Hands-On with the Seiko 5 Military Red Dial Amazon Edition – Yes, the Online Bookseller (with Original Photos & Price)

One of the best value propositions the watch world, the Seiko 5 Military is now available with a red dial as a special edition for internet retailer Amazon.

Automatic and inspired by the Baumuster B dials of beobachtungsuhr (observation watches) used by Second World War German aviators, the Seiko 5 Military costs as little as US$50 – making it one of the all time great buys in mechanical watches. The Seiko 5 Military is now also available with an unusual red dial, a special edition that’s, surprisingly enough, exclusive to Amazon (ref. SNKM95).

The Amazon edition has the five features that gives the Seiko 5 its name: automatic winding, day and date in one window, crown at four o’clock, water resistance, plus a durable case and bracelet.

Originally offered in black, blue, khaki or green, the Seiko 5 Military Amazon edition has a bright red dial, while the lume is an ivory tone. Aside from the dial it’s identical to the standard Seiko 5 Military, with a 37mm steel case with a matte sandblasted finish.

Visible through the display back is the calibre 7S26, a self-winding movement with Magic Lever winding mechanism invented by Seiko (that functions similarly to IWC Pellaton winding) and a 41 hour power reserve.

Rated to -20 to +40 seconds a day, the movement is basic and looks that part, but its lack of visual appeal is made up for by robustness; this will run for a long, long time. The crystal on the front and back are Hardlex, Seiko’s trade name for hardened mineral glass.

Sold with a blue canvas strap, the Seiko 5 Amazon Exclusive SNKM95 retails for US$89.99 though it’s occasionally available for less. It is available only from Amazon*.

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Five Special Edition Watches For SG50 – Singapore’s 50th Anniversary

Singapore celebrates its 50th year since independence on August 9, 2015, and several watchmakers have unveiled special editions for the event, known as SG50. 

Singapore declared independence from Malaya in 1965, starting a 50 year climb into the ranks of the richest countries in the world. SG50 is a major event in Singapore, which is also one of the key markets globally for fine timepieces. As a result several watchmakers have created special editions for Singapore’s 50th national day. Here are five special editions for SG50; unsurprisingly three happen to be world time watches with “Singapore” on the cities disc. 1. Atop World Time Singapore Edition – The most affordable watch in the SG50 selection, the Atop World Time costs S$193. The movement is a simple quartz calibre but what’s clever about it is the world time mechanism. The city representing local time is at 12 o’clock and turning the bezel in one step increments for each time zone advances the hour hand by one hour. And it also accounts for summer time by setting the local time zone to 11 o’clock.

2. Hublot Red Dot Bang – A limited edition created to mark twin events – the 10th anniversary of the Big Bang as well as SG50 – the Red Dot Bang is named after the nickname for the tiny city state (as in the “little red dot” on the map). It’s limited to 10 pieces in yellow gold and 50 in Hublonium, a magnesium-aluminium alloy, priced at S$66,400 and S$36,600 respectively.

3. Longines Master Collection GMT World Time – The very first SG50 edition to be launched when it made its debut in mid January 2015, the Longines GMT is a dual time zone with a rose gold case. Singapore is highlighted in red on the cities disc, and the movement is an ETA 2824. It’s limited to 50 pieces with a price of S$9990. 

4. Louis Vuitton Escale World Time SG50 – A nine-piece limited edition variant of the Escale World Time, the SG50 edition has the same hand-painted, Technicolor dial, except that the time zone of GMT +8 is indicated by “SIN” instead of “BEI” for Beijing. The world time module for the movement was designed by La Fabrique du Temps, with all its set via the crown, backwards or forwards. Priced at S$90,800.

5. Montblanc Star Classique Singapore Special Edition – Featuring a mother of pearl dial with Singapore’s lion emblem at six o’clock, the Montblanc SG50 wristwatch is a limited edition of 50 pieces priced at S$14,200. It’s self-winding with an ETA 2892 inside. And Montblanc has also created a trio of limited edition writing instruments for the same occasion.

And it’s not a watch, neither is it for sale, but the Audemars Piguet Floral Clock at the Gardens by the Bay is worth mentioning. Donated by Audemars Piguet to the seaside park, the Floral Clock is shaped like a Royal Oak, right down to the checkerboard tapisserie dial.

And here’s wishing all Singaporeans a very happy National Day.

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North Korea Creates New Time Zone of GMT+8:30 Just for Itself

Starting August 15 North Korea will be in a time zone of its own, setting its clocks back by half an hour to create the time zone of GMT+8:30.

A train station in Pyongyang, North Korea Credit Wong Maye-E/Associated Press

Now using the same time zone of GMT+9 as South Korea and Japan, North Korea will begin using its own time zone set a half hour earlier starting August 15, 2015, allowing it to break away from “wicked Japanese imperialists”. Its move to a time zone eight and a half hours ahead of GMT will bring the number of time zones in the world to 41, and perhaps the addition of “PYNG” to the cities disc of world time watches. North Korea’s new time zone is actually an old one, having been the standard time zone for the Korean Peninsula until 1910 when Japan colonised the region. The country’s decision to start using Pyongyang Time on August 15 coincides with the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender during the Second World War.  Pyongyang Time puts North Korea in between the time zones of China, Hong Kong and Singapore (GMT+8), and that of South Korea and Japan (GMT+9). It will make North Korea one of the few countries in the world with a time zone all to itself, putting it alongside Venezuela and Iran. Most of these time zones are accounted for in the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time, which displays 37 time zones instead of just the 24 most commonly used. Source: New York Times

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