I often get called out as a de facto snob for saying so, but I’m not a big fan of quartz watches. While I do have more than a few of them, I prefer to buy automatic or mechanical versions of a watch when I can. Batteries get old, die out, and sometimes decompose inside their watch-case-turned-sarcophagus and kill the movement; it’s happened to me, albeit only once, but the end result was the loss of a fairly expensive watch, as the replacement movement cost more than what the watch itself was intrinsically worth. Besides, I like the comfortable little ritual of picking out an automatic watch, setting the time, day and date, and then giving it the old WIS Wrist Waggle to get things moving.
So, anyway, I’m wishing that Invicta would make an automatic version of their Speedway, perhaps with a modified SW-500 or something similar from Asia. And that’s when I came across this:
It was listed as an “Invicta Speedway Swiss Dubois Depraz, 57-Jewel Automatic Chronograph,” and it was listed at, well, let’s just say that it was listed at a pretty steep price, and go from there. The listing had a Make an Offer feature, so I entered a figure that, quite frankly, was pure lowball. And, as sometimes happens in these cases, the seller accepted. I didn’t know whether to laugh or go make faces at myself in the mirror, so I did neither, and just waited for the watch to arrive, which it did only a few days after I’d bought it.
It was big. Really big, and heavy, too; damned heavy. But it was a very attractive watch, as well, and given what I’d paid for it, I was rather pleased with myself once I actually had it on my wrist. And then, a funny thing happened when I went to use the chronograph; it reset at one second past the 12 o’clock position. I shook my head, muttered something along the lines of “Oh Jeebus, not again," and then started the chrono up again for a second try. One second past midnight again. The next try ended up at three seconds past 12. Then five. I let it run for 15 minutes, after which it reset at 5 seconds past 12 yet again. And then it was seven seconds. And then I went to bed.
I sent it back to the seller the very next day. He was very gracious about it, even offering me a second, still-in-its-factory-wrap DD Speedway, but I was a bit gun-shy by then, so I thanked him and went ahead with the refund process, which, in all honesty, went as smooth as silk from beginning to end. And then I got back to looking for a reasonable alternative. And, don’t you just know it, there it was, smiling up at me from the pages of evilfeeBay uber alles:
The listing read "Invicta 0741 Reserve Speedway Automatic Chronograph NE78A." I immediately liked the looks of this one much more than the other; I especially liked the bezel, with what looked like applied markings on it. It also matched the gray-toned carbon fiber dial to a tee. The width was about the same at 47mm, though the whole thing somehow looked to be much lighter than its Swiss counterpart. (And, best of all, it was less than half the amount I'd paid for the "DD Speedway.")
When it arrived at Casa de los Muertos, it actually felt a bit lighter than it’s “DD” cousin, though it wasn’t exactly “titanium light,” given its 5mm thick stainless steel bracelet and nearly 20mm case thickness. As Larry Magen used to say, “it’s a big’n,” weighing in at ~300 grams, or thereabouts. Nonetheless, it looked pretty good on the wrist.
And, engineering-wise, it featured the Seiko NE78A movement, their newest automatic chronograph that I’d been hearing good things about for several months. I’d been wondering when I’d come across it, and I couldn’t have been more pleased that it showed up in a watch I’d been looking to buy.
But then came a bit of a problem. As attractive as the watch was, it was quite a bit heavier than I was wanting to carry around, clamped down to my wrist like a bear-trap with a watch dial welded to it. (Okay, so I exaggerate a bit; it’s more like a moose trap, but you get the idea; it was a wee bit on the heavy side…) So I set about to obtain some new shoes for my baby, and I didn’t even have to go to the craps tables to do it. I searched the world over using evilfeeBay uber alles again, and lo and behold, there it was, a beautiful, dark honey-colored rally strap, the perfect accessory for a watch with the “Speedway” moniker. Take a look at dis, kemosabe:
Now how’s that for being like peas & carrots? Pepperoni & mushrooms? Forrest & Jenny? There’s just something about warm “earth tones” bouncing off cold, industrial steel to create an amazing balance between two otherwise disparate elements. That, and the doggoned thing is about a third less heavy than it was before, thus making this old, decrepit nasal radiator a very happy fellow when it comes to his final watch purchase for the year 2016. Very happy.
As always, many thanks for dropping by to have a quick look and a short read; it means so much more to me than I could ever express. I hope you had a wonderful year to look back upon, and an even more wonderful year to look forward to. And remember: It’s all about the watches. Everything else is just a silly distraction.
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