No 147 & 315 - Seiko SBBN017

I must say that I’m ashamed. When I’ve been looking back on all the Tuna’s I’ve had in the past I‘ve always considered the SBBN017 to be the best of them because when you compare what you get in comparison to what you pay it really has to be the most bang for the buck in the line of Tuna’s. But then I discovered, when I browsed through the pictures of the SBBN017 I had had, that I didn’t even wore it with the correct bezel insert. Looking back on that aftermarket piece of shit insert I can’t do anything but to ask myself: “What was I thinking?” Clearly I wasn’t. I even think I had the original insert lying in the watch box and I'm almost throwing up a little in my mouth when I realize I somehow must have approved the AM-insert since I didn't replace it.

#147 - The Seiko SBBN017.

I can hardly stand looking at that aftermarket bezel insert. Yuck!

So why do I consider the SBBN017 the best then? Well, for starters it’s quite cheap compared to the other Tuna’s. Not as cheap as the SBBN007 but the little extra you pay for a 017 you'll get back in higher quality regarding details. And seriously, the steel bracelet for the SBBN015 looks terrible so paying extra for that is not worth it in my opinion. Besides, a Tuna is supposed to be worn on a rubber strap and the rubber that comes along with the SBBN017 is just perfect. Then we have a wide range of more expensive Tuna’s that might perhaps look cooler but not hundreds of dollars cooler. Compared to the more expensive and larger ceramic Tuna’s I think the 017 is of a more wearable size. Simply overall good proportions. All the newer quartz Tuna's are housing the 7C46 quartz movement so by choosing one of the more expensive ones you will receive some more exciting materials but you will still get the same movement as in the cheaper ones. Then we have a couple of automatic Tuna's, which all are priced quite high, but to me a Tuna should house a quartz movement and be able to withstand a beating and I therefore chose to exclude the automatics since they don't qualify as tool watches in my book.

I hope I've given you enough reasons to make you come to the same conclusion as I have; that the 017 is the most bang for the buck Tuna. Unfortunately the SBBN017 was discontinued last year and replaced with the SBBN033. Even though I prefer the black day/date wheels on the new version I must say I prefer the look of the hands on the old model. So try to find a used 017 but make sure to do it fast. Since it was discontinued the prices has increased as it's becoming more sought after.

UPDATE - August 30th.

It has really bothered me a long time that I never had the SBBN017 with the correct bezel insert. And when it was replaced by the SBBN033 and became harder to find used I figured I might not get a good chance of getting hold of one again. But sometimes the most unexpected things happen. I actually did find one. New. In Sweden. It had been sitting on the shelf for over three years. The price was high. Too high. But after a little negotiation I managed to get it for a reasonable price. It was a really good feeling buying a discontinued Tuna new from an authorized Seiko dealer. Buying new watches is something I rarely do and finding treasures like this is both satisfying and exciting.

#315 - My second SBBN017. Purchased new at Klockmaster Globen, Stockholm, Sweden.

Wrist shot at the balcony right after the unboxing.
© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 146 - Traser P6502 Navigator

I’d sold most of my watches to be able to afford the expensive Rolex GMT-Master II 16713 Rootbeer and figured I could use a really cheap beater for fishing occasions. My dear friend Magnus had this quartz Traser lying unused in his drawers and he let me have it for a friendly price. This one had a sterile dial with no date and other bezel markings compared to my old P6506. Looking back I see now that I got it wrong in my post about the P6506. I wrote that the P6506 had a steel case when it actually was made of titanium. The P6502 on the other hand had a steel case. I would choose the Navigator rather than the Commander just because I think it was cooler without the Traser logo on the dial. I would say it made it more legible. Overall the Traser is a great beater and I still prefer a Traser to a Luminox.

#146 - The Traser P6502 Navigator.

Out pike fishing in early October 2012 with the Traser on my wrist.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 145 - Rolex GMT-Master II 16713

So it finally happened. It was the end of August 2012 and I had saved up enough money to buy the long wished-for, almost mythical, Rootbeer. It felt even more unreal to put this one on the wrist compared to when I got the Sea-Dweller. This was something else. It was Clint and I and I felt like a badass. It also matched my wife’s watch which was fun. A little cheesy perhaps, sure, but what the hell. The crazy things you do for love!

