Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday 26/8/2016 - Still Busy, Happy Birthday, Mr Connery & This Week's Wristwatches.


Sorry if you had to tilt your head to the side for that.
Can't recall doing anything extraordinary last weekend, but I wore the Rolex Submariner 5513;

Those specks of dust really bug me, because they're on the underside of the crystal. Man, I can't wait until I get this watch serviced one day. They'll put a proper crystal and bezel insert on it and service the movement. It'll look and run better than it does now. No mean feat.

Sits nicely on the wrist. Or rather, it sits nicely on my wrist. I've come to the conclusion that 40mm is a perfect size for me when it comes to sports watches. These days, though, most brands are still churning out case sizes beyond 42mm. I can carry off 42mm, but anything larger begins to look cartoony on me. 


Switched over to the Camy Club-Star midweek while I watched the first couple of episodes of "Aquarius" on DVD;


Set in 1967, this show follows L.A. police detective Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny) as he is drawn into an missing person investigation. Meanwhile, we also see the rise of the Charles Manson cult. Manson is played by Gethin Anthony (never heard of him before) and he seems to have been given more charisma than I would have thought Manson had. Artistic licence. 
It'll be interesting to see what happen when their two paths intersect at some point.
Duchovny is good as the world-weary cop and its good to see him on TV again after the long-running Californication came to an end a couple of years ago. I've only watched two episodes, but it's got me intrigued.
The Camy Club-Star, with its Speidel expanding bracelet, seemed like a nice choice this week. I'd been wearing a few of my larger watches of late, so it was good to switch back to something a little more understated. 

Yesterday (25th) was Sean Connery's 86th Birthday. His Bond belongs to another era, but will always be the blueprint for the cinematic OO7 to me. 

He has been officially retired from acting since 2007, but he left behind a varied body of work aside from his Bond films. He received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1987 for his role in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, but I think he should have gotten one the year before for his excellent performance as Fransiscan monk Sir William of Baskerville in The Name of the Rose (Dir: Jean-Jacques Annaud), a murder mystery set in a remote abbey in 14th Century Italy. If you've never seen this film, I highly recommend it. Ron Perlman, as the deformed hunchback Salvatore, is worth the price of admission alone. 

After seeing my first Bond film at the age of nine, and then reading my first Bond book at the age of thirteen, I was fast becoming a fan of this super-spy. I soon began catching the Bond movies on TV whenever they were screened and Dr No was my first introduction to Connery's take on Bond. I was perhaps a little too young to appreciate the way he played the role, preferring the lighthearted interpretation given to me by Roger Moore. I was a kid, after all. As I got older and read through the rest of the Fleming titles, I soon realised that Connery played the role closer to the literary version of OO7, even though he too added some light touches to a character who is essentially a medium-grade secret agent who drinks too much, gambles too much, is heavily sexist towards women, racist towards foreigners, and who is prone to periods of boredom and melancholy when he's in between missions. 
It would be fair to say that, if Connery had never been Bond, I probably wouldn't have become the fan that I am.
And so, I raise a glass and wish you a Happy Birthday, sir. 

As you can see from the photo above, I switched over to the Omega Seamaster 300;

This watch has gotten a lot of wear in recent months. I think it'll be near the top of the list when I do my third annual Most Watches Worn For The Year post next January.
 

And who doesn't love a little bit of argyle?

Okay, gang, that's all for now. Quarter past nine on Friday night and fatigue is tightening its grip on me.  

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Friday 19/8/16 - This Week's Wristwatches


Started the week wearing the Seamaster 300 on bracelet;


This generic straight-edged end-link bracelet is quite rattly and it feels cheap. Which makes it absolutely perfect for this watch, giving it an even greater vintage vibe than it already had. And that's saying something. 

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I was this style of bracelet and this one came along, courtesy of eBay, so that I could try this watch on steel to see if I liked the look and feel of it. 
So far, I'm pretty happy with it. Yes, it does have the build quality and feel of a 1980s Seiko bracelet, but I have never seen one of those fall apart on somebody's wrist. And this was the argument that somebody presented me once when I stated that the Rolex Oyster bracelets of the early 1990s felt cheap to me, considering the brand;

Me: "I dunno, the bracelets are still being made with folded end-links, which can't be as sturdy as solid ends."
Customer: "When have you ever seen a Rolex bracelet come apart?"

