Every now and then there is yet another
'news' article featuring yet another Australian watchmaker. It seems
that there is no shortage of journalists keen to break exciting news and
'watchmakers' eager to claim the spot under the lime light. Which is
fine with us; our goal is not to be at the centre of public attention.
We are a young company, still in it's infancy and our time is yet to
However, for the sake of truth, and for the sake of straightening the
record, we are the only Australian watchmaking business capable of
designing and manufacturing watch components. Those who claim their
watches are 'Made in Australia' are simply deceiving the public and
deceiving themselves because they are unable to provide a single proof
of any manufacturing capability of making a single component, let alone a
Watch manufacturing does not happen overnight. Manufacturing is a
complex 'product' in itself which combines a number of elements which
like puzzle pieces, are perfectly aligned. Those magic ingredients are
numerous: people with skill, experience, R&D, high precision
machinery, time, vision and determination.
I know that many of you who follow our journey already know what we
stand for. You can not be fooled by cheap press and exaggerated claims.
However, for those who are new here: I have asked Josh to upload a quick
2 minutes video of a very specific machining process. This video is
recorded today, in Brookvale, as a proof of our machining capabilities
and as a proof that watch parts we make are Made in Australia. We also
hope that one day soon, there will be another true maker in Australia
capable of making watch parts and we can't wait for that day to come -
this will surely be an exciting newsworthy development.
Two minutes, easy to watch, feel free to leave your feedback.
As one would imagine, that information is
top secret and SEIKO would simply refuse to comment on individual
Of course, no matter what the products are - from Porsches, Rolexes,
Pateks, to Mizuno - every distributor has it's own pet dealer.
Getting the premium stock first or simply getting the special,
favourable pricing deals is the result of a "magic"; trade relationship
sealed over decades of mutually beneficial transactions.
When the latest SLA047J 140th Anniversary SEIKO arrived yesterday, we were truly excited. This limited edition watch comes with strict 'one per dealer only' policy. And our example was number 0001. Actually, the full number is 0N0001 meaning this was the first watch to leave the Japanese assembly line in November 2020.
Is SEIKO testing our loyalty or are they simply teasing us? Was this
intentional or simply a random 'act of kindness'? Or even a mistake?
In any case, WE'VE GOT IT - the very special ichiban - the numero uno. And if you're quick, it could be yours.
SLA047J is the crown jewel of 140th “Iriomote Island” trilogy. All three
watches feature the green dial inspired by the dense verdant forest on
Japan’s Iriomote Island– one of the world’s best places for diving.
Subtropical primeval forests cover most of the island, enriching the
surrounding waters, nourishing the coral reefs, said to be among the
world’s biggest and most diverse.
SLA047J is a divers watch for saturation diving, featuring sapphire crystal glass and zirconia ceramic bezel. Price: $4,995
In 1961 Omega released a new watch
mechanism: Calibre 661. By the number of components per volume, it was
the smallest ever industrial manufactured automatic movement in the
world. To this day, this record is still unbeaten!
The watch arrived in rather poor condition suffering both water damage,
broken escape wheel and worn out auto rotor post. Most annoyingly, it
also suffered from a 'jellified' rubber casing gasket. While most
vintage Omega watches manufactured in 60s and 70s do suffer from this
issue, this DeVille was definitely the worst one I've worked on in
The restoration project commenced in December 2020 and was completed 3
months later, on February 26, 2021. Sourcing the original parts was a
challenge. The main goal of this restoration was to preserve as many
original parts as possible, especially the original dial and hands. The
escape wheel was re-fitted (riveted) on new a pinion. The timekeeping
result was rather pleasing with a healthy amplitude. The final touch: a
new-old-stock leather strap by Hirsch found in the junk box.
To viewers interested in the total restoration cost: $460 was spent on
replacement parts and the labour cost was $1,100 (Australian dollars).
Was it worth it? This is always a question only the watch owner can
answer for him/herself. Turning a broken and discarded watch into a
family heirloom which once again keeps time is always money well spent.
My special thanks goes to Michael who spent countless hours recording and editing this video.
I suggest you watch it on your 'big screen TV' rather than on a small
hand held device. In any case - and this is not a spoiler - the 'before'
and 'after' shots will impress you.
In the early 1960s, SEIKO had already been
in the clocks and watch business for more than 80 years: a house-hold
name and a market leader in Japan, with ambition for global expansion.