I loved wearing the Rootbeer. It caught a lot of attention, which I initially liked, but sometimes it was the wrong kind of attention. In a group of non-watch enthusiasts people only saw gold and Rolex but while being among my own kin it was seen as a beautiful specimen of a quite unusual Rolex. I loved that it had the jubilee and not the boring oyster bracelet. The watch was a full set A-series from 1999 in superb condition and had the Swiss-only luminova dial. Even though it looked stunning it was horrible to take photos of. The dial print either got blurry or it didn’t show at all because of the glare from the sunburst dial.

#145 - The Rolex GMT-Master II ref. 16713.

Matching watches!

My dear friend Sebastian turned out to be just as in love with the Rootbeer as I was and when he said he wouldn’t hesitate to buy it I instantly suffocated my feelings for it and saw only money in the bank. I was also about to make a quite expensive fishing trip and figured a little extra cash could come in handy. So I sold it after owning it for about two months but on one condition; that I was going to be offered to buy it back for the same price if he ever decided to sell.  

In February 2013 Sebastian wanted to upgrade his GMT to a newer GMT-C and I couldn’t stand the thought of it being worn by anyone else so I just had to come up with the money no matter what. I sold every watch I had to finance it and I loved it from the second it was mine again. We enjoyed another couple of good months until I once again decided it was time to go separate ways. I actually never thought I was going to lose any money on this watch but I ended up losing $50. It stings a little to know I easily could have sold it today for twice the value it had back then.

Chopping up some meat for a chili stew together with Sebastian.

Salmon, avocado and cream cheese bagels for breakfast. Yummy!

Matched well with my Brooks Brothers wardrobe.

How about some Paradox from Brew Dog?

The GMT-Master II 16713 was a turning point in my watch flipping history. It made me realize I’d strayed too far from what I enjoyed the most; well-built and reasonably priced dive/tool watches. 

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 144 - Seiko SBBN013

Being a Seiko-fan it’s a wonder I haven’t been more active on forums like The Seiko and Citizen Watch Forum (SCWF). I’ve only used it as a source of knowledge but haven’t participated in any discussions. But in August 2012 I came across this SBBN013 to a very reasonable price in their for sale section. It was complete with box and papers and located in the UK. I figured I was already too late to grab it and even if I wasn’t the seller probably would prefer to sell it to some well know SCWF-member instead of me with an almost none existing post count. But I was lucky this time and I got to buy the SBBN013, also referred to as the Darth Tuna.

#144 - The Seiko SBBN013.

Glowing lume in daylight. Impressive!

I just love the quartz Tuna’s. They are amazing watches for diving! This one was the biggest Tuna I’d had so far but it was still very wearable. I particularly loved the large gray hands and the lume was of course marvelous. But then I got scared. I don’t remember who it was but someone told me to be careful about not hitting the ceramic shroud into anything hard or it might crack straight through. I found a couple of pictures of cracked shrouds and it didn’t look too funny. So my new favorite tool watch turned out to be less toolier than I thought it was. What could I do? That didn’t work for me. I later discovered that I could have switched the ceramic shroud to a plastic one but I wonder how good it would have looked.

Having pancakes for breakfast at Café Foam in Stockholm.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 143 - Sjöö Sandström Landsort D2

The time has come to present a watch from one of my most beloved brands. Let me introduce the Landsort from Sjöö Sandström. OK, so I’m from Sweden and Sjöö Sandström is a Swedish brand. Of course it makes me a little bias but honestly, Sjöö Sandström does make some incredible timepieces and the Landsort is a unique creation indeed. Landsort is an island in the Stockholm archipelago and not far from it there is an abyss measuring 459m down to the bottom; the Landsort depth – the deepest spot in the Baltic Sea.

