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I bought a mechanical watch for my own use ……. I would like you to do a test drive before I take ownership of it.
So I emailed back to ask:
Is it a Japanese, Swiss, Russian or Chinese watch?
You are Yeomanseiko, better give you a Japanese watch to test drive. …..it’s a Riki Watanabe….. watch is on my desk and you can come and pick it up anytime.
I went to pick up the watch one evening. It is the silver dialed AAAA101. I strapped it onto my wrist and went home.
The next day, I emailed him saying I want the watch, just tell me how much to pay.
Last week, Big Time received stocks of all three models and I was invited to make a final choice of the dial colour I want. I went with the AAAA101 on my wrist and upon reaching, three Riki Watanabe Alba’s were laid on the table for me to select (see picture below).
The watch in the middle is the AAAA101. It has a silver dial and comes with black leather strap. On its left is the AAAA103. Its dial colour is quite close to that of the AAAA101 except it is slightly yellowish. It comes with a tan strap that looks a bit reddish in my opinion. Watch on the right is the AAAA105. It has a brown dial and comes with a light brown strap.
I chose to keep the silver dialed AAAA101 as I already have the cream dialed SARB031.
Below is a closeup shot of the AAAA101.
The watch uses a crystal that has curved edge or "crystal has leg" as some may say. The "legs" of the crystal has some kind of optical effect on the dial that makes it look bigger.
To illustrate, take a look at the picture below. The curved edge of the crystal reflects part of the dial makes it looks as though it curves downwards (see 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock portion) even though it does not. The reflection hence creates an "extension" of the dial that does not exist.
The dial is nicely divided into three segments. The hour and minute markers are located on the outermost segment which a layer above the dial. The hour markers are applied and extends beyond the inner circumference of the layer thus crossing over to the middle segment. Note that the hour marker do not touch the middle segment as they are at a layer above it.
The middle segment is where the date window is located.
The innermost segment is made up of many concentric circles (see picture below) , giving it a nice texture. It is where the words "Riki" and "Automatic" are printed.
In any watch, you will notice that the hour hand is shorter than the minute hand which in turn is shorter than the second hand. This is also a basic principle behind the hands of the clock that I learnt in primary school when learning to tell time.
Besides adhering to the above principle, special attention was given to the length of the hands. The hour hand is contained within the innermost segment of the dial and the minute hand is reaches no further than the middle segment. The longest hand, the second hand reaches all the way to the minute indices on the outermost segment.
In Riki-san’s design, you will also find that the hour hand is wider than the minute hand which is then wider than the second hand. This seems to be a principle that Riki-san observes in his design.
The thickness of the watch according to the catalog is 13mm which is 0.5mm thicker than the a recent Seiko with similar case design, the SARB031. However, the SARB031 looks slimmer because most of it thickness comes from its crystal.
Top AAAA101, bottom Seiko SARB031
The diameter of the watch measured from 9 to 3 o’clock is 36mm excluding the crown.
Watch comes with display back that lets you see the movement. The Y675 movement looks exactly the same as the Seiko 7S26 movement except for the information shown on the rotor of course.
And here’s a picture that I posted in a previous blog entry.
Note: Besides the three colour variants mentioned above, there is also a black dialed version that I believe was made exclusively for http://www.tictac-web.com. That watch was produced in November 2006 and last I check, it is no longer offered on that site.