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Reviews Written by
Richard Gray (Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside, UK.)
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THE PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY
THE PUNISHMENT OF LUXURY
Price: £7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good and a welcome comeback, 12 Sept. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good old OMD have produced a good one here. OK, it's a bit of a mixed bag, but on the whole a damned good effort after so long silent. Probably comparable to Sugar Tax, and definitely better than the disastrous "Dazzle Ships". I listened to OMD back in the 1980's, so we go back a long way!


Citizen Watch Men's Watch JY8059-57E
Citizen Watch Men's Watch JY8059-57E
Price: £409.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a nice little timepiece, 2 Aug. 2017
Having a number of radio-controlled watches and one GPS watch, I am reasonably impressed with this little number. The large diameter face makes the watch easy to read. The various other dials are fairly self-explanatory, and once you get the hang of using the watch it's all fairly intuitive and doesn't have you reaching for the instruction book all the time. A nice little feature allows you to set against each time zone whether daylight saving time applies or not. In common with watches of this type, you need to live in the northern hemisphere in order for the watch to synchronise with the various atomic clock transmitters. A significant omission, I think, is that despite this watch honouring the UK's Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatics team it doesn't synchronise with the UK's MSF transmitter. That said, the receiver is quite sensitive and doesn't have any trouble synchronising with the DCF77 transmitter (located in Germany) from the Northwest UK. If you live in Northern Scotland or the Northern Isles you might have trouble synchronising with the DCF77 transmitter.

Another nice little feature is that you can switch off time zones that you never use, so you don't later have to wind through the entire list to reach zones you commonly use. Conveniently, it's dead easy to switch between your home time zone and your chosen alternate zone, which is handy for someone travelling back and forth with any regularity, or just the occasional holiday maker. Quirkily, this watch uses the term SMT for daylight saving time. From what I have seen, the terms DST and SMT are interchangeable and simply mean one hour ahead or not as the case might be.

A bad point about this watch is that the LCD display is fairly deeply recessed and as such it is very difficult to read unless viewed absolutely perpendicular in bright light. However, unlike any other watch of this type the LCD has a back-light and in reduced light this makes the display reasonably easy to read in reduced light, but you will need your best glasses for some of the smaller indicators if you're of a certain age.

At this point I haven't quite fathomed out how to use the rotating bezel "slide-rule", but the white on red ring is easier to read than other similar offerings from such as Seiko. I'm not altogether convinced that in this day and age any self-respecting aviator would use such a thing, but it's another novelty to play with.

The small clock just under the 12 o'clock position constantly displays UTC (GMT if you prefer). The little dial just between the two and three o'clock positions rotates once every 24 hours, so you could figure out whether you're in AM or PM if you somehow lost your frame of reference. Finally, the little dial on the left shows either the battery's charge state, or which transmitter the watch is synchronising with. You will probably only ever see that pointer change if you're a serious night-owl, or you force the watch to synchronise right away. I have to mention that this is an eco-drive model and therefore only needs exposing to light to charge it's battery.

One annoying problem common to watches with hands and an LCD display is the hands obscuring the LCD display at certain times of the day. One day designers of these things will make a "nudge button" available so that the hands can be temporarily moved in order to read the LCD. Next year maybe?

There are two alarms which can be set for a given time in any zone of your choosing, or your home zone as you see fit. Additionally there is a countdown timer which can be set to 1 minute through 99 minutes. In all cases the alarm is reasonably loud, but I wouldn't rely upon it to wake me up.

There is the inevitable stopwatch function too. Personally I find this an almost useless feature on a watch; but it's there for all the use it might be.

The glass (or crystal) is slightly domed so it tends to reflect less than an absolutely flat one would, and this makes reading the watch very easy at any angle.

If you're patient, as with most watches, you might pick up a bargain.


Seiko Mens Watch Astron GPS Solar Dual Time SSE073J1
Seiko Mens Watch Astron GPS Solar Dual Time SSE073J1
Offered by Jewelry & Watches
Price: £1,810.74

5.0 out of 5 stars A really beautiful timepiece, 2 Aug. 2017
This is, in my opinion, possibly the most beautiful and useful of the Astron range. The main clock face shows the time where you are, and the mini-clock down at the six o'clock position shows the time wherever in the world you want it to. For example, on mine at the moment, the main dial shows the time in the UK, where I live, and the mini dial shows the time in Sydney, Australia. The seconds hand sweeps elegantly around the clock face once a minute, and isn't stationary like the chronograph models. The small pointer near the two o'clock position shows the day, and the date is shown in the little window at the 4 o'clock position. In common with all GPS watches you have to take into account daylight saving time (DST) and there is a very simple advance/retard by one hour feature. If you visit somewhere that uses an unusual daylight saving time arrangement, or a time zone which doesn't fall on an hour boundary, this can be coped with albeit with a bit more fiddling.