I fell completely in love with the Landsort when a friend and I were invited to Sjöö Sandström’s workshop in the old town of Stockholm. From the pictures I'd seen I was expecting something huge but I was really surprised over how well it wore with its 44mm (excl. crown) which mainly depended on the absence of lugs. It is thick but just thick enough to not give it any irregular proportions. During the Q&A I couldn’t help asking why they didn’t flip the case 180 degrees to make it with the crown on the left side instead; a destro version. You can’t avoid noticing that the crown is a rather large detail and when being worn on the bracelet it’s going to torture your wrist. I tried to put it in the nicest way, without being too disrespectful of their newly launched watch, that IF they actually were aiming on making a proper dive watch they should have built it with the crown on the left side. All I got back was “Oh, do you think that would be a good idea? We haven’t really thought of that.” 

Six months later another Landsort was released. The D1. And guess what? It had the crown on the left side…

Finding a used Landsort so close to the release date back in the summer of 2012 was close to impossible. But then suddenly a friend (who had another friend, who had a friend, who had a friend, who apparently knew someone at Sjöö Sandström), who didn’t even knew I was interested in the Landsort, asked me during a watch get-together,  if I by any chance would be interested in taking over this new dive watch he’d just bought but wasn’t very fond of, which just happened to be the Landsort. A crazy coincidence indeed!

#143 - The Sjöö Sandström Landsort D2.

See that rectangle under the 12 o'clock marker? A good example of a visual detail that wasn't centered.

One of the first.

It had a very low serial number which was fun but after a while I got a little suspicious. There were so many details that weren’t precise. What was this? A prototype? Some of the lume markers weren't centered and the bezel felt really awkward to turn. If I’m not completely mistaken it even had 58 or 59 clicks instead of 60. But fine, perhaps I could live with those deviations. I figured it still might be kind of cool to have one of the first ones made and especially if it had some minor production errors. Perhaps this was a future gem? But what I couldn’t cope with was the horrible lume quality. Was this a fucking joke or what? The lume was almost nonexistent. I was expecting this piece to fire up like a Seiko and if not it would at least glow as bright as any other watch with C3 luminova. Boy was I mistaken or what. The indexes might as well have been painted with ordinary white paint. I was almost beginning to suspect I was holding a fake in my hands. It had to go. No question about it. I sold it with the hope of someday buying another one were all those mistakes had been adjusted. 

It was never exposed to more water than this.

I hate being so negative about something so beautiful but I have to express my sincere and honest thoughts or this blog would be worthless and be just like any other blog reviewing watches. I can only hope that Sjöö Sandström use this information to create a better product for their dedicated fans to enjoy and love in the future.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


No 140 - Breitling Emergency

I remember back in 2006 when everybody started talking about this crazy guy on Discovery Channel who was dropped in the wild to find his way back to civilization and was only to rely on what nature had to offer. The guy was none other than Bear Grylls and the show was called Man vs. Wild (Born Survivor in some countries I think). This was just when I had started to pay real attention to watches and while everyone else were discussing all the disgusting things Bear was eating I was more interested in the Breitling Emergency on Bear’s wrist that I immediately noticed. “Wow! That must be the ultimate survival watch if Bear’s using it.” He was using both a yellow faced and a black faced Emergency but the yellow one was the one that got stuck in my mind. In the later seasons he became sponsored by Bremont and wore their ALT1-P chronograph and Supermarine diver. He was also seen using several different Casio’s.

Buying a used Emergency is a little different from buying other used watches. The watch has to be registered in Breitling’s customer register. The seller I bought mine from didn’t mention this which meant that if I would have activated the distress signal by mistake he would have been held accountable. I however chose to get it re-registered in my name at a Breitling AD and when I later sold it I demanded the new owner to do the same and to show me a copy of the re-registration papers. This service was free of charge from Breitling and went very quick to accomplish.

#140 - The Breitling Emergency ref. E76321.

Wore it on my favorite Breitling rubber.

When I finally decided to seriously start looking for one I couldn’t find a yellow one so I settled with an orange faced. I was confident that an Emergency would turn me into a natural born survivor machine the moment I put it on my wrist but no. It was awesome to wear though. Big, sure, but due to the titanium case and rubber strap it weighed close to nothing.  Looked super cool in my opinion! But was it really such a good watch for survival? Not so sure about that I’m afraid. I wouldn’t say it felt fragile in any way but with a WR of only 30m I’d hardly dare to wear it in the rain under my rain jacket. If I’d be shipwrecked on an island I think I’d be better of wearing a tough solar G-Shock instead. I suppose the Emergency is pretty useless after the distress signal has been activated and the battery is finished. 

