One of the finest watches around 50 dollars is the Casio MDV 106, as I´ve said here several times. Now one of the better watch channels on Youtube, hosted by “TGV”, has finally done a video about it :
I´ve had one of these since this summer in my EDC rotation, the champagne color dial version. I was always struck by the simple and somewhat vintage design. Also, the Seiko VK64 Meca Quartz movement will give the casual observer the impression of a mechanical watch as the chrono second hand glides smoothly over the face when activated.
The quick change high-quality straps by Fossil are pure genius, too, and we have a solid screw-down caseback. Workmanship was impeccable, so I had no reservations when a black faced like-new version came up for a very good price on Ebay. I like it just as much, maybe a tad more.
The Del Rey chronograph line from Fossil comes in many versions, 42mm is the case size without crown, 22mm the lug width. There is a 60 minute subdial and a somewhat less useful 12/24 hour indicator, but no second hand per se.
Considering the somewhat special movement and that a Swiss watch company (or some Kickstarter “projects”) will charge you two or three times as smuch for a similar timepiece, I´d strongly recommend these watches to anyone looking for a reliable and dressy quartz chronograph.
I´ve had some Amphibias in the early 90s when they first came to the market here in Germany, but the fact that there was no quick-date-setting option always made them somewhat impractical.
Solution ? I have bought a no-date-version several months ago. These watches are a terrific value and their automatic movements can take a real beating, if not being the most accurate ones. But they can go 10 years or more without a service.
The Amphibia design is extremely interesting when it comes to the crystal, the crown and the baseplate. You can find details online. If these features had found their way into the Swiss watch industry, maybe history would have changed.
The lume is quite decent, the bezel being only press fitted and therefore sometimes a little loose. Strap widh is 18mm as Amphibias are “smallish” at 40mm without the (big) crown.
I love the deep blue of my dial and the fact that the watch came with a decent rubber strap, the metal bands sometimes coming with them are trash. Many versions (dial style, case shape, date window or not) can be had and the Amphibias seem to get modded a lot. You can build a small collection without spending a fortune.
Some weeks ago, I stumbled upon a super elegant dress watch by Orient that had previously hidden well under my radar. It features a 40mm wide case (measured without the crown) made out of polished titanium! Not too small, not overly large, yet super light. You barely notice it on your wrist. There is a black dial version available and one with an all titanium metal bracelet, the latter being more expensive of course.
The crystal is a sapphire, the caseback is solid, hiding the somewhat plain movement. Lug width is an even 22mm. The original strap, like on most Orients I´ve handled, is a stiff and slightly short thing, so I switched it out for a longer and softer version in brown leather with white stitching.
Many dress watches suffer from being a bit hard to read, yet the combination of the ivory guilloche dial and the sharp lumed hands with their deep blue edges makes telling time easy, in all lighting conditions and angles.
So in case you find the great Seiko 5ers too small and the Seiko Spirit models a little too expensive, here is an alternative for around 200 Euros with some great features.
My sample gets a lot of wrist time these days in the office (besides my Certina Quartz diver), yet my concerns about the titanium scratching up too easily are yet unfounded. Maybe I take too much care of my belongings. Anyway, I do not see why this watch is not getting more attention. I cannot find anything to fault on this piece.
Just some pics of my latest 5 with an aftermarket NATO style strap as the original bracelets usually have to be discarded. Interestingly, the famous hodinkee watch site lately published a nice article about the Seiko 5 in general. Read it here. As expected, my SNKL09 provides great built quality and fantastic lume in a somewhat smallish size with a low price tag.