He was right, of course. 

Wednesday, it was time to switch to something different while I finished off the last of the Bailey's Irish Cream. Man, if this is what Ireland uses as cream, then that would explain a lot!
I'm going to get around to reading this Van Lustbader book soon. Although I'm a fan of Ludlum's Bourne series, I'm curious to see what possible direction they could take Jason Bourne. I once tried reading Van Lustbader's book, The Ninja, but I found one of the love scenes in the book absolutely hilarious. That was not his intention, I'm sure. Maybe I'll see if I can find another copy in a thrift store one day and have another crack at reading it. 


Got home from work and had a cup of coffee. Made myself a pizza for dinner a couple of hours later and poured myself a glass of cab sav.
To be honest, I bought it more for the label rather than knowing whether or not the wine would be any good. I'm no connoisseur, I will freely admit, but I just find that a half-decent Cabernet Sauvignon tastes to me the way a red wine should. 
But what do I know? Went down smoothly enough, though.
 
Hope I can soak the label off this bottle when I'm done. Might make a nice bookmark. And I love the whole Steampunky/Snake-oil/Dr Emerson's  Magick Rejuvenatory Elixir medicine bottle vibe of it.

After dinner, I thought I'd switch watches. Time to bust out the Big Kahuna, the Rolex Submariner 5513;


I wear this one sparingly because it's in dire need of servicing. I'll get around to this sometime later this year. I hope.
And that's another week done and dusted. Still busy at work, still a few curve-balls. Still, nothing I can't tackle. It's all good. 

Oh, wow, without realising it, I've managed to wear my three Grail watches this week.


These three watches were the ones that I spent the longest time coveting. Both the Sinn 103 and the Omega Seamaster 300 were on my hit-list for over five years before I got them. And, as you may recall from previous posts, the Submariner was the watch that I had wanted ever since I was a kid in the mid 1970s. 
Ahh, if only I had saved my money when I first started working and bought one back in the late 1980s. I'd be a vastly different animal where wristwatches are concerned, I'm sure. 

Oh well...thanks for reading and have a great weekend, all!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday 12/8/16 - This Week's Wristwatch


Geez, I wish I'd taken a closer look at the bracelet before I took that shot. Looks like the links removed some hair from my wrist. And I didn't feel a thing.


Long time since I wore the same watch two weeks in a row. Must be getting lazy.


Moser Roth chocolate is pretty smooth, gang.

My wife took the cat to the vet for her yearly check-up and worming tablet last week and they told us she'd need to have her teeth cleaned because of an excessive build-up of plaque. 
I'm talking about the cat here, folks. My wife's teeth are perfect.
So, we booked her in for this procedure.  She would need to go under general anesthetic and we'd have to sign a waiver. That's reassuring.


Madame came home shivering, dazed and groggy, with her eyes glazed over. Like Keith Richards in a brown fur coat around 1972. Yep, she was in a fragile state.
The tooth cleaning cost $450 bucks.
For that kind of money, I was expecting her to come home with braces, dammit!

Short and sweet this week, y'all. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Friday 5/8/16 - Rush, Rush, Rush & This Week's Wristwatches.

This 1951 SM2 is a very nice machine to use. And I'm a sucker for 3 x 5 cards.

So anyway, I think I wore the Submariner weekend before last;


See that nice Lyra pencil with the tiny bite marks on the end? There's a photo of the culprit. Who could not care less about a pencil.

I had to cut down a mirror to put up in the bathroom. Took me a few goes with the glass cutter, and the finished piece ended up being smaller than I had originally wanted, but I could not be bothered spending too much time on this task. I wore the '93 Seiko;

















Couple of days later, I put on the Omega Railmaster;


I think I wore the Omega Speedmaster Professional the day after that...