A cup of coffe in the sun post lunch.

There are a couple of versions of the Emergency. The one I had is the one I like the most; the superquartz. It looks better than the first version and the latest version, The Emergency II, is just too big and bulky for any human being to wear without looking ridiculous. Not even The Rock would pull that one off in a decent fashion. Then there was a version called Emergency Mission with analog sub dials instead of the digital displays. Didn’t like that one. I’m not 100% certain of this but I heard rumors that the frequency the Emergency is transmitting on had been taken out of use so I don’t know if the old Emergency lost its rescue ability. Without it it’s not that cool. Then you’re better off with a regular Aerospace which basically has the same functions except for the distress signal.

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.


Watches #51-100

Time’s moving fast when you’re having fun and after I decided to pick up  the pace a little another fifty posts have already been published. But it’s extra fun when you suddenly receive some recognition. One morning two weeks ago I noticed that the incoming traffic had increased tenfold over night. It was so fun to receive some sort of approval that there are readers out there who seem to appreciate my short reviews.
I’ve since then received a lot of questions and the most common have been how much money I make out of flipping watches. I can tell you that I’m the total opposite of being a professional dealer and my goal is absolutely not to make any profit out of this. I’m just trying to lose as little as possible. I’m only in it for the thrill. That’s it! Adding it all up I’ve lost hundreds of dollars over the years but the average loss per year is probably in comparison to what other material hobbies such as golf, fishing or Hi-Fi tend to consume spending-wise. To be able to afford more expensive watches I’ve simply pitched in more money into the hobby over time.

Also, some seem to misunderstand the purpose of my hobby and are asking me how I can afford all those watches? Well, just as much as I’m not a professional dealer neither am I a collector. I have four or five watches tops at the same time. Everything else is sold and spent on another watch. I can’t stand the thought of owning something that doesn’t come to any good use and can’t therefore collect anything. 

Some of you also seem to be concerned about my “poor wife” :-) That’s sweet of you but totally unnecessary. While my money is invested in something that quickly can be sold the next day (most of the times) my wife’s money is happily spent on clothing and other accessories which she has no intention of parting with and I’m totally fine with that. She is actually very encouraging and I must give her a lot of credit for being as supportive as she has been during the years and still is. Of course she has to put up with me spending a lot time glued to the iPad which is something I’m constantly having a bad conscience for but I try to make up for it.

#287 - The Heuer Professional 1000m, ref. 980.023L.

I recently acquired something I’ve considered being a little of a grail. I finally got my hands on a Heuer Professional 1000m, ref. 980.023L, in excellent condition and complete with box and papers. Ever since I owned its successor back in 2011, the Tag Heuer-version, I’ve been looking for one of these. Several of my latest purchases haven’t amazed me the way I thought they would. I’ve learned during the years that what I like most about this hobby is the intense hunt followed by the excruciating wait. As soon as the watch has arrived and been placed on my wrist a sensation of relief washes over me in an awesome wave and the butterflies, which just seconds ago were flooding my stomach with anticipation and excitement, are completely gone and I’m standing there alone left in an empty void. But receiving the Heuer was different. It had the hunt and the wait, which I love, but when it was placed on the wrist it gave me another dimension of satisfaction. It was definitely worth waiting for. I guess my new goal is to focus on quality instead of quantity. I’m sure it’ll make me happier to buy what I really want instead of random junk just to always have incoming items. 

Anyhow, since I started to write in December 2014 I’ve now approached closer to 300 watches. So my idea of “laying low” during the writing process hasn’t turned out as planned so far. It makes it much harder for me to achieve my goal of reaching the present day if I keep on gathering new material all the time. But with my new purchase strategy the amount of new watches should decrease. Let’s also hope this year’s fishing season is better than last years. That would definitely take my mind off the watches for a while and make it easier to catch up!

Thank you once again for all the positive feedback!

© All pictures by a Watch Flipper's Diary unless noted.