The Beauty and THE BEAST!!!

Last Sunday was one of the happiest days of my life. It was the fourth day of our five day Osaka trip, and, in the past two days, I and my wife had already gone to Universal Studios Japan, Osaka Castle, International Peace Osaka and Kaikuyan. Thus, I and my wife opted for a relaxing day shopping for souvenirs and goods. We also looked at watches at Yodobashi Camera where I found a watch I really liked. My wife then bought me the said watch, a Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1,  as a Father’s Day gift. Wowowee!!!

I’ve always wanted a great tool watch and I can honestly say that the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 is definitely a BEAST of a tool watch!

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Like all other Casio G-Shock Frogman models, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 is specifically designed for diving. In fact, the Casio G-Shock Frogman line is ISO 6425-compliant with a 200 meters divers rating, the only G-Shock line with the said specification.

Moreover, not only is it shock resistant, it is one of the toughest watches on the planet. Some even say that it is completely indestructible!

Unlike older Casio G-Shock Frogman models, the GWF 1000-1 has Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping; thus, it receives time calibration radio signals from the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, China, and Japan, which keep the displayed time accurate.  Simply put, there is no more need to set the time as it is done automatically via time calibration radio signals.

Furthermore, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1, like most G-Shock models, is solar powered. A solar panel on the face of the watch receives thermal and electrical energy that recharges the watch batteries. The solar panel converts even weak illumination from fluorescent lighting into electric power. Thus, the Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF 1000-1 can last a decade without a battery change.

It is also a multifunctional watch. Its features include Moon Phase Graph (moon age of specific date), Tide Graph (tide level for specific date and time), World Time (31 time zones), Power Saving (display goes blank to save power when the watch is left in the dark), 5 independent daily alarms, electro-luminescent backlight, dive time and surface interval measurement function, stopwatch, countdown timer, hourly time signal, and battery power indicator.

I really like the World Time function and it is really cool that I can check the time from other times zone by a few clicks of its buttons.

The bombproof stainless steel and resin case with a mineral case face and screw lock back is 58.3 x 52.8 x 18 millimeters and its total weight with the resin band is 115 grams.

Together with my Rolex Explorer, they form my new dynamic duo! The beauty and THE BEAST!

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One watch designed to scale the mountains, the other to dive into the the seas. One is analog, the other is digital. One is mechanical, the other is solar-powered. One has a steel bracelet, the other a resin band. One is Swiss, the other Japanese. Both super tough watches!!! Both timeless timepieces!!! And both will hopefully have equal wrist times.

I intend to wear the Rolex Explorer for days when I need to dress up, such as in formal events and when I am meeting clients. Otherwise, I will be wearing the Casio G-Shock Frogman, especially when I go outdoors or to the beach.

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

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The Perfect Beater Watch

To complete the trifecta of the ultimate three watch collection, composed of a daily wearer, a dress watch, and a go-to tool watch, with an earth, sky, and sea theme, a tool/diver watch is necessary to complement the daily wearer Rolex Explorer and the pilot dress watch Cartier Santos-Dumont.

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In this connection, few watches can claim to be as more iconic as the Seiko Sports Dive Watch H558-5009, more popularly known as the Seiko Arnie. It is the first dive watch to feature a digital alarm chronograph with analog display. It is also a favorite watch of Arnold Schwarzenneger (hence, the nickname). He wore the Seiko Sports Dive Watch H558-5009 in the movies Commando and Predator, among other movies.

Like most dive watches, it has a unidirectional bezel and a pre-select marker to mark a specific minute marking. It is also massive with a diameter of 46 millimeters and is rugged enough to withstand almost everything.

It was also used on adventures to the North and South Poles as well as by an international team of explorers that climbed Everest in 1988. It also has other features such as three time zones, chronograph, alarm and backlight, thus, making it an ideal tool watch also. Truly iconic!

Moreover, it has a rubber strap, a quartz movement, and a Japanese brand, making it very different from the Rolex Explorer and the Cartier Santos-Dumont.

