Podcast - Adam Savage Project

Watches – 4/21/2015

Adam, Will, and Norm discuss their favorite watches, as well as their thoughts about the upcoming Apple Watch and smart watches in general.

Comments (50)

50 thoughts on “Watches – 4/21/2015

  1. For anyone interested in getting into mechanical/automatic watches take a look at the Seiko 5. Sure, they’re ‘just seikos’ but they’ve been made since the 60s and have awesome reliability and pretty decent accuracy for an auto. There’s a thriving Seiko 5 modding subculutre and they’re amazingly good value for money.

  2. Aaaah, as a watch enthusiast myself I’m glad the topic made it into Still Untitled. It’s true that The Swatch Group owns many brands in all markets, amongst others in the high range Breguet, Blancpain, Omega, Longines, Tissot, Hamilton, etc. Many use (possibly modified) movements (the “heart” of a watch) made by ETA, which is also owned by Swatch, resulting in for example many Tissot and Hamilton models to be virtually identical aside from aesthetics and brand logo.

    A lot of OTHER brands not owned by The Swatch Group (for example even Breitling uses ETA movements which they modify themselves), and independent watchmakers use ETA movements for their quality. For example the ETA 2824 is one of the most often used movements in the 400-1000USD automatic watch market. However, in 2013 ETA decided to start phasing out supplies to others and by 2019 they won’t deliver to non TSG-brands anymore. These brands will hence probably resolve to Sellita, a Swiss Swatch-copycat, to keep the Swiss branding, or go to Miyota, a highly respected Japanese movement maker, Seagull – Chinese, or others.

    It’s true how they sort the movements made into grades. For example, to head back into the ETA 2824, they are divided into four grades; Economique, Standard, Elabore, and Top based on accuracy in terms of seconds per day lost or gained. The better they are, the more expensive and the classier the brand you’ll find them in. For example when buying a Longines or Hamilton or whatever, you can check which grade you can expect in that particular watch.

    It’s funny, the appeal for mechanical watches. A COSC certified watch (a prestigious stamp of proven accuracy) deviates -4/+6 seconds per day. A 5 dollar quartz watch from Walmart is more accurate. I can’t quite describe it. For me it’s the admiration for the mechanical craft; I find it fascinating to have this mechanical marvel on my wrist and can spend hours browsing for new models, checking out their complications (features). It’s also the only jewel for a man! It can really get auite addicting.. You want a diver, a beater, a dresswatch, an aviator, a vintage model, … In college I bought too many, some relatively crappy models to experiment. It’s hard to justify to others lol.. I’m glad I’m out of the game for now, but am secretly definitely saving up for my first “really’ nice model in a couple of years and am still auite susceptible to sales or whatnot.

    I hope Adam shows off his B-Uhr when he gets it, try to do a show and tell! Wondering if he’ll go for a manageable size (I believe mine is 43mm, with a beautifully decorated movement in an open caseback) or a worn, real WW2-used one that is around 55-60mm, has a huge strap for over the flightsuit. I kinda hope both, one for wearing and one for the shop. Is he looking at Laco? They were a big original brand. I’ll look into more brands after work and make a new post!

    DAMMIT, the bug is back. Thanks, guys.

    TLDR: Watches <3

  3. Pronunciation is “Tag hOYer”
    (Ich bin Schweizer)

    I love my TAG, but I’ve had some quality issues with it kinda like Adam’s Omega. I take it to my local watch shop (here in Switzerland) and they always need to send it to TAG for service! It takes weeks and it’s infuriating.

  4. It makes me laugh that we went through a period of “why would I wear a watch anymore? I have a phone to tell me the time” to now “I need a watch on my wrist to more easily tell me what my phone knows”.

    I never stopped wearing my old Seiko 5 Series Flight watch even though it’s gone through 3 different bands, but I wear it every day.

  5. I just wanted to make the comment that I like the way you set up the camera for these videos now, it really makes you feel like you’ve taken the fourth chair around the table.

    And yes, as has been said it’s TAG ‘Hoy-er’, not that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to own one 😉

  6. Bring back the pocket watch I say.

    The hipsters are way ahead of you. I’d say pocket watch only if you go full three piece suit. And only the 1% like Paul F Tompkins can pull that of without looking like cosplay.

    I have recently started to wear a watch. I never used to growing up, and got one last year to keep track of time while sailing, especially for navigating. Accordingly, it’s a 30 bucks Casio water resistant digital. The equivalent of a Youngtimer classic car.

    Annoyingly practical? Maybe. But I like it. Keeps me from digging for my phone 30% of the time. But then, I’m not on twitter…

  7. This was a great video. As an aspiring watch aficionado myself it’s great to hear about different watches and your thoughts on such. However, I do have one comment/question. Why didn’t you guys discuss the Tag Heuer, Google, and Intel collaboration on the first luxury Android Wear watch?

  8. *A couldn’t agree more, it was on late night TV in the UK in the 80s, I think I watched it first when I was 7.

    Always wondered how many people died again immediately after the event.

  9. I’m a budding mechanical watch lover / collector myself. My first mechanical was a NOMOS Tangente 38 Datum that I bought from the factory boutique in Glashütte. After touring their factory, I was hooked on mechanical watches. The amount of time and effort put in by hand on each watch is astounding. Especially now that they are manufacturing their own in-house movements, that brand will only get more valuable and sought after.

    As a recommendation for a first mechanical watch, I can also highly recommend either a Seiko 5 or one of Swatch’s new Sistem51’s. Or of course, if you can afford it, a NOMOS. 🙂

    Also, if you’re in to watches and like to follow the latest news, check out http://watchville.com (iOS and Android apps available). **Full disclosure: I’m a developer working on the Android version ;)**

  10. I Have an Hamilton that my wife gave me for our honeymoon, it had to be serviced 5 times in the last 3 years. Each time it as to leave for the repair shop for more than a month, the counter weight is always jamming, I’m going back to my old Timex Indiglow that is more than 25 years old, and it is still ticking fine.

  11. Still see the Apple watch as the most pointless thing they’ve come out with since the Newton. I really hope you can turn off that direct com thing, that is going to cause such anger with some people. There are going to be people walking around carrying 3 essentially different sized iphones.

  12. I love watches and always have, but I have one big problem with them. I am allergic to nickel. That means most stainless steal watches are a no go for me. Oddly enough, the black pebble steel is supposed to be nickel allergy safe. I don’t own one though. I usually wear a titanium watch, such as a Skagen. They’ve worked great for me!

  13. *A

    The Quiet Earth is fantastic.

    Yes, I agree. One of my favourite parts is when he gets all the mannequins and cut-outs and puts them on his lawn so he is “not alone”. One is Alfred Hitchcock, so he gets another cameo.

    Not sure about the ending though…..

  14. I hope Alton Brown is in the area when the guys get the Apple Watch. Alton would be a cool addition to a panel of watch enthusiasts. Actually seeing Alton and Adam together in any video would be cool.

  15. Archimede also makes some nice B-Uhr style watches. With the dollar-Euro parity and no import VAT, I’m awfully tempted right now…

    Seiko also makes some really terrific watches, and there’s a big modding community out there for certain models.

  16. When I saw this video show up in my feed on YouTube, I was all, “Yes! They are finally doing a podcast on watches!”Yeah, you could say that I got pretty excited.. 🙌

  17. I came for the Speedmaster and was not disappointed! Glad to see you’re wearing one.

    As the giant space history nerd that I am, I have wanted an Omega Speedmaster Professional for the past 20 years more than I wanted my next breath, but I could never afford one. For the past few years I decided to spend that money elsewhere, I just couldn’t justify the ~$2k or so for a true Speedmaster Professional given how much I abuse my personal kit (shop/car/motorcycle work.)

    Last year a good friend showed up to the shop wearing one and I fell in love with them again. His was a replica 42mm Speedmaster Pro with a manual Swiss movement. There are some subtle differences between the rep and the real deal, but overall it’s still a great watch, keeps great time, and 99% represents the watch of my dreams for $275. A few weeks later he offered it to me for what he paid and I have been wearing it ever since!


    I am not big on the stainless band so I decided to go for a NATO band, sort of as a nod to the black velcro EVA bands that a flown NASA Speedmaster would have. Maybe one day I’ll invest in the real thing, but for now I don’t feel so bad banging this rep around every day.

  18. I just have to add a few more German watch brands that Adam should check out. Besides Laco and Stowa (that have been mentioned above), Sinn and Damasko are two other brands worth mentioning. Both brands make fabulous pilot-style watches, in the sub-$2K price range, that would make excellent additions to his watch collection.. 😇


    PS – Thanks for dating your Omega Speedmaster, Will. It’s a vintage model circa 1971? Nice. Time to go Google some images for that model year.. 👍

  19. The Quiet Earth is an awesome film! I haven’t seen it since it was in the Theatre…but it was great when I saw it.

  20. Talking about that WWII Pilot Watch, its actually not too hard to assemble your own. Here’s my efforts:

    You need a small set of tools, which you can get off eBay, and Google/YouTube can fill in all the instructions.

    The movement is a 6497 (or an Asian equivalent, they’re perfectly good enough). The case is from Ofrei.com, a shop in Oakland. The eBay sellers I’ve used most are: b_line55cc and rouhelena.

    You can also accurately time a watch with an iPhone app called Kello.

  21. Is there a link to the blog post about the cases available? That’s the sort of thing I like to read and share.

  22. I agree that a Seiko 5 is a good way to get into mechanical/automatic watches. I picked one up off Etsy that’s from the mid 90s (there are a lot of unique style options with the older ones) and added a nice leather band.

  23. I was just thinking “Sounds like The Quiet Earth” when Adam brought it up. Great minds eh… ,-)

    But I haven’t watched it in a few years… I wonder how it’s aged.

  24. Great podcast! Short and sweet. I only have one nice watch, and that’s all I need. I love my Breitling Cosmonaute Flyback. 24 hours around the dial, black dial. It’s my ultimate watch.

  25. that was a surprisingly interesting podcast, given that i am very much not a watch person. it’s a bit weird with me – i am enthusiastically on board with many “modern” things (practically living online because it is a godsend to spectrum people), while others don’t scratch my itch at all and i’m more likely to go excessively luddite.

    mobile phones and watches most certainly fall in the second category. have none, want none. i can’t even properly explain where my aversion comes from. it just feels wrong somehow, and overburdened, both in a physical and functional sense.

    that said, while the functional appeal of a watch isn’t something i personally feel, i can totally get behind the enthusiasm for watches as material culture. the combination of their make, their design, their aesthetic, maybe their history – as complete things, they sure are fascinating objects.

  26. I suggest quitting on Last Man on Earth at the 3rd episode. Forte’s character becomes nigh unwatchable and the entire sitcom devolves into a dude’s misadventures trying to get laid. Utterly cringeworthy.

  27. Omega fan? check.
    Vintage Air Force? Check.
    Take a look at the Omega “53 RAF”. I have the “Fat Arrow” version but there’s also a very rare “Thin Arrow”. (There’s an amazing story behind that, relating to the radioactivity of the lume – I’ll leave you to research that). It’s amazing. One year only – 1953. Only issued to the British Royal Air Force. All individually numbered to military standards and the case is anti-magnetic to a high gauss rating. It was one of the first ever Chronometer certified military watches. You won’t be disappointed.
    Price range will be around $1500 – $2000

  28. I tend to be a bit culturally blind, so I’ve still been wearing a watch for a decade now (impressive for a 24 year old!). I’ve never latched onto smartphones as an ubiquitous device and I’ve never associated with it with telling the time. Turning my wrist and neck is a lot easier than fishing the phone out of a pocket or a bag.

  29. Hmm, yeah, I get the cheap watches that are ten to fifteen dollars. That way I don’t get all broken up when I manage to destroy them on my large frame.

  30. I don’t carry a phone with me either. I often carry a regular wristwatch in my pocket because I don’t really like wearing things on on wrist. It’s a cheap, highly accurate digital wristwatch doing exactly what it needs to do: tell time accurately.

  31. This is very interesting to me, as I just inherited a lot of tools/equipment from my grandfather, who was a instrumentmaker by trade and a watchmaker as a hobby. I’d like to get more knowledgeable about this, could you point me in the direction of some of those Youtube video’s or websites you mention.

  32. This is true… but that episode was kinda weak. In this case, Alton collects watches so I thought getting his take on the Apple watch would be a good excuse to get him on.

  33. I always enjoy these podcasts

    I had a bit of a chuckle at the the pronunciation of TAG-Heuer.

    As TAG is French and Heuer is German it is probably a tad schizoid. So you could go either fully French : Tack Oi-yur ( with a silent H), Fully German: Taack Hoy-er or hyrid.

    Did you ever find out the measurements of a old French drivers licence for the Bourne go bag ?

  34. Has anyone else heard of the Runcible smart pocket watch? Hearing Adam, Will, and Norm talk about the new Apple watch made me wonder if there was a smart pocket watch and this seems like the best bet. Looks like the Runcible is still in the startup phase though.

  35. Love watches & love Adam, but not really identifying with watches that cost more than my first 5 cars.

  36. Is there a reason this podcast is uploaded to YouTube in Mono?

    Without getting into the details of my setup, I’ve noticed it’s the only youtube series that I can’t play on my set-top box, and I think it’s likely because of the mono sound feed. I’m not sure if it’s easy to convert and upload it into Stereo, but it would be much appreciated. I listen currently via my phone when around the house, but the video feed adds so much to the podcast I feel, and it would be much better if I could get it on the TV.


  37. They did, its called a cell phone, I carry a pocket watch when I wear a suit, I also carried one when I WAs deployed to Afghanistan, I carried the one my dad, grandfather and great grandfather carried, in ww1, Ww2 and Vietnam, my cousin carried It in desert storm when he was killed, i’ll pass It on one day as well.

  38. , I heard you are reading the comment sections from Tested, probably not older ones but I still can try. Your Omega PO Chronos 3133 movement is quite fame for being a little fragile and since you have a rough job I am curious if you ever had problems with it, compared to the other watches you wear over the years on MythBuster?

    Sorry for the english, it is not my first language but I hope everyone can understand what I mean.

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