The secret of Seiko's growth, was in demand: the citizens of the modern,
post War world were hungry for modern, accurate and fashionable wrist
watches. A mechanical wrist watch was a necessity; a device that ruled
the lives of a working man and women. Yet unlike Swiss brands, Seiko was
not burdened by fancy horological tradition and an outdated and
inefficient, cottage industry business model. Seiko was thinking "big
and forward" heavily investing in R&D; perfecting mechanical
watches, while embracing quartz technology and building manufacturing
plants capable of outputting millions of units.
In Japan, Seiko had no real competition. In order to promote competition
and product development within the company, in 1960 Seiko split up
their Suwa subsidiary into two separate entities: Suwa Seikosha and
Daini Seikosha. Both factories operated separately, with the idea that
they would not share knowledge and would therefore try to one-up each
other and produce better products. This unorthodox business model worked
surprisingly well, and this internal competition propelled Seiko to the
cutting edge of design and technology. In 1960, Suwa Seikosha released
the first Grand Seiko Chronometer, Seiko’s first high-end dress watch.
In response, Daini Seikosha released the first King Seiko in 1963.
The original King Seiko case was designed in the 1960s by young designer
Taro Tanaka. Tanaka wanted to outshine the Swiss, figuratively and
literally: inspired in part by the art of gem cutting, Tanaka developed a
series of rules known as the “Grammar of Design.” "The Grammar of
Design boiled down to four basic tenets. First, all surfaces and angles
from the case, dial, hands, and indices had to be flat and geometrically
perfect to best reflect light. Second, bezels were to be simple
two-dimensional faceted curves. Third, no visual distortion was to be
tolerated from any angle, and all cases and dials should be
mirror-finished. Finally, all cases must be unique, with no more generic
round case designs."
A few weeks ago, Seiko released a new King Seiko: a tribute of the
original KSK. The key feature: the sharp, bold faceted lugs, with large
flat planes and razor sharp angles, Zaratsu polished to a
distortion-free mirror finish. A true Taro Tanaka tribute to the
“Grammar of Design”.
SJE083J is 38.1mm in case size, powered by
Seiko's 6L35 mechanism. Limited to 3,000 pieces worldwide, it is
available through premium Seiko dealers only, each allocated just one
watch. Price: $5,200.
Of course, I couldn’t resist but to inspect the watch internally.
Immediately, that 6L35 movement looked familiar: it was almost identical
to the Soprod M100 mechanism we use in our Mark 1 watch! After some
research, it turned out that in 2007 Seiko and Soprod collaborated on
the project with the goal to create a mechanism which would compete with
the slim line ETA / Omega automatic movement used in Swiss watches.
Neither Seiko nor Soprod have since acknowledged who really designed the
movement or who licensed it, but 6L35 is used exclusively in a selected
few high end Seiko models since 2017. Small world!
Final note: if you are interested in SJE083
then please be quick because we only have one watch to sell. The Zaratsu
finish is simply stunning, and so is the form of the case making this
140th anniversary Seiko piece a truly special one.
"Hey Nick - you've sold your soul to SEIKO!" said a subscriber the other day.
Should I be ashamed?
Check this out: SEIKO's simple and clever solution to improving
under-water timing legibility by using two different luminescent paints.
The hour markers are painted in blue, while the minute hand and bezel
pearl are green making it super easy for the diver to read the lapsed
minutes on the bezel. Green hand, green dot. And as an added bonus: the
seconds hand tail is also pained in green!
How cool and simple is this. And why has no one else thought of this (in Switzerland?)
Still not impressed? How about 3 different in-built timers? Standard chrono, laps time and 'two runners' time?
A clever power reserve indicator? Yes, included.
And this will blow you away: just 2 minutes of sun exposure is enough to
power the watch for 24 hours. Or, if you charge it for 5 hours, it
would run for 6 months!
Seiko PADI SSC795J1 "SPECIAL EDITION" is a TRUE tool watch for professional divers. Made in Japan. Solar powered, super accurate.
Shouldn't you sell your soul to SEIKO too?
NOTE: the blue and green lume glows in the dark only. Under normal
light, the dial and all the hands look neutral. Also, the pushers are
proper screw-lock, for 200m rating.
Seiko Prospex PADI SSC795J
44.5mm case size.
