Monday, February 25, 2019

King Seiko 5626 7040 Chronometer - BMBY

Today's my day and I write about a watch that has much sentimental value to me is one that I only recently acquired. It is a watch from my BMBY or birth-month-birth-year. I had thought previously that The Watch was supposed to be a Seiko slide rule model but then I was a bit lucky to have found this King Seiko.

The watch is a certified chronometer with a date and Kanji & English day feature
This features a hi-beat movement, which is 28,800 bph and the model numbers on the back match the model numbers at the bottom of the dial.
Case back showing the serial number and model number as well as the correct medallion for this model.
Signed crown
Another view of the dial and the baton hands
Here's yet another view featuring the signed crown
The watch came without a strap but I had already prepared for this with a handmade leather strap I had made by an excellent leathersmith I met online. I also have a Hirsch strap for this watch.

The watch's day feature wasn't working when I got it. And so I brought the watch to my suking watch repairman who cleaned the movement and fixed the day feature. It's now fully functional and keeps accurate time. Though I want to wear it more often, I've managed to make it part of a rotation that allows me to care for my favorites in my collection. That way, I am able to reduce the wear from using the watch so often. If this were something like a baseball or basketball game, the rotation of 5 would probably be this watch, my moon watch, the Futurematic, my favorite Kinetic and the Ocean Star. Honorable mentions would be my other hi-beat KS, my JR railway watch and the Landmaster. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Jaeger Le Coultre Futurematic vintage watch

Here's an example where the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it without hesitation. Those were the circumstances for my finally acquiring this very interesting vintage watch from the 1950s with an in-house Cal. 497 bumper automatic movement. It is a Jaeger LeCoultre Futurematic, one of the most sophisticated self-winding (i.e., automatic) watches made from that time and perhaps even to the present.

Elegant dial on this watch showing the power reserve indicator and a sub-second dial, and bull head lugs
Side view showing there's no crown where there is usually in other watches
The other side view also showing no crown here, too
The watch's back with the crown cleverly located here - one of the innovations for this watch model
Close-up of the flat crown located at the back whose function is only for adjusting the time.
The watch the first time I wore it on my wrist
It is an everyday watch for me but because I also have to care for it (its more than 60 years old), I wear it on special occasions or whenever I want to. :)

The movement runs at 18,000 bph with an original power reserve of 40h. It runs well and keeps time. Not bad for a luxury watch produced sometime between 1951-1958. I will have to bring it for maintenance soon but I'm bracing myself for the cost considering these watches with their in-house movements cannot be brought for routine maintenance just anywhere including our "suking" watchsmith whom I entrust with other watches in my collection. I guess that's a price I have to pay for this not so inexpensive hobby.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Certina 288 Certi-date automatic vintage watch

My collection of Swatch group watches includes this automatic from Certina. The brand has many interesting current models I've seen in shops including chronographs that I've inspected up close (was really curious about them). I was tempted to get a new one but I was also aware that there are really good vintage Certinas out there so I waited for the opportunity to get one. As luck would have it, I got this 288 with a black dial, date feature and a distinctive blue second hand.

The watch head after I removed the leather strap it came with
This is what appears to be the serial numbers that survived what also appears as a buffed/polished back
Side view showing the signed crown
The watch after I fitted it with a new leather strap
The watch on my wrist the first time I used it
The movement is a cal. 25-681 running at 28,000 bph with an original reserve of 42 hours
I only wear the watch on some occasions as it is more a casual watch for me. I am also thinking about letting go of this watch if the conditions (i.e., price) are right. I already asked friends to post it in their online shop to see if someone's willing to pay for it. Apparently, there isn't much appreciation for this watch. Here's what I've found on the internet about this watch: Certina 288 - The high-beat rarity

I like the watch design and probably will keep it for a while...

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Okuya Japanese Restaurant, Naga City

Arriving Naga after quite a long drive, we had a good lunch at Red Platter, and then proceeded to check-in at a hotel. Afterwards, we proceeded to meet with our contacts there and brief the people who would be conducting field work with us. Still quite tired from the travel and wanting to have an earlier dinner, we decided to go to a Japanese restaurant we spotted while making our way to our hotel. We wanted to have some comfort food before we called it a day and Okuya presented us with our favorite in the form Japanese food.