The really surprising thing about this watch is it looks like it should be quite heavy (and the stainless steel Astrons are), but being a titanium body and strap it's incredibly light; but not a bit of plastic in sight. The hardlex crystal affords a superbly clear view of the dial without puzzling reflections.

If you go travelling anywhere in the world with this watch, a simple button press will set the time zone automatically. If you happen to roam somewhere near a timezone border, it's simple enough to manually adjust the timezone if you need to. The small alternate clock at the 6 o'clock position stays at whatever time zone you set it to be, so no matter where I go in the world, the small clock would be set to Sydney time.

If you put the watch in a drawer or otherwise keep light from falling on it for a few days, the hands will stop moving and it will stop occasionally looking for a satellite to synchronise with as well. This means that the battery will last for several months, and when the power runs really low the watch takes various further measures to conserve power. There's a small thrill to be had when you open your watch box and the hands start moving to display the current time as light revives the dormant movement. You can set things so that light doesn't wake the watch up if you want to. If the watch's exposure to light are brief, you might want to do this to avoid overly discharging the battery. Pressing any button will wake the watch up, light or no light, provided there's enough energy in the battery. Normal operation only draws a very modest amount from the battery, but a full GPS locate and time zone set does put a substantial drain on the battery; but I have found that this is quickly replenished without having to do anything extraordinary.

In theory when you board an aircraft you should turn-off the GPS receiver. This is probably an unnecessary formality that most people won't bother with; but it's simple enough and you should familiarise yourself with how to do this should the cabin crew demand that you do so. The watch doesn't radiate (transmit), so it should never interfere with any other navigation equipment.

If you're trying to decide between a GPS disciplined watch and a "radio-controlled" watch, the thing to consider is where you will be travelling to. If you're in the Northern hemisphere then in all probability you will find a radio-controlled watch sufficient, but if you're going deep into China, Russia (Siberia), or Alaska for a prolonged stay then maybe a GPS watch is what you need. South America, Africa, Australia and most other Southern hemisphere locations will need a GPS watch. If you must have automatic time zone set derived from your location on the planet then, again, a GPS watch is for you. Bear in mind that if you're going anywhere in the world just for a holiday losing or gaining a few seconds on your watch because it couldn't sync with an atomic clock probably isn't going to matter much, and again a radio-controlled watch should be just fine.

Some people rail against GPS watches because they don't "do" daylight saving time automatically. The reason for this is that DST or not is very variable. Some countries (or states) might not use DST at all if they're near the equator, for example, but might lie in the same time zone as a more southern or northern state.

The all titanium build is about as hypo-allergenic as you can get, so it's a totally user friendly watch inside and out.

I can't criticise this watch at all, and it's a modern-day classic without doubt. Expensive, but not ludicrously so. If you're the patient sort, you could pick one of these up at a bargain price, rather than pay the RRP of £2,200. Mine was almost about £900.00 less than this.


Seiko SSG001P1 Men's Watch Chronograph Quartz Stainless Steel
Seiko SSG001P1 Men's Watch Chronograph Quartz Stainless Steel
Price: £464.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment, 2 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This watch is a very nice timepiece, but it has a number of annoying disadvantages that attach to the movement (Seiko refer to it as the "caliber"), so other watches using the same movement will have the same problem.

One of the advantages of these radio disciplined is that the daylight savings time on/off is transmitted as well as the time at the transmitter. This means that in the UK, because this watch uses the German DCF77 transmitter, the time is Central European Time, with the daylight saving flag set or clear according to the season. Unfortunately though, to have the watch read correctly in the UK during summer time, you have to frig the time zone setting to be one hour ahead of London time, and the watch doesn't advance/retard when the BST/GMT switch-over occurs, so you have to manually change the time zone back to London setting. This is easy enough to do; but every other similar watch I have come across does this automatically, and you can switch that feature on or off if you like too, but not on this watch. Such a shortcoming is entirely reasonable on a GPS disciplined watch; but one of the singular advantages of these type of watches is that they normally handle daylight savings time automatically.

It would have been very nice if the British MSF transmitter were included in the watch's coverage. The receiver sensitivity on this watch is quite poor for the DCF77 transmitter, compared with other watches using the same discipline method, and including the MSF signal would greatly increase the watch's reception area coverage.

If your watch arrives "dead" and needs to be charged for a few hours in daylight, you have to go through a fairly time consuming hand positioning procedure so that things read correctly. This is a bit daunting for the uninitiated, not to say rather tedious and time consuming; however this is not something one would need to do at all often, and possibly only once in a lifetime.

I don't know why Seiko have the stopwatch on the large seconds hand! If the stopwatch isn't running, the seconds hand sits on the 12 O' clock position and seconds are counted out by the left-hand tiny dial. I would have it the other way around, and it would be more aesthetically pleasing if it was. Far too much attention is paid to the stopwatch feature - it's something I suspect that many people will never use. I have never used the stopwatch on any of my watch collection!