Going back to reality, however, the earth, sky, and sea collection appears to be impractical for myself. First, I don’t dive, so getting a dive watch feels artificial. Second, and more importantly, I already have a beater watch, the Polar FS2C Heart Rate Monitor. It was a gift from my wife, when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend, and the watch has been with me for more than a decade already.

It is a robust running watch with a basic heart rate monitor and a stop watch, which can measure total exercise time, average heart rate, and maximum heart rate. It is great for running, as the heart rate monitor help determines if the intensity or exertion level of the running is enough. It features extra-large digits for easy readability, and one-button functionality making it easy to use. There is also a visual and audible alarm when the target heart rate zones are reached.

I have used in several races already and is still perfectly working up to this day. It also has a convenient backlight and is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters. It is really an awesome tool watch.

As I really do run and the features of the watch are really usable, it is really appropriate for me. Together with my Rolex Explorer, they compose my current collection.

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As a complement to my Rolex Explorer, it is also very ideal. It has a quartz movement, while the Rolex Explorer has a mechanical movement. Its strap is rubber, while the Rolex Explorer’s strap is steel. It has a digital display, while the Rolex Explorer has an analog display. I use the Rolex Explorer as a daily wearer and in formal occasions, while I use Polar FS2C Heart Rate Monitor when running and when I need a beater watch. They truly male a well-balanced pair. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

The Ideal Three Watch Collection

As discussed in my previous post, the ultimate three watch collection is composed of a daily wearer, a dress watch, and a go-to tool watch. Ideally, all watches must be as different from each other and all watches must be intensely classical and iconic, and one of the ultimate watches in each of their categories. Moreover, adopting an earth, sky, and sea theme will make the collection even more balanced and interesting.

Since my Rolex Explorer is a gift from my wife for our wedding, and my daily wearer ever since, it will always be part of my collection. Thus, I am left with the following combinations to complete the ideal three watch collection: a pilot/dress watch and a diver/tool watch, or a pilot/tool watch and a diver/dress watch.

While there are certainly a lot of pilot/tool watches, such as Casio G-Shock GPW-1000, there aren’t really a lot of true diver/dress watches. While one can argue that a Rolex Submariner is a true diver and dress watch, it is too similar to my Rolex Explorer which disqualifies it as part of the ideal three watch collection.

Thus, a pilot/dress watch and a diver/tool watch will complete the ideal three watch collection.

Of all pilot/dress watches, the most ideal is the Cartier Santos-Dumont.

While it does not have a watch bezel slide rule for making in-flight calculations, such the Breitling Navitimer, or a large long stemmed crown which can be handled while wearing pilot gloves, like the IWC Big Pilot, the Cartier Santos-Dumont is a true pilot watch and, in fact, the first true pilot watch.

Pilto Watches

The current Cartier Santos-Dumont watch is a tribute to the pioneering watch designed for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who was one of the most famous men in the world at the turn of the 20th century for his work with airships and controlled flight. He also helped popularize the use of wristwatches among men.

Before Santos-Dumont flew with his Cartier wristwatch, most gentlemen would carry pocketwatches. In 1904, pilot and balloonist Alberto Santos-Dumont asked his friend, jeweler to the kings Louis Cartier, to design a watch t0 be worn on his wrist. After his world-famous flight in 1906 wearing a wristwatch, the admiring crowd became intrigued popularizing the use of the same.

Around a century later, the Cartier Santos-Dumont was launched. The large model has a mechanical movement with manual winding caliber 430 MC, and and is available in 18 carat white gold case. It has a 7 sided crown set with a faceted sapphire, silver grained dial, black oxidized steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal, alligator-skin strapped with adjustable 18 carat white gold folding buckle. The dimensions of the case are 44.6 millimeters by 34.6 millimeters with thickness of 5.58 millimeters. It is water-resistant of up to a depth of 30 meters.

Cartier Santos-Dumont

As to its nature as a dress watch, there could be no dispute. It favors understated elegance and  simplicity over embellishment. It is slim and analogue. It has a simple dial, no date, a case made of precious metal, a modest dial diameter, a mechanical movement, and a natural skin strap. It slips unassumingly under a tailored suit or barong waiting quietly to be called on for a discrete time check during a formal dinner or event. One could even say that it the ultimate dress watch, especially considering the brand, which is one of the most prestigious and luxurious in the world.

