Welcome to Sharudin Jamal Blogspot

More than a decade ago, I was diagnosed of having a peculiar illness known as Bipolar Affected Disorder. My world as I known it crumbled; I lost my business, then my job and later my sense of purpose. It was during this dark moments I rediscovered the joy of running and writing. Most of the articles here are about my rekindled pleasure of hitting the tarmac, my coming to terms with the illness and my discovery of the meaning of life.

I always on the lookout for inspirations to write in these three areas with the hope that they will shed new ray of hope to others who are in the same position as I am.

Do keep in touch if you feel connected through these essays.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

10/9/17 Is it worthwhile to own an Automatic Watch?

I owned two automatic watches in my lifetime, the Rolex Submariner and Ball Master Engineer II Diver. They are over hyped and over advertised.

The Submariner was such a fragile timepiece. I thought that when I own a Rolex, I can rough it out. Turned out after 2 years of field use, I had to replace the rotor - it scratched. The part and service can buy me another decent watch like a Seiko, Citizen or Orient.

The Master Engineer II Diver is a better value for money compared to the Rolex. After 13 years, the time is very much accurate without servicing. However the luminescent gas that used to make the watch glow in the dark failed after 10 years. Ball claimed that the gas will last for 20 years. It will cost me 30% of the price of the watch to get the gas tubes replaced.  How absurd...

Many people who own automatic never really tell you the real downsides of owning one.
  • Servicing is really a killer. The service fee (not including parts) alone can buy you a decent mid range watch like Tissot, Luminox, Seiko or Victorinox. You need to service every 5 to 10 years.
  • You need to wear it often, otherwise you need to hand wind it every 72 hours. If you want it to be a get up and go watch, you need to get a watch winder. Get a cheapie and you will over wind the watch.
  • These automatic are not meant for serious field work. The rotor and the movable parts are very sensitive.
  • Parts are expensive. I changed my Ball steel bracelet (imagine, the screws came off) with a rubber strap. After 8 years the rubber cracked! To replace one is equivalent to buying a Casio G-shock and the strap on my Casio Mudman still holds after 11 years.
  • If you don’t wear it for 3 days, you need not only have to wind it, you also need to adjust the day and date. I dread it every time when this happened. You are the slave to the watch instead of its master.
  • Throughout my life I own many types of movements. All are very satisfying but I REGRET my automatics. They are overly priced and difficult to maintain. Those who are into automatics i.m.o. are not into watches. They are vain jewelry collectors. Push come to shove, automatics cannot deliver in serious rugged conditions. You end up worrying about you accessory more than the task at hand.
  • In my experience, the more expensive the automatic the less peace of mind you have. You worry about its inaccuracy, it will get scratched, it will get stolen/mugged, you become self-conscious and of course you have limited choices to rotate. In the end the watch consumes you.
Nowadays, I opt for Seiko Prospex Solar Quartz. It bring immense joy in owning watches again. The price is very attractive, the solar battery lasts for at least 10 years, spot on accuracy, reputable brand, aesthetic design and is a robust piece of technological marvel.

In the short span of 1 year I own 3 models. 2 divers, one being a Limited Edition 2,500 units, one being a versatile "Sunburst" design that I use with three NATO straps (its like owning 3 watches) and one Chronograph Military Special Edition.

The best part is the total cost of ownership is at the same price of one Oris Classic Date, a fairly decent automatic.  Nothing special about it, except it is made in Switzerland.  It still carries the curse of an automatic though.

Who says you only need to settle for a Casio G-shock if you want a quartz? Seiko Prospex Solar is a very attractive and reasonably priced watch for us watch aficionados.

I guarantee you will be totally happy with your purchase. Take it from a person who been searching for a perfect wrist companion all lifelong.

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