Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

Thread: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

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  1. #1
    GMF
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    Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Overall, I have been suitably impressed with the quality of every Alpha watch I've purchased, but this Radiomir homage chronograph blew me away. The fit, finish, and quality are on par with watches I've had that cost in the thousands of dollars.

    Sapphire crystal and column wheel chronograph movt, all for $125.00.








  2. #2
    Mod. Russian, China Mech. Chascomm's Avatar
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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Quote Originally Posted by GMF
    Overall, I have been suitably impressed with the quality of every Alpha watch I've purchased, but this Radiomir homage chronograph blew me away. The fit, finish, and quality are on par with watches I've had that cost in the thousands of dollars.

    Sapphire crystal and column wheel chronograph movt, all for $125.00.
    I don't think the price will remain this low for long with testimonials like these apppearing as often as they do on the various forums.

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Sadly, the same case and movement have been used in a series of Panerai chronograph knock-offs. At least Alpha had the decency to use its own dial and crown. The know-offs (which are of a relatively high quality) have flooded the market, and if you were to do a search on the Panerai forum (assuming it is up again one day!), you will see a wave of (understandable) resentment about these watches... I had this very Alpha version earlier, and while I was impressed with the quality of the movement and crystal, I was less impressed with the fact that the four-piece wire-lugs, which were supposedly threaded into the case, were in fact tap-threaded, with the fragile threading wearing out with just one removal... Having said that, I did manage to cold-weld one piece lugs for both top and bottom, and I would say that it significantly improved the durably and robustness of those watches.

  4. #4
    GMF
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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Quote Originally Posted by infinitime
    Sadly, the same case and movement have been used in a series of Panerai chronograph knock-offs. At least Alpha had the decency to use its own dial and crown. The know-offs (which are of a relatively high quality) have flooded the market, and if you were to do a search on the Panerai forum (assuming it is up again one day!), you will see a wave of (understandable) resentment about these watches... I had this very Alpha version earlier, and while I was impressed with the quality of the movement and crystal, I was less impressed with the fact that the four-piece wire-lugs, which were supposedly threaded into the case, were in fact tap-threaded, with the fragile threading wearing out with just one removal... Having said that, I did manage to cold-weld one piece lugs for both top and bottom, and I would say that it significantly improved the durably and robustness of those watches.
    Can you be a bit more specific about how these wire lugs work? I assumed if you wanted to replace the strap all you had to do was remove the four screws on the back and that would release the two wire lugs. You could then pull them from the case, slip on a new strap, insert the wire lugs back into the case, and tighten down the screws. Does it not work like that?

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Quote Originally Posted by GMF
    Can you be a bit more specific about how these wire lugs work? I assumed if you wanted to replace the strap all you had to do was remove the four screws on the back and that would release the two wire lugs. You could then pull them from the case, slip on a new strap, insert the wire lugs back into the case, and tighten down the screws. Does it not work like that?
    Yes, that is how it is SUPPOSE to work, but in cutting manufacturings costs, it appears that the four holes on the back of the case were simply drilled without threading, then the four wire lug pieces, once inserted, is held in place by four screws, which are each simply force-driven into the holes. As each screw is driven into the hole, it cuts its own threading. This seems to be a cost-cutting measure, as it would save one step in the manufacturing process. While it will hold in place, the problem it creates is that the threading is shallow, and generally not very precise. If you attempt to remove the screws which hold the wire-lugs in place - even once - the threading will most likely cross and destroy teh threaded holes (i hope this makes sense!). Accordingly, you would have great difficulty in trying to put the screws back in securely once removed. I learned the hard way after I had successfully removed four screws, and was unable to put it back it. As a remedy, I fabricated one-piece wire lugs for both the top and bottom (in place of the original four), inserted them into the holes, and simply cold welded them in place. This creates very secure wire-lugs, with the only concession being that you need to use open-ended straps (as the lugs are now permanently affixed to the watch).

  6. #6
    Member iFunky's Avatar
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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    the seller is announcing 10mm for the tickness of this watch :-S is this real? because it doesn't look really slim ...

    Thanks,

    iFunky

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Hello, sorry to bring up an old thread but I just bought this one wanted to know how it was doing if you still owned? Sorry to hear about the lugs, that ruins my plans of putting different straps on Maybe Ill just add one nice one and leave it on for good?

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Like monster623, i'm sorry to bring up an old thread...but i begin to be interested in some Chinese products! B-)

    I'm currently undecided between the Seagull 1963 and the Alpha "Radiomir-style" chronograph. Any indication about the reliability of these watches? What is the best precision result till now?
    On the Alpha, i would not change the strap. I want to know if the screw-down crown and button works OK.
    Hidden Content
    former Russian Watch Forum Moderator (2005-2012)

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    Quote Originally Posted by michele
    Like monster623, i'm sorry to bring up an old thread...but i begin to be interested in some Chinese products! B-)

    I'm currently undecided between the Seagull 1963 and the Alpha "Radiomir-style" chronograph. Any indication about the reliability of these watches? What is the best precision result till now?
    On the Alpha, i would not change the strap. I want to know if the screw-down crown and button works OK.
    Reliability-wise, the two watches use the identical ST-19 (Venus 175 clone) movement, so I would say the two are equally reliable. I had the Alpha at one point, and currently have a 1963 chrono. My personal preference is for the 1963, due to both the more unique Chinese text on the dial (and the fact that it is signed by the manufacturer "Tianjin"), and the fact that it is similar to the original design from... 1963 :)

    I've noticed also that the movement seems to fit better in the 1963 with the plastic spacer. Having said that, the Alpha feels more substantial, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was wearing a Panerai "clone".... :(

    My vote is to go with the 1963.

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    Re: Alpha Chrono with ST19 movt

    I recently received my Alpha(after waiting a month and a half! My fault), and I am very impressed with the watch at $105. I am also interested in the SeaGull, love the design. I am a Panerai fan, however the cost will not allow me to buy one for another couple of years if im lucky(and not a chrono if I ever do), so the Alpha lets me dream. I did try to see if the screws were functional and would work more than once, what can I say curiosity got the best of me, they did work and screw in/out nicely. Sorry to hear yours had problems, I could not get my eyes to focus enough to see how the holes are done on mine. Love the back, my BIL loved it as well!


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