24th October 2020: Tonight the clocks go back here in Britain. So, last Saturday, a few days after I wrote this previous article, I decided to set all five watches to the correct time, except for the two that were right within a second, and see how much they had drifted over the course of a week. I am using my computer clock as reference, as it is linked to Network Time Protocol, which means, in effect, that, it is always right! Especially if I’ve just rebooted it. So let’s see how each watch has fared.
This was cheap (£8.78 at AliExpress), looks absolutely beautiful, and has gone between 1 and 2 seconds fast! What’s more, the strap has softened over the time I’ve had it (even though I’ve only worn it 2-3 times), and is very comfortable. I’ve got a coffee coloured silicone strap on the way as well. But the cheap “genuine” leather is a lot better than it seemed at first.
Shshd Skeleton Watch
This one was left with the second hand advanced about 2 seconds, because it was hard to adjust. After a week, the second hand is 1 second ahead. Which means that, over a week, it has lost one second. It is restricted in its usability because it’s not waterproof. At all. But what do you expect for £1.94? (From dx.com)
This has gone ahead 4 seconds in a week. It actually works off a Lithium Cell battery as its movement is that of a digital watch. Every 20 seconds, on 00 20 and 40, the minute hand is advanced by 1/3 minute. There’s no second hand. So all I have to do is put it into settings mode, and when the seconds reaches 04, reset to zero and it’s all done. So it’s easily corrected. It cost me £6.89 and a long wait from DX.com, but it’s a little dearer now. It’s also available with a black or a silver background, or in gold or rose gold. It comes with a stainless steel strap, but I changed it to a silicone one. There is a button to add a backlight for 3 seconds to the digital window, making it a good watch when you want a formal watch face, but it might get dark later! There are similar watches from Skmei and others which have only 3 buttons, but they don’t have backlight available.
Tissot PR100 series
After setting it last Saturday, I decided not to update the date window. After all, if it struggles as it approaches the time it should be shifting the date forward, what happens if the date reading is already at the point where it gets stuck? Well I got the answer. Instead of losing time, it’s gained 5 seconds over the last week. That’s a bit of a surprise. It might be old, but you’d think it would be accurate, or dragging a little where the date is getting stuck, not running ahead. It might be old, but it’s a Tissot after all!
This is the least accurate of the watches. It’s gone ahead 11 seconds, but what did I expect for £4.96 (from DX.com — a little dearer now)? It’s easy to put right though, by putting it into setting mode, and resetting the seconds when it reaches 11. In many ways, it’s the most practical of the watches, as it has the day, date, year, and time including seconds available, and a really good backlight though it lasts under 2 seconds. Lots of digital features, stopwatch, countdown timer, dual time, 5 alarms. And, unlike a lot of digital wristwatches, it’s not huge! The case is only 36mm across, excluding buttons.
The three Skmei watches are the stars here. You can forgive time drifts at these prices. The 9058 is gorgeous, the 1220 not far behind, and the 1278 is extremely practical. Whichever watch I’ve had on during the day, that’s the one that sits on the bedside table overnight. The Tissot is typical of its brand, in that it looks classy and understated. I’m hoping that when this Covid-19 pandemic ends I can get it serviced, but if they want too much, I can manage without it.
The Shshd skeleton watch is very accurate, but hard to set the second hand due to it not stopping when you pull out the crown. When around water, or in the rain, you’d treat it like paper. But it’s not bad for what it is. I’ve had 20 years or so great use out of the Tissot, and I’m not disappointed with any of the cheapies, they are all either practical or fun!
While I was taking photos of my watches, the mother of my grandkittens decided to pose. I couldn’t resist putting this photo in.
Another Week Further On
31st October: Having put the clocks right last Saturday 24th October, less an hour for the ending of British Summer Time, I decided it was time to check and correct them again. Here were the results:
Skmei 9058: Within a second. Not necessary to correct watch.
Shshd Skeleton Watch: I can’t adjust the second hand, as already mentioned. There was no real need to as it is the same 2 seconds fast as it was a fortnight ago.
Skmei 1220: This had drifted forwards 4 seconds this week. I just put it into reset mode, and pressed the Mode button when the seconds got to 4. So easy.
Tissot PR100: It was 5 seconds fast, so I pulled out the crown for 5 seconds and pushed it back in. Sorted!
Skmei 1278: This was 9 seconds fast, just put it into Adjust mode, and reset the seconds when they got to 09.
And another one on the way!
I have decided to order a SKMEI 9120. I did this because I couldn’t resist buying a watch whose design is based on a watch which costs over £2000 (and some variants over £3000), and paying all of £5.65 for it. There are a lot of differences, but it was still too much temptation.
These watches illustrate to me is the sort of world we live in. The stupidly rich with money to burn, and the rest of us who are expected to live on the crumbs. Now if you want to know the time, and you look at the watch on your wrist, it makes little difference which watch you own. However, if you want to show off how rich you are, to someone else, then the one on the left is the way to go. There’s no doubt that the Nomos is better made and engineered. It manages to be accurate by the quality of its automatic manual movement, and will last longer. At least I think it will, I’m not about to buy one to find out. In the area where I live, even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, it would be risky to show it off anyway!
The SKMEI will be reasonably accurate because it’s a quartz movement, even the cheapest ones do the job, with varying levels of accuracy. Maybe the case material will start to rot after a couple of years. But never mind that, because if I had to replace it every year, it would take more than 333 years before I spent more than on the Nomos. I say that, but mechanical watches have to be serviced every few years, and that’s not cheap, so maybe its cost would never catch up!
Of course, with a lot of dearer mechanical watches, you have a clear glass back, and you can see the mechanism doing its stuff inside the case. But only if you take it off, and of course, it will carry on making the same movements over and over again. So, either you’d have a very high boredom threshold, or its only point would be to take it off and show it off to your friends. Which might not always be a very good idea.
You can get cheaper mechanical watches with the same feature, or even with a viewing window on the front, but what’s the point if not to show off? And cheaper mechanical movements will bring problems of their own. Not for me, I’m afraid.
The SKMEI 9120 arrived!
And now I have the SKMEI 9120! To look at, it’s an absolutely gorgeous watch, though no photo I take of it really appears to do it justice.
I didn’t think that the strap that came with it really suited it, but strangely enough it’s a better match for my cheap skeleton watch, and the one I’d previously put on that goes better with the 9120. So that problem was easily resolved, by switching them. The strap I’m using is thicker, black silicone with two rows of blue stitching, and really looks the part. The watch face is black, but the glass adds blue to the reflection off its inner surface, so it looks a lovely two-tone black and blue, and, as a result, the strap matches the watch much better. A few tricks of the light conspire to make the face look not perfectly round in the photo (like between 30 and 31 minutes), but it looks fine in real life! The hands are larger than on the earlier photo I downloaded from adverts, which also improves the look. It really does look gorgeous!
Sadly, it’s not as well made as the SKMEI 9058. Pulling the crown out to adjust the time, it feels a little spongy and the minute hand moves. You have to pull it out really firmly to stop the second hand from moving. When you push it back in the minute hand moves a little, too! If you look in the photo above, the second hand has advanced to 33 seconds, but the minute hand isn’t quite half way between 8 and 9 minutes past. The second hand is correct, and the minute hand is as close as I could get it. I can only guess that the quartz movement in this one is not as good. It remains to be seen whether this will keep good time.
Still, it was very cheap and a perfect watch to go out in, if we ever get through Covid-19, and for what I paid, I shouldn’t complain too loudly.