Solar powered movement - calibre V192.
Water resistance 200M.
There are two SEIKO models which we simply
can't get our hands on: The Novak Djokovic and the SPB147J: the
chocolate dial gold hands Prospex. Late yesterday afternoon, after a 3
month wait, a small parcel containing only 6 watches arrived from Japan
(via Seiko Australia).
All I can say is: be quick and snatch it. You won't regret the decision
to invest in this superb SEIKO because there is nothing out there that
will parallel the look, feel, comfort, popularity and quality of SPB147J. Priced at $1,595 only.
When your new SEIKO arrives in the mail, and when you open that box, you will say 'wow this is WAY BETTER than I expected'.
It's time for change. It's SEIKO time!
Seiko Prospex SPB147J
40.5mm case size.
Automatic movement - calibre 6R35
Water resistance 200M.
Free delivery & 5 years warranty.
AuManufacturing is the news
and analysis website of the Australian Manufacturing networking group.
It features ''the views of real Australian manufacturers, thought
leaders and commentary''. Editors Peter Roberts and Brent Balinski have
more than 50 years shared experience in the industry reporting what is
really happening in Australia's $100 billion per year manufacturing
Unlike other media outlets, AuManufacturing contains no paid content
masquerading as 'editorials' - only genuine news and views of those at
the manufacturing coalface.
Last week, Brent Balinski had a chat with Josh about watchmaking and our own "Manufactured in Australia" project.
We are on the brink of a historical event. In a few days - or even a few hours - one bitcoin will be worth more than 1kg of gold. Ironically the rise won't stop there - the 'value'
of worthless crypto currency with no store value will continue to go
through the roof! Until, like all bubbles in the history of humankind,
it bursts into nothingness. The same nothingness it is made from.
For those of you wondering ''Am I too late
to the party?'' my answer is simple: no, you are not. For the same
reason a decent an honest man is never too late to a drug party
organised by a gang lord.
The fact that Bitcoin is fake gold is obvious to any reasonable person.
It is not a currency, not an asset, not a unit of account and it doesn’t
provide a scalable means of payment. No income, no use, no utility. At
it's core, it is a self serving speculative system used by criminals,
terrorists, human traffickers and tax evaders, sheltering their wealth
and moving money across international borders.
As a system outside government control, sooner or later, bitcoin will be
crushed by governments world-wide because no government is going to
allow untraceable tax-free transactions for too long. When that happens
the bubble will burst and in that moment there will be no winners.
Bitcoin will revert its intrinsic value – which is zero. Or more
precisely below zero because maintaining the chain ledger will cost billions of dollars in electricity consumption alone.
I am not a financial adviser of any kind, but when we have a spare
dollar or two, we invest in education, workshop machinery and watches.
Real assets that will take our earning capacity to next level.
The best investment for a carpenter is in timber, for shoemaker in
leather and jeweller in gold. Planting a few native shrubs in your
backyard and painting a house with a fresh coat of paint is simply a
smart investment. Investing in a new pair of walking shoes and a dog is
the ultimate investment.
Obviously, the future of money is in some form of digital exchange, and
sooner or later we will go ‘crypto’. But that coin won’t be a Bitcoin.
In 20 years from now you will remember this moment in time with chuckle,
while checking the time on your NH Mark 1, Seiko or Omega thinking –
well THAT watch was a great investment.
There are literally three ‘places’ to be: the home page, shop page, and cart.
The home page lists only a few watches, plus some other stuff, while the
SHOP contains all the watches currently in stock. And this is really
where you want to be.
We have marked down a few watches – just for fun. Hope you’ll take advantage of those Opening Specials.
WIN A SEIKO
Yes, the show goes on! Next draw: March 31. That Novak Djokovic SPB143J is a stunner.
WE ARE LOW ON STOCK!
This is almost hard to believe, but we are actually struggling to get
more SEIKO watches from SEIKO Australia. Due to the COVID situation,
Japanese production output is not keeping up with demand. We have a
number of open orders for various models so if you see a SEIKO you like,
jump on it.
REMEMBER: 5 YEAR GUARANTEE
…and FREE delivery on all SEIKO watches.
ORDERING AND PAYMENT
As usual: just enter your details and place an order - you will promptly receive a confirmation email with our banking details.
We ship ‘next day’. Alternatively, for credit card purchases, please call us on 02 9232 0500.