No 249 - Sjöö Sandström Landsort D1

When I wrote the piece about the Landsort D2 I just briefly mentioned the D1; the version with the crown at 9 o’clock. Already when they announced this watch I realized that it was going to be inevitable for the two of us not to cross paths one day. When I saw the D2 for the first time the D1 was actually all I could visualize in my head, so to me the D1 is really how the watch should have looked from the start and the fact that it eventually was produced the way I wanted it was simply amazing.

#249 - The Sjöö Sandström Landsort D1.

I bought this watch new. That rarely happens but once I do purchase something brand new there usually is a rather special occasion going on. I was saying to myself that IF this watch was as good as I hoped it was going to be, then it was going to be a keeper. I absolutely loved its looks. The clean steel gray dial, the orange second hand, the bezel insert in Tungsten. I still love its looks. As a matter of fact I love it so much that looking back on my old pictures of it just makes me want to go and buy a new one immediately! But then, to wake me up from my daydreaming, reality hits me hard in the face. How could I forget? 

Almost everything that disappointed me about the D2 had been fixed with the D1. The D1 felt much more solid in a whole other way. It was just one minor detail that still wasn’t perfect. The lume (in fact a rather major detail in my book). This time the lume was actually there but the glow wasn’t nearly as strong as I’d been hoping it to be. Why? WHY?! The product specification says super luminova and perhaps it is but in a very thin layer. I wore the watch for a while but it was a love/hate relationship. My perfect watch wasn’t perfect and it simply didn’t work out.

Last year at one of Sjöö Sandström’s pleasant events they sometimes host at their workshop I couldn’t help bringing up the topic regarding the lume for discussion. How else would I ever receive an answer to this big mystery? The explanation I got from Kristofer Johansson (sales director and partner at Sjöö Sandström) caught me a little off guard. He told me that they were well aware of this and that it was an intended design. They didn’t want the lume to glow too bright. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It wasn't a design flaw. They were doing this on purpose! It contradicted all my own thoughts about which criteria’s a dive watch must fulfill. Anyhow, I was pleased by the honest and detailed answer I was given, even though I didn't agree with him, and I also felt he took the opinions I shared in the matter with great seriousness. Will it lead somewhere? Hopefully but probably not.

Giving critique it’s nothing I do because I like to be mean. I do it because I think it’s important and fair. A company that manufactures great products can only benefit from listening to their customers opinions and hopefully it will lead to even better products in the future. I really value the Landsort highly and I would even go as far as praising it as one of the coolest and unique dive watches made of all time BUT, not until it has been given what it deserves; a proper lume treatment. I keep imagining the Landsort to light up like the Grands Fonds from ZRC. Just the thought of it gives me goosebumps. A Landsort like that would just kill.

2016 was the year of Sjöö Sandström’s 30th anniversary and they announced that three new watches were going to be released during that year. I’d been picking up bits and pieces from different rumors and I was sure that one of those new watches was going to be a dive watch. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be an updated version of the Landsort or a new creation but it didn’t matter because I knew it was going to be exciting either way. But no new dive watch was ever released during the last year. Huge disappointment! I can only hope that they’re planning something really good to come and I know that once a new dive watch will be announced I’m going to be super thrilled.

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


No 248 - Le Jour Chronograph

“I feel the need, the need for speed.” You know how it is being a watch maniac constantly looking on peoples wrists. Tom Cruise’s black chronograph sure doesn’t go unnoticed in the classic Top Gun from 1986; one of his best movies ever.  After a quick research you learn that it probably is an Orfina Porsche Design chronograph with the Lemania 5100 movement. You also learn that there are tons of watches from different manufactures from the very same era that pretty much look the same and that the prices can vary a lot. I’m not really sure which the true original is but have been assuming it’s the Heuer Pasadena that all the others derive from (read more here) but I'm not sure at all. The newer ones are usually equipped with the Valjoux 7750 movement instead of the Lemania and are often cheaper. The used Orfina's you find are usually quite expensive and are also very often quite worn. I would of course have preferred the real deal from the start but I felt there was so much to learn about all the different models that I barely had begun to scratch the surface. I instead decided to go for one of the cheaper versions just to quickly get that Maverick vibe going.