There is no "fuel gauge" (don't be fooled by the H & L on the left-hand dial). You only know when the power is perilously low when the watch behaves oddly. This shortcoming is addressed on other models.

The rotating bezel is a nice little novelty and converting gallons to litres and miles to kilometres and so-on is straightforward enough, but the characters on the inner circumference are so small they're hard to read even with my best glasses on. People in their 40's and up will probably not like this.

So much for the negatives.

The large face gives a lovely easy to read analogue time, and the anti-reflective hardlex crystal is wonderful - no puzzling reflections. This is a wonderful feature and I wish more manufacturers used this as standard. The watch is almost worth the money just for this! Seiko have clearly got a special formula for their lumibrite glow-in-the-dark feature, and it does seem to be brighter and last longer than on other makes.

I really like the screw-down crown wheel. Seiko have used an idea that I have only encountered on Rolex before now. Rotating the crown does absolutely nothing: it's just a three position switch really. Fully home, out one click and out two clicks. Added to the nice hefty feel of the watch overall, it's definitely got that Seiko quality feel to it. The buttons are easy to operate and very positive, and although they're proud of the watch body, they're not sticking out so far that accidental operation is likely.

Overall, if you can live without the anti-reflective crystal, my recommendation would be the Casio Edifice ECW-M300EDB-1AER - a brilliant watch with loads of alarms, solar, radio controlled and it uses the British MSF transmitter, and it does daylight savings time automatically. It's not without it's slight disappointments, but it's close to a perfect watch; but this is not the place for going into all that. It is with some sadness that I will be returning my watch, but I already own an Astron (which I cannot praise enough), and this doesn't do anything my "cheap" Casio (see above) doesn't do.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2017 4:52 PM BST


HP V2/B1S Graphing Calculator
HP V2/B1S Graphing Calculator
Price: £125.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Rather a disappointment..., 19 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This calculator isn't a patch on the 50g for functionality. The programming language is a kind of broken Pascal, so it's not much use for any RPL programs you might have written for the 50g and it's predecessors. If HP made a 50g-alike with this screen and some good APIs for the touch screen they would have made the best calculator in the world.

This is definitely aimed at the school/classroom market - engineers should buy the 50g even though it only has a relatively low resolution monochrome LCD screen.


AXIS® Rosewood Wide Glossy Wood 8 Watch Box
AXIS® Rosewood Wide Glossy Wood 8 Watch Box

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the job..., 19 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Very nicely presented and well crafted product. Display boxes with a glass top are ten a penny, but one without a window are hard to find, so I can recommend this if only for that reason. The rather odd pieces of brushed metal on the top of the box and at the front don't actually do anything, but they don't detract from the box's appearance, and do serve to show which way around is the right way around. I have kept the cardboard box it came in, because that's quite nice too!


Eazyzap Commercial Fly Killer 16W 272X349X86mm Insect Zapper Remover
Eazyzap Commercial Fly Killer 16W 272X349X86mm Insect Zapper Remover
Price: £30.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, very good, 19 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just the ticket - does what you expect. Slightly negative point that the tray keeps sliding out if you move the thing around. I've had to use a couple of bits of insulating tape to hold the tray in place. This won't be an issue for you if you intend to fix your zapper permanently somewhere.


Holding the Man
Holding the Man
Dvd
Price: £0.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All in all a very creditable performance., 19 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Holding the Man (DVD)
When I first started watching this, I thought "nah!" it doesn't happen like that in "real life", and I didn't find the young men believable, but as it went on I found it very touching, and found myself re-evaluating my reaction. It's a crying shame, and I mean that quite literally, that it's an AIDS tragedy. I wouldn't want to un-watch it for all that though. I can't recommend it as a way of cheering yourself up, but maybe if you need to stiffen your resolve to be what and who you want to be you could find inspiration in this film. The actors gave a really believable performance, and full marks to the big-names for their comparatively cameo roles: no big egos showing and letting the relatively unknown guys have the leading roles.

Yes, it was "just another AIDS drama", but that would be doing it a terrible injustice.


Shelter
Shelter
Dvd
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Love is easily missed, but sometimes you get a second chance..., 2 April 2017
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This review is from: Shelter (DVD)
This is one of those films that one feels a bit ambivalent about. Five stars would be shouting from the rooftops, three would be a bit mean. Nothing really dramatic happens, but just for once a film admits the possibility that two men could live happily together. It's sweet, there's no denying that. It just manages to stay on the good side of a bit boring, and leaves one in an optimistic frame of mind.


Risen
Risen
Dvd
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did I really sit through all of this?, 16 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Risen (DVD)
Suddenly, nothing at all unexpected happened. Just a very average dramatisation of that stuff we were force-fed at school. Harmless enough, I suppose.


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