WHAT TWEAKS MY TOURB: The Seiko VK64 mechaquartz chronograph movementZach Blass
If you read my last What Tweaks My Tourb, then you know that making the most of a dial is very important to me. One off-putting detail can blemish the overall aesthetic, or even functionality, and give you a fully fledged case of “the ick”. Today, there are many intriguing affordable watches. But, to achieve a certain level of affordability, there are certain compromises that have to be made. To deliver a price approachable chronograph, one of these tactics is to use the Seiko VK64 mechaquartz chronograph movement.
To be abundantly clear, I have no qualms with the idea of a mechaquartz movement. It is actually a neat compromise. Using my Havana Salmon Furlan Marri as an example, when you look at the watch there are no immediate tells that it is not a mechanical watch – unless you are a particularly eagle-eyed watch nerd. With no running seconds register and deadbeat ticking that normally conveys quartz is involved, there is no conspicuous reminder the watch you are wearing is not fully mechanical. In fact, the chronograph, while running, performs mechanically – the central chronograph seconds hand sweeping and the elapsed minutes register tracking each minute. But there is one glaring detail that undoes the alluring spell.
What tweaks my tourb, at the end of the day, is the 24 hour register at 3′ that results from using the Seiko VK64 mechaquartz chronograph movement. No, it it is not a register that conveys elapsed hours up to 24 hours. What it does indicate is the current hour within a 24 hour scale. At best, it serves as day/night indicator. But this sort of complication is not really suited to a bi-compax chronograph. Chronographs are meant to record amounts of time, unlike a dual time or GMT where, perhaps, a day/night indication would serve more purpose.
I feel its irrelevance is ultimately dead weight on the dial. If I want to know whether my current location is in the morning or evening hours, all I need to do is look up at the sky or look out a window. If the watch has a militaristic vibe, then I concede it is not completely out of place revealing the hour in a military time scale. But let’s get real, most of us are not looking for the hour to be displayed in a 24-hour context on a bi-compax chronograph.
My personal suggestion: I would much rather the indicator at 3 o’clock display the elapsed hours, up to 24 hours, then simply serve as a second hour hand on a 24-hour scale. I just feel it would be far more befitting of a bi-compax chronograph. The ultimate would be a sweeping running seconds register, but I recognise that would severely deplete the lifespan of the battery inside due to the energy it would require.
What do you guys think? Does this also bother you? Or am I being way too pernickety (again)? Let us know what tweaks your tourb, at [email protected].