#248 - The Le Jour chronograph. Not entirely sure about the correct reference.

I found my Le Jour head only to a decent price but in the need of service because its 7750 movement had a loose rotor and wouldn’t self-wind. After the service it was fine though and worked perfectly. I quickly realized that one of the hardest parts when you purchase one of those old PVD military style chronographs is to source a good bracelet for it. Usually all used watches are sold on some ugly leather bund strap (I can't stand them!). I searched forever and ever after a suitable vintage bracelet but finally settled for an oyster type bracelet from Hadley Roma that seemed to be of a rather decent quality. I had plans on making the bracelet look a little more vintage to match the worn surface of the watch case but instead I switched it for a Bonetto Cinturini 295 rubber which also gave a good vintage feel to it. 

OK. So maybe I didn't became as cool as Maverick with my Le Jour but it really opened up my eyes for chronographs even more just like the Tutima and the Tudor's did and I can honestly say that my venturing among the 80's and 90's Lemania and 7750 chronos is far from over.

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


No 247 - Glycine Airman no.1

I thought it was really exciting when Glycine announced the re-issue of their first Airman. Being 36mm I knew it would be too small for me but it looked so nice and perfect it had to be given a chance anyway. It wasn’t that pricey but I didn’t want to get a new one when I knew it wasn’t going to stay. Lucky for me my flipping-buddy Björn got a hold of a fairly new one quite soon after the release which I took over when he was done. I mostly wore it on a nato but he also gave me a flex bracelet which enhanced the vintage feeling and made it look quite cool. I also tried it on the Strapcode shark mesh which I had used for my Squale 50atm and Eterna Super Kon-Tiki but it was a little too thick and gave the impression of the watch being smaller than it actually was. I loved it for being a purist version which I still think is the best and most logical way to display time.

#247 - The Glycine Airman no.1, ref 3944.

On the shark mesh from Strapcode.

Sadly Glycine has disappointed me every year since this release. I guess being bought by Invicta says it all. We’re talking about a company with a never ending catalogue of hideous creations taking over a legendary brand with several beloved classic timepieces and what happens? That’s right, they produce even more hideous creations and turn good things to shit. Truly a sad story. I think that was the main reason why I decided to let Glycine go. I didn’t like the classic Glycine models to be associated with the new trashy ones. I’ve had the same problem with Doxa and I’m not entirely over that whole situation as well but to Doxa’s defense I think they have done a better job of preserving their heritage than Glycine ended up doing.  

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


No 246 - Seiko 6309-7548 Hybrid

Being a huge fan of Seiko this specific mod was unavoidable. Since the quartz movement from the 7548 happens to fit perfectly inside the watch case of the classic cushion cased 6309, this matchup should in theory create the perfect watch because to many Seiko fans this is the best of both worlds; one of our favorite quartz movements inside one of our most beloved watch cases. The only question was: am I going to find an already modified watch or find two donation watches and carry out the procedure myself?

#246 - The Seiko 6309-7549 Hybrid.
Having different 6309’s and 7548’s in a steady rotation of course eventually led me into finding two pieces that were a good match. Breaking up two perfect watches felt like a shame but when I at one point had two mediocre examples it opened up for the perfect opportunity. Watch #242 and #245 where sacrificed and together they created watch #246; the so-called Hybrid. Watch #242 was a 6309-7040 which was all original and looked fantastic but its movement was completely run down and beyond repair. Watch #245 was a 7548-700B that had some aftermarket parts and its dial had already been relumed so I really didn’t feel any anxiety over disassembling any of them. My friend Magnus helped me out with the mounting and new lume and everything worked out fine. I played around with it on different straps and was quite happy with it. It sure was a great looking beater.

Magnus during the making.

A wrist shot in the sun.

With an extremely faded aftermarket insert.

The texture of the dial was looked like a grainy paper.

In theory this should have made the perfect watch according to my preferences but somehow it didn’t. As most of the modifications I’ve made they are fun in the beginning but then eventually they tend to become boring. Eventually the 7548 was put back together and serviced and kept for quite a long time while the 6309 was given a new a movement and then sold.

With a bleached insert from a 7548-700F.

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