. And there are a lot of articles including very scientific ones that validate the health benefits of peanuts. While there are many peanut vendors around, including at the market, I usually get our supply of peanuts from a suki vendor at a nearby mall.

Selection of peanuts (roasted with skin, without skin, garlic, adobo, spicy, etc.)
There are other nuts, beans and corn snacks being sold. The cashew nuts we get from the vendors at the pasalubong shops along Sumulong Highway.
Our daughter loves nuts and its good that she is not allergic to them. She likes the roasted, adobo flavored peanuts but without the skin. She likes the garlicky taste and munches on the crunchy garlic that's usually mixed with the peanuts.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hamilton Khaki Automatic

I got this watch from my suki in Montreal, Canada. It is a Hamilton Khaki H644550 automatic watch. It is a military design with a face that's quite familiar as it is practically replicated in other brands as well. Hamilton is another old brand and is part of the Swatch group along with Omega and Longines. The brand is considered part of the mid-level watches of the group along with Mido, Tissot and Certina.

The first thing that caught my attention were the day and date features at the top of the face.
What caught my attention here is the day and date display at the top of the face.
This one runs on an ETA 2834 movement that beats at 28,800 bph and a storage of 40h. I haven't really tested it on a full charge so I'll have to see how long this one will last when not in use.
I tried to take a photo of the watch in a dark area to capture its luminosity.
The signed crown
Here's the "obligatory" wrist shot. The watch came with 2 leather straps including the really nice anti-allergic strap shown in the photo.
I have a vintage military watch that I wrote about last year. That was a manual wind and keeps very good time for 70+ year-old watch. Hopefully, this Hamilton will also last the way the other has, and whoever will have it later (I intend to eventually give-ipamana? or sell it) will take care of it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Yamanashi wine

About ten years ago, I was gifted with this wine from Yamanashi. I had kept the wine initially at my office where I have reserved an enclosed and secure part of one of my cabinets for a few bottles of wines that I have purchased. I took it home after we moved to our current house in 2014. I have been waiting for the moment to open it and was thinking about what to celebrate until I remembered the 10 years since we got the wine.

A bottle of white wine from the University of Yamanashi. This was a gift from a Japanese professor who is a good friend of ours. He was posted at UP as a visiting professor about 15 years ago and have maintained contact since.
We were wondering if the wine was still okay after 10 years as the wife pointed to the color. I replied that it was stored properly so it should still be good.
Here's another photo of the label. Yamanashi is a famous wine region in Japan with the climates perfect for growing grapes and apples. It is also famous for the mountains and the testing facility for Japan's magnetic levitation (maglev) trains.
Details on the wine in Japanese at the back. It is easy to read the alcohol content at 12%.
The seal on the bottle that we stashed away with the cork.
This was the first time for us to use the nice wine bottle opener that made removing corks much easier. This was a gift from our Ninang on the occasion of our 15th wedding anniversary last December.
Here I am sampling the wine. The color was just right and the verdict on the wine is a two thumbs up!
We still have half a bottle of wine in the fridge. The wife used some of the wine for cooking, which was the main reason we wanted to open a bottle of white wine in the first place. :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shimanami restaurant, Robinson's, Tacloban City

Our trips to Tacloban allowed us to eat at various restaurants there. Of course, there are the reliables like Ocho and Guiseppe's. Warehouse is in Palo and not somewhere we can eat at regularly. And so we tried out standalone restaurants in downtown as well as those in the malls. Since many of us studied in Japan, we also tried to find any good Japanese restaurants in the city. A good find was Shimanami Restaurant at the 2nd Level of the new Robinson's mall across from the city's north bus terminal.

Chicken katsu curry
Curry rice
We enjoyed our food there and unfortunately they still have a limited menu (so far). I hope they eventually have sushi, sashimi and other items (I don't recall that they had tempura on their menu.). We look forward to eating at this restaurant again on our future trips to Tacloban.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Aureole automatic vintage watch

I found this interesting piece online. I gave it a second look as I wasn't fond of gold watches (though I did get the Olma and that Mido I wrote about last year). I haven't found much about the Aureole watch company from the internet except that they produced some interesting models without hands. This obscure (to me) brand probably was among the companies that closed shop during the 1970s when inexpensive but accurate quartz watches from Japan practically wiped out many Swiss companies that could not match the mass production and competition.

