HMT Jawan

HMT Jawan watch

My HMT Jawan “frankenwatch” arrived from India yesterday. Price paid was $16 (Australian), including delivery from Dehli. I assume the face is new/aftermarket, but the movement is most likely HMT, and the caseback is stamped HMT. At this price, I’ve already had $16 worth of fun from it.

I’d read enough warnings about buying “restored” or “reconditioned” watches from India, and was expecting to receive a beaten up hand painted piece of junk. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s in great condition, and even though the yellow face is definitely an acquired taste, I’m quite happy to have a watch that is totally different from everything else I would normally buy. The domed acrylic crystal is as good as I’d hoped – I’ve already bumped it, scuffed it, and polished it with toothpaste. I can see myself wearing this watch on those days when I shouldn’t be wearing a watch.
I can think of far worse ways to spend $16.

Rosivga 252 watch

Another incredibly inexpensive Chinese watch… The Rosivga 252 is currently available at GearBest for $3-4. I was already buying some stuff from GearBest, and thought I’d better get yet another watch while I was at it. I set myself a maximum price of $7, and spent a good half hour looking at what I could get. The Rosivga 252 caught my eye, and even with the black on black hour hand, I though it was worth a shot. At this price, I’ll be happy if it arrives with a working movement and an intact crystal. These cheap Chinese watches are a great way to inexpensively test different styles of watches before investing in a “real” watch with a similar design.

Rosivga 252

Where to buy an Seiko SKX007 in Australia

Seiko SKX007 Australia

The simple answer is nowhere. I’ve spent the last week looking for an SKX007 in various jewellers in Melbourne, and those that actually have the SKX007 in stock (on the stainless Jubilee bracelet) are just dreaming if they think I’m going to pay that close to retail for one. $499 is their ticket price. And it’s like getting blood out of a stone to get them to move under $450.

So how about we cut that in half, down to $250 and get it from Singapore instead. Retail in Australia is an absolute joke. I’m prepared to pay a bit extra for “the retail experience”, but not double the price. If you want to buy an SKX007 in Australia, then buy it from Singapore or Malaysia for half the price.

Casio MTP-S101 solar watch

Casio MTP-S101 Solar Watch

I bought the Casio MTP-S101 primarily because I like the look of it, and I like budget Casio watches – the solar power was a bonus as I was able to justify buying yet another watch because I didn’t yet have one that was solar powered. I’ve had it for around 1 year now, and it has become one of my most worn day to day watches. From memory I paid around $70 AUD delivered, with tags, no box. Delivery time was 2 weeks to Australia from Malaysia.

I got the black face with stainless steel bracelet (MTP-S101D-1BVDF). The bracelet is much nicer than I expected, and significantly better than other budget stainless bracelets such as the Seiko 5 SNK809. Legibility is excellent EXCEPT FOR ONE MASSIVE FLAW… there is absolutely no lume on the Casio MTP-S101. None. Zero. Although this seems inexcusable, I actually find myself not caring, and still grab the MTP-S101 most mornings when selecting which watch to wear.

Buying an Orient Bambino in Australia – don’t do it.

Orient Bambino on NATO strap

I’ve wanted a Orient Bambino for a couple of years now, and finally decided to purchase a 2nd Generation Bambino Version 3. Unfortunately buying an Orient Bambino in Australia isn’t easy. Not many retail outlets in Australia have a great selection of Orient watches, and those that do won’t haggle on low tier watches like the Bambino.

This review from Bruce Williams is what really pushed me over the edge on this purchase. When he says “this is a very exciting watch”, I paused the video and bought it then and there. He’s right. You can’t really understand the Bambino until you see it in real life.

I ended up buying my Bambino online for $164 AUD from Creation Watches on eBay, including postage from Singapore – new with tags, but without the Orient box. I don’t really care about the box on a watch at this price. I got the grey anthracite dial (FAC0000CA0 / AC0000CA). All the good things I’d seen online about this watch are true. Free delivery with DHL took a mind blowing 4 days from Singapore to Australia. Considering the price that they’re selling for online, buying an Orient Bambino in Australia probably isn’t worth it unless you really want the Orient box, and a local warranty – but you’ll pay for it.

Even though the Orient strap that came with the Bambino was quite nice, I’m not a fan of leather straps. The Bambino has an annoying 21mm lug width, which makes finding inexpensive straps difficult – this didn’t bother me since I was always going to put the Bambino on a NATO anyway (pictured with 22mm NATO).