Entrance to the restaurant
Salmon sashimi is among those we regard as comfort food
They have a lot of items on their menu including bento sets and other combos
Restaurant interiors - clean, orderly, well lighted
Chicken teriyaki box
Yasai itame
Their version of shoyu ramen
Tuna maki
The food at Okuya was okay. We thought the quality and presentation was generally at par with the Japanese restaurants we usually eat at around UP. The ramen though was average so perhaps that's one item that you're better off with the better known ramen restos. The sashimi, teriyaki, maki and tempura were enjoyable. The service was also very good and the prices didn't hurt so there's value for money here.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Red Platter, Naga City

We were quite picky in the restaurants where we ate at while in Naga City. We opted to consult with Trip Advisor for recommendations and found a top ten list we could refer to. Our first meal in Naga was lunch at Red Platter. My friends ate there a couple of weeks back and recommended the place.

Impressive display upon entering the restaurant
Interesting motto on display at the restaurant
There's ample space for people waiting to be seated
Decor in one of the dining area
Lamps dangling from the sun roof
The tables are easily reconfigurable for large group
We were so hungry after the long drive from Manila (though we did have a breakfast stop in Plaridel, Quezon) that we forgot to take photos of the food we ordered and ate. Needless to say, the food was good so we definitely enjoyed that part. We observed that the restaurant can get crowded as it is popular in the area. It took some time before we were seated but the service was efficient as they were able to take our orders as we waited for our table. The food was served almost as soon as we were seated. Red Platter is highly recommended.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Chocolate review: Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Orange Sticks

I discovered that we had a pack of these dark chocolate covered orange sticks and we decided to open it to see how its tastes. "Sticks" doesn't really describe them as these are as chewy as gummy bears.

Dark chocolate orange sticks from Trader Joe's
Nutrition information at the back
Chocolate-covered chewables
We thought that these chocolate covered jelly sticks were okay but not as enjoyable to eat as what they look like. I'm not even sure if these are supposed to be snacks or dessert. Other people including children probably will like this but I will pass the next time I see these on the supermarket shelf.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Helvetia vintage watch

Many of the smaller Swiss watch companies succumbed to the so-called quartz crisis of the 1970s. Here is what I've found about the Helvetia Watch Company:

The Helvetia featured here is of a more recent vintage, probably the mid to late 1960s to the early 1970s based on its movement, which is no longer the in-house ones Helvetia produced earlier. It is a fine catch as the watch is in overall very good condition.

Simple dial with raised hour indices and second sub-dial
Side view showing the crown
The other side view showing the very good condition of the case
Case back showing the watch to be water and shock-resistant
Hallmark for this gold plated watch
This watch is powered by a Unitas 6310N movement that runs at 18,000 bph with an original reserve of 47h.
Here's the obligatory wrist shot

The watch runs well and keeps time. I will keep this one... for now.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fukurou Nihon Ryori, Marcos Highway

There's this Japanese restaurant we usually spot along Marcos Highway near where we used to reside. The name is interesting as 'Fukurou" translates to "owl"in English. Without th 'u', "fukuro" translates into "bag" or "pouch". It is the latter which first came to my mind as I drove past it on the way home or heading to the office. The kanji on the menu though clearly meant "owl". We had wanted to eat here but just didn't have the chance to do so. One time I checked for lunch, it was a Monday and they were closed. A few weeks ago, we finally were able to eat there after attending to some errands in the area.

Menu - note the kanji at the top
Table set-up - yes, that's a real plant on a small pot
Restaurant interior - I only took photos of the areas where there are no customers as I usually didn't want to intrude into anyone's privacy. There were two other couples at the restaurant including one who seem to be on a date.
More of the restaurant's interiors
The bar showing a nice selection of Japanese wines and liquor including sake, shochu and whiskey
Appetizer - some traditional sweet-covered dilis (anchovies) over minced cabbage and some pickles
Their menu includes kid's meal items
Salmon sashimi
Katsu curry
Tonkotsu ramen
Melon shake and lemonade
Mochi with ice cream fillings
Japanese cheesecake
The food was good and authentic in taste. The presentation was also done very well and the service is also good. We thought this was a nice addition to the growing number of restaurants along Marcos Highway and particularly near Town & Country Executive Village, which had a commercial arcade that's been transformed into restaurants and cafes. It's definitely a welcome redevelopment of the area and we hope it attracts people/customers so they'd be encouraged to continue with business. For this particular restaurant, we hope they can attract more customers, too. I have always maintained that the area needs more authentic Japanese restaurants other than those in the malls (Note: I think Ayala's Feliz Mall has a really good selection of Japanese restaurants. And that's why we like to go there to address our cravings for Japanese food.)