Additionally, it is a nice complement to the Rolex Explorer, as it is very different from the same. It has a white gold case, a leather strap, and a manual mechanical movement, unlike the Rolex Explorer.

This leaves us to the final piece to complete the ideal three watch collection: the diver/tool watch, which shall be discussed in my next post.

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

Terra Cielo Mare

It is said that a man only needs three watches: the day watch – the watch that suits his occupation and is worn everyday, the beater or dress-down timepiece –  the go-to tool watch which is worn everywhere from the beach to the great outdoors, and the dress watch – a watch geared for special occasions and formal events. Some however say that the size of the watch collection should instead be one less than the wife can’t stand.

I tend to agree with the former, that is, I prefer a small watch collection, prioritizing quality over quantity.

Currently, I have a collection of one watch (or two if you count my running watch, Polar FS2). It’s not really a collection yet, so I have been thinking of pieces to buy to make it a real collection. I thought of several themes, such as an all-Rolex collection, an all-Swiss made collection, an Axis watches collection (a German, an Italian, and a Japanese triumvirate watch collection), an ultimate watch in each category collection (the ultimate dress watch, the ultimate sports watch, the ultimate beater watch, the ultimate complication, and/or the chronograph watch), or an earth, sky, and sea tool watch collection (a pilot watch, a diver or boater watch, and a land watch).

Interestingly, some watch brands indeed offer an earth, sky, and sea collection categories such as Seiko Prospex and Terra Cielo Mare. In both brands, earth watches are equipped with a rotating bezel that can be used as a compass, and sea watches have water-proofing systems. Seiko Prospex sky watches are equipped with a trigonometric slide rule for calculations in flight, which are obviously inspired by the Breitling Navitimer, the ultimate pilot watch. Tierra Ciello Mare sky watches, on the other hand, are designed like the classic pilot watches.

Terra Cielo Mare and Seiko Prospex

Since I already have a Rolex Explorer, an all-Rolex, earth, sky, and sea collection came into my mind.

For the sky, I picked the Rolex GMT Master over the Rolex Sky-Dweller, because it is more attainable and has better history. The Rolex GMT Master was initially introduced in 1955 for the pilots of Pan Am, the Great American Airline. It is a two-time-zone watch with an arrow-tipped 24-hour hand and a graduated rotatable bezel and is ideal for intercontinental travelers.

For the sea, I picked the Rolex Submariner which is the ultimate dive watch and the first to be water-proof to a depth of one hundred meters. The current incarnation is rated water-proof up to a depth of three hundred meters. It is an intensely classical watch and needs no further introduction. Famous wearers include James Bond and Che Guevarra.

And for the earth, the picked the Rolex Explorer, the ultimate sports watch designed for long treks and climbing mountains.

While an all-Rolex, earth, sky, and sea tool watch collection would be impressive, it will however not be practical since I can only wear one watch at a time. Specifically, while all three watches are versatile enough to be dress watches, day watches, and beater watches (maybe not beater watches considering their costs), they all look and feel the same. In fact, the Rolex Submariner and the Rolex GMT Master appear to be mere upgrades of the Rolex Explorer.

Rolex Earth Sea and Sky

I thus dropped this idea and came to the conclusion to build an earth, sky, and sea collection, which is also an ultimate watch in the essential category collection, that is, an ultimate day watch, an ultimate dress watch, and an ultimate beater watch. All watches must be as different from each other, and all watches must also be intensely classical and iconic. This ultimate three watch collection will be discussed in my next post.

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

The Super Watch

Like most Batman fans, I am also a Superman fan. This is actually a logical consequence, as some of the greatest Batman novels include Superman as an antagonist (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Hush). The opposite is even more accurate, that is, in the greatest Superman graphic novels, Batman is an antagonist, such as Superman: Red Son and Kingdom Come.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 6.24.06 PMMy favorite, Superman: Red Son, explores an alternate reality Superman, that is, a Superman raised in Soviet Russia instead of Smallville, Kansas. In Superman: Red Son, Superman battles an alternate reality Batman and almost loses. Lex Luthor, Braniac, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Joseph Stalin, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen also make their appearance in this Elseworld tale. What I love about this is the ending which is totally unexpected.