The watch face is classic. I'm not sure what they call it but the texture resembles linen.
A side view shows the 'cyclops' window for the date. This magnifies the display as shown in the photos.
The watch has a simple face showing the brand logo and the date.
Here's another view of the watch face.
The back appears to be worn out but closer inspection showed it to be sanded off (filed off?), perhaps in a crude attempt to polish the back. There is also some damage to the cover and that surely made this watch's value go down significantly.
You can see the evidence of sanding that almost wiped away all the information including the serial number.
Under better lighting conditions, you can decipher some of the original writing: Stainless Steel Back - S[wiss Made] - Incabloc - Non-magnetic. The serial number appears to be '5923'.
Here's the watch also showing the 18mm leather strap. It is a medium as I compared it with the L-size strap on my other watches.

I have not had the back opened but the watch is said to have an Swiss AS 1361 movement. This runs at 18,000 bph with a 38-hour power reserve but the second-hand sweep is smooth as if it were a higher beat movement. I would have to test this and determine if indeed this watch will run close to 38 hours once "fully-charged". So far, it keeps good time and I think is reliable enough to be used regularly.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Vostok Komandirskie

My collection includes a couple of watches from the time of the existence of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic (USSR). I already wrote about my Vostok Amphibia yesterday and now feature my Vostok Komadirskie. This is an inexpensive manual wind with a date feature. It looks like a tough watch, fit for outdoor activities.

This Vostok watch gives another meaning to the 'tank' as it literally features a tank to distinguish it from its diver cousin.
The watch has a rather odd shape. The way the metal was cut seemed to be on the crude side. Hindi pino.
The rotating bezel functions well. The screw-down crown is located at the 2 o'clock, which I thought was rather odd.
I cleaned the back myself to remove what appeared to be grime or perhaps the typical dirt that's accumulated over time. I also had the pins replaced and disposed off the cheap (and damaged) leather strap it came with.
I opted to go for a Nato strap for this watch. It seemed appropriate and hip. The watch seems to be sealed and I have not had it serviced since I acquired it last year. It should offer some water resistance but I don't think I will swim with this one.
There's a bit of irony here with a Soviet watch fitted with a Nato strap

The watch needs some adjustments as it gains quite some time. I estimate that it gains something like 10 minutes per day. Not exactly the dependable piece you'd want unless you like to be very early to appointments and other tasks that need scheduling. This will be scheduled for an overhaul...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Vostok Amphibia Diver

My first Russian watch is a diver's and is fromt he Soviet era. I got this one from my favorite Visayan source who at first posted this as a manual wind. I did some simple research (Thank you, Google!) basically on translating the Cyrillic writing at the back of the watch to learn that this was an automatic with a winding feature to get the watch started and running.

Vostok Amphibia diver
A side view showing the crown and the pins I had installed for the watch to be fitted (some customization required) with new straps. The odd features of the lugs made it quite difficult to have any kind of strap or bracelet fitted to the watch. Now, I think leather straps are not the most appropriate for this watch. I think I will consider silicone straps for this one.
It is an old watch, likely from the 1980s and before the fall of the Soviet Union.
The rotating bezel is faded but fully functional.
I did some Google research on the Cyrillic writing to learn that this is an automatic with 200m water resistance.
A close-up shows what's translated as 'Made in the USSR' at the bottom of the face.
I had the watch overhauled and my repairman said he had some difficulty opening the back so he thinks this was the first time it was opened and cleaned. He also fixed some loose parts here and there to make sure everything is as it should be for this watch. It now keeps very good time and seems to be a functioning with a relatively high beat judging form the movement of the second hand. All the lumes are also functioning well and you can easily test that. It was resealed and features a screw-down crown so the watch should have some water resistance but not for what it was originally intended for, which is diving. Perhaps I will try it out for a dip?