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 A TIME PIECE

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PostSubject: A TIME PIECE   A TIME PIECE Icon_minitimeSun 02 Aug 2015, 12:52

A TIME PIECE Seiko_10


A decent watch is a useful piece of personal equipment. While not a critical item many of use appreciate a rugged, practical timepiece. I thought I would discuss my experience with watches, as it reflects the activities I was involved in at the time.
My first watch was given to me as a birthday present in my teen years. I can’t remember much about it, other than it told the time fairly accurately, until I broke it by over-winding.
I was given a rather nice diver’s type watch by a girlfriend when I was twenty. Although it wasn’t a serious underwater watch I really liked the two-tone “Pepsi” rotating bezel, and the sturdy rubber strap. I wore this daily until it was stolen. I had set up a dojo in the community centre at Broadway, Norris Green, Liverpool, for Gary Spiers to teach Goju karate. While we were training some local scallies sneaked into the changing room and stole cash and valuables, including my watch.
By luck, I found a replacement on the floor of the Top Rank nightclub, after a big kick-off, and wore that for a while. While not a diving watch, it was quite decent, with a quality brown leather strap.
Working and hanging out with Terry O’Neill entailed being his spontaneous sparring partner. He would demonstrate techniques, play-spar, or, just punctuate his talk with those trademark high kicks. Trying to block them was futile, and usually resulted in my watch flying off to land some yards away. It’s a credit to that unknown brand that it took so much abuse and kept on ticking. Those impacts had, however, loosened the retaining pins, so that the slightest knock would dislodge the timepiece from my wrist. When I arrived in Japan in April 1973, while moving in to new apartment I banged my wrist on the staircase, and the watch dropped into a gap between stair and wall, never to be seen again. So, for the six months I was in Japan I never had a watch, until I was given a Seiko by Arthur Tansley as a leaving present. This Seiko was the first of many, as I really rate this Japanese brand.

A TIME PIECE Bulawa10
[Wearing my Seiko present, in Bulawayo 1976]

FIREARMS TRAINING
Returning from Japan I almost immediately became involved in VIP Protection, and this led me into firearms and training. Tactical shooting requires a blend of speed and accuracy, and, to quantify this we need some items of kit. A stopwatch was essential for gauging speed, and an electronic calculator was convenient for tabling scores. Casio brought out a range of digital wristwatches with various functions built in. I found the models with stopwatch and calculator a convenient way of cutting down on range kit, and so, wore one for several years.

A TIME PIECE Casio_10



“WINNING YOUR ROLEX”

A TIME PIECE 51mj1p10

As I progressed in the field of VIP Close-protection I was working for Royal and Diplomatic entities. After one such contract I was delighted to be presented with a terrific gift of a Rolex. Back then such gifts were quite usual if the principal was happy with the team. Expensive gifts were also forthcoming on the birth of a son, or, if a favourite racehorse had won a big race. My particular Rolex is the GMT Master, totally waterproof, with my favourite “Pepsi” bezel, and stainless steel case and band.

A TIME PIECE Rolex_10
[On a bodyguard contract in the South of France, wearing my GMT Master]

After a while I decided that routinely wearing such an expensive watch while engaged in bodyguard operations or training, was a bit foolish, so bought a watch for daily wear, while retiring the Rolex to my safe.

A TIME PIECE Roles_10
[My Rolex with a Hideaway knife]

A TIME PIECE Rolex_10
[Training in Arizona wearing my Rolex]

Billy Jones, one of my top karate guys, who later became a Mr Universe winning bodybuilder, worked as a commercial diver. He told me that, although all the guys owned Rolexes, they generally wore a Seiko while actually working. Following his advice I bought myself a Seiko 7N36, which as you can see, is the classic diver’s model, with rotating bezel and rubber strap.


A TIME PIECE Cape_t10
[Wearing my Seiko diver's in Tamboers Kloof, Cape Town]

That Seiko has decorated my wrist while working and training on four continents. Being a quartz action it’s very accurate [more so than the Rolex] and rugged. Rubber straps eventually degrade and crack, needing replacement. After replacing several rubber straps I found the webbing Waterborne strap, which has double security fastening, so that if the watch is pulled from the wrist it still remains connected to the strap. This has saved me from losing the watch on several occasions during confrontations on the door.

A TIME PIECE Seiko_11
[My Seiko on a Waterborne strap]

Much as I liked that Seiko, time began to take it’s toll on that timepiece, and the day/date function became difficult to adjust. So in Dubai I treated myself to a Casio “Sea Pathfinder”, a digital model, loaded with functions, including alarms, backlight, stopwatch and compass.

A TIME PIECE Casio_11
Wearing my Sea Pathfinder on ops]

I still wear my original Seiko Diver’s for work, and still liking the design bought a Seiko SHC063 “Sawtooth”, from Ebay. This is known as a “monster” diving watch. At present it still has the original rubber strap, but when the inevitable happens and it wears out I’ll replace it with a Waterborne.

A TIME PIECE Seiko_12
[Seiko sawtooth monster diver's watch]

Seiko update:

A TIME PIECE Seiko_13
[Now with Waterborne divers strap.]

By the way, many of our combatives guys in Switzerland wear their Rolex Submariners on their right wrists. This is something they picked up in the army. When required to suddenly drop for pushups, the winder doesn’t dig into the wrist when worn on the right.