Kingdom Come, on the other hand,  posits a world where the members of The Justice League have retired allowing for dangerous and irresponsible superhero vigilantes to fill the void, which necessitates Superman to bring back order to the chaos surrounding him. Batman, again, initially plays an as one of the antagonists here, although they join forces at the end. The art by Alex Ross is really epic.

My other favorite Superman graphic novels include Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Superman: Birthright, and The Death of Superman.

Alan Moore’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? is set in a future where Superman has been missing for more than a decade and has been pronounced dead. It is a great finale to the silver-age era Superman.

Superman: Birthright is the best retelling of the Superman origin story.

And in The Death of Superman, Superman squares off against Doomsday, an unstoppable killing machine, and dies! A true comic event!

This brings us now to the question: What watch best exemplifies the Man of Steel?

While I am inclined to say Rolex Explorer, the toughest and most durable Rolex in the world, the ultimate Super Watch has to be the Casio G-Shock, or, specifically, the Casio G-Shock GPW-1000 from Casio G-Shock’s aviation series, the Gravity Master,  and the world’s first GPS ATOMIC SOLAR HYBRID with CASIO-original GPS Hybrid radio-controlled technology built inside a TRIPLE G Shock Resistant structure. It is a totally indestructible watch meant to rule the skies.

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In 1983, the Triple Ten concept led to the birth of the G-Shock. Under the said concept, the watch must have a 10-year battery life, 10-bar water resistance, and 10 meter dropping shock resistance.

Today, G-Shock continues to evolve and take up challenges beyond the limits of time and common sense. Case in point is the the Casio G-Shock GPW-1000. It features a carbon fiber insert band that ensures outstanding durability and Diamond Like Carbon coating of the bezel that provides plenty of abrasion resistance. It is designed to withstand shock of three forces: gravitational dropping forces, centrifugal gravitational force, and vibration. Like all other G-Shocks, the GPW-1000 is also water-resistant to a depth of 200 meters.

It is also the world’s first GPS hybrid radio-controlled and solar powered G-Shock. Its GPS Hybrid Wave Receptor, which is capable of receiving both GPS and radio signals, ensures accurate timekeeping virtually anywhere in the globe.

It also has World Time. With World Time, simply selecting a city name on the city code ring provides immediate access to the time in any of the 40 time zones. Other functions of Casio G-Shock GPW-1000 include ED light (Super Illuminator) Afterglow, 1/20-second stopwatch, countdown timer, daily alarm, low battery alert, full auto-calendar, and Power Saving (the hands stop to save power when the watch is left in the dark).

The various functions and absolute toughness truly make Casio G-Shock GPW-1000 the Super Watch!

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a great time!

The Dark Knight Grail

Of all my current grail watches, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is the most attainable, especially considering that my wife promised to give me one on our fifth year wedding anniversary. She did pose one condition though, that is, that I grow a six-pack by that time. I am currently overweight and I could really use a six-pack.

Indeed, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is a worthy motivation to get fit again. It is a nice complement to my collection of one (or two, if you count my running watch, Polar FS2), since it very different from my Rolex Explorer. It has a rectangular case and looks best on a leather strap.

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The watch is a first of its kind. By the early 20th century, the world’s first team sport – polo – had become wildly popular in Britain. Thus, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was introduced in 1931 for hard-charging British polo players who wanted to wear timepieces during their matches but didn’t want the delicate crystal and dial to be damaged. It has a unique case the could be reversed 180 degrees so that the dial and crystal face inward, and is protected from knocks and dust.