...before speding longer than necessary decoding on which NATO strap to put on the Omega Seamaster 300. In the end, I opted for the TrueBond colour scheme;


Lately though, I'd been thinking about getting a metal bracelet for this watch. There are a handful of Omega bracelets that will fit this watch. In fact, some modern Omega bracelets are designed in such a way that they will fir this watch very, very nicely. Given that the case dimensions of this 300 are virtually 100% identical to those of the Speedmaster, the bracelet of the Speedmaster will fit the Seamaster perfectly. 
However, I didn't want to put the Speedmaster bracelet on the Seamaster, so I began hunting around eBay for an aftermarket bracelet that would fit. There are plenty of them out there, but it would be a slight gamble. I have heard tell from other watch nerds that the fit of these generic bracelets is not exact. This gave me reason to pause. 
And then I remembered this watch;

The one on the left is the original 1950s Tudor Submariner, which was released a year after the classic Rolex version.
The one on the right was released last year. It was the Tudor Heritage Black Bay One model. 
Only ONE of these was made, and it was auctioned off at the Only Watch 2015 charity;


The more I looked at the way the bracelet joined the case lugs, the more this particular look began to grow on me. 

So, I recalibrated my search for something similar to this design and it wasn't long before I found a bracelet that wasn't pricey and would do the job nicely. Also, this kind of design would also offer a point of difference to the other bracelets on my other watches. And that's gotta be good.

For the record, the Tudor Black Bay Heritage One model sold for 375,000 Swiss Francs at that auction last year.

I ended up finding a Hadley-Roma bracelet on eBay for 27 bucks. The postage cost was an obscene $25.oo. 
While I waited for it to arrive, I kept the Seamaster 300 on the TrueBond NATO. I do still love the look of it on this watch;





The Hadley-Roma bracelet arrived earlier this week. I got out my meagre set of watch tools and got to work. Attached the bracelet to the watch, then removed almost every removable link in order to get a proper fit for my wrist. Always the way;





















It has an old-style look and feel to it. Definitely rattles more than modern bracelets do. I don't actually mind this at all. Makes it all the more an old-fashioned style of bracelet, like Omega and Rolex used to make. 
By the time I was done with the tools, it was fitting quite nicely;


And the gaps at the lug ends looked the business;


Some folks really hate that gap between the bracelet and the case edge. This is one reason why some collectors don't like straps, because of this gap. I will readily admit that it took me about a day to get used to seeing this gap on a metal bracelet. 
Now I think it suits the watch wonderfully. 


Of course, for twenty-seven bucks, you're not exactly going to get the same level of quality that you'd get with a six hundred dollar watch bracelet. That's cool. The links are solid enough, the spring bars are quality-made, and the finish on the steel is nice, too.
This band will do just fine for now, and it'll give me time to decide if I really want to go for an original Omega bracelet for this watch. 
Maybe I will, maybe I won't.

And that's this week done, gang. This post was titled 'Rush, rush, rush'. It's been a busy couple of weeks at work. We have been slightly short-staffed this week and I've been coming home tired and still staying up later than I should, avoiding absolute garbage on TV, as evidenced by the TV guide above. 
So many channels. So much crap. 
Yep, time to get back into reading. 

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Friday 22/7/16 - Quick Shout-Out for The BAMF, Where's My Damn Cerificate!, & This Week's Wristwatches.


Let's see how long I last this week. This one is coming to you live from my desk in the study. I finally managed to clear the top of it and got a lamp and the laptop on it. Sure, the electrical cord runs right across the room- until we get another power point fitted closer to the desks- but it seems to be working okay for now. 

I thought I'd tip my hat to a blog that I've been reading for the last few years called BAMF Style. Basically, it's a style/clothing blog where its author, Lucky Strike, takes a character out of a movie and then gives a breakdown of that character's wardrobe. The research is thorough, the pictures are great, the clothing detail is nicely explained. Here's a recent example, which is pretty much a 101 class on Indiana Jones;


His James Bond post was phenomenal. It was Lucky's birthday recently, so I'm raising my glass to him. Cheers, pal.

I started the week with the circa 1969 Omega Seamaster Chronometer;

I started this Henry Porter book nearly two months ago. Then I got side-tracked reading that book on the making of Casablanca.
Needless to say, I haven't finished either book!
Time to knuckle down and get back into reading. I kept falling down that stupid rabbit hole of uber-crappy TV shows (Pawn Stars, World's Most Dangerous Drivers, etc, etc) and spending too much time on the internet looking at the same old sites. Neither of these pursuits enriches one's life too much. 

Hey, remember how I finished my Library Studies course last August? Well, I still haven't received my Certificate. And that pissed me off no end. 
I called the institute back in November and was told that I would receive it in the mail in the second week of December. Then I forgot all about it in the lead-up to Christmas. 
Then, I tried calling them again a month ago and spoke to somebody who had just started in the job and wasn't sure of who I could speak to. 
So, I waited two more weeks (it was semester break) and then tried calling again. The very helpful lady sent me a form to fill in and also suggested I call the Course Administrator to organise getting my Certificate. 
This Course Administrator was a tricky guy to get hold of. Took me another week to catch him on the phone. Of course, I could have left a a message for him, but I hate leaving messages. 
He said he'd send me yet another form to fill in and e-mail back to him. I've yet to do this, but I'll tackle it over the weekend.
Gotta say I could probably get my hands on the Gettysburg Address easier than I can on this Certificate. As regular readers may know, I'll never actually use this Certificate, since I have no intention of applying for work in the library industry, but I want my piece of paper that states that I actually completed this course. Successfully, I might add!

Midweek, I switched watches;

Yeah, I wore my hat in to work because it was raining when I left the house that morning. Course, the sun came out by 11:00am and I felt just a tad over-dressed when I caught the train home in the afternoon. 
I even wore a tie. My co-workers are sometimes surprised by this, since we work in an office setting and don't deal with outside customers face-to-face. I explained to them that I have quite a few ties and they don't get worn as much as they used to. 
You know that tired old line; Dress for the job you want, not the job you have?
Well, that's a stupid idea. If you're a waiter, you can't turn up to work in a suit.
I dress for myself. Simple as that. 

So yeah, I switched watches. I wore the Omega Railmaster. I friggin' love this watch. Simple, clear layout, right size for my wrist (for this type of watch), and near-perfect timekeeping. This one's a keeper, gang.

And I think that's about it, y'all. Got a few jobs to tackle over the weekend. I would have done them last weekend, but when I got the cordless drill out and spent an hour charging up the battery, I found that it was still dead. I headed out to the nearby hardware store and basically, it works out a helluva lot cheaper to buy a new corded drill than it does to buy a new battery for the cordless one. 
So I snagged a new Bosch impact/hammer drill for eighty bucks. Looks like a cross between my Dad's old power drill from the '70s and some futuristic sci-fi side-arm. Cool. 
Let's see how much damage I can do with it over the weekend. 

Anyway, have yourselves a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Friday, 8 July 2016

Friday 8/7/2016 - I'll Think Of a Title Later & This Week's Watches. Oh, And Happy 100th, Miss De Havilland!


Okay, now I'm feeling tired. This laptop's running a tad slower than I'd like. Tidying up the photos for this post has taken ages. We'll see how long I last, folks.
And off we go...

I wore the Submariner last weekend;


I have some film loaded up in the blue Trip 35. The Nikon F seen below;


...needs some new batteries for the fotomic head. Problem is, they no longer make the mercury cells that this thing uses. However, there is an adapter that you can get off eBay which is shaped like the old batteries and, what you do, is pop a couple of standard LR44 cells into them and then load them into the camera. These adapters sell for about $16USD. I just have to get around to buying them. I think I'll probably need three or four sets. That way, I can use them in my three SLRs. 
Admittedly, this isn't very high on my list of priorities, but I mat get them sooner rather than later. You know how life is sometimes. You say you'll get around to buying some cheap little item and you keep putting it off and putting it off, and then when you finally decide to buy it, it's no longer available. 

Switched over to the Sinn 103 chronograph on Monday;

Spent more time than I should have polishing those two 1940s Australian pennies. Although, I must say they came up looking nice and shiny. My wife picked one up and remarked; "This is when coins were coins, and they felt substantial in your hand. You can feel the value of them."
I picked up that hardback copy of The Savage Detectives for three bucks. I hope it's good. When I get around to reading it. 
Midweek, it was time for a switch. I grabbed the Omega Seamaster 300 and put it on a black NATO strap;





Reverend Ted commented on last week's post about my Tower Chieftain. He was wondering if my one still had its nameplate intact on top of the paper rest;



Yes. Yes it does. I'm giving some serious thought to re-painting this one at some point. While I understand that its off-white and grey paint-job is representative for this model, I find it looks a little tired after almost sixty years of existence. 
The more I look at this machine, the more I begin to think how pleasant it would look in a cream and mint-green combo. Might give it a nice mid-Fifties kitchen appliance kind of vibe. Something to think about later in the year when the weather gets warmer. First, though, it'll need some TLC from my typewriter guy, the legendary Tom. 

Got home from work tonight and decided to put on a watch that doesn't get much wear. Whenever I do wear it, however, I love how it looks;


It's the Hamilton Khaki Officer's Mechanical. At 44mm in diameter, it positively slaughters my wrist, but there's just something about this watch that I really like. I may look into getting a different set of hands for it because they've always seemed slightly too small for the dial, but again, that's another frivolity that's low on the list of things to do. 


This guy here is one of my oldest acquaintances. When I was growing up, and my folks had people around to visit, out would come the refreshments and, propped up next to the sugar bowl would be this thing. Instead of pens, it would be filled with a roll of paper serviettes. 
Did I say 'acquaintance'? I meant friend. Funny how little things can cause such wide ripples of nostalgia.



Okay, 9:38pm. I need some tea. I think I'll go rosehip. One more pic of the watch I've been wearing this evening;


I hope y'all have yourselves a safe and pleasant weekend.
Thanks for reading!

Oh, one more thing. I missed this last week, so I'll include it here. A big Happy Birthday to one of the last, if not the last, Keeper of the Old Hollywood Flame. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Olivia De Havilland;




Sure, she may not have had a career like Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn, but she came to prominence in the 1930s, and that's good enough in my book;

This was her in 1936;

Much has been made of her famous feud with her sister, Joan Fontaine, another of Hollywood's Old Guard, who died in December 2013, but I'm not here to talk about that. 

While I'll admit that I've probably only seen a few of her films, I loved her in The Adventures of Robin Hood (Dir: Michael Curtiz, 1938) and The Snake Pit (Dir: Anatole Litvak, 1948), a film set in an insane asylum. I saw it many years ago and found it a little creepy. 

The Studio system is gone, the stars are no longer under contract, the moguls are nowhere near as flamboyant as the Warner brothers or Goldwyns of yesteryear, so I think it's grand that there still exists a link to the bygone era of Hollywood. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 1 July 2016

1/7/2016 - Tiramisu Attempts, The Chieftain III Arrives, & This Week's Wristwatches.



I've been wearing the Omega Seamaster 300 for most of the week. Last weekend, I thought I'd take a crack at making a tiramisu. This has been an ambition of mine for a few years now. 
You need eggs, savoiardi biscuits, cream, two cups of strong coffee, one cup of marsala, and a heap of mascarpone cheese. 
I didn't have a blender or mixer, so I had to whisk the eggs, cream and cheese the old fashioned way, by hand. Took a little longer, but worth the effort.
Once the mix was done, my daughter dipped the savoiardi biscuits in the coffee and marsala before placing them into a rectangular baking dish. Once a layer of biscuits covered the base of the dish, we spooned on a thick layer of the egg/cream/mascarpone mix. 
And so on, and so on, until we reached the very top edge of the dish. 


Then, we covered it with cling wrap and put it in 
the fridge for a few hours. 

Later, I got it out of the fridge and sprinkled some cocoa powder on top of it. Not too much. Just enough to provide a bitter contrast to the sweetness of the filling. 
It tasted fantastic. I'll never have to order it in restaurants ever again!
One flaw- we should have soaked the biscuits in the coffee/marsala mixture a little longer. They still had a slightly hard consistency. This, however, changed over the next two days as the biscuits continued to soften. 

 
I was still wearing the Seamaster 300. 

Wednesday afternoon, I got home from work to find that this had arrived;






It'll need some TLC, but it's a great typer. The carriage return lever on these, and the later Smith-Corona Skyriters, were a vast improvement. And I love the mid-Century styling of that chromed 'Tower' logo.



Anyway, another week down. Tomorrow is Election Day here in Australia. 
I know somebody, however, who couldn't care less. She's been lying on a cushion all day;


I switched over to the Sinn 103 St Sa chronograph when I got home from work. 
Okay, another late one. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!