NIGHT VISIBILITY
Both of my Seiko watches have luminous markers on hands on face. The Casio has a backlight, operated by a button, to illuminate the display in low light situations. After hearing a lot about the Traser system, in which tiny vials of radio-active gas are embedded into the hands and numerals, I decided to purchase a NITE MX20 to try the system for myself.

A TIME PIECE Mx20_n10


To be frank, although it works well, the display on my Seiko Sawtooth is brighter in the dark. For those with tactical requirements, where light must be controlled to avoid give-aways, I’d recommend the Casio. The light is there when you needed and not before.
In Rhodesia I bought a leather cover for my watch, which afforded both protection and covered any reflections from the face.

A TIME PIECE Karoi_10

[I'm using a leather cover on my watch in Rhodesia, 1979]


A TIME PIECE Shooti10
[The leather cover shown clearly here, with my Star PD]

Looking back I’ve had good luck and bad luck with my watches. Bad luck to have tried to block Terry’s kicks while wearing them. Bad luck to have had a couple stolen. Good luck to have been given so many as gifts.

COPYRIGHT 2015: :copyright: D. MARTIN

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

UPDATE 2020

A TIME PIECE Icepic12


   A while back my Pathfinder batteries needed replacing, and my usual shop couldn't work out how to open the watch. Even an internet search failed to disclose the secret, so I was without this model for well over a year, until I was told of a shop in the city centre who did the job. Meanwhile I wanted a digital watch, mainly for convenience when travelling through time zones, so I went for the proven Casio G-Shock. Liking the model, I wanted to continue wearing it sometimes, even after regaining my Pathfinder. I decided to replace the resin strap with a NATO band, and this post is mainly about how to do this.
I first obtained the standard Casio adapter, which consists of a pair of plastic fitments which hold the spring-bars, plus a tool to help fitting.

A TIME PIECE Old_an10
[Standard resin band on right, with the Casio adapters and NATO strap on left]

After a bit of fiddling the job was done. Unfortunately, the set-up was not secure, and would fail with even moderate pressure. The whole idea of the G-Shock is a rugged timepiece for serious use, and to have the watch seperate from the strap at the slightest jolt defeated the purpose.
I then heard good things about the Vario kit, and sent of for a set.

A TIME PIECE Vario_10

It actually looks similar to the Casio own-brand set, but worked as intended. I fitted it, using the supplied tan NATO strap, and gave it a fairly hard test; and it does the job.... no weak links.

A TIME PIECE Overvi12

I'm well pleased with the combination of G-shock and NATO strap, and will be wearing it quite a bit.

A TIME PIECE Casio_10

The adapter kit is available from Vario

_________________
Check Six,
Den
=======
Dennis Martin
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DenCQB@Yahoo.co.uk


Last edited by Dennis on Thu 03 Sep 2020, 09:34; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Update June 2020   A TIME PIECE Icon_minitimeThu 04 Jun 2020, 19:20

As is clear from the main article, I'm a fan of Seiko dive watches. One of the most iconic has been described on a timepiece forum as follows "One of the first analog-digital dive watches, the H558-5009 became synonymous with one actor and two of his most well-known roles. I'm talking of course about and two of his most well-known roles. I'm talking of course about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and 1985's Commando, and 1987's Predator (respectively)."

A TIME PIECE Arnie10

Original "Arnies" are now rare and expensive, but last year Seiko announced a re-issue, and I decided I needed one! The watch has two slightly different versions, with distinct faces. I opted for the blue/red "Pepsi" option.

A TIME PIECE Seiko-11
[Seiko Prospex Arnie SNJ027P1]

This is a professional diving watch, PADI rated, and solar powered, which saves having to replace batteries.

A TIME PIECE Two_se11
[Two of my Seiko divers]

A TIME PIECE Arnie_11
[My watch on wrist]

A TIME PIECE 20190911
[Great luminosity]

SPECS:
Water Resistancy 200 Metres
Dial Colour Black or Pepsi
Glass Hardlex
Case Width 47.8mm
Case Shape Round
Case Material Stainless-steel
Case Back Screw
Band Colour Black
Band Material Silicone
Clasp Type Buckle
Crown Screw Down
Bezel Unidirectional Rotating
Movement H851 (Solar Duo-Display)

I'm delighted with the watch. Available here

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PostSubject: WATCHBAND KIT   A TIME PIECE Icon_minitimeThu 03 Sep 2020, 09:49

Over the years there are some useful items to affix to the watchband. A trainee from Hong Kong gave me a clip-on calender, which was handy for watches without this feature. I also had a neat little compass clipped to a Casio years back.
Marcus, who is a watch aficianado of note, and currently rocking  the superb Marathon CSR...

A TIME PIECE Mara-w11

... recently alerted me to a neat bit of E&E kit, designed to discreetly attach to a watchband.
Gearward offer this "anti-kidnap" band, and it certainly fulfills a purpose...

A TIME PIECE A-k_ba10

I had a similar idea for secreting escape items in the velco belt I designed, for VIP Protection tasks......

A TIME PIECE Velcro10

I had a local leather shop sew a small zip pouch into the lining at the back of the belt. It would fit a standard handcuff jey and a scalpel blade. The belt, being buckleless, could be slipped around, so even if your hand were cuffed/tied in the front, you could slide the belt and access the pouch.
Putting an E&E kit on a watchband is more widely practical, and I will be sending for one.

The company offers several other handy items. See their Website here for full details.

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Den
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Dennis Martin
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