While it started as a sports watch, it has now evolved into the ultimate dress watch. The most elegant Reverso, the Grande Taille, retains similar dimensions of the 1931 original Art Deco design and is available in stainless steel. It displays the time on a white guilloche dial with Arabic numerals and a small seconds display, and sports a JLC 822 hand-wound movement, which I really like since it will only take me a few seconds to get it nicely fed, as my Rolex Explorer will still be my everyday watch.

The power reserve is 45 hours and has a thickness of only 9.33 millimeters. The strap is alligator leather. The blank caseback is also very ideal as I can have my name and my wife’s name engraved there.

But what I like most about the Reverso is not its history or specifications, but the fact that it is Bruce Wayne’s watch. Yes, Bruce Wayne wore a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in the Dark Knight Trilogy.

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A huge batman fan, I have watched all the modern Batman movies and watched the classic Adam West Batman TV series as a kid. I have read and collected the essential Batman paperbacks. My top five favorites are Batman: Year One, Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Long Halloween, and Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One details a rookie Batman’s first year in Gotham City and is the greatest Batman origin story of all time.

On the other hand, Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke is famous for being the “possible” origin story of Batman’s archnemesis, the Joker. It depicts him as a tragic character: a family man and failed comedian who suffered “one bad day” that drove him insane. It also includes the shooting and paralysis of Barbara Gordon (a.k.a. Batgirl and Oracle).

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City where Batman comes out of retirement to stop a recent crime wave. It includes Batman squaring off against the Man of Steel.

Batman: The Long Halloween is perhaps the greatest Batman detective story (not counting Identity Crisis, which is a Justice League graphic novel and not a Batman graphic novel). It takes place during the Dark Knight’s early days of crimefighting and tells the story of a mysteriously killer Named Holiday, who murders people on holidays.

I like Batman: Arkham Asylum primarily because of Dave McKean’s art, which is chilling and uncannily striking.

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a good time!

Hello World!

In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that combines space and time into a single continuum. The spacetime in our universe regards space as three dimensions: length, width, and height, and time as consisting of one other dimension, or the fourth dimension.

By combining space and time into a single manifold, physicists have significantly simplified a large number of physical theories and described in a more uniform way the workings of the universe from the subatomic to the supergalactic levels. This is however not my goal here.

Watches and travel have fascinated me for several years now, and I want to start a blog about timepieces and my travels. Incidentally, watches have been linked to the world of travel and exploration for generations. While the names of the many models that have played a vital role in the exploration of our world have now been lost in the mists of time, others are still legendary, such as, for instance, the Rolex Explorer.

Rolex Explorer Print Ad

In 1953, Sir Edmund Percival Hillary became the first man to summit the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, along with his expedition partner, Tenzing Norgay. And it is highly known that they did so with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The said watch would prove to be the ancestor of the Explorer, which was issued to commemorate the successful ascent. It is said that it benefited from all the technical know-how gained during the Himalayan expeditions and it is one of the most rugged of all Oysters. It is hewn from a block of 904L stainless steel and features a robust, all-steel Oyster bracelet, shatter-proof and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial window, and  a Twinlock winding crown with a double waterproofness system (it ensures that the screw-down crown is water-resistant because of two sealed zones: one inside the tube of the crown and the other inside the winding crown itself making the watch waterproof up to a depth of 100 meters or 330 feet). The characteristic black dial and Arabic 3-6-9 hour markers ensure easy reading of the time and its Chromalight hands and hour markers glow in the dark. And of course, it has a self-winding Rolex movement that delivers ultimate precision and reliability.

Rolex Explorer

The intensely classical watch, like its cousins: the Submariner, the Explorer II, the GMT, and the Daytona, is one most of the distinctive sports watches in the world. Famous celebrities and actors, like the main actors in two of my most favorites movies (Good Will Hunting and Meet Joe Black), have often been seen wearing Rolex Explorers. I also wear a Rolex Explorer.

In 2010, my wife gave me a 36mm Rolex Explorer for our wedding. I have worn that watch as my everyday watch ever since. I wear it to work, during weekends, and in formal occasions. It is my ideal watch and one of my prized possessions. It is thus only fitting that I feature the said watch in the first post of this blog. I truly love my Rolex Explorer!

Thank you for reading and I hope you had a good time!