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Dear Santa: A Christmas Wishlist

What's on Robin's wishlist?
by Robin Lim on December 17, 2017
Reviews

Ah, it is the time of the year again! For many of us, we have always had a list of grail watches at the back of our heads. But when it comes to narrowing down our selections to just two watches for my Christmas wishlist this year, it is going to be tough.

There is of course a long list of watches that I would love to own. But for today’s article, I realised that it would be more prudent for me to look at choices that are seemingly more realistic. Hence, for the two timepieces that I am selecting, one would probably be something that is attainable in the near-future, and the other over a longer time horizon. What have I selected? Let’s find out!

 

Seiko SLA017

 

The Seiko SLA017 – a homage to the original 62MAS Diver’s Watch.

 

The first piece that I have selected is the Seiko SLA017, or simply known as the 62MAS reissue.

I have a thing for Seiko watches, simply because of the fact that it is an underdog in the horological world. The Swiss, and occasionally the Germans, are always highly praised for their horological creations. But seldom the Japanese. I have always thought that it was a pity, considering that the Japanese have produced some of the finest watches that we have seen. The Grand Seiko, for instance, is definitely in the leagues of the higher-end echelons of Swiss/German watchmaking. In addition, the price point makes the Grand Seiko an even better proposition.

 

The 62MAS Reissue is a very handsome watch.

 

But we digressed a little. Besides the Grand Seiko, the SLA017 was one of the watches that had caught my eyes this year. Launched in Baselworld 2017, the SLA017 became an instant hit with many Seiko collectors. The SLA017 was inspired by the original Seiko diver’s watch – the 62MAS – and it is a solid remake of its original iteration.

The 39.9mm timepiece is identical to the original version, with a clean and timeless look that have certainly stood the test of time. It definitely does not look out of place at all, vis-a-vis with any modern Seiko diver’s watch. But what we really like about this SLA017 are the vintage touches. The sapphire domed crystal and thick indices are hallmarks of vintage watches, and the case design is as classic as it can be. The combination simply takes my breath away.

 

The case back of the SLA017. Picture courtesy of Seiko.

 

The SLA017 is powered by Seiko’s Calibre 8L35, which is often fitted on their high-end pieces such as the Marinemaster 300 and the Emperor Tuna series. It is often touted that this is the undecorated version of Grand Seiko’s 9S55. The self-winding movement boasts a decent power reserve of around 50 hours, and it comes with a date indicator at the 3 o’clock position. It is a rather robust movement that had proven itself time and again.

What I really like about this watch is how Seiko have managed to marry the best of both worlds. The combination of classic aesthetic and modern manufacturing techniques makes the SLA017 a very desirable timepiece. The SLA017 is priced at €3,800 (approximately S$6,085), and it is limited to 2,000 pieces. It is slightly on the pricier end for a Seiko piece that is not from the Grand Seiko range, but we reckon its finishing and exclusiveness makes up for the premium.

 

Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V

 

VC Overseas in the lacquered blue dial.

 

The next piece that I have selected is the Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V.

When I first saw the new Vacheron Constantin Overseas, I was pretty much sold. I really like how VC have designed this timepiece. On one hand, the Overseas is simple and classy. But on the other hand, VC have incorporated some interesting design elements to this piece. This includes the half-Maltese Cross bezel, as well as the integrated bracelet. The lovely blue dial is a sweet bonus as well. Overall, the combination is stunning, and they have certainly found a sweet spot between elegance and boldness.

 

The Overseas, paired with a blue leather strap.

 

Besides its good looks, the Overseas is highly practical as well. One of the key features of this piece is the quick-release strap change mechanism. The process is rather effortless. What is also remarkable is the fact that VC provides the owner with 3 different strap options: leather strap, stainless steel bracelet, and rubber strap. This makes the timepiece highly versatile.

 

The VC Calibre 5100 movement.

 

The timepiece is fitted with VC’s Calibre 5100, a self-winding movement that features 172 components. It beats at 28,800bph, and features a respectable power reserve of around 60 hours. The finishing, as per usual, is excellent. The various techniques that were employed includes the Côtes de Genève, anglage, and frosting. The 22k gold rotor is stunning as well.

On top of that, the movement is also anti-magnetic, and it has a water resistance of up to 150m. It is also awarded the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, which is a testament to the quality and finishing of the timepiece.

The VC Overseas is priced at S$30,800, which is comparable to the pricing of  other luxury sports watches. However, I feel that the Overseas stands out against the likes of Nautilus and Royal Oak – for the very simple reason that it is one of the most versatile watches that I have ever seen. The interchangeable straps allow the user to appropriately match the Overseas for different occasions. In short, you are getting three watches for the price of one. You can’t get a bargain better than this, at least when it comes to high-end luxury timepieces.

With that, I have wrapped up my two choices for Christmas this year. Hope that everyone enjoyed this write-up, and here’s wishing you a very wonderful Christmas!

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