Watch Hunting in Bangkok: At a small Shop in the Outskirts of Bangkok, August 6th, 2002
Please go here to see the movements and innards of those Watches

Dear All

Khun Bud showed me this small shop where he had found two cardboxes full of watches that had been brought in for repair, but never were collected by the owners. So the shop started to sell them after a waiting period of about 4 years and after having repaired them.

There were a lot of interesting Seiko chronographs, but all of them had dials with moist damage. Also interesting Midos, Bulovas and Citizens and a plentitude of Seiko 5s. But those watches had been worn daily by the previous owners and most of them were really beaten up.

The first watch that attracted my attention was this nice Seiko Cal 5606 - 5400T. I was not really familiar with that caliber and started turning the crown. Yes! This one was handwinding! So I asked the friendly watchmaker to open the case and the movement looked pristine! I really like that design and I can tell you, the watch will look really great on a strap with matching size of 22 mm, this is just a temporary 18 mm strap used to take pictures.

July 2005 Update and Time to say "Good Bye!": Since I am not that fond of rectangular watches - I think they make my already bony wrist look even edgier - and since I have a Thai watch friend that is very fond of all rectangular and square watch cases, I decided to give it away. I dressed this lovely Caliber 5606 (automatic and handwinding and hacking, thus also used in higher end Seikos like the King Seiko) with a 22 mm (the actually lug width is 24 mm) Croc print strap that Anders from Gnomon Watches had sent to me earlier. Thanks Anders, that strap is made for this Seiko! As you can see from the two wrist shots below, even that strap is actually 2 mm too narrow, it fits perfectly! A 24 mm strap would probably have been to thick and too stiff for a smaller wrist and the 22 mm Croc print leather strap from Gnomon Watches was really a lucky match! And If I decided to give watches away, I want them to look good with the new wearer. Rather then stacking vintage watches and not wearing them, I prefer to make a fellow WIS that enjoys to wear it happy!

Dimensions (just measured before the watch left :) )
Case width excl. crown 30.5 mm
Case height = Lug to Lug = 37.5 mm
Height = 9.5 mm and that is pretty flat!
Weight on the Gnomon 22 mm strap = 48 grams, of course the special construction is the main cause for this nice weight!

Another watch drew my attention, a NOS Orient Quartz. Not a top of the line model I concluded from the relatively inexpensive bracelet and the black ring under the crystal. I have not seen the movement yet, but I trust Orient put in a solid quartz movement. The real reason to buy this watch was this very interesting looking quartz symbol on the dial :-) And then of course, can one really own enough Orients? :-)

After scanning those boxes twice, I decided to have a look at the new watches in that shop. Again, there were many very inexpensive watches, but that is the watch category that is sold in the outskirts of Bangkok. Even Bangkok is a lot wealthier then the rest of the country, the daily wages here are around USD 5 per day. So you can imagine, that buying an inexpensive watch is still a major expenditure.

Those Citizens attracted me for too reasons: the quality of the case and bracelet is really superiour to the similarly priced Seiko 5s and the Miyota Caliber 8200 is a equally good workhorse as the Seiko 7S26. And then I really liked that 24 hour bezel and the recessed dial with the 10 minutes marking on the inner bezel. All in all a beater for an unbeatable price :-)

Khun Bud knows a lot more shops allover town. So expect a lot more reports like this to come in the coming months :-) My guide Khun Bud is a really great companion, not only does he know this huge city like his pockets, but he will always create a good atmosphere in the shops. At the moment I am really spoiled, Khun Bud leads me around to great watch finds and then I have Rob from Australia here, who assists me to assess and service the pieces found. I am really in WIS heaven right now.

Best regards

Reto Castellazzi, August 6th 2002

Please go here to see the movements and innards of those Watches