Stairpans, Google, and Site Maps

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 31st, 2009
May 31

Over the past few years I’ve created literally hundreds of websites, ranging from larger corporate sites where I’ve contracted programming development, to smaller campaign-specific microsites.

After all that, there are still surprises. We recently brought a new site live ( for a local client – Ball Service Group, a metal fabrication ship in Kitchener that specializes in more difficult/custom jobs. The site is specifically for easy ordering of metal stair pans, the forms that are used as the support and pouring foundation for concrete stairs, the sort you see in the stairwell of just about every corporate building.


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A Journey in Time, The Remarkable Story of Seiko

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 24th, 2009
May 24

Many thanks to martback of GMT+9 who has just posted a very nice summary of some key books that talk about Seiko watches. Although he starts with some that aren’t the most relevant to mechanical vintage Seiko collectors, just page down and you’ll get to the core, the Museum book and Museum series.


If you have the opportunity to pick them up, they are well worth it. I wish I could read Japanese, but these especially you can manage without, due to the imagery.

There is a special treat at the bottom of martback’s post however … a link to a site that offers a PDF download of the book I mention in this post’s title … it’s simplified and compressed compared to some of the other items, but it’s written in English. Even if the reason it’s free is that this is a marketing exercise from Seiko, it’s still wonderful when someone offers their hard work in such a manner to fellow watch-lovers, so please be mindful of Intellectual Property when downloading something like this, and do it for your personal use not commercial.


Here is a copy of martback’s link to the SCRIBD site for the PDF, for your convenience. Yes, you need to create a login to download this, but all it asks you for is your email and password, no personal info.

Happy reading!

Bucket o’ eBay – Spring ’09 wrapup

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 22nd, 2009
May 22

There was a nice post a few years back on TimeZone that spoke about the appeal of basic clean looking and unadorned dial watches. It really appealed to me, I kept the link, and have since looked every so often for some of the brands it listed. You can see what I mean by some of the images on the post, of the following lovely vintage Cyma, Enicar (which is the last name of the maker Artiste Racine spelled backwards by the way, that’s how that brand name was created), and Bulova (in this case a Sea King, which you can tell from the “whale” logo) from that post.


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Bucket o’ eBay – spring ’09 misc brands

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 20th, 2009
May 20

Here’s another auction musing from the past few months. Almost finished the backlog, one more after this!

First up, a brand that I knew very little of, Mortima. Most of the Mortima models I’ve seen for sale have been fairly “meh” level watches, nothing special, typically one or two for sale at any time on eBay. The exception to my lack of interest is this model, examples of which I’ve seen and bid on a few times now. The slightly scalloped cyclops, green lumed hour markers, red and white internal inner bezel and outer GMT bezel, marker design, and size all speak to me as a great example of 70s watch styling,.Having lost our before with lowball bids, I upped things a bit this time to $100 max, but this Mortima Super Datomatic went for $103, just beating my offer. Sigh.


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Bucket o’ eBay – Spring ‘09 Seiko

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 18th, 2009
May 18

Despite my love of 70s watches including Swiss brands, I still collect mostly Seiko watches. There weren’t a lot of Seiko auctions of real note in the past few months, more of the “same old, same old” that I’ve reported on before, but even so a few items worth mentioning.

Let’s talk about the three that got away first. First, this vintage Seiko went for $US$159 … my bid didn’t quite make it. For a watch from (roughly) 1944 it’s in really good shape. It was called a “Seiko banana” on the auction, have not heard that phrase before, it might be a Japanese to English translation glitch. Putting that aside, this is a wonderfully patterned dial for the era, with the old Seiko “S” symbol, looks great.


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Favre-Leuba Bivouac

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 17th, 2009
May 17

I left one watch from yesterday’s “bucket o’ eBay” for a separate post.


A vintage Favre-Leuba Bivuoac was the first watch I ever saw, with a bulit-in mechanical altimeter. This is actually an aneroid barometer which measures air pressure, and transmits the tiny variations in size of this device, to a hand which displays against an internal bezel with height markings.

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Bucket o’ eBay – Spring ’09 Felca & Favre-Leuba

Posted by Harry Bishop on May 16th, 2009
May 16

Although I’ve been taking a break from posting for the past few months, I’ve still been trolling eBay and other watch auction sites, looking for deals. Here are a few interesting items I’ve noted during that time.

First, since I purchased a vintage Felca a while back and have enjoyed the watch, I’ve kept my eye out for the brand. Expecting mostly low to mid level prices, I blinked when this 1960′s Felca “Seascoper” auto diver watch sold for US$605! Built using the “SuperCompressor” case of the time, similar to other high-quality divers, it’s still a lot of change to see pass hands for this brand.


While I’m on the topic of Swiss brands, another one I keep my eye out for is Favre-Leuba. This is a storied brand, with several technical innovatiuons such as being the first to incorporate an actual mechanical depth meter into a diver watch. Since then the brand died, then was revived again as a “new” old brand. Some of their current watches are nice, but it’s not regained the luster as a brand